5 Reasons I like Classic Lara

12:00 pm HelenLJohnson 0 Comments

In order to be fair, this is a response blogpost to my previous one detailing '5 Reasons why I like Reboot Lara'; if you haven't read it yet the link is the blogpost title you've just read. I made that one because the poor girl gets a bit hate and I personally quite like the overall design and embedded game play elements in her design. However, I grew up with classic Lara, starting with my Saturn and progressing onward with secondhand copies on PC (when it actually ran!). So naturally, I like elements of that version too! This isn't about one version verses the other in a battle to the death with the 'true' Lara reigning supreme; nah, I don't have much time or patience for that...

So here are five reasons why I like classic Lara:

1. Wit and humour
Lara certainly had some corkers of lines during the classic period and all revolved around a good dose of British humour. Being witty in the face of danger altered the power dynamics between her and her enemy. It made sure the Lara could demonstrate her dignified control over a situation. It doesn't come across quite as wisecracking as Nathan Drake does in the Uncharted series, which overall just makes those moments feel all the sweeter.

2. Simplicity in design
In the previous blogpost, I suggested that I like the overall design of reboot Lara because as a cosplayer, it is more interesting to create and more comfortable to wear. However, the turquoise, brown and gold colour pallet is iconic to the character of Lara. Boobs aside, the simplicity is what makes it special and it came across well with the technology of the time. Even when new outfits were used in subsequent titles, the simplicity remained which helped to create the perception of Lara; rather than being distracted by clothing design. Something I found quite jarring in Legend from both the designs and the amount of clothing options that were presented.

3. Duel Pistols
We cannot talk about classic Lara without mentioning the pièce de résistance that was her duel pistols. It felt great wielding unlimited ammo pistols before moving on to other more powerful firearms such as the desert eagles. Okay, so it was very unrealistic to be able to duel wield (watch this fantastic video from Ahoy who goes into the history and logistics of duel wielding in video games) and damn, do those holster not make sense in a real world setting. Yet, they were perfect to fit into Lara's design. 

4. Being a lady, doing it for herself.

I'll admit; I am not a fan of the 'daddy' stories or 'mummy' stories that have crept into Tomb Raider over the years. What I liked about classic Lara was she was doing it because she wanted to; even when approached by agencies *cough*Natla Industries*cough* she only took on the job if she felt it benefited her or it was a particularly important mission for the world as a whole. When Kurtis came along in Angel of Darkness, it was nice to see that dynamic of the woman who would often choose to work alone combined with the need to stick and work together. Was it romantic? Who knows, in my mind I say it might have gone that way, but the wonders of imagination means you can write your own narrative!

5.  Backpack

Has there ever been a backpack that earned the title of a 'Mary Poppins Bag' as much as Lara's classic backpack? Found in Cambodia, lost in Paris and even then the nifty grey number held just as much stuff. It held artifacts, weapons, flares and medipacks galore. All in that lovely brown colour and solid shape that is damn hard to find a replica of for something that looks so simple!