Left 4 Dead Wiki
The Apartments Official.jpg
Chapter 1
The Apartments
Campaign No Mercy
No Mercy Chapter Chronology
Chapter 1
The Apartments
Chapter 2
The Subway
"We can take the subway tunnels to the hospital, there's a Red Line station not far from here."

The Apartments is the first chapter of the No Mercy campaign. It takes place immediately after the opening sequence.

The Survivors start off on the roof of an apartment block on Holly Street. News Chopper 5 flies past and the pilot uses a loudhailer to announce that anyone who can hear him should make their way to Mercy Hospital where they will be rescued. The Survivors take up this opportunity and Bill says it is a good idea to get off the overrun streets and take The Subway which leads directly to Mercy Hospital.

A nearby table provides basic Tier 1 weapons, ammo and first aid kits. A melee weapon such as a crowbar will be given on a separate table if playing the Left 4 Dead 2 version.

The Survivors initially work their way down through the Infected overrun apartments using stairs or by breaking and dropping down through a bedroom skylight. The Left 4 Dead 2 version will introduce a variety of Special Infected inside the apartment building. Side rooms will contain a limited choice of melee weapons, grenades and pills.

Once down at street level, they exit into an alleyway that lead to Holly Street. Several abandoned cars litter the street, one of which has an alarm that will be set off if it is shot, hit by melee weapon or jumped upon.

There are three routes to the Holly Street Subway Station. The first is simply to follow the street, turning right at the corner. The second route is to enter an office building on the right where a side room's medical cabinet will supply pills. The final option is the longest and less intuitive: proceeding straight ahead past a stalled semi-trailer access is gained to a series of poorly lit warehouse rooms in the top left corner of the map.

Holly Street runs perpendicular to the main street entered from the apartment alley and contains the Survivors' objective. The Survivors descend the subway stairs and find the safe room just around the corner.


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.
    • Being observant might alert you to something nasty ahead of time, like a Witch, Special Infected or Tank, and allow you to prepare yourself.
  • Teamwork.
    • 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 Apartments are usually fairly easy to clear out. It's exceedingly rare for a Tank or Witch to spawn here, but don't let that lull you into a false sense of security.


At the beginning, the Bot Survivors will grab:

Make sure everybody has a First aid kit before you leave the roof. They are vital to your survival. Since the vast majority of this chapter features close quarters combat, it is recommended that you take the Pump Shotgun or melee weapon (L4D2 only), but the Submachine Gun is more effective once you get outside. This should be the easiest chapter in No Mercy, so if needed, take your time to learn the controls.

Pictures of the apartment area

  1. Go through the door to the apartments. Make sure you close it behind you. If any Infected try to reach you from this direction, the door will slow them down.
  2. Break the glass over the skylight and jump inside. Shoot any Infected you see before taking this route as they might attack as soon as you land. If the other Survivors take the first route through the door, they might be delayed in reaching your location.
  3. Although more dangerous (as you are guaranteed to take damage, or you may even miss altogether and die), there is a way to skip the apartments entirely. Look over the side of the roof that is directly behind you when you first start the level, and you'll see two air-conditioning units. Try to jump on these, but be careful. If you look down, you should be able to see your own feet (on the PC version only). As you approach the ledge, jump just as your feet are about to go over the side. If you jump too late, you will fall over the side and grab onto the ledge. If you are the last one to jump, you will slip and fall before the other Survivors can pull you back up. If you jump too soon, you will miss the air-conditioning units and fall to your death. If you jumped correctly, heal up. If you jump to the street before you do, the Infected waiting for you might be able to finish you off before you get a chance. Another way is just to stand on the ledge, looking either to the left or the right of the generator and then strafe left or right without jumping. Doing so usually results in having either 81 or 63 HP left. Taking this route, you can skip part of this guide and go down to where you would normally exit the apartments, cutting level time to less than five minutes depending on the difficulty.
  4. Another dangerous way to skip navigating the interior portion of the building is a small electrical box sticking out of the wall near the corner of the building. There is a glitch unknown to few and it isn't removed from versus mode, either; however, all players must execute this glitch in rapid succession, or you will leave your teammates to their doom! If you look down from the corner opposite to the aforementioned skylight, you can see the electrical box halfway between you and the car at the bottom. If you walk off, you will simply grab the ledge. The only way to perform this shortcut is to jump on the ledge and approach the corner. Crouch and look down at the small box and jump straight up and down in the same spot, but you must hold down the jump button. Holding the button will allow you to walk off the edge slowly without grabbing the ledge to save yourself. Creep forward slowly, and as soon you start to drop, walk backwards. This should land you on the box with only 18 damage or so. Be careful and practice on single player as missing the box will incapacitate you or kill you instantly. In versus mode, the opposing players can spawn leaving you exposed by yourself, or unable to aid your team if they are attacked above you.

Assuming you took the apartment route, be sure to check every corner and room that you can. Being ambushed is not fun. There also might be useful supplies (i.e. grenades or pills) hiding around. If you already have everything you can carry, it's still useful to find them. Even though the AI won't grab grenades, they will grab pills, and might even give them to you later if they think you need them! There are a lot of rooms with only one entrance, and these rooms are effective in use against fighting a horde. Just don't be caught in one if a Tank should arrive.

Aside from this, the apartments are pretty straightforward. You'll eventually come to a hole in the floor. Don't jump down as soon as you see it. Look on the other side, as there tend to be supplies over there. Check the hole, as well. There might be Infected down there. When you're satisfied that it's all clear, go down. Much of the time, there is another hole in the wall (such destructive Infected!). You can either go through there, or you can take the slightly longer way, which is always available, even if the hole isn't. Though it takes longer, the latter choice may have something nice laying around, like pipe bombs and sometimes a single pistol. They both lead to the same place: outside.

  • Outside the hole is the first likely place for a Tank to appear (only in versus mode). If you hear one coming, the best thing to do is wait at the top of the hole, as a player-controlled Tank will have quite a hard time reaching you.

Map of The Apartments- Click for more detail. Note- Full Resolution is best to view the map.

Once you're in the alley, watch out. Special Infected like to hang out around here, especially on the rooftops. However, if your teammates are still doing fine, you should be fine, too. Always be sure to watch each other's backs and keep moving. A second pistol usually spawns in this area, either on one of the cars in the alley on the hood of the police car, or on a bench next to the Give Blood sign. If you find it, take it. If you are ever incapacitated, you go out on a last resort of sorts with your pistols. Dual-wielding them can save your life if you have a horde on top of you.

Now that you're out in the open, there are three different paths to take.

  1. The road. It's open, and things are generally easy to deal with, unless you're out there with a horde rushing at you.
  2. Next to the Give Blood sign, there's a door. Inside there is a small hallway with another door and a desk. There's a first aid box in there, and it will contain either a first aid kit or pain pills (often only one), depending on how well you're doing. The hallway itself is fairly easy to defend, especially if you get in or near the closet at the end.
  3. Behind a crashed truck, there's a storage place. Though it's dark, sometimes useful things spawn back there.

Again, all three lead you to the same place: a back entrance to the subways, nearby the entrance there's a Chainsaw (L4D2 only) and a few cars strewn about the road. One of said cars has an alarm that will go off if you shoot it, touch it, etc., but not if you are far enough away. Unless you are deliberately looking for trouble, avoid it at all costs. It triggers a Panic Event.

  • This is another place that a Tank can appear (only in Versus mode). If you hear one coming, be sure to run into the building you probably came from, where the Tank can't hit you with the car.

If you must, though, the best way you could deal with the car and Infected would be to get inside an enclosed area. For instance, everyone can be inside the dark building to the right of the street if you entered from that area, and have one person set it off. Things are decidedly easier to manage here than out in the open.

However, if you've accidentally set it off and you don't want to face the resulting horde, run. There's a safe house down the stairs, and they can't get you once you are inside with the door closed. Just make sure nobody was left behind! Keep an eye out for an extra pair of Pistols on a table outside of the safe room, too, if you haven't found one already. Once everyone's in, take a quick breath, and get ready for The Subway.

Left 4 Dead 2 Version[]

Only minor changes were made to this map, mostly to prevent exploits. For example, the removal of an air conditioner in the alley prevents Survivors from skipping the apartment building, much like the Versus version from Left 4 Dead. Some additional rooftops that were left unmodeled in the original game are now accessible to Infected in Versus mode. Additional climbing points have also been added for the Infected. A Witch may occasionally spawn on this chapter in Left 4 Dead 2, whereas this would not occur in Left 4 Dead.


The Survivors[]

Due to the fact that humans are now playing as the Special Infected, things are going to be less predictable, and tougher. They can't spawn until you leave the rooftop, however, so make sure that everybody is ready before opening the door into the apartments or dropping down through the skylight. The AC units that were there during the campaign have been removed, so that path isn't available anymore. Jumping off now will just kill you, no matter where you land.

You and your teammates should enter the apartments together, taking the same entrance. Try not to lag behind or wander off, as this will get unwanted Special Infected attention quickly. The Infected players are going to be continuously coming at you, so stay together and keep moving. You cannot afford to stand still for too long.

Watch out for ambushes as you descend through the apartments. Boomers like to lurk around the corner in the second room past the first stairway; be wary of their bile! When you reach the hole in the floor, make sure everybody jumps down at the same time. If somebody lags behind when everybody else has jumped down, they can easily be taken out by a Hunter or Smoker since the other Survivors won't be able to reach them anymore. You can try shooting through the ceiling at whatever is holding the Survivor, but the Tier 1 weapons don't have much penetration. It's still better than leaving the Survivor to die, so give it a chance.

Once you get out into the open, be extra careful. Smokers and Hunters hang out around the rooftops, ready to snatch or pin the very first Survivor they can. They usually target anybody who is alone, so don't give them that chance.

Be careful in the alleys. If a Witch were to spawn, she will do so there.

If a Tank spawns around the entrance to the subway, split up (going in pairs around the Tank works well to ensure that no one gets caught on a Special Infected) and try to make a run for it! It's very likely that they will try to incapacitate everybody by hurling a car in your direction. As long as somebody can make it to the safe house alive, there's still a chance that you can win the round. However, try not to simply abandon your teammates. If you can safely help a teammate and both reach the safe house, it will be worth it in the end. The more Survivors that make it inside, the more points you can get.

The Infected[]

See also: The Boomer, The Hunter, The Smoker, The Tank

Silly Survivors, thinking they can escape the Infection. Teach them a thing or two! Just remember, work together as much as you can. Even the bloodthirsty Infected need to rely on their buddies to hunt efficiently. Get those Survivors while they still learn how to deal with you, and before they recover from the horde that got them into this mess.

Overall Tips

  • 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.

Francis gets constricted at the one-way drop

Boomers: This chapter is designed to make the Boomer effective and can mean a win or a loss for your team. Since the first half of this level takes place indoors, hide behind corners or particularly break open doors and shower the Survivors in bile, then get out there and try to get in their faces as much as possible. Odds are, they will shove you too much and you will pop. When in the alley, remember that your vomit is affected by gravity, and you can still shower them from atop a building. Did you miss some? No problem. For you are also affected by gravity, and dropping down on Survivors, especially when they are spraying bullets or spamming melee, may lead them to kill you for a surprise bile attack. Do note that when you are falling, you make a distinct noise, and aware Survivors may notice the falling fatty. When it comes to the car alarm, be aware that the noise you make will alert Survivors at what you are attempting to do. Instead of hiding near the car, hide near the subway entrance. They may think that you are around the car, but when you surprise them, they may cause a panic and accidentally hit the car, summoning more Infected.

(Note: Some walls in the campaign are breakable, and are around a crucial choke point, and all the player needs to do when spawned next to this wall is to break it down when the orange aura is close, and vomit on them summoning a horde, and all the other non-trapped (In a closet or room) zombies, meaning the game could quickly turn in the favor of the infected team.)

A Hunter waiting to pounce in the streets

Hunters: Ferocious and stealthy, you are a force to be reckoned with. While you may not be so hot in the apartment complex, note that you can still take advantage of stragglers or people rushing through the level. Also note that once Survivors go through the hole in the floor, they can't get back up. Try pouncing Survivors close together around the hole. Your pounce will stun them and may push them down, thus allowing you do significant damage while the Survivors spray bullets at you or just leave their fallen comrade behind. When you are outside, you can really give those Survivors hell. Remember that more horizontal distance usually ends up with higher pounce damage. Taking advantage of Survivors that huddle in corners can help with your accuracy with long distance jumps. If your Smoker is constricting a straggling Survivor, someone from their team my run back to save him; wait for the would-be hero to show up and then pounce him. You may die when the other Survivors come to their aid, but "securing" will delay the Survivors from moving forward. If pouncing is too hard, or they are indoors, running up and clawing them will help you gets some damage in. Targeting weak Survivors with your claw can incapacitate them, buying your team time for a well coordinated assault. For skilled players who have learned to wall jump, use this advantage when you want to attack the Survivors with a bit of a surprise, and also use this to prevent yourself from being spotted. Hunters are hard to kill when moving, so keep on doing this until you are safe and sound, or unless you pounced a victim. Wall jumping is a skill that helps Hunters maneuver around the map faster. It's best to do if far away because if you have successfully wall-jumped to the Survivor, rather than running to him/her, you will already be in the air rather than having to crouch before pouncing, giving them a surprise.

Smokers: Staying outside is optimal, but if you can get inside the apartments behind the Survivors, you can try and snag the last person to jump down the hole in the floor and their teammates won't be able to help them. One Survivor down! Wait for Survivors outside, preferably from the rooftops. You're harder to spot up there than you are standing right on the street. Try to grab as many Survivors as you can, usually if they're alone or low on health. If you're in a good spot, it doesn't matter if somebody breaks your tongue and frees the helpless Survivor: just get back, let your gauge refill, and grab somebody again. Second chances are wonderful, and third and fourth and fifth chances are incredible. If a Witch spawns and the Survivors can't ignore her (e.g. in the alley way), try to pull a Survivor that will attempt to cr0wn her in her face. If she spawns somewhere that the Survivors can find an alternate route around (e.g. inside the office building or on the street corner), you can attempt to pull any Survivors foolish enough to get within your range. The car alarm is your chance to end it for the Survivors. Hiding by the car can give you an edge, but it is a Common Infected tactic, and many Survivor teams will get in your face to free their snared friend and melee you to death. Try to take advantage of the other two cars in the street, and pick your moment wisely.

Tanks: Tanks are especially rare here, but they can do quite a lot of damage... if they're careful. Yes, you may think it's easy to slaughter the Survivors, since they only have Tier 1 weapons, but on the off chance you get hit by a Molotov or any other fiery substance, the flames of which will kill you very quickly. If the Survivors are still in the Apartment complex and have not yet fallen down the hole, it may be tricky to get to them (as human controlled Tanks cannot climb up the ledge.) If they stay above the hole, instead climb up to their spawn point and flank them from behind. If they run down the hole and for the safe house, remember that the alleyways are deathtraps for them, especially with all the cars lying around. If they are out on the street, you can still try to throw rocks at them or punch cars.

Witches: Witches are uncommon in The Apartments. When she does spawn, it's usually in the alley outside of the apartments, or near the alarmed car.

Other Tips:

  • There is a hole in the floor of the apartment buildings second floor which the Survivors need to drop through to progress. A good strategy is for the Smoker to pull the last Survivor before he drops down but after the rest of his team has. This will not really achieve much, however, unless you have the rest of your team distract the three remaining Survivors down below as they can shoot through the ceiling. However, if you manage to incapacitate a Survivor on the upper floor there is no way for those on the ground floor to save them.
  • This level contains one area where there are two ways to go. After leaving the alley way, Survivors can choose to stay on the open area of the street or take shelter inside the office building. Both areas have their pros and cons for each team, but most Survivors take inside path because of the Health items. The inside is great for Boomers to surprise Survivors with bile bath, but another perk is that it allows your team to take up an offensive outside. If the Survivors stick to the streets, Hunters can take advantage of the distance for damage pounces. Remember to plan your attack depending on the path, and be ready to change your plan on a moment's notice should the Survivors try anything unusual.


This map supports Scavenge mode, with 22 gas cans. It spans from the ground floor of the apartments to the end of the level. Smokers can occasionally grab Survivors on the rooftops when it's overtime, and other Special Infected can also use these rooftops to their advantage.

Behind the Scenes[]

The spawn area originally had Molotovs on the weapon table.

Originally, the safe house at the end of this map was supposed to be in a clothing store in a building that was to the right of the current entrance to the subway. However, this was removed in favor of the current safe house location, possibly because the current location is much easier to locate.

The apartment was supposed to be a hotel at one time, judging by the HOTEL sign on the apartment building in early versions of the game.

A large sign was supposed to be in front of the building that is to the left of the apartment complex, which indicated that the building was a convenience store.


  • There is a glitch in the demo version. If you jump off the Apartments with a Tier 1 weapon, you will die, but when you respawn you will have another magazine of ammo. This is fixed as soon as you pick up another weapon.
  • Although The Apartments supposedly picks up right after the introduction cut scene (where Tier 2 weapons are much in evidence), everyone starts with only a Pistol and must select Tier 1 weapons from the table.
  • The metal stairs at the top of the fire escape (where Bill and Louis sit during the intro) are not found in the same location as they were shown in the intro. There is also no Tank corpse to be found anywhere in the debris of the collapsed fire escape that killed him.
  • An extensive network of rooms and an outside courtyard exists in a map area located at the end of Holly Street past the subway entrance. This map area is redundant for game play purposes and is probably a legacy of some unexecuted scenario abandoned during the game's development.
  • When playing as the Infected, do not walk up against the Humvee that has crashed into the apartment complex. For some reason, doing so will instantly kill you (touching the Humvee as a Tank, Charger or Jockey will drain your health by 300). If a Survivor uses cheats or exploits to get into the Humvee, they will die instantly as well.
  • The Apartments is one of the few levels in the game that has shortcuts. The window and leap-to-the generator exploit is a stand-out unintended map shortcut glitch. Another Survivor shortcut is the breakable skylight on the roof at the start. And for Infected, the wall to the left of the player after they drop through the hole in the kitchen is breakable.
  • The doors of the refrigerator that you see right after leaving the rooftop can be opened and closed. It's also possible to glitch it up so that it closes inwards.
  • In the demo, there is a glitch where if you hit the TV that is near the stairs, you will be dealt 1 point of damage on all difficulties.
  • There is a way to get out of the map. Just like the power box glitch earlier right in front of where you start, do the same thing and try to land on the rock; you will be downed and, if lucky, an AI will glitch and appear next to you. This is bad, though, as after a while, you die randomly. It can also be humorous as Smokers and Hunters will fall to their death.
  • It is possible for a Survivor to get to the area where the Humvee is when you start, if you jump onto the ledge and look down and see the Humvee; to your right, there is a small ledge which, with a very careful jump, you can land on and then drop to the ground. As mentioned, be careful approaching the Humvee as this will instantly kill you. AI bots will teleport to you and you can explore the area but are still trapped by invisible walls. It is impossible to leave this area as a normal Survivor.
  • There is another shortcut if you go to the corner to the left of the Survivors, after you have control of them. There should be a few pipes to the right connected to an electrical box on top of the broken car. First you need to get on the ledge, hold the jump button and slowly walk off the edge, then slightly move backwards while falling. If done correctly, you will land on the pipes and take only 17 damage (works on both Campaign and VS, but cannot be done in Left 4 Dead 2 as the box is removed).
  • This level is the only level in the No Mercy campaign where a military Humvee is seen.

Easter Eggs[]

  • When going down the first set of stairs down into the apartment, on the table to your right when going through the kitchen, you will find a box of cereal called "Choco-bites" advertising Team Fortress 2 (another Valve title) on the back. It states that you get a free figurine in your cereal and to "collect all 10," even though there are only 9 classes in the game (the tenth often theorized by fans to be the Sentry building, but is actually the removed Civilian). Another box can be found in the starting safe room of the Runway Finale in the Dead Air Campaign.
  • On one of the newspapers, there is an image of what appears to be Dr. Breen, who is from another of Valve's popular game, Half-Life 2, the game from which the newspaper model was recycled from.
Left 4 Dead Left 4 Dead 2
L4d no mercy.jpg
No Mercy
The Apartments / The Subway / The Sewer / The Hospital / Rooftop Finale Price chopper.jpg
Dead Center
The Hotel / The Streets / The Mall / The Atrium
L4d achievement survive garage.png
Crash Course
The Alleys / The Truck Depot Finale Torch-Bearer.gif
The Passing
The Riverbank / The Underground / The Port
L4d death toll.jpg
Death Toll
The Turnpike / The Drains / The Church / The Town / Boathouse Finale Midnight rider.jpg
Dark Carnival
The Highway / The Fairgrounds / The Coaster / The Barns / The Concert
L4d dead air.jpg
Dead Air
The Greenhouse / The Crane / The Construction Site / The Terminal / Runway Finale Ragin cajun.jpg
Swamp Fever
Plank Country / The Swamp / Shanty Town / The Plantation
L4d blood harvest.jpg
Blood Harvest
The Woods / The Tunnel / The Bridge / The Train Station / Farmhouse Finale Weatherman.jpg
Hard Rain
The Milltown / The Sugar Mill / Mill Escape / Return To Town / Town Escape
Supreme sacrifice.png
The Sacrifice
The Docks / The Barge / Port Finale Bridge burner.jpg
The Parish
The Waterfront / The Park / The Cemetery / The Quarter / The Bridge
L4D last stand.jpg
The Last Stand
The Lighthouse Streamcrosser.jpg
Cold Stream
Alpine Creek / South Pine Stream / Memorial Bridge / Cut-throat Creek
L4d outbreak.jpg
Dam It
Orchard / Campground / Dam Achievement Still Standing.png
The Last Stand
The Junkyard / Lighthouse Finale