In Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, the gamers are taken on a quest to find the “Atlantis of the Sands.” While on the journey, the protagonist visits a luxurious underground library stuffed with ancient artifacts.
The main character, Nathan Drake, a professional treasure hunter, explains that the legend comes up repeatedly under different names such as Ubar, The city of brass, and Iram of the pillars, yet the story remains the same.
The reference to these mystical-lost places can actually be found in the Holy Quran, where clear mentions have been made of them.
Rub’ al Khali
Nicknamed the Iram’s Atlantean, it is a lost city hidden beneath the Rub’ al Khali desert, which runs through KSA, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, and the UAE. T.E. Lawrence, the famous British explorer, and military officer popularized the name in modern western mythology.
The writer of the Uncharted 3 told the media that the plot put Drake in a desert environment, naturally drawing her to Lawrence’s story. She further said that though everyone was familiar with Lawrence of Arabia, only a few knew much about him.
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The Uncharted 3 was released in 2011, introducing the players to the “Atlantis of the Sands” yet not mentioning where the story of Iram originally came from.
T.E. Lawrence was wrongly credited with the story by the game’s developers, ignoring the true origins of the story, which are found in the Quran‑the Muslims’ holy scripture.
The lost city Iram is first mentioned in the surah AL-Fajr of the Holy Scripture, whose occupants were punished for refusing to abandon their corrupt beliefs.
Later, in the surah Hud the city gets another mention when the prophet Hud warns the people of Iram from erecting monuments depicting their prestige which was nothing compared to God’s power.
happy 10th anniversary to uncharted 3: drake's deception — november 1st 2011. pic.twitter.com/rIGdqvnY8G
— َ (@unchartedits) November 1, 2021
Those who denied the prophet’s call faced God’s wrath and were punished.
One Thousand and One Nights, an old collection of Middle Eastern folklore, has also been inspired by the Quran’s depiction of Iram.
The city of Ubar
Another city which the game refers to is the “sinking city of Ubar.” The game suggests that Ubar and the city of Brass are synonymous with Iram though that might be contested.
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The lost city was made famous by Bertram Thomas, who was the first European to cross the Rub al Khali desert.
Thomas wrote of the place after finding about it from a Bedouin who warned him that whoever found the place was opposed by fearsome Djins. The Djins here is also taken from the Quranic account of Jinns.
The city of brass
The extravagant city of brass is another city lost to the desert that the book One Thousand and One Nights has mentioned, which alludes to the Holy Scripture.
The surah Saba which discusses King Solomon commanding the Jinn, also is crucial to the game’s plot. The surah expands on how the Devils were imprisoned in bottles of brass by Solomon.