I can say without fear of being wrong that, along with ‘Metal Gear Solid’, both installments of ‘The Last of Us’ are two of the most cathartic and defining experiences that have marked my relationship with the world of audiovisual narrative in general and video games in particular. Something understandable if we take into account Neil Druckmann’s domain to build characters, develop stories and devastate the player.
If, like me, you are devoted to the work of naughty dog, you probably have some misgivings about its television adaptation. Personally, I recognize that, despite the tremendous confidence generated by the figure of Craig Mazin as showrunner —there is ‘Chernobyl’ to demonstrate its capabilities—, I also had some skepticism, but this has suddenly dissipated with the arrival of the trailer for the series.
A minute and a half has been enough to convince me that HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ can become one of the great series of 2023 and that it will honor the original material. And in case there is still one left, here I bring you a good handful of details that show great respect for the original material.
Alone and Forsaken
To begin with, it is necessary to refer to the song that adorns the trailer and gives it a gloomy and sulky look that fits perfectly as expected. This is none other than ‘Alone and Forsaken’ by the ill-fated Hank Williams; referent of country, honky-tonk and western in the United States during the decades of the 40s and 50s.
If we go back to the year 2012, a trailer for the first ‘The Last of Us’ was presented within the framework of GamesCom. starts with Ellie giving Joel a cassette tape while traveling by car. Once our protagonist presses the play button, ‘Alone and Forsaken’ begins to play while a merry-go-round of violence, cruelty, and brand-name crudeness unfolds before our eyes. Reference.
How could it be less, the Fireflies will have a specific weight in the Craig Mazin series. This militia group fighting military oppression in the quarantine zones and seeking a vaccine for CBI appears in the trailer through graffiti being removed under the supervision of two potential members of FEDRA, the Federal Response Agency. to Disasters.
In addition, in another fragment of the advance, a graffiti can be read that reads “When you’re lost in the dark…”. This is the first part of the Fireflies motto, which concludes with “Look for the light”, its full translation being “When you’re lost in the dark, look for the light”.
Of course, if the trailer reveals the presence of the Fireflies, their leader had to make an appearance, albeit very briefly. This is none other than Marlene, founder of the militia conglomerate that he took care of Ellie after the death of her mother and that he entrusted Joel with the mission of escorting the girl out of the city.
One of the details that confirms the amazing level of detail and fidelity of the HBO production is found on Joel’s wrist. I am referring to broken watch that Joel carries on his wrist throughout the adventure; a gift from his daughter Sarah turned into a discursive symbol which in the series is damaged in a surprisingly similar way to what is seen in the video games.
The night it all started
And since we are talking about Sarah, it is essential to dwell on the fragments of the trailer that we are transported directly to the night everything went to hell for Joel. We can see the character of Pedro Pascal carrying his daughter in his arms and trying to find his brother Tommy to flee from Austin. Everything seems to point to the fact that, in this case, new scenes have been added to spice up what is one of the most devastating prologues in video game history.
In a brief shot, the camera follows a chain that is holding a foot wearing Converse, tremendously characteristic footwear that Ellie wears in the video game. Why she’s chained up is a mystery—this scene doesn’t appear in the source material—but the detail on the costume is greatly appreciated.
Craig Mazin’s series will not be limited to the events of ‘The Last of Us’, but also will explore what happened in the ‘Left Behind’ DLC. This is clear after seeing the fragment in which Riley Abel and Ellie are on board a merry-go-round; one of the most special moments of the additional content released in 2014.
Bill and his traps
We continue with the familiar faces, because Bill also has his seconds of glory. we can see to this sinister ally of Joel and Ellie, last survivor of Lincolnpointing a gun at the protagonist after he has probably fallen into one of the many traps he planted after his partner Frank abandoned him to his fate.
The fidelity is not only going to be found reflected in scenes, characters, costumes and other similar details, but also in the many recognizable settings in which the story will take place. Among them we have been able to glimpse the financial district of Bostonthe Massachusetts State Housethe quarantine zones plagued with posters and notices or the streets of pittsburgh.
And to —almost— finish, the great star of the show. Halfway through the trailer we can perfectly hear the horrifying sound made by the clickers; one of the most fearsome enemies of the video game —I get goosebumps just remembering some of the run-ins with them—. But this is not all because, as a final shot, we are treated to a foreground that once again brings out a spectacular production design.
Now yes, we close this compilation with the title of the series, which in addition to sharing typography with that of the video game appears surrounded by the fatal spores floating in the air in some of the most dangerous locations in Naughty Dog’s oeuvre.