"Was that a zombie in a goddamn cape?"
Before the outbreak
Not much is known about the life Richards led as a human, however he was a soldier involved with work at Area 51 in some capacity. He volunteered to participate in Torrance's experiment with an alien sickness, which would unexpectedly lead to him becoming the first zombie.
"My theory: This started with one of them. An original. So whoever that is, I think if he bites you. . ."
After becoming a zombie, Zeus was transported from Area 51 to an undisclosed location, but ended up breaking out of his containment chamber near Las Vegas. He killed the members of his transport other than Kelly and Bissell, who he turned to zombies. He followed the lights of the city, where he ventured, followed by his new alphas, to spread the infection. The rise of the zombies forced the living humans out of the city, those who failed becoming members of the zombie horde. The city was eventually walled off, containing the zombies inside, and Zeus became their king.
When the military pulled out of the quarantine zone, the Las Vengeance heist team moved into the city for their own purposes. Zeus watched as the group paid tribute to the horde, gifting a living human to Athena. Athena brought Burt Cummings back to The Olympus, where Zeus shortly arrived to convert him into a new recruit. The humans later called Athena out a second time, but when she approached, she was captured, her head taken. Hearing her death cry, Zeus found her body left behind and brought it back to The Olympus. He carved out her womb, where their zombie fetus lived, but it appeared to die in his hands. He rallied his troops, and the horde attacked Bly's Casino where the humans were at that moment. Zeus arrived after his alphas and engaged Vanderohe in single combat, the latter of whom managed to escape into the Götterdämmerung vault when Ludwig Dieter intervened. Setting his sights on the rest of the humans after presumably killing Dieter, Zeus went upstairs to find his alphas burning alive. He chased the remaining members of Las Vengeance to the roof where they were making their escape via helicopter. Lilly showed Zeus Athena's head, holding a gun to it to allow the others to fly away. In a moment of distraction, Zeus threw his pole into Lilly's shoulder, pinning her to a wall. Lilly was able to drop Athena's head over the edge of the roof, at which point Zeus anguished, then made to bite deep into Lilly's neck. He quickly set his sights on the remaining survivors, riding Wildfire back to The Olympus, within which he found Scott and Kate Ward and Geeta. Scott launched a grenade at Zeus, who was caught up in the explosion, allowing the three to get back to the helicopter on the roof. They would have made a clean escape, except Marianne Peters had flown off. She returned for them, but the delay enabled Zeus to catch up, and as they took off, Zeus leapt into the vehicle and began a deadly brawl with Scott. Zeus bit Scott, but Scott split Zeus' skull with a bullet, ending his reign.
- Alpha intelligence: As a zombie, Zeus' intelligence isn't at the level of living humans', however as an alpha, his intelligence is more akin to an intelligent animal than a mindless beast, making him a much greater threat than a typical shambler.
- Infection spreading: As a zombie, Zeus' bite can convert living humans into zombies. Since he's the original zombie, his victims become alphas. As the infection gets further from the source, its effects degrade, but the zombies created by Zeus are the strongest and smartest.
- Superhuman strength: Zeus has inordinate strength, capable of throwing an adult human across the room with a single arm as seen when he threw Vanderohe with a broad swipe.
- Zombie leadership: The alpha zombies that he has converted follow him almost worshipfully, completely disregarding their own safety for his revenge.
- Enhanced coordination: Zeus has excellent coordination, as shown when he pierced Lilly with his spear even though she was holding Athena's head, preventing Lilly from shooting Athena.
- Metal mask: Knowing his brain is his major vulnerability and able to do something about it, Zeus wore a metal face shield whenever he went into battle against people with guns.
- Rebar spear: Zeus carries a rebar rod, which he uses as a spear against Lilly, pinning her to a wall.
- Wildfire: Zeus rides a zombie horse, capable of carrying him quickly across his kingdom.
- Las Vegas horde - subordinates