Is Nathan Drake Uncharted a bad person

The Last of Us - Why Nathan Drake is actually to blame for everything

Nathan hangs his head rightly. After all, he is to blame for the end of the world.

With Uncharted 4: A Thiefs End and Uncharted: Lost Legacy, the action-adventure series about Nathan Drake and Co. is over for the time being. But a small part of the universe could live on in The Last of Us. More precisely: a microscopic part. We have a particularly wild theory for you, according to which Nathan Drake is responsible for the Cordyceps apocalypse.

Accidentally Cordyceps

Even if it sounds far-fetched at first, the whole thing is not that unlikely. Nathan Drake travels around the world in the Uncharted series. His search for artefacts believed to be lost leads him to places that no one has entered for centuries.

So also some graves in the Amazon region of South America, which happen to be the home of the Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis, which only attacks ants in our world, but in the world of The Last of Us it brings the whole of North America to ruin.

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis
That is how dangerous the fungus is for humans

But just because the current Cordyceps does not infect humans does not necessarily mean that a variation of the fungus did not exist at some point in time that also spreads to mammalian organisms.

What if Nathan finds a lot more than clues to El Dorado in the temple ruins at the beginning of the game in the first Uncharted? What if he and Sully had been clearing the surface of the earth for centuries when he and Sully explored the ruins?

If one or the other spore isn't hiding here ...

The mushroom in the grave

This theory is no coincidence. For one thing, it was not so uncommon for mold and bacteria to be intentionally or unintentionally trapped in graves to punish those who disturbed the rest of the dead.

A good example here is Tutankhamun's tomb, which has been considered cursed since it was opened in the 1920s. An unusually large number of people (and one canary) had died after it was opened.

In fact, one now suspects no angry pharaoh spirit behind the deaths. The canary was eaten by a cobra, and the majority of those who subsequently died could have contracted a simple but deadly mold.

Aspergillus flavus, a mold, spreads in the air and soil and doesn't need a lot of nutrients. However, if it hits the human organism, it damages weak organs and causes, among other things, kidney bleeding, cancer or heart failure. According to the theory of scientists, the Egyptians knew of its lethal effects and on purpose included it in Tutankhamun's and many other tombs.

The Maya are not big fans of grave robbers, Lara Croft can testify to that.

What if the people of South America had their own curse? Finally, ants also recognize the sick animals and move them as far away from their nest as possible. This is exactly how the natives at that time could have known about the fungus and carried away their sick, which they might have seen as a punishment from God.

Even the major centers of civilization had a sophisticated underground cave system thousands of years ago, through which garbage and the remains of human sacrifices were disposed of.

More on this
... can be found in our article about the human sacrifices of the Maya

This could have prevented a worse infection. And since the conquistadors were largely indifferent to the culture of the indigenous people of South America, they could well have overlooked this detail.

Why is Nathan Drake not a zombie?

So after Nathan Drake opened such a Cordyceps grave, spores could have been released. Since it is a fungus that loves moisture, the Cordyceps should not have minded the long waiting time underground.

The mushroom mycelium can "sleep" a few millimeters to a few decimeters in humus, wood or earth and is activated when it encounters enough water to grow. Nathan Drake opens the grave, the inactive spores are carried out and begin to grow.

Nathan Drake doesn't look like he's caught the Cordyceps.

Here they stay, harmless at first glance, until a human host comes by. Maybe even one of the mercenaries who are constantly sent after our hero is enough.

As many dead as remain after a typical temple shooting in Uncharted, the mushrooms would immediately have enough breeding ground. And the next colony is already forming. Now just another mammal or an inexperienced wanderer has to carry the spurs into civilization and it is done.

The fungus then arrives from South America via infected grain and the demise of civilization is just around the corner.

How are the worlds connected?

In the end, the only question that remains is how we come up with the idea that both worlds could play in the same universe.

Both games are from the same development studio: Naughty Dog. And a few of the developers just couldn't help but connect the two universes with numerous allusions.

For example, The Daily Metro, a newspaper in The Last of Us, advertises an Uncharted 13 with Justin Bieber as Nathan Drake. In Uncharted 4 there is an advertising poster for The Last of Us: American Daughters, which is traded as a possible successor to the comic book The Last of Us: American Dreams (also commissioned by developer studio Naughty Dog).

Is this a sneak peak on a new comic?

And for those who see this as nice Easter eggs, but not as a connection, the counter-evidence can be found in a magazine in Uncharted 3. In the London part of the game, a newspaper is on display in a pub. In addition to the question of why we love our pets, the front page also warns of a deadly fungus that baffles scientists.

Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann confirmed in an interview with Kotaku that it was Cordyceps. This Easter Egg, along with Uncharted 3, was released before The Last of Us was announced, and it almost anticipated the studio's own reveal.

If we take into account the time it theoretically took for the fungus to spread, this journal fits our theory perfectly. Ellie, Joel and the others can thank Nathan Drake, who is probably watching the fungal invasion with Elena from a tropical island.

Thanks Nathan.

Apocalypse Darmstadt

Incidentally, Nathan Drake would not have had to travel as far as South America for inactive Cordyceps spores. Darmstadt would have been enough.

In the Messel Pit, an excavation site and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, in addition to countless well-preserved species from the Eocene, 48 million old ants were found that had bitten into leaves.

With a somewhat friendlier climate, the end of the world could have started in Hessen too.

What do you think of our theory? ;)

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