The Last of Us Part 2's Rat King was inspired by God of War, Bloodborne, and Inside

(Image credit: Sony)

Naughty Dog has revealed more about the inspirations for The Last of Us Part 2's Rat King boss fight.

Speaking to GamesRadar, the PS4 exclusive's co-game director Kurt Margenau confirmed that a number of sources informed the creation of the nightmarish Infected enemy, which is named after a real-life phenomenon where rats' tails get knotted together.

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"One big reference point for us was Neil Blomkamp's short film, Zygote," says Margenau. "If you look at that video, you can see that there's a lot of inspiration there. Inside is another one; the way the monster's arms touch a lot of stuff is just this inherently creepy thing. So we're aware of things like that, but we have to make it our own and do all the extra work that's needed to make it feel real." 

The Last of Us 2's other co-game director Anthony Newman also confirmed that the section in which the Rat King's Stalker half splinters off from its host "was actually inspired by the Magni and Modi bossfight from God of War, where you had these two complimentary enemies - one with a fast weapon and one with a big slow weapon".

"The ending fight with the Stalker was inspired by Eileen the crow from Bloodborne," continues Newman. "I loved how in a game with bosses that were 20 stories high, the most challenging and brutal fight of them all was this person who is the exact same size as you. So that was something we were really interested in: how can we make an infected who isn't massive feel just as deadly?"

You can read the full interview about the making of The Last of Us Part 2's Rat King on GamesRadar+ now, which also includes conversations with Naughty Dog animation director Jeremy Yates and sound designer Anthony Beau Jimenez.

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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!