The Last of Us EP16: Butt Parchment

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Nov 5, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 96 comments

Link (YouTube)

So I guess now we’re duty-bound to come up with more euphemisms for toilet paper. Do your best!

The game improves so much the moment we rejoin Ellie. I think one of the reasons that I can tolerate Joel being a heel is that we aren’t given any agency at all over his actions. If the game gave you a BioWare / TellTale style dialog choice once in a while, or offered you a “Press X to punch Bill in the face, square to give him a high-five”, then we’d resent all the other occasions where the game didn’t give us a choice. Being offered meaningless choices is more annoying than having no choices at all.

I suppose it also helps that we have a character-based reason for Joel’s behavior. We can see he’s wrong, but he’s wrong because of personal problems that are central to his character. He’s not just denying her a gun because the game designers didn’t think it would work from a gameplay perspective.

If I can bring up Mass Effect 2 without opening old woundsActually, those wounds never closed. But whatever. then it provides a good contrast. Shepard makes TONS of galaxy-changing decisions, so us not being able to refuse to work with The Illusive ManThere are some who call him… TIM? feels really out of place. Worse, he doesn’t have a reason that works for usOkay, it works for some players.. He’s enslaved by the plot, which means we’re enslaved by the plot, which means all those other little choices feel frustrating and condescending. Like, I can’t refuse to work with this crazy terrorist moron, but I’m allowed to be a dick to Veetor for no reason.

Because of this difference, Joel’s reluctance to give Ellie a firearm feels like narrative tension and not railroading. And when he finally breaks down and trusts her to protect him, we understand he’s taking a huge step. It’s entirely possible this is the first positive step he’s taken in 20 years to cope with his daughter’s murder.



[1] Actually, those wounds never closed. But whatever.

[2] There are some who call him… TIM?

[3] Okay, it works for some players.

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96 thoughts on “The Last of Us EP16: Butt Parchment

  1. Rutskarn says:

    This is the best episode we’ve ever recorded along the all-important Anti-Euphemisms for Toilet Paper scale.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I am commander Shepard and this is my favourite Sanitation Spool on the citadel.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Dont toilets of the future use three seashells instead?

        1. Abnaxis says:

          Between the Schwarzenegger Presidential Library and Scott Petersen being one of the prisoners in the cryo-prison, that movie freaks me the hell out.

          I refuse to watch it any more out of fear of finding some other bizarre prophesy in it.

          1. I never cared much for that movie. It seemed like they started out wanting to be a more serious (for an action-movie definition of “serious”) film but went complete gonzo-goofy after they reached the future.

            I’m also not the world’s biggest Sandra Bullock fan, so there’s that.

            1. But Welsey Snipes rocks the best Duke Nukem cosplay in that movie!

    2. Hitch says:

      I’m pretty sure all that you’ll find in a post-apocalyptic setting is John Wayne. You know, the stuff that’s rough, tough, and don’t take shit off nobody.

  2. General Karthos says:

    Speaking of Mass Effect 2, I took revenge on the ME2 plot by sabotaging Cerberus wherever I could (which honestly was not often enough), giving their covert documents to the Alliance, Jack, and any Joe Schmo who wanted them, convincing Miranda and the rest to walk away from TIM at the end, etc. And I chose to blow up the base not because it was the “Paragon” action (which makes very little sense to me) but because it would spite Cerberus. Yeah, it might cost the Galaxy (turns out it doesn’t matter at all in the long run) but any option that screws Cerberus even a little was fine by me. It wasn’t enough.

    Also, “Seat Sweeper”.

    1. spleentioteuthis says:

      Stool stationery.

      Incidentally just what you’d want for any hypothetical correspondence with Cerberus.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      See,the thing about all those covert stuff you do against cerberus is that not one of them is ever acknowledged.Not a single time does anyone say “Hey,good work subverting cerberus from within!”,or “You dick,we trusted you,and you stab us in the back!”,or anything else.Which just made it more infuriating for me.

      1. General Karthos says:

        If you have Miranda on your team she objects at the time when you decide to send secret Cerberus information to the Alliance. But yeah, it’s never acknowledged, which is unfortunate.

        I feel like both ME2 and ME3 would have been better plot-wise (I still find them fun to play) if EA hadn’t purchased BioWare. (Now maybe I’m wrong about that, but I prefer to heap the blame on EA and not BioWare.)

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Neverwinter nights.Its basically mass effect 2 pre mass effect.Superb characters,boring as hell main story.So yeah,its all bioware.

          1. Jeff says:

            At least the expansion packs for NWN1 were pretty neat, and introduced us to Deekin.

            NWN2 wasn’t bad, I really liked building up my fortress. MotB was really good, though.

            Can’t be bothered to check if there was a change in staff for those things.

  3. Wilcroft says:

    I’m thinking this is the LRR sketch Rutskarn was referring to:

  4. Isy says:

    I guess you could argue that Joel’s poor decision skills let you empathize with with Ellie more than anything. So it’s letting you get into a character, just not the one you’re controlling.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    20 years without power?Somehow I doubt that reader would still be able to read anything.

  6. Too bad they didn’t use one of those old swiss-cheese keycards, since those don’t rely on electricity.

    It would’ve been an interesting touch if there was some note about “digging these old locks out of storage due to the constant power failures” as the city slowly fell to the zombies.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Using books for warmth is a terrible idea.Have you ever burned a piece of paper?See how quickly it burns completely?Thats the same thing youd get from a book.Youd need so many books to be able to sustain the fire for just one night that its not worth it.The whole shelf full of books in a library would burn for about the same time as a single board of that shelf.

    So if you ever find yourself in a library in post apocalypse,burn the shelves,and use the books for reading,and just a few pages to get the fire going.

    1. Humanoid says:

      Reading? Those books would make perfect posterior polishers.

    2. Wide And Nerdy says:

      Reminds me of the Day After Tomorrow (the one with Super-Global Warming right?). There’s a scene when everyone is locked up in the library and there starts to be a big argument over whether or not to burn the books (because the librarian is in there.) Except there’s wooden furniture all over the place in the room that they never even think of touching. At the end of the movie? Lots of burned books. Lots of intact furniture.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        See, that’s the kind of evil ‘learning’ that you gain from reading too much books, along with the all the other bad book-induced knowledge people use to realise how stupid Roland Emmerich’s films are and give them poor metacritic reviews.

        If people would just burn more books and never learn anything, that sort of tragedy may have been avoided.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        The movie where they outrun the cold.Which is,surprisingly,a concept even stupider than outrunning the wind.

        And yes,that is the stupidity Ive thought of as well.I mean,I get the message he was going for with that scene,but it was still stupid.

      3. Joe Informatico says:

        I get that burning the furniture is going to be a bit tricky, because it’s probably lacquered and if it’s a few decades old, who knows what kind of toxic gump they used as shellac? But it is probably better than freezing.

        Speaking as a public librarian, if you have to burn books, do you have to start with the non-fiction? Go hit the paperback spinners for the Grisham and Patterson first. Unlike the auto repair manuals and food preserving guides, no one will need those after the apocalypse.

        Also, a library is an office environment like anything else. There are probably reams and reams of printer paper and manilla folders you can use.

        1. Grudgeal says:

          I wonder how well the other media you usually find in modern libraries would burn. I mean, talking about outright utility the DVDs and cassette tapes have to be even less important than books in the post-apocalypse, so you may as well get them over with first right?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Plastic is awful fuel for a fire,since most of it doesnt burn,but rather just melts.

            However,it may have another use,since most of it also stinks while exposed to flame,so you can use it to ward off wildlife.

            As for the lacquered furniture,it only prevents the outer layer from catching fire.But break that thing into pieces,and itll catch fire like any kindling.And while the fumes of some of those burning may be dangerous,they are in very low quantities to be concerned about(it is just a thin layer of paint after all).Especially if the alternative is freezing to death.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wow,joel is not just stupid,he is a massive douchebag.Way to put him in his place ellie,good for you.

  9. Regarding 20-year-old toilet paper, I have a true story. Don’t worry, it’s not terribly gross.

    A few years ago, our fair city had some massively unfair stretches of hot weather during the summer, to the point where our second floor was nigh unusable during the day. The upstairs has a bathroom that, due to the heat, nobody used. Several months later, I’m up there doing routine cleaning and I tear off some toilet paper to wet-dust the sink, but when I run it under the water, the paper no longer absorbed the water. It took prolonged submersion for the paper to even think about moistening, making it more like quilted paper towels than what it was intended for.

    My theory is the heat did something to whatever softening agents (lotion?) that went into the 2-ply roll, converting it to some kind of water-resistant substance.

    I’m not sure how this would be simulated in a video game, but there you go.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Bwahahahaha!Oh man,this is rich!Hey,I see you know how to handle a handgun,so heres a rifle.Whats next?Yeah,I saw you can drive a car,so heres this tank I want you to drive around.

    Ok,at least he did explain some basics to her,so thats a redeeming factor,I guess.He does at least attempt to atone for his assholishness,even if he is really bad at it.

    As for why he takes so much to trust her,I dont think its just his daughter though.My guess is that he worked with tess for quite a while,and he would have just as much trouble to trust an adult.Still stupid,but at least understandable.

    1. Keldoclock says:

      I dunno man, guns are pretty easy to use. I mean, when I first shot a handgun, I had no idea what I was doing, and I was hitting a 6inch target at 10 yards with the world’s shittiest, least accurate Jensen .22 pistol piece of crap. I mean, sure, marksmanship, saftey, optimal use, but if your goal is to send bullets in someone’s general direction? Point and shoot bro.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Im more talking about recoil here.If you fire a gun and think you are used to it,then try a rifle,youll still need to fire off a few rounds just to get used to the kick.The only worse thing joel couldve done there is to give her an automatic rifle.

        1. Alex says:

          You’ve got that backwards. There are high recoil shoulder-fired weapons, but your average rifle has more manageable recoil than your average pistol. It’s heavier so it has more inertia to resist the recoil, and the stock and grip makes it easier to brace so that it doesn’t come back and smack you in the nose. I’ve seen video of someone firing an M-16 on semi-automatic one handed and held away from their body, and he had no trouble hitting targets a hundred feet away.

          An Uzi, that would be a terrible weapon to give Elli.

          1. Joe Informatico says:

            Yeah, I’ve only tried firing guns a few times, but I found the rifle and shotgun way easier to fire and shoot than the handgun. And not only because being able to brace it against my shoulder and hold my hands farther apart. I don’t know if this is typical with handguns (IIRC I was using a Springfield 9mm of some kind), but the muzzle flash was right in the middle of my field of view. Whereas with the rifle and shotgun, the flash was a good foot or more away from my face and not as blinding.

            The Uzi was kind of scary, actually. This one had a foldout stock, and it was still really hard to maintain control with any kind of burst.

      2. Wide And Nerdy says:

        There’s still things like how to properly load the gun, chamber the round, release the safety, etc. That said, once you do that, my experience was similar to yours the first time I was at a shooting range. The pointing and clicking is easy. Can’t tell you how that would translate into a firefight though.

      3. Vermander says:

        Firearms are actually pretty difficult to use correctly. Lots of people do not know how to detach and reattach magazines, chamber rounds, release safeties and clear jams or stovepipes. I have a fair amount of experience with firearms and I still often need someone to show me how to correctly prep and fire an unfamiliar gun.

        Many guns are more complex than they look, and prone to mechanical failure. You generally have to keep them clean and lubricated, and if you are constantly dropping them or slamming them into things there’s a chance they will break.

        1. Actually we’re all here now very well acquainted with the complexities of gun use…

        2. Keldoclock says:

          You are absolutely right, but I think that if you hand a stranger, even one who has never fired a shot before, a modern gun, and you tell them “shoot that dude”, they will be able to do it. In Ellie’s case, it’s some kinda old bolt action, idiotproof. Sure she might need to be shown how to reload the internal mag (although there isn’t one in this case, it’s like a youth rifle or something) correctly or adjust the sights, but that doesn’t matter if she only needs to shoot like 3 guys.

    2. Thomas says:

      I agree, Joel doesn’t play nice with strangers in general. I can’t imagine him trusting any stranger he meets. I think he is worse with Ellie though, just because she’s making him feel a whole bunch of emotions he doesn’t want to feel.

  11. gunther says:

    Gargantua and Pantagruel, one of the true classics of Renaissance French literature, has a fine discourse on the subject:

    “Afterwards I wiped my tail with a hen, with a cock, with a pullet, with a calf's skin, with a hare, with a pigeon, with a cormorant, with an attorney's bag, with a montero, with a coif, with a falconer's lure. But, to conclude, I say and maintain, that of all torcheculs, arsewisps, bumfodders, tail-napkins, bunghole cleansers, and wipe-breeches, there is none in the world comparable to the neck of a goose, that is well downed, if you hold her head betwixt your legs. And believe me therein upon mine honour, for you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure, both in regard of the softness of the said down and of the temporate heat of the goose, which is easily communicated to the bum-gut and the rest the inwards, in so far as to come even to the regions of the heart and brains.”

    Now why do we use toilet paper when we could say “bumfodder” or “bunghole cleanser”, I ask you?

    1. Dev Null says:

      That’s awesome. Torchecul is officially my new name for video game characters.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    If you really want to kill someone quickly,you should slice one of the major arteries.For a standing person,the best way to do this is to slice the thigh artery,then hold them still.Theyll pass out in under a minute,especially if they are struggling,and die a short time after that.

    Though Im not sure such a gruesome thing would be really appropriate to show in anything other than an hbo show.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “So I guess now we're duty-bound to come up with more euphemisms for toilet paper.”

    You mean doody bound?

    Also,why is Josh the only one without tp based title?Oh,right,he is the editor.

  14. Eric says:

    Holy crap, the keys on that piano are huge.

    1. lethal_guitar says:

      Yeah, right? They’re easily 2-4 times as big as real keys.. o.O

  15. Keldoclock says:

    Shamus, when it comes to choking people, the way Joel is doing it, you aren’t actually crushing the trachea. You use one hand to cradle their neck in your elbow, squeeze with your bicep and flexors, and use the other arm to squeeze even tighter & lock the other person in place. You’re actually cutting off blood to the brain, not air. It’s much faster and deadlier, and if your goal is to NOT kill someone, good technique will leave no permanant damage. Most people do not use good technique, which is why people often die when any kind of choke is performed.

    Sometimes people do what is called a “bar choke” which DOES crush the trachea and prevent breathing. You use a baton or other stick and pull on it with both hands to compress the throat.

    Both of these are very dangerous! Don’t do it unless you have agreed previously with your sparring partner that it’s OK if one of you dies!

    1. Redingold says:

      This method of knocking someone out is actually called strangulation, not choking. There is a difference between strangling and choking.

      On the subject of the zombies in the basement, once you start the generator, you don’t actually have to kill any zombies. You can just run straight for the exit.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        “No, no, Jimmy, CHOKING is something you do when you eat too fast. As I’m CRUSHING mr. Moorin’s windpipe with my watch-chain, what I’m doing is actually referred to as STRANGLING.”

    2. Alex says:

      Yeah, I was going to post this, but you beat me to it. There are videos on Youtube of martial artists doing it, and is pretty much this quick.

      1. psivamp says:

        I’ve done it — not entirely intentionally. You can knock someone out in about four seconds like this. And then they get up in a minute with some confusion and possible short-term memory issues. ( Sorry, Winslow )

        Pretty sure that the amount of time Joel’s doing it for won’t kill anyone though. You’d get people waking up and wondering how they ended up on the floor or anywhere but the huddle at the beginning. Then they’d yell for help and it’d all be over for Joel.

    3. Sean says:

      Came here to post this. You can knock someone out cold in a few seconds if you get the hold right.

      What’s scary is that the length of time it takes to go from “knocked out” to “brain dead” isn’t that much longer.

  16. Jake Taylor says:

    One of my favorite things about this game is that Joel isn’t “the good guy”; he isn’t even a good guy. He’s a very damaged man who has learned to survive in the harshest and most hopeless way possible. And the best result of that is that he makes bad decisions – in particular, the ending, which is one of the reasons people debate over it, because it’s not the right thing to do and it’s weird to have the hero (and by extension the player) do something wrong, and make a selfish choice instead of saving the world.

    Long spoiler. Anyway, the lack of player choice is an interesting point; as far as I know, there’s only one instance of player choice in the game, that being the final room, where the player can either shoot all the doctors before saving Ellie or let them go, although you’re not told it’s a choice so what you do really says more about you than anything.

    Sorry for the long spoilers and long comment. I have too much to say about this game.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      No need to apologise. Nice change o’ pace from all the bottom-buffing buffoonery! :D

    2. el_b says:

      the two best friends Run had a really good moment at the end. pat tried really hard throughout the game not to get attached to ellie, because he figured that since this is a grim post-apocalyptic story, she’s either going to die or The fireflies Would try to make her a baby factory. despite this, matt had to pull him back from slaughtering all of the doctors… can’t really blame him myself.

      One thing I found interesting about people justifying or being against joels decision at the end, is that there is a dictaphone in one of the more open rooms in the hospital that could easily be missed. Joel’s ending dialogue saying that there were dozens of people who are immune wasn’t a lie, it just doesn’t change whether you pick up the note or not. the fireflies have killed everyone they had taken in, Ellie’s death would probably solved nothing. I wonder how many people noticed this when they made their argument.

      1. Thomas says:

        But the Fireflies also have another note on that level that explains Ellie’s immunity is radically different to the immunity of the other people they’ve found and it looks much more useful than all the people who came before

        1. JirnTm says:

          But they’re also obviously terrible doctors performing mad science in the hopes that lightening will strike and they’ll get a cure (how they are hoping this when they keep killing off the immune instead of studying them – or even encouraging them to date – …well, that’s why it’s mad science).

          I don’t see the Fireflies admitting to murdering many people as a good reason to let them murder more people.

          1. Kian says:

            Spoilers ahead :P

            Even if the Fireflies could get a cure, you’d still have to manufacture huge amounts and distribute it, and I doubt the Fireflies have the ability or infrastructure to do that. Not to mention that they’d try to get some advantage out of it, and the people on the other side of the fight would try to either take the cure by force or destroy it (because of course they would).

            And ultimately, the zombies aren’t that big a deal. You don’t need a cure that badly. If people would just stop killing each other, like the people in Joel’s brother’s camp figured out, civilization would get back up on its own.

    3. Thomas says:

      You still have to kill one Doctor. I know because I’d deliberately non-lethal’d the level because I realised how out of whack Joel’s priorities were that he’d kill that many people who got in his way.

      And I tried everything I could not to kill the one doctor, but the game traps you in an almost comical way (I threw a brick at his face and it did nothing).

      But I actually like that, because it represented the moment for me where Joel and I parted permanently. I saw it as the game telling me that Joel wasn’t me and this is where we were irreconcilable. And then immediately after that moment the game _does_ make it very clear that you shouldn’t sympathise with Joel anymore.

      I really admire The Last of Us’ arc, it plays on traditional narrative so well. We look this episode and we think that this must be Joel on the start of ‘his girl takes curmudgeonly man and reveals his heart of gold’. And then very subtly Joel leaves that path and starts going down a place much darker, but until the end it’s never so obvious that you completely realise whats happen. The game just creates more and more disconnect between the player and the protagonist and your mind keeps trying to fit it into the traditional narrative until eventually it reaches the moment where it realises that that isn’t possible

    4. JirnTm says:

      The thing is, I don’t see that the ending is the wrong thing to do, really. I haven’t played the game, but the Wikipedia article spells it out pretty clearly, and under those circumstances I probably would make a similar choice because
      1) Acquiescing in the murder of an unconscious person is wrong and I’m totally OK with those people not being on the face of the planet any more

      2) Removing Ellie’s brain is, literally, mad science. The most you would want is a brain biopsy and lots of MRIs / CAT scans until the process was well understood. Ellie just got there, they’re still in the process of identifying what her body is doing, and there is no freaking way a rational doctor would want to kill her at this point. It would be like killing Ebola survivors so we can make Survivor Juice instead of just drawing blood to donate.
      TL;DR The antagonists’ reasoning is scientifically and morally unsupportable.

      I think the ending is more about at what point is it wrong to make decisions for other people? Some people think that it’s OK for the antagonists to make that choice for Ellie because they are an organized group working towards a goal. I don’t think that, for the reasons listed above, and so I don’t see that Joel’s decision is out of reach for what I might do under those circumstances. It could even be the morally correct choice.

      1. Thomas says:

        Ellie says that she wanted them to go ahead with what happened. They have done MRI’s on her and from what I understand, the tests they did suggested it was a mutated version of the Cordyceps that was preventing Ellie’s change rather than anything unique to Ellie herself. (So nothing that would be passed on genetically)

        But either way, it’s not really about whether what happened to Ellie was right or not (the most sympathetic person at the point of this story hates what is happening and suggests that the Fireflies aren’t really aligned with her), it’s that by this point it’s clear that Joel doesn’t care about anyone _including_ Ellie. He’s not interesting in what she thinks or wants, only what he gets out of the relationship. Moreover it’s shown that he will happily kill as many people as it takes to get what he wants. He’s got no interest in humanity or progress or other people, he kills to survive and he does _nothing_ with that survival. He’s a parasite on humanity

        1. Tizzy says:

          A couple of points:

          * By the end, the game made a pretty convincing argument that damning humanity to extinction might not be such a bad idea, supporting Joel’s decision.

          * Even right now, making any progress on such a medical mystery would be daunting. After 20 years of collapsed civilization, given the state of the equipment and available talent, I always felt that whatever they were planning to do was quixotic, to put it mildly.

          So basically, put me on team Joel on this one.

          (Disclaimer: this only applies to the world as depicted by the game, not the one we actually live in.)

        2. Kian says:

          The entire situation was forced to give Joel sufficient justification to do what he did and have at least part of the fan base stand by his side (I’m in camp Joel, for several reasons).

          I’m pretty sure Ellie would have agreed to sacrifice herself. She was probably expecting something like that. But the doctors don’t even offer her the choice. She’s knocked out and before she reawakens they decide to kill her. They also don’t give Joel a chance to say good bye.

          Let’s set aside the medical difficulties. Even if you believe that the Fireflies have the know how and infrastructure to create a cure, there’s no excuse for going about it as they did. Had they explained the situation to Ellie, and kept her around until she agreed, Joel would have been powerless to stop it. He couldn’t have kidnapped Ellie and have a normal life with her.

          Instead, they took the guy that miraculously brought her from the end of the world and killed a small army on the way and tried to keep him away from his surrogate daughter. That’s just asking to get murdered.

  17. Nicholas Hayes says:

    You could also go for obfuscation, something like ‘Nethers cleansing sheaf’

  18. Excludos says:

    Let me correct you a little bit on the choking part Shamus. When you choke someone, you’re not actually stopping their breathing, you are cutting off their circulation to the brain. If done correctly, you could choke someone unconscious after only a couple of seconds.

    However, as most people who watches MMA will know, they tend to wake up rather quickly afterwards. Choking to kill someone requires the circulation to the brain to be cut off for around 6 minutes.

    So what I think is happening here is that Joel is choking people left and right, and when they wake up soon after, they all go “Well, I was beaten fair and square. I better just lie here and pretend I’m dead until he moves along”

    Also: Crap Scraper?
    Edit: No, wait, I got it! Crap Collector.

    1. BitFever says:

      You’re totally right about this. I’ve always wished that a game would just have gags and zip ties in them and you’d choke and tie up people quickly. This would actually A make it plausible instead of silly and B create a mechanic that limits your ability to silently choke everyone in the game because you’d have a finite amount of resources to keep them tied up after.

      They could even make noise so where you stow them would be more important instead of having the stupid body pile in the corner of a room that always happens in every stealth game ever.

  19. el_b says:

    the infected in the basement aren’t actually clickers. they are called stalkers, the stage between infection and becoming a clicker. They can still see and thankfully cant instantly kill you, because they are really fast and are based entirely around ambushing you, which is why they seem to run away a lot.
    They only appear in two or three areas I think, Which is good because they could have become a lot less novel if overused. the second big fight with them in the sewers is a lot less tense despite the fact there are like 10 more of them and a few clickers because you’re in a much more open area and that bloater is chasing you around like’s also where you get your first real instant kill melee weapon as well as the magnificent sawed off.

  20. Blake says:

    Poop collectors
    Dung canvas
    Manure manuscript

    Or perhaps just,
    Waste wipes?

    1. el_b says:

      4chan is a good one too.

  21. Thomas says:

    Despite everything that will happen in this game, Joel shutting down Ellie after she killed her first guy is the one that produced the worst reaction in me

  22. Phantos says:

    That piano part reminded me of Final Fantasy V, where every time you go to a new town with a piano in it, you can play it. And you start off horrible, but if you do it on every piano in the game you become a skilled pianist. And this serves absolutely no function in the game itself, and there’s no other reward beyond “I did it”.

    Maybe they could have done that here. Have Joel learn to play a ragtime song to distract clickers during an escape scene.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “And this serves absolutely no function in the game itself, and there's no other reward beyond “I did it”.”

      I must admit that I kind of miss things like that.Yeah,its nice to get an achievement for bragging rights for doing XYZ,but sometimes the charm of XYZ is just in doing it,with no extra incentives.

      1. Thomas says:

        Yeah I know what you mean, it sort of stops being a fun easter-egg or a quirky little thing you did once you get achievements for it

        1. Dev Null says:

          If you do it because, it’s a hobby; once you get paid its a job.

  23. Phantos says:

    Would the pistol Ellie uses even work after it had been underwater like that? Are guns waterproof?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Technically they are,considering that everything that goes bang is sealed inside a bullet.However,guns have many movable parts,which can jam.This is why its important to keep guns properly maintained.Now dirty water like this can both wash off the lubrication and put dirt inside the gun,which can jam it even during the very next shot.And considering that joel was in numerous pools of dirty water,Im surprised any of his guns havent jammed yet.

      1. krellen says:

        It depends on the gun’s manufacture, really. The reason AK-47s are so popular with disaffected militants – well, the other reason, after the fact that there are so damn many of them in circulation – is that it is a remarkably resilient rifle that operates effectively in far more adverse conditions than the technically-superior-but-only-if-routinely-maintained M16s of the US Army. You could pick up an AK from a puddle like that and reasonably expect it to fire.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well yes,russian equipment is obviously the exception to any “if not maintained” rule.

  24. Target182 says:

    The kind of choke Joel appears to be using is called a ‘Rear naked choke’ in submission grappling (like Jiu Jitsu) or more commonly a ‘sleeper’ choke like in professional wrestling. If properly applied, ten seconds is more than a enough time to make someone pass out fully, but they usually wake up a few seconds later and are back on there feet in a minute or two. This happens because you aren’t blocking their air supply (air choke) but rather placing pressure on the major arteries flowing to the brain, cutting off circulation (blood choke). It would still take several minutes to fully kill someone though.

    Here’s a great example, this was a club at USF, I trained with these guys. He holds his hand in the air to show the the exact moment he loses consciousness, his hand falls as he passes out.

  25. qosiejfr oiq qp says:

    Joel, have you ever seen the inside of a Turkish prison?

  26. Grudgeal says:

    Do people even use keycards without combination locks any more? I need my keycard and a code to get to work every morning.

    I guess security is slightly laxer in the dark, fungi-infested cellars of the post-apocalypse.

    1. krellen says:

      I can attest with first-hand experience that keycards-without-codes are still a thing.

      I have not seen a magnetic-slide keycard any time recently, however.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        You should keep in mind that the zombie plague has happened in the distant past of 2013,and we are now so much more advanced than way back then.

  27. Joe Informatico says:

    I think RFID circuits can survive the apocalypse. They’re just a bit of inert conductive metal. My girlfriend once ran her transit pass (RFID encased in credit card-sized plastic) through the washing machine and it still worked fine.

    But will the readers and software and IT infrastructure necessary for RFID to work survive the apocalypse? Not likely.

  28. aunshi says:

    Bog roll is a fairly common word for toilet paper here in the UK.

    1. Tizzy says:

      And one of my favorite terms. The first thing I did when opening the comments was check if it had already been posted.

  29. JirnTm says:

    The thing is, I don’t see that the ending is the wrong thing to do, really. I haven’t played the game, but the Wikipedia article spells it out pretty clearly, and under those circumstances I probably would make a similar choice because
    1) Acquiescing in the murder of an unconscious person is wrong and I’m totally OK with those people not being on the face of the planet any more

    2) Removing Ellie’s brain is, literally, mad science. The most you would want is a brain biopsy and lots of MRIs / CAT scans until the process was well understood. Ellie just got there, they’re still in the process of identifying what her body is doing, and there is no freaking way a rational doctor would want to kill her at this point. It would be like killing Ebola survivors so we can make Survivor Juice instead of just drawing blood to donate.
    TL;DR The antagonists’ reasoning is scientifically and morally unsupportable.

    I think the ending is more about at what point is it wrong to make decisions for other people? Some people think that it’s OK for the antagonists to make that choice for Ellie because they are an organized group working towards a goal. I don’t think that, for the reasons listed above, and so I don’t see that Joel’s decision is out of reach for what I might do under those circumstances. It could even be the morally correct choice.

    1. Thomas says:

      The Fireflies aren’t portrayed as good even at the end of the game, one of the logs admits that they’d just lock the person who cared about Ellie up is she disagreed with them.

      But Joel doesn’t care either. When Ellie tells him what she wanted to happen Joel lies to her face and also kills people . And one of those is the person who Ellie described as being basically her mother figure because he doesn’t want her taking Ellie away from him.

      The correct solution was someone inbetween doing what the Fireflies did, and just killing all the people who might be able to find a cure for humanity.

  30. Y’know it’s possible to just run straight to the door and get through without wasting any ammo…right?

    @5:30 Damn Joel. Opening school closets…LIKE A BOSS!

    I agree with the sentiments of an earlier post about Ellie. It makes sense to YOU guys to give Ellie a gun because you’re playing the videogame part of the story where friendly fire is turned off and your AI controlled partner has all the cheat codes on, but as you guys pointed out, you are not these characters even when you play them. Except it’s more than that, you’re not even living in their world. When the cutscenes play, they’re now in a world where all the ‘realities’ that’re smoothed over in gameplay are back in full force. In that world, all the dangers of a gun are very real issues to consider and handing a child a weapon they may not even be physically capable of handling is a more than sensible one to consider.

    Joel’s stupidity wasn’t in not giving Ellie a gun. It was in his inability to overcome his own stubborn attitude and get to know Ellie well enough to find out if she deserved one.

    1. Ivan says:

      And let me point out that Josh has already shot Bill at point blank range with a shotgun, in the back, during a fight. I don’t care how proficient you are, you still need a lot of restraint and constant awareness of where everyone is to use a gun safely in that sort of chaos.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “In that world, all the dangers of a gun are very real issues to consider and handing a child a weapon they may not even be physically capable of handling is a more than sensible one to consider.”

      Except that that world is not our world,where there is no constant threat of zombies everywhere and where a child is not expected to have self defense lessons practically from birth.

      But heres an analogy:In our world,if someone pointed a gun to your face and told you to write 50000 words before you dare to go to sleep,or theyll put a bullet through your brain,but gave you a 12 year old to help you out,would you trust that 12 year old to write half the stuff for you?Because being illiterate in our world is the same as being unable to use a weapon in that world.Doubly so since ellie did say she knows how to use a bow,so not giving her a weapon she says she is proficient with is just plain stupid.

  31. Groboclown says:

    This is something that still really bothers me, regardless of the context. I’ve seen countless movies and games that intend to make a character building point by showing someone finally learning how to kill, or letting someone else learn to kill. “Yay, Bob got over his religious beliefs and is now murdering! Ellie was given a gun and is now free to massacre!”

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      She didnt finally learn that,she already knew that.The only difference is that now it wasnt a zombified human.

      Not to mention that she was already doing loads of damage with bottles.

    2. Ivan says:

      That is a good point, I think it’s usually done as either a symbol of them coming to terms with the world around them, which is generally portrayed as kill or be killed; or as a coming of age sort of thing where the character is recognized as an adult that can be tasked with important responsibilities, like defend the family.

      But I can totally see what you’re saying in that it seems to glorify killing. Though maybe it does in a way. In either case it does always ignore the inherent tragedy of the situation where the character louses their innocence and someone else louses their life.

  32. DTor says:

    After-dinner rolls

  33. White Broadleaf! (cause when you don’t have TP you use broad soft leaves if you can find any)

  34. RCN says:

    You think Toilet Paper is bad and clinical? Try “Hygienic Paper”. That’s how Portuguese rolls.

  35. Coblen says:

    My dad used to refer to it as shit tickets.

    As a child I found it hilarious.

  36. Greg says:

    I just wanted to point out that a choke hold makes people pass out by cutting off the flow of blood to the brain. This leads to unconsciousness well before they run out of air in the lungs. This is why these holds are so dangerous and not safe to play around with.

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