Interview: The Man Behind Lara, Toby Gard

Updated links to new GameDaily URLs. // Sept. 17, 2007

As part of our coverage for Tomb Raider: Anniversary, we managed to secure an interview with Toby Gard, the original creator of the game's leading lady, Lara Croft. Phone interview, but still interesting. My boss assigned this piece to me roughly an hour before the interview was scheduled to take place - needless to say I was a bit frazzled. Thank god for Wikipedia. That thing is a lifesaver.

I was talking to my boyfriend as I did research for the article. He quipped that Gard was probably a pervert - Lara Croft is ubiquitous for her curvaceous body*. Heck, she was played by Angelina Jolie in the film adaptations.

Toby turned out to be a really down-to-earth guy who was staunchly against the 'sexy' image that the production company wanted her to have - he cited that as one of the reasons he actually stopped working on the Tomb Raider franchise for a while (I asked him about it in the interview). All in all, I got some pretty solid quotes out of him - and the chance to speak to Lara's creator was damn cool.

How do you think Lara will adapt to new generations of gamers?

Well in the first game, literally I was thinking about someone who was really almost psychopathic, really dangerous. But her goals were modern. Tomb Raider is about exploring history, and history is always something that you see people interested in, or at least I hope would stay relevant. As long as we retain that myth and that uncovering then I think people will stay interested.

And as long as she continues to age well.
Ha, ha. That's the great thing about [her] isn't it? You don't have to worry about that.

*We shamelessly ran another feature for the Tomb Raider tie-in, a quiz called How Well Do You Know Lara's Assets?", in which our readers were asked to match an screenshot of Lara's beautiful bosom to the Tomb Raider game it appeared in. Did I mention that I wrote the raunchy question and answer set for that? (blush)