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So I've been keeping this little blog under my head for a while now. I've been wanting to publish this piece, like 2 weeks ago, but my other works have kept me busy, and it is now that I have accomplished almost all of the "big" blogs that I have now free time to keep up with the little ones.
I've been recently playing through Uncharted 2's story again and I have to say I was shocked I didn't spot this particular and curious case. The common "damsel in distress" case had been changed in a peculiar way in this game.
You see I have been saving my fair share of princesses in another castle since the 90's period.
And Uncharted 2 offered me not the case of "She's in another castle" but presented me the unique event of:
"We're sorry, but this princess wants to be in another castle"
-Poor Mario. If he knew that Peach was only avoiding him. Trolol.
Ok. So Uncharted 2 basically plays the story of a heist movie. Lots of double crosses and switching sides among its main cast. But I have never spotted the unique case of Chloe.
Chloe Frazer is basically the sexy and bad girl of Uncharted 2. Kinda the opposite of the other female character: Elena.
There's this point in the game where she "betrays" you on purpose to give you the chance of escaping from the hands of the main antagonist, Lazarevic. Basically she saves your life. So after finally escaping with Elena, both of them decide, well not both of them, only Drake, that he wants to go after Chloe after everything she has done for him. Elena tells him it's no good and that he probably won't accomplish anything by doing it.
And, surprise surprise. She was right.
Drake goes after Chloe immediately and he has to pass through living hell to get to her. And when I say living hell I mean killing over 200 men, get on the top of a train to fight your way through and finally enduring a frustrating mini-boss battle.
The Drake that goes after Chloe in that part is not in and of itself that surprising. After all, chasing the girl across a virtual landscape is one of the staples of all the medium. Even more since the inception of our beloved, Mario.
-Yeah. You figure out if she's as(s) worth saving. Trolol. again.
What's interesting for me is the princess's reaction when you finally reach her. When Drake manages to get to her after a living hell, her response?, in a literally paraphrasing way: a big "*** You".
This is one princess that has no interest in being saved. Drake had pissed her off, she feels as betrayed as he does.
For me, the interesting thing about Chloe’s refusal to be saved by Drake is that it is simply good character writing that usually leads to stronger plotting. And well, come on, we all know Uncharted's greatest strenght is found within it's characters.
This potential for having to face a new and stickier plot goes away than what one expected from the initial premise of the plot, since this meeting with Chloe and her refusal to be saved is the very main objective for the initial predicament that Drake finds himself in the beginning of the game: Hanging near-death on an almost-collapsing train.
But, what was I trying to say throughout the blog?
It is good to see that video games, which often have had their stories and characters dismissed as shallow and one-dimensional, might be maturing in the sense of how to use character motives to complicate plots. This shows, since 2009, the possibility of a maturing videogame writing.
This, of course, isn’t the first time that I have seen evidence of such growing, but I'm still very happy to see it so clearly exemplified by a really well written scene.
And to see that we have moved well beyond the simplistic plotting of a game about walking mushrooms, fireball-throwing plumbers, and princesses in another castles, makes me feel good.