Follow TV Tropes

Following

Headscratchers / The Last of Us

Go To

  • Tommy tells Joel he got the old picture of him and Sarah after he made a return trip to their home in Texas. Ummm...why would he do that? Why would he go from Wyoming to Texas more then a decade after they left their home and civilization came to an end? I can't think of any practical reason. Certainly it wasn't just to pick up some old memorabilia. A trip that long would consume considerable resources and be a significant risk. There is no logical reason he would make such a trip without a practical reason for doing so.
    • Why are you assuming he went there for any logical reason? He may have done it in case he ran into Joel again, by way of apology.
      • I assume he went there for a logical reason because the only way you can survive in the world of The Last of Us is by being practical. The notion that someone would travel hundreds of miles to their own house, exposing themselves to significant danger and consuming significant resources along the way, for no good reason doesn't really hold up. Also he had no reason to assume Joel would go back to the house at the time he was there.
    • Advertisement:
    • Tommy has only settled in Wyoming with Maria recently when Joel and Ellie find him. Presumably, he traveled the country after leaving the Fireflies and happened to pass through Texas.
  • Does it make any sense at all for David's town to use cannibalism as their primary food source when humanity is almost extinct? That's supposed to be the main point of the game: Humanity is almost gone, hence the title. As such, you would think there would hardly be any humans to cannibalize. You gotta figure there would be entire months in which the town would not encounter any new humans. Not only that, but almost all the humans who are still alive by now are people like Joel: Rugged survivalists who would put up a tough fight. Because of this, it would seem that hunting humans is far less productive and more dangerous then hunting wildlife, which is more plentiful and doesn't have a sentient mind to aid them in resistance.
    • Who said anything about it being their primary food source? Judging by the meat ledger Joel comes across and David and James' desire to trade for the deer, their first choice would be to go for animals like anyone else. But there simply aren't that many animals to hunt, and they've lost a lot of hunters already. The way David phrases it, his community only has two choices; cannibalism or starvation. And not all humans they could come across would be completely battle-hardened; even if they were, it would only reinforce how desperate David and his group have become.
      • If cannibalism is not their primary food source, it's certainly a major one, as the meat ledger shows. That just doesn't seem practical in an age where humanity is almost gone. You say there aren't many animals to hunt, but why wouldn't there be? The game has shown nature is taking back over the world since humanity is almost gone. There aren't many humans to keep the animal population down. As such, you would think animals would be massively more common then humans, especially since the virus doesn't effect them. I feel the same way around the hunters as well. Is it really practical to make a living robbing people when there are hardly any humans left to rob?
    • Advertisement:
    • The theme of nature taking back control of the world seems to apply a lot to vegetation, but not so much to animals; even if it does in general, it doesn't seem to apply in Wyoming, given how pleasantly surprised Ellie seems to be when she finds a deer. Going back to the meat ledger, it also contains an entry dated to the fall, recording a low haul and noting "We have to do better". Preying upon human stragglers isn't practical, no, but David and his group seem to have run out of other options by winter.
  • So if constantly hiding from the military and even killing a few are just considered routine to Joel and Tess as part of their smuggling ring, how are they able to walk around in public at the beginning of the game? They should have every unit around after them, or at least wanted photos placed like with the Fireflies.
    • While Joel and Tess have a reputation in Boston's criminal underworld, they're allowed to walk around unmolested because no soldiers who aren't corrupt anyway know what they're up to; they've never been caught before the events of the game. Any soldiers they actually have to kill are assumed to have been killed by Fireflies.
  • How is it that small rags of cloth are such a hard to find resource? I passed through a ton of rooms with 20yr old bedsheets and curtains in them, how can it be so hard to make a small molotov cocktail fuse from them? One folded up pillow case could give me enough rags for twenty flame bombs.
      Advertisement:
    • Probably to not make things too easy. If you notice any melee or thrown weapon you have only come in numbers of maximum 3.
    • Dirty rags aren't exactly viable for Medkits too. And Joel and Ellie have to make room for other resources in their backpacks, not just stuff it with 20 flame bombs.
  • It takes months upon months for Joel and Ellie to cross the country, and apparently not once did they ever take just one day to teach Ellie how to swim, at least a doggy paddle.
    • To be fair, they never just take a day for anything, period, outside of crippling injury or other hangups that prevent them from going forward. It's irritating, but between how unsafe the water usually is and how rarely they come across it outside of the obstacles it represents, there's more risk than it's probably worth.
    • It's also getting colder and colder as the game goes on, so getting wet is a good way to get sick from the wind chill, with the only safe bodies of water to use for practice being in the middle of the wild with no convenient shelter from the elements to dry off.
    • Plus, considering Joel hesitated to teach her how to use a gun for almost half the game, the idea of spending a day or so teaching her how to swim would likely not even have occured to him.
  • If schools and universities are obsolete thanks to the infection, how are people able to retain valuable knowledge such as medical practices and engineering? Would books have been able to survive in this type of future?
    • It's only been 20 years, so logistically, there should be some pre-apocalypse doctors/engineers/nurses around that are functional enough to pass on their knowledge. Besides, you don't necessarily need to read books to learn how to engineer or practice medicine; after all, the people who wrote those books had to fumble around and create those methods at some point. There's no reason mankind can't still do the same.
    • The Left Behind DLC also shows that school-like locations do exist. And it has been only 20 years, not more. There's a decent amount of middle-aged to older people around, all who probably had their share of knowledge in various practices that they used and are teaching to the next generation.
  • Bloaters throw spores at their victims to further spread the infection. These spores seem to be not as effective as the normal ones though, as Joel just loses energy when running through them and doesn't need to use his gas mask, suggesting that one needs to breath in large amounts of them to get infected. However, during the winter chapter when Ellie teams up with David, they have to fight a Bloater and Ellie can be hurt by breathing in the spores it throws at them. She is completely immune to even the (stronger) normal spores, so why are the weaker ones dangerous for her? That is, if it is not just an oversight on part of the developers.
    • It could be that the damage isn't so much from infection as it is that the spores are screwing up your respiratory system or growing a short lived version of the Cordyceps Fungus. In your lungs.
    • Maybe could be put as Gameplay and Story Segregation. Would imagine Bloaters are so threatening in universe due to the fact that they can throw around the infection pretty willy-nilly. Now, dialogue suggests it takes a fair amount of spore inhalation to get infected, but considering how much an aware bloater can put out... Ellie's vulnerability could alternately be used to conjecture that the spores from bloaters are perhaps caustic as well as/instead of directly infectious.
      • Most likely caustic, considering that Joel can still be harmed even with his mask on.
      • Co-signed. They're explosive and they cause damage instantly upon exposure. The risk of infection would seem to be a distant second problem.
    • They could be abrasive and actually physically abrade the tissue of your respiratory systems, like asbestos.
    • The series wiki puts forth the suggestion that the "spores" Bloaters throw are not spores at all, but instead a form of mycotoxin. Which would support the suggestion earlier that the stuff is simply poisonous rather than infectious.

  • Where is the "Jackson" in this game? I could have sworn I saw a Jackson County sign in game which would place it in that Colorado county where there isn't actually a Jackson city but, you know, post apocalypse. I'm also hearing a lot of mentions of Wyoming which would place it in Jackson, Wyoming. Which is it?
    • It's probably Jackson, WY based on the fact that you have to cross a hydroelectric dam fortified on the Snake River.
    • A map you find labels the area as Wyoming.

  • So I'm just curious, this whole game and even the commercials hammer into you that morality means nothing in this world and it's just about survival. So if that's the case, why does Joel go so out of his way to save Ellie in the end? Is he admitting he was wrong, or is he just a hypocrite?
    • Actually, the ending doesn't argue with the meaning of morality at all. Whatever you think his reason for saving Ellie was, he was still depriving humanity of a vaccine/cure and saving the life of a young girl, and lying to that girl to do it to salve whatever guilt she was feeling, knowing it was wrong, all at the same time. In other words, morality is meaningless because every choice is a cruel one no matter what you do, and every situation means someone has to suffer. Joel didn't make the morally sound decision, he made the selfish decision.
      • Maybe selfish, but still reasonable as at this point Ellie has become a daughter figure to him. He has already lost his daughter and Tess, asking to sacrifice even Ellie is just too much to ask. A vaccine is also too late. Producing and distributing it for the general populace has long since become impossible, and Joel knows this. You can also find records in the lab that mention how there have indeed been other immunes. Each one of the tested ones have died for nothing.
      • It sounds like you think there's a judgment involved here; there isn't, that's the point. Ellie's existence pretty much proves that a vaccine isn't too late: children are still being born and people are living on regardless. Saying that other immunes have been found but none of them have produced a cure yet is also pretty meaningless. Medical science doesn't work that way. You don't try a procedure with sound logic and then abandon it completely when it doesn't work the first time, otherwise we wouldn't have chemotherapy or joint replacements. The fact is, Joel's decision has nothing to do with morality or what's right or wrong, he saves Ellie because he loves her and doesn't want her to die.
      • There are no other immunes, this is a common mistake that I've seen elsewhere. There is a tape recorder in the hospital that mentions other patients but does not say that they are immune, he is just comparing the differences between ordinary infected and Ellie. Some people make the mistake of thinking that this is the dozens of other immunes that Joel spoke of but Joel was simply making it all up, Ellie is completely unique and that is why she is so important to the Fireflys. (Whether their methods of obtaining a vaccine are viable or not is of course another matter.)
      • The vaccine still wouldn't save mankind. It is not possible to distribute it for the general populace at this point. This would only cause more violence, when people start fighting for it. If some people get vaccinated, it's only the Fireflies.
      • So let me get this straight: your argument is that there's no point in saving anyone, unless everyone can be saved, immediately and at the same time... therefore Joel is a hypocrite for saving Ellie? Remind me never to get trapped in a bucket with you.
      • Thinking about it, it’s interesting how different a vaccine and a cure really are. As has already been said, large-scale distribution is near impossible (dangerous travelling, limited sterile syringes, etc…) and society has already collapsed and built itself into little communities of murder, hostility and corruption. That doesn't mean that a vaccine isn't worth making, just that the apocalypse has already happened and the damage is already done. The first to get vaccinated would be the firefly members at the hospital, but who next? The fireflies are not entirely altruistic, they run a political movement and are anti-military to the point of effectively instigating terrorist attacks on military-run quarantine zones. It’s easy to say you’ll do one thing only to be tempted otherwise once you actually achieve the power. It’s so easy to rationalise that the fireflies worked hard for the vaccine and that it is their right to decide who to immunize. The vaccine would likely become a means to pressure political ends, being withheld from certain settlements unless they subject to a new form of government. The military would probably see this as terrorists making hollow promises to sow political dissent in the populace, and amp up the aggression. Beyond the quarantine zones there are scattered survivors who deliberately avoid people, and groups of hunters who actively kill them before they can speak. Even if you decide to make murderous hunter societies immune (altruistic) what’s to prevent them from killing you for it so they alone have some sort of tribal superiority through biological advantage - they still have to scavenge to survive, you just diminish one hazard. Survivor groups such as Jackson surely deserve immunization though right? But just finding these groups and identifying them from the outside would be difficult, and once again immunization would likely be traded for allegiance or at least large amounts of supplies. Either way, even if you theoretically could destroy the entire cordyceps fungus instantaneously, it wouldn’t end the nightmare as Marelene hopes. After all, the prevailing threat in the wilderness is the conflicts between people, with the Sewer City being the only clear example of the cordyceps fungus wiping out a moderate society since the initial outbreak. It might give societies more of a fighting chance at self-sustainability, but for a very long time groups of hunters will still need to scavenge and murder to survive, and with a less dangerous wilderness a lot more travelling and clashing between settlements would be possible. That’s not to say things couldn’t eventually result in a unified people again, but the vaccine alone wouldn’t cause this, and settlements like Jackson show that once society learns how to manage the cordyceps and achieve self-sustainability, you won’t need a vaccine to maybe achieve this anyway. That said, I doubt Joel thought everything through and came to a similar conclusion – I think he just knew in his heart that a vaccine wouldn’t change much, and giving up his only reason for living to only maybe discover one (no certainty) was just too big a loss and a life not worth living.
      • Those are some harsh assumptions. If you read the hidden artifacts you'll see that many of the survivor bands that you fight are actually quite reasonable, and even "villains" like David seem to be good people at heart. The military also doesn't seem overbearing or universally corrupt like most police states in the survivor genre. And if you think a vaccine would be useless by the time it was distributed, ask yourself this: What if Tess had the vaccine? Or Sam? Or the guy who got bitten by a monkey? Or the first infected you meet in the abandoned apartment? Or the two squatters you see killed by the authorities in the Boston QZ? And those are just the ones we know about. And the military can still maintain it's vehicles and weapons, and grow/distribute (albeit insufficient) food, not to mention that those in the QZ's doubtlessly have access to some medicine, surely they would have access to medical equipment, and Marlene's obvious desperation would have probably brought her to the negotiating table. This is all conjecture of course, but I think it's a tad more plausible than Fireflies trying to create an American empire.
      • Exactly. The morality doesn't matter because morality wasn't a factor in the decision-making process. All of the above, the vaccine distribution et cetera is irrelevant to Joel.
      • Of course, this is all assuming that the Fireflies' method would've worked. And given the information in the game, it almost certainly WOULDN'T have. Why? Well, because it's stated that the reason Ellie isn't infected has nothing to do with Ellie's genetic makeup but is because she was infected with an inert form of the fungus, which also prevented her from being infected again by an active strain of Cordyceps. In that case, the correct medical procedure would be to take samples of Ellie's blood and attempt to isolate the fungus from the rest of the blood, and develop a method of turning it into a vaccine/cure. Not only would such a procedure NOT have killed Ellie, but it also would have been a lot easier than any type of brain studies. In fact, cutting out Ellie's brain would be the absolute last thing anyone should do in that situation, as it would cut off any chance of obtaining further blood samples should they prove necessary. In other words, the Fireflies' procedure would likely have DESTROYED any chance of creating a vaccine, rather than furthering that goal. Why would the Fireflies attempt to perform such a self-defeating procedure then? Because they were desperate. They were losing in all attempts to fight off the military, they were losing personnel left and right (likely including their best medical personnel), and they weren't looked on especially favorably by the public. Producing a cure or vaccine would be their only possible leverage to bring down the military regimes in the US and ensure their own survival. And since their situation was so dire, they were completely rushing the process, rather than giving it the proper amount of thought. They were so intent on producing a vaccine that they had entered a tunnel vision mindset of "Cordyceps infects the brain, therefore we need to study Ellie's brain." Therefore, saving Ellie actually preserved the chances of producing a vaccine. Of course, none of this would have entered Joel's mind during that entire sequence. As the OP's said, Joel's rationale was completely selfish. So, he ended up making the correct decision for completely wrong reasons.

    • Speaking of which, why does Ellie need to die in order for a possible cure to be made? Can't they just take a blood sample and work with that?
      • They go over this in the game. The fungus grows in the brain, and the fungus in Ellie's brain is mutated and that's what makes her immune. They have to remove her brain to get the fungus.
      • Except one of the Firefly's own logs say they successfully grew fugal cultures from her blood.
      • Brain and spine. So why not a spinal tap?
      • They had to have already done an LP to test her cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid doesn't have enough material in for a sample; it grows on the spine, and trace amounts end up in the fluid. Removing her spine would probably be less humane than removing her brain, and it wouldn't be as good a sample. You can see it in the other Infected you run across, and the Clickers especially; the fungus is growing out of their faces, not their backs.
      • however, a brain biopsy is quite possible. They are risky but are routinely done to diagnose brain cancer. Why would they jump to the most severe solution?
      • It's possible in the modern day, but there is hardly any functioning technology anymore, certainly the fireflies don't have the technology to properly perform the aforementioned surgery.

  • Why don't Joel and Tess own hunting knives? Why rely on the fragile shivs when a good bowie knife would last much longer and be far more effective? Why aren't any of the dozen or so soldiers I've killed thus far carrying K-bars that I can loot?
    • It seems like it's part of the emphasis that they're smugglers and their gear is often a matter of improvisation. While they might have a knife anywhere, the risk of confiscation might be more hassle than say, just making them as needed. A shiv would really be an assassination weapon in Q Zs.
    • All the good bowie knives are broken by now because that they are more effective thus get used at lot in the first few years of the outbreak. I mean how many human bodies are hunting knives and bowie knives designed to cut through before breaking? Bill has a pretty good blade, but he probably already owned it before the infection and his style would keep it from breaking from overuse. For the average Joel and Tess there simply are no good quality knives since none have been made for over 20 years.
      • This. The only people who carry permanent blades are people who probably either made them themselves (Bill), have been using butcher's tools for combat (David), or inherited one from someone else (Ellie). Ellie's especially is a good example of why other knives aren't around: hers is a switchblade that she normally keeps closed, so the blade itself is usually protected from weathering, but it doesn't appear to have an edge, just a point. Any knife produced before the infections started and was kept in battle-ready condition by its owners until the time the game starts would have to be sharpened so often, they'd practically be nail files.
      • At the same time though, when so few people have proper blades, you think someone would carve a spear, make themselves a mace or sharpen some metal bits and such. To be honest the melee weapons are fairly uniform for the sort of brawling you experience.
      • "how many human bodies are hunting knives and bowie knives designed to cut through before breaking?" Quite a few. More so than a switch blade. Hacking through carcasses is exactly what hunting knives are made for, and k-bar bowie knives are primarily designed to kill human beings. These weapons are also insanely common. If there's still guns and ammo that hasn't been looted twenty years later, there should be some good knives. probably worse for wear from weathering, but better than a damn pair of scissors.
      • To be fair, KABAR knives use a tang half the width of the blade. I've seen a video of a guy who torture tested one and cut wood blocks using it as a wedge until the tank snapped. Not saying that's a realistic depiction of how it would last normally, but an idiot or novice can destroy even a durable weapon pretty easily.
      • The ammo you find hasn't been sitting there for 20 years in most cases, it's been moved around by other survivors in the mean time. Simply put any good knife has long since been scooped up because it's a good knife, while scissors are left because hey, why take a pair of scissors to make into an improv shiv when you can just steal the proper knife? You do see more than a few good quality blades and all of them are in the hands of someone else who stole it long before you got there, since in the 20 years since they stopped being made plenty of groups have gone through and looted the place for anything that appeared valuable, which is exactly why you're left with scavenging scissors. Like Billy says the military (and by extension the hunters and fireflies) has been going around looking for supplies but tends to ignore plenty of things that can be improvised.
      • It's actually fairly easy to make a good knife. There's plenty of metal around in workable condition, and the Hunters and military manage to maintain guns and vehicles. That means they have machine shops and metalworks of some kind. (Incidentally, there are thousands of car repair shops in Boston alone, meaning plenty of stuff to scavenge if someone wants to try and set up their own workshop.) And there are plenty of regularly-used knives around today that are decades old. The whole shiv thing is Rule of Fun.
      • It may be easy, but you still have to know how. The average person just doesn't. Keep in mind a lot of the people who are inclined to get into dangerous business are the most likely to get infected; there's a really good chance that most of those good knives you're missing in the world are in the pockets and belt loops of Bloaters. Good reason not to go digging for them, I suppose.
      • But given the certainty that they still have machining shops to maintain and produce guns and ammo and therefore have the capability of producing quality knives, there is no excuse for the soldiers not to be carrying them. Knives are standard issue for soldiers today, both for utility and hand to hand combat- given how effective they are against the infected(I've unloaded clips and revolvers into clickers without them going down, where as a shiv'll do it every time) I can't imagine why they wouldn't be standard issue in the game. You kill literally dozens of soldiers within the first few hours of gameplay, there is no reason why one of them wouldn't have a knife for you to loot that would be as good if not better than Ellie's switch blade.
      • That's true, but the military is a lot less interested in fighting Infected than Joel is. You almost never see actual armed military personnel in areas with lots of Infected or that have been contaminated with spores, they're more focused on "prevention" (ie, killing anyone with the fungus before they show symptoms), and a gun is MUCH more effective for that. It's possible that, among all the other bad decisions they've made, somewhere along the line they just decided that knives are a waste of rapidly-depleting resources and stopped producing them.
      • We've seen in wartime that people will make whatever they need to, to get an advantage in a fight, so even if the brass decided, top-down not to make knives, it's just not realistic to think not a single person would feel insecure and make some sort of weapon. People in prison melt toothbrush handles to stick razor blades in them. In WW1, they sharpened shovels for use as chopping weapons in trench warfare. It's probably just entirely a gameplay thing that you never even find say, brass knuckles to make punching the majority of the infected population to death easier, or the one soldier who sharpened a railroad tie or tent stake.
      • Those are called shivs.
      • If, like Bill says, the industrial capability of whatever government is left can produce car batteries, then I'm sure they have the know-how to produce shaped bits of metal. And there is so much scrap metal in the game that I don't think resources are a problem. Joel, Ellie, Bill, and all the hardcore survivors (and quite a few hunters) seem to get a lot of mileage from having sharp bits of metal to stab things with, so you'd think someone would loot some metalworks shop for the appropriate tools and start a business if the government didn't. They only thing that would justify it is, like above says, bad decisions.

  • Exactly when did Ellie manage to get hold of the photograph of Joel and Sarah? Ellie says that she got it from Maria, but the last time we saw it, it was in the hands of Tommy. Joel stays with Tommy while hunters attack the camp, and then immediately afterwards is the argument between Tommy and Maria, during which Ellie steals a horse and flees. It is implied that they never return inside the camp after they retrieve Ellie. There is no opportunity for Tommy to give the photo to Maria, then for Maria to give it to Ellie.
    • May be completely wrong here, but isn't the photo Tommy shows Joel different to the one Ellie has later on?
      • It's the same photo, I believe. (Celebrating a soccer trophy, or some such?) It's possible the exchange took place off-screen after the big shoot-out, presumably before the argument, but there's no obvious window of time for such an event.
      • Didn't Tommy retrieve it from a bag and place it back after Joel gives it back?
      • Yes, Tommy puts the photograph back in the bag after Joel says he doesn't need it. After that they go on a long walk along the stretch of the facility, giving plenty of time for Ellie and Maria to look at the photo. I think you then find Ellie and Maria in a room directly connected to that one.
  • How do David and Ellie go from the kitchen in the resturant to the front of the dining area if both are unconscious ?
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation. The game assumes that both of you would have played cat and mouse for a bit and ended back up in the dining area instead of getting behind David and stabbing him before he moved.
  • Where are most of the Infected hanging out? Every city Joel and Ellie go to seems pretty damn barren, you'd think major population centers like Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City would be swarming with them, but the streets are mostly empty. Also, why are most of the infected you encounter runners? If they mutate the longer they've been infected, you'd think most of them would be clickers or bloaters 20 years after the end.
    • Because most infected die well before they get a chance to become bloaters. The fungus seems to keep them from starving somehow but they are presumably still vulnerable to exposure, fire, cold, drowning, even a bad fall. Nevermind armed survivors. In addition, animals seem to be inmune to this particular strain of the cordyceps (even monkeys are apparently carriers but don't suffer from it), so it can't be ruled out that there are more than one predator stalking infected and eating them even if we don't see them in the game. Since the cordyceps can reproduce in every stage of the infection, the fact that thousands upon thousands of infected die soon after doesn't affect its propagation chances in the least. The runners we see are people who got infected only recently.
    • Infected mostly seem to hang around in open areas, outside of what used to be the quarantine zones. Most of the infected in Pittsburgh seem to be lurking in the suburbs, which keeps the hunters confined to the city except for a few individuals. Same thing with David's community; all of the infected seem to be in the woods and abandoned urban areas away from the village.

  • So if the game starts in 2013 and goes post-apocalypse from there when did Naughty Dog or whoever is on the Uncharted series in this universe have time to get all the way to Uncharted 13?
    • Naughty Dog's staff miraculously survived the apocalypse with all of the technology they needed to keep making games; unfortunately Nolan North didn't make it so they had to go with Justin Bieber. Or it's just Rule of Funny and you shouldn't think about it too hard.
      • Or maybe he ran off into the wilderness to became David. And the shock of lossing his infinite supply of vagina destroyed his mind and turned him into a pedo—

  • A random thought. Could copper fungicides work on human fungal infections?
    • Probably not. The cordyceps fungus grows fast. The amount of fungicide you'd need to purge the infection, assuming you could even get it to them as soon as possible, would probably kill them just from the copper content alone. Copper poisoning is ugly, ugly business, and often leaves lasting, if not permanent damage.

  • Why in God's name is no one living in that gorgeous, pristine, gigantic ranch house?! People clearly know where it is, but all the stuff is still there and everything is perfectly clean as if no one's touched it in the whole 20 years since the infection!
    • It's too exposed from every side, with literally nothing stopping anyone, infected or human, from getting to the house. From there there are a dozen or more ways to break into the house, at which point you're fucked because there is no bolt holes or way to put enough distance to survive what happens next. Anyone who has survived this long would see just how bad it would be to live in considering it offers zero protection from hunters or infected, you'd be better off with no building to obscure your line of sight.
      • But what about all the stuff still in it? The bedding, the clothes, the books, even the furniture if you're the kind of scavenger that would splurge on a Sunday by looting an ottoman or something, it's all clean and intact. Even if you wouldn't want to stay there because it's not defensible and you're not willing to put in the effort to make it safer/don't have the manpower to guard it, why not take any of that amazingly useful, practical stuff just lying around?
      • The bedding which you have to transport through terrain no car can manage? The clothes which may not fit or be rotted and that we never see to confirm that it hasn't already been nicked? And the furniture that you'd already have a working version if you do have a settlement? The whole house is one giant honey trap. It's just too far away from Tommy's town to take any of the big stuff and we never see any of the clothes to confirm if it hasn't been stolen, books aren't really going to be much use to the average person who is taking the risk of moving through the raider and possibly infected infested woods. The only people who'd have a use for it would be the type who already have a settlement and know better than to risk moving a lot of things/heavy things through a forest, especially considering that it is a long way from any defensible locations (Tommy is the closest to it, and judging from the lighting difference between when you leave the place and when you lay eyes on his town we're looking at a few hours to be generous). Anyone who has survived this long out of the cities knows to only grab what you need and not get weighted down.
      • That's ridiculous. Tommy and Joel make it to the ranch house in a handful of minutes on horseback and there's already a group of bandits living in the pass between them and the ranch house. Almost all the closets you can look into are full, clothes are clean (you can look at them in the game, they're in perfect condition) and it doesn't matter if they fit, it's still perfectly good, whole cloth. Sure, it'd be a risk to get it, but everything carries a risk; Ellie manages to spend quite a while in the ranch house alone, reading a book, completely safe until Joel and Tommy lead a bunch of people to where she is. There are zero reasons why any given group of people, especially some from Tommy's settlement which is "over 20 families strong now", couldn't make a day trip of it and go get at least some of the very useful things that are just lying around unattended in the house.
      • No reasons besides being sitting ducks for raiders or infected? That's a whole day which you can be onslaughted by raiders who just pick you off, or someone getting bitten. Not to mention that it's only ten minutes from the damn, not the town. You're looking at hours at least since it goes from morning/midday at the ranch to the sun setting at the town. You could go back to the dam, through the raider owned woods that is only passable by horseback, but no matter what you're taking a hell of a risk for stuff that you'd already have if you're the type to set up shop for the long term. It'd be easier just to make new furniture and clothing, less chance of someone getting bitten and hiding it.
      • Again: doing anything carries a risk in this setting. But that isn't the point: there are no infected anywhere near the ranch house. The only raiders that end up there are the ones that follow Joel and Tommy from the pass; Ellie made it there just fine on her own, and she took the exact same route they did. If two guys can clear a mountain pass and the stragglers that track them out, a team of people from an established community could do it just fine. Even if you assume that the furniture is just too much trouble and the survivalists are too picky to accept any of the clothes, there are plenty of things that are worth the risk, especially in a place that has cold winters and sporadic electricity: screws, hinges, the bedding, books (yes, those are important to civilization), light bulbs, and so on and so on.
      • There are no infected at that point in time. That is not proof that they will never come walking in that direction in the future like in so many zombie stories. Someone gets bitten, runs in that direction, turns and hears something that makes them walk towards the ranch. And every man you send out is one who is not protecting your home and your power plant. Raiders are smart, we run across a handful who just lost the fight for the plant. If they see a big group walking/riding through the woods they won't try to fight you head on, they'll harass and shoot from a distance. So you're literally risking everything for what? Beds and chairs that you already have plenty of because you set up your town in a place that already has them in abundance? Light bulbs that are already fragile and used and will break if you have to get in a fight? No matter what angle you look at it from, you're putting everyone at risk for materials that aren't exactly uncommon, and it'd be easier to either search closer to home and avoid the day trip or stick to a city which at least provides plenty of cover, bolt holes, etc. If you've survived 20 years already then you've already got a system to survive cold winters and usually non-existent electricity, so a house in the middle of hostile territory far from home is not that impressive when you own a full hydro-power plant.
    • Actually, those materials are pretty uncommon. Every other building you find that might have any of them has already been picked clean and presumably used up or rotted away, which is why that one ranch house being pristine makes no sense. Even if the dam community didn't get to it...why not the raiders? Why not anyone, in the course of twenty years? And actually, yeah, light bulbs are definitely worth at least some amount of risk; if it's dark and you have electricity, you still need something to actually light up when you flip the switch. But again, if you're not willing to risk anything, there's no gain to be had at all. That's the point of post-apocalyptic survival as a genre.
      • The raiders have no need for light bulbs; their style is smashing and grabbing, not setting up roots. As for nobody else doing it in the 20 years they just didn't have any need since anyone whose risking a walk through the woods probably doesn't have someplace to call home (and light bulbs aren't going to be surviving the kind of cross-country treks Joel and Ellie have to go through). The bulk of humanity seems to have retreated into the safe-zones, with those outside it consisting of raiders, the Fireflies, loners, people like Sam and Henry who are trying to join up with one of the first two, and one or two communities that have popped up and survived. Yeah, the ranch house surviving so long without rotting makes no sense, but in terms of not being looted there just aren't that many people running around who would need it and happen to run by it
    • The house is a fair distance away from Tommy and Maria's community, which appears to be built around the factory where they're reassembling the turbine. They're thus huddled together for mutual support and defense. While the building is obviously very well-built, living there would make you easy prey for roving infected or what Maria and Tommy both mention is a serious problem with teams of bandits; even with a working shortwave radio, by the time anyone from Jackson mobilized to defend you, you'd likely be dead already.
    • Except Joel, Ellie, and a handful of other people are able to get there and back in a matter of minutes and there are no infected around, and the people that come looking for Joel and Ellie are looking specifically for Joel and Ellie, it's not like there's a gang of bandits sitting on the place trying to use it as some kind of goober trap. There's no excuse for that place being completely intact the way it is because everything in it would be next to impossible to get in such good condition. Anything you can't stuff in a backpack or take apart, you can scrap for raw materials or sell. The cabinetry in the kitchen, with real screws and hinges? Clean, metal, possibly galvanized pipes? Unbroken glass windows, cotton towels, clean clothes and blankets and bedsheets, intact shoes, books? Even if you assume that roving gangs of scavengers wouldn't want any of it because they don't settle in one place for long, literally anyone else would be able to improve their life by either using what they picked up, or selling/bartering it to someone else. It is way, way too good a resource for it to be sitting out in the open, completely undefended and without being even slightly threatened, to be as flawless as if the family is just away on vacation and in a post-apocalyptic fungal hell.
    • There are a couple things to take into account when looking at this "idyllic" house. First, there's the fact that Tommy and Joel had to take an unexpected route offroad to find it. Rewatching the scene (Youtube "Ellie Runaway Horse Chase"), it's clear that Tommy had never been down that way before, at least since the road was out - he hadn't expected the road to be blocked. For all we know, he takes a party down there right after Joel and Ellie leave. Because we know Ellie had to pass through that way before the bandits did, it's likely the bandits were from the same crew that had attacked Tommy, so they never made it as far as the ranch either. (in fact, referring to the OP's post "people clearly know it's there", what makes you say that? The only indication it had ever been inhabited post apocalypse was the Firefly pendant, which simply means it had at least one inhabitant in twenty years.)
Second, we don't know the level of scarcity in Tommy's settlement. Maybe there were a dozen similar ranch houses in the surrounding area that were more easily discoverable, with more than enough linens, clothing and light bulbs for their immediate purposes.

  • Out of curiosity, is it possible that David's community doesn't know they're cannibals? Obviously James knows, and probably a few others, but the fact that some of the Mooks are talking about having put up with him even though they dislike him and they have to vote him out, I wonder if he only lasted so long as leader because he was bringing in enough food and people just didn't bother to ask about its source? Or was there background chatter I missed somewhere that implied they all know?
    • I got the impression that it wasn't the cannibalism they were objecting to, as much as it was David's attraction to underage girls. The ones that talk about voting him out are the ones hunting for Ellie because she's "his newest pet", implying he's had others before, and it's more that David is sending them out to risk their necks for what amounts to a booty call.
    • One other possibility is that they only rely on that for their fighters / scavengers. So they cannibalize these people and eat their flesh to support the people who actively fight and scavenge, who would naturally expend lots of energy and need a high-calorie diet, while animal foods and crops are given to the women and children, maybe. It's not actually something sustainable long term and cannibalism is known for causing all sorts of issues for your long-term health IIRC.

  • How exactly does Ellie's immunity work? She is still infected, but just with a dormant strain, right? She seems to believe that she infected David with the bite, so it could be transferred via bodily fluids. Doesn't that make her a massive liability to Tommy's community and also ruin any chance of her having a normal social life?
    • No one actually knows because Joel interfered with the research. The doctors in SLC speculate that she has simply developed a mutated version which is living in her brain and so the regular strain cannot infect her. Really, who knows what would happen if she "infected" someone. It's possible they would gain the same immunity.
      • So, the reason that Ellie hasn't turned, and the reason the Fireflies want to cut out her brain to make a "vaccine", is because her Cordyceps Brain Infection is symbiotic instead of parasitic; she's not unique, her infection is - basically the CBI equivalent of Cowpox. Doesn't that mean that her infection is itself the vaccine? The Fireflies Fail Biology Forever.
      • Actually, they might have it more right than anyone else. Ellie apparently can't infect other people the normal way. Getting the fungus out of her is the only way to spread it because it won't go on its own.
      • First, she seems to think that she's infected David by biting him - although that may be a ploy to screw with his head. Second, even in the most extreme of cases, they don't need to do extreme damage to her brain to get at the fungus. Spinal taps and grey(outer brain) matter biopsies are practically outpatient procedures. Worst case scenario, they biopsy her white(inner brain) matter - this may have a few side effects, but again it is not lethal. In all three cases, all they have to do is jab her with a big needle.
    • Also she may have just told David she infected him in order to scare him, not actually having a clue herself if she's right.

  • While good hunting knives are hard as all hell to come by, how is it that every single firearm and piece of ammunition in the game works perfectly? Nobody ever suffers a jam or a dud round. At least some of the ammunition must have just been sitting in storage for twenty years, and I doubt every single person with a gun could have steady access to tools, oil and other such things to keep them in excellent working condition.
    • Because the devs thought if would be too much of a pain to deal with a Fallout 3 durability mechanic. I never liked weapon durability in games, so I'm happy with it.
      • It's also possible that Joel and Ellie are exchanging their guns for the ones you get ammo from.
      • That can't be true because you spend the whole game upgrading your weapons.
    • Lots of off-screen maintenance I'd imagine. But, my counterpoint is that every gun you find is from someone who died very recently, or a stash of some sorts that was maintained. The only gun you find just lying around is the El Diablo, and the flamethrower maybe. But really, guns will last forever with a few drops of oil and say, toothbrushes and solvent. I imagine the sort of people who would have survived long enough to pose a threat to you managed somehow, or if the guns weren't in such a great shape your character fixed em up off-screen.
    • The quarantine soldiers are army soldiers, the bandits have an entire city at their exposure and the Fireflies are have enough supplies for assault rifles, the only people that aren't explained as having material available for gun maintenance are David's group and Joel and Ellie.
    • Look at the firearms available to you. You aren't using anything that wouldn't be available and usable in the Old West with the exceptions of the pistol, flamethrower, and assault rifle, and you don't get the rifle until the very end of the game. The pistol is a Colt, a manufacturer that makes guns that are so durable that it has actually caused them financial difficulty in the past (because once you've bought a Colt handgun, you don't need another one, as with proper upkeep your grandchildren will be using it). The style of firearms in the game leans towards simple, reliable guns with few moving parts. I will admit, however, that given the bullet-sponge nature of a lot of the enemies in this game, I wondered if people were deliberately using underpacked rounds i.e. Metro 2033.
      • While it's a romantic way of putting it, any of the guns in the game could be killed by lack of maintenance. Not all of them are picture perfect realistic though. The 9mm is a sub-compact 1911, which is rather unreliable and more complex than a standard 1911 like a Colt, not to mention harder to make and more wearing on parts. Shorty is a semi-auto with a barrel the length of most handguns, which is a recipe for unreliability, etc.
      • On the note of stopping power it seems realistic. You never have enough ammo, there's frequent missing and even when you do hit it takes a lot of bullets to kill them. It seems like handguns are primary weapons for a lot of survivors and they are notoriously bad compared to rifles and shotguns, which dominate Factions multiplayer as well as the singleplayer human encounters.
    • In regards to realism, whenever you're injured, whether it's being shot, punched, clawed at, burnt etc, you heal either with a quick snack or by wrapping a specific part of your forearm. There is a point where realism falls down to make the game a little simpler to make/play.

  • A question about the fungus's spores. I understand wearing a gas mask to protect against it, what about open wounds? Tess had her recent fight with two of Robert's goons, and Joel got hurt in the incident between the Fireflies and the soldiers in the beginning. Another thing, wouldn't the spores stick to clothing and such to be spread elsewhere? Or maybe the spores breakdown in direct sunlight and dry environments, since all the sections with spores seem to be dark and occasionally damp.
    • The spores only infect you if they get into your lungs, with any that get into your blood stream not being in the right environment to reproduce and spread. You might be onto something with the spores only being present in dark and usual damp locations.
      • Then how did Ellie get infected by a bite?
      • Cordyceps can spread as infectious fungi and a virus in-game.
      • Bites pass the infection directly through fluid transfer, no differently than how it spreads through the body. Airborne spores are produced only by dead Infected, and need to adhere to mucous membranes to bloom(Which is why the military advises everyone to stay out of spore-infested buildings). In direct sunlight, they dry out and become more or less harmless unless you touch your face after touching fresh(-6 months old) spores - and at that stage, simple soap and water would kill the spores. Wounds are hazardous, but the whole alcohol-and-bandage trick used for first aid is more than enough to keep it from getting started.

  • In Bill's town why did they need a working battery in the car if they were still going to push-start it? AKA This Troper doesn't know cars, how does a battery work?
    • The gist of it is that all the car batteries have long since lost their charge, but a working one could be charged by a car's engine if they can get it to turn over. And once the battery has a charge, the car can be started with a key as long as it has gas in the tank - and most cars were abandoned due to accidents or traffic jams, so there is plenty of gas in them to siphon.
      • It's not a wise course of action, though. The alternator is a device in the engine block that generates an electrical current from the energy of the car's motor. It takes most of the load of the car's electrical system (lights, AC, radio, etc.) from the battery, and also maintains the battery's charge, so as long as you don't use a lot of the car's electrical equipment when the engine's off, your car battery will hold its charge for a couple of years. But most aren't designed to actually charge a dead battery. Using an alternator this way is a good way to burn it out quickly, leaving you with a dead battery once again. (This troper's father used to repair alternators and starter motors.)
      • Fuel can actually go bad and become unusable after just a few years in storage. The gasoline inside those fuel tanks will be 20+ years old and will have broken down into seperate chemical compounds.
      • ^ This, this trooper had to empty the fuel tank of an old jeep prior to rebuilding it. The fuel in it had gone bad ( it gives of a peculiar, almost sugary scent when it does ) in a measly two years. Military use special conservatives that could explain how their own stash of fuel lasted that long, but no way the fuel in those abandoned cars is still usable.
      • To be fair, the battery they're using is relatively new, as it's the one Frank stole from the crashed military vehicle in the school. It's not dead, but it's weak/damaged enough that a push-start is a viable solution.
      • This may well be something lost on American audiences an your cars seem to be widely automatic transition but a stick shift car can be 'bump started' if the battery is flat by getting it moving and having someone in the drivers seat pop the clutch and fire the ignition at the same time. This troper just assumed they found a stick shift car to make this possible and were trying to pull of a bump start. The reason it took a few attempts is because it can anyway, without clickers attacking you from all sides messing up your concentration.
      • It was definitely "bump-started", that's what they were doing when they were pushing the vehicle for Ellie. I think the original question pertained to the dead cells of the other, stagnant batteries. As far as I understand it, the dead cells mean the batteries are incapable of ever holding a charge without being repaired - that's why they had to cross town to find the one "fresh" army battery.

  • So no college, single father, with a job in I'd guess construction and close to losing it (listen to his first lines in the game), how can Joel afford a two bed, one bath house outside Austin? He didn't inherit it because he's paying a mortgage, and don't say Sarah's drug money helps either. A $98 dollar watch is one thing, but a house.
    • ...Why is that hard to believe? It's central Texas, not midtown Manhattan. A simple Zillow search pulled up multiple 2BR homes in the Austin area for less than $200k. Someone in construction can make enough to swing those payments.
      • Where were you looking? It's hard to even find a two bedroom home in Texas. Many 3-bedroom homes are available for close to $100k, and that's newly built. An older home in a not-too-great area can be gotten for quite cheap.
    • Keep in mind he also had to have been married with Sarah's mother or living with her and who likely shared the costs before moving out or dying.
    • Seems likely he has long divorced her/they never stayed together. Still, Joel could have had any number of relatives offer to help. The prologue does give the impression he's starting to struggle though.

  • So, before she grabbed the machete, was David about to rape Ellie?
    • The remarks in game about David and his previous hebephile/ephebophile tendencies (his "pets") imply yes.
      • But on the other hand it's not very difficult to imagine this is only in people's heads, in-universe or out. It wouldn't remotely be the first time.
      • Nolan North says yes— David originally had good intentions toward Ellie and saw her as a glimmer of hope, a way for him to repopulate his numbers after losing so many people to hunger/Joel. But David is also used to getting his way, so when Ellie repeatedly rejected his advances and hurt David and his men, David lost his temper and decided to get what he wanted from her, "by any means necessary."
      • Also, contrast Ellie at the very end of Winter with Ellie right after the truck crash in Pittsburgh. Both times an adult man overpowers her and tries to choke her, but in Pittsburgh, despite being significantly less battle-hardened, Ellie simply jumps up and coughs out, "Motherfucker!" If all David had tried to do was strangle her (or even eat her, like the infected), it seems unlikely Ellie would have been so traumatized. As it is, she panics when Joel grabs her, dissolves into tears, and says, "He tried to—" before getting too choked up to speak. That, coupled with the way David touched Ellie's hand earlier and told her she was special, seems to strongly indicate that he meant to rape her. The scene was apparently very difficult for the actors, as well.
      • Who has sex with their pets? When I played the game, I interpreted the term "pet" to mean someone David treats specially, refuses to kill and cut up for food, etc. - and nothing more. He certainly respects Ellie's skills and her dedication to Joel, and someone like that is unquestionably a great addition to a struggling tribe, if you can woo them to join. I never once got the impression that he was interested in her physically or romantically, and even the supposed "rape" scene comes at the tail end of him stabbing her, slashing at her, kicking her, verbally abusing her, and trying to choke her. He's furious and wants to kill her, not have sex with her.

  • If old calendars are anything to go by, the outbreak happened roughly around October of 2013. So why did the hotel in Pittsburgh have prom decorations set up? What kind of school has prom in October?
    • Homecoming?
    • Definitely Homecoming.

  • Perhaps I'm completely wrong on this, but... How is it that the cannibal group seems to be so, well, stable? They seem, overall, to be fairly close-knit, David’s foibles aside. It just feels like, when you see other humans as a potential food source, that when a lean month inevitably comes around, someone’s gotta be thinking “Bob hasn’t been pulling his weight recently…” Now, as someone mentioned above, perhaps the group at large are ignorant of their food source, but considering the community seems so large, given the setting, it comes across a mite suspicious to me.
    • Look at who we see when David's group goes hunting for food; it's just two people, both of whom are in on the secret that they eat humans as well. It wouldn't be hard to keep it a secret, you knock the victim out (like Ellie was), sneak them into the butchery, and make sure everyone who goes in there is in on the secret. The others aren't going to question the people who keep them fed.
    • I made a point on this earlier, but it could indeed be secret and they could use cannibalism sparingly to feed those who burn the most energy - scavengers and fighting, while luxuries like animal foods and crops are given to the families.
    • It's also quite possible that cannibalism is something they turned to relatively recently out of desperation; David tells Ellie that his group is "very very hungry", and he seems quite willing to trade for the deer when he could just capture Ellie, implying human meat isn't exactly his Trademark Favorite Food. Bearing in mind that it's the dead of winter and a running theme in the game is humanity's death as a species, David's community might very well be on the verge of destabilizing.

  • The game is set in late 2013, and neither Riley nor Ellie know what Facebook is?
    • The outbreak happened in 2013, the main game is set in 2033. Ellie was born in 2019. By the time of the main game and the DLC, Facebook is one of those old relics of the past that no one really cares about anymore. Who has time to surf Facebook if you have to spend all day every day surviving and running from bandits and Infected?
      • Assuming the internet even exists after two decades of it not being maintained. The servers would fall apart, they'd run out of power, and the broadband cables decay with no one maintaining them.

  • So did Ellie's mother die of childbirth? If you read her letter while playing as Ellie, she wrote it right after giving birth to her and it says that her life is "about to be cut short", and that Marlene will be looking after her, implying she died shortly after.
    • She wrote the letter one day after giving birth. Assuming it isn't a forgery, she was fine enough to write the letter, yet she knew she was going to die. It's more likely that she was allowed to give birth (or was induced to) and then executed.
    • Or it could be just simple childbed (puerperal) fever, the disease can take up to ten days to kill you. People running and gunning on the fringes of society probably might not have enough penicillin (or be willing to waste so much of their precious drug stocks) to save her.
    • It could also be a precaution because of how uncertain life expectancy is by then. Sad as it is, most parents aren't likely to see their children get past toddlerhood.
    • Perhaps she was infected just before giving birth, and that's why Ellie is immune?

  • Does anyone else think that anti-zombie fungus fungus might be a better potential cure than whatever's in Ellie's brain? Granted, it would need some work, but it makes sense at least.

  • Did they even try to get Ellie to infect people? She's infected (although it mutated), so why shouldn't she be able to infect others? And even if she isn't completely comfortable biting Tommy's entire town, once one person is immune, they can infect everyone else.
    • How do we know that she isn't a carrier that infects other people with the original strain once she shares bodily fluids with them? God know that David went quickly batshit once she bit him.
    • If Joel, or anyone else, honestly told her to run out there and bite people, she'd look at them like they'd lost their damned mind. Even if her bite does infect people, which I honestly doubt, I think she's comfortable fighting with, y'know, her long range weapons and knife.
      • It wasn't about using her infection as a weapon, it was wheter or not her immunity could be spread by bite.
    • Not that this really answers your question, but the general theory on whether or not Ellie could spread her immunity by biting people has one huge flaw and/or would have borrowed heavily from Artistic License – Biology; being bit by another person is actually very dangerous because of all the bacteria in our mouths (seriously look it up, you're better off being bit by a dog). Someone going around curing people by biting them would come off as really backwards logic when, even if the game's infection could transfer between people that way and make them resilient, regular bacteria from our mouths would ironically be the cause of infection and sickness instead.

  • Why was Joel so hesitant to teach Ellie how to use a gun for the first bit of the game? You'd think in a setting like this, her being able to defend herself would be Priority #1, even for a guy like Joel. He could've said something like, "You're going to learn how to shoot a gun because I'm not gonna be babysitting you the entire way through."
    • He was probably worried that she didn't really know how to handle herself in a combat situation. Remember, someone with a gun who doesn't know how to use it is just a bad day waiting to happen. As he says when Ellie saves him from the bandit in the hotel, "I'm glad I didn't get my head blown off by a goddamn kid." It isn't until after that that he realizes Ellie really does know how to handle herself.
    • Through almost the entire game, Joel can count the number of bullets he has without even taking off his shoes. Given that ammo is painfully scarce and noise attracts the worst kind of attention, he's probably just thinking he should keep what little he has with the person who knows how to use it.
    • It's pretty heavily implied that Joel is as worried about Ellie hurting herself as much as him, even if he doesn't say so. The second thing he says to her after the shooting ("Why didn't you just hang back like I told you to?") indicates a decent amount of Anger Born of Worry underneath it all, as does his firm warning to Ellie when he finally does give her a gun.
    • It's also probably because remember what happened the last time he was confronted with a gun when a teenage girl was close to him? he probably thought it best she hang back and as of after the prologue he was still have flashback nightmares.

  • So, just to be clear: What kind of a name IS Callus?
    • It was just a name Tommy gave the horse, probably because he thought it'd be cool.
    • Actually, when Joel asks Ellie the same thing, she responds, "Not my fault you forgot to ask Tommy his name." So either Ellie named him that because she thought it'd be cool, or she named him that to get on Joel's nerves. Possibly both.
    • A Latin one, actually; It means 'tough skin'.

  • So, how did Ellie know Tess got bit? Did she see the bite mark, or just recognize the desperation from her own experience?
    • Maybe it's just me, but given how Tess was acting ("Our luck had to run out sooner or later."), I'm more surprised Ellie took as long as she did to come out and say it, or that Joel needed to have it spelled out for him even after Tess wouldn't let him touch her. If players can pick up on it, there's no reason the characters, who have seen people get infected before, can't.
    • Most likely from her own experience (see the DLC Left Behind.) As to why she took this long to say that Tess was infected? Because for all she knew, these two total strangers would flip their shit on her for what they would've perceived to be some sick joke on her part. As for Joel, well, he's kind of a stubborn hardhead, as he made perfectly clear during the scenes where he kept insisting that Tess just drop all this and get back to home base. Plus, considering his own tragic loss, he either just didn't notice/pretended to not notice that Tess was beginning to act funny around him.

  • Why do Ellie and Joel come across so many groups that are terrible people that are just pulling the "We have to survive" excuse? The Hunters in Pittsburg had no reason to do what they did (how did they even get enough supplies to go around just from people that were traveling through the city? There can't be that much), and there were suburbs just outside the city with ready freshwater access that they could have used to grow food, not to mention birds and other wildlife that they could hunt, the same with David's group. They're more understandable due to the winter, but if Ellie could shoot animals for food what was stopping them? It's not like food is scarce now that humanity's far less prevalent than it was before. Tommy's group seems to be the only people willing to put in any kind of work for their living, and they've got twenty families which could be at least one hundred people, and they have reliable electricity, crops, livestock, and a good life in general. Why does it seem to be so hard for others to do the same without having to kill anyone?
    • It seems as though the hunters in Pittsburgh do try to hunt wildlife when they can, since one of them can be seen trying to shoot crows; ambushing tourists is probably a supplement. Farming in the suburbs doesn't seem to be particularly viable due to all the infected that seem to lurk outside the city boundaries, and a lot of the hunters probably wouldn't know how to farm anyway, if they had any inclination to. As for David's group, they're also perfectly willing to hunt, but there a lot of infected to contend with, and game really doesn't seem all that plentiful; Ellie herself only managed to find a rabbit and a deer that David and James were eager to get their hands on. Tommy's group has prime real estate on their side thanks to the presence of a hydroelectric dam and easily defendable patches of fertile land, as well as a general lack of infected in the area. Plus, they have good people on their side; the game explores how different people deal with the apocalypse, and Pittsburgh and David's settlement explore how assholes deal with it.
    • Through exploring the map in Pittsburgh, you can find skinned corpses of rats or birds on old grills. Clearly, the Hunters do try and hunt wildlife, but gunning down tourists seems to be much easier.

  • Along similar lines, what's the deal with the hunters being so bloodthirsty that that despite losing numerous patrols and guard posts to two "tourists", they apparently decide that once they've left their territory, they should keep chasing them to the suburbs? I get some of them would be pissed about their buddies dying, but 1.) one would think eventually they'd decide these two just weren't worth the trouble and cut their losses once they'd left the city and 2.)It's hard to imagine bandits being that loyal to each other to risk almost certain death to take out clearly a very dangerous duo over "They killed my buddy!".
    • To be fair, according to NPC dialogue overheard, Joel and Ellie took out a huge chunk of the Hunters, so it wasn't simply a case of 'they killed my buddy'. More that they got rid of majority of once-capable survivors. Their behavior is still petty, but... they are Hunters. They are among the least likeable characters in the game, so they might follow Joel and Ellie simply because they enjoy the idea of killing them.
    • The suburbs are still considered their territory, albeit the frontier. That's why there's a sniper and several other hunters there, after all. As for why they keep chasing after them, well, given the sheer number of hunters Joel and Ellie kill everywhere they go (without even counting the hunters Henry, Sam, and/or any of the other "tourists" may have killed within the same timeframe; remember, there are other people running loose in the city besides just Ellie and Joel), it may not even be revenge so much as simple self-preservation. In this case, the tourists aren't just trying to escape; they're slaughtering their way out.

  • So, Ellie was infected but did not die, which led to the assumption that she was immune. But the infection detector-gadget used by the military indicated that she was infected nevertheless, which would lead to the conclusion that her immune system can't fight the infection, only prevent the symptoms a la Typhoid Mary. With this conclusion, would it even make sense to think about making a vaccine out of her (though desperation could drive one to trying even if not)?
    • Marlene mentions that Ellie has a mutated strain of the fungus inside of her; it is similar to the Typhoid Mary case. Their research and attempt of making a vaccine out of whatever they can conclude from Ellie's brain could allow them to find out what caused this mutation and try to replicate it onto samples of the original fungus. They'd see it as a vaccine: putting a small amount of the fungus into the body, so it can learn to fight it. Except here, it would learn to live with it.

  • There aren't many children around anymore, either killed for being seen as useless or died to Infected. But why are none of the kids given basic defense training or weapons? Not giving them guns makes sense: bullets and guns are scarce resources; guns are also loud and can easily attract Clickers and some weapons are difficult for children to handle because of weight or form. But why not give them knives or shivs? Ellie does fine with her knife as a weapon and shivs seem easy enough to create, so why not make defense training a standard? It would have kept Sam safe.
    • In that particular case, it was Schrodinger's Childhood. Henry was over-protective of Sam, he didn't want to let him have toys or, really, have fun if it put them at any risk. He treated him like a kid, not a partner, like Joel comes to do with Ellie. And as Tess shows, even people who know how to handle themselves can run out of road eventually.

  • Why do those infected who are about to die seek out dark, enclosed places to, er, take root rather than high, open areas where their spores can spread more readily like their insect counterparts?
    • Because when they dies out in the open, their non infected, not insect and humanly intelligent counterpart goes ”Oh Hey, dude died out in the open, let us now collect his carcass and burn it to ash before it start growing spores and Murder us all.

  • Would a herd of Giraffes really be able to survive for over a decade in north America? I know nature is reclaiming the city and all that, but I would have thought Giraffe's would require a more specialized diet (not to mention being a prime and easy to spot food source for any hungry group of humans that cross their path).

  • As I mentioned before most of the hospital equipment in the Fireflies lab was likely broken down so how the heck do they know that Ellie is immune because she has a mutated strain, is it just their best guess?

  • In the ending, Word of God is that Ellie knows Joel is lying to her about there being other people immune to the disease, and therefore she can't trust him anymore and hates that she wasn't allowed to make the choice herself whether to sacrifice herself for the cure. But how could she know that? She was unconscious throughout their ENTIRE encounter with the Fireflies, and never once met any of them or had any exposure to their research notes and records beyond was they found in the university. If Joel truly knows something she doesn't, what basis does she have for doubting him?
    • Ellie wakes up from anesthesia in the back seat of the car Joel's driving, in a hospital gown. Why would any of that be happening if Joel's story was true? If the Fireflies had stopped looking for a cure before she and Joel arrived, they would've simply kept Ellie comfortable until she regained consciousness on her own and then explained the situation themselves, just like they did with Joel. At most, they might've taken a token blood sample from her afterwards. If for some reason they did feel compelled to dress her up and put her on the operating table without giving her the chance to wake up and agree to it first (they've mostly given up hope for a cure; what's the rush?), they still would've let her wake up after they tested her, given her her clothes back, and since they would presumably be on friendly or at least neutral terms with her and Joel in this scenario, given them some gear to take with them before they left in the car. There's just no way Ellie and Joel would've driven off in the slipshod, big-ass hurry they obviously did unless something really bad happened. Ellie's more than smart enough to put those pieces together, and it's quite likely that Joel doesn't expect her to believe his lie anyway.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report