- "Zoey unfolded into an everyday young woman who everyone can relate to."
- ―Andrea Wicklund, Valve.
- "No one left behind, right?"
Zoey is one of the four playable Survivors in Left 4 Dead. Her original design was based on Alesia Glidewell, who also worked with Valve on Portal as a model for the character Chell. However, when the character designs were updated later in development, Zoey was made to resemble actress/model Sonja Kinski instead. In official media, she is usually seen wielding dual Pistols or a Sniper Rifle.
Zoey, along with Louis and Francis, appears in Left 4 Dead 2 in the campaign The Passing as they meet with the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors. Unlike her attitude in Left 4 Dead, she comes off as somewhat more serious and, at times, angry. This is probably due to the fact that she is hit very hard by Bill's death.
Zoey's facial features are portrayed by Sonja Kinski and she is voiced by Jen Taylor.
|After spending her first semester holed up in a dorm room watching old horror movies, Zoey was given a choice: Stop fooling around and get her grades up, or drop out. Now that the planet's overrun with murderous zombies, and all of her professors are dead, Zoey at least has the cold comfort that she's been studying up on the right subject after all.|
Zoey was once a student at Aldrich in Philadelphia under a scholarship to become a filmmaker but instead of attending classes, she spent her time watching horror films and justified this to her upset mother as doing some "research". She got her love for this film genre from her father who introduced her to movies featuring zombies, slasher murderers and extra terrestrials at a young age. Her father, Wade, wished for her to become a police officer like himself, often taking her to shooting ranges to get her into some practice. These actions caused tension between her divorced parents one night and started a heated argument between the two regarding their daughter's future.
The argument was short lived however when an Infected suddenly found his way into their living room and attacked Zoey's mother, Carolyn. Her father was able to kill the Infected but not before it savaged Zoey's mother. Holding Carolyn in his arms, Wade commanded Zoey to call for an ambulance. Zoey came back to witness her father being mauled by her mother, who then noticed her daughter's presence and quickly lunged at her. Fortunately before she could reach Zoey, Wade shot her in the back of the head. His last request was for Zoey to kill him before he became an Infected. She then reached for her father's gun and after a heart breaking "I love you dad", she pulled the trigger. Weeks later, Zoey was shocked to discover that her father may have been a Carrier and the mercy-killing could have been in vain.
Relationships with other Survivors
WARNING: The following is conjecture and may not be considered canon.
Overall, Zoey is perhaps treated the kindest by the other Survivors.
- In many ways, Zoey and Bill have a father-daughter relationship. When the tragedy of her parents' deaths is revealed, she hugs him for comfort and later she is seen resting on his shoulder in the evacuation vehicle. Bill generally seems to be slightly more emotional when Zoey dies compared to the others. She also seems to reciprocate by caring about his well-being at all times.
- The Sacrifice comic exposes the underlying strength of Zoey and Bill's relationship when he willingly sacrifices himself to keep Zoey and the other Survivors safe. However for a while before this event, Zoey is estranged from Bill when she is shocked by how easily he left the Doctor, Jeff, and Annie to die back at Millhaven. She questions his motives and harbors doubts about the trust she has placed in him. She accuses Bill of being capable of cold-heartedly leaving his companions in the lurch if it suited his selfish interests, a charge that taciturn Bill is unable to refute in words. However, Francis has the insight to explain to Zoey that Bill does these things for the right reasons: the welfare and survival of the four of them. While not altogether swayed, she finally understands how much Bill cared for her and the others through the act of sacrificing his life to give them a chance to escape from a land overrun with Infected. Thereafter Zoey takes up Bill's principle of "We look after our own". Since they cannot save everyone, the Survivors must save themselves: to which end she adopts Bill's plan, and together with the others, sails to The Keys.
- In The Passing, unlike Francis and Louis, she shows how badly Bill's death has affected her. She rarely speaks of it and takes on an uncharacteristically serious demeanor when she does so. Her aggressive and abrupt way of dealing with the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors also hints at an innately warm-hearted young woman's struggle to cope with Bill's demise, the guilt she may be experiencing in relation to the events leading up to it; all on top of post-combat stress. Her tone is also notably more commanding and assertive than at any other time previously and this, together with the deference displayed by Louis and Francis, suggests that she has at least partially occupied a team leadership role in the immediate aftermath of Bill's death.
- Originally Valve intended Zoey and Francis to have a romantic attraction but this was deemed to be "distracting" by play-testers and was subsequently removed. Nevertheless elements of this nascent relationship are evident since she often pokes gentle fun at Francis and plays off his tough but gauche (I hate...) life-values, for example:  ("Groovy" replaying a line he'd used previously).
- In The Passing she is baffled by Rochelle's attraction to Francis and claims this makes her want to throw up. On the other hand she finds it cute that Francis, despite his tough guy persona, still has "that side of him" when he flirts back with Rochelle.
- Zoey tends to tease him from time to time They usually have more conversations with one another relative to the other Survivors. She becomes a little more emotional when he dies.
- In The Passing, she shows concern for his injury, mentioning to the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors they have a wounded man up there. If she sacrifices herself in The Sacrifice she will tell him that he was always a friend.
- Zoey and Coach do not have much interaction. Although Coach will sometimes jokingly pick on Ellis for his crush on her.
- On their first encounter (when Ellis crumbles into tongue-tied, love-struck embarrassment) she is never anything other than "all business". However on their second encounter near the end of the campaign, Zoey thaws somewhat and may wistfully wonder if she will ever see Ellis again or whether if it would have been a better idea to team up with Ellis' group. To some extent Zoey reciprocates this attraction but not to anything like the same degree as Ellis. Zoey seems to be somewhat attracted to Ellis because of their close age, his friendliness and him being open, as well as his outlook and life experience. She mentions his name the most out of all the Survivors and calls out his name twice as he is leaving, wondering wistfully whether she should have asked him to join her group or gone with him. In a downcast tone she says "I'm going to miss Ellis," and "I hope I'll see him again.". Zoey will also playfully mimic Ellis' Keith stories as he is leaving.
- Zoey and Nick do not get along at first. This is due to Nick's innately patronizing, rude attitude that she experiences right from the moment of first acquaintance when he insults her at the beginning of The Riverbank, calling her "Cupcake" and asking if there's a "man" up there he can talk to. She responds in kind with sarcastic helplessness and snaps "I could shoot you where you stand." or "Go to hell, Colonel Sanders!" (the founder of KFC, who wore a white suit similar to Nick's). Nick will then sometimes claim that he was just joking around and how nobody can take a joke anymore (despite the zombie apocalypse), however, he is unaware at the time that Zoey was coping with Bill's death. However, on their second encounter at The Port, Nick seems to actually appreciate her help more by thanking and commenting Zoey when she kills the Special Infected or when she throws items from her during the finale.
- Zoey and Rochelle will often exclaim to one another how they are relieved they are to find another woman still alive. They compliment or thank the other's Special Infected kills during the finale, and Zoey seems happy to throw Rochelle an item. However, she is baffled by the idea that Rochelle has feelings for Francis.
Quotes and Captions
- The name "Zoey" is a variant from Zoe which means "life" in Greek. It was borne by two early Christian saints of the Byzantine and Roman Catholic Church.
- Zoey is referred to as 'teenangst' and 'teengirl' in the two games' resources.
- Zoey has a unique healing animation from the other three Survivors. While they do the usual wrap around the arm and leg bandage, Zoey wraps the bandage around her arm and bites a piece off. She then reaches down and wraps her leg, pulling it tightly afterwards. This animation was absent in the initial porting of the original campaigns into Left 4 Dead 2, but was later restored with the release of the ported version of Death Toll.
- Although nearly 12 inches shorter than Francis's 6 foot 5 inches and possessing a petite physique, Zoey's physical strength and combat skills are precisely at par with his (and the other two male Survivors). This is a deliberate game design parameter common to all Survivors' in-game characters. It was put in by Valve during development to circumvent the incremental cost associated with character modeling complexity whist injecting equity equivalence into player character selection choice decisions.
- Zoey was picked by the 56% (and so, the most voted one) of Left 4 Dead 2 players who voted in Week 15's survey as "the thing you would pick to be beside you on a boat to an Infected free island".
- Zoey was picked by 34% of PC players and 28% of Xbox 360 players for Week 19's survey, "Whose back story are you most interested in?", earning 1st and 2nd place accordingly in comparison to the other Survivors and platform. Zoey also emerged as the most-favorite survivor amongst PC-playing survey participants and ranked second to Ellis as most favorite character with Xbox 360 playing respondents.
- Zoey's voice actor, Jen Taylor, had voiced Princess Peach and sometimes Toad from the Mario series as seen here. She also voiced Cortana and Dr. Halsey from the Halo series.
- Zoey first re-used Nick's skeleton in The Passing. In the Left 4 Dead 2 ports of The Sacrifice DLC she re-used Rochelle's animations, but eventually got her own ones back with the release of Death Toll after sharp criticisms arose from players regarding her animations.
- In the comic, Zoey is seen to be ambidextrous.
- Zoey will sometimes say "Anything for you Louis," although she didn't do anything for him; this is a glitch or oversight, and most often occurs upon healing the latter with a First Aid kit.
- Ellie from The Last Of Us has a few similarities to Zoey, as both seem to have immunities to their in-world diseases, yet still carry them, and both wear red clothes, jeans, and sneakers, and have similar hairdos.
Behind the Scenes
- Zoey's beta appearance was relatively different than her original design. In the beta, Zoey had longer hair, a pink hoodie with what appears to be ammo straps on it, gloves, khaki-green baggy shorts, white and reddish-pink striped stockings, boots, and knee pads. Zoey sounded older in early footage of the game. See this video for an example.
- In an early trailer, Zoey was incapacitated by a Tank.
- ↑ http://l4d.com/l4d/survivors.htm
- ↑ "Aghh...not [tearing up] Zoey." --Bill
- ↑ "Francis, I know how to cut hair. Just sayin'...if you need it...I'm here." --Zoey
- ↑ "Louis... You'd look good in one of those hospital gowns."
- ↑ "Hey Louis? Try not to get lost."
- ↑ "Louis! Oh God, I can't believe it!"
- ↑ "You ready to meet Zoey now, Ellis?" --Coach
- ↑ "Ellis! Ellis! ...Maybe we should have brought him with us?" --Zoey
- ↑ "Did I ever tell you about the time my buddy Ellis stole a car from the mall and ran over some zombies?" --Zoey
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