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The Last of Us Episode 5’s Impressively Designed Bloater Suit Weighed 88 Pounds, Heavier Than Even Stranger Things’ Vecna Suit: ‘It would be very slimy and wet

The Last of Us Episode 5's Impressively Designed Bloater Suit Weighed 88 Pounds, Heavier Than Even Stranger Things' Vecna Suit: 'It would be very slimy and wet

The world of The Last of Us is a bleak one, filled with danger and fear at every turn, and episode 5 does not disappoint. This episode introduces one of the most terrifying foes that Ellie faces in the show – The Bloater.

A monster covered in tough fungi due to a Cordyceps infection, making it nearly indestructible that requires a combination of brute force and agility to take down. But what is even more impressive than the Bloater’s on-screen presence is the work that went into creating it.

The Last of Us
The Last of Us

The Creator and the Actor Behind the Bloater Suit

One of the most impressive aspects of The Last of Us episode 5 is the Bloater suit made of a bulky, practical suit and some CGI. The suit was designed and created by Barrie Gower. The four-time Emmy winner is a master at creating grotesque special effects and monsters; he’s the architect behind Vecna on Stranger Things, the Night King on Game of Thrones, and many more creatures.

Barrie Gower, prosthetics designer on The Last of Us
Barrie Gower, prosthetics designer on The Last of Us

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Behind the suit was Adam Basil, a tall and fit stuntman from the UK who worked on Game of Thrones, and was the ideal choice for the bloater role. His friend and colleague Gower, who worked with him on Game of Thrones, recommended him to the showrunners of The Last of Us, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. They loved the idea and had a cast made of Basil’s body to make the monster just right.

In a recent interview, Barrie Gower, prosthetics designer on The Last of Us, revealed that the Bloater suit weighed a whopping 88 pounds, making it even heavier than the Vecna suit used in Stranger Things. This level of detail was necessary in order to bring the Bloater to life, making it as believable as possible for players.

Bringing the Bloater to Life: Behind the Scenes of HBO’s The Last of Us

In the same interview, Gower also stated that the suit was created with the intention of making it as slimy and wet as possible, adding an extra layer of intensity to the already intense atmosphere of the show.

“We had a whole copy of his body that we modeled the bloater prosthetics over in modeling clay. We cast it out of a foam rubber and foam latex, which is very lightweight. It’s almost like an upholstery foam, a very spongy sort of material. That was all molded and cast in separate sections: top half, head, arms, legs. We had a team who fabricated all these parts together. We had a zipper up the back and around the waist that we could zip them together. He had all these pendulous folds of fungus which hid zippers and poppers.”

Bloater in The Last of Us
Bloater in The Last of Us

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To make the bloater look extra creepy during the night scene where it attacks a group of soldiers, Basil’s suit was coated with a slippery lubricant to make the fungus bits stand out.

“The suit would be very soft, but very slimy and wet. We covered him in this gel-like solution, which gave him a gloss to all the fungus. We had lots of little spines and spiky hairs punched into his body, like little growths burrowing out. To get the shapes to read, we had to cover them in a gloss. It was like a texture that we were building up, so we were constantly going in and slathering them in this gloss, just so the shapes would pick up in the silhouettes. We were repeatedly going in and gelling him up more, covering him in this lube so he was nice and shiny.”

The Last of Us
The Last of Us

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From the textures of the suit to the sound design, everything has been thought out in order to create a truly immersive experience. This level of detail is what sets The Last of Us apart from other shows and games, and it is truly a testament to the talent and dedication of the team behind it.

Episode 5 of The Last of Us is a triumph in terms of design, attention to detail, and overall experience. The Bloater suit alone is a work of art, and the immersive environment that it is a part of, only adds to the overall impact of the episode.

If you’re a fan of the series, or just appreciate top-notch entertainment, this episode is a must-watch. The Last of Us is streaming on HBO.

Source: Variety

Written by Minhaz Ahamed

Minhaz is a writer who delves into the complexities of the human experience through his writings, with a focus on cinema, psychology, and philosophy. He finds solace in writing and uses it as a means of exploring and understanding the world.