Rafe Adler is an American businessman and treasure hunter who serves as the main antagonist of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
A former associate of brothers Nathan and Sam Drake, Rafe initially allied with them to search for Henry Avery's lost treasure, later competing with the two after he lost trust and patience with both the brothers and wanted to claim it for himself. He also hired the services of Shoreline, a PMC led by Nadine Ross.
Rafe is voiced and motion captured by Warren Kole.
|“||Initially groomed to take over his family's business empire, Rafe Adler spent much of his youth consorting with the thieves, smugglers, and criminals in the black market antiquities trade. Now a respected businessman, he still makes time to seek out treasures for his collection. Thanks in no small part to the flexibility and power his wealth affords him, he usually gets what he wants. Cunning, cold, and quick to anger, he is not an opponent to take lightly.||”|
— Official Uncharted 4: A Thief's End bio.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's EndEdit
At some point before the events of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Rafe teamed up with novice thieves Samuel and Nathan Drake in order to uncover the location of Henry Avery's lost treasure. The trio used Rafe's wealth to buy their way into a Panamanian prison, as it was the easiest way to gain access to an old Spanish fort that housed convicted pirates who were to be hanged. The fort's highest cell held Avery's first mate Burnes, and the last remaining lead to the treasure itself.
In Burnes's cell, Nathan uncovered a small cross of Saint Dismas and hid it from Vargas, the corrupt warden Rafe had bribed. The trio worked out that the cross led to the Saint Dismas Cathedral in Scotland. After murdering Vargas when he discovered the cross and attempted to get a share of the profits, Rafe escaped from the prison with Nathan, while Samuel was shot and presumed dead. Afterwards, Rafe purchased the land around Saint Dismas Cathedral and Nate worked with him for a time, but eventually left after Rafe grew increasingly agitated in proportion to Nate's grieving. Nathan turned to a life of treasure hunting while Rafe continued to relentlessly search for the lost treasure. At some point, Rafe's parents either died or retired, and he took over their business.
Rafe is next seen at an auction at the Rossi Estate, where he is trying to buy a second, intact Saint Dismas cross. While in a conversation with Victor Sullivan, Rafe reveals that he has partnered with Nadine Ross, a South African woman who is the leader of the PMC Shoreline. Rafe, suspicious of Sully's presence at the auction, threatens him to stay well away from the cross. Nate, Sam, and Sully come away with the artifact after deceiving Rafe.
The story then proceeds to Scotland, where Rafe is using Shoreline's resources to comb through the Saint Dismas Cathedral. Sam and Nate make their way to a chamber designed by Avery to reveal the treasure's true location. It is here Nate realizes that the treasure wasn't just Avery's, but instead the culmination of renowned pirate captains' plunder accrued throughout the years, all kept in one central location, known as Libertalia. In the end, Nate and Sam find that the next clue is in King's Bay, Madagascar.
Rafe and Shoreline continue the hunt in Madagascar, tearing down every watch tower in the hopes of finding more clues. Nate, Sam, and Sully continue to stay a step ahead however, and locate the correct tower. Rafe then hacks their phones to gain access to their sent photos and messages, subsequently learning of Libertalia's existence. He then calls Nate to offer one last chance to step away from the hunt and leave the treasure for him. Nate refuses, and Shoreline attacks Sam as a result.
They then continue to track the Drakes all the way to Libertalia, where they quickly gain the upper hand in the search due to their sheer manpower. After a brief confrontation with Nadine, Rafe holds the brothers at gunpoint, and unknowingly forces Sam to reveal the truth behind his prison escape. Deeming Nate no longer useful, he attempts to kill him, but Sam takes the bullet while accidentally pushing Nate off the cliff - which leads the group to believe he is dead. Rafe then uses Sam as a pawn for his hunt, exploiting his knowledge of Avery, and as a result, they quickly find the whereabouts to Avery's treasure.
Though they eventually find Avery's ship and take millions of dollars worth of treasure, Rafe is adamant in keeping Sam away from the rest. Nadine refuses to go with him, as most of her men are dead and they have plenty enough treasure already. Rafe claims what they have is a pittance compared to what's left on the ship. Nadine reasons that if Sam can escape the booby-trapped ship alive, he's earned it more than Rafe has, causing Rafe to strike her.
After she retaliates and pulls her gun on him, her men turn on her. Rafe recovers, revealing he's used his financial advantage to turn her mercenaries onto his side. They venture to the ship with Nadine captive. Once onboard, Sam intentionally triggers the traps set by Avery, causing part of the ship to explode and trapping Sam underneath a wooden beam. When Nate arrives, he surrenders the treasure to Rafe, imploring him to let Nate rescue his brother. Rafe doesn't allow him to, and orders Nadine to take his gun.
After she does, she turns on Rafe and disarms him too. Before leaving them locked in the ship's hold, she points out the skeletons of Avery and Thomas Tew, claiming that their greed resulted in their demise. Nate begs Rafe to help him save Sam, but Rafe, fed up with the Drakes' sheer existence, ignores Nate and challenges him to a duel. With Nate at his mercy, Rafe starts to monologue, resulting in Nate cutting a rope that holds a treasure bag above him and crushing him to death.
|“||I have sacrificed everything to find Avery. And I'm not gonna let a couple of two-bit thieves... a senile con man... and a washed-up journalist take that away from me!||”|
— Rafe to Nate during their final battle
After spending a majority of his life searching for Avery's treasure, he believed himself to have earned it above anyone else. When Nadine suggested otherwise, he struck her in fury. He became utterly obsessed with the one thing in his entire life that he fought for, and became desperate enough to fight Nathan to the death to make sure it was his.
Rafe had shown himself to be exceedingly violent on numerous occasions, and, evidenced by his nonchalance, he saw murder and physical confrontation as an everyday resolution to obstacles and not worthy of further discussion. This is shown throughout the story, but specifically when he had killed Vargas after he attempted to blackmail Rafe, or his willingness to kill off Nadine if she were to disregard his commands. He also, whether aware of it or not, falsely claimed that he didn't betray his partners.
In addition, Rafe was quite patient, seeking Avery's fortune for years. He was quick to become agitated, shown when he threatened Sullivan at the auction in Italy. Rafe didn't often dirty his own hands, preferring instead to use others to gain information he couldn't obtain himself. He saw others as pawns, using them for his own gain. He used Nadine Ross and Shoreline for muscle, and the Drake brothers for Avery's treasure.
Vicious, calculating, and unhinged, his emotions tended to overwhelm his common sense — trapped on Avery's ship, instead of doing the reasonable thing and working with Nathan and Sam to escape, he chose to attack them instead. His death was caused by his own pride.
Abilities and equipmentEdit
Rafe appeared to be a skilled climber, brawler, and fencer. As shown in Chapter 2, he held his own when he, Nate, and Sam were attacked by Gustavo and his men; he also had no difficulty traversing the prison's walls and high buildings. He seemingly had a near-limitless amount of wealth, using Shoreline to look for Avery's treasure. Though not knowledgeable in history like the Drake brothers, Adler was cunning and suave, using it for his personal needs. He was also a proficient swordsman, as depicted in Chapter 22.
Rafe's personal sidearm was a nickel-plated and heavily engraved Colt M1911 with pearl grips.