The Last of Us EP25: Hey Hey We’re The Monkeys

By Shamus
on Nov 26, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

74 comments


Link (YouTube)

For the uneducated philistines in the audience, this episode title is actually a highbrow literary reference.

So this might be the most positive season of Spoiler Warning so far. Really we just have a couple of gripes that get brought up again and again. Like the raiders. Speaking of which:

Let’s look at this encounter from the raider’s perspective: How stupid are these guys? They’re searching a building with a conspicuous flashlight when you clearly don’t need oneAnd now that I mention that, where DID Mr. Light-Gun go after that first shot?. Then they take a potshot at someone in a dark room, on another floor, through a dirty window. Unless they’ve been following youIn which case setting up an ambush would have made more sense. they have no idea how many people are in your group or if you have any supplies worth dying for. A group of people this stupid should not have survived this long.

And that’s not even getting into the hilarity of guys running out in front of allies with guns so they can fight your flamethrower with their axe. Dumb stuff like this really sticks out when the rest of the world is so smart and grounded.

Just once I’d like to see these guys act like human beings. Maybe they shout at you to drop your food and bullets and they promise to let you go. (“Like hell,” Joel mumbles under his breath.) Maybe they shout some stuff to each other to make it sound like they have a plan or goal. (“How many are there?” says one. “Looks like just two,” says another.) Just… something. These guys aren’t any better than the idiotic raiders of Fallout 3: Mindless murderbots who only exist for the sake of having some man-shoots.

I think it would actually make more sense logically and thematically to replace these raiders with zombies. They already have an in-world excuse for why there would be zombies hereBecause the fireflies are stupid and dumb..

But still, this game is quite an achievement. The story is solid. The gameplay is solidOr so people keep telling me.. The only problem is the ugly patchwork seam between the two.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] And now that I mention that, where DID Mr. Light-Gun go after that first shot?

[2] In which case setting up an ambush would have made more sense.

[3] Because the fireflies are stupid and dumb.

[4] Or so people keep telling me.



2020201474 comments? This post wasn't even all that interesting.

From the Archives:

  1. Tizzy says:

    Oh great! Now, I can’t shake the impression that we’re seeing proud father Joel dropping off his daughter for Freshman orientation.

  2. Joe Informatico says:

    Really we just have a couple of gripes that get brought up again and again. Like the raiders.

    Yeah, this is like the story version of the uncanny valley for me. When the story is doing, like 80-90% of everything really well, that 10-20% is all the more jarring.

    Or in terms of “realism”, I see this with technothrillers. The areas the author is highly invested in, whether IT or military hardware or forensic procedures, is really detailed and heavily researched. So when the characters don’t act like real people, or when other cultural or institutional elements of society don’t work the way they do in reality, those elements stick out like a sore thumb.

  3. silver Harloe says:

    I must’ve missed something, but where’d his backpack go when he fell?
    oh, I see it, when he gets back up. I thought it just disappeared because otherwise it would’ve broken his spine, but they just sorta ignore that. check.

  4. hborrgg says:

    Rutskarn has been playing wFaS? Impressive. Most people can’t seem to get over the fact that it’s so hard to fight guns with melee weapons in that game.

    • Rutskarn says:

      I’m usually the last person to say this, but the trick really is to git gud.

      For anyone who played it and got frustrated by their tendency to die instantaneously against scrubs with homemade guns, some advice:

      1.) If you’re not on a horse, you’re cannon fodder like the rest.

      2.) If you’re not riding perpendicular to your target, you’re a sitting duck.

      3.) If you don’t keep your target on your horse’s right side, you’re defenseless.

      4.) If you ride at an enemy while anyone nearby has a loaded gun, you’re a corpse.

      • hborrgg says:

        That is true, it’s hard to hit moving targets for both you and the AI. Although before I got a battle continuation mod working I did play with a house rule where I would play with 1/4th damage on, but I had to run away and hide after losing more than a quarter health.

        And if anyone complains beleive it or not the accuracy of the weapons in the game is actually fairly accurate to irl as near as I can tell.

        I believe if you’re using a pistol from horseback you are able to swivel much more than with a carbine.

        Also be warned that I don’t think all of super-expensive hand crafted were balanced correctly. Many of the melee weapons do less damage than the masterwork ones you can find in the shops, and I think the hand crafted pistols are actually more accurate than the hand crafted carbines for some reason. If you wanted to modify the stats of any of those I don’t think anyone would begrudge you. Oh yeah, and if you want to get the hand crafted plate armor I would recommend swapping it’s texture for the Swedish plate armor’s so that it at least looks fancy when you wear it.

        So are you following one of the questlines, or just bumming around raiding villages?

        • Rutskarn says:

          Mostly just fuckin’ around.

          And yeah, you’re not wrong on any account about combat. I have a Damascus Steel Saber, but in any situation but a ride-by I reach for my Balanced Good Yataghan instead. Much faster, shorter length means it’s more useful in a melee, and it still does enough damage to chew through any soldier. And my bespoke Dutch Double-Barreled Pistol is more accurate and more effective than any other weapon I’ve come across, to the point where I don’t think there’s any compelling reason to use any other gun.

          The horse breeders are also bullshit, I’ve heard, so I just stick with my Heavy Courser.

          • hborrgg says:

            I think the european musket is slightly more accurate, but takes ages to reload. All I remember about the horse is that it requires something like 5 or 6 riding, which is a fudgeton of riding. I was left thinking to myself “Gee, I just spent a lot of money on a horse I am nowhere near being able to ride.”

            Anyways, yeah, With Fire and Sword is a fun game is the point I’m trying to get across here to anyone who might be reading this comment chain.

  5. Tizzy says:

    If it can make Shamus feel better, I mostly feel resignation too when I realize that I am me…

  6. BlusterBlaster says:

    So are you going to play the Left Behind DLC? Because right after this episode would be the best moment to do that.

    But seeing as Chris’s title card has a quote from LB, you either already know that and will mention it, or are actually going to play it this week.

  7. guy says:

    Oh wow, I think we owe the fireflies an apology for calling them stupid. The guy who decided to release monkies infected with zombie fungus instead of setting them on fire has stolen all the “being called stupid” for this game.

    Also, theory for why so many raiders and such attack Joel: They’re working for humanity’s will to survive and have received spoilers regarding the ending. This is also why they don’t target Ellie much.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      But arent these guys fireflies also?

      On that note,how do they manage to infect the monkeys?If this fungus is anything like the one in the real world,then it should only infect the one species it specializes on.Did these guys actually try to modify the fungus enough so that they could give it to monkeys?I mean,that sounds idiotic,but I wouldnt put that past the people in this game.

      • Merzendi says:

        It might not have any effect on the monkeys, but injecting it into the monkeys should still make them contagious if they bite, shouldn’t it? Though you do raise a very good point as to why they tried animal testing at all.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          For someone to be a carrier of a disease,they need to be at least suitable enough for the disease to survive in their body.So you cant just inject a crocodile with a human only disease and expect it to become a carrier.Mosquitoes would work as carriers because they store(for a while)the blood they suck out.Monkeys?Not a chance.

          And thats all focusing only on carrying the disease inside the body.For it to spread enough so that a bite would become infectious is a whole other thing.

          • guy says:

            Monkeys can share some diseases with humans, so it’s a reasonable thing to test. Apparently they got infected like Ellie is, where the fungus resides in their blood but doesn’t hijack their brains.

            Note for future reference: probably not a good idea to be bitten by Ellie.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              While its true that there are a number of diseases that can go from human to monkey,this one should not be it.Again,if its anything like the real world one(which is how they have presented it,for the sake of realism).If not,then all bets are off.

              But seeing how competent fire flies have been so far,its much easier for me to believe that they deliberately tried to change the fungus just so it could infect a monkey.

              • guy says:

                Actually, I checked Wikipedia and you are in fact mistaken. While the ant fungus primarily targets a specific species, it can infect others with various degrees of success. There’s also a caterpillar fungus relative that can infect species from seven different genii.

  8. Torsten says:

    I think part of the reason the stupidity of the raiders in this game shines so bright is the existence of zombies. The raiders really have just different skin and added combat mechanic of ranged attacks, in addition to slightly different behaviour. But I wonder if we would notice that so easily if there were no zombies to have as a comparison.

    That is a problem with zombies in videogames. Unintelligent behaviour is accepted from them, but if there are other more intelligent enemies, we also expect those enemies to behave in smarter ways to differentiate them from zombies. The raiders here are stupid, but perhaps they would not be as obviously stupid if we did not have the zombies as a reference.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its not the zombies,its the story.It tries to ground itself in reality so much,with believable acting and down to earth story that whenever a human being does something stupid it sticks out incredibly.We dont mind it with zombies,because zombies are brainless.But an intelligent human should not act stupid in a story with so much brains elsewhere.

  9. Postapocalyptic Raiders Local 217 says:

    […] or if you have any supplies worth dying for.

    As we’ll soon learn with this particular group of raiders,
    you are the “supplies”.

  10. Joseph says:

    I must admit, I thought the link was going to inform me as to why I was an uneducated philistine for thinking the title was a reference to that song. I was pleasantly surprised.

  11. Grudgeal says:

    It’s “philistines”.

    Sorry for ruining your joke, intentional or no.

  12. Spammy says:

    These guys. THESE GUYS. I hate these guys.

    All these guys do is act like you are the bad guy and go on about how you killed their friends. Except they attacked you first, unprovoked. They didn’t warn you off. They didn’t try to tell you that you were trespassing. And Joel has a kid with him! Having a kid is shorthand in the post-apocalypse for “This person is not actually a raider here to kill you.”

    At this point it wasn’t just the randomly homicidal bad guys that pissed me off, it was that we had randomly homicidal bad guys who keep acting offended and on their moral high horse because they started shooting at you and you shot back.

    I hated every one of these people. All of these people, all of my hate.

    • Tom says:

      To be fair, in real life pretty much any gang or other collection of people in the grip of group narcissism will probably not scrupulously and even-handedly fact-check to see if their deceased comrades attacked you first, before putting you on their death list.

      • Ivan says:

        It wasn’t just one dude though, the first guy shot through the window then you have two more charging in with sticks. Though I guess those two might have thought that you were the one who shot first. Conceivably they might have found the horse and decided that someone must be near by, and when they heard the shot there was no going back. But if they sent guys in to check the building then why was the dude shooting through windows? That guy is definitely an idiot but for the rest of the group it might have all been one adrenaline filled misunderstanding.

        In any case, I like that one of the raiders has FINALLY acknowledged that you have killed his friends. Up to this point it felt like none of them even cared if one of their comrades died. It felt like all of them considered everyone else expendable, which I think is the biggest flaw of the raiders in this game. Nothing else makes them seem less human.

    • Thomas says:

      These guys really are the douchiest of the douches. They do want you for more than you’re food this time though they want you for your body too (to eat).

      This kicks off a plotlines that again goes on for way too long with way too many raiders, but I really like the complaining about how they kill your friends. This is why:

      So you hear them say all these things which make you feel guilty. They do it even wore in the next section. And you begin to doubt whether you’re a good person doing the right thing.

      BUT these guys are the douchiest of the douches. So very quickly you realise they’re talking rubbish and it’s not ‘bad’ to kill them. So you forgive yourself.

      …but the idea has been planted. You may have decided that you’re not a bad person. But you’ve thought about it, and now you’re more aware of the idea that maybe something has gone wrong on your journey to protect Ellie.

      You CAN talk about the fact Joel has killed like 50 people getting here and is that right? Even if it was self-defence can that kind of carnage ever be justifiable? But the game justifies it for this section. So you stop thinking about it until it’s thematically relevant again.

      I was pissed off in this section at the game for letting Joel off the hook for what he does so easily. But the game doesn’t let him off the hook. It just delays the judgement.

  13. Michael says:

    “guys running out in front of allies with guns so they can fight your flamethrower with their axe”

    Isn’t that an AI problem, though? You talked about it before, I think.

  14. Kamfrenchie says:

    Wow, Joel lost so much blood right after getting impaled i have truble believing he could move if there was no bandage on his wound. Kind o looks like he wold die very fast from all the blood lost.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yeah,why did he not bandage that immediately?Seriously,what is it with games forgetting that healing items exist as soon as they enter a cutscene?

      • 4th Dimension says:

        Considering the type of wound (gut wound straight through), bandaging would only keep the blood inside but not in the bloodstream. He would slowly die from blood poisoning from blood getting contaminated by his stomach stuff.

        TLDR Bandaging won’t help much.

        • Otters34 says:

          How in the name of Hell can three lines, composed of two sentences, be subject to TL;DR?!

          I was confused enough when TotalBiscuit did one of his essays, which was about as long as a newspaper column, and did a video version for people too impatient to read it, but that takes the Internet cake right there.

          And that reminds me, does that mean Lara Cuftbert’s impaled-through-the-side wound in the reboot pre-quel would also have been potentiall fatal? Thanks to our lovely friend and colleague, blood poisoning?

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Bandaging it would hasten blood coagulation though.It wouldnt save his life indefinitely,but it would at least prolong it a bit.

          TL;DR it would help somewhat.

  15. Isaac says:

    Grounded mode pretty much does what Chris and Shamus were talking about towards the end of the video.

  16. SlothfulCobra says:

    I feel like you’re being to harsh on raiders. It is implausible that there would be entire societies surviving off of nothing except what they can steal from their fellow man, but that’s not necessarily what these raiders are doing.

    They don’t need to totally live off of raiding, they could be simply hunting, gathering, or even farming in their own time, just they’ve formed insular societies, and they figure it’d be easier to to kill strangers and steal their stuff than it would be to treat you fairly like a person. Historically, most raiders and bandits that weren’t just straight-up invading forces were just ordinary armed people who thought they could get away with killing and stealing in their spare time. In this case, they all end up judging wrongly because Joel isn’t just an old man with a kid, he’s a videogame protagonist grizzled veteran who knows all the raider tricks because he’s done it himself.

    In any case, you’d have a much easier time cutting zombies out of the game than you would to cut out the raiders, all you would have to do is say that cordyceps is just a super-infectious, super-deadly disease, without leaving in the part where it turns human corpses into flesh puppets.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      All of what you say would be nice.If not for the fact that weve been subjected to three whole nations of incredibly out of place raiders already.Not just because of how numerous they were,but because they could spawn inside protected buildings,because they had state of the art sniper rifle 20 years after the apocalypse,and most importantly,because they had a TANK that could sniff your trail once you swam for god knows how long in a river.

      On its own,this encounter wouldnt be this bad(and probably the rest could be handwaved more or less successfully).But together?Nope,nah,no way.

  17. shiroax says:

    I can’t wait to find out the context of Campster’s credits quote.

  18. Phil says:

    Ok, since Campster was doing the “No, don’t!” thing, I didn’t hear Rutskarn’s pun…. barely made out ‘brick’, but would love to know what it actually was.

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Not one of you recognized the brick joke setup?No wonder Galaxy Gun thinks youre lame.

  20. Merzendi says:

    These raiders actually seemed a lot more reasonable to me than the earlier groups. They know the building is uninhabited, presumably – at least if they are regulars to the area – and a number of the nearby buildings have zombies inside. They’d just have seen a humanoid figure, so it’d make some sense to think it’s a zombie that wandered in and if they wanted to continue looting the building, they’d want to kill it and any others – so they shoot and send in axemen.

    When ducked, they’d see you aren’t one, but they already shot, so it’d be next to impossible to stop the conflict. It’s a lot more sensible in that situation to just kill you than try to open a dialogue and let you kill them – plus those guys that rushed in wouldn’t know you’d ducked – and so weren’t a zombie – until Joel had already killed at least one of them.

  21. Isaac says:

    the reason why the “raiders” shot at joel and ellie is explained later on in the game

  22. Rutskarn: I know there’s a webcomic called “Dominic Deegan,” and I vaguely recall what it’s about, but what was your reference-drop at 17:34?

    • Rutskarn says:

      There’s a long, amazingly stupid story behind this one. I’ll sum up as fast as I can, but I’m sure I’ll still end up using more words than it deserves:

      1.) There’s a webcomic named Dominic Deegan. I have never read it. This is important.

      2.) In its early days, DD had a following on the Giant in the Playground forums, including several enthusiastic fans.

      3.) Years passed. Dominic Deegan’s jokey, punny, lighthearted style remained (and some would argue, declined in quality). Its art, which was pretty early-era-webcomicy, did not improve. The storylines grew more dramatic, and, in the eyes of the GitP following, heavy-handed, mary-sueish, unintentionally absurd, and occasionally morally problematic. In other words: it was an early-era serial webcomic.

      To make a long story short, all of its fans on GitP–without exception–turned 180 degrees against the comic over the course of about a year. And here’s the thing: not only did they suddenly grow to hate it, they grew to hate it too much to stop reading it.

      They didn’t just turn against it. They became so fascinated with it that they spent nearly ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POSTS hate-reading, vandalizing, and mocking the comic over the course of its run, dragging whole new batches of readers into their church of bile on a regular basis. I had just enough time to follow this anti-fandom casually, mostly because I’d never seen anything like it (and because some of the recombinant strips and in-jokes were pretty good).

      Which brings me to the reference I dropped and tried to bury, for reasons which I’m pretty sure have become clear.

      I vaguely recall (and am sure as fuck not about to archive-binge looking for) a chapter teaser which showed art of a character and the subtitle, “Who is [character name]? And why does he want to kill Melna?” The anti-fandom shopped this image into a variety of humorous configurations for pretty much the strip’s entire run after that point.

      This stuck in my brain, resurfaced partially in the form of that unconscious reference, and ultimately brought with it the memory of this whole decade-long vendetta. Now you know the whole weird story. God knows what you’re going to do with this information, because I’m not sure of that myself.

      EDIT:And if you want to see some living history, children, check out the SEVERAL THOUSAND POSTS, split across four threads, the GitP forums have currently devoted to the creator’s new webcomic.

      http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?372096-Star-Power-IV-Boldly-Bolding-Where-No-Man-Has-Bolded-Before!/page11

      • Shamus says:

        Wow. The internet is so fractal. Evey little side-corner and sub-culture is as complex as the whole. It’s madness.

        • Rutskarn says:

          They concluded in their bittersweet final thread, and not without a certain amount of mathematical certainty, that they’d spent almost as much effort digging at his work than the author had spent producing it. Quite possibly more. And he produced Deegan for a DECADE, much of that updating DAILY, much of that as his JOB.

          You can never be so passionate about building something that some random internet community can’t be equally passionate about tearing it down.

          • Rutskarn says:

            You want to know what the sad part is?

            So, like many of the posters (I’m sure), my involvement came around during my high school years.

            I just shared all this with one of my old gaming buddies (who I only met through this forum), and we’ve been going over all the old threads, and I think we might be undergoing the first real nostalgia trip of our lives, because we are sharing old comic edits and giggling like idiots. I don’t have many positive memories of being part of something or caring about something from those years…except these.

            So yeah–more than a little sad. But genuine.

        • NotDog says:

          I swear something that keeps me publishing stuff online is the possibility of it getting viral enough to spawn an entire subculture of people who, justifiably or unjustifiably, endlessly deconstruct and mock everything I do and am.

      • Tulgey Logger says:

        Five groggy, decrepit neurons woke up in my brain when I heard you say “Dominic Deegan,” but I didn’t recall what it meant. Now that I look it up again: wow. I specifically remember the joke on the second comic. I must have read it relatively early on, because I remember reaching the end when it was in the middle of some story. Naturally, it’s catalogued on something called the bad webcomics wiki, because the Internet Ouroboros has looped around on itself several times since I last read Dominic Deegan.

      • Tulgey Logger says:

        I just spent much longer than I would care to admit reading incredibly negative reviews of Dominic Deegan. I just want to point out that the first post here has a chronology of all the Dominic Deegan threads, and it’s even more impressive than Rutskarn said:

        http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?285193-Dominic-Deegan-Mk-L-The-Snark(ie)-Alive-Death-Actually-Is-Zombies&s=373b393f21013c47bdb6bb84448c0b3f

  23. Greg says:

    Okay. Complete honesty here. While the puns have always been mildly amusing to me … Rutskarn’s major pun this episode is the first one, ever, that actually made me laugh out loud.

    Well played. Well set up by Chris (intentionally or not).

    • Alex says:

      I agree, it was great. The frantic efforts to prevent the pun just delayed it long enough for it to work as a “brick joke”.

    • Tulgey Logger says:

      I couldn’t even hear it, sadly. On the other hand, the Joel-gets-impaled scene was so good that I forgot I wanted to do something else. I can see why people really like this game, and also why Shamus just watched a movie-fied version of it instead.

  24. Ithilanor says:

    “So this might be the most positive season of Spoiler Warning so far.” – more so than Half-Life 2? I guess that wasn’t a proper season, though.
    (EDIT: Spoiler Warning page needs to be updated; it’s missing this season and most of the Marlow Briggs episodes)

    Chris’s comment about the environment being kind of nondescript was interesting; I don’t think I’d agree. This does a really good job of looking like an abandoned university to me.

    There is *no* way Joel lives through that. I really liked how the scene played out after he gets hurt, but it would be a bit more plausible if it was a slightly less severe wound. Maybe a major hit to the leg, or breaking his leg in the fall; enough to cause trouble walking, issues with blood loss, but not the almost certain inevitable death of a gut wound.

  25. Phill says:

    I think the cast forgot to mention the palette puzzles (and utterly realistic buoyancy and non-rotting in water) in the short list of negatives you’ve complained about this season.

  26. Richard says:

    Pallet palette…

    You stack things on pallets and Joel uses pallets to float youngsters who can’t swim across water.

    Palettes are for selecting colours.

    Sorry, but that one really bugs me for some reason.

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