EXCLUSIVE
The Angel Of Darkness
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THE FUTURE OF TOMB RAIDER

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."

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