Not much is known about Rafael's early life except that he was born in the wild, watched his father hunt monkeys for food and was captured by humans before being released by Caesar. Caesar later assigns him to work with another wild born named Furaha to look for food for his fellow apes while the rest of the apes continue to hide from the humans. He later became one of the first apes to help teach Caesar and the rest of the apes how to hunt for food.
After the humans believe they are dead, Rafael joins Caesar's newly built colony and makes a life for himself. He eventually settles down with another chimp named Cleo when she becomes pregnant with his children. Rafael became a father to a chimp named Flint but their other child was stillborn. After the colony rediscovered humans living nearby and Caesar was supposedly shot and killed by humans, Rafael joined the assault on the human city lead by Koba. During the battle Rafael is killed in the assault not knowing that it was actually Koba that tried to kill Caesar.
- Rafael's name is misspelled as "Rapheal" in Planet of the Apes: Caesar’s Story, though this could be considered a mistake on the part of the author, Maurice.