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Video Game / Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

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"I am a Man of Fortune, and I must seek my Fortune."
Henry Avery, 1694 (opening quote)

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is the fourth game in Naughty Dog's Uncharted series, and the final entry to star Nathan Drake. It was originally released on May 10, 2016 for the PlayStation 4.

A remastered port for PlayStation 5 and a brand-new port for Microsoft Windows has been announced for early 2022.

Years after his last great adventure, Nathan Drake has settled down with Elena into a stable, albeit mundane, domestic life. Things seem relatively quiet until an unexpected reappearance of a familiar face coaxes him into one last job to finally finish a treasure hunt he had left in his past: the quest for the long-lost treasure of legendary pirate Henry Avery.

A stand-alone expansion, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, was released in 2017.

This game provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Nathan Drake starts out "retired" from treasure hunting, but quickly gets back into it when he reunites with Sam, though he tries to back out at first. He finally does retire for good by the end of the game, at least from illegal adventuring. He becomes a legitimate archaeologist instead.
  • Action Dress Rip: Played with; Nadine actually wears dress pants for her first fight with Nate, but she kicks off her heels to fight at full capacity, and promptly takes him to the cleaners. In her second fight, against both Nate and Sam, she's wearing fatigues and boots, so she doesn't need to change anything.
  • Action Prologue: The game opens with Nate and Sam being pursued by mercenary boats in a tropical storm.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: A truck, similar to the one in the E3 demo, chases Nate around the pirate ruins in one of the later chapters.
  • Action Mom: We learn that Nate and Sam's mother, Cassandra Morgan, was one, and started the tradition of adventuring in the family. Elena also becomes one in the epilogue, where we learn she and Nate had a daughter.
  • Affably Evil: Hector Alcázar, the drug lord who serves as Sam's cellmate in Panama is quite friendly, jovial and generous to Sam, albeit for highly mercantile reasons as he wants a piece of Henry Avery's treasure for himself and threatens to murder Sam if he doesn't deliver within 3 months. Even after delivering the death threat, Alcázar remains courteous, giving Sam the water canteen, some cash, and directions to the nearest town. Pity that whole flashback was a lie.
  • A.K.A.-47: Played straight and averted. For example, the Beretta 8000 Cougar and Mateba Model 6 Unica appear as the "Aegis 9mm" and "Barok .44" respectively, while the Beretta ARX-160 and Robinson Arms XCR appear with their real names.
  • All for Nothing:
    • As usual, Nate and his companions fail in obtaining their primary objective at the start of the adventure, in this case Henry Avery's treasure. However, this is subverted as Sam Drake manages to collect some ancient coins from the treasure before it sinks, enough for Nate and Elena to purchase Jameson's salvage company and start their path to a very comfortable (and now legal) life.
    • This is also the story of Henry Avery and Libertalia: a bunch of pirate captains set up a secret island community that attracts citizens looking for a fresh start in a land not ruled by any sort of ruling class. Then it turns out that they were just conned there by a bunch of pirates to rob them blind. This works (although it sparks a revolt among the angry citizens who storm New Devon), but being pirate captains, the Founders end up feuding amongst themselves before Avery and Thomas Tew have them all poisoned during a dinner, leaving only themselves. However, once again being pirate captains, they turn on and promptly kill each other during their attempt to escape Libertalia with the gold. So ultimately, not one of them got the treasure that everyone was backstabbing each other over.
  • All There in the Manual: The concept art gallery reveals the name of the mysterious twelfth Libertalia captain: Guy Wood. Given that the character is a homage to Guybrush Threepwood, the name was obviously kept out in the main game to allow knowledgeable gamers to locate the true figure.
  • All There in the Script: Knot and Orca, Nadine's two lieutenants, are only named in the multiplayer mode and character gallery.
  • Amoral Afrikaner: The main mooks of the game are a South African Private Military Contractor called Shoreline.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • For Chapter 5, the player controls Sam in a flashback that details how he escaped from prison. Later on, that very flashback is revealed to be a lie.
    • The very last segment in the game is an epilogue that takes place 15 years later with the player controlling Cassie, Nate and Elena's daughter.
  • And Starring: The main cast credits end with "and Kaitlyn Dever as Cassie."
  • And the Adventure Continues: The epilogue reveals that Nate and Elena never really left the life of exploration and adventure; they just approached it in more practical — and legal — ways. Their home and office is filled with mementos, artifacts, and photographs from all over the world. There's a lab workbench being used for some kind of artifact restoration project. There's also a cartography table featuring a map of the Yucatán, suggesting their current project. Cassie offhandedly mentions going on archaeological digs with her parents and Sully, and is even featured on the cover of one of the travel magazines. Meanwhile, Sam teams up with Sully, eager to find lost cities of his own and taking Nate's place as an illegal treasure hunter.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • Letters found in the ruins of Libertalia documents the hopes of the pirates settling there, and it's descent into civil war once Avery and the Founders betray the colonists. This continues in New Devon, following the Founders turning on each other and trying to claim the treasure for themselves.
    • The logs belonging to the expedition of Joseph Burns, who also searched for the treasure in the 1800's, documenting his descent into madness as he refuses to give up the search no matter how many misfortunes befall the group. The final entry is found on his corpse, written the night before he died of a fever in his sleep. Ironically, he was very close to reaching the cave where the treasure was hidden.
  • Arc Words:
    • The quotation from Avery at the start: "I am a man of fortune. I must seek my fortune", which Sam adopts as his personal motto, to the extent that he once describes himself and Drake as "fortunate men" (not in the sense of being lucky, but as being men who cut their own path in the world).
    • The Bible quotations below are used constantly in the many crypts and puzzles and notes that Nate finds as is "For God and Liberty", the motto of Libertalia.
    • The word "thief" constantly recurs throughout the game. Rafe once says, "Last time I checked, we're all just a bunch of thieves." The Drakes justify stealing an item from an auction on account of the fact that it's an auction for criminals. And the word is scrawled on the portraits of the founders of Libertalia in the treasury. Likewise, Saint Dismas, the "penitent thief", is a recurring symbol. There's an ironic part that Avery actually has more in common with Gestas, the "impetinent thief", who didn't regret his crimes at all, and who's not mentioned in the game aside from a note in Nate's journal as the "jerk thief".
  • Artistic License – History: There's a huge historical inaccuracy regarding Anne Bonny. In-game, she is depicted as one of the founders of Libertalia and died with the other pirates in 1718. Historically, Anne Bonny was born on 1700, long after Libertalia was founded, and was arrested in 1720, but her actual date of death is unknown. The game presents her as a legendary pirate captain, but Anne never captained on her own, being merely part of the crew of "Calico" Jack Rackham at the time of her arrest. Other pirates show historical inaccuracy, too; Henry Avery is sometimes believed to have died in the 1690s (quite possibly 1699, as the game suggests). Edward England and Christopher Condent are mentioned as associates of his, but at that time, they would have been, respectively, a teen and a mere child. Additionally, unlike many of the historical pirates featured in the game, there's no mystery surrounding Condent's fate. He was offered a pardon, settled in France, got married and became a wealthy merchant, leaving the pirate life completely and dying of old age in 1770.note 
  • Ascended Meme: The "Stage Fright" Trophy is earned by standing still for 30 seconds prior to the chase scene in Madagascar, in reference to the E3 2015 demo, in which the developers had some issues with the controller.
  • As the Good Book Says...:
    • One of the game's Arc Words are an excerpt of Luke 23:41 — "For we receive the due reward of our deeds". The full quote ("We are justly punished, for we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this man has done no wrong") is far more telling in its omission, symbolizing how the founders were more self-righteous and self-delusional than genuinely penitent and used the story of Dismas as an excuse to commit whatever crimes they could in the name of their own personal gain. By the end, all were indeed horribly killed by Avery, who himself was driven completely mad by greed and power.
    • The other quote they use is "On this day you will be with me in paradise", which is what Libertalia is intended to be, a paradise for the "penitent" pirates to build and rule for their own. Needless to say, Jesus didn't refer to a pirate republic in the original context. Elena later speculates that the "paradise" was probably nothing more than a trap to lure pirates looking for freedom only to be captured and/or killed and have all their treasures stolen.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue, Nate and Elena have a teenage daughter named Cassie.
  • Back in the Saddle: Samuel Drake after he gets out of prison. Also, Nathan after his reunion with Sam.
  • Bad Boss: Henry Avery is heavily implied to have murdered his crew for "stealing from him."
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Rafe Adler and Nadine Ross. While Hector Alcázar is initially set up as a Greater-Scope Villain, it turns out he's been dead for months and that Sam made up his encounter with him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Near the end of the game, Nate is relentlessly pursued by a Shoreline vehicle, and it manages to corner him. It looks like Nate is finished, and then Sully comes by with an RPG.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Gratuitous Spanish in the Panamanian jail (subverting Reality Has No Subtitles by soft-subtitling it), as well as background characters in Madagascar and at the Rossi Estate speaking French (plus Italian in the latter, too).
  • Bond One-Liner: After Nate destroys the above Shoreline vehicle which has been chasing him thanks to Sully's helpful intervention with an RPG:
    Nate: For God and liberty, asshole. Ah, that sounded better in my head.
  • Book Ends:
    • Crash Bandicoot is played both at the beginning and ending of the game. Also, Nate and Elena's photo album can be examined with new photos relating to the game's ending.
    • During the epilogue, Nate retells the events of the first game. One of the last scenes before the credits roll is Elena putting back the photo of her, Nate and Sully with their treasure after the first game.
  • Boss Banter: A favourite of Rafe, as well as the Brute bosses in Survival.
    Indra's Disciple or El Dorado's Disciple: You're gonna wanna hide!
  • Breaking Old Trends: Two examples.
    • Traditionally, The Dragon of the story will betray the Big Bad to become the true antagonist of the game. Rafe, however, is the Big Bad from the get-go, and while Nadine does betray him, it's because she got fed up with his obsession over the treasure and decided to cut her losses and run.
    • Usually, Drake's Evil Counterpart is The Dragon. Here, he's the Big Bad.
    • Every other Uncharted has had a twist where it turns out the titular treasure carried it some supernatural curse - here there is no such thing. The colonists, pirate leaders, Tew and Avery were done in by their own greed and cruelty.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Characters address the player directly when selected in multiplayer.
    Nate: I'm feelin' it. Are you feelin' it? I'm definitely feelin' it.
  • Brick Joke:
    • At one point Nate jokes to Sully that he plans to get a dog and call it Victor. In the epilogue with Cassie Drake, Nate's daughter, the family dog is named Vicky (presumably short for Victoria).
    • Although Nate nervously jokes that Libertalia might be home to pirate ghosts, ultimately nothing comes of it. In the Survival DLC, an undead Adam Baldridge and Henry Avery appear as bosses, with armies of undead mercenaries at their command.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: When telling their daughter how she first met Nate, Elena calls him a fraud, but Nate retorts with "handsome fraud".
  • But Thou Must!: No matter how well you play, you can't actually beat Elena's high score the first time you play Crash Bandicoot as Nate, leading to Elena making fun of him about it. You do get a second shot at it later, though, which earns you an achievement if you do beat her score.
  • Car Chase Shoot-Out: At King's Bay, Sam gets caught by Rafe's men, forcing Nate and Sully to go rescue him, the chase culminates with Drake and Sam having to escape on a motorcycle with an armored truck coming after them with Drake having to shoot at it as Sam drives.
  • Casting Gag: A fairly subtle one. Robin Atkin Downes has played both minor and major villainous roles in nearly every game in the series (including Golden Abyss), so it's not surprising when he returns in flashbacks as Hector Alcázar, doing a similar voice to Atoq Navarro; however, given that Nate only knows the man by his reputation as the "Butcher of Panama" and is unaware that he died in a shoot-out half a year ago, it implies that this is just what Nate imagined Alcázar sounded like when hearing the story, plucking a convenient voice from his memory.
  • Central Theme: Family, greed, obsession, and knowing when to walk away from a bad situation.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Back in the first game Nate joked about how awful Panaman prisons are. This game reveals that he mistakenly thought for years that his brother died in one.
  • Character Tics: If Nate idles in one spot for a long while, he'll start fiddling with his wedding band on his left hand.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Even for pirates, the amount of betrayal that goes on in Libertalia is exceptionally high, to the point where one wonders how they were ever able to work together for any length of time. The best example is Henry Avery, who manages to betray and pull an You Have Outlived Your Usefulness first on the other colonists and then the pirate lords, all in the name of pulling off the biggest con in history. This comes back to bite him when the latter event is finally makes Thomas Tew realize that it was really only a matter of time before Avery would turn on him too, and so he decided to make a pre-emptive strike against him.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: Present, but only in singleplayer. It's possible to kill enemies with a single headshot in multiplayer and Survival, if only because their health has been whittled down enough beforehand (or you're using a Heavy Weapon).
  • Combat Resuscitation: This mechanic is present in multiplayer. Boosters allow players to last longer and crawl faster when downed. Some Survival waves have a modifier labelled "Saviors revive enemies".
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Nate's attic office, where he's kept all the little collected treasures and totems from his past adventures, including old photos, journals, and a vial of crystallized sap from Shambhala.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Nate's still wearing his wedding ring, which he got back at the end of Deception.
    • Nate tells his "crazy stories" from all the previous games (including Golden Abyss) to Sam.
    • Nate kept many trinkets from his previous adventures in his house.
    • Many of Nate's allies from the previous game are mentioned in some way: a photo of Tenzin, a note from Chloe, a box of relics with a sticky note that says "Send to Marisa (Chase)", and a suggestion for Sam to call Charlie Cutter to help him (which confirms his survival), among others.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Sam only has a few months to find Avery's lost treasure, but he thankfully breaks out of jail just before a major clue is about to be auctioned off despite years of dead-ends. Subverted when the real story comes out: Sam was originally working for Rafe for years and left to find Nate when he had enough leads.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Nadine Ross is a professional soldier in her prime and a Skilled And Strong hand-to-hand combatant. Nathan Drake is a semi-retired thief pushing 40 who relies on Improv Fu and Good Old Fisticuffs in a fight. When the two square off, Nadine cleans Nate's clock and the only hits he manages to land are cheap shots.
  • Cutscene Boss: Rafe Adler is an example of a justification of this trope. The final boss fight is a sword duel on Avery's burning ship, and Nate is barely a match against someone who is better than him at fencing. He has to resort to cheating to win, dropping a bag of loot on Rafe.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Reloading is now triangle and grenades are R1, meaning that those who try to reload their gun probably end up wasting their grenades until they adjust.
  • Dark Reprise: The main Uncharted musical theme has been reworked; in the place of the orchestral, uplifting music from the original trilogy (and Golden Abyss, to boot), is an eerie theme with dark undertones.
  • Day in the Life: After the Action Prologue and the opening credits, the game features two low-key sequences where Nate goes about his daily life, showing him at his work as well as having dinner with Elena in the evening.
  • Dead Guy on Display: New Devon has long-decayed skeletons strung up in gibbets and on poles almost everywhere, both from the Libertalia rebels, and from the crews of the founders from when they turned on eachother over the treasure.
  • Death Trap: Henry Avery loved making these. Even before they arrive in Libertalia, Nate and Sam are troubled and disturbed by the elaborate tests in crypts in Scotland, designed to weed out the deserving from the unworthy, so that only the chosen may come to Libertalia. Then they come to Libertalia, and as they progress deeper, it gets crazier and crazier, finally culminating in coffins of Avery's victims dolled up like mummies and filled with gunpowder.
  • Deconstruction:
    • Libertalia, and the various pirate captains who founded it, is a rather brutal one for the romantic, adventurous, and noble image of piracy painted by works such as Captain Blood or Pirates of the Caribbean. Sam and Nate idolize a free and libertarian society... that was an insidious trap devised by the captains to attain power and wealth. Naturally, a society run by psychopaths, rapists, murderers, and thieves did not end well, and the pirates all turned on each other.
    • In some ways, the game is also an attack on treasure hunting and Greed along with obsession that can manifest with them. This obsession can be just as destructive as the various insanity-inducing artifacts of the previous games. A primary example is what happened with Avery, who after making off with the biggest pirate haul in history, fell into paranoid madness, being surrounded by other pirates who were willing to kill for his gold. What ensured was a catastrophic pile-up of double-crossing and backstabbing which led to the deaths of Libertalia's inhabitants, the pirate founders and eventually Avery, who in his zeal to ensure no one would get his loot, got what he deserved.
    • In the game itself, Nate, Sam and Rafe all suffer from Greed to various degrees:
      • Nate's initial motivation to help Sam begins to slip as his zeal for treasure hunting and his obsession takes over, making him lie to his wife and briefly sidelining his mentor.
      • Sam decides not to get on Sully's seaplane and leave the bad guys to the treasure, like Nate wanted. He falls victim to the sunk cost fallacy, and nearly gets himself and Nate killed in Avery's burning ship.
      • Rafe is determined to loot Avery's ship instead of the more practical option of looting the surrounding, non-booby-trapped cavern. Nadine seals him and Nate in the bowels of the boat because of it, and he refuses to let things go out of spite and envy, so Drake reluctantly kills him.
      • Nadine isn't consumed by greed, is willing to let the big pay day go, and becomes the only Uncharted villain to live through the ending.
  • Depth of Field: The Photo Mode lets you tinker with the depth-of-field and field-of-view in order to capture the best of the game's very detailed visuals.
  • Destination Defenestration: This happens twice to Nathan, both times he's thrown out by Nadine.
    • The first time occurs after Sam has stolen the St. Dismas cross and the group are trying to get away. Nate opens a door and comes face to face with Nadine, who promptly hands him his ass. She finished the fight by kicking him out of a window, expecting the five story fall to kill him. Naturally, he's able to survive by clinging to a curtain and throwing himself onto the side of the building.
    • The second time happens much later, in chapter 15. After Nathan and Sam survive a chain of RPG shots, Nadine gets the drop on them. During the ensuing fight, Nadine throws Nathan out of a window and he once again needs to scale the side of a building (this one much less stable) but this time, it's to rejoin the fight.
  • Dialogue Tree: A series first, though it only pops up sparingly and has no impact on the plot.
  • Disappointed in You: How Sullivan feels about Nate lying to Elena and his insistence on continuing with Sam to seek Avery's treasure after Elena comes to Madagascar and confronts him.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue of the game takes place 15 years after the events of the main story with the player controlling Nate and Elena's teenage daughter.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Nate at one point has to grab onto a painting of Anne Bonny that was ripped at the chest area.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • The title "A Thief's End" (also the chapter title of the final level before the epilogue) has many meanings:
      • It signifies that this is Nate's final adventure. Or rather his final adventure as a thief. In the epilogue, he has gone legit and works as a legal archaeologist and salvage expert, he has ended one phase of his career and, having fully reconciled with his past and solved all loose ends, is able to move on the next phase and become a husband and a father.
      • It also refers to the possible endings of a thief or a career in adventuring. Henry Avery, Rafe Adler, Sam and Nate Drake, as well as Nadine, live a life of adventure and ill-gotten gains, and all come to different ends based on their ability to walk away. Henry Avery and his crew and fellow pirates tried to walk away from piracy and ended up killing each other out of pure greed. Both Sam and Rafe are obsessed with Avery's treasure and cannot move on until they at least see it with their own eyes. Nadine Ross merely wants money that she can use and is content to take modest prizes, while Rafe is willing to take that obsession to full Avery levels. It's basically death, dishonor, a decently-sized reward, and in the case of Sam, he is able to settle for finding the treasure and providing a modest amount of it to his sister-in-law, before deciding to go off for new adventures.
      • "End" can also refer to a goal or objective (as in "The ends justify the means"). Nate, the thief, pursues a noble end for most of the game before discovering that it was a lie.
    • The chapter title "Avery's Descent" refers to the pathway down the cave and cellar of Avery's mansion to the cove which contained his ship. But since this pathway contains Avery's private torture chamber and is filled with jaws, ribcages and hands hanging on the ceiling, it suggest Avery's descent into madness.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point:
    • When he's rescued, Sam stuns the group by continuing to insist they can beat Rafe to the treasure. He points out how Avery's ship is still intact which means that he wanted to get away with the gold. Elena says it's because "he was hell-bent on keeping his treasure." When Sam goes "exactly!" Elena continues "no matter the cost to others around him" Sam just brushes it off, utterly failing to see the ruins of Libertalia around him proving how empty this quest for gold is.
    • Even more blatant is the finale where Nadine points out the two skeletons of Avery and Tews having killed each other over the gold. Rafe literally asks "what's the point?" as Nadine point-blank tells him how anyone obsessed with this treasure pays for it. While Sam eventually accepts how his obsession got the better of him, Rafe dies never realizing how this quest ruined him.
  • Driven by Envy: Rafe's ultimate motivation for trying to kill Nathan.
    Rafe: You want to hear "insane?" "Nathan Drake raced a madman and his entire army to the steps of Shambhala." "Nathan Drake found a lost city in the middle of the Rub' al Khali desert." "Nathan Drake discovered the fabled El Dorado!" "Nathan Drake is a legend!" ...You know, I shot the man who told me that.
  • Durable Deathtrap: The various snares, spikes, collapsing floors, and exploding corpses are all perfectly functional after more than three centuries of disrepair. In a similar vein, there's also the swords that Henry Avery and Thomas Tew used to kill each other; they're sturdy enough for Nate and Rafe to fence with in the climax, rather than having rusted away to powder after 300 years on a ship in a humid, tropical marine cave.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Played with; Nate and Elena think they've accomplished this after Drake's Deception and have attempted to settle down and have a "normal" Happily Married life, but are drawn into another adventure. It's finally played straight after the events of this game, which reveals they used the treasure Sam snuck out of Libertalia to buy an underwater salvaging company and restart Elena's television career. In the epilogue, 15 years later, it's revealed they've become wealthy enough to own a large beachfront house, office and yacht, have become somewhat famous for even more off-screen archaeology and traveling exploits, and have raised a teenage daughter. Sam and Sully are still alive and the latter has retired and even stopped smoking!
  • Embedded Precursor: At one point, Nate and Elena play the first level of Crash Bandicoot together (see Game Within a Game). The style of gameplay - running towards the camera away from a fast approaching object while jumping over obstacles - is echoed a few times in the actual game with Nate fleeing from various vehicles.
  • Failed a Spot Check: After finding out Hector Alcázar died in a shootout months ago and Sam was making up the whole story, Nate basically lampshades to Elena how he was an idiot for not even bothering to do a Google search on the guy which would have told him the truth.
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison:
    Nate: Something odd about this skull though. It's like it doesn't belong to the stone.
    Sam: Well yeah, what's odd about it is... that's not Avery's sigil.
    Nate: Oh, yeah, I mean, the skull should be facing—
    Both: Sideways.
  • Flynning: Justified. Nate has never fenced, let alone faced a skilled opponent before, so he's helpless to do anything but block and dodge every attack he can from Rafe, who's gone completely insane and is swinging wildly for Nate's vulnerable points. Oddly though, he rarely actually swings his sword at Rafe, preferring to punch him with the pommel of the sword when he has the upper hand.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Rafe's hatred for Nate is first hinted whenever the topic about Nate is brought up, he burst into anger. In Chapter 15, he chooses to shoot Nate when deciding which brother to kill and which will lead him to the treasure despite Sam being the least trustworthy one since he previously stole from him.
    • There are several clues that hint Sam isn't telling the truth about his escape from prison.
      • Rafe demands Sully how he knows about the second St. Dimas cross and who told him about it.
      • Sam progressively becomes more obsessed with the treasure and not about the debt he owed Alcázar. One time he even slipped up about wanting the glory of getting Avery's treasure instead of paying back Alcázar.
      • Sam somehow knows a lot about technology that has passed during his time in prison such as the internet and GPS, suggesting that he has been out of prison more than the few months he told Nate.
      • During the drive around Madagascar in Chapter 10, Sam gets noticeably cagey whenever Nate or Sully try to ask for details about his deal with Alcázar and quietly freaks out when Sully mentions having also dealt with Alcázar once, clearly worried about his story getting rumbled. He relaxes when Sully adds that it was only a brief encounter years ago, especially since his description of Alcázar's intense personality more or less corroborated Sam's story version of him.
      • Rafe doesn't seem surprised that Sam is still alive when the Drake brothers meet him in person at the end of Chapter 15. This is because he already knew of Sam's survival two years earlier than Nate.
      • In Nate's second encounter with Nadine, the latter shows a lot of rage against the brothers but more towards Sam. It is later revealed that Nadine is still pissed over Sam duping her and Rafe.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: There's a point in the story where Rafe asserts that Sam and Nate are not cold-blooded killers, calling their bluff when Sam threatens Nadine at gunpoint. Apparently, Rafe hadn't noticed the previous chapters where Sam and Nate kill God knows how many mooks in tons of firefights all the while making wisecracks and not bat any eyes at the scores of bodies that would surround them after such a fight.
  • Game Within a Game: At one point, Drake claims that he can beat Elena's high score at Crash Bandicoot. The game then cuts to the TV, where the PS1 boots up Crash Bandicoot. The player must now beat a modified version — Namely, there's now a 100-second time limit and the game actually keeps a score — of the level "Boulders" from the first game. The game even forces you to use D-pad controls like the PS1.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Hunters. Far and few between, but annoying nonetheless.
  • Gold Fever: Libertalia apparently turns out to be one giant con cooked up by Henry Avery to steal the colony's gold, which ended up in a civil war when the colonists attempt to take back their gold. Avery then becomes too paranoid and had the other founders killed before having the treasure brought to his ship. Thomas Tew, his second in command, fought back against Avery in order to reclaim the gold, leading to both their deaths. Hundreds of years later, the Drake brothers and Rafe Adler race against each other to find the lost pirate treasure but their obsession eventually gets the better of them.
  • Grand Finale: The game has been confirmed to be the last chronological installment in the series.
  • Harder Than Hard: Crushing difficulty. Enemies hit with almost perfect accuracy, less ammo is available, and you can no longer mark enemies or see their alertness levels. Expect to spend a lot of time getting through fights.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:invoked In-Universe, Nate's off-hand remark to Elena from Drake's Fortune about not wanting to end up in a Panamanian prison becomes much darker after we learn what went down in one such prison during a playable flashback: fifteen years before A Thief's End, Nate thought Sam had died during their escape from prison.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: The Brutes wear heavy body armor and require a whole lot of bullets to take down.
  • History Repeats: Likely the theme of the final fight against Rafe, as Nate and Rafe are acting out the same duel that Thomas Tew and Henry Avery fought in the same room, the only difference ultimately being it doesn't end with them both dead.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Nate's first fight with Nadine is impossible to win, since he's unable to land a single blow and cannot counter attacks. He fares a bit better in the second fight, though he needs to get the drop on her while she's distracted with Sam.
  • Horny Vikings: Subverted during the late-game flashback chapter to when Nate and Sam recovered their mother's journals. While exploring the mansion, Nate can find an ornate horned helmet and put it on, which Sam mistakes for a Viking helmet (only for Nate to correct him by saying the Vikings didn't wear horned helmets and that the one he's wearing is actually Persian).
  • Hypocrite:
    • Rafe calling Nate "a sad little boy with delusions of grandeur" fits a lot better on himself than on Nate.
    • After killing untold hundreds or even thousands of people throughout the entire series, Nate refuses to let Sam kill Nadine.
  • I Can See My House from Here: The name of the trophy you get for climbing to the very top of Farrell's tower, as Nate says exactly that.
  • Idiot Ball: Rafe in the finale of the game. He betrays Nadine, takes her with him to the ship instead of either killing her or leaving her behind and then goes on a rant how he never betrays his people and how Nadine will stay loyal to him. Then he tells her to take Nate's gun. Surprise, surprise, she backstabs him only seconds later. And then he has a sword fight with a reluctant Nate while everything around them is burning down.
  • Implacable Man: Those goddamn Hunters. Funnily enough, they're easy to kill if you notice them soon enough; when they're sprinting at you, they shrug off gunfire until their health is no more.
  • In Medias Res: The game opens with Nate and Sam out at sea, in a storm, and being pursued by mercenary boats with murderous intent, before flashing back to Nate's past and how he got involved in the first place. It isn't until Chapter 13 that the events following the chase are visited.
  • Indy Escape: You get chased by a truck just like in the second game, except both times it's being driven by an Ax-Crazy merc.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • In one scene, Nate keeps referring to Crash Bandicoot as a fox, no matter how many times Elena corrects him.
    • Both Sam and Nate correct people calling the Saint Dismas cruciform a crucifix. Having grown up in a Catholic orphanage, they keep correcting everyone that a crucifix refers only to an image or statue of Jesus crucified, while a cruciform is any other man who is crucified.
    • In Survival Mode, the bosses that pop up every ten waves are always referred to as "Warlords".
  • Interface Screw: During his fight with Nadine, Nate is unable to block attacks due to the button being temporarily disabled.
  • Interface Spoiler: A very minor one. Entering multiplayer before beating the game can reveal where the story will be taking place, as well as who are met in each location. However, certain character costumes have fake namesnote  to cover up some events.
  • It Belongs in a Museum: One of the reasons Nate can refuse to tell Nadine where the cross is, though knowing Nate, he's just saying it to be a smartass.
  • Karma Houdini: Nadine is Rafe's partner and assisted him throughout the game in hunting down Henry Avery's treasure. She leaves in the end after the stakes become too high, at the cost of her entire army (with the surviving mercs led by Orca in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy).
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Happens quite literally in multiplayer, where downed enemies (or unarmoured enemies that have been stunned by an explosion) can be finished off with a simple kick.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: A recurring theme. As the game progresses, more characters question the end goal of finding Avery's treasure, and wonder if it's all worth it. Drake eventually abandons the idea of treasure in favor of saving his brother, Sam decides to settle on just finding the treasure with Nate and taking a small amount with him, and Nadine walks away with her own amount after losing so many of her troops. Rafe, on the other hand, ends up such a vindictive, glory-seeking creep that not only does he alienate (or cause the deaths of) his closest allies by insisting on exploring Avery's ship, he forces Nate into a duel to the death inside the collapsing ship just because he can't stand he idea of Nate and Sam still being alive. Even though, given how Nate is perfectly okay with giving up the treasure and just wants to escape the ship with Sam, there's no good reason for him to drag on the conflict whatsoever. His meltdown of hubris costs him his life.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: This is the only game in the series without any Low Fantasy elements.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Sam asks to be caught up on Nate's previous adventures, telling Nate to "start with the best part." The dialogue prompt gives you the options of describing the events of one of the previous three games. This, combined with Sam's quote, basically means the game is asking you which of the three prior games were your favorite.
  • Liar Revealed: After escaping prison during the Time Skip, Sam reunites with Nate and claims that he was broken out by a drug lord named Hector Alcázar who threatened his life for half of Henry Avery's treasure. However, Rafe reveals in the third act that he was the one who let Sam out of prison simply by bribing the prison warden and that Hector Alcázar died in a shootout in Argentina six months prior to the game. And that's not all, Sam spent two years with Rafe looking for the second Saint Dismas cross before leaving him to find Nate. Nate is very distraught when he learns this, since he has been risking his life and his marriage for what he thought was his brother's life at stake.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: In-universe, Drake complains about the PS1's bootup sequence being really slow. Uncharted 4 itself actually has fairly lengthy loading times, but outside of the first boot of your session, most are hidden by cutscenes.
  • Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair: Henry Avery built a lot of statues to himself when Libertalia was built. Now they stand in a long-abandoned ruin with only the corpses of its inhabitants to keep them company.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Notable because Nate is the one benefitting from this — repeatedly. Though he himself found the first piece of the Linked List Clue Methodology years before, it was a dead end; Avery's cross was long broken, the parchment inside missing. However, as Avery intended many to follow the list, there were multiple clues; Rafe locates another cross at an auction and tries to purchase it legitimately, only for Nate to steal it right out from under him. And despite Rafe having spent years and millions of dollars investigating Avery's burial site, Nate is not only able to find the next clue, he's able to get ahead of his rival — grab a coin guiding him onward without any of his foes noticing, then have them set off the Collapsing Lair and leave them with nothing. Rafe is stuck blindly searching the entire city of King's Bay in vain while Nate quietly searches out the next clue, driving Rafe to attempt Hostage for MacGuffin — key word being attempt. At this point Rafe basically says "fuck subtlety" and just swarms Nate's general location with mercenaries. By the time he catches up with Nate, he doesn't even care about the treasure anymore — he just wants him dead out of sheer frustration. At this point Nadine just grabs some treasure that's laying around and says Screw This, I'm Outta Here.
  • Mandatory Unretirement: Nathan Drake is forced to return from his normal life as a retired treasure hunter when his brother Sam Drake—long thought to be dead—came back asking for his help to find the lost treasure of Captain Henry Avery to pay off a drug lord's debt. Of course, it was later revealed that the very reason that forced Nathan to come out of retirement was all a lie.
  • Mauve Shirt: Two Shoreline mercs, identified in multiplayer as Knot and Orca but otherwise unnamed, frequently show up in cutscenes with Rafe and Nadine as backup and later betray Nadine for Rafe's money in the endgame. Knot especially, since he seems to function as Nadine's second-in-command at the cathedral.
  • Meaningful Rename: Orphan brothers Nathan and Samuel Morgan change their name to Drake on account of their mother Cassandra's beliefs that Sir Francis Drake had heirs. The quest for Henry Avery's treasure and their entire careers as adventurers comes from their attempt to follow in their mother's footsteps.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Despite single-handedly killing thousands of men throughout the Uncharted series, Nate refuses to let Sam kill Nadine for no apparent reason, making it look like a serious case of female favoritism.
  • Meta Twist: Players who have played all the previous games probably spend most of their time in Libertalia wondering what the big supernatural twist is that presumably caused it to become the ghost town it is currently. The twist is that there is no supernatural twist — Uncharted 4 is the first installment with a superficially mundane treasure. The founders stole all of the wealth from the rest, who revolted. Everyone in Libertalia died except Avery and Tew, who killed each other over the treasure on their getaway ship.
  • Mutual Kill: During the climax, Nadine points out a pair of skeletons in the hold of Avery's ship - the remains of Avery and Tew themselves, the two having finally killed eachother over the treasure.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • This is now the second Naughty Dog game in a row to feature an epilogue where you play as a teenage girl.
    • Nate says that he used the money from his adventuring proceeds to support himself and Elena. This may or may not include all the little collectible treasures he picks up.
    • Uncharted was hailed as the Spiritual Sequel of the Tomb Raider franchise. So this game introduced Nate's mother employer Evelyn as an In-Universe Lara Croft.
  • Nasty Party: The corpses of the Founders of Libertalia are found sitting around a dinner table in Thomas Tew's mansion, having been tricked there under the guise of ending their civil war, only for Avery and Tew to poison them all to death. The surviving pirates simply left them there to rot while they prepared to escape with the treasure.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Rafe is a better swordsman than Nate and easily gains the upper hand in the final boss fight despite Nate's second wind. Rafe has Nate at his mercy and breaks his sword blade, and would have killed him had he not started monologuing, giving Nate time to improvise a victory.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Inverted. The game takes place sometime in 2014 versus its 2016 release date. The epilogue, however, plays it straight — it's set fifteen years later, around 2029.
  • New Game Plus: Any unlockables you get can be used in a new playthrough, even on Crushing difficulty.
  • Noodle Incident: While chatting with Nadine during the black market auction, Sully talks about a past adventure that involved a horse and a lot of carrots, and resulted in him and his partners being imprisoned for a month.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Libertalia being a bastion of freedom for pirates was a lie the entire time. It was a con set up by Henry Avery and the other pirate captains to rob the colonists of their shared loot. After that, they turned on each other and waged war until Avery and Thomas Tew had them all poisoned. Nathan draws the scene with the caption, "Honor Among Thieves." Then Avery and Tew, of course, killed each other in a duel for sole ownership of the treasure.
  • Non-Player Companion: In multiplayer, you can summon sidekicks to assist you. They can do things like revive your teammates or provide covering fire for your team.
  • No Sympathy for Grudgeholders: Although the two were once partners, at the end of the game Rafe goes on a massive rant during his ultimate fight with Nate about how much he despises him and his record of discoveries. At this point, Rafe is, without a doubt, fed up with the Drakes. Even though Nate tries to apologize the only way he knows how, Rafe keeps rambling and fences an unarmed Nate with a cutlass.
    Nate: Look, I get it, you don't like me very much—
    Rafe: You know, for all your "greatness", Nate, you have nothing. You are nothing. And I warned you... to get out of my way.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Rafe Adler is dismissed by Nate and Sam Drake as a Know-Nothing Know-It-All and wealthy fop, then in the finale he turns out to be a good fencer and utterly insane, and he comes closer than anyone to killing Nate.
  • Nun Too Holy: A minor example in the flashback at the start, where the nun that scolded young Nate is seen smoking a cigarette. She hides the evidence when the priest calls for her, showing that she's not supposed to be doing it.
  • One Last Job:
    • Nate agrees to have one more adventure after his "retirement" to help out Sam.
    • Henry Avery is implied to have seen the Gunsway heist as this. He and other big pirates decided to form their own country where they could retire in peace. The Aesop here is "more money, more problems" as noted by Nate; a lot of the treasure went to actually building Libertalia, paying top coin for skilled labour, architecture and planning, which while leaving considerable treasure was only enough to fill the cargo deck of a single brig. This is aside from the "go mad from greed and kill everyone" part.
  • Origins Episode: The flashbacks show the origins of Nathan Morgan, the manner in which he adopted the Nathan Drake identity, their appetite and interest in history, and their yearning for adventure.
  • Pac Man Fever: The Crash Bandicoot Easter egg involves Nate trying to beat Elena's high score. There is no high score mechanic in the actual release of the game done in the way depicted in the Easter egg (in fact, the score screen is lifted from the box total screen). Also, Nate has 100 seconds to complete the level, while the actual "Boulders" level isn't timed.
  • Pirate Booty: Nate is on the hunt for the lost treasure of Henry Avery in this adventure.
  • Play Every Day: Multiplayer gives you a new challenge to complete each day to earn a large amount of relics.
  • Plot Twist: Up until Chapter 15, the player is led to believe that the reason Nate and Sam are looking for Avery's treasure to pay off Alcázar. After all, you played a level as Sam escaping from the prison alongside Alcázar, so Sam must be telling the truth, right? Well, until you find out that it was actually Rafe who got Sam out two years prior to the events of the game, there was no breakout, and that Alcázar had died six months previous. The prison riot level was just Sam's lie to get Nathan back into the game, and both Nate and the player fell for it.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: The Lost Minions of the Djinn in Survival Mode, particularly Indra's Disciple and El Dorado's Disciple.
  • Private Military Contractor: Shoreline, comprised of South African mercs, headed by Nadine Ross. It has an especially brutal reputation among the international black market underground.
  • Prison Level:
    • The second chapter, "Infernal Place" involves Nathan, Sam, and Rafe bribing their way into a Panamanian Prison to look for clues to find the pirate, Henry Avery's , treasure. On the way back from climbing an old prison tower that Avery's first mate was held, Nathan gets into a fight with another inmate that is broken up by a warden who demands a cut. Rafe then kills the warden, which causes the guards to shoot at and chase the three, which results in them running through the prison onto the roofs, where Sam is seemingly killed.
    • The fifth chapter, "Hector Alcázar", has Sam tell Nathan about how he escaped from a prison. He was cellmates with the titular drug lord, who organizes a Prison Riot in order to escape, where the two get into a gunfight with the guards while escaping. After they escape, Alcázar demands Sam to find Henry Avery's treasure for him or be killed. This story turned out to be a lie, though. Hector Alcázar was actually killed in a shootout beforehand and it was actually Rafe who got Sam out of prison.
  • Production Foreshadowing: One interactive item in Nate's attic office is a letter from Chloe Frazer asking him to join her on One Last Job, written on hotel stationary from Sri Lanka. Then comes Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, where Chloe is hunting down an artifact in India aided by the other Drake brother, and Nadine Ross, and we can surmise that she was preparing for that adventure during the events of A Thief's End.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The first two chapters consist of flashbacks earlier into Drake's life (set before and after the flashback in Drake's Deception, respectively, due to his different ages) and focus on his relationship with Sam.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Nate and Sully reunite after a supposed retirement (not having met each other for two years), to hunt the treasure of the week.
  • Recurring Element: A Thief's End is the first fourth installment of a Naughty Dog franchise to not be a kart racer, but, as if to give a nod to their roots, it is the first Uncharted to feature controllable cars in certain levels.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Samuel Drake, Nate's elder brother, wasn't even mentioned in the first three games despite being a presence in his brother's life until Nate's early 20s, and having known Sullivan from before. Indeed, Nathan never even told Elena about Sam, much to her fury when she finds out.
  • The Reveal: We finally learn that Nate is really Nathan Morgan, son of historian Cassandra Morgan.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • In a sense, Nate's plot and the story of Avery parallel each other. Both lived a life of treasure hunting and piracy and attempted to conduct one last job where they would settle down and build new lives for themselves. Avery couldn't walk away from his obsession with treasure, which destroyed his utopia. Nate is more than willing to walk away from the profession that has defined his whole life, and builds his own "personal" Libertalia (a large beachfront residence) with Elena and Cassandra at his side. Possibly on the actual Libertalia island!.
    • Also, the "penitent thief" motif. While Avery adopted the iconography surrounding it, he was never truly regretful about his deeds and instead used it as a self-serving justification to dispose of the colonists of Libertalia and go on a power trip that ended in his death. Nate on the other hand is actually penitent after lying to Elena about his trip, and successfully redeems himself.
    • During the flashback in Evelyn's mansion, her story has a pretty strong resemblance to Nate's life. In fact, he's probably remembering it specifically because of the parallels.
  • Safe Word: Nate reveals his is "mango" continually shouting it when Nadine gets rough with him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Rafe's second-in-command, Nadine, finally gets sick of Rafe's obsession with the treasure and abandons him on Avery's burning ship, rightfully pointing out that the damn treasure has pretty much destroyed everyone who was obsessed with it.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • Avery and the other founders of Libertalia to Nate, Sam, Rafe and other adventurers. Avery initially represents the idea that one can steal treasure in brutal ways and be penitent about it and create a utopia that justifies all your actions, just as Nate lies and steals and kills for treasure for potentially benign motives, with Sam being a darker, less scrupulous foil to Nate, and Rafe being a vindictive sociopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. In the end, Avery's "utopia" turns out to be a lie, and the greed of himself and the other pirates destroys them all. While Nate, Ross, and to a lesser extent Sam, are able to let go of their greed and escape a similar fate, Rafe's vindictiveness and hunger for glory results in him being the only major character of the game to die.
    • Joseph Burnes' grandson and his crew try and fail to find Libertalia and Avery's gold, much like Rafe's obsession. Burnes, a wealthy man and heir to a shipmate of Avery's, commissioned an expedition to find the treasure he claimed was his birthright; after Captain Darby was killed by a crazed crew member and the ship ran aground, Burnes ordered the man lashed to the mast and left to rot, then assumed control of the crew. After working his men to the point of death and murdering everyone who tried to run, Burnes finally set out on his own for the treasure instead, assuring himself that everything he did was justified. Nate finds his body rotting near the entrance to the grotto, "just before the finish line"; unlike Rafe, he perished of a fever in his sleep.
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly: Nate shrugs off the possibility of this happening at the Rossi Estate...until Rafe changes the auction order, forcing the Drakes to steal it from the queue in the ballroom instead of the storage room as originally intended.
    Sam: Jesus. Did you see him? That rent-a-thug was packin' some serious heat. Shoulda brought guns.
    Nate: Sam, we're gonna pull this off so smoothly, we won't need 'em.
  • Steel Eardrums: Zig-Zagged; Nate and Sully complain about the noise their actions in the clock tower cause, but in all honesty it should have rendered them both permanently deaf.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy:
    • Sam falls victim to this when Nate, Sully and Elena suggest they leave the island.
    • Rafe invokes this to Nadine in the end, pointing out that if they walk away before reaching Avery's ship then all the sacrifices and lives lost would have been for nothing. Nadine states they can take the treasure around the cavern that is perfectly usable and is fairly valuable in and of itself, rather than walk into another death trap which could kill all of them.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Sam attempts to play around with a pirate cutlass at Libertalia like an old Hollywood film, only for the blade to fall off. Being exposed to the elements for 300 years is not good a sword's condition.
  • Sword Fight: The final confrontation between Rafe and Nathan is a swordfight with stolen pirate cutlasses. Mechanically, it's largely a bunch of quick-time events that gets very strict timing on higher difficulties. Narratively, it mostly sees Nathan barely manage to avoid getting hit aside from some instances he manages to get the chance to physically lay into Rafe because Nathan doesn't have much idea how to fence.
  • Take My Hand!: Nate grabs Sam's hand over the side of a rooftop during a prison escape. However, before he can pull him up, Sam gets shot multiple times in the back and falls to his supposed death. It is revealed after the Time Skip that he survived, however.
  • Time Skip: It's been at least two years since Uncharted 3 at the beginning of the game. In the epilogue, time skips forward at least a dozen years, revealing that the Drakes have a teenage daughter.
  • Title Drop Chapter: The climax chapter of the game is called "A Thief's End".
  • Too Dumb to Live: The rest of the pirate founders besides Tew and Avery. After dealing with an uprising by the colonists brought about by greed and betrayal, they still go to a dinner hosted by Avery and Tew and all get poisoned.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: Part of the game takes place in Madagascar, and the last few chapters game also take place in Libertalia, itself a tropical island in the Indian Ocean.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Done for the final boss, creating a jarring shift from a tense standoff to a slow-paced tutorial on swordfighting controls in which the Big Bad patiently throws highly-telegraphed sword swings one at a time. In spite of only being present in this one encounter, these brand-new swordfighting mechanics are somehow more fully-realized then the fistfighting mechanics you've been using throughout the game.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Samuel Drake presents himself as the recently released long-lost brother of Nate's, who has a price on his head on account of Alcázar's ultimatum. But it then turns out that he's been out of jail for two years prior to meeting Nate, that he's spent all this time working with Rafe, and that Alcázar never threatened him into finding Avery's treasure for him, having been dead for half a year.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Samuel Drake is a harsher, colder version of Nate. When he puts a gun on Nadine Ross' head, he threatens to shoot her and Nate pulls him at the last moment setting the shot in the air, proving that he was indeed going to murder her. Then Rafe reveals that Sam is really a manipulative liar, whose only redeeming virtue is that he genuinely does love Nate.
  • Villain Ball: Rafe gets trapped in Avery's ship with Nate because he forced Nadine to come to the ship with him against her will. There really was no reason to force her to come with him since he had already paid off her mercenaries, giving him the means to transport the treasure off the island without her help, and it's not clear what help he expected her to provide after pointing a gun in her face and making her go. Killing her or letting her leave would have been the more sensible choice.
  • Was It Really Worth It?:
    • Nathan Drake says almost this exact line after he discovers the treasure hidden within Avery's ship. The way all those treasures littered in the fiery interior of the ship also gives this vibe for players as well, as it contrasts heavily with the majestic sights of every previous grand discoveries that Nate made in the previous games.
    • Also clearly what happens to Evelyn. She spent her life as a Lara Croft style adventurer, having great times and making amazing discoveries. She put it first to the point she didn't even attend her own husband's funeral for a treasure hunt and her son never forgave her for it. What does she get for all that? She's completely alone in a huge mansion packed with priceless items she refuses to sell to museums and, if not for the Drakes, would have died utterly forgotten. As with Avery, she is a warning to Nate as to how a life of nothing but treasure hunting has no happy ending.
  • Wet Blanket Wife: Elena tries her best to avert being this trope, while Sully chides Nate for treating her this way. Indeed, Elena even encourages Nate to take on a potentially risky job in Malaysia because she can sense he's a little bored and in the end, Nate and Elena resolve this by becoming legal archaeologists, and full time partners and co-workers.
  • Wham Line: Rafe Adler is quite good at this:
    • The first one is at Madagascar, where he reveals that he has hacked Nate's phone and intercepted the messages he sent to Sam.
      Rafe: These pictures are nice, by the way.
    • The big one comes later:
      Rafe: Whoa, what the hell are you talking about, Nate? Hector Alcázar died in a shootout in Argentina like six months ago. I'm the one that got Samuel out.
  • Wham Shot:
    • After Nate, Sam, and Sully survive a Shoreline assault in Madagascar, they return to their hotel room, all pumped up after the fact... and the mood is killed when they see Elena in their room, looking at their notes.
    • The shot of the Treasury Room of Libertalia with all the Pirate Captains portraits having the word "Thief" on them. Until that moment, the idea of a Pirate utopia might well have been plausible but this reveal tells us that the whole thing was a con from the start.
    • In the epilogue, after a rematch with Crash Bandicoot, the camera pans around to reveal Nate and Elena's teenage daughter, Cassie.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Nadine. After betraying Rafe, she walks out of the plot and is never heard from again, despite having been his second-in-command as well as a constant threat who has caused the Drakes no end of trouble. The Lost Legacy reveals that Shoreline was disbanded shortly after the events of this game and a now-solo Nadine joins Chloe Frazer on an Indian adventure.
    • One of the documents that can be found just outside New Devon reveals that the rebelling colonists sent their families to safety on a secret ship before the final battle, which they ended up losing. While the bodies of the rebels can be found in a nearby cave, it's never revealed what happened to their loved ones, who would have been the only survivors of Libertalia.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Elena is understandably upset with Nate after she discovers he lied to her about taking a contract job so he could go off on an adventure without her.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Subverted with Nadine. Nate goes out of his way to avoid fighting her, and even saves her life at one point shortly after she came very close to killing him for a second time. Nonetheless, when push comes to shove, he has no problem throwing some punches at her. Since she's a far better hand-to-hand combatant than Nate, very few of them land however.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: When Nate was only twelve years old, the old woman whose house he and his brother broke into died. Realizing that they were unable to go back to their lives, the Morgan brothers changed their surnames to Drake and moved away from the town they were living in.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Inverted. Nate had the ability to throw live grenades back at enemies for the first time in Uncharted 3 but can't do it here.
  • Your Mom: Nate gets into this with an optional conversation he can have with a salvage worker after he recovers a salvage container from the seabed in the beginning of the game.
    Salvage Worker: Drake. Gotta say that wasn't the slowest dive I've ever sat through. [laughs]
    Nate: Hold on... is that a compliment. 'Cause I'm stunned.
    Salvage Worker: Nah, you know what's stunning? Your smell. [laughs along with the rest of the nearby salvage workers]
    Nate: [laughs as well] I don't know, man, I kinda like it. Reminds me of your mom. (laughs with the other salvage workers joining in again)
    Salvage Worker: [also laughing] That's cold, man. I'm gonna tell her you said that, too.

Alternative Title(s): Uncharted 4, A Thiefs End