The lights are on
Love her or hate her, in the late ‘90s you couldn’t ignore Lara Croft. The buxom beauty vaulted to cyber-stardom among a sea of male protagonists. It’s hard to deny that the phenomenon of Lara’s success was inextricably tied to her physical presentation – her nature as a projection of both power and sexual fantasies. There was no overlooking the cinched waistline and impossible curves, the inflated lips and elongated legs, or the excessive flexibility and effortless grace. Some embraced Lara as an inspiration for these very reasons. Others shunned her as a chauvinistic objectification.
Through eight console iterations, Lara Croft’s visage has continued to evolve – constantly straddling the line between fantasy and reality, idealism and believability. With Crystal Dynamic's Tomb Raider reboot, the studio is looking to cut Lara Croft from an entirely new cloth. We look back at official art over the past fifteen years and detail the metamorphosis of Lady Lara.
Tomb RaiderYear: 1996Developer: Core DesignPublisher: Eidos InteractivePlatforms: PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PC, Mac
Lara Croft’s iconic look was set in stone with the release of Tomb Raider in 1996. Her distinctive face was dominated by wide brown eyes, thick, angular brows, and swollen lips. Lara’s hair has become a pillar of her identity throughout the years – stray auburn strands framing her face – but the look wasn’t fully realized in the first console release. Although her trademark braid was present in official art and renders, it was implied in the game itself. The in-game model had hair chopped at the nape of her neck, as the braid proved too difficult to realize in play.
Lara’s exaggerated stats – widely accepted as 34D/24/35 (at 5 ft. 9 in.) – created a memorable silhouette. Perched atop a pair of towering legs, Lara’s demure waist supported an unnaturally oversized bust. Croft’s ensemble aptly drew attention to her curvaceous physique. A cotton/lycra leotard clung to Lara like a second skin, straining against her augmented assets. Complemented with brown canvas shorts that left little to the imagination, Lara’s complete ensemble provided Core (and players) incentive to get creative with camera angles.
Bulky black holsters were accented with an unusually large brass buckle, which according to The Art of Tomb Raider, was enlarged to mask an awkward polygon juncture. A pair of rugged combat boots, brown knapsack, and fingerless gloves topped off the look. With the addition of Lara’s ever-present twin pistols, an icon was born.
She gets hotter as she get older...
Great post meagan. tomb raider rules
LOL, fantasy fodder. Great post, this and the top 50 games of the year will make this an isue to remember.
The fact that it's been 15 years since Lara's debut makes me feel incredibly old. But I've been with her the whole way. I'm kind of sad that you mentioned Last Revelation as a point where attention started to wane - to be honest, TLR was probably my favorite of the original PlayStation titles. Maybe it was some of the cool stuff I got to do, or maybe it was the fact that my 8th grade history teacher gave me extra credit for bringing in a tape of all the Egypt stuff. Either way, love and still love it, even if it's harder to play now in the days of analog sticks.
Great look at the old gal.
I've never actually felt the need to buy a Tomb Raider game(I would normally barrow or rent). But with this most recent one in development and the completely new look...I might actually save up some cash for it.
I've never been much of a Tomb Raider fan, but this new one has my attention.
I liked the Tomb Raider: Legend Lara most of all.
No, I take that back. I like the Angelina Jolie Lara best. :)
maybe they'll make this one look realistic. i'll probably buy it anyway.
Lara Croft is evolving...(pokemon music plays)
Lara Croft evolved into Unknown Gaming Figure!
We've only seen her face, don't worry, they'll get controversial, just give it time.
The funny thing is, the farther it gets, the hotter she is. She went from weird 12 year old fantasy to a more realistic. Oh my god give me her like body.