Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross, the creative director and the narrative lead of The Last of Us Part 2, in an interview with Game Informer, revealed that their original ending of the game was way more darker than what we got and had Ellie completely descend into darkness and give in to her rage in her quest for revenge.
Gross said the final act would showcase Ellie ultimately killing Abby and fulfilling her need for revenge but what the creative team was unsure about was how the scene would pan out. One thing that the team was sure about was that the bottom line was Ellie would go on to kill Abby.
“When I signed on a lot of it was very similar,” Gross revealed. “We did a lot of iterations on what that last act looked like, but the final beat was that Ellie would kill Abby. About halfway through production, we changed that and had Ellie let go at the last second to [illustrate] that some little part of the old Ellie, the Ellie with humanity, the Ellie that is impacted by Joel, still exists within this character who has been so overtaken by her quest for revenge.”
The change occurred as the narrative team was discussing the fates of Lev and Yara as they originally had permutations with each of them dying or surviving. After it was argued that Lev should survive, Druckmann felt that Ellie shouldn’t kill Abby anymore. Gross was shocked by the suggestion as she didn’t even know that changing the ending was on the table. Given the way the game turned out, however, and the semblance of humanity that Ellie is able to salvage, this decision was likely for the best. It also opens up even more possibilities in a potential third game.
Druckmann mentioned that the team’s main priority was to stay honest to the characters from the game but what changed was the theme in which each scene from the final cut would be depicted and the manner in which it would pan out.
“Letting Abby live felt wrong thematically initially. But at the end of the day, it felt more honest for the character. The theme [and] what we’re trying to say shifted a little bit, but our top priority always is are we being honest to the character? There’s certain things we are trying to hit but they can only work if we’re consistent with the character we’re writing. Letting Abby live felt wrong thematically initially. But at the end of the day, it felt more honest for the character. The theme [and] what we’re trying to say shifted a little bit, but our top priority always is are we being honest to the character. There’s certain things we are trying to hit but they can only work if we’re consistent with the character we’re writing.”
What did you think of this ending sequence as opposed to the one that made the final cut? Let us know your thoughts in the comment’s below!
[Source – Gamespot]