[Originally published on 5/19/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]
Chapters 10-12: Bus Depot through Jackson
Spring has arrived, and our two main characters have found their way to Salt Lake City. As they’re walking down the interstate, Joel points out that he sees the hospital the fireflies are supposedly at. You climb over some cars and a bus to get to what I believe to be either a movie theater or a train station of sorts. Ellie seems out of it and extremely quiet, which Joel asks her about. She doesn’t have much of an answer for him and the two of them end up walking over to where a ladder is hanging over a ledge. Joel tosses her up, and she pushes the ladder down before taking off after something that Joel “has to see.” Turns out there are some giraffes strolling through SLC! This was pretty cool, plus If you got close enough you could’ve had Joel pet one! This temporarily seemed to put Ellie in a better mood, but as the giraffes stroll off into the distance, the two of you head down into another building to begin what hopefully is your last voyage to a hospital.
As the two of you walk out of the building, you come across some medical tents, which brings Joel back to right after it all started and he worked for a triage unit. There’s some loot here to grab and a workbench so level up your gear before moving on and try not to get too sad as some somber background music begins to play as Ellie hands you that same picture Tommy tried to give you at the dam a few chapters back. This was a great little scene showing how much the two of them care for each other now after this ridiculous journey they have been on together. After crawling through a bus this time, you walk up to an underground tunnel that you need to pass through to get to the hospital. The second you get into the tunnel it gets very ominous, and then you come across your first enemies. There are three clickers, three runners, and a bloated, yet they’re spaced out enough to very easily sneak by or sneak kill them all. Walking into the next area you stumble across a handful more of clickers and two bloaters, but once again pretty easy to sneak by or use the good ‘ol bottle to bomb technique I’ve mentioned in prior reviews.
Once through zombieville, you need to swim through an underwater bus and come back on the other side to drop Ellie down a ladder before moving on to the final little puzzle area. As you realize how close you are to the hospital, you go to climb a ladder that ends up collapsing down. This requires some maneuvering of the now broken ladder, a pallet upstairs, and that initial ladder to cross a gap to the set of stairs that leads out of the tunnel. Yet there’s one thing left in your way it turns out, a ripping current. As you’re crossing over some buses and other things floating in the water, one gives way and a total shit show ensues. Joel ends up stuck in a bus, and Ellie jumps over to save him and ends up knocking herself out. It almost looked as if she got completely crushed between the wall and the bus, but luckily she didn’t as we see her unconsciously floating away. Joel snatches her and swims to a safe spot, just to get whacked in the head with the butt of a gun.
And thus begins our most important chapter, the Firefly Lab. Turns out Marlene is still alive, which Joel finds out as he comes to. They talk for a bit before Marlene informs Joel that they’re planning on putting Ellie under for an operation soon. Joel suddenly puts two and two together, realizing that what the fireflies are about to extract the cordyceps on Ellie’s brain, which would leave her dead. Joel is putting off the vibe that he knows they didn’t fully explain this to Ellie before telling her she needed the surgery. The guard with Marlene then kicks out the back of Joel’s leg as she orders Joel to be marched out of the building. And she also adds that if he tries anything stupid to kill him, so of course you know Joel is about to do something beyond stupid. As the guard is walking Joel out, Joel notices his gear. He stops and makes the guard shoot and miss, then shoots him a few times to figure out where the surgery room is before popping him one more time in the face. Now he needs to fight through about 30 guards over a few floors to get to Ellie. One of the men drops the assault rifle here, which was super cool, but it also would’ve been nice to have it for more than just one chapter lols. You finally make it to the surgery room, and the doctor decides to be a tough guy and try to maintain his ground. He gets his scalpel in his neck and then you have the option of killing the other two surgeons or letting them live. I chose the latter, and then grabbed Ellie. The next part was just a bit off to me. As you’re running through the hospital trying to escape, you’re clearly running by guards who should be noticing you, yet they don’t. Anyways, you ultimately make it to an elevator and that’s where the cutscene starts. You stop on a parking garage floor, and Marlene is standing there waiting for you before we cut to Joel and Ellie in a car. Ellie is just now waking up and very confused about what happened over the last 12-24 hours. Joel explains to her that they found the Fireflies, but that they stopped seeking a cure. “There are dozens of others just like you,” were the words he used when explaining this to her. At that moment we cut back to when Joel came across Marlene in the parking garage, and she is desperately trying to convince Joel to leave Ellie. Joel had a pistol in his hand that Marlene didn’t see. Joel places Ellie in the car, and walks back over to Marlene. As she’s bleeding out on the ground she begs for her life. “You’ll just come after her”, are the words Joel whispers as he pulls the trigger and we cut to black.
We’re now with Joel and Ellie at some point in the future, and it looks like their car broke down just outside of Jackson. Ellie is staring at her arm as Joel tells her they’ll be walking the rest of the way. We’re playing as Ellie again, and as we follow Joel he starts talking about his daughter and we get a strange reaction from Ellie. They continue through the woods before They reach a peak and we get a superb view of the town they’re heading too. After about another 100 feet and a small ledge, Ellie stops Joel to tell him about the night she was bit. She then demands Joel to swear to her that everything he told her about the Fireflies and her surgery was true. He takes a second and then swears it was. What a liar!! But then we get such an epic scene, with Ellie taking a breath and then saying okay right as an incredible guitar track starts playing and the credits role.
What a freaking game!! I can’t believe I didn’t know about it until three weeks ago. I’m also super pumped for the second one now, which should be out in 2019 from what I gather. Any-who, I hope you enjoyed my final review of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. This game will undoubtedly remain a classic for many years to come, and I think I’ll break down some stuff on the second one once more is released. Thanks again for the read, it truly does mean a lot!