The Last of Us: Part 2 recently saw an update that added new difficulties to the game known as Grounded and Permadeath.
Grounded was a difficulty setting from the original The Last of Us, which was popular among fans. Enemies deal more damage, all elements of the HUD are done away with, and crafting materials and supplies become extremely rare.
Permadeath is a beautiful form of cruelty. Players are given only one life to make it through the game. They have to complete the entire story without dying.
That means if you make it all the way through the game, playing both Ellie and Abby’s stories, and you die at the end in the resort, just minutes before the final battle, you will have to start over from the beginning.
You can also enable checkpoints with permadeath, which will let you restart on a per-chapter or per-act basis if you’re killed.
So, what do you get for beating the game on these modes? Other than bragging rights for life, that is.
Some dedicated players have found an Easter Egg in the end credits for anyone who beats the game on Grounded.
A Twitter user going by the handle BeingHuman1993 discovered the ending bonus after being the game. During the ending credits, you can hear the voice of Joel performing Pearl Jam’s “Future Days” all the way through. Earlier in the game, there is an emotional moment where Joel sings the first few lines of the song. That is later repeated by Ellie. The song’s opening chords come back frequently throughout the course of the story as a reminder of the bond that these two have shared.
— Michael ▪️◾️◼️ (@BeingHuman1993) August 19, 2020
After this was posted, another Twitter user noted that beating the game on permadeath results in Joel performing Through the Valley over the credits. The speed in which these players were able to beat the game on these extremely hard difficulties speaks volumes to the enthusiasm that surrounds this game, despite the controversy of its release.
The Last of Us: Part 2 is a very divisive game. While most industry reviewers gave it high marks, many fans were upset at certain story elements and went as far as to try to boycott the game. There was even a massive review bomb led by disgruntled fans just hours after the game came out.
Many of the game’s more controversial moments were leaked before its release. Sony has claimed that this major leak was the work of a hacking group and not some disgruntled employee at Naughty Dog, as many initially believed.