Some Things You Might Not Know About “The Last of Us”

2453616-2762456622-the-l-the-last-of-us-2-confirmed-by-crash-bandicootThe Last of Us is a relatively new game, but considering it’s enormous size and scale, there’s plenty of trivia about the game that the average user might not know about it. Thankfully, “Did You Know Gaming?“, the keepers of interesting factoids about video games, was able to do just that, and list out all of the interesting little things about the game. Here’s the video below:

Here are some of my favorite take-aways from the video, with my own stuff added in, in list form:

  • The Last of Us was in development for two years before anyone ever really knew about it. It was originally supposed to be announced prior to the release of Uncharted 3 in 2011, but it’s announcement was delayed by Naughty Dog, the developers of both games. Uncharted 3 had an intro segment that featured a not-so-subtle reference to The Last of Us, with a random newspaper article that Drake would find, with a headline reading: “Scientists are still struggling to understand deadly virus.” However, this reference turned out to be a lot more subtle considering nobody at the time of the Uncharted release knew that The Last of Us was coming out. Talk about ironic!
  • On the subject of Naughty Dog cross-promoting their games, the bar that Nathan Drake finds that fungus-themed article in at the start of Uncharted 3 appears in an almost identical form during The Last of Us. It’s called “O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub,” the name being a reference to Drake’s close friend Victor Sullivan, aka Sullie.
  • The Last of Us got it’s start after Naughty Dog split it’s development team in two following the release of Uncharted 2 in 2009. The idea was that one group would be dedicated to the development of the next game in the Uncharted  series, with the other focused on an alternative project that nobody really had a clear idea of at the time.
  • The infection that the monsters in The Last of Us comes from a real fungal infection called Cordyceps fungi,” an infection that affects insects. The infection takes hold of the insect and grows out of the head while also seizing control of the bug’s motor functions, thereby making it appear as if it’s fallen in to a zombie-like state. In an interview with VenturBeat, game directors Neil Druckman and Bruce Staley said they were inspired to use cordyceps from an episode of Planet Earth that described the infection.
  • Other major inspirations for the content of the game came from the films True Grit and 28 Days Later, Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road, along with some inspiration from the comic-TV series combo The Walking Dead. The developers also researched actual historical instances of pandemics, such as the Spanish Influenza pandemic from 1918-1920, which killed 50 – 100 million people, in order to further understand the unfortunate ways that humanity can lose itself in the midst of a global public health crisis.
  • Naughty Dog repeatedly lied about whether or not Ellie would be a playable character in the game prior to its release, thinking that it would be a fantastic surprise to everyone when they found out that she was, in fact, playable.
  • Ellie’s physical appearance in the game was adjusted after the game’s first trailer was released to the public due to concerns that the character looked too similar in her rendering to real-life actress Ellen Page. However, the final rendering of Ellie didn’t really look different from Ellen Page in the end at all.
  • The character Tess was originally designed to be a villain in the main story. The idea was that she would chase after Joel and Ellie in a quest for vengeance after Joel betrayed her. In this version of the story, Tess ultimately caught up with the two of them and captured Joel, forcing Ellie to save him by killing Tess. Druckmann eventually decided to scrap this narrative, as he believed it would make the story too one-dimensional by having an archetypical villain-type character.
  • Originally, a market research firm was supposed to do a focus group test on the game, using only male players. Upon discovering this, the Naughty Dog developers demanded that female participants also be included in the focus group testing as well.

There are a few other tidbits mentioned in the movie that I didn’t list out. However, it’s all really interesting. You don’t get to hear much about what happens to a game throughout it’s development; it’s not like video games offer commentary as an extra like blu-ray films do. I really enjoyed the factoids surrounding the branding of the game personally, it seems like a lot of the development around the game that was most interesting had nothing to do with the actual design or gameplay at all.

If you want to hear other great factoids from these guys, they have other videos about other fantastic game franchises like Metal Gear Solid, Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, F Zero, and a bunch of others.

from Doug MacFaddin | Video Games Page


Published by: Doug MacFaddin

Douglas Willis MacFaddin was born June 16, 1961 in the Miamisburg Hospital to Patricia Ann MacFaddin and Richard Willis MacFaddin. My mother’s maiden name is Morrison and she is the youngest of seven children who were raised in Lycippus, PA. My father was the second of four children and was a twin. He was raised in the town of Viola, DE. At the time of my birth, my father worked at the Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg, Ohio in research. Mound was an Atomic Energy Commission facility for nuclear weapon research during the Cold War. My mother made a home for our family. My father passed away in 1991 and my mother is currently living in Avon, CT. Doug MacFaddin is the oldest of five children (Doug, R. Stuart, Anne Marie, Megan and Mary (Heather)). I lived in Ohio for two years, spent the next seven years in Murrysville, PA (outside of Pittsburgh), moved to Little Silver, NJ and relocated my senior year in high school to Avon, CT. My four siblings currently live with their families in Avon, CT and are members of St. Ann’s Church. I attended Mother of Sorrows School in Murrysville, PA. In NJ, I attended Little Silver Point Road School, Markham Place School and Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) in Lincroft, NJ for three years. My senior year, I attended Avon High School and I then spent the next four years at Union College, Schenectady, NY. I received a BS in Industrial Economics and graduated in June 1983. While at Salomon Brothers, I was asked to attend a two-week seminar for Public Finance at the University of Michigan in 1986. In Little Silver, I was involved in Troop 126 where I achieved the rank of Life Scout and was both a Patrol Leader and a Senior Patrol Leader. I also was an alter boy at St. James Catholic Church and spent summers a the Ship Ahoy Beach Club in Seabright, NJ and caddying at the Rumson Country Club. At Christian Brothers Academy, I wrestled for the varsity squad for three years. I took second in the districts my junior year and went on to the regionals. I also ran on their cross country team freshman year and was part of the CBA Colt team that hasn’t lost a duel meet since 1973. My senior year at Avon, I won the wrestling States (S). I went on to wrestle at Union College and qualified for the Div III nationals twice (1981, 1982) and was co-captain both years. My senior year at Avon, CT, I also won the States (S) in pole vaulting. It was the first time Avon High School had a state champ in two sports in the same year. During my four years, I earned nine varsity letters between wrestling, track and football. In 1979, I was accepted into The National Honor & Merit Scholars Society. Upon graduating from Union College, I accepted a position at Salomon Brothers Inc in August 1983. I was an analyst in their Public Finance department at One New York Plaza. I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn and spent the next four years working at Salomon Brothers. As a result of Black Monday, October 19, 1987 the Public Finance Department of Salomon Brothers was jettisoned to conserve capital. By November 1, 1987, I was working at Dean Witter Reynolds in the new Public Finance Department made up of many of my former Salomon Brother’s colleagues. The new Department was located on the 57th floor of 2 World Trade Center.

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