Who’d win in a fight? It’s an age old question, stemmed from discussions in the playground as children. But, even as adults or adolescents, the question never simply ceases to exist. The curiosity burns brightly in the back of our minds; hiding, waiting for the moment to pose the question. For some, these fights can be shown, either on TV sets or through novels and video games; Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather for example, or The Mountain vs The Viper, or My Dad vs Your Dad.
So first up!
After a deal gone wrong and a fateful meeting with the leader of the militant rebel group the Fireflies (Marlene), Joel is tasked with getting Ellie, the immune/surrogate daughter, to a Firefly base, who can use the strain of virus clustered on Ellie’s brain to reverse-engineer a vaccine. The fungal infection known as cordyceps is based off of a real-life disease which afflicts insect species, such as ants. The infection transforms the host in stages. At first weaker but faster Runners, who charge head long into the fray and are extremely dangerous in numbers. Then come the Stalkers; slightly tougher, sneakier enemies, who hide around corners before attacking when close. Then come the Clickers, so named due to the clicking sounds they use to “see,” much like bats. And finally come the Bloaters; blind, hulking behemoths who throw exploding balls of fungi at Joel and co. And that’s not all. Apart from the myriad horrors waiting round every corner, the humans Joel encounters can be an even deadlier foe. Between the military, hunters and even the Fireflies themselves, Joel often finds himself out-manned and out-gunned often. With some of the best AI in a triple A game; especially on the next-gen versions, Joel has to put up with a heavy amount of shit.
Yet despite these seemingly insurmountable odds, Joel manages to keep fighting and keep surviving until even after the game's end.
"I struggled for a long time with survivin'. And you—... No matter what, you keep finding something to fight for."
It is often implied that Lee had acted in a fit of rage, but at many points explains that it was an accident that the senator had wound up dead and Lee is greatly remorseful. However, before Lee can reach prison and begin his incarceration, the driver fails to pay attention to the road and hits a Walker, a person infected with the zombie plague currently taking over the world, causing him to crash, die and eventually re-animate himself. Shortly after escaping, Lee stumbles into a house and runs into Clementine, whom he then swears to protect until at the very least he reunites her with her parents. Lee exists in the same universe as some of your favourite undead, arse-kicking survivors from the hit graphic novels The Walking Dead (by Robert Kirkman), such as Glenn, Rick and Herschel. Throughout the game it is made clear that Lee is prepared to do anything to protect his surrogate daughter Clementine. Throughout the course of the game, Lee kills Walkers and humans alike; though only when he needs to. For the most part, depending on the players choices, Lee is a caring and compassionate man. He rarely turns to violence and does so only to protect Clementine, and even then showing mercy in order to teach little Clementine a valuable lesson. Lee, again depending on what choices you make, even loses an arm in order to protect Clementine. That takes a lot of cajones and shows that despite Lee’s caring exterior, Lee will do whatever it takes to make sure no harm comes to the girl in his care.
"That little girl's in my care! We've been through more together than you can imagine. Anyone who tries to get between me and her - ANYONE! - is gonna wind up dead! You hear me?!"
Joel tears through a small army in his search for the girl he’s protected for so long. Even when he’s already shot the leader of the group attempting to find a vaccine, he still shoots her in the head, despite her pleas for mercy. While Lee can be brutal, and is a killer in his own right, we learn Joel’s dark past through in-game exposition. When he and Ellie are ambushed and attacked by a group of hunters, he explains that he should have seen it coming, as he had seen the signs yet chosen to ignore them. When questioned further by Ellie how he knew the signs Joel explains that he’s “been on both sides”: both a victim of one such ambush, and an ambusher; preying on anyone who entered his territory. And yet despite being a victim of one such ambush, he endures. Lee, while having accidentally killed a man even before the apocalypse, still has a strong moral compass which often stops him from doing what needs to be done. The main reasons for this distinct differences is mainly down to the length of time each character has spent in this world. Lee’s story begins at the very beginning of the apocalypse, and all of the events span no longer than a decade; possibly less. When players finally control Joel, it has been a full two decades since the infection hit. Twenty years is a much longer time period for the world to go to shit. And after twenty years of population erosion, it stands to reason that only the sharpest, deadliest people could have survived.
The following video is truly testament to Joel’s ferocity, brutality, anger and remorselessness and as such is one of the best video game cut-scenes ever:
...Or Did We Get It Wrong?
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