"Aaah... I'm getting too old for this horse shit."
Voiced by Jim French
Bill is a Green Beret Vietnam vet. Having had nothing to do since he was discharged from the military for a knee injury, the zombies have given him a new purpose in life: to see them all dead. At least in the intro, he was featured as essentially the leader of the survivors.Associated Tropes:
Blood Knight: Bill misses 'Nam and is actually glad that the zombies have given him an enemy to fight.
Character Development: Bill near the end of the No Mercy campaign says he will kill every zombie in the world with his bare hands if that is what it took to get peace back. After the events of the comic, Bill now realizes his previous determination is worthless since not only he and the other survivors are carriers and are spreading the virus around, but the military would also kill them and even the military couldn't handle fighting the infected like the survivors can. This causes Bill to change his plans to finding an island in the Florida Keys so that they can live the rest of their lives in peaceful isolation without zombies or the military.
Cool Guns: Bill's typically shown using an M16 as his weapon. Upon picking up one, he'll sometimes mention how it reminds him of old times (which makes sense as M16 were common in the Vietnam War). True enough, it was what he was using during his last stand.
Heroic Willpower: While being put under anesthesia for surgery, one of the nurses turns and attacks him. Bill forces himself to remain conscious, fend off the attacker, and run down several hallways to get a weapon.
Smoking Is Cool: He always has a lit cigarette in his mouth. When he doesn't...
Take That: One of his new lines in The Sacrifice is "You know who runs around filling things up with gas? Idiots." Dead Center, The Passing, and a number of custom campaigns in L4D2 have finales that make the players run around filling things up with gas.
What the Hell, Hero?: Zoey's reaction to Bill in the comic after he refused to slow the train down so another survivor could jump on board, resulting in him getting mauled by the infected.
"I hate Ayn Rand /hospitals/doctors/lawyers/small towns/stairs/etc.."
Voiced by Vince Valenzuela
A biker who disdains Bill for unknown reasons (the feeling is mutual, and it's more of a rivalry, really), Francis treats the zombies as "the world's biggest bar fight." He is well known for his hatred of everything except vests and occasionally the army (only when they're saving his life, however). Despite the contempt he sometimes displays for his erstwhile allies, he sticks with them, and seems to legitimately care if they're badly wounded or killed.Associated Tropes:
All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: The comic shows that he was scheduled to be put in jail for stealing a TV and impersonating a police officer (to the police officer who arrested him), but the Zombie Apocalypse put that on hold. He and his biker friends responded to the zombie horde by dragging a jukebox to the roof, playing some tunes on it, and then shooting everything they saw.
This is shown in The Sacrifice, where Zoey and Louis take the zombie apocalypse as any normal person would do, whereas Francis' reaction is to bring his friends, beer, guns and a jukebox up to the roof for a whole night of zombie killing.
Dumb Muscle: Already shows this in the original campaigns, but in the Crash Course DLC, Louis and Zoey make it more obvious how uneducated Francis is (one of Francis' lines has him think they're in Canada).
He's convinced that the zombies are vampires. In the cut lines he even gives an explanation for calling them vampires (though the fact that the line is cut content makes it not canon.) And after Louis describes the Boomers, Hunters and other special infected to the military in the comic, Francis makes a point of talking about vampires.
On the other hand, see Smarter Than You Look below. And he was bright enough to realize that continuing to hang out with his old gang was a death sentence.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He insults his fellow survivors fairly often (especially Bill and Louis), but genuinely cares about them, and shows genuine sadness over their deaths in game. And Bill's actual death in The Passing.
"Mister, if one of us gets killed out here, I will shoot my way in there and beat you to death with my gun!"
Voiced by Earl Alexander
Louis is an office worker who is barely dealing with the zombie crisis. Lacking Bill's experience, Francis' attitude, and Zoey's knowledge, Louis has trouble keeping up with everyone else.Associated Tropes:
"Mister, if one of us gets killed out here, I will shoot my way in there and beat you to death with my gun!
Black and Nerdy: Louis is an IT professional, a normal guy. Standing next to a Green Beret and a Badass Biker would make any normal person look nerdy, even if he is every bit as competent at zombie killing as they are.
Louis also knows some Japanese, being able to read the Japanese graffiti on a safe house wall in The Sacrifice, due to having interned in Tokyo, Japan. Louis also mentions when they get to the island during The Sacrifice campaign, there will be no internet or Xbox, being the only one concerned about this. He even makes a joke comparing molotovs to a computer firewall.
He is also a gamer. Besides mentioning that he'll miss his Xbox in the apocalypse, he mentions how shooting zombies reminds him of Counter-Strike and when he wields the crowbar for a melee weapon he will say that he feels like Gordon Freeman.
His attitude has also toughened up. While he is still positive as usual, he won't be afraid to not care what Nick's name is in ending of The Passing due to Nick being such a Jerkass and if Louis kills a Tank, he may say "That...was for Bill!"
Zoey was a college student who spent all of her time watching zombie horror flicks instead of studying for her classes. When the zombie outbreak hit, she had the cold comfort knowing that all her knowledge on zombies would finally be put to use. Appears to become the new leader of the team after Bill's death.Associated Tropes:
Break the Cutie: Finding out that mercy killing her father was pointless because he was actually immune to the virus and having her surrogate father figure, Bill sacrifice himself so she, Louis, and Francis can escape, has made her rather bitter.
Zoey: [Seeing a rack of magazines] Hey Francis, they've got the latest issue of Hating Everything Magazine here. Zoey: Hey Louis, all of these cubicles make you homesick? Zoey: Louis... You'd look good in one of those hospital gowns. Zoey: Hey Bill, it's your favorite — stairs! [When they reach more stairs] Hey, Bill, more stairs! Zoey: Oh, boo-hoo, I don't know what to do...Go to hell, Colonel Sanders. Zoey: [Seeing graffiti saying "God is dead"] Oh no! The zombies killed God!
Took a Level in Jerkass: Zoey was pretty nice and sometimes openly joked about certain things in the first game, but by the sequel, she is very bitter or sometimes even angry at both groups of survivors if they are joking around or wasting time in The Passing. This is due to Zoey being hit very hard over Bill's death. That said, she's still reasonably pleasant to Rochelle and seems to like Ellis a lot.
The comic gives another possible reason: Zoey is (along with the other survivors) a carrier; infected but not affected by the disease. Apparently, the gene for being a carrier comes from the father. Zoey's father had her shoot him after he had been bitten by her mother; as it turns out, he never would've turned, as she finds out from the doctor at the military base.
Big Eater: This trope is never actually shown, but it has been assumed multiple times. One such time is when mentioning Burger Tank, he says that he can go for BBQ bacon burger, a large order of fries, an orange soda with no ice, and a piece of hot apple pie. He also likes eating pizzas sub style, claimed it to be a damned shame when the rainstorm washed all the sugar mill's sugar away & might ask the others if they've seen a wedding cake somewhere after spotting a wedding going on in the park.
He also refers to himself as a "One man cheeseburger apocalypse" and prays that the food court is spared when they enter the ruined mall.
Nick lampshades his gluttony while climbing to the roof of the hotel in the game's opening cutscene by motivating him saying that "maybe the helicopter is made of chocolate."
Also a reference to the "chocolate helicopter" candybar he's eating in the beginning of the intro.
Cloud Cuckoolander: Ellis is easily the survivor with the weakest grip on reality, often launching into completely pointless stories about his friend Keith, and the other survivors have to remind him that now is not the best time for such things. He sounds like a kid in a candy store in Dark Carnival especially.
Holy shit guys, KIDDIE LAND!
His comfort in being in a zombie apocalypse disturbs Coach especially.
Upon seeing a huge horde of infected around the corner:
Oh my god, IT'S CHRISTMAS!
This link has a more in-depth analysis about this trait in Ellis.
Heroic BSOD: If one of the survivors dies Ellis will not speak for the rest of the campaign.
Genius Ditz: Despite his Cloud Cuckoolander status, he is pretty damn technologically inclined and smart, it's hinted that he may be the most intelligent of the 4 survivors. He is a mechanic after all. Ellis is often the one to formulate a plan on how to escape out of the area they're in. At the very least, it's usually Ellis who suggests filling up the show car with gasoline or turning on the stage show in the carnival.
Whether or not Keith actually went through the stories he tells, Ellis at least has a basic grasp of medical terms.
Keet: Easily the chattiest and most cheerful Survivor.
Star-Crossed Lovers: Ellis never gets to really tell Zoey how he feels about her. And Zoey never gets to tell him; she either wanted him to stay with her, or to go with him as he pulls away. Damn Zombie Apocalypse getting in the way of young love.
Sweet Home Alabama: While he shows some redneck tendencies, such as his love of cars and guns, he also comes off as a pretty easygoing and friendly guy.
"The last people on earth are me, and the goddamn three stooges."
Voiced by Hugh Dillon
A traveling con man, Nick gets wrapped up in the zombie business and (mostly) unwillingly teams up with the other three L4D2 survivors. Over time he grows to like them.Associated Tropes:
Brains come out. Swamp water doesn't. Don't ask me how I know that.
Legally, I'm not allowed to have a gun... I hope everyone's okay with that.
Politically Incorrect Hero: He was married at least once, and it didn't end well. This seems to have soured his view of women given the number of sexist lines he says throughout the game.
Terrified of Germs: Despite putting on a tough guy persona, Nick is quick to point out just how unsanitary the sewers are in The Parish campaign. The trope comes out in full force in The Passing campaign where Nick does the following:
Believes that the Zombie Apocalypse could have been prevented if everyone used more hand sanitizer, to which Rochelle makes fun of him for it.
Despises having to go through the Under The River Tour because of all the dust and dirt. Coach pokes fun at him for this.
Fears being pounced by a Hunter in the sewers because it would mean him being "submerged in shit water".
Complains in the sewers that he is breathing "shit air" into his lungs, which goes into his bloodstream, and now he is literally full of shit.
Asks the other survivors to carry him above the water via piggyback ride and will pay them $1000 for it.
Complains about having to wade through a "giant toilet" to keep using Jimmy Gibbs Jr.'s car and curses Gibb's name for it.
Intrepid Reporter: Averted in that Rochelle at first sees the entire thing as a story that can put her on the map, but turns out to basically be fighting for her life and totally unconcerned about the event itself.
What Could Have Been: Rochelle went through a lot character changes during development. Rochelle had her face and hair style changed a few times, and tweaks to her clothes as well. None of the screen shots and videos pre-release were consistent on whether her hair was an afro pony tail, dread locks, or corn rows.
Left 4 Dead Arcade
Characters from the Japanese Arcade port
Voiced by Kijima Ryuichi
A Japanese college student visiting the US when the infection hit.Associated Tropes:
Difficult but Awesome: In Versus, more so than any of the other specials. He has the potential to demolish a single survivor's HP in a matter of seconds, as well as having a fast method of movement and attacking. Unfortunately, until you learn when and how to strike, expect coordinated teams to kill you within an instant.
Disability Super Power: Its mutation most likely destroyed the Hunter's eyesight to allow it to better hunt by smell/sound.
Eye Scream: His eyes are either decayed or clawed out.
Fragile Speedster: The Hunter is, without question, the most mobile Infected. However, he has average-at-best health.
In the Hood: The hunter appears to be wearing a hoodie in both games.
Le Parkour: Based off of one - his clothes' limbs are sealed shut with duct tape, a common practice by traceurs, and he moves around by agilely jumping around, ignoring most obstacles.
Personal Space Invader: His main attack is pinning down a human in a way that leaves them completely at his mercy.
Stealth Expert: His silhouette looks similar to a Common Infected's silhouette, he doesn't have particles like the Smoker or Spitter, he wears all black and he's the only Infected that doesn't passively make any noise while he's running around. It's very easy to hide from Survivors and not alert them to your presence, especially in darkness, contributing to the Hunter's assassination role. But all this gets thrown out the window...
What Could Have Been: It was originally designed to be able to hang from the ceiling and jump down onto the survivors, and be able to turn invisible. Fortunately, it was taken out, due to it not being realistic. This is possibly based on a mod of Half-Life called The Hidden.
Voiced by Mike Patton
A tall infected with an extremely long tongue (although it might be his intestines) used to entangle the survivors. The Smoker fills the Infected's sniper role somewhat, capable of yanking a distracted survivor away from his friends from a distance.
Body Horror: Cancerous Growths + Tongue From Neck = Not Good. Even more so in Left 4 Dead 2.
Cold Sniper: Unlike most of the other infected who like to get all up in your face and beat or claw you to death, the Smoker attacks from a distance with its tongue in a way similar to a sniper.
From Bad to Worse: His mutation in Left 4 Dead 2 is far more advanced than in Left 4 Dead, giving him several non-functional tentacles.
Giant Mook: Player characters barely come up to the Smoker's belly, and he has at least a foot or two on the Tank. In combination with his distinct green particle trail, survivors shouldn't have too hard a time spotting him ahead of time... usually.
Human Shield: Subverted. You'd think he'd be able to use his victims as this, but patches to the game ensure that this is impossible due to bullets piercing survivors harmlessly under the stipulation that they also hit an infected.
Smoking Is Cool: Averted, if smoking actually affected his mutations. General consensus seems to be that he's called the Smoker because of the gas he extrudes and the constant coughing and wheezing more than because he smoked before infection.
An extremely bloated infected person. The mutation of this poor soul has apparently turned their bodily fluids into potent zombie pheromones, which is puked onto the survivors with impunity. The Boomer explodes violently upon death. The only Special Infected with obvious models for both genders.
Action Bomb: The Boomer can resort to this if the vomit attack misses. A Boomer's bile can be spread by both vomit and exploding.
Body Horror: The L4D wiki, when explaining the Boomer's mutations in detail, makes it second only to the smoker in pure disgust factor. Those boils are indications that it may be still expanding.
Super Spit: The Boomer's main weapon is his horde-attracting bile.
Dead Weight: May actually be a subversion, since The Boomer probably wasn't much fatter than, say, Gabe Newell pre-infection - most of his impressive girth can be attributed to the methane gas he's constantly burping up. Some even theorize that he wasn't necessarily overweight at all, but The Virus can just deform you THAT badly.
Fan Nickname: The female Boomer is often referred to as a Boomette. The nickname actually originated from the game files.
Gass Hole: You can often tell when a Boomer is around if you hear burping.
Glass Cannon / One-Hit-Point Wonder: Easily the most fragile of the playable zombies, but arguably the most powerful. Absolutely vital to attacks by skilled teams as nothing else quite creates openings as well. Its glass cannon tendencies really stick out on higher difficulties when hordes are much more fearsome. Its 50 HP is so low that two pistol shots are certain death at all but extreme distances.
Glass Cannon: Although she can barely take any more damage than a Boomer, her acid hurts, and the only attack (from Special infected) that can destroy gas cans (only if Survivors have picked it up, then dropped it), which can ruin the progress of Survivors.
Poison Is Corrosive: Played with. Spitter Goo doesn't actually melt through whatever it comes in contact with (mainly due to game mechanics), but while the fanbase calls it acid for very obvious reasons, it's never actually referred to as acid in the game. They always call it "Spitter Goo" or "Burning Goo Shit." The in-game subtitles give the prompt [Acid Sizzling] when she spits, though.
Sickly Green Glow: Her acid tends to drip out of her mouth as she walks. It also gives away her location to anyone looking in her general direction.
Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker
A hunched over freak, the Jockey's method of attacking a survivor is to latch onto their back, and then steer them into more zombies or some environmental hazard. They are a bit more durable than most other special infected.
Disability Superpower: One fan theory states that the Jockey was wheelchair bound before infection, which may explain why its legs are so clearly atrophied.
The Hyena: The Jockey's main "weakness" is that you can hear his constant, crazed laughter from a mile away.
Puppeteer Parasite: Jockeys are a more physically-oriented version of this than the typical ones.
Team Spirit: If he lures you near a Spitter or a Witch, you'll be in big trouble.
The only unplayable special infected, the Witch is a haggish-looking woman who would just like to be left alone to cry. Unfortunately, those pesky survivors are running around, shooting off their guns and shining their flashlights. She'll make them stop.
Berserk Button: Flashing your light at her, shooting near her, shooting at her, exploding a Boomer or an explosive near her, accidentally bumping her or just being nearby for too long will cause her to run at you in a rage & tear you apart if she catches you.
Disproportionate Retribution: Make the Witch mad and it will make you dead. She gets mad over such things as shining flashlights in her direction or just standing near her for too long.
Drone Jam: Averted - If a survivor who is not her mark blocks her passage for long enough, she will just cut down the blocker instead.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Some graffiti states that the person saw one tear 10 people apart while in-game she only attacks the one who startles her. Originally Witches were going to attack the whole team when provoked, but this was scrapped for obvious reasons.
Nerf: From the first game to the sequel. She takes much longer to kill a survivor in Left 4 Dead 2 than in Left 4 Dead 1. Well, except on expert where it's still a * One-Hit Kill. Even so, she takes much longer to become startled in the daylight and at nighttime her radius of detection is smaller than in the first game.
Mood-Swinger: From depressed to extremely angry in the blink of an eye.
One-Hit Kill: Getting hit by a Witch is an automatic knockdown - the only other infected that can do this is the Tank, and that is by punching heavy objects at survivors. On Expert and/or Realism, it's a literal one hit kill.
Screaming Warrior: You disturb her, she'll come at you claws outstretched and screaming her lungs out. She doesn't want a hug, either.
Sweet Tooth: In the "Hard Rain" campaign, Witches have gathered at an abandoned sugar mill, supposedly because they like the smell of the sugar.
Unstoppable Rage: If you shine your flashlight, make a sound anywhere near, shoot anywhere near, go anywhere near, or breathe anywhere near a witch you'll piss her off and she'll kill you dead. And she won't stop until either she's dead or you're at the mercy of her claws.
The Tank is an infected man, roughly eight feet tall, with an extreme amount of muscle mass and a missing lower jaw. By far, it is the sturdiest special infected, but somewhat rare. Typically you only face one per level, though finales feature at least two.
Berserk Button: Are you alive? Are you not a Tank? Congratulations, you are this for the Tank.
Cold Sniper: A good way to use one in Versus - those rocks hurt.
Cycle of Hurting: Tank punches send you flying a few feet, leaving you unable to attack as you get back up. If you find yourself in a corner, Tanks will take advantage of the situation, human-controlled or otherwise.
The Dreaded: Doesn't matter who you kill, sooner or later, you will come to fear these.
Dual Boss: Two or more may appear during the climax of a finale - by that time you should be running to the escape vehicle.
Louis: Zombies are like... piranhas. They ain't too choosy about who they attack, you know? You jump into a lake fulla piranhas, and you ain't bein' attacked? Means there's a shark around.
Foe-Tossing Charge: He does not appreciate any infected standing in the shortest path to the nearest survivor.
From Bad to Worse: In the sequel, his chest-muscles have grown so much that his lower jaw has been crushed by them, leaving his mouth an open hole.
Instant Death Radius: Going after him with a melee weapon generally isn't advised. Melee weapons deal decent damage, but guns are a much wiser idea and generally deal more damage in most situations. Plus, smacking him up-close will force him to focus on you, though for teamwork purposes this can actually be useful. There is of course an achievement for taking out a Tank entirely with melee. Have fun.
The Juggernaut: It can break through pretty much anything, takes a ridiculous amount of lead to put down, and can hurl cars and other things at the survivors. He's so big he causes a mini-earthquake just by walking.
Kill It with Fire: A common tactic is to try and burn it. Granted, it will eventually kill the Tank, but it takes a long time. And when it's on fire, it moves faster on the first game, and only to CPU controlled Tanks. Player controlled Tanks in both games actually go slower when on fire because every time the Tank takes a tick of damage from the fire his acceleration resets. This applies to the L4D2 CPU Tanks, as well.
Made of Iron: The toughest infected in the game and by a large margin.
Mighty Glacier: The Tank has dangerous attacks and takes far more damage than anything else in the game. It's not slow, per se, only slower than a survivor with green health. When you factor in that some people may be injured when he shows up, or that they may get caught up on scenery while trying to flee, he can be a Lightning Bruiser.
More Dakka: The generally accepted method of offing a Tank.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If it punches a survivor being grappled by a Hunter or Smoker, it will break the grapple and possibly kill said special infected as well.
Oh Crap: Tends to be the reaction of the Left 4 Dead 2 survivors upon seeing a Tank, usually in the earlier campaigns.
One-Hit Kill: If the Tank manages to punch a car or a dumpster over a survivor, it's an instant incapacitation, and punching them off high ledges kills them outright. Sometimes, the heavy object lands on top of the incapacitated survivor, making it impossible for the others to get to him/her.
Punched Across the Room: The Tank can launch a survivor pretty far with a single punch; combined with ledges, this can be deadly.
Smash Mook: Its strategy is to run up to the target and punch.
Super Strength: He regularly throws cars and chunks of concrete with ease.
Super Toughness: The tank usualy takes all four survivors shooting at it non-stop for a while before you finally kill it. Good luck to anyone trying to unlock the "Man vs Tank" or "Tank Burger" achievements, for killing a tank singlehandedly or with melee weapons, respectively. "Tankbusters" is also pretty hard, as the times it stays alive is often enough for it to hit someone at least once.
Superpower Lottery: The survivors consider him their biggest threat. With very good reason.
Tiny-Headed Behemoth: This detail is mentioned in regards to the Tank. The virus that turned everyone into zombies accelerated it's muscle mass to obscene proportions, forcing it to run like a gorilla since it's arms were now almost as long as the body. However, it's head is still the same size, and it no longer has any neck or jaw to speak of because of the muscle growth.
Top-Heavy Guy: He needs to use his arms as supplemental legs just to get around.
Unstoppable Rage: As long as you and it draw breath, it will never, ever, EVER, stop trying to kill you.
Victory Pose: When a Tank kills all the survivors, it'll stomp at the ground and roar.
CEDA workers who failed to escape the infection. Because they were wearing hazmat suits when they became zombies, they are immune to fire. Unique to "Dead Center".
Convection Schmonvection: Averted. While they don't catch on fire, if they stand around in flames for too long the heat will kill them. It's usually faster to kill them yourself, though.
Exposition Fairy: Obviously not the zombie itself, but the Survivors have an awful tendency to point out they're Fire-Proof, or wearing Hazmat suits, despite this making terribly little difference to your ability to kill them.
Kill It with Fire: Inverted and, technically, subverted. Fire is the only thing that doesn't kill them but the overexposure to heat from the fire does.
These poor souls were once lovable (or slightly disturbing) comedians, now they are part of the army of infected and want nothing more than to kill any survivor they find. Their shoes draw the horde with the noise they make. Shove them, and you honk their noses. Unique to "Dark Carnival".
Enemy Summoner: At least it's not as bad as the Boomer... though it can depend on when you encounter them, and how many idle infected are in the nearby area.
Hazardous Water: Any water these guys happen to be in. In fact, if you kill 10 while they are still in the water you get an achievement.
Interface Screw: Every time a Mudman gets a hit on you, it will obscure part of the screen for a short time.
They were just doing their jobs tearing down an old sugar mill, then the infection hit and they all became zombies. They won't follow pipe/bile bombs (because they have ear protectors on) and wear hardhats for protection. Appear in Hard Rain.
Battle in the Rain: They are the only zombie to appear exclusively in the Hard Rain campaign. Hope you don't mind fighting zombies that don't get distracted by pipe/bile bombs 2-3 at a time while making your way through knee-high water.
Banned in China: Due to rules against the depiction of violence towards authority figures, the Riot Infected were absent from the censored version released in Germany and Australia, though they were later put back in by a patch.
Exposition Fairy: As with the Hazmat zombies, the Survivors constantly bring attention to the fact that these zombies are bullet proof. This case is justified, as bullets are the typical way to kill zombies so the player needs to know this.
A new type of infected introduced in "The Passing". They went out into the world fully armed, but not immune. Managing to kill one will often reward the players with useful supplies. However, as soon as he is attacked, he runs in the opposite direction.
Made of Iron: Despite not being mutated further than a common, his health is a whopping 1000, the same as a Witch's. It could be his protective clothing, of course.
Metal Slime: He's hard to kill and has the pesky tendency to run away, but kill one and you'll get at least two useful items.
Randomly Drops: Hopefully a medkit, but also pills, molotovs, pipebombs and adrenaline injections.
Zombie Jimmy Gibbs Jr.
In life, Jimmy Gibbs Jr. was a famous stock car racer, writer of an autobiography, and a hero to many Southerners, particularly Ellis and Coach. Now, he has joined the ranks of the undead. The survivors in Left 4 Dead 2 steal his stock car to escape the mall at the end of "Dead Center".
All Your Powers Combined: In a sense. He's got the health of the Fallen Survivor, the Interface Screw ability of the Mudman, the noise immunity of the Worker Infected, and like the Hazmat Infected he can't be set on fire.
Boss in Mook Clothing: Sort of. He has 1,000 HP (same as a Witch), no detachable limbs, is fireproof, has the Mudmen blinding ability (now motor oil), and isn't drawn by pipe/bile bombs.
Celebrity Survivor: Averted. Of course its possible that all the times you don't run into him is because he get away safely those times...
Dummied Out: He was originally supposed to be the "boss" of Dead Center, holding the keys to his car and you had to hunt him down between waves of infected and tanks. Similar to what happened with the cut Screamer, they reduced his role because the difficulty of catching him damaged the players' enjoyment.
"You might've heard about a lot of bands cancelling their tours this week because of all the airports shutting down and the government telling people to stay indoors. To that the Riders say: We'll stop touring when we stop breathing. What America needs most right now in its time of trial is MUSIC, and that is one thing the Riders are proud to provide."
Lead singer Smitty voiced by Greg Dale, a friend of music composer Mike Morasky.
A veteran Southern Rock band, the Midnight Riders refused to stop their tour even after the zombie plague started. Their current whereabouts are unknown. They consist of Ox, the drummer, Smitty, the vocalist, Jake, the bass and keyboard, and Dusty, the lead guitar. Smitty looks almost exactly like an older, more ragged Francis.Associated Tropes:
Easter Egg: In the first level of "The Passing" campaign, you'll come across a street under construction. Very rarely, you might see a large tour bus speed by at the end of the street, which may or may not be the four.
Fan Dumb: In-universe example. The fans are deeply in grief when they sincerely believe that the Midnight Riders have all perished. Then somebody scribbles on the wall that "The Riders are fine, they choppered them out last night", and honoring comments to their passing turns to cursings about them betraying them and turning sellouts. In a Zombie Apocalypse, mind you.
With their sunglasses and long beards, Ox and Dusty look like they belong in ZZ Top. The latter even shares the name of a member.
Replacement Scrappy: In-Universe; Jake replaced former bassist Riggs Donner who was killed 24 years ago and only played on the Rider's first album. Despite being in the band for over two decades, and writing most of their music, the other Riders still don't consider him a full member (referring to him as a "provisional temporary band member"), and half his share of any royalties goes to Riggs's widow.
The might be a parody of a similar situation with the band Metallica. Bassist Jason Newsted, who replaced the deceased Cliff Burton, had similar problems in being accepted by his band despite having played with them longer and being on their most successful albums.
Boss Battle: Somewhat. You'll fight off a Zerg Rush of zombies and get into the safe room only to find him (usually turned into a Boomer or Hunter) waiting for you. Rumors of him turning into a Tank or a Witch or unsubstantiated.
Confusion Fu: He typically appears as a Boomer, but has been known to spawn as a Smoker or Hunter.
"I'd shake your hand, but I've already welded the door shut."
Voiced by Dayton Callie
Whitaker barricaded himself inside his gun shop to protect himself from the zombies, which must be working out pretty well as he is still alive when the survivors find him. His only mistake was forgetting to grab some cola from the nearby store beforehand.Associated Tropes:
Cross Over: He appears in the Team Fortress 2 advertisement for the Frying Pan and Ellis' Hat
Nice Guy: He's willing to open the way to the mall for you AND let you have almost $10,000 worth of supplies from his store (check the prices on some of the guns you take), yet all he wants in return is some soda. Even the cost of his guns are pretty nice as even most pistols will start at several thousand. Possibly justified by the fact that there isn't exactly a lot of uses for money anymore, and he apparently has enough supplies.
Serious Business: Man takes his goddamn cola very seriously. A six-pack alone is worth several expensive guns to him.
He wants his cola so bad that in his lines of dialogue that were cut (but are still in game files), he'll tell the survivors to ditch their friends that are incapacitated or dying and get him his cola.
Coach: Cola and nuts might be this man's last meal. We can't deny him that. We get him his snacks, he helps us. I'm good with it.
Trademark Favorite Food: Whitaker refused to open the open the way forward until you bring him some cola from a nearby convenience store.
"Now, I'm told y'all are hired killers. Also, I wanna make it clear that this is ALL I've been told. Ol' Whitaker don't pass judgment, and he don't take sides. RED, BLU — your money's all green here."
"Mah buddy Keith tried camping out on top of a building once. He was shooting crows, but the police were too busy tear gassin' him to ask what he was doin' up there."
Keith is a friend of Ellis who, given the stories about him, is most likely still alive somewhere. He seems to have survived several fatal accidents, but these events could have just been made up by Ellis. Keith's existence is widely debated amongst fans, but Word of God confirmed that Keith is just as real as the other characters.
The Munchausen: Ellis's stories about Keith who, if Ellis is to be believed, has survived an impossible number of lethal injuries.
"Third degree burns over 90% of his body! His doctor called up like, other doctors to look at him 'cause they'd never seen burns on top of existing burns."
Posthumous Character - Subverted, averted? No one knows if/how much of Ellis' stories are false/wildly exaggerated and so on. If Ellis' stories are true, Keith has certainly spent plenty of time in the hospital without a doubt.
One of Ellis's quotes mention Keith being flown out on one of the first choppers, so there is a chance of him being alive.
Serial Escalation: According to Ellis, Keith has suffered from third degree burns over 95% of his body twice (once making fireworks, once deep-frying turkey), lost two fingers and a toe to frostbite, broke both of his legs after driving his car off a cliff, built a shack out of mud, been stabbed by a Homeless man, got tear gassed by the police, snuck a paintball gun on a roller coaster, got attacked by an alligator, bombed by the military (among the bombs, Ellis claims, were nerve gas and cluster bombs), drowned in the Tunnel of Love, got cut up by his own "bumper-car" lawn mower leaving him with wounds over 90% of his body, got cement paved over him in a sewer after falling down an open manhole, lived in a graveyard for a year after getting kicked out of his house, hung spit on the overhang in the Tunnel of Love, fell off a roller coaster onto the tracks with the ride still going, got a tattoo on his forehead saying "I'm a moron" for $200, ate three pounds of raw chicken (The in game subtitles say catfish), turned a recreation of colonial times into a raccoon fight in his backyard, drove across a river without using the bridge, married a couple, and would have even gotten married himself, had he not run away from his own wedding.
Voiced by Randall Newsome
After being forced to abandon their car in Dark Carnival, and losing a helicopter just before "Swamp Fever", the survivors in L4D2 are rescued by Virgil. He ferries the survivors to safety, stopping once so they can get him gas, before leaving them for good at a dock in New Orleans.Associated Tropes:
Nice Guy: When everyone else in New Orleans is trying to escape the zombie horde, Virgil sticks around to comb the bayou for survivors he can rescue. Even after he drops off our heroes in The Parish, he just goes back out to find more people to save. Guy's a damn saint.
The Voice: Despite being a vital character for most of the second part of the game, we never really get to see what he looks like.
The AI Director
Not a character per se, but a powerful entity driving the zombie hordes. If the splash screens are posters for a movie you're playing, it/he's directing the action. He will spawn more zombies than you need and fewer health items than you want. A particular quirk of his is to spawn a horde whenever the Survivors stay in one place for too long. Thanks to the Director, no two zombie encounters are the same.Associated Tropes:
Big Bad: As the recognized spawner of the zombie apocalypse, Fanon has him pegged as this.
Chandler's Law: If you try to stop advancing, he sends an assload of infected to get you going again.
More so in VS games where the Director seems to spawn an absurd number of health kits for the survivors when it rarely gives that many in a campaign game. Frustrates the infected players to no end.
Also present if you spend an inordinate amount of time on one map. It's not unheard of to get four or more first aid kits right at a particularly hard part of the map if you've spent four hours on say, "Dark Carnival: The Barns".
No Fair Cheating: The Director in Survival mode in Left 4 Dead 2 will punish players who use exploits to stay away from zombies by spawning Spitter acid on top of them. If players manage to avoid the acid, the Director will then just damage players until they die. Of course, this is not foolproof since there are a few places in some maps where players can avoid the zombies and the Director will think they are still in the playing field.