Characters: Left 4 Dead
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William "Bill" Overbeck
Played By: Jim French
- "Aaah... I'm getting too old for this horse shit."
- Abandoned Hospital Awakening: The Sacrifice comics show Bill was being placed under anaesthetic for a medical procedure when the infection started, setting up one of these. Subverted - Bill sees the zombies attack as he goes under, and powers through the drugs, kills the zombie, and escapes onto the street.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Creed: "I'll see peace back on this earth if I have to kill every one of these animals with my bare goddamn hands!"
- Badass Grandpa: Bill, Vietnam vet and former Green Beret.
- 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.
- Cool Old Guy
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Revealed in the comics, Bill's death involved facing three Tanks at once. He just lights up a cigarette and tells them to bring it on.
- Dual Wielding: For two brief moments in the comic, using a bone saw and scalpel, and later an M16 and pistol.
- Fake Shemp: Didn't get any new lines in Crash Course. Eventually evolved into...
- A Father to His Men: The "men" being the other survivors.
- Famous Last Words: "Hold yer horses, I'll be with ya in a minute. My job's done. Let's see what you got, you big dumb sons of bitches."
- Handicapped Badass: The aforementioned knee injury.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- 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.
- Killed Off for Real: No closet respawn this time or a Magical Defibrillator, though many have tried and claimed it works.
- Nice Hat: And it's not just our opinion, the Team Fortress 2 characters agree.
- One Last Smoke: Has just enough time to light it before he has to kill three tanks.
- Papa Wolf: "We come back for our own." See also Team Dad.
- Smoking Is Cool: He always has a lit cigarette in his mouth.
- 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.
- Team Dad: Especially towards Zoey. In The Sacrifice, one of his dialog lines is "You guys are the only family I've got!" in reference to the other survivors.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: One of the nicest characters in the game, Bill becomes more of a Jerk Ass overtime, in the comic, until we get the What the Hell, Hero? moment below.
- 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.
Played By: Vince ValenzuelaA 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.
- All Bikers Are Hells 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.
- Badass Biker
- Badass Boast: "Good thing I'm indestructible."
- Blood Knight: Some of his lines support the idea that he's having fun in the Zombie Apocalypse. 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).
- For the unenlightened:
- ''I HEAR A HUNTER/BOOMER/SMOKER...and it sounded Canadian!
- 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.
- For the unenlightened:
- Eyes Always Shut: In the comic.
- The Friend Nobody Likes
- Hates Everyone Equally: Everyone, everything, every concept. He hates it!
- Informed Flaw: His original character model sported a beer gut. The other survivors still occasionally mention his weight problem, even though the finalized Francis model is pretty ripped and trim.
- It's X. I Hate X.: His catchphrase.
- 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.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "I hate X!"Bill: Francis, is there anything you don't hate?
Francis: You know what I don't hate? I don't hate vests.
- Here's a list of things Francis doesn't hate, outside of vests:
- The Armynote
- Jimmy Gibbs Jr.'s stock car
- Steam (he just hates the pipes)
- Pretending to be a cop, despite his hatred for cops
- Lasagna mondaysnote
- Here's a list of things Francis doesn't hate, outside of vests:
- Never Learned to Read: According to Louis, anyway.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: He's always shown with a shotgun in official art.
- Given the choice between a shotgun or assault rifle, a Francis bot will go for the shotgun.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: When he is being attacked while incapacitated, he will sometimes scream in a higher pitched and silly voice.
- Smarter Than You Look: He seems dumb enough, but how many people know what insulaphobia means?
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He genuinely has a fear of islands.
Played 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.
- Action Survivor
- Bald of Awesome: Not a hair on his head.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: In the comic Louis asks the others to shoot him before the zombies eat him, though Bill's actions make it unnecessary.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Louis will sometimes uncharacteristically threaten the Church Guy."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.
- Butt Monkey: Not to fans or creators, but Francis definitely doesn't hate suggesting they let Louis die. This seems to be less than totally sincere.
- Crazy-Prepared: Not consciously, though. Official material states that Louis spent his free time at a gun range, explaining how the Desk Jockey got so good at killing zombies.
- He's also the one who taught Bill how to make pipe-bombs, much to Bill's joy.
- Genre Savvy: He's become this via his status as an Action Survivor and enduring events of the game. It's displayed in "The Sacrifice" comic to a New Meat survivor.Louis: "No, man. This is bad. This is very, very bad. Zombies are like...piranhas. They ain't too choosy about who they attack, you know?"Doctor: "Right..."Louis: "Point being, if you jump in a lake full of piranhas and you ain't getting attacked? Means there's a shark around."
- Handicapped Badass: By The Passing Louis has badly injured his leg. He gets a .50 cal M2 Browning turret to make up for that.
- Hypocritical Humor: "Francis! I'm gonna teach your ass how to read!"
- Nice Guy: As the group's optimist, he has this trait.
- The Pollyanna: Easily the most optimistic of the original 4 survivors. This ends up getting lampshaded by both Francis and Zoey in Crash Course.
- And lampshaded further by Francis in The Sacrifice where he either thinks Louis is totally insane for always being so positive or threatens to sink the sailboat just so Louis can be sad for once.
- Shout-Out:"This is just like Counter-Strike.""Man, I feel like Gordon Freeman!" (When taking a crowbar.)
- The Smart Guy: He worked in an office job. He's still wearing his work clothes!
- Token Minority: The only African-American on his team.
- Took a Level in Badass: In The Passing, he provides cover fire to the new survivors with a BFG.
- 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... is for Bill!"
- Unlucky Everydude
- What Could Have Been: He was originally envisioned looking more like a bum.◊
Played By: Jen Taylor
- Action Girl
- 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.
- Bond One-Liner: "Pilot's license revoked. Dun, Dun, Dunnnn."
- The Cutie
- Deadpan Snarker: Many of her quotes display this.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!
- Death By Genre Savvy: Her father's unfortunate fate.
- Expy: Of Claire Redfield.
- Genre Savvy
- Wrong Genre Savvy: See the above quote.
- Guns Akimbo: In all official art she wields either a hunting rifle or two handguns.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe; in Crash Course, Francis will not let Zoey forget about shooting the zombie helicopter pilot. Granted, it was at the beginning of the campaign, so it's justifiable.Francis: They're comin'! Zoey, pretend they're all helicopter pilots!
Zoey: Zombies, Francis. He. Was. A. Zombie.
- Self-Made Orphan: And even sadder, she was entirely unaware that her father was immune when he told her to shoot him.
- Shout-Out: She constantly references movies and games.
- The Smurfette Principle
- 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.
- What Could Have Been: Valve almost used the same face model for Zoey that they did for Chell, but changed their minds.
Played By: Chad L. Coleman
- "This used to be a nice neighborhood!"
- Actor Allusion: Coach is played by Cutty Wise from The Wire, who was an ex-con that finally found his calling... as a boxing coach.
- As the Good Book Says: In the official preview trailer for the game, Coach is quoting his grandma about praying to God.Last time I saw my grandmother, she asked me, was I still a prayin' man? I told her, "Yes, ma'am!" "Well," she says, "pray harder, cause it ain't workin'!"
- Bald Black Leader Guy
- 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, talks about all the food that would have been served at a carnival, and 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.
- The Big Guy: Easily the biggest survivor.
- Chainsaw Good: Official art often portrays him with a chainsaw.
- Development Gag: The developer's commentary reports that Coach would have been able to use armor (i.e. a football uniform), but that was cut from the game. However, he still wants armor.
- Also leads to a Hilarious in Hindsight moment since people can mod Coach's model to have him actually wear armor.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Lampshaded; upon his death, Rochelle will jokingly wonder if "Coach" was his first or last name.
- When Coach introduces himself to the other survivors in the beginning of Dead Center, he says everyone calls him Coach and that they could do the same.
- I Coulda Been a Contender: A knee injury destroyed his chances of getting into the NFL decades ago, and now he's middle aged and fat. At least he got to be a zombie slayer instead.
- Inappropriate Hunger: Even if zombies are out to kill him, he still has time to think of hamburgers and worry if the food court is okay.
- Ellis feels sorry for the zombie that destroys the last cheeseburger. Coach will not be pleased.
- "If I see a zombie running at me with a sample tray, I ain't shootin' it!"
- Coach will also express disappointment over how the storm washed away all the sugar at the mill in the Hard Rain campaign.
- Nice Guy
- Shipper on Deck: Coach and Rochelle seem to push Ellis to talk to Zoey about his feelings for her.
- Team Dad: As much as he gripes about them, he appears to genuinely care for the rest of the crew and attempts to keep them out of harm's way.
Played By: Eric Ladin
- "Kill all sons-a-bitches. That's my 'ficial instructions."
- Adorkable: While not conventionally nerdy, something about his cloddish over-exuberance just screams adorkability.
- American Accents: Dixie.
- Berserk Button: Do not insult Jimmy Gibbs Jr. in front of him.
- Big "NO!": When he gets grabbed by a Smoker or sees zombie Jimmy Gibbs Jr.
- Blood Knight: He already shows shades of this when the apocalyse happened.
- Butt Monkey: Every time anything bad happens in the trailer, it happens to Ellis.
- Captain Obvious: Ellis, upon spotting a statue of a horse in a park.Ellis: HORSE!
Nick: Nice observation, Ellis.
- 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!
Oh my god, IT'S CHRISTMAS!
- His comfort in being in a zombie apocalypse disturbs Coach especially.
- Upon seeing a huge horde of infected around the corner:
- Cluster F-Bomb: Or rather a Cluster S bomb. Nick sums it up best:"He's like a five year old with guns. And a comprehensive grasp of every swear word in the English language."
- Deadpan Snarker: Actually quite snarky, though not as much as Nick.
- Expy: Ellis looks almost like a real life version of The Scout.
- 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.
- Man Child: As Coach puts it:Coach: Sometimes it feels like we're babysitting doesn't it?
- Mr. Fanservice: There is a reason Ellis is the most drawn and written about of the eight survivors.
- Doesn't hurt that the guy they used for his character design is a professional model.
- Love at First Sight: Invoked when he sees Zoey in The Passing.
- Motor Mouth: He's very talkative, to say the least.
- Nice Hat: If you own Team Fortress 2 and bought or own Left 4 Dead 2, you got it in TF2. The Red Stapler effect has also caused it and his "Bull Shifters" shirt to become defictionalized in the Valve Store.
- Noodle Incident: Every story about Keith gets cut off when the other survivors tell him now isn't the time.
- The Pollyanna: He's the happiest, most talkative, and optimistic of the four survivors. Until someone dies.
- Pretty Boy: His face model is a professional male model named Jesy McKinney◊.
- 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.
Played By: Hugh Dillon
- "The last people on earth are me, and the goddamn three stooges."
- Badass in a Nice Suit: He's wearing a suit in the Zombie Apocalypse, which he claims cost $3,000. Then again, he is a con man.
- Word is, he stole the suit anyway.
- Early in development, he was an escaped convict who actually did steal it. No definite word on if that's still the case now.
- Word is, he stole the suit anyway.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Though more like S bombs with his constant use of "shit" and other swears like "son of a bitch."
- Con Man: Nick's prior line of work.
- Con Men Hate Guns: Averted in the fact that he's pretty much always packing heat, with plenty of justification though.
- The Cynic: Just listen to him.
- Deadpan Snarker: He especially likes to pick on Ellis and Coach.
- Defrosting Ice King: Over the course of the game he warms up to his companions.
- Determinator: "I have not... come this far... to die NOW!"
- Funnily enough, his voice actor played a terminator in The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
- The Family for the Whole Family: Strongly hinted to have some Irish mob connections, along with intimate knowledge of how to remove bloodstains from wedding dresses or brain matter from suits ("Don't ask me how I know that").
- Mr. Fanservice
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Though Ellis likes him.
- Genre Savvy: Less savvy than Zoey about the zombies themselves, but Nick is largely unsurprised by many of the things done by humans (and the military in particular).
- Handsome Lech: This pretty much defines him. Although many Nick/Ellis fanfics tend to turn him into The Charmer or Manly Man to confirm his role as Seme to Ellis's Uke.
- Hot Guys Are Bastards: Although he gets better.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may seem like a douche at first, but he really does care about his teammates.
"Wow, Nick. I guess you do have a heart... A HEART OF GOLD!"
- Lampshaded by Rochelle:
"Coach... I'm gonna miss ya, big guy."
- Also, check his reaction to Coach's death. He knows Coach is the heart of the team.
- In the intro cinematic for Left 4 Dead 2, Nick is always the first to help someone who gets in trouble, even if he is swearing about having to do it.
- The "Good Guy Nick" achievement pokes fun at this as well.
- Loveable Rogue: A snarky con artist/gambler, who nevertheless has some of the best lines in game.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: "X. Don't ask me how I know that", where X is something about cleaning blood or guts out of clothing. See Noodle Incident.
- Noodle Incident: From some of his quotes: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.
Played By: Rochelle Aytes
- Cool Big Sis: To Ellis, at least.
- The Chick
- The Danza: Rochelle is voiced by Rochelle Aytes.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has quite a few, especially during Swamp Fever and The Passing.
- When she sees zombies for the first time: "I think CEDA should have done more than to tell us to wash our hands."
- Hot Scoop: Rochelle was producing a segment from Savannah about the evacuation center when the outbreak first hit, due to almost every other coworker calling in sick.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Axe me a question, I dare you."
- 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.
- Rhymes on a Dime: "Dibs on Gibbs!"
- Sarcasm Mode: Rochelle's reaction to Ellis' fanboyism over Jimmy Gibbs Jr.Rochelle: Anybody know who the racecar guys is?
Ellis: Only the greatest stock car racer of all time. Try readin' a book sometime.
Rochelle: Jimmy Gibbs Jr... yay.
- Sassy Black Woman
- Shipper on Deck: For Ellis and Zoey.
- Shout-Out: Many of her quotes are lines from Anchorman.Knights Of Columbus, that hurt.
- And she's wearing a Depeche Mode t-shirt.
- Team Mom: She especially acts like this to Ellis, politely quieting him whenever he starts rambling childishly.
- The Smurfette Principle
- 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.
- Voiced by Mike Patton
- Bald of Evil: In a couple of blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments.
- Bizarre Alien Senses: While the Hunter suffers from his lack of eyes, it still can somehow see as shown in Versus mode. Many attribute its screaming to be some kind of echolocation.
- Deadly Lunge: His modus operandi. The Hunter can knock a survivor down and start to claw them to death. The survivor in question is completely helpless, and can only be saved by another human.
- 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: If you look at a positioned corpse closely, or crouch underneath a hunter, you can peer into his hood. His eyes are either decayed or clawed out, as they appear to be empty sockets.
- Fragile Speedster: The Hunter is, without question, the most mobile Infected. However, he has average-at-best health.
- Glass Cannon: While it has more health than say the Boomer, the Hunter has mid-range health and requires itself to be very close to the survivors to attack.
- Incendiary Exponent/Infernal Retaliation: Added Damage when they have you pinned if they're on fire.
- 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...
- Tears of Blood: See Eye Scream above.
- 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
- 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.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Gains the ability to strangle people with his gigantic tongue.
- Overly Long Tongue: His trademark and attack method.
- 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.
- Tentacle Rope: How he holds his victims.
- Unwilling Suspension: This is its modus operandi.
- Voiced by Fred Tatasciore
- 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.
- Death by Irony: Thanks to the Boomer Bile jars, you can now kill these things using zombies attracted by their own puke!
- Defictionalization: Valve started selling interactive Boomer plushies from their website.
- Distaff Counterpart: The Boomette actually has louder and longer burps paired up with being much slower than the Boomer (at least when AI-controlled), making her an easy target.
- Enemy Summoner: Its bile, in contact with human skin, calls common infected to the area.
- Fan Disservice: The Boomette.
- 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: Easily the most fragile of the playable zombies, but one of 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.
- Interface Screw: Side effects of Boomer bile include, but are not limited to, blurred vision, removal of helpful HUD icons, nausea, instinctive muscle spasms, bad odor, and having your arms ripped off by the horde.
- Jiggle Physics: On the Boomette.
- Ludicrous Gibs: When killed, the only thing that the Boomer leaves behind is the lower half of its body.
- Made of Explodium: It doesn't matter what means you use to dispose of it; when it dies, it explodes.
- Support Party Member: Can't instantly disable survivors or deal strong damage with its attacks unlike the other Special Infected, but it does have the ability to cause Interface Screw as well as summoning a horde of zombies to distract the player, both of which can help the other Special Infected take the survivors down more easily.
- The Unfavorite: It is the least featured infected in the trailers, likely because it is also the least direct-combat-oriented of the SI.
- Violation of Common Sense: Player-controlled Boomers are meant to vomit on the survivors from a distance since any human that sees it will kill it on sight, but a Genre Savvy player who understands the consequences of killing a Boomer at close range will instead get as close to the group as possible and not even have to attack for fun times. Either you'll be shot out of reflex and thus get everyone covered in bile, the survivors will panic trying to avoid shooting you, shove you away from them and right into another survivor and repeat until you're finally popped and someone gets covered or they'll debate who should sacrifice his/her dignity/cleanliness for the rest of the party. Actually pretty funny since this is one of the few dick moves the AI Director won't pull on you, making it a bit of a novelty in VS games.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: As expected when it pukes on your face.
- Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker
- Barrier-Busting Blow: The Charger is one of the most effective anti-door measures that the Infected have.
- Body Horror: Look at its arm.◊ Doesn't matter which.
- Bullfight Boss: If a Charger comes at you, the best thing you can do is just get out of his way.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: The Charger's modus operandi.
- Punched Across the Room: Though his punch doesn't do knockback, his charge does on anyone that isn't his target. In certain areas, the knockback can become more deadly than the charge itself.
- Red Right Hand: He'll even pound you to death with it.
- The Right Hand of Doom: Literally.
- Ring Out Boss: Inverted: He is the one that kills you, charging you off the map. Assuming he didn't grab one of your allies on the way and give you a Ring Out anyways.
- Taking You with Me: Certain places in the second game allow a well-aimed Charger to carry both his victim and himself down a fatal drop.
- Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker
- Bare Your Midriff / Form-Fitting Wardrobe / Jiggle Physics / Nipple and Dimed /Thong Shot: For your viewing pleasure.
- Super Spit: Somewhat similar to the Boomer, though hers is directly damaging and doesn't stick to the survivor(s) it hits.
- Cold Sniper: Due to the long regeneration time of the spit, the Spitter's fragility, and the extreme range of the spit, she acts mostly like the Smoker.
- Fan Disservice: Contrast her outfit with her mutation.
- From Bad to Worse: The Spitter was the first Special Infected devised for the sequel in order to eliminate the game-breaking "camp in a corner and melee" tactic.
- Girlish Pigtails: Sort of makes her look like a zombie Pippi Longstocking.
- Glass Cannon: Although she can barely take any more damage than a Boomer, her acid hurts, and is the only attack from the Special Infected that can destroy gas cans (only if Survivors have picked it up, then dropped it), which can ruin the Survivors' progress.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Has the ability to shoot corrosive liquid.
- 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
- 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.
- Laughing Mad: Its signature sound.
- Power Perversion Potential: If a player is feeling particularly sadistic, they can opt to humiliate their target at the risk of not moving much.
- 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 WitchThe 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.
- 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.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Even when she's dead.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It's very easy to piss her off.
- 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.
- Her Hair-Trigger Temper was nerfed so much that, while in daytime "wandering" mode, she can take as much as 52 damage from stray bullets without being set off!
- 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.
- Woman in White: "The Passing" features the Survivors upsetting a Witch bride's wedding. You can imagine how that goes.
- Voiced by Fred Tatasciore
- Bald of Evil: In 2.
- 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.
- Empty Room Psych: As explained in the Sacrifice comic: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.
- Large and in Charge: It goes without saying that survivors somehow seem to notice him when he shows up, but don't let his massive, room-filling physical presence fool you - he's not so tall that he can't slip in through most windows.
- Made of Iron: The toughest infected in the game and by a large margin.
- 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.
Hazmat InfectedCEDA 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.
- Hazmat Suit: Obviously.
- Randomly Drops: Bile bombs.
- Shout-Out: Killing 10 and taking the bile bombs they drop gets you the "Robbed Zombie" achivement.
Clown InfectedThese 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.
- Kill It with Fire: If you do it right you even get an achievement.
- Monster Clown: You really don't want to run into a large group when these guys are around.
MudmenThese creepy infected inhabit the swamps of the "Swamp Fever" campaign. They move at normal speed while in water and can blind the survivors with their mud.
- Boring but Practical: Who knew smearing the survivors with mud would be so useful?
- 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.
Worker InfectedThey 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.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: The reason they don't chase pipe bombs.
- Nice Hat: Those hardhats even offer them some additional protection.
Riot InfectedThese annoying zombies wear bulletproof armor which makes them very hard to kill, at least from the front. Upon death they will sometimes drop nightsticks. Unique to "The Parish".
- Attack Its Weak Point: Its back! Attack its back! Seriously, almost every time you encounter one, one of the survivors drop a quote explaining how to kill one.
- Back Stab: One of the best ways to kill them.
- 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.
- For Massive Damage: Hit it in the back!
- Immune to Bullets: From the front.
- Randomly Drops: Nightsticks.
Fallen SurvivorA 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.
- Crazy-Prepared: Didn't do them much good, though.
- Dummied Out: Was supposed to be in the game from the beginning, but it wasn't until The Passing that they were put into the game.
- Fallen Hero: Having all that stuff and no immunity to The Virus must suck.
- 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.
Jimmy Gibbs Jr
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.
- Badass Driver: Before becoming infected.
- 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: In Universe, although not really a "survivor" as he got infected
- 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.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Ellis says that he would have his baby if the laws of nature would allow it.
- Fallen Hero: He was an idol to millions... now he's just another infected you have to put down before he puts you down.
- Interface Screw: Similar to the mudmen, except with motor oil.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Unless you want to upset Ellis.
- Self-Deprecation: His Autobiography, Speed, is advertised as The Fastest Written Autobiography of All Time.
The Midnight Riders
- "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.
- Badass Biker: All of them.
- Butt Monkey: Jake
- Celebrity Survivor: Assuming they survived.
- 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.
- Fake Band: Created just for this game.
- 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.
- Jerkass: Ox.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Jake.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The band is possibly a parody of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
- 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.
- Sunglasses at Night: Ox and Dusty.
- They Changed It So It Sucks: Coach references this with their new albums, describing them as "no good".
- "No zombie is safe from Chicago Ted!"
The Church Guy
- Voiced by Nathan Vetterlein
- And Then John Was a Zombie: He turns after the Crescendo event, forcing you to kill him
- 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.
- Crazy Survivalist: He will do what it takes to survive.
- It's All About Me: The wall outside his saferoom is covered in graffiti. They are epitaphs for former survivors who died because he wouldn't let them in. Repeat, the wall is covered in epitaphs.
- Jerk Ass: Whitaker made you fight a horde to get cola. Almost everyone else made you fight a horde to get to safety. The Church guy made you fight a horde in the hopes you'd die.
- Madness Mantra: Better safe than sorry! Better safe than sorry! Better safe than sorry!
- Room Full of Crazy: Church Guy wrote his Madness Mantra 186 times on a wall in the safe room.
- One line of which was scribbled out. Apparently, he messed up on that one.
- Zombie Infectee: He happens to have been bitten by someone else he let in. An hour later (when the Survivors encounter him), he thinks he's immune. Then he starts to turn a minute after saying this. "Better safe than sorry. Better safe than sorry. Better * growl* than * growl* ..."
Whitaker, The Gun Shop Guy
- "I'd shake your hand, but I've already welded the door shut."Voiced by Dayton Callie
- Badass: See Cool Old Guy below.
- Cool Old Guy: He's at least sixty years old and has so far managed to survive in his gunstore while almost everyone else has died or become infected.
- Crazy-Prepared: How does he open the way forward, you ask? By destroying a wrecked semi with a grenade launcher, which is definitely something with limited practical use.
- Crazy Survivalist: One that is willing to help you.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Whitaker refused to open the open the way forward until you bring him some cola from a nearby convenience store.
- True Neutral: As noted on the Team Fortress 2 blog: "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."
- What Could Have Been: Originally, Whitaker was going to provide covering fire from the rooftops while you get his cola, which is why he has an unused character model.
- "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."
- Badass: If Ellis isn't lying.
- Black Best Friend: Eh, possibly. One of the many, many things that have tried to kill him was a Klansman, so...
- Butt Monkey: The ultimate Butt Monkey.
- Made of Iron: Apparently, nothing kills him.
- 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" (wearing a Klansman hood), 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
- American Accents
- Big Damn Heroes: He shows up just in time to save your asses not once, but twice!
- Escape Convenient Boat: His boat, of course.
- Meaningful Name: He plays the same role as the Roman poet Virgil did in the Divine Comedy.
- 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. Valve has even joked that he's a talking boatnote
The AI DirectorNot 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. It will spawn more zombies than you need and fewer health items than you want. A particular quirk of it 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/it pegged as this.
- Chandler's Law: If you try to stop advancing, it sends an assload of infected to get you going again.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Oh, look! Health and ammo! (Beat) Oh, look. A Witch...
- Enmity with an Object: "He" is nothing more than a series of spawning algorithms. Valve and the players all anthropomorphism "him".
"I saw someone pray to the AI Director once. This is probably how cults get started!"
- Yahtzee has depicted the Director as a man shaded in black with a question mark, followed by a large group of people worshiping him like a god.
- Even Evil Has Standards: There are times when the Director sees fit to favor the Survivors. Savor these moments.
- 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".
- Jerkass God: It exists to torment you.
- 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. Even on God Mode, it'll hurt you. 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.
- Villainous Breakdown: Of a sort. When the rescue vehicle arrives, the Director will stop playing coy with the zombies and starts throwing EVERYTHING at you to get at least one survivor incapacitated.