‘Bloaters’, ‘clickers’… All the phases in the cordyceps infection of The Last of Us beyond the clickers – The Last of Us

For a few hours, viewers have been able to see HBO Max the fifth and calamitous chapter of The Last of Usthe television adaptation of acclaimed video game from Naughty Dog. We will talk about the episode at length soon, but we wanted to write a few lines to delve into the most representative enemies of this post-apocalyptic world.

We won’t go into too many details of what’s seen in the series in case you happen to drop in, but suffice it to say that during the show we’ll see different encounters with these threats. For example, in the second episode Joel, Tess and Ellie will meet a couple of clickers. The fans of the video game already know well its origin, strengths and weaknessesbut to newcomers we want to present several of its keys.


We see a close-up of a clicker in the second chapter of The Last of Us.

What types of infected are there?

As we saw in the pilot of the series, and it is better detailed to us at the beginning of the second chapter, a variety of cordyceps has managed to break through our body’s defenses to use him as a host and unleash the series of events that we all know. However, the infection does not act immediately on its victims and goes through several phases that we detail below.

First of all, we have to take into account how cordyceps is transmitted in TLoU: bites, scratches and spores; the latter has been discarded in the series, in fact in this second chapter there is a dialogue about it. If the victim has been exposed to one of these forms of contagion, he will have between five minutes and 48 hours to be completely at the mercy of the pathogen depending on where in the body the infection occurred.


Runner (Runner). The first phase. After his first few days as infected, he may not have any noticeable physical characteristics that set him apart from an ordinary human, but they are fast, agile, highly aggressive, and retain their vision. As we see in this second chapter, they usually attack in hordes.


stalker. The second phase. After being infected for a week or a month, the host gives prominence to the fungus in his physical appearance, specifically his face. They retain some of the runner’s attributes, but are fiercer and sometimes stealthier as well. He still retains his vision, albeit with difficulties that he makes up for with a still underdeveloped echolocation ability. He is the protagonist of one of the moments of the second chapter.


Clicker. Third phase, the most iconic in the saga. It occurs in hosts that remain alive one year after their infection. Although they retain their humanoid appearance, the truth is that their face has been covered by bulky and huge fungal plates that serve as a protective shell but that prevent them from seeing. Unfortunately for the surviving humans, they can hear and track them due to a highly developed echolocation ability that they use by emitting a clicking sound from which they get their name.


Swollen or chubby (Bloater). The fourth phase. They take years to develop and are therefore very rare to find. All the skin of the infected has been covered by the fungus as armor, giving it additional protection compared to the clicker. Imposing in appearance, he is also much stronger as shown in the fifth chapter of the series. To the happiness of the survivors, it is heavy and slow in its movements.

So far a quick introduction to these creatures. As a curiosity, in the second episode explains how to communicate of these beings. The infected are connected to each other with fibers of the fungus that can extend kilometers underground. “For example, if you step where there are cordyceps, you will wake up dozens of infected elsewhere”.


In the fifth chapter of The Last of Us, this bloated proves to be an enemy that is practically impossible to kill.

If you’re interested in going deeper, just play the video game, which is enjoying a renaissance in sales, and see how scary and hard to kill some of them can be at different stages of the fungus’ development. you can also read this page in Fandom of the infected. Finally, point out that in the game Other variants appear that we will not reveal.

What do we think of The Last of Us?

In 3DJuegos we have a partner who has had the pleasure of watching the first season of The Last of Us in full, and assures that it has made him feel proud of our medium, video games. You can read the review in 3DJuegos. We remember that The Last of Us: Part 1 will also arrive very soon on PCthus expanding the possibilities of enjoying the Naughty Dog title.

Header Image | The Last of Us: Part II.