The lights are on
In Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, a standalone game set about year after the events of Uncharted 4, a new duo of thieves are in the spotlight: Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. How did the two come to know each other, and why did Naughty Dog choose to pair them up? We spoke to Naughty Dog, along with the protagonists' voice actresses, to find out what makes these characters unique.
While we first met Nadine in Uncharted 4, Chloe is a fan-favorite and has had a reoccurring appearance in previous installments. The Lost Legacy marks her return since Uncharted 3, and Chloe has moved up in the treasure hunting business since then. She's no longer just a getaway driver who handles a fight well; she's also matured and evolved since we've last seen her, taking on bigger jobs with higher risks.
In The Lost Legacy, Chloe sets off to India and hires mercenary Nadine to help her track down an ancient treasure known as the Tusk of Ganesh. The two didn't know each other personally before the events of The Lost Legacy, but they knew of one another on a business level. It's similar to how Nadine and Sully knew each other, and crossed paths at the auction in Uncharted 4. Chloe reaches out to Nadine because of her particular skill set, as well as her business history. Nadine previously had a working relationship with Asav, an insurgent rebel leader in the region who acts as the main antagonist in the game. He has a key in his possession that the two need to retrieve in order to locate the treasure.
"Nadine has specifically had a working relationship with Asav in the past, so she has a tactical advantage of knowing how Asav operates," creative director Shaun Escayg says.
Chloe and Nadine are strikingly different in personality. Nadine is business-oriented and plans things out in advance, whereas Chloe is impulsive. However, they have at least one thing in common: they're both self-preservationists. The two have always put themselves first, and both are more comfortable in leading the show rather than taking orders.
"Chloe is very spontaneous, she goes off cuff a little bit, not necessarily planned," Escayg says. "[This is] unlike Nadine, who is very structured, very organized, and pragmatic. This allows for a really beautiful conflict."
This makes for trust issues, particularly near the beginning of the story, and how they overcome these challenges and how this relationship unfolds is the heart of The Lost Legacy. Will they be able to look out for one another in the end? One of the biggest themes in The Lost Legacy is sacrifice, and whether the two can look past themselves in order to achieve a mutual goal.
"Nadine already had trust issues her whole life, and she’s used to being in charge," says Nadine's voice actress Laura Bailey. "And the reason for that I think is because she doesn’t trust anyone else with that responsibility. So yeah, it is really hard to accept that Chloe knows what she’s doing, and that’s one of the biggest friction points between the two of them."
While Chloe has had success in the business since we've last seen her, Nadine has been struggling to rebuild what she lost. She's more vulnerable and desperate to regain her reputation and what she's lost since Shoreline, her private military company, has been dismantled. The Lost Legacy gives us more time with Nadine, who we only got to know on a surface level in Uncharted 4.
"In Uncharted 4, we didn’t get to see really any vulnerability from her, because she was always in charge of the situation," says Bailey. "And even when people got the better of her, she got them right back. I like that with this game, you get to see how she deals with things that are maybe harder for her."
Naughty Dog didn't settle on Chloe and Nadine as protagonists immediately. The team took months exploring other options and brainstorming ideas. For example, pairing Sam and Sully was briefly considered, though Naughty Dog soon discarded the idea as they felt Sully's age would be an issue for the gameplay.
"We need characters that are able and agile," says co-writer Josh Scherr. "Purely on a mechanical level, we know that Nadine is capable of doing similar types of things in this world and universe, but I think it was mostly because she was an interesting character. With those two strong, female personalities of Chloe and Nadine, who had never interacted before, we wondered: how would they interact?"
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