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Pratchett: Old Lara 'became female Batman', needed to be human again
Posted: 10.10.2012 15:57 by Simon Priest Comments: 3
Writer Rhianna Pratchett is the force to be reckoned with behind Crystal Dynamics' new and far more vulnerable Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Pratchett has penned worlds like Mirror's Edge and Risen.

It's been "pretty challenging" to re-write such an icon as Lara, but Crystal have been "fairly flexible" in what Pratchett could keep from old Lara. The problem is she became too super hero like.

Making Lady Croft into such a badass raider of tombs meant we lost a personal connection to her, as she felt like this near invincible force. Pratchett was brought on to change that.

"It’s pretty challenging but I think Crystal Dynamics were fairly flexible with what we could keep from old Lara – what we thought was important – and areas where we wanted to evolve her more, or bring in some traits we hadn’t previously established," game writer Pratchett told VG247 in an interview.

"I particularly wanted to bring back the humanity of the character, her warmth, empathy, friendship, and more human qualities. Because I think as old Lara has evolved, she has become more of a ‘female batman’."

"The more heroic and teflon-coated you get, the harder it is to relate to that character, so we wanted to go back to her human side. There’s still a lot of old Lara’s background in place, so we’ve carefully interwoven our new stuff in there."

She freely admits it has been "kind of daunting" to reinvent the gaming wheel that is Lara Croft, but she just had to force herself to see it like any other job "otherwise it would just drive you insane." When she joined the Tomb Raider project the Crystal team already had a story arc in mind but nothing solid to get them through it.

"There was a story arc there that sort of got shuffled around the studio over the two and a half years I was working on the game," she said. "There was no script in place, but there was a story arc and levels that had been planned."

"But there were some characters in place, such as Lara and Roth in particular, as well as others that just existed visually and had no character yet. They were built and designed throughout the process of the game." This is a common occurrence, explained Pratchett. "You get a sort of narrative body parts you have to put together, and fill in the gaps."

"Games writing – when it’s working right – should always be highly iterative. You keep having to write and re-write, and nowhere is that more the case than in games."

Pratchett continued describing her craft: "You’re constantly having to write and tweak around the gameplay within the available space, and to react to what’s happening. But generally when I approach a character I look at the gameplay and the actions that character will be performing."

"It’s like when I wrote the character Faith in Mirror’s Edge. She’s someone who runs for a living – and she runs a lot. What is she running from, why, what happens when she stops running, as well as what makes her stop running to face whatever’s chasing her?"

Check out the full interview between Rhianna Pratchett and VG247 as they discuss the new Lara Croft. Tomb Raider releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC March 5th.

Source: VG247
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Comments

By danfreeman (SI Elite) on Oct 10, 2012
danfreeman
"Old Lara 'became female Batman' " uh... no,no she wasn`t.Where did you even get this idea? The two characters couldn`t be more different.Also "needed to be human again" Batman is not alien guys,in fact do you even know who Batman is?
By SiyaenSokol (SI Elite) on Oct 11, 2012
SiyaenSokol
"Felt like this near invisible force"

I don't quite agree with that one. It always gave me the idea that this women has been training incredibly hard, and with years and years of tomb raiding experience, it would make perfect sense why she is so amazing it what she does... that is still pretty damn human if you ask me.

Also have to agree that Batman is not Alien. He is a human with an unlimited amount of resources, but what gets him this far especially is his incredible mind as well not being corruptible.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Oct 12, 2012
FoolWolf
Well, I don't really see how Batman would be a bad reference - at least if you take it the literary way - the worlds greatest detective with a strong will and physical disciplie...

Then I do agree that Lara as a character has had the same horrible treatment as Batman has in medias. The latest films are the only good ones par from teh animated series and the comics.

But Batman is indeed vulnerable and human. He is a walking sore point :S

Lara being a sexy woman at the same time as she should be the stunning and "wild" girl to also describe how sexy women can get away with things in media would more likely be the things that stimagtates the character IMHO.

This reboot is in all circumstances one that can bring a lot of good things to the Tombradier brand.