The Lara Croft Chronicles Still Doing What She Does Best
SKOAR!|March 2017

When it comes to female protagonists in video games, not many are quite as iconic as lara croft. As gaming’s first lady, she is easily one of the most recognisable characters from the world of video gaming.

Manish “TriggerHappy” Rajesh

NOT SURE IF INDIANA JONES CLONE OR...

The very first Tomb Raider game released back in 1996, but it was in development for three years, which was pretty long for games back then. The folks at Core Design who made the game, consisted of only six members, which is probably why the game spent as long as it did in development.

Of the six, Toby Gard was the man in charge of developing the lead character. In Toby’s mind, the character was initially an Indiana Jones-like character, and also male. In a world full of traps, puzzles and treasure, an Indiana Jones like character made sense. But the team decided that they should maintain some distance from the iconic archaeologist in order to avoid looking like just another clone.

It was when Toby noticed many of his co-workers picking female characters in the game Virtua Fighter that it came to him. The lead character’s sex was changed to female and Laura Cruz was born. Laura Cruz was intended as a serious no-nonsense South African, but over time the team toned down the harshness and made her British, in order to make her more familiar to the American audiences. The name Lara Croft was decided on after going through a phone book and picking a name that was close to Laura Cruz.

Upon release, Tomb Raider was an instant success and Lara Croft had secured her place in video game history.

Tomb Raider II

Publisher Eidos Interactive saw how successful Tomb Raider was, so they pushed Core to release a sequel to the franchise every year. About a year later, in November 1997, Tomb Raider II released. The sequel was also an instant hit, outperforming even it’s predecessor. The game spent significantly less time in development this time around. This was in part due to the development team being much larger, and because rather than creating a new game engine, the game ran on an optimized version of the first Tomb Raider’s game engine.

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