The Last of Us Part 1 – Why The Ending is Still so Impactful

The Last of Us never dreams of insulting its audience’s intelligence. And the best example of this is, of course, is its ending.

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shinoff218394d ago

Shit the beginning was to. I'm not sure how I would feel if I didn't have kids but having them it broke my heart to see.

ClayRules201294d ago

Yes. The beginning and ending…how they break you, make you think , question things etc. so impactful.

And yeah, I have a son (he’ll be going to college here next year) and just feeling Joel’s pain, heartbreak, loss…it hits you differently when you have a kid (s) of your own.

PhillyDillyDee94d ago

I didnt have kids when i played it and the beginning had me sobbing. That story left an impact on me

Orchard94d ago

The story was a rollercoaster from start to finish. Probably my 1st or 2nd most favorite game on PS3 (the other being MGS4).

Aloymetal94d ago

I agree with you. MGS4 was truly special, I wasn't the biggest fan of the long cutscenes but I understand is part of Kojima. Great game nonetheless.

Snookies1294d ago

Best Metal Gear game, coming from a HUGE fan of the series. I bought a PS3 JUST for MGS4. And got the collector's edition too. Worth every bit of money.

Yes, the cutscenes can be very lengthy. But a lot of it was quite necessary to really tie things together. Previous games had some longer cutscenes as well. It's just that they were trying to wrap everything up with MGS4. So, it's understandable that they'd have to throw some info dumps into the game here and there.

Orchard94d ago

The cutscenes are long indeed, every Kojima game sets a new record there :P

But the game was awesome, the second they showed that first E3 demo, it was clear it was going to be something special.

I still remember being mind blown by the Octocamo. It was also the first third person shooter game where I felt like the controls and aiming etc all went smooth / fluid and weren't janky. Hard to explain in words, but it felt 'natural' to aim, move etc in it.

gangsta_red94d ago

I thought the game went on a little too long and it started to wear thin. It should have stopped at Winter. That would have been a great way to end that game with the sequel continuing from there (if necessary).

-Foxtrot94d ago

I loved it however the ambiguous ending was kind of ruined in the sequel

The first game had this conflicting grey area of Joel's actions, a decision to let you think it over and discuss it with people, however the sequel created a narrative that "OMG JOEL 100% DOOMED HUMANITY...HOW SELFISH" and making out Ellie wanted to die in the hospital even though 1) She didn't know she was going to die and 2) She was ready to see Joel once she got out of surgery so he could teach her how to play Guitar.

For me he did the right thing, I mean they pretty much attacked him when he was trying to save Ellie, they lied to him and said they were going to kill her without thinking any other decision out or asking Ellie herself and they pretty much were going to throw him out onto the street without any of his weapons/gear where he could have probably died. There was no guarantee a cure could be made with these guys, it was all "chance".

Crows9094d ago

Exactly. He made the first good decision and this time around the girl he took care of didn't die while escaping...which alluded to the beginning of the game. He was prepared this time.

-Foxtrot94d ago

Like I just don't know why the Fireflies (and now Jerry in Part II) didn't think about any other tests, it was literally "Yeah this bitch has gotta die". You're telling me they couldn't wait for more blood tests, think of new ways to approach it? The worlds been gone for decades, it's not going to collapse even more by waiting, the damage is done.

If they woke Ellie up and asked her but Joel also told her what they did and were going to do to him I don't think she'd really want to sacrifice her life for these guys compared how she suddenly reacts in the sequel.

Even the hospital setting in the original game was run down, dirty and literally the best they could do, that alone didn't inspire confidence they had the tools to distribute a cure let along make one. I know the sequel and remake kind of retcon it where it looked cleaner, brighter and newer but again I'm going off the original, the first time I played it. The Fireflies at the end of the day were not good people, they were still terrorists with their own ambitious goals in mind, I don't think they would have been fair handing out the cure if they did get it made

TricksterArrow94d ago (Edited 94d ago )

It's a work of fiction, and more than once Bruce and Neil stated that the cure was a given, it was a sure thing and they regret not making it more clearly. If the cure wasn't a thing, the ending wouldn't ne nearly as impactful as is.

Crows9094d ago

Except tlou2 states that it isnt a given. The ending is still impactful.

Inverno94d ago

Think the reason why she was going to die was because the guy was a vet, not a doctor

-Foxtrot94d ago

Yet suddenly was the only person who could create a cure

"We deffo need to kill her"


"Trust me....I'm a vet"

TricksterArrow93d ago (Edited 93d ago )

Jerry was a doctor. A lead doctor. His bio makes it clear that he attended Northern Utah Medical University. He just happened to like animals. I wonder if people really pay attention to the games they play anymore (if they played, it’s a toss with TLOU2’s critics)…

Imalwaysright93d ago


You should play the PS3 version. Once you do, you'll realize that the ending was retconned because Jerry wasn't the surgeon that was going to kill Ellie.

TricksterArrow93d ago

I played all versions. He was not a vet in any of them.

Imalwaysright93d ago

He was not in the original version of the game but the "Jerry" that Joel killed in the original clearly wasn't someone that acted professionaly or inspired confidence because he was willing to work in a dirty operating room and was wearing boots.

TricksterArrow93d ago (Edited 93d ago )

Jerry was a minor unnamed role that got expanded on the sequel and also got recast, not unlike any TV series and games before this one (such as Resident Evil, in which Claire, Leon, Carlos and Chris all look considerably different from one iteration to the other). Also, still not a vet. And also unsure what argument you are trying to make by “dirty room” and “wearing boots”. He is still a doctor that has the ability to develop a cure, it doesn’t matter what he is wearing or what tools are at his disposal, the story is what it is.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 93d ago
ChubbyBlade94d ago

That’s why I didn’t like part 2. It removed all the nuance

Inverno94d ago

I think when you realize he's a vet, Joel's decision feels a bit more justified for those who played both games. Just playing, since you're in Joel's shoes, you don't really question it. Then playing the second there's a justification that doesn't take away from Joel's decision but for the player should reinforce your understanding of it.

You said it in the second comment. "The Fireflies at the end of the day were not good people, they were still terrorists with their own ambitious goals in mind." That's why they just went along with killing her cause they didn't want to figure out some other way.

shinoff218393d ago


I think they just tried to show you how Joel's decision affected more then just Joel and ellie . Just showing different angles and a bigger picture. I think Joel did the right thing.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 93d ago
dmonee94d ago

The story had me emotionally engaged. Gaming for 40 years it was the first time a game story messed with my emotions in the way movies do. As far as the game and gameplay? Not so much lol. It wasn’t bad in my opinion but the game itself was ok. It was the storyline that kept me going in TLOU 1 and TLOU 2.

ClayRules201294d ago

“As far as the game and gameplay? Not so much lol. It wasn’t bad in my opinion but the game itself was ok.“

What exactly did the game do that qualifies it for just being ok? And same question for the gameplay?

dmonee94d ago

That’s a tough question because I could ramble on and on as to why. I’m speaking for myself because I usually pass on survival horror type games. So instead of getting into a debate as to why I found the gameplay to be ok. I originally commented on how the narrative had me emotionally sucked in. Especially the opening segment. So much that I purchased a game I would never have purchased if not for the story. It’s more kudos to the developer for getting people like me out of my comfort zone to play a game I wouldn’t usually play.

ClayRules201294d ago

I know some people were upset with Joel lying to Ellie (friends of mine) that they felt it should’ve given the player an option to have Joel either

A. Lie to Ellie or B. Tell Ellie the truth. Type of situation, which just makes no sense. The game nor its story doesn’t given the player any control to have/make any choices that change the direction or outcome of ANY of these characters in this unforgiving and dark world.

I don’t blame Joel for doing what he did.

1. Ellie became the “Something” that he needed to keep fighting for, beyond just living day to day, simply being survivors.

2. Marlene gave orders to that no -name guard to kill Joel if he tried anything…you just done pissed him off all the more with those words. I wonder, if Joel had been killed and Marlene ever came across Tommy again (Joel’s brother) would she have the guts to tell him “Listen Tommy, we need to talk! About Joel…I couldn’t waste this gift. Tommy “What the hell you talking about, Marlene??” Marlene “I had Joel killed, if he” Tommy “YOU SON OF A BITCH!” Got carried away there lol. You get the idea tho. To my point, it wasn’t guaranteed that Ellie was the cure, and after all Joel did, went through, not even allowing Joel to see Ellie, just talk with her, that’s messed up.

3. Of course looking at the actions Joel took in the hospital and how that has major consequences in Part 2 for him, Ellie etc. it’s not like there wouldn’t have been a big threat later on at some point. This world is wicked, dark, unforgiving and everyone’s growing up, has their own WANTS. NEEDS. DESIRES. Solely for themselves, loved ones, or group. All while trying to survive.

Joel I think knew when he said “I Swear” that he’d done something much worse than when he actually saved Ellie from that operating room and possibly causing death to humanity (as if it would be appreciated anyways.

Yes, he lied to the one person who gave him purpose to live, purpose to have hope, purpose to be that father again (which he of course wasn’t looking for, but it just naturally happened upon him) like he was to his daughter Sarah all those years ago. And to him, maybe in that moment, lying would be worth the little bit of time, the years they’d have together creating memories, seeing Ellie grow up before his eyes etc. rather than lie to her and see a reaction in words and deeds in which she might’ve ran off losing all hope and trust in him etc. I mean, she did lose trust in him all those years later etc. but as we saw, she was willing to work with him, try to repair what Joel broke, and he knew it wouldn’t be easy, as did she. But with time she understood I think why he did what he did.

It’s just sad in the end, his lie, the time they lost with his betrayal, and than horrific death, caused Ellie to go seek revenge in a way in which Ellie changed, she kept chipping off more of herself along the journey, scary and sad thing to see, and exhausting. But powerful storytelling throughout it all.

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