The Last of Us EP33: Joel’s Sporting Goods

By Shamus
on Dec 19, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

62 comments


Link (YouTube)

We spent a lot of time making fun of the stupid church bell, mostly because we were in the middle of a six-hour combat section and had nothing else to talk about. But now that’ I’m thinking about it, what the hell is that bell for? I suppose it exists to let people know of danger, but I think the CONSTANT GUNSHOTS accomplish that. And how does the guy ringing the bell know what’s going on, or if he should stop ringing or start ringing? (Other than listening for gunshots, I guess?) How does this not attract ten thousand zombies?

The scene where Ellie escapes from food prison is so painfully contrived that I can’t stand it. They already have half a dozen dudes hanging up in the meat locker. Plus a horse. Plus a deer. Plus another thirty or so bodies thanks to Ellie and Joel. These idiots have more than enough meat.

But even if they’re going to butcher her now, are they really going to hack her up alive and clothed? Is that how they normally do it? Seems like that would be the messy and extremely dangerous dangerous way of doing things. And then her escape requires David to leave his cleaver where she could reach it, for both of them to fight like dumbasses, and for her knife to be on a shelf right outside the room. What is going on in this videogame?

I’m not even angry. This is just so goofy I actually find the entire sequence disturbingly funny. Two men are trying to chop up a young girl. I should not be laughing right now. I can’t believe all of this happens in the same universe as the tear-jerking scene where Ellie and Riley agree to lose their minds together.

And then at the end they turned David into this ridiculous psycho villain. He was so interesting in that first scene, and now he’s a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Snidely Whiplash. What a big dumb silly sequence.

Thankfully, the worst is now over.

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:



202020262 comments? This post wasn't even all that interesting.

From the Archives:

  1. Traiden says:

    I would imagine ringing the bell would attract the infected, as intended. You can lead them to kill boxes and pre-set traps to take them out at little risk to yourself. Once the area is cleared of infected and you only have to worry about roving infected moving into the area would you have to ring the bell. Thin justification, I know, but I work with what I am given.

    • ? says:

      During an infected attack using it makes more sense. They are already here, attracting few from further away won’t make much of a difference probably, humans know what a bell is, infected don’t and might be distracted by the noise, and it would be easier to sneak around the blind bastards when every sound you make is covered up by constant banging. But I don’t mind it much even when dealing with humans. Having an universal signal for non-warriors to get to the shelter without asking stupid questions while warriors gather to deal with the problem is worth more than avoiding dragging couple dozens of infected into a fight (or whatever number is easily dispatchable by two persons as gameplay proves time and time again). If they have trust in their anti-zombie defences they might even want infected to drop by, they would have to chew through attackers first to start being a problem. It’s not Walking Dead where walkers form huge hordes roaming the country, they can estimate how many infected are in the area and take it into account. Also I’m not clear on whether the bell is ringing because Ellie escaped or because Joel started his one-man assault on cannibal base at the same time she escaped?

      • Tizzy says:

        Apparently, no-one is ringing a bell because the town’s on fire, at any rate…

      • Traiden says:

        Well they know that David got bit by Ellie who is infected with the fungus, word gets around telephone style and the message that is received to the guy on Bell Duty that something something infected David bitten. Listening to the chatter by the people we are murdering, if we had stealthed past without killing anyone, would show us how garbled the message was by this point.

  2. krellen says:

    To answer Chris’s question at the end: the Rockies are very, very, large. They’re the third largest mountain range in the world, after the Himalayas and the Andes. They wind through basically half of the land mass of the continental US. It’s hard to get away from mountains on this half of the country, outside of the southern half of NM and AZ.

    So they’re going towards mountains because mountains is what we have here. That’s probably kind of weird for people used to the Appalachians.

    • We have the Ozark mountains near me.

      What? It says so on the maps: “Ozark MOUNTAINS.”

      Say “hills” again and I’ll hit you with a banjo.

    • harborpirate says:

      I’ve lived in the mountain west my entire life. The few times I’ve had a chance to drive through places like Kansas and Iowa were really strange. My brain could not compute the idea of a place that was so flat, and contained so many trees and tall vegetation/crops that the horizon was almost constantly obscured. It felt slightly claustrophobic.

      Colorado Springs is nestled near a whole mess of mountains, and as I recall the Front range is the one that is the most visible (Pikes Peak is part of that range). The Salt Lake City / Provo / Ogden metro area has the Wasatch range looming over the eastern side. Both of those are part of the Rockies.

      Getting from one to the other at the tail end of winter? Without a car that would be a tall order… Actually even with a vehicle, after the zombie apoc it would be nearly impossible, because without being constantly plowed, those roads would be buried under drifts that would easily exceed 20ft in places. Many of the smaller connecting non-interstate highways are closed in the winter anyway, and that’s with modern plow equipment readily available. There are a few places on the interstates in that area that have giant railroad type gates that can be lowered across the entire freeway in cases where they need to close the road due to weather.

      Ellie and Joel must surely be the two toughest people on the planet. Either that or they found a working light aircraft somewhere.

  3. Tizzy says:

    My guess is that the purpose of the chapter is: Ellie discovers that survival can come at a high cost. You can do it cannibal-style, or you may end up butchering a cannibal to survive. And this in turn brings her closer to Joel, since he must have done through quite a few similarly horrendous experiences as well…

    • Ivan says:

      Ok, but then the game portrays these guys as if cannibalism is their way of life, this brings up the question of “what are the people they’re eating, eating?”. Like seriously, how can they argue that they resort to cannibalism because they don’t have a choice when there are clearly plenty of people in the surrounding area who are presumably not starving to death? Hell they could even kill them and steal all their food, why do they have to eat them? Surely if there are people living in this area for any significant stretch of time then they must have found other sources of food than each other.

    • PossiblyInsane says:

      While that does seem to be what the writers were intending, his message that survival can come at a high cost is undercut by the army of random raiders Ellie has had to personally slaughter to get to this point in this town alone, just so that David could try and make her the Free Willy to Joel’s Moby Dick.

      She already knows survival comes at a high price, from the countless dead raiders that have all been willing to kill people in highly risky armed combat for scant personal possessions. We’ve already gone through this character arc, and cannibalism as presented here is not so much worse than what she’s already seen as to necessitate a repeat.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “What the fuck is wrong with these people?”

    Good question ellie.Why do they suck so hard?

    • Because there are no women?

      [Very cheap rim-shot and I do feel bad about typing that.]

      • Tse says:

        There ARE women, though. We hear one talking about getting the kids to shelter. It’s just that women and children are non-combatants. And that’s why we never see any of them.
        I also noticed how all of the victims of the cannibals were adult males. I do think the game would be better if the it was showing more non-male victims and villains.

        • And that’s one thing the Fallout series’ raiders showed: Mixing the sexes didn’t seem jarring at all when it came to mindless mooks charging at you from ruined buildings. In fact, after NV, not seeing women among the carnage participants seems kind of odd.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “I need a gun”

    No you dont,you are a terminator in a teenage girl form ellie.You are killing people with your teeth.What you need is a pair of badass sunglasses.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I love it how Galaxy Gun calls out(deservedly) the others on being nerds,and then proceeds to recognize an obscure pokemon with a short glance via a shitty stream.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “Youre easy to track”

    Yeah,if you have magic script knowing powers.She came into this massive sprawling building via one of the random windows,and he was waiting for her at the front door,dozens of meters away.Nicely done,mr psychic.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Guys,Ive figured it out!See,most guys were making this zombie game,right,and then bob the manager came in one day,asked “So what are you drones working on?” and they said “A post apocalypse video game”,ok,so then bob the manager said “Oh,you mean like soylent green is people?So theres gonna be a level in a slaughterhouse full of humans strung up like cattle”,and then they had to listen to him,see,cause he is bob the manager,and you cant just tell bob the manager that he is wrong.I mean come on,its bob the manager.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So joel was supposed to be presented as evil here.And yet,I find that reasonable.His douchiness before?Not so much.Its funny that I find him more likable when he tortures and murders a couple of dudes than when he tells a kid to shut up about her feels.Probably because ellie is so likable and these guys are not.

    • James says:

      i think the game is asking you to read between the lines, its saying he has done this before, and perhaps to people who weren’t murder lol cannibal cultists.

      it might have been better had they gone a little further maybe a bit more graphic. have Joel have gear or something not just a knife.

  10. Neko says:

    I can buy a few raiders forming some cannibal cult around a charismatic leader. I can maybe even stretch to a larger, more organised group. But an entire town? With off-screen women and children? The ‘get the children to the shelters’ moment especially felt like a very ham-fisted attempt to humanise these people when David’s initial cutscene was so much better at that. If it had just been a bunch of raiders who raid out of necessity and maybe there’s a few bad apples among them, and they’re kind of desperate so sometimes they eat people if they’re already dead and they can’t get deer, then it would have been so much more believable. David could be a perfectly plausible bad guy without resorting to the cartoonish moustache-twirling evil pedocannibal civilisation.

    • PossiblyInsane says:

      Again, this game would be so much better if you just had fewer mooks. You don’t even have to make the combat more rapid and lethal, just much fewer mooks spaced out further and behaving more intelligently.

      • RCN says:

        But that’s the thing, you see? The twenty-something demographic LOVES this repetitive combat and HATES WITH A PASSION the character-building cutscenes.

        At least that’s what Bob the Manager hears from marketing. Who do their survey in the form:

        “Would you like to BLAST THROUGH YOUR ENEMIES WITH ROCKET LAUNCHERS THAT SHOOT ACID LACED INCENDIARY ROCKETS! Or have watch this girly talk about… ugh… feelings and such?”

  11. Chamomile says:

    And now for northern Utah lessons from the guy who lives in Utah:

    Those mountains you’re looking at are the Wasatch Mountains. Salt Lake City is secretly Mordor and is encircled by mountains on all sides.

    Salt Lake City’s Hogle Zoo has giraffes. I don’t know if they can survive the winter if the zoo stops functioning, though.

  12. Ivan says:

    I feel like a lot of the problems with the story actually stem from the fact that it takes place 20 years after the apocalypse. I mean by 20 years later you would expect things to either be incredibly dire and still getting worse or you would have expected things to have stabilized as a generation grows up in the new world and learns to live in it.

    I mean, the numbers and density of zombies make the most sense if this game were set just after the collapse of society, so does the number of bandits and cannibals. In-fact, every bit of nonsense regarding the bandits/cannibals could be forgiven. The world just got thrown into the blender and people are picking up whatever pieces they can. A lot of them aren’t yet thinking about long-term survival but just trying to survive to tomorrow. Eventually though, all these idiots will learn better or die, and you would expect 20 years to be well long enough for all the ones who didn’t learn to die. Bandits absolutely would still exist, but they’d be more like the mafia, claiming a territory and reaping tribute from the surrounding settlements rather than freaking eating everyone!

    Alternatively, society never stabilized, which is clearly not the case, but if it were then I don’t think there would be this many people left alive. Stupidity and snort shortsightedness would have killed off so many people, and even the bandits would have to realize that they have to start producing their own resources because there is no-one left to steal from. Now they did call the game “The Last of Us” so maybe they were originally intending this to be humanities last gasp, but we never get a very good idea of what the world is like now. We know there are zombies and bandits, but there are also towns and even children. Even then though we only see a small slice of the world. Most of it is abandoned but we don’t get a good look at the populated areas either.

    Metro 2033 was much better about this, you would walk through a station and feel like you had seen everyone in the town. You had a good idea what the population of the world was like now and how scattered and desperate everyone was. In “The Last of Us” though you never get to explore the towns or cities. you don’t really get a sense of what life is like for the average person, in fact, we’ve met far more bandits than we have citizens.

    Maybe “The Last of Us” was supposed to be the story of the end of humanity, but we never got a sense of it because we were never given the opportunity to explore what was left of humanity. The game focuses so much on the story of Joel and Ellie that we completely louse sight of the bigger picture.

    These are all just guesses mostly but it makes some sense to me at least.

    • Tulgey Logger says:

      I’m reminded of something that was said during SW’s Fallout 3 season, which is that the capital wasteland seemed more like a place in a state 10-20 years after the apocalypse rather than 200. I think that if these games were designed with a more realistic sense of the decay and desperation of losing most of human society, they would probably benefit from it.

      Also, Fallout 3 should have been done by Firaxis, probably. And not been first-person. Just sayin’.

    • RCN says:

      For me I always stumble upon the same barrier in those zombie movies: HOW COULD THIS INFECTION COVER THE ENTIRE WORLD?

      The infection in TLOU at least takes several hours to take hold, which is a bit more excusable, but it would still only take Zombies to a few major populated areas at most since it mainly propagates through bites and only sometimes through spores (and these don’t seem to travel far).

      The most egregious exemple that at the same time handled the subject the best was 28 Days, where the infected turn in a matter of seconds but: a) It only covers the entirety of the British Isles (which is still too much for such a fast conversion. The entirety of London? Maybe. The entirety of a place known to be rocky, misty and rainy? THE INFECTED CAN’T TAKE TRAINS OR CARS. THEY CAN’T ROAM THE ENTIRE COUNTRYSIDE.) b) They are still subjugated by the laws of physics, that is, they can still starve. And after establishing that they still wanted us to believe the world was taken over in the sequel, when we see the infected in Paris. Don’t make me laugh. I know people are just naturally idiotic in that movie’s universe, but it they’d need to actively help the infected proliferate for them to actually pose a threat (LET’S ALLOW THE JANITOR ACCESS TO HIS INFECTED WIFE! LETS MAKE A QUARANTINE WHERE WE LOCK THE HEALTHY PEOPLE WITH THE INFECTED! LET’S CAP MYSELF IN THE FOOT TO HELP ME WIN THIS RACE!)… you know what? Never mind. 28 Weeks humanity are worse than lemmings.

      So that’s why I can never buy Zombie apocalypse scenarios and especially laugh at the people who dream about it. Never mind how the zombies can’t be sustained after the apocalypse. THEY CAN’T EVEN PROPERLY START IT.

  13. SlothfulCobra says:

    It doesn’t make sense that it wouldn’t attract zombies, but then again, nothing about zombies makes sense, why start now.

  14. SpiritBearr says:

    Thanks to North Korea I figured out what Nolan North is trying to do. He’s channeling Matt Stone’s and Trey Parker’s creepy adults. It’s a small snowy town in Colorado that easily morphs to become a cannibalistic society… They’re in South Park!

  15. For all the silliness of having a cannibal community, they seem to have missed something that would’ve made them hunting Ellie make a little bit of sense. Given that these dudes eat people, you’d think they’d have a few mantras they tell themselves to help justify or reinforce the idea that their food source of choice is a good one. Stuff like “We eat them and take their power” or “More human makes us more human” or whatever.

    So why doesn’t Ellie’s announcement that she’s immune immediately make them want to eat her even more? It’d occur to at least one of them, I think, that maybe by eating her, they’d get immunity to the clickers (not that this is correct, I’m just thinking the idea would fit in with a bunch of koo-koo-cannibals).

    They could run off to get their Cannibal Council together for a special meal, and that could’ve let Ellie have an escape opportunity. Then everyone would be out to get the Magical Cure Girl so they could capture/kill her for dinner.

  16. Ithilanor says:

    So if we’re going to have a cannibal cult (not necessarily in TLoU), I wouldn’t have it set up as a band of mustache-twirling psychos who eat nothing but humans. Have the cannibalism be a ritual sort of thing, used to indoctrinate new members and keep people in line. Explore how a charismatic leader really can create a cult, with followers partially going along because of there shared complicity in atrocity. I think you could explore some interesting themes and concepts in this vein, albeit extremely dark ones,

    • Then after Joel and Ellie destroy their encampment, they can relocate to Las Vegas and rebuild. Maybe by opening a high-end casino or something. Something ultra-luxurious, to cover for their cannibalistic ways among the other peoples in the area.

      They’ll need at least one top hat, though.

    • Possibly Insane says:

      Alternatively, have the cannibals be just everyday folks that have been trying to live without food for too long. Thinking about it, in videogames cannibals are usually eating for the pleasure of hunting/eating people (Fallout New Vegas, The Walking Dead, arguably Jade Empire, etc.), while cannibalism out of necessity is much less represented (I’m not countng TLoU as an example here because we can barely tell what these cannibals want, much less why they want it enough to waste their valuable mookonium production efforts on it). In history, cannibalism out of necessity was much more common, such as in the 1930s Great Depression, or standard naval practice once a lost crew had gone for too long without food.

      If we had a few polite but hungry people (like David without the pedophilic overtones and nonsensical behaviour) who displayed a bit too much interest in the presumably sick and dying person with Ellie, and showed that they actually needed to eat, that would be another interesting angle.

  17. McNutcase says:

    The Donner Party is one thing (pro tip: when someone says he knows an awesome shortcut, avoid following him; odds are good nobody goes the way he says because it’s bad terrain and slows you down, which is what kept the Donner Party from getting out of the mountains before Winter closed in) but David has, for me, far more of an Alferd Packer or Boone Helm vibe.

  18. Spammy says:

    I loved this chapter before David went off the deep end. If you haven’t played Left Behind, there’s a real sense of geographic and chronological distance between these chapters, and for me it was a shock when David revealed it was people from his group that you killed in the university.

    But then he lets Ellie go. He tells his man to lower his gun, and has him give Ellie the medicine anyway. I mean, it’s pretty clear who the medicine is for, they can probably guess that it’s for the crazy man who killed most of their people. But in that moment, Ellie’s got the deer and the gun and David will trade her the medicine if it means food for his people, and still even offer her a place in their community.

    I loved everything about that scene but the rest of the chapter just kind of falls off and hard. Seeing the really nasty side of Joel was nice though, in a narrative sense. We got hints of how bad he was before but the casual torture with no hesitation really drives it home.

  19. *sigh*

    Chris…nobody likes Rocky V.

    Nobody.

  20. Chris cracks me up (or should I say Mr. Wowowo McPeepants ?)

  21. Am I the only one feeling like there should have been a cutscene for when they are traveling?
    It’s rather abrupt, hey now we are here, hey now we are there.

  22. Someone says:

    Military bases have alarms, don’t they? It’s probably better than hoping everyone will hear gunshots and instantly know shit is going down. Could just be sentries picking off zombie stragglers wandering too close to the perimeter.

  23. Pretty much off topic but GOG (Good Old Games) has gone bonkers, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a -17% discount.
    And if you have Witcher 1 or 2 from previously you get 22% off, and if you got both Witcher 1 and 2 from earlier you get 27% off.

    And in my case they offer 6.90 euro in store credit with their Fair Price system since there is a currency disparity.

    Not only that but if you bought the Witcher games someplace else you can redeem those on GOG and take advantage of the Witcher 1 & 2 discount bonus for The Witcher 3.

    And also the remind you that 16 DLCs will be available (for free) after launch.

    And “available today” while you wait you get a free copy of Neverwinter Nights to play while you wait for The Witcher 3….

    And a free digital Witcher comic and extended soundtrack with 4 exclusive songs, paper toys you can print out, digital artbook for the game.
    And GOG exclusive artwork, HD wallpapers, avatars, bonus video and a Witcher 3 world/game map.

    They are also promising more pre-order bonuses to come (retroactively I assume).

    Oh yeah and the game is 100% DRM free, I almost forgot to mention that (but its’ GOG so that’s kind of their thing really).

    I get it GOG, I get it CD Projekt Red, yours the coolest cats in the industry but damit I’m’ broke now. I’m also drooling like hell.

    Anyway I just thought that page alone was worth this comment, and those with cash to burn right now, you lucky bastards. :P

    But damn that’s some package they put together. I hope the industry is taking notes on how this pre-order package is done. (Plus that Witcher 3 is moved to allow more polish etc. Pay attention Ubisoft!) And how the heck did they swing BioWare around to hand out NWNs as a freebie?

    I have no idea who put together the package for The Witcher 3, but damn I’m impressed!

    Also, this is the 3rd Witcher game that CD Projekt RED has done and will be the last.
    My prediction is CD Projekt RED will do some other RPG of sorts, I mean, these guys KNOW how to make RPGs now so if they start on a new franchise or even just a one off we know it’s gonna be something big and awesome.

    Who are the big RPG companies now? (that make single player RPGS) It’s pretty much BioWare, Bethesda and CD Projekt RED isn’t ?

    Also the FAQ at the bottom of that page mention that audio/dialog is even translated to Japanese, I wonder how such a very European Fantasy RPG will be received there.

    PS! I also see in the FAQ that you can give away the NWN code or the other Witcher 3 bonus stuff if you want, so if you want Witcher 3 but would like to give NWN to somebody else that is possible too, kinda cool for those that already have NWN, might make a “cheap” xmas gift :P.

    (Oh and Shamus, why don’t you poke GOG and see about getting a affiliate ID (or whatever they have), if you had one I’d have added that to the link above. At least they’ll see the referrer site when people follow it.)

    • Someone says:

      Sooo… are you ABSOLUTELY sure you’re not a spam bot?

      Just kidding.
      Poor GOG. They try so hard to compete with Steam. One of these days they’re gonna start giving people money and blowjobs for getting their games, but then Steam will offer an exclusive trading card for spending more than $500 on one order and everyone will go to Steam instead…

      • Heh! Spambot. I kind of sounded like on huh? I wish, the spambots I see are really crappy.

        I pondered getting a affiliate ID with GOG myself but I would not use it here on Twenty Sided, if anyone should be posting links to GOG with a affiliate ID here on Twenty Sided it should be Shamus.

        • RCN says:

          You really sounded like a Spambot. But if it makes you happy, at least you sounded like a very sophisticate spambot. One that can contextualize a bit and even call the owner of the site by their name.

          And being used to promote GOG instead of the shadiest and nastiest parts of the internet. Like Bride-trading. Or UPlay (brrr).

    • Galad says:

      owwwhhh. I’ve yet to play TW2 properly, I never quite got its combat system. Or its annoying don’t-get-burned-down-OTK’d in one of the first chapters..Or how to find better weapons. Or the strange (console) inventory system..

      sigh. I might preorder but not until I get my new pc.

  24. Aaron says:

    this boss fight…i spent so much time on it and then ended up getting my friend to beat it for me in like 10 minutes

    edit to add: the ellie part in the restaurant

  25. RTBones says:

    The giraffes are not here for no reason. They came here to retire. They were movie stars before the zombies came.

    What movie could these giraffes possibly be in you ask? Giraffic Park, of course.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>