The Last of Us used to have a very different 'villain'
by Steve Watts, shacknews.com, Aug 7, 2013 3:00PM PDT
The Last of Us has gotten a lot of well-deserved attention for its storytelling and ambiguous ending. We know the ending went through significant changes. Specifically, the original vision of TLOU had a very different fate for one of the game's main characters. Spoilers follow.
In the most recent issue of Game Informer magazine (via Videogamer), creative director Druckmann explained how Ellie and Tess shifted. Tess, who served as a major part of Joel's motivation to go on the journey with Ellie, was originally written as a villain. Joel was to betray her, leading her to pursue him across the country. Ultimately, Tess would resort to torturing Joel, and Ellie would kill her to stop it. Ellie was also more innocent in that version, as Tess would have been her first non-infected kill.
"We decided it wasn't going to be about the first time [Ellie] killed someone, it was more about this coming of age story of the impact that the horrors of violence has on her over the course of the game," Druckmann explained. That decision changed rather quickly when the developers decided they didn't want players to feel like Ellie was helpless. That meant making Ellie much more capable, in order to avoid the traps of the "escort mission."