Nathan "Nate" Drake is the adventuring main character of Naughty Dog's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Nathan is a descendant of famed explorer Sir Francis Drake, whom is believed to have not fathered children. During the events of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, he searches for the lost city of El Dorado. His mentor and friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan joins him on many of his adventures. On his plane, he meets Elena Fisher, a journalist and star of a documentary style television program. The two develop a love/hate relationship as the game progresses.
Nathan Drake is an "everyman" who tends to hide his vast knowledge of the world around him. He can speak and comprehend several languages, including Indonesian, 16th century Spanish, and Latin. He is in peak physical form, able to bound over obstacles and across chasms, even with significant blood loss. While willing to operate against the law, in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Drake shows open hostility towards killing security guards in a museum.
Nathan Drake wears a trademark ring as a necklace. The ring was "kind of inherited" from his ancestor Sir Francis Drake. The ring is inscribed with Sir Drake's motto, "Sic Parvis Magna" meaning "Greatness from small beginnings." In Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, the ring is stolen by Katherine Marlowe.
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
Nate and his friend journalist Elena Fisher recover the coffin of Nate's ancestor- the 16th century explorer Francis Drake. Elena is only with him to record the opening for a documentary of hers. When they open the coffin they find a diary inside detailing the location of El Dorado- the mythical city of Gold in the Amazon, which Nate's ancestor was searching for when he died. They learn since there was no body in the coffin, Sir Francis faked his death. Pirates then appear and start attacking their boat. Just as the boat begins to catch fire, Nate's old friend Victor "Sully" Sullivan arrives in his seaplane and takes them to shore. At the shore, Nate and Sully leave Elena fearing if she published the findings it would attract rivals. They traveled off into the Amazon only to discover El Dorado was actually a Golden statue and had been removed centuries ago from it's temple. Searching further into the Jungle, Nate and sully discover a Nazi U-Boat from World War II stuck in river with it's crew, dead aboard and a missing page from Sir Francis's diary pointing to where El Dorado was most likely taken.
While he was in the U-Boat, a fellow treasure hunter- Gabriel Roman who happens to have something of a grudge against Sully and Atoq Navarro arrive. When Drake climbs out, he's greeted by their mercenaries, Gabriel then shoots Sully and Nate escapes. While escaping he meets back up with Elena, and they head to Sully's plane to find the island where the statue is possibly located, Being shot down and near the island, the two are separated as Nate gives Elena the only parachute onboard. Nat then finds his way to an old Spanish Fort where he spots Elena's parachute. However he is soon caught by the very same group of pirates that attacked his ship at the beginning of the game. The group of Pirates were led by an Indonesian man named Eddy Raja who was working for Roman's Lieutenant Atoq Navarro. Elena rescues Nate and they escape from Raja and his pirates.They find their way through an abandoned port city used by the Spanish at one time and by examining a log book they find statue was moved further inland. Elena spots Sully working with Navarro and Gabriel when he was believed to have been dead. They spot them heading north and decide to follow them up to the Monastery. They find hidden passages within the Monastery and rescue who blocked Gabriel's bullet by using Francis Drake's diary.
They find secret maze like passages beneath the monastery, while down there; Nate overhears an argument between the Pirate Raja and his employers Gabriel and Navarro. They were arguing because Gabriel doubted Eddy could finish the job of capturing Nate and securing the island. Eddy claims that there is something supernatural on the island that is killing his men, but Roman dismisses his superstitions. Going further through the tunnels, Nate and Elena find a Treasure Valt; inside is Francis Drake's body which leads Nate and Elena to assume he died while searching for the treasure.Before leaving they see Eddy, running and being chased by mutated humans called the Descendants. After Eddy is killed, they escape and find their way to an abandoned German U-Boat base. Nate goes out to restore power to the base so they can leave. While exploring the base, Nate learns the Germans sought the stature during World War II but like the Spaniards they soon realized it was cursed. Nate finds that the mutated humans are actually descendants of the Spaniards and the Germans. He realizes Sir Francis was trying to keep the Statue on the Island when he was killed by the mutants.
When he attempts to return to Elena, Nate finds she's been captured by Gabriel and Navarro. As he follows them, Nate meets up with Sully outside the Monastery. Under it, the two are captured at gunpoint and find Gabriel has the statue. Navarro urges Gabriel to open it and inside is the body of El Dorado-The Golden Man. When he opens the statue, Roman inhales the gases released and begins to mutate. Navarro shoots him, and reveals he planned to steal it all along and sell the virus as a weapon. He has it airlifted out by a helicopter just as the mutants begin to attack his mercenaries. Nate jumps onto the net containing the statue and they crash land onto a tanker ship. On the ship, Nate and Navarro fight, knocking him out. After Nate rescues Elena, Navarro regains consciousness and Nate pushes the helicopter off the tanker. The rope which held connected the statue to the helicopter becomes snagged around Navarro's leg, pulling him down into the ocean along with the statue. As Nate and Elena to lean in to kiss one another, Sully interrupts and pulls up in a speedboat, having escaped the Island with several boxes of treasure he found from Pirates. Elena reminds Nate that even though he got her camera destroyed he still owed her a story. As they sailed off into the Horizon, Nate assured he would keep his promise.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Two years after the events of Drake's Fortune, the game begins with an injured Nate waking up in a train hanging over a cliff in Nepal. He then has a flashback revealing that Harry Flynn and Chloe Frazer had offered him a job to steal a Mongolian oil lamp in a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. He accepts the offer and learns the lamp is connected to Marco Polo's last voyage and will lead him to the treasures of his lost fleet. Drake goes with Flynn to acquire the lamp while Chloe goes off to cut the lights to the tower where the lamp is to ensure that Drake and Flynn aren't caught. After Flynn and Drake take hold of the lamp, they find it contains a map showing that the lost fleet took the Cintamani Stone from Shambala before a Tsunami off the coast of Borneo threw them ashore. Flynn takes the map and double-crosses Drake, leaving him in the museum. He is caught by the Turkish Authorities and thrown in prison for three months before Chloe comes with Sully to secure his release. He then comes to Borneo then Nepal searching for the key to Shambala.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Some time after Among Thieves, with Drake aged around his mid thirties, the protagonist is in pursuit of his ultimate treasure, the true path of Sir Francis Drake through Arabia. As a teenager, the young Drake assumed the last name of the famous explorer Sir Francis in his pursuit of that Drake's ring, an item he discovered allowed him to decode Sabean script, furthering his pursuit of historical mysteries. Drake, Sully, Chloe, and Cutter trick the nefarious Katherine Marlowe and Talbot into revealing their secret lair. By following the trail of this ancient cult of conspirators, Drake and his posse realize they must follow the footsteps of not only Sir Francis Drake, but T.E. Lawrence to the fabled Iram of the Pillars.
The adventure takes Drake to a chateau built around an crusader castle in France, to another castle in Syria, to a bustling city in Yemen, aboard a derelict ship graveyard near India, and through the torrential sands of the Rub' al Khalii Desert in Oman. He tests friendships, reignites old loves, and begins to question his very motivations and moral center.
Drake is considered an "every-man" kind of guy with a dry sense of humor, quick to help others, and at times temperamental. He can also read Latin and Spanish. In his adventures, he encounters large numbers of heavily armed men and is visually unscathed by their deaths. However in Uncharted 2, Nate shows disdain for the taking of human life. Nate is known to make sarcastic remarks about a situation he is in, as most would if they were in his situation. He also has Coulrophobia, a fear of clowns.
At the end of each Uncharted game, the player can look at traditional video game statistics including a death-toll tally. In each game, this tally ranks in the hundreds if not thousands. Some players, like the writer of this article, are concerned that the killing in Uncharted contradicts the established personality and light-heartedness of the Nathan Drake character.
It is noted that the humanity of the enemies, and generally the graphical fidelity of the series, increases this feeling as it is more difficult to see enemies merely as avatars instead of people.
Naughty Dog has acknowledged this difficulty both in interviews, such as those with creative director Amy Henig, and in the games. In Uncharted 2, Lazarevic asks Drake how many men he has killed that day and questions whether the two of them are really that different. Yet, Nate gives him no response to his question, and just stares in silence while he says this. In Uncharted 3, every friend of Drake, and he himself, at one point questions his purpose in pursuing his ancestor's path. Again, he never does give a direct firm answer, just goes quiet. It can also be noted that Naughty Dog has strive to make their enemies more and more irredeemable, moving from pirates and mercenaries in Uncharted 1, to soldiers of a war criminal in Uncharted 2, and finally to cultists in Uncharted 3.
Still, the feeling of contradiction and even being a true psychopath, persists for many players and critics.