Just Beat the Game... Wanna Talk About it? SPOILERS

#101 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2498 posts) -

Holy cow. I just finished this game.

Winter and Spring are... wow.

I don't know if there is a growing number of people who hate those two seasons or not, but... fuck - this game was amazing.

Man.

#102 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3158 posts) -

What I kinda wanna know is why didn't they shoot the Giraffe's for food when they saw them in Salt Lake? Was it cause they were close to the hospital anyways and assumed food would be provided for them? About those Giraffes, how did they survive the winter months in Salt Lake City? Did they migrate to more Southern hotter regions and then come back up? So many questions left unanswered Naughty Dog.

#103 Edited by kishinfoulux (2278 posts) -

@naru_joe93 said:

@kishinfoulux: thats assuming a lot of things. Maybe ellie is smart enough to realize joel lied to her and their relationship is ruined because of it. Saying it's a happily ever after ending is a fallacy

What is there to assume? Sure Ellie probably didn't believe him, but other then that everything is pretty much gravy.

Holy cow. I just finished this game.

Winter and Spring are... wow.

I don't know if there is a growing number of people who hate those two seasons or not, but... fuck - this game was amazing.

Man.

Winter seems sort of divisive. I personally thought it felt like flat out filler. Remove it from the game and nothing really changes. The game is long enough already. I also had no desire to play as Ellie.

#104 Posted by daspazz (5 posts) -

I just want to get past the rapist, the bastard keeps shoving a machete into my back or the side of my head. wish I had saved before I opened that door.

#105 Posted by Patman99 (1573 posts) -

@kishinfoulux: I felt the opposite. Winter was probably my favourite section. It was really where we see Ellie kick a lot ass. Plus I feel like David is the perfect is he good, is he bad character. I still thought he was good right up to the final encounter. For me, the game was a slow start. I did not get the awesomeness that I had read in the reviews until Joel and Ellie meet Henry. That was the point where I realized the amazingness of this game. The little personality bits between Ellie and Joel or Ellie and Sam (Henry's brother?) are simply amazing. Seeing how people react to the apocalypse is always a thousand times more awesome than the zombies or violence.

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#106 Posted by TurboMan (7500 posts) -

Winter just turns into a Tarantino/Cohen Brothers movie and I fucking loved every second of it. Just found out that David was Nolan North and I'm amazed that I didn't catch it at all, must've been to caught up in the story.

The ending was a lose/lose situation and I'm surprised that both of them survive all the way to the end. Joel made the selfish, but right choice. Even if the Fireflies got the vaccination, they would have held it over everybody's head as some political power and it wouldn't make the infection go away. Faith in humanity is lost, and the best place for Joel and Ellie is somewhere safe and away from the military and Fireflies.

Ellie knows that Joel is lying to her, she's not dumb.

Fuck me, I'm so stressed out right now.

#107 Posted by Raineko (433 posts) -

Finished the game today. Holy shit, it definitely hit me hard, I don't think I have ever been so immersed in a story.

I fully agree with Joel's decision. After all I had been through in the story, Ellie became a very likable character and in no way would I agree in sacrificing her for a possible vaccine, there just has to be another solution. Plus these Fireflies guys didn't seem like the nicest guys either, I am pretty sure they didn't tell Ellie that she would die from the surgery.

And the end was really well done. You can clearly tell that Ellie knows, something isn't right, because she woke up with patient clothing and Joel is telling her that they suddenly don't need her anymore for a cure. But I feel in the end she kind of believes Joel after he swears what he tells is the truth, even though she is confused.

Although some people see him as a villain, I don't think Joel is a horrible person, I could clearly understand why he would get her out of there, he couldn't take it to lose another daughter. And even if it could save others, I don't agree with killing one innocent for that.

#108 Edited by Anonymgeist (30 posts) -

Personally, I view the ending less about Ellie's trust in Joel, and more about her craving some sort of assurance--even if she knew it wasn't true--that everything was worth it. Her best friend died and she survived, Tess and Sam both died (arguably) to help her, the fucked up shit with David, and all of the other nastiness along the way. It's survivor's guilt, and I love that this somber and unresolved note is how they chose to end the game

#109 Posted by DarthOrange (3858 posts) -

@elwoodan said:

On a side note, with how dark the rest of the game runs, I figured Ellie would be killed at some point, and Joel would be forced to take her body to the fireflys, or Joel would die and Ellie would have to make the rest of the trip alone.

I was convinced two scenarios were going to happen near the end of the game that actually didn't occur. The first was that as soon as Joel got off the elevator with Ellie in his arms, he would be shot, killed and Ellie would be brought back to the operating room. The second was that at the very end, Ellie would realize Joel had killed Marlene and was lying about the Fireflies and would feel forced to kill him and return to get herself operated on.

I thought for sure she was going to off herself at the end either by jumping off the cliff or putting a bullet in her brain. She seemed super bummed out. Especially after that whole "after everything we have been through it can't be for nothing" line she gives after the giraffes. In the end Joel tells her in a pretty fucked up manner: it turns out we were wrong, there were others like you and it didn't work, now we are going to go live with my brother. She murdered tons of people all with the thought being that it was to find a cure. I figured she was going to kill herself out of depression.

#110 Edited by Jedted (2342 posts) -

I just finished it and damn.........i'm still trying to soak it all in. As someone who hasn't played a Naughty Dog game before(bought a PS3 just for this) they really hit it out of the park on the emotional scale.

I don't see what Joel did as that bad, the part where he lied to Ellie however is another story. In his mind though i think he was saving her so she could live a fuller life(even if it's a shitty life). Also, i'm guessing the Fireflies didn't Ellie much of a choice to sacrifice herself and she probably didn't think it would be required to make a vaccine.

I hope they have some DLC planned where you maybe play as other survivors.

Edit: As others have guessed, i also see Ellie's "Okay" line as a "whatever you say" type reaction. She's smart enough to know when Joel is lying yet she understands why he risked everything to save her. Like Joel says in the final scene, it's about having something to fight for that makes life worth living, even when everyone else around you dies.

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#111 Posted by TheBarrylad (44 posts) -

Watching the Rev3 spoilercast on the game (really good by the way) reminded me of the conclusion of the Fall section of the game. In all the great moments I've talked to people about, I actually forgot about this one.

I didn't take Patrick's advice and pretty much played through the game in two extended sessions. One on the Friday it was released, up until Bill's town (twice, actually, because of the autosave issue), and then a second on Saturday through to the conclusion of the game. I did take some sizeable breaks throughout and let it sink in, but essentially it was one extended day of play. And as such I sort of lost track of time, and I thought the game was almost over at the conclusion of the Fall season, not realizing I was only about eight or so hours into the game. I actually thought it was so upsetting because, like many, I did expect the ending to be Joel or Ellie getting killed and I thought this was it. Ellie shaking Joel and asking him what to do was really harrowing, and I assumed Winter was just an epilogue where you get a few minutes of post-Joel life for her. Playing as injured Joel was intense as fuck and maybe an underrated highlight for me (so underrated I forgot about it til know.)

Also; that David and Ellie battle at the end of 'Winter' - the greatest "boss fight" in years?

#112 Edited by Vigorousjammer (2491 posts) -

@naru_joe93 said:

@mistergrux: yeah, the ending is kind of perfect after having sat with it for awhile. It makes me wonder what the fuck the single player dlc is gonna be. Really hope it leaves joel and ellies story alone.

I'm willing to bet the DLC will follow Marlene's story after getting separated from Joel & Ellie.

Although, I'd much prefer a side-story that followed Bill around, that let you set up traps & stuff in his town.

#113 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2498 posts) -

But yeah, for those who were wondering "what is that song!?" after you finish and think back to the amazing hospital scene, here it is;

The ambiguity as to how I felt about the entire situation represented in that scene is why I think, with no hyperbole, that it was a watershed moment in gaming story telling. I hope Neil Drukmann (lead designer and writer) becomes a household name in gaming circles for his inspiring work on this game and Uncharted 2.

@jedted: Welcome to the Naughty Dog fan club! Drinks are in that cooler in the back - it's an honour system, just throw $1 in the jar.

#114 Posted by Peanut (953 posts) -

Just beat the game and I'm so fucking confused right now. I honestly don't know how people can get passed the poor stealth and the awful zombie shit. I thought the game had some amazing moments and was a decent amount of fun for the most part, but there were so many issues that I'm really blown away by people falling all over themselves to praise it the way they are.

Naughty Dog built an incredibly detailed world, with believable characters that are well acted and well written, but so many of the mechanics of the game serve no other purpose than to completely fucking break that immersion. Throw a brick in a puddle - ZOMBIES RUSH it from 20 feet away! Ellie pushes a giant god damn crate off the side of a truck 10 feet from a pack of zombies and...nothing. I can't count the number of times the AI would run out into the open, sometimes pushing enemies off of their patrol route while in an intense stealth section. The part where you sneak by the room full of Clickers, only to have Tess and Ellie running laps around the entire area, was a joke.

I think the gunplay is average and the stealth was pretty fun when taking on human enemies, but everything to do with the zombies outside of very specific instances was a chore. Also, how about those "puzzles", huh? Fucking floating palette and ladders all up in this joint! Loved turning me on some generators, too! But, hey, I guess it has a decent enough plot (for a game) that everyone can overlook all the flaws.

I thought the ending was pitch perfect, though. Really pulled in just how much baggage Joel is carrying and how truly fucked up he is inside.

#115 Posted by Jedted (2342 posts) -

@thebarrylad: I think i played from Bill's all the way to the Hospital in one day(sporadic breaks in between). At the point when Joel goes all Rambo to save Ellie i was pretty wiped.

Did anyone else just stop at the moment when Joel and Ellie watch the Giraffes to take in the scenery? I kinda expecting that be one of the hidden trophies(or the ONE hidden trophy), still a great moment to just take a pause after everything that happened in Winter.

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#116 Edited by Vigorousjammer (2491 posts) -

@jedted said:

Did anyone else just stop at the moment when Joel and Ellie watch the Giraffes to take in the scenery? I kinda expecting that be one of the hidden trophies(or the ONE hidden trophy), still a great moment to just take a pause after everything that happened in Winter.

Yeah, I think I must have stood there for a full minute just watching those giraffes walk through that parking lot.

@peanut

said:

Just beat the game and I'm so fucking confused right now. I honestly don't know how people can get passed the poor stealth and the awful zombie shit. I thought the game had some amazing moments and was a decent amount of fun for the most part, but there were so many issues that I'm really blown away by people falling all over themselves to praise it the way they are.

Naughty Dog built an incredibly detailed world, with believable characters that are well acted and well written, but so many of the mechanics of the game serve no other purpose than to completely fucking break that immersion. Throw a brick in a puddle - ZOMBIES RUSH it from 20 feet away! Ellie pushes a giant god damn crate off the side of a truck 10 feet from a pack of zombies and...nothing. I can't count the number of times the AI would run out into the open, sometimes pushing enemies off of their patrol route while in an intense stealth section. The part where you sneak by the room full of Clickers, only to have Tess and Ellie running laps around the entire area, was a joke.

I think the gunplay is average and the stealth was pretty fun when taking on human enemies, but everything to do with the zombies outside of very specific instances was a chore. Also, how about those "puzzles", huh? Fucking floating palette and ladders all up in this joint! Loved turning me on some generators, too! But, hey, I guess it has a decent enough plot (for a game) that everyone can overlook all the flaws.

I thought the ending was pitch perfect, though. Really pulled in just how much baggage Joel is carrying and how truly fucked up he is inside.

I mostly agree with you on the gameplay. I thought it was solid, and fun, but considering how polished & incredible the rest of the game was, it was just this kind of weird disconnect when something would glitch out, or during those other moments you mentioned.

As for having a "decent enough plot (for a game)"... I can't agree with you there. The story is absolutely incredible, the characters are so well done, and it had some great emotional moments.The ending was really impressive, also... like you said.
Honestly, I think if this were a movie, it would definitely be up for Movie of the Year at The Oscars.

#117 Posted by TheBarrylad (44 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: Yeah, that soundtrack is one of many things I could just gush and gush about forever. The song from the giraffe scene is also be-goddamn-autiful. Getting the OST justified the extra money on the 'Ellie Edition' which, all things considered, doesn't really have much good shit in it. Packaging is cool but the comic and the artbook feel like advertisements for the other comics and the giant hardcover artbook. In fact, ads for the big artbook are in both. The OST is actually on Spotify now which is great.

#118 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2498 posts) -

@thebarrylad: I got the digital edition which included the soundtrack, but yeah - aside from the number of <1min tracks, it's pretty great.

But then, I'm unsurprised since Gustavo Santaolalla is a multiple Academy Award winner :)

#119 Edited by Peanut (953 posts) -

@vigorousjammer: Which part of the story was incredible? I'm not saying this to be an asshole or to say you're wrong, this is entirely an opinion, but I want to know what people are hanging their hat on here. I mean...the moment you find out Ellie is immune the entire ending popped fully formed into my head. I felt like I was listening to someone tell a story I already knew the ending to, which they prolonged by stopping to tell a joke without a punchline.

#120 Edited by InsaneGenis (96 posts) -

Obviously Naighty Dog wants a franchise out of this. Where was "home" at the end Joel was taking her? This game was set up to include multiple games as to be expected now from the gaming industry.

What they left behind. Joel is taking her "home". What is "home"? It's reasonable to assume the next game will have him siding with the government who may have a lab. Joel is capable of evil, but the story gives his reasons. I in no way watched this ending and thought "this is over".

The game takes us over a year. We played as 3 different characters, so they demonstrated that's where it can possibly go. As crazy as the ending was I was left thinking: "We'll Naughty Dog has another franchise they will continue and we will get more sequels." Upon reflection, I wasn't shocked by the end as I realized we are headed into next gen and Naughty Dog now has 2 franchises they can add to their bottom line with release dates every 2 years or one. I liked the game, I really did, but the ending made me realize the direction of this series is headed towards Ellie disgusted Joel lied to her and then he sides with the government because they can write a scenario where they can keep her alive. Then Ellie will be upset because shell believe the government wants to ration the cure and we will eventually be introduced to a third party to this scenario for the third game.

Aren't the Fireflies now basically wiped out? They won't be, but in their absence hunters are the new enemy and the government is now the answer. I will eagerly await the next game.

#121 Posted by InsaneGenis (96 posts) -

@peanut: Its a game though.

As much as we want to criticize the gameplay elements of the tag along characters, we are talking about gaming as a genre that is developing. At the beginning of the console generation we dealt with the advancement of other characters with your characters and then dealt with how they got in the way, because in some games they absolutely did suck and added nothing. IE Resident Evil 2.

Now we are at the end and this "idea" has shown itself in this game and in Bioshock as to how that game mechanic has evolved. They evolved the story telling with a character. That was a huge element we got out of this generation. The software was hard to write to use this element well enough in gameplay, but as a story element it improved games immensely.

The vast majority of games have tag alongs now in almost every game. Next generation will improve, but this element is that defining element of this generation and next generation will improve upon it. When it was first conceived the tag alongs got in the way. They pulled them back. It can't be improved upon this generation.

#122 Edited by Osaladin (2515 posts) -

Holy fuck balls, I literally just finished it and I'm just sitting here taking it all in. What a story! My initial thoughts are that I would have done the same as Joel, hell, the world has completely gone to shit, how the heck are they going to manufacture and distribute the vaccine, that is if they can successfully make a vaccine. Too many variables to just let Ellie be sacrificed like that. Maybe cutting the fireflies' ranks in half just to get to her was a bit of a waste, but you gotta do what you gotta do. This game man, fuck, I need to go lay down. It doesn't help that I finished it in two sittings.

@insanegenis: Home was made clear actually. They were going back to his brother in Jackson City. That was the city they were looking over at the end of the game.

#123 Edited by InsaneGenis (96 posts) -

@osaladin: thanks! You answered it correctly.

Then obviously in the next games Joel and his brother will take the place of the fireflies.

#124 Edited by Blackout62 (1336 posts) -

This thread's been on and off the front page for days and every time I read that title as if it's saying something like "your puppy just died. Wanna talk about it?"

Why is this not The Last Of Us sit down with everyone and have a cry about it thread?

@osaladin: Also I think it was Jackson County, Colorado not Jackson, Wyoming. Or at least I could have sworn I saw a Jackson County sign but I am seriously unsure now.

#125 Edited by Jay_Ray (1076 posts) -

@osaladin: Also I'm think it was Jackson County, Colorado not Jackson City, Wyoming. Or at least I was, I could have sworn I saw a Jackson County sign but I am seriously unsure now.

You're both kind of right. It was Jackson County, Wyoming.

#126 Edited by Blackout62 (1336 posts) -

@jay_ray: But there isn't a Jackson County, Wyoming. Eh, video games.

Anyway, I'm laying down the crazy theory I wrote on TV Tropes about The Last Of Us here: All of Bioshock: Infinite is a horrible dream Joel had while sick with that infection.

The characters are really similar and it makes sense in a Jungian way.

Joel has fears over being a father figure to Ellie after Sarah's death and Bioshock Infinite is a whole game of father issues. With that in mind the ending of Bioshock Infinite with Elizabeth drowning Booker to keep the whole unpleasantness from happening is Joel's subconscious saying he'll have to sacrifice himself and Ellie for the greater good and that it's what she would want. Elizabeth is Ellie, Anna is Sarah, Comstock and Booker are different personas of Joel, (muddled images of Joel as a father and a survivor) Marlene is Daisy Fitzroy, The Fireflies are the Vox, the military in the quarantine zone are the Founders, Bill is Cornelius Slate, and Tess and Tommy are Rosalind and Robert Lutece respectively. "Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt": the girl is Ellie, the us is the Fireflies, and the debt is the obligation Tess invokes before she dies.

By that same logic all of Spec Ops: The Line is a dream David had before he turned to cannibalism.

#127 Posted by LiquidPrince (15901 posts) -

@naru_joe93: Shit's not morally ambiguous at all, you're both pretty much the worst person on the planet by the end.

How exactly are they the worst people on the planet? In the prologue, before the infection had even started became widespread and rampant, someone ordered a soldier to gun down Joel and his daughter, killing her in the process. Then there were scumbag people willing to cheat Joel and Tess, and try and have them killed to prevent them from retaliating. Then they face off against scumbags who shoot first without even asking who they are. Then those very same scumbags attempt to kill Ellie, because they blame her for murdering their friends (who again, shot at Joel and Ellie first without provocation or warning.) David then attempts to rape Ellie... So pretty much their entire journey they have been ambushed, and everything they've done is to survive.

You as a player even have the opportunity to avoid many of the fights. So I don't understand how Joel and Ellie are the worst people.

#128 Edited by Raineko (433 posts) -

I'm pretty sure in the sequel you still play Joel and Ellie, they are still both alive and together at the end and the world is still full of infected and criminals. And I am kinda sad that it will probably take several years until we see the next game. ;__;

Let's see if Naughty Dog gives us some DLC in the meantime.

Btw here the ending theme, really well done

#129 Posted by RonGalaxy (3071 posts) -

Word of warning: the survivor difficulty is no joke

Im at the part where you get seperated from henry and ellie and are left with his brother; i have 1 bullet for the handgun, 1 molotov and a smoke bomb... I legitamately think Im in an unwinnable situation right now (also, it seems like the game flat out took the hand-shotgun away, because I couldnt find it anywhere in the environment).

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#130 Edited by Osaladin (2515 posts) -

@naru_joe93: Oh man, the shotguns were essential to my survival in that part.

#131 Posted by flakmunkey (70 posts) -

I love the ending as is. Macabre and morally ambiguous is far more entertaining to me than a morally positive ending. Every story has morals, and usually the moralistic center of a story goes against my own personal morals in one way or another, not the case with Joel. From his perspective (which is what matters as I am him when I'm playing) every decision he made was 100% correct. Despite what many want to think they would do in the same situation, I think Joel's reactions are far more realistic. I would save Ellie and lie to her face without hesitation. So what if shes a cure, not getting infected wont stop you from dying as a cordy rips your face off, the damage has been done, its time to live for yourself and seek any small bit of hapiness you can find. I think Ellie will be far more productive as a member of Tommy's camp than she would be as a "cure". Did you see that hospital? They weren't curing shit.

#132 Edited by Raineko (433 posts) -

@flakmunkey said:

I love the ending as is. Macabre and morally ambiguous is far more entertaining to me than a morally positive ending. Every story has morals, and usually the moralistic center of a story goes against my own personal morals in one way or another, not the case with Joel. From his perspective (which is what matters as I am him when I'm playing) every decision he made was 100% correct. Despite what many want to think they would do in the same situation, I think Joel's reactions are far more realistic. I would save Ellie and lie to her face without hesitation. So what if shes a cure, not getting infected wont stop you from dying as a cordy rips your face off, the damage has been done, its time to live for yourself and seek any small bit of hapiness you can find. I think Ellie will be far more productive as a member of Tommy's camp than she would be as a "cure". Did you see that hospital? They weren't curing shit.

I agree, I would have done what Joel did, even lying to Ellie. A child like her shouldn't have to make a decision of whether or not she will sacrifice herself for humanity. Joel made that decision for her.

And in his eyes humanity for a pretty big part is a bunch of shitty creatures. Ellie in his eyes is one of the few humans that deserve to be saved.

#133 Edited by Humanity (9025 posts) -

The ending didn't sit well with me. During the majority of the game Joel treats Ellie as a package he needs to deliver intact - not even for the guns anymore but out of some twisted moral obligation. You play this grumpy jerk that deflects any sort of friendly advances Ellie throws his way. I was fine with that because I knew with time they would bond - and they did. Like most people I thought Winter coupled with the final segments preceding it was this amazing emotional high for the game. You can tell how much Ellie cares about Joel and in turn how Joel realizes he cares for Ellie. At this point of the game they finally become this real team that trust one another with everything. At the very end when Ellie asks him to swear, I'm pretty sure it's supposed to imply that she already knows the truth or else why would she stress it. That somber "Okay" after Joel swears he's not lying was such a downer for me as you can kind of already see them drifting apart. Joel turning into this over protective father figure with Ellie growing distant as she knows the one person she thought she could trust in the world just lied to her.

That is reading a lot into it but it's what I got out of it. In a way I honestly would have preferred for Joel to die in the process of getting her out of that hospital. Winter was definitely the one point in the game where I completely excused the monotonous gameplay and was completely entranced by the story. This also came after my lowest point in the game by the research center where you experience the "oh the princess is in another castle" moment followed by an introduction of another combat sequence - at that point I literally groaned and thought "oh this fucking game" thinking I was going to have to retraced my steps all the way to the start while fighting yet another wave of goons. The way that played out in the end especially with the Winter tie-in was awesome.

In addition, I don't think the crazy guy in the Winter segment was meant to be a pedophile. I think he was just supposed to be an insane person, driven too far by the realities of their awful world.

#134 Edited by Stalks (1 posts) -

Just finished this last night and I hit the internet immediately, this thread has been such a good source for extra things to think about. This has been the first time I've actively bought and played a PS3 game (I'm usually an Xbox guy but I have a PS3 for Blu-rays) and I was so impressed with all of it, it blew me away.

I think maybe like a lot of you I'm left with a sort of void after completing it (Yes, I've already started New Game+) and so many bits of it left me physically and emotionally drained and I completed it in fewer extended play sessions over three days. I remember getting to the dam and thinking this must be near the end but my friend told me I was barely 2/3 which left me thinking where it could possibly go. I felt pretty much safe for most of the game, handling hunters and infected each had their own strategies but it was when Joel got injured that my jaw dropped. I was quietly prepared for one or both of them to die, maybe Joel sacrificing himself to save Ellie and having a redemption story but like a few of you have said, that is too obvious and weren't we all expecting something like that? Once Winter started I felt out of my depth for the first time because I couldn't second guess it. The gameplay changed, the characters changed, there was a bit before Ellie asking for meds that left me thinking Joel was dead. Once David's story really started it felt like Walking Dead from the comics, David's the Governor, Joel is Rick and Ellie is any one of the survivors the Governor captures, most likely Michonne what with that potential rape element, but I thought she meant 'he tried to either, eat me or kill me' rather than that. For so much of the game I played it slow and steady, not wasting anything and even avoiding combat altogether but when it got to that Winter scene and I'm trying to rescue Ellie, again with the hospital bit later on, that strategy went out the window, I was running around guns blazing with one goal, to get to Ellie and to get there quickly. Sure, at the end of the day it is a game and you can take all those bits as slow as you like without any sort of penalty (it's not like there's a timer) and you'll still arrive just in time but those bits made me change playstyle completely without any concern for how much health or ammo I had at the end. Not even thinking about it, I even shot all the surgeons because it seemed like that is what Joel would do, not what I would do.

Anyway, I could write reams and reams about my experience but the one thing that stuck with me was something Sam said the night before he turned, 'What if the people are still inside? What if they're trapped in there without any control of their body?', that changed how I thought about the infected, as if the erratic behaviour of the Clickers was the human fighting inside, or the noises the Runners made were the humans inside trying to ask for help but unable to stop themselves from tearing my throat out.

You can watch that bit here, along with all the rest of the cutscenes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkLPKd-Vs8g&feature=youtu.be&t=3h40m3s

#135 Edited by Optix12 (611 posts) -

@stalks: Welcome to the website. I think once at the clicker stage the mutation might be too severe to save, let alone harbour humans within them. Hunters are touch and go as while they do make those human noises if you see one from the distance standing still, the moment it hears or sees a human it would pounce and attack without warning or thinking which seems to me that their mind has been compromised. Maybe a vaccination if produced could have also worked on hunters but I feel that from clicker stage of mutation onwards it would probably have no effect/not be terribly useful.

One of the greater moments for me was almost all through winter, that deer hunting where I actually assumed Joel was dead and it was Ellie left to get through it, the introduction of the David character as well as Ellie being a bit trickier to deal with enemies (you would lose so much health trying to mellee attack enemies). The David boss fight was pretty superb but I found it ridiculously easy as I had already mapped where the plates were before he appeared so I found a little corner section to run around and it did not take me long at all. What I liked that stood out and is the first time Ive really seen it (im sure its been done before) is the dual viewpoints in winter where you play as ellie until you get caught then wake up with Joel and have him almost scared to see ellie is missing to the point of casually torturing some dudes to get the information he needed, then switching back to ellie with it leading to the boss fight where they meet up.

Also in terms of the AI in my playthrough I only ever noticed stupid friendly AI in one of the first clicker rooms in the subway, they were moving around waaay too much but other than that Ellie was almost always able to find some hidden spot.

The Hospital section I felt I broke it as I was getting hit too many times guns blazing and was making no progress so I stealthed almost the whole thing, which meant I took long enough for them to be done with the surgery and move her into a new room im sure.

#136 Posted by StarvingGamer (8128 posts) -

That was awesome. I hope in the next game you get to play as Ellie.

@humanity said:

In addition, I don't think the crazy guy in the Winter segment was meant to be a pedophile. I think he was just supposed to be an insane person, driven too far by the realities of their awful world.

The survivors talked about how Ellie was David's latest "pet". Also Ellie stared death in the face hundreds of times and hardly batted an eye. But after her rage killing of David she was clearly a wreck, unable to bring herself to even say the thing that had shaken her to the core out loud.

#137 Edited by Reisz (1479 posts) -

Man that was well done, I'm really glad they ended it how they did, I was waiting for one for one of them to die right up until the end. Bravo Naughty Dog for not taking the easy way out.

I see a few people who interpreted the broad strokes the same way I did but I read way into both of their motivations. My playthrough ended up being around twenty four hours So i definitely had the time.

The way I see it Ellie has been carrying a years worth of survivors guilt and it's easy to see that if she was surrounded by Fireflies in the clinic and told the situation, under that pressure she would have gone ahead with the procedure and probably felt some degree of happiness and pride, knowing -she- was giving her life to the world. But the way the Fireflies and especially Marlene made no effort to get her permission. . . She deserved to make that choice.

I ended up writing way more than I intended, so I spoiler blocked it, check it out if you want.

Ellie knows what happened. She is a smart girl, back in the University she specifically asks Joel if he thinks it will hurt when they do their tests, she knows very well how this was likely going to go, she's grown up in this world and is no stranger to it's awful realities. When she wakes up in the car on the way back to Tommy's she's wearing an operating gown and has no memory of talking to anyone at the clinic. She would put two and two together, that she asks Joel at all if if he's lying is tacit proof she knows he is. But we're still talking about a fourteen year old girl. Yes she is mature beyond her years but after all the shit she's been through, the guilt of surviving while she watched those close to her die, being forced to murder David, she was looking to Joel; a man she trusts completely, to give her a way out. That's how I see it, this isn't selfish or cruel, this is a traumatised young woman looking desperately to the only person she can trust to give her a life worth living, to take some piece of the responsibility off her shoulders. She's asking Joel to carry the weight of what he did alone. To hear those words "I swear" from him is her door to a life free of guilt. No fourteen year old could say no to that opportunity, to have lived so long under the pressure of this world to be finally given a way out, who wouldn't want that?

Joel knows this as well, you can almost see him weighing his decision before he attacks that first guard, then again in the elevator. By the time he's shot Marlene this is a man who's decided he's going to give Ellie a life of her own, free from the responsibility of sacrifice no matter what it takes. Honestly I think he would have been happy if he'd just been killed trying to get to her. This is a man of habit. He's a killer, a survivor and a protector but he's been fighting for salvation ever since he lost his daughter, a part of him died when he lost Sarah and he couldn't bring himself to let Ellie into his life in the same way, there's no way Joel would survive losing her all over again. That's what I saw in him when he tried to push her away at the ranch, in the back of his mind he could tell she might never survive the creation of a vaccine, He would have done almost anything to free himself of the possibility of losing another "daughter". At the end, he saw in Ellie the desperation, he knew that the rest of her life was in his hands. If he couldn't live this lie, it's not just his life that's affected. So he gives her a way out.

That's why Ellie's response; "Okay" felt so resigned, she knows they've chosen a lie. But she would have never accepted it if she didn't trust Joel, she may even feel guilty about letting him carry that weight but she definitely -let- him carry it.

They saved eachother at the end. Maybe it was at the expense of the rest of humanity but who knows, the vaccine was never a guarantee, maybe being in this town full of engineers and other people trying to live a "normal" life they could still find some clue to what happened. I see it as a happy ending but what I love is that Naughty Dog didn't force feed it, the writing and performances make this a more nuanced story than anything I've yet seen in games.

#138 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2498 posts) -

@reisz: Interesting analysis!

It's stuff like this which make me feel justified in thinking that The Last of Us really does push storytelling forward, and is overall an important game.

#139 Edited by Humanity (9025 posts) -

@starvinggamer said:

That was awesome. I hope in the next game you get to play as Ellie.

@humanity said:

In addition, I don't think the crazy guy in the Winter segment was meant to be a pedophile. I think he was just supposed to be an insane person, driven too far by the realities of their awful world.

The survivors talked about how Ellie was David's latest "pet". Also Ellie stared death in the face hundreds of times and hardly batted an eye. But after her rage killing of David she was clearly a wreck, unable to bring herself to even say the thing that had shaken her to the core out loud.

Her being his pet could mean a number of things - it doesn't necessarily have to take on a sexual connotation. The one moment that does actually paint him as a pedophile is when he tries to sweet talk Ellie into joining their ranks and puts his hand on hers. Apart from that he doesn't make any sexual innuendos when speaking to her. He is extremely off putting because of his quiet drawl. Even as he finally catches her near the end and pins her down, there is nothing sexual about it - he doesn't smell her hair or touch her in any way. It is of course very possible that he really was a pedophile, but like I said - I interpret his character as simply being a sick and twisted individual that enjoyed harassing people he had power over. As for Ellie it is quite understandable that she was shaken up to tears as David quite literally hunted her like an animal - heck I'm an adult male that was simply playing the game and that entire segment creeped me out.

@reisz: I viewed the ending in a similar way but with a different interpretation of the final conversation. After Ellie inhaled too much water and Joel got knocked out they would have had to perform CPR on her on the spot or else she would've simply died from suffocation. So I believe she must have been awake as they dragged Joel back to the base and probably even talked to Marlene. Either way she probably knew or figured out enough to know what actually happened. Joel was the only person she trusted in the entire world at that point and she was giving him a chance to come clean. I believe she was ready to accept the truth, to accept the consequences of this selfish decision in light of mankind, as long as Joel would be honest with her. The resigned "okay" seems to indicate disappointment and acceptance that the rest of their days would be based on a lie.

#140 Edited by Milkman (16619 posts) -

The ending was extremely ballsy. It's hard to say that I loved it because I just felt fucking awful when the credits started rolling. But goddamn, what a game.

#141 Posted by RonGalaxy (3071 posts) -
Online
#142 Posted by Reisz (1479 posts) -

@humanity: Interesting, I can see that. I'm trying not to analyse too much and just go with my initial reactions but I (weirdly) never considered that she would have been conscious between being revived and put under. Although now that I think about it they may have asked to put her under for tests and then just kept her that way when they realised they couldn't extract without killing her.

I don't know though, I feel like she would have said something when she came to if she remembered. Ahh well. That's the beauty of this thing, so much room for interpretation.

#143 Posted by Vertrucio (147 posts) -

I've reversed my opinion on the TLOU ending. I love it.

I understand its reasons, and appreciate how character focused it is, as well as how much of a moral grey area it is. Also, how ballsy it really is. It's to the same level that the Infamous 2 endings had in terms of ability to stand by the developer's decisions.

While Naughty Dog is playing coy and saying they'd be fine if there wasn't a sequel, I'm pretty sure they knew the game would do well enough to warrant a sequel. There's plenty of character development left, and more world to explore if they choose to continue their story. If not, there's more survivors and impossible situations to explore.

#144 Posted by Raineko (433 posts) -

@reisz

Very well written, I completely agree with your interpretation, felt the same thing while playing the game.

@humanity

I'm pretty sure she didn't know about it, simply because it would have been much easier to put her right on the table for Marlene. Also at the end Marlene says "She would have wanted it." And not "She agreed to it."

#145 Posted by midnightgreen20 (62 posts) -

Just beat the game and have some thoughts on the ending as well. We've already stated that Joel didn't want to lose another "daughter" he had come to find in Ellie, and made the selfish choice of taking her away so that he would feel his life was still something meaningful.

But there are 2 other ideas that may have influenced his decision along with what has been previously mentioned. For one, Joel cannot survive without Ellie. Throughout the game, you boost her up so she can open a gate for you, help move heavy objects, etc. Without any of this, Joel's journey wouldn't have been possible in the slightest bit. Not to mention, she did save him a few times and looked after him. Joel didn't want to give up what he thought was his only way to survive. As the game makes rather clear, having a partner usually means that at least one person is gonna die. We see that with Henry and his brother, Tess, and Bill's partner who is later found dead after hanging himself. But Ellie managed to survive the entire way through, so Joel saw her as an exception to that rule.

The last idea, but not most prevalent, is Joel's lack of trust in humanity. Who is to say that if the vaccine was created, that there wouldn't be fights among people as to who gets the vaccine and other survivors trying to steal it for themselves? Obviously Joel loses his trust early in the game when the military fires at him and Sarah even though they showed no signs of infection, and he loses his daughter in the process. Joel isn't a very trusting person. We see that a bunch of times in the game. Even though he was beginning to accept Ellie's loss to a slight extent, when he asks to see her before surgery and Marlene initially tells him no, you can spot an angry flinch from Joel in reaction to the answer. It was that really small exchange that set him off to lose all trust in the Fireflies, in my opinion. Had that not have happened, perhaps he still would've tried to stop the surgery anyway so he doesn't lose Ellie, but I imagine that pushed him over the edge and had him make up his mind for certain that he wouldn't allow the surgery to take place.

#146 Posted by laserguy (443 posts) -

Joel is not a bad guy, he's a beaten guy. He give's up on humanity. At the end all he wants is to go to the only place he feels is safe.

#147 Posted by Humanity (9025 posts) -

@raineko: I realize she may not know the entire truth, but she definitely knows Joel is not being entirely honest - hence the severity in asking him to swear that all he has said was true. In my opinion it's her way of giving him that last opportunity - a sort of "listen I know some terrible shit went down, and I'm here for you and I will accept it, but you gotta be straight with me and tell me what actually happened, so are you SURE you've told me EVERYTHING." The fact that Joel feels the need to lie to her about it is very telling about his character shift in the latter portions of the game.

My view on it anyway.

#148 Posted by lusence (345 posts) -

About ellie and david wanting to keep her as 'his new pet' put a spin on things and i belive their intention would of been him keeping her in sexual terms but that would put to much strain with the censors etc. so its just hinted at, at one scene with her waking up in the cell showing her from waist up and there was heavy breathing etc just kinda gross but again i think that is way way to far to go as far as the censors are concerned, me personally dont really care, how ever they want to further the story is fine by me, look at the dead walking comics and even the first episode where rick shoots a little girl in the head. just hard core all around, god know reality is worse than fiction.

Anyways furthering this sex theme did anyone catch on bill and his partner where actually homosexual? I didnt till the 2nd play through when i noticed the porn mag she wound was actually naked men, not women. "how does he even walk with that thing!?" -ellie. lol

#149 Posted by FilipHolm (667 posts) -

Just finished the game, too. I was very impressed, and enjoyed the ending.

Alot of people have mentioned the Giraffe's. Personally I saw them as a sort of symbolism for the fact that life goes on, or rather CAN go on. That's when Joel started thinking what lead to him saving her in the end. If you noticed he asked her "You know we don't have to do this?" right after seeing the giraffe's.

The winter part was awesome but at that point I was sick of combat and ended in me loosing some interest in the story for a good part of that section.

Fantastic game though, the story was dark and well plotted. The attention to detail was really unlike anything I've ever seen in a video game.

#150 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

Same, I had to stop playing after Winter. I was so frightened that something terrible was going to happen (Ellie dying being my primary concern). It probably lessened the emotional impact of the Spring section, but I was about to have a nervous breakdown, practically.

About those giraffes... technically they should not have been able to survive the winter without access to a heated enclosure. That really bugged me. :/

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