17 Uncharted Easter Eggs And References To The Game Franchise You Might Have Missed
Though Uncharted is a film adapted from the extremely popular video game series, it doesn't draw from any one Uncharted story. Instead, it tells something of the origin of Nate Drake as a treasure hunter, as well as the beginnings of his relationship with father figure, mentor, and fortune-seeking partner, Victor "Sully" Sullivan. While the movie isn't a straight adaptation of any of the games, though, it does include plenty of references to the franchise, borrows a few scenes from their action set pieces, and draws a lot of small bits from their stories.
Below, you'll find an in-depth rundown of all the items Uncharted borrows from the video game series that initially catapulted Nate Drake to stardom--as well as a few places where the movie specifically differs from the games. Just note, however, that there are spoilers herein, since we're talking about the entire movie; you might want to see Uncharted before you read further.
1. Francis Drake's ring
If there's one item that's essentially "Nathan Drake," it's the ring he wears on a piece of leather around his neck. It's the first thing we see in Uncharted, too. Though its role in this story is mostly sentimental, Nate is almost always seen wearing it, and it's essential to the plot of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, the first game Nate appeared in. To be sure, the ring of Sir Francis Drake will come up again in future Uncharted movies.
2. Cargo plane hijinks
Uncharted starts with a scene lifted directly from the games--Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, to be exact. Here, Nate fights his way back into a plane after falling out its cargo door mid-flight, dangling on the boxes and nets that trail behind it. Nate's leaps from box to box and his fist fights with a few goons are right out of the PlayStation experience of Uncharted.
3. Nate and Sam separated
Uncharted pulls elements of its story from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, which includes scenes between Nate and his long lost brother, Sam. What we see in the movie is pretty similar to the setup in the film, although the game's version is more involved, provides a lot more backstory on the Drake boys, and doesn't leave Nate quite so abandoned.
4. Sic parvis magna
Another essential element to Nate's identity as a descendant of Sir Francis Drake is the explorer and pirate's motto, "Sic parvis magna," or as Sam translates, "Greatness from small beginnings." That's, you know, pretty much the whole deal of Nate and Uncharted.
5. Descended from Francis Drake
Sam reiterates that he and Nate were Francis Drake's descendants, something that comes up a lot in Nate's life and drives a lot of his identity. Of course, in Uncharted 4, we learn that this bit of Nate Drake history might be a little...exaggerated, but that doesn't seem to be the case in the film.
6. A very Naughty Dog
Nate and Sam's room contains a quick homage to Naughty Dog, the game studio that created the Uncharted games and first dreamed up the characters, in the form of a sticker of the studio's logo.
7. Infiltrating the auction
The auction scene with Nate and Sully isn't right on the money, but it's similar to one in Uncharted 4, in which Nate, Sam, and Sully also pull a heist during an auction in order to grab a clue to a treasure. The game version of the scene is less above-board--it's a black market auction--and includes a lot more costume changes and climbing by the heroes to get in.
8. Nate's climbing practice
Speaking of climbing, it's a huge part of the Uncharted games. Nate is constantly scrambling on the sides of ruins, often as they crumble around him. The movie spends a minute to explain how Nate gets such ludicrous upper-body and finger strength by showing him training in his apartment to make sure his abs can handle the treasure-hunting lifestyle.
9. Sully's Baghdad exploits
Much like Hobby Lobby, Sully apparently was up to some not-so-great things in Baghdad during recent wars there. The movie suggests he stole some antiquities in the city, and while it's a bit of a stealthy reference, you might consider this one a callback to another film starring Mark Wahlberg. That would be Three Kings, the David O. Russell-helmed movie in which Wahlberg plays a soldier who, along with some compatriots, tries to steal gold in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.
10. Meet Chloe Frazer
We first met Chloe in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. However, even then it's revealed that the two share a history. In the movie, we get the first meeting between treasurehunters Nate and Chloe–and the vague sexual tension that follows suit. The two have a hard time trusting each other at this point, as their relationship is just being established, but they have many adventures together ahead of them.
11. Chloe's bad dad
The movie sees Chloe telling Nate about a bad experience with her father, in which he stole a valuable antique she'd unearthed and then abandoned her family, using the proceeds he got from its sale. That experience made Chloe the hardened treasure-hunter we see in the film, but it's not quite the backstory the character gives in the games. In Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Chloe describes her father as an archeologist who became obsessed with finding a particular treasure in India. He still abandoned the family, sending Chloe and her mother to live in Australia, and died searching for the object of his obsession--so even in the games, it was still problems with her dad that gave Chloe her issues with trust.
12. Nate meets Nate
It should come as no surprise that Nolan North, who voices Nathan Drake in the video game franchise, has a role in the movie. Still, hearing the real Nate's voice pop up on a beach as Nathan and Chloe come ashore was a special moment for fans.
13. That classic Nate look
There was something off about Nate's look throughout the movie. He had the ring around his neck, the shirt was right but missing was the leather holster he's constantly wearing. Who is Nate without the ability to quickly pull out a pistol and shoot his problems away? Thankfully, by the end of the film that was rectified when he holled the holster off of one of the guys he killed aboard the ship--and immediately started shooting at people.
14. Hiding ships in a cave
Nate eventually discovers the lost ships of Magellan's crew, along with the treasure they supposedly lost. These are hidden in a cave, and their discovery is a scene that's extremely similar to one in Uncharted 4. In that game, though, the ships belonged to Captain Avery, the leader of the mythical pirate utopia Libertalia.
15. Is that the Uncharted theme?
As the credits rolled, it was fitting to finally get the iconic Uncharted theme song, which was composed by Greg Edmondson. The tune has been featured in every single game thus far, and you can catch it at a few key moments during the film, most notably during North's cameo and aboard Magellan's ship. And since the end of the film seemingly tees up the Nate we know from the films, this was definitely an appropriate moment for it.
16. The search for El Dorado
The first mid-credits scene in Uncharted sees Nate and Sully negotiating with some shady characters to get hold of some kind of "old Nazi map." We don't have much to go on here, but this seems a likely set up for the story of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, the first of the game franchise's tales. In that game, Nate and Sully go in search of the mythical gold city El Dorado, using information gleaned from a similar Nazi search during World War II.
Uncharted carries a second mid-credits scene that also ties back into the stories in the games, but this time, once again, to Uncharted 4. We see an unknown figure locked in a jail cell at the end, scribbling a message to Nate on a postcard. Of course, the big implication is that this is Sam, Nate's brother who was presumed dead. In Uncharted 4, Nate is reunited with Sam after believing Sam had died. Just as in the movie, Sam was actually stuck in a prison somewhere, unable to let his brother know that he'd survived.