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Tomb Raider is a 1996 computer game originally published by Eidos
Interactive. The game features the fictional character Lara Croft, a buxom
female archaeologist in search of ancient treasures, a la Indiana Jones.
There have been several sequels.
The game was initially released for the Sony PlayStation and for PC, and was
responsible for much of the market dominance by the Sony console during this
The game presents a world in 3D, a series of tombs, and other locations,
through which the player must guide Lara, killing dangerous animals and
other creatures, while collecting objects and solving puzzles along the way.
The game is a third-person shooter, since Lara is always visible. The
player's "camera" follows her, usually over her shoulder or from behind.
Each version of the game has introduced new weapons and moves; by the fourth
version Lara can backflip whilst sliding down a rope, turn around in mid-air
and grab onto a ledge behind her. All this while shooting her pistols!
This is an earlier example of the 3D genre, characterised by the cubic
nature of the world in which Lara inhabits. Every ledge, wall and ceiling
sit at 90 degrees to each other, although the game designers used some
clever tricks to make this less obvious.
A rather unsavoury development in Lara Croft's history is the so-called
"Nude Raider" patch. It's been said in the past, that someone within Edios
Interactive created the patch then released it on the Edios Interactive
website back in 1996, it was on the site for a few hours until Edios
discovered it and removed the patch, but many people downloaded the patch
and uploaded it to different websites. This program, when added to an
existing Tomb Raider game, causes Lara to appear naked, unsurprisingly
popular among a certain population of teenage boys.
Most recently, the idea of Tomb Raider has been extended beyond being just a
video game, including the 2001 Tomb Raider movie.