Throwback Thursday: Tomb Raider – The Legend of Lara Croft Begins (VIDEO)
Let’s throw back to November 14th, 1996, when the Tomb Raider released for the original PlayStation. The treasure-hunting adventure presented one of the most iconic women protagonists in gaming and served as an influence for countless other action games that followed.
The character of Lara Croft was conceived by designer Toby Gard and went through a number of iterations before becoming the version we know today. At one stage, Lara was to be a hard-edge military type named “Laura Cruz”, but neither designation ever quite fit. Eventually the team decided on giving her a personality outside her gun-based gameplay, having Lara become a female Indiana Jones, of-sorts.
However, a sole woman protagonist wasn’t always the intent, as the team were originally set on giving players a choice between either a male or female adventurer. As development furthered, it became clear that only one hero would be able to comfortably make the cut. Gard would ultimately pick Lara, recognizing the lack of female protagonists in gaming at the time.
The game sees adventuring archaeologist Lara Croft on a mission to recover scattered pieces of the mysterious Scion artefact. This takes her to a number of locales as she navigates tombs, solves puzzles, and overcomes hostile wildlife with the aid of several weapons, including her classic dual pistols. Animal predators aren’t the only ones after Lara as the Scion’s enigmatic power attracts armed human threats as well as some not-so-human ones. Also, there’s a T-Rex.
As Tomb Raider relies more on puzzle-solving than gun battles, the game features extended segments of exploring, collecting, and platforming. In between these bouts of strategy hide dangerous traps that often lead to Lara’s demise. Falling, burning, drowning, electrocution, and being impaled on spikes are all a deathly possibility. One infamous tomb can even turn Lara into a solid gold statue if players accidentally touch the hand of Midas.
Tomb Raider received numerous sequels and spin-offs before being rebooted in 2006 titled Tomb Raider: Legend. The first game would be remade with visual and gameplay improvements for its 10-year anniversary in Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Yet another reboot would take place in 2013, taking the series in a much more grounded direction, followed up by Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2015 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider set for a release in 2018.
What’s your opinion of the original Tomb Raider? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! Also, be on the lookout for the next Throwback Thursday where we’ll highlight yet another title from gaming past. For entries from previous weeks, check out these next few links below:
Eric Hall2712 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.