Right at the end of May GVMERS, an incredible team of video game fans who are creating documentaries on various released, launched their latest video, The History Of The Last Of Us. The video is really interesting, exploring how The Last Of Us came to be throughout its time not only as a Naughty Dog property, but also as a concept in the heads of the two Co-creators of what has become a franchise.
The video is well worth a watch, even though any fan of the series probably knows a lot of the information in there already. Still, there were some points that it expanded upon that I’ve only recently seen come to light, and I think they’re worth pointing out.
First, The Last Of Us was originally going to be called Mankind. In this early version of the game, the cordyceps virus only infected women, but it was canned after staff at Naughty Dog called it misogynistic I totally agree, and I think it would have been a very different game had it been Mankind that had released. However, there are remnants of Makind within The Last Of Us. This doesn’t feature in the documentary, and I don’t know if the GVMERS team even knew about it, but the Makind logo exists within The Last Of Us. To top things off, there is actually only one female human enemy that you can kill, and she’s a guard in a scripted section of the game that you can’t even reach. You’d never know she was a woman without taking her helmet off. I discovered this through the video below, and it’s just super interesting to know.
If you dive into Makind even further, you’ll notice that most of the infected enemies in The Last Of Us are female. I’ve been replaying the game recently, and I’d go as far as saying that all the Clickers are female. This shows that most of the work on the infected was done on women, and Naughty Dog kept those creatures because they were still viable in The Last Of Us.
In The Last Of Us Part 2, it’s easy to see that there’s a good balance between female and male human enemies. Clearly Naughty Dog had a much clearer vision of the world with the sequel, and while I don’t think that Mankind would have been a great game in terms of tone, I’d be interested to see what it looked like in those early stages. Maybe Ellie’s journey of revenge will give us a clearer glimpse.