It’s Wednesday! And that means another installment of my Walking Dead game experience. This week we look at what happened in Episode 4.
If you haven’t yet read my previous recap installments of Episodes 1, 2 and 3 you can do so by clicking these linkies:
This is a play-by-play, walk-through of my own game. I wrote about my choices, the process behind making them, along with how I felt at various stages and a glimpse into my inner monologue throughout. It is a recap of my personal Walking Dead journey. If you ever plan on playing this game yourself please do not read it, as I would hate to be held responsible for ruining what could be a memorable zombie caper for you. So, SPOILERS AHEAD.
If Episode 3 was hard-going emotionally, Episode 4 was like a punch to the gut. It felt longer and more drawn out than the train ride to Savannah, with all of its stop-startyness. I found this one very difficult to take in completely.
For Whom The Bell Tolls…
Our heroes have arrived in Savannah, and we open with them ambling around the ghost-town, out in the open, heading toward the docks. The radio crackles to life and Lee, who has taken possession of it, moves to answer it. With no idea still who the voice on the other end belongs to, our attention is refocused when the bell of a church steeple tower starts bonging, we see a hooded figure on the rooftop and Hobo Chuck says something prophetic about whomever the bell tolls for. And with that, the noise draws a horde right on top of the group. I’ve used the phrase “and again we’re thrown straight into action” for my recap of every single episode thus far, so you’d think I’d be expecting it. I wasn’t, and my heart started its onslaught of thumping immediately.
Lee yells RUN. The group are split in their haste to escape and a couple of interesting things happen. The first is the fall of Kenny. A walker has a hold of his ankle and he calls for help. The screen moves forward into FPS mode and I have the opportunity to save Kenny. I can’t lie, I thought about not bothering, because Kenny is an ass. Logic kicked in though and I offed the walker. We need Kenny alive until we get this boat plan underway, and I get the feeling if I hadn’t saved him the game would have anyway, rendering my internal moral struggle completely moot. So Kenny gets up and makes a snide remark that it was a little “too close”. I think, F U KENNY. I’m sick of saving your griping arse and getting absolutely no recognition for it.
Then I hear Clementine scream. She and Ben have been surrounded by a dozen of the surging undead. The camera pans in and we get a close-up of the conflict and see the fear on Ben’s face. Then Ben seizes his chance and runs away. ABANDONING LITTLE CLEMENTINE TO HER FATE, ALONE. Wow, Ben, that’s seriously messed up. In order to save Clem I get the opportunity to let loose again with my trusty sidearm, but obviously I wasn’t quick enough off the draw with my head-shots because Hobo Chuck has to swoop in and save Clementine with his Shovel of Truth. He goes to town on the remaining walkers I’ve missed, and I’m impressed with the old dude’s shoveling skills. I have enough time to grab Clementine, but apparently not enough to help Chuck, who tells me to go, that he’ll catch up with us later. I don’t want to leave Hobo Chuck, I want to help, but the game gives me no options here other than to run.
Who lives in a house like this?
Somewhere along the way Omid (henceforth to be referred to as Omidget) has fallen (again) and reopened his leg wound (that he’d originally received when he fell off the top of the train at the end of Episode 3) and proves that he’s pretty much a useless dead weight to us. We find sanctuary in the garden of a boarded-up house and we set to trying to find a way in. Lee and I have a word with Ben.
Ben basically says that he panicked, that he didn’t know what to do back on the street with Clementine, and asks that surely the same thing has happened to Lee before? Lee says hell no, and if Ben ever puts Clem in danger again it won’t be the walkers he has to worry about. Capiche? Yeah Lee, you tell that little fecker how it is. Christa then gets mad at Lee, because apparently it’s a total personal affront not to tell this total stranger that the walkie was working. She needs to back off, I only know her for like two hours.
We notice that the backdoor of the house has one of those little dog flap things. I know they’re quite prevalent in the States but we don’t have them here, so this is a novelty for me. The thing won’t budge though, and Omidget, being surprisingly helpful, tells us that sometimes there’s a chip in the dog’s collar that accesses the doggy door and grants them, and only them, entrance. I shuffle around the garden, looking for clooooos. I find an abandoned dog kennel, and a little mound with a cross on top, marking a small grave. We grab a shovel and start digging. In an expected gruesome scene we uncover the remains of the pet, and the smell turns every stomach. Especially Christa’s, who turns and upchucks all over the garden. “It’s the smell…” she explains weakly, and BAM! I know she’s preggers. This explains everything and I verbally berate myself aloud for missing it before.
The collar has been buried with the dog. It’s around his neck, and when Lee moves to remove it the dog’s head falls off, which is gross. But, success! With collar in hand we can now open the doggy flap. The problem is, it’s too small and the handle on the other side is too far for normal manly arms to reach. So in a logical move little Clem rushes inside and opens the door for us. I should probably be angry but I’m not, if she hadn’t done it of her own volition I would have asked her to. So I praise her for her quick thinking.
In we go, and I think, “Nice digs”. Omidget passes out on the sofa and Kenny takes charge of the rest of the group, splitting us up in order to effectively explore the house and pronounce it clear of threat. Lee and I wander around, looking at drawings on the fridge, checking cabinets, discussing the pros and cons of drinking the bottles of whiskey we find and checking behind all the closed doors. We find nothing of threatening note, apart from a broom that fell from behind one of the doors and made me jump. Then Ben comes flying down the stairs and announces that he can’t find Kenny. How the hell do you lose a man in a house? Reluctantly I follow him and he tells me that he last saw Kenny going up into the attic, but he won’t answer his calls now.
I go up to the attic and discover an awful scene. There’s a walker up there. A little boy, who looks so much like Duck. For a nanosecond I actually thought it might be Duck. How is this possible? I ask myself. But I quickly realise that it couldn’t be. I’m not alone in my reverie; Kenny is sitting there, staring at the undead kid. It is a horrible sight to behold. We surmise that the child must have been hiding out up here in the attic by himself, died of starvation and rose again a zombie. Kenny says he can’t cope, so Lee mercifully ends the weak, starved mini-walker’s existence. At Kenny’s insistence, Lee carries the boy outside to bury him.
We place his broken, frail body beside the remains of his dog. With the shovel we begin covering the grave up again. This is a process, as the game makes us action every movement of the shovel, every placement of loose dirt. I’m engrossed in my task when suddenly I catch sight of a shadowed figure outside the gates. This was probably the biggest fright that I’ve had so far in the entire series. I freak out, Lee yells, but the figure disappears. (This nearly happened).The noise brings the others from the house outside to the garden, and we explain what we saw. This seems to light a fire under Kenny and now he’s insisting that we get the hell out of here and look for this game-changing boat of ours. Christa says Omidget is too sick to go, that she thinks he has an infection. Ben says they should loot the place before we go anywhere. I sort of want to stay but Kenny is going either way and I’ll have to go with him. Clementine wants to come too but I tell her she has to stay behind and help Christa look after Omidget. I tell Ben that he has to man-up and protect Clementine and the house.
We reach the dock, Kenny bitching and moaning the whole way, and find no workable boats. Quelle surprise. Then we come across a hooded figure, one we had seen before when the bells were tolling. Kenny makes a plan to apprehend said hoodie, and I go along with it, even though I have no desire whatsoever to find out who this person is. Naturally, Kenny has appointed me as frontman, and he goes to hide while I do all the sneaking and face all the danger. And the danger is that this hooded figure kicks ass. I’m tricked and Hoodie gets the jump on me, kicking and twirling and other such impressive martial arty moves. Kenny stays hidden, and does not emerge until Clementine appears and Hoodie, who turns out to be a girl called Molly, backs off with her Bruce Lee routine. What follows is a conversation about a place called Crawford, where they champion survivalism, take whatever they want, kick out the old, the very young or the sick and have assumed total control of a certain area of the city, which is close by. Molly realises that Lee & Co. aren’t members of Crawford because of Clementine. Who, by the way, had appeared out of nowhere to plead with Molly to spare Lee’s life. She’d escaped from the safety of the house and had followed us through the city, alone. YOU HAD ONE JOB BEN, you idiot.
Molly is Amazonian. Not in stature, but in spirit, and I like her instantly. She scarpers pretty quickly though when walkers appear to feast on the living flesh of our people. The group follows and Lee is all, “You’re just leaving us?!” To which Molly replies something like, well yeah, duh, who are you again? I lol. But Clem pulls the puppy-dog eyes on her and she caves and helps, because nobody can resist that Clementine look. Lee though, he gets trapped and ends up having to uncover a manhole and escape underground into the sewers. Lee yells to Clem to head back to the house.
I don’t remember much about the sewers, other than they obviously were creepy, there were dead rats and we had to turn a tap or something in order to distract the walkers and navigate the sewer system mazes. We also found the remains of Hobo Chuck. Oh man, he lay there with his intestines spilling out all over the place and I felt sad. I’m sorry Charles, I guess that bell was tolling for you after all. Moving on, we uncover some secret hidey-hole place basement thing that is housing a load of sick or recovering cancer patients.
There was a conversation here and we meet Vernon, who is a doctor, and Brie, who is not a doctor, and Vernon offers his assistance in getting out of the sewers. We’re saved that scene and reappear back at the house, where Vernon goes to have a look at Omidget, who apparently is in bad shape, and Lee goes looking for Clementine. We search high and low. We berate Ben again for his stupidity, and have words with Kenny who is losing himself in one of the bottles of whiskey, and is, as we would suspect, a bad drunk. He’s a bad sober too. The atmosphere becomes more tense, and I can feel the palpable panic from Lee as he looks for Clementine, but can’t find her anywhere. Eventually we’re pointed in the direction of the back garden, and after some poking around and the investigation of some strange noises, we find Clementine locked in the shed, where she has discovered a speed boat.
I can’t believe it, the game is giving us some hope. Kenny, upon seeing this find, visibly changes too. Suddenly he has a reason to hold it all together, his new life’s mission is to get this boat up and running. But it being The Walking Dead, it’s never so simple. We need to procure fuel and a battery. And of course, as per Doctor Vernon’s orders, we need some heavy-duty antibiotics for waning Omidget. The rest of the gang hatch this plan to break into Crawford and steal the supplies. I think its nuts but whatever, we need this crap and who wants to live forever, anyway? Vernon offers his help due to his superior knowledge of the sewers, and brings the other Red Shirt, Brie, along too. Clementine begs to come. I’m hesitant at first, considering what we know about Crawford and their attitude toward children. But she very rightly points out that I’ve told her on numerous occasions that she must stay with me at all times, and when I realise the only other option is to leave her in the house alone with possible future zombie Omidget, I decide she must come with. I catch some flack from the others regarding this decision, but I tell them to mind their own business and to deal with it.
What followed was the infiltration of Crawford and the discovery that all of the survivors are now walkers. We take shelter in a school, the layout of which Brie knew well because she used to work there, or because she used to be a Crawford wife, I can’t remember which. Anyway the command center is a classroom and once inside Kenny splits up the group in order to find fuel, a battery and medicine. Charged with the task of obtaining the battery, Lee and Molly head over to the Motor Pool. We fight some zombies, Molly has a rather personal murdering session with a walker in scrubs and they manage to get into the garage. We find a battery but in the process a car alarm goes off and alerts all the walkers in the area to our location. We escape through the roof and do some parkour, which was fun, but then Molly says she has to go and run an errand and disappears with the battery in her backpack. Typical.
Back in the School of the Living Dead, we encounter Kenny and Brie, who have just returned from their fuel run, with walkers hot on their heels. They struggle to keep them out by bracing the doors closed with their bodies, but they’re failing epicly so Lee saves the day and braces the double doors into the school closed with an ax. Back at CIC Classroom HQ, Ben is still trying to get a locked door labelled “Armory” open and Kenny goes to lend a hand. Ben takes me offside and unburdens his woes upon me. He wants to tell Kenny the truth; that he was the one who was dealing with the bandits back at the Motel, and as such is responsible for Duck being bitten and for both Duck’s and Katjaa’s deaths. I can’t help but think, what in the name of all that is holy is wrong with this kid? I tell him I understand his guilt, but NOW IS SO NOT THE TIME TO TELL KENNY THAT YOU KILLED HIS FAMILY. He doesn’t look convinced but he tells me he hears me, and I go in search of Christa and Doctor V who have not yet returned from the infirmary.
I find them locked inside with walkers scratching wholly ineffectively at the door. I shoot them all in the head. Hail, the Conquering Hero. We find a locked safe where obviously the meds are and for which we have no combination. What follows next is Lee following the clues of the puzzle in order to find the magical four-digits that will save Omidget’s life. Minute details aside, in the end we watch a couple of videos that chronicle the downfall of Crawford, show us the scrubbed doctor turned zombie that Molly had had unresolved issues with earlier, got the information we needed to open the safe and a hormonal Christa cried. I understand the content of the videos upset her (they showed a young pregnant woman put in a horrible position, because No Children Allowed), but come on Christa, make up your mind, you’re either the hardass I thought you were or a blubbering annoyance, being both is no help to anyone.
On our way back to the others Lee and I encounter Molly, who has returned clutching a photograph. She tells us her backstory, something to do with being a former resident of Crawford and her sick sister, but I’m not really paying attention because I’m sending a scrabble word to my mother on the Words With Friends app on my phone. I’m brought back to the harsh reality of impending doom though when Ben appears, carrying the ax I had used earlier to brace the doors and block the horde of zombies that had been intent on coming in and eating us all. Ben had “just found it” and thought it would help them opening the armory door. I could not stop laughing. I swear, it was hilarious. Even as the freed walkers descended upon us, I was still laughing uncontrollably. OMFG Ben, you are stupid.
So anyway Ben runs away (LOL!) and Molly throws herself into the horde, kicking ass and taking no names. Unfortunately she gets grabbed, and it is up to Lee to take the shot and end the threat of the handsy walker. We miss though, and I think, OH NO, I’m a failure as a marksman. Then another shot rings out and the walker is dropped. Molly thanks me, but I’m stumped, it wasn’t me. Lee moves aside to reveal Clementine, who is holding the smoking gun.
AWESOME. Hardcore Little Clementine bags her first kill.
We race back to the classroom and Brie braces the door, but we know it won’t hold them off for long and we have to get out. Kenny suggests our best bet for exit is through the armory, and goes to work on the locked door with the ax. Meanwhile, Ben is still having his crisis of conscience and decides that right now would be the best time for his Last Confession. This kid couldn’t be any more unintentionally hilarious. Despite Lee’s protestations Ben comes clean to Kenny. Kenny manages to bash the door down before the realisation of what Ben is saying to him completely registers, and when it does, Kenny lunges for him. He’s going to kill him. Lee holds Kenny back but if I’m honest I wouldn’t have minded the pair of them resolving their differences and creating a diversion for the walkers while the rest of us flee unhindered. Alas, not an option. My Lee tells Kenny that he can kick Ben’s skinny ass (the actual term used) later, and the game construed this as me siding with Kenny. Maybe I was. Despite my feelings about Kenny he does deserve some retribution for what happened to his family. And after all, I’d wanted to throw Ben from a moving train when I found out his actions had caused Carley’s death. Kenny wants to leave Ben behind as punishment, surprisingly, Christa agrees, basically saying that Ben is a sweet kid but he’s a ****ing idiot who is going to get us all killed.
Then a little voice speaks up and Clementine pleads for Ben’s life. He is her friend. This melts Christa’s heart and she abstains, and it melts mine and I cowardly follow suit and abstain myself. There’s little time to get into the politics of our situation though as Brie, standing guard at the door, gets chomped on. Sorry Brie, we hardly knew ye. This spurs us into action and we all run through the armory door, which in a weird turn of events, leads us to a bell tower. Of all things.
This was my favourite part. We’ve had more action than we’re strictly used to in this episode, and here, after Kenny throws a rifle to Lee (Kenny back onside?) we back up the spiraling stairs, shooting walkers in the noodle as we go. It was great fun. When we finally get to the top, everyone is going out the window and down a ladder on the other side. Ben is there, and I can’t remember if he was trying to help me or if he was just running around in circles with flailing arms but he ends up falling over the side and I grab him. He is dangling there, telling me to let him go. I’m horrified. Ben says he doesn’t want to be a burden anymore and begins to let himself slide through my grip. Kenny gives me a meaningful look, tells me to hurry up and then disappears through the window.
My options: Pull Ben up. Let Ben go.
I pulled him up. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know why I didn’t just let him drop. When faced with the actual choice I obviously bottled it and decided to save the stupid teen. Because he is just a kid, and all kids are stupid. He has made terrible mistakes, but if he doesn’t start learning from them he won’t survive for much longer, whether Lee is around to help or not.
They think it’s all over… It is now.
Back at the casa, Omidget is lying prone on his deathbed. For a moment I chuckle at the irony of it all, but then we wakes up, alive, and even cracks a joke. I think, screw you Omidget, you weren’t that sick after all. We leave him to the business of getting better and upwardly mobile, and have a discussion with Doctor V outside the room. The good doctor suggests that he take Clementine off Lee’s hands, that he has the means and the location to keep her safe, that being on a boat going nowhere is no place for a child. A part of me agrees with this sentiment, but if I’ve learned anything from this game it is that Clementine needs Lee, and Lee needs Clementine. I say thanks but no thanks doc, and his unhappy reaction triggers all sorts of suspicious thoughts in my mind.
We move on, encounter Molly and in a rather poignant moment, we embrace and say our goodbyes. I’m sorry to see her go, she was BAMF. Telltale Games insist on taking away all of the people I like though, so I accept and move on, finding Clementine alone in the study. She asks if we can look for her parents tomorrow, I am honest with her and make Lee say that he doesn’t think it is a good idea, that the boat will be ready tomorrow and in the interest of everyone’s safety they should leave. Clementine does not take this well and despite my efforts to console her, she basically curls up in a ball and sobs. Eventually they both sleep.
When Lee awakens the next morning he finds Clementine has disappeared. With the walkie. Again in a panic, we burst through the backdoor and into the garden, where we see her abandoned cap, stained with blood. The crackling walkie-talkie is out on the street and Lee hops over the fence to retrieve it. When he does, he is attacked by a walker. We dispatch it quickly, but in the aftermath of the brief brawl we notice something.
Lee has been bitten.
It is a simple scene, with an effective, but horrifying conclusion. I groan.
We hurry to cover the bite with Lee’s sleeve as the others approach, asking what has happened. Lee explains that Clementine is gone, and that he has to find her. Christa and Omidget (who is finally out of bed) immediately offer their help in the search for Clem and I appreciate that. Kenny, on the other hand, while he says he cares for Clementine, wonders aloud that if the situations were reversed, and Kenny was looking for Lee’s help, would he come to his aid? I am left totally speechless. I don’t understand. Every step of the way I have helped Kenny and his family. If it weren’t for me, Kenny would have been Duckless in Episode 1. He would have been Katless in Episode 2. He would have had to kill his own son in Episode 3. And he’d have been dead in Episode 4. I’m appalled at his obvious self-absorption but answer only to say that Clementine is my family now, and she’s all that matters. He relents and promises to help.
Then Ben appears, and it all gets hostile again. I haven’t got time for this. Kenny says he’s not going anywhere with Ben. For the first time ever in this game I chose to take the silent option in response. Kenny would probably happily stand by (as he has on many other occasions) and watch me die, but he’d look after Clementine as well as he could. Ben, on the other hand, is as useless as a fart in a jar. A chocolate-covered fireguard. A slice of cheese to a drowning ferret. Taking the silent option meant I didn’t have to do anything, that noticing the awkwardness Ben would elect himself to stay behind and guard the boat.
In the interest of driving home just how dire the situation was, and the importance of finding Clementine quickly, I make Lee show them his bite. The group rallies and reiterate their allegiance to Lee and his cause, even Kenny looks vaguely sympathetic. Following a hunch that Doctor Vernan had taken Clementine, Lee leads everyone to the sewers and to the cancer support groups’ hideout.
They’re not there. It’s empty, they either cleared out themselves or had been forcibly cleared out. Feeling the weight of disappointment and reality bearing down on him, and possibly the beginning of the change, Lee sags against a counter, and I begin to feel all is lost. Until the walkie comes to life again.
We rush to respond, but it is the mystery voice that greets us. He has Clementine. He tells us we need to choose our next words carefully. I pick the option to ask what it is he wants from us… but the game fades out and the credits roll.
Who is this mysterious kidnapper? Someone Lee knows from his past life? Someone looking for revenge? Someone Clementine knows? Does he want Clementine to punish Lee, or has he some other nefarious, villainous reason? I turned off my computer and went to bed with the knowledge that things were going to end very badly.
Look out for my recap of final episode, Episode 5 – No Time Left, next Wednesday.
- [GAME] My Walking Dead Experience Episode 1 – A New Day (verbalspew.wordpress.com)
- [GAME] My Walking Dead Experience Episode 2 – Starved For Help (verbalspew.wordpress.com)
- [GAME] My Walking Dead Experience Episode 3 – Long Road Ahead (verbalspew.wordpress.com)
- [Game] My Walking Dead Experience Episode 5 – No Time Left (verbalspew.wordpress.com