|"Unless anyone has a better plan..."
This article requires a properly written walkthrough.
|"You're gonna want to see this!"|
|Swamp Fever Chapter Chronology|
- "I shot a zombie. He was a zombie, Ellis He must've been bitten before he picked us up."
- "No CEDA. No Military. Stay out."
Plank Country is the first chapter of the campaign Swamp Fever in Left 4 Dead 2. The map begins with the Survivors leaving the railway box car in which they found temporary shelter in the wake of their Dark Carnival helicopter pilot turning into a zombie, obliging Nick to shoot him and bringing the helicopter down in the Louisiana swamps.
In front of the Survivors is an abandoned gas station near a collection of trailer homes and shotgun shacks bordering a tourist attraction gator farm (Earl's Gator Village) and many square miles of bayou. The townspeople mistakenly thought they could wait out the Infection by barricading their community, to which end they had fought off Infected whilst spurning outside help and refugees. Unfortunately the plan failed and everyone has either fled in panic, died or become infected.
Also see: Tactics
All campaign walkthroughs are done on Normal difficulty in single player, and are meant to give tips on what to do and generally point out things that might otherwise be missed.
There are, of course, a few key things to always remember:
- Stop, look, and listen.
- This cannot be stressed enough. Left 4 Dead is supposed to be a cooperative game. Communicate with your teammates, if you're playing with others, or if you're by yourself with the AI, point out things they might otherwise miss. In all cases, watch out for each other and take care of each other. You are not going to survive the zombie apocalypse by yourself.
- Be ready for anything.
- Don't panic.
The Survivors find themselves in a plank country. Will they get out of there?
The crashed and burning helicopter can be seen by peeping between two neighbouring railway wagons to the left of your starting position.
Once players leave, go to the gas station nearby. There's always a melee weapon of some sort in there. Check the oil holder nearby as there's usually a throwable there. Once you are satisfied with your efforts, go to a small storage room near the factory. The Director is usually nice, so you will probably be able to find Pain pills, Adrenaline Shots, or an explosive or incendiary ammo pack here.
Once you loot the storage room, go to the house closest to your location. There's usually various items you might find useful, such as a Bile Bomb, a Chainsaw or Grenade Launcher. Zig-zag through the area, searching the shack that is wrecked badly for any potential supplies. Then go into the mobile trailer home as there are usually various items that you can find. After that, zig-zag into the small house left of the mobile home. Go up the ladder and turn around. Sometimes, the Director places another ammo pack that you can use.
Go into the village (or Earl's Gator Pond). Usually at this point, the Director spawns a Tank or Witch. Go into to the convenience store and search as there are usually throwables, Ammo packs or occasionally the Laser Sights. If the ammo pack is not in the store, it's usually in the bar area or in the two-story building up ahead. Clean up all the Common Infected in the area. While in the village (when you near the Crescendo Event), no Special Infected or Hordes will spawn unless you go to the store area again. Sometimes a Witch may spawn nearby, though it is possible to avoid her by going around her as she is never too close to the lever.
Before you start up the lever, search carefully one more time. On a table is a submachine gun (which can be silenced). In the dock-like area, a Chrome Shotgun or Pump Shotgun can be found. Once you are ready, start the lever. A Crescendo Event will start and it is recommended to get to the nearby two-story building for vantage and defense. Alternatively, you can start Re: Your Brains from the jukebox in the restaurant and start the event when the horde appears; this helps on harder difficulties as there are less Common Infected to deal with using this method.
Once on the other side of the gator pond, this is one of the few most likely times for a Tank to appear, which is unfortunate because players are handicapped with paltry Tier 1 weapons. Hence, if the distinctive Tank sounds are heard near this point, it is essential to get into a defensive position, heal if necessary, and ideally have a Molotov or a Bile Bomb ready.
Players who died at the ferry dock will respawn in a wooden shed on the left of the walkway.
After following a wooden walkway for a short while, a cabin appears on the left. It often holds valuable supplies: from rare weapons (like the Chainsaw, Grenade Launcher and Laser Sight) to common accessories like Pain pills/Adrenaline and ammo.
Players are presented with a choice either to go left or right on elevated walkways but in practice it does not matter which route is taken since they join up again and both paths often hold Tier 1 weapons like the Submachine Gun and Pump Shotgun, as well as other supplies. If a Witch is heard, the chances are that she will be located at the point where the two paths meet, though sometimes she is on the staircases on one path. Look for a lighted shelter on the walkway; either a Hunting or Sniper Rifle is found on the nearby table and will help mop up stray Infected.
The walkways soon end and the obvious way forward is down into the swamp. Press on ahead or take a small detour to the right. If you plan to go on ahead, your movement speed will be reduced from the swamp water. Taking the detour will lead to planks and will provide better movement while on them.
A light will soon be espied in the distance. It is the entrance to a safe room housed in a drainage culvert under a railroad causeway.
Now that humans are controlling the Special Infected, things can only get worse. However, they can't spawn until you leave the campsite area. That doesn't mean that you should let them have a good chance to find just the right spot, though! Hurry up and get your supplies, and get moving!
This level can be very tricky for the human controlled Survivors, since the Infected are not bots any more. There are some "instant kill" spots in the Crescendo Event area. Also, Tanks may spawn after leaving the ferry.
Whilst most of the level through the Shanty town is relatively easy due to its wide main street which easy fire ways into most buildings things can become incredibly hard once the winch for the barge is activated. Not only will tons of Common Infected swarm on you, even if you camp in the building, but you will become easy prey for Special Infected like the Smoker, the Jockey and the Charger who are all capable of dislodging you from your camping spot and getting instant kills by throwing you into the river. The best strategy then is to stick together and watch all directions, using a Bile bomb or a Pipe bomb to siphon off the majority of the Horde and leaving you free to spot any of the Special Infected unencumbered.
Though they might be immune to the Infection, they aren't immune to death; no one is. Work together to make sure they're victims of this rampant virus, one way or another.
- Any survivors that choose to run ahead of or fall behind their teammates will be much easier to seriously damage and kill. The farther away they are from their teammates, the more likely they are to be incapacitated or die before their teammates can reach them.
- The Survivors all have outlines around them, showing their status and location. Green means they're healthy. Yellow means they're hurt. Red means they're low on health. Purple means they've been covered in Boomer bile. You can probably discern which to seek out first if possible.
- Think like a Survivor. When you play as one, when are the worst times that something could come at you? Exploit that knowledge.
- Teamwork, as aforementioned. Has a Boomer gotten their bile all over the Survivors? Jump one of them or a clean one. They can't see their teammates' aura until they're clean...and by then, it might be too late.
- As much as teamwork is a strength for you and your enemies, a lack of it will be their downfall. If you can focus all of your energy on killing one of the Survivors, the rest will be that much easier to take down. Not only will they have one less gun, but they will have three Survivors to your three incapacitating Infected.
- You can make instant kills here. For you to finish off unlucky Survivors, you must charge them into the water, making them fall to their death. This applies on both sides of the water.
- Charging Survivors off the walkway is a good strategy.
- Try to hit the Survivors on the docks and don't let them see you.
- Since there are many houses in the plank country, you can try ensnaring them from the rooftops. Be sure to not be at the highest spot as the Survivors may spot you easily and kill you.
- If a Witch spawns in the village try to drag Survivors to her, they will all be equipped with tier 1 weapons so they will have troubles killing her fast. If the Survivor is not dead but incapacitated your comrades can take their chances to finish them off.
- Pulling players off of the walkways and into the water can slow them down and separate them from the pack, forcing them to take precious time to backtrack and regroup.
- Dragging Survivors while hidden among the bushes will often result in their rescuers having difficulty hitting you, as you will be concealed. However this is best on Realism Mode, since Survivors that are the victims of Special Infected have an aura around them, making it useless on Versus Mode.
- The swamp has many hiding spots, use them to your advantage to pounce unsuspecting players.
- Practice your damage pounces from the rooftops.
- If one player goes off on their lonesome in the houses to search for supplies, let this be their downfall.
- If the Survivors are bunched up next to the river, and you pounce one, the knock back effect just might push one or more of their teammates over the edge.
- Spitting on the boat while the Survivors are in it will cause them to take a vicious amount of damage, because there is no escape from the ferry.
- Likewise, spitting on the boat just as it arrives will force them to make a decision between spit damage, or the horde of Infected charging at them, though if players hold out for enough, no Infected will spawn and the players will feel free to walk onto the ground. Spit on the boat WHEN they activate the boat to take them to the other side if possible.
- If the Survivors are camping in one spot at the Crescendo Event, feel more than free to spit on them and disrupt their formation.
- As always, spitting on incapacitated Survivors as their rescuer arrives is a great strategy.
- If you're riding a Survivor and he's not resisting, you can send him/her into the water for an instant kill.
- In the village itself, riding Survivors into and out of houses can buy you a few extra seconds to do damage.
- Wait for the Survivors in the houses, then ambush them.
- During the Crescendo Event, it can be crucial to vomit on the Survivors. Obviously yes, but when vomited on, players (especially inexperienced ones) can tend to move around to try and get away from the horde. If they make this mistake when their back is to the river, things could turn ugly for them fast.
- As a Boomer, try to explode near them all of the survivors some unlucky ones will fall into the water.and the rest will still have vomit on them. Try to do this before the ferry comes. However, if any Bots are around, it is not recommended since Bots will instantly shove you and then shoot you.
- If you spawn as a Tank in the village you can try tossing some of the cars at the Survivors to instantly incapacitate them.
- The swamp is full of trees, so your rock throws will fail most of the times. Try to punch the Survivor near the water to instantly kill them.
See also: Survival Mode
The ferry arrives but the Survivors find out that it cannot return to the other side. They use the Motor again but it fails. With an angry horde of Infected coming to punish them, how long can the Survivors hold out?
- Teamwork is essential to long-term survival.
- In this mode, most of the popular choke points, closets and easily defensible corners are removed. Even if you find one that has not been removed, it is not recommended that you fight from there as The Tank will quickly defeat you when he arrives.
- You have an infinite amount of time to prepare. Use this to your advantage. Take as much time as you can to set up gas cans, propane tanks, oxygen tanks and to find a good place to fight from.
- When searching for a place to fight from, remember that you need a location that not only limits where the horde attacks from, but also gives you a fair chance against the Tank. You either need to be able to fall back and deal with the Tank easily, or have a good enough vantage point to kill him before he can get too close.
- Ammunition is a problem. Unless you are being overrun with Infected or fighting a Tank, try to use your pistols as much as possible. Conserving ammunition should be a priority, as trying to get more during a horde attack can often be fatal. When you do head out for ammunition, remember to take at least one teammate with you.
This Survival map is unique in that the Survivors start with less supplies overall, with the ferry arriving at the 2 minute mark carrying extra items. Retrieving these supplies may be hazardous as it involves treading near the water, and also backs the Survivors into a corner, with Infected pouring over the fence nearby. It can also be an inconvenience if the Survivors plan to hold out at the other edge of the map.
There are plenty of gas cans and propane tanks lying around to set up a defensive perimeter around the team's selected defense point. However, players should not be standing in the dock area, as Jockeys, Hunters and Boomers can send players hanging onto the ledges. Jockeys can steer you off the dock. Chargers and Tanks can send the team flying to their doom with no chance of revival.
- Assault Rifle
- Combat Rifle
- Tactical Shotgun
- Frying Pan
- Cricket Bat
- 2 Molotov Cocktails
- 2 Pipe Bombs
- 2 Pain Pills
- 2 Adrenaline shots
- 11 Gas cans
- 5 Propane tanks
Supplies on the ferry:
- Sniper Rifle
- Grenade Launcher
- 6 Pipe Bombs
- 5 Molotov Cocktails
- Bile bomb
- 5 First Aid kits
- 3 Pain Pills
- 4 Adrenaline shots
- Incendiary Ammo
- Explosive Ammo
During scavenge, grab several gas cans, and drop them under the water to make sure the Spitters cannot destroy them. This also prevents you from having to run farther away to grab them. This is probably the best strategy for Plank Country. Another strategy is to have two actually in the swamp water, two on the platforms with snipers. These two will cover the ones in the swamp using their scopes, while the others have rifles or shotguns, grabbing gas cans. You can also have two people grab adrenaline shots, and inject them when they get to the swamp water, causing them to run faster than normal speed in it, grab the gas cans, and toss them over. Another way is to run in a sort of line leading to the tanker, one grabs the gas, throws it back, the next person throws it back, repeat, then the last one puts it in. So, the 4 strategies are:
- Grab several gas cans, put them in the water close to the tanker, then repeat.
- Two snipers on platforms, providing covering fire for two grabbing gas cans in swamp.
- Two people with adrenaline shots tossing cans over to two Survivors at tanker.
- Line up to tanker, tossing the gas tank backwards.
- Avoid the gator pond. Whether a player is a Survivor, an Infected, or an Infected still in ghost mode, the water will kill.
- At the beginning of the level, sometimes Ellis complains to Nick about why he shot the helicopter pilot. Then they argue that the pilot was a zombie and that "he wouldn't help us very much" during that time. This seems to be a running joke with the Survivors. Our-pilot-turned-into-a-zombie is an example of "hanging a lampshade" (aka "lampshading"); a scriptwriting technique to address the problem of implausible plot-holes or managing awkward scene transitions that would otherwise bother audiences. By drawing attention to it and then covering it up (with a lampshade), the audience is reassured and story can quickly move on. The same zombie-pilot lampshade also features at the start of Crash Course in Left 4 Dead. Other times though, Coach will be happy that the pilot was shot, or Nick saying that he was surprised that none of them were going to shoot the zombie pilot.
- Ellis apparently thinks that the Infected pilot could still have flown the helicopter judging from what he says during the argument, though Nick says that the Infected pilot would have killed them.
- Occasionally, Ellis will compliment Nick's quick reaction when shooting the zombie pilot.
- The crashed Helicopter is the crashed News Chopper 5 model that was used in Crash Course, just reskinned to match its appearance in Dark Carnival.
- A jukebox can be found in a restaurant or bar that can trigger the jukebox easteregg
- If a survivor hangs off the part of the wooden boards where the ferry will go, the ferry might crush the survivor killing him\her instantly.
- Near the ferry Crescendo event, there is a Charger strung up by all limbs in the shape of a Lambda, the logo of Valve's Half-Life series.
- A glitch can occasionally happen near the ferry Crescendo Event where all the Survivors are impervious to attacks from Common and Special Infected alike. (The Infected Team are not granted the glitch effects, however.) When this is in effect, Survivors can be attacked by Infected but not take damage. For instance it is possible for a Survivor to be choked out by a Smoker for several minutes without taking damage. Survivors can even jump in the river without dying, though this is not recommended as it means teammates cannot continue; there is no way back up to land and the glitch effect eventually ends causing instant death. The glitch's effects often end once the ferry arrives but it has been known to last the rest of the level on rare occasions even with Witches and Friendly Fire both doing no damage.
- The PC version of Plank Country has a glitch in Versus mode that gives the Survivors 500 points upon activation of the control that brings over the ferry. The glitch also temporarily prevents the Infected players from spawning.
- The button inside the ferry is rendered from one of Valve's popular games, Half-Life 2.
- In the Swamp Fever Beta, the wooden walkways would sometimes collapse when walked on, forcing the Survivors to trudge through the muck and take the other path. Valve removed this because play testers found this extremely tedious.
- If a player Noclips out of the boxcar and looks behind it the News Chopper 5 Helicopter will be seen. As stated above, it is modeled on that used Left 4 Dead's Crash Course. This is an interesting thing to note, as the Helicopter that rescued the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors in Dark Carnival had yellow livery.
- Coach will occasionally say "Get your ass in the elevator" when the ferry arrives.
- Ellis' color commentary about "Blood Farmers" is a reference to the 1972 Grindhouse film, Invasion of the Blood Farmers. In it, maniac farmer-druids in a remote shanty town drain the blood from unsuspecting innocents to resurrect their queen. Ellis basically discusses the plot of the movie as if it were real, though he says they "grow people to eat" in his way.
- On the ferry, Coach may mention a movie where an alligator ate a guy's hand, a nod to the movie Happy Gilmore.
- If a horde spawns after the ferry drops you off on the other side, even though to the right of the ferry has a path for Infected to get to the other side, the majority of the horde seems to ignore it and instead fall into the water, killing themselves.