7 Most Brutal Choices From Telltale’s The Walking Dead That Still Keep Us up at Night

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7 Most Brutal Choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

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Steal Supplies From the Mysterious Car?

the walking dead steal supplies from car

Food is scarce in a zombie apocalypse (unless you’re a zombie), so it’s a really big deal when Clementine and her fellow survivors stumble upon an (apparently) abandoned station wagon loaded with sustenance and other supplies in season 1. The vehicle is unlocked and there are keys in the ignition, but no owner is in sight.

Does your starving, cold, and sick group decide to steal the food, clothing, and medicine just to pass their suffering along to the poor soul who left their items unattended? Or do you decide to teach Clem a life lesson and attempt to preserve what little humanity is still left in the world by not stealing the supplies?

At this moment in the story, Clem, Lee and their group have just escaped becoming dinner for a group of farm-dwelling cannibals and now have no shelter or food of their own– times are pretty tough! But, I stand by my decision to not steal the supplies from the car, and it’s not because you eventually meet the owner of that fateful station wagon later in the season.

Lee and Clem standing off to the side as the rest of their group raids the vehicle is one of my favorite images from the entire game. It’s one of the more powerful moments illustrating a common theme throughout The Walking Dead– that it’s possible to survive with the help of those around you, and not at their expense.

7 Most Brutal Choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Execute Duck Yourself or Let Kenny Do it?

shoot duck choice walking dead

You know a decision is tough when both of the outcomes require shooting a child.

Shortly after he’s been bitten during a bandit raid, Kenny and his wife Katjaa are reeling with the realization that their son Duck’s humanity is slowly slipping away. The rest of the group, meanwhile, is reeling with the realization that Duck will soon become a pint-sized flesh-eating monster.

For Duck’s sake, and for the sake of the group, he has to be put down.

Do you allow Kenny to perform the gruesome execution in the woods alone? Or do you try to help with the unimaginable horror of shooting your own child in the head and accept the burden yourself?

Either way, the repercussions caused by this event cannot be stopped. Katjaa is so shaken by the loss of her son that she takes her own life soon after. And Kenny is never the same again, both for the rest of this season, and especially when we meet him again in season 2.

7 Most Brutal Choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Kill Kenny or Allow Kenny to Kill Jane?

Kenny’s poor mental health is evident from the first moment he and Clem are reunited towards the beginning of Season 2. And, as the survivors’ journey continues, it’s also evident that it’s continuing to degrade.

Kenny’s unstable emotions are most apparent in his interactions with Jane. The two are at each other’s throat throughout a good chunk of the season– figuratively at first, and then quite literally towards the end when Jane fakes AJ’s death in a misguided effort to prove a point.

As the two wrestle on the ground in front of Clementine, you must quickly decide who’s to blame and how/if you’ll intervene.

Was Jane at fault for irresponsibly provoking a mentally (and physically) wounded man, and for using an innocent baby as a tool to win an argument? Or was Kenny’s reaction insane, and a justifiable reason to put the broken man down like his son “Duck” in season 1?

Personally, I chose to stay out of it, allowing Kenny to deliver the final blow to Jane. It wasn’t pleasant, and, as Kenny sees Clem to the gates of Wellington, I wondered if I had made the right choice. That changed when I played through the alternate scenario.

If Jane survives, she ends up taking Clem back to the abandoned hardware store compound and later takes her own life after realizing she’s pregnant. It’s hard to choose that path for Clementine and baby AJ over the fortified settlement of Wellington.

7 Most Brutal Choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Assist in Dr. Lingard’s Suicide or Miss Out on AJ’s Location?

dr lindgard the walking dead

Dr. Lingard isn’t a terribly likable character in season 3 of The Walking Dead, but does he deserve to die?

He’s a pitiful, depressed, shell of a man who’s lost his will to live and found an opiate addiction instead. He’s also the one who denied AJ potentially life-saving medication in order to preserve the supplies for other members of his group (the reason why Clementine was kicked out of The New Frontier). And, most importantly, Dr. Lingard is the reason why AJ, the center of Clem’s universe since his birth in season 2, was stripped from her care.

Paul Lingard informs you that AJ is still alive and well, but he won’t tell you where the boy is located unless you put him out of his misery by administering a lethal dose of his “medication.” Do you enable Lingard’s desperate demands, or do you continue to hope and search for another way to discover AJ’s fate?

7 Most Brutal Choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Go after Gabe and David or Save Richmond with Kate?

chase gabe and david or save richmond walking dead

At the end of season 3 of The Walking Dead, you’re forced to decide which is the better of two far from ideal situations.

After Kate reveals her love for Javier and simultaneously her hatred of David, the two brothers fight (or Javier allows himself to be battered) until David orders his son Gabe to run away with him. You (Javier) must now make the choice of either chasing after your crazed brother and innocent nephew, or traveling with Kate (who’s seriously injured) and Clementine to help save the town of Richmond from the impending zombie herd.

This choice is incredibly difficult to make as it asks players to choose both what they value most, and what they’re willing to sacrifice. Family bonds? Love? Anger? Resourceful necessity? You just know that the decision you’re about to make will ripple through the relationships you’ve developed in the episodes leading up to this.

Sure enough, choosing to go after David and Gabe can result in the outcome of saving them both and David rejoining the group. However, Kate becomes zombified back in Richmond.

If you instead travel with Clem and Kate to save Richmond, you’ll discover David’s corpse after the battle has ended, and Gabe crumpled in an alley waiting to share his heartbreaking last words.

7 Most Brutal Choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Allow AJ to Kill Lilly or Let Her Live?

AJ Lilly shoot The walking dead

Throughout the final season of The Walking Dead, Clementine is faced with tough decisions as she raises AJ in a world filled with morally grey choices. At the heart of this quandary is whether Clem should allow or prevent events that push AJ to be a cold-blooded killer, or preserve what little innocence he has left.

With the nemesis Lilly unarmed and crumpled on the ground, you have the option of allowing AJ to kill her, or ordering him to back down. Lilly is a selfish, murderous, relentless monster who at this moment has just cowardly stabbed James in the back and would happily do the same to you and AJ. But, she’s also a pathetic, pitiable person, and AJ is only a young child.

Do you try to continue to shield AJ from violence, or is it too late for that kind of stuff in a zombie apocalypse?

7 Most Brutal Choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Shoot Lee or Leave Him to Turn?

Telltale's The Walking Dead, Unforgettable Moments, Lee's Death

For me, the final choice in season 1 was the toughest in the entire series simply because I really, really didn’t want to make it.

We all knew this moment was coming. There’s just too much foreshadowing, too many close calls, and Lee is too good of a person to not be sacrificed. But, it doesn’t make the choice you’re faced with– to leave Lee to turn into a walker or shoot him in the head –any easier.

For many, the reason why this decision is so difficult fits right in line with the question that runs throughout the final season of The Walking Dead: “Are walkers truly just walking corpses, or do they still possess a glint of their former humanity?”

Personally, I don’t buy the whole “zombies are still a little bit human” take. That’s what’s so utterly scary about getting bitten– it’s a death sentence.

When people turn in TWD, they’re dead. Their former self, their memories, everything good about them is gone forever… And I didn’t want Lee to be gone forever, regardless of how it happens. And I really didn’t want a child to be responsible for that decision.

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Rhys Roho
Decades of gaming have taught Rhys that he'll play anything with atmosphere and/or loot boxes. His experience with a variety of RPGs, MMOs, FPSs, and other gaming related acronyms informs and inspires his writing.