The Last of Us Remastered: Naughty Dog Shows Early Concepts (With a Big Surprise) Easter Eggs and More (UPDATED)

The Last of Us Remastered is finally out for everyone to enjoy, and Naughty Dog is in a sharing mood, showing elements of the game that we didn’t know or many of us never noticed.

Programmer Drew Thaler posted the following picture from Joel’s house. Those that played the game will probably recognize what the painting portrays. In this case the definition of “foreshadowing” is quite appropriate.


Texture Artist Heather Cerlan explained how it ended there:

I dropped that “painting” in Joel’s house for funsies! Lol I always wonder how many people caught that one.

But there’s more. Remember the hilarious “Joel Banderas” animation? Senior Cinematic Animator Tal Peleg stroke again today with a “Joel Nicholson” video to go with it, reproducing the iconic “creepy nod” by Jack Nicholson.

Unfortunately the video was taken down almost immediately, which is a pity, because it was awesome. With a small measure of luck, we actually managed to save a glimpse of it, which you can see below. Hopefully the video will be made public again in the future.

Update: The video is back up. You can enjoy it below.

Warning: If you want to avoid spoilers, do not read under the following video.

Joel Nicholson from Tal Peleg on Vimeo.

Last but not least, Game Director Bruce Straley shared a picture from over four years ago including some early brainstorming concepts by himself and Neil Druckmann.

If you want to see how The Last of Us could have been, just read the post-its below. Especially the ending on the bottom right is quite a big surprise, and it is definitely very different from the one we actually got to see.


Join the Discussion

  • Budgiecat


  • PhantomVash808

    This ending is from the version in which Tess was originally supposed to be the villain. This was revealed by Naughty Dog sometime last year.

    • GUN®

      Yeah, she would have been like the nemesis in RE3, constantly hunting Joel and Ellie.

  • Creed

    lol I actually noticed it when I was playing earlier and was like I don’t remember that being there.

  • Haytham

    is there actually a picture of joel smiling..?

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      That’s not in the game. It was purpose-made by one of the game’s cinematics designer to imitate Jack Nicholson.

      • Haytham

        i didn’t say it was from the game.
        but still…he only smiled a few times in the game 🙂

  • Vulcan Spectre

    That image of Joel smiling is really creepy lol, just imagine what the full gif is like

    • Guest

      Looks like

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Now you can see it, it’s back up 😀

      • Vulcan Spectre

        Tal Peleg is far too talented. That’s incredible. Creepy, but incredible.

        • Giuseppe Nelva

          haha yeah, he’s amazing.

  • Russell Gorall

    Anyone else find it odd that Digital Foundry shows footage of the game looking the same?

    And Sony put up 80 pieces of DLC for a year old game before the game launched?


  • miyamoto

    David aka Nolan North’s character should have fit the Nicholson bill.

  • Russell Gorall

    What happened to this game looking amazingly better, by Dualshockers’ Naughty Dog press releases daily?

    Look at the Digital Foundry comparisons, look at the IGN comparisons (who gave the game a perfect score).

  • Guest


  • IncognitosX

    Like many others I jumped ship from Microsoft to Sony this generation and I have to say that this game deserves all the praise it received. Not sure why this offends so many XB1 owners but if you tried to think logically about this I think you’d appreciate the value. For a reduced price you get an amazing game pushing next generation graphics and performance plus all of the DLC, how is that not good? Naughty Dogs made a great decision re-mastering this game and if they didn’t I would never have had a chance to appreciate it. I hope they are swimming in cash, well deserved IMO. And if you own an XB1 and this pisses you off well you are in luck, you have no choice but to speak with your wallet and not purchase the game.

  • ipot_04

    how do I even get The GIF gesture in MP?

  • tylerc23

    If anyone can read the final post it note, could you please let me know what it says?

    • Vulcan Spectre

      It looks like “Ellie Kills Tess, Joel and Ellie escape”. It’s far too blurry and the handwriting isn’t easily readable 🙁