Until Dawn EP12: Dano Cliff

By Shamus
on Dec 2, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

At the halfway point of the episode, Matt and Emily get cornered by an all-male group of deer. Allow me to say this:

NO. I’m sorry, but extra-NO. This is ridiculous on so many levels. Deer do not travel in packs like wolves. But even if they did for some reason, they definitely wouldn’t form an all-male gang like this. And even if they did, they wouldn’t randomly approach human beings. And even if the deer were upset, they would either fight or bolt, because there is nothing to motivate these deer to approach these particular humans. And even if there was, this clearly can’t be part of the killer’s plan, which means this strangeness is just happening randomly in the middle of an ongoing but totally unrelated disaster. These scene couldn’t be more absurd if Matt and Emily were suddenly crushed by a giant Monty Python foot.

ANYWAY…

Chris references “Danno” here. Although my memory was really dim, my guess was correct and the line “Book ’em, Danno” was indeed from the television police drama Hawaii Five-0, which ran from 1968 to 1980. I don’t think I ever watched a single episode, but I know I stopped on the channel to listen to the theme song many times.

Wikipedia claims that the Five-0 in the title refers to the fact that Hawaii was the 50th state. That seems really strange to me. Wouldn’t that rather be Hawaii 50, or Hawaii 50th? I can’t think of any other situations where a number was stylized in that way. In any case, I’m sure this show is why people say “Five-oh” as slang for police. Likewise I’m pretty sure, “drop a dime” as slang for “become a police informant” is a reference to putting a dime into a phone booth, even though phones were 25¢ by the time the phrase was popular enough to appear in movies and television.

Anyway, those are my old man ruminations for the week. Also remember that while I’m constantly mocking the events in the game (like someone taking a bath in the dark in a cold house without locking the door when there are relentless prankster teens everywhere) I’m not so much faulting the game as poking fun at the genre. Aside from the deer-gang, the events in this episode are about what you’d expect in this kind of story.

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A Hundred!203There are 123 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. baseless_research says:

    No matter how many times they show it, Josh’ death remains a gut-punch. So nasty.

  2. CraigM says:

    I am going to do no research whatsoever in this comment, but I would venture a guess that

    Wouldn’t that rather be Hawaii 50, or Hawaii 50th? I can’t think of any other situations where a number was stylized in that way. In any case, I’m sure this show is why people say “Five-oh” as slang for police.

    is related to clarity in communications over the radio. Five – oh is more distinct and clear over the radio than fifty. Fifty could be confused with fifteen easily, where five-oh is not. Much like how in military jargon Whiskey Tango Foxtrot signifies the letters W T and F.

    But as I write this while eating lunch I am also opening myself to being wrong by being incredibly lazy and typing the simple answer I think is most likely right.

    • John says:

      I have seen maybe one or two episodes of the original Hawaii Five-O, but I cannot recall the phrase “Five-O” ever appearing the show.

      I have, however, seen the entire first season of the modern remake–my only defense is that HD images of Hawaii are very pretty–where “Five-O” is the official name of the protagonists’ “elite” police squad. They picked it themselves. If only their failings as police officers were limited to naming things, it wouldn’t be so bad. But, no, it’s always property damage and civil rights violations with those guys. Worst police ever.

    • Joe Informatico says:

      I’m almost certain you’re correct. Consider how much crappier radio reception and bandwidth were 40-50 years ago and the need for phonetic standards was even more essential. Although the use of “oh” must have been a civilian mistranslation of the written title (and Wikipedia seems to support this). Every phonetic alphabet I can find clearly uses “zero” or “nada” for the number 0; using “oh” would be begging for confusion.

  3. Cilvre says:

    While out hunting I have seen deer show up in a roaming group of 5 before, all in a valley. Just saying it is possible for them to be moving as a group somewhere. Between 4 of us out there, we were done for the season in the first two days.

    • Syal says:

      Our property in Oregon had herds of over fifty. They’re not shy.

      But the other points stand.

      • MichaelGC says:

        50 deer? Five-0 deer. If they arrest you, first they have to read you your Mirantler rights. I’m sorry, I’ve no idea what I’m on about either! :D It’s low blood sugar, I reckon.

        • galacticplumber says:

          Actually the miranda warning is only necessary before the point of interrogation. It is only after the warning is given that the suspects words can be used against them in court, so they usually do it immediately. The arrest can still totally happening without it ever even being said though.

          • Guile says:

            If they don’t read you your rights, ask them if you’re free to go. Don’t let the arrest proceed without it one way or another, cops have a bad habit of getting people in for ‘No no, you’re not arrested, we just want to talk. No no, no Miranda rights, we just had some questions…’

          • Incunabulum says:

            Its required before a *custodial interrogation*. They’re free to ask you all the questions they want before they take you into custody. And they’re free to be extremely ambiguous as to whether you are being detained or not.

            But you’re right in that a suspect doesn’t have to be Mirandized at the scene – and usually isn’t unless he gets talky.

            And your words can be used against you *before* you are Mirandized – its not as simple a line as that. If a cop nicks you and you scream out that you have a dead hooker in your trunk, well that ain’t gonna get suppressed (and suppression is pretty much the only remedy here and its a judgement call by the judge based on numerous factors including ‘reasonable error’ on the part of the LEO).

        • MichaelGC says:

          Sometimes they like to stop for a patrol break and get doenuts.

  4. Daniel England says:

    The bucks are in this as another situation to test the kids’ relationship with nature. It’s similar to the mercy killing/comforting of the deer Mike had and the choice of shooting a squirrel that Chris had. I’m not sure if it works, we’ll get back to that scene next week, I guess.

    Any chance we could lay off of Emily? Like, all the characters they get better once the horror starts, and the reason they suck at the beginning is so that you are kinda okay with them dying.

    • Locke says:

      I’m really surprised the hosts are so harsh on Emily. She’s being an asshole about things, but she’s not wrong. Except maybe about hacking the door open over squeezing in through the window, that was probably not wise.

      • Museli says:

        I’ve watched half a dozen LPs by different groups, and the disdain for Em has been pretty much universal. I think it’s a bit harsh too. I see her as being abrasive because her brain works a bit faster than most people’s, and she gets frustrated and deals with it in a wrong way. We’re not yet at the part where she goes solo, though, and that’s when I really warmed up to her.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      Emily suffers from being the supporting NPC here, which means the writer gave her a bunch of “You have to do something [player]!” but the player has to do most of the actuall stuff because they’re the player. As Shamus pointed out, this leaves her standing back criticizing while doing nothing. Combined with her already bitchy attitude, it makes her come off as a colossal bitch.

      Necessary NPC role aside, I still feel like the criticism of Emily “You just want to hide hide out in your room and cry” Davis is entirely deserved. The horror has started, they just saw their friend brutally murdered by Jigsaw and she’s decided the best thing to do right now is call Matt a pussy. It doesn’t matter if this is her coping mechanism, people who tear down others to feel better are assholes.

      • Shamus says:

        Taking the conversation back to Emily:

        I think one of the reasons she comes off as SO hateful is because:

        1) She’s old enough that she seems like she’s WAY past the point in life where lashing out emotionally to such an extreme degree should still be a thing.
        2) She’s SMART enough that she seems like she should get this. She comes off as WAY smarter than dim-bulb Matt.

        So when she lashes out at someone trying to help her we’re less inclined to give her leeway because it seems like she ought to know better. So instead of thinking “immature teen, still learning” we think “massive self-centered asshole”.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          You know, now that you mention the age thing, I think it’s not at all helped by the fact that these characters look and sound too old. I mean seventeen (or whatever she’s supposed to be) is still way too old to be insulting a guy who just witnessed his friend’s brutal murder, but that age affords her at least a tiny shred of an excuse, which vanishes because my brain is automatically reading them as twenty-somethings.

          You’re very right about her intelligence working against her, of all the characters she’s the one who seems like she should realize how insensitive and unproductive her attitude is. I wonder how much of this is intentional: if you asked the author, would they describe her as either smart or self-centered?

  5. Mattias42 says:

    Aren’t those animals in the episode caribou?

    Rather bad light, so not sure, but that would make more sense then deer, since Caribou travel in big herds, and both the males and females grow antlers.

    • Majikkani_Hand says:

      They look more like elk to me (which I think are technically deer, as are caribou–family cervidae), which are male-only for the antlers. Elk apparently do actually travel in single-sex groups most of the year, which I didn’t know until just now! They only mix for a couple of months and they have antlers for longer than that (although they’re “less likely” to group when they have antlers, but that means it still does happen). Now, the menacing prowling is still weird, but I’m going to assume that’s more easily understood as a part of the game, since it looks like a horror game.

      (Disclosure: didn’t watch the episode, just clicked to the part with ungulates and freeze-framed on a good frame showing the antlers. If there’s some verbal acknowledgement of species I wouldn’t know.)

      • SpiritBearr says:

        Mentioned this last week . They are Elk but the British devs don’t have a name for them since in Europe elk are what moose are called. Packs of them like that are all over the rockies. The teens should call them elk but they don’t. Calling them Deer is like calling a Wolf a dog. Right but underselling the difference.

    • Des says:

      Mooseabou. This is what my friends and I named them while playing through the game.

  6. Syal says:

    So Chris mentioned the (Psycho) subtitle, and I’m realizing they really missed an opportunity in not calling him (Puzzle Clown).

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The whole “teenagers would never say this” is starting to bug me.Ok,so you didnt say such things when you were a teen,and your friends didnt say them,but how do you know that no teenager ever talks like that?For example,”sewing machine“.No teen would ever say anything like that,right?Except when I was a teen,we used to say “newsstand” a lot.It was an in joke,that ultimately spread to about 50ish people during high school,and then died before we finished.So yeah,I can totally see a teen saying stuff like “holy cannoli” or “gee willikers” simply because it entered their vocabulary as a joke,or because its retro,or whatever other reason.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Not fit in someone elses clothes?What are you talking about Chris?Everyone knows that all the men have the same body proportions and all the women have exactly the same body proportions.Also,if you pick up clothes from someone of the opposite gender,you put them on and they instantly turn into clothes for your gender.

    • MichaelGC says:

      I borrowed two of my friend’s t-shirts once. Never gave them back, actually – still got ’em. So, er, I guess technically that’s stealing rather than borrowing.

    • King Marth says:

      Even if they aren’t enchanted, wearing ill-fitting clothing is significantly better than a towel.

      An ordinary towel, that is. The +1 Towel of Door Repair Samantha grabbed is just mechanically superior to any mundane fashion the other girls brought.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I dont know if its a trope,but Ive seen it a few times.Theres a psycho killer on the loose,stuff is being freaky,and then for some reason,the hero gets in tune with nature.Somehow.Something like a guardian angel trying to protect them in a weird manner.Anyway,to me,the deer scene sort of resembles that.

    Again,just because the killer looks humanoid and uses a voice modulator does not mean there are no supernatural things going on.Heck,maybe that clown thing isnt a mask,but the killers actual face.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Screw the towel,her feet must be killing her.Running all over this house barefoot is a bad idea.

  11. Mike Munroe says:

    I like how Chris starts imitating the Psycho having a temper tantrum, and then immediately afterwards the actual Psycho screams “Fuck!” and stomps around a bit.

    It’s funny how he’s always breaking character whenever something goes wrong.

  12. Peter H Coffin says:

    The “dropping a dime” phrasing for informing runs back into the 1960s, and then at least, phone calls actually cost that. They doubled in the mid 1970’s to $0.20, then $0.25 in the very early 1980s, then $0.50 around 1990 where they stayed until cellphones basically killed the entire market. The entire 1990s was a complicated and stupid time in telco pricing as post-Bell Breakup companies flexed their position and started competing with each other for long distance service, and then suddenly had to compete against startup local telcos as well. Then by about 2000, mobile phone companies started getting enough scale that they could straight up compete with land lines for voice business and that basically slayed everything.

    Prior to the 60s, the same phrase existed, but it meant to leave a gratuity, for example at a restaurant. Which probably actually triggered the 1960s use, because both mean “giving a tip”.

  13. krellen says:

    I have been slightly spoiled on a few things but not the whole game, so I ask commenters: does your choice of what is scariest affect who is the antagonist of the game?

  14. Wraith says:

    I was under the impression that that was the point with the deer. They’re not acting naturally and that’s intended to be off-putting.

    • Jokerman says:

      It would make sense if there was a supernatural mind control type thing going on, in the way some game describe overly aggressive wolves (magic!) but there is no sign of that in this game…

      • Benjamin Hilton says:

        I think the implication is that the animals are scared and grouping up and otherwise acting oddly out of fear.

      • Wraith says:

        I mean, nature on the mountain acting unnaturally is actually a minor plot mechanic in the game.

        An element of the Butterfly Effect stuff involves the various prompts the player has been getting regarding the animals (ie Chris at the shooting range, Sam approaching the cable car station, and Jess in the snowball fight). It involves a “balance of nature” in a karmic balance kind of way, and can have consequences later on.

        break

        And that’s not even mentioning all the implications of the main plot on the nature of mountain itself…

        • Wraith says:

          In fact, the Butterfly Effect of “nature’s balance” actually comes into play in the events covered during this episode. If you hurt the animals, Sam gets attacked by a small bird on her way up to the lodge, causing a minor wound. This wound re-opens when she falls in the ruined basement area after escaping the Psycho. If you Run in that last fork, you always get caught by the Psycho. If you Hide, you escape. But if you Hide while Sam has that wound, the Psycho finds fresh drops of her blood by the elevator shaft and catches her instead.

      • Syal says:

        …well, it’s giving signs right now. How early does it have to start?

        ‘The owls are not what they seem’ and all.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      *Disclamer: I don’t mean to attack Shamus here, just making an observation.

      I think a large part of Shamus’ problem enjoying this game is that he seems to be unwilling to give it the benefit of the doubt. When ever something odd happens he immediately goes full on Cinemasins on it.

      I picture it like this: when something happens that doesn’t seem to line up, Shamus imagines the game developers saying “uh y-yeah, hey d-don’t look at that. L-look this way! don’t pay attention to that, um er, er yeah just DONT LOOK AT THE MAN BEHIND THE GREEN CURTAIN!”

      When in actuality they are saying “Yeah, that is odd isn’t it. I wonder why.

      Again I’m not saying Shamus is inherently wrong to think this, some people just need the game/movie/book to gain their trust before they give it, which is totally fair. And obviously certain things like Mike freezing without a jacket are still a problem. I just think it helps to explain the discrepancy between Shamus view, and the members of the cast who know what’s going on.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Benefit of the doubt is a symptom of Shamus’s problem, as he described last week:

        The writer is asking me to grant them tons of leeway so I can continue to be immersed in a story I’m not enjoying that hasn’t given me a single character I can really root for.

        By this point in the story a horror movie has usually established a villain. The townsfolk have told some stories about the beast that’s been spotted on the edge of the swamp in October. Or the old woman told a story about what happened in this old manor a hundred years ago. Or the bookish old guy has revealed the town’s secret history of witch-burning. Whatever. By this point we have some kind of frame of reference for what kind of story we’re seeing and what the stakes are. Maybe we know the killer’s goals and we’re working to stop them, or we know the protagonists goals and how they plan to to save themselves. But here we are 3 hours into Until Dawn and the writer still hasn’t bothered to tell us what kind of story this is. They’re asking a lot, and not giving me any reason to go along with it.

        • Thomas says:

          Also horror stories are super tropey and incestuous and Shamus keeps on caring about things that horror stories (and western horror fans) don’t care about. Some people eat eggs sunny side up, some eat them sunny side down. Some eat them differently during different prologue sequences as a metaphor of the ongoing struggles of clone super soldiers trying to free themselves from rogue ai’s controlling the worlds information flow to create stability and conformity prolonging the war economy because war never changes.

      • Ivellius says:

        I would say he’s basically admitted this is a terrible format to experience the game–drawing it out over weeks like this is bad for his suspension of disbelief.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          So basically he’s not immersed, he hasn’t seen the story before, he is asked to do a running commentary and he’s all but made a career of pointing out inconsistencies in writing.

          To be fair as someone who hasn’t played the game myself (and only seen LPs of the early parts) I’m taking the other commenters’s word for a lot of the explanations.

      • Shamus says:

        I’m sure you’re right. This is probably related to the fact that the story hasn’t picked a genre of threat. When a horror story leads off with a story about a curse or a demon or a ghost, they’re giving you a box to put all of the mysteries in. “Ah. The ghost probably did that.” Alternatively, you can fix this with lampshading. Have characters comment that what they just saw was impossible, and have then worry about it.

        This story is being so coy you don’t know if we’re dealing with spooks, monsters, psychos, or pranks. After enough weirdness it feels like we’re in a world with no rules where the writer isn’t paying attention.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          I think the story’s forced jump scares really hurt it. The creepy woman in the background of the Ouija scene, the fish-faced jumpscare in the binoculars, bits like that force you to assume that either this is some kind of supernatural kitchen sink where like four different monsters are stalking the teens, or the writer is just cheating like mad.

          Even without those bits it feels too coy and all-over-the-place, I wonder how much better it’d be without them.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its gone now.

    • Mike Munroe says:

      I think people might misinterpret the idea of the whole gate scene. The idea wasn’t that they were trying to get inside; they had just left and were trying to get to the cable car station. Matt wasn’t freaking out because they couldn’t get through the gate, he was freaking out because it had locked behind them seemingly at random. That probably could have been conveyed better in the dialogue, and the game doesn’t do itself any favors by having player!Matt start out looking in the direction of the gate.

  15. Darren says:

    I seem to recall some detail in the game that suggests that animals in the area may behave bizarrely for some supernatural reason, but I can’t remember well enough to say.

  16. Rory Portoeus says:

    After the super slow KotOR and Fallout 4 series this has gone like a breeze so far. Definitely turning into one of my favourites that you’ve done.

    • Mike Munroe says:

      Same. The only problem is that the completionist in me gets tickled every time they pass over a clue or totem. They could have found Hannah’s phone if they had explored the area away from the clifftop.

      I also kind of wish that they’d clobbered the Psycho with the bat, but I guess it didn’t really matter in the end. It’s more of a failsafe than anything else, but it’s satisfying.

  17. Henson says:

    Is…is this really the payoff for showing us that electric-lock gate earlier? Really? Really?. You’re not giving me much confidence here, game.

  18. Grimwear says:

    I think overall this has been my favorite season so far. It’s nice because it’s a game I’ve never played before but holy crap Emily is just plain foul. Like there’s we’re douchey and pull horrible pranks but so far all she’s done is actively attack people, call them names, and then bully them into submission until she gets her way. Poor Matt, sucks that he has the most likely chance of dying. Maybe he and Sam should hang out and fight bad guys together, they seem more sensible.

    • Locke says:

      Emily doesn’t exactly make a good impression picking that fight with Jess, but I don’t think it’s fair to hold her current behavior against her. She’s pretty clearly freaking out, and she’s so far the only one being sensible. Except that axe thing, that was kind of dumb.

      • Deadpool says:

        She actually praises Matt if he convinces her to go through the window (which he needs a good relationship with her to do) and is standing by the door waiting when she opens it. It will improve their relationship further.

        • Grimwear says:

          The problem with that is I’m assuming getting a good relationship involves choosing her side no matter what in the argument with Jess. Unfortunately, in that situation I just want to stand on the sideline and roll my eyes at them for both acting like insufferable children but alas the game forces you to choose a side.

    • Gunther says:

      It’s interesting that the SW crew keep saying “she gets more sympathetic later”, when in my playthrough she survived but actually became more terrible as time went on, culminating in her lying to the cops at the end to get Matt into trouble when he’d repeatedly tried to save her, just because he confronted her over sleeping with Mike.

      Likewise, a lot of players HATE Ashley because she can do some utterly reprehensible stuff later (including getting Chris killed out of sheer spite and convincing Mike to shoot Emily for no reason), but in my game she was perfectly nice.

      Usually player choice in these kinds of games affects the story direction but not how sympathetic characters are. It’s a really clever idea, actually – it allows them to keep the same basic framework on a replay but it can feel very different.

      • Grimwear says:

        That’s actually really interesting. It sucks if it turns out we’ve gotten ourselves stuck with terrible Emily. If I had this game I’d be inclined to replay just to see all the different “personas” that could develop throughout the game.

  19. Chris says:

    Maybe im imagining it but i felt like there was a lot of tension between the cast in this episode, it was pretty uncomfortable.

    Not really 100% sure if anyone in particular was in the wrong but it gave me that real feeling of “parents passive aggressively arguing but trying not to show it to their kids” kinda dealeo.

    Hope everything’s ok.

  20. evileeyore says:

    Sam is one hoppy frood who knows where her towel is.

  21. Christopher says:

    Jess and Matt having the ability to die so early on is a big part of what put them near the bottom of my list of characters I liked earlier in the season. In the playthrough I watched they both bit it early on, and there wasn’t that much to either of them besides Jess being flirty with Mike and Matt being spineless with Emily. To me, they’re the more boring halves of those couples. I’m excited to see what happens when they survive longer.

    Granted, I have no idea if Matt is gonna survive here either. But Josh is making an effort.

  22. @12:54, Campster said, “Also the litterbox is in there, and the cat needs to poop sometimes.”

    Protip for cat owners that do this: I once stayed at a friend’s house who owned cats and kept the litterbox in the bathroom… right under the towel rack with the towels I was supposed to use. The towels that were hanging over the cat poop. In the litterbox.

    Please don’t do that, even if you want your guest to leave as soon as possible.

    • Christopher says:

      I have family members that keep not the litterbox, but the cat’s bed and food in the bathroom to keep it away from the other pets. It’s not as bad as cat poop, but it does mean that the cat is gonna sit there and look you in the eyes while you poop.

  23. Des says:

    So, I’m catching up from the episode yesterday, and the commentary seems to have gotten buried under a linguistic debate, so I’ll put it here, but Campster mentioned how this game works fantastically as a group experience and I have to 100% agree.

    I played it through with three friends and we even went so far as to assign everybody characters and pass the control around based on who was being controlled. That really drove home a connection to the characters and made it even better when at the end of our playthrough, only Sam and Chris survived and both of them belonged to the same person.

  24. Ninety-Three says:

    I went back to watching this season of SW because the discussion surrounding the series seemed so interesting, and now I have to jump in because something was said that I could not object more strongly to.

    In the last video (why are comments locked?) Mumbles said that having been an asshole teenager she thinks all teenagers are assholes. Lots of teenagers manage the simple task of not being an asshole, I knew some of them. To say “all teenagers are assholes” is to erase every good-hearted teen and give a free pass to every asshole as though they were afflicted with some unavoidable curse. Teenagers can be not-assholes, they like everyone else should strive to be not-assholes, and fuck the ones who don’t, they’re assholes.

    • Leocruta says:

      The comments were locked because of that fascinating look into the cultural differences of swearing around the world. So we who came late are left to quietly state our views here, that eventually perhaps these comments too may be frozen for future generations.

      Though I must say, the disdain with which teenagers are regarded does irk me somewhat (having been one myself not all that long ago), so whenever the word is mentioned, I mentally append “horror-movie” in front of it.

      It made the reflection on high school life quite amusing.

      • Shamus says:

        While I can’t speak for Mumbles, I think this is a point worth clarifying:

        Comedian Louis C.K. does this bit about “all kids are assholes”, and then describes how people would respond if an adult acted like a child. And yeah, if an adult acted like a kid they would be a MONUMENTAL asshole. Of course, kids aren’t ACTUALLY assholes. It’s just that they don’t yet know how to behave because they’re still learning.

        I took Mumble’s comment of “all teenagers are assholes” the same way. Teens often do things that are obnoxious. Often they don’t do this because they’re jerks, but because they haven’t quite mastered some of the subtleties of communication. Verbal communication is one of the most complex tasks the human mind has to perform, and it takes a long time to master. Older teens are often adult-shaped and we sort of expect adult-type behavior from them, but sometimes they’re not quite there yet.

        Maybe they talk too much about themselves. Or interrupt. Or blurt out emotionally charged things that make a tense situation worse. Or overlook important body language cues. Or fail to mask the the boredom / disdain they’re experiencing, which older people might hide out of manners or simple practicality. For example: If someone else is being a massive idiot, someone with a bit of wisdom might just nod politely and get on with their day, because they recognize there’s no value in trying to “fix” this idiot. A teen might not have the patience for that, and end up in a pointless and counter-productive fight.

        Of course, some people NEVER learn these skills. As someone who mastered this stuff very late in life (I didn’t get “good” at basic conversation until 19 or so, about 5 years after other people my age.) I get where she was coming from.

        • Zak McKracken says:

          but… are the people in this game supposed to be younger than 19? To me, they all look like twenty-somethings.
          Also, I know people who have been genuinely nice all throughoutpuberty, some who tried but failed (which would include myself), some whom I perceived as assholes. Of that latter group, I changed my mind later about some of them (they were just reacting to my unintentionalbad behaviour), and and that leaves only very few actual assholes. The majority of which has of course become a lot better.

          So, yes, I think portraying teenagers as stupid assholes in general does them injustice and only reinforces a negative stereotype which makes the lives of teenagers that much more difficult. Like it wasn’t hard enough already.

        • This is also compounded by games, movies, books, etc. which are pretty much by necessity written by people who are no longer teenagers (few teens have mastered prose, coding video games, or have the resources to do so) and whose perceptions of teens now have a filter through which they see what “all teenagers are like.” This isn’t true for every writer, but it does crop up a lot, especially when it comes to dialog. I hold up as the prime example of this the words given to Superboy after “The Death and Rebirth of Superman.” It’s obscure, but jeeze does it ever sound like a 50-year-old guy who hasn’t been outside in a decade trying to sound “hip.”

          “Teen” is also a moving target, just due to the passage of time, region, and community one hangs out with. It’s pretty much guaranteed to be “wrong” somewhere. In that respect, it’s a lot like trying to write science fiction. :)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Nope.All teenagers are assholes.Though some of them do manage to not appear to be ones when in crowds.

    • ObsidianNebula says:

      As someone who is still in high school, I can attest that all teenagers are definitely not inherently assholes. I know this because my two best friends are wonderfully laid-back, intelligent and compassionate young ladies. In fact a lot of my friends are generally mellow and/or goofy. Sure, I know a lot of assholes, and a lot of them will get better when they’re not teenagers anymore. But being a teen does not make you a jerk. The complex neurochemistry of our rapidly changing adolescent brains and our awkward social position doesn’t make it easy, but some of my friends are the kind of people the world just needs more of. People can be assholes. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like, what political/religious faction you’re part of, or how long you’ve been alive. Everyone has the potential for good and bad. Isn’t that the great thing about human beings?

      • Loonyyy says:

        Don’t worry too much. I felt the same when I was in High School. I always got told all this shit about teenagers, and while I saw a lot of the bad side, that wasn’t most of them. That was a relatively small segment who loved attention, even when negative. I knew a lot of decent people who I liked, and if anything, it’s older people who spearhead the worst things imaginable in this world.

        Don’t forget this feeling. The reason people get bad is not because they’re inherently bad. For most it’s that they learn to justify it to themselves and others, and have no guilt for what they’ve done. They pick targets and scapegoats to make themselves feel better. When you’re an adult, you’ll realise that most of these people are actually dumber than most of those teens, they’re years, decades past the last time they were ever learning or humble about their learning, and they actually do get to have a say, and you do have to put up with them.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        Well said.

        I think it is normal for people to change their view on some matters some time after adolescence, and then to proclaim, from their new vantage point, how stupid they were back then. But I think that this is only partially newfound wisdom and partially a way of coping with the fact that after getting a job and having children and no longer being physically able to do some of the things they did back then, i.e. after realising they can’t keep living like teenagers anymore, people need to convince themselves they wouldn’t want to if they could. Which is mostly just self-protection.

        If I could I would totally go back and party a lot more and enjoy myself a lot more. Only maybe leave out some of the stupid*. Like, the bits that make me want to go back and apologize to people. And pay more respect to those who got it right the first time round.

        * That’s mostly stuff done between realizing I could have my own opinion and contradict even teachers or parents successfully and realizing that that does not necessarily make me smarter than them, and that I can be just as wrong, for exactly the same kinds of reasons they were. And that just because I don’t enjoy or understand something it’s not necessarily bad or stupid, but maybe just a good opportunity to learn.

        Okay, that last bit took me well over 15 years past teenage-hood to grasp, and I’m still working on the implementation, so no hard feelings if you don’t get that right the first time. Actually I don’t think too many adults ever get that right, most just settle in the echo chamber of their choosing, then declare all their previous beliefs teenage stupidity.

    • Loonyyy says:

      Yeah, it’s kind of the exact opposite reaction you should have.

      -I was an asshole teenager
      >I should improve as a human being.

      Not

      -I was an asshole teenager
      >Teenagers are all assholes and I was no less bad than anyone else, and teenagers are worse than me.

      The former is guilt you use to be a better person. The latter is an excuse you use to be a worse person and blame it on others, which justifies discrimination further. Teenagers are young and they know relatively little, and their mistakes, lack of social graces and ignorance are at least understandable. Adults don’t get that leeway, and far more adults are far worse than teens, and may even be comparatively ignorant, lacking in social graces, or just be assholes.

  25. Incunabulum says:

    “I don’t think I ever watched a single episode, but I know I stopped on the channel to listen to the theme song many times. ”

    Shamus, aren’t you in your mid-40’s? I have a hard time believing you’ve never seen *one* episode. Next you’ll be saying you never watched BJ & The Bear or don’t know what an Airwolf is and never saw Salvage 1.

    • Shamus says:

      Well, I have no MEMORY of any particular episode of 5-0. If I watched it, I didn’t bother to store it. (My brain was probably working overtime to store as many images of Linda Carter as Wonder Woman as possible. Trying to remember 70’s TV is like going to the surveillance room to find out the guard taped over all the security footage with episodes of Baywatch.)

      While I watched a lot of BJ & The Bear and Airwolf, I don’t know what Salvage 1 is.

  26. Zak McKracken says:

    wawawaaait… weren’t Matt and Em together with Chris and Ashley when we saw them last time? And had they not just agreed to stick together and get to Sam asap? Because there’s a psychokiller around, a real one?

  27. Zak McKracken says:

    andwhy on earth do they take the dangerous path out of the cable car station when they just hacked the door open, couldn’t they just use that? It almost as if they’in sosme kind of movie where people deliberately get into dangerous situations and then die… (wonder why noone picked up on that…)

    • Zak McKracken says:

      Why does sam notget the baseball bat in the basement? I thought that was the reason we got to see it earlier…

      • Benjamin Hilton says:

        I think that is an option depending on how that chase goes, but since she just hid in this version we didn’t see it.

        • Zak McKracken says:

          okay … so the developers spent time setting up these types things many of which may not be relevant later? That is pretty cool, actually.

          I do wonder what would have happened had Sam gone for the baseball bat. If it would have failed her, that would not have been nice of the developers… remembering that sort of thing should be rewarded.

          I’m still baffled that many of the clues in the game don’t really seem to help the player. So far they seem to be mostly backstory.

          • MichaelGC says:

            Aye, I can’t piece together how the clues and totems are supposed to work, if indeed there is some consistent way or ways. Oh, it’s a clue, is it? Is it a clue to anything in particular? No? It’s not told me anything specific that I didn’t know before. So, it’s just generally clue-ey, then? Uh-huh. Righto.

  28. Loonyyy says:

    I think the hate on Emily feels unnecessary. I mean, what she’s doing is basically what you guys are doing on the show, as a core concept.

    I’m not saying that she’s not annoying, or self-centered and wilfully ignorant regarding the situation. She is, and it’d make more sense coming from that angle. But instead it feels more like she’s getting it because of some variant of “She’s such a nagging bitch”, and like, yeah, ok, so is the entire Spoiler Warning series, and that’s why we love it. It’s just such an easy out. And because of that, very quickly it feels played out.

    I’d rather hear more criticism of her role in the story, or from the annoying angle, how she berates and belittles her significant other, and why it is that his character tolerates it. Or even her compliance at the start. Like Jess and Mike, she’s actually a pretty awful person when you get down to it, and it has nothing to do with her whining.

    • Shamus says:

      No, this is outrageous.

      1) We’re not nearly as confrontational and negative as Emily.
      2) We’re entertaining an audience, not trying to work with another human being in a life-or-death situation.
      3) Videogames are not people. It’s okay to find fault with a game. It’s not okay to follow a human being around and find fault with everything they do.
      4) Note how we try not to make our criticism personal. “This game is bad” is VERY different than “Whoever made this game is a bad person.”
      5) We sometimes have nice things to say. I have yet to see that out of Emily.

      The problem with Emily isn’t that’s she’s negative, it’s how she treats people. So no. It’s nothing at all alike.

      • Loonyyy says:

        I think you misunderstand me, and I am sorry for that. But yes, yes you are exactly as negative, if not several orders of magnitude more so (Emily hasn’t asked “what do they eat” yet), and please don’t misunderstand me, that’s why I love you guys. You’re willing to take apart games in much greater detail, and in doing so, you find a great deal of humor. And I love you for that. That’s why this has been the only Lets Play that I watch.

        Emily’s problem, in the game, is that she is absolutely unlikeable, especially for the player character. I had the same impulse towards Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite, and she’s actually a decent character who has a likeable personality, because she constantly interjects and wastes the time of the player.

        Please understand, that it’s not being nitpicky or cynical I have an issue with. It’s tone, and it’s why Emily is unpleasant, and it’s why the commentary grated on me. Because I can tell that one of you is VERY uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation, and even makes a few comments indicating as such, and everyone ignores them. Now, maybe that’s tolerable, but it’s for the gag that Emily is annoying, and yeah, Emily is annoying, but she’s been ignoring me in the background, I’m not an idiot, you don’t need to tell me that. Someone like you, Shamus is perfectly equipped to point out exactly what’s wrong with the writing here. Your long form analysis is second to none, and you back it up by being able to do it in the real world, you’re a real writer. Your ability to craft character and dialogue could distract me from my ridiculous haemophobia to donate blood.

        Of course it’s a game. I don’t know if you’re aware, but that’s ridiculously condescending. “OUTRAGEOUS” if you will. I’ve been following you for years and playing games for longer. I’m aware of the difference. Emily is not a real person, characters in the story don’t necessarily reflect their writers, criticising any one of the above doesn’t necessarily tie to the others. From my perspective, I could say the same thing. “It’s a game, shut up”. I know that’s not what you mean, but that’s how you’ve phrased it. I know she’s not a real person. I’m not defending her. I spent a good deal of time describing why she’s unlikeable because I kind of expected this response, but I never expected it from you, Shamus. I feel cynical and shitty when I have to do something like that just to avoid getting outright rejected, like we all have to agree in a hive mind to have a conversation first, somehow it’s never enough, and it never fails to disappoint me.

        It’s not her character that’s the issue. We agree in some ways. She’s absolutely annoying and unlikeable. My issue is the way you treated it, and made the same tired cracks that ran way overtime, and clearly weren’t landing. I’m not criticising you or the cast as people. What I’m saying is that what you were saying was not funny. I know that’s subjective, but I also know you guys are way smarter and funnier than this. I’m not criticising the game here, I’m criticising you, and I honestly find that hard and went easy before, but that’s not so much the case now, because much as you clearly did, now I feel attacked. Yes. She’s a poorly written nagger. The cliche of the over achieving college chick with a stick up her butt. The type who doesn’t feel proper love for other people and mistreats them, because her goals are career oriented and she has an obsession with grades. I’d expect people as smart as you to attack that for the terrible writing. You guys are playing a game. She is not real. Why are you so upset by her? Do you see how self-defeating this line of reasoning is? She’s a character in a fictional medium. You guys are people, and you’re probably being earnest.

        There’s just so many directions you could come at that from. Why is anyone friends with her? Why is Matt putting up with her? Why does Sam tolerate her? Why doesn’t anyone tell her to shut up with the snark when they’re trying to survive.

        I’m not saying that you’re saying that whoever made the game is a bad person. I have absolutely no special love for the game or the developer. I’m entirely able to seperate the two. Unfortunately, the commentary clearly isn’t able to seperate the writing of the character from treating her as a real, unpleasant person, and get past the surface to the deeper issues. The commentary largely reads as “Emily is awful”. Rather than really sinking into the writing.

        Yes. The problem with Emily is that she’s unlikeable and seems to be wilfully so. I’m not defending her or the games writing, as you seemed to try to pin on me. My problem is the reaction, and honestly, I expected better of you guys, and certainly better than this, but I was mistaken.

        I’m not being sarcastic here. I’m genuinely sorry.

        • Leocruta says:

          I feel you also misunderstood Shamus here. He wasn’t attacking you, he was merely listing the multitude of reasons why what he does is different from what Emily does.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      I don’t remember the cast disliking her for whining, I do remember disliking her for bossing matt around, and not quite understanding why people seem to think she was smart. So far, she’s made Matt run through the snow because she couldn’t keep track of her handbag, picked a completely pointless fight that would have gained her nothing, decided to split the group (super-unwise!), made Matt destroy a door when she could just as eaily have slipped through the window, then bossed him into hiking to that radio tower, while dismissing all his inputs in the most demeaning manner.

      …there may be other play-throughs where she does not come across this way, but in this one, she’s self-centered, bossy and seems to measure her self esteem by the amount of stuff that she can get guys to do for her.

      • Leocruta says:

        Indeed. You must never split the party.

      • Locke says:

        I don’t think losing track of a handbag while on vacation is unintelligent, nor do I think you can say that her picking a fight leaves her nothing to gain. She can absolutely gain social status for putting down another member of the group if her rival ends up backing down or stuttering and stammering through their response. Whether or not you’d like human interaction to work that way, this is something that genuinely is effective in a lot of social circles, and given the way these kids responded to that fight, this social circle in particular appears to be one of them.

        Splitting the party is a genre convention and definitely not something you should be rigidly adhering to in actual emergency situations. If there are two different important things to do, for example, warn Sam about the danger and get the trolley car dealie ready to leave, you totally should split up and do both of them at once. You do want to avoid being completely alone, because humans don’t have 360 degree peripheral vision and you want someone to watch your back both while you’re doing something that requires focus and in general, but Emily has avoided that. She split the group into pairs.

        Also, what you’re missing here is that Emily is the only one with a plan. There’s a psycho around, so she says that we need to gather up all our friends, warn them of the danger, and get the tram ready to evacuate. The tram isn’t working, so she figures out a plan B, and on the way to that plan B she’s trying to figure out a plan C, because she knows hoping the tower has a radio is a gamble and she doesn’t just want to curl up into a ball and cry until she’s killed if that gamble doesn’t pay out. When Matt suggests trying to ride it out, she immediately intuits that the killer is an intelligent adversary who has a specific plan to kill them, not a natural disaster. A lot of people don’t do this, and will respond to danger by hiding in the most obviously secure location, even if that location isn’t secure enough to stop or even significantly slow down their enemy, but Emily has grasped that the psycho has a plan, he’s smart enough that his plan is working so far, and that survival means thwarting that plan.

        Emily isn’t the master planner or anything, but she’s the only one who’s kept her head and decided to be proactive at all. Everyone else is just reacting.

  29. I wonder how many recalled that the axe wedged in the door is the missing axe from the lodge.

  30. @Chris

    The tram thing is called a “Aerial tramway” or a Gondol lift here i Norway, aka a Ski lift.

    Josh’s family cabin looks to be a old ski lodge so that partly makes sense.

  31. Joakim says:

    In this episode it was mentioned that Matt has more opportunities to die then anyone else.

    Could that be a reference to the trope “The black dude dies first”?

  32. Derrick says:

    While I have never seen herd of all male deer and odds are will never see enough to count as herd, I can say this.

    Deer do form herds and will travel together, eat etc. Due to people thinking there cute and friendly will corner people if there not careful. I worked in a camp grounds where we did have herd of deer (our count was 10-15) that travel about for food mainly at night. I had to rescue more then one poor drunk from them due to thinking he would give them food.

    Hence why you see signs telling you not to fed the animals. If they grow up thinking they can get food from humans, they will get use to you.

  33. BurningHeron says:

    Huh. I know I’m way behind the curve on this episode, but those are posters for actual independent horror movies in the house’s movie theater. I clearly recognized the ones for “Stake Land” and “The Innkeepers.”

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