Lara Croft, Guinness World Record Breaker

October 2016 was an insanely busy month for Ms Croft.

Not only did Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration finally land on Playstation 4, it was also the 20th anniversary of Tomb Raider (1996), the game that launched Lara Croft into superstardom.

And if that wasn’t enough, our fictional heroine was also awarded two new Guinness World Records: “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Lara Croft” and “Most Magazine Covers for a Video Game Character”.

“Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Lara Croft”

The first of the two Guinness World Records was awarded at this year’s Paris Game Week.

Some 270 Tomb Raider fans took part in Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix’s official cosplay gathering on Saturday 29th October, some of them having travelled to France specially for this event.

Photo montage of all the cosplayers that took in Paris Games Week's official cosplay gathering

Photo montage of all the cosplayers that took in Paris Games Week’s official cosplay gathering (Image credit: Crystal Dynamics & Antony Gomes Photographe)

Fans, young and old, came together to show their love for the character and donned a variety of outfits from the games, films, comics, and even years-old promotional renders.

You can see a full gallery of photos from this record-breaking event over on Flickr.

“Most Magazine Covers for a Video Game Character”

The second of the awards celebrated Lara Croft’s widespread cultural impact and, more specifically, her many appearances on magazine covers.

Earlier this year, Crystal Dynamics called on fans to help them create an archive of magazine covers featuring the gun-toting adventurer. As it turns out, Lara has appeared (in some form) on the cover of at least 1,230 different magazines around the world.

A tiny selection of the many covers Lara Croft has appeared on over her 20-year history

A tiny selection of the many covers Lara Croft has appeared on over her 20-year history

And not just on the covers of video game magazines. Ms Croft has been featured on a number of lifestyle, film, and other cultural publications over her twenty-year history, a true testament to her iconic status both on and off the screen.

A full archive of magazine covers featuring Lara Croft can be found on the official Tomb Raider Flickr account.


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The Secrets of Croft Manor: ‘Blood Ties’ Easter Eggs

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.

Screenshot from Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration DLC, Blood Ties

Screenshot from Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration DLC, Blood Ties

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.

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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.

Lara's adorable dinosaur cuddly toy

Lara’s adorable dinosaur cuddly toy

Thankfully, this little fellow’s a lot less deadly than his predecessors.

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.

How cute does little Lara look?

How cute does little Lara look?

It looks like she and her pre-reboot self were both very fond of turquoise/teal attire.

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.

Roth's dual pistols from Tomb Raider (2013)

Roth’s dual pistols from Tomb Raider (2013)

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.

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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.

Looking for more articles on Tomb Raider Easter eggs? Then check out my articles 15 Awesome Tomb Raider Easter Eggs and Unearthing ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ Easter Eggs (no longer updated).

Last updated: November 3rd, 2016.


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Croft Manor DLC Delves Deep Into Croft Family History

In the recently released Croft Manor DLC, “Blood Ties”, Tomb Raider fans get the chance to take some time out from pillaging ancient sites to delve deep into Croft family history and learn more about Lara Croft’s enigmatic parents and childhood, one aging document at a time.

When Lara’s maternal uncle Atlas de Mornay contests the ownership of Croft Manor, she’s left with no choice but to search the derelict manor for a copy of her father’s last will and testament to validate her claim to the Croft estate. In doing so, Lara is forced to confront her troubled past and come to terms with the mysterious deaths of her parents.

Blood Ties is a welcome change of pace from the game proper. It is completely combat-free and, like the Croft Manors of old, it offers ample opportunity to explore the manor’s many rooms and uncover the secrets that lie within.

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Only certain documents and items are required to push the story along but it was impossible to resist collecting every relic and reading every document I could lay my hands on. Through these, we learn more about Lara’s childhood, her relationship with her parents before (and after) her mother’s untimely death, Richard Croft’s growing obsession with immortality myths, and, perhaps more importantly, the type of person Amelia Croft was.

 Up until the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, Amelia Croft felt little more than a plot device, a non-character who barely got a mention in the 2013 reboot and the comic series that followed it. But Blood Ties makes up for this by finally giving her a voice (literally) and a more fleshed-out backstory, one that shares certain elements with “Classic” Lara Croft. I’ll refrain from spoiling the ending but Amelia’s final message is an emotional and heart-felt one that may leave some with a lump in their throats. Keep some tissues handy…

Long-time fans of the franchise will also be thrilled to learn that the DLC is jam-packed with subtle references to the Core Design games (I’ll be compiling a list of these in the not-too-distant future). My favourite “Easter egg” was this particular relic, a nod to my all-time favourite Tomb Raider game, though I have to admit I had a good chuckle at something I read in one of Winston’s letters.

And, of course, there was also this

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In short, Blood Ties is a delightful, engrossing trip down memory lane and a poignant reminder that history isn’t just something we can read in books, glean from monuments, or see on display in museums. It’s also those things that shape our lives and make us who we are: our families, our roots, our legacies.

Kudos to Narrative Designer John Stafford, Franchise Creative Director Noah Hughes, and everyone else who was involved in bringing Blood Ties to life!

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PS4 gamers can access the Blood Ties DLC (and its companion DLC, Lara’s Nightmare) from the main menu after completing Syria. The DLC will also be free to Xbox One and PC season pass holders, while those without a season pass will have the option to purchase this DLC for around $10.

And if you’d like to learn more about the DLC’s VR component, check out this review by IGN.

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Disclaimer: Crystal Dynamics provided this fan site with a complimentary copy of the game for reviewing purposes. The above is an honest, unbiased review of the “Blood Ties” DLC that was bundled with the PS4 release of Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration.


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