Copyright 2003

[ July 24th 2003 ]

Core Design boss Adrian Heath-Smith has sensationally revealed details on the future direction of British aristocrat Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider series: "The story in The Angel of Darkness has been really important for us, it's been argued that there's maybe too much story in this game. The reason is that we decided we'd do more than one game from the get go, rather then one new game and then go 'guess what guys, you've got to do another one'."

The bigger picture - "We thought we would try to knit the story together, as the other way has always been a nightmare. From the start we assumed we were doing more than one new game, so we went away and wrote the story. The source of the inspiration has been over all a theme that we wanted to run across the three games. It's just explained, almost scratched upon the surface of the first one, the second is based much more around the big thing and the third is the natural ending of it, how Lara resolves it, how she fits into it. The overall theme is the Nephilim, said to be the descendants of angels and mortals. They're mentioned in the Enochian Gospels. This was the original big theme we came up with, as it had a lot of potential and sure inspired the terrific new characters you meet in The Angel of Darkness. We looked at things like X-Files and we thought that was a great example. Because there's the big 'Are there or aren't there?' story line and each episode stands alone but they tell you a little more about the bigger story."

The Nephilim - "The overall goal for us was let's use the Nephilim theme and run it across all three games. For us it was great because the second game is going to be a belter, it's very Tomb Raider. It's set in the Nephilim realm under Turkey, Cappadocia. It's all temples and tombs and lost cities, which is all very Tomb Raider-esque; full of fantasy grounded in reality. There are no aliens with big tentacle arms but it has some strange looking humans. In The Angel of Darkness we had to introduce the Nephilim and put Lara into a situation that was different to what we've done in the past. She's always been squeaky clean, she's gone and found artefacts and gone out and saved the world. We couldn't change Lara's character, absolutely not. We couldn't turn her into a mass murderer. We couldn't have her going around slaying small children. The end of the Last Revelation was the last game for us. Lara was missing. That was a clean start, something really important."

Continuity - "There's a whole time period between the temple collapsing and the beginning of this game that isn't covered in The Angel of Darkness but may be in the second. We call the period internally 'Lara of Arabia.' We have the whole time period mapped out, what actually happened to her, where she's been. There's also another time period of when she came back to London. She had a near death experience when she survived the temple. Causing her to hang up her guns. We seriously looked at making her an alcoholic, having Croft Manor burnt down. We wanted her life in a mess and she returns facing one catastrophe after another, she comes back and Croft Manor is burning to the floor. Then she hits the bottle, of course. Lots of things to change the situation, to really get her down. But we thought that was a little bit extreme. We also had reservations about what the movie people were doing, in so far as we burn Croft Manor down it would stick out a bit and make it difficult for them. That's as much as we've ever tied-in to the movies."

Wanted: Lara Croft - "So the idea we came up with was let's get her accused of murder in Paris. Everything that has worked for her in the past because she's famous and well known, all these doors have been open for her. Suddenly they're all shut, because everybody does know her and everyone is trying to catch her. Lara comes in and has this argument with Von Croy, at the end of the day she's got blood on her hands, she jumps out of the window and the game starts."

Mass Murderer - "But one murder wasn't enough, because people wouldn't believed Lara did it. So we invented murders that have been happening around Europe and around the world and have been happening over a period of time, and all these murders have been given a name. That name is the Monstrum Murders. Paris is itchy and nervous because these murders have been happening. Suddenly there's another one, and it's the same. They're gratuitous murders with body parts ripped out and symbols on the walls. Lara Croft is accused of it and the whole world has just condemned her. And that's very much the start. So Lara is accused of murdering Von Croy. He's her old friend and mentor, but there is a motive. She's bitter towards Von Croy because she blames him for what happened in The Last Revelation. Him for the temple collapsing and for being trapped and going missing, she emerges bitter and twisted towards him."

Killing Von Croy - "Von Croy got into something dark and mysterious and wanted out. Scared, he calls Lara to help him. She reluctantly assists, they have a massive argument, something happens, it's a bit vague in the game, you see him pull a gun, and you see Lara flying through the air. Next thing, she's getting up, he's dead and covered in blood. For a good chunk of the game you're not sure what happened. I don't think anyone will think she killed Von Croy, but then again you don't know, and we do everything we can through the story to bring doubt into your mind. Von Croy was hired to find five missing, lost paintings. Why, you don't know, but the reason becomes clear. We made it pretty obvious early on that if Lara's going to clear her name then she has to find those painting. Along the way she discovers Eckhardt, a particularly nasty person that heads up an organisation called the Cabal."

Brother Obscura - "There are five Obscura paintings, they aren't the sort of thing you'd want to put up on your wall. The Cabal hold three of them, you find one under the Louvre. The Cabal are a very powerful organisation shrouded in mystery, with a strange dark side. Though history they've always been there and there's been a religious war fought against them since the 1300's. That time frame for us is really important and we do make reference to it. Potentially we will make reference to it outside of this game. What I mean by that is that you find out that Eckhardt has been around since 1300's, so he's obviously got some pact and some way of adding form of longevity to his life. Ultimately Lara finds out that the Cabal want to bring back the Nephilim race. For what means she doesn't know."

Enter Kurtis - "We introduce Kurtis quite early on and he's very much the protagonist at the beginning on the game. He's always one step ahead of Lara, he's in the cafe when Lara walks in, or he's on the other side of the river. Eventually they get together and they work together and you get to play as Kurtis. At this point, you get all the pieces of the jigsaw. You discover he is the last descendent of an organisation called the Lux Veritatis, which translates as 'light of truth,' a religious group that have been the Cabal through history. The Lux Veritatis knew what the Cabal wanted. They all have a special ability and have chosen to wage this war against the Cabal because ultimately the Cabal wants to bring back the Nephilim. They want to put themselves into higher order, a new race if you like, that is going to rule the world and we're all going to be doomed. Kurtis has turned his back on all this. Then his conscious leaves him. He's the only one in the world that knows the secret history. He takes it upon himself to take on the Cabal and Eckhardt."

Hidden History - "The war between the Cabal and Lux Veritatis has been going on for ages, so we might make use of this. It might be that every major event in history has happened for a reason. It might be that the Great Fire of London in 1666 didn't start in a baker's shop, maybe the Cabal and Lux Veritatis had a bit of a tiff at that point and that's what started it. Maybe Richard Karel introduced the plague, because he's been doing everything he can to get rid of the human race. Maybe Adolf Hitler was just a manufactured person. It's something that we're going to play on. Not in this game, but maybe a spin-off for The Angel of Darkness, because Eckhardt is such a great baddie. Eckhardt is such a horrible person who's been around since the 1300's. He has to cut people up and take there body parts to give himself longevity. Maybe Jack the Ripper was based on Eckhardt? We've got a lot of these parallel stories that are written. It's something that we will call on and use in other games."

The Sting "There's a massive sting in that tail to the game. Eckhardt met the last Nephilim in the 1300's, who told him that they need somebody to go out, they are dying and they have put themselves into an ark that's hidden - and that's the second game - they need somebody to go out and bring back their race. The Nephilim did a deal with Eckhardt, the deal was that they'd give him longevity of life if he went on a took the cause and carry on what they were trying to do. So Eckhardt actually met a Nephilim back then. He actually double-crossed them in 1442; he tried to stitch them up, and they hadn't fully gone, they were still here, so they threw him into a pit that was hell like. That's ware he stayed until 1945 which was a castle in Germany called Castle Kriegler, the castle was bombed and he escaped. So he's been back among the population since 1945. He has now abandoned the idea of bringing back the Nephilim and getting a pat on the head. He now wants to be the head honcho of the Cabal and the Nephilim and become like them. The Cabal as an organisation have what's known as the Sleeper, a sleeping Nephilim. They realise that if they get the Obscura painting and perform a ceremony they'll bring Nephilim back. What you don't realise is a twist right at the end of The Angel of Darkness, when Lara confronts Eckhardt and they have a bit of a showdown. Lara is about to kill him by putting some shards into him. Karel, Eckhardt's right-hand man who runs the Cabal organisation, will then jump out of the shadows and actually kill Eckhardt. Lara talks to Karel, questioning what he's just done. Then he shows himself to Lara, showing that he is the Nephilim. He says you're all in trouble because I've been manipulating the whole system. All the way through I've been manipulating Eckhardt, and the Cabal, I've been manipulating you. And in actual fact, you all believe Eckhardt killed Von Croy. It wasn't, it was Karel that killed him."

What next? - "So you've given Karel all the pieces he wants and now he's gone. That then becomes the beginning of the second game. And there's a bit of a twist. I don't think people will see the Karel thing coming from anywhere because there's no reason for it. But he shows himself at the end and to just really confuse everybody we've said that the Nephilim are shapeshifters. So the way he shows himself to Lara is by changing through the various people who have come up to Lara throughout the game and have told her what to do. Throughout the game, that was Karel manipulating her path. The reason he was doing that was because he wants the painting. No one has been able to find them other then Lara, so he manipulated the whole situation. He Lara at the beginning so she was accused of murder, he wanted the painting so he got Lara to look for them. Eckhardt's a great baddy, but at the end of The Angel of Darkness to all intents and purposes he's killed. So he's actually gone. Karel isn't, he shows himself to be a Nephilim, he escapes and there's no way of killing him." f

Kurtis Doomed - "The last time you see Kurtis he's collapsed on the floor, injured. He's being considered for the second game and could be a really big part of it, but ... if he stiffs and people really hate him, potentially he could be dead. I hope not though, because there's already a part written for him in the second and third games. That's why Lara collects Kurtis' Chirugai weapon at the end of The Angel of Darkness. The give-away is that it glows, showing that he still has power and so that Kurtis could be alive. Will Lara get to him in time? You'll have to wait and find out! In the second game Lara goes to the Nephilim stronghold under Cappadocia. The whole game is under Turkey in Cappadocia. Lara finds some secret passage and that's where the Nephilim race were, that was their stronghold. She's given Karel everything he needs, so he's gone back there and is starting something that Lara has to stop. We never really wanted to reveal the Nephilim in their true form. We showed the Sleeper, but that's as much as we ever wanted to show of them. What we're actually doing now for the second game is designing the whole Nephilim race: what do Nephilim look like? You'll have to wait and see..."

Copyright (c) 2000 - 2024 is not owned or operated by CDE Entertainment Ltd.
Lara Croft and Tomb Raider are trademarks of CDE Entertainment Ltd.
Materials in this web site are trademarked and copyrighted properties of their respective owners.