Why Clementine From The Walking Dead is My Favorite Video Game Character
As a parent, you want to keep your children safe, teach them everything you can so they are self-sufficient by the time they 'leave the nest', and show them that the world is a beautiful, yet cruel place at times. If you are in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse while away on vacation and your child or children were at home with the babysitter, how would you feel?
Nobody knows this feeling better than Clementine and her parents from TellTale Games' The Walking Dead. The only tidbits we have about Clementine's parents are that they were a successful couple who went on vacation to the Marsh House in Savannah, GA. They managed to leave a couple of voice messages for their daughter, but Lee ends up hearing them.
The game leaves it up to you to handle the news about Clementine's parents.
At first, Clementine is so fragile that breaking the news to her might diminish her fighting spirit or make her hate Lee. Clementine doesn't see her parents again until the end of the first season of The Walking Dead. She sees her undead parents amongst a horde of zombies and she realizes that her life has changed forever.
Luckily, she has Lee to guide her and serve as a father figure during the first season of the game.
Clementine's seen so much at such a young age, yet she's resilient and strong enough to endure it all with a clear head and solid shooting skills - all thanks to Lee. She can protect herself, survive on her own, think rationally (unlike Kenny) in tough situations, and act accordingly. Of course, she wouldn't be able to do some of those things without our help. But I would think most gamers would want her to survive and thrive during the Zombie Apocalypse.
She's a kid who's had to grow up fast and learn about the world too soon. And this new world that she's been surviving in isn't keen on letting anyone, not even children, live. As the late great Chuck said in Season One:
"...you gotta prepare the girl. Teach her how to use a weapon and, for criminy, cut that hair."
Chuck believed that there was no distinction between kids and adults anymore; they're all just people trying to survive. And no one wants to witness the death of another person. Unfortunately, Clementine has to get used to it.
Clementine's sweet, kind and fragile in Season One. In Season Two, she's a little cold, but more realistic and helpful than anything. She leaves an impression on you. You want her to do well, and we can probably blame TellTale Games for that. They do so well at instilling emotion with the characters they create and show to us.
With Clementine, you get a lot of different emotions: sympathy and empathy because of her situation, frustration because sometimes she's the only voice of reason among a group of 'adults' who should know better, light-heartedness because she's cute and naïve at times, and the list goes on.
Despite everything she has endured thus far, she's still alive. She has what it takes to survive and at her young age, that's admirable. After all, it's hard to not view her as a little girl. It's hard to watch her kill zombies and witness death all around her.
But it's The Walking Dead, where anyone is susceptible to a flesh-eating life after death, which is one thing we don't want for Clementine.