What Is Causing Zombies?
I've started saying 'Ellie?' aloud when I'm not sure where Ellie's got to. Ellie, of course, cannot hear me because she is a videogame character, but I can't stop myself. I just want to keep an eye on her.
There was a terrible bit where she opened a gate and then waited by it and wouldn't follow me until I went through it. I went to investigate a building first and she just stayed back there by the gate where I couldn't make sure she was safe! I got so nervous!
(Later, I watched th_esaurus play through the same part. Turns out that Ellie goes into the house with you if you haven't opened the gate first, and then there's a weird blowing noise and OH NO, IS IT A ZOMBIE? NO, IT'S JUST ELLIE TRYING TO TEACH HERSELF TO WHISTLE AT THE WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT, bless her. I was quite sorry to have missed it.)
I had to smile when Ellie started humming to herself while we were wandering around. The first time she really captured my heart was probably when we went into the museum; Tess stayed on high alert, clutching her gun, but Ellie went around looking at all the displays. I forgot about searching for supplies and just watched her for a while. Her curiosity is incredibly endearing.
I love it when AI companions in games are a real pleasure and comfort to have around. Companions like Ellie and Tess, like Elena in Uncharted, like your horse in Red Dead Redemption (levels of emotional attachment may vary, I suppose; there are probably people who'll just grab the most convenient horse and don't really have one they think of as 'theirs', but I loved my horse). You sometimes have to protect your companions in The Last of Us (whereas in Uncharted I'm fairly certain your allies can't be harmed in shootouts), but they never feel like a burden.
(Speaking of protecting your companions: in Uncharted, you simply can't crouch in the same place as a partner. In The Last of Us, if you and Ellie hide against the same wall, Joel will try to sort of shield her with his body. It is the loveliest thing.)
The SA Let's Play forum paywall has come down, if any Dangan Ronpa readers on my flist haven't yet snapped and bought an account! Here's the ongoing translation of the second game (and here's the completed translation of the first, if anyone new wants to dive in). Both threads have links to all the actual updates in the first post, so you don't have to read the discussion between updates; reading the discussion is, in fact, strongly discouraged. I have found recent developments very distressing.