Left 4 Dead Wiki
L4d dt church.jpg
Chapter 3
The Church
Campaign Death Toll
Death Toll Chapter Chronology
Chapter 2
The Drains
Chapter 3
The Church
Chapter 4
The Town
"There's lights on in that church."
"Mister, if one of us gets killed out here, I'm gonna shoot my way in there and beat you to death with my gun!"
For the actual in-game church, see Riverside First Church.

The Church is the third chapter of the third campaign in Left 4 Dead, Death Toll. It takes place near the town of Riverside, beginning inside of a safe room located in a caboose. The Survivors must make their way through an abandoned trainyard, down an empty street bordered by thick woods, and ultimately they reach a church with a safe house.


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.

You're almost to Riverside! Hopefully it's held out long enough, maybe you'll be able to get out of here? Just stay focused, and you'll be fine.


When starting from this chapter, the AI Survivors will grab:

When the Tier 2 weapons are found, they will grab:

The Church Map

Otherwise, they will keep the weapons they had in the last chapter (see "The Drains" for a list of weapons they will grab there).

Those drains must have been awful, assuming you went through them. However, you're out now; enjoy the fresh air! If you're starting here, just get ready as usual. Have everyone grab a weapon (you only have Tier 1 weapons if you started here) or ammo if they need it. If anyone's injured from the past chapter, go ahead and heal up. You've earned it. When everyone's ready, open the door and head out into the dark, creepy train yard. Lovely, right?

At this point, there's a few key points of interest, which may even hold some nice goodies, like Tier 2 weapons or other supplies:

  • To the player's right, there's a big brick building. Inside the dark room through the door, there might be some nice stuff.
  • To the left, although it's pretty hard to miss it, there's a big tower. Ascend the stairs to the lighted room at the top and check the table against the far wall. Just be careful up there! There's one nasty fall, and the AIs like to break the staircase railing.

Whenever the player is ready, keep heading through the trainyard until he reaches some stairs. Looking to the left of those, there's another room which may yield good things. Head up the stairs, either way, and be sure to check the rooms to your left! There's an unbreakable door in the darker one, which is effective if the player needs a place to catch his breath, and items will usually spawn in the lighter one. Continue over the fence and drop down.

This is one of the few most likely times for a Tank or Witch to appear. If you hear either before this, get ready as you will, and try to spare a Molotov for the Tank.

Another dark street. Why is everything dark around here? Oh, well. Go up the street, where avoiding the woods is advised, and take a look inside of the building to your right. There's a first-aid station in there, and maybe further supplies (or weapons, if you're still looking) on the table. Get what you can, and keep following the street. Oh, nice, a cabin in the middle of nowhere... It's not as bad as it might sound. The garage to its right is a nice place to fight hordes from, and there are usually even more supplies inside of the house itself. If the player has found no weapons yet, chances are, there will be some in here next to the television set. Give it a thorough search if you can (you're going to need it), and get going.

An abandoned ambulance stands in the middle of the road, which usually has health supplies. Bodies pile up in front of a wall, and somebody painted over the sign so that it now reads, "Welcome to Hell." Totally a great omen, right? Ignore it and enter the graveyard. It's dark; it might be scary; but, no, nothing is going to crawl out of the graves... yet. There's lights on in the church at the end of the path. Get there.

Though there might be a safe house here, don't open the door just yet. The player might hear the disjointed rantings of somebody. Oh, a new friend? Maybe you can add him to your entourage! ...Not quite. The player should find weapons and ammo in the entrance room, and probably gas cans scattered around the place. As long as the player doesn't leave the gates of the yard, you won't get jumped by anything. Set up, and be prepared to talk to the person in the church.

At this point, a few hordes are going to come rushing at you in a mini-finale. Deal with them how you like best, just watch out for each other. Take advantage of the supplies presented to you here. Once the player has gotten through the several somewhat difficult waves of the Infected, you'll hear the Church Guy either start growling, coughing or most likely gurgling. When the player is finally able to open the door, our friend the "Church Guy" will have changed into either a Hunter if the player heard him growl, a Smoker if the player heard him cough, or a Boomer if the player heard him gurgle. Kill him, but be careful if he's a Boomer (which he usually is)! Covered in bile, it's especially urgent to get everyone inside and close that door!

You've made it. You're in Riverside. But this is not the end, of course. Take a moment to catch your breath and heal up, and get ready for The Town.

Left 4 Dead 2 Version[]

The map uses the Versus version from Left 4 Dead even on co-op modes, meaning there are more entry points for infected during the church crescendo. Most notably the blockade over the large windows opposite the safe room door are removed. In addition to the changes already present in the Versus version, the freezer door has been removed to prevent players from camping there and not continuing their progress. The Church Guy still only transforms into a Hunter, Smoker or Boomer.


The Survivors[]

Now that humans are controlling the Special Infected, things can only get harder. However, they can't spawn until you leave the safe room. 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 running!

There is a building to the left of the starting safe house that if you climb up the stairs towards can be deadly. It is easy for a good Special Infected team to rip you apart whilst climbing the stairs. Smokers will have an easy job of pulling you off the stairs and instantly incapacitating you. There can sometimes be a second pistol or Tier 2 weapons, but it is often not worth the risk of possibly losing large chunks of health.

Whilst progressing through the level, remember that you are playing against human players, not computer-controlled players. They will not wait for you to come to them, and if they do, it's because they have an ambush location that could be fatal to you and your team. With this in mind, you need to keep moving. However, moving hastily and without concentration could be your downfall―move quickly, but with caution.

This level is not too bad for the Survivors, but not too great. This is because most of the level is open and your only real concerns are the Hunters and the Smokers. Unfortunately, the Boomers can also effectively induce havoc and chaos in certain sections of the level. There have certainly been worse levels, but overall, it's a rather mixed bag. Remember that your enemies will try to anticipate your moves and will attack when you are vulnerable or alone. Keep in mind the locations that you'd hate to be attacked in and exploit your knowledge as an Infected for use as a Survivor.

One area that will be quite bothersome to the Survivors is crossing the fence through the stalled train. Smokers enjoy pulling Survivors off the ledge, forcing them to wait for their teammate to climb back up. If you see a friend of yours get pulled down to the trees, you can either quickly rush to his aid or attempt to shoot the Smoker from the bridge. Bear in mind that a Boomer may be waiting for another Survivor to vomit on, or a Hunter may be lying in wait for a victim. Once you have freed the fellow Survivor, make your way as quick as possible back to the top of the bridge. It is not advised going ahead without your team, as a Hunter can lie in wait and take down a lone wolf before his teammates could come to his aid.

The Crescendo Event at the end will more than likely be difficult for an inexperienced team of Survivors. Remember that while making use of common tactics is generally a good idea, your enemies will most likely be aware of these tactics and will exploit their weaknesses. Stick together and cover each other's backs during the oncoming waves. Make sure that everyone is still standing and not being attacked by Special Infected.

This level is a Tank nightmare; the Tank can rip apart any Survivor team, especially a human-controlled Tank. Bear in mind the locations he will spawn and how best to deal with him. Also remember that he can spawn right in front of the safe room. This is one of the worst places for him to spawn as it not only serves to attack you, but to give the other Infected ample time to set up for the horde attack when you interact with the safe room door. The Tank normally takes a tired team of Survivors by surprise if it does show up there.

The Infected[]

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

For whom the bell tolls, comes more infected to play. Make the Survivors haunt these graveyards, train yards, and creepy houses! Oh, and thank that crazy Church Guy when you're done!

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.

Boomers: This level was made for you. You are the sneaky one, hiding around corners and in dark areas. You stalk your victims, wait for them to be distracted, then―attack! Vomit spews in their direction; they scream rants of anger as they back into defensive positions, waiting to embrace the force of your approaching horde. The forests of this level are perfect for Boomer ambushes. There are many deadly areas that the Survivors must pass on their journey. If you notice a Smoker trying to pull Survivors off the bridge, assist him by showering the other Survivors so that they have a tough time helping their fallen friend. Even if their captured friend manages to kill the Smoker, the horde will deal some damage to the other Survivors and force them to wait in one vulnerable spot for their friend to get back up to the bridge, giving your team enough time to respawn and reposition for another pull and vomit combo. If a Tank shows up, do your best to cover as many Survivors as you can. A horde and a Tank at one time is often enough to overwhelm the Survivors. Although open spaces aren't your forte, go for it! You can charge down at them while their backs are turned and kamikaze into their defensive formation. Then you can rain down your putrid bile! If you can cover the Survivors while other Infected are in position, Smokers and Hunters can use the opportunity you created to put the hurt on the Survivors. There's a Witch? Conceal her! Odds are that one genius Survivor is going to shoot you and the Witch in one go.

Hunters: Certainly, you are a deadly foe worth revering, though it's a rule of thumb to see your prey before they see you and revel in your excellence. Hunters work best in ambush situations. Another rule is to not attack a group unless you're trying to distract them, or simply scare them. Try to hide in small spaces, though. Pounce people who wander off. Always remember that you have a strong melee attack, so if you can't quite pounce, feel entirely free to melee. Hiding around Witches is also quite devilish, and effective. Remember all of those times you were pounced by a Hunter and it couldn't have happened at a worse time? Well, exploit that knowledge. Think like a Survivor, and attack when they're vulnerable.

Smokers: This is great for you. The areas are generally wide open. Open spaces are usually good because you can drag them far away from their friends. Closed spaces are not so good. Experienced Survivor teams will often adopt a "squad formation". This usually consists of three facing the front and one covering the back every so often. Let this be their downfall and snag that rearguard. With no one else watching the back, it may take the Survivors a few vital seconds to realize what has happened. A great way to pester those Survivors is to take advantage of that ledge-less bridge. When you spawn, hide inside the trees and wait for the Survivors who try to cross the train car over the fence. Once one is in a good spot without ledges, snare them and pull them down. Usually, another Survivor will come along with them to make sure that they kill you. While that is a setback, the Survivor pair must walk all the way back toward the staircase, and back again to the fence's makeshift bridge, thus, buying your team time. And if you can get your team to stall them even further for another chance for you to spawn, you can do it all over again, getting on Survivors nerves and chipping away at their health with every pull. During the mini-finale, use the graves as cover to draw the Survivors from the safety of the church to rescue their entangled comrade; chances are, the Hunters, Smokers and Infected will overwhelm and finish the team. As with the Hunter and the Boomer, don't underestimate your secondary melee attack.

Tanks: Here, the Tank is strong. Where is he not? He can strike with swift precision and force, breaking through walls of Survivors and charging through seas of lead and fire. Perfect. As with most areas, you are a force to be reckoned with. You can be the very difference between victory and defeat. However, this level is fairly open. Because of this, your rock-throw attack can be a lifesaver. Or a killer, whichever way you want to put it. As long as your enemies are not a team of extremely efficient players, you should be able to do a large amount of damage to those immune annoyances.


See also: Survival Mode

The safe room was reached, but the man inside could not be reasoned with. He refused to let them in at any point, despite the constant flow of Infected. How long can the Survivors hold out?

Overall Tips

  • 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.

Corner Method

This method requires the Survivors to take positions in the main church room with the piano, just outside the safe room. The best corner in this one to use is the corner that is to the far left while your back is to the safe room door. With all four Survivors in this corner, the sheer firepower of your team should keep the regular waves at bay. However, when the Tank arrives, your team will be forced to either rush frantically around the room or outside to the graveyard. From either of these positions, they can conquer the Tank and then return to the corner as quickly as possible. Using gas cans and Molotovs to buy you some time for getting back into position is often highly effective.

Piano method

This method requires to be on the piano in the main room of the church. Have two people armed with auto shotguns, and two with assault rifles. Stand or crouch on top of the piano. Common Infected tend to run in and get stuck under the piano. Watch out for Special Infected, though. Try to use your pistols as much as possible. Smokers tend to hide outside, shooting their tongue through the windows. Have a Survivor cover the windows to stop teammates from being pulled. Hunters usually come from the small room in front of the piano. During Tank attacks, unload on him. He can't climb onto the piano, but he can punch you while on the ground. If he gets close to the piano, jump off and run while shooting. You don't have to really worry about Boomers, considering the Common Infected it attracts will get stuck under the piano.

Easter Eggs[]

Graffiti containing the death notices of the devs

  • The blockade and fences in front of the entrance to Riverside could be a reference to the film, 28 Days Later, in which the Survivors arrive at an abandon military blockade near the entrance of Manchester, only to find out that there are not any other survivors.
  • In the church, you can see some graffiti that has the names and death dates of the developers of Left 4 Dead. The majority of them died in October 2009, which is, of course, when the infection came to Pennsylvania.
  • In the beginning of the section, you can find one of the two "unbreakable freezer doors" found in the entire game, the other on Dead Air's second chapter, The Crane.
  • In the Church, you come across a safe room being occupied by a paranoid survivor. The survivor threatens you and yells that it "is his church". This is a reference to Resident Evil: Apocalypse where Jill Valentine and her RPD partner use the church as a hiding place, but find it is occupied by a scared and paranoid survivor. Both survivors shout "This is my church! I was here first!"


  • There is a piano in the church which can be played with the "use" key, or by hitting it. Depending on which piano key the crosshair is centered on, the note produced changes. Strafing back and forth in front of the piano while holding "use" results in a rather ominous din. Striking the piano with a melee attack produces a sound akin to the smashing of keys.
    • If you toss a Molotov onto the piano, all the keys will sound at once as if they had all been hit until the fire goes out.
  • At the chapter's starting safe room, if the player lingers in the caboose for too long (read as: a few minutes), the Infected will begin coming up to the door as though they had already left or they were summoned. This is an interesting way of racking up kills, since the Common Infected can't break down the door, and the Special Infected's attacks (i.e. the Boomer's vomit or a Smoker's tongue) won't get through the bars or windows.
  • While the caboose is a safe room with barred-up doors and windows, it is not uncommon for railroads to include bars on the windows of locomotives and cabooses to prevent people from climbing or falling out the windows during movement.
  • Although this is extremely rare, a Tank may spawn right at the beginning of the safe room on the Expert difficulty; as soon as the game loads up, the Tank's music cue will play and a Tank is already trying to break down the safe room door, but it is unbreakable as long as the bar is on (this glitch can be found on the Xbox 360 version).
  • If the windows are smashed in the beginning of the level on versus mode, the Infected can Spawn.
  • The Church Guy does not have any model, and therefore if one "enters" the safe house in the PC version by using noclip, free camera style while dead or spectating, or in respawn mode in the Xbox 360 version, there will be no Church Guy to be found.
  • On Survival, the Church Guy conversation is as normal as it would be in Campaign except the safe room door will not open and the Church Guy will not turn Infected.
  • Some of the lines that Zoey and Francis said when talking with the Church Guy was originally meant for an argument between them and the pilot from the Runway Finale. In the sound files, "WorldAirport05NPC##.wav" were the lines they said to the Church Guy while its name suggested that it happened in Dead Air. Some of the Runway Finale pilot's cut lines seem to respond directly to these.
  • When the AI Director is feeling rather sadistic, a Tank will very rarely spawn inside the Church safe room. Though this can occur in any chapter, it is rather dangerous in this chapter due to the Crescendo Event before the door can be opened and may catch the Survivors unprepared. It will sometimes see the Survivors through the safe room door and attempts to break out only to eventually die. However, if it does not, when the door opens, he will charge out upon spotting the first Survivor. The Tank spawning in the safe room should not be confused with the Church Guy's transformation into a Special Infected.
  • The Church Guy is, ironically, the only non-playable Survivor not to fall for Francis's claims of being a cop despite his mental state.
  • There is an odd glitch with the church safe room that prevents chapter end after the door is closed as long as one of the Survivors sits at the top of the toilet.
  • An occasional glitch is that the safe room door will not open, and the conversation will loop, with the Church Guy repeatedly growling, hoping he is immune, etc.
  • This map in the Left 4 Dead 2 port supports Scavenge Mode, with 16 cans.
  • The tombstones in the church cemetery are destructible, just hit them a few times with a melee strike and they break into pieces.
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
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The Sacrifice
The Docks / The Barge / Port Finale Bridge burner.jpg
The Parish
The Waterfront / The Park / The Cemetery / The Quarter / The Bridge
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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