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Here’s Every Gorgeous, Overrun Location Seen in ‘The Last Of Us’

Ellie and Joel in The Last of Us HBO series

In the real world, baby. At least that’s what this fungus would like you to think.

Scientists want you to think that too, because freaking people out is kind of their full-time job. After all, nasty, brain-infecting funguses kill plenty of people here on Earth already—we just don’t hear about it! In this case, it might be worse that this ISN’T common knowledge because that means the fungus is going to have an even easier time getting the drop on us.

So the broad answer here is that The Last Of Us takes place all across the world. After all, it’s a global pandemic. While the show tends to focus on The United States, it also jumps around to a few other locations as well.

So I guess a better question is … where does The Last Of Us start?

Where is The Last Of Us set?

That’s right y’all! The city of Austin! Home of live music, beautiful rives, and a bridge full of bats. Interestingly enough, Austin is actually the most liberal city in Texas, and its motto is “Keep Austin weird”.

Well, it’s about to get weirder…

The action of the series centers around a contractor named Joel and his daughter Sarah. They live together in the suburbs of the city. Their life together is quiet, happy, and at times a little strained. But they love each other all is essentially well—until shit hits the fan that is.

Austin soon becomes a hotspot for the fungal infection sweeping the nation and Joel, Sarah, and Joel’s brother Tommy decided to get out of Dodge while the getting is good. Things end in tragedy however after Sarah is shot and killed by a soldier with orders to liquidate all civilians. After Tommy kills the soldier, Sarah dies in Joel’s arms.

And then we move on …

…to Boston. It’s unknown exactly why Boston is where Joel ends up 20 years after Outbreak Day, but it’s probably because Boston is one of the few Quarantine Zones (or QZs) left. Quarantine zones are located in the ruins of many of America’s major cities, and are currently run by the last remnants of the Federal Disaster Response Agency, or “FEDRA”. Citizens of these quarantine zones are subject to martial law, and strict laws are in place in order to keep quarantine zones secure.

People live and work in the city, and earn “money” in the form of ration cards dolled out by FEDRA soldiers. There is a 6pm to 6am curfew, and violators of the curfew a subject to arrest or summary execution. Anyone caught leaving the city is subject to arrest, and in most cases will be put to death. Due to the draconian nature of the localized government, insurgency movements flourish.

One such group is known as The Fireflies, and they frequently carry out guerilla warfare-style attacks against FEDRA personnel. Because supplies within Quarantine Zones are tightly controlled, many civilians turn to smuggling in order to get by. Joel and his paramour Tess are two such people, and have contacts both inside and outside of the Boston QZ with whom they trade goods and supplies.

Life for smugglers is dangerous. Outside of the QZ, they have to face down infected and human raiders alike while trekking through no man’s land. Inside the cities, they have to avoid suspicion from FEDRA personnel and are frequently subject to betrayal by their own business partners (looking at you Robert). Nevertheless, Joel and Tess make it work.

Until Ellie comes along…

And so begins a cross-country odyssey!

Joel and Tess are contracted by Marlene, the leader of The Fireflies to deliver a young girl named Ellie to a Firefly-run hospital out in Salt Lake City, Utah. The reason? She’s immune to the infection, and doctors think that they can use her to make a cure.

After Tess is bitten by a clicker while the trio travels through the ruins of Boston, she sacrifices her life so Joel and Ellie can escape out into the countryside. In the game, the pair travel all over. They travel to Pittsburg where they are set upon by a particularly nasty group of hunters, roving bands of human survivors that have taken to robbing, raping, and killing anyone they come across. In Wyoming, they come across a small city of survivors where Joel reunites with a loved one he feared was long dead. In eastern Colorado, they stumble across a derelict university that they hope holds a clue into the location of the fireflies. In the dead of winter, Joel and Ellie fend for their lives against a group of cannibals in an abandoned resort town. Finally, the pair make it to Utah, and find The Fireflies waiting for them. But all is not as it seems …

While it’s possible that the show will follow the same trajectory as the game, it’s possible that Joel and Ellie could find themselves in different parts of America than they did in the source material. After all, the show has so far diverted quite a bit from the action of the games. The narrative even transported us to Jakarta, Indonesia in the early days of the outbreak, as the government of the nation seeks out the help of a well-respected mycologist in a desperate attempt to find a cure. For everyone who has seen the absolute masterpiece of a tearjerker that was Episode 3, we know that the writers are not afraid to change certain narrative elements completely.

Depending on how much of the source material HBO intends to adapt, the series could also see us return to Jackson for the events of The Last Of US Part 2. In that game, Ellie takes up a revenge quest that leads her across the Pacific Northwest and down into California.

With a series as big as The Last Of Us, the possibilities are endless. I wouldn’t be surprised if HBO decides to create a spinoff series with an entirely new cast of characters in an entirely new location. What’s going on in Nigeria? Japan? Bolivia? Is anywhere safe from the infection? Hopefully SOMEBODY is. Maybe the inhabitants of Vanuatu? Papa New Guinea? Easter Island? I sure hope so.

(featured image: HBO)

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