The Last of Us. A Sequel?
One thing I tend to do while on my many mental flights of fancy is work out where a games story could go next. You may have read my piece about how I explained Assassin’s Creed could have a female protagonist and then wrought a brief outline of the story involving her. Well Assassin’s Creed will not be the only one who gets this treatment from me. All across games there are many well deserving and while new and interesting IP should also be pushed, a few well done sequels are always appreciated. So today instead of gushing about how great the Last of Us was (as every games site did about a year ago) I’ll explore where it could go in the future, using the same characters from the last game. Of course I can understand any reticence to the idea of a sequel to this title, it was in it’s own way a perfectly formed story in it’s own right and by adding to it, we could be seen to be taking away from the original in some way, but just because Phantom Menace happened, doesn’t mean a Empire Strikes back didn’t.
We start ten years after the end of the last game. Joel now in his fifties and Ellie now mid-twenties live together in Jackson County with Tommy, Maria and their 11 year old daughter Connie (Maria being in the early stage of pregnancy during her time in the first game). Joel’s age is starting to catch up with him, meaning he’s become the town watchman, spending much of his time in a lookout tower with a rifle in case of trouble. Ellie has become a teacher to the towns one school, teaching kids how to read and write, as well as basic survival and combat. While life isn’t easy it is as good a life as they can have. Irregular bandit attack and the odd roving band of Clickers keep the town on it’s toes. Other that the town has been known as a safe haven in Colorado and a good trade link between east and west.
Bands of refugees start arriving from west, talking of a drought making California uninhabitable. This combined with growing concern of a possible bandit warlord in the north, starts getting the town folk on edge, with talk of leaving Jackson altogether being an option that some are discussing. Joel steadfastly refuses the idea of leaving, Ellie, is not so sure however but backs Joel up out of loyalty. That night however bandits attack the town, opening a hole in the towns defenses, and releasing truck loads of infected into the town. Chaos ensues, Ellie, finds Connie and together the two try to get to Joel in his tower leading the defense. Joel however knows the town has been overrun and tells them to escape while he distracts the infected to give them time. Ellie and Connie find Maria and Tommy but both have been infected and beg Ellie to take Connie East to where the the army still has established order. Ellie agrees to their request, first killing the pair so they do not turn.
Ellie and Connie begin their long journey across america, doing her best to keep away from other groups, knowing the danger that traveling in the numbers. As they travel Connie begins to open up more, she was always the quietness child in the class and while acting as teacher Ellie did try to get her to open up, it was always to little avail. Ellie is still trying to get over the death of Joel, who could not have made it out of the town, she hopes it was at least quick.
After several weeks in the forests of Colorado they reach the town of Wellington, the town has become a refugee camp. Ellie is unsure weather they should go near it, but their lack of supplies forces her hand in the matter. As they arrive they hear tales of an old man back west whose fighting the bandit warlord an rallying a band of guerrilla fighters to his cause. While she can’t be sure of the identity of this man she hopes it is Joel. Connie and Ellie also hear rumors that the bandits are a splinter group of Fireflies, who grew disillusioned with the cause after some event ten years ago. Ellie, thinks she has an idea of what it maybe but doesn’t tell Connie.
The two leave Wellington after a few days and begin trekking once more, while searching through a old gas station Ellie is ambushed by a trio of bandits, Connie is forced to use what Ellie taught her and kills one of the bandits using a knife, this gives Ellie the time to take out the other two. Connie is reaction worries Ellie, instead of being upset or crying she is remarkably ok with having just taken a life. Ellie begins to worry that maybe Connie isn’t entirely ‘normal’ but makes jokes that she takes after her uncle to clear the air. They find that the bandits had a working car a few hundred meters from the station and so take it.
Fast forward six months and the two have found shelter in an abandoned town, in Iowa for the winter. Here Ellie teaches Connie to hunt using a bow, Connie is a natural with it but asks when she’ll be given a fire arm of her own. Still worried by Connie’s reaction to killing the bandit, Ellie refuses to give her a weapon, making the promise that for her 13 birthday she may get one. That night while Ellie sleeps, Connie steals a pistol from her and goes out into the town to practice. It’s hear that she comes across a feral child who attacks her, she fires and hits the child in the boy in the chest, the shot wakes Ellie who finds Connie is gone and runs to investigate. The child is still alive, breathing heavily, and clearly in pain. Ellie finds Connie as she finishes off the child with a brick blow to the head. When Ellie confronts her about it, Connie says ‘no point wasting a second bullet’. Ellie inspects the child and finds it’s covered in bite marks, possibly from a infected human, but the child showed no sign of infection and the marks were now very old. After Ellie tells Connie off, the two move on in silence. With Ellie unsure how to cope with the clearly disturbed Connie.
It’s at this point I’d like to stop with the story, as a setup for a sequel I think it’s got some legs, with the mystery of Joel’s fate, Ellie trying to establish a bond with a young girl as Joel did with her, but finding that she doesn’t like what she finds in her. Granted I don’t go into much detail of how the world has changed, what became of the fireflies after Joel did what he did, have infection rates begun to lower, have the victims of the spores mutated in more deadly fashions? All this story does is set up what the world is like now and the challenges the characters face in it that make it both different and yet familiar to Last of Us veterans.
The character of Connie fascinates me, she’s like Clementine from the walking dead, but where that girl was a brave and resourceful, Connie meets the brutality of the world with more brutality. She’d be interesting to watch develop, go from quiet young girl to a confident killer. Similar to how in the later parts of the first game Ellie became fairly adept at taking a life, but while it was a necessity for her, for Connie it’s something far more insidious.
I’ve enjoyed writing this little plot summary so I dare so over the weeks I’ll do a few more. A Watch Dogs 2 story outline could be done soon, they certainly left it open for a second. If you enjoyed please press the like button, and if you thought it was horrid then why not comment (also comment if you liked it)