- "Zoey unfolded into an everyday young woman who everyone can relate to."
- ―Andrea Wicklund, Valve.
- "Funny, sexy, brunette zombie killer wanted to lead three helpless men to safety."
- ―Describing herself in Crash Course
Zoey is one of the four playable Survivors in Left 4 Dead. Her original design was based on Alesia Glidewell, who also worked with Valve on Portal as a model for the character Chell. However, when the character designs were updated later in development, Zoey was made to resemble actress/model Sonja Kinski instead. In official media, she is usually seen wielding dual Pistols.
Zoey, along with Louis and Francis, returns as a non-playable character in Left 4 Dead 2 in the campaign "The Passing". Unlike her perky attitude in the first game, she comes off as somewhat more serious and, at times, angry. This is probably due to the events that transpired in The Sacrifice.
|After spending her first semester holed up in a dorm room watching old horror movies, Zoey was given a choice: Stop fooling around and get her grades up, or drop out. Now that the planet's overrun with murderous zombies, and all of her professors are dead, Zoey at least has the cold comfort that she's been studying up on the right subject after all.|
Zoey was once a student at Aldrich in Philadelphia under a scholarship to become a filmmaker but instead of attending classes, she spent her time watching horror films and justified this to her upset mother as doing some "research". She got her love for this film genre from her father who introduced her to movies featuring zombies, slasher murderers and extraterrestrials at a young age. Her father, Wade, wished for her to become a police officer like himself, often taking her to shooting ranges to get her into some practice. These actions caused tension between her divorced parents one night and started a heated argument between the two regarding their daughter's future.
The argument was short lived however when an Infected suddenly found his way into their living room and attacked Zoey's mother, Carolyn. Her father was able to kill the Infected but not before it savaged Zoey's mother. Holding Carolyn in his arms, Wade commanded Zoey to call for an ambulance. Zoey came back to witness her father being mauled by her mother, who then noticed her daughter's presence and quickly lunged at her. Fortunately before she could reach Zoey, Wade shot her in the back of the head. His last request was for Zoey to kill him before he became an Infected. She then reached for her father's gun and after a heart breaking "I love you dad", she pulled the trigger. Weeks later, Zoey was shocked to discover that her father may have been a Carrier and the mercy-killing could have been in vain.
Relationships with other Survivors
WARNING: The following is conjecture and may not be considered canon.
Overall, Zoey is perhaps treated the kindest by the other Survivors.
- In many ways, Zoey and Bill have a father-daughter relationship. When the tragedy of her parents' deaths is revealed, she hugs him for comfort and later she is seen resting on his shoulder in the evacuation vehicle. Bill generally seems to be slightly more emotional when Zoey dies compared to the others. She also seems to reciprocate by caring about his well-being at all times.
- The Sacrifice comic exposes the underlying strength of Zoey and Bill's relationship when he willingly sacrifices himself to keep Zoey and the other Survivors safe. However, for a while before this event, Zoey is estranged from Bill when she is shocked by how easily he left the Doctor, Jeff, and Annie to die back at Millhaven. She questions his motives and harbors doubts about the trust she has placed in him. She accuses Bill of being capable of cold-heartedly leaving his companions in the lurch if it suited his selfish interests, a charge that taciturn Bill is unable to refute in words. However, Francis has the insight to explain to Zoey that Bill does these things for the right reasons: the welfare and survival of the four of them. While not altogether swayed, she finally understands how much Bill cared for her and the others through the act of sacrificing his life to give them a chance to escape from a land overrun with Infected. Thereafter Zoey takes up Bill's principle of "We look after our own". Since they cannot save everyone, the Survivors must save themselves: to which end she adopts Bill's plan, and together with the others, sails to The Keys.
- In The Passing, unlike Francis and Louis, she shows how badly Bill's death has affected her. She rarely speaks of it and takes on an uncharacteristically serious demeanor when she does so. Her aggressive and abrupt way of dealing with the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors also hints at an innately warm-hearted young woman's struggle to cope with Bill's demise, the guilt she may be experiencing in relation to the events leading up to it; all on top of post-combat stress. Her tone is also notably more commanding and assertive than at any other time previously and this, together with the deference displayed by Louis and Francis, suggests that she has at least partially occupied a team leadership role in the immediate aftermath of Bill's death.
- Originally Valve intended Zoey and Francis to have a romantic attraction but this was deemed to be "distracting" by play-testers and was subsequently removed. Nevertheless, elements of this nascent relationship are evident since she often pokes gentle fun at Francis and plays off his tough but gauche (I hate...) life-value.
- In The Passing, she is baffled by Rochelle's attraction to Francis and claims this makes her want to throw up. On the other hand, she finds it cute that Francis, despite his tough guy persona, still has "that side of him" when he flirts back with Rochelle.
- Zoey tends to tease him from time to time. They usually have more conversations with one another relative to the other Survivors. She becomes a little more emotional when he dies.
- Zoey shows concern for his injury in The Passing, mentioning to the passing group that they have a wounded man up with them.
- If Zoey sacrifices herself in The Sacrifice, she will tell Louis that he was always a friend.
- Zoey can be seen standing next to Louis in every single campaign poster.
- Zoey and Coach do not share much interaction, although Coach will sometimes jokingly pick on Ellis for his crush on her.
- When Ellis meets Zoey and crumbles into tongue-tied, love-struck embarrassment, Zoey is never anything other than "all business". However, on their second encounter, she thaws to some extent and reciprocates this attraction but not to anything like the same degree as Ellis. Zoey seems to be somewhat attracted to Ellis because of their close age, his friendliness and him being open, as well as his outlook and life experience. She calls out his name twice as he is leaving, wondering wistfully whether she should have asked him to join her group or team up with Ellis' group. In a downcast tone she says "I'm going to miss Ellis." Zoey will also playfully mimic Ellis' Keith stories as he is riding off.
- Due to Nick's innately patronizing and rude attitude, Zoey and Nick do not get along at first. Right from the moment of first acquaintance, Nick demeans her by calling her "Cupcake" and asking for a "man" that he can converse with. She responds in kind with sarcastic helplessness and snaps "I could shoot you where you stand." or "Go to hell, Colonel Sanders!" (the founder of KFC, who wore a white suit similar to Nick's). Nick will then claim that he was just goofing around and how nobody can take a joke anymore (despite the zombie apocalypse), unaware that at the time Zoey was coping with Bill's death. On their second encounter, Nick seems to actually appreciate Zoey by thanking her when she nails a Special Infected or helps with supplies.
- Zoey and Rochelle will often exclaim to one another how they are relieved they are to find another woman still alive. They compliment or thank the other's Special Infected kills during the finale, and Zoey seems happy to throw Rochelle an item. However, she is baffled by the idea that Rochelle has feelings for Francis.
Quotes and Captions
- The name "Zoey" is a variant from Zoe which means "life" in Greek. It was borne by two early Christian saints of the Byzantine and Roman Catholic Church.
- Although much shorter than Francis's 6'5, and possessing a petite physique, Zoey's combat skills are on par with the other Survivors.
- In the comic, Zoey is seen to be ambidextrous.
- Zoey has a healing animation that differs from the other Survivors. While they do the usual wrap around the arm and leg bandage, Zoey wraps the bandage around her arm and bites a piece off. She then reaches down and wraps her leg, pulling it tightly afterwards.
- Zoey also has a unique incapacitation animation.
- Zoey initially re-used Rochelle's animations when the original campaigns were ported over to Left 4 Dead 2, but eventually got her own ones back following sharp criticisms from the player base. Her animations underwent further improvement after the release of The Last Stand Community Update for the PC version of the game on September 24, 2020.
- Also, much-needed fixes to her character's talker scripts were rolled out by this update, fixing some of the most longstanding issues such as her saying "Anything for you, Louis!" upon being healed with a First Aid Kit by either Bill or Francis and her being silent upon sighting or obtaining a Golf Club.
- Furthermore, the update gave her model the attachments needed to display melee weapons on her backside whenever they are unequipped.
- Zoey is referred to as 'teenangst' in textures and 'teengirl' in sound resources.
- Zoey was picked by the 56% (and so, the most voted one) of Left 4 Dead 2 players who voted in Week 15's survey as "the thing you would pick to be beside you on a boat to an Infected free island".
- Zoey was picked by 34% of PC players and 28% of Xbox 360 players for Week 19's survey, "Whose back story are you most interested in?", earning 1st and 2nd place accordingly in comparison to the other Survivors and platform. Zoey also emerged as the favorite survivor amongst PC-playing survey participants and ranked second to Ellis as most favorite character with Xbox 360 playing respondents.
- Zoey's voice actor, Jen Taylor, gave her voice to Princess Peach and sometimes Toad from the Mario series. She is also known as Cortana and Dr. Halsey from the Halo series.
- Zoey's overall appearance is largely similar to that of Claire Redfield. A supporting character/protagonist from the survival horror video game series Resident Evil.
- One of Zoey's random nervous hummings strongly sounds similar to the Victory Fanfare from the Final Fantasy video game series.
Behind the Scenes
- Zoey's beta appearance was relatively different than her original design. In the beta, Zoey had longer hair, a pink hoodie with what appears to be ammo straps on it, gloves, khaki-green baggy shorts, white and reddish-pink striped stockings, boots, and knee pads. Zoey sounded older in early footage.
- In an early trailer, Zoey was incapacitated by a Tank.
- Bill: Aghh… not [tearing up] Zoey.
- Zoey: Francis, I know how to cut hair. Just sayin'… If you need it, I'm here.
- Zoey: Groovy. [imitating Francis]
- Zoey: Louis… You'd look good in one of those hospital gowns.
- Zoey: Hey Louis? Try not to get lost.
- Zoey: Louis! Oh God, I can't believe it!
- Coach: You ready to meet Zoey now, Ellis?
- Zoey: Ellis! Ellis! …Maybe we should have brought him with us?
- Zoey: Did I ever tell you about the time my buddy Ellis stole a car from the mall and ran over some zombies?
- Nick: That's terrific, cupcake, is there a man up there we can talk to?
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