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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: Deciphering

In the spirit of intrepid treasure hunter Nathan Drake, we pull together the clues, myths and legends that surround Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End with a view to uncovering what Drake is doing on the island of Ile Sainte-Marie and what treasure he hopes to find there.


Ile Sainte-Marie (Libertalia)
Situated off the coast of Madagascar, the island of Île Sainte-Marie is highlighted on the map we see in the first trailer for Uncharted and is the alleged location of the fabled pirate colony of Libertalia for which Drake and his brother are searching. It was also a base of operations for famed pirates Henry Avery (mentioned in Drake’s notes) and Olivier Levasseur.

A -Mahé (The Pirate Carvings)
Carvings discovered on Mahé’s Bel Ombre beach in 1923 showing a dog, snake, turtle, horse, fly, two joined hearts, a keyhole, a staring eye, a ballot box, a figure of a young woman, and the head of a man have been interpreted as carvings made by pirates. Guess who it’s been claimed owned the land in the early 1700s? Our friend Olivier Levasseur. Given that we know Uncharted 4 contains a section where Drake discovers a monument with a carving, it wouldn't surprise us if interpreting such pirate carvings is one of the challenges Drake will face.

Réunion Island (Levasseur’s Treasure)
It was here that what has been described as the most valuable heist in pirate history occurred when Olivier Levasseur raided Portuguese ship Our Lady Of The Cape, which had been damaged in a storm. Levasseur’s fabled treasure is still being hunted for to this day, fueled by the cryptogram Levessaur threw into the crowd at his execution, proclaiming that anyone who could understand it would find his treasure. Some claim that Levasseur’s treasure is buried in an area now submerged, which ties in with the Uncharted 4 concept art that shows Drake searching submerged buildings.  In any case, Levasseur’s legendary treasure would be a worthy prize for an adventurer like Drake.

Mauritius (Freemason Treasure)
Bernardin Nageon de L’Estang, also know as Le Butin, was a naval officer alleged to have been given the locations of several secret treasures after convincing a dying captain that he was a fellow freemason. It’s been variously claimed that L’Estang collected several of these treasures, leaving four behind, that he left details of his hidden treasures on Mauritius in his will for his nephew to find, that he had found the fabled treasure of Levasseur, and that he was the one that wrote the legendary cryptogram attributed to Levasseur. Secret freemason treasure hidden in locations across the globe sounds like it would be right up Drake’s street.

B -Columbia (Sam Drake)
Just when and where did Drake part ways with his older brother Sam, who will be a companion character (similar to Ellie in The Last Of Us) in Uncharted 4? The earliest we have got to see Drake is in Columbia as a teenager when he met Victor Sullivan and Katherine Marlowe, but even then there was no mention of a brother. Finding out about Sam Drake, the circumstances in which he and Nathan parted ways and their relationship is going to be an interesting part of Uncharted 4.

C -Rhode Island (Thomas Tew)
The ‘Rhode Island Pirate’ that’s referred to in Drake’s notebook is Thomas Tew, a pirate who joined Henry Avery in his attack on the Ganj-i-Sawai, but who was killed during the engagement. Drake’s notes suggest that he believes Tew may have actually survived this encounter. We reckon that discovering Tew’s true fate will form part of Uncharted 4’s story. Interestingly, Tew is alleged to be one of the founders of Île Sainte-Marie’s pirate utopia of Libertalia.
”Levasseur’s legendary treasure would be a worthy prize for an adventurer like Drake”
F -Surat, India to Yemen (Ganj-i-Sawai)
Another fabled pirate haul was pulled off by a man mentioned in Drake’s notes, Henry Avery (also known as Henry Every). Avery raided a ship called the Ganj-i-Sawai its contents worth between $200 and $400 million in today’s money on route from Surat, India to Yemen. A letter discovered by Drake in the PlayStation Experience trailer suggests that treasure hunters have been searching for his fortuneon Île Sainte-Marie since at least the early 1800s. Perhaps Naughty Dog has taken some artistic license and mixed the stories of Olivier Levasseur and Henry Avery, or perhaps searching for one of the two treasure hauls will lead Drake onto the other?

D -Greece (The Cryptogram)
Puzzles have long been a feature of Uncharted and we’re expecting solving cryptograms with clues to the locations of buried treasure to be a part of that. The two most likely to appear would be L’Estang’s cryptograms, or the one that Levasseur was said to have thrown into the crowd at his execution, alleged to be related to the Greek myth of Hercules and his twelve labours.

E -Nassau (Henry Avery)
Henry Avery’s last known location was Nassau where, after escaping the grasp of the authorities, he fades into myth and legend. Speaking of which, one of the legends surrounding Avery is that the chest in which his treasure was kept required three keys, one held by Avery, and two by other captains. A search for three keys sounds like an ideal set up for an Uncharted game. Perhaps the other holders of the keys were Olivier Leveasaur and Thomas Tew? Perhaps the Flaming Cross of Goa is actually a key? Mysteries abound…

G -Panama (John Taylor)
John Taylor undertook the famous robbery of Our Lady Of the Cape alongside Olivier Levesseur, but the two would eventually (and inevitably) have a falling out, with Taylor making his way to Panama. In his globetrotting search for pirate treasure, we would not be surprised if Drake paid a visit to Panama to search for the odd clue, or perhaps even Taylor’s own share of the treasure.

H -South Africa (Rafe and Nadine)
Drake and his brother will have two rivals to contend with as they traverse the globe hunting treasure Rafe and Nadine. We don’t know much about the two new characters at this stage, other than that Nadine owns a private military company that is based in South Africa. The accents of the men that Drake battles on Île Sainte-Marie suggests that they are indeed Nadine’s soldiers.
” Perhaps the Flaming Cross of Goa is actually a key? Mysteries abound…”
I -Goa (The Flaming Cross Of Goa)
Uncharted history tells us that Drake will be on the hunt for one artifact or another in A Thief’s End. One candidate is The Flaming Cross Of Goa, a treasure which Levesseur was alleged to have obtained in his robbery of Our Lady Of The Cape. Purported to be a jewel-encrusted cross, there’s no proof that it ever actually existed. That shroud of mystery makes it ideal for Naughty Dog to embellish its legend and perhaps even give it an unexpected function.

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