Skip to main content

Left 4 Dead wiki 'vandalised' with references to a lost fifth survivor

Francis from left 4 dead, but purple
(Image credit: Valve)

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.

See more

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.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.