Nothing good has come from Telltale’s imminent closure. The final season of The Walking Dead is having trouble getting finished, its Stranger Things game is dead, The Wolf Among Us‘ second season was canceled, and, most importantly, many people were unexpectedly let go and not paid fairly. But if there were a silver lining, it would be this alternate ending for the first season of The Walking Dead. Jake Rodkin, a former Telltale employee who helped develop that first season and then left to make Firewatch, has uploaded a video of that alternate ending that, sadly, didn’t make it into the final game.
It’s obviously a goofy ending and directly goes against the tone of the game for comedic effect. The Last of Us also did something similar but with fewer dance moves and slow motion.
Rodkin has not worked at Telltale since late 2013 but has been posting memories of his time at the developer. He revealed that this ending was made by Sean Ainsworth, the former cinematic director at Telltale who now works at Rocksteady. Sean Ainsworth should not be confused with Sean Vanaman who also left Telltale with Rodkin to start Campo Santo.
Rodkin stated that Ainsworth made that ending in his stir-crazy final days with the game while they were waiting for some last-minute bugs to get fixed. He even tweeted about it, saying that it was a “weird, dumb thing” and that it is “crazy to me that people can see it now.”
It was all done in Telltale’s signature Telltale Tool engine, according to Rodkin. It was made quickly, which was part of its appeal and how the studio could create episodes in a short amount of time. He said that it was “part of the point of the pipeline at telltale is that you can quickly kitbash pretty elaborate cinematic sequences from library assets.” And with that power, you naturally make your main character moonwalk through zombies and kick field goals with their heads.