As soon as The Last of Us 2014 story DLC, Left Behind, became available on the PlayStation 3, it was recognized as an important and poignant addition to the highly acclaimed game.
This additional chapter not only provided a previously unknown portion of Joel and Ellie’s journey to the Fireflies in Salt Lake City, but it also provided crucial context for Ellie’s background.
Left Behind relates the tale of how Ellie got bitten in the first place and is set three weeks before Ellie and Joel meet in the game. Ellie agrees to sneak away with Riley, 16, on an expedition to a mall they had previously been to when Riley returns to their dorm at the Boston QZ FEDRA military school after being AWOL for a few weeks.
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Riley and Ellie are on the verge of becoming more than friends, even though Riley intends to leave Boston with the Fireflies, as is revealed throughout this journey. But when the two are attacked by a swarm of infected, which results in both of them being bit, both of their potential futures are ended.
Only one of them actually dies as a result of the illness, as we find out in both the game and the HBO series. From the survivor’s remorse, Ellie experiences every time someone else she cares about passes away to her resolve to aid in the discovery of the infection’s cure, Left Behind makes it very obvious that Riley’s death is a significant event that continues to affect her worldview.
In The Tweet Of @TheLastofUsHBO, it wrote that “I Joined The Fireflies”:
I joined the Fireflies. #TheLastOfUs pic.twitter.com/FUkxDqcd4t
— The Last of Us (@TheLastofUsHBO) February 27, 2023
Viewers of HBO’s “Left Behind” will discover that, with a few small changes, the episode stays quite true to the original. The show doesn’t feature any minigames like hurling bricks or using water guns. If you are more curious about The Last Of Us you can watch it on Hulu.
On the TV show, they play Mortal Kombat 2, however, in the DLC, they play the made-up “The Turning.” The performances by Storm Reid and Bella Ramsey in the episode are taken directly from the game’s cutscenes, such as when they are dancing while wearing Halloween masks and their final, private moments after coming into contact with the infected.
Many of the most impactful scenes in the episode are direct recreations of game moments, such as Ellie furiously destroying objects in the mall after getting bit. Just as in the video game, HBO mercifully cuts off the flashback when Riley and Ellie opt to continue fighting after getting bitten.
Despite the show’s history of going all-in on suffering and death, Riley never truly perishes as a result of her wound; instead, the episode ends on a “hopeful” note, even though we already know Ellie’s best friend won’t survive. Two significant aspects of Left Behind were changed for the show.
Ellie and Riley are attacked in the mall by one infected. The original Left Behind features the pair being overtaken by a huge horde of monsters, with an escape scenario that finally results in both of them being bit. This is because a video game needs to provide players with things to do throughout the experience.
They are attacked by a single infected on the program, but the writers brilliantly heighten the suspense by showing the audience the waking monster before Ellie and Riley realize they are not alone in the shopping center. This leaves viewers anticipating the attack with bated breath.
The present-day segment that is intermingled throughout Leaving Behind is another significant omission. Ellie is compelled to enter an abandoned mall by herself after Joel sustains a wound. She soon learns that it is infested with diseased, well-armed bandits who are trying to kidnap her.
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Players in the DLC alternate between the two chapters, which together depict Ellie’s attempt to atone for Riley’s passing by saving Joel. Nevertheless, in the program, Ellie and Joel seek refuge in a house, where she discovers a needle and thread and stitches up Joel’s wound, erasing the entire portion of the modern mall.
The decision to concentrate on the flashback and omit the additional present-day video game quest is the right one given the show’s constrained one-hour running time because the episode’s main goal is to provide us with crucial information about Ellie’s past that shapes her relationship with Joel. And the HBO series definitely succeeds in doing so, at least in the writer’s opinion.
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