Samantha "Sam" Nishimura is the Documentary Producer/Translator of the Endurance's expedition, being in charge of filming all the material and the video editing.
Sam has mixed heritage, being Japanese on her father's side, and Portuguese on her mother's side, though she holds an American citizenship. Thanks to her rich parents, who regularly give her money, Sam has quite the expensive lifestyle, obsessing over designer clothes and far-away trips.
Early life Edit
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.
Sam attended UCL Sam choosing to study film, specializing in documentary filmmaking and cinematography. Where she met Lara Croft, on a chance encounter. Despite the pair being polar opposites, they became great friends, Sam caused Lara to become less introverted by taking her to nightclubs, attempting to bring out Lara's "Inner Party Girl", It's because of Sam, Lara saw more than just libraries during her time at University.
At some point the pair embarked on at least one backpacking trip. Going to locales, such as the Mt. Kilimanjaro, Bulgaria and The Great Wall of China.
Expedition to Yamatai Edit
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.
During the voyage, Sam began recording various activities on the ship, ranging from the ship's cook Jonah teaching Whitman how to gut a fish, (which he hated), to its helmsman, Grim, claiming he met the Loch Ness Monster. In secret, Sam began recording Lara, wanting to make sure she got the credit she deserved. She also quickly grew tired of Whitman's egotistical and condescending nature, though she believed he'd calm down once they reached Yamatai. As they got closer to the Island, Sam began feeling a sense of dread. Initially she brushed it off as nerves but she began to realize it was something else.
When the Endurance is hit by a storm and begins to sink, Sam makes it to shore on her own, and ends up stranded alone. Sam spends at least one day on her own. She encounters a man, who claims his name is Mathias, and he leads her to believe he is trustworthy, even offering to tend to her injured foot. In return Sam tells Mathias of the story of Himiko, leading Mathias to believe that Sam is the key to getting off the island. Whilst telling him the story, Lara comes upon their camp site, and Sam continues her story. Once Lara falls into a deep sleep, Mathias kidnaps Sam, much to Lara's horror when she awakens. Sam manages to steal a radio from a guard and contacts Lara. She begs 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 member holding the torch, but is beaten by the other enraged Solarii members. Mathias lights the pyre, only to have a powerful gust of wind blow the fire out. Mathias proclaims that Sam is the one (the 'key' frequently mentioned throughout the game) they have been waiting for, and Sam is once again separated from Lara as the Solarii take her away and momentarily disarm Lara.
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 honor, but she refuses to believe it. After Mathias leaves her with a guard, Lara kills the lone Solarii guard and rescues Sam. Lara and Sam encounter Whitman and Mathias, with the the doctor appearing to be captured. Retreating back into the main chamber, Lara urges Sam through an entryway and into a hallway before the debris from the burning building separates them.
Sam heeds her friend's advice to escape ahead of her. Sam encounters several Solarii, who attempt to recapture her, she takes a pistol from a fallen Solarii and threatens them with it, but they don't listen to her and advance. With no other option, Sam kills one of them and flees. 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. After Reyes leaves to fix a boat, Lara tells the others that she's not ready to leave Roth. Sam stays behind, and offers Lara a hug, and tells her to come to the beach when she's ready. Lara gives her one of Roth's pistols, and tells her to keep it close. Sam follows the others and leaves Lara to mourn Roth.
Lara later joins them, and Sam and Jonah hug her. Sam attempts to help, though ends up discharging a machine gun, much to Reyes' annoyance. After this Reyes presumably makes Sam stay out of the way. Sam finds an old copy of Robinson Crusoe to read. Whitman arrives on the beach and Sam and the others crowd around him, believing that the Solarii are after him. After a brief altercation, Lara heads to the Endurance to find Alex. Sam stays with the group.
The group later hears a massive explosion, and fear for the worst. However Lara returns with Reyes tool's after the sun has set. Sam realizes that Alex had died, and is deeply saddened to have lost another friend.
Whitman talks about how they'll have quite a tale to tell when they return to civilization, though Sam is no longer keen on her alleged heritage, and hopes to never hear the name Himiko again, and wants to forget. After a brief verbal exchange, between Lara and Reyes, Lara leaves again to search the nearby bunker. Sam assures Lara that she won't leave without Lara.
Sam attempts to get some sleep. Some time later, The Solarii attack the group, injuring Reyes. Whitman kidnaps Sam and hands her over to Mathias. Sam is forced into a ceremonial gown by Mathias and taken to the Monastery, along with Whitman. Mathias uses Whitman to distract the guards, and sneaks into the Monastery with Sam. They are followed by Lara.
Lara catches up to them, after a while, and Mathias holds Sam at the behest of his bladed staff, to keep Lara from coming any closer. However after lightning strikes causing a fire, Lara is cut off from them, and Sam is taken to the top of the monastery.
Mathias brings Sam to Himiko's previous body. Mathias calls out to Himiko, saying that he has brought her the vessel she sought. The decaying corpse comes to life, and her soul begins to transfer to Sam, who is powerless against it, and rendered unconscious, as Lara battles her way to her friend. Lara is able to kill Mathias and destroy Himiko's remains.
Sam regains consciousness, with Lara looking over her. Sam is grateful, for Lara saving her life. With the curse lifted, the storms end, and the sun cuts through the clouds. Severely weakened, Sam is unable to walk, and Lara carries her down to the boat. Jonah takes Sam from Lara, and lays her down. With the storms no longer keeping them on the island, Sam and the surviving Endurance crew members to leave the island. They are later picked up at sea by a passing freighter.
After Yamatai Edit
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In the weeks following Yamatai, Sam wakes from a nightmare, which Lara shows concern for, and notices a hand shaped bruise on Sam's arm. Lara tries to talk to Sam about Yamatai, but Sam refuses and snaps at Lara. A few days later, Sam returns home after grocery shopping to find the flat ransacked and gets kidnapped again by a cult who worshiped the Solarii. Sam tells them that Lara will come for her no matter what, and rescue her, and kill her captors, just like she did to the real Solarii. Though they later revealed to Sam, that she was just being used as bait to lure Lara to Yamatai, as she was considered a "guardian" and was to be sacrificed to bring back Mathias. Sam inadvertently caused Mathias' resurrection, when she attacked Matsu over the seal, that the ritual was being performed on. Since Matsu was a guardian, his blood completed the ritual, and Mathias' soul possessed Matsu. Lara killed him again, and Sam escaped with Jonah and Reyes and waited at the beach for Lara to return.
When Lara expressed her intent to go to Pripyat to look for Alex's sister, Kaz Weiss, Sam was adamant about accompanying Lara, however Lara flat out refused, and went alone. When Lara returned with a new roommate, Sam and Kaz hit it off, and became fast friends, and helped Kaz change her look to make her harder to detect. Sam showed Moral support for Lara, when she was having doubts about appearing in Jonah's play.
Sam's work with a documentary crew is interrupted, when they are sent a ransom tape from Las Serpentes Que Caminan, claiming to have Grim, who they previously thought had died on Yamatai. With a two week deadline, and no way to pay the ransom. Sam concocts a plan for them to travel to Mexico, using the cover of shooting a documentary about the Chupacabra. Sam also sets up an elaborate ruse, using friends from her acting class to pose as herself and Lara.
En Route to the island via boat, Sam begins to act strangely, she is in an almost vacant state and snapping at Lara. When a storm approaches their boat, she jumps into the water. Lara attempts to save her from a shark, though Sam attacks it herself, by stabbing it in the eye with her ankh necklace.
While shooting the documentary, a local woman in the local village recognizes that Sam is possessed and causes Sam to pass out. Sam snaps at Lara, that Lara is treating her unfairly, and has been ever since they got back from Yamatai. Lara leaves to find Grim alone, leaving Sam with Jonah and Kaz. They were later captured by by Las Serpentes Que Caminan, Sam and Cuddy Grimaldi, arrive and rescue them, and Sam kills one of her captors with a machete. Much like the incident with the shark, Sam seems to not have any memory of the incident in the immediate aftermath.
In a near catatonic state, Sam looks in the mirror and sees Himiko in lieu of her own reflection. Despite Lara interrupting the ascension ceremony, Himiko successfully transferred a bit of her soul into Sam's body, lying dormant.
Upon returning home, Sam is cold and distant. Lara expresses her desire to help Sam, though Sam refuses, claiming she can handle her own problems, accusing Lara of running from her own problems. Whilst out for a run, Sam assaults a man who asked her for directions, and as a result, Sam is arrested. She is deemed to be a risk to herself and is placed within a mental ward. When Lara visits her, Himiko reveals to Lara that she has latched herself onto Sam, much to Lara's horror. In their last conversation, Sam tearfully said to Lara that no one can help her and said her goodbye. Since then, Sam has refuses to take any visit from friends and family, even Lara, even when the ward allows her to try to talk to her.
Bonded to Himiko's SoulEdit
Sam was due to go on trial for assault, though was deemed mentally unfit to do so. She was transferred to Halburg Institue, in Sweden, likely a decision made by her mother. Sam became friendly with one of the nurses, and was apparently doing well. However, Trinity took over the building, and Sam was placed in the care of Dr. Taffe, which is when Sam took a turn for the worst. Late one night, Sam, seemingly now fully under Himiko's control, killed a nurse and escaped with five other patients.
Though Sam seemed to be aware of what Himiko was doing, she was unable to fight back due to how much control the Sun Queen had over her body. What's more, is that Himiko's was seemingly "strangling" Sam's soul to gain as much control as possible. During this time it seems that other spirits, who were friends with Professor Morrow, (resent ally of Lara) were able to contract Sam while she was under Himiko's control though they were unable to help her during this time.
Breaking Free of HimikoEdit
As Himiko continued to make her way to Yamatai she was soon confronted by Trinity's forces and Lara Croft who had been tracking Himiko ever since she escaped the Halberg Institute. Lara fought with Himiko and was able to get Himiko/Sam out of the building so Trinity wouldn't be able to harm her. As they fought Lara tried to reach Sam, begging her to fight against Himiko's control over her but Himiko was able to fight her off and made a attempt to escape.
However, Lara was able to catch up with her and ran her off the road by launching a motorcycle in the van's path. With Himiko unconscious Lara took her to a barn where Jonah had place a the Mirror of Wei which was the only item that could remove Himiko's soul from Sam.
As Himiko and Sam began to gain consciousness the two began fight for control over Sam's body. Himiko demanded that Sam obey her and that her body belong to her before Sam was even born. However, Sam was able to fight against her and after breaking free of confines, using a knife that she had hidden on her person earlier, stabbed herself in her stomach, much to Himiko and Lara's horror.
With the sun rising up Jonah opened the shutters in the barn which bounced off all the mirrors in the room making it impossible for Himiko to open her eyes, without gazing on the mirror and having her soul extracted. However, Himiko refused to open her eyes. Lara then entered the room and told Sam to open her eyes as it was the only way for her to be free of Himiko.
Before losing consciousness Sam was able to open her eyes and Himiko, who was still conscious, was forced to look upon the Wei Mirror as the sunlight shone upon it. Himiko's soul was sucked from Sam's body and trapped within the Mirror, along with the countless others Himiko had used it on, ending the Sun Queen once and for all and freeing Sam from her grip. Sam was rushed to the hospital, and survived her self-inflicted stab wound.
At the hospital, Lara had Jonah give Sam a box of Jaffa Cakes. She meets with Sam's mother and tells her to take Sam somewhere safe, where Trinity wouldn't find her.
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 or to lighten the mood.
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.
Sam is shown to be quite clever and resourceful. After learning that "Grim" was alive she convinced Lara to let her, Jonah and Kaz come with her and was the one to form a plan to not only get to Mexico undetected through a combination of hiring actors that looked like her and Lara so that members of Las Serpentes Que Caminan wouldn't realize they had left their flat and going under the guise of "Documentary film crew" that were researching the Chupacabra to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
Sam is also very brave as shown when she offered to go with Lara to help save Kaz when Lara learned that she was in danger and the only reason she did not go was because Lara requested her to remain home and again when she helped Lara rescue "Grim" from Las Serpentes Que Caminan. When held captive by the Solarii Worshipers Sam mocked them stating that she knew Lara would come for her no matter what.
Another example of her bravery was shown during her final confrontation with Himiko. As the two fought for control of Sam's body and soul, Sam, likely realizing that Himiko had to be stopped no matter what, stabbed herself in the stomach in an attempt to finish Himiko once and for all. And during her final battle with Himiko, Sam, trusting Lara's words, opened her eyes to look upon the Wei Mirror, even though there was a good chance of her own soul being drawn into the Mirror in alongside Himiko's.
Sam is fiercely loyal and protective of Lara, calling out Reyes for blaming Lara for Roth's death and stated that she wouldn't leave Yamatai without Lara. When it seemed that the Solarii Worshipers were about to kill Lara, Sam stated that she would let Himiko take over her body and soul willingly if it meant that Lara would live. When Lara was held captive by Leticia Cortez, Cortez suspected that Sam would venture into the jungle herself to rescue Lara from the Las Serpentes Que Caminan.
After Himiko had transferred part of her soul to Sam she began change and act strange. She begins to suffer from violent outbursts, blackouts and being very distant. One of the results of which, Sam assaults a man, and ends up being imprisoned in a mental institution.
Sam is incredibly strong willed as shown when she and Himiko fought for control for her body after Lara had captured her. While Himiko managed to suppress Sam's own thoughts and take complete control of her body for days at a time, Sam was able to break through on a number of occasions and even directly managed to push back against Himiko's even as she demanded Sam obey her.
Appearance and Attire Edit
Sam shows her mixed heritage physically, as her features do not completely give away her nationality, She is quite beautiful, is shown to take pride in her appearance, and is up to date with fashion trends. She wears her hair in a short bob cut, when she first met Lara, the left side of her head was shaved.
She is one of only two characters to have two outfits in game (Not counting Lara's DLC outfits)
Her first consists of a Brown, short sleeved leather jacket, a black v-neck t-shirt, white skinny jeans, and brown biker style boots with a heel to them.
Her second is a simple ceremonial robe (which was probably just made from salvaged cloth) and flowered headband. She also hand bands around her wrists and ankles.
- Despite believing herself a descendant of Himiko, it is far more likely that she is the descendant of a family, who left Yamatai before the fall of Himiko, as it is implied Himiko never had any direct family, since she chose her own successors, who she would transfer her soul into, as opposed to passing it down by blood.
- In issue 12 of the second run of Dark Horse Comics, Himiko refers to Sam as a "traitor" confirming that her family did at one point reside on Yamatai, and escaped before Himiko's fall.
- 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. However it's highly probable she has multiple cameras, given how Lara describes her as "a camera nut."
- Arri Alexa cameras typically cost tens of thousands of dollars, which is a prime indicator of Sam's family's wealth.
- Oddly, at the end of the game, Sam is seen wearing her normal outfit on the freighter, despite wearing the ceremonial attire when she had been rescued.
- 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, or alluded to during the game.
- However, Sam could be bisexual, as it is stated that she is interested in men, in one of the documents that can be found.
- 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.
- However, it is likely that Sam only possesses US and/or Portuguese citizenship as Japan's strict nationality law does not permit dual/multiple citizenship therefore, Sam (in accordance to Japanese nationality law) would have to renounce and/or lose her Japanese citizenship in order to retain her US and/or Portuguese citizenship's.
- Though not as much a bibliophile as Lara. Sam does enjoy reading. Her favorite story is Pride and Prejudice, and she read a copy of Robinson Crusoe, she found whilst on Yamatai to pass the time.
- By the time of the comics, Sam is working for a film crew, working on at least one documentary about gas leaks.
- She also appears to be going through financial difficulty, claiming she can't afford to fly first class, on their trip to Mexico. She also claims her uncle will not give her money, after he lost his investment in the search for Yamatai.
- Sam has two actresses credited to her performance. It is unknown which actress provided which parts.
- Oddly Sam had a different voice in the initial trailers than the finished game.
- Sam is a favorite among players in multiplayer, as she is one the smallest characters/targets, making it harder for enemy players to hit her. She is also unlocked by default.
- Sam is the only character to have appeared in every comic book arc alongside Lara and Jonah, though only in visions the fourth arc.
- In her initial appearance Sam is clearly a brunette, which is in direct contrast to the comics where her hair is jet black. Her eye color also changes from brown to grey or blue.
- Sam's defeat of Himiko is very reminiscent of Hoshi's as she committed seppuku in order to stop Himiko from possessing her, though Sam ultimately survived the ordeal.
- Sam is one of the three characters to have appeared on covers of the Tomb Raider Dark Horse tie-in comics aside from Lara, the other two being Himiko and Reyes. Sam has also had the most appearance on the covers, three in total.