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Opinion The Last of Us Part 2: Who Plays Abby? - Gaming doesn’t know how to deal with muscular women

Claus Grimhildyr

Vincit qui se vincit
Jan 30, 2018
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As has been stated a thousand times before (but is always glossed over and ignored by die-hard fans) - the issue with Abby isn't because she is muscular, but because of the world they created. She is based on a real person, yes - one who works out as a full time job, one who is on a diet and supplement regime that is incredibly strict - something that *does not exist in the world that The Last of Us has shown us*. Her job in the game is not enough to maintain the muscle mass she has. It is unrealistic in a series that prides itself on trying to create as realistic a world as they can... just with cordyceps affecting human minds.

Personally, I enjoy Abby as a character - her design however has always been off-putting and created a disconnect compared to other characters in the game. Her design was also changed specifically to push a particular social justice viewpoint by Druckmann and co as we can see from the original trailer vs her final design.
 

Tiamat2san

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Jul 3, 2016
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Dude, I wasn't arguing the plausibility of every aspect of the game, I was responding to one person's defense of Abby ("Definitely more sense than Ellie murdering 200lb monsters with a pocket knife") and responded with something equally (or more) implausible. That's it.

It wasn’t directly against you, it’s just I am always amused when people compare things to reality in an action/horror/fantasy video game.

Sorry ;)
 
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Musky_Cheese

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Oct 23, 2016
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LOL at trying to educate while lacking the education to do it.

Abby is hardly the first muscular woman in gaming. We've had them way before the woke journalist got into gaming.



The only thing unique about Abby is she is the first muscular female character that the audience has been told "you are a bigot if you don't like" when she was introduced. They weren't around to thought police prior when the others where introduced. They have to do that retroactively.
 

Keihart

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Jun 23, 2013
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LOL at trying to educate while lacking the education to do it.

Abby is hardly the first muscular woman in gaming. We've had them way before the woke journalist got into gaming.



The only thing unique about Abby is she is the first muscular female character that the audience has been told "you are a bigot if you don't like" when she was introduced. They weren't around to thought police prior when the others where introduced. They have to do that retroactively.
To be fair, in the game you are told to hate Abby and when you start to warm to her if you even do they tell you, well actually, she is just as bad as you thought. If anything, the game seems to aim to destroy the notion that any of this characters are heroes, they are heroes and villians at the same time.
 

Gravemind

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Apr 16, 2020
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Idk, I didnt like her because she killed off my favourite character, and in a pretty shit way to be honest. I just couldnt connect with her after that. Add that to the fact that she's just not very interesting, and I definetly get the hate for her.

I definetly dont hate her because of her looks, but I would be lying if I said I didnt feel at least a bit uncanny when looking at her. You can definetly tell something just doesnt seem right with her. She has zero famine features below her head. Even the most jacked and fit women still have feminine looking frames, albeit muscular.

She literally looks like she has a woman's head on a man's body. I get why people dont like that. It is odd.
 
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mrMUR_96

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Apr 10, 2018
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My problem with her is her frame, women can be buff in real life, but it's her shoulders in particular, they're just so huge and broad. I actually ended up quite liking her as a character, but it just looked like woman's head on a guys body.
 

Danjin44

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Mar 22, 2017
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Then we could say the same about people who complained about this design.
 

WorldHero

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Nov 6, 2016
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Abby's face is beautiful but the arms were simply too big for me. Literally pulled me out of the game for a moment. I get Abby's body changes but sheesh those 24 inch pythons brother :messenger_face_screaming:
 

itsjustJEFF

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Apr 12, 2018
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She literally stabs their jugular vein, my dude.

Meanwhile, Abby puts them in a sleeper hold, which means her bicep is within an inch of getting bitten EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Which is more plausible?
I'm sorry but you're wrong. Abby is putting them in a rear naked choke. Her arm is under the chin, around their neck, it would be impossible for you to bite my arm if I had you in a rear naked choke, trust me. Joel stealth kills the same way. It's a very effective choke in Jiu Jitsu. If i were to put you in a face crank, then you'd have a much better chance of biting me. Ellie actually has a much better chance of getting her hand/fingers bitten. She sneaks up and puts her hand around their mouth and then stabs them in the neck. Abby's method is quieter and quicker and a lot less messy.

Edit: If you don't believe me, have someone who has done any amount of Jiu Jitsu and ask them to put you in a rear naked, you'd be surprised at how quick you get put to sleep.
 

recursive

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Feb 4, 2014
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Abby, a new character introduced in The Last of Us Part 2, does not fit the mold. Her face is anchored by a square jaw, which gives her visage a wider look — at least, compared to the heart-shaped face that defines most women in games. Perhaps most notably, Abby is buff. Your eyes are drawn to her chest and muscular arms, which, according to The Last of Us Part 2, she worked very hard across multiple years to beef up.

As someone who regularly boxes and plays sports, Abby’s appearance isn’t just familiar to me — it’s aspirational. It’s been baffling to see some of the popular dissenting opinion on the game, which often directed against Abby.

Part of the dislike seems unavoidable: The Last of Us Part 2 asks you to play as a character who is fundamentally opposed to the heroes we’ve spent hours learning to love and protect. Abby is a hard sell, and that would be true no matter what she looked like.

But much of the hate visible on social media isn’t just about the story and Abby’s likability compared to Ellie and Joel, it’s fixated on Abby’s jacked-up body.

“If you think the ‘normal’ for women is having that kind of musculature and stature, just go outside, man,” one misguided viral Twitter post reads. Posts that feature Abby at all often break down into arguments as to whether or not she’s realistic, and whether or not a woman could actually look like that.

The funny thing is, like many characters in The Last of Us Part 2, Abby is partially based on a real person.


This, of course, doesn’t satisfy some detractors — it just changes the debate. Is there enough food for someone in the post-apocalypse to mass up like this? (Yes, the WLF is canonically depicted to have plenty of resources.) Can we really say this is a realistic body type if theoretically you have to train for ages to achieve it? (Realism has no bearing on how common something is, just whether or not it can be true.)

Perhaps the grossest result of all of this is the insistence that Abby could only look like this if her character was trans, as if only folks who are assigned male at birth could possibly have big muscles. That conspiracy theory has been debunked by the folks behind the game, but the fact the idea could exist at all reveals something uncomfortable about what limited types of bodies we are used to seeing in the medium.


Abby doesn’t look like most women in games; It’s true. But Abby’s appearance is only potentially jarring because video games lack range when it comes to body diversity, not because women can’t actually look like that.

We can, and we do. I’m glad Abby is here to prove it.
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https://screenrant.com/last-us-2-abby-voice-actor-body-model/

Despite playing a big role in The Last of Us 2's story, Abby wasn't featured in much of the game's pre-release marketing. Her only appearance was in The Last of Us 2's infamously brutal trailer at Paris Games Week 2017, criticized for its use of violence to advertise the game. The teaser showed Abby, then an unnamed character, surviving a hanging and near-disembowelment in a dark forest, with the aid of two children, one of which had her arm smashed by a man with a hammer.

The trailer's focus on Abby with little context - and no appearances from series protagonists Joel or Ellie - was a hint that she'd play a major role in the game. It turns out she's one of The Last of Us 2's playable characters, so players see much of the game's story through her perspective. Here are the people behind Abby's appearance and voice.

Abby (full name Abigail Anderson) is portrayed by prominent voice actor Laura Bailey. Bailey is known for her work as Vex on Dungeons & Dragons web series Critical Role and as Nadine Ross in Naughty Dog's own Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, among many other video game and television credits. Bailey also provided the performance work for Abby, including facial and motion capture in Naughty Dog's studio. Abby's face itself came from a different person at Naughty Dog: Jocelyn Mettler, a Support Visual Effects Artist on Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, served as Abby's face model while she was at the company (though she now works for VFX studio Beyond-FX). Following Abby's first appearance in the 2017 teaser trailer, The Last of Us 2 Director Neil Druckmann reportedly posted the following image on Instagram, citing CrossFit athlete Colleen Fotsch as Abby's body double.

While Abby's muscular build definitely appears to be based on a professional athlete like Fotsch, Druckmann has since removed the post from Instagram, so Fotsch's role in The Last Of Us 2's production may not be officially confirmed.
Based on a person that does roids and hgh. Not something the average person can relate to.
 

Vaelka

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The question I have is why is Abby the only character that is muscular if it's such a big advantage?
The only other character I can think of is that guy towards the end who has like a minute of screen time.

I keep seeing people say that '' it makes sense to be muscular in this setting ''.
I mean first of all I disagree for various of reasons, but even if I was to accept that argument.
Okay.... So why is Abby essentially the only one? Why is no one else in her group on her level?
Does she not have a training partner?
I've also seen people justify it by saying that she fights zombies so she builds muscle that way ( which is fucking retarded ) but lets say that's true.
Okay.... Again.... Why is it just Abby?

The fact that her nickname is '' Abs '' too is so on the nose :messenger_beaming:, it comes across like a joke only that it isn't and they're being serious.
 
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GribbleGrunger

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Oct 12, 2012
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The only time I ever got close to something approaching empathy with Abby was at the very end. Her emaciated body felt more 'realistic' to me. It wasn't her frailty but rather her humanity that connected. I have exactly the same reaction to muscular men in games. When I say that I mean those who have clearly maintained and sculpted their bodies to 'look good', not those who have built muscle necessary to accomplish their chosen job. People either build muscle naturally or work out to build muscle aesthetically. Any character that manifests the latter automatically feels fake. If Abby had been something along the lines of Tess then the connection would have been much easier but they still would have had to edit the game completely different for me to want to engage with her fully. We needed time to play as Joel and we needed to play as Abby for a much longer period before we see her kill Joel. The game constantly fights itself.
 
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slade

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Sep 30, 2005
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Naughty Dog failed with Abby when they didn't give her a model like face and a huge bust size. Put those two things in and the whole muscular woman thing dies down a bit.

Also, the whole steroids thing, the game has a whole abandoned hospital in it. You find pills lying around all over the place that help you 'level up.' 🤔
 
Jun 28, 2013
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Edit: Also, wasn't it only 4 years between TLoU1 and 2? So she had constant access to a gym, HGH and testosterone during that 4 year stretch while ALSO hunting for Joel (keep in mind she wasn't always with the WLF, so she didn't always have access to their gym)... it's just not very believable in a series where they went to great lengths to make everything seem grounded.

Edit2: Also, on the subject of "gaming doesn't know how to deal with muscular woman"

Get fucked, whoever wrote this article.
grounded enough where joel didnt die from infection from a rusty pipe cause of a 20 year old first aid kit. which ellie kills dozens of hunters and zombies to get.(Child takes out a gang)Joel kills hundreds of men and zombies. (Man takes out an army) Has head stomping superhuman strength without a gym or cafeteria. He eats 20 year old proteinbars/candybars. Doesnt carry a knife. But yeah abby, muscles? Takes me out.

"Laura Bailey's biceps in that picture are literally half the mass of Abby's." Proceeds to post a picture of a alien.
 

Punished Miku

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Jan 13, 2018
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I was super into the Amazon in Dragons Crown. I dont take TLOU2 seriously so muscle girl is fine with me.
 

Shmunter

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Aug 25, 2018
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I don't mind having my expectations subverted, very much enjoying the game, the characters and the way the story bridges the gap between both sides by letting us in.

No complaint. NOTE : yet to finish, just upto part where Abby and the cult girl set out to look for the brother.
 

Vaelka

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Apr 1, 2019
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grounded enough where joel didnt die from infection from a rusty pipe cause of a 20 year old first aid kit. which ellie kills dozens of hunters and zombies to get.(Child takes out a gang)Joel kills hundreds of men and zombies. (Man takes out an army) Has head stomping superhuman strength without a gym or cafeteria. He eats 20 year old proteinbars/candybars. Doesnt carry a knife. But yeah abby, muscles? Takes me out.

"Laura Bailey's biceps in that picture are literally half the mass of Abby's." Proceeds to post a picture of a alien.

Dina falling through the glass window and then acting like her back snapped in half and just walking it off and forgetting about it five seconds later was hilarious to me.
How do you even write a scene like that and give it the okay xD?
 

Bankai

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Jul 14, 2015
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I have to admit, I did notice the enormous arms on Abby. But I also think it is explained quite well ánd is used throughout the story nicely. I won't go into specifics because of spoilers. On that topic: there are WAY to many spoilers in here. I finished the game, but it really sucks to read some of the things you guys give away storywise.