El Dorado, meaning "the golden"[a], was a large gold sarcophagus featured in Drake's Fortune and the multiplayer of A Thief's End. The sarcophagus weighs over 20 arrobas (over 500 pounds), and contains a mummified corpse that extrudes some kind of infectious smoke or dust. Affected people's eyes turned black, and they mentally revert to an animalistic level, attacking people on sight, and engaging in cannibalism. They were still capable of mating, and a large population of mutated Spanish colonists on the hidden island resulted in a unique humanoid species called the descendants.
Prior to Drake's Fortune
El Dorado was originally kept within an ancient temple in the Amazon, where the indigenous people worshiped it. At some point in the sixteenth century a group of Spanish conquistadors raided the temple, slaughtered the local population, and took the sarcophagus with them. A ship named the Esperanza shipped it to a remote island in the pacific ocean, where they stored it inside the treasure vault. At some point they also opened it, and the colony was subsequently overwhelmed and lost due to the contents. Francis Drake later found the treasured item as well, but died there after preventing the descendants from leaving the island.
At some point prior or during World War II, the Nazis re-discovered the island, establishing a submarine bunker. They also found El Dorado, moving it to a different cavern, underneath the graveyard and the church in the monastery. A nazi soldier was also affected by El Dorado's contents, as shown in a recording where he was tied to a pillar. They were eventually all wiped out by the descendants, who took to worshiping the statue again in its new location.
In Drake's Fortune, Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan learned of the treasure's existence upon discovery of its original place of worship in a temple in the Amazon during "The Search for El Dorado". Originally believing it to be a giant golden statue, they only learned that the Spaniards took it. Shortly after Nate found a map belonging to Francis Drake, thanks to whom he originally found the temple, and which he believed would lead him to the statue again. Despite interference from Gabriel Roman and his lieutenant Atoq Navarro, and Sully's apparent death, Nate managed to find the hidden island's actual location. In "The Customs House", he found proof of the treasure's arrival in the colony.
Much later on, at the end of "The Treasure Vault" Nate found Francis Drake's corpse, believing he never found El Dorado. During "Unwelcome Guests" he found his testament and a photograph, showing he actually did find it, but that he also learned of the statue's contents, calling it "a curse". Knowing the item's threat, Nate rushed to try and stop Roman and Navarro, but failed. in "Gold and Bones", while they were held at gunpoint, Atoq urged Roman to open the statue, revealing it to be a sarcophagus. Navarro then shot and killed Roman after he was affected by the statue's contents, then revealed his plan to sell the contents as a weapon on the black market. He then had his mercenaries use a net and helicopter to airlift El Dorado out of the cave.
Nate managed to jump onto the net, avoiding the attacking descendants while doing so, and hitched a ride to Navarro's freighter, where the helicopter crashed. In "Showdown" Nate managed to fight and push Navarro all the way to the helicopter wreck, where he eventually managed to kill him by pushing the wreck off of the boat. The rope tied between the wreck and El Dorado then snagged onto Navarro's leg, causing him and the treasure both to sink to the bottom of the bay.
A Thief's End
El Dorado was mentioned by Nate as he told his story about discovering El Dorado. Cassie inquired if it was the city of gold, but Nate explained that the city was a legend and turned out to be a cursed statue.
A Thief's End
The sarcophagus appears as a usable item, unlocked by default. When thrown, the sarcophagus spawns from the point of landing and starts shooting low-damage, homing specters to the members of the opposing team. These entities can travel through walls. The Wrath of El Dorado is a great weapon to use to protect objectives and areas. It is also handy to create choke points. In the Plunder and Command gamemode, the mystical works well, as the enemy has to go to certain areas. Players should, however, use it wisely, as it is the most expensive mystical. Having the Cash Drip booster equipped will help to purchase the mystical more quickly.
|—||The standard mystical||5 LP||$800||Unlocked by default|
|Highlight Targets||Opponents are highlighted upon receiving damage from your Wrath of El Dorado||6 LP||$850||50 Wrath of El Dorado uses|
|Faster Specters||Specters from your Wrath track opponents 25% faster||7 LP||$875||100 Wrath of El Dorado uses|
|Increased Damage||Opponents take 50% additional damage when struck||8 LP||$1000||200 Wrath of El Dorado uses|
Behind the scenes
Although the game never truly clarifies what the cause is behind the mutation, only calling it a "curse", Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells addressed the issue. He said that mystical elements do not necessarily have a supernatural explanation, and that the idea was that there was a virus trapped inside the sarcophagus' mummy.
In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Nate's Level 3 Special releases El Dorado's virus, triggering an effect where his enemies turn into descendants, making them slow, easy targets, as they are picked off by Nate with one shot.
In real life
El Dorado was the term used by the Spanish Empire to describe a mythical tribal chief from Colombia, who covered himself with gold dust. Originally the term was El Hombre Dorado ("the golden man"), but changed overtime. The legends surrounding El Dorado did as well, changing from a man to a city, growing over time.
- Mistranslated by Nathan Drake as "the golden man".