The world you know no longer exists. Outside, horrific zombie-like creatures roam the streets. And if you breathe in their spores, you’re one of them. And if that wasn’t bad enough, human factions have formed that want you dead… or worse. The Last of Us video game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world filled with scavengers, zombies, and clickers. The clickers come from a Cordyceps fungus that can infect humans. By breathing in a couple of spores, you can turn into this thing. Couple that with supplies at an all-time low and not knowing who to trust, and you have the world of The Last of Us. Now it’s time to figure out how to survive in this new way of life. How would you deal with the living dead? How do you face the corrupted human factions? And how do you avoid getting infected yourself?

1. Find Allies

In this world, it’s kill or be killed, and just because someone is human doesn’t mean they won’t smash your head with a golf club and leave you to the horde. Find trustworthy allies. Someone to always keep watch. Someone with the knowledge you don’t have. And most importantly, someone to talk to and help you keep your sanity in all of this. Even if this ally isn’t someone you would normally associate with, take whatever chance you can get in establishing a partnership with someone. The more allies you gather, the more people you can trust, and the easier it will be to rebuild something resembling a society. However, be warned this will require more resources. The more people you have to take care of, the more risks you’ll have to take.

2. Gather Resources

Resources are currency in this world. Whether it’s to build weapons, craft a makeshift bomb, or cook dinner, having the materials necessary to survive will be the difference between living and dying. So that pack of gauze bandages in your bathroom drawer has never been more valuable than it is now. And with no hospitals, those old painkillers mean someone may survive their wounds. Clothing will also be essential but grab only the most functional kind. A pair of cargo pants may not be fashionable, but it will allow you to store more resources in your pockets. A strong backpack that allows you to move quickly will also be essential to your survival. You never know. That rag you found earlier may make the molotov cocktail that saves your life. But no matter what jackets or weapons you make, it won’t keep the Cordyceps fungus from entering your lungs.

3. Stockpile gas masks

Cordyceps work when their spores land on an insect’s body and take root in its muscles. The spores then control the insect, making it move to a location perfect for the fungi to reproduce. The parasite will feed off the creature and grow for weeks, so it can release more spores and infect more insects. In humans, the mutated Cordyceps forces the humans it controls into several forms which evolve over time. Runners,  Stalkers (2 weeks) Clickers (1 year). Bloaters (2 years), and finally, Shamblers (4 years). Shamblers may be the most problematic because while a much weaker zombie, it thrives near water and, upon death, unleashes a cloud of spores. Given that you’ll need fresh water, it’s important to avoid getting infected while collecting this invaluable resource. So always bring your gas masks, and collect them immediately if you find a new one. It may save someone’s life.

4. Establish communications, and never travel alone

When you finally have a stable society with sufficient resources for survival, it’s important to seek out other survivors. While it’s unknown whether they’re trustworthy, it’s better to know your enemy exists than to be surprised by one that you didn’t. Establishing a means of long-distance communication is essential. Especially since all phone lines are long since dead. Walkie-Talkies and Radio Transmitters are going to be your best options. Being able to communicate back to your home base, as well as reach out to any others who may be nearby, will help keep the new society aware of what’s happening around it. If you get this far, congratulations; you’ve found something resembling life in this new world. You’ll always have to keep your wits about you, but with trustworthy allies, and a mindset to protect those around you, you may be lucky enough to die of old age. Oh and also don’t mess with any high level medical procedures, or you might just end up like Joel.

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