Tracking down Easter eggs in video games is one of the joys of gaming and the ‘Blood Ties’ DLC is rife with references and amusing nods to Lara’s past adventures, making it a real treat for long-time fans of the Tomb Raider series.
Whether it’s a familiar object or a subtle nod to Lara’s original backstory, I’ve tried to track down and list as many of the ‘Blood Ties’ Easter eggs as I could find.
Please note that this might not be a complete list – new items may be added as they’re discovered – and that this list contains spoilers for the Croft Manor DLC. So if you haven’t already played this, you may want to turn away now.
A Familiar Number
The combination code that leads to Lord Croft’s secret vault is 1-4-2, a number that should be familiar with Tomb Raider fans as this is Lara’s birthday, 14th February.
Where Have We Seen Those Relics Before?
The treasure hunters among us will probably spend a couple of hours tracking down every collectable relic and document hidden throughout the manor. And some of those relics should ring a bell with fans of the Core Design games.
- Jade Dragon Statue – found in the vault – A clear reference to Tomb Raider 2 and its Temple of Xian level.
- Egyptian Ankh – found in the corridor near Lord Croft’s study – A nod to any of the many ankhs we’ve seen in the series, most notably those seen in Tomb Raider (1996) and Last Revelation.
- Ancient Anubis Bust – found in the basement tunnels – Likely a nod to Lara’s many visits to Egypt over the years.
- The Golden Rose – found in the Croft family crypt – A reference to the collectable golden roses from Tomb Raider Chronicles.
A Memorable Tune
One of the most nostalgia-inducing Easter eggs in the ‘Blood Ties’ DLC can be found in the library.
If you switch on the gramophone, it will start playing a tune that Lara and long-time Tomb Raider fans will recognise: Nathan McCree’s beloved “Venice Violins” theme from Tomb Raider 2. That certainly brought back memories.
It’s a Trap!
And on the subject of nostalgia, I bet many of us locked poor Winston, Lara’s long-suffering butler, in the walk-in freezer every chance we got.
‘Blood Ties’ establishes that Winston was a central figure in Reboot Lara’s childhood and that the headstrong “Little Angel” once managed to trap him in the walk-in freezer, as he recounts in a letter to Lord Croft.
Here There Be Dinosaurs
A stuffed dinosaur toy can be found on the window seat in the library, an adorable nod to Lara’s many encounters with T-rexes and other dinosaurs in the earlier games.
Thankfully, this little fellow’s a lot less deadly than his predecessors and he doesn’t suffer a similar fate to his now extinct brethren.
A Repurposed Backstory
The 2013 reboot saw some major changes to Lara Croft’s background and origin story but elements of Classic Lara’s biography (as well as that of Amelia Croft) are touched upon in ‘Blood Ties’.
- Amelia Croft was supposed to have married the Earl of Farringdon (who she calls “repugnant”) but this long-standing engagement was called off when she fell in love with Richard Croft. This charming character was first created for the Core Design games and was allegedly Lara’s fiancé before she ditched him for a life of adventure. One can only wonder what he was like.
- Plane crashes in the Himalayas are a staple of Tomb Raider backstories. In the Core games, it was a plane crash in this icy mountainous region that sparked Lara’s career as an adventurer. And in Crystal Dynamics’ Legend trilogy, both Lara and Amelia survived a crash in Nepal but the latter disappeared – transported to Helheim/Avalon – shortly thereafter.
- Amelia’s maiden name, De Mornay, remains unchanged from the Legend trilogy.
Nods to the Tomb Raider Comic Series & Films
Fans of the Dark Horse Tomb Raider comic series and the 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider will be able to spot a couple of references to the comics and films hidden around the manor.
- Sir Reginald, the headless knight in the library, first appeared in issue 9 of Gail Simone and Rhianna Pratchett’s comic arc. In a flashback scene, we learnt that Lara loved to sit in the library, reading books while wearing Sir Reginald’s helmet.
- Lara’s obsession with Jaffa Cakes has carried over from the comics into the game. These orange-flavoured, chocolate-coated mini cakes have become quite popular with the Tomb Raider fan community in recent years.
- And on the subject of Jaffa Cakes, Winston once left a little note for Lara telling her that he had hidden some next to William Blake. William Blake’s poem “Auguries of Innocence” was quoted in the 2001 film: “To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour”.
A Matter of Personal Taste
When examining an old photo of herself, Richard Croft, and Ana, Lara comments on her dislike of dresses but admits she liked the colour of the one she was wearing in the photo.
It looks like she and her pre-reboot self were both very fond of turquoise/teal attire. I guess all Laras have impeccable taste in colours.
I Have Some Recollection of this Place
Not technically Easter eggs but Lara’s parents seem to have visited some of the same places Classic Lara did, including China, Tibet, and Egypt. It’s hard to tell if this was intentional or simply coincidence but I’ll say one thing: I’d love to revisit those places in a future Tomb Raider game!
Previously on Tomb Raider…
If you return to Croft Manor after completing the main game, three new relics will become available for you to collect.
One of these is the Atlas but the other two are a Yamatai sword and Roth’s old dual pistols, which were last seen in the 2013 reboot. I wonder if we’ll ever see Lara using dual pistols again.
A special thanks goes to Stellalune of Stella’s Tomb Raider Site and Jana (aka Tombraidergirl) of WikiRaider for helping me out with this list. I used their walkthroughs and articles to check and cross-reference some of the items listed above. All of the screenshots used here are mine.
Last updated: November 3rd, 2016.