TLOU2 includes a ton of of references to other games, books, movies, and songs across its lengthy campaign--we've compiled every single one that we've discovered so far.
The Last of Us Part II is now out and it contains plenty of callbacks to the first game and references to other pieces of pop culture. In the following article, we're going to focus on that latter group--so here's every single Easter egg we've found in The Last of Us Part II. We're going to be talking about several moments throughout the game, so turn back now if you want to avoid spoilers.
If you want to know about all the callbacks to the first game, we've got you covered there as well. In the video embedded below, Evan Langer and Jake Dekker detail all of the Easter eggs, callbacks, and references in Part II--which includes all of the items, scenes, and dialogue that are in reference to The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Left Behind.
So right at the beginning of the game, Joel plays the guitar and sings for Ellie. The song is real--it's Pearl Jam's "Future Days," which was officially released on October 11, 2013. Of course, with Outbreak Day occurring on September 26, 2013, the song was never actually released in the world of The Last of Us. Joel likely heard Pearl Jam perform "Future Days" live (it was first performed in July of that year) and managed to memorize the song or happened upon a CD that was locked away in some warehouse somewhere just waiting to be distributed.
In fact, that whole scene where Joel performs for Ellie is actually an adaptation of the epilogue from The Last of Us: One Night Live, a stage performance of the original game that was held for only one night back in July 2014. The epilogue is the only part of the performance that was never recorded but audience members spoke about it afterwards. The scene actually plays out a little bit differently in One Night Live--the stage performance includes a part where Joel mentions that Tommy has set him up with a woman named Esther. Naughty Dog revealed that Joel was originally written to have a girlfriend in Part II, but that this storyline (along with a bunch of other content) was cut, resulting in the altered scene.
Once you reach Eugene's place, you can discover that he also has a PlayStation 3. He too has both the Jak and Daxter Collection and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, but he also has Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Eugene also possesses a tape of something called Smash Brandi's Cooch, which is most likely porn but also sounds an awful lot like Crash Bandicoot.
In the opening portion of Ellie's Seattle Day 1, Ellie and Dina explore an open area where they have to find codes for several gates. The code for Gate West 2 is 0451, which is a long-running reference to the code needed to get into the Cambridge offices in Looking Glass. Several immersive sim games have used this code since then, including System Shock, Thief: The Dark Project, System Shock 2, Bioshock, and Dishonored. It's a bit odd to see it show up in The Last of Us Part II, which is definitely not an immersive sim game.
In Downtown Seattle, you can go into the Valiant Music shop and find a poster for Pearl Jam's 2013 album Lightning Bolt. That album includes "Future Days."
Inside that same music shop, we get another real-world musical reference: Ellie plays a somber rendition of A-ha's "Take on Me" for Dina.
In Downtown Seattle, you can gain access to a vault in the Westlake Bank. Inside the vault is a safety deposit box that holds a ring engraved with the message "Sic Parvis Magna." The message translates to "greatness from small beginnings" and the ring is Sir Francis Drake’s ring from the Uncharted series.
Additionally, when you enter the Westlake Bank, Ellie and Dina will talk about a movie that had surfer bank robbers in it--this is in reference to the 1991 film Point Break.
Speaking of movies, in the first flashback sequence when Joel and Ellie visit a museum, Joel keeps talking about and making reference to some old movie about dinosaurs. The movie in question is Jurassic Park--the damning hint is Joel's remark that the sequel wasn't very good.
Fast-forward to when Ellie is hunting down Nora in the hospital during Ellie's Seattle Day 2 and we get two pop culture references pretty much back-to-back. You can see the first when killing Whitney upon your entry into the hospital--the girl is playing Hotline Miami on a PlayStation Vita. Go a bit further into the hospital and you'll hear Ice Cube's "It Was A Good Day" upon finding Nora.
Alrighty, let's head on over to Abby's section of the game. When Abby wakes up on Abby's Seattle Day 1, you can see that she fell asleep reading David Benioff's City of Thieves. Interestingly enough, the main character of the novel is a boy named Lev--the same name as the young Seraphite kid that Abby will befriend later on. The Last of Us co-director Bruce Straley also cites the novel as a major artistic inspiration for the game, so Abby is actually reading the book that shaped the adventure that ended in her dad's death.
Before grabbing food in the mess hall, you can speak to Jordan, one of Abby's friends who went with her to kill Joel at the start of the game. He's playing the Fire Canyon section of Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy on PlayStation Vita.
After the Seraphite ambush that occurs early on in Abby's section, you'll make your way back to base and Manny will mention that he wants to find a couch, watch a movie, and drink until he passes out. When Mel asks him about the movie, Manny mentions he's going to watch a film that features a girl who rides a wolf. Given Manny's earlier comments about being an anime fan, it's possible that he's referring to Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke.
When you do return to base, Abby can talk to a fellow soldier about Alexander Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. It's well known as one of the better literary works detailing the lengths someone will go in order to have their revenge--a main theme of The Last of Us Part II.
After Abby sets out to find Owen, she'll end up in Chinatown. Head to the upper level of the King Street Relics store and you'll find a Precursor Orb, which is from the Jak and Daxter series.
Further along in her quest to find Owen, Abby will run across a comic book store. Inside, she'll find a ton of merchandise for a series called Galactic War, all of which looks an awful lot like Warhammer 40,000. Both series have similar icons.
Prior to going to Santa Barbara, Ellie enjoys a quiet life in a farmhouse with Dina and their baby, JJ. During this beautiful moment, Ellie will put "Ain't No Grave" on the record player. The song is written by Johnny Cash but Ellie specifically plays the 2006 cover by Crooked Still.
At the very end of the game, Ellie has a flashback to when she and Dina first kissed. The song playing is Crooked Still's "Little Sadia."
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