The Last of Us actress Ashley Johnson broke down into tears this past weekend when talking about a YouTuber’s reaction to the story-based DLC pack, Left Behind.
Over the weekend, Johnson, who played Ellie, and Troy Baker, who played Joel, were present at an anime and gaming convention called MomoCon and were asked by IGN reporter Greg Miller about the reaction of fans to the game, specifically the events of Left Behind.
The DLC pack serves as a prequel to the events of Naughty Dog’s 2013 critically acclaimed survival-thriller The Last of Us and follows original co-protagonist Ellie and her best friend Riley as they attend a military boarding school in the Boston quarantine zone. Players follow their adventure through a series of events that changes them both forever.
During one scene, Ellie and Riley are dancing when Ellie suddenly stops and stares at her best friend. She then pleads with Riley not to leave her again, to which Riley complies with. Ellie then kisses her on the lips.
The scene generated a lot of discussion about whether or not Ellie was gay and, despite the Game Director and Writer saying that she was, some people denied she was gay or simply pushed it aside as if it didn’t matter.
Johnson, who won an BAFTA award for her performance, said that she was prepared for the negative response to the events but unprepared for the impact it would have on teenagers struggling to cope with their sexuality.
She went on to describe a video of a female YouTuber called Kathleenmms who posted a Let’s Play walkthrough of the game.
During the video, as shown above, Kathleen notices hints of the chemistry between Ellie and Riley and at the 3:30 mark she gasps as Riley throws down her Fireflies pendant and then seconds later cheers as Ellie kisses her.
A few more seconds later she becomes emotional and has to pause the game to compose herself.
“If only I could have seen this when I was like 12 years old. If I were [Ellie’s] age,” she said, as she wiped tears from her eyes.
As Johnson describes the video to the audience, she said upon watching this moment she “completely broke”. Suddenly, Johnson then breaks down in tears and tries to compose herself.
“It just really means a lot to be in something that means a lot to a certain community or to just anybody,” she said. “To be apart of something that was important to someone is an awesome feeling.”
She then receives applause from the crowd, Greg Miller and her co-star Baker before jokingly saying it was the crowd’s fault for all the compliments she received before-hand.
The Last of Us: Left Behind, the only story-based DLC planned, released on Valentines Day this year to worldwide critical acclaim.
Roobla’s Jamie Press gave it a 10 out of 10 review calling it “a triumph” and “one of the best video games ever made”.
Check out the video of Johnson’s reaction on IGN.