*Big Spoilers* What would you have done? *Big Spoilers*

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Posted by Jaytow (703 posts) 1 year, 4 months ago

Poll: *Big Spoilers* What would you have done? *Big Spoilers* (347 votes)

Save Humanity/Doom Ellie 33%
Save Ellie/ Doom Humanity 67%

Big Spoilers.

I'm replaying the last of us and something stood out to me. At the start of the game Ellie comments on how shitty the military is in sacrificing the few to save the many but her opinions on this change when it comes down to sacrificing herself, this got me thinking about the ending and what I would have done if the game had given multiple endings and, honestly, I can't decide.

#1 Edited by Rasmoss (459 posts) -

Well I think she should be given the choice herself.

#2 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3571 posts) -

I would of not petted the Giraffe.

Online
#3 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5719 posts) -

The choice isn't really "doom humanity" as humanity would eventually evolve some sort of defensive measure against the fungal zombism; however you are still murdering a whole bunch of relatively on the level people for largely selfish reasons and that may or may not result in the death of thousands of others due to lack of access to this cure. Note it can be assumed that the population of infected so grossly outnumbers normal humans at this point in time that them just flat out killing humans without infecting them is also a fairly high probability situation; particularly once all of them turn into Bloaters.

#4 Posted by Lysergica33 (528 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

Well I think she should be given the choice herself.

Yeah, this is my view too. But I think it's implied that she ends up feeling like you've fucked her out of a destiny. I think because she's the only immune person, she feels like it's her place in the grand order of things to sacrifice herself for mankind and Joel never even lets her have the choice to do that. But nor does anyone else. Everyone's out for their own interests regardless of how it affects others.

#5 Posted by Karkarov (3180 posts) -

Uh it is sort of a non choice. Save tons and tons and tons of people while losing one, or save one and lose tons and tons and tons of people. It sucks, but it is also the zombie apocalypse and all that that entails. The answer is obvious, especially when the "one person" is perfectly willing to die for a good cause.

#6 Edited by Strider57 (12 posts) -

I'm saving Ellie because I don't think humanity is worth saving at this point.

#7 Posted by CaLe (4018 posts) -

At that point there was no chance in hell I would have let Ellie die without a fight.

#8 Posted by kpaadet (410 posts) -

Of cause I would doom humanity, I want the giraffes to be the new world overlords.

Seriouly though, yes I think its okay to sacrifice one life to save the rest, though at that point in TLoU there might not be much worth saving.

#9 Posted by AlKusanagi (931 posts) -

There was NOTHING intelligent about what the Fireflies were going to do with her. Killing her rather than studying her, talking blood and tissue samples, etc. was just stupid. I would have made the exact same decision. Not to mention the fact that the would most likely just use it for themselves and let everyone else die just to further their agenda.

#10 Edited by Jaytow (703 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

The choice isn't really "doom humanity" as humanity would eventually evolve some sort of defensive measure against the fungal zombism;

Surely humanity, without a cure, isn't going to survive long enough to evolve.

@karkarov said:

Uh it is sort of a non choice. Save tons and tons and tons of people while losing one, or save one and lose tons and tons and tons of people. It sucks, but it is also the zombie apocalypse and all that that entails. The answer is obvious, especially when the "one person" is perfectly willing to die for a good cause.

Yeah but that's what I loved about this game. They did such a good job of building the relationship between Joel and Ellie. If I hadn't played the game then the decision would seem simple but after watching the relationship grow I can relate with Joel and understand why he did it, that's pretty cool.

#11 Edited by gaminghooligan (1464 posts) -

Humanity. Ellie was prepared to sacrifice herself for the greater good.

Edit: Honestly though, I agree with a lot of others here and think she should have been given the choice herself.

#12 Posted by Foxillusion (150 posts) -

I'm going to ignore the fact that their surgeons were not very good surgeons and would have been able to surmise Ellie's ability to be the foundation of a cure with a few small samples and testing, and there's no goddamn way they should have to pull out her whole brain or some shit. I'll pretend that they do have to kill her for whatever strange reason.

Even if the Fireflies came up with a cure, the politics of a post apocalypse are too dirty. Nobody trusts each other. How much could they make? Who would they share it with? What about the huge numbers of infected? Even if a cure was developed, the would would take forever to go back to normal, even in Joel and Ellie's lifetime it wouldn't get there. It's unlikely that they would ever eradicate the infection anyway.

I'd still have wanted Ellie to choose but if it was my character on the table I'd have been selfish and fought for my life. Screw everyone else. XD I'll go live in my brother's safe city and hang out.

#13 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1811 posts) -

The thing is, there is no guarantee the fireflies could even develop a cure, and even if they did, how would they manufacture a large quantity of it? How would they distribute it? Even with a cure, there are still millions of infected out in the world. Sure, the spores would no longer be a problem if everyone was immune, but you'd still have infected killing people and raiders looting, raping, and murdering. At this point, a cure doesn't save humanity, and there is no guarantee they could even synthesize a cure at all.

I see the choice more as either take a chance that maybe a cure is possible, or go with the sure bet and save Ellie, and I would definitely save Ellie.

#14 Posted by Voxus (343 posts) -

If you look at it in a rational way, of course, sacrifices must be made for the greater good.

But, the whole game sets up Joel that puts him in a crappy situation.
He looses his daughter at the beginning of the outbreak. Either because of this or different circumstances, he does some pretty shitty stuff his brother and him to survive and grows numb to memory of his daughter.
He is forced to act as a guardian after Tess dies. Similar to I might add what happened to his wife and daughter. Over time, despite his best efforts to distance himself from Ellie, he grows attached to Ellie as a father figure. Something he probably knew would happen, but didn't want to as it would dredge up past feelings of loss for his daughter.

At the beginning of the game, his daughter died due to circumstances out of his control. I reckon he probably couldn't stand loosing another daughter. I wouldn't say it was for selfish reasons if you asked him, its something he just needed to do. Life isn't always rational.

#15 Edited by Klei (1768 posts) -
@gaminghooligan said:

Humanity. Ellie was prepared to sacrifice herself for the greater good.

The vaccine wouldn't have saved humanity. You'd be quite fooled to believe that. There is no way to mass produce a nation-wide vaccine with so little material. Only the fireflies and a couple of chosen people would have gotten it. That is, if they really were able to make something up. There were never any guarantees, just promises in the wind.

I understand Joel's decision. Would totally have done the same thing. For what's it worth, humanity managed. Even 20 years later, humanity still managed.

Finally, this poll isn't very good. You don't '' doom'' humanity because you save Ellie; if there is one immune child, there will be another, and another, and another. Such is the nature of life. And as I said, humanity managed to find a way to survive against all odds. Why would that change all of a sudden?

#16 Posted by kishinfoulux (2397 posts) -

@rasmoss said:

Well I think she should be given the choice herself.

Discussion over. Exactly what I think.

#17 Posted by Jaytow (703 posts) -

@klei said:
@gaminghooligan said:

Humanity. Ellie was prepared to sacrifice herself for the greater good.

The vaccine wouldn't have saved humanity. You'd be quite fooled to believe that. There is no way to mass produce a nation-wide vaccine with so little material. Only the fireflies and a couple of chosen people would have gotten it. There were never any guarantees, just promises in the wind.

I understand Joel's decision.

Finally, this poll sucks. You don't '' doom'' humanity because you save Ellie; if there is one immune child, there will be another, and another, and another. Such is the nature of life.

First of all, you don't know how much resources the fireflies have or how many of them there are and you certainly can't say for sure that there is another immune child. Nobody is suggesting that they could cure everybody but it would certainly give humanity a better chance than they currently have. "Such is the nature of life" is not something that a writing team constantly considers when creating a piece of fiction.

#18 Edited by Klei (1768 posts) -

@jaytow: Since everything is based on assumptions, my assumptions are that the Fireflies are jerks just like any other group, seing as how the armed guards attacks Joel as he's trying to reanimate Ellie and how another guard treats him as he's talking to someone he should consider as friendly. Plus, you even see that the Fireflies would have executed Joel, if not for Marlene, as described in a letter found around the area. Bottom line; to me, they are just as cruel as any other group. See how they constantly attack the town you begin in? Sure they have noble ideas, but don't we all?

That put aside, I don't believe the Fireflies would have saved anybody else but themselves, or selling it at a cruel price to those willing to be immune. The game clearly wants you to believe that nothing is at it seems. I think it is safe to assume that the Fireflies aren't a bunch of saviors. And yeah, I still hold my ground on the '' nature of life '' thing. If there's one immune child, there is bound to be another, sometimes, someday.

I still back Joel's decision and I loved the ending. A 14 years old girl shouldn't sacrifice herself for a bunch of murderers, rapists and killers.

#19 Posted by Jaytow (703 posts) -

@klei said:

@jaytow: Since everything is based on assumptions, my assumptions are that the Fireflies are jerks just like any other group, seing as how the armed guards attacks Joel as he's trying to reanimate Ellie and how another guard treats him as he's talking to someone he should consider as friendly. Plus, you even see that the Fireflies would have executed Joel, if not for Marlene, as described in a letter found around the area. Bottom line; to me, they are just as cruel as any other group. See how they constantly attack the town you begin in? Sure they have noble ideas, but don't we all?

That put aside, I don't believe the Fireflies would have saved anybody else but themselves, or selling it at a cruel price to those willing to be immune. The game clearly wants you to believe that nothing is at it seems. I think it is safe to assume that the Fireflies aren't a bunch of saviors. And yeah, I still hold my ground on the '' nature of life '' thing. If there's one immune child, there is bound to be another, sometimes, someday.

I still back Joel's decision and I loved the ending. A 14 years old girl shouldn't sacrifice herself for a bunch of murderers, rapists and killers.

I'm not arguing with most of what you say because, as you've said, most of it is down to opinion but as far as the whole "nature of life" thing that relies on two things. A) that the writing team didn't want Ellie to be "the one" which is very possible and B) that another person gets bit, doesn't turn, comes forward and actually makes it to one of the very few remaining medical facilities without dying. All of this is far from being certain, as you seem to imply.

#20 Posted by Omega (835 posts) -

I'm not convinced that saving Ellie doomed humanity. There are others like her in the world. I think one of the doctors notes said as much. If they are infected by the fungus but have no ill effects from the fungus you could suggest that they could still spread that mutated strain to their offspring, or even sexual partners. This would create a generation of people who are immune and they'd procreate and eventually I figure humanity would just eventually become completely immune to the fungus.

I dunno that's just how I interpreted events. Like what Ian Malcolm says, "life finds away..."

#21 Posted by daspazz (5 posts) -

I just want to kill David and get on with the game damn it. Screw the fireflys and everyone else!!!

#22 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

I have no idea what I would personally have done. But for Joel, it made complete sense for his character, which is a testament to how will written the characters were in this game.

#23 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1140 posts) -

Joel's decision came down to the fact that he was projecting his feelings for his lost daughter onto Ellie. He looked upon himself as a father figure for this girl that was the same age as his daughter when she was killed. It was a slow, emotional breakdown that led to his actions in the hospital. This is obvious in the final cutscene with how he was talking to her.

#24 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2564 posts) -

I don't know what I would have done.

That's why I love the ending so much.

(But if if you want my cop-out non-answer, it'd be "I would have asked Ellie what she wanted")

#25 Posted by Patman99 (1609 posts) -

Initially, I tried to walk away. I mean, if a cure is possible than I think we should take that chance and try to save millions. Since there was no final choice, I just thought Joel was being selfish and only fulfilling his own desires (i.e. have a daughter again). Essentially, I thought that despite changing his mind on his relationship with Ellie throughout the game, Joel's morals did not change. In other words, he took the job for selfish reasons and decided to keep Ellie for selfish reasons. The only non-selfish thing was carrying on after Tess died.

HOWEVER, I now realize I was viewing his decision through my etic, or outsider's, point of view. We can essentially make judgements on his decision based on our own experiences and feelings. In reality, none of us know what it is like to live in an apocalypse type scenario and thus have no way of really understanding the world in general. As such, I believe Joel's reason for saving Ellie was based out of reality. Society has been doomed, there are few virtuous people in this world, a category that I do not think the Fireflies belong to. If the Fireflies were to create a sort of vaccine, who knows what sort of evil they might do with it. I would guess they would attempt to gain political power and try to control the army. Additionally, I do not think that the already aggressive people (i.e. the hunters and David's group) would become any more calm or civilized after they acquire a vaccine.

In the end, Joel spared humanity the probable strife that would follow the Fireflies obtaining a vaccine. I also believe he felt that the good people would eventually re-establish society. This can be seen by his decision to return to the Dam in Jackson County. The world will take a long time to rebuild and the vaccine is not the answer. Fungal zombies can be controlled and managed but roaming hordes of armed psychopaths cannot.

#26 Edited by Nardak (523 posts) -

I admit that in the end I really didnt care about saving humanity. My main goal was to save Ellie and kill a few surgeons in the process.

Probably delivered a fatal blow to any chance of humankind getting rescued.

Kudos to the game for making me care so much for the safety of Ellie.

#27 Posted by TurboMan (7604 posts) -

That's the point though, isn't it? The player isn't given a choice, Joel makes the choices. There's no way he's losing Ellie because she took place of his daughter. Also, fuck the Fireflies, they would have just held the vaccination over everybody's head and would tried to rise up and conquer. Humanity is already fucked, the best idea in Joels mind is to stay away from everybody else in Jackson City.

Online
#28 Edited by kaos_cracker (629 posts) -

With how little humanity there was left, there wouldn't have been a point to getting a cure. People will keep killing each other as well as the other infected. 20 years of mayhem and infection is too much to just now have a cure.

#29 Posted by DonutFever (3553 posts) -

Save Ellie, although I'm not sure I would lie to her like that.

#30 Posted by lusence (345 posts) -

Save her, I think Joel made the right choice in the end and glad thats how in panned out. And he knew he couldnt tell her the truth because of how she would react. Though multi endings would of been fun i think. My reasoning is considering the state of things they all but say its 100 percent the operation will kill her, but how do they know they can 'reverse engineer' the virus in her head? seems like way to much of a gamble to just slice and dice her and HOPE they get a vaccine out of it.

#31 Edited by Yummylee (22051 posts) -

These sort of responses and how neither option is the clear 'right' one is why this game's ending is so great. For the record I put my lot in with sacrificing Ellie, especially since I'm pretty sure that's what she would have wanted.

#32 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4851 posts) -

I'm surprised no one brought up the collectible that mentions how there have been a dozen or so immune people and the Fireflies still haven't been able to synthesize a cure.

Maybe Ellie would've been the one to let them finally crack the code. Maybe not. I don't think it was Joel's choice, it was Ellie's. And if Ellie made the wrong choice, knock the girl out and beg forgiveness later. Of course this all depends on the Fireflies knowing what they need to synthesize the cure at this point. If they knew what to do to manufacture a cure, I imagine that's why they bypassed all the culture testing, blood drawing and so forth. They have everything they need except the tissue that grants Ellie her immunity.

In any event, Joel's a piece of shit. I don't care how easily people can relate to him. He put himself before the human race. He put himself before Ellie. He put himself above everyone and everything. That makes him a selfish bag of cock.

#33 Posted by myketuna (1725 posts) -

I don't know. I just wanted to give Ellie a big hug by the end of the game. Girl went through a lot of shit.

But seriously, I'd present her the choice and go from there. I would think she'd choose to die for humanity, so I picked that option, but should she have chosen the second option, I would have helped her fight our way out of there.

#34 Edited by DarthOrange (3866 posts) -

Man as I reflect on it I think that Joel did the right thing. They were going to kill the girl in the operating room and they didn't even let her know before she went under? If Marlene was so sure that Ellie would have wanted it that way then why did she let her know and let her say her final goodbyes? The fireflies were shitty manipulative people and Joel didn't fall for their bullshit (but Ellie probably would have).

And even if they managed to magically create a vaccine that could be distributed, how would they distribute it? The people in charge in Boston hated the fireflies. Why wouldn't they simply kill them and take the vaccine? Same with the other towns. The winter place had women and children but the people who kept them alive were straight up killers. Why wouldn't they also simply kill the fireflies and steal the vaccine? And even if the bites don't make you turn, how does that magically save humanity? It doesn't make the infected any less dangerous. If one of those fuckers bites you there is still a good chance that you will simply bleed out. People would still be assholes and each group would still only be looking out for themselves.

There was no "happy ending" to be had. Joel figured he might as well give himself and Ellie as good a life as he could with his brother at the dam where the folks seemed pretty nice. I think he made the right call.

#35 Edited by lusence (345 posts) -

just for arguments sake its hard to say on a scientific term if they even had the capability to manufacture a cure from Ellie. Things like that take years of testing and they are constantly under attack by bandits and from past events it looks like even the military is on a shoot on site directive. So given even if they did the research and just needed the brain of an immune patient there is no way in my opinion that they could hold on to it to make it work. They are pretty much being hunted by every faction out there, including the military, so they may just end up being stains on a wall along with their cure... I dont really thing Joel processes any of this beyond wanting to save Ellie but all in all its a sound choice. More testing was needed with an immune patient, draw her blood test it with monkey bats and rats god knows what else before resorting to killing her for her brain basically. whos the real zombie? hehe food for thought... Hope they have DLC with Joel raising her and hunting with her etc just kinda to smooth things over. Even a "I am Legend" take would be cool testing her blood on the infected first and going from there...

#36 Posted by Whitestripes09 (417 posts) -

I think after seeing the worst of humanity in action and seeing the beauty and peacefulness of the world around me with no humans, saving Ellie would be more of a priority to me in a real life scenario.

Most people call the ending a "happy ending", but in the end Joel can be seen as the antagonist of the story since he did not let the hero, Ellie, sacrifice herself in order to save humanity. Very interested to see if Naughtydog will make a sequel or not, I see no reason why they shouldn't especially since this game brought in so much money for them.

#37 Posted by Pr1mus (3951 posts) -

There isn't much Humanity left to save. What is left of it is so fucked that a cure wouldn't change anything. The military isn't going to give up control over the QZs and try to reinstate a government of some kind. Rebel and militia groups like the Fireflies aren't going to stop fighting using guerilla warfare. Hunters and looters aren't going to stop killing anyone not part of the group on sight just because in this world the established natural reaction to seeing another human being, even if half a mile away through the scope of a sniper rifle, is to shoot first and don't bother asking questions later.

#38 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

I would have left the decision up to Ellie but made sure she realized that she had a chose and that wanting to live wouldn't be selfish. I would also do everything I could to find another solution besides tearing her brain out to study. Like study her body thoroughly to determine why, not necessarily how, her body became immune to the virus. Because their has to be some other way to figure it out.

#39 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3222 posts) -

Ellie's future children will be immune. She will save humanity with her genes.

#40 Edited by AiurFlux (902 posts) -

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Of course Ellie should be given the opportunity to choose, but that said if there is a remote chance that she can lead to a cure you kind of have to do it. It wouldn't be pretty. It wouldn't be nice. But it would be necessary. Even if a cure wasn't synthesized from her and her death was for nothing I still think you have to take the chance.

Reality is that Joel is a selfish dick.

Humanity might have flaws but humanity deserved a chance to regain it's former glory. One man should never be given carte blanche to make such a massive decision for his own gain. Ever.

#41 Posted by Elwoodan (839 posts) -

Honestly I think it is silly to assume that Ellie is the only immune person in the entire world, that she would need to die for the immunization (not even a cure!) to be created, and that humanity as a whole would be wiped out if that did not happen.

I refuse to believe that not a single small island nation, group of isolated survivors, or some sort of ship-based haven would survive. Hell, it seems obvious that some sort of structure still exists, the Boston QZ couldn't survive without help from other zones. Slaughtering the fireflies may not have been Joel's finest moment, but I doubt he 'doomed humanity'.

also It seemed like, more often than not, the infected outright killed their prey, so technically some sort of fungicide would be way more effective than immunization for humans.

#42 Posted by StarvingGamer (8375 posts) -

All the people that would leave it up to her are monsters. At that point Joel was acting as her parent and, speaking as a parent, he did the right thing.

#43 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2564 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

All the people that would leave it up to her are monsters. At that point Joel was acting as her parent and, speaking as a parent, he did the right thing.

Haha, yeah - as a person who used to tow that line, I have since realised I was speaking from a place of ignorance. That's not to say that I wouldn't leave it up to her. It's just that I have no actual idea how I'd feel in that position, and hence can 100% understand what Joel did.

My official stance is now "Thank god I'll never have to make such a choice."

#44 Posted by AyKay_47 (293 posts) -

There wasn't a single human in the game that showed humanity was worth saving, except for Ellie herself. When I get to the hospital again on my next playthrough, I'm putting all those cunts to the flamethrower. It's unfortunate you don't get to pull the trigger on Marlene yourself. No one touches my Ellie.

It boggles the mind how many people see Joel as the bad guy.

#45 Edited by LiquidPrince (16009 posts) -

@jaytow said:

@fredchuckdave said:

The choice isn't really "doom humanity" as humanity would eventually evolve some sort of defensive measure against the fungal zombism;

Surely humanity, without a cure, isn't going to survive long enough to evolve.

@karkarov said:

Uh it is sort of a non choice. Save tons and tons and tons of people while losing one, or save one and lose tons and tons and tons of people. It sucks, but it is also the zombie apocalypse and all that that entails. The answer is obvious, especially when the "one person" is perfectly willing to die for a good cause.

Yeah but that's what I loved about this game. They did such a good job of building the relationship between Joel and Ellie. If I hadn't played the game then the decision would seem simple but after watching the relationship grow I can relate with Joel and understand why he did it, that's pretty cool.

Humanity has already started to evolve, evidenced by Ellie's existence. For all we know, there could be dozens of others out there who have become immune.

#46 Posted by Ghostiet (5289 posts) -

I would've shot more people in the balls.

Because seriously, that scene is one of my top 5 favorite scenes from the game. It's been a long time since I saw a film or movie that didn't treat torture as this mystical, long-winded thing. No, it's just question, no answer, dickshot, one more time, answer. Pure brutal efficiency.

But in all honesty, I would have acted the same way. The Fireflies did nothing to prove to anyone that they are responsible people.

#47 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

@aykay_47:

Me too actually. I mean I don't see any of them as good or bad or anything. The only character that is clearly on one side of the 'good-bad' line is Ellie. And as she ages I'm sure she'll move more towards the middle too. I think this game is the perfect example of a story where there really is no right or wrong. Things just happen. In that way the game's story is one of the most realistic I've played through.

#48 Posted by 49th (2783 posts) -

I would lean more towards the chance of saving humanity. Most importantly though I think Ellie should have been able to decide, or at least had a discussion about it and a chance to say goodbye to Joel.

Online
#49 Posted by KalAl (42 posts) -

No choice at all. I would have done anything to save Ellie at that point. I was so filled with bloodlust by the time that I got to the OR that I was pumping shotgun shells into the doctors without the slightest hesitation.

I'm surprised how many people are giving these long, rational explanations about "the good of humanity". Do you really think, after spending a year protecting someone who has become like a daughter to you, you would suddenly turn all Vulcan when forced to decide whether she lives or dies? Give me a break.

#50 Posted by Raineko (433 posts) -

Fuck humanity, if anyone deserves to live it's Ellie. What a horrible father do you have to be to sacrifice your daughter?

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