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Raider: Secret of the Sword
Raider: Secret of the Sword
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Raider is a series of action-adventure games, comic
books, novels, theme park rides, and movies, centering
around the adventures of the female fictional British
archaeologist Lara Croft. Since the release of the
original Tomb Raider in 1996, the series developed
into a lucrative franchise of related media, and Lara
went on to become a major icon of the video game industry.
The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized
Lara Croft as the "Most Successful Human Videogame
Heroine" in 2006. Six games in the series were
developed by Core Design, and the latest two by Crystal
Dynamics. All the games were published by Eidos Interactive,
which holds the rights to the Tomb Raider trademark
and characters of the franchise. To date two movies,
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider:
The Cradle of Life, have been produced starring American
actress Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft.
central character in Tomb Raider is the sexy, no-nonsense,
British archaeologist Lara Croft, a female character
similar to Indiana Jones in search of ancient treasures.
was created by one-time Core designer Toby Gard, and
grew out of a number of ideas discarded in early concepts.
She appears almost invariably with brown shorts, a
blue top, holsters on both sides of her hip for dual
wielded pistols and a small brown backpack. Over the
course of the series, she has undergone minor adjustments,
such as smoother facial features, enlarged (and later
reduced) breast size and free moving hair.
real-life persons have taken on the role of portraying
Lara Croft in flesh, most notably British actresses
Nell McAndrew (who was an official model) and Rhona
Mitra (in the early days of the games' success), and
American actress Angelina Jolie in the Tomb Raider
movies. In addition, playing Lara at game conventions
is a popular type of modelling work. Alison Carroll
is the current official portrayer of Lara.
years after the release of the original game, Lara
is still one of the most durable and recognizable
video game characters. Alternatively viewed as a feminist
icon or a sexist stereotype, the impact of her character
on popular culture is undeniable.
are two different continuities to the game series.
The first encompassing the first six games, and the
second starting with Legend and including Anniversary.
Although Anniversary is a remake of the original Tomb
Raider, the story has been revised to fit into the
second continuity, although plot elements present
in Tomb Raider Legend are not explicitly referenced.
first continuity is often referred to as the Core
Design continuity and the second is usually referred
to as the Crystal Dynamics continuity, based on the
company that developed each game. Differences between
the continuities are particularly apparent in Lara
Croft’s backstory, as well as her personality.
Croft Manor also looks extremely different between
the continuities. It could also be stated that there
are additional continuities in the Tomb Raider series
as the movies and comic books have significant differences
from the games. For example, in the first continuity
and in the comics, Lara lost both her parents and
her fiancée in a plane crash that occurred
during her early-twenties. However, in the second
continuity, it is noted that this crash happened when
she was nine, and she lost her mother as an indirect
result of the crash. Both the second continuity and
the film continuity mention the loss of her father
second continuity borrows some elements from the films.
For example, the layout of Croft Manor in both Legend
and Anniversary is extremely similar to that featured
in the films.
original game, titled Tomb Raider, made its début
on the Sega Saturn, PlayStation and PC. Despite being
released on the Saturn first, it was one of the titles
responsible for the PlayStation's success in the mid
90s. The games present a world in 3D: a series of
tombs, and other locations, through which the player
must guide Lara. On the way, she must kill dangerous
animals and other creatures, while collecting objects
and solving puzzles to gain access to an ultimate
prize, usually a powerful artefact. In later games,
Lara's targets become predominantly human, which has
sparked some criticism from gamers who feel the games
became too violent.
Raider is an earlier example of the 3D genre. The
game is a third-person shooter since Lara is always
visible. The player's camera follows her, usually
over her shoulder or from behind. Up until Tomb Raider:
The Angel of Darkness, the game was characterised
by the cubic nature of the world in which Lara inhabits.
Ledges, walls and ceilings sit at 90 degrees to each
other, although the game designers use some clever
tricks to make this less obvious.
reason for this orthogonality can be explained by
the fact the creators took the 2D platform game genre
and extended it to a 3D world. This is shown through
Tomb Raider's gameplay, which is very reminiscent
of older platform games like Prince of Persia and
Flashback that had a heavy focus on timed jumping
interspersed with combat. Each game has introduced
new weapons and moves; by the fourth game, Lara could
backflip off ropes and turn around in mid-air to grab
a ledge behind her. Tomb Raider: Legend introduced
an electromagnetic grapple that Lara can attach to
metal objects and can, amongst other things, be used
to make rope swings and pull metal objects (and enemies)
moves in Lara's range of abilities include the somersault,
a roll, climbing techniques, the ability to swim,
a swan dive manoeuvre, and a handstand. The last two
abilities are purely aesthetic and serve no other
function in the game. In Tomb Raider III, a sprinting
move was introduced that allowed Lara to quickly speed
up while a bar in the lower corner of the screen drained
her stamina. In Tomb Raider: Chronicles, Lara was
able to somersault/roll out of crawl spaces higher
than ground level.
storyline is usually driven by the quest for a powerful
artefact, with Lara in a race against a sinister shadow
league who want to obtain the relic for their own
purposes. These artefacts usually possess mystical
powers and may be of supernatural, or even alien,
origin. Often in the series, the antagonist uses the
artifact or bits of it to create terrifying mystical
monsters, creatures, and mutants in which Lara must
defeat throughout the journey.
the success of Legend (more than 2.6 million units
sold worldwide in five weeks), Crystal Dynamics is
planning an eighth installment in the Tomb Raider
basic instrumentation for the Tomb Raider scores is
orchestral, though the games adopt different instrumentation
and tone with each installment in the series. The
majority of Tomb Raider music has been created using
electronic technology, such as samples and synthesizers
(though the Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness soundtrack
was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra). The
symphonic sounds of the earlier games were created
using Roland Corporation's Orchestral Expansion board
for their JV series keyboards. Tomb Raider: Angel
of Darkness brings the "next generations Lara"
and also a new perspective (constant music) on the
Tomb Raider music, because the first 5 games of the
series, not only that uses the same engine but the
music remains unchanged, the instrumentation is the
only aspect that suffers variations.
short in-game tunes of the first 5 games of the series
were used to prevent the player about the danger will
come. The "danger tunes" are loud and scary.
Other short tracks were used after the player discovers
a new chamber or reveals new places. On the moment
you enter and discover a new chamber, while the player
is supposed to be gazing at the place and thinking
about solving the new puzzle of this chamber, a short
track starts playing. The aftermath of the "reveal
tunes" is that on the moment they start they
trigger the feeling of mystery of the place where
and the need to unlock its puzzle.
sound effects of the games are also edited by the
main composers of each game.
most recognizable sound of the game is a short vibraphone
sound which is played Lara finds a secret element
of the game. The sound has been used in the first
five Tomb Raider video games, including Lara Croft
Tomb Raider: Anniversary though it has some insignificant
idea of Tomb Raider was extended beyond being just
a video game, including the 2001 movie Lara Croft:
Tomb Raider and the 2003 sequel Tomb Raider: The Cradle
of Life, both starring Angelina Jolie.
fair percentage of fans of the game argue that the
movie adaptations are a poor tribute to their video
game heritage, though Jolie, after some initial published
criticism mostly centred around her being an American
playing a British character, was considered an ideal
choice for the role of Lara Croft.
Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
member of a rich British aristocratic family, Lara
Croft is a "tomb raider" who enjoys collecting
ancient artefacts from ruins of temples, cities, etc.
worldwide, and doesn't mind going through death-defying
dangers to get them. She is skilled in hand-to-hand
combat, weapons training, and foreign languages -
and does them all in tight outfits.
planets of the solar system are going into astronomical
conjunction (which occurs every 5,000 years), and
a secret society called the Illuminati is seeking
an ancient talisman called The Triangle of Light that
gives its possessor the ability to control time. The
Illuminati need a certain clock/key called the All-seeing
Eye to help them in their search, and they have to
find it in one week or wait for the next planetary
alignment to find it again which will be in another
5,000 years. Lara happens to find the All-seeing Eye
hidden in a wall of her mansion. The Illuminati steal
it, and Lara gets an old letter from Lord Richard
Croft, her deceased father, telling her about the
society's agenda (Her father was a defected member,
who hid the key). Now, she must retrieve the key and
find and destroy the talisman before the Illuminati
can get their hands on it.
Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
Croft returns in the sequel to the original video
game based film. This time, she is trying to find
Pandora's Box which supposedly contains one of the
deadliest plagues on Earth, before evil scientist
Jonathan Reiss can get his hands on it. The key to
finding the Box, which is hidden in the mysterious
Cradle of Life, is an orb that is supposed to be some
type of a map. When Croft goes to get the orb, it
is stolen by Reiss's henchman and so she recruits
an old friend, Terry Sheridan, a former mercenary
who spent his last couple of years in prison in Siberia,
to come to help. Lara and Terry embark together on
an adventure that spans continents in an attempt to
regain the orb.
Tomb Raider (comics)
Raider has been licensed to Top Cow Productions, which
has published a large number of Tomb Raider stories
in comic book form since 1999. The series ended in
2004 with the release of its final and fiftieth comic
Books, in conjunction with Eidos, began publishing
a series of original novels in the spring of 2004,
beginning with The Amulet of Power by Mike Resnick,
which was followed by The Lost Cult by E. E. Knight
in August 2004 and then The Man of Bronze by James
Alan Gardner in January 2005. They generally followed
the continuity of the video games (particularly Angel
of Darkness) rather than the movies, although Lost
Cult contained references to Cradle of Life. Man of
Bronze differs from the first two books in that it
is told in first-person narrative from Lara Croft's
point of view.
contract only called for three novels, and it is not
yet known if the book series will continue.
Theme Park Rides
Tomb Raider (comics)
film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and subsequent sequel,
having been distributed & licensed by Paramount
Pictures were fair game for inclusion in the six Paramount
Parks, theme parks owned and operated by Paramount
(and later, CBS Corporation. As such, three "Tomb
Raider" rides were opened at various Paramount
Parks: Tomb Raider: The Ride (both a HUSS Giant Top
Spin at King's Island and a flying roller coaster
at Canada's Wonderland) and Tomb Raider: FireFall
(a suspended HUSS Top Spin at King's Dominion). The
Paramount Park's sale to Cedar Fair, L.P. was accompanied
by a loss of rights to the Tomb Raider name, and subsequently,
King's Island's "Tomb Raider: The Ride"
and King's Dominion's "Tomb Raider: FireFall"
were renamed "The Crypt" (to which there
is much controversy) while Canada's Wonderland's "Tomb
Raider: The Ride" was renamed "Time Warp."
it's investments & licensing pulled from the former
Paramount Parks, the Tomb Raider ride franchise was
started anew with Tomb Raider: The Machine at Movieland
Studios, Italy. The ride, manufactured by Zamperla,
looks very much like the HUSS Top Spin ride, but is
actually a new ride called a Windshear].
original (and only indoor, themed) Tomb Raider: The
Ride at King's Island was celebrated for the way it
turned what is generally a typical "boring"
thrill ride like a Top Spin (something found at most
carnivals) into a highly interactive, themed dark
ride complete with lava pits, volcanoes, icicles,
and a giant goddess carving on the wall with laser
eyes. The ride was synchronized to a specially-made
Tomb Raider soundtrack and featured the real, six
armed "Durga" goddess and water vase from
the first movie, as well as the monkey warrior statues
that come to life in the film.
Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider Animated Series
aired a ten part animated short series called "Re\Visioned:
Tomb Raider Animated Series" from July 10th,
2007 to November 13th, 2007. The series is comprised
of various artistic talent's renditions of Lara Croft.
Minnie Driver provides the voice for Lara Croft. (Credit:
Raider - Secret Of The Sword video slot game