View Full Version : What I MIss About Lara

10th Nov 2008, 11:15
I'll come right out and say it - yes, I'm an old-school Core series fanboy. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Those games (before Chronicles) had real depth. Yeah, they were tricky, sometimes downright diabolical, but that's what gave you such a sense of accomplishment. These new games have no sense of exploration to them - jump here, shoot this, it's all too obvious and straightforward. Don't get me wrong, I can certainly appreciate this new series for what it is, but it just doesn't bring out the excitement in me like the old days did.

But, really, I'm not here to talk about that. What I miss most about the series is Lara herself. She was a lot more hardcore back in the day, and that was why I fell in love with her. A reviewer for Tomb Raider: Chronicles on the Game Revolution site had this to say: Let's face it, Lara Croft is an animal-hating, wealthy English treasure hunter who "acquires" artifacts for no reason other than hoarding them. As Indiana Jones' battlecry was always "That belongs in a museum!" Lara's battlecry must be "That belongs in my curio cabinet!" They were spot on, but they obviously meant it as a major shortcoming. In essence, that spells out for me what set Lara apart from the rest of the pack. She's not Indiana Jones. She's not Batman (in reference to her newfound "OMG I took a life!" philosophy). Yet those are precisely the roles people are now trying to shoehorn her into.

It all started going wrong with the comic book series. Sure, she was still blithely killing people (which was cool), but suddenly she became all preachy about doing this for history's sake and shame on all those just out for money. According to the original story (as laid out in the instruction manual), Lara was cut off from her family inheritance, and the only reason she was wealthy now was because of her treasure hunting. So she was a self-made woman instead of a spoiled heiress. Was that really so despicable they had to change it?

Then the movie came out. And now tough-as-nails, cold-as-ice Lara has been given....daddy issues. Harumph. Fine, so we get to see her weep for 90 minutes. Oh, and lecture about archaeology as opposed to grave robbing. Seriously, did they think she wouldn't be a likable character if she wasn't politically correct?

Apparently so. I can't account for the veracity of this, but according to Wikipedia: Some fans had been critical of the series for portraying her in an increasingly bloodthirsty manner, and occasionally not giving players the option to avoid lethal force against human characters. Tomb Raider III was heavily criticised for showing Lara having to fight security guards, Military police officers and tribesmen.

Also controversial (again, in early games of the series) is Lara's killing of wildlife such as tigers, jaguars and other animals. In response to this, the makers of the 2006 "re-launch" game, Legend have toned down the violence of the game. While Lara still confronts wildlife (limited to eight big cats and four dogs in the game), it is made clear that she only kills in self-defense and feels remorse when she first has to do so, as indicated in the following exchange from the first level:

Alister: Why predators attack prey larger than themselves is a mystery.
Lara: And a pity.
Later in the level she states this when she kills another jaguar:
Lara: Someone picked an unfortunate place to hunt.

Lara also expresses sadness when she witnesses the deaths of her friends during a flashback, and expresses pity upon seeing the frozen corpses of Soviet scientists in the Kazakhstan level. Tomb Raider Anniversary added a subplot where Lara felt guilty when she was forced to kill for the first time.

I'm sorry, but I do not sympathize with that mindset at all. "Fans" who couldn't accept Lara for what she was should have just moved on to other, more palatable things. Instead, they forced a group of creative people to change their work into something more mainstream and acceptable to morality groups everywhere.

Am I really the only one who feels this way? If so, feel free to tear me a new one and educate me about how "roxxorz" the new Lara is and why I just don't understand. But if I'm really not alone out here, please, let me know. And for the record, my all time favorite Lara moment - at the end of TR3, when she opens up the helicopter door, and the pilot leers at her, and she smiles back then shoots him point blank in the face. Man, you sure won't get any moments like that nowadays.

10th Nov 2008, 11:53
You're not alone. You opened my eyes :D ty :) :P

I got a weird feeling when she showed her feelings and stuff. Lara wasn't a softy :S
It doesn't feel right, but there's nothing we can do about it. CD made this Lara, they changed her, and many people like her that way. I like the new series also. It's for me just getting used to it and accept it.
Further I think that, if core stayed, we wouldn't get the old Lara. It's a shame.

I think the only thing we can do is enjoy that we know how she was and enjoy the graphs nowadays. It's not like we can't play TR III over again. No one can stop us! :D :p

10th Nov 2008, 15:06
i know! why did they have to go and change what lara's about? i liked it way better when she was just looking for artifacts for fun then when she got involved in the "i gotta go find mommy and daddy" business. i sympathize with her pity in killing animals however (i am an endangered animals supporter).

10th Nov 2008, 15:07
i am excited about underworld though. it's nice that there's finally a new game coming out after such a long wait! :D

10th Nov 2008, 15:51
I think you just summoned up the main reasons why I didn't care for Tomb Raider during the first ten years of its existence: a totaly over the top badass action girl on testosterone. Some people believe that if a character like that is female its acceptable, but not for me: I consider girl power just as ridiculous as macho behaviour and to me the early Lara is just as unlikeble as his majesty the grandturd of gameland Duke Nukem.

With the increasing amount of realism in grafics comes the increasing amount of realism in the characters and in that regard Tomb Raider is adapting to the new world... like anyone who doesn't want to become extinct.

10th Nov 2008, 16:48
For me this is not so important.
Lara Croft is the main character in the Tomb Raider Series. Tomb Raider is a game, the player plays as Lara Croft, going round solving puzzles, exploring the environment, shooting bad guys, etc.
I don't care about the story so much because it plays so little impact on the gameplay. Whether she's soppy for 'daddy' or 'mummy' has no impact on the fact that I want to pass the level, and how I will pass the level.
The story aspects were pretty vague in the Core games, though. Lara's character in the Core games was also pretty shallow. It'd be hard to make a decent storyline in next-gen games if it was just some murderous cruel lady going around killing and stealing things. It gets old pretty quickly.

And if you want to play a murderous character, go play GTA:IV or something. (EDIT: or "Manhunt", if it's legal to in your country)

10th Nov 2008, 18:02
This is an interesting topic, but I think complete the other way round ^^

Actually I thought about that since I played TR 2 and 3. I thought I love the games, but why does everyone loves Lara, shes not really a nice girl ^^ Killing people just for some artifacts, well that really is not as normal as it may look like on the first glance. And then some cutscenes where I thought, wow, shes really an ass ^^ The end of TR3 you mentioned, was definetly one of them ^^

Back then I just thought that, well its just a game, and not a movie, so there cant be every thought of the characters be explained, as someone mentioned, so I thougt, Lara sure isnt meant to be evil ^^
Furthermore the enemys are always shooting first, so I have the right to shoot back.

So I really liked that they made the moral aspects more clear in the new games.
But the more I was shooked in anniverary when she killed Larson, is was not even like the originall game where she killed him in a fight, no, he clearly said he will do her no harm and she just killed him :eek: She sure is ought to feel guilty after that =/
So since then she really was a murderer, not just killing some bad guys for profit, no, now she killed one who was not even threatening her, and this time she IS meant to be a murderer...

But ok, its good, nobodys perfect, that makes her even more human, if you see it that way, and at least now she have feelings, so her character now has a depth, wich I really like.

Its not that I wouldnt like characters without morality, but for tomb raider and lara I like the more emotional character she represents now much more (and its by far not as if she was to emotional, or weak in any way)

10th Nov 2008, 18:31
Stick to the classics. Then there will be no reason to get up tight if you love CORE that much. :p

10th Nov 2008, 19:11
...... (just a minute..! I'm opening my lexicon!)

Well, I finally disagree with the first post, though it felt right to me in the beggining..
I don't like Lara as a killing machine!
I like Lara as a tomb raider...!
And I like it that she has a personality now and we can clearly understand who is Lara.
Even if she is emotional, I like the feeling that Lara is a PERSON and not a killing machine.
Ok, I know, it's just a game, but Lara is not just a game character!

10th Nov 2008, 19:32
...... (just a minute..! I'm opening my lexicon!)

Well, I finally disagree with the first post, though it felt right to me in the beggining..
I don't like Lara as a killing machine!
I like Lara as a tomb raider...!
And I like it that she has a personality now and we can clearly understand who is Lara.
Even if she is emotional, I like the feeling that Lara is a PERSON and not a killing machine.
Ok, I know, it's just a game, but Lara is not just a game character!

I agree with you lara is not just a game character to me. to be honest I like the new story elements, they actually shows that lara is a person with feelings. I mean dont get me wrong the past games were excellent, but the new ones really add story elements that I really like. And really she's still the same old lara to me just with a lot more feeling added to her.:) . And I am super excited about Underworld YEAH!!!!!!!!!! 8 MORE DAYS TO GO:D :D :D

11th Nov 2008, 02:41
I'm not saying that Lara should be a Terminator. Obviously there's far more to tomb raiding than killing things. And I have nothing against expanding on the character. But I feel that they're expanding her in the wrong way. They're not making her more interesting, they're making her a cliché.

We could have explored her obsession with owning the past and uncovering secrets for herself, showing a darker, more insular side of the quest for knowledge. But no, we made her Indiana Jones.

We could have analyzed her densitivity to death, no doubt a reflection of her eagerness to constantly challenge her own mortality. But no, we turned her into Batman.

We could have experimented with the dynamic between Lara and her estranged family, showing how much of her choices are based on oppossing the proper lifestyle she was originally bred for. But no, we made her a Gilmore Girl.

It's as if we, the general audience, have a safety zone. We need our heroes to possess certain criteria, otherwise we become uncomfortable calling them heroes. I don't feel that Lara is being made more "human" - humanity is more than sad faces punctuated by bursts of bravado.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't want to write off the series as it is now. In fact, I am looking a great deal forward to this new game, as it does seem to have more of a spine attached than Legend or Anniversary. And I wouldn't mind the new gameplay so much if they would just allow for more exploration and give you harder puzzles. At no point in the past two games did I wonder what to do next, and that's just wrong.

11th Nov 2008, 03:29
I was disgusted by how they portrayed Lara in the films, and her whiny personality in Legend. Again, you're not alone, but it's best to deal with Lara seeming human-like and at times act a little too much like a girly-girl.

As much as I love deadly Lara, who kills only for her own desires, it was mainly Core's doing. Meaning, if Toby stayed, and worked in the games with Core--yes, we'd get different TR games we know now as the classics, but we'd see more of Lara's true personality.

I'd rather see and play the Lara that Toby molds her to be, since she's his baby.

11th Nov 2008, 05:05
I love ALL Tomb Raider games!

I think that the new Lara is just as hardcore as the last one!:D :D

Cheese is nice.
11th Nov 2008, 05:49
I think that Natla evolved as well. Let's face it. The voice-over actress for the first game was horrible. She had a boring, monotonous, unenergetic voice. Grey DeLise was a perfect choice. She captured Natla's essence, her rage, and her drive, while still being menacing and snake-like. You could slightly understand what was going on in her head and could understand her wants and needs . . . and also see some of Lara's and her similarities. Does anyone else know what I mean?

11th Nov 2008, 06:05
I'm like you. I think Lara and the story is equally as important as the gameplay. I also prefered her in the CORE games but I have a feeling she will be back in Underworld. Maybe not completely, but I'm fairly confident that there will at least be a balance between Core and Crystal Lara. If I'm right, then as the reviewers have said, this could be the best Tomb Raider since the classic first 3 games. :D

11th Nov 2008, 06:09
I also like old Lara better. When she only killed the animals that attacked her. When the games were not simply a shooter. Of course I still really enjoy the new series as well. But Legend was WAY to easy and short. I can only hope Underworld is not the same.

Remember when we had 4-5 levels, each with 3 or so sub-levels? You ended up with like 15 actual levels. it was awesome. Took a good 16 or more hours to play through.

Cheese is nice.
11th Nov 2008, 06:16
I don't know . . . I find Lara more relatable now.