The Last Of Us: Ellie's Revenge PATCHED
But what does the ending of The Last of Us Part II mean, and how do Ellie's flashbacks of Joel explain her need for revenge? Below is a spoiler-filled summary of the ending of The Last of Us Part II and a possible explanation for why Ellie did what she did.
The Last of Us: Ellie's Revenge
The flashback to Ellie's final conversation with Joel could suggest that Ellie's need for revenge is sparked by her own guilt for not having forgiven Joel before he died. Alternatively, Ellie may have been ready to begin forgiving Joel but was never given the opportunity.
The Last of Us Part II is a 2020 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. Set five years after The Last of Us (2013), the game focuses on two playable characters in a post-apocalyptic United States whose lives intertwine: Ellie, who sets out in revenge for a murder, and Abby, a soldier who becomes involved in a conflict between her militia and a religious cult. The game uses a third-person perspective; the player must fight human enemies and cannibalistic zombie-like creatures with firearms, improvised weapons, and stealth.
Development of The Last of Us Part II began in 2014, soon after the release of The Last of Us Remastered. Neil Druckmann returned as creative director, co-writing the story with Halley Gross. The themes of revenge and retribution were inspired by Druckmann's experiences growing up in Israel. Ashley Johnson reprises her role as Ellie, while Laura Bailey was cast as Abby. Their performances included the simultaneous recording of motion and voice. The developers pushed the technical capabilities of the PlayStation 4 during development. Gustavo Santaolalla returned to compose and perform the game's score. Development reportedly included a crunch schedule of 12-hour workdays.
Joel Miller (Troy Baker) confesses to his brother Tommy (Jeffrey Pierce) his responsibility in preventing the Fireflies attempting to find a cure for the Cordyceps fungus pandemic by saving Ellie (Ashley Johnson) from an operation that would have killed her. Four years later, Joel and Ellie have built a life in Jackson, Wyoming, though their relationship has become strained. While on patrol, Joel and Tommy rescue a stranger, Abby Anderson (Laura Bailey), from an Infected horde. They return to an outpost being used as a temporary hideout by Abby's group, former Fireflies now part of the Washington Liberation Front (WLF), a militia group based in Seattle, Washington. The group attack Joel and Tommy; Abby seeks revenge against Joel for killing her father, the Firefly surgeon (Derek Phillips) who was to perform the operation on Ellie. Meanwhile, Ellie and her girlfriend Dina (Shannon Woodward) leave Jackson in search of the brothers. Ellie enters the WLF outpost and witnesses Abby beat Joel to death. She swears revenge.
Several months later, Ellie and Dina are living on a farm, raising Dina and Jesse's son, though Ellie suffers from post-traumatic stress. When Tommy arrives with information on Abby's whereabouts, Ellie leaves to find her, despite Dina's pleas to stay. Abby and Lev arrive in Santa Barbara searching for the Fireflies, who they discover are regrouping at Catalina Island, California, but are captured, tortured, and left to die by the slave-keeping Rattlers. Ellie arrives at Santa Barbara and rescues the pair. Threatening to kill Lev, Ellie forces Abby to fight her, during which Abby bites off two of Ellie's fingers. Ellie overpowers and nearly drowns her, but has a change of heart after having a flashback of Joel, and ultimately spares her. Abby and Lev sail to the Fireflies. Ellie returns to the farmhouse and finds it empty. She tries to play Joel's guitar with her damaged hand, recalls her last conversation with Joel in which she expressed her willingness to forgive him, and leaves.
Druckmann wrote the story with Halley Gross. The team experimented with different plot structures and considered scrapping the project until they settled on an idea that mirrored the first game; Druckmann said that whereas The Last of Us is about the extreme measures one would take for love, Part II is more about how far one would go to bring justice for those they love. The themes of revenge and retribution were inspired by Druckmann's experiences growing up in Israel, where violence was a frequent topic. He recalled watching footage of the 2000 Ramallah lynching, and how, after hearing the cheering crowds, his mind turned to violent thoughts about bringing the perpetrators to justice. He wanted the player to feel a "thirst for revenge" before making them realize the reality of their actions. Druckmann said other themes include tribalism, trauma, and the pursuit of justice. Artists at Naughty Dog traveled to Seattle to analyze the architecture, vegetation, materials, topography, lighting, and capture photorealistic textures.
TLOU2 is a profoundly affecting and accomplished Triple-A action game that uses well-trodden tropes and themes to present an endless, exhausting spiral of revenge between two characters. Its grandest accomplishment is using an unconventional dynamic between player and character(s) to make every act of revenge equal part justified, understandable, horrific, and absolutely the wrong thing to do. It does what Triple-A videogames do best, using tried-and-tested conventions to great effect and affect. For the most part, aside from its centrist and ahistorical stance on Palestine and an ill-considered and unnecessary final act, it avoids doing what Triple-A does worst: it is not, despite what many critiques have said, a game where the player is forced to do bad things and then told they should feel bad for doing them; it is a game where the characters do bad things and then have to deal with the consequences, and the player comes along for the ride.
We also know that Ellie isn't Joel. While Naughty Dog has called The Last of Us 2 a game about "hatred", she isn't the sort of character to jump headfirst into a suicide mission just to get the last say over her friend's killers. A more plausible scenario, for instance, is if Dina is tortured (something that we know the Seraphites are more than capable of (opens in new tab)) and kidnapped, perhaps as a former runaway of the cult itself, since even the smallest chance that she's still alive and out there is all Ellie would need to begin her blood-soaked odyssey.
From the multiple shots of horses galloping against the backdrop of snow-peaked mountains, to even the way in which the editing invokes a event-making Rockstar trailer, the revenge western theme is so heavy in The Last of Us 2 footage that it's hard not to wonder whether Naughty Dog is trying to tell us something.
Despite its namesake, the revenge western is never just about revenge, but redemption through retribution; often following a protagonist's arc of self-improvement which subsequently allows us to empathise with them even as they play judge, jury, and executioner.
Again, the moors of the invoked revenge western genre provide potential clues for how this will play out, as these redemption stories often climax with a sacrificial death for the vindicated hero. Naughty Dog has gotten us so focused on Ellie and the supposed murder of Dina for a reason, and I think that reason is to distract us from a much more impactful fatality. Hell, Druckmann has demonstrated a fondness for non-linear storytelling with Uncharted 2 (opens in new tab) before; that gunshot victim in the basement may even be Joel himself.
It was seeing Joel in these flashbacks, and what he had done to Abby indirectly by killing her doctor father to save Ellie at the end of the first game. It was seeing this happen that made me understand Abby better and what drove her to revenge.
Some critics say The Last of Us Part II could have been 10 hours shorter, presumably without requiring you to play through the game as Abby. Naughty Dog set up a study in contrasts, as Abby is the foil to Ellie, and their stories of revenge mirror each other. I understood late in the game that this is the path Naughty Dog committed itself to, and it executed on that vision extremely well. I hate this story that sacrificed characters, but I understand it.
When Ellie kills Nora, a helpless doctor who saves lives, Ellie has hit a turning point. As a player, you have no choice but to execute Nora in this scene. Naughty Dog forces you to do this because it wants you to feel this transformation in Ellie. She is lost. She is bent on revenge.
But Naughty Dog pulls back from that abyss, sparing both of them. Only at the end does Ellie restrain herself from murdering Abby, because in that instant Ellie remembers her final evening with Joel, playing the guitar. Finally, this gives Ellie her chance at redemption, and she grudgingly pulls out of her obsession with killing Abby. Ellie remembers that in her last conversation with Joel, she was prepared to consider forgiving him for lying to her. The idea of forgiveness enters her mind. And while she finds that redemption, it is not without cost. But at least Ellie finds partial redemption and partial closure.
While not too much was revealed about the story, it looks like Naughty Dog is prepared to go all-in with the emotional drama, as they usually do in these kinds of stories. You can check out the reveal trailer above if you want to see more of Ellie in action. This new trailer definitely knows how to hype up fans, giving them a glimpse at the future that Ellie has made after hers and Joel's fateful journey in the first chapter. The trailer shows off more of the gameplay that the series has always focused on, showing Ellie as she blasts away bandits and takes down the zombie-like creatures that have infested the world. There's also plenty of shots of old, decaying buildings, which only helps to hype up the audience even more as Naughty Dog has done a great job creating a bleak future for humanity. 041b061a72