Did Treasure Hunters Find Sir Francis Drake’s Final Fleet? Will This Affect Uncharted?

on November 8, 2011 12:00 PM

Uncharted‘s Nathan Drake could be thrown for a loop, depending on if and how the game’s writers take into account the latest log in the saga of Sir Francis Drake.

In the Uncharted universe, the adventures of Nate and his motley crew begin with a search for the lost city of El Dorado and the remains of Nate’s ancestor, Sir Francis Drake. Drake’s lineage plays a key role in the series’ plot; the shadow of the explorer and his legacy are the frame through which players view Nathan and his reckless determination.

Meanwhile in Panama, a gang of treasure hunters have found two sunken ships that they swear are part of Sir Francis Drake’s final fleet. The implications are exciting and eerie: Drake’s casket could be among the wreckage.

Sir Francis Drake died of dysentery in 1596 at the age of 55. He was buried in the Caribbean sea in a lead casket and with full body armor, making his body impossible to recover during the time period in which he lived. After his death, his ships — the 195-ton Elizabeth and the 50-ton Delight — were scuttled (deliberately sunk).

Now, over 400 years later, an expedition led by former Philadelphia 76ers president Pat Croce has stumbled upon the sunken ships and what he believes to be Drake’s final resting place. Croce is a self-professed “pirate aficionado,” and like Uncharted‘s hero set out on his quest guided by diligent research and his own fierce abandon.

Croce is certain these are Drake’s ships, citing the presence of English pottery, lead, and charred wood on the structures as creditable evidence. Based on records made by Thomas Maynard, a chronicler of Drake’s expeditions who sailed with him on the Defiance, Croce pinpointed the general area of the sunken ships, claiming that “no crew in his right mind” who have sailed the area without a distinct purpose. A purpose, indeed: to bury Drake and his fleet with him. Maynard’s writings claim that Drake was put to rest a mere one league away from his scuttled fleet — just a little more than three miles from the wreck.

Croce explained his love of Queen Elizabeth’s pirate to The Daily Telegraph: “Here’s a fellow in the 16th century who sailed around the world and single-handedly wreaked havoc in the New World when navigation was still primitive.”

But where does Uncharted stand in all this, now that Drake’s remains may shortly be discovered? Will Naughty Dog adapt the situation for Uncharted 4 or perhaps into a new trilogy? Or will this be ignored and filed away, taking with it the fierce intimacy with reality that is so tantalizing about these games? Will Nathan Drake meet Pat Croce?

What do you think?

 /  Features Editor
A High Summoner from the Woods of the North (read: New England), Alexa and her ragtag band of comrades have saved the world from cataclysmic destruction countless times -- you just didn't notice. When she isn't writing or gaming, she enjoys baking, long walks at dusk, and cosplay.