In 2012, Telltale Video games exploded into the mainstream with an emotional story of humanity in a world filled with monsters and odd struggles inside extraordinary circumstances. The Strolling Useless was already well-known for its comics and tv present, however Telltale delivered a premiere season on par with every other medium tackling Robert Kirkman’s zombie-infested world.
Greater than half a decade later, Telltale has expanded its steady of licensed properties to virtually an absurd diploma. From Sport of Thrones and Borderlands to Guardians of the Galaxy and even Minecraft, the studio has utilized the system from that first season of The Strolling Useless to myriad beloved properties. Regardless of this, The Strolling Useless stays probably the most resonant franchise for a lot of followers, as gamers lovingly watched Clementine develop from harmless youngster to hardened survivor.
In November, gamers realized that they’d be compelled to say goodbye to Clementine and Telltale’s imaginative and prescient of The Strolling Useless, because the studio introduced the ultimate season was coming in 2018. Whereas longtime gamers will undoubtedly lament now not following Clementine’s adventures, it represents the tip of an period for Telltale.
We caught up with lead author James Windeler and the voice actor of Clementine, Melissa Hutchison, to see how they’re approaching these last moments with the character.
You’ve been with the collection and the character of Clementine because the get-go. What’s it prefer to be developing on the tip?
Melissa Hutchinson: Effectively, this last season is all for Clementine. It’s been unbelievable to be on the sport for thus lengthy, beginning along with her character at such a younger age, then attending to the place we’re at now. It’s unbelievable.
Have been you stunned at how individuals took to Clementine?
MH: Yeah! I imply, no, nevertheless it’s form of laborious to say that now. On reflection, all of it is sensible, however at first, after we first began this journey, the explosion of the sport typically, and the way the followers latched on to Lee and Clementine’s story was a ravishing shock. It’s not surprising because it’s such an amazingly written story, however I’ve loads of gratitude to the followers for certain.
On the finish of the primary season, we had a really tragic loss. What’s it prefer to construct a personality up and set up this relationship after which have to chop the twine in such harsh style?
MH: I consider that when season 1 was created, it wasn’t even identified that Clementine’s story would go on. I don’t assume there was this intention that it might go on and that we’d do that complete collection.
James Windeler: I wasn’t there, however I feel it was undoubtedly designed to be a self-contained story and I don’t assume it was identified simply how massive of an explosion it might trigger. The writers… everybody was taken unexpectedly by its unbelievable success. If you consider the story, probably the most full and concrete arc is Clementine’s within the sense that she, via Lee’s sacrifice, learns to be self-sufficient, not less than to a level… as a lot as a baby of that age might be. It’s Clementine’s story, and it is sensible that it’s the story that continues. Individuals had been unhappy to lose Lee, nevertheless it was an important a part of Clementine’s development.
What classes do you assume have been Most worthy for Clementine over the course of her arc?
MH: It’s actually cool as a result of with every episode she’s rising and studying, however all of season 1 was mainly this five-episode journey to getting her to the purpose the place she will survive on her personal. With the ending of season 1, relying on the way you performed it – I nonetheless can’t consider there are individuals who performed it in a means the place you don’t take that last motion – on the finish of that season, she has to do that horrible factor, however that’s the take a look at that claims she’s prepared. She will be able to do it. However every season, she’s been rising and getting stronger.
With the story of the place she’s at now with A.J., it’s actually form of honoring her relationships with Lee, and on this final season, she’s in a spot the place she’s having to care for a younger youngster and do her finest on this loopy world. I feel these are all actually robust classes she realized from Lee on having the ability to survive on her personal. I feel that’s going to essentially be mirrored on this last season.
How would you describe Clementine now versus how you’ll describe her within the first season?
MH: After we meet her within the first season, we already know this child’s received some brains in her as a result of she is aware of to cover in her treehouse to outlive. The s–t’s hit the fan and he or she’s survived this far. We all know she’s going to be a stable character in that division, however she was so younger and an Eight-year-old child needs to be taught all the things about learn how to survive in that world. Now, she’s grown into, in my humble opinion, probably the most badass feminine characters in gaming historical past. She’s so robust, and he or she’s maintained the essence of the little lady who individuals wished to guard.
You’re attending to the purpose now the place it’s virtually time to say goodbye to the character. What’s that like?
MH: It’s bittersweet! I’m unhappy simply because I’ve spent a lot time along with her, so in fact that coming to an finish… I’m making an attempt to savor each second of it. It’s very unhappy, however we had been speaking earlier that it’s an excellent time and an excellent place along with her character to… it’s laborious for me to say the phrase “finish,” as a result of I don’t consider it as a fan of the sport!
JW: All the time know the place to finish. It’s time for us to finish Clementine’s story.
You breathe life into this character. What’s that prefer to go your separate means?
MH: I don’t know. [Laughs] I assume discuss to me in about six months! Curiously sufficient, all through the method of recording, it’s form of a livid few months of recording, then there’s loads of time in between. I used to be telling somebody earlier that [Clementine] has turn out to be such a presence in my life, it’s very easy to attach along with her. It’s going to be a giant transition, so I don’t know… I don’t know the way it’s all going to play out, however I really feel like these final recording periods are going to be robust.
Have you considered that final stroll out of the sales space as Clementine?
MH: Oh man… I’m most likely going to want… I don’t know what I’m going to want!
MH: Sure! I’m going to want whiskey and a assist workers of mates. I’m hoping that I’ll not less than be close by with the individuals who have labored on this sport so we are able to all exit and have fun a tremendous success.
Feels like a funeral.
MH: Yeah! We’ll all be in veils, black… whole mourning!
JW: We’ll have tissues available.
MH: Yeah, it’ll be tough, however once more, finish it whereas it’s good.
We’re going into this last season. How do you meet the expectations of followers who’ve invested years into this character?
JW: Clementine as a personality has been extraordinarily essential to us as a studio and to followers, and we all know that. We’re enjoying as Clementine, which you didn’t do within the third season. It’s actually her story, and we’re working as laborious as we are able to to create an emotional, partaking, and thrilling finale… a ship off for this character. We’ll hopefully deliver the story to a detailed and create some fairly robust feelings in gamers. It’s a problem.
MH: No strain, proper? There aren’t any followers who’re ready for this season to come back out in any respect. [Laughs] I don’t envy [the writers’] place in any respect.
JW: The reality is, we’ve got an amazing character. We now have a goal for the ending, and we’re making an attempt to ship on all the things that Clementine has come to imply.
On the opposite aspect of that, how do you defy fan expectations?
JW: I can’t reveal what we’re doing with the story, however we’re aiming to each fulfill and subvert them to a level. We’re doing what we are able to to create probably the most compelling, thrilling, emotionally fulfilling finish to the collection.
Does this really feel like the tip of an period for Telltale given how essential this collection has been to the studio’s success?
JW: I undoubtedly really feel just like the studio is shifting into an thrilling new time, and we’re saying goodbye to Clementine, a personality who has been vastly, vastly essential to the studio. In that sense, it’s the finish of an period. In that sense, we’re transitioning. But it surely’s additionally an thrilling time. It’s not a mournful time. It’s one thing to be celebrated.
What ought to followers count on going into this last season?
JW: They’re going to choose up with Clementine on the highway – a fierce, succesful survivor. She’s going to be on the highway with A.J., the closest factor she has to household. The 2 of them are on their final legs after they discover a secluded faculty the place there aren’t any adults in sight; it’s a neighborhood run completely by kids. This, for Clem and A.J., represents a risk of dwelling. They may have the ability to settle right here. That’s the setup for the primary episode, however we even have new gameplay options. We’re introducing segments of unscripted fight, which suggests we’re taking a step away from our QTEs, and there’s much more flexibility and freedom. We’re placing you proper into the motion and there’s a way of concern about residing on this world.