www.tombraiderforums.com  

Go Back   www.tombraiderforums.com > Tomb Raider Series > Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-10-20, 13:58   #1
Grizzly Bear
Archaeologist
 
Grizzly Bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,685
Post Evolution of Reboot Lara through the Trilogy

Hello everyone!

I always see people here posting that Reboot Lara had no evolution through the trilogy, that Rise was useless, that Lara is just a “shadow of her father”, that TR13 could have been a standalone title because the other two games adds nothing to the story, and so on….
I think that this is such an interesting topic but I feel like people most of the time tend to talk about it in an excessively negative way and don’t analize it properly; so I decided to write a thread about Lara’s evolution as a character in the Reboot Trilogy in order to make it justice. This won’t be a summary of the plot, i twill focus on Lara’s focus on her father, on Trinity and on her character evolution.

1) TOMB RAIDER (2013 REBOOT)



At the beginning of the trilogy, we find a young Lara that has to face the extreme experience of surviving in the Island of Yamatai.
She is not focused on her father at all (Richard is barely mentioned) and we have multiple hints at the fact that Lara wants to stay away from her father’s shadow and make her own life (for example she decided not to study at her father’s college, she rented a flat and she preferred to have a job instead of using her family’s money).
However, there is another important father figure, Roth; his death is a turning point in Lara’s story, after that she is ready to survive on her own and to take care of the rest of the members of the Endurance.
At the end of the game, Lara is not the same girl we found at the beginning, she is a Survivor; moreover, she discovered that some myths (like the one about Himiko) are true and there are supernaturals events on Earth so she is ready to discover more about them (“I’m not going home”).

2) RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER



Things doesn’t go as Lara expected, mass media don’t believe what Lara claims to have seen on the Island and they label her as crazy, just like her father.
But Lara knows that what she has seen is real, supernatural events are real and in particular immortality exists; so she starts a desperate research using her father’s notes to prove that her father was right and that he wasn’t crazy (and indirectly to prove that she was right,too).
From now on, Lara begins to be obsessed with her father and with his works and research (especially his research on immortality).
Whats’s more, her journey crosses paths with Trinity, a powerful evil organisation that is interested in Richard’s research to gain the power of immortality and potentially rule the world.
Lara’s adventure begins in Syria and then continues in Syberia; Lara makes lots of shocking discoveries, she learns that Ana (Richard’s partner after Amelia’s death) is part of Trinity and that her brother, Konstantin, is an evil commander of the organisation; moreover, she discovers that the Divine Source (a mytical artefact capable of giving immortality) is real; she meets another immortal soul, the immortal prophet Jacob and she finds the lost city of Kitezh, where she kills Konstantin, she finds the Divine Source and at the end she destroys it, killing Jacob and the immortal soldiers in the process. (Ana is later killed misteriously by Trinity).
Lara returns home, in Croft Manor, and once again, she is not the woman we have found at the beginning of the game, she is not obsessed with her father anymore like she was after Yamatai, she doesn’t care about the media and about what people thinks anymore, she has a new goal: to stop Trinity, to prevent them from ruling the world and to get revenge for her father’s death.
Her final speech completely shows this new direction: “It doesn’t matter the choices he would have made, I have to make my own.
There are secrets out there that can change the world. I need to find them. Not for my father, not for anyone else.
Trinity is still out there […] I can stop them, I can make a difference, I can make the right difference”.

3) SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER



Between Rise and Shadow, Lara destroyed Trintiry cells around the world and at the beginng of the game we find Lara in Mexico, where she is looking for a knife called the key of Chak Chel following some of her father’s last notes that end abruptly because of his death (EDIT: Lara was looking for Paititi first, then she learned about the key of Chak Chel and the box of Ix Chel).
Here she also meets Trinity’s leader, Pedro Dominguez.
After finding the underground temple containing the key of Chak Chel, she makes a terrible decision (as she said at the end of Rise, “It doesn’t matter the choices he would have made, I have to make my own”), she grabs the knife and unintentionally she starts an Apocalypse.
Her Journey continues in Peru where she finds the lost city of Paititi and she discover that Dominguez is also Amaru, the leader of the evil cult of Kukulkan, whose goal i sto unite the key of Chak Chel and the silver box of Ix Chel to remake the world as they want.
Lara is not as obsessed with her father as she was in Rise, but she still thinks about her parents a lot, especially about her mother, who died when she was very young; she also finds out that Dominguez/Amaru was the one who ordered Richard’s assassination; this intensifies her hate towards Trinity to the point where Lara starts to lose control of her actions and kills their soldiers with a brutality she had never shown before (the iconic Pourvenir fight, where she lost her mind after thinking Trinity had killed her friend Jonah, too).
During the final battle Lara kills Dominguez/Amaru and gains the power of Ix Chel box, she gets the opportunity to nullify her parents’ death but she decides to keep the world as it is. This is a turning point in Lara’s evolution, she is ready to move on from the loss of her parents once and for all.
In the end Lara proves once more to be changed a lot since the beginning of the game; now she is free, free from her parents’ shadow, free from Trinity; finally she became the Tomb Raider, but she is the Tomb Raider in her own way, which is not about wearing shorts, shooting dual pistols or having her hair in a braid (which are things that may happen in the future, who knows, but they’re not essential), being a Tomb Raider means going on adventures and discovering the World and its hidden secrets (“I had it all wrong, I thought that taking control of my life meant venturing out and do something extraordinary, I thought I had to fix everything.
But the mysteries of the world are to cheerish more than to solve, I am just one of their many protectors. I’m not sure what the future has in store […] but whatever adventure is on the orizon, I can’t wait to meet it.
I’ll try not to take myself too seriously”).

I still believe that a lot of people are still not going to like Reboot Lara and her story, and that’s totally fine, everyone has his own opinion and taste, but she had an evolution as a character and I believe that she had the best one compared to Classic Lara or LAU Lara; now that she is finally free from Trinity and from her parents related issues, I can’t wait to see what adventures she will meet, if they improve the gameplay in the right direction, they could make lots of brilliant games.
I hope you enjoyed reading this,
Grizzly Bear.


BONUS

Rai made a great definition of "Being the Tomb Raider" as we learn from this trilogy, she explained way better than I tried to, so I'm adding her definion here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rai View Post
When it comes to Lara, I'd say being a tomb raider, has more to do with her passion for travelling and adventures, seeking out the myths and mysteries, and doing whatever it takes to do those things, which though slightly simplified in his statement, Grizzly Bear was spot on with. It's more what Lara does and the attitude that it takes to do it: "A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are". I actually believe that the Survivor games made an attempt to delve in to what that is, which is why, I think, they showed real life adventurers in the trailers and alluded to a couple in the dlc tombs.

[...]

At the risk of repeating myself, my perspective is probably more story based than yours. And that 'becoming the TR' is more than having progressed enough to wear the outfit and own certain gear. For me, the outfit and gear is the cherry on top. Lara Croft didn't become the TR by donning a certain outfit. No, she became the TR by being the best at what she does. She perseveres, she survives all that she has to go through, she defeats the bad guys, she alone succeeds where others have died trying (we've seen the skeletons), she gets the job done and gets the artefact/solves the mystery behind the myth.

If you're interested in a more in depth vision on the topic, Late Rider made a great analysis including a little bit of what happens in the comics and even some important DLC! Her's the link:
Quote:
Originally Posted by LateRaider View Post
Hi Grizzly! I love the thread so far. I hate to pimp my own work here, but I actually did my own analysis on Survivor Lara last year. I thought you and maybe others might be curious to see it? The collected version can be found here on Pastebin: https://pastebin.com/EX50Sbnv

Last edited by Grizzly Bear; 07-10-20 at 08:48.
Grizzly Bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-20, 23:17   #2
AntRaidsTombs
Relic Hunter
 
AntRaidsTombs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 6,397
Default

This was summed up beautifully! I will always love reboot Lara and I definitely see her growth, and she still has room to grow. I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for her story arc!!!!
__________________
“Sometimes the courage of one person can outweigh the cowardice of others.” - LC
AntRaidsTombs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-20, 23:27   #3
tlr online
Administrator
 
tlr online's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 58,587
Default

Thank you for posting Grizzly Bear.
tlr online is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-20, 02:29   #4
Error96
Archaeologist
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Huddersfield, UK
Posts: 1,023
Default

I think you have put things together in a very good way and tried to find to create a more positive evolution narrative for reboot Lara's arc. I may not quite see the progression you do especially with Rise Lara but your attempt is appreciated. Myself I found her to progress more in the first half of the TR movie than by the end of the game trilogy as it seemed to let her enjoy things so you got to see her confidence more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzly Bear View Post
finally she became the Tomb Raider, but she is the Tomb Raider in her own way, which is not about wearing shorts, shooting dual pistols or having her hair in a braid (which are things that may happen in the future, who knows, but they’re not essential), being a Tomb Raider means going on adventures and discovering the World and its hidden secrets
This is the one bit I really don't agree with. Becoming the Tomb Raider is not about some vague abstract concept of 'she goes on adventures', which could equally apply to any character. She did this in 2013 and we need more now. Wielding the duals, wearing the shorts, having the braid etc plus the associated sassy attitude are important to 'becoming the Tomb Raider' and provide a symbolism of her progression. It's a shame as this bit of your post heavily detracts from an otherwise interesting and well chronicled analysis.
__________________
Go team GOLD - It's time for Lara to get her dual pistols back

Last edited by Error96; 02-10-20 at 03:50.
Error96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-20, 02:43   #5
Rai
Moderator
 
Rai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: In a bubble outside the universe
Posts: 33,798
Default

There are times when I wonder if I've played the same games as some people who seem to have failed to see Lara's character arc she goes on throughout the trilogy. Your summary is a pretty good explanation . I do think Lara made the least progress in Rise where she seemed the most monotone, but the progress is still there.

I do have one niggle with your write up. I don't recall Lara searching for the dagger of Chak Chel from the beginning, and not because her dad had first. I think we learn that he'd been researching Paititi, and would have exposed the city to the world, which was Amaru's reason to have him killed, but I don't think he knew about the dagger. Lara finds the dagger almost by chance.

I'm with AntRaidsTombs, I can't wait to see what's next for SLara.

Edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Error96 View Post

This is the one bit I really don't agree with. Becoming the Tomb Raider is not about some vague abstract concept of 'she goes on adventures', which could equally apply to any character. She did this in 2013 and we need more now. Wielding the duals, wearing the shorts, having the braid etc plus the associated sassy attitude are important to 'becoming the Tomb Raider' and provide a symbolism of her progression. It's a shame as this bit of your post heavily detracts from an otherwise interesting and well chronicled analysis.
I wasn't going to reply to this, but no one else has replied to the thread and tbh, your original reply I saw yesterday has been playing on my mind. I can see you've edited now to elaborate a bit more. Needless to say, I disagree somewhat.

I can agree, that specifically to Lara, the outfit (the top and shorts), her gear (dual pistols) and the sassy attitude are what is most recognisable and (fairly) unique to the character of Lara Croft. People expect to see it or a version of it in any of the games and I can see, even outside the immediate fan base, it's expected and was hoped for in the Survivor era. Maybe we'll see it eventually now SLara has gone through her origins story.

Having a 'look' is one thing, but I disagree with your point that these things are part of what it takes to be 'become a Tomb Raider'. Clothes only have an effect on whether they're recognised in say, a certain job or vocation. For instance, a person does not become a police officer by putting on the uniform, or even carrying the radio, a notepad and a taser or gun. No, they go through training, learn the ropes on the job and do policing. The uniform helps others to recognise that they are a police officer and so will know they are working. I'd say a certain personality and attitude also works in their favour; not everyone could do it. When it comes to Lara, I'd say being a tomb raider, has more to do with her passion for travelling and adventures, seeking out the myths and mysteries, and doing whatever it takes to do those things, which though slightly simplified in his statement, Grizzly Bear was spot on with. It's more what Lara does and the attitude that it takes to do it: "A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are". I actually believe that the Survivor games made an attempt to delve in to what that is, which is why, I think, they showed real life adventurers in the trailers and alluded to a couple in the dlc tombs. As it takes a certain kind of person to be a police officer, it takes a certain kind of person to do what Lara does. SurvivorLara learned to accept that she is that kind of person, though she had to overcome a few emotional obstacles to get there. And also, doing the things she does takes certain skills and knowledge. Reboot Lara was put through the paces throughout the trilogy to get those skills, the knowledge and mindset.

Gear, such as dual pistols can of course help Lara with doing what she does, though I'd argue that fighting enemies isn't part of the actual tomb raiding, exactly, rather having enemies is a consequence of what she does and there are rivals etc. When I think of a 'typical' archaeologist adventurer in terms of clothing, I think of Indiana Jones or Rick O'Connell and Evelyn Carnahan from The Mummy franchise, or, Werner Von Croy. Which is why Lara stands out a bit with her bluish top and brown shorts. In this she is recognisable as her, but it does not help in being the sort of person it takes to do what she does in being a tomb raider. I'd say these things, along with the sass, is the surface level, even superficial parts of her characterisation.

Sorry for the long paragraphs .
__________________
They're=they are; Their=it belongs to them=their house; There=Look over there!

Last edited by Rai; 03-10-20 at 20:33. Reason: additions and corrections
Rai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-20, 14:12   #6
jackoimina
Explorer
 
jackoimina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Posts: 849
Default

That's a beautiful overview of the trilogy! I don't think that the execution of these plotpoints and character moments was done as well as you now explained it in your OP but yes, those moments and details were there.

I believe the trilogy suffered first and foremost because it wasn't planned as a trilogy from the get-go at least not in this shape and form. Lara has the clearest progression in the first game, she changes and evolves from the scared girl to a dual-weilding badass killing Mathias and escaping the island.

You described Rise nicely as well but I think this is the biggest misstep in the trilogy, this whole game. Sounds concise and straightforward and pretty good actually in your paragraph but when this was stretched over 15hrs of main story with poorly written, forgettable and completely mishandled characters (Ana, biggest wasted potential in trilogy imo) than it's a different thing. Good on paper, bad execution. Rise has next to zero impact on LC and the trilogy storyline so much so that it's barely referred to in the next game, Shadow. Lara does say at the ending of Rise that she is making her own path free from her fathers shadow etc (unearned, this growth was never felt and seen in the story and gameplay itself, only in her telling us this - it should always be 'show don't tell' though) but than:

In Shadow she is back to chasing her dad's project, clearing his name, avenging his death, the one flashback is about his murder again, the very ending is about her freeing herself from his shadow and letting her parents go - again, after entirety of Rise and after the Rise DLC as well. This is why I always say Rise is a completely skippable chapter in the trilogy because it's most important points are repeated in Shadow and done much much better showing (not telling) the plot's impact on Lara's character and impacting the player as well.

Overall, I love this trilogy and accept it's negatives with many more positives it has. I can't wait to see what happens next and where is TR gonna go from here, I only hope whoever is working on the next game (please be EM or give the chance to a new studio, fresh blood) they realise that in addition to amazing graphics and combat and environments characters (both main and supporting) need to be crafted with care and attention, and same goes for the storytelling. Bad storytelling always ruins a good story, no matter how good it is, but good storytelling can elevate an avarage story to completely new hights. It's imo the only thing TR is missing
__________________
The extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.
jackoimina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-20, 03:03   #7
Error96
Archaeologist
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Huddersfield, UK
Posts: 1,023
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rai View Post
Having a 'look' is one thing, but I disagree with your point that these things are part of what it takes to be 'become a Tomb Raider'.

Clothes only have an effect on whether they're recognised in say, a certain job or vocation. For instance, a person does not become a police officer by putting on the uniform, or even carrying the radio, a notepad and a taser or gun.
There is point of definition here. The quote being discussed is become THE Tomb Raider (i.e. the icon Lara Croft) not become A Tomb Raider (i.e. a person with an occupation of raiding tombs.) The second wouldn't have a defined outfit or indeed require violent abilities. In your police example you yourself agree the outfit and kit affects recognition as a cop. The personal development of the officer gives them the attributes to achieve their job but that is not how the outsider defines them as police.

A couple of years ago I graduated with a PhD and of course wearing the graduation gown isn't why I got it but it's the thing that my parents have a photo of and will show visitors. When Lara is wielding duals or wearing shorts, fans will recognize Lara's progression with an impact which the more subtle stuff hasn't landed. After that, Lara's progress over the trilogy may retrospectively be acknowledged and her confidence seen to shine over the fog created by the father storyline. As long as CD continue to act like the duals and such don't matter well I feel the fandom may go on seeing reboot Lara like the rookie trainee cop yet to get her badge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackoimina View Post
Lara has the clearest progression in the first game, she changes and evolves from the scared girl to a dual-weilding badass killing Mathias and escaping the island.
I think some would say that the dual wielding badass at the end of TR(2013) is the most progressed she has been to date.
__________________
Go team GOLD - It's time for Lara to get her dual pistols back

Last edited by Error96; 06-10-20 at 03:14.
Error96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-20, 08:55   #8
killchan
Archaeologist
 
killchan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Meme Land
Posts: 1,590
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzly Bear View Post
I still believe that a lot of people are still not going to like Reboot Lara and her story, and that’s totally fine, everyone has his own opinion and taste, but she had an evolution as a character...
it's not even about taste, or giving people proof tha she had an evolution.

I've seen the "character arc/evolution" card played many times by people , for example those pro/anti Rei from Star Wars or Captain Marvel, but what most people (especially those who think they know how fiction works even though they've never had to write anything longer than a tweet in their entire life) don't want understand is that 1) not every main character needs a chacter arc and 2) giving a character a character arc isn't an achievement.

A character's arc is just there, you either have it or don't. You have it, good for you. You don't have it, cool. It's a choice the writers makes.
What matters is the flow of the entire package. A story just needs to work and immerse the audience. Make 'em sad, happy, terrified, intrigued, disgusted, or all at once.

As for the situation at hand, the real question is why such conversation even happens in the first place and the answer is simple: this reboot came with very precise expectations. It was supposed to be a bridge towards CLara, her origins story leading to the ultimate comeback... but instead it dragged on and on and here we are.
For TR I like the idea CLara better, not because CLara was a "better" (?) character, but because she's the embodyment of everything fun and badassery about TR, in both gameplay and tone, the part that was lost. That's about it.

And if there's one thing you need to know about disappointed fans is that they will start looking for reasons and solutions out of nowhere, while those who like what they see will find every possible good reason to justify their own views. That's just how it works.

So yeah, RLara having arcs, depth, trajectories etc does nothing at this point.
__________________
*Depth* doesn't determine a character's value. How well they fit does.

Last edited by killchan; 06-10-20 at 08:57.
killchan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-20, 10:39   #9
Grizzly Bear
Archaeologist
 
Grizzly Bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 1,685
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntRaidsTombs View Post
This was summed up beautifully! I will always love reboot Lara and I definitely see her growth, and she still has room to grow. I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for her story arc!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlr online View Post
Thank you for posting Grizzly Bear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackoimina View Post
That's a beautiful overview of the trilogy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Error96 View Post
I think you have put things together in a very good way and tried to find to create a more positive evolution narrative for reboot Lara's arc. I may not quite see the progression you do especially with Rise Lara but your attempt is appreciated.
Thank you guys! It means a lot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rai View Post
When it comes to Lara, I'd say being a tomb raider, has more to do with her passion for travelling and adventures, seeking out the myths and mysteries, and doing whatever it takes to do those things, which though slightly simplified in his statement, Grizzly Bear was spot on with. It's more what Lara does and the attitude that it takes to do it: "A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are". I actually believe that the Survivor games made an attempt to delve in to what that is, which is why, I think, they showed real life adventurers in the trailers and alluded to a couple in the dlc tombs.
Thank you! This is exactly what I wanted to say but you explained it 100 times better

It's like the dichotomy of form and substance, and with the reboot trilogy they tried to focus on the substance rather than on the appearence; maybe a little bit more of appearence is needed though.

Also thank you for the Chak Chel thing, I'm going to correct it now.

Last edited by Grizzly Bear; 06-10-20 at 10:42.
Grizzly Bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-20, 11:11   #10
Ellioft
Professor
 
Ellioft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: France
Posts: 3,725
Default

Really nice resumé I agree with you about Lara's personnal devellopement It doesn't take magically 3 days in the wild and the pain is easily go away. It take years to overcome a trauma.

By the way Grizzly say hello to Panda and Ice Bear for me
__________________
There's no one "real" Lara Croft ^^
Ellioft is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 13:05.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.