The Uncharted series made the jump to PC earlier this month with Naughty Dog’s Legacy of Thieves collection. And, where there are computer games, modders are never far away, ready to put their skills into action.
One such modder is Raq (whose name you may recognize from our Tomb Raider Anniversary piece). They created the Elena mod for Legacy of Thieves, which, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, puts Elena in the spotlight by recasting series hero Nathan Drake as her wife.
I’m a big fan of the Uncharted series as a whole, and Elena Fisher in particular (you might be able to spot a post of her on my wall during Newscasts). With this mod particularly noteworthy to me, I reached out to Raq to find out more about why they jumped at the chance to bring Elena to the fore in the first place.
“I think Elena is a very important character in the franchise,” Raq told me. “She likes to adventure just as much as Nathan, but she knows her limits and we can say that she has stopped Nate from getting killed many times.”
Regarding the direction Elena’s character took in Uncharted 4, Raq said: “I think [the writing for A Thief’s End] shows that she really wanted to try to live a normal life, but in the end [Nate and Elena] both just admitted it wasn’t their lifestyle. I’m not entirely sure we won’t see them again. They’re iconic characters in the Naughty Dog world, so we’ll probably see them again in one of their games, if not another game about them, then a cameo or something.”
You can see Raq’s Elena mod (which you can try out for yourself via NexusMods) in action in the video below.
I agree that Elena is an important character, not only for the Uncharted series, but for video games as a whole. If I’m honest, I was always a little disappointed to see her character later in the series become more of a supporting role to Drake. I know many out there who believe that Uncharted 4 was the highlight of the series, but as much as I still love the game, for me it will always be one of my least favorite entries because of this.
Seeing Elena front and center thanks to this mod, while of course not the same as giving her her own game, is, simply put, pretty cool. I always hoped for a bit more from Elena’s character after her progressive debut in Drake’s Fortune – I just remember how amazing it was at the time to see a female character in a game that gave as much opportunity to shine as the male lead, but not in an overly sexual way.
But conversely (and I’m sure controversially) I felt that her character in Thief’s End ended up being used too much as a core for Nate’s overall character in a game where, if we’re being honest, he’s not the greatest of guys.
This general sentiment is something that Elena’s actress, Emily Rose, also seems to feel. On a recent episode of Couch Soup, Rose admitted that she found it “strange” that The Lost Legacy, the “Uncharted girl,” didn’t have Elena at all.
This does not mean that Naughty Dog without Amy Hennig (who created the Uncharted series, but left the studio during the development of 4) cannot write strong female leads. Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross in Lost Legacy are testament to that. The writing and character development here is brilliant, and I found myself more and more drawn to this duo as a new franchise pairing as I played – an impressive feat considering how loathsome I found Nadine Ross for much of 4. I’d happily see more. games in the future where these two take the lead.
Even so, I still hope we might see more of Elena in the future. I appreciate that her story tied in nicely with the conclusion of Drake at A Thief’s End, but Sony called the Uncharted prequel film the start of a new franchise. So, there might be the opportunity for some retrospective character development there…