Do you dislike Joel?

Balkan

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I've heard some opinions on this character, so I thought that it would be an interesting discussion. Yahtzee hated him for being a psychotic killer, Chris Franklin(of the great youtube show Errant Signal) called him a "selfish bastard". I wondered if he's really that unlikable.
EDIT: Now that there are some comments, I should definitely put a SPOILER WARNING. The topic is filled with spoilers for The Last Of Us.
 

IllumInaTIma

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He is unlikable, sure, but unlike Kratos, he is somewhat justifiable. The fact that he's easily willing to kill anyone is never a focus of his character, the focus is WHAT he's willing to kill for. He's never shown to enjoy killing, but for him it became a simple routine.
I actually really liked Joel. Seeing what he gone through, seeing what he's willing to do to survive, seeing how he forges bond with Ellie is just fascinating. And that ending... DAMN was it something.
 

Lonestar Studios

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Well if you look at the world Joel inhabits, do you think there are a lot of kind moraly good people. Of course there are people are like that but the game has more realistic morality. Things aren't red or blue, they are more grey all over. I think it's a step in the right direction as a medium that we don't have straight up perfect heroes, ironic villain protagonists, or anti-heroes. Joel is what I personally would a expect a guy to be like in the world he is in.
 

tippy2k2

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I loved Joel (and Ellie!....and that entire game! Last of Us is easily my Game of the Year unless something comes out that really blows my face off).

He did what was needed to get the job done and to protect himself and those he cared for. He did some very evil things for reasons that just about everyone with someone they love (family, husband/wife, kids, etc) would probably at least consider doing if that's what it took to protect those that they love.

I don't ever recall him killing anyone that we would call innocent. He might have been just as guilty as those he killed but that's what makes him such an interesting character to play. There are no good guys or bad guys; there are just survivors.
 

Casual Shinji

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I pity Joel, I guess.

He's a product of the world he lives in, and in the end he's just a old, lonely, emotionally drained individual.

So yes, he is unlikeable, but that doesn't mean he's not a tremendously engaging character. And best of all, his actions stay true to his character right through to the end - No cheap twist to turn him into a hero or a martyr.
 

Extra-Ordinary

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I like him.

Yeah, he's a pretty bad dude, but that's just the conditioning of the world he lives in.
But other than that, I like him because he's not consistently a bad guy. He has friendly interactions with a few characters and I find them believable, I'm not thinking "why is he so nice all of a sudden?" or "Oh, he's putting on a nice face for them" although it does feel the *tiniest* bit uncomfortable for him because he letting a side of himself show that he doesn't often let out and it honestly warms my heart a little bit. I know I'm making it sound like he's all hugs and kisses around certain people so for clarity, his "nice" interactions are more how you would interact with an approachable co-worker rather than an actual friend.

So, yeah, I like him.

tippy2k2 said:
I don't ever recall him killing anyone that we would call innocent. He might have been just as guilty as those he killed but that's what makes him such an interesting character to play. There are no good guys or bad guys; there are just survivors.
That's true, but there was one guy I felt bad about killing...

In the surgery room. There are three doctors and they all know why your there when you bust in. I'm not going to make the "they were just doing their job" speech (true, though it may be), my gripe is something different. I went in there with the intention of just getting Ellie and getting out, no more violence, no more killing. That first surgeon picks up a scalpel and says "I'm not going to let you take her!" He's not who I'm talking about, he's putting himself between me and Ellie, I had no problem shooting him. My problem is that you have to kill one more doctor before they let you leave. Doctors which, at that point, didn't want to fight you, they were tremendously scared, and cowering against the wall. This is a game that, for being filled with people that it's pretty justifiable to kill, really made me feel a value for it's human lives. I think it has something to do with how well they fleshed out their characters but a life was not an easy thing to take in this game. So I had a bit of a problem gunning down a cowering nurse.

TL;DR I didn't like killing the doctors.
 

Tsun Tzu

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He's all right. In small doses.

...are we not talking about-


-Oh...yeah, the Last of Us guy was all right.
 

chocolate pickles

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TBH, even before the whole apocalypse thing, he seemed to be a bit of a dick: He was rude to Sarah (I can excuse him for this though: He was on the verge of losing a job), and refused to let those people stranded on the side of the road into the car.

Post apocalypse, i actually like him kinda of better: I could understand why he was so brutal and unforgiving after 20 years of having to survive in the game's environment. However, The fact that he eventually came to care for Ellie like a daughter did show that he still had a human side.
 

IronMit

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His a product of his environment. And in that environment his slightly more likeable then the people around him, even though by our standards his awful.

I would argue if you actually dislike/hate a protagonist then you a) didn't understand the world or b) the story/world building was not good enough to make you buy it.

There is a possible C: That is you are not supposed to like him but just understand where his coming from. Like understanding where American psycho or Tony Montana, or Law Abiding citizen come from.

You're free to like/dislike Joel or TLOU, but if you're making the argument that it's a bad story/game because Joel is not likeable you have completely missed the point
 

PBMcNair

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torno said:
That's true, but there was one guy I felt bad about killing...

In the surgery room. There are three doctors and they all know why your there when you bust in. I'm not going to make the "they were just doing their job" speech (true, though it may be), my gripe is something different. I went in there with the intention of just getting Ellie and getting out, no more violence, no more killing. That first surgeon picks up a scalpel and says "I'm not going to let you take her!" He's not who I'm talking about, he's putting himself between me and Ellie, I had no problem shooting him. My problem is that you have to kill one more doctor before they let you leave. Doctors which, at that point, didn't want to fight you, they were tremendously scared, and cowering against the wall. This is a game that, for being filled with people that it's pretty justifiable to kill, really made me feel a value for it's human lives. I think it has something to do with how well they fleshed out their characters but a life was not an easy thing to take in this game. So I had a bit of a problem gunning down a cowering nurse.

TL;DR I didn't like killing the doctors.
Are you sure its neccassary ?

I'm positive that I only shot the scalpel guy. Then I just picked Ellie up and ran.
 

BlackBark

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I thought Joel was a total dick from start to finish. There is not a single redeeming feature to his character. As someone pointed out already, he wanted to leave those people behind even just as the infection started. I mean, once the game gets going and you find out more about the character, you realize he had been a hunter, preying on innocents. I can understand that you need to adapt to a new environment, but you have to be a pretty shitty person to think that being one of those hunter people is justifiable under any circumstances. There is always a better way. They are just extremely weak individuals who prey on the weak instead of facing the infected.

The game shows the two main approaches to survival through the two brothers. Joel is a greedy, selfish person who just takes the easiest route for his own survival. His brother was the one with a conscience and tried to work together with others to build a new future. I found that it was much easier to identify with Tommy.

Also, Joel doesn't actually care about Ellie. The final act was done purely out of selfishness. He knows that this can lead to a cure, he knows that Ellie would probably have agreed to the operation, he knows that Tess' dying wish was to accept the job for the cure. However, he ignores all of that and kills a ton of people in the hospital just so he can have the life he wants.

Anyway, I agree that his decisions fit his character and the game was pretty good with a protagonist that wasn't the usual saint, but I sure as hell don't like or identify with him or the way he acts. Savage. There is pretty much zero argument in favour of a character like him and to those who try and justify it, I know I wouldn't want to meet you in a post-apocalyptic world.
 

tippy2k2

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torno said:
That's true, but there was one guy I felt bad about killing...
In the surgery room. There are three doctors and they all know why your there when you bust in. I'm not going to make the "they were just doing their job" speech (true, though it may be), my gripe is something different. I went in there with the intention of just getting Ellie and getting out, no more violence, no more killing. That first surgeon picks up a scalpel and says "I'm not going to let you take her!" He's not who I'm talking about, he's putting himself between me and Ellie, I had no problem shooting him. My problem is that you have to kill one more doctor before they let you leave. Doctors which, at that point, didn't want to fight you, they were tremendously scared, and cowering against the wall. This is a game that, for being filled with people that it's pretty justifiable to kill, really made me feel a value for it's human lives. I think it has something to do with how well they fleshed out their characters but a life was not an easy thing to take in this game. So I had a bit of a problem gunning down a cowering nurse.

TL;DR I didn't like killing the doctors.
PBMcNair already said it but I wanted to confirm it...

I was able to walk out of that room killing just the surgeon who threatened you with a scalpel. I don't know if your copy glitched or if you just thought you had to do it but to the best of my knowledge, scalpel surgeon is the only one who needs to be put down
 

original_funk

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Well this seems as good a place to put my first post as any.

I understand why Joel made the decisions he did, even in the final act. If I were put in the same circumstances, I wouldn't have done what he did, but I really would have thought about it. However since it's what Ellie would have wanted, it's ultimately a selfish act.

While he's not exactly a white knight hero, at least he's far from a boring character. A flawed but deep protagonist is far better than a boring predictable one, that's for sure.