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Monster Hunter
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013

Jovencitogringo wrote:

I just love having these debates; it makes the game so much better.

 

Just want to finalize that there are villains: David, by not taking loss of his men to well, and not taking rejection to well from a 14 year old girl, clearly put himself and his whole clan in unnecessary danger.  Had he just been a survivor he would have taken the wise choice and just taken the hunted game and let bigons be bigons.

 

And Ellie is clearly a hero.  No need to even discuss.

 

So, its not just survivors in TLOU.


Yes, it's worth pointing out that David is clearly more than just a survivor. Things may not be black and white, but there are definitely people who favor one side over the other, and David is one of those people.

 

He's an interesting study as a supporting character because he can be easily contrasted with Joel. They're both obsessed with Ellie, though for entirely different reasons. Both use this obsession to justify risking the lives of many. Joel may be a smuggler and David may be a rapist and a cannibal, but they have many parallels. That's the narrative saying "look how similar these two very different characters are."

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Sackboy
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013

How I see Joel: Indeed, he isn't a good guy/hero. He does things that could make people shiver. But then again, he does those things to survive, like almost everyone, because a lot of people (outside the wall) are going to kill you so that they could get a) Supplies b) Food... Now, to those points you have.

 

1. "In the begging Tommy wants to stop and rescue an unaffected family; Joel harshingly orders him not to." - It was to protect Sarah, they could not have known if they were sick. Maybe if he hadn't needed to kill Jimmy he would have done otherwise.

 

2. "He savagely hunts down Robert and watches Tess murder him with no remorse." - Well, in this case Tess was as bad because she murdered him, Robert was as bad as he tried to shoot them, the guys that were Robert's guards were as bad because they tried to kill Joel & Tess etc. etc.

 

3. "Ellie asking him if he's ever smuggled before, he did; the only reason you need to smuggle is if it were illegal, and at what end would you do to do it?" - Umm, no. What Joel and Ellie had as dialogue:

 

Ellie: "This tunnel. You use it to smuggle things?"

Joel: "Yep."

Ellie: "Like illegal things?"

Joel"Sometimes."

Ellie: "You ever smuggle a kid before?"

Joel: "No, that's a first."

 

There was nothing regarding that only reason to smuggle was if it was illegal.

 

4. "Tommy, he's own brother the "good man" telling him that he never wants to see his face again.  Why? Tommy is the heroin character." - They had disagreements, never clearly specified why. Could have something to do with Joel's Hunter past or Tommy's Firefly past.

 

5. "Marlene stating they can just sneak by, but points out that that's not Joel's style." - Knowing that Joel is a relatively violent person, she just pointed it out. As said before, this world is almost as(or even more) violent than Joel himself, and he kills to be safe(r).

 

6. "Ellie asking how he knew the Pittsburgh bounty hunters were an ambush... Joel replying that he was one of them.  Did he do anything?  No reply." - Of course as a hunter, he most likely participated in doing bad deeds (aka killing for supplies), but he left that side. Now, he only killed if required to.

 

7. "Interrogation of Ellie's kidnappers; they were tied up,  I guess this is controversial whether or not he needed to kill them." - Yeah. Arguably one of the darkest parts in the game. But Ellie was in danger (in Joel's thoughts, at least) and he could not let her die. Also the two cannibals tried to kill Joel before... so... I don't know.

 

8. "Joel slaughters an unarmed surgeon, and cold bloodely kills Marlene, his only reason being that she will just keep searching for her.  Now, she was Ellie's adoptive mother, who raised her from youth on.  Ellie loved her so much that she almost killed Joel in the beginning.  She made it this far, and may have been able to find another solution.  None of that mattered to Joel." - Surgeon was going to seemingly kill Joel with scalpel. And he killed Marlene, because she was going to kill Ellie with

1) Marlene had no thoughts about if there is there other choices

2) Not asking how Ellie felt about it

3) Not letting Joel see her when he asks to

 

9. "He lies to Ellie.  Not so much that Ellie can;t take the truth, but more so because he will even break all integrity to not lose Ellie." - I think Ellie realized he was lying. But she understood that he lied to keep her safe/alive, because Joel could not bear losing someone as close to him as Ellie. The reason she talked about her dead friends were survivor's guilt, and she had to talk about them at some point.

________________________

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... I have no life.
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First Son
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013
That argumentative piece is well-constructed and hits on so many strong points. I now am inclined to think that Joel is indeed a villain-type character. People should read your post more.
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Monster Hunter
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013

fobley wrote:
That argumentative piece is well-constructed and hits on so many strong points. I now am inclined to think that Joel is indeed a villain-type character. People should read your post more.

I appreciate your attention to it! Unfortunately I can't think of a way to make it more palatable; that thing is a headache to look at, and I wish I could get it down to about 1,000 words so more people would be willing to read it.

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Monster Hunter
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013

While I have a moment, I think I'll help you out with your argument a little bit:

 

1. In the begging Tommy wants to stop and rescue an unaffected family; Joel harshingly orders him not to.

2.  He savagely hunts down Robert and watches Tess murder him with no remorse.

5.  Marlene stating they can just sneak by, but points out that that's not Joel's style.

 

These are good points, but they're weak on their own. They establish how Joel has been changed by the outbreak, and perhaps hint a little about the true nature of his character, but they don't do much beyond that.

 

The most important thing to remember is that the arc of a protagonist is defined by how much that character changes, so a good thing to do would be to provide evidence from later in the story. Now would be a good time to bring up when he tortures the thugs, kills the surgeon, and executes Marlene (who, as it was said in the hospital recording, convinced the Fireflies not to kill him. And this is someone who surprised Tess by not shooting Ellie when she got infected). It's also a good time to bring up your point about Joel having been on both sides, because it suggests that he has been like this for a long time.

 

Whether or not Joel's actions are "bad" (although make no mistake, these are bad things even by the standards of the broken world they live in) is less important than the fact that this is all proof that Joel hasn't changed at all. The only time he changed was when the outbreak happened. At that point he became the kind of character that would forsake the needs of others for his immediate needs, evidenced by refusing to stop for the family, and he is still that kind of character at the end. The only difference is the scale of it.

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Monster Hunter
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

[ Edited ]
Jul 8, 2013

WinterEdit wrote:

How I see Joel: Indeed, he isn't a good guy/hero. He does things that could make people shiver. But then again, he does those things to survive, like almost everyone, because a lot of people (outside the wall) are going to kill you so that they could get a) Supplies b) Food... Now, to those points you have.

 

1. "In the begging Tommy wants to stop and rescue an unaffected family; Joel harshingly orders him not to." - It was to protect Sarah, they could not have known if they were sick. Maybe if he hadn't needed to kill Jimmy he would have done otherwise.

 

Yes, but this is an important step in Joel's development. It can certainly be argued that any of us would do that for our kids, hell I can admit I most certainly would. But by the end of the game Joel has evolved from forsaking families to leaving the entire population of the planet to its doom. It is a road marker in that evolution if nothing else.

 

2. "He savagely hunts down Robert and watches Tess murder him with no remorse." - Well, in this case Tess was as bad because she murdered him, Robert was as bad as he tried to shoot them, the guys that were Robert's guards were as bad because they tried to kill Joel & Tess etc. etc.

 

Tess is absolutely not as bad as Joel. She is at terms with how terrible they are as human beings, yes, she has no bones about that. But just before she dies she makes it very clear that she believes that Ellie is the key to a cure. She wouldn't care about that if she didn't have some level of remorse for humanity. Joel doesn't have that. He doesn't care about the cure, and the only time he pretends to is when he's trying to get a favor from Tommy, and even then he changes his argument and says "I need this." I need this, not humanity needs this.

 

3. "Ellie asking him if he's ever smuggled before, he did; the only reason you need to smuggle is if it were illegal, and at what end would you do to do it?" - Umm, no. What Joel and Ellie had as dialogue:

 

Ellie: "This tunnel. You use it to smuggle things?"

Joel: "Yep."

Ellie: "Like illegal things?"

Joel"Sometimes."

Ellie: "You ever smuggle a kid before?"

Joel: "No, that's a first."

 

There was nothing regarding that only reason to smuggle was if it was illegal.

 

Smuggling is illegal by definition. But the point isn't whether or not it was legal, the point is that Joel has taken steps to survive that aren't strictly ethical. Although this particular example is more of a supporting detail that establishes the state of the QZs, which are corrupt and leave people with few options, which is why smuggling is so lucrative for Joel and Tess.

 

4. "Tommy, he's own brother the "good man" telling him that he never wants to see his face again.  Why? Tommy is the heroin character." - They had disagreements, never clearly specified why. Could have something to do with Joel's Hunter past or Tommy's Firefly past.

 

Exactly, that's the point. Joel does have a past as a hunter, and we've all seen what the hunters do. That is a supporting argument for the kind of character Tommy is versus the kind of character Joel is.

 

5. "Marlene stating they can just sneak by, but points out that that's not Joel's style." - Knowing that Joel is a relatively violent person, she just pointed it out. As said before, this world is almost as(or even more) violent than Joel himself, and he kills to be safe(r).

 

Nothing is "just pointed out" in this game. Details like that work in conjunction with other details to distinguish Joel's character. Remember, the people on the streets of Boston don't murmur about Tess when you walk past, they murmur about Joel ("don't you realize who that is?"). And Marlene doesn't address Tess's style, she addresses Joel. And at this point, Tess outwardly appears to be the more violent one (she's been the one executing defenseless people). So you need to ask yourself what that says about Joel. 

 

6. "Ellie asking how he knew the Pittsburgh bounty hunters were an ambush... Joel replying that he was one of them.  Did he do anything?  No reply." - Of course as a hunter, he most likely participated in doing bad deeds (aka killing for supplies), but he left that side. Now, he only killed if required to.

 

But he has an extremely broad definition of "requirement," which is what Tommy was talking about when he said "Take care of? That's what you call it? I got nothing but nightmares from those years." There is a huge difference between killing in self defense and doing whatever Joel did in the early years. Doing what Joel did at the Firefly hospital was not killing in self defense: The Fireflies wanted to kill him, but Marlene asked them to let him go, remember? Yes there is a bit of a grey area because he's obviously concerned with his relationship with Ellie, narcissitic though it may be, but does it justify denying the entire world a chance at a cure?

 

7. "Interrogation of Ellie's kidnappers; they were tied up,  I guess this is controversial whether or not he needed to kill them." - Yeah. Arguably one of the darkest parts in the game. But Ellie was in danger (in Joel's thoughts, at least) and he could not let her die. Also the two cannibals tried to kill Joel before... so... I don't know.

 

8. "Joel slaughters an unarmed surgeon, and cold bloodely kills Marlene, his only reason being that she will just keep searching for her.  Now, she was Ellie's adoptive mother, who raised her from youth on.  Ellie loved her so much that she almost killed Joel in the beginning.  She made it this far, and may have been able to find another solution.  None of that mattered to Joel." - Surgeon was going to seemingly kill Joel with scalpel. And he killed Marlene, because she was going to kill Ellie with

1) Marlene had no thoughts about if there is there other choices

2) Not asking how Ellie felt about it

3) Not letting Joel see her when he asks to

 

The surgeon does not advance on Joel with the scalpel, and Joel easily overpowers him. There isn't even a struggle. The man absolutely is not a combatant, he's a scared bystander. Also, he doesn't kill Marlene because she was going to kill Ellie, he kills her so he won't have to deal with her ever again. That is killing out of convenience, not self defense; she had surrendered her weapon and was begging for her life. She had a relationship with Ellie and her mother, and I'm sure she would have given Joel the chance to see her if she didn't have her army of Fireflies breathing down her neck about the cure. She's the leader, sure, but you can't hold off people like that when they lost half their friends fighting their way across the country in the name of finding it.

 

9. "He lies to Ellie.  Not so much that Ellie can;t take the truth, but more so because he will even break all integrity to not lose Ellie." - I think Ellie realized he was lying. But she understood that he lied to keep her safe/alive, because Joel could not bear losing someone as close to him as Ellie. The reason she talked about her dead friends were survivor's guilt, and she had to talk about them at some point.

 

But that survivor's guilt supports the argument that she would have wanted the surgery. As she stated, "I'm still waiting for my turn." She understands she's living on borrowed time. She already watched her best friend turn (and although she never says so, she almost certainly had to kill her unless she ran), and she watched Sam turn. She hates the infected and she hates that sadness. Now at this point I will admit, yes, we dont know for sure if she would have wanted the surgery, but the evidence definitely seems to indicate that she would. I think given enough time to think about it, she would still want it, but that part is endlessly debatable. The point is, we will never know because Joel lied to her and killed the leader of the people who were looking for a cure.


 

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Splicer
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013

I don't buy it & I don't think the argument is made very well either, maybe it is the use of the word villain that is very off putting to me. (Thanks for starting the discussion tho :smileyhappy:) It is a grey world and in the post-pandemic world it is a darker shade of grey so that is where everybody's starting point will be.  

As for the beginning of the game: should he have shot his neighbor that broke through the glass door or should Joel have just fought him and tried to overpower him risking his daughters life? As for passing up the family, Joel has no idea what this people would do. What if they try and take their vehicle away or kill them for their vehicle? You just don't know. All the other instances listed and actions taken are neither good or bad, that is way too simplistic a way of looking at the situations and choices that had to be made. 

I don't think a parent (adoptive or otherwise) would sacrifice their own child, even to find a cure. 

Joel killed Marlene to protect Ellie. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Joel lied to Ellie because he didn't want to burden her with the truth, he didn't want to put that on a 14 year old. I don't see that as a bad thing.

A lot of bad things have been done for "the greater good" throughout history it just depends on what side your on that will shade your perception.

The fact is Ellie is still alive and still has the ability to provide a cure and with time maybe they can extract it without killing her.

 

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Sackboy
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013

Good points, falcon, good points... 

 

I'd suggest the tl;dr version to be:

 

"Joel does bad things/is a bad guy, but the world is bad also."

 


Anyway, my favorite character in the game was Ellie anyway, so I don't need to argue about Joel's character that badly. Your thoughts could well be true. :smileyhappy:

________________________

I have acquired the grade of Master in The Last of Us story/character/game knowledge as I have played it through 9 times.

... I have no life.
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First Son
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013

joel was only bad because the world was, if he would of tried to be a good person the game would of been very short. No matter who you are if someone starts shooting at you you are going try to survive at any cost and if that means killing them then so be it.

 

Look at this whole game from joels point of view and ask yourself

 

what would you do different?

 

For me If I was as strong as joel I would do the same thing as joel.

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: Radical discussion about Joel. Spoiler and ruiner warning.

Jul 8, 2013
Falcon i think your also fooling yourself if you dont think that Ellie knows Joel lied to her.
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