Lara Croft

How can I describe her without my jaw collapsing in on itself? Do I concentrate on her large almond eyes, her puffy lips and her sporty braided ponytail? Or do I try to describe her well-endowed frame in a meaningful way so I don’t seem like I’m drooling? My regular readers already know what I’m going to say, but I’ll say it anyway—welcome to this edition of Women Who Wow Wednesday.

Alison Carroll as Lara Croft
Alison Carroll as Lara Croft

My first introduction to Lara Croft was in 1997 with the PC game Tomb Raider II. To say the game was long is an understatement. It took me a solid two months to complete. I fell in love with the character right out of the box. She was the first female hero I had played that actually had a set on her, if you know what I mean. Tough, tough, tough chick. I was in need of some serious R&R once I’d finished with her.

Alison Carroll as Tomb Raider
Alison Carroll as Tomb Raider

Lara might be a game character and may seem a tad two-dimensional (at least in the old PC games), but once Angelina Jolie breathed life into her, Lara became greater than life itself. I was one of the first guys in the theater opening night. I was also one of the first ones to have gotten the DVD several months later on release day. I don’t remember having slept that night either. The special features consumed me to a little nub.

What is it that I like the most about Lara? What’s there not to like? She’s attractive, intelligent, has one of those wicked English accents that would drive any young boy bonkers. Nothing fazes her. Machine gun fire could follow her up a wall and she’d laugh it off as if it was a game of hopscotch.

Angelina Jolie as Tomb Raider
Angelina Jolie as Tomb Raider

No matter how many assassins appear in any given moment, she can dispatch them without misplacing one hair on her head. Most of the times, the smirk on her face says it all, “I am easily entertained by your efforts. But today, you will die.” An expert marksman, weapons come easy to her. She carries two silver Heckler & Koch USP Match 9mm handguns, each holstered to her thighs. Custom mag holders dispense 18-round magazines at almost the same time.

What else can she do? Oh, boy—she can perform summersaults, back flips, layouts, tucks, pikes—I’ve seen her toss herself from the edge of a cliff, grab a crag on the other side, slide the length of a crevice, and hop the opposite side of a rock formation to land on a ledge barely wide enough for her fingertips. Excuse the pun, but Lara Croft: Tomb Raider rocks!

Have you played any of the Tomb Raider games? Have you seen any of the movies?

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30 thoughts on “Lara Croft

  1. Someone please explain the attraction of the ‘wicked English accent’, never quite understood that. To me French is the accent to envy.
    My brother was obsessed with Lara Croft, even had a huge cardboard cut out that proudly stood in his bedroom at uni

  2. Having been in a “big-ass marching band” as a shrieking piccolo player, I totally get this dream. See, the elephant is your id. The music emanating from his trunk is your ego. Or something…

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Jack,
    thank you for liking my post on the latest Tomb Raider (or rather, the media’s treatment of it), and I couldn’t help but smile when you wrote that you were introduced to her in Tomb Raider II; my experiences began there also, but it wasn’t until ‘Legend’ that I actually beat any of those games.
    Looking at Lara, Wow, Wow indeed; what started off as unreal as Duke Nukem but aged considerably better with the times, I only hope her current game is any good.
    Cheers,
    Alessandro.

  4. “but once Angelina Jolie breathed life into her, Lara became greater than life itself.”
    I completely agree. She was my first favorite woman hero as she just doesn’t seem out of a fantasy land. Great read 🙂
    Luego,

  5. I am a big fan of Lara and even more so the Tomb Raider series. My favorite is Anniversary. I like the way it melds the old design with a more updated control scheme and visuals. Platformers are my favorite type of game and I love that this series focuses on platforming and puzzle-solving above all else. Not many series do that these days. The new game is pretty good, but gets too far away from those aspects I think, so that was disappointing for me. Anyway, cool blog. Lara does rock!

  6. Truth be told, before the movie came out, I never even heard of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider game. I’m not into games. That is a completely different world. Gamers are very seriously about the whole sport of gaming. Hollywood did a great job of casting Angelina Jolie, one of my favorite actresses as Lara Croft. She did an amazing job. I did notice that the boobies were kind of big. I guess that what the character looks like in the video. LOL. As usual, I enjoy reading these. Thanks!!

  7. I enjoyed the first couple of games and you’re right, they’re almost exceedingly long. The thing I liked most was the interaction of Lara and the environment like grabbing ledges and things like that, something new to video games at the time.

    As far as characters go though, I found Lara to be quite 2-dimensional. I mean, she was a video game character after all. Trying to spice things up with the movies didn’t help much though. Angelina Jolie didn’t have a whole lot to work with, but she didn’t really take Lara to another level either. Long story short, Lara Croft was great as a video game character, but in my opinion, leaving her alone and in the games would have been best.

  8. No picture of virtual Lara, Jack? You should have added at least one for balance! 😀
    I’ve played the old games 1-5, I think, but I’ll surely get to the new trilogy soon too.
    Though, I have to say that for me Lara still looks like this:

  9. Agreed. The new game is great, but I don’t think it quite does her justice. There is no double fisting pistols or gymnastics. With that said, it is supposed to be her first raid, and it is immersive. I think the next installment will bring back the Lara we know and love!

    • I read the reviews and I agree. This is a different Lara Croft. She has the girl-next-door look, which contrasts the buxom Lara from the original. I’m sure we’ll see the old Lara come back soon!

      • I’m not entirely sure on that, I think they are going to stick with their overhaul on LC. It feels as if they want a more “down to earth” and somewhat more realistic heroine. Hence the smaller bosom, less aerial maneuvers, and actual character development. I think it would be wise to embrace this LC as a new one and judge her on her own merits, hoping for an evolution into the old LC will probably lead to disappointment.

  10. Great article. I’m also a fan of Lara’s. I’ve only experienced a few of her games even tho I own a good chunk of them. The last game I played was Guardian Of Light. Good isometric game. I now own the reboot and cannot wait to tear it open! Btw Alison Carol is a great TR cosplayer!

  11. Angelina Jolie was wonderful as Lara Croft. Physically and with her attitude, she made it work for me – and I don’t play video games. I just wanted to watch the action movie. 🙂 And it was fun!

  12. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I’m also am a big fan of the games! I too first experienced Lara Croft in Tomb Raider II and became hooked. What do you think of the recent trilogy – Legend, Anniversary, and Underworld? I still haven’t got hold of the new game but plan on doing so soon.

    • I’ve played Legend and Anniversary, and both were good. I have yet to play Underworld. Anniversary’s interesting in that it takes the original version of Tomb Raider and fits it into the Legend engine. I thought it was well done!

      • Yeah I really enjoyed both of those games. And it was nice to revisit the original again through Anniversary. Underworld is good, although I seem to remember thinking that it was a little weaker than those other two.

  13. I have played Tomb Raider. It was the first game on my Nintendo DS Lite back in 2007. And I have Tomb Raider on PS2…the earlier ones. Its an awesome character. She has some kick ass moves. However, I haven`t seen the movie..not a huge fan of Angelina Jolie for one.

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