L4D2: The Campaigns Less Traveled

Recently my friend aDm soloed my favorite custom campaign in Left 4 Dead 2, Journey to Splash Mountain, on the hardest difficulty without bots.

(In particular his amazing run of map 4 was quite cathartic, as we both learned in our personal solo runs that the Splash Mountain ride is undeniably the most difficult portion of the run. I also wish I’d noticed his trick to teleport gas cans to the generator when I’d done the finale.)

In the Realism Expert Solo community, its rather rare to find people making use of the large and rich expansion of custom campaigns. Almost everybody sticks to the default campaigns, and there are probably a few reasons for this. For one, since a Realism Expert solo player is already playing at such an insanely difficult level, it makes sense to stick with the campaigns they know best. In many cases, when Realism Expert Solo gets too easy, they nerf the player character instead of changing maps, such as running Cold Stream knife-only without taking damage, or The Parish without killing a single Infected.

So it’s cool when people branch out to a custom map, because they often become the only person who has ever soloed it. Like with me and Journey to Splash Mountain, it’s common that the runner is a huge fan of the map in question, since that means they’ll know all the tricks and are guaranteed not to get lost. This is the case for the one solo map that titsonabullsteam completed, Dead Before Dawn:

This map is heavily inspired by the 2004 movie Dawn of the Dead, and includes voice-acted NPCs and a more labyrinthine map than normal. It’s also a very popular custom map, having been featured by Valve on the Official L4D2 blog.

Speaking of popular custom campaigns, Suicide Blitz 2 is far and away the most famous custom campaign in the Left 4 Dead series, so it’s no surprise that somebody’s soloed it. Zoralink47, the same person who did the aforementioned no-damage Cold Stream run, has a number of completed custom campaigns under their belt, one of the few people I can find with that distinction.

Make sure to watch him crowd-surf an entire horde during Map 2, one of the most incredible surfs I’ve ever seen.

A great Twitch channel to keep an eye on if you’re into streaming is b612no3sai, who regularly streams himself attempting and completing custom maps. I wish he’d upload them more, since Twitch deletes videos after a time, and already I can’t find the stream where he completed The Bloody Moors (with its goddamned werewolf Tanks) by the skin of his teeth. His Youtube channel only has his run of Yama, a custom campaign set in Tokyo:

It’s still an amazing run though, especially since it’s single segment; he did not delete deaths, showing that he only dies three times while running the whole campaign, which is insane.

I couldn’t think of a good way to cap this off, so I decided to join the ranks of these illustrious players by soloing a custom campaign myself in Realism Expert. Sure, it’s literally the easiest campaign ever created for Left 4 Dead 2, but I’m still the first to bother doing it, so nyah.

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