The Second Stage of the Pandemic in The Last of Us – Who are the Stalkers?

This universe is like smart

In the Last of Us series, there is a situation where the Cordyceps fungus changes the infected person from stage to stage, or in other words, transforms them from shape to shape, and the most important element of these changes is time. Time exhibits the effects of the cordyceps mushroom on such a terrifying scale that the conditions caused by the fungus begin to become astonishing. Inside the mansion, some elongated branches can be seen as if there is a greening tree. The infected person moves away from being human every second, in line with the shape given to him by the disease.

Scouts, or Stalkers, appear as the second stages of the parasite, which also manifests itself in all Last of Us games and the currently airing HBO production adaptation. After the Cordyceps mushroom settles in the human body, it takes between two weeks and a year for them to reach this stage. They have the appearance of the previous stage, the runners, and the ferocity of the next stage, the clatters. The most notable physical features that describe them are the strange sounds they make and the fungal growths on their face. The fungus on most scouts’ faces grows to cover one eye.

Scouts have a nature committed to agility and stealth. They follow and attack their targets in a way worthy of their name. Scouts, which are quite aggressive up close, are as strong as a strong, even fit, human compared to the first-stage runners of the parasite. Their behavior gives the impression of being more intelligent than the runners of the previous stage.

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The First Stage of the Pandemic in The Last of Us – Who are the Runners?

Looking at their appearance in the first game, scouts can be said to be quite rare, but they appear frequently in the second game, especially in Seattle. Although they can also appear in sewers and metro areas, they can typically appear in abandoned areas, dark buildings and parking lots. However, scouts are often difficult to detect in-game. When approached, it will immediately flee and hide in the shadows until complete silence. Scouts attacking their prey in groups in a coordinated manner can become aggressive when they hear a loud noise, such as a firearm or explosion, or when provoked by themselves.

Finally, some scouts have a condition that makes it easier for them to see in the dark. Going stealthily in the game is of course an option, but it is the most logical to be a little distant from this stage, which has increased awareness, although not as much as a clatter. Because they are quite fast and deadly during combat, especially if they are outnumbered.

The Kissing Zombie in the HBO Series The Last of Us

When we look at the appearance of the scouts in the HBO adaptation, the mushroom has covered a part of its face, just like in the games, and has become terrifying. Moreover, in those infected at this stage, the cordyceps mushroom acts as a sexual stimulant. Scouts who detect infected spread the parasite, preferring to kiss rather than bite. Of course, this is a very cold joke, dear friends, the cordyceps mushroom does not stimulate sexual impulses, but we can’t help but say what kind of scene it was 🙂 So what does the scene that reaches the peak of this romance we saw in the second part of the HBO production Last of Us adaptation?

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Hello, I've been involved with games for a long time. I work as a full time Kernel Developer and write game articles in my spare time. I love to act as a test quality engineer on them while playing games so I write reviews of all genres of newly released games on

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