Our Kickstarter campaign has received $74,000 from over 2,000 backers! TV Tropes 2.0 is coming. There is no stopping it now. We have 4 days left. At $75K we can also develop an API and at $100K the tropes web series will be produced. View the project here and discuss here.
A British archaeologist who has a knack for descending into trap-ridled tombs and ruins, and loves every bit of it. Armed with her wits and her trusty dual pistols, Lara uncovers secrets across the globe, stopping at nothing to get what she wants.Two continuity reboots have led to three radically different Laras. Here are the tropes that each Lara generally possesses:
Action Girl: Provides the page image, and for a damn good reason.
Adventurer Archaeologist: In fairness, when she gets into these kinds of situations, she's usually chasing far more powerful enemies seeking artifacts. Both the movies and games occasionally had a Big Bad wanting abuse some mystical power- in other words, Lara Croft isn't so concerned about preserving the ancient ruins because she's in a race against time to keep some villain from using a powerful artifact with horrendous consequences.
Slightly averted in both Legend and Anniversary, where Lara will get smudged if she rolls around a few too many times. Averted to a greater degree in Underworld.
The 2013 reboot averts this much harder, with Lara near permanently covered in dirt, mud and god knows what else, though the rain does seem to wash most of it off. An even more blatant aversion of this is the unlockable Hunter skin, which coats her in a thick layer of mud, allowing her to blend in with the environment easily.
British Accents: She has one because, well, she is British. Where she hails from exactly in the UK is apparently Surrey, but nothing has been verified.
Buxom Is Better: For the first few years of the franchise, Lara got more busty with each new installment. This trope does not apply to the more recent Tomb Raider games, in which Lara has more realistic proportions.
Gainaxing: To varying degrees, being the most prominent in Angel of Darkness. The subsequent games, developed by Crystal Dynamics, dialled this back to more realistic degrees.
Guns Akimbo: Her signature weapon is a pair of akimbo pistols. In the first two titles she used to shoot them with remarkable timing, such that the two shots sounded just like one. In following titles of the series the two shots are slightly offset. She also automatically aims both weapons independently in target rich environments.
Parental Abandonment: Her parents disown her in the original continuity, both of them go missing in the second continuity (and are eventually revealed to be dead), and it is implied that Lara's father is missing/dead in the third.
Lara's outfits have always showed just a little too much skin to be practical. The first Lara had this in some promotional images, but was not all that present in the games themselves, in which her most revealing outfit was a midriff-revealing tank top and her trademark shorts (justified; considering she wears this while exploring the humid climate of the South Pacific). Second Lara, however, sports an evening gown with Absolute Cleavage and later does an Action Dress Rip with it.
Third Lara intentionally averts this.
Tank-Top Tomboy: Her original outfit was more of a sleeveless muscle shirt, but over the years, it's become more like a tank top in design.
Anti-Hero: She's a hero overall, but she isn't exactly a noble person; In the first game (and the remake), Lara is willing to kill people who got in her way when she tried to claim the Scion pieces and slaughters animals (though they do attack her). In the second game, Lara kills even more animals, though every human she kills are a part of a dangerous italian mafia. Game three has Lara appear incredibly selfish and greedy; she attacks a tribe and their leader for their artifact, breaks into a U.S. government facility to steal their artifact, attacks security guards in a museum when she broke in to steal an item for someone, and when she tries to escape from Antarctica, she runs into a helicopter pilot and gladly shoots him dead to steal his helicopter so she could escape. Granted, Lara does prevent the artifacts she hunts down from being misused by people who want to use the artifacts for a more evil purpose, but her methods are very immoral at best.
Fans began complaining about this after a while, especially in later games (and spin-off merchandise) that began to depict her more as a spy with a licence to kill than an archaeologist. For example, The Angel of Darkness actually requires that Lara kill security guards in order to proceed through a level, even though there is no indication of any of them actually being more than just employees of a legitimate organization. The novel The Bronze Man, told in first person, has Lara ruminating about all the men she has killed, including recalling one time killing someone while kissing him. She also attempts to kill the titular character for no apparent reason than he is seen looking at sexually explicit images.
Later reboots have attempted to undo this damage. Lara is still a killer, but, particularly in the 2013 game, pains are taken to have Lara only kill when necessary and the seriousness of her actions is interwoven into the storyline.
Arranged Marriage: Managed to get out of one in her backstory - her parents hoped that she'd marry an earl. Obviously, things didn't go to plan.
Made of Iron: Capable of surviving attacks of varying degrees in-game, and, in-story, she survives being buried alive for who knows how long.
Rebellious Princess: Born to rich aristocracy in Britain and was even set up in an Arranged Marriage. When she survived a plane crash in the Himalayas at quite a young age, the experience inspired her love of adventuring and tomb raiding. Now thoroughly disinterested in her former aristocratic lifestyle, even breaking off her arranged marriage, her parents consequently disown her as she now desires to become an archaeologist against their wishes.
She's Got Legs: At the end of Tomb Raider II, she is wearing a very short bathrobe.
And of course she wears hot pants in many games. The third-person perspective often allows players to spend many an hour staring at them.
Broken Bird: At the age of nine, Lara's mother was snatched from her by an otherworldly portal, leaving her to track back all the way to civilisation on her own. Years later, her father vanishes, courtesy of Natla, as we find out in Underworld with remains turning up that can not be identified. Despite all her snarking, this girl has gone through a lot.
Exposed to the Elements: Averted and played straight in Legend. The first time around, Lara will dress in clothes appropriate for the location's weather. However, when replaying a level, it is possible to select any of the outfits you've unlocked. Which often leads to Lara exploring the Himalaya in a cocktail dress that's been ripped open. More or less averted in Underworld; the available outfits tend to be appropriate for her destinations most of the time, albeit swimming around in a skimpy swimsuit in the Arctic sea must've been rather... chilly.
It Gets Easier: Implied. Killing just one person is a huge deal in Anniversary. By Legends, she's gunning down mercenary armies by the hundreds.
Omniglot: Described as being "fluent in a dozen languages" in Anniversary, demonstrating at least basic fluency in both Russian and Japanese. Underworld reveals she's also very knowledgeable on ancient languages that are no longer spoken, being able to decipher old runes withe relative ease.
Accidental Nightmare Fuel: While he was clearly designed to be the comic relief, a lot of players were unintentionally creeped out due to the fact that he wordlessly follows Lara around at a slow but implacable shuffle, and makes weird noises that continue to dog your steps even if you find a way to get rid of him.
Adaptational Attractiveness: In the original continuity he appeared to be in his eighties; in the films he was played by then-fortysomething Chris Barrie, who's never been without his share of Fangirls. (Though since he was renamed "Hillary" it's arguable as to whether he can really be considered the same character, though the two serve identical functions.)
And in the games after the first continuity reboot: he was aged down by a good couple of decades, and appears as a very well-preserved man in his late fifties or early sixties from Legend onward.
Battle Butler: Parodied in the training levels for the second and third games. He's doddering and elderly, but still dutifully dresses up in camouflage and allows Lara to take pot-shots at him as part of her assault course training.
Butt Monkey: To the fandom (a fan-favourite Good Bad Bug allowed you to lock him in a walk-in freezer to stop him following you around Lara's Mansion) and also to Lara herself, judging by the ridiculous training she makes him help her with.
Hell Is That Noise: In the second game's training levels, he follows you around Lara's Mansion with a tray of tea things, which jangle and clatter constantly due to his unsteady hands. Even locking him in the freezer (see Butt Monkey, above) didn't stop the disembodied noise from following you throughout the level. The latter scenario could actually qualify as Nightmare Fuel.
Parental Substitute: In the original continuity he seemed to be one to Lara, particularly in Chronicles - her parents are shown leaving her funeral, but it's Winston who goes back to the house with her friends to comfort and reminisce with them.
Servile Snarker: Becomes one in the films and, to a lesser extent, the first continuity reboot.
Team Dad: In the first continuity reboot he seems to be one to Lara, Zip and Alister.
Undying Loyalty: Makes the most appearances of any supporting protagonist in the series, and just generally puts up with Lara no matter what.
The Voiceless: Only speaks from Chronicles onward, adding to his slightly creepy aspect in his first couple of appearances, where he simply grunts and wheezes as he follows Lara around.
Werner Von Croy
Big Bad: Subverted. At first, he appears to be one in The Last Revelation... until Set gets loose.
Demonic Possession: Is influenced and sometimes directly possessed by Set throughout most of The Last Revelation.
Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Seems to be played straight at first, but it turns out he isn't such a bad guy after all.
Although not as inclined to venture out into the world, these two lads accompany Lara on her journeys via headset and can provide a wealth of information, should she require it. They are not shy of commenting on some of Lara's riskier behaviour, but are genuinely fond of her and support her in her endeavors. In Underworld, Alister dies when he, while trying to escape the burning mansion, unwittingly steps into the line of fire of Lara's Doppelgänger.
Adaptational Attractiveness: Zip, between the original continuity and first reboot. In Chronicles what little we see of him (he's mostly voice-over) shows him to be short and scrawny, with quite a high-pitched voice. Starting from Legend, he's got a much deeper voice and is, if not tall, at least the same height as the other male characters, not to mention hugely muscled and prominently tattooed.
Decomposite Character: Though the character of Bryce from the films may seem to be a composite of Zip and Alister, in fact he predates Alister's entry into the series. It may even be that Alister was introduced into the games to incorporate some of Bryce's qualities that weren't already covered in Zip's character.
Distressed Dudes: Happens in Legend. The boys are ambushed by Rutland's mercenaries, prompting Lara to quickly make her way out of the tomb she'd been exploring and take out the mercenaries like the Badass she is.
Plucky Comic Relief: Zip is definitely this in Chronicles. It's toned back considerably in the first reboot, but this trait is still evident, along with Alister.
Real Men Cook: Crystal Dynamics!Zip is actually an extremely talented chef.
Remember the New Guy: Alister is a new character introduced in Legend, but series regulars Lara, Winston and Zip act like he's been there all along. Justified to a great extent by the fact that it's a continuity reboot rather than a sequel.
Vitriolic Best Buds: The pair bicker constantly, but it's obvious from Zip's reaction to Alister's death that they were actually very close.
An old friend of Lara's, she unwittingly sets off the events of Legend when providing Lara with a crucial tidbit of information. Grounded in reality, she prefers to think about the future, rather than dwell on past events.
Originally posing as a mysterious, yet powerful businesswoman, Jacqueline Natla is one of Lara Croft's more frequent enemies. Intimidatingly intelligent and capable of things far beyond that of any normal human, Natla, as an opponent, is never to be underestimated. Fond of playing people like puppets and hatching plans that inevitably lead to The End of the World as We Know It. Also particularily resistant to dying.
American Accents: Natla in the original Tomb Raider had a deep Texan accent, but it was dropped for a more subtle and mysterious sounding accent in the Anniversary remake.
Evil Plan: In TR I, she intends to cause a kind of artificial evolution, by releasing her deadly mutants and see what kind of species survive in the long run. In Anniversary she instead hopes to start "The Seventh Age", but what that is remains vague at best, and would most likely lead to The End of the World as We Know It. In Underworld, her backup plan after Lara destroyed the Scion happened to be using Jormungandr to mess up the tectonic plates and flood the world with deadly eitr.
Evilutionary Biologist: Mostly in the original game, where she explicitly wants to "jumpstart" survival of the fittest by flooding the world with Atlantean monsters.
Femme Fatalons: Has these in her reimagining, a first clue that there's more to her than meets the eye.
Flaming Hair: Has this after her plunge into the lava in Anniversary.
Genre Blindness: Suffers from this at the end of Anniversary, claiming that "sooner or later", Lara'll run out of bullets. Logically, there's nothing wrong with that statement, but this is a videogame and Lara is practically the poster girl for Bottomless Magazines.
We Can Rule Together: Offers Lara a position as a ruler beside her, citing that it "takes three to rule". Predictably, Lara refuses.
Winged Humanoid: Seems to have a different pair of wings each game, some more fancy than others.
One of Natla's mercenaries, Larson Conway has crossed paths with Lara Croft on more than one occasion. In the Crystal Dynamics continuity, he does display a genuine fondness for Lara, despite their often conflicting interests, and is rather reluctant to actually hurt her. Later, he mistakenly provokes Lara into shooting him when he claims she's not the kind of person to kill the people that stand in her way. His death has a profound effect on Lara, being her first human kill.
Affably Evil / Anti-Villain: His portrayal in Anniversary. He won't go out of his way to hurt or kill Lara unless he has no choice as shown in the quick time events. He even speaks to her as if they were friends. In one scene, he actually shoves one of his own allies out of the way and misses his shot when Lara was escaping, practically saving her life.
Groin Attack: Lara gives him a hefty knee to the balls in Chronicles after he gets a bit too touchy-feely while searching her.
Made of Iron: In his first gun fight with Lara, he winds up with gunshot wounds to his right arm and left leg, but you wouldn't know it with the way he was threatening her. Chronologically prior to that in Chronicles, he survives being picked up and violently thrown by animate gargoyles. And in Anniversary, he takes several gunshots to the chest before dying.
Larson:(mockingly) Behind you! Behind you! (gets launched across the courtyard)
You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Didn't believe Lara would shoot him so she could put a stop to Natla's plans. Sadly, he was wrong.
A French archaeologist that, despite presenting himself as legit, is more of a glorified treasure hunter. Recently having come under the employment of Jacqueline Natla, Pierre DuPont finds himself opposite the infamous Lara Croft once more, this time, in pursuit of the same artifact as he. In Anniversary, although he briefly manages to take a hold of the artifact, the guardian centaurs prevent him from escaping and kill him shortly thereafter.
Karmic Death: In Anniversary. Blocked by the unleashed centaurs, he, in a moment of cowardice, throws the piece of the Scion to Lara, in the hope that their attention will be diverted towards her instead. Unfortunately for him, they stomp him into the ground, before going after Lara.
Noone Could Survive That: In Chronicles, he falls into a chasm that, in gameplay, will kill Lara. He clearly survives, as this segment of the game is set prior to the first game.
Offscreen Teleportation: Was known to do this in TR I, in which he would walk behind a pillar and vanish into thin air. This quirk of his returns in Anniversary, albeit in cutscene, where his voice echoes throughout the room while continuously changing in volume. Lara is visibly confused as she struggles to locate him.
Wrong Genre Savvy: In Anniversary, Pierre claims the 2nd piece of the Scion and escapes with Lara chasing after him. The Atlantean creatures by the tomb's entrance come to life and Pierre correctly guesses that stealing the artifact caused the revival. Pierre tosses the Scion to Lara and thinks the monsters will go after her because she has the item. Said monsters look to Lara, but then quickly turn their attention back to Pierre and stomp him to death.
"The Kid" Jerome Johnson
Once a small-time gang leader in Los Angeles, The Kid came under Jacqueline Natla's employment quite unwillingly. A failed carjack attempt of the businesswoman's limousine led to the elimination of the entire crew, barring Kid himself, who was spared because he could prove himself useful. Now working alongside the murderer of his blood brothers, The Kid begrudgingly carries out Natla's orders, which eventually brings him face to face with Lara Croft. Dies of a stab wound inflicted by Kold.
You Killed My Mates: In Anniversary , he holds a grudge against Kold, who murdered The Kid's crew for attempting to carjack Natla's limousine. He avenges them when he manages to shoot Kold in the back, killing him and inadvertently saving Lara. He succumbs to a stab wound, inflicted by Kold, shortly after.
A large African-American henchman, this frighteningly vicious killer takes care of any threats with ease, and relishes in it. He was released into Jacqueline Natla's custody as her personal bodyguard, despite protests from the prison psychiatrist. Takes a lot of bullets from Lara, but eventually goes down after The Kid shoots him in the back.
Karmic Death: In Anniversary. At one point Lara is prevented from progressing by both Kold and The Kid, and so is forced to engage them. This seems to go fairly well at first, but when The Kid is about to get a hit in, he's stabbed in the gut by Kold. Lara tries to fight him off, pumping about twenty bullets into his body, but is eventually overpowered. Just before Kold can manage to actually hurt our heroine, The Kid uses the last of his energy to shoot some more lead into Kold's back, which finally manages to kill him.
Knife Nut: Trades in his shotgun for a combat knife in Anniversary.
Made of Iron: Lara's bullets barely even seem to faze the guy.
Scary Black Man: He's an extremely large, extremely strong black man (the chief henchman of the main villain), he speaks in a gravelly, threatening voice, and he likes to stab people with his extremely large knife.
Those Three Bad Guys: With the Cowboy and Skateboard Kid in TR I. He's fleshed out a bit more in Anniversary, where he actually has a background.
A creature of supernatural origin that Lara Croft has encountered multiple times, though in different forms. The first Doppelganger was an Atlantean creation that could mimic Lara's movement flawlessly, essentially being a mirror image. Recognising this crucial flaw, Lara tricked the creature into jumping into a lava pit, its blind mimicry leading to its death.The second Doppelganger, possessing great strength and speed, poses a far greater threat than the original Doppelganger ever could. Unlike the original, she has a humanesque appearance that is uncannily similar to that of the real Lara Croft. She carries out Natla's orders without question, but a desire to break away from the Atlantean Queen's control sometimes makes itself apparent. Most, if not all, of these tropes below apply to her.
Disney Villain Death: Telekinetically thrown off a ledge by Amanda, with the implication being that she landed in the lethal eitr. Lara's Shadow reveals that she landed on a slab of land, which knocked her out long enough for Lara to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. She's soon back on her feet though.
Doppelgänger: Self-explanatory. It mostly resembles the Evil Knockoff variety, though it's not entirely clear if it was ever specifically commanded to kill Lara; it was apparently created for Amanda, which raises even more questions. In Lara's Shadow, she is given the order to kill Lara. Luckily, Lara manages to free the Doppelganger from Natla's will before she succeeds in doing so.
Emotionless Girl: As an artificially created being, this is almost par for the course.
Evil Twin: In Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider Anniversary, Lara's Doppelganger has no skin. In Underworld, she gets better, blows up Lara's mansion, kicks her ass inside of her burning mansion, and kills Allister. Later, the Doppelganger gets her own game on Xbox Live.
Heel-Face Brainwashing: Toyed with and averted. At the end of Beneath the Ashes, Lara is seen using the Eitr Stone, an artifact that controls thralls, to order Doppelganger to kill Natla. In Lara's Shadow, the scene is extended, with Lara explicitly using the stone to give the Doppelganger her freedom, by ordering her to no longer follow orders. It just so happens Doppelganger's also now got an axe to grind against Natla.
Kill and Replace: Subverted. In Lara's Shadow, the Doppelganger is explicitly ordered to kill Lara, but instead of replacing her afterwards, she must then kill herself too. Natla justifies this as not wanting to see Lara's face ever again.
Puzzle Boss: The original doppelganger had to be tricked into flinging herself into a pool of lava.
When She Smiles: An odd example, since her default expression seems to be a very subtle smile. However, the smile that forms on her face as she watches Natla drown is certain to send shivers down your spine. It is undeniably creepy, but in a strange way, also beautiful, since it signifies the beginning of a free life.
Bad Boss: He has no problems with punching his underling Fabio in the stomach... while Fabio is piloting an aircraft.
Affably Evil: He genuinely seems like a pleasant, friendly man when Lara first meets him. He even maintains this demeanour when explaining his motivations to Lara - though he quickly turns nasty when she objects.
Big Bad: Of Tomb Raider III, although this doesn't become clear until Lara has collected all the artefacts.
An old friend of Lara's, dating back to their student days, whom she occasionally bantered with, due to their differing viewpoints on social anthropology. Her life was tragically cut short however, when a malevolent entity appeared during an excavation and slaughtered the entire team of graduate students, barring Lara, who managed to escape. Eventually revealed to have survived, Amanda, embittered by the fact that she was left behind, is now a formidable adversary and often in pursuit of the same artifacts as Lara Croft.
Black Magic: Functionally akin to Summon Magic in Legend, in which she's formed a bond with an otherworldly being of some kind that she can summon with the help of a strange stone. In the final battle she fuses with this being, but is defeated by Lara. The being vanishes, although in Underworld, Amanda demonstrates that the stone still has its uses, which now gives her Mind over Matter powers.
Never Found the Body: Left only a shoe behind in the tomb, which Lara finds years later. Gee, I wonder what that means?
No One Could Survive That: In Legend, we see her apparent death at the hand of crushing and drowning, yet, when Lara returns to the tomb where her friend's body supposedly lay, she only finds an unlaced shoe. Hmmm...