ADRIAN SMITH TALKS
TOMB RAIDER 7 & 8
Copyright 2003 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ July 24th 2003 ]
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
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 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."
- "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."
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."
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."
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."
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
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."
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
"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
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."
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..."