"Whoa, you can't be serious?"

Stop right now, thank you very much. If you haven’t finished The Last of Us yet, for the love of Ellie please click your browser’s friendly ‘back’ button right now. We’re about to blow the game wide open, so you’re going to regret it if you don’t sprint like a Runner late for the bus. Are we safe yet? Alright, you've been warned – we’re totally spoiling the game in three, two, one...

Following this week’s shocking teaser, Naughty Dog has detailed the original ending to its survival horror opus in an interview with Game Informer magazine. You may recall the artwork that creative director Neil Druckmann posted on Twitter recently, which showed love interest Tess terrorising protagonist Joel.

The Last of Us 2

“Originally in the story, Tess took more of a villain role,” the developer explained. “Tess was betrayed by Joel and took on a mission to pursue him across the country. That storyline never worked out. The storyline shifted and Tess took on this role where she became more of a believer and she helped motivate Joel.”

But what was happening in that sketch? “Ellie's arc originally was that she didn't kill any non-infected people until the end, when she was going to kill Tess when Tess was torturing Joel,” revealed Druckmann. “What we realised is that we had to get Ellie engaged more in the combat because when she was disengaged from the action for that long you didn't care so much.”

Following the hospital shootout, the original conclusion saw Ellie buy into Joel’s lie, and the duo travel to San Francisco to start a new life. “It was a much more hopeful ending, where Joel and Ellie make it to San Francisco and that is a town run by people who are trying to restore society,” he continued. “Joel has killed all of these doctors and lied to Ellie, and Ellie just fully buys into the lie.”

Druckmann added: "The camera pulls back and maybe everything is going to be alright for these two. I was working on writing, and it didn't feel honest anymore. After everything that they've done and everything that they've been through, that was letting them off a little too easy – especially for Joel."

So, the conclusion was changed – but it was an unpopular move within Naughty Dog for a while. “A few designers didn't like the ending that I had in mind,” the creative director recalled. “But then, as time passed and they thought about it, they came around and really appreciated [it]. I think that happened with other people, too."

Are you happy that the developer changed the ending, or would you have preferred the original version of events? Let us know in the comments section below.

[source gameinformer.com, via videogamer.com, eurogamer.net]