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YMMV / The Walking Dead Season One

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400 Days, Season Two and Michonne

A New Frontier

The Final Season

YMMV tab for Season One. Beware of unmarked spoilers.

  • Accidental Aesop: One of the reasons that people can use to kill Larry is that he was a jerk since the beginning of the outbreak and never looked past Lee's past despite the good he does for him. Whereas, if Carley is saved in the first episode, then she is able to survive until episode 3 with Lee's help. The lesson? Don't let a person's past define their current identity. For Larry's part of the lesson; being a jerk won't be excused just because you are part of the same community as someone else. If and when your life is on the line, the people you've hurt will not want to help you a second time.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Larry. According to statistics that Telltale Games has gathered, a clear majority of playersnote  tried to save Larry instead of helping killing him when faced with the Sadistic Choice in Episode 2.
    • Duck, who slowly dies from a bite wound in Episode 3 and is forced to be euthanized by either his own father Kenny, or Lee, the man he always looked up to. Or just be left behind, if neither can bring himself to do it.
    • Ben, who either falls to his death in the Crawford bell tower in Episode 4, or is impaled and mercy killed by Kenny in Episode 5. In the latter case, this happens shortly after expressing his Death Seeker tendencies to the group and exploding at Kenny about his own dead family, to whom he never even got to say goodbye. The scene in Episode 4 where he begs Lee to let him die caused a fair number of players who hated him the entire time to forgive him and save him.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Kenny. Is he a badass Fire-Forged Friend and tied with Carley as Lee's most loyal companion, or a selfish Ungrateful Bastard who expects Lee to be his sniveling lackey and will happily leave him to die horribly if he doesn't?
    • Lilly. She is either perceived as a hard-ass, controlling, and overly-paranoid individual to the point of killing a team-member over a theft that resulted in the group's safe haven from being destroyed by bandits, and who's nasty attitude obviously stems from her father Larry, who is the worst of the two and is a clear threat to Lee due to knowing of his past as a convict. Others perceive her as a bitter yet well-meaning individual who is unfairly compared to her father, who she is shown to not always be on good terms and yet is clearly her only living relative and confidant she has left. She is also shown to be powerless to control her father's temper and threats along with his crippling heart condition, all while trying to help her group survive by teaching them survival skills when it's made clear that not everyone thinks of her so highly because of her father's actions. The death of her father has also caused her to grow paranoid due to the lack of support from the group, and the effects of her supplies being stolen had only amplified it to the point where she suspects a traitor in the group. In the heat of the moment argue a huge argument regarding about Lilly's status and her determination to find the traitor, she either kills Carley upon receiving a brutal dressing-down from her, or she kills Doug by accident while trying to kill Ben, who turns out to be the one solely responsible for the theft all along. Upon killing someone, she immediately shows remorse and is shown to mentally broken due to the killing of her father by Kenny, along with the added pressure of trying to out the traitor who had inadvertently destroyed their safe haven.
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    • In and out-of-universe example with Vernon after he and his group steal the boat. Ungrateful Bastard, or Pragmatic Hero? Maybe a little bit of both?
    • This seems to have been invoked with the Stranger. It seems to be the player's choice to decide whether or not they're at fault for his troubles, or if he's just trying to pin it on you.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Kenny. He's a character you either love or hate, as his behaviour towards Lee and Clementine in Season Two is influenced by the choices the player makes. One on hand he's perceived as a flawed but loyal friend who will do anything for his family and friends, and thus having one of the best story arcs in the season that explores his emotional complexity. On the other hand, players dislike him for his hypocritical and selfish nature, his habit for holding grudges against those who don't support his choices, and his reckless plans that often means trouble for others.
    • Lilly. There are many who cannot forgive her for murdering Carley, or accidentally killing Doug. However others are more forgiving due to understanding the reasoning behind her actions, especially as nearly every point she makes regarding about stealing from an abandoned station wagon, the dangers of leaving their safe haven to go to Savannah, keeping more unnecessary survivors in the group such as Ben, and finding the traitor who had destroyed their small community by making deals with bandits (because of Ben's actions), had all come true. As seasons went on, and due to the controversial behaviours and portrayals of both Kenny and Jane in Season Two, the hate towards Lilly had diminished slightly to the point of some players becoming more open to the idea of Lilly returning in a future season. Which she eventually did.
    • Ben is hated because his main function is to flail, scream, and make mistakes, and generally being the most useless member of the group whenever he's around as well as being unintentionally responsible for a lot of casulties. But he still has a lot of fans who see him as sympathetic.
    • Molly. Big time. To some, she's a badly-written Creator's Pet who dramatically shifts the tone of the game and doesn't really fit in. To others, she's an unrivalled Action Girl who should return for the planned sequel. The fanbase either loves her to bits, or hates her to death, and it's split pretty evenly down the middle.
  • Breather Level: Activating the train in Episode 3 is a bit more relaxed than the previous segment, which had a bandit shootout and then the choice of whether or not to leave Lilly behind after she kills Carley/Doug, and even gives you two optional sidequests (giving the bitten Duck some water and something to eat).
  • Catharsis Factor: Choosing not to help Kenny kill Larry in the second episode results in your relationship with him being permanently damaged, even if it was strong until that point. Following this, Kenny not only gives Lee the cold shoulder time and again, but may consider leaving him to die at the start of Episode 3. His jerkassery only worsens as he dissolves into alcoholism. Come the fourth episode, when Lee is setting out to save Clementine from the Stranger, Kenny questions if he should help as he still doubts Lee's loyalty to him. You can appeal to Kenny...or you can finally tear into him, calling him out for doubting Lee just because he didn't have his back one time. Another moment comes earlier, if you choose to force Kenny to stop the train by beating him into doing it.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: The first episode seems to steer Lee towards Lilly although this fractures badly in the second episode depending on what choices are made. In any case, the fans ship Lee with Carley instead. Both ships sink halfway through Episode 3, with Carley getting killed and Lilly either being expelled from the group or stealing the RV and driving off while everyone else is trying to get the train moving.
  • Fourth Wall Myopia: The reason why Larry is so hated by a lot of players is because they see Larry's distrust towards Lee as unjust and unfair because players know that Lee can be a good person deep down who's trying to protect Clementine during the walker outbreak. From Larry's perspective though: Lee was still a convicted murderer who was able to escape the police before he went to prison. if Lee enjoyed killing his wife and her lover then the Macon group may have a threat within their own community.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Larry's claims that Duck was bitten and had to be thrown out or killed eventually do come true.
    • Carley getting shot or Doug Taking the Bullet for Ben when Lilly snaps, accusing Ben of selling the group out to the bandits, and tries to shoot him. It eventually turns out that Lilly was right... it really was Ben.
    • Lilly said a lot of things that might have seemed exaggerated or outlandish at first glance. But they all turned out to be true. The food distribution WAS a difficult task, Ben WAS stealing supplies, and leaving the Motor Inn results in the death of nearly the entire party, from a certain point of view.
    • Lee ultimately dies from a Walker bite even if you try to save him by having his infected arm sawed off. As the TV show and comic have shown, however, amputating an infected body part does work, so long as it's done immediately after the bite happens. Meaning Lee could have been saved.
    • Kenny's plan about retrieving a boat to head out into the open sea seemed like a good idea at first until Fear the Walking Dead would use the exact same plot to show that life out in the ocean wasn't as safe as the game initially implied it to be. It's even worse in Michonne since a good portion of that game takes place on or around a lot of boats; it makes one feel like the devs are going out of their way to retroactively spite Kenny.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Where does Glenn decide to hide from walkers? A dumpster. [[explanation]]In Season 6 of the television show, Glenn seemed to be torn apart by walkers after he and Nicholas fall of a dumpster in a horde. It was then revealed that it was Nicholas on top of Glenn being torn apart, not Glenn himself, and Glenn managed to survive by crawling under the dumpster.]]
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Larry. He's a total and unrepentant asshole to Lee and almost everyone the whole game, regardless of your choices. However, it's stated by Lily that he's like that due to him losing almost everyone in his family and being overprotective of his daughter. When you search his pockets, later on, you can find his late wife's wedding ring.
    • Lilly. She loses her father either while being restrained or sitting beside him, which results in his blood splattering all over her. So it's hard not to feel sorry. Unfortunately, she quickly becomes a dictator of the group and tries very hard to keep everyone in line, even murdering someone in the process.
    • Kenny. Sure, he's an annoying drunk and throws hissy fits all the time... but the guy did lose his wife and son in the span of three minutes. Hard not to feel at least some sympathy for him. Things only get worse for and with him in Season Two.
  • Memetic Loser: Ben, due to the fact that after Episode 3, his actions (ranging from stealing food from Lilly's personal supply to sate bandits to removing a hatchet that was stopping Walkers from coming in) indirectly result in at least five fatalities for the party, of which the player can do almost nothing about. The result of running out of dialogue options for him on the train became the poster image of Ben's loserdom among fans.
    Lee: Hey, Ben.
    Ben: (hopefully) Hey.
    Lee: See ya.
    Ben: (sadly, hanging his head) Yeah.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Larry became the first named character in the Telltale series to cross it when he punches Lee and leaves him behind to die at the walker infested pharmacy near the end of Episode 1. Considering Lee risked his life earlier to get Larry medication he needed to cure his heart problem, the act becomes more reviled.
    • The cannibalistic St. John family in Episode 2 cross this when they end up serving Mark's legs to his own unaware group members for dinner (including Clementine and Duck, who are children) and then hold everyone hostage at gunpoint after Lee discovers the truth.
    • The members of the Save-Lots Bandits group all crossed this line at various points in episodes two and three, ranging from trying to kill Mark and Lee while they were inspecting the St. Johns fenced off perimeter (resulting in Mark being wounded by one of their arrows), holding everyone at the motel at gunpoint and threatening to kill them in episode three, their treatment towards their former member Jolene off screen (leaving her emotionally hysterical and broken) and killing off other random survivors, which Andrew St. John and Ben bring up when talking about them. One of the bandits (the one with the ski mask) has his own notable MEH when he brutally guns down a member of his group during an argument in episode two.
    • The Stranger crossed the line in the penultimate episode of the first season when he abducts Clementine off-screen, which ends up causing Lee to get bitten by a Walker as he was searching for her.
  • Narm:
    • In Episode 1, looking again at the corpse of the police officer who was driving Lee to prison results in this gem.
      Lee: HEY! ARE YOU DEAD?!
    • If you take the option in Episode 2 to punch Andy St. John as much as the game will allow, it can be hard to take the rest of the climax seriously, since his face (which was drawn in a lumpy, cartoonish style to begin with) will look like a slab of raw meat. And if you choose to walk away rather than kill him, he'll keep on bellowing "LEEEEE!" like a sick cow.
    • Leaving the bitten girl to be eaten in episode three is undeniably horrible, but her screaming is pretty goofy. Between the fact that telling the walkers to "go away" is not exactly the greatest plan, the somewhat cheesy voice acting, and the fact that the same screams are played on loop, it can get inappropriately funny once you listen to it a few times.
    • Sometimes odd camera angles happen (or bugged camera angles), creating a comical effect rather than the intended horrifying one, such as Lee reacting in fear of a wall of Walkers in Episode 4... But the Walkers are mostly covered up by a tree.
  • Player Punch:
    • The unnamed young woman at the very start of Episode 3, if you let the zombies get her. At the urging of Kenny, you can leave her to be torn limb from limb by the zombies to buy yourself more time to loot the store, but you hear her screaming in agony and desperation all the while. And then it suddenly stops...
    • The undead child in the Savannah house's attic. Not only is it the saddest and most pathetic zombie you've encountered, but after you kill it then you bury him in the backyard with the corpse of his pet dog. And the game makes you do it. Every. Shovelful. Of. Dirt.
    • In Episode 4 Clementine getting kidnapped. You will hate yourself because you couldn't keep her safe.
    • The ending of Episode 5. No matter what choices you make, and no matter what you end up doing... There's just no time left.
    • When you're talking to the Stranger in Episode 5. He'll make you feel horrible no matter what your decisions throughout the game were. He'll even ask you how old Clementine is.
      Lee: She's eight.
      The Stranger: Wrong. She's nine. Her birthday was six days ago.
    • If you liked Carley or Doug, you will not like the start of Russell's story in 400 Days. Enjoy seeing their rotting corpses.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Duck, in Episode 3, after his amusing and surprisingly useful participation in the investigation of the missing supplies.
    • A lot of people hated Ben for being The Load, but quite a few fans came around after his possible sacrifice in Episode 4. It helps that he actually becomes useful if he makes it to Episode 5.
    • Christa was initially disliked for coming off as a stand-in for Lilly, an already rather disliked character. Episodes 4 and 5 helped to make her more sympathetic, showing off a surprising amount of loyalty along with being less abrasive toward everyone else.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Some Disney fans might recognize Katjaa as the future voice of Lilith.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Not a lot of players were fond of Katjaa's 10-year-old son Duck from Episodes 1 and 2. Not too surprising, considering he's The Load, the Keet, the Idiot Hero and the Tag Along Kid all rolled into one. However, some would say he got better in Episode 3 (see Rescued from the Scrappy Heap above).
    • Lilly doesn't get that much love either. At first, her Jerkass qualities are somewhat forgivable in the beginning, but when she kills Carley/Doug she's well worn out any player goodwill. Furthermore, should the player give her a second chance, she'll repay Lee by stealing the RV and abandoning the group, even after offering Lee and Clementine a chance to join her.
    • Ben can also count considering he's more worse than Duck when his The Load trait not only got the poor boy killed but he causes so much unnecessary casualties that many fans strongly hates him for it.
    • Among the new survivors in Episode 3, not many are fond of Christa due to having a similar personality as Lilly, and for questioning Lee's parental and survival skills. Some do think she got better in Episode 4, though.
  • Signature Scene: Just about everyone knows that Lee dies at the end of Episode 5 due to his death scene being near-universally held as one of the most heart-wrenching moments in gaming history. It guarantees a spot in any "Saddest Scenes in Video Games" list, and about 90% of Let's Players broke down into tears upon getting to it.
  • Squick:
    • Larry's head getting smashed is just horrible, because a bit of his jaw is actually left, and it twitches.
    • Cutting Lee's arm off at the morgue is gruesome enough if a companion you've brought along is doing the task, but it's much worse if Lee is alone, since the game forces you to make every cut yourself, with Lee screaming in agony the whole time. The entire process also takes a lot longer, since unlike the other scenarios Lee doesn't pass out until after he's cut off his arm and bandaged up the wound.
    • Having to rub zombie guts on Clementine.
  • Take That, Scrappy!
    • Larry was intentionally designed to be a complete asshole; the player has the opportunity to physically restrain Lilly so Kenny can kill him without incident.
    • There's a part in Episode 3 where Duck will offer up a high-five. You can choose to completely ignore him. You can leave Duck hanging.
    • Leaving Lilly on the side of the road after she kills a group member out of paranoia could also count as this.
    • Since Ben was intentionally designed to be a Scrappy (albeit a well-intentioned one), the player of course has a chance to get Ben killed in Episode 4; when a Walker almost drags Ben off the tower and Lee grabs Ben's hand, the player has the option of letting go so Ben will fall to his death, and Ben actually agrees with this course of action.
    • If players find themselves yet again hearing Kenny complaining about Lee's "selfish" attitude after Clementine is kidnapped in Episode 4, and Lee is bitten, Lee can finally tell him off and call him out on his hypocrisy. This may enable him to temporarily stay behind and not search for Clementine in Episode 5.
  • That One Level: In Long Road Ahead, the bandit shootout suffers from throwing a slightly new control scheme at you (having to fire a sniper rifle at bandits), and the way you target means you'll probably miss a bandit and get killed.
  • Uncanny Valley: Brie is designed to look like a real-life person who won a contest to appear in the game, and looks different enough from the stylized look of the rest of the cast for it to be distracting.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic
    • Kenny losing his wife and son results in him taking a level in Jerkass, involving bullying Ben and dissolving into alcoholism. The game presents his grief as a means of giving him some sort of leeway, but not every fan buys it. Especially not helping is that, if you don't help him kill Larry, your relationship with him is permanently affected, to the point where he considers leaving Lee to die at the start of the next episode. His decision to refuse to help look for Clementine unless you've built a high enough relationship value had lost him some fans, though he does manage to redeem himself in the finale when he (seemingly) sacrifices himself for either Ben or Christa and urges a bitten Lee to rescue Clementine.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Carley not noticing a radio doesn't have batteries, then putting them in the wrong way around. It even becomes a case of Once Done, Never Forgotten.
    • Kenny has his own idiot moment in Episode 3 if the player chooses to take Lilly with them after she kills Carley/Doug. Once they stop to check the train, Kenny insists that everybody get out of the RV and leave Lilly alone inside, with only her hands tied behind her back, and he up and leaves the keys in the ignition.
    • When stuck with a truck hanging precariously over the side of a freeway onto the train tracks, Chuck suggests that they just shunt it out of the way with the train. Kenny has to remind him that it's a fuel truck.
    • Gee, Ben, maybe that hatchet prying the bloodstained door closed with zombies outside was important for some reason.
    • Lee, depending on your version of Episode 5. Christa rashly dived into a roof hole to retrieve the walkie-talkie that was accidentally dropped by Kenny and Lee. However, Christa cannot get back outside due to the height of the ceiling. Lee, who was obviously fatigued from his walker bite infection, decided he should be the one to pull Christa out of the building with the pipe. Unsurprisingly, he dropped her, and lost the pipe into the building by physical weakness. This mistake could have been avoided if he passed the pipe to Kenny.
    • The Stranger. Maybe leaving all your supplies unguarded, and in the middle of the woods during a zombie apocalypse wasn't such a good idea.
  • The Woobie: Lots.
    • Depending on your actions during a particular Sadistic Choice in Episode 1, Carley or Doug becomes this.
    • Lilly after Larry is killed. Especially if you choose to help Larry. However, he dies right in front of Lilly and she gets coated in her father's blood and brains, and Lee loots his body. Granted, it's for a Chekhov's Gun that's necessary for the group to escape a dangerous predicament, but still, ouch.
    • Duck. The whole game so far has been one long Break the Cutie, with Duck as the Cutie. Finally turns into Kill the Cutie in Episode 3.
    • Kenny takes the helm as of Episode 3. His wife and son are both dead, and to top it all off, a part of him thinks he deserves it. His actions at the Greene farm and in the meat locker have made him feel enormously guilty.
    • Though not everyone may agree, Ben may count. He means well, but as far as everyone's concerned he's a walking disaster who gets people killed, and he resents himself. It does not help his self-esteem to see everyone turn against him except for Clementine. He's also completely lost contact with his family and fears that he'll never see them again, which to him is much worse than knowing whether they're dead. What makes him a bit more sympathetic is that (almost) everyone gives him crap no matter what he does— if he tries to help, he screws up; if he tries to stay out of the way, he's yelled at for being cowardly or useless.
    • Clementine. You can have Lee do everything in his power to take as good care of her as possible, and you're still likely to feel really bad for her. By the time Episode 5 is finished, she may qualify as an Iron Woobie.
    • Lee himself. Through the whole drugstore scenes in Episode 1. Between having to deliver a Mercy Kill to his zombified brother, to discovering that his parents are already dead, and having to take it all while acting like nothing's wrong, lest the group figure out who he really is. As of Episode 4, unless a miracle happens, he's a dead man walking... and in the end, the world is out of miracles. He at least finds and helps Clementine out before he goes.


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