December 21, 2013

Lara Croft: Reflections Card Battle Game Launching Soon

It's official. Lara Croft: Reflections is a thing.

Back in March, Siliconera broke the news that Square Enix had trademarked the "Reflections" name. Many fans guessed it might be the name of the upcoming TOMB RAIDER sequel, but this turned out not to be so.

According to Crystal Dynamics Community Manager Meagan Marie, Lara Croft: Reflections is actually a turn-based card battle game for mobile platforms, currently in development by Square Enix Japan (Smile Lab) and RenRen Games. The game is now being tested in New Zealand and Australia prior to an anticipated release in the first quarter of 2014. According to the iTunes info page, the app itself will be free, but players will be able to purchase items in-game.


Explore ancient myths, collect powerful weapons, and fight epic bosses! More Lara Croft: Reflections images in LCR's Facebook photo gallery.

According to Meagan, the adventure doesn't take place in the core Tomb Raider universe or timeline; it's more of a nostalgic Lara Croft experience. She promised more details as the game gets closer to launch. Meanwhile, fans can track the game's progress on the Lara Croft: Reflections Facebook Page and check out the gameplay preview video below.


UPDATE 1/18/14: Added video.

December 17, 2013

Original Tomb Raider Now Available on iPhone and iPad

It's a blast from the past! The original Tomb Raider is now available for iPhone and iPad. The app requires iOS 7.0 or later. It's compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and is optimized for iPhone 5.


I don't own any sort of iThingy, so I haven't had a chance to try it myself, but according to reports from other fans, it's a straight port of the original game with slightly enhanced graphics and touchscreen controls. From what I've seen, it looks great, though apparently the controls are a bit wonky. I'm told the iPad version is a bit easier to handle, what with the larger screen and all, but the iPhone and iPod Touch controls can be frustrating. I suppose if you're willing to shell out the money, a controller like the Logitech PowerShellwould help.

Unlike other TR1 downloads (I'm talking to you Steam and GOG!) this one includes the four Unfinished Business bonus levels. Just tap the icon with the little gray squares to switch between the main game and the add-on.

Tomb Raider for iOs

In this short video, James from AppSpy takes the game for a spin on the iPhone 5 and gets mauled by bats while sorting the controls. ;) Looks like fun!


At £0.99/€0.89/$0.99 you really can't go wrong. Visit the App Store for details. If you have a chance to play it, please leave a comment letting me know what you think.

December 8, 2013

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Sadly this weekend's VGX Awards didn't bring a Tomb Raider sequel announcement—or the pile of accolades many of us were hoping for—but there's still some great news and a spiffy video trailer to go with it. TR 2013 is being completely rebuilt for next-gen consoles and will be released as the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition at the end of January.


According to the Official Tomb Raider Blog, "The team didn't simply up-rez the game, they pulled it apart and rebuilt it with obsessive detail and new technology."

The core action and story of Tomb Raider remain intact. Along with vastly improved graphics, Kinect support for the Xbox One version, and Vita play for the PS4 game, the Definitive Edition also includes all available DLC, plus a few bonuses. Here's what's in the box:

  • The fully rebuilt game for next-generation consoles
  • The Tomb of the Lost Adventurer DLC
  • Eight DLC multiplayer maps
  • Six DLC multiplayer weapons
  • Four DLC multiplayer characters
  • Six alternate outfits for Lara
  • Dark Horse digital comic book Tomb Raider: The Beginning
  • Brady Games digital art book Tomb Raider: The Art of Survival
  • The Final Hours of Tomb Raider documentary series

For additional details about the specific improvements, the development partners involved, and other game features, download this Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition FAQ (PDF document).

The Definitive Edition is available for pre-order from Amazon.comand other game retailers. It will be released January 28, 2014, in North America and January 31 in Europe. The price will be around $60 US.

Check out the TRDE screenshots in this album on my G+ page.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition render
Lara Croft newly remodeled for the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.
Click for high-res version.

Tomb Raider: Defnititive Edition

December 7, 2013

Platform Interview with Tomb Raider Composer Nathan McCree

Nottingham University student Daryl Baxter recently interviewed Nathan McCree for Platform Magazine. In a wide-ranging conversation, McCree discussed his work on the first three Tomb Raider games, as well as his process, influences, and more recent projects.

Fans of the classic games might be surprised to learn about the frantic pace of the early games' development.

"Every tune was written once, and that version went in the game. I wrote the entire score for TR1 in 4 weeks.... I didn't really see the levels in an "early state." If I was lucky I got to see the area where we needed some music, or some screen shot or something, but most of the time I was working from minimal word descriptions like, 'Under water,' 'T-Rex,' 'Caves,' etc."

It's also especially exciting to hear that McCree has plans for the classic soundtracks. When Baxter asked him about Peter Connelly's recent TR4, 5, and Angel of Darkness SoundCloud releases, McCree responded,

"Well yes I am working on it. There is some 'red tape' to get through first. In fact I have much bigger plans for the music which I hope to finalise soon so watch this space."

Read the full interview at Platform Magazine.

Tomb Raider composer Nathan McCree in his studio in 1996
Nathan McCree in his studio back in 1996.

November 10, 2013

Extra Life Follow-Up Prize Raffle

Just a quick addendum to my previous post about last weekend's Extra Life charity videogame marathon. During our livestream event, we gave away a bunch of prizes, but we still have a few things left, including T-shirts and gift vouchers from Insert Coin Clothing, game downloads from GOG.com, and a bit of Tomb Raider swag as well.

If you'd like a chance to win one of these prizes, you'll find details and an entry form here. I will announce the winners on Saturday, November 16.

Once again, my sincere thanks to everyone who participated and donated, and to our cool and very generous sponsors, GOG.com, Insert Coin Clothing, Crystal Dynamics, and Chris Jones, the raider who donated the posters.

TOMB RADIER developer Crystal Dynamics
Download the best games on Windows and Mac. A vast selection of titles, DRM-free, with free goodies, customer love, and one fair price for all regions.
Insert Coin - the leading name in video game inspired t-shirts and hoodies

Team Tomb Raider Community Raised $2,809 for Extra Life!

As you probably know, last weekend a bunch of us raiders got together to play games for Extra Life, a charity videogame marathon to benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Together we raised. . . drumroll please. . . $2,809!

Along with $2,039 in direct donations through our Extra Life team page, the Custom Tomb Raider Xbox 360 Bundle donated by our wonderful benefactors at Crystal Dynamics sold on eBay for $770! Congratulations and thanks to the winning bidder, Jay from Hawaii. Jay, you're a gentleman and an angel, as well as a hardcore fan. :D

I'd also like to thank everyone on our team—Nora, Hunter, Phill, Laura, Sinead, Bill, Scott, Colin, Amanda, Daryl, Nick and David—as well as the other gamers who played on our Extra Life livestream—Mark, Nath, Luka, Liam, and my wingman (wingwoman?), Queen Crispy—and of course everyone who tuned in, helped spread the word, and donated generously. I love you all!

If you missed the event itself, it's not too late to show your support. Extra Life's organizers are hoping to top the $4 MILLION mark over the next few days. So if you can spare even a few dollars, your help would be much appreciated. For more info about the event, visit Extra-Life.org. To donate, click the banner above.

If you'd like to join the team and play with us next year, just send me an email or tweet (@stellalune) and I'll add you to the roster. I'll be contacting everyone next September to plan for Extra Life 2014.

Thank you for your support! Tomb Raider fans are the best!

November 1, 2013

Extra Life Charity Livestream...for the Children!

The Extra Life charity marathon is on! We're raising money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. To that end, we'll be streaming live gameplay throughout the weekend, starting around 9:30 a.m. EDT (1:30 p.m. GMT) Saturday, November 2. Come on over to Livestream.com and log into the chat. Please donate if you can, but don't feel bad if you can't. Moral support is equally important. We'd love to have you there, and it's going to be a lot of fun!

I'll also be announcing prize giveaways throughout the event. So tune in if you want to win some Tomb Raider swag, free game downloads from GOG.com, or gaming apparel from Insert Coin Clothing.

We're also auctioning a limited-edition customized TOMB RAIDER Xbox 360 console and Collector's Edition game, including a Lara Croft Play Arts Kai action figure. The eBay auction is set to end November 2 at 8 p.m. PDT/11 p.m. EDT (3 a.m. GMT November 3). All proceeds will go to Children's Miracle Network in support of Extra Life.


Team Tomb Raider Community Extra Life Livestream Highlights

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to Extra Life so far, to all of you playing on the livestream and watching, and to everyone who's helped to spread the word about the marathon. Without your videos, tweets, posts, and shares, I'd be sitting in a room playing by myself. :(

I also want to thank our wonderful sponsors, Crystal Dynamics, for donating the Xbox bundle and other goodies, as well as GOG.com and Insert Coin Clothing for providing prizes for our giveaway.

TOMB RADIER developer Crystal Dynamics
Download the best games on Windows and Mac. A vast selection of titles, DRM-free, with free goodies, customer love, and one fair price for all regions.
Insert Coin - the leading name in video game inspired t-shirts and hoodies

October 24, 2013

Charity Auction: Exclusive TOMB RAIDER Xbox 360 Bundle

If you're a collector and would like to help support Team Tomb Raider Community's Extra Life efforts, we have great news! Thanks to a generous donation from Crystal Dynamics, we are also auctioning this LIMITED-EDITION TOMB RAIDER BRANDED XBOX 360 BUNDLE. It includes a customized console, plus a Tomb Raider Collector's Edition boxed set, featuring the 8-inch Lara Croft action figure from Play Arts Kai.

Limited Edition Tomb Raider Xbox 360
Tomb Raider Collector's Edition Game Lara Croft Play Arts Kai figure

The console and game are NTSC/North America region encoded, and the auction includes free shipping to the U.S., Canada or Mexico.

This auction ends Saturday, November 2, 2013, at 8 p.m. PDT. For details, visit the eBay auction page.

100% of the proceeds will go to Children's Miracle Network to help hospitalized children and their families.

UPDATE: A few people have asked about shipping outside North America, even though the console is NTSC. I have asked Meagan at Crystal, but she's away from the office until Monday. I'll let you all know as soon as I have more info.

Tomb Raider Cosplay Care Package Initiative

Attention cosplayers, cosplay aficionados, and patrons of the costume arts and crafts! If you're an aspiring cosplayer having trouble getting established in the hobby because you're lacking crucial supplies, here comes LaraCroftCosplay.com to the rescue!

The Tomb Raider Cosplay Care Package Initiative aims to provide free supplies to people who need help getting started or taking a cosplay project to the finish line. Sara explains the basics in the video below. Follow this link for details and the application form to request a care package.

If, like me, you love seeing what these creative cosplayers do and want to help them succeed, we need sponsors and supply donations too. Please contact Sara if you'd like to contribute. Thank you!

October 20, 2013

Tomb Raider Trivia Quiz

How much do you know about Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider video game series? Test your knowledge with my new Tomb Raider Interactive Trivia Challenge.

I've kicked things off with three trivia quizzes containing 10 questions each, covering all aspects of the Tomb Raider games. I'll be adding new challenges regularly, at least until I run out of questions. So if you'd like to contribute ideas for future quizzes, just follow the link above.

Good luck, raiders! Show me how smart you are.

Tomb Raider game boxes

October 15, 2013

Why Are We Playing for Extra Life?

If you've seen my previous post or follow me on social media, you know I've been promoting this Extra Life thing pretty hard. But in case it's not clear, here's a short video featuring just a few of the reasons why I started Team Tomb Raider Community.


Video produced by Extra Life.

Last year we raised more than $1,000 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. This time we plan to more than double that. Thanks to our 12 team members and several generous donors (so far), we've collected more than $600 toward that goal.

Please help! Click the "Make A Donation" button for details on how to give. If you can't contribute financially, you can help in several other important ways:
  • Follow me. I've got some fun things lined up in the next few weeks. (Social links are in the right column.)
  • Spread the word. Share my updates with your friends, especially the gamers. Please.
  • If you have a website or blog, post an announcement, like these by The Archaeology of Tomb Raider, Lara's Tomb, and The Official Tomb Raider Blog. (Thanks, Kelly, Sinead and Meagan!)
  • Tune in November 2-3 for our Extra Life marathon livestream. We'll be playing on Livestream.com, streaming some live Tomb Raider, chatting with friends and special guests, giving away some fun little prizes, and generally having a blast. I might even broadcast my first attempt at TR multiplayer. You definitely wouldn't want to miss that epic fail. ;)
Thank you for your support. We can't do this without you!

October 9, 2013

TOMB RAIDER for Macintosh Due in Late 2013

Feral Interactive has at last confirmed they will be releasing a Macintosh port of the newest TOMB RAIDER later this year.


Back in September, Dre Anthony, the dirt-digging webmaster of the TombRaiding.com fan site turned up this newly added ratings page on the ESRB site. At the time, Feral wasn't ready to confirm that the game was in production, but now it's official.

Darrell Gallagher, Head of Product Development and Studios at Square Enix told GamaSutra, "We're excited to bring Tomb Raider to the Mac, and in doing so introduce a new audience to Lara Croft's original story. This is one more step on the road to achieving everything we wanted with the game."

Pricing, system requirements, and multiplayer details have not yet been announced, but players can visit Feral Interactive's Tomb Raider microsite and click the "preorder" button to sign up for email updates.

Feral Interactive
TOMB RAIDER was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix for Windows PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March. Feral Interactive, based in London, is a leading publisher of games for the Macintosh platform. They have previously worked on the Mac ports of Tomb Raider: Anniversary and Underworld.

Update: Shortly after posting, I received an update from Crystal Dynamics clarifying a few things about the upcoming Mac relase. Thanks to TR Community Manger Meagan Marie for the info.

Will the Mac version be available at retail?

The Mac version of Tomb Raider will be available as a digital download, and also in physical form at selected retailers including the Feral Store, amazon.com and Fry's.

In which countries is the Mac version available?

The Mac version will be available worldwide.

What language options are available for the Mac version?

The in-game text and audio language support will be the same for the PC version. Feral will also provide full FAQs and ReadMes specific to the Mac version of Tomb Raider in several languages including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Polish and Japanese.

Are all the patches from the PC edition addressed in the Mac version?

The Mac version incorporates all patches and updates from the PC and console versions. It also has additional fixes unique to the Mac version that were not included in these updates. That's one advantage of starting the Mac development a little later.

Can we get different editions of Tomb Raider on the Mac, such as the Survivor or Collector's Edition?

No. The Survivor and Collector's Editions will not be available on the Mac.

TOMB RAIDER coming soon for Mac!

September 26, 2013

Tomb Raider 1 and Anniversary Comparison Group Play

The next Tomb Raider group play session is underway! This one was started by my good friends Jessica and Eldin. The focus is on both the original 1996 Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider: Anniversary. We hope you'll join us on the Lara Croft Online forums. Here's a link to the topic:

http://www.laracroftonline.net/index.php?showtopic=7013

In case you missed the last several group plays, the way it works is everyone plays offline on their own, since neither of these games have actual online co-op play. Then we meet at the message board and share our progress, impressions, fun and frustrating things that happened, screenshots, video, or whatever else we feel like posting. If you'd prefer to play just one of these games rather than both, that's fine. Whatever works for you. There are no rules except to be courteous to the other players and to have fun. :)

Previous group plays are recapped here.

Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider: Anniversary

August 22, 2013

Tomb Raider T-Shirt Giveaway Celebrating 4,000 Facebook Likes

Thanks to lots of support from my fellow TR fans, the Facebook Page for Stella's Tomb Raider Site passed 4,000 Likes this weekend. Hurrah! To celebrate this milestone, I will be giving away three TOMB RAIDER 2013 T-shirts. Winners will have their choice of shirts from the Official Tomb Raider Store.

The contest is open until Sunday, August 25, at noon GMT. Winners will be announced soon after.

The contest is open to entrants worldwide. You will need to Like my Facebook page to enter, and you can unlock extra entries by following me on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway. I will provide the prizes and cover all shipping costs, but each winner is responsible for any customs/duty fees. See the Tomb Raider Store Shipping FAQ and the complete contest rules for details, and feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Once again, I'd like to thank all my wonderful followers new and old! xoxo
TOMB RAIDER Queen Himiko T-Shirt from the Official Tomb Raider Store
TOMB RAIDER 2013 Queen Himiko T-Shirt. Now available in the Official Tomb Raider Store.

UPDATE 9/26/13: I just realized I'd announced the winners on Facebook and Twitter but never managed to post them here. Congrats to Ani, Sean and Dr. John Oakland. :D

August 4, 2013

Tomb Raider Sequel Confirmed for Next-Gen Consoles, Comic Tie-In Planned

Although there have been hints about a sequel from Tomb Raider's developers over the past several months, until recently nothing was officially confirmed.

Back in March, Siliconera broke the news that Square Enix had trademarked the name "Lara Croft: Reflections," setting off a storm of speculation among fans; however, it's still not clear whether this name relates to an upcoming game.

[UPDATE: 'Reflections' turned out to be an ill-fated mobile card game. Details here.]


TOMB RAIDER screenshot by tombraidernostalgia.

Then, on July 13, writer Gail Simone, who has contributed to such popular comics as Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Batgirl and Red Sonja, tweeted this little bombshell from Comic Con: "KA-POW. TOMB RAIDER." Following up in more detail, Simone revealed that she will be penning a new Tomb Raider comic, set "just a few weeks after the end of the game...and [leading] DIRECTLY into the sequel." The comics will be published by Dark Horse, and the first issue is slated for release in February 2014. For more info, check out Evan Narcisse's interview with Simone for Kotaku.

TR fans may remember Simone's contribution to GameTap's Re\Visioned: Tomb Raider animated series, titled "Pre-Teen Raider."


Doubts about a possible sequel arose after Square Enix announced in April that TOMB RAIDER had failed to meet expectations, despite selling more than 3.4 million compies in its first month. According to Eurogamer, although the game received excellent reviews, the sales figures were only about half of what the company had forecast.

Nevertheless, on Thursday Phil Rogers, CEO for Square Enix in the Americas and Europe, at last officially confirmed in a blog post that the company is "well into development on a next-generation Tomb Raider sequel."

Darrell Gallagher, Head of Product Development and Studios at TR developer Crystal Dynamics, followed up with this short announcement to the fans:

"You may have read today that a next-generation sequel to Tomb Raider is in the works. We're very excited to confirm that the team has started working on telling the next chapter in Lara's tale. It's still early days, so I'm afraid I can't provide any further details for now save my assurance that we're not resting on our laurels and acclaim from Tomb Raider's recent successes, but working hard to raise the bar even higher and re-affirm the faith you've shown."

For now, Crystal is not answering further questions. So fans are just going to have to be patient. What are you hoping they'll include (or not) in the next game? Please leave a comment below.


TOMB RAIDER screenshot by tombraidernostalgia.

July 20, 2013

Creating Your Own Lara Croft TOMB RAIDER 'Survivor' Costume

In honor of Comic Con, which is in full swing this week in San Diego, I decided to resurrect this great cosplay tutorial by guest writer Amanda McGinnis, the powerhouse behind the geek fashion blog Console To Closet. Here you'll find step-by-step instructions for creating your own Lara Croft costume for conventions, Halloween, fancy-dress parties or whenever you feel the urge to let your inner survivor shine.

Please note that Amanda put together this costume in the spring of 2012, well before the game came out and before some details of Lara's "official" outfit were revealed. I think she did an awesome job.

(For pre-Legend Lara, check out this classic Lara Croft costume tutorial by Sara from LaraCroftCosplay.com.)


The Decision

I chose to cosplay as Lara Croft from the new TOMB RAIDER game because she's the first Lara Croft I actually feel like I connect to, both on a character and design level. She retains the best qualities of the previous Lara's (strong, independent, intelligent), and adds a more realistic element to the famous lady through her more "natural" looks and vulnerability. I whole-heartedly support the movement the designers are doing with her new look and wanted to design a costume around the new Lara.

Costume inspired by Lara Croft from the new Tomb Raider game.
Click image to enlarge.

The Materials

I used quite a lot of store bought things in this costume, as most was just clothing. I bought quite a few pairs of cargo pants before deciding on the pair I did because I couldn't find a suitable color. I also had some difficulty finding pants because I'm super tall. I'm 5'10" so finding pants is extremely difficult. The pants I chose are actually way too short for me, hence I added the tall wool socks. They hold down the pants, while adding a more hiker look. After I bought the pants, I used sandpaper to rough up the knees so they looked worn. I also ran it through the washer and dryer a few times to loosen it up.

I used boots that I already owned to cut some costs. I wish they were brown, but I used sandpaper to rough them up just like the pants so that they didn't look shiny. Luckily, I wore the boots to PAX East last year, so they got tons of wear and tear walking around all day—perfect for my survival look.

I purchased the tank top in what I think is the most perfect color ever. I looked so hard for that perfect shade of blue-gray. I actually found that particular tank top at Ann Taylor Loft for the very affordable price of $10. I used a white tank top that I already owned underneath, to add a layered look.

Lara Croft 'Survivor' cosplay by LadySnip3r.
Click image to enlarge.

As much as I love the costume, I have struggled with the leather holster. I made a makeshift holster for New York Comic Con out of pleather, but I think it stands out from the costume in a bad way. I'm hoping to improve this costume over time, since leather is expensive, so I will add more information as the costume changes.

Lara Croft 'Survivor' cosplay by LadySnip3r.
Click image to enlarge.

I made the necklace out of clay and leather. It was fairly simple to do, but very fragile. I also made the bandages out of ripped linen fabric. I wanted them to look like something Lara would actually use in a tight fix for bandages.

Costume inspired by Lara Croft from the new Tomb Raider game.
Click image to enlarge.

The Tutorial
Or How To Fake A Dirty Look


My lovely fiance actually did my makeup for Lara Croft and I think he did a fantastic job. Here's a quick tutorial of how to achieve the same thing:

Supplies:
  • Brown hairspray dye (Available at Halloween Costume stores or on Amazon.com)
  • Brown facepaint
  • Blood capsules
  • Charcoal (ground up)

Costume inspired by Lara Croft from the new Tomb Raider game.
Click image to enlarge.

  1. Make sure your skin and outfit are clean and oil-free so that the makeup will stick better.
  2. Apply brown hairspray onto paper towel or sponge and lightly sweep on areas where you want light dirt. Focus on areas that would get dirty if you were actually the character. (And yes, I thought about actually rolling in the dirt, but didn't want to be stinky at conventions. :P)
  3. Use brown facepaint on your fingers to streak areas that you want to look like mud-like dirt. We used lots of this to accent the lighter dirt.
  4. Break a blood capsule and drip onto areas where you want realistic blood look. Let it drip to where you want, and lightly dab or use a hairdryer to dry the blood. Now, the blood had to be reapplied a few times during the day because it faded into my skin, so keep this in mind for conventions.
  5. Use ground up charcoal to smudge over blood, dirt, etc. This will darken everything up and really give it a realistic overtone.
Lara Croft 'Survivor' cosplay by LadySnip3r.
Click image to enlarge.

Notes:
  • Remember to make everything pretty evenly dirty. If you dirty up your face and shirt but skip your chest or arms, it's going to stand out against the dirt.
  • Bring lots of those makeup removal wipes as the face paint and hairspray take a heavy washing to come out.

Amanda McGinnis, a.k.a. LadySnip3r, is currently a university student finishing up a degree in English and planning a career in the gaming industry. Her favorite games include Tomb Raider, Gears of War, Resident Evil 4 and Skyrim. This tutorial originally appeared on her Assassionista gaming blog, which is no more. You can contact Amanda and see what she's up to now at Console To Closet.

July 4, 2013

Join Team TR Community for the Extra Life Video Game Marathon...for the Children!

Extra Life is back! The first weekend in November I will be leading a team of intrepid raiders in an effort to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals by doing what we do best: gaming!

Last year, Team Tomb Raider Community played through an entire weekend and raised more than $1,000 to help hospitalized kids. (Details here.) This year we hope to do even more, but we can't do it without you!

If you like playing video games and want to pitch in, I encourage you to sign up for Extra Life 2013 and join our team. When you register you'll have the opportunity to choose the Children's Miracle Network Hospital you want to raise money for. If you don't live near a CMN Hospital, you can pick one of the international funds. I'll be playing in support of Children's Hospital in Boston, where kids from more than 100 countries come for life-saving treatment.

In the weeks leading up to November, players will contact friends and family to solicit donations. They can donate online through your Extra Life page or give you their cash/check donations, which you can then submit using a convenient form on the Extra Life site.

All donations are tax-deductible and ALL PROCEEDS go to help kids.

Then, the first weekend in November, we play! Some gamers choose to do a 24-hour marathon. (This year it might even be 25 hours, since Daylight Saving Time ends that weekend.) Some play for a few hours a day over several days. You can play on your PC, console, portable, even your phone. Solo, with a friend or group, online or off, whatever is most fun for you. Last year, we did a Tomb Raider livestream and invited online friends to come watch and cheer us on. It was a blast! This year is going to be even better because we'll be building a bigger team with a broader network of supporters.

Extra Life 2012. Play Games. Heal Kids.

We can't do this without your help. If you can sign up to play, please do. If you've already signed up, consider joining our team. The more the merrier! If you're not a gamer or can't commit to a marathon, please consider making a donation to a Team Tomb Raider Community member.

We'll be updating the team roster and tracking our donations on the Team Tomb Raider Community Extra Life page. I will also be sharing more details here, on Facebook and on Twitter, as the event approaches.

For more information about the event itself, check out this quick FAQ, visit Extra-Life.org, and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thank you for caring and I hope you'll come and join the party in November!

June 30, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 30: Feelings, Conclusions

Throughout the month of June we've been celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness with this challenge. At last we wind things up with the final question, though it's actually more of an invitation to ramble. Go ahead and express your AOD feels—about the game itself, your memories of playing it, the sequels getting cancelled, anything we haven't already covered in previous days—you're among friends. ;)

Once again I want to thank F-Yeah TRAOD! for creating the questions and sharing them with the world. I've taken the liberty of modifying a few of them for our purposes, but I've tried to cleave to the spirit if not the letter of the original challenge. Massive thanks also to Core Design for making this amazing, frustrating, magical game.

If you missed any of the past days' questions, I encourage you to go back and respond to any that interest you. There's no time limit. Just look for June 2013 under "Blog Archive" in the sidebar or "30-Day Challenge (2013)" under "Labels." All the challenge posts are linked there.

Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness concept art

June 29, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 29: Should Kurtis Trent Return?

Several of the past days' questions focused on Kurtis, so a few of you have already answered this. Today we're wondering, do you think Kurtis Trent should make a comeback? And if so, how should he should be incorporated in a new storyline?


Ash and friends check in on Lara and Kurtis 9 years after Angel of Darkness.

June 28, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 28: Favorite TR Game Besides AoD?

Not everyone loves Angel of Darkness equally. For some it's the best in the series, for others the worst. I personally rank it somewhere in the middle. Other than Angel of Darkness, which Tomb Raider game do you like the most?


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.

June 27, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 27: AOD Remake by Crystal Dynamics?

Throughout this month-long challenge, many fans have mentioned their desire to see AOD resurrected, while others are content to let it lie buried. How about you? Would you like to see Angel of Darkness remade (or continued) by Crystal Dynamics?


Angel Of Darkness Reborn by luciferFlash.

June 26, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 26: AoD Movie Dream Cast

You're given the opportunity to make AoD into a movie! Write down your dream cast. Would you stick with Angie as Lara or go in a whole new direction? What about the supporting characters, Kurtis, Von Croy, etc.?

Tomb Raider movie poster with Angelina Jolie

June 25, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 25: Thoughts on the Official AoD Comic

I've clearly fallen behind on the AOD challenge, so I'll be posting the last several questions all at once and backdating the posts so the blog will keep them in order. My apologies.

Have you read the official AoD comic? If so, what are your thoughts about it? As far as I know, the Angel of Darkness storyline is covered in issues #32-#34 of the Top Cow/Image Comics series. I haven't read them, or even been able to find them for sale online these days. So I'd be interested to hear your impressions.

Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness comic from Top Cow/Image Comics
Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness comic from Top Cow/Image Comics.
Click to enlarge.

June 24, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 24: Favorite Fan Artwork

The challenge continues.... On Day 12 we shared our favorite pictures of AOD Lara, which for me was a piece of official concept art. Some of you mentioned fan art for that entry, so today's question will be a repeat for you. This time, please share your favourite AoD fan artwork.

Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness by Krycekuva
Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness by Krycekuva. Click image to enlarge. See this forum thread for more info, including images of the work in progress.

June 23, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 23: Favorite Location?

Today's we'd like to know what is your favorite location from the game and why? Whatever you consider a "location" is fine with me, from the entire cities of Paris and Prague, to smaller locations like The Louvre, the Serpent Rouge, the Archaeological Dig, Eckhardt's Laboratory—even little places like Renne's Pawnshop or St. Aicard's Church. If you like it, tell us, but please explain what it is that attracts you.


Thanks to Katie's Tomb Raider Site for another lovely TRAOD screenshot, Prague this time.

June 22, 2013

Tomb Raider 2013 Composer Releases Previously Unheard Tracks

TR composer Jason Graves has just posted 67 new audio tracks, including music for the original, unreleased ending to the game. These are audio only, of course. Needless to say, I hope we'll someday get a chance to see that alternate ending.

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 22: Favourite Weapon?

Today's question is about gampelay. What is your favourite weapon from the game? I would also add, did you miss Lara's signature dual pistols?

Lara Croft with Dual pistols
Promo art shows Lara with dual USP Match pistols. Sadly, these were not playable in the game.

June 21, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 21: Did You Ever Finish AoD?

We've heard from many fans this month about their experiences with the game. A few have said they never made it to a particular scene or boss because they weren't able to get past a certain part (usually but not always Boaz). ;) How about you? Did you ever finish AoD? If so, how did you feel when you finished it? If not, in which level did you give up?

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness
Final level screenshot by Katie Fleming.

June 20, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 20: Least Favorite Boss?

From good guys to bad, who/what is your least favorite boss and why? Lots of choices here: The Cleaner, Boaz, the Proto-Nephilim, Brother Obscura, that crappy giant fish mutant that only seemed to crave the blood of PlayStation gamers, Eckhardt, Karel? Have I left anybody out?

Brother Obscura screenshot
Brother Obscura screenshot courtesy of Katie's Tomb Raider Site.

Previously Unreleased Scene Commemorates Angel of Darkness 10th Anniversary

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Angel of Darkness, composer Peter Connelly has released this deleted scene from the game. In a note on his Facebook Page, Connelly wrote, "This is the first time it has been available to the public and, particularly, with sound (Music and Dialogue only)."

The complete Angel of Darkness soundtrack, recorded live by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, London, is available on Connelly's SoundCloud page.

June 19, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 19: Thoughts on Lara and Kurtis's Relationship?

Earlier we talked about Kurtis as a character, but today's question focuses on the interplay between the two main characters. What are your thoughts about Lara and Kurtis's weird relationship? (F-Yeah TRAOD chose the word "weird," but I'd have to agree.)

Lara and Kurtis
Angel of Darkness screenshot courtesy of Well-Rendered.

June 18, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 18: Thoughts about the Voice Actors?

What are your thoughts about the voice cast of AoD? In additon to the actors shown below, Internet Movie Database credits Phil Morris for voicing Karel. Unfortunately it doesn't list the entire cast, nor do the game credits, so I'm not sure who did all the voices. I've read that Janice may have been Jonell putting on a French accent, but I don't know this for sure.

Angel of Darkness voice cast
Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness voice actors, Jonell Elliott as Lara, Joss Ackland as Eckhardt and Eric Loren as Kurtis.

All credit for the 30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge goes to the fabulous Tumblr blog F- Yeah TRAOD!

If you've come late to this challenge, feel free to answer any of the questions that interest you. There's no time limit. And if you'd like to participate in past challenges, you're welcome to do that too. Check out the September 2011 and September 2012 challenges in the archives.

June 17, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 17: Should Crystal Dynamics Have Continued the AoD Trilogy?

In yesterday's challenge question we talked about how and if the Angel of Darkness trilogy should have continued. Today we revisit that idea. Do you think Crystal Dynamics should have continued the AoD trilogy before moving on to their own?

Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness render by Raidergale
Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness render made with XNALara by Raidergale.

June 16, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 16: Continuing the Series

As most of you probably know, Angel of Darkness was the first in a planned trilogy. Needless to say, the other two games were never made. Today's challenge question is in two parts: How do you think AoD could have continued? Should it have?

Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness concept art

Angel of Darkness Livestream Party – Save the Date

UPDATE 6/22: I'm sorry to say I'm going to have to cancel, or at least postpone, the livestream. I'm not feeling well and can't play. I apologize if I've left anyone hanging but hope we can make it happen next weekend.

This coming weekend, June 22-23, some friends and I are planning an online celebration for TRAOD's 10th anniversary. We're hoping to livestream some AOD gameplay, chat a bit, and generally cut loose. I hope you'll join us!

So far no definite date/time has been set. If you'd like to be part of the festivities, watch this space and/or follow me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumblr for details. If you want to join the team of livestreamers, please let me know which day, times, levels, and livestreaming sites are best for you and how to get in touch with you directly. It's going to be a challenge coordinating play schedules with everyone in different time zones, but I'll do my best.

Please don't post your email address here. I don't want to be responsible for you getting spam, but if you email or direct-message me via the accounts above, I will contact you as the weekend approaches.

Serpent Rouge load screen
Angel of Darkness 10th Anniversary. Party like it's 2003!

June 15, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 15: Do You Think Kurtis Survived?

Is it possible we're already halfway through the challenge? Time flies! Today let's talk about Kurtis again. Do you think he survived his encounter with Boaz and why or why not?

Kurtis and Boaz by [Xmas]
Kurtis vs. Boaz rendered by [Xmas] from TRF. More in this thread.

Thanks again to F- Yeah TRAOD! for creating and sharing the challenge questions.

If you've come late to this challenge, feel free to answer any of the questions that interest you. There's no time limit. And if you'd like to participate in past challenges, you're welcome to do that too. Check out the September 2011 and September 2012 challenges in the archives.

June 14, 2013

30-Day Angel of Darkness Challenge Day 14: About the Cabal

In today's installment of the AOD Challenge, we turn to the game's villains. Please share your thoughts on the Cabal. Who is your favorite Cabal member?

Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness villain Pieter Van Eckhardt
Eckhardt concept art courtesy of Croft Generation.

Since the original, 15th-century Cabal was supposedly made up of five members, I always assumed the 21st-century version also had five: Pieter Van Eckhardt, Joachim Karel, Kristina Boaz, Grant Müller and Luther Rouzic. Rouzic didn't make it into the final game, but there is concept art and a little info about him floating around the internet, including this interesting thread on TRF. I was under the impression that Marten Gunderson was not a full-fledged member of the Cabal—more like Eckhardt's strongman and go-to guy—but I'd be interested to hear other ideas.

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.