Saibh's forum posts

#1 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

@hbkdx12: I addressed all of that in the last few paragraphs of the OP, as well as some comments--they could have chosen to make a different game, but they didn't, so you can't call him an everyman (or an approximation thereof). I wouldn't want them to make a different game.

#2 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

@solidejake: I can definitely see a couple of those traits in an ordinary person--and yes, maybe there's a person with all those traits out there. But that person is no everyman. He's no ordinary, he's not an average representation of humanity.

#3 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

@solidejake: I disagree. He's still super intelligent, charming, witty, charismatic, clever, resourceful, moral, and a ton of other highly ideal traits you find in highly ideal humans, and not everymen.

#4 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

@solidejake: Most of those games have no focus on the narrative or characters. It's not as glaring or as important.

Besides that, I didn't even mention them. That doesn't mean I excuse those cases. I'm not sure why you'd try and undermine the argument that way.

#5 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

@sfighter21: I disagree--while the action sequences ramp up in the second game, he's still definitely capable of the same great intelligence, is just as knowledgable, is an excellent marksman, is charming, athletic, and plain cool.

As I've said a couple of times, his expression of fear is hollow and tertiary--it has no impact upon his actions or how he handles a situation. I'll give to you that he wanted to leave the island, and thinking about your personal safety over adventure is definitely not the norm of adventurers, but that is one moment that hardly defines his character over the course of the entire game. It doesn't detract from his ability to endlessly spring from tiny ledges, or avoid killer traps, or charm hot girls, or comeback wittily.

#6 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

@SoldierG654342: "Those people" include the developers of the game.

You are also not using the definition correctly: Dictionary.com, Mirriam-Webster, Wikipedia, Answers.com, and TheFreeDictionary all cite an "everyman" as being an average and ordinary representation of the human race. Both in personality and physical ability. The examples listed on the Wikipedia page should give you a good impression of what they're supposed to be like. And Nathan Drake is not ordinary.

#7 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -
#8 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

@Landon: I disagree--as I replied to Berserker, they could have made the game differently. It could have been a puzzle game, or a parkour game, or a stealth game. Instead, they made an action game. Then you might have said he was an everyman. What he might have been is irrelevant--as it stands, he's capable of far more than most people, even within his own world. Within his own world, he succeeds past everyone not simply through luck or cunning, but advanced intellect, strength, marksmanship, and skill.

#9 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

@Berserker976: I find it's disingenuous to separate his actions from his words. "Oh crap!" could be his catchphrase, but his cries of fear and nervousness are hollow--never does Drake balk from a frightening situation and he rarely attempts anything but charging in headfirst.

The Uncharted series could have been made differently--Sully could be the brains who speaks ancient dialects, and mercenaries wouldn't need to be swarming around every corner. But that's not the game Uncharted is, and it's not the game I would want it to be. It's the story about someone who is athletic, brave, handsome, charming, funny, intelligent, and moral. Naughty Dog chose to make a game where all of those traits came in handy. It's not the story of an average or ordinary person. That's good. But I cannot see a scenario where you'd call Drake something that is anything less than the action hero he is.

#10 Posted by Saibh (10 posts) -

This post will contain no Uncharted 3 spoilers.

"Nathan Drake being badass." is the caption this image provided.

Before November 2007, when developers told us how Nathan Drake was different, they had a particular name for him: an everyman. A character who was scared when there were scary situations, who felt stressed in fights because he wasn't a formally trained marine, who didn't have an otherworldly destiny that predetermined his victory. Countless video game publications followed suit, referring to the protagonist of Uncharted as the sort of hero that normal people could identify with.

By the time Uncharted 2: Among Thieves began its pre-release hype rounds, the same description was being repeated. Despite the fact Drake had probably participated in more firefights than a trained bodyguard, and solved ancient puzzles no other had been able to crack, publications and developers still had that description on hand.

Nathan Drake often draws comparisons from two adventures: Lara Croft and Indiana Jones. Lara Croft because she is the protagonist of Tomb Raider, the gameplay of which the Uncharted drew inspiration from from, and Indiana Jones for the general feel and spirit the series abides by. Drake resembles Jones in several ways--both are handsome, cunning, resourceful adventurers who often find themselves eyeball-deep in supernatural and fantastic wonders while on the search for more "mundane" ancient treasure. You'd be hard-pressed to identify Indiana Jones as an "everyman". He's often listed as one of the greatest action heroes of all time and you won't find many who argue. But Nathan Drake himself is responsible for greater feats of human ability than even Jones--for every trap and puzzle Harrison Ford thinks (and runs) himself through, Drake solves a dozen over about an eight hour range. There are more gunfights, car chases, and derring-do than even Indiana Jones lives up to.

So is Nathan Drake an everyman? Is he the sort of normal, Arthur Dent fellow that the audience could imagine and identify with? It seems unlikely. Every time Nathan expresses regret over killing a soul in Uncharted, he gets ready to pop a bullet in twenty more brains. Even as he's shouting fear and horror, he charges through without a hesitation or balking. He reads at least two languages (both ancient and dead). He can do pull-ups with his fingertips, and there's never a time when he doesn't have a witty comeback. And he has that staple trait of all action heroes: luck.

There's nothing wrong with Uncharted's wise-cracking hero. Certainly the game would be less enjoyable if Drake couldn't scale the walls of ancient temples, or if he didn't keep players amused with his snappy dialogue. But all of his charm comes from traits outside of being an "everyman": his roguishness, his humor, his high energy are qualities of a high-flying adventurer, and that's what makes him enjoyable as a protagonist. The Uncharted series doesn't derive its quality from the human condition, but from action and adventure.

It might have been tempting of Naughty Dog to call Drake an everyman, when you compare him against most video game protagonists: he's not a chosen one, like Dovahkiin from Skyrim. He's not the finest living soldier in the galaxy, like Commander Shepard from Mass Effect. But he's not average, either. With the athleticism of a mountain climber, the knowledge of an archaeologist and anthropologist, and the martial ability, sharpshooting, and charm of James Bond, he's just the hero that the Uncharted series needs. And I wouldn't do him a disservice by calling him an everyman.