The Walking Dead EP14:
We Line Everyone Up

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jan 9, 2013

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 133 comments

Link (YouTube)

Early in the Episode Rutskarn points out that denying the player the ability to express disapproval for a character will then cause that pent up frustration to manifest as HATE. Then later in the episode we see that exact thing in action.

Mass Effect 2’s Miranda is the textbook example of this problem. She’s grating, stupid, smug, wrong about everything, and she’s the spokesperson for a railroaded course of action (working for Cerberus) that a lot of players rejected. And yet despite being her superior(?) officer, you can’t ever rebel against her. Instead you end every single conversation with, “Thanks Miranda.” (Or whatever.)

Lily is another example of this problem. I wanted nothing to do with her and Larry. I saw them as aggressive, dangerous, unstable, and irrational. Then when Larry was killed, it became clear that sticking with her was an astoundingly bad idea. Now on top of her rabid irrational hate she has a perfectly reasonable hate for both Lee and Kenny. By the time we pulled off to the side of the road, I wanted to shoot her for the same reason I wanted to shove Miranda out the airlock: This character is bad news and the game won’t let me get away from them.

This is such a dark episode, but it’s actually when I really started getting into the game in earnest. By this point in the game we’ve shed Larry, the Bandits, and Lily. Later on we’ll pick up several nice people. Or if not nice, then at least reasonable and sane. From here, the group is composed of all my friends. And Kenny.


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133 thoughts on “The Walking Dead EP14:
We Line Everyone Up

  1. Thomas says:

    Wow the alternate paths completely change how sympathetic Lily is. With Doug she’s holding a gun, there’s sudden movement. Pulling the trigger can be practically reflex, she had no time to think. Someone had a breakdown and unfortunately they had a gun in their hand and things happened.

    But the Carley thing sounds entirely different

    EDIT: Also was I the only one who thought bribing the bandits was probably a good idea? I was expecting it to be revealed that the bandits had made a move on us and someone had cut them a deal and what the person did wrong was to not tell anyone else. Heck they showed in this episode that they can stroll into camp whenever they feel like.

    At one point they talk about how the bandits initially attacked at first and then dropped off. I assumed it was one and the same thing. If they want the bandits can just cut them off from leaving the motel

    1. Isy says:

      Lily quite literally waits until Carley turns around, and then shoots her in the back.

      But even with Doug, there’s really no excuse. She’s the only person who has a gun out. There is no danger beyond what she is deliberately engineering. She threatens to shoot Ben for not confessing, and threatens to shoot whomever confesses. She calls for a vote, then immediately disenfranchises Katja’s say in the matter. And when she’s outvoted, she ignores everyone and shoots someone in the face.

      -And yes, bribing the bandits wasn’t even that bad, in my opinion, which made her gestapo flipout even worse. The bandits know where we live. Lee says they’re after anything with morphine, which means they’re druggies (a group of people well known for not murdering folks for their next fix). The traitor made arrangements with them without anyone else knowing – which means we only had a single person on watch to defend us against any bandits or cannibals when everyone is asleep. They’re better armed and have more able bodies, and can apparently take everyone hostage in two minutes. Do we really think they wouldn’t have murdered us all if the traitor had said no?

      The only stupid bit is not telling the group about it. Except the traitor is Ben Paul, the scared teenage boy that Lily wanted to be left to die because he had the audacity to require food. He knows Kenny will murder anyone inconvenient and he knows Lily is going freaking insane. And he also know the rest of us do squat to stand up to them, ever. Would you tell these irrational, short-sighted idiots what you’d done? Because I wouldn’t. I’d think someone would shoot me in the face. And I’d be right.

      1. Thomas says:

        I feel she was pointing the gun without necessarily having the will to follow through with it and might have backed down if everything was calm. The rush of the moment just made her jump on the trigger. Well thats how I saw it

        1. Nick says:

          Yeeeeeah, not how it plays out with Carly. She’s not even looking at Lilly, no-one is even moving when it happens, but that point I’d pretty much argued the scene to a rational breathing point where Kenny could come and join the discussion.

          Fuck Lilly. I would have driven the RV back and forth over her had the game given me the option to, and it’s the only time in the game that the lack of choice in the series seriously pissed me off. I dumped her by the side of the road and cursed the game for not letting me do more

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            The only problem with that is that she would have been usable to go do whatever she does in the comics, so Lee can’t kill her.

            1. anaphysik says:

              Which is why having her in the game for more time than Glenn or Hershel is SO FRIGGIN STUPID.

              (Besides, technically she has to be a different character, as the comic-version has not-Larry as her father.)

              1. krellen says:

                The comic that determined Lilly Caul’s father’s name as not-Larry came out after this game was developed.

              2. Thomas says:

                They introduced her at the start and I think the cameos drop off pretty quickly right? So maybe they were just expecting people to play the game because of the show/comics and were surprised when it didn’t work out that way.

                But I heard she’s quite a small character? Maybe the comic/TV guys were hoping to draw new people in. Weird situation all round

                1. newdarkcloud says:

                  According to developers, they wanted to explore what could’ve happened to mold Lilly into the kind of woman she is in the comics. To that end, they deliberately chose to focus on her over other characters like Glenn or Hershel.

                  1. Dasick says:

                    What kind of woman was Lily in the comic? Seriously? I had to google around to find out what role she plays in the comic.

                    1. newdarkcloud says:

                      I have absolutely no idea. Someone who read the comics will need to answer that.

                    2. Dasick says:

                      I’ve read the comics. Sorry, that was a rhetorical question XD. Comic ‘Lily’ is pretty much a non-character.

                2. Andrew says:

                  My understanding is that the Lilly character appears very briefly in the comics, but is the main character in a novel Kirkman wrote after giving Telltale the go-ahead for the game and it’s in that novel that comic-Lilly’s father is named as Not-Larry.

      2. newdarkcloud says:

        You know, if I were Ben I’d be scared as well of those two. I cannot say that I blame him for dealing with bandits (I’m honestly more angry that he hid it from the group to be quite honest), but I understand the rational behind it.

        It’s not the dealing that caused the problem so much as the deceit, but with Lilly and Kenny around it is difficult to want to tell them what you’re doing for fear of retribution. Tough situation.

        1. Deadpool says:

          Tell Lee and have Lee deal with it.

          That’s how everyone ELSE deals with their problems in this group…

          It was a stupid plot point.

          1. Isy says:

            How would Lee deal with it? Kill all the bandits? Convince everyone to leave the motel? Cuz that’s what Kenny’s trying to do anyway, and if Lee starts pressing the matter hard people are going to start asking why.

            Of course, if the bandits hadn’t discovered their drop was gone and defeated the group in two minutes, Ben might have had a chance to fess up. So yeah, dumb plot point there, at least.

      3. Steve C says:

        Carley (who I had) was my favorite character, much more than even Clem and miles more than Doug now that I’ve gotten to see him. I said something nice about Carley and it came up “Carley will remember that” and literally two seconds later she’s dead. I think I said out loud what the hell just happened?

        I honestly don’t know if I would have killed Lilly but I certainly wanted to be forced to choose if she lived or died after that scene. Leaving Lilly behind was too easy.

        Question: With Carely vs Doug… Is deliberately murdering someone a worse crime than deliberately trying to murder someone and killing an innocent instead?

  2. Isy says:

    I sympathized with Lily. I didn’t call her a bitch when we met – I said they’d taken a risk and I appreciated it. I gave food to Larry for her sake. I helped her try to save her dad. In return, she was nice, even reasonable to me. She defended me against Larry several times. She was willing to talk things over, she even admitted to Lee her fears she had lost it and asked Lee his opinion on going crazy. I had Lee admit his past to her and she forgave me.

    I still dumped her ass by the side of the road after she shot Carley, in the back, in cold blood – and I didn’t feel a single twinge of guilt over it, ever. In fact, the only thing I felt was just a huge sense of relief that we wouldn’t have to put up with any more pissing contests between Kenny and Lily any more.

    1. Deadpool says:

      I did the same thing.

      Except I felt a bit of regret. Regret that the game isn’t quite what I had hoped (against the odds, to be fair) it would be: That I can’t pick a side, or choose who to save.

      This scene was the turning point. If there was any doubt your choices didn’t matter, this is the scene that proved that hey, they fucking don’t. I feel that Kenny driving the train (LITERALLY) is a not so subtle hint that the developers have certainly decided not to go down that road. Kind of a shame…

      Strangely it is also when the plot picks up and starts getting stronger.

      1. Eremias says:

        Really? For me, this was the point the plot STOPPED. As in, I don’t need to think or worry about it any more, since as a player I cannot intervene in it. “Oh, Clementine might be in danger? Nope, I know she’ll survive until the end. Oh, this character might survive something? Nope, it’s quite obvious they will die later.”

        1. Deadpool says:

          Oh the player lost all agency in the game after this, sure.

          But the PLOT got considerably better…

          1. Paul Spooner says:

            The dreaded and inevitable trade off between player agency and storyteller agency.

            1. Deadpool says:

              I’m not sure it’s INEVITABLE… It just happens a lot.

        2. Zukhramm says:

          At the same time, if the player’s always did matter and if I could save everyone I’d feel the same way.

      2. newdarkcloud says:

        Yeah. This is the episode of the game where the illusion of choice is the most fragile. I had that moment of realization at the half-way mark after the train comes to a halt that my choices in the first two episodes pretty much didn’t matter anymore.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Same for me.I even tried the “I am spartacus” line,and she didnt buy it,because I had her trust by this point.And she repays me by shooting someone right in front of me?Sorry,but thats crossing the line,youre on your own.

    3. Urs says:

      Same here. And while I don’t share Deadpool’s sentiment of how it changed the game, Lily *murdering* Carley felt like a jarring spike of BS. I understand that Lily snaps – she lost her father, she lost her motel, she lost control, alright. But shooting NOT the new guy, the one who had contact with the bandits before, the one she didn’t want to have in the group anyways and also NOT shooting the annoying one who always yells at her (innocent as he may have seemd) but the last survivor from the original Drugstore bunch was beyond sense.
      Although I’m partly to blame. I would have liked to get rid of Ben, somehow, but I did not excatly want him to be shot, so apparently I defended him (as the episode’s summary told me later) when all I wanted was to defuse the situation.

      Also, Carley. She was a too nice character to be offed like this. Man, we had a moment back at the motel! Seriously, and maybe this was mentioned before, when you return to the motel after ransacking the Station Wagon and she gives you batteries and you two joke about it was a very nice touch.

    4. newdarkcloud says:

      I’ll likely be considered a bleeding heart for this, but even after that I chose to bring Lilly with me on the RV. My thought was that I couldn’t decide what to do with her at the time, so I left her in the RV. If you choose this, you tie her up and keep watch of her until you arrive at your destination. I felt bad for Lilly because I had been friends with her up until then and I could understand how a situation like that can go out of control. Again, bleeding heart.

      Should this happen, what Lilly does next is even WORSE!!! While you’re out doing stuff and trying to proceed, Lilly steals the RV and goes off on her own.

  3. krellen says:

    I can’t believe you left Duck hanging. Worst show ever.

    1. Shamus says:

      Artistic integrity!

      1. KremlinLaptop says:

        A month after you finish this season of SW you’ll release a special Extended Cut episode that’s just Lee going over and high-fiving Duck.

        1. LunaticFringe says:

          Actually, I’m thinking it would instead be them not high-fiving Duck and then spending fifteen minutes desperately trying to defend not high-fiving Duck.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          No it will be them replaying this bit again,with carley,doing everything differently,not telling anyone about shooting the guy,and then still leaving duck hanging.

          1. Sleeping Dragon says:

            No no, Duck will be like this space ghost-child who will tell you that you have three options, depending on what colour gate you use to leave the motel: you can shoot the bandits, you can take over the bandits or you can physically merge every bandit and non-bandit human in the universe into some sort of frankensteinian two headed monsters (with one of the heads wearing a ski mask).

            1. Fleaman says:

              You’ve had too much of this metaphor today and I’m cutting you off.

              1. Sleeping Dragon says:

                I wish you could, I honestly do.

            2. Dasick says:

              But that would be too video-gamey!

            3. aldowyn says:

              I compared the ME3 ending to wrecking the ending of LOTR in a similar fashion to this the other day…

              ‘The Mass Effect 3 ending was like if at the end of LOTR, when Frodo is about to drop the ring into the fire, some spirit version of some Valar we’d never heard of comes from nowhere, says that he created Sauron and the orcs and everything to save the free peoples from the beasts, and then gives us a choice to either kill all the evil things including the Huorns and Ents (because those aren’t like humans!), combine people with orcs, or secretly control the orcs to fix everything.’

              1. JoshR says:

                i remember this comparison, but also that if you select kill everything, all the roads and horses blow up as well

            4. Rhybon says:

              It took me a moment to realize you were talking about Mass Effect 3. My first thought was ‘Space Ghost-child? I don’t remember a child in Space Ghost.’

  4. Annikai says:

    I think Lilly is different from Miranda because of the fact that you can tell her off. There’s more than a few occasions where you can tell her that she’s just being paranoid or that her father is a dick. I don’t really remember anything like this in Mass Effect 2. Lilly also gets her comeuppance in if you leave her on the side of the road in my opinion. Especially since now with the Road to Woodbury book she is no longer a character from the comic so there is a pretty heavy implication that she dies there. That being said I like Lilly as a character compared to her Road to Woodbury counter part. From the bits that I’ve read of that book it seems like how not to write a female character and I’ve begun to miss the Lilly that while being a complete bitch could at least handle herself.

  5. krellen says:

    So, the whole Lilly/Carley thing makes a lot of sense in my eyes – it wasn’t “for no reason” as Rutskarn says.

    I played a Lee that was initially confrontational to Lilly, but warmed up to her as things went along – he tried to save Larry, told her about his past, and was generally nice to her starting in Episode 2.

    These sort of choices – especially playing Merciful Lee – also causes Carley to develop an appreciation for Lee as well; there’s a definite vibe of “yeah, we’re into each other” between them at the start of Episode 3 (it seemed to be in that context that Carley encourages Lee to reveal his past).

    Humans are social creatures, and even in times of crisis – no, especially in times of crisis – they seek companionship. Lee’s claims of “this isn’t the time for it” to the contrary, there’s probably a fair bit of UST going around the survivor camp by the start of Episode 3, provided Lee hasn’t completely shut down Lilly.

    So that’s what I saw. Lilly saw Carley as her competition for Lee’s heart, so when the whole “betrayal” thing goes down, she’s eager to take Carley out of the picture. Carley being a sassy, provocative aggressor during the confrontation doesn’t help, and in a moment of passion, Lilly snaps and kills her.

    Even as Lee pushed her against the RV and told her to drop the gun (which he did a pick quicker in my playthrough than he did here), Lilly’s basic message was something along the lines of “I did it to protect US”.

    Since my Lee had expressed the “yeah, I like you” thing with Carley earlier, it was an easy choice to ditch Lilly.

    1. Urs says:

      Huh. Haven’t thought about it like this. But one thing about Carley: Her “appreciation” for Lee is probably just an appreciation for an available man, any man. In the drugstore it’s Doug. At least that’s what helped me make my peace with her death :)

      1. Thomas says:

        That’s a little cold =D

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      From someone who didn’t play the game, this really doesn’t help the “going psycho” thing, makes it worse if anything.

      1. krellen says:

        I didn’t say she wasn’t psycho, I said she was understandable. Understanding someone doesn’t mean you approve of them.

  6. LunaticFringe says:

    At 4:22 you can hear Josh’s soul breaking. Kenny’s reaction to Lee’s murder is actually kind of funny. When he finds out you were in prison, the first thing he asks is “it wasn’t for touchin’ kids, was it?” From Florida indeed.

    Also, you guys are not incredibly awesome.

    1. Isy says:

      Another really interesting thing you can do when confessing your past is tell Katja what Kenny did back in the meat locker. Of course, I felt like a real cad after doing it, because she is obviously very disturbed by it.

      Her reaction to Lee’s past is also pretty funny.
      Katja: *sigh* “Why did you do it?”
      Lee: “My wife–”
      Katja: “Stop.”

      1. LunaticFringe says:

        Oh god, don’t remind me. Her sad eyes nearly killed me.

  7. Anster says:

    Now that is actually the moment when my knowledge of the comic really made me dislike this sequence
    You see, because Lilly had like 2 pages in one issue of the comic (I’m not even joking, literally 2-3 pages. Later on she was in some novel, but nobody cares), I knew for sure that she’d just magically disappear in smoke at some point
    And I could not bring myself to ditch that thought. In my playthrough I saved Carley, and as she warmed up to Lee it was all too obvious to me that she was a goner (I’m paranoied like that)
    So from the very start of the episode I was bouncing off two things: that Lilly is going to get lost and that Carley was going to die
    So in that scene in an RV I saw it coming like right from the very start and waited for an option to punch Lilly in the face and disarm her. Which the game never gave me. In turn it just frustrated and angered me
    So I reloaded and tried the second time, because at this point I still believed that I had more impact on the story than I really did
    It was not shocking or dark or subtle, just frustrating and dumb writing from my perspective.
    Now I see how it makes sense in the story and I like it in a long run, but that first impression still kills any effect it could have had in a more subtle execution.

  8. KremlinLaptop says:

    I get Lilly shooting Carley; she snapped. Simple as that, that’s a good enough reason.

    I’ve met people like this — who I hope to god never are near guns — who are alright-ish people except that if they’re in an argument they will always default to the most basic response when they’re pissed off enough; fists.

    You might say, “Yeah, I know people like this but this is MURDER,” but right then and there? It’s just a way to get the other person to shut-up.

    Lilly just snaps when this happens with Carley. It’s not a premeditated murder but rather a heat of the moment snap decision that results in murder. Definitely not premeditated though, that implies quite a different sort of crime…

    Her shooting Doug? That’s a bit weirder and I think it would have worked a bit better if Doug moved forward to take the gun away from Lilly and she then shot him, or something like that.

    1. Thomas says:

      She doesn’t really shoot Doug though as such. Her guns pointed at Ben as it always has been and then Doug runs in front of it. I’m pretty sure if she meant to shoot anyone in that bit, it was Ben she tried to go for and Doug was just too heroic

      1. Aldowyn says:

        I really liked Doug. He’s all like “calm down everyone don’t shoot!”, sees Lilly isn’t listening, and then saves Ben’s life.

        Too bad he didn’t deserve it… now, I can see why he made the deal with the bandits, and it’s even impressive that he had the initiative. But him not telling anyone directly resulted in.. one, two, three deaths?

        1. Deadpool says:

          This is what bothers me: Lily doesn’t have much reason to be pissed at Ben. Actually, neither does Kenny.

          Ben didn’t cause the attack! Ben DELAYED it! Had it not been for him, this would have happened a long time ago.

          Yes, it was stupid to hide it (WHY did he? Game never goes there), but after finding out about it and why it was done, WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL MAD?!?

          1. Protocol95 says:

            I’m pretty sure Ben hid it because he feared that he kicked out of the group, (or something simimarly bad) as he said when Lilly started the interrogation in the RV.

          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            If he told everyone,they would be prepared,and wouldnt be ambushed like this.In fact,if he told everyone,maybe we wouldve ambushed them.Or drove away without them ever knowing.It doesnt matter,him hiding it from everyone is stupid,and did endanger the group.

          3. Deadyawn says:

            Doesn’t he say the reason he did it was because the bandits told him that they had his friend or something? I’m pretty sure that’s what happened in which case he was actually just a big idiot.

            1. Thomas says:

              Yeah this. The game totally ignores the sensible option here and makes up a really silly reason for Ben to do it (which I admit, he’d probably do) which is why he’s so scared and guilty about it. Even then he probably still saved their lives, it would have been so easy for the bandits to starve them out

              1. Isy says:

                Later on, he says “I thought I could keep them off our backs!” so I guess the game writers don’t agree on why he did it either.

            2. Sleeping Dragon says:

              Bah, the hostage scenario sounds so tried. TBH I was more willing to work with the argument he is pretty much alienated from the group. The minute he arrived he was sent to play with the kids while “the adults” were pretty much discussing if they shouldn’t just throw him out there for the walkers to eat, he wasn’t present for the farm scenario after which Lilly started to go down the grief and stress induced spiral of crazy (and in the RV we can clearly see she still treats Ben as this “new outsider not to be trusted”). Kenny, the other person who seems to have serious pull around here, isn’t really that approachable either, as a matter of fact he seems downright coldblooded about anything that doesn’t immediately concern his family and Ben doesn’t have much to offer in that regard. I don’t know about Carley but Doug doesn’t seem to be a person I’d turn to with this kind of problem…

              It would be good if the player had an option to be sympathetic to Ben which would cause him to try to come up to Lee with the whole thing but someone interrupted it (like Lilly screaming something along the lines of “Ben! Get back to that damn lookout!”), I mean, he’d probably think that as long as he can provide the bandits with supplies it doesn’t matter if he tells you now or the next day when someone else is keeping watch.

              And yes, it is a dumb decision not to tell anyone in the motel, but people aren’t perfect, they make stupid decisions at the best of times and zombie apocalypse, having all your friends die or be killed (some of them before your eyes) and being introduced into the group that has some obvious internal tensions and puts you in this nebulous state where you’re good enough for your duties but not yet good enough for your opinion to count ISN’T the best of times.

              1. BeardedDork says:

                I had a problem with this, everything you say to Ben after this you come across as a condescending (if not downright accusatory) a-hole. You are never given the option to treat Ben as if you forgive him, the best you can do is just not talk to him.

                1. Indy says:

                  The closest I got was telling him not to tell everyone about this royal screw-up.

          4. BeardedDork says:

            I understand Lilly being pissed off for the thefts at the Hotel, but by this point, you’ve left the Hotel and the Pharmacy behind you’ve left the bandits to be eaten by zombies, it is simply beyond irrelevant at this point.

            1. Reifan00 says:

              except his actions have cost them pretty much everything they had, and by this point she’s lost her father, is constantly being picked at by kenny, and her mental state is a breaking point. I don;t hate ben, but his actions brought a lot of crap down on the group, and ultimately proved to be the straw that broke the came;lls back for Lilly.

              I must say at this point it takes a lot for me to hate a character, and its rare I will let an initial bad impression make me loathe someone. Larry was an ass, and I disliked him, but I had no hate for him. I felt sorry for Lilly and Ben. Kenny made me want to slap him a few times. By the same token, I didn’t hate Miranda, and I warmed to her, and felt more annoyed at the writers for the hamfisted ‘conflict’ made up between her and Jack

  9. Khizan says:

    There should be a law about link to TVTropes without an explicit warning. You bastard. :(

    1. Hitchmeister says:

      That’s why you always check the status bar to see where a link is taking you before you click it. And if you’re using some new-fangled, esthetically pleasing web browser that doesn’t have that obtrusive little bar at the bottom and you haven’t figured out some way to bring it back, well, you’re just asking for unexpected trips to the bowels of TVTropes.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      You mean like this?

  10. Jokerman says:

    That shoot out was a total nightmare for me on xbox…i died atleast 4 times…

    1. Moments like this are REALLY clunky on the iPad as well.

    2. Adam says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one. I’m watching through this season of SW as I play through the episodes, and of the 3-ish hours it took for me to get through this episode, that one shootout with the bandits took a sixth of it by itself. One of the few times in this game I died not knowing what I did wrong.

  11. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Anybody ever wonder where these people learned to shoot like that? Lilly was an airman -not an MOS known for it’s shooting prowess. Kenny was a commercial fisherman -another job not usually involving guns, but maybe to ward off sharks. And Lee taught history at Georgia State.

    I just figure they must have had lots of time to practice in the time-skip between episode 1 and 2, but geez -how much ammo must they have gone through (and why aren’t there six foot piles of dead zombies from the target practice?).

    1. LunaticFringe says:

      Kenny seems like the kind of guy who would shoot cans to let off some steam, Lilly’s dad was also ex-military so she could’ve been exposed to guns through most of her time growing up, and Lee…well, just because you teach history doesn’t mean you’re exempt from firearms licenses and concealed carry laws (if Georgia has those, I’m Canadian so I have no idea).

      1. Dave B. says:

        In the United States, it is usually very easy for a civilian to own a firearm and use it for sport. Some exceptions exist where the laws are more restrictive, but even there it is still completely possible. It is therefore not unusual for someone with no formal training in firearms to have some, and be good at using them.

        This does still highlight a trend in zombie movies, and sometimes games, to just say “and then they all got really good at shooting.” There is no thought given to where and when they practice (gunshots are LOUD and presumably get noticed by zombies), and where they get the ammunition. (Firearms, and especially pistols, require quite a bit of practice. That uses up ammo surprisingly fast.) Movies, and games like this, get to play fast and loose with stuff like this because they’re fiction. Details like this don’t really matter much to the story, so they get handwaved.

        1. Khizan says:

          One thing to consider is that against this style of zombie, you have TIME. They’re not sprinting zombies. They don’t dodge, they don’t take cover, and they don’t shoot back, and they’re not going to dart out of sight if you spook them, like a deer.

          You can take that extra second or so to line up the sights and squeeze the trigger properly, and that will improve your aim dramatically.

          1. Thomas says:

            Depending on what you said in Ep 2, Lee tells the creepy family about how Lily has been forcing them all to do firearm drills to get up their accuracy.

            Ammo, number of guns never really seem to be a problem till it is. I guess one raid on a gun shop probably would set you up fairly nicely for a long time. It still annoyed me a little bit, because I was worried about it well before the game was, so it felt like a bit of a plot contrivance in the situations they do worry about this stuff

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              Yeah. Apparently Lilly was actually useful to the group. Thanks to her, they had decent target practice regularly.

    2. Khizan says:

      Kenny definitely seems like the kind of guy who spent the deer season up in a treestand somewhere.

  12. zob says:

    This is close to where I stopped playing the game (Because of this bullshit bandit/zombie encounter). I don’t know about episodes 4 and 5. Does writers ever stop using magical plot devices?

    1. anaphysik says:

      …Not really, no :/

      1. Nick says:

        No, not entirely, but they do get better about masking them than ‘and suddenly zombies jump the bandits’.

        It’s more often ‘someone is an idiot/the scenery collapses and this puts them or everyone in range of hundreds of zombies.’ And it’s usually Ben. I feel bad for the guy, but he is repeatedly and demonstrably useless and in fact harmful to the group

  13. Given everything else about this game that’s been geared for dramatics, my first thought when I saw the masked bandits was that you’d later have to figure out which one of another group was among those that held you at gunpoint.

  14. The Rocketeer says:

    As much as I hate, hate, hate grammatical pedantry, this one’s a pet peeve of mine: when you say “comprised,” you mean “composed.”

    Remember, if you couldn’t use ‘contained,’ you shouldn’t use ‘comprised.’

    ~3:30- About what Chris and Ruts are saying here, I think the reason these situations are so frustrating for players is not so much that you can’t disagree or disapprove- which you often can- but because there is nowhere near the level of granularity a player would realistically have in a situation like this. This is why games deal almost solely in characters you unconditionally want to die, or want to live happily ever after with, and a great deal more of the former than the latter.

    In a situation in which you disagree with or disapprove of a character that you otherwise like or support, a game is tasked with not only offering options that expresses the particular nuances of the player’s/character’s motivations, feelings, and the particular disagreement at hand, the exact wording and phrasing, the intent conveyed, etc. etc., things that are very difficult even in real life… but to offer MULTIPLE choices with this depth. That’s a utopian ideal.

    As much as I loved this game, this was often a small frustration I encountered: that I could say what I wanted, more or less, but not in the way that I wanted to say it (as seen by the crew at ~19:00). I accept that this is just one of those things, though. It already speaks volumes about the game that I even notice this disparity, or care at all.

    1. Nick says:

      People are pretty split on the use of comprised in that circumstance – see

      In fact, prior to seeing you post that I had only ever encountered ‘comprised’ used to describe groups of things, including people. I don’t see how it’s a definitive rule.

      Now, if someone was using the not-word ‘irrespective’ then I’d probably be containing my snarky comments as best I could, so I sympathise.

        1. Nick says:

          *facepalm* yes, yes I do. My brain evidently auto-corrects it that so much that I can’t even type it as an example…

          1. Thomas says:

            I enjoy the word I wish it existed but with it’s literal meaning.
            “Irregardless of the threats, I cowered behind the window”

            1. anaphysik says:

              Sorry, ut you’ll have to use the proper word instead: regardlessnessless.

          2. BeardedDork says:

            I’m sorry, I don’t like it any more than you do but “irregardless” is a word.


            Definition of word


            1 a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed:

            I don't like the word “˜unofficial'

            End Quote

            And from

            Definition of WORD
            a : something that is said
            b plural (1) : talk, discourse (2) : the text of a vocal musical composition
            c : a brief remark or conversation
            a (1) : a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use (2) : the entire set of linguistic forms produced by combining a single base with various inflectional elements without change in the part of speech elements.

            End Quote

            Irregardless is a terrible word that doesn’t mean what it should, but it is a word. It meets all the above criteria, it stumbles a bit on Webster’s definition 2-a-1, but the use of the word “usually” rescues it even there. The English language is not a dead one, nor is it heavily regulated by laws and committees like German and French are. It is ever changing and not always for the better, but the changes do need to be recognized and acknowledged.

    2. Paul Spooner says:

      As far as grammar goes, looks like you’re right! You even state it more succinctly than these guys. Let’s not get distracted from your point though (which you spent most of your words expressing). With that in mind, a separate comment may have been called for… Like this!

    3. Paul Spooner says:

      Yeah, both cases are problematic. Being selectively muted, forced to “agree”, or unable to punch people in the middle of conversations is frustrating. From what I can tell, TWD goes out of its way to try to offer accommodation to a reasonable range of options in each circumstance.

      But the second case, lack of fine manipulation, also hampers the experience. Offering some sort of “attitude” and “approval” control would be great, but of course it drastically increases the number of cases that have to be accounted for. Often the disagreement is with a small part of what the character is proposing, while still agreeing with the overall intent. Sometimes you just need a “let’s clarify” option, to recap or refine your understanding of what’s being said. All of this stuff adds tons of work for the developers, hence your “utopian ideal” classification.

      Also as you said, we have communication limits in real life as well. Things we say “come out wrong” or we misunderstand what someone wants. I’d be interested in playing a game where the character I was playing was better than me, not at climbing ancient ruins or shooting dudes in the head, but at communicating well with other people, or convincing other people of a certain viewpoint.

      And yes, that you care about the fine details instead of the grand options indicates that the grand options are covered to a large extent. I suspect there will always be details below the level of competence that we can take issue with. On the whole, it seems that TWD is a step in the right direction for story-based games and player emotional connection, if not for “true” player agency.

  15. Clint Olson says:

    > Instead you end every singe conversation with, “Thanks Miranda.” (Or whatever.)

    “Singe” should probably be “single”.

    1. It’s an implied way of saying “oooh, BURN!”


  16. Khazidhea says:

    For me, I wasn’t sure that Ben was the guilty one. From a story/character perspective he makes the most sense, but that wasn’t enough to convince me, solely on that fact alone. And the way that Lily was going at him I could feel him breaking and confessing to a crime that (potentially) wasn’t his, making his confession either way suspect. I think part of the reason I felt like this was there was something about Doug. I can’t recall at the moment if it was his animations or facial expressions in the RV, but something about him and the looks he was giving Ben made me somewhat suspect him. In retrospect I viewed this as him having already known for sure that Ben was guilty, but was sympathetic/didn’t want to speak up at this time in hopes of not making the situation worse. Either way, congrats to Telltale for including subtlety in their game.

    1. BeardedDork says:

      At this point I actually thought it was probably Kenny, who had his family to think about (the only thing he ever thinks about), disagrees with Lilly about everything on general principle, knows from dealing with the St. Johns that the bandits can be dealt with, and was obsessed with getting the RV running to escape the Hotel. I thought he was probably buying himself time to get the RV running, it was probably a good move and I didn’t mind.

  17. Dude says:

    Shamus, I don’t know if you’re basing your opinion of TWD TV show on the first season, or if you’re current with the third, so apologies if I’m wrong about that, but I don’t think the “every character fails to get along with every other character” opinion you have about it works for me. Especially in season 3.

    Season 2 was a derailed, slow, mess, but season 3 has come around, and has enough outside conflict to not need a lot of inside, inner-group conflict anymore. There are two established camps with a zombie sea in the middle, and it’s pretty much us vs them from the get go. No us vs us.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      Keep in mind that Shamus only watched the first episode of the first season because he hated it after that.

      1. krellen says:

        I watched the entire first season, which is being far more fair than entertainment actually deserves. If it takes three seasons to reach a point of not being mind-numbingly stupid, it’s already failed.

      2. Dasick says:

        Huh. Similarly, I saw the first episode of Game of Thrones and decided that I *really* don’t like it.

        1. aldowyn says:

          Did you read the books? A lot of the issues with the show are probably carried over from the books.

          1. Dasick says:


            What I don’t like is just how incredibly grim-dark it seems to be. At least, every character is an unreedemable asshole except for Sean Bean, but do we really need spoiler tags for that?

            A setting doesn’t have to be a sunshine and rainbows paradise, but the people should have something to look forward to, to live for. Y’know, balance and contrast.

        2. Amnestic says:

          Generally I’m of the opinion that every show gets two episodes to entice me. Pilots can be rocky things but once you hit second episode, then you really should be getting to the stuff which makes me want to sit and spend x minutes watching it.

          There are some exceptions where the first episode just puts me off so much (Heroes was like this with me. Three attempts at watching the pilot and all got shut off midway through due to crushing boredom), but generally it’s two episodes for me.

          1. Dude says:

            While I generally agree in this age of excess (too many other TV shows fighting for your time, etc), I think giving a long form narrative only twenty percent of its total season runtime can bog it down and kill it before it deserves to be.

            Carnivale remains my favorite television show of all time, and it got butchered because it moved very slowly, and took a long, long time to get its wheels.

            The Walking Dead isn’t anywhere that good, but right now Shamus’s repeated “no character likes each other, everyone’s a jackass!” doesn’t fit anymore, that’s all.

            1. Shamus says:

              I posted a broad disclaimer early in the series that when I say “The TV Show”, I’m only talking about part of Season 1, which is all I saw. Of course, if people join us mid-season, don’t read the show notes, or don’t perfectly recall blog posts from three months ago. Which leads to this, which I suppose will keep happening if I don’t do something.

              I don’t know how to handle this. I hate to think I need to link the disclaimer every single time I mention the show, and re-posting the disclaimer would be tedious in the extreme.

            2. Dasick says:

              I think this is a good standard for TV shows

              Due to it’s segmented format, every episode of a TV show needs to be a self-containing arc, while also pushing forward the overall arc. Firefly is an excellent example of this. It’s amazing just how well an episode you can make when you’re aware it can be the last one you make.

  18. Mailbox says:

    There’s a lot to say about this part. I want to address the potential for an actual player choice that could have been implemented. So this sequence happens and Carley/Doug is killed and later in the episode as you have mentioned it turns out Ben was the one responsible for the bandits. After this discovery I immediately thought about whether this event could have played out differently. Was it possible to save Carley? Had I made different decisions would Ben be dead and Carley alive? That was my first thought cause I really disliked losing Carley. I left Lily on the road without hesitation. What helped sparked this theorizing was the fact that during the conversation I was given the notification “Carley will remember that.” Well as it turns out no, she won’t. So why was I notified there? I was interested in knowing whether this event above all others branched out into a list of possible scenarios. The ones I came up with are as follows.
    Scenario A: Ben lives. Carley/Doug dies. Ben is the traitor.
    Scenario B: Ben Dies. Carley/Doug lives. Carley/Doug is the traitor.
    Scenario C: Ben Dies. Carley/Doug Lives. Ben was the traitor.
    Scenario D: Ben lives. Carley/Doug dies. Carley/Doug was the traitor.
    Scenario E: Either one dies and neither are the traitor.
    Now of course for some of these to work a lot of other events later in the episode and the episodes that follow would have to play out differently but at the time I didn’t know what to expect. Now I know this wasn’t the case which severely disappoints me. That this sequence of events, which plays out terrific, doesn’t offer a lot of actual choice. It reminded me a lot about the choice between saving Shawn or Duck. No matter what you do you get the same result. I feel that TellTale missed an opportunity here to give the player real feedback on the choices they made up to this point.

    1. anaphysik says:

      What helped sparked this theorizing was the fact that during the conversation I was given the notification “Carley will remember that.” Well as it turns out no, she won't. So why was I notified there?

      Even in Episode 1, you can get a “Shawn won’t forget that” popup just a minute or two before his scripted death.

      Why were you notified? Because the game wants to use those notifications to manipulate you.

      1. Mailbox says:

        The questions I laid out in my post were ones I asked myself during my initial play through. They are there to give you an idea of what I was thinking at the time. I didn’t find out about the false choice with Shawn or the events surrounding Carley’s/Doug’s fate until after I beat the whole game. So yes even with Shawn I could have brought up the problem of notifying me about characters keeping track of something only to end up dead minutes later regardless. I chose to talk about this one in particular because it stood out to me more. Although, now I’m curious if that information he remembered gets resolved before his death. I don’t remember.

        1. Thomas says:

          It feels to me that this is something they can change in Season 2. (Because as much as I love this season until the last episode, it’s not going to work played straight again. Or rather it will probably enjoy greater commerical success and suck ala ME2)

          They were getting rid of the characters, they didn’t need to kill them off. There should have been 4-5 alternatives some of which involved Carley/Doug surviving but leaving for their own reasons (or have them leave at the train, thats not much extra dialogue). Its small, doesn’t impact the story but it would help supplement the game once the illusion is broken. They miss an even worse opportunity in Ep 5

  19. Urs says:

    regarding “The old Adventure Game” bit at the beginning, I thought of the old Resident Evils quite a lot. Especially that one sequence later when I got in a sewer and had to puzzle around valves ;)

  20. fish food carl says:

    Wow. OK. I had absolutely no idea that the Doug/Carley setup ended so differently.

    I think I’d disagree with the comparison of Lily to Miranda, but seemingly only because I had attempted to save Larry back in the farm.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hated Larry, and I’d intentionally antagonised him from the moment he tried to murder Lee (incidentally, I give this game a huge, huge amount of freedom when it comes to railroading. I forgive its many sins for the sake of fun, but not being able to tell the group that Larry tried to murder you, after you save his life, was simply too much. Screw that. Moving on.), but Lily always struck me as a decent type of person, trying to handle her violent, irrational father.

    But siding with Lily there changes the whole breakdown thing. She’s grieving and stressed, and notices missing supplies. She confides in Lee, in private, and he agrees to poke around. It’s a nice conversation, where she comes off as much, much more grounded than she does here. She’s not screaming like a lunatic, and what she says is pretty rational (apart from the line equating theft to murder).

    She even opens up to Lee a bit, about how she’s finding it difficult to cope and she’s happy he’s not ignoring what she has to say. Then, it turns out she was right all along. Sure, she’s still overzealous about the whole thing, but her suspicions not only were justified, but the theft/bandit thing sets up all of the following tragedy, giving her a decent reason to go a little over the edge.

    I still saw her as a problematic character, but I hadn’t hit that Little Lamplight level of metagame hatred, where you decide you’ve had enough with a character and refuse to put up with any more of their crap, and any further dialogue with them is simply an exercise in frustration.

    I also thought it was probably Ben. However, I felt that it was stupid to be dealing with it on the roadside, at gunpoint, so I tried to diffuse the conversation, while Carley starts to yell at Lily. Carley at this point is not armed, and has been one of the nicest, wisest friends to Lee (advising him to tell Kenny/Katja about his past is a great conversation they have), and she just seems fed up with Lily being paranoid and starts arguing with her.

    Fairly dumb thing to do, but I didn’t exactly blame Carley.

    Right about here, I stopped sympathising with Lily. Up until this last possible minute, it just seemed plausible that a high stress situation and her unstable state of mind had simply caused her to crack a little. I’ve seen people act crazy at less provocation.

    Then Lily, the only member of the group with her weapon out, effectively executes Carley as she turns. A few metres apart, no sudden movement, and she shoots her straight through the head. It seems so absurdly out of character at this point, you have to conclude that Lily has completely lost her goddamn mind.

    It’s a completely different conclusion, and it makes me wonder exactly why it was done like this. By making the Doug/Carley choice change Lily’s path, it seems to invalidate parts of the Kill Larry/Save Larry choice. No matter how crazy/reasonable Lily is up to this point, she murders Carley in cold blood and shoots Doug effectively by accident. Very strange.

    1. Isy says:

      The game should not have had Larry try to kill you. It literally serves no narrative purpose, because everyone pretends it didn’t happen a minute later. Maybe the writers planned to do more with it at the time, but as it is, it’s a dumb and clunky way to scream “you hate his guy!!” at the player.

      Had he not tried to kill you, had he simply been an acerbic asshole, he would have been a better character.

      1. MetalSeagull says:

        That also would have made choosing to help Kenny kill him with a salt lick harder. Especially since Kenny had a very good reason to hate Larry. You don’t even need an extra reason to dislike Larry. His eagerness to kill a kid without waiting to see if he had been bitten was enough.

    2. Abnaxis says:

      To be fair, they know he tried to murder you from what Mark says in episode 2, it’s just never ever addressed on-screen.

  21. Urs says:

    I wonder… did anyone allow Lily to stay? What happens if you do? Like this, please.

    1. Protocol95 says:

      The group will tie Lily up, and when the group gets out of the RV to inspect the train, they decide to not leave a single person to guard her. After a bit she breaks free and steals the RV. Nice one surviviors. I can see you’re holding onto that idiot ball really tight.

      1. Thomas says:

        If you’ve been nice she asks Lee to come with her . Does anyone know if you can accept and if so what stops it?

        1. Entropy says:

          She’s surprised, but tells you to go get Clem. When you leave the RV, she drives off.

          1. aldowyn says:

            what? Then why did she ask? >.>

            1. Dasick says:

              To confuse you and to get you out of the RV.

              And back onto the rails.

              (You can probably explain it as her getting cold feet or something.)

  22. Indy says:

    Fun difference between Carley and Doug that hasn’t been covered: Carley will actually take the other side of the RV during that gunfight. During it, you don’t have to go over there and defend Katjaa and Duck for a long time. However, when you have Doug, he manages to get the RV to start a lot faster, resulting in less time shooting zombies.

    And Josh, please fail at stopping the train. Please, the result will be worth it.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      Interesting thing if you take Carley and confess your murderous past to Kenny and Katja, they will confess to you during the RV ride that Duck was bitten citing that you trusted them, they should trust you. I don’t know if they still do it in the RV with Doug there, but I’m curious.

      1. BeardedDork says:

        They have different dialog.

  23. TMTVL says:

    This season is were I stopped playing. The characters I liked were gone and then Chuckles came along…

    Nedless to say, I was no longer amused or interested in continuing the story any further.

  24. Wedge says:

    This season needs a drinking game. First rule:
    Whenever someone mentions Mass Effect, drink

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      Take a drink whenever a character gets unreasonably angry for seemingly no reason.

      Take a drink whenever the cast talks about choices in video games in a general sense.

      1. Dasick says:

        To be honest I haven’t been watching this season of spoiler warning (wanted to play Episode 1 spoiler-free, haven’t had time since).

        What are they saying about choices in video games?

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          Just whether or not these choices matter and general comparisons to Mass Effect’s choices.

          1. aldowyn says:

            Yeah, false choice and just choice in general are both really relevant to this, especially as compared to Mass Effect.

      2. Fawstoar says:

        Take a drink whenever plot zombies appear.

        1. Indy says:

          The next plot zombies are probably the ones in the building by the tanker puzzle. And maybe the herd right after it.

        2. Abnaxis says:

          Isn’t calling them “plot” zombies being redundant? They’re always plot zombies…

  25. Astor says:

    I had Carley, I was somewhat understanding of Lily (sided with her for the DAD thing and I could understand her way of thinking about food and shelter), but when she did what she did I too wanted to kill her. Leaving her behind was satisfying enough, though.

  26. Abnaxis says:

    The YouTube splash image for this video is very provocative…

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