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Mythology

Piecing Together a Fictional History of Kitezh

In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft sets off to redeem her father’s reputation as an academic and get to grips with the concept of an immortal soul. Her journey takes her to a long-forgotten tomb in northern Syria and a remote settlement in Siberia, where she encounters the remnants of a once-great civilization and gathers clues concerning the whereabouts of a mystical artefact known as the Divine Source, thought to be buried deep in the heart of the mythical lost city of Kitezh. By examining the game’s collectible documents, relics, and camp-fire journals, we can begin ... [Continue Reading]

December 4, 2015 // 5 Comments

Arte-Factual: Golden Trident (Relic Run)

In the mobile adventure Lara Croft: Relic Run, gamers have the chance to collect a number of South-East Asian artefacts in the game’s Jungle Temple level. One of these is the Golden Trident, a religious symbol commonly associated with the Hindu god Shiva. The Golden Trident is better known by its Sanskrit name trishula, which means “three spears” or “three blades”, and can often be seen wielded by the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Durga, who manifests herself as the goddess Kali when she’s feeling particularly wrathful. Both deities are associated ... [Continue Reading]

August 26, 2015 // 2 Comments

E3 Community Interview with Creative Director Noah Hughes

E3 has been a somewhat hectic time for the Crystal Dynamics team but Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Creative Director Noah Hughes managed to find some time in his busy schedule to take part in a community Q&A session with the E3 Ambassadors earlier this week. You can find a transcript of the Q&A session below courtesy of Senior Community Manager Meagan Marie. Find out what Noah had to say about Lara’s character development, TressFX, gameplay features, and in-game mythology. Can we expect any nods to classic games as Lara becomes a Tomb Raider? Noah Hughes: Yeah, one of the ... [Continue Reading]

June 19, 2015 // 4 Comments

Arte-Factual: Gilded Chinthe (Relic Run)

With Rise of the Tomb Raider still months away from release, the endless-runner mobile game Lara Croft: Relic Run has provided Tomb Raider fans with their much-needed fix of Crofty goodness. Relic Run has not only provided me with hours of entertaining gameplay and amusing ragdoll deaths; it’s also offered me a whole new selection of artefacts to feature on this blog. So let’s kick things off by looking at one of the 20 relics from the game’s Jungle Temple level, the Gilded Chinthe. Chinthes are mythical leonine creatures (or leogryphs) that can be found at the ... [Continue Reading]

June 10, 2015 // 5 Comments

Noah Hughes on the Mythology of Rise of the Tomb Raider

In episode 28 of Crystal Dynamics’ studio podcast, Tomb Raider Franchise Director Noah Hughes took the opportunity to talk a little about the mythology behind The Rise of the Tomb Raider and Lara’s search for the legendary lost city of Kitezh. Here’s a short summary of the key points raised in the podcast: Why Kitezh? - The dev team wanted to choose a myth that hadn’t been explored much in movies or other media and they “liked the idea of a remote Siberian location” as reflected their belief that “secrets that are lost in time are buried in ... [Continue Reading]

March 24, 2015 // 7 Comments

The Book of Secrets: What the Mystery Book in Tomb Raider’s Final Scene Spells for the Future of the Series

Ever since eagle-eyed gamers spotted the word “Croatoan” written in the book seen in Tomb Raider 2013’s closing scene, there has been a lot of speculation as to what this may mean for the future of the Tomb Raider series. Were the development team hinting at the storyline or location for the next game, perhaps a mission to find the Lost Colony of Roanoke? Were there any other clues to Lara’s next adventure scribbled across the pages visible in the closing scene? Did the note written in Cyrillic actually mean anything? And could the logbook have belonged to a ... [Continue Reading]

March 4, 2015 // 7 Comments

The February 2015 Tomb Raider Developer Q&A Session

The official Tomb Raider forums have hosted monthly Q&A sessions with the Tomb Raider development team over the past couple of years and this month’s session has shed some light on Crystal Dynamics’ decision to set their upcoming game (or at least part of it) in Siberia as well as highlighted Lara’s capabilities as an explorer, academic…and linguist. Here’s an excerpt from the February 2015 Q&A session with Creative Director Noah Hughes: Q: The legend of Kitezh appears to be a rather obscure story. How did the writing team come into contact with it? And ... [Continue Reading]

February 25, 2015 // 0 Comments

Lara Croft & the Quest for Eternal Life

In Game Informer’s latest online feature, Raiders of the Lost City - Lara’s Search for Immortality, we learnt that Lara will be searching for the lost city of Kitezh in her upcoming adventure and that her experiences on Yamatai the previous year have sparked off an almost unhealthy obsession with immortality myths. But what triggered this obsession in Lara? And why did Crystal Dynamics choose to set their latest game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, in Siberia? Here’s an excerpt from the aforementioned Game Informer article… “We wanted to put Lara into a whole ... [Continue Reading]

February 11, 2015 // 11 Comments

Gods & Monsters: Ammit

The highly-anticipated Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris has finally hit the stores and those of you who’ve already played the game will no doubt be familiar with at least some of the game’s key enemies and level bosses. In the last edition of Gods & Monsters, we had a look at the evil snake demon, Apep, who can be found wreaking havok in the Tomb of the Silversmith. This time around, we’ll be taking a look at the female demon Ammit, the “Devourer of Souls”, who’s hot on Lara’s trail at the start of the game. At first glance, Ammit looks ... [Continue Reading]

December 12, 2014 // 8 Comments

Gods & Monsters: Apep

This blog post is dedicated to John T, author of the blog JhnWrites About Games, as a way of saying “thank you” for his generous donation towards my Extra Life 2014 fundraising efforts. Thanks, John! I hope you don’t have a phobia of snakes… In their second developer diary “Puzzles 101”, Executive Producer Scot Amos and Lead Level Designer Jeff Wajcs introduced us to another of Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris’s growing cast of antagonists: the evil snake boss Apep. Like the playable characters Isis and Horus, Apep was modelled after the ... [Continue Reading]

November 20, 2014 // 5 Comments

5 Fantastic Online Resources on Norse Mythology

Valhalla, Mjölnir, Asgard, Thor, Helheim... All of these names will be familiar to those who have played Tomb Raider: Underworld or are fans of Marvel Comics’ long-running Thor comic-book series. But if you’re longing to learn more about the Norse myths and legends that helped inspire the narrative of TR:U, check out the five fantastic websites and online databases listed below! 1) Wikipedia’s Norse Mythology section - Wikipedia has its faults but you can’t deny how useful it can be for gaining a basic (yet fairly broad) understanding of a particular ... [Continue Reading]

November 10, 2014 // 1 Comment

Arte-Factual: Aztec Maize Goddess (Tomb Raider 1)

When I first played Tomb Raider 1 back in 1996, I never realized how many real-life Pre-Columbian (and other) artefacts could be spotted throughout the game’s Peru levels. Some of them, such as the Chimú bird carving, were already familiar to me as I had studied Peruvian art and archaeology for a GCSE art project. But it wasn’t until I started working on this blog and replaying this 1996 classic that I began to notice that the game’s graphics artists had also, perhaps unwittingly, incorporated Maya and Aztec motifs and artefacts in the design of their lost Inca city.** One ... [Continue Reading]

July 11, 2014 // 0 Comments

Oh My Gods! 5 Online Guides to Egyptian Gods and Religion

Back in March, I compiled a little list of online resources on Aztec mythology for those who wanted to learn more about Xolotl and the other gods mentioned in the popular co-op game, Lara Croft & the Guardian of Light. And now that the Egypt-centric Lara Croft & the Temple of Osiris is heading our way later this year, I thought it fitting to put together a list of some of my favourite online guides to Ancient Egyptian gods, goddesses, and religion. So here are my top 5 suggestions in no particular order! 1) Tour Egypt’s Overview of Ancient Egyptian Religion - While not ... [Continue Reading]

July 2, 2014 // 9 Comments

5 Fantastic Free Resources on Aztec Mythology

In the co-op action/adventure game Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, Lara and the Aztec warrior Totec find themselves in a race against time to stop Xolotl, the Keeper of Darkness, from destroying the world. Players may come across a number of relics throughout the game that are named after Aztec gods and mythological creatures, such as the Mask of Tezcatlipoca and Eye of Cipactli. But if you can’t tell your Cihuacoatls from your Huitzilopochtlis, you may find the following resources useful. 1) Aztec Mythology and Religion (Wikipedia) - Wikipedia is probably one of the ... [Continue Reading]

March 2, 2014 // 7 Comments

Guest Blog: Gates of Hel: The Norse Cosmology Behind Tomb Raider: Underworld

By Anya Martin. In Tomb Raider: Underworld (2009), we follow Lara as she visits a number of Norse ‘underworlds’, scattered across locations including Mexico, the Mediterranean, and Thailand. Here she finds a series of artefacts allowing her to wield Thor’s legendary hammer Mjölnir, the key to opening the gates of Helheim, where she discovers the truth of her mother’s disappearance (following on from Legend’s plot). Unsurprisingly, the mythological and historical background of the game has been heavily adapted by the developers at Crystal Dynamics. While the Vikings of Scandinavia ... [Continue Reading]

August 6, 2013 // 7 Comments

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