11) Shelley Blond, the voice of Lara in the first game, only got to play her once. Lara Croft has an iconic look, but she doesn’t have a particularly consistent voice. Shelley Blond only voiced Lara for one game. All told, five different voice actresses have brought Lara’s lines to life.
12) Sony wasn’t going to allow Tomb Raider on the Playstation at first. The Tomb Raider games were a cornerstone of the original Playstation library, so it may surprise you to learn that Sony didn’t want the game at first. Early on Sony was very picky about what they would allow on their new console, and Tomb Raider didn’t measure up to their standards the first time Core submitted it to them.
Because of this, Tomb Raider’s lead platform was actually the Sega Saturn for much of development. Eventually Core would polish Tomb Raider to the point Sony relented and allowed it on their system, but a competent version of the game still ended up coming out for the less powerful Saturn. Unfortunately for Sega fans this would be the one and only Tomb Raider game on the system.
13) “Lara Croft” released two terrible albums that only came out in France. After the huge success of Tomb Raider, Lara Croft was suddenly everywhere — magazine covers, commercials, U2 live tours. She even recorded a couple albums so bad they were only released in France (even though they were entirely in English). Here’s the scandalous(ly sh*tty) single “Getting Naked” from Lara’s first album Lara Croft: Come Alive…
Here’s a song called “Feel Myself” from her second album, Lara Croft: Female Icon.
14) Eight different models have played Lara Croft (not including Angelina Jolie). Of course the Lara Croft albums weren’t actually recorded by Lara Croft, because Lara Croft isn’t real. Rhona Mitra, the model who played Lara Croft at the time, was responsible for them. Hiring live models to play Lara at promotional events and car shows was one of the stranger aspects of the whole Lara Croft phenomenon. The practice started with the release of Tomb Raider in 1996 with Nathalie Cook filling the role, and continued all the way until 2010 with Alison Carroll being the final flesh-and-blood Lara.
I’m going to play it classy and not post the infamous pics where Alison Carrol seemingly forgot her underwear.
All told, eight different women were officially hired to play Lara, and yes, this fact was pretty much just an excuse to post pictures of them…
15) There is no nude code. Sorry guys who grew up during the 90s, there’s no official way to see Lara’s 540 polygons in all their glory. There were, of course, unofficial nude patches for the PC, but there’s no easy to enter built-in code.
Interestingly, Eidos actually wanted a nude code and pressured Core to put one in the game, but they refused. The demands for a nude code was one of the major reasons Lara’s creator Toby Gard quit Core after only one Tomb Raider game (and his absence likely explains the increasing tackiness of subsequent Tomb Raider titles).
So there you have it, the history of the original Tomb Raider, tastefully complimented with a light smattering of boob jokes. What are some of your memories of the classic 32-bit Tomb Raider games? Know any interesting facts I missed? Hit the comments and let’s talk Tomb Raider.
Thanks, as always to Joel Stice for lending me the Fascinating Facts format!