The original Left 4 Dead's rag-tag band of survivors are instantly recognisable, but who's your favourite from the bunch? Is it Zoey, Bill, Louis, Francis, or Francis' purple-tinged doppelganger, who was briefly canonised in an extensive hijacking of the L4D wiki this weekend?
On Friday, Left 4 Dead's Fandom wiki was greeted by the arrival of a fifth playable character. Seemingly lost to time, Francis' forgotten twin is identical in appearance to his non-tinted brother—save for a strong purple hue and a history as a root beer entrepreneur.
This addition was quickly spotted on Twitter, and slowly, Purple Francis gathered a small cult following.
Someone vandalized the Left 4 Dead wiki, for seemingly no reason, with an *extensive* article about a nonsensical nonexistent character called Purple Francis, including cross-referencing him on other pages on the wiki pic.twitter.com/XixF7VCSpqFebruary 14, 2021
Twitter users "Lucy" and "Unknowntrope" have since taken credit for co-creating Purple Francis, and fair play to them, they've done a thorough job integrating him into the site. References to the saturated biker have been scattered across survivor pages, filling out relationships and interactions with the game's other characters, and giving life to Purple Francis' three children: Cungulus, Skribbity and Johnson.
Sadly, it looks like wiki moderators have been busy reverting the changes, removing all mention of Purple Francis from the wider site. At time of writing his own page has been flagged as "fanon" and overwritten by dozens of crude edits. Fans, at least, may be relieved to hear that Purple Francis' canonical death in an official Left 4 Dead comic has been rewritten:
"It is up to fan speculation whether Purple Francis was meant to survive the horde at the military base during The Sacrifice comic. When this question was brought up to Gabe Newell, he grew immensely angry and ordered the person who asked the question to leave immediately."
Purple Francis might've been erased from canon, but at least he'll live on through fan-art and a Left 4 Dead 2 mod, which is currently one of the most popular downloads on the game's Workshop page.