Warning: This article will contain general location, character and story spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.
You’ll be familiar with the title screen of The Last of Us Part II, even if you’ve not played the game. Why? Because reviewers tweeted out the title screen weeks before the game even released. (A secondary embargo for when you can tell people you’ve got the game – and limiting the visual bits you can use on your social media to just the title screen – is now a thing. It’s weird, we know.)
But you know what the title screen looks like, that’s the important thing. It’s a small motorboat, bobbing around, in the fog. It’s simultaneously serene and ominous, something that The Last of Us does especially well as a series.
When you complete The Last of Us Part II, however, the title screen changes. There’s the obligatory New Game Plus mode, of course, but the visuals have changed, too.
It’s still a boat – a similar-looking one, at that – but it’s in a different setting. Gone is the fog and the gloom, replaced instead with waves, crashing on a sandy beach, and a circular white building in the distance.
Where is it, though?
Where is the location in the new title screen of The Last of Us Part II?
First up, the straightforward bit: It’s Santa Catalina Island in Southern California, or just Catalina for short.
You might be thinking it could be absolutely anywhere, but that round, white building is really distinctive. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:
(It’s not exactly the same angle and the design is slightly stylised, but the building is the Catalina Island Casino Ballroom and Theater, in case you were wondering. It’s located in Avalon, the largest settlement on Catalina.)
Don’t worry if you thought you’d missed something on your playthrough, though. You don’t actually visit Catalina, the location of the new title screen, on a playthrough of The Last of Us Part II.
But it is somewhere that’s been mentioned in the game. Here come the spoilers. Seriously. Get out of here if you’ve not finished The Last of Us Part II yet.
What’s the significance of the new title screen in The Last of Us Part II?
So, you’ve nearly completed The Last of Us Part II. You’ve done the prologue, including the upsetting bit. You’ve completed the three days of Seattle as Ellie, then you’ve gone back and done it all again from Abby’s point of view. You’ve been to the farm with Ellie, Dina and the potato, and now you’re back in Abby’s shoes, in Santa Barbara.
Why? Because, before he died, Owen had been fixing up a sailboat and planned to make his way from Seattle to Santa Barbara, looking for the Fireflies.
Abby and her friends were all originally Fireflies. They were displaced and joined the WLF looking for a new cause after the Salt Lake City incident with Joel and Marlene, but Owen had been hearing rumours that the Fireflies were getting the band back together.
He had heard from multiple people that the Fireflies had a presence in Santa Barbara. Abby dismissed it all as rumour at the time, but with Owen now gone and no other focus for her and Lev, chasing down the Fireflies seems like as good a plan as any other.
So they heard to Santa Barbara and – after trading a pistol for some information – find themselves on Constance Avenue, looking for number 2425.
The house is empty but, hidden in the basement, they find a small barracks with beds, supplies, and a radio. Next to the radio, Lev finds a list:
- San Diego KGFS183
- Big Sur KBSG583
- Catalina Island KZRQ639
- Los Angeles KSPG374
They proceed to call what they presume to be Firefly bases and get nothing but static. Abby has all but given up hope when “Catalina” responds. She introduces herself as a former Firefly and asks to come in. They test her on who was in charge at her last post, at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. When Abby answers correctly – it was her father – she and Lev make to leave for Catalina, then get abducted by a group of human traffickers called the Rattlers on the driveway to the house.
And we all just assumed that it was the Rattlers on the radio, right? Messing with people, perhaps. Or, more likely, using whispers, the promise of a group of Fireflies to lure people to the house, and the radio as a notification that someone had stepped into the trap.
Fast forward right to the end of the game. Ellie has upped and left Dina and the potato to continue the search for Abby and vengeance, and found her strung up on “the pillars” by the Rattlers. She cuts Abby down, Abby grabs Lev, and they make their way to a pair of small motorboats, in the fog, on the beach. We catch a glimpse of the original title screen, from a different angle.
You think everything’s done, then Ellie has one more stab at revenge, an exercise in futility that sees Ellie lose two fingers, and the pair sitting in the shallow water, spent. There’s no fight left in either. They get in their separate boats and leave.
One final sequence plays, with Ellie returning to the farm to find Dina and baby potato have left, presumably to move back to Jackson. Then the credits roll, followed by the new title screen.
We know the boat on the beach isn’t Ellie’s. She’s back in Wyoming, an entirely landlocked state with no coastline. So by process of elimination, that means the boat on the new title screen must belong to Abby and Lev.
So what does it mean? What’s the significance of the new title screen after you complete The Last of Us Part II?
If you look closely at the digital recreation of the Catalina Island Casino you can see flags, flapping on its roof. That’s not unusual; the building sports flags year-round. But with a quarter of a century passed since the start of the outbreak, any flags that were left there after the apocalypse would surely have blown away or decayed by now. Which means someone must be maintaining the flags. Which means someone must be living at the Catalina Island Casino.
We can’t say for sure that it’s the Fireflies. We don’t know for sure that the person Abby spoke to is genuinely with the group. But what we can say for certain is that Abby and Lev have travelled to Catalina Island to check it out.
That’s definitely their boat, and that’s definitely Catalina.
Forgotten what happened in the original The Last of Us? You’ll want to read our comprehensive story recap.