The Walking Dead EP25: Axe Queen McZombie Killer Ninja

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Feb 6, 2013

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 117 comments

Link (YouTube)

And so Episode 4 is over, and we’re already spoiling stuff for Episode 5. Let’s just make the rest of this series a live-fire exercise. No more spoiler tags, no more being coy about what’s coming. Feel free to discuss any part of the game now. There’s a lot to cover between here and the end of Episode 5, and we’ll never cover it all if we have to tiptoe around.

Here are my choices for Episode 4:


I’m not really an iconoclast here. I went with the crowd, and the crowd was all going in the same direction. These decisions all tilt heavily in one direction.

At the end, the extra screen that Josh was expecting to see is this one:


Did they remove this screen on purpose? If so, why? I suppose it does kind of give away a few of the earlier false choices. You can see that Molly isn’t listed, which tells the player there was never any way to bring her along.


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117 thoughts on “The Walking Dead EP25: Axe Queen McZombie Killer Ninja

  1. Tzeneth says:

    When I got to the back alley, my first reaction WAS “there’s a zombie in that trash can.” I then investigated it thinking I’d be able to deal with it. When I was bit my reaction was along with Shamus’s in that this was bs. In retrospect the bite idea works but the setup was bad. I KNEW there had to be a zombie there, I figured it’d just bite me if I reached for the radio. Gah. Frustration at feeling like Lee was a complete idiot and me playing Lee making me feel like I was railroaded into being an idiot.

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I don’t think there is anyway that bite doesn’t come across as BS. If it happens at the end of a QTE, we’ll complain that “I won the QTE! I shouldn’t get bitten for that!” If it comes in a cutscene, we’ll complain that the game is snatching away our choice. If it happens off screan -like at the end of a fight, Lee looks down and sees the bite, we’ll complain that this is stupid.

      So, given there isn’t a good solution, this one -where Lee is plausibly distracted and willing to risk opening the garbage can to see if Clem is there, and then getting clawed at the beginning of the QTE seems good enough to me.

      1. Shamus says:

        “If it happens off screan -like at the end of a fight, Lee looks down and sees the bite, we'll complain that this is stupid.”

        Actually, that’s kind of how this happened.

        All I want is to NOT have the zombie hiding under a box. If Lee opened up a door and got a zombie in the face, it would be perfectly reasonable and wouldn’t require us to imagine a zombie planning an ambush.

        You’re right about the QTE, though. People would rewind again and again trying to pass it.

        1. Steve C says:

          It would have made more sense if it had been Lee’s leg that had been bitten when it went through the stairs. The he goes outside to look for Clem but the only reason why the radio is there is for him to be ninja-zombied. That entire scene outside could have been skipped and all those events happen inside. A good spot for discovery would be where he walks down the stairs and realizes his leg aches and checks it.

          Then in Ep5 Ben could help Lee by cutting off his arm. “Ben you useless fucking idiot! It was my leg that was bit!

          1. Thomas says:

            I think they were trying to show just how dangerous the apocalypse is, that you could just be walking round the backyard and have your life straight up end. I enjoyed it with the contrast of all the danger we’d just managed to get through, so I’m glad they placed the bite here.

            And having it on the arm allows for a pretty cool thing in 5, and it’s just a more interesting place on the body, it’s easier to show/hide (together, a leg bite is just easier to hide) and it’s easier to have Lee glancing at it anxiously.

            They just needed a better placed zombie

        2. NCB says:

          “You're right about the QTE, though. People would rewind again and again trying to pass it.”

          Make it unwinnably hard, to the point of being Jurassic park QTEs hard; something like you simply get caught off guard such as the opening of a door, or if you for example walk around a corner and are immediately grabbed on to by a zombie as another hears and begins to shuffle towards you; at least not in a big heroic moment.

          Disclaim at the beginning of the game that you shouldn’t reload until after you’ve finished the game and hope for the best, but this has worked for devs before such as for Quake 4 where you have to lose a certain battle; it wouldn’t be the first time something’s been unwinnable.

          1. X2-Eliah says:

            Ever heard the term “ragequit”?

          2. Thomas says:

            The game does pretty much tell you not to reload and it didn’t stop me =D. I don’t think there’s any advantage in making it winnable. You’d have to create a huge amount of extra content for a small portion of people and it’d directly contradict the main theme of the game and the source material. In the zombie apocalypse, you don’t win, you just prolong your death.

      2. Khizan says:

        Anybody can get bitten in a fight. That happens. It’s not bullshit. It wouldn’t bother me much.

        What is bullshit is the silent ninja zombie hiding in a trash can and striking like a serpent.

  2. Indy says:

    Well, Molly leaves or dies before you pick your team anyway. I wish she did come back if she lived, though. Would have been nice to have an extra hand wading through the zombies later.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yes.I wish I couldve taken molly with me.Im with Josh on the liking her thing.

    2. Isy says:

      Frankly, Molly leaving just shows how smart she is. Almost everyone who joins this group dies.

      1. sab says:

        Hmmm, not sure. All the people who leave the group are dead when you see them again.

        1. MrGuy says:

          Research has been found to cause cancer in laboratory rats.

  3. Katesickle says:

    Of course you post this just as I’m about to go to bed. Ah well, something to look forward to tomorrow morning.

  4. Spencer Petersen says:

    Also be on the lookout when Lee fights the horde for the 4 contest runner ups. The 3 “boss” zombies all are based on them and the one outside the strangers door as well.

  5. Mailbox says:

    Oh wow. I was not aware of that screen. I was part of the 13%. I let Ben fall. He LIED! and Carley is dead! Plus he told me to let him go. So I did.

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Obviously you are not a fan of Backdraft.

      “You go. We go!”

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I was in the omid+christa+kenny group as well.I didnt mind ben lying that much(it was a stupid thing to do,but everyone made those),and him leaving clementine to zombies,while infuriating,was understandable.But him not being able to keep an eye on clementine in the house,and his incredible stupidity in the school were just too much.And the weirdest thing is,I was still considering saving him before he told me to let him go.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        This is almost exactly how it played out for me.

        Except I was also angry he didn’t tell me about the deal he struck with the bandits.

      2. Katesickle says:

        I’m not sure it’s fair to blame Ben for not keeping an eye on Clementine. For one thing I doubt anybody actually told him to do so, which means he may have assumed somebody else was taking responsibility for her.

        For another thing, nobody else was watching her either. Omid gets a free pass for being incapacitated, and you could possibly forgive Christa since she was taking care of Omid (but she certainly could have at least said “Hey, Ben and Kenny, watch Clementine”) though if it were her own kid I’d bet she’d have found a way to multitask. Molly’s excuse is that she’s not really part of the group, but if she was staying in the same house as you and raiding it for supplies than she had just as much obligation as anybody else to keep an eye on Clem in my opinion. And why shouldn’t Kenny bear some responsibility here? Because he just lost his family? Well he can join the club, current membership including every single person in the freaking game. Everyone has lost family members. In this world “my family died” is no longer an excuse to get drunk and stop paying attention to your surroundings. Especially if there are little kids running around that you need to keep an eye on.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          No,I was talking about the other instance,when you go on with kenny to search for the boat.You tell ben to keep an eye on her,and she just wanders away to look for you.

    3. lurkey says:

      Also, this is not the first or second time I notice the trend of “This or that NPC LIED to me, so I killed them! I mean, how DARE they!” Since when something that people do every day often without realizing it is capital offense when found in NPCs? Is it because you, as the PC, is the omniscient god of game’s universe and those dishonest bunches of pixels ruin your power fantasy? ‘sides, all the best and most entertaining NPCs are liars and tricksters.

      I would’ve totally chopped up cancer survivors into bloody pulp if I caught them, though. Here’s hoping season 2 will feature their slow and painful demise. While I understand what they did and most likely would have done just the same, they left our group for death and preservation instinct says they must be exterminated.

      1. Viktor says:

        Ben’s lie got people killed(Duck directly, Katja indirectly), and lost you a safe haven. At that point, lying might not be a capitol offense but it is damn bad.

        And games are fairly binary. You can’t exile Ben/imprison him/force him to sit in a corner touching nothing for six months/give him latrine duty. Your choice is “Kill Ben” or “Deal with Ben screwing up and getting people killed”. In the real world, everyone would have a different view of an appropriate punishment. In-game, if you’re pissed, you want him dead.

        1. lurkey says:

          Really? Have you ever thought what would’ve happened if Ben refused to share drugs with thugs and told the group about it? Lily of not so stable mind still was with the group at that point, she would totally want to go on offensive and even if she didn’t, bandits might have decided storming the castle was worth the risk. What if his lies did not kill Duck and Katja, but on the contrary – saved some of the group from being murdered by crazed junkie bandits earlier? I don’t think it’s an unlikely scenario, and ust because Ben says so – because of course he feels guilty – doesn’t mean it’s true.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            What ifs arent important.What is important is that the bandit attack came as a surprise,and it was a surprise only because of bens lies.

            If ben told everyone,there still couldve been a surprise attack yes,but it wouldnt be a direct consequence of his lie.

      2. Deadyawn says:

        Well, I mean COME ON, he is a NPC. NPC’s exist solely to be griefed so when they’re the ones griefing you there is no acceptable response short of summary execution.

        But yeah, I didn’t kill him myself. Even if he was kind incompetent and stupid and was (literally) asking for it, I couldn’t really bring myself to just let him die. I never really hated him, more pitied. He had a REALLY shit time of the post apocalypse.

      3. MrGuy says:

        And this, in summary, is why The Walking Dead is a brilliant video game.

        A choice with actual nuance, where people feel invested in the choice for moral/emotional/human reasons.

        Most games would present this as a mercenary gameplay choice – “If I let him go, it will mean I only have to fight half the normal amount of zombies in the upcoming fight, but I won’t be able to loot his corpse and get his unique weapon. Hmm…I’m low on ammo right now, and I know this fight is tough, and I never really use his unique weapon. Bye, Ben!”

        1. Thomas says:

          See I’m looking at this as a point where it failed at that (when it’s normally very good), most of the people who dropped Ben are applying this weird kind of hybrid videogame logic, unlike they did with say Duck.

          Would anyone here actually drop a person to their death because they lied and were incompetent which resulted in death? I friggin’ hope not. Most first-world countries don’t even have the death penalty for mass murder and we’re arbitrating people’s lives when they’re barely guilty of manslaughter?

          1. StashAugustine says:

            In real life, you’d actually be under time pressure to get out of there as opposed to knowing that you’ve got until this timer runs out to make a decision. Wouldn’t necessarily change anything, just pointing out that “it’s a game” cuts both ways.

            1. SougoXIII says:

              Adding to this, in real life the question isn’t ‘Will you left Ben to die?’ but ‘Will you risk your life for another one of his screw ups?’

          2. Zukhramm says:

            Well, I dropped him because we were escaping from zombies and might not have the time to pull him up, so I don’t know.

          3. Cado says:

            I wouldn’t drop Ben because he lied or screwed up. I would drop Ben because that would be the worst possible moment to go through a depressive episode. He wanted to die, he let go of Lee’s hand and zombies were rushing up the stairs. In that instant he would be an extreme liability, and while I wouldn’t want to let him go I don’t see how I’d have any other choice. That’s the roleplaying logic I used to decide whether or not to save him the first time I played through the game.

            1. Thomas says:

              If you did that in real life, I would hate you forever. I tried to rewrite that to sound nicer, maybe I wouldn’t hate you as such but thats a pretty darn callous thing to do to someone, it would be cutting someone loose at the time they need other people the most, there was another commenter(is it polite to use or not use their name in this case? Would I be bringing people into battles they might not want to have?) who had experiences in life that was making her pretty shocked at people saying that Ben wanted to die, and whilst I haven’t had life experience from the Ben side, I’ve had enough second hand experience to recognise, this is not an appropriate time to be believing that someone wants to die.

              And for the others, it’s kinda selfish to drop someone because you weren’t sure you had time but I guess you could argue that you’d both die if you lacked time. You’d carry a lot of guilt with it at least which the game doesn’t really force you to burden.

              *this might be why it’s useful not to try and bring real life into this. I feel I’ve been pretty offensive to you guys now, but if it had actually happened and someone let Ben drop I don’t know if I could respond positively to that, justified or no.

              I don’t know how to put it, I don’t want to mean to be offensive to you but if this hypothetical situation occurred then hypothetically I would want to be offensive, although there#s a high chance that if I were in the same situation I’d panic and do something stupid.

              There’s probably some merit though in discussing suicide generally, it’s pretty taboo and misunderstood but maybe this isn’t the place to do it and maybe I really shouldn’t be trying to be authoritative on this. I don’t know

          4. Aldowyn says:

            ME. I dropped him because I thought this was his chance to make a difference. The way I saw it was “he knew he was a burden, and this was the only way he could lift that burden”.

            In my mind, he died a hero, just like Doug, just like Chuck, just like Kenny (though that one was quite contrived).

    4. Doctor Broccoli says:

      I also let Ben go. It wasn’t so much that I thought he was a hazard. It’s just that I’m fairly sure Kenny would’ve thrown him out of the group, or at least place some kind of “It’s him or me!”-ultimatum. If that were to happen I would pick Kenny over Ben 100% of the time and Ben would most likely die a horrible death.
      This, combined with the fact that he asked me to let him go was enough for me to drop him.

    5. Eremias says:

      I also dropped him, but mostly just to see if the game would even let me. I felt pretty indifferent about it too, since it was clearly just about not saving Ben, or (not) saving Ben.

    6. John the Savage says:

      I never even tried to save Ben. When he got grabbed, I didn’t even shoot the zombie. There was no timer bar, so I was partially seeing if he [i]could[/i] die, but mostly I just didn’t want to save him to begin with. As a result, he got pulled over the ledge, and I never had the “let me go” conversation with him.

    7. John the Savage says:

      I never even tried to save Ben. When he got grabbed, I didn’t even shoot the zombie. There was no timer bar, so I was partially seeing if he could die, but mostly I just didn’t want to save him to begin with. As a result, he got pulled over the ledge, and I never had the “let me go” conversation with him.

      [Edit: whoops, sorry for the dubs]

  6. Nytzschy says:

    Those Walkers are really good at opening up human flesh.

    Between taking Brie from “live” to “entrail buffet” in four seconds flat and tearing a pit in Lee Everett’s abdomen in about half a second, I’m thinking they must be really, really good at opening those really frustrating plastic packages that everything seems to come in and result in thousands of hours of frustration every day around the globe. (Also, I just noticed that these zombies seem to be much more interested in the bowels and entrails than they are in the traditional braaiiiins.)

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Savannah has a large enough population of Scottish extract that they probably really like haggis.

      Or something.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ah,but their ability to get through human flesh in seconds comes with a weakness:Their skulls are so fragile that you can completely obliterate them with your boot.

    3. newdarkcloud says:

      In most zombie stories, the lack of the limiters that most of us have in our bodies allows zombies to use their full strength. Most of us are capable of amazing, near-superhuman feats when the adrenaline is flowing (except it can cause severe damage when doing such feats).

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Tearing open flesh requires sharpness, not so much strength. I suppose stabbing FINGERS through the stomach would work, but… ugh. Gross. And inefficient.

  7. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    I didn’t see Molly as having put her demons to bed, exactly. The impression I got was that she saw the group as the anti-crawford, and couldn’t see -especially after the Ben debacle -forcing one of them to give up their seat on the boat, so rather than force the issue, she moved on -western Hero style. Back when she hates all people, creating such a dilema wouldn’t have bothered her -but seeing the group as it was, she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

    The part that I thought was underdeveloped was Clem. Especially if she went to Crawford, she knows darn well that her parents have to be dead. And several episodes earlier, she said that she wasn’t stupid, and she knew here parents were dead -but it was nice to imagine otherwise.

    There are plenty of reasons and good stories to be gotten which explain her turn-about. Knowing they must be dead and giving up the search aren’t the same thing. Saying that you know they’re dead and really believing it aren’t the same thing. And sometimes hope overcomes reason, even in adults.

    Alas, none of that makes it into the game, and instead she just conveniently shifts her mood to tug the player’s heartstrings.

    1. Flock Of Panthers says:

      When she said she wasn’t dumb, I believe she was saying that she knew her parents couldn’t hear her on her ‘broken’walkie talkie. She knew talking to ‘them’ on the radio was pointless, but it made her feel better.

      She could easily believe they are still alive.

    2. Jjkaybomb says:

      Kids lie to others and themselves very easily, especially when they’re trying to look innocent or grown-up in front of adults. I can easily see that as Clemintine trying to be a Big Girl about it, but when Campman started talking to her about her parents, she imidiatly dropped that pretense.

  8. ChoppazAndDakka says:

    That ninja zombie that bit Lee is a big part of why I thought that whole plot point was damn stupid. Why on earth would a zombie just quietly lie there? The clear behavior of every zombie is to loudly shamble towards someone as soon as they hear them. Why would one just quietly lie there as a person gets close? It was so freaking dumb and forced. I could deal with ninja zombies in the past with just an eye roll, but a ninja zombie as a huge plot point? I couldn’t just look past that.

    1. Jace911 says:

      Yeah, you MIGHT accept that particular zombie just being a hobo who was hiding from the walkers and died of exposure or a bite, but if that was the case then it would have crawled out to grab Clementine and Steve Buscemi way before Lee ever approached it.

      Although come to think of it the very first walker we fight in the game pulled something similar; zombie cop waited on his belly while we crashed our way out of his squad car and stomped up to him before jumping us.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        you even grabbed the keys. PRIME time to get bitten. Game shoulda ended right there.

    2. Isy says:

      Like I said, the zombies are sentient and trolling us. This is like the eleventy-billionth time they’ve broken their own behavior patterns to screw with us – we can’t even claim this is without precident.

  9. Desgardes says:

    I let Ben fall because I had been told I was gonna get bit, and I thought this might be it and I freaked out. Sorry, Ben, you wanted to make up for your sins and I finally give in to panic.

  10. I see what the devs were trying to do with Lee and the bite, but it just did not work for me at all. I know I’ve brought up my issues with zombie bites in the universe, but I don’t remember if I brought up this specific scenario before. EVERYONE–including Lee–is treating the bite like it’s this serious ordeal when we’ve explicitly been told the bite doesn’t matter, it’s once you die. Everyone treats Lee like he’s turning into a zombie every little second, and even the game does this with him getting woozy and such. It bugs me to no end. Unlike Duck, Lee literally gets scratched and OH NOES!!!!!!! This is why I feel the choice to cut Lee’s arm off is an incredibly stupid one because it doesn’t matter–it shouldn’t matter! How is it in any way going to slow things down or make it better?

    Yes, zombie mouths aren’t exactly the cleanest, of course, but it’s a freaking scratch! And didn’t they have antibiotics for an open leg wound that festered for awhile? I mean, come on! I would feel better if they at least treated it like it could develop an infection and make Lee pretty sick, but nobody does that.

    Look, like I said, I get what they were trying to do. The end of Episode 5 was incredibly powerful for me. The payoff still worked. I cried–I cried like a baby–but everything leading up to it just didn’t work.

    1. Jace911 says:

      The bite is a big deal because it’s a death sentence. Walkers not only carry the zombie virus that makes everyone rise, they also have an insane super bacteria that kills within hours and is transmitted via fluids, hence biting. That’s why everyone thought the two were one and the same at first: people get bit, die from the infection, then the zombie virus kicks in and they come back.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      No,we were never told that bites dont matter.In fact,we were told specifically that a bite=turning into a zombie.We just didnt know the specifics,which are that the bite doesnt infect you with the T virus,but rather just kills you,and its death itself that makes you into a zombie.

      1. ehlijen says:

        We were told that you didn’t need to get bitten to turn into a zombie, just dying is enough. But we weren’t told that zombie bites aren’t deadly in their own right.

        So Bite != zombie but bite -> death -> zombie

        1. MrGuy says:

          In fact, we’re explicitly shown the opposite, in pretty fair detail, with Duck.

          He gets bit. He starts out fine. Then he gets a fever. Then he gets sluggish. Then he’s dead. Within about 24 hours.

          There was no reason for Duck to die OTHER THAN that zombie bites are deadly.

  11. Didn’t have access to the edit button for some reason. It’s weird you guys didn’t get the last screen. I got the game after all five episodes came out, shortly after Spoiler Warning started this season in fact, and I got that screen that shows who came with you. Curious.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I blame Josh for that bug.

      1. Deadyawn says:

        Well, I did a similar thing (playing the whole thing through shortly before the Spoiler Warning playthrough started) and I didn’t get that screen. So personally I’d say its not grounds for a drink. Not that my opinion matters that much.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          So Josh has also infected your computer?Damn that man,he will be the death of all our machines!

          1. Thomas says:

            I didn’t get the screen either. I’m not sure how I feel about it, on the one hand I wasn’t sure if Omid could die or not (I though with him being crippled, if you didn’t pull him up first on the train there’d be no way he could catch up). On the other hand, I didn’t know that there were so many character variations and I would have been impressed.

            There was a lot of effort to have variations in the game, but they were all such that I assumed there weren’t variations and blamed the game for being railroady. It’s hard, by the very nature you never get to see what happens if you do something differently until a repeat playthrough

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      I played it shortly after the Spoiler Warning season began and I did not get that screen, at least I don’t recall seeing that screen before. I didn’t even know that the screen was there.

      1. Zukhramm says:

        This is one of the drawbacks of things like Steam, keeping your games updated. Developers can take stuff our of your game.

      2. Huh, looks like a few people didn’t get the screen. I wonder if it was different for me because I bought the game on the iPad.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          This is a likely case.

          I didn’t either, and I bought it and finished it the first week of SW IIRC

      3. John the Savage says:

        I think I got the screen after episode 5 instead. Maybe that’s where the confusion is coming from? Let’s see if Josh gets it at the end.

  12. Jace911 says:

    I have to say, whoever voices Clementine is absolutely superb. Most child actors and VAs in TV and video games get on my nerves, but Clem’s endeared me to her character almost immediately. Instead of going full OOC hardcore 360 no scope survivalist and saying “ugh, now I’m being saddled with this little brat” I actually found myself slipping into the mindset of “I am an adult and I need to watch out for this child”, and throughout the game I never strayed from that mentality. It’s a big part of what helped me fit in Lee’s shoes and roleplay as him rather than feeling like I was watching a movie where I occasionally picked the next line of dialogue. I have to wonder how diminished this game would be if Clementine wasn’t given such an amazing voice actress.

    Also, the part where she cries fucking destroyed me. I shed a couple of tears for Duck when I had to shoot him but that scene really turned on the waterworks for me.

    1. jmazouri says:

      That’s because she’s voiced by a 37 year old woman.

      1. Jace911 says:

        Well yes, I guess that WOULD explain it. Wow.

      2. Torsten says:

        She really knows her stuff. Most child characters in video games have a really annoying nasal voice that is clearly an adult trying to sound like a child. Clementine actually sounds like a real nine year old girl.

        I’m not surprised she is a Telltale regular actor, but wow, she voiced Stinky on Sam & Max. Very different kind of character from Clem.

    2. TJ says:

      Yea. It was even worse than the episode as I let Ben go, and she calls you on that/asks about it too.

    3. Aldowyn says:

      You weren’t the only one to notice Clementine’s importance. So did Telltale (obviously.)

      GameInformer ran a feature about this in the top 50 video games issue, here’s an online copy.

  13. Spammy says:

    No more spoilers? Okay then: Did anyone else get to the guy who kidnapped Clementine and think he looked kinda like Steve Buscemi? He had the lips thing going on, I think. I thought he kinda looked like Steve Buscemi.

    And I got Kenny to come with me, and I didn’t really feel like I was trying, either. Working with Kenny and trying to get along with him just made sense to me, of all the people you meet until Omid and Christa he’s probably the the one who most understands your situation and knows what help you need.

    1. Shamus says:

      Among the cast, we all refer to him as Steve Buscemi.

      1. Deadyawn says:

        Right, so we can all agree that that’s canon then?

      2. ACman says:

        I call him “convenient-plot-device-man”,

        Or the “throw-every-decision-back-into-your-face-no-matter-how-difficult-nor-unreasonable-and-no-matter-how-unlikely-that-Clementine-let-alone-him-would-know-about-all-of-them-despite-his-own-bad-decisions-monkey”.

      3. ACman says:

        I also call him the “Chekhov’s Station-Wagon” owner.

      4. lurkey says:

        And I call him “Ravel you ain’t, idiot”. I’ll prolly rant about that moronic construct when we’re there, but I’m curious if there’s a word for “an unsubtle and pretentious plot device manufactured by smug developers who thought gamers will go “Oh my god, I totally didn’t think about that!!! when chastised about consequences”?

        1. ACman says:

          As a way of wrapping up this story he was really quite bad wasn’t he?

          The main theme of the game is your conflict (or lack of it) with Kenny. That should have been the game’s climax. Making light of the importance of your relationship with the one person (Excepting Clementine) who has been here since the first episode.

          Kenny is the only person in the game who has an arc. How realistic that arc is in the game depends on your decisions but he actually goes through phases of desire.

          Clementine just wants closure on the issue of her parents no matter how realistic that desire is, and then she gets that.

          Lee has no desires apart from protecting Clementine. We don’t really get a sense of why apart from that he’s a “good guy” who is perhaps trying to make up for something awful.

          The Chekhov’s Station Wagon Man has no real world purpose. He is a completely undeveloped character used a reverse Deus-Ex Machina creating improbable under-developed conflict that needs resolving rather than being an improbable underdeveloped resolution to a conflict.

          Sure somebody that madly insane who wanted to replace their child with Clementine could have been an interesting storyline. Perhaps they shouldn’t have killed that madwoman in episode 2 and had her drive episode 3, she seemed nuts for Clementine.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            What? Ben literally asks you to kill him as recompense for his actions and you say Kenny is the only one with an arc? Maybe the most developed and focused one, yes, but the ONLY one? They almost ALL have arcs!

        2. Isy says:

          I never got the feeling of being judged, mostly because it’s clear this guy is completely unhinged. Of course, then you have to ask what the point of all this was.

          I did enjoy sitting down and calmly talking to him, though. It’s the only point in the game where Lee really talks about his wife.

      5. Jeremiah says:

        That explains the Steve Buscemi reference in the episode.

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      Yeah. I didn’t know it was possible to piss off Kenny enough to get him not to come with you. And the thing is, I did a lot to piss him off.

      I tried to save Larry
      I rejected the food in the car
      I shot the woman on the street
      I told him his plan regarding the boat was dumb and we need a Plan B

      On the other hand:

      I saved Duck over Shaun
      I fed him and Duck, and tried to feed Katjaa
      I shot Duck
      I shot the kid in the attic
      I let Ben dropped (but then changed my mind in another playthrough and Kenny still supported me)

      I wonder how they decide whether or not Kenny likes you or hates you.

      1. Deadpool says:

        What you say to him has a huge effect. Saying him “Clem is family” or whatever the line is supersedes a LOT of hatred.

        What bothers me is Omid and Christa. If you don’t hide the bite, they WILL COME WITH YOU. No matter what. I wanted to go solo (back when I thought, ‘surely episode 5 will have choices that matter, right?’) and I couldn’t get them not to come.

        Also, I hated that after telling Omid and Christa not to come, and telling Ben not to come, Lee turns to Kenny and basically begs for help. I can get angry and tell him to fuck off after he turns me down, but I ALWAYS have to beg first…

      2. Isy says:

        My decisions nearly match yours (except I took the food and told him about Lee’s past) and yet Kenny was a complete ass to me and wouldn’t come. I even said “Clementine is family” and he agreed to help. But then I took Ben too, and Kenny decided Clementine wasn’t that much family and stormed off while throwing a tantrum.

        On the bright side, that meant Vernon and co. beat the crap out of him, which kind of made me feel better.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          Oh yeah, I told him about Lee’s past as well. I told everybody.

  14. StashAugustine says:

    Had exactly the same screen except I left Clementine. I don’t remember the “Who went with you” bit though.

    Tangential: Replaying New Vegas. Discovered Jed, the caravaneer in Honest Hearts, has the same VA as Lee.

    1. X2-Eliah says:

      So, Lee got turned into a zombie, shambled in a spent fuel rod pool (comment callback HEYO), and turned into a ghoul instead while the world turned to nuclear weapons because well, it’s one apocalypse already, why not go all-out?

      And then post-zombie ghoul Lee got better just in time to start a caravaning company.

      1. Josh says:

        And then die again immediately after the opening credits for Honest Hearts.

        1. X2-Eliah says:

          Such is life in the wasteland.

  15. Isy says:

    Ugh, Kenny. Apparently not helping him murder a 70 year old man was unforgivable, because nothing I did mattered after that point. I got to this point in the game and he gave me the old “you haven’t always been there for me”, but finally agreed for Clementine’s sake. Then I took Ben along and Kenny decided he didn’t mean it and stormed off.

    I was pretty much saying, “Just get the hell out of here, Kenny.”

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Funny,I didnt kill larry either,but kenny was with me here 100%.Then again,I did let ben fall.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        I’d guess it has something to do with the duck situation. I let Larry die, but I was super supportive with Duck (although I had to fight him) and volunteered to shoot him. He even acknowledged that he was unreasonably mad at Lee some time in the manor.

    2. lurkey says:

      Nah, gotta be something else. I didn’t help him kill Larry either and called him out on that, still got the full group.

      1. Isy says:

        I shot the girl as well, but I told him about my past, completely sided with him in episode 1, and shot Duck for him. Yet pretty much every conversation I had after Larry was “you never had my back!!”

    3. Jakey says:

      I could’ve saved the speech check by bringing up Clementine and kids in general, but on the other hand telling Kenny to go fuck himself was one of the best moments in the entire game.

    4. Lord of Rapture says:

      To be fair, if someone elected not to kill Larry, I would assume that they are suicidal and moronic and not bother to associate with them anymore.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Once again,I disagree with Rutskarn that there is no reason to let ben fall.There are zombies coming up,fast,and you are barely holding ben by his arm.Lifting someone up is really hard and time consuming,even if they are as skinny as ben.Especially when there is no way for them to help you,like a wall in front of them.So unless you metagame this part,you wont know if youll manage to pull him up and get out before the walkers swarm you.

    1. Alex says:

      Obvious solution: pull Ben up, then throw him at the zombies to ensure your own escape!

    2. Isy says:

      Lee manages to pull him up within two seconds of making the choice, so presumably he a) works out at the same gym as Molly and b) like Rutskarn, is not feeling particularly time pressured in lifting Ben up.

  17. Wulfgar says:

    it is amazing how video games are vilified in TV, yet statistics at the end of each episode shows that even in virtual world most gamers choose options that can be called moral.

    (i bet most of Walking Dead players play many bloody shooters)

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yeah,but those that vilify video games dont care about real data.They just want a new trend to harp on,and it just happens to be video games.It was the same with movies and rock n roll music.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        Yeah. Most of the studies cited in “Games cause violence” are inconclusive at best and are rarely peer reviewed.

    2. Thomas says:

      The effects don’t have to be that extreme, the most shocking one I’ve seen was this one
      (The second part with the loud noise)
      Because I’ve done that experiment in different contexts unrelated to videogames and it seems to be a pretty well established technique. And the thoughts that go through your head really are about trust/forgiving etc. It feels like you’re distributing a punishment or causing discomfort to compete and the idea that within that group people were more likely to dish it out harder after such a short time of playing a videogame is fairly…

      It’s not a morality thing, these people wouldn’t gun someone down or run over old ladies, but in a sense those are such rare incidents in day to day life it’s not important. This test puts in the frame of mind of ‘would you give a business rival a cup of coffee?’ or ‘do you quickly forgive someone who just wronged you?’ Little uneventful things but more important in a wider context.

      We really shouldn’t be quick to lash out at this research, at least they’re doing research. It annoys me that people with no scientific background are so quick to give opinions on the issue, especially since we can’t help ourselves but biased. We should be looking for neutral judges. It’s hard though, psychology as a science is still full of holes. Lots of experiments about human navigation are based of rats and someone was doing a test to see if humans actually think like rats (surprise they don’t) and asked me to navigate to find one invisible pillar in a rectangular room which you’re placed in the centre of in an arbitrary direction. It was in one of the corners, but because I knew that all corners of a rectangle look identical if you’re spun around, I was heading for arbitrary corners. Most participants headed for the ‘left one’ or the ‘right one’ and they’d actually put two pillars in the room to make this logic work. It’s hard to take into account the scope of human thought.

      Thats the one thing I’d say against the noise experiment too, I was pretty convinced that there wasn’t a person on the other end, because this is a science experiment and they’d want to try and control as much as possible and probably wouldn’t leave the responses up to another persons decisions. Maybe people who play games against AI a lot are more prone to thinking along those lines. (But then why didn’t the people who played non-violent games have a similar response)

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I really,really hate these “Desensitized to violence” studies,because most of the time participants will know that they are doing no actual harm.But here,Ill give you one simple experiment that you can do in the comfort of your own home.Though you probably shouldnt,because it deals with really disturbing things.But if you think you can stomach it,go ahead.Anyway:

        Play a violent video game.The more gory it is,the better.Then go on the web and search for a snuff video.For example dnepropetrovsk maniacs.Then tell me if the fake violence had you prepared for the real deal.

        1. Wulfgar says:


  18. Thomas says:

    I still feel Molly was a bit of a weird non-fitting event. But I probably am glad they did, the tones getting to me by now and without her I’d have probably been crushed under the weight already. I’m probably going to avoid watching the end even on spoiler warning, they really don’t like throwing the players a bone

  19. Deadpool says:

    How about setting up in LA, then taking the train to the east coast, turn it on and jump off. Let it go without you until it crashes and you stay.

  20. Hitchmeister says:

    You can debate the merits of the board game based on the graphic novel vs. the board game based on the TV show all you want. I’m waiting for the board game based on the FPS.

  21. IronCore says:

    I rarely agree with Rutskarn, but I did this time when he said making Clementine cry made him feel terrible. I’m not a big fan of kids in general and video game kids are normally terrible. I was attached to Clementine though. She is one of the best video game characters I’ve seen in a long time. I wanted to take care of her, and making her cry was heart breaking.

    1. TJ says:


      After the end of ep 4, even though it was already 10 at night, I marathoned through ep 5. Couldn’t let it rest.

  22. Halfling says:

    Alternative credit title for Josh: Josh – Kennymancer

  23. The “Who Did You Bring” screen was just a guess by Telltale. It doesn’t say who actually brought who along. It was just how they THOUGHT the stats would go down. Now that they have the actual stats, it doesn’t really serve a purpose being there anymore.

    …Okay, actually, the first time I played, I didn’t bring anyone along. That screen showed me it was an option to bring just Ben. So I re-loaded from the last checkpoint and did just that.

    As for the rest of the stats, I did pretty much everything Shamus did, except tell the group about the bite. I like how that’s rationalized in the next episode. “You didn’t want to scare us, because you were scared”. It does seem like something he might do in a panic, without having time to consider it.

  24. NotACat says:

    I think I’ve watched every season of Spoiler Warning to date but I don’t recognise the source of Rutskarn’s quote at 14:50 about “hiding under these boxes”. I assume I ought to given Josh’s outraged reaction ;-)

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