- "Name's Nick, but don't bother learning it 'cause I ain't sticking around long."
- ―introducing himself
- "I have not... come this far... to die now."
- ―convincing self to keep going when black and white
Nicholas (also known as Nick) is one of the four playable Survivors in Left 4 Dead 2. He is a gambler and a con artist with a shady―even violent―past. He seems reluctant to be a part of the group at all and takes the role of "the complainer," finding fault in other people's plans, the increasingly sorry state of his once-fine suit and his teammate's character flaws, as he judges them. This makes him difficult for the others to like at first, but that changes as time goes by, as he learns to trust them and proves himself a valuable part of the team.
Nick wears a white suit and blue shirt he claims is worth $10,000. He has multiple rings on his finger, one of which bears a symbol belonging to a gang. It can be gathered from his appearance that he is a ladies' man as he has lipstick smudged on his collar as well as a love bite, or hickey, on his neck.
It is mentioned on multiple occasions that he was previously married, possibly multiple times, as if Nick hears a witch, he sometimes asks ironically whether it is his ex-wife or not. He's also had some trouble with the law as he's admittedly a con-man and during the Dead Center campaign when he finds a tier 2 gun, says that he is not legally allowed to own a gun. Given that Nick appears to be an American citizen and thus covered by the Second Amendment, this likely means that he is a convicted felon, who are not legally allowed to own or carry guns.
Nick's facial features are modeled after Taymour Ghazi and he is voiced by Hugh Dillon.
| A lifetime of drifting from city to city, finding back-alley card games and trying to stay out of jail has taught Nick two valuable lessons: Don’t trust anyone, and look out for number one.
He’d come down to Savannah looking for some gullible fish on the riverboat gambling cruise circuit. Instead he found a city about to be engulfed by infection. Now he finds himself forced together with three complete strangers in a fragile alliance that goes against every instinct he lives by. But he’s going to have to learn to trust them if he wants to survive.
WARNING: The following is conjecture and may not be considered canon.
Nick's sarcasm, pessimism, and self-centered cynicism arguably make him the most antagonistic character, or anti-hero, in the series. Almost everyone he meets quickly picks up on these attributes and takes a wary or active dislike to him. His general attitude makes Nick the group's older brother.
Nick's autonomous personality makes him reluctant to integrate fully with the group. For example, at the beginning of the game, he either tells the others not to bother remembering his name, as he does not intend to stay with them long, or forgoes mentioning his name when asked. Moreover, he is quite "unfriendly" when encountering the other Survivors at first and constantly avoids the subject of informing others his name. Nick is also quite abrasive when talking and is not hesitant to insult others, especially if they cause misdemeanor on him. This is most likely a result from his past as a con artist.
Strong hints of a violent, criminal past surface when, for example, he says it is illegal for him to have a firearm; is an expert with first aid kits; and when badly hurt, he blurts out, "It's been a long time… since I've felt this bad." Nick speaks with a Boston wiseguy accent, an attribute that accentuates perceptions of a shady past and a personality impregnated with a capacity for violence. Nick also possesses a body of gruesome knowledge that he hints at from time to time—including the relative ease and difficulty of getting brains out of suits and blood out of wedding dresses—both of which he suffixes with the line "Don't ask me how I know that."
Nevertheless, as the game progresses and Nick comes to experience his teammates' abilities and to share their common dangers and dire circumstances, his stance towards them seems to thaw. Although he never quite loses his self-contained and me-first attitude, there are cues that he is not as callous as he appears on first impression.
Nick appears to be very high-maintenance when it comes to his appearance. He often complains about his suit getting ruined, and balks at having to travel through dirty or unsanitary places. Nick believes that the Green Flu outbreak could have been prevented if the world used some more hand sanitizer and gripes about going through the Rayford Historic Underground Tour or the sewers in The Parish, to which Coach teases him over it. When the Survivors go through the sewers beyond the tour, Nick may complain about the unsanitary conditions of the sewers or will offer the other Survivors $1000 to piggyback ride him over the sewer water, making the other Survivors mock him for it.
Relationships with other SurvivorsEdit
- Nick and Coach seem to live to trade jabs with one another (much like Francis and Bill). Nick insults Coach and makes fun of his weight, but will also not hesitate to compliment him when he does something good like killing a Special Infected. He seems to respect Coach's status as the group leader, even though he's often the first to voice doubts about any of Coach's proposed courses of action. Nick recoils quickly when he has clearly annoyed Coach, and Coach is quick to shut Nick down if his complaints get close to the line. Their antagonism stops at words, as neither one ever looks likely to abandon the other. When Nick mourns for Coach, he will sadly say "You were a hell of a man, Coach," or "I'll miss ya." Another mourning line—"Goddammit, Coach, what did you leave me with…?"—shows that, despite their attitude, Nick acknowledges Coach's leadership in the group.
- Nick has little respect for Ellis and constantly mocks everything about him, including his optimism and appearance, while often implying that Ellis is a stereotypical hillbilly compared to his own sophisticated street-smarts and life experience. At an extreme, in The Passing, he outright threatens to leave Ellis behind. However, his respect for Ellis does seem to grow as the story goes on; for example, in the beginning of Dark Carnival, Nick will either compliment Ellis or go back to his old habit of trying to get a rise out of Ellis. Nick deliberately makes fun of Jimmy Gibbs, Jr., knowing that it will annoy Ellis and Coach. Even so, Nick will sometimes go against the trend by asking Ellis if the Midnight Riders, Ellis and Coach's favorite band, are any good, which might be an attempt to get along with them. However, even when Ellis dies, his attitude can be negative; unless both Coach and Rochelle are dead, when Nick will say "Hey, Ellis, y'know all that shit I was saying? I was jokin', right?"
- Outgoing, friendly Ellis doesn't seem fazed by Nick's abuse, although if Nick kills a Special Infected, Ellis will suggest darkly "Why does it not surprise me that you're good with a gun?" In Dark Carnival, Ellis does seem to rub off on him a little; for example, when Ellis talks about his favorite rides, Nick will exclaim on rare occasions "Now I wanna ride one!" though this is likely sarcasm. Despite all this, they do find common ground with hating the Infected—one case being the Mudmen from Swamp Fever.
- Rochelle is the one Survivor Nick seems to like from the very start. She is the one character he will not threaten with violence if she accidentally shoots him, instead telling her firmly to stop. Sometimes, when Nick mourns for Rochelle, he will say, "I can think of two other people I would have rather seen go first," or "So much for repopulating the Earth," implying that his interest in her may be primarily reproductive and sexual, but could also just be in a belief that she was the last woman. This is disproved in The Passing with Zoey, although it is most likely to be a mistake since the campaign was released later then the game itself.
- On the other hand, Nick is utterly dismissive of Zoey, the only other uninfected female he meets in the game. After Francis takes a liking to Rochelle, Nick reacts teasingly, calling Francis her boyfriend. For her part, Rochelle acts rather ambivalently towards Nick. She is nice to him in the same way she is pleasant to everyone and can be quick to take his side in defending his shooting the Infected helicopter pilot. But in The Passing, her patience is worn out and goes as far as saying that she hates him when Nick mocks Ellis' crush on Zoey one too many times. Still, the two seem to have more in common than with the others, as they are both out-of-towners (i.e. not from Savannah, Georgia), use sarcasm freely, and (as Survivor Bots) have similar taste in weaponry (Assault Rifle variants). They stand next to each other in all of the original mission posters (with the exception of The Passing).
- Nick and Francis instantly dislike each other. At the start of The Riverbank, if Francis is present, he refers to him as a "greasy vest-wearing monkey" while Francis calls him "Suit" or "Colonel Sanders". Notably, in one statement, Nick will "articulate" and slowly speak while cursing as if he was insulting him. During The Passing, Nick will refer to their mission as to "lower the bridge and kick the biker's ass," and will sometimes try to get Ellis to help him, by telling him that "He probably took Jimmy Gibbs Jr. and is driving away right now." Nick also shows a great distrust of Francis, believing he will not keep his word to lower the bridge. Later on, they may exchange more insults when they meet again. However, during their alliance against the horde of infected at the finale, when Francis throws pain pills/adrenaline shots like the other original survivors do, and then Nick grabs it, Nick may thank Francis for it, and Nick may "compliment" Francis, saying "Why does it not surprise me you're good with a gun" when Francis kills a special infected, and at the end, Nick is close to thanking Francis for lowering the bridge and may sometimes express concern for the trio. If Francis mentions losing a man, Nick may apologize for their loss.
- Like Francis, Nick and Zoey dislike each other from their very first meeting. Nick is to blame by insulting and patronizing her, calling her "cupcake" and asking if there is a "man" up there they can talk to. Not surprisingly, Zoey responds in kind to Nick's uncalled-for boorishness. She even threatens to hurt or kill him, causing Nick to back down and say that he was merely joking. Zoey, like Francis, disparagingly refers to Nick as "Colonel Sanders", on account of his white suit.
- Nick teases Ellis mercilessly for his crush on Zoey, even going so far as suggest he [Nick] is the better man to look after Zoey's physical needs and that Ellis should get Zoey's name tattooed on his butt. When they meet up again in the finale of The Port, Zoey is the most reluctant to help Nick, but supports him along with the others once the finale commences.
- Nick seems to have a dismissive attitude about Louis, which the latter notices. Because of this, Nick is the only Survivor Louis dislikes and the latter will occasionally agree with Francis, saying he is right the cold shoulder and thinks Bill would've shot [Nick] by that time. Nick is also the only Survivor Louis does not wish good luck to at the end of The Passing. However, Nick seems to appreciate Louis' shooting skills, and offers to leave Ellis behind so that Louis can come along to New Orleans. At the end, Louis moderates his dislike for Nick, even if he still does not remember his name.
Nick will eventually apologize to the original Survivors for his rude behavior, which they acknowledge by warning him about incoming Infected, helping him and the other Survivors out, and bidding them all farewell when they depart for New Orleans.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- In the commentary for Left 4 Dead 2, the developers state that Nick's character was originally an escaped prisoner that stole a nice suit, but he was eventually adapted into his current con-man persona. It is probable that he is still a convicted felon, as Nick can make a remark to the effect that he's not legally allowed to own firearms ― a constitutional right Americans only lose if convicted of a felony or some misdemeanors involving a weapon.
- This is supported by the fact that when in The Swamp, Nick may sometimes state that brains come out of a suit but swamp water doesn't, and then tells the others to not ask him how he knows that.
- Also supporting this is when approaching the wedding area on The Riverbank, he may state "This brings back some bad memories," or that "it's not easy to get blood out of a wedding dress", which hints at some violent incident on his wedding day.
- In The Hotel, he also says sometimes when healing another Survivor "Hold still, I've done this before", suggesting that Nick someday took a part in gunfight and then had to help either himself or someone else.
- Other quotes such as when he revives Survivors in a non-chaotic time he may say "Relax, I've seen worse.", supporting the above quote.
- Sometimes when Nick picks up a baseball bat, he will state it brings back some good memories. When asked by Coach if he played ball, Nick will respond with "bouncer at a nightclub", indicating he beat on a bouncer at a nightclub with a bat (which may have resulted in a felony charge that lost him his right to carry a firearm), or was a bouncer himself.
- A similar event occurs if he picks up a crowbar, stating "This feels good.", suggesting that he had unlawfully entered a residental and/or commercial building.
- Nick is the only current Survivor who retained his appearance from either beta screenshots or trailers out of all the playable Survivors in Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.
- The only difference between the stages is his clothes were given some dirt and hints of blood.
- After hearing the sound of a Witch crying, Nick will sometimes say "sounds like my Ex-Wife." implying he was once married.
- All of Nick's new lines in The Passing are Francis's gray color with captions on, much like Louis and Zoey's new lines in Crash Course.
- Until January 18, 2013, Nick was the only new Survivor capable of properly naming ammo piles as ammo, rather than as weapons or guns like the rest of Survivors. After said update, they all now refer to the piles properly.
- However, this issue still exists on the 360 version.
- In the Zombie Survival Guide trailer, Nick is seen wielding weapons in either his left or right hands at different times, possibly meaning he is ambidextrous.
- In the Zombie Survival Guide trailer, he never holds a Tier 2 weapon. He is only, briefly, seen with a Silenced Submachine Gun when fighting a Tank on The Bridge.
- Nick bears the same symbol on a ring of his as Francis has on one of his tattoos (seen to the right).
- When a Tank attacks in Dead Center, Nick will sometimes say that perhaps if they do not move, the Tank will not notice them, or "we have a problem." This is possibly referencing a scene from the 1993 movie Jurassic Park.
- Nick may be from the North, as he one of his quotes says that "Why couldn't I have been in Vegas when the Infection hit? Or Atlantic City? Instead, I am trapped in some hillbilly Tunnel of Love", and is always sarcastic to Ellis.
- If a Hunter pounces Rochelle during the first two chapters of Dead Center, Nick may say "Get that zombie off him!", even though Rochelle is a woman.
- During the first two chapters of Dead Center, Nick may occasionally say "One of those little Jockey bastards is around.", even though like all the other Survivors, refer to the Special Infected with nicknames. This either implies he had seen the Jockey prior to meeting the other Survivors or most likely a coding error.
- He is referred to as "gambler" in the game's files.
- Nick is the only Left 4 Dead 2 Survivor not to fall for Francis' claims of being a cop. If he did not speak to Francis at the beginning, he is quick to realize that the Left 4 Dead Survivors are not cops at the finale.
- Before August, 2011, there was an in-game glitch when Nick would die; Ellis and Coach become silent, even if said Survivor is pounced by a Hunter, caught by a Jockey, etc. They'd talk again when Nick comes back to life (i.e. saved from a closet or a defibrillator used on him).
- In an in-game vote, Nick came out joint-top with Ellis as people's favorite character, both getting 33% of the vote for PC players. He came in second place on the 360 version, with Ellis placing first.
- One of Nick's quotes could be a possible reference to The Simpsons. Sometimes when healing a teammate, he will say, "Let Doctor Nick fix you up." In The Simpsons, Doctor Nick is a cheap doctor, often not knowing many relevant things about medical treatment. This could also be further proof towards Nick having previous experience with medical kits, as he will also sometimes say, "Just relax, I've done this before," when he uses his first aid kits early in the game.
- There is an oversight in one of Nick's quotes. If a Jockey rides Rochelle, Nick will say "Ten bucks says he takes him to the right", despite Rochelle not being a man.
- Another quote could be a possible reference to the short-lived TV series Arrested Development. Sometimes, if attacked by his fellow Survivors, he will say, "Are you really shooting at the guy in the $3,000 suit? COME ON!" This exclamation highly resembles numerous quotes made by Will Arnett's character, G.O.B. Bluth, where he will proclaim a random monetary value followed by "COME ON!" (i.e. "The worst that could happen is that I spill coffee all over my $3,000 suit! COME ON!")
- Along with Bill, Nick has claw marks on his body; but in this case, they are on his chest. They may have been from the Infected, most likely from a Witch, or are just keeping up his appearance as a ladies' man.
- Similar to Louis and Zoey, Nick is always seen standing next to Rochelle in every campaign poster (Except The Passing).
- Nick is the only Survivor to be wearing the same outfit in both the E3 trailer and in-game.
- In The Passing Finale, If Nick were to meet the L4D1 survivors first, before any of the other L4D2 survivors, the L4D1 survivors will NOT acknowledge him.
- ↑ http://www.l4d.com/survivors/nick/
- ↑ "Don't worry, I've done this before"
- ↑ Nick: "Shit! This swamp water's gonna ruin my white suit."
Rochelle: [laughs] "The white suit with zombie brains all over it? That one?"
Nick: "Brains come out; swamp water doesn't. Don't ask me how I know that."
Coach: "Hell, sometimes it's best not to find out what you don't know."
- ↑ Nick: "Coach, a germ just wiped out the whole planet. So yes."
- ↑ Nick: Y'know, I don't have a problem leaving the car—and you—behind. Okay, Ellis?
- ↑ Nick: "Don't sweat it, at least you got us out of that mall."
- ↑ "I didn't think you'd last this long."
- ↑ Ellis: "Yo, I got a new thing I hate: mud people."
Nick: I'm with Ellis; I hate these mud people."
- ↑ Nick: "Ro! Just—Just stop, alright?"
- ↑ "That biker guy better still be here."
- ↑ "You three take care of yourself...and thanks."
- ↑ "Boo hoo, I don't know what to do… Go to hell, Colonel Sanders!"
- ↑ "I could shoot you where you stand."
- ↑ "Would you lighten up? …Man, nobody can take a joke anymore…"
- ↑ "Ellis, did you get that girl's name? 'Cause I can tattoo it on your ass. She'll like that."
- ↑ "Fine sure, you need to go fill it up with the gas cans. Good luck to you, even if you are acting like that."
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