The backstory of Tomb Raider

The backstory of Tomb Raider

With the upcoming reboot of Tomb Raider you might want to learn about the numerous adventures Lara Croft has been on since. We’ll go through all previous 9 games (skipping the 2d ones and the PSN spin-off) in chronological order. Buckle up!


Tomb Raider Released in 1996 for N-Gage, PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Windows.

Tomb Raider for PlayStationThe game begins with a nuclear test taking place in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The explosion exposes a strange artifact inside the crater. The artifact starts up and inside is a mysterious person in suspended animation. Some time passes and Lara is contacted by a man named Larson Conway who works for  Jacqueline Natla, owner of a powerful company called Natla Technologies. Natla hires Lara to retrieve an artifact called the Scion from a tomb in Peru. Lara accepts the mission and is successful in her expedition. On her way back she is attacked by Larson who tries to steal the artifact but Lara manages to overcome him. She learns that the artifact is just one piece or a larger relic and Larson reveals that a french guy named Pierre Dupont was hired by Natla to recover the rest of the pieces.

In order to find out where this Pierre character is, Lara breaks into the Natla headquarters and discovers a journal belonging to a medieval monk. The journal says that the second piece of the relic is in monastery in Greece. Once there Lara travels through an impressive underground compound fighting off Pierre’s henchmen. At the inner sanctum of the cave Lara discovers the tomb of Tihocan where she finds the second piece of the artifact and also manages to kill Pierre. Engraved into the tomb is a message that says that Tihocan was “one of the two just rulers” of Atlantis.

When Lara puts the two pieces of the of the Scion together she sees a vision of the three rulers of Atlantis. The first ruler uses the Scion to create mutants but the two other rulers manages to stop her and take her piece of the artifact. Atlantis is destroyed by a meteor and the three pieces are scattered around the world, one of them lands in Egypt. Lara then travels to a temple in Khamoon, Egypt but the temple is overrun by mutants who are under the control of Larson. Lara kills Larson and takes the final piece of the Scion but when she leaves the temple she is jumped by Natla who steals all three artifacts and captures Lara.

Lara escapes and crawls into a boat belonging to Natla which takes her to a remote island. Once on the island she discovers that Natla has unearthed the Great Pyramid of Atlantis on the island. Lara fights her way down into the pyramid and finds all three pieces of the Scion working as a power source. Lara touches the artifact and sees another vision in which Natla is the third ruler of Atlantis. In the vision Natla tries to use her power for genetic manipulations but is stopped and punished by Qualopec and Tihocan who locks her up in a state of suspended animation first seen in the intro of the game. Lara now confronts Natla and manages to kill a giant mutant and also throw Natla down a deep chasm. Lara now decides the Scion is too dangerous and destroys it, setting of a chain reaction, collapsing the pyramid. As Lara makes her way out she fights Natla one last time, now a winged mutant who is throwing fireballs at Lara. She is yet again victorious and flees the island just before it is explodes and sinks into the ocean.

Fun-fact: Critically and commercially successful, the game sold over 7 million copies worldwide.


Tomb Raider II Released in 1997 for PlayStation and Windows.

Tomb Raider II for PlayStation

The story of Tomb Raider II begins in China near the Great Wall. Lara is investigating a legend about the mythical Dagger of Xian, rumored to be able to turn the bearer into a dragon. Lara finds the door leading to the the dagger but is attacked by a henchman working for a Venetian mob leader, Marco Bartoli, before she can investigate further. The door is locked so Lara decides to follow the Bartoli lead and travels to Venice, Italy. Lara finds Bartoli’s hideout and follows him into an airplane where she is detected and captured. The plane is heading to an oil platform which the mob is using to excavate a sunken ship called the Maria Doria. Lara is told by an imprisoned Tibetan monk that the shipwreck has an ancient Tibetan artifact on-board, the Seraph.

Lara manages to escape and dives into the sea hoping to find the shipwreck. She is successful and finds the Seraph and gets on a plane to Tibet. Suddenly the plane malfunctions but Lara manages to escape during it’s emergency landing using a parachute. Lara seeks refuge at a monastery and the monks decides to help her confront the Bartoli gang. Together they eventually find the Seraph inside the monastery and continues exploring the catacombs underneath it trying to find the key to the door she found in the Great Wall in the beginning of the game. Lara fights numerous Yetis and finally finds the key, the Talion. Lara makes her escape in a jeep and heads to China to retrieve the mysterious dagger.

Lara gets to the door leading to the Dagger but a trap door in the floor opens up and she is thrown down into the catacombs underneath the Great Wall. Lara evades more traps, ancient warriors and blades before she finds Bartoli. But it’s too late, Bartoli drives the dagger into his heart and is instantly transformed into a dragon. Lara manages to knock out the dragon and removes the dagger from Bartoli’s corpse. The catacombs now begins to collapse but Lara makes it out in time. The epilogue shows Lara cleaning the dagger in her mansion when she is attacked by what’s left of Bartoli’s mobster gang but she overpowers them yet again . The last scene shows Lara just about to enter the shower saying: “Don’t you think you’ve seen enough?” and takes out the camera with her shotgun.

 Fun-fact: Despite getting rave reviews for her voice acting in the original Tomb Raider, Shelly Blond was replaced by Judith Gibbins as Lara in Tomb Raider II.


Tomb Raider III Released in 1998 for PlayStation and Windows.

Tomb Raider III for PlayStationTomb Raider III takes place at five different locations. India is visited first and Antarctica last, but the remaining three locations can be played in any order. They are; the South Pacific Islands, London and Nevada. The game starts by showing how a meteoroid hits Antarctica several millions of years ago, turning the tropical continent into the cold place we know it today. A man named Dr. Mark Willard and his corporation, RX Tech, started an excavation at the location finding strange statues and the grave of Darwin’s associate.

When we first see Lara she is in an Indian temple looking for the Infada Stone once belonging to the Infada tribe. She encounters a mentally disturbed researcher working for RX Tech who finds the artifact first, giving him supernatural powers. Lara kills the crazy researcher and grabs the artifact. She gets approached by Dr. Willard who tells her that the Infada Stone originates from a crater in Antarctica. The stone is one out of four crystalline artifacts and they have mysterious powers. In the nineteenth century Charles Darwin and his group found the artifacts in Antarctica but has since been scattered around the globe. Dr. Willard tracked the artifacts by using a diary belonging to one of Darwin’s sailors. Lara decides to help out finding the rest of the three artifacts.

First stop is London where Lara searches for the Eye of Isis which is in possession of Sophia Leigh. Sophia uses her cosmetics corporation as a front for carrying out human experiments trying to find the answer to eternal youth. Lara makes a deal with Sophia but then attempts to kill her. Lara instead kills all the assassins and finds her way to Sophia’s office through a ventilation shaft. Sophia escapes through a window with the artifact and makes her way to a bridge. Sophia uses the artifact’s power to take out Lara but fails, instead Lara defeats her by shooting out a fuse box controlling the bridge Sophia stands on, electrocuting her.

On Lara’s next destination, a South Pacific island, things gets really outlandish. She fights cannibals, Velociraptors and a T-Rex. Then she finds a tribe and learns that one of Darwin’s sailors brought the artifact to this island. Lara makes her way to a trap-riddled temple to fight the deity Puna who possess the artifact, the Ora Dagger.

Next up is Nevada and more specifically, Area 51. The artifact here is located inside a spacecraft guarded by the US military. She tries to infiltrate the base but fails and is captured. Lara manages to free herself together with a few other inmates and makes her escape in a truck. Back on Antarctica, Lara now confronts Dr. Willard who confess planning on using the artifacts combined power to speed up the human evolution and create mutants. Willard manages to steal Lara’s artifacts and goes to the excavation site. Lara finds an ancient city built on top of the crater and fights off more mutants and reptiles. She finally finds Willard but it is too late as he has all ready combined the 4 artifacts which has turned him into a huge spider-like creature. Lara thinks on her feet and deactivates the artifacts and kills the mutated Dr. Willard. The game ends with Lara stealing a helicopter, evading incoming anti-air missiles and blowing up pursuing helicopters with the mounted gatling gun.

Fun-fact: Tomb Raider III was the first game to feature a non-linear level structure.


Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Released in 1999 for PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast and Windows.

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation for PlayStationThe game starts out when Lara is only 16 years old in Angkor Wat, Cambodia in 1984. Her mentor, Werner Von Croy, finds an ancient artifact called the Iris which sets off a trap leaving Von Croy inside the ruins. Later in 1999, Lara is looking for the Amulet of Horus which is said to keep the dark god Set sealed in a sarcophagus. When Lara takes the amulet, Set is released and a guide tries to steal the amulet from Lara. It turns out the guide was working for Von Croy but Lara manages to escape.

Lara now talks to Jean-Yvre, an old friend, who tells Lara that she needs to go to the Tomb of Semerkhet in order to set things straight again. Once there she finds it guarded by Von Croy himself. Lara opens the tomb with the amulet but Von Croy later steals it from her and traps Lara inside the tomb. Lara learns of the impending Millennial Constellation and a set of instructions that needs to be fulfilled in order to trap the evil god Set forever. She must travel to the Great Pyramid of Giza and summon a god that can handle Set.

Lara kills a monster and escapes the tomb and makes her way to Alexandria. Here she meets up with Jean-Yvre again who tells her about the whereabouts of one of the items needed to summon the god, a piece of armor. Lara finds it in Cleopatra’s palace but when she returns she discovers that Jean-Yvre has been kidnapped by Von Croy who demands the armor in order to return Jean-Yvre. It turns out that an Egyptian sergeant might be able to help her so Lara conducts several tasks for the sergeant when suddenly he sacrifices his own life, driving a truck filled with dynamite into a dragon-like creature blocking the only way into an ancient citadel. Here she finds her friend Jean-Yvre who tells her that Von Croy has been possessed by the evil god Set.

Back in Giza again, Set has mobilized a force protecting the Great Pyramid, the only place where the good god can trap Set during the planetary Millennial Constellation. Lara is not discouraged though and fights off Set’s force and goes into the Temple of Horus. Lara now summons the god with the armor and the amulet but Set intervenes and destroys the armor. Lara rushes out the temple and seals the doors with the amulet, trapping Set inside. The temple now starts to collapse and she slips and falls down a chasm, barley hanging on to a ledge. Von Croy now appears seemingly no longer possessed by Set and tries to help her but it is too late and the game ends on a cliffhanger as Lara plunges down the chasm.

Fun-fact: The developers, Core, designed a special expansion to celebrate the finding of Tutankhamen’s Tomb in 1922 .


Tomb Raider: Chronicles Released in 2000 for PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast and Windows.

Tomb Raider: Chronicles for PlayStationThe game picks up right where Tomb Raider: Chronicles ended. Lara is presumed dead after being trapped inside the collapsed Temple of Horus. At the memorial service Winston Smith and Father Patrick Dunstan reveal that Lara’s mentor, Werner von Croy, has started looking for Lara’s in the collapsed Temple. Charles Kane, Patrick Dunstand and Winston Smith gets together at Croft Manor to talk about Lara’s past adventures.

The first adventure took place in Rome where Lara searched for the Philosopher’s Stone. Also seeking the treasure are Pierre DuPont and Larson Conway.

In the second memory,  in Zapadnaya Litsa naval base in Russia, Lara is looking for the Spear of Destiny but she is not alone. A mob gang, run by Mikhailov is also after it. When Lara finds the spear on the ocean floor she is apprehended by the gang and brought to their submarine. When Mikhailov uses the spear it unleashes such great powers that the hull of the sub is breached. Lara escapes the sub and leaves the spear in the submerged submarine.

The third adventure is Lara’s first encounter with the paranormal and it takes place on Ireland. She overhears Winston and Dunstan talking about strange things happening on Black Island and sneaks onto a small boat heading there. Here she encounters many paranormal beings such as Changelings, the Grim Reaper, ghosts and demons.

The fourth memory takes place in Werner von Croy’s facility in New York where Lara is looking for the Iris artifact.

The epilogue shows Werner von Croy still excavating the temple where Lara went missing in Egypt. A small boy finds Lara’s backpack deep inside the temple and von Croy exclaims that they’ve found her!

 Fun-fact: Find all 36 golden roses hidden in the game a special features menu is unlocked where you can view storyboards and concept art.


Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness Released in 2003 for PlayStation 2 and Windows.

Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness for PlayStation 2The game starts in Paris where Lara learns from her mentor, Werner von Croy, that he is helping find five mysterious Obscura paintings for Pieter van Eckhardt. Eckhardt is planning to use the paintings for evil deeds and Lara refuses to help von Croy. They start to fight and in the process Lara is knocked unconscious. When she wakes up Von Croy is dead and the clues points to a serial killing called Monstrum. Lara, now a fugitive, meets up with and convinces a colleague of Von Croy, Margot Carvier, that she is innocent. Lara receives Von Croy’s journal and finds out one painting is hidden under the Louvre. She contacts a gang leader called Louis Bouchard and asks for help with equipment but when Lara goes to pick it up she finds the shop keeper assassinated by the serial killer Monstrum. Lara manages to grab the equipment before a bomb explodes.

Lara enters the Louvre and locates the office of von Croy’s colleague, Margot Carvier and finds out she too was working for Eckhardt. She enters the catacombs under the Louvre and must fight a horde of undead knights and a ghost before locating the next Obscura Painting. Lara is now attacked by Kurtis Trent who steals the painting and Lara is knocked unconscious. When she wakes up she finds a dagger with a black crystal and Bouchard, the local gang leader, is there who tells Lara of another Monstrum killing in Prague. She finds out Eckhardt is involved in a cult called the Cabal. Bouchard sends an assassin to kill Lara but she manages to kill him and finds the adress to Vasiley in Prague. Lara travels to Prague and finds Bouchard dead but also the last Obscura engraving hinting to the whereabouts of the final painting. She goes to the Strahov where Lara discovers horrible experiments on animals and humans. Lara releases all the trapped creatures along with a being called the Proto-Nephilim, created by the Cabal. Lara is captured by Kurtis who kills the Proto-Nephilim. Kurtis tells the truth about Eckhardt and Lara decides to team up to defeat Eckhardt who is revealed to be an immortal Black Alchemist.

Lara goes to a fortress known as the Strahov or “Vault of Trophies” where she obtains a painting but when she returns Eckhardt has kidnapped Kurtis. Lara gives Eckhardt the fifth painting and he releases Kurtis. Kurtis gives two strange Periapt Shards to Lara, three of them can kill Eckhardt. Lara travels deeper into the Strahov and finds the third Shard in Eckhardt’s lab. Meanwhile, Eckhardt resurrects “the Sleeper” which Lara then kills and then stabs Eckhardt with two shards but before she can use the third she is overpowered by Eckhardt’s assistant, Karel. But Karel betrays Eckhardt and stabs him with the third shard which kills him. Karel now explains that he is the last living Nephilim and he offers Lara to join him as he explains how he has helped her in Paris and Prague taking different shapes. When she refuses Karel attacks her but Lara grabs a magical talisman, the Sanglyph, and uses it to create a beam of energy which kills Karel. On her way out she finds Kurtis’ grappling hook which she uses to pull herself out of the chamber with a big smile on her face.

• Fun-fact: After the game’s release Eidos Interactive gave the Tomb Raider games away from Core Design and assigned them to Crystal Dynamics.


Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend Released in 2006 for PlayStation 2 and 10 other platforms.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend for PlayStation 2Playing as nine year old Lara, she and her mother, Amelia, crashes in the Himalayas and finds shelter in the ruins of an old Buddhist monastery. Lara finds a sword on a stone dais (a pedestal) and when Amelia takes the sword the dais explodes and Amelia vanish into thin air.

Many years alter Lara is searching for a similar dais in Bolivia. She fends off a group of mercenaries belonging to the adventurer James Rutland. Rutland is in possession of a sword fragment and mentions Lara’s friend Amanda Evert who died while on an adventure with Lara. Lara travels to Peru to try and confirm Amanda’s death. When they were teenagers they saw a demon kill their team of excavators and Amanda was trapped under a pile of rubble and presumed dead. Moments before her death she trapped a demon in a glowing stone. Lara discovers that the artifact she is looking for might be the Excalibur, the mythological sword of King Arthur and that Amanda survived the cave collapse. Amanda is also looking for the sword which has been broken into four pieces.

Lara remembers that one of the pieces belongs to Yakuza Kumicho Shogo Takamoto located in Tokyo and arranges a meeting. Takamoto refuses to give the piece to Lara and orders his henchmen to kill her. Lara kills Takamoto who tries to use the power of the sword fragment against her. She finds out that Rutland is in Ghana and travels there and Rutland tells her that there is a key that can reconstruct the Excalibur, the Ghalali Key. Lara fights Rutland and manages to steal his fragment piece. She now finds out that her mansion was searched by Amanda who also is looking for the Ghalali key before traveling to Kazahkstan to look for another sword fragment.

In Kazahkstan she fights Rutland’s henchmen and discovers a laboratory where the KGB had conducted experiments with the sword. Lara confronts Amanda who blames Lara for leaving her in the collapsed cave all those years ago. Lara manages to get the fragment from Amanda and also retrieves an old knight’s shield that leads her to Cornwall, England. Inside King Arthur’s tomb she finds out that the four of his knights, Lancelot, Percival, Galahad and Bors, took the the fragments and scattered them around the world. The last fragment was left with Bedivere in hopes to be able to revive him. Back in the mansion Lara realizes that the Ghalali Key belonged to her mother Amelia, and she wore it around her neck as a pendant. She now travels back to the temple in the Himalayas where her mother died in order to retrieve the key. She tries to use it to restore Excalibur but fails and the temple collapses.

Lara now goes back to Bolivia to the dais there only to find Amanda and Rutland waiting for her. She assembles the Excalibur and kills all the mercenaries and finally also Rutland. Amanda attacks her and uses the demon she trapped back when they were teenagers against Lara. Lara uses the Excalibur and manages to kill the demon. She then uses the Excalibur on the dais and receives a vision of how the dais works as a time portal giving her the chance to save her mother. However Amanda interferes and the chance is lost. Lara threatens to kill her when Amanda says Amelia, Lara’s mother, is alive and well in Avalon, the mythical land of King Arthur. Lara spares her life but lets her know that her existence is a gift from her. Lara now begins her quest to find her mother.

• Fun-fact: It took composer Troels Brun Folmann nine months to finish composing the soundtrack for Tomb Raider: Legend. The music has since been released for the spin-off downloadable  game Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.


Tomb Raider: Anniversary Released in 2007 for Wii, PlayStation 2, Windows and Xbox 360.

Tomb Raider: Anniversary for PlayStation 2Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a remake of the first game in the series, the original Tomb Raider. It is created with the same engine used for Tomb Raider: Legend. The gameplay mechanics, artificial intelligence and level puzzles of Tomb Raider: Anniversary are now more refined.

After Lara Croft comes back from an expedition in the Himalayas, Jacqueline Natla contacts her. She convinces Lara to recover an artifact from the tomb of Qualopec in Peru. Lara goes on a quest to find one of the three pieces of the ancient Atlantean Scion, a talisman of great power. After discovering the fragment, things go from bad to worse and she must fend off Natla’s henchmen. The plot thickens as she finds out more about Natla’s motivations. The story goes back to the time of the Atlantean civilization. Many adventures await Lara as she needs to use her wits and combat to find the mysterious Scion, investigate tombs littered with traps and uncover hidden treasures. Lara fights raptors, wolves and even a giant T-Rex on her adventure. Go back to the top of the page to read the complete plot-line of the first Tomb Raider.

• Fun-fact: The remake of Tomb Raider includes a brand new extended final level where Lara fights a humongous Atlantean war machine.


Tomb Raider: Underworld Released in 2008 for Wii, PlayStation 3, Windows and Xbox 360.

Tomb Raider: Underworld for PlayStation 3As the game starts the Croft mansion explodes and picks up right after Tomb Raider: Legend. Lara is searching for her mother in the mythological place called Avalon. As she dives in the Mediterranean Sea she finds a temple called Niflheim which is in the Norse mythology. Here she battles the henchmen of Amanda Evert, who became her enemy in the previous game and also finds one of Thor’s gauntlets. Lara finds Jacqueline Natla imprisoned in the temple who reveals that the Norse “Helheim” and Avalon is the same place and that she needs to find Thor’s Hammer to open the Underworld and also retrieve Thor’s other gauntlet and his belt to be able to use the Hammer. Natla tells Lara to go to Thailand to search for the gauntlet.

Lara travels to Thailand but doesn’t find the gauntlet but instead realize that her father found it year ago and moved it before he died. Lara’s father and Natla had apparently worked together and she discovers where the missing gauntlet is hidden, in the Croft Manor. Back at the Manor, in a secret office, Lara finds the gauntlet and a recorded message from her father warning her about Helheim. The Manor explodes in a huge ball of fire and time rewinds back to the beginning of the game. Lara survives but Zip, Lara’s right hand man and tech expert, accuses Lara of having blown up the Manor. When Lara goes back to the Manor, ravaged by the fire, she sees her own doppelganger kill Alister Fletcher, Lara’s research assistant.

Lara now travels to Mexico where she finds Thor’s Belt and clues to where Thor’s Hammer is located, leading her to Jan Mayen Island, Norway. She travels to Norway and finds the Hammer and is informed about Natla’s whereabouts. She’s on a ship and Lara goes there and gets the location of Helheim, but Natla bargins with Lara since Lara doesn’t know the Ritual of Odin which is necessary to be able to enter Helheim.

Natla and Lara goes to Helheim which is located in the Arctic Sea where Natla performs the ritual so Lara can open the gates with Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir. Now Lara is faced with the horrible realization that her mother has been turned into a Thrall, a Norse creature. Lara is forced to kill her and now Natla reveals that she has manipulated Lara from the beginning and also killed Lara’s father. Lara now fights her own doppelganger but in a startling turn of events Amanda comes to her aid and helps her. Together they must now destroy a device that threatens to set off massive volcanic activity around the world and wipe out humanity. Lara is finally successful and uses Thor’s Hammer to send Natla down into a pool of Eitr, a very poisonous liquid in the Norse mythology. Amanda and Lara escapes Helheim using a time portal, similar to the one trapping Lara’s mother there in the first place, and teleports back to a temple in Nepal where the game ends.

• Fun-fact:  In 2011, Tomb Raider: Underworld for PS3 was free for PlayStation Plus members.

Post over. Insert comment to continue