Copyright 2003

[ June 24th 2003 ]

The Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness Official Companion is on sale at WH Smiths and all good newsagent in Great Britain and Ireland from 26 June 2003 priced 4.99. The Official Companion is a definitive guide for all true Tomb Raider fans and includes exclusive imagery from the game, from early concept designs to the amazing ultra-detailed promotional art.

Features also include exclusive and definitive interviews with the creator of Lara Croft and the Directors at Core Design and sheds light on Lara's colourful background, from the earliest days when she went by the name of Lara Cruz, through to the Lara-Mania of the 90's. Editor Paul Davies stopped by to talk exclusively to us on Dennis Publishing's forthcoming guide.

- Who is Paul Davies and what publications have you been involved with in the past?

I'm currently a freelance writer, doing most of my work as Contributing Editor at Dennis Publishing on Computer and Video Games (CVG) magazine. My first job in the magazine industry was as Staff Writer on something called Mean Machines, in 1992. I have been Deputy Editor on the UK Official Nintendo Magazine, and Editor of CVG. I worked in games development for a year in 2001, but missed journalism too much and came back...

- If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Julian Rignall, who was my Managing Editor at Mean Machines. He had such a great sense of fun, but was equally meticulous in everything he did. Though he was perfectly capable of writing 'flowery' sentences, he knew that the audience deserved a no-nonsense, very direct approach. Magazines are still aping Julian's style even now, but have never matched the real thing.

- Why did you decided to write an official The Angel Of Darkness companion?

Well, I didn't actually write the whole thing. Most of it has been written by my respected colleague Alex Huhtala who I worked with on CVG. However as the Editor, and being asked to produce a special magazine/book about one particular game, The Angel of Darkness clearly stood out as the one to go for. The Tomb Raider series has been hugely successful based on merit, and the appeal of Lara Croft continues to grow, especially now that Hollywood is involved. Also the significance of it being the first Tomb Raider on PS2.

- Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness - The Official Companion is being touted as an essential guide for Tomb Raider fans. What can we expect to find in the mag not already available on the web?

Nothing is hearsay in this book. I think the fact that we have the definitive interview with Toby Gard about the origins of Lara Croft, accompanied by the original design docs and storyboards, is of huge value. Also the story told from Jeremy Heath-Smith's side. You'll also be able to read what Adrian Smith has to say about the next two games in the series.

Again, exclusive and valuable insights for any Tomb Raider fan. We've managed to squeeze most of the concept artwork in there too, and match this up with the relevant sections in the game. It's much easier to browse through all this in the form of a book, and the reproduction on the page is better than viewing it on the web. You can really spend time analysing the detail, and appreciate the talent involved. I like the section of great CG art too. Sometimes you forget what a striking videogame character Lara really is, and this art shows it.

- Did you have much input from Tomb Raider fans during production? What kinds of things did they say?

Well, I made sure that I had a big Tomb Raider fan working on the project who knows pretty much everything that's available to read on Lara and Tomb Raider. Plus we had the inside track on what has been leaked from Core Design since 1995 on the games.

Between Eidos, Core and the team working for Dennis we were committed to getting all the facts right, and getting as much in there as possible, while still making the book look attractive - something great to own as a fan. Sometimes you forget that the people working on games magazines and books are fans too ;)

- Why you do think Lara Croft Tomb Raider has become the most potent video-game franchise to date?

Lara is so sexy, and the games have been so great.

- What did you think of Par's Lara Croft Tomb Raider motion pic?

Personally I enjoyed the first movie, though I hated the trailer - did anyone think that was cool? God, I hope not. Angelina Jolie is terrific in the role - she's not afraid to throw herself into situations, and that's perfect for Lara. I think it would have been a decent action movie even if we'd never heard of Tomb Raider before. But you're asking a bloke who's favourite movie of all time is Robocop, and thinks that Blade II kicks Matrix Reloaded to death...

- What are your current projects?

Can't tell you. I hope that one of them will change the world - look out for that one, eh ;)

- Which book are you reading atm?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it's wonderful so far (about 150 pages in)

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