The Last of Us could be arguably called as one of the greatest video games of all time. Everything about this game is top notch – be it the game-play, the plot, or the characters. As talks for a TV Series based on the universally acclaimed series are in full swing, there are some facts about The Last of Us we want you to know before jumping into the parade.
In Development for two years prior to official announcement
The game The Last of Us was under development since two years before it was officially announced. The original plan was to reveal the game before the Uncharted 3 game was released back in the year 2011. The announcement was delayed for some reason. Uncharted 3 was supposed to be a subtle advertising vehicle for The Last of Us. It had a scene where a newspaper states “Scientists are still struggling to understand Deadly Virus”. Without anybody knowing that the reference was for a game that hadn’t even been announced yet, the entire plan went down the drain. If only they had announced the game a few days prior to the Uncharted 3 game’s release, everything would have been on track.
Ellie secretly picks up items when you aren’t paying attention
Ellie’s programming in The Last of Us makes her do things like pick up objects that she is not supposed to. For example, Ellie picks up Billy’s Adult Industry magazine. Another instance is when Ellie steals a toy for young Sam. She does it even though Henry asks her not to. Ellie’s AI is coded in such a way that the player will never be able to see her doing it. Ellie will only pick up objects if the player has turned his or her camera towards another angel and she is out of the player’s line of sight. If you have a rather swift hand, you can still turn the camera towards her and you can actually catch her red-handed stealing stuff. The Last of Us is full of such tiny details which makes this game one of the best in its class.
Game-play inspired by Uncharted Series
Those who have played the game will know how Joel and Ellie help each other out. They interact with each other and try to give each other a hand when traversing difficult obstacles and terrain. This is a form of character driven game-play that the Uncharted series had made famous. Naughty Dog had made the game play popular when they introduced this element in Uncharted 2. The lead protagonist of the game – Nathan Drake, would take the help of Tenzin to solve puzzles and get through obstacles.
Multiple references to Uncharted 3
The Last of Us and Uncharted 3 went hand in hand. Uncharted 3 was supposed to be the bandwagon for The Last of Us. In return, The Last of Us would have multiple references for the third Uncharted installment. There is one massive reference in Uncharted 3 for The Last of Us that most of us missed. Nathan Drake is seen in a bar holding a newspaper stating the onset of a deadly fungus. In The last of Us, we see the O’Sullivan‘s Irish Pub. Both the bar and pub are similar in appearance. The name itself is a reference to Nathan Drake’s trusted ally Victor Sullivan.
Justin Bieber is Nathan Drake
Yeah, talk about cringe! Nathan Drake is one of the greatest video game characters to ever exist. The Uncharted series is a household phenomenon. We do not want Justin Bieber to desecrate its legacy. But what if we told you that in the Universe of The Last of Us, Justin Bieber is the famed explorer Nathan Drake! There is a rather unconventional headline on a particular newspaper strewn on the floor. It is near Hotel Grand of Pittsburgh. It announces the release of Uncharted 13: A Lush Movie. In the world of The Last of Us, Justine Bieber is a movie star who is the face of the multi-billion dollar Uncharted movie franchise.
Supposed to be a side project
Following the release of Uncharted 2 in 2009, the development team of Naughty Dog was split into two. One team would start working on Uncharted 3, the next installment in the Uncharted series. The other team would work on something new. Nobody knew what this ‘something new’ project was. Some claimed that for a while, the team contemplated on the possibility of making another Jak and Dexter game but ultimately decided to start a new franchise which would become The Last of Us.
Cordyceps Fungi was inspired by BBC’s Planet Earth Episode
The Directors of The last of Us – Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann had a very unconventional means of inspiration when they came up with the idea of the Cordyceps Fungi, the fungus that is responsible for the end of the human civilization in The Last of Us, turning every human into a crazed zombie. The Directors say that they got the inspiration from a particular BBC Planet Earth documentary that told the tale of Zombie Ants – insects whose motor functions are taken over by a particular species of fungus that turn them violent and crazy before ultimately killing them.
The game took leaves from multiple sources. One of the greatest things about The Last of Us is how accurate it was in depicting the way human society would fall to a deadly global pandemic. Some of the movies like 28 Days Later were heavy inspirations. True Grit was also something the Directors considered. The acclaimed TV Series The Walking Dead also set many examples. The Directors even took ideas from the written documented records of the Spanish Flu and the Paul McCarthy novel The Road.
Tess was supposed to be a villain
The character of Tess, who has become a fan favorite of sorts in The Last of Us series, was designed to originally be a villain. The rough draft of the story had Tess coming after Joel and Ellie after the former was accused of betraying Tess. Tess would ultimately capture Joel and it would be Ellie’s job to rescue Joel from Tess’ clutches. Neil Druckmann, Director of The Last of Us, decided against it after concluding that having a typical antagonist would make the game too generic and monotonous. Good call if you ask us!!
The Ending of the game is just as the beginning
It started out as a theory. The prologue showed Joel and Sarah escaping their home, fleeing the infected in a car and crashing the vehicle. Joel would then carry Sarah in her arms as a soldier fires at them. Sarah dies in Joel’s arms. The Epilogue shows Joel carrying an unconscious Ellie in his harms, shoots Marlene, and places Ellie in a car. The escape the Fireflies and the duo head towards home (Tommy’s Settlement). The ending is basically the beginning in reverse order. Director Neil Druckmann later confirmed the theory to be true in an interview.