View Full Version : The Numerous Lives of Lady Croft

20-12-10, 14:50

I felt it needed to be posted....

What kind of series needs rebooting twice over? Apparently one whose starrer can’t be given up on just because of “brand fatigue” (that’s a different point of discussion altogether). Lara Croft’s too precious to lose, you see, so much so that she’s had three different lives to live.

Here we lay out five key differences of the three histories of Lara, the three canon continuities we all had a chance to play and know of first hand. To detail, the First Continuity consists of the series of Core Design games, the Second spans Anniversary, Legend and Underworld, and Third starts with the new-era Tomb Raider brand, the one that stars the newly ****-drenched Lara Croft.

First point of difference or similarities, then:

5. Lara’s family background and (4) Lara’s education

In the First Continuity, Lara Croft, simply put, was a rich-ass kid with upper-class, aristocratic upbringing. She is the daughter of Lord Henshingly Croft, presumably a man of immense influence in British society.

As a young girl, Lara had private tutoring for education, and later on went to Wimbledon High School for Girls. While at Gordonstoun Boarding School, Lara was banned from shooting practice for showing “too keen an interest,” and would get into trouble for wandering off to the hills during netball practice. After Gordonstoun, Lara went to Swiss Finishing School, no doubt with the adventurous soul intact and passion for danger and adrenaline already throbbing.

Compare that to the Second Continuity, where Lara Croft, at a very young age was groomed and bred by her parents and education to be adventurous and athletic in spirit and passion.

Leveling-up Lara’s rich-kid background was a titular endowment from King Edward VI to the Croft bloodline in the 1500s. Daughter to Richard and Amelia Croft, Lara is the 11th Countess of Abbingdon where lies the Croft Estate.

It was cultivated in Lara to have interest in athleticism and the ancients; that is, as opposed to having an innate passion, albeit the rebellious kind, as it were in the First Continuity. She had strict Olympic-standard training in gymnastics and was her father’s apprentice as a practicing archaeologist.

This backstory is somewhat similar to the Third Continuity, where Lara had “a methodical upbringing” to purposely instill in her appreciation for ancient history and its tangible remnants. It was by means of “forgoing traditional holiday gatherings in favor of family excursions to archaeological digs,” among other things, that this was assured.

One marked difference of the Third Continuity biography from the Second, however, is that, while Lara was brought up to be an archaeologist at heart, more than anything else, she felt the burden of being a Croft. Too much esteem from upper-class society for too little work.

Unlike herself as it were in the Second Continuity, Lara “dreams of proving herself, but wants to pursue her passion on her own terms.” And so when an open invitation to enroll at Cambridge came along, Lara declined in favor of going to a university where she can “immerse herself in real-world experiences.”

3. Lara’s mentor

Setting apart the First Continuity from the two others is Lara’s raw passion for discovering the world. By no means did her family, her parents intend for the young silver-spoon-in-mouth lass to be the brute grave robber (we use that loosely) she’d grow up to be. It was by her own initiative that she even had the opportunity to pursue her interests: by persuading her parents to enlist her on a Cambodian expedition alongside famed archaeologist Werner Von Croy.

The mentor-apprentice relationship would prove to be troublesome later on in the series, but would culminate in the old man seeking the help of Lara Croft as he gets tangled in the dangerous search for the fabled Obscura Paintings.

In the Second Continuity, as it were, Lara would find no relationship troubles with her mentor, no rivalry to speak of at all, as the mentor, was in fact her own father. As Richard Croft was an archaeologist himself, young Lara would go alongside him from one dig site to another. This opened her eyes to the world of archaeology and honed her skills and interest in the field.

While Lara’s father in the Third Continuity was an enabler of Lara’s interest in the same, it was Captain Conrad Roth who would have a profound effect on Lara as an inexperienced adventurer. Here we detail why. But to put it succinctly, Roth was there when Lara transitioned from a mere student of archaeology to a hardened master survivalist, and somehow that to us makes him the more influential mentor.

2. Lara’s origin story as a tomb-raider

In contrast to the Third Continuity, Lara’s origins as a tomb-raider was literally a cold journey she had to take on alone. The story goes that Lara’s plane crashed deep into the Himalayas while on a return trip from a skiing trip. There were no survivors to account for, save for Lara, who at that time was only 18 to 21 years of age.

After two weeks of lone-trekking in harsh conditions, Lara came by a mountain village, finally a place of rest. It is said that there she came upon the realization that the suffocating upper-class British society just won’t do anymore; she thirsted for more adventure.

The Second Continuity echoes the same origin story, only some minute details are changed. Instead of being a grown woman, Lara experienced the Himalayan plane crash at the tender age of nine. While she and her mother survived, it would not take long until she found herself trekking snowy terrain by herself, as Lara’s mother would mysteriously vanish in a temple where they sought shelter.

Ten days of searching for help, much like the First Continuity, would bring 9-year old Lara to a mountain village called Katmandu, where it is said she made a polite phone call to her father to come pick her up at the remote location.

Whereas in the First and Second Continuities Lara would survive plane crashes on snowy mountains, in the Third Continuity, the element of tragedy would still hold, only here she’d survive a ship wreck on an uncharted island.

It is said that a storm pushes (or pulls) the Endurance, a research/salvage vessel captained by Conrad Roth, to an island off the coast of Japan. Lara had enlisted to join the salvage team in hopes of finding an adventure for herself, far from any place where she’d get top-class treatment no matter the location of the archaeological dig, simply because she is a Croft.

The mysterious island is home to hostile natives who wishes any visitors dead, or perhaps worse, captured and used for murderous ancient rituals. On this island, Lara will fight not for the profound pleasure of unearthing tombs of the ancients, their treasures and their secrets, but for that which is most important — her life.

Only after having accomplished this desperate goal will she become a hardened survivor, a master tomb-raider.

1. Lara’s motivation to be a tomb-raider

Tackling her origins may be all the rage now, as is the case for any other previously popular character and brand for that matter, but equally important is knowing what Lara’s motivation is for being a tomb raider.

For the Lara Croft of the First Continuity, the reason was plain and simple: for sport. She loved to do it. She took pleasure in doing extreme sports, in feeling the adrenaline pumping non-stop in her system. Raiding tombs and trophying ancient artifacts were merely bonus for her uncoventional, daredevil lifestyle. May be that’s the best word for it, actually. Lifestyle.

The Second Continuity Lara Croft had more profound reasons for raiding tombs. As an apprentice to her father, she wanted to clean his reputation to the archaeological and scientific community as it was tainted by what many saw as irrational, insane claims of hyperbole. After Richard Croft’s body went missing in Thailand, there was no chance for him to prove his ill-received assertions, a task Lara mightily and angrily took on.

And what might those claims be? That he knows where his wife, Amelia Croft, had disappeared to — somewhere along the lines of Atlantis, or the mythical Avalon, places Lara was intent on finding, not only to fix her father’s reputation, but more importantly, to find her mother, thrall or alive.

Whereas Lara wanted to get closer to the truth of her parent’s disappearances in the Second Continuity, Lara of the Third Continuity appears to want to do otherwise; she wants to distance herself from the legacy of being a Croft. She has her name made — “Lara Croft” — already regarded of with respect, respect she nonetheless wants to earn, not just simply have.

This is her motivation. She wants to make her own legacy, by her own means. She wants to experience the world outside the one she was brought up in — real and raw, no pretentions, no butlers or chaufers, or open invitations to the most prestigious universities.

And so at age 21, Lara, in pursuit of this goal, will experience a new kind of world first-hand, on a mysterious island, no less, with signs of danger left and right — a place that lives out stuff nightmares are made of. Sure, there will be tombs to raid, breath-taking vistas to take in, artifacts to uncover, but that all won’t matter, because Lara’s greatest pursuit will no longer be that of making her own legacy, but of literally, desperately making room to breathe to stay alive.

20-12-10, 14:53
I'll read it later. :p

Wouldn't this be more appropriate for the TR2011 section? :p

20-12-10, 14:55
I'll read it later. :p

Wouldn't this be more appropriate for the TR2011 section? :p

I was going to post it there, I accidentally posted here. Now that I think about it, it fits better here IMO.:)

20-12-10, 14:56
I was going to post it there, I accidentally posted here. Now that I think about it, it fits better here IMO.:)

It does? If you say so. :p

20-12-10, 14:58
It talks about all three incarnations of Lara Croft, not just TR2011, therefor it's general Tomb Raider. :)

20-12-10, 15:00
It talks about all three incarnations of Lara Croft, not just TR2011, therefor it's general Tomb Raider. :)

I haven't read it, so I'll take your word for it. :D

Seriously, enough about this. Let us allow peeps to talk about the actual article, now. :p

20-12-10, 16:35
Nice article, though I hope we learn soon what Lara's parents do/are exactly in the new biography. Putting my vote at antique collectors/dealers at the moment. Most likely not archeologists as they're not adventurous like Lara is.

20-12-10, 16:50
And I think this should be in TR 2011 section :p

20-12-10, 17:33
awesome article ;)

21-12-10, 10:14
Nice article, it puts things into retrospective. It now makes me realise how ridiculous the idea of a 9-year-old surviving on their own in the Himalayan mountains sounds. I know it's Lara, but come on. :eek:

21-12-10, 15:03
I read it, and it was really interesting and well written. It really shows that all three bios are different. :)

Though, there is also 2 other "Continuities"; the movie ones and the GoL one.
GoL is a huge question mark. It has some references to TRU ("thralls" written in her journal, when she says "nothing is lost forever", which could be about her mother) but it was developed at the same time as TR2011, so it a bit impossible to tell what "Continuity" it falls into. But, then again, it could be completely seperate from all and be in it's own universe.

The movies is a bit meh. It contradicts all the "Continuities" and, tbh, is really not worth dwelling on. Not because they're crap or anything, just because they're just some mindless fun, if you ask me. :p


21-12-10, 15:04
^I believe GOL is wherever you want, you can say it fit anywhere.

Just not in this new series.:pi:

21-12-10, 16:05
A mentor.
Survival at an early age.
Rich upbringing.

Those seem to be major elements in all three eras. I guess we just can't let go of the original ideas. The motivation though, interesting how it varies. There always seems to be a different endgoal (or lack of in the case of Core) for the eras.

Also, those are only 4. Not 5. :p