By eband 2 Comments
I, like many, have struggled to open up the windows and let some sunlight in ever since I completed The Walking Dead episode 5. Perhaps playing episode 1 to 5 in the space of four days is just too much to bare - as soon as the conclusion of episode 5 had happened I wanted to sleep in the hope that I would somehow recover from one of the most emotive pieces of media I have faced to date.
While there is much debate over whether The Walking Dead series (available on many platforms) deserves to be Game of the Year, or even if it is a game; there is no point writing about it nor do I want to, instead I wanted to focus on something that I am still unsure whether the game wants you to feel. While The Walking Dead gives you several instances where you can decide whether a character will live or die, I picked up on two different situations where you, the player, start to feel emotions about a certain character that can never be acted upon. This is by no means a bad thing, and instead gave me an interesting perspective of how invested you were with both the character of Lee Everett and Clementine.
The first character that I had an interesting view on was Christa, someone you meet at the end of episode 3. I was often unsure about what she was going to do to my group and only by the end was I redeemed by the fact she is a good person. Yet, throughout episode 3, 4 and 5 I felt somewhat nervous about the way she behaved around Clementine. Whenever Lee is taking care of Clem she is never far behind and there were a few interesting shots of her where she seemed jealous (a scene inside the house for episode 4 comes to mind). This was further supported by her often taking care of Clementine when you would be off finding doors and zombies.
As I became more involved with the character of Lee, I didn't want this woman stealing Clem from me after all we had been through, and while I did not want to murder her (if the prompt was going to come up), I would make sure at every opportunity that I was telling her that Clementine was like a daughter to Lee now. In the end, there was nothing I could do with Christa's relationship with Clementine and I ended up feeling somewhat bad when I realised they (her and Omid) would look after her when they knew I wouldn't be making it out of the city. To me, it was an interesting choice by Telltale, one that allowed me to have a further emotional charge with a character that could have been complete filler.
Another character that took advantage of my own imagination was Molly, in episode 4. This internal feeling was a much shorter burst than the one experienced with Christa but said a lot about the desperation I took into making Clementine was safe and that we could leave the city.
There's a situation in Crawford where Molly returns from the ceiling (after collecting the battery) and shocks the character Lee. An immediate sense of relief sets in - lets leave this school infested with zombies and set sail for the sea - which is quickly followed by anger. Of course this situation could play out differently for certain people but as soon as Lee asked Molly 'if she still had the battery?' And her reply was 'well.... erm... you see...' I was ready to abandon her in this school, or at the very least make her the person who could no longer ride on mine and Kenny's boat. But of course it was just a joke, you know, the ones you play where the lives of many are dependent on this object?
Once again, I felt a deep sense of regret; have I really become this emotionally involved with protecting Clementine and getting out of the city, that I was ready to abandon someone because they lost an object? I had enjoyed The Walking Dead a lot up to this point, but here solidified the fact that this piece of media was the example I would now give if a friend wanted 'a game with a story.' It is very unusual for a game to make me feel guilty for something I never even done, but as I looked at Molly pull the sacred battery out of her bag I took a few steps back from the character of Lee and realised how my imagination had played an important part in shaping this story.
Afterwards, I made sure that all characters would make it out of this situation no matter what opinion they had given of the main protagonist - well at least I tried!
I'm genuinely curious to see if anyone else experienced situations such as these? Did you dislike a character for a reason you thought was true, even though it turned out to be the complete opposite?