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Who is Lara Croft?[]

Lara Croft was born in 1968. (Making her 40 now o_O). She was the daughter of a british aristocrat, but never felt right being waited on by Butlers. So, she joined an expedition when she was 16, with the famous archaelogist/adventurer Werner Von Croy. You play this short expedition at the start of Tomb Raider IV. They fail to retrieve the Iris, and Von Croy is trapped inside the temple - supposedly dead.

However, we don't learn this until Tomb Raider IV. Tomb Raider I, released in 1996, was a groundbreaking game with an interesting story and involving gameplay. Playing as Lara, you moved from a Peruvian temple, to a monestry (somewhere in Europe...Rome?), to Egypt. And then, finally, to Natla's (The Evil bad woman person who was one of the three guardians of Atlantis, among with Qualopec and Tihocan. (Qualopec's and Tihocan's temples are at the Peru and Monastery sections, respectively)) mines, where you have to stop Natla from harnessing the power of the Scions. Lara managed to escape, outrunning Centaurs, a skateboard kid with Uzi's, a french hitman, A T-rex (The moment this appears out of the darkness is one of the scariest in gaming), and a demonized American multibillionaire business woman, and the second destruction of Atalantis.

Obviously not somebody who had any concept of luck, or the running out thereof, Lara entered back into the fray in Tomb Raider II, regarded by many as the best in the series. She wants to retrieve the Dagger of Xian, but when you get to the end of the treacherous first level, the door is locked. It turns out 3 parties are going after the dagger (which, if you stab yourself, turns you into a dragon. O_O) - Lara herself, Marco Bartoli - the leader of a Venetian gang who wants the dagger for himself - and the Barkhang monks, who wish to protect the dagger. The journey takes her from China to Venice (and the Opera House level, which is pure evil), An Oil Rig and Sunken Ship to Tibet, and finally back to China. The final boss is Bartoli, who has plunged the dagger into his heart. Approaching him causes the Dragon Transformation to take place, and you have to take him down with your Uzis, then take the dagger out of his heart. But that's not all, folks, as upon your return there's one last level, set in Lara's home, where you have to defend your house against around 20 vengeful Bartoli goons. Then the game is finally over.

Tomb Raider III sees Lara chasing four artefacts (lol familiarity) that are placed around the world. One is in India, guarded by a Temple, Temple Guardians, an evil American guy who has got the power of the artefact, and monkeys. Who steal keys! At the end of the first level you have to kill this monkey to get the key that he's carrying O_O. Another is in London, guarded by...ANOTHER British aristocrat who is almost immortal - you have to electrocute her. There's another in the South Pacific, guarded by an ancient god, and finally one that is in Area 51 and guarded by Space Rockets, Guards, Security Cameras and Prisoners. Finally, Lara travels to Antarctica to place the artefacts, but they are taken by Dr. Willard, who she was supposed to be working for. Evidently not. Lara follows him to the meteorite cavern (The crashing meteorite caused the four rocks to be scattered) and faces him, after he turns into a massive spider-like creature that can kill you in one hit. It's a difficult boss fight. Afterwards, there's a few more goons to kill before Lara finally escapes. Then, Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation (My personal favourite in the series - it has Ninjas who deflect bullets. Yay >_>) came. Set entirely in Egypt, Lara takes the Amulet of Horus from the Tomb of Set, which (unknown to Lara) releases an Ancient Evil which she must re-imprison. It takes her to the tomb of Semerkeht (the high priest of Horus) at Karnak, which explains that you need to awaken Horus to defeat Set by putting armour on him. The armour is located in Alexandria, which is where Lara plans to go next. But Von Croy, who survived, takes the Amulet of Horus out of the door (Lara put it in there to get in) which seals her in. Navigating your way past Jackals, Scarab Beatles, Fire and a game called Senet (Kind of similar to Chess. Sort of. Hard to explain) against the spirit of Semerkeht himself, you escape onto Von Croy's train. Unfortunately, you're detected and have to fight your way through the train, before stopping at Alexandria to retrieve the armour. After retrieving the armour, Lara's fellow archaeologist and friend, Jean Iyves, is kidnapped by Von Croy. You follow him to Cairo, which (Oh happy coincidence) is near the Tomb of Set. After an encounter with Von Croy, Lara retrieves the Amulet of Horus again, locking him in, and then gets to the Temple of Horus, the last level of the game. But things don't go to plan. After awakening Horus, Set arrives and catches him unawares, defeating him. Set then gets all pissy with Lara and attacks her. You have to dodge him, retrieve the Amulet (which fell into the water surrounding Horus' tomb) and get out, then seal him into the Tomb using the amulet.

Lara is on her way out of the collapsing pyramid, but gets stuck. Von Croy appears, and attempts to help her out, but it is useless. Lara is submerged beneath the pyramid and presumed dead.

Does anybody die in the Tomb Raider universe except the goons of Bad Guys?

Tomb Raider Chronicles, the fifth in the series, showed Lara's beginnings and other exploits. All the stories are set before the first Tomb Raider. In rome, she goes after the philosopher's stone (lol Harry Potter), while being hunted by Larson and Pierre, from the original Tomb Raider. Then another story showed her in Russia, going after the spear of destiny. She managed to infiltrate a Russian Sub, and, sneaking through, stole the Spear of Destiny right from under the Russians' noses. Another took place when Lara was only a teenager in the Black Isle off the coast of Ireland, where she helped a Vicar friend to exorcise it. Finally, Von Croy himself tells the tale of how Lara snuck into Von Croy industries in New York and stole the "Iris" artefact (Sound familiar?). There was little actual Tomb Raiding here, though - the entire last section at Von Croy's lab is set in a very high tech building - and it was a poor finish to Lara's PS1 career.

In the only this-gen TR title, Angel of Darkness, Lara is framed for Von Croy's murder. She struggles through Paris, on the trail of a man called Eckhardt, all the while evading the police. She manages to clear her name, then defeats Eckhardt himself. It offered a new playable character, Kurtis, as well. But I don't particularly want to talk for that long about Angel of Darkness. It's awful.

Her most recent (and one of her single best to date), Tomb Raider 7/Legend, sees Lara going after Metal shards and strange stone dais kind of things. It might conceivably have something to do with her past, as a flashback at the start of the game details the plane crash over the Nepalese mountains with Lara and her mother. It's unsure at this point whether Lara's mother died or not. Having completed the superb first level in Bolivia, a Dais is found and we see exactly what happened.

Upon crashing in Nepal, Lara and her mother explored around to find some wood, and ended up in a temple. Lara touched a shard that was on an all-too-familiar stone dais, green light erupted and Lara's Mother was engulfed...and never seen again. Whoops.

This flashback is interrupted by gunfire, as James Rutland (euuwww bad guy) comes and talks to her. Rutland's men promptly attempt to kill Lara, but, Lara being Lara, she isn't about to let that happen and she kills them all. Investigating the Dais, she finds it's very similar to the one in Nepal. Lara heads across 4 different continents and finds fragments of a sword at every one, as indicated at the stone dais. As we go, we learn of something which happened at a dig in Peru in which a bunch of people with Lara at a dig site were all killed by some mysterious red smoke/creature. One of them is Amanda, who is later confirmed to be still alive and in control of the red creature.

The sword that has been fragmented turns out to be...Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur. It is reforged at the temple in Nepal, having been put together with the "key" found there (which is used to combine the fragments). The sword wields great power, as exhibited moments later, as the temple doors shut behind Lara. One of her support crew, Zip, says: "How about swinging Excalibur once? Y'know, just for fun?"

"It's a priceless artefact, not a toy!" Says Alistair, who is also on her backup crew. Lara promptly swings the sword and it sweeps the door aside with a huge amount of force.

"...and now we know how young arthur become king."

The whole thing climaxes back in Bolivia, where Lara finally kills Rutland, most of his men, and, using Excalibur, she manages to destroy the red-smoke creature that Amanda controls (the easiest final boss ever - Excalibur might well be the most overpowered weapon in gaming), and puts the sword in the dais while Amanda is incapacitated.

She does it...and then she's in for a big shock. It's quite the twist.

Legend got Lara back where she belongs - greatness. It excels with superbly polished gameplay, no camera issues and no glitches at all, which is a nice compensation when you compare it to the glitch-filled Angel of Darkness. It's got the best storyline of the story so far, shows Lara in full-badass mode and excels graphically, just to top it off. While it's short - it took me around 7 and a half hours and would therefore maybe better for a rent - it's very fun and a longer game following this formula would be welcomed. A 20+ hr game like the others, preferably. Potentially the best part is it could give her a very substantial boost in the contest. She should definitely get into 2k6 and not perform like the joke that we have seen since 2003.

"History doesn't interest me." -Rutland "Well, why don't you stay here and consider the future. Make sure I'm not in it, however. You won't enjoy seeing me again." - Lara

(Writeup courtesy of XIII is cool)

Lara Croft's Contest History[]

Win-Loss Record: 6-7

Summer 2002 Contest - East Division - 1 Seed

  • Eastern Round 1 --- Defeated (16) Chop Chop Master Onion, 44737 [69.63%] - 19512 [30.37%]
  • Eastern Quarterfinal --- Defeated (8) Ryo Hazuki, 36308 [59.38%] - 24834 [40.62%]
  • Eastern Semifinal --- Lost to (5) Crono, 21571 [29.13%] - 52488 [70.87%]
  • Extrepolated Strength --- 27th Place [21.80%]


Summer 2003 Contest - West Division - 7 Seed

  • Western Round 1 --- Lost to (10) Zelda, 42940 [37.71%] - 70941 [62.29%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 37th Place [22.11%]


Summer 2004 Contest - Chaos Division - 15 Seed

  • Chaos Round 1 --- Lost to (2) Samus, 14721 [17.61%] - 68889 [82.39%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 53rd Place [13.91%]

Few characters have suffered such a dramatic fall from grace than Lara Croft. She was once on the level of Mario when it came to gaming icons, and now look at her. In 2002, Lara Croft was a 1 seed, and for good reason. However, after two matches in which she failed to blow out absolute losers, she got killed by Crono in the third round. 1 seeds are not supposed to lose without a fight, yet Lara just rolled over and died that day. 2003 was a year that saw Lara get seeding that was comparable to her true strength, yet despite Tomb Raider 2 coming out in theaters just days before the match, Zelda killed her. In fact, it may have been far worse had Tomb Raider 2 not been there in the first place.

Then came 2004, which was the biggest meltdown of them all. Not only was Lara treated like fodder in the seedings, she wound up performing far worse than any of us expected her to. She flat-out did not show up against Samus, almost as if she wants nothing more to do with our contests. In the span of three contests, Lara has gone from a 1 seed to a laughingstock, which is a true shame. At one time, she was the best of the best.


Summer 2006 Contest - Aeon Division - 2 Seed

  • Aeon Round 1 --- Defeated (7) Alyx Vance, 75464 [77.55%] - 21850 [22.45%]
  • Aeon Semifinal --- Lost to (3) Chun-Li, 51338 [44.46%] - 64126 [55.54%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 35th Place [26.77%]

Lara Croft was able to get back into a contest thanks to the female bracket, and she didn't do as badly as people thought she would. She put up a good fight against Chun after demolishing Alyx Vance, and even managed to win some updates in her loss. Maybe things are looking up for Lara for the first time since 2002?


Summer 2007 Contest - Division 8 - Second Group

Lara Croft was thought to have an easy trip to the second round, where she would get soundly thumped. Well, it didn't turn out to be that easy. Out of nowhere, Albert Wesker put up the fight of his life and was actually ahead of Lara for a while. She used the day vote to put him away, but that had to be embarrassing. She did make up for it a bit by only finishing around 2000 votes behind Aeris, whose contest performance was nearly as embarrassing.


Lara's days in the spotlight seemed to have ended, as she missed the field in 2008 and was unable to make it past the vote-ins in the Winter 2010 Contest.


Summer 2013 Contest - Division 4 - 4 Seed

  • Division 4 Round 1 --- 1st place, 14591 [57.55%] - (24) Slime, 8229 [32.46%] - (15) Yuri Hyuga, 2535 [10.00%]
  • Division 4 Round 2 --- 3rd place, 8216 [28.82%] - (7) Kefka, 11953 [41.93%] - (25) Altair, 8341 [29.26%]

Following an acclaimed reboot, Lara was back in the field, and the high seed guaranteed uber fodder in her first match (a joke character and a character blown out in 2005). Proving a newfound strength, she kept a close battle with Altair, though Kefka, who already had an unexpected victory in round 1, was able to surpass them both. If further Tomb Raider games manage to deliver, Lara might become a better contestant than the previous embarrassments showed.


Fall 2018 Contest - Division 8 - 4 Seed

  • Division 8 Round 1 --- Defeated (13) Metal Man, 19706 [67.89%] - 9319 [32.11%]
  • Division 8 Round 2 --- Lost to (5) Amaterasu, 12915 [45.09%] - 15728 [54.91%]

Fresh off the second sequel to the 2013 reboot, Lara showed the Tomb Raider can still perform well. She easily doubled a joke character that Board 8 put on the bracket, and held her own against the ever reliable Amaterasu. If there's another contest, maybe Lara can get a favorable fourpack and return to round 3.

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