In the world of “The Last of Us,” the Cordyceps brain infection has spread rapidly and violently across the country, resulting in more than 60% of the population succumbing to it. The virus doesn’t simply just kill people; it alters them from the inside out, developing as a fungus inside their bodies, destroying their brain function, and leaving behind a putrid, rotten, horrifying, and disgusting wretch that isn’t human anymore. To say it’s like turning into a zombie would be accurate, but if you ask me, it’s much, much worse. The hosts turn into monsters just two days after the virus enters their bodies, and with each passing day after that, things become worse and worse. Over time, the infected hosts started mutating, and the virus birts different kinds of monsters out of them, 4 in total, so let’s take a quick look at the four types of infected in “The Last of Us.”
Runners are your basic units if you will. This is the first variant or version of someone who has recently been infected and turned. The runners are fast, agile, and frantic. They attack on sight, cannot be reasoned with, and are incredibly hostile. They usually run in hordes, and encountering a group of runners can be a very bad time for any survivors.
Stalkers are the next step and the second variant of the infection. Stalkers evolve from runners sometime after being infected for more than two weeks, and these monsters use tactics to attack survivors instead of charging them mindlessly. Stalkers have an altered appearance, with the fungus rapidly growing inside them; their skin seems to be melting, with minor tumors and stalks sticking out of them. Stalkers usually lurk in the shadows or latch themselves to the wall and wait for any unfortunate soul to walk past them so they can pounce on them and end their lives. Always be on the lookout for stalkers; they can show up from anywhere at any time.
The third variant or variation of the infection is the infamous clicker. The host turns into clickers one year after they have been infected, and these monsters are blind, so they use echolocation to find their targets. The reason they are called clickers is because of the clicking noises they make, and they are usually slow until provoked. Once provoked, they charge toward their target and, because of the infection, have increased physical strength that can easily overpower their victim. The clickers look disgusting as a whole, with some fungal shells around their skin, which looks even more melted and gross when compared to the stalkers. The clicker’s heads also burst or spread open and look like a flower, the only difference being that this flower is not made of petals but of brain matter and rotting skin.
After more years of being infected, the host turns into a bloater, which can simply be classified as an infected tank. Bloaters are fat and slow yet incredibly resilient thanks to the fungus that has grown outward and covered their bodies, acting like armor. Bloaters could rip out the spores growing inside them and throw them toward their victims, which would instantly infect them if they breathed them in. Despite their size, don’t be fooled, these monsters are still extremely fast, and did I mention they look horrendous and disgusting from top to bottom? Bloaters also have a tendency to explode when killed, which releases even more spores in the air that can obviously infect you really quickly.
There are two more variants, the Shambler and the Rat King, but these were introduced with “The Last of Us” Part 2, so there’s no need to talk about them right now. These are the monsters that are featured in “The Last Of Us,” and as you can probably tell, they are dangerous and disgusting and should be avoided at all costs if you value your life, that is.
See more: ‘The Last Of Us’ Indepth Story Recap And Ending Of The Video Game