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If you can stand then you can fight! Anyone that refuses to fight with us will be banished. Anyone that supports the army will be made an example of. Tonight we put an end to this tyranny and start a new life for ourselves.
— A rebel regarding the takeover of Pittsburgh, before they eventually became Hunters.[1]
Huntershotgun

An armed hunter.

Hunters are hostile survivors in The Last of Us so named due to their tendency to brutally kill anyone entering their territory (referred to by hunters as "tourists") in order to steal their clothes, supplies, and food. Joel and Ellie encounter them in Pittsburgh.

HistoryEdit

Events of The Last of UsEdit

Hunters seem to be distinguished from other hostile survivors (like Bandits) in that their ranks are made up of former citizens of Quarantine Zones that were abandoned by the military. In the case of Pittsburgh, a Hunter group formed from the remnants of civilian rebels that seized control of the zone after overthrowing the military[2] and subsequently resisting Firefly influence. Supply shortages and failure to establish a better government eventually lead to the remaining people of the Zone degrading into murderous Hunters, who are forced to kill outsiders for supplies.[3]

The Hunters encountered during the game used to be residents of Pittsburgh. After years of living in an oppressive Zone with frequent food shortages, the people of Pittsburgh gradually became impatient with FEDRA, accusing them of being corrupt liars when they ran short on rations, or simply did not distribute food regularly.[4] Eventually, after a protest was violently put down with at least three people executed and branded as traitors[5]Fireflies helped the citizens rise up against the military/FEDRA regime. Large-scale fighting broke out,[6] ending with FEDRA being overthrown and the military being driven out, with rebels executing any soldiers they captured, lynching and even burning some to death.[7] The rioting citizens didn't want to be controlled by FEDRA, nor take orders from the Fireflies. Thus, it wasn't long before they killed the Firefly agitators as well.[8]

Now, the citizens had complete control over the city. Despite having intentions to create a better government than FEDRA, their plans never reached fruition, as everyone was still desperate for supplies. In one instance, a couple of teenagers murdered a family passing through the Zone, but when put on trial the leader praised them, claiming they had gathered food and supplies, and commanded everyone to take turns hunting tourists in packs. Two people spoke out, only to be brutally murdered in front of everyone. Because of this, they are referred to as Hunters.[9]

Joel taking cover

Joel and Ellie battle a hunter.

Joel and Ellie encounter Hunters when they drive into Pittsburgh in a Pick-up Truck.[10] One pretends to be injured in an attempt to trick the pair into stopping to help, but Joel, knowing the ruse, simply drives through the group which begins to attack them. While fleeing the area, they crash after being rammed by a bus and are forced to escape and make their way through the city on foot. They head for a bridge leading out of the city, battling many Hunters patrolling the city along the way.

They watch as the Hunters discuss their present situation, dealing with other 'tourists' who entered the city sometime before Joel and Ellie. The pair learns that one group was brutally murdered apart from a single woman, who was chased through most of the night. She evaded capture, only to reveal herself in an effort to kill them, with the Hunters finally killing her. She caused enough trouble for the group that they failed to secure any supplies that day.[11] Other hunters also lynched one member who had stolen food from the supply cache, while the Humvee unit found and murdered a man and woman they had been searching for. [12] While evading the Humvee crew, Joel and Ellie also meet two other survivors, Henry and Sam, who were separated from their group passing through the city after being attacked and scattered by the Hunters.

It is implied that most other Quarantine Zones ended up like Pittsburgh and became completely occupied by Hunters. The Hunters in Pittsburgh repeatedly mention that they are under the control of a leader, who is never seen or encountered by Joel or Ellie. It is also mentioned that they have had more than one leader over the course of time, suggesting that the previous leader or leaders died or were usurped by another Hunter. More than once has the leader of the group attempted to expand the perimeter beyond the city limits, such attempts ending with multiple Hunters getting killed, possibly by Infected or other survivors.[13] Some even made it as far as Lincoln, but they turned back after encountering Infected, as observed by Bill.[14] While they did manage to expand into parts of the suburbs outside Pittsburgh, they eventually lost it to the Infected.[15]

The Hunters in Pittsburgh possessed a large arsenal of weaponry, including a modified military Humvee and, according to a note left by a military soldier, a stolen mortar launcher which is never seen being used in The Last of Us.[16] They also guarded a bridge, the only other way out besides the highway. They were obsessed with the bridge, with many Hunters guarding it by day, so many that Henry and Sam had never dared to escape previously. However, there was merely a small skeleton crew left to guard the exit at night, therefore that was the best time to escape.

The group had no choice but to face Hunters again when making their escape, watching briefly as the guards killed Clickers in the distance. The group split up, resulting in Joel and Ellie fleeing from the Humvee, forcing them to jump into the river beneath the bridge.

The Hunters were encountered again when the four escapees were pinned down by a sniper. Joel was forced to fight his way through the Suburbs to reach the sniper, where he brutally stabbed the Hunter to death. Joel then covered Henry, Sam and Ellie from the remaining Hunters. However, the Hunters from the city quickly arrived with the Humvee. Although Joel killed the advancing Hunters, he struggled to destroy the Humvee. He eventually succeeded in killing the gunner as they attempted to throw a Molotov, immolating the vehicle and causing it to crash.[17] This is the last time the Hunters are seen.

Events of Factions MPEdit

In Factions, a group of Hunters arrive near a port and discover a group of Fireflies with several medical supplies which they are using to find a cure for the CBI. The Hunters plan to steal the supplies when the times is right. They stake out the camp over a period of 12 weeks, convincing as many survivors as possible to join them while fighting against increasingly stronger Fireflies. After 12 weeks, the Hunters either defeat the Fireflies, succeeding in securing the supplies and prolonging their survival or they find themselves overpowered and killed by the Fireflies, who are then one step closer to finding a cure.[18]

StrengthEdit

The Hunters are fairly strong, seasoned survivors. Years of living in the ruined Pittsburgh Quarantine Zone have enhanced their survival capabilities. Despite their general unkempt and somewhat disheveled appearance, most appear to be physically on par with Joel, evidenced by how he can be quickly overpowered by an average Hunter if he isn't careful; one notably managed to slam his head into a glass fridge, then nearly pierced his neck on the glass while another succeeded in holding him underwater and almost drowning him.

In terms of how they fare against other organized factions, they resemble the Bandits the most. Though the Hunters not as hardened as these survivors due to not experiencing life outside the Zone, they possess superior numbers and equipment. As such, the Hunters' victory over the Fireflies and the military appears to have been based on numerical superiority, as most of them only have basic weaponry such as melee weapons, handguns, shotguns, hunting rifles, bombs and Molotovs. Some of the Hunters wear body armor and helmets scavenged from dead military soldiers to better protect themselves against bullets. They don't use any assault rifles that could have been scavenged, suggesting that they ran out of ammunition for them by the time Joel arrived. It is possible that the uprising severely depleted both their numbers and available supplies.

They did, however, possess more effective weapons, such as a Humvee with a 50. caliber machine gun that they managed to repair, and a military sniper rifle with considerable amounts of ammunition. They also placed trip-wired Nail Bombs around the city in the hopes of catching people off guard or killing wandering Infected.

Hunter humvee

The Hunter's Humvee.

The Humvee was used to pursue Joel and Ellie and many other survivors, allowing for quick and easy kills. The sniper was used to kill any who tried to infiltrate the Suburbs and had the potential to kill people from at least 400 meters away. However, both of these were later lost thanks to Joel killing the sniper and using the rifle to shoot the Humvee gunner, causing it to crash from a Molotov that exploded in it. The sniper rifle was lost due to many infected swarming the suburbs, surrounding the house and requiring a hasty retreat.[19]

It is unknown how the destruction of the Humvee and the loss of the sniper rifle affected the Pittsburgh Hunters. At that point, a large number of Hunters were killed by Joel and Henry. The loss of life and powerful weapons may have been a serious setback. Previously, some felt confident enough to expand beyond the city, though the success of such was mixed, judging from conversations Joel can listen in on throughout the city.

Some Hunters were shown to face Infected. Two of them managed to kill a Clicker, but only by taking it by surprise. A sniper was also able to kill several Clickers at a distance. Their success wasn't always as consistent as other groups such as the Cannibals, since other Hunters fled in fear from a group of Infected when trying to get in to the town of Lincoln. [20]

WeaponsEdit

Known membersEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Hunters were the first hostile survivors revealed in gameplay demos.
  • No female hunters are encountered as enemies in-game, but their existence is implied by their presence in the Factions MP multiplayer mode as well as numerous bits of concept art. Also, in-game, two hunters debated whether or not they should have let a dead female tourist live and become part of their group instead of killing her, though they decided against such since she would kill them if given the chance.
    • In a Q&A with Naughty Dog, they explained that the lack of female human enemies was a matter of memory on the PlayStation 3's system with different models and animations being needed.[23]
  • The Hunter's color in Factions is baby blue.
  • The Hunters are shown to a have a sadistic nature, as their Humvee has a sign on the front that says "RUN" and a dead body tied on the hood. Also they taunt Joel in the neighborhood where the sniper and Humvee are fought for the last time.
  • The Hunters appear to generally dislike each other and only work together out of necessity, judging by the dialogue heard between them:
    • One Hunter said the other was a bad shot. The other Hunter then threatened to shoot him. Another Hunter offered to give him lessons, but was told to shut up.
    • In another instance a Hunter had to bribe another into sharing some canned bacon he found, stating he would reveal to the others that he had to be saved from a Clicker.
    • One Hunter professed that he didn't want to keep searching the hotel; his partner proceeding to make him keep searching.
    • Another Hunter remarked on the possibility of expanding their territory only to be mocked by one of the older Hunters for his naivety.
    • A group of Hunters hanged another Hunter for stealing supplies from their cache.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Final Attack Note
  2. Abandon Zone Note
  3. 76 lookout Hunters attack strangers
  4. Graffiti seen on the old QZ walls.
  5. Traitors Flyer
  6. Note from Mom
  7. Mob Attack Note
  8. Fireflies Note
  9. Trial Note
  10. Alone and Forsaken
  11. Tourists Manifest
  12. Conversations between numerous hunters throughout the city
  13. A conversation between two hunters.
  14. Hunters Note
  15. The presense of several Hunters when Joel and company arrive
  16. Truck Note
  17. The Suburbs
  18. Factions MP
  19. The Suburbs
  20. Hunters Note
  21. Mother's Letter
  22. A Hunter mentioned he found 25 cans of bacon
  23. Playstation Discussion

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