This article is part of a series. Starting from here may spoil the overall experience, so it is advised to start from the beginning, which can be accessed HERE!
We are glad to see you all returning for another gathering of The UC Gaming Club. This session shall be discussing Episode 04 of Telltale’s The Walking Dead : “Around Every Corner.”
Unlike the previous episodes, this one starts almost immediately where “Long Road Ahead” left off. The party are walking through the streets of Savannah, heading towards the river as part of Kenny’s boat plan.
Ellen : It was a little disappointing to see that no matter what plan you choose, you still travel together. I know that Kenny said “Looks like you may need a new plan” when the radio blared at the end of Episode Three, but I didn’t actually think it would be disregarded then. Regardless, I had to admire the architecture in Savannah. It looks like a REALLY nice place to live with all it’s walled gardens around big family houses. I approve.
A nearby church bell starts ringing and startles the group. As everyone looks about, you notice someone run across the roof of the church and disappear. You alert the group to your sighting and they treat you as if you are a simpleton. Clementine’s radio crackles and a voice tells you to move out of the road, for your own safety. Before you know it, zombies are swarming from all around. A series of Quick Time Events ensue as the party struggle to safety.
Ellen : The most notable moment in this QTE was where Ben and Clementine are surrounded and Ben runs off, to leave Clementine behind. I was pretty appalled, to be honest, especially since I have already given him the benefit of the doubt, many times before.
The other thing that puzzled me was that Telltale decided to use ANOTHER variation on shooting zombies. Previously, it has been simply click on the zombies to shoot. Then, you had a snipe scope for the bandit attack. Now, you get iron-sight aiming, which I found very fluffy. I know the game isn’t a shooter, but it’d be better to stick to one style of gunplay and have the player get used to it, rather than switching at every opportunity and leaving the player disorientated…
Khin : A lack of access to the controller meant I started this episode with keyboard and mouse controls. It made for some jerky gameplay and I failed badly at shooting the zombies that are headed for Clem and Ben. Ben ran away and abandoned Clem, and I stopped wanting to care about Ben. He needs to start pulling his weight in the group.
You flee into a walled garden of a big, victorian-looking house. After sealing yourselves in, you find that the windows are heavily boarded and the backdoor is locked up, tight; even the dog flap is locked. Omid offers some insight regarding the dog flap and says that some people give their pets electronic collars which activate near the flap to unlock it. With this knowledge, you are tasked with finding the pet.
Ellen : This was kind of uncomfortable. Before finding the pet, I spoke with Ben and Clementine. I confronted Ben about abandoning Clem and he was fairly sheepish, as usual. I didn’t anticipate Lee threatening Ben so aggressively, but I can appreciate why he did. Clementine was just worried that the zombies would follow us into the garden. I told her we would be safe; but Lee didn’t look like he believed his own words.
Khin : I didn’t speak to anyone but Clem. Although I knew we were safe (as the player), Lee was unsure and I felt that getting in the house was the most important thing. I didn’t even acknowledge Ben at this point.
Ellen : Regarding the “puzzle,” I found a spade [Not a shovel, Telltale!] and a small grave next to the dog house… It didn’t take a genius to see where this was going. For some reason, everyone decided to gather around and see the “surprise” in store. Lo and behold, it was a dead dog, half rotten, with it’s collar still in tact. Lee tried to remove it and the body naturally snapped, leaving Christa to vomit in the corner. In her defence, it was pretty gross visuals and sound design.
Khin : The visuals were the worst here I think.
You unlock the dog flap and while the adults consider how to open the door, Clementine scampers through and unlocks it herself. The party move into the house after Kenny declares it safe; he steps through the door and says “It looks safe.” While Christa tends to Omid, Kenny splits the party into groups to search the house and make sure it is actually safe. You are give downstairs, while Ben and Kenny search upstairs.
Ellen : This seemed fairly futile, but I understand it was pacing the game and allowing for future events to seem logical. That being said, I didn’t actually check any rooms. It seems that downstairs was all open-planned and I search a couple of cupboards with ornate doors. The door with the mop behind it, which scares Lee WAY too much, looks like a double doorway into a drawing room.
Khin : This segment isn’t so much “clear the house” as “look through all the cupboards”, and “watch Lee get unnecessarily startled by a broom”. The bottom floor has a rather strange layout, with the living room seemingly having a toilet and a wardrobe off of it.
You clear downstairs and Ben comes shouting for you to help. It would seem that Kenny searched in the attic and hasn’t responded to Ben since he ascended the ladder. You need to investigate.
You head up the ladder and find Kenny solemnly staring at the end of the attic. As you approach him, you see what he is looking at. Ahead of him, below the window lies a withered zombie child. It stands up and falls back to the ground, unable to carry it’s own weight. Kenny mentions how it looks like Duck and that it needs to be put down, but he can’t do it. Here you decide if Lee or Kenny puts the thing out of it’s misery. Either way the deed is done and Kenny requests the child be buried. You carry it down to the grave outside and bury the child with the dog.
Ellen : There were several ways you could kill the zombie, but I chose to stamp on it’s head. I didn’t want to worry everyone else in the house by making lots of noise and I felt using the Pin Gripper tool, from the last episode, was unnecessarily messy. The stomp was kind of brutal, regardless, but was quite and relatively clean. I would have included an image of the execution, but, upon reflection, I though it might have been deemed a little tasteless.
Khin : I asked Kenny to put the walker down. Since I killed Duck on his behalf, as I didn’t think he was in the right place mentally for that, I offered him the chance here for the closure he clearly needed. He was in a much better place to process the death of his son, and this child was chance Kenny needed to do the right thing. I think Kenny had come to realise the mistakes he made being so single-minded about Duck and he was willing to kill the child here. In this case, I offered [ not that the game offered a choice ] Kenny the gun.
Ellen : The burial felt unnecessary, to me. You had to walk Lee over to the grave and then click the dirt pile, several times, to move the dirt into the grave. It my have been move effective if we had ANY relation to this child, but I don’t think burying a child is particularly emotional, by itself. I imagine others would argue this point.
Khin : The burial itself made sense – not once through their journey have the gang had chance to bury their dead or mourn properly. In a funny way, this child seems to offer the opportunity for people to grieve and process what has happened. What didn’t work so well was the mechanics of the burial. Why did I have to click the grave etc multiple times? I assume it was to make the stranger’s appearance more of a shock but it didn’t add anything to the experience.
As you finish up the grave, you look up and see a figure standing on the other side of the barred wall. The figure realises they have been seen and runs away, mysteriously. The party empty out of the house to see why you are shouting and you explain.
Ellen : This actually made me jump. I hate the idea of people silently watching another person and the fact they disappeared so quickly, put me on edge. The figure looked to be a male in a suit, but Lee didn’t seem so sure. Christa actually made a valid point in asking about their gender to establish if it was likely to be the person on the radio, or someone else, but Kenny shouted her down.
I agreed with Kenny that we should leave immediately, as I felt our location may be compromised, which meant we went down to the docks to find his boat. Ben was assigned to protect the house with everyone else, which he took great offence to. I would have been happier to have him with us, but I didn’t want to leave Clementine with Christa and Omid. He seemed to understand, though I got a sense of discontent.
Khin : Since my Lee decided that shouting wasn’t the best of ideas (noise attracts the walkers after all, and we’ve not been hidden in the house that long), having the gang come out asking what the problem was didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I agree that Christa made a valid point about whether it could be the person on the radio, and I’m pretty sure it was a male.
Kenny went back to his yelling self; complaining about boats – we get it, you’re bored! Sod off to the docks by yourself then. Go on, get yourself killed.
I argued that Ben should have a look around the house for supplies while Lee and Kenny would go in search of a boat. I asked Ben to look after Omid, since his abandonment of Clem when we arrived in Savannah didn’t encourage me to leave him with her again.
You and Kenny are walking down a street in Savannah when you hear another bell ringing. Kenny assumes it is another trap, but you point out it is coming from the wrong direction. It appears that someone is moving the dead around the town via bells and alarms, which is confirmed as a large horde shamble by the end of the road. After they have passed, you reach the docks and Kenny’s jaw drops.
All of the boats have gone, except one; just as Lily had said they would. Kenny decides he wants to salvage the upended, slightly shipwrecked boat while you scout the area for any others, using a telescope. You walk along the boardwalk and find the telescope in question. Obviously, nothing is for free, and you need to find some money to get the telescope to function. As you explore the area, you encounter a wall of corpses, with zombies skewered on spikes.
Ellen : This was the first point I really questioned Kenny’s motives and gumption. All the time, I was of the impression he had a private boat, moored up somewhere. I didn’t really think anyone could be so stupid as to think they could travel all this way and there would be a spare boat, floating there for him. What an idiot! The fact he wants to try and salvage this damaged heap of metal is beyond me but he is desperate and alone, so he isn’t thinking straight, I guess?
As for the wall of zombies, they made me jump. When I found the telescope, I could see the zombies in the background and freaked out as I got stuck in the telescope animations. I felt a little silly when I realised they could’t get me, but the whole scene made me feel uneasy when I realised the entire wall was made of corpses…
Khin : Kenny continues with his illusion that a boat is the answer to his prayers. Even when it’s super cleat that there’s no useable, or even salvageable, boat around he still tries to make his plan work and refuses to find a plan B. I explored the area before using the telescope and found zombies who just weren’t even trying. I also found the markings on the doors of the buildings interesting enough to find out what they meant before the game told me later on (they resemble military markings regarding the number of surviving/dead/hazards).
Ellen : That is quite interesting about the markings. I assumed they were gang signs or such and just put them down to survivors marking their territory.
You search the area and find a tourism stand with an empty cash register and a newspaper machine, After bashing the newspaper stand about, some coins fall out, which you can use on the telescope. Kenny reports back on the quality of the shipwreck he wanted to salvage and follows you over to the telescope. You scan the river and spot some abandoned buildings and another shipwreck. After scoping the scenery, you notice a figure climbing down the side of a building, just up from your location.
You alert Kenny to the figure and hide behind a bench to see where they go. They enter the tourism stand and you decide to ambush them and find out who they are.
Ellen : I advised Kenny to be cool, but he ran off with his pistol to hide, ready for an ambush. Lee approached the stand and the figure ducked down as he got close. He peaked over the counter and suddenly the figure appeared behind him and attacked. They disarmed Lee and hit him with his own Pin Gripper thing. The assailant was about to slam the tool into Lee’s face when Clementine emerged around a corner and screamed,
The thing that got me here was how the assailant managed to move from behind the stand [ a dead end ] and appeared be hid you without Kenny or yourself seeing them reposition. It took me out of the moment, but this is only because everything up to this point has been fairly logical and believable.
Khin : This is obviously the same logic that allowed Kenny to walk down the alley to the side of where the stranger is without being seen either.
Lee shouted back and the attacker seemed confused, so they stopped. Lee stood and went to Clementine and the attacker reveals their identity. They are a young girl, armed with an ice-pick and parkour. She drops some mysterious information in the form of “You aren’t from Crawford, are you…”
Kenny moves in to attack and the girl disarms him too, letting off a single gunshot. With everyone relatively calm, the girl introduces herself as Molly. She explains that Crawford are a group of survivors who have removed all people they deem “a burden” and have walled themselves into a district with walls of corpses. Burdens take the form of people who are ill, injured, old or children. It paints a dark picture for the future. You discover she is the person who has been ringing bells to clear out areas she wants to scavenge and that she has no association to the person on the radio, or the person watching you at the garden.
As everyone gets some perspective on the situation, zombies start to approach. It would appear that the gunshot alerted them, so you begin to flee towards the nearest alley. Molly leaps up onto a fire escape and is about to leave you all behind, but Clementine sways her. Everyone gets onto the fire escape except for you, so you have to find an alternative route. After several attempts, Molly throw her ice-pick to you and you are able to move a manhole cover and escape into the sewers.
Ellen : This scene bugged me. There is clearly a dumpster at the end of the alley, which Lee could easily climb on and vault onto a fire-escape. Instead, he pushed it, opening a path for more zombies to surround him. Dropping into the sewers is good, but it seemed a little risky to not try and cover some of the hole over, even if it just blocked the hole a little. This is validated as soon as zombie falls through the hole and smushed itself into the ground, next to Lee.
Khin : At the very least, Lee could have jumped on the dumpster and gained some height. Kennys attempts to help were pathetic – he clearly wasn’t overly bothered and after dropping you, contributed nothing but “get out of there Lee”.
You venture through the sewers and find a horde of zombies, blocking your path. They seem to be feasting on something, but you know any amount of sound with distract them in no time. This provides a simple but lengthy puzzle section to find a new route through the sewers. After clearing the zombies away, except one, you find that they were devouring the body of Chuck. As you move towards the end of the sewer, a zombie grabs your leg through a grate. Your cry of surprise attracts the one remaining zombie towards you.
Ellen : Firstly, I totally missed this was Chuck in my first play through of this game. I was of the impression he just disappeared and might have turned up in Season 02. Kind of a shame that he died. It would have been cool to run into him again, as he seemed such a nice character, if not a little alcoholic.
This was an interesting section for me, as I failed the first time and was able to try again with a different approach. In short, you have limited time to kill the two zombies and escape. You have two weapons available: Chuck’s pistol and Molly’s ice-pick.
Ellen : In my first attempt, I foolishly shot at the zombie grabbing me from below. This proved unsuccessful and attracted all the zombies I had previously distracted. I sliced the arm off with the ice-pick and then shot the second zombie, since I had already drawn the zombies attention. I got to the end of the sewer and my mouse disconnected… I eventually got it to work and tried jumping for the ladder above. I stumbled as the sign broke beneath me and fell, only to be munched by zombies…
On my second attempt, I decided to avoid the gun entirely. I sliced both zombies with the ice-pick, which left all the distracted zombies at the opposite end of the sewers. This removed all timed elements and allowed me to properly examine the area, without my mouse disconnecting; much better for everyone, especially Lee. The sign broke, as before, but I now had enough time to remove it and find a tunnel behind it. I entered the tunnel.
Khin : I went straight for the ice pick both times in this sequence. Gunshots in a sewer would only attract trouble and it wasn’t like the pick was out of reach. Why Lee couldn’t find the loose sign without jumping and falling on his ass though, I will never understand.
The tunnels take you to the storeroom of a fallout shelter; not this one….
You push open the door and discover a small group of survivor who all seem pretty surprised by your presence. An older man pulls a gun on your and starts interrogating you. Through chatter between the members of the group, you discover his name is Vernon and he doesn’t look too confident in shooting you, despite his words. He is being egged on by a larger lady named Brie, who seems pretty hardened after her time in the apocalypse.
You are able to take Vernon’s gun away from him and talk in a civilised manner. He is a doctor and the group are all cancer patients in remission. They were members of Crawford, but were exiled after having their medical history revealed. They holed themselves up in this nuclear bunker, which seems to be attached to a morgue and located beneath Crawford. You explain that you don’t want any trouble and that you want to get back to your group. Vernon says he has a vast knowledge of the sewers and he can show you a safe route home, out of the kindness of his heart.
Ellen : The only thing that really bothered me about this scene, other than Brie’s constant hostility, was how little we learn about anyone except Vernon and Brie. There appear to be some nice characters who just exchange glances and talk through body language. But before you get to learn anything, you leave with Vernon.
Khin: I already dislike Brie.
The next scene starts with you and Vernon entering the house you secured earlier. Christa rushes over to inform you that Omid has taken a turn for the worst and he needs help. You introduce Vernon and he takes it upon himself to help, even though he should be going back to his group. You ask about Clementine, and Christa tells you she was left with Kenny and Ben. You explore the house, looking for Clementine.
Ellen : This sequence seems to be quite free-form. You can look as much or as little as you like. I searched the study and found a picture Clementine had drawn of Lee in the garden, burying the boy and dog… I looked around upstairs and found Molly scavenging one of the spare bedrooms. I would have questioned her more, but I was quite worried about Clem, so I left her too it and went downstairs.
Khin : Lee went from happily exploring one second to exclaiming “I haven’t got time for that” the next. I spoke a little with Molly, and discovered the drawing then headed downstairs as it was clear that Clem wasn’t anywhere upstairs.
Ellen : Downstairs, I found a VERY drunk Kenny. He was very confrontational towards me as he wanted a rematch after the fight on the train. I told him to back off and he tried giving alcohol to Ben. Ben’s eyes lit up, but he looked at me and declined to drink. I asked him about Clementine and he said he left her in the garden, by herself; idiot…
I went to the garden and found the vent for the garage had been broken. Moving to the front of the garage, I opened the door as Clementine fell through the door into me. Turns out, there was a private motorboat in the back garden, this entire time. I met Clementine with open arms; much like the dog flap, she was being helpful in ways the adults wouldn’t even consider.
Khin : Kenny wasn’t overly aggressive to me, but I had a relatively peaceful chat to him on the train. Ben was still an unnecessarily sarcastic asshole, so I left him feeling guilty and dealing with drunk Kenny.
Kenny stumbles outside and sees the boat; again, his jaw drops, along with his bottle of booze. That evening, the party start to plan their course of action. Omid is still incapacitated, despite Vernon’s help; he can only do so much. Kenny enters with Ben and delivers his assessment of the boat. It requires fuel and a new battery, but is otherwise fine. The party discuss ideas and it is agreed that infiltrating Crawford will be the best plan. Vernon knows the sewers, Molly knows stealth and Lee is capable. Everyone else wants to come along too and so the plan is formed. As you go towards bed, you meet Clementine on the stairs, eavesdropping. She heard the plan and wants to help out.
Ellen : I spoke with Clem and was open with her. This place is dangerous and I said no-one would die. As if to show her maturity she replied “You can’t promise that… We don’t choose who dies anymore.” and I had to smile at her wisdom. When she asked to join us, I said she could come with us. I was very wary, but we are a team after all.
Khin : I too was open with Clem. When it came to death however, I let her know that I couldn’t promise that everyone would be fine – what we were doing was mighty risky after all. I let her tag along, because she has been nothing but helpful… Unlike some people.
Ellen : Again, I thought you would have kept her out of harm’s way… Shows how well I know you…
Khin : Clem has proven herself time and again to be more than capable. I’m quite happy for people to join in when they can be useful.
Everyone is grouping outside, equipping tools from the garage for the attack. Vernon and Brie turn up and add to the numbers of the group. Everyone “rolls out” and the group begin the assault on Crawford from the sewers. You brief everyone and push your head out of the manhole. As the group take cover, Vernon points out how strange it is; there should be guard patrols and lights. You see a solemn guard and decide to take them down, with Kenny. As you move in for the takedown, the guard turns around and is undead. You slam an axe into their head and realise that Crawford has fallen.
Ellen : As the group were leaving, Vernon protested Clementine’s presence in the group. I told him that she had saved this group more than she ever should have, so there was no way we weren’t bring her along. Vernon looked at the others and their silent agreement confirmed her place in the party.
When the guard turned around, it made me jump but didn’t surprise me. I suspected something was awry when we hadn’t actually seen any members of Crawford patrolling Savannah; should have been a giveaway to everyone else, really…
Khin : When I defended my choices to Vernon, Kenny stood up to him and also sort-of defended my choice. He actually basically said “you’ve been told Vernon, shut up”. For some reason, when it came to the zombie, my Lee only had the gun as an option to defend against the walker.
The group move into the schoolhouse to retrieve the supplies you came for. Moving through the school, you find a classroom which appears to have been used as the base of operations for Crawford, with labelled maps of the school campus as well as an internal armoury. The group decides where the best locations to check are and split to search them. Kenny and Brie go to get fuel, Vernon and Christa search for medication and You and Molly look for the battery.
Ellen : I left Clementine and Ben to crack into the armoury. Clementine was upset about being left with Ben and I explained that he was being left with HER. She gave the cutest smile at this revelation and was much happier with being left in charge.
Khin : I wanted, in a horrible way, to have to outright explain to Clem (within earshot of Ben of course) that I didn’t trust him to do his job properly. Alas, this wasn’t an option and I let Clem know that she was in charge. Whilst I was in the classroom I had a poke about to see if we could learn more of Crawford. They seem to have left a load of paperwork around, and I found this:
Khin : Which handily explained those markings from earlier.
You leave with Molly via a fire exit, to head to the school’s Motor Pool. Molly seems to have vanished when you get out there, but you assume she is parkour-ing somewhere. You find a large fence and use a decrepit shed as a means to climb over, at which point a body is hurled off of the roof, next to you. It is followed by an enraged Molly who lays into it aggressively.
You question her on her motives, but she is fairly distant on the matter. Before you can get any further into discussions, a damaged fence is breached by zombies, who likely heard Molly’s rage, and you need to find an exit. Molly reveals a procured Tire Jack and gives it to you, to open up the roller shutter of the Motor Pool. Upon entering the garage, Molly says she will keep the doorway secure while you search the area for the battery.
Ellen : Molly said the zombie she killed was “nothing. He just attacked me.” but I didn’t buy it at all. I also wondered how she had managed to be jumping around, so athletically, with a tire jack in her backpack, but I guess that does’t matter right now. We have already established Molly has magical powers, so I shouldn’t question it.
The battery puzzle was fairly simple, but I still fell for the decoy in the form of the lorry. Heading over to the hydraulic lift, I suspected Molly’s ice-pick would be required and this is where you discover she has named her weapon…. Hilda….
If I didn’t already like Molly, this would have been the turning point. I cut the pipe, the car fell and the obvious alarm went off, attracting zombies. You have a quick puzzle removing the battery and I missed one of the clips, because Minimal mode makes it hard to tell where the actual reference points are.
I got the battery and then Molly wanted to put it in her subspace backpack. I really struggled with this, but ignored it as zombies poured into the room.
Khin : Molly obviously has a TARDIS for a backpack – how the hell did that tyre jack fit in there? Of course, the car drops down suddenly and leaves you deafened and at risk of death.
You climb onto the lorry and escape through a skylight. Molly defies all logic and parkours onto the school building and convinces you to follow. You leap over the gap and return to the school building. Molly says she has to go somewhere else and runs off with the battery; Kenny will love that.
With no real direction, you head back towards the classroom with Clem and Ben, but meet Kenny, Brie and a horde of zombies at the main entrance. You are thrown into a Quick Time Event [QTE] in which you need to repel the horde and secure the doorway. After blasting some brains and wedging an axe in the door handles, things seem relatively safe. You regroup in the classroom and wait for Vernon and Christa.
At this point, you get an opportunity to chat with Brie and discuss the future with Clementine, while Ben and Kenny continue to break into the Armoury. As you go to leave, Ben takes the opportunity to talk to you about confessing to Kenny. After performing the formalities, or not, you head over to the Nurse’s Station to see where Vernon and Christa have got to. As you approach, you see a handful of zombies have trapped them in the room and you take it upon yourself to remove the undead.
Ellen : I implored Ben to keep quiet. He seemed pretty angry about keeping the truth from Kenny, but this really wasn’t the time for it. When it got to the shooting section, it took the form of another mix of shooting styles. The first zombie you kill, you simple click on, then it jumps over to iron-sights aiming for the rest of them. Smooth, Telltale…
Khin : I tried to get across to Ben that now was not at all the right time to bring this revelation up. Kenny is focused and out of his slump and this is how everyone needs to be at the moment. He didn’t seem wholly convinced but kept quiet. I was getting very fed up with shooting sections at this point – at the very least stick to either point and click or iron sights.
You enter the station and find that all the supplies are locked in a cabinet, for which no-one has the code. You notice a camera set up in such a way that it may have recorded someone putting in the code. You are now presented with finding the tape, which may help.
Browsing the closest object, a file on the desk, you find a tape. Placing it in the camera, you observe footage of a doctor telling a young lady that she has to have an abortion, or be thrown out of Crawford. The doctor is about to put the code into the cabinet, when the young lady runs away crying. You recognise the doctor as the zombie which Molly was mutilating earlier. You decide to go and check it out.
As you return to the corpse in the alley, you go into the shed to climb over the fence but get ambushed by another zombie. A QTE occurs and you relieve it from it’s un-life. Climbing over the fence, you see that Molly didn’t finish the zombie off and it is crawling away towards the breached fence, from earlier. You stomp on it’s head and loot it’s corpse, finding a note and a tape. The note features the name “Logan” and a five-digit code. The camera cuts to the next scene of Lee returning to the school.
Ellen : I appreciate that it wouldn’t be much fun to find a way back into the school, but we did see that Lee was at a dead-end. Again, this only bugs me because everything has been so coherent in previous episodes. For those who were a bit more observant, you may have seen a blood-stained locker in the corridor, owned by “Logan.” If you go to it now, Lee unlocks it and finds a third tape.
Khin : I have to say the sudden zombie in the shed did make me jump. I was annoyed to see that Molly hadn’t hit the doctor zombie in the head at all – it would have saved me a job. I had to go back for the tape in the locker after I’d finished in the nurse’s room because I forgot.
Returning to the Nurses Station, you play the second tape and it reveals the cabinet code, as well as the reason for Crawford becoming infected. It appears the young lady really didn’t want an abortion, so she stabbed the doctor. Vernon and Christa leave with the supplies and return to the classroom.
Ellen : If you found the third tape, you can watch it now and find out some backstory for Molly. Turns out, she was a member of Crawford who had been giving her body to the doctor, in exchange for medical supplies for her sister. He declares that he has to stop as Crawford’s leader is becoming suspicious of the swindling supplies. Molly isn’t very happy about the news.
On your way to the classroom, Molly reappears where she left you and returns the battery to you. You have an opportunity to talk with her, including the ability to confront her about being a member of Crawford, if you watched the tape.
Continuing to the classroom, Ben ambushes you with a familiar axe. He says that Kenny sent him to find something to break the armory lock and found the axe. He then heard you approaching and thought you were a zombie. You ask him about the axe as zombies burst through the main entrance you had sealed earlier. Ben freaks out while Molly slaughters the dead in a very Matrix-esque sequence. She gets grabbed by a zombie and you have a QTE to shoot the zombie.
Ellen : Ben, Ben, Ben…. My goodness, Ben… What else is there to say… He knows he screwed up…. Interestingly, I wasn’t able to shoot the zombie with Molly…. Clementine did it before me and Molly thanked her as we ran off to the classroom.
Khin : Ben, this is why we
can’t have nice things have lost so many people: you are a buffoon. As for saving Molly, I couldn’t make the shot in time and Clem was able to overcome her fears and do the deed. I wonder if Lee/the player is actually able to shoot the zombie if you taught Clem to use a gun, or whether we’re both just terrible?
Ellen : I don’t know. If I recall correctly, you have to make the shot if Clementine isn’t there. But if you didn’t train her well… Hmmm… I didn’t even consider teaching her to miss the targets, on the train…
Khin : Well teaching her to miss would be a pointless exercise – why teach her at all?
Piling into the classroom, Kenny frantically forces the lock on the armory while Ben has a breakdown. Everyone is arguing about the current state of things as Ben starts babbling about how everything that has gone wrong has been his fault. You try and calm him as he shouts for Kenny about being the reason Katjaa and Duck died. Kenny kicks open the door and joins the argument. You hold Kenny back, with Vernon and let him calm before taking a vote on whether Ben is left behind. Christa votes to leave Ben behind and then it passes to you.
Ellen : Before I got to vote, Clementine joined in and said she wanted Ben to stay. She made a little speech and met Christa’s gaze. Christa abstained from the vote. I previously decided I would leave Ben behind, but I couldn’t betray Clementine, so I voted for him to stay with the group.
Khin : Babbling, good choice of word there Ellen. It’s exactly what he does. He clearly realises now that all the times the group has been in real danger, it’s almost always his fault. The motor inn, Carley/Doug’s deaths, Katjaa and Duck ,and now the school. I sided with Kenny in the ensuing argument, but was adamant that we not make any rash decisions until we escaped. Cue pointless vote. I chose to abstain since it was the wrong time and place to be making such an extreme choice.
Brie says “Hey, don’t we get a vo-” and then a zombie smashes through the door and kills her. More pour in behind the first and tear open Brie’s stomach as everyone runs into the “armoury” which turns out to be a bell tower with very little weaponry left. The group run up the stairs while Kenny gives you a shotgun. You enter a QTE in which you are shooting zombies, while moving up the stairs, backwards.
Khin : As soon as those words came out of Brie’s pudding face (she reminds me of the faces in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion), I shouted back at her – by which I mean at my computer – that NO, noone else gets a vote, and technically Christa doesn’t get a vote either. Not counting Ben, only three other people have been with Ben since the beginning. Christa, Molly, Vernon and Brie didn’t fight to survive the motor inn, or watch as Lily shot someone with no evidence, or mourn at the destruction of a family. They get no valid say in what happens.
Luckily Brie gets eaten.
Ellen : Again, the shooting system changes. Just point and click on the zombies to kill them while moving to back away. Lee gets his foot stuck through a floorboard and you have to fight off zombies while removing your leg from it’s trap. I died so many times here… First, I didn’t notice the prompt to look up and shoot zombies… Then, I thought you had to alternate between the two, but the pacing of zombies is in little clumps. I ended up aiming as far to the left as possible and shooting zombies as soon as the entered the screen, then I just kept pulling the leg until I was free.
Khin : I died very quickly the first time as I couldn’t get my mouse looking at the zombie in time. I would alternate between the two, shooting a few zombies then pulling my leg free. I have to ask, why was it so difficult to get my leg out?
As you move to catch up with the group, you see zombies have burst in a door, higher up the tower and are now between you and the group. You change to the axe Ben retrieved and hack your way through the zombies to catch up. Reaching the top of the tower, you see the only route is a ladder onto the roof. Vernon makes a remark about which route you entered Savannah by, but dismisses it. Everyone starts piling out but a zombie hanging from the bell swings into Ben and pulls him off the landing. You jump to save him and have him hanging above a mass of zombies, reaching up for him.
Ellen : Moving up the stairs seemed completely pointless. It was a sequence of clicking on zombies and, while it was cool to watch, it felt it was completely devoid of human interaction. It could have easily just been a cutscene.
When it came to saving Ben, I told myself to let him fall, but I couldn’t do it. He was completely ready to die and it tore through me. When he said “Come on Lee, just let me go. It’ll be better for everyone…” I couldn’t. I could not bring myself to let someone reach that state of self-worth and be part of their departure. I went into the scene planning to let him die and after hearing those words, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t press a simple button to let a mass of pixels die… Hmmm….
Khin : Vernon’s comment seems out of place- it’s obvious that the hoard has caught up, but what use is bringing that up at the moment? Yet again, Ben is being useless and putting the group at risk again. He’s stood there, right near the edge of the stairs and wonders why he gets grabbed. When it came to it, I pulled him back up. Ellen, you thought he was ready to die, I thought otherwise. To me he thinks dying at that point redeems what he has done in the past. However, my Lee sees that as the easy way out – he doesn’t have to face up to his mistakes, but also doesn’t get to learn from them. Besides, I had time enough to pull him up.
You return to the house with the spoils from Crawford. You go to check on Omid.
Ellen : For a moment, everyone worried as Omid lay motionless. Christa ran over to him as Vernon gave the impression he had passed. Then he opened his eyes and spoke calmly, happy to see everyone back safely. Honestly, it felt a little cheap and I would have preferred it if he had died. It may have given Christa a bit more character.
Kenny and Ben go and prepare the boat for the escape, while Vernon takes you to one side. He explains that he thinks it would be best if Clementine stayed with him and his group in the fallout shelter. They would be safe and have plenty of food to survive the storm. After talking with him, you continue along the landing and cross paths with Molly as she declares she is leaving. She feels she would be better on her own, as she has been for the most part. You then go to find Clementine.
Ellen : I told Vernon I would think of his offer. I couldn’t really understand why I couldn’t stay with Clementine too, seeing as I didn’t really care about the plan with the boat. I was sad to see Molly leaving as I felt that we had made some good progress on our friendship. She was easily my favourite additional character, in this season.
I looked around the house for Clementine and found her curled up in the study. She asked if we were going to find her parents and, for some reason, I couldn’t say “Yes” honestly. I didn’t want to get on the boat, so I don’t understand why I had to continue working towards that ending. I said “There may not be time” and she curled up crying…. I sat in the chair across from her and slept.
Khin : I actually didn’t give Vernon a response. None of the options really offered me a chance to say what I wanted to say, so I kept quiet. I firmly believe Vernon had no place making his comments and hadn’t considered Clem’s place in the group. If she went with Vernon, she’s back to hiding in her treehouse. If she comes with Lee, she’s growing up at a controlled pace with the support she will need. I too struggled with Clem. I told her the truth as best I could, but I feel at this point Clem should be wondering why Lee says no a lot. i know it’s to keep the radio-man a plot point but she’s not stupid.
You awake to find Clementine gone. You rush outside and find her cap lying in the garden. You hear a crackle of her radio, outside the garden and hop the fence to find it. It is lying on the ground next to a stack of rubbish. You reach for it and a zombie leaps out from the rubbish and attacks. You cry out as you fight it off and discover the zombie has bitten your arm. You hear the group approach, concerned about your cry.
Ellen : I hid my bite from the group and explained that Clementine had vanished. I said that I thought Vernon had taken her, after I didn’t answer him, so I would go and check their hideout. I didn’t want to jeopardise the group’s safety, so I said I would go by myself and meet them later, even though I didn’t want to go on their stupid boat.
Khin : Interesting that you hid your bite Ellen. I showed my group mine. I had helped build up a strong group that, for the most part, relied on honesty to stay together, and deceiving them now would only cause more trouble down the road. I had Ben for trouble already.
After revealing the bite, Christa (and by association Omid) immediately offered her help and support in finding Clem. I had the option of turning her down, but I admitted to not knowing where to start and took her up on the offer. Turning to Kenny, he tried to weasel his way out by claiming that I hadn’t had his back every single time he wanted it. I told him that Clem is my only family now, and Kenny magically remembered that I was there when his family fell apart and he agreed to tag along.
Finally Lee turns to Ben. Kenny immediately starts to protest about Ben’s presence, claiming that he’ll get everyone killed. Ben seems to just accept this as fact, until I talk to him without interruption and give him a chance to prove himself. Kenny doesn’t seem to react any further and I have the whole group willing to come with me.
You reach the fallout shelter and discover it is entirely empty, as if no-one had ever lived there. Zombies start amassing at the windows as your radio crackles and you hear Clem. She calls out before the mysterious voice takes over. You get to choose a reply before the game cuts to black.
Ellen : I thought this was a cool cliff-hanger. I am intrigued to see how it plays out, all on my own.
Khin : The hoard you created with the train has caught up to Savannah and I can see this causing lots of problems in the future.
Ellen : I found these choices quite interesting. I didn’t expect people to take Clementine with them. I thought most would deem it too dangerous, unaware of how Crawford would be, at that point in time. Likewise, I thought people would have let Ben die, as he really made himself unlikable in this episode.
Khin : The result most interesting to me is the top one – whether you kill the boy in the attic. I wonder how many of those killed both Duck and the boy in the attic.
Ellen : I was actually surprised by how many different groups there were available. I would be very interested to see what decisions would have to be made to have some of the groupings. If I thought I could have just had Ben, I would have taken him, but I didn’t see how that would have panned out…
And that wraps up the episode, with Episode 05 looking to be an exciting conclusion.
Ellen : Overall, I really like this episode, even though I think it is the most flawed from a gameplay and realism perspective. There are far too many inconsistencies with Molly and her subspace backpack, as well as Lee’s movement between scenes. I really like Molly and I enjoyed the overall growth of the group.
That being said, I don’t like the way you are, too often, forced to speak to Clementine in a demeaning, or disapproving manner. I don’t know why you couldn’t say “Yes, we will go and look for your parents, Clem” and still have her disappear… Unless, she has vanished to go and look for her parents, by herself….? But why would she drop her hat?
Khin : This episode seemed longer compared to some of the others, though perhaps this is down to having several ‘walk around and solve puzzles’ sections. There’s not a lot of Lee-Clem interaction in this one, and it’s clear that Lee avoiding the whole ‘go find parents’ issue is causing some issues. Ben is due an appropriate redemption and Kenny needs something to mellow him out. It’s a solid, if weary, episode.
Part 5 is now available and you can go straight to it here : “No Time Left”
The UC Gaming Club screenshot their own photos, depicting property owned and published by Telltale Games, Skybound and Image Comics. It looks really cool. =D