Videogame Hero Archetype

Jun 6, 2016
by: TravisA

Work done with Adam Francavilla (

An example of an archetype in videogame culture is Nathan Drake from the “Uncharted” series. Nathan Drake identifies as an archetypal hero because he faces adventures in search for knowledge and treasure while facing enemies trying to accomplish those very tasks, but by using hostile means.

In the third installment of the series, Nate is informed of a treasure that is located in a lost city in the Rub’ al Khali desert in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, Nate and his friends have competition in the form of a woman named Kate Marlowe, who is also interested in the treasure. When Nate and his best friend Victor Sullivan explore an old Chateau in France and a citadel in Syria. After that, Nate and Sully head to Yemen to find more clue. Unfortunately, Nate is kidnapped by one of Marlowe’s henchmen and is interrogated in an abandoned shipyard. After the interrogation, Nate manages to escape and stows away on a ship. When he is discovered, a violent skirmish ensues that manages to sink the entire ship. Nate manages to jump out of the ship and clings onto a life raft. Fortunately, the sea manages to carry Nate back to the shores of Yemen. There Nate learns of a flight that is supposed to send supplies to Marlowe’s convoy that is looking for the lost city of Ubar in Saudi Arabia. He drives to the airport and stows away on the plane. When he is discovered, there is once again a shootout that causes an explosive decompression of the plane and it’s eventually torn apart mid flight. Fortunately for Nate, he finds a parachute and glides safely back to the ground, however he lands in the middle of the Rub’ al Khali desert. Nate meets a group of Nomads who tell Nate that Sully was captured by Marlowe’s men and they’re headed for Ubar. With their help, Nate tracks down the convoy and rescues Sully. They then proceed to the entrance of Ubar. shortly after Nate drinks some water from the well, he has vivid hallucinations. After that, he figures out that there is no treasure at all and that Marlowe is here for the hallucinogenic agent that can be used against her enemies. Nate and Sully then proceed to destroy the pillars that keep the surface from collapsing on top of the whole city to prevent Marlowe from getting the substance. Marlow and all of her men are buried in the city while Nate and Sully manage to escape.
To us, Nate is a hero because despite his reckless and childish behavior, his best interest are in the well being of his friends. He’ll sacrifice any piece of gold or silver to make sure that his friends don’t get hurt.


Only Video Games?

eric_yu2001's picture
Submitted by eric_yu2001 on Mon, 2016-06-06 15:52.

Hello, Travis. I'm pretty sure that this sort of archetype has been around since literature even became a thing, but it is quiet interesting where we see it today. The first "different" type of hero we see was Odysseus in the Odyssey, because he has qualities that a normal hero wouldn't have. But today, we see heroes in all sorts of different places, such as video games, as said above. If you've ever watched the godfather before, the hero actually portrays Michael Corleone, which is evil instead of good.

It's interesting on how our evolution of society has a huge impact of literature , it's not something we tend to notice whenever we're reading a book, learning a story, or as you said above, playing a video game.