In the Spotlight: Ivan Z

It’s time for another fan interview! Today’s interviewee is Ivan, an IT student from Croatia who has been playing Tomb Raider since he was a toddler. What does he have to say about the Tomb Raider franchise and the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider?

Ivan ZSo, tell us a little about yourself.

Hello, my name is Ivan and I’m a 20-year-old IT student in Zagreb, Croatia. In my free time, I like to play games, spending time with friends, and watching movies. I also like collecting TR merchandise and am proud of my small collection, hopefully it’ll grow. Last year at college, I finally met someone who likes Lara as much as I do, but I wish I knew more TR fans here in Croatia. I would like to organise some TR gathering here in Zagreb, so all fans can discuss games, comics, movies, and just hang out.

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

I first heard of Tomb Raider when I was 3 years old. I used to play game called Hugo on PC but then my aunt told me about some game she heard of called Tomb Raider. I was kind of sceptical about the game even though she told me it’s exactly the same as Hugo but its lead character was a female called Lara who had dual pistols. In the end, we went to a tobacco shop, where we bought some gaming magazine which included the demo CD of Tomb Raider 2. I fell in love with the game, and also the character, so whenever my dad went on trips to Austria, he would search for Tomb Raider games for me.

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

Well, I don’t have an official Tomb Raider fansite, but I made  a‘’sort of’’ fansite for my web design project. It’s pretty basic, but I have plans to upgrade it and make my own fansite in the near future. If you want, you can check it out here.

How has Tomb Raider changed your life?

Well, I don’t know. Tomb Raider was here for me my whole life, but one thing that Tomb Raider, or rather Crystal Dynamics did, was make me hate Microsoft and Xbox. I’ve been a PC/PlayStation gamer my whole life so after the exclusivity rights for Beneath the Ashes and Lara’s Shadow were announced, I started hating Xbox/CD/Microsoft. And now they made things even worse for Rise of the Tomb Raider. I don’t even want to talk about it because I get upset. 🙁

Were you interested in archaeology before discovering Tomb Raider? Have the Tomb Raider games and films inspired you to learn more about ancient history?

After playing TR games, I become a little bit more interested in history and the legends that lie behind it. So after finishing any TR games, I would search in Google to learn more.

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?

Lara is a GODDESS! I don’t like her just because of her looks but also because of her personality. She is a true survivor and anyone who plays games should know about Lara Croft. She inspired me to never give up and taught me that there is always a way to succeed. So in my eyes, Lara is a positive role model. 🙂

What’s your favourite Tomb Raider game?

Uhhh, this is a tough question. 😀 I really don’t know. Every TR game has something special in it. But I think I like The Angel of Darkness the most, because it was something new. A dark and interesting story, improved graphics, different gameplay, but, unfortunately, the game was never really finished.

And your least favourite game?

TR: The Last Revelation. I never finished it. The story is interesting but the gameplay was too hard for me. Hopefully I’ll finish it one day with my friend.

Classic, Legend-Anniversary-Underworld or Reboot Lara?

Same question like what’s my favourite TR game. I like them all, but Angel of Darkness is my favourite so far. :)

Do you have any favourite Tomb Raider moments or quotes?

  • “If I had a coconut for every time some lunatic said something like that…”
  • “I need Thor’s belt to get his hammer, and I need the hammer to kill a god.”
  • “You’ve reached the top, Lara. There’s nowhere left to go but down.”
  • “In our darkest moments, when life flashes before us, we find something; Something that keeps us going. Something that pushes us.”

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

I didn’t like Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in the movies. I just don’t see her as Lara.

And my least favourite moment in general: Microsoft<->Crystal Dynamics controversy.

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


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

I don’t really care as long as I’m able to play it on PS4/PC.

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

I would follow her to the end of the world if I have to. But I would like to visit Helheim, Yamatai, the Maria Doria ship, and Area 51. 😉

Ivan Z, aged 6, reading a game magazine with a Tomb Raider Chronicles article
Ivan Z, aged 6, reading a Tomb Raider Chronicles article in a game magazine

A huge thanks to Ivan for taking part in our series of fan interviews!

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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