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Walking Dead, The Game: Carly or Doug?

Updated on July 4, 2013

Carly or Doug

Oh no, here it comes!
Oh no, here it comes! | Source

Who did you choose, Carly or Doug?

With Telltale games releasing new episodes to their very successful Walking Dead games now is a good time to review some of what made the first episodes work very well to draw you in, and what they may have done better. This is my first commentary on this line of thought, and I'm going to start with the very first heart wrenching choice, to save Carly or Doug.

Surprisingly this was not really as difficult a decision as Telltale Games wanted it to be, and not just for me. According to the initial polls, many more people ended up choosing Carly in their first playthroughs than chose Doug. In current polls it is far more even, since some people are playing through again in some instances, and a few people playing through on their own after having heard or watched someone else play. However on the first plays most people who know nothing about the game when they start will tend to want to save Carly.

Carly is saved 3 out of 4 times

This represents early playthrough results. New playthroughs are far more likely to get results that are far more even.
This represents early playthrough results. New playthroughs are far more likely to get results that are far more even. | Source

Telltale Games Response

Telltale Games published an article soon after the first results were in, commenting on the overwhelming results. Far more people chose to save Carly than they anticipated. Upon review of these statistics, they came to the conclusion that the decision was based on the fact that you have a whole episode of events with Carly You go to the Motel to save Glenn, end up killing a slew of zombies, and attempt to rescue a survivor. On comparison, your interaction with Doug is to sit at the fence, have him alter a remote for you, then walk away from Doug to deal with your brother, a very intimate and personal experience. In fact most of your event with Doug you barely even notice that he is there at all. So the Telltale Games designers feel that they should have given you more interaction time with Doug, and that would have made your decision much harder. In a way this is true, but ultimately I find that I need to disagree with this conclusion. I do not feel that spending more time with Doug would be the only solution to fix this gap.

Girl with gun, or guy at fence?

Carly with her gun, looking capable and ready to kill zombies.
Carly with her gun, looking capable and ready to kill zombies.
Doug is more than he seems. Too bad we don't get to know that at first.
Doug is more than he seems. Too bad we don't get to know that at first.

An Alternative Idea

In the end for me the decision was simple. I didn't really bond with Carly. I didn't have feelings for her whatsoever. I'm not a male, so even those thoughts didn't even enter my head to sway me. What I thought about when I made my decision was simply this: do I want the person with the gun who is being described as having a dead-eye when shooting, or do I want the person that can change the coding in a remote? How many times is my survival going to hinge on being able to alter a remote control?

Sure, in the end either one would have been just as vital to your survival, either one would have saved your butt just as often as the other. That is just how these point-and-click, vital choice survival games work. They can't work any other way and actually go on for any length of time. However if I am going to make a vital, heat of the moment decision that could potentially save my life in the future, there needs to be more reason to make the choice a tough one than girl with gun vs guy good with electronic gadgets in a city that is quickly losing all vitality.

I could have chosen based on the idea that one was female, and repopulation is going to eventually be necessary if the human race is going to continue. I could have chosen based on who I spent more time with and got to know better. Both are legitimate considerations in a time of stress. I just personally ended up basing my choice on who seemed more likely in the heat of the moment to be able to continue to allow me to survive, and that was the person with the gun and the ability to use it.

What was your choice, and why?

How did you choose?

On your FIRST playthrough (if you played more than once) who did you choose to save?

See results


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    • Assiqtaq profile image

      Krysteena 6 months ago from Los Angeles

      Taylor, I agree that Doug did seem resourceful. Unfortunately I do not think that they showed this off in the best way. Compared to Carly, who couldn't handle putting batteries in a radio, he was by far the best choice for knowing how to do things.

    • profile image

      Taylor 6 months ago

      I chose Doug because he seemed like a resourceful guy

    • profile image

      Isabel 2 years ago

      I feel like Doug has a lot of potental, given that we saw more of Carley and know her limitations. Besides, she was the one who left her ammo in her purse. The fault was in her.

    • Assiqtaq profile image

      Krysteena 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      The comment about knowing Lee doesn't come up before this incident, but it is a valid argument in the future. Everything else is pretty much spot on, the only down side I found to Carley at this point was her inability to deal with batteries for a radio.

    • profile image

      Man of Sin 3 years ago

      The reason why so many people choice Carley:

      -Attractive female.

      -Saved the lives Lee and his group a couple of times. Making it feel like you owe her.

      -More flesh out character and interacts with the player more. Allowing the player to bond with her more.

      -Knew you were a convicted murder but thought Lee was a decent person. This makes her likable to many players and would probably make the story more interesting.

      -Proved to be more useful against zombies.

      -Was in greater danger as that Walker could have bite her and there was more coming in her direction. While There was wood between Doug and the Walker.

      It almost feels one-sided.

    • Assiqtaq profile image

      Krysteena 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Zombiesham I can so understand your reasoning. Thank you for your comment.

    • profile image

      Zombiesham 3 years ago

      I honestly chose Doug because he seemed like maybe he was gay and I wanted the chance to get to know him more. The Walking Dead comic is really good about inserting gay characters without making them stereotypes or quota fillers. I also actually thought that since Carley had good gun skills and had the gun on her person she might evade danger on her own.

      Additionally, I felt like Carley was a fairly generic hard-nosed attractive female journalist character. Although I do enjoy strong female characters in zombie games (Claire Redfield, Ada Wong and their ilk) I also really enjoy everyman heroes who are forced to dig deep to get through an unthinkable situation.

      In the future I might choose Carley just to see where her path leads in terms of dialogue, but I much prefer Doug as a character.

    • Assiqtaq profile image

      Krysteena 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you so much for that comment, it really gave me a good bit of insight into a different way of looking at the situation than I had at the time I made the choice.

    • profile image

      Sam 3 years ago

      I saved Doug.

      Partially because I thought Carley was going to be the love interest and I'd rather not go down the predictable route. Partially also because Doug is a hero for saving Carley, she had her second chance at life and I felt Doug deserved his. Plus the bit with Carley and the radio was pretty clueless, haha. Finally, even though I'd spent more time with Carley, Doug pretty much seemed like me in video game form. I'm that loveable dork that people often underestimate and overlook but I usually come through in the end and surprise people as Doug did when he saved Carley's life and shone the laser pointer in Andy St John's eye.

      Anyway even though I (as a player) knew it was a one lives and one dies choice, I also reasoned that Lee would want to and probably did think he could save both of them. I thought I was a fraction closer to Doug than Carley and looking at the two of them, I figured Doug looked like he'd be pulled out that window any second and that he had no way of saving himself but Carley looked like she had a chance of kicking her walker in the head and getting the ammo herself and even if she couldn't fend off that walker and free herself, she looked like she could definitely hold out a decent bit of time longer than Doug. So, still thinking like I feel Lee would, I freed Doug reasoning that I'd have enough time to still help Carley but the situation as we know got worse for Carley in a hurry.

      Funny thing is, when I first played through it, back in October, the majority saved Doug over Carley but in my second playthrough that I started a few nights ago, it had Carley back in the lead :P

    • Assiqtaq profile image

      Krysteena 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Well I care, obviously. Yes they all do end up dying, it seems nearly everyone dies in The Walking dead at some point. I want to know how you reacted to it at the time, if you would be willing to share it with me.

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      Addict 4 years ago

      They die anyway, who cares now.

    • profile image

      Aqua 4 years ago

      To me it actually was a hard decision but I saved Carly because then she would have had a gun and I had hoped there was still enough time to save Doug as well.

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      Zoe 4 years ago

      I saved Doug because Carly looked like she was in a better position to defend herself.

      If I had known I was literally choosing who was going to live, I may have saved Carly.

      Saying that, I did feel like Carly could be a disruptive influence on the group based on how she interacted with Lee. I felt like she was holding his secret against him and could turn on him. We already had a lot of trust issues after the Larry/Kenny fight, and I didn't want to introduce anymore strife into the group. Whereas Doug was a much more relaxed person to be around, and he didn't know about Lee's past. I just wanted a fresh start with nobody knowing about Lee's past, especially since at this point I thought Lee might have been innocent of the crime, and I didn't know Larry also knew about the conviction.

    • profile image

      The First to Fall 4 years ago

      If you save Doug, you see that Carly didn't have any ammunition left. Maybe that had something to do with the Christian I coerced into Hell... All they both needed was one bullet...

    • Assiqtaq profile image

      Krysteena 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Now that is a reasoning I had not heard before, but is totally legitimate and I love you thought of it! Thank you!

    • profile image

      The Governor 4 years ago

      I chose Doug...

      Carley knew about my past, and could potentially use that as leverage against me.

      Doug was the exact opposite. He seemed like a loyal pawn that I could easily manipulate.

    • Assiqtaq profile image

      Krysteena 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      I have to agree with you both. It kind of seemed wrong that no one tried to help Doug once Carley was free.

    • profile image

      Vinni 4 years ago

      I'm with David on this. Considering her skill and potential feelings for Doug, I was hoping she'd save him once free of harm herself.

    • profile image

      David 4 years ago

      I was hoping Carley would save Doug after I saved her. She was holding a gun at the moment.

    • C McD13 profile image

      C McD13 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      I was the same as you, the main reason I picked Carly is because of her being a good marksman.

    • Angie Martin profile image

      Angie Martin 4 years ago from Frazier Park, California

      Interesting Hub! For me, I picked Carley because I had bonded with her character, as you suggested others did. I think people are also more apt to pick her to save because she's a woman. It's hard to kill off women or children if you have a choice in a game.

      For example - when I found the food and I was told I could pass it out to a limited number of people, I automatically chose to give it to the children first. We have it ingrained in our minds that no matter who we are, we need to make sure that children are cared for first and foremost. Second to children are women. Men are apparently expendable :)

      Had Telltale Games given players the choice to save Carley or another woman, then I believe it would have been a more evenly split choice between the two, rather than the drastic difference in how many players chose to save Carley over Doug.