Warning: The following post contains The Last of Us spoilers.
The demise of The Last of Us' Tess is one of the more poignant deaths in video game history. Early on, The Last of Us introduces players to two potential parental figures for Ellie – the gruff Joel, and his slightly more approachable partner in smuggling (and possibly other things), Tess. Unfortunately, as soon as you start getting attached to Tess, she meets her untimely end, and Joel and Ellie are on their own.
How might The Last of Us have played out if Joel had died and Tess had been the one tasked with delivering Ellie to the Fireflies? It's an interesting scenario, isn't it? I definitely think the game's infamous ending would have played out differently if Tess was calling the shots, but I suppose we'll never know.
Well, now it's a little easier to imagine what a Tess/Ellie combo (Tag team name: The Tellie Monsters) might look like thanks to a video from YouTuber Freako. He managed to replace Joel's model with Tess', and the substitution works surprisingly well. Obviously, Tess just reuses Joel's animations, but it isn't really noticeable – she wasn't exactly catwalking around the wasteland to begin with. Freako really went the extra step with this mod, even creating some original textures to make the character swap work. Unfortunately, this is just a personal project – you can't download the Tess mod for yourself, although I'm sure that opportunity may come eventually.
If Naughty Dog ever wants to get a few extra bucks out of me, they should release an official Tess Mode for The Last of Us. I know Naughty Dog take their storytelling VERY SERIOUSLY, and would probably never do it, but I know I wouldn't be the only one who would buy in.
The Last of Us is available for PS3 and PS4.