Thoughts On The Last Of Us Part II (Part II)

Thoughts On The Last Of Us Part II (Part II)

A new trailer released at PGW2017 almost a year after the initial reveal and WE ARE HYPED.

Back in February of this year, I shared my thoughts on the upcoming sequel to Naughty Dog's 2013 dark masterpiece video game, The Last of Us - The Last of Us Part II. That article (which I encourage you to review here before reading on!) focused on summing up the first game and throwing out some theories for the overall plot storyline of the new game. This was all based off of the initial reveal trailer from the PlayStation Experience 2016 event in December of 2016, which, frankly, didn't give us much.

However, to the overwhelming joy and excitement of The Last of Us fans everywhere, Naughty Dog released a new, 5-minute cinematic trailer to give us another little taste of The Last of Us Part II. Shown at Paris Games Week 2017, this trailer, much like The Last of Us we know and love, does not shy away from violence and brutality. Watch the trailer below.

Brutal, right? The trailer gave us some things to work with, but also left out two very important elements: Ellie and Joel! Or did it...?

Fans are already taking to the internet to discuss theories behind this new trailer and what it means for the second installment in this series. Here are the things we have to work with:

1. New Characters

Each of the six characters shown in this clip are completely new to the series. Naughty Dog tweeted the names and actors of each of the four main characters shown (excluding the two henchmen who are seen dragging the woman at the beginning of the scene), and you can see them below.

2. More Hints at Seattle

People were already speculating that this game is going to largely take place in the Pacific Northwest, specifically around Seattle, Washington. This trailer continues to hint at that with a street sign briefly visible that references a real sign in Seattle for "Exit 163A, W Seattle Bridge, Columbian Way."

3. Religious References

The antagonist in this scene, Emily, seems to make a few references to religious cult-like terms. She asks Yara about where the other "apostates" are, and this term means a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle, but it is commonly connected with religion rather than politics. Threatening to cut the unnamed woman's stomach open, she says that she is "nested with sin."

4. Clickers

At the very end of the trailer, we get a brief, but terrifying glimpse at some incoming Cordyceps-infected monsters, one of them being obviously the iconic Clicker type from the first game. This was what really confirmed this as a trailer for The Last of Us Part II, as fans witnessing the live release were unsure without any known connections to the series until that moment.

So what does all of this mean for Part II? Here are some interconnected theories.

I. The unnamed woman is Ellie's mom.

Bearing some passing resemblance to Ellie, there is a strong chance that this whole scene could be a flashback to Ellie's mother's early pregnancy. We know that Ellie's mother is named Anna, and Naughty Dog's tweet blacked out her name which seemed to be four letters long. Emily also said that she was "nested with sin" as she went to cut open her stomach, so that could be another reference to her pregnancy. This would mean that...

II. The Last of Us Part II will be a prequel/sequel.

This would make a strong case for the game to be split into flashbacks, being a prequel to the first game, as well taking place after the first game with Ellie as a 19 year old. The question is: will we get to play as Ellie's mom in these flashback sequences? This idea is not far-fetched as Naughty Dog has previously done a similar style of storytelling in games like Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.

III. Connection with the Fireflies?

When Emily told her goons to "clip her wings" in response to Yara spitting in her face, this could've been a brilliant reference to not just her arms, but her figurative wings as she belongs to the group the Fireflies. Perhaps Emily was the leader of a more extremist offshoot of the group and was punishing those who didn't fall in line. We know Ellie's mom had a connection with the Fireflies as well, so this would make sense in the situation at hand.

This trailer is very intriguing and very dark, and I believe it is really helping to reinforce Neil Druckmann's idea that while the first game was about love, this one is going to be about hate. No one knows how long we will have to wait for another peek at this highly-anticipated sequel, but Naughty Dog have said that they are all hands on deck with The Last of Us Part II now that Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is fully released. A 2019 release is what's expected but it would be maybe the best present of all to receive this potentially before the end of 2018. There are still so many questions I have for what is still to come, but I am so excited to let the game answer them for me whenever it does finally arrive and ends all of the fans' suffering!

Cover Image Credit: VG24/7

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The Problem With Kissing Frogs

"I have kissed a whole lot of frogs, and not a single one of them ever turned into a prince."

I have kissed a whole lot of frogs, and not a single one of them ever turned into a prince. I have tried on a ton of shoes, but the glass slipper just never fit. I have taken some very long naps, and never woke up to true loves first kiss.

I've done some soul searching lately, and I realized something. I have spent so much of my life searching for my happily ever after that I forgot who I really am. I forgot who the person looking back in the magic mirror was. I forgot who was wearing the crown. I forgot about myself.

I am strong. I am beautiful. I am perfect in my own way. I am independent. I have never needed another person to show me who I am on the inside. I never needed to change for someone else because I just wasn't "good enough" for them. I needed to enjoy being me. It just took me awhile to wake up and truly see that.

Elle didn't need Warner to be successful. Warner needed Elle. He lost it all when he lost her. You cannot convince me that I need someone in my life when I know that my individual success is not brought to me by another person. I am the one who brings my own success. I am the one who makes a difference in my own life. I do not need someone to keep me from being me. I have the power to be whoever I want to be. And as of right now... I just want to be me.

Why be a damsel in distress when you can save the day on your own? Why sit back and wait for opportunities when you can go out and capture them yourself? Why stand there and tell me you need someone else in your life in order to survive and be successful?

You don't need another person to show you who you are. You need yourself. Be independent. Be patient. Be perfect. Be you.

I believe in fairytales. I believe in happily ever afters. But above all, I believe in myself.

No more frogs, glass slippers, shiny apples, or magic carpets. I am more than okay being by myself. I actually like me. And I know that someday my Prince Charming will sweep me off my feet. Someday I'll find "the one." But until then, I'm going to build myself and grow. I'm going to work hard to become the person I want to be. And I'm not letting anyone stop me from doing just that either.

I may still be a child at heart, but my determination proves to me that I'm more than capable of being successful and powerful on my own. I will do whatever it takes to be the girl I know I am deep down.

Straighten your crown and hold your head high. You're a princess remember? Go ahead and show them why.

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To The First Person That Hurt You

with a quiet thank you 

Her first hello to the world was with a cry. Maybe a few cries, a few hiccups, and a bunch of naps. She didn't yet know where her life was going to take her.

Her whole life she grew up surronded by love. She watched her parents as they so carefully kept her close to them. She denied the troubles that surrounded her head. She had fears, but she never knew they could actually come true.

She watched as the movies portrayed happy endings. No matter what happened, you always hold on to that person, right? You always end up with the one you love. No matter how much fighting you have to do to keep that person. 

She watched as the relationships surrounded her seemed to not compare with the ones that she was faced with. 

It wasn't until two greenish-grey eyes approached her. A sudden mystery that swamped her mind every second. But because she did not want to think about the truth of him, she stormed it to the back of her mind, never letting it get in the way of what she wanted to believe. 

She let false allusions lead her to a place where no one should ever want to go. Within weeks, she was in love with the hands that made her feel the safest, but also the most confused she had ever felt in her life. She cared about the one person who seemed to care about her as well.

They spend hours at night face timing, he made her believe she was the only one. He told her he was falling for her when he was drunk, and she was always taught to believe that "drunk words have sober meanings." She lived in a world of secrecy, never allowing for anyone to know what was actually going on.

His first time cheating was dismissed from his mind, allowing her to believe he would never do anything bad to her. The lips of another was pressed on her lips every time he kissed her. His mouth was sealed with the secrets he kept.

But someones mouth wasn't sealed. The first time she found out about this act, she broke down. And when she spoke to him about it, as broken as she was, he let her believe he was the broken one. With hope in her heart, she returned to him, hoping that this would end like the movies did.

A constant pit in her stomach arose anytime someone had to tell her a secret. She tried to be good enough, thinking that she wasn't because he had to crave things from others. She looked in the mirror every day, and said "this will be the day I will be enough for him." Little did she know, he wasn't enough for her. Nothing compared to the way she loved, they way she loved him.

But weeks passed, months passed, and his truth finally surrendered. Hands slammed against the wheel as he admitted to his truth. It wasn't just the lips of one other that came between their relationship. It was many others as well.

He had all of her in his hands, knowing that she trusted him with every piece of her. Her strings were tied, but his were loose, coming back and forth to her and many others. With an emptiness in her heart, she knew that this wouldn't end like what was implanted in her mind from the time she was born.

Her life up to this moment was a lie. No matter how much she fought, this was never going to be something worth fighting for. Her home was in a place that was temporary. It was time for her to leave, to abandon what she thought made her the happiest.

Without knowing the reality, she closed her ears off to the word and tried everything she could to forget. To forget about the love that started a fire in her that eventually burned her down. Her nights were filled with reminiscing, wondering where she went wrong. Her image of love was adjusted. 

"Everyone is going to hurt you." 

"You will never be good enough."

"This is the reality of love, this is what the movies don't tell you about."

Oh what a shame for a boy to make her believe this. For a reckless love to change her. 

Her love wasn't enough so he craved it from others. But not from their hearts, from the places that made them moan.

To the first love she ever had...

thank you for teaching her everything that love shouldn't be. Thank you for letting her learn early.

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