How would you have written the ending for The Last of Us?

Technoweirdo

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Dec 20, 2011
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If you're gonna go for an ending with the cure, you'd have to change the entire hospital sequence as it's meant to be a repeat of the worst day of Joel's life. Change the ending though and the beginning of the game, one of the most heart-breaking sequences I've ever played, becomes pointless. Joel as a character would become pointless.
 

Endo Punk

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Sep 4, 2011
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3 endings: Joel kills docs, Joel accepts its for the best and leaves Ellie to be experimented by docs and Dog ending.
 

Mikey Jr.

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Ohh, so you want a generic ending? Ok

So they reach the end near Tommy's house like usual, and when Joel lifts up Ellie, a clicker comes out from behind a bush and bites Joel. Ellie cries and Joel begins to turn almost immediately. Ellie points the gun and says "I'm sorry Joel, but it can't be The Last of Us" and shoots Joel.

Later, we see Ellie with the fireflies as they operate on her. They kill her and find a cure. Text scrolls up the screen saying how the world was now at peace.

At the end, it says "The End". BUT! A question mark slowly appears, so the real ending is "The End?"

Thats how the Last of Us should have ended.
 

Zakard

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Jan 22, 2013
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Perfect ending. I would change nothing. A choice of the player woudn't feel right in my opinion.
 

Kenshin001

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Joel gets infected and you play as Ellie. Joel stalks you around a dark building. No matter what you do Joel always finds you and kills you with that neck biting animation. It'd be a metaphor for the futility of existence in their world. There is no escape. Just big red letters on the screen, You Died.

Millions of enraged red faced gamers swearing and throwing the controller, struggling to grasp the real meaning of the last act.
 

Markitron

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Aug 24, 2010
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She looks at the bite near the end and it looked a bit worse to me
Give me a sec going to rewatch the last cut scene
I have seen the final scene 4 times and I didn't get that impression.
He does suggest to her that she's not the only one that's immune though (which may be true but he is lying to her).
 

Macka

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Jun 6, 2012
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I wouldn't change a thing.

On the 'killing the doctor' topic - I obviously didn't even know the game forced me to kill him, yet still shot him in the head almost immediately. Why? He was in the way. I had a private military closing down on me, and I felt pressured to be...fast. Which I suppose is a testament to how absorbed I was in that moment, as I likely could have stood there indefinitely without the fireflies catching up. I did feel bad about it, but I [as Joel] had already killed so many 'innocent' people by that point in the game that killing one more seemed almost negligible. Ellie always came first.
 

Noobcraft

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Nov 9, 2013
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I think it would have been cool (at least as an option) if Joel failed (he wouldn't have to let go, but just fail to save her). The procedure was already under way or something and he just breaks when he finds out. It would have brought some emotion to what is otherwise (IMO) an emotionless character after the intro. I didn't like Joel though. My brother didn't like him either and was pretty unsatisfied with the ending.
 

Mononoke

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Dec 26, 2012
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Perfect ending. I would change nothing. A choice of the player woudn't feel right in my opinion.
Yep.

If they were going to have a choice, one where Joel decides to let go. They would have needed to set up that plot earlier in the story where Joel learned to forgive himself over her death, forgive the rest of society for her death. Scenes where he finally was able to let go of her.

Giving players a choice, wouldn't work. The actions he took were the exact resolution to the end of a specific narrative set up. I can totally understand people not agreeing with Joel's decision. Or feeling uncomfortable with having to carry out his actions. But this was a linear/narrative. And Joel's actions were 100% in line with the story/themes set up.
 

Kimosabae

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May 9, 2009
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I wouldn't have rewritten the ending because I understand and respect what the authors/artists/creators were trying to accomplish. It's NOT my story: it's Joel's & Ellie's story. Any dissatisfaction or emotional upset generated in you by the ending is part of the draw. If the ending was satisfying, you wouldn't be inspired to internalize it.

It works as a pugnacious meta-criticism of contemporary video game design and it is fucking brilliant.
 

wapplew

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Mar 1, 2012
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For a moment I think firefly grab Ellie from joe's arm and shot him in the head was the ending.
That was powerful too.
 

jiggles

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I would have had Ellie die on the table and Joel to head home with her backpack. The final scene being Joel in an abandoned house on the road home, going through the stuff in the pack and finding memorabilia from their journey. He finds a recorder from Ellie in which she says goodbye to him (thinking they were only going their separate ways), and asks him to move on with his life. In the final shot, Joel removes his watch, places it in the backpack, and exits the house, leaving it behind.

That's not to say that I would change what we got, but rather that I couldn't have written it as well as the guys at ND.
 
Nov 9, 2013
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She looks at the bite near the end and it looked a bit worse to me
Give me a sec going to rewatch the last cut scene
She's immune to the disease, but the bite would still cause both an immune response and an inflammatory response in her body. Swelling, redness, and even minimal disease symptoms are normal until her immune system takes control over the invading antigens.
 

Archer

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Numbers dwindle, you fight harder and harder to get meds, equipment, water/power/shelter.

Ultimately, efforts prove fruitless, and everyone dies.

A slow fade to black.
 

TheSeks

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Feb 14, 2009
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I'd have killed Ellie. We took that long two-year(?) trip across America, nearly dying for a "cure" to the virus, find out HEY SHE REALLY IS IMMUNE and... don't cure the world because caught feelings.

Sorry, I don't buy that. Joel would've seen the same thing what's-her-face-that-he-kills-from-the-Fireflies did. Ellie was an inglorious sacrifice to save the world.
 
Sep 13, 2009
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Doesn't the ending imply
that Ellie isn't immune anymore?
That's what I got out of it
thats what i thought as well but they probably just didnt match it from earlier in the game or different lighting
ending was awful......cause it finished :( i wanna explore that town
 
Nov 9, 2013
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I'd have killed Ellie. We took that long two-year(?) trip across America, nearly dying for a "cure" to the virus, find out HEY SHE REALLY IS IMMUNE and... don't cure the world because caught feelings.

Sorry, I don't buy that. Joel would've seen the same thing what's-her-face-that-he-kills-from-the-Fireflies did. Ellie was an inglorious sacrifice to save the world.
I'd've agreed with you before I had a daughter. If I were to lose her, and the surrogate I found was the only other person on the planet I gave a shit about, I'd risk everything to keep her alive. Fuck the rest of the world.
 

Thaedolus

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The ending was perfect for being flawed, or rather showing how flawed the character was. Sometimes the best stories leave you with that empty feeling...
 
Dec 6, 2013
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I wouldn't have changed the ending at all. I thought it was a perfect and unexpected ending in a predictable story.
 

Erevador

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Jan 25, 2014
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Joel saves Ellie from the doctors... but who is saving who? And has all this happened before, over and over, an endless cycle?

As Ellie and Joel flee the hospital, we see her suspicious eyes watching him. We know she knows what he has done.

Later in the day, Ellie and Joel are standing by a mountain stream, running softly by them. She asks him if he has lied to her, but he denies it. As he turns away from her the camera slowly moves in on her tortured face. Quivering, she raises her gun. BANG.

Joel collapses, bleeding from his head.

Ellie sits down, overwhelmed with everything that she has done, overwhelmed with all that she has lost. She looks at her reflection in the now-blood soaked water.

She barely recognizes the tortured face of the sad girl who looks back up at her.

Ellie sighs, a deep, heaving, defeated sigh. She looks her reflection in the eye.

"You know Ellie...."

She begins to weep....

"we really are the last of us."
 

AudioNoir

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May 16, 2014
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Eh :/

To me, the ending was just right. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, and left me with a weird mix of happy and unsettled.

Yours sort of feel like Hollywood cheese, hate to say. I do get where you're coming from in a sense-- the ending wasn't for everyone, I guess.
 
Jun 28, 2013
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Exactly as it ended.

Also, you may want to add spoiler tags. Some folks haven't beaten the game yet.

Edit: And yes, I realize your post says "spoilers" at the beginning, but it's easy for the eyes to wander.
You'd think these people would know better than to wander in a thread called "how would you have written the ending for The Last of Us"...

Also I wouldn't change a thing about the ending, it was soo good.
 

mattp

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Jun 10, 2009
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SPOILERS

So I finished The Last of Us a few days ago and while I easily see why it got so much acclaim (it does take a little longer to get going but easily one of the best games I've ever played), I found the ending unsatisfying and too open-ended.Yes, the ending was very unique but I don't think it provided enough of an emotional payoff considering the journey that Joel and Ellie went through.

How would you have ended it? Personally, I would have liked to see Ellie become a sacrifice/sacrifice herself consciously for a cure. Maybe Joel makes it to the operating room and while he initially tries to stop the procedure, he eventually gets to talk to Ellie and finds out that Ellie herself wants to push through with the procedure to make a cure, that she wants to help mankind and not let the sacrifices of everyone that helped them along the way (especially Tess) be in vain.

Alternatively, maybe Joel gets bit in the process and Ellie's blood can help him by slowing down the infection but they'd have to go through with the procedure to produce an actual cure (which they do) and Joel wakes up all cured.

How would you have ended it?

Edit: sorry, typing on my phone.
im sorry but your endings sound infinitely more boring and unsatisfying. tlou ending was perfect
 

spectyre

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Aug 9, 2010
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Ohh, so you want a generic ending? Ok

So they reach the end near Tommy's house like usual, and when Joel lifts up Ellie, a clicker comes out from behind a bush and bites Joel. Ellie cries and Joel begins to turn almost immediately. Ellie points the gun and says "I'm sorry Joel, but it can't be The Last of Us" and shoots Joel.

Later, we see Ellie with the fireflies as they operate on her. They kill her and find a cure. Text scrolls up the screen saying how the world was now at peace.

At the end, it says "The End". BUT! A question mark slowly appears, so the real ending is "The End?"

Thats how the Last of Us should have ended.
 

jem0208

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Jul 17, 2013
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I would have given the player a choice. Either try and save her or let the doctors create the cure.

If you let them make the cure it cuts to future and we see an older Joel in a semi fixed world. But he's looking kinda depressed like he regrets letting them kill Ellie, regardless of the fact that he's surrounded by a completely renewed community and world etc.

If you attempt to save her there would be two options, if you fail (i.e: die) you don't go back to the checkpoint, instead Joel dies and the doctors kill Ellie for a cure and it cuts to the future showing a semi fixed world.

If you succeed then the ending is similar to the real one, except it cuts forward and you see Joel and Ellie hold up in some house with infected wandering around outside. It looks pretty bleak, and likely that they won't survive.
 

Erevador

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Jan 25, 2014
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Ellie and Joel are driving away from the hospital. He has saved her, and murdered the fireflies.

In the rearview mirror, Joel sees a car approaching. He lightly hits the gas pedal, trying to put a little distance between him and the car that follows. The car keeps gaining on him, it pulls up beside him.

Joel looks out the window and sees the last person he wants to see right now.

It is Vin Diesel. A relic from Joel's dark drift racing past.

Vin gives Joel a look that only says one thing. This challenge is on baby.


Joel knows what he must do, Ellie has never seen him like this. The blood of a racer courses through his veins.

"I know you can do this Joel. The blood of a racer courses through your veins."

With Ellie's encouragement, Joel slams on the gas. He races Vin Diesel. Joel is faster than Vin Diesel. In fact, he is better than Vin Diesel in lots of ways.

He wins the race.

Ellie and Joel embrace, victorious. He holds her close, and whispers in her ear.

"You know, Elllie, we really are 2 fast 2 furious."

They cry.
 

James Scott

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May 24, 2014
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thats what i thought as well but they probably just didnt match it from earlier in the game or different lighting
Right? I was sure that's what was implied until today. Maybe they tried an Inception-styled "did the top start faltering?" Leaving it open for the sequel
 

AlexIIDX

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Nov 5, 2013
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Just when it looks like Joel and Ellie are safe after escaping the hospital, a clicker pops up in the back seat of the car and kills ellie...
Suddenly Drake wakes up in a cold sweat lying on the ground next to a cliffside... Drake:. "well that was weird"..Sully:" You alright kid? Took a pretty hard fall there". Drake: "I had the weirdest dream Sully, haha. An infection had broken out and the very existence of humanity hung in the balance." Sully (with a concerned look on his face) "Kid... You must've hit your head harder than I thought. That's all true, we really are the last of us".

Drake screams while shaking his fists to the heavens... Fade to black... Uncharted 4: The Last Us.
 

SharkJAW

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Jun 27, 2011
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Ellie and Joel are driving away from the hospital. He has saved her, and murdered the fireflies.

In the rearview mirror, Joel sees a car approaching. He lightly hits the gas pedal, trying to put a little distance between him and the car that follows. The car keeps gaining on him, it pulls up beside him.

Joel looks out the window and sees the last person he wants to see right now.

It is Vin Diesel. A relic from Joel's dark drift racing past.

Vin gives Joel a look that only says one thing. This challenge is on baby.


Joel knows what he must do, Ellie has never seen him like this. The blood of a racer courses through his veins.

"I know you can do this Joel. The blood of a racer courses through your veins."

With Ellie's encouragement, Joel slams on the gas. He races Vin Diesel. Joel is faster than Vin Diesel. In fact, he is better than Vin Diesel in lots of ways.

He wins the race.

Ellie and Joel embrace, victorious. He holds her close, and whispers in her ear.

"You know, Elllie, we really are 2 fast 2 furious."

They cry.
oh my fucking god lol
 

Bitch Pudding

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Oct 3, 2014
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The ending was perfect. Those who complain about it did not pay attention during the game. I swear that I had thrown my PS3 out of the window and never touched another Naughty Dog Game ever again if
Elly had been sacrificed by Joel
.
 

Radec

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Sep 2, 2010
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Elie will be sacrificed as intended, joel will shoot his brains after knowing Elie's death.

Boom. No sequel.
 

hank_tree

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Dec 11, 2008
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Would have kept it exactly the same but removed control from the player in the final playable scene with the doctors. Momentum killer.
 
Aug 8, 2012
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Ending was perfect the way it was.

I would have cut out 99% of the combat in the hospital though. Maybe just a walk after you shoot 1-2 people. That was what soured me on the ending. Not the writing.
 
Oct 3, 2014
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Joel is about to shoot the doctors, When MacHammer, the Scottish survivor/bagpipe playing rapper enters and the game turns to be about getting a sneak up under the kilt.

The game ends on a cliffhanger when machammer accidentally dances his way out of a window.

Damnit MacHammer. Now we can never know !
 

EGM1966

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Aug 5, 2011
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Sorry OP you're just angling for a traditional narrative ending "and they found a cure!" when the title is actually a character piece where it's all about their ending and the plot having and ending is superfluous. I wouldn't change it at all.

It's actually nice to see a videogame attempt this kind of ending when most follow more mass market film/novel endings in being all about wrapping up the plot.

The plot in TLOU is really a red herring the whole time. Turns out its not really about finding a cure or the infected at all.
 

1.21Gigawatts

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Nov 24, 2012
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I personally thought the ending was perfect.
I couldn't care less about a cure and whether there was a chance for a cure in the first place or not.
This game wasn't about zombie apocalypse for me, that was all just background noise.
This game was about the relationship between Joel and Ellie and the ending was perfect in every way.
 

Tomasoares

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Jul 7, 2014
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I would like to see Joel saying the truth to Ellie ("the fireflies were a bunch of asshole and I killed all of them"), but that wouldn't fit with his personality :(