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NorthStar Zone your best bet for blades in Madison


Nothing beats the fresh smell of flowers and gun powder.

It is believed by many that the more fire power you have, the greater chance you have of surviving. In most cases, this is true. In the case of zombies, however, this is only partially true. Say you have an M-9 9mm Beretta, a pump action Browning 12 gauge shotgun, and a sniper rifle with night vision scope, with extra ammo for each. To an untrained eye, one could say you were prepared for anything. To a zombie buff, you are an idiot.

While the firearms are a good start, let's face it, this isn't a video game, and you can't have infinite ammo. At some point you are bound to run out and will be forced to either reload or find another means of executing the massive moaning horde that has undoubtedly surrounded you. Either way, you have found yourself in a very sticky situation.

So what, then, can you do to make yourself fully prepared for an attack if not carry more ammo? The answer, dear reader, is simple: blades. Swords, axes, daggers, knives, or whatever else you can think of that includes a sharp, pointy end and a handle to grip it with. Granted, when it comes to distance and range, firearms are far more superior than any blade, but if you find yourself in a tight corner about to be mauled by the living dead, a nice machete is also nice to have handy.

As Max Brooks put it, "Blades don't need reloading."

In preparation for this article, I decided to do a Google search of sword shops in Madison. I got one legitimate hit back, and when I looked over the pages, I knew this one was a keeper. With selections from TV and movie look-a-likes to medieval and fantasy style swords and axes, I decided it best to e-mail the owners and ask a few questions about which they would recommend and which they thought would be the worst out of any of them.

The Full Tang Samurai or Ninja swords are probably the best bet if choosing any weapon from NorthStar's stockade. With the short guards and firm handle grips, these swords make it ideal for the swiftest of strikes. The blades are sharp and sturdy, and unlike their movie look-a-like counterparts, these can withstand many blows. The other full tang medieval blades work well, also, but because their guards are bigger, they are more likely to become a nuisance rather than an aid. Any one of these blades, however, can easily cut down a small tree limb, making them ideal for taking out our undead foes.

Of course, as you may have already guessed, the look-a-like movie and television swords are by far the worst, according to Jim, the owner of NorthStar Zone. "They can be lethal, but are more for show than fighting," he says in an e-mail, "You may get one or two good hits in before they may break apart."

Although they are pretty cool to have around the house, the Resident Evil double Kukri blades to the right won't help you nearly as much as they helped Alice. They will, however, help you gain some massive respect points with any fan of the movie franchise.

Now that you have the general gist of what sort of weapons to use, it is time to take a look at the protection.

According to Jim, if you're looking for great armor at an affordable price, your best bet is the light-weight chainmail.

"It would provide great biting protection and is light enough to wear for an extended [period of] time."

He goes on to warn against any of the chest armors, as their sheer size and weight would be the cause of your greatest limitations in movement and speed and would undoubtedly tie in with the cause of your demise.

The NorthStar Zone is an online shop with a location at 124 Church St in Stoughton, only 30 minutes away. Though there is no actual store, you can call and arrange for an appointment to either pick up or examine an item, by simply dialing (608) 205-9593. Their hours of operation is Monday thru Friday, noon to 8pm.

For more info: Go to their website and check out their FAQ for any questions regarding quality, delivery, or anything else your heart may desire.