main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Videogame: The Last of Us
Just cargo they said...

"Endure and survive."

The Last of Us is a video game from Naughty Dog. It was released on the Playstation 3 on June 14th 2013, with a Playstation 4 version released on July 29th 2014.

In late 2013, a new type of fungal infection swept across the planet, causing a Zombie Apocalypse. Twenty years later, the last remnants of humanity live in "quarantine zones" under martial law, or as "Hunters" who prey upon their fellow man to survive.

Joel is a bitter and amoral Shell-Shocked Veteran who works as a smuggler out of the Boston Quarantine Zone with his partner-in-crime Tess. When a deal goes sour, Joel is given one last chance to salvage the goods: by striking a deal with the radical Fireflies movement to smuggle a fourteen-year-old girl named Ellie out of the city. This simple job quickly spirals out of control, turning into a country-wide trek across the ruins of America in pursuit of what could be a cure to the infection that plagues humanity as Joel and Ellie encounter not only Infected, but also the worst that humanity in this setting has to offer.

Considered to be not only Naughty Dog's best game yet, but also one of the best games of the seventh console generation and also up there with the top echelon of "greatest games ever made", The Last of Us has won close to seventy awards ranging from Game of The Year to best storytelling, voice acting, etc. The studio has always had a reputation for putting a stunning amount of craft into their games, and this game lives up to that tradition.

As of March 2014, The Last of Us has sold well over 7 million copies and after Grand Theft Auto V had the second largest video game launch of 2013! On Feb 14th 2014, a single-player DLC titled Left Behind was released. Acting as a pre- and inter-quel, it focuses on two timelines: firstly, it follows Ellie and her best friend Riley a few weeks before the central plot starts; and secondly, it fills in the Time Skip between Fall and Winter. Please note that, due to whiting out issues, main story spoilers will be unmarked in the DLC folder.

In March 2014, it was announced that Sam Raimi would be producing a big-screen adaptation of The Last of Us, with rumors at that year's Comic-Con that Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams was in talks to play Ellie.

Now has a Characters page.

Previews: E3 2012 trailer, extended Left Behind trailer

This game provides examples of:

    Left Behind/American Dreams DLCs 
  • All There in the Manual: The Last of Us comic American Dreams tells the story of how Ellie and Riley met, and also gives us Riley's age, which is 16.
    • Left Behind also features many Call Backs and references to the comic; Ellie and Riley discuss and mention things that come across as Noodle Incidents to anyone who hasn't read the comic but, in reality, were actually shown.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You play as Ellie through the whole DLC.
  • And Starring: Troy Baker receives credit as Joel again, though all he does is gasp and lie on the ground.
  • Arc Words: The main plot's theme of continuing to survive, no matter what, returns through a speech given by Riley.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: For American Dreams, this trope somehow works - the art is more evocative of a slice-of-life comic akin to Scott Pilgrim than a story about the Zombie Apocalypse, in spite of the more realistic-looking covers. Nonetheless, the work is essentially a coming-of-age story that focuses less on the actual infected themselves and more on Ellie's growth into becoming a young adult, meaning that the cartoonish appearance suits her state-of-mind at the time better than a gritty, realistic art style would.
  • Backtracking: Of a sort, as the interquel part has Ellie looping back on herself very briefly to evade the bandits.
  • Battle Couple: Ellie and Riley, for a grand total of about three minutes after their Big Damn Kiss and before they are infected. Ellie obviously survives the infection.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Ellie to Riley when she agrees to stay with her.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ellie and Riley both get infected, with Riley succumbing to the virus while Ellie remains immune. Ellie is then faced with the choice of either killing the monster that her friend will turn into, or leaving her behind at the risk of infecting others - and it's not clear which decision she made in the end. Nonetheless, Ellie lives on to try and make a difference with her condition, and Riley's last words are implied to have inspired her to keep living.
  • Boss Battle: Of a sort. Ellie has to best Riley in a few games and activites, though losing is an option (as they just laugh about it and the plot continues anyway).
  • Break the Cutie: Ellie. It also serves to explain why she dislikes leaving Marlene, and later Joel; she has a past of losing people she dearly cares about.
    • Riley counts as well. In difference to Ellie, she's shown to nearly constantly wear a positive attitude, which makes it all the more sad when she eventually breaks down upon getting bit.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Players can optionally sign into facebook to let the game make a single post to their wall. It means the photos Ellie and Riley take in the booth can be kept, allowing for an added punch if they view it after completing the DLC.
    Ellie: What's a "face-book"?
  • Call Back: Just like in the main campaign, the intro shot is of Joel's "baby girl" sleeping.
    • It also ends with a close up of Ellie's sad face.
    • A number of elements in this story were first referenced in the main campaign, such as the soldier who taught Ellie to ride a horse, the video game found in the arcade, and so on.
  • Cat Scare: Literally. While Ellie's going through a dark hallway a cat will jump out twice, startling both her and likely the players.
  • Chekhov's Gun: It's revealed that Ellie got her book of puns from Riley. The fact that she keeps it parallels Joel keeping his broken watch from Sarah.
  • Chekhov's Skill: During one section, the player has to use stealth and tactics to outsmart and "hunt" Riley. This later helps Ellie when she has to out-maneuver David in the burning restaurant.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The DLC explores this, showing that Ellie has a dreadful history that rivals Joel's.
  • Death by Newbery Medal: Watch as Ellie forgives Riley and the two get back on good terms, only for both to get infected, accept their death, and for Riley to later die offscreen.
  • Disc One Nuke: Since you play as Ellie, you get access to her unbreakable switchblade, which can silently kill anything you face.
  • Doomed by Canon: Riley.
  • Dramatic Irony: It's pretty sad when you know how it's going to turn out. Ten fold when you realize they go for option two, meaning Ellie is going to watch Riley die without getting to turn herself.
  • Easter Egg: Several exist if you wish to indulge them — players can have Ellie tell dozens of pun jokes if they want to keep going, and several joke items can be played with in the joke shop if you look.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The hunting rifle doesn't become available until midway through the final fight.
  • Enemy Mine: Played with. At certain segments towards the end Ellie can throw bricks or bottles to lure infected towards non-infected enemies. The name of the chapter is even "The enemy of my enemy".
  • Foregone Conclusion: Both Ellie and Riley end up getting bit, with Riley eventually succumbing to the infection.
  • For Want of a Nail: Had the scaffold Ellie climbs at the end held, she would not have fallen. Since this causes her to get bitten, the entire core plot hinges on it.
  • Gilligan Cut: Towards the end there's a scene of Ellie trying to calm herself down as she's preparing to stitch up Joel, only to cut to a scene in the flashback portion of Ellie smashing some pots after she and Riley had just been bitten.
  • Hope Spot: Appears in both timelines.
    • The prequel sequence has Ellie and Riley making amends, only for infected to burst in and chase them.
    • Also in the prequel is when Ellie and Riley almost escape the infected, only for the scaffold Ellie is climbing to topple. Because of it, they both end up bitten.
    • The midquel sequence has Ellie eliminating the final bandit group and reaching Joel. About to open the padlock keeping him safe, a shot narrowly misses her and more bandits (and then infected) start to close in on her.
  • How We Got Here: The story of how Ellie got bit.
  • Hurricane of Puns: As with the main plot, Ellie can read from her joke book.
  • Left Hanging: The DLC ends shortly after Ellie and Riley get bit, not showing what eventually became of Riley or how Ellie reacted to not turning herself.
  • Meaningful Name: Riley means "courageous".
    • "Left Behind" could mean multiple things:
    • How Riley left Ellie behind when she tried to join the fireflies.
    • Ellie is forced to leave Joel behind to look for supplies in an abandoned mall to try to heal his life-threatening puncture wound.
      • However, after beating the main game, the title most likely refers to how Ellie is suffering survivors guilt over Riley's death, and that Ellie is still waiting for her turn to die.
    Ellie: She says, "Let's just wait it out, you know, we can be all poetic and lose our minds together." I'm still waiting for my turn. Her name was Riley and she was the first to die. Then it was Tess. And then Sam.
  • Minimalist Cast: The acting credits even show it — "Ashley Johnson as Ellie, Yaani King as Riley, and Troy Baker as Joel."
  • Mood Whiplash: The prequel and interquel section both takes place at a mall, and while both are obviously worn down and overgrown, the prequel mall with Ellie and Riley simply hanging out is during summer and filled with warm colors and lights, while the interquel mall with Ellie trying to find medics for Joel while fighting enemies is during winter, and mostly consists of grey and cold colors.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It's implied that infected appeared because Riley decided to play loud music. And if the girls had not accidentally caused a blockade to collapse while trying to sneak under it at the very beginning, the infected may not have got in at all.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Riley heads back to save Ellie after she falls off the scaffolding. This winds up getting her bit.
  • Prequel/Interquel: Set before Ellie joined the Fireflies and her journey with Joel. As well as some time before the Winter chapter after Joel is injured following the abandoned college bit.
  • Scenery Gorn: Due to dilapidation, the mall during the winter section is filled with snow.
  • Slice of Life: The prequel segments, as all Ellie and Riley really do is hang out and joke around.
  • Shout-Out: To Facebook, of all things.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Riley reveals she has to leave with the Fireflies, and is making amends to say goodbye. Ellie begs her to stay and, when she agrees, Ellie kisses her. Cue Riley happily reciprocating, before a group of infected chase them and eventually bites them.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: A viable tactic — since Ellie runs into both Infected and Bandits together, it's possible to throw a brick/bottle at the feet of Bandits to get them swarmed and eaten.
  • Take a Third Option: Both bitten, Riley offers Ellie the option of suicide now, or going insane together. Rather cruelly, Ellie requests a third option.
  • Timed Mission: The last Interquel section involves the mall being overrun by enemies to which Ellie has to make her way to Joel through killing them all before one of them manages to bust open the gate Joel's behind. And once she's cleared out the first group, a second wave arrives.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The plot alternates between two points to keep it interesting: Plot A, which is all action and stealth, fills in the gap between Autumn and Winter after Joel is impaled and bleeding to death; Plot B is plot heavy with some action, and follows what occured between Ellie and Riley.
  • The Unreveal: "Left Behind" reveals how Ellie and Riley end up getting bitten, but it's not revealed what exactly became of Riley after succumbing to the infection.
  • The Unseen: Ellie and Riley talk about Marlene quite a bit, but she doesn't appear in person.

It can't be for nothing.
Kingpin: Life of CrimeMature RatingLeft 4 Dead
LugaruStealth-Based GameLegacy of Kain
Kid Icarus: UprisingThird-Person ShooterLoadout
inFAMOUS 2UsefulNotes/The Seventh Generation of Console Video GamesThe Last Story
KuonSurvival HorrorLone Survivor
Land Of The Dead Road To Fiddlers GreenZombie StoriesLeft 4 Dead
La-MulanaAction AdventureThe Last Resurrection
Escape from L.A.The New TensGrand Theft Auto V
KnackUsefulNotes/Play Station 4 The Legend of el Lobodestroyo Vs. la Liga de los Villanos
L.A. NoireVideo Games of the 2010sThe Legend of Zelda

alternative title(s): The Last Of Us
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy