Below is a list of the known Special Infected.
The Smoker has been heavily mutated by a strain of the Infection and frequently makes high-pitched rasping and coughing noises that can alert Survivors of its presence. Though it resembles most Common Infected, it is taller, more durable, and its skin has become covered in growths that cause little spurts of green smoke and blood to ooze out when shot. It is said that the smoke it expels gives off a putrid smell, but it is otherwise harmless. Usually, the left or right side of its face is bloated and appears to be covered by a large tumor.The Smoker is an Infected with a long, whip-like tongue. The Smoker's tongue can be launched out of its mouth at high speeds, and when it reaches one of the Survivors, it wraps around the target's body and drags him/her back towards the Smoker. If any obstacles block the victim from being dragged to the Smoker, he will choke his target instead. The Smoker claws at an ensnared Survivor when they are dragged all the way back to him, while at the same time the Survivor takes damage from the tongue constricting them if an obstacle obstructs them from being dragged to the Smoker. If a Survivor isn't dragged all the way back to a Smoker due to an obstruction, the Survivor will only suffer potential strangulation from the tongue's squeeze. When killed, a Smoker leaves a haze of dark green smoke, obscuring the vision of the Survivors and causing them to cough if they stand in it. Some have suggested that the mutated "tongue" could actually be intestines. Occasionally, when killing the Smoker, hundreds of feet of "tongue" will spew from its mouth, supporting the intestines theory. A second theory is that the Smoker had cancer (probably tongue or throat) before becoming infected. This is supported by the fact that cancer occurs when a cell or group of cells mutate to the point the hayflick limit breaks, so the cells don't stop reproducing. Since there are cancerous growths all over the Smoker's face and upper torso, this may be true. Smoker mutations in regard to cloud of smoke they emit upon death may occur as a result to someone who is/was a heavy smoker. Higher levels of cancer or tar in the victim's lungs could inhibit complete exhalation and fill the respiratory track with “smoke.” Higher concentrations of the “smoke” in the body may facilitate further mutations.
The Hunter is the least visibly mutated Special Infected and superficially resembles a Common Infected. However, many Hunters seem to be fond of wearing hoodies and various kinds of workout clothing. It has yet to be explained how the Hunter's mutations onset, whether it be genetic, biochemical, or a Hunter-specific strain of the virus, but the mutations seem to be gender-linked as only male Hunters have been observed, similar to how only female Witches have been seen. The Hunter's reaction to the Infection has granted him an increase in lower-body strength. While not creating massive muscle growth like the Tank, this added strength has given the Hunter the ability to repeatedly jump and pounce from long distances and rapidly scale the sides of buildings with ease as well as toughen it's legs in order to withstand the great distances and heights it can achieve. Decreased pain response visible in all sufferers of the Infection also results in the Hunter not suffering from perpetual lactic acid buildup from muscle overexertion or impact damage after experiencing a large fall. At the same time, there seems to be some sort of muscle delay after an initial attack (post-attack recharge) where the Hunter is not able to move as swiftly. One of the most notable physical observations is that the Hunter lacks eyes. Whether this is self-inflicted, a byproduct of the Infection, or both is unknown. What remains of his eyes emit the white reflective glow displayed by Common Infected in the dark; although this effect may be light reflecting off the blood constantly leaking from his eye sockets. The extent of damage to the Hunter's sight suggests his other senses are far more developed than those of typical Infected, allowing him to hunt with far greater efficiency. It is possible that the screeching noises he makes and the growling are his own echolocation method. He might also use scent to tell the Survivors apart from Infected. As with the other Special Infected, he is not distracted by such high frequency noises as Pipe bombs or car alarms going off. Hunters also appear to be the only Infected with a self-defense reflex: when shot at a distance and knowing it cannot pounce, the Hunter will sometimes jump away into safety. Hunter Mutations may occur due to interactions with elevated levels of lactic acid in the muscles and bloodstream—a result of heavy exercise (presumably from a continuous exercise-heavy lifestyle, such as parkour; fleeing from an Infected Horde is rather heavy exercise, but this alone would produce a large number of Hunters).
The Jockey is quite unfortunate in that his infection has caused the him to develop a large amount of muscle mass on his upper back and neck, making him hop around in a spider monkey-like motion. His fingers and toes have increased in length, adding to his baboon-like profile. His lips, and the skin surrounding them, have deteriorated away, giving him a more skeletal look at the mouth area. This could possibly be due to him chewing and biting away at his lips because of mania, or possibly even clawing at his mouth due to the same reason. His hands are curved downward like a praying mantis, the arms are sticking out straight, and they have a coat of what appears to be blood. The hands are always twitching and shaking (the right one twitching notably more often than the left), and he doesn't stop laughing until death. He has a gibbering vocalization, and cackles hysterically while riding a Survivor. The Jockey is a Special Infected that has animal-like characteristics. The Jockey can use his ropey frame to jump long distances at a time, and about 15-20 feet when leaping upward. Though it can not jump as far as the Hunter, it does not have the need to crouch to charge up the ability. When the Jockey lands on a Survivor's head, he grabs onto them. He claws at the Survivor with his free hand while leaning in a direction to cause the Survivor to stumble. Again, the clawing does not do as much damage as the Hunter does. Jockey Mutations may have resulted from someone who was confined to a wheel chair. The obvious regenerative properties (mutations and growths) of the Infection could indicate a restoration of spinal cord function, giving the infected person the ability to walk again. This would explain the hunchback appearance and the emotional mania. A separate speculation suggests that the Jockey's mutations may be comparable to the Hunter's, paired with some form of dementia that either was already present or developed as a result of viral brain damage.
The Tank is an exclusively male Special Infected who has experienced the most extensive physical mutations of any other class of Special Infected. The most obvious trait is its extreme hypertrophy, or abnormally increased muscle mass. It can be assumed its bones have become stronger too otherwise the Tank's skeleton would have collapsed under the weight of its own body. Despite its enormous bulk, the Tank is incredibly fast and agile, able to keep up with even a healthy Survivor. This abnormal muscular growth is most obvious in its arms and upper body and less pronounced around the Tank's waist, hips, and legs. Though the Tank's legs are capable of supporting its static weight (such as when the Tank mounts a rock throwing attack), the Tank's disproportionate anatomy forces it to knuckle-walk like a gorilla, resulting in the Tank's wrists becoming swollen. The Tank's body is covered with numerous scars and lesions from previous fights, with an especially large open sore on its left pectoral. The Tank's jaw at first glance seems to be missing, but upon closer inspection it is shown to be enveloped within its thick neck muscles.The Tank has also suffered either heavy brain damage or a rabies-like cerebral infection, resulting in the Tank being in a constant state of unbridled rage, even more so than most other Infected, and its response is to attack any human survivor on sight. Once the Tank has fixed a target, nothing short of death can stop him; bullets and explosives will not make him flinch, fire only slows him down and the sound of pipe bombs and car alarms usually won't distract him once he has started pursuing a target. The Tank will even smash down doors, knock away obstacles, and plow through entire crowds of Infected just to bare down on an unlucky Survivor it has chosen as a target. Tank Mutations are possibly related to body building supplements. Abnormally high levels of Creatine, Human Growth Hormone, and anabolic steroids (possibly produced naturally from some damage by the infection) could interact with the virus to promote tumor-like growth of muscle cells. If left uncontrolled, muscle mass would increase exponentially to the point where complex muscle movements are lost or limited and only basic movements (shuffling, climbing, thrashing, slow throwing, etc.) are possible.
The Charger is another large exclusively male Infected, close to the Tank in height and about half as wide. Unlike the Tank, the Charger's legs are capable of supporting all of its weight, and thus stands mostly upright. His hairless skin is a deep greenish-gray in color, perhaps secreting pus. The Charger's mutations appear similar to the Tank's mutations in terms of increased muscle mass, though more asymmetrical. Most notably, the Charger's right arm and shoulder have grown to a massive size and had increased in thickness, resulting his right hand becoming a swollen lump with stubby fingers. His left arm, inversely, has atrophied to the point of being useless (possibly from his body breaking it down to add bulk to his right arm), hanging limply to the Charger's side and flapping around like a T-Rex arm with every movement. His legs are less visibly affected by mutation, with only his left leg gaining any sort of extra bulk (to the point of ripping whatever pants he is wearing) while the right leg's proportions remain normal. The leg mutations are possibly to balance the Charger, equalizing the weight distribution throughout the body. Due to the Charger's preferred method of attack, it always appears to have sustained multiple injuries, especially on his right arm―prolonged times of bashing and slamming into walls has made the flesh of the Charger's right arm thick with calluses, scabs, and scars. The right half of his face is also visibly damaged, his cranium possessing a massive dent, and half his face torn off, revealing his skull and jawbone. His nose is completely removed, and his dangling left arm shows signs of necrosis. Most likely a result of his constant charging, the Charger also lacks teeth.The Charger is a Special Infected that knocks down any Survivors in its way. The Charger's main purpose is to separate a group of Survivors who are tightly joined by grabbing one and crashing into the rest of the group, sending them flying through the air. Surprisingly faster than one would expect of its encumbersome mass, this increase in speed leads to a slow stop and impossible in turning left and right. Charger Mutations are similar to the Tank and could mean that the Charger is a hybrid version of the Tank. Some steroids are used as an anti-inflammatory remedy for a rash or growth on one side of the body. An abnormal interaction with a localized and smaller concentration of steroids could have created the Charger. It might also be a reaction similar to gigantism (where excessive amounts of growth hormone is released, resulting in thickened bones and asymmetrical body structures), given that the Charger's facial features and overall body shape is similar to that of someone with gigantism.
The Boomer is an extremely bloated Special Infected. The Boomer usually has clothing stained with sweat and puke and stretched to the breaking point around the Boomer's enormous gut.The Boomer has undergone extreme external and internal mutations by some adverse reaction to the Infection. The most notable observation of the Boomer is its extremely bloated belly, most likely caused by its stomach (and possibly most, if not all of its gastrointestinal system) being hijacked by the infection to overproduce bile in massive quantities. The sheer tension on its skin and organs has resulted in a breakdown of the epidermal and dermal layers, causing the skin to become thin and fragile. In some places the skin has even ruptured, exposing some of the bile-filled internal organs. This enormous buildup of internal pressure makes the Boomer quite vulnerable to any outside agitation, as even the slightest gunshot wound or melee shove will result in the Boomer to violently explode, sending blood and bile everywhere - hence its name. Other physical mutations observed include massive boil-like growths that appeared upon its skin and face. Whether this is due to overproduction of bile is unknown. Similar to the other Special Infected, it is not distracted by high frequency noises. When idle, the Boomer makes loud burping and gurgling noises which change to loud groans when it sees a Survivor. Its mutation has caused it to produce vast quantities of bile which it attempts to vomit on the Survivors temporarily blinding them and summoning a small Horde. Though fragile and slow, the Boomers can be dangerous to a Survivor team whose health or combat abilities are compromised.The Boomer's bile has a unique chemical binding effect with infected and/or non-infected flesh which produces an extracellular stimulus. This chemical stimulus induces a pheromone-like attraction from nearby common infected which causes them to swarm and attack the bile-saturated source. The exact nature as to why this induces a negative response is unknown but the response is non-discriminatory between infected and non-infected flesh (i.e. using a Boomer bile vial on the Tank triggers the same violent response against the Tank). It should be noted that typically common infected have been known to exhibit an extremely basic form of logic (hence their ability to recognize non-infected). The bile-flesh response seems to trump this logic, which could mean that the stimulus is extremely intoxicating for the common infected. Boomer Mutations probably relate to abnormally-high levels of fatty tissue or cholesterol in the bloodstream, which would also explain the large amounts of bile they produce. Bile is created to aid in the breakdown of lipids (fat). The human body's natural bile production would have been assimilated as part of the Infection's mutation. This would explain why, when Boomers burst, their torsos appear to be largely hollow. The space previously occupied by fatty tissue had been broken down and converted into a single, enormous sac for containing and producing bile.
The Spitter itself's lower jaw, cheeks, nose and lips seem to have become noticeably eroded, suggesting she may not be entirely resistant to the acid she is continuously coughing up. The Spitter is also one of the few exclusively female Special Infected. It appears that all around her mouth, the skin has disappeared, as well as the jaw become unhinged, the flesh separating nearly to her ears. Also, just above her breast and on the top of her stomach are two red sores, most likely eroded spots from where the acid drips down from her mouth. Her proportions are awkward and stretched, including the sagging breasts, elongated neck and bloated stomach, which are most likely used to accommodate and produce the fluids. Her elongated neck may also give her the advantage of being able to spit acid at long distances. Her baggy skin and stumbling gait could be caused by the virus or even the acid itself eating away at her connective tissues. The big toe on her right foot has shifted to the side of the foot like the thumb of a hand. While running, a trail of acid can be seen dripping from the Spitter's mouth. This can be used to track the Spitter, although it disappears shortly after she walks away from it.The Spitter's mutations enable her to spit out a ball of mutated stomach acid which, upon hitting the ground, spreads out into a large pool. Through mutation of the Infection, the Spitter has developed the ability to project an extremely corrosive ball of acid from her mouth in a mortar-like fashion. This projectile will collide with a ceiling or wall and drop down to the nearest solid walkable surface, and upon contact will spread into a large puddle of acid that increases in damage over time. It's possible, from the way the acid is spat, that the Spitter encases it in a thin sort of membrane or bolus (likely in her body or throat/mouth) which is either dissolved by the acid or breaks on impact. It is evident that the infection has caused the spitter to suffer from mega esophagus, or her stomach has eroded all organs found in her neck. This could be the cause of her hacking and gurgling, as acid could be in her lungs. From how heavily the Spitter secretes the acid, it seems that she cannot stop producing at will, and must excrete it from her body in such fashion (as salivating it) to prevent herself filling up and rupturing with acid, similar to the Boomer. Spitter Mutations may have resulted in infecting a human subject with a helicobacter pylori infection (bacterial ulcer). Cells previously infected by the bacterial agent may have been consumed by the virus and caused it to mutate. Another take suggests that the mutations might be similar to the Boomer, except the hormone gastrin (responsible for making stomach acid) is hijacked, resulting in Spitters being able to create large amounts of acid. The Spitter's sagging skin and awkward walk may be caused by the acid leaking into other bodily cavities and breaking down tissues. It can also be noted that the Spitter's skin glows a luminous green when alive, yet when killed, her skin becomes a normal pink color. This could be due to all the acid being spontaneously released from her body upon death.
The Witch is the second Special Infected type that is exclusively female. She has a typical physique of an extremely thin young woman with pale skin, sunken glowing red eyes, and a bloody mouth full of sharp teeth.She is strangely always clad in the remains of a tattered tank top or t-shirt and a pair of panties, and she does not wear any shoes. Her choice of attire when compared to other Infected could indicate a raised body temperature such as a fever, which could also explain the sluggishness, constant signs of distress, irritability, and sensitivity to light and sound. Her most distinctive features are the twelve-inch-long, bloodstained claws her fingers have grown into. Her knees and feet are often stained with dirt and blood. It is also unknown whether or not the Witch is extremely thin because of the Infection (weight loss due to starvation) or if this was her body shape before the infection took place. Despite her petite figure, the Witch has incredible strength and stamina, enabling her to incapacitate or instantly kill Survivors in one hit, although the Witch is the only Infected to display an initially passive response to the presence of Survivors. She is highly sensitive to light and the close presence of uninfected humans. Shining a flashlight on a Witch or approaching too closely will "startle" her and trigger an attack. Hitting her with a bullet has the same result. She is totally unresponsive to Infected and the passage of nearby bullets. When alert to the presence of an uninfected human or flashlight, she will look in the human's direction and make a low warning growl: this signals an incipient attack. If the human backs off, switches the light off or moves quickly out of her presence, she will fairly soon settle back into a passive state. But if the threat persists, she will launch an attack directed at the human who "startled" her at great speed, singling out the person who provoked the attack. She is able to incapacitate her victim instantly whereupon she frenziedly slashes that person with her clawed hands, only stopping if either she or the victim die. If an attack is successful and she is still alive, she will run off sobbing out of sight. She will display the same behavior if her attack is frustrated (e.g. the victim is able to outrun her), again she will give up and run away. Killing a Witch is not always required, since survivors can often sneak around her or wait until she wanders away from their intended path. However if she is immobile because it is dark and it is not possible to go around her, the only option is to work out a plan to kill her. Witch Mutations seem related to an abnormal mental state which could indicate a predisposed mental disorder, like Autism, ADHD, Serotonin imbalance in the brain, etc. Neurotransmitter imbalances are theorized to be a cause of Clinical Depression. She is known to cry when not aware of the Survivors, although the reasoning behind it is unknown. It's likely she is incredibly depressed - a symptom that could accompany her loss of sanity or that the virus has not taken full control and she knows she is a monster and is depressed due to this fact, and when a survivor is to close or turns a flashlight on etc. the effects of the virus infecting her brain start to take over and cause her to rage out of control however briefly.
Children Infected while rare, are not unknown. Many parks and schools play host to these poor infected tykes and tots. Fortunately, many children simply died of the disease as it was too strong for them. Unfortunately, not all children infected by the Green Flu virus would be so blessed. Children Infected react much the same as Common Infected, but are much quicker than their adult counterparts. Several Special Infected traits have been known to manifest within the Children Infected, such as the Jockey, the Hunter, and the Witch.
Edited by Inuyasha Fandom, 24 April 2012 - 03:14 AM.