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Unlike ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘The Last of Us’ Series Confirms How the Outbreak Started

Published on January 28th, 2023 | Updated on January 28th, 2023 | By FanFest

The Last of Us video game contains an enthralling element that is never revealed: the cause behind Cordyceps brain infection. In reality, this fungal strain doesn’t have the capacity to impact humans and turn them into murderous monsters; yet, it still remains a secret in both games – which adds an additional layer of curiosity. It’s wonderfully unexpected that neither game attempted to explain the origins of this fungus!

The HBO adaptation has completely revolutionized the narrative of mutated fungi’s origin, with speculation that it arrived from an Indonesian flour and grain factory in its premiere episode. The show emphasized how climate change could cause Cordyceps fungus to evolve into a virus capable of infecting humans – a warning we apparently disregarded. Now, Season 1 Episode 2: “Infected” delivers us its answer on precisely how this outbreak began; remarkably distinct from other apocalyptic movies’ interpretations.

How the Cordyceps Infection Started in The Last of Us

In a flashback scene of The Last of Us Episode 2, mycologist Ibu Ratna is brought to an Indonesian facility managed by both the army and researchers. Upon inspection, she discovers that there are tentacles jutting out from the corpse’s mouth and a bite mark on its leg. When questioned about who may have caused it, the military officer has no answer. It appears as though someone in a flour and grain factory had attacked their colleagues without warning; some employees were even reported missing afterwards!

Ratna’s solemn face reflects the gravity of realizing that Cordyceps fungus is not sustainable. It isn’t a huge surprise, however; given its prevalence in Asia and the ideal conditions for fungi to grow on flour, it makes sense that this would be the ultimate source. Though other apocalyptic stories have successfully incorporated suspense into their plotlines, The Last of Us chose to reveal information about Cordyceps as soon as possible – an intriguing move we can all appreciate!

How Other Apocalyptic Stories Handle Their Infection Origins

The Last of Us isn’t the first artful story to investigate the cause of its cataclysmic event. For example, Resident Evil‘s T-Virus outbreak was examined in multiple games; Days Gone focused on a unique flower native to Oregon that initiated its virus; and George Romero’s Night of The Living Dead famously attributed its zombie apocalypse to radiation from an extraterrestrial satellite returning from Venus.

In recent years, leaving the roots of the zombie apocalypse unexplained has become a popular trend. The Walking Dead series could have something to do with this development – it is arguably one of the most widely recognized zombie properties after George Romero’s classic that never revealed how Wildfire Virus began.

Although The Walking Dead: World Beyond dropped a clue that the virus was possibly created in a French lab, this spinoff is widely considered to be an inferior add-on to the TWD universe. As such, it’s hard for fans to take its content seriously. Consequently, how walkers came into being remains shrouded in mystery.

Why Some Apocalypse Stories Need a Backstory and Why Some Don’t

In 2010, Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comics posed a perplexing scientific conundrum. Despite the CDC scientist detailing how walkers function and why reanimation occurs in their brains, viewers were left disappointed due to the absence of an answer as to what caused this pandemic. We all know that zombies can’t exist without explanation – so why did this show shy away from these inquiries? It was ultimately a huge missed opportunity for them!

The Walking Dead was never about the zombies; it was more so a story of humanity’s resilience in an extreme and hostile environment. After the initial season, viewers were unconcerned with where exactly this virus stemmed from as they simply wanted to know how these characters would survive.

In the wake of The Walking Dead‘s success in avoiding revealing its virus’ origin, World War Z clumsily attempted to follow suit. However, it falls short as a movie that revolves around finding a cure for the zombie outbreak yet fails to answer how the vaccine was created without providing any explanation about where it originated from.

By incorporating extra details involving the Cordyceps virus’ origins, The Last of Us further enhances World War Z‘s plot. It is unsurprising that this fungal infection spread suddenly; it was contained in flour products sent to numerous places across the world and millions of people would have ingested it within one weekend – enough to cause a global pandemic!

By contrast to World War Z, The Walking Dead has no quest for a cure and thus does not require the same answers. In stark opposition, The Last of Us shows us that science and vaccines are essential tools in our search for a remedy–as evidenced by its Firefly storyline which is desperate for an answer. Consequently, WWZ’s “cure” appears so confounding since it fails to provide much-needed explanations.

The Last of Us airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on HBO and streams on HBO Max.

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