Photo via Flickr (naughty_dog)

If you’re of a particular demographic (mostly male, 18-45), chances are you know about the highly-anticipated adventure game coming to Sony’s PlayStation3 next week, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The third installment of this cinematic and critically-acclaimed shooter/puzzle solver series is a culmination of everything in a guy’s globetrotting adventure pop culture psyche — treasures, truck chases, guns, sidekicks, love interests, and a touch of the supernatural — so much that Sony pays homage to its predecessors by digging up Indiana Jones to star in one of their TV spots in Japan (awkwardly):


In the game trilogy, fictional explorer Nathan Drake travels the world in search of lost antiquities, following clues left behind by real explorer Sir Francis Drake, the legendary ocean adventurer who not only circumnavigated the world and defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 to defend his native England, but pillaged and plundered much of the “new world” in the 16th century — he was an actual pirate of the Caribbean and South America. As an old school/old world buccaneer, Drake made his way to many parts of the world, particularly in Latin America, in search of gold and other treasures. However, he died of dysentery at the age of 55 and was buried at sea — along with any secrets he may have taken with him to his watery grave.

Photo: Jeffrey L. Rotman/CORBIS

Many modern day explorers and treasure hunters have considered Drake’s grave as a prize on its own, and have searched the ocean floor for decades — in fact, the beginning of the first Uncharted game starts out this way — but this week, an international team of treasure hunters came very close to finding it with the discovery of two of Drake’s lost ships, the Elizabeth and the Delight, off the coast of Panama.

“[Drake's coffin is] truly a needle in a haystack, but so were the ships,” said American explorer Pat Croce, who is leading the treasure hunting expedition. “We found them within a week. We just haven’t found him — yet.”

Croce and crew will continue the hunt, just like the other explorers of yesterday and today, until they find the grave of Sir Francis Drake. In the meantime, we can occupy our time playing a game inspired by him: