The Last of Us, like her fondness for gnomes, the fact that she can't whistle, and that her best friend's name is Riley. The game's writer and director Neil Druckmann revealed at Comic Con that Riley might not have even existed if it weren't for the work done by Faith Erin Hicks on the recently-released The Last of Us comic book miniseries. (Spoiler warning: If you 'haven't played the game yet, now's the time to stop reading.)
"During the last speech Ellie gives during the game, she lists off all the people that have died on this journey, and the first name she lists is Riley," said Druckmann. "She was the first to die. They were both kind of bitten at the same time, but that little snippet in the comic influenced the development of the game, because originally we didn't have anyone with Ellie when she was bitten." It sounds like a minor change, but Ellie's guilt at surviving when Riley died is a big part of what motivates her actions in the game.
A few other elements from the comic made it into the game, including some belongings in Ellie's backpack. "You can see how Ellie got some of them in the comic, and that was something that came up fairly late in development and we had to make some changes, but I felt like it really helped tie those two stories together," said Druckmann.
Dark Horse's trade collection for The Last of Us miniseries will be out later this Fall.