Tomb Raider %100

As a tween, I played a lot of computer games with my sister. Among CD-Roms like GEX and Chex Quest, we came across the first Tomb Raider. My sister cruised through those levels, but I had to get a guide because I was scared of combat and the gloomy atmosphere. 

Just out of college, I was working as an Art Department Assistant, with no money, lots of spare time, and an interest in creating comics. I was reintroduced to Tomb Raider through the legend reboot. I played TRII for the first time and drew a few comic pages inspired by the final level, Home Sweet Home. (Feel free to check it out here.)

Several years into a successful storyboarding career, the Tomb Raider Survivor reboot came out. Once more, TR came knocking and I answered. I played all the original CORE games, started collecting all the comics, and before you knew it, I had set a goal for myself: ‘I will 100% complete the Tomb Raider Franchise.’

Before I got carried away, I had to set boundaries. I wasn’t about to collect every piece of merchandise; CORE went nuts with their merch back in the day. Nor did I want to be surrounded with a hundred action figures. What was it about Tomb Raider that appealed to me so much? The adventures of Lara Croft. I would focus on her stories. Every time Lara was officially written into a story, I would have played, read, and seen every one. This is what I’ve collected as a life long Tomb Raider fan, 23 years and counting.

For those interested in what I consider to be 100% completion of the Tomb Radier franchise, let’s dig into the specifics. First and foremost, the games.

I’ve played the CORE 5 (3xGold included) + Angel of Darkness, Legend/Anniversary/Underworld, and the Survivor trilogy, including all DLC. But beyond the central 12 games, there have been DOZENS more. The Lara Croft series, including the Guardian of light, Temple of Osiris, Relic Run, Go. The handheld Nintendo games, Nightmare Stone, Secret of the Sword, Prophecy, and Legend. The dvd game based on the angel of Darkness. Online games promoting the 2018 movie and Shadow. A Dave and Busters exclusive arcade game based on the 2013 reboot. All of these I have played all the way through. But there are even more games, now nearly impossible to play. Several pre-smart-phone mobile games including The Osiris Codex, The Quest for Cinnabar, Elixir of Life, Puzzle Paradox, and Poker Party came and went. The only existing way to follow along with these “storylines” was to watch walkthroughs.
With the Legend series, several versions of each game came out on Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Java Mobile. The Wii version of Anniversary is by far the best way to play Anniversary.
Of the five Interactive TV games that came out from Sky Gamestar and Mind’s Eye Productions from 2002–2006, only a few screen shots exist. (If anyone knows of a walkthrough, or emulators, please let me know!) 
Two (and soon three) Tomb Raider based slot machine games have come out.
A Samsung VR promotional game for the 2018 movie came out, but watching a walkthrough was enough for me. 

Even more games exist in the tabletop format, including Angel of Darkness, the French exclusive Underworld, (which I’ve translated; you can find the translation here) and the brand new Legends. Let’s not forget the late 90’s CCG. It took awhile, but finally collected the full 592 card collection. 

That just about does it for games. Let’s talk movies. Angelina Jolie’s classic double, as well as the 2018 reboot, and the Locked and Loaded documentary. Don’t forget the Revisioned animated series. And if you’re a real uber fan like myself, it’s worth watching all of the commercials: Lukozade, Nike, Visa, Pepsi, Playstation, Dreamcast, G4, Brigette bridal magazine, and Seat.

As for the comics, Tomb Raider has seen dozens of different interpretations, starting with a 8 pages comic featured in Mean Machines Sega. Next, Dark Aeons, the French exclusive. After a few crossovers with Witchblade, Tomb Raider got its own series published by Top Cow, running for 50 issues. Throughout the series, various other storylines were created. For the 2013 reboot, Dark Horse took the wheel, creating a series that ran alongside the games for 40 issues. And finally, the Lara Croft series got their own 5 issue series.

Yes, 8 Tomb Raider novels have been written, 3 based around the events of Angel of Darkness, 2 based on the Angelina Jolie movies, 2 more for the Survival series, and 1 for the Lara Croft series.

Various art books exist, many of which have canon lore that didn’t get featured in the game. The Secret Dossiers, The Style Guides, Lara’s Book, and the Survivor series Official Art books have some fun facts.

And that just about wraps up the stories of Lara Croft. Of course as the franchise continues, there will continue to be new content. But as of early 2019, as the last of the Shadow DLCs come out and the next phase of Tomb Raider is unclear, I’m content to call this collection 100% complete. 

Croft Manor Comparisons

You know what would be fun? Some direct, screenshot-for-screenshot comparisons. Minecraft gets the award for most accurate, but the Sims are just nicer to look at.

Minecraft Manor Survivor

As an excitable Tomb Raider fan that needs to busy himself while waiting for the release of Shadow, I built Croft Manor of the Rise DLC, Blood Ties. Due to certain ratios, Lara would be 3 blocks high, a measurement inconsistent with the 2 block high playable character. Nostalgic and time consuming.

Minecraft Manor Legend

Once I made the Survivor Manor, I knew it was just a matter of time before I made the Manor from the Legend trilogy. 130 hours of planning and gathering and building later, It’s finished. I did a lot more planning this time around, and even then I had some major screw ups that needed redoing. Honestly, if I never place a block on top of another again, well, I’ll probably miss it. But not for a long while.

The majority of this is based on the Tomb Raider Anniversary Manor. Where the Core Manor had too little detail, and the Survivor Manor had too much, the Legend Manor had just enough to translate really well into Minecraft.

Minecraft Manor Core

The Core Tomb Raider games translate well over to Minecraft. So the next step was obviously to build Croft Manor. As with all Minecraft projects, it took a lot of time. But I’m quite pleased with the finished product.

Sims Manor

The fun thing about recreating a virtual space is learning how the space interacts. What rooms are adjacent? How big of a room could this door lead to? Unfortunately there’s a limited amount of space even on the largest of Sims “yards.” Nothing a little creative scrunching can’t fix!

Underworld Board Game Translation

In 2009, the Tomb Raider Underworld board game saw a limited release in France. Why does France love Tomb Raider so much more than anyone else? Who knows. But they did get this exclusive board game.

There already exists a translation of the directions into english somewhere online, but I figured they could use some zhushing/jooshing up. And I zhushed/jooshed the hell out of ‘em.

Download the PDF here.

Various Drawings

Tomb Raider II: Home Sweet Home Comic

Throughout it’s various reincarnations, I’ve been a fan of Tomb Raider. Like the series, my appreciation grows in waves. Late 2009, after playing Underworld, I fueled my excitement by creating a comic for the final bonus level in the 1997 Tomb Raider II. All characters, designs, environments, props, everything was drawn to resemble the game as closely as possible. That being said, credit goes to the staff of Core in Derby, original creators of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft.

Tomb Raider Multiplayer Level Boosting

In order to unlock the General character in Tomb Raider Multiplayer, one has to reach level 80 at least twice. As an obsessive, that trophy had to be mine. The task would’ve taken years of fighting online players, most of which are much better than me. But due to a loophole, I could easily (and relatively quickly) reach that goal. I’d run back and forth, fetching and dropping off “medical supplies”, and shooting destructible barriers along the way. The process took at least 30 hours. I watched the entirety of Star Trek Voyager. I knew the course inside and out, easily running the routes blindfolded. Upon finishing, there was a fleeting joy to obtaining the trophy, but a much longer slow burn, knowing I had 100% completed the task. Am I proud of this accomplishment? Kind of. Would I tell anyone? No. That’s what the Important Documents are for, after all; a collection of obsessive tendencies. Also, there’s nothing quite like a statistically accurate graph to nail in the leveling up system.