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Uncharted: Drake's Trail

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Uncharted: Drake's Trail
DT Promo
European newspaper advertisement promoting the game.
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Version Now defunct
Platform(s) Google Maps/Flash Player
Release date(s) November 2007
Genre(s) Alternate reality, puzzle
Mode(s) Online single-player
Media Online game
Input methods Computer keyboard/mouse
Walkthrough

Uncharted: Drake's Trail was an online game located on the official European Uncharted website (now defunct), which serves as a prequel to the events of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. The player takes on the role of a private investigator hired by Elena Fisher to track down Nathan Drake, who Elena believes to be on the trail of something big and has recently gone missing.

GameplayEdit

The game was played using Google Maps. It opened in a browser window, which displayed the Google Maps interface on the right hand side. On the left were spaces for inventory items that you pick up whilst playing the game, and a game timer to record total playing time. In the bottom left corner was Drake's diary, in which any notes you found were recorded. Above the Google Maps interface was the search box, where players would type destinations they believed the next clue was located. Each location was a marked by a compass that when clicked would open a bubble which displayed the available Flash puzzle for that area.

Upon completion of a puzzle, players were shown a brief scene which contained a clue to the next location.

DevelopmentEdit

DT Screenshot

Screenshot displaying the Google Maps interface.

Drake's Trail was commissioned by Sony Computer Entertainment's then advertising agency as part of the promotions to launch Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - a Christmas launch title for the PlayStation 3.

They planned for the game to be played with the relatively new technology of Google Maps. The game was based around this dynamic, with each Google Map location containing a unique explorable Flash location (such as Nathan Drake's apartment). The game was designed so that all puzzles must be solved in order to complete it.

To prevent cheating and ensure that players solved the puzzles on their own, all progress and total time played were tracked. When a player solved a puzzle, a trigger was launched in the Flash Player that caused the JavaScript to interact with the game's server, which in turn would add the next map marker to the Google Map.

During the development, numerous redundancies were offered. This lead to the departure of many of the Drake's Trail development team. The game was finished by the remaining team members.[1]

ChaptersEdit

Elena Fisher is filming some tombs in Egypt for her television show, when she hears word that an explorer named Nathan Drake is onto something big. She wants to find Nathan so that she can film whatever he's after, but as she is too busy in Egypt to look for Drake herself, she hires you, an investigator, to track him down. She believes that he may have attracted some unwanted attention, and that he will therefore be covering his tracks. She gives you the address of Nathan's apartment in Key West, Florida to get you started.

Chapter 1 - Nathan Drake's Apartment: Key West, FloridaEdit

You follow the address that Elena gave you, and enter Drake's waterfront apartment. After slipping past an attendant, you shove open his door to find his apartment in disarray after a break-in. Nathan is obviously away, so you decide to look around. On his desk are four cards, each of which has a number highlighted; you discover that the numbers, 1588, are the password to Drake's laptop. You look at his e-mails and see that he had to cancel a meeting with Elena because something big has come up, and it can't wait; he elusively hints that Elena should read up on Sir Francis Drake and his love of Spanish gold. He has also been in contact with Victor Sullivan; Nathan told Sully that after reading some old tax records, he believed Sir Francis had a large hidden stash of gold. He mentions how his apartment has been raided, and that whoever is after him has taken the manuscripts, so he has decided to head to Europe to continue his research. Sully is interested, but declines joining Nathan because he is worried about going on a wild goose chase. It appears that Drake has booked a flight with Aurora Air to Trondheim Vaemes via Amsterdam Schiphol. Lastly, Nathan has sent an e-mail confirming that he wishes to view the Kraus collection. You travel to Trondheim in Norway.

Chapter 2 - DORA 1 Archives: Trondheim, NorwayEdit

You visit the city and state archives, where you encounter an archivist. Asking him about Nathan Drake's visit, the archivist says that Nathan left a message to say that his visitor will know what he came to search for. The archivist asks you to input Nathan's relevant details into a computer to access the archive. After entering Nathan's Researcher ID ("Nathan Drake"), Password ("Armada1588") and Collection ("Kraus") from his e-mail, the achivist gives you a Researcher ID Card, and you access the archive. You find a journal entry from Nathan, where he states that following him will be hard, as he doesn't want anyone tagging along for free. He explains how the Kraus collection contains information on Sir Francis, and how it has given him good reason to believe that Francis hid a large stash of Spanish gold from Queen Elizabeth's tax collectors. He mentions how Sully has chosen to meet him after all, and that he's picked a suitable location to meet. You also find an advertisement for an exhibition on Sir Francis at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, with "Monday. Sir Francis and Sully will be waiting..." written on the reverse. You immediately catch a flight to Amsterdam.

Chapter 3 - Rijksmuseum, Museumplein: Amsterdam, HollandEdit

After locating the same portrait of Sir Francis that was on the flyer, Sully comes over and shakes your hand firmly. He introduces himself and says that Nathan told him to wait there until Monday and see if anyone showed up. He wishes you luck in finding Nathan, and also passes on a camera, a set of chemicals and some sort of magification scanner. He also gives you a clipping from the Antiquities Gazette, which states that there was an unsuccessful robbery of Buckland Abbey, the former residence of Sir Francis. You travel to Buckland to investigate further.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Lead producer of the Drake's Trail development team.

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