The Screamer

From Half-Life Library

The Screamer was an infected boss class in Left 4 Dead during the development phase. It was later cut out of the game and merged with the abilities of The Boomer.

The Screamer was bound in a straight jacket and would cackle maniacally as it moved or was idle. The Screamer did not have any attacks but would emit a loud scream that would alert the horde to the survivor's whereabouts, this ability was then later merged with The Boomer's vomit attack when The Screamer was removed. Players would have to run to try and shoot The Screamer before it was able to let out its scream. The screamer was ultimately cut because play-testers found its function in the game to be confusing and because it blended too much in with the normal horde.

Discoveries

The Screamer concept art

Included in the source (.vpk) files for Left 4 Dead exists concept art for every boss infected in the game, including The Screamer. There also exists a remnant sound file still included with the source titled "com-thescreamer.wav". There has also been speculations to a few commands that have been found that may have been related to The Screamer:

z_deafen_radius_one : 100
z_deafen_radius_three : 200
z_deafen_radius_two : 150


Commentary

Included in Left 4 Dead's commentary, Jaime Sue explains The Screamer:

"The Screamer was a boss zombie who didn't have any actual attacks; he was bound in a straitjacket. You knew when he was around because of his crazed, maniacal cackling. The trick to the Screamer was that if he saw you, you had a moment to kill him before he ran away, and once the Screamer got away from the Survivors to a hiding place, he would emit a loud, howling scream that would cause a huge mob of zombies to attack the Survivors. While there were several exciting moments of knowing you had to chase him down to shoot him before he screamed, dodging zombies all the way, ultimately it proved too confusing for the Survivors to discover how he worked or even to reliably notice him in the crowd. He was cut, and his Horde-drawing attack eventually evolved into the Boomer attack."


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