Opinions on the Climax of The Last of Us (SPOILERS) (Poll)

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Posted by StarvingGamer (8215 posts) 8 months, 25 days ago

Poll: Opinions on the Climax of The Last of Us (SPOILERS) (Poll) (546 votes)

I am not a parent and agree with Joel's decision 52%
I am not a parent and disagree with Joel's decision 30%
I am a parent and agree with Joel's decision 4%
I am a parent and disagree with Joel's decision 2%
Show me the results 12%

Joel's decision to save Ellie and (potentially) doom the entire human race has been a big point of contention since the game came out. I remember hearing that the developers did a survey and found that while people without children fell somewhere around 50/50 on the issue, something near 100% of parents agreed with what Joel did.

Of course I can't find evidence of this survey anywhere, so I thought it might be nice to get some solid numbers on the issue. How do you feel about Joel's actions, horrifically brutal as they may have been?

#51 Posted by Zaccheus (1793 posts) -

I cannot answer this poll. The Last of Us is an amazing game.

#52 Posted by MormonWarrior (2590 posts) -

It's been discussed at length, but my issue was that in a dire, awful world Joel had finally gained someone worth living for in Ellie. The Fireflies were repeatedly shown to maybe have their hearts in the right place, but they were totally inept at doing anything right and screwed things up for themselves on a regular basis. (Why do you think they had to move locations so many times?) I was completely unconvinced by their statement that they could make a cure from Ellie, especially when it seems like Ellie may have been exposed in the womb to the fungus and therefore gained her immunity there.

If I had to make my projection about the world, it would be that more people like Ellie will rise up as long as she is allowed to live and reproduce, and hopefully eventually mankind can recover and eradicate or at least learn to deal with the fungal zombies. I don't agree with the actions taken by Joel in the end, or the way he lied (except if you believe that Ellie was in on the lie too and it was just a way to make them feel better about their decision) but I do think if anyone had a right to decide what's right for her at that point, it was Joel. He essentially became her surrogate father and the awful way the Fireflies were treating him at the end, and the way they didn't even discuss it with him or Ellie just didn't sit right with me.

What I hated at the end was that it turned into an Uncharted-esque massive impossible shootout for the sake of ending the game in a big, bombastic manner. That almost totally ruined the end of the game for me, as well as the last section with zombies since it was completely ludicrous in a way I couldn't get behind, though the rest of the game made sense for the most part.

#53 Edited by JasonR86 (9694 posts) -

Hey! This is a thread I didn't comment on! I think! I think Joel's take on the matter is irrelevant really. I understand what he did for sure. I get why he would want to do what he did. But the decision isn't his to make. It is Ellie's. In Joel's position, I would have wanted to make it clear that this is what Ellie had wanted. I wouldn't have thought that the Fireflies would have considered her desires so I probably would have forced the issue like he did (well, not exactly like he did but you know what I mean). But I wouldn't decide for her. Even if she were my child I wouldn't decide for her. No one decides what happens to their body except the person in questions especially when they are at the age where they can consider their options and rationally make decisions (as Ellie was able to).

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#54 Posted by Milkman (16770 posts) -

How great is it that this thread can even exist? What a game.

#55 Posted by Roboculus92 (505 posts) -

Giving up Ellie for the potential to create a cure is definitely the more morally right decision but I'm pretty sure most people would have done the same thing if they were in Joel's position. Like others have said, "agree" might not be the best word to use since what he chose to do was morally wrong but I'm sure most of us understand why he did what he did and that's the important part.

#56 Posted by Random45 (1191 posts) -

I loved the ending of the game, but I think he did the wrong thing at the end. Though at that point, what was he supposed to do? Poor guy lost pretty much everything else, so I see why he didn't allow her to be sacrificed for something that may not even work in the first place.

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#57 Edited by Red (5995 posts) -

I would completely get him taking Ellie away from the Fireflies--although it should have been her choice--but I think he crossed the line by murdering the entire building full of relatively decent and well-intentioned people.

#58 Edited by LiquidPrince (15942 posts) -

Fuck all this "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" bullshit. That's what people say when they're pointing at other people to be killed in order to save their own asses. Either that, or someone who is foolish letting himself die for something that might not even be worth it, thinking they're being a martyr. Most people quoting that bullshit Star Trek line would probably never sacrifice themselves or their daughters/family, so I hate when people spout it. And they seem to forget that it was the cold logical Spock who said it, showing his cold "logical" unfeeling Vulcan origins when compared to humans.

One of the greatest qualities in human beings, in my opinion, is our capacity to love. Maybe it's considered selfish, but I wouldn't let a loved one kill themselves on the off chance that it MAY lead to a cure. MAY.

#59 Posted by Gnorbooth (284 posts) -

Joel made the right decision. Even as someone that looks at kids as "OMG WHY WOULD YOU EVER WANT ONE", if I was in that same position, I'm doing whatever it damn well takes to save Ellie.

Maybe I have a warped view of events, but I have to take it back to how Naughty Dog handles all the factions in this game and it's an aspect I quite like. No one in this game is a force for good. Not even your player characters. Anyone acting like the Fireflies are some saintly order of individuals out to save the world are fucking kidding themselves. They, like everyone else, are shown to have only their best interests at heart, and really, everyone else be damned. They are not the good guys. You can of course extrapolate further that they don't have the resources, or the ability to create some type of vaccine, but I don't need to go that far. They suck just like everyone else, and I felt no sympathy for them or their cause. And it's their actions in the first place that put Joel and Ellie in the position they finds themselves in. Even in the wonderful world of hypothetical situations, do you think an organization like the Fireflies would just let Ellie walk out of the building cause she might say no to the procedure if asked? And they were just gonna throw Joel out to fend for himself, taking his supplies and his last bit of family for themselves. What choice does he have? Just casually cruise out of the building with nothing while they murder Ellie for the chance of possibly maybe oh geez hopefully a vaccine? Marlene is creating justifications while at the same time removing the decision out of Ellie's hands as well, so the moral high ground goes out the window.

I don't even have much to add to the whole "for the greater good" aspect. Humanity has had twenty years to combat what has happened, and well, nothing came of it. Except for everyone becoming a damn savage. I find the idea and the community of Tommy's town to be the future for the planet and for humanity. A vaccine isn't gonna fix shit overnight, and last I checked, everyone still needs supplies to survive. So back to lootin'. And murderin'.

I look at it this way. Even if Joel dun goofed by murdering a hospital full of thugs, Ellie is still alive and can potentially still be the "savior" humanity needs. Hey, maybe she'll even get the chance to make it her decision, as opposed to having all these outside factors taking it away from her.

I fucking love this game. I could talk about it all day. GOTY.

#60 Edited by happymeowmeow (204 posts) -

Just finished this game last night so I'm still digesting it.

My initial reaction is that Joel is a monster and his decision was ultimately one of selfishness, no matter if Ellie's sacrifice resulted in a cure or not. That last sequence is pretty haunting, especially because it still leaves their real thoughts on the matter somewhat ambiguous. Ellie had resigned herself to dying and the only thing that kept her going was thinking she could make a difference. Was what Joel felt for Ellie really love or just a desperate need for something to survive for? Is Ellie just a pet to him, a less creepy version of what that cannibal wanted from her?

My opinion of Joel certainly wasn't helped by the brutality and relentlessness of the mass murder spree on the way to that decision.

I don't know. All of the characters longed for some reason to keep on going, the reason for all their sacrifices and horror beyond just surviving. Ellie was Joel's reason. I couldn't see him making another decision, given the person he was the journey they had taken.

#61 Edited by Xymox (2088 posts) -

@liquidprince said:

Fuck all this "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" bullshit. That's what people say when they're pointing at other people to be killed in order to save their own asses. Either that, or someone who is foolish letting himself die for something that might not even be worth it, thinking they're being a martyr. Most people quoting that bullshit Star Trek line would probably never sacrifice themselves or their daughters/family, so I hate when people spout it. And they seem to forget that it was the cold logical Spock who said it, showing his cold "logical" unfeeling Vulcan origins when compared to humans.

One of the greatest qualities in human beings, in my opinion, is our capacity to love. Maybe it's considered selfish, but I wouldn't let a loved one kill themselves on the off chance that it MAY lead to a cure. MAY.

Exactly. MAY.

How about "holy shit you guys actually made it here? are you hurt?" And let's explain to Ellie the dangers of this surgery, and then she can make that decision. She may very well die and there's a huge fucking chance we will fuck up the surgery and also the chance we won't actually be able to get a cure. They're super quick to decide that ending her life for a possible minimalistic amount of scientific information is worth it which is sickening. She could be worth way more alive. They're willing to just throw that possible research away on a hunch.

Also instead of being like "holy shit" they decided to be huge dickbags, which is what ultimately what got them killed. I mean that entire sequence could have played out so much better if they hadn't been dickbags. Knocking Joel out while he was trying to save her was dumb, risky, and so not the way to handle that situation. What gets me the most is that they weren't panicking at all during that sequence but instead resort to violence. He's a non-threat trying to save a kid. If you know CPR, fucking go save the kid, don't knock a guy out.

Taking Ellie away was dumb. It's unclear if they even talked to her about it. And then they point out how insanely hard it must've been getting there so it's pretty damn clear they came of their own free will - but the Fireflies tunnel vision so hard about the cure they throw the kid into surgery right away. Like how about not pointing a gun at the guy who brought her there when you recognize who they are? Also, not letting Joel talk to her was another really dumb move.

The only thing I didn't like was that he lied to her at the end and how her dialogue hints at how this would've been something she would have chosen. It's weird why she asks and in the way she asks. Either she did talk to them and agreed to the surgery, and as such asking Joel to see if he's lying to her, or she basically got kidnapped by people who had no idea what they were doing. You don't just kill the only immune person to have surfaced in the last 20 years. That's not science. That's desperate people acting on what little hope is left in the world and possibly fucking up in the process.

#62 Edited by Pezen (1603 posts) -

He did the right thing. I am not a parent but even if Ellie was an adult, the same would apply. It's not about Ellie's age, but about her lack of consent, choice and possible outcome of those choices made for her. Sure, Joel lied, but his lie ultimately only gives Ellie a future to do with as she wants. But all those things aside, is humanity worth saving on the back of an event where the person responsible for saving the human race has no say? To me, that would be saving humans while killing our humanity in one single motion.

@xymox: Very well said, I very much agree with your assessment of those dickbags.

#63 Posted by chilibean_3 (1638 posts) -

Fuck the Fireflies.

#64 Posted by TobbRobb (4638 posts) -

As someone who finished it earlier today. I have to go with Joel here. From a narrative and character standpoint, that is THE choice. He did what Joel as a human would do, and I love that is what they went with.

From a moral or "real" standpoint. I think the vaccine mission was a red herring and doomed to fail. I mean, they didn't have a lot of equipment, limited research and only one workable test subject, that they would kill in the first goddamn experiment. On top of that, unless the vaccine is something simple like DRINK LOTS OF WATER, they would have big issues mass-producing and distributing it. It would at most "save" a small subset of the world rather than all of it. With that considered and balanced against Joel's feelings and connection to Ellie, I think it is a no-brainer to go for it and save all that he lives for. Sacrificing a very small chance to save unrelated people in the process. It's a very human choice, and most likely what I would have done as well.

Well, I'm seriously downplaying the massgraves and cities of weeping families he created in the process. But the choice is seen from Joel's perspective, not anyone elses. And from that perspective he did what he had to do, for himself.

#65 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

I don't get why people think humanity would have been saved. Who says they could have produced enough of a cure to save the whole fucking humanity? They wouldn't have been able to. And speaking of a cure, say they had a couple of antidotes, then what? They'd sell it to the highest bidder, of course.

Also, if one human is immune, other babies are bound to be too.

#66 Posted by ZolRoyce (691 posts) -

I kind of wish that Naughty Dog hadn't gone out of the way to make the Fireflies the bad guys in the end, it would be one thing if Joel and Ellie had got there just fine and they had Marlene explain to Ellie that she had to die for a chance at a cure and Ellie agreed and then Joel snapped and murdered everyone to get her back, that to me would be a crazy dark grey moral chance. But no, the Fireflies at the end basically treated Joel like a prisoner, probably wouldn't give him his supplies back which is close to a death sentence, and were okay with murdering a little girl without letting her understand what was going on.
So the ending felt like to me Naughty Dog going "We need a climax guys! Uhhhhh, Evil Fireflies because reasons!" The whole segment just felt pretty dishonest for what the game had built up thus far, at least for me. Still an amazing game, and I enjoyed parts of the ending but over all I just felt let down, heck they even have the doctors try to kill you at the end, at least one of them, and the other would have tried as well if she hadn't been stopped.
I *wish* I would it to be a morally grey debate but all I get out of it is that Joel is of course the good guy because he stopped child murder.

#67 Posted by Mycroft_Ampersand (77 posts) -
@zolroyce said:

I kind of wish that Naughty Dog hadn't gone out of the way to make the Fireflies the bad guys in the end, it would be one thing if Joel and Ellie had got there just fine and they had Marlene explain to Ellie that she had to die for a chance at a cure and Ellie agreed and then Joel snapped and murdered everyone to get her back, that to me would be a crazy dark grey moral chance. But no, the Fireflies at the end basically treated Joel like a prisoner, probably wouldn't give him his supplies back which is close to a death sentence, and were okay with murdering a little girl without letting her understand what was going on.

So the ending felt like to me Naughty Dog going "We need a climax guys! Uhhhhh, Evil Fireflies because reasons!" The whole segment just felt pretty dishonest for what the game had built up thus far, at least for me. Still an amazing game, and I enjoyed parts of the ending but over all I just felt let down, heck they even have the doctors try to kill you at the end, at least one of them, and the other would have tried as well if she hadn't been stopped.

I *wish* I would it to be a morally grey debate but all I get out of it is that Joel is of course the good guy because he stopped

child murder

.

But the Fireflies weren't necessarily the "bad guys" from anything other than Joel's (and possibly the player's) perspective. I think that they were portrayed as a group who had become desperate from their losing fight with the military, dwindling support from the populace and 20 years of complete failure to find a cure. The dialogue shows that Marlene is pretty conflicted about her choice but feels like she HAS to go through with the surgery (I also found some audio from her that further highlights her difficulty with the choice). Added to that is the fact that Joel is a pretty horrible person himself and that like he can't let go of the past in his daughter, the Fireflies can't let go of the past in the form of society. I think that Naughty Dog crafted an ending that was just as unpleasant and self-interested as the world that they created.

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#68 Posted by ZolRoyce (691 posts) -

@zolroyce said:

I kind of wish that Naughty Dog hadn't gone out of the way to make the Fireflies the bad guys in the end, it would be one thing if Joel and Ellie had got there just fine and they had Marlene explain to Ellie that she had to die for a chance at a cure and Ellie agreed and then Joel snapped and murdered everyone to get her back, that to me would be a crazy dark grey moral chance. But no, the Fireflies at the end basically treated Joel like a prisoner, probably wouldn't give him his supplies back which is close to a death sentence, and were okay with murdering a little girl without letting her understand what was going on.

So the ending felt like to me Naughty Dog going "We need a climax guys! Uhhhhh, Evil Fireflies because reasons!" The whole segment just felt pretty dishonest for what the game had built up thus far, at least for me. Still an amazing game, and I enjoyed parts of the ending but over all I just felt let down, heck they even have the doctors try to kill you at the end, at least one of them, and the other would have tried as well if she hadn't been stopped.

I *wish* I would it to be a morally grey debate but all I get out of it is that Joel is of course the good guy because he stopped

child murder

.

But the Fireflies weren't necessarily the "bad guys" from anything other than Joel's (and possibly the player's) perspective. I think that they were portrayed as a group who had become desperate from their losing fight with the military, dwindling support from the populace and 20 years of complete failure to find a cure. The dialogue shows that Marlene is pretty conflicted about her choice but feels like she HAS to go through with the surgery (I also found some audio from her that further highlights her difficulty with the choice). Added to that is the fact that Joel is a pretty horrible person himself and that like he can't let go of the past in his daughter, the Fireflies can't let go of the past in the form of society. I think that Naughty Dog crafted an ending that was just as unpleasant and self-interested as the world that they created.

Yeah, you make good points, I guess I just wished that the fireflies had felt somewhat more sympathetic then they came across. I agree about Marlene, the way she was acting and the VO diaries you can find of hers don't make her come off as evil, just making a horrible choice she thinks is right which of course is a huge motif/theme through the game so that's great. Just for me the ending still came off to much as "this is the part of the game where you go and defeat the bad guys" the fireflies just felt to cold for me.

#69 Edited by VaddixBell (266 posts) -

I look at it like this. Ellie grew up in a world where you have to grow up fast and I think she understands how important it all is. It's suggested by Marlene; and Joel probably knows it too; that Ellie would want them to go through with it (although I'm not sure she ever directly said it).

I think Joel made the wrong choice. Even if it's a long shot, you've got to give it a go provided the person wants it and is capable of making that decision. I think Ellie is capable of making that choice herself and Joel deprived her of that choice because he needs her.

But this is why I love the ending all the more. Joel made a wrong choice based on emotion and it was a flawed decision. That's why I like the ending because it acknowledges that people are flawed and will make choices based on emotions and I'm sure everyone posting here has done something out of emotion and not logic. Although I'm not a parent, I could imagine the majority of parents doing virtually anything to save their child (or people they consider their child) and just because of who Joel is and the state of the world, Joel went as far as a man can go to "save" Ellie.

#70 Posted by Mycroft_Ampersand (77 posts) -

@zolroyce said:

@mycroft_ampersand said:
@zolroyce said:

I kind of wish that Naughty Dog hadn't gone out of the way to make the Fireflies the bad guys in the end, it would be one thing if Joel and Ellie had got there just fine and they had Marlene explain to Ellie that she had to die for a chance at a cure and Ellie agreed and then Joel snapped and murdered everyone to get her back, that to me would be a crazy dark grey moral chance. But no, the Fireflies at the end basically treated Joel like a prisoner, probably wouldn't give him his supplies back which is close to a death sentence, and were okay with murdering a little girl without letting her understand what was going on.

So the ending felt like to me Naughty Dog going "We need a climax guys! Uhhhhh, Evil Fireflies because reasons!" The whole segment just felt pretty dishonest for what the game had built up thus far, at least for me. Still an amazing game, and I enjoyed parts of the ending but over all I just felt let down, heck they even have the doctors try to kill you at the end, at least one of them, and the other would have tried as well if she hadn't been stopped.

I *wish* I would it to be a morally grey debate but all I get out of it is that Joel is of course the good guy because he stopped

child murder

.

But the Fireflies weren't necessarily the "bad guys" from anything other than Joel's (and possibly the player's) perspective. I think that they were portrayed as a group who had become desperate from their losing fight with the military, dwindling support from the populace and 20 years of complete failure to find a cure. The dialogue shows that Marlene is pretty conflicted about her choice but feels like she HAS to go through with the surgery (I also found some audio from her that further highlights her difficulty with the choice). Added to that is the fact that Joel is a pretty horrible person himself and that like he can't let go of the past in his daughter, the Fireflies can't let go of the past in the form of society. I think that Naughty Dog crafted an ending that was just as unpleasant and self-interested as the world that they created.

Yeah, you make good points, I guess I just wished that the fireflies had felt somewhat more sympathetic then they came across. I agree about Marlene, the way she was acting and the VO diaries you can find of hers don't make her come off as evil, just making a horrible choice she thinks is right which of course is a huge motif/theme through the game so that's great. Just for me the ending still came off to much as "this is the part of the game where you go and defeat the bad guys" the fireflies just felt to cold for me.

I think that a large part of the ending has to do with the response that players have to the game's conclusion. If that is how the fireflies came off to you, then I can certainly see why the ending wouldn't work for you in the same way that others, including myself, felt about it.

Online
#71 Posted by NTM (7373 posts) -

Where's the 'conflicted' choice? I'm happy he saved her, but I also don't like some of the things he did to do it and perhaps what he may have done in the long haul; though the aspect of her being the cure I also don't know of yet, it was kind of insinuating that Marlene and the rest of the Fireflies weren't 100 positive that the test would work, making it so Ellie was yet another test subject.

I like Joel as a character and understand a lot of his choices, as grim as some of them are, but I didn't like how he killed Marlene, which is someone I didn't see as a bad character; she perhaps wanted to kill Joel after he went after Ellie, but in general, she was simply trying to do something good for humanity, and Joel killed her, as well as the fact that she's also someone Ellie's known from birth.

#72 Edited by ViciousBearMauling (1093 posts) -

I'm not crazy, what Joel did was fucking stupid and wrong.

But, as a father of a daughter that I love more than anything else in this world, I would have done the same exact thing. Love is a powerful emotion that can justify the most selfish of choices, and I completely understand that.

#73 Posted by byterunner (306 posts) -

I disagree with Joel's choice simply because of his reasoning. I don't feel that Joel did it because Ellie had the right to live or die as she chose, but because he couldn't bear to live without her. He become much more dependent on her then she of him. Her feelings were never involved in choice that Joel made. He never tried to delay the operation so that Ellie could make a choice. A choice that I'm am very sure that Ellie would sacrifice herself to get the cure. That final conversation pretty much cemented the difference between the two characters. And showed that Joel has become a monster and solely dependent on Ellie. While its nice to think what he did was very noble, he did a very selfish thing. And moving forward, that relationship will only become more and more strained and will not end well.

#74 Edited by LackingSaint (1806 posts) -

I completely disagree with what Joel did, and would probably have done exactly the same thing in his position. That's the beauty of the ending, in my opinion.

#75 Posted by Humanity (9178 posts) -

In my opinion it would have been much more powerful if they woke Ellie up and there was a whole scene where Joel explains the situation to her and let's her make a choice. Seeing how she acted throughout the game she would probably choose to sacrifice herself. Then give the player a choice whether to go along with it or bust her out. Imagine the scene when Ellie wakes up in a house somewhere and realizes what Joel has done.

Personally I thought it was a weak ending after such a powerful segment that was Fall.

#76 Posted by Zeik (2416 posts) -

Humanity sucks, even moreso in The Last of Us. Joel made the right call. Fuck everyone else.

I even think he made the right call by not leaving it up to Ellie. She's still too young and idealistic. She would have sacrificed herself and then the rest of humanity would have fucked it all up somehow. He did it for largely selfish reasons, but if it meant sacrificing a loved one I would have done the same.

#77 Posted by Hunter5024 (5667 posts) -

I would say that the life of one child is worth less than the future of our species. That being said, there was certainly no guarantee that this would lead to a cure, and you don't kill an innocent girl on the off chance that it might lead to something positive. They didn't even try a damn thing before deciding to cut her head open. So Joel did the right thing by saving her. The lie is pretty inexcusable though.

#78 Posted by Legion_ (1277 posts) -

I shot both the surgeons. Anyone else?

#79 Edited by SharkEthic (1049 posts) -

@legion_: What? No! Why would you do that?

#80 Edited by Marcsman (3192 posts) -

I agree with Joel's decision.

#81 Posted by Legion_ (1277 posts) -
#82 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@humanity said:

In my opinion it would have been much more powerful if they woke Ellie up and there was a whole scene where Joel explains the situation to her and let's her make a choice. Seeing how she acted throughout the game she would probably choose to sacrifice herself. Then give the player a choice whether to go along with it or bust her out. Imagine the scene when Ellie wakes up in a house somewhere and realizes what Joel has done.

Personally I thought it was a weak ending after such a powerful segment that was Fall.

That is why Joel did not let Ellie decide what to do. It was a very selfish but understandable decision for him. And in the end Ellie knew that Joel was lying and and if you look in her eyes you can feel that this is actually what she wanted. She thought she had to sacrifice herself because it was the "right" thing to do. But she never wanted to die or be apart from Joel. They needed each other.

#83 Posted by Sarge__Gunnerz (40 posts) -

@darji: I agree, and I think the most powerful part of the ending wasn't necessarily Joel's decision but Ellie's reaction when she asked him to tell her the truth. That's the part that stuck with me the most because it's left open to interpretation but after spending a whole game with Ellie's character you get the sense that she was relieved or at the very least okay with the fact that Joel was lying . She came to understand the situation with his daughter throughout the game and ultimately I don't think she was surprised by what he did.

#84 Edited by believer258 (11890 posts) -

Hey! I didn't comment in here.

I think that Joel saving Ellie was the right thing to do... kind of accidentally. Hold that thought.

The Fireflies are little more than a fairly inept terrorist group. They kept changing locations, losing men. They were falling apart before Joel even left on his journey, and they had fallen even further apart by the time he got Ellie to the hospital. Likely, they would only use the cure to try and gain some sort of power, power that they would soon find themselves in very little control over. That's if a cure could even be made.

Even if the Fireflies had totally good intentions and they managed to make a good cure, what then? They're going to start curing everyone? They're going to mass produce it? With what, exactly? The world is roaming with bandits and small pockets of people that barely resemble civilization. There's no way this "cure" is going to be mass produced. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" simply isn't relevant in this context because the few are being sacrificed for nothing at all, really.

Back to Joel doing the right thing accidentally - he would have saved her even if the above weren't issues at all. He needed to. It wasn't a rational action, it was an action from a basic human emotion of needing her.

As a final note, pay attention to the last few moments of the game. Not Joel lying to Ellie, the bigger picture that's ahead of them Joel's brother's village is growing. Earlier in the game, it was shown as the most civilized place you could be and might even be OK to live there if bandits weren't a constant problem. Humanity was learning to cope with the infection and it was building back up a little bit at a time. There was something worth living for and working for in that town. This world isn't completely gone without a cure, it's going to build itself back up. Not in Joel and Ellie's lifetime, but at some point humanity will be stable again.

EDIT: Also, the fact that the surgeon decided that Ellie had to be sacrificed so soon after getting her in there just screams "malpractice" and "incompetence". We're talking about an infection that no one knows anything about, here. Surely you don't want to kill your only live immune person?

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#85 Posted by Guesty_01 (346 posts) -

Welp, looks like I'm part of the 2%. I'm a parent but I think what Joel did was wrong. You have to sacrifice one person to potentially save millions. Now I'm not saying I could do that if it was me in that situation, but I did feel a tad disappointed in Joel's decision. Does that make me a bad parent? Lol

#86 Edited by russman588 (66 posts) -

I just finished this, and the only thing I really have to say is that it's incredible that they created a tragic ending where Joel and Ellie are alive and still together. As I was playing it, I'd heard some things about the ending, enough to surmise that Joel and Ellie were both alive by the end of it. But I was very certain that the only way to get that gut punch ending people were talking about would be to have Ellie reject Joel for the horrible shit he'd done and set out on her own, similar to how Tommy did. Instead, the selfishness of Joel dooms humanity and takes away her ability to salvage it, and then he lies to her about it. And the tragic part of it for me isn't even that the human race is doomed to extinction, it's that Ellie never got a chance to make that decision. Whether or not she knows what Joel did, her feelings are never taken into account by anyone and her agency is taken away by both Marlene and Joel.

I'm not a parent, and I definitely think Joel is in the wrong, and voted accordingly, but I find the reason why I think he's wrong to be extremely interesting and a hallmark of excellent storytelling and character development.

#87 Edited by believer258 (11890 posts) -

@russman588 said:

I just finished this, and the only thing I really have to say is that it's incredible that they created a tragic ending where Joel and Ellie are alive and still together. As I was playing it, I'd heard some things about the ending, enough to surmise that Joel and Ellie were both alive by the end of it. But I was very certain that the only way to get that gut punch ending people were talking about would be to have Ellie reject Joel for the horrible shit he'd done and set out on her own, similar to how Tommy did. Instead, the selfishness of Joel dooms humanity and takes away her ability to salvage it, and then he lies to her about it. And the tragic part of it for me isn't even that the human race is doomed to extinction, it's that Ellie never got a chance to make that decision. Whether or not she knows what Joel did, her feelings are never taken into account by anyone and her agency is taken away by both Marlene and Joel.

I'm not a parent, and I definitely think Joel is in the wrong, and voted accordingly, but I find the reason why I think he's wrong to be extremely interesting and a hallmark of excellent storytelling and character development.

But he's not in the wrong. I believe there's an audio log stating that the Fireflies have found people like Ellie before and never found a cure. Even if they did, they're a (failing) terrorist organization at heart and would only use the cure as a means to gain power. And if they weren't going to use it to gain power, then just how is a nearly-dead group of extremists going to find enough resources to make a cure for everyone? Getting a cure was an idealistic pipe dream from the start.

The only "saving humanity" going on here is being done by Tommy and company.

EDIT: To clarify - Joel did the right thing for the wrong reasons. I agree with his actions, not his motivations.

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#88 Posted by Nightriff (5074 posts) -

I am a parent and I agree with Joel's decision.

It is a selfish decision on his part but I personally made the same one while playing. I'm fine condemning humanity in this case, we didn't deserve it.

#89 Edited by minivan (185 posts) -

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#90 Posted by HatKing (5935 posts) -

Not a parent, don't agree with Joel's decision, but I absolutely would have done the same thing. Heck, the game may have given me the option for all I cared. The character work there was so good that I felt what Joel was feeling and needed to go save her.

#91 Edited by Vrikk (901 posts) -

I think Joel made the horrible, selfish choice. Which is exactly what I would have done if I was in the same position as him.

This.

#92 Posted by Shindig (335 posts) -

I'd argue the human race in the Last of Us was short on time so a ramshackle vaccine would've been worth a shot. If nothing else, to allow the human race to expand and take it back from the mushroom-heads.

However, they never really sounded like they were sure how the vaccine was going to work or how Ellie specifically is immune. Enough is kept from the player to make either resolution less shit. We don't even know if the fungus is worldwide or whether its just America which is a scattered mess of dead meat. And, whilst I think about it, if Joel can survive losing almost all of his blood and a very impaled intestine, kidney or whatever just because Ellie is amazing at medicine or some shit, I'd give the kid the chance to operate on herself.

Joel never should've lived past Autumn. Ellie should've went on without him and then had the choice. She didn't even need Joel to get past David.

#93 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Negation of previously established mood. Jarring, not particularly good. (I guess Joel's decision is irrelevant, a little?)

#94 Posted by Shindig (335 posts) -

Perhaps. Although all the characters you meet go on about survival in a way that, if any other groups found the possibility of a cure, they'd go for it. Humanity would still come out of it in a dark spot, though. A cure won't trigger a rosy rebuilding of society, not when its got a taste for human flesh.

#95 Posted by Lysergica33 (523 posts) -

If you look at all the bits of social commentary throughout the game, primarily using Ellie as a vessel for that, it seems pretty clear to me that a big part of the message of the game is that we don't necessarily deserve to be saved.
Why should we be? So we can just get back to the point where we place all the importance on things like what skirt matches those shoes, to name but one example of Ellie lampshading humanity's silliness in "Joel's time."
Humanity may be scrabbling to survive, but there is at least something very pure about that. Kind of stops people from getting too big for their boots, y'know?

First time I played through it I believed it to be selfishness on Joel's part, and while I didn't think it made him a bad person or a bad character (quite the opposite on the latter, instead I think his obvious flaws enrich his character deeply,) but after my last playthrough on the remastered version in the last couple of days I view it quite differently now. It seems to me that the cordyceps levelled the playing field in nature. Humans don't dominate the world anymore, instead they're actually in somewhat equal standing in the grander scheme of things once the infection happens.

So, while Ellie may well be the saviour of humanity, does humanity deserve it? Does humanity NEED to be saved? I mean yeah, having to fight every day to even survive is pretty lame to us sat here in our comfy houses with our nice food and stuff, but... Is it? Through the course of the game, Joel and Ellie both find something worth living and fighting for in each other. Ellie helps Joel atone for the sins of his past and find peace, and Joel finds someone to protect, to care for and to nurture. These things struck me as infinitely more noble than wanting to eradicate the thing that has brought some semblance of balance back to the earth. So yeah, I dunno, I'm not going to say that Joel did the "right" thing either.. But I think I ultimately sympathise and understand the drive behind why he did what he did and the fact that the game has given me so much to think about as an extension of what is essentially a fairly simple character interaction speaks to the quality of this game.

#96 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Why should we be? So we can just get back to the point where we place all the importance on things like what skirt matches those shoes, to name but one example of Ellie lampshading humanity's silliness in "Joel's time."

You have to keep in mind the context in which she's saying that. She's not comparing it against some intellectual golden age; she's comparing it against her own struggle for survival. In that sense, this reading becomes a little more difficult.

There's a Nietzsche quote that I want to apply here, but I can't seem to find it.

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