- Action Survivor: As far as the Survivors are concerned, the only thing that really matters in the end is getting out of the East Coast, no matter how many mutant zombies and obstacles stand in their way.
- Badass Normal: All eight of the Survivors are more or less regular people caught in an apocalypse, and they're all capable of working together to kill hundreds of thousands of zombies in a single campaign.
- Big "NO!": They'll let one out if a Smoker ensnares them, giving them just enough time to shout in dread before the pain comes.
- Critical Existence Failure: Averted. When their health starts getting lower and lower, they'll slow down, walk with a limp and complain regularly about the pain, and even prepare to die out loud if they've received too much abuse.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The Survivors all care deeply about each other, whether some of them like to admit it or not. The Left 4 Dead 1 Survivors have known each other for two weeks before the events of the game take place, but the Survivors in Left 4 Dead 2 begin their journey as complete strangers before they begin to bond later on.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Francis and Nick are the cynics/jerks of the teams, regularly belittling and insulting their fellow Survivors while sometimes lamenting how screwed they are. However, they never hesitate to come to their rescue if they're in trouble and will sincerely mourn for dead Survivors they find.
- Made of Iron: They're capable of withstanding getting crushed, shot, punted across the street, swarmed by a hail of fists, burnt by acid, and set on fire, even on Advanced difficulty. This is not the case in Expert, however.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: As revealed in The Sacrifice, the Survivors are not quite immune to the Flu, but instead are Asymptomatic Carriers, meaning that the disease is still very much active and contagious by them. This means that all of the people who came to the Survivors aid only to turn into zombies later could very well have been unknowingly infected by them.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Francis to Bill and Louis, and Nick to Ellis in the sequel.
- Weapon of Choice: Each Survivor has their own weapon preference when they're being controlled by the AI:
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The original Survivors were seen retiring to an island after Bill's sacrifice to allow them to escape, but there are no indicators as to what might have happened to the Survivors in the sequel after they were carried off by the military helicopter.
William "Bill" Overbeck
- "Aaah... I'm getting too old for this horse shit."
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.
- 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.
- Anti-Hero: The Sacrifice comic has him become a Pragmatic Hero, when he refuses to slow down the train he was driving and leaving the doctor who aided their escape among others to die despite Zoey's behest. He claims that he merely wants to "look after his own" than have others who may endanger them.
- Badass Beard: Has a mighty fine beard to go with his badassery.
- 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 M16A2 as his weapon. Upon picking up one, he'll sometimes mention how it reminds him of old times (which makes sense as the American military used it starting from Vietnam). True enough, it was what he was using during his last stand, and you can take it from him for the finale of The Passing.
- Cool Old Guy: A Vietnam War veteran who can kick zombie ass despite being old and having an injured knee.
- 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, as Jim French was unavailable at the time.
- Fate Worse than Death: Death should have been the end for Bill. Unluckily for him, a mysterious Entity took note of him, and now he's stuck playing its game forever. Possibly subverted considering that his profile states that having an enemy is all he ever wanted.
- 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."
- Good Is Not Soft: Bill won't let anything stand in the way of keeping his friends safe. Not even the pleas of Zoey can coerce him to slow the train to let another survivor onboard. Francis says it best:Bill might not always do the right thing. But he always does it for the right reasons.
- Handicapped Badass: The aforementioned knee injury.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Performs one at the end of The Sacrifice comic by jumping off the bridge and restarting the generator to get the bridge moving again. Three Tanks close in on him for 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.
- 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 fight 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 over time, in the comic, until we get the What the Hell, Hero? moment below.
- Weapon of Choice: Is always seen with his trusty M16 assault rifle, which his AI prefers in-game.
- 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.
- "Hey, look on the bright side: even if you don't make it, I'll still be really handsome."
A biker who dislikes 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: Was likely in a gang before the zombie outbreak occurred. He's still pretty badass without his friends.
- 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.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In the Crash Course campaign, he reveals that he used to work for the Hersch company (fictional version of UPS) until he beat a guy to death simply because said guy laughed at his brown shorts. It's ambiguous on whether or not he actually killed the guy, but it's safe to assume that he very likely had beat the crap out of him.
- 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 BOOMER...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 Hidden Depths below. And he was bright enough to realize that continuing to hang out with his old gang was a death sentence.
- Friendly Sniper: In the ported L4D1 campaigns, he prefers using sniper rifles.
- Eyes Always Shut: In the comic.
- The Friend Nobody Likes
- Hates Everyone Equally: Everyone, everything, every concept. He hates it!
- Hidden Depths: He seems dumb enough, but how many people know what insulaphobia means? He'll also may suggest to Bill in the start of The Sacrifice campaign that they should use a boat to help find a sailboat quickly, causing Bill to actually agree for once.
- Hunk: He's pretty strong and handsome...the masculinity, though...
- 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.
- Karma Houdini: The comic reveals that he was supposed to be facing time in prison for stealing a TV and Impersonating an Officer. Shortly after, the Zombie Apocalypse hit.
- 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.
- Running Gag:
(Zoey): "Okay, important safety tip: Don't get in a helicopter with a zombie pilot."(Francis): "Yeah well next time someone offers us a ride, don't shoot him!"(Zoey): "He was a zombie, Francis."(Francis spotting a train wreck): "Woah. Zoey must've shot the conductor too."(Zoey) "The pilot was a ZOMBIE, Francis!"(Francis, preparing for an incoming Horde): "Here they come! Zoey, just pretend they're all helicopter pilots!"(Zoey): Zombie, Francis! He. Was. A. ZOMBIE!
- "I hate (Whatever the Survivors happens to be traversing/passing by/talking about)."
- In Crash Course, the helicopter pilot that rescued them in the campaign before becomes a zombie and Zoey has to shoot him to save their skin, causing the chopper to crash land. Francis spends the entire campaign blaming Zoey for crashing the helicopter.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: He's always shown with a shotgun in official art.
- In the first game, given the choice between a shotgun or assault rifle, a Francis bot will go for the shotgun.
- Zig-zagged in the second game, for the Tier 1 weapons, when given the choice between a shotgun or an SMG, a Francis bot will go for the shotgun. However, for the Tier 2 weapons, when given the choice between a shotgun, an assault rifle, or a sniper rife, he'll go for the sniper rife. Likely a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, as his weapon preference is mostly based off Ellis's, but still.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: When he is being attacked while incapacitated, he will sometimes scream in a higher pitched and silly voice.
- Weapon of Choice: His AI prefers the Auto Shotgun in the first game, and sniper rifles in the second game's ported levels.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He genuinely has a fear of islands.
- "Stay positive, guys! I've got a good feeling about this!"
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. Despite the setbacks, Louis is always keeping his chin up and seeing the bright side of things no matter how bad things get.
- Action Survivor: Is a pretty normal guy compared to the likes of Bill (a war veteran) and Francis (a gang member), but he can still kick as much zombie ass as the rest of the group.
- 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?
Louis: Point being, if you jump in a lake full of piranhas and you ain't getting attacked? Means there's a shark around.
*sound of an approaching Tank*
- Handicapped Badass: By The Passing Louis has badly injured his leg. He gets a .50 cal M2 Browning turret to make up for that.
- Heroic BSoD: When he finds out that he and the rest of the group are carriers, he drops his usual optimistic demeanor, believing that they were the ones responsible for their rescuers being infected.
- 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.
- 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 mounted machine gun.
- 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!"
- Weapon of Choice: His AI prefers the assault rifle in the first game, and auto shotguns in the second game's ported levels. Promotional material often has him wielding an Uzi.
- What Could Have Been: He was originally envisioned looking more like a bum.◊
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.
- Action Girl: Like Louis, Zoey is just a normal civilian, but can still kill zombies like no one's business.
- 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: A fairly cute and young college student.
- 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; they're both college students who dress very similarly, and even have similar voices.
- Genre Savvy: Having spent most of her college years watching zombie flicks, she knows more than most people would...
- Wrong Genre Savvy: ...though as her character quote indicates, her knowledge is not always applicable in this situation.
- 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: Is the only female of her group. She's relieved when she meets Rochelle and is glad that she's not the last woman in the world.
- 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.
- Weapon of Choice: Her AI prefers the Hunting Rifle in the first game, and assault rifles in the second game's ported levels.
- What Could Have Been: Valve almost used the same face model for Zoey that they did for Chell, but changed their minds. She also had a different voice actor in the beta, who gave her a deeper voice; the beta actor's voice clips for screaming when falling to her death were kept in the released game because Valve liked how they sounded.
- "This used to be a nice neighborhood!"
Once an aspiring college football player, Coach injured his knee and was forced to retire from sports, putting his physical education degree to use as a health teacher at FHS. Now, he's the defacto leader of the Savannah survivors.
- 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: Is pretty much the leader of his group and fits the bill in everything else.
- 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. Even claiming he won't shoot one if a zombie runs at him with a sample tray.
- 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 armour (i.e. a football uniform), but that was cut from the game. However, he still wants armour.
- Also leads to a Hilarious in Hindsight moment since people can mod Coach's model to have him actually wear armour.
- 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.
- Expy: To Bill; both are the oldest men in their group and they both had suffered knee injuries.
- 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: Very easy going and rarely ever gets angry.
- Shipper on Deck: Coach and Rochelle seem to push Ellis to talk to Zoey about his feelings for her.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Out of all of the survivors in both games, he swears the most. He says "shit" 165 times, "damn" and variants 91 times, and "fuck" once (while he hangs off a ledge). Everyone else's numbers never break triple digits.
- 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.
- Weapon of Choice: His AI prefers Auto Shotguns.
- "Kill all sons-a-bitches. That's my 'ficial instructions."
Ellis lived a fairly carefree life before the outbreak, working as an auto mechanic and playing bass in his co-workers' band. In spite of the changes a zombie apocalypse brings, he's determined to keep that sunny disposition going.
- 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 apocalypse 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:
- Deadpan Snarker: Actually quite snarky, though not as much as Nick.
- Friendly Sniper: He's the cheeriest member of the bunch and bot Ellis will prefer rifles over anything else. This applies in the crossover with Resident Evil 6 as his mercenaries character is equipped with two sniper rifles.
- Heroic BSoD: It's either this or a bug, but if one of the survivors dies, Ellis will not speak for the rest of the campaign.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards Jimmy Gibbs Jr.Ellis: If the laws of nature would allow it, I would bear that man's children.
- Shows occasional shades of this towards Nick throughout the game as well.
- 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 four 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.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Downplayed. Upon entering the bar in the first level of The Parish, Ellis may say that he could go for a cold one right about now. While it may be just Ellis wanting a nice cold beer, the stress of the Zombie Apocalypse may have made the desire to drink a bit stronger.
- Keet: Easily the chattiest and most cheerful survivor.
- Manchild: As Coach and Nick put it:Coach: Sometimes it feels like we're babysitting doesn't it?Nick: He's like a five year old. With guns. And a comprehensive grasp of every swear word in the English language.
- Love at First Sight: Invoked when he sees Zoey in The Passing. Not so much on her part, though...
- Motor Mouth: He's very talkative, to say the least.
- Nice Guy: When you get past his Cloudcuckoolander tendencies, Ellis is probably the most friendly and optimistic survivor in the series.
- 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◊. There is a reason Ellis is the most drawn and written about of the eight survivors.
- Shout-Out: Ellis looks almost like a real life version of The Scout.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Not as much as Nick, but he has his moments.
- 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.
- Weapon of Choice: His AI prefers Sniper Rifles.
- "The last people on earth are me, and the goddamn three stooges."
A traveling con man and ex-felon, Nick only planned to stick with the others long enough to reach the evac point at the hotel. When that opportunity flies away, he's forced to stick around a while longer and learn to trust these strangers.
- 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.
- 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: Will be the first one to point out how they are going to die or how screwed they are and will do so constantly. Even in non dangerous situations, he'll find something to be cynical about. He does lighten up a bit on it as time goes on.
- The Dandy: Deconstructed, given the reality he's in.
- 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").
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Though Ellis likes him—to an almost baffling extent, sometimes, considering Nick's attitude. When stumbling upon a tattoo parlor in The Passing, Ellis will suggest that he and Nick get matching tattoos that say 'Bros'. Also, if Nick dies, two of Ellis's possible responses are, "Damn, Nick.... Heh, we were just gettin' to be friends..." and "Miss you, brother." Even when Nick is being straight-up vicious, Ellis won't be deterred:Nick: (in response to Ellis commenting on Nick's dirty suit) I hate you, Ellis.Ellis: Well, I still like you, Nick.
- 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).
- He-Man Woman Hater: Downplayed. He doesn't exactly hate women per se, but he does seem to hold quite a negative view on them and won't hesitate to make sexist and misogynist comments towards Rochelle and Zoey. His negative view on women is hinted at during The Passing if he encounters the bride Witch, saying that a crying woman at a wedding in a wedding dress was bringing back some bad memories.
- Heroic Ambidexterity: Depicted as such in the official trailer, although in-game he doesn't actually handle weapons differently from any other character, due to all model differences being merely aesthetic. It's most easily spotted at the very beginning of the trailer, when he's holding his Magnum in his right hand, then fires it from his left shortly after. It can also be seen when they're running for the elevator and he's holding the Magnum in his right hand again; and if you pay careful attention to the clips during the elevator countdown, when Rochelle is holding off the horde with a machine gun, and when the group faces a Tank on the bridge he is seen shooting a Bullpup with his left hand, as well.
- Jerkass: Starts off this way by constantly insulting the rest of his fellow survivors and The Passing has him acting like a complete misogynist and sexist jerk, which he does get called out for. (it's hinted at his comments at the wedding park that he may have had a bad marriage or terrible experience with women in general). One of the unused Dead Center lines has Nick gets so pissed off at Ellis calling the helicopter a "whirlybird" that he out right threatens to kick his ass so hard that Ellis will wish that his sister never gave birth to him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a complete asshole at first, but he does warm up to his teammates over time.
"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.
- "Just Joking" Justification: One of the introductions in The Passing can have Nick acting sexist towards Zoey, only to begrudgingly complain about people not being able to take a joke after Zoey acts hostile in response:Nick That's terrific, cupcake. Look, is there a man up there that we can talk to?
Zoey Boo-hoo! I don't know what to do! Go to hell, Colonel Sanders!
Nick Would you lighten up? [grumbling] Man, no one can take a joke around here anymore.
Nick: You know all that shit I was talking about you? I was only joking...
- A more somber version of this plays out if Nick finds Ellis's dead body:
- 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.
- Not So Above It All: Nick tends to chime and mock Coach and especially Ellis when an opportunity presents itself, but occasionally he'll genuinely express interest and ask them about some of the things they like, like if the Midnight Riders are any good. Also, he rarely states that he wants to ride one of the carnival's rides if Ellis enthusiastically calls out Kiddieland.
- 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.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: With several variations of "ass" and "bitch" and constant use of "shit" and "damn", Nick's easily the most foulmouthed Survivor in the series.
- 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 Gibbs' name for it.
- Weapon of Choice: His AI prefers Assault Rifles.
- "Okay, nobody better make a crack about me being in the kitchen!"
Rochelle heard the reports about a disease outbreak on the east coast, but didn't expect a zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately, that's exactly what she found when her news crew came to Savannah, and now she's stuck with three strangers, fighting to survive.
- Cool Big Sis: To Ellis, at least.
- The Chick: Aside from being the only female in the group, she sticks up for Ellis whenever Nick makes fun of him and is quick to step in when Nick and Francis look like they were about to shoot each other.
- 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."
- 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.
- I Resemble That Remark!: An unused line has Nick calling her "loud girl", which has her screaming "I AM NOT—" before she realizes what she's doing and lowers her voice to protest Nick's name calling.
- Rhymes on a Dime: "Dibs on Gibbs!"
- Sarcasm Mode: Rochelle's reaction to Ellis's 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: Can act like one at times.
- 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: The only female in the group.
- Weapon of Choice: Her AI prefers Assault Rifles.
- 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.
The Special Infected
- Body Horror: Regular infected have it bad enough, but the Special Infected are plagued with rarer conditions that make them seem inhumane when compared to the others. Atrophied limbs, gigantic tumors, pulsating and leaking boils are just the tip of the iceberg for them.
- Leitmotif: All Special Infected are indicated by musical cues when they arrive on the field somewhere, one is a subtle riff, the other is a blood pumping theme that plays when they're attacking you.
- The Hunter gets an alert with notes as sharp as their claws.
- The Smoker's alerts are long and drawn out like its tongue.
- The Boomer's alert is as heavy as they are.
- The Charger gets a blunt alert that fits its favored attack method via blunt force trauma.
- The Spitter's alert is drawn out and sharp, much like the pools of acid she coughs up.
- The Jockey's alerts are hyper and manic, fitting for the hopping mad creatures.
- The Witch sports a somber yet harrowing theme that practically screams 'stay away'.
- The Tank has the glory of getting a very loud and dramatic theme that continues playing so as long as either of you are still alive. This theme gets a rock version in the sequel when on Dark Carnival's finale.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Special Infected might make it a point to approach a Survivor already pinned by another Special Infected and help by clawing them to death. Sometimes, this will kill the Special Infected who has the Survivor in their grasps and allow them to escape.
- Roar Before Beating: Whenever a Special Infected sees prey, they'll roar and scream loudly before attacking. The only exceptions to this is the Jockey and a Hunter who isn't prowling.
- With Catlike Tread: All Special Infected, save for the Hunter when he's not prowling, make loud and constant noises even when they'd be better of being quiet when hunting their prey, such as the Smokers persistent coughing, the Jockey's constant laughter and the Boomer's frequent burping and gurgling.
- Voiced by Mike Patton
- "Hunter around. Don't get pounced!"—Zoey
An extremely fast and agile infected man capable of making tremendous leaps. The Hunter can take out lone survivors by tackling them to the floor and clawing them to death.
- 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.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Barefoot in 2.
- 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.
- Goomba Stomp: Hunters can deal an instant amount of damage depending on how high of a jump they made before landing on a Survivor. The highest of jumps will instantly deal 25 damage, as much as getting punched by a Tank.
- Hell Is That Noise: You can tell when a Hunter is on the prowl when you hear animalistic growling nearby. If you hear a deafening and high pitched shriek, then it means you are now in his sight.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: One strategy that might be seen in Versus matches is a Hunter utilizing the chaos of a horde to blend in with the charging masses and quietly claw Survivors to death rather than pounce on them. The fact that a Hunter practically makes no noise when he isn't preparing for a pounce, has a pretty natural and inconspicuous body physique compared to his fellow Special Infected, and his claws do the second highest amount of quick melee damage besides the Charger makes this more deadly than it sounds.
- In a Single Bound: Hunters are able to leap enormous distances in a single bound, being able to pounce on survivors from across an entire city block or come down on them from above. When combined with their ability to Wall Jump, Hunters can attack from nearly anywhere on the map. In Versus mode, skilled Hunters are rewarded for their efforts by giving bonus initial pounce damage depending on how far the Hunter leaped before landing on an unlucky Survivor. Don't be surprised if you suddenly lose 25 health after a Hunter comes down on you from the top of a skyscraper.
- 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.
- Undead Barefooter: By the sequel, he's discarded his shoes. He seems to have a habit of picking his clothes off in general, as his sleeves and pantlegs are also torn off.
- 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.
- With Catlike Tread: ... as soon as the Hunter crouches or jumps, at which point he lets out a blood-curdling scream, letting all nearby Survivors know that he's on the attack.
- Voiced by Mike Patton
- "He's gonna have to use that tongue to choke my foot out of his ass!"—Francis
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 and gigantic tumors that are making him lean to the side just to keep balance.
- Giant Mook: Player characters barely come up to the Smoker's chin, and he has a few inches 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.
- Hell Is That Noise: When a Smoker spawns nearby, he'll let you know by letting out what can be best described as angry coughing. If you hear guttural, echoing screaming, then it means he's found you.
- 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.
- Incurable Cough of Death: You can tell when one is nearby when you hear constant coughing, wheezing and gasping, and given that they're infected with a terminal disease, there's not much hope for their longevity.
- Lean and Mean: By far the leanest of the Special Infected and just as aggressive.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Gains the ability to strangle people with his gigantic tongue.
- Neck Snap: The loud snap heard when a Survivor is finally strangled to death by a Smoker indicates this, if it isn't the sound of their ribs collapsing.
- 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. Some maps have spots that allow a Smoker to suspend their victim off off a high and fatal drop, meaning that even if you rescue the Survivor by cutting the tongue/killing the Smoker, it'll still send them plummeting to their doom, or at the very least an instant incapacitation.
- Voiced by Fred Tatasciore
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 male and female.
- 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.
- Fat Bastard: His weight is constantly mentioned by the Survivors of 2 in the beginning two levels of Dead Center.
- Fat Bitch: For the Boomette.
- Gass Hole: You can often tell when a Boomer is around if you hear loud and angry 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.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Dead Boomers explode, leaving only their bottom halves intact.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: The boomer's bile can be crippling since it attracts any infected to the unlucky player. However if you kill the boomer then collect the bile. You can throw it out of a window and onto a nearby rooftop, causing the infected to charge towards it to their deaths. Thereby giving you some breathing space.
- 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. Boomers and Boomettes are living methane bombs full of rancid bile after all.
- 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 Versus games.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: As expected when it pukes on your face.
- Zombie Puke Attack: Its main attack.
- "HE'S BASHING ME INTO SHIT!"—Ellis
An infected man with an extremely large arm. The Charger uses his mutated fist to rush the survivors and fling them about.
- 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.
- Lightning Bruiser: Has the highest HP of all Special Infected besides the Tank and his charge speeds him up considerably, which deals a good chunk of instant damage if it catches anyone.
- Mini-Boss: He's described as a weaker Tank, and it shows. Unlike other Special Infected, you cannot push him off of a Survivor, much like how it's very hard to dissuade a Tank from its chosen target. He also has an abnormally high health when compared to any infected other than the Witch or the Tank. Unlike either though, the Charger spawns just as often as the other Special Infected.
- 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.
- Roar Before Beating: The Charger lets out a distinctive roar when he charges.
- 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. He and the player controlling him can charge into a molotov or gas can fire just to spite their victim.
- "Oh Jesus, this zombie spits burning shit!"—Rochelle
Somewhat similar to The Boomer, the Spitter spews a liquid. Unlike The Boomer, The Spitter's liquid is a potent acid, capable of seriously hurting survivors who touch it.
- Acid Attack: She spits globs of acidic goo that coat whatever surface they impact, damaging any Survivors standing on it. The damage ramps up over time, making it especially dangerous if the Survivors are caught in the midst of a horde.
- Bare Your Midriff: For your viewing pleasure.
- Body Horror: The virus has warped her body into a pencil-necked acid launcher and her face is burned away from the stuff. Her glow and fleshy body is likely due to the acid eating away at her and kept in some parts for later.
- Combination Attack: Spitter Goo is easy enough to dodge by itself, just side step or wait for the puddle to fizzle. But the applications of the Goo become much more apparent when other Infected are on the field: spitting on a Survivor who's in the clutches of fellow Special Infected/pinned down by a horde, or at an escape route while desperate Survivors are fleeing from a charging Tank/horde are among the best moments a Spitter has to attack to support her team.
- 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.
- Fat Bitch: She's definitely paunchy, possibly due to her mutations.
- Fan Disservice: Contrast her outfit with her mutation.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Her bra, carpis, and thong are very, very tight on her.
- 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 in VS), which can ruin the Survivors' progress. Also, woe betide any unfortunate set of Survivors who enter a one-way elevator with an unchecked Spitter on the loose, as clever ones will launch a ball of goo to enter the elevator just as the doors close, dealing devastating, inescapable damage.
- Good Lips, Evil Jaws: Her acid has burned away her lips, leaving a mostly barren set of jaws with a few teeth sticking out.
- Jiggle Physics: Her belly and boobs are pretty jiggly, like her pigtails.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: She spits globs of stomach acid kept in flimsy membrane pouches.
- Nipple and Dimed: Her nipples can be seen as little pokes through her bra.
- Panty Shot: Her thong isn't that well hidden.
- 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.
- Required Secondary Powers: What the Spitter seems to lack is a resistance to her own corrosive spit, as the flesh around her mouth has melted away and the skin on her belly is burnt from her spit dripping onto it. It is likely that Spitters are doomed to corrode themselves to death over time.
- 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. In dark areas, Spitters are practically bio-luminescent and glow in the dark.
- Super Spit: Somewhat similar to the Boomer, though hers is directly damaging and doesn't stick to the survivor(s) it hits.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Spitters upchuck balls of corrosive stomach acid to block off areas and harass Survivors, preferably when they're stuck in tight corners, humped by a Jockey, or covered in Boomer bile.
- Zombie Puke Attack: A version with a projectile that unleashes damaging goo.
- "It ain't right for a man to be ridden like that!"—Coach
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.
- Body Horror: His hands and torso have grown absurdly large which gives him a simian or troglodytical look. Also, his lips are gone, seemingly torn or gnawed off.
- Combination Attack: Jockeys are encouraged to work with their fellow Special Infected when they're riding a Survivor, such as by keeping them open for a Special Infected more qualified to kill such as a Hunter/Smoker/Charger to take them off their hands. Additionally, both AI and player controlled Jockeys will take any opportunity they find to steer Survivors into a charging zombie horde, Spitter acid, Survivor molotov/gasoline fires, Witches and Tanks.
- Disability Superpower: One fan theory states that the Jockey was wheelchair bound before infection, which may explain why its legs are so clearly atrophied.
- Good Lips, Evil Jaws: He has no lips, just a "grinning" set of teeth.
- 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: Jockey's are designed around steering a Survivor into the clutches of their teammates. If he lures you near a Spitter or a Witch, you'll be in big trouble.
- Top-Heavy Guy: Not as much as the Tank but the virus has caused the muscles in his torso and neck to swell in size, giving him baboon-like strength.
- Voiced by Ellen McLain
- "There's going to be hell to pay if you keep aggravating that Witch!"—Bill
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.
- Beef Gate: It's not uncommon to find a Witch placed directly in a place you need to go, such as a doorway or narrow hallway. In that case, you'll have to stand back, get ready to fight and hope you can gun her down before she cuts you down.
- 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 and 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.
- The Dreaded: If you're not prepared to deal with her when you startle her, she can easily dish out a healthy serving of Disproportionate Retribution with a side helping of Unstoppable Rage.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: There's no standing between a Witch and her prey. Best case scenario, she'll shove you out of her path as if you weren't there; worst case scenario, she settles for killing you 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.
- Glass Cannon: As far as being one of the most powerful Special Infected, she is this in comparison to the Tank. But only in comparison to the Tank, as she's still tougher than every other Special Infected by a wide margin.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Even when she's dead.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It's very easy to piss her off.
- Kill It with Fire: Best way to deal with her. It's even an achievement. That being said, it may not be the best idea if she's already gunning for someone else, since setting a startled Witch on fire causes her to attack you instead.
- 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!
- No Saving Throw: On Expert and Realism, the Witch's attack skips incapacitation and straight-up kills the victim.
- Nubile Savage: She wears nothing but a pair of white panties and a white tank top, torn to reveal her midriff. Most likely caused by herself, given her claws.
- Mood-Swinger: From depressed to extremely angry in the blink of an eye.
- My God, What Have I Done?: It's easy to miss amidst the panicked gunfire, but when the Witch kills a survivor, she will pause, look down at her hands, and run away crying.
- 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.
- You can also kill a Witch with a One-Hit Kill on most difficulties if you blast her at point blank range in her center of mass with a shotgun. All pellets must connect however, and it can be easily botched by just being a little off, in which case you'll be standing right next to a very angry and vengeful Witch.
- Screaming Warrior: You disturb her, she'll come at you claws outstretched and screaming her lungs out. She doesn't want a hug, either.
- Sheathe Your Sword: One of the easiest ways to deal with a Witch is to simply walk around her and be on your way; if you don't go out of your way to aggravate her, she'll leave you alone. But if she's blocking the way, have fun with that.
- 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.
- Waif-Fu: She looks pretty average for a woman, and yet she's the only Infected that guarantees a One-Hit Kill. Justified, since she's been mutated by a virus.
- What Have I Become?: One possible explanation for her sobbing.
- Woman in White: "The Passing" features the Survivors upsetting a Witch bride's wedding. You can imagine how that goes.
- Wolverine Claws: Her hands and fingernails have turned into massive pair of claws and, man, are they sharp.
- Voiced by Fred Tatasciore
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.
- Bald of Evil: In 2.
- Berserk Button: Are you alive? Are you not a Tank? Congratulations, you are this for the Tank.
- Body Horror: The virus has forced the muscles in his body to swell to enormous size giving him absurd strength, especially in his arms and torso. His bones also seem to have been beefed up as shooting him in the head only serve to piss him off even more.
- Cold Sniper: A good way to use one in Versus - those rocks hurt, and his natural durability can make him a deadly long range attacker if rushing in doesn't seem too favorable.
- 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.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: The Tank doesn't have any of the zombie gimmicks of the other Specials. He's incredibly tough and strong enough to punch objects and people around and throw rocks, and that's all he needs.
- 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.
- Immune to Flinching: Melee attacks, explosive ammo and grenade launcher blasts won't stun it at all. Explosions from propane and oxygen tanks and pipe bombs can still make him stagger however.
- The Juggernaut: He 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. Also, he can go through windows.
- 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 he's on fire, he moves faster in 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.
- Lightning Bruiser: In the first game, and only for AI-controlled Tanks that are on fire.
- Made of Iron: The toughest infected in the game and by a large margin.
- More Dakka: The generally accepted method of offing a Tank.
- Mighty Glacier: In comparison to the Witch, this pretty much describes the Tank.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: If he punches a Survivor being grappled by a Hunter or Smoker, it will break the grapple and kill said special infected as well while possibly punting the Survivor to safety.
- 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. On Expert, a Tank deals enough damage to incapacitate with one hit outside the Last Man On Earth and Lone Gunman Mutations.
- Punched Across the Room: The Tank can launch a survivor pretty far with a single punch; combined with ledges, this can be deadly.
- Semper Fi: The Sacrifice Tanks are apparently mutant U.S. Marines, as seen by their chest tattoos.
- Smash Mook: His strategy is to run up to his targets and punch.
- Super Strength: He regularly throws cars and chunks of concrete with ease.
- Super Toughness: The Tank usually takes all four Survivors shooting at him non-stop for a while before finally being killed. 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 time he stays alive is often enough for him 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 their muscle mass to obscene proportions, forcing him to run like a gorilla since his arms were now almost as long as the body. However, his 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, but his legs are still strong enough to support his hulking body and a car or hunk of concrete over his head.
- Unstoppable Rage: As long as you and he draw breath, he will never, ever, EVER stop trying to kill you. It also seems to be the death of him because if he doesn't find any Survivors to smash he drops dead of over-exertion and stress.
- Victory Pose: When a Tank kills or incaps all Survivors, he'll stomp at the ground and roar while flailing around.
CEDA Worker Infected
- "Guess those suits don't stop bites."—Nick
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.
- Hazmat Suit: Obviously. Didn't do them much good, though.
- Randomly Drops: Bile bombs.
- Shout-Out: Killing 10 and taking the bile bombs they drop gets you the "Robbed Zombie" achievement.
- "Somebody shut up that clown!"—Rochelle
- 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 rightnote you even get an achievement "Fried Piper".
- Monster Clown: You really don't want to run into a large group when these guys are around.
- "I tell ya what, Mud People take all the fun outta mud."—Ellis
These 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 Mud Man gets a hit on you, it will obscure part of the screen for a short time.
- Running on All Fours: They run on all fours, making them easier to identify from the other Infected.
- However, in Swamp Fever where they make their debut, this works for them as they can hide most of their body beneath the water to sneak up on the Survivors to blind them, especially amidst the panic of a horde.
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.
- The Hard Hat: They got 'em. It makes headshots a lot harder to kill them with but not shooting them in the chest.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: The reason they don't chase pipe bombs, and bile bombs oddly enough.
- Nice Hat: Those hardhats even offer them some additional protection.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Thanks to their immunity to distractions, they can keep up the pace on Survivors they're pursuing. Normally this isn't too big of a deal, but a crescendo event or a car alarm going off, and suddenly players might find themselves unable to get away from or distract a mob of Construction Workers while already being slowed down by the flooded streets, a good opportunity for any Special Infected to make a move.
- "That zombie's got armour. I want armour!"Coach
These annoying zombies wear bulletproof armour which makes them very hard to kill, at least from the front. Upon death they will sometimes drop nightsticks. Unique to "The Parish".
- Armor Is Useless: From the back. Good luck getting around him when a wave of bodies are crashing against you.
- 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.note
- Exposition Fairy: As with the CEDA Worker Infected, 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.
- Heavily Armored Mook: That riot armour really soaks up your bullets.
- Immune to Bullets: From the front.
- Randomly Drops: Nightsticks.
- "Get that zombie, he's got something!"Nick
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.
- Achilles' Heel: Durable as he may be, he still dies in one hit to melee weapons and the Magnum like any other Uncommon Infected.
- 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.
- Made of Explodium: In its original version it carried molotovs on its persons, which resulted in Fallen Survivors going up in flames when you shot them. This ended up making hordes too easy as the fallen survivor would essentially be a walking gas can that is centred in hordes.
- 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.
- Schmuck Bait: The benefit of chasing down a Fallen Survivor can become dubious depending on the situation, as they can easily lead overextending players eager for supplies away from their team and into danger.
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 Mud Man, the noise immunity of the Worker Infected, and like the CEDA Worker 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 Mud Men 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 of 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 mud Men, 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.
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.
- 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 honouring 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:
- Replacement Scrappy: In-Universe; Jake replaced the former bassist Riggs Donner, who was killed 24 years ago and only played on the Riders' 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. This 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.
- 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!"
A mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a crossword puzzle. Based on a single graffiti scrawl in the original Left 4 Dead, the fans have taken to assuming that Chicago Ted is the ultimate Zombie-Killer.
The Church Guy
- Better safe than sorry! Better safe than sorry! Better safe than sorry!
Voiced by Nathan Vetterlein
A man who barricaded himself in a church, let a zombie infectee in, killed her, and was infected, losing his sanity as a result and trying to kill the survivors.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: He turns after the Crescendo Event, forcing you to kill him.
- Asshole Victim: The bastard cares only about saving his own skin, and when he let his guard down he gets bitten. Feel free to blows his brains out when he mutates. It's the least you can do.
- Body Horror: While this applies to all Special Infected, he apparently turns into one anywhere from the span of an hour to a few minutes. Imagine going from normal to Boomer in that time.
- 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. He will never turn into a Tank nor a Witch.
- Confusion Fu: He typically appears as a Boomer, but can also end up turning into a Smoker or Hunter.
- Crazy Survivalist: He will do what it takes to survive.
- Fat Bastard: Given that most of the time he'll turn into a Boomer, it's reasonable to assume this about him.
- 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 a cola sixpack. 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!
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He lets in one person once and he winds up infected.
- 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.
- Skewed Priorities: He refuses to open the door to let anyone in, yet apparently feels safe enough to go outside and graffiti epitaphs for them on the walls, knowing full well The Infected could show up at any time.
- 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
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.
- Badass Bandolier: His character model has a bandolier.
- 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.
- Crossover: He appears in the Team Fortress 2 advertisement for the Frying Pan and Ellis's 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.
- "My 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.
- Amusing Injuries: Everything that happens to him in Ellis's stories such as getting mugged by a klansman in a graveyard, getting burns on burns, and falling off a roller coaster and had to dodge for 20 minutes while the paying customers had their ride.
- Animals Hate Him: A group of owls attacked him over a fur coat that everyone involved mistook for a dead bear. And then there was the time he and Ellis tried to grab a pair of swamp gators to get them to fight and wound up in a death roll. And he most likely got mauled by raccoons because he made a raccoon fight pit.
- 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.
- The Chew Toy: Most of his injuries are/were self-inflicted and the ones that aren't/weren't were still pretty bad (like getting mugged by a klansman in a graveyard at night).
- Made of Iron: Apparently, nothing kills him. Not a few inches of water, not fire, not even military bombs.
- 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."note
- Posthumous Character: Subverted? Averted? No one knows if/how much of Ellis's stories are false/wildly exaggerated and so on. If Ellis's stories are true, Keith has certainly spent plenty of time in the hospital without a doubt. One of Ellis's (cut) 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, tried to build a shack out of mud, been stabbed and mugged by a "ghost"/"homeless man" (wearing a Klansman hood) while he was living in a graveyard, got tear gassed by the police for shooting crows while he was on a roof, 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), (nearly) 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 (where, again, he got mugged), 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) because he tried to make cheap sushi, turned a recreation of colonial times into a raccoon fight in his backyard, tried to drive 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.
- American Accents: He speaks in a Cajun accent.
- 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 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. 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.
- 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 anthropomorphise "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 Versus games where the Director seems to spawn an absurd number of health kits for the Survivors when it rarely gives that many in a normal 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".
- Valve never really updated or improved the Director's control over Special Infected, so he won't use Versus player tactics like suicide-bomber Boomers to ruin your day, but don't think for a second that he won't use Special combos to really mess you up.
- Jerkass God: It exists solely 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 with 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.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: The heightened number of options it could throw your way expanded in the second game as is, but for many players, later updates seemingly turned up its aggression big time. Nowadays it's standard to think the Director is out for blood and doesn't hold their punches. A good example is the fact that later updates, whether by Good Bad Bugs or otherwise, made it possible for the Director to essentially have neverending hordes all map long.
- 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.