Naughty Dog designer reveals how Tommy and Abby sequence was made
Naughty Dog designer Asher Einhorn has revealed how the game’s Tommy and Abby chase scene was made.
Einhorn’s reveal comes after a recent video uploaded by YouTuber Speclizer showed fans of The Last of Us Part 2, that you can actually kill Tommy in the lobby scene.
In Speclizer’s video, below, instead of approaching Tommy cautiously, fans can see Abby sprint to the shutter and slide under it before Tommy shuts it.
With Abby on the other side of the shutter this time, players find Tommy pointing a gun at Abby, but he doesn’t attempt to fight. It is here the players can beat Tommy and even kill him.
But as fans of the game know, he isn’t supposed to die here. Einhorn took to Twitter to explain how this scene was originally made.
Einhorn said the Tommy chase was originally a sniper prototype he started in 2016. But during the development, Naughty Dog turned this idea into a boss fight and director Neil Druckmann chose Tommy for the scene.
“Tommy wasn’t going to die in this sequence,” Einhorn wrote. “So, we had the extremely difficult challenge of creating a boss fight where you weren’t going to win, and one where you couldn’t even shoot him.”
On Twitter he shared a video of the fight’s linear design, which was created by environment artist Todd Foster.
“There was going to be a large office block on the left with huge glass windows for Tommy to shoot out,” he explained. “Eventually you would run up to the roof of the building on the right where Manny would die in a split second as you ran through a set of doors.”
Einhorn said that players were going to take the opposite route, going up the stairs on the right and over the bridge using a movable cart for cover.
It was Morgan Wilson, a level designer, who was responsible for the final version. “He changed some of the beats around and made the end shootout sequence in the ferry terminal lobby.”
Einhorn wrote about the way the game was made to hide the fact Tommy’s character in this scene couldn’t (or rather shouldn’t) die. “He will shoot you pretty much as soon as you try to aim at him,” he wrote.
However, in the game itself, Tommy is scripted to be inaccurate with his shooting when the player is out in the open fighting infected and not him. In the same way, in this scene nearby infected move slightly slower unless they’re close to you. “They tended to bunch up if people ran away so I did this to draw them away from each other over time.”
The next section was the lobby scene. Einhorn said they wanted it to feel like players were just catching up to Tommy. “It’s a ton of regions that cause Tommy to retreat to carefully chosen spots,” he explained.
Naughty Dog let you shoot him in this sequence too, making players think they’ve grazed him via custom hit reactions that make him go into cover.
“QA are so good at playing the game that they managed to keep finding new ways to get up to him,” he wrote.
Einhorn concluded that if you have to play this sequence hundreds of times to be able to kill Tommy, as Speclizer did, “ultimately I think it’s OK.”