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Version 0.16: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
A corpse raised to undeath by necromancy.

"It seemed that while the zombie came from the grave, it was neither a ghost, nor yet a person who had been raised like Lazarus from the dead. The zombie, they say, is a soulless human corpse, still dead, but taken from the grave and endowed by sorcery with a mechanical semblance of life-it is a dead body with is made to walk and act and move as if it was alive. People who have the power to do this go to a fresh grave, dig up the body before it has had time to rot, galvanize it into movement, and then make of it a servant or slave, occasionally for the commission of some crime, more often simply as a drudge around the habitation or the farm, setting it dull heavy tasks, and beating it like a dumb beast if it slackens."
-William Seabrook, _The Magic Island_. 1929.

Zombies are the reanimated corpses of once-living creatures. They are a type of derived undead, and are referred to in game as either "small zombies" or "large zombies". Either way, they are considerably slower, stupider, and clumsier than whatever they were when they were alive. Dealing them damage reduces their max HP, making them unable to recover from injuries. On the flip side, they do come with undead resistances to cold and negative energy.

Zombies may appear in the Dungeon as random monsters, or be created by players (or other monsters) through Necromancy or the Invocations of certain gods. Note that hostile zombies can serve as a "preview" of upcoming monsters: since they're weaker than the original, the zombie version of monsters will often show up a level or two before the live version.

As servants, zombies are extremely useful for characters who need meat shields, and make up the main component of a necromancer's or death knight's strategy. Often simply hiding behind your zombies and waiting is a good strategy in battle against strong foes. Note that a newly-animated zombie can pick up weapons and armor from the square it was animated on (usually their old equipment), but that's your last chance to equip them, as they can't pick anything up or wield/wear new items. Also, you're not getting, e.g., zombie!Psyche's dagger of chaos back until her zombie is destroyed! Despite having significant disadvantages, zombies can still be very strong, particularly in the case of strong physical monsters or well-equipped uniques.

One shortcoming of zombies is that they are unable to use stairs, trapping them on the level they were created, but you can lure monsters up or down stairs to where your thralls are.

Identifying Zombies

Although zombie versions of each monster will have different stats, Crawl tends to lump them together, making identification at a glance difficult. In console mode, zombies will be separated into zs and Zs, representing large or small zombies. Tiles mode is more specific, providing unique tiles for several categories of monster, but there is still a lot of possible variation within those categories. In either mode, you can always press x and highlight the zombie in question to determine exactly what type of monster you are dealing with.

Below are all the categories of zombies in tiles mode:

Zombie adder.png Adders

Zombie bird.png Birds

Bat zombie.png Bats

Beetle zombie.png Beetles

Zombie hound.png Canines

Zombie centaur.png Centaurs

Zombie crab.png Crabs

Zombie draconian.png Draconians

Zombie drake.png Drakes

Zombie dragon.png Dragons

Zombie quicksilver dragon.png Quicksilver dragons

Zombie iron dragon.png Iron dragons

Zombie gold dragon.png Gold dragons

Zombie elephant.png Elephants

Zombie elf.png Elves

Zombie faun.png Fauns

Zombie fish.png Fish

Zombie frog.png Frogs

Zombie cockroach.png Giant cockroaches

Zombie gnoll.png Gnolls

Zombie goblin.png Goblins

Zombie griffon.png Griffons

Zombie guardian serpent.png Guardian serpents

Zombie harpy.png Harpies

Zombie hobgoblin.png Hobgoblins

Zombie howler monkey.png Howler monkeys

Zombie human.png Humans

Small zombie.png Humanoids (small)

Large zombie.png Humanoids (large)

Zombie hydra 1.png Zombie hydra 2.png Zombie hydra 3.png Zombie hydra 4.png Zombie hydra 5.png Hydras

Zombie bug.png Insects

Zombie bee.png Insects (winged)

Zombie jackal.png Jackals

Zombie juggernaut.png Juggernauts

Zombie kobld.png Kobolds

Zombie kraken head.png Krakens

Zombie lernaean 1.png Zombie lernaean 2.png Zombie lernaean 3.png Zombie lernaean 4.png Zombie lernaean 5.png Zombie lernaean 6.png Zombie lernaean 7.png Zombie lernaean 8.png Zombie lernaean 9.png Zombie lernaean 10.png The Lernaean hydra

Zombie lindwurm.png Lindwurms

Zombie lizard.png Lizards

Zombie merfolk.png Merfolk

Zombie minotaur.png Minotaurs

Zombie naga.png Nagas

Zombie octopode.png Octopodes

Zombie ogre.png Ogres

Zombie orc.png Orcs

Zombie small quadruped.png Quadrupeds (small)

Zombie large quadruped.png Quadrupeds (large)

Zombie winged quadruped.png Quadrupeds (winged)

Zombie quokka.png Quokkas

Zombie rat.png Rats

Zombie salamander.png Salamanders

Zombie scorpion.png Scorpions

Zombie snake.png Snakes

Zombie spider small.png Spiders

Zombie spider.png Spiders (large)

Zombie spriggan.png Spriggans

Zombie troll.png Trolls

Zombie turtle.png Turtles

Zombie ugly thing.png Ugly things

Zombie worm.png Worms

Zombie wyvern.png Wyverns

Zombie yaktaur.png Yaktaurs