For those of you that don’t know, the powers that be have made a Walking Dead video game. Interestingly enough, this game doesn’t focus on killing hordes of zombies, instead the focus is on difficult decision making. The game is spread out over five episodes and your character, Lee, has to call some tough shots that will affect various aspects of the game and the other characters therein.
Interactive storytelling is a great area for games like this, but it does have a way of pointing out how awful of a person I am.
Here’s what happened last night while playing Walking Dead Episode II: Starved for Help.
*Minor spoilers ahead.
After a brief scuffle with some non-undead enemies, our five-person group finds itself locked in a cold storage unit.
Kenny, the casually racist commercial fisherman from Florida, and I are talking about how to get out. Lilly, the ex-Air Force de-facto leader of the group, is trying to calm down her dad, Larry, who is banging on the door and screaming obscenities at our captors. Clementine, the seven year old girl that I saved in episode one, is covering her ears trying to block out all the grown up words spewing out of Larry’s mouth.
As I wander around trying to find a way out of this refrigerated steel box, Larry, unsurprisingly, gives himself a heart attack.
Serves the fat prick right. That hatchet-faced douche tried to kill me in the last episode and now it’s coming full circle.
I grin and cross my arms as Lilly rushes to help her dad.
Lilly starts with CPR and I go to help. I’m glad Larry’s dying, but I can at least try to salvage the relationship with Lilly, right?
Kenny, with an uncharacteristic flicker of situational awareness, says this:
Now helping Lilly would’ve been a no-brainer, but earlier in the episode we discovered that the recently dead (regardless if they’re bitten or not) will always reanimate as walkers. This is bad; my grin fades as I realize that Larry is a 6’4” 300lb ticking time bomb.
Kenny uncovers the same line of thinking as me and continues with this:
I was presented with a choice; help Lilly save Larry or help Kenny smash Larry’s head in.
Larry was a danger to me about 75% of the time while he was alive. Now, he was about to become a 100% undead danger. We had no weapons other than a few 40lb blocks of salt lick.
I made the decision to help mutilate Larry’s still warm corpse in about .02 seconds.
I pull Lilly, kicking and screaming, off of her dad and Kenny finishes the deed by smashing in Larry’s skull with a salt lick block.
Lilly rushes back to her mostly headless dad and begins sobbing uncontrollably.
I think Clementine is sobbing in the corner too, but I’m not really sure though; I tend to lose track of her a lot.
I really wanted to feel sorry for Lilly, but it was at this point that I remembered that Lilly had been a colossal bitch to me the entire game; shouting, pointing guns at me, etc.
No more pretending to tolerate this person.
It was time to pour salt (get it? IT’S A PUN!) in the wound.
Instead of continuing to try to find a way out, I click on Lilly and initiate conversation.
There were four dialogue options to respond to this.
- I’m so sorry, we had no choice.
- Remain silent.
- He was a good man.
- Larry would have wanted it this way.
Without hesitation, I chose option four. It seemed to be the most psychologically devastating option as it implied that Larry would have wanted his skull obliterated by an 18 kilo block of sodium chloride. It was the perfect thing to say to Lilly mere seconds after what we just did.
It had the intended effect that I was looking for:
Kenny had to restrain her and I’m glad that the game didn’t require that I go through a button pressing sequence to help restrain Lilly because I had dropped the controller due to my fits of laughter.
I then saved the game and quit for the evening; mission accomplished.
P.S. I played a little bit more this morning. I found that, in order to escape, I had to use a coin to unscrew the AC unit in the cold storage room.
P.P.S. I think I remember Larry saying that he kept some change in his pocket. Maybe I should ask Lilly if it’s in bad taste if I loot her dad’s corpse before it cools off?