Plague Inc is a mobile game I’ve heard great things about since last year. A lot of my friends had been playing it and kept recommending it to me.
Essentially, your goal is to destroy the world by evolving a disease to kill everyone on Earth.
As I played it, and took delight in destroying civilization, the thought kept going through my mind: Who would do this??
JGX51: Development Journal
I only keep this record for posterity. On the off-chance that someone might find this journal and possess the ability to comprehend it.
I don’t do this for fame, or glory, or even recognition. By the time JGX51 is finished, there will be few left to appreciate it’s beauty.
The scientific community had their chance to listen. They refused.
There is no point in allowing this world to continue. The “leaders” of society are short-sighted, cowardly and greedy. My work could have saved millions. I could have ended hunger, ended disease, even old age.
But these Governments and their lapdog “scientists” blocked me at every turn. Discredited my work, my methods. Had me shunned by every scientific circle of any worth.
And then, with me safely out of sight. They forgot about me.
*** DAY 1. THE BEGINNING.
JGX51 started life as a simple bacterial infection. Unremarkable and easily countered. At first.
I lacked the resources to engineer a 100% lethal bacteria at the outset. Instead, I chose to concentrate on making it highly infectious.
The symptoms were mild, to say the least. JGX51 would be easily confused with the common cold, or maybe even the Flu by average medical practitioners.
No one would be alarmed or alerted. No one would be working on a cure.
By the time they begin, it will be too late.
*** DAY 30.
Africa. Of course it will begin in Central Africa.
It will take more resources than are currently available to bolster JGX51 for cold-resistance. Therefore, a warm climate is necessary for effective deployment.
In addition, medical infrastructure is notoriously low. If anyone does see the danger, it will take months, perhaps years before the western world will mobilize effective countermeasures.
Valuable time that can and will be used to increase the effectiveness of the disease.
*** DAY 74.
Scanning the news. No mention. It’s as if JGX51 doesn’t exist.
Except that it does.
*** DAY 110.
More equipment and certain materials are needed to enhance the disease. Funding is limited, and even if it was not, the things I need are not available on the shelf at local convenience stores.
There are those who can procure the items. The western world calls them terrorists. They call themselves freedom fighters.
I don’t care.
I make dirty bombs for them, and they get me the materials I need.
To think, if they knew what I was doing to this world, they would surely kill me where I stand.
They know who I am. They think I do this because I can’t find work anywhere, because I’ve been discredited and shamed, because I lost my w-
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who they blow up. The rest of the world will follow very shortly.
*** DAY 133.
JGX51 has taken it’s first life. Or at least this is the first report I can find.
It happened in Germany. Not expected -but within probable forecasts.
Either way, the mutations I introduced to the disease have worked.
It will be tricky from this point on. If too many people die too quickly, more advanced nations may notice and begin to research a cure.
I doubt any one of those fools can match my knowledge. But all of them together might stumble upon a cure. Some infinitesimal error that I may have missed. Unlikely, but still possible.
From now on, steps will be taken to allow random mutations in the disease. JGX51 will be difficult to research, let alone cure.
*** DAY 204.
Hmmm. The random mutation strain I introduced has worked. Perhaps too well?
New symptoms have emerged. Ones I did not originally program. Flesh is being necrotized and skin lesions are forming.
No less than the people of this world deserve, no doubt. However, these symptoms are highly alarming. They cause fear and panic. That means JGX51 will be noticed soon.
I have to prepare.
*** DAY 238.
Bombing in London today. My work, I can tell.
The fools placed it in the basement of a building, so destruction and contamination of the general population was minimal.
I’m in need of more materials, so I will contact them again. Explain how they can kill more by using simple common sense.
If the contaminants had been able to spread on the wind..? Oh, well.
*** DAY 306.
I have now bolstered JGX51 against cold, plus allowed it to be carried by birds.
New symptoms include hemophilia and massive organ failure if not treated within 72 hours.
The war is as good as won.
*** DAY 424.
The world cannot ignore this any longer. Too many people have died.
Many unstable governments have sealed borders and burned bodies in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of JGX51.
Fools, you can’t stop the birds.
*** DAY 499.
France and China have announced that they are researching a cure.
The word is England, Australia, Germany and the U.S.A. will begin shortly. Sleeping giants awaken. Too late.
Africa is lost. All flights and ships to and from the continent have been halted. Only U.N. Peacekeepers and medical relief forays from around the world are allowed in.
Excellent. Those people will either surely die, or bring the disease back with them.
It’s too strong to stop now.
*** DAY 601.
The loss of commerce with Africa is taking a toll on the world economy.
Plus, JGX51 is taking it’s own toll in Asia, South America and even Russia.
The U.S.A, Great Britain and Canada have all seemingly been spared. This was expected, but I will have to take harsher measures to ensure these areas are properly infected.
One last round of upgrades to the disease should ensure it transmits through every bodily fluid that exists. It will also be carried by rodents, dogs and cats, as well as just birds.
No escape, now.
I’ll need to work quickly. Transport and shipping is breaking down worldwide. The terrorist group I work with won’t be able to get me my supplies if I wait much longer.
*** DAY 625.
I did not see that coming.
It seems these terrorists are not as stupid as I thought. They actually figured out that I am behind JGX51. HOW??
It’s true that I made little attempt to hide my equipment or research. Of course they knew what chemicals I needed, as they procured them for me.
Was one of them smart enough to piece it together?
Obviously, someone was.
Luckily, even though I was surprised. I am always prepared for betrayal. Ever since she betrayed me.
She left me for a man of lesser intelligence. He works with his hands doing construction, for God’s sake.
I can’t forgive that. I can’t forgive the kind of world that would allow a man like him to have the woman I love.
No mercy was shown to the terrorist fools, either. They demanded a cure for JGX51. I told them there was no cure.
They beat me. Threatened me with guns. Pathetic.
My mind is more dangerous than any gun.
The first time we met, I had already infected them with a lethal virus I invented years earlier called JGX7A. The virus takes hold in the body, but does nothing. Merely lays dormant.
At least, until the trigger agent is released. I broke the capsule implanted under the top layer of skin in my index finger. The aerosol agent quickly spread out. Within 30 seconds they were all dead.
It should have taken only 10. A shameful miscalculation on my part.
Bottom line, I acquired the last materials I should need. JGX51 is now invincible.
*** DAY 748.
This world is covered in red. News reports are spotty, but by combining the data I can see the whole picture.
I had taken care earlier to grant myself access to most of the worlds satellites.
Although, even with my intellect, I am not a true polymath. It was always chemicals and biology that interested me the most.
Still, I was able to learn enough to implant myself into all but the most well-protected satellite networks.
What I see is so beautiful.
Everything these fools took for granted is gone. Or nearly so.
As far as I can tell, Greenland, Canada and the U.S.A. are the last vestiges of civilization. They won’t be able to hold out for long.
China’s government fell two days ago. Russia simply went dark.
I see those who possess some sort of immunity. This was always expected. JGX51 was already programmed to ignore me. There would be those who for some reason or another share the traits I programmed into the disease, and thus are spared.
My immediate family will of course be among them. Hopefully the random mutations will take care of them. I’d hate to have to find them and kill them myself.
As for the rest, they are far too scattered and without resources to do anything now.
The pockets of underground scientists still trying to research a cure will fail and eventually die of hunger.
There is no one and no time left, you fools!
*** DAY 813. THE END.
TV, radio, internet. Most is dark now.
The world is truly in ruin. Bodies are no longer piled, just left right where they lay. Who is left to clean up, anyway?
It’s time for the last stage of the plan.
It sounds silly, but only because men of limited intelligence and talent were the ones working on the problem. A problem I solved within a year of putting my mind to it.
What was that problem? Two words: Freezer burn.
It’s easy to put someone on ice, but waking them up without crystallizing their cells has always been the showstopper.
The four people I killed in my trials died in the service of a greater good.
In truth, the fourth one survived the process in perfect health. After I examined him and ran every conceivable test, I poisoned him.
I told him he would never have to be homeless again, and I held up my end of the bargain.
Now, it was my turn to go to sleep. The power sources I have amassed will easily run for the next hundred thousand years.
I think I’ll wake up in a thousand.
By that point, those who survived will have started a new society, new government, new world. Hopefully a better one than this.
And if they haven’t..?
Well, I still have all my equipment and materials.
I’ll just introduce them to JGX52.
I have no affiliation whatsoever with Ndemic Creations, the creator of Plague Inc., but I’m the type of guy who likes to have a story, even when the game doesn’t necessarily require one.
As I was playing, I thought you’d have to be in a pretty miserable state to want to kill off every human on Earth. Usually, when people don’t get what they want in life, they can turn dark. I thought if someone lost out on their career and in love, they might feel like they don’t have anything left to live for -and thus the only option would be to create some kind of killer virus to destroy humanity. Makes sense to me.
So I made up this tale to go along with it as I played.
The game is a bit of dichotomy. On one level, there’s not much to it. No fancy 3D graphics or collisions or famous actors playing the parts. But on another level, the strategy needed to win can be quite complex.
You have to put enough effort into the transmission, symptoms and (cure-resisting) abilities of your disease. You can’t do them all at once, so you have to be careful about which traits you upgrade. Putting too much effort in transmission will result in a disease that is everywhere, but kills relatively few. While a highly fatal disease that doesn’t transmit easily is confined to one area and is noticed more quickly, thus ensuring cure research.
As you’re playing, funny news items will scroll by. Well, they’re not intrinsically funny, but they become comical in light of the danger the world hasn’t realized it’s in yet.
It’s interesting to see how the news slowly begins to be about nothing more than your disease as they try to fight it.
Bacteria, Virus, Fungus…
Plague, Inc. is cheap for $.99 (U.S.) on iOS devices (yet appears to be free on Android), but that only gets you the bacterial infection to start out with. You can upgrade to a virus, fungus, parasite, prion, nano-virus or bio-weapon for a small upgrade fee – $.99 for one, $2.99 for all, or $5.99 for 3 “cheat” types of plagues. Or you can beat each type of plague on the Normal or Brutal modes to unlock the next type without paying anything.
So far I haven’t paid a dime over the original $.99.
This game will certainly teach you about the differences between a virus and a fungus, as you’ll need to adjust your strategies for successful deployment around the globe.
I’ve found that trying to beat the fungus level is extremely frustrating. Not only trying to infect the whole world, but then making the damn thing lethal can be tough. Once you see the world start working on a cure you know it’s probably over for you.
The funniest thing is when they world succeeds in finding a cure and beating your disease, you’re clenching your fist and yelling out “YOU BASTARDS!” I mean, how dare these people prevent me from killing them!
I’ve found some of the suggestions on this Plague Tips site to be very helpful. I still haven’t won by using the fungus yet, but I’m close…maybe tonight is the night.
Do you have an idea?
The creator of Plague, Inc., James Vaughan, was invited to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as they became interested in his game as a way to raise public awareness.
James mentions that he didn’t know much about creating a game at the time. He learned as he went, then hired some freelancers along the way for help.
What this means is if you have an idea, it doesn’t really matter if you can’t code. Even if you can’t necessarily afford to pay freelancers, you can still try to find someone willing to work for some profits on the back end.
I thought it was very cool that essentially a one-man-show was able to pull this off to this level of success. Next time it could be one of you reading this.
Get it, play it, destroy the world.
Plague Inc. is available on both iOS and Android:
I would definitely recommend giving it a whirl if you’re into strategy games. I’m outta here for now, but I hope you guys have fun destroying humanity.
See you all next time!
12 thoughts on “Plague Inc: Why I Destroyed This World”
Tip for fungus: spread by water and air, full cold resistance, cure resistance. Key is to devolve symptoms until everyone is infected then go straight to total organ failure. Easiest if you have the devolution reward mutation.
Hope this helps!
Hey Max, thanks for those tips! I never thought about cold resistance or to keep devolving the symptoms. I can’t wait to try it!
i play with the mindset of simply BEING the disease, not as a human doing the killing. it’s so addictive! with bacteria and virus your real key is getting it spread to EVERYONE and being totally nonlethal and nonthreatening, then once it tells you everyone is infected, you drop the hammer of destruction down and mutate that SOB into a killing machine! by then it’s too late, everyone has it! *mwuahahahahahahaha* oh the power!! the powerrrr!!!
LOL that’s something I hadn’t considered, to try to think AS the disease. Very interesting, maybe I’ll try to shift my thinking that way and see if it helps any. Thanks for commenting!
Oh no.. now that you’ve mentioned the game it’s time to go back and get addicted all over again~
Sorry Fatima :) I had to do it…
Here’s to your success in destroying humanity yet again!
I played many games in my gaming career and this one looks really interesting. I just hope it will give knowledge on how to protect our planet and not will create some crazy dudes to destroy it in real.
Thanks for the article!
You definitely have to try this game. I, too was thinking “oh boy, I hope some megalomaniac out there isn’t training himself to actually DO this!” lol
But I think places like the CDC and others are well-prepared for this sort of thing.
If you try it let me know what you think!
John, I think you should think about trying to write some in your spare time! That was really good, and do you think you might end up doing a story on the Neurax worm, or the Necroa virus?
Hi Seth, thanks for reading, man!
Well, I gotta beat this darn fungus level before I can get to the really good stuff, lol.
I’m glad you like the story – I do some writing, although mostly in comic form, which you can see here:
Thanks for commenting, and keep having fun with the game!
Damn them! Damn them all!
They keep finding cures for my beautiful diseases.
I’d heard of this game, but didn’t bother to try it until I read your awesome post about it. I was converted only a few paragraphs in, and would have downloaded it right then, but didn’t want to have to stop reading in order to get up and find my tablet. =D
I keep thinking of 12 Monkeys every time I play it, too. And Contagion (which was based on a real-life virus, actually). And all of the bloated, suppurating, malformed bodies with their black faces frozen in horrific pain at my beautiful virus, lying in the streets and piled like cordwood in abandoned, open graves; strewn in desperate and haphazard fashion as when they finally came for Elizabeth Bathory and found her victims carelessly strewn where they may, so inured to death were they…
Um, I mean, fun game!
Ha ha!! See, I’m not the only one who gets deep into this game lol.
I forgot about 12 Monkeys, I gotta watch that again soon. Hopefully I can get to it before some evil soul decides to produce one of these diseases and end the world!
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