Lara Croft is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Square Enix video game franchise Tomb Raider. She’s shown as a highly intelligent, athletic and beautiful English archaeologist and adventurer who goes into ancient, hazardous tombs and ruins around the world. She was created by a team at the United Kingdom developer, Core Design. Take a look below for 30 more fun and fascinating facts about Lara Croft.
1. The first game of the Tomb Raider series, which was released October 1996, was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive, which is now known as Square Enix.
2. The design of Lara Croft was partially based on lead designer Toby Gard’s sister, Frances. Allegedly, he quit his job at Core Design in 1997, after a row about additional “sexing-up” of Lara Croft.
3. Lara Croft’s name was originally intended to be Laura Cruz. Laura was dropped in favor of Lara to appeal to more American audiences, which is why Cruz was changed to Croft to make her more English.
4. The front of the Derby Studios building, where Core Design worked on the game, was later used as the front of the Croft Manor.
5. A second part of the game was released in June 1998, named Tomb Raider: Unfinished Business. This wasn’t part of the main game series.
6. Nude Raider was a patch on a website that allowed Tomb Raider players to play as Lara Croft naked. After Eidos Interactive sent in complains about this domain, it had been shut down.
7. A real estate company decided to estimate the Croft Manor and they came up with a conservative estimate of $43 million. That’s not even taking into account the immortal butler who we presume comes with it.
8. The inflated breast size of Lara Croft was the result of designer Toby Gard accidentally adjusting the model’s chest to 150% intended size and being persuaded by other designers working on the game that the breasts should stay.
9. Lara’s passport in the original timelines displays her middle name as “Amelia.” This is the only timeline where her middle name is known. From the Legend Timeline onward, this was her mother’s given name.
10. The original Lara Croft model used around 540 rendered polygons. Current models use somewhere around 50,000.
11. In the months following the launch of Tomb Raider, Lara Croft appears on the covers of Newsweek, TIME, the Financial Times, and The Face. She received a ton of endorsement requests and even went on to appear on a French postage stamp.
12. Lara Croft had a music album released only in France. Lara Croft: Female Icon had Rhona Mitra provide the lyrics while Dave Stewart, the former guitarist and singer of Eurythmics, composed and produced the album.
13. There have been 23 official Tomb Raider games. 11 were released on console and PC and 12 were released on handheld devices.
14. The most obscure version of Tomb Raider is the port of the 1996 original to the Nokia N-Gage. The game had a stripped down story and a ton of technical issues.
15. With a lifetime sales of 36.88 million, Lara Croft is the best selling video game heroine.
16. The most successful Tomb Raider game was the 2013 reboot. The Crystal Dynamics title moved more than a million copies in the first 48 hours after launch, and it has sold over 8.5 million units to date.
17. Top Cow Productions published Lara Croft comics between 1999 and 2005, in which she played out some of the events of her major games and teamed up with supernatural homicide detective Witchblade and other female Top Cow characters.
18. Two women play Lara Croft in 2013’s Tomb Raider and the new Rise of the Tomb Raider. camilla Luddington voices Lara Croft, while model Megan Farquhar provides her performance captured animations.
19. People have proposed to her many times even though she isn’t real. Eidos team membre Tricia Gray told the Times, “She’s had dozens of marriage proposals and all these cheesy letters.” Eidos even started receiving gifts and flowers from various people.
20. The original game only had 6 people developing it and it only took 18 months to complete the game. The training level, which took part in the Croft Manor, was built over one weekend with inspiration from the studios in Derby.
21. Before Lara Croft, the main character of Tomb Raider was a man named Fletcher Christian.
22. A French archaeologist named Jean Yves was featured in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation as a longtime friend to Lara. He was removed from future games after a real French archaeologist named Jean Yves noticed the similarities between himself and the in game model.
23. 2010’s Lara Croft; Guardian of Light was almost a side scroller.
24. The original Tomb Raider game was created as an Indiana Jones ripoff.
25. At one time, Lara Croft became more recognized than the Pope. Time Magazine once did an online survey in the 1990s on the world’s most recognized people. Lara ended up scoring higher than the Pope.
26. In the second Tomb Raider movie, Cradle of Life, Angelina Jolie was the only American born cast member.
27. Lara Croft is the most iconic gaming heroine and the third most successful character, behind Mario and Sonic. Tomb Raider is also the 31st most successful gaming franchise.
28. Tomb Raider was one of the first games created without using the first person perspective. Most games of the 1990s were created so the user could feel like they were part of the game, and users didn’t see the characters, they were the characters.
29. Prince of Persia’s timed jumps and interspersed combat is what inspired Tomb Raider’s gameplay. Originally, Lara Croft was meant to emulate the action archetype of her time with a more combat reliant system, however, the team decided to implement more puzzles and stealth into their game.
30. The very first installment of Tomb Raider was on the Sega Saturn. Sony jumped on the success and continued potential of the series by obtaining an exclusivity deal for the following two games. Many credit this move and the Tomb Raider series for Playstation’s success, allowing it to compete with the Nintendo 64.
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