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The Walking Dead (also known as The Walking Dead: The Game and The Walking Dead: Season One) is a 2012 episodic series by Telltale Games. Similar to Jurassic Park the Game, you guide your character in an Adventure Game setting through a relatively linear series of events dotted with minor gameplay puzzles and a few quick time events.
The game takes place in the same universe as the graphic novel, only shortly after the outbreak this time, instead of weeks afterwards. Lee Everett is a prisoner handcuffed in the back of a police car travelling down a highway in Georgia when an accident involving a weird shambling man on the road gets him loose. Now he has to work with other survivors, all while hoping his Dark and Troubled Past doesn't cause everyone to hate him, shun him, or worse, feed him to the zombies.
Despite involving a largely different cast than the main series, you will see some familiar faces, such as Glenn and Hershel.
Just like the main series, while the zombies are ostensibly the problem, the real major issue is the remnants of humanity, and forging and maintaining relationships with other survivors is the key. Almost all of your actions will have consequences in how people perceive you, and it will be up to you as to how helpful you'll be, and whom you'll help.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted: Running out of ammo is what can possibly kill Carley near the end of Episode One, when she cannot reach her extra ammo in her purse.
- But Now I Must Go: Glenn at the end of Episode 1. This is so he can find his friends in Atlanta. Of course, anyone familiar with the series knows it's so he can be in Atlanta when Rick shows up.
- But Thou Must!: You are often given three options or silence as a reply to timed responses. If you pit Hershel against Shawn in an argument about fortifying the farm, you have four replies that can time out twice before the game forces you to choose one, taking Shawn's side.
- The Cameo: Both Glenn and Hershel show up in Episode 1.
- Chekhov's Gun: The cane that belonged to Lee's dad.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The subtitles. Each character (With the exception of Shawn, Hershel, Glenn, and other minor characters which are grayish off-white) has their own individually colored subtitles.
- Lee is white.
- Clemintine is light pink.
- Kenny is chartreuse.
- Katjaa is orange.
- Duck is yellowish beige.
- Lily is forest green.
- Larry is red.
- Carley is purple.
- Doug is powder blue.
- Also two minor characters who are killed off shortly after they're introduced also have color-coded subtitles.
- The unnamed police officer is light blue.
- Irene is dark pink.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Lee killed a state Senator who he caught in bed with his wife. The worst part is that a couple of characters know this.
- Disproportionate Retribution: You can allow Larry to eat human flesh, simply because he mistakenly believed that Lee wasn't grateful to Brenda for offering him a meal (which was in fact Mark's legs) and acted pretty rude to him because of it.
- Doomed by Canon: Hershel's son, Shawn, who shows up alive in the game, only to die a little while later. He's already dead in the series when Rick comes to their farm.
- Driven to Suicide: Irene, the young girl you pick up at the Motor Inn in Episode 1, as she was bitten.
- Foreshadowing: "It goes to show, people will up and go mad when they think their life is over." If what the preview of episode 2 is anything to go by...
- Gosh Darn It to Heck: Clementine reacts with a dismayed gasp if Lee says the word "shit". If he says "manure" instead, she'll smile.
- Half Truth: Lee can give plenty of these to the other survivors when they question him about his past. Giving people these early may bite you in the butt later.
- Hollywood Silencer: You use a pillow to suppress the sound of a gunshot at a certain point.
- Hope Spot: The end of Episode 1, where the cast state that the Motor Inn is defensible and has power, so they could stay for a good while. Right on cue, the power goes out.
- Hot Scoop: Carley, the reporter, is quite easy on the eyes.
- Jerkass: Larry, who doubles as an Ungrateful Bastard.
- Keet: Duck. Kenny, his father, states that what he lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in enthusiasm.
- Mercy Kill: You can do this for Irene, you can give her the gun and allow her do it, or you can deny her the gun so that she has to forcibly take the gun to kill herself.
- Morality Pet: It seems Clementine is considered this for Lee.
- Motor Mouth: Duck. After the zombie attack, he becomes completely silent. He becomes his usual self at the end of episode 1, to Clementine's dismay.
- Mythology Gag: Lee and Clementine sleep in Hershel's barn, and he is later shown cleaning it up. In the comics and the TV show, this is where he locks up zombie family members. Including Shawn, whom you failed to save. Similarly, at the end of Episode 1 Glenn leaves for Atlanta with Clementine's walkie-talkie. The same one he later uses to communicate with Rick when the latter gets stuck in a tank.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Invoked a lot, but especially by Kenny at the end of Episode 1.
Kenny: No one dies again. If you've been loyal, he adds, "Especially a good friend."
- Or alternatively:
"Even if he is an asshole."
- Parental Abandonment: Clementine's folks left her with a babysitter so they could go on a trip before the outbreak hit. No word on their survival, but hope is kinda thin.
- Pretty Little Headshots: (snort) Averted.
- Press X to Not Die: In exchange for the usual style of action gameplay, moments of danger are treated as this, although the new interface is somewhat more effective than those used in previous Telltale games.
- Sadistic Choice: You'll be making plenty of these.
- The first real one is near the end of Episode 1 where you have to choose between Doug and Carley.
- There's also a subverted one where you have a choice between Shawn and Duck. No matter whom you pick, Shawn dies and Duck lives. The reactions of other characters however will be influenced by your choice.
- Stab the Scorpion: Kenny does one to Lee when the group is leaving the pharmacy
- Security Blanket: The walkie-talkie becomes this for Clementine, as she and her parents use it to talk and she feels it's the only way she'll be able to reach them.
- Soft Glass: First Invoked and then Subverted. First, when Lee has to kick out a car window, it is realistically hard, and takes several attempts (and even then, he has to kick the entire plane of glass out, not just kick part of the window), and don't forget said car has turned several times on the ground before coming to a stop. It is then subverted when Lee tries to elbow in a truck's window. Not only does this fail, but they actually need porcelain to break it open quickly and safely enough.
- Tempting Fate: Lily says she thinks everything is going to be okay at the hotel at the end of Episode 1. Then the power goes out.
- The Klutz: Lee spends the first half of Episode 1 slipping, tripping, and falling over everything he touches.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Even if Lee does a Pet the Dog with Larry, and even after he saves his life getting nitroglycerine for his heart condition, he still forces Lee back towards the zombies when the group is trying to escape.
- Video Game Caring Potential: The surrogate relationship between Clementine and Lee very well may invoke this.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lee gets this a lot, regardless of his choices.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Well, it is about the walking dead.