From the relationship between Joel and Tess to how the virus spreads, we’re exploring all the differences between Naughty Dog’s popular PlayStation game The Last of Us and the HBO adaptation series.
The first episode of HBO’s The Last of Us has aired. Beloved by the PlayStation and Naughty Dog series, The Last of Us, which debuted in 2013, could very well be the best post-apocalyptic story game ever made. The game with unusual gameplay and story was first presented exclusively for PlayStation consoles. Sony is gearing up to bring production of The Last of Us Part 1 to PC players on March 3, 2023.
Yesterday HBO aired the first episode of the series. Initial positive impressions from many critics and viewers were that the game was not respected. But what exactly is this independence from HBO? How is a game series and a series different from each other? We will answer all these questions in our article. As you understand, this part of the article contains spoilers for The Last of Us and the first episode of the series. So if you haven’t watched the first episode of the series, you might be better off watching and coming back. Now that we have agreed on everything, if your coffee and tea are ready, we can return to our topic …
New and different characters
Players who have played The Last of Us before may have known many of the characters from the first episode. Among them, of course, our main roles, Ellie and Joel. In addition, the characters Sarah, Tess, Tommy are also featured in the first episode. We’re introduced to the characters of Firefly commander Marlene (played by original voice actor Merle Dandridge) and Marlene’s right-hand man, Kim.
Since the first episode of The Last of Us is 85 minutes long, the familiar characters don’t stop there. In addition to new characters such as radio officer Abe and Lee, there is also a FEDRA guard who makes a dangerous deal with Joel.
In Naughty Dog, Sarah and Joel’s neighbor in Texas was a man named Jimmy Cooper. In the series, her roommates are Connie and Danny Adler. Connie and her mother Nana contract the virus after being bitten. Before she gets bitten, Sarah and Joel appear to have a short conversation with Danny in the morning. The opening of the cold series takes place in 1968. The opening begins with two anonymous infectious disease experts and a reporter discussing the possibility of a global epidemic on a TV show.
Cordyceps (cordyceps) virus is not transmitted through sports
In Naughty Dog, the Cordyceps virus behind the epidemic is spread through the bites of the infected. As a result, much of The Last of Us history is based on this virus. Many people can contract the virus from airborne spores. In some scenes of the game, the characters naturally wear gas masks.
But this is not the case in the series. In the HBO adaptation, the virus is not airborne by spores. Instead, carriers of the virus transmit it through a small ivy-like plant. The difference here is to keep our main characters, Joel and Ellie, from wearing gas masks on the show. As we mentioned above, the opening begins with a program discussing the threat of a brain-eating fungal plague. In 2003, this deadly virus begins to spread around the world. When the years of 2023 arrive, the world turns into a desert full of infected people who turn into Runners, Stalkers and Clickers depending on the stage of infection.
It is stated that this difference in the series came about because they wanted to emphasize the idea of connecting to something else. Neil Druckman, one of the game’s and series’ common names, in an interview “At first we agreed with the desire (to use sports) in the show. But our discussions have led us to become confused in these branches, ”he said. Druckman also said: “Imagine the transition from one infected person to another, and it can become an interconnected network, like a fungus does. I really like this idea.” used his words.
Joel’s daughter Sarah appears in more scenes
In the first episodes of The Last of Us, players briefly control Joel’s daughter, Sarah. The HBO series follows the story and the co-development and rhythm that flow from it, but Sarah appears more on stage.
In addition to the time Joel spends at home celebrating his birthday, the watch that Sara gives her father is also shown in the show, as well as in the game. Unfortunately for Sarah, the story ends just like it does in the game. The HBO series, like the game, upsets many again. The scene in which Sarah is shot is filmed with the same intensity, significance, and almost the same dialogue.
The series mainly takes place in 2023.
In the first game, released in 2013, most of the story takes place in 2033, 20 years after the spread of the Cordyceps epidemic. However, the series mostly handles the year 2023. This difference doesn’t really matter.
The year 2033 didn’t really look very futuristic, as the apocalypse slowed down social progress. The only thing that seems to be influenced by Joel’s age. But math may not mean much either … In the game, Joel was 32 years old at the time of opening. He was 52 years old when he met Ellie. Joel Pedro Pascal in the series is 36 and 56 respectively.
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Tess and Joel’s relationship has been portrayed in different ways.
In the games, Tess Servopoulos is Joel’s smuggling partner. Together, Tess and Joel will smuggle the requested items into the quarantine area in Boston. Her on-screen counterpart (played by Anna Torv) technically does the same thing. But she doesn’t seem to be romantically involved with Pedro Pascal’s Joel.
In fact, this item may not have been clearly shown in the series. Another possibility is that instead of wasting time looking lovingly into Tess and Joel’s eyes, the story might tell too much. But in one of the scenes, Joel hugs Tess around the waist. This theory may be wrong as this is only the first chapter.
Changes in Tommy’s character
There are small but significant changes to the character of Tommy, played by Gabriel Luna on the HBO series.
He is shown visiting Sarah and Joel as something that is not in the game. Also, he is in jail for getting into a bar fight with someone believed to be suffering from a Cordyceps epidemic. Joel has to go and rescue him. There was nothing like it in the game.
20 years later, Tommy apparently still keeps in touch with his brother, but that communication has been cut off for now. This causes Joel to make plans to find him. So Joel partially agrees to take Ellie to the fireflies. In games, this manifests itself in different ways. It was shown in the game that Joel and Tommy have not been connected in years. He ran into Tommy in the middle of Joel and Ellie’s trip to the Fireflies in Salt Lake City.
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The 80s Mean Trouble
Tommy isn’t the only one who keeps in touch with Joel. As he explains in the first episode, Bill and Frank send Joel a radio to keep them up to date. They do this with coded messages that certain songs make up of certain coded messages. The 1960s meant nothing, the 1970s meant new stocks, and the 1980s meant problems. The Depeche Mode song “Never Let Me Down Again” in the end credits of the episode is written in the 80s and hints that something went wrong with Bill (or Frank) outside of QZ.
All episodes and screen time of The Last of Us in the first season are as follows:
- Episode 1: 82 minutes
- Episode 2: 53 minutes
- Episode 3: 76 minutes
- Episode 4: 46 minutes
- Episode 5: 59 minutes
- Episode 6: 59 minutes
- Episode 7: 56 minutes
- Episode 8: 51 minutes
- Episode 9: 43 minutes
Pedro Pascal portrays the look of old Joel, almost making the two characters play the same person in certain shots. Finally, you can watch the trailer for The Last of Us Episode 2 below👇
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