The story of New Horizons takes place during the Age of Exploration. This time period was marked by the great technological advances in shipbuilding and navigation which spurred explorers to travel across the world's seas. The discovery of new lands offered explorers tremendous opportunities or adventure, wealth and fame. As a result, major European countries sought new territories and wealth as they entered a fierce competition to establish strategic strongholds in Africa, Asia, and the New World.
New Horizons begins in 1522, the year that Magellan's crew returns from its unprecedented around-the-world voyage. The amazing journey seems to prove that the earth is round, yet many still remain skeptical of this view. With the lack of a reliable mapped chart of the entire world, extensive exploring ventures will be contracted out to able, adventuresome sailors. Most of the world is just waiting to be discovered. As an ambitious young hero or heroine, sail the seas and unveil the earth's secrets!
--From the SNES Uncharted Waters: New Horizons instruction manual.