The Walking Dead EP3: The Only Winning Move

By Shamus Posted Thursday Nov 29, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 206 comments

Here is episode three of Spoiler Warning’s coverage of episode one of the first season of The Walking Dead, which is the third incarnation of the source material and the tenth season of Spoiler Warning.

Link (YouTube)

I think it would have been an interesting idea to make the stupid evil nutjob a different person from the insufferable abrasive loudmouth bully. Right now the deck is stacked so hard against Larry because he’s wrong, unreasonable, and rude. I wonder how things would go with players if the guy arguing to kill the kid was doing so in a detached, clinical manner, and the person against it was being emotional and irrational. Instead of saying, “Let’s wait until we find a bite”, they could be simply making appeals to emotion and denying that a bite was possible. How many people would lean one way because they want to side with the voice of reason, or the other way because it’s the more reasonable thing to do? With time pressure and uncertainty, you might be able to nudge some people into considering the “kill the kid” side of the debate.

Here, Larry wants to kill a little kid without even waiting to find a bite. He’s so eager to do this that he’s practically taunting the parents. The whole exchange is why I quit watching the TV show. The danger here isn’t from the zombies but from one person being completely unreasonable. His insistence that everyone stop and murder a child without even waiting to find a bite or see any symptoms is ludicrous.

Early in the show I accuse Lily of being “irredeemably evil”. Here’s why: (Spoilers for next week.)

Larry wanted to murder a kid without proper proof of a bite, caused a huge fight, etc etc. This leads him to having heart trouble. Lee is railroaded into risking his life several times to get Larry the medicine he needs. Then at the end of the episode, Larry doesn’t seem to really help in the big fight. In fact, he doesn’t lift a finger until he punches Lee in the face, leaving him to the zombie horde. (I think this only happens if you side with Kenny. If you play the diplomat I don’t think Larry does this.) Larry tries to murder the guy who saved his life because you failed to agree with him when he was being a stupid crazy murderman.

He’s big and strong and willing to use violence to get his way but not willing to use his size and strength to protect others. (Which, okay, he’s got a heart condition. But that excuse kind of evaporates when we see how willing he is to hit living people when he doesn’t get his way.) He’s the biggest liability in the group at this point, and he’s never made to recognize just how wrong he was.

Lily simply supports him without question. If you even try to point out how crazy Larry is, Lily gets angry at you. She can’t be blind to what sort of man her father is. It would be one thing if she was unwilling to side against her dad because of familial bonds, but she openly supports him and never really tries to talk her father down, even though she’s the best person to do so. I was left with the impression that she was going along with him because she agreed with him. In my play-through, I saw the two of them as this pair of dangerous irrational people who couldn’t be reasoned with and who would kill other survivors for their own convenience.

I’ll give the writers credit: This is a tense scene. On the other hand, this is exactly why I hate the TV show. Stuff like this leaves me feeling angry and agitated after it’s over, which isn’t what I look for in entertainment. This is in contrast to a game like Amnesia, where the negative emotion (fear) leads to catharsis when I step away from the game. This just makes me angry and sullen.

Anyway, it wasn’t until I began following the conversation on the game that I found out how much less evil Lily and Larry will seem if you do things a little differently.


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206 thoughts on “The Walking Dead EP3: The Only Winning Move

  1. Isy says:

    I haven’t gotten very far into Chapter 2 yet, but what annoyed me the most about Larry and Lilly is no one calls them on that. He punches Lee in the middle of the attack, which in this situation is straight up murder and no one calls him on it. Not to mention Lee compromised the security of the drug store and set off the alarm to get Larry his heart medication. Someone dies as a direct consequence of that, and Lilly can’t even be bothered with a “thanks” or “sorry my dad NEARLY MURDERED YOU.”

    1. Xanyr says:

      I think that the writers did an excellent job of making them thoroughly unlikable characters. Now whether that was their intention or not is another question.

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      Yet once the situation flips and her dad gets killed, she’s REAL quick to blame Kenny for it. (I opted to try and help her.)

      1. ccesarano says:

        If you side with Kenny and immediately cinderblock her Dad, then she won’t help you when Redneck Cannibal Charlie is trying to shove your face into barbed wire. Took me a while to figure that out as I was mashing the button like crazy, but I finally stopped mashing to see what would happen and Lee looks up, and Lily is standing right next to Clementine holding a rifle and just watches. That really pissed me off, but for some reason it took until episode three before I was absolutely 100% done with her.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          Ah. I helped her, and when I was in trouble, she stabbed the son of a bitch with a sickle, giving me the upper hand.

          1. Cody says:

            I wonder what happens if you have the sickle though, I always end up grabbing the cattle prod because in theory there wouldn’t be as much yelling.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              I had the sickle and she used the sickle anyway. There was a brief immersion breaking moment when I saw her with the sickle.

    3. Roland Jones says:

      Oh, it gets worse. Shamus’s evaluation of Lilly is something I agree with for the most part after playing the whole game. I was doing a series of posts for some friends on a forum as I played through the games, and “fuck you, Lilly” was my most common phrase for quite some time.

      Also, topic of Lilly being from the comics, that actually got undone; Kirkman released a new book recently that conflicted with game-Lilly’s backstory, so now she’s just another character. Who looks like the one from the comics and has the same (first) name and personality.

      1. Roland Jones says:

        Oh, and as for pissing off Kenny, I actually avoided it, even though I did try to reason with Larry at first. After he kept talking about killing Duck, though, I voted for punching the guy. Kenny was on my side for pretty much the whole series, really. Even though we didn’t quite see eye to eye on one or two things that I won’t spoil because they’re huge “lategame” things, he was actually friends enough with me that he didn’t care. Much.

    4. Actually, Lily does thank you. And the punch in the store isn’t forgotten instantaneously. I think you’re just not picking the right dialogue options, because this stuff comes up.

  2. Zoe M. says:

    Larry made a bit more sense in Episode 2 once it came to light that he knows about Lee’s criminal history.

    It explains, after the fact, a bit about why he does what he does.

    1. krellen says:

      That comes out at the end of Episode 1, actually.

      I also suspect Larry is more than a little racist, but of the new school of racism that won’t just say so out loud.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        I thought of that too. He never overtly states it, but it’s pretty subtle. It is in Georgia, so it would make sense.

        I really disliked Larry in Episode 1, but I grew to respect him in Episode 2.

        1. Zoe M. says:

          Which, incidentally, is just as much of a generalization as Kenny’s later “urban” comment

        2. krellen says:

          Think of how Larry is so quick to warm to the St. Pauls in Episode 2.

          1. Lalaland says:

            I’m on the fence on the ‘Larry is a racist’ thing as there just isn’t enough evidence for it. He doesn’t trust Lee as he knows why Lee was incarcerated which would make any person nervous of being around him, I find Kenny’s acceptance of Lee stranger to be honest (in my game I saved his kid both times but he’ll still defend you even if not).

            He also clearly feels that his daughter’s military background makes her the natural leader and really doesn’t get why no one else agrees or prefers the convicted murderer. I see him as that parent who wants their kid to get the lead role in the play, be the quarterback and homecoming king/queen. I interpreted Lilly’s passivity as the actions of someone who has grown so used to this she simply no longer even notices it or has grown tired of the fights resisting it entails.

            I think he just has a bad case of the ‘a__holes’, I prefer my fiction to include such characters because they’re common enough now without an intensely stressful situation and I can’t see how those a zombie outbreak would bring about a dramatic reduction in their numbers. O course as we never get a satisfying answer to why he is the way he is latent racism is just as valid an interpretation.

            Edit: Added spoiler tags out of an abundance of caution

            1. Aldowyn says:

              The game gives evidence and even lets the character hold the idea that he’s a racist but never really ‘confirms’ it. A rather good way of handling it, I think. I’m still not sure, either.

              1. Cody says:

                I have to agree with this. By not having him do anything super obvious or say anything then it leaves it up to the player to decide for themselves. Unlike Ash in ME1 (who I think was handled well) this is done so subtly I can’t figure out if he is or not.

      2. Deadpool says:

        It kinda makes you wonder why Larry didn’t say it AS SOON AS YOU GUYS CAME IN…

        1. AncientSpark says:

          I’d assume it took a while for him to remember it. He could have not put two and two together for a while until after you opened your mouth or until after you’ve entered the office or things like that.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yup,which is why I didnt hold a grudge,and even gave him cpr later.Yes he is a selfish asshole,but lee is a convicted murderer.

      However,it doesnt explain why he was such an asshole towards a kid.Maybe before the apocalypse struck he played mass effect 3.

      1. Indy says:

        No, he was watching Lilly play Fallout 3. She had just finished the part where the Dad dies, the most gut-wrenching scene for her, so she asks her Larry to keep playing for her. He didn’t take what followed too well.

      2. Cody says:

        Nope, played Fallout 3 and got to Little Lamplight.

  3. krellen says:

    Larry punches Lee no matter what.

    And to his credit, Kenny saves Lee no matter what (if you sided against him, he says “even if he is an asshole” after helping Lee up, instead of “especially a good friend”.)

    1. Isy says:

      Who rescues you if you piss off Kenny?

      1. Zukhramm says:

        Kenny. He says “nobody get eaten today even if they’re an asshole” or something like that, instead of “… especially not a good friend”.

      2. krellen says:

        That’s what the spoiler is.

        1. Isy says:

          I only finished Episode One, so I avoid reading the spoilers. Oops.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            That’s why we’re trying to do the (episode x) thing :P

    2. kanodin says:

      Huh so if you side with him on killing a kid and then go find life saving heart medication why does he punch you? I’m feeling pretty justified in calling him a racist now.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        You do have to take into account that he knows who Lee is and what he did. Also, Lilly is the only family he has left, so he’s extremely protective of her and absolutely unwilling to risk her life.

      2. Amnestic says:

        “Your choices matter”. :D

      3. Cody says:

        To be fair though E1 ending spoilers If I knew someone was a convicted murderer I wouldn’t want them in my group. Remember Lee didn’t kill in self defense or anything like that, he killed a man because he was with his wife.

        E2+ spoilers It also makes a nice mirror charterer to Larry later on, I was always a bit worried about how far his overprotective and argumentative nature would go.

        1. Steve C says:

          I instantly disliked Larry. I thought he was stupid, a coward acting out of fear and incredibly selfish to the point of dangerous. It wasn’t until he sucker punched me that I decided to find a way to expel him or get him killed.

          And then at the very beginning of Ep2 I went to talk to him looking to call him on his bullshit and try and start a fight. But he took all the wind out of sails with his “You are a convicted murderer” speech. I realized he was right. I am playing a murderer.

          I still thought he was a dangerous asshole but still performed CPR to help him solely on that speech.
          The game impressed me there. That’s good writing and good characterization.

          1. Steve C says:

            Gah. I just realized it stripped my tags out of that previous post. So Spoilers! Previous Post. I used -s- instead of .

  4. Zukhramm says:

    I don’t kniw about not the scene with Kenny and Larry, I chose “reason with him” and Kenny still fell in love with me.

    1. Steve C says:

      I chose reason with him, and Larry likes me and considers me a friend… however he does -not- have my back when the shit goes down. He just looks at me with these eyes that say “I want to help you, but I’m not going to.”

  5. Isy says:

    I actually picked “Reason with him” but had Kenny on my side later, because I told Larry to go screw himself later in the conversation (though I didn’t punch him).

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I’m more sympathetic to Kenny’s foibles than Larry’s -Larry might have a better side, but it’s really hard to see it and requires the forebearance of an angel -but even Kenny’s insistance on unwaivering loyalty gets a little annoying at times. It’s true, he returns loyalty with loyalty, where Larry is an ungrateful git, and Lilly is actively crazy, but sometimes you’d like to think that you might build up some goodwill where Kenny would give you some room to maneuver rather than insist that you do what he says, and only what he says.

      I wonder, absent-mindedly, if this is a fault of the character, or a fault of the game design. Is Kenny really this single minded, or is the game unable to keep a running tally of how much slack Kenny is willing to cut you?

      1. BeardedDork says:

        My Kenny was pretty schizophrenic so I’m thinking the game is unable to accurately track how much slack he’s willing to cut you.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          The game realizes that and gives an explanation in episode… I think it was 4… for it – in my game kenny was loyal to me except for most of episode 3, after the big decision in episode 2, and in episode 5 he says that he realized he shouldn’t have been so upset with you. “I hated this guy’s guts for a while”.

          I dunno if it was a mistake at first or not, but they cleaned it up pretty well if it was.

          1. Cody says:

            Ya they cleaned it up rather fast in E5 and the later parts of E4, E3 was a mess if you hadn’t been siding with one person the entire time though.

      2. Deadpool says:

        Larry’s side is about as stupid as Kenny’s side. I’m fairly certain that was on purpose, to see how many players went hypocritical just because they LIKED Kenny…

  6. Yeti says:

    Thanks for turning on subtitles. It’s really helpful when watching these episodes.


    Oh, I also wanted to add that I really like the art direction. I know you guys discussed this last night, but one of the nicest benefits is the improvement of facial animations. Generally an NPC only moves their mouth, but eyebrows, eyes, and the muscles on their faces stay pretty static. Electing to go with less detailed “realistic” graphics frees up artists who would otherwise spend hours trying to get the dirt on a space marine’s face right.

    It also adds to replay value, in my opinion. The Legend of Zelda, The Windwaker, is a great example. I replayed the game a few months back and its graphics kept me very immersed in the game world. That game aged very well. In the sort run realistic(ish) graphics can be a huge selling point, but they are marginal drags on the game.

  7. Greg says:

    I have to say, seeing Josh walking past Clementine again and again without giving her one of the candy bars made me almost angry. I even said out loud “You goddamn better!” when he mentioned he was going to give her one. It’s amazing, the emotional connection they managed to instill in us (well, in me, but I talk to other people who seem to feel similarly). Hell, the #ForClementine or w/e hashtag that they came up with rubbed me the wrong way (aside from being hokey Twitter BS of course) because it seemed disrespectful. I can’t think of another character in any media that I’ve felt this responsible for, even in things I’ve written myself.

    1. Spammy says:

      I don’t like kids in real life.

      I don’t like kids in video games.

      But I am (only just finished ep. 2) incredibly worried about Clementine and want to do any thing I possibly can for her and God help anyone who even thinks about trying to hurt her.

  8. Merkel says:

    Fun fact, in the original “Night of the Living Dead” (ie. the film that established the modern zombie genre) they are never called zombies, and are referred to as “ghouls” in universe and in the script.

  9. Isy says:

    I actually though for a while Duck might have been bitten and Katja was hiding it (when she said “We can’t let anything happen to Duck.”) It didn’t happen in the cutscene but we have teleporting zombies, so why not mysterious zombie bites?

    I think Glen and Lilly were well done cameos – I only even realized Glen might have been one after he left and people were mentioning cameo characters.

    1. krellen says:

      When Glenn got in his pizza delivery car and left at the end is when I went, “Oh, it’s the pizza guy from the show.”

    2. Klay F. says:

      For me it was clear that Duck was perfectly fine because they showed the whole scene with Duck and the zombie. If the game had decided to cut away really quick, and then maybe you hear him scream off camera, that would have been a good way to instill doubt. That way, you would have had to choose between loyalty to Kenny or choosing to take the safest route because of how unsure you were.

      1. Spammy says:

        For me the tip-off was that Duck was quiet. Not to be anecdotal, but when I was about that age, I was riding my bike a quarter mile from the house, fell, and cut my knee up good. I was bawling and crying and limping back to my house. I have to think that if Duck was bitten he’d be screaming his bloody head off, not sitting there shocked and silent. And also, his mom’s a vet. I have to think that a vet would know what a bite looks like.

    3. newdarkcloud says:

      I figured Herschal was a cameo, but I very knew Glenn and Lilly were cameos until you guys said it (very little knowledge of the franchise).

      So yeah, very well done cameos. They don’t feel out of place.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Lilly is completely integral to the story until she leaves, I wouldn’t have ever guessed. Herschel, yeah, and I can see Glenn being one, but LILLY? *shrug*

        1. Cody says:

          Herschel and Glenn were well done in here but I have the same problem you do with Lilly. They shouldn’t have made a person so central to the plot who is just a cameo.

          1. anaphysik says:

            Particularly not with how people are implying she does horrible things later. I already want to dump her and her tried-to-murder-me asshole father and I’m only at the end of E1. To hear that 1) she’s integral to the story, and 2) that as a cameo character, it’s impossible for her to die; well, those things fill me with facepalm.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              Episode 1 really starts your relationship with the two off on the worst possible notes. They do get more developed and relatable later on.

  10. Duhad says:

    For the record if you don’t save Duck and talk to Kenny about the farm attack(attest when I played it, heaving just decked Larry to protect Duck) he is still remorseful about running away once he had saved Duck. You can comfort him, but he will still call you the better man for attest trying do the right thing. Katjaa will still call you out on it in Ep.2 thou.

  11. The Unforgiven says:

    I’m curious: Did anyone tell Ken that Lee’s parents owned the store? And if so, how did the rest of the conversation go?

    1. krellen says:

      I just rewound a game to play through it, and it doesn’t go much of anywhere. Just a bunch of “I’m sorry”.

    2. anaphysik says:

      I did. Katjaa sounded pretty shocked.

    3. Cody says:

      I think in the beginning of E3 it comes up for about a line then isn’t brought back up again.

  12. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    OK, the puzzle isn’t great, and the mocking of Carly is totally called for, but in her slight defense:

    I have 2 pieces of technology which uses A or D cell batteries, my Xbox controllers and my calculator. Everything else uses rechargable batteries, or plugs directly into the wall. It’s not like there are that many people walking around with boomboxes these days.

    1. ccesarano says:

      I think she’s old enough to remember traditional batteries, though. Or to have had experience with things like flash lights. Or TV remotes. Or a huge variety of things requiring batteries.

      But I think one of the things Telltale recognizes is that good characters have flaws, and this was an amusing one that helped endear me to the character whilst parent’s basement guy just seemed a blank slate.

      1. Thomas says:

        I thought it was going to be a plot point later on, maybe she had a medical condition (although I guess maybe she did. I never found out)

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          They do tease her about it every once in a while and acknowledge she’s a little dumb in that regard.

          1. Cody says:

            Lee giving her a hard time about it in E2 was rather good.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              “I’m never going to live that down, am I”

              No Carlee. No, you are not. >:)

              (Episode 3)Especially since you aren’t living at all.

              1. Thomas says:

                Low blow =D

  13. ccesarano says:

    This argument scene was one of the more tense experiences I’d been a part of. At the very start I was hoping for a chance to get people to focus on Clementine needing to use the bathroom, and by halfway I had mostly forgotten about it. Then by time she got the bathroom door unlocked I most definitely had forgotten about it. Really effective.

    Larry is a character that I wanted to die from the moment I met him, and he couldn’t die fast enough.

    Thinking back, I’m not sure if I miss the large puzzle as presented in this section of the game. I felt a bit stuck a few times, but I like how it felt calm enough for me to really talk with the different characters. A slightly more simplified version might not have been too bad. What I really lament is the upcoming “action-puzzle” sequence that should be in the next episode or two of Spoiler Warning. THAT was a lot of fun, but it seems that they ended up focusing on the more quick-reflexes based action sequences instead.

    1. krellen says:

      Oh yeah, the Motor Inn puzzle bit coming up here is one of my favourite bits of the entire series.

      1. ccesarano says:

        I’m wondering if people found it too difficult, though, or if it simply took too long for the developers to put together. In hindsight I’m honestly really disappointed more of the game didn’t play out this way, as every other puzzle after seems pretty linear and straight forward. In fact, there’s a puzzle in Episode 4…

        You had to find the collar of the dead dog.

        I knew the answer immediately, but I had to work with the game’s logic to get there. It reminds me of some of the cases in Phoenix Wright, and was honestly a bit frustrating. Fortunately it was a matter of…

        Oh, there’s a shovel right there…was there always a shovel right there?

        So it didn’t take long to figure out.

        1. Lalaland says:

          I like the Phoenix Wright analogy that was another great adventure game series (probably my favourite of the last decade) which mostly managed to avoid ‘Sierra logic’ except for some tooth grindingly frustrating moments. They have far more of these than TWD did but I heartily recommend them to anyone who hasn’t played them yet.

        2. krellen says:

          The shovel is, in fact, always right there, even before you know you need it. You can actually pick it up before you have something to dig. “A shovel is always useful,” Lee remarks.

          1. ccesarano says:

            Then the bigger mystery is how the Hell did I miss that.

      2. Exetera says:

        The Motor Inn puzzle… not bad, necessarily, but the control scheme rubbed me entirely the wrong way. It was like glued-to-the-cover moments in cover-based shooters, except with even more restrictive controls and ugly, nasty “screen transitions” as if it had been an old-school HyperCard game instead of a modern 3D game. Just being able to free-walk would have improved that area so much.

      3. Cody says:

        The motor inn to me felt a bit weak, most because I kept trying to use the pillow on the truck window to bash it in. Silly me and knowing a few things about firearms would have never thought to use it as a silencer.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          I was trying to use it as a silencer on the window. Silly me didn’t think I could just run up to a zombie and put a pillow to its face.

  14. X2Eliah says:

    About that “we must kill the kid”.. I kinda see Larry’s point, because.. well, he is not wrong.
    Zombieitis spreads through bites, right? We all know it is a viral thing – whatever it is – and it spreads because zombiefluids (zombiespit, zombiebloog, zombiebile) are contagious.
    When the zombie holding Doug was shot, the kid got a faceful of zombiejuice all over his face. Don’t forget that this is Doug, and he was pretty obviously having his mouth open and eyes wider than a pair of dishes. So, the zombiejuice pretty obviously *did* get into contact with Doug’s mouth and eyes. For any viral material, this is equivalent to “yeah, you’re sick now”.
    And frankly, I think Larry is the only one who *has* seen zombie movies in the universe. Think about it – in nearly all zombieflicks, there is someoe who obviously gets zombie-itis, but is spared and kept with the group becuase HUMRN MURRALS. And about 30 minutes later, they go zombie and injure/kill at least one other of the group. Larry knew that, Larry saw that the kid was pretty obviously zombiejuiced up to his eyeballs, and Larry put 2 and 2 together. Yeah, it’s not a good thing to say, but from his point of view – some whiney strangers arrive, make a big noise, attract half the block’s worth of zombies to their hiding place, and have a tiny kid that’s 90% infected. Exactly none of that is good news.

    Honestly, (idk any future stuff about this game) I half-suspect that Doug will be one of those who turns into a zombie later on.

    P.S. Also I just dislike Doug because of the BS he pulled in the last episode, and becuase how damn cliche this entire setup was from the getgo. When I mentioned that I hate zombie media because unoriginal? This sort of thing (kid gets maybe infected, one asshole wants to kill him, big argument) is a spot-on example of everything I dislike about Zombie[x].

    1. Shamus says:

      Well, as the plot goes, he IS wrong. But more to the point, it seems reasonable to wait until someone is symptomatic before STARTING the debate over whether to kill them. This is doubly true when the person is a child and a very mild physical threat.

      And yes, this is a well-worn cliche of the genre and what we see here really isn’t anything new. The ACTUAL solution is OBVIOUS: Quarantine. Even in cases of ebola, we don’t go around murdering the infected, we just isolate them. This never occurs to people in zombie stories because it wouldn’t be “dramatic enough” to put someone in a room with some water and then knock on the door the next morning to see how they’re doing.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Exactly.Plus,duck is still alive,and from what weve seen so far,zombies only come up when the person is dead.Which doesnt get subverted before episode 3.

        I have to wonder though:If no one in this universe knows what a zombie is,how the hell do they know about bites and stuff like that?

        1. Cupcaeks says:

          Earlier, Kenny talks about how the CDC will start handing out inoculations and everything will be just fine. I assume everyone just thinks this is some kind of infection, and bites seem like a pretty obvious way for an infection to spread. That, or they might’ve witnessed the same thing happen to other people in town earlier, don’t remember how long they’ve been holed up in that drug store.

          1. krellen says:

            Guys? They know because Larry just told everyone that the drugstore group has already SEEN a bite infecting people.

            1. Cupcaeks says:

              Yeah… I was still waiting for the episode to load. Sue me.

            2. Cody says:

              To be fair this piece of info was buried under a ton of other stuff and well everyone was yelling all at once.

              1. anaphysik says:

                Also, to be fair, this piece of info is delivered by someone you don’t know actively promoting the action of killing a kid.
                (Also, this person doesn’t even have the support of those around him; Carley argues against killing a child, and she’s the one that just saved out lives after all. Oh yeah, we’re also talking about a guy that would have rather NOT let us be saved.)

                For all we know, Larry could be making up *anything* at this point. We have absolutely no reason to trust his word.

        2. Aldowyn says:

          They weren’t waiting for symptoms, they were waiting for proof. That’s a big difference. Even if Duck WAS bitten then, he’s not dead. (Although I don’t think anyone has an example of someone getting bitten and NOT dying immediately yet)

          @Daemian (episode 3) Not subverted even then. The bite just makes you sick, which makes you die, and THEN you zombify. I’m pretty sure, it never actually gets to that point.

          OP: Duck, not doug. Doug is someone else. >.>

          (episode 3) Yep. He’s the big one that DOES get turned into a zombie.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Weeellll….(episodes 3 and 5)duck and lee start turning into zombies before they die.And we dont see how the process ends.Well,I didnt see how it ends,dont know if its shown if you chose to not get shot.

            1. Aldowyn says:

              Apparently (episode 3) if you wait long enough to kill Duck he turns. So there’s that.

      2. Soylent Dave says:

        Locking away someone who may or may not be infected does occur quite often in zombie films – the trope typically results in another of the survivors becoming infected (because zombies are harder to put down than a sick person, and often because we’ve already established that such characters are uneasy about killing one of their own), victim of their own compassion.

        Whatever the characters do in one of these situations, there’ll be people in the audience groaning and insisting that they’re stupid – because obviously you should kill someone who is infected right away, or obviously you should contain someone infected because that’s the human thing to do…

        It’s a no-win situation, really.

        1. Thomas says:

          This is a thing of fiction that I think about, that in the end whenever you think of ways for people who lost to win, it would never actually work because it’s a story and they’d just get the tension another way. People blame villains for monologuing, but if the villain doesn’t monologue the hero will escape just the same. He can look behind him and it will turn out to be a diversion, or he can not and it will be a real threat.

          The story I keep wanting to write is about a villain who becomes aware of his situation and starts trying to play the narrative tropes to allow himself to win (and the book would be called The Villain Wins and at the end after the villain has given up everything so he can be the modernistic villain-who-wins-but-has-a-sucky-meaningless-life and he confronts the hero and … he still loses because the book is called the Villain Wins and of course he’s actually the flawed protagonist, not the villain)

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Carpe jugulum did that kind of thing.Sadly(for them),those guys went after someone who also abuses cliches in a similar fashion,so they lost in the end.

            1. Deadpool says:

              The Watch books are by far my favorite… If they ever do a modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Sam Vimes isn’t the leader I’ll punch someone…

              1. Nimas says:

                That…ok, right there…Mind Blown

            2. Thomas says:

              Carpe Jugglum is one of my favourite Terry Pratchett books (which I guess makes it one of my favourite books ever). I’m not even completely sure what does it, but you can definitely tells some stories about how badass some of the characters are afterwards Granny Weatherwax is so badass, Vampires bit her and they were filled with an urge to drink tea.

              1. Deadpool says:

                I always saw Granny as a female John Constantine…

      3. Deadpool says:

        This scene is almost certainly meant to mirror the scene in episode 2 when Kenny advocates for essentially the same thing for essentially the same reason. I think Larry being rude, abrasive and almost immediately hated is done on purpose as a sort of test for the player: How many people went completely against Larry here and sided immediately with Kenny later?

        For the record, if you try to reason with Larry, he’s not hearing you. At the end of the argument (which is essentially Lee going “We don’t know he’s bitten!” over and over again) Larry asks “What if he IS bitten?” Lee is given the option to agree that yes, if he’s bitten we’ll have to deal with him somehow and Kenny FLIPS THE FUCK OUT…

        1. Shamus says:

          I thought the two situations were supposed to be mirrored, although they are different in REALLY important ways. If Duck’s bitten, we have days or hours before he’s actually a threat. Also, he’s a small child and we have lots of weapons and room to move. And of course, there wasn’t really any threat at all.

          In the other situation, you’re trapped in a small space with a huge threat, no weapons, and the danger is both real and immanent. I’d say Lily’s the hypocrite in this situation, not Lee.

          Also, there’s the fact that Larry tried to murder you. The mirror didn’t work for me because the two situations were too different. The only reason I hesitated was because Lily was so dangerous and unstable. I didn’t want to make her worse.

          It was still an interesting problem.

          1. Deadpool says:

            I’m not sure it’s that clear cut. None of them knows how fast this turning into Zombie thing happens, and it’ mostly random ANYways.

            And I’m not so sure on how big and dangerous a laying down Zombie is. Just keep watch and if he turns, we deal with it the same way we deal with it BEFORE he turns. We had enough people for it and it’s not like we were busy.

            A zombie is a zombie, and I do believe that, were Duck bitten, putting him out of all of our miseries is the right move. He WASN’T. But, later on, same situation happens and he wasn’t turning zombie either…

            So in both situations your have a POTENTIAL zombie. Do we kill it, or do we wait until it’s an ACTUAL zombie? How does that decision change when you like/hate the person?

            1. krellen says:

              Episode 2 opens with them finding out just how fast a zombie rises – David/Terrance is alive when they get back to the Motor Inn, dead a bit later when Katjaa calls Lee over, and rises almost immediately thereafter.

              So yeah, they do know.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Episode 3 however shows us that a bit on a living person takes a lot longer.So having someone bitten is less of a threat than having someone die.Though that comparison works only in hindsight.But it does get useful for episode 5.

              2. Cody says:

                E2 spoilers Though it has it happening fast, we aren’t sure how long the guy has been dead for, If I remember it took a good 5 minutes or so for him to come back.

                1. krellen says:

                  No, Katjaa was THERE, monitoring him. He was still alive and bleeding when you first go talk to her, and only dies when she calls Lee over after you finish deciding who to feed.

                  1. Cody says:

                    Ah Sorry it’s been a bit since I played E2, could have sworn he died as you were feeding everyone, I remember in the TV show they said the time was variable but then again we shouldn’t be using that for the game.

            2. Exetera says:

              It’s not really relevant – it’s pretty obvious that you can’t save Larry. CPR doesn’t save people on its own – it’s just good for keeping them warm until paramedics arrive. If there had been a defibrillator somewhere on the farm, I might have bought that Larry could survive. As it is, though, he hasn’t got a chance.

              1. Cody says:

                E2 spoilers Acutely Defibrillators only work on V-fib and V-tac, if they are asystole aka flatlining (no pulse) it wont work, because all it does is used to shock the heart back into normal sinus rhythm. All the paramedics can do is CPR, push epi to try to give the heart a boost and if needed tube them to help them breath. So with what was going on CPR was really the best option, because most the time that’s what gets the heart started again.

                1. Exetera says:

                  (SPOILERS E2) That’s not what the Wikipedia article tells me. It’s apparently not common for CPR alone to restart a heart. It’s also not clear that Larry lacks a pulse – it’s just said that he’s not breathing. With that said, yes, if drugs were available (though they don’t appear to be), I might also buy that Katjaa could administer them.

                  1. krellen says:

                    Lee knows that. He tells Lilly to check for a pulse, if you choose to save Larry, at the exact moment Kenny drops the salt lick.

                  2. Cody says:

                    E2 spoilers CPR is almost guaranteed to not get you into a usable sinus rhythm (after that is when you get to shock them). But a defib can’t get the heart started again, it can only shock it in an attempt to get it into normal sinus rhythm. They weren’t doing everything a medic could have but CPR could have saved larrys life. Then again there is a ton of info we don’t have like heart rhythm, BP, pulse, if he was breathing, how his skin looked, if his airway was open, and a ton of other stuff that medic and docs look at. And well Having only an EMT-I certification I would say they could have brought Larry back(added in so I have a little bit of credibility here). But at the end of the day we are trying to argue about Hollywood medicine, it’s just there to fit the story.

                  3. Bryan says:

                    Yes, but defibrillators are not CPR.

                    The latter works the way your link mentions, being able to get the heart going again, or at least blood pumping via compressions, while the former do not.

                    1. Exetera says:

                      I never said a defibrillator alone would do it, although it might if his heart has not actually stopped yet. But CPR alone is not likely to be enough either, in the absence of an AED or a trained professional with drugs.

              2. Deadpool says:

                Interesting tidbit, it DOES work. I know, game logic and all, but it does. You can see it if you pay attention…

          2. Luhrsen says:

            Shamus you keep saying they are in this situation with a big guy/possible zombie, and no weapons; only to then mention the cinderblock that is used to smash his head. If they have nothing that can be used as a lethal weapon where does the block come from? Hammerspace?

            1. Shamus says:

              The block is fine for bashing the head of a docile foe, but it’s dangerously slow and has no reach. If you’re fighting a huge, strong zombie you’ll want LOTS of reach and speed.

              So, not TOTALLY unarmed, but without a proper weapon it isn’t going to make that much difference.

            2. Indy says:

              (Episode 2) The block of SALT LICKS is in a pile of salt licks in the corner of the room. Kenny walks to the corner, is shown struggling to pick one up, and it drops with incredible force. As Shamus says, hardly a weapon for fighting a zombie.

          3. Exetera says:

            Yeah… No matter what the concerns about Duck are, the best response is to tie him down to something and wait. He’s just a boy, he won’t be able to break through rope.

      4. Kernly says:

        By the time they are symptomatic it may be too late to avoid being bitten. Little body or no, all it needs to do is to scratch you with its teeth and you are a goner. It’s also not likely that a stir-crazy individual who probably was not naturally inclined to calmness even before the world went to hell would speak in the most politic way. I don’t think the way he acted was good, but I don’t think it was ridiculous or unrealistic either.

    2. ccesarano says:

      Actually, I don’t think “zombie juices make infection” rule is established in The Walking Dead, at least not the games. Considering Duck got slathered in muck and didn’t become infected is a testament to that.

      There are some rules established later on, though…

      If you die, you become a zombie. No matter what it is you die of, you become a zombie. So if you die of, say, a heart attack, then you will still become a zombie. For some reason being bitten accelerates this, but, within the game at least, the only two ways to become a zombie are to die or to be bitten.

      What you bring up is interesting, though. Someone rushing to conclusions based off of “common sense” and tropes. It seems other media have explored this, but you’re entire post is basically one argument to kill a kid that’s not infected.

      I find that interesting.

      1. Amnestic says:

        “Someone rushing to conclusions based off of “common sense” and tropes. It seems other media have explored this, but you're entire post is basically one argument to kill a kid that's not infected.

        I find that interesting.”

        Not necessarily tropes. It follows a pretty standard logical process. People think of it as an infection->It’s spread via bites, meaning it’s likely in saliva->If it’s spread by saliva, it’s probably also spread by blood->Getting infected blood/goop in your mouth leads to infection.

        No tropes or genre savviness required, just a train of thought based off of currently available in game knowledge. I’m not saying “hey, that’s enough to kill a kid”, but it’s enough to say “hey, even without a bite there’s a chance he might be infected, we should be ready for that if it’s the case”.

        1. Fleaman says:

          Zombie Apocalypse in general is pretty much always extremely weak on how infection is supposed to work. Zombie bites transmit the disease, so the obvious conclusion is that the disease is fluid-borne; yet we’re constantly smashing in zombies with axes and getting covered in bits of zombie, and this does nothing, even when characters are walking around sporting action hero scratches and scrapes and stuff i.e. open wounds.

          Really, if you’re in a zombie apocalypse and you’ve killed zombies and you are NOT wearing protective gear that covers your your face? You are absoultely carrying. That’s either compelling evidence that the disease is not fluid-borne and therefore not transmissible by bite, or else that you are, in the words of the Coach, “immune as SHIT”.

          The conclusions I would draw from circumstances where 1) zombie bites cause death and subsequent zombification, and yet 2) everyone regularly bathes in zombie blood and is fine – are A) everyone is carrying, inevitably, therefore B) zombification will likely happen on death regardless of cause, and C) zombie bites are lethal because zombies are actually venomous.

          It’s the only explanation.

        2. Vipermagi says:

          Larry quite explicitly mentions “bitten” over and over. I don’t think he reached that same conclusion.

        3. Bubble181 says:

          HIV/AIDS is spread through bodily fluids, it’s a contagious virus, it can be contracted through bites, yet being covered in sperm/saliva/blood, even getting a mouth full, will NOT get you infected, as long as you don’t have any small wounds/cuts/sores in or around your mouth.
          Your mouth and digestive tract are really good at keeping invaders, even the very strong ones, out.

      2. X2Eliah says:

        I don’t like the kid, I don’t like the game, and I don’t like zombies, and I contest that infection would spread by infected blood getting in one’s mouth as *logic* dictates. Also, this is the safest way to avoid the zombie-media trope of “group saves infected – infected turns zombie – big panic and someone or more dies” possibility.

        Or, maybe I am tired of seeing the HUMMRN MURRALS being thrown around. “Oh, this game is about characters and their humanity.” “Oh, we must keep the kid becuase it’s a kid.” “Oh surely nothing bad can happen to him”. I don’t have pre-knowledge of the future. I just see a whiney-ass kid that has already caused a death (tractor incident) and been the focus of a major problem, AND who has gotten a mouthful (and eyefuls) of zombiejuice. Regardless of what moral high horses you choose to saddle, that’s a big damn liability.
        People ragged on ME3’s kid? Well, I’m ragging on Duck. So far I’ve seen nothing that would endear me to him any more than the ME3 kid. How many people chose to shoot the starkid in the face at the end? Yeah.

        1. mdqp says:

          “Oh, this game is about characters and their humanity.” “Oh, we must keep the kid becuase it's a kid.” “Oh surely nothing bad can happen to him”

          But are those reasons really used? What’s going to stop them from killing each other if a similar situation arises again, and maybe more than a single person is involved? Once you do that once, the next person will fear what’s going to happen, and won’t simply wait to be killed by you, what if the one who could be infected has a gun? He might kill everybody before they try to kill him. Of course you should at least try to determine if he is infected (hell, you might want to use him as a test, if he is infected, to see if you can understand something more about how this works, how much time does it take to turn, stuff like that. Given that it’s a kid, he is smaller and weaker and easier to contain, if the worst comes to pass), otherwise, there is no reason in travelling as a group (I don’t see how that really helps against zombies, unless you want to use the others as human shields, meat to distract the monsters). Of course, I don’t expect too much love for a whiney brat, but it sounds more like “I don’t like that character, kill it” rather than “I believe this is the best course of action”.

          Or maybe I misunderstood everything, as I often do.

          1. ccesarano says:

            To be fair, the kid hasn’t been doing any whining up to this point. I don’t think he ever actually whines, really.

        2. anaphysik says:

          “People ragged on ME3″²s kid? Well, I'm ragging on Duck. So far I've seen nothing that would endear me to him any more than the ME3 kid. How many people chose to shoot the starkid in the face at the end?”

          I’m not sure how you can even REMOTELY compare Duck and Some Kid, while maintaining a straight face. People gleefully shoot Some Kid in the face because they are rebelling against what he is *storytelling-wise*: a hackjob writer’s narm-filled tool for emotionally manipulating the player. It’s impossible to take Some Kid seriously as an actual part of the world, because he’s so transparently a writer’s tool.

          Whereas everything you talk about here is in-world. It’s in reaction to Duck *as an actual person*. And it that case, you’re stating that the punishment for being whiny is “murder at the hands of a crazed stranger.”

      3. evileeyore says:

        “Actually, I don't think “zombie juices make infection” rule is established in The Walking Dead, at least not the games.”

        Actually in both comic and tv show it’s eventually anti-established.

        Everyone is already infected. Dying just causes you to turn. Bites and scratches from zombies just carry a higher rate of regular old infection (especially from bites) and often lead to sepsis which is fatal and fast if you don’t have modern medical care.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          The game as well.

        2. Jakey says:

          Is it? I was under the impression that zombie bites were still a fatal plot device, although the actual mechanism is a vague-by-omission kind of thing because they’re never in a situation where they can properly deal with bites using proper medical care so they never really define the mechanism.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            I always figured it’s more like zombies are already rotting, putrid things and thus their mouths would likely carry tons of diseases. Getting bit would put various viruses, diseases, and infections into your blood, eventually killing you off. And when you die, THAT’S what makes you a zombie.

          2. evileeyore says:

            In both the comic and the tv show characters survive being bitten. Granted they survive being bitten by amputation of the bitten limb, but they still survive.

            1. Cody says:

              Major E4 and 5 spoilers Funny how that doesn’t work on Lee then. I’m guessing the amputation has to happen rather quickly so it doesn’t get into the blood and spread to the rest of the body then. at the same time we we are going with everyone is infected and zombies just have dirty mouths then this you have to think about just what infection they are spreading.

              At the end of the day the zombie bite is just something that comes with the genre and you have to sorta shove to the side. It’s dumb but it’s a thing.

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                The way I explained that in my head is if Lee cuts the arm off, then the fact that it’s a hack job means he dies later due to loss of blood. If he doesn’t, then the infection kills him.

                1. Even says:

                  I just thought it was too late. He’d already passed out once before they cut the arm off. It’s not really clear about it, but from what we know, the simplest explanation would be it’s all because Lee really was infected from the bite all the time. The blood loss probably didn’t help later on either though.

                  I don’t know about the comics (have only read up to issue #8, though from what I hear it does have amputated bite survivors), but at least for the TV series, they do the amputation within minutes from the bite and the guy survives.

  15. Dude says:

    I think the game almost constantly rewards you for playing Paragon, save one or two crucial plot points that end up the same no matter what.

    But if you play as someone who’d rather shoot a bite suspect than wait to find out; if you play an unrepentant zombie survivor, you’ll find the game just sort of… says, “Okay, I guess, but why don’t we do things like a good hearted person would do anyway?” and moves along.

    I started a second playthrough of all five episodes two days ago, after finishing the first run on the fifth one (and a few hundred hours on Borderlands 2, and a few hundred hours in Scribblenauts Unlimited–everybody play this game right now, the power of the dude compels you), and, the illusion of choice is just as shattered as it was in Mass Effect 2 and 3. But the game doesn’t fail because of it.

    1. Thomas says:

      There are no plot spoilers here but seriously this is worse than a plot spoiler if you haven’t finished the game. It has been discussed without spoilers before (well it had spoiler tags but everyone argued they were pointless) but nevertheless this is not something I would want a newbie to know

      The choice is much much worse than in ME2. In Mass Effect you can ultimately change a lot of facets of the galaxy, here you can change almost nothing (including and this is something not everyone has discovered yet, what characters think of you and how they respond to you) . The difference is this game isn’t actually aiming to give you satisfaction through choice like the Mass Effects, it’s aiming to give you guilt and the burden of responsibility through the illusion of choice. Which is why the most important thing going into the game the first time is that you don’t know that there’s almost no choice in the entire game.

      1. Amnestic says:

        Which is why the most important thing going into the game the first time is that you don't know that there's almost no choice in the entire game.

        Kinda kills any chance of replayability though, no? I know some games don’t need replayability, but in a game ostensibly about choices, being able to replay it with different choices – exploring those choices – is part of the charm and (to me) a selling point. If it fails on that, it fails on a selling point as badly as “this first person shooter has poor shooting”.

        Spoiler tags!

        1. ccesarano says:

          This is actually the top reason I am afraid to replay this game. I feel like the spell will be broken once I’ve completed it. I believe in the comments of the last episode I compared it to Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, only there one ending thematically fit and the other just felt shoehorned.
          I get the feeling The Walking Dead would be similar. Even if you mostly play “Renegade” I think Lee has a character that is mostly supposed to be likeable. This means at most he is shut off or angry, but not necessarily an asshole for the sake of being an asshole. As much as I guess, at least.
          I’m actually disappointed that, no matter what, Duck survives, for example. I was hoping the characters you had around you would at least change, and if you chose to save Hershal’s son then you’d have a different set of characters (the farm would be determined as a dangerous location and they’d choose to leave and find a new place with you while Kenny went his own way).

          1. Aldowyn says:

            The whole idea is that the game isn’t ACTUALLY about choice. It’s about making a decision. There’s a difference – the choice itself is irrelevant, as proven by the railroading in the game. The point is the difficulty of making a decision that could/seems like it should have a big impact on the story, even though it actually doesn’t.

            1. Cupcaeks says:

              This is how I saw it. The game isn’t so much about choices and consequences (the consequences, or outcomes rather, are mostly the same either way you lean), but about how those choices flavor Lee, and in turn what Lee’s place is in the overall dynamic of the group.

              This isn’t to say there are no consequences to the choices you make. The characters will behave very differently depending on your decisions, and I take it that’s what TellTale meant with the opening message about how the game tailors itself to how you play.

              1. lasslisa says:

                It’s not about changing the world, it’s about taking a stand.

                1. Thomas says:

                  I haven’t tested it, but I believe that most characters opinions of you don’t actually change based on your actions to any great extent. If you look really hard, most emotions being felt are driven by things other than you. Kenny and Lilly’s arcs are driven by their family and their emotional recovery afterwards and most of where they’re at, even in behaving to you, is based off that. Equally Molly is chirpy, Christie is suspicious, Vernon is kind but practical. You can change small bits inbetween, but their overarcing stance I believe is pretty deterimined

                  I#m okay with this because it#s okay to enjoy it once and I think I can enjoy it again to a lesser extent but acknowledging the limitations and enjoying the story, however I believe that they can’t repeat the trick for season 2, because we already know the crack. Even people who really loved season 1 and didn’t see the ropes probably won’t enjoy season 2 if the repeat. So I think they’ve got to find a way, where people living or dying actually changes somehow. Despite the budget constraints. Maybe if you decide the fates of people who then leave the group (or die) with an ending that reflects back these choices

  16. baseless research says:

    Am I the only one who is kinda sympathetic towards Lilly, at least from episode 2 onwards? I mean, Larry’s a jackass and all, but I spent all of episode 2 trying to get her to like me, and through it it got clear that, while she has no leadership or social skills whatsoever, she does mean well. It’s just a) that lack of people skills and
    b) her 1000% blind loyalty towards her father

    that make her antagonistic.

    Hell, when I got to the events halfway episode 3, she wanted me to join her.

    1. Cupcaeks says:

      I was starting to sympathize (empathize? I can never keep the two straight) with her in Episode 2. It became pretty clear that she was trying her damnedest to make the best of a bad situation the only way she knew how, and as much as I hated Larry, I couldn’t fault Lilly for being loyal to her father.

      At the start of Episode 3 I was still feeling for her, considering the position she was in, but once we got to the midway point with the whole Doug/Carley thing, I had no sympathy left for her.

      1. Thomas says:

        I never lost sympathy. My goal in the game was to get every single character to adore me and worship the ground I stood on, so I acted sympathetic to Lilly, Larry, Kenny, etc and the fake sympathy became genuine sympathy, there’ll all either good people but horrible flawed and ruined by circumstance or bad people with a glimmer of good. Even in Ep 3 it felt like a horrible mess than out and out bad on people’s part

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          Same here. Once Lilly told me to handle the food rations for that in Episode 2, I started to feel really bad for her and begun to have genuine sympathy.

          Then, once she killed Carley in Episode 3, the one person I was being flirty with, I still felt for her, but I became torn as to whether I wanted to punish her or give her another chance, so I opted to throw her in the RV.

          1. Thomas says:

            One of the things I like is you can basically succeed at your goal of making everyone like you but in a very quiet way. Larry will defend you with the axe. Kenny will realise all thats happened. Lilly will ask you to come away with her. I can’t really think of anyone you can’t bring round to your point of view. I’m not sure how much of this happens anyway and how much is reflection (Lilly is probably the specific one I’m interested in. I think Kenny is deterimined, probably Molly too and Larry’s redemptive act relies on you initiating) (although he didn’t tell the group about you which I always took as a nice act

            1. Aldowyn says:

              When did Larry do that? I don’t remember that at all… I guess I wasn’t nice enough to him :/

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                I am guessing it’s if you give him the axe.

    2. Even says:

      I wasn’t sure what I should think of her because of the whole Larry conflict. I felt sympathy for her after Larry’s death and tried my best to help her out in Episode 3. Her snapping out murder scene was that much more painful because of it. Probably also why I let her stay.. didn’t really know what to do with her in the shock of the moment. Stealing the RV however was where I lost it all and wished I’d just left her to die.

    3. BeardedDork says:

      I ended up siding with Lilly from about half-way through episode two through the end of the episode, because Kenny suddenly came down with a sever case of the “unreasonable-a-hole”s. I had pretty much sided exclusively with Kenny before that.

  17. Spammy says:

    It really bugged me that you could never extend an olive branch to Larry or point out the flippin’ obvious that you spent most of your time in the drug store trying to get in the pharmacy to save his stinkin’ life. I kept trying to talk to him in Episode 2 but I usually only lasted for a single prompt before I quit and left. I mean in the back of my head I was always thinking, “Yeah, he’s an ass, but I understand him, maybe we can learn to work together for the group.” Didn’t happen.

    Glenn leaves randomly, but I did kind of like having him around. And it kind of surprised me how… close he was to the actor who played him in the TV series(My only other exposure to the franchise). I didn’t realize I was taking to Hershel until Katjaa mentioned he was a vet, but I figured Glenn out quick. The hat might have helped.

    1. Indy says:

      Did they get the actors who played those characters to do the voices? Or is it completely different people? I had no idea Glenn was from the show so I had no idea why he was leaving.

      1. Zukhramm says:

        It’s one of the developers doing the voice. Supposedly it’s Glenn from the comics rather than Glenn from the show.

  18. Stormcaller says:

    Having not played or seen it, whats a drug store if not a pharmacy?

    1. Aldowyn says:

      Well it HAS a pharmacy. But that term is often a store that has something like a convenience store as well. Basically like a gas station except with pills instead of gas.

    2. guy says:

      In the US, drug stores are general convience stores and usually carry over-the-counter medication like mild painkillers, anti-allergy meds, and such, as well as having a pharmacy in the back where they store prescription medications.

  19. Wulfgar says:

    can you save chocolate bars for next episode? when you need to split food rations?

    and i don’t agree with you on Lilly. i called her an asshole too but in next episode i grew to understand her and influence of her father on her character… and later she went berserk

    1. Indy says:

      No. You only get to hand them out in this scene. After getting the key, you can’t give anyone chocolate.

      1. Thomas says:

        Next episode is 3 months later and you’ve run through a military base of supplies that you picked up between games =D Saving chocolate bars might not quite do it

        1. anaphysik says:

          I’ve heard that you can save the batteries, though. Is that true? Can they serve any purpose later? Obviously they don’t have any *real* effect in E1.

          1. Thomas says:

            I haven’t done that, but the two things I can think of them being used for, most have other plot gates because it can’t happen before the end of Ep 2. Maybe a character is grateful to you

  20. StranaMente says:

    Speaking of source material I’d like to point you out to this mock-up comic link for some laugh.
    On a side note, I’m still noticing that your site takes longer than the other to load. Are there other problems?

    1. Hitchmeister says:

      It’s slow for me too, but I figure if that’s the price for keeping the site spam-free and Shamus sane, I won’t complain.

    2. Urs says:

      That Rick looks and seems very much like Yorick. Calling the zombies “Zombies!” and knowing another thing or two about popular culture.. also, “Betty”. huh.

      1. anaphysik says:

        Haven’t read Y, but please tell me that at least at some point he says “alas, poor me.”

        1. Urs says:

          Puh, I don’t remember. He is aware of his namesake, this I know.

          Speaking of Y (which you should read it!)…
          Quite frequently, Yorick gets thrown something like an Idiot Ball, a Suicidal Maniac Wtfareyoudoing Ball even. In this comic, this is the character and he gets told off for it. TWD could use some of that writing where I believe the characters even when they’re on stupid.

  21. I found Lily to be contemptible because of her constant siding with Larry. Her inability to go against her dad (even when his negative influence on the group is as clear as day) made me dislike her and see her as an enemy. I played my Lee as someone who tried to preserve life and get everyone to work together, but I still ended up siding with Kenny because his motivations were clear: protect his family. I still don’t have any idea why Larry was such an asshole to everyone, other than just for the fun of it.

    And then in episode 2 I helped Kenny kill Larry because there was no way in hell I was going to be stuck in a room with a gigantic Larry zombie, especially not when Clementine was stuck in there too. It was a hard choice, and I hated to learn after the fact that Larry -wasn’t- dead, but I have no regrets. It wasn’t as simple as Duck maybe being bitten in episode 1, we had time to spare then. When Larry was down and his heart wasn’t beating, we needed a snap decision, because he could zombify at any moment. This caused Lily to not help me when I was fighting Andrew St. John, and I guess I can’t blame her, but it was still a dick move.

    This came back in episode 3 when she killed Carly. We had just escaped from a bad situation, and Lily is flying off the handle accusing people and being generally crazy. The issue could have waited, but instead she goes right ahead and murders Carly. At that point I was livid, and wanted to kill her myself. Leaving her behind was the best thing to happen in the whole series.

    TL;DR Larry and Lily are unlikeable, unreasonable, unhelpful, caustic poison to the group.

    1. Deadpool says:

      Actually, Lily sides with Lee against Larry at least once in episode 2 if she likes you.

      She’s essentially a female Kenny right up until Episode 3 when the two characters split off…

      1. krellen says:

        If you don’t call her a bitch, after the Larry/Kenny confrontation you can talk to her and she will say (sot a direct quote) “I didn’t agree with my dad, for what it’s worth, I just wanted him to calm down.”

    2. I will agree that Kenny and Lily are sort of two sides of the same coin, but Kenny is at a major advantage, because he’s not generally a jackass, and his relational baggage is a slightly annoying child instead of…well, Larry.

    3. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Lilly went off into no-sympathy land in the third episode because of the reasons. Shooting Ben might be defensible, if not justifiable, given the circumstances, but she shoots Carly because Carly dressed her down -and deservedly so. Arrogant and impulsive. It’s a good thing this is a zombie appocalypse, because Lilly definitely deserves being killed twice.

  22. guy says:

    I like how the little “the game will remember this” thing pops up. With these branching games, it can be hard to tell that your choices have made a difference without multiple playthroughs. This seems like an elegant solution. Someone commented on it breaking the fourth wall, but I don’t think so. It’s an interface element, like the dialogue tree itself.

    1. Amnestic says:

      I’m actually curious about this. Bearing in mind I’ve not played it, do they actually remember these events or is it just an invisible Influence meter like the one you had in…Dragon Age (among others)?

      ‘cos when it says “Kenny will remember this”, does that translate into “Kenny mentions this again later and it’s integral to your relationship with them” or does it translate to “Influence with Kenny increased by +5!”

      I mean, the Duck/Shawn choice got mentioned, but how long lasting is this sort of stuff? ‘cos someone up the comments says your choices don’t really matter which leaves me a little bit lost ;p

      Edit: To add to this question, if they are just hidden influence meters, would games like Dragon Age be improved if they opted to hide the gains/meters and simply note “Yep, they’ll remember this”? Less ‘gamey’, certainly, but more enjoyable? Not so sure. Especially with the DA:O Gifts system.

      1. Nick says:

        It’s a catch-all for either 1) It’ll improve/detract from your relationship with this character and/or 2) it will influence later events.

        It literally means just that – the character will remember that. They may not specifically mention that event again for every time the game pops that up, but your relationship with them will change. And there are instances of specific callbacks to earlier choices – as the SW crew mentioned, your choice of manure/shit/’you know’ is used by Clementine in a later episode, as an example.

        1. Thomas says:

          Sometimes it’s not even that. There are parts where it’s pure narrative, as mentioned below

    2. Hitchmeister says:

      Someone who actually has the game can confirm (or refute) this, but I think I remember seeing that you can turn those off.

      1. Deadpool says:

        You absolutely can and I played the whole game with them off. Just felt better…

        Also they’re vague enough to not help you at all, and they mostly point out the obvious…

      2. Joneleth says:

        In the game’s defense, the game does an excellent job of using those prompts to obfuscate upcoming plot twists, or (ep. 5 spoiler) just outright twist the knife during a heart-wrenching moment. Case in point, “Clementine will remember this.” It doesn’t matter to you, the player. You know the game is about to end, but it matters to Lee.

        1. anaphysik says:

          Not reading that spoiler, but it even happens in E1, and Josh even chuckled at it: A “Shawn will remember you said that” pop-up just moments before his scripted death occurs.

  23. Wedge says:

    Your first paragraph reminds me of Pritchard in DX:HR. It’s so rare that characters in a video game are *assholes* without being *evil*, and it’s really unfortunate that a lot of writers don’t seem to understand that there’s a difference. Larry gets more reasonable in Ep 2, but this is your first interaction with him, and it’s so over the top it’s hard to swallow. That really bothered me.

    1. guy says:

      Come to think of it, this is not helped by how the cutscene is structured. We actually see the entire incident and it’s perfectly clear the blood is splatter from the headshot and Duck is perfectly fine. The player knows with absolute certainty that Duck was not bitten. If that were unclear then the player might actually be worried about Duck turning, instead of feeling that Larry is a crazy person. Well, they’d probably still think we was a crazy person, but not be quite so certain about it.

    2. Cody says:

      This is a major problem with Bioware, you can spot a bad guy within the first few lines because of how they talk to people.

      1. StashAugustine says:

        Speaking of which, I instantly tumbled to the St. Johns being bad people. Why? They had southern accents. Obviously they’re murderous hillbillies.

        1. Wedge says:

          I was actually disappointed with the plot of Ep2 because I saw the twist (and what a twist!) coming from a mile away. It wasn’t helped by how the “next time” preview at the end of Ep1 set it up. The entire thing was so heavily telegraphed that by the time I was trying to open the locked barn door I KNEW that they were cannibals and that’s where they did their slaughtering, which for me killed most of the tension, because I think the tension of this scene is supposed to come from having suspicions but not being entirely sure.

          1. Hydralysk says:

            By the scene with Jolene or whatever if you haven’t figured it out then you aren’t really trying. I don’t think it was ever supposed to be a big twist to the audience, cannibals in the countryside is nothing new especially for post apocalyptic stuff. But in terms of roleplaying if we weren’t aware of the fact that this is a constructed story, then we’d be less inclined to jump to these conclusions.

          2. BeardedDork says:

            Episode 2 Whole episode ticked me off because of this, there was absolutely no reason why anybody would be as kind and generous as these people appeared to be in this world. The only logical answer was cannibalism, and I felt like I had been passed the idiot ball because there was no point where I could say “Hey these guys are bad news,” it was all “Naah, they seem like good guys, we should trust them completely.”

            1. Hydralysk says:

              So in any post apocalyptic scenario, if anyone in the countryside is nice and cheerful, they’re cannibals? Can you explain that logic to me? Reading a story sure, I can see that reaction, but if this was happening to real people somehow then cannabalism isn’t the first thing that would jump to mind. Also, they questioned whether these guys were good news from the beginning. Kenny being paranoid that they’re hiding something is the reason you open the barn, and Lilly is always repeating that this isn’t a good idea and they should take their food and go. Both times these dialogues come up there’s the option of having Lee agree with the sentiment. Hell the only people who really trust these people implicitly seem to be Mark and Larry hilariously enough.

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                I actually believed those guys were nice people until the one that comes with you on “recon” (Danny, I think) started acting like a creeper that whole scene. When he shot Jolene after I deliberately stopped myself from doing so, then proceeded to act like it was no big deal, I grew suspicious. Having the old lady tell me I couldn’t see Mark only confirmed what I already had suspected. Then Kenny talked about the room in the barn…

              2. BeardedDork says:

                The whole theme of the episode is a lack of resources, which is firmly established by the time these guys show up. With about 10 people in three months time we’ve managed to burn entirely through the resources available from the local military installation. By the time these guys come along , that’s swollen to 11 and with no prompting whatsoever, they offer to take on that entire burden, indefinitely in exchange for a few gallons of gas. Citing some stored butter and cheese and a dairy cow (which we quickly discover is ill) as a virtually inexhaustible food supply.

                On the way to the dairy we encounter bandits that establish that this lack of resources is not a problem unique to us. It’s at the very least suspicious, and we are never offered the chance to say “Hold on this all seems completely incongruous to life as we know it in the world we now live in.”

                While at the farm we find out that not only are they willing to feed our entire tribe but they also exchange food with the bandits for a tenuous peace. Still we aren’t allowed to question this at all. Maybe I was overly suspicious from the beginning but nothing here ever added up any other way to me.

                1. Thomas says:

                  I’m willing to accept that because I’m aware it#s a story is why I jumped to Cannabilism quicker. They seem pretty shocked by the idea so it probably never crossed anyone’s mind. Where it broke for me is when you find a bunch of clothes in a bloody wheelbarrow and you can’t immediately tell everyone to grab their guns (and get mark) until the misunderstanding is sorted out.

                  If the St Johns really were nice people, they’d understand you being a bit suspicious at finding the bloody remains of people neyt to a locked door with bloodstains underneath

                2. Aldowyn says:

                  I was willing to buy they had food. I wasn’t willing to buy they had meat. Once we went to the camp I knew SOMETHING was up, and I’d guessed what it was by the time I opened up the barn door.

      2. Amnestic says:

        I’d point at Jade Empire and maybe NWN1 (I don’t remember enough of it to say yes/no) as exceptions to this. They *can* do not-obvious villains. They just don’t do it very often.

  24. guy says:

    Wow, I’m at 5:38 and I don’t think I will ever be convinced to view Larry kindly. Let’s recap: in the past five minutes he has planned to leave five people to their deaths (excusable, rescuing them was taking a big risk), wanted to shoot a kid for no real reason (that’s WAY too much blood to come from a bite small enough to be concealed by it, and people in most zombie media don’t turn so quickly they couldn’t wait for it to be cleaned off), and completely ignored Clementine opening the zombie door. That last one is what really kills it; I can accept people being brutally pragmatic, but not if they’re idiots. Lee & company have so far avoided most close encounters with zombies, but Larry has apparently spent a while relatively close to them and should know not to let people open a locked door without being prepared for zombies.

    Ah, batteries/power cables. The eternal scourge of tech support.

    1. Cody says:

      E2 shows Larry more fully. He is a total ass but you get to understand his reasons and maybe sympathy with him a bit.

    2. anaphysik says:

      Larry gets even worse at the end of E1: Larry punches you in face to leave you for the zombies to eat (Kenny saves you). That’s right: Larry tries to MURDER YOU. This happens EVEN IF YOU SIDE WITH HIM. Also, you’ve just saved his life by getting the medicine for him (in fact, the alarm that gets set off, luring the zombies in, is directly caused by you having to get him medicine; this alarm causes the death of one of the survivors). Everything would be better if Larry really *had* had a heart attack and died right there. I’m scared to play E2 and see how much worse he can make things.

  25. newdarkcloud says:

    Just to be the guy who bugs you about it, Shamus, you may want to update the Spoiler Warning page with the rest of the ME3 episodes, that one episode you did one that HL2 mod, and the start of the Walking Dead season.

  26. Talby says:

    I love both the comics and the series and I wish they’d left out he cameos, especially Lily who is pointless.

  27. Cannibalguppy says:

    gotta say this. while this game is good. you cant skip conversations and FUCK THE ENDING AND START OF EACH EPISODE! :P i really hate that i must watch the racap EVERY time. on episode 3 and ive spent as much time on recap and end credits as the game. fuck that.

    otherwise the game is pure gold but i have no patience for this sort of thing :P

    1. Amnestic says:

      At least this game has the defence that it’s actually released episodically, unlike Alan Wake.

  28. Duoae says:

    To be fair, on the radio point, I just got off from a job where I had to literally just turn off and on a router to restore internet to a person who couldn’t work it out themselves…

  29. newdarkcloud says:

    Talking about the Lee’s brother thing, I already had the scene in the pharmacy about the parents by the time I did this, the interface marked that guy as “Lee’s Brother.”

    So yes, it is actually made explicit and directly stated to the player, even if Lee himself doesn’t state it.

    Ruts’s point where Lee never goes “My bro and stuff” still stands, but I feel the need to point this out.

  30. Aldowyn says:

    So right at the beginning Rutskarn is like “the cameos are awkward”… *shrug* It doesn’t make a big difference, and they felt natural enough. Herschel had a decent reason to kick you out, Glenn … ‘arbitrarily disappeared’, that’s a good way of putting it.

    Lilly doesn’t even qualify as a cameo, she’s so important to the story…

    And she’s not irredeemably awful! She’s just incredibly loyal to her dad, and she understandably loses it once her dad dies

    Honestly, Larry qualifies for that moniker much more than Lilly does IMO.

    1. anaphysik says:

      “Lilly doesn't even qualify as a cameo, she's so important to the story…”
      Cameos aren’t necessarily bad. But I think THAT-^ is.

  31. Lily simply supports him without question. If you even try to point out how crazy Larry is, Lily gets angry at you. She can't be blind to what sort of man her father is. It would be one thing if she was unwilling to side against her dad because of familial bonds, but she openly supports him and never really tries to talk her father down, even though she's the best person to do so. I was left with the impression that she was going along with him because she agreed with him. In my play-through, I saw the two of them as this pair of dangerous irrational people who couldn't be reasoned with and who would kill other survivors for their own convenience.

    To reach that conclusion, you would have had to have not talked to Lily even once, during the entire playthrough. It also requires forgetting what she says if you talk to her at the farm, and the unskippable cutscenes during the meat-locker scene. There are plenty of points where she does try to keep her father under control.

    “Irredeemably evil” isn’t really fair. There’s a difference between an act of evil and an evil person. Doing something out of fear can be evil in its’ own right, but that’s different from being The Joker. It’d be like assuming Kenny was evil because he has a mustache, and villains like to twirl those.

    Everything Larry does is to protect Lily. He is terrified of anything that might take her away. It’s the same with Lily. It doesn’t excuse what they do, but it comes from a much less deliberate place than outright evil.

  32. maninahat says:

    I didn’t mind Larry too much. It became clear to me, especially towards the end of the episode, that he was just a guy, trying to do anything in his power to protect his daughter, and he wasn’t even for a second going to put her at risk, much like Kenny and Lee – and here he was confronted by a bunch of potentially dangerous strangers, at least one of which looks to have been bitten. He was over-reacting, but his reaction was plausible in the circumstances. As for her, I think she feels very much the same about him, and was equally as scared. That’s why she was more than willing to defend his asshole behavior, and not willing to stand between him and the group.

    Though he seems to unreasonably treat you, it is revealed that he knows your a convicted murderer, and that satisfied that issue – again, he wanted to keep his girl safe. As for him caring that much about his daughter, I got that impression fairly quickly – especially in the little things, like how Larry named his daughter “Lilly”. When I heard that, I figured he probably once wanted a son to call Larry Jr., to follow him into the army. Instead he got a girl, whom he called Lilly, and who joined the Air force. Things like this suggested they were very close.

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