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  2. The Last of Us Part II
  3. This story isn't really about revenge *spoilers*
Druff posted...
A few days ago in the Kinda Funny Spoilercast, Druckmann said, "Years ago when we announced Part 2, we said the first game was about love and this one is about hate. We lied. They're both about love."

OMG DISHONEST MARKETING! DERPMan is HaCk!

Is Squid not entitled to the ink of his brow?
Team Futaba!!

User Info: VSH

VSH
3 days ago#12
Blackstar110 posted...
This story is about two broken young women attempting to cope with trauma and to heal, both of which having varying degrees of success and failure.

I've seen people harping a lot on how the "cycle of revenge = bad!!!" narrative has been done, but I think analyzing the story through the lens of revenge is kind of surface-level and misunderstands why Ellie lets Abby go. It is not some moral thing where she realizes "wow, I guess revenge is bad after all!" There's a reason Ellie goes to kill her, changes her mind, almost lets her go, changes her mind, almost kills her, and then changes her mind AGAIN and lets her go -- she is desperately scrambling for anything that will make her feel better. Revenge is a factor in the story, but it is primarily just a method of coping that has failed both women.

For Abby's part, she tries the revenge method and follows through -- it doesn't really work. You can see even as she kills Joel that she's waiting for the satisfaction to kick in and it never comes. Her brutality alienates most of her friends, and ultimately every single one of them is killed for it. She tries to reconnect with Owen, which doesn't really work and only results in Mel calling her a terrible person, which she implicitly agrees with. Ironically, the method of beginning to heal and find a purpose for herself is Joel's -- her hardened exterior cracks and she bonds with a child (it's worth remembering that we never saw it, but the allusions to Joel's and Tommy's early days as hunters are pretty grisly... I would not bet against Joel having done as bad or worse to others as Abby did to him). However, while bonding with Lev is a great step for recovering her humanity, it doesn't undo her actions; she can never take back the lives her revenge trip cost and ends up getting tortured by slavers for months after fleeing the WLF, then nearly killed by Ellie.

For Ellie, though, I think a big key factor missing in some of these conversations is that her journey to Seattle to kill Abby is really only half about revenge in the first place. We see throughout the game that Ellie has been wrestling with a lack of purpose from the moment she left St. Mary's. Avenging Joel was just as much about a proxy "purpose" as it was about actually getting justice, and I think she knew that deep down, and still resented him for it as much as she loved and missed him. She doesn't let Abby go because revenge bad, she just finally comes to terms with the fact that murdering a half-dead Abby, who was at that point just trying to care for a half-dead child, gets her no closer to where she actually needs to be and would probably just make her hate herself. As she's finally holding Abby's life in her hands and feels nothing, the utter futility and pointless of everything she's been through crashes down on her. Ellie's only way forward was forgiving Joel. That last memory with him is her saying she wants to try to forgive him, and through that she eventually begins to. Once she can accept what Joel did, why he did it, and that the path of becoming the cure is long gone, she can begin to move on and find a real reason to live. In my perspective, that last time she plunks through "Future Days," she's realizing that she ultimately did not completely lose herself. She came damn close, though, and not because killing Abby would've been so much worse than killing... everyone else she killed, but because killing an already beaten woman in front of a dying kid she's taking care of just because she can would be pretty beyond the pale. As is, she knows Joel loved her, she loved Joel, and that despite all the horrid mess that has happened along the way, life has to go on.

You don't have to like Abby. You don't have to forgive Abby. You're 100% allowed to sympathize more with Ellie -- after all, Ellie's story is about stopping her massive skid towards the point of no return in the nick of time, whereas Abby's story is about diving headfirst into those waters and trying to slowly make her way back to shore. You're allowed to like Abby more too, if you want. Ultimately, I think the game doesn't intend to force you to feel equally for both. Everyone will have their own takes. All it wants to do at the end, IMO, is make you see these two broken down shells of people for what they are... human beings who just want the pain to stop. And for both of them, I think that process finally begins.

Yes, I agree with this 100%. Almost is identical to what my view of the game is! :D
"There is a tool for every task, and a task for every tool." Tywin Lannister.

User Info: GlitchManV5

GlitchManV5
3 days ago#13
I had to come to GameFAQs, a website known for its message boards' rampant instability, to find a person who played the game and actually GETS the story instead of just whining about how a fan-favorite character died or how the antagonist is ugly. I haven't yet seen a single YouTuber review the game and come to anything resembling a positive conclusion and don't trust the known shill websites to give honest reviews, even if they're positive.

Your post, TC, has really made my day.
[PSN: GlitchManOmega] [NS: 4092-0967-1123] [SW: Nick, SH: Holly]
Most recent Platinum Trophies: RE3 Remake, RE2 Remake, Control, Bloodstained: ROTN
When I was about halfway through, I said to someone complaining about the "Revenge is bad" theme that I was getting the feeling the game was more about "letting go" and that everything from Ellie's quest, Abby's revenge, and even the first game's warring factions, and attempt to get the vaccine and return to the old world kind of stem from this holding on.

Very similar to your take on it, but I attempted to unify both games. Having now completed it, I think it holds up pretty well. You went into more depth on those themes tho, and it's appreciated!

Is Squid not entitled to the ink of his brow?
Team Futaba!!
The game is basically about what happens when you have PTSD without meds or therapy lol.
"He's dead! I love him.... Oh he's breathing.... Loser!"

User Info: Archgoat

Archgoat
3 days ago#16
Great post, the game does a good job at conveying the themes you are talking about, where it is a revenge story, it is about the cycle of violence and coping with that revenge as well. Ellie's relationship with Joel was strained and she has both anger and guilt and just wants to feel whole again. Where with Abby, she went to that dark place and followed through on her revenge, and now she is trying to cope with what she has become.

I agree about some of the pacing issues, though I prefer a longer game to a tighter narrative. I agree it is a deeper story than most video games have. That doesn't mean everyone has to like it, and that is fine.

User Info: Endofall

Endofall
3 days ago#17
This game does have its flaws but this is a good analysis
"I don't like thing because fanbase annoys me, so I will deprive myself of experience to piss them off. That'll show 'em."

User Info: Boutchie23

Boutchie23
3 days ago#18
Such a good take. This is an incredible work of art. It evokes emotional response and causes reflection and introspection. Any work of art can be taken at face value, but the mire you look the more you find.
PSN | Mandein

User Info: Blackstar110

Blackstar110
3 days ago#19
Druff posted...
A few days ago in the Kinda Funny Spoilercast, Druckmann said, "Years ago when we announced Part 2, we said the first game was about love and this one is about hate. We lied. They're both about love."
I think that's very much the case, yeah. It's a really dark story, but it doesn't just ruminate on hate. It has a lot of focus on love and forgiveness.

AyumiSqueezetoy posted...
even the first game's warring factions, and attempt to get the vaccine and return to the old world kind of stem from this holding on.
That's a great point. Whether it's intended or not, I think that's a good tie of the theme to the overall state of the world.

Archgoat posted...
I agree about some of the pacing issues, though I prefer a longer game to a tighter narrative.
I'm with you. I really didn't mind any pacing issues because the world was such a joy to explore, but I can acknowledge that might not be the case for everyone.

Everyone else, thank you for your feedback on the post! I'm glad it seems like most of you got something from it, I just wanted to put my thoughts into words.
-Shred
(edited 3 days ago)
#20
(message deleted)
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