I felt more impact at Kajia's (sp?) suicide than Duck's death honestly. But that moment in episode four was pretty messed up too.
[SPOILERS] I don't get why these moments are...
Unfortunately, Duck's death was spoiled for me before I began the game, so I kept him emotionally at arm's length. When he died, it was definitely still sad, but not as much as I was expecting after the messed up stuff that happened in episode 2. For me, the worst part of that scene was what happened to Katjaa. I had been ready for Duck to die since before I purchased the game, but when Ken shouted in the woods that threw me for a loop. I thought Katjaa had pulled a gun on him at the last minute to stop him from killing Duck. I was wrong though, of course. Seeing Katjaa dead after I had readied myself for a very specific set of events sucked. I liked Katjaa a lot.
As for the general topic of killing kids, yeah. It was definitely messed up, and the kid in the attic bummed me out quite a bit. I was fine with "killing" him since he was a walker, but the implications of how he died were really sad. It took a bit of the immersion out when he clipped right through Kenny's character model as we passed him though. And the burial scene made me roll my eyes. Yes, I get it. Yes, thank you. He's dead. Yes, OK, let's wrap this up.
The scene taking a very long time is meant to represent everybody coming to the realization that nobody is safe, but mostly about Lee coming to terms with the possibility of losing Clementine. I interpreted Lee silently burying the child as him truly realizing for the first time that he may have to bury Clementine too some day. It drags on and hangs because it is Lee dwelling on the idea.
If you feel nothing at these in story events, then you aren't doing your part in the story. Your part, is to try to put yourself into the events, imagine what it'd really be like to be in the situation. Thats what storytelling is about. Otherwise, you might as well just go play a fighting game.
I think there are two conversations going on here. The Carly/Doug moment is perhaps more shocking because it's more unexpected, and outside the tropes of what we expect from zombie fiction; Duck's death is much more in line with traditional zombie tropes, and plays into the general ideas of the genre more clearly. Would you be willing to kill some if they were a zombie? Okay. what is they were a child? Okay, what if they were your friends child? Okay, what if it was your child? These beats are part and partial for what the genre is known for, and so when people say that they weren't surprised or shocked that the Duck moment happens...yeah, it's a zombie story. It's likely going to go there, as part of the arc.
But as others have commented, that doesn't make the actual situation, if you consider the reality of it, completely fucked. It's easy to say that "Well he's a zombie, or near a zombie, thus not a person any more." because zombies are fictional. Any of us can easily say if their friends or loved ones ever became the walking dead that we'd do the right thing, turn the gun or axe or whatever on them and end their misery. But the reality of killing anyone, let alone someone you knew and loved, let alone YOUR CHILD is the one you have to kill? To have no emotion in that moment is the clinical definition of a sociopath. But as in most fiction, we are able to divorce ourselves from our waking, human emotions and see it as polygons and text. These aren't real people, no one is really dead, this is just a story. The fact that the Walking Dead bridged that gap for so many I think is just a testament to what an accomplishment it is in terms of interactive fiction.
I think the comparison to the Mordin moment, another one of the more emotional moments of 2012 for me, is an apt one, but because it illustrates another example of how fiction can bridge that gap. Mordin is a much beloved character, who you get to know over the span of two games. You spend hours talking with him, hearing him sing, learning about his life, joys and regrets. And then he has this moment when he has to make a fateful decision and you watch as it unfolds. And the price Mordin pays hits you harder than it would if it was a shapeless NPC (because that /is/ an option) because you love that character. The emotional investment the player has placed in the character elevates the moment beyond a trope, but into a genuinely emotional swell. It is the investment that you have as a player that gives the moment weight, and the thing that makes the Duck/Zombie Boy moment have weight in Walking Dead is (if) you care about Duck as a character, and then consider the fate of the attic boy fully. If you invest in the mindset of the individual you're playing through and as, you can discover that emotional weight; if you view the moments for their surface purpose as storytelling devices, they are going to carry on past you with little regard.
The reason any of those moments are extremely emotional is nothing to do with the moment. It's to do with the time the game spends setting up the characters before so that when their moment to be killed/die/leave/anything occurs, it is emotionally affecting. On it's own, those moments aren't inherently going to make you feel OH SHIT.
But the reason people do here, is because of the writing and character development before hand.
I'm afraid that it is impossible to understand unless you have a child of your own.
My son is now 2 years old and I absolutely adore that little pain in the arse. However before he came I fucking hated other peoples kids. With a passion. Kind of still do.
I used to laugh at fucked up events in videogames. "lol vidya games" is what I used to say, but now. Playing walking dead and having to kill Duck, with little munchkin asleep in the room next door. Its so fucked up and it is emotionally resonant.
You cannot and will not understand until you have a kid. Defacto end of. Just close this thread cos I just answered the mans question.
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