The challenge of adaptation is deviation. For fans of the story’s source material, its first signs are always closer to sin than progression. They want the adaptation to be accurate. On HBO’s The Last of Us, co-written by video game writer Neil Druckmann, fans have come to expect fidelity. If the original is so good, why change it?
But the team behind the series (including Druckmann and co-writer Craig Mazin) wanted to go beyond that source. Going into the project, they fully anticipated the deviation. In Episode 3, the writers embark on perhaps the biggest departure from the original. It’s a complete storyline dedicated to his two peripheral characters in the game, Bill and Frank. Druckmann said in an interview with The New Yorker, “That episode is great, but there will be fans who will be upset about it.” faithful to.” In other words, there is faithfulness to deviations as well.
In the same interview, Mazin also noted the importance of Bill and Frank in embodying the show’s larger themes.
Regardless of fan reaction, a more intimate engagement with both characters was necessary to make these themes more explicit.
Bill and Frank’s Druckmann and Mazin storyline, however, bears no resemblance to the relationship hinted at during gameplay. clear to the player.
Here’s how Bill and Frank’s story unfolds in-game.
What happens to Bill and Frank in The Last of Us video game?
In the game, the player first meets Bill at a junkyard. The courtyard and the labyrinth of alleyways and barricades that lead to it represent Bill’s contested territory, the land outside his own fortifications. There are traps here, one of which hooks Joel, and Bill loses Joel and must escort him and Ellie to safety.
Like the series, this story takes place after Tess’ death.
In the game, Bill is indebted to Joel. The favor Joel suggests is to give him and Ellie a car. Like in the series, they collect supplies from Bill before heading west in his truck. This requires looking for the battery first. (The mission leads Joel and Ellie to an abandoned school and a road full of clickers.) The game requires Bill’s hideout to be overrun by the Infected, which impedes the player. Of course, in the series Bill’s hideout is a fortress.
Frank is apparently absent from gameplay. In one cutscene, Bill, trying to convince Joel to return Ellie to her QZ instead of transporting it, begins a story that goes something like this:
“Once upon a time, I had someone important to me. It was a partner. Someone I had to take care of. And in this world, shit like that serves one thing. It’s going to kill me.” So do you know what I did?I made the fuck wise and realized it must be just me.
Ultimately, Joel does not accept Bill’s claims of pure self-preservation. This is also Bill’s first position in the series, before he meets Frank.
In the game, the player also meets Frank. After failing to secure a car battery, Joel, Ellie and Bill seek refuge in the house. There, hanging from the ceiling, Frank in a Hawaiian shirt.
PlayStation The Last of Us Remastered
PlayStation The Last of Us Remastered
“He’s my partner,” Bill said before truncating. “He’s the only idiot who wears a shirt like that.” Bill cries.
Like the letters around the house, their relationship, hinted at elsewhere, was complicated. In Frank’s suicide note, the player learns that Frank “hated” him. [Bill’s] guts” and “wanted a better life”.
It was Frank who stole Bill’s car battery in an attempt to escape.
Joel and Ellie use the car battery to get out of town. Bill says goodbye. We will never see or hear of him again.
What unfolds as an encounter during gameplay is replaced with the full story of the series. They only find Bill and Frank’s bodies at the end of the episode.
But the theme is the same. Self-preservation and care. And the same narrative beat is achieved. Joel and Ellie have a car. They can now travel west.
Joshua St Clair is an assistant editor for Men’s Health Magazine.