"There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory."Uncharted
— Sir Francis Drake, 1587 (opening of the first game)
is a series of action/adventure platforming video games exclusive to the Playstation 3 and developed by Naughty Dog
(creators of Crash Bandicoot
and Jak and Daxter
). They follow the adventures of self-styled treasure hunter Nathan Drake, supposed descendant of Sir Francis Drake, and his quests to find lost historic artifacts. The gameplay is described as Tomb Raider meets Gears of War
, a combination of fighting bad guys, exploring the environment, and solving puzzles. What make the games impressive are the fantastic voice acting (in addition to smooth mo-cap performances), lush scenery, an extraordinarily cinematic presentation, and honest-to-God character development. Plus, they're fun
. Every game in the series so far has been very highly acclaimed.Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
(Uncharted: The Treasure of El Dorado
in Japan) was the first entry into the series and was released in 2007. It follows Nate, Intrepid Reporter
Elena Fisher and his old friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan as they search for the lost treasure of El Dorado using clues from the diary of Sir Francis Drake, who may or may not be Nate's ancestor. The trio soon find themselves in over their head, lost on an uncharted island and pursued by an avaricious loan shark, his henchman, boatloads of Mooks
, and eventually something on the supernatural side.Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
was released on October 13th, 2009. In this new adventure, Nate is tracked down by old associates Harry Flynn and Chloe Frazer, who want his help to steal the first in a series of clues left by Marco Polo
that lead to Shambhala (Shangri-La) and the legendary Cintamani Stone. Elena comes along for the ride again, but Sully does not, appearing in little of the game. The group are racing to find the stone before psychopathic war criminal Zoran Lazarevic can get his hands on it. The main arc of the game is the love triangle between Nate, Elena and newcomer Chloe
.Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
was released on November 1st, 2011. It follows Nate and Sully on their hunt for Iram of the Pillars (aka "Atlantis of the Sands"), a lost Arabian city filled with riches, and see them following in the footsteps of both Sir Francis Drake and T.E. Lawrence
as they travel to England, France and Saudi Arabia. This time, the villains are a shadowy organisation dating all the way back from the time of Queen Elizabeth I
, led by a figure from Nate and Sully's past who knows their darkest secrets.Uncharted: Golden Abyss
was developed by Sony Bend and released on February 15, 2012 at the launch of Sony Computer Entertainment's PSP successor, PS Vita
. This is the official description of the title:"Uncover the dark secret behind the 400-year-old massacre of a Spanish expedition as Nathan Drake follows the murderous trail of an ancient and secret Spanish sect. Caught in the middle of a rivalry between Jason Dante - his old friend - and Marisa Chase - the granddaughter of an archeologist who has mysteriously vanished without a trace - Nathan Drake races into the treacherous river basins, undiscovered temple ruins and karst caverns of Central America in search of a legendary lost city, only to find himself pushed to the edge of the Golden Abyss.
"Uncharted: Eye of Indra
is a motion comic that precedes the first game. In the comic, Nate is working for a man named Daniel Pinkerton in search of an artifact called the Eye of Indra. Along the way he encounters both Eddy Raja as well as Eddy's sister, Rika. Much backstabbing ensues. A novel
, The Fourth Labyrinth
, was released in late 2011. There was also a six issue comic book mini-series released by DC Comics
from late 2011 to early 2012. Nathan Drake appears in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale
, and the franchise has also received a card game on the Vita, Uncharted: Fight for Fortune
, and a board game.
A movie adaptation of Drake's Fortune
has been confirmed by producer Avi Arad, but is currently stuck in Development Hell
. Since the Uncharted
games were designed to look, feel, and play like a movie already, it may avoid the fate of most video-game-to-movie adaptations. David O. Russell
was originally assigned as the director but left the project due to creative differences between him and the studio as his script was over ambitious and too costly and his plot of the film had little resemblance to the "Uncharted" games; Neil Burger was hired as a director but pulled out to work on another film. Marianne and Cormac Wibberley
have been hired to rewrite the script. Nathan Fillion
started a campaign
to play Nathan Drake.
The next entry, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
for the PlayStation 4
, was unveiled at Sony's E3 press event on June 9, 2014.
This series provides examples of:
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General series tropes:
- Acrofatic: Doughnut Drake, an unlockable skin for Drake.
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene:
- Among Thieves has the "Where Am I?" chapter, with no enemies and nothing to do but walk around, interact with the villagers, and Pet the Yak.
- Drake's Deception has a 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 Girl: Elena, Chloe, Rika, and Jada.
- Action Prologue: The first and third games.
- Drake's Fortune opens with pirates attacking Nate and Elena on their boat.
- Drake's Deception opens with Nate and Sully fighting their way through an English pub's worth of Mooks to escape after a deal gone bad.
- 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: Done inconsistently. While the AK-47 and SAS-12 (a pump-action only variant of the SPAS-12) keep their names, the SVD Dragunov sniper rifle is a Dragon Sniper, the Desert Eagle is called a Desert-5, and the Mossberg M500 shotgun is called a Moss-12.
- 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 clip. So you'll never be completely helpless.
- Armies Are Evil: Lazarevic's soldiers in Among Thieves and Guerro's in Golden Abyss.
- 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.
- Back-to-Back Badasses:
- Drake's Fortune: Nate and Eddy.
- Among Thieves: Nate and Flynn, later Nate and Tenzin.
- Bad Boss:
- Golden Abyss: Guerro's Establishing Character Moment is throwing one of his own men over a railing for failing him.
- Among Thieves: Lazarevic kills his men regularly for failing him. Or simply not being useful enough.
- Badass Crew: Nate, Sully, Elena, and Chloe
- Bedouin Rescue Service: Tibetan villagers rescue Nate after a mountain trainwreck in Among Thieves and actual Bedouins rescue him from Marlowe's agents in the desert in Drake's Deception.
- 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 Bad:
- Drake's Fortune: Gabriel Roman. Or more accurately, Navarro, who was manipulating Roman all along.
- Among Thieves: Zoran Lazarevic.
- Drake's Deception: Katherine Marlowe.
- 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.
: Buka pintu.
(Open the door.) Guard
: Siapa ini? Bicara sekarang.
(Who is this? Speak, now.) Nate
: Ah, crap... SIALAN LO! CEPATAN BUKA PINTU!!
(GODDAMNIT, YOU! QUICK, OPEN THE DOOR!) Guard
: Ah, tai!
(Ugh, that shit!)
- 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).
- 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.
- Born Lucky: According to Word of God. If the last bullet is really the only one that kills you, all the bad guys must be from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
- Bond One-Liner: Nate gets off a few good ones, particularly in Among Thieves.
(after taking out a bunch of mooks on the train) "Sorry, boys! Just needed to punch your tickets!"
(after taking out a pursuing helicopter) "Enjoy the ride down, asshole!"
- Break the Cutie: Poor Nate is as cute and funny as they come, and the amount of shit that comes his way is more than enough to break a lesser man. Especially what he goes through during Sully's rescue in Drake's Deception.
- Call Back:
Nate: Great, power's out and a girl's trapped. I swear to god, if there's a zombie around the next corner...
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.
- Elena asks if the plane has enough parachutes for everyone, to which Sully replies that he's pretty sure it does. Maybe.
- Camera Screw: Naughty Dog just love to have Nate run-towards-camera, especially while the area is breaking away underfoot.
- Catch Phrase: Nate has a few.
- "Ah, crap..."
- "Here we go..."
- Sully has "Goddamn" in almost every possible usage, to the point of another character referring to him as "Victor 'Goddamn' Sullivan".
- 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).
- 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!
- Continuity Nod:
- Among Thieves:
- 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.
- Drake's Deception:
- Sir Francis Drake's journal is still present, and the bullet hole from the first game is still there.
- A Thief's End:
- Nate's still wearing his wedding ring which he got back at the end of Deception.
- Convection Schmonvection: During the burning chateau level in the third game, 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.
- Done with lava in the comic book, where 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.
- 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.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: For the villains of Among Thieves, 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 weilding the SAS-12, which is one of only two weapons that can one-hit-kill Guardians.
- Damsel in Distress: Openly defied by Jada:
"If you want some girl who's going to lock the door and hide behind the sofa, then you've got the wrong damsel in distress."
- Subverted by Chloe when Nate comes for her on the train:
"I never asked for any of your bloody heroics."
- Darker and Edgier:
- Among Theives introduces seedier characters and a more threatening villain, Lezarivich
- Drake's Deception is darker then either game, with its character study of Nathan and Sully.
- Death Course
- Development Gag: The shirt young Nathan wears in Uncharted 3 is the same one he wore in the original announcement trailer for the first Uncharted before it was changed. He also wears this shirt in Eye of Indra.
- 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 Shambala, 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 a 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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:
- In Drake's Fortune, Nate and Eddy team up late in the game 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 and Jada have to team up with Tyr Henriksen in The Fourth Labyrinth. 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.
- Nate ends up teaming up with Dante for part of Golden Abyss.
- 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: All 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.
- Fanservice: Chloe Frazer always wears tight pants and shirts that show off her cleavage.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Such is the legendary Drake half-tuck.
- First Girl Wins: see the Official Couple section.
- Follow the Leader: The first game followed two leaders before either had been firmly established as a genre and succeeded admirably.
- Going by the first gameplay trailer of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, it seems like Tomb Raider and Uncharted are following one another so hard, they've formed an ouroboros.
- Foreboding Architecture
- 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".
- From Bad to Worse: The story of Nathan Drake's life.
- Have to go to a war torn city. then mooks with BIG guns show up. Then two attack helicopters come after you. Then a building collapses on you.
Nate: (hysterically) Can't you assholes see the helicopter? I've got enough shit to deal with!
- 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.
- Gatling Good: The GAU-19 available in Among Thieves and Golden Abyss is portable and powerful, if sadly impractical most of the time.
- Giant Mook:
- In Among Thieves 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.
- Drake's Deception has 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.
- 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 the third game where you have to reach in holes to look for a lever (Elena and Sully Lampshade what a bad idea this might be).
- 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.
- 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.
- Harder Than Hard: The aptly-named Crushing difficulty.
- For comparison, on Hard, you can survive several bursts from most assault rifles. On Crushing, a single FAL burst (three rounds) will kill you.
- Its only concession is that, in co-op, headshots are far more easier, thanks to the enemies having skulls for heads.
- 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.
- 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.
- Immune to Bullets: Guardians when you first meet them in Among Thieves. 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. In the third game, 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.
- 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.
- Indy Ploy: Lots of them. The game is something of an homage to Indiana Jones, after all. Among Thieves even has Catch Phrase of I didn't think that far ahead. Also;
Nate: I don't fumble, I improvise.
Chloe: Oh, is that what you call it?
- To the max in Eye of Indra. Pinned down and short on ammo, Nate comes up with a winning plan in seconds. Pity it ended up with Rika having the only loaded gun.
- From The Fourth Labyrinth:
Sully: We're gonna improvise, sweetheart. Don't worry. If there's one thing Nate and I know how to do, it's improvise.
- 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.
- Informed Ability: Chloe is allegedly a fantastic get-away driver but we have seen absolutely no proof of this in the game where this is first brought up. Lampshaded in Drake's Deception when Charlie mentions Chloe is "the best driver in the business" and Nate replies "I've heard that." The original claim turns into a Brick Joke when she does drive the team away from Marlowe's men in Drake's Deception, and she has a more extended car chase in the comics.
- 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.
- 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: 
- 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.
- Meta Twist: The first two games have humans transformed into monsters by the artifact. At first, the third game also seems to have them, but Drake's just hallucinating.
- 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.
- 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:
: 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
: 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."
- 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.
- In Uncharted 2, any time the game hints at the Yeti being around
- In Uncharted 3, 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.
- 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!"
- 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 in Among Thieves, and $80,000 more if you've beat the game at least once.
- Plot Coupon Delivery Service: At no point in the games does a bad guy find a clue or other important item without Nathan's help.
- Plot-Powered Stamina: When Nate staggers into a deserted village in Uncharted 3, he can barely keep himself upright and is almost dying of thirst. A few minutes later, he gets into a firefight with Marlowe's men with no problem. In 2, he acts as if grievously injured and suffering from the early effects of hypothermia after the train crash in Nepal, but gets into a firefight with Lazarevic's men with no problem.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: As the games were made to be like movies, you can expect these to be delivered to the Big Bad at the end of each.
: Adios, asshole. Drake
: Maybe not...but they do. Drake
: Time to end this, you son of a bitch! Drake
: You're just like the rest of those worthless thugs who serve in that pathetic mob you call an army.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Save the Villain: Marlowe falls into quicksand, and Nate attempts to save her. In the end he is unsuccessful.
- Also in The Fourth Labyrinth, where Nate tries to save Olivia from a flooding room - she gets taken down by the Minotaur.
- Scenery Porn
- 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 and a shirtless scene in Eye of Indra.
- Shoot The Propane Tanks!: 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.
- The games are obviously a tribute to the Indiana Jones series. Appropriately, Harrison Ford is the official spokesperson for Uncharted 3 in Japan.
- The recurring Strange Relic treasure is a Precursor Orb from Jak and Daxter, a previous Naughty Dog franchise.
- Nate's leather holster has NDI - Naughty Dog Incorporated - on the back.
- The grenades are similarly called "Mk-NDI".
- The name of Sully's plane is "Hog Wild", which was the name of one of the levels in the original Crash Bandicoot where Crash would ride on the back of a boar.
- Drake's Fortune:
- Nate and Elena's "Ottsel" (ie. Daxter's species) brand wetsuits at the beginning of the game.
- Also, check out the back of the Gold (and Silver) Ingot treasures. There's a small paw print on them— Naughty Dog's logo.
- Some of the crates look like the regular crates from Crash Bandicoot.
- Among Thieves:
- Harry Flynn's T-shirt in his introductory cutscene also says NDI.
- At the end of the Borneo level, when Sully and Nate have to jump off a cliff to escape, Sully tells him: "After you, Butch." They both jump off the cliff into the water below, mirroring a famous scene from that movie. Nate even says, "Oh shiiiiiit!"
- I HATE spikes! During a descending ceiling, no less!
- The chapter in which Nate and Tenzin find Schaeffer's expedition is called "Heart of Ice". Given that the expedition ended with the men going mad with power and having to be executed by Schaeffer, it's pretty clear that this is a reference to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
- The multiplayer mode includes characters from InFamous, Killzone and Resistance. The Helghast soldier also returns for the third game.
- Drake's Deception:
- As Nate's briefing his team Cutter constantly interjects, explaining a James Bond reference and when T.E. Lawrence is brought up, responds with "Great film."
- An upset Sully growls "What is this black ops bullshit?" after Team Drake realizes that Charlie Cutter has been hit with some manner of mind-control dart. In Call of Duty: Black Ops, the big plot twist is that the main character, Alex Mason, has been brainwashed for most of the game.
- The bus has a Sackboy doll hanging from the front mirror.
- Nate does a Living Daylights. If you haven't seen that movie, that means Nate is is fighting bad guys while hanging hanging out the back of a cargo plane in mid-flight.
- Possibly just straight Getting Crap Past the Radar, but the name of Rameses's ship is The Seaward.
- As Nate wanders through the desert, the voice-over recites an unattributed excerpt from T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land."
- Nate rides a horse through a tight canyon, looking very much like the end to The Last Crusade.
- Talbot's blowdarts and the water in Iram of the Pillars seem to be tainted with the Scarecrow's fear toxin.
- Again, not necessarily intentional, but it's nice to think that Sully's "This is why we can't have nice things!" in Chapter 22 was a deliberate reference to Archer.
- There's a medal in the multiplayer called Drakes On A Plane.
- 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!
- Soft Water: Averted at one point in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. 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. It's played straight at other points and in the sequel though.
- 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.
- 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 Tenzing. 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.
- Taking You with Me: Invoked by Harry Flynn in Among Thieves. It almost works.
- And then Rameses attempts it in Drake's Deception.
- Temple of Doom: Several.
- 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 in Among Thieves 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.
- 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.
- The Unreveal: In Uncharted 3, the brass urn allegedly 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-
Pirate Leader: (happily) Okay!
Nate: Uh, wait. No...I mean...
- 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.
- Too Awesome to Use: The Wes 44. Revolver. In both games, 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.
- Verbal Tic: Victor "Goddamn" Sullivan.
- Villains Act, Heroes React: Inverted; the plot of Among Thieves, in a nutshell, is Nate looking for stuff and Lazarevic stealing it from him.
- Drake's Deception 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.
- 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: The gang 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 impossibly massive sapphire ends up being a big piece of 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. Averted again in Drake's Deception, with the gang not salvaging anything of value from Iram before destroying it.
- 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...
- Wrestler in All of Us: Drake might not know martial arts but he's content with using a few wrestling moves. In the first game he utilized a dropkick and enziguri against his enemies while the second one has him doing a classic back body drop as a counter.
- You All Look Familiar: All of the guards in the museum in the sequel have the same character model, and Lazarevic's men only have four or five skins between them.
- 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).
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
- Navarro shoots Roman after they locate El Dorado.
- In Among Thieves Lazarevic kills a mook when Drake tries to hold him hostage. Later he Harry Flynn shoots Harry Flynn in the chest after finding the path to the tree of life.
- In Drake's Deception, Talbot has the East End thugs set fire to the Chateau to kill Nate and Sully, only to lock the entire gang inside.
Specific installment tropes:
- 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.
- Already Undone for You: The first game 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: You can hear the Descendants in the very first temple.
- Genre Shift: In Chapter 17, the game becomes partially survival-horror, thanks to the poorly-lit Nazi base full of zombie-fied Spaniards, 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 in the second one is not quite perfect, no real Indonesian talks like that.
- 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!
- 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 in Uncharted first 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.
- Zombie Apocalypse: What took out the Spanish colony and Nazi base on the island, and what Nathan is trying to prevent at the end.
- 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.
- 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: In Among Thieves, 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- Bottomless Magazines: At the end of the second game, when Chloe is being dragged down the collapsing bridge by a Guardian, Nate has a 92FS handgun that can fire forever. It doesn't even have an ammo counter.
- Captain Obvious: Used by name in Among Thieves when Flynn observes that they're getting closer to the tower in the museum.
- Chekhov's Armory: Lezarvich's train loaded is loaded with trucks. And a tank.
- Complete-the-Quote Title: This installment is largely about honor.
- Cosmic Plaything: Rather prevalent in the opening mission of Among Thieves, 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.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: The "Look" button from the first game (L2) became the "throw grenade" button in Among Thieves.
- Descending Ceiling: You can deactivate it by shooting the teeth off the gears on the wall, causing it to go in reverse.
- Evil Versus Evil: In Among Thieves, the last levels are filled with Lazarevic's troops fighting the Guardians.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The second game 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.
- The Four Gods: The Tibetan gods in Among Thieves. But there's still a puzzle that utilizes a set of four animal gods associated with colors, elements, cardinal directions, and symbols.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Drake's first three encounters with the Guardians in Among Thieves. After that, it's possible and necessary to kill them.
- Ice World: Among Thieves has some of the most beautiful levels ever seen, and the snow cave is no exception.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lampshade Hanging: Everyone 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...
- 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 though, 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.
- "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.
- Meaningful Name: The second game also provides us with a subtler, unstated example with the mountain in Borneo. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Reality Ensues: Shortly after fighting his way through an entire train of bad guys and shooting down a Hind attack helicopter with unguided rockets, Nate rescues a person, 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.
- Running Gag: Nate checking out the ass of the person he just boosted up in Among Thieves. 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.
- Say My Name: Lazarevic screams Nate's name a lot during the final encounter.
- Scars Are Forever: Subverted. Lazarevic's go away after he drinks the sap from the Tree of Life.
- 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...
- 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.
- Spikes of Doom: A descending ceiling of them in Among Thieves. 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:
: I AM SURROUNDED! BY TRAITORS! AND FOOLS!
- 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 second 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.)
: 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: 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.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Drake's exact words in the flashback scene at the start of Uncharted 2. 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.
- Your Mom: Harry and Nate found the time to have this kind of banter while at the gate to Shambhala.
- 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.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Uncharted 3 has 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 Uncharted 3, 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.
- Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: During the third game's flashback to Cartagena, young, defenseless Nate is about to 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 in Uncharted 3 is a series of quick-time-event mini-cutscenes, but they're context-sensitive and mixed into a normal gameplay fistfight.
- Controllable Helplessness: After the plane crash in the desert, you control Nate as he wanders helplessly the desert for three days.
- 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 Uncharted 3 multiplayer.
- Gas Mask Mooks: The 'Chokers' from Uncharted 3 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
- 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.
- Mind Screw: Drake suffers from these after drinking the water from the ruins due to its hallucination-properties towards the end of the third game. 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 in the third game 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. 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 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.
- 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.
- 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: Uncharted 3 sets up several interconnecting story arcs, and doesn't really follow through any of them.
- Most notably is the boat sequence, which comes completely out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly, never to be mentioned again.
- The game hints that Nathan Drake is a made up identity that Nate created to deal with some past trauma. Is this a shocking revelation that turns the plot on its head? Nope, it's mentioned once offhandedly by Marlowe and never alluded to again.
- The creative team have even stated that they basically decided to think up a bunch of cool set pieces and hope that a plot would somehow show up.
- The game also says that Nate's been looking for this game's treasure for twenty years, and that it's connected to Sir Francis Drake and his ring. This isn't even briefly alluded to in the previous two games, especialy since he had given up on the ring in the first game after finding the body of Francis Drake, without Elena it would still be on that lost island.
- 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 in the third game 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.
- 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: In Uncharted 3, 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.
- 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 in Uncharted 3. 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.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We're never told what happens to Cutter or Chloe at the end of Uncharted 3, 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.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The Giant Mooks can be shot to death, sure, but it's so much more fun to use Good Old Fisticuffs, which is exactly what the developers intended.
- Zerg Rush: Hordes of fist sized spiders chase you through the various ruins.
A Thief's End
- Grand Finale: The game has been confirmed to be the last chronological installment in the series.
- Meaningful Name: The title 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.
- One Last Job: Nate agrees to have one more adventure with Sully.
- Putting the Band Back Together: Nate and Sully reunite after a supposed retirement to hunt the treasure of the week.
- The Reveal: The Playstation Experience demo ends with one, complete with a Wham Line: the appearance of Nate's older brother, Sam.
- Gilligan Cut: In Golden Abyss, 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.
- Mundanger: There is a twist in Golden Abyss, but it's not a paranormal one. 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.
- 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.
The Fourth Labyrinth
- 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.