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Girlfriend Reviews: Understanding Last of Us 2

bakedpony

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I don't have a PS so have never played Last of Us or the sequel, so this is a question coming from actual ignorance other than the synopsis of the stories I've picked up from online sources.

Regarding the last moments of the game where Ellie fights Abby, and then Ellie realizes that revenge is a counterproductive circle:
1. Is that supposed to be the overall message that the game is telling us? That revenge is hollow and will leave no closure?

2. If yes, was there a significant price that was paid (from Abby's standpoint) for her vengeance against Joel? Is there closure for Abby?

I'm curious as to these questions. I do know that Abby gets captured and possibly tortured--however, I've seen nothing to say that this was a consequence of Abby's vengeance against Joel.

If I'm mistaken about the above, let me know!
My take
1.) As Abby is near death, she remebers her last encounter with Joel where she finally learns to forgive. All that hatred and pent up anger is for naught. That vision of Joel gave like a snap to reality check for Ellie. She is not really getting any satisfaction in drowning Abby. She learns to forgive Abby.

2.) Killing Joel like that haunted her, she knows it was messed up. She tries to find redemption with the scar kids. Hence her dream of her dad giving the thumbs up. The main price she paid is losing everyone from the Salt Lake crew. They are all dead because of what she did to Joel
 

Terenty

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Was reading comments under some Tlou 2 video and someone pointed out how pregnant Mel was sitting on the bench in an open trunk, while a dog was sitting in front of her in the passenger seat lol

Another example of a nuanced writing. Bravo Druckmann
 

joe_zazen

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Depends on if they grow and see the errors of their way. I wouldn't empathize with a racist that continues to be racist. That's not the idea here.
so the only people who can get empathy from you are the ones who think the way you do?

But that's the whole point, that good people make bad choices, that judging someone for that choice is ignoring everything else about them. That from our own perspectives we are the heroes, in this case they're able to mirror the two protagonists as their journeys have the same goals, making you question why you chose a side.
Again, where is the challenge in this story? Both are killers, and both have the same world views. It is easy to get people to empathise with people who think the way they do and share your world view. Make Abbey someone with a genuinely different world view, and then get your middle class progressive western audience to see her humanity, now that would be special.

She is given every redeemable moment possible in your time with her, i'll give you that. But you are what you do, and there is no reason given to the spectator to not hate her before knowing her.
is the point of the game getting the player to be ok with vigilante murders and murderers? So it is ok to be a rampaging killer as long as you have a dog and some friends and some trauma in your youth and arent racist or sexist or overly religious?

If you are what you do, both ellie and abbey are shit humans that should be caged or killed.
 
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Kadayi

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Thing is, there's a (large) camp of people who don't hate it for its politics whatsoever, we just understand the story (it'd be very hard not to) and think it's shit.

But because some people are overly emotionally attached to it, and can't possibly fathom how anyone could hate the thing they love, their defence often boils down to either "you just didn't understand it". It's embarrassing. We read deeper, more nuanced and thought-provoking books in high school at age 12. You (not you, the proverbial you) are very much welcome to enjoy it and I get why you might, just don't try and condescend others by pretending TLOU2 is the fucking Infinite Jest of video games or something.

Again, I'm not defending the people that hate it purely because Abby has muscles and it's "unrealistic" next to scrawny Ellie murdering hundreds and hundreds of men. That shit's retarded.
Agreed. The overarching premise of the story is a fair and reasonable one. Joel was no saint by his own admission, and it was hard to imagine that he could walk away from the events of Salt Lake City and not suffer the wrath of the surviving fireflies, but the game unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to its actual execution both in terms of attempting to take Ellie down the proverbial Heart of Darkness route Ala Spec Ops: The Line or in its lamentable attempt to try and humanize the character of Abby after her initial introduction to the player base was of her as the Villain brutally killing the very character you played in the first game.

Said it elsewhere. I think as far as stories go, it could have worked, but not in the way it was executed and in truth probably over 2 titles, with TLOU2 being solely about the aftereffects of Joel's decision on the Firefly Enclave at Salt Lake city and their eventual collapse, transition and amalgamation into the WLF in Seattle (with much cost along the way) as well as the breakdown of the truce between the WLF and the Scars as a means to really build up player understanding and empathy with Abby and her friends, and then the TLOU3 being where matters come to a head with Abby having found word of Joel's whereabouts.

As is, TLOU2 tries to cram way in too much into the games run time and miserably fails to convince in its blatant attempts to build sympathy for the devil when it comes to both Abby and her friends within that time, and unfortunately I can't help but cynically feel that the inclusion of certain modern progressive story line elements smack of being there simply as a means to shield the game from populist criticism because at the end of the day they just feel incongruous and out of place within the broader context of a world largely gone to shit and humanity barely getting by 25 years on. Just as the past isn't culturally now but with worst hygiene, a Post Apoc-future isn't culturally now but with zombies and scavenging. Still, when the biggest threat to your existence is likely getting bitten by an infected, and yet you decide it's a good idea to have your protagonists running around bare armed half the time I guess it's asking a bit too much to put a bit more effort into your world building.

I think the more suitable phrase would be misery porn. It's without a doubt one of the most viscerally violent games I've ever played, but video game players often revel in that stuff - here, the game revels in it and then takes a step back every half an hour to condemn it, as if we're somehow supposed to feel bad about it. The game's unrelentingly bleak tone hit a nerve with a lot of people; can't say I had the same issue, I'm all for excessively bleak if it's done well (The Road, Martyrs).
Honestly to my mind half the problem with the franchise overall is that it's fairly understated in its portrayal of a post-apoc world 25 years on. Certainly things wouldn't be 'The Road' levels of bad (because the environment in that was fucked) but the almost picture postcard western town vibe of Jackson and the farmstead (which honestly was so Hokey I figured it was going to actually turn out be a fever dream) just didn't land as well as the more militaristic approach of the WLF.
 

evanft

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My take
1.) As Abby is near death, she remebers her last encounter with Joel where she finally learns to forgive. All that hatred and pent up anger is for naught. That vision of Joel gave like a snap to reality check for Ellie. She is not really getting any satisfaction in drowning Abby. She learns to forgive Abby.

2.) Killing Joel like that haunted her, she knows it was messed up. She tries to find redemption with the scar kids. Hence her dream of her dad giving the thumbs up. The main price she paid is losing everyone from the Salt Lake crew. They are all dead because of what she did to Joel
This is 100% on point. Abby's basically left with no one besides Lev at the end of TLOU2, and it's all because she had to go hunt down Joel. If she had let it go they'd all still be alive.
 

Keihart

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is the point of the game getting the player to be ok with vigilante murders and murderers? So it is ok to be a rampaging killer as long as you have a dog and some friends and some trauma in your youth and arent racist or sexist or overly religious?

If you are what you do, both ellie and abbey are shit humans that should be caged or killed.
Yes, both are shit as you put it, i think that's the point.
Your are not supposed to think that what they do it's ok, but that you understand why they do it despite that.

Edit:the redeemable moments i think are there just to make it easier to swallow, since you already probably hate Abby.
 
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Yes, both are shit as you put it, i think that's the point.
Your are not supposed to think that what they do it's ok, but that you understand why they do it despite that.
Nah. Both are fundamentally good people who get caught up in the dark emotion of vengeance and end up doing bad deeds that cost them dearly.

Having just finished a replay of Ellie's main campaign, this time watching much more dispassionately and critically, its striking to me how much less monstrous and actually relatable her actions are -during the story segments at least.

Most of the time Ellie simply is acting in self defense against people and forces who literally try to kill her on sight.

The one exception being her interrogation of Nora, which is mitigated at least somewhat in the moment by her taunting Ellie with how Joel "cried like a little bitch".

After this she is very visibly disturbed and appalled by her actions and its the first time we see a crack in her resolve to get Abby. Similarly after killing Owen and Mel -both in self defence- she's a wreck, and pretty much done.

Once Tommy is rescued she is ready to admit defeat and let Abby go.
 

Keihart

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Nah. Both are fundamentally good people who get caught up in the dark emotion of vengeance and end up doing bad deeds that cost them dearly.

Having just finished a replay of Ellie's main campaign, this time watching much more dispassionately and critically, its striking to me how much less monstrous and actually relatable her actions are -during the story segments at least.

Most of the time Ellie simply is acting in self defense against people and forces who literally try to kill her on sight.

The one exception being her interrogation of Nora, which is mitigated at least somewhat in the moment by her taunting Ellie with how Joel "cried like a little bitch".

After this she is very visibly disturbed and appalled by her actions and its the first time we see a crack in her resolve to get Abby. Similarly after killing Owen and Mel -both in self defence- she's a wreck, and pretty much done.

Once Tommy is rescued she is ready to admit defeat and let Abby go.
I understand finding Ellie more relatable, but all the killing that you do while you search revenge, including gameplay. It's all in part Ellies fault, she forces herself to be in that situation, she could've come back at any moment. Ellie guilt trips Tommy to search revenge and even when she has to make the decision between rescuing him and trying to get Abby, she isn't able to choose Tommy.

Even at the end, it's no able to do it even for Dina.
 

Flying Toaster

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This is plain wrong. It might not have worked for you, but tell me a game where you Played the murder of the main protagonist of the previous game. Tis is the first time in a medium where the player got put in the situation to play someone that he hated because of his action. It might not have worked for you ( It did for many people ), but it was something completely new.
Give me more time with the other party. Abby as a character and a concept was awesome. Flesh out her friends and give me some time with the others extending the game if need be. As an outline I have no issue with the direction that the game went, I have no issue with what happens and I like t he experiment that ND went with it just feels shoehorned in for me. as far as the other group goes. If it was not for you that is awesome I am glad you like the entirety of the game. I get the fact that games have to end and pacing is hard to hit. Perhaps my issue and I am still processing the game is pacing. I am going in on another play through so I will come back to this with more of an answer after that second play through.

For me ND always gives the goods on backdrops and atmosphere. They deliver an amazing cast and it is a rush to go through the game but sometimes characters feel a bit flat. is it implementation of the character? Perhaps as observer the fault is with me as I expect a little more and it is not delivered to what I wanted. I can live with that as a possibility but when I am playing a game that is absolutely bonkers in every direction and at the end the first things coming into my mind is wanting to see more of one aspect it sticks with me.

Like I said I am probably completely at fault here. In no way am I opposed to the overall outline of what happened. They took a chance in a dark world and delivered in a way that could have easily been a dumpster fire.
 

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Deer/Dur
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I understand finding Ellie more relatable, but all the killing that you do while you search revenge, including gameplay. It's all in part Ellies fault, she forces herself to be in that situation, she could've come back at any moment. Ellie guilt trips Tommy to search revenge and even when she has to make the decision between rescuing him and trying to get Abby, she isn't able to choose Tommy.

Even at the end, it's no able to do it even for Dina.
The key, defining problem with the game is that the narrative and gameplay components are essentially separate and never interact.

So if you play the gameplay portions violently and ruthlessly aggressive, you're setting up a tone and expectation of reflection in the narrative sequences that its physically incapable of.

This is what sets up a feeling of disconnect because so much of the emotion is coming from the player, not the character. This is why the people who react most emotionally and angrily to Joel's death tend to be the ones with the biggest issues with the story and character progression generally.

They want bloody vengeance, and have no stake or interest beyond that because unlike the characters they have nothing to lose. As a result any attempt at humanizing Abby or moderating factors involving Ellie's state-of-mind tend to get rejected or minimized because its just getting in the way of their (not the character's) vengeance.
 

bargeparty

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Oh, we doing the superior/inferior intellect thing?

I’ll go back to drooling on my coloring books then. One day I‘ll be a grown up.



You’re right about everything above.

If I were in Ellie’s shoes I’d be mad at Joel for lying but not mad I couldn’t be killed. I can’t think of any reason why someone would want to die for a cure in retrospect though. I guess that’s just my own hangup I’ll not get over. I’ve been thinking about it since I finished the game about a week ago. I’ve got no explanation for it.
Keep contradicting yourself pal. Even in this very post you do it.
 

Ulysses 31

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2.) Killing Joel like that haunted her, she knows it was messed up.
Where is it shown/implied that she had second thoughts about murdering Joel? Her willingness to kill Dina knowing she's pregnant and in front of Ellie again shows that she has a very mean streak in her.
 
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Keihart

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The key, defining problem with the game is that the narrative and gameplay components are essentially separate and never interact.

So if you play the gameplay portions violently and ruthlessly aggressive, you're setting up a tone and expectation of reflection in the narrative sequences that its physically incapable of.

This is what sets up a feeling of disconnect because so much of the emotion is coming from the player, not the character. This is why the people who react most emotionally and angrily to Joel's death tend to be the ones with the biggest issues with the story and character progression generally.

They want bloody vengeance, and have no stake or interest beyond that because unlike the characters they have nothing to lose. As a result any attempt at humanizing Abby or moderating factors involving Ellie's state-of-mind tend to get rejected or minimized because its just getting in the way of their (not the character's) vengeance.
While you have no agency in sparing or killing enemies and that doesn't interact with the story, the story itself already assumes that the characters are killing.
Whether the player it's comfortable in engaging in that killing given the context it's the disconnect many feel i think. I think they kinda went 80% with the humanization of combat but the fall short a bit. They should've taken a page of MGS4 and made Ellie suffer more while fighting, maker her vomit, tremble and maybe have rage moments while you fight, depending in how you fight and transform her towards the end the more seasoned she becomes.
 

bakedpony

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Where is it shown/implied that she had second thoughts about murdering Joel? Her willingness to kill Dina knowing she's pregnant and in front of Ellie again shows that she has a very mean streak in her.
It is implied with her nightmare at tue end of day 1. Old Abby probably wouldn't give a damn about Scars. I don't think she regrets it but she knows it wad messed up.

She was willing to kill Dina because of what happened at the aquarium, that was the trigger. Lev was the only one that could stop her.
 

Ulysses 31

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It is implied with her nightmare at tue end of day 1. Old Abby probably wouldn't give a damn about Scars. I don't think she regrets it but she knows it wad messed up.

She was willing to kill Dina because of what happened at the aquarium, that was the trigger. Lev was the only one that could stop her.
I don't see how that makes any reference to the way she killed Joel, let alone shows she's feeling any remorse for it. It shows that she feels guilty about leaving the Scars behind after they helped her.

Abby doesn't know who did the killing at the aquarium, she's willing to kill indiscriminately, even unborn babies. Abby is unjustifiably cruel in that moment that makes it hard to empathize with her.


Thing about the writing is that Abby and Ellie never question each other about their killings which seems done only to add more drama for the sake of pushing the revenge bad theme.
 
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SlicedBread3

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Was reading comments under some Tlou 2 video and someone pointed out how pregnant Mel was sitting on the bench in an open trunk, while a dog was sitting in front of her in the passenger seat lol

Another example of a nuanced writing. Bravo Druckmann
Manny says he's trying to use this trip as an excuse to get Mel and Abby to talk each other about their issues.

As they're getting in the car, Manny says the dog gets the seat. Abbie points out that Mel is pregnant. Manny waves it off saying it'll give them a chance to talk.

It wasn't something that was overlooked.
 
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I went to use the bathroom and SOMEONE ELSE WAS IN THERE... CONTRIVED. Unsure what to do I looked in the cabinets for a plastic bottle to pee in, but there weren't any? PLOT HOLE! Then I noticed it was dark outside, I could pee in the backyard... DEUS EX TOILET!
 
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Terenty

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Manny says he's trying to use this trip as an excuse to get Mel and Abby to talk each other about their issues.

As they're getting in the car, Manny says the dog gets the seat. Abbie points out that Mel is pregnant. Manny waves it off saying it'll give them a chance to talk.

It wasn't something that was overlooked.
You are right, my mistake. Afterall she runs, jumps, fights monsters, scales building etc. pregnancy at that stage is not a big deal. What's a ride in the back of a truck for her? She's a strong woman and her friends know it
 
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Umbral

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Keep contradicting yourself pal. Even in this very post you do it.
Hey, big brain, if you’re smart enough to understand something so esoteric you should also be able to articulate it to me so I can understand. Come down from on high and explain it to us philistines, if you would be so kind.

He’s right about the facts of his statements.

I don’t think it makes sense for someone to want to die. If I was immune, no, I’m not letting you kill me for a cure. Sorry. Maybe she did think that was her purpose but we don’t have anything to go off except the ambiguity of the first game and the stuff they added in Part II. I. Don’t. Buy. It.

I didn’t contradict myself. You should be able to cop that from your stratospheric perch, Saint Bargeparty.
 
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Raven117

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Nah. Both are fundamentally good people who get caught up in the dark emotion of vengeance and end up doing bad deeds that cost them dearly.

Having just finished a replay of Ellie's main campaign, this time watching much more dispassionately and critically, its striking to me how much less monstrous and actually relatable her actions are -during the story segments at least.

Most of the time Ellie simply is acting in self defense against people and forces who literally try to kill her on sight.

The one exception being her interrogation of Nora, which is mitigated at least somewhat in the moment by her taunting Ellie with how Joel "cried like a little bitch".

After this she is very visibly disturbed and appalled by her actions and its the first time we see a crack in her resolve to get Abby. Similarly after killing Owen and Mel -both in self defence- she's a wreck, and pretty much done.

Once Tommy is rescued she is ready to admit defeat and let Abby go.
Felt like self-defense did it? Infiltrating an armed base with the intent to kill (and have killed) and it’s all “self-defense.”

okay.
 
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Hey, big brain, if you’re smart enough to understand something so esoteric you should also be able to articulate it to me so I can understand. Come down from on high and explain it to us philistines, if you would be so kind.

He’s right about the facts of his statements.

I don’t think it makes sense for someone to want to die. If I was immune, no, I’m not letting you kill me for a cure. Sorry. Maybe she did think that was her purpose but we don’t have anything to go off except the ambiguity of the first game and the stuff they added in Part II. I. Don’t. Buy. It.

I didn’t contradict myself. You should be able to cop that from your stratospheric perch, Saint Bargeparty.
What did you think Ellie meant when she went on about her friend Riley dying, waiting for her turn and how her immunity has to be for a reason?
 

Umbral

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What did you think Ellie meant when she went on about her friend Riley dying, waiting for her turn and how her immunity has to be for a reason?
Survivor’s guilt.

It’s like the one person who survives a plane crash that kills hundreds. The question of ”Why me?” is common in those situations. It causes an existential crisis. People often feel like there was a reason, which is not unwarranted, but it can also be chalked up to chance. There may be a larger reason, it may be random.

Putting myself in Ellie’s shoes I can relate, but I wouldn’t want to die for the certainty of a cure, let alone the potential of one.
 

bender

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Even though there was a bait and switch in MGS2, I don’t recall there being as strong a response to it as TLOU2.

It sounds more and more like a videogame equivalent of The Last Jedi: a highly anticipated sequel that really pisses off fans, is praised by mainstream critics, and makes a lot of money (which the game will probably do). TLJ made over a billion at the box office due to initial fan momentum, but fans took vengeance on “Solo.” If the analogy is sound, then perhaps ND’s next game might be in trouble.
Social media was no where near as prevalent back then so it's hard to compare fan reactions. It's also why Kojima was able to surprise his audience. That secrecy, as evidenced by the TLOU2 leaks, is something that couldn't be repeated again today. Raiden sucks and MGS2 is pretty bad after you take control of him., but at least the game buoyed by a prophetic story. The scorn for Raiden softened after MGS4/Revengence.
 
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Felt like self-defense did it? Infiltrating an armed base with the intent to kill (and have killed) and it’s all “self-defense.”

okay.
Face off with Owen and Mel, and put the controller down. See what happens!

And no, Ellie does say they will live through through it if they tell her where Abby is. Owen gets shot accidentally when he goes for Ellie's gun, at which point Mel jumps in and tries to stab Ellie to death. Which she does in gory detail if you don't stab square rapidly!

Honestly, TLOU2 is a really easy game to defend. There's not much in the way of subtext or inference to read, its pretty much all there on the surface is you actually look. And they really have done their due diligence in covering motivations in dialogue.

Its kinda crazy, every time someone's brought up a plot-hole or alleged illogcality, its there. They actually cover it.
 
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Survivor’s guilt.

It’s like the one person who survives a plane crash that kills hundreds. The question of ”Why me?” is common in those situations. It causes an existential crisis. People often feel like there was a reason, which is not unwarranted, but it can also be chalked up to chance. There may be a larger reason, it may be random.

Putting myself in Ellie’s shoes I can relate, but I wouldn’t want to die for the certainty of a cure, let alone the potential of one.
You're not asking what Ellie would say if she was told she could cure everyone but she'd die in the process, do you think she'd refuse?
 

Umbral

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You're not asking what Ellie would say if she was told she could cure everyone but she'd die in the process, do you think she'd refuse?
I can only go off of what is in the games and the writing, but no, I think she would sacrifice herself.

I don’t believe it because it’s not something I would do and I can’t think of many times where Ellie has been shown to be so selfless. That’s not to say she isn’t, but it hasn’t been demonstrated. If I’ve forgotten them, that’s on me.
 
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Keihart

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I can only go off of what is in the games and the writing, but no, I think she would sacrifice herself.

I don’t believe it because it’s not something I would do and I can’t think of many times where Ellie has been shown to be so selfless. That’s not to say she isn’t, but it hasn’t been demonstrated. If I’ve forgotten them, that’s on me.
If you read Ellie's diary, there are several hints to she even considering suicide.
The last poem in TLoU2 got me worried, when coupled with the actual ending scene kinda makes you think she decided against it.

(Poems or lyrics, idk, but you know what i mean)
 
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bargeparty

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I can only go off of what is in the games and the writing, but no, I think she would sacrifice herself.

I don’t believe it because it’s not something I would do and I can’t think of many times where Ellie has been shown to be so selfless. That’s not to say she isn’t, but it hasn’t been demonstrated. If I’ve forgotten them, that’s on me.
It's not about you though, don't you get that?

Are you not familiar with mental illness, with depression, with suicide? Do you just pretend this stuff doesn't exist? Or do you not believe it's a real thing?

The fact that you can't understand why someone would want to die, for whatever reason, tells me everything I need to know.

(nothing selfless about going across the country to the fireflies to try and find a cure, no sir, none at all, nope.)
 

Yoboman

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The key, defining problem with the game is that the narrative and gameplay components are essentially separate and never interact.

So if you play the gameplay portions violently and ruthlessly aggressive, you're setting up a tone and expectation of reflection in the narrative sequences that its physically incapable of.

This is what sets up a feeling of disconnect because so much of the emotion is coming from the player, not the character. This is why the people who react most emotionally and angrily to Joel's death tend to be the ones with the biggest issues with the story and character progression generally.

They want bloody vengeance, and have no stake or interest beyond that because unlike the characters they have nothing to lose. As a result any attempt at humanizing Abby or moderating factors involving Ellie's state-of-mind tend to get rejected or minimized because its just getting in the way of their (not the character's) vengeance.
Thats why the character switch works for me. I read no spoilers so I didnt see the character switch coming at all besides it being a possibility as we had already played her a bit in the first act. I was in blood-lust, I just wanted my revenge.

But by the end of playing as Abby it was not hot blooded revenge anymore. I didn't love her, but I empathised. And moreso they put me in Abbys shoes to fight Ellie. That was the ultimate "revenge should feel hollow" moment of the game. Abby realised it is hollow at that point as well.

And later that same sense was evoked for the ending I honestly don't get how anyone paying attention to the story could go into the final fight feeling the same bloodlust they would have had ti start

For me the narrative choices were a big success in making me feel strong emotions, but also the same emotions as the characters at the times they were happening
 

Yoboman

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I can only go off of what is in the games and the writing, but no, I think she would sacrifice herself.

I don’t believe it because it’s not something I would do and I can’t think of many times where Ellie has been shown to be so selfless. That’s not to say she isn’t, but it hasn’t been demonstrated. If I’ve forgotten them, that’s on me.
She never even expresses anything so altruistic though, its always that her life would have had meaning.

I also think the whole Salt Lake City act of TLOU is her preparing herself mentally for it. She is quiet, somber, enjoying the little moments - while Joel is upbeat and chipper. She knew what was most likely coming
 

Keihart

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She never even expresses anything so altruistic though, its always that her life would have had meaning.

I also think the whole Salt Lake City act of TLOU is her preparing herself mentally for it. She is quiet, somber, enjoying the little moments - while Joel is upbeat and chipper. She knew what was most likely coming
Both of them suspect it, which it's why Joel offers to go back even if they are almost there.
 

Umbral

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If you read Ellie's diary, there are several hints to she even considering suicide.
The last poem in TLoU2 got me worried, when coupled with the actual ending scene kinda makes you think she decided against it.

(Poems or lyrics, idk, but you know what i mean)
I did read her journal, though I’m sure I missed some entries here and there. All of her dark feelings I took to be a result of Joel’s death. Maybe I missed something.

It's not about you though, don't you get that?

Are you not familiar with mental illness, with depression, with suicide? Do you just pretend this stuff doesn't exist? Or do you not believe it's a real thing?

The fact that you can't understand why someone would want to die, for whatever reason, tells me everything I need to know.

(nothing selfless about going across the country to the fireflies to try and find a cure, no sir, none at all, nope.)
Knowing that it’s not about me does not then prevent me from thinking about it in that way. I have to believe a character would act a certain way, which is down to the writers/directors to convey.

Curb your assumptions about my perspective, you know fuck-all about me. I can understand wanting to die, I can’t understand wanting to die for a cure. It’s an insanely selfless act that runs counter to our own instincts. Self-preservation is pretty much involuntary. Is the suggestion that Ellie wants to commit suicide-by-cure?
 
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PanzerAzel

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The inherent problem with lifting wholesale someone else ideas and then attempting to pass them off as your own is that invariably someone else out there saw the same YouTube review where the presenter attempted to frame that very conceit.
Excuse me, but is this an allusion to my previous post he was responding to that insinuates the same points that Yongyea brought up? If so, I’d appreciate it if you’d respond to me directly instead of via proxy.

I’d honestly not seen his review prior to my post citing the same sentiment, and in fact have proof I posted it earlier than his review on another site. I highly resent the implication I’ve plagiarized anyone’s ideas. If that’s not what you were referring to, then my apologies and carry on. I’m just a bit defensive considering how close my post was to his review dropping.
 
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bargeparty

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Knowing that it’s not about me does not then prevent me from thinking about it in that way. I have to believe a character would act a certain way, which is down to the writers/directors to convey.

Curb your assumptions about my perspective, you know fuck-all about me. I can understand wanting to die, I can’t understand wanting to die for a cure. It’s an insanely selfless act that runs counter to our own instincts. Self-preservation is pretty much involuntary.
See you keep saying that you "understand" and then very clearly display that you do not.
 

Keihart

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Curb your assumptions about my perspective, you know fuck-all about me. I can understand wanting to die, I can’t understand wanting to die for a cure. It’s an insanely selfless act that runs counter to our own instincts. Self-preservation is pretty much involuntary. Is the suggestion that Ellie wants to commit suicide-by-cure?
I at least have that impression, not that it's out of being selfless but out of guilt.
The last conversation of Ellie with Joel in part 1 makes it clear i think.

Joel kinda understand this, the whole "no matter what, you keep finding something to fight for" is in the spirits of telling Ellie that it's ok to want to live i think.
 
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Umbral

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See you keep saying that you "understand" and then very clearly display that you do not.
Wanting to die to escape existence is a bit different than wanting to sacrifice yourself to potentially create a cure (it’s not even a certainty). One is selfish, the other is selfless.

Sorry I’m too dumb to grasp what you haven’t articulated well enough. Condescending remarks don’t count.
 

Umbral

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I at least have that impression, not that it's out of being selfless but out of guilt.
The last conversation of Ellie with Joel in part 1 makes it clear i think.

Joel kinda understand this, the whole "no matter what, you keep finding something to fight for" is in the spirits of telling Ellie that it's ok to want to live i think.
Perhaps I should revisit the first game again. Naughty Dog’s games are such a slog after the first time through. So much forced walking and restrictions on player movement. I’ve never done more than 2 play throughs I don’t think.
 
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Kadayi

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Excuse me, but is this an allusion to my previous post he was responding to that insinuates the same points that Yongyea brought up? If so, I’d appreciate it if you’d respond to me directly instead of via proxy.

I’d honestly not seen his review prior to my post citing the same sentiment, and in fact have proof I posted it earlier than his review on another site. I highly resent the implication I’ve plagiarized anyone’s ideas. If that’s not what you were referring to, then my apologies and carry on. I’m just a bit defensive considering how close my post was to his review dropping.
 

PanzerAzel

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Nor I you; you were responding to Keihart’s reply to my post that had expressed very similar thoughts to YY’s, speaking on taking others ideas and passing them off as your own. I took that as an indirect addressment of my post as I really didn’t see how that applies to your next point regarding comedy vs. tragedy, but whatever.

Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive towards this as my post was made in complete ignorance of YY’s review. And again, if that’s the case, sorry.
 
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Kadayi

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Nor I you; you were responding to Keihart’s reply to my post that had expressed very similar thoughts to YY’s review, speaking on taking others ideas and passing them off as your own. I took that as an indirect addressment of my post as I really didn’t see how that applies to your next point regarding comedy vs. tragedy, but whatever.

Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive towards this as my post was made in complete ignorance of YY’s review. And again, if that’s the case, sorry.
 

Valentino

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Thats why the character switch works for me. I read no spoilers so I didnt see the character switch coming at all besides it being a possibility as we had already played her a bit in the first act. I was in blood-lust, I just wanted my revenge.

But by the end of playing as Abby it was not hot blooded revenge anymore. I didn't love her, but I empathised. And moreso they put me in Abbys shoes to fight Ellie. That was the ultimate "revenge should feel hollow" moment of the game. Abby realised it is hollow at that point as well.

And later that same sense was evoked for the ending I honestly don't get how anyone paying attention to the story could go into the final fight feeling the same bloodlust they would have had ti start

For me the narrative choices were a big success in making me feel strong emotions, but also the same emotions as the characters at the times they were happening
Right?! The amount of common basic comments from disgruntled people popping off that they went all that way to kill Abby only to let her free. It's quite questionable and cringy these people want a standard "here's what the character wants to do so this is what she is going to do. The end"..................................... Like bore off people 😂
What then? And would the moral of the story have been? It's because they need a colour by number story book.
 

bargeparty

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Wanting to die to escape existence is a bit different than wanting to sacrifice yourself to potentially create a cure (it’s not even a certainty). One is selfish, the other is selfless.

Sorry I’m too dumb to grasp what you haven’t articulated well enough. Condescending remarks don’t count.
There's nothing to articulate. Your lack of ability to understand Ellie demonstrates the very thing you keep saying that you have
 
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Umbral

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There's nothing to articulate. Your lack of ability to understand Ellie demonstrates the very thing you keep saying that you have
You’re the best.

So it’s my responsibility to tell Naughty Dog’s story well. Ok.
 
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Umbral

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Right?! The amount of common basic comments from disgruntled people popping off that they went all that way to kill Abby only to let her free. It's quite questionable and cringy these people want a standard "here's what the character wants to do so this is what she is going to do. The end"..................................... Like bore off people 😂
What then? And would the moral of the story have been? It's because they need a colour by number story book.
If Ellie killed Abby the ending would have been a little brighter in a weird way. The loss of everything would have been balanced by the choice she made. As it is, she is punished for making the ”good” choice. Abby gets Lev, Ellie gets nothing but shit.

Most people’s response to nihilistic media is “Oh, fuck this shit.” as it provides no hope and nothing matters. We have enough hardship in real life. I’m all for people telling their stories, but don’t get all Pikachu-face when people hate it.
 
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Raven117

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Face off with Owen and Mel, and put the controller down. See what happens!

And no, Ellie does say they will live through through it if they tell her where Abby is. Owen gets shot accidentally when he goes for Ellie's gun, at which point Mel jumps in and tries to stab Ellie to death. Which she does in gory detail if you don't stab square rapidly!

Honestly, TLOU2 is a really easy game to defend. There's not much in the way of subtext or inference to read, its pretty much all there on the surface is you actually look. And they really have done their due diligence in covering motivations in dialogue.

Its kinda crazy, every time someone's brought up a plot-hole or alleged illogcality, its there. They actually cover it.
You can’t honestly believe this. She threatened people at gun point after she had all of their pictures and was killing all of them. That, under no circumstance will even be self defense in any jurisdiction in the United States, (and probably elsewhere). This is just a silly justification for you in your mind. There is no way the developers made Ellie killing all these people “in self defense”


Nothing, absolutely nothing Ellie did was in self defense. That’s the whole point of her descent into revenge and darkness.

I agree though, not much in the game is super subtle. (I thought Owens regret about Joel was actually the most subtle plot point Of a major character ).
 

Keihart

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If Ellie killed Abby the ending would have been a little brighter in a weird way. The loss of everything would have been balanced by the choice she made. As it is, she is punished for making the ”good” choice. Abby gets Lev, Ellie gets nothing but shit.

Most people’s response to nihilistic media is “Oh, fuck this shit.” as it provides no hope and nothing matters. We have enough hardship in real life. I’m all for people telling their stories, but don’t get all Pikachu-face when people hate it.
I see it as a hopeful ending, after all the shit before santa barbara Ellie still wasn't able to live normally, if she had killed Abby she wouldn't have gained closure, she would've keep struggling with the real trauma like Abby did after killing Joel. At least with this ending, Ellie learns how to let go finally, she let's Abby go and Joel too. I honestly feel like this was a coming of age story for Ellie, she loses a lot just to grow up.

I pointed out in the OT in my first hours of the game how the bigot sandwich and Joel's comments on Ellie's behavior were characterization of Ellies flaws, i find it fitting that in fact it was all related. If Ellie accepted the bigot sandwiches she probably would of been less stubborn with seeking revenge and not forgiving Joel.

But yes, nihilistic stories usually leave a sour taste.
 
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If Ellie killed Abby the ending would have been a little brighter in a weird way. The loss of everything would have been balanced by the choice she made. As it is, she is punished for making the ”good” choice. Abby gets Lev, Ellie gets nothing but shit.

Most people’s response to nihilistic media is “Oh, fuck this shit.” as it provides no hope and nothing matters. We have enough hardship in real life. I’m all for people telling their stories, but don’t get all Pikachu-face when people hate it.
It's not nihilistic, like holy crap. Your view of it is pretty nihilistic, heck you think it'd be a happier ending if Ellie killed Abby, like the problem isn't the game's downer tone (which doesn't approach nihilism no matter how downer the ending) it's your view of it and what constitutes a more up ending/more meaningful ending. You want true nihilism? Ellie kills Abby and Lev, then herself, final shot just lingers on the three dead bodies.
 
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