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This Last of Us 2 character doesn't have to die, and now I feel terrible

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Turns out you can avoid killing a certain good boy in The Last of Us 2 entirely, and we've only just noticed. 

Naturally, the following contains major spoilers for The Last of Us 2 below, so don't read any further if you haven't yet beaten the game.

Still with us? Good. It turns out that Bear, a WLF combat dog that Ellie encounters during Seattle Day 2 in the campaign, can and should be spared from death, as he'll then appear later in the game (but earlier in the timeline) when playing as Abby during Seattle Day 1. 

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(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

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Ellie will come across Bear as one of several dogs trying to hunt her down as she ventures through Hillcrest. The dog's handler will call out Bear's name several times, including when Ellie kills him, just to make it clear. 

The pup can then be found at the WLF base in the Seattle stadium once the story transitions to Abby's perspective, who's even able to pet and play catch with Bear before heading out for patrol with another soon-to-be-murdered-by-Ellie canine, Alice. 

Bear is thus not to be confused with Alice, who you'll have no choice to kill during a QTE sequence in Seattle Day 3 as Ellie in the marina (RIP). There's no in-game reward for sparing Bear, but you'll definitely feel a little less shameful as a result, and can happily play catch with him without any niggling sense of existential guilt. Video games!

For more, check out how a crucial detail could completely change our understanding of The Last of Us 2's ending, or watch our full review below. 

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Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!