Prior to the outbreak, the mall contained a variety of stores selling different products such as clothing, medicine, and a pet store, among others. The mall also contained a small food court and a movie theater, although the theater was not seen in the game.
After the Cordyceps brain infection outbreak, the United States military took control of the plaza, converting it into an evacuation site, installing evacuation signs and security gates. However, they eventually abandoned the store at an unknown date.
At an unknown point during the outbreak, the pharmacist of the mall became infected and turned into a runner. Found by a passerby, he was incapacitated and trapped in another store, where he eventually died. He had the keys to the pharmacy on him and a picture of him and his partner, who had left sometime before. The person who locked him in, not yet understanding the infection, believed he was sick and so left a note explaining what had occurred.
Captain Francis' crew
Roughly 20 years after the outbreak, a military helicopter piloted by a select crew of the 4th Infantry Division from the Denver quarantine zone crash-landed in the plaza. Although the soldiers survived, the pilot, Warrant Officer Sean Brendon, was killed by an infected patient. Another, Chief Warrant Officer Larry Caulfield, was bitten by the same runner but succeeded in killing it. Although the leader of the unit, Captain Regan Francis said that Larry was a hero, she ordered Private Eugene Ellis to subdue him in order to execute him, following protocol, though she would later come to regret this.
Regan and Ellis later searched for food but encountered stalkers. Although they escaped, Ellis was bitten. Regan prevented him from committing suicide and proceeded to amputate his arm to save him. Regan doubted that it worked but Ellis deemed it successful, only suffering from a fever. As time passed, food became scarce and the pair started to argue. Angry, frustrated, and scared, Regan left the mall, leaving Ellis behind. She walked almost ten miles before changing her mind and returning, after remembering that they were family.
Some time later, Ellis and Regan were talking when the captain suddenly reached for her gun. Ellis, in fear, attacked and killed her. Only then did he realize that she had reached for her gun to face incoming infected, who reopened Ellis' wound. Although he escaped, he later died in an air duct, wishing he hadn't killed Regan.
Events of Left Behind
In the Fall of 2033, Joel Miller collapsed from shock and blood loss while escaping from hostile survivors at the University of Eastern Colorado. Ellie takes him and Callus to the plaza to look for medicine, supplies, and a safer place to recover. Shortly after hiding the two in a yogurt bar, Ellie leaves to retrieve supplies and look for sutures for Joel in order to stitch up his wound. She enters a pharmacy, but quickly learns that the entire store was looted for its supplies long ago. After finding an empty first aid kit, she spots the crashed military helicopter of Regan's squad. Suspecting it could hold supplies, Ellie goes to investigate, fighting her way through stalkers along the way. However, finds that the military had locked a gate that could only be opened if the power was turned on.
After killing a group of Infected and turning on a nearby generator, she proceeds to the crashed helicopter, which is hanging precariously on the roof of the mall. She quickly finds a first aid kit, and grabs it.
She eventually runs into some of the group seen at the university. She manages to pit the the infected against the hostile survivors, the two enemies killing each other in the skirmish, and proceeds back to where an unconscious Joel and Callus are hiding. Along the way she can find notes left behind by Regan and Ellis, as well as their corpses.
Nearing the pair, Ellie discovers that others from the group have tracked them down, due to Callus making noise. After eliminating the humans and infected that were attracted to the gunfire, Ellie manages to get back to Joel in order to stitch up his wound. Ellie then rides Callus out of the plaza, towing Joel on a sled, just as Winter begins to set in.
Behind the scenes
There is a website for the Colorado Mountain Plaza advertising its mall hours, mall map, cinema, and list of stores (note: Summit Cinemas 6 is misspelled as Summit Cimemas 6 in the directory). The website was likely created by Naughty Dog as a means of marketing the Left Behind DLC.
The plaza acts as a parallel to Liberty Gardens, which serves at the setting of events of Left Behind in the Summer. The time of year at the mall is contrasted further by Ellie being alone in the cold snow of the forthcoming Winter as she searches the plaza while Ellie has her friend, Riley Abel, in the warm Summer air when exploring the mall.
Three of the stores within the plaza have their own website: Petville, Swirls, Weston's Pharmacy. The websites were created by graphic design artist Lily Nishita (then of Naughty Dog). There are also Twitter pages for Drew Beckwith (pharmacist), Laura Brown (pharmacist's girlfriend), Petville, Weston's, Swirls, and Springs Hospital (retweeted by Weston's Pharmacy). Springs Hospital also has a website.
- Posters are seen in the mall advertising the university. A military note states that the military helicopter "crashed into a rural Colorado mall". As well, human enemies present are of the same faction of those seen in the university.
- Pharmacist's note
- Salon note
- Generator note
- Atrium note
- Atrium recorder
- Duct recorder
- A cannibal states that he heard the horse behind the door to Swirls Frozen Yogurt.