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Uncharted 2 Day#7: Showdown in Shambala

Day 7 takes me to the end of Uncharted 2. It’s a series of fights and simple puzzles that lead to the final boss. There are a few too many fights blocking the way, but some of them are hard and get quite fun. The final boss is a solid puzzle, not awesome but not bad. The narrative ties up pretty much exactly as you expect. It’s basically more of the same and the game ends on a decent high note. Spoilers within.

We resume heading to the Shambala entrance with a fight in a small square with a staircase leading out to the newly opened door. I die a couple of times as I readjust to the game, and beat the thugs once I’m oriented. Then I can’t seem to find way out of the room. I run around for like five minutes (and even find a treasure) and I can’t see anything that’s an exit.  Oh there’s a rope I’m supposed to climb, a dull gray rope against the gray-brown wall. It’s almost INVISIBLE. I guess Elena mentioned something about it when the ropes dropped the first time, but guess who was a little busy fighting thugs to even pay attention.  Fuck you game. I climb the rope and a short run from there gets us into the entrance, a huge opening underneath a lone tree on a stone tower.

Inside we see giant waterwheels serving an unknown hydrolic purpose and a set of  stairs down.  Drake and Elena CS push a open door at the bottom of the stairs to find a puzzle in a large room. Welcome to Chapter 24. The room has a  globe in center and these dagger ornaments on the wall. Not knowing what to do, I approach the ornaments and hit a button to turn all the daggers down; this causes the globe to shift.  There’s CS of Drake approaching the globe. He hears a noise and a set of guards come in. Drake takes one of them hostage as the client shows up with more goons. The client gives a speech about the mercilessness of leaders and then shoots my hostage.  The goons surround so Drake tells Elena to lower her weapon. The client threatens to kill Elena, but Drake says he won’t cooperate then. The client brings in Flynn with Chloe and wants Drake to choose who will live.  Drake agrees to do what they want to keep Chloe and Elena alive. Drake walks toward the globe, puts the resin he’s been carrying under it and lights it.  It glows blue (quite prettily by the way) and lights up a door on a far wall. Drake puts the dagger in an illuminated keyhole, and the door descends. This reveals a huge cavern with set of platforms leading to a grand entrance, but the platforms forming the corridor twist away. The client sends Flynn and Drake into the room to find the way around and get the platforms back in shape.

Flynn and Drake banter about betrayal and then I get control to start jumping around the ledges in the room. I boost Flynn up at a place, and he catches me at a big jump. Still, he’s a dick, mocking and pushing me when the opportunity presents. There are  lots of different kinds of climbing here as we push out of way across the room together. We then have to push a mine car (hit O) to reach a ledge, but the game misinterprets my O press and makes me jump off a cliff. Sigh. We move the car, and I climb to  reach the turned platform. I die once running across the platform from misreading the environment, and I die once from a bad jump off of it. I make it across to the other side of the room with a quick stop to get a treasure. When I arrive, there’s a CS of Drake and Flynn opening the door.

In the next room, there are six big cylinders with symbols around their sides. I have to use Drake’s journal to match the symbols to a pattern, which I do by rotating the cylinders until the right symbols show. When I do, a wheel appears in the center of the room that we have to spin.  We do and water flows out of giant fountains in the previous room, causing the platforms to turn and form a long corridor across the room.  Yeti appear in the room I’m in.  Flynn throws me a gun when Drake demands it. We fight them for a while, and it’s going nowhere. It seems to be an exercise in slow demise. In CS, one of the yeti jumps Drake and then the client shows up and personally shotguns them all dead. It’s kind of cheap, but I’m honestly just glad that scene is done. The client reveals that the yetis are guys in suits. Drake wants the client to let them go now that they are right in front of the door to Shambala. The client wants to keep Drake alive to see Shambala and kill him inside. The guards open gate to reveal Shambala. It is a crazy city in a range of mountains, green and lush. The client orders us dead.  Flynn negotiates to keep Chloe alive (how is client going to find the stone without Flynn?) The client gets ready to shoot us and suddenly the yeti/natives attack. In the subsequent gunfight, Drake, Elena, and Chloe get loose and run, starting chapter 25.

We run for our lives through a lush uneven path. I die once on a blind jump thanks to a weird camera position, but then I make it to the end of the run. CS the thugs catch up to us, but then a native jumps a RPG guy and his stray shot knocks the platform we’re on loose. We fight goons on the platform as it slides and crashes into a wall. In CS, Drake and company come to sans thugs. There’s a little jumping to get to a small plaza. A CS starts and they find some dead old people, and  the sound suddenly cuts out. I scramble to get the subtitles on. When I do,  Chloe explains the client is crazy — he thinks he can become immortal using the stone. Elena’s not as skeptical, and mentions we’re in Shambala after all. Elena wants to save the world; Chloe doesn’t think it’s possible. Drake and Elena convince her to reluctantly come along.

We move forward into the ruins and two natives show up to kill us. I go down fast once as I realize these are not things I can fistfight. I die a lot as I run around trying to shoot them enough. After several deaths, I finally kill one of them but then die from the second. It’s two more deaths until I can kill both of them. Another native shows up, this one throwing bombs. I die once from a bomb to the face and I have to go back to fucking beginning of fight. However, this time we finally beat them as a team (i really hurt but don’t personally kill the last one), and I have to say that I enjoyed the challenge of that fight. We climb up where the natives came from to exit the scene.

Up there, I see a door covered by vines with blue-glowing parts. I have no idea what to do and after a bunch of experimentation, I take the tip. Oh, I guess the blue glowing parts of the vines blow up — it would have been nice to have some better way to guess that. Should I have gotten it from the blue explosives the yeti guy was throwing? Anyway, I shoot the blue spots and the vines wither. I go through that door to find more vine locked doors. I  kill myself once from being too close to a vine explosion (sigh). I then enter a room where I have to climb around to blow up vines blocking a series of doors.  This leads to a giant open area with an assortment of ruins. I find the exit pretty quickly but I can’t use it until after the big fight. I first have to kill a bunch of guards, who I largely snipe from the top of some ruins,  then my team kills two more yeti things, I think  — I certainly don’t do it myself. Fight done,  there’s a door that won’t open because a counterweight is missing from the end of its chain. It seems I need to hang on the chain to be the counterweight. It takes me forever to get up to the chain because the climbing bricks are nearly invisible. Yet another place where the naturalism gets in my way. Anyway, ten minutes later, we get through.

Behind this door, we have to jump into a river and encounter more guards. I get killed quickly the first time by their ambush basically. I get through the first fight, but then I’m killed in second wave in fist-fight with an armored guy where he seems to just kick my ass despite me using tactics I’ve used a ton before. I don’t know.  I die again further in the fight from an attacker I can’t see. I decide to try climbing out of the river to jump across the areas I’m being attacked from, and that allows me to fight my way across. At the end of the river, we have to push cart to climb up higher — Chloe doesn’t help and there’s some snide dialogue between the characters. We zoom out as we climb a new set of stairs to the central temple,  and then immediately enter into a big fight where the goons and yeti are already fighting.  I’m killed by grenade or something once when poke my head up the first time, and then die fighting the big things when I rush into the battlefield. I figure out that I can sneak over to the goon side, take them out including a guy with a mini-gun, and then use said mini-gun to kill the yeti. It’s a nice fight. I get through that wave to set of yeti with explosive slings. I die once the first time they pop up from surprise basically, but then I cleverly use grenades and RPGs to kill them. I head up the flight of stairs across the room to the next scene.

There are lots of ornate stairs next, and  lots of running with no challenge;  it’s some kind of set-up. There’s a CS at the top of the stairs of a room with a blue stone.  They admire it, but Drake says something’s not right. He realizes that the stone isn’t sapphire — it’s resin. The blue stone is not the treasure;  it’s the giant tree outside that’s the power. The client is going to eat the resin to become all-powerful. As they realize this,  Flynn pops up.  He’s shot by the client.  They talk and Flynn says he ‘s left behind and cant’ be saved. But as a parting gift for the team, he has grenade in his hand and he drops it, causing a big blinding explosion.

When we come back, Elena is really hurt. Chloe carries her as we go forward to stop the client. I have to guard them while Chloe carries Elena. There’s a gauntlet t of guards I have to pick off, but it’s fun and I get through. There’s  CS of us getting to the bridge to the heart of Shambala.  Drake tells Chloe to take Elena away.  She refuses -  she doesn’t want him to go on a suicide mission.  He insists and goes on, leaving Chloe and Elena behind.  This starts chapter 26.

There’s a CS of Drake’s approach to a lake of sap. Drake sees the client drink it.  It hurts him then it heals him up. He hears Drake in the woods, so Drake shoots him. The guards start to shoot at Drake, but they stop because client wants Drake for himself.  Drake responds by shooting the lake, which blows up. It looks like everyone’s dead? Nope, no surprise, the client rises again to fight. It’s a boss fight now and the trick is I have to blow up sap near him as the only way to hurt him. I doing fine until I run off a cliff stupidly. In the second take, I blow him up enough that he starts throwing grenades at me, and now I’m dying many times. But it’s fair for a boss fight. After several runs, I finally think I got him with a nice run of many explosions. CS he stumbles towards lake and Drake sees him collapse.  The client’s on his knees and says Drake is the same as him — how many has Drake killed to get here.  Drake decides not to kill the client.  The client mocks Drake as weak, but yeti come and kill client as Drake leaves. He CS climbs out as the temple collapses around the lake.

This cuts to a running game to escape the collapsing Shambala. The camera changes from back to front in the middle of the run. It’s fun and make it on the first try. There’s a CS of the final jump, and Chloe and Elena are still there.  Chloe runs to get me and gets jumped by a yeti guy. We start to slide down the collapsing bridge, and I have to shoot the yeti off of Chloe while I slide. It takes several times, but I shoot the yeti off. I start to fly off the cliff, but Chloe CS catches me and pulls me up. We run back to Elena and pick her up and carry her off as Shambala explodes.   Chloe asks what the hell Drake did back there, and he says he saved the world. Drake picks up Elena then walks out back to the Tibetan area. Elena is limp and seems dead.

We cut to the village where Drake is a at grave marker.  Chloe approaches Drake. He tells her she should be the hero more often, but she demurs.  Chloe asks if Drake loves Elena. He doesn’t say yes, but she recognizes it, and Chloe says she’ll be the one to walk away. She does so. Elena comes out hurt with Sully. Sully jokes with Drake about Drake not getting any money on this job, and then he goes after Chloe himself.  Elena tells Drake he did good, and they start to walk arm in arm away.  She asks where they go next, they kiss, and he says he hasn’t thought that far ahead.  She hasn’t either. As the camera pulls back, there’s some nice banter where  she asks on scale of 1-10 how scared he was that she was going to die. He says 4, because clowns are 10.  She says it’s 8 and mocks him for crying, so he goes up to 5. We fade to black for game over.

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