If there’s one thing we’re all talking about other than the fact that we can’t wait to see Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsay knock it out of the park as Joel and Ellie in HBO’s The Last Of Us, it’s how the infected are going to be portrayed. From the footage shown in teasers and trailers, this series is certainly shaping up to be a visual spectacle – while also doing justice to the source material that is Naughty Dog’s video game TLOU. However, as you might expect, things are going to be different. One rather alarming change has been spotted by eagle-eyed fans on a poster at The Last Of Us’ HBO premier event. In the TV show, the Cordyceps infection is going to be supercharged.
What do we mean by this? Well, as you’ll be able to see on this image from TLOU subreddit user ‘2AMSummerNight‘, the “time to full infection” when it comes to the Cordyceps fungal infection in HBO’s The Last Of Us is a lot faster than the Cordyceps fungal infection we see in Naughty Dog’s video game.
As the poster below shows, anyone with an infecting wound on their leg or foot has anywhere between 12 and 24 hours before they’re fully infected. Move that wound up a little bit, to the torso or arms, and you’re looking at a matter of hours. If you have an infecting wound on your face or neck, you’re gone within minutes.
When you compare this to the Cordyceps infection we know from the video game version of The Last Of Us, it’s a fraction of the time. In the video game universe, Stage One of the Cordyceps infection – which we’re going to say is very much what you would call “full infection” happens within the first two days; it’s seemingly irrelevant just how close to the brain the infecting wound is – if you don’t count the spores.
While we don’t know how long it would take to reach any further stage of infection in HBO’s TLOU – the stages that breed clickers and bloaters – it’s clear to see that the rate of infection is, at the very least, doubled. It’s only going to take around a day tops for someone to be fully infected if they’re bit in the foot.
When you think about how certain characters in TLOU are infected – or nearly infected – it’s clear to see that HBO is raising the stakes with a much-faster rate of infection. This should, we hope, work to ensure that the TV series is just as intense and terrifying as the game. Strange tendrils have supposedly replaced spores, which is interestingly a side-affect of the Cordyceps infection mentioned in this unused voice line from TLOU, so there’s more opportunity than ever to be infected.
The Last of Us isn’t just one of the best PS5 horror games and best PS5 survival games rolled into one, it’s arguably one of the best PS5 games ever made. So, we can’t wait to see how HBO’s supercharged Cordyceps adds an extra level of suspense to an already terrifying tale.