Hello, person of the Internet, welcome to the third entry of my short series of Uncharted 4 Analysis. Check out the first two entries: the Many Lives of Nathan Drake and the Many Faces of Elena Fisher.
In this post, I’m going to talk about the Uncharted 4 villains and also compare them to their previous counterparts. As per usual: SPOILER WARNING!
Rafe Adler – Rafe is the obvious main villain of Uncharted 4. Well, in terms of the modern day, human villain anyway. He is the son to a rich family and has inherited their wealth and he hates that all his achievements has been “handed” to him. His pursuit of Avery’s treasure is solely for the sake of proving himself. And from a certain point of view, it can be argued that Nate and Sam are the villains of Rafe’s story. He funded them, teamed up with them to find Avery’s treasure. He even helped them out of tough spots, though arguably he has ulterior motives in doing so. Nate through Sam’s “death” in order to escape and got Sam out of prison and then they stabbed him in the back. Well, Sam did anyway. However, he’s not a fortune seeker, he doesn’t know history like the brothers or Sullivan does. So he has to rely on other means to get things done, like partnering with Nadine and hiring a group of mercenaries to help cover more ground. And when even Nadine betrays him… well, that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.
In terms of his standing among the main villains of the Uncharted series, I think he’s the best, with Marlowe coming a close second. Lazarevic is the third and Navarro/Roman is dead last. Marlowe might take a leap over Rafe if that thousand year old theory is true, which would really give her a cool factor. Plus secret societies are kinda my thing. Lazarevic is a boring warlord, and Navarro/Roman isn’t really well developed. Sure there’s the whole anti Nate/Sully thing, but I think Talbot/Marlowe also covered it pretty well too.
Nadine Ross – Nadine is the secondary antagonist of Uncharted 4. She inherited a business from her father too, a mercenary group known as Shoreline. Things haven’t been too great for Shoreline lately, so she joins the hunt for Avery’s treasure in hopes of regaining Shoreline’s reputation and get some money to sustain the group. Honestly, she’s really underutilized. She’s not as useless as I thought she was when I wrote the first post. For one, she’s there to play up Rafe’s uncertainty about the Drake brothers, that without them he won’t be able to find Avery’s treasure. Still, she could have been a lot more. Her history with Sully gave some ground to explore, but the game never really dives into it. But notably, she’s the only villain to survive her game. I think she comes in second to Talbot as the secondary villain. And Flynn? Well, I’ve forgotten about him until I look up the secondary villain of Uncharted 2. And that says a lot.
Sam Drake – Sam is Nate’s long lost brother. While he might not be a villain, he’s certainly an antagonist. Well, in the sense that an antagonist who is putting obstacles to the protagonist’s goal. That’s one of the definitions of an antagonist. This is also the definition that says Harvey Dent is the antagonist of the Dark Knight instead of the Joker. Batman wants to retire and marry Rachel. Harvey Dent never leaves up to Batman’s standard of a white knight and even dates Rachel. Nate wants to retire, Sam tempts him back. Nate wants to leave the island, Sam goes back for the treasure. And in those terms, Sam is a very, very good antagonist. The previous Uncharted doesn’t really have a character like Sam, so no rankings here.
Henry Avery – Avery is another villain in Uncharted 4, and I think the only historical villain in the series. Well, Uncharted 3 technically had the Djinn. Anyway, Avery is a very interesting character. Heh. Avery, a very, get it? No? Okay. It’s up for debate whether Avery drew the pirates to him to steal their treasure, or he was just victim to his own paranoia. Certainly he was unhinged by the end of his life. The ribs and teeth in Avery’s cave are conclusive proves of that. But either way, he almost single handed brought the downfall of eleven of the greatest pirates of all time and almost took all the treasure for himself. Nate’s little monologue at the “last supper” scene is telling of Avery’s “achievement”.
Greed/Obsession – Now let’s get to the non-human villains. There’s a lot of talk about greed being the true villain of Uncharted 4. But is it? Instead of greed, I would like to propose that obsession is the characters’ flaw that we’re dealing with here. None of the characters see the treasure for its worth, well, except Nadine. Sure the desire for power is also considered greed, but none of the characters really want that too. Rafe wants the treasure to prove his worth. He’s already filthy rich and his powerful too, he could influence black market auctions and hire a private military company. Sure Sam, Nate and Sully do think about the money involved, but that’s not really their main goals either. Sully is just sticking around to keep an eye on Nate. Nate is around because he wants the money to save Sam but he’s also around for the addiction to adventuring. When he learns the truth and with Elena’s help, he stops going after the treasure. And Sam? Sam wants it because it is their mother’s legacy. He could have easily gone for it with Rafe and split the treasure with him. But in his eyes, the path to Avery’s treasure was born from the blood, sweat and tears of their mother. So he wants himself and Nate to be the one to get it.
Those are my thoughts on the villains of Uncharted 4, let me know yours in the comments down below.