Lara Croft is the best when she has triangle shaped breasts and an assault course in her garden.
The first Tomb Raider was released in October 1996 and my love affair with Lara Croft began shortly after. Over the years, I’ve played as Lara through multiple timelines spanning three different eras, but you always remember the first one. Nothing compares to the original Lara era, with Tomb Raider 2 being the highlight.
I know what you’re thinking. “Are you sure? What about the terrible graphics? Bad collision detection? The strange legless mutant? I am aware of all these things and yet none of them bother me at all. I am a fully paid member of Lara’s Triangle Tits fan club and the reason is simple. The original era of Tomb Raider has absolutely everything I look for in an action adventure game.
The most important ingredient is a good protagonist and Lara is one of the best. She’s smart, sexy, determined, good with a pair of guns, and knows what she wants. He has an adventurous spirit and never gives up. She can stay safe, outsmart those who come for her, and solve whatever riddles come her way. Lara is simply an amazing heroine and this sassy, straightforward version of her is still one that I love to play with. I don’t need to worry about my teammates, find the right type of weapon, or learn optimization. I can take my guns and my backpack and then leave. I’m here to kick butt and raid graves, and I’m out of the graves.
Except I’m not, because the early games have graves galore. They also have other interesting places. There is an enchanted island in Ireland, home to a possessed demon, and an old Opera House that is used as a hiding place for a cult. There are tombs in Peru, Greece, Egypt, and China. Lara also explores sunken shipwrecks, lost ancient cities and an underground sewer, and the home of a man named Bob, surely the most random name for the leader of a cult called The Damned? Along the way, he also fights mercenaries, mutants, a yeti, and even some dinosaurs. What more could you want?
Lara is constantly looking for mysterious and powerful artifacts and her adventures are always filled with ridiculous circumstances that I can’t help but fall in love with. Do you want to see Lara escape from a cell because she has a handy lever / inside / that opens the door? How about sneaking through Area 51 to find an alien autopsy, a UFO, and some random Orcas? Then there are the dinosaurs we mentioned. They appear on more than one occasion, and yet they are never really explained. Still, who needs a reason when things are so fun?
When you look at the first Lara Croft, she’s a mess. She has triangular breasts, legs that sometimes bend in the wrong direction, and an outfit that surely didn’t offer protection against all those friction burns that she no doubt had on her adventures. His pistols have only a vague pistol shape and he begins his journey by fighting a tiger that is only identifiable because it is orange with a strange black marking. On the surface, everything is wrong with these games, but somehow it is also exactly correct.
A daring heroine, exotic locations, adrenaline-pumping adventures, numerous outfit changes, treacherous betrayals, near-death experiences, ruined temples, and powerful artifacts. Tomb Raider 2 in particular has all of this, as well as one of the highlights of the entire franchise, the assault course at Croft Manor.
Yes, you heard me and don’t tell me you don’t remember. When you open Tomb Raider 2, you can scroll through that simple circular menu and select Croft Manor to experience it for yourself. Thrown into Lara’s ridiculously large family mansion, you will soon find an assault course in her garden. Here you can climb walls, climb nets, jump through gaps, slide down ramps, swim through a tunnel and even go zip-lining; It was even recreated for the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider directed by Angelina Jolie.
I know this sounds silly to those who have never played Tomb Raider 2 or 3, but if you ask anyone who has, I can guarantee they will tell you they loved it. We all did. None of us really understand why, but that frustrating series of low-res random obstacles was our nemesis and we love the fight. We also loved locking Winston in the freezer, but we didn’t talk about it.
Over time, Lara Croft has changed. Now she looks brighter and more realistic, with friends keeping her company and kidnapping her, so she has to go find them. She cares about resting by the campfires and improving her weapons. I, however, no. Yes, I have played the newest games and yes, I have mostly enjoyed them, but they will never compare to the utter chaos of the Original Era, and that is why it will always remain my favorite.