Naughty Dog Reveals Original Ending for The Last of Us - Prima Games

Naughty Dog Reveals Original Ending for The Last of Us

by Prima Games Staff

The Last of Us is a phenomenal game, and further proof that Naughty Dog knows how to tell one heck of a story. However, it wasn’t exactly supposed to end the way it did.

The developer announced that it will host a panel for The Last of Us at PAX Prime in Seattle, Washington later this month, where it will go into more detail about how the game was originally supposed to end. Creative director Neil Druckmann teased fans in a Game Informer interview, not only discussing the ending, but the role of Tess as well.

(Warning: spoilers ahead)

“The original ending when we pitched the game was a much more hopeful ending, where Joel and Ellie make it to San Francisco and that is a town run by people who are trying to restore society,” Druckmann revealed. “Joel has killed all these doctors and lied to Ellie, and Ellie just fully buys into the lie. So, you’re left with the idea that they are going to live the rest of their lives in this town.”

“The camera pulls back and maybe everything is going to be alright for these two. I was working on writing, and it didn’t feel honest anymore,” he added. “After everything they’ve done and everything they’ve been through, that was letting them off a little too easy – especially for Joel.”

As for the role of Tess, some concept art was revealed that shows her taking a more villainous role in the game.

“Tess was betrayed by Joel and took on a mission to pursue him across the country. That storyline never worked out. The storyline shifted and Tess took on this role where she became more of a believer and she helped motivate Joel,” he said. He also pointed out that if the role of Tess had continued the way it had, Ellie would have to kill her – marking the first time in the game she would’ve killed a non-Infected.

“Ellie’s arc originally was that she didn’t kill any non-infected people until the end, when she was going to kill Tess when Tess was torturing Joel,” he went on to say. “What we realized 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. We decided it wasn’t going to be about the first time she killed someone, it was more about this coming of age story of the impact that the horrors of violence has on her over the course of the game,” Druckmann said.

The panel takes place on Friday, August 30th, from 2:00PM to 3:00PM. If you’re headed to PAX Prime, don’t miss it.

The Last of Us is available now for PlayStation 3. 

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