For the most part, Valentine’s Day in video games is full of cute events, fun cards or art, and uplifting tweets, but Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 isn’t most video games. In a tweet from the official Naughty Dog Twitter account itself, the developer reveals that the Infected also celebrate Valentine’s Day, and as expected it is anything but pleasant. In all seriousness, the funny Valentine’s Day card is simultaneously cute and horrifying, as it features one of the game’s most terrifying enemies, the Rat King boss.
While playing through Abby’s storyline in The Last of Us 2, players will end up venturing into an abandoned section of a hospital. Paying close attention to dialogue and notes reveals that this was ground zero for the infection in Seattle, so players are primed to expect to see some very old Infected. The first game made it clear that a person progresses through the various stages of infection the longer they are infected, but no one could have prepared for the Rat King.
A conglomeration of several Stalkers, Clickers, and Bloaters, this monstrosity also wants to wish players a happy Valentine’s Day. The card shows off what Naughty Dog refers to as a “sweet-as-candy Rat King illustration” by Hailey Del Rio, one of the Graphic Designers at Naughty Dog, with the simple catchphrase of “You complete me.” This idea is made even more horrifying and funny by Naughty Dog’s own caption, which leans into the idea that the Rat King can absorb other beings into itself.
The longer fans look at the picture, the better it gets. Looking closely, fans can see that the Rat King is gripping a box of chocolates for its secret Valentine, but that’s not all. In one hand it holds a bushel of flowers wrapped in a newspaper dated February 14th, and in another a bottle of perfume. This perfume may seem like a harmless effort made by the Rat King to freshen up, but inspect it closer and the French label reads the Perfume Spore. Finally, it also holds a Firefly pendant in yet another hand, but who besides Abby could have had one of those on them?
Fan reaction is a mixture of horrifying memories brought on by the Rat King’s boss fight and others praising the design itself. There’s also a large group of players that want to hear news about the upcoming online multiplayer version of The Last of Us 2 called Factions, but as of yet there is nothing new to report on this.
The Last of Us 2 is avaialble now on PS4.