Tomb Raider Reboot Slips From Fall 2012 To Early 2013

By Spencer . May 13, 2012 . 10:15pm

imageCrystal Dynamics bumped the Tomb Raider reboot back from a scheduled fall 2012 launch to the first quarter of 2013. The last time we saw Tomb Raider was at E3 where Square Enix unveiled a younger Lara Croft fighting wolves and a cinematic from Final Fantasy movie maker Visual Works.


Darrell Gallagher, Studio Head at Crystal Dynamics, posted this message for fans:


A Message to the Tomb Raider Community

When Crystal Dynamics first set out to reboot the Tomb Raider franchise, there were two goals that we were extremely passionate about. The first was to create a modern Tomb Raider game that would surprise and excite gamers. The second was to make this the best game of our careers, something we would be really proud to be a part of. We truly believe that we have something very special on our hands and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Our priority now is to make sure we fully deliver the very highest quality game. In order to do this, we have decided to move the game’s release date by a few months, from Fall 2012 to the first quarter of 2013.

We’re doing things that are completely new to Tomb Raider in this game and the additional development time will allow us to put the finishing touches into the game and polish it to a level that you deserve. We believe this is the right choice and I guarantee it will be worth the wait. The game is looking amazing and we can’t wait to show it to everyone at E3 in a few weeks.


We’ll have more news about Tomb Raider in June when we check out the game at E3.

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  • I wonder what other game is going to be delayed for next year. Bioshock already got this treatment.

    • XYZ_JolteonZ980

      Two games I was looking forward too now bumbed. I hope no other ones are or else I have no clue what I will be playing this fall/winter.

  • I’m not too surprised. If I were ever going to reboot anything, I’d want it to be done right.

  • Closet_Ninja

    I’m just glad they’re still working on it. Haven’t heard ANY news on it for awhile glad to hear its not dead. also glad to see Crystal Dynamics putting effort into this

    • XYZ_JolteonZ980

      Theyve actually been doing tons on it, their tumblr is consistently updated.

  • boundries_san

    As long as the delay is done for the sake of polishing the game into a much better game, I will love to wait for the game.^^(As long as they don’t cancel them in the middle of development…..”stare on MML3″)lol.

  • Doesn’t matter, take your time and make it great. There’s Hitman and Sleeping Dogs to play with.

  • I haven’t heard very good things about this reboot anyway. Lots of comments about how it’s making Lara Croft act more “vulnerable” and whatnot like too many games are trying to pull lately when they “reimagine” iconic female characters that have always been known for being strong and tough. The fact Squeenix owns the company now certainly doesn’t do them any favors, either.

    • ResidentMetroid

      So people are afraid this Lara Croft will be like Samus from Other M? I mean sure there’s a bit of difference between the two but are they afraid Lara’s image will be ruin, you think? 

      Personally I like the idea where this reboot is going. Starting Lara as a vulnerable woman and then grow from there. But that’s just me, I also liked Samus in Other M, especially the gameplay.

      • LustEnvy

         Making Lara more human and believable is a GIANT win for this franchise.

        People love a character they can share pain with and get through hardships with. With ‘perfect’ characters, there’s a sense of disconnect. Take Kratos from God of War. His hardships feel tacked on since he is badass ALL the time. Nothing wrong with that, but humanizing a character makes them less 2 dimensional.

        I’m so glad they’re doing this with Lara. It seems like an evolution from just a game to somewhat believable universe.

        I was never a fan of Tomb Raider. Now… I feel this game will change that.

        • And yet, the God of War series rakes in big money despite Kratos being badass all the time.

          It’s not necessary to make a character act vulnerable to sympathize with them or want to play a game starring them. It just takes portraying them the right way and getting that portrayal out well enough for people to notice. Bayonetta and Juliet Sterling both prove you don’t need a character to “go through hardships” and for you to “share pain” with them to enjoy a game starring them.

          Not to mention we can play plenty of games where the male character is just a stoic wall of no emotions and yet everyone loves it. There were no complaints about Leon not having pain to share when Resident Evil 4 came out. Why aren’t the men acting scared and vulnerable in a survival situation too?

          • LustEnvy

            As I said, nothing wrong with God of War. However, humanizing these perfect characters more, add an extra layer to their characters. Ever heard of Nathan Drake? Just as big an icon as Kratos. And Nathan Drake is a walking pile of vulnerability.

            As for Bayonetta, that’s a hyper stylized game, that is in no way shape or form to be compared to Lara Croft. There is no sense of realism in Bayonetta. Lara Croft was more human like since the very beginning. It WORKS for Lara who is more grounded in reality.

            You can take your shallow, infallible characters. I’ll take ones I can relate with more. There’s a helluva game called Journey on PS3. Far from infallible… the struggles the character had MADE that game a pure masterpiece.

          • It’s not about being “infallible.” It’s simply about not having “VULNERABLE VULNERABLE VULNERABLE” screeched at you in the character’s portrayal. Video games with male characters as protagonists show you don’t need a character to be “vulnerable” all over the place for the game to be enjoyable, and even when humanizing the characters is the goal, you don’t need humanizing them to translate to acting physically scared or weak. And perhaps if the industry was making almost every “infallible” (as you refer to it) male character act more “vulnerable” as the industry is currently conceiving the term when it’s forced on female characters, we wouldn’t even be having this kind of discussion.

            The Boss was pretty well humanized and it didn’t require her to act like she was scared and “vulnerable” in her surroundings. And I use The Boss this time because Bayonetta was somehow handwaved away because of the style of game she’s from. If the series being “realistic” is so important, then there we go, The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3. And it’s worth noting she’s among the favorites of the series due to acting badass and human.

          • Guest

            Silent Hill Shattered Memories
            Cursed Mountain
            Alan Wake
            Siren: Blood Curse

            Clearly you need to play more games..

          • Alternate universe Wii game.
            Obscure Wii game.
            Brand new series.
            Brand new series.

            You have four examples, only one of which may feature a heavily iconic, long-running male characters acting the kind of “vulnerable” put on iconic female characters. The key is on iconic and long-running. It’s one thing to create a brand new character to act “vulnerable,” it’s quite another to take an already established character that has already been presented one way and make them look and act differently for one stupid reason or another. I haven’t seen Snake from Metal Gear, Dante from Devil May Cry, Leon or Chris from Resident Evil, Kratos from God of War, Link from Legend of Zelda, etc acting “vulnerable.” And yet it happens to iconic female characters that were known for being strong, capable women that didn’t need to be “vulnerable” in the way these recent games have been trying to pull in order to be interesting.

      • That’s pretty much it. Lara Croft has always been seen as a strong, smart, fully capable woman of her own. This game seems to be framing her in a more vulnerable light, where she comes off closer to a character trapped in a horror movie than a survivor by nature. I think a lot of the worry by at least some fans I’ve read is that even if this scenario is reasonable, that she had to start somewhere, that it may hurt perception of the character in society as being a weak girl underneath the tough exterior, or that the company may obsess so much on this new angle of making her look vulnerable that it’ll kill off the image of the tough woman she becomes later.

        I don’t really blame anyone for such concerns these days. Back when Lara Croft was created, we had female characters allowed to actually be strong without some kind of backstory where they were “emotional” and “vulnerable” before they went through some form of training. We had Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Xena from Xena: Warrior Princess. And in video games, we had Lara Croft, Aya Brea, Jill Valentine, Samus Aran, etc. Today, Buffy and Xena aren’t talked about much, and all four of the video game women mentioned there have recently been made to act more “vulnerable” or at least act subordinate to male characters in one way or another. We’re left with completely brand new characters like Bayonetta from her game and Juliet Sterling from Lollipop Chainsaw to replace the women getting downgraded by companies that own them obsessing over the stupid idea of women needing to be more “vulnerable” and “emotional” to boost sales.

        I played and beat Other M myself. I was indifferent for the most part but several parts did seem to me like they were entirely unnecessary or downright stupid. I was overall disappointed that Samus didn’t get to actually be a tough character.

    • LustEnvy

       You have seriously got to be kidding me.

      This Lara Croft looks to be the very salvation the Tomb Raider name NEEDS.

      • Differing opinions, etc etc etc.

    • ShinGundam

      Your love for tough girls has no bound. Dude, not every fictional female has to be tough and invincible.

      • OneOkami

        It does not fit the original image of Lara Croft, though.  Lara had a toughness and a swagger about her that I think really helped define the kind of woman she was.

        From what I’ve seen of this new game, those traits are pretty much thrown out the window.  I am also one who enjoys strong (if not also leading) female characters so I guess I naturally have a preference for how Lara used to be.  However, at the same time I acknowledge it is a reboot and these are the kind of changes that can come with it.  

        Personally, while I realize the power in franchise names, I really wish a game like this was just imagined and developed as a brand new world with a brand new character, instead of transforming Lara into a very different woman.

        • Guest

           Except this is an origin game. You dont start out tough. You gain it through experiences. The other way around is just ….bad writing.

          • Pfft, I left the womb as a badass. My mother even gave birth to an AK-47 and unlimited ammo just so I could defend myself against the doctors when they tried to spank me.

          • Guest

             humorous. But it’s hard to tell if behind some of that humor lies a juvenile predisposition to one dimensional character traits with no character development.

          • OneOkami

            I wonder, though.

            Lara’s original backstory tells of her having this kind of experience when she was a young teenager who survived a plane crash in the Himalaya’s.  While of course there is no detailed lore of how she handled that as a teenager (that I know of, at least), in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation you can witness her (as still a teenager) rather fearlessly exploring an ancient temple that she eventually has to make a dangerous escape from.  Such bravery at that age would leave me to believe she handled the Himalayan incident with at least a fair amount of composure, at least as much if not more than the 21 year old Lara we see portrayed in this game.  And I think it would be hard to argue that wouldn’t project her to be portrayed much differently by the time she was 21 than the Lara we see in this game.

            I argue that this is a very different character than Lara Croft, at least the Lara Croft Core Design created and has been symbolic of this franchise.  I do not think think Core Design would have portrayed Lara this way.  I think they had a fundamentally different perspective on the kind of person Lara is.  And personally, based on their portrayals of Lara, I would not imagine her as quite so whiny and “moany” as the one in the trailer was, even as the teenager who survived being stranded in the middle of nowhere.  

            I can see what Crystal Dynamics is trying to do here, but that is all more reason why I’d prefer they just create a new character in a new world.  But money speaks much louder than I do.

          • Guest

             I don’t see how any of that matters since this is a reboot.

          • Galactor: It matters because that’s how the character was conceived, and if you’re not going to keep the key aspects of a character intact, what’s the point of even pretending it’s the same character? And you could claim “her key aspect is hunting for treasures,” or “exploring the wilderness,” but that’s kind of like saying all that matters in life when you’re a student is learning course material, or that the only thing that makes someone working in technical support who they are is helping people with computer problems. Sure, those are high priority aspects of a person’s identity, but it doesn’t mean the person isn’t also a mother or father when off the clock. It would be treating a character as truly one-dimensional to throw out all but only the most well-known of established traits and try to replace them with their exact opposite just to sell more copies of a game, since it implies nothing else about the character was ever worth noticing.

      • And not every fictional female has to be vulnerable and weepy.

        I wouldn’t care if it was a brand new character with no established past use. It’s that it’s happening to every single iconic female character that’s been around for more than a decade that bothers me.

        • Guest

           Its funny you said Toriyama yet FF XIII had Lightning, Fang, and Hope’s mom (Moms are tough)

          • Toriyama is also responsible for the 3rd Birthday portrayal of Aya Brea, which tried to demolish Aya as a strong, smart, confident female protagonist in her own right. I’ve come to suspect it was a deliberate attempt to ruin the character because Toriyama didn’t want Aya to outshine Lightning as a badass female character, and for the past decade Toriyama’s acted like the kind of hack that thinks anything he writes should be treated like gold above anything previously established.

            Oh, and of course FFX-2, which was also loaded with tons of elements that tore down female characters from FFX even as the team tried to pretend they were building the female characters up.

    • SirRichard

      “like too many games are trying to pull lately when they “reimagine” iconic female characters that have always been known for being strong and tough.”

      There’s been two. Two. And one of them (Metroid: Other M) was written by a crazy man with power fantasies and unchecked standard nerd misogyny. Crystal Dynamics are not that guy, and if anything it’s a good call because in the last few Tomb Raiders I was beginning to suspect that Lara was actually the villain, so willing was she to gun down pretty much anything and anyone in her way.

      And Square Enix owning them “doesn’t do them any favours”? You do know they don’t involve themselves beyond graphical assistance, funding and slapping their name on the front, right? 

      • Every iconic female main protagonist I can think of that still has games coming out for them are getting reimagined in this manner. You know Samus Aran. Here’s potentially Lara Croft (perhaps her portrayal here will be better than expected; we won’t know until it releases). Of course, there’s Aya Brea. These two are clearly nowhere near as bad as the others, but recently Jill Valentine (RE5) and Claire Redfield (RE:Degeneration) have been pushed into roles where they are on some level damsels in distress needing to be rescued. I’m skipping detailing how because I figure it’ll be clear enough with a bit more looking.

        That leaves me asking: what iconic female protagonists haven’t been “reimagined” as being “vulnerable” or damsels in distress? If you can give me examples, I would genuinely like to hear them, because it’s looking pretty bleak when every major old female protagonist, all the ones people that don’t play video games would actually know exist, is following this poor trend.

        Lara can still be a strong female character without acting like a villain as her last few games seemed to you. Just as strength does not equal evil, “vulnerability” does not equal good.

        While the overall fact of Squeenix linked to them is bad in general by association, I find it doubtful that Squeenix has absolutely no involvement beyond graphical assistance, funding and names. It’s far too coincidental that after what Squeenix did to Aya Brea in 3rd Birthday, suddenly Lara Croft is getting reimagined as more “vulnerable” too. We won’t know anything for absolutely certain unless someone says one way or another in an interview, but even people that just supply funding can set down restrictions and requirements. Greece knows that pretty well right now. Austerity measures and all.

        • SirRichard

          “We won’t know anything for absolutely certain unless someone says one way or another in an interview”

          Except they have, or rather, another dev under Square has. There was a recent interview with someone from Eidos Montréal, who stated that Square Enix’s involvement was essentially granting them the funds needed to continue and finish Deus Ex HR, and other sources from around HR’s launch made a big point of how the cutscenes were handled by Square Enix Tokyo. The Eidos guy was actually surprised by how little they involved themselves beyond that, with the only real thing being bringing employees from the Tokyo studio to see how game development worked on the other side of the industry. What sense would it make for them to bother Crystal Dynamics over their game when they specifically tried to involve themselves as little as possible with Human Revolution? Remember the point of acquiring Eidos; Square wanted IPs already established in the West that would appeal to Western gamers, they don’t want to get too involved in case they (or so they seem to think they would) mess something up.

          3rd Birthday has nothing to do with Tomb Raider. To assume that a little-acknowledged PSP sequel to a series that hasn’t been touched since the PS1 days will affect the game of a completely different studio on the other end of the world is ridiculous, and I highly doubt Square Enix sent someone in specifically to make Lara a shrieking baby. Any bad changes to Lara’s character are pretty much going to be on Crystal Dynamics’ collective heads.

          You have a point with the iconic female characters (except for Claire; let’s face it, no-one watched Degeneration outside diehard fans, it won’t stick), though, but Jill at least bounced back with RE: Revelations (from what I’ve played so far, anyway). I want to believe that Other M was a mistake in judgement, something that won’t happen again (it helps that it flopped compared to other first party releases), but looking at the other examples I can see why you’d be concerned. I’ve got nothing to counter that beyond poking tiny holes.

          I’d just say to give Tomb Raider and Crystal Dynamics a shot, and remember that the mistake of one team in Square Enix (as glaring and terrible a mistake as it was)  isn’t going to affect this game. It doesn’t make sense to assume that it will, either.

          • Until we hear this team say one way or another, we still don’t know for absolutely certain. If you have a dog that would bite strangers and a dog that would not, do you still take that first dog out to meet strangers when you take the second one out for that purpose? Not that video game companies are dogs, but it illustrates my point that no two studios or how the companies treat them are the same.

            Or better yet, a real life example: what happened with GRIN and Fortress.


            And suggesting what happened with 3rd Birthday could have influenced how another studio owned by the same company is allowed, or even chooses, to proceed is not ridiculous. Video game companies do not exist in a vacuum. I would love to pretend that nobody in the world noticed 3rd Birthday existed, but that’s not how things work. Not only was 3rd Birthday treated as a high-priority game at the time it was being released despite being on PSP (Squeenix heavily advertised it in Japan, and at E3 2010 they even cited Parasite Eve as a major revived series they hoped to really start selling), but the fact that Crystal Dynamics is owned by Squeenix means that they would at least spend more than five seconds learning what the company that owns them has put out. No matter what level of influence it has, whether incredibly tiny and unintended or the key component of the whole thing, even just knowing 3rd Birthday exists would affect Tomb Raider’s development in one way or another.

            Your last point is a fair and level-headed one, though. A past action of the publisher does not mean the developer’s product will turn out the same way. For someone not as pissed off as I am with Squeenix, it’s best for them to do research, genuinely consider what they’re seeing and reading, then decide for themselves if it’s worth a buy based on the merits of what they’ve found. But for me on a personal level, I’m far too doubting of anything connected to the Squeenix name, and I’m too peeved with Squeenix to want to do anything that leads to them getting my money anyway. And I’ve seen people claim that money earned by one dev team all goes back to that dev team, but that can’t be the case, otherwise Squeenix wouldn’t bother with buying western developers since they wouldn’t make any money on their investment.

          • SirRichard

            But it’s as you say yourself, then; how Square Enix treated GRIN is not necessarily how they will treat their new Eidos studios, and again going by that interview with Eidos Montréal, Square Enix treats them very well. It could be that in the intervening years, they’ve learned how to treat and deal with studios better?

            But the extent to which you think 3rd Birthday’s influence extends is ridiculous. Yes, it was heavily marketed outside Japan, but 3rd Birthday was barely a blip on the radar at E3 2010, its big showing relegated to one trailer and one montage at Sony’s conference. When it was actually released out here the PSP was dead, and judging by how we’ve heard nothing about it since, I daresay it didn’t go down or perform well. 

            As for Crystal Dynamics looking at Square for inspiration; why, of all the blockbusters and big stories Square Enix have released, would they focus on 3rd Birthday? If they do the research, as you say, they’d probably note the outrage of fans at the treatment of Aya. If anything, if they happen (for whatever reason) to focus on 3rd Birthday, they’d probably learn from that mistake. Actually, to go back to your point of devs not existing in a vacuum; that’s true, and I daresay that they would notice the outrage at Other M, especially over the story. Even people who didn’t care about Metroid knew about the debate over that, and Nintendo (perhaps the biggest of the industry big boys in terms of development and influence) messing up would definitely be a point of interest for them. And that’s only if they care at all about how other games went about things.

            I do think you’re letting your irritation with Square Enix cloud your judgement on this, mate, but it’s good you can stand back and admit that you’re that irritated as you did. The PSP is basically a non-factor as far as the West goes, and Parasite Eve hasn’t been big for over a decade. It’s seriously highly unlikely that 3rd Birthday will influence Tomb Raider in any way.

          • Which was exactly my point: while my expectations may be one way, we won’t know for certain unless we hear directly from them. :P

            For why Crystal Dynamics might look at 3rd Birthday, it would be because Lara Croft and Aya Brea had being strong female protagonists in common. You raise a very good point that past actions like 3rd Birthday and Other M have been met with great negativity and poor sales, and that developers should be learning from their mistakes… but I’m somewhat pessimistic on the chances of that happening in the current industry. Since Toriyama somehow gets to fail upwards and none of his trash is ever made non-canon, Capcom has repeatedly ignored or outright insulted their fans either directly or by supporting companies like Ninja Theory, Konami keeps getting “Silent Hill” games made that are worse than before and further miss the point of the series, and so on, I find it difficult to expect any but the most exceptional developers to actually learn from past mistakes both in the industry and internally. This is why I would not be shocked if the team working on the current Tomb Raider looked at 3rd Birthday for inspiration, as terrible as that would be. It may seem stupid, but then there are plenty of examples of rampant stupidity these days among big name publishers and developers.

    • That’s fair. Usually when games try to add depth to female characters, they do end up shackling their heroines with vulnerability. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because that’s it depends on how you define that.

      I’m thinking that you’re defining “vulnerable” as someone constantly susceptible to danger, pain or emotional trauma or whatever. I’m pretty worried that this reboot will end up turning Lara into a crybaby at times and suddenly make a lot of irrational decisions. It’s not realistic, and it’s frustrating. There are a lot of games where saving the damsel in distress is the driving plot, and having a female protagonist sometimes doesn’t change that.

      But if I define “vulnerability” as something that’s a part of being human, then maybe that’s something worth exploring. Lara’s this strong and tough professor that seems to be unfazed by everything. If she’s experienced with this kind of thing, that’s justified – but this is a prequel. It wouldn’t be realistic if younger Lara ran into some problems she’s never seen before and taken them down like a pro. I’m not saying I want to see her fumble around like a klutz through the whole thing, but a human should mess up and feel panic once in awhile. There’s definitely a middle ground between damsel in distress and tough girl, and maybe this game will show us some of it.

      • I think your response thoroughly fills out the concerns and where it would be okay. The overriding concern is that Lara will be transformed into a bizarre modern day idea of the female protagonist needing to BE a damsel in distress rather than the protagonist being a damsel that occasionally experiences distress.

        I’ve read arguments made by some in the industry that female protagonists are not viable, that players won’t or can’t care about them, and this kind of thing seems like a misguided attempt to “answer” that by making the female character be more “emotional” and inexperienced at the start to the point of coming off as inept at the base of who she is.

        There’s nothing wrong with having a female character show emotions and have weakness to her. Most of my argument in other posts that appear to be in favor of stoicism are really just pointing out there’s a double standard here where it’s somehow “necessary” for a woman to act “vulnerable” yet there’s no equal clamor for men to act that way too. If I have to make a choice between “stoic infallible badass” or “weepy womanchild that can’t seem to dress herself,” I’ll choose the former.

        • Yeah. I’m really hoping this game will revolutionize the female heroine, y’know? :X It’s far too easy to choose the weepy womanchild. I know I’m supposed to sympathize with that or something, or feel like I need to help her – but what I actually feel is frustration.

          Ultimately, I think video games are still viewed as “games.” The people that play these “games” are people who don’t really care much for the progression of video games into becoming an art form. They just want to play. So if that’s the case, and I’m not saying it is, why bother putting extra funds or thought into something a majority of your audience isn’t going to care about? Sometimes, guys just want to be a hero and save princesses, and not have to feeeel emotions.

          It’s a lot of work making something human. You’re going to need a good writer, and that might not be what every game has.

          • Dedicated writers that genuinely care about the characters and story of the game are a rarity in the industry. Most of the time, gameplay and art come first, and the rest comes later. More likely to have a perception that a bunch of programmers can come together, throw ideas around and the mishmash can be cobbled into a “story” by the director.

            And the basic idea is a good one, of the whole team sharing ideas and giving input for an overall better product, but that doesn’t really mean much without a professional writer to keep everyone on track and keeping an eye between where things have been and where they could go. A team of programmers deciding the story doesn’t help much if everyone on the team is more interested in finding excuses for the female character’s boobs to hang out than they are in portraying a strong female character. A dedicated writer would be a lot keener on not going mad with creative power and keeping things within reason.

            … Unless that writer is Motomu Toriyama. Then you’re screwed.

  • Crevox

    Everything gets delayed nowadays…

  • SirRichard

    It’s good that they have the time to make as good as they can, at least it won’t be rushed out at the end. Besides, 2012 is beginning to look packed as is, it’s probably better for the game in the end.

  • Anime10121

     Darn! Wakin up to crappy news, I wanted this WAY more than Hitman:(

  • Setsu Oh

     translation: ‘we re all scared of CoD!!!! and moH!!!!’

  • At least they’re working to get it done right, and not going media blackout like Bioshock Infinite. I was very excited to be picking this game up this year, but now it seems like I’ll just have to wait. Well, when rebooting a franchise, take the time to do it right (even though we all know this is going to go the way of Lords of Shadow and be reviled by ‘true’ fans of the franchise…) Anyways, at least we were warned ahead of time and this wasn’t a big E3 announcement. Still excited for the game and am hoping it turns out really well. 

    •  Surprisingly, I wasn’t that big on Lords of Shadow, I felt the execution and story could have been done much better. I’m really looking forward to this seeing as even with how popular the older games were, they weren’t that great. The last couple of new ones along with Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light were pretty good.

  • Guest

    I like how the trailer showed she wasnt always a badass from the get go, she knew she had to learn how to survive and was earning her stripes.

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