Google's The Last of Us Easter egg is parasitic fungus

Google's The Last of Us Easter egg.
(Image credit: Google)

The TV adaptation of The Last of Us has launched to rave reviews, and led to some absolutely chronic discourse about how videogames are finally being done justice—this proves games can do stories, etc. Look: The game isn't even all that original, but a total riff on The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

And breathe. If you're one of those like me who quite likes The Last Of Us but doesn't think it's the second coming, you may find some relief and solace in a very cute Easter egg for the series that's been implemented by Google. It's one of those intended to be found by people curious about the show, rather than the type of gaming expert who reads PCG, and so you find it by going to Google and searching "The Last Of Us".

Go on, I'll wait. The results page appears as usual, but with a little red mushroom icon in the bottom centre. Clicking on this sees tendrils begin to creep in at the edge of your screen: the creepy fungus among us that's turning everyone in that world into clickers. You can keep clicking for ages and, as you do, the infection will spread further and further across the screen.

I don't think there's an endpoint to it, as once your screen is filled with the tendrils they begin repeating placements around the edge of the screen, but it is neat that you can still comb through your results with everything encroaching. The Easter egg will also turn up if you search for "cordyceps" or "cordyceps fungus", which is the horrific real-world parasitic strain that infests ants and grows big mushrooms out of their heads.

It seems certain that the HBO show will continue on (though not everyone thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread), and outside of that Naughty Dog probably has no option but to eventually make a third game. It will never cease to amuse me, however, that there is a game out there called The Last of Us Part 2. It should be subtitled "The Lastest."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."