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

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.


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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.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Nate at one point has to swing from a chain to a painting of Anne Bonney that was ripped at the chest area.
  • 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.
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  • Affably Evil: Hector Alcazar, the drug lord who serves as Sam's cellmate in Panama is quite friendly, jovial and generous to Sam, albeit for highly mercantile reasons as he wants a piece of Henry Avery's treasure for himself and threatens to murder Sam if he doesn't bring it in 3 months. Even after delivering the death threat, Alcazar remains courteous, giving Sam the water canteen, some cash, and directions to the nearest town. Pity that whole flashback was a lie.
  • All for Nothing: As usual, Nate and his companions fail in obtaining their primary objective at the start of the adventure, in this case Henry Avery's treasure. However, this is 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 then, pirate captains being as they are, end up feuding amongst themselves before Avery and Thomas Tew have them all poisoned during a dinner, leaving only themselves. However, there is No Honor Among Thieves, of course, so then they turn on each other and score a Mutual Kill during their attempt to escape Libertalia with all the gold. So ultimately no one 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 off in the main game to allow knowledgable 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 the prison that Nate last saw him in. And later on, that very flashback is revealed to be a lie.
    • The very last segment in the game is an epilogue that takes place 15 years later with the player controlling Cassie, Nate and Elena's daughter.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The epilogue reveals that Nate and Elena never really left the life of exploration and adventure; they just approached it in more practical - and legal - ways. Their home and office is filled with mementos, artifacts, and photographs from all over the world. There's a lab workbench being used for some kind of artifact restoration project. There's also a cartography table featuring a map of the Yucatán, suggesting their current project. Cassie offhandedly mentions going on archaeological digs with her parents and Sully, and is even featured on the cover of one of the travel magazines.
    • Meanwhile, Sam teams up with Sully, replacing Nathan's non-legal treasure hunting, eager to find lost cities of his own.
  • Arc Words:
    • The quotation from Avery at the start: "I am a man of fortune. I must seek my fortune" which Sam adopts as his personal motto, to the extent that he once describes himself and Drake as "fortunate men" not in the sense of being lucky but as being men who cut their own path in the world.
    • The Bible quotations below are used constantly in the many crypts and puzzles and notes that Nate finds as is "For God and Liberty", the motto of Libertalia.
    • The word "thief" constantly recurs throughout the game. Rafe once says, "Last time I checked we are just a bunch of thieves". The Drakes justify stealing an item from an auction on account of the fact that it's an auction for criminals. And the word is scrawled on the portraits of the founders of Libertalia once they enter the treasury." Likewise Saint Dismas is a recurring symbol, the "penitent thief".
  • 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 believed to have died in the 1690's (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.
  • Ascended Meme: The "Stage Fright" Trophy is earned by standing still for 30 seconds prior to the chase scene in Madagascar, in reference to the E3 2015 demo, in which the developers had some issues with the controller.
  • As the Good Book Says...:
    • One of the game's Arc Words are a excerpt of Luke 23:41 — "For we receive the due reward of our deeds". The full quote ("We are justly punished, for we receive the due reward of our deeds, but this man has done no wrong") is far more telling in its omission, symbolizing how the founders were more self-righteous 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 punished by Avery himself, who was driven completely mad by greed and power.
    • The other quotations they use is "On this day you will be with me in paradise", which is what Libertalia is intended to be, a Paradise for the "penitent" pirates to build and rule for their own. Needless to say Jesus didn't mean any pirate republic in the original context.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue, Nate and Elena have a teenage daughter named Cassie.
  • Back in the Saddle: Samuel Drake after he gets out of prison. Also Nathan after his reunion with Sam.
  • Bad Boss: Henry Avery is heavily implied to have murdered his crew for "stealing from him".
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Rafe Adler and Nadine Ross. While Hector Alcazar is initially set up as a Greater-Scope Villain, it turns out he's been dead for months and that Sam made up his encounter with him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Near the end of the game, Nate is relentlessly pursued by a Shoreline vehicle and manages to corner him. It looks like Nate is finished, and then Sully comes by with an RPG.
  • Bond One-Liner: After Nate destroys the above Shoreline vehicle which has been relentlessly pursuing him thanks to Sully's helpful intervention with an RPG cache.
    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 the inclusion of photos of Cassie in the epilogue.
    • During the epilogue, Nate tells his daughter about 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.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Characters address the player directly when selected in multiplayer.
  • Brick Joke: At one point Nate jokes to Sully that he plans to get a dog and call it Victor. In the epilogue with Cassie Drake, Nate's daughter, the family dog is named "Victoria".
    • Although Nate nervously jokes that Libertalia might be home to pirate ghosts, ultimately nothing comes of it. In the Survival DLC, Adam Baldridge of all people is the fiery, skeletal "Lord of the Djinn", with an army of undead mercenaries at his command, and multiple ghostly enforcers serve as bosses at the end of waves.
  • But Thou Must!: No matter how well you play, you can't actually beat Elena's high score the first time you play Crash Bandicoot as Nate, leading to Elena making fun of him about it. You do get a second shot at it when playing as their daughter Cassie in the epilogue, though, which earns you an achievement if you manage to beat the high score.
  • 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 very 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.
  • Character Tics: If Nate idles in one spot for a long while, he'll start fiddling with his wedding band on his left hand.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Even for pirates, the amount of betrayal that goes on in Libertalia is exceptionally high, to the point where one wonders how they were ever able to work together for any length of time. The best example is Thomas Tew, who manages to betray the other colonists, the pirate lords, and finally his own Captain Henry Avery.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Nate's still wearing his wedding ring which he got back at the end of Deception.
    • Nate tells his "crazy stories" from all the previous games (including Golden Abyss) to Sam.
    • 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 such as having a photo of Tenzin, a box of relics with a sticky note that says "Send to Marisa (Chase)", and suggests Sam call Charlie Cutter to help him (which confirms his survival).
  • Cool Guns: It took awhile but Nate finally gets to wield a full-size Colt 1911 in this game (titled the "Para .45"). Until now the closest that has appeared in the series was the Colt Defender (called the "Defender .45"), which has the design and chambering of a 1911 but in a compact pistol form-factor (so short barrel length and stubby grip).
    • The Bounty Hunters multiplayer DLC introduces two classic Old West guns — the Colt Single Action Army revolver and the Winchester Model 1873 lever-action rifle — as the "DC Single Action" and "Harrison 1890", respectively.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Nate's attic office, where he's kept all the little collected treasures and totems from his past adventures, including old photos, journals, and a vial of crystallized sap from Shambhala.
  • Cutscene Boss: Rafe Adler is an example of a justification of this trope. The final boss fight is a sword duel on Avery's burning ship, and Nate is barely a match against someone who is good at fencing and better than him and Rafe succeeds in breaking Nate's sword. He finally has to resort to a button prompt to cheat and win.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: At least in the beta, especially if the player used L2/R2 shooting controls in the remaster. Reloading is now triangle and grenades are R1, meaning that those who try to reload their gun probably end up wasting their only grenade, and need to wait a cooldown period to get another one.
  • 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.
  • Death Trap: Henry Avery loved making these. Even before they arrive in Libertalia, Nate and Sam are troubled and disturbed by the elaborate tests in crypts in Scotland, designed to weed out the deserving from the unworthy, so that only the chosen may come to Libertalia. Then they come to Libertalia, and as they progress deeper, it gets crazier and crazier, finally culminating in coffins of Avery's victims dolled up like mummies and filled with gunpowder.
  • Deconstruction:
    • Libertalia, and the various pirate captains who founded it, is a rather brutal one for the romantic, adventurous, and noble image of piracy painted by works such as Captain Blood or Pirates of the Caribbean. Sam and Nate idolize a free and libertarian society...that was an insidious trap devised by the captains to attain power and wealth. Naturally, a society run by psychopaths, rapists, murderers, and thieves did not end well, and the pirates all turned on each other.
    • In some ways, the game is also an attack on treasure hunting and Greed along with obsession that can manifest with them, said obsession being just as destructive, if not more so than the various insanity inducing artifacts of the previous games. A primary example is what happened with Avery, who after making off with the biggest pirate haul in history, fell into paranoid madness, being surrounded by other pirates who were willing to kill for his gold. What ensured was a catastrophic Gambit Pile Up which led to the deaths of Libertalia's inhabitants, the pirate founders and eventually Avery, who in his zeal to ensure no one would get his loot, got what he deserved.
    • In the game itself, Nate, Sam and Rafe all suffer from Greed to various degrees:
      • Nate's initial motivation to help Sam begins to slip as his zeal for treasure hunting and his obsession takes over, making him lie to his wife and briefly sidelining his mentor.
      • Sam decides not to get on Sully's seaplane and leave the bad guys to the treasure, like Nate wanted. He falls into the Sunk Cost Fallacy, and nearly gets himself and Nate killed in Avery's burning ship.
      • Rafe is determined to loot Avery's ship instead of the more practical option of looting the surrounding, non-booby-trapped cavern. Nadline seals him and Nate in the bowels of the boat because of it, and he refuses to let things go out of spite and envy, so Drake reluctantly kills him.
      • Nadine isn't consumed by Greed, is willing to let the big pay day go, and becomes the only Uncharted villain to live through the ending.
  • Dialogue Tree: In a series first, though it only pops up sparingly and has no impact on the plot.
  • Disappointed in You: How Sullivan feels about Nate lying to Elena and his insistence on continuing with Sam to seek Avery's treasure after Elena comes to Madagascar and confronts him.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue of the game takes place 15 years after the events of the main story with the player controlling Nate and Elena's teenage daughter.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • The title "A Thief's End" (also the chapter title of the final level before the epilogue) has many meanings:
      • It signifies that this is Nate's final adventure. Or rather his final adventure as a thief. In the epilogue, he has gone legit and works as a legal archaeologist and salvage expert, he has ended one phase of his career and, having fully reconciled with his past and solved all loose ends, is able to move on the next phase and become a husband and a father.
      • It also refers to the possible endings of a thief or a career in adventuring. Henry Avery, Rafe Adler, Sam and Nate Drake, as well as Nadine live a life of adventure and ill-gotten gains, and all come to different ends based on their ability to walk away. Henry Avery and his crew and fellow pirates tried to walk away from piracy and ended up killing each other out of pure greed. Both Sam and Rafe are obsessed with Avery's treasure and cannot move on until they at least see it with their own eyes. Nadine Ross merely wants money that she can use and is content to take modest prizes, while Rafe is willing to take that obsession to full-Avery levels. It's basically death, dishonor, a decent size reward, and in the case of Sam, he is able to settle for It's the Journey That Counts and provide a modest amount of treasure to his sister-in-law, and then he decides to go off for new adventures.
    • The Chapter Title, "Avery's Descent" refers to the pathway down the cave and cellar of Avery's mansion to the cove which contained his ship. But since this pathway contains Avery's private torture chamber and is filled with bones, ribcages and hands hanging on the ceiling, it suggest Avery's descent into madness, or hell.
  • Driven by Envy: Rafe's ultimate motivation for trying to kill Nathan.
    Rafe: You want to hear "insane?" "Nathan Drake raced a madman and his entire army to the steps of Shambhala." "Nathan Drake found a lost city in the middle of the Rub' al Khali desert." "Nathan Drake discovered the fabled El Dorado!" "Nathan Drake is a legend!" ...You know, I shot the man who told me that.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Played with; Nate and Elena think they've accomplished this after Drake's Deception and have attempted to settle down and have a "normal" Happily Married life, but are drawn into another adventure. It's finally played straight after the events of this game, which reveals they used the treasure Sam snuck out of Libertalia to buy an underwater salvaging company and restart Elena's television career. In the Time Skip epilogue, it's revealed that they've become wealthy enough to own a large beachfront house, office and yacht, have become somewhat famous for even more off-screen archaeology and traveling exploits, and have raised a teenage daughter. Sam and Sully are still alive and the latter has retired and even stopped smoking!
  • Embedded Precursor: Kind of. At one point, Nate and Elena play a game of Crash Bandicoot (1996) together and the player guides Drake through a slightly modernized version of Boulders.
  • Flynning: Justified. Nate has never fenced, let alone faced a skilled opponent before, so he's helpless to do anything but block and dodge every attack he can from Rafe, who's gone completely insane and is swinging wildly for Nate's vulnerable points.
  • 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 versionnote  of the level "Boulders" from the first game. The game even forces you to use D-pad controls like the PS1.
  • 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 colonist attempts to take back their gold. Avery then become 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:invoked In-Universe, Nate's off-hand remark to Elena from Drake's Fortune about not wanting to end up in a Panamanian prison becomes much darker after we learn what went down in said prison during a playable flashback: fifteen years before A Thief's End, Nate thought Sam had sacrificed himself during their Great Escape.
  • 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 in a Mutual Kill.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Nate's first fight with Nadine is impossible to win, since he's unable to land a single blow and cannot counter attacks. He fares a bit better in the second fight, though he needs to get the drop on her while she's distracted with Sam.
    • No matter how good you are, it is impossible for Nate to beat Elena's high score at Crash Bandicoot. Fifteen years later, their daughter Cassie has better luck.
  • 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.
  • 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 Nate while everything around is burning down.
  • In Medias Res: The game opens with Nate and Sam out at sea, in a storm, and being pursued by mercenary boats with murderous intent, before flashing back to Nate's past and how he got involved in the first place. It isn't until Chapter 13 that the events following the chase are visited.
  • Indy Escape: You get chased by a truck just like in in the second game, except this time it's being driven by an Ax-Crazy raving fangirl.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • In one scene, Nate keeps referring to Crash Bandicoot as a fox, no matter how many times Elena corrects him.
    • Both Sam and Nate correct people calling the Saint Dismas cruciform a crucifix. Having grown up in a Catholic orphanage, they keep correcting everyone that a crucifix refers only to an image or statue of Jesus crucified, while a cruciform is any man who is crucified.
  • Interface Screw: During his fight with Nadine, Nate is unable to block attacks due to the button being temporarily disabled.
  • Interface Spoiler: A very minor one. Entering multiplayer before beating the game can reveal where the story will be taking place, as well as who are met in each location. However, certain character costumes have fake names to cover up some events.
  • Karma Houdini: Nadine is Rafe's partner and assisted him throughout the game in hunting down Henry Avery's treasure. Yet she got away scott free in the end.
    • I wouldn't say "scot-free." Dozens of her men were killed and Rafe usurped Nadine as head of Shoreline, stealing her merc company right out from under her.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: A recurring theme. As the game progresses, more characters question the end goal of finding Avery's treasure, and wonder if it's all worth it. Drake eventually abandons the idea of treasure in favor of saving his brother, Sam decides to settle on just finding the treasure with Nate and taking a small amount with him, and Nadine walks away after losing so many of her troops. Rafe, on the other hand, ends up such a vindictive Glory Hound that not only does he alienate (or cause the deaths of) his closest allies by insisting on exploring Avery's ship, he forces Nate into a duel to the death inside the collapsing ship. Even though, given how Nate is perfectly okay with giving up the treasure and just wants to escape the ship with Sam, there's no good reason for him to drag on the conflict whatsoever. His meltdown of hubris costs him his life.
  • 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 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 Alcazar 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 Alcazar died in a shootout in Argentina six months prior to the game. Nate is very distraught when he learns this since he has been risking his life and his marriage for what he thought was protecting his brother.
  • 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 pulling 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 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's 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!
  • 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.
  • 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 there is no supernatural twist, Uncharted 4 is the first installment to be completely mundane. The leaders of the city stole all of the wealth from the rest who revolted. Everyone dies except Avery and Tew who killed each other over the treasure on their get away ship.
  • Mythology Gag: This is now the second Naughty Dog game in a row to feature an Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene epilogue where you play as a teenage girl.
    • Nate says that he used the money from his adventurin' proceeds to support himself and Elena. This may or may not include all the little collectable treasures he picks up.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Rafe is a better swordsman than Nate and handily beats him in the final boss fight despite Nate's Heroic Second Wind. Rafe has Nate at his mercy and breaks his sword blade and would have killed him had he not started monologuing giving Nate time to improvise a victory from the jaws of defeat.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Inverted. The game takes place sometime in 2014 versus its 2016 release date. The epilogue however plays it straight, it's set fifteen years later, around 2029.
  • 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 Long 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. Then Avery and Tew, of course, killed each other in a duel for sole ownership of the treasure.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Nate and co. use the Anglicization Gunsway to describe the ship stolen by Henry Every. The actual ship, a trading ship owned by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, is Ganj-i-Sawainote .
  • Non-Player Companion: In multiplayer, you can summon sidekicks to assist you. They can do things like revive your teammates or provide covering fire for your team.
  • No Sympathy for Grudgeholders: Although the two were once partners, at the end of the game Rafe goes on a massive rant during his ultimate fight with Nate about how much he despises him and his record of discoveries. At this point, Rafe is clearly totally fed up of Team Drake. Even though Nate tries to apologise in the only way he knows how, Rafe keeps rambling and "fences" an unarmed Nate with a pirate sword.
    Nate: Look, I get it, you don't like me very much—
    Rafe: You know, for all your "greatness", Nate, you have nothing. You are nothing. And I warned you to get out of my way.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Rafe Adler is dismissed by Nate and Sam Drake as a Know-Nothing Know-It-All and wealthy fop, then in the finale he turns out to be a good fencer and utterly insane, and he comes closer than anyone to killing Nate.
  • Nun Too Holy: A minor bit in the kid flashback at the start, where the nun that scolded young Nate is seen secretly smoking a cigarette.
  • One Last Job:
    • Nate agrees to have one more adventure after his "retirement" to help out Sam.
    • Henry Avery is implied to have seen the Gunsway heist as this. He and other pirates with big score, decided to build their own country where they could retire. The aesop is "More money more problems" as noted by Nate, a lot of the treasure went to building Libertalia, paying top coin for skilled labour, architecture and planning, which while leaving considerable treasure was only enough to fill the cargo deck of a single brig. This is quite aside from the go mad from greed and kill everyone part.
  • Origins Episode: The flashbacks show the origins of Nathan Morgan, the manner in which he adopted the Nathan Drake identity, their appetite and interest in history and their yearning for adventure.
  • Pac Man Fever: A... bizarre self inflicted case, all things considered: the Crash Bandicoot easter egg involves Nate trying to beat Elena's high score. There is no high score mechanic in the actual release of the game done in the way depicted in the easter egg (in fact, the score screen is lifted from the box total screen). 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.
  • Playing the Player: Up until Chapter 15, the player is led to believe that the reason Nate and Sam are looking for Avery's treasure to pay off Alcàzar. After all, you played a level as Sam escaping from the prison alongside Alcàzar, so Sam must be telling the truth, right? Well, until you find out that it was actually Rafe who got Sam out two years prior to the events of the game, there was no breakout, and that Alcàzar had died six months previous. The prison riot level was just Sam's lie to get Nathan back into the game, and both Nate and the player fell for it.
  • Private Military Contractor: Shoreline, comprised of South African mercs, headed by Nadine Ross. It has an especially brutal reputation among the international black market underground.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The first two chapters consist of flashbacks earlier into Drake's life (set before and after the flashback in Drake's Deception, respectively, due to his different ages) and focus on his relationship with Sam.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Nate and Sully reunite after a supposed retirement, and not having met each other for two years, to hunt the treasure of the week.
  • Raised Catholic: Both Nate and Sam Drake grew up in a Catholic Orphanage which they regard as slightly strict and stuffy, with one good priest Father Duffy serving as a father figure. Their memories of Saint Dismas the penitent thief on the left side of Jesus' cross allows them to keep one step ahead of the game.
  • Rare Guns: The Mateba 6 Unica Autorevolver is available as the "Barok .44". He also picks up a "China Lake" but the appearance of the weapon includes a drum magazine, which the actual China Lake did not have.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rafe delivers one to Nate during their swordfight, and after Nate's momentary defeat in said fight, in which he declares that, Nathan Drake the "legend" is a "sad little boy with delusions of grandeur who can't fence for shit."
  • Reality Ensues: Thanks to Uncharted's history, players might be expecting that something crazy happened to Libertalia to get it to fail. Turns out that a bunch of infamous pirates (i.e. people who rob for a living) pooling all their money/resources together to build a city is just a bad idea. Also, in Chapter 6, when Nate throws the grappling hook for the first time in the present day, he misses due to not having used it in years.
  • Recurring Element: A Thief's End is the first fourth installment of a Naughty Dog property 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 was not even mentioned in the first three games despite being a presence in his brother's life until Nate's early 20s, and having known Sullivan from before. Indeed, Nathan never even told Elena about Sam much to her fury when she finds out.
  • The Reveal: We finally learn that Nate is really Nathan Morgan, son of historian Cassandra Morgan.
  • Retro Gaming: Apparently Elena is into retro gaming, we see her playing a PS1 in the year 2016. (Nate plays it as well, but he gives the impression it's not something he's done before). Their daughter also plays it... and can beat Mom's high score. Cassie must be really into retro gaming, seeing as her age at the time means the PS1 system is roughly 30 years old.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: While Rafe Adler does have a day job in running his family business, he's far more focused on using his money to be a treasure hunter. He's appalled that Nate has become a "legend" on his own merit. He is proud of being good at fencing, the one thing he has earned for himself and is better than Nate at.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • In a sense, Nate's plot and the story of Avery parallel each other. Both lived a life of treasure hunting and piracy and attempted to conduct one last job where they would settle down and build new lives for themselves. Avery couldn't walk away from his obsession with treasure , which destroyed his utopia. Nate is more than willing to walk away from the profession that has defined his whole life, and builds his own "personal" Libertalia (a large beachfront residence) with Elena and Cassandra at his side. Possibly on the actual Libertalia island!.
    • Also the penitent thief motif. While Avery adopted the iconography surrounding it, he was never truly regretful about his deeds and instead used it as a self-serving justification to dispose of the colonists of Libertalia and go on a power trip that ended in his death. Nate on the other hand is actually penitent after lying to Elena about his trip, and tries to redeem himself.
    • During the flashback in Evelyn's mansion, her story has a pretty strong resemblance to Nate's life. In fact, he's probably remembering it specifically because of the parallels.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Rafe's Dragon Nadine finally gets sick of Rafe's obsession with the treasure and abandons him on Avery's burning ship, rightfully pointing out that the damn treasure has destroyed everyone who was obsessed with it.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: As long as the game is completed at least once on any difficulty beforehand, any unlockables are allowed to be used on the initial Crushing playthrough.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Stealth sections consist mostly of tall grass Nate can sneak through, but doesn't give any cover during firefights. In addition, higher difficulties disable tagging and enemy detection HUD elements.
    • On a smaller scale, collected treasures re-appear during replays. While you never lose them, it can make searching for any new treasure a bit more difficult.
    • Enemies are much faster, more accurate with their guns and come in larger numbers. Especially noticeable if you go back to an earlier game; at places old crushing is easier than new normal.
    • Throwing back grenades has disappeared without explanation.
    • The co-op mode can be brutal at times, even at lower difficulties, because of the improved enemies with a MP health scale, constant grenade spamming and sometimes cruel spawns. (For example, hunters can appear on normal level's first wave.) It tells a lot when the bosses are easier than the waves before them, or even the very mooks they spawn.
  • Shadow Archetype: Avery and his pirates at Libertalia to Nate, Sam, Rafe and other adventurers. Avery initially represents the idea that one can steal treasure in brutal ways and be penitent about it and create a utopia that justifies all your actions, just as Nate lies and steals and kills for treasure for potentially benign motives, with Sam being a darker, less scrupulous Foil to Nate, and Rafe being a vindictive sociopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. In the end, Avery's "utopia" turns out to be a lie, and the greed of himself and the other pirates destroys them all. While Nate, Ross, and to a lesser extent Sam are able to let go of their greed and escape a similar fate, Rafe's vindictiveness and hunger for glory results in him being the only major character of the game to die.
    • Joseph Burnes' grandson and his crew try and fail to find Libertalia and Avery's gold, much like Rafe's obsession. Burnes, a wealthy man and heir to a shipmate of Avery's, commissioned an expedition to find the treasure he claimed was his birthright; after Captain Darby was killed by a crazed crew member and the ship ran aground, Burnes ordered the man lashed to the mast and left to rot, then assumed control of the crew. After working his men to the point of death and murdering everyone who tried to run, Burnes finally set out on his own for the treasure instead, assuring himself that everything he did was justified. Nate finds his body rotting near the entrance to the grotto, "just before the finish line"; unlike Rafe, he perished of a fever in his sleep.
  • 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 rather than leave the island.
    • Rafe invokes this to Nadine in the end, pointing out that if they walk away before reaching Avery's ship then all the sacrifies and lives lost would have been for nothing. Nadine states they can take the treasure around the cavern that is perfectly usable and is fairly valuable in and of itself rather than walk into another death trap which could kill all of them.
  • 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 not 100% clear how long after Uncharted 3 this game is set (Sully says it's at least two years) but it does seem to have been long enough for Nate's life to shift pretty significantly since the last time he was seen (he and Elena now live in a modest home together and he's got a regular job working as an underwater salvage specialist).
  • Title Drop Chapter: The climax chapter of the game is called "A Thief's End".
  • Unreliable Narrator: Samuel Drake presents himself as recently released long-lost brother of Nate's, who has a price on his head on account of Alcazar's ultimatum. Then it turns out that he lied and was working with Rafe for two years before contacting Nate and that he manipulated Nate into joining him on his quest, separating him from Elena and Sully.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Samuel Drake is a harsher, colder version of Nate. When he puts a gun on Nadine Ross' head, he threatens to shoot her and Nate pulls him at the last moment setting the shot in the air, proving that he was indeed going to murder her. Then Rafe reveals that Sam is really a manipulative liar, whose only redeeming virtue is that he genuinely does love Nate.
  • Villain Ball: Rafe gets trapped in Avery's ship with Nate because he forced Nadine to come to the ship with him against her will. There really was no reason to force her to come with him since he had already paid off her mercenaries, giving him the means to transport the treasure off the island without her help, and it's not clear what help he expected her to provide after pointing a gun in her face and making her go. Killing her or letting her leave would have been the more sensible choice.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Nathan Drake says almost this exact line after he discovers the treasures hidden within Avery's ship. The way all those treasures littered in a dark, tight interior of the ship also gives this vibe for players as well, as it contrasts heavily with the majestic sights of every previous grand discoveries that Nate made in the previous games.
  • Wet Blanket Wife: Elena tries her best to avert being this trope, while Sully chides Nate for treating her this way. Indeed, Elena even encourages Nate to take on a potentially risky job in Malaysia because she can sense he's a little bored and in the end, Nate and Elena resolve this by becoming legal archaeologists, and full time partners and co-workers.
  • Wham Line: Rafe 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Nadine. After her Heel–Face Turn, she walks out of the plot and is never heard from again, despite having been The Dragon to Rafe as well as a Recurring Boss who has caused the Drakes no end of trouble. 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.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Elena is understandably upset with Nate after she discovers he lied to her about taking a contract job so he could go off on an adventure without her.
    • Elena and Sully are very unhappy when Sam tries to go after Avery's boat even when he's nearly gotten killed by the Shoreline troopers. They call him out on his obsession with the treasure and even Nate takes their side.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Subverted with Nadine. Nate goes out of his way to avoid fighting her, and even saves her life at one point shortly after she came very close to killing him for a second time. Nonetheless, when push comes to shove he has no problem throwing some punches at her. Since she's a far better hand-to-hand combatant than Nate, very few of them land however.
  • You 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 are 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 cannot do it here.

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

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