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Introduction - Left 4 Dead 2 Bosses
When Valve released Left 4 Dead 2, the company added several new features to the game. Perhaps one of the most significant was the increased number of boss zombies that would seek to bring down the new cast of survivors.
Left 4 Dead 2 bosses – those special infected zombies players will come across – include tweaked versions of those five special infected zombies found in the original game, but in addition to these Valve also created three new bosses for the survivors to deal with, with each of the new special infected displaying original mutations and abilities. A further special infected zombie was introduced with The Passing DLC issued by Valve.
This article provides a brief guide to each of the special infected which Valve introduced into Left 4 Dead 2 and The Passing campaign.
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New Left 4 Dead 2 Bosses: The Boomette
While the original – if slightly altered in appearance – Boomer reappears in Left 4 Dead 2, Valve also introduced the Boomette. The Boomette is, in essence, the female equivalent of the Boomer and so to all intents and purposes possesses the same attributes as the male Boomer.
The Boomette emits a higher-pitched gurgling noise than the male and sounds more swine-like. Primary attacks from Boomettes are the same as those from Boomers – a jet of bile which temporarily blinds Survivors, while also attracting a horde of common infected.
Boomettes also have a secondary claw attack which deals a small amount of damage, while shooting a Boomette will cause her to explode and shower the surrounding area in bile; much like the primary attack. The explosion will also deliver a knock-back effect to those caught in the blast radius.
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New Left 4 Dead 2 Bosses: The Charger
As with other special infected, the Charger emits a distinctive, loud bark-and-howl; almost like a canine. He will also screech upon spotting Survivors or when beginning a charge.
When charging, a Charger will run quickly forward towards the Survivors and will grab the first one he charges into, carrying him beyond the rest of the group. The Charger’s run will continue until it collides with a solid object – a wall, a dumper, a car etc – which will stop the charge. The Charger will then repeatedly slam the hapless survivor into the ground until he or she is dead, or the Survivor’s team-mates kill the Charger.
Chargers are especially dangerous in confined spaces, such as corridors or alleys where the Survivors can be scattered; in open spaces, where a grabbed Survivor can be carried a considerable distance from their team-mates; or where instant kills are possible by Survivors falling off ledges, walls or rooftops etc, such as the riverboat instance in ‘Swamp Fever’. However, when Charging, they cannot change direction until they encounter a solid object and so can be side-stepped relatively easily.
Chargers are not affected by melee attacks, unlike most other special infected and can often be confused with Tanks from a distance.
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New Left 4 Dead 2 Bosses: The Jockey
Most players will agree that the Jockey special infected is the most annoying in the game. The Jockey is much smaller than the other Left 4 Dead 2 bosses in the game. Valve designed the Jockey to work in tandem with the Spitter, so if you encounter one, the other isn’t likely to be too far away.
Jockeys seek to clamber onto the backs of Survivors and can jump reasonably lengthy distances in order to do so. Once on a Survivor’s back, the Jockey will steer the player away from his team-mates and towards pursuing common infected, or into the area of effect of another special infected attack, such as spitter goo; sometimes even into an instant-kill situation by steering the Survivor off an edge, wall or building roof.
Once a Jockey has mounted a Survivor, the survivor is helpless until the Jockey is knocked off or killed. Jockeys can be shot or melee attacked, but be sure to be accurate as the Survivor may also take damage from the rescue attempt.
Jockeys control the direction of a Survivor’s movement relative to the direction in which the survivor is facing. As such, survivors can attempt to influence the Jockey’s path by steering themselves towards obstacles which might slow down movement.
Jockeys are easily identifiable as they emit a maniacal laugh as they approach. They can also deal small amounts of claw damage when mounted on a Survivor or when they are too close to be able to leap up.
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Bosses in Left 4 Dead 2: The Spitter
Spitters can decimate an entire party of Survivors, due in large to their ability to ‘spit’ a highly corrosive ball of acid which can cover large areas of the map. This acid deals large amounts of damage very quickly and so Survivors should always be aware and seek to avoid contact with the acid wherever possible.
Because the Spitter ‘bomb’ is a projectile, it can be launched from distance and so it is often the case that Survivors won’t be alert to the Spitter’s presence until a globule of acid has been launched. Listen carefully, however, as Spitters emit a faint squealing noise making them difficult to hear but a more volumous hacking sound when spitting. They often leave a short trail of acid in their wake as they move.
When a Spitter launches a globule, it will smash on impact, spreading its payload around the area. The acid deals large amounts of damage, and continues to deal damage even if a survivor tries to jump out of the pool, or runs through it. However, getting onto higher ground – tables, dumpsters etc – can often minimise or negate exposure to the pool. Spitter goo, although, it deals a lot of damage to survivors has a limited duration and evaporates after a short time.
For a few seconds after launching a globule, Spitters move more slowly than before, making them an easier target to kill. They often appear with and work well with Jockeys, in that a Jockey can attempt to steer ridden Survivors into a pool of spitter goo.
Once a Spitter has fired off a globule it will often attempt to close up to the Survivors in order to use its claw attack. As with Boomers, shooting a Spitter at close range causes it to explode, showering acid around the immediate area as if the Spitter had launched a globule. They can be meleed/shoved back to a safe distance in order to avoid the spread of acid however.
Note about Left 4 Dead 2 Special Infected
None of these special infected zombies are distracted by high frequency noise, such as car alarms or pipe-bomb countdown. They are, however, affected by fire and explosions from molotovs, pipe-bombs, propane cylinders and other similar projectile weapons and makeshift bombs.
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Bosses in Left 4 Dead 2: The Wandering Witch
There isn’t a world of difference between the Witch in the original Left 4 Dead and its Left 4 Dead 2 counterpart in terms of its abilities. Both are still more than capable of taking down a Survivor in a single hit, and are still startled by the same things – Survivors getting too close; flashlights; fire; loud noises. Covering a Witch in Boomer bile will also trigger her, as will shooting her.
The biggest single difference between the L4D Witch and the L4D2 Witch is that the latter can move around the map. This only happens in daylight time, however, otherwise the L4D2 Witch is the same as the original Witch. Players will most commonly encounter a Wandering Witch during the ‘Hard Rain’ campaign and in many cases will encounter more than one.
Wandering Witches are harder to startle by proximity, in comparison to idle Witches, so it’s easier to run past a moving Witch. However, their wandering makes them more difficult to distinguish from common infected at distance, so any errant shot can set them off.
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Bosses in Left 4 Dead 2: The Fallen Survivor
The Fallen Survivor isn’t strictly a special infected boss zombie and doesn’t possess any special abilities like the main Left 4 Dead 2 bosses. The Fallen Survivor is only encountered in The Passing DLC campaign and appears as in the game as a common infected dressed in army fatigues. Unlike common infected, the Fallen Survivor carries some gear which can be used by Survivors.
When shot, the Fallen Survivor runs from the Survivors but will attack the group if he hasn’t been shot prior, or the Survivors have been covered in Boomer bile.
Fallen Survivors can take more damage than normal common infected and are immune to incendiary ammunition. He is, however, attracted to Boomer bile and pipe-bomb countdown. When killed, a Fallen Survivor drops multiple items which can be used by survivors, including first-aid kits; pills and Molotov cocktails or pipe-bombs.
In addition to the above, player Survivors will also encounter the standard bosses from the original Left 4 Dead – the Hunter; the Smoker; the Tank and the male Boomer, while strategies for surviving Left 4 Dead can be equally applicable to surviving the various Left 4 Dead 2 campaigns.