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. 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.
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 seen 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.
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
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.
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 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 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 leaves with her fellow survivors to find a boat on the beach they could repair to escape the island. Lara and Whitman rejoin them. 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 stays with the group when Lara heads to the Endurance to find Alex, and she is saddened to learn of his death upon Lara's return.
Sam attempts to get some sleep when Lara makes her way to the cliff base. The Solarii attack the group, injuring Reyes. Whitman kidnaps Sam and hands her over to Mathias. Sam is brought to the top of the monastery where 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 crew members to leave the island. They are later picked up at sea by a passing freighter.
After Yamatai Edit
Despite Lara interrupting the ascension ceremony, Himiko successfully transferred a bit of her soul into Sam's body, lying dormant. Several weeks later, when the group travels to Mexico, Sam begins to act strangely, being 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. A woman in the local village recognizes that Sam is possessed and causes Sam to pass out. After being captured by The Snake who Walk, Sam kills one of them with a Machete. In a near catatonic state, Sam looks in the mirror and sees Himiko in lieu of her own reflection.
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.
The Search for KitezhEdit
Sam is likely still confined within the mental ward, whilst Lara searches for a way to rid her of Himiko.
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.
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
- 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."
- 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 Japans strict nationality law does not permit dual/multiple citizenship therefore, Sam (in accordance to Japanese nationality law) would have to renounce and/or loose 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 favourite 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.