In the Spotlight: Jason Croft

Jason CroftSo, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Jason, I live in the south of England and I’m 14 years old so I am probably one of the younger Tomb Raider fans. I love playing games, cosplaying and talking to people with the same interests as myself.

When and how did you learn about the Tomb Raider series?

My dad works for a big computer company and was trying to help out a client with something. In short, the company did not help out the best way it could have and, as an apology, gave the client a box full of PC games. As a thank you for helping him out, the client offered my dad one of the games and he picked out Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.

He played through the first level and really enjoyed it and thus bought the first game. I would have only been a toddler at the time so my brother was more interested at first in watching my dad play than I was, but I still watched. Over time my brother lost interest but I was fully into the game by then. It was a real great way for my father and I to bond and since then I have been a Tomb Raider fan for the majority of my life.

Do you run a Tomb Raider fansite or blog? If so, what would you say was your biggest achievement to date?

I do own a few TR fansites and a blog, Raiders Together, but I think my main achievement was being featured in the credits for the most recent Tomb Raider reboot. That was a very nice surprise!

How has Tomb Raider changed your life?

I feel Tomb Raider has made me a more respectable person. I didn’t play it because I thought Lara was a sexy icon or a large-chested figure; I played it because I was inspired by the character and her determination to get what she wants, when she wants it, which in turn I feel has boosted my self-confidence to do the same. She has also inspired me to take a small interest in archaeology and since TR4, I have been longing to go to Egypt.

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 probably would have been interested at some level if it weren’t for Tomb Raider but Lara certainly made me interested. For a few years, I had been fixed on becoming an archaeologist.

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?

As I said before, I have never seen Lara as a sexy figure but more of an intelligent aspiration for people to live up to. I am saddened by the fact that so many young gamers these days are always commenting on her chest size and not focusing on the fantastic character that Core Design created. Even when the reboot dropped, I heard people hating on Lara just because she had a smaller physique than in previous games. I also can’t stand some of the sexy renders made by Eidos for the previous games.

What’s your favourite Tomb Raider game?

I’d say Tomb Raider 2. There was globe-trotting, different outfits, rewards for finding all secrets; it was just a lot of fun! I also love traditional Chinese and Japanese culture, which is why I love the theme of this game and the reboot so much. I think it was the first game that I played by myself as well.

And your least favourite game?

Well, there is no game that I have ever thought “What a disaster that game turned out to be”, but I think I’d have to go with Chronicles. It just doesn’t have the same charm as the other ones and whilst it is still enjoyable, I just felt like it was just something to fill the gap between TR4 and Angel of Darkness.

Classic, Legend-Anniversary-Underworld or Reboot Lara?

Now, this answer is different to my thoughts on the games. My favourite Lara Croft is the one from the Legend-Anniversary-Underworld story line but I prefer the classic games. She is just a lot more interesting and likeable in these games, especially in Legend. She is quite witty and occasionally has some funny one-liners. I just had a lot more fun playing with her than with the others. She felt like more of a person I felt than in the classic games in that she had a bit more emotion to her.

Do you have any favourite Tomb Raider moments or quotes?

My favourite quote of all time is when Lara is in the bio-research facility in Angel of Darkness and she talks to Dr Muller about the Cabal and eventually says “If I had a coconut for every time some lunatic said something like that”. I also like the quote in Legend where Lara says “I prefer doorknobs” after blowing up the doors in the base in Kazakhstan.

What about least favourite moments? Is there anything you dislike about the games/films/comics?

I didn’t like Lara’s attitude towards Von Croy in Angel of Darkness. She says “Egypt, Werner, you walked away and left me”, which is a false statement as the entire plot of Chronicles consists of her friends telling stories about Lara whilst Von Croy is trying to find her.

If you could change one thing about the Tomb Raider franchise, what would you change?

I would change the multiplayer from the newest Tomb Raider and replace it with another co-op adventure similar to Guardian of Light. I don’t think the multiplayer mode was necessary and think it was just added because that’s what other mainstream games were doing at the time. Plus I’d love a co-op game where Lara and Sam explore a tomb together or something.

Which places would you like to see Lara explore in future games?

I’d like to see her explore more parts of Europe like Germany or Spain. Europe is known for having lots of castles and interesting culture so no doubt there are a few tombs lying about here. 😉

Finally, if you could join Lara on one of her adventures, where would you go?

I would love to join Lara on her journey through the Tibet levels from Tomb Raider 2. Hiking, killing Yeti, riding snowmobiles… sounds like my cup of tea! The only difference is I would be wearing more suitable clothing than Lara’s hot pants.

A huge thanks to Jason for taking part in our series of fan interviews! You can find him on Twitter (@JasonCroftTR), Youtube, or over on his new blog, Raiders Together. He also runs the LEGO Lara Croft Tomb Raider website.

If you enjoyed this interview and want to read others like it, you can find an archive of all our fan interviews over here.

About Kelly M

Kelly McGuire is a translator, editor, writer, and gamer with a passion for archaeology, foreign languages, cultural heritage, and wildlife conservation. She tweets under the username @TRHorizons and is the admin and chief content creator for Tomb Raider Horizons.

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