BildungZroman: The Walking Dead Season Two Finale

Telltale’s Walking Dead has always been Clementine’s story. From the moment she appears in the first episode of the first season, the player may be controlling Lee but Clem is the character that they’re guiding and constructing. I’ve mostly enjoyed the second season, even when the pacing has been a little too Romero-zombie, and I’m looking forward to the joyous showtune that will mark the final episode. Except…the trailer below, which recaps season one and two with spoilers aplenty, suggests things might not turn out particularly well for Clem and the gang no matter what her choices have been. Gulp.

The ending is the beginning and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t well up a little there. Every moment of hope shatters like a zombie’s brain-box. I like to think my Clem is brave and selfless, but that’s not true. Brave she may be but she’s a tough little survivalist as well.

Final episode is out on the 26th, four days from now. I am bracing myself in anticipation.

20 Comments

  1. Distec says:

    Has there been a WIT on the last episode, Amid The Ruins? I’ve generally agreed with their views on Season 2 so far, and I’m curious if they thought Ep4 was the disappointment I found it to be.

    Can’t view the trailer from work, but from the comments… Really hope it’s not going to be more pointless death and contrived validation for Jane’s “go it alone” philosophy.

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      There hasn’t – I’ll most likely do a final thoughts WIT after this last episode. I only just found time for Amid the Ruins and found it slightly disappointing as well. Will percolate criticisms and put them all together!

  2. RedViv says:

    I do hope that they will decide on a story before writing the next season, instead of coming up with stuff as they go like during this one. It shows.

    • WiggumEsquilax says:

      SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS (Minor) SPOILERS

      Who will you become? Really?
      After episode 4, will they be giving us back some soft of input in how stories play out?

      • Blinky343 says:

        Ahaha of course they won’t. I like the TWD games but I’m getting pretty sick of the formula

  3. bleeters says:

    spoiler warning for the previous episode

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    dots.

    “Who will you become?”

    Hopefully not someone who gets excited about the brutal death of a child, unlike a frankly unsettling amount of people last episode.

    • Scelous says:

      Wait, what? What did I miss? Where were people getting excited about that?

      • InfamousPotato says:

        SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

        That particular scene freaked me out in a way that I’m not used to. Initially, I made the choice not to send anyone down to save her (this was the collapsing balcony). When I saw the zombies coming toward her, it freaked me out enough that I closed the game, left my computer, and then went to wait for awhile to calm down before returning (at which point I made a different decision that had the same result, but didn’t feel quite so horrible). I didn’t know games could still bother me like that.

      • bleeters says:

        SPOILERS YO.

        Their forums, the usual internet places, that sort of thing. People hated Sarah.

        The IGN interview where Greg Miller spent the first five minutes or so going on about how happy he was to finally be able to kill her off because she ‘wasn’t normal’ was a little more difficult to stomach, mind.

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          IGN hires occasional jerks. Who knew?

        • Distec says:

          That interview really ground my beans. Greg sort-of walked back his commentary later, but I don’t think he really understood what irked some people.

          IGN is unbearable; what else is new. What’s a little more disappointing is how the Telltale guys just kind of went with it as well.

        • Chiron says:

          THAR BE SPOILERS – DONT READ ME

          Gone if you’ve not played? Why are you here if you’ve not?

          Ok.

          Wow… as annoying as Sarah was I was somewhat attached to her even by the end, and I say this as someone who prides himself as thinking as practically as possible and who knew she was a dead weight. I even saved Doug in the 1st season (practical seeming nerd over lady who can’t change batteries, yes please)

          Mind you when Sarah did go it was a case of, “I know how this works its gonna be her or the practical girl and I have given Sarah enough raw material and help to survive so far and she has shown no growth and is still sadly helpless, scarily so”.

          • Grygus says:

            I kind of liked Sarah, too; I mean, she was annoying as hell, but she represented a measure of control over the environment – as long as I could keep Sarah alive, she was a huge middle finger to the whole zombie threat. I tried to save her but don’t believe it is possible. We were a stronger group for it for about six seconds and then she is ably replaced by a newborn baby. I don’t think I’ll try as hard for the newborn because I’m a jerk and also that’s a really long-term commitment; Sarah might have possibly snapped out of it but this kid’s going to be a burden for years.

        • RayEllis says:

          IGN. Jeez. Is that any surprise?

          I admit, I was disappointed in the way Sarah’s story ended. I had kind of hoped there was a way to connect Kenny and her together so that she became a kind of replacement for Duck. Would have given him something to live for, and her someone who understand a child with special needs. I guess it was too obvious of a story-line for them to develop, however.

          The one thing season 2 has taught me (and therefore Clementine) is that getting attached to characters is a recipe for disaster.

  4. InfamousPotato says:

    Holy carp.. there was a lot of emotion packed into that trailer….

  5. Premium User Badge

    keithzg says:

    I’ve entirely given up on the game. Partway through Season 1 it ate my savegames, so I played through again. It then ate my savegames again at a slightly later part, but I had made the savegame folder into a git repo so I just rolled back to the previous commit. Then I hit the final episode of Season 1 and it clearly ignored some of my previous choices anyways! So even doing all that extra work using a version control system to keep my savegames intact, it still managed to lose my previous choices. As it’s a game that tries to get you to care about your decisions, that kindof crippled the game for me. Haven’t gone back since.

  6. Coming Second says:

    Episode 4 was a definite low point in the series as a whole and for the first time made me feel angry about the railroading inherent to the series. This was for the most part skillfully disguised in Season 1, which kept you on the edge of your seat because it made you feel engaged and invested in the characters and what was happening to them. Remember at the end of Episode 4 of Season 1, it showed you a graphic of how many people went with Lee, and how that compared with everyone else’s save? Couldn’t be done in S2 because you have virtually zero agency over anyone, and subsequently feel little connection with them. The whole “Bloke McBlokington will remember that” thing has become laughable. Whatever you did with Sarah? Whether you agreed to be her friend, whether or not you taught her how to fire a gun, if you told her to suck it up or helped her harvest? It has the capacity to change a single line of dialogue from her. A single line of dialogue.

    Been over this before but it feels very much like they simply threw as many characters at the wall as they could, then tried to work out what to do with them later. It also feels, much more so than Season 1, that whoever is in charge isn’t interested in making a video game at all, and is finding the whole concept of choices and player agency a hastle that keeps getting in the way of making a zombie movie. Remember hub areas and small puzzles? Yeah, me neither. If Steve Buscemi sits Clem down in this one and castigates her for the choices she’s made, I sure as hell hope there’s a “buddy, WHAT choices?” option.

    I am of course hoping they pull it all around in the finale, present us with something meaningful, make full use of the elbow room the linearility this Season has had so far to do something that makes sense of it all. Just, y’know, not holding my breath.

    • Booker says:

      ” The whole “Bloke McBlokington will remember that” thing has become laughable. ”

      I know, right?!? It’s the biggest joke ever. Completely ridiculous. This sometimes is displayed for a character a scene before this character dies!

  7. statistx says:

    I understand why People are annoyed with the lack of real choice. I always disliked that in …well every game that says it has choices. Some hide the lack better, others make it up with branching questlines and switched out NPCs and endings (roleplaying games mostly), but not one of them gives you real freedom.

    BUT i can’t blame Telltale. To achieve that, especially over 5 parts of a game, would be a monumental thing and since we can’t have AI writing the story for us and building assets as it goes, I can accept at least the Illusion of choice. (Though “accept” might be a little too generous…it’s rather a kind of numb tolerance, since the gaming industry went down the “Better graphics and effects” paths than fleshing out Story and flexibility, long ago)
    The worst thing about that is, that it kills the replayability, cause at first you think “Wow, next I’m going to play like a total asshole and do this and that” only to find out the outcome bends in every direction to lead you back to the same one as before.

    • GreatHackster says:

      I rather can blame Telltale, for promising one thing and delivering another. A problem that seems to me the likely culprit is their episodic game structure. It’s clear that the turnaround time they committed to in the beginning is just too much of a burden as waits between episodes got longer and longer for less actual gameplay. It seems like they need to either scrap the episodic structure or simply give themselves more production time in between, because the choicespace is has already dwindled to virtually nothing. Considering this was one of the few major, universal complaints about the first season, you’d think they’d be committed to fixing it for a sequel, especially when they had a fairly dedicated audience which would likely cut them some slack in development time due to its previous success. We can only hope that if there’s a season 3 they’ll either be more realistic about what they can and can’t do, or they’ll go whole hog into trying something new.