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Old 12-11-19, 01:01   #31
laracroftswest
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I don't wanna derail your opinions too much as they're really excellently explicated, but I couldn't think of a better place for such a deep-dive into the reboot trilogy and Lara's character. Happy to move this to its own thread if need be

Maybe I've been watching and obsessing over Buffy too much lately (probably) but I've started to draw a lot of comparisons between her and Lara. She attains the stylish attitude and wit as classic Lara but I find their main similarities more so lie in Reboot Lara, especially in Rise and Shadow.

We see Lara struggle with bearing the burden of being "the only one," specifically in Shadow. Countless times throughout the show, Buffy lays claim to the phrase "I'm the slayer..." automatically putting her in charge. We see this come into question in Seasons 3, 4, and 7 and I think we also see this come into question frequently in Shadow when we see Lara working with others who are just as skilled as she is. While the respective realms in which they exist would have ultimately been destroyed without their help, their overzealous protector behavior can come at a cost and hurt those closest to them.

Lara and Buffy both also struggle with mental issues thanks to what they've overcome. They've seen friends, parents, and plenty of innocent lives lost to the burden of them being the savior. Living with that reality has frequently taken a toll on them and we don't see that effectively remedied until the end of both series.

This brings me to my next point. Both of them also should pretty much be dead given their circumstances. Buffy's two deaths (and revivals) prove how she's always going to survive. Given "survivor" is such a pillar of the Reboot trilogy, and Lara was meant to die on Yamatai, after falling in the river in Rise, and should have been sacrificed in Shadow, she's proven herself time and time again how even though she's been through situations where she really should have died, she didn't.

Lastly, both of them seem to have found peace with the lives they've chosen to live and no longer feel this overwhelming burden and can finally accept their future. Buffy can move on from her past and feel the support of those who have helped her along the way, knowing this future is one she can live in. Lara no longer feels the need to protect her family's name but instead see herself as one of the world's protectors.

In the very last shot of Buffy, we see this depicted. In the last closeup shot of Lara in Shadow (pre-credits), we see the same expression. To me, these give the same feelings to the viewer/player.

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Old 12-11-19, 21:52   #32
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I love that comparison. And I see it, a lot.
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Old 14-11-19, 01:50   #33
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I'm sorry I've been quiet these past few days. I try not to make a new post unless I have an update since I have no way of knowing when someone else will respond. Also, side note, but I hope y'all like the new thread header LMAO.

I've gotten to the end of RotTR. That ending... holy hell, it was powerful. As Lara finds Ana in the Chamber of Souls, she proves that she has grown to the point where she now knows some secrets are better left hidden. Ana parrots back to Lara the ideals she had when she started this adventure. Lara reponds that death is a part of life. But interestingly, she follows up on Roth's lesson on loss versus sacrifice.

In Tomb Raider...

Roth: "Sometimes you've got to make sacrifices, Lara. You can't save everyone."

Lara: "I know about sacrifices."

Roth: "No. You know about loss. Sacrifice is a choice you make. Loss is a choice made for you."


In Rise of the Tomb Raider...

Ana: "What about your father? You're dooming him to be mocked by history. How can you let this go? When you're so close?"

Lara: "I'm willing to make that sacrifice."


Lara has now learned first-hand what it means to sacrifice. But it wasn't just Richard's reputation on the line. Destroying the Divine Source means the death of the Deathless Prophet, whose people have relied on his guidance for thousands of years. As Jacob lays dying, Lara says...

Lara: "I'm sorry. All I wanted was to make a difference."

While Jacob's platitude of "You already have" is nice, I don't think she took it to heart. I've been saying for a while now that RotTR showed Lara destroy the way of life of an entire civilization rooted in the Byzantium era. She had to sacrifice Jacob in order to protect them. While he did consent to his death, in the end it was by Lara's hand.

While many do think RotTR is the weakest in the trilogy since--in their words--it doesn't push Lara's character forward, (Which is a sentiment that I now disagree with) I think it's a perfect bridging game. It showcases Lara's survivor's guilt and hero complex still haunting her. It gives us an obsessed yet aimless and directionless Lara, who is trying to make peace with past trauma. It shows the growth of Lara learning when sacrifices are necessary. But most importantly, it gives Lara more mistakes to suffer under, the weight of more sins to hurt her so that she might be free in the next game.

In between the second and third games, Lara will: encounter a professor and a cult looking for a mysterious mushroom; free Sam from Himiko's possession and cut off their friendship for good; shift her obsession onto stopping Trinity, losing sight of why she wants to adventure; and meet what Trinity consider to be God--the ancient sacred Tree of Eden, whose bark has hallucinogenic properties.

And thus the curtain is drawn for Rise of the Tomb Raider. This game has asked us, "What does it mean to be a Croft?"

A Croft follows their heart; they do what they love without caring about their social status. They have an unshakable loyalty to their family, be it chosen or blood-related, and honor their memory in the best way possible. They know when to cut their losses and how to make sacrifices. But above all, a Croft aspires to be extraordinary; and the extraordinary is in what they do, not who they are.

I'm actually not quite done. I need to do a round of Cold Darkness Awakened (Which I do consider canon) and revisit Croft Manor. But I already know that I won't have anything to add regarding those. For now, I'm just eager to start New Game+ One with the Jungle in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

------

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[Trimmed for brevity]
Would you take away my gay card if I said I've never seen an episode of Buffy in my life? I do find the parallels between the two interesting, and it makes me wonder if Survivor Lara was inspired by Buffy in any way.
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Last edited by LateRaider; 28-11-19 at 04:41. Reason: lmao i am not playing deadly obsession why did i say that.
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Old 14-11-19, 02:56   #34
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Originally Posted by LateRaider View Post
I've gotten to the end of RotTR. That ending... holy hell, it was powerful. As Lara finds Ana in the Chamber of Souls, she proves that she has grown to the point where she now knows some secrets are better left hidden. Ana parrots back to Lara the ideals she had when she started this adventure. Lara reponds that death is a part of life. But interestingly, she follows up on Roth's lesson on loss versus sacrifice.


In Tomb Raider...

Roth: Sometimes you've got to make sacrifices, Lara. You can't save everyone.

Lara: I know about sacrifices.

Roth: No. You know about loss. Sacrifice is a choice you make. Loss is a choice made for you.


In Rise of the Tomb Raider...

Ana: What about your father? You're dooming him to be mocked by history. How can you let this go? When you're so close?

Lara: I'm willing to make that sacrifice.
This is a really neat observation. I see a lot of people discuss the lack of reference to previous titles in this trilogy, but I definitely think they're there...just not quite as obvious as one would see in a flashback or referencing specific events. I'm really interested in seeing what small nods you notice in Shadow that may not be as obvious to those not thinking about it. I love that Lara gradually has to understand sacrifice here and then delivers the ultimate one in Shadow. Truly full circle.

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Would you take away my gay card if I said I've never seen an episode of Buffy in my life? I do find the parallels between the two interesting, and it makes me wonder if Survivor Lara was inspired by Buffy in any way.
I highly suggest watching it. Hulu if you've got it. I watched it for the first time starting about 2 months ago and I'm so glad I did. She's an absolute pioneer for lead female characters with depth but you can also see a serious evolution in her, clearly a similar one I see in Reboot Lara. I won't spoil it if you do decide to watch it, but Buffy makes sacrifices later in the series she wouldn't have even imagined in season 1. Also you fall in love with the entire cast, who all are quite enjoyable -- something quite rare in a long-running action/drama series.
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Old 14-11-19, 12:43   #35
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Originally Posted by LateRaider View Post
I've gotten to the end of RotTR. That ending... holy hell, it was powerful. As Lara finds Ana in the Chamber of Souls, she proves that she has grown to the point where she now knows some secrets are better left hidden. Ana parrots back to Lara the ideals she had when she started this adventure. Lara reponds that death is a part of life. But interestingly, she follows up on Roth's lesson on loss versus sacrifice.

In Tomb Raider...

Roth: Sometimes you've got to make sacrifices, Lara. You can't save everyone.

Lara: I know about sacrifices.

Roth: No. You know about loss. Sacrifice is a choice you make. Loss is a choice made for you.

In Rise of the Tomb Raider...

Ana: What about your father? You're dooming him to be mocked by history. How can you let this go? When you're so close?

Lara: I'm willing to make that sacrifice.
This portion was so powerful to me, and it was something that noticed right away. I loved it so much, and how it was addressed.

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Originally Posted by LateRaider View Post
While many do think RotTR is the weakest in the trilogy since--in their words--it doesn't push Lara's character forward, (Which is a sentiment that I now disagree with) I think it's a perfect bridging game. It showcases Lara's survivor's guilt and hero complex still haunting her. It gives us an obsessed yet aimless and directionless Lara, who is trying to make peace with past trauma. It shows the growth of Lara learning when sacrifices are necessary. But most importantly, it gives Lara more mistakes to suffer under, the weight of more sins to hurt her so that she might be free in the next game.
THANK YOU. Exactly how I feel. While 2013 displayed a more of a physical, and confidence growth, I think ROTTR was the start of her dealing with her inner self issues. She no longer doubts of her capabilities like she did in 2013, but she stil struggles with her "new life" after what she's learned since 2013, and the turmoil that goes around her head. I still think ROTTR wasn't solely based on Richard. I think she was trying to prove it to BOTH him, and her. I really like how the story was approached
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Old 14-11-19, 14:34   #36
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Originally Posted by laracroftwest
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As a massive Buffy fan, this post was appreciated.

Great write-up. My mind went to “The Gift” when Lara put herself on the altar as well, and the peace found at the end of “Chosen” is an awesome parallel to draw. We stan queens in this household.

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A Croft follows their heart; they do what they love without caring about their social status. They have an unshakable loyalty to their family, be it chosen or blood-related, and honor their memory in the best way possible. They know when to cut their losses and how to make sacrifices. But above all, a Croft aspires to be extraordinary; and the extraordinary is in what they do, not who they are.
LateRaider, *chef kiss*, this thread is a delight. Lovely summary of Rise’s “Croft” theme, and great observations as always.

I’m surprised you won’t be covering Blood Ties as I think it enriches her character further. The little details like how she was a tomboy, probably got into fights with the other kids picking on her, was mischievous and rebellious (locking Winston in the freezer for saying “no” ), and always curious gives her a strong background, and some of it is revisited in Shadow.

Speaking of, I’ve been meaning to do a review of it to discuss a theme I think I’ve been seeing. Throughout Shadow, there’s references to childhood and youth, which ultimately lead to me see the game as a coming of “youth” story as opposed to age. Lara, rather than becoming more cynical and jaded as she gets older, seems to gets back in touch with her younger, more carefree side which was taken from her the day Trinity killed Richard. If intentional, I think it’s a nice direction for the writers to put her in, considering how grim her life has been up to this point.

Anyway, I was just curious if you’d see the same thing or if I’m imagining things!
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Old 14-11-19, 15:52   #37
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I love this

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While many do think RotTR is the weakest in the trilogy since--in their words--it doesn't push Lara's character forward, (Which is a sentiment that I now disagree with) I think it's a perfect bridging game. It showcases Lara's survivor's guilt and hero complex still haunting her. It gives us an obsessed yet aimless and directionless Lara, who is trying to make peace with past trauma. It shows the growth of Lara learning when sacrifices are necessary. But most importantly, it gives Lara more mistakes to suffer under, the weight of more sins to hurt her so that she might be free in the next game.
Well said! I know many people think that the game didn't address Lara's ptsd (hinted at by the cinematic trailer) but I thought it did, just not in a heavy handed way. I see the adventure itself as Lara trying to deal with her guilt.
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Old 15-11-19, 05:47   #38
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Thanks again for the replies, everyone. I firstly want to apologize for not making this clearer from the start, but this thread was actually meant specifically as a character examination of Lara. I do have a few thoughts on other characters, but they'll be saved for a separate post at the end of the third game.

Alright, let's get back into it.

Tomb Raider: An island expedition gone horribly wrong, resulting in the deaths of several friends. Lara needed to save her crewmates and loved ones.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: A journey to find answers on the supernatural that resulted in the death of the leader of a lost people. Lara wanted to redeem her father's name.

And so we come upon the third, the game with the biggest social aspect to date. There's a giant village and three smaller town areas full of people to meet and learn about their lives, their struggles, and their journeys. The Shadow of the Tomb Raider looms large as it casts a gloom over everywhere Lara goes. Since Siberia, Lara has become a famous as adventurer-archaeologist for publicly revealing the Temple of Aton (As side missions in the Mission of San Juan later heavily imply), but she's since gone off the grid. She and Jonah have been tracking down Trinity cells in South America and taking them down.

Her obsession has shifted from needing answers for the supernatural myths of the world. It's now about needing answers for what Trinity is after--and why did her father have to die for it? Unlike her prior obsession, this one has taken hold of her in a dangerous way. Despite that, however, she's still a good person as evidenced later.

We open SotTR proper (In Medias Res sequence notwithstanding) with Lara trapped in a cave. After she emerges--with a nasty leg wound--the first thing she does is smile. She loves this. She's become an adrenaline junkie. It's a simple expression, yet a perfect display of how much she's changed in the intervening three years.

And her obsession? It's grown to the point where she tries to avoid anything going on with herself, even physically. She deflects the conversation whenever Jonah asks about her wounded leg, desiring only to move on and continue dismantling Trinity.

After the tsunami, Lara shows a highly inappropriate reaction to the havoc it wrought upon Cozumel. Though she does try to save the little boy, once Lara sees Jonah all she cares about is the fact that he's safe. Immediately she starts raving about how they have to leave now and stop Dominguez now. She says it's all her fault and she has to hurry hurry hurry go fix it I have to fix it I'm the only one who can Jonah please let's just go.

That's why Jonah snaps at her. Rather than having a humanitarian reaction (Like the Lara prior to RotTR might've), she starts freaking out and thinking about how the situation relates to her, her father, and Jonah. It was so emotional to watch her to compartmentalize something she caused again and to be finally called out on it. Lara has ****ed up and isn't even owning up to it properly. There's admitting you made an irreparable mistake, and then there's blaming yourself because it's all you know how to do. Lara is doing the latter and has been for quite some time.

Her deflection continues in the plane before the crash, showing how her relationship with Jonah is starting to become strained. (In the comics, they actually broke their friendship for a year in The Ugly Art Chronicles--I mean, Survivor's Crusade. Perhaps they've never truly recovered from that?)

Later on, Lara ends up screwing Miguel over, too, as minor of a character as he is. Because she refused to turn back and land for one day, he was seriously injured and later mauled by jaguars. The burden of her sins bears down on her like the weight of the Earth, and she yet casts an ever-growing shadow.

------

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Originally Posted by laracroftswest View Post
This is a really neat observation. I see a lot of people discuss the lack of reference to previous titles in this trilogy, but I definitely think they're there...just not quite as obvious as one would see in a flashback or referencing specific events. I'm really interested in seeing what small nods you notice in Shadow that may not be as obvious to those not thinking about it. I love that Lara gradually has to understand sacrifice here and then delivers the ultimate one in Shadow. Truly full circle.
Ooh, that's a good catch. You're right. I actually have part of my analysis of the ending for SotTR written out regarding Lara's attempted self-sacrifice. I think it's an interesting take that adds onto my existing notions of SotTR's plot as a whole.

Also, I do agree with you regarding the trilogy's connections. I do wish there were more blatant ones and a bigger theme holding them together, but it's pretty good for what it is.

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This portion was so powerful to me, and it was something that noticed right away. I loved it so much, and how it was addressed.
Same here! I made the connection on my first playthrough but most people tend to miss it somehow.

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THANK YOU. Exactly how I feel. While 2013 displayed a more of a physical, and confidence growth, I think ROTTR was the start of her dealing with her inner self issues. She no longer doubts of her capabilities like she did in 2013, but she stil struggles with her "new life" after what she's learned since 2013, and the turmoil that goes around her head. I still think ROTTR wasn't solely based on Richard. I think she was trying to prove it to BOTH him, and her. I really like how the story was approached
While I do still think Richard could stand to be mentioned less, like... the bulk of Lara's discussion of him outside of Camp Journals is in Syria. Once you get to Siberia, Lara's mostly like "ME ME ME ME I DID THIS OH GOD OMG TRINITY OMG MYTHS ARE REAL?!" It shouldn't have been any sort of focus, IMO, but it's not as jarring as I once thought and others make it out to be.

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Originally Posted by Grimaldi View Post
LateRaider, *chef kiss*, this thread is a delight. Lovely summary of Rise’s “Croft” theme, and great observations as always.

I’m surprised you won’t be covering Blood Ties as I think it enriches her character further. The little details like how she was a tomboy, probably got into fights with the other kids picking on her, was mischievous and rebellious (locking Winston in the freezer for saying “no” ), and always curious gives her a strong background, and some of it is revisited in Shadow.

Speaking of, I’ve been meaning to do a review of it to discuss a theme I think I’ve been seeing. Throughout Shadow, there’s references to childhood and youth, which ultimately lead to me see the game as a coming of “youth” story as opposed to age. Lara, rather than becoming more cynical and jaded as she gets older, seems to gets back in touch with her younger, more carefree side which was taken from her the day Trinity killed Richard. If intentional, I think it’s a nice direction for the writers to put her in, considering how grim her life has been up to this point.

Anyway, I was just curious if you’d see the same thing or if I’m imagining things!
The reason I didn't discuss Blood Ties was because it was mostly about Lara's parents, and her remembering how much she loves Croft Manor because of the memories within. It's good growth but I don't necessarily think it's something that pushes Lara forward through her three game adventures. It's beautiful backstory, though, and I did like to see a different kind of growth: showing how Lara matured from a precocious little girl into someone hardened and mellowed by losing both family and wealth.

As for your "coming of youth" comment... Come to think of it, that makes perfect sense. Though Yamatai was something horrible to happen to her, it reawakened in her the sense of wonder and adventure she had as a child. And she finally gives into it when she returns home to write to Jonah.

Great thoughts, Grimaldi!

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I love this
Thanks queen ♥

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Well said! I know many people think that the game didn't address Lara's ptsd (hinted at by the cinematic trailer) but I thought it did, just not in a heavy handed way. I see the adventure itself as Lara trying to deal with her guilt.
Thank you. It absolutely is, and again, while I wish it was more blatant, that doesn't mean it's absent. Rhianna and Jill are better character writers than people have been giving them credit for and I'm sad that I'm only seeing that now.
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Old 15-11-19, 06:29   #39
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Ah, another good post. I'm curious how Classic Lara would've reacted in this scenario. Not that she had two ways to react but I feel like she would've been more inclined to behave the way Shadow Lara did versus 2013: seeing how it concerned her goals rather than the tragedy it has struck amongst innocent lives.
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Old 15-11-19, 07:56   #40
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Your post are really interesting and I dig the journey Lara take in every game.

Your explainations are on point. There's multiple way to read the evolution of Lara.

Have you read The Path to the Apocalypse ? It's the novel who take place at Cozumel after the tsunami and the plane.

Some aspects on it are really interesting.

I also love Grimaldi theory about the coming of youth.

Lara doesn't loose ''the capacity to wonder'' (Rise Richard monologue) also it's kinda the same in the movie.
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