Monday, 1 February 2016

Video Game Character of the Month - February 2016 - Ellie - The Last of Us

Video Game Character of the Month
February 2016
The Last of Us
I knew that it couldn't all be for nothing! I mean, I would have preferred to not have to deal with this #%&*!?@ infection anymore but an award that's given to a different person each month is just as good! And Joel hasn't won it yet either, so that's a plus I suppose...
Now for a bit of information on Ellie (coming with an extra special spoiler warning due to the story driven nature of the game. And that fact that it's brilliant, especially unspoiled):

Her surname might be Williams (as the Japanese manual says) or at least have eight letters in it
She is also known as Kiddo and Baby Girl by Joel
She has a nervous tick that involves her rubbing her nose and wringing her hands together
She is invisible to enemy AI when the player is controlling Joel
She bears a striking resemblance to Ellen Page
She is voiced by Ashley Johnson
She is the only known human to be immune to the Cordyceps virus
She is Caucasian
She is 14 years old and was born in 2018/2019
She is around 5ft 3in (160cm) tall
She has red-brown hair and green eyes
She has a scar on her right eyebrow
Her mother was called Anna and died when Ellie was very young
Marlene was charged with looking after her
She grew up in an orphanage
She was later sent to a military boarding school in the Boston Quarantine Zone
She travels with Joel and seems to treat him more as an adoptive father as the game goes on
Her best friend is Riley Abel
She appears to love jokes and owns a joke book
She owns a Sony Walkman
Her favorite animal is a dinosaur
The majority of her outfits are red
She had a coloring book as a kid and found the gnomes cute but the fairies startling
She has a dream that pretty much predicts the outcome of the story
She tries to whistle all the way throughout the game and, thankfully, succeeds in the end
She goes back and forth on the idea of heaven 
She loves the Savage Starlight comic book series
She likes the games Triple Phoenix and The Turning
She has the mouth of a sailor with a swearing problem
She has monophobia and survivor's guilt caused by her continual survival in the face of everyone else she knows dying
She can't swim... and really, really, needs to learn how
It is implied that she is a lesbian

Origin of Ellie:
Ellie's voice actress, Ashley Johnson, greatly influenced the development of Ellie with Neil Druckmann (the creative director of the game) re-writing the character into the stronger and more defensive character that we all both love and are slightly scared by. Her design was also redone to look more like Ashley Johnson (so as to add more realism to her character). Before this, she bore a striking resemblance to Ellen Page (seriously it's true). And even before this she had other designs such as with longer hair and a smile that made her look happier than anyone in her situation should have been. Her role as an artificial intelligence companion was made so as to develop the relationship between her and Joel, which was inspired by a brainstormed idea for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves between Druckmann and Bruce Straley and involved a mute character who would summon the player to follow them. While this concept was never included in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, it did, eventually inspire Ellie. The final inspiration for Ellie was the children caught up in wars in places such as Syria and Afghanistan due to the similarities between her position and theirs. albeit with more mushrooms. She is made to be around 14 years old so as to make her situation and reactions with Joel more believable as well as to make her capable of surviving. Finally, there are direct parallels with her and Joel's daughter Sarah which was done to emphasise the parental situation they are in.

Evolution of Ellie:
Over the course of the series, Ellie becomes more and more hardened as bad things keep happening to her and those around her, with her being more or less the only survivor (leading to her monophobia and survivor's guilt). This is accelerated, mainly, in three places. Firstly, when she loses her best friend and love, Riley, to the infection but survives herself (due to her immunity). After this event she begins to swear a lot (and I mean a lot) which can be attributed to stress (which seems too weak a word for what she's going through). Secondly, after she almost loses Joel and has to face down David and his band of cannibals. This makes her become rather introverted and miserable (again, too weak a word) as she is emotionally scarred by her experiences. Finally, at the end of the game (#massivespoiler) when Joel saves her life and lies to her about her not being able to save humanity. Whether she believes this or not, it must have quite an effect on her as she finally learns that it is 'all for nothing'. Wow, this game really is depressing. Her relationship with Joel also develops heavily throughout the game, as she begins to treat him more like a father. This is especially apparent once she demands that she isn't to be taken away by Tommy as she feels that she can't lose Joel as well as when she looks after Joel throughout the whole of winter after he gets brutally stabbed by a pole and he saves her from David's clutches. Ellie also learns how to whistle, thankfully, and learns how to use various weapons to kill both Infected and regular humans. Overall, Ellie develops a lot as a person throughout the game and is certainly one of the more interesting characters in it and gaming as a whole.

The Last of Us: released (World Wide) on the 14th June, 2013 on the PS3
The Last of Us: Left Behind: released (World Wide) on the 14th February, 2014 on the PS3
The Last of Us: Remastered: released (North America) on the 29th July, 2014/(Australia and Europe) on the 30th July, 2014/(UK) on the 1st August, 2014 on PS4

That's all on Ellie but, as always, if you spot any mistakes or anything that I've missed, or if you can think of a character that should win the award in the future then please don't hesitate to comment! Until then, Endure and Survive!

Goodbye for now, Harry


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