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YMMV / Tomb Raider

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  • Acceptable Targets: Being a UK-developed game, the main villain and all but one of her henchmen are loud, brash Americans. The other is a Frenchman who keeps running away. This was rectified in Core's later instalments, as Lara is shown to have allies of American and French nationalities.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Alister death in Underworld.
    • In the comics, Chase Carver.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The debate over Lara's effect on female video game characters will probably never be settled. Some say she was a pioneer in an era when female main characters (especially in action games) were exceedingly rare. Others say she did more harm than good through her perceived over-sexualization.
    • There's also several interpretations of the character of Lara herself, and whether she's borderline sociopath with no respect for the places she raids, or if she's just a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Anti-Hero.
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    • Regardless, her sexuality was often a talking point during the development of many games, typically balancing between making her more real/less archetypical and retaining her iconic nature as well as characteristic sexuality. This tended to show up in the marketing as well where on one hand, models were hired to portray Lara in real life (a precursor to modern cosplay sponsoring and such) and yet despite being little more than well... models to stand next to booths, they were often given actual training in Lara-esque skills. Conversely, her contemporary (Samus Aran) has done the reverse - she started off as a masked mercenary of indeterminate origin and gender and has, over time, become more and more sexualized with emphasis on that fact. Whatever Lara's effect, certainly there was one and if it was not solely her fault, then it was her generation and the next generation of characters that she helped lead the way for.
      • It may have been a marketing gimmick, but it never actually came up within the games themselves. Lara's iconic blue tank top and khaki shorts are actually a pretty reasonable clothing choice for an outdoorswoman in arid or tropical climates.
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  • Base-Breaking Character: The character's influence in the industry has been a point of contention among critics; viewpoints range from a positive agent of change in video games to a negative role model for young girls.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: A lot of people play the game through on all difficulty levels and get all the trophies-just to unlock the bikini costumes, and to angle the camera to get the best view of Lara's ass. Back when Core was still running the series, a Fan Nickname for positioning Lara in the corner was "boob angle", since the camera spinned for a while, after which it centered on Lara's bosom.
  • Breather Level: After the rather challenging "Sanctuary of the Scion", "Natla's Mines" is a breeze by comparison, especially since the first half is largely devoid of enemies and death traps. Then "Atlantis" ratchets up the difficulty all the way to the end of the game.
    • "Colosseum" is a much shorter and easier level than "St. Francis' Folly", especially in Anniversary when the latter can be completed in under ten minutes.
  • Broken Base: The fanbase was incredibly divided upon the release of Angel of Darkness. Then Legend was released. The fanbase has never been the same since. More recently, the fandom has become very divided over the second reboot.
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  • "Common Knowledge": If you ask most gaming fans to name some PlayStation exclusive games, chances are the first Tomb Raider might be mentioned. While II and III were console-exclusive to Playstation at the time, the first was also on Sega Saturn; And not only that, was technically released on the Saturn before the Playstation.
  • Complete Monster: Pieter Van Eckhardt; Jacqueline Natla (twice); Himiko, Father Mathias. See those pages for details.
    • Tomb Raider: The Series: Ian O'Conner, from the "Tower of Souls" arc, is a vile member of the O'Conner family. After his father died, he begins fighting for control of their castle, eventually killing his priest brother on a holy altar. Discovering the existence of the Dolmen Emerald, the ancient artifact which gives the owner immortality in exchange for torture and pain, Ian starts torturing countless men, women and children to death. In the present, he uses his henchman to lure people in to his castle as a fuel to the Dolmen Emerald, and attempts to torture Lara Croft to death after capturing her.
  • Designated Hero: A criticism of the later games on the PS1 is that Lara turns into this, with the enemies in the games including not just the usual criminals and animals that stand in her way, but also police officers and security guards. This eventually led to Ron the Death Eater, described below.
  • Dork Age: Definitely had one, but where it was varies a lot from person to person.
    • But it's very easy to point the Dork Age for the marketing of the games. Everything done before The Last Revelation was just low-brow campaign based entirely on sex-appeal and extremely distasteful adds. Just check for yourself how the game was advertised back in the day.
  • Escapist Character: Lara is one of the most recognizable video game female character examples.
  • Even Better Sequel: If any other game than the first will be pointed out by fans as the best in the franchise, it will be most likely either TR II or TR IV.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Doppelganger is more into tight leather than Lara is, although apparently not enough for Zip to tell them apart. Also, Amanda Evert really seems into black leather.
  • Fair for Its Day: Cracked for one, in its discussion of the slip of the mouse that led to her enlarged breasts and subsequent sexualized marketing campaign, takes this stance. Pointing out that before Lara, the majority of women in games were either hostages or nonexistent, they mention that Lara is strong, independently wealthy, beautiful, smart and great at what she does, and has shown that a female-driven game could sell, and if it took an overinflated chest to start blazing that trail, maybe that's just the way it is.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Would you believe Lara/Doppleganger? At least it's the one that acquires most fanart.
    • There's quite a bit of Lara/Kurtis and Lara/Amanda as well.
    • And now Lara/Sam.
    • Some fans ship Larson/Pierre, mainly due to their interactions in Chronicles.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Referring to Lara as "Laura" is a pretty good way to annoy any Tomb Raider fan.
    • Insisting that every game in the franchise is set within the same continuity (there are in fact three separate ones within the "main" series due to two reboots) is likely to irritate quite a few fans. Even more so if you try to bring the movie and the comics into it. Note that this has not stopped even some fans from insisting that they're all part of the same continuity.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Core Design fans versus Crystal Dynamics fans versus Crystal Dynamics 2nd reboot fans. That is all.
  • First Installment Wins: Ask a casual player what they remember about Tomb Raider. It'll be the T. Rex.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Despite claims that it was the second reboot which made the franchise combat-heavy, ever since Tomb Raider II was released back in 1997, the series had wide range of weapons and numerous human enemies to face. However, back then it was still predominately exploration, puzzles and platforming that were the main focus, rather than one elaborate gunfight after another connected by linear passages between them. It made the amount of combat less obvious, since most of the time was spent on looking for secrets and finding a way through some ruins, without ability to "cheat" puzzles with use of Survival Instincts. The gradual simplification of puzzles and platforming, while in the same time making combat more and more complex and prominent is discussed in detail here.
  • Fridge Brilliance: How can snow be so deep in the caves at the beginning of the first game? If the bats are any indication, the cave levels are filled with guano.
  • Foe Yay:
  • Internet Backdraft: Be warned about going into a forum and stating which continuity you prefer, and, by extension, which Lara you prefer.
  • Les Yay:
    • The closest Lara ever came to having a consistent love interest in her Top Cow comic book was Sara Pezzini.
    • The Flanderized Plucky Comic Relief versions of Larson and Pierre, seen in Chronicles, are inseperable for the first two levels, and Pierre inexplicably offers to buy Larson a milkshake.
    • The Crystal Dynamics trilogy is rife with Les Yay, mostly of the Foe Yay variety. Lara and Amanda particularly come across as having had a really bitter breakup in Underworld.
    • Lara and Sam in the 2013 reboot. With Roth as a surrogate father figure and Jonah a surrogate big brother and Alex a Dogged Nice Guy that Lara didn't even know about, Lara doesn't have any male as a solid Love Interest, so her subtext-laden Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Sam doesn't require too much glancing through Shipping Goggles. It doesn't help that it's noted in game that Lara is more interested in studying than meeting guys
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • "Ah-ha!"
    • "No."
  • Narm: In the original 1996 game, it was pretty hard to take Natla and her goons seriously when they all have hilariously stereotypical accents. This was downplayed in the remake.
  • Narm Charm: Again, some of the dialogue. Especially Legend contain several instances of narm charm by dint of dealing with the story of how Lara deals with the death of her mother. '''"WHERE" bang "IS" bang "MY" bang "MOTHER ?!?!" bang'''
    • Additionally, the noise Lara makes when she steps on Midas' hand and turns to gold can be considered this. It sounds like a cat, but it can be taken as Lara suffocating.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Lara herself gets this a lot, especially in regard for Core games. Fanworks tend to be a lot more liberal with the Alternate Character Interpretation mentioned above, many of them choosing the "borderline sociopath" option or even worse interpretations. Evil versions of Lara tend to be far more common than good ones in this area.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: As with many games from this era, it's easy to take for granted just how revolutionary a game like this was back in 1996, and how it influenced numerous adventure games afterwards.
    • She's also frequently seen as little more than a sexist fantasy, not knowing that Lara was a huge step forward in strong, female leads in video games. For some idea of just where female characters were in gaming at the time, consider that Duke Nukem 3D was released in the same year.
  • Sequelitis: Depending on who you ask, you can get few conflicting answers:
    • There is still quite a sizable part of fandom that considers any game after the original from '96 a blasphemy and pointless money-squeezing.
    • Around the 3rd game, game critics started to point out how the plot and game mechanics are repetitive. The 4th game took that to heart.
    • Chronicles was made for quick buck and Core openly admitted doing so.
    • Tomb Raider: Legend was very divisive in this matter. While a critical smash, some fans were still off put by the changes to the series.
    • The Gaiden Game, which managed to unite the whole fandom against it. Some consider it even a case of Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!.
    • 2nd reboot of the series. Which goes a step further with having own sequelity in form of Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was poorly received even among people enjoying the first game of the new continuity.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Several fans of the Core Design games were not happy with Crystal Dynamics' Continuity Reboot with Legend and the subsequent drastic changes to Lara's personality and backstory. In addition, some feel this way about the second Continuity Reboot.
    • The classic series went through some shades of the trope; The first game was all about the tombs, but the second game introduced a few levels that were set in modern areas, like the opera house and the oil rig, and the fans didn't like Lara exploring anything that wasn't a tomb. The third game had even more levels set in cities and other areas where people inhabited, causing some fans to dub the game as "City Raider".


Example of: