[Warning: The following post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for The Last of Us' unused ending, which, as it turns out, isn't that different from the final game's ending. Read at your own risk.]
Earlier this month Naughty Dog director Neil Druckmann revealed the original storyline for The Last of Us at a PAX panel. The highlight of the panel was an astounding joke take of an earlier ending in which the climactic Joel and Maureen encounter took place in an operating room and was portrayed entirely via cutscene. Played straight, it was a good scene - though I'm glad developer Naughty Dog opted to make it more interactive in the final version.
But Druckmann and company didn't want to just play it straight. There's all sorts of violence, greed and deception in this grim post-apocalyptic future, which has got to take its toll on its developers after awhile. So instead Druckmann decided to have a laugh and requested Marlene actress Merle Dandridge sing her lines. Incredibly, Troy Baker (Joel) went along with this and thus the hilarious musical ending to The Last of Us was born.
It was a good gag (that also reveals a great set of pipes on Baker and Dandridge), but it lived on only in the fading memories of a few hundred PAX attendees. Now Sony's released it to the public, and we can all witness Naughty Dog at its least serious. Enjoy!