If Joel and Ellie were not such beloved characters, it is hard to imagine The Last of Us 2 becoming as controversial as it did. Fortunately, the flashback to Ellie’s birthday is a moment even the biggest The Last of Us 2 detractors appreciate, and one artist has gone on to honor the scene.
While Joel’s role in The Last of Us 2 is far more limited than it was in the original game, players do get to spend some time with Ellie’s father figure via some flashbacks. Although these scenes include a memorable battle with a bloater and an important moment where Ellie discovers what really happened in the Firefly Hospital, many hold up the birthday flashback as the best of the bunch. In a game full of heartbreaking moments, this brief bit of levity worked wonders.
Recently, Reddit user Zealousideal_Tone_29 shared a spectacular pencil drawing based on this moment. While there are many moments from this flashback that the artist could have chosen, such as Ellie pushing Joel into the water or the pair placing hats on some fossilized dinosaurs, the choice to focus on astronaut Ellie makes perfect sense. With the character loving the concept of space, Joel helping her realize her dream of becoming an astronaut was touching.
In the piece, Joel can be seen smiling as he looks at Ellie, with Ellie closing her eyes and imagining that she is in outer space. The level of detail in the piece is incredible, with some great shading on the protagonists’ faces and clothing. The artist also managed to make the glass on Ellie’s helmet reflective, something that was surely not an easy task. Clearly, Zealousideal_Tone_29 is experienced when it comes to this type of art, and their efforts resulted in a beautiful drawing that perfectly captures this brilliant The Last of Us 2 moment.
Unsurprisingly, the comments were filled with praise for the artist, with many stating that this was their favorite moment from the game. With The Last of Us HBO series on the way, perhaps fans will get to see this moment play out in live action. Given how perfect the sequence is in the games, though, it will be difficult for the show to top it. Regardless, those who love this moment can always go back to it The Last of Us 2 to rexperience it for themselves, getting to see a bit more of Joel and Ellie at their happiest.
Artwork like this highlights just how passionate The Last of Us fan base is, and with the Factions spin-off coming next year, there could be some new moments to pay homage to soon. For many, though, Joel’s gift to Ellie will always be viewed as one of the series’ best scenes.
The Last of Us 2 is available now on PS4.
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