Like it or not, The Last of Us Part II has two most important playable characters: Ellie and Abby. Ellie is cussed, hot-tempered, and vengeful. Abby is cussed, hot-tempered… and vengeful. But the 2 characters share greater than just some character traits. They each are into accumulating, for instance. Their tales and character arcs have loads of parallels as nicely. Neil Druckmann and Haley Gross, the writers of The Last of Us Part II, clearly had this in thoughts when telling this story. Turn away now in case you don’t need any spoilers.
But first, a little bit of author’s jargon: A foil character is a personality that acts as the alternative of the primary character, a way utilized by writers to spotlight the variations–be they good or dangerous. Characters who’re almost equivalent are known as mirrors and their similarities are used to single out small variations or emphasize their shared qualities–particularly once they aren’t apparent. Abby and Ellie are mirrors of one another.
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To begin with, Ellie and Abby each grew up with doting father figures and for probably the most half, no moms. Sure, Abby had her organic dad, however Ellie had Joel, the most effective dads in gaming. Their fathers performed an enormous function within the growth of their daughter’s survival abilities. In the primary sport, Joel provides Ellie a rifle and teaches her methods to shoot. More than that, he teaches her methods to survive an infested and brutal world. Abby’s father teaches Abby to trace and hunt. By the time of the occasions of Part II, each ladies are battle-hardened troopers.
One of the recurring motifs in Part II are the scenes in Saint Mary’s Hospital, the location the place Joel killed the fireflies utilizing Ellie to make a vaccine. Joel’s resolution to free Ellie is a controversial one, unforgivable even to Ellie. And his killing of Abby’s father is what units the chain response of violence and revenge off. In three repeated dream-like sequences, Abby runs down the hallway to search out her father lifeless. These nightmares mirror Ellie working down the steps of the looking lodge to search out Joel lifeless, or about to die anyway.
Finding her father lifeless places Abby on the trail of revenge. She turns into the hunter, monitoring Joel again to Jackson. When Owen questions this, she tells him “it’s a lead.” This line is repeated by Abby and Ellie once they wish to persuade others that vengeance is price chasing a rumor.
Because we’re enjoying as Ellie and seeing via her eyes, we first see Abby as a villain who’s brutally torturing one in all our favourite characters. And but, regardless of beating Joel to demise with a pitching wedge, she exhibits some mercy in letting Ellie and Tommy go (we’ll come again to that in a bit).
Now it’s Ellie’s flip to grow to be the hunter. She follows a “lead” that Abby’s in Seattle. She “breaks” out of Jackson with Dina. Ellie quickly finds out that Dina is pregnant. Leaving her behind within the theater, she seeks out Tommy however finds Jesse as an alternative–who has come to assist. The pair spend some high quality time dodging Washington Liberation Front (WLF) troopers and Infected earlier than a vital second: Ellie decides to go after Abby as an alternative of saving Tommy, an concept that disappoints Jesse. And regardless of the concept the Jackson crew may minimize their losses–we again Ellie right here. We got here to Seattle for revenge and nothing else, not even Tommy.
In amongst the chaos and violence, we get a number of memorable flashbacks with Ellie and Joel. In one in all them, Joel takes Ellie to a dinosaur museum. Back in Seattle, Ellie is slicing via WLF troopers left and proper. At one level, she is trapped in an arcade, remarking, “of course it’s blocked, that would be too easy,” when the gate is jammed shut.
She ultimately finds and tortures Nora to get info on Abby’s whereabouts. Ellie’s clearly sickened by her personal brutality–however she’s decided to catch her prey. Ellie’s time in Seattle culminates in her killing of Owen and the pregnant Mel. She goes again to the theater the place Abby finds her.
Now, we play as Abby. Fresh off of her torture and homicide of Joel, she’s nonetheless feeling a little bit of regret for her darkish historical past. She is aided by her pal Mel who’s pregnant and gradual to violence, similar to Dina. Mel carries Owen’s child. Dina carries Jesse’s child. Starting to see the similarities? The crux of Abby’s story occurs when she goes after the rogue Owen. To achieve this, she must disobey Isaac’s orders and sneak out, similar to Ellie would have performed in Jackson.
Captured by the Seraphites, Abby escapes with the help of Lev and Yara. Earlier, Ellie was captured by the WLF, however escapes with Dina. Abby leaves her companions behind to go to the aquarium the place Owen is hanging out. She makes the choice to return and assist. In some ways, that is the place Abby and Ellie differ. Abby tries to repent for her violent methods and Ellie continues to be carrying them out. Yet, we don’t need to imagine Ellie’s a monster. We’ve seen that she’s able to being an excellent particular person.
Interspersed, we get a cutscene with Abby and Owen on the aquarium, which mirrors Ellie and Joel’s tour of the museum. We additionally get a little bit of Abby’s father on the zoo the place we be taught simply how caring her dad was. Abby additionally begins repeating Ellie’s strains: “Of course it’s blocked, that’d be too easy.” Through Abby’s assist of Lev and Yara we see whereas she’s able to monstrous acts, she’s not the villain we thought she was. The turning level is when she finds her pals murdered. Fueled by vengeance, she turns into the hunter as soon as once more.
By the time each are going through off within the theater, Abby bests Ellie and prepares to kill the pregnant Dina. Lev stops her. And as soon as once more, Abby exhibits mercy.
Afterward, Ellie goes to stay out Dina’s dream of beginning a household in a farmhouse exterior of Jackson. But quickly, Tommy involves her with one other “lead.” After a little bit of contemplation, she leaves behind her pastoral life and turns into the hunter as soon as once more, heading to California to kill Abby for good. This resolution hurts. She provides up as comfortable an ending as she may have, nonetheless unhappy in in search of revenge for Joel.
In California, she frees Abby after which forces her to combat. As Ellie drowns Abby, we expect Ellie is the true monster right here. She’s come all this fashion and given up all the pieces to kill a girl she simply freed. But similar to Lev within the theater, Joel involves her in a imaginative and prescient and he or she lets her go.
Abby and Ellie are minimize from the identical fabric. They’re each survivors in search of revenge for his or her family members. Ironically, the one factor that retains them from descending into full villainy is their family members. It goes to point out that love and hate are reverse sides of the identical coin and that revenge isn’t justice for the lifeless sufferer, it’s a coping mechanism for the dwelling.
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