The Katana Is the Best Terribly Kept Secret in ‘Dead Rising’

The worst kept secret in gaming.

Zombie-bashing photojournalist Frank West is nothing without a solid weapon clutched in his meaty paws. Happily enough, the world of Dead Rising is filled with enticing options for scattering undead gray matter, and one of the best — the katana — is just a few steps away from your starting location.

If you’re familiar with the decade-old video game riff on Dawn of the Dead, then you’re likely very aware of the katana lying on top of the yellow canopy outside the second-floor coffee shop Colombian Roastmasters. If you’re new to the game, however, then you owe it to yourself to get a leg up on the brain-eating competition.

More than just an early boon to players, the hidden katana could be seen as a first glimpse into a new type of zombie game, one where the real victims are the corpses shambling around the once-pristine linoleum floors.

Getting the Katana

When you get past Dead Rising’s brief tutorial and you’re released into the mall to cruise around looking for shadowy government types, you’ll start out on the first floor of Paradise Plaza. If you hang a right and head up the first flight of stairs you see, you’ll run across Columbian Roastmasters. In addition to a bunch of health power-ups, the unassuming shop is home to the katana.

This stalwart weapon is a one-hit kill on any undead foe unlucky enough to fall under its blade. While it won’t last forever — nothing good ever does — the katana will help bust some heads while you build up your arsenal for the long road ahead.

The Legacy of a Poorly Hidden Sword

Sure, there’s a murky cabal of evildoers who are dead set on making the world an unsafe place, and there are several innocents caught in the crossfire, but the story isn’t why Dead Rising has persevered; it’s the demented creativity Capcom put into zombie killing.

The ability to bring down pain on an undead horde is what sets Dead Rising apart from the myriad zombie-filled video games out there. The ability to lay your hands on such a powerful instrument of destruction so early helped newcomers transform from the cowering, ultra cautious zombie-killing heroes of past video games into swaggering, free-range asskickers.
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