Nathan Drake is definitely the star of the Uncharted video games, but he's always had several people at his side for his adventures, including Victor Sullivan, as well as his brother Sam, who shows up in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
However, there's one character in the games who is the most important to Nathan but is often the least celebrated: Elena Fisher. Elena first appeared in the first game of the series, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, and since then, she's not only been Nathan's most loyal companion, but also his harshest critic, and eventually, his wife.
Elena, though, serves a far greater purpose to the story of Uncharted. She's the female companion who is probably as smart, if not smarter, than her male counterparts, and when it comes to keeping up with all that jumping and climbing and beating up bad guys, Elena is right there down in the dirt with Nathan, often saving him from certain death.
Here's why Elena is so important to the Uncharted franchise.
Elena Is A Fully Realized Character
Although in other video games, a character like Elena would often be delegated to girlfriend or wife, in Uncharted, Elena is Nathan's equal in every way. She also comes complete with her own back story, and when she first appears, she's a journalist who is just as historically and geographically intelligent as Nathan, and she also can do all the physical activities in which Nathan often indulges (most of which are dangerous).
"Elena is what the vast majority of men really want in their significant other: she's just as tough as Nathan Drake," William Wilson wrote for Forbes. "Often times, she's smarter than him, at least world-wise. Nate is clearly a better criminal, and knows more about history. But Elena always seems to be one step ahead. Even in the trailer for Uncharted 4, she proves that she can outfox the hound."
Elena also has no problem calling out Nathan when he's doing something dangerous, stupid or both, and this is all part of her multi-dimensional personality.
Elena Often Saves Nathan's Life
Elena has never been a damsel in distress, and that's fortunate for Nathan because he often gets himself into messes that could get him killed. Even in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Elena shows up to save Nathan's life when he faces certain death. She does this in spite of being mad at him for lying about his current treasure-hunting adventure.
Even in her anger, Elena stays at Nathan's side to help him rescue his brother from the bad guys. After that brother gets rescued and goes running off again, Elena supports Nathan in going after him. However, that doesn't mean that she instantly forgives Nathan for lying to her, but the two do eventually come to an understanding.
Elena is the female representation of Nathan in almost every way, and Uncharted 4 really plays into that, when both Elena and Nathan realize they miss the thrill of treasure-hunting and actually do want that life over a more "normal" mundane one.
Elena Has Skills
In addition to Elena being able to call out Nathan on his nonsense and having a fully-developed personality, she also has some serious skills, both as an adventurer and a fighter. Not only can she keep up with Nathan as he climbs mountains, shimmies through tight spots between walls and crawls in tunnels underneath the city, but she also has the ability to pick up a gun and use it to protect herself and Nathan, if needed.
This becomes even more clear in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, because players see Elena helping take down the enemy, particularly in stealth. Elena is just as skilled as her male counterparts and sometimes, it seems that she's even better than they are because she often uses her intellect with her fighting skills to give her team the best advantage.
Elena also has the ability to push Nathan, making him better at what he does and often stops him before he jumps into a tricky situation that might get him killed before thinking about it.
Elena And Nathan Complement Each Other
There is one particular scene in Uncharted 4 that makes Naughty Dog fans extremely happy: Nathan and Elena are sitting on the sofa, enjoying their ordinary mundane life. Nathan teases Elena about one of her hobbies: playing an old video game. Nathan boasts that he can beat her top score, so Elena calls his bluff and forces him to play Crash Bandicoot.
Not only does this scene let players actually play the first level of Crash Bandicoot, but it also serves to explain the lives that Elena and Nathan now lead, as complete equals. Sure, the pair likes to tease each other with some occasional friendly competition, but also have this playful banter that is part of their lives and their relationship. The two complement each other, and it's obvious that they see each other equally in both their professional lives and marriage, even when they're out together on their adventures.
The two also share the same sense of humor and often take jabs at each other, even when they're busy hunting treasure and taking out bad guys.