- "He needed to feel huge, fit believably into the world and read well as a silhouette."
- ―Jeremy Bennett, Valve
- "*phew* Good thing I'm indestructible."
Francis is one of the four playable Survivors in Left 4 Dead. He is a tough biker with tattoos covering his arms and neck. His tattoos identify him as a member of "Hells Legion", a name possibly inspired by the real-world Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. In official media, he can usually be seen wielding either the Pump Shotgun or the Auto Shotgun.
Francis, along with Zoey and Louis, appears in Left 4 Dead 2 in the downloadable campaign "The Passing" as they meet with the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors. Nick and Francis bicker with each other a lot due to their brash natures, although Rochelle finds herself strangely attracted to him.
Francis' facial features are portrayed by Taylor Knox and he was voiced by Vince Valenzuela.
|Cocky, loud, and pretty sure he's indestructible, Francis acts like the zombie apocalypse is the world's biggest bar fight. When the virus hit, everybody else stockpiled food and looked for a place to hide. Francis found a gun and had some fun. No cops, no laws, no order—if it wasn't for all the zombies, he could almost get used to life like this.|
At one point, Francis was employed by the shipping company Hersch, but was presumably fired after assaulting a man.
Francis attempted to steal a flat-screen television two days after the first Infection. When he is caught, his claim that he is a cop gathering evidence for a crime is not taken seriously. He is next shown in a bar boasting to his friends about why he is going to jail. When one of his friends reveals to him that Pennsylvania jails do not allow conjugal visits, Francis' presumed girlfriend Sandra then says "better not waste any more time" and grabs Francis' arm and pulls him into the bar's back room. Francis and Sandra begin kissing in the back room when she gets sick on his vest. He almost leaves, but she convinces him to stay and then promptly bites him. She is about to attack him when Francis's paranoid friend, Duke, shoots her. Realizing that this is no ordinary flu and that most people cannot be considered human anymore, Francis realizes the possibilities of the lawlessness the outbreak has brought, and has Duke and Danny lug a jukebox to the roof where he grabs a shotgun to begin picking off Infected one by one with Duke, Danny, and a few other barmates.
It is unknown what had happened to his friends, but it is most probable that he either left them or they weren't immune or carriers and succumbed to the flu at one point of time before Francis had joined the group. In the Sacrifice, Francis admits to Zoey that he finds his old friends more fun to be with during the apocalypse but would not have lasted two weeks if he hadn't met the group.
Relationships with other Survivors
WARNING: The following is conjecture and may not be considered canon.
Of the four original Survivors, Francis is the cockiest and insulting. Dream sequences and dialogue in the third and fourth episodes of The Sacrifice comic provide evidence that Francis has a well-developed alpha-male self-image. Despite this, the other Survivors may sometimes look down on Francis for his stupidity at times.
- Francis and Bill tease each other a lot. On some occasions, he flat-out insults him and often makes sarcastic retorts to his comments. Francis also shows that he would rather live and let Bill die Bill is quick to let Francis know that the feeling is mutual, and dislikes his pessimistic and rude attitude. The arguing and teasing is likely just joking around between the two; if Bill dies, Francis is quite shaken up. It is not known whether it is because he cares for Bill or if he is disturbed at the nature of his death.
- In The Sacrifice comic, Francis defends Bill when Zoey is mad at him, (despite insulting him several times in the buildup to it) by saying that "Bill doesn't always do the right thing but does it for the right reasons." He mentions how he knew that he would have been dead if he traveled with his drinking buddies; this is most likely the reason that Francis takes orders from Bill even if he does complain about them.
- There is a noticeable change in tone when he talks about losing Bill in "The Passing", and he hated the idea of lowering the bridge when Bill was the one who gave his life to raise it, hinting that he had a large amount of respect for him.
- Francis doesn't seem to talk to Louis much, but when he does, it is mostly in the form of sarcasm and insults. Francis dislikes Louis' optimistic outlook on the Infection and perhaps the way Louis perceives Francis himself. Francis' deep-seated alpha-male contempt for Louis is revealed during his dream sequence (refer The Sacrifice comic, Part 4) when his unconscious mind exiles Louis to a separate island from whence he vainly calls out to the beer girls to come and join him there. When Francis does throw out a sarcastic remark directed at Louis, he either doesn't get the gist of it, turns it back on Francis or breaks from his kindly attitude to give Francis a barbed rejoinder. They are also known to bicker about whether the Infected are zombies or vampires. If it comes to Louis' death, Francis is quite shaken and, while he does make a joke about his profession, he also says that Louis had started to grow on him. When Louis is incapacitated outside of the safe room, Francis doesn't seem to be above abandoning him if it was a unanimous team decision. However, his other response indicates that it could just be reluctance on his part to show that he cares for Louis.
- In The Sacrifice comic, when Louis gives up after the bridge stops and says he has a bad feeling, Francis tells Louis that they've survived worse in an attempt to convince Louis (unsuccessfully) that they will survive. This hints that, while Francis might not show it, he cares about Louis, or at least his state of mind.
- In beta testing, Zoey and Francis were to share some sort of affection towards each other, but this was cut. Nonetheless, Francis seems to like Zoey more than the other Survivors, and shows extreme sadness if she dies. Zoey isn't as keen on Francis as she was originally intended to be, but they still get along well. At the start of "Crash Course", Francis is fairly annoyed at Zoey for causing them to crash-land as a result of her deliberately shooting their Infected helicopter pilot in mid-flight. Thereafter, during The Alleys, he directs pointed comments to her over this incident. Nevertheless, they still crack jokes together and Francis eventually warms up and puts the episode behind him.
- Francis doesn't have much interaction with Coach, but he does at first believe Coach to be Rochelle's father. This amuses Rochelle, but insults Coach somewhat, since he is only 15 years older than her.
- Francis and Ellis get along well. They both have a mutual belief that the presence of "real" zombies means that there must also be vampires, werewolves, mummies, and aliens around. Their only conflict comes over Jimmy Gibbs Junior, who Francis believes either to be a man or dog who sold tacos. Ellis will get angry with Francis over this. Francis also claims that he hates Ellis' hat, but laughs as if it was a joke.
- Nick and Francis seem to completely hate each other. At the start of The Riverbank, if Francis is present, Nick refers to him as a "greasy vest-wearing monkey" while Francis calls him "Suit" or "Colonel Sanders" in turn. However, the line "Brother, that's what I'm trying to tell ya. We can't get this thing down ourselves. You have to get to the other side," won't lead to an argument between them. He occasionally compares Nick with a Witch because of his complaining throughout the campaign Despite their distaste for one another, Francis wishes Nick good luck and calls him a brother upon Nick's departure. This is probably because Francis and Nick share a common affiliation to a gang or group, as Nick's ring and Francis' right shoulder tattoo share the same symbol. It's hinted that they knew each other in certain dialogue, too. Also, due to their abrasive natures, it is possible their supposed hostility towards each other may have no real hatred at all.
- Through the events of "The Passing", Francis becomes infatuated with Rochelle, going so far as call her his "lovely little angel" and sob at her departure. He might also cry out "I love you, Ro!" as they drive away. He compliments her taste in music when commenting on her shirt, referring to Depeche Mode as "classy". He becomes even more infatuated with her after realizing that she "hates things, too," including his vest, which then turns him off completely.
Hatred of Everything
Francis is notable for often contextually exclaiming how he hates something. Why Francis hates almost everything is unknown, but it can be assumed that it has something to do with his past of being an outlaw, or perhaps just a personality quirk added for comic relief. Among the things Francis hates:
When asked by Bill if there's anything he doesn't hate, he replies "You know what I don't hate? I don't hate vests." In "Crash Course", Francis states that he loves lasagna, and when Zoey walks past the steam pipe and sarcastically moans, "I love steam," he mutters, "Yeah... Steam's all right, I guess."" This is a reference to Valve's game client, also called Steam. In the same level, the crash leaves him so dazed that he blurts out "I love helicopters!" raising genuine concern for his mental health before he snaps out of it. From the tone of his voice, his statement that he loves helicopters may also be sarcasm that the other Survivors don't pick up on. During "The Passing", Francis states, "I love that car!" referring to Jimmy Gibbs Jr.'s stock car. Despite the fact that he hates cops, he often claims he is one when attempting to call a Rescue Vehicle, the Church Guy (who said he didn't sound like one), or when talking to the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors, where he claims that he, Zoey and Louis are all cops (Nick, however, sees through this ruse), even yelling to the new Survivors who are escaping from the Port that they were cops. It is also pretty obvious that he does not hate Rochelle.
Quotes and Captions
- Main article: Francis/Quotes and Captions
Behind the Scenes
Francis' original beta design was quite different from his current appearance. Originally, Francis had slightly long, black hair with a beard, blue jeans, and appeared overweight. His tattoos, and clothing style remained about the same, however, except for the vest which appeared to be a denim one instead of his current leather one. The in-game Developer Commentary states that Francis is 6 foot 5 inches tall.
- The name "Francis" is an English form of the Latin name Franciscus which means "Frenchman". A famous bearer of the name was Sir Francis Drake, an English explorer and admiral of the Elizabethan era.
- Francis has the Lambda logo from the Half-Life series cut into his hair as an Easter egg which appears in almost every game that Valve has developed; upon further inspection, however, it appears to be a scar.
- The quote "Groovy," which Francis says occasionally when picking up an Auto Shotgun, could be a reference to the cult horror film Evil Dead II. It may also be a reference to the Duke Nukem series, because when Duke Nukem sometimes picks up a gun, he will say "Groovy." This was put in the Duke Nukem games as a reference to Evil Dead II as well.
- One of Francis' arm tattoos appears to show The Star of Chaos, a recurring symbol in the Warhammer franchise and Chaos magic.
- Under the Star of Chaos tattoo is a visible portrait of the outlaw Jesse James.
- In the game files, Francis is called "biker".
- Each of the Left 4 Dead Survivors agrees with at least one thing Francis dislikes, even if it is mockingly.
- Valve's design policy decision to grant each Survivor character equal physical abilities simplifies gameplay and player-character selection but creates certain anomalies. Nowhere is this more evident than in case of Francis: he is cast as a 6-foot 5 inch bear of a man, yet his physical strength and agility match that of Zoey who weighs about half as much and is nearly 12 inches shorter.
- In "The Sacrifice", Francis may mention he has "Insulaphobia", a fear of islands. However, Insulaphobia is also attributed to a "fear of being isolated." Additionally, in The Sacrifice comic, Francis dreams about living a life of ease and gratification on a tropical island which contradicts his previous statement of fearing them.
- During "The Sacrifice", in the starting safe room of the Port Finale, Francis may state that he is against the island plan. In response, Bill says, "They're defensible, Francis. As far as we know, zombies can't swim." After that, Francis will grumble, "They're not the only ones," which hints that Francis can't swim either and Louis will offer to "...teach you how to swim..." when they make it to The Keys.
- During "The Sacrifice", in the starting safe room of the Port Finale, players will see graffiti by the safe room door, mentioning "The Angels of Death". Underneath that are drawings of 8 skulls. By looking carefully on the lower left side of Francis's neck, there is a tattoo with those same skulls. This could be a reference to the gang he used to hang out with before the infection, as shown in The Sacrifice comic.
- "...all on a six foot five frame..." from developer commentary here.
- http://l4d.com/l4d/survivors.htm Survivors descriptions
- Francis: "Have a heart, we gotta a helpless old man with us!"
- Francis: "Don't let that stop you from smearing it all over yourself."
- Francis: "Bill, could I borrow your med kit? I just wanna look at it."
- Louis: "Francis, you can take your mustache, your vest, and your chaps, and go find yourself a parade!"
- Francis: "The manager's down for the count."
- Francis: "Shit! I was just starting to like that guy."
- Francis: "Damn it... he didn't deserve this."
- Francis: "We're just leaving Louis out there? I mean, I'm cool with that if everyone else is."
- "We should maybe go get Louis. I'm just sayin'..."
- Francis: "Yeah! Yeah! That's what I've been saying."
- Francis: "That's amazing. You mean this car used to belong to the taco dog?"
- Francis: "Hey Ellis, I HATE YOUR HAT! [laughs]"
- Francis: "WITCH! Oh sorry, got confused by all your crying."
- Francis: "Nick! Good luck, my brother."
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