Video Game / Uncharted
Nathan Drake: Doing Indiana Jones's job since 2007

"There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory."
Sir Francis Drake, 1587 (opening of the first game)

Uncharted is a series of Action-Adventure Third-Person Shooter platforming video games developed by Naughty Dog for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The games follow self-styled Adventurer Archaeologist Nathan Drake, supposed descendant of Sir Francis Drake, and his quests to find long lost historical artifacts and treasures. Gameplay mixes third person gunfights, environmental exploration, and puzzle solving. The series is notable for its cinematic presentation, with fantastic voice acting, fully motion-captured cutscenes and character animations, lush scenery, and honest-to-God Character Development. Also, they're fun. And highly acclaimed.

  • Main Series:
    • Uncharted: Drake's Fortunenote  (2007): Adventurer Archaeologist Nathan "Nate" Drake, Intrepid Reporter Elena Fisher, and Nate's old mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan follow the diary of Sir Francis Drake, who may or may not be Nate's ancestor, in search of the lost treasure of El Dorado. The trio soon find themselves lost on an uncharted island, pursued by an avaricious loan shark, boatloads of Mooks, and something supernatural.
    • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009): Nate helps two old associates, Harry Flynn and Chloe Frazer, steal the first in a series of clues left by Marco Polo that lead to Shambhala (Shangri-La) and the legendary Cintamani Stone. Encountering Elena along the way, Nate must now find the stone before psychotic war criminal Zoran Lazarevic can.
    • Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (2011): Nate and Sully follow in the footsteps of Sir Francis Drake and T.E. Lawrence through England, France and Saudi Arabia in search of Iram of the Pillars, a lost Arabian city of riches known as the "Atlantis of the Sands". Hunting them is a shadowy organisation dating all the way back to Queen Elizabeth I, who know the truth behind Nate's darkest secret.
    • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016): Set at least two years after his last adventure, Nate has now settled down with Elena and working a regular 9-5 job. However, an unexpected visit from his older brother Sam calls him back for One Last Job in search of the pirate Henry Avery's treasure, rumored to be worth over $400 million, that he and Sam had abandoned years before. But why has Sam resurfaced now and is there more at stake than he's letting on?
  • Spinoffs:
    • Uncharted: Eye of Indra (2009): a motion comic Prequel. Nate searches for an artifact called the Eye of Indra for a man named Daniel Pinkerton. Along the way he runs into pirate Eddy Raja and Eddy's sister, Rika. Much backstabbing ensues.
    • Uncharted: The Fourth Labyrinth (2011): A standalone Tie-In Novel. Nate and Sully help Sully's goddaughter Jada Hzujak investigate the archaeological discovery that got her father killed.
    • Uncharted (2011-2012): A six issue DC Comics mini-series. Nate and Sully search for the legendary Amber Room as the descendants of a man Sir Francis Drake accused of treason seek their revenge on Drake's descendant. They also meet Chloe for the first time.
    • Uncharted: Golden Abyss (2012): PlayStation Vita game developed by Sony Bend. Nate searches for Quivira, one of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. Along the way, he crosses paths with Jason Dante, an old friend, and Marisa Chase, the granddaughter of an archeologist who mysteriously vanished.
    • Uncharted: Fight for Fortune (2012): A Vita card game.
    • Nate as a playable character in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale (2012): Nate talks Sully into helping him follow Sly's Thievous Raccoonus in the hopes of treasure. He punches a chicken along the way. Sully is also a 'minion' (a chibi cheerleader) for Nate; Elena and Chloe are DLC minions; Marlowe's plane is a level.
    • Uncharted: Drake's Pursuit: A mini game in the iOS/Android Playstation All-Stars Island. Plays much like Temple Run
    • Uncharted: The Board Game (2012): Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (2015): A PS4 port of the first three games, remastered by Bluepoint Games. The games are rebuilt with fresh graphics and improved performance, and reworks the control scheme of Drake's Fortune and Among Thieves to be similar to Drake's Deception. Some features introduced in later games are also added back to earlier ones, such as the Doughnut Drake skin for Drake's Fortune, and the new "Speed Run Mode", "Brutal" difficulty, and a Camera feature is added.
    • Uncharted: Fortune Hunter (2016): iOS/Android game developed by PlayStation Mobile. Nate solves puzzles in various temples to obtain gold and legendary artifacts, which unlock multiplayer gear for A Thief's End.
    • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy: A stand-alone spin-off for the PS4 starring Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross as the protagonists.

A movie adaptation of Drake's Fortune has been in Development Hell since 2008; writer Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces, The Grey) posted a Tweet in January 2017 of his completed draft for the film, which is currently slated to be directed by Shawn Levy (Stranger Things, Night at the Museum). In May 2017, Tom Holland was cast as Nathan, as the film will focus on his younger years before the events of the games.

General series tropes:

    open/close all folders 

  • Acrofatic: Doughnut Drake, an unlockable skin for Drake.
  • Action Girl: Elena, Chloe, Rika, and Jada. Offscreen, Nate's mother Cassandra was one, and he and his brother follow in her footsteps.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis:
    • Shambhala in Among Theives
    • Iram Of The Pillars in Drake's Deception.
  • Adventurer Outfit: Several different outfits for each character over the course of each game. You get to customize (a little) one in Uncharted 3's multiplayer.
  • Aesop Amnesia: At the end of Drake's Fortune, Drake learnt that some treasures are actually dangerous and destructive McGuffin and No Man Should Have This Power and that The Power of Friendship is more important than glory and adventure. Yet, again in Among Thieves, he chases the mysterious Cintamani Stone, competing with a war-criminal, comes close to getting his friends killed and ends up acknowledging the same lesson. In Drake's Deception, it is Lampshaded repeatedly by Elena and Katherine Marlowe that once again Drake is chasing the trail of Francis Drake, a trail that he discovers Sir Francis had deliberately hidden from history because No Man Should Have This Power and Drake once again learns that obsessions can be self-destructive and Sully finally spells it out slowly that The Power of Friendship and The Power of Love is the only real thing that counts. Considering that the fourth game takes place several years later with a long-retired Drake, this last intervention seemed to have had stronger effect.
  • A.K.A.-47: Zig-Zagged. While some weapons keep their real names, others get fictional names.
    • The Beretta ARX-160 appears in A Thief's End and simply drops the "Beretta" part so it gets an accurate name. Nate also finds a "China Lake GL" but the weapon itself bears little resemblance to the actual weapon (which, if it were actually a China Lake, Nate ought to keep as a treasure rather than fire).
  • Almost Kiss:
    • Nate and Elena at the end of Drake's Fortune nearly kiss, only for Sully to interrupt them.
    • Nate and Chase at the end of Golden Abyss
    • Nate and Jada a couple of times in The Fourth Labyrinth.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: New character skins are among the bonuses for achieving various medals.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you run out of ammo for you small gun while hanging off something, the game will give you enough for another magazine. So you'll never be completely helpless.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In all four games, enemies never seem to react to explosives being thrown at them. They generally don't run away when a grenade lands at their feet, nor do they try to kick it away or throw it back at you
  • Artifact of Death:
    • El Dorado in the first game. it unleashes a pathogenic agent which turns anyone who inhales it into rage zombies.
    • In Among Thieves, Shambala's power is protected by deadly Guardians; in reality a tribe who drank from the tree of life to become nigh invulnerable superhumans.
    • In the third game, the vessel of brass holding 'djinn' in Iram. It is the source of the hallucinogenic agent in Iram's water.
    • Played with in the fourth game. There's nothing really wrong with Henry Avery's treasure, but the sheer size and scope of it caused Avery and all the other pirates who knew of it to kill each other out of simple human greed.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Drake's Fortune: Nate and Eddy.
    • Among Thieves: Nate and Flynn, later Nate and Tenzin.
  • Badass Crew: Nate, Sully, Elena, and Chloe
  • Benevolent Architecture: Oh boy oh boy. Every single building that Nate goes looking around in is specially built with plenty of handholds just for him to climb around like a monkey. No structure, however ancient, is safe from Nate climbing around it like a monkey. Unless the developers didn't put any handholds there.
    • Lampshaded in Golden Abyss, however:
    Suspended beams. Makes perfect sense.
  • Big Damn Fire Exit: Nate frequently has to escape burning or crumbling buildings that always happen to burn or crumble in just the perfect way to allow him an escape route.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Lazarevic, right before getting brutally slaughtered by the Shambhala guardians.
    • Also Elena, after Lazarevic kills Cameraman Jeff.
    • Talbot, after Marlowe dies beneath quicksand.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • If you know the Indonesian language, get ready for a kick when hearing this exchange with Eddy's mercenaries. The accent sounds more Malaysian, though.
      Guard: Halow? (Hello?)
      Nate: Buka pintu. (Open the door.)
      Guard: Siapa ini? Bicara sekarang. (Who is this? Speak, now.)
      Guard: Ah, tai! (Ugh, that shit!)
    • Both Eddy and his sister Rika speak unsubtitled Bahasa Indonesian in Eye of Indra too.
    • Also present in Among Thieves, since Tenzin and the entire village speaks unsubtitled Tibetan.
    • Drake's Deception has quite a bit of Spanish and Arabic that is not subtitled.
    • Golden Abyss has touches of unsubtitled Spanish, including some Spanish namecalling from Nate himself (though Guerro quickly translates it).
    • A Thief's End has subtitled (but not translated) Spanish, as well as unsubtitled Italian.
    • The trailer for Uncharted: Lost Legacy features Hindi.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The in-game violence is akin to a lot of PG-13 action adventure films, in that there is very little to no blood at all during the action. The most you get is a splotch of blood from a headshot enemy.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first game begins with Elena speaking, and the last shot of U4 is of Elena. Both games feature a coin as the loading screen icon.
    • In Chapter 16 of A Thief's End, Sam promises Nathan that the two of them will "go far". Near the conclusion of the game, Nathan tells Sam that they have "come far" before going off to live an adventure-free life with Elena.
      • Also relating to Chapter 16, Nate and Sam find a Polaroid camera in the Old Woman's house while searching for their mother's old books. The photo taken on it actually shows up in the Epilogue, in the same book for which Nate and Sam were looking which is, quite literally, a "book" ending.
    • At the conclusion of Drake's Fortune, Nathan and Elena try to share a moment only moments after killing Navarro, the sub-antagonist of the story. Before this can happen, Sully shouts, "you two got a funny idea of romantic!" In A Thief's End, after Nate and Elena experience a close call escaping Captain Avery's exploding mummy traps, the two exchange the following lines which are clearly a Call-Back to the first game.
    Nate: Anyone ever tell you, you have a funny idea of romantic?
    Elena: Yeah, I may have heard that somewhere before.
    • Elena is the first of Nate's partners in Drake's Fortune and the last to join his quest in A Thief's End. Similarly, the beginning of Drake's Fortune features Nate and Elena exploring a sunken Lost City on an island, and the end of A Thief's End, the two of them explore a sunken Lost City on an island.
  • Born Lucky: According to Word of God. If the last bullet is really the only one that actually hits you, all the bad guys must be from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: In Drake's Fortune and Among Thieves, there are a few points where you can find old MP40 submachine guns (and in Among Thieves, Luger handguns) that have been laying around in neglect since around World War II. Despite being abandoned for decades in conditions that would render them useless in real life, the guns and their ammo operate just fine. The MP40 comes especially in handy in Drake's Fortune, as it's the only weapon you'll find for a while in the Descendant-infested Nazi bunker, keeping you stocked up on ammo.
  • Call-Back:
    • Among Thieves:
    Nate: Great, power's out and a girl's trapped. I swear to god, if there's a zombie around the next corner...
    • Drake's Deception:
    Chloe: If you recall, the last time we went halfway around the world searching for a lost city, things got more than a little dicey.
    • Nate calls "Marco" in the pool on the cruise ship, a call back to his game with Chloe in the rooftop pool in Among Thieves. You get a Marco Solo medal. It also turns up in A Thief's End: apparently Sam wasn't a fan of the game.
    • Elena asks if the plane has enough parachutes for everyone, to which Sully replies that he's pretty sure it does. Maybe.
    • The fourth one has several to the first game. Both feature a coin as the loading screen icon, and Nate and Elena travel around a jungle togehter and end up running away from a "zombieish" threat on a narrow hallway, first descendants and then exploding mummies
  • Camera Screw: Naughty Dog just love to have Nate run-towards-camera, especially while the area is breaking away underfoot.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Rajas regularly betray their employers or current allies.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Nate is the victim of it in Eye of Indra.
  • Collection Sidequest:
    • Uncharted: Golden Abyss goes completely nuts with this trope: There are 138 collectible "mystery" items that tell you more about what's happening in the world (recent history as well as ancient), another 100 treasure items peppering the levels (mostly, lots of jade and turquoise trinkets), and 141 "bounty" items that randomly drop from enemies you kill (antique Tarot cards, antique Spanish playing cards, old silver and gold coins and gemstones). What makes it more head-scratching is that, yes, the collectibles are actually canon since A Thief's End's PSX 2015 presentation video shows that Nate did use the money to start his business (along with other "trinkets" he gained).
    • The card game, Uncharted: Fight for Fortune manages to incentivize getting a 100% Completion by powering up its cards for each treasure you find. Gotta catch 'em all!
  • Crossover: A DLC pack in Among Thieves allows players to play as Cole (both Hero and Infamous rank), Zeke, Sev, a Helghast trooper, Nathan Hale and a Chimeran trooper. A Helghast Capture Trooper can be bought as a villain for Drake's Deception.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Among Thieves introduces seedier characters and a more threatening villain, Lazarevic.
    • Drake's Deception is darker than either preceding game, with its character study of Nathan and Sully.
    • A Thief's End is a considerably more down-to-earth tale that explores more into Nate and his brother's Dark and Troubled Past along with how Nate's longing for his old adventurer days causes tension between him, Elena & Sully. Most noticeably there are no supernatural or paranormal elements surrounding the treasure of the week compared to the rest of the series.
  • Death by Irony / Karmic Death: Many of the (main) villains die this way. They are killed either by the treasure or by those they wronged to get to it.
  • Death Course
  • Disney Death: At least one per game.
    • Sullivan is shot early on by Roman in the first game, but is saved by Francis Drake's diary being in the way.
    • Elena takes a grenade at near point-blank range in Among Thieves, and appears to die after Nate and Chloe pull her out of Shambhala, but turns up fine in the final cutscene.
    • In Uncharted 3, Nathan hallucinates Sully's death.
    • This doesn't even mention all the times other characters think Drake has died.
  • Doing In the Wizard: A running theme in the series, to the point of being Once per Episode. If Drake ever encounters an accursed locale, a magical artifact, a monster or a supernatural phenomenon you can bet your hide that by the end of the story it will turn out to have a scientific explanation.
    • The curse of El Dorado (which is believed to have turned all who tried to steal a certain golden statue into monsters) is actually a certain fungus growing within the statue, which is actually a sarcophagus. When the sarcophagus is opened, everyone in the vicinity inevitably inhales the fungus along with the dust, which causes violent insanity to the point of appearing to become a cannibal zombie.
    • The Cintamani stone is actually the congealed sap of a certain ancient tree which has miraculous healing properties and is extremely volatile, but otherwise a natural chemical. The "yetis" guarding it are actually monks who have lived for centuries by consuming the sap, which eventually caused them to grow huge and grotesquely muscled, putting on bestial costumes to deter invaders to Shambala.
    • The ifrit which destroyed the lost city of Ubar was was an incredibly potent hallucinogen inserted into the water supply, which, the city being located in the middle of the desert, means everyone drank it. Since they were all warned that King Solomon was about to unleash an ifrit upon them, they had a mass hallucination of one while they themselves burned down the city and killed each other.
    • The minotaur is a failed subject of Daedalus' experiments with an herb that would turn people into obedient slaves, who instead regressed into a bestial state and grew incredibly powerful, to the point of having to be locked down inside the Labyrinth.
    • The "cursed" treasures in "The Golden Abyss" were cast from gold mined near an extremely large vein of uranium, making them highly radioactive.
    • Henry Avery's hidden treasure averts the trend, as simple human greed caused Libertalia's downfall. Everyone who had access to the treasure slowly went mad with paranoia, culminating in Avery and Tew betraying most of their allies and killing each other.
  • Downloadable Content: Present in the sequels. The DLC is a mixture of free content (such as The Fort map) and paid content (such as the Drake's Fortune skins and map). All of the DLC thus far is for multiplayer, and Uncharted 4 will receive a single player DLC campaign sometime in the future.
    • According to Naughty Dog, Everything in U4 multiplayer can be unlocked by grinding relics, with the cheapest random drop costing 150 relics. None of the drops is a duplicate. note  Yes, this means upcoming content updates and (possibly) DLC can be unlocked in-game. However, as this info makes the triple pack seem over-priced note , it's unknown what exactly can be unlocked without DLC. In Addition, at this moment, none of the pre-order stuff is on the In-game store either.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying will take you back to the last check point you passed. In some cases you can actually jump ahead a little to the next one if you die in the right place.
  • Difficulty Spike: The ship graveyard in Drake's Deception.
    • One of the later levels in Drake's Fortune has Nate fighting against the Descendants, creatures that are fast, can still get you while you're in cover, and can kill you with a couple of hits. It's almost like a Genre Shift into a Survival Horror game.
  • Durable Deathtrap: Played with - while the adventuring segments rarely actively try to kill the player, any slippery handhold or misjudged jump can spell a quick, flat death. The puzzles often involve navigating rooms with huge clockwork systems and complex hydraulics which are always visibly decayed but, as a rule, will never be quite so decayed that Drake can't get past them. There are countless occasions where the loss of one more tiny architectural detail would render the game unwinnable, and just as many occasions where that same brick or pole will fall off the wall as soon as Drake is done with it - meaning if anyone had tried before him, or if it had rained particularly hard the day before, Drake would have had to turn around and go home.
  • Easier Than Easy: Very Easynote  difficulty. Drake has +50% health and permanent aim assist, allowing him to survive normally-lethal circumstances such as grenades and rocket launchers while possessing rather high accuracy. However, there is no Trophy associated with completing this mode.
  • Easter Egg: In the first game, in the opening sequence, the wetsuits Drake and Elena were wearing were 'Ottsel' brand. An ottsel is what Daxter, from Naughty Dog's earlier Jak and Daxter series was transformed into.
    • Also the recurring Strange Artifact treasure is a Precursor Orb from the same game. Bonus points for it being egg-shaped.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Interviews revealed that Drake's "buffer" appearance in Uncharted 2 and then 3 was the intention for him in the original game, but apparently they released an imperfect model, which is why he's leaner in the first game. This is humorously Lampshaded by Flynn in the second game, who states that Drake should "lay off the doughnuts".
    • The logo of first game has the subtitle attached in yellow tape, rather than the simpler coloured line and plain text of the later games.
    • The other games have a lot of globetrotting before reaching the central location where the MacGuffin is located, but Drake's Fortune takes place entirely in the island near El Dorado. The controls are slightly different, in that L2 is not a dedicated button for dropping a grenade, and L3 does not zoom in for automatic weapons. The puzzles are fewer in number and far less complicated.
  • Effortless Achievement: Press "Down" on the D-pad in The Nathan Drake Collection. Congratulations! You have won a Trophy for exploring camera mode! Note that each of the games has a separate trophy for this.
  • Elite Mook: Max Armor Mooks. They can usually survive a grenade, take two close range shotgun shots to drop, and though pistols and automatics will drop them eventually, they will just keep walking toward your cover until they either reach you and kill you because fistfighting them is completely useless, or suffer from Critical Existence Failure. At least they can still be stealth killed.
    • The "Djinn" from Drake's Deception count as well.
  • Enemy Mine: Almost once a game:
    • Nate and Eddy team up late in Drake's Fortune to fight the zombies. Eddy doesn't last long.
    Eddy Raja: Nate, in case we don't make it out of here, I just want you to know — I hate your guts!
    • Equally so in Eye of Indra.
    Nate: Well, we managed the job without killing each other.
    • Drake and Harry Flynn in Chapter 24 of Among Thieves as Lazarevic forces you to help him open the path to Shambhala. After which they have to team up again to fight some Guardians.
      • The player can subvert this, even though your gun is taken away by attempting to use melee attacks. You get a warning, then attempting it again results in a gunshot to the face.
    • Nate ends up teaming up with Dante for part of Golden Abyss.
    • Even in The Fourth Labyrinth, Nate and Jada have to team up with Tyr Henriksen. When Henriksen and Jada get into an argument over their ideals, Nate breaks it up:
    Nate: Just hang on! Do not fight this fight right now. We have two choices, all of us. We go forward or we go back. (...)
    Jada: I'm not going back.
    Nate: Then let's get going. One fight at a time.
  • Eureka Moment: Every now and then, Nate will come across a clue on some ancient wall carving or in an old book or while staring at something completely unrelated, and then poke around excitedly for a while going "Of course!" and "Why didn't I see it before?" and "Then that must mean..." to himself, while the people around get steadily more exasperated trying to get him to explain what the hell he's talking about.
  • Evil Brit: The first three games feature an Evil Brit or two.
  • Exploding Barrels:
    • Drake's Fortune has barrels.
    • Among Thieves has propane tanks. And exploding tree sap.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Averted, even Chloe will wrap up in warm clothes in the colder climates. The only exception is Nate at the start of Among Thieves when he's only in his usual outfit of jeans and a long sleeved top while in the snow covered mountains. Justified in that he hadn't expected to end up there of all places.

  • First Girl Wins: see the Official Couple section.
  • Five-Man Band: Drake and his closest friends from this as the series goes on. Particularly evident in the Multiplayer Campaign in the third game, where all five take part at one point or another.
  • Foreboding Architecture
  • Foreshadowing:
    • You can hear Descendants in the very first temple of Drake's Fortune.
    • In Drake's Deception, Selim also foreshadows the Djinn, describing them as men of fire. Though of course, the Djinn are figments of Nate's imagination, created them from Selim's description.
    • One of the first things said in the first game is that Francis Drake didn't have kids. Drake says that history isn't always right. In the third game, turns out his real name isn't "Nathan Drake".
    • Another one of the first things said in Drake's Fortune is that Nate advises Elena not to wind up in a Panamanian prison from personal experience. That's because said experience is elaborated on in A Thief's End.
      • In A Thief's End, when Sam discusses Hector Alcazar and we flashback to his memory, Alcazar's face is heavily shadowed and dark and we never quite get a clear view of his face. This suggests that Sam made up his entire encounter with him.
      • When Nadine attacks Sam and Nate on the island, she angrily rants about all the men she's lost at their hands since the game began and how she's fed up with the time she's spent scouring the island. This hints at her eventual attempt at convincing Rafe to not search Avery's boat and also Ross walking away from a job she deems has got out of hand.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: If you have an NPC with you, they can't be harmed in any way. Perhaps to make up for this, they are typically horrible shots.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: During cutscenes, characters are killed or seriously hurt by single gunshots that they seem to shrug off regularly during gameplay.
    • Word of God says that Nate doesn't ACTUALLY get shot in any given (non-cutscene) fight, and that your health is an indication of your luck, rather than your actual health.
    • Lampshaded in Uncharted 4, where the achievement for killing 1000 enemies is "Ludonarrative Dissonance", which is in reference to Drake's Informed Flaw of simply being an Action Survivor.
  • Gatling Good: The GAU-19 available in Among Thieves and Golden Abyss is portable and powerful, if sadly impractical most of the time.
  • Girl of the Week: So far Nate's had a different girl for the first two games, plus again in Eye of Indra with Rika. All three games end with Nate hooking back up with Elena. Lampshaded when Elena and Chloe meet in Among Thieves:
    Elena: "Hi! Elena Fisher, last year's model."
    • Elena even guesses that Drake is a guy like this in the first game when she makes a crack about him having "a girl in every port" (though he does deny this).
    • There's also Marisa Chase from Golden Abyss, but unlike the other girls, Chase only gets as far as an Almost Kiss.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Skelzor, an unlockable costume in Uncharted 2's single player and multiplayer and Uncharted 3's multiplayer.
  • Groin Attack: A favorite technique of Nathan's; aside from just kicking his enemies in the balls, Drake will get creative and slide underneath his foes to punch them square in the nuts.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: During stealth sections, guards don't always notice Nate - even if any normal human would.
  • Hand in the Hole:
    • Not actually using a hole, but in Among Thieves Nate pulls the fake out version and freaks out Chloe and Sully when removing a box from the clutches of a skeleton.
    • Played straight in Drake's Deception where you have to reach in holes to look for a lever (Elena and Sully Lampshade what a bad idea this might be).
    • In A Thief's End, there are a few doors that can only be opened by a level shoulder-deep in a hole. One of them, is a death trap, with a skeleton still in place.
  • Hand Cannon: The revolver and Desert Eagle in the first two games, and the Pistole in the second.
    • The Pistole is, in fact, a double-barreled shotgun pistol. Which is modeled after a real weapon.
  • Hanging by the Fingers: How Nate scales ledges. His grip and stamina while hanging is impeccable, being able to hold on for as long as you please, and he doesn't even need to have his feet propped up against anything.
  • Happily Married: Nate and Elena seemingly got married in between Among Thieves and Drake's Deception, but separated at some point (due to Nate), which is brought up when Nate and Sully notice Elena is still wearing her wedding ring (which Elena claims she's only doing because it "helps" with her job in Yemen). At the end of the story, after some advice from Sully, Nate responds to Elena's sympathies over losing Francis Drake's ring that he "traded it for something better" and reveals his own wedding ring, at which point the two embrace, seemingly confirming them as husband and wife. A Thief's End shows us their wedding album.
  • Harder Than Hard: The aptly-named Crushing difficulty. Drake drops like a fly if he pokes his head out for more than a few seconds, and enemies eat standard bullets like a child eats candy.
    • The Nathan Drake Collection bumps Crushing down to a default difficulty and adds Brutal, where enemies deal even more damage than in Crushing. Stealth kills also don't give bonus ammo and all ammo drops give approximately 1/6th of the standard rate.
  • Heavy Voice: The unlockable Doughnut Drake skin for Uncharted 2 and 3, aside from increasing Drake's body weight by a lot, pitch-shifts his voice downward by about 15%.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Only villains in 2 and 3's multiplayer wear helmets. Especially noticeable in Uncharted 3's multiplayer, where a villain custom character can have ten different helmets... and the one for the heroes requires actual money.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the backstory to Drake's Fortune, Sir Francis Drake sacrificed himself and his remaining crew to ensure the El Dorado statue (and its zombie... thingy) would never leave the island. Considering Uncharted 3, he seemed to be a rather altruistic fellow in general, when he disobeyed the orders of the Queen to hide all traces of the location of the lost city of Ubar, where an evil Djinn-infested brass ball lay in the water.
  • How We Got Here: Among Thieves starts off with Nate wounded and in a train compartment dangling dangerously from a cliff. After climbing his way up and fighting the mooks that are still lingering, the game flashes back to what led Nate to get into the mess. And if that weren't enough, once you reach the point you came in at, you have to climb the train again! Somewhat unusually for this trope, it's a little different when he climbs it again, and he says stuff to himself this time, along with an extended gunfight at the end..
    • Eye of Indra abuses this with intermittent cuts to Nate being tortured by the villain.
    • The first issue of the comic book starts with a scene that isn't actually reached until the last.
    • The prologue of Golden Abyss is a shortened version of chapter 27.
    • The first scene of A Thief's End doesn't occur until halfpoint of the game.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: It's very much averted, as you can only carry one pistol, one two-handed weapon and four grenades. In an even subtler twist, the character models have pockets for every single thing they use in the game.
  • Improvised Zipline: Drake often does this. With his gun. Man's got an iron grip.
  • Indy Escape: Several times throughout the series, usually while running towards the screen, a staple in Naughty Dog games.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Although they're not in chests, the treasures in the games are often in very weird places, such as an antique watch hanging from the underside of a ledge in a museum.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Nate can climb just about anything... unless there are some vines or moss on it.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet
    • Also used by the bad guys in Among Thieves when Nate is running around like a ninja stealth-killing them all. They won't notice him murdering their compatriots, but they will notice when you make noise, and then realize how quiet it is...
      • Uncharted 3's enemies will notice bodies of the ones you stealth killed, and then they somehow know EXACTLY where you are, even if you're on the other side of the area from where the body is.
  • It's Up to You: The puzzles, platforming, and so forth are all Nate's job for the most part, even when his allies can keep up with him. Mercilessly lampshaded in the beginning of Among Thieves, where among other things Nate asks Flynn if he wants to take care of the next alarm instead, to which Flynn replies by simply looking at him with a Fascinating Eyebrow.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Rika Raja gets the titular Eye of Indra and sails away without repercussions.
    • Nadine, for all her mischievousness during the game, runs away from the island with plenty of treasure and ends up starring with Chloe Frazer in The Lost Legacy. The only way she's better than Rafe is that she knows when to stop. PragmaticVillainy certainly pays.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Everyone in Among Thieves is sick of climbing.
    Nate: I am so sick of this climbing shit.
    Elena: There better not be any more walls to climb.
    Chloe: And... still more climbing.
    Nate: (in response to Chloe) Yep, that's usually how it goes.
    Elena: I swear, if I have to climb another wall...
    • A common criticism of the series is the immersion-breakingly colossal number of people Drake can kill (at least 300 per game) without altering the narrative. Kill 1000 enemies in A Thief's End and you'll be awarded the trophy "Ludonarrative Dissonance".
    • A Thief's End also has a great deal in the banter. For example when Nate and Sam reach the colony, Nate asks how could pirates keep it secret. Which is a good question considering how many people arrived and for some time lived there, but we never get an answer.
  • Last Name Basis: Navarro's first name is Atoq, but only the credits tell you that. With the exception of Eddy Raja, this also applies to the rest of the villains across both games (although you at least get to hear their first names once in a cutscene).
  • Leitmotif: Sir Francis Drake's plays prominently throughout Drake's Fortune and Drake's Deception, due to his role in the backgrounds of both games: [1]
  • LethalJokeCharacter Doughnut Drake, while appearing twice or thrice as heavy, is still as physically capable as the original.
  • Let's Play: Chip Cheezum and General Ironicus have done amazing Let's Plays of both Uncharted and Uncharted 2.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Guardians in Among Thieves. They're big, strong, fast, and jump impossibly far. Oh, and they take a small army to kill. Good thing our hero happens to be a One-Man Army.
    • Also the Minotaurs in The Fourth Labyrinth.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The mountain in Borneo in Among Thieves. It's likely that the mountain in question is Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain on the island. The name is thought by some to have come from a shortened version of the phrase "Aki Nabalu," which means "revered place of the dead." Considering what they end up finding there, it's pretty appropriate.
    • A Thief's End itself, given that it refers to the fact that this title is the Grand Finale to the Uncharted series (well, the last in the series timeline at any rate) and that it refers to Nate's treasure hunting career coming to an end. Likewise, Saint Dismas the penitent thief is a symbol throughout the game, and when Sam and Nate reach the treasury room of Libertalia they find the pirate founders portrait defaced with the word "Thief".
    • Cassie Drake is named after her grandmother, Cassandra Morgan.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: There are no female mooks in any of the games. The main female villain in Uncharted 3 dies from the ground collapsing rather than being fought by Drake like in the first two games - Drake fights her male sidekick instead. Uncharted 4's female PMC owner does not employ any women for some reason, and the main characters are reluctant to kill her at first - feelings that are not shown to the male enemies in the game.
  • Motion Capture: Taken a step further, with the actors doing the motion capture themselves and recording dialogue at the same time (except for Tenzin in Uncharted 2, who is motion captured by Robin Atkin Downes but voiced by Phema Dhondup). This gives their interactions a much greater chemistry, as they aren't just sitting in a chair recording their lines. It also speaks to the talent of the actors, who had only the most basic props to work with amidst an ocean of green screen.
  • Mun Danger:
    • Golden Abyss is the first game to have a non-paranormal twist: The underground city of gold is "cursed"...with radiation. Nearby uranium deposits have made the gold dangerously radioactive. Of course, the bad guys plan on selling the hot gold anyway, damn the consequences.
    • A Thief's End is the only main game in the series with no zombie viruses, yetis or hallucinogenic brass vessels. Just the biggest pirate loot in history and human nature at its worst.

  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Demon Zombie Spaniards and Nazis from the first game.
    • Crossbow yeti psycho immortals from the second game.
  • No-Gear Level: Several levels see Nate start weaponless, though it's not usually long before he finds a gun, or stealth kills a mook to get one.
  • Noodle Incident: Casual conversations reveal that the characters have many in-jokes.
    Sully: How much you wanna bet that if we follow this hose, it'll lead us right to the camp?
    Nate: You always follow the hose. Just like back in Montreal, huh?
    Sully: You're never gonna let that one go, are you?
    • The incidents tend to have a bit of foreshadowing as well, such as the following example:
      Sully: You aren't going to get us lost again are you? This place reminds me of Peru.
      Nate: Oh, you really want to bring up Peru?!
      Sully: You're not still holding that over me, are you?
      Nate: I was fifteen, Sully! You should have known after I met you that I'd end up in prison within the year.
      Sully: Yeah, but I got you out, didn't I? I always get you out.
    • Golden Abyss gives us Nate's dislike of taking the scenic route because the "last time we took the 'scenic route' I wound up in a ditch behind the Taj Mahal. Naked."
  • Notice This:
    • Spend long enough in an area without progressing, and the game will invite you to press a key for a hint. The camera will then look at where you should be going.
    • When Drake is climbing, the camera will sometimes swing round to show the next stage of the route.
    • Collectable treasures sparkle, as do guns and ammo that Drake can pick up.
  • Official Couple: Nate and Elena at the end of Among Thieves. And reaffirmed at the end of Drake's Deception, in which they seem to upgrade that status to Happily Married.
  • Oh, Crap!: Nate says this often. He does have variations on the line. They tend to be "Oh, shit", "Crap", and "No, no nononono!"
    • The end of the 2015 A Thief's End demo ends with Nate, Sam, and Sully celebrating where to go next after a harrowing encounter against the people chasing them. Only to head into their hotel room and find Elena, who Nate had been keeping in the dark, checking their stuff.
    • Lazarevic's face when he sees Drake is leaving him to the mercy of the Guardians of Shambhala is definitely this'
    Lazarevic: You don't have the will!
    Drake: Maybe not... [points out the advancing Guardians] but they do.
  • Posthumous Character: At least one per main series game:
    • Sir Francis Drake in Drake's Fortune
    • Marco Polo in Among Thieves
    • T.E. Lawrence, John Dee, and Sir Francis Drake again in ''Drake's Deception
    • Henry Avery (with a journey to his home in Scotland and a discussion of his life and legacy making the game a Sidelong Glance Biopic of him) and Jonathan Burns (who's left behind letters and clues about his doomed voyage attempting to find the same treasure in the early 1800s) in A Thief's End
  • Pre-Order Bonus: Depending on where you preordered the game (if at all), you got different bonuses, ranging from golden guns in multiplayer to extra experience and attributes in multiplayer.
  • Press X to Not Die: At a few points in all of the games.
  • Product Placement:
    • The car ads during the Eye of Indra motion comics.
    • Lampshaded with:
      Drake: You take one of those niiiice-looking je-
      Elena: 4x4s.
      Drake: 4x4s.
    • There is significant attention drawn to Elena and Sully's Sony Xperia smartphones in A Thief's End. It kind of backfires, however, since the phones frequently lose signal and, as it turns out, are easy to hack.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Everyone's heard of El Dorado, but the Cintimani Stone? Iram of the Pillars? Both come from legend, but are relatively unheard of. The Fourth Labyrinth combines multiple legends like the Minotaur and Labyrinth of Crete, Atlantis, and Chinese mythology.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Happens at least a half dozen times throughout the first two games. Roman even says it word for word at one point in the first game. Nate finally gets his chance to pull one of these near the end of the second game, but Lazarevic subverts it by shooting the hostage himself.
    • Also happens to Nate and Jada in The Fourth Labyrinth. The head honcho pulling this completes it with a snicker, which makes Nate snap and shove him into an abyss before surrendering.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: One shot kills, no matter where you hit someone. Although some of the better-armored enemies in Among Thieves can withstand multiple hits.
    • On Crushing, they're two shot kills, unless you hit the head or torso, even on light armor mooks.
  • Real Is Brown: The first two games include a "next-gen filter" cheat that parodies this. Played somewhat straight in the third game from when Drake enters the Rub' al Khali onwards, but justified since it's a desert.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • In Among Thieves, shortly after fighting his way through an entire train of bad guys and shooting down a Hind attack helicopter with unguided rockets, Nate rescues Chloe, who rather unappreciatively tells him that the rescue was a stupid idea. Nate starts to argue about how they really need to get it together and figure out which side they're on...and he's shot from off-camera while he's distracted.
    • Captain Avery's utopia of Libertalia in A Thief's End goes exactly as well as you'd expect from a society run by ruthless, cunning, and greedy pirates. The concept was a great way to lure wealthy pirates into joining, which made them easier targets to track down. Libertalia's founders hoarded all the wealth for themselves and forced the rest of the population into poverty and enslavement. Eventually, the founders turned on each other in a brutal Gambit Pileup that resulted in everyone getting slaughtered, and their massive treasure was lost to history.
  • Regenerating Health: Nate's health will recover if you get him to a place where he can't be hit for a few moments. How fast you recover depends on what difficulty you're playing on.
  • Remember the New Guy: Happens in the second and third games as we learn more about Nate's contacts with various people. His history with Chloe, Harry, and Charlie aren't elaborated on, but they do appear to have at least some backstory together, given the way they talk. His meeting with Chloe and an earlier job with Harry are shown in the comic books. And then there's Sam, Nate's older brother in the fourth game, although it's somewhat justified by Nate presuming him dead.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Occurs in all three PS3 games and the Vita game. The first has Nate battle through hoardes of zombies and soldiers to rescue an injured Elena; the second has Nate board a train and fight dozens of soldiers and a helicopter (again, TWICE) to rescue Chloe; the third has Nate rampage through an airfield and finally stow away on a plane to rescue Sully. Golden Abyss has Nate rampage through tons of soldiers and mercenaries to rescue Chase.
  • Rope Bridge: Nate and Elena's history with this prompts Nate to declare that he's never crossing a bridge with Elena again. She agrees. Which is even funnier because about 30 seconds earlier there were swarms of heavily armored Mooks tramping over the bridge.
    • In Golden Abyss, Nate yet again has to survive a collapsing rope bridge. Chase asks him how he managed to not slip off and die. "Years of practice."
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Played straight in the first level of Drake's Fortune but amazingly averted in the rest of the game.
    • Played straight in the sequel with the ice temple, and later averted in Shambhala.
  • Rule of Three: Nate, Sullivan and Elena, and their enemies Roman, Navarro and Eddy.
    • Nate, Chloe and Flynn. At first... Then we get Nate, Chloe and Sully, and Nate, Chloe and Elena near the end.
    • The Fourth Labyrinth gives us Nate, Sully, and Jada. Later, when Sully is kidnapped, it ends up as Nate, Jada, and Henriksen.
  • Running Gag: Nate checking out the ass of the person he just boosted up in Among Thieves and Golden Abyss. Brought to its conclusion when Chloe leaves, declaring that he's going to miss her ass. He won't be the only one. Sully is also not an exception. Golden Abyss features an earlier attempt at this with Nate complimenting the fit of Chase's jeans, and Dante telling Nate not to "stare at my ass".
    • Even better, at one point while hanging off the side of a cliff while Elena goes ahead of him, he looks out at the mountains:
      Nate: Oh. Nice view.
      Elena: Men.
      Nate: No, I was... talking about the mountains. Really.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates:
    • The Panamanian pirates from the opening scene of Drake's Fortune, and Eddy's goons later on.
    • Uncharted 3 has a group of these who reside in a ship graveyard in the Indian Ocean.
  • Scenery Gorn: As much as the game loves to show off its pretty scenery (see below), they seem to get equally as much joy out of ripping everything to shreds all around you as organically and beautifully as possible. 4 in particular has some ridiculous scenes of destruction that show everything falling to pieces all around Nate.
  • Scenery Porn: Oh yeah. If there's one area that the series has drawn consistent praise for, it's that the graphics in each game look really dang pretty, with the games frequently being considered to be the best-looking ones on their console.
  • See You in Hell: Inverted, as it's meant playfully when Sully says it to Drake. Played straight in the third game when said by Rameses.
  • Shirtless Scene: Nate has one panel in the comic books, a shirtless scene in Eye of Indra, and a shirtless skin in A Thief's End's multiplayer.
  • Shoot the Fuel Tank: Even has a little shout-out to Apocalypse Now during the third game when he does so.
    • It's also possible to shoot the fuel tanks on the generators in Borneo.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Both played straight and subverted. Sully smokes a cigar, and is appropriately badass (and a dirty old man), and his matches/lighter come in handy in both games. Nathan complains about the cigar a lot, though. Even after being in a Turkish prison for three months! Nate's long lost brother Sam smokes too, much to his brother's annoyance. Both Sam and Sully have been clear for a year by the time of the epilogue, thanks to a bet Nate made off-screen.
  • Spin-Off: There's a PSP pinball game based on Drake's Fortune.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Averted. Female characters in the series are always restrained by big burly soldiers with guns. In the first game, Elena actually manages to escape long enough to grab a microphone and shout a warning to Nate, after which Roman chides Navarro about not being able to "handle a small girl." Navarro assures him it won't happen again, and pulls out his gun.
    • In the Eye of Indra motion comic, Rika is held captive by a soldier who simply holds her arms behind her back one-handed. It's just an Indy Ploy to get Rika into the room so she can grab Eddy's gun from under the table.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Averted. Nate's actually one of the few heroes who not only can swim, but also seem to enjoy this liberty as much as the player does.
  • Suspicious Video Game Generosity: Mostly averted, as you get most of your weapons from dead enemies, but played straight at several points in both games and double subverted in the Nazi base in Drake's Fortune. The first time you enter the cafeteria, it's just a large room full of MP40 ammo and no enemies. Then, when you return to the room after turning on the generator, you get attacked by a horde of Descendants and find out why the ammo was there.
    • Sort of present once in the sequel, right before the first fight with the Yeti you find a Luger pistol on a long-dead corpse that's ostensibly for shooting out the icicles in the room you're trapped in, but anyone who's played the first game knows that whenever the game throws WWII-era peashooters at you, you're about to deal with something not nice. Note that it's not too generous either, if you've already cleared the game and have unlocked the ability to buy weapons to use at any time, they're locked out of this chapter to force you to use the crappy Nazi Luger for the boss fight.
      • Thankfully, the game is very generous, as you have unlimited ammo for the Luger. And, unlike other Hopeless Boss Fight scenarios, if you don't do enough damage to the enemy, you will get killed, so you need that unlimited ammo.
  • Sticks to the Back: In the first three Uncharted games, none of Nate's rifles or shotguns have slings on them. But thankfully it doesn't matter because they just stick to his back until he needs to use them. "A Thief's End" puts an end to this trend, as the long guns in that game do have slings on them

  • Take Cover!: A key aspect of the third-person shooting gameplay. The developers said they took inspiration for this from kill.switch on the PlayStation 2.
  • Take My Hand: Used many, many times in Among Thieves, pretty funnily when Flynn wants to do it for you.
    • Sully says it to Drake when he is near a quicksand area near the end of the third game, most of it when Drake is trying to decide whether to save Marlowe from quicksand.
    Talbot: You can't just let her die!
    Sully: The hell he can't! Nate, give me your goddamn hand!
    • More generally this is often used to indicate bonds of friendship and trust between Nate and AI Companions. Nate and Elena, Nate and Sully, Nate and Chloe, Nate and Tenzin. It's also inverted with Nate sometimes taking their hands. The moments when Nate tries to do this for bad guys, Eddy Raja or Katherine Marlowe, he fails.
  • Temple of Doom: Several.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: During firefights, friendly NPCs will occasionally comment on how you're doing; in Drake's Deception, Salim — himself a skilled marksman — will excitedly congratulate the player if they pull off a tricky headshot kill during the shootout with Marlowe's caravan.
  • Theme Music Withholding: In Uncharted 3, the game's action theme "Atlantis of the Sands" briefly plays at several key scenes of the game (such as the plane chase, the Talbot chase, the settlement escape, etc), only to blast in all its glory in the game's final level. To a lesser extent, the main Uncharted motif from the first game appears very sparingly in the second and third games.
  • Theme Naming: Probably unintentional, but 1&3 have the word "Drake" and 2&4 have the word thief on the title.
  • The Unreveal: In Uncharted 3, the brass urn kinda probably carrying the Djinn is never opened (Drake sends it plummeting back into the depths of Iram's well before the villains can retrieve and open it). Thus we're left wondering whether or not the source of the water's taint was really supernatural.
    • This is also true of the first and second game's treasures. In the first game, it's obvious that El Dorado contains some kind of mutagen/flies/whatever, but given the fact that it operates in no way like any other biological organism, it's true existence remains a mystery. In the second game, the sap of the Tree of Life does seemingly heal Lazarevic and make the Guardians super-durable, but whether it's magic, mundane made magic, or something else entirely is unknown.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: "Anti-aircraft fire?! This is so not cool!"
    • "This was a bad idea!"
    • "No no no- Let's talk about this!"
    • In one instance, Nate is being held captive by pirates, who want him to tell them where the treasure is. Nate honestly doesn't know.
    Nate: Look, you can torture me all you want-
    Rameses: (happily) Okay!
    Nate: Uh, wait. No...I mean...
    • Sam even quotes the trope word for word in the fourth game, when he and Nate have to jump into icy waters a la grappling hook over jagged rocks while fleeing from shoreline mercs.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Involved in the first two games' backstories. Justified because Hitler's obsession with the occult means him sending teams to look for possibly mythical artifacts isn't too surprising.
    • Averted in the third game. They have nothing to do with the plot.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Nate can only carry one pistol and one long gun at once. Whenever he picks up a new gun, he simply tosses the old one on the ground.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The Wes 44. Revolver. It's one of the best handguns, but whenever you find it, it usually only has six shots. If you find another, it's only half loaded (you only get three more bullets). But it kills any normal, non-heavy armor mook in one shot except on Crushing, where it will kill such enemies in two.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Penny Arcade, Yahtzee, and Nate himself have all commented on how the mooks are boneheaded enough to get into gunfights with Nate in incredibly stupid situations. Mansion burning to the ground around them? They all try to kill one guy instead!
    • Nate points out how dumb they're being. Regularly.
    Nate: Guys! The ship is sinking! Can we maybe do this later?!
  • Treasure Map: But of course. Each game has one, detailing the steps needed to get to whatever hidden-away locale or treasure is there.
  • Unorthodox Reload: Drake can slide new magazines into his handguns even when one of his hands is occupied with holding onto a ledge.
  • Walk It Off, though Word of God about his "life" being his "luck" implies that Nate is simply letting his natural luck restore itself.
  • Wealthy Ever After: Nathan smartly decides to send the golden statue to the bottom of the ocean at the end of Drake's Fortune, but Sully managed to fill the boat up with assorted gold and jewels from the island as a consolation prize. Among Thieves averts this when the fabled impossibly massive sapphire ends up being a big piece of petrified resin, and Sully mentions at the end that the entire hunt ended up not netting anything of value. Compounded when Sully indicates he had to spend almost all of the riches from Drake's Fortune on bailing Nate out of jail. In Drake's Deception, a handful of trinkets are salvaged from Iram before its destruction. And in A Thief's End, the valuables salvaged from Henry Avery's treasure are used to finance Nate and Elena's transition into legal archaeology, wherein they stay until the end.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The games are noted for their particularly high body count due to frequent gun battles, with Nathan killing hundreds of mooks over the course of the series. But then a boss or mini-boss shows up and the player might find weapons disabled and only hand-to-hand combat available which doesn't always end in the bad guy being killed.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Both Drake and Lazarevic say this during their final battle.
    • Also Talbot in Drake's Deception. The man gets chased extensively, brutally beaten by Nate, and shot in a cutscene, yet he looks no worse for wear.
  • World of Snark: Gets very close, at least. Pretty much every character you interact with will have an opportunity to drop a sarcastic quip. And then there's Nate himself...
    • World of Ham: Everyone in Multiplayer is clearly having the time of their lives — not just reliably over-the-top characters like Lazarevic, Eddy, and Rameses, but even Cold Hams like Gabriel Roman, Rafe, and Marlowe get in on the fun.
  • You Call That a Wound?: Whenever you enter a firefight alongside one of your allies, they won't die unless you get too far away from them. They can even survive getting hit by a grenade at point blank range, something that nearly kills Elena in a later cutscene. Averted on Crushing difficulty: your allies aren't invincible, just very durable. They can and in fact will die if you don't get involved in the firefights, even if you're right next to them (grenades, however, will never kill them).

Specific installment tropes:

    Drake's Fortune
  • Action Commands: Far more than in the rest of the series. The team at Naughty Dog have said that one of their goals with the second game was to move past this trope and give players more control over situations that are normally relegated to cutscenes. This makes the already amazing experience that much better.
  • Action Prologue: The game opens with pirates attacking Nate and Elena on their boat.
  • Already Undone for You: Drake's Fortune is infamous for this. Drake has the journal of Sir Francis Drake, the "only way" to solve puzzles to open doors in the ruins. The minute you go into said doors, there are heavily armed mooks already in the room waiting in ambush.
  • Artistic License – History: Combined with a little bit of Gratuitous Spanish. Nate realizes that El Dorado refers to the statue, not a city, when pointing out that "El Dorado" means "the golden man". It means "the gilded one", and the real El Dorado was a tribal chief who covered himself in gold dust.
  • Backstab Backfire: Navarro betrays his employer near the end of the game, only to become the target of Nathan's wrath.
  • Badass in Distress: Elena breaks Nate out of prison after he's captured by pirates. In his defense, he was captured while in the process of protecting Elena.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: In Chapter 17, Nate enters a large room containing lots of weapons and ammo, before Eddy appears. Then Nate and Eddy are both ambushed by Descendants.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Twice near the end of the game, to show how grizzly the Descendants' kills are without actually showing you.
  • Body Horror: When the virus kept inside the statue of El Dorado makes contact with someone, it instantly turns them into a bloodied mouthed, pale eyed zombie.
  • Book Ends: The game starts and ends on a boat.
  • Bottomless Magazines: As is the case in many video games, all machine gun turrets have infinite ammo. Also, Elena has infinite ammo and never needs to reload when she uses a weapon while riding behind Nate in the Jet-Ski sections of the game.
  • Difficulty Spike: Chapters 17 and 18 get a lot harder along with the Genre Shift into survival horror.
  • Exploding Barrels: All throughout the game, but especially in the speedboat sections.
  • Genre Shift: In Chapter 17, the game becomes partially survival-horror, thanks to the poorly-lit Nazi base full of ravenous, psychotic descendants of the Spaniards and Nazis that stumbled upon El Dorado, with a creepy soundtrack and a Difficulty Spike to boot. This lasts until Chapter 19.
    • Lampshaded in Among Thieves:
    Drake: Great. The power's out and a girl's trapped. I swear to god, if there's a zombie around the next corner...
  • Gratuitous Indonesian - here and here
    • Worth nothing that the translation is not quite perfect, no real Indonesian talks like that.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Navarro's plan is to take the gold statue and use its mutating effect as a weapon to be sold to the highest bidder, but he is killed by the statue when it is pushed off the ship and a rope attached to it gets tangled around his leg, dragging him to the bottom of the ocean with it.
  • Hollywood Density: Nate guesses that the statue is on the island when he sees an object in a log weighing the equivalent of about five hundred pounds. That's about half a cubic foot of gold, while the statue is around ten feet high, three feet thick, and three feet wide, sticking its weight at about 54 tons or 35 tons, accounting for the coffin-sized space inside.
  • Island of Mystery
  • It Has Been an Honor: Spoofed when Drake and Eddy are surrounded by the Descendants:
    Eddy: Drake... If we don't make it out of here, I just want you to know... I hate your guts!
    Nathan: Yeah, likewise, pal!
  • Misplaced Wildlife: On the remote island that Nate visits after the U-boat, the Red-whiskered bulbul, a bird native to southern Asia and introduced to several other locations- none of which include South America- is heard whistling in the background.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Walking through the Nazi base just KNOWING that there might be zombies around the corner is way scarier than actually fighting them.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Descendants, poisoned by The Virus contained inside El Dorado.
  • Pocket Protector: How Sully survives his Disney Death, thanks to Francis' diary. Nate lampshades it by holding up the diary, staring at the bullet hole and remarking that he thought it only happened in the movies.
  • Rustproof Blood: Averted in the U-Boat sequence in Chapter 3. Notable, as this trope is near-universal in video games.
  • Survival Horror: Chapters 17-19, thanks to the Genre Shift and the appearance of the Descendants.
  • Take That!: The unlockable bonus content allows you to see making of videos, one that tells the story of Naughty Dog wanting to create a good looking PS3 game, one that didn't have a gross, dark, gritty filter that bogs down the art, other featurettes, reskins, and a setting that turns the screen "black and white", "sepia", and "Next Gen". Adding the "Next Gen" effect, produces a gross, dark, gritty filter that bogs down the art.
  • The Virus: El Dorado, the MacGuffin of the game, is a giant golden statue which turns out to be a golden sarcophagus containing a dessicated mummy — which carries an anthrax-like plague which turns all it infects into zombies. The Spanish colony on the island was overrun by the zombie plague, and Sir Francis Drake made a Heroic Sacrifice to flood the city and destroy the boats hoping to prevent the plague from spreading. The Nazis later discovered the island, the sarcophagus, and thus the Virus, which converts them as well. Roman is also infected when he opens the sarcophagus.
  • You Get What You Pay For: In Chapter 14, after having a discussion with Eddy Raja, Gabriel Roman has this to say:
    Roman: Remind me again why we hired this superstitious idiot?
    Navarro: You wanted someone cheap.
    Roman: Ah, yes. Well, you get what you pay for, I suppose.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Navarro shoots Roman after they locate El Dorado.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: What took out the Spanish colony and Nazi base on the island, and what Nathan is trying to prevent at the end.

    Among Thieves
  • The Abridged Series: "Uncharted 2 Among Thieves: The Abridged Series", can be found here. Created by Somefortunatesoul.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The sewers Drake and Flynn use to enter the museum.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The "Where Am I?" chapter, with no enemies and nothing to do but walk around, interact with the villagers, and Pet the Yak.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: When Lazarevic's army assaults the Tibetan village, they bring a tank with them. At the start of the battle, Nathan has no anti-tank weaponry, forcing the player to flee from the tank for a while until he gets to a spot where Nate encounters enemy soldiers armed with Rocket-Propelled-Grenades. At that point, the player can kill the enemy soldiers and use their weapons to destroy the tank.
  • All for Nothing:
    • There is a section of the game where you have to escort a badly injured Jeff to safety inside a building. When you finally make it, he ends up getting killed by Lazarevic, who actually points out your prior effort was wasted right before shooting him.
    • At the end of the game, Nate succeeds in preventing Lazarevic from getting the powers of the sap, but returns home essentially empty handed, with virtually nothing tangible to show for his efforts.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • Nate and Elena are awfully skeptical of the idea that the Cintamani stone is supernatural / Forgotten Phlebotinum after the stuff they came across in Drake's Fortune.
    • Then Chloe gets this when they're in Shambala, despite the stuff she came across in the Hollow Earth. Nate and Elena point out how arbitrary that is.
  • Artistic License – Physics: During the train chase.
    • A train car gets blown off the track and starts rolling sideways down the track. In spite of crashing through several large boulders near the track, it somehow picks up speed.
    • The train can climb slopes far steeper than is possible in real life.
  • Automatic Crossbows: The crossbows have an insanely fast firing rate for low tech crossbows.
    • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemies using crossbows can burst-fire them incredibly quickly, while you are forced to reload them after every shot, even if it's the same crossbow that an enemy was just burst-firing at you.
  • Beat: During the opening to Chapter 3, there's this exchange between Nate and Sully.
    Sully: Ugh, I'm sweating like a hooker in church.
    Nate: You brought a hooker to church?
    Sully: Why not?
  • Bedouin Rescue Service: Tibetan villagers rescue Nate from the mountain trainwreck
  • Betty and Veronica: "Good girl" Elena Fisher vs. "bad girl" Chloe Frazer.
  • Big Damn Villains: After Lazarevic is defeated, he demands Nate kill him. Nate abstains, because the Guardians are more than happy to kill Lazarevic themselves.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Among Thieves has its own take on the Yeti legend, in that they're actually just residents of Shambhala dressed up in giant fur suits to act as scarecrows.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Completely averted with Drake and Tenzin. Tenzin doesn't speak English, and while Nate might be a Cunning Linguist, he doesn't speak Tibetan until the very end of the game where he learns enough to hold a basic conversation. The two men communicate mostly through universally recognized body language and desperate attempts to get the other to understand something in each others' language.
  • Bizarrchitecture: One of the junction boxes for an alarm in the museum is placed so that Nate is the only person who can access it - right in the middle of a wall, with no walkways close enough for a guard to reach it.
  • Bookends: Several elements from the beginning of the game are echoed near the end, such as Drake climbing up something as it falls off a snowy cliff (a train and then a bridge) and a segment where Drake and Flynn partner up.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Lazarevic captures Nate and his companions numerous times, but somehow squanders the opportunity to kill them in each instance. The most notable one is the first time, when he captures Nate's crew in a building. Instead of killing all of them immediately, he only kills Jeff, an untrained severely injured civilian, before leaving the room with everyone else (all highly trained uninjured warriors) alive and just assuming his troops will be able to handle them (the same troops who have been getting slaughtered by them en mass up until now).
  • Bottomless Magazines: During both encounters with the Guardians and in the final interactive scene, when a Guardian attempts to drag Chloe down with him, Drake has some sort of gun that automatically restocks itself after reloading. The latter event doesn't even give your 92FS an ammo counter.
  • Captain Obvious: Used by name when Flynn observes that they're getting closer to the tower in the museum.
  • Chekhov's Armory: Lazarvic's train loaded is loaded with trucks. And a tank.
  • Complete-the-Quote Title: This installment is largely about honor.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Nate's notebook includes a page with the Scare-O-Meter once you encounter the Guardians (placing the 'demon Sasquatch' on top, with 'slippery naked guy' (a Descendant from Drake's Fortune) one rung below), and a sketch of a decorative statue head with an incredibly unhappy expression. The head is labeled "Angry Eddy," with the quote "I KILL YOU DRAKE!" next to it and "RIP" below it.
    • Chloe also picks up Francis Drake's journal when she meets Nate in his hotel room at the beginning of the game. You can even see the bullet hole in it.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Rather prevalent in the opening mission, where the higher powers make EVERYTHING on the wrecked train try to impede/kill Nate.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Drake is somehow unable to shoot Lazarevic before he drinks from the Applied Phlebotinum, despite being able to shoot dozens of bad guys at similar range.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Flynn delivers Game Breaking Injuries to both Nate and Elena with a suicide grenade, which would not kill them in gameplay. Subverted when Lazarevic takes down a Guardian with one shot; he's actually wielding the SAS-12, which is one of only two weapons that can one-hit-kill Guardians.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The "Look" button from the first game (L2) now became the "throw grenade" button.
  • Descending Ceiling: You can deactivate it by shooting the teeth off the gears on the wall, causing it to go in reverse.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything
    • At one point you can stealthily pull a guard down into the water below. This is cited by many of the game's detractors as a seemingly sociopathic part on Drake, as it's a very long fall that would be very possibly lethal in real life. Look down, and you'll see him swimming.
    • During the Light and Mirrors Puzzle you can shine the light right at Chloe, causing her to cover her eyes, and complain. You can also do this with the flashlight in Drake's Deception, but Sully, Chloe and Cutter will only cover their eyes and not comment on it.
  • Escort Mission: There is a section of the game where you have to escort a badly injured Jeff to safety inside a building, during which you are severely slowed down and limited to using a pistol because you are helping him walk. Later in the game you have to escort Chloe as she helps Elena walk after Elena is injured by a grenade.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The last levels are filled with Lazarevic's troops fighting the Guardians.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The title is shortened version of "no honor among thieves". Unsurprisingly, much of the game revolves around who you can and can't trust.
  • Fake Difficulty: At times your weaponry resets to the basic AK-47 and 92FS for no good reason, even though Drake basically just walked down a hill. This was fixed to a degree in the HD Remaster.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: Draza.
  • The Four Gods: The Tibetan gods. But there's still a puzzle that utilizes a set of four animal gods associated with colors, elements, cardinal directions, and symbols.
  • Game Lobby: The game does this, and tries to locate the maximum number of players on its own before starting a match, either competitive (10 players) or cooperative (3 players). If it can't find the appropriate number of players in time, it'll start the match without a few.
  • Giant Mook:
    • You end up fighting Lazarevic's soldiers armed with miniguns who are tough enough to take multiple grenade launcher shots to the face. Similar enemies appear in Drake's Deception.
    • There's also the Guardians, or as Nate calls them "mutants". Notably, you can't kill the first three that you meet. Not directly, anyway: the third one is killed indirectly.
  • Going for the Big Scoop: Elena and her cameraman Jeff pursue Lazarevic into a war zone by themselves. Granted Elena was armed and fairly skilled with a gun, but bringing some cops or security guards with them probably would have been a good idea.
  • Hair-Trigger Explosive: Shambhala has walls covered in the sappy resin that Drake has been encountering for much of the game. They will detonate with a single gunshot, and have the power of at least a grenade.
  • Hermit Guru: Schäfer.
  • High-Dive Escape: Nate and Sully do this while they are running from Flynn and his men.
    Sully: "See you in hell, kid. Woo hooooo!"
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Drake's first three encounters with the Guardians in Among Thieves. After that, it's possible and necessary to kill them.
  • Hope Spot: After Jeff is wounded in a gunfight, you control Nate carrying Jeff through a fire fight and finally get into a hiding spot to take care of him. Then Lazarevic and Flynn catch up, and Lazarevic shoots him dead. ("You carried him all the way from the temple? Shame.")
  • Ice World: Among Thieves has some of the most beautiful levels ever seen, and the snow cave is no exception.
  • Immune to Bullets: Guardians when you first meet them. They get downgraded to almost invulnerable when you finally make it to Shangri-La. Fridge Brilliance means this makes sense, since they survive on the warped healing power of the Tree of Life's sap, and the first few times you fight them, it's with starkly inferior weaponry (pistols). Lazarevic also gets this just in time for the Boss Battle, as he's also drunk from the sap by that time.
  • Indy Ploy:
    Elena: "So how do you plan on getting her off that speeding train?"
    Drake: "I haven't thought that far ahead."
    • Later...
    Elena: "Why didn't you just let me drive in the first place?"
    Drake: "I didn't think that far ahead."
    • And then...
    Elena: "So, where do we go from here, huh?"
    Drake: "I don't know... I haven't thought that far ahead."
  • In Medias Res: Doubles as a variation of How We Got Here.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Elena's cameraman, manages to make in through the onslaught after he has been shot in the stomach. It looks like he's going to live... until Lazarevic comes in and kills him instantly by shooting him in the head.
  • Invisible Writing: Drake encounters writing that can only be read by the light of a special burning resin at several points. The resin is the congealed sap of a tree that grants great physical prowess and immortality, the true form of the Stone.
  • Ironic Echo: When Nate is forced to work with Flynn in Chapter 24 of Among Thieves, Flynn repeats a lot of dialogue from when they actually worked together back in Chapter 2. Lines like "You should have more faith in me, chum" and "Just like the good old days" take on an entirely different meaning.
  • Large Ham: Lazarevic loves Milking the Giant Cow and screaming a lot when he's enraged.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Zigzagged with Elena's "last years model" line. Yes, she's the previous Girl of the Week and it's a wink and nod to being a video game character but at the same time the previous game was two years before and the art book specifically mentions how they redid her model for the sequel.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: It's super easy and features a lot of platforming, so as not to slow down the gameplay. You don't even have to touch half of the mirrors. Chloe takes care of them.
  • Literary Allusion Title: Chapter 18, "Heart of Ice," involves finding an expedition that ended badly. This is a Shout-Out to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
    • Drake mentions Shangri-La a couple of times, a Shambhala-esque lost world originated in Lost Horizon.
    • "Tunnel Vision" (the level of the train that starts in the tunnel) doesn't sound like a big deal. But at PAX East 2010, Naughty Dog revealed that it was the alternate title. The original? "Drake's On A Train".
  • Locomotive Level: One of the most distinctive and fun in modern gaming.
  • Lost World: Shambhala.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Toucans in Borneo.
  • No One Could Survive That!: One of the guards says this after he shoots Nate's and Elena's truck with an RPG and it falls off the cliff. Of course, though, they got out just in time.
  • Not So Different: "You think I am a monster. But you're no different from me, Drake. How many men have you killed? How many... just today?".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Any time the game hints at the Yeti being around
  • Old Save Bonus: If you have game data from Drake's Fortune installed on your PS3, you can get $20,000 to spend in the store and $80,000 more if you've beat the game at least once.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Partially averted. Nate gets shot in the gut by Flynn in chapter 14. It's however shown to be painful and debilitating and the wound DOES actually slow him (and thus the player) down in certain ways. Though it doesn't affect the gunplay, platforming and movement are affected.
  • Please Wake Up: The ending.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Lazarevic is absolutely lousy at treasure hunting. He tears apart the site of Marco Polo's shipwreck in order to find the next clue, but Nate finds it in less than an hour. Lazarevic tears apart a city in order to find the next clue, but Nate finds it in less than an hour. Lazarevic tears apart a monastery in order to find the secret passage to Shambala, but Nate finds it in less than an hour. To make matters worse, he's also a Bad Boss to such an extent that no one's likely to speak up and point out that "tear apart X to find Y" isn't exactly a great plan.
  • Redshirt Reporter: Jeff and Elena, almost.
  • Say My Name: Lazarevic screams Nate's name a lot during the final encounter.
    Lazarevic: DRAAAAKKKEE!
  • Scars Are Forever: Subverted. Lazarevic's go away after he drinks the sap from the Tree of Life.
    • Elena doesn't keep so much as a scratch on her from the grenade that blows on her face.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The monstrous-looking Guardians are actually just dudes in costumes. Super-strong, super-tough, and super-agile dudes in costumes, but still...
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: In the opening flashback Chloe comes to Nate's hotel room to explain a scheme. The camera pans to a nearby picture just as they're getting into *ahem* another kind of business.
  • Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: Subverted. Nate reaches for something and everyone aims at him, but he shows them its just a container.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Lazarevic does it easily when Nate tries taking one of his men hostage.
  • Soft Water: Averted at one point early in the game, you need to raise the water level in a pit to make it down safely, because it's still too far to fall without dying.
  • Spikes of Doom: A descending ceiling of them. Fortunately Nate has the sense to shoot at the cogs to stop the mechanism.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Once you complete the tutorial, this is the very first level in Among Thieves. This also isn't like stealth sections throughout most of the game, where getting seen simply initiates a firefight - here, get seen, and it's game over. At least the guards are crazy and have bad eyesight.
  • Surrounded by Idiots:
  • The Dragon: Lieutenant Draza.
  • The Shangri-La: Drake mentions it twice, identifying it with Shambhala. It's also the name of the hotel Drake and Chloe climb in Nepal.
  • This Is Reality:
    Flynn: Sorry, love. This isn't a movie, and you're not the plucky girl who reforms the villain and saves the day. It's just not done like that.
  • Title Drop: Elena even quotes the full proverb: "Honor among thieves".
  • Translation Convention: Averted with Tenzin, who spends the whole of the game speaking unsubtitled Tibetan. Nate doesn't understand Tibetan, and so has no idea what he's saying. And neither do you. (Unless you understand Tibetan, obviously.)
    Nate: Tenzin! RPG? RPG! (Beat) What the hell is Tibetan for RPG?
  • Traintop Battle: Against a helicopter. Twice.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: When Nate finds Lazarevic at the Tree of Life, he waits until Lazarevic has drunken the sap and become Nigh Invulnerable to open fire.
  • Unexplained Recovery:
    • Nate recovers remarkably fast after being shot and nearly freezing to death following the train level.
    • A character injured by a grenade in Among Thieves recovers without much fanfare except a bit of limping at the start of the final cutscene. However, quite a bit of time passes from when they first make it out of Shambhala and the recovery; enough time for Schafer's medallion (and presumably his body, seeing as it is his funeral the characters end up at) to be recovered from the monastery, and for Sully to catch a flight in to Tibet.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The temples in the city and the ice cave.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Inverted; the plot, in a nutshell, is Nate looking for stuff and Lazarevic stealing it from him.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Drake's exact words in the flashback scene at the start. Cut to him waking up covered in his own blood, in the middle of a burning trainwreck, dangling over the edge of a cliff, lost hopelessly in the Himalayas.
  • Whole Plot Reference: As pointed out by Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? the game shares a lot of plot points with Firefly and Serenity. One similarity HAWP misses is that they also share a composer.
  • You All Look Familiar: All of the guards in the museum have the same character model, and Lazarevic's men only have four or five skins between them.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Lazarevic kills a mook when Drake tries to hold him hostage. Later he shoots Harry Flynn in the chest after finding the path to the tree of life.
  • Your Mom: Harry and Nate found the time to have this kind of banter while at the gates to Shambhala.

    Drake's Deception
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The scene of Elena and Sully trying to convince Nate that Iram isn't worth it, a sitdown with Marlowe where she infodumps Nate's past, and Nate's return to Elena after his cruise ship escapades, illuminating Nate's choice between the fake identity he's built around being Sir Francis's heir and the life he could have with Elena and Sully.
  • Action Prologue: The game opens with Nate and Sully fighting their way through an English pub's worth of Mooks to escape after a deal gone bad.
  • All for Nothing: Nate fights his way through a massive shipyard and a ship in order to rescue Sully, only to find out that Sully was never actually in captivity at all.
  • Apothecary Alligator: There is a dissected crocodile attached to a balcony in the library below London. There is even a trophy for jumping over it called "Ride the Crocodile".
  • Arc Words: "One Shot at This" or words to that effect are repeated throughout the game by Nate many times, and by Elena near the end. It's also the title of one of the chapters.
  • Automaton Horses: Horses can not only keep up with, but go faster than, a convoy of trucks for more than ten minutes.
  • Bar Brawl: the game opens with Nate and Sully fighting a gang in a London bar.
  • Bedouin Rescue Service: Actual Bedouins rescue Drake from Marlowe's agents in the desert.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: There are spiders the size of your hand that attack in swarms and can only be repelled with light.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Drake takes out a Giant Mook with a toilet tank lid.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Sully grabs an propelled torpedo grenade gun near the ending. Drake uses it a few minutes later to destroy Marlowe's crane.
    • The preserved giant spider in the underground library in London.
  • Claustrophobia: Charlie Cutter has a fear of small spaces. It's what finally causes him to snap and attack Drake while under the effects of Talbot's mind control drug.
  • Continuous Decompression: A plane gets a hole blown in it in and decompresses for almost half a minute. To make things even worse, the cargo ramp had been open just a few minutes earlier, with no decompression and, apparently, no equalization of pressures.
  • Convection Schmonvection: During the burning chateau level, Nathan and Sully hold their hands up to their faces to ward off the heat, but otherwise act as if the fire isn't there - including walking through very small walls of fire with no ill effects.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: During the flashback to Cartagena, young, defenseless Nate is about to be gunned down by one of Marlowe's agents, only to be rescued with one shot by Sully. Inverted at the very end of the game, when the player must have Nate deliver his own conveniently timed shot to rescue Sully from Talbot (see also Book Ends).
  • Cutscene Boss: A variation. The final fight is a series of quick-time-event mini-cutscenes, but they're context-sensitive and mixed into a normal gameplay fistfight.
  • Continuity Nod: Sir Francis Drake's journal is still present, and the bullet hole from the first game is still there.
  • Controllable Helplessness: After the plane crash in the desert, you control Nate as he wanders helplessly through the desert for three days.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Played with in a cutscene that was shown at an E3, where Drake headbutts a high-rank mook during his Evil Laugh, disarms him, grabs one of his grenades, throws it at a flammable barrel, then fires two shots at a Mook on the other side of the room, missing by a country mile.
    • Revealed to be played straight in the game proper where after stealing the mook's gun and grenade he puts a round in the chest of pirate captain with one shot.
  • Determinator: Drake's push through the desert after the plane crash takes course over a couple of days with little supplies.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title refers to both Sir Francis lying about where he went on his voyage, and Nathan lying about being Drake's descendant.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: The hero team does this on some maps if they win in the multiplayer.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The 'Chokers' from the Co-op/Multiplayer wear gasmasks.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Elena still wears her old wedding band while working in Yemen since, according to her, "It helps in this part of the world." Anyone with a passing knowledge of Middle Eastern gender relations can guess why she wears that ring.For those who still don't get it 
    • Nate mentions Sully searching out a "basket act"note  while serving in the Navy, to which he responds with a chuckle. Elena doesn't quite get it, and Sully quickly changes the subject.
  • Giant Mook: Brutes, who are clearly a lot bigger than the usual mooks; you only tend to get one per major gunfight. They tower over Nate, and take several hits or gunshots to go down.
  • Immune to Bullets: Talbot is apparently immune to bullets, until he's finally killed at the very end by Drake shooting him. No explanation is ever given.
    • This is possibly subverted, as it may have been a Mind Screw on Charlie's part (though it certainly seemed as if the other characters and the player saw Talbot get shot). Also, Talbot has a taste for the theatrical.
  • Jump Scare: The end of Nate's second Mushroom Samba near the end of the game has one when his reflection in the water unexpectedly springs to life and grabs him.
  • Madness Mantra: Anyone affected by the tainted water inevitably ends up spouting gibberish that at least makes sense to them. This is the clue that something's not at all right with Nate in Chapter 21 of the game: he eventually starts mumbling to himself about "demons of smokeless fire" while fighting hallucinations of the same.
  • Meta Twist: The previous games have humans transformed into monsters by the artifact. At first, Deception also seems to have them, but Drake's just hallucinating.
  • Mind Screw: Drake suffers from these after drinking the water from the ruins due to its hallucination-properties towards the end. Several other characters do, as well, because of the effects of a mysterious drug the enemy wields. However, even apparently un-drugged characters see Talbot recover from being shot, and mysteriously vanish from a dead-end. Word of God is that Talbot is simply a gifted Mind Screw Driver who wears a bullet proof vest.
  • Mushroom Samba: A very non-funny one as Talbot uses darts with tainted water. First on Cutter whom he temporarily brainwashes to turn against Drake, before then commenting (from his point of view) that the floor and walls were melting. Drake gets hit with one later and his hallucination makes up one of the levels of the game. His perceptions and sense of reality gets distorted with people becoming two dimensional flat figures and Nate wandering around narrow alleys. Likewise later when he drinks some of the water and experiences what he thinks is Sully's death and yet another much more elaborate hallucination stage only to later be snapped out of it.
  • Nostalgia Level: The first co-op mission takes place in Borneo from Among Thieves, only during nighttime and with the pockets of C4 being replaced with crates of artifacts. The boss fight against Lazarevic's second-in-command (which was originally at the end of the train level) takes place at the end camp.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Nate gets to wander around the Rub'Al Khali desert, trying to find his way through one of the most inhospitable places in the world. He has no idea where he is in relation to anything else, he can't navigate by the stars because he has no experience doing so, and he has no food or water. There are no enemies to kill. The sequence is frightening for how delusional he gets over the course of three days.
  • Oo C Is Serious Business: Nate flies into an Unstoppable Rage when Sully is killed. Luckily, it's just a hallucination and Sully is still alive, because seeing the charming, affable Nate lose his temper like that is terrifying.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The relics. One of them, the Antique Wax Seal Stamp, is found in Chapter 6 near a waterfall. The tricky part here is that there is a one-way drop just a short distance along the path, and the game autosaves after the drop, so if you miss this one and go too far, there is no way to go back and get it. Say goodbye to your 100% Completion.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Happens to Drake in the first Brute fight.
  • Put on a Bus: After Charlie breaks his leg in Syria, Chloe takes him to a hospital and neither of them are heard from again. What makes this use of the trope special is that they actually used a recently commandeered bus to get to the hospital.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: Weirdly zigzagged at Ubar. Lots of the buildings are falling apart. The incredibly complicated machinery still works just fine.
  • Random Events Plot: Drake's Deception is the most digressive of the four games and jumps around a lot before reaching its central plot. It starts in London, flashes back to Kid!Drake in Cartagena, returns to the present in London, moves to France, then Syria, and then Yemen and an extended section in a Ship Graveyard that digresses from the plot entirely only moving to the finale, the Rub' Al Khali Desert and the City of Ubar in the final few sections. The other games spend far more time in the location of the treasure and MacGuffin with a greater sense of place and mystery. Likewise, the other games had a single Posthumous Character (Drake, Polo, Avery) who inspires Nate to the MacGuffin, whereas this game switches between T. E. Lawrence, John Dee before returning again to Drake.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Cutter was supposed to appear though the entirety of Drake's Deception, but the character had to be written out when Graham McTavish landed a role in The Hobbit.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In an uncharacteristically brutal scene for Nate, Sully's apparent death sends him out after Talbot, slaughtering soldiers on his way through Ubar, screaming and swearing to kill them all. Luckily for Nate's sanity, it was all a hallucination.
  • Save the Villain: Marlowe falls into quicksand, and Nate attempts to save her. In the end he is unsuccessful.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Rameses, in an attempt to kill Drake, shoots the window of a sunken portion of his ship and is killed when the area floods
  • Shown Their Work: The Colombians actually speak the Colombian dialect of Spanish (one of the dozens of dialects of Spanish).
  • Sinister Subway: A long abandoned station in the London Underground serves as this.
  • Tarot Motifs: Recurrent partly because Marlowe's organisation deliberately plays up the symbolism. One journal has three tarot cards pinned inside it; The Tower, The High Priestess and The Magician. The last two are labelled "Marlowe" and "Talbot", respectively, and the cards are indeed excellent representations of the characters, being an older woman who guards hidden knowledge and a man of mysterious power born of trickery.
  • Thirsty Desert: Part of Drake's Deception takes place in the Rub' al Khalinote , one of the largest and most inhospitable sand deserts in the world. And Drake has no idea where he's going, where he is, and he has no supplies. The sequences makes very good use of Nothing Is Scarier, as the only thing trying to kill Drake is the unforgiving sun and his own increasing desperation.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The con at the beginning naturally goes off without a hitch.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: The game opens with Drake and Sully falling into a trap by the bad guys and being shot dead. Turns out it's a Batman Gambit so they'll lead Team Drake back to their HQ where they have another MacGuffin our anti-heroes want.
  • Villain Team-Up: In Chapter 5 of the co-op campaign, Lazarevic, Flynn and Eddy Raja team up to fight Drake, Cutter and Sully. Not that it helps them any. Cutter, who was only introduced in the third game, is understandably confused.
    Cutter: Who's Eddy?
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The pirate-infested ship graveyard in the Indian Ocean. The entire thing could have been excised with no effect on the main plot or character development, not that that stops it from being one hell of a set piece.
  • Wedding Ring Defense: Employed by Elena.
    It helps in this part of the world.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We're never told what happens to Cutter or Chloe at the end, though Sully hand waved their fates midway through the game by saying that Chloe took Cutter to a hospital to get help for his broken leg.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The huge similarities between this game and the third Indiana Jones movie are probably intentional. Plot-wise, both involve the Crusades and a secret hidden in the Middle East. Character-wise, both feature a flashback to the hero's teenage years and an exploration of their relationship with their father/father figure. Even some of the set pieces are the same, such as an escape from a burning castle and a horseback assault on a desert caravan.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Talbot has the East End thugs set fire to the Chateau to kill Nate and Sully, only to lock the entire gang inside.
  • Zerg Rush: Hordes of fist sized spiders chase you through the various ruins.

    A Thief's End
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Nathan Drake starts out "retired" from treasure hunting, but quickly gets back into it when he reunites with Sam.
  • Action Prologue: The game opens with Nate and Sam being pursued by mercenary boats in a tropical storm.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: A truck, similar to the one in the E3 demo, chases Nate around the pirate ruins in one of the later chapters.
  • Action Mom: We learn that Nate and Sam's mother, Cassandra Morgan, was one, and started the tradition of adventuring in the family. Elena also becomes one in the epilogue, where we learn she and Nate had a daughter.
  • Affably Evil: Hector Alcazar, the drug lord who serves as Sam's cellmate in Panama is quite friendly, jovial and generous to Sam, albeit for highly mercantile reasons as he wants a piece of Henry Avery's treasure for himself and threatens to murder Sam if he doesn't bring it in 3 months. Even after delivering the death threat, Alcazar remains courteous, giving Sam the water canteen and giving him directions to the nearest town. Pity that whole flashback was a lie.
  • All for Nothing: As usual, Nate and his companions fail in obtaining their primary objective at the start of the adventure, in this case Henry Avery's treasure. However, this is partially subverted as Sam Drake manages to collect some ancient coins from the treasure before it sinks, enough for Nate and Elena to purchase Jameson's salvage company and start their path to a very comfortable (and now legal) life.
  • All There in the Manual: The concept art gallery reveals the name of the mysterious twelfth Libertalia captain: "Guy Wood".
  • All There in the Script: Knot and Orca, Nadine's two final soldiers, are only named in the multiplayer mode and character gallery.
  • Amoral Afrikaner: The main mooks of the game are a South African Private Military Contractor called Shoreline.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • For Chapter 5 the player controls Sam in a flashback that details how he escaped from the prison that Nate last saw him in. And later on, that very flashback is revealed to be a lie.
    • The very last segment in the game is an epilogue that takes place 15 years later with the player controlling Cassie, Nate and Elena's daughter.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The epilogue reveals that Nate and Elena never really left the life of exploration and adventure; they just approached it in more practical - and legal - ways. Their home and office is filled with mementos, artifacts, and photographs from all over the world. There's a lab workbench being used for some kind of artifact restoration project. There's also a cartography table featuring a map of the Yucatán, suggesting their current project. Cassie offhandedly mentions going on archaeological digs with her parents and Sully, and is even featured on the cover of one of the travel magazines.
    • Meanwhile, Sam teams up with Sully, replacing Nathan's non-legal treasure hunting, eager to find lost cities of his own.
  • Arc Words:
    • The quotation from Avery at the start: "I am a man of fortune. I must seek my fortune" which Sam adopts as his personal motto, to the extent that he once describes himself and Drake as "fortunate men" not in the sense of being lucky but as being men who cut their own path in the world.
    • The Bible quotations below are used constantly in the many crypts and puzzles and notes that Nate finds as is "For God and Liberty", the motto of Libertalia.
    • The word "thief" constantly recurs throughout the game. Rafe once says, "Last time I checked we are just a bunch of thieves". The Drakes justify stealing an item from an auction on account of the fact that it's an auction for criminals. And the word is scrawled on the portraits of the founders of Libertalia once they enter the treasury." Likewise Saint Dismas is a recurring symbol, the "penitent thief".
  • Ascended Meme: The "Stage Fright" Trophy is earned by standing still for 30 seconds prior to the chase scene in Madagascar, in reference to the E3 2015 demo, in which the developers had some issues with the controller.
  • As the Good Book Says...:
    • One of the game's Arc Words are a excerpt of Luke 23:41 — "For we receive the due reward of our deeds". The full quote ("We are justly punished, for we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this man has done no wrong") is far more telling in its omission, symbolizing how the founders were more self-righteous than genuinely penitent and used the story of Dismas as an excuse to commit whatever crimes they could in the name of their own personal gain; by the end, all were indeed horribly punished by Avery himself, who was driven completely mad by greed and power.
    • The other quotations they use is "On this day you will be with me in paradise", which is what Libertalia is intended to be, a Paradise for the "penitent" pirates to build and rule for their own. Needless to say Jesus didn't mean any pirate republic in the original context.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue, Nate and Elena have a teenage daughter named Cassie.
  • Back in the Saddle: Samuel Drake after he gets out of prison. Also Nathan after his reunion with Sam.
  • Bad Boss: Henry Avery is heavily implied to have murdered his crew for "stealing from him".
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Rafe Adler and Nadine Ross. While Hector Alcazar is initially set up as a Greater-Scope Villain, it turns out he's been dead for months and that Sam made up his encounter with him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Near the end of the game, Nate is relentlessly pursued by a Shoreline vehicle and manages to corner him. It looks like Nate is finished, and then Sully comes by with an RPG.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Characters address the player directly when selected in multiplayer.
  • Brick Joke: At one point Nate jokes to Sully that he plans to get a dog and call it Victor. In the epilogue with Cassie Drake, Nate's daughter, the family dog is named "Victoria".
    • Although Nate nervously jokes that Libertalia might be home to pirate ghosts, ultimately nothing comes of it. In the Survival DLC, Adam Baldridge of all people is the fiery, skeletal "Lord of the Djinn", with an army of undead mercenaries at his command, and multiple ghostly enforcers serve as bosses at the end of waves.
  • But Thou Must!: No matter how well you play, you can't actually beat Elena's high score the first time you play Crash Bandicoot as Nate, leading to Elena making fun of him about it. You do get a second shot at it when playing as their daughter Cassie in the epilogue, though, which earns you an achievement if you manage to beat the high score.
  • Character Tics: If Nate idles in one spot for a long while, he'll start fiddling with his wedding band on his left hand.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Even for pirates, the amount of betrayal that goes on in Libertalia is exceptionally high, to the point where one wonders how they were ever able to work together for any length of time. The best example is Thomas Tew, who manages to betray the other colonists, the pirate lords, and finally his own Captain Henry Avery.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Nate's still wearing his wedding ring which he got back at the end of Deception.
    • Nate tells his "crazy stories" from all the previous games (including Golden Abyss) to Sam.
  • Cool Guns: It took awhile but Nate finally gets to wield a full-size Colt 1911 in this game (titled the "Para .45"). Until now the closest that has appeared in the series was the Colt Defender (called the "Defender .45"), which has the design and chambering of a 1911 but in a compact pistol form-factor (so short barrel length and stubby grip).
    • The Bounty Hunters multiplayer DLC introduces two classic Old West guns — the Colt Single Action Army revolver and the Winchester Model 1873 lever-action rifle — as the "DC Single Action" and "Harrison 1890", respectively.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Nate's attic office, where he's kept all the little collected treasures and totems from his past adventures, including old photos, journals, and a vial of crystallized sap from Shambhala.
  • Cutscene Boss: Rafe Adler is an example of a justification of this trope. The final boss fight is a sword duel on Avery's burning ship, and Nate is barely a match against someone who is good at fencing and better than him and Rafe succeeds in breaking Nate's sword. He finally has to resort to a button prompt to cheat and win.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: At least in the beta, especially if the player used L2/R2 shooting controls in the remaster. Reloading is now triangle and grenades are R1, meaning that those who try to reload their gun probably end up wasting their only grenade, and need to wait a cooldown period to get another one.
  • Death Trap: Henry Avery loved making these. Even before they arrive in Libertalia, Nate and Sam are troubled and disturbed by the elaborate tests in crypts in Scotland, designed to weed out the deserving from the unworthy, so that only the chosen may come to Libertalia. Then they come to Libertalia, and as they progress deeper, it gets crazier and crazier, finally culminating in coffins of Avery's victims dolled up like mummies and filled with gunpowder.
  • Deconstruction:
    • Libertalia, and the various pirate captains who founded it, is a rather brutal one for the romantic, adventurous, and noble image of piracy painted by works such as Captain Blood or Pirates of the Caribbean. Sam and Nate idolize a free and libertarian society...that was an insidious trap devised by the captains to attain power and wealth. Naturally, a society run by psychopaths, rapists, murderers, and thieves did not end well, and the pirates all turned on each other.
    • In some ways, the game is also an attack on treasure hunting and Greed along with obsession that can manifest with them, said obsession being just as destructive, if not more so than the various insanity inducing artifacts of the previous games. A primary example is what happened with Avery, who after making off with the biggest pirate haul in history, fell into paranoid madness, being surrounded by other pirates who were willing to kill for his gold. What ensured was a catastrophic Gambit Pile Up which led to the deaths of Libertalia's inhabitants, the pirate founders and eventually Avery, who in his zeal to ensure no one would get his loot, got what he deserved.
    • In the game itself, Nate, Sam and Rafe all suffer from Greed to various degrees:
      • Nate's initial motivation to help Sam begins to slip as his zeal for treasure hunting and his obsession takes over, making him lie to his wife and briefly sidelining his mentor.
      • Sam decides not to get on Sully's seaplane and leave the bad guys to the treasure, like Nate wanted. He falls into the Sunk Cost Fallacy, and nearly gets himself and Nate killed in Avery's burning ship.
      • Rafe is determined to loot Avery's ship instead of the more practical option of looting the surrounding, non-booby-trapped cavern. Nadline seals him and Nate in the bowels of the boat because of it, and he refuses to let things go out of spite and envy, so Drake reluctantly kills him.
      • Nadine isn't consumed by Greed, is willing to let the big pay day go, and becomes the only Uncharted villain to live through the ending.
  • Dialogue Tree: In a series first, though it only pops up sparingly and has no impact on the plot.
  • Disappointed in You: How Sullivan feels about Nate lying to Elena and his insistence on continuing with Sam to seek Avery's treasure after Elena comes to Madagascar and confronts him.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue of the game takes place 15 years after the events of the main story with the player controlling Nate and Elena's teenage daughter.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • The title "A Thief's End" (also the chapter title of the final level before the epilogue) has many meanings:
      • It signifies that this is Nate's final adventure. Or rather his final adventure as a thief. In the epilogue, he has gone legit and works as a legal archaeologist and salvage expert, he has ended one phase of his career and, having fully reconciled with his past and solved all loose ends, is able to move on the next phase and become a husband and a father.
      • It also refers to the possible endings of a thief or a career in adventuring. Henry Avery, Rafe Adler, Sam and Nate Drake, as well as Nadine live a life of adventure and ill-gotten gains, and all come to different ends based on their ability to walk away. Henry Avery and his crew and fellow pirates tried to walk away from piracy and ended up killing each other out of pure greed. Both Sam and Rafe are obsessed with Avery's treasure and cannot move on until they at least see it with their own eyes. Nadine Ross merely wants money that she can use and is content to take modest prizes, while Rafe is willing to take that obsession to full-Avery levels. It's basically death, dishonor, a decent size reward, and in the case of Sam, he is able to settle for It's the Journey That Counts and provide a modest amount of treasure to his sister-in-law, and then he decides to go off for new adventures.
    • The Chapter Title, "Avery's Descent" refers to the pathway down the cave and cellar of Avery's mansion to the cove which contained his ship. But since this pathway contains Avery's private torture chamber and is filled with bones, ribcages and hands hanging on the ceiling, it suggest Avery's descent into madness, or hell.
  • Driven by Envy: Rafe's ultimate motivation for trying to kill Nathan in the game's finale.
    Rafe: You want to hear "insane?" "Nathan Drake raced a madman and his entire army to the steps of Shambhala." "Nathan Drake found a lost city in the middle of the Rub' al Khali desert." "Nathan Drake discovered the fabled El Dorado!" "Nathan Drake is a legend!" ...You know, I shot the man who told me that.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Played with; Nate and Elena think they've accomplished this after Drake's Deception and have attempted to settle down and have a "normal" Happily Married life, but are drawn into another adventure. It's finally played straight after the events of this game, which reveals they used the treasure Sam snuck out of Libertalia to buy an underwater salvaging company and restart Elena's television career. In the Time Skip epilogue, it's revealed that they've become wealthy enough to own a large beachfront house, office and yacht, have become somewhat famous for even more off-screen archaeology and traveling exploits, and have raised a teenage daughter. Sam and Sully are still alive and the latter has retired and even stopped smoking!
  • Embedded Precursor: Kind of. At one point, Nate and Elena play a game of Crash Bandicoot (1996) together and the player guides Drake through a slightly modernized version of Boulders.
  • Flynning: Justified. Nate has never fenced, let alone faced a skilled opponent before, so he's helpless to do anything but block and dodge every attack he can from Rafe, who's gone completely insane and is swinging wildly for Nate's vulnerable points.
  • Game Within a Game: At one point, Drake claims that he can beat Elena's high score at Crash Bandicoot. The game then cuts to the TV, where the PS1 boots up Crash Bandicoot. The player must now beat a modified versionnote  of the level "Boulders" from the first game. The game even forces you to use D-pad controls like the PS1.
  • Grand Finale: The game has been confirmed to be the last chronological installment in the series.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:invoked In-Universe, Nate's off-hand remark to Elena from Drake's Fortune about not wanting to end up in a Panamanian prison becomes much darker after we learn what went down in said prison during a playable flashback: fifteen years before A Thief's End, Nate thought Sam had sacrificed himself during their Great Escape.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Nate's first fight with Nadine is impossible to win, since he's unable to land a single blow and cannot counter attacks. He fares a bit better in the second fight, though he needs to get the drop on her while she's distracted with Sam.
    • No matter how good you are, it is impossible for Nate to beat Elena's high score at Crash Bandicoot. Fifteen years later, their daughter Cassie has better luck.
  • Idiot Ball: Rafe in the finale of the game. He betrays Nadine, takes her with him to the ship instead of either killing her or leaving her behind and than goes on a rant how he never betrays his people and how Nadine will stay loyal to him. Than he tells her to take Nate's gun. Surprise, surprise, she backstabs him only seconds later. And then he has a sword fight with Nate while everything around is burning down.
  • In Medias Res: The game opens with Nate and Sam out at sea, in a storm, and being pursued by mercenary boats with murderous intent, before flashing back to Nate's past and how he got involved in the first place. It isn't until Chapter 13 that the events following the chase are visited.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • In one scene, Nate keeps referring to Crash Bandicoot as a fox, no matter how many times Elena corrects him.
    • Both Sam and Nate correct people calling the Saint Dismas cruciform a crucifix. Having grown up in a Catholic orphanage, they keep correcting everyone that a crucifix refers only to an image or statue of Jesus crucified, while a cruciform is any man who is crucified.
  • Interface Screw: During his fight with Nadine, Nate is unable to block attacks due to the button being temporarily disabled.
  • Interface Spoiler: A very minor one. Entering multiplayer before beating the game can reveal where the story will be taking place, as well as who are met in each location. However, certain character costumes have fake names to cover up some events.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: A recurring theme. As the game progresses, more characters question the end goal of finding Avery's treasure, and wonder if it's all worth it. Drake eventually abandons the idea of treasure in favor of saving his brother, Sam decides to settle on just finding the treasure with Nate and taking a small amount with him, and Nadine walks away after losing so many of her troops. Rafe, on the other hand, ends up such a vindictive Glory Hound that not only does he alienate (or cause the deaths of) his closest allies by insisting on exploring Avery's ship, he forces Nate into a duel to the death inside the collapsing ship. Even though, given how Nate is perfectly okay with giving up the treasure and just wants to escape the ship with Sam, there's no good reason for him to drag on the conflict whatsoever. His meltdown of hubris costs him his life.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: In-universe, Drake complains about the PS1's bootup sequence being really slow. Uncharted 4 itself actually has fairly lengthy loading times, but outside of the first boot of your session, most are hidden by cutscenes.
  • Mauve Shirt: Two Shoreline Mercs, identified in multiplayer as Knot and Orca but otherwise unnamed, frequently show up in cutscenes with Rafe and Nadine as backup and later betray Nadine for Rafe's money in the endgame. Knot especially, since he seems to function as Nadine's second-in-command at the cathedral.
  • Meaningful Rename: Orphan brothers Nathan and Samuel Morgan change their name to Drake on account of their mother Cassandra's beliefs that Sir Francis Drake had heirs. The quest for Henry Avery's treasure and their entire careers as adventurers comes from their attempt to follow in their mother's footsteps.
  • Mythology Gag: This is now the second Naughty Dog game in a row to feature an Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene epilogue where you play as a teenage girl.
    • Nate says that he used the money from his adventurin' proceeds to support himself and Elena. This may or may not include all the little collectable treasures he picks up.
  • Near Villain Victory: Rafe is a better swordsman than Nate and handily beats him in the final boss fight despite Nate's Heroic Second Wind. Rafe has Nate at his mercy and breaks his sword blade and would have killed him had he not started monologuing giving Nate time to improvise a victory from the jaws of defeat.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Inverted. The game takes place sometime in 2014 versus its 2016 release date. The epilogue however plays it straight, it's set fifteen years later, around 2029.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Libertalia was a lie the entire time. It was a trap set by Henry Avery and the other pirate captains to rob the colonists of their shared loot. After that, they turned on each other and waged war until Avery and Thomas Tew had them all poisoned. Then Avery and Tew, of course, killed each other in a duel for sole ownership of the treasure.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Nate and co. use the Anglicization Gunsway to describe the ship stolen by Henry Every. The actual ship, a trading ship owned by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, is Ganj-i-Sawainote .
  • Non-Player Companion: In multiplayer, you can summon sidekicks to assist you. They can do things like revive your teammates or provide covering fire for your team.
  • No Sympathy for Grudgeholders: Although the two were once partners, at the end of the game Rafe goes on a massive rant during his ultimate fight with Nate about how much he despises him and his record of discoveries. At this point, Rafe is clearly totally fed up of Team Drake. Even though Nate tries to apologise in the only way he knows how, Rafe keeps rambling and "fences" an unarmed Nate with a pirate sword.
    Nate: Look, I get it, you don't like me very much—
    Rafe: You know, for all your "greatness", Nate, you have nothing. You are nothing. And I warned you to get out of my way.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Rafe Adler is dismissed by Nate and Sam Drake as a Know-Nothing Know-It-All and wealthy fop, then in the finale he turns out to be a good fencer and utterly insane, and he comes closer than anyone to killing Nate.
  • One Last Job:
    • Nate agrees to have one more adventure after his "retirement" to help out Sam.
    • Henry Avery is implied to have seen the Gunsway heist as this. He and other pirates with big score, decided to build their own country where they could retire. The aesop is "More money more problems" as noted by Nate, a lot of the treasure went to building Libertalia, paying top coin for skilled labour, architecture and planning, which while leaving considerable treasure was only enough to fill the cargo deck of a single brig. This is quite aside from the go mad from greed and kill everyone part.
  • Origins Episode: The flashbacks show the origins of Nathan Morgan, the manner in which he adopted the Nathan Drake identity, their appetite and interest in history and their yearning for adventure.
  • Pac-Man Fever: A... bizarre self inflicted case, all things considered: the Crash Bandicoot easter egg involves Nate trying to beat Elena's high score. There is no high score mechanic in the actual release of the game done in the way depicted in the easter egg (in fact, the score screen is lifted from the box total screen).
  • Pirate Booty: Nate is on the hunt for the lost treasure of Henry Avery in this adventure.
  • Play Every Day: Multiplayer gives you a new challenge to complete each day to earn a large amount of relics.
  • Playing the Player: Up until Chapter 15, the player is led to believe that the reason Nate and Sam are looking for Avery's treasure to pay off Alcàzar. After all, you played a level as Sam escaping from the prison alongside Alcàzar, so Sam must be telling the truth, right? Well, until you find out that it was actually Rafe who got Sam out two years prior to the events of the game, there was no breakout, and that Alcàzar had died six months previous. The prison riot level was just Sam's lie to get Nathan back into the game, and both Nate and the player fell for it.
  • Private Military Contractor: Shoreline, comprised of South African mercs, headed by Nadine Ross. It has an especially brutal reputation among the international black market underground.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The first two chapters consist of flashbacks earlier into Drake's life (set before and after the flashback in Drake's Deception, respectively, due to his different ages) and focus on his relationship with Sam.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Nate and Sully reunite after a supposed retirement, and not having met each other for two years, to hunt the treasure of the week.
  • Raised Catholic: Both Nate and Sam Drake grew up in a Catholic Orphanage which they regard as slightly strict and stuffy, with one good priest Father Duffy serving as a father figure. Their memories of Saint Dismas the penitent thief on the left side of Jesus' cross allows them to keep one step ahead of the game.
  • Rare Guns: The Mateba 6 Unica Autorevolver is available as the "Barok .44". He also picks up a "China Lake" but the appearance of the weapon includes a drum magazine, which the actual China Lake did not have.
  • Remember the New Guy: Samuel Drake, Nate's elder brother was not even mentioned in the first three games despite being a presence in his brother's life until Nate's early 20s, and having known Sullivan from before. Indeed, Nathan never even told Elena about Sam much to her fury when she finds out.
  • The Reveal: We finally learn that Nate is really Nathan Morgan, son of historian Cassandra Morgan.
  • Retro Gaming: Apparently Elena is into retro gaming, we see her playing a PS1 in the year 2016. (Nate plays it as well, but he gives the impression it's not something he's done before). Their daughter also plays it... and can beat Mom's high score. Cassie must be really into retro gaming, seeing as her age at the time means the PS 1 system is roughly 30 years old.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: While Rafe Adler does have a day job in running his family business, he's far more focused on using his money to be a treasure hunter. He's appalled that Nate has become a "legend" on his own merit. He is proud of being good at fencing, the one thing he has earned for himself and is better than Nate at.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • In a sense, Nate's plot and the story of Avery parallel each other. Both lived a life of treasure hunting and piracy and attempted to conduct one last job where they would settle down and build new lives for themselves. Avery couldn't walk away from his obsession with treasure , which destroyed his utopia. Nate is more than willing to walk away from the profession that has defined his whole life, and builds his own "personal" Libertalia (a large beachfront residence) with Elena and Cassandra at his side. Possibly on the actual Libertalia island!.
    • Also the penitent thief motif. While Avery adopted the iconography surrounding it, he was never truly regretful about his deeds and instead used it as a self-serving justification to dispose of the colonists of Libertalia and go on a power trip that ended in his death. Nate on the other hand is actually penitent after lying to Elena about his trip, and tries to redeem himself.
    • During the flashback in Evelyn's mansion, her story has a pretty strong resemblance to Nate's life. In fact, he's probably remembering it specifically because of the parallels.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Rafe's Dragon Nadine finally gets sick of Rafe's obsession with the treasure and abandons him on Avery's burning ship, rightfully pointing out that the damn treasure has destroyed everyone who was obsessed with it.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: As long as the game is completed at least once on any difficulty beforehand, any unlockables are allowed to be used on the initial Crushing playthrough.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Stealth sections consist mostly of tall grass Nate can sneak through, but doesn't give any cover during firefights. In addition, higher difficulties disable tagging and enemy detection HUD elements.
    • On a smaller scale, collected treasures re-appear during replays. While you never lose them, it can make searching for any new treasure a bit more difficult.
    • Enemies are much faster, more accurate with their guns and come in larger numbers. Especially noticeable if you go back to an earlier game; at places old crushing is easier than new normal.
    • Throwing back grenades has disappeared without explanation.
    • The co-op mode can be brutal at times, even at lower difficulties, because of the improved enemies with a MP health scale, constant grenade spamming and sometimes cruel spawns. (For example, hunters can appear on normal level's first wave.) It tells a lot when the bosses are easier than the waves before them, or even the very mooks they spawn.
  • Shadow Archetype: Avery and his pirates at Libertalia to Nate, Sam, Rafe and other adventurers. Avery initially represents the idea that one can steal treasure in brutal ways and be penitent about it and create a utopia that justifies all your actions, just as Nate lies and steals and kills for treasure for potentially benign motives, with Sam being a darker, less scrupulous Foil to Nate, and Rafe being a vindictive sociopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. In the end, Avery's "utopia" turns out to be a lie, and the greed of himself and the other pirates destroys them all. While Nate, Ross, and to a lesser extent Sam are able to let go of their greed and escape a similar fate, Rafe's vindictiveness and hunger for glory results in him being the only major character of the game to die.
    • Joseph Burnes' grandson and his crew try and fail to find Libertalia and Avery's gold, much like Rafe's obsession. Burnes, a wealthy man and heir to a shipmate of Avery's, commissioned an expedition to find the treasure he claimed was his birthright; after Captain Darby was killed by a crazed crew member and the ship ran aground, Burnes ordered the man lashed to the mast and left to rot, then assumed control of the crew. After working his men to the point of death and murdering everyone who tried to run, Burnes finally set out on his own for the treasure instead, assuring himself that everything he did was justified. Nate finds his body rotting near the entrance to the grotto, "just before the finish line"; unlike Rafe, he perished of a fever in his sleep.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy:
    • Sam falls victim to this rather than leave the island.
    • Rafe invokes this to Nadine in the end, pointing out that if they walk away before reaching Avery's ship then all the sacrifies and lives lost would have been for nothing. Nadine states they can take the treasure around the cavern that is perfectly usable and is fairly valuable in and of itself rather than walk into another death trap which could kill all of them.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rafe delivers one to Nate during their swordfight, and after Nate's momentary defeat in said fight, in which he declares that, Nathan Drake the "legend" is a "sad little boy with delusions of grandeur who can't fence for shit."
  • Unreliable Narrator: Samuel Drake presents himself as recently released long-lost brother of Nate's, who has a price on his head on account of Alcazar's ultimatum. Then it turns out that he lied and was working with Rafe for two years before contacting Nate and that he manipulated Nate into joining him on his quest, separating him from Elena and Sully.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Samuel Drake is a harsher, colder version of Nate. When he puts a gun on Nadine Ross' head, he threatens to shoot her and Nate pulls him at the last moment setting the shot in the air, proving that he was indeed going to murder her. Then Rafe reveals that Sam is really a manipulative liar, whose only redeeming virtue is that he genuinely does love Nate.
  • Villain Ball: Rafe gets trapped in Avery's ship with Nate because he forced Nadine to come to the ship with him against her will. There really was no reason to force her to come with him since he had already paid off her mercenaries, giving him the means to transport the treasure off the island without her help, and it's not clear what help he expected her to provide after pointing a gun in her face and making her go. Killing her or letting her leave would have been the more sensible choice.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Nathan Drake says almost this exact line after he discovers the treasures hidden within Avery's ship. The way all those treasures littered in a dark, tight interior of the ship also gives this vibe for players as well, as it contrasts heavily with the majestic sights of every previous grand discoveries that Nate made in the previous games.
  • Wet Blanket Wife: Elena tries her best to avert being this trope, while Sully chides Nate for treating her this way. Indeed, Elena even encourages Nate to take on a potentially risky job in Malaysia because she can sense he's a little bored and in the end, Nate and Elena resolve this by becoming legal archaeologists, and full time partners and co-workers.
  • Wham Line:
    Rafe: Whoa, what the hell are you talking about, Nate? Hector Alcázar died in a shootout in Argentina like six months ago. I'm the one that got Samuel out.
  • Wham Shot: After Nate, Sam, and Sully survive a Shoreline assault in Madagascar, they return to their hotel room, all pumped up after the fact... and the mood is killed when they see Elena in their room, looking at their notes.
    • In the epilogue, after a rematch with Crash Bandicoot, the camera pans around to reveal Nate and Elena's teenage daughter.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Nadine. After her Heel–Face Turn, she walks out of the plot and is never heard from again, despite having been The Dragon to Rafe as well as a Recurring Boss who has caused the Drakes no end of trouble. She's going to be Chloe's partner in DLC.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Elena is understandably upset with Nate after she discovers he lied to her about taking a contract job so he could go off on an adventure without her.
    • Elena and Sully are very unhappy when Sam tries to go after Avery's boat even when he's nearly gotten killed by the Shoreline troopers. They call him out on his obsession with the treasure and even Nate takes their side.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Subverted with Nadine. Nate goes out of his way to avoid fighting her, and even saves her life at one point shortly after she came very close to killing him for a second time. Nonetheless, when push comes to shove he has no problem throwing some punches at her. Since she's a far better hand-to-hand combatant than Nate, very few of them land however.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Inverted. Nate had the ability to throw live grenades back at enemies for the first time in Uncharted 3 but cannot do it here.

    Golden Abyss
  • Gilligan Cut: Drake is told to "go crying back to Sully," which prompts him to snap back with, "I don't need Sully." Immediately followed by, "Sully, I need you!" in the next scene.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: This is one of the biggest things different about The Golden Abyss. All of the hidden collectibles have some connection to the plot; most of them are pieces of evidence you collect while searching around, like a GPS surveying tool that has bullet holes in it. Even the turquoise rocks you find have a glyph on them with some Kuna mythology details.

    Fortune Hunter 
  • Art Shift: The game uses an overhead view with more stylized graphics.
  • Death Trap: The main threat Nate faces in the temples, since this game has No Antagonist.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    Nate: Sometimes I feel like life's one big game.
    Sully: Then shut up and play it.
  • Minimalist Cast: The only characters to appear include Nate and Sully - who don't even have their original voices, and speak only in text boxes.
  • Money for Nothing: In a rare mobile game example, if you don't use Mystic Orbs to respawn and instead trade them in for coins, you'll end up with enough money by the end of the game to buy all of the costumes and still have around 20,000 coins burning a hole in your pocket. (especially if you go for Pirate Nate first, since it increases the amount of gold earned from puzzles by 25%).
  • Oddball in the Series: A free mobile touchscreen game stands out pretty heavily against PlayStation-based third-person shooter/platformers.
  • A Winner is You: Collecting all the artifacts just unlocks some more non-conclusive banter between Nate and Sully.

    The Fourth Labyrinth 
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Discussed:
    Nate: Those ninja bastardsnote  have Sully.
    Corelli: Ninjas are Japanese.
    Nate: Shut up! You think I don't know - oh, forget it.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Nate and Jada.
  • Multicolored Hair: Jada Hzujak has black hair with magenta bangs which even Nate recognizes as magenta (to her surprise).
  • Save the Villain: Nate tries to save Olivia from a flooding room - she gets taken down by the Minotaur.

  • Convection Schmonvection: Nate and Chloe happily traipse over rocks and a WWI airplane floating in lava. Nate merely sweats a bit before he actually gets some on his pants, which he pretty much pats out.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Comic: Elena is on the cover of the graphic novel, and nowhere inside it.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Chloe, only leaving Nate a note.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: We see Chloe smirking in Nate's doorway at night. The next panel is their clothes and underthings strewn on the floor... and the next few panels are Chloe driving off at sunrise and Nate waking up in the morning.

Alternative Title(s): Uncharted 2 Among Thieves, Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3 Drakes Deception, Uncharted Golden Abyss, Uncharted Drakes Fortune, Uncharted 4 A Thiefs End, Uncharted Fortune Hunter, Uncharted 3