In a single completely tacky photo, Ellie and Riley are captured collectively perpetually, making foolish monster faces and nervously guffawing — unaware of what lies forward for them.
The Last of Us episode 7 takes teen protagonist Ellie (Bella Ramsey) into the previous, to one fateful night time during which her finest good friend Riley (Storm Reid) surprises her with a tour via an abandoned-but-powered mall. Butterflies plentiful, Ellie valiantly shields her emotions for Riley as they discover the retailers, however regardless of Riley’s cool, calm, and picked up exterior, Ellie’s not alone in these jitters. And in a single pleasant scene in a photo booth, the present each captures the acquainted anxiousness of crush affirmation and pays tribute to one of the game’s sweetest scenes.
Throughout Riley’s “wonders of the mall” tour, after the pair journey the carousel, she takes Ellie over to a working photo booth. They nervously sit down inside, facet by facet. Riley’s come ready together with her $5 notice, and Ellie accuses her of having executed this complete photo booth factor earlier than. “No, fool, I used to be ready to do it with you.” Hnnnnngggggggggg.
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In the booth, they’re directed by a cartoon rabbit to strike their finest pose. Then, panic units in when the pair realise they have not ready any poses. After a basic surprised WTF-do-we-do pose, Riley suggests bunny ears and back-to-back, whereas Ellie suggests a scary pose, all of which permit them to snuggle up to one another. Bodily contact! Together with your crush! It is the sweetest, most awkwardly nervous sequence, during which Riley and Ellie appear completely elated and giddy in one another’s firm.
Credit score: Liane Hentscher/HBO
The scene is taken from The Last of Us’ downloadable content material (DLC) Left Behind, the spinoff launched by Naughty Canine in 2014 that’s the foundation of the narrative in episode 7: Ellie’s backstory with Riley. In the recreation, Ellie and Riley come across a photo booth in the mall(Opens in a new tab) as half of a sequence that makes use of the game’s common mechanics and actions however makes use of them for what is basically a date.
“We took these mechanics that have been used for violence once you performed as Joel in the full recreation, after which for this additional chapter, we subverted these mechanics to get you to join with Riley and be on this kind of date, working away collectively,” The Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann told the HBO podcast(Opens in a new tab). The studio spent an enormous quantity of assets on creating this emotionally intimate character second, the sort of impactful scene that Druckmann mentioned Naughty Canine values as a lot as main motion sequences.
“We had this concept of like, ‘Oh, what in the event that they went on this photo booth?’ As a result of it is a factor you do in a mall with your mates, you are taking footage collectively. It could be a second that might make it interactive, you might select what poses you need to do. So there’s slightly bit of company for the participant there so far as shaping how that have goes.”
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Director Craig Mazin informed HBO’s podcast he wished to embody the photo booth scene virtually precisely because it seems in the recreation “down to bunny ears and monster poses.” — Mazin and Druckmann have spoken about which scenes are deemed vital to do that with, like Ellie and Joel’s argument, and which might deviate or increase on the world of the recreation, like Invoice and Frank’s story.
In the game’s photo booth scene, Ellie, who you are controlling, can choose a theme between “Love,” “Associates,” or “Cool.” (Sure, Naughty Canine actually hammers residence the complete define-the-relationship chat on this second.) Should you choose “Love,” Riley wryly asks, “You tryin’ to woo me?” Ellie shortly brushes it off, “In your goals.” As soon as you have locked in the theme, gamers can select for Ellie and Riley to change their poses utilizing totally different PlayStation buttons. Some of these poses find yourself in the present, together with the bunny ears and scary pose, which is a very candy second for avid gamers. In lots of of the poses, Riley budges up subsequent to Ellie, bodily contact that units teen hearts a-flutterin’.
“In the end, that second is a few cracking of the dam,” Druckmann mentioned. “Of seeing these ladies are beginning to telegraph to one another whether or not consciously or not that there’s extra right here than simply friendship. That was the objective for it in the recreation.”
Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Riley (Storm Reid)
Credit score: Liane Hentscher/HBO
It is this sense, that head-over-heels crushery, that makes this scene so relatable. Druckmann referred to it as “that second the place you’re so insecure…there’s by no means sufficient proof to say, ‘She positively likes me.'”
“Ellie will get so excited by and terrified of bodily contact with Riley that when it occurs, she wants to cease it as a result of she’s afraid that she gained’t have the ability to cease herself from kissing her,” added Mazin.
Ellie notably spends most of the episode/recreation defending herself from these emotions. In the present, she shortly however jokingly tells Riley to get off her in photo booth, in a second of awkwardness. It is the second time she will get bizarre about bodily contact with Riley — Ellie stumbles on the elevator, Riley catches her, and Ellie swiftly adjusts herself and stammers an “I’m superb.”
“Ellie’s afraid that Riley will see proper via her,” says Druckmann. “She’ll see all the feelings she’s feeling and he or she’ll be embarrassed. So she has to shield herself from that.”
However not solely is Ellie defending herself from the chance that Riley doesn’t really feel the similar approach, she’s additionally not sure about how Riley would really feel about Ellie being homosexual.
“That’s, I believe, an actual concern that Ellie has is that it gained’t merely be a rejection of romance, it is going to be a complete rejection of her as an individual and as a good friend,” says Mazin. “And she will’t bear that.”
The Last of Us is now streaming on HBO Max.(opens in a brand new tab) New episodes air each Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.