The original Left 4 Dead released in November 2008 was where I first fell in love with the franchise. The release of Left 4 Dead 2 with new improvements and campaigns furthered my affection for that universe. There was always talk of the two games being connected in some way and “The Passing” bridged that story just a bit. But what about the original 4 Survivors? What of Zoey, Bill, Francis and Louis? For many fans of the series it was their stories that needed to be told and Valve was kind enough to unleash “The Sacrifice”, a playable DLC campaign as well as an online comic that told some of their backstories and the eventual conclusion of their journey as a team. This of course, *Spoiler Alert* culminated in Bill’s heroic death in the comic.
Now that the comic is finished I have compiled my top 5 favorite moments in “The Sacrifice” comic. Please be warned there will be SPOILERS ahead. Please check out the sidebar in the left for referring comic pages. Let’s start off with #5:
#5: Bill. Stop the train. (Part 3 – Francis, pages 127-128)
I thought this was a very poignant moment between Zoey and Bill. Shortly before this Zoey had sought comfort in Bill’s arms when she flashbacked to her memory of her parents’ death. Though the group’s time together has been relatively short, a closeness has developed between them all especially between Zoey and Bill. Bill’s decision to leave those not of the group to their own fates shows how fragile relationships can be in a world where the undead rule. For Zoey to react the way that she did to Bill’s decision displays how hurt and somewhat betrayed she feels. And if you look at Bill’s eyes in the lower left frame of page 128, you could interpret that look as one of sadness for having Zoey be furious at him.
#4: Have the Whiskey Deltas been…changing? (Part 2 – Zoey, pages 52-54)
These pages were great because it shows off perfectly the relationship between Francis and Louis. While Francis likes to crack inapproriate jokes and cause trouble, Louis is more grounded in the moment and more serious. And with the two of them stuck in a room together it’s inevitable a scene like this would play out in which their personalities would bounce off one another to make light of an obviously dire situation. Francis claiming vampires have appeared really made the scene that much more enjoyable.
#3: Clean hands save lives. – CEDA (Part 1 – Louis, page 37)
Louis sitting outside on the ledge where the glass window used to be overlooking a ruined Philadelphia instantly captures the Left 4 Dead universe in my mind. To the left a poster from CEDA claiming “Clean hands saves lives.” marks the irony of the situation Louis and the rest of the country are in. In the distance a fire is alight on a roof which means either someone is burning bodies up there or a fire has gone out of control in the building. In the foreground Louis is in a disheveled shirt and tie with a dead zombie lying next to him, as weird as this may sound, is a reaction I’d expect in a lot of people. Imagine being one person in a swarm of the undead; it would be traumatic to most. Louis’ posture of indifference, or even hopelessness, is an accurate portrayal of people not knowing what to do when faced with the impossible.
#2: Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! That’s a witch! (Part 2 – Zoey, page 78-79)
I absolutely loved when the Witch showed up on page 78. Her hair and skin deathly pale with blood flowing from her claws due to a recent kill; it’s a brutal and perfect intro to one of the deadliest Special Infected in the franchise. The last three frames of page 79 are silent which best describes a typical encounter with a Witch in-game. That is unless you have something to crown her with.
#1: Zoey. Louis. Francis. You’re safe. (Part 1 – Louis, pages 1-4)
My favorite part in the entire comic. Bill’s willingness to sacrifice himself for the others showed, despite their differences, his affection for them even in the short time they’ve been together. It wasn’t a needless act of self-destruction that caused Bill to volunteer to activate bridge but a need to protect. Those 3 were the that last bit of family he had left and he did what he had to make sure they stayed whole. Bill would echo this sentiment later on in the series, though more harshly, when he says “We look after our own.”
There are a lot more scenes in the comic that I enjoyed and I’m sure Valve will have more content to give us of the zombie-filled Left 4 Dead universe. Maybe we’ll see another story but of the new Survivors or even an epilogue to the remaining original Survivors. What are your favorite parts in the comics or stuff that has happened to you in the games?