The Walking Dead EP28: You’re Gonna Carry That Weight

By Shamus
on Feb 9, 2013
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

And so we come to the end of The Walking Dead. This final stretch of the game is powerful, emotionally resonant, and well-written. Well, except the part where Clem carries Lee through a zombie horde and into a building. Because now is not the time for eye-rolling and guffaws.

A strange thing about this final sequence is that I have this distinct memory of Clementine bashing up that last zombie with many small, bloodless blows. Did I imagine that? Was I so caught up in the horror of the moment that I forgot how brutal it really was? Is there more than one way for this scene to play out, perhaps with Clem using different weapons? I have no idea. I will note that I was shocked at how gruesome this looked while we were recording.

Now I’m wondering: Where is the series headed next?

Clementine, while a fantastic character, might not be nearly as powerful as a protagonist as she was a companion.

They set the emotional stakes really high with Lee’s death in Episode 5. I’m not sure how they can make anything comparable with Clementine. We’ve already explored the parent / child dynamic really thoroughly in this first season. The Stranger, Kenny’s family, Lee and Clem, Larry and Lilly, the St. Johns, and to a lesser extent Omid and Christa – almost everyone had some angle on the relationship between parents and children. Another story with Clementine would naturally end up re-treading stuff from this game and make it feel like we were stuck in a thematic rut.

As the timeline gets further and further from Z-day, the zombie setting unravels quite a bit. Sooner or later the gasoline goes bad, the old world food has been consumed or gone bad, clothing starts to wear out, and the bullets are all depleted. Eventually it stops being a zombie story and becomes a series where you help society rebuild or watch humanity die. That “28 days later” state can’t last forever. Well, I guess it does in the Kirkman setting, but I find my appreciation of the story waning as the world needs to hand-wave more and more things to maintain the status quo.

What will they do next? They killed off the entire cast except for Omid and Christa. While serviceable characters, they were never fan favorites. I’m not saying the developers can’t make a good story about these two. They have backstory to reveal, Christa’s pregnancy as a plot-point, and the search for Clementine as a short-term goal. They have the framework in place for another season, but I can’t help but think if Telltale wanted to make the next game about them, the team would have built them up a bit more in this game.

I keep going back to my old preference: Clean slate sequels. It’s no fun uncovering the same Illuminati over and over again in a Deus Ex universe that is increasingly clogged with future and past lore. With each game, the team has less room to work and more time must be spent supporting or routing around the events of other games. I’d much rather each Deus Ex function as a stand-alone mixtape of cyberpunk and conspiracy theories. Applying this thinking to The Walking Dead, my gut instinct would be to follow a different group of survivors in a different part of the country.

Sure, you lose access to your established characters when you do this, but you also lose the obligation to give newcomers an exposition dump.

In any case, it was a wonderful and unusual game. I’m glad I played it and I’m eager to see where they go with the series next.

Side note:

For those of you having the “this game is (or isn’t) really a game” debate, I’d encourage you to hold that thought a bit longer. My Escapist column on Friday was supposed to be on that very topic. For some reason it didn’t go up. Since nobody emailed me saying there was a problem with the piece, I’m assuming someone just forgot to post it. (This isn’t unusual. My column is the very last thing to go on the site for the week, appearing at 5pm of Friday.) I don’t know when it will show up, but I expect we’ll be talking about that topic more fully in the coming week.

Thanks for watching. I’ll be announcing out next game in the next couple of days.

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A Hundred!A Hundred!12212 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

  1. Aldowyn says:

    TBH I’m looking forward more to that column than to this episode. And to the announcement of the next season… I’m officially guessing Dishonored.

    Oh, and I am Strongly In Favor Of Season 2 of The Walking Dead being about rebuilding in some way. It’s evident by now this isn’t something that can be ‘waited out’, which is the entire basis of the boat plan.

  2. sofawall says:

    Don’t worry Rutskarn, you were right. No glass was once used.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Thats because Josh didnt use the wheel.If you look at the cursor,you see that its offered as means of killing zombies,but you have to select it first.

      • anaphysik says:

        Which ironically actually makes it harder to get through the gauntlet. I tried to balance out my usage of them and failed it at least once -_-.

        Well, anyway, it’s still a cool segment.

  3. Jokerman says:

    This moment nearly broken my badass “Men don’t cry” facade….really holding back the sobbing on this one, so sad. The last moments of this game nailed it down as game of the year for me, with no doubts.

    • Aldowyn says:

      ‘clementine will remember that’

      4 strongest words in the entire game. Seriously, turning off the tips does a disservice to how CLEVERLY they used those.

      • newdarkcloud says:

        Indeed. Seeing those words really makes it hit home that your contribution to the story is over. What you are doing now is advising this little girl on how to live out the rest of her life.

        According to Telltale, the built the entire game around this scene. It really shows when you look at how powerful this scene is.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      This final scene had me bawling. I’m not talking sissy “man-tears,” I mean full on crying. I felt absolutely horrible for Lee and Clementine in a way that I could never feel for characters in a zombie movie.

      • Katesickle says:

        I didn’t cry watching this (did get misty), but I did when watching the video Chris linked with the last episode. It has just a few seconds of footage showing Clem shooting Lee, and I freaking lost it. It probably took me an hour to watch that twenty minute video because I had to keep walking away to cry.

        It doesn’t surprise me that they had the ending scene planned out the entire time. This game has a cohesiveness to it that a lot of other games lack, and I think they could only have done that if they knew where they were headed. You can’t really have a proper story arc if you don’t know what your climax is going to be, because you can’t lay the groundwork for it properly. That also explains why the Clementine scenes were the best scenes in the game–they’ve known from the beginning what they needed to set up with her in order to get that ending payoff. With other characters it probably wasn’t as clear, and so they weren’t handled as adeptly.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          I got misty despite the fact my only experience with the game was through SW which, let’s be honest, is a suboptimal way far as emotional impact of the game is concerned.

          Sometimes I think most game developers don’t really care that much about endings. Most often it’s setting up the world, establishing some big woozle to kill and we all know that in the end you are going to go and kill it, the parts that may or may not have an emotional impact depending on the quality of execution: the story, the dialogue, the character development; are going to happen earlier, the actual final stretch usually has little to do with whatever happened to the character throughout the game.

      • StashAugustine says:

        This and MGS3 are the only games that made me cry. And there’s only about two movies on that list too.

      • The Rocketeer says:

        Yes, mine was the inconsolable bawling of a child who has lost his mother at Wal-Mart.

      • Andrew_C says:

        Yup, I was crying throughout most of the final scene, I actually had difficulty completing it. I thought about just quitting the game, but I’m glad I completed it.

        And watching it now had me in tears again.

        Duck’s and Anja’s deaths also had in tears. This is the only game to have such an emotional impact on me (hating a game because doesn’t count). I’m normally rather stoic.

        This is also the only series of Spoiler Warning where I didn’t watch it until I completed the game, and I’m so glad I did it that way.

  4. Thomas says:

    Christa and Omid is my least favourite of the things they could revisit. I’m sort of happy enough with them where they are without having to have some conflict introduced to make them interesting for another season.

    So clean slate would definitely be my favourite, it’d keep the specialness of this game undisturbed. A new theme and focus would be nice to, maybe a focus on rebuilding. They could have a more static tale with a larger community maybe.

    Failing that, I don’t want to see Clem this age again, but 15-16 year old Clem, utterly capable but with a lot of emotional baggage and much more closed in and mistrustful around other people could be interesting. If this game is about Clem losing her innocence, the next one could be about here rediscovering some of the spark she lost in the transition.

    I could imagine that annoying people though, it might feel too different from the Clem they used to know

    (Also Clem is one of the worst sounding short names ever)

    • StashAugustine says:

      I’d also like to see Clem as a teenager. Actually, I’d like to see how people deal with a zombie apocalypse once it’s over, but no way they’ll let them advance the plot of the comics.

    • Zombie says:

      I have feeling we’ll see more of Clem (Also, I don’t hate the way Clem sounds. But to each there own), but I think they would really shoot themselves in the foot if they did it. And I think they know that too. I mean, yeah, we could see Clem after this pretty traumatic moment of finally knowing definitively her parents are dead and then having her father figure die like a minute afterwords, or doing it say ten years afterword (Which would be jumping way ahead of the comic if I understand it at all) with a grown up Clem. But if they do the latter they have to come up with a way to explain what she was doing for 10 years and not turn away people, plus they would have to take into account everything that could have happened during the last season. Finally, how could they make Clem come across as emotionally drained/traumatized/destroyed from the experiences she’s been through, while keeping her the character we all know, love and are determined to protect, and not making her seem annoying or just straight up make her a Kenny, Larry or Lily? The only way to avoid that is to make her Lee, which would be boring as we already did that. So I would love it if we were a different survivor, and we met Clem, and she became part of the group, or a one episode wonder (like Molly). Bonus Points for Tell Tale if she introduces herself as Clementine Everett.

      Also, my prediction for the next season is we’re going to do something long enough that it’s a true season, and short enough to get us to Bioshock: Infinite. So I say next is Metro 2033 or Far Cry 3 (if we stick to just the main sto….. bah hahahahaha. I couldn’t even finish that with a straight face).

      Congrats to all for another game Spoiled, and here’s to even more spoiler warnings, and more Spoiler Warning.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I think the reason that Christa and Omid aren’t as liked as other cast members is that they still feel incredibly intrusive, even when you’ve been with them or 2.5 episodes. They enter at a period of huge emotional turmoil, when most of the cast has been killed off in one fell swoop, and seem to be filler as a result.

      For what it’s worth, I get the feeling that season two will have Clem, Christa, and Omid form a group. It’ll likely be either set in the future, with a teenage Clem taking the lead and with Christa’s child being born or involve the three of them somehow being co-protagonists.

      What I would find interesting is if it took place during/after the birth with Christa dying while giving birth to her child. That way it would just be Omid and Clem together trying to find a group and make it in this highly oppressive world.

      • Zombie says:

        See, what I didn’t like about Omid and Christa is that everything I got about them wasn’t confirmed in any way what so ever. Like in episode 4 I just guessed Christa had a miscarriage or something because she just broke down after that video tape, and I also guessed she was a recovering alcoholic because in episode 5 she seems real hesitant to take the whiskey(?) from Kenny, and when she does she just gulps it down. But for all I know she was a reality show star and Omid wrote seven best selling muder-mystery books. Which would have been awesome if they were.

        • krellen says:

          She was hesitant to drink because she knew she was pregnant, and Lee outright states that at the sign: “You’re walking for two.”

          Unless you’re just mad because you guessed wrong?

          • Jace911 says:

            Not to mention Kenny’s rather blatant double take between her face and her womb, followed by a sudden look of realization.

          • Zombie says:

            Naw, I’m not mad, I just never got those things about her being pregnant. I just assumed she had had something happen, such as her kid died young, or she miscarried, and then became an Alcoholic afterwords. I don’t remember a thing said about her actually having a baby at the time when I was playing through.

      • Thomas says:

        I felt Omid and Christa were pretty complete. If they were in another series, either they’d both be Lee’s or they’d have to introduce some form of tension, which I don’t really want to see happen

  5. Even says:

    Smearing zombie matter all over you was in one of the first issues of the comic. While the TV-show scene was almost completely different story wise, it still stayed true to the established rules of the comic.

    For a game where you die in the end: Planescape Torment. Alternative fates are completely destroying yourself or willing yourself out of existence

    • Aldowyn says:

      *shrug* Dying at the end is almost thematically INEVITABLE in any story about sacrifice.

      ME3 ending talk behind this spoiler wall, do not go behind it if you are tired of it:

      IMO one of the few things that ME3 did right with the ending, along with having Shepard face the FINAL climax alone and the last conversation with Anderson. Anyone that thought Shepard was going to survive ME3 was kidding themselves – the space-messiah trends were there from the VERY beginning of the series. THE Shepard indeed…

      • Protocol95 says:

        But Shepard can survive in the best Destroy ending.

        • Thomas says:

          Because Bioware are artistically depraved scum. /jokes. Kinda. Seriously Shepard should die at the end of that story. It’s the whole Lord of the Rings thing (which was the premise for their ending theme even) about war damaging the people who took part in it so the new beginning has to be a clean slate. Frodo goes away, the Elves leave and a new age of Middle Earth begins. Shepard dies, the universe is irreversibly changed and people walk out into an uninhabited paradise just as the sun is rising

          • newdarkcloud says:

            Seriously, Sheppard dies is about the only thing I think they did right at the end.

          • Thomas says:

            On the subject of games where the protagonist kinda dies at the end/should have died. Metal Gear Solid 4. In some ways that ending summed up the series, very powerful, very resonant suicide of Snake, bang and then pan away -and wait what are you doing? Stop talking, seriously you don’t need to do this. That franchise just never knows when to stop and the end was the same

            • newdarkcloud says:

              I also feel very strongly that Final Fantasy XIII (I know, people HATE that game, deal with it.) should have ended with the main party’s death.

            • Klay F. says:

              I don’t know how true this is so take it with a grain of salt: I had heard that while Kojima originally planned for Snake to die in that scene, virtually none of the dev team agreed with Kojima, so in the end he caved to the rest of the developers.

              • I can’t believe that. If Kojima wanted something, and the devs were against him, he could just call them into a meeting and keep talking nonsense for days until his opponents died of starvation or dehydration, assuming they didn’t just surrender.

                It’s his superpower, after all.

                • Thomas says:

                  I love it. But I did hear that story too. I always wonder what his relation with his dev team is. Do they know he’s insane? or do they contribute to it? Maybe Hideo Kojima is so crazy he can actually write and program the entire game from scratch and the dev teams job is to try and cover up for him and to try and stop him from doing photo shoots whilst riding a duck

        • Aldowyn says:

          I’m in favor of this as just a bone to the fanfic-people out there. Shepard’s TOTALLY dead in-canon, but now you have something to seize on to pretend s/he’s not.

      • Spencer Petersen says:

        I think the difference is that death in games about sacrifice rarely feel poignant because the game is usually set up to have the player die in the goal of doing something, whether it be turning on the dehumidifier or activating the catalyst, the death of the character is usually a side note to the main goal, and once that goal is completed its irrelevant if you die because you already won and will be ending the game soon.

        Most of the time its a dual-problem of gameplay programmers not wanting people to play post-credits and thus design for it, and the false notion that having people die automatically increases the quality of a story. While its true there is some element of sacrifice in TWD, the game never makes you feel like your job is complete and the pain is knowing that the goal you have had all game is now out of your hands and in the arms of an uncaring and unpredictable world.

        The only victory you achieved is buying time, but that’s how the world works. No one survives forever, with or without zombies.

      • Deadyawn says:

        You know, in retrospect, its funny how little I care about Shepard and mass effect in general by this point. I feel like having played this game might have something to do with that.

      • Even says:

        If you’re referring to the same game, I don’t think the story really is about sacrifice though. The theme that’s most prominent at any point in the story is right there in the game title. You and all your companions and pretty much all plot-mandatory characters suffer and/or have suffered greatly because of personal torments. Sacrifice is at best collateral to the main theme of the game.

        • Aldowyn says:

          I’ll take a stab at this one.

          That theme (Mass Effect) has NOTHING to do with the narrative themes of the series. All it does is establish the most important element of the setting, coincidentally setting it quite firmly in the science fiction genre.

          A specific technology just CAN’T be a theme. It doesn’t work that way. But the entire setting is based around it, and THAT is why the cycle (ONE OF the real themes, if not the only one) works. Take a second look at Sovereign’s conversation in ME1 if you don’t believe me.

          • Even says:

            Ookaay. Thanks for clearing it up. Though I’m still confused why you originally replied to me and started talking about Mass Effect since I was talking about Planescape: Torment and not Mass Effect.

    • Carnadan says:

      Other games where the protagonist dies: Heavenly Sword, Resistance 2, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
      What I would be interested to look at would be the difference between games where the protagonist dies as a thematic close and games where the protagonist dies because the player failed to get the best ending.

      • Blovski says:

        Planescape Torment spoilers, that game has an interesting ending in that you end the game by becoming mortal rather than by dying

        • Keeshhound says:

          I thought you did die, it’s just that death isn’t the end in that setting.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Well yes.It ends with you getting your overdue punishment.But its ok,you finally made peace with it,and you accept it.

          • Even says:

            It’s what the Planescape universe would call death, even if the Nameless One’s body doesn’t die. The point is, (MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD)he already died long ago when Ravel first killed him when she wanted to see if the spell worked. After that he just kept cheating death at the cost of thousands of other lives.

            What’s not explained that what it actually means for TNO when he’s almost literally in hell yet he retains his mortal form and memories, when usually people assume a new form as a petitioner of the specific plane they end up in after death and lose all memory of their former lives.

    • Hitchmeister says:

      Except for the emotional content of the moment in The Walking Dead while they were talking about it, I’m surprised that no one remembered that Fallout 3 without the Broken Steel DLC ends with your character’s (mostly pointless) death. A fine example of the wrong way to do it.

    • StashAugustine says:

      I was about to complain about spoilers, then I realized that anything but the PC dying is gonna be a bad ending.

    • MaxFF says:

      Some other games where the protagonist dies, which nobody has mentioned yet if I am not mistaken:

      1. Red Dead Redemption: You have a shootout against a ridiculous number of people so your family has time to escape and get killed in the process, if i recall correctly.

      2. Halo Reach: You make sure everyone else can escape, and you get left behind. After that happens you just fight against an infinite number of enemies until you finally die.

      3. Oh yeah, they made a prequel to Final Fantasy 7 where the protagonist dies, which may have been the first one I played that actually did that. Supposedly Zack dies while protecting Cloud, but Cloud is just lying there, a few feet from the where Zack is fighting. After Zack died they could have just did a quick look around the area and found and killed Cloud as well. I guess its well established backstory that Zack died protecting Cloud, but they couldn’t think of a logical way for this scene to play out, so Cloud survives because the Shinra grunts are bunch of morons.

  6. Spammy says:

    Since we’re now between games on Spoiler Warning, have you ever given thought to trying Metro 2033? It’s a very dark, atmospheric survival horror FPS that’s rich with details in the setting and mechanics. I think there’d be plenty to talk about while you’re playing it, and I don’t remember it as being so long that the season would stretch on forever. So, I think it would make for a good season of Spoiler Warning.

  7. Steve C says:

    I think we can safely say that characters from the game will appear as cameo characters, like Hershel and Glen, if they appear at all. Other than the game, comic and TV show, Hirkman did a series of webisodes. They were stand alone content that dovetailed into the TV show but not important to the show. For example a memorable zombie from the TV show got backstory.

    I would bet money that any sequel to this game will use the characters from the game in the same way; dovetailed cameo but unimportant.

  8. Stephen says:

    And now I have to go back and watch SW’s HL2 season because Josh mentioned it.

    You guys rock.

  9. Steve C says:

    When the decision to kill Lee or leave, why didn’t you stay silent? Then the decision would have been Clem’s.

    • Thomas says:

      I didn’t know you could do that. Wow I wish I’d done that now. Does what she chooses change?

    • MrGuy says:

      OK, it’s killing me. What happens in this case?

    • Knight of Fools says:

      There’s no “silent” option. Once the timer runs out, you automatically choose whichever choice is selected.

      • Simon Buchan says:

        Here’s a quote from Giant Bomb’s “Faces of Death” series of articles, an interview with the writers:

        Rodkin: There’s one funny detail that we may as well mention. This is a timed choice, and if you let the timer run out and Lee says nothing, Clementine does decide for herself. If you aren’t there for Clementine when she asks you what you should do, she does actually look back at everything that’s happened and she’ll decide if she wants to do it or not. You can force it on Clementine, but you’re a big ass if you do that. I don’t think I’ve seen a playthrough where someone does it. The idea makes me personally feel really horrible, but it’s there, if you really wanna poke at Clementine. I don’t know how many people actually did it, and even our QA guys were pretty surprised that it happened.

        http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/faces-of-death-part-5-no-time-left/1100-4512/

        I thought that was interesting that he thinks that’s a bad thing to do. In my playthrough I couldn’t bear asking her to kill me or knowing that I’m a zombie somewhere, so I let it run out (before reading that!) and she picked to leave.

  10. Katesickle says:

    Wow. I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen, but that was still incredibly powerful. I am very misty-eyed right now. I watched the video Chris linked with the last episode that showed Clem shooting Lee, and it had me in tears. I had to pause the video and walk away, just from that brief image of her with the gun. I never thought a game would affect me that strongly.

    I didn’t play through the game myself because I’m not good at dealing with tense gameplay. The fact that I watched the entire thing with you lot talking over it and was still emotionally invested enough to cry at the ending is amazing.

    I wouldn’t want the next came to focus on Clem, but if it started with another group and they briefly crossed paths with her I think that would work. It would give the player confirmation that Clementine is still doing alright. Maybe they’d be able to give her story a proper resolution, as opposed to what we got here.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find some tissues…

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I played through the final episode twice and was bawling both times.

      Watching this, and seeing it unfold for a third time, it took me until the credits rolled, but I began to tear up again. It wasn’t quite crying, but it was close.

      This scene is one of the powerful in gaming. I don’t think you can think of another that causes such a surge of emotions.

      • Katesickle says:

        Definitely not. Not even close. I’d rank this up with some of my favorite books as far as emotional impact. I don’t think I’ve ever had a game get me misty-eyed, let alone actually crying.

        Now the question is: can they do it again?

  11. hborrgg says:

    On the subject of whether something is really a game or not, where do people stand on something like Caesar’s Day off?

    Yahtzee had a column a while back where he gave it a negatory, but is it really much less than an adventure game like this?

  12. Ithilanor says:

    Rutskarn, thank you for that last laugh, because I damn well needed that. This game was incredibly, amazingly powerful.

  13. newdarkcloud says:

    Shamus, are you aware that the SW page hasn’t been update since you posted Episode 4 of TWD season?

  14. Nano Proksee says:

    Yay, Cowboy Bebop reference!

    Great game and great commentary guys.

    I am genuinely afraid of next season, I hope they don’t plat it safe and replace Lee with Omid and/or Christa and repeat the same game all over again.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Actually, seeing that line here finally made me understand it. There isn’t anything you can do about it. It happened and it’s over. All you can do is take it with you- and you will.

      • Deadpool says:

        That’s not why Cowboy BeBop used it…

        A big theme of the show was “life is just a dream.” The credits are actually timed so that the line “You’re Gonna Carry That Weight” come on right after Mae Yamane sings “Life is just a dream you know, it’s never ending.”

        You’re Gonna Carry That Weight is part of a medley of songs. John Lennon had some ideas but couldn’t get them into full songs, so the merged them together into one. It is the middle piece.

        The first part is “Golden Slumber.” The last part is “The End.” You’re Gonna Carry That Weight is inbetween.

        • The Rocketeer says:

          I knew it was a song reference, like most episode titles.
          I still think that’s why they used it there, rather than “See you later;” there is no ‘later’ for the series. That line addresses the viewers, so why shouldn’t it relate to the audience’s reaction?

          Especially since a lot of fans of Bebop really, REALLY want Spike to still be alive somehow, and naturally, it’s a song about being sad for a long time. About something good that won’t happen.

  15. Ofermod says:

    Other games I’ve played that I thought had *really* strong writing, particularly at the end:
    *Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. A lot of the ending write-ups had me tearing up.
    *Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. I went the Neutral path, and Gore’s reappearance and appeal made me wonder how anyone could possibly *not* go Neutral. The Neutral ending, where Arthur sacrifices himself, is… likewise very poignant.

    • Lovecrafter says:

      Strange Journey also did a lot to shed a more negative light on Neutral people, which are usually some of the nicer people you meet in SMT games. Jack’s crew was more vile than most demons, yet they were as neutral as they come.

      One of my favorite SMT endings comes from the first Devil Survivor: Yuzu’s ending. Instead of facing your grand destiny and saving the world, you say: “I’m just a kid, I can’t handle all this! I’m getting out of here!” Sure, it was the worst ending, and the game went out of its way to call you a coward, but I liked that they gave you this option.

      • Ofermod says:

        Apparently, in Overclocked, Yuzu’s Ending is no longer unambiguously bad, as you can fix it. It is really good writing in terms of actually letting you do what your character might want to, and simply leave and go home, and then showing you what would realistically happen.

        As far as Jack goes: I don’t consider him and his crew “Neutral”, as they aren’t involved in that ending. Everyone who’s Law or Chaos is involved in that ending. It’s not like Jack is the Neutral hero, in the same vein that Jimenez is the Chaos hero and Zelenin is the Law hero. He’s Neutral by game rules, but so are Alice, Mother Harlot, all the Fiends… He’s also not aligned with Law/Chaos ending-wise or Demon-wise, but… He’s certainly not aligned with the Neutral ending at all. Just like how the Fairy Village isn’t really part of the Neutral ending, despite all being Neutral.

  16. Guvnorium says:

    Me: So, did you take the supplies from the car?

    Brother: Yeah, it doesn’t seem like a decision that will have any lasting consequences.

    (Conversation me and my brother had after he beat episode 2)

    • Zombie says:

      I find it funny they picked the car decision in episode 2 as THE defining point of the whole game, but it’s ironic, as the one decision that absolutely no one would have expected to be important turned out to completely turn Lee and Clem’s world upside down.

      • Sabrdance (Matthew H) says:

        This has struck me as the strongest evidence that -while the plot of the game does not change -your choices do matter. What you did in Episode 2 completely changes the tenor, tone, and meaning of Episode 5. In a sense, this has been my counter complaint at the ME3 ending debacle -I was always ok with the basic plot being identical across endings. We learned from B5 that knowing how the series ends in no way detracts from seeing how the series ends.

        Walking Dead achieved that. ME3 didn’t.

      • Thomas says:

        I knew it was coming from way back. When they stressed the choice and had it show up in a previously on it seemed like they were mugging for the big reveal at the end. I kinda thought it was a little weak to be honest, maybe if it had been some sort of surprise?

  17. Irridium says:

    And this is it. The moment I cried. The room wasn’t dusty, I didn’t have something in my eye, it wasn’t raining, I cried. I cried like a damn baby. First video I’ve ever played to make me to that.

    Well done Telltale, you made me cry. You magnificent bastards.

    And now you had to go and add a Cowboy Bebop reference. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to sob for a bit.

  18. Annikai says:

    In the comic, where last I read was the most recent volume so I’m about 4 or so issues behind, they are a year into the outbreak and for the most part most people are in settlements. Zombies aren’t the major problem, in fact a lot of them have withered to the point where a light push will put them out of commission. Food and raiders are really the big issues at this point. The characters have gotten to the point where they’re realizing that scavenging for food really isn’t a feasible option (there’s a lot of stuff about how their supplies are dwindling) and at this point farming and trading with other settlements has become more of a focus. Also Rick’s group is implied to be an anomaly. Most groups at this point have run out of bullets. One group that they’ve shown uses spears. Kirkman is adressing these issues all be it a bit slowly.

    Also side note, I’m only a couple years older than Rutskarn and I totally got that reference.

    • Jakey says:

      At the same time, they are talks about manufacturing more ammo, so while a luxury, guns can still go a pretty long way.

      Speaking of anomalies, the one thing I kinda really like about the setting is that a lot of the people that banded in these communities just aren’t actually used to all that violence and people killing each other etc. and consequently, to them, our rag-tag misfit bunch of protagonist are those stereotypical incredibly badass, ‘I’ve seen some shit’,’Jesus Christ, those guys give me the fucking creeps’, hardcore survivalist killing machines. And the thing is, they’re entirely correct.

      For all the faults of the comic I could go on about, that little meta tidy-bit of on-going character development always gets a kick out of me.

  19. First Time Poster says:

    If you took the supplies in ep 2 Clem is wearing the red sweatshirt in the post credits scene. So that is at least one thing.

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I figured out why the stuff keeps breaking all around:Its been 200 years since the apocalypse.

  21. Kavonde says:

    Speaking as one of the folks who had Clem shoot Lee, my decision wasn’t based on either selfishness or (I think) hardcore survivalism. Lee was dying. All he and I wanted to do was protect Clementine. We couldn’t do it physically anymore. All we could do was spend our last moments trying to prepare her for the things she’d be facing alone now. And after offering all the advice the game let me, well, there was only one thing left I could give her. If that little girl has the strength to grant a mercy kill to her adopted father, there isn’t a god damned thing on this planet that can stop her. It’s a terrible thing to ask of her, and there’s no doubt that it’ll leave some permanent scars that might take her years to come to terms with, buf at the end of the day, she’ll know she has it in her to do anything. Even if the zombies all disappear tomorrow, that knowledge will still help her in life and, I hope, be a comfort whenever she faces difficulty. “Oh, the IRS says I owe five thousand dollars, and I’m broke? Eh. I shot my foster father so he wouldn’t turn into a zombie. I can deal with this.”

    Telling her to leave because you don’t want her to go through that doesn’t do her any favors. And she’ll always wonder if she did the right thing, if Lee ever got loose and hurt someone, if Lee thought she was too weak to give him peace. Kid doesn’t need that hanging over her head.

    • krellen says:

      My reasons were similar; she’d killed the stranger, so it’s not like she had not already crossed that line, and I thought it was something she had to do: say goodbye. She had spent the entire game clinging to the hope of reunion with her parents, and I felt that if she didn’t shoot Lee, she would never let him go completely, which she desperately needed to do.

      Clem needed to know that Lee was gone, so she could finally look forward, instead of behind.

      • baseless research says:

        if she didn’t shoot Lee, she would never let him go completely, which she desperately needed to do.

        Clem needed to know that Lee was gone, so she could finally look forward, instead of behind.

        This. This is the reason.

        But also, for a small bit: Lee has earned his rest. And as a player, I felt like it was the better way to say goodbye to Lee. I needed to let go of Lee completely.

        edit: goddamnagit, how do you quote again?

    • Isy says:

      The reason I thought of for shooting Lee was closure. At some point when she’s out in the world, she may recall Lee and how he’s a Walker now, and she may heavily regret that. If she kills Lee, it will be incredibly painful now, but his ghost (or rather, zombie), won’t be haunting her memory later on in life.

      That being said, I told her to just go. It was the last kindness Lee could offer Clementine, and the last thing he could do to protect her.

      • newdarkcloud says:

        I told Clem to shot Lee because it felt like it made sense. Lee was going to turn into a Walker, and that’s a terrible fate to inflict on someone. I also didn’t want Clementine to watch as her surrogate father turned into a monster.

        • Thomas says:

          I figured it was a hard thing, but the sort of thing you need to be able to do to survive, so no sense pulling the blow now

          • Isy says:

            That’s actually part of the reason I didn’t have her shoot Lee. She’d already killed a man in my playthrough, I knew she could do what she had to in order to survive. I wanted her last memories of Lee be of him lying peacefully, and not blowing his head across the wall.

            • Irridium says:

              Yeah, same here. And even though she killed in my game as well, I wanted her to know it was an extreme situation, and that she should avoid killing another person whenever possible, lest she gets too used to it.

  22. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I knew that he had the head in the bag.What really freaked me out was when I found out that the head is still alive.Err,I mean undead.That is seriously fucked up.

  23. Daemian Lucifer says:

    A couple that dies together shambles together.

  24. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I told clementine to shoot lee because thats probably the hardest thing to do:Shoot someone you are very attached to.And if she manages to do that now,shell be able to do anything in order to survive later.Its harsh,but its the way this world works.

    • Even says:

      I told her to save the bullet. Considering her age, there’s just no real right answer to me. Whatever she does, it’s a major wound she’s going to carry for the rest of her life and the best you can do is reassure her that whatever you tell her to do is for the best. She knows she has to let go. Whether she needs to put a bullet in your head is not necessarily as important as the fact that she knows that. She hadn’t killed anyone yet in my game and I didn’t want her have to deal with even more baggage if I could help it so trying to rationalize just leaving Lee behind to her felt best plus there’s some truth in the lesson.

  25. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Was I the only one following the Josh’s cursor with my cursor in the end?

  26. Chamomile says:

    I know exactly what I want the opening scene of Season 2 to be: Lee teaches you how to play, and then you shoot him.

    • Aldowyn says:

      That would be amazing except that then you’d be playing as clementine right after the ending, and I don’t want that.

      Now, an obviously SIMILAR situation as another protagonist? Or maybe even do it in a FLASHBACK and go to teen/YA clementine? Yeah, that might work as an amazing callback.

  27. silver Harloe says:

    21 or 23 minutes in you’re all arguing about whether you’ve Duck seen another Duck person getting bitten and DUCK not turn into a zombie duck immediately, Duck?

    (that’s what it sounded like in my room, anyway)

  28. Knight of Fools says:

    I think this points out a glaring difference between The Walking Dead and every other video game I’ve ever played: Emotion. Most games work towards “fun” as the end-all be-all of a video game, but in the end, you won’t remember that one time you managed to kill 30 people in a row in that one Quake game with a twinge of strong emotion. You’ll remember how cool it was, sure, but having a game where you can get emotionally invested in the characters and want to achieve their goals as strongly as they do is something that players will carry with them for a long time. Games, if they continue with the example that The Walking Dead has set, will become more about specific emotions rather than “fun” games meant to kill time.

    And it’s not only the simple emotional investment and being able to align the players’ desires with their characters’ (Or, in the least, the plot). It’s about being able to make that desire something real, poignant, and applicable to daily life. Try to save the world? It’s so far fetched that it’s absurd, and the game has to try ten times as hard to give it an emotional impact. Try to save a little girl who lost her parents? I used to work at a super market, and found a little girl wandering around looking for her parents. Just by the simple act of taking her hand and leading her to safety, I have more in common with Lee’s plight than any character trying to save the entire world.

    I think TWD is going to be a game that is going to be quoted as a strong source of inspiration for game developers for years to come. I know that it certainly inspired me.

    • Deadyawn says:

      There’s kind of weird perception of fun as it pertains to video games when compared to other media. Many people seem to be of the persuasion that video games are “fun” and that is their core component. We don’t, however, see the same kind of approach as far as films or books are concerned. While video games are distinct from other forms of media I would say that in this instance, they are simply another form of entertainment. Which, incidentally, is the key word here. These things are supposed to be entertaining, not fun. It’s a very broad term but it encapsulates the idea quite well. For example, Saint’s Row 3 is fun, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is not (It’s bloody terrifying). They are both, however, entertaining. Likewise, while TWD isn’t really fun, it is extremely entertaining in a way most other games aren’t because of the emotional investment on the part of the player. I’m not quite sure how this whole fun thing came about but I find it irritating that some people seem to think that fun is the only thing video games are supposed to be. It doesn’t help that fun isn’t a terribly well defined term either. You could argue that entertainment and fun are interchangeable, in which case all media would be fun but that’s just semantics.

      So yeah, tldr: Not all entertainment is fun, but all media is entertainment.

  29. Deadpool says:

    10:30 “I can say that I hurt Lily?”

    Yeah. When you caved her father’s face in in front of her…

  30. silver Harloe says:

    Damn ninjas snuck up behind me and started cutting onions when I watched this scene, even though I had played it already. This was the most emotionally resonant game that I’ve ever played (pushing Torment to second place). And it had to be a game to do it, as Chris and others have pointed out.

    In the movie, Lee would given her some advice before she left, but here I had to pick which bits of advice to give her and I didn’t have time to tell her everything and that pulled on me in a way merely watching it could not have.

    In the movie, Lee would’ve asked her to shoot or not, but here I had to pick. Watching that scene is very much different than picking.

    Whether or not other choices were false, the ending of the game really really strongly made it clear what the choices were there for, and why this had to be a game rather than a movie. Looking over the other “choices” in the game in this light makes them less obnoxious, too, in my rather personal opinion.

    As for the last scene, I think in a way it was good that it was always the same. I’d hate for the ending to be reduced to meta-gaming how to get the “good” ending.

  31. Katesickle says:

    There’s a tumblr for “Walking Dead game confessions”. One person says they wished they could have told Clem they loved her at the end. Why is that not an option?!

  32. Deadpool says:

    Despite all my complaints, I love this ending.

    The player losing all control here was GREAT (although I still argue it would have been better if you had some to begin) and I love the mirroring of the opening scene:

    You first meet Clem when you are fighting a Zombie and she hands you a weapon, and it ends with Clem fighting a Zombie and I hand her a weapon…

  33. X2-Eliah says:

    Yeah, that was a great scene and payoff. I only know this game from watching this SW season, and I got somewhat misty-eyed at the final scene as well, even over the talk and so on.

    Now, onto the point that iirc Chris made about mechanics and story:
    Well, the mechanics and the gameplay-possibilities of the game DO matter a lot in how this story ends up being told. I’d say that the reason TWD works is because you have so little control and everything is strictly directed.
    Imagine a few notable scenes if this were done in, say, Skyrim’s engine.
    Start of season 2, when you are walking in the woods and hunting for food. You guys praied the camera angles, the colouring, the time given to just talk things out. Why did that work? ecuase it had very little player freedom. If it was in Skyrim’s engine, you would not see the clever cinematography, the player would jump around and run away from the npc, you’d miss the audio dialogue cues, you’d just pre-shoot the bird yourself, etc.etc..

    Or, how about that ‘walking with clem’ in this very episode? If it were in Skyrim’s engine, you’d probably bunnyhop circles around the zombies, you’d just punch everything and everyone, you would not see Clementine looking at her parents, and you’d get a random bs blackout while you were possibly in the process of surfing on a fat zombie’s back.

    A lot of the conversation moments rely on face and voice acting – it would fall apart completely with a silent protagonist and always from first-person perspective (which is completely mousecontrolled, so players could and would miss most of the animations and visual cues anyway).

    On a broader note, you could not tell this story in an RTS game, from top-down isometric perspective whole you manage your ‘Lee Unit’, ‘Kenny Unit’ and ‘Ben Unit’. You could not tell this game’s story in, say, a racing game. You could not even tell this story, imo, in GTA4’s engine, or SR3’s engine. The explicit framing of scenes, and heavy directorial weight of TWD’s mechanics is pretty important to pulling off this sort of emotional investment, to pull of this sort of character story. In no small part due to the fact that the mechanics restrict the player from acting like, well, an idiot (e.g. bunnyhopping all over the place, not looking at anything, speedrunning everything, skipping through conversations instantly, or playing this in co-op). Sure, it is a lot to do with the writers… But videogame writers are limited by the mechanics of the games they are working on.

    • Chamomile says:

      I don’t think they meant freedom of camera control, I think they were referring to the choices you make in the game actually making a difference longterm. Like the Doug/Carley choice.

  34. Shamus, you sly dog. Was that a Bebop reference?

  35. X2-Eliah says:

    Also, on a more general note, thank you for choosing to SW this game. Seriously. This has been my favouritestest SW season, hands down.

  36. krellen says:

    Question: did anyone that cut off Lee’s arm also strangle the stranger?

    I tried my darnedest, but I simply could not “win” the QTE and Clem had to do it. I’m wondering if that’s because I was disadvantaged for having only one arm.

  37. Eremias says:

    This game does not deserve any praise. If the endpoint of game design is “Movie, but you press buttons to make it go forward”, then we would collectively be better off just sticking to ordinary movies in the first place. They also do not offer player agency, but they tend to have better editing and don’t take twelve hours to get through.
    And that’s all I want to say about TWD, because by now I have really come to hate its guts.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      Don’t you think that’s a little harsh? I mean, I can understand not liking this game but it didn’t commit any grievous crime against game design.

      • Eremias says:

        It did. It straight up deceives the player.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          One could argue that setting up the expectations that your choices matter and framing the game in that way is important because it changes the way you play the game. Saying “we railroad the game to our own ends” makes the choice between, say, Carley and Doug feel less important. You need to feel like you’re involved in order for it to work.

          So yes, it deceives you, but it may be a necessary deception.

          • Eremias says:

            “You need to feel like you’re involved in order for it to work.”
            Which leads me to my evaluation of this game. If this had been a movie, a feeling of involvement would not have been necessary, since engagement and empathy for the characters would suffice.
            But for the same reason I expect a gun in an FPS to fire where I aim and let me miss, I expected this game to let me BE involved and potentially even make mistakes.
            I would have loved to feel guilt when faced with the Stranger, but there is no possible state in this game when the player would be right to feel that way (since all that happens is static and determined).
            In absence of that, what remains is a story that takes place exactly the way the writers set it in stone. And books, films etc. are better at telling those kinds of stories. (That is, if compared to a game that mostly sticks to a cinematic approach. A full-on movie or TV series would have done the job just as well, if not better. Compare that to Dys4ia, a game that could not have been anything else.)

            • krellen says:

              The conversation with the stranger, while ending up in the same place, takes a variety of paths depending on the various choices he calls you on (it’s not always the same set) and how Lee reacts to them.

              I had a very different conversation with him than we saw here, and my Lee was a different Lee who regretted past decisions, unlike the Spoiler Warning version. This lent a whole other tone to the scene, even though we both ended up in a fight with him.

              Just because Robert Frost took the road less travelled doesn’t mean he didn’t still end up on the other side of the woods at the end of the trip. The destination isn’t what matters here; it’s the scenery you saw on the way that defines your journey.

              If I want to go to Australia, whether I go East or West doesn’t change where I land, but it does change the experience of getting there – my choice still matters, even though the destination is the same. And I rather doubt the story told via this game would have had the same impact had I been passively watching rather than actively engaged.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              “I would have loved to feel guilt when faced with the Stranger, but there is no possible state in this game when the player would be right to feel that way (since all that happens is static and determined).”

              Thats not true.If you rob the stranger back in episode two,but reason that you are doing it simply because you are starving and cant wait for the people to get back,you will feel guilt.If you still think that lilly can be redeemed,but leave her behind because she is too much of a risk,you will feel guilt.There are numerous paths that will lead to you feeling guilty.And just as well,there are numerous paths that lead to you feeling completely without sin and above this psychotic guy.

              • lurkey says:

                You know, I actually regretted I didn’t loot his car as he was telling his sob story. Mainly because I was annoyed about him being a smug plot device, but also because a man who takes his small kid for a very noisy activity in the woods when zombie apocalypse is all around, is absolutely asking to be removed from the gene pool along with his spawn. So by not looting his car I didn’t do something moral, but on the contrary – let resources go waste in harsh times.

    • Katesickle says:

      Nobody is saying that this is, or should be, the endpoint of game design. What a lot of people are saying is that it’s a strong move in the right direction. Games aren’t going to jump straight from being movies broken up by gameplay to telling powerful stories without any movie elements. No medium reaches it’s endpoint that easily (hell, do mediums even have endpoints? I’m pretty sure music, film, art, and literature are all still evolving, and they’ve been around for a heck of a lot longer than videogames). A game that adds interactivity to what would be movie scenes in another game is stepping away from the games-as-movies concept. That Walking Dead manages to be successful in doing things this way means other developers will have an incentive to explore this avenue of game design, which means more opportunities for someone else to innovate an even better way of making the story interactive.

      Additionally, I disagree that this story would work as well without the interactive elements. Yes, the plot would still work, but I think a lot of players are affected on additional level when they actually have to choose how to react to situations (and really, that’s what you’re choosing throughout the game. You’re not controlling the rest of the world through your choices like you would be in other games, you’re controlling Lee and choosing how he feels about things). It’s one thing to watch the dying protagonist give a last piece of advice to his adopted kid. It’s another thing to have to choose which pieces of advice to give, and realize that you can’t tell her everything she needs to know. There’s also a difference between watching a father and his friend choose who will shoot the son, and having to decide whether you want to pull the trigger or not. Maybe that layer of interactivity doesn’t do anything for you, but a lot of people feel differently.

      • Indy says:

        That interactivity made the experience perfect, at least in my eyes. Swinging that axe at that leg wouldn’t have been anywhere near as cringe-worthy if I wasn’t the one prompting it each time. My choice caused me anguish, not just the action on the screen.

        Fun bonus fact: axe is a spelling mistake according to Google Chrome.

  38. Desgardes says:

    I’m with Chris pretty hands down. I made her kill me because I figured it’d break her heart. It was really the last thing I could give her. :[

  39. Tse says:

    It wasn’t just an intestine, it was the colon. Of all the organs he could pick, Lee picks the one full of excrement.

  40. AJax says:

    *Sigh* I’d really love to watch this season right now but I haven’t played TWD yet and with all the praise you guys are heaping on it, I think I better experience this game myself. Oh well, looking forward to the next Spoiler Warning.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Yeah, this episode isn’t one you want to start off with if you’ve been avoiding the series so far…

      • AJax says:

        I skipped straight to the credits to hear their overall thoughts. I still know nothing beyond the first episode except for the ending which my friend spoiled for me because he’s a jerk. :P

        • Thomas says:

          Would it be possible for you to give me a time stamp on that? I’d like to hear what they say, but I don’t want to watch the game in this particular episode

          • AJax says:

            at 40:50, the credits start rolling. Spoiler warning about the ending though!

            • Thomas says:

              Thanks! And no worries, I’ve played the ending, it’s silly but I like being sort of symbolical with my games, if it’s amazing I’ll never install, if there was something I dislike about it I’ll remove it immediately and with the Walking Dead I decided I wasn’t going to experience the ending again

              EDIT:Most games of course are just ordinary

              • anaphysik says:

                I uninstalled Walking Dead because there was something I didn’t like about it too. Namely that it kept creating and recreating a Telltale Games folder in My Documents :MAD:)

                EDIT: FUCK. Site ate the rest of my comment.

  41. baseless research says:

    I’m a leaf on the wind.

  42. The Rocketeer says:

    “This isn’t a game. There are no choices.”

    There are choices, though.

    “They’re false choices, though. They don’t have consequences.”

    Some of them do, though.

    “Well not enough of them have consequences for it to be a game.”

    Oh, so this is a semantic bullshit argument. Sorry for wasting your time.

    • Eremias says:

      “Some of them do.”
      Uh, no? Do you know what consequences are?
      Here, let me frame it better, since you sort of constructed a straw-man:
      “This not a game. I can’t influence the narrative. But the narrative is all there is. The rest is awful adventure game nonsense and doesn’t count, since it is supposed to be not only a game, but also a GOOD game.”

      • The Rocketeer says:

        It isn’t a game if you can’t influence the narrative? Let me write that down, that’s a real breakthrough. I have a LOT of “game” developers I need to call, and I hope they don’t mind being woken up because this is a new era.

        But it could still be considered a game as long as it has ludic properties- but only if they’re fun enough. Do you have some objective way of measuring that? Is it, like, a set of alloy rods, and they only bend in the presence of the golden ratio of sufficient ludic quality:narrative mutability?

        I’m amazed by this theory.

        This means that a sufficiently protean narrative wouldn’t even need to be very fun to be a game. In fact, if something were purely mutable, like, I don’t know, a fever hallucination, it wouldn’t need to be fun at all, since it already has absolute narrative versatility. I have good news for delirious invalids the world over, they’re actually hardcore gamers!

        On the other hand, how fun would a set of encyclopedias have to be before we can consider it a game? Does it depend on the accuracy of the books, I wonder? I just had a brainstorm, what if the actual game in the Civilization series is the Civilopedia itself? All of the stuff about building a nation is just ludic couching to legitimize the expository text as a real game!

        I have a set of allen wrenches here. I don’t know if they will work like a real Ludo-nebular Legitimacy Gauge, but I have a set of dice, a catalogue of showtunes, and a heap of dry brochures, and I’m going to try and pin down the exact mechanics of this relationship. I might be here all night, so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from me for a while.

        • Eremias says:

          I was referring to The Walking Dead.

          Nice going writing several paragraphs of sarcasm, only to miss the point (even if it was not put as clear as it could have been). Next time feel free to put less effort into it, as it was a waste. Sorry about that.

          • The Rocketeer says:

            Wasted, yes, but only on the audience.

            The reasoning you use to disqualify The Walking Dead from being a game is arbitrary, contradicts itself, and would also disqualify the bulk of all other games. This is as succinct as I can make it.

      • Exetera says:

        All right, then, question: what consequences do your choices in a first-person shooter have? Once you’ve left this particular set of bodies on the floor, is there any lasting consequence to anything you’d done with them?

        … I guess the little “ammo” number might have gone down. If you’re not in a health-regen game, the health number might have gone down too. I don’t count these as meaningful consequences.

        Unless you can think of something else I’ve forgotten, something meaningful that I’ve missed, by your definition first-person shooters are not games.

      • Katesickle says:

        “This not a game. I can’t influence the narrative. But the narrative is all there is. The rest is awful adventure game nonsense and doesn’t count, since it is supposed to be not only a game, but also a GOOD game.”

        You can’t say “narrative is all there is” and then talk about what the rest of the game is. If there are elements beyond narrative then narrative is not all the game has, regardless of how good or bad those other elements are. And the fact that you don’t consider it a good game doesn’t support the argument that it’s not a game at all. You’re shifting goalposts.

        It’s perfectly fine for you to not like the game simply because it doesn’t work for you. But if you’re going to try and argue that the game is objectively bad or not a game then you’re going to have a tough time of it.

        • Eremias says:

          Yes, you are right, I am shifting goalposts. I am shifting them to where they should be and I agree that “Is it a game?” is not a very interesting question. It’s just that in the case of a game so heavily determined by its non-interactivity, I feel great sympathy towards the “Not a game” naysayers. As I said above, this game could have easily been a movie (and benefited from the change) and that fact disappoints me.

          • Katesickle says:

            I think it would have lost something as a movie. It would have benefited in some ways (movies are an older medium that have had more time to figure out how to use the elements they have available, which automatically gives them an edge over games) but it would be a different experience. It would also no longer be a step towards games that integrate gameplay with the story as a cohesive piece.

            You can say that the interactivity didn’t matter much for the overall plot, but the interactivity was there and it did affect how a lot of people viewed the events of the game. Additionally having any interactivity, even if it doesn’t affect the story much, is still a step away from just using cutscenes with zero interactivity.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        “I can’t influence the narrative.”

        Wait,what?Sorry,but do you even know what narrative is?A series of plot points does not equal narrative.Otherwise Id be able to say that hobbit and lord of the rings are completely equal:A guy gets taken out of the comfort of his home by a wizard,gets involved in some battles,defeats a big bad with the help of his allies,gets praised by all,and returns home only to discover that he is changed forever.

        The walking dead may start and end in the same place,and sees the same characters live and die,but the primary and secondary protagonists develop in completely different ways depending on your choices.So yes,the player definitely influences the narrative in major ways.

    • Ira says:

      This whole line of thought confuses me, because to me the presence or absence of narrative choices are more-or-less irrelevant to TWD’s medium. Works of interactive fiction are not games, even though they frequently have vastly more choice than almost all video games. Choice and interactivity, to me, are red herrings. I think TWD is sitting on the fence between IF and games, and it’s probably more on the IF side… I wonder if it might be better to think of TWD as an IF marketed as a game? To me the valid point against TWD’s game-ness is its lack of ludic content. I realise that sounds a bit circular: I mean its lack of traditional gameplay features. Its puzzles, QTEs, etc., are trivial. The primary focus of TWD is watching a movie and making occasional choices, and not achieving success in a formal system through some skill. To me, that pushes it towards IF and away from games.

      Please note that I don’t think that’s bad. IF is great and deserves more recognition.

    • Deadpool says:

      The problem here is that the game is little more than just dialogue choices.

      Chris points it out, the story is about parenting. Think about the actual GAME portion of this and consider: How are you allowed to ACT as a parent, instead of watching Lee do it?

  43. I remember reading about Telltale Games trying to figure out how to “carry over” decisions made in this season into the next one… despite the fact that almost everyone is dead, and there’s literally only one outcome. This isn’t like Mass Effect, where players chose whether or not Ashley or Kaiden died.

    I’m really not sure why they aren’t just looking at it like a blank slate.

  44. Entropy says:

    There were a couple of dialogue call-backs I really liked in my game. In particular, when back in Episode 4, Clem couldn’t shoot the zombie, and Lee had to jump in. I told her she had to learn to pull the trigger.

    Then in episode 5, she shoots the Stranger. And Lee says, “You learned to pull the trigger…”

    “I wish you never had to learn that lesson”

  45. The Rocketeer says:

    I don’t want to see Clementine again.

    Wait, wait, wait- let me start over. As stated, a large part of this game is the whole parenthood theme, with Lee acting as surrogate father to Clementine. Here at the very end we see one of the most important aspects of that nailed in in a very sharp, painful way: parents die, and their children go away. Not always in that order, but there it is.

    When this happens, an intense fear for the parent is not knowing how their child can really handle themselves on their own. When you can’t take care of them anymore, and all they are left with is the lessons you taught them, the values you put into them, and their own strength. That’s always been in the game; the reason Clem always mattered so much is that the human race is teetering on the edge of dying out entirely. Clementine is the hope for the future that the doomed adults provide for.

    Now, at the end of the game, all you- as Lee- can do is try and get in a last few pithy words, just one more tip, one more reassurance before you say goodbye forever. This is the perhaps the coldest, hardest fear of a parent, distilled into one small room. Lee’s time is over. All he has to usher himself into the dark are his hopes and fears that he did right by her, that his few short months as her guardian and mentor were worth her childhood. Clementine’s inheritance is a dying world, and when you watch her walk up those stairs and out of your life, you can’t ever know what happens to her, or how it all plays out. The same is true for the post-credits scene. Who are those two silhouettes? What happens? How will Clementine react? Will she be okay?

    You can’t ever know for certain. All you have is your hopes and fears for her. And I think that’s the strongest legacy that this game could have, one that would be greatly diminished by someone showing, “This. This is what happens.” No mystery, no interpretation. But hey, we’d get to see Clem again! Yaaay! No, I think the uncertainty and fear this ending gives, unpleasant though they are, are much more powerful and meaningful that anything we could gain by defusing them and trying to work to some other, more definite purpose down the road.

    I loved Lee and Clementine’s characters. This game was a remarkable feat for this alone. But as sad and as frightening as it was, this was what I took from it, and how I like it: closure isn’t a possibility; someday, somehow, you’ll just have to let go and believe.

    • Ivellius says:

      I feel similarly. You did a great job putting words to a sentiment that I hadn’t thought much about until now. I really don’t have much to add to that.

      I also don’t want to see Clem again because of the setting. TWD is about people dying. In the end, the dead always win. If we see her again, bad things ought to happen to her, and I’m so much happier hoping she’s okay on her own.

      Unrelatedly, I’ve been a long-time reader, and this season of Spoiler Warning is the first I’ve watched. The comments alone (partway through Episode 2) convinced me to buy this game. I’m so glad I did. The finale here is unbelievably powerful.

  46. TraderRager says:

    Press X to Clementine

  47. drkeiscool says:

    The confrontation with The Stranger was the best part part in the whole series, in my opinion. It felt so satisfying staying silent for the whole insane encounter, and ending it by effectively saying “Fuck you; I’ll die before I part with Clem.”

  48. “Oh my Darling, oh my Darling,
    Oh my Darling Clementine.
    I art lost and gone forever,
    I’m so sorry, Clementine.

    I wilt miss thee, Clementine.”

  49. I honestly see no reason why you would have Clementine shoot Lee outside of hardcore “I will turn” zombie-apocalypse meta-gaming, which honestly shouldn’t apply here because of the “It’s not the bite” rule (Which I’ve been beating almost death throughout this season). We clearly saw that people die and their bodies don’t turn for a time and it’s not as if Lee is becoming a zombie. Lee is gone, the body is an empty shell so it doesn’t matter, AND we’re handcuffed so we’re not going anywhere.

    I just… I could never do that to Clem, make her do that, not if I can help it. I stand by that; at the risk of being jumped, I think “shoot me” is a dumb choice.

    Thanks so much for this season and introducing to such a wonderful game, Shamus & Co. I don’t think I ever would have touched it otherwise, but you guys changed that. It was one of the highlights of 2012 for me and REALLY resonated in what was without a doubt the crappiest semester in all my years of schooling. All because of you guys.

    Thank you, and see you next season.

    • Katesickle says:

      “And now…you? PLEASE…please don’t be one of them. Please don’t become a walker.”

      There’s your reason.

      ….Dammit, now I’m tearing up again.

    • krellen says:

      And I think telling her to just leave Lee is selfish, for reasons outlined here.

      • Funny, the opposite is selfish in my eyes: “You have to kill me! I don’t want to be a walker!” Even though Lee WOULDN’T actually become a walker, but his body after death. And if he’s cuffed, he’s not going anywhere.

        I think you’re right that Clem needs closure though, so I’m going to cut everyone short here. If we don’t want Lee’s corpse turning into a walker, then Clem can wait, stay with Lee in his last moments, say goodbye, then shoot his corpse before finally leaving.

        There’s NO GOOD REASON to kill Lee–to shoot him while alive. It’s wrong, and would only add to what is the worst day of this poor little girl’s life. She doesn’t need anymore.

        This would be the best solution… but the game won’t let you do that, so it’s all stupid.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          But next time something like this happens she wont have the luxury of time.So if you are merciful to her now,it means you are banking on her not connecting to anyone ever after lee,or even if she does,that she will never have to mercy kill any of them.And frankly thats a bet I wouldnt take in this world.

          Furthermore,while its true that lee will turn into a walker only after death,do you honestly believe that death to a zombie bite infection is a pleasant thing?It sure looks painful.So even if you go the selfish route of whats best for lee and not whats best for clementine,getting a quick death is much preferable than the agony of succumbing to the infection while being chained to the radiator.

          • I don’t buy the idea Clementine needs to be this emotionally detached “mercy killer”. I don’t see how that’s right or healthy.

            The other of half your argument is basically an extension of “Kill me because I don’t want to go through this” I listed above, which I hold to be selfish and wrong. If you get to say, “Oh it looks painful,” I get to say it looks like he was pretty much gone as Clem was leaving. It’s only for a short while anyway, then peace.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              “I don’t see how that’s right or healthy.”

              Its a world overrun with zombies.Theres nothing right and healthy about it anymore.Sure it would be nice if she could just find a group and have everything be nice and dandy with it,but thats probably not going to happen.You can either protect her as long as you live,and have her learn on her own how the world now operates,or help her get a grip with this new reality and prepare her for its bleakness.

              • That’s still no excuse to kill someone. Just shoot their corpse.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Again:Next time she may not have the luxury of time to wait for the full transformation.

                  And in fact,how far away is lee from transforming anyway?Duck was unable to move for a looong time,and he still wasnt a zombie.Do you know for sure that when clementine left lee was dead?What if he simply slipped into unconsciousness again,and he still has hours before death?

                  So you have a choice:Teach clementine the hardest lesson,the mercy kill,or spare her that gruesome knowledge and let her struggle on her own the next time it comes up(and if she survives,it most certainly will).Neither of those is ideal,they are both just as bad.But thats the world you are leaving her in:A bad world.

                  • I still think it would be better to ease her into a potential situation like this by staying with Lee until he died.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      But thats just it:It boils down only to personal preference.Neither of the choices you pick are good,or smart,they are just choices.You pick the one you think is better for her,and thats it.

                      Thats why I like the game so much.You get two bad choices,and you have to pick one.Reason it however you want,but the game will never tell you that you picked wrong or correct.You have to reason which of the two is lesser evil.

                    • But when there is a far more reasonable choice to that can be made which is just as easy, then all else fails in my eyes.

    • Khizan says:

      I didn’t want her to remember Lee that way in the future. I didn’t want her memories of him to be tainted by the fact that she left him to turn in some crappy little garage, handcuffed to a radiator, mindlessly pulling against it for the rest of his pseudo-life.

      She already knew that Lee loved her, protected her, cared for her, saved her. I also wanted her to know that Lee had a clean death. To know that she didn’t abandon him to a ‘life’ as a mindless, shambling walker. I didn’t want her to think of Lee mindlessly pulling against his restraint until his hand fell apart. I didn’t want her to look back and wonder if Lee had gotten free, if he had killed, if her weakness had caused somebody else the pain that she had suffered.

      I think choosing not to kill him is cowardice.

    • Aldowyn says:

      By the way?

      THAT is EXACTLY why Disclosure Alert is doing Alpha Protocol. It gets a worse rap than it deserves. If we convince a SINGLE person to buy and enjoy Alpha Protocol, Mission Accomplished.

  50. Gilfareth says:

    You guys asked if there was another game that ended with your character dying.

    …Remember Fallout 3? Before the DLC, I mean.

    • Aldowyn says:

      not to mention MASS EFFECT THREE, but apparently y’all have signed a pact somewhere to NEVER MENTION THE ENDING AGAIN ANYWHERE that I missed. Possible because I didn’t watch that episode of spoiler warning.

      Nevermind.

  51. “Now I’m wondering: Where is the series headed next?”

    Two obvious paths come to mind storywise.

    A. You play a new main character, and Clementine plays a cameo or minor role. (50% chance)

    B. You character get rescued by Clementine and you become a “surrogate Lee”. (10% chance)

    C. You play as a older (mid/late teens?) Clementine, and the game starts with her partying ways with Omid and Christa to find Lee(‘s body), and bury him, because she feels she “ows him that”. (5% chance)

    D. You play as a new character, with a parallel storyline allowing you to experience the whole thing from a different point of view, you may or may not cross paths with other known characters. (35% chance)

    Personally I think C or D would be the most interesting, and if they go with D then a third season (and fourth) could do the same, they could easily have an endless amount of seasons showing the lives of people through the same amount of time more or less.

    C is a bit more difficult, the question of previous choices “Clementine will remember that” arise as well, Mass Effect did take previous choices into account in dialogs, should Telltale try the same, and carry over savegame states? (and defaults for newcomers?)

    A is my least favorite possibility, but probably more marketable, B would be a bit of a cop out in my opinion.

    An interesting note about option B is that it could work if combined with option C, if written in such a way that each season starts and ends with Clementine so that we follow her growing up through the seasons. But the player plays the “supporting character”, (if we accept Clementine as the main character of season 1).

    So A+B+C. 65% chance then?

    • Aldowyn says:

      I approve of D. It also gets away from the ‘getting past the show/comics’ problem.

      That said, it would be FAR from sustainable. It’d be much more interesting if they actually have an arc for the series that ties the season’s together.

      In fact, that’s a SPECTACULAR idea.

    • Katesickle says:

      I kind of like the idea of following Clementine (but playing as someone else) provided they can continue to handle her as expertly as they have so far. And provided she eventually gets a happy ending.

  52. groboclown says:

    Doesn’t the main protagonist die many times in Eternal Darkness?

  53. BenD says:

    I just want to share with anyone who hasn’t noticed that MrBTongue is back:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXVO1HCNQ8M

  54. RTBones says:

    As to where this series might/might not be heading – I think a clean break would be best. Yes, you could do something with Clem, and Omid & Christa are obvious choices. You could also follow what happens to Vernon and his group. For that matter, you could follow a different group entirely that eventually ENCOUNTERS Clem. But I think a clean break is best.

    For the next season of SW, I’d like to see y’all slog through Skyrim. That, however, is largely because I myself have picked the game back up after letting it languish, I am doing quests I didnt do before, and I am still enjoying the game. I know I will likely enjoy whatever game you choose to do, though. So yeah, Skyrim. Please.

  55. Flak says:

    At first I wanted Clem to leave me handcuffed to the heater, but one thing I’ll give credit for the game, I knew the decision was coming so I had a lot of time to think about. (At the time, she hadn’t kill anyone yet, only a single zombie cause I left her at the house, so I wasn’t sure she was up to it) When I told Clementine that it was a good thing she saw her parents so that she’d KNOW what happened, I knew I was going to ask her to shoot me. I’d figure it’d forever weight on her mind the knowledge the Lee was still around handcuffed to that heater, unsure exactly what happened to him.
    And perhaps my biggest fear is that some years later, she might give up, or lose it, and come back to Savannah to this very room and try and have a conversation with Zombie Lee, and I just didn’t want that for her. That’s the problem with being a walker handcuffed to the header, I’d be the only constant in her life, like the Stranger and her wife’s head) I think one of the overarching themes in Walking Dead is finding closure, and most often that would involve a bullet to the head. At least Clementine will always remember me (Lee) as a father, and not a walker. This was perhaps, my final lesson to Clementine.

  56. [Insert Name Here] says:

    I firmly believe that the second season will be spent playing as zomLee, handcuffed to that radiator for five episodes straight, growling and moaning, while cameos from the TV show, the comic books and this game walk past you, solving adventure puzzles.

  57. Phantos says:

    It’s taken many months, but I’ve finally figured out how to fix the ending to this game.

    And if that doesn’t work, there’s always the twist ending where Everyone Is Doug.

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