Reincarnation is a new feature, added in Alpha R5, which allows the player character, when killed, to 'become' another actor/npc/zombie (depending on options set by the player).
After dying, the player is given the choice whether to reincarnate or choose 'permadeath'. If the player choses yes, he is presented with the reincarnation screen. In the reincarnation screen, the player is presented with a list of options:
- Random Actor - Any NPC/Survivor in the city, from cops or survivors, to the National Guard (Any other characters apart from survivors are only possible choices if turned on in the Options Screen).
- Random Living - Any Living NPC, most likely just another survivor.
- Random Undead - Any Undead NPC, from zombie masters to skeletons (Rats and zombie's in the sewer system are only possible choices if turned on in the Options screen).
- Random Follower - One of the players own Followers, a good choice if they were well cared for while living, and also ensures the player will respawn near any safehouse/stash they own.
- Your Killer - Whatever killed the player, be it Zombie, Biker, or Gangsta.
- Your Zombefied Self - The player's dead body lurches upwards, and they keep one random skill, and one point in said skill (Some skills are useless as a zombie, for instance, Hauler, as the undead have no need for inventory.)
Despite the options available, there are several restrictions and negative aspects to Reincarnation. Along with the obvious fact that the player may feel somewhat 'removed' from the danger if they can simply 'jump' into another actor, everything from the previous character is lost, such as experience, memory etc. This may not be a problem if the player respawns as a National Guard soldier or cop, but if respawning as a mere survivor may pose said problem. The difficulty value for scoring also reflects the number of Reincarnations, and is divided by each succesive reincarnation.
The maximum number of lives is 9 - after this, the effects of permadeath come back, and any death is permanent and final.