Mention Tomb Raider
and most of us would think about Angelina Jolie’s version as Lara Croft in the 2001 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
and 2003 sequel Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Although the movie received negative reviews, it went on to become the highest-grossing film on its opening weekend and Jolie was also praised for her performance.
Now, the 2018 reboot Tomb Raider
starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft just hit theatres on Thursday and there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the new film.
Based on the 2013 video game of the same name, the reboot tells the story of Croft who embarks on a journey in search for her father’s last-known destination after his disappearance.
Speaking of video games, you should know that Tomb Raider
originated from a game that was released in 1996. For those who haven’t seen the movie nor heard about the franchise, here are some interesting facts about the world of Lara Croft that we thought you should know.
#1 Lara Croft was the brainchild of six people.
The video game was created by a team of developers that had consisted of only six people, one of them was designer Toby Gard who had personally developed the main character Lara Croft.
From the moment they kicked off work on Tomb Raider
until the game’s launch, it took three years in total. It was 1996 after all, so true fans of the game would really appreciate the work that had gone into the game more than two decades ago.
If you think three years is long, get this – Croft Manor, one of the most iconic locations in the original game, took only one weekend to develop! Gard based the design on Core Design’s actual headquarters in Derby.
So does this mean that Core Design’s office is in a mansion?
#2 Lara Croft was inspired by Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park.
Many gamers noticed that there were a lot of a similarities between Tomb Raider
and Indiana Jones
. You know, a protagonist who searches through ancient tombs and relics in the middle of the jungle. It sure sounds like a female version of Harrison Ford’s character to us!
But the developers at Core Design did that on purpose.
The game paid tribute to Dr. Jones’ poisonous darts, boulders with booby traps, pits with deadly spikes, as well as the archaeologists of Jurassic Park
with a special appearance of Tyrannosaurids.
#3 Lara Croft was almost a man.
Now that we’ve gotten the Indiana Jones
inspiration out of the way, we need to talk about this. Gard had initially designed the original Lara as a male character instead because he had imagined “a guy in some tombs”.
He went through four to five stages of character design before he finally settled on a female protagonist, mainly to differentiate the story from Indiana Jones
so they don’t get sued by Lucasfilm.
Can you imagine having another Harrison Ford? It probably wouldn’t have made such a big impact as the Tomb Raider
we have today, so thanks for giving the character a gender change, Toby!
#4 Lara Croft was South American at first.
Lara Croft wasn’t a proper English lady at the beginning. The team first created her to be somewhat of a sociopath who wasn’t afraid to kill.
Her initial physique was also a bit more buff and beefy, dressed in military clothes and a head of short hair.
Core Design finally settled with a design that was inspired by European rapper from the 1990s, Neneh Cherry, sporting long braided hair, a tight tank top and hiking boots.
But the only problem was the team had named her Laura Cruz, a South American lass with a sassy personality. And Core Design’s parent company Eidos Interactive wasn’t having it. They wanted her to be more English to appeal to audiences in the United Kingdom and United States.
So guess what the team did? They looked through a phone book to find the closest match to Laura Cruz. Hence the name we know today, Lara Croft.
#5 Lara Croft’s physique was an accident.
Lara Croft’s most obvious feature is something that we don’t need to elaborate further. But did you know that her desirable figure wasn’t intended?
The Core Design didn’t design the original character with such body proportions because realistic figures weren’t exactly possible with the graphics capability in the 1990s.
One of the designers was messing around with the character dimensions during a test round one day. Instead of increasing her chest area by 50 per cent, he had accidentally boosted it by 150 per cent.
Needless to say, the all-male team decided to keep this proportion.
Did you know that she actually had proportion statistics when they were developing her character? Her figure was apparently 34D-24-35.
We don’t know how we stumbled upon that information, but there you go.
#6 Lara Croft is the most realistic game character.
Core Design wanted Lara Croft to have movements that are more realistic so that people could relate to her better, which no one was able to do at the time.
The developers used about 540 character-shaping polygons to create the original Lara Croft model.
By the time Tomb Raider: Underworld
was released in 2008, she had nearly 33,000 rendered polygons, making her the most detailed game character to date.
#7 Lara Croft is a world record holder.
When Tomb Raider
was first released in 1996, the game became an instant hit. Lara Croft’s adventures topped the charts within hours after debuting and continued to hold the fort for months.
The franchise’s first game ended up selling more than seven million copies worldwide!
Lara Croft currently holds the title of the best-selling video game heroine with a lifetime sale of more than 36 million.
even holds up a number of Guinness World Records, including ‘Most Successful Video Game Heroine’, ‘Most Recognisable Female in a Video Game’, ‘Most Detailed Game Character’, ‘Highest Grossing Game Spin-Off’, and ‘Most Famous Female Video Game Character’.
Hats off to Lara!
#8 Lara Croft became a cover girl.
After Tomb Raider
exploded into the scene, Lara Croft became a global celebrity.
She appeared on multiple covers following her successful debut in the late 90s, including TIME, Newsweek, Financial Times, and more.
Her face was even used on a French postage stamp!
Another Tomb Raider
merchandise that we weren’t surprise that find out was a range of Lara Croft dolls.
The doll was modeled after Angelina Jolie’s character in the 2001 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
and was only meant for young adult collectors because, well, they weren’t suitable for kids for obvious reasons.
Did any of you own a Lara Croft doll?
#9 Lara Croft released an album.
The Tomb Raider
franchise was so popular that Lara Croft became a singer!
She had more than one album, mind you. But you probably didn’t hear about it because they were released only in France.
It’s not that the songs were recorded in French though because they were entirely in English. But the music was apparently so bad that only one country deserved to hear it.
If you’re interested to hear it all, here it is:
#10 Lara Croft was the first game in which you can see your character.
Core Design’s Tomb Raider
was a breakout video game of the time because of its 3D setting where players can see the main character.
In the mid-90s, 3D games were mostly in the first person’s perspective. Making a 3D game with a third-person’s perspective means that the entire game would actually have to be 3D as well.
No wonder it took three years to develop!
is now showing in cinemas nationwide.