The Last of Us Part II‘s biggest badass is so tough even guns can not kill her. That’s at least according to the UK-based mud Speclizerwho used mods to experiment with various ways of breaking Naughty Dog’s PlayStation 4 swansong in order to put some longstanding player-held “myths” to the test.
Spoilers follow for The Last of Us Part IIwhich came out two years ago.
First released two years ago, The Last of Us Part II is a follow-up to Naughty Dog’s apocalypse survival game The Last of Uswhich broke ground as a narrative tour de force in 2013. Part II starts off years later, showcasing the placid idyll of the characters, but quickly kills off Joel, the character you play as for (most of) the first game. For Part II, you play as Ellie, the other main character from the first one, on a quest for revenge. Your goal is to kill a woman named Abby, who’s directly responsible for killing Joel.
Partway through the game, at the point where you think the narrative is rapidly approaching the finish line, the perspectives switch. You play through the events you just played through from Abby’s point of view, essentially doubling the game’s length. (This creative decision proved controversial at the time; guidelines prohibited reviewers from revealing the twist, so many players were caught off-guard.) At the end, Abby and Ellie face off. It is an emotionally confusing scene, to say the least.
Speclizer’s first test: Can you actually kill Abby in that final fight? (In the normal, unmodded game she always survives.) To find out, they modded weapons into the fight. Shoot Abby over and over again with an automatic rifle? Invincible. Lodge an ax in her trapezius? She gets right back up. Nope: Abby is in fact unkillable.
Another myth tested: Can Ellie save Joel? Speclizer has Ellie no-clip into the room where Joel dies before he’s officially done for, but the handful of placeholder NPCs in there do not even notice Ellie plugging rounds into them. (Must be Abby’s cousins.) Later on, when Abby’s pinned down by a sniper (who happens to be Joel’s brother), Speclizer zips Abby to the sniper’s post. He, too, is invincible. Sensing a pattern?
Perhaps the framing of the video itself is a bit odd. (Why are these myths even “myths” in the first place? It’s not like modding could change the narrative outcomes of a game, especially one as rigidly produced as The Last of Us Part II.) But the results are nonetheless fascinating.
Speclizer, who did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication, said in a comment they’re considering turning this into a series. My vote? Against the horse into a unicorn.