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History of Tomb Raider
Lara Biography
Series History
The Games
The Merchandise
The Models
The Movie
Related Links
Table of Contents

The History of Tomb Raider
Work commenced on the original Tomb Raider in 1993, but it was not until November of 1996 that the game actually saw the light of day as a retail product. The title was crafted by Core Design of Europe. Interestingly enough, it is Core's contention that the company was struggling somewhat with 32-bit development at that time. The first glints of Tomb Raider were seen on Sega Saturn development kits. However, ultimately, it would be the PlayStation rendition of the game that would be known best..

A bloke by the name of Toby Guard can be credited with having created Lara Croft and Tomb Raider. A lead designer and animator, Guard has been known to say the original game concept did not call for a female version of Indiana Jones. Lara underwent several revisions in design and concept. Originally, Lara was supposed to be a sort of psychotic military type (no offense to the armed forces here). Hence, she progressed from being a maniacal headhunter wearing combat gear, to the more levelheaded character we know today.

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Jeremy Smith, the head man over at Core, has indicated there were very tight reigns from within governing the direction and flow of Lara Croft's character development and what information was made available to the press during the initial stages of Tomb Raider's creation. Throughout the process of marketing the title, interesting turns of events befell Core, and Lara's star began to rise very quickly. Britain's top financial newspaper, the Financial Times, featured an article about the financial prospectus of Eidos, the game's publisher. Lara Croft artwork appeared on the front page of the story. With that event an icon was born.

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Shortly thereafter, The Sunday Telegraph, a premier news publication in England, ran a story that featured a picture of Lara Croft on a motorcycle. Interest in the game, its premise, and the central character began to flourish. Then out of the clear blue, FACE Magazine, a premier fashion/culture publication, decided to join the fray. After expressing a bit of trepidation about featuring a virtual woman in their magazine, they put Lara Croft's likeness on the cover and ran a story on virtual-reality women. Special Lara art was created for the piece. The finished product had Lara donning a black evening dress while holding an uzi submachine gun. It made a lasting impression on the public.

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The demand on Core for press-related material concerning Tomb Raider and, more directly, Lara Croft surpassed all of Core's expectations. The company began to get endorsement offers from several retailers wanting Lara to don their products. One such endorsement offer came from Timberland, a footwear company. Core did not initially accept the endorsement offerings, fearing that gamers would think it had gone for the bucks. It also was not convinced Lara Croft was the force behind the game's popularity and acceptance. A miscalculation indeed. However, after all the doubts were laid to rest, and gamers were content with their new hero, Sola, an aquatic apparel company, was successful in getting Lara to model its apparel in a Tomb Raider sequel.

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