In the spotlight this week is Dre Anthony, the blogger behind TombRaiding.Com and self-confessed “super fan”.
My name is Dre Anthony, I blog and I’m a webmaster to a few fansites. I live and breathe Tomb Raider! I was born in 1996, so I grew up with Lara. I can proudly say that she has had a huge influence on my life.
When and how did you learn about the Tomb Raider series?
Growing up, my uncle was a huge Tomb Raider fan. He was always playing the classics, so I would sit in front of the TV set with him and watch him play all the time. I was really young when I obtained an interest in Tomb Raider’s leading lady, Lara Croft. I would sit there and play with my uncle for hours. When Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness dropped, I was excited to play Lara Croft on the Playstation 2. I was 7 years old at the time and never got past the first level or the buggy gameplay. By the time Tomb Raider: Legend came out, I was super excited to play Lara’s new adventure after a three year long hiatus. TR: Legend was the first video game I ever completed! I continued to play the sequels and my thirst for the franchise eventually lead me to open my own Tomb Raider fansite.
Do you run a Tomb Raider fansite or blog? If so, what would you say was your biggest achievement to date?
I’m the webmaster of TombRaiding.com. I would say that my biggest achievement so far, is being able to bring new and original content to the Tomb Raider community.I still have so many questions for the people who bring Lara’s world to life, and I was really interested in the actors who delivered amazing performances in the new reboot. Nobody was interviewing them, nobody was asking questions, and that’s where I found an opportunity to ask them myself. I’m so inquisitive, and so I just figured that I’d conduct online Q&A’s myself. As a super-fan, I really hope that I adequately represent TR‘s fandom when I conduct my interviews.
How has Tomb Raider changed your life?
As I’ve mentioned before, Lara has had a huge influence on my life in so many ways. She has so many traits that so many people can relate to. She sees what she wants, and she goes and gets it. She’s courageous, persistent, straight-forward, passionate, adventurous, protective of her loved ones, strong, intelligent, ambitious, worldly, a complete-badass and so much more!I think Lara Croft is a great role model.
I grew up with Lara, every step of the way. We were both born the same year, I went to both TR movie premieres, I collected all of her action figures and I was captivated by her iconic aesthetic as a child. I even pretended to wield dual-pistols with pajama bottoms for hair as a kid! I had my mother braid my blue flannel Rugrat PJ pants and I would jump around the house! I wanted to be her. I guess that was my way of cosplaying Lara Croft at age 6, ha ha. I was surrounded by Tomb Raider growing up and it was the best environment that I could have ever hoped for! It made for a very happy childhood.
Were you interested in archaeology before discovering Tomb Raider? Have the TombRaider games and films inspired you to learn more about ancient history?
I’ve always had an interest in history throughout grade school. Since I grew up playing the games, maybe Tomb Raider has inspired me to take an interest in history since I was young. I love learning about different cultures and ancient history and I hope to one day travel and see the world.
What are your thoughts on Lara’s image? Is she simply the product of a sexist gamingindustry or can she be seen as a positive role model?
Of course she can be seen as a positive role model! There’s so much more to her than her pointy boobs and her ass! I think Crystal Dynamics did an amazing job with reimagining Lara as a character in this new iteration of Tomb Raider.
I like the fact that Lara’s sex appeal wasn’t exaggerated or a focus in the reboot. They brought her down to real dimensions, and honestly, I think this is the best she’s ever been! She’s still gorgeous, she’s still sexy, and she’s still a badass!
What’s your favourite Tomb Raider game?
This is hard because I love the whole franchise! I would say that my top 3 favorite games are TR: Legend, TR 2013, and TR III.
And your least favourite game?
Probably The Angel of Darkness. I get how ambitious they wanted the game to be, and I commend the game for its creative direction but the game was so broken and I wasn’t a fan of Lara’s character model or the actress who was cast to voice Lara. I just couldn’t hear Jonell Elliott as Lara Croft. Judith Gibbins had a deeper and raspier voice compared to Elliot, which didn’t make sense why they chose her to voice Lara in AOD.
Classic, Legend-Anniversary-Underworld or Reboot Lara?
All of them! Obviously Crystal struggles with consistency but I do favor Legend and the new Lara the most. I really wasn’t a fan of Underworld’s model. And of course, Classic Lara is so iconic.
Do you have any favourite Tomb Raider moments or quotes?
Favorite moments? Probably, locking Winston in the freezer in Tomb Raider 2 & 3. My favorite quote from the new Tomb Raider is: “You know about loss. Sacrifice is a choice you make. Loss is a choice made for you”.
What about least favourite moments? Is there anything you dislike about the games/films/comics?
The only thing that comes to mind is that I didn’t like the fact that Lara had a love interest in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. It was a typical cliché Hollywood moment.
If you could change one thing about the Tomb Raider franchise, what would you change?
Make every new game title an episode of Lara’s worldly adventures. Tomb Raider 2: Lara goes to Egypt. Tomb Raider 3: Lara explores the Mariana Trench with James Cameron. Tomb Raider 4: Lara goes survival horror, battling ancient zombies!
Which places would you like to see Lara explore in future games?
I would like to see the Tomb Raider sequel have a “Legend/The Last Revelation” theme. (Previous answer applies)
Finally, if you could join Lara on one of her adventures, where would you go?
I want to go to Samoa with Lara. Go play around by a gorgeous waterfall or something. 😉
A huge thanks to Dre Anthony for taking part in our series of fan interviews. Feel free to visit his blog, TombRaiding.Com, or follow him on Twitter (@TombRaidingSite)
You can find an archive of all our fan interviews over here.
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