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Old 06-12-21, 03:12   #100
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,594

Thanks, Rai. Heh, of course! Right after I make my article update.


Moving this to its own post, more or less.

For anyone just joining us, I made an abridged history of Larson/Larsen's name.

The Search for Conway

1. 1995 - Vicky Arnold writes different drafts for the script of Tomb Raider I. In one such draft, she designates a man from Little Rock, Arkansas, USA as "Karl Larsen," Larsen being his surname. The first name "Karl" is not mentioned outside of one such draft.

2. 1996 - Prima release a strategy guide for Tomb Raider I, written by Nick Roberts. While Vicky's spelling of "Larsen" is used for the first encounter with him, curiously it's later spelled "Larson."

3. 1998 - Gary Whitta writes a screenplay of Tomb Raider: The Movie. This is not greenlit and is instead moved to Patrick Massett and John Zinman. A character named Milo Trevelyan features in Gary's screenplay, which he abandons.

4. 1999 - Precedence release the Tomb Raider Collectible Card Game. Larsen is a featured character in this again; his name is spelled Vicky's original way.

5. 2000 - The man from Arkansas returns in Tomb Raider: Chronicles' first flashback set of levels. In an official character render with his biography, his name is spelled "Larson." This is also how his name is spelled in his game model data and code comments. Prima release a strategy guide for the game, written by James Price, and spell his name in the same fashion. (Guide scans eventually posted by Zreen001 so LateRaider could verify for themself)

6. 2001 - The film Lara Croft Tomb Raider is released. A fansite dedicated to it called "" springs up. Gary releases his screenplay publicly to the fansite.

7. July 2003 -'s domain expires, taking Gary Whitta's screenplay with it.

8. October 2003 - Tomb Raider I is ported to N-Gage. The cutscenes are removed and replaced with scrolling text narration. Larsen's name is spelled in Vicky's way.

9. 2003-2006 - Somehow, fandom legend turns Milo Trevelyan's name into Milo Larson. With Gary's script gone, there is no one to refute this.

10. 2006 - Core Design, hoping for a chance to make up for the unfinished Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, start working on a PSP spin-off title called Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition, a remake of the first entry. Eidos do not officially greenlight the project, but encourage Core to continue working on it while informing Crystal Dynamics, who feel compelled to make a rival project. Within 10th Anniversary Edition, the model file of the American Southern villain is labeled "Larson." Ultimately, Crystal Dynamics' project is the one greenlit.

11. January 2007 - Tomb Raider: Anniversary is announced, slated to be released later this year. On Tomb Raider Forums, a user by the name of Jo269976 authors a topic reporting a statement by a user of IMDb's forums, Dr. Cheese. According to them, the Australian PC PowerPlay Magazine has revealed a list of characters to appear in TR:A, a "Larson Conway" among them. Dr. Cheese promises to return with scans.

12. January to June 2007 - Fan-made wikis and sites quickly add the "Conway" surname to almost any page about Larson, becoming another fandom legend--this time sticking so well it becomes almost common knowledge.

13. June 2007 - Tomb Raider: Anniversary is released. Prima release a strategy guide for it, written by David Hodgson. No mention is made of another name for Larson in either the game or guide. (Guide scans eventually posted by KillerZ so LateRaider could verify for themself)

14. 2007-2009 - "Conway" continues to be the commonly-accepted surname for Larson, despite no official media source.

15. 2009 - Mark Czajor writes a digital Tomb Raider: Anniversary guide for Gamepressure. In it, he designates a surname for Larson: "Dawson." This does not catch on outside of a few Polish fansites that source the Gamepressure guide.

16. 2009-2016 - "Conway" steamrolls ahead unquestioned.

17. October 2016 - Meagan Marie, the Tomb Raider Community Manager at the time, releases the book 20 Years of Tomb Raider to commemorate the series' 20th anniversary. In the Tomb Raider: Chronicles section, she notes how the Rome section opens with Lara being "tailed by longtime rivals Larson Conway and Pierre DuPont." Misspelling of Pierre's surname aside, this use in an official material cements Dr. Cheese's invented surname as canon.

18. 2017 - IMDb shuts down its forum, taking Dr. Cheese's topic with it, assuming it wasn't already deleted previously.

19. May 2018 - LateRaider replays Tomb Raider: Anniversary and notices that Larson is credited simply as "Larson." Thus begins the search.

20. June 2018 - LateRaider locates PC PowerPlay #135 from February 2007. It does not mention Larson.

21. July 2018 - LateRaider theorizes that Dr. Cheese never existed; however, they later find a thread on Lara Croft Online that linked directly to the now-nonexistent thread by Dr. Cheese. More plausible is that Dr. Cheese made up the "Conway" surname and never returned with scans.

22. September 2018 - LateRaider emails Roli on Raiding the Globe. They point them toward the Prima strategy guides; thanks to Zreen001 and paul123456, they are checked and verified, but ultimately lead to a dead end. LateRaider also emails Justin on; Justin accepts the request but is unable to deliver.

23. 2019 - Paul Douglas, one of the original developers for Tomb Raider I, is quite openly discussing behind-the-scenes information about the game and its planning. LateRaider asks about Larson's name, and Paul informs them that Vicky always spelled it "Larsen" and it was his surname. LateRaider goes on to ask corporate-employed Tomb Raider community manager Morrigan if she knows anything and does not hear back.

24. 2020 - LateRaider becomes curious about the "Milo Larson" name and finds the site on the Wayback Machine. They discover the "Milo Trevelyan" character's name. It is another dead end.

25. January 2021 - Enya Brennan brings it to LateRaider's attention that Meagan used the surname "Conway" in 20 Years of Tomb Raider, in a shocking conclusion to the search.

26. July 2021 - Tomb Raider Reloaded, the mobile app game softlaunched at the time, brings back Keeley Hawes--Lara's voice actress from the Legend Trilogy and the Lara Croft side series--to voice cutscenes. In the scene added to build 0.9.0, TRR writer and director Ed Perkins has written a script in which the man from Arkansas is called "Larson Conway." LateRaider brings their research to his attention, sparking the possibility of a script revision. If this is not changed, it would further cement Conway's canon status, elevating the fan-canon name.

27. October 2021 - This date saw the release of Tomb Raider: The Official Cookbook and Travel Guide, co-written by Sebastian Haley, Tara Theoharis, and community manager Meagan Marie. In it, a quote is attributed to Larson Conway, further cementing the canonization of Dr. Cheese's invented surname.

28. November 2021 - KillerZ brings it to LateRaider's attention that now hosts design documents for TRI; the Karl Larsen name is there to see freely.

29. December 2021 - thetreeble gives the "Larson Conway" cookbook information to Rai, who passes it to LateRaider in December of this year. The name is looking more and more canon.

30. March 2022 - Ed Perkins left Square Enix. It is unknown if the Conway surname will be kept. Given that it's an insignificant detail, it's likely.

31. May 2022 - Crystal Dynamics (and therefore Tomb Raider) are sold to Embracer Group. Tomb Raider Reloaded's fate is unknown, but as of this writing appears to still be in development.

31. February 2023 Tomb Raider Reloaded releases proper. The Conway surname is kept. The name has officially ascended to canon. Congratulations, Dr. Cheese; you even fooled official devs.

Current Status

The name originated as Karl Larsen in a 1995 script for TRI, but this first name didn't appear in-game. The surname, however, shifted spellings from Larsen from 1995-2000 to Larson from 2000-2003, where there was a short-lived return to form in the N-Gage port. Amidst all this, Milo Trevelyan became "Milo Larson" in the fandom, but this is quickly forgotten as Gary Whitta's script is lost.

He became Larson again starting in 2007, where Dr. Cheese used the TR: Chronicles supplementary materials' spelling, and designated a surname. Due to a number of factors (Sheer luck, wishful thinking, etc.), this spreads like wildfire throughout the fandom at large and it more or less becomes widely-accepted canon. The name is spelled as "Larson" in TR: Anniversary (With no sign of the Conway surname) and never appears in the series from there on. A walkthrough site tries to give him the surname "Dawson," but said attempt fades into obscurity rather quickly.

I decide to investigate and debunk several myths ("Conway" is not official and did not come from PC PowerPlay; it was originally spelled "Larsen"; there is no "Milo Larson"). There is still no lead on the origins of "Conway". However, Meagan Marie pointedly drops the full name "Larson Conway" in her books 20 Years of Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider: The Official Cookbook and Travel Guide, meaning that it has been adopted into canon. Further, as of this writing Tomb Raider Reloaded includes a cutscene written by Ed Perkins, where Larson is called "Larson Conway." However, Ed has left Square Enix, and Tomb Raider was sold to Embracer Group besides.

TR Reloaded at last saw release Feb 14 2023, and with it saw the name "Larson Conway" spelled out in that exact fashion. The name is officially canon.

Last edited by LateRaider; 16-02-23 at 07:35.
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