In the spotlight this time around is Daryl B, a student and writer based in Nottingham.
My name is Daryl, I’m a final year student at Nottingham Trent, and I’m a writer and Deputy Editor for their gaming/tech section of their magazine, Platform, along with running my own blog, DarylBaxter.Com.
When and how did you learn about the Tomb Raider series?
Early 1997 when I first played Tomb Raider on a friend’s Saturn. When I received TR II for Christmas that year, I was hooked.
Do you run a Tomb Raider fansite or blog? If so, what would you say was your biggest achievement to date?
I run a blog of my own thoughts and copies of what I write for Platform’s site. I’d say so far with regards to writing, it could only be the interview with the original composer, Nathan McCree. He spent a lot of time answering questions in great detail, an all-round decent guy.
How has Tomb Raider changed your life?
I’d say it’s definitely influenced me as to how a game can really revolutionise how a game can be played and heard, from its gameplay to the epic music, the kind that is only being given care and attention today with The Last of Us (and many more) whereas Nathan McCree was doing this 18 years ago. So it’s definitely inspired me, in a way, to write and it’s gotten me to interview the composer, so I’m sure that’s something!
Were you interested in archaeology before discovering Tomb Raider? Have the Tomb Raider games and films inspired you to learn more about ancient history?
I do remember being at this one class at school in early 1998, which was just after I’d gotten TR II for Christmas, and we were learning about the Egyptians and Tutankhamun, and seeing how I’d once ‘been there’ by way of Lara Croft in the first game, it caught my interest. Even today Egypt’s history still intrigues me and I do aim to visit there someday.
What are your thoughts on Lara’s image? Is she simply the product of a sexist gaming industry or can she be seen as a positive role model?
In the 90’s, she was definitely seen as an interpretation of ‘sex sells’. But when you’re 8 years old, as I was then, I just saw her as another hero, much like Lois Lane when I used to watch Teri Hatcher portray her in the 90’s TV series of Superman. But even then, and moreso now, she’s an icon for female heroes in games, and probably the only one now that you can truly see as the leader for female heroes.
What’s your favourite Tomb Raider game?
It has to be Tomb Raider II. It was the first game in the series I completed and was the one that had the right balance of action, puzzle solving, and great music throughout.
And your least favourite game?
It’s a choice between Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation or Angel of Darkness, but I think it has to be Last Revelation. Even starting with the title screen, a downbeat theme tune replaced the fine-tuned theme from the past three. No ‘Lara’s Home’, a non-optional tutorial level to start with, the list goes on. This was when it just jumped the shark for me, and they changed parts of the game that just didn’t need to be changed. A shame really…
Classic, Legend-Anniversary-Underworld or Reboot Lara?
Do you have any favourite Tomb Raider moments or quotes?
‘Don’t you think you’ve seen enough?’ (Tomb Raider II)
What about least favourite moments? Is there anything you dislike about the games/films/comics?
The tutorial level in Last Revelation, ‘I feel stronger’ in Angel of Darkness, the quick-time events in TR 2013, and the films in general.
If you could change one thing about the Tomb Raider franchise, what would you change?
Recognising the past. It would be great if the sequel to TR 2013 had some kind of a ‘LOST’ flash-forward that featured Judith Gibbons’ voice as an older Lara that would link to the story being told, just to honour us fans of the classic era.
Which places would you like to see Lara explore in future games?
I do think that a hidden temple in Japan would be great. A spin of the Kita-in Temple possibly?
Finally, if you could join Lara on one of her adventures, where would you go?
If ever she decided to visit Egypt once again, I’d be more than happy to accompany her.
An archive of our fan interviews can be found here.