Halloween 1996 marks the beginning of the triumphant advance of an action heroine who will revolutionize game consoles with her sexy looks and constant combat readiness. “Tomb Raider” featuring Lara Croft becomes a mega success. There are now 14 games in the series on the market. Online casino portals also feature Lara Croft: “Tomb Raider Slot” (2004), “Tomb Raider: Secrets of the Sword” from 2008 and the most ambitious project to date, “Lara Croft: Temples and Tomb”. In addition, the popular Amazon is fighting her way through three feature films on the big screen. A fourth adventure is already in pre-production.
It All Starts With a Miscalculation
In 1994, Toby Gard introduced the world to Lady Lara Croft while working with the software producer Core Design in Derby, England. His creation of the daring and scantily clad Amazon was a deliberate departure from the traditional male action heroes. Gard had a vision of a character with acrobatic skills that defied gender norms.
Lara Croft’s adventures took her on a globetrotting journey, and her remarkable bust size, while often seen as sensationalized and sexist, was actually the result of a programming error. Gard had originally intended a more modest proportion, but due to a miscalculation, her bust size ended up at 150 percent of the intended size. Despite labeling it as a form of “infantilism,” Gard convinced the team to retain the exaggerated feature. While Croft’s provocative attire sparked numerous discussions, it wasn’t a concern for the predominantly adolescent audience.
However, the development team took criticism seriously. Lara Croft’s outfit evolved with each subsequent release, and her bust size gradually diminished.
For fans of Tomb Raider and Lara Croft, there’s also a slot game bearing her name, available for both real money and free play on the internet. This digital slot machine is crafted by the renowned software manufacturer Microgaming and faithfully captures the essence of the iconic character’s adventures on its five reels.
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Adventures In The Footsteps Of The Unknown Father
With “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, the first cinema adventure with Angelina Jolie in the title role was released in 2001 under the direction of Simon West. It serves the image of the fighting sex bomb. However, the heroine is not dressed in skimpy shorts, but in a tight full-body suit that clearly shows every curve. The action begins in England, where Croft leads a double life as a well-behaved employee and ingenious burglar.
One night, the grave robber dreams of her missing father. Shortly afterwards, she finds herself in the middle of a mythical adventure in the temple complexes of Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Siberia’s icy desert. There she searches for a clock that was stolen from her house by her adversary Powell. The chronometer is the key to the first part of a triangle that gives its owner god-like power over time.
Angelina Jolie’s Second Outing Turns Into a Flop
Dutch action specialist Jan de Bont directs the sequel “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life” in 2003, again starring Angelina Jolie. Box-office guarantor Til Schweiger gets a small supporting role. Once again, the tomb raider becomes the victim of a theft. The Luna Temple of Alexander the Great turns up after an earthquake. There Lara steals a mysterious sphere. No sooner does she have the valuable artefact in her hands than it is snatched from her by an unknown person. The map on the sphere is supposed to be a signpost to Pandora’s Box, which closes all the evils and plagues of mankind. With its help, the unscrupulous scientist Dr. Jonathan Reiss (Ciarán Hinds) wants to trigger a catastrophe that, of course, only Croft can prevent.
The reviews are more than mixed. The fact that Angelina Jolie only shows two different facial expressions as a video game icon turned flesh is forgivable in view of her full-body effort. From “Speed” director Jan de Bont, however, one would have expected more than loveless stunts strung together in a hare-brained story,’ even the otherwise rather uncritical TV Spielfilm judges. The Lexikon des Internationalen Films judges even harsher: ‘Fantasy and action film based on the popular computer game, laid out on three game levels as a platform for its flawless heroine and numerous chases. Meaningless entertainment around a protagonist who no longer appears as a pure comic icon, but who definitely has human traits.’
In the 2018 cinematic reboot of “Tomb Raider,” Croft finds herself on a mission to prevent a catastrophe that could result in the genocide of a significant portion of humanity. Directed by Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug, the film draws its inspiration from a 2013 video game and casts Swedish actress Alicia Vikander in the role of the resilient explorer. Her quest takes her deep into the jungle, where she battles mercenaries and unravels the mysteries surrounding her father and his connections to Japan.
Critics have lauded this action-packed spectacle as the most successful adaptation of the game series to date, capturing the essence of the iconic character while delivering a thrilling cinematic experience.
Successful New Start From Scandinavia
Another appearance of the Swede as Lara Croft is already in the works. Due to the Corona pandemic, however, filming has been postponed several times. Now the film is to premiere in 2023. All that is known about the plot is that director Misha Green sends heroine Croft on a journey into the unknown, where she is confronted with a secret organisation called Trinity.
The Games in Chronological Order:
- “Tomb Raider” (1996)
- “Tomb Raider II – Staring Lara Croft” (1997)
- “Tomb Raider III – Adventures of Lara Croft” (1998)
- “Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation” (1999)
- “Tomb Raider VI: The Chronicles” (2000)
- “Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness” (2003)
- “Tomb Raider: Legend” (2006)
- “Tomb Raider: Anniversary” (2007)
- “Tomb Raider: Underworld” (2008)
- “Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light” (2010)
- “Tomb Raider” (2013)
- “Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris” (2014)
- “Rise of the Tomb Raider” (2015)
- “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” (2018)
In addition to further cinematic adventures of Lara Croft, the game series will also continue. The next game will be based on the Unreal Engine 5 and is expected to be a graphics highlight.
Lara Croft, the iconic action heroine, embarked on her journey of adventure and revolution in 1996, forever altering the landscape of video games. “Tomb Raider” introduced us to a fearless and formidable character who would leave an indelible mark on the gaming world. Since that Halloween of ’96, Lara Croft has become a symbol of both empowerment and entertainment.
Her legacy spans not only 14 games in the series but also ventures into the world of online casinos, where players can experience the thrill of Lara’s adventures in games like “Tomb Raider Slot” and “Tomb Raider: Secrets of the Sword.” She’s even graced the silver screen in three feature films, with a fourth in the making.
Created by Toby Gard in 1994, Lara Croft was envisioned as an alternative to traditional male action heroes, a daring move that would change the gaming landscape forever. Her adventures have taken her to the far corners of the world, and her image, while initially steeped in controversy, has evolved over time.
From a programming error that inflated her bust size to her gradual transformation, Lara Croft has continued to captivate audiences across generations. Her journey extends beyond gaming, with a cinematic presence that has seen Angelina Jolie and Alicia Vikander don the iconic role.
With a legacy spanning countless games, movies, and even a reboot, Lara Croft remains a symbol of adventure, courage, and the enduring appeal of strong female protagonists in the world of entertainment. Her quest is far from over, promising more adventures and challenges in the years to come, as she continues to explore the unknown and confront formidable adversaries.