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No, Lara Isn’t Suffering From PTSD In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Says Director



When Crystal Dynamics debuted the first trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider, it depicted Lara visiting a shrink following her adventure at Yamatai in the previous game. In a counselling session, the shrink noted that Lara had made great progress in that “the flashbacks” had stopped, but expressed concern that she was still shutting herself away at home.


All throughout this conversation, Lara was shown fidgeting and clearly uneasy, wringing her fingers and tapping her feet. At the time the trailer was released, Lara’s body language was interpreted as some form of PTSD or unease. As interesting as that may have been, it isn’t actually the case, according to Rise of the Tomb Raider director Brian Horton.


In an interview posted to the official Tomb Raider blog, Horton addresses the content of that first trailer, stating that Crystal didn’t intend for it to convey weakness or some sort of disorder on Lara’s part. Instead, he says, it was impatience.


“We believe the first trailer showcased a very interesting dynamic of Lara Croft uncomfortable with the idea being questioned by someone, even challenged by someone, that maybe what she saw in Yamatai wasn’t true,” Horton says. “So, there’s a stress that she’s feeling, and the tapping of her feet and the squeezing on the chair… some people have interpreted that as a weakness or as a disorder, and the way we’ve interpreted that was anticipation to get out of the situation and just go on her adventures.”


“So, the concept of her being agitated or affected emotionally by Yamatai—it’s true, she has seen trauma and those feelings are real—but what we’re more interested in is her destiny to be the tomb raider, and to see her start to embrace how she feels more like herself when she’s out in the field, experiencing these things, searching for the world’s secrets, than she is confined in a room, in a society that she doesn’t feel connected to anymore. She feels more home being away from home.”


Rise of the Tomb Raider will be released this Fall for Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.