[SPOILEROONI][TLOU2] Killing your darlings

lewness

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WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT

WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT

WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT WARNING SPOILER ALERT




LEAVE THE THREAD UNLESS YOUR FINE WITH DISCUSSING THE WHOLE THING. YOUVE BEEN WARNED


Ahem.


Now I know at this point there's been a lot of talk about TLOU2 and its story all around the interwebz and I jump in and out of those discussions but I kinda want to hone in on a probably-common sentiment among those who played it which is it's too damn long for its own good. Having assumed that premise, I wanna know how you guys would have trimmed down the experience. My TLOU:R run clocked in at about 16hours and that felt like the sweet spot for me. For comparison, the sequel took me almost twice as long with an hour or two shy of 30 (I know, I play slow - when Dina tell's me to turn left I look the other way and brush my nose on everything to look for collectibles and STILL I learn I missed a bunch of crap after finishing).

Feel free to mention 1 or 10 scenarios/chapters/encounters which could have been cut without changing too much the intended TLOU2 story (so no cutting the Joel death scene and replacing it with him acquiring a nuclear missile while making a cure for the cordyceps infection with margarine or something). Also, you may also point out some parts that you DON'T want to be left on the cutting room floor for whatever reason

TRIM IT
  • That whole Santa Barbara scenario. Like, WE GET IT, Ellie can never be the same after she lost Joel but adding a completely whole new chapter where she tirelessly hunts for Abby and lose the balls in the end to do what she came after crossing several states and basically put her relationship with Dina on the rocks (at least they didn't kill her off, she mostly likely returned to Jackson since she couldn't really be out for more adventures now that J.J. is around)
  • Cut Ellie's Seattle Day 1 in half! I remember starting on the "open world" segment of that day thinking, "Huh that's weird, so it's gonna be this type of gameplay. OK, I'll bite", finishing it and realizing "Oh. That was a single segment", go through the hotel, have the characters talk about finding shelter for the night and KEEPS ON GOING FOR SEVERAL ENCOUNTERS until they get to the theater.

KEEP IT
  • Crossing the sky bridge in the Abby segment with Lev... I guess it could lose a small encounter or so but I liked the fights going down the other building despite it having one of my most hated enemies (the wallflower guys) along with the stalkers. Also, their bonding moments there builds them up for a reality without Yara. Having occurred relatively late in the game, I'm guessing that could be a launch point for an adventure we could witness if TLOU3 is gonna be a thing
 
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AtomicBanana

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I agree in trimming the Santa Barbara segment: that should have been a Left Behind-esque expansion thing later on.

I feel like a lot of the environmental puzzles could have just been dropped. The ones that come to mind for me were the scenes that teach you about the tripwires, and also the scene that teaches you about putting rollable objects on slopes.

Neither of those are really utilized effectively or consistently after they happen, or really even referenced again.

Stuff like that, basically.
 
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Xeo

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I've seen someone (Might have been RiffRaff, actually) mention it, but I think there's some truth to the notion that we experienced that final chapter as a means to feel, as a player something akin to what Ellie felt. It drug on, and it's tiresome, but we saw it through because we felt we NEEDED to. And that's exactly what Ellie does, and why she went there to begin with. I actually believe the developers fully knew by that point that most players would be mentally exhausted and ready for this to wrap up. They knew it and they pushed you anyway, on purpose.

As for the Day 1, I personally agree. But at the same time, I get why it was done. You start that day hunting, trying to pick up the trail. It's what would actually happen, but I feel some of that should have just been mentioned or briefly shown via a cutscene. The entire open-world part cold have been trimmed and still have kept the same impact.

I also don't believe for a second that Ellie just "lose the balls" to finish the job on Abby. To say that would be to imply she found she couldn't "pull the trigger" against another human. There's clearly not the case for Ellie. In fact I believe that if she would have gotten the upper hand on Abby back at the end of Seattle Day 3 in the theater that she would have killed Abby, and much more violently and drug out than simply strangling her to death. This plays directly into the above point though. It took too long, but Ellie finally realized the cold hard truth of the situation.

Killing Abby would change nothing, to her life anyway. It wouldn't have brought Joel back, it wouldn't have fixed things in her life. It wouldn't erase the ugliness that consumed her. And it most certainly wouldn't have had any positive effect on her life and the life of those involved on her side. But yet it something she originally just felt she HAD to do. To right a wrong, to settle the score. And in the end I believe she also realized that all of this was fruitless, it was all for nothing. Perhaps she even realized to some degree that if she would have finished the job she would have just ended up becoming what Abby was to her in the eyes of Lev. Just further continuing the cycle of hatred and revenge.

I don't mean to call you out and just say you're wrong or anything, but I think there's a LOT more to the ending of this game that people just aren't going into. Maybe they didn't piece it together, maybe they just can't personally relate, so they can't fully understand it from that context. And maybe they just don't care. But there's a LOT loaded into it, certainly a lot more than most have given it credit for. I commend Naughty Dog for not just trying to wrap it up in a neat bow the way Hollywood would have. They kept it real. No clean endings for anyone. It feels like something the Coen Brothers would have written.
 

AtomicBanana

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I wonder if the flash at the end of Joel before Ellie can drown Abby is supposed to be a refutation of the earlier declaration that if it were her or Tommy that was killed Joel would already be on the trail.

I mean, he might have, especially at the beginning of TLOU1, but the grown Joel? The adoptive father Joel? Maybe that Joel wouldn't have found himself on a beach drowning a half-dead woman.
 
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Xeo

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I wonder if the flash at the end of Joel before Ellie can drown Abby is supposed to be a refutation of the earlier declaration that if it were her or Tommy that was killed Joel would already be on the trail.

I mean, he might have, especially at the beginning of TLOU1, but the grown Joel? The adoptive father Joel? Maybe that Joel wouldn't have found himself on a beach drowning a half-dead woman.
That's an honestly good question. I think he probably would have, but at the same time, I think he might have struggled to kill someone like Abby also, especially when he realized who her father was. Joel calmed down a bit in his older age though, so it's hard to say. He very well may have already learned the lesson it took Ellie that long to learn. And if so, then yeah, he would have probably let it go. I think so anyway.
 
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lewness

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I've seen someone (Might have been RiffRaff, actually) mention it, but I think there's some truth to the notion that we experienced that final chapter as a means to feel, as a player something akin to what Ellie felt. It drug on, and it's tiresome, but we saw it through because we felt we NEEDED to. And that's exactly what Ellie does, and why she went there to begin with. I actually believe the developers fully knew by that point that most players would be mentally exhausted and ready for this to wrap up. They knew it and they pushed you anyway, on purpose.

As for the Day 1, I personally agree. But at the same time, I get why it was done. You start that day hunting, trying to pick up the trail. It's what would actually happen, but I feel some of that should have just been mentioned or briefly shown via a cutscene. The entire open-world part cold have been trimmed and still have kept the same impact.

I also don't believe for a second that Ellie just "lose the balls" to finish the job on Abby. To say that would be to imply she found she couldn't "pull the trigger" against another human. There's clearly not the case for Ellie. In fact I believe that if she would have gotten the upper hand on Abby back at the end of Seattle Day 3 in the theater that she would have killed Abby, and much more violently and drug out than simply strangling her to death. This plays directly into the above point though. It took too long, but Ellie finally realized the cold hard truth of the situation.

Killing Abby would change nothing, to her life anyway. It wouldn't have brought Joel back, it wouldn't have fixed things in her life. It wouldn't erase the ugliness that consumed her. And it most certainly wouldn't have had any positive effect on her life and the life of those involved on her side. But yet it something she originally just felt she HAD to do. To right a wrong, to settle the score. And in the end I believe she also realized that all of this was fruitless, it was all for nothing. Perhaps she even realized to some degree that if she would have finished the job she would have just ended up becoming what Abby was to her in the eyes of Lev. Just further continuing the cycle of hatred and revenge.

I don't mean to call you out and just say you're wrong or anything, but I think there's a LOT more to the ending of this game that people just aren't going into. Maybe they didn't piece it together, maybe they just can't personally relate, so they can't fully understand it from that context. And maybe they just don't care. But there's a LOT loaded into it, certainly a lot more than most have given it credit for. I commend Naughty Dog for not just trying to wrap it up in a neat bow the way Hollywood would have. They kept it real. No clean endings for anyone. It feels like something the Coen Brothers would have written.
Oh no, I totally get it. The last part is banking on motivations instead of actually revealing plot points. And that mention of intetionally making the player feel tired was a reply from RiffRaff to me on a qpost (which made me curious and led me to this forum thread). Personally, I don't think it's that intentional for two reasons:

a.) Plotwise it could have ended on the theater confrontation but it pales in terms of impact to the previous scenario where you leave a literally burning island with 2 groups of people brawling in a fit of mutual destruction. I feel like they didnt want to end on a sort of whimper and hence the need for a locale and scene with more gravitas.

b.) The tiredness the player feels is markedly different from the weariness of Ellie. Ellie feels "This can't be my life, chasing Abby" while I feel "Wow, TLOU2 was great but I can't do 5 more hours of this". Sure, I also think "C'mon Ellie, just... let it go" but after more than 25 hours of sneaking and doing the same stealth takedown, throwing the occasional trap and scrounging the area to make more, you realize too much of a good thing (no matter how great it is) eventually becomes a bad thing when drawn out for too long. How long is too long is definitely subjective, but at the very least it was for me.
 
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lewness

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That's an honestly good question. I think he probably would have, but at the same time, I think he might have struggled to kill someone like Abby also, especially when he realized who her father was. Joel calmed down a bit in his older age though, so it's hard to say. He very well may have already learned the lesson it took Ellie that long to learn. And if so, then yeah, he would have probably let it go. I think so anyway.
Come to think of it, Ellie actually still has no clue who Abby was (did she? There was the flashback but I don't remember Ellie learning about it). Would that change things? Maybe not so, Ellie seems more the person taken away by her emotions based on her actions the whole game compared to Abby.
 

Xeo

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Oh no, I totally get it. The last part is banking on motivations instead of actually revealing plot points. And that mention of intetionally making the player feel tired was a reply from RiffRaff to me on a qpost (which made me curious and led me to this forum thread). Personally, I don't think it's that intentional for two reasons:

a.) Plotwise it could have ended on the theater confrontation but it pales in terms of impact to the previous scenario where you leave a literally burning island with 2 groups of people brawling in a fit of mutual destruction. I feel like they didnt want to end on a sort of whimper and hence the need for a locale and scene with more gravitas.

b.) The tiredness the player feels is markedly different from the weariness of Ellie. Ellie feels "This can't be my life, chasing Abby" while I feel "Wow, TLOU2 was great but I can't do 5 more hours of this". Sure, I also think "C'mon Ellie, just... let it go" but after more than 25 hours of sneaking and doing the same stealth takedown, throwing the occasional trap and scrounging the area to make more, you realize too much of a good thing (no matter how great it is) eventually becomes a bad thing when drawn out for too long. How long is too long is definitely subjective, but at the very least it was for me.
On what Ellies feels, if you remember she was rapidly losing strength. She was already hurting from her abdomen wound, and then having it kneed during that last confrontation before finding Abby. She was literally so physically exhausted and beat down that she could barely put her foot up on the ledge to step up off the first section of the beach with the planks. So I was certainly a bit more than her just feeling the gravity of her life choices. Perhaps that was purely coincidental with why the game was designed it was, but all I'm saying is it does make some sense.
 

lewness

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On what Ellies feels, if you remember she was rapidly losing strength. She was already hurting from her abdomen wound, and then having it kneed during that last confrontation before finding Abby. She was literally so physically exhausted and beat down that she could barely put her foot up on the ledge to step up off the first section of the beach with the planks. So I was certainly a bit more than her just feeling the gravity of her life choices. Perhaps that was purely coincidental with why the game was designed it was, but all I'm saying is it does make some sense.
I actually thought she would die from it. There was a fast cut to Joel's beat-up face as she was seconds away from completely drowning Abby so most likely her motivations where on her mind at that moment. Perhaps the "lose the balls" phrase weren't the words I was looking for as had it happened.

And yes, it did make some sense. It didnt end with everyone happy and it didnt go Les Miserables on everyone and that was wonderful. It even left a trail of morsels to a possible TLOU3 which I would definitely follow. I just thought they could maybe drive the point home with 8 words instead of 10.
 

AtomicBanana

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I actually thought she would die from it. There was a fast cut to Joel's beat-up face as she was seconds away from completely drowning Abby so most likely her motivations where on her mind at that moment. Perhaps the "lose the balls" phrase weren't the words I was looking for as had it happened.

And yes, it did make some sense. It didnt end with everyone happy and it didnt go Les Miserables on everyone and that was wonderful. It even left a trail of morsels to a possible TLOU3 which I would definitely follow. I just thought they could maybe drive the point home with 8 words instead of 10.
I was also thinking that the gut wound was gonna kill Ellie, my thought was that she would go with Abby to Catalina and volunteer for the surgery, since she was dying.
 

Xeo

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I was also thinking that the gut wound was gonna kill Ellie, my thought was that she would go with Abby to Catalina and volunteer for the surgery, since she was dying.
I thought she might succumb to the wound, but I actually never even considered her going along to Catalina with Abby and Lev. That's an interesting line of thought. See, I love games like this, that have us discussing different angles and theories and the like. I absolutely love it.
 

lewness

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I thought she might succumb to the wound, but I actually never even considered her going along to Catalina with Abby and Lev. That's an interesting line of thought. See, I love games like this, that have us discussing different angles and theories and the like. I absolutely love it.
It's less likely, since she still does have beef, but it could be an interesting angle and character development on their part since they could think "OK, so Abby's severed ties with the wolves and Ellie has done the same with the few personal relationships she has left, and we still have the damn CBI around us so we need to improvise, put aside our grudges for now and at the very least figure out what's the next step for us - we're miles away from our homes and smack dab in the middle of a prison break riot within a compound of this new faction we discovered". Of course, a full-blown friendship(love?) won't be in the cards but we can witness how this tension resolves among a myriad of other tensions they are experiencing on a daily basis.

And yes, it's awesome when people are just throwing around their thoughts and see what sticks - not afraid to praise nor critique.
 
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Xeo

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It's less likely, since she still does have beef, but it could be an interesting angle and character development on their part since they could think "OK, so Abby's severed ties with the wolves and Ellie has done the same with the few personal relationships she has left, and we still have the damn CBI around us so we need to improvise, put aside our grudges for now and at the very least figure out what's the next step for us - we're miles away from our homes and smack dab in the middle of a prison break riot within a compound of this new faction we discovered". Of course, a full-blown friendship(love?) won't be in the cards but we can witness how this tension resolves among a myriad of other tensions they are experiencing on a daily basis.

And yes, it's awesome when people are just throwing around their thoughts and see what sticks - not afraid to praise nor critique.
I'm gonna level with you, I kept hearing how "controversial" the ending was, and with all the backlash about it combined with some idiot I saw on social media replying to a guy I know saying he was enjoying the game so far and said "I hope you like it when characters you love do things completely out of character for the hell of it!" Due to all of this I actually wondered while playing that last part if Ellie and Abby would have made up their differences and ended up falling for one another, or at the very least, fucking. I almost expected it with how the internet talked.
 

lewness

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I'm gonna level with you, I kept hearing how "controversial" the ending was, and with all the backlash about it combined with some idiot I saw on social media replying to a guy I know saying he was enjoying the game so far and said "I hope you like it when characters you love do things completely out of character for the hell of it!" Due to all of this I actually wondered while playing that last part if Ellie and Abby would have made up their differences and ended up falling for one another, or at the very least, fucking. I almost expected it with how the internet talked.
I was thinking the same thing! I didn't really follow the hype or the leaks but I heard Abby and "controversial" so I thought they would hook up. So I played it and saw Dina so I was "oh, she gonna break up with her for Abby" then she got a golf club and I was "oh, she will fall for the enemy". I played on and STILL thought some shared experience will bring them together in love until I was way past 50% before I started thinking ok, she really hates her.
 
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Xeo

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I was thinking the same thing! I didn't really follow the hype or the leaks but I heard Abby and "controversial" so I thought they would hook up. So I played it and saw Dina so I was "oh, she gonna break up with her for Abby" then she got a golf club and I was "oh, she will fall for the enemy". I played on and STILL thought some shared experience will bring them together in love until I was way past 50% before I started thinking ok, she really hates her.
I didn't see any of the leaks, avoided them as much as I could. But I kept hearing the controversy. So I was expecting something. When in reality it was all so much hyperbole.
 
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AtomicBanana

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I didn't see any of the leaks, avoided them as much as I could. But I kept hearing the controversy. So I was expecting something. When in reality it was all so much hyperbole.
Most of the raging I figured was because of the 'twist' (seriously, were people actually surprised by Joel's death? TLOU has been Ellie's game since Left Behind, and if the E3 announcement video didn't make that more than abundantly clear I have no idea what would).

Honestly the only leak that really 'spoiled' me was that a 'certain scene' shown in trailers had faked the appearance of a character. It was 50/50 for me what that meant, since I could have sworn I saw Dina get strung up by Seraphites in one of the trailers, but I guess I misremembered.
 
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