The Last of Us
The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released for the PlayStation 3 in June 2013. An updated version, The Last of Us Remastered, was released for the PlayStation 4 in July 2014. In the game, players control Joel, a man tasked with escorting a young woman named Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States.
The Last of Us is played from a third-person perspective; players use firearms and improvised weapons, and can use stealth to defend against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus. "Listen Mode" allows players to locate enemies through a heightened sense of hearing and spatial awareness. Weapons can also be upgraded using items scavenged from the environment. In the game's online multiplayer mode, up to eight players engage in co-operative and competitive gameplay in recreations of single-player settings.
Development of The Last of Us began in 2009, soon after the release of Naughty Dog's previous game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The relationship between Joel and Ellie was the central focus of the game, with all other elements developed around it. The team chose actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson to portray Joel and Ellie respectively, who provided voice and motion capture for the roles. Both assisted creative director Neil Druckmann with the development of the characters and story. The original score was composed and performed by Gustavo Santaolalla.
Following its announcement in December 2011, The Last of Us was widely anticipated. It was acclaimed by many reviewers, with praise particularly directed at its characterization, subtext, exploration of the human condition, and depiction of female characters. The Last of Us became one of the best-selling PlayStation 3 games, selling over 1.3 million units in its first week, and over eight million units within fourteen months. Considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time, it won year-end accolades, including multiple Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications, critics, and game award shows, making it one of the most awarded games in history. After the game's release, Naughty Dog released several downloadable content additions; The Last of Us: Left Behind added a new single-player campaign, taking place both before and during the main story, featuring Ellie and her friend Riley.
- Lyin' on the couch watchin' Sunday football. That greasy smell of a downtown hot dog. Fourth of July, family barbecues. The sound of a plane flyin' overhead. Just one peaceful night... a clean conscience — all gone....
- VGA 2011 Teaser
- Listen to me — if I get in trouble down there, you make every shot count. Yeah?
- And just so we're clear about back there... It was either him or me.
- I struggled for a long time with survivin'. And you—No matter what, you keep finding something to fight for.
- Endure and survive.
- I guess no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape your past. Thank you.
- You wanna know the best thing about my job? I don't gotta know why. Be honest with you, I could give two shits what you're up to.
- Tommy saw the world one way, I saw the other.
- You're treading on some mighty thin ice here.
- They sacrifice the few to save the many.
- You have no idea what loss is.
- You're right. You're not my daughter- and I sure as hell ain't your dad. And we are going our separate ways.
- It's called luck,and it is gonna run out.
- This is our routine. Day and night, all we do is survive. It never lets up. He tells me how these streets were crowded with people just... going about their lives. Heh, must've been nice.
- VGA 2011 Debut Trailer
- After all we've been through. Everything that I've done. It can't be for nothing.
- Tell them that... Ellie is the little girl... that BROKE YOUR FUCKING FINGER!!!
- Everyone I have cared for has either died, or left me. Everyone—fucking except for you! So don't tell me I would be safer with somebody else, because the truth is, I would just be more scared.
- Well, maybe in all that research they turned into fucking monkeys.
- To the edge of the universe and back. Endure and survive.
- Where are anyone's parents? They've been gone a long, long time.
- "I'm gonna find...and I'm gonna kill...Every. Last. One of them."
- We're not murderers. We just survive.
- I will not turn into one of those things. [beat] Come on. Make this easy for me.
- Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I had somebody that I cared about. [beat] It was a partner.... Somebody I had to look after. And in this world, that sort of shit's good for one thing — gettin' ya killed. So you know what I did? I wisened the fuck up. And I realized it's gotta be just me.
- You know, as bad as those things are, at least they're predictable. It's the normal people that scare me.
- You're lucky you're still drawing breath. That was plan A, B, C, all the way to fuckin' Z!
- Now, this winter has been especially cruel. A few weeks back, I... sent a group of men out — nearby town to look for food. Only a few came back. They said that the other had been... slaughtered by a crazy man. And get this — he's a crazy man travelin' with a little girl. You see? Everything happens for a reason.
- [on recorder] "It's 5:30PM on... April 28th. I just finished speaking... More like yelling at our head surgeon. Apparently there's no way to extricate the parasite without eliminating the host. Fancy way of saying we gotta kill the fucking kid. And now they're asking for my go ahead. The tests just keep getting harder and harder, don't they? I'm so tired. I'm exhausted and I just want this to end... So be it."
- I lost most of my crew crossing the country. I pretty much lost everything. And then you show up and somehow we find you just in time to save her. [beat] Maybe it was meant to be.
- There is no other choice here.
- You're gonna be really happy you didn't kill me.
The Quarantine Zone
- Ellie: This tunnel, you use it to smuggle things?
- Joel: Yep.
- Ellie: Like illegal things?
- Joel: Sometimes.
- [observing the Massachusetts State House at sunrise]
- Joel: Well, is that everything you hoped for?
- Ellie: Jury's still out. But, man... you can't deny that view.
- Joel: What are we doing here? This is not us.
- Tess: What do you know about us? About me?
- Joel: I know that you were smarter than this.
- Tess: Really? Guess what, we're shitty people, Joel. It's been that way for a long time.
- Joel: No, we are survivors!
- Tess: This is our chance—
- Joel: IT IS OVER, TESS!!! ...Now we tried! Let's just go home.
- Tess: I'm... I'm not going anywhere. This is my last stop.
- Joel: .. Oh what?
- Tess: Our luck had to run out sooner or later.
- Ellie: [pulls out a book] Okay, we need to lighten the mood. Ready? "It doesn't matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationary."
- Joel: What is that?
- Ellie: It's a joke book. No Pun Intended: Volume Too by Will Livingston.
- Joel: [sigh] Let's keep going.
- Ellie: "What did the Confederate soldiers use to eat off of? ..Civil ware."
- Joel: Uh-huh.
- Ellie: "What did they use to drink with? ...Cups. Dixie cups."
- Joel: Ahh...
- Ellie: "I walked into my sister's room and tripped on a bra. It was a booby-trap." [Joel groans] "A book just fell on my head, I only have myself to blame." Oh wait, I said it wrong! Hold on, let me read it again. "A book just fell on my head... I only have my shelf to blame." Heh-heh... Ruined it. [...] "What is the leading cause of divorce in long-term marriages? [Joel sighs] A stalemate."
- Joel: That's awful.
- Ellie: You're awful.
- Joel: Do you even understand what that means?
- Ellie: Nope. Doesn't matter.
- Sam: How is it that you're never scared?
- Ellie: ..Who says that I'm not? [Sam steps a bit more]
- Sam: What are you scared of?
- Ellie: [beat, sighs] Let's see... Scorpions are pretty creepy. [Sam turns away] Um... Being by myself. [Sam turns back] I'm scared of ending up alone. [beat] What about you?
- Sam: ..Those things out there. [turns to her] What if the people are still inside? What if they're trapped in there, without any control of their body? I'm scared of that happening to me.
- Ellie: Okay... first of all, we're a team now. 'Kay, we're gonna help each other out. And second... they might still look like people, but that person is not in there anymore.
- Sam: Henry says that they've moved on. That they're with their families. Like in heaven. Do you think that's true?
- Ellie: ..I go back and forth. I mean, I'd like to believe it.
- Sam: But you don't.
- Ellie: I guess not.
- Sam: Yeah... me neither.
- Ellie: Is this really all they had to worry about? Boys, movies... deciding which shirt goes with which skirt? It's bizarre.
- Joel: Get up. We're leaving, c'mon.
- Ellie: And if I say no?
- Joel: Do you even realize what your life means? Huh? Running off like that, putting yourself at risk — it's pretty goddamn stupid.
- Ellie: Well, I guess we're both disappointed with each other then.
- Joel: What do you want from me?
- Ellie: Admit that you wanted to get rid of me the whole time.
- Ellie: I'm sorry about your daughter, Joel, but I have lost people too.
- Joel: You have no idea what loss is.
- Ellie: [walks up to Joel] Everyone I have cared for has either died or left me. Everyone [shoves Joel]—fucking except for you! ..So don't tell me that I would be safer with someone else, because the truth is, I would just be more scared.
- [long beat]
- Joel: You're right... You're not my daughter... and I sure as hell ain't your dad. And we are going our separate ways.
- Firefly: [on recorder] "I dedicated my life to this cause and... now I won't get to see whether we make it or not. I joined the Fireflies shortly after the outbreak. And here was a group willing to do whatever it took to save us from this plague when the government was willing to retreat to ghettos. I couldn't just give up on our country. Give up on humanity. God, that sounds trite. Anyway... there have been years that felt like we were onto something... like we might actually eradicate this thing. Those were usually followed by years of utter despair. Like this whole fucking thing was a giant waste of time. It feels like the past few years were more of the latter. We haven't had a breakthrough since the passive vaccine test we ran... what? Five years ago? Now this entire lab has been compromised and the higher-ups have decided to abandon the university. (sigh) I'm just fuckin' tired... I can't do this anymore. I'm not gonna do this anymore. If you've made it here looking for the others, they've all returned to Saint Mary's Hospital at Salt Lake City. You'll find 'em there. Still trying to save the world. Good luck with that."
- Banner: When we are in need we shall provide!
- Joel: So... this everything you were hopin' for?
- Ellie: ...It's got its ups and downs. But... you can't deny the view though.
- Joel: Well, this place takes me back.
- Ellie: How so?
- Joel: It was right after everything went down. I ended up in a triage just like this. Man, everywhere you looked, you just... saw families torn apart. The whole damn world seemed to have turned upside down in a blink.
- Ellie: Is that after you lost Sarah?
- Joel: Yes, it was...
- Ellie: I.... can't imagine losing someone you love like that. Losing everything that you know. I'm sorry, Joel.
- Joel: That's okay, Ellie.
The Firefly Lab
- Joel: Find someone else.
- Marlene: There is no one else.
- Joel: Listen, you are gonna show me where— [the soldier punches Joel's back onto the floor]
- Marlene: Stop. [looks down at him] I get it. But whatever it is you think you're going through right now is nothing to what I have been through. I knew her since she was born. I promised her mother I would look after her.
- Joel: Then why are you letting this happen?
- Marlene: Because this isn't about me, Joel. Or even her. There is no other choice here.
- [beat. Joel gets himself up, sits on the floor]
- Joel: Yeah, you keep telling yourself that bullshit.
- Surgeon: [via recorder] "April 28th. Marlene was right. The girl's infection is like nothing I've ever seen. The cause of her immunity is uncertain. As we've seen in all past cases, the antigenic titers of the patient's cordyceps remain high in both the serum and the cerebrospinal fluid. Blood cultures taken from the patient rapidly grow cordyceps in fungal-media in the lab—however, white blood cell lines, including percentages and absolute-counts, are completely normal. There is no elevation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and an MRI of the brain shows no evidence of fungal-growth in the limbic regions, which would normally accompany the prodrome of aggression in infected patients. We must find a way to replicate this state under laboratory conditions. We're about to hit a milestone in human history equal to... the discovery of penicillin. After years of wandering in circles, we're about to come home—make a difference—and bring the human race back into control of its own destiny. All of our sacrifices and the hundreds of men and women who've bled for this cause, or worse... will not be in vain."
- Ellie: Back in Boston... Back when I was bitten... I wasn't alone. My best friend was there. And she got bit too. We didn't know what to do. So... [...] She says... "Let's just wait it out. Y'know, we can be all poetic and just lose our minds together." [pause] I'm still waiting for my turn.
- Joel: Ellie—
- Ellie: Her name was Riley and she was the first to die. And then it was Tess. [beat] And then Sam.
- Joel: None of that is on you.
- Ellie: No, you don't understand.
- Joel: I struggled for a long time with survivin'. And you— ..No matter what... you keep finding something to fight for. Now, I know that's not what you want to hear right now, but it's—
- Ellie: Swear to me. [long beat] Swear to me that everything you said about the Fireflies is true.
- [Joel hesitates for a long beat]
- Joel: I swear.
- [Ellie distances herself for a longer beat. With all hesitation, she looks up to Joel and finally nods]
- Ellie: ...Okay.
- Riley: There are a million ways we should've died before today. And a million ways we can die before tomorrow. But we fight... for every second we get to spend with each other. Whether it's two minutes, or two days... we don't give that up. I don't want to give that up. My vote? Let's just wait it out. You know we can... be all poetic and just lose our minds together.
- Ellie: I said it like an asshole but... I totally meant it. You should go. This is something that you've wanted for... You know, forever, so... Who am I to stop you?
- Riley: The one person that can.