The Last of Us - Spoilercast

Chris, Shaun, and Tom delve into the characters and story of Naughty Dog's post-pandemic world.

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809 comments
forcefactor13
forcefactor13

33:00-33:56 is a fantastic summary of the themes in this game. Great job, Chris.

forcefactor13
forcefactor13

14:03 I didn't interpret Ellie's quote "It can't be for nothing," as meaning their existence has to have a purpose, but that after all of that crap and killing and morally questionable stuff they did throughout the course of the game, it has to have some moral purpose at the end (saving humanity through a vaccine) otherwise they just killed all of these people for no good reason - and that makes them bad people. Joel struggles with this constantly, defending his actions always by saying it had to be done to survive. That's how he moralizes his actions (murders) and in a way he's right. But bringing Ellie to the Fireflies isn't just to survive, so it has to have some other higher purpose to moralize all of the killing.vExperiencing this story as the player, it puts the weight of their actions in perspective, because you know how stressful it was and just how many people they killed by the time they get to the Fireflies.


This makes the ending even more poignant. Ellie's quote "It can't be for nothing," sends shivers down my spine now, knowing that, in the end, it really was for nothing. They spilled a lot of blood to get Ellie to the Fireflies, and then Joel kills even more people, this time pretty well-meaning people who are trying to save humanity, and removes Ellie, making their journey, in a way, pointless and even more morally questionable.


I guess my only rebuttal would be that it couldn't be pointless, because now Ellie and Joel are together when, if they hadn't been on this journey together, they wouldn't have been. In that sense, it was not "pointless," but still morally questionable especially considering that Ellie is now living a lie because of Joel.


Holy crap. What a great game.

stuff238
stuff238

@forcefactor13  I think we should ask ellie if she would rather be dead and they might have a 0.000001% chance of finding a cure.....or being alive. Just saying. I choose life. Screw the human race. Joel did the right thing.

Minishdriveby
Minishdriveby

If Tom cannot understand why Joel saved Ellie instead of letting her die on an operating table then I think he is the one who has some moral ambiguity. I'm sure Tom would be willing to sacrifice his child if he was in the same situation; Ellie has become a surrogate child to Joel, but of course Tom thinks that Joel has no emotions and hates Ellie because he's a deplorable human being who just wants to save himself.

zygany
zygany

Tom's interpretations of so many aspects of this game are just so far off the mark compared to that of Shaun and Chris. He repeatedly makes remarks about the story, timing of events, relationships between the characters etc that Chris and Shaun pretty much without fail demonstrate to be just plain wrong.

There's nothing shady about Joel at the start of the game .. NO IDEA how Tom comes to this baffling conclusion. From the wiki for the game (or even just by paying attention to your surroundings when playing .. which I guess Tom didn't) ..

"Joel worked in construction, possibly as a carpenter. In the prologue, during a phone conversation with Tommy he mentions desperately needing to keep his job with a contractor. Building plans lay on his bedside table and several copies of a book called Construction Regionalism can be seen on top of his bookshelf.

He seems to have ambitions of starting his own business before the outbreak, with Everything You Need To Know About Creating A Startup also on a table next to his bed. His job kept him fit, and he also owned a treadmill (seen in his bedroom). Additionally, he tells Ellie that he often went on hikes with his daughter, reinforced by pictures of hiking scenery in his house.

Despite his long working hours he still found time to spend quality time with Sarah, as seen in photographs displayed throughout their home showing the two on a cruise, at a carnival and at one of Sarah's soccer matches. In the hours leading up to the outbreak, Sarah gives him a new watch as a birthday gift to replace one he had broken months before. This becomes a cherished memento he manages to keep in the turbulent years ahead"
--

Pretty sure he's not a drug dealer, hitman or some other shady character ...

This video removes any doubt in my mind that Tom really has no ability to interpret and appreciate the subtleties used in the story telling in this game (and others like it). Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the next time I see Tom's name attached to a review of anything more complicated than a side scrolling platformer, I'll just look elsewhere for an unbiased and perceptive review before spending my money on said game.

Minishdriveby
Minishdriveby

@zygany It doesn't just boil down to well that's the wonderful thing about opinions, some opinions are blatantly less informed and misguided. It's like saying Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" highlights the american value of individualism and paving your own path. Sure I can say that, and cite an example in the poem with no context, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." It doesn't change the fact that it's a wrong interpretation.

purple_T
purple_T

Why couldn't Joel be more sensitive, and cry from time to time, open the door for his lady friends while they are running away from clickers!!! why didnt he kiss his little girl good night! tell her a bedtime story!?

Why couldn't the last of us be a platformer! then Maybe Tom would like it!!!

McCraryStyles
McCraryStyles

Tom is a complete idiot. It's obvious he has some prejudice against this game and characters. It almost seems like he didn't play through the entire game or just played some chapters because his whole opinion his so different and off than what the creators and writers wanted you to feel and how you come to connect with the characters. I know everyone has their own opinion and that's valid but it seems he graded this game much lower than anyone one else because he is a "game critic" and it would cause so many people to talk about it

reindertot
reindertot

The ending is flawless. Is honest, coherent and raw. Two broken characters, going back and forth about selfish and altruism, agreeing to share a lie. Joel finally becomes her father and decides what's best for HIS kid, regardless of what she thinks is best (she's just a kid). She finally act as a daughter. She finally can have a family to trust. She finally can be the child she is. 

Ellie, a "package", became "a little girl". Then, she became Joel's daughter's replacement. Finally, she became her daughter.

vitonemesis
vitonemesis

Wow, there's no denial now. Tom's an idiot. 

chieflion
chieflion

Thing is, in the zombie apocalypse, nobody gives a fuck. Joel Understands this, Joel uses this and embraces this and will survive simply because he has nothing else to live for but the idea of being alive. That's what the game is about, what you need to do to goddamn survive when the whole world is collapsing on you. Joel, although not likable to the passerby, is probably the most complex and interesting character i have seen in video games, aside from waluigi (identity issues). I loved Joel, i actually rooted for him the whole time, i loved watching him stomp peoples faces, killing random bastards, the only time i didn't was in the operating room... well i just shot all three before i grabbed her, im guessing you didnt have to, if u had to thats pretty upsetting, but just badass as hell. Just like this game, in my top 5 and my top choice for zombie survival game of any kind, including the walking dead, and thats not easy to say. Thank you naughty dog, this game made me sooooo fucking thankful to be alive, and how often does a piece of media, nay a piece of art,  let that happen? hardly ever. 

PS: toms opinion is flawed because Joel is Chief.

AngelsandDemon
AngelsandDemon

@chieflion Man, after reading all of the Walking Dead books, you really can get an understanding, although fiction, of how in a post societal collapse, it's either you or them; and, Joel has to protect his daughter....his child...and he fails when she gets killed by the feds.  That has destroyed his hope.  He attempts to take responsibility in the midst of chaos...He's very likeable, just don't expect for him to change your tire.  I'm with you Chief.

norman69
norman69

In my first post I talked about how I thought Joel's actions during the ending were pretty selfish in taking Ellie away from the Fireflies and depriving mankind of a vaccine, but having completed it again and looking at other people's views I feel I have to do a change of mind.

For one, when you find the various recorders round the hospital you hear that they've had other immune people and they haven't got a vaccine from them, so would that change when the cut Ellie's skull open? And also, considering all the people you've come across so far- the Hunters in Pittsburgh, David's people who had resorted to cannibalism in Winter- is humanity really worth saving at this point? And even if the Fireflies are meant to be this noble resistance group, they're going to murder this teenage girl for the off chance she could save all of mankind, and frankly Joel didn't want to take that risk .If it were me, I wouldn't take that risk either. 

It really fits in with the rest of the universe- things aren't so black and white anymore. 

UpInSmoke0803
UpInSmoke0803

Finally beat the game, and after watching this video, I also came to a different conclusion than the G-Spot crew.

In the end, it was obvious to me that you could see the subtle shock and pain in Ellie's face after Joel confirms to her that everything he told to her about the Fireflies was true.  This holds significance because I firmly believe Ellie does indeed believe what Joel has told her 100% at that very moment.  Because of the explicit and unspoken trust between the two, any shadow of a doubt that was cast in her own mind regarding what happened in the Firefly hospital while she was incapacitated had been immediately dispelled by the word's, "I swear" spoken by Joel.

What I believe is that Ellie was truly asking at the end if it was really just The Last of Us.  It was an especially hard question to ask because Ellie truly believed there was redemption left in the world, and that there was hope left to rebuild and reform society whether through her, or another method.  When Joel lies to her and tells her that her last bastion of hope (the Fireflies) turned out to be as dystopian as the rest of the world, the only thing she could do at that point is to rely on Joel, which now has instantly become the last pillar of support in this world.  It didn't matter if a rumor for another cure (FEDRA, Firefly, Survivors Tommy's people, etc) surfaced, because from that point on, she could no longer trust or put her faith into anything else aside from herself and Joel.  She, in a way, has essentially become as broken and alone as Joel, which is truly a sad ending for such a beautiful game.  Regardless of the ending, this game easily has catapulted to my top 3 titles of all time on any system, and I've been playing games since the Atari.

giddybang
giddybang

The fact that there are 807 comments so far in this thread is a testament to how great this game is. A point that I haven't seen made on this thread yet (although admittedly I haven't read all 800 other comments) is the fact that Joel was forced to defend Ellie in the last scene. They made it a point to have him ask Marlene to speak to Ellie more than once but she would not let him. Had Marlene given Joel the opportunity to talk to Ellie, do we really believe that he would have stopped the operation against Ellie's wishes? In my mind, at that point, Joel really wasn't making a decision about saving the world or saving Ellie, rather, he was making the decision about saving Ellie from people who were trying to hurt her. This point is reinforced in the ending scene when Marlene asks him why he would save Ellie just so that she would be ripped apart or worse sometime later and he tells her that its not their choice to make. In the end, I believe that Joel also takes away Ellie's choice by lying to her. This ends the game on a perfect note by continuing the theme of the game - that there are no clear good and bad people, just survivors, and Joel is a Survivor. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and am sad to leave the beautiful and terrible world and intricately told story that were so perfectly put together by the Naughty Dog team.

wingedfoot
wingedfoot

I saw the ending a little differently. It seemed to me two people agreeing to share a lie.  And by sharing in that lie they shared something akin to an emotional bond, which is something neither would ever admit to having.  When Joel says "I promise", he says I love you.  When Ellie says "okay" she says I love you too.  It is the closest these two can come, at that moment, to a positive connection with another person.  It is a turning point in their relationship and an awkwardly beautiful moment. 

thembtwins
thembtwins

I was soooo angry that we never got to hear Joel sing, I thought that would be the most touching moment. Any thoughts?


silversix_
silversix_

GOTY. If you don't agree you don't own a ps3 and haven't played a quality exclusive since 09

skinnydingbag
skinnydingbag

Joel played the part well it fits the story. If wasn't an 'animal' which you guys speak of the game wouldn't be this good. Joel is the truth of us humans when pushed to the limits  

Busta
Busta

I do agree that joel wants humanity to return to normal. I would go so far as to say joel believes it will eventually.   He just doesn't want it at the cost of ellie.  She can't be the only one immune.  Their has to be another way.

malintenby
malintenby

Tom is so wrong with his interpretation of the characters and setting of this game.. He's obviously decided Joel is a bad person and let it colour his opinion for the rest of the game because he works late and came home tired. A ridiculous interpretation obviously made by a person who has never experienced hard work for long hours himself or in the people around him. It's totally normal for someone who's been working hard to come home and act the way Joel did. For all we know the man has got a physically demanding job in the oil industry with the setting being Texas and it would certainly explain the fact why he's a big guy. Having worked in a physical job myself and been in a family where it's the norm, it's totally understandable and realistic the way he comes home and seems totally uninterested in anything apart from putting his backside on the sofa to rest. I totally disagreed with most things he said in his review of the game and after watching that above, I think he should maybe stick to reviewing Mario games or something similarly fluffy because he is obviously way out of his depth with a game like this which goes so deep, and explores the intricacies of human behaviour on such a level that no other game has ever come close to doing. 

sanny87
sanny87

@malintenby 100% agree. I cannot believe how different he see's it. It seems like total stupidity or naivety.

clouds_99
clouds_99

There is no reason to attack anyone...it was just his opinion.  I did see the scene differently too.  To me, it enforced the concept that Joel cared more about his daughter than he did himself.  It was his birthday not hers.  Putting food on the table was more important to him than celebrating his own birthday.  Plus, the fact that she waited up for him hints at the deep relationship they shared even though he had to work.  I think his character put a lot into that relationship and that's why losing her broke him.  She was all he was living for.