"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 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 RaidermeetsGears 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, his old friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan and Intrepid Reporter Elena Fisher 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. Sully and Elena are along for the ride again, and the group are racing to find the stone before psychopathic war criminal Zoran Lazarevic can get his hands on it.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. 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.
Action Commands: Mainly in the first game. The second game does feature them, but more often than not the player is in complete control of Drake as crazy stuff unfolds all around him. 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 Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The "Where Am I?" level in Among Thieves, which has no baddies and nothing to do but walk around and interact with the villagers. A real Pet the Dog (or Yak, as the case may be) moment for Nate.
So many in Drake's Deception: the scenes of Elena and Sully trying to convince him Iram isn't worth it, his sit-down with Marlowe, and the gorgeous moments when Nate returns from his cruise ship escapades. They serve to illuminate Nate's choice between the fake identity he's built around being Sir Francis' heir and the life he could have with Elena and Sully.
Action Prologue: The first and third games. Drake's Fortune opens with pirates attacking Nate and Elena on their boat, and 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.
Adventurer Outfit: Surprisingly, several different outfits for each character over the course of each game. You get to customize (limitedly) one in Uncharted 3's multiplayer.
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.
Nate: Shut up! You think I don't know - oh, forget it.
Almost Kiss: Nate and Elena at the end of Drake's Fortune.
Nate and Chase at the end of Golden Abyss
Nate and Jada a couple of times in The Fourth Labyrinth.
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. This could be subverted later when Nate is captured and Eddy takes the journal. However this is immediately thrown against the wall because there was no way he and his entire outfit could have remembered it all in the short time they did have it.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: Semi-averted. While new character skins are among the bonuses for achieving various medals, you also gain access to behind-the-scenes featurettes, as well as concept art. There's even a weapon select feature where you can summon any weapon you've unlocked. The second game takes it even further by featuring an in-game store, money for which is earned by achieving medals.
Arbitrary Skepticism: In Among Thieves, Nate and Elena seem awfully skeptical of the idea that the Cintamani stone is supernatural or at least some kind of Forgotten Phlebotinum that does something bizarre to anyone it touches after the stuff they came across in Drake's Fortune.
Then Chloe gets this when they're in Shambala. Nate and Elena point out how arbitrary that is.
This also crops up in Drake's Deception, where Iram of the Pillars, the lost city, is said to have been cursed by King Solomon, who supposedly sent a brass vessel with the spirits of the Djinn into the depths of the city, at least according to Sheikh Salim. Despite having seen all the supernatural stuff that happened since the first game (Zombies, yetis et al) both Drake and Sully are skeptical of the myth.
It should be noted that said zombies and yetis were created via biological means mistaken for the supernatural. Regarding the brass vessel, they weren't skeptical of it, just unaware of its actual purpose. See a theme yet? In addition, Drake begins believing in the Iram myth after getting poisoned a second time.
Artifact of Death: El Goddamn Dorado. Opening unleashes ZOMBIE DUST which turns anyone who inhales it into zombies. In the second game, it's stated that Shambala's life-granting sap turns you into angry zombies wearing yeti costumes. In the third game, the vessel of brass used to trap the 'djinn' in Iram, which is apparently the source of the hallucinogenic agent in the water.
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.
Artistic License - Physics: In the second game, a train car gets blown off the track by a helicopter attempting to kill Nate 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. They're not actually automatic, but they've got a pretty good firing rate nonetheless. Aside from the SAS-12, they're basically the only weapon that can kill Guardians with less than eight million shots.
Automaton Horses: In the third game, horses can not only keep up with, but go faster than, a convoy of trucks for more than ten minutes.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: Sort of done in Drake's Fortune. You enter a large room containing lots of weapons and ammo, then Eddy appears and you think he's going to be the boss. However, you're then ambushed by Descendants, who form the actual battle. Not quite a straight example, because Eddy doesn't die straight away - instead he fights alongside you for most of the battle before the Descendants take him out.
Bedouin Rescue Service: After the train wreck, the Tibetan natives rescue Drake on the mountain. In Uncharted 3, it's zig-zagged; Drake is rescued by Arabic nomads from overwhelming forces, but only after he found a ghost town and killed enough enemies to find drink and food. Salim explicitly mentions the code of honour which requires his people to assist anyone lost in the desert, even if they are strangers or enemies.
Big Creepy Crawlies: Uncharted 3 has spiders the size of your hand that attack in swarms and can only be repelled with light. It's not made clear what their connection is to the plot, but they're seen guarding the areas across the globe that Drake and his friends investigate, so presumably they were spread there by someone trying to keep Iram of the Pillars secret. Nathan Drake theorizes that's what made Francis Drake turn back and abandon his mission to find Iram.
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.
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.
Bloodless Carnage: The 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, if you're up close. However, it is averted at times for emphasis, such as Nate's bullet wound in Among Thieves, and the final boss, after which both Nate and Lazarevic are seriously wounded and bleeding from just about everywhere.
Bottomless Magazines: Averted 99% of the time, but in one particular setpiece ( the very 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.
Generally, whenever Nathan is stuck with one weapon, it never runs out of ammo. In the case of heavy weapons, like Hammers and RPG launchers, they might run out, but the guns themselves pop into existence nearby fully loaded when you do.
Break the Cutie: Nate. 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: The games don't reference each other directly (you'll never hear about the specific events from the first or second game in the third game, for example), but the characters do refer to things that happened. For example, at the end of the third game, 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.
Claustrophobia: Charlie Cutter suffers from this in Drake's Deception, but, true to his tough guy persona, doesn't let on that it's a problem, shrugging it off even when it's painfully obvious. It's what finally causes him to snap and attack Drake while under the effects of Talbot's mind control.
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 hundred 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). Where it gets really crazy is that each and every one of these items has a unique portrait and Flavor Text describing them, and sometimes an audio clip from Nate or Vincent Perez describing them as well.
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!
Nate's notebook in Among Thieves includes a page with the Scare-O-Meter once you encounter the Guardians. It places the 'demon Sasquatch' on top, with 'slippery naked guy' (a Descendant from Drake's Fortune) one rung below, followed by Sully's Moustache. Also in the notebook is 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.
It also reads "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.
As of Drake's Deception, the journal is still present, and the bullet hole is still as holey as ever.
From 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."
Likely a reference to their quest for Shambhala, on which Nate and Elena almost died and Flynn actually did.
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.
Controllable Helplessness: In Drake's Deception after surviving the plane crash but finding himself stuck in the middle of one of the most inhospitable deserts in the world, the player is given control of Nate as he wanders the desert for three days looking to survive. And all you can do is keep pushing forward, even as the desert takes its toll on Drake, making him weaker, and weaker, suffering from heat-induced hallucinations of Sully, realizing that he's been going in circles...it's just about as brutal for the player as it is for Drake.
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.
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).
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.
The final fight in Uncharted 3 is an interesting example, as it's primarily a series of quick-time-event mini-cutscenes, but they're context-sensitive and mixed into a normal gameplay fistfight (basically every 2 or 3 punches triggers a QTE cutscene, which is determined semi-randomly by the relative position of you, the bad guy, and the environment). It's like they took the final fight from Metal Gear Solid 4 and made it even more QTEheavy.
The final confrontation in the first game plays this trope pretty much straight.
Cutscene Incompetence: Averted. In Among Thieves, Drake gets shot in a cutscene. Rather than Walk It Off, Drake keeps on limping, the wound remains through the cutscene and during the aftermath, and you have lessened abilities and health because of it.
Averted in Drake's Deception, when Nate destroys Marlowe's crane and prevents her from retrieving the supposedly Djinn-sealing copper vessel. Maybe he learned his lesson after letting Lazarevic drink the sap.
There are several times in the series where Drake simply stands and watches, despite having been bit in the ass by such neglect. A notable subversion in the third game is when Nate doesn't write down the location of Ubar in his journal, aware that it has been stolen and used against him several times.
Pretty much every time Drake finds a special artifact. Rather than grabbing it and running to safety before anyone notices it's gone, he feels the need to play with it and decode its secret right there. In the middle of everything. And he invariably takes just long enough for a horde of bad guys to come along. In the third game, the other characters at least are aware of this, and frequently try to get Drake to shut up and keep moving, but Drake is too excited by what he's found to listen to them until he's finished.
Also the characters are notorious for opening doors and secret passageways, and then just leaving them wide open for any keyless bad guy who might want to follow them.
Averted in Drake's Deception for the most part, several times the characters will turn to close doors behind them.
Also in the third game Drake is quickly overpowered and knocked down by Cutter in a cutscene near the beginning, despite the fact that he would normally put up much more of a fight. It turns out to be justified in this case because Cutter is on Drake's side, and their plan required Drake to be apparently neutralised.
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.
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.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: The "Look" button from the first game (L2) became the "throw grenade" button in Among Thieves. Even when you're not accidentally killing yourself (and enraged teammates in multiplayer) with grenades, you can accidentally throw one at yourself just by setting down the controller, due to the design of the triggers. Fortunately, there's a cancel throw button.
"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: Naughty Dog said they were going for this with the sequel. Sure, several levels take place in a war-torn city, but it's simply there for level design; the effects on the populace are never shown. The only good guys to die do so with little to no characterization or lines. The Big Bad's attempted Not So DifferentHannibal Lecture rings hollow when you think about it. And it's never actually told what the Big Bad wants the artifact for, or why it's so bad that he gets it (and compare his fate to Roman's from Drake's Fortune after encountering the artifact, but before the boss fight; the latter dies horribly, but the former gets better).
Drake's Deception is definitely darker then either game, but the Even Better Sequel trend continues-it sets up a lot of Crowning Moments with its character study of Nathan and Sully.
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.
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.
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 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".
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.
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.
At least one British person isn't evil: Cutter from Uncharted 3, who worked as a Double Agent within Marlowe's camp for Drake and Sully.
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's subtitle all but gives away a couple of minor plot points, assuming the player recognizes it as a shortened version of an old saying ("no honor among thieves").
Exploding Barrels: Drake's Fortune has barrels; Among Thieves has propane tanks. And exploding tree sap. Check the entry's page quote for Hennig's hilarious lampshading of the trope.
Exposed to the Elements: Heavily 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.
Fake Difficulty: Present at times in the second game. There are times when your weaponry resets to the basic AK-47 and 92FS for no good reason, even though Drake basically just walked down a hill.
Both games feature plenty for their respective monster and true nature of its main treasure. 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. Given that the Djinn are figments of Nate's imagination while he's under the hallucinogenic water, it's clear he 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".
The Four Gods: Not exactly as they are listed on the trope page, as those are the Chinese gods and the ones referenced in the game are Tibetan. But there's still a puzzle that utilizes a set of four animal gods associated with colors, elements, cardinal directions, and symbols.
From Bad to Worse: The story of Nathan Drake's life. Playing through the games, it's safe to say that unless you're at the very end of one, Nate's day is going to keep getting worse. Just trying to get through a war-torn city without being noticed? Mooks. Lots of mooks. With big, BIG guns. Start Roof Hopping? Here's not one, but two attack helicopters! Finally managed to evade that attack helicopter? Whoops, it blew up the building. Survived that? Figured out more of the Linked List Clue Methodology? Whoops, Chloe sorta made a Face Heel Turn! And she took the MacGuffin with her! She's being taken away on a train! Chase the train in a car, and barely manage to get on the last car. ZERG RUSH!! ANOTHER ATTACK HELICOPTER! IT BLOWS UP THE CARS ONE BY ONE BEHIND YOU!
Nate: (hysterically) "Can't you assholes see the helicopter? I've got enough shit to deal with!"
Aaaand then you find out How We Got Here. And it gets even worse. You still have Guardians and TANKS to deal with. And when you FINALLY track down the Big Bad? Oh look, he's even tougher than those Guardians that have been wrecking your shit!
Notably, when it gets worse, Nate doesn't necessarily man up and face it down. In the first game, he wants to get the hell off the island before the halfway point of the game. He only turns back because he finds out Sully is alive and captured. In the second game, he seriously wants out by the time he meets Schafer, and only continues because Schafer convinces him to go spelunking with an extremely low-probability of combat ensuing. He knows when he's in over his head, and the treasure at the end isn't enough to convince him to keep beating the odds (which makes it rather jarring in the third game when he repeatedly refuses to listen to various characters who advise him to back off).
Gameplay and Story Segregation: In both games during cutscenes characters are killed or seriously hurt by attacks 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. When you die, it's assumed it's the only bullet that actually hit you. Of course, that doesn't explain how bullets manage to miss Nathan at point-blank range, or how grenades blown up next to his head don't kill him.
Gas Mask Mooks: The 'Chokers' from Uncharted 3 Co-op/Multiplayer wear gasmasks, and you can usually hear their heavy breathing before you even see them. They have a nasty habit of creeping up on you from behind, and will choke your character to death unless another player comes along to save you.
Gatling Good: In Uncharted 2, there's a man-portable one you can grab as a temporary power-up. It can however be rather impractical most of the time.
Genre Shift: Chapters 18 and 19 of Drake's Fortune suddenly become survival-horror, thanks to the poorly-lit, camera-unfriendly Nazi base full of zombie-fied Spaniards and creepy music.
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...
Genius Bruiser: Charlie Cutter. He looks and acts like a London thug, but corrects Sully's misquoting of Macbeth, tells off Drake for having no appreciation for the classics, and actually beats Drake to the punchline when it comes to piecing the clues together a few times. He's also a big fan of John Dee.
Nate: You dragged me halfway across the country [to New York]—
Sully: You were in Chicago. That's not even close to halfway.
Nate: I was never good at fractions.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: In Uncharted 3, Elena still wears her old wedding band while working in Yemen since, according to her, "It helps in this part of the world." The game carefully dances around the issue (and Drake genuinely doesn't seem to understand), but 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
For whatever reason, rapists in Middle Eastern countries are less likely to try and target women who are married and/or have children.
In Among Thieves you end up fighting Lazarevic 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.
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.
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 Marissa Chase from Golden Abyss, but unlike the other girls, Chase only gets as far as an Almost Kiss.
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 both 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.
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.
Hollywood Density: In Drake's Fortune, 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.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Drake's first three encounters with the Guardians in Among Thieves. After that, it's possible and necessary to kill them.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 games, though she does get to drive in the comics. Lampshaded in Drake's Deception when Charlie mentions Chloe is "the best driver in the business " and Nate replies "I've heard that."
Instant Death Bullet: Averted and played straight in the mission where you escort Jeff, Elena's cameraman, after he has been shot in the stomach. He manages to make in through the onslaught, and it looks like he's going to live... until Lazarevic comes in and shoots him in the head, finishing him off.
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.
Also used by the bad guys in Among Thieves when Nate is running around like a goddamn 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...
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: 
Light and Mirrors Puzzle: In Among Thieves. 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.
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.
"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'sOn A Train".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multicolored Hair: Jada Hzujak has black hair with magenta bangs which even Nate recognizes as magenta (to her surprise).
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.
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.
Crossbow yeti psycho immortal zombies 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! I should have known after meeting you that I'd end up in prison within the year. Sully: Yeah, but I got you out, didn't I?I alwaysget you out.
No One Could Survive That: One of the guards in Among Thieves 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.
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.
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.
Oo C Is Serious Business: Nate flies into an Unstoppable Rage when Sully is killed near the end of the third game. Luckily, it's just a hallucination and Sully is still alive, because seeing the charming, affable Nate lose his temper like that is terrifying.
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.
Pocket Protector: How Sullivan survived being shot. Nate lampshades it by holding up said pocket protector, staring at the bullet hole and remarking that he thought it only happened in the movies.
Drake: You take one of those niiiice-looking je- Elena: 4x4s. Drake: 4x4s.
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.
Ragnarok Proofing: Weirdly zigzagged at Ubar. Lots of the buildings are falling apart. The incredibly complicated machinery still works just fine.
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.
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.
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.
Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Occurs in all three PS3 games. 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.
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.
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.
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 bethe only one. Sully is also not an exception.
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.
Rustproof Blood: Averted in the U-Boat sequence towards the beginning of Drake's Fortune — notable, as this trope is near-universal in video games.
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.
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.
Self-Disposing Villain: In the third game, Rameses, in an attempt to kill Drake, shoots the window of a sunken portion of his ship and is killed when the area floods
Sexy Discretion Shot: In the comic, 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.
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!"
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 in the second game includes characters from InFamous, Killzone and Resistance. The Helghast soldier also returns for the third game.
The trailer for Drake's Deception shows Nate doing 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.
The trailer for Drake's Deception also shows Nate riding a horse through a tight canyon, looking very much like the end to The Last Crusade.
In Deception, 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.
Also in 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."
The bus in Drake's Deception has a Sackboy doll hanging from the front mirror.
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.
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 in Drake's Deception.
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.
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.
Spin-Off: There's a PSP pinball game based on Drake's Fortune.
Standard Female Grab Area: Averted. Both 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
And then Rameses attempts it in Drake's Deception.
Tarot Motifs: Recurrent in Drake's Deception 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.
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.
Thirsty Desert: Part of Drake's Deception takes place in the Rub' al Khalinote literally The Empty Quarter, 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.
Referenced in Uncharted 3. "Aw, what's the matter? Kitty don't like getting wet?"
During a recording session for Uncharted 3, Nolan North watched a scene of Sully crossing a beam very wobbly, and immediately shouted "What are you, drunk?!" To which Sully replied, "Maybe..."
Title Drop: Elena even quotes the full proverb: "Honor among thieves".
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?!
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.)
Nate: Tenzin! RPG? RPG! (Beat) What the hell is Tibetan for RPG?
Treasure Map: But of course. Each game has one, detailing the steps needed to get to whatever hidden-away locale or treasure is there.
Unexplained Recovery: Elena recovers from her grenade wounds 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 when she recovers; 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.
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 anotherMacGuffin our anti-heroes want.
The Virus: Literal, in this case. 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.
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.
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.
What Could Have Been: A minor example in Uncharted 3. Early trailers showed a different, deeper sound for the AK-47, which didn't make it into the finished product.
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.
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.
Also Talbot in Drake's Deception. The man get's 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).
Inverted, as Navarro shoots Roman about fifteen minutes before the end of the game. Although an Alternate Character Interpretation could be that Navarro was manipulating Roman to get the treasure anyway, only working with him to use his considerable resources and planning to kill him all along when he found the treasure, which would kinda make it a straight example of the trope. Or possibly a case of Dragon with an Agenda
Occurs in Among Thieves when Drake and Co. find Harry Flynn near the end of the game. He's been beaten, shot in the chest and left holding a pinless grenade by Lazarevic, for seemingly no other reason than outliving his usefulness. Actually, Lazarevic does this a lot.
Occurs early on in Drake's Deception, when Talbot has the East End thugs set fire to the Chateau to kill Nate and Sully, only for his agents to lock the entire gang inside. As you escape the Chateau, the thugs appear just as desperate to survive as you are, though that doesn't seem to stop them from trying to kill you. Guess they take their work seriously.
Your Mom: Harry and Nate found the time to have this kind of banter while at the gate to Shambhala.