Nathan "Nate" Drake is the main protagonist of the Uncharted games.
An amateur archaeologist, professional treasure hunter, sometimes criminal and occasionally a stand-up guy. Nate believes that he's a descendant of legendary privateer Sir Francis Drake, even though the historic record is that Francis had no children. This is proven correct in Drake's Deception, which reveals Nate is actually an orphaned boy who grew up in a Catholic orphanage called "St. Francis", which is where he grew his fascination with the great sailor's exploits. During his teens he spent his days as a street criminal in the alleyways of Cartegena, Colombia and made up his lineage from Francis Drake as part of his Changeling Fantasy. The sequel, A Thief's End, also introduces us to a brother named Samuel who was also given up as a boy, the two at one time growing up in the orphanage as well having at least one treasure hunting expedition together.
Nathan Drake's most prominent trait is his dry humor, even in dangerous situations. This can cause him to appear unprofessional, and Neil Druckmann has suggested Nate's sarcasm to be a slight front for his dark past, which he often keeps to himself, once when he becomes nervous and impatient, that may Get angry, irritated or complain. Self-educated in history and various languages, Drake is also highly intelligent. Nate is outwardly and genuinely an "everyman" type of person, relating to Naughty Dog's original intention when creating the character. Even if he is unable to remove his obsession with treasure hunting, he can contain it.
As a treasure hunter and thief, he is often confronted by various types of enemies, a prospect that doesn't always deter him. The dangers of his work are part of why Nate is drawn to it, typical of an adrenaline junkie. As a result, he has a callous and somewhat sadistic disregard for his adversaries and kills without remorse, albeit in self-defense. However, he is against cold-blooded executions (as shown when he refused to let Sam kill Nadine, even saving her life and also in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves who complains when Flynn tries to kill them in that way) and killing defenseless enemies even offering his help to them after their defeat, such as the case with Flynn and Dante. He also refused to kill a defeated Lazarević himself to focus on escaping Shambala, though he did leave him to be killed by Shambhala's Guardians. Nate is easy to provoke, makes absurd complaints and sometimes gets violent when an enemy angers him.
Nate is extremely loyal to his friends, as he risks his life on multiple occasions just to help them. He has a slight phobia of commitment; though willing to get close to others, he simultaneously distances himself — an example being how he and Elena became estranged following their marriage until their reunion at the end of U3. The epilogue of U4 reveals they are still together some years later, and even have a teenage daughter.
Nate is a Caucasian male, with dark brown hair and eyes which have changed throughout the games. They appear both blue and green at different points, if one looks at the in game shots in the Official Game Guide for U3. He has a muscular physique, a tan skin-tone, and is either 6'1 (North's own height) or 5'11 -- the latter supported by minor evidence of his mugshot stating him as six foot with shoes on. His height has never been confirmed. He has been described as "ruggedly handsome". Nate's face is square and angular, with a cleft-chin and squinty-eyes. His hair is short and spiky, and he usually sports a five o'clock shadow.
The Adventures in Gamesphere
In Chapter 2, Nathan appeared being interrogated by Rufus and the gang, and denies stealing Lucina & Pit's weapons.
In Chapter 4, at Zack's Beach Party, Nathan, alongside Jimmy Hopkins and Ganondorf, is present in Zack's Beach Party watching Tony Hawk skates down the ramp and into the water.
Even when he was a teenager, Drake was an incredibly skilled free runner and climber. He is able to jump from high distances without any harnesses or security, and he possesses massive upper body strength, as well as tolerance for pain. He was able to climb a derailed train despite the fact that he was shot and confused of his surroundings. Though his gunshot wound was clearly hurting him, he was strong enough to not let go. As he was a thief since his teenage years, Drake is skilled at pickpocketing, being able to steal Victor Sullivan's wallet from him. Despite Sully noticing this, Drake was still able to swipe the key he was searching for in the first place. Another example of his thieving skills was when he and Harry Flynn broke into an Istanbul museum without any of the guards noticing, until Flynn revealed his treachery and purposefully shot a glass case to attract the guards. Despite his "shoot first, ask questions later" persona, Drake is also skilled with stealth takedowns and chokeholds, being able to overpower and knock out multiple security guards without killing them. He normally stealthily snaps his enemies necks while creeping up on them.
Drake is very capable when it comes to unarmed fighting, close to being a one-man army. He is able to overpower Navarro's mercenaries and Lazarevic's soldiers despite their militaristic background and training; this also includes much larger and stronger soldiers who are more advanced in combat than he is. He is also surprisingly intelligent, thinking up the theory with the help of his older brother that Sir Francis Drake faked his death when he was only a teenager. He is also bilingual, being able to speak fluently in Latin and Spanish. He also deduced that Lazarević, who he believed was searching for the Cintamani Stone, was actually looking to drink from the sap of the Tree of Life, which would make him invincible.
Drake's main proficiency is with guns. He possesses a trained hand and is a very good marksman. He himself even remarks, "damn, I'm a good shot!" he is good handguns, semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and as it's revealed crossbows. He is also good with grenades and other explosives.
However, Drake is not invincible and can also be overwhelmed or overpowered by an opponent. An example was in the Rub Al' Khali when he was pinned down by countless of Marlowe's agents. Drake, for a moment, believed it was the end for him. He can also be injured or ambushed. An example is when Harry Flynn was able to shoot him on-board a train while he was arguing with Chloe Frazer. Though he was able to tolerate the pain from the gunshot wound, he slowly succumbed to it because of the harsh conditions. His improvised and self-made fighting style, while effective against most opponents, can be overcome by more trained and smarter combatants such as Nadine, who quickly defeated Drake in a one-on-one fight in their first encounter.
- Nate's physical appearence has changed drastically throughout the games. He was skinnier in Uncharted: Drake's Fortune than Amy Hennig intended and got bulked up in the second game. In Uncharted 3 his brown eyes were changed to blue, and his height firstly mentioned in a mugshot in Chapter 11 as 5'11" (1.80 m) was changed to 6'2" (1.87 m) in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End as stated by a Naughty Dog employee.
- Nate claims to be afraid of clowns, ranking them 10/10 on a scale of fear.
- Nate came 16th on the list of the Top 50 Favorite Game Characters in the 2011 edition of the Guinness World Records.
- In the alternate reality game Uncharted: Drake's Trail, Nate's home address is seen to be: 160 Guard Ave, Apt. 3, Key West, Florida. A portion of this address appears in Nate's journal in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, although the city and state are obscured.
- Nate shares his initials with Naughty Dog, the developers of the Uncharted series.
- In Uncharted: Drake's Trail, Nate's e-mail address is shown as firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The first time Nate killed a man was at the age of fifteen, when he inadvertently caused one of Katherine Marlowe's agents to fall from a rooftop.
- If the player looks very closely at Nate's face during the cutscenes in Uncharted 3, healed cuts gained in Uncharted 2 can be seen. The same goes for Elena.
- Nate has been shot twice - in Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 - by secondary antagonists.
- On the back of Drake's gun holder, the letters NDI can be seen in cut-scenes. This is the abbreviation for Naughty Dog Inc.
- Nate's desert outfit in Uncharted 3 greatly resembles the clothes Brendan Fraser wore in the 1999 film, The Mummy.
- Nate has been confirmed to have known several characters from the Uncharted series when living at the Sir Francis Home for Boys, although it is not stated who.
- In Uncharted 4, Nate mentions that he once dated a Leo.
- Drake's 'Oh Crap' has become a trademark signature, spawning YouTube videos and a mention by PlayStation Magazine as to the amount of times he says it.
- Drake has been compared (by fans and Nolan North himself) to John McClane from the Die Hard film series, for their similar smart-alec personalities, sarcastic sense of humor, and determination. (They even wear similar outfits in Uncharted 2 and Die Hard 4, respectively.)
- Even though Nate doesn't appear in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, he and Sam are mentioned by Nadine during her conversations with Chloe about their own individual encounters and affiliations with the Drake brothers. However, Sam himself appears as the tritagonist of the game.
- Nate doesn't take bullet damage in-universe. As the game's UI turns red, this actually represents Nate's luck running out. Once the luck runs out, a single shot kills him.