The Final of Us’ monsters will not be your common zombies. Sure, they’re gross. Sure, they chew. However they’re not reanimated after dying. As a substitute, they’re dwelling individuals who have been taken over by a fungus known as Cordyceps — their entire factor is multiplying and spreading the an infection as far and large as doable.
The Cordyceps an infection evolves over the course of an contaminated individual’s lifespan, which makes the Final of Us video games’ contaminated that a lot scarier. Every of those completely different evolutions creates a singular risk. As an illustration, the primary stage — when an individual has first turned — is tremendous quick and might detect uninfected folks to chase. Clickers, a later stage, are blind, with mushroom-like growths splitting open their faces and obscuring their imaginative and prescient.
We haven’t seen all the contaminated sorts from the video games represented but in HBO’s The Final of Us, however they’re most likely coming.
The primary stage of an infection occurs because the fungus spreads by way of the physique. In HBO’s The Final of Us, the present’s creators slipped in an infographic to clarify how lengthy it takes for the an infection to unfold inside an individual, relying on the chew location: On the top or neck, it’s fast, inside minutes. If the chew’s on an extremity, like a leg or arm, it’ll take nearer to 24 hours. The primary indicators of an infection embrace coughing, slurred speech, muscle spasms, and temper modifications. (Bear in mind the outdated woman in episode 1? The muscle spasms had been the primary signal.)
Runners are quick — inhumanly quick — and sometimes journey in huge teams. These look quite a bit like common zombies, as a result of they haven’t began sprouting mushrooms but.
Stalkers are most likely the most typical sort of contaminated. They’re barely extra superior than Runners and have seen modifications — fungus grows out of their our bodies, and typically their flesh is visibly decaying. Stalkers will not be as quick as Runners, however they’re very lethal, at all times lurking, and able to assault. Within the video games, Stalkers typically develop onto partitions with mushroom tendrils holding them in place. If you stroll by, they’ll break away in a shock assault.
We’ve seen these in HBO’s The Final of Us, however fully grown into the wall and seemingly useless. In some circumstances, it looks as if the fungus community should still be alive, however in others, it’s clearly useless and crumbling.
Most likely the creepiest sound within the present (and the video games), Clickers are contaminated which have been round for some time, with mushrooms visibly protruding from the top, taking on the eyes. They will’t see, so it’s mandatory to maneuver slowly and quietly close to them. Any noise will alert a Clicker, they usually’re excellent at discovering their prey utilizing audio cues. They’re simple to establish due to their signature clicking noise, a type of echolocation, and due to the large fruiting mushroom sprouting from the top. We noticed a few these on HBO’s The Final of Us in Boston’s historic museum within the second episode.
Bloaters are probably the most superior stage, and there are a couple of completely different variants throughout the group. We haven’t seen considered one of these on the present simply but, however HBO beforehand teased a Bloater in considered one of The Final of Us’ trailers. You may inform an contaminated is a Bloater due to the dimensions — they’re huge, grotesque, and, naturally, bloated with decaying mushroom bubbles. Bloaters and Shamblers are slower however actually sturdy, they usually can have a surge of power to lunge towards an enemy. The layers of fungus act like armor, making them tough to kill, too. They will additionally rip these growths off their our bodies and throw them, sending damaging acid in all places. In case you get caught by a Bloater within the recreation, it’s an instantaneous kill — and it rips your head in half by way of the jaw.
Shamblers are mainly waterlogged Bloaters discovered extra on the West Coast within the video games. They’re fairly related, however they emit an acid fuel that they spit at enemies.
We’ve solely seen one Rat King contaminated within the Final of Us video games, and it’s fairly gnarly: It’s a shambling mass of a number of contaminated Clickers, Runners, and Stalkers all mashed collectively. It could be an anomaly, and who is aware of if we’ll see one within the first season of The Final of Us. The battle towards the Rat King in The Final of Us Half 2 takes place in two phases, and the monster breaks aside into completely different contaminated. It’s bought all of the traits of the contaminated that comprise it, throwing mushroom bombs and emitting poison fuel.