My Tomb Raider cosplay and character thoughts

So what did you do this Easter? I indulged in a little cosplay. Not for a fancy dress party. Nope. Just because I wanted to.

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that the past few weeks I've been completely fangirl-ing out over the new Tomb Raider video game. I'm actually a bit embarrassed about how obsessively I've been tweeting and RTing on the subject as a grown woman, but it's been a very long time since a piece of pop culture has just so completely satisfied me on so many levels. And I mean that sincerely too; not in the snarky fun-derived-from-so-much-mockery way (*cough cough* Prometheus...).

I loved the original Tomb Raider. I must have played the 1996 game from start to finish about six times. Indiana Jones was my greatest childhood hero; the first movie I ever saw, and here was his female equivalent - combining feats of intelligence and athleticism to get to the world's greatest forgotten treasures. Over the years Lara bounded into cheesecake territory with her breasts ballooning and her costume shrinking ever impractically smaller. She was still cool and sassy, but I certainly didn't have the confidence to dress up as her.

Looking at her now, the original Lara Croft would make an awesome interview subject. She'd be the best buddy for a wild night on the town - if you could match her superhuman stamina. I imagine she'd be the one driving the party from pub to club and so on.

The new Lara Croft - the younger 2013 version - well, I see her as the girl being dragged along on this same night of debauchery. Having fun to begin with, but ready to bail by 11pm for the soothing quiet of her books and bedroom. However, if you wanted a reliable, resourceful travel buddy for three months of backpacking around Southeast Asia, this is the Lara you want at your side. You'd be broke in two days with the old Lara; this one would have an untouched emergency cash stash in her hiking boot for the duration of the trip.

Basically, you could bump into the new Lara on the street; not only at Prince Harry's birthday party. Ignoring her physical feats in the game - consider everything she does with punctured oblique abdominals! - she's refreshingly normal. Just your average (very pretty) young Everywoman. That's what makes her story and personal evolution in the series reboot so great.

Although there was satisfaction in seeing that monstrous rusted gate finally swing open after pulling the eighth bloody lever, the original Tomb Raider games never really provided a deep emotional sense of accomplishment. It's quite the opposite in 2013. Starting out as a character who takes all sorts of punishment and frequently needs coaxing, Lara steps up to the plate. She's someone who eventually goes "Fuck it! I've had enough of being chased and threatened and shot at and beaten up. I refuse to let you win. If I'm going to get myself and my friends out of this situation, I have to do it myself." And she does. When Lara climbed the radio tower here (my favourite sequence in the game), I felt like I had scaled it myself... and then immediately panicked about how I was going to get down again.

The point is: Who wouldn't want to be this massively likeable and inspirational Lara? She's an easy, instant choice for cosplay...

P.S. I would love to see the new Lara lighten up a bit more in future games and embrace her new-found self-confidence. However, I really don't want her to morph into this again.

Anyway, below is a selection of pics from stage one of my Lara Croft cosplay efforts. I'll be working on this project for a while still, accumulating/making Lara's various accessories - particularly Lara's signature silver pistol(s), which were my second favourite weapon in the game. So here goes...

P.S. Read the sister post to this blog entry, "Cosplay: A Personal Perspective" here.
P.P.S. See the culmination of my Lara Croft cosplay efforts with this on-location photo shoot.

"You have unlocked the Lara Croft: Survivor model."

Lara in her downtime...

Aviator skin DLC:

Taking the action outside:

And finally this one is for the blooper reel: Imagine I'm about to yell "Sam!" for the twentieth time...


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