There’s a Joel in All of Us

An opinion of Joel from Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us™

Let me start this off by stating that this entire piece is littered with spoilers. I beg of you, please finish this game before reading this.

The Last of Us is a strong start to a possible series of games from Sony’s Naughty Dog studio. And by strong, I don’t just mean in terms of quality. I mean strong in every way. Graphically, emotionally, and every other -ally you can think of. But putting the game aside, I want to take a second to address the plot, mainly the end of it.

Ellie’s woken up, confused by her attire, yet more so by the events recently past. Joel lies to her and tells her there was no use, though we, and most likely her, know that’s not the case. At least as far as we know.

Lets say for a moment Joel allowed the surgury to take place. We’ll assume the vaccine was successfully created, and that it does prevent infection. What then? Alright, then lets say the Fireflies decide to give the vaccine out to other colonies. What then? Let’s say the infection stops spreading. What then?

Here’s my point. I don’t believe the vaccine being distrubuted would solve the main problem that surrounds these people. That’s because the infected are not the problem here, it’s the uninfected.

You see throughout the story, Joel and Ellie only run into infected people when they wander off the beaten path. Truthfully the most difficult times for the duo didn’t take place when faced with infected individuals, but rather perfectly healthy (maybe not mentally) individuals.

Take even the most successful colony seen on their journy, Tommy and Maria’s. They struggled to keep their people alive and healthy, but not due to attacks from the infected, but from raids by the Hunters. A distribution of a cure would not solve the animosity that surrounds every healthy colony, as it would be stock piled and preserved for their own.Yes maybe the Fireflies would give it freely but that’s not to say Hunter’s would, or that they wouldn’t still kill the Fireflies to obtain it in a greater quantity.

I don’t disagree with the Firefly’s intentions. When the breakout happened originally, they were almost a necessity. Though they’re twenty-one years too late.

Honestly, Joel isn’t heroic. He doesn’t come to save the day while handing out smiles and waves while he does it. He’s a ruthless killer of the guilty, accused, and innocent. His actions balance finely within the gray area of morality, though his influences to do so are unknown due to the twenty-year gap in his history that remains unknown. Would I do what he did? Right now, no. But ask someone who’s lived his life, and you might be surprised how similar to Joel we’d all be.

Naughty Dog - @Naughty_Dog

The Last of Us™ - @tlougame

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