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Left 4 Dead

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Title Screen

Left 4 Dead

Developers: Turtle Rock Studios, Valve
Publishers: Valve (Steam), Electronic Arts (retail)
Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, Mac OS X
Released internationally: October 17, 2008 (Windows)
October 27, 2010 (Mac OS X)
Released in JP: November 21, 2008 (Xbox 360)
Released in US: November 18, 2008 (Xbox 360)
Released in EU: November 21, 2008 (Xbox 360)

AnimationsIcon.png This game has unused animations.
EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ModelsIcon.png This game has unused models.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
Sgf2-unusedicon1.png This game has unused abilities.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.

PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

To do:
Replace the YT videos below with sound rips for the scrapped ending.

Left 4 Dead is the result of an internal Counter-Strike: Source mod morphing into a pretty nice hybrid of Valve's single player games and Valve's multiplayer games. You play as four survivors and have to make it from one end of the map to the next without being mauled to death by zombies, using med kits and overdosing on pain pills along the way.


Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info
Unused Dialog
Francis: I hate text.


Early HUD Images

Several incomplete sets of early HUD images can be found in folders throughout the game's texture files.

Set 1

Set 1 contains images of the Painkiller, Pipebomb and Medkit. All of the images are brown and black.

Set 2

Set 2 is found in /materials/hud/terror/l4d360ui/hud/. These icons are much larger than the previous set and have a white item icon behind a black background. The edges of the black background look like a liquid. An alternate graphic for when an item was selected makes the black background red, making it look like blood. There are icons for the Medkit, Pipebomb, Pistol, Uzi and PEELZ. The Medkit has a different-looking shape when compared to its final version, but the other icon shapes are the same as the final's.

Set 3

Hidden in the same folder containing Set 1 are two icons that have a different style from the rest of the icons: a Medkit and Pills together, and a HE Grenade from Counter-Strike.

Early Infected Select Icons

Small, brown and black pictures of the Hunter, Smoker and Boomer can be found in the "materials/vgui" directory. Pre-release videos dating to 2008 show the same style used for the Survivors, so it's likely these icons are from the stage of development that those videos show.

Unused Ammo Count Indicator

In the same directory as earlier, there's a strange-looking ammo counter for the shotgun. It is a stack of right shotgun shells. There are two graphics, one with red shells and another with gray that has “empty” in its name. Based on these two graphics, it seems like a shell would turn gray when the gun was fired. This doesn't appear in any pre-release videos and doesn't seem to fit the HUD graphics shown in these preview videos.

Unused Misc. Icons

Some unused icons showing a zombie being headshotted named “headshot_icon” and a grave with a RIP on it named “death_icon” can be found in “materials/sprites”. Compared to the headshot icon (for headshot kills) like Counter-Strike, there is no hint as to what the former was for and doesn't seem to fit anywhere.

Unused Infected Drawings

Drawings of the regular Infected, Boomer, Hunter, Smoker, Tank and Witch can once again be found in "materials/vgui".

Early Level Shots

The "materials/console" directory contains screenshots of the finale levels. These images reveal differences not seen in either the final game or pre-release footage.

No Mercy's finale shows a different skybox texture, a visible street under the building, and a more detailed lower area. The latter was taken out, presumably for optimization purposes.

Death Toll's finale appears to have been very different at one point. The building was originally a boat itself, there was no burning city in the background, and the level had blue-tinted lighting. Why the boat was switched to a building is presumably because it was too easy to defend.

Dead Air's finale appears to have had some noticeable differences at one point. The level was much darker than it is in the final, there is blue lighting instead of the final's, and the location appears to have been much cleaner-looking at one point.

Blood Harvest's finale originally had the right-hand building much closer to the main building and the barn used different textures.

Half-Life 1 Leftovers

Leftover HUD images from HL1 can be found in the game's files.

Half-Life 2 Leftovers

Like the first game, leftovers such as the Combine energy ball and AR2 muzzleflash sprites from HL2, along with old textures from the Half-Life 2 prototype (like old HUD icons and effects for the Hydra enemy) can be found in the “materials/sprites” directory.

Counter-Strike Leftovers

Quite a few leftovers from the original Counter-Strike and Condition Zero are scattered throughout the game's files. The 1.6 character select and HUD images and CZ buy icons can be found in “materials/vgui/gfx/vgui”. These are likely leftovers from Counter-Strike: Source, which also have the same images in it.

Test Textures

Two test textures (possibly bump map tests) can be found in the main “materials” folder.

Unused Manager Teeth Texture

There are unused teeth in Louis's compress face texture found in “materials/models/survivors/manager”.

Unused Animations

Unused Reload Animations

Unused "cocking" animations for the Submachine Gun, Assault Rifle, and the Hunting Rifle still exist in the files. These were cut because the community wanted Valve to remove them. However, these animations still play, but only in third-person view when reloading.

The Hung Hunter

Within the files there is an animation for the Hunter hanging upside down, most likely for a scrapped attack.

A Hunter upside down.


To do:
Get the dragging animation for the single M1911 Pistol, it's the only weapon to have such an animation.

Also in the files are unused animations for Survivors being dragged by a teammate.

Hunter Hands

There is an animation for the Hunter's pounce attack in first-person but in the final it goes to third-person on successful pounce.

The Hunter's arms in a model viewer.
To do:
Find a video showing this.


At one point in development you could also crawl while you were down. May have been cut for making revival too easy, but it is possible to do it on modded online servers.

Unused Models

Jimmy Gibbs JR's car can be found inside of the left4dead_dlc3 vpk files, this file is most likely an accidental backport while backporting The Passing assets for The Sacrifice

The White Box

Hidden in the river during Death Toll's finale is a white box that can only be seen by noclipping. Its use is most likely to teleport the Survivors out of sight for the rescue boat.

Unused Text

The Survivors are "Terrorists?"

An unusual series of text strings can be found in “left4dead_%language%.txt”:

"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_CT_Forces"				"Infected"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_CTs_Full"				"The Infected team is full"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_CTs_Win"					"Infected win!"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_Game_join_ct"				"%s1 is joining the Infected"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_Game_join_ct_auto"			"%s1 is joining the Infected (auto)"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_Game_join_terrorist"			"%s1 is joining the Survivors"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_Game_join_terrorist_auto"	"%s1 is joining the Survivors (auto)"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_Game_timelimit"				"Time Remaining:  %s1:%s2. Next campaign is %s3."
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_Terrorist_Forces"			"Survivors"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_Terrorists_Full"				"The Survivor team is full"
"Cstrike_TitlesTXT_Terrorists_Win"				"Survivors win!"

At first glance, these strings are leftovers from Counter-Strike. However, there's something unusual about them; the strings that refer to the counter-terrorists have “Infected” replace “Counter-Terrorist” and the Terrorist-related strings have “Survivors” replace “Terrorists”.

This is because Left 4 Dead initially started life as a internal CS: Source mod under the working title of Terror-Strike, in which the Survivors had to plant a bomb (hence using Terrorists) then defend it from a horde of knife-bots.

Selectable Survivors and Infected

//Infected Team/class Menu
"L4D_pz_team_join_title"	"PLAY AS INFECTED"
"L4D_pz_team_join_subtitle" "Select the class you prefer to play. The class you choose may not always be available when you are ready to spawn."
"L4D_pz_class_select_title" "INFECTED CLASS SELECT"
//Survivor Team/class Menu
"L4D_s_team_join_title"				"JOINING THE SURVIVOR TEAM"
"L4D_s_team_join_takeover_title"	"CURRENTLY SPECTATING"
"L4D_s_team_join_subtitle"			"Select an available Survivor"
"L4D_s_team_join_state_inactive"	"(inactive)"
"L4D_s_team_join_state_bot"			"%s1 (BOT)"

These strings seem to refer to a menu that would let you choose a survivor or the Infected in-game. In the final game, you select your Survivor in the lobby, and the game selects which Infected you will be dynamically in the middle of a match.

Unused Vocalizations

In the same text file, there are strings containing some voice commands from the Left 4 Dead beta (but are also visible in GameTrailers videos).

"L4D_rosetta_help"					"Help!"
"L4D_rosetta_lightsout"				"Lights Out!"
"L4D_rosetta_watchbehind"			"Watch Behind"
"L4D_rosetta_followme"				"Follow Me"
"L4D_rosetta_staytogether"			"Stay Together!"
"L4D_rosetta_whereareyou"			""
"L4D_rosetta_welcome"				"You're Welcome"
"L4D_rosetta_heartank"				""
"L4D_rosetta_hearhunter"			""
"L4D_rosetta_hearwitch"				""
"L4D_rosetta_hearboomer"			""
"L4D_rosetta_hearsmoker"			""
"L4D_rosetta_grrrr"					"Grrrr"
  • Seven of these mentioned lines are automatically used, as is "Lights Out!" after a Survivor mentions hearing a Witch. In addition, one of Francis' lines add "They'll see us," is slightly odd as the encountered Witches are always female. However, Common Infected can also be affected and annoyed by the intense light in their direction.
  • The hear%zombieclass% strings were most likely cut out when Survivors would automatically call specific Special Infected out, but for some error in programming they can only call out the Hunter and the Witch. Surprisingly, the vocalizations PlayerHeard%ZombieClass% all make the the Survivor emit a blank line instead of actually speaking the intended line(s).
    • Left 4 Dead 2's Survivors can properly call out all four of the original Specials through custom radialmenus using the "vocalize PlayerHeard%L4D1Zombie" string.
  • The "Grrrr" vocalization is scripted to only be for Hunters, but its soundscript PlayerZombie.Taunt has the randomized sound files commented out and only emits the "null" sound effect.


A line in the file "intructor_lessons.txt" shows that at one time upgrades were planned and could be found randomly during levels. These upgrades are still in the game, but can only be activated by using a SourceMod plugin.

Name Code String How it would work
"Kevlar Vest" #L4D_Upgrade_kevlar_vest_description "Reduces the amount of damage you take."
"Prevent it" #L4D_Upgrade_prevent_it_description "Protects you from a Boomer's bile once."
"Ledge Save" #L4D_Upgrade_ledge_save_description "Allows you to pick yourself up from a ledge once automatically."
"Second Wind" #L4D_Upgrade_revive_self_description "Revive yourself once."
"Goggles" #L4D_Upgrade_goggles_description "Won't get blinded by the Boomer's bile."
"Hot Meal" #L4D_Upgrade_hot_meal_description "Increases health to 150."
"Laser Sight" #L4D_Upgrade_laser_sight_description "Adds a laser sight but disables the crosshair."
"Combat Sling" #L4D_Upgrade_combat_sling_description "Reduces weapon recoil.."
"High capacity magazine" #L4D_Upgrade_high_cap_mag_description "Gives you a larger magazine for both of your weapons."
"Hollow point ammo" #L4D_Upgrade_hollow_ammo_description "Increases the amount of damage weapons do.."
"Knife" #L4D_Upgrade_knife_description "Escape from a Smoker's tongue or get out of a Hunter's pounce once."
"Smelling Salt" #L4D_Upgrade_smelling_salt_description "Revive a downed player faster once."
"Ointment" #L4D_Upgrade_ointment_description "Allows a player to run faster when wounded."
"Reloader" #L4D_Upgrade_reloader_description "Reload faster."
"Flashbulb" #L4D_Upgrade_flashbulb_description "Unknown"
The Laser Sights which still work.

Unused Weapon

Listed in the "game_sounds_weapons.txt" is a listing called "Blinding Flash". There is no way to use it but based on the name it may have worked as a flashbang.


Also hidden in the files are skills but unlike the upgrades there is no way to activate them and if you try to you will lose control of the character your playing as. Some of the skill names make references to classes in Team Fortress 2.

55. aPackrat
56. aCommando
57. aOpenfire
58. aDefender_0
59. aGuide
60. aKnuckles
61. aEngineer
62. aSprinter
63. aGroupie
64. aClimber
65. aSoldier
66. aDemolitions

Changed Autoshotgun Stats

The Autoshotgun's weapon file has comments in it that seem to have been added at one-point-to-note changes, but were never removed. According to the notes, the Autoshotgun had lower accuracy, higher spread, fired 10 pellets instead of 12 per shot and had a 9 round magazine instead of 10 at one point.

Zombie Dog

There are several sound effects marked for an unused "zombie dog" enemy. These sound files still exist and the attacking sounds are used for when the Hunter does so while standing up.




Scrapped Ending

According to the Developer Commentary and unused sound files, there was going to be an ending cutscene after the Survivors got on the helicopter. Judging by the sound files, the pilot was to be infected after a failed rescue before the finale. On a related note, the pilot has more unused lines meaning that the pilot was originally going to notice the Survivors.

"[Jess Cliffe] Left 4 Dead was originally going to have a continuous story that started with the hospital campaign. When the chopper pilot picked you up, he would start talking about how he had just done a street pickup and wasn't feeling so well. Clearly, he had just been Infected—and the chopper was about to go down. We found that this left playtesters feeling let-down, instead of rewarded for having survived the challenging campaign. We decided to cut that section of the pilot's dialogue and kept the ending upbeat - reinforcing the players' sense of accomplishment."

While the ending was scrapped, the zombie pilot story was used in the Crash Course DLC campaign. It begins with the survivors exiting a crashed helicopter. Francis and Zoey mention that the pilot became a zombie.

Francis: I still can't believe you shot the pilot!
Zoey: He turned into a zombie, Francis. He wasn't going to land the thing!
Francis: Well, I guess now we'll never know, will we?