Let’s analyze in detail the ending of The Last of Us Part 2 and try to understand what the brand could offer with a third chapter.

The experience of The Last of Us Part 2 is something fantastic, as also highlighted in our review : it manages to leave an emotional baggage so powerful that it makes you think days and days before finding meaning in what you saw. Precisely this ability makes the whole game an experience that cannot be described if not experienced firsthand. But there is a lot to say about the finale, about what we saw in those last moments and what the future might hold for us. We will try to follow a single logical thread that connects every single point of the scenes that, masterfully, Naughty Dog revealed in the last moments of the adventure.

Before continuing with the article, we would like to remind you that the text contains major spoilers on the plot of The Last of Us Part 2, and that could therefore undermine the experience of those who have not yet fully completed the game’s campaign. We advise you not to continue reading until the game is over, so as not to ruin the experience and be aware of what we will talk about.

The Last of Us Part 2

The Flashbacks

During the long adventure lived, The Last of Us Part 2 throws us many flashbacks , often linked to two themes: the path that led to the discovery of Joel’s secret by Ellie and the story of Abby from the death of her father. We will talk about the antagonism within the game separately, but certainly these moments also serve to distort and confuse the player about who really is the villain of the story. But what with Abby becomes an engine of discovery, with Ellie we need to really understand her path, what led her to be the girl she is today.

One of the things that stands out immediately and that we see above all in the finale concerns the flashes that Ellie has towards that father figure of Joel: they are not simple pieces of history, but real doors to her feelings. Given that The Last of Us Part 2 tries to reconstruct a realism in the psychology of the characters such as to make them do things that are not always related to logic, if at first then these pieces of past history help us to contextualize, little by little they become instead the synonym of revenge: in fact, the image that sees the girl in his head is recurring, of a bloody and now finished Joel, shortly before dying at the hands of Abby.

Yet these Flashbacks change in the finale: while Ellie is finally succeeding in her intent to kill Abby, everything changes . There is no longer a wounded and bleeding Joel, but we see a quiet Joel standing in a chair playing his beloved guitar. At that moment Ellie’s vindictive feeling changes, becoming something that means resignation, but also acceptance of what happened and a very rare moment, especially in that violent world, of awareness.

The latest flashback shows us an Ellie who, after having come to terms with what she has learned, goes to Joel telling him that she still can’t forgive him, but that she will try. The anger the girl feels during the game then becomes obvious: Abby not only took away from him what appeared to be a father figure, but also the possibility of forgiving that man, of getting to that day where all this would probably have slipped. Street.

A resigned Joel

Although many on the net have complained about how Joel ends up trapped and then killed by Abby, it is clear that the man, among other things, is tired of such a life. We already see him exhausted at the beginning of the first The Last of Us, I don’t think it takes so long to understand his state of mind. If we add to this that The Last of Us points to meticulous realism, life is made up of mistakes, and we are making them at the least opportune moment. But the thing we immediately see, once they show us Joel’s bloody face, is that the man is very different from the adrenaline-charged one we see after the shotgun shot to the kneecap.: if first he is combative and ready to lead his hands, when he is supine he seems resigned, as if to have understood that perhaps that end is justice knocking on his door. It makes sense to think that some of that anger that Ellie hatches is also due to her not wanting to react, which she uselessly screams in the final moments of that man.

The Last of Us Part 2

The song Future Days, from beginning to end

During the game, every time Ellie picks up the guitar, before letting us play as we please (with a really well done and simple system), she will strum the first notes of Future Days, a Pearl Jam song that Joel sings at start of the game to the girl. If we go and see, that guitar, but especially that song, are the only bond left between Joel and Ellie. This part of the work actually dates back to The Last of Us: One Night Live, a musical event held in San Diego 6 years ago, which led the actors to repeat game scenes with Gustavo Santaolalla underneath playing the game’s music. At the end of the show, it all closed with an extra scene defined by Neil Druckmann as the way to say goodbye to Joel and Ellie.. The scene is actually the same one we see at the beginning of the game where Joel enters Ellie’s room and plays Future Days: even the song is the same.

On the show this song is described as being meant for his daughter Sarah, but in reality even then it becomes a heartfelt moment of the bond between the two. For this Ellie continues to play until the end of the game, even when she has lost two fingers: that scene is the most tragic of the entire title. The girl has lost her only connection with Joel, and now she can do nothing else. Of course, obviously it is a bitter ending that leaves a thousand glimmers: one of the most famous guitarists of all time, Django Reinhardt, after an accident that mutilated his hand, learned to play the guitar with only two fingers, and for this reason no one can tell us. that Ellie won’t sound good again.

Certainly the ending, however, serves to make us understand that, in the end, Ellie abandons the guitar (in that part that is very reminiscent of the beginning of the first game) and consequently that memory which, in some way, has a double meaning. While it allows the girl to connect to Joel, on the other hand it is a burden that she finally leaves behind. Of course, leaving that house can mean many things: maybe Ellie has decided to get it over with, but the fact that she carries her backpack (synonymous in the survival saga) shows that the girl, in all probability, will have something in mind.

The Last: how to become a scorched earth

The really special thing, which we can only see after the Farm onwards, is how Ellie finds herself in a world that does not seem to be fictional: usually in the plots of films and video games the characters always have choices that allow them to be good or bad. In this case, however, the choices that Ellie makes from that moment on are always neutral, gray. She chooses to go away to seek revenge again (abandoning Dina and JJ), then she spares Abby (probably after seeing herself in the relationship between Abby and Lev). If we think about it, these decisions not only cut off relations with her beloved and her son, but also with Tommy., already angered by Ellie’s initial desire not to leave, and it probably won’t take it well to know that she made it but that the girl who killed her brother (and the death of a survivor often weighs a lot more, seen that every risk experienced makes that end seem like a hoax) has been let go.

In The Last of Us there is the recurring theme of plurality: the last of us, because precisely in that world you cannot survive alone. In the two games we always see how the risks are lower in pairs, that the walls are scalable and that each obstacle becomes smaller. Wanting to make Ellie alone at the end of the game is almost anti-climatic, aimed at highlighting how she wanted to kill up to the last of them (the last of them) she left her alone, in the end.

The game start screen: Catalina Island

Moving on to Abby, although the undisputed protagonist of the adventure remains Ellie, the game start screen after finishing the title shows Catalina Island. For those who don’t remember, let’s talk about what, on the radio, is defined as the new base of the surviving Lights. The only glimmer of hope seems to be that location, and the boat moored on the sand right in front of that building (which you can see below) bodes well that Abby and Lev managed to get to the few survivors , almost with the intent to reform the Lights and continue that fight that, if in the first chapter it seemed made by evil people, instead has always been the only thing “enlightened” of the two games.

Raiden’s move

For the uninitiated, in 2002 in Europe Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released, a game by Hideo Kojima that unlike the first chapter displaced the players by making Solid Snake play (protagonist) for a short time, then moving everything to Raiden, character opposite to the historical protagonist. In fact, if Snake was gruff, brown, marked by war, Raiden’s appearance was androgynous, pure. The choice of Naughty Dog is a bit like this style; in fact, in the middle of the game we stop using Ellie and move on to Abby. This character is strong, resilient, militarily trained. He is much more reminiscent of Joel in gameplay (see Pipe Bombs) than did Ellie, who has a completely different style. If we add to this that using Abby we begin to empathize with her too and that, even, in-game we will find ourselves having to actively face Ellie in a violent fight (which instead does not happen with reversed parts), then the move of the creators of the game is even more daring: there is no good and bad, and they make us understand it in this way .

If we go to sum up, in fact, with Abby we will never kill a dog, nor any person without fault (the only one is Joel, but we do not do it as players), while with Ellie we will find ourselves killing, as well as dogs, Abby’s friends too. If this is not enough, even with Abby we will clash with Tommy, who will kill another of his companions (Manny) but against whom we will not be able to conclude anything. At the end of the game, it seems as if Abby is the true direct “descendant” of the protagonist of the first chapter, creating an estrangement that will certainly be felt throughout the game.

Is Abby infected?

During the mission in Santa Barbara with Ellie we hear from a guard that Abby, being infected, has been put in the stakes: in reality we do not know for sure if she is (especially since since the first chapter we have been shown that the infection is fast). We don’t even believe that Abby is immune, although it might be a theory (eventually, when she states to her father that, instead of Ellie, she would have willingly sacrificed herself, the doctor makes a curious grimace). Certainly the look of her emaciated of her is due to the 2 months of violence suffered, and the abrasions on her skin look more like burns than anything else.

What does the future have to offer?

Now that we’ve talked about all the interesting points related to the game’s ending, let’s go and do some theories about the possible future. Neil Druckmann, during an interview with GQ, said:

As you start shutting things down, there are fewer and fewer responsibilities and my mind can’t help but think about what comes next. So yeah, the next thing I’m going to do could be Part 3, or a new IP.

Obviously the sentence seems circumstantial, yet the hope that the saga will end with a trilogy is really high. We then came up with three possible theories of how the game might proceed.

The Last of Us Part 2

New characters

One of the most pressing rumors relating to this second part concerned the possibility that the new adventure would be lived with unpublished characters, abandoning the faces that we have all learned to know and going to make the series a sort of anthology. Obviously this idea has vanished, but it could return in Part 3 , perhaps letting us live the adventures of new people from the Jackson village. This, or two other possibilities: focus on Abby or close Ellie’s story.

Old glories

In the case of Abby, it would be interesting to see her struggle to reconstitute the Lights: perhaps this journey of hers could lead her to cross the path of other well-known characters, thus focusing on a sort of game dedicated to reconstruction, something that in The Last of Us seems be really hard to find. Obviously this would allow for more structured gameplay towards action , as Abby follows Joel’s play style much more than Ellie does. All this would open new avenues of gameplay that could be followed by Naughty Dog, but the theory that we like the most remains the following.

Hope, Anger, Redemption

Ellie in the first chapter of the series lives on hope : it can be the salvation of humanity, and this pushes her to be more optimistic than usual, even happy. We also see this happiness in the museum during The Last of Us Part 2, as she vanishes after discovering what really happened in the hospital. For this reason, if the first The Last of Us for Ellie is hope, this second part is anger : the same moves the girl towards revenge, from the beginning until just before the end, where we see that this feeling turns into closure. For this it would be nice to see The Last of Us Part 3 resume a few years after the end of the second, with a now hermetic Ellie, forced to return to Jackson to save her long-time loved one, or maybe JJ

Such a basis could shape a very intriguing outlining of events, while remaining in theme with the series. And you, what do you think? What would you like us to talk about about the ending? What would you like from The Last of Us Part 3?

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