NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
This story includes spoilers for “The Last of Us Part II.”
The golf club became one of the most iconic murder weapons of 2020, thanks to one of the most talked-about video game cutscenes in recent years.
Though “The Last of Us Part II” ended 2020 as the year’s most highly acclaimed title, it arrived last summer in a flurry of controversy. In the aforementioned scene, the main character of the first game, Joel Miller, was brutally murdered by a new character and protagonist to the series, Abby Anderson. In a cabin besieged by a heavy snowstorm, Abby reached for a nearby set of golf clubs to deal the fatal blow that left many players horrified, saddened, and in some cases, incredibly angry.
The discourse around Joel’s death has simmered down over time, but there was one question that never got answered, or probably even asked: Why a golf club?
“The Last of Us” games have been very intentional about their imagery and how they tie into the overall themes of the game. Director and writer Neil Druckmann, now co-president of Naughty Dog Studios, has been very open about how the game reflects his childhood and young adult life. The golf club also has a connection to his youth.
Druckmann told The Post that at age 16, he was accidentally struck in the head with a golf club, after which he needed 30 stitches. The incident left a permanent dent in his skull, he said.
“Ha. No one asked me about it,” Druckmann wrote in a direct message, mentioning that he wasn’t an avid golfer. “My friend was into it. He invited me to go to a driving range. He was showing me the ropes. I stood behind him, and got smacked on the back swing. Blood everywhere.”
The decision to use a golf club to kill Joel was made later in the writing process, according to Druckmann.
“For a long time, Abby stabbed Joel in the back then twisted the knife to paralyze him,” Druckmann said. “But knife felt more like an Ellie thing. We wanted something different.”