Poll: The Last of Us Academic Poll (SPOILERS)

Rafiuddin Alauddin

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Jul 18, 2011
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I kill that 1 doctor only, I didn't even THINK about killing the other. At that point in time, all I care about is Ellie, everything and anything else is irrelevant
 

Mylinkay Asdara

Waiting watcher
Nov 28, 2010
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tippy2k2 said:
Mylinkay Asdara said:
But there is a very logical explanation for why the end happened the way it did;

The Fireflies were under the assumption that Joel didn't care and they didn't want to risk Ellie saying no to the surgery.

That's what it comes down to. Joel was bitter about taking the job in the first place and saw Ellie as nothing but a glorified Amazon package when the Fireflies last saw him. They have no clue that he has grown to care for Ellie (and some members wanted Joel killed anyway just in case but Marlene (the black lady) sided against that).

The other important part was the speed. I think the Fireflies were afraid Ellie would say No and so rather than risk her putting up a fight or their conscious getting the best of them (namely Marlene, the leader of the group), they decided not to risk it and get her right away.

Or at least that's how I interpreted the end events.
Marlene calls Joel out on growing to care for Ellie outright, pretty quick after he wakes up - probably why she lets him wake up at all actually - and it's self evident from the continued determination to "complete delivery" when no obvious reward is forthcoming to motivate him sufficiently for all the trouble (and removal from his own power/comfort base, etc) involved.

Ellie could have been drugged easily at any time by the people providing her food and shelter that her saying "no" is easily circumvented later - if that should occur, but again - I think there's a reasonable expectation for the characters involved to have some grasp of the score here.

I can see time being a factor - although? honestly I almost want to bring up the folly of putting an asset like Ellie into the hands of obviously underfunded "resistance" scientist hands rather than turning her over - if any party is going to just cut into her anyway, let's remember, apparently without any regard for her willingness - to maybe the government, which while obviously strained still seems functional in a military sense at least. Maybe they have to hurry before their installation is consumed by the infected - yet again, as we've seen with all the other institutions of theirs we have come across so far transversing the country. Maybe they are just over anxious to get something done, anything done, to justify their "resistance" against? I'm guessing cruelty to people under martial law? It isn't really ever made terribly clear what they are rebelling against for me to agree or disagree with their "cause."

It still boils down to an implausible situation leading to an irrational conflict to set off the moral dilemma of the ending, the incongruity between the Joel character morality and the players morality, etc. etc.

I know people thought a lot of this game, and I'm certainly not here to pick a fight about it. I do think it's got a lot of positive qualities and innovative spins. Some of the sequences though really needed less "art"/"statement" and more solid logical game world continuity.
 

Rafiuddin Alauddin

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tippy2k2 said:
Mylinkay Asdara said:
I only had to kill the one, and I was pretty horrified and pissed off about the whole way the last sequence plays out. I think the writing finally fell apart - or maybe the concept of making the statements they intended overshadowed considerations of cohesive thought.

In short - the whole final sequence never happens if they, oh, I don't know 1) drug Joel until the business is done, 2) let Joel see Ellie, fine and getting patched up, and tell him hey we need some help on the parameter, thus getting him out of the way while business is done - AND out of the hospital AND away from being able to muck things up, 3) waited a reasonable amount of time before proceeding with business so as to not have it be quite so obvious that cutting a kid up is the #1 priority of the day before even maybe letting her recover from nearly drowning - which just casts them as inhuman, I feel, for the sole purpose of smoothing the idea of killing them all on your way to to something entirely irrational. I refuse to believe Joel hadn't considered they wouldn't need her alive to study her brain. I refuse to believe that Ellie didn't at least suspect she'd be making the ultimate sacrifice at some point in the "study."

It just gets really irrational and poorly done all around - everyone's wearing the "stupid hat" so things can pretend to urgently make a great moment of decision happen that you will not be consulted about and probably disagree with. This is not so uncommon in games through the ages, but it is a focal point in this game for reasons I'm still unable to suss out.
But there is a very logical explanation for why the end happened the way it did;

The Fireflies were under the assumption that Joel didn't care and they didn't want to risk Ellie saying no to the surgery.

That's what it comes down to. Joel was bitter about taking the job in the first place and saw Ellie as nothing but a glorified Amazon package when the Fireflies last saw him. They have no clue that he has grown to care for Ellie (and some members wanted Joel killed anyway just in case but Marlene (the black lady) sided against that).

The other important part was the speed. I think the Fireflies were afraid Ellie would say No and so rather than risk her putting up a fight or their conscious getting the best of them (namely Marlene, the leader of the group), they decided not to risk it and get her right away.

Or at least that's how I interpreted the end events.
Don't forget, the fireflies, as far as I observed in the game, are losing grounds. They are losing bodies, grounds and influence. Heck, in Boston, they are dying if not outright dead midway through the game. Plus, the infection and other hazards make distance communication and supply operation FUBAR at best. They are DESPERATE, and a cure is a way to turn the situation in their favor. Once a cure is being found, there will be no shortage of recruitment and influence coming to fireflies.

When you are that desperate and hopeful, would you let something as consuming as time or morality to stop you? They still deserve to die though since this IS Ellie we are talking bout here
 

EHKOS

Madness to my Methods
Feb 28, 2010
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I only slit the one guy's throat, and that was only because I thought it was a non-optional QTE. I wouldn't have killed him if I didn't have to. The shitty world needs as many doctors as it can get. Honestly I was content to let Ellie take the bullet, all for the greater good. Then Joel had to fuck things up.
 

Sarge034

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Feb 24, 2011
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I didn't realize there was an option to take the scalpel away from the doc. To answer the question I only killed the one. I was role playing a Joel that simply wanted to get to Ellie. Anyone that got between me and my goal were dead men walking. I entered that room and tried to walk past the doc. He stepped in my way with a scalpel. I tried to get past him and he threatened me with the scalpel. I then painted the wall with his brains with my shotgun and got Ellie the hell outta there.

On a side note. I agreed with most of Joel's actions through the game, but the only reason I agree with the decision to get Ellie out of there is because she didn't have an active say in it. If they had just sat Joel and Ellie down and explained what they wanted to do I would not be able to support Joel, unless of course Ellie said no.
 

zalithar

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Apr 22, 2013
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I only killed two people in the whole hospital. The first one was the guy who bursts through the door on the first floor; because I didn't want to spend to much time finding a way past him. The other one was the doctor you had to kill. I only really played through on hard or survivor, so I really didn't have much ammo; and the first thing I saw when the level started was a stealth path, so I went with it.
 

hollowzm

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Jan 23, 2014
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Sarge034 said:
On a side note. I agreed with most of Joel's actions through the game, but the only reason I agree with the decision to get Ellie out of there is because she didn't have an active say in it. If they had just sat Joel and Ellie down and explained what they wanted to do I would not be able to support Joel, unless of course Ellie said no.
Ellie would have said yes. I got the impression she already knew but didn't tell Joel. That's why she was so quiet before the Giraffe part, when Joel was talking about teaching her guitar. That's why Ellie gave her "This can't all be for nothing" speech. And Joel knew she would say yes. That's why when Marlene called him out it, all he could do was look down. And that's why he lied to Ellie at the end.

Joel did the wrong thing, a human thing, but the wrong thing. Joel killed a whole bunch of Fireflies and stole away the key to antidote to the infection in order to save Ellie. It's pretty in line with his past of doing bad things to save his brother. Joel's decision at the end is the writers giving approval for such an action. It's to make us think about how we, as humans, care more about the individuals in our lives than to larger numbers of other people.
 

Sarge034

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hollowzm said:
Ellie would have said yes. I got the impression she already knew but didn't tell Joel. That's why she was so quiet before the Giraffe part, when Joel was talking about teaching her guitar. That's why Ellie gave her "This can't all be for nothing" speech. And Joel knew she would say yes. That's why when Marlene called him out it, all he could do was look down. And that's why he lied to Ellie at the end.

Joel did the wrong thing, a human thing, but the wrong thing. Joel killed a whole bunch of Fireflies and stole away the key to antidote to the infection in order to save Ellie. It's pretty in line with his past of doing bad things to save his brother. Joel's decision at the end is the writers giving approval for such an action. It's to make us think about how we, as humans, care more about the individuals in our lives than to larger numbers of other people.
I know she said she would have, but who knows if she would have been able to follow through. My problem was that they didn't even ask her. They just decided they were going to take what they wanted, much like all of the bandits in the world. I did it on principle. I believe he lied to her at the end for a verity of reasons, but mostly because he knows she would have probably said yes.

Now it is debatable if she was "the key" to anything. If you read the notes they say that there is a very low possibility of creating a cure from her. They just want to try because they have nothing to lose. And all this talk of "right" and "wrong" is very humorous. In a survival situation of this magnitude there is you, and the people you care for. Everyone else is secondary. There is no "right" or "wrong" there is only survival. Now you can have your personal morals but those are not universal.
 

Mikejames

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Sarge034 said:
I know she said she would have, but who knows if she would have been able to follow through. My problem was that they didn't even ask her. They just decided they were going to take what they wanted, much like all of the bandits in the world. I did it on principle. I believe he lied to her at the end for a verity of reasons, but mostly because he knows she would have probably said yes.

Now it is debatable if she was "the key" to anything. If you read the notes they say that there is a very low possibility of creating a cure from her. They just want to try because they have nothing to lose. And all this talk of "right" and "wrong" is very humorous. In a survival situation of this magnitude there is you, and the people you care for. Everyone else is secondary. There is no "right" or "wrong" there is only survival. Now you can have your personal morals but those are not universal.
The issue there is that if the Fireflies did talk to Ellie about it, it wouldn't have been any more than a Hobson's choice.

While I do think that they owed it to Ellie to talk to her beforehand, I honestly don't see her refusing if she was put on the spot as the last hope of humanity. And even if she did, it's not like anyone would be ready to let her go if they had a chance to save countless lives with a cure.
 

Sarge034

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Mikejames said:
The issue there is that if the Fireflies did talk to Ellie about it, it wouldn't have been any more than a Hobson's choice.

While I do think that they owed it to Ellie to talk to her beforehand, I honestly don't see her refusing if she was put on the spot as the last hope of humanity. And even if she did, it's not like anyone would be ready to let her go if they had a chance to save countless lives with a cure.
The issue for me is that they didn't ask her. That in itself is enough to warrant an armed rescue/response. Like I said, I did it on principle. If they didn't let her go if she said no then they are no different than the bandits and cultists I had no qualms gunning down during the rest of the game. I would treat them no differently.

So here's the question. Who is the bigger monster? The man who kills humans and dooms the human race to the status quo apocalypse to save a little girl, or the group that would kill a young girl without her permission in the hope to find a cure when they say they doubt they can even find one?
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Mylinkay Asdara said:
I can see time being a factor - although? honestly I almost want to bring up the folly of putting an asset like Ellie into the hands of obviously underfunded "resistance" scientist hands rather than turning her over - if any party is going to just cut into her anyway, let's remember, apparently without any regard for her willingness - to maybe the government, which while obviously strained still seems functional in a military sense at least. Maybe they have to hurry before their installation is consumed by the infected - yet again, as we've seen with all the other institutions of theirs we have come across so far transversing the country. Maybe they are just over anxious to get something done, anything done, to justify their "resistance" against? I'm guessing cruelty to people under martial law? It isn't really ever made terribly clear what they are rebelling against for me to agree or disagree with their "cause."
I think it's pretty logical to assume the military would've just shot Ellie on sight, especially if the Fireflies of all people were the ones handing her over. The Fireflies have their own agenda and wouldn't risk whatever cure to fall into the hands of the military.

As for the what happened in the hospital... You can say everyone suddenly put on their stupid hats, but it's not too strange to figure Marlene was under the assumption that Joel wasn't gonna go King Kong on the facility. Sure, she knew he was going to be trouble, but after all he's done for her she felt it right to at least tell him the truth. A slight misjudgement of his character on her behalf maybe, but nothing that indicates forced idiocy for plot reasons.

See, nothing Marlene or even Ellie could've said would've deterred Joel from his actions. Because in the end he doesn't do it for Ellie's sake, but for his own. If Marlene told Joel Ellie was fine and he should just go take a break or watch the parameter, Joel would've wanted to see Ellie. If Ellie was awake and told Joel the procedure was nothing special and she could handle it alone, Joel would've wanted to stay with her. If Marlene had kept him sedated till the operation was done, he still would've gone on a rampage. The only way they could've avoided everything was if they had killed Joel while he was unconscious. But again, Marlene felt it right to atleast tell Joel the truth.
 

Mylinkay Asdara

Waiting watcher
Nov 28, 2010
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Casual Shinji said:
Mylinkay Asdara said:
I think it's pretty logical to assume the military would've just shot Ellie on sight, especially if the Fireflies of all people were the ones handing her over. The Fireflies have their own agenda and wouldn't risk whatever cure to fall into the hands of the military.

As for the what happened in the hospital... You can say everyone suddenly put on their stupid hats, but it's not too strange to figure Marlene was under the assumption that Joel wasn't gonna go King Kong on the facility. Sure, she knew he was going to be trouble, but after all he's done for her she felt it right to at least tell him the truth. A slight misjudgement of his character on her behalf maybe, but nothing that indicates forced idiocy for plot reasons.

See, nothing Marlene or even Ellie could've said would've deterred Joel from his actions. Because in the end he doesn't do it for Ellie's sake, but for his own. If Marlene told Joel Ellie was fine and he should just go take a break or watch the parameter, Joel would've wanted to see Ellie. If Ellie was awake and told Joel the procedure was nothing special and she could handle it alone, Joel would've wanted to stay with her. If Marlene had kept him sedated till the operation was done, he still would've gone on a rampage. The only way they could've avoided everything was if they had killed Joel while he was unconscious. But again, Marlene felt it right to atleast tell Joel the truth.
Right, we are clearly meant to think that she'd be shot on sight - that little side-show of the line up of people getting checked and the people who check "infected" being summarily executed right there was not put in for no reason. Which is entirely legitimate. I mean, that's how you keep a quarantine zone free of the zombie/infected. It looks and seems brutally calculated and clear cut, but that's how you have to be if you want to survive the "20 years later" they managed.

However, there must be some ability to communicate her immunity to them without just dropping her off at a check point and washing your hands of the situation. A back channel communication of the possibility of an immune person, a leaked location of observation, reports of her continued non-symptomatic response. Some chain of command still seems to exist. Some supply management is going on. Some structure remains in tact. Thus, someone in the government is probably working on the same thing and would be interested enough and possibly influential enough to get her in for study. It's a way more solid plan than "find any resistance facility that hasn't been a) wiped out by the government military or b) over run by either infected or their own experiments."

Sure, the Fireflies have their own agenda - and what is that again? Do we agree with it? I have no idea - again, as I said in my previous post, they seem to be against people being mistreated under martial law and that's about as far as I can figure their motives, but that "mistreatment" has kept more people than you'd usually expect alive and living something close to a life 20 years into a global catastrophe. They clearly don't want the government to get the cure - but why not? Do the philosophical considerations and differences of opinion on governance really justify jeopardizing the cure for said global catastrophe? These are issues the game doesn't care to explore; they aren't part of the narrative even except as a "call to action" backdrop.

Marlene may not have assumed a King Kong response - and reasonably so - but the Fireflies don't play smart on their endgame. The rush to operate, the failure to dispose of (one way or another) of Joel beforehand -- and, lest we forget, that facility was surrounded with infected all up underneath the hospital, the position was not going to stay defensible indefinitely for scientific research to seem plausibly happening right then and there from where I was watching. Sure, we can say that nothing would have satisfied or pacified Joel, but they didn't even attempt to do those things in even the slightest way. In fact, they woke him up and became confrontational with him after being confrontational with him even before he passed out on the "capture" sequence. Posing as aggressive vs. a guy like Joel isn't the smart move and Marlene - whatever she doesn't know - is well versed enough on him as a personality around where she originally operated to know that.

Edit - scratch that. Here's my problem: the game didn't address any of the issues outside of the Joel / Ellie relationship and that exclusivity left a lot of open questions for me - the player - that weren't sufficiently explored (or even just glossed over or stated as pre-solved by character pre-disposition) that I was having trouble with immersion and sympathizing with my own character. The assumption of Ellie by my side priority #1 over all things moral or practical did not resonate with me. Maybe because I'm a female - not calling the sexist word out or any such thing, just considering the possibility that my encoding predisposes me to sympathize more with Ellie and find Joel's protector instinct difficult to assume. Not being emotionally invested/tied to my character and his actions at that point - I was looking around, questioning the situation, putting scrutiny to things the game largely didn't bother with, and came up feeling the whole thing was "not me" and not a plausible situation overall.
 

Mikejames

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Jan 26, 2012
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Sarge034 said:
So here's the question. Who is the bigger monster? The man who kills humans and dooms the human race to the status quo apocalypse to save a little girl, or the group that would kill a young girl without her permission in the hope to find a cure when they say they doubt they can even find one?
It was a terrible situation no matter how it played out, but in the end, Joel killed dozens of people who were risking everything to stop a pandemic.

Joel knew that she would have agreed to it, but Ellie gave him a reason to live. In the end, saving her and lying to keep her with him was more for his sake then for hers.
 

Maximum Bert

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Feb 3, 2013
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Didnt shoot anyone if I recall correctly I just killed the guy who came at me with the scalpel in a QTE. It was just less effort not to kill them if they had got in my way I would have had no problem gunning them down also it seemed like a waste of bullets.

I did try shooting Ellie in the head the first chance I got but the game wont let you :(.

Anyway I didnt kill them all but it was purely because it seemed easier and better for your resources not to rather than because I cared either way about what they were doing or Ellie for that matter. Oh I also didnt enjoy the combat in this game very much it felt like a chore so that may have swayed my decision.
 

Sarge034

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Feb 24, 2011
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Mikejames said:
It was a terrible situation no matter how it played out, but in the end, Joel killed dozens of people who were risking everything to end a pandemic.

Joel knew that she would have agreed to it, but Ellie gave him a reason to live. In the end, saving her and lying to keep her with him was more for his sake then for hers.
Those people weren't risking shit. Marlene is the only person on the Firefly side of things that gave a single fuck about Ellie as a person and she gave up. Not because there was a good chance to end the plague but because "The tests just keep getting harder and harder, don't they? I'm so tired. I'm exhausted and I just want this to end... so be it." This was no great push for the cure. This was the actions of the helpless looking to do something, anything, to try and exert some control over the situation. And what if they had succeeded? The cure would have been used as a recruitment tool for the Firefly movement and as a weapon against the government.

I believe Ellie probably would have said yes if they had asked her. I think she might have said yes if they actually explained the low chance of creating a cure. However once they started acting like bandits, just taking whatever they wanted, they got treated like bandits.
 

b3nn3tt

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May 11, 2010
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My first playthrough, I killed them all without hesitating. I actually didn't even realise you could shoot them, I just ran up and killed them with my bare hands. I (and Joel) had just fought through an entire building to get to Ellie. To be honest, I wasn't even thinking of the alternative possibilities to saving Ellie, it was just a case of going in there and saving her for me. So I got rid of everyone there who could potentially stop that, grabbed Ellie and got out of there.
 

Dragonlayer

Aka Corporal Yakob
Dec 5, 2013
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When I first walked into the operating theatre, I wasn't actually sure what I was supposed to do, so me and the doctor looked at each other for about 15 seconds before I calmly walked out, realised I was meant to be there and went back in to shoot all three in the face. I was in full vigilante mode by then anyway and I was going to kill every last thing on Earth if I had to, to rescue Ellie.