Some Tomb Raider moments are too ludicrous to forget


As good as the Tomb Raider reboot (and hopefully Rise of the Tomb Raider) may be, the disturbing trials it puts Lara through might trick you into thinking that Tomb Raider's all about serious drama. It may make you forget that throughout her many adventures, Lara Croft does a thousand ludicrous things, like going full Rambo on a skateboarding teenager, crashing her motorcycle while trying to look cool, chastising the player before shooting them in the face, and fighting an actual T-Rex. Far from purely serious, Tomb Raider is full of stuff we love to laugh at for being so damn stupid - whether it's intentionally ridiculous or not.

While we're excited to join Lara on another adventure fraught with peril and severe consequences, we also want to look back and remember some of those more ridiculous parts of Tomb Raider that have stuck with us all these years. These moments will forever occupy an odd but solid place in our hearts.

Lara fights a Spider from Outer Space

As seen in: Tomb Raider 3

Tomb Raider 3 comes awfully close to recreating the events of John Carpenters The Thing, which youd normally expect to work out for everyone involved. Having collected several artifacts carved out of an ancient meteor - and being in proximity to the fallen space rock itself - Laras pal Dr. Willard turns traitor beneath a frigid layer of Antarctica. Oh, and then turns into a disgusting freak spider, which is somehow meant to sell us on the idea of sped-up human evolution. No thanks?

Not being a huge fan of creepy-crawly things, Lara stomps the life out of a magically irradiated spider-person, affirming two things: One, nothing fazes you at the end of your first trilogy. Two, if a game developer doesnt end their game with an outlandish boss fight, theyre arrested and thrown into jail forever. At least, thats how the myth goes.

Lara's slick motorcycle jump doesn't go according to plan

As seen in: Tomb Raider: Legend

While Lara's death scenes certainly got more graphic in the reboot, unfortunate demises are an age-old part of the Tomb Raider Experience. But every once in a while, Lara dies in such an idiotic manner that you can't help but laugh, like the ways she can bite it during her gutsy motorcycle stunt on the rooftops of Japan.

Playing the cool-and-collected action hero, Lara decides to cross from one building to another by launching over a ramp on a motorbike like the world's classiest BMXer. In theory, it all goes brilliantly and she walks away from her burning ride looking like a proper Jane Bond. But the jump itself involves three QTEs, and if you miss any of them, you end up getting three of the most ludicrous-looking deaths in Tomb Raider history. My personal favorite is when she overshoots her swing, smashes into the overhead lights, and then lands in a ridiculous ragdoll heap (though bursting into flames and gracelessly backflipping off the building is a close second). One goofy bit of physics is enough to turn this almost unbearably cool scene right on its head.

Lara blasts you in the face with a shotgun

As seen in: Tomb Raider 2

The series has always played up Lara Croft's sex appeal, but the ending to Tomb Raider 2 turns it into a terrible, fourth-wall breaking joke. After defeating an evil cult and saving the day, Lara comes home to her sprawling manor for some much deserved R&R. Warming herself by the fire and pawing through the artifacts she's collected, Lara can finally take a breath - until the last members of a mob family show up at her doorstep packing heat. Grabbing her shotgun from her responsibly locked gun closet, Lara makes quick work of these hooligans.

The scene then jarringly cuts to Lara's bathroom, as she's prepping for a shower - y'know, to wash off the new coat of blood she likely received after the massacre in her own house. The camera lingers on her polygonal legs, slowly panning up to her polygonal face, as she fumbles with her polygonal bathrobe. She then turns and looks directly at the camera, and asks you, the player, "Don't you think you've seen enough?" She then picks up a shotgun and blasts you in the face. Classy.

Lara turns from gap year student to hardened serial killer (and no one says anything)

As seen in: Tomb Raider (2013)

I like the Tomb Raider re-reboot, with its nimble, desperate combat, and the darkly oppressive island setting. But oh my God, would it have killed anyone to mention Laras transition from post-grad student to Hannibal-grade serial killer? Well, killed anyone else, that is.

When she confesses her new murderous life to the ships captain, Conrad Roth, his response is little more than an Oh well shrug. Hes a long-standing Croft family friend who watched Lara grow up, yet apparently this is all fine. Worse, Lara later rescues friends by driving an ice axe into the base of two guards skulls. Not one of her companions so much as mentions it. No JESUS CHRIST YOU KILLED THEM. Not even a thats a bit harsh, Lara. The last time anyone saw her she was making a playlist, and now shes standing about covered in blood and bits of brain. The appropriate response in this situation, according to Tomb Raider, is some cheering and a group hug.

Lara executes random guards at The Louvre

As seen in: Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness

Museum guards have it tough. They've got the thankless job of milling around spacious galleries 'round-the-clock, keeping an ever-vigilant eye out in the hopes of stopping a dashing art thief who never shows, or meeting a lively Roosevelt mannequin played by Robin Williams (RIP). Or, if you're a staff member at The Louvre Museum (the French monument housing the original Mona Lisa), you're liable to be stealth-killed by a tomb-raiding lady just for showing up to work and doing your 9-to-5 job.

Besides massively disrespecting priceless art exhibits by traipsing all over them to avoid security lasers, Lara seemingly feels a need to snap the necks of any guard she encounters, whether they've been alerted to her presence or not. And don't even think of trying to sound the alarm, because Croft has no qualms with wordlessly gunning down night shift employees in cold blood. If she shaved her head, Lara could easily double as the female version of Hitman's Agent 47.

Lara shoots a guy in the face for no reason

As seen in: Tomb Raider 3

Tomb Raider 3 is arguably nothing but ridiculous moments. This is the one where Lara has to fight cannibals in the jungle and shortly thereafter break into Area 51, all in the name of hunting down a crazed scientist who's using an alien meteorite in Antarctica to turn his men into monsters. What happened to the quiet pleasures of fighting a T-rex while grave robbing?

As absurd as the game's premise is, though, it pales in comparison to Lara's absurd viciousness. We've accepted her fighting back against gun-toting thugs and animals trying to eat her, but here Lara just starts killing for no reason. Consider the ending: after felling that giant man-spider hybrid, Lara runs off to hop on a helicopter and make her customarily thrilling escape. When she sees the pilot, who actually seems like an agreeable dude just doing his job, she leers at him before shooting him directly in the face. What in the hell is wrong with you, Croft?

Lara's head gets impaled on a spike in the middle of a river

As seen in: Tomb Raider (2013)

Lara can meet a dramatic and gruesome end if you fail to react to the dangers of the reboot's mysterious island. She might be thrown off a cliff, gunned down, or crushed by a cave-in with each death scene being as graphic as possible to really make you regret how you failed to keep Lara alive. But the most shocking of all the ridiculous and grisly death scenes has to be what befalls Lara if you mess up during the river rapids sequence.

At a certain point in the campaign, Lara jumps into rushing rapids, forcing you to shoot down barriers and dodge hazards as you make your way downriver. But when we mention hazards, we aren't talking about rocks that you'd bounce off of and take minor damage - you have to avoid full-on spike traps. And should you screw up and hit one, you're treated to Lara getting her head impaled by a spear, struggling for a brief moment before going limp. It's simply too much to handle.

Lara fights a skinless doppelganger

As seen in: Tomb Raider / TR: Anniversary

Tomb Raider has dabbled in mythology, legend, and magical happenings ever since the original game, pitting Lara against a variety of dinosaurs, minotaurs, and otherworldly beasts. But her deadliest enemy is herself. Well, 'deadliest' probably isn't the best word. Disturbing, more like.

The final levels of the original Tomb Raider bring Lara to Atlantis, and during her expedition, she'll be forced to deal with an exact replica of herself - sans skin. This nightmare-inducing doppelganger, lovingly called 'Bacon Lara' by series fans, consists entirely of muscle, bone, and sinew. It copies your every move, and bullets won't hurt it - you'll just end up getting shot back. The only way to take it out is to trick it into jumping into a pit filled with molten lava. The resulting smell is probably nothing like bacon, unfortunately.

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.

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