I will warn you that this article does contain spoilers for Telltale’s the Walking Dead season 1 and 2 so don’t read this if you have not played the game.
In my years of playing video games there have been a lot, and I mean a lot of memorable characters that have passed by me on my ongoing journey. But in this past year of my gaming career I have seen characters that have truly stood out and have become quite high on my list of characters that I will always remember and think about.
For me in this past year I have grown a fascination with all things the Last of Us growing close to many of its characters, likewise I had something similar happen with Telltale’s Walking Dead game, perhaps it is the expertly created characters that we could truly connect with or it is just sympathizing with their plight. Either way these characters have brought a lot of happiness to me and been the essence of many discussions on their own games. In Telltale’s the Walking Dead series the main character that I grew attached to is Kenny and I will tell you why.
It is very clear right from the first meeting that Kenny is a tough character, he is also clearly one character you want on your side in a zombie apocalypse. Kenny is a leader, he struggles to follow the rules set by others with his own opinions for everything. This often has caused him to butt heads on a regular occasion with his fellow survivors, often this leads too many heated arguments and ill decisions on his part, Kenny also remains cautious of potentially dangerous situations. Though he is also smart when it comes to making tough decisions.
The main thing that really connected me to Kenny as a character was the hardships he as a character goes through. While we do see many of the characters in the Walking Dead face tough decisions and several hardships, it often seems like Kenny faces some of the toughest moments of them all. These moments have helped build who he is as a tough survivor, but also changes him quite dramatically with all he goes through.
In season One Kenny faces a loss that begins to really push him to the edge, as we learn from Kenny his son is really stupid but he loves him, unfortunately this is Kenny’s first major hardship. When Duck is bitten by a walker Kenny is forced to realize that his son is not going to live and we begin to see a change from Kenny’s usually tough outer shell to one struggling to accept the possibility of losing his son. Kenny loses his child but what makes it worse is the tough possibility of him having to put his own child out by shooting him, which was classified as being kind. In this tough moment Kenny is also forced with another blow to his life with his wife Katjaa taking her own life because she could not live without her son. In this moment Kenny lost two people close to him, deeply upsetting him.
We feel for Kenny in this moment as he struggles with the realism of the world that seems especially harsh on him, it is tough just how much Kenny goes through but as sad as he is, Kenny is also tough and so he is not the most easy to comfort.
Season one ended with Kenny’s fate uncertain no matter what choices the player made, in season two Kenny reveals he just barely made it out and spent the best part of two year alone in the world. Clearly having trouble dealing with all his losses from close friends to family, he shut himself off keeping quiet on his past just wishing to remove the pain and forget it.
Nobody expected to see Kenny again after season one but we still got excited when we saw him again. Seeing two years have paid their toll on him emotionally we worry and for good reason, he is unstable and an emotional wreck when the blows keep coming. He is a strong survivor who has seen and been through more than one man should, and season two, is when we see the cracks finally appearing, as strong as he is Kenny is drained and part of him just wishes it to be over. Worse still after his new girlfriend is killed and he loses his eye to a mad man Kenny faces even more trouble.
All through this though he still tries to keep himself together to help everyone survive the apocalypse, though he remains on the edge ready to pop. Because of this and all this one man must endure he deserves respect, in the entire story of the Walking Dead no character seemingly loses more than Kenny and gets pushed as far. It is because of this and his hardships that I think about and remember him and mark him as my character of the month. The player may decide his fate but every choice affects us and how we dealt with this character, and we can see through his actions and face the issues of his life even to the extent where we see the world finally get him.
We will remember Kenny and should respect him for his troubled life and what he goes through, how we see a strong man get weakened down by the world and face more then he should, which is why he is my latest character of the month.