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The Last of Us Part II won Game of the Year at the Game Awards last year, and now it's celebrating Pride by highlighting the game's many queer characters.
The game, about a young woman surviving in a world that has been ravaged by a deadly fungus that turns people into killer mutants called Clickers, follows Joel, a world-weary smuggler, and Ellie, the young woman he befriended and bonded with in the first game.
For Pride Month, the game's producers, Naughty Dog, released brand new artwork celebrating the game's queer characters!
"Whether in the physical world around us or the digital worlds that reflect reality, LGBTQIA+ individuals universally deserve intersectional representation, equal rights, and inclusion," the company tweeted. "Happy #PRIDE to all. Here's to celebrating who you are and honoring those who paved the way."
\u201cWhether in the physical world around us or the digital worlds that reflect reality, LGBTQIA+ individuals universally deserve intersectional representation, equal rights, and inclusion. Happy #PRIDE to all. Here's to celebrating who you are and honoring those who paved the way.\u201d— Naughty Dog (@Naughty Dog) 1622560696
The art, of course, heavily features Ellie, the protagonist of the two games, who is gay. Also featured is Dina, who developed a romantic relationship with Ellie in The Last of Us Part II. Ellie's teenage ex, Riley is also there. The two shared a kiss in The Last of Us: Left Behind expansion, but Riley didn't survive.
The image also features Lev, a trans character from the games, who is voiced by trans actor Ian Alexander (Star Trek: Discovery). Finally the art features Bill, who is never explicit about his sexuality in the games, but is hinted at being gay. He makes several comments about his former partner, Frank, in the game.
HBO is currently producing a TV series adaptation of the games. Pedro Pascal, star of The Mandalorian, will be playing Joel, Ellie's father figure in the games, and his Game of Thrones costar Bella Ramsey will be playing Ellie. A release date for the series hasn't been announced yet.
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