For many people, Sunday's premiere of the Alberta-made 'The Last of Us' will be their first journey into the world filled with post-apocalyptic zombie adventure. For others though, this is a series of video games that they have loved for a decade.
“I was around 13 years old when I started playing it so I've been around for the entirety of it,” says Emily Sandercombe on her connection to the games. “I was going through a really rough time in my life with my family and whatnot. I decided to throw myself into a video game that I was interested in.”
“When I started to play it, I just became really connected to the characters and the world that it was set in. I just found it really beautiful.”
The Playstation-produced video games take place in a post-apocalyptic world where mankind has dwindled down to low numbers due to a zombie-like infection. The series follows Joel and Ellie as they travel across the country in search of a cure.
‘The Last of Us’ was released in 2013 and went on to win over 200 Game of the Year awards, making it one of the most decorated games of all time. The sequel, ‘The Last of Us: Part II‘ would go on to surpass that with 322 awards in 2020.
The games have made such an impact in her life, Emily now wears her love for the series on her arm with the same tattoo that the main protagonist Ellie has.
“She's bisexual, and so am I and so she just resonated with me. It just made me feel connected in a way obviously game developers wouldn't necessarily think about when they're making a character like that.”
“People see it all the time when I'm working and they just think it's a moth and ferns but to me, it's so much more. When I try to explain what it's from they just kind of looked at me like it's weird.”
With ‘The Last of Us’ now jumping to HBO in a television series premiering this weekend, a full new audience is about to experience something that has been deemed a masterpiece in storytelling.
“Having more people know about that entire world and the relationship between the two characters. I think it's just going to be so beautiful to see and have other people be excited for the new episodes and all the other information that people are going to find out with the new series and the games and I just think it's gonna be awesome.”
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey lead the series that was shot in numerous Alberta locations including High River, Okotoks, Olds, Canmore, Fort Macleod, Edmonton, and Calgary.
“I was with my tattoo artist and it was being shot right across the street from where he was. He's like, maybe we should just both go in there right now and be like, Hey, do you want us just as bodies on the ground like, we can be set pieces for you?”
HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ premieres Sunday night and both the Last of Us Part I and Part II are available on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.