Naughty Dog’s Creative Director Neil Druckmann posted a video in commemoration of the in-universe ‘outbreak day’ in their Playstation 3 swan song, The Last of Us. It’s amazing, astounding, and absolutely magical. I wished it remained in the game, fully rendered and voiced.
If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly suggest you do, because I’ll be wanton in my spoilers and careless in my tact.
In short, I wished it was in the game as a secret ending because it would have been an appropriate move for the PS3′s purported swan song video game. It would have closed this generation’s chapter so immensely well because of its incredible potential for halcyonic references.
Having a secret alternate ending (and a musical at that) within the game would have been a fantastic reference to the Silent Hill secret endings. Though I’m not expecting Joel to enter the Firefly base and find a swivel chair housing a headphone-wearing Shiba Inu, I really wished they did something similar.
The break would have been refreshing. The secret ending would have been a confounding contraption of comical yet satisfying proportions. Most importantly, it might have been a strong parallel to a series that encapsulated one of Sony’s most well-known survival games of all time. The alternate endings could have been a brilliant homage and a well-implemented treat that hearkened back to the PS2.
The alternative ending also would have been a fantastic reminder that at the heart of such a rending story, there are still people. It would’ve reminded us that it’s morose and unforgiving, but it’s a tale crafted through love, labour, and fun. The alternate ending would have been a great herald to the next generation, continuing practices before it.
Or perhaps I’m just waxing nostalgia, drooling at the mouth for tranquility long past. Maybe I’m looking too much into something just for the sake of it. I just can’t help shaking the feeling of the ‘what if’ behind this innocuous joke.
Nevertheless, thank you, Naughty Dog. Thank you for Outbreak Day.