The Last of Us II is on the horizon, and we couldn't be more excited. As with any insanely hyped video game, theories have abounded on the internet. Some of these theories are fun and interesting, and we absolutely love discussing them. Some are horrid and should never see the light of day again. Unfortunately, we're here to dig them up, so they will see the light of day again. But after THAT, they should never be mentioned again.
A lot of these theories concern the game's story, so if you haven't played the first one, you should turn back now.
These are five fan theories that could be true, and five we hope aren't.
10 Could Be True: Joel And Ellie Are On Bad Terms
The brilliant ending to The Last of Us had Joel sacrificing the very future of humanity for Ellie's life, as the Fireflies were forced to kill her in order to access her brain (and hopefully, a cure). Thanks a lot, Joel. The very last scene sees Ellie confronting Joel about the situation, and while her reaction to his lie is ambiguous, many people believe that she knew he was lying. This could cause a rift in their relationship, causing them to drift apart throughout the years. This theory is backed up by the final trailer, as Ellie seems genuinely surprised to see Joel, perhaps signifying that she hasn't seem him in some time.
9 Hope Not: Ellie Will Kill Joel
By extension, it's possible that Ellie's hate boils over so much that she ends up killing Joel in an act of rage and/or revenge against his selfish actions. We know Ellie is a selfless individual, and she seemed willing to sacrifice herself for the good and future of humanity. The developers have also stated that this game is about "hate," and we can believe that Ellie hates Joel with a burning passion for doing what he did. Maybe she kills him, but we hope not. Not only would that be a little too predictable, but we don't think it's in line with Ellie's personality or sense of morality.
8 Could Be True: Joel Is Ostracized
As you can imagine, ruining the chances of humanity's salvation isn't exactly going to get you in everybody's good graces. In the final Last of Us II trailer, we see that civilization has improved since the previous game, as Ellie seemingly lives in a tight knit community.
However, Joel doesn't seem to be a part of this community, as Ellie acts surprised when she sees him on the streets, indicating that she doesn't exactly see him on the regular. It's entirely possible that Joel lives on the fringes of society, a banished outcast forced to live by himself as punishment for endangering the entire human race. We can understand that.
7 Hope Not: Ellie Will Be Undetectable
Some people believe that Ellie will be undetectable to the blind zombies (clickers, bloaters) because of her brain fungus. According to them, the brain fungus will have grown in the preceding four years and is now emitting some type of scent that the other zombies are able to detect. Therefore, when the blind zombies smell her fungus (gross, but we didn't know how else to put it), they thin it's just another zombie and walk away. Now, this is a good theory, and it definitely makes sense. We just don't like it from a gameplay perspective. How boring would that be, just waltzing past freaking clickers? Then again, Naughty Dog would figure something out and integrate this mechanic in an awesome fashion. We'll just have to wait and see.
6 Could Be True: We Will Play As Joel
One of the best sections of The Last of Us is when you take over as Ellie after Joel is severely injured. For those of you who don't remember (although we don't know how you'd forget), these sections involved stalking through the snow and various lodges, hunting deer, and fighting David. It served as a brilliant break from the typical Joel action. It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility that we will play as Joel in a similar fashion in The Last of Us II. We're not saying that Ellie has to be injured, because that would just be redundant. But we're almost positive that the game will contain at least one super awesome Joel section.
5 Hope Not: Ellie Will Have Zombie Powers
We can see Ellie being immune to the clickers and bloaters, but this is a step too far. Similar to that theory, this one states that Ellie will have some type of zombie powers thanks to her fungal brain. In the prior game, some of these "abilities" included speed/stamina, echolocation, and the ability to rip off spore sacks and hurl them at uninfected humans.
We doubt Ellie will have random spore sacks sprouting from her skin, but maybe she will be able to run a little faster than normal, or use her mouth to echo-locate, much like a clicker. It would be in line with Joel's superhuman hearing from the first game, after all. It would also be really, really dumb.
4 Could Be True: Ellie's Journey Will Mirror Joel's
Joel's "journey" in The Last of Us was one of immense tragedy. He had a loving daughter, lost her, fell down a path of self-hatred and depression, basically went crazy and became a sociopath, and later learned to love again before making a challenging sacrifice. Everything point to this being the case for Ellie in The Last of Us II. She has a loving girlfriend, loses her (maybe, we'll see, but probably), falls down a path of self-hatred and depression, becomes a violent sociopath, and later learns to love again (Joel) before making a challenging sacrifice (killing him, leaving him again, whatever). Now tell us that isn't some beautiful storytelling right there.
3 Hope Not: Ellie Is Dying/Becoming Infected
We know Ellie is seemingly immune from the disease, but...what if she isn't? What it's simply under a delayed reaction, or if it was sitting dormant for some time before violently sprouting to life? We don't know enough about science and diseases to dispute this, but hey, maybe it's possible. In the trailer, Ellie can be seen stabilizing her shaking arm (the same arm that was bitten), and she also seems far more violent and unhinged this time around. Maybe the disease is slowly making its presence known, resulting in arm tremors and increased aggression? We hope not, because we like Ellie, and we don't want to see her die!
2 Could Be True: More Enemy Types/Infected Animals
As with all video game sequels, The Last of Us II promises to be bigger and more complex than its predecessor. Usually, video game sequels introduce new elements to the tried and true formula, often adding new enemy variants, new weapons, and more complex gameplay. It's possible that as the infection matures and develops, the zombies will also mature and develop into more advanced forms. It would certainly be boring to face the same old enemy types, awesome as those types may be. And maybe this includes infected animals? After all, the trailer shows a tree with some massive claw marks, perhaps indicating that the infection has transferred to bears? Now that would be something...
1 Hope Not: A Split Campaign
Ala Resident Evil 2, some people believe that The Last of Us II will contain a split campaign - one half Ellie's story, the other half Joel's. Maybe the first half or so will contain said split campaign, only for the two to merge in the middle as Joel finally finds Ellie. We admit that this doesn't sound TERRIBLE, and it could be awesome if done right. But it seems like this game is focusing primarily on Ellie's personal journey, so it could be distracting and pace-ruining having to keep switching back to Joel. But then again, this is Naughty Dog, so even if they did do that, they would manage to make it work. But why fix something that isn't broken, you know?