Lara Croft has been a staple in the entertainment world going all the way back to 1996 with her first video game. Over the last 20 years Lara has appeared in 23 officially licensed games, two comic book series and 2 feature films with a 3rd film announced for March 16, 2018 starring Alicia Vikander.
Lara has been through countless changes over the years, in appearance as well as in backstory. Regardless of the changes that she's gone through, she's been one of the most beloved gaming characters of a generation - but that doesn't stop fans from unearthing unknown trivia. Here are 7 things that you may not have known about Lara Croft.
7. She's been on more magazine covers than any supermodel
Considering that Lara Croft is a fictional character, it may be surprising to think that she has graced the covers of more magazines than some of the most beautiful real-life supermodels. As of June 2016, Lara has been featured on over 1,100 magazine covers. That averages out to over 1 cover a month, every month for the last 20 years. She's appeared on everything from Game Informer to the Financial Times.
6. She was almost a male character
The original character designer, Toby Gard, admits to testing four or five designs (all of which were males and basically all Indiana Jones) before settling on a female protagonist. A major reason for the change in sex was that making her female gave her an air of mystery, danger and set her apart as being more than just a sex object like other female game characters at the time.
5. Her original physique was accidental
Now granted The Core design team had never intended to give Lara actually 'real' proportions, as graphic realism just wasn't possible on the gaming systems at the time (the original 1996 Lara was rendered with 540 polygons - current 2015 Lara is around 50,000 polygons). An alteration to the character model was supposed to adjust Lara's chest by 50% whereas it slipped through at 150%, but the team felt it was an improvement; and thus her iconic bosom was created.
4. Lara is incredibly popular in France
And by popular I mean, Uber-popular. Lara Croft is such a hit in France that she has her own French postage stamp, which is weird enough on its own, but Lara also had a short lived musical career in France. Lara Croft: Female Icon was an album where Rhona Mitra provided lyrics with music composed and produced by Dave Stewart (former guitarist and singer of Eurythmics). It's incredibly bad and over-sexualized, but hey it's France so who cares.
3. Tomb Raider was created by just 6 people
In 1996 when Tomb Raider was released, it was considered to be on the cutting edge in terms of gaming advancements. The team being Tomb Raider, Core Design, consisted of only 6 guys during the 3 year development period. This just went to prove that creating the next greatest game didn't require a staff of hundreds or even thousands.
2. Sony didn't want Tomb Raider on the PlayStation
The Tomb Raider franchise has been a cornerstone to the library that Sony created, but originally Sony didn't want Tomb Raider as a part of their gaming collective. Sony was and still is very particular when it comes to what they allow on their console, and when Tomb Raider was originally submitted by Core Design, Sony said that it didn't measure up to the standards they had for a PlayStation game. Core Designs gave lead platform rights to the Sega Saturn for much of its development, but the studio would polish Tomb Raider up enough that Sony finally gave in and allowed it on their system.
1. Her name was chosen out of a phonebook
Originally, Lara Croft was planned on being Laura Cruz, but because the development team wanted to rely on a much stronger British influence for the character they started looking for new names. The team then opened up a local phonebook and found the closest name to Laura Cruz, and that is how Lara Croft was born.