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The Last of Us Single Player DLC is “a Side Story,” First Draft of the Campaign Included a Dog

June 21, 2013 Written by Jason Dunning

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This first page is spoiler free, but page 2 does have a small excerpt from the interview that is filled with spoilers.

Bruce Straley, Game Director, and Neil Druckmann, Creative Director, still probably haven’t slept after shipping The Last of Us 7 days ago. Continuing their lengthy press tour, they sat on the couch in Vic’s Basement (a podcast featuring Victor Lucas and Scott Jones of Reviews on the Run/Electric Playground/My Dreams).

After talking about the decision to split Naughty Dog into two teams following Uncharted 2, Neil talked about how they “made too big of game” with The Last of Us, which caused them to not only delay the release date into June, but also borrow “a bunch of people” from the other team to help wrap up production once Uncharted 3 was finished.

Looking at some of the cut content, aside from what they did with the ending (spoilers in the link), it turns out that they had originally planned for a dog to join Joel and Ellie in the first pitch for the story, but they “cut that pretty early because we realized there’s too much stuff here.” Another one of the main reasons for eliminating the dog was that “one of the programmers just freaked out” when the idea was brought up, due to all the other major technical aspects for The Last of Us.

Taking a look back at some early footage for The Last of Us, where everyone thought Ellie was played by Ellen Page, Neil admitted that they “didn’t see it” when the comparisons popped up. So, because they were “embarrassed” for Ashley Johnson and her superb performance getting overshadowed by this, they changed the character of Ellie as much as they could, drawing more inspiration from how Ashley looked.

To finish things up, Victor prodded Neil and Bruce about whether they might go back for a sequel, it was a question they completely dodged. Instead, Neil brought up the DLC, saying it’s “a little side story that we think is going to add more to what you’ve experienced,” though “it’s still [in the] early days.”

Keeping the discussion spoiler free, would you have liked to see a dog join Joel and Ellie? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’d like to read a spoiler-filled tidbit about The Last of Us, head to page 2.

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