|“||He was a patriot, a good father and one of the best man my family ever produced....||”|
|—Amelia Black, talking about her father|
|“||Raised by his Iroquois mother Nonahkee and uncle Kanyenke, Nathaniel helped unite several Iroquois villages into a confederation of shared interests and economy. But the rising conflict between the American colonists and the British forces him, and other Iroquois, to choose sides. As the continent descends into war, under whose banner will Nathaniel's wits and courage be tested?||”|
While he is first seen in cameo at the end of Act II: Ice in the Age of Empires III campaign as a baby, Nathaniel is first seen as an adult trying to make peace among Iroquois when the American colonies and the British descend into war, forcing various Iroquois to choose sides. However, his plans are disrupted when the Hessian officer Colonel Sven Kuechler kidnaps his mother.
After rescuing Nonahkee, Nathaniel fights alongside the colonists in the American Revolution, becoming good friends with George Washington. As the war progresses, Nathaniel and Washington fight together in many battles, and Washington helps Nathaniel chase and defeat Kuechler. In return, Nathaniel decides to keep fighting alongside Washington until the war ends at the climactic Battle of Yorktown, which results in American victory.
With Independence won, Nathaniel returns to his village as a poor man having spent all his fortune on clothes and food for his men. He dies in 1812, and a statue is erected depicting him in the final cutscene of the act. Then, Chayton Black is seen paying homage to his grandfather, setting up the plot for Act II: Shadow.
|“||Half-Iroquois son of John Black and Nonahkee.||”|
Nathaniel Black fights with dual-wielded revolvers and can use Hawk Eye and Eagle Eye; the former is similar to the one used by his father but has a longer cooldown, while the latter is similar to the one used by the Iroquois War Chief but does more damage and has a slightly longer cooldown.
Like other heroes, Nathaniel has many hit points, but if he falls, he will collapse instead of dying and need to regenerate enough hit points to be rescued by allies. Similar to Explorers, he can collect treasures and build Trading Posts, but cannot build Town Centers.
Initially Nathaniel wears Iroquoian attire and speaks in Mohawk like Iroquois units, but after joining the American Revolution, he wears European attire and speaks Modern English.
- Nathaniel is the second hero in Age of Empires III that has two different versions: an Iroquois Nathaniel and a European-looking version. He has different unit responses for each version. The first was Ká:nien.
- Nathaniel's in-game unit description mentions that he fights with a rifle at range. In actuality, he fights with dual pistols.
- In the Definitive Edition version of his character profile, one of the instances of "Haudenosaunee" used to replace "Iroquois" is simply "v", likely an error that happened while "Haudenosaunee" was copied and pasted using the CTRL + C and CTRL + V keyboard commands.
- Nathaniel's name may have been inspired by Nathaniel "Natty" Bumppo, the fictional protagonist of James Fenimore Cooper's pentalogy of novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Additionally, Nathaniel Black's in-game model somewhat resembles Daniel Day-Lewis's portrayal of Natty in the 1992 film "Last of the Mohicans."