Discussion

818 comments
forcefactor13
forcefactor13

33:00-33:56 is a fantastic summary of the themes in this game. Great job, Chris.

forcefactor13
forcefactor13

14:03 I didn't interpret Ellie's quote "It can't be for nothing," as meaning their existence has to have a purpose, but that after all of that crap and killing and morally questionable stuff they did throughout the course of the game, it has to have some moral purpose at the end (saving humanity through a vaccine) otherwise they just killed all of these people for no good reason - and that makes them bad people. Joel struggles with this constantly, defending his actions always by saying it had to be done to survive. That's how he moralizes his actions (murders) and in a way he's right. But bringing Ellie to the Fireflies isn't just to survive, so it has to have some other higher purpose to moralize all of the killing.vExperiencing this story as the player, it puts the weight of their actions in perspective, because you know how stressful it was and just how many people they killed by the time they get to the Fireflies.


This makes the ending even more poignant. Ellie's quote "It can't be for nothing," sends shivers down my spine now, knowing that, in the end, it really was for nothing. They spilled a lot of blood to get Ellie to the Fireflies, and then Joel kills even more people, this time pretty well-meaning people who are trying to save humanity, and removes Ellie, making their journey, in a way, pointless and even more morally questionable.


I guess my only rebuttal would be that it couldn't be pointless, because now Ellie and Joel are together when, if they hadn't been on this journey together, they wouldn't have been. In that sense, it was not "pointless," but still morally questionable especially considering that Ellie is now living a lie because of Joel.


Holy crap. What a great game.

Minishdriveby
Minishdriveby

If Tom cannot understand why Joel saved Ellie instead of letting her die on an operating table then I think he is the one who has some moral ambiguity. I'm sure Tom would be willing to sacrifice his child if he was in the same situation; Ellie has become a surrogate child to Joel, but of course Tom thinks that Joel has no emotions and hates Ellie because he's a deplorable human being who just wants to save himself.

zygany
zygany

Tom's interpretations of so many aspects of this game are just so far off the mark compared to that of Shaun and Chris. He repeatedly makes remarks about the story, timing of events, relationships between the characters etc that Chris and Shaun pretty much without fail demonstrate to be just plain wrong.

There's nothing shady about Joel at the start of the game .. NO IDEA how Tom comes to this baffling conclusion. From the wiki for the game (or even just by paying attention to your surroundings when playing .. which I guess Tom didn't) ..

"Joel worked in construction, possibly as a carpenter. In the prologue, during a phone conversation with Tommy he mentions desperately needing to keep his job with a contractor. Building plans lay on his bedside table and several copies of a book called Construction Regionalism can be seen on top of his bookshelf.

He seems to have ambitions of starting his own business before the outbreak, with Everything You Need To Know About Creating A Startup also on a table next to his bed. His job kept him fit, and he also owned a treadmill (seen in his bedroom). Additionally, he tells Ellie that he often went on hikes with his daughter, reinforced by pictures of hiking scenery in his house.

Despite his long working hours he still found time to spend quality time with Sarah, as seen in photographs displayed throughout their home showing the two on a cruise, at a carnival and at one of Sarah's soccer matches. In the hours leading up to the outbreak, Sarah gives him a new watch as a birthday gift to replace one he had broken months before. This becomes a cherished memento he manages to keep in the turbulent years ahead"
--

Pretty sure he's not a drug dealer, hitman or some other shady character ...

This video removes any doubt in my mind that Tom really has no ability to interpret and appreciate the subtleties used in the story telling in this game (and others like it). Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the next time I see Tom's name attached to a review of anything more complicated than a side scrolling platformer, I'll just look elsewhere for an unbiased and perceptive review before spending my money on said game.

purple_T
purple_T

Why couldn't Joel be more sensitive, and cry from time to time, open the door for his lady friends while they are running away from clickers!!! why didnt he kiss his little girl good night! tell her a bedtime story!?

Why couldn't the last of us be a platformer! then Maybe Tom would like it!!!

McCraryStyles
McCraryStyles

Tom is a complete idiot. It's obvious he has some prejudice against this game and characters. It almost seems like he didn't play through the entire game or just played some chapters because his whole opinion his so different and off than what the creators and writers wanted you to feel and how you come to connect with the characters. I know everyone has their own opinion and that's valid but it seems he graded this game much lower than anyone one else because he is a "game critic" and it would cause so many people to talk about it

reindertot
reindertot

The ending is flawless. Is honest, coherent and raw. Two broken characters, going back and forth about selfish and altruism, agreeing to share a lie. Joel finally becomes her father and decides what's best for HIS kid, regardless of what she thinks is best (she's just a kid). She finally act as a daughter. She finally can have a family to trust. She finally can be the child she is. 

Ellie, a "package", became "a little girl". Then, she became Joel's daughter's replacement. Finally, she became her daughter.

vitonemesis
vitonemesis

Wow, there's no denial now. Tom's an idiot. 

chieflion
chieflion

Thing is, in the zombie apocalypse, nobody gives a fuck. Joel Understands this, Joel uses this and embraces this and will survive simply because he has nothing else to live for but the idea of being alive. That's what the game is about, what you need to do to goddamn survive when the whole world is collapsing on you. Joel, although not likable to the passerby, is probably the most complex and interesting character i have seen in video games, aside from waluigi (identity issues). I loved Joel, i actually rooted for him the whole time, i loved watching him stomp peoples faces, killing random bastards, the only time i didn't was in the operating room... well i just shot all three before i grabbed her, im guessing you didnt have to, if u had to thats pretty upsetting, but just badass as hell. Just like this game, in my top 5 and my top choice for zombie survival game of any kind, including the walking dead, and thats not easy to say. Thank you naughty dog, this game made me sooooo fucking thankful to be alive, and how often does a piece of media, nay a piece of art,  let that happen? hardly ever. 

PS: toms opinion is flawed because Joel is Chief.

norman69
norman69

In my first post I talked about how I thought Joel's actions during the ending were pretty selfish in taking Ellie away from the Fireflies and depriving mankind of a vaccine, but having completed it again and looking at other people's views I feel I have to do a change of mind.

For one, when you find the various recorders round the hospital you hear that they've had other immune people and they haven't got a vaccine from them, so would that change when the cut Ellie's skull open? And also, considering all the people you've come across so far- the Hunters in Pittsburgh, David's people who had resorted to cannibalism in Winter- is humanity really worth saving at this point? And even if the Fireflies are meant to be this noble resistance group, they're going to murder this teenage girl for the off chance she could save all of mankind, and frankly Joel didn't want to take that risk .If it were me, I wouldn't take that risk either. 

It really fits in with the rest of the universe- things aren't so black and white anymore. 

UpInSmoke0803
UpInSmoke0803

Finally beat the game, and after watching this video, I also came to a different conclusion than the G-Spot crew.

In the end, it was obvious to me that you could see the subtle shock and pain in Ellie's face after Joel confirms to her that everything he told to her about the Fireflies was true.  This holds significance because I firmly believe Ellie does indeed believe what Joel has told her 100% at that very moment.  Because of the explicit and unspoken trust between the two, any shadow of a doubt that was cast in her own mind regarding what happened in the Firefly hospital while she was incapacitated had been immediately dispelled by the word's, "I swear" spoken by Joel.

What I believe is that Ellie was truly asking at the end if it was really just The Last of Us.  It was an especially hard question to ask because Ellie truly believed there was redemption left in the world, and that there was hope left to rebuild and reform society whether through her, or another method.  When Joel lies to her and tells her that her last bastion of hope (the Fireflies) turned out to be as dystopian as the rest of the world, the only thing she could do at that point is to rely on Joel, which now has instantly become the last pillar of support in this world.  It didn't matter if a rumor for another cure (FEDRA, Firefly, Survivors Tommy's people, etc) surfaced, because from that point on, she could no longer trust or put her faith into anything else aside from herself and Joel.  She, in a way, has essentially become as broken and alone as Joel, which is truly a sad ending for such a beautiful game.  Regardless of the ending, this game easily has catapulted to my top 3 titles of all time on any system, and I've been playing games since the Atari.

giddybang
giddybang

The fact that there are 807 comments so far in this thread is a testament to how great this game is. A point that I haven't seen made on this thread yet (although admittedly I haven't read all 800 other comments) is the fact that Joel was forced to defend Ellie in the last scene. They made it a point to have him ask Marlene to speak to Ellie more than once but she would not let him. Had Marlene given Joel the opportunity to talk to Ellie, do we really believe that he would have stopped the operation against Ellie's wishes? In my mind, at that point, Joel really wasn't making a decision about saving the world or saving Ellie, rather, he was making the decision about saving Ellie from people who were trying to hurt her. This point is reinforced in the ending scene when Marlene asks him why he would save Ellie just so that she would be ripped apart or worse sometime later and he tells her that its not their choice to make. In the end, I believe that Joel also takes away Ellie's choice by lying to her. This ends the game on a perfect note by continuing the theme of the game - that there are no clear good and bad people, just survivors, and Joel is a Survivor. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and am sad to leave the beautiful and terrible world and intricately told story that were so perfectly put together by the Naughty Dog team.

wingedfoot
wingedfoot

I saw the ending a little differently. It seemed to me two people agreeing to share a lie.  And by sharing in that lie they shared something akin to an emotional bond, which is something neither would ever admit to having.  When Joel says "I promise", he says I love you.  When Ellie says "okay" she says I love you too.  It is the closest these two can come, at that moment, to a positive connection with another person.  It is a turning point in their relationship and an awkwardly beautiful moment. 

thembtwins
thembtwins

I was soooo angry that we never got to hear Joel sing, I thought that would be the most touching moment. Any thoughts?


silversix_
silversix_

GOTY. If you don't agree you don't own a ps3 and haven't played a quality exclusive since 09

skinnydingbag
skinnydingbag

Joel played the part well it fits the story. If wasn't an 'animal' which you guys speak of the game wouldn't be this good. Joel is the truth of us humans when pushed to the limits  

Busta
Busta

I do agree that joel wants humanity to return to normal. I would go so far as to say joel believes it will eventually.   He just doesn't want it at the cost of ellie.  She can't be the only one immune.  Their has to be another way.

malintenby
malintenby

Tom is so wrong with his interpretation of the characters and setting of this game.. He's obviously decided Joel is a bad person and let it colour his opinion for the rest of the game because he works late and came home tired. A ridiculous interpretation obviously made by a person who has never experienced hard work for long hours himself or in the people around him. It's totally normal for someone who's been working hard to come home and act the way Joel did. For all we know the man has got a physically demanding job in the oil industry with the setting being Texas and it would certainly explain the fact why he's a big guy. Having worked in a physical job myself and been in a family where it's the norm, it's totally understandable and realistic the way he comes home and seems totally uninterested in anything apart from putting his backside on the sofa to rest. I totally disagreed with most things he said in his review of the game and after watching that above, I think he should maybe stick to reviewing Mario games or something similarly fluffy because he is obviously way out of his depth with a game like this which goes so deep, and explores the intricacies of human behaviour on such a level that no other game has ever come close to doing. 

conway4590
conway4590

nothing wrong with shady this to feed you family. you got to do what you have to. but i did not get the impression. JUst that hes a hard worker.

jonesy1911
jonesy1911

Tom is a muppet!! Joel a shady father for coming home at 11:50pm.... because he doesn't work a 9 to 5.... yeah ok Tom you are a grade a plonker!

DChipMunk
DChipMunk

i dont think tom even played the game, he took everything joel said literely, ignored his tone and facial expressions

asu1351
asu1351

Tom... would you honestly choose to save humanity if it meant that you had to lose your only reason for living... for a second time.

No you wouldn't... and if you said you would, you are clearly lying to yourself.

This game is a demonstration of the complexity of life. there isn't a right answer when you are presented a complex moral situation. In a world this distraught the only way to press on is to have something you care about driving you. Joel decided that his relationship with Ellie was more important to him than a chance at saving humanity.

asu1351
asu1351

Tom clearly does not know how to interpret human interaction... just sayin.

lt_kiji
lt_kiji

Nope. I'm not watching this. I was hoping for a mature discussion about the story and how effective it was telling it. I don't watch to watch 30 min. of Tom acting like a hipster. I respect his opinion but he keeps that topic going to long.

killerjay13
killerjay13

Chris is a fuckin genius. Agree with everything he said.

Bloodloss9050
Bloodloss9050

After going through many various other game sites, I've found that Tom is honestly the only person so far that has gotten this sort of "Shady" vibe from Joel at the beginning of the game which leads me to ask, Tom what the hell is wrong with you? Actually let me say I kind of feel like you're trying to be different on purpose, it's almost like you like being the center of attention instead of the game you reviewed. Let me say something I know people will hate...hell all you have to do is read this after your photo on any review to know what you are: Tom Mc Shea loves platformers and weighty moral decisions. Some call him a T-Rex with bigger arms, some call him a gorilla with smaller arms -- you can just call him the jerk who hates all the things you love and loves all the things you hate.

You're either good at really Trolling everyone or you are perhaps one of the most clueless video game reviewers I've seen on any site. In any case, I've no more comments about you or for you other than I'm avoiding every review, every article or any video you appear on and it's too bad because I actually really like some of the people that sit in certain videos with you.

rad8045
rad8045

I think that the reason Joel saved Ellie at the end was simply because he cared for her and loved her as a daughter and after seeing what the human race is truly capable off and what it will become to survive, He doesn't see sacrificing her life for it worth it. especially when the people who ran society took away his own Daughter at the start.

vladi987
vladi987

I agree with all the other comments which are againts your point of view, especially Tom.

I mean, you just got Joel SO WRONG! in the beginning he really breaks, but he DOES have feelings and IS developing! the fact he is doing the things to survive doesnt make him the heartless person you make him! He really wanted to protect Tess and wanted to fight with her even when he knows she will die anyway because of the bite! and he DOES connecting with Ellie, and loves her more and more, and in the scene after she ran off from Tommy's Joel DIDNT say what he REALLY believed in like you said! he really wanted to be with her! he loved her more than anything and didnt want them to separate! he just didnt want to lose her like he lost Sarah, he doesnt trust himself to keep her safe! and in fact he DID keep her with him in the end. I also think he wanted Tommy to go with her because he knew he wouldnt be able to let Ellie die for the medicine like that while he knows he needs to. and he isnt doing EVERYTHING to survive in all cost, there are MANY scenes where you see he is ready to die to save Ellie. and I loved Joel's action in the end, while feeling really bad for Ellie who wanted things to end differently. He saves his girl who is everything to him, and I loved Ellie so much so Im happy she didnt die. and how important is the medicine?! I wouldnt call that "what will save humanity"! they wont hunt all the zombies and cure them, i hope i dont need to explain all the reasons. the whole point of the medicine is not letting people get infected in the future?? SO JUST KEEP THE CITIES SAFE!!! they dont need the medicine that much! in the protected cities people arent getting bitten! and whos outside, wont reach the medicine anyway! I think Ellie shouldnt die for such a useless medicine, but i do feel sorry for her, for not fulfilling the destiny she wanted, but i hope she will understand that and get that it was for good. 

BovineDivine
BovineDivine

I understand the opinions that people have regarding Tom's thought process, but why hate on the notion that people are delving deeper into what drives these characters? The fact that extrapolating their motivations (or attempting to do so) is even a possibility speaks to how successful the narrative is in this game. If you are of the opinion that examining these characters various motivations is stupid because "IT'S A VIDEO GAME" then please go listen to ice cube shouting about care packages. 

But yeah, Tom was way off the mark.

N2NOther
N2NOther

Uhm. He's a contractor. You know, like construction? My brother-in-law is a contractor and owns a really nice house and works late some days. Like a contractor is wont to do. You based your entire opinion of the character on being wrong. Wow.

colt_a
colt_a

I mean, I thought Tom's Review of the game was pretty bad, but I wasn't up in arms about.


Now hearing what he thinks about single fathers are shady?  One of the worst video game characters of all time?  Tom is a complete idiot.  Now I know to avoid everything he does.

FutonSentinal62
FutonSentinal62

So two minutes into this and I had to stop. I'm trying to figure out if Tom is actually being serious about this. A single father who comes home late at night, he is very preoccupied with the conversation he is having. He sounds stressed out and exasperated with his boss. Why is that? It is because he doesn't want to lose a contract. Which would probably set Joel back a' lot. Not for a single second did I think,"Hmmmm, that Joel is a seedy character. Coming home late and stuff, he must be a bad guy! I do not like him." How could you come to that conclusion?

It's kind of weird and a little suspicious. My first impression of  Joel is that he's a struggling single father trying to hang on to the American dream. The fact that he is working on his birthday indicates that Joel can't afford a day off. He wasn't even expecting a present from his child. Sarah got him a watch, because they talk to each other and she obviously listens. It was a thoughtful gift, and a sign of a good father and daughter relationship.  They both engage in some playful banter, and she eventually falls asleep beside him. Then he carries her to bed. Wow, what an evil ass dude. I respect different opinions, but I feel like Tom is trying really hard. 


Bolgernow
Bolgernow

you people are clueless. How many of you are single fathers. You literally are guessing & assuming tons of things I never in a million years saw. What is wrong with you people? Played the game, liked the characters, they both followed arches you guy clearly couldn't pick up with a forklift. Bad for you, but I don't care. Great game

stuff238
stuff238

@forcefactor13  I think we should ask ellie if she would rather be dead and they might have a 0.000001% chance of finding a cure.....or being alive. Just saying. I choose life. Screw the human race. Joel did the right thing.

Minishdriveby
Minishdriveby

@zygany It doesn't just boil down to well that's the wonderful thing about opinions, some opinions are blatantly less informed and misguided. It's like saying Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" highlights the american value of individualism and paving your own path. Sure I can say that, and cite an example in the poem with no context, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." It doesn't change the fact that it's a wrong interpretation.

AngelsandDemon
AngelsandDemon

@chieflion Man, after reading all of the Walking Dead books, you really can get an understanding, although fiction, of how in a post societal collapse, it's either you or them; and, Joel has to protect his daughter....his child...and he fails when she gets killed by the feds.  That has destroyed his hope.  He attempts to take responsibility in the midst of chaos...He's very likeable, just don't expect for him to change your tire.  I'm with you Chief.

sanny87
sanny87

@malintenby 100% agree. I cannot believe how different he see's it. It seems like total stupidity or naivety.

clouds_99
clouds_99

There is no reason to attack anyone...it was just his opinion.  I did see the scene differently too.  To me, it enforced the concept that Joel cared more about his daughter than he did himself.  It was his birthday not hers.  Putting food on the table was more important to him than celebrating his own birthday.  Plus, the fact that she waited up for him hints at the deep relationship they shared even though he had to work.  I think his character put a lot into that relationship and that's why losing her broke him.  She was all he was living for.

tigress666
tigress666

@jonesy1911 I gotta agree here. I do think they did use it to show that he is a guy that will do what needs to be done, but not that he's doing shady work at first. I'd have to say Tom is leads a pretty sheltered and charmed life if he thinks all jobs end 9-5 unless they are shady jobs.

tigress666
tigress666

@asu1351 I won't say no one would make that choice, but I do think it's pretty callous to say you can't understand why they wouldn't make that choice or realize that for some people it probably would be just too hard.

I think some people would make that choice, some wouldn't. And I think you have to be pretty un-empathetic if you cannot at least understand why some would not make that choice, even if you disagreed with them.

Busta
Busta

@rad8045 That's how I felt by the end.  I didn't like the lie though.

norman69
norman69

@N2NOther Well if you actually look around his house during the prologue you can see some construction plans/schematics in his bedroom and other places, and then when they set off in Tommy's car later you can see a pick-up truck with those side cages on for piling up construction materials.

So yes, likely a construction worker. Not a contract killer. :p

markvons
markvons

@N2NOther Exactly what I thought. He's probably just working in construction. He's working late on a project and comes home exhausted and isn't in the mood for some birthday celebration, he's like 30 something anyway and at that age birthdays just don't mean much for some people. But you can tell he truly cares for his daughter.

rhinovirus50
rhinovirus50

@FutonSentinal62 I agree, I had to stop watching, I watched a little farther and everything he said just annoyed me, he clearly didnt want to like the game and was trying really hard to pick it apart where the other two guys clearly loved the game and were trying to explain why they loved it without being rude to him but i would have screamed at him if i ahad to do this video with him, he obviously isnt from a working family and probablys never had to work a serious job before

hwoarang45
hwoarang45

@Bolgernow 

these clowns are idiotic nerds, i doubt they even read the comments...here, to be able to preach craps based on their dumb imaginative "lack" of insight speaks for the kind of mind they have... its like one person go analyse Peter pan and his character and personality based on the fairy tale... lol... ridiculous ... if they really want to share useful insight , interview with the developer not ask some random idiot with no relation to the game for their dumb opinions...

Busta
Busta

@tigress666 @asu1351 I feel Joel is unable to let this happen because he lost his daughter.  The way he lost his daughter.  And how his relationship has grown with ellie.  She saved his life.  Save humanity to lose someone to love?  Potentially a second chance at someone you love.  I don't think many are that noble.   I feel that was the core of the ending as well.

tigress666
tigress666

@Busta @tigress666 @asu1351 I don't think he can either. To tell the truth if the game had given me a choice, even though I know it's just a game and I can go back and make a different choice (therefore it should be a helluva lot easier for me than Joel ;) ), it would have been really hard (I was cursing when I thought that they were going to make me choose, I was actually kind of relieved when I never was made to make the choice).


They did a really good job of making the player have a connection with Ellie, she's an excellent character.