The Last Of Us Original Ending And Story Arc Revealed

Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Last Of Us.

Yesterday we reported that Naughty Dog was planning to reveal the original ending, and overall story arc, for The Last Of Us. Originally, Joel and Ellie would be chased across the US by an antagonist; creative director, Neil Druckmann, has now revealed this antagonist to be Tess, who was initially meant to be play a “betrayed” villain-like role.

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“What’s interesting is that, originally in the story Tess took more of a villain role…Tess was betrayed by Joel and took on a mission to pursue him across the country. That storyline never worked out”. This was because the team failed to see why Joel would undertake this enduring mission with no real motivation, and even why Tess would “go for a year around the country” on a personal vendetta. That is when the “storyline shifted and Tess took on this role where she became more of a believer and she helped motivate Joel.”

Ellie was also scripted a lot differently too, with her being a “far more innocent character”. Druckmann revealed that it was only not until the very end that Ellie killed a non-infected and this would turn out to be Tess as she tortured Joel (the picture we saw yesterday). However, he later goes on to say that “what we realised is that we had to get Ellie engaged more in the combat because when she was disengaged from the action for that long you didn’t care so much. So that changed pretty early on.”

This was when the chapter with David was introduced. This was used as a “coming of age story of the impact that the horrors of violence has on her over the course of the game”. Personally, I thought this section was one of the best parts. We saw Ellie completely break from her innocent shell and, in a way, become more ruthless than Joel himself. They certainly fulfilled the “coming of age” story.

Finally, we reach the ending where it was initially pitched to be more “hopeful”, with Joel and Ellie reaching San Francisco and living out the rest of their lives. Ellie would have bought into the lie from Joel, and San Francisco was to be run by people aiming to bring back society. All a little too good to be true for my liking. More surprisingly is the fact that the current ending “tested very poorly”, with common complaints of it being “anticlimactic” and “unclear”. However, the team came around and the current ending was used to full effect.

I don’t think any other ending would have suited the game, do you feel the same?

 Source: Videogamer

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11 Comments

  1. *SPOILERS*

    Just want to point out that David is not in fact Ellie’s first kill…
    And also that David is voiced by Nolan North! So surprised when I saw that in the credits. Didn’t sound like him at all. :-)

  2. I felt the ending was a bit of an anticlimax… Still a brilliant game though! Wouldn’t change it either though because it tugged on my emotions and got me thoroughly engrossed in their world.

  3. While playing the game for the very first time, my only fear was that the ending would be too cliche. I am glad that Naughty Dog decided to go with the current ending even if it “tested very poorly”. I thought it was a perfect ending. Joel made a choice that suited his character, making it more believable to me. If he allowed the Fireflies do to Ellie what they really intended to do, it would nullify Joel’s character development and put that heartbreaking prologue to waste.

  4. I liked the ending as it is. Sometimes it can be overdone and can ruin things. It also leaves it very much open for a sequel!

  5. SPOILER!!

    I think the image represents when Ellie and Joel are captured at the end of the game in the hospital and the alternative ending could be; joel is killed in this moment without being able to save ellie. Which would be quite raw and emotional also, but could be considered a middle finger to the player and maybe why they changed it? Just a thought from one image lol

    I agree with Zettai above about Joels character the ending they picked was very fitting.

  6. I liked it just as it was. It’s interesting to know about the alternative story threads, I just glad we got the story I ended up loving so much.

  7. It was good ending, it left you wanting more without implying there would be.

  8. Talking about endings then eh? As far as TloU goes it was alright though left me thinking… That it? He lies… She believes.
    Underlying story there of why. Its obvious why if you play the game and take particular interest in the prologue which was by far the best I’ve ever seen.

  9. I’m glad they decided to scrap these ideas. The story we got in the finished game was perfect. As was the ending.

  10. For me, the ending was incredible, so glad they took the plot where they did. TLOU2 on PS4 please!

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