#1 Edited by Jeust (10680 posts) -

Having finished the game, I don't find the Fireflies to be bad guys, especially Marlene.

I can see it being wrong wanting to sacrifice a person in the name of a cause, even an humanitarian cause, without the person's willing consent but Marlene, from her scenes, and her diaries, seemed genuinely troubled with the sacrifices she had to endure in the past, her responsibilities and decisions, and with the need to sacrifice Ellie. She didn't come off to me as a deranged person or a cold killer, but as a person who genuinely strived for what she felt best, even if she felt exhausted and had to break promises.

There is also a recording of one of the doctors, talking about all the people sacrificed till then, and the fact that they were on the verge of a great discovery concerning knowledge of the Cordyceps. The people sacrificed don't necessarily consist only of the people infected and studied, or with their bodies sacrificed for the sake of the cure, but also all the personel killed, including Ellie's mother, Annah. Fireflies seemed that had suffered heavy losses, with all the outposts abandoned, and the lack of manpower at the hospital.

And the Fireflies opposed the army because, the army forces had deposed the democratically elected government. The group demanded the return of all the branches of government, basically democracy.

Personally I can't see them as deranged sickos who just want to murder a child because of reasons.

They wanted to treat the Cordyceps condition, and wanted to sacrifice Ellie because of it.

Truthfully how many people were sacrificed in the real world, in the name of science and humanity, so that vacines and cures would be found?

Still they seem like as much as a "decent" organization as one would find in a similar apocalypse.

Observation: This thread is not to discuss if Joel did right doing what he did. There is a thread for that: http://www.giantbomb.com/the-last-of-us/3030-36989/forums/just-beat-the-game-wanna-talk-about-it-spoilers-1441232/?page=1

And a poll: http://www.giantbomb.com/the-last-of-us/3030-36989/forums/opinions-on-the-climax-of-the-last-of-us-spoilers--1465038/#59

It is just to discuss the Fireflies organization.

I, also, may be wrong in some of my statements in respect to the contents of the diaries, because I chose to play the game, first, translated and dubbed in portuguese. So there is no harm in pointing out innacuracies.

#2 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

I think you've just restated what 99% of the people who've played the game think

#3 Posted by Jeust (10680 posts) -

I think you've just restated what 99% of the people who've played the game think

ahah I wouldn't have thought it, as most people agree with what happened at the end of the game.

#4 Edited by NTM (7411 posts) -

I don't think you're supposed to look at Marlene as a bad character. That's why I find it weird that on the wiki page, just because she'll do what she has to to find a cure, which means in the very end, killing Joel because he wanted to 'save' Ellie, they put her in the bad character area. It makes sense, but yeah, she's not bad. I also don't think Joel's a good or bad guy; he's done some terrible things that make the player question what he's done, but he also has a good side to him, and you also just have to take into account where humans are at in this world in general.

I don't know how I feel about him getting Ellie away, I feel that he did a selfish though completely understandable thing, but he also potentially just made it so the humans can't be cured. That being said, you can also interpret from some of the things said at the end, that Marlene and the rest don't really know if their ideas would work, and actually cure people, so it could have just turned out that Ellie was yet another test subject. I have less of a problem with Joel taking Ellie, and more of a problem with him killing someone Ellie knew from birth practically, which is Marlene.

Marlene was also well intentioned, even though she would fight for what she wanted even if it meant death to a loved one. I don't agree with people that say some of these characters are flat out good, or flat out bad, since most of them are in between. Oh, and when I said Marlene wanted to kill Joel, I meant after he started going crazy, since she said she didn't want him dead, unless he tries anything.

#5 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

@jeust said:

@xalienxgreyx said:

I think you've just restated what 99% of the people who've played the game think

ahah I wouldn't have thought it, as most people agree with what happened at the end of the game.

Just because I would have done what Joel did doesn't mean that it was the right thing to do.

#6 Posted by Jeust (10680 posts) -

@jeust said:

@xalienxgreyx said:

I think you've just restated what 99% of the people who've played the game think

ahah I wouldn't have thought it, as most people agree with what happened at the end of the game.

Just because I would have done what Joel did doesn't mean that it was the right thing to do.

Yeah, but a lot of people said Joel was right to do what he did.

#7 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

@jeust: Fair enough I suppose

#8 Posted by StarvingGamer (8284 posts) -

@jeust said:

@xalienxgreyx said:

@jeust said:

@xalienxgreyx said:

I think you've just restated what 99% of the people who've played the game think

ahah I wouldn't have thought it, as most people agree with what happened at the end of the game.

Just because I would have done what Joel did doesn't mean that it was the right thing to do.

Yeah, but a lot of people said Joel was right to do what he did.

I think what Joel did was the right thing to do. I also do not think that the Fireflies are bad guys.

#9 Posted by Hunter5024 (5708 posts) -

I think Joel did the wrong thing but I think the fireflies are bad guys, because I'm a special snowflake.

#10 Edited by Jeust (10680 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

@jeust said:

@xalienxgreyx said:

@jeust said:

@xalienxgreyx said:

I think you've just restated what 99% of the people who've played the game think

ahah I wouldn't have thought it, as most people agree with what happened at the end of the game.

Just because I would have done what Joel did doesn't mean that it was the right thing to do.

Yeah, but a lot of people said Joel was right to do what he did.

I think what Joel did was the right thing to do. I also do not think that the Fireflies are bad guys.

Huh? Do you believe the Fireflies were acting rightfully when attempting to sacrifice Ellie for the possibility of a vacine?

#11 Posted by StarvingGamer (8284 posts) -

@jeust said:

@starvinggamer said:

I think what Joel did was the right thing to do. I also do not think that the Fireflies are bad guys.

Huh? Do you believe the Fireflies were acting rightfully when attempting to sacrifice Ellie for the possibility of a vacine?

In a manner of speaking, yes. The situation is so morally gray that neither the Fireflies nor Joel is wrong, they are simply approaching the concept of "right" from different, tragically clashing directions.

#12 Posted by Jeust (10680 posts) -

@jeust said:

@starvinggamer said:

I think what Joel did was the right thing to do. I also do not think that the Fireflies are bad guys.

Huh? Do you believe the Fireflies were acting rightfully when attempting to sacrifice Ellie for the possibility of a vacine?

In a manner of speaking, yes. The situation is so morally gray that neither the Fireflies nor Joel is wrong, they are simply approaching the concept of "right" from different, tragically clashing directions.

Yeah, I agree.

#13 Posted by Tearhead (2169 posts) -

Yeah, dude, Joel is a dick who did what he did purely for selfish reasons. Neither party was "right," which was something I loved. I could easily empathize and understand everyone's motivations for their actions... their just all awful, terrible actions by desperate people. Joel was just the shitty person that won.

#14 Edited by White (1359 posts) -

The right thing, in my opinion, is the thing that the majority will benefit from. In this case, what Joel did was not the right thing. It was a selfish decision that doomed mankind to another extended period of poor living conditions.

On the other hand, whose to say the Fireflies wouldn't just hold this vaccine for only the elites within their social circle? Do you honestly believe they will properly disseminate this cure down to even the wretches of society?

#15 Edited by Jeust (10680 posts) -

@white said:

The right thing, in my opinion, is the thing that the majority will benefit from. In this case, what Joel did was not the right thing. It was a selfish decision that doomed mankind to another extended period of poor living conditions.

On the other hand, whose to say the Fireflies wouldn't just hold this vaccine for only the elites within their social circle? Do you honestly believe they will properly disseminate this cure down to even the wretches of society?

Personally I wouldn't believe, but still it would be an improvement. Of course the Fireflies would take advantage of it, but it could mean a new dawn for mankind.

And as the Fireflies desire the return to power of the democratic government, instead of the army, I don't know if they would abuse their power, maybe someone within the organization would, but I say that the Fireflies would more likely implement democracy than the army.

#16 Posted by StarvingGamer (8284 posts) -

@white said:

The right thing, in my opinion, is the thing that the majority will benefit from. In this case, what Joel did was not the right thing. It was a selfish decision that doomed mankind to another extended period of poor living conditions.

On the other hand, whose to say the Fireflies wouldn't just hold this vaccine for only the elites within their social circle? Do you honestly believe they will properly disseminate this cure down to even the wretches of society?

Yo dude, we have your mom unconscious in a room upstairs. I know this place looks drab and dingy, it's running off of propane generators and most of the equipment is broken, but I have these dudes that I promise you are doctors and they're pretty sure that if they kill your mom, they can save mankind. How sure? Pretty sure, dude. I know all our interactions in the past have been veiled in a thin veneer of animosity, and I may have used goods that were stolen from you to begin with to blackmail you into going on a harrowing journey that cost you the life of your partner. But hey, if you can't trust the ruthless militia leader for whom finding this cure has clearly become an obsession, who can you trust? Even if this works how will we mass produce a cure and distribute it around the globe? Small steps, man, small steps. Oh and you can drop the negative attitude, like I said, we're pretty sure.

Don't worry, we'll kill her before she even wakes up. Just sign here.

#17 Posted by Nals (79 posts) -

As an organization they were presented as incompetent from beginning to end. Every outpost you found was abandoned, every Firefly offensive was thwarted due to them being really bad at the whole rebellion thing.

There are more then a few hints throughout the game that the Fireflies are deliberately causing human suffering so they can benefit. According to a journal entry in Pittsburgh they instigated the riots, then disappeared before the boot came down. The used the chaos to raid the military caravans trying to escape the city, but let the brunt of the military action be taken out on innocent people.

They would have never given the cure to mankind as a whole. There isn't a potential distribution network possible enough for something like that, and even if there was, letting the world know a vaccine was in place would only cause the bandits/military to team up to kill the Fireflies off and take it for themselves. Also note, a cure is shown by the game to be impossible, you can't cure something like the Bloater/Clicker because they are physically to far gone. Even the Runners would be blind, mentally damaged and likely paralyzed if "cured". They could make a vaccine, and nothing else. This would not "save" mankind at all, just delay our extinction for a few more years.

At best, they'd use the vaccine as a way to lord over the military, forcing them to sacrifice themselves for the Fireflies gain, rather then acting as a benevolent power. While they say they want a return to Democracy, what kind of Democracy could really exist in the America of Last of Us. Instead they would quickly become a nepotism based monarchy of sorts, using the power of the military to keep the "enlightened" Fireflies in power. How would voting even happen in a world as destroyed as this, and even if voting was brought back, would it really fix things?

Oh and note, this is not a guaranteed cure they are killing Ellie for. It's a chance at a cure. A very good chance, but a chance nonetheless. As they say themselves, this is yet another attempt on the path to figuring this infection out. So no, Joel did not "damn" mankind by saving Ellie in the end, he damned a chance at creating a vaccine that'd likely only help the Fireflies.

Pretty much all the "A CURE!" and "DEMOCRACY!" rhetoric are coming from a single organization that has built that mantra up as their only saving grace. They need to return to the status quo because there is nothing else for them in the world. The idea of a cure is the only thing that has kept them going this far, so killing Ellie is ultimately "for the greater good". If it works, then great, all the horrible things they've done along the way have been justified. If it doesn't, then great, at least they gave it an honest try. There is no middleground for them anymore, as this is the only thing that has ever kept this group together. Anybody who believes the Fireflies can actually restore humanity, democracy, and a miracle cure are really missing the overall point of the game itself.

Neither side is ultimately right here. The Fireflies were willing to sacrifice a little girl for a chance they might be able to make a cure out of it. Joel was willing to kill the last remaining medical professionals in the world to protect his new surrogate daughter. Both have the same overall theme, inability to grow or change. Joel was never able to get over his daughters death and grow past it, instead he surrogated Ellie into the role of his daughter. The Fireflies were never able to get over the death of humanity, and the loss of a status quo to follow, so they threw everything they had into a pointless war, and were willing to sacrifice a little girl for the chance of a cure. Nobody is the good guy here, outside of maybe Tommy.