After viewing the initial announcement trailer for Uncharted 3, it was clear that the game was going to, at least at some point, take players on a journey across brutal, barren desert sands. It was also rumored that the plot of the game would surround some sort of “lost city”. Well, after analyzing a recent interview with Naughty Dog’s Amy Hennig, along with a bit of digging on our end, we believe we’ve unearthed the story behind Uncharted 3 and just what exactly players have to look forward to.
It all started with a video interview that Creative Director Amy Hennig had with GameSpot, innocent enough. In this particular interview, Amy revealed some minute details about the game that weren’t of the grandest importance, but gave gamers a taste of what they have to look forward to. There were a few key details in this interview which pushed us to investigate further…
- The Rub’ al Khali Desert
- King Solomon and Queen Sheba
- The Arabian Peninsula
- “A city swallowed up by god for its wickedness”
After hearing about a city swallowed up for its wickedness, we initially went looking for Sodom and Gomorrah, only to come up completely empty. Then we started focus deeper into the region for “lost cities”. We managed to come upon one city that conformed to every detail that Hennig described, and that was none-other than the Lost City of Ubar.
“Ubar, a name of a region or a name of a people, was mentioned in ancient records, and was spoken of in folk tales as a trading center of the Rub’ al Khali desert in the southern part of the Arabian peninsula. It is estimated that it lasted from about 3000 B.C. to the first century A.D. According to legends, it became fabulously wealthy from trade between the coastal regions and the population centers of the Arabic peninsula and Europe. The region became lost to modern history, and was thought to be only a figment of mythical tales. Some confusion exists about the word “Ubar”. In classical texts and Arabic historical sources, Ubar refers to a region and a group of people, not to a specific town. Ptolemy’s second century map of the area shows “Iobaritae”. It was only the late Medieval version of The One Thousand and One Nights, in the fourteenth or fifteenth century, that romanticized Ubar and turned it into a city, rather than a region or a people.”
The above quote confirms that the lost city does indeed reside in the Rub’ al Khali desert. Now let’s take a look at some points that directly relate the Lost City of Ubar to the details mentioned in the interview.
“Archaeologists believe Ubar was the principal center of the north bound overland trade route to the north of the Arabian peninsula and to the Sumerian civilization in the south of ancient Iraq. Trade and frankincense and Arabian horses flourished from Shisr. Queen Sheba is believed to have traveled to the region for supplies of frankincense and stories narrate the tales of her offerings of frankincense to King Solomon.”
“Modern archaeologists have identified ruins at Shisha, Oman as those of Irem (Iram), better known as the lost city of Ubar. This was a fortress city not of “pillars” but “towers” (which is the same word in Arabic). It served to protect the caravans traveling the frankincense route from the gum tree groves through the land of Ad into the Rub al Khali. Founded 5,000 years ago, Ubar was built around a natural cistern of water which provided a unique oasis in the Empty Quarter. 150 people lived in the fortress surrounded by perhaps 3,000 travelers encamped in black tents, resting before continuing their journeys. The city disappeared around 300 CE. According to legend, the buildings were thrown down as punishment by Allah for the wickedness of its ruler.”
This also confirms the existence of King Solomon and Queen Sheba in the tale, along with the notion that the city was, as Hennig described, destroyed because of its wickedness. Odds are if we’re correct, and we’re pretty darn sure we are, you can expect to hear a lot of these same things uttered by Drake throughout the game, which is always awesome. We’ll be sure to keep our ears and eyes open for any further details regarding the game, so be sure to stay tuned to PlayStation LifeStyle!