The tragic death of a significant individual is depicted in one of The Last of Us most notable moments, which is crucial to the game’s plot.
The Last of Us opening moments are among the most tragic in video game history, but they are also crucial in setting up the rest of the post-apocalyptic adventure. The third-person survival shooter from Naughty Dog offers a remarkably realistic perspective on the zombie apocalypse, with both human foes and fungus-based Infected undead offering a dangerous menace. The Last of Us is experienced via Joel’s cold and tired perspective, and the game’s start is a crucial component that establishes the narrative’s tone.
The Last of Us is a narrative-based game. Therefore many notable plot moments attempt to frighten and unsettle the player. Joel and Ellie’s cross-country trip begins with the cruel death of Tess, who gives herself up to help Joel and Ellie escape after contracting the Cordyceps virus, setting the stage for the importance of finding a cure. The awful fate of Sam and Henry, two brothers who act as unfortunate mirrors of Joel and Ellie by attempting but failing to survive together in The Last of Us, further solidifies this idea. However, the first sequence of the game is possibly its most eerie.
In The Last of Us Sarah’s death makes Joel more hardened
The Last of Us opening cinematic depicts the end of the world as it is happening, even though much of the game takes place after it. Players take control of little Sarah, the daughter of Joel and Tommy, who do everything they can to keep Sarah safe while remaining oblivious to what is happening to them. The family successfully flees the mayhem raging through the Austin, Texas, suburbs, only to run across a government soldier on the outskirts of town. On orders to stop the spread, the soldier strikes Joel and Sarah, fatally injuring Sarah while Joel helplessly cradles his infant daughter.
By eliminating Sarah right away in The Last of Us, Naughty Dog establishes Joel as a genuinely suspicious and calloused character. Joel is mostly just interested in the bare necessities of living, despite having connections with individuals like Tess and Bill. It may even be argued that Joel is more of a monster than a hero in The Last of Us, given his willingness to slaughter enemies in cold blood and his lack of concern for the infection’s potential to heal him personally. The death of Sarah at the beginning of The Last of Us is necessary because it makes Joel’s savagery much more palatable and even justifiable later.
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Joel and Ellie’s relationship in TLOU is a result of Sarah’s death
Although it is painful to witness, Sarah’s passing at the game’s very start also makes Joel and Ellie’s friendship considerably more compelling throughout. Joel initially views Ellie as a burden because of her snarky disposition and his icy manner when the two iconic survivors first meet early in the post-apocalyptic adventure. Sarah’s passing heavily influences Joel’s guarded response to Ellie because the young survivor makes him think of the daughter he tragically lost in one of The Last of Us’ most poignant scenes. When Joel cannot deliver Ellie to the Fireflies, the dynamics of the situation change.
Joel and Ellie’s connection slowly grows throughout The Last of Us and Joel’s loss of Sarah constantly fuels their chemistry. Joel tries to give Ellie over to Tommy after he develops an emotional attachment to her to avoid losing her as his biological daughter did. Joel becomes fiercely protective of his surrogate daughter and is prepared to use any brutality to safeguard her life when Ellie refuses to leave him. The Last of Us iconic ending, inspired by Joel’s failure to protect Sarah, is directly related to his unwavering love for Ellie.
Sarah’s death drives The Last of Us ending
Although Joel’s horrific murdering spree across the Firefly hospital at the game’s conclusion shocks many players, it happens because Sarah passed away at the beginning of the game. When Joel and Ellie finally make it to Salt Lake City, they eventually run across the Fireflies, but they quickly make it clear that they plan to operate fatally on Ellie’s brain to try to cure the virus. Joel initially appears to accept the fate of his surrogate daughter. Still, to protect Ellie, he ends up raging into the hospital and obliterating the planet’s final hope of survival.
Throughout the game, Joel’s willingness to end the world in exchange for Ellie’s life is supported by the growth of their connection, but Sarah’s passing at the outset of The Last of Us is what truly drives him. Sadly, Sarah was fatally wounded by a human soldier in the initial scene rather than being infected or killed by an Infected zombie. This is how the opening of TLOU foreshadows the game’s conclusion, with Joel refusing to allow an aggressive organization to murder his daughter once more. Joel’s decision to save Ellie and destroy the rest of humanity was presumably made simpler by Sarah’s death, which showed him that society is even more destructive than the fungus itself.
The famous scene where Sarah dies at the start of The Last of Us while Joel clings to her hopelessly in his arms is what makes playing the game over and over again so upsetting. However, the game’s narrative and Joel’s character growth throughout the game both heavily rely on this terrible beginning. Sarah’s passing directly affects the ruthless survivor’s complicated connection with Ellie and his despicable actions at the game’s conclusion. Although it would be wonderful to see Sarah alive, The Last of Us story tragically depends on her passing at the hands of a soldier acting by ruthless orders.
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