Documentary Filmmaker, Producer, Translator
Samantha "Sam" Nishimura is the 22-year-old Documentary Producer/Translator of the Endurance's expedition, being in charge of filming all the material and the video editing. Her nationality is actually Portuguese, but she has Japanese citizenship. She is fluent in both English and Japanese. Thanks to her rich parents, who regularly give her money, Sam has quite the expensive lifestyle, obsessing over designer clothes and far-away trips. She is very close to Lara Croft, whom she has known for a long time.
Samantha’s mother was a Portuguese model who was working in LA when she met Sam’s father, a media mogul from Japan. Growing up she moved a lot, not just down the street, but between continents. This had a negative effect on Sam's behavior and as a result, Samantha was often the outsider in school, and gained attention by being a bit of a wild child. Because of this, she was expelled from many of the schools she attended, as well as nearly being in trouble with the authorities. Even her parents' influence had its limits, so they finally decided to enroll Sam in a boarding school. This is where she met Lara Croft.
Lara and Sam became great friends, strengthening each other's weaknesses. Sam and Lara grew closer over the years and when it became time to choose a college to go attend, they both decided to attend UCL. Sam studied film, specializing in documentary filmmaking and cinematography.
As Sam and Lara's education at UCL was coming to a close, they had an insatiable desire to go on an adventure. While Lara worked on the Endurance officially as a deckhand, Sam kept her company onboard and worked on her tan. Whitman hired the Endurance to come with him on a voyage to find Yamatai, but when his TV show's network pulled its funding, Lara called Sam for help, and Sam was able to bail out the expedition with her uncle's money in exchange for a cut of the profits and for letting Sam work as the expedition's cameraperson. She believes Lara is onto something, and she wants to be there to film it for publicity. She is also a descendant of the Sun Queen Himiko.
Surviving the ShipwreckEdit
Sam is one of the few Endurance crew members to survive the shipwreck. Her whereabouts are unknown until Lara stumbles upon her at a camp with a mysterious man, who introduces himself as Mathias and explains that he has been stranded on Yamatai for several years. Sam continues her story of Queen Himiko at his behest, and Lara falls asleep.
Once Lara falls into a deep sleep, Mathias kidnaps Sam for unknown reasons, and Lara does not realize her friend is gone until she awakens.
Sam manages to steal a radio from a man and contacts Lara. She pleas for help, and Lara assures her that she is coming to save her. Sam contacts Lara once more before she is discovered with the radio, and is abruptly cut-off from Lara.
Lara finds Sam tied to a pyre with Mathias intending to burn her. Lara steps out of the shadows and fires an arrow at the Solarii holding the torch, but is beaten by the enraged Solarii. Mathias lights the pyre, only to have a powerful gust of wind put the fire out. Mathias proclaims that Sam is the one they have been waiting for, and Sam is once again separated from Lara as the Solarii take the latter away.
Escaping the BaseEdit
Following the previous events, Sam is brought to the main chamber of the Solarii base where Mathias expresses that she has been given a great honour, but she refuses to accept it. After Mathias leaves her, Lara kills the only Solarii guard and rescues Sam. Lara and Sam encounter Whitman and Mathias, with the former appearing to be captured. Retreating back into the main chamber, Lara urges Sam through an entryway into a hallway before the debris from the burning base separates them.
Sam is given a gun by Lara and heeds her friend's advice to escape ahead of her. Sam encounters several Solarii, who attempt to recapture her, but Sam manages to escape them and reunite with the other Endurance crew members. Along with them, she witnesses the helicopter's crash with both Lara and Roth on board.
She and the other survivors make their way to the crash site to find Roth dead and Lara traumatized. Sam defends Lara when Reyes lashes out in anger at Roth's death, and thanks Lara for saving her.
Sam remains with her fellow survivors to find a boat they could repair to escape the island. Lara and Whitman rejoin them, but when Lara goes to the wreck of the Endurance, Whitman kidnaps Sam and hands her over to Mathias. Sam is brought to the top of the monastery so that Himiko can transfer her soul into Sam's body. The Ascension ritual begins, only for Lara to destroy Himiko's remains to save Sam. With the curse lifted, the storms end, allowing Lara, Sam and the surviving Endurance officers to leave the island. They are picked up at sea by a passing freighter.
Personality and CharacteristicsEdit
Sam is an outgoing, bubbly girl with a passion for adventure, a trait she shares with her best friend, Lara Croft. They have gone on a lot of trips together, although Sam was often forced to practically drag her friend away from her books to go out clubbing, meeting boys and the like. In this regard, the two balance each other out, with Sam making sure Lara does not become too much of a shut-in, while Lara keeps Sam's wild-child tendencies in check. Due to the way she was raised, Sam really cannot understand why Lara refuses to touch her fortune, and sometimes ribs her about it, but she does not let it get in the way of their friendship. Sam also has a bit of a superficial side, as seen when she comments that she "must look awful" after surviving some of the island's harrowing experiences, however this could also have been simply to have something else to talk about. .
Sam also appears to be quite clumsy. When the group was on the beach trying to fix the PT boat, she caused a machine gun to go off, much to the annoyance of the rest of the group.
As a consequence of the many times she has switched schools (and even continents) Sam feels out of place in the world, a sentiment she shares with Lara.
- As stated in the prequel comic, Sam owns the original Arri Alexa camera. However, the camera shown in the comic book is a different model to that shown in the game.
- Sam's last name could be a reference to Toru Nishimura, Lara's Japanese contact in Tomb Raider: Legend.
- Rhianna Pratchett has stated in an interview that a part of her would have loved to make Lara a lesbian, and that she liked how fans had speculated about the relationship between Lara and Sam. It is unknown if anything will ever come of this as Lara's sexuality is never directly stated during the game.
- It is possible that Sam possesses triple Citizenship, given her mixed Japanese and Portuguese heritage, and the fact she refers to herself as an American.