Girl Talk: Nathan Drake

by Jennifer Culp

I know, I know, December is over, 2012 is history, and we’ve all forgotten everything that happened during the last month. At this point we’re only two cards short of a full Girl Talk Secret Diary deck, however, and I am not about to let 2012 slip away without commenting on a hot video game dude. Consider this a belated, Nathan Drake-shaped Christmas present!

At my high school, my eleventh-grade English teacher was famous for his idiosyncratic lecture on Beowulf. “BAY-o-wulf,” he intoned solemnly, “had something that Grendel did not expect. And just what was it that Bay-o-wulf had? Grip strength.”

I have not thought about Mr. Manney’s description of Beowulf’s prowess in some time … until I played all three Uncharted games in rapid succession. No offense, Beowulf, but damn, does Nathan Drake have some hands. I made the man climb ancient ruins, shining golden idols, frozen mountains, and decaying pirate ships. If a disintegrating ledge offers a finger’s purchase, Drake is on it. When his train crashed down the side of a mountain and he, the sole survivor, lay near death inside? And then the particular car sheltering him slipped off the side of a cliff and hung precariously over the edge? Ha! Like that’d kill him. Gunshot wounds have nothing on ol’ Natty D’s climbing skills. Just THINK of the things that man’s hands have done — well, when he’s not slaughtering his way through armies of bad guy security guards — wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Nathan Drake is a good looking dude. And a good sounding dude. A dude who has a knack for history, and puzzle solving, who can take a lot of physical damage and just get over it, so long as he hangs out under cover for a few seconds. He’s a dude who seems to have pretty excellent taste in women, based on my impressions of the lady friends I became acquainted with over the course of the Uncharted games. He’s a dude who not only looks good in a henley(like pretty much every other man on the face of the planet Earth), he looks downright fantastic in a selection of adventure-wear henleys, pullovers, and even a suit. Perhaps most importantly, he’s a man who, even in the midst of life-threatening danger, takes the time to shout “MARCO!” upon jumping into a swimming pool.

Like many women, my personal Platonic Form of flirting was heavily influenced by Harrison Ford’s performances, specifically in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. In the tradition of smarty-pants, super-athletic, dismayed-by-temporary-difficulty but unfazed-by-impossibility explorers, Drake stands tall. Is there anything more attractive to a geeky, couch-inclined lady than an (imaginary) intrepid explorer? In my mind, I would LOVE to go jump around on crumbling historical structures in search of treasure. In reality…well, if I possessed the upper body strength to hop between precarious fingerholds and swing across chasms like Drake, I would be ENRAGED to learn that I only found 50 of 100 treasures, despite looking in every single likely-looking treasure-concealing spot I encountered along my journey. And I would also be enraged to be interrupted by my treasure-hunting mentor post-adventure, pre-makeout with my attractive adventure buddy. Clearly, I do not have the temperament to become a real-life explorer. Thanks be to the deity of your choice that games give us the opportunity to vicariously experience such thrills!

As for Nate, he seems to have trouble locking down a functional relationship between games, even with the most determined and understanding of women (hey, Elena!). But wooooooooof, mid-adventure? Just imagine finding yourself in an exotic ancient ruin for some ill-defined reason and running into that guy. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you? I can’t say that I would mind him checking out my butt as I climbed a ladder. I would certainly be upset over his failure to inform me about murderous Yeti-monsters and flesh-devouring beetles, but I would probably still kiss him after the big bad supernatural terror was safely and dramatically eliminated. I would also be pissed about that weird list of phone numbers and dried flowers in his journal, but amused by his drawings of Sully. Yeah, as in the case of pretty much any fictional scoundrel-explorer type, I would want to kiss him very much … just slightly less often than I would want to murder him. Bless Elena for making it to a ring-exchanging stage. It must be addictive. I know that I, newly initiated to the PlayStation, am very much looking forward to a fourth installment.

Happy new year, new adventures, and new games, you guys. May 2013 sweep you into far-flung locales and the arms of a handsome thief with incredible hands, a knack for geography and history, and a heart of gold! Keep an eye out for rival treasure hunters, power-mad Serbian war criminals, and mystical secret societies intent on unleashing long-buried horrors, and make sure to keep a journal so you can tell me all about it next year.

Previously: Alyx Vance.

Jennifer Culp also thought Navarro was hot, had a lot of confusing feelings about hearing Alistair’s voice issue from the mouth of a bad guy, and has a serious thing for guys in fitted henleys.