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Old 13-05-18, 01:47   #121
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Originally Posted by Karen_Leslie View Post
I'll give you the money in small, unmarked bills as we discussed, lol

Seriously, thanks.
Independent of my own affection for the subject matter, this passage so profoundly conveys what the game means to you (by way of its sophisticated/additive series of conceptual juxtapositions), as well as what it can mean to someone who is able to approach it with a similar mindset, that it seems to me now just as brilliant as when I first read it:
...The sparse use of music in TR caused you to have strong emotional connections to individual music cues, whereas now games have full Hans Zimmer scores and hearing a full orchestral track in the background of the most mundane parts of a game is completely normal. The graphics had just reached the level where you could believe you were in an immersive world if you engaged your imagination and pretended that ammunition totally would be at the bottom of a pristine mountain lake and the whole world is made up of squares– nowadays, if you have to use your imagination at all in most games, the graphics have failed. The world of TR was like an impressionist painting, the graphics we see now are a hyper-real simulation. It’s a very different aesthetic.

At the time, TR opened the door for the future of gaming, while thematically being based on nostalgia for the past. You were using the newest technology of the time to explore the ruins of human civilization, and there was a certain reverence there for the past that was moving in a way that I’ve never encountered in another game. The TR franchise, and others as well, have explored environments drawn from lost cultures since, but never with the same perfect meeting of the future and the past. Current game environments tell us with authority what they think the past was like; the blocky, pointillistic environments of Tomb Raider were not a statement, but a suggestion: Wouldn’t it be nice if it had been like this?
In other words, I’m just as envious as when I first read it, haha.

Very glad I found this thread, look forward to reading more of your blog ('FFVIII and Literary Criticism', which just popped up on the sidebar thanks to the recent comment activity, is definitely on my reading list).

And for folks just tuning in, just to recap some of the endorsements of Karen's TR1 write-up, which you should definitely check out (please see the original post):

Originally Posted by spikesavenger View Post
Karen this is, by far, the BEST write-up to the original ever. Saved to my favorites and I will be following.
Originally Posted by Jester Head View Post
Wow, I just read these.
I really like your writing style, probably one of the best "playthroughs" I've seen in this forums. I especially like the fact that you and I disagree in a lot of points, and think of levels and areas differently...
Originally Posted by larafan25 View Post
WOW, this is extremely entertaining to read! You should write all kinds of things because my attention was held.
Originally Posted by LuigiEspadachin View Post
Well, I've finally started reading this dang thing. And I love it. Perfect mix of academic analysis with a few jokes for a good chuckle. :3
Originally Posted by akci View Post
Wonderful blog, I can only echo of what others have said, really well thought out and insightful... I rarely read, and never watch, this kind of blogs/vlogs, but the endorsing comments of some made me start, and I'm glad I did...
Originally Posted by Zael View Post
After coming across this thread randomly, I just have to chime in to agree with all the ringing endorsements from the folks quoted above: this is a really great write-up on TR1!

Such engaging and insightful writing, both when discussing each individual level of TR1 (the links to the individual entries for each level are in the original post), and when discussing various elements of the game in the context of the series as a whole...
Originally Posted by Aquabird View Post
Another fan here of your excellent TR1 write-up, and you so eloquently expressed just why the TR1 incarnation of Lara is my favourite. I particularly enjoyed your critiques of the Tomb of Tihocan cutscene and the Atlantis level, especially Lara's showdown with Natla at the end. Great stuff.
"...it’s important to note that Lara as she appears in classic Tomb Raider is essentially a different character from the incarnation in the later games and the movies. Original Lara was a woman of few words, classy as she was concise, and only carried weapons because large jungle cats tended to try to kill her if she wasn’t careful. She was primarily an archeologist and a writer with a passion for exploring, and if she was also an action hero, she performed that role as a means to an end. Basically, original Lara was far more likeable and alluring because you were given very little information about her, she handled herself very capably, and the game really wasn’t trying to hit you over the head with how awesome she was.

After the huge success of the first TR, from the sequel onwards Lara evolved into one of those obnoxiously self-aware movie badasses, who possesses a huge wardrobe of sexy adventuring gear and doesn’t need much provocation to shoot someone in the head. I wouldn’t dismiss the later games and movies, since there’s a lot more to TR than just Lara, but I think you have to have a sense of this evolution of her portrayal in order to understand my tremendous affection for the original character of Lara– When I say Lara, unless you played this game when it came out, chances are you are not associating the same character with the name…"
"...I find Lara’s characterization less likable in TR2. Part of that is due to preferring her first voice actress over Judith Gibbons (who I’ve no doubt is a perfectly nice woman in reality, but sounds incredibly frigid as Lara), part of it is her dialogue. In TR1, despite being tough as nails, she was unfailingly polite, a callback to her mannered upbringing. Remember her apologizing to Larson for interrupting him while he threatens to shove the scion somewhere unpleasant? In TR2 they seemed to have forgotten that trait, making her too much of a seemingly emotionless Larabot. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like hyper-emotional Lara (cough, Legend, cough) and consider the character very stoic in general, but I think the balance was perfect in TR1 and then TR2 knocked it off-kilter…"
"...Finally, I mentioned before that this version of Lara [in TR2] seems really cold to me, and this scene is part of the reason why. Sure, “Pardon me, if that was just your way of trying the doors for me,” is the kind of cheeky, sarcastic thing that TR1 Lara would have said, but I think she would have sounded more chipper about it; this Lara sounds like she’s already planning to kill him and sell his organs on the black market. Perhaps it’s a subtle thing, but this Lara strikes me as a completely amoral sociopath with only the thinnest veneer of humanity, and it’s a little disturbing; I like my Lara only 40 percent sociopath, thank you...

...In TR1, the opening cutscene both introduced Lara and hinted at her motivation for going after the Atalantean Scion. In TR2, Lara just shows up after the Dagger of Xian in lieu of nothing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; after all, I do think a large part of Lara’s motivation for doing what she does is Sir Edmund Hillary’s rationale for climbing Everest: 'Because it is there.' It’s the allure of challenge, pure and simple. But nevertheless, the lack of any clear motivation on her part contributes to the lack of feeling like we’re at the beginning of a narrative. Has she been planning to add the dagger to her collection for years? Or did she spontaneously decide that this would be a fun way to kill a weekend? We’ll never know..."
See also an earlier thread that Karen created: http://www.tombraiderforums.com/show...62#post1362862

Last edited by Zael; 26-05-18 at 21:08.
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Old 04-06-18, 21:10   #122
Karen_Leslie's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Posts: 324

I'm just bumping this thread to let people know that I'm continuing my Tomb Raider level write ups, after a long hiatus, because who cares about doing things in a timely fashion? Lol


Moving through TR2 now, I'm not sure if I want to continue using Katie's screenshots (great as they are), but I'm comfortable playing the original games on my Vita, and I can't take my own screenshots with it. Hopefully I'll be able to come up with a better solution soon.

I guess I could, y'know, install the game on my computer. Hmm. Curious idea.
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Old 04-06-18, 21:19   #123
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Join Date: Jul 2016
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Reading your review made me understand why the long hiatus But you make a lot of personal and relatable reflections (like the flares feeling a bit like currency and the water park idea
This was a joy to read

Glad you're continuing!

Edit - whoops, this may have been the wrong thread to post in haha. Oh well, this'll get buried but see you in the TR2 section thread!

Last edited by HarleyCroft; 04-06-18 at 21:22. Reason: Silly me
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