“There must be a begynnyng of any great matter, but the contenewing unto the end untyll it be thoroughly ffynyshed yeldes the trew glory.”- Sir Frances Drake, 1587.
Beatricia: “Sic Parvis Magna” (“From Small Things, Great Things Come”) was the aspirational motto of England’s greatest privateer, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth’s favorite circumnavigator, Spain’s most dreaded Dragon. A terror to many a sailor during the 16th century, Drake’s wealth would come to equal something like $130 million dollars in today’s non-doubloon, non-galleon money. The money wasn’t all that legit, but no one would say he didn’t earn it through bravery, fierce leadership, and the occasional execution of his friends and allies. Although the real Sir Francis Drake died in 1596, leaving no offspring behind, that’s not what you would learn from Naughty Dog’s classic 2007 video game “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.” Here, Sir Francis’s descendant is a devil-daring, fortune-seeker named Nathan Drake. To prove his claim, Nate has got the coordinates to the explorer’s coffin engraved in a family heirloom: the coffin can be found right off the Panamanian coast, and it contains clues to the location of the mythic El Dorado!
Suddenly, modern-day pirates, the kind who don’t care much about old Sir Francis’ honorable protocols, show up. The pirates have been sent by Drake’s antagonist Gabrielle Roman, clearly modeled on Paul Freeman’s dashingly villainous Dr. Rene Belloq, from Steven Spielberg’s “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” ( Incidentally, it was Indiana Jones who made it so that no adventure is complete without Nazis, and if a German U-Boat happens to be found at the top of an Amazonian waterfall during “Uncharted,” blame it on Indy.)
Memorable side-characters include camera-wielding reporter Elena Fisher, who knows a great History Channel special when she sees it; suave, too-suave-too-be-trusted Victor Sullivan; and Nate’s irascible Indonesian antagonist Eddy Raja, who even teaches us some valuable Indonesian cursing. “Tai Kamu” for instance, means “Your… er… Excrement.” The only demerit to this great adventure is an unnecessary, last-minute swing into the supernatural kindgdom. It was such a pleasure to shoot bad guys in bandanas, I didn’t need zombies!
Hank: Great game! It definitely made me feel as cool as Harrison Ford, but I’m more coherent during interviews, and I’m less likely to crash my personal plane on a bi-monthly basis.
Trent: Cool guy, cool music. Cherry.
Tracey: We’re not talking about THAT Drake, you ugly Konyok! We’re talking about Nathan Drake, the descendant of Sir Francis Drake, the repulsive “Admiral” and “Privateer” a.k.a. PIRATE SLAVER who greedily ransacked and plundered a continent while robbing and slaughtering the colored natives who rightfully owned the land and its wealth!
Cousin Franz: But then again- can land ever truly be owned? Can wealth? Isn’t “El Dorado” merely a mirage? “You can own the earth and still- all you’ll own is earth until…” etc etc. “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” hinges precisely on this truth: those who seek to gain wealth must be careful not lose their souls in the process.
Grandpa Felicius: Ah, this takes me right back to the set of “El Dorado.” Howard Hawks had gone off to lunch with Howard Hughes and Howard Keel, and I was left with the unenviable task of helping John Wayne with his make-up, which was an intricate but necessary operation because of Wayne’s immense jowls. That’s why we called him “The Duke,” you know, because he had the jowls of a medieval nobleman on the latter stages of the gout. So I said to the Duke: “What do you think, John, could Bobby Mitchum be a Communist?” The Duke spit on his trusty horse, Cochise, which was never less than five steps behind him, and said: “I’ll tell ya, pilgrim: just last night that lily livered, belly-aching, Maria-Juana-sucking light-stepper invited me to go to his trailer to swing to a rock-and-roll long-player by some degenerate nancy boys called ‘The Kinks.’ Does that make him a filthy Communist? You bet your last ace it does!” He got so upset just thinking about it that he dismissed me outright: “Vamoose like a moose, Felicius! I’ve been putting my own rouge and concealer every day for the last 35 years, I think I know what I’m doing!”
Blurbarella: “Classic Video Game– A Pleasure– Definitely– Cool.– Rightfully Owned.– Seek to gain wealth– You– Filthy Communist.”
4 out of 6 Cherries