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Less of the living, more of the dead in S2

posted by Robert Morgan on - last edited - Viewed by 518 users

Something I noticed while flipping through the latest comic issue of THE WALKING DEAD is that the living tend to be a much greater threat to Rick's group than the actual zombies. Kirkman probably intended this to be ironic, but when story after story tends to be less about humans vs. zombies and more about humans just being assholes to one another, the title of the series starts becoming a little redundant.

Look, I get it: When the system goes belly-up, most people would probably exploit a lawless world to their own ends rather than trying to re-establish civilization. This isn't anything new in the zombie genre. Hell, the group in Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD basically fucked themselves over because they were unable to work together as a team.

But we're not dealing with a feature film, we're dealing with a story stretched out over multiple episodes. Having selfish/desperate humans act as the antagonists chapter after chapter can become even more depressing and dreary for the player than dealing with hordes of the undead.

I'd personally like to see the next season take place further along the WD timeline, where there are almost no living humans left (at least within driving distance) aside from your little group, and the only outside menace you need to worry about is the menace responsible for the apocalypse in the first place. It would make the atmosphere twice as intense and claustrophobic, IMO - almost more like Romero's original movies than anything made after 28 DAYS LATER.

Those are my thoughts, anyway.

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    zjs

    @Jaded X Gamer said: I guess you could chalk it up to Lee himself already believing he was a father to Clementine. If you pick the "Walk away" option for Vernon he becomes furious. I was actually considering his offer. I figured maybe Lee and Clem could both stay with Vernon. That way we could stay in Savannah and maybe find out what happened to Clem's parents and there be enough room for everyone on Kenny's boat. (I've been wary of boats in ZA's ever since the remake of Dawn of the Dead. :p)

    Still, if the point was for Lee to give up on finding Clem's parents and that's why she runs off to the Stranger who lied and said he had them, I think it could have been made more clearly. Like the option to finally tell Clem about what you heard on the answering machine or point out the obvious that it's been months and even if they were alive they likely moved elsewhere. She could argue against that, clearly in denial about the possibility of them being dead, and that'd make her running off with the stranger a little more clear. Instead the scene we got kinda sounds like Lee can't look for Clem's parents because of inconvenient timing, what with the boat nearly being ready.

    And for the record, I'm probably one of the few people who liked Duck from the beginning. An annoying energetic ten year old made things feel like normal. It took me forever to finally pull the trigger on him. :(

    Will reply to the rest another time.

    The added lines and intonation with the dialogue was often like this. I also chose the walk away option with Vernon, and then a telling off or something similar, which I expected to be a gentle chiding with explanations, but was almost Lee smashing his head through a wall. Completely missed my intention. In all honesty, it was only in gentler/reassuring moments - i.e. consoling and almost all words with Clem - that the options were better than I anticipated; the extra words were soothing and the intonation was just right. Other times, it missed the mark.

    I thought the parents thing would make a difference at some point, given how it was such a plot point early on. Like you say, it might've been a foregone conclusion, but given that it comes up so many times, I'd have thought the reassurances would count for something. Then again, the answer messages were at the point where I thought I could decide for my Lee; such as with the police officer, where I believed his thinking I was innocent and me essentially corroborating meant that is what I was (setting a brief back story), only to later find out that Lee apparently did do it and there was no option to deny it that wasn't a 'lie'.

    Seems like telltale overlooked it somewhat. With the furor over Lee's bite and the rush to get Clem back, it was like her parents' plot line was shoehorned in again. As such, there was no real explanation either way, and then a bone - of sorts - thrown, as "yep, see, they're dead. told you".

    I didn't dislike him the way I disliked Carl (in the t.v. series), but he was something of an accessory, who arguably contributed to Hershel's son's demise (by sitting there, not getting out the way etc); though this ultimately fell on Kenny's shoulders. After this point, he didn't make a nuisance of himself and took on some character and relevance, and so was quite believable and restored something of that sense of 'normality', I agree.

  • @zjs said: I think we can agree that both the parents being together and the Stranger can be chalked up to the hasty writing in episode V. There was no reason not to have inserted the parents into their own separate scene; perhaps in one of the rooms in the (strangely deserted) hotel. Would've added more to it.

    Now, let me know if you know any better (as with Chuck), but is there any particular reason for the shift in focus from Clem's parents to the Stranger, beyond his sinister 'you're here soon' message and his later kidnap of Clem? It seemed to me that the majority of the story had always been heading towards finding Clem's parents (right from when you first meet her), which is often clarified and reiterated. Given that Clem and Lee are the central focus, and that Lee's family are done and dusted before the end of episode I, this is logical. However, the story suddenly shifts to the Stranger and her parents become an afterthought - a five second cut scene, shambling together amongst a horde of walkers. Even the aftermath is awful, with Clem supposedly dragging Lee somewhere safe

    --- this is completely off topic, but relates. I've seen people criticise animations such as the car battery in the bag and the blowtorch in the back pocket, but these were largely animation based while Clem dragging Lee wasn't just an artistic error; it was a real suspension of belief ---

    I know what you're driving at, but what I'm really saying is that it worked better not having this happen. Duck might not be a character you really cared about, but he was important in the story and within the group. His death really is an emotional scene, not least because it encompasses Katja's suicide. I can't help but feel a lot of that poignancy would be lost if you went from choosing who should do it to his reanimation and a subsequent QT event. My Lee was one of the 5% of Lee's who never got a bullet in his head, but a reanimated character such as Lee would also have cheapened the emotional impact somewhat. Can't think of any other character they could have done it with, given that you're out of the pharmacy very soon after saving Carley/Doug.

    It would be good to see the shoe on the other foot; but you'd really need to see real, impacting, determinable, choice for that to actually work.

    The hotel is deserted most likely because of three reasons. 1.) Crawford's killing of walkers etc. probably dragged them out into the street. 2.) The bells would have easily caused the walkers to clear buildings. 3.) The noise from the train?

    As for other characters, you could find Carley/Doug inside the drugstore when you go for supplies. In ep 5, when the house gets overrun, just how Brie breached, so could an undead Ben if he died in ep 4. Or the St. Johns could have attacked the motel during the raid. If you leave Duck to die, maybe find him amongst the hoard at the train. Stuff like that. I think it'd make it extremely heartwrenching. I know i wouldn't want to shoot Carley, and Ben'd make me sad.

  • i think they put Clementine's parents in as zombies because otherwise there would be people like me thinking "I didn't see Clementine's dead parents so they are potentially are still alive" and of course for a big shocking moment.

    i would like a long running rival (not necessarily evil just not in our group) i think an opposite or rival to the protagonist was a thing that was sort of missing from the first season, everyone was either bad guys or on our side, i think someone we could see was trying to do the right thing and help their group but at the cost of ours (or vise versa) could be good, a bit like vernon but not such a blatantly dick move like stealing the boat, but something like both groups trying to loot the same supplies would automatically cause conflict without either side needing to be bad guys

  • @Jaded X Gamer said: I have a theory on that actually. I think the Enterprise is the Federation's ship specifically marked for galaxy threatening disasters. The Federation doesn't actually tell the people on it that, but I think they always staff it with what they think are their very best troops and equipment and any time anything slightly dangerous happens they send the Enterprise and just tell them it's a "routine assignment".

    Good theory!

    @Jaded X Gamer said:
    I think that could have been reigned in a little with just a few more spots to breath. One of my favorite parts in the game was actually just in the drug store in the first episode where you get to walk around and talk to people. Same at Hershel's farm. I get as the story moves closer to a conclusion there would naturally be less of that, but I think there could have been a few more parts like that.

    I agree. One of the things I really like about story driven games are the various "camp" areas between action (e.g. the camp in Dragon Age Origins, Normandy in Mass Effect etc.). It's good to get a breather and get to chat with the characters more.

  • @thestalkinghead said: i think they put Clementine's parents in as zombies because otherwise there would be people like me thinking "I didn't see Clementine's dead parents so they are potentially are still alive" and of course for a big shocking moment.

    i would like a long running rival (not necessarily evil just not in our group) i think an opposite or rival to the protagonist was a thing that was sort of missing from the first season, everyone was either bad guys or on our side, i think someone we could see was trying to do the right thing and help their group but at the cost of ours (or vise versa) could be good, a bit like vernon but not such a blatantly dick move like stealing the boat, but something like both groups trying to loot the same supplies would automatically cause conflict without either side needing to be bad guys

    Now THAT would be interesting. Good idea.

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    zjs

    @Mark$man said: The hotel is deserted most likely because of three reasons. 1.) Crawford's killing of walkers etc. probably dragged them out into the street. 2.) The bells would have easily caused the walkers to clear buildings. 3.) The noise from the train?

    As for other characters, you could find Carley/Doug inside the drugstore when you go for supplies. In ep 5, when the house gets overrun, just how Brie breached, so could an undead Ben if he died in ep 4. Or the St. Johns could have attacked the motel during the raid. If you leave Duck to die, maybe find him amongst the hoard at the train. Stuff like that. I think it'd make it extremely heartwrenching. I know i wouldn't want to shoot Carley, and Ben'd make me sad.

    1.) What makes you think that would drag them out to the street?

    The hotel isn't part of the Crawford complex, nor is it all that close to it, so I wouldn't have thought the building had been cleared. This is perhaps the only logical explanation though, as walkers in rooms/various areas of the hotel would surely still be inside otherwise.

    Given that the game takes place at the beginning of the apocalypse, and at most several months have elapsed, Crawford didn't last all that long. As such, large scale plundering and clearing of buildings the size of the hotel seem unlikely, not least because of the risk factor for people who refused to take risks, and the fact that there would be better supplies to be yielded elsewhere even if they did begin that process.

    2.) Only if there is a clear way out of the building: no door in the entrance foyer/broken off its hinges from the amount of walkers etc. Walkers on the third or fourth floor might hear the noise, but I don't see them shambling out of the hotel and out of the hotel before the bells stopped.

    3.) Same with the above on the noise front really. The horde/parts of it evidently came up the train line and the railroad is overrun by the time the group has escaped the house, but the railroad isn't all that near the hotel, is it?

    Surely the St Johns are unlikely? The walkers in the vicinity attacked during the raid, but the farm wasn't that close, not to mention the fact that Danny would've turned with a pitchfork in his belly and his leg in a trap, so wouldn't be involved either way. I don't think they were characters that would've produced any impact by becoming walkers anyway though. Perhaps someone like Carley or Doug would have been possible, yeah.

  • @zjs said: 1.) What makes you think that would drag them out to the street?

    The hotel isn't part of the Crawford complex, nor is it all that close to it, so I wouldn't have thought the building had been cleared. This is perhaps the only logical explanation though, as walkers in rooms/various areas of the hotel would surely still be inside otherwise.

    Given that the game takes place at the beginning of the apocalypse, and at most several months have elapsed, Crawford didn't last all that long. As such, large scale plundering and clearing of buildings the size of the hotel seem unlikely, not least because of the risk factor for people who refused to take risks, and the fact that there would be better supplies to be yielded elsewhere even if they did begin that process.

    2.) Only if there is a clear way out of the building: no door in the entrance foyer/broken off its hinges from the amount of walkers etc. Walkers on the third or fourth floor might hear the noise, but I don't see them shambling out of the hotel and out of the hotel before the bells stopped.

    3.) Same with the above on the noise front really. The horde/parts of it evidently came up the train line and the railroad is overrun by the time the group has escaped the house, but the railroad isn't all that near the hotel, is it?

    Surely the St Johns are unlikely? The walkers in the vicinity attacked during the raid, but the farm wasn't that close, not to mention the fact that Danny would've turned with a pitchfork in his belly and his leg in a trap, so wouldn't be involved either way. I don't think they were characters that would've produced any impact by becoming walkers anyway though. Perhaps someone like Carley or Doug would have been possible, yeah.

    Did you see the writings on the walls/doors of houses? Crawford was looting through the buildings for months before Lee's group came. Molly was also ringing the bells for quite awhile. The entire town was tapped dry. There is little way either the walkers inside buildings would be killed or get drug out into the streets. Clem's parents were at the Marsh House, but there were ways outside. You know Ed was bitten, but Diana? You don't know. coulda been attacked by Ed and got killed after he chased her outside. Have you ever heard a bell from a bell tower? They aren't quiet. You can hear them from inside buildings, that's the point. Walkers would easily be attracted.

    Danny would only have a pitchfork in him if you killed him. Andy could try to save him if you let him live, and he cuts him out of the trap. Danny dies of bloodloss outside the farm and kills Andy. Ding, two zombies now roaming around. They aren't far from the motel, only a walk's away. It's able to see the brothers as zombies getting lured by the bandits preparing to attack the inn. And that's how they get there. It's possible, but unlikely. Just think it'd be interesting. Or seeing them next season. Walkers can get around. They don't get tired.

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    zjs

    @Mark$man said: Did you see the writings on the walls/doors of houses? Crawford was looting through the buildings for months before Lee's group came. Molly was also ringing the bells for quite awhile. The entire town was tapped dry. There is little way either the walkers inside buildings would be killed or get drug out into the streets. Clem's parents were at the Marsh House, but there were ways outside. You know Ed was bitten, but Diana? You don't know. coulda been attacked by Ed and got killed after he chased her outside. Have you ever heard a bell from a bell tower? They aren't quiet. You can hear them from inside buildings, that's the point. Walkers would easily be attracted.

    Danny would only have a pitchfork in him if you killed him. Andy could try to save him if you let him live, and he cuts him out of the trap. Danny dies of bloodloss outside the farm and kills Andy. Ding, two zombies now roaming around. They aren't far from the motel, only a walk's away. It's able to see the brothers as zombies getting lured by the bandits preparing to attack the inn. And that's how they get there. It's possible, but unlikely. Just think it'd be interesting. Or seeing them next season. Walkers can get around. They don't get tired.

    I'm not debating the level of noise that they make; only the duration. I'm not convinced the noise would go on for long enough for a walker up several floors of a building to make its way towards the noise, when said noise is outside and involves negotiating corridors, stairs and doorways.

    Andy is on his knees if you save him. You leave him when the walkers are about six feet away from him. Hard to believe he'd manage to get to Danny and cut him free in that time. If you kill Danny, he's still in the trap. The farm is a walk away, but it was a long walk nonetheless, and the walkers appeared very soon after the first shots.

  • @zjs said: I'm not debating the level of noise that they make; only the duration. I'm not convinced the noise would go on for long enough for a walker up several floors of a building to make its way towards the noise, when said noise is outside and involves negotiating corridors, stairs and doorways.

    Andy is on his knees if you save him. You leave him when the walkers are about six feet away from him. Hard to believe he'd manage to get to Danny and cut him free in that time. If you kill Danny, he's still in the trap. The farm is a walk away, but it was a long walk nonetheless, and the walkers appeared very soon after the first shots.

    LOL dude walkers are drawn to not even half second gunshots from across the forest, yet you can't believe bells that go on for maybe a minute wouldn't. And yeah, maybe. Considering the guy is a psycho, you don't know. If he dies though, they can still be there. The walker escapes the booth in the store, and rips out of handcuffs, so Danny ripping his undead leg out a bear trap is plausible. It had been several weeks or so since the farm. It could happen, not saying for sure.

  • The name itself is suppose to be ironic. The Walking Dead could simply be interpreted as, you know, the walking dead. Zombies, or even more ironic yet, walkers. Although it could also relate to the living, something Rick alluded to in the comics. Rick stated that they are the walking dead because they are essentially fucked, they are dead men walking. They're going to die at some point, could be tomorrow or even in a year, but they're going to die and what they're doing to change the world, if they so plan to, isn't going to change that.

    It could, however, be interpreted that the living people who are still walking their planet are simple husks of what they once were. "Dead" if you will. Most are evil: thieves, psychotic, bigots, monsters, et cetera. Their world brought out the worst of them, or, perhaps, what they truly were inside. Even within their old society they kept that side of them in check because that's what their community demands, however the government has crumpled so they don't have to hide that side of themselves any longer.

    Honestly I think that's way more interesting than any zombie. Walkers are somewhat boring and are little more than a plot device to display how people transform when given the opportunity. And I think that's what The Walking Dead is trying to convey.

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