September 30, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 30: How has the series affected your life?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Why do you love Tomb Raider and Lara Croft? Has the character and/or the series made an impact on your life outside of the time you spend playing and if so, how?

Now that we've come to the end of the month, I'd once again like to express my gratitude to Jeremy for sharing his 30-Day Tomb Raider Challenge with the world. Thanks also to everyone who participated!

September 29, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 29: Favorite Fan Creations

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

I know it's a big topic, but since we covered parody yesterday, it seemed only fair to ask about tribute today. So please share your favorite fan art, fiction, video, custom level or other Tomb Raider tribute. If it's too difficult to narrow down to just one, go ahead and post a few links.

The original topic for day 29 will be incorporated into tomorrow's final challenge. Thanks to Marie, JeniRaider and Ostercy for suggesting elements of today's topic.


Tomb Raider by edtadeo. Visit his DeviantArt gallery to see a larger verison.

September 28, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 28: Favorite Tomb Raider Parody

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Over the years, many fans have created satirical tributes to the series in the form of fan fiction, art, videos, etc. Which Tomb Raider spoof do you like best? (Note that this question only covers parody. Tomorrow we'll talk about more serious fan work.)

The original challenge question for today was an accidental repeat of Day 9. Today's stand-in question was suggested by Jack.


The gamer/character relationship is reversed in AshkaFiend's video series, "If Lara Could Control Her Fans."

September 27, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 27: If you could suggest one thing to Crystal Dynamics in regard to the Tomb Raider series, what would it be?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Maybe you've read or even participated in the "Official TR9 Wishlist" on the Eidos Forums. If not, or if there's something you'd like to add, now's your chance. Who knows, maybe someone from Crystal might actually read this.

September 26, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 26: Favorite scene from the Tomb Raider series.

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

With 9 major games and several minor ones to choose from, there certainly are a lot of options. What's your favorite scene from a Tomb Raider game and why?

Where is my mother?
Where <bang!> is <bang!> my <bang!> MOTHER?!
Tomb Raider: Legend screenshot courtesy of Katie Fleming.

September 25, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 25: Which is the most challenging Tomb Raider game?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

As we discussed on Day 22, all of Lara's adventures have their rough spots, but today we ask which game was the most difficult overall and why?


Gamer rage photo courtesy of Joystick_n_hand.

September 24, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 24: Does anything bother you about the Tomb Raider series?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

I'm sure we all have our pet peeves—whether it's something about the gameplay itself, the way Lara has been portrayed, or even just having to wait 4 years for the next game. What, if anything, bugs you about Tomb Raider and why?

·   ·   ·

The thing that most annoys me is the difference between this:


. . . and this:


I have no problem with the idea of Lara as a sexy, sexual woman, but the character portrayed in the games is clearly not pin-up material. She doesn’t have time time for that crap. She's got places to go and things to kill.

Anyone who bought the games because they thought they'd be seeing a half-naked woman traipsing through the tombs was undoubtedly disappointed. And most of us who bought the games for what they actually were, find this type of marketing completely cringeworthy. I get tired of having to explain to non-gamers that Tomb Raider really isn't "like that".

September 23, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 23: What fond memories do you have of the Tomb Raider series or of Lara Croft?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

A series that's been around for 15 years is bound to have inspired its players; otherwise it wouldn't have lasted as long as it has. What are your most memorable Tomb Raider moment? Is it something that happened in one of the games or a real-life experience you've had as a result of being a fan?

Today's challenge question is very similar to one I used in last year's Book Bonanza Contest Part 1. If you entered that contest, I hope you'll answer again here.

Return to Egypt
Return to Egypt screenshot courtesy of Katie Fleming.

September 22, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 22: What sequence gave you the most difficulty?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Unless you're a gaming genius, I'm sure you've struggled with at least a few Tomb Raider puzzles, traps or battles. I know I have. Which game sequence did you find the hardest?

Today's question was suggested by Buffalo Mein, a reader and fellow raider who has commented on most of the challenges so far. The original question for day 22 was about Tomb Raider music, but I decided to combine it with the challenge for day 13.


Something old: The Palace Midas fire pillars from the original Tomb Raider. Screenshot courtesy of Perusing Pixels.

Something new: The retracting ledges above the lava pool in Tomb Raider: Anniversary's Great Pyramid level.

September 21, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 21: Favorite Way to Kill Lara Croft

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Poor Lara. How she suffers at our inept hands. The video below—one of more than 7,000 that turn up when searching for 'Lara Croft deaths' on YouTube—shows some classic Lara deaths, but you're welcome to nominate sequences from the newer games as well.

Update: A few people asked about the Tomb Raider: Legend "Unfortunate Mishaps" video after I mentioned it in my comment (below). In case you missed it, I've uploaded it on YouTube.

September 20, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 20: Favorite Lara Croft voice actor?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

The original question had to do with weapons, but since we covered that on day 6, I've decided to ask something different this time. Which of the voice actors who've portrayed Lara do you like best and why? In case you need a refresher, here are a few short clips. (Click the audio icons to play.)

Shelley Blond
Shelley Blond
listen(1996)

Judith Gibbins
Judith Gibbins
listen(1997-98)

Jonell Elliott
Jonell Elliott
listen(1999-2003)

Keeley Hawes
Keeley Hawes
listen(2006-2008)

Camilla Luddington
Camilla Luddington
listen(2011- )


Minnie Driver
Minnie Driver
(Re\Visioned Tomb Raider animated series 2007)YouTube


September 19, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 19: Do you own any Tomb Raider merchandise besides the games?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

I know some of you are avid Tomb Raider memorabilia collectors, since you shared pictures of your swag with us in July (article here). If you didn't submit your collection then, now's your chance to tell us about it. Or if, like me, you're not a collector, tell us why.


Darlene's Tomb Raider collection is one of several featured in the "Lara's Hidden Treasures" article.

September 18, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 18: Favorite Live-Action Model

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Earlier this year Crystal Dynamics announced that there will be no live model portraying the young Lara Croft featured in next year's series reboot. Is this the end of an era or might the live-action model tradition return for future games? I guess we'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, today's challenge question asks who is your favorite live-action Lara and why? Is it one of the official Eidos models, film actress Angelina Jolie, or one of the amateur actor/model/cosplayers?

Official Lara Croft Models (1996-2010)

Nathalie Cook (1996-97)


Rhona Mitra (1997-98)


Vanessa Demouy (1998)


Nell McAndrew (1998-99)


Lara Weller (1999-2000)


Lucy Clarkson (2000-02)


Jill de Jong (2002-04)


Karima Adebibe (2006-08)


Alison Carroll (2008-10)


Lara Croft model reunion to commemorate the TR: Anniversary release. Pictured left to right: Nell McAndrew, Lara Weller, Karima Adebibe, Lucy Clarkson, Jill de Jong.


In 2007, GameTap produced the documentary Ten Years of Tomb Raider. Part 6, titled "Being Lara Croft," features an interview with Karima Adebibe, the current Lara model at the time. Watch all 9 episodes, courtesy of Guns & Grapple.

September 17, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 17: Favorite Puzzle

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

The original question for Day 17 was "least favorite weapon" but since we sort of covered that one on day 6, I've decided to make up a new question. So what's your favorite Tomb Raider puzzle and why?


The Midas statue in Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Enhanced screenshot by tombraider4ever. Click for larger image.

September 16, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 16: Favorite Location

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Lara Croft has been around the world and back several times. The only continent she hasn't visited yet is Australia. Which setting did you enjoy most? Where would you like her to go in a future game?


Tomb Raider world map courtesy of Wikipedia. Click the image for the full-size annotated version.

September 15, 2011

Tomb Raider Q&A with Yours Truly

Stella Xbox Live StyleAnd now a brief message from the shameless self-promotion department. Recently two fellow bloggers asked me to share my thoughts on the games, the evolution of my site and other raider-related matters.

Matt's Tomb Raider Blog

JBTRFreak's Tomb Raider Site

Thanks to Matt and JB for the opportunity to ramble on about the games I love and for sharing their enthusiasm with the community.

UPDATE: Unfortunately these sites are no more, but I have archived the interviews on my own site: Interviews.

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 15: Favorite picture of Lara Croft

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Official art, screenshot, fan art, you name it. Show us your favorite Lara picture. Sorry the comments here don't accommodate photos, but feel free to post links.


I don't know why exactly, but this is my favorite classic Lara image. Something about her slightly startled expression, the hieroglyphs in the background and the dramatic lighting.


And this is my favorite Crystal-era Lara so far.

September 14, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 14: Least favorite game in the series.

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

As far as I'm concerned, even the "worst" Tomb Raider is better than most other games, but since we've shared our favorites it seems only fair to name our least favorite too.

September 13, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 13: Favorite TR Music

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

I changed this slightly from Jeremy's original version to encompass any Tomb Raider musical composition. Themes from the games, movies, fan-created tracks like Dance Raider, whatever you like. Please post a link if it's not something most of us have heard. It's always great to expand our horizons.

And while we're on the subject of Tomb Raider music, there's still a little over a week left to enter the Raiderfest 2011 music competition. If you're musically inclined and have written or performed TR-inspired music before, I encourage you to enter.

September 12, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 12: What are your thoughts on Kurtis Trent?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Love, hatred, indifference? Did he actually die in Angel of Darkness? Should he return in a future game?


Kurtis Trent by AshKa. More at Lara's Lost Photo Album.

September 11, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 11: Were there any specific moments during the game that scared you?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

The series certainly has its share of harrowing moments, and the upcoming game looks to be the most frightening yet. What scene or situation did you find the scariest?


Lara fights a swarm of giant spiders in Tomb Raider: Underworld.

September 10, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-day Challenge Day 10: Have you read any of the books? If so, which ones?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

In addition to the games and movies, the Tomb Raider franchise has spawned dozens of tie-in novels and comics, not to mention art books, collectible compilations and game guides. Which ones have you read, or are you partial to the digital forms?


The Tomb Raider Compendium includes the first 50 issues of the Top Cow comic. Click for a larger image of the cover.

September 9, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-Day Challenge Day 9: Have you cried at any parts during the game?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

And frustration over not being able to beat the centaurs in Tomb Raider: Aniversary doesn't count. ;)

September 8, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-day Challenge Day 8: What was the first Tomb Raider game you played?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

A simple enough question, though I might add "...and which was the first Tomb Raider game you actually completed?" since a lot of people seem to struggle with their first attempt.


Tomb Raider game boxes courtesy of Goran Agar.
Visit goranagar.com to see a larger version of this pic and more of his massive collection of Lara Croft swag.

September 7, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-day Challenge Day 7: What are your thoughts on the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Whenever a familiar and beloved series takes a new turn, there's always the risk of alienating the original fan base. Crystal Dynamics continues to stress that they're trying to maintain that Tomb Raider "feel" while making the characters and situations "relevant" to today's gamers. So how are they doing?


The latest Lara Croft from the upcoming 2012 TOMB RAIDER. Visit my main site for more info about the game.

September 6, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-day Challenge Day 6: Favorite Weapon

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Lara has amassed quite an arsenal over the years, from her iconic dual pistols to the bow she carries in the concept art for the upcoming game. Which weapon is your all-time favorite and why? Which do you dislike? What weapons would you like to see (or see again) in future games?


Tomb Raider 3 weapons. Image courtesy of Tomb Raider Wiki.

September 5, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-day Challenge Day 5: Favorite Enemy

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Wikiraider lists almost 200 enemies and bosses in the Tomb Raider series [link]. Which is your favorite—and which do you find the most difficult or annoying—and why?


Lara surrounded by tigers in Tomb Raider: Underworld.
Click for larger image.

September 4, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-day Challenge Day 4: Favorite Lara Croft Outfit

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

Is it Lara's original sleeveless bodysuit, shorts and boots? One of the slinky black catsuits? Maybe the realistically ripped and bloodied tank top and cargo pants Lara sports in the upcoming TOMB RAIDER? Or perhaps you're a D.I.Y. kind of girl or guy and prefer a modded outfit you made yourself. Let us know and post a picture link if you like.


Tomb Raider 3 outfits recreated for Anniversary by Teeth. Originally posted on tombraiderforums.com. Not sure if they're still available anywhere.

September 3, 2011

Tomb Raider 30-day Challenge Day 3: Do you like the movies? Why or why not?

UPDATE: This month-long challenge has officially finished, but you're still welcome to post your comments below at any time. We'd love to hear what you think.

So how does everyone feel about the Tomb Raider movies? Do you like them? Why or why not? And while we're on the subject, who do you think should play Lara in the third film?

Tomb Raider Archives - Collecting all the classic Top Cow Comics
Tomb Raider Archives 4-volume set collects 50 issues of the best-selling Top Cow comic. Order from TFAW, Amazon, or Amazon UK.