The Last of Us fans are in a frenzy over a “secret” Easter egg in episode eight of the TV adaptation of the hit video game, which featured a cameo appearance by voice actor Troy Baker.
Baker has long been associated with The Last of Us, having played the game’s protagonist Joel in the original 2013 release and its highly anticipated sequel, which was released last year.
But it turns out that his involvement with the franchise may go even deeper than that, as eagle-eyed fans have spotted a subtle tribute to Baker’s role in the game hidden in the TV adaptation.
In one scene of episode eight, which aired on 16 August, two characters can be seen playing a game on a console in the background. Upon closer inspection, it’s clear that they’re playing The Last of Us, with Joel and his companion Ellie visible on screen.
But that’s not the only nod to the game. As one fan pointed out on Twitter, the character that the two actors are playing as in the game looks an awful lot like Baker himself.
The character, who remains unnamed, is depicted wearing a blue shirt and sporting a buzz cut – a look that Baker has frequently adopted in real life.
Fans were quick to comment on the Easter egg, with many expressing their excitement at seeing Baker’s likeness represented in the show.
“Troy Baker was in #TheLastofUsPartII AND now he’s in the series as the in-game character that Joel would voice? Incredible,” wrote one fan.
“I HAD to come online to talk about the Troy Baker easter egg in the background of The Last of Us TV series,” tweeted another. “I’m frickin’ out.”
Others noted that the Easter egg marked yet another example of the TV adaptation staying true to the game, and that it was a testament to the show’s attention to detail.
“I love how the showrunners are honoring the source material even in the most minute details, like adding a Troy Baker cameo in the game within the show,” one fan commented.
The Last of Us TV series premiered on HBO earlier this year, with episodes airing weekly on Sundays. The show is based on Naughty Dog’s acclaimed post-apocalyptic game franchise of the same name, which tells the story of Joel and Ellie as they navigate a world overrun by infected humans.
The TV adaptation features Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian) as Joel and Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) as Ellie, with Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) serving as showrunner alongside Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of the original games.
The show has been met with largely positive reviews so far, with critics praising its faithfulness to the source material and the performances of its ensemble cast.
As for the Troy Baker Easter egg, it’s yet another example of the show’s dedication to preserving the spirit of the game – and a testament to the continued love and appreciation that fans have for The Last of Us, even eight years after its initial release.