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Fridge Brilliance

  • The Dark Carnival finale. It was weird that the background music had lyrics, except that's the whole point of the set-up. The Midnight Riders have been lip-syncing their performances!
    • Nick points this out in-game.
  • The old, dummied-out Fallen Survivor attacks survivors and burns ferociously if shot? Seems pretty badass. The newly-restored fallen survivor? Runs away like a wimp. It could be a nerf...unless the fallen dude is resisting the infection and won't fight back. Gameplay-wise the point is to lure players after it and split off from the group.
    • Goes into double the Fridge Territory if you read The Sacrifice Comic. Infected think they're normal and we're the ones infected. Early infectees thus attack in groups, thinking they're the ones killing zombies. Now the Fallen Survivor isnt an early infectee, he's been fighting the infected this entire time. Turning infected, he is suddenly free, everyone has turned back to normal. But wait, there are four new infected, ones he never saw before. While all of the other "normal" people charge at them, the "infected" are shooting and killing them! If the Fallen Survivor fought Special Infected in his previous life, he'll definitely know how dangerous special infected are, which is exactly what we appear to be, brandishing molotovs and guns. No wonder he runs, after all you'd run the minute you hear a Tank no?
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    • Ever wonder why Fallen Survivors have higher HP than other common infected? They're wearing Body Armor.
  • Why don't the construction zombies in Hard Rain go after the pipe bombs? It seems like a Non Sequitur until you realise the zombies are construction workers, they're wearing ear protection. They can't hear the pipe bombs. Borders on Late to the Punchline for some. For some reason, they're still aren't attracted to boomer bile thrown by a player but will go after the stuff puked onto a player.
    • The devs mentioned that was due to the pipes and bile bombs using the same programming, meaning one ignores both or neither, and yes it was an oversight.
    • Maybe they had nose plugs for some reason?
      • It's possible. Hard Rain takes place in a sugar processing plant, and from what I've heard, sugar processing plants do not smell so sweet.
    • Considering the construction equipment and the open street, pipes, etc., in The Passing, reminiscent of a sewer pipeline being worked on, that theory doesn't strike me as too unlikely, actually.
  • There's a sequel because all good horror movies have sequels, with little or no resemblance to the original, complete with callbacks to the original.
  • During the trailer for The Passing, Francis and Rochelle begin hating on the bridge. Rochelle is playing into a gag, but Francis actually has a legitimate reason to hate it; "We lost a good man getting this bridge up..."
  • Left 4 Dead - The characters fufill very obvious Zombie Apocalypse character archetypes - the zombie movie nerd, the Action Survivor normal guy, the Jerkass biker dude and the military guy. However, these also fufill video game player archetypes. Who are the kinds of people who play action games and FPSs like this? Nerds who love geeking out over the backstory. Normal people who want to blow off steam. People who want to do and say things they could never do or say in Real Life. And military/gun fanboys/girls. Next time you play it with friends, have a look at who they keep playing as.
    • If that's the case, then why no 12-year-old dressed like Master Chief? Left 4 Dead 3 perhaps?
      • How about this mythical "Chicago Ted" that claims to be the greatest Zombie-Killer of them all but lacks the proof?
      • Probably because that fight was finished (for the moment) by the time L4D came out. Plenty of custom player models reminiscent of (and weapon re-animations directly stolen from) Modern Warfare, though, so same difference.
    • It's been suggested that the characters of Left 4 Dead 2 are archetypes of Left 4 Dead players. Rochelle is the player who always gives other players health and pills, and generally helps newbies out. Coach is similar - he's the person who rallies the team and gets them motivated to get to the next safehouse. Ellis is The Loonie who sets off car alarms and hordes as often as possible. And Nick is the asshole who mocks and teases other players for screwing up, and tends to make fun of the setting as they play through (the guy who, when a Tank appears, yells "Of course! It couldn't be easy, could it?!")
  • A moment of Fridge Brilliance had while playing Left 4 Dead 2, but that applies to nearly all zombie games (and movies). There are no children seen in the zombie apocalypse, and there's often no explanation as to why. Think about it though. Zombies eat human flesh, zombie adults have, for a long time in fiction now, been moving faster than a child could run. Add to that the fact that children would be more likely to curl into a frightened ball at the sight of zombies, and suddenly we know exactly where all the children have gone.
    • Not quite. Left 4 Dead zombies are not "zombies" so much as humans infected with a virus that enrages them, not unlike rabies. If you notice, they don't bite or try to eat the survivors, they mainly just take swings at them while they're standing and kick them while they're down. If anything, the children probably can't survive the virus, or else they surely would be infected and trying to kill the survivors too. Though this is probably just a design decision on Valve's part to keep their game being rated AO. You know, because killing children would be hard. After all, they're below your normal firing line.
      • Okay, so instead of being eaten, the kids were all beaten to death by the infected adults.
      • Actually, they do bite. Ingame dialogue makes reference to the survivors being bitten, it's just not shown. (possibly due to the limitations of the hardware?)
    • Children died from the infection. If you ever get a chance, stay around normal infected without alerting them. They will act like they were ill, start vomiting and eventually lay down and die. Perhaps the Infection was too much for childs body to handle and they died. Which would also explain why we don't have any pets running around trying to bite you.
      • Kids usually have stronger immune systems than adults, making it more likely for them to survive. Let's just go with the idea that the zombies outpace kids, and/or the fact that kids often have trouble taking care of themselves in a normal world, much less one with zombies. As for the pets; they fled, are outright killed by the virus, or zombies ate 'em.
      • I'm going to have to agree with the above Troper somewhat based upon my own experiences. This is a very, very, very hard to find easter egg in The Sacrifice level, but as you are passing through one of the buildings with graffiti (I think it was the auto parts place), you can actually see a childish drawing on a wall of all the Special Infected eating a man. The reason it's so hard to find is because it's underneath a table you get ammo and weapons from. I don't think I've ever been able to make the name out, but it was tagged/signed with "Age 7". So...there was a child who survived the infection somewhere and who saw zombies. I mean, the child's room with toys and empty crib in the Daughtry farm could be explained away that the family was evacuated. But on that note, in the big house that Virgil rescues you from in the sequel, there's at least 3 teddy bears in an alcove, seemingly abandoned...
      • One of the myriad recent health scares (I think it was a resurgence of Swine Flu) had a radio report claiming that it turned the body's immune system against itself, so those with strong immune systems were at more risk- given how screwed up Green Flu already is, they could easily toss this trait in as a way of killing off all the kids.
    • What about this; the infected think they're healthy, and that we're the infected. We rock up and start killing all their buddies. What would be your first reaction if you saw some diseased monsters killing all your friends? The chances are that you'd want to protect your kids. So maybe that's just what they're doing? After all, we only really see those fighting. So in fact they're bravely sacrificing themselves in a desperate attempt to protect their children. Perhaps those less capable of fighting are herding the children to safety, whilst the super-hero like special infected fight with no regard for their own lives? Or perhaps the children are hiding in locked cellars, waiting for the sounds of gunshots to go and praying that their parents will come back...
      • That's the exact same twist as the ending of I Am Legend.
    • From a gameplay perspective- this is just an excuse to exercise Infant Immortality and ensure that no players go trigger happy on children.
  • One thing I realized in hindsight about the Director's signifiance: remember how each campaign has a movie poster in the loading screen? You're playing a movie, and the Director is an actual film director sending out the hordes, supplies, or lack thereof.
  • Something I just realized, is that, even though the source material shows Mercy Hospital as being the source of the infection, it might not actually be, with the same types of mutations, etc in place simultaneously in Pennsylvania, Georgia and New Orleans. That's over 500 miles of area to cover. Now, consider that something like Rabies takes a while to gestate, and also take in the fact that this particular version also seems to have been something transmitted by fluids, and what do you get? A supervirus that acts like a cold, gestates and THEN rips the population apart nearly simultaneously. This also has the affect of the carriers being "dealt with" even colder, as this now means that CEDA couldn't have prevented the outbreaks, even if they had wanted to.
    • Actually, the plane that crashed into the swamp in Swamp Fever could have been the source for the infection in the south. One infected passenger and down goes the plane.
  • This may be drifting into WMG territory, but I just realized, based on the above realization, that the virus might be spreading through infected WATER. Think about it - what is the first thing CEDA tells people to do? Wash their hands. And what do we see everywhere CEDA goes? Zombie outbreaks. They don't realize it, but they're actually propagating the very disease they're trying to prevent!
    • According to The Sacrifice, it randomly mutates between waterborne and airborne strains. As for the CEDA accusation, CEDA is called into areas that are already showing zombies.
  • Zombieland is Left 4 Dead: The Movie. That is all.
    • Is it set just before the special infected emerged? That would spoil the comedy of the upcoming sequel. "Look, Talahassee is butchering thousands of zombies!" "RAAAWWGHGHAAWWWWHGHHG" "Look, Talahassee is getting ripped in half by a Tank!"
  • The military wants the original survivors dead so they cannot spread the virus farther, right? And the original survivors go to the keys to stay isolated from the military. Stay with me here, but what about the survivors in the sequel!? They left with the military at the end of the Parish... the same militray that ordinarilly tries to kill survivors. It is made worse when the original survivors in the Passing DO NOT WARN THE OTHERS! This probably means bad things for the sequel's survivors.
    • A lot of what the military seems to do is isolating the carriers, the problem is that they're given a second class citizen approach when it comes to being rescued, causing many to try and escape. Beside all that, if it helps just think of it from the idea that the guy on the other end of the radio obviously knows for a fact they're carriers, but tells them where to go to get to the chopper, and even tells it to wait for them. If he or his superiors wanted the survivors to die, all they'd have to do is ignore the call for help.
    • After reading the comic, it's obvious that the boat they had would not have had enough food and other supplies to sustain all of them. Zoey would have likely let the other survivors go to save herself, Louis and Francis, fulfilling Bill's last wish. Which is probably why she is sad when Ellis refused her offer: she knew she had to sacrificed them, but with Bill gone she could save one, but only one, and she chose Ellis who refused. Makes her final line in the comics much more dark: "We look out for our own".
      • Because I love the originals so, I hold on to the hope that the reason they decided to stay behind is that they had no idea if they would affect the new cast, or the new cast would affect them. Sure, the new guys fight the zombies, but there were a lot of questions left unanswered. The only answer that they think is fact is that they've been killing towns just by their arrival. I believe the originals just didn't want to run the risk of infecting the new guys.
  • When the survivors of the original game were saved by anybody, it went horribly wrong almost immediately, and even for the second game the helicopter rescue goes badly as well. So why is it Virgil stays with the group not only to get them to the next campaign, but even after that? Because he's a carrier as well, and more likely than not he's the one who infected his wife.
    • It is entirely possible that the survivors of Left 4 Dead 2 are actually immune, rather than carriers. The only person who turned after getting them was the helicopter pilot, who Nick thinks got bit before they were picked up. It may simply be that Virgil himself might be similarly immune to them, or just a regular guy who's risking life and limb to pick up any survivors that he can.
      • Wonder if the man has any kids... After all, immunity is passed down the father's side.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the use of the song "The Saints Will Never Come," which is a version of "The Saints Go Marching In" and can be found in the jukeboxes and in the campaign The Parish, is just brilliant. At first I just thought it was a fun song with some neat Soundtrack Dissonance. But then I learned that "The Saints Go Marching In" is often used as a traditional funeral march in New Orleans. This isn't Soundtrack Dissonance. It may seem upbeat, but Valve is basically saying "you are on your way to the graveyard" whenever that song plays.
  • The reason Zoey and Ellis hit it off is that they have approximately the same view about the zombie apocalypse.
  • Shotguns have a damage penalty when used against Tanks. At first, I chalked it up to game balance, seeing as shotguns are incredibly powerful at close range, which is where a Tank tends to be in a lot of cases. But then, I realised something: Tanks are covered in leathery skin and have incredibly thick muscles all over their bodies. Buckshot is designed not to penetrate too deeply. So, a shotgun's buckshot would just dig into the Tank's muscles, without damaging any vital organs, while an assault rifle or sniper rifle would penetrate deep enough to actually hit something vital.
  • There's a reason why the virus is called the Green Flu. It's because it IS the flu. The Boomers aren't the only things that puke in the game. Some idle zombies can be seen vomiting on the ground.
    • Officially, it's an airborne strain of rabies. There's a room in the Dark Carnival where you can see a bunch of euthenazed livestock, and most of them have the skin peeled off their faces in the same way a vet would test for rabies. This still supports your observation; dehydration and vomiting can go hand-in-hand.
      • Adding onto this, the symptoms of rabies tend to start off flu-like and may be misdiagnosed as the flu until more symptoms crop up.
  • Being able to give pills to Louis in The Passing may seem like a case of Ascended Meme but if you read The Sacrifice comic, Louis got his leg torn up pretty bad by the yacht full of Witches so of course he'd need some painkillers. Video Game Caring Potential right there.
  • The construction elevator in Hard Rain will attract a horde to your location from the screeching it makes when rising, but on the way back after getting the gas, activating the same elevator won't attract them. Due to the fact that there is currently a howling hurricane overtaking the town on your return trip, it is likely that the local Infected can barely even hear anything other than the raging storm, just like the player.
  • When on the bridge on The Parish campaign, the person you radio may ask you "Are you Tango Mikes?" In military phonetic alphabet, the letters are TM, the letters of the nickname Typhoid Mary. For those who don't know their history, Typhoid Mary was the nickname of Mary Mallon, an Irish born cook who infected 53 people with typhoid fever due to being an asymptomatic carrier of the disease (meaning that a carrier wouldn't have symptoms and could infect others). Since the military are keeping an eye out for carriers, they've nicknamed them Tango Mikes as another way of calling carriers Typhoid Marys.

Fridge Horror

  • I just remembered that immunity is supposed to be passed down the father's side, and Zoey was forced to kill her father after he was bitten. The scary thing? He hadn't turned yet, and both of them thought he was going to. She killed her father, but she didn't have to.
    • That's the entire point, dude! It's spelled out as much!
    • If immunity's only passed down the father's side, it in all likelihood means it's a case of genomic imprinting. There's only a 50/50 chance HE got it from his father, meaning that he might have turned. People in the comic just had their information wrong. Of course, living with the doubt of whether she mercy killed or murdered her father could be bad enough on its own...
  • From the A.K.A.-47 page: "Fridge Logic occurs when you realize that, excluding Bill and Louis, most of the survivors have no firearms experience, let alone knowledge of the names of the weapons that they have been using." Then I looked up which guns are given their real names: M16, M60, AK-47. All of these were used in the Vietnam War; Bill would have instantly recognized them, and likely told the others their names and some stories including them.
    • Made worse in the sequel when Nick announces that it isn't legal for him to use a firearm, which, due to the American setting, means that he is a felon; since the right to bear arms is part of the constitution, we're talking about a crime so serious that it's punishable by several years in jail or death (which kinda makes you question how trustable he is with a gun).
      • He's a con man, so his felonies aren't necessarily violent. That said, he does mention the difficulty in getting blood off of a suit though.
        "Brains come out, swamp water doesn't. Don't ask me how I know that."
      • If he was merely present when someone was shot, such as at a deal gone bad, he could still be a non-violent felon.
        Well, there's also: "It's not easy getting blood out of a wedding dress. . . . Don't ask me how I know that."
      • His ring has the same insignia as one of Francis' tattoos. He's a convicted felon, skilled with weaponry, and has experience with brains on suits and blood on wedding dresses, and a thing for gambling. Sounds to me like high-level gangster, and Francis was a mook.
      • It's mentioned in The Sacrifice Comic that Zoey is the daughter of a cop who took her regularly to the shooting range and wanted her to drop out of college to join the police. Francis is shown to be in a gang who regular commits crimes and knows very well how to use guns. Ellis says he learned how to shoot before he could walk. Nick, like Francis, was a criminal who was familiar with violence. I can't explain Coach and Rochelle.
  • Fridge Horror here: Louis is a fan of Half-Life, right? As evidenced by his (I think cut) line "Man, I feel like I'm Gordon Freeman!". So the Zombie Apocalypse occured before he got a chance to play Episode Three!
    • More fridge horror with Ellis in the sequel; if playing in a ported map from Team Fortress 2 involving pushing a bomb cart, Ellis will sometimes announce that it's "just like Team Fortress 2!" - his happiness at being trapped in a fictional setting that he is a fan of suggests that he's beginning to lose it...
      • To quote another line that was (also possibly cut) from Nick: "It's STARTING to creep you out?"
      • In the comic, when Louis's backstory is explained, you can see he has a vinyl statue of The Heavy from Team Fortress Two on his desk, implying that he is a possibly fan of Valve's games in general
      • In the first game, you figure out where Louis gets the figure. In No Mercy, in the first part of the campaign, when you leave the safe area to go into the apartment, you can see a cereal box that has an advertisement for the figure.
    • Left 4 Dead takes place in October 2009. Six years later, still no Episode 3.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the characters have to kill horribly mutated zombies. Now, Ellis lived in the same area around The Dead Center campaign. This would mean that he was forced to kill his neighbors, friends, and family that he knew and loved. However, unlike the other three survivors, Ellis seems the most positive and... almost happy. Think about that for a second.
    • Like all survival horror games you tend to run into this a lot. In Crash Course, you find the torso of a man in a truck depot with several truck trailers nearby. Going further up you see a trailer that looks like it was bashed in, and inside you find... the lower half of a human with entrails leading outside...
    • The Sacrifice Campaign is ripe with this. In the first level, you find a Tank, apparently chained and beaten inside a reinforced train car. He also has a Marine Corps Tattoo. The Train also held military equipment. Remember, this Tank was captured, not killed, and was being transported in a military train, with weapons. To say nothing less of what happened to the bloody mess that is the remains of whoever was in the car with him. In the second level, you will find a half-sunk fishing boat identical to the one used by the people who rescued you in Death Toll.
      • That's most likely because the designers didn't want to create an entirely new boat so it could be used as a half-sunk prop.
    • In the Sacrifice Comic, you see the world through the freshly-infected Lt. Mora's eyes. Humans appear as daemonic entities and monsters to him. That's what the Infected sees. Now think back, you've been running around blowing their brains out and killing them with wild abandon. Who's the monster now?
      • In addition, the Fallen Survivor runs away from you instead of running up and attacking. Since humans now appear to be infected to the actual Infected, this means that all of them thinks you are the zombies and are actively trying to save themselves. This may mean that only their perception of the outside world is altered by the virus, not their morality of right and wrong. Think about that again as you're holding that shotgun...
      • However, it's quite possible that the virus might reduce the infected's mind into that of ravaging beast, which runs on animal instincts, that attacks anything non-infected. Otherwise, the special infected would be thinking themselves as superheroes saving the world from the survivor menace.
      • Which seems to be confirmed by the fact that Mora believes whatever Francis tells him (for example, that everything is Louis' fault) without questioning his claims in the least or considering that he may be lying.
    • An in-game example is during the Swamp Fever campaign when Ellis and Rochelle have a little conversation.
    Ellis: If y'all ask me, these swamp people got it all figured out, man. No cops, no rules...
    Rochelle: No indoor plumbing?
    Ellis: They figured out how to stop going to the bathroom? Man, that is AMAZING. Oh... No, wait. Oh, I just got that. Shit, that's gross as hell.
    • After all they went through, getting tossed into a military prison for being carriers and barely escaping with their lives, they still send Ellis, Rochelle, Coach, and Nick on their merry way to the exact same fate with the closest thing to a warning being "We're through with the military."
      • That's not really Fridge Horror. They were trying to get the Jimmy Gibbs Jr. Stock Car; the originals probably didn't know that eventually they would find a highway crowded with cars. Besides, the new survivors state that they want to get to New Orleans; there probably aren't any military evacs that take them to New Orleans, so the originals probably knew they wouldn't have any military run-ins until they reached the ruined New Orleans.
      • ...And then what? What did the originals expect them to find? Either death by Infected or death by Military. There was no reason for them to not take them with them to the Florida Keys.
    • At the end of each level, you finish in a safe house stocked with ammunition, weapons and first-aid kits. As the next level begins, in almost every level, the door is barricaded with miscellaneous objects to keep the infected from coming in. Try to imagine being a survivor, opening a door to what is supposed to be a safe-room, only to find it blocked with heavy debris and all the first-aid kits missing.
      • In the Hard Rain Campaign, one such saferoom is barricaded this way. However it is blown open by the hurricane in the subsequent level, and the survivors could have made it over the fence even if it hadn't opened up. In most other cases, there isn't even a way around the barricade...
      • The game hinted that the band of survivors are the last left in the city, for whatever reason were left behind. The Closet mechanism is meant to simulate the survivors finding new folks without having to actually generate them or unbalance the gameplay. Anyone else left, such as Whitaker, chose to stay of their own accord.
    • A lot of the saferooms had mattresses, pillows, cooking implements and often crates upon crates of food supplies. It's hinted that these weren't just checkpoints; their occupants had attempted to hold out in them. Think about that for a second as you realize there are no-one inside, and no bodies...
      • Most likely, this is because the other survivors would do exactly what the players would: Perhaps spend the night, make some food, go about their business etc., then scavenge or move on when supplies were running low and/or it became obvious they would not be rescued if they remained hidden.
  • Close-up analysis of the structure of the Smoker ragdoll reveals a few things, most noticeably the fact that that's not his tongue he strangles people with - that's his small intestine.
  • Even the evacuation sites the Survivors use are filled to the brim with zombies. Imagine successfully managing to escape to an evacuation zone, only to see someone turn in front of you and before long, everyone in the zone is dead.

Fridge Logic

  • It should be obvious why the following design choice was made, but it's rather bizarre when you realize Riot Infected's armor works backwards compared to reality. In the game it's completely immune to rifle-caliber rounds and perfectly vulnerable to molotov cocktails. In reality it's pretty much the other way around.

How well does it match the trope?

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