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Sep 02 2013
By: Mylo_Cordana Wastelander 826 posts
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The Ending is Conclusive

30 replies 1156 views Edited Sep 2, 2013

As this is a thread about the ending, it contains major story spoilers for The Last of Us.

 

It is common to see posters on this board talking about the ending of The Last of Us as if though it is a cliffhanger ending setting up another installment.  Many talk about a sequel as if though it will definitely happen.  This might support the idea that we are past the point where a developer can make a great stand-alone title without stretching it into a franchise that will inevitably burn itself out.

 

In this thread, I'd like to argue two things:

  1. The ending of The Last of Us is conclusive.  It is not a cliffhanger for another game.  The character's journey has come to a satisfying end by the time the credits roll.
  2. A direct sequel to The Last of Us would likely cheapen the original narrative.

Please note that I do not wish this to be a thread about the quality of the ending, for there are already many threads where you may exalt your praise or vent your frustration at the game's final moments.

 

My first point seems obvious to me, and I am confused as to why many interpret the ending as a cliffhanger.  When Joel learns that synthesizing a vaccine requires Ellie's death, he kills the Fireflies and fabricates a magnificent lie so Ellie will remain with him.  The final lines of dialogue tell the audience that Joel will forever continue to uphold this lie, and Ellie will believe him.  The two return to Tommy's dam to live the remainder of their lives.  What more is there to cover?  Do those who claim the ending was abrupt wish to spend many more hours playing as Joel and Ellie as they live mundane lives at the dam until they die natural deaths?

 

My second point comes with a few disclaimers.  I acknowledge that Naughty Dog are one of the best developers in the industry today and could make The Last of Us into a great franchise.  I would be excited about a prequel following Joel and/or Ellie before the events of the original game, or a game with entirely new characters set in the same world, but a direct sequel following the lives of Joel and Ellie after The Last of Us?  I don't see how that could work.  That is best left for bad fanfiction.  I understand the Joel/Ellie character dynamic thusly: Ellie would be willing to sacrifice herself for the potential of creating a vaccine, but Joel is selfish* and will not let her because he cares about her.  The Last of Us explored this theme fully.  How would a sequel play out?  With the Fireflies hunting for Ellie and Joel trying to keep the truth from her?  That would just be a retread of the themes of the original story.  Instead of being a heartfelt tale like the original, it would come across as a money-grab looking to soak-up residual good will dollars from fans of the first game.

 

*inb4 Glockist1

 

inb4 "I didn't read your long post but I still have something to say about it."

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Uncharted Territory
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

Sep 2, 2013

Mylo_Cordana wrote:

 

 

In this thread, I'd like to argue two things:

  1. The ending of The Last of Us is conclusive.  It is not a cliffhanger for another game.  The character's journey has come to a satisfying end by the time the credits roll.

 


I have to disagree here. There's so much more that could happen in a sequel, you just need to have an imagination, which Naughty Dog has no shortage of. Now, I'm going to try my best to not sound like a **bleep**, but Joel surley didn't kill the fireflies. He killed their leader; not everything is cut off the head, and the rest dies. If you've read on the original endings of The Last of Us, one of those plots could fit very, very well into the sequel.

 

I'm just going to express my opinion. I think a prequel would be good as a DLC, not as a full game. If you play the prequel, you know there isn't going to be a happy ending, not only that, there's always that thought of how the universe -The Last of Us's universe in this case- ends.

 

Players (atleast I know I do) want to know the end, a prequel is just one huge tease, for lack of a better word. I want to see how everything unfolds, not take one step forward, and three steps back. Again, this is all my opinion, as this post is yours.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

[ Edited ]
Sep 2, 2013

And nobody who don't want a sequel need to buy it.

That this story ends in part one doesn't mean, that never a new story can come around after the happenings from part 1. Even the end of part 1 isn't a cliffhanger in your opinion.

So i have to say, for me, as probably a Hugh fan it is indeed a BIG cliffhanger, just because, i really NEED to know whats happening next...

and no matter what will come next, i need to play this.

However, I wrote in diverse topics a prequel would be nice for the VITA system.. but Naughty Dog never did a prequel and didn't published a game for the VITA. 

"So don’t tell us we’d be happy with some other characters/games because the truth is, we’d just be more disappointed." - conquerator3

Status:
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TLOU2:
Ellie: I've listen to your lie, and your story. And I can't take it anymore.
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Lombax Warrior
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

Sep 2, 2013

Oh come on! There's lot to expand on.

 

I'm pretty sure I made a rushed idea somewhere on a thread about the ram possibly attacked by some group, Joel and Ellie are on their journey to a place of hope but only this time, this journey will revolves Eliie's character. Think about Winter, when you see her slicing Nolan-- i mean David's face off. You can see that monster in her, why don't we expand on that? Then on this next journey, Joel's heart plead for her innocence to be restored.

 

"Ellie, Is there's something you want to tell me?"

 

"What?"

 

"You hacked the guy's face off..."

 

"So? We need to know where the supplies are Joel! (or  maybe she'll call him dad)"

 

"I know, but that was not questioning, just a finishing  kill that's not... subtle".

 

I know I suck at making dialouge between those two but you can see the idea, I would pay a hudred pounds for this and I'm sure this'll make us all players worried about her... mind that's turning monstrous.

 

The Last of us fouced on Joel mostly.

 

The Last of us 2 focuses Ellie.

The call for a companion in a post-apocalypse is needed in order to survive and die together with.
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Lombax Warrior
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

[ Edited ]
Sep 2, 2013

"The Last of us fouced on Joel mostly.

The Last of us 2 focuses Ellie."

That is not entire true,

- Summer was Joel (a bit Ellie)
- Autumn Ellie/Joel
- Winter Ellie (a bit Joel)
- Spring Ellie (end Joel)

Would like see this 50/50 again ; )

 

 

and infact,

don't you have the same feel, that a hugh story left about joel ? I mean he didn't liked to talk about himself.

Ellie did this non-stop lol : )

 

I think both charakters are at date incomplete (for me).

 


p.s. i love to play Joel in part 1 and would love to play him again mainly.

"So don’t tell us we’d be happy with some other characters/games because the truth is, we’d just be more disappointed." - conquerator3

Status:
❒ single ❒ taken ✔ Joel

TLOU2:
Ellie: I've listen to your lie, and your story. And I can't take it anymore.
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Uncharted Territory
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

Sep 2, 2013

Mylo_Cordana wrote:

I understand the Joel/Ellie character dynamic thusly: Ellie would be willing to sacrifice herself for the potential of creating a vaccine, but Joel is selfish* and will not let her because he cares about her.  The Last of Us explored this theme fully.


 

 

I like what you are getting at in some ways but in others I think like others that while this story of events in their life is over (dont want to rehash and old story) I do believe a new story revolving these two can definitely be done.  Also I disagree slightly with your take on the character dynamic.  Its thought that Ellie might be willing to sacrifice herself but she is never given the choice.  Without being given the choice it cannot be seen as Ellie's sacrifice but as fireflies attempted murder.  Ellie is such a complex character that even though she would likely be willing to agree to sacrificing herself....you cannot just assume that this is what she would want.  Joels selfishness comes into play by not giving her the choice either.  So both the fireflies and Joel were acting selfishly because they were both refusing to ask Ellie what she would want because they were both afraid of what she would answer.  I think its this hidden dynamic in complexity of the plot that really makes the ending shine like it does.  We are never given a definite answer so we are only left with assumptions and conjecture which leaves a gamer sitting in contemplation of who was more selfish?  The man who loved Ellie like a daughter and would risk everything to save her life?  Or the group/woman who loved Ellie but would kill her the moment they thought her death would benefit them more? 

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First Son
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

Sep 2, 2013

I am not so sure if the hidden dynamic of the ending is a debate about which group is more selfish. It is obviously an opinion, but we are given no reason to doubt the firelfies' intention  to restore humanity (a selfless goal) and Ellie practically says she was willing to die, only making Joel's actions seem more selfish. This doesn't mean that both groups aren't justified, but I believe it is more less clear who is more selfish by the end of the game.

 

Regardless, I think we can all agree that the Last of Us, as it is, is made to be a conclusive story. With that said, it is completely possible for a sequel to be made.

 

However, to those who do want a direct sequel (a game which involves Joel and Ellie after the events of the Last of Us) all I can say is: be VERY careful of what you wish for. The events insinuated to take place after this game are (primarily) happy like the OP claims. A sequel would most likely mean a darker scenario for the characters so a game could be based around it. 

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

Sep 2, 2013
" Ellie practically says she was willing to die"

That isn't true.
Ellie mentioned sometimes that she don't want to die.

Almost every singe conservation with her or from Ellie herself she mentioned that she want to life.
And fact she definitely don't know that she has/had to die for it. Remember the scene, in the university where she questioned how the vaccine will be produced? She wouldn't asking Joel if she know that she have to die for this.

Anyways, the firefly's didn't gave Ellie a chance to choose too.
"So don’t tell us we’d be happy with some other characters/games because the truth is, we’d just be more disappointed." - conquerator3

Status:
❒ single ❒ taken ✔ Joel

TLOU2:
Ellie: I've listen to your lie, and your story. And I can't take it anymore.
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First Son
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

Sep 2, 2013

Well, her choice would have been irrelevant from the start since its a question of saving humanity. The Fireflies didn't give her a choice because they wouldn't let her opinion affect such a goal. The circumstance explains itself.

 

And you are confusing willing to die [for humanity] with wanting to die. 

 

We are given no reason to believe that Ellie would have actually said "no" to being killed for a vaccine. This idea is first presented by Marlene when she says it's what she would want and Joel essentially agrees by not responding. Keep in mind, these two characters know her better than anyone else in the game so we have little reason to doubt them. The last conversation of the game then affirms the idea when Ellie parallels her survivors guilt to her suspicion of Joel. If there was something she could do to make Tess, Sam, and RIley's death not in vain she would do it.

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Wastelander
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Re: The Ending is Conclusive

Sep 2, 2013

JazzDynamite wrote:
...

We are given no reason to believe that Ellie would have actually said "no" to being killed for a vaccine. This idea is first presented by Marlene when she says it's what she would want and Joel essentially agrees by not responding. Keep in mind, these two characters know her better than anyone else in the game so we have little reason to doubt them. The last conversation of the game then affirms the idea when Ellie parallels her survivors guilt to her suspicion of Joel. If there was something she could do to make Tess, Sam, and RIley's death not in vain she would do it.


 

I agree with this.  Though the player is never directly told that Ellie would be willing to sacrifice herself, both Marlene and Joel agree that she would.  Both Marlene and Joel know Ellie better than the audience does, and Marlene knows Ellie much better than Joel.  I say this because the audience only knew Ellie for about 14-18 hours (the length of the game), while Joel knew her for almost a year, and Marlene knew her almost all her life.  That the two characters with the most insight into Ellie's character both believe Ellie would be willing to die.  That is why I interpreted what choice Ellie would have made to be a given.

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