IF YOU have been keeping up with Joel and Ellie’s post-apocalyptic journey, you know they’re traveling westward to try and find the Fireflies.
Episode five of The Last of Us on HBO brought them face to face with the most deadly form of the fungus yet.
HBOThe series poster for The Last of Us, a show on HBO that’s based on a video game[/caption]
What is a ‘bloater’ from The Last of Us?
Stage four of being infected by Cordyceps brain infection (CBI) is reserved for those who have had the condition for over a decade.
By this point, the fungus has grown into rigid, armored plates which engulf the bodies of the infected people.
These monstrous beings are called ‘bloaters,’ and they are in the rarest, but also the most deadly, stage of the disease.
Bloaters are incredibly strong, and the fungus covering them is thicker than Teflon.
They also have puss balls that they can (and do) hurl at the uninfected.
The only real advantage that uninfected humans have against the bloaters is that the monsters can’t physically see, as the fungus has covered their eyes and faces.
This makes them rely on echolocation to corner their prey.
What are bloaters like in The Last of Us video game?
While episode five showed the gang’s run-in with the bloaters, it didn’t specifically name them yet.
In the video game, bloaters appear throughout the game, and players can use stealth mode to sneak past some of them.
They are ruthless in their kills, which we saw in episode five of the show when one quickly and easily ripped off Perry’s head.
Their main weakness is fire, so we can hopefully look forward to Ellie and Joel taking some down with flamethrowers or Molotov cocktails.
Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBOEpisode four brought us a new villain: Kathleen, played by Melanie Lynskey[/caption]
How have bloaters lived for so long?
In one of the earlier episodes of the season, you may remember Joel saying that most infected only live for about a month or so.
So how have bloaters ‘survived’ for so long?
They’ve survived because of their lethal force and the environments in which they thrive.
These environments are primarily underground, and the creatures survive because they are so good at spreading the fungus and killing uninfected people.