The Last of Us Part II ending was much darker but it was changed during the production, according to Naughty Dog.
Speaking to GI in a recent interview about their post-apocalyptic action-adventure game, Director Neil Druckmann and Narrative Lead Halley Gross discuss how The Last of Us Part II ending was originally intended to conclude and more!
WARNING! Major spoilers ahead!!
As most of us know, Joel Miller (Troy Baker) saves Ellie (Ashley Johnson) from Firefly hospital and in the process he kills the only surgeon that probably could have saved the entire human race with a vaccine, it turns out the Firefly surgeon, Jerry Anderson (Derek Phillips) was Abby Anderson’s (Laura Bailey) father and she seeks revenge against Joel for murdering her father.
Four years later, While on patrol Joel and his brother Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) rescue a stranger, Abby from an Infected horde & they return to an outpost secured by Abby’s WLF group.
Joel and Tommy are attacked are by Abby’s group, who are part of the Washington Liberation Front, a militia group based in Seattle. Meanwhile, Ellie and her girlfriend Dina (Shannon Woodward) leave Jackson in search of the brothers.
Ellie infiltrates the outpost & witness’ Abby beat Joel to death, and swears revenge. Cut to few years, she chases down Abby from Seattle to Santa Barbara, California with the intention of killing her and enacting revenge for the loss of Joel, but she ultimately spares her life.
However Halley Gross says “When I signed on a lot of it was very similar” the development team “did a lot of iterations on what that last act looked like and the final beat was that Ellie would kill Abby.”
She adds, during the production, “we changed that and had Ellie let go at the last second to [illustrate] that some part of the old Ellie, the Ellie with humanity, the Ellie that is impacted by Joel, still exists within this character who has been so overtaken by her quest for revenge.”
Neil Druckmann explains The Last of Us Part II ending, “Letting Abby live felt wrong thematically initially, but at the end of the day, it felt more honest for the character.
The theme [and] what we’re trying to say shifted a little bit, but our top priority always is are we being honest to the character.
There’s certain things we are trying to hit but they can only work if we’re consistent with the character we’re writing,” he concluded.
The main characters relationships between Joel and Ellie; Abby and Lev are quite similar. We witnessed Joel & Abby go through a tragic past with plenty of regrets, who end up taking care of a young teenager with no one else to look after them.
Both the characters are traumatized by the past loss of their loved ones (Joel’s daughter, Sarah and Abby’s father, Jerry), but they fight to protect their loves ones.
In the end, these relationships prevent Abby and Ellie from killing each other and sparing their lives. Even though Ellie never found a chance to reconcile her relationship with Joel for his actions at the Firefly hospital, she forgave Abby for what she did to Joel and her friends.
This proves that Ellie understands the importance of her relationship with Joel, when she decided to spare Abby. This action shows Ellie is able to reclaim her remaining humanity, that probably wouldn’t have been possible if she had ended Abby’s life.
What’s your view on The Last of Us Part II ending so far? let us know in the comments!
The Last of Us Part II was released on June 19, 2020 to critical acclaim.