- Not to be confused with "crawler", a common nickname for a zombie without legs.
Crawler Zombies (also called Nova Zombies, Nova Crawlers, Gas Zombies, Nova Monkeys, Little Piggies, or Creepy Crawlers in Dead Ops Arcade) are a special type of Zombie featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Zombie Labs. According to Edward Richtofen, they are failed experiments.
- "That thing could not ever have been human!"
- — Takeo Masaki when killing a Crawler zombie.
Crawler zombies are skinny zombies who run around on all four limbs. Based on their appearance, Crawler zombies seem to be mutated much more than regular zombies. Richtofen gives an explanation that they were a failed experiment of some sort. They have a slimy, greenish gray shade of skin and appear to be wearing only torn brown jeans or jean shorts. They emit a very distinct trail of green gas that makes them quite noticeable among the horde. Furthermore, they have not retained their human facial features, and instead an over-sized angler fish-like mouth is the only prominent feature on the face.
Crawler zombies can be quite subversive and hard to see as they stay close to the floor. When killed, they will flip onto their backs, curl up, and explode, dealing damage to players in the radius, as well as emitting a cloud of green toxic gas that disorients the player and blurs their vision, similar to the effects of the Nova Gas in multiplayer. They will not, however, release the cloud of gas if the final blow dealt to them is from a knife attack, Wonder Weapons, traps, explosives; or if standing too close to a Teleporter. In the Zombies Chronicles remaster of Kino Der Toten in Black Ops III, shooting them with certain Pack-a-Punched shotguns will also nullify the gas explosion.
They appear in the maps Kino der Toten and "Five". In Dead Ops Arcade, Crawler Zombies appear at round 13 in the challenge round called "Creepy Crawlers". A special variant, the Phasing Zombie, appears on the map Moon; this variant has less health than a regular crawler zombie, and gains the ability to teleport on short distances. Phasing Zombies will spawn only in the labs area of the map if a player is standing in this area when a round begins.
When a Crawler Zombie explodes, all zombies in radius of the explosion (excluding other Crawler Zombies and the Astronaut Zombie) will die instantly, which can be helpful in clearing large groups in the later rounds.
- In Moon, when the Crawler Zombies are killed in low gravity, they will not explode.
- There are several backgrounds featuring Crawler Zombies that can be purchased for use in the Playercard in multiplayer.
- In the Call of Duty: Black Ops official game guide, they are called Gas Zombies.
- They are called Creepy Crawlers by the characters as well as in Dead Ops Arcade.
- In "WMD", an X-ray image of a Crawler zombie could be seen in the room which the player is then locked in by Steiner. If the player goes to the wall opposite to the door that he/she entered through, there are X-ray photos on a desk.
- Crawler Zombies can get their legs blown off and crawl in the same fashion as normal zombies. This is not the case for the Phasing Zombies on Moon.
- Usually in Kino der Toten, when climbing down a wall and hit by a blast from the Ray Gun, they tend to either drop straight to the ground, or fly off the wall.
- On Classified, a blueprint is hinting that Crawler Zombies were recreated by Americans scientists. Pigs can be seen within Five and Classified as well.
- This is furthered by Richtofen's quote asking the Crawlers upon their death if there was a "little piggy in you".
- The blueprint shows that a DNA section goes through a process that changes it.