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The Last Of Us 2 Almost Had Farting Zombies

One of the infected enemies in "The Last of Us Part 2" was almost packing a lot more junk in its trunk. A developer at Naughty Dog posted some pre-alpha footage of the Shambler enemy from the game, revealing that the original versions of the Shamblers had explosive rear-ends. In the footage, the Shambler is seen to have a fleshy bottom that appears to pulsate while the enemy moves around. When Ellie kills it, the pustule on the infected creature's back erupts in an explosion of gas, looking like a particularly deadly fart.

The footage originally comes from the online portfolio of Matthew Gallant, lead systems and principal combat designer for "The Last of Us Part 2." Gallant explained, "I collaborated with the AI programmers to develop, tune, and debug the NPC behaviours ... I wrote the scripting logic that controlled each fight, and helped to shape and iterate on combat layouts with the level designers." But that's not all. According to Gallant, he also "pitched and prototyped several new infected enemy archetypes," including chained-up infected enemies and the aforementioned gassy Shamblers.

Gallant does not reference the older versions of the Shamblers directly, but it's not hard to see how this idea came up. Shamblers are a variant of Bloaters from the original "The Last of Us," only more gaseous due to the humidity found in Seattle. So why was this particular monster dropped from "The Last of Us Part 2?" 

Early gameplay footage

The footage from Gallant's portfolio is from 2019, a year before the game finally saw release, so it's understandable that the concept of a farting zombie got cut. Plenty of content gets removed from games prior to release for a number of reasons, either for time or because the concept just doesn't work. The big difference here is that this footage wasn't made public until well after the game launched.

There are plenty of games that changed during development, resulting in game trailers that looked like they lied to your face. While there are certainly examples of game companies marketing games to look completely different from the final product, like "Cyberpunk 2077," most of the time it's a matter of features not making the final cut. In fact, "The Last of Us Part 2" advertised a few things that didn't quite make the final cut.Spoilers for "The Last of Us Part 2" to follow.

As noted by Kotaku, "The Last of Us Part 2" had a fake-out in its trailers in order to obscure some story beats. In one of the trailers ahead of the release of "The Last of Us Part 2" Joel appeared at the end of a mission in Seattle, making people think that Joel was still alive at that point in the game, something that would prove untrue in the game's final form. As the farting Shamblers teach gamers, some things have to change during development, while others are set from the very beginning.