Why the scene with Sam isn't realistic

edited December 2013 in The Walking Dead

As everyone knows, the sequence where Sam attacks Clem is pretty damn traumatic, and adheres to what would really happen in a situation like that...

...except it doesn't.

I've been in touch with two different dog specialists, and I described the scenario in the video game to them right down to the last possible detail. On both occasions, they said a feral dog deprived of food to that extent would simply tear into Clem on sight, and not play nice before snapping without warning...especially a dog that had once been domestic. As for the situation with the can of beans, they explained to me that if a human gets between a wild dog and its food, the dog might injure the human at first, but return its attention to the food itself. Sam would only bite Clem (as he initially did in the game), and then focus on the can...and NOT continue to attack her with the intent to kill.

A dog behaving exactly the way Sam did in the game is freakishly rare, with rabies or some other mental defect usually playing a factor. It goes to show how needlessly nasty the scene really is.

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Comments

  • edited December 2013

    JUST STOP! Just because people don't like it doesn't mean it's not "realistic" the dog was fucking hungry! He was starving! He wanted food, Clem took that food away so the dog goes into aggro survival mode. Simple as that.

    I don't think TT expected people to read into this scene that much, Jesus Christ man.

  • Which is what I have been saying all along. Telltale really ought to have done some more research. There are other ways that scene could have worked. For example if the dog wasn't alone and in a pack. Then it would have been believable.

  • edited December 2013

    I don't think TT expected people to read into this scene that much, Jesus Christ man.

    That would be a little ridiculous on their part, considering the scene is supposed to be pivotal in teaching Clem (and the player) how savage and cruel this world has supposedly become.

    Oh, and the casual blasphemy? Really not necessary.

  • edited December 2013

    Robert Morgan. It's a video game.
    The dog saw the food clementine may have been teasing it when she have some and he dog he wanted more beans. So he snapped. Anyways this isn't even real so why does it matter?

  • Why do people care so much about the realism of this scene? I honestly think its very realistic. Obviously it was a family dog so I assume it was at least well trained and decent around people. The family probably died within the last few days or moderately recent. I think the scene makes perfect sense.

  • edited December 2013

    considering the scene is supposed to be pivotal in teaching Clem (and the player) how savage and cruel this world has supposedly become.

    .......and it does exactly that. What's your point?

  • I agree. Also it's a video game why does it have to be super realistic anyway?

  • And anyways clementine was punching it in the face so maybe then it attacked her because of that.

  • edited December 2013

    I'm not sure how that even got brought up..... lol.

    Edit: Nevermind, I see it lol. Didn't even notice it before.

  • If he doesn't believe in God, then why does it matter if he blasphemes?

    The Bible doesn't tell you to stop others from blaspheming, it tells you not to do it yourself.

    Besides, what was it Dumbledore once said? 'Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.' I.e., it's not worth getting worked up over two words.

  • edited December 2013

    The Bible tells you to kill a man that works on the sabbath. I think blasphemy would also be punishable by death. I mean they stone children that don't obey to their parents in that thing. Ghastly book.

  • Let's not get into religion guys. This is how a internet world war breaks out.

  • And dead people walking around is realistic?

  • A family of survivors all becoming predatory cannibals after only a couple months is also "freakishly rare" and "needlessly nasty." But no one seems to be up in arms over the realism there.

    Animals can be just as diverse and complex as humans. Who knows what that dog went through before it met up with Clem? Maybe it does have psychological problems. Maybe someone's been mistreating it. Maybe it's been using the "be cute so that someone feeds you" strategy for a while but it was hungry enough for its feral instincts to kick in when it thought that Clem was withholding food from it.

    It might be a rare occurrence, but domesticated dog attacks do happen and can be fatal. For me and most others on here it seems, the scenario was not so implausible that it forces a suspension of disbelief and that's what really matters. Maybe you feel differently and that's fine. No need to go digging up authority figures for such a silly matter. I appreciate the research effort though.

  • Haha what? Yeesh, guys.

    Yes, TTG Did Not Do Their Homework for this scene. Calling them out on it is perfectly fair. Sure, this is a game about zombies, but the mechanics and behavior of people/things are grounded in realism, which makes Sam's behavior out of place. This is just as a valid complaint as everything else people are complaining about.

    Nothing worth hemming and hawing over, but if someone wants to call attention to the fact that it exists, why not.

  • Dont forget that it's impossible for a 11 year old girl to superkick a dog over a log and impaling him on some metal spikes.
    Still, the scene was pretty good, and i liked it.

  • edited December 2013

    I am not a dog behaviourist but I am a Vet Student and I know that food bowl aggression can definitely be a problem with dogs .

    There are dogs that are perfectly friendly in every single way except when it comes to food, you can pet them play with them but if you try to touch them whilst they are eating they will snap at you.This is why dog shelters do the "food bowl" test. They give the dog some food they then take a rubber hand on a stick, approach a dog while he is eating and then push his face away from the food dish. If the dog growls or bites it can not be rehomed. Considering sam was hungry and could potentially already of had food bowl aggression issues and clem just snatched food away from him then his reaction is perfectly plausible. Clem is also just a 10 year old girl she cant be expected to notice the warning signs the dog may have given prior to the attack which is why children in real life often get attacked by dogs because they cant read the warning signs of an aggressive dog.

    Also you have to remember that this is a game about a zombie apocolypse so it is already unrealistic since zombies arent real and it is not a dog behavioural simulator game, so dont expect telltale to include every intricate nuance of dog body language. Think about it if this is all people have to complain about then I think telltale did a pretty good job.

  • Adrenalin allows you to use more of your mussel than normal. Although, it can cause the destruction of the mussel tissue. Also, the mussels can do things like break the your bones, for, the normal limits are not as present. Examples of this include old ladies picking up cars to save people from under them that they love.

    So, I think a 10 year old girl can do it. (I am pretty sure she is 10.)

  • Yea, I keep seeing people say 11, I'm pretty sure she is 10 years old.

  • thanks dome, yeah maybe his dog expert was given the wrong information, he said feral dog. not hungry domesticated dog. very different.

  • You're lying you didn't call any specialist. Who plays a video game watches a scene of a dog attack then calls experts to make sure its true to real life?

  • He never said he called anyone, he said he is a Vet Student.

  • I got bitten by a dog for simply being in the same room. I'd guess it depends completely on its personality.

  • 400 days plus 16 months is over two years and she just turned 9 at the end of season 1, so yeah, she's just past 11.

  • edited December 2013

    It's not 400 days + 16 months

    It's 100/110 days + about 6 months + 16 months.

    Or to go from her 9th birthday: Christa is already pregnant (first trimester) (about 100 days in)

    start of second season: Christa still pregnant: to me that's around 6 months (about 250-300 days in)

    +16 months: 22 months after her 9th birthday (about 730-780 days in)

    that makes her still 10. Around two months to her birthday

    The 400 days are totally independent from that. The 400th day is somewhere in that 16 months-period. About 100-150 days after Omid dies. But still 330-380 days before the main plot of the second season. So the day Tavia meets the gang from 400 days was about a year ago.

    (edited due to minor miscalculations)

  • The gas station is already deserted so it had to have been at the tail end of the 400 days plus Christa looked like she was ready to pop and she said she was about to go into labor. I think she was full term. Also, and most compellingly, someone posted a twitter message from Melissa Hutchinson saying that Clem was meant to be 11 years old.

  • edited December 2013

    Regarding Twitter: She said this:

    She is almost 2 years older

    And we have a gap of almost 150 days in which we don't know anything about the gas station, Shel's story ended at 259 days in. We don't know at what point the place fell. It was certainly before 400 days in.

    So Clem's 11th birthday is in the future. In the near future, but still.

  • Maybe it's been using the "be cute so that someone feeds you" strategy

    Dog be treading on Clementine's turf.

  • edited December 2013

    A family of survivors all becoming predatory cannibals after only a couple months is also "freakishly rare" and "needlessly nasty." But no one seems to be up in arms over the realism there.

    It was more than a "couple of months", and the episode made it pretty clear that the St. Johns were deranged. As for the incident with Sam, I hardly think it's a silly matter...it's a scene where a girl is almost mauled to death by a dog, for crying out loud!

    It's just that I'm getting a little tired of some of the hypocrisy in this forum. When someone complains about a scene being too horrible, they're attacked with straw man arguments claiming they want ponies and rainbows in later chapters. When someone believes the logistics of one particularly gruesome scene don't hold up, they're hit with the "it's just a game" card. It makes you wonder if this forum is populated by some people who actually get off on seeing a feral dog bite into the skin of a girl's arm.

    When that happens, it's just torture porn. Telltale did a fine job walking the line between being necessary and just being outright mean in season 1. I personally think they slipped up a few times here, that's all.

  • edited December 2013

    It was more than a "couple of months"

    No it wasn't. It was three months in, and they already had a routine. Who knows when they started?

    the episode made it pretty clear that the St. Johns were deranged

    So Sam can not be "deranged"? Taking into account that he also lived 2 years in the apocalypse, doesn't make him being "deranged" less plausible, I'd say. Animals experience stress, too. And behave more irrational when under stress.

  • Ha. Now we know why she really put it down--competition.

  • Okay, so maybe she's a week shy or a day shy. So close as to not matter since no one is keeping track of time in the apocalypse anyway.

  • So close as to not matter since no one is keeping track of time in the apocalypse anyway

    That we can agree on. And she certainly is closer to her 11th birthday than to her 10th. But technically she's still 10.

  • edited December 2013

    It's just that I'm getting a little tired of some of the hypocrisy in this forum. When someone complains about a scene being too horrible, they're attacked with straw man arguments claiming they want ponies and rainbows in later chapters. When someone believes the logistics of one particularly gruesome scene don't hold up, they're hit with the "it's just a game" card. It makes you wonder if this forum is populated by some people who actually get off on seeing a feral dog bite into the skin of a girl's arm.

    Seeing as how this is a mature-rated game based on an extremely violent comic book that's trying to be a somewhat realistic take on a zombie apocalypse, complaints about a scene being too horrible seem a bit silly to some people. And this thread kinda comes off as you trying too hard to justify your dislike of a scene.

    On principle, I actually agree with you, though. I do think that just as there is a line between tragedy and melodrama, there is a line between horror and torture porn. The dog-biting scene didn't really venture near there for me but the stitching did seem to milk the pain a bit too much for my taste (although the arm-chopping with Lee was very similar).

    But I don't agree with the idea that Telltale just put the scene with Sam in the game solely for the sake of being horrible. They said that this season would be about trust. Having you befriend and take care of an animal that seems friendly at first only to have it turn around and quite literally bite the hand that feeds it seems like really heavy foreshadowing of things to come. Makes you wonder: will you be the hand or the dog?

  • Just because people don't like it doesn't mean it's not "realistic"

    To be fair, I think people dislike it because it doesn't seem realistic. Not the other way around.

    I thought the moment was perfectly effective and great until I saw several other people play who knew way more about dogs react so incredulously. The fact is that it IS pretty weird that the dog would play nice for so long and then basically focus on trying to tear Clementine's arm off the minute she tries to take away the food. If a domesticated dog and that hungry, the most it would do is bark a lot, maybe bite at Clem, and then go straight back towards the food again.

    Now, it doesn't break the illusion for me as much as it does for other people, but I completely understand why people think it's unrealistic.

  • She explicitly states she's 11 in one of the dialogue options with Sarah.

  • I know a vet student that knows a bit about dog behavior and said this is pretty reasonable if you try to take its food away.

  • edited December 2013

    I know people that had a dog who said it was one of the smartest, nicest, animals that they had ever dealt with, but one day it just up and randomly attacked a kid. Whether or not it's the norm for some, animals can be unpredictable, and the one Clementine found was starving when she withheld food.

    There's not much more to read into it.

  • Ever considered that the dog belonged to the walker that was tied to the tree, and that said walker was killed very recently? Maybe the food only just tipped Sam off after watching his owner get killed. That, and Clementine was clearly being aggressive in taking back the food or hoarding it.

    Whole point of the scene was to lampshade how unpredictable animals, and eventually Clementine's situation, would be. Also seems to depict how appearances can deceive (Dog looked innocent and obedient. I was already joking about playing as Sam in season three) which more foreshadow something later on.

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