...ie, Joel is optional. but out of the choices you have listed. Marlene sounds good on paper, but a story of a fire fly uprising would take away from the whole survival element. one of the greatest things about The Last Of Us is that it's really about survival, at it's core The Last Of Us is about Joel and Ellie, and the journey they go on, everything else is built around that (not the other way around as you seem to think it is) a prequel about Marlene and the rise of the fire flies would not have that survival element to it, it would be more about starting a rebellion than it would be about survival, and might feel a bit too much like Call of Duty, plus Marlene annoys the crap out of me. As for Henry and Sam. Henry is a great character, and I wouldn't mind playing as him, but their are two big problems with this idea, the first is well, Sam, While I like Henry almost as much as Joel, Sam is no Ellie, not even close. Sam is much more bruiting, angry, and just not nearly as fun or likable as Ellie was.Henry may be able to match Joel's brutality, but Sam won't be able to bring as much personality to the game Ellie did. I don't think Audiences will fall in love with Sam the same way they did with Ellie. The second problem with a prequel about Henry and Sam is that Henry and Sam didn't quite have the same relationship Joel and Ellie did. With Henry and Sam, it didn't really feel like they had the respect and care for one another that Joel and Ellie did by the end of the game, Sam and Henry's relationship felt like a much more strict one, more of a "you do what I say when I say" kind of thing, yeah Joel and Ellie's relationship started off the same way, but by the end of the game Joel and Ellie became more of a team, looking out for each other, in the beginning of the game Joel and Ellie's relationship may have been as strict as Sam and Henry's, but at the end, Joel and Ellie were equals and had a mutual respect to one another, that Sam and Henry never seemed to have, yeah Henry looked out for Sam, and cared about him, but he kept Sam on a much tighter leash that Joel had with Ellie, and Sam, for the most part, seemed more annoyed with Henry than anything else. because of this, Sam and Henry's story would likely not have the same impact Joel and Ellie's did, and again, Sam just lacks that sense of wonder, and playfulness Ellie had. Tess would be an interesting one. But you do know that Tess's story is directly connected to Joel's right, I'm just letting you know that if you have Tess in the next game, you would need to have Joel too, just saying because you constantly seem to want to get rid of Joel. With that said a prequel about Joel and Tess would make an interesting game, and Joel's voice actor (Troy Baker) had said that he want's to see more of Joel's back story, and it would be cool to see Joel and Tess have the same type of relationship Ellie and Riley had. The only problem with Tess's story as well as most others on this list, is that we know how her story ends, but the one guy who's story doesn't have an end yet, is Tommy. Aside from Joel and Ellie, Tommy was one of my favorite characters, he's likable, he's a total bad ass, and he look's like Brad Pitt. It would be cool to see Ellie team up with Tommy in some way. Joel could die protecting Ellie from some new force, or maybe he get's bitten and infected, and Tommy could then take care of Ellie.