The Walking Dead EP2: Some Kid Lived!

By Shamus
on Nov 28, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

272 comments


Link (YouTube)

At fifteen minutes I was running my mouth and managed to mangle the point I was making. When you have one of those moments where you’re free to roam around and talk to everyone, the game doesn’t usually make you talk to everyone. You can often ignore people. That’s nice, although it’s not the same thing as all conversations being optional, which is kind of how I made it sound.

I made a fuss over the facial animation system, but it’s entirely possible that it’s only impressive because the art style is so… uh… stylized. The animations might not actually be better than a Bethesda / BioWare style face animation, but it looks better because it’s happening on a cartoon face and not on a photorealistic one. In any case, it really makes these conversations come to life.

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!A Hundred!20202012272. There are now n+1 comments, where n is a big-ish sort of number.

From the Archives:

  1. Deadpool says:

    I disagree on Kenny. Kenny is an asswipe.

    If you don’t side with Kenny, if you side against him or just plain middle of the road, Kenny will NOT help Lee when Lee is in trouble. There are several moments in the game when Lee is in trouble and Kenny will just stare at you.

    He does this to other characters as well, just more so. If he likes them, he’ll defend them. If he doesn’t, he wants them dead.

    Edit:

    You see it better if you go for Shawn. Kenny takes Duck, looks at you and says “Sorry” and runs away, leaving Shawn for dead.

    Btw, I went for Shawn, not because Duck is annoying or useless, but because a) Kenny was there, b) Hershell seemed more important to my survival than Kenny and, most importantly, c) Shawn could help me save Duck a lot better than Duck could help me save Shawn.

    Btw, Duck always lives, Shawn always dies, Lee always goes to Macon whether Hershell kicks him out or let’s him stay.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I do think it’s kind of dumb how you can do so much for Kenny, yet if you disagree with him only one or two times he’ll become near useless to you.

      Of course, if you think HE’S an ass, I have to wonder what you think of fucking Larry

      Also, Kenny >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Kai Leng.

      • Deadpool says:

        They’re both equally bad. They both look out for themselves over everyone else. They are both willing to kill people just for the possibility of danger. One is just louder and older than the other.

      • SougoXIII says:

        I totally get what you mean. During your first encounter with Larry, you are given 2 instances where you can side with Kenny regarding Duck. On the first choice, I choose to tell everyone to calm down because I didn’t want the conflict to escalate but the moment Larry try to get near Duck, I immediately tell the man to back the hell off, even threatening his life. Imagine my surprised when Kenny accuse me of never have his back in episode 2 while citing that incident when I refuse to let him crush Larry’s head.

        It’s one of the moment where the game fail me regarding my choices.

        • Deadpool says:

          This bothered me too. But programming the proper response for the proper player actions is HARD… That’s why moral choices end up as binary. The permutations for middle of the road are difficult to pull off.

          To be fair, this game does it mostly okay…

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          He did the same to me,however later he did admit that I was a good friend to him most of the time,and tried to help me.At least,after his rage went away.And like the Shamus said,I know people like him.They arent really bad,they just dont know when to drop some things.They mean well though.

          • Aldowyn says:

            Kenny ended up being way too inconsistent. He treated me like his best friend ever (Ep 2) until the decision to try to save or kill Larry. I’m like “You JERK! Lilly was trying to do the same thing you would have, it’s the exact same thing!” He never really trusted me after that.

            (Ep 3) And then, of course, episode 3 happens, and I felt more sorry for him than for ANYBODY so far

            • Deadpool says:

              It did make me feel sorry for him, but it didn’t make me like him any more… Probably made me like him less.

              See, I sympathized with his pain. Even though I hated him, I figured that’s a tough situation and sympathized with his pain. Like a normal human being would.

              Except we don’t see Kenny do that until a half hour before the game ends… Maybe.

              • Aldowyn says:

                I just finished episode 4, and even though I was mostly neutral between him and lilly and sided with her at the farm, he’s apparently now decided that I am his trusted friend and will help me through ANYTHING. (MAJOR end of Episode 4 spoiler) This being said after Lee gets bitten…

                I just wish he’d make up his dang mind.

        • Wulfgar says:

          i did the same. my reaction was: Wait, what? i did help you there!”

          • Aldowyn says:

            (minor ep 5 spoilers) That actually gets answered later. In episode 5 he admits that he was pretty upset with you for a while after the decision with Larry. Specifically something about ‘hating your guts’, I think.

    • David says:

      I think the best thing about Kenny is the fact that even if you do get on his mixed/bad side, if you save Ben then in ep 5 Kenny realizes what a jerk he was being. The man looks genuinely ashamed if you tell him Ben wanted to kill himself. Couple that with what he does afterwards for Ben’s sake, and I ultimately felt that while Kenny could be a bitter ass, there was still a good man down there, which is a testament to his characterization.

      • Zoe M. says:

        Kenny actually has a character arc in this game. You sadly can’t say that about too many other characters (except Lee if you play him that way), which is slightly sad but actually makes a good bit of sense: not every character in every story needs to go through a deep, involved personal story!

      • Deadpool says:

        Yeah, but it’s weird. Kenny comes to the realization that his pain isn’t unique and other people are suffering as he is.

        He never once seems to come to the realization that any of the OTHER crap he’s done is wrong…

        • supflidowg says:

          The way I see Kenny is a coward, but he can swallow his cowardice for his family since anytime his family is in danger he wont hesitate,like when they escape the meatlocker in episode two Kenny is unconcerned about his safety when he’s looking for his family.but for anyone else he’ll think about it before he splits.he does this in every episode exept five and you see him struggle with it for a second before he runs out, but if you help out his family he will support you in episode five even if you take ben.

    • Jjkaybomb says:

      Well what about Lilly? She’s snippish and bossy, but if you’re understanding and kind to her, then she can be as understandable and interesting. Both Kenny and Lilly are hard and cruel on the surface, sure. But nobody in this game is ever 100% completely irredeemable.

      When I went through the game, I always thought of Kenny as my best friend. A best friend who was kind’ve screwed up and pouts if you don’t follow his dumb plans. But that made him human. It made him understandable. I’m with Shamus here, I knew people like Kenny. And I could see those generally good people act in those generally poor ways.

      • Deadpool says:

        Lily never leaves you to die. She never kills a non-walker, she never tries to get any member of the team killed, he never ignores a team member in trouble.

        She’s a jerk, sure. But Kenny will let you die if he doesn’t like you.

        Best friends don’t let best friends die. Good human beings don’t let people die.

        • SougoXIII says:

          Wait didn’t Lily kill someone in episode 3? I couldn’t say for sure since I haven’t play it but I have read the spoilers.

          • Zoe M. says:

            Yes. And that was the first time I played Lee angry.

          • Deadpool says:

            Well, yeah. That’s why she got left for dead on the side the road like crazy, loony bin she is. And to be fair, she had a nervous breakdown in part because Kenny smashed her Dad’s face in with a salt lick an inch from her face…

            But until that though, she was just a bitch… I was more inclined to side with her than Kenny.

            • newdarkcloud says:

              Well, if you keep her with you, then she steals your RV and takes off.

              • Cody says:

                I would like to point how that her father is a massive dick that hates you no matter what, killed off my personally favorite NPC, and basically was all about not helping anyone who wasn’t in the group, and I still liked her more then Kenny by E3. I’m sorry but if someone sides against me just because I didn’t help him kill a man who was unconscious, but every other time have helped him and his family, there is something very very wrong with him. Plus he just sat back and watched me almost die twice by them so screw him.

                • newdarkcloud says:

                  If you scroll down, I said that I do really like her character.

                  There isn’t any among the main cast that I really hated except for Ben. Hell, even Larry grew on me in his brief time in a way where I could respect him for caring for his daughter. But Ben, fucker is a complete idiot.

                  • Deadpool says:

                    I wasn’t best pals with him, but I don’t hate him as much as most other people tend to. He’s young, stupid and inept…

                    But without our care, and training, and coaching and motivation… Wouldn’t Clem likely end up the same way?

                  • Cody says:

                    Out of all the main cast I think Larry was probably one of the best. I understood his reason about hating me, I liked how in E2 he sorta started to like me after I helped him, and the over all concern for his daughter felt genuine.

                    Though I would have liked it more if they had left out anyone for the comics/TV show because you know they are going to have to get rid of them so it doesn’t mess up the lore they are working with. I’m guessing this is the main reason you can’t side with Lilly in E3, she needed to get on her way to do whatever it is she does in the comics. If they must have someone in as a cameo, don’t make it so siding with them in the end is completely useless because they have to leave anyway.

                    • Eremias says:

                      So my decision to leave her for dead doesn’t actually lead to her death. Great work game, I thought I actually did something there, with a consequence.

                      Why are there even choices? They pretty much wrote everyone to be a fixed character, even Lee, and the possible permutations are so little, there’s no point to them.

                      Oh, wait. If there were no ‘choices’ to make, there would not be a facade of a game to sell.

                    • Thomas says:

                      Okay the first part of this might seem a bit biley from me, but if that happens, it’s not directed at you at all, everyone does this, even Yahtzee and my irratation stems from reading/commenting on Heavy Rain reviews way back when.

                      But ‘it’s not a videogame’ or ‘otherwise it wouldn’t be a videogame’ is never really an position I’ve found very helpful. Okay it’s not. But it’s clearly not a film/book/stageplay/flashmob either. It is what it is and giving it a different label or denying it the videogame label only changes your expectations of the work and if your expectations are wrong, that’s not particularly saying anything about the quality of the work itself.

                      And it might be hiding some good points that you have to share. Maybe the lack of interactivity intensified an idiot ball moment, maybe it was boring. But we should talk about those specifics and forget about the game label.

                      ———————-
                      I#d also like to present to you a view of the game, it’s probably too late for you but I#d be interested if you think it helps justify the games existence more.

                      My idea is that The Walking Dead is a game that is meant to be played once and that it’s not about choices but decisions. They create this illusion of choice, not because they want you to experience a Mass Effect style game, where you craft things as you wish and entertainment comes from deciding what happens, but to make you make decisions that feel they have weight because thats the core emotional experience of the game.

                      So they don’t really care if Doug or the other one lives or dies, but they want to make you feel the tension of having to choose between peoples lives. And they don’t care about whether you decided to go A or not but they want to make you feel the horrible uncertainty that ‘maybe if I’d done it differently this person would have lived’

                      I think from your posts that you understand this but I’m interested in having the discussion of whether it’s good or not. I feel a lot of the problem stems not from the game itself, but the habits we bring as gamers and the expectations. We#re constantly trying to game the system, work out what we can change, what the mechanics are, but I think if we didn’t have those expectations (so didn’t play Falloutesque games) or maybe if we get used to this genre of game, that it’s a good thing and we can learn to not have those expectations coming into a game.

                      The biggest problem is, if it backfires, then because the game lied to you to create the illusion, it can create a feeling of anger, which I think if you don’t mind me saying has ruined the playexperience for you. But I think the concept is justified and can be made to work

                      EDIT: Sigh, another essay. Sorry. I really am trying. It never feels this long when I’m typing it out to myself

                    • Jakey says:

                      Lilly’s such a minor irrelevant character in the comics though, I never understood why they made her a cross-over tie-in. It’s not even a fanservice cameo like it was with Glenn, I literally had to look her up on the wiki and be like ‘oh yeah that random person from ages ago’. She appears for three issues but is merely a named redshirt in a crowd of redshirts and then does something important that could’ve been done by any other character in that group.

                    • Eremias says:

                      @Thomas:
                      I had precisely the expectations the game itself set up for me to have. The first few episodes heavily foreshadow branching plots or consequences to follow. Your argument is invalid.

                    • Thomas says:

                      @Eremias it’s not, but I’ve found that you already know this and talked about this in the first episode (and correctly decided to spoiler tag it too, even if people disagreed). I’m sorry that I missed that conversation and you are further along in this than I am.

                      The game sets up choices and multiple paths, not because there are some, or it wants you to get satisfaction from them, but because it ones you to think they are there. The idea is that by ep4 when everything has gone wrong there is a niggle in your brain that says ‘if I’d done this or this correctly maybe they’d still be alive’. Our problem is that we’re gamers and we thought too much, I’m not sure what point broke the illusion of choice for you and I’d be interested to find out, but for me it was knowing that they didn’t have the resources to diverge a story that much, so it must be a trick. Nevertheless is the illusion doesn’t fall it serves it’s purpose perfectly and I contend it was never an intention of the designers to give you meaningful choice, only to make you think that there was meaningful choice in order to convey guilt and responsibility

                  • Aldowyn says:

                    (ep 4) I lost all respect for Ben in episode 4, as myself and Lee, when he and Clem are being trapped by zombies and he just runs for his own life without saving Clem. I can’t recall exactly but I MAY have called him a coward to his face.

                    I’ve been basically playing as a decent guy who tries to help everyone, but if you endanger Clem… god help you.

                    • Deadpool says:

                      I tend to forgive him more because he is young, stupid and inept.

                      We constantly ask more of him than he is capable of, then hate him for it. We then protect Clem and expect NOTHING of her, then sing high praises when she somehow exceeds those expectations…

                      In a way, I see Ben as what Clem might have turned out to be without Lee there to guide her…

                    • Eremias says:

                      Dude, he didn’t endanger Clem. He knew she’s invincible.
                      (Joking, of course.)

                    • newdarkcloud says:

                      After Ben does that on top selling us out to bandits, taking the hatchet out of the door when it was OBVIOUSLY holding it from the zombies. I felt he was undermining my attempts to survive at every turn. Which is why when he volunteered to die, I accepted his offer.

                    • Aldowyn says:


                      Yeah, Ben’s an idiot. That axe thing was DUMB. There were literally zombies banging on the door every time I passed by. But, at least he knew he was dumb and knew it was endangering the group… so he volunteered to die. My opinion of him went up immensely when he did that.

                      Also, that whole bandit thing… I thought it was Doug up to the point that Ben confessed (I saved doug, not carley), because it sounded like the kind of thing he would do. (also I didn’t think Ben would be that good a liar) It even WORKED, to a point, and Doug specifically said he didn’t like messing with the group politics so I thought he could have taken matters into his own hands.

                      I liked doug…

                      I also missed why EVERYONE thought deal with the bandits was such a bad idea – it stopped them from attacking, after all, until Lee went snooping around!

                    • Jakey says:

                      @ Aldowyn

                      It was because he didn’t tell anyone about it thus causing major tensions in the group, causing Lee to unknowingly fuck everything up and ultimately being responsible for three people dying, fourth person being gone and the whole group pretty much falling apart at that point.

                      I never got the impression people were mad about the plan specifically, I think one of the Lee speech choices is acknowledging the plan itself wasn’t a bad idea.

                      @ Deadpool

                      Clem didn’t actively prove detrimental to the good being of the group, she’s eight and for a burden she’s pretty damn useful at times. Ben’s pretty much responsible for most deaths in the series and repeatedly ignored shit you told him to do such as DON’T FUCKING TELL KENNY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE APOCALYPSE ARAHHHGGJGKGKGGJHGJGHGJGGHGJGHGJHG

                      I mean, seriously. Doug/Carly, Lilly being gone, Kaatja, Duck, Charles, possibly Molly, that cancer girl, Kenny’s will to live, Kenny, himself. That is a hefty kill count right here.

                    • krellen says:

                      Why do we expect so much out of Ben? Would you expect so much from Duck?

                    • newdarkcloud says:

                      There’s a hell of a difference between a little kid and a college student (ie. someone my age).

                    • krellen says:

                      Ben was still in high school. He’s sixteen, maybe seventeen, possibly eighteen. He obviously a scared kid from the moment you meet him, and nothing we see does anything to suggest otherwise. We pile responsibility on him like he’s a fully capable adult like Lee or Kenny, without taking any time to consider whether he’s actually capable of this sort of thing, assuming he “must be”, due to superficially resembling an adult.

                      I know a kid a lot like Ben. I would never saddle him with the level of responsibility Ben is typically given. There are things he’d be capable of doing, because he’s got a bit of physical strength and maturity that an eight year old would not, but he makes bad, stupid decisions all the time and should not be trusted with things like guard duty or looking after the kids in a dangerous situation.

                      Lee makes all these points to Kenny in the last episode if Ben is still alive (which I realise you personally missed due to dropping him), and is why Kenny acts like a father towards someone he isn’t related to by blood for the first (and last) time.

                    • Thomas says:

                      When Ben yells at Kenny I felt that myself right to the core. made me feel very repentant of what I’d done.

            • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

              We can hash this more during the second episode, but I thought Lilly’s character underwent a major shift between 1 and 2 (and that’s when I stopped because… well, yuck, but we’ll get there). Some of the reasons for it are brought up, and Kenny becomes harsher too. But maybe because there was more time with Kenny, Lilly’s transformation is more obnoxious.

              • Cody says:

                I took it as she just got to know you and trust that you can pull your own weight so she stopped hating you. But you can see the shift as early as the drug store and beginning of episode 2 if you play your cards right and do all the side stuff.

        • Jjkaybomb says:

          I take issue with that second statement, good sir! She most certainly and deliberately murders one VERY specific character. And honestly, there’s times where Lilly doesn’t give two shits about your survival if you did’t have her back either. It’s all about how you treat her.

          As for Kenny, its a representation of the main moral dilemma of the game. Are you moral, or are you practical? Kenny is practical at the sacrifice of morality, and Clementine is moral at the sacrifice of practicality. I saw the practical side of things with Kenny at first (hesitantly), but towards the middle of three I was leaning more towards moral, and he started to lean away from me.

          • Deadpool says:

            Kenny is more than practical.

            In this episode, Duck is SAFE. He pulls him away from Zombies. There are no Zombies nearby and his wife is right there. Kenny could EASILY drop the child and help with Shawn.

            He doesn’t because he just doesn’t give a damn. He KNOWS it’s wrong, but it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t like Shawn yet (despite the fact boy’s family offered him sanctuary) so he won’t be bothered.

            That’s beyond practical. It’s just plain selfish.

            • Jjkaybomb says:

              Aw man, there’s a scene, I don’t know the episode. 3? A scene where he looks at you and says “we just let that kid die. Didn’t even help him. It haunts me.” You have a friggin moment with Kenny about that. About all the horrible things he’s done.

            • Jjkaybomb says:

              Honestly, Kenny can be kind’ve selfish. He puts his family above of others, and is not as even as a leader as Lilly was. But that too is completely understandable.

              I’m not saying the dude is perfect, I’m just saying I understand where the guy’s coming from. And that I pretty much cried fifty buckets of tears for him in episode five (for Clem, 500 buckets)

              • Deadpool says:

                I get where you’re coming from. But there’s about half a dozen scenes I can think of when someone’s life is in danger, or straight forfeit and not because Kenny is inept, or slow, or stupid, or distracted but because Kenny can’t be bothered.

                • Aldowyn says:

                  When the chips go down, Kenny is… not generally the one you rely on. Lee and him saved each other’s lives plenty of times, but there are definitely some where Lee has to save himself. notably at the drugstore, beginning of episode 3

          • Eremias says:

            The ‘practicality’ vs ‘morality’ thing is a very nice conflict to build dilemmas around and it really stops working in this game at some point. Because a practical choice is made to achieve a result.
            But in the game, a result can never be achieved. Whatever happens, happens. You might as well be moral about it, because being practical won’t actually benefit you (or anyone).

        • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

          Sure they do. All the time. Often with good reason, and especially when they have bigger concerns.

          Kenny is a man with all the foibles, faults, and machoisms that implies -and the guilty conciense afterwards when he realizes how he failed to live up to his own image.

          Saving Sean shows a lot of this. Kenny panics, says “sorry” saves his son and runs away, and afterwards appologizes for his panic and cowardice. He didn’t do exactly the right thing, but how many people in a similar situation wouldn’t have even managed to save Duck?

          As for the decision, when I saw it, my thinking was “Duck just has to get off the tractor and run, Sean can’t move until we get the tractor off him.” And while I realize Lee doesn’t know how to operate the tractor, how hard can it be to put it in reverse?

          • Deadpool says:

            See I’d believe the regret if he didn’t KEEP DOING THE SAME THING TO BE THROUGHOUT THE GAME…

            • Aldowyn says:

              I said this above, but his first instinct whenever he panics is to save his family above EVERYTHING else. It’s not admirable, and he knows it, but it’s understandable I think.

              • Deadpool says:

                Some of these times it’s just me and him and he’ll STLL just stare.

                Bottom line: He’ll let someone else die if saving the is inconvenient. That’s is not the actions of a gruff man with a heart of gold…

                • Aldowyn says:

                  yeah, I can think of one time in particular. (episode 2) at the beginning of E2, at the drug store. A bunch of zombies crash through a door at you, and you fight them off yourself while he just watches. You call him on it, and he’s like ‘you handled it’. Not particularly inspiring.

              • Deadpool says:

                Some of these times it’s just me and him and he’ll STLL just stare.

                Bottom line: He’ll let someone else die if saving them is inconvenient. That’s is not the actions of a gruff man with a heart of gold…

    • Cody says:

      Ya Kenny is a huge dick I sided with him to save duck, sided with him to make sure duck didn’t get kicked out of the drug store, fed his son, and at the most stayed neutral in his and Lillys little spat, and for that he constantly leaves me to die. Were as I sided against Lilly in almost every situation but with that to do with her dad and she loved the hell out of me.

      I hate how I am constantly on one characters side (hell I even agreed to loot the damn car to try to make him happy) but the game weighs one decisions so heavily that it counters out any amount of good I’ve done for him.

      By episode 3 I was so sick of him just watching me almost die that I was willing to ditch him and take the RV with Lilly because I at least knew that if she didn’t trust me and wanted me gone she would tell me about it instead of bitching out and hoping something else would do it for her.

    • ccesarano says:

      I think the thing with Kenny is that his loyalty to his family combines into both a virtue and a flaw. He is loyal to a fault, to the point that he considers anyone that isn’t making his family top priority is against him. This is why it’s so hard to play the rational leader throughout. While I often agreed with a lot of what Kenny wanted early on, I didn’t necessarily agree with his logic.

      Thing is, this is part of what makes him believable. As ridiculously drastic as he is, I can see someone like him existing and making these decisions. He wants to keep his family alive. They come first. This is what priority any father should have.

      It’s just that his interactions with others do not help him, and in fact cause more harm than good. He needs to be willing to compromise, and he is not. He is constantly trying to use Lee to his advantage, at least if you help Duck and side with him.

      For the most part I like Kenny, and if I were to play again this might be the only reason I choose to save Duck, as opposed to my original reason for doing so: I’m not about to let a child die.

      • Deadpool says:

        It goes a bit beyond loyalty to his family because there ARE instances where his family isn’t at risk and he still does douchebag things.

        And sometimes it’s just short sightedness. HOW dangerous to his family would trying to save Shawn have been? How detrimental to his family was getting kicked out of Hershel’s farm?

        The same goes for his actions in episode 2 which lead pretty neatly into episode 3 (no, it is far from ALL his fault, but without his premature reaction in episode 2 his family would have been safer in episode 3. Maybe not SAFE, but safER).

        And how detrimental to his family’s health is letting LEE die? Think about how many times Lee saves all their lives in this game…

        Kenny’s selfishness and short-sightedness endangers everyone, INCLUDING the family he wants to protect.

        Great character, horrible person.

        • Cupcaeks says:

          I pretty much agree with you on Kenny. Some people have said that his decisions are more along the practical side, but I would disagree with that. I see Kenny as a man that is driven by his emotions above all else, hence his behavior when it comes to his family, which pretty much boils down to the “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” camp. I initially liked Kenny a lot, because I could understand the lengths he would go to in order to protect his family, but he wore on me as the series went on. Pretty much from Episode 2 onward, I really started loathing him for all those little instances of him not trying to help you, and just general pettiness over all (I disagree with him ONE time about Larry, and he starts acting like I never had his back, despite doing and continuing to do everything I could to keep his family safe). It made for a great character, very believable, but in the end, not one that I particularly liked, despite being able to sympathize with most of his behavior. Telling him to fuck off at the end of Episode 4 was one of the most satisfying moments for me in this game.

          • ccesarano says:

            Oddly enough, because I ended up having his back most of the time (considering it was basically down to Kenny or Lily and I sure as Hell didn’t like Lily) Kenny was always there to help me out.

            I’ve tried using spoiler tags and it hasn’t worked before, so instead I’ll keep it simple: at the end of episode two, Lily wasn’t willing to lift a finger to help me out. So I think it all depends on who you side with, which just makes both characters flawed as long as they are that petty. Which brings me back to Kenny being loyal to his family to a fault. It’s about his family, and if you’re not with him then clearly you’re not for his family, either.

            • krellen says:

              If you try to save Larry, Lilly will shoot Andrew during your fight with him, saving you from a potential quick-time death (when he’s pushing your head into the fence); she will not do this if you kill Larry.

    • BeardedDork says:

      I also went for Shawn for exactly those reasons, plus as was pointed out when you make the choice Duck is just sitting there and could run away, Shawn clearly cannot escape without help.

  2. Deadpool says:

    PS: Josh chuckling at the “Shawn will remember that” made me smile…

  3. newdarkcloud says:

    I agree with you guys on Clementine. Unlike Some Kidd from ME3, she doesn’t feel like cheap exploitation. He’s a valid character in her own right and is properly developed. Also, she’s much smarter than players may initially realize. She knows her parent’s are likely dead, yet chooses to cling to an illusion. She’s a good child character because she’s a GOOD CHARACTER.

    Good writing is good writing, no matter what age/race/gender the character is.

    • Deadpool says:

      Clementine is one of the best child leads and Lee is one of the best non-white leads… Quite an accomplishment honestly.

      • Zoe M. says:

        I don’t know where that “one of” comes from in either case – I can’t name a single child (or non-white) lead (or secondary character) in any game in the last ten years, if not ever, who equals or surpasses them.

      • Amnestic says:

        Surely Lee (and indeed Clementine) should be able to stand as lead characters in their own right without requiring “non-white” or “child” – especially in the former’s case. Race can inform their character, but once we start getting into “best black character” territory something’s probably gone wrong.

        • Zoe M. says:

          Problem here is that the qualifier “best” is much harder to pin on overall characters than on specific subsets. Is Lee the best character ever? I don’t know. I doubt it. I wouldn’t bet that Clementine is, either – but they’re without a doubt the best of their particular category, which is meant as a very strong compliment indeed.

        • Deadpool says:

          This isn’t an either/or. Clementine can be a good CHARACTER AND a good child character. She doesn’t have to be just one.

          Thing is, there ARE other good characters out there. Clem is good, but doesn’t grossly outshine every other character out there.

          She DOES grossly outshine every child character I can think of. Which is why the modifier is noted.

          Same goes for Lee.

          • newdarkcloud says:

            Come to think of it, how many black protagonists do we even see in video games beyond the ones from Fallout/Mass Effect where you can choose.

            • Deadpool says:

              Playable character? Dom from Gears, Sazh from FFXIV, Heller from Prototype 2, Rochelle from Left 4 Dead 2, Barret from FFVII, whatever that dude was from Indigo Prophecy…

              • ccesarano says:

                Dom isn’t black, he is hispanic I believe. He speaks with a spanish accent at times, might even speak spanish at times, and, well, his name is Dominic Santiago.

                Still, he’s a minority character that, for the most part, doesn’t scream stereotypes.

                Cole Train, on the other hand, screams stereotypes…and yet for some reason I love him for that anyway.

                • Deadpool says:

                  Having an ancestor from a Spainish-speaking country doesn’t preclude someone from being black. Or white for that matter.

                  http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111102211758/gearsofwar/images/3/36/Dom_pose_GOW_3.png

                  Sure looks black to me.

                • krellen says:

                  There’s a reason Hispanic is an “ethnicity” and not a race. Before 1960 (when Hispanic was added to the census), most (but not all) were just “White”.

                  • Deadpool says:

                    I always did wonder why you Americans did that… Never made any sense to me, honestly.

                    Still feels weird to lump “Latin Americans and Mexican” into a “race” all of a sudden, especially when it’s separate from ACTUALLY Spanish people, but whatever.

                    • ccesarano says:

                      According to this photo he looks less black to me :P

                      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ea/Dom-mug.JPG

                      I’m not about to go Googling to see what Epic’s official stance on his ethnicity is, though. It’s usually not something I think about, truth told.

                      Krellen you do make a good point, I would end up mixing race and ethnicity together. Truth told, I didn’t even think about the fact that Lee was black until a joke in Episode 3 that made me chuckle. I was glad that Telltale addressed it with a light heart themselves a few times.

                      But when it comes to proper terms like race vs. ethnicity I tend to be woefully ignorant, so good call on the correction.

                    • anaphysik says:

                      @ccesarano: It’s too hard to tell in that picture, because he doesn’t look like a person there but some sort of slab of meat.

                      (Anyway, my guess would be some mixture of African, Amerindian, and Iberian-European. Just like a lot of people in the Americas.)

                      Of course, race is a social construct, if you ask me.

              • Cody says:

                You forgot GTA: San Andreas, no idea what the leads name is but he is black.

                • Deadpool says:

                  Right right. I never did like GTA, so there’s that.

                  Probably missed a handful. Also skipped fighter characters (Elena, D-Jay, Eddy Gordo,, etc) because they aren’t really characters per se…

                  • Cody says:

                    San Andreas was actually rather good, hated mos the other GTAs though.

                    It’s rather sad when I look through my games and only see a few (GTA:SA, Jade Empire, Just Cause 2, and Portal) that have a non white lead, or hell a non male lead.

                • Isy says:

                  CJ (Carl Johnson) I believe. GTA is full of ludicrous criminal stereotypes but it always has had impressive diversity. I think Wu Zi Mu is one of my favorite Asian characters out of any video game.

            • Thomas says:

              I’m not going to fully praise the game for it’s race choice because the only criminal in his previous life also happens to be the black dude

              Black criminal who understands the meaning of his crimes/repentance and is a gentle giant is a bit a stereotype in films actually. Think The Dark Knight, The Green Mile. It’s fairly rare as a protagonist and it’s not hugely racist or anything, but it stops me going full out praise on this.

              Also regarding race, what colour is Clem meant to be? I couldn’t work out with the various parentage comments

              • krellen says:

                I think she’s mulatto, like Obama. The family photo you see looks to me like a black father and a white mother. If she was just white, I doubt anyone would mistake Lee for her father.

                • Thomas says:

                  Okay that’s what I was guessing (but couldn’t tell from looking at her). Makes me more confused by Christie’s comment though? Was it about family resemblance that white people were bad at picking up on?

        • Duhad says:

          I would say that labeling them as ‘Best Child’ and ‘Best non-white’ character is appropriate BECAUSE they are grate characters and would be even with out thous addendum’s. Everyone talks about why Clem is a grate child character (with good reason), but I feel that Lee is an amazing African American character because he is in no way a stereotypical “The Black Guy” character.
          Most games make there black characters either broad ‘street-smart’ characters or hard ass Samuel Jackson types. Almost exclusively as soldiers or cops (one black guy on the squad with you and/or one guy as a superior officer). There are exceptions, but they are rare and generally just come off as completely bland, safe, interchangeable people since the devs don’t want to be seen as being in the racially insensitive camp.
          Lee is grate because he is NOT a stereotype, he is not constantly being used for the butt of “You would think a black guy would be like this, but he is not!” jokes (there is one, involving lock picking, but the joke is more that the guy who made the suggestion is clearly a bit socially awkward rather then “Its funny because you would expect black people to know how to pick locks, but this guy dos not because, bait and switch!”), but they don’t just slide his ethnicity under the rug completely. His being a black man adds to his character with out defining it, which is what I wish we had more of in games.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I’m going to lodge the following objection: my nephew is in first grade, I’ve met many of his friends from school, and none of them act like Clementine. Admittedly, I haven’t encountered a whole host of 6 or 7 year olds, but I doubt many of them act like Clementine either. The VA was born in 1975, and therefore is also not 6 or 7.

      Clementine is a good character, I don’t know that she can be said to be a child character, though, rather than an adult projected down into a small body and given a more limited vocabulary.

      • newdarkcloud says:

        It’s still worlds better than what David Cage thought 10-year olds act like in Heavy Rain. Christ, that scene leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

      • Deadpool says:

        Have they lived through a Zombie Apocalypse? Because I hear those things change people. And as a former Swim Coach, I’ve met QUITE a few kids that age. Some are close to her maturity. I’m not sure it’d be impossible for one of them to turn out this way with the proper… Motivation let us say.

        Although, I DO agree. She’d be more believable as 10-12 instead of 6-7.

        • Jjkaybomb says:

          Wasnt it like… a big deal that she turned nine, guys?
          Still a bit mature for her age, though XD

          • Deadpool says:

            I thought it was 7.

            9 is closer to believable.

            • krellen says:

              She’s eight, turns nine.

            • ccesarano says:

              She starts out 8 years old, and kids mature surprisingly fast. My niece is 7 and is very different than she was at the age of 5.

              That said, I think that is also one of the reasons they have Duck there. Duck behaves much more like your typical kid, I think, and in a setting like the zombie apocalypse that can be pretty annoying. In fact, I saved him because he’s a kid and I’m not about to let a kid die, but as you play you realize this kid is one gigantic liability. He’s not aware of the seriousness of the situation, even after some of these traumatic events. He is just startled for a while and eventually shakes it off.

              I want to like the kid, but because of the situation I can’t help but regret not saving Shaun instead.

              Oh, forgot my point:

              Kids don’t all act the same, and by having Duck and Clementine at two completely different spectrums I think they highlighted this difference well. Duck is your more calm sort of child, but Clementine is the child that learns how to read before other kids her age and excels at school, but has greater chance of having difficulties making friends because her personality isn’t as…energetic? as that of other children.

              So I could completely believe Clementine as a child of 8 years old.

              • krellen says:

                In short: kids are little; they’re not stupid.

                • X2Eliah says:

                  Some are.
                  In this game, so far (I haven’t played it, so going on just waht the SW has shown) Duck seems to be a pretty stereotypical “asshole stupidkid that will annoy everyone and inexplicably will need to be saved every 10 minutes from the crap he causes”.

                  • krellen says:

                    Duck doesn’t need to be saved that much, actually. Not nearly as much as Clem does.

                  • ccesarano says:

                    Maybe it’s because my niece is more on the energetic side (though not nearly as oblivious as Duck), but there were a couple moments where I smiled and laughed. I imagine the situation from this episode was the result of Duck panicking more than anything, and like any kid he didn’t know what to do and thus froze.

                    I’ve seen my niece do this after dropping a glass of milk, let alone running over someone’s leg and causing them to be in arm’s reach of zombies.

                • Aldowyn says:

                  And Clementine is quite smart. And extraordinarily brave.

                  But yeah, I could see a kid like that, especially by 8 or 9. I had more trouble with ‘why the heck is an 8-year old as smart as you still in FIRST GRADE?’ then with her character. It’s certainly child-like in many ways – protecting her innocence is a thing that matters.

              • ccesarano says:

                Crap, too late to edit. Meant to say Duck is your more COMMON sort of child. He’s anything BUT calm.

  4. baseless research says:

    Belgium central european? Lol

    (I know that’s not what you meant but I still find it funny).

    on the topic on puzzle moments: in the earlier seasons (aka 1 & 2, part of 3) I was annoyed by them because I wanted to get to the next story bit. But in episodes 4 & 5 I felt relief when I got to those points, because it meant I didn’t have to worry about heart-wrenchingly difficult choices or witnessing another soulcrushing moment.

    The puzzles gave a sense of calm before the next storm, where I could mentally catch my breath and approach problems at my own pace. Also, they give a sense of exploration, despite the areas being so confined.

  5. Spencer Petersen says:

    I think the reason the facial animation seem so good at conveying characters is because it effectively uses the whites of peoples eyes to show strain, confusion or shock. When Clem reacted to Kenny’s mention of spiders in her hair you see here eyes get bigger and whiter, which really contrasts against the rest of her. You also see this when other characters get angry or look at someone through the corner of their eye, and it really makes them pop in moments of tension.

    And as far as Kenny goes, his relationship has the most variance of any in the game barring Clem and it really becomes easy to hold a grudge against him that poisons your relationship for the remainder. When you start acting like a dick he starts sending it right back and vice versa, which can really start a downward spiral that ends with you as adversaries.

    Overall though, I’m willing to give him a break after all the shit he loses, and from episode 3 on he is basically in a suicidal depression which he only arises from when he gets pissed.

    • ccesarano says:

      In terms of facial animations, well, that’s part of the stylization. One of the things animation students learn is that cartoons typically exaggerate key features because you cannot recreate the nuances of the human face. Modern motion capture has attempted to recreate these, but it doesn’t always work. In L.A. Noire, for example, you can tell the body motion-capture was done completely separate from the facial motion capture, and at times it seems like a face is trying to hover in front of the head. It doesn’t line up right and pulls you right out of it.

      As such, most games going for more realistic looking graphics without the sophisticated motion capture of the face have a lot less to work with. Especially since you’re not guaranteed to have a good look at a character’s face.

      The eyes are one big important aspect made use of in Walking Dead, but it’s basically a focus on eyes, the brow(s), and the mouth. If you want to represent a certain emotion those are going to be the three primary areas you’re going to exaggerate, but you’re not going to do it with subtlety. That’s why Clementine had a surprised facial expression where her eyebrows shot up, eyes went wide and her jaw dropped. Does everyone react that way with surprise? No. Sometimes you just get raised eyebrows. But all three of those elements exaggerated now communicate “this person is surprised”.

      It’s one of the reasons I wish more games would have stylized animations. The divide between voice acting and animation could more easily be bridged and make the action on screen more believable, despite a less realistic appearance.

      • Hitchmeister says:

        Detailed, photo-realistic graphics don’t necessarily look better and they can be a lot harder to work with, undercutting the desired effect. Some people have seen that and been saying it for years. But most of the video game industry had to push the limits and discover it first hand. Finally the message seems to have gotten through, and a lot of developers are working on better ways to design their visuals than just dumping raw computing power on the problem. Now we’re getting more and more interesting looking, stylized games that don’t require the latest bleeding edge graphics card to run well.

        • Aldowyn says:

          I think TWD is the best example by far of how graphics don’t matter for immersion sometimes. Or any of the time.

          • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

            I think it’s the opposite. If the graphics in TWD were MAX REALSIM, not only would it look stupid, but all the zombie-stuff would be at high risk of feeling dumber than a sack of bricks.
            Borderlands (2) would probably feel more dumb and less fun if it had MAX REALSIM graphics, as would TF2. The need for “realism” would also limit character design possibilities and possibly even affect the design philosophy.

            I let Book of Eli (movie) get away with some stupid shit because the entire movie was stylized, if not in look, then at least in tone. My suspension of disbelief eroded with The Road (movie) because it presented itself as realistic and gritty and then gave me LOLCANNIBALS!!!!1!1two.
            The whole apocalypse genre is pretty stupid if you actually look into it. Almost all zombie/post-apocalypse-western/etc. stories hinge heavily on everyone being an utter retard with no hands. We had two goddamn world wars and we didn’t get cannibal clans and huge organized raider posses (with midgets and mutants). And when it comes to “attacks” such as zombies, monsters, or aliens, the stories either completely gloss over the military effort with the story beginning way after the “war”, or show modern military using tactics even Ugg and Grug would’ve double-facepalmed at (because 1. the writers don’t know a damn thing about military stuff, and 2. it’s only relevant for the story that you can see some uniforms so you know they were there).
            As such it’s only good to put the stylization up front, to inform and remind the viewer/player that this story isn’t about whether or not the premise makes sense in the first place.

    • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

      The facial animations seem good because 1) they get the most important bits right, and 2) the stylization hides and/or excuses the actually somewhat cheap-looking animation.

      I’ve concentrated on the animations just to (try and) see the “trick” behind it, and that’s what I’ve found. The actual movements are pretty unnatural, and the lip-sync isn’t even close to HL2/Source. But that’s why it’s a “trick”, and that’s why all artists use “tricks”, whether in animation, comics, or just plain ol’ “real” paintings.
      Because TWD animations are consistently “bad”, I can only assume that they know what they’re doing, and what they’re doing is 1) dodging the uncanny valley and 2) keeping the budget down, which is important because there’s lots of scripted scenes. This isn’t like an FPS, RPG, or RTS where you can just make few high-quality animations and get hundreds of hours worth of dynamic application.

      Disclaimer: I ain’t done played that there game, so maybe I just ain’t seen nothing yet, so this here post is all based on what I done seen in the first two Spoiler Warning episodes.

  6. Isy says:

    You can save Shawn there? ^*(&@!#$. I’d been justifying it to myself by thinking back on how Shawn was pinned down by the tractor and thinking you’d have to go up to where Duck was anyway to get the tractor off him.

    Hershal always accused me of lying, and the stats mark some percentage of players lying to Hershal, but I can’t figure out when I supposedly did.

    • SougoXIII says:

      Regarding the lying to Hershel part, I think you have to be 100% honest with him and cannot leave any answer in an ambiguous way cause apparently he have a lie detector build in his freaking head.

    • Deadpool says:

      When he asks you what happened to your leg. Josh said he didn’t remember.

      • Isy says:

        I answered it was in a car accident in my playthrough, which is as close as humanly possible to the honest answer out of those options, but still got accused.

        To be fair, Lee is a terrible liar.

        • Deadpool says:

          If you tell him you fell, he’ll ask more questions. Keep telling him the truth and he’ll ask more and more.

          • Cody says:

            To be fair though he wasn’t lying about that, hell the first time I played I told him I was with a cop, in an accident, and on the way out of Atalanta when everything went down and he still called me a liar. This game is super picky about what parts of the truth count for some reason.

            • anaphysik says:

              I think Hershel chewed me out too even though I was honest, since I recognize most of the same dialogue here (except he didn’t say I was an ass, instead saying that I seemed a reasonable folk), but in the post-game tough decision wrap-up screen, the game indicated that I’d told the truth. I think it may just be a matter of less variation in Hershel’s responses than we expect.

          • Keeshhound says:

            And if you give a mouse a cookie…

          • Isy says:

            But he didn’t hurt his leg falling down, he hurt it when the car crashed. I don’t know why the game would treat that as a more honest answer. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind if Hershel accused you no matter what you said – that would make perfect sense. I’m just boggled by the game’s criteria of telling the truth.

    • krellen says:

      You can try to save Shawn. His death is dictated by the power of cameo.

    • Kyte says:

      Huh. He believed me on my first try. I told him I was a neighbor, got hurt in a car crash, was on a police ride on my way out of Atlanta and I don’t really remember what else.

  7. James says:

    I have to say Kevin McLeod has out done himself this time with the music, also having seen the entire game (i watched a LP on the YogscastHannah channel) im curious to see how josh plays compared to that LP, especially with some of the other choices.

    TellTale have done an exceptional job and have told a story in a far better way then any other game ive played, hopefully other devs can learn from this

    • McNutcase says:

      Kevin McLeod doesn’t do the music for these custom. Josh goes and browses the royalty-free selections until he finds something he likes. The beauty is that Kevin is such a flexible composer that there’s always something that makes a good fit.

      And I’ll take this opportunity to thank Josh for giving us the title of the tune in the credits. I used to be going through myself to try and find the tune, because people ALWAYS asked and I seemed to be the only one with sufficient free time and obsessive tendencies to find it out!

  8. Jjkaybomb says:

    What? No love for Duck? I guess compared to Clementine, he’s nothing special… but he’s nothing awful either. Just some other guy’s kid. Kind’ve ditzy, probably overprotected and ignorant, but there’s nothing bad about that.

    I guess my own feelings are neutral. *shrug*

    • Gudlerian says:

      Saving Shawn seemed like the obvious choice, partially because Duck was really annoying, partially because he ran over Shawn with a freakin’ tractor and partially because I thought Shawn was a cool character. I was mildly disappointed when Duck survived…

      • Cody says:

        First time playing I went for Duck, and I only did so that I could back the tractor up. If I ever play again I’m not even going to try to save him, mostly because that kid is rather dumb and at best grows up to be another Ben.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Up above, I objected to Clementine’s “kiddness.” Duck, on the other hand, is very much like a real 6 year old. I’m not even sure how much of his “stupidity” is the result of being of average or slightly below average intelligence, and how much is the result of being a 6 year old boy. I see my aforementioned nephew all over him, including the motor-mouth tendencies and the inability to not touch stuff.

      That’s just kids.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      Honestly, Duck really began to annoy me.

      Still didn’t stop me from crying when I pulled the trigger in Episode 3. No father should have to go through that, so I took the burden.

      • Zombie says:

        I was more sad for Kenny than for Duck. I mean, in one scene he loses his entire family, but Duck was still an idiot, and deserved to die. I think I killed him. I don’t really remember. But after that, I did try to give the benefit of the doubt in things since he just lost anything and everything that mattered to him

        • Cody says:

          I would like to point out that yes it’s sad that he lost his entire family, he did go out of his way to murder Lillys entire family as well. I even pointed out to him in E2 that this was a possibility and that he shouldn’t be willing to do this if he can’t take it when someone else does it to him. I hate to say it but after I shot duck I would have liked to remind him of what he had done earlier.

          • Zombie says:

            To be fair for all we know Larry IS dead, hes not breathing, and how do we know Lee or Lilly actually know CPR. Plus, its a heart condition he needs specialized medicine for, so this WILL be a problem in the future. Everything points toward, “Hes dead, get rid of him” rather than, “Save him”. That said, I did try to save him, cause that’s the human thing to do

            • Cody says:

              Counterpoint Not breathing =/= dead, plus if you do the mini game right you can see he is a bit, also nitro pills are useless after a certain point because they are preemptive and nothing about it makes it “special meds.” His current condition was completely reversible if you could have gotten his heart beating again(thus the point of CPR) and Lilly was military, every last one of them is given first aid training and expected to keep up with it. So no there was n reason to call Larry dead yet, Kenny is just an ass.

              • Deadpool says:

                Also, if you pay REAL close attention, you can see that it was working a split second before Kenny ruins everything…

              • Zombie says:

                However Lilly isn’t the one doing anything but sitting there freaking out. Plus when I talk about the pills, I mean in some point in the future, there won’t be any more pills. If they can’t stop it preemptively, they will have to drop everything and do CPR on him, and if their in the middle of a Zombie or Human attack, they have to figure out, under pressure, if their going to save him, or if they leave him. So Kenny has a point in killing him.

                • Cody says:

                  So you would condemn a man to die just because at some point in the future he might have a heart attack? With that logic you might as well just shoot everyone because the constant stress, lack of decent food, and being overworked is probably going to lead to health problems down the way. As pointed out above the CPR was working, and if you know what your doing you swap out in 2-5 minute shifts with it so your not over worked, Lilly jumped out when she needed to and by the way Lee was taking care of it I would say he knows what he is doing also.

                  Episode 4 spoilers Your reason for killing him is exactly like Crawfords reason for doing everything, and please tell me how it makes any amount of sense? The bull shit reasoning of “It’s survival of the fittest now” is moronic and dooms the human race to die out by the next generation.

                  • Shamus says:

                    Don’t accuse other people of “bullshit reasoning”. Don’t make this personal. This is a videogame, and you’re having exactly the conversation the designers intended.

                  • Aldowyn says:

                    The point wasn’t “if we don’t let him die then he’ll be a detriment later”. It was “he’s going to turn us into a zombie and kill us all if we don’t kill him before he turns”.
                    There’s a big difference there. Kenny was worried about NOW, not later.

                    The point is specifically made that they would be locked in a room with no reasonable weapons with this pretty big strong walker. And none of them have nearly the experience they’ll have later in that kind of situation.

                    • Cody says:

                      True I’ll give you that, but with 2 people on Larry I think they could have pinned him. In the end it does come down to optimism or pessimism. The added fear of not knowing how long it takes for come to come back and if and when he died adds to it.

                      Also If I came off as to personal I’m sorry that’s not what I intended.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I liked the duck.And I went to save him here,because he is a kid after all.I didnt use any game logic,just my first instinct,which is to save the kid first.

  9. Deadpool says:

    I could never bring myself to be nice to Kenny, so it is entirely possible that Lily is different if you do.

    Although, to be fair, I never sided with LILY either. I always played middle of the road (and even got called out for it) and she seemed nicer to me than Kenny.

    Now, yes, episode 3 has her losing her god damned mind and shooting people in the face. But through episode 1 and 2 I find her less dangerous to my health than Kenny.

    • Shamus says:

      Pfft. This orphaned comment by Deadpool was supposed to be a reply to me. I wrote a reply, hit post, and found six other people had beaten me to it. Not wanting to be the last person on the dog-pile, I just nuked my own comment. And apparently in the 30 seconds it was up Deadpool saw it and began a reply.

      You people are too fast for me!

    • Cody says:

      The reasons you just spoiler tagged is the same reason I hate E3, no matter what you do you are stuck with Kenny. This pissed me off so much that not only does it mark E3 as the low point of the game for me, but I stopped playing after it until these guys started up again. It also doesn’t help that E3 has no worthwhile new characters show up and kills off and gets rid of all the other ones I liked.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I played middle ground most of the time,but sided with the kenny more than with the lilly.And he definitely helped me later.But they were both,more or less,nice to me,even if they werent nice towards the rest of the group.

      Plus,when his entire family dies,he doesnt shoot anyone in the face.Heck,I even managed to get him to not kill ben,and like someone said above,you can even reconcile the two.The lilly,on the other hand,shoots the carley for no reason.

      • Aldowyn says:

        Have you seen the scene (ep 3) where she shoots Doug as he tackles Ben to get him out of the way? The feels, man. Doug is a hero in my mind.

      • Deadpool says:

        See, that’s my point. Throughout episode 1 and 2 Lily is rough around the edges, but she’s a far better person to side with than Kenny, who leaves Shawn and Lee for dead and bashes a man’s head in because he MIGHT die.

        Things may take a turn later, but I could never bring myself to side with Kenny…

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          There is no “might” there.That was 100% certain.I still did cpr,but I knew it was useless.Whats worse,is that its the same thing I did to duckin episode 3,with the only difference that we werent locked in a freezer that time,and I had time to think.

          And that about shawn and lee,he was moving his kid away from danger.Whenever clementine was in danger,I did the exact same thing:Her first,everyone else later.

          So no,I cannot blame him for any of those.Nor do I blame lilly for being so cranky,because you did her job a bit in episode 2,and it sucked.But I sure do blame her for shooting an innocent person,who was 100% healthy,simply because she didnt like them.She had absolutely no reason to do that.

    • Falcon02 says:

      I felt largely the same, I never did really give up on Kenny, but I sided alot more with Lily over Kenny especially after the salt lick incident and despite her abrasiveness she really grew on me.

      Even when she was getting paranoid I understood her paranoia and sympathized… and then she killed Carley… Even then I didn’t leave her on the side of the road because I couldn’t leave someone to their assumed death, even after killing one of the most valuable members of the group, especially since it seemed Lily wasn’t in her right mind. I wanted to sort it all out later… and of course that didn’t work out too well either when she stole the RV

  10. newdarkcloud says:

    That exchange never happened to me. In fact, since I humored her and helped her try to save Larry she took to me with gratitude. She asked me to help because she thought she had no one else to turn to, and I did.

    Then, she started to unhinge when when we got on the RV. I tried to be diplomatic, but was having none of that. Then, the gunshot went off.

    I feel sorry for Lilly, but at the same time I was absolutely pissed at her. I feel horrible and tugged in multiple directions.

    EDIT: This was in response to Shamus’s now nuked comment about Lilly, who we will meet later in this episode.

  11. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    I don’t know if there’s any real evidence for this -and the existence of a sister in Memphis probably militates against it -but I had assumed Kenny had spent some time in the military before he became a commercial fisherman, and he met Katjaa on service in Germany (or Belgium, I guess, I had misplaced the accent as well).

    • Cody says:

      Was I the only one thinking “Eastern Block” with her accent?

      • Isy says:

        I had thought so too, since I’d first heard “Katja” as a Georgian name.

        • Cody says:

          Mind you my knowledge of eastern block names and accents come entirely from old Bond movies so there is a very good chance I am wrong here.

          • Lalaland says:

            I placed it as a central european accent or possibly Baltic states, after the accession of the eastern European states to the EU there was a wave of migration to Ireland and her accent is consistent with those I’ve heard. Of course I’m talking about one of a dozen or more possible countries here but I’ve always been crap at accents (hell I confuse the Donegal and Scottish accents sometimes)

  12. Irridium says:

    One theory for why people apparently didn’t save duck is because of Mass Effect 3’s whole thing with Some Kid.

    That would be my reason. My hate for that bastard bleeds through other games, and further re-enforces my innate hatred for kids in games that Fallout 3’s Little Lamplight created.

  13. Soylent Dave says:

    Rutskarn – while I agree that Duck is definitely written as a deliberately annoying character – he’s more of an actual child who gets in the way and wants attention (which kids do when they’re frightened, or when they meet new people), as well as being a bit on the stupid side – he’s not called Duck because “he won’t stop quacking”, but rather because “nothing ever seems to bother him” (according to Kenny)

    As in “water off a duck’s back”.

    Tsk. -10 points, and you’ve lost out on your chance for the commemorative tea set.

  14. Duhad says:

    On the ‘no one wakes up from nightmares like that’ thing. I am TERRIBLY arachnophobia and when I was a kid (and even into my mid teens) I would have dreams about spiders, from which I would wake, sitting blot up right and flinging away the covers from my bed, before tearing my shirt off and striping the bed to make sure that there were no spiders in it. Admittedly I was more then a little messed up, but so is Lee and so while I will agree that its over used, its not impossible by a long shoot.

  15. Duhad says:

    On the ‘no one wakes up from nightmares like that’ thing. I am TERRIBLY arachnophobia and when I was a kid (and even into my mid teens) I would have dreams about spiders, from which I would wake, sitting blot up right and flinging away the covers from my bed, before tearing my shirt off and striping the bed to make sure that there were no spiders in it. Admittedly I was more then a little messed up, but so is Lee and so while I will agree that its over used, its not impossible by a long shot.

  16. Spammy says:

    I just played through this episode today, and my impression when it came to the stats I saw on the choice was different: People chose Shawn, because Shawn was Hershel’s kid, and Hershel is a character from the books/show. I saved Duck though. I really enjoyed the barn scene though, and I see now all the ways it can play out depending on how you deal with Hershel.

  17. ccesarano says:

    Wow, I had no idea that’s how different things were if you waited until night. I figured it would be the same thing, just, well, at night.

    And thinking about it, I’m not sure night fall is as bad an idea as it seems, depending on how you go about it. I imagine zombies see terribly in the dark. Of course, they’d probably go right for any source of light as well. Hrm.

    • Zoe M. says:

      You see quite a few spots in Episode 1 where they leave hints of something bigger and more involved than ends up happening. “Katjaa learned you were fired,” for instance, feels like it came from a different game – one where the other characters actually learn and respond to different facts and ideas, not just choices. Likewise, sadly, there don’t seem to be too many “this sequence plays out completely differently” moments in later episodes – the variance decreases as the series continues, a sign that they saw their plans were too complex to pull off, and compensated.

      • Deadpool says:

        The writers weren’t sure where the story was going, so they tracked all sorts of information and just let the cards lay where it may.

        Also helps with the player, since you never expect things to matter or not matter later.

      • ccesarano says:

        I think that’s just part of the difficulties, and realities, of not only making a game where players have a lot of choices, but you have to make it on an episodic schedule.

        I’m willing to forgive developers, though. I just wish sometimes more care was taken. I love Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, for example. However, first time I played through I played the generic boyscout Good Guy that I typically do. This resulted in a very powerful ending that thematically and emotionally flowed incredibly well. I played a second time as a less pure more playboy style of character, which changed quite a number of superficial details, but a lot of the key dialog and elements remained the same. So when I got a different ending I could see how it could work, but it didn’t. It felt a lot more forced.

        But I appreciate the effort they put into making the game work on multiple levels. So even if a lot of the choices here are superficial, I appreciate that Telltale allowed events to play out differently if you want until night.

      • Cody says:

        I hope these guys sit down a write out the entire next season before making it. I may me rather mean to them at times but it’s only because they have enough potential showing through that I think they can. Then again I after reading a few interviews with leads at telltale it seems like the success of this game might have gone to their heads a bit.

        • Thomas says:

          It might turn out to be unfeasible though. If writing takes as much time as all the rest of the stuff then they don’t have the money to write it all out before starting it. And then it depends on how much they have to be bend because of production issues and how well they’re able to estimate how feasible something is and how much time it takes.

          I think this is probably the one series I can forgive for not having some sort of plan, because the way I see it in a Zombie Apocalypse, people mainly just react and the stories are small scale (unless we go down the Umbrella route) so an overarching story isn’t expected. Instead it’s about how the characters cope. And I think the idea of choice in this series is more about making you feel the burden of decisions than giving you actual choice. Most of the events in TWD weren’t things anyone could have predicted so choosing what you do has less meaning than in other settings. Okay so this railing broke, that person turned out to be untrustworthy, but its just as fair that the railing didn#t break or another person turned out to be untrustworthy and it wasn’t this place but that place that was dangerous. It#s not like standard Bioware games where you person has the power to change the local government etc

          • David says:

            I think that’s the biggest difference between the choices in ME and TWD. Very minor ending spoilers, the last decision in TWD doesn’t change all that much from a narrative perspective, but the choice itself serves as great personal character development. I made the choice based on my personal feelings, and I was able to justify that grey on grey decision to myself before making that choice.

            In Mass Effect 3 I was able to choose between 3 galaxy changing endings, but they weren’t my choices, I didn’t support any of them because none of them made sense or were explained.

            The Walking Dead’s choices acknowledge that you only have limited control over the what happens, but the importance is put on how you choose to face it, what kind of person you are. Bioware is more about making big choices where you are a sort of axis that bends one way or another with the world following suit.

            • Aldowyn says:

              I will definitely agree here. I mean, the Bioware style isn’t necessarily WORSE, just different. Bioware tends to the ‘epic’ storyline – larger-than-life characters going on a great quest to save the world kind of thing.

              I WILL say this is fundamentally more emotionally effective, though. I spent a tenth the time on TWD as I have on Mass Effect, and it still had a bigger impact than anything in ME, even Tali or Mordin.

              • David says:

                I’m definitely not arguing one type is inherently better than another, I just often saw people complaining about how Ep 5 was another ME3 where none of your choices matter, which I found an unfair comparison.

                ME’s style is more to put the spotlight on a main conflict, with your choices affecting how that conflict plays out and how it is eventually solved. This lets the players feel agency because they know they are the main driving force behind the eventual conflict resolution and it lets us feel like Big Goddam Heroes.

                In a game like the walking dead where there is no real main goal besides surviving to see another day, with minor conflicts shaping the plot, there’s no real way for the cast to ‘save the world’. The walking dead instead focuses your choices on character interaction and development instead of a drive to ‘fix’ an overarching problem.

                So I felt the two works don’t function well as a comparison, they can both be used well, but they’re just telling different types of stories.

                • Thomas says:

                  I agree with this. But with the one big exception that the way the Walking Dead does it is a little more fragile (although on the other hand the ME method needs a lot more effort before it works). You need to believe in your choices for the emotional affect and so replays or intuition or learning about the game from other people can ruin that connection. Especially since they’re trying to convey guilt.

                  I would have changed the ending, but it’s not the same way the feeling of choice was used in ep1-4 so I might save it for a more Ep 5 specific conversation.

  18. Arne says:

    I actually saved Shawn because he already helped me. He gave a total stranger with a kid a ride to his father’s farm. I was in a bad situation and he helped me out. Basically wanted to repay him for saving my butt. ^^

    Also I liked his character.

  19. SleepingDragon says:

    The animations might not actually be better than a Bethesda / BioWare style face animation, but it looks better because it’s happening on a cartoon face and not on a photorealistic one.

    Now devs, what have we learned today?

    • Cody says:

      Well obviously it wont be a problem if we make the graphics more realistic, and brown/grey, and just throw more money at the problem because money is like magic and can fix what talent and good design can’t.

      • SleepingDragon says:

        Excellent! You pass with an A+, here’s your diploma. This grade entitles you to our “job guarantee” offer mentioned in the leaflet, with the pay and benefits listed along of course. You can immediately become part of one of our two ongoing projects, both are attempts to tap into niche markets that we believe have a great potential.

        First one is a first person shooter with a story about America being attacked by Muslim communist terrorists who want to get their hands on US nuclear arsenal, which is placed entirely under the Pentagon, and detonate it to destroy the Earth. The players play the part of James Patriot McAmerican, the best of a topsecret special operations team of commandos, who sometimes does what’s right rather than follow orders. This project is very advanced, we have nearly an hour of the single player storyline, the writers actually just had a halfway mark celebration last Friday, but there is still a lot to do. We’d like you to head the team working on multiplayer, the CEO showed it to his son and for some reason the kid said he doesn’t like it, we think some twenty more retextured pistols and assault rifles should help this.

        The second project is a fantasy MMO with monthly subscription, basically the market that only has World of Warcraft so far, and we’re going to pry even those few people from Blizzard’s shaking hands (seriously, that company is on its last legs by now). The thing looks amazing so far, we have various races, like orcs, and elves, and dwarves, and classes like fighter, healer and caster, there are mounts, quests, two major factions, one is sort of evil and the other sort of good, that have divided the world between themselves, and even an extra cash shop where you can buy gold and experience and +200% all stats in PvP, if you want to just dive into the deep end right away. We’d like you to focus on the team doing character models, just make sure you stick to the guidelines, especially remember that nipples need to be covered on women, we’re trying to get this thing a PG13 rating.

        We’ll give you some time to decide. The next room is actually your own office, and it’s soundproof so the sounds of our programmers and artists (for convenience sake please refer to them collectively as “peons” in memos meant for staff at middle management and above levels) don’t bother you, they can sometimes get pretty loud after a 240 hour shift, be prepared to deal with an occasional disgruntled employee, you can pacify them by promising them a bonus when the project they’re on sells their first 10 million copies. Anyway, in your office (doesn’t that sound cool?!) you’ll find a workstation with a more in depth multimedia presentation regarding both projects, as well as all the materials you’ll need for your work. Just turn the machine on and create your developer account by running the “setmeonfire.exe” application you’ll find on your desktop. It’s a little internal joke we like to make because our projects are just so hot. Oh, and if there’s a bit of dust on your chair don’t let it bother you and just blow it off, we’re sort of transitioning between cleaning companies at the moment, sorry for that. We hope you’ll enjoy your stay with us and are eagerly awaiting your input.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      That art style trumps photo realism every time.Forget pushing the bling mapping forward,and just hire some good artists.

      • Cody says:

        I wouldn’t say every time, ME1 and The Witcher 2 are very good examples of games that go for realistic graphics and it works wonderfully.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          But do you think that those look good because of how realistic they look,or because the artists were good?Check other games with similar graphics,but other artists,and tell me if they are as good.

          • Cody says:

            It’s more that the graphics and art design complement each other. Hell I will still say that except for a really weird way of doing lighting The Witcher 2 is probably still the best damn looking game I have ever seen. Good artists can help you squeeze the most out of what you have to work with, but without decent graphics at some point it’s going to start to look funny. Hell I love how they did The Walking Dead, but if you look even for a moment at the background it looks like it’s set up on a stage.

        • Aldowyn says:

          … ME1 didn’t look THAT good. Sure, it has a couple of good environments, and the backdrops are consistently great, but the character models, including armor things? ME2 is just better. ME3 was too, I think, except for some… REALLY weird animation.

    • Amnestic says:

      I found it interesting how SW said that the Borderlands/Walking Dead aesthetic was a move opposite to current trends. I’m not sure photo-realism is a ‘current trend’, not anymore. Sure, some are still yearning for it (the MMS genre especially) but more and more I’m noticing ‘alternate’ aesthetics chosen by developers perhaps simply for design reasons, but also perhaps due to cost/performance requirements. Let’s face it, the Borderlands/Walking Dead aesthetic? Hell of a lot easier on your processors and probably a fair bit cheaper to develop for.

      I’m not saying this as a bad thing – I enjoy it and think Walking Dead looks really good (though I’d say that Valkyria Chronicles did it a lot better and about four years earlier) – just that I’m not sure it’s a ‘counter-trend’. Not these days.

      • Isy says:

        Not only do I imagine it’s easier on processors, but it rarely starts looking dated like photorealism does. Games like WoW still look good – heck, games like Chrono Trigger still manage to look good, while older games that went for realism are now firmly lodged in uncanny valley.

      • Shamus says:

        What games are you thinking of? I was comparing to contemporary shooters and / or zombie games. Dead Island, Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, Mass Effect, Skyrim, all Rockstar games, Alan Wake, Human Revolution, and basically ALL OTHER SHOOTERS. That’s a massive chunk of the market.

        Borderlands and Dishonored still strike me as being exception to the prevailing art decisions. Of course, my list is shaped by the games I play, but if there is a trend away from photorealism, I’m not seeing it.

        • Hitchmeister says:

          The Fable series is another example of games that go for a more exaggerated, stylized look rather than photo-realistic and for all their other innumerable flaws, they do look good.

          • Gruhunchously says:

            I always did like the Fable universe, what with it being a sort of meld between standard fantasy tropes and the industrial revolution. I’m sure some competent writers to do lots of cool things with it.

        • Amnestic says:

          I’ve been pretty heavily into Indie (and semi-Indie, whatever that means) stuff lately so it might’ve been my recent plays also affecting my perception. Seeing you list it out…yeah, I might’ve spoken a bit hastily.

          Might’ve also been a bit of wishful thinking on my part. Regardless, I’ll retract my statement about it not being a trend and just say I wish it wasn’t.

          • SleepingDragon says:

            Yeah, the rise of indies probably does a lot to lessen the problem. However, I still think way too many devs assume that the only way to make a game serious/dark/grimdark is to make the art photorealistic. I mean, stuff like Home respectfully disagrees.

            I haven’t played Walking Dead but from what I’ve heard and seen so far it does a lot of emotional depth and tension and the less realistic graphics not only do not subtract from that but may in fact work in favour of the experience. Because your uncanny valley faces do not distract the players (Oblivion), because it’s easier to make this somewhat cartoony face do what you want it to without glitching (ME), because the visual cues are easier to see. Also, it may help your budget…

      • anaphysik says:

        “MMS genre”

        ???

        EDIT: Some educated-guess-based google fu tells me you’re probably talking about ‘Modern Military Shooters,’ which fits your point. Welp, shows you what kind of games I don’t play, eh?

        • Aldowyn says:

          Totalbiscuit made an entire video based on ranting about the “MMS genre”, and it is now fairly well implanted in my head as a genre inside the FPS genre. Despite not ACTUALLY being that big, just ridiculously influential (CoD, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Homefront… hmm. what else?)

          • anaphysik says:

            “CoD…Medal of Honor”

            How little I know of these kind of games: I constantly forget that those are supposed to be two different series and not at all subtitles of each other.

          • Torsten says:

            what is kind of ironic is that three of the four franchises started as world war 2 shooters. And only later turned into modern – in this case roughly the last 30 years – military shooters.

            • Aldowyn says:

              Yep. Well, they all followed the leader – CoD. Modern warfare went NUTS, and Battlefield and later MoH followed. (Hmm…. yeah, I think that’s right. Bad Company was the first ‘modern’ Battlefield, and that should have been after MW1… lemme check. Yep, the next summer)

              Also Homefront isn’t really a franchise, at least I hope not, but it definitely qualified as being in the genre.

              • Asimech says:

                Battlefield 2 was the first “modern” one. I don’t know how it’s exactly determined right now, but I remember it being considered a “modern setting” when it came out.

    • McNutcase says:

      Oh, definitely. I’m just getting my first up-close-and-personal with Bioware facial animation (picked up Dragon Age for cheap in the Steam sale) and it’s horrendous. Everyone’s right in the bottom of the Uncanny Valley; my mute character is the least disturbing because at least I’m not subjected to her lipsynch. The benchmark for facial animation, for me, is still Valve’s Source-engine games; they managed to get on the far slope of the Valley, well enough to deliberately push one character back towards it and NOT have him sat squarely at the bottom.

      Bethesda are doing a lot better now than they did with Oblivion and Fallout 3. Skyrim’s actually come out of the Valley, partially because it doesn’t do the ridiculous personal space invasion zoom.

      But in the end, go with designed art, please. We can forgive FAR more in something that’s obviously not attempting to be perfectly faithful; we see what’s right, instead of what’s wrong.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This is off topic:

    Guys,you really should try assassin’s creed 3.If for no other reason but to see John de Lancie punching desmond.Ahhhh,so satisfying.Also,its fun using peoples houses as shortcuts.

  21. AJax says:

    “Man, I’m retroactively seriously depressed… fuck you Josh.”

    Okay, this is my favorite line in the season so far and I doubt anything can top it.

    Also, I’m much preferring this season’s more positive and analytical commentary.

    • My vote is still on Rutskarn’s “It’s a microphone!” from the ME3 finale episode.

      Also, you swore in your comment, and you know what that means? Put a buck in the swear jar, it’s over there up and to the right, a button with “Donate” on it.

      (yeah I just made that up, but I doubt Shamus will have any issues with people donating each time they are caught swearing in the comments, maybe it’ll become a thing?. *laughs*)

  22. Chris mentioned getting “stuck”, when Josh couldn’t find Hershell.
    In contrast the Omega DLC for ME3, at some point you are supposed to go up a ladder at some point, I missed the ladder, and “behind” me I hear Aria shouting “up here”, and I look and see Aria at the top of the ladder.

    It’s just a tiny thing to add, and many may wonder why bother at all, but it really helps, and it felt natural in the situation (rather than annoying as in many other games, including the ME games), I consider that good game design, there are many other such small touches in that DLC.

    In WD i did wonder at times what or where or who I had to talk to or do to trigger the continuation. And sometimes I was weary doing or talking to someone as I assumed that would trigger a continuation before I had the tie to talk to the others first.

    “NPC: We should go!”
    “PC: Yeah!” (end of chapter)
    Wait what? I’m not done talking to the others yet, I’m sure Clementine wanted to talk to me, and sure enough rewind and I’m right, etc.

    The ME3 Omega DLC in contrast did not blindside me, as you usually had to click on something (aka the good ol’ “end of level button”, but in disguise obviously)

    It’s the explorer in me I guess, I like to talk/look/pick up anything not nailed down (yeah old school adventure explorer).

    • Isy says:

      I’m embarrassed to admit this:

      I got stuck for five minutes right at the start after killing the cop with the shotgun. I didn’t spot the mysterious figure I was supposed to yell out to, and spent all my time mashing the W key trying to get Lee to stand up.

      Me: “Maybe he needs a bit to catch his breath?”

    • Amnestic says:

      I like games with objective markers – they tell me what I need to avoid to get the full amount of exploration before continuing on with stories.

      • Deadpool says:

        Depends on the game. Some times it ruins immersion QUITE a bit…

      • Thomas says:

        This is the number one thing I want game designers to work out how to circumvent. It’s my most common disconnect that in all games you should try to do everything but whats important. I haven’t got a clue how you do it but I want to stop thinking that I better go a cut this guys toenails before bandaging the other guys gunshot wound, or fighting the massive monster destroying cities. And when you accidentally complete a main objective (how absurd that we think like that) its so annoying. I was annoyed on Noveria in ME1 that they didn’t let me go back up the elevator to deliver a cure after I’d done the story part by mistake. ‘We didn’t have time’ says story log. Yeah well we’d have had more time if I didn’t waste it repedeatedly backtracking to try and find a way to complete the quest.

        The Walking Dead has a really weird relationship to this, some things can be missed if you progress, other things they introduce as sidequests before you can actually solve them (I spent ages in the drugstore trying to reach that brick)

        • Oh the brick, yeah. Guess what my first idea was with that brick. Hang on, the cane in the backroom, maybe I could get that and use it to get the brick?. Nope. *sigh*

          Maybe if Telltale had added (logical) alternative solutions to some of the puzzles it would feel more dynamic than it is. (lot of adventure games struggle with this, not just WD)

          • Thomas says:

            I definitely had that idea (also I wanted to use the back exit to get out and find a brick there and walk round), I think it would have been okay, except that they told you about the puzzle (and let you solve parts of it) before the puzzle could actually be solved (and narratively they couldn’t have let it be solved earlier)

  23. X2Eliah says:

    So, I haven’t really seen any of this game (and won’t play it because zombies). When the whole screaming started, I didn’t even think about the zombies, I just assumed that Duck had started the tractor and smashed the other guy against some wall/fence bit, possibly crushing the lower half of the body. And.. I guess it is not all that far off.

  24. hborrgg says:

    Sorry if this is off topic (ok, it is).

    Has anyone else here been playing around with Kerbal Space Program lately?

    • hborrgg says:

      Early alpha indie game? You design rockets to carry astronauts into space where you hopefully learn all about orbital mechanics before your ship crashes back into the planet?

      Guess not, but it’s pretty fun if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

  25. Aldowyn says:

    Shamus, I think that saying Mass Effect is particularly bad about the facing each other and taking turns talking in conversations doesn’t quite ring true – that’s a CLASSIC flaw of Oblivion :P And ME2 and ME3 are considerably better about it than ME1, and even in TWD a lot of the conversations will turn out that way, just not with both parties standing stock still. Lee usually will be, though.

  26. Wulfgar says:

    i helped Shawn just because he looked like person in more threating situation and kid helped create that danger.

  27. Danath says:

    If I’m having a nightmare I jerk into a sitting upright position if I wake up suddenly during it.

  28. Theminimanx says:

    You may want to lower the game audio a bit Josh. I’m having a hard time concentrating on what you’re saying when the people in the game talk just as loud as you guys.

  29. Vect says:

    Clementine sorta reminds me of Nanako from Persona 4 in a way. Both are kid characters who are meant to garner audience sympathy and are largely successful. Nanako isn’t with you at all times as much as Clem, but she’s still pretty important to the plot, especially at the point where the plot branches.

    • David says:

      Don’t spoil anything else! I’m just going through Persona 4: Golden for the first time right now.

      Honestly one of the best things about that game is that it gives you a ton of characters, and fleshing out their arcs has a direct connection to their persona’s power. I wish I could influence their arc a bit, but it’s damn nice to see character development being incorporated into gameplay instead of the usual formula where they’re usually completely segregated.

  30. Wraith says:

    Clementine is a great character. And, love him or hate him, Kenny is also a great character. Why? Because they have clear motivations, and even more importantly, they are CONSISTENT in those motivations.

    Clementine has a very strong moral code. Many players do not realize this, at least not initially. She does not swear, strongly objects to stealing, and is traumatized by killing. She constantly questions the justifications of killing zombies and living people alike. I would say that Clementine serves more to guide LEE’s actions and opinions than Lee serves to guide hers.

    Kenny is single-minded in his motivation, which is protecting his family. This is his primary strength and his primary flaw, and serves to cause his secondary flaws. He is unquestionably loyal and brave when it comes to protecting them, but that means that he will take it very personally if you disagree with him or decline to help his family – in his mind, his decision are made to protect his family, and you disagreeing with him puts them in danger. His secondary flaw is cowardice. Kenny talks big game but is never willing to put his life on the line for anyone except his family, as demonstrated by his constant leaving you to die if you don’t have his back 100%, and his constant advocating for leaving people behind, such as Ben, Lily, and Omid. *E5 Spoilers* This is well-executed in the culmination of his arc, where he sacrifices himself to mercy-kill Ben with his only bullet. While I felt the execution was a bit “meh,” it was still a good send-off, and a good final destination for his character. He is MEANT to be a divisive character, and he extremely well-written in that regard.

    Let’s also take a look at the TV show. Yes, several of the characters grab hold of the Idiot Ball way too hard sometimes, but in general their motivations are well-defined and consistent. Dale has a strong moral code of his own that he REFUSES to compromise. Shane is only ever looking out for himself, and it doesn’t matter who or what gets in his way. Lori, for all her “stay in the kitchen” preaching that rubs some viewers the wrong way, has an arc over the course of Season 2 – she starts out pessimistic and somewhat suicidal, but with Rick’s guidance she turns her view around, and that arc is brought to its logical conclusion in Season 3; however, I must admit that her reaction to Rick killing Shane in the Season 2 finale was out of character for her.

    In particular though, I like the characters of TV!Rick and TV!Andrea. Andrea in particular is a VERY divisive character among the fandom, because a lot of the time she acts like a spiteful bitch. But that is consistent with her motivations – to prove herself as independent, just as able to walk the walk with the guys despite what the other women like Lori feel. Her arc came to conclusion rather too abruptly near the end of Season 2, but it was still an arc – now she’s very competent, less spiteful, and closer to her Comic incarnation. However, she retains a major character flaw from Season 2 that I still like – she has HORRIBLE taste in men, and by extension is a terrible judge of character. If they loosely follow the comic’s plotline in regards to her, this could have a big payoff down the road. As for Rick, some might disagree with his new characterization as a “Shane-like fascist” by the Season 2 finale, but in my opinion it is an extremely logical extension of everything he has gone through. Throughout Seasons 1 and 2, Rick was nothing but reasonable, level-headed, and willing to compromise. Yet at every turn, he was criticized by almost EVERYONE in the group for his decisions, culminating in Shane attempting to murder him not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. For me, it fit perfectly that he was just sick of everyone’s bullshit and that it was time for him to take charge – everyone had been willing to LET him make the hard decisions and then yell at him when they disagreed, but they were never willing to make those decisions themselves, or walk away when they always had the chance. I really enjoy where Rick’s arc is headed, and I’ve applauded his actions over the course of Season 3 so far.

    Let’s compare all of this to, say, The Illusive Man. His primary, driving motivation from ME2 and ME3 was, in his own words, to “uplift humanity.” Yet, throughout the ENTIRE series, almost everything he does works AGAINST that statement. He kills more humans than Saren and the geth through pointless experiments. During the Reaper War, I bet the leading CoD in humans was “Reaper Attacks,” followed very closely by “Cerberus.” A close third would be “Commander Shepard.” And in the end, do any of his actions serve to further his core motivation…NOOOOOOOOOOOO! He in fact works in complete opposition to HIS OWN PLAN by informing the Reapers about the Crucible, which he NEEDS to complete his plan, and allowing them to take measures to stop the Crucible from reaching the Catalyst. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the contrast between good characters, and bad characters.

    • David says:

      Well, yeah but who needs a consistent character when you can just bank on Martin Sheen’s celebrity status?

      Love the actor, but his voice was the only thing I liked about TIM past ME2.

      • Aldowyn says:

        You liked TIM in ME2? His motivations made no freaking sense there either :P

        OP: (major spoilers) It seems to me that when Kenny lost Katjaa and Duck, he almost crashed because his life was focused around protecting them. Eventually he got through it and managed to extend it to the entire group, especially Lee and Clementine (although he never totally lost his pragmatism, as demonstrated in the fight with Lee after he got bitten). In any case, in my game he sacrificed himself to save Christa’s life, which seems pretty different than yours. (I dropped Ben. I’m pretty sure he would have committed suicide if he had the courage by then or shortly after anyway. He did TELL YOU TO. Not many took that view.)

        But yeah. Kenny SEEMS schizophrenic sometimes, but I think he’s just very passionate and gets carried away. He remembers now better than yesterday, and yesterday a lot better than last week too :P I loved that he admitted that he was wrong to be so mad at Lee after making the decision against him back in Episode 2 (which I did).

        Oh and Clementine is amazing.

        • Lalaland says:

          Ep 5 Yeah I dropped Ben too by that stage I regarded him as a liability and I felt it gave him a nice heroic ending which was nicely explained to Clem by Lee later. He also sacrificed himself to save Christa in my game, I wanted to get the radio back I wonder what would have happened if I had tried to just walk away, would Christa have jumped down?

          • David says:

            Good thing you didn’t bring Clem to Crawford. If you drop Ben when she’s around, and after she gives her spiel about “friends don’t leave friends behind”, Kenny will almost gleefully tell her what Lee did immediately afterwards and she bursts into tears.

            Kenny can be a real ass.

          • krellen says:

            If you say you don’t need the walkie-talkie, Christa says “the hell we don’t” and jumps down anyway.

  31. Duoae says:

    Man, I’m going to have to play through again because I chose “night time”… so this is all familiar to me. :)

  32. I don’t think Duck has worse writing than Clementine.

    I think Duck has a worse performance than Clementine. Except I can’t really fault the actor for it, since it’s obvious he’s just a little kid. Which at least makes a more sense from a casting perspective than for a middle-aged white woman to be playing an African-American, 8-year old girl.

    Duck’s monkey-faced character model probably doesn’t help his lack of popularity.

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