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. You can find my translation here. 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 (yet another French exclusive, with translations found here), 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.