*Big Spoilers* What would you have done? *Big Spoilers*
It's easy to say "one for the many" is acceptable when it's through a slightly detached lens of some characters you only had a handful of hours to grow attached to, but if I were to look at it from the perspective of sacrificing an actual loved one (especially a child) the way Joel viewed Ellie then fuck humanity. The human race can die out entirely for all I care.
"Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature - that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance - and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears: would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell me the truth!"
"No, I wouldn't consent," said Alyosha softly.
the brothers karamazov.
People saying you can't trust Joel's judgment and you should leave the decision to Ellie are missing something important, I think. Ellie's judgment is also compromised as fuck, because as evidenced by the ending, she's dealing with a severe case of survivor's guilt.
Also, earlier in the game when you visit Tommy and they get the plant up and running again, I looked at that as a sign that humanity was starting to turn the corner on the whole apocalypse thing without a cure. A cure, which isn't a sure thing - you're pretty much just taking the word of the Fireflies that they can do it. And at that point in the game, I thought they were completely untrustworthy.
I'm glad the ending was more upbeat than I expected. Once they got to the giraffe scene, I was positive the game was going to end with Ellie dead and Joel eating a bullet. So yay, for subverting expectations!
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.
Uh, Ellie is already evolved to form an immunity, so...yeah.
Fully agree they should have let her make the choice herself – that version of mankind isn't worth saving. That said, if they asked her, she would've done it. She made it pretty clear she's "waiting for her turn" to die.
The reason the ending is so good is that Joel needs Ellie by the end. She's replaced his daughter and this is part of his own survival. He doesn't care what Ellie wants at that moment - he knows Ellie would've gone through with it, but she's the only hope he has left.
On the technical "dooming humanity" side – a lot of weird logistics in actually making that vaccine work & be produced & distributed. It was hard enough escorting a thinking human across the country, let alone crates of vaccine.
What I liked about the story is that Joel is an immoral man in an immoral world. He's found one thing that he's attached to, and he'll do anything to keep that relationship in his life. He's lived selfishly for so long that he has no perspective beyond his wants and needs.
It doesn't really matter to me about why I would have done, because at no point did I ever see any of myself in Joel.
It should have been her choice.
That being said, the fact they have to basically kill her to do a brain biopsy is stupid. You can biopsy brain infection pretty easy without killing the host. Else brain cancer tumor removal would have a ultra high fatality rate. (To be clear, there is definitely a fatality rate, but not instantdeath)
I would have liked multiple endings just to see how each one played out but was ok with just having one path to walk down. One thing that kinda felt a bit weird was the fact I had to stab the one doctor in the neck to proceed. Fine I need to get Ellie back and fine I have to kill dudes cause they got guns but stab a doc in the neck when people with actual medical skills could potentially help other ill people seemed weird! Anyway, multiple endings would have been nice.
It's a tough call. What is really worth saving? At that point so much is lost I don't know what they'd really be doing.
At the same time I think Ellie has the right to know and decide for herself. The biggest shame of it was that she wasn't given the option.
While I think what Joel does is wrong, I think he has good intentions and I would have attempted (and failed) to do the same. Even though it conflicts me, it seems wrong. If given the choice, though, Ellie would have wanted to do it. She didn't like who she was becoming, and what the world really was. There was still beauty in the world, but a lot of ugliness too.
Unfortunately as a child we see things as less complicated and as we grow older it becomes all muddled.
Ya I don't know how I feel about the ending. I see a lot fucked up about it and I can also see why Joel did it. I feel I would have done that too, but I would have been torn up about it. It felt wrong when I played through it- like I somehow picked the bad ending.
The hypothetical also assumes that if you allow them to conduct research on Ellie they would eventually find a cure, which isn't necessarily true, and then Ellie is dead and you're no more safe than you were before.
@silentpredator: Definitely agree with both your points- if you leave the decision up to Ellie she's going to choose the brain surgery or whatever, but not necessarily because she thinks it's the best/right thing to do, but because she has survivor's guilt.
The power plant compound is a good sign that humanity is turning things around, but also Bill, who's basically managed to survive on his own for a long period of time, and the cannibals (forget their name) pretty much managed to survive pretty well...and while it's probably a product of gameplay the cannibal's population sure got pretty high.
Now let's put this into perspective for a moment under the umbrella of our current society today, which the fireflies are so desperate to save... Let"s say they extract the growth from Ellie, she dies and we get the cure to save humanity, how long do you think it would take before someone decides to capitalize off the cure? "Hey, you want this cure, baby? Well it'll cost ya. Now what you gonna give me?"
How long would it take before the sickness of our ways eventually finds a new way to fuck us all up the ass? This is what they're fighting for, we kill Ellie, to save a race of people who can't go 6 months without waging war killing millions of our own kind. Who's worse, us? or the Infected? At least the infected don't know what they're doing when they kill, we however, have what is known as choice. So we know what we do when we kill. That makes us far worse than the infected.
I wouldn't sacrifice Ellie, I had grown to love her as much as Clementine from The Walking Dead. When that jackass was going to kill Ellie with that machete in the burning building, I said FUCK THAT SHIT! The same feeling I got when that asshole grabbed Clementine's hair at the Dairy Farm... FUCK THAT SHIT!!
How is Ellie the only immune person? Chances are she isn't, chances are if she ever has children, they'll be immune too, besides from what we've seen, most of humanity is not worth saving anymore and the ones that are, are already saving themselves, such as Tommy's community.
Besides, we don't know if the Fireflies could of created a vaccine, or it's effectiveness or another countless other things that could go wrong, such as the spores simply mutating.
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