I am a longtime fan of Lara Croft and the whole Tomb Raider franchise.
kowarth started it, back in the long hot summer of 1999 which we mostly spent frowsting in his bedroom, leaping about on fiery pillars, pulling levers and swearing. Since then, Lara and I have made many interesting journeys together.
Croft rocks, for one thing - she's a tough, independent woman, and a Classicist to boot - and for another, the games are brilliantly involving. I have winced guiltily at each of The Many Deaths of Lara Croft, and I screamed the first time I saw the T-Rex in the original. As I enter a new room with Magnums poised my heart rate goes up, and it thumps like a jackhammer when some huge hideous beastie leaps out at our heroine. Forget Dancing Stage Euromix; Tomb Raider is easily the best aerobic workout you can get on a PlayStation.
I've seen both movies, and I made addedentry eat 72 Weetabix so I could send off for an Eye of Whatsitsface baseball cap. (Tomb Raider always gets sponsored by foodstuffs I can't stand.) Neither of us will drink Lucozade, so I had to ferret around in rubbish bins to get enough tokens for a beach towel.
And yet you would think that I didn't love Lara at all. For she is, at this very moment, trapped, abandoned and helpless in at least five separate realities on three different gaming systems, while I callously go about my daily life.
I confess: I buy Tomb Raider games like they're going out of fashion, but it's seldom that I manage to complete one. My main problem, I'm ashamed to admit, is the stereotypically female one of being absolutely terrible at finding my way around, though occasionally Things With Really Big Teeth are the cause of the stoppage.
|Tomb Raider Gold [Mac]||I'm sure the end is nigh for this one, since giant flying horses that look as if they're made out of afterbirth keep coming at me and it can't get much harder than this. But I can't find my way out of the room I'm in. And there's an all-new bonus game on the disk that I haven't even started yet. Argh!|
|Tomb Raider II [PlayStation]||Stuck in Venice. I'm not having trouble finding the way, for once, it's just that people keep shooting at me.|
|Tomb Raider III [PlayStation]||Spiders and tigers and monkeys, oh my. I'm in a room with lots of water, and I keep going round in circles. It's all very metaphorical.|
|Tomb Raider [Game Boy Color]||I might have finished this one, actually. I can't remember. It's not exactly the jewel in the crown of the franchise.|
|Tomb Raider: Curse of the Sword [Game Boy Color]||After a splendid bit in which you abseil down a clothesline hung with knickers and bras, I can't find the door.|
|Tomb Raider Chronicles [Mac]||Yet to find my way out of the Opera House training level. But I've had this one a mere four months, so cut me some slack.|
|Tomb Raider: The Prophecy [Game Boy Advance]||Almost a year after I bought it, having been inspired to dig it out by starting to write this whinge, I completed this one on the train on Sunday. Yay for moi.|