| Chapter 1|
|Dead Center Chapter Chronology|
- For the actual in-game hotel, see The Vannah.
The four new Survivors start on top of a hotel, The Vannah, which was once an evacuation center but has now been swarmed by the Infected. The Survivors arrive just in time to witness the last evacuation helicopter lifting off to a different location and, in the absence of any other option, form a group to fight their way to safety. They enter the hotel with the immediate objective of reaching a safe room on the hotel's ground floor. On their way down, they face repeated Infected attacks, discover that New Orleans is the primary evacuation center, flee through burning-floor levels, experience the benefits of Bile Bombs and introduce themselves to one another in an elevator with malfunctioning doors.
Also see: Tactics
All campaign walkthroughs are done on Normal difficulty in single player, and are meant to give tips on what to do and generally point out things that might otherwise be missed.
There are, of course, a few key things to always remember:
- Stop, look, and listen.
- This cannot be stressed enough. Left 4 Dead is supposed to be a cooperative game. Communicate with your teammates, if you're playing with others, or if you're by yourself with the AI, point out things they might otherwise miss. In all cases, watch out for each other and take care of each other. You are not going to survive the zombie apocalypse by yourself.
- Be ready for anything.
- Don't panic.
The Green Flu has just hit the country. Will the Survivors make it to safety?
Axes, Crowbars, four Health kits and a P220 Pistol. Once you are ready, go down the staircase and open the door. Clear any Commons that are in front of you, then go straight and make a right turn. Clear the Infected in the meeting room and close the doors behind you. That way, if a Special Infected spawns, they'll have to break the door open. It can also save health and prevent being caught off-guard by a Smoker or other Special Infected. Clear the room near the meeting room and search for items. Then clear out the other side of the floor and go to the part where the hallways intersect. Turn left, and as you get close to the wreckage, it explodes, blocking your path with more fire. Turn right to find a small room and grab any supplies. Close the door if it is there, to prevent a Smoker (if any spawn) grabbing one of you.
Be careful when you are on the ledge. Special Infected, especially Boomers, Jockeys and Chargers are the most dangerous while on the ledges. Dying Boomers can cause Survivors to stumble and hang onto the ledge, Jockeys can ride them off the ledge (the Survivor will be hanging from the ledge fortunately, unless they provide no resistance). Chargers are much more dangerous as if any Survivors in their path get sent flying, they will fly off from the ledge and many levels below, killing them instantly.
Go clear the rooms out, as there are usually supplies. Then when you're done, go down the staircase. The end of the staircase is on fire, so open the door to find another hallway.
This time, parts of the fire are burning two of the four rooms on this floor. Watch out for smoke under doors--this means that the room is on fire, so don't open it. Infected can and will break the door, releasing a wall of fire that must be bypassed by going onto the ledge. As you leave the four rooms, at the end is a lounge. Clear all the Infected out of the lounge and the room nearby and search for supplies. Special Infected do not spawn unless you jump onto the railing in the room near the lounge.
Go into the elevator and then close the elevator doors. As you reach the bottom, smoke fills the screen. When you reach the bottom, the elevator dies and you need to open the door manually. Doing so triggers the first Crescendo event. Open the door and then grab the Silenced Submachine gun on the floor in front of you. There are several strategies to deal with the Horde that arrives:
- Throw a Bile Bomb into one of the many fires. Doing so will cause all of the Infected to burn themselves and the remaining CEDA Infected (who are fireproof) can be dealt with easily.
- With the Silenced Submachine gun, place yourself in front of a fire and shoot at the Infected. The Infected tend to have trouble finding ways around the fire and will burn themselves, again, leaving only the CEDA Infected to be dealt with.
- With the Silenced Submachine gun equipped, position yourself in front of the Silenced Submachine gun respawn. When you run out of ammo, grab the next gun so you end up with a full clip quickly and efficently.
After dealing with the Crescendo, search the rooms and the burning wreckage to the left. There are usually throwables and temporary health boost items. In the security room, there is always a Health kit, and three Chrome shotguns. Keep moving until you see a burning kitchen. Jump on the metal table and proceed towards a buffet room. The room is on fire, so make your away around and watch for the Infected.
After leaving the burning buffet room, you end up at the lobby of the hotel. There are many Commons around, so throwing a Pipe Bomb or Bile bomb will help. Search the lobby before going into the safe room. Close the safe room door, and you're safe. For now...
When playing this level on Expert it is recommended to have at least two human players. Once the level starts, have one person grab Dual Pistols and the other a melee weapon. Walk down the stairs, and have the person with Pistols open the door and shoot all the Infected within the hallway, while the person with the melee weapon shoves any Infected that get close. Once the Infected are clear, run to the end of the hallway with the Pistol wielder first and melee weapon wielder second, in case any Infected follow. Stand in the very back corner of the hallway clearing out any Infected that followed you out of the room. After all of the Infected are gone, you can search the rooms, but by doing so you risk losing some health and give time for the Special Infected to spawn.
After you're done with the hallway, go into the supply closet. If you're lucky, you will find either a Defibrillator or Pain pills and possibly a Bile bomb or Pipe bomb. Once you're done with the closet, break the window north of the entrance and clear away the Infected on that side; you should be able to just melee them off the building. Use the same strategy of the Pistol wielder clearing off Common Infected on the side of the building and the melee weapon wielder killing Infected that get close. Don't look through the rooms slowly, just pass them; if you seen any items, take them quickly (usually Bile bombs or Pipe bombs).
Turn at the end of the hallway and run through, grabbing items (if they are there) on the way. (There might also be a Defibrillator in the bathroom). Have the person with the melee weapon open the door at the end of the hallway and kill any Infected that get close, while the person with Pistols watches their backs. Walk down the stairs and open the door using the same strategy once again (Survivor with Pistols clears out Infected and Survivor with melee weapon covers them).
Once the Infected are clear, go into the first door on the left and kill any Infected in that room. Run through and onto the ledge; have the Pistol wielder clear out all the Infected on the ledge and run to the room at the end. In the room there could be a Defibrillator, Pain pills, or a Pipe bomb. Once you're out into the hallway again, throw a Pipe bomb if you have one and kill off any extra Infected. If you go to the room on the right there is sometimes a Magnum on the desk next to the bed and, possibly, a Chainsaw. Either one of you can grab the Magnum, which is highly suggested, since it kills Infected in one hit on Expert, and your health is not risked by getting up close to the Infected. Search the room for Pain pills or a Bile bomb/Pipe bomb, then go into the elevator. When in the elevator, take the time to heal.
After the elevator opens, immediately go out and grab the Silenced Submachine Gun or throw a Bile bomb into one of the fires, or a Pipe bomb if you have it. You should run to the first room on the right, and in there will be a First aid kit and Chrome Shotguns. Stand at the door and kill any Infected that get close. After they are done spawning, run to the next room and kill all Infected in there. When you get to the next room, you can either throw a Pipe or Bile Bomb out the doorway into a fire (which will leave only CEDA Infected to be dealt with), or stand in front of a fire with a flashlight on. This will cause Common Infected to run into the fire and burn to death, while the CEDA Infected can be dealt with by the shotgun or magnum. Once you leave the buffet room, throw another Pipe Bomb or Bile Bomb into the lobby, as a large number of Common Infected are idling about. Clear off any stragglers and run into the safe room.
- The best way to get through the initial area is to move as fast as possible from the spawn point to get the jump on any camping Infected before they can even spawn.
- Though it is highly tempting to take the Axe or Crowbar and cut your way through the Infected, it is generally better for most of the team to take Pistols, as it allows you to keep the Common Infected and Special Infected like the Spitter and the Boomer at a distance. Those with melee weapons often have to wait for the Infected to come to them down the longer corridors, making them sitting ducks; those with Pistols can pick them off from further away much faster.
- When moving down the corridors and clearing out rooms be very careful of Spitters and Boomers which can easily slow a team down and take off massive damage in the close quarters.
- It is strongly recommended to watch out for Chargers, Smokers, and even Boomers (whose blast, when killed, can knock you over the edge) while on a ledge in the hotel. If the Survivor team is only equipped with melee weapons, a Smoker on the ledge below the first ledge can defeat an entire team of Survivors, or force a team to leave a member behind. Therefore at least two Survivors should be packing Pistols (if there's only one Survivor with Pistols that should be the first person a Smoker goes for).
- When around the ledges always stay on the lookout for the Jockey and the Charger as these are capable of getting instant incapacitations or kills in some circumstances by throwing Survivors off the ledge.
- Once you get the Silenced Submachine Guns and Chrome Shotguns on the ground floor you can breathe easier - you now have the firepower to repel most Infected attacks and are close to the safe room.
- Watch out for the flames! They can really ruin your day, especially if a Jockey pulls you into them.
They're new to the apocalypse, but you aren't! Make sure they make the mistakes that the original 4 didn't!The Hotel is a complex and difficult series of rooms and fire. The Survivors have to walk in areas that are potentially harmful to both teams. There are plenty of instant kill spots, but do realize that you have to have precise aim, perfect timing and most of the time, luck, to kill a Survivor and not just have them hanging or miss. Also note that the Survivors have to go off on the ledge once, but if possible, you can make them have to attempt the feat again. The floor with the elevator has two doors leading to rooms filled with fires. If the doors are open, the fire leaks into the hallway, blocking their path. Do note that clawing the door open will set you on fire, so only take the risk if you know what you or your team are doing. Be very careful when spawning downstairs. The fires don't "appear" until the elevator gets close, and once you spawn, you may start taking damage because you were standing in a fire you couldn't see. Look at the ground for the darker "charred" areas when spawning.
Chargers: There are several areas where you can excel in this level, but you must know how to charge correctly. The hallway where the Survivors first encounter the Infected and the hallway with the Elevator posses a low hanging window and enough room to charge Survivors down to a seven or eight story fall, which is enough to kill them. However, the window is quite small, that even an inch off will result you hitting the window pane and causing minor damage. If you have time, line up properly in spawn mode before attempting the charge. There is also a hallway, which is blocked off, forcing the Survivors to walk on the ledge. It is very easy to charge them off the side to their death if set up correctly. There are also plenty of areas where you can bowl through Survivor teams, giving you enough time to at least damage a Survivor. In the burning area of the building, attempt to push Survivors into the fire or hit them when they are grouped close together. Sometimes, these situations call for you to charge through the fire anyway, which will surprise and confuse the enemy team, possibly long enough to get some lethal damage in.
Smokers: Indoors is not prime Smoker territory, to do well here Smokers have to think outside the box. Attempt to grab straggling Survivors to hold up the group or attack any Survivor attempting to rescue a friend from incapacitation, hanging, or another Infected. There are ways, although quite difficult to achieve, to pull Survivors off the edge of the building. If you can drag a Survivor off the edge using the closet that sticks out the side of the building, then just give yourself a pat on the back for doing so. If you hide on the third-highest floor's ledge, you can grab Survivors moving along the edge. If your teammates manage to keep the Survivors there for a while, the Smoker can pull down more than one Survivor. However, downstairs in the fire is your best place, as dragging Survivors into the flames will have dire consequences to both the victim and the rescuer, especially if you managed to down your target.
Jockeys: Although there are several areas you can ride Survivors off ledges, think about the idea for a second. If a Survivor is not resisting, you can pull them off to their death, however, if they are resisting, they will hang on to the ledge. This will result in the Survivor dangling while the Jockey falls to his death. And if you only pull them off when the other Survivors aren't that close or when your special Infected buddies aren't covering you, your victim can be pulled up with only a minor scratch; leaving your Infected team a player down for some time with the Survivors at the same health. Only attempt to pull off other players when they aren't resisting or when they are far away from their team. In other cases, ride the Survivors into rooms that can provide you cover, as the Common Infected and your constant scratching will do more then a failed suicide drop. As always, attempt to get the last Survivor of the group, single bile-covered Survivors or the only clean Survivor if their teammates have been boomed. Once the Survivors are on the burning ground floor, you can pull the weaker Survivors into the fire, resulting in extra damage and possibly incapacitating them inside the flame. Do note that even though they receive damage from a burning floor and a Jockey, you will also be damaged by the fire. This tactic may backfire if you grab a healthy Survivor or if you are weak. If this is the case, simply ride them as far back as you can take them. If you cannot go for incapacitation or distance, just buy time for your team to respawn.
Hunters: Much like Smokers, the indoors will not treat you well. High damage dealt to Survivors will only be caused by pinning them, your claw attack, or catching one of them far away from his or her team. Watch the situation, and remember, when you stand, you are silent. When Survivors are covered in Boomer bile, simply scratching their back will do a significant amount of damage while they shoot away the regular Infected. They may not even notice you, but remember, before the elevator, they will only have melee weapons, Pistols or a Magnum. Use this to plan whom to target with which attack. Try clawing the firearm wielding Survivors while leaving the melee weapon wielding ones to other Infected that can attack from a distance (the Charger or Smoker). When it comes to using your pounce, only attempt to pounce the lone wolf or lagging behind Survivors, to do enough damage before the rescuers can get to them. When it comes time for the elevator portion, the fire below (although it seems like a static source) is really a dynamic type of fire. Setting yourself on fire and pouncing a Survivor can deal more damage then simply attacking them alone. Do note that this will kill you due to your health being burned away. There is one thing that should be decided: when a Hunter sees a Survivor in the fire, to pounce or not to pounce. While the fire will activate your extra damage, and while the fire will burn the Survivor's health too, do note that an Infected who stands in the source of the fire will lose more health then one who is just on fire. Pouncing those in the fire will always depend on the situation (what is your health; what is that Survivor's health; what is the distance between that Survivor and the others; will your Infected buddies be backing you up, etc). If you feel the options are good, you can take the pounce. As always, the Hunters do well based on the situation. If you can manage to make it into the safe room without being seen and you don't charge up a pounce, you can remain unheard and unseen by the Survivors as you delay the round end. The Survivors will often try opening and closing the safe room door repeatedly in an attempt to fix it, allowing your teammates to scrape off that little (or big) bit of health needed.
Spitters: A Spitter's main goal should always be to damage Survivors that are unaware or to buy time by blocking paths Survivors must go. However, given that this level is very straight-forward, you will probably be seen by a Survivor once you spit, and it is likely that you will die once they see you. Pick your spit times carefully. When Survivors are distracted by a horde or a Special Infected that captures a friend, spit to add extra damage and force them to change their plans on the spot. However, there are times when the Survivors will simply bolt through the level, getting as much distance as they can. A single spit puddle down their only path will most likely stop them as they would not want to receive any extra (and possibly unneeded damage), buying your team time. Also, when the spit is fired, most Survivors attempt to " jump out" of the puddle, whether or not they are in it to begin with (so long as they don't see the actual goo on the floor). Use this to your advantage and try spitting on areas near fire or on the ledges; you would be surprised at the panic the goo will induce. As for downstairs during the Gauntlet Crescendo, the same rules apply. The smoke should give you better cover, but don't rely too heavily on it. Remember, bile-covered Survivors distracted with a horde can take extreme damage if you add some of your goo to their feet. Especially, if they are crowded in one room. If you already spat under their feet and one Survivor is already Incapacitated while the Boomered Survivors are still fighting the horde nearby, you could let them shoot you making the acid hit all the Survivors doing an extra large amount of damage.
Boomers: Before the Survivors reach the elevator, you should know what weapons the enemy is wielding. Some Survivor teams might grab all melee weapons (especially if the Magnum doesn't spawn), leaving them vulnerable to your bile-spreading explosions. However, players that wield Pistols and Magnums should be vomited on through instant spawn and vomit techniques, or avoided at all costs. You should also note if any CEDA Worker Infected are carrying Bile bombs, and if any Survivors themselves find Bile bombs. Bile from Boomers has a higher priority over bile from Bile bombs, which is not common knowledge. Survivors may throw Bile bombs in response to being covered by vomit from Boomers, which will not only get them to waste their supply of Bile bombs, but be helpful during the fire portion of the map and later on, once they run out of Bile bombs completely. When the Survivors are walking on the ledges of the building, your explosion can knock them off into their hanging state. A risky strategy is to light yourself on fire before you attack the Survivors. This way, even if they do not shoot you, your health will most likely hit 0 at the time they go to melee you. This must be done extremely close to the Survivors, since fire eats away at 50 health really fast. (One deadly strategy- as all players tend to push the Boomer away with a shove during this section- is to take damage from another Infected to lower your health, which will cause you to explode earlier than the Survivors expect.) During the burning building portion, your main goal should still be to cover Survivors in the bile, not because it attracts the horde (as only the CEDA Worker Infected will reach the Survivors without burning, and even then, can be killed quickly), but to blind the the Survivors. Given the low visibility they suffer due to the smoke, they may not notice that a Survivor has been showered, or may not be able to tell the difference between one who has been showered or one who is taking damage from another Special Infected. They may also panic thinking a horde may come upon them and attempt to get into a corner or stop to take care of it, leaving them or the rest of the team open to your teammates.
Tanks: You must take full advantage of the Tank if it spawns. It can do extreme damage in close quarters. If you spawn on the levels before the elevator, you will have a very easy time since the Survivors don't have any Tier 1 weapons. If you spawn after the elevator you might be out of luck, as sometimes you can spawn before the Survivors open the elevator and you will (literally) die of frustration. The most you can do is try punch them through the elevator. Do note that they may be carrying melee weapons, and they take off 5% of health of your health per swing. Hit Survivors off the building or into the fire, but avoid the fire yourself. And be very wary of Bile bombs, as the blinding effect will apply to you, and summon Common Infected to slow you down and damage you.
- The chapter starts out on a rooftop, similar to the No Mercy campaign at Left 4 Dead.
- This hotel is featured in the Zombie Survival Guide trailer, when the Survivors are seeking to get to the evacuation center.
- The Survivors will react with surprise when they spot Infected the first time in this level, indicating either:
- The route up to the roof was clear of Infected prior to this.
- They took one clear route up, and a different one down.
- The Infected changed into the violent zombies with which we are familiar, sometime between the Survivors passing them, and when they came back down.
- Errors on part of the writers/programmers; should Rochelle advise the Survivors to grab weapons, she may say "I think those things are down there, grab a weapon". In this case, the "things" are the Infected.
- Unlike Left 4 Dead, the Survivors of Left 4 Dead 2 do not know each other prior to the game's beginning, and will refer to each other with titles or nicknames, except for Coach.
- They will still refer to them through titles or nicknames even after when they introduce themselves inside the elevator, although this is most likely due to programming conflicts.
- Despite the fact that all Survivors already have a pistol in their hand, one of them will always call the others to take a weapon.
- Just after you go down the first set of stairs, there is a large room to the right that seems to be a conference room. There are many maps all along the table, all showing that the Infection has engulfed Philadelphia and half of New Jersey completely, while it appears that most other evacuation locations have small or medium outbreaks. It is assumed that these maps were created in the early stages of the Infection, as the whole plot of the game revolves around reaching the cruise ships in the Gulf of Mexico, which are apparently the only safe spots for Americans left, as the Eastern half of the US has been completely overrun. Occasionally the Survivors will comment on the map saying that the whole country has been Infected. Apparently, New Orleans is the only place where they can get out alive.
- The fires at the ground level do not appear (though they still do cause damage) until the elevator gets close to the ground floor. This is probably for optimization purposes, but Infected who spawn before the fires appear should be wary.
- In the conference room, there is a poster board dedicated to the anatomy and traits of the Boomer. Apparently, CEDA took great interest in the Boomer (which probably led to the creation of the Bile bomb).
- An interesting glitch happens if one is brought back to life while the elevator is moving. The player will float through the roof of the elevator, and if the process of bringing them back to life is completed, they will find themselves on the roof of the elevator. The player can then go through a hole in the roof of the adjacent elevator and potentially skip the crescendo event all together (with willing teammates that is). However, Special Infected may attack the lone Survivor from the opening where they entered the elevator.
- Another glitch happens during Single Player (or in Campaign with three Survivor Bots), when the player heads to the balconies outside the working elevator, and attempts to hop to the other that is next to the closed doors. If the player is hanging on the ledge, the Bots will make a very futile effort to save him/her.
- There are many special effects in this chapter. When the Survivors approach the first janitor's room, it will explode. However you can make it explode as a Special Infected by constantly clawing on the room, though it will cause you to catch on fire.
- In this chapter, the Survivors have different healing quotes that indicates their inexperience in using a health kit (except Nick, who may say when healing other Survivors, "Hold still, I've done this before" - however, this quote is still unique to first chapter of Dead Center).
- In this chapter, and in the next, Survivors will tend to call Special Infected by their appearance or special attack rather than their official name. This is probably due to the fact that they have not gotten used to, or been made aware of their "real" names yet. If a Tank or Witch is present (Versus only), they will even show their fear to the respective Special Infected in their quote.
- Lesser-experienced players may struggle to identify what kind of Special Infected their Survivor sees or hears immediately, especially when in a panic.
- There are only three times when the Survivors call the Infected's official name correctly: when Ellis spots a Boomer, he may humorously yell: "Boomer! Yeah! Boomer!"; and when Rochelle says "I hear one of those, what did you call it, a Jockey?" when hearing a Jockey.
- Nick may occasionally say "One of those little Jockey bastards is around.", which is one of his two quotes when he hears a Jockey. This of course, may be programming error since this quote is present in other chapters.
- In addition, if a Charger grabs someone or a Witch chases after someone, they will correctly name the Special Infected even though the Survivors have nicknames for the Charger and do not comment about the Witch.
- When the Survivors introduce themselves during the elevator ride, they will have some unique lines if one of the Survivors has been killed already. 
- It is possible for a Charger to charge you as soon as you exit the elevator, and to push you into the fire behind. Every now and then, you will get stuck when this happens, and you will have to make the choice of either dying, or restarting the level.
- It is possible to jump from the first ledge onto the one under it. However, this can be very difficult, and will usually leave you either hanging from the ledge or dying from the fall, so it's not recommended.
- A way to skip the first portion of the first chapter is to go to the end of the hall, where you will find a window. Break it, and hold down the jump and crouch buttons, then slowly walk towards the ledge and fall down the other floor level's window, to the working elevator.
- Note for above: If you accidentally miss a floor, and become incapacitated, the Bots (on Single Player) will either:
- A) Jump off, hit the ground and die.
- B) Hang on the ledge (two usually become incapacitated, and one usually falls to their death).
- Note for above: If you accidentally miss a floor, and become incapacitated, the Bots (on Single Player) will either:
- If the captions are on, when the chapter begins and Coach is yelling for the chopper to come back, he will shout "Hey! Come Back! Come Back! - Ah he ain't coming back" while the captions leaves out one of the 'back's, saying "Hey! Come Back! Come - Ah he ain't coming back".
- Upon reaching the safe room, there is relatively no smoke in the room. But, over time, while leaving the safe room door open, smoke will begin to accumulate until you close the door and start the next chapter.
- Also in the safe room is a medical transport timetable which only has a few of the boxes filled in. It is possible that the Infection hit the evacuation center before CEDA could establish a proper medical service.
- Even though the hotel is on fire it won't collapse or burn, even if you stay there for a very long time.
- When you first go downstairs and enter the room on the right with all the maps and some supplies, if you go out to the balcony you will see 5 rectangles when you look over the edge. If you turn on god mode and jump into these (you should shoot these first, it's glass), you will land outside the safe room.
- It is possible to have one Special Infected spawn throughout the later half of this chapter. A player must turn right to the map with New Orleans and jump on the ledge. If done correctly, a random Special Infected will spawn below in the lobby, and usually this results in a level where you will not have to worry about any Special Infected at the way.
- If an Infected smashes the first smoked door, the explosion will go off, and the door will release fire, damaging you.
- It is possible, but highly unlikely if a Bile Bomb is thrown, a stray Common Infected or two will fall from the hotel above and survive the landing. Most Commons who hit the ground from such a distance will die instantly.
- The Hunter (and maybe other Special Infected) can survive dying here by breaking a window, jumping out of it and landing just outside the white area in the grey part next to it. You won't be able to get back in, and if you touch the white area you'll die instantly.
- The Special Infected AI does not avoid the fires that are around the room. This results in Special Infected dying in the fire.
- A rare glitch will occur with the Charger in the first part of Dead Center on the ledge(s). If a Charger charges you, you will hang on the top part and the bots could help you up reaching inaccessible areas.
- Witches and Tanks will never spawn on this level during single player or online co-op campaigns for balancing reasons.
- It is impossible to escape the elevator once you hit the buttons. The only way to get out of it is to die and be defibrillated.
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u39KZJIJ7VA&annotation_id=annotation_572345&feature=iv Scene at 1:21
- ↑ "So who did we lose?"-Coach