The Last of Us: the story of Joel and Ellie waiting for Part 2
While waiting for The Last of Us 2, we retrace the stories of the key characters of the series until the end of the first chapter.
With millions of copies sold so far on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, The Last of Us also confirmed with the data to be one of the best games ever. An overwhelming success, embellished with a series of awards, including the recent BAFTA Game Awards as the best game of the last 12 years.
From this point of view, his direct sequel, namely The Last of Us Part 2, also promises to retrace his footsteps and our review has explained why. The game takes up the plot of the original, restarting five years after the final events of the first chapter. So, while waiting to see it in stores on June 19th, we thought we’d refresh our memories and summarize the story of Joel and Ellie, from the beginning to its conclusion.
In 2013, a deadly pandemic decimated the world’s population. Due to the effects of a mutation in the Cordyceps, a parasitic fungus previously harmful only to ants, millions of human beings become murderous creatures without reason. In fact, once a living organism has been infected fungus it attacks the brain and within a couple of days causes it to lose all brain function. Week after week, the host gradually undergoes physical mutations that transform him into increasingly hideous creatures. Within a few days, the infection spreads all over the world and is chaos.
Near Austin, United States, Joel, brother Tommy and little Sarah are trying to escape from the burning city overrun by the infected. After several moments of tension, father and daughter seem to be able to find an escape route, on foot, towards the highway. But a soldier stands in front of him, and after receiving the order via radio, he shoots the two of them, putting an end to the little girl’s life. Tommy, who had lingered to cover the escape of his brother and niece, arrives in time to kill the soldier before he opens fire again, while Joel’s soul is extinguished with his life. daughter.
Meanwhile, cities fall one after another, nations implode and their governments melt like snow in the sun. Under the blows of a heavy one crisis health, social and humanitarian, human civilization dies. Twenty years after the end of the known world, what remains of mankind survives as best it can in a world with no more rules. Some move as nomads among the remains of larger cities, others camp out inside real enclaves, in fortified slums, universities or former government buildings. Many are instead located in areas of forty managed with an iron fist by the remnants of the US military under the auspices of the Federal Disaster Response Agency, which has supplanted the US government.
And it is in one of these areas, a Boston, that we find an aged and disillusioned Joel. A man full of anger, apparently unable to feel emotions. She doesn’t even notice that her friend and fellow smuggler, Tess, she has feelings for him. Or maybe he pretends he doesn’t understand it because he doesn’t want ties. In any case, it is with her that Joel begins an adventure that will forever mark the rest of his existence. It all begins with a diatribe with a double-agent trafficker for a load of weapons: after eliminating him and his gang, the two smugglers they meet Marlene, the leader of a revolutionary paramilitary group called Lucciole (in the Italian edition they are called Luci, but we prefer to indicate them by their original name from English, that is Fireflies).
It was to her that Robert, the murdered trafficker, had sold the cargo he was supposed to give to Joel and Tess instead. The latter orders the woman, seriously injured after a fire fight with the military, to return her weapons, but the rebel refuses as she claims that having paid for them, they are now hers. However, she is willing to give them back to him on one condition: that they both make a delivery for her, since she is unable. The assignment is to escort a young woman named Ellie, up to the Government Palace outside the quarantine zone. There will be a recovery team there that will take her with them. After some hesitation, especially on Joel’s part, the two smugglers accept and leave with the girl. During the journey, the couple discovers that the interest of the group of rioters in the little girl goes beyond a humanitarian issue: Ellie has in fact been infected for three weeks, but the virus does not seem to have any effect on her.
The Fireflies, in addition to fighting military oppression in numerous quarantine areas, they are looking for a vaccine against Cordyceps brain infection. And they believe that Ellie may be the key to creating a cure. However, when the trio arrives at the meeting point after some clashes with the military and then the infected, they discover that the members of the Fireflies who are to take Ellie are dead and that Tess has been infected by the bite of a runner. In order not to suffer the atrocious fate of transforming herself into a monstrous creature, the woman decides to sacrifice herself by understanding the escape of Joel and the girl from a squad of soldiers who swoop on the spot. It is hard for the smuggler to give up on a person who is really close to his heart. Before the last farewell, Tess convinces a reluctant Joel to take Ellie to her brother, Tommy, who now lives in Jackson County but was once part of the Fireflies, so she probably knows what to do and where to find them.
From that moment on begins the story of Joel and Ellie, a man and a girl who find themselves almost by chance having to live together along their journey in a post-apocalyptic world. After getting a car a Lincoln, from a certain Bill, with whom he and Tess had an agreement to smuggle supplies of food, ammunition, and occasional medicine into the quarantine zone, the two continue their journey. Facing in the following months an infinite number of dangers between hordes of infected, military and gangs of unscrupulous criminals, the two protagonists establish an ever deeper bond between them. father daughter, as they go through realities like Pittsburgh, where they make the tragic acquaintance of brothers Sam and Henry, Jackson County (where Joel reunites with his brother Tommy) and the University of Eastern Colorado.
In the university, the two expect to find the Fireflies, with a functioning laboratory among other things, but in reality they discover that the complex has been abandoned after hundreds of infected have managed to break through the defenses and penetrate the perimeter. Next to the remains of one of the Fireflies, Joel finds a voice recorder and discovers that the survivors have moved to Salt Lake City. Together with Ellie, he then decides to reach the capital of Utah, but is seriously injured after clashing with a gang of humans. To save him is Ellie, who then drags him away until Colorado Mountain Plaza, an abandoned mall. Subsequently, the girl ties her companion to a sleigh pulled by a horse and takes him to Silver Lake, an abandoned village near a lake, where they find refuge for the winter.
It is from here on that Ellie probably matures more, especially from a character point of view, learning to be autonomous and to know how to defend herself with less approximation than in the past. For weeks, in fact, she not only hunts for food, but she looks after and protects Joel in the best possible way. Unfortunately, the man contracts septicemia, and for Ellie it becomes necessary to recover as soon as possible antibiotics. He finds them, by chance, thanks to a survivor named David, who with his friend James are hunting in the forest and proposes to Ellie to divide a deer just killed by the girl. The latter accepts only in exchange for medicines. David It proved to be an invaluable help, but despite his kind ways, Ellie soon discovers that the man is the leader of the gang that attacked them at the University of Eastern Colorado and then at the mall.
Having obtained two bottles of penicillin and a sterile syringe, the girl returns to the lake, injects antibiotics to a feverish Joel and tries to rest. But she soon discovers that David has her men followed, who kidnap her. When Joel later wakes up and finds out what happened, he becomes a fury. The smuggler slaughters a group of gunmen who have returned to look for and kill him. Furthermore torture brutally a couple of those he captures are still alive to find out where the others have taken Ellie, until one of them breaks the neck. Having discovered the location of the settlement where the young woman is being held prisoner, Joel falls worse than the snowstorm that was unleashed in those hours on the members of the community, who turn out to be ruthless cannibals who kill and devour other human beings.
Joel carries out a real carnage before finding Ellie, who in the meantime has managed to escape from David’s clutches, while raging in shock with the machete on the village head’s own body. It is at that moment that all the feelings accumulated in the past weeks towards that little girl, who somehow reminds him of her daughter who could not grow up, explodes in a fatherly embrace. Sometime after that bad experience, Joel and Ellie are on Highway 15 near Exit 308 towards Salt Lake City. After escaping violence and averted death at David’s hands, Ellie was quiet and thoughtful for a while. But that spark of hope, that conviction that perhaps with his contribution civilization will be reborn has never been extinguished. And it is enough for her to see the unspoiled nature represented by a herd of giraffes now free to roam around the city, to also find a smile.
The St Mary Hospital, where the operational base of the Lucciole is based, among other things, is not very far away and may soon be able to make its contribution to save many lives. After a series of dramatic situations, where Ellie risks drowning, Joel is shot in the head by two gunmen just as he tries to revive the little girl. The man wakes up in the hospital with Marlene beside him who thanks him for bringing Ellie to him. The woman, however, invites Joel to leave as his task is over, and reveals that to obtain a vaccine it is not enough to take blood or some tissue sample from the young woman, but that you have to operate it to the brain, extirpating the cordyceps inside the head. The equivalent of a condemnation to death for poor Ellie. Obviously Joel is not there and rebels, colliding with the Fireflies. He eliminates much of it until Ellie is recovered in the operating room just before a doctor starts surgery.
With the baby in his arms, Joel feels like he is reliving the nightmare of twenty years ago, when he was trying to rescue his daughter Sarah. But this time not even fate will be able to stop him and prevent him from bringing another innocent woman to safety. Determined not to lose again what he holds most dear in the world, his “new” daughter, the smuggler also eliminates Marlene in the garages, the last obstacle before the car escape towards Jackson County, where the community is. led by Tommy. And when Ellie wakes up and asks where she is and what happened, Joel decides to lie to her by claiming that there are so many people like her, that the Fireflies have stopped looking for a cure, that it has been a futile journey. A lie to protect Ellie and perhaps prevent her from making a rash choice by going back, but also for himself. To hide from her that he committed a massacre for paternal love, to have that daughter next to him who has never been there in the last 20 years.