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8 Memorable Moments from the Original The Last of Us

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8 Memorable Moments from the Original The Last of Us

Warning: The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the first The Last of Us video game and likely spoilers for The Last of Us TV series.

With HBO’s live-action adaptation of Naughty Dog’s acclaimed game The Last of Us headed our way – premiering Sunday, January 15 – the TV landscape is once again about to be taken over by roaming hordes of undead zombies. Different zombies, however, than the traditional George Romero or Walking Dead type ones. These “infected” people have had their minds hijacked by a parasitic fungus that turns its host into a murderous puppet. And the longer these infected stick around, the more their bodies are transformed into mushroomed monstrosities.

Though fans of the game are naturally super-stoked for the series, the show is most definitely designed to also engage viewers who’ve never played the 2013 dystopian classic. Still, that doesn’t mean that gamers don’t have a wish list of things they’d love to see play out in the series given the way things unfold in the game. From tragic deaths to unexpected beauty to big time deception, here are 8 of the most memorable moments from the first Last of Us game, complete with comments from Fandom’s The Last of Us Wiki community!


As far as big, memorable parts from the first game, EdenUrd got straight to the point saying the standout for them was, “At the beginning of the game, when Joel’s daughter died.”

The Last of Us kicked things off with a gruesome, nerve-shattering bang as we first played things out as Joel’s teenage daughter Sarah, waking up in her house during the outset of full world collapse. The prologue for the game sets everything in horrific motion and helps inform Joel’s entire story trajectory: it breaks our hearts, shatters his completely, and lets us know why he’s so closed off. And it teases why, strictly from a greater good standpoint, he does what many would say is the absolute wrong thing at the end of the game.

“For me it was the intro,” Gunsman wrote. “All of the marketing for the game focused on Joel and Ellie. When we started the game off as Sarah I already knew something bad might happen… Was an absolute gut punch still when it happened.”

Nico Parker plays Sarah on the series so we expect her story to more or less mirror that from the game. The Last of Us broke the mold by having players not only control victims, but also fully control protagonists doing bad bad things.

Ellie the Infected 

While The Walking Dead was purposefully never about finding a cure, The Last of Us held humanity in the balance. The survivors of this world don’t have to seek out meager morsels of hope, they have their very own Ellie, a fourteen-year-old seemingly immune to the Cordyceps fungus. Of course, this is after a full 20-year time jump. We kind of skip over the world’s most desperate, depraved moments and right into a hellscape of military rule and/or bandit violence.

Still, when Ellie’s “secret” finally comes out, in front of the super bitter and paranoid Joel and Tess, it’s a miracle no one thought would ever arrive. Three weeks after having been bitten, Ellie shows no sign of changing. Her bio-analysis reads “infected,” but she’s anything but. Now it’s up to Joel to get her to a lab out west that’s working on a cure.

Mall Rats

This is slightly cheating since the Ellie/Riley story doesn’t happen in the game proper, but instead in the Left Behind DLC from 2014. Elements of this will arrive in Season 1 however since Storm Reid is playing Riley and the shot of Ellie and Riley in the photo booth can be seen in the trailer.

Left Behind is a stunning addition to the saga, taking place three weeks before Ellie meets up with Joel and Tess. It follows two lovesick teens through an abandoned mall, exploring elements of a dead world they never knew. It’s the perfect balance of heart and horror and will always remain one of the most memorable parts of the first game.

Henry and Sam

Most people you meet on the road in a zompocalypse aren’t going to be the fri

8 Memorable Moments From the Original The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us is one of the most beloved video games of all time. The game was released in 2013 and was incredibly successful, becoming the fastest-selling PlayStation 3 game of all time. Since then, it has gone on to win numerous awards and has spawned a sequel, The Last Of Us Part II, which is currently in development. But what made The Last Of Us so great? It’s the moments in the game that truly made the experience memorable. Here are 8 of the most unforgettable moments from the original The Last Of Us.

1. The Initial Escape From Joel’s Home

The opening of The Last Of Us makes an immediate impression. Joel and Ellie are desperately trying to escape from their infected-ridden home town, and as they run through the streets, they are almost overwhelmed by the sheer amount of infected. The tension is palpable and their heart-wrenching final moments together make the initial escape a truly emotional moment.

2. The Firefly Lab

After making it out of the city, Joel and Ellie make it to the Firefly Lab. It marks a pivotal moment in the game when Joel lets himself become vulnerable and admits that he has grown to care for Ellie. It’s an incredibly sweet moment that really touches the heartstrings.

3. The Hospital

The Hospital is one of the most memorable locations in the game. It’s a huge, sprawling complex filled with hordes of infected enemies and the body of one of Ellie’s friends. It’s a nerve-wracking experience and it truly gets the heart pumping.

4. The First Clicker Encounter

The first time you face a Clicker is intense. These mysterious, brutal creatures are blind but can use sound to locate their targets. When Joel and Ellie first encounter a Clicker, it is a terrifying experience and it teaches them to be more careful.

5. The Giraffe Moment

One of the most memorable moments in the game is when Joel, Ellie and two other survivors stumble upon a giraffe in a field. While the other survivors express their disbelief, the moment is incredibly peaceful and it encourages the player to take a second to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the world they are experiencing.

6. The Winter Scene

The winter scene at the end of The Last Of Us is particularly heartbreaking. Joel and Ellie have come through so much and have seen so much death that it makes their time together all the more meaningful. The moment is truly haunting and will stay with you after the game ends.

7. The School

The School is a particularly tough moment in the game. It’s incredibly dark and filled with hordes of clickers and bloaters. It tests the limits of your endurance, but the sheer satisfaction at the end makes it truly worthwhile.

8. The University

The University is the final section of the game and it is an amazing experience. It’s a reflection of the progress Joel and Ellie have made and is a moment of respite after all the chaos. It’s a beautiful, touching moment that truly resonates.

Frequently Asked Questions About 8 Memorable Moments from the Original The Last Of Us

  • Where is the Firefly Lab located in The Last Of Us? The Firefly Lab is located in the University of Eastern Colorado.
  • Who is the antagonist in The Last Of Us? The primary antagonist in The Last Of Us is the militant group known as the Fireflies.
  • What is the giraffe moment in The Last Of Us? The giraffe moment is a peaceful moment in the game when Joel, Ellie and two other survivors stumble upon a giraffe in a field.
  • What is the winter scene? The winter scene is a memorable moment at the end of The Last Of Us when Joel and Ellie spend some time together in their winter camp.


The Last Of Us is one of the most beloved video games of all time, and it’s easy to see why. The game is filled with unforgettable moments that truly make the experience meaningful and memorable. From the initial escape from Joel’s home to the winter scene at the end, these moments stay with you long after the game has ended. Whether you are a veteran or new to the series, these 8 moments from the original The Last Of Us will live long in the memory.

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Olamilekan A.

I'm Olamilekan Atolagbe, I'm fueled by my passion for understanding the nuances of cross-cultural publishing. I consider myself a "forever student," eager to both build on my academic foundations in programming and computer science and stay in tune with the latest content publishing strategies through continued coursework and professional development.
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