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The Last Of Us is one of the TV blockbusters that receive the most attention today. Adapted from the series of the same name by producer Naughty Dog, The Last Of Us brought the audience to a post-apocalyptic world, where humanity was ravaged by a parasitic fungus with the ability to turn them into the terrifying killing creatures we often call zombies (zombie, zombie).
It is for this reason, since the broadcast, The Last Of Us was put on the scale with The Walking Deadthe series that exploits the most popular zombie theme in the past decade, and has just ended after 11 seasons at the end of 2022. However, the zombie species in these 2 series have many differences, from causes infection, time to change to dangerous level.
How to call your name
The term “zombie” officially first appeared in the movie Dawn of the Dead (1978), although this fictitious creature has been exploited in Night of the Living Dead (1968) under the name “ghoul” or “flesh-eater”. Since then, zombies have been widely recognized in popular culture and used in many other sci-fi works.
However, both The Walking Dead mixed The Last Of Us do not use this term. The zombies in The Walking Dead mostly known by the name “walker”, or sometimes “rotter”, “bitter”. Meanwhile, The Last Of Us consider zombies as “infected” (referring to people infected with the parasitic fungus Cordyceps), and are divided into many types such as “runner”, “stalker”, “clicker” or “bloater” depending on the time infection.
Classification of zombies
Zombies are commonly known as those who have returned from the dead but have completely lost consciousness. In other words, they are walking corpses and specialize in hunting down survivors. The Walking Dead still maintain this idea when building the image of zombies as simply zombies roaming around and biting others when given the opportunity, with their bodies slowly rotting over time.
Meanwhile, The Last Of Us depicts zombies as victims of the Cordyceps fungus that parasitizes and controls consciousness. They are still people who are still alive, but cannot control themselves. And as analyzed above, depending on the time of infection, they will evolve into different types of zombies.
How to infect?
In most zombie movies, the disease can be transmitted through bites. Chief The Walking Dead mixed The Last Of Us all keep this element, with a little tweaking in each series. With The Walking Dead, all the survivors are infected with the zombie virus. Therefore, after they die, they will immediately turn into zombies, even if they were not bitten before.
The Last Of Us exploit this factor based on the characteristics of fungal roots. In the first episode, they explained how the parasitic fungus can take control of the human brain and turn them into its puppet. Over time, this fungus will grow outside and gradually cover the victim’s body. In The Last Of UsMushrooms are closely linked with each other and can quickly “tell the news”, thereby pulling a swarm of zombies towards those who have alarmed them.
In The Walking Dead, zombies are basically just walking corpses. Therefore, their bodies will rot and become slower over time. Even the absorption of protein cannot stop this process, because their internal organs have all stopped working. In the final season, The Walking Dead created slightly more advanced zombies, with the ability to climb or pick up objects and weapons to attack survivors. But then, the number of remaining episodes was too meager and not enough for them to delve into them.
As for The Last Of Us, as stated above, zombies are divided into several stages according to the duration of the infection. Each stage has a different appearance, from the appearance quite similar to normal people when they first get sick, to monsters when the parasitic fungus Cordycep covers the outside of the victim’s body. And the higher the stage, the more dangerous zombies become.
In The Walking Dead, the bite is not the only way to turn a normal person into a zombie, because the scratch also plays a similar role. In addition, open wounds when exposed to the blood of the undead can also make people infected.
With The Last Of Us, the infection takes place only through bites (and fungal spores in the original series). This allows humans to be able to fight zombies comfortably, much more flexibly than The Walking Dead.
Change rate after infection
From the very first episode, The Last Of Us revealed that infected people will not last more than a few days, and will usually change within the first 24 hours. At that time, they will become “runners”, a type of zombie with a relatively human-like appearance and only know how to run after the victim defiantly.
For The Walking Dead, the speed of transforming into a zombie after infection seems to depend on the condition of each person. There are people who will instantly turn back into a zombie a few seconds after being bitten, but there are also characters that can last for days, such as Bob Stookey or Carl Grimes.
The nature of zombies
In The Walking DeadZombie is considered a dead and dangerous creature, because the previous human nature has completely disappeared. This series has confirmed its point of view through the storyline of the character Lizzie, a girl born in the post-apocalypse and always blindly believes that hidden deep inside zombies is still a sick person looking for way to get out.
In The Last Of Us, although zombies are very dangerous, but most of them are still alive. They are simply infected with an incurable disease and are forced to become puppets for the control of the parasitic fungus Cordycep.
How to kill zombies
The Walking Dead offers a very simple way to kill zombies: It is to attack the head and “power off” their brains. As long as the brain is still intact, zombies will still survive, even if they lose limbs or any other organs.
With The Last Of Us, it’s just a way to defeat zombies. As mentioned above, because the zombies in this series are mostly still alive, they will still take damage when attacked on other parts of their body. Firearms or fire are also considered effective methods to kill zombies in The Last Of Us.
The link between death and disease
One of the biggest differences between The Walking Dead and The Last Of Us is death. In The Walking Dead, after death, turning into a zombie is inevitable, even if the victim dies for whatever reason. In other words, death will activate the zombie virus that is already hidden inside their body.
With The Last Of Us, when the infection has not completely ingrained in humans, they can still die without being turned into a zombie. In this series, the pandemic originates from a fungus, and begins to spread through human food. Those infected are most likely still alive, but have lost control of their bodies.
How to cure?
The zombie epidemic in The Walking Dead originated from a strange virus inside the human body. However, after 11 seasons of airing, this series has not yet been able to offer the most optimal treatment, other than quickly cutting off the parts that were bitten by zombies.
The Last Of Us revolves around the story of Ellie, a girl who is immune to the parasitic fungus Cordyceps, and may be the key to an effective cure in the future. However, the process of making the drug requires sacrifice, and in this case, Ellie’s life.
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