Friday, May 30, 2014

The Last of Us - The "Undying Headless Enemies" Bug


In addition to giving a substantial portion of my free time over the years to playing video games, I also spent two years of my life working as a game tester on first-party PlayStation titles at Sony Computer Entertainment America. That was many years ago, and I am now back to playing games for fun, not to break them. But, every once in a while, I happen upon a bug so peculiar or so amusing that I cannot help wanting to research it further.

I encountered a couple curious bugs in The Last of Us. Below, I break down a particularly nasty one that sees the player running afoul of a group of sewer-dwelling infected who simply will not die. You can shank them, melee them, burn them, unload every last round of ammo you have. You can even stomp their heads off, and they will just keep getting back up.

After I demonstrate the bug, commentary begins at 1:50. (And, yes, I know they're not really "zombies.")

Version Tested: PS3 Patch 1.07 (May 6, 2014).

Summary: User is unable to progress in Sewers level after initiating combat with pursuing enemies.

Conditions to Reproduce:

1. In The Last of Us: The Suburbs: Sewers.

2. After Joel and Ellie reunite, with enemies in pursuit.

3. Before helping Henry try to break down the door.

4. With Molotov cocktail in inventory.

Steps to Reproduce:

1. User progresses to The Suburbs: Sewers.

2. User progresses to when Joel and Ellie reunite, with enemies in pursuit.

3. User progresses forward through door and closes door against enemies in pursuit.

4. User equips Molotov cocktail.

5. User tosses Molotov cocktail at enemies as they breach the door, before they are able to reach Ellie (timing-specific).


Enemies will catch fire but will not die. User is unable to defeat enemies by any means. Even when shivs and upgraded melee weapons are employed, enemies will persist. Even after an enemy is decapitated, it will rise again and persist without head. User is not otherwise able to progress.

Expected Result:

User does not become engaged in combat with undying and headless enemies.


Robert Fung said...

At what point did you start to panic and think your game had basically ended with an incomprehensible bug?

Also, the volume in the video is very low. My laptop speakers aren't great, but I don't know if there's something on the technical side of your microphone that could be dealt with?

Henry Fung said...

I think after about the third time trying to stomp in the same zombie's missing head (still without any comment from the characters on how remarkable this was), I decided something was not right.

Yeah, I noticed the volume problem too late. I was working with headphones during editing, and it sounded just okay at my normal volume settings, but then it seemed to lose a lot on the speakers. I probably could have done something about it during recording, but not after the files were already converted and uploaded to YouTube. I might just re-record the whole thing if I get a chance.

Robert Fung said...

Next time, we can do the commentary together, like they do on NPR shows. One guy tells the story, and the other guy asks questions for clarification.

Brian said...

Is there a fix for this? I can't progress.

Henry Fung said...

Check the gate when Henry points it out (before the enemies burst through).

Brian said...

Thanks Henry. I will check it out the next time I play. Thought my disc was bad.