24 December 2010

Melonie is a former Frag Doll Cadet, video game journalist and gamer. When she's not playing games she writes for her site www.meloniemac.com and also draws her own comics at DeviantArt. She also posts on the Tomb Raider Forums, and also she recorded the E3 LCGOL preview for TRF. Make sure to check out her site and also her twitter page

Lara Croft, as we all know, is an iconic character loved by millions all over the world. Continuing a legacy started over 14 years ago, Miss Croft is still impacting gamers with every game that is released. Having that said, each of these games showcase a different side of Lara, which is part of the excitement of the Tomb Raider franchise.

Looking back to where it all began, Lara Croft was portrayed as a tough-as-nails, take no garbage from anyone kind of girl. A rebel of her high class, aristocratic upbringing, Lara was a grave robber of sorts, and was motivated to carry on her adventures purely for the sport of it. Sarcastic remarks, and an almost heartless attitude, was normal behavior for Lara, and fans loved that. Perhaps she was the type of person everyone would hate in the real world, yet oddly love and even look at as a role model in the gaming world. As time progressed, and Tomb Raider shifted direction, Lara changed with it.

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider One in all her glory
Introduced in Tomb Raider Legend was a side to Lara Croft we have never seen before. This change in personality was a pleasant surprise for some, and a disgrace to others. Lara Croft traded her rebellious and adrenaline-junkie attitude for a softer, more emotional outlook on life. Rather than pursuing adventure for the mere fun of it, Lara was fueled by a concrete motive of finding her long lost mother. Not to say that Lara Croft lost her sense of strength and attitude, because it remained to some degree, but significantly toned down. Still, she remained strong, but wasn't afraid to express her emotions almost intensely. However, after another change of direction in the Tomb Raider franchise, Lara once again has also made changes.

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider Legend.

After Square-Enix acquired Eidos Interactive, and Crystal Dynamics with it, the Tomb Raider franchise is changing more than ever. While we still have a significant wait before actually playing the game, much of Lara's personality has already been revealed. As a method of rebooting the series, the new Tomb Raider game serves as Lara's first journey, and will set the path for future adventures. As previously illustrated, Lara has been portrayed as almost heartlessly tough in the past, and later openly emotional. The future, however, portrays Lara in a completely different light, while still taking hold of some of the same characteristics we have all known and loved. Yet again, Lara rebels against her aristocratic upbringing, but in a different way. In this instance, Lara's rebellious ways are more so an act of humbleness. Despite the fact that she has lived a privileged life, Lara is still noted as an ordinary woman. Her journey is no longer for sport or to locate a long lost relative, but rather, a situation she happened upon in which she must fight to survive. For once, Lara will be portrayed as endearing, and players will have a sense of care for her. Most fans appear to be very receptive and excited about this change.

The newly rebooted version of Lara for the upcoming game
While Lara Croft is a character adored by so many, she has changed dramatically and continues to do so. The fact that so many fans stand by her throughout these changes is a testament to how much of an impact Lara has made as a character, and will continue to do so. The future looks bright for the Tomb Raider franchise, and the current changes are reflections of progression in not only the games she stars in, but in Lara Croft as a character herself. Part of the excitement of anticipating the newest Tomb Raider title is seeing Lara evolve with it. Undoubtedly, we have much to look forward to as Lara Croft makes her presence known in a more personable we've ever seen.


  1. Interesting article. It's good too see that fans now acknowledge that Crystal Dynamics changed Lara's character. For a while a tiny section of the TR community was in denial and was claiming things like, for example, the movie at the end of TR3 was some for of 'mistake' by Core. The good thing now is that with so many Lara's and so many bios that nobody can be accused of being 'not canon' for their version of Lara (although, no - she'll never be an American teen.) :)

  2. Sorry for the bad typing. Stupid iPad.