Intelligent zombies are the rare instances where the zombie condition does not completely eradicate all evidence of thought. Some works of fiction depict zombies with personality and intelligence, the only difference being their hunger for flesh. They are extremely dangerous, as they can still use weapons such as guns or swords, and can devise plans to overcome human barricades, traps and the like.
Differences from other zombies
- They can use weapons and tools.
- They can control their hunger for humans.
- They are not as dimwitted as normal zombies.
- They can work with or control the normal dumb zombies.
- They can communicate in English or whatever language they used to speak.
- In extremely rare cases they can form friendships or relationship and bond with humans.
- Their intelligence is shown many times in Marvel Zombies, as the remaining heroes can speak, retain memory and characteristics of their previous life, and even construct a device to magnifiy their inherited powers to defeat Galactus. It is worth mentioning that Marvel Zombies is a largely comedic work that doesn't work within the strictest levels of the Marvel Universe continuity or canon.
- Manga such as Reiko the Zombie Shop by Rei Mikamoto and Is This a Zombie? by Shinichi Kimura also depict intelligent zombies that possess the features described above (with the exception of Midori, Saki, and Riruka from Reiko the Zombie Shop, who are mute for some reason, but are capable of basic human intelligence nonetheless). but they do not suffer any type of skin necrosis commonly seen with zombies. These zombies however are also depicted as more of the "romantic" type of zombie.
- The Draugr in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are depicted as a race of intelligent zombies who speak in an ancient dragon language. Even worse, they can use the Unrelenting Force Shout (Fus Ro Dah) to send the Dragonborn and any unfortunate targets flying into the air. Deathlords and Wights(a more powerful kind of Draugr) can use other Shouts like Disarm or several magic spells, overwhelming the Dragonborn in many occasions.
- Capcom's Hsien-ko of Darkstalkers is also an intelligent zombie, but she does not show any signs of necrosis commonly seen with the undead.
- Lollipop Chainsaw also depicts intelligent zombies who are capable of speech and using different weapons. These zombies are former high school students who became undead as a result of the actions of the game's antagonist Swan.
- In the book The Rising by Brian Keene and its sequel City of the Dead depict a zombie apocalypse where the zombies have human intelligence and can talk. These zombies were created via demonic possession after a portal opened during an experiment at a particle accelerator.
- In the Halo trilogy, a zombie-like species called The Flood invades Installation 04. The normal infection does not drain the victim's memories and such. The infected person can still use guns.
- The Wolfenstein Game Series has had a long history of intelligent zombies in the franchise. Mutants and Super Mutants are known to have chest mounted guns and some use blades as means of attack. Dark Knights are known to carry shields and axes, as well as swords. Heinrich I carried a large sword that accommodated his size and later enemies like the Despoiled used the STG-44. Shamblers were the next form of undead created by the Nazis, now these were primitive in forms of attack, however some primarily military carried the STG-46t and fired them at B.J. Blazkowicz.
- To some extent, the zombies in DOOM (created by demonic spells) are intelligent. They do not seem to understand modern military tactics any more than the demons that command them, but they are still intelligent enough to use firearms as a primary way of attacking the Doomguy.
- In the games Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army and Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2, some Nazi Zombies, particularly the Elites and Snipers utilize firearms. The grunts on the other hand, mostly use melee weapons, however some like the suicide variants and normal grunts can and will use guns and explosives, but are not always accurate with them.
- Nurgle Followers in Warhammer 40k
- In the Italian horror film Zombi 3, people infected with the zombie virus posses the ability to speak and retain some of their old personality, but they become psychotic and crave human flesh.
- In Resident Evil 6 the Zombies C use weapons.
- In the movie "Cell Phone" the infected from mobile phone can use weapons.
- In Doghouse the infected use weapons.
- In the "Warcraft" franchise, the major undead factions are "The Scourge" and "The Forsaken". While the bulk of the scourge are mindless and feral, key members and monsters in the scourge have higher-intelligence and can command the lesser undead. The forsaken, meanwhile, are undead who escaped the grasp of the "lich king" who controls the scourge. The Forsaken are zombies with higher intelligence, with the ability to think, speak and use weapons.
- In Resident Evil: Retribution the plagas zombie in moscow sequence can use weapons and vehicles.
- In "Day of the dead" Bud is a domestic zombie who can feel emotion.
- In "Fido" all zombies can become a friend by domestic means.
- In the "Fallout" series, zombie-like creatures called Ghouls can be found. They are effected by radiation, and thus have rotting skin. They also live for a very long time and can live without eating. Most Ghouls found are intelligent and act as other NPCs, however, many Feral Ghouls can be found. They are much more similar to dumb zombies. In the series, "zombie" is considered a slur as most Ghouls simply wish to be human. Although Ghouls do not eat human flesh or brains, they are still considered zombies.
- The norwegian comedy-horror movie "Dead Snow" depicts Nazi Zombies that can utilize various tools such as knives and binoculars and follow orders, letting the protagonist go after he returned a cursed treasure. They do not crave for human flesh and rarely bite in combat situations.