Tomb Raider: The evolution of Lara Croft

Initially conceived as a man, Lara Croft ultimately sprang from the mind of Core Design animator Toby Gard in response to the male-dominated arena of action-adventure games. As Sony’s PlayStation poised itself to disrupt the gaming market with its advanced 3-D capabilities, so did Croft. She was a slick, witty, dastardly British heiress who saved the world not with superheroic powers, but rather physical prowess and brainy gumption. Gard, along with a small team of developers, crafted the first Tomb Raider game in a converted Victorian house in the English city of Derby. “Honestly, I sat there thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is insane,'” developer Gavin Rummery tells EW. “It was a bit like showing up at a car manufacturer wondering what you’re going to work on, and them being like, ‘Oh, you’re going to work on hovercars.'” Tomb Raider‘s unique gameplay elements (it was one of the first 3-D actioners of its size and scope), unconventional lead character, and cinematic aesthetic made it one of the best-selling games of all time.


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