Players spend the rest of the game on a quest to avenge Joel and kill Abby, causing tons of bloodshed in the process. When Ellie finally overtakes Abby after several encounters, she submerges Abby in a body of water and is about to drown her... but ultimately, she gives up. She realizes revenge isn't the answer, it's not what Joel would probably want, and this inhumane quest for revenge is futile. She lets Abby go. This really angered a lot of players who had a somewhat understandable lust for revenge as they were motivated in the same way as Ellie, but since they are not Ellie, they are their own person, some didn't feel as strongly about her decision to let Abby walk away and that really frustrated some players. This was almost completely avoided, though.
In The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered, players can play through the story with a commentary track from director Neil Druckmann and some of the cast, including Ashley Johnson and Laura Bailey. In it, Druckmann reveals that Ellie would've killed Abby at the end of the game in an earlier draft of the story. At that point in the story, both Lev and Yara would have already died, leaving Abby completely by herself. Co-writer Halley Gross noted that Ellie is able to retain a small piece of the innocent kid from the first kid by not killing Abby, giving her the chance to be revitalized in the same way that Abby has been at this point in the story.
A major story plot cut from The Last of Us: Part II – Abby was originally intended to die, as Ellie drowns her in the water.— Naughty Dog Central (@NaughtyNDC) January 24, 2024
- Per Neil Druckmann’s commentary in the remastered version pic.twitter.com/FyLuNBWWOt
It's all a very interesting 'what if?' scenario and will almost certainly dramatically change what The Last of Us Part 3 could have been and what it will be. Whether or not the upcoming adaptation of the game in the second (and likely third and maybe even fourth seasons) of the TV show changes any of this remains to be seen. Either way, it's a fascinating piece of insight.
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