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Left 4 Dead Nothing Special Guide

Version 1.0 -- May 18, 2009

The most boring introductory header ever, but who cares?

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Table of Contents (use the "Search" feature to warp to topics quickly):

1. Introduction (1INT)

2. Basic Tips (2BAS)

   a. Should I Try to Get This? (2SIT)

   b. Criteria for Nothing Special (2CNS)

   c. AI or Human Players? (2AHP)

   d. Captions, Captions, Captions (2CCC)

   e. In-Game Action (2IGA)

   f. Which Campaign to Play? (2WCP)

   g. Glitches...? (2GLI)

3. Special Infected (3SPE)

   a. Common Infected/The Horde (3COM)

   b. Boomer (3BOO)

   c. Smoker (3SMO)

   d. Hunter (3HUN)

   e. Witch (3WIT)

   f. Tank (3TAN)

4. Death Toll Walkthrough (4DTW)

   a. Level 1 - The Turnpike (4TUR)

   b. Level 2 - The Drains (4DRA)

   c. Level 3 - The Church (4CHU)

   d. Level 4 - The Town (4TOW)

   e. Level 5 - Boathouse Finale (4BHF)

5. Copyright Info/Contact/Goodbye's (5CON)

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1. Introduction (1INT)
===============================================================================

Six months after this game's release, people are still struggling to unlock what
is possibly the hardest achievement in Left 4 Dead...Nothing Special.  The name
in itself is somewhat ironic because unlocking this achievement is certainly
special, as aside from What Are You Trying to Prove, this is the least acquired
achievement so far.

Anyway, having unlocked the achievement on my own and have assisted several
friends in trying to get the said achievement, I believe that I have the
knowledge to assist those in need on tackling this challenging achievement.
And, being the kind soul that I am, have decided to impart this knowledge to a
wide audience with the hopes of helping anyone out there.

However, before we go on, I'd like to say a word, please.

Nothing Special, to be quite honest, is a load of crap.  You're in for a load of
hurt if you try this.  Here are the reasons why it separates itself from other
FPS achievements, such as the Call of Duty games:

* It's random every time.  The AI Director throws different scenarios at you
every round.  As the old saying goes, "Rarely does a battle plan survive contact
with the enemy."  You can come up with general strategies but there is an
element of spontaneity involved that you cannot predict.

* It's an endurance challenge.  Unlike Call of Duty where you die, you respawn
about a minute or two back.  In this game, if you fail, you lose up to thirty
minutes of progress and have to go back in frustration.

* Teamwork and communication is paramount.  You need to have four players play
lights out non-stop.  If one person falters, everyone fails.  This can lead to
personal insults, broken friendships, and sleepless nights.  You have been
warned.

* This is one of those achievements that you can get on your second try or your
two-hundredth try.  There's no telling and it can be frustrating wasting days on
an achievement that it takes your friend only thirty minutes.  As Forrest Gump
said, "[Nothing Special] is like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're
gonna get..."

Also, I guess the quote "Stupid is as stupid does," applies here too, since you
have to either be a professional, dedicated, or a fool to seriously attempt
this.  If you don't get this immediately, don't act "surprised" because that was
the most likely outcome in the first place.

Good luck and hope for the best ahead, should you attempt this astonishing feat.
You have my best regards, reader.

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2. Basic Tips (2BAS)
===============================================================================

Here is a basic overview of tips you should always keep in mind.

-----------------------------------
a. Should I Try to Get This? (2SIT)
-----------------------------------

It really helps that you play this game a lot and get a hang of the controls and
subtleties (such as the "melee while you reload" trick) and whatnot before you
plunge headfirst in this challenge.  If you are one of those guys who rents a
game and tries to get the achievements in two days, then this achievement is not
for you.  It helps if you've played the level you wish to attempt it on multiple
times so that you can remember the layout from memory.  Beating said level on
Expert is a good way to improve your skills and means you are about ready to try
this.

--------------------------------------
b. Criteria for Nothing Special (2CNS)
--------------------------------------

You have probably heard the definition of the achievement already, but to get
this achievement, you must begin from Level 1 of a campaign and move all the way
to Level 5 and get into the escape vehicle without you OR any of your teammates
getting hit by the following:

* Boomer scratch
* Boomer explosion in close proximity that causes damage
* Smoker scratch
* Smoker binds a person long enough to become damaged by the tongue
* Hunter pounces on a person long enough to become damaged
* Hunter "strikes back" a person after being meleed in mid-pounce
* Tank punch
* Tank throws a rock/car/other object and hits a person
* Witch is startled and damages a person

NOTE: Circumstantial damage by the common infection DOES NOT count against
Nothing Special.  If you are vomited on by a Boomer or drug through a crowd by a
Smoker and take a bit of damage from the Horde, it doesn't count against you (it
does invalidate Stomach Upset if that's what you are looking for as well).

NOTE 2: I have heard rumors that being damaged by a Witch DOES NOT count against
Nothing Special, but I haven't tested this.  Besides, Witches are generally easy
to avoid, so just to be sure, don't mess with the Witch, period.

Anyway, some more rules:

* You can do this on any difficulty level.  Easy is recommended, of course.

* You can do this on any campaign you like.  You can select Single Player or
Online Campaign or whatever--it doesn't matter.

* You must have been in the game since the beginning of Level 1 to get the
achievement.  If you join mid-game, it doesn't invalidate the existing players'
run, but you can't get it, plain and simple.  Also, try not to go Idle since
that may invalidate your run, too, though I can't confirm this (I think it
doesn't, I have had friend who got WAYTTP? credit while going idle, so who
knows).

* I believe that you can kill teammates and change difficulty at will, but it is
recommended that you don't do this.

* If you or a teammate gets hit, you have to return back to Level 1.  No if's,
and's, or but's.  Stupid, but that's the rules.

WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS BELOW TIP IS VERY IMPORTANT AND IF YOU DON'T ACKNOWLEDGE IT, IT CAN RUIN
YOUR DAY..........

* Should you, in the game, screw up and and get hit by a Special Infected, you
MUST vote to RETURN TO THE LOBBY instead of restarting the campaign.  Why?
Because the game still "records" you getting hit by Special Infected, even if
you restart the campaign.  It takes an extra thirty seconds to do this, but
people HAVE met the criteria for Nothing Special ONLY to be denied it because
they didn't return to the Lobby previously.  So return to the Lobby, ALWAYS.

And that's it for the rules.  The rest of this walkthrough is telling you tips
and stuff.

------------------------------
c. AI or Human Players? (2AHP)
------------------------------

Believe it or not, it is possible to get Nothing Special with 3 AI players.
That is exactly how I and several other individuals got it.  Yes, it requires a
ton of luck, almost more than with Human players.  But whether or not you choose
to do it with a group of friends or with the AI is up to you.  Here are the
differences:

AI Player:

+ Superior against killing Hunters/Smokers/Boomers
+ No friendly fire, generally good aim, reliable
+ Don't get frustrated or do stupid things Humans do when they're
tired/angry/etc.

- HORRIBLE against Tanks, they float around and stuff, it's a coin toss when it
comes to them...
- Can't give them orders, they tend to hang behind if you run ahead
- Still prone to stupid faults like "Oh, I didn't notice you were constricted by
that Smoker, my bad..."

Human Player:

+ Communication advantage, can be ordered around
+ Can be more efficient than AI players (assuming they are skilled)
+ Can grab any weapon
+ MUCH BETTER at killing Tanks
+ More than one person can get the achievement at a time

- Difficult for them to kill Hunters
- Prone to faults due to being tired/angry/etc.
- A poor person is drug along for the ride and is subjected to this torment...

I recommend that, before you go spamming message boards with "I need help with
Nothing Special!!!" messages that you try it alone with AI players.  If you fail
a few times, don't get upset.  Practice and learn from your mistakes.  When you
are ready to try with friends, always keep morale high and communicate
frequently.  Don't get angry at each other if someone makes a mistake.  It's not
worth killing each other over a game.

Anyway, here's some tips for playing with AI teammates:

* Don't worry so much around Hunters.  Worry about Tanks instead.

* If you detect a Tank ahead, try to retreat and get the AI to follow you, then
trigger the Tank.  If things go according to plan, the AI should shoot the Tank
from afar.  If not, they may float towards the Tank like moths to a light....

* Be the pack leader for the AI.  Stay ahead and detect Special Infected.  If
things get hairy, run back to them and use them for protection.

* Trust the AI not to screw up.  If you go into every round saying "Oh, the AI
is gonna suck," then of course they will!  It's kismet...

* Do the rest of the stuff like you would with Human players.

--------------------------------------
d. Captions, Captions, Captions (2CCC)
--------------------------------------

This is so important that it gets its own section.  Before you begin, EVERYONE
go to Options and turn Closed Captioning ON.  What this does is display warnings
when Special Infected appear.  Stuff such as "Boomer Rage!" or "Hunter Warning!"
It also helps you know when something is dead, particularly Tanks.  This is
phenomenally helpful not just in unlocking this achievement, but in What Are You
Trying to Prove? and whatnot.

------------------------
e. In-Game Action (2IGA)
------------------------

Here we go, the meat on the sandwich, the real good general tactics.  Study up
and always do the following:

* HAUL ASS through the levels when there are no Special Infected.  Special
Infected (except for Witches and Tanks) spawn on a time-based system--generally,
one appears every thirty seconds from the time you lift pull the bar from off
the metal door.  For that first thirty seconds of the level, and whenever there
are no Special Infected around, RUN THROUGH THE LEVEL as fast as you can.  Don't
even worry about extra goodies since you probably won't need to heal or anything
except in the safe rooms.

Don't worry about the Horde either, but if there are plenty of them around,
clear them out with whatever means necessary so that they don't hamper your
ability to kill the Special Infected, ESPECIALLY if you are about to encounter a
Tank.

* When you receive a tip about Special Infected via sound or captions, STOP and
regroup with your team.  Deal with the situation.  I will list how to deal with
the different types of Special Infected in the next section.

* Have a "pecking order" in your group.  In other words, one guy should stay
ahead and read the captions and pick up on any Special Infected that lay ahead.
One guy should generally watch the back and the other two do whatever.  But,
more important than anything, always keep tabs on each other and cooperate with
each other.  Yes, it's easy to get frustrated but remember, you're doing this
for YOUR good as well as others too.  You need other people to survive this
challenge, so don't let them down.

* Use the Uzi, M16, or the Sniper Rifle.  The Auto and Pump Shotguns work wonder
against the Horde, but the other guns can deal with Special Infected at ANY
range while the Shotguns can only deal damage up close.  Since the goal is to
avoid Special Infected damage, stick with the long-range guns.

An addendum to the above tip, if you are playing with AI players, have someone
choose Francis always.  Why?  Because AI Francis almost always uses a Shotgun,
which is bad against Tanks and whatnot.  So make sure Francis is controlled by a
Human player at all times.  If you are the only Human player, PICK FRANCIS!

* Open spaces and long corridors are you friends.  You ALWAYS want the freedom
to move in any direction to avoid incoming attacks and buy time.  They are the
best places to be when dealing with Special Infected since it is very difficult
for them to ambush you.  ALWAYS take care when dealing with close quarters since
a Hunter or Tank can lunge at you with little time to respond.  Try to put as
much space between you and the Special Infected and you should have more success
than usual.

* If you have to split up for whatever reason, always stay in groups of two.
That way if your partner is tangled up by a Smoker or Hunter, you can free him
or her easily.  However, it is preferable if all four players stick together as
a unit instead.

* Always keep tabs of your health.  Generally, getting hit by a Special Infected
should take at least 5 health off, maybe more.  If you get tangled up by a
Smoker or a Hunter and are immediately freed, you can be sure if you were
damaged or not, getting rid of a lot of anguish and concern.

* Last but not least, Never Give Up Hope!!  If you THINK you got hit, but don't
have conclusive evidence, keep playing.  Generally, the Horde can nickel and
dime your health bar, creating the illusion you got hit for a huge chunk of
health.  Anyway, I got Nothing Special in anguish, thinking that AI Bill was
pounced by a Hunter for too long twice in a row, only to found out they never
actually received damage.  Woohoo!!

You should get the Achievement Popup as the escape vehicle drives into the
camera, the screen goes black, and the text comes up "The Survivors Have
Escaped!" and whatnot.

---------------------------------
f. Which Campaign to Play? (2WCP)
---------------------------------

Any campaign can work as long as you know the layout and are prepared for all
possible events.  However, I unlocked this achievement on Death Toll and thus,
am going to write a walkthrough on this level.  People have also said they have
done it on Dead Air and Blood Harvest.  From what I recall, no one I know of has
done it on No Mercy.  Here is my opinion on each level:

No Mercy:

Probably the worst level for Nothing Special.  There aren't many wide open spots
and generally, each level has plenty of close quarter sections.  The Subway
(Level 2), the Sewer (Level 3), and the Hospital (Level 4) are ridiculous in
that sense.  Also, the finale can be tough especially since the Tanks can
approach you from any direction.  The roof isn't wide open enough to make it
easy.  I don't recommend this level at all.

Death Toll:

The reason I like Death Toll is because it has a linear layout with many long
stretches of land.  The Boathouse Finale is relatively easy as it is wide open,
you can wait right next to the escape vehicle zone, and the Special Infected
only have one or two approach points.  The only tricky part IMO is the Town
(Level 4), mostly thanks to the Special Infected's random spawn points.  I have
also had a couple of things go awry for no reason in the Drains (Level 2), but
mostly because our team made newbie mistakes.  Play this level if you are
uncertain on which one to choose.

Dead Air:

Doable, mostly because the Runway Finale is really wide open and may be easier
than Death Toll's finale.  The filler levels, however, have plenty of close
quarter sections that can be a real pain when a Tank or a Hunter shows up.  The
Crane (Level 2) and the Construction Site (Level 3) can give you real fits.  Not
recommended, IMO.

Blood Harvest:

Blood Harvest is also somewhat wide open, but with the numerous forests, you're
liable to an ambush or two with few walls to put your back towards.  The
Farmhouse is also a doozy with the crow crescendo event beforehand and the Tank
can ambush you quite easily since you have to hang out in relatively close
quarter locations when waiting for the APC to arrive.  It can be done on this
level though, I don't deny that...

----------------------
g. Glitches...? (2GLI)
----------------------

I'm not at liberty to discuss glitches that may assist in getting the
achievement.  A few exist that haven't been patched yet, yet I will not discuss
them in this walkthrough.  If you choose to glitch, I will not renounce you, but
considering the hard work me and a lot of other people put in, at least be
respectful to us...

===============================================================================
3. Special Infected (3SPE)
===============================================================================

Here are tips on how to deal with all type of Infected evil bastards out there
that ruin your day...

-----------------------------------
a. Common Infected/The Horde (3COM)
-----------------------------------

These guys are no big deal.  They do almost no damage on Easy and serve more to
ruin your aim or hold you up when dealing with Special Infected.  Remember that
melee attacks are your best friend when dealing with them and use any extra pipe
bombs, Molotovs, gas cans, etc. if you find them necessary.  Don't go out of
your way to kill common infected, just kill whatever you have to for
convenience's sake.

----------------
b. Boomer (3BOO)
----------------

Boomers are probably the least of a threat to your Special Infected runs.  They
are big, fat, slow, easy targets.  Remember to melee them back in case they get
close.  Don't let them get too close and explode near you or else they will
cause some damage and void your run.  I have never seen one willingly claw me
either--they usually go for the vomit after standing still for a few seconds.
Just make certain about these guys in close quarters and the possibility that
they may kamikaze fall off a cliff next to you (this most likely happens in
Death Toll 1 and 2).

If you want to get Stomach Upset, then use this guide except only focus on the
Boomers.  Seriously, Stomach Upset is doable as long as you're not stupid.

----------------
c. Smoker (3SMO)
----------------

More dangerous than a Boomer and can attack from long range, but they are still
relatively slow and easy to pick out.  They leave weird green confetti in the
air and tend to hide out in high places waiting for you to turn your back to
them.  If someone gets tangled up, it is preferable to melee the victim
immediately instead of shoot the Smoker, but either way works since you
generally have some time to deal with him.

The tricky part is placing yourself in a wide open location.  If a Smoker drags
a victim in a way that he/she is directly below it or get stuck against a car, a
railing, etc. then the victim will go into "EVERYBODY PANIC I'M ABOUT TO LOSE
HEALTH" mode.  You have about a half a second to save the victim before you hear
that figurative toilet flush.  So remember, check high places, stay in the open,
and melee each other to deal with Smokers.  Easy to deal with, but they can be a
problem if you get sloppy.

----------------
d. Hunter (3HUN)
----------------

Good Lord, Hunters are your WORST enemy when it comes to Nothing Special runs,
probably worse than Tanks.  I think these hooded gangsters have ended a grand
majority of runs more than anything else.  It's enough to make me start taking
pain pills in real life.

Hunters are incredibly fast, elusive, and can pounce on survivors and deal
damage to them very quickly.  They are very difficult to hit.  When one of them
pounces a victim, you have about a half a second to save him before he loses
health and you all fail.  It is preferable to melee the Hunter off the survivor
since a Hunter won't immediately quit clawing even if he is shot a few times.
If you aren't good at aiming at stuff in FPSes, well...tough break, dude.

The ideal thing to do would be to huddle into a group, melee each other, and
then kill the Hunter after he is knocked away...no that doesn't work.  Why?
Because Hunters have a damn "scratch-back" attack.  You see, if you melee a
Hunter out of midair and he gets knocked back, if you are close enough to him
when this happens, he can miraculously take off a chunk of your health.  It
sucks!  The best way to "avoid" this scratch-back would be to immediately back
up as soon as you melee, but even that doesn't really work.  Just don't melee at
all.

The best way to dispatch a Hunter is to have one player be designated the
Hunter's "target."  Everyone shoots the Hunter.  NO ONE TRIES TO MELEE HIM OR
THE TARGET.  Hunters generally pounce the player closet to him, the "target."
Hopefully, he dies before he reaches his target.  If not, then everyone
immediately focus fire on the target.  If you do it quick enough, the Hunter
should deal no damage.  Please be careful that the Hunter may jump on someone
else other than the target.  Everyone needs good reflexes and a good internet
connection to deal with them consistently.

The AI player is proficient at killing Hunters...they have good aim and are not
subject to the scratch-back.  That's probably the only reason I'd keep an AI
player around instead of a Human...to deal with those damned Hunters.  If you
have an additional player playing who has the achievement, have him go Idle when
not around a Tank.  Who knows, maybe it'll work wonders, so try it if you are
having complications with Hunters.

---------------
e. Witch (3WIT)
---------------

Dealing with the Witch should be quite simple.  Don't startle them--plain and
simple.  Don't even try to crown them, just move along.  Even if you are
required to run within reaching distance of one (ex. she's waiting in a narrow
hallway), just turn off your lights, run like hell past them, and get out of
viewing range afterwards.  A Witch will become "surprised" and then start
growling at different levels of anger (according to subtitles).  Hide and let
her cool down if you must.

You shouldn't have to deal with Witches, ever.  If one of them is startled, you
did something wrong.

One difficulty with Witches is that they can generally "hide" in random
locations in the dark.  Oblivious teammates can run right into one and proceed
to get incapped seconds later.  Always have the lead player scout for the
Witch's location and look for a clean escape to the next area.  Don't dawdle or
look for pills or whatever, just run and get the hell out of there.

Also, if you are near a Witch, it means that a Tank won't appear in the
vicinity, which is good.  However, if you retreat from a Tank or other Special
Infected up the road, make sure you don't haphazardly run into the Witch by
mistake.

One last tip--don't get into the habit of shooting Common Infected far away,
preferably those kneeling down, like a Witch would.  You may actually startle a
real Witch before you can hear the music or the subtitle warning, so be very
careful... (this happened to me once, it was very frustrating and somewhat
hilarious)

--------------
f. Tank (3TAN)
--------------

Watch out for these bad boys--they're enough to give you a splitting headache.

You will have to kill about six during the course of a campaign--one in Level 2,
one in Level 3, one in Level 4, one in a random location (usually in Levels 3 to
5 but sometimes, he won't appear at all, meaning five Tanks instead of six), and
two during the finale crescendo.  Don't get overjoyed when you skip a Tank in a
level--it means you probably have to fight another one the next level.

Tanks have relatively low health on Easy and can generally be downed by
approximately four clips from an M16 or a Sniper Rifle.  If you have four
players empty a clip into a Tank, it can be downed in seconds.  Make sure all
four players are aware of the Tank's location so that one player doesn't get
ousted and smashed in the head by a boulder or his fists.  You want to kill that
Tank as fast as possible, remember that.

The lead player can detect a Tank's whereabouts before triggering his blind
rage.  You can hear heavy breathing (like a bull) and the words "Tank Breathing"
in the captions before you approach a Tank.  Use this to your advantage.  When
you turn the corner and stare at the Tank, he will begin to chase your team
down.  Tanks generally spawn in the same few areas in each level, so you can
prepare for several scenarios.  I'll list these areas with a "TANK WARNING"
heading in the level walkthrough.

Tanks have two attacks--the punch and the rock throw.  Both of them are
dangerous.  Tanks will generally punch and pursue the closest player firing upon
them.  If they throw a rock, they stop for a few seconds and will generally
throw it towards the person they were originally pursuing.  To deal with rocks,
strafe perpendicular to the angle of the rock or hide behind cover, such as a
building.  Be aware that if a Tank gets too close to a person when throwing a
rock, there is almost no way that person can avoid getting hit.  Also, Tanks can
throw rocks VERY far, so never say "Oh, that Tank can't hit me from this range,
I'm safe..."

I have heard that it is possible to "shoot" a rock out of midair, but I have
NEVER seen this happen.  Most likely with the Auto Shotgun.  Maybe I suck but
don't count on this tactic--if you're too close to the Tank when he begins his
windup, shoot the Tank and maybe he will die before he can throw it.

Remember the Golden Rule: EVERYONE KILL THE TANK BEFORE IT GETS TOO CLOSE TO
SOMEONE.  IF HE GETS TOO CLOSE TO A SURVIVOR, THEN DAMAGE WILL BE INEVITABLE AND
YOU WILL HAVE TO RESTART THE DAMN THING OVER AGAIN.

Another trick when dealing with Tanks, most helpful when playing with AI
players--use propane tanks.  Chuck one near where it will approach and then
shoot the propane tank, blowing it up on the Tank.  It will be stunned for a few
seconds, enough time to kill it off before it does any damage.  I wouldn't put
too much thought into attempting this, especially since you have to carry it
around and are vulnerable to other Special Infected, but you get the idea.

Also, if you are fighting a Tank, be extra careful that another Special Infected
doesn't approach you during this time.  A Hunter can be devastating to your run
in these times.  As a matter of fact, if you know a Tank is ahead, don't signal
him until you kill any nearby Special Infected first.

And if it wasn't obvious already, Molotovs don't help in this situation.  They
deal damage apart from bullets and speed up a Tank.  Therefore, just forget
about them.  This isn't Expert difficulty...

===============================================================================
4. Death Toll Walkthrough (4DTW)
===============================================================================

Here it is, the big freaking walkthrough.  I will refer to level geometry and
stuff, but not give you an exact map, assuming you have played Death Toll enough
to memorize where to go and whatnot.  Anyway, a lot of stuff in this section is
obvious, but it can be helpful if you plan ahead and get an idea of trouble
spots and whatnot.

Good luck, Survivors, and God Speed.

As of this time, I am not inclined to write a walkthrough for the other levels.
If you wish to submit one to this guide, I may insert it for you.  However, it
is not necessary.

--------------------------------
a. Level 1 - The Turnpike (4TUR)
--------------------------------

The first level should be a walk in the park and is a good place to get your
bearings together.  You should only encounter one or two Special Infected,
assuming you run through the level at optimal speed.

Start by grabbing an Uzi and a medkit from the police car and hoof it down the
road.  Shoot any Common Infected in the way and generally don't slow down.  Run
down the hill, run up the ladder, and into the tunnel.  If you do it quickly
enough, you shouldn't have any run-ins with Special Infected.  If you check the
right side of the tunnel as you run along, you will usually find some grenades
or a secondary pistol, which can come in handy.

If you do encounter a Special Infected, watch out.  Smokers tend to appear in
the forest adjacent to the entrance and in the tunnel above that big collapsed
hole in the ceiling.  Boomers and Hunters generally appear in front of you,
though I have had a few Boomers kamikaze jump off the entrance to the tunnel,
which makes for some good laughs (and quick restarts).

Jump over the cars and get off the road into the side hallways.  Run down the
stairs and go into the door in front of you instead of to your right.  You may
find some pills or pipe bombs on the shelf or other goodies.  The square-shaped
room with the grates shouldn't contain any serious threats.  Don't bother
looking for stuff here, although there is usually an ammo stash near the center
of the room.

Go up the stairs into the outdoors.  A Special Infected usually spawns here--
either behind the fence or up the hill adjacent to the safe room.  I have also
seen Special Infected spawn inside the safe room--shoot through the door to
dispatch of them quickly.  Get inside and shut the door.  Mission complete.

------------------------------
b. Level 2 - The Drains (4DRA)
------------------------------

The drains can look very complicated for newbies, but if you did your homework,
you will realize this is a very linear level and you should be brief in your
tunnel dwelling, disregarding the Tank and the crescendo, of course.

Start by grabbing ammo and shooting any infected on the walkway to the right of
the door.  Open the door and start running down the walkway you cleared, going
into the tunnel on the right.  Take a left into the big circular room, jump down
the ladder to your left, and onto the platform below.  Grab yourself an M16 or
Sniper Rifle off the table while you are there.

TANK WARNING: Sometimes (very rare though), a Tank can spawn on the circular
ledge that rests above this room.  If this happens, don't panic.  Rocks are very
easy to avoid as long as you hide behind the pipes, and generally, the Tank gets
hung up chasing after different people.  Don't go down the ladder until he dies.

While you are in the big circular room, you may get a warning for Special
Infected.  Smokers can appear right above you and damage you in mid-air, so be
careful.  Boomers may kamikaze jump off the same ledge too.  Hunters tend to
come from up the ramp as usual.  Go up the ramp towards the crescendo room.

TANK WARNING: Tanks can generally be waiting in the crescendo room for you.  If
there is one there, have the leader stand in the pipe entrance and shoot him,
luring him down the ramp where your team should be waiting.  If you lose sight
of him, he may take an alternate route and sneak up behind your team down the
ramp in the water, so that's why you have the leader take potshots at him from
above.

Go to the crescendo room and grab the two pipe bombs in the corner.  Activate
the button and wait in that corner next to the button.  The Horde may come out
above that ledge where the pipe bombs are, which can open up an attack by
Special Infected.  A Boomer and a Smoker usually appear from the pipes during
this Horde rush, but they are easy to dispatch.

Run along the bridge, open the door, and grab some ammo and pills while you're
at it.  Hoof it down the tunnel from the walkway.  Be careful since there is
usually plenty of Common Infected around here, and Special Infected, usually a
Hunter, can hide amongst them.  It helps if you take the second right and chuck
a pipe bomb down that hall into the central concrete room, clearing out most
Common Infected in the region.

The concrete room is very iffy.  It seems easy to just run into the next room,
run up the ladder, and out the window to fresh air, but usually, a Hunter will
come out of the manhole cover, above the ladder in the corner of the room.  If
you hear the warning "Manhole Cover Opening, expect something to come out that
hole...be extra careful here.  Usually, he just plops down in front of you for
an easy kill.

TANK WARNING: Sometimes, a Tank can be waiting either in the concrete room or in
the warehouse through the entrance via the pothole and ladder.  If you start to
get warnings but aren't sure where the Tank is, have one person climb up the
ladder towards the outside region while the others remain back in the tunnel
(watch out for Hunters!).  If you tip off the Tank, run like hell back into the
tunnel and shoot the Tank through the long hallways.  If he throws a rock,
retreat into the previous hallway and take your merry time killing him.

Go up the ladder out the window.  Finally, fresh air at last.  Run along the
side of the building, past the cars, through the window into the "cuhboose"
(thanks Zoey).  A Special Infected may appear here--Smokers will appear on the
roof of the building (above the corner you pass by) and Boomers/Hunters tend to
come from behind out the window you came through.  Don't mess around and get in
the train car and shut the door.  Mission complete.

------------------------------
c. Level 3 - The Church (4CHU)
------------------------------

The last level can be quite a pain, so to make it this far is nice.  It's also
nice to avoid the filth of the sewer and move on to an easier level...it's
fairly wide open and you should have less trouble this time around, just as long
as you stick together and stay in the open.

Open the door and storm the train yard.  Make a beeline for the staircase, run
along the walkway, climb on the train car, and fall down past the fence on the
road ahead.  Do it quickly and you may not run into any Special Infected.

TANK WARNING: Sometimes a Tank can spawn in the middle of the train yard seconds
after opening the door.  This usually happens if you don't fight a Tank in the
previous level.  This is a rather easy spawn location...it's wide open and you
should down the Tank rather quickly.  Focus fire on it immediately and watch out
for rocks.  If things get dicey and assuming the new patches didn't remove the
ability to close the metal door, you can kill this Tank rather easily.  Get back
in the safe room, slam the door, and have everyone crouch and place themselves
right up against the door.  The Tank should not knock the door down and instead,
stand next to the door like an idiot, making for an easy kill (if this glitch
doesn't work, hey, don't blame me, I haven't tried it in a while...).

Go down the road, surrounded by the forest.  It's Blood Harvest!  Special
Infected pop out from the woods.  I can't really offer much advice here, except
to stay close and expect some spontaneity in Special Infected spawn locations.
A Witch may also appear on the road--if this happens, move through the woods to
your left and keep your distance.  Go inside the house and grab some ammo and a
possible secondary pistol from the gun case next to the TV.  A Smoker may appear
on the roof or the front porch of the house to be careful and watch your back.

TANK WARNING: Tanks can appear before or after the house along the main road.
Just keep him in the open, watch out for rocks, and fill him full of lead.  This
shouldn't be too difficult to kill him here.

Go to the ambulance, grab pills or whatever, and go up to the hill to the
church.  Watch out since a Witch tends to spawn along the path for some reason.
Go inside and arm yourself--if you want to grab the Auto Shotty here, go ahead,
since this is probably the only time during the Campaign it's actually useful.
However, if you're going to be watching out the windows in a long-range
location, obviously take the M16 or Sniper Rifle.

Station your team in the main church hall or in the ammo pile room.  Alert the
Church Guy and use gas canisters and Molotovs around the entrances to kill the
stupid idiot Hordes with fire.  Your biggest threat here is a Smoker or a
Hunter, but they appear at very long ranges and are generally not threats.  I
typically have no problems with this crescendo--just make sure that no Special
Infected jump out the back window on the other side of the church from the ammo
pile.  Oh, and remember that the Church Guy turns into a Special Infected, most
likely a Boomer.  Open the door, step back, and shoot him.  Get inside and shut
the door.  Mission complete.

TANK WARNING: According to the game variables and whatnot, there is about a
0.01% chance that the Church Guy will turn into a Tank.  If that happens...well,
have a good laugh, drink a shot, smoke a cigar, do whatever you want my good
man.  But it probably won't happen.

----------------------------
d. Level 4 - The Town (4TOW)
----------------------------

If you've made it this far with no hits, then pat yourself on the back.  This
level is a real challenge with Special Infected spawning all over the place.
Just remember to take it easy, check your corners, and always STICK TOGETHER
when a Hunter arrives.

Open the door and climb down the ladder and out to the street.  Take a left past
the delivery truck and jump over the sand bags by the buses to skip a little bit
of the level.

TANK WARNING: The whole first half of this level should be labeled as a Tank
Warning.  Tanks can spawn in the convenience store, the office side rooms along
the road, the "Flower Shop," and the office with the cubicle and round table.
Remember to have one guy search out his whereabouts and stay in the open
streets.  Duck behind buildings if you need to avoid rocks.  It can be really
easy to be split up in the town so be extra careful and focus fire on it
immediately.

As you creep along, watch out for the possible Witch, which may appear either in
the street or in the front lawn of the houses.  Special Infected will begin to
show up.  Boomers and Hunters can approach you from the front or the back, so be
extra careful.  Smokers tend to get you on top of the buildings.  Make your way
into the "Flower Shop" and check the counter for goodies, if you need them.
Creep back out into another parking lot and out onto the street.

Make your way through another parking lot and jump up on the van and into the
office.  At this point, you may be running out of ammo, but don't hesitate to
use it since you put yourself at greater risk with the pistols.  Might as well
add BE SUPER CAREFUL since you're entering a close quarters region that is very
hard to escape from, thanks to the stupid railing blocking the entrance.  A
secondary pistol usually appears on the round table, if you need one.

Hop down onto the awning and then on the street below and breathe a sigh of
relief...for now.  Get your ammo and guns if you need them.  The best place to
wait for this crescendo is near (not right next to) the chain fence down the
road from the rubble.  Have someone activate the lift and wait for the Horde to
come.  It should be easy pickings here.  Watch out for the Horde and some
Smokers, which may try to approach from the fence behind you.  It's still very
easy.  Wait for the two waves of the Horde to come before attempting to move
forward.

Slowly creep up the ramp created by that fork lift you just hit.  Generally, a
few Special Infected spawn here.  They all tend to either sit below in the pit
and try to approach you either by climbing up onto the awning far away or up the
hill of rubble.  From far away, a team should take them out quite easily.  Move
along towards the bus.

TANK WARNING: Sometimes, a Tank can be waiting down below by the bus, waiting
for you to peek over.  This is why it is important to wait for the Horde to die
down.  Take potshots over the hill from far away and be careful in case the Tank
targets you with a rock.  Don't stupidly run down in front of it or you'll be an
easy target.  Remember if you don't fall down like a moron, you can always
retreat back towards the previous fence and use the space to make a clean kill.

As you fall down and go past the bus and into the alleyway, BE VERY, VERY
CAREFUL.  This is one of the most dangerous and tedious places to be in the
whole campaign.  This alleyway is close quarters and if a Special Infected
ambushes you, it is very difficult to deal with.

Anyway, progress through the alleyway.  If a Witch appears, it's a mixed
blessing--it means no Tank, yet the Witch is usually right there in the middle
of the alley.  You know the drill, run past it and hide.  Run up the stairs to
your left, into the room, out the window onto the roof, across the alley on the
plank, into the other room, past the fence and into the safe room.  Special
Infected tend to spawn in random locations and fall down from the rooftops
below.  Always keep an eye on each other.  Even Boomers can present a problem
here.

TANK WARNING: If you fought a Tank early in this level, odds are you may fight
another one at the end.  A Tank can spawn in the alleyway, maybe past the fence
you must get over.  If a Tank appears, don't get suckered into running into the
alleyway since you have NOWHERE to run if he throws a rock.  Focus on retreating
and giving yourself an easy escape route instead of taking the easy potshots.
Keep backing up but keep tabs on him, since he can probably sneak around if you
stupidly run back to the pile of rubble by the crescendo event, similar to the
Drains level.

Get inside the safe room.  Sometimes a Special Infected spawns in the safe room,
so shoot through the door to kill it.  Shut the door.  Mission complete!

------------------------------------
e. Level 5 - Boathouse Finale (4BHF)
------------------------------------

If you've made it this far, I congratulate you.  This finale may be a bit easier
than the previous level, but still, you cannot let your guard down.  Good luck
and don't get too nervous...at the end of the day, it's just an Achievement, not
a ticket to monumental prestige, happiness, eternal life, or a lifetime of free
candy, so take it easy.

Prepare by getting your stuff together, healing, whatever, open the door, and
bust through the garage.  Go through the door, out the street, and into the
house.  If you go quickly enough, no Special Infected should appear in the mean
time.

TANK WARNING: Remember how I said you will fight about four Tanks outside of the
finale crescendo earlier?  Well, if you missed one Tank previously, you MAY run
into it here.  He may appear in the backyard of the house or farther off into
the woods.  Retreat into the wide-open street and deal with him.  If you want to
try the trick mentioned in the Church level about the safe house door, be my
guest.

Grab some munitions in the house and get moving out the backyard into the woods.
As you move towards the boat house, remember to stay in the open passage.  Don't
run off into the woods since your obscured vision makes you an easier target.  A
Smoker may appear on the rocks around the band and attempt to constrict you,
while a Boomer and Hunter can attack from below.

Move towards the house and take the time to kill any Common Infected roaming
about.  When you're near the house, no Special Infected should spawn, but make
sure to keep tabs on each in case a straggler still remains.  Get your ammo,
your medkits, pills, grenades, and secondary pistols and get ready for the big
finale.

The strategy I employed was to have the team stand on the dock, waiting for the
boat to arrive.  In this location, you have plenty of room to spot Special
Infected and dodge the Tank's rocks when he comes.  I recommend that you stay
out of the water, although it should be used in a worst-case scenario since you
move slower through the water and have to run back around to get back on the
dock.  Watch out for Smokers who appear in the water who will try to drag
unattentive survivors into the water.

There is another location that can only be utilized with an all-Human team--the
"Jesus Rock."  I believe it has not been patched since May 2009 since I have
done it recently on an Expert run with friends.  In the corner, along the water
line as far away from the boat house as possible is a rock that, if you jump on
the right angle, you can get on the rock and are invulnerable to most of the
Infected's attacks.  Best of all, there is a chance that the two Tanks will
never spawn since they "can't track you down" while you're up there.  However,
this has its fair share of problems:

* Someone still needs to signal the boat and if that person isn't good at
jumping up on the rock, he can be vulnerable for the time of being.

* Sometimes the Tanks will spawn.  They will throw a few rocks at you and
subsequently disappear.  You have to make a run for it if this happens.

* You're still vulnerable to Smokers in the water, so have the guy in the back
devote himself to meleeing the others so they don't get dragged away.

* Hopefully, Hunters won't be able to jump up there...I'm not 100% sure.

If this works, all you have to do is wait for the boat to come, hop off the
rock, and dance all the way to the boat with no Infected around...dodging
whatever kitchen sink the Infected will throw at you as the boat pulls up, of
course.

But for the sake of simplicity...I'm going to use the dock in my walkthrough,
especially since that's how I did it and it's legit too...

Have someone signal the boat and run like hell to the dock.  GET READY, IT'S
ALMOST OVER!!!  Everyone is waiting on the dock.  Due to ammo constraints, if
you are using the M16, use your pistols instead.  When a Special Infected
appears, temporarily use your M16 to kill it.  If you have a Sniper Rifle, you
should have enough ammo to use against the Horde as well.

Anyway, the Hordes are usually not a problem.  Smokers will appear in the water,
either behind the rock to your left (if you are facing the from the sea) or by
the house to your right.  Pick them off when they appear.  Hunters generally
come from the front but can also approach from the sides.  They can jump from
the water (which conceals their location) onto the dock so be extra careful.
During finales, everyone tends to face the same direction instead of covering
each other, so don't let anyone get pounced for too long.  Boomers are easy and
usually never get close.  If you are facing a lot of Common Infected and a
Hunter appears, use a pipe bomb to get them off your back and deal with the
Hunter.

TANK WARNING: Here come the Tanks--hopefully the only thing separating you from
the achievement if you've made it this far...  Tanks will generally come from
the forward-right region--the area you would be viewing if you were manning the
turret by the boat house.  They will typically throw a signal rock to get your
attention.  BE CAREFUL, the Tank can throw rocks very far and fast, so don't get
hit while being idle!  The Tank will take refuge in the forest before storming
the dock.  Recognize his location and alert your teammates.  If he starts to
throw a rock, alert your teammates and get ready to dodge it!  Fill him full of
lead.  Don't let him get too close to one person, and, if he gets way too close,
either use the box on the dock or jump into the water and use the dock itself as
protection from the rocks.  Remember, KILL THE TANKS QUICKLY LIKE YOUR LIFE
DEPENDED ON IT!!!!

You fight two Hordes and two Tanks before the boat arrives.  When the second
Tank is dead, breath a sigh of relief, although it's not over yet!  The boat is
here!  Yet the Horde and some Special Infected will make one last ditch attempt
to stop you.  Use any pipe bombs or Molotovs you have on hand to block off entry
to the dock.  Be wary of any remaining Smokers who may try to pull you off the
dock or any Tanks who will chuck any last-minute rocks.  YOU CAN STILL GET HIT
HERE SO LOOK FOR TANKS AND WATCH YOUR TEAMMATES!  When the boat comes, everyone
get on ASAP and cross your fingers.

If you get the achievement, then congratulations, you've achieved something that
only 2% of the population has been able to achieve!  Celebrate good times, come
on!!  If not, then...learn from your mistakes, go back, and do better next time.
If you are unlucky, keep trying, you will get it eventually.  Or use glitches.

*OBLIGATORY BAD ENDING TO THE GUIDE*

===============================================================================
5. Copyright Info/Contact/Goodbye's (5CON)
===============================================================================

Left 4 Dead is produced and published by Turtle Rock Studios, Valve, Electronic
Arts...all those good folks (how's this for official?  haha).

This guide is copyright of Eric Frichter (Eric43/Eric4372) and originally
published on GameFAQs.com.  You may refer to this guide for information, as long
as you give me credit and don't steal my words, because that's plagiarism.

If this guide helps AT LEAST one person GET MARGINALLY closer to getting the
Nothing Special achievement, then I have accomplished my goal.  However, due to
the nature of writing guides and considering I am only a flawed Human being, I
may miss out on important details or give erroneous information.  If you want to
contact me, either to give me thanks for the guide or to offer additional tips
or insight on the guide, feel free to contact me in one of two places:

E-mail: eric_4372 (at) hotmail (dot) com
XBL: Eric4372

Please don't send me random friend requests or inflammatory messages.  And
PLEASE DO NOT ask me to help you get the achievement--that's what this guide is
for!!  This guide was written during one night from 2 am to 6 am on a Monday
night on the spur of a moment.  If it ruined your life somehow, then I apologize
since that wasn't my intention.

Also, be sure to check out my previous guide, a comprehensive mishmash of
information on The Outfit for Xbox 360.  I'm a kickass writer!

Anyway, I would like to thank:

* Valve, especially for publishing the old classics Half-Life and Counter-Strike

* Turtle Rock Studios for making the game

* All the funny quotes in the game, especially Francis's "I hate vans."

* The guys at the OutRun 2 boards, who like Sega racers and have been my
consistent friends through the years

* All the guys on Xbox Live who helped me get the other achievements and gave me
support

* My parents, who gave birth to me and bought me the Xbox 360 in the first place

* My brother Ian who bought the game, so I played it for him

* Microsoft for making the Xbox 360 and making achievement points the newest
trend in games

* Forrest Gump, which was a great movie

* Civil servants in the armed forces, police, fire fighters, and paramedics who
protect use from harm, as well as other hard-working folks who make civilized
society work

* God and Jesus...okay, maybe you're not so religious, but after saying a couple
of prayers during the finale, maybe He helped the AI to dodge the Tank's rocks,
either way, gotta give credit to the Big Man Upstairs when no one else does
these days...

THE END

And here's some quotes.



"Son, we just crossed the street." - Bill

"This guy's nuttier than candy bar s***." - Bill

"I HOPE YOU ARE DEAD NOW" - Writing on the wall

"Into the cuhboose!" - Zoey

"Grabbin' peelz." - Louis

"Wow, this is just like Counter-Strike!" - Louis

"I hate vans." - Francis