Like any game, The Last of Us went through a lot of changes during its development. Unlike with most games, though, fans got a taste of those changes during a PAX Prime panel yesterday called "Pitching The Last of Us." Be warned: there are spoilers below.
It turns out that the infected were almost much different, the storyline almost featured a vengeful-and-totally-alive Tess chasing after Joel and Ellie (hence the above image), and—oh yeah—they almost adopted a puppy. A freaking puppy! Ellie would find it and the duo would decide to raise it, according to Game Informer. It's unknown whether this would have had any gameplay implications, but can you imagine siccing an adorable puppy on Joel and Ellie's opponents?
Naughty Dog also illuminated some scrapped infected designs during the panel, as described by GI:
Before the team landed on the fungal infected you see in the final product, the zombie-like creatures looked like bald, fanged beasts with stringy fungus growing off their back. Another scrapped encounter shows Joel scrambling away from an infected elephant with tendrils of fungus extending from its legs and blooming mushrooms on its head.
And it turns out the game originally glossed over the hospital scenes, flashing forward to Joel and Ellie's escape before revealing in a cut scene that Joel killed all the doctors and doomed humanity. Naughty Dog previously discussed some of this with us, saying that the change helped the ending mirror the beginning.
Check out Game Informer's full report for some other lost details, including a half-improvised song-and-dance number during the game's climax. Nope, not joking.