For One Night, The Last Of Us Was A Musical

For One Night, The Last Of Us Was A Musical

Tonight’s stage performance of The Last of Us: One Night Live was weird, ramshackle, funny, and kinda unlike any video-game event I’ve seen. The best part, easily, was the musical number.

Most of us have already seen this funny musical “alternate ending” to the game, which was initially thrown together by the cast on the soundstage as they worked on the game. Tonight’s rendition benefitted greatly from a live audience, as well as from its two leads’ top-notch musical theatre training. Skip to 1:20 if you want to get right to the performance. Sing it, Mr. Baker!

Well, this whole thing has been great fun, hasn’t it? What an odd and charming celebration of a game. Cheers to everyone involved.


  • what was the secret reveal at the end? Neil mentioned the crowd would be shown something awesome but the stream would end so it was exclusive for the crowd!!! WHAT WAS IT??? TELL ME DAMMIT!!!

  • Just finished watching the entire feed. The performances were interesting and most of what I’ve heard about the game has been positive. However, I found it really grating that the entire even was set up as a promotional for the remastered edition of the game; a sure fire way to retard credibility.

    On the upside, seeing Geoff Keighley as host reminded me of Rab Florence’s fantastic kick off to a broader topic of the murky line between company PR and games ‘journalists.

    and to revert back top topic, I often look at the narrative of this game and think “games sure have come a long way” which is followed swiftly by “but even held as exemplar, we’re still stuck playing power fantasies of a guy with a gun”.

    • Although for most of TLOU it’s kind of a powerless fantasy of a guy with a gun but very few bullets 😛

    • I hardly think of TLOU as a ‘power fantasy.’ Your male lead is a very fallible and sometimes dislikable character who spends a good chunk of the game groaning on a floor. Plus the game actively limits the usefulness of guns.

      • To the both of you, that’s a reasonable point on the gunplay, though while diminished it is still a powerful narrative tool and does not undermine Joel as a powerful character. The player through Joel faces insurmountable odds and survives, every damn time. Joels alleged weaknesses accentuate that he is written to be a powerful character.

        the narrative peak in the surgery room, taking into account that this story is essentially one of survival and fatherhood, is a guy exercising force through use of firearms as a means of expressing love for his surrogate daughter
        How is that not power?

        • I felt that was his weakest moment. He was selfish, cowardly and I pitied him. That was a ‘powerful’ moment, for sure, but Joel was not strong there, the gun was the only power he held.

          Your argument has merit, but if you place TLOU as an exemplar in the field of the shooter genre, it may seem more progressive, or at least evolutionary. Bioshock Infinite is in the same ballpark, but games like Gone Home and The Walking Dead show that the medium is still growing and breaking the mould.

        • You have got to be kidding me. The presence of guns is not a ‘narrative tool.’ It’s set in a low-resource setting where firearms are present but their scarcity means the overwhelming majority of characters don’t use them, nor are they fetishised.

          the narrative peak in the surgery room, taking into account that this story is essentially one of survival and fatherhood, is a guy exercising force through use of firearms

          Completely out of context. That final sequence comes to a head after the two leads went through hell and back scrounging for supplies and finally limping to the hospital. Joel discovers the nature of the operation and in his desperation, does something completely uncharacteristic and storms the surgery with a hostage to rescue Ellie.

          That arc is not unearned. We first see Joel as a selfish, apathetic shitheel, but over the course of the game, their relationship grows to the point where he does something irrational to save her. The gun is not the hero, it’s not even one he uses in the game, but rather steals from one of the guards in the game’s final moments. He uses it to kill, not because he devalues life, but because he values Ellie’s above all else, even the rest of humanity.

          It’s easy to be cynical and moan about TLOU as just another symptom of the murder-shooter genre, but this game is not that. Just because it seems like 90% of the gaming landscape is some sort of war porn, doesn’t illegitimise a game’s story just because it features guns. If you actually played the game, you’d realise just how peripheral the their role is to the story. It’s like saying any crime thriller or war movie is a piece of shit because of Michael Bay.

  • Seems like it might appeal to owners of current gen consoles, I guess that was the plan.

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