Character Profile: Lara Croft
Here’s a riddle for you. What do you get if you combined the X chromosome from Indiana Jones (before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, of course) with the X chromosome from Bruce Wayne, toss them in a blender with a just a dash of Annie Oakley, and finally pour the whole thing into the mold of a British supermodel? If you guessed Lara Croft, the star of Eidos Interactive’s insanely popular Tomb Raider franchise, you’d be absolutely right. For the past two decades, fans have joined Lara on her globetrotting adventures in video games, comic books, and even two major motion pictures, with a third on the way.
From the heights of the Himalayas to the depths of Atlantis, facing off against deities and doppelgangers or tigers and T-Rexes, Lara Croft has “been there” and “done that”. Gamers were first introduced to Croft’s world back in 1996, when video game publisher Eidos reached out to her with the tantalizing offer of bringing her various adventures to life as a video game, allowing gamers the opportunity to walk (and run and jump) miles in her shoes. The first Tomb Raider hit store shelves and, before long, fans couldn’t get enough of Lara Croft.
One game wasn’t enough to stave off gamers’ thirst for adventure and their craving for this new heroine. So Croft and Eidos expanded their deal, leading to the release of a second Tomb Raider game … and a third … and a fourth. Games started popping up everywhere, from PC to Mac, Dreamcast to PlayStation, Game Boy to PSP, PS3 to Xbox 360, and even now on iOS to Android and PlayStation 4 to Xbox One … if there’s been a gaming platform within the past twenty years, Lara Croft probably been on it.
None other than Angelina Jolie. Jolie’s look and attitude brought Lara to life on the big screen, not once but twice, in Paramount’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001 and the sequel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in 2003. Fans seemed to enjoy the live action take on Lara Croft, as both movies earned sizeable box office receipts. Even now, Warner Bros. and MGM have green lit a new Tomb Raider feature film reboot for 2018, with Alicia Vikander taking over the role of the intrepid adventurer.
After twenty years, Lara Croft still inspires people to overcome obstacles, to face their fears, to become better and stronger in the face of adversity, and to believe that they can accomplish anything. And Lara’s story is far from over. With her new movie in the works, an upcoming PlayStation 4 release of The Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the ongoing comic book series from Dark Horse Comics, 2016 is definitely shaping up to be The Year of the Tomb Raider. And the most famous spelunker in video game history shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.