Abby's choice of weapon in The Last of Us 2 was inspired by a traumatic event in director Neil Druckmann's life - but at least that one was an accident.
In an interview with The Washington Post (opens in new tab), Druckmann revealed why Abby picks up the club in that scene in The Last of Us 2. Be warned that major The Last of Us 2 spoilers follow: only proceed if you've already played through yourself, or don't mind knowing what happens either way.
Druckmann explained that, for a long time in the game's script, Abby was meant to stab Joel in the back with a knife then twist it, paralyzing him. That's grisly in its own right, but using a knife "felt more like an Ellie thing. We wanted something different.” Eventually the game's writing team settled on something which Druckmann had experienced first hand: getting hit in the head with a golf club.
"My friend was into [golf]. He invited me to go to a driving range. He was showing me the ropes," Druckmann said. "I stood behind him, and got smacked on the back swing. Blood everywhere." He got 30 stitches afterward, and was left with a permanent dent in his skull.
It may be a grim comfort, but at least the next time you see Joel's final moments you'll know that the game's director wasn't taking those golf club swings lightly.
Aside from recounting how grievous injuries have inspired his game design, Druckmann is also teasing that Naughty Dog has "several cool things" to reveal in the future.