William Overbeck, better known as Bill was a Survivor during the zombie outbreak from the Left 4 Dead series. Before the events of the games he was in the United States Armed Forces, and fought in Vietnam. He has an affinity for assault rifles and cigarettes, and is almost never seen without one lit in his mouth. Bill is visibly the oldest survivor in the series.
Bill often plays the role of the team's dad, paticularlly to Zoey. He often argues and is at odds with Francis, but the two harbor a hidden respect for one another. He has few interactions with Louis, and their relationship is contradictatory, asking how well the others know him if he's incapacitated outside the safe house, but if Louis dies he becomes visibly saddened.
Referred to as "namvet" in the game files, Bill was designed with the intention of portraying a once heroic army veteran, who though older and wiser, can still excel at physical combat, which makes him an incredibly unique playable character in the first person shooter genre. This seems to have payed off, as Bill and Zoey frequently battle for top spot of popularity polls.
Left 4 DeadEdit
Unlike most other characters in Left 4 Dead, Bill's history before the zombie outbreak has been seen. Overbeck joined the United States Army and fought in the Vietnam war as a part of the 1st Special Forces Group, where he fought two combat tours and earned numerous medals before he recieved a critical injury when an explosion went off, filling his knee with shrapnel. The knee injury left permenant damage and he had to be given an honorable discharge.
Years later, in 2009, he was going to the hospital to have surgery on his bum knee, when one of his nurses was infected. She killed the surgical team, and Bill fought off his uncounciousness through sheer force of will, before killing the nurse with a bonesaw and knife. He fought his way through the zombies outside the hospital before returning home, where he donned his old army uniform and grabbed his assault rifle to fight off the horde.
Bill is one of the four playable characters in Left 4 Dead. It is unknown when or where he joined with Francis, Louis and Zoey, but he helped them fight the undead through the city to Mercy Hospital, where a helicopter arrived to rescue them. On their way to safety the hellicopter pilot turned into a zombie, as one of his previous passengers had been in the process of turning. Zoey quickly shot him, and the hellicopter crashed, leaving Bill and the group to walk to the next possible evac. Eventually the group found the town of Riverside, which was completley overrun with the undead- but the team was convinced they could find an army base there. During their search they found the local church, where a crazed survivor used the bell to call the horde on them. The team managed to fight of the horde and discovered the survivor turned into an Infected and killed him. They continued through the town, and were rescued by a boat that promised to take them to safety.
After a while they were kicked off the boat and continued on foot to the city of Newburg, where they fought through the infected to reach the Metro International Airport. As they walk through the airport, they discovered that the millitary has bombed it, but luckly find a C-130 with a pilot still onboard, and they fly to safety after filling up the plane with gas. At somepoint the plane was forced to land and the group had to keep moving on towards the military prescence near a small farmhouse. After fighting through the area, they are finally rescued by the military- who drive them off.
Left 4 Dead: The SacrificeEdit
Rather than take the group to safety, the millitary announces they are going to Millhaven, where they order the survivors at gunpoint to leave their weapons begind and are marched out to "testing". While Louis and Francis are taken elsewhere, Bill and Zoey are forced to give spit samples to the doctor, but because of the soldiers treating demenors, he creates a distraction so Zoey can overpower the guard, but they learn that the military believe they are carriers, spreading the infection where they go, and there is no cure.After a combination of factors, Louis and Francis escape and the infected invade Millhaven. The group reunites at the base's armory and Bill makes plans to capture a train going south, ditching the soldiers and doctor they have with them. While Zoey questions his motives he asks her to simply trust him, and when she asks if he'd be so willing to ditch her, Louis and Francis, he claims that he will always go back for his own. The injured Lieutenant Mora appeared to kill them, but Francis claimed it was all Louis' fault, and tries to get the others to abandon him. Bill intervenes, and punches the Lieutenant and orders the group to move. Mora continues to try and shoot Bill and the others, but his head is torn off by a Tank. Louis got into a Jeep and rammed the Tank, and noticing that the vehicle was leaking fuel, Bill lit the gas trail with his cigarette, blowing up the Jeep and the Tank. Noticing the train tracks the group relizes they can make it, and keep running. After making it on to the train, Bill quickly activates it, keeping the Doctor from boarding, leaving him to the mercy of a Hunter, despite Zoey's horrified pleads to stop the train.
After Zoey confronts him about his choice, he tells her that he's taking them to the Florida Keys, where there is always good weather, plenty of islands, no army and no infected. The group finds a yacht and Louis goes to investigate, despite Bill's warnings. It turns out the yacht is full of Witches, who hurt him, forcing Bill to support him after they burn the ship down with a Molotov. They find another boat, and Bill personally checks this time, discovering an armory and a ton of Health Kits. The group head to the bridge and raise it, but the loud sound attracts every infected in the city. While the others escape to the boat and sail off, Bill fights off a group of Tanks, as the group escape- sacrificing himself to protect his friends.
Left 4 Dead: The Last StandEdit
At some point during the Left 4 Dead plotline, Bill and his group took a wrong turn, eventually leading to a dead end at a lighthouse. Surrounded by a never ending horde of infected, the group decide to hold out for as long as possible and to make the end memorable. After killing large numbers of infected Bill, Zoey, Francis and Louis are killed.
Left 4 Dead: The SacrificeEdit
It is possible to sacrafice any of the four playable characters during The Sacrafice DLC, but canon claims that Bill is the one to do it- thus if the player decideds to kill off Zoey, Francis or Louis instead, the events of the campaign become non-canon and are ignored during The Passing and any future Left 4 Dead game. It should be noted that if anyone other than Bill does the Sacrifice, Bill will remark that it should have been him.
NotesEditBill's original design changed the least from concept art to final character. Originally, Bill wore a more combat oriented jacket, rather than the uniform dress jacket he is wearing in the final game. His voice actor, Jim French, was unavailable to record lines for Bill during the Crash Course and The Passing DLC, and most fans believe this was one of the prime factors that resulted in Bill's canonical death in The Sacrifice. Bill's body can be found in The Passing, but this is most likely an easter egg, not meant to be canon. There was a fan rumor that using a defibrillator on his corpse would bring Bill back to life and he could help you during the final level, but this is not true.
Bill's beret has become very popular in the fan community, and pre-ordering Left 4 Dead 2 could allow owners of Team Fortress 2 to wear the hat, though it is now available through trading. It appears as a dark blue or brown with a description "Level 10 Veteran's Beret". It is jokingly explained that Bill sat the hat on a table, and it fell into the Team Fortress dimension.
Bill is the source of many fan theories, one of the most common is the belief that he has encountered many of the special infected before, or possibly traveled with a group before the Left 4 Dead survivors. This is supported by his knowledge of the infected in the opening to Left 4 Dead, knowing to turn off flashlights near the Witch and to run and gun when the Tank arrives. It is also believed that the claw marks on the back of his jacket were obtained by surviving a Witch attack, or less commonly mentioned, a Hunter attack.
- Left 4 Dead
- Left 4 Dead: The Last Stand
- Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice
- Left 4 Dead 2: The Passing (cameo)
- Left 4 Dead 2: The Sacrifice
- Team Fortress 2 (Mentioned Only)
- Dead By Daylight (Character) (Non Canon)