Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross talk about the sad and ambiguous scene.
The Last of Us Part 2 has been out a week now, but it’s already taken its place as the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive ever. The game is an amazing product, for sure, and also one that hits hard in the emotional feels. But like any major game of this level of production, there was also a lot that ended up on the cutting room floor. And today the game’s two Co-writers break down one such scene.
Talking to the Washington Post about cut content from the game, Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross talked about one scene in particular where Joel and Ellie went to a character’s house that was overrun by infected. That character was meant to be Joel’s girlfriend, a woman named Esther. Ultimately, she is bitten, and Joel asks Ellie to get some water. As she leaves, a gunshot is heard, being both an emotional gut punch as well as bringing some ambiguity as to what actually occurred.
“And you don’t know whether Esther killed herself or if Joel put a bullet in her head, but you know that this was going to happen,” explained Halley Gross. “That two adults were making a decision and they were going to try to protect Ellie as much as they could.”
It seems the scene would either be part of or replace the section of the game where Joel and Ellie go to find guitar strings in the final release. While the tone of the scene matches what you’d expect from the game and franchise at this point, ultimately it was cut due to not having enough time to introduce and develop Esther as well as not fitting into the overall narrative of Part 2 as a whole.
Unfortunately, it looks like Esther will never get her day either as there are apparently no plans for DLC to the game either.