Welcome back to Postgame, Sidequest’s monthly Patreon-exclusive podcast, where the editors lay down hot takes on cold games. This month marks the Postgame debuts of Maddi Butler and Zainabb Hull, as they, Zora, and Melissa talk about what they were playing in… September of 2021. We’re working though the backlog, we promise!
In this episode, we talk NieR, Naruto, and death; pop back to Hades for some very important discussion about how much we fucking hate Theseus; circle around to colonialism in Uncharted and Until Dawn; and then have a very serious discussion about breaking Missy’s addiction to Sims 4 (to be clear: we do not help her with this). We also talk indie darlings Sayonara Wild Hearts and We Know the Devil, two very different games that nonetheless are well beloved around these parts.
Zora Gilbert: I mean, I can call on Zainabb and make it hard by asking a question.
Zainabb Hull: You can ask me a question.
Zora: Yeah—tell me about your experience playing Uncharted.
Yeah, I mean, big yikes. I… so, I recently got a PS4. So this is how I play games, like I’m very behind.
Zora: Oh, yeah, so you’ll fit in great.
Zainabb: And I was also given a copy of the remastered Uncharted trilogy. And I played the first one a bit… a few years back and couldn’t really get into it because it was a lot more shooty than I thought it would be. I thought it’d be more like Tomb Raider or something. But I stuck with it. I think I played it on easy mode so that I could actually, like, win. And I was—I went into it knowing it’s going to be colonial. I mean, anything that’s like, some like, explorer, especially like a white western explorer going off and trying to find treasure and stuff, it’s like, I’m braced for the colonialism. It’s fine. But oh boy.
Zainabb: They really take it to a whole new level. The first one was quite awful as it was. And then the second one just amped it up even more, and amped it up in—like, as a standalone game, even, not even just in comparison with the first game. So, I guess, as a sort of synopsis for anybody who, like me, hasn’t gotten around to playing it. Uncharted 1, I can’t remember exactly where it takes place now, but like—
Zora: it didn’t matter, the game simply did not care.
Zainabb: That’s basically it. It’s an island, you know what I mean?
Zora: An island. Was it Madagascar? Maybe.
Zainabb: Who knows.
Zora: I literally—I Googled it. Hang on. Don’t hang on, keep talking. Because this doesn’t matter because it doesn’t care.
Zainabb: The thing is, like, this is why it doesn’t matter, because the second one also basically takes place like—
Zora: On an island.
Zainabb: —partly on an island. Or like the same general landscape. You’re in jungles and rainforests and you’re surrounded by water. So I think the second game—the second game opens, pretty much, with you doing a heist on a museum in Istanbul. And it’s to teach you the mechanics of a game, and you spend like a third of the mission in stealth, and like knocking out guards as you come across them. And then all of a sudden, you find—you’re given a weapon and you’re asked to just shoot these—as far as I’m aware—unarmed brown guards just as you go through this heist. And it’s just like, cool. You’re starting off strong. And then after that, you go to Borneo. And it all looks basically the same as the first game, and then you go to Nepal, which, again, in the game, the writers decided, “Let’s make a civil war happen,” and everything is destroyed. It’s like, oh, yikes, cool. And then you go to Tibet, and you get really injured—I mean, I guess this is spoilers, but like, also, it’s trash.
Zora: If people are playing Uncharted for that part of the plot, I don’t really know why they’re playing Uncharted.
Zainabb: But yeah, yeah. And I mean, it’s all tropes anyway, you know. Like, he gets really injured and then he’s rescued by this mystical Himalayan guy. And then you wake up in this village, and he’s constantly making jokes about how no one speaks English. It’s like, you are in a remote village in Tibet, like what?
Zora: Yeah. Nate is shocked—
Zora: —that anybody could not be put on the earth to serve him and him alone.
Zainabb: It’s so—and then in the village, oh my god.
Zora: But yet, these people were definitely put in this game to serve him and him alone.
Zainabb: Literally! Like you find out there’s this guy and he’s dressed up as like a guru-type thing in like robes and beads and he’s a white guy. He’s just living in this village. And then because of you being there, all the bad guys—who are at least, in the second game, white, although they’re also Russians—they come in and they destroy this village and kill loads of people and Nathan Drake does not care at all! At all. Never comments on it, but there is a moment of like—there’s a sympathetic death of the ex-Nazi who lives in this village that you found. It’s like, what the fuck is wrong with this game’s politics? They really love Nazis. There’s Nazis in the first one as well. Like in the first game you find some Nazi corpse, and Nathan Drake’s like, “Poor guy.” And I’m just like, “No!”
Theme music is Bass Thee by Alexander Nakarada, used under Creative Commons 0.
Zora Gilbert cares a whole lot about words, kids, and comics. Find them at @zhgilbert on twitter, and find the comics they edit at datesanthology.com.