Leaked Tomb Raider Script Gives Us A Glimpse Of The New Lara [Update]

By Ishaan . May 9, 2011 . 5:35pm

Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot will retell the story of Lara Croft’s origin and growth into the personality we’re all familiar with — the confident, smart-alecky woman with a fondness for poking her nose in unwelcome places.


This means taking the player back to Lara’s younger days. Back in the days of the original PlayStation, Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation was the first game to deal with Lara’s childhood. You may recall her mentor, Werner Von Croy, from The Last Revelation. Serving a similar role to Von Croy in the new Tomb Raider, at least early in the game, is a character named Conrad Roth, a 52-year-old treasure hunter.


We acquired a portion of the new Tomb Raider script from an voice acting audition that gives us a glimpse at Lara’s interactions and relationship to Roth. While not necessarily finalized, here’s a summary to give you a feel for the new Lara Croft.


The scene opens with a bored Lara recording a video log while on an expedition with Conrad Roth. Roth isn’t in this scene, but he is mentioned.


“Three weeks out, zero finds, twenty fish suppers, fifty instances of Roth fantasising about a pint of Bitter and a ninety-nine percent chance that I’ll hurl myself off this boat out of sheer boredom,” Lara says to the camera. She keeps talking, and a few lines later, mentions something called the “Dragon’s Triangle”.


Lara says she feels that she and Roth are on the brink of discovering something extraordinary, emphasizing excitedly that this is what makes their search different from a mere hobby. She’s young, but ambitious.


The scene then cuts to the village Lara and Roth are at. It’s night time, and the sound of wolves barking is followed by a scream from Roth. He’s being attacked by a pack of them, and by the time Lara gets to him, the wolves have had their way with his leg. Roth has managed to deal with a couple of them with his automatic pistol while the rest have made their escape, but he’s incapacitated.


Lara herself is by no means incapable, however. Expressing concern for his well-being, she bandages Roth’s leg, while he tells her that the wolves took his food pack. The pack also contains their medical supplies and their transmitter, so unless they manage to get it back, they’re stranded on the island with no way to give Roth the necessary medical aid his leg requires.


Roth attempts to stand, but passes out. He’s still alive, but out cold. Slightly panicked, and with no other choice at hand, Lara eyes the wolves’ tracks, and sets out to retrieve their supplies. This is where the cutscene ends and, we assume, the player takes control.


The next scene sees Lara returning to the village, their stolen supplies in hand. She drops the transmitter and medkit down next to Roth and gets to work on tending to his wounds. Roth is impressed by her skill, and asks where she learnt to administer first-aid. “Late shift at The Nine Bells,” Lara replies. “A wolf’s got nothing on a broken bottle.”


Roth tells Lara their best bet is to take their retrieved transmitter to the central mountain peak on the island they’re stranded on. The camera angles up to it. Roth says the mountain will give them the ability to broadcast a strong signal in every direction. He won’t be doing any climbing himself, though, so it’s up to her to scale the mountain and send out a signal.


Lara is despondent. Her face is a mask of worry, and she clearly isn’t keen on taking responsibility for the task. Keep in mind that this new Tomb Raider depicts Lara’s origins as an adventurer, so it makes sense that, despite her ambition and excitement, she’s still scared and unsure of herself.


“You can do this Lara; after all, you are a Croft,” Roth assures her. “I don’t think I’m that kind of Croft,” she replies weakly. “Sure you are,” Roth encourages. “You just don’t know it yet.”


With that, he lays his climbing axe down in front of her. Lara reaches for the axe, and following a quick warning from Roth to “be careful,” she slips off into the night to do the needful.


Update: Square Enix initially requested that we take the script down in its entirety. However, since then, we’ve managed to reach a compromise with them and have been given the go-ahead to post the summary above.


Conrad Roth character profile acquired from Game Informer; Roth and Lara screenshot from Croft Generation.

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  • Testsubject909

    I have the sensation that no matter what’ll happen…. Lara’s still going to end up being a selfish bitch.

    Hell. I can almost taste some subtle selfish greed within two lines in the entire conversation and situation they’ve had…

    And having played the previous Tomb Raiders (Guilty pleasure. I love the puzzle platforming but I hate the horribly disgusting main character who’s only, and let’s be honest here, moderately hot in comparison to all the choices of hot ladies we have today. And the story tends to be a bit meh… mainly because Lara always does something stupid at one point or another, but I blame characterization again) my expectations here is that things are most likely not going to change… At least story wise and characterization wise. (Seriously, I already saw two games where they tried to make her seem vulnerable and humane. It failed. Horribly.)

    • It shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure, such a fantastic and hugely underrated series, really a breath of fresh air in todays gaming climate. Just don’t pay no mind to the story, it only serves to give you a reason as to why you’re in your current location and if you’re playing it for the story then you’re playing it wrong.

      • Testsubject909

        Trust me. Consider how much I dislike Lara and how I keep on being disappointed each time I give her a chance.

        I’m not playing Tomb Raider for the story.

        I enjoy Tomb Raider, enjoy it a lot. Love the gameplay.
        But I hate the story. If you gave me an option in the menu to cut all voice acting down and to skip all cutscenes. I’d do it.

        “Oh! But you won’t know why you’re in X or Y area!”

        That’s okay. I’ll just think back to the old games where you would get thrown from stages to stages and just enjoy it that way.

    • Interwebz

      I have a feeling that no matter how competent the narrative and script will be this time, opinionated bitter folks are still going to whine ;)

      Interestingly enough, they never tried to make her ‘vulnerable’ or ‘humane’. I think that the way some see her character in a twisted way, is related to folks believing being altruistic actually makes you a better person. They seem to miss how it only actually makes you a parasite… The same ones thinking CD tried to portray Lara as being a cry-baby in TRL/U, when in reality she just felt it was necessary to find out what happened to her parent, not for someone else but for uh, self development so to speak.

      I also think there’s something ironic about stating how Lara isn’t hot in comparison to all the other pixelated graphics. I would also reckon the model does look hot, unless you’re female of course. But then again, to each their own. Funny how she never uses the appeal in the game anywhere, yet jaded folks still have issues.

      • Testsubject909

        I guess you missed how I said that by today’s standards she’s only standard hot. Which is still hot. It’s just a wonder how she can maintain an actual standing in any top 3 hot women of gaming.

        Also, she did use her sex appeal in the original Tomb Raider if memory serves me properly.

        • Interwebz

          Well, let me rephrase that then she’s the same by today’s standards as well. Classy, not cliche.

          I can’t recall her using  appeal, not even once actually.

          • Brad T Casali

            It wasn’t so much Lara herself in-game that used her appeal, but more so her designers.  The scantly-clad renderings, for example.

  • Afraid to read the script, I hope this game gets demoed at E3 June 6-9th, I hope Siliconera is there…

    • What makes you think we won’t be at E3? :P

  • Not gonna read it but it looks too long, hope it’s not too story-driven, just let me shimmy across ledges and solve puzzles etc, no need to take me out of the moment with some boring melodrama

  • PrinceHeir

    cannot wait for E3 for the trailer and gameplay videos :D

    anyone notice 2nd pic her clothes look likes from Chloe and Elena?

  • MrRobbyM

    My hopes for this game that will never happen:
    Uncharted + Better puzzles + A hint of metal gear

    • I hope you’re right because we already have enough shooters, no need to make the gunplay a stronger element if that’s what you mean by Uncharted. The puzzles have already been top-notch and not sure why you want it to ape other games and possibly lose its identity when it’s the only thing on the market that does what it does.

      Personally hoping this reboot is more a marketing maneuver than “let’s completely change everything fans love about Tomb Raider” though there’s nothing wrong with expanding the vision or taking the elements that have that the fanbase loves and using them in a different way because if you do the same thing too many times then it becomes stale but Crystal D has done a great job making Legends – Anniversary – Underworld feel like different experiences while at the same time making the experience feel like Tomb Raider so I’m optimistic.

  • mikanko

    Hope this means the voice acting is being done with actors in the same room to cue off of. If they could raise the bar on the story/acting to the level of Uncharted it’d do a lot to improve the series.

  • Wiccan1109

    Theres something really off about Japanese Lara, this is like the second reboot and it just wasnt needed. (Although its not quite as bad as that devil may cry remake where they guy wanted to reboot it just to put himself as the main character of a game.) I dont know if SE can really handle a game like Tomb Raider without trying to turn it in to some epic emotional movie with messages about life, love and friendship. If they deliver great gameplay i’ll accept it no matter what theyve done. I saw an article about it saying SE are trying to make it very heavily FPS based so im hoping they still keep the puzzles and stuff. ; ;

    • ultima_omega

      Wiccan1109 you really don’t know what you are talking about. There is nothing japanese about lara or this game. It is still a western developed game Square Enix just happens to own Eidos who own the TR franchise. They are just the publishers not the developers, Square will have nothing to do with the actual development of the game.

      • Wiccan1109

        ”There is nothing japanese about lara or this game.” To be fair, the location in the game is an island in Japan, and Japan is pretty Japanese. :)

        Crystal Dynamics is still working for SE, i get now that its not being developed in the heart of the country by a team of japanese developers, but im really feeling SE influences with everything ive seen so far, its a totally different direction from where CD where going from before and even the characters designs feel very reminiscent of SE’s style. Its just an opinion though

        • About the character design: one good thing that comes from being part of Square Enix is to get a great boost on the CGI department (the new Deus Ex is another example). The similarities in visual style (the shiny hair and the eyes, for example) probably came from that. As far as the game itself is concerned though, SE has little involvement aside from publishing.

    • This project started development before the S-E acquisition if the leaked concept art is any indication

    • You ARE aware that SE is just he PUBLISHER and has nothing to do with development, right?

    • Testsubject909

      I’m in agreement that they didn’t need a second reboot.

      As much as I hate Lara as a character and how she disappoints me each time I give her a chance to redeem herself as a character and actually flesh out into someone decent… which she has yet to do.

      I do enjoy the gameplay a lot. There aren’t enough games like these though the elements of parcour and 3D platforming puzzle is starting to get incorporated in more and more games (Uncharted, Infamous, SotC).

      The reboot DLC game was a good way of bringing the franchise in a different light and enable some entertaining co-op platforming, but for the main course? It was just fine.

      Honestly, considering what they’re trying to do here with this Lara and this Tomb Raider. It doesn’t feel like a reboot so much as it feels like a Prequel…

      We technically also already had a ‘reboot’ of sort of the main series with the Anniversary game (I know, remake, but they did alter Lara’s characterization from flirtatious to a bit of a more short-fused trigger happy… thing.)

  • Christian Wright

    sounds okay but i want to see new lara in action for reassurance

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