|“||Scarecrows... Guardians to frighten trespassers.||„|
|~ Lazarević after he kills one of the Guardians defending the entrance.|
The Shambhala Guardians are the secondary antagonistic faction in the 2009 video game Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. They are humans who ingested the Tree of Life's resin and were transformed into feral warriors who guard the lost city of Shambhala by any means necessary.
Long ago, the Guardians were humans who ate the blue resin produced from the Tree of Life in Shambhala. As a result, they were transformed into aggressive purple-skinned, black-teethed defenders with inhuman strength, resilience, and mobility, as well as a limited healing factor and unnatural lifespan. For generations, these transformed men protected Shambhala from trespassers who sought to use the power of the Cintamani Stone (unbeknownst to them, the Stone was actually accumulated resin from the Tree of Life).
Outside of Shambhala, the Guardians used Yeti-like costumes to protect their identity, frighten trespassers, and to keep them warm in the harsh Himalayan environment. The Guardians were intelligent, having their own form of communication (instilling fear) and constructed weapons. They were very determined fighters, risking their lives to kill the trespassers.
In Borneo, Marco Polo's crew was swept away by a tsunami, the survivors ate the resin they took from Shambhala in a bid to survive, but the resin transformed them as well, leading to the men killing each other off.
During the World War II era, a German explorer named Karl Schäfer led an expedition into the ice caves of the Himalayas to look for the Stone. Once he discovered that the it would transform those who consume the resin into the Guardians, he killed his own men, preventing the power of the Stone from returning to Germany and altering history.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Seventy years later, Schäfer sent Nathan Drake and Tenzin into the Himalayan ice caves to find his expedition. Nate and Tenzin find the dead bodies of Karl's crew lying in different locations of the caves. While Drake and Tenzin scale a rocky wall, a Yeti-like suited Guardian hiding in the shadows behind them, watches them and quickly disappears. Later, the explorers are attacked by the yeti-like suited Guardian. They fight it off and learn that bullets do not damage the beast. They continue and find a large underground ice temple to learn that Schäfer shot the men in order to stop them from using the power of the Stone. More suited Guardians attack and the two escape on a lift up to a mountain vista overlooking a monastery. Later, Drake and Elena explore the monastery and catch glimpses of the suited Guardians attacking and being driven off by Zoran Lazarević's soldiers, trying to prevent the discovery of the entrance to Shambhala under the monastery. The Guardians are seen scaling walls and jumping long distances.
Drake, with the assistance of Harry Flynn, opens the entrance to Shambhala and they are attacked by suited Guardians but Lazarević and his soldiers arrive, shoot the guardians down with powerful weapons, and reveal the Guardians of Shambhala dressed in costumes to frighten trespassers.
The party enters Shambhala and are attacked by the unsuited Guardians, allowing Nathan, Elena Fisher, and Chloe Frazer to escape the fracas into the city. Drake searches for the Stone and witnesses Lazarević's soldiers and the Guardians battling throughout the city. Nathan learns that the Cintamani Stone isn't actually a Stone but the hardened resin sap from the Tree of Life. After this, Harry enters the room with a bullet wound and sits down, but when Elena tries to help him he takes out a grenade and proceeds to blow himself up, injuring Elena. She convinces Nathan he must stop Lazarević from drinking the sap in the tree before he turns nearly invincible like the Guardians.
Nathan finds Lazarević under the Tree of Life, drinking from a large sap pool, becoming nearly invincible as his scars and wounds heal. Drake explodes resin nodules in the tree roots to progressively knock down and injure Lazarević. The explosions also injure the Tree of Life, causing a long earthquake to start. As the city collapses, Nate leaves Lazarević to die when the Guardians come in and brutally beat him to death.
As Nate, Chloe, and the injured Elena leave Shambhala, the city is seen collapsing and the explosive resin scattered around the city is blowing up. The Guardians in the city are most likely dead but some may still be alive, including outside the city.
- The Descendants in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune had a very similar role as the Guardians: both were supernatural creatures enslaved to defend the dangerous mythological treasure that transformed them, El Dorado and the Tree of Life, respectively.