Friars Walk

Friars Walk interiorFriars Walk is a disused shopping mall in central Reading. It has been the venue for several Zombie LARP events.

In real life

The mall is huge and has a lot of cool features: narrow service corridors, a creepy children’s play area, slow-closing fire shutters, loading docks, and a pitch-dark labyrinthine basement.

The main entrances are all closed up, so we get in using the basement entrance on Garrard Street, next to the car park and taxi rank. Garrard Street is right next to Reading Rail Station. The full address is Friars Walk Mall, Garrard Street, Reading, RG1 1NR. The mall is run by First & Only Airsoft.

In our games

At Zombie LARP events, the mall is code-named ‘Station Zero’, and is the location of a zombie-outbreak survival shelter. During an outbreak in late 2011, someone activated Station Zero’s emergency broadcast system, attracting survivors, Bioflex employees and Occult Task Force agents from miles around. Later, Bioflex used the mall to test an experimental holiday, and in early 2012 survivors of yet another zed-incident were caught up in the struggle between Baxter and the Nightmares.

Extreme biohazard warningHere are a few of the many reasons that Station Zero is actually much less safe than the streets outside:

  • The shelter is in such disrepair that hundreds of zombies can easily get in.
  • The basement is the nest of the mysterious Red Leech.
  • The main concourse is the hunting-ground of a pack of White Knights.
  • The upper level, particularly the children’s play area, is haunted by Nightmares.
  • Bioflex uses the area as a test market for its incredibly dangerous products, and secretly carries out unethical experiments on shoppers and local wildlife.
  • At least one deranged ex-Bioflex accountant has taken up residence in the wall cavities and is suspicious of intruders.
  • The automated Emergency Broadcast System may have become self-aware.
  • The mall is built on a geomantic fault, so Vril energy, telluric currents and other supernatural emanations are a thousand times the national average.