The Last of Us Part II: Naughty Dog Explains The Origin Of The Guitar Minigame


The Last of Us Part II: Naughty Dog designers confess that the initial idea was to create a rhythmic minigame in the style of Guitar Hero, later discarded for not fitting. In Naughty Dog they always like to include curious minigames in their latest titles, such as the remembered level of Crash Bandicoot in Uncharted 4: The Thief’s End, or that of the guitar in The Last of Us Part II. Regarding the latter, they have spoken from the Californian study in a post on the official PlayStation blog, ensuring that initially, it was going to be something carried out through a quick time event instead of letting the players unleash to your creativity.

According to designers Grant Hoechst and Mark Burroughs, the development team wanted from the beginning to make that scene playable, as it was part of the connection story between Joel and Ellie. However, they assure that in the beginning, the idea was not to do it freely, but in the form of a rhythmic minigame, something that they discarded as it did not match well with the general dark tone of the game.

This is how the idea came about

“A fun mini guitar game would not have fit in with the post-apocalyptic setting of the game,” they comment in the post. “Further, Ellie playing guitar shouldn’t be about showing off your skills or fulfilling your dream of becoming a rock star, but about remembering someone you love and expressing yourself through music to connect with that person.”

It was then that Naughty Dog began to experiment with musical applications to be inspired by how to transfer that scene to the video game in playable form. “That is the origin of our free practice mode,” they say. “This mode was not our original intention, but an idea that emerged from expanding the system to multiple songs. Once we started with it, we saw that it was a great model for the expression of the players.”

In this way, they confess that the fact that many players published videos making covers of popular songs was not the intention either, but they emphasize that it shows the potential of that system. “The Naughty Dog team sent many videos internally of our favorite songs, so bravo for those who did something like that. You have no idea how special it was to see it,” they conclude.

The Last of Us Part II is now available on PS4, also on PS5 with an improved frame rate, reaching 60 images per second. Meanwhile, the premiere of the television series starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey is expected next year.