Here is a list of all of the differences between The Last of Us episode 7, Left Behind, and the original video game DLC it is based on.

Differences Between The Last of Us Episode 7 & Left Behind Game

This week’s episode of the HBO The Last of Us show is an adaptation of Left Behind, the first game’s DLC. We finally get to see the events that led up to Ellie being bitten, though like in the game, we’re not explicitly shown Riley’s fate. But there are a few differences between the HBO The Last of Us show in episode 7, “Left Behind,” and the original video game DLC.

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A List of All the Differences Between The Last of Us Show Episode 7 and the Left Behind Game

The biggest single difference is that, while the Left Behind DLC sandwiched its flashback sections between modern-day gameplay, the bulk of the episode is one big uninterrupted flashback.

Here’s what else is different:

  • We learn more about Ellie’s life in the military academy. Her commander sees her as a potential leader.
  • Ellie gets into a fight with another student, so she ends up with a black eye when she’s at the mall.
  • Ellie and Riley find a bottle of old-world alcohol on the body of someone who committed suicide and take it with them. In the DLC, they find the booze inside the mall, in a survivor’s tent.
  • In the DLC, the tent owner (who died of a heart attack) is named Winston Asher. In the show, the dead man remains unnamed.
  • The mall contains some real stores, instead of the made-up stores featured in the DLC.
  • We discover that one of the reasons Riley left was that she was destined to be put on sewage work.
  • We also learn how Marlene came into contact with Riley and how she recruited her for the Fireflies. This isn’t addressed in the game.
  • Instead of The Turning, the game the pair play in the arcade is Mortal Kombat II. It’s one of the cooler differences between the show in episode 7 and the The Last of Us: Left Behind game DLC.
  • This arcade game is powered up and working, whereas in the DLC Riley asks Ellie to imagine it.
  • In the show, the mall is apparently a Firefly supply depot, which is why Riley has been temporarily stationed there. In the game, it has no real significance to the Fireflies.
  • The pair are attacked by a single infected, whereas in the game there’s a whole group of infected that bear down on them.
  • Joel asks Ellie to leave him and she does, but then comes back. In the game she never considers leaving him.
  • In the DLC, Ellie has to explore another mall to get supplies. That doesn’t happen in this episode.

Episode 7, “Left Behind,” also has similarities to The Last of Us: American Dreams, a spinoff comic. In that comic, Ellie and Riley meet Marlene at the same time, and Riley begs her to let her join the Fireflies. In this episode, it’s Marlene who tracks down Riley.

It doesn’t look like the show specifically adapts the comic. Instead, because both were written by Neil Druckmann, some of the same ideas crop up — Riley protecting Ellie from the other students, for example.

Those are all the differences between The Last of Us episode 7, “Left Behind,” and the video game DLC it’s based on.


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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.