Elena Fisher

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Elena Fisher
Uncharted character
Elena Fisher in Uncharted 4.jpg
First game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2007)
Created by Amy Hennig
Voiced by Emily Rose
Motion capture Emily Rose
Portrayed by Mircea Monroe (fan film)

Elena Fisher is a fictional character in the Uncharted series, developed by Naughty Dog. Elena appears in four video games in the main series: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and the final installment in the series, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. While partially playable for short sections of the first game, Elena also acts as both a sidekick and love interest for Nathan Drake. Emily Rose both provided her voice and did the motion capture work for the character.

Though originally a brunette, Naughty Dog made her a blonde with a more severe chin before the first game's release. She is an independent, strong female who acts as an equal to the series' protagonist Drake. In the games, she is a reporter who accompanies Drake on his adventures. Reception of her character has been mostly positive. She has been called one of the strongest video game females and her equality with male characters has been praised; however, the character has drawn criticism for her unrealistic combat prowess and abrasive personality.

Creation and conception

A black and white image of a woman standing cocked to the right. Her right arm is behind her, and her left in front. She is wearing a tank top covering another, white tank top. Her pants are khaki, and reach down just past her knees. She has a gun stuck through the right side of a belt, sandals, a necklace, and a bracelet on her left arm. She has brown hair and looks off in the distance to her left.
Elena was originally a brunette

Emily Rose, Elena's voice actor,[1] also performed the motion capture work for the character, acting as if performing in a movie. Motion capture was done on a soundstage, and the dialog was recorded while the scenes were being performed.[2] Elena was meant to act as both a sidekick and a romantic interest for the main series protagonist Nathan Drake.[3][4]

Originally, Fisher was presented as a brunette with a soft face. However, close to the release of the first game, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, her chin was further defined, and her hair made blonde. When questioned about the purpose of the change response, Sony said "they just preferred her blonde."[5] Naughty Dog further elaborated on the reasons for the change, stating that towards the end of development the team's pixel shaders improved and when they added it to Elena's blonde hair, it looked considerably better paired than it did with brown, as it was originally. They stated that the change was purely cosmetic as she remained exactly the same character except now with blonde hair and that these changes are all part of game development.[citation needed]

Attributes

Personality

Elena Fisher is a journalist, originally out to make a name for herself through documentary work, then later news broadcasting.[6] Regarding her career, she has been described as a "spunky and nubile camerawoman".[7] She proves herself a resourceful and capable ally to Drake.[8]

Elena Fisher is the "female version of Drake", as creator Amy Hennig put it; she is just as charming, intelligent and tenacious as him, and can hold her own when climbing or under fire. The two have the same sense of humour and cavalier attitude toward their opponents, but she tends to be more compassionate towards others (such as when Harry Flynn is dying). In this way, she completes Drake and acts as his emotional crutch and moral compass when Nate is at a loss. She is also slightly tomboyish, being very ready to dive head first into situations, whether it be a tomb, or an ocean, just like her counterpart.

At the best of times, Elena is an upbeat, optimistic, and a cunning woman, driving Nate to keep moving forward. She'll banter and make jokes with him, which helps Nate get through his problems. When he hits rock bottom, Elena is the one to push him forward in order for him to reach his goal or to "save the world". While this attitude sometimes annoys Nate's associates, Nate takes Elena's advice to heart, and values her input above all others, always agreeing with her, as seen against Chloe in Shambhala and even Sully, when he wants to leave her again. Elena becomes a much better strategist over the course of the games, and instead of running into situations like she did in the first game, she is more prone to stand back, wait, and strike at the most opportune moment. She also helps Nate plan ways into sneaking into restricted areas and taking out opponents, seen with the cargo plane, even showing a higher level of intelligence in this regard compared to Nate, adding more to their combined arsenal.

She seems to display the 'White Bread, Picket Fence', image Chloe dubs her with, showing a naïve idea towards morality, simple ideas on good and evil, wanting to settle down later in the series, and an idealistic nature. However, it's this that can sometimes be her weakest suit. In the case of Harry Flynn, she showed him compassion and offered him redemption. This peace offering unknowingly put her into harm's way once Flynn revealed his grenade, which nearly killed her when it detonated. After this experience, Elena became much more reluctant to put herself or the people she loves into danger, as shown with Nate's competition for the City of Ubar against the ruthless Katherine Marlowe and Talbot, and shows an extreme care and tenacity, again like her husband, even going so far as to go into an enemy-filled airport alone for her unofficial father-in-law.

She appears to be one of the only rivals to Nate's intelligence, mastering several languages, including Tibetan and Arabic, and working out puzzles with him, instead of relying on him like his other friends. She has a knowledge of history like Nate, being genuinely interested in it, unlike e.g. Sully, who is after the gold. She can track down Nate, actually catching up with him after he left her at a dock. Not only does she share his intelligence, but she also seems to share his charismatic edge, winning over Schafer and Tenzin in a short time, Chloe, who was originally at odds with her, and eventually capturing Nate himself, marrying him by Uncharted 3. At the worst of times, Elena will become much more aggressive, cynical, and trigger-happy. Often her cynicism comes out when Nate has hurt her or abandoned her, and she'll openly display her anger through verbal quips or punching Nate. However, this aggression quickly absolves when he returns to her, showing she is quick to forgive the people she cares about.

Elena has proven herself to not only be a skilled fighter, managing like Nate to instinctively pick up a weapon and use it, again showing the 'female Nate' in her, but she boosts Nate's personality by either cheering him up and joking with him when he's feeling low, or defending Nate and fighting alongside him. Nate becomes a better person in her presence, acting more chivalrous and heroic, an example being Nate risking his life to save Jeff, a man he barely knew. Elena has come to understand Nate better than anyone, being the only one who manages to work out Nate's true motivations for his competition with Marlowe and obsession with Drake's ring, within minutes of meeting with him again, unlike his other companions who kept asking Nate what he was after. She will finish his sentences for him, such as at the train yard, and even understand what he means without him actually saying anything, suggesting a bond far deeper with him than any other person; them being, in a sense, the same character.

Rose commented that Elena matured between the first game and the sequel: "In the first game, she's a lot younger, she's a lot more naive, and she looks at things as being very possible, and in the second (game), has seen murders and adventure...the way that any person grows, you see that in her. She's a little bit more hesitant, a little more cynical".[9]

Outward appearance

In the first game, Elena wears a dirty purple tank-top and cargo shorts, with a white tank top underneath. For the remaining games, she wears a number of articles of clothing, including button up shirts, casual shirts, khaki pants, jeans, and a parka. Originally, Elena was a brunette, and Sony showed her this way in the original advertising. However, shortly before the first game's release, her hair was changed to a dirty blonde tone.[5]

Elena's appearance varies between games, but typically she is of average height for a woman (about 5-ft, 4-in, and a head shorter than Drake), has a slim, athletic figure, blond hair (that she keeps back in a messy pony-tail bun with a few stray hairs that hang in front of her face), an angular face with grey/blue (in the first two games) or brown eyes (in the third game). She also develops a tan in the third game and her chest size has noticeably increased.

Her clothes mature over the course of the game series—in the first Uncharted she wears purple and white tank-tops, baggy cargo shorts that drop at her knees, and sneakers. By Uncharted 2, where she has become an investigative journalist, she has matured and wears white button up shirts and dark jeans, and when in the mountains dons a ski/winter jacket. In the third game, Elena's outfit color varies, but she continues to wear a button up collared shirt and khaki pants. In the fourth game she wears several casual shirts owing to her home life but reverts back to wearing a purple tank-top similar to the first game whilst in the jungle. Naughty Dog commented that they tried to make Elena look like the 'Girl-Next-Door' look, to give her that pretty, but not overly glamorous image, ready for any sort of danger she should face and they built up her original renders on this idea.[citation needed]

Appearances

Main series

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

In the 2007 game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Elena follows Drake around, videotaping his findings for her cable television show.[3] As the game opens, she and Drake uncover the coffin of Drake's ancestor Sir Francis Drake, which Drake located from coordinates on a family heirloom ring he wears around his neck.[10] The coffin contains Sir Francis Drake's diary, which gives the location of El Dorado. Pirates attack and destroy Drake's boat, but Drake's friend Victor Sullivan rescues the two. Once safe, Sully and Drake decide to ditch Elena and go after the treasure, though she manages to rendezvous with Drake after he discovers that El Dorado is a giant gold idol. On the way to the island, anti-aircraft fire forces Elena and Drake to bail out of the airplane and they are separated. Once they meet, they discover that Sully, who appeared to die of a gunshot wound, is alive.[11] After discovering that the statue is cursed and he must stop Atoq Navarro from using its power, and save Elena in the process. After doing so, she, Drake, and Sully drive off in a boat loaded with several chests of treasure.[12]

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Drake stumbles upon Elena by accident in Nepal, where she now acts as an investigative journalist. She and a cameraman are attempting to prove that war criminal Lazarevic is alive, contrary to the beliefs of NATO.[13] Drake is trying to stop Lazarevic from finding the entrance to Shambhala and the legendary Cintamani stone. After she, Drake and the party find a temple (which conceals the secret map to Shambala), Elena and her cameraman are ambushed, and the cameraman, Jeff, is eventually executed by Lazarevic. Elena and Drake escape, and she helps him catch Lazarevic's train. The pair find each other in a remote mountain village in Tibet, where the two meet Karl Schäfer, a German who had led a Schutzstaffel expedition to Shambhala, who he ended up killing in order to stop them from obtaining the Cintamani Stone. Drake and Elena track Lazaravic to a monastery, where they find the entrance to Shambhala. Once inside, they discover that the monsters Drake has been seeing in the area are guardians of the city. Drake and Elena are apprehended by Lazaravic but escape him when the guardians attack. After battling through several guardians and many henchmen left behind by Lazaveric, she, Nate, and Chloe spot the Tree of Life, upon at that moment Flynn confronts Drake and attempts to kill the party (and himself) with a grenade. He fails, although he severely wounds Elena (as well as lightly wounding Drake and Chloe). After leaving Elena in Chloe's care, Drake confronts Lazaravic at the Tree of Life, the sap of which comprises the Cintamani stone.[14] Drake wounds Lazaravic, leaving the guardians to kill him, and returns to the village, where he and Elena kiss and begin a relationship.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception reveals that Elena and Drake were married, and later broke up in between the events of Uncharted 2 and 3, though she still wears her ring. Since the events of Uncharted 2, Elena has become an international news correspondent, and has been stationed in Yemen for some time. She assists Nate and Sully in entering Yemen and helps locate a cistern leading to underground catacombs that contains the coordinates to Iram of the Pillars. Elena tries in vain to deter Nate from continuing his search as she feels it is not worth it. After Nate is drugged and captured by Marlowe, he reunites with Elena who reveals Sully has also been kidnapped and that she has a plan to save him. They infiltrate a nearby airport where a plane is ready to make a supply drop to the enemy convoy Sully is in. Elena assists Drake in getting onto the plane, departing him as it takes off. After Nate and Sully return from Iram, Elena is shown by Nate that he has started wearing his wedding ring again after Sully had kept it safe for him and they resume their relationship, leaving together on Sully's new plane.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Three years after the events of Drake's Deception, Elena and Nate are leading normal lives in New Orleans. She continues to work as a journalist and often travels abroad writing articles, while Nate works as a salvager. Nate lies to Elena by claiming he has taken on a new salvaging job after his long-lost brother Sam returns to coax him back into uncovering the treasure of pirate Henry Avery. After escaping enemy forces in Madagascar, Nate returns to his hotel only to find Elena there, who confronts Nate about his lies and dismisses his explanations. Upset, confused, and angry, she returns home on her own. After some consideration, Elena later goes to Libertalia with Sully and rescues Nate, hoping that his dishonesty will help to make them more trusting of each other in the future, and in the end they reconcile with a kiss. The couple eventually find Sam, who insists that they go after the treasure before their opponents can find it but Nate, Elena, and Sully decline his request as they only came to rescue him. Nate is forced to leave Elena with Sully after Sam decides to go after the treasure alone. The four later reunite on Sully's plane, having escaped Libertalia alive. Sam later departs with Sully and Elena decides to buy Jamieson's Marine salvage company and installs Nate as owner to help them in their funding for future adventures. Elena also expresses her desire to revive her old TV show.

13-15 years after the events of Uncharted 4 the two are still happily married and have settled down at a beach house with a daughter named Cassie and a dog called Vicky. The story then ends with Nate and Elena setting off on a sailing trip while beginning to tell Cassie about their previous adventures.

Other media

Uncharted: Eye of Indra

Elena appears in the prequel comic Eye of Indra, agreeing to fund Nathan Drake's expedition to find Sir Francis Drake's coffin.[15]

Reception

Reception to the character of Elena Fisher has been mainly positive. Blaine Kyllo of The Georgia Straight praised Rose's performance as Elena, calling it some of the best work in video gaming,[16] while Meagan VanBurkleo of Game Informer called Elena one of her "favorite leading ladies."[17]

Some opined that Elena is a strong, female lead uncommon to video games. Dave Meikleham of GamesRadar UK called her one of the strongest females in gaming and wrote she provides a great playoff to Drake, and a good shot to aid the players through levels. However, he also criticized her for a lack of realism, finding it hard to believe that as a reporter who had never fired a gun before could so quickly become such an accurate, fearless shot.[18] IGN named her the fourth best video game heroine, praising Naughty Dog for creating a female protagonist equal in every way to her male counterpart: "She won't let the camera stop rolling, she won't take Drake's crap, and she's not afraid to throw a punch. When you're pinned down by enemy fire, Elena will cap the bad guys for you. When Drake's trapped in the enemy camp, Elena will rip walls down to save her friend. When you're in need of a solid, fleshed-out character, Elena's there as a prime example."[19] Game Informer named her one of the 30 characters who defined a decade.[20] Similarly, GamesRadar's staff placed her at number 24 in a list of the 50 best game characters of the generation, commenting "She may be a stereotypical twenty-something journalist at face value, but she's so convincingly written (and acted by Emily Rose) that she's one of the most believable and likeable characters in all of gaming."[21]

The character has also garnered attention for her attractiveness. Bret Dawson of the Toronto Star compared Elena's appearance and mannerisms to those of Jennifer Aniston.[22]

References

  1. ^ "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune". Allgame. 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Casamassina, Matt (19 November 2009). "Editorial: How Uncharted 2 Can Fix Gaming". IGN. News Corporation. p. 2. Retrieved 7 December 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Associated Press (5 December 2007). "'Drake's Fortune' Lets You Almost Be Indiana Jones". Fox News Channel. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Crecente, Brian (19 November 2007). "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune". Variety. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Richardson, Ben (31 August 2007). "Naughty Dog prefers blondes". GamesRadar. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Nathan Drake Resume Feature". 1UP.com. 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Ford, Greg (14 November 2007). "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS3)". 1UP.com. Retrieved 14 January 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Uncharted - exclusive interview". GamesRadar. 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  9. ^ D'Alonzo, Mike (12 June 2009). "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Supporting Cast E3 2009 Interview". Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Nathan: Don't I wish. No, this was, ah... this was Francis Drake's ring. I, y'know, kind of inherited it. Elena: "Sic parvis magna"? Nathan: "Greatness from small beginnings" - it was his motto. Check out the date. Elena: 29th of January, 1596. Nathan: One day after he supposedly died. Elena: Wait, what are these numbers, right here? Nathan: Coordinates. Right off the coast of Panama. Elena: Oh, so that's how you found the coffin. Naughty Dog (19 November 2007). Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. PlayStation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment. 
  11. ^ Elena: He's alive. Nathan: Huh. Elena: I don't know, Nate... I mean, how much do you trust this guy? It's not exactly like they're holding him at gunpoint. Nathan: I know. Yeah, it seems weird. But no. Sully's a lot of things, but he's not a back-stabber. Which way were they headed? Elena: Uh... North-ish. Yeah, towards the mountains. Nathan: Okay, it's gotta be the monastery. Let's go. Naughty Dog (19 November 2007). Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. PlayStation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment. 
  12. ^ Nathan: Sorry you didn't get your story. Elena: Ah, that's all right. There'll be other stories. You still owe me one. Nathan: I'm good for it. Naughty Dog (19 November 2007). Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. PlayStation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment. 
  13. ^ McGarvey, Sterling (4 June 2009). "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves E3 Preview". G4. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  14. ^ Nathan: ...not a sapphire Naughty Dog (13 October 2009). Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. PlayStation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment. 
  15. ^ http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/10/22/uncharted-eye-of-indra-%E2%80%93-first-episode-on-psn-today/
  16. ^ Kyllo, Blaine (3 April 2008). "Games put poetry into running and gunning". The Georgia Straight. Vancouver, British Columbia. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  17. ^ VanBurkleo, Meagan (7 January 2010). "Playboy's Annual Girls Of Video Games". Game Informer. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  18. ^ Meikleham, Dave. "11 badass game characters who should be wimps". GamesRadar. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  19. ^ IGN PlayStation Team (8 July 2009). "The Wednesday 10: Gaming Heroines". IGN. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  20. ^ "The 30 Characters Who Defined A Decade". Game Informer. November 29, 2010. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Best game characters of the generation". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  22. ^ Dawson, Bret (1 December 2007). "'Drake's Fortune' a treasure to behold". Toronto Star. Toronto, Ontario. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
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