Adventures of Lara Croft -- Backplot
Millions of years ago, a meteor survived the plunge through the
Earth's atmosphere, impacting the then warm climate of
The first people to discover this land were a tribe of
Polynesians. Despite the now freezing conditions, there was an
abnormal abundance of life and the tribe settled, worshipping the
meteorite crater for the powers it appeared to hold.
Generations later though, catastrophic events forced them to flee
Today, the same area is being excavated by the research company;
RX Tech, who are picking up unusual readings from the meteorite's
impact zone. It is in this zone that they uncover the body of a sailor
from Charles Darwin's voyage on The Beagle. It seems a few of his
sailors had explored the interior of the crater...
Following a story from one of the sailor's journal, RX Tech have
started to take a particular interest in, not only the crater area,
but other parts of the globe where the sailors traveled to... and died
One of these places is India - where Lara is currently searching
for the legendary Infada artifact. Unaware of its true history, she
only knows that in local beliefs it was supposed to hold great powers
and has been revered by tribes there throughout the years...
Soon she will discover a lot more...
An enormous meteor hurtles towards an unsuspecting Earth. An
island continent sits amidst a tranquil sea on an overcast day. The
island is lush with vegetation, insects and animal life.
At twilight, a dragonfly flits past one of the continent's many
marshy rivers. A small red frog leaps from the long leaf it was
sitting on as a bolt of lightening strikes in the distance. The
meteor has entered the earth's atmosphere and has become a giant ball
of fire. A primitive crocodile swims lazily upstream while a small
rodent crawls out of its hiding place to investigate the source of a
low rumbling sound, like distant thunder, that can be heard.
The fiery meteor streaks downward, breaking through the clouds and
illuminating the sky. The meteor impacts with the ground and a
flaming shock wave propagates from the impact site. Creatures attempt
to escape or hide, but to no avail. The wave of destruction overtakes
The landscape is devastated, scorched and smoldering. What trees
that still stand are aflame. In the distance lies a small mountain
range, with no longer a trace of vegetation. Pieces of the meteor
that were propelled into the air by the impact fall back to earth
Antarctica - Present Day1
Millions of years later. The distinctive mountain chain is the
backdrop for a new drama. The island continent is not a lush tropical
island, but now covered with snow. There are no indications of the
previous climate of this land as snow continues to fall, and the
frozen landscape is white; punctuated only by the temporary structures
of a research team's campsite.
A worker, dressed for the icy conditions, stabs his shovel into
the snow, after finishing clearing it from the treads of a large red
bulldozer. Connected by a drive belt to a gasoline engine on the back
of the bulldozer is a drilling rig. A second worker is inside the cab
of the bulldozer operating the drill, while the first worker comes
around from the front to oversee the drilling. The drill is noisily
spewing up ice, as a third man, Doctor Willard, is attempting to speak
into a radio over the noise of the engine and drill.
Doctor Willard's Scottish accent grows thicker as he shouts
into the radio, "I've been yellin' myself hoarse into this radio
everyday. It's just the weather dumps on us frequently here." He
attempts to block out the noise of the drilling with his free hand and
steps into a shelter. "An' maybe my transmission doesn't get
through. I don't know," he gripes.
A voice with an American accent harps back through the radio's
heavy static, "I can't understand one word of what you say,
Willard sighs with annoyed resignation. Loudly and snidely, he
carefully pronounced, "It's all going swell, sir!" Just then, a loud
boom can be heard coming from outside. Willard cuts off his
Outside the worker is gesticulating wildly to the drill operator
and yelling, "Get the bit up! Get it out!" The drill right is
producing a screech from the slipping drive belt caused by the drill
bit meeting resistance. The once smoothly spinning drive belt is now
pulled taut. In the cabin of the bulldozer, the other worker has
started to panic and attempts to raise and then lower the bit.
Willard exits his shelter crossing and waving his hands in front of
himself to signal that the driver should pull the bit up.
Finally, with the drill still engaged, the bit hits rock and a
loud thump is heard. The operator is completely flustered and gasps
as the drill, which was now throwing up rocks along with the ice,
produces a thump with great finality. Willard, stepping out of the
shelter, is growing frantic and yells, "Turn it off! Off!" The motor
continues to rumble and drive the belt. Finally, at the top of his
voice, Willard screams, "Hey! Switch... it... off!" But his screams
go unnoticed. The motor is producing black smoke and as the worker
outside is watching the gradually slowing drill bit, the drive belt
snaps and shoots past. Narrowly missing the worker's head. Willard,
exasperated shouts, "Dah!"
The two workers have pulled the mangled drill bit up and one of
them drops some sort of sensor device into the hole. The second
worker examines the readout of the sensor on a hand held computer.
Willard gestures to the worker. The worker looks up and shakes his
Just then a snowmobile races up and pulls a sharp one hundred and
eighty degree turn in front of the dig site. Willard looks over to the
driver, and the driver tells him with a southern drawl, "Think you
better come and check out site two."
Willard mounts the snowmobile behind the driver, and the worker
looks back at his computer, and a red indicator lights up, indicating
solid rock. The worker turns and asks Willard, "What about
Willard turns back and says, "Blow through it!" The snowmobile
Willard asks the driver, "Found more meteorite?"
"Hah! No, somethin' a little more younger than that," the driver
replies. The snowmobile pulls up to the second site. Willard turns
to look at a bank of snow. Peeking out of the ridge of snow is a
statue much like the ones that can be found on Easter Island.
Willard gasps as an awful realization dawns on him, "No!" He
quickly lifts his radio to his head and calls into it, "Billy, I don't
want you to set that explosive. Do ye hear me?"
Back at the other site, Willard's calls are unheard, as the other
radio lies in the snow several meters from the workers. Willard
repeats his words, "I do... not.. want ye to set that explosive!"
Still, his cries are unheard as Billy hits the detonator and an
explosion pops show and rocks into the air. Willard and the driver
drop for cover behind the snowmobile as debris is hurtled toward
them. They sit back up and shake the snow off of their jackets as
Willard curses, "Wretched pyros!"
The explosion shakes the ground and causes snow and ice to settle
all around. It reveals several more of those statues, all set in a
semi-circle, facing out to sea. Willard and the driver return to the
first site and Willard climbs down to examine the crater created by
the explosive charge. He finds two pieces of lumber nailed together
in the shape of a cross. Willard finds, scrawled into the wooden
Willard frowns and scratches his head. He mutters aloud, "This
place's had a busy history."
1812 - 1834
R. I. P.
Lara Croft shifts uncomfortably in her seat as the Bentley rolls
smoothly down the streets of Oxford. She takes a small mirror from
her purse to check her hair, as she whispers to herself, "I don't
bloody know why I still go to these things." Lara doesn't realize her
disdain has made her words loud enough for another to hear.
"Perhaps, it is so that all those lonely archaeologists can have
the pleasure of your company, mum," Winston, Lara's elderly butler and
occasional driver, mutters into the rear-view mirror.
Lara frowns, "I don't understand why they send me invitations if
I'm not welcome there. Besides, it takes nearly an hour just to get
up here from home."
"Miss Croft, you know I don't mind the drive," Winston assures
her. "Besides, you are responsible for so many of the antiquities in
their collection. Of course you are welcome there."
"I'm not so sure," Lara replies. Her eyes stare pensively out the
automobile's window. Lara wonders if the museum's invitation isn't
merely out of obligation to her newly government appointed position.
Winston turns the stately vehicle off of Worcester Street onto
The silver Bentley pulls into the parking garage across the street
from the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology3. When the vehicle comes to a stop, Lara
instinctively reaches for the door handle, but withdraws her hand as
Winston begins to get out of the vehicle. Winston shuffles slowly
around to the opposite side of the car and opens her door for her.
"Thank you," Lara nods, trying to smile pleasantly.
Lara picks up her wrap and steps out of the car, lightly holding
Winston's arm. She looks stunning in her long black dress. The
evening is cool, but not cold, so she hangs her wrap on her arm. A
group of young men appear to be arguing, and the winner finally steps
forward toward her.
The well-dressed young man smiles pleasantly at Lara and escorts
her across the street, up the main steps to the museum's facade, and
into front entrance. It appears they've reopened the front entrance
since Lara's last visit, and guests no longer have to enter through
the west entrance. The front door opens directly into the Randolph
Gallery where all of tonight's festivities are taking place.
A waiter wanders by with a tray of glass flutes. Lara picks one
off the tray as he saunters past. She takes a sip of champagne and
looks around the room. Crowds of people mingle between the classical
sculptures that are arranged in this gallery. Most of the people in
this room are well-dressed middle-aged slightly over-weight men who
are going bald. Lara smiles to herself as she recalls Winston's
comment in the car. Lara recognizes many familiar faces, but not
doesn't find a friendly one in the bunch. She's not
For now, no one approaches her and she is left alone and
unharassed as she stands in the midst of this crowd. Lara quietly
reflects upon the busy year she has had after returning from
China. Shortly after retrieving the Dagger of Xian, she had a very
eventful trip to Melnikov Island in the Bering Sea, where she
retrieved the Golden Mask of Tornasuk. The renovations to her home
have finally been completed after those cult thugs broke in and shot up the place last year.
Her activities over the past couple of years have caught the attention
and favor of Science Minister Lord Sainsbury of Turville, who recently
appointed her an ambassador
for British scientific excellence. She regrets how much of
her time has been spent fending off film producers, who are trying to
get her to sign a movie deal based on the books she's written that
detail her exploits. It's been months since I've been
overseas, Lara sighs. She's starting to get that itch to get out
into the field again. Get a hold of yourself, girl Lara thinks
Eventually, as is the way these things always seem to go, younger
and less well-dressed men begin to flock around Lara. They do their
best to pretend to be interesting. Graduate students, Lara
sighs to herself. Lara bravely endures, as they vainly attempt to
make small-talk Unable to make conversation about anything other than
what one or another of them dug up at a recent project, Lara's
interest is briefly piqued by one of the men, who mentions some
interesting findings as part of a dig in India.
The crowds start to migrate toward the west end of the gallery,
where a small podium and microphone have been set up. Finally!
Lara is relieved that this evening will soon be over. A distinguished
old man steps up to the podium and begins his droning. Lara faces the
podium and looks attentive. The man talks about the newly reopened
front doors, changes in the museum's operating hours, and how the
museum is the recipient of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Then he
introduces the new director of the Ashmolean and a younger man steps
up to take the podium. Lara recognizes this man as Dr. Christopher
Brown, formerly the Chief Curator at the National Gallery, London.
Dr. Brown gives his speech about his vision for the the Ashmolean. He
extends his thanks toward the museum's private benefactors and
encourages their continued support, and finally begins to name and
thank individual archaeologists and institutions that have contributed
pieces to the museum's various galleries. When he finishes, everyone
applauds gaily. Lara smirks to herself, Big surprise. Her
name and contributions have been left off of the list.
The evening is starting to break up. There are private tours
through the galleries to show off the latest acquisitions. Lara
decides not to waste the trip up to Oxford, and wanders north through
a couple of galleries. A couple of fellows have gathered in the
Indian art exhibit. Lara catches part of their conversation.
"Preposterous!" one man shouts, "There isn't the slightest
evidence that suggests it even exists, much less is located so far
A second tries to calm the first by using a smoother tone, "Of
course there is evidence. We've heard the usual local superstitions
about the powers of the Infada Stone."
"You call that evidence?" the first man interjects, "Besides, what
fool would go trudging through those dangerous jungles looking for
A third man, clearly Scottish, chimes in, "O'course there is
interest. Remember that crazy lass that planned to start at Calcutta
and work her way up the Ganges looking in old temples?" The men all
Lara remembers how her last trip to Calcutta, a little over
two years ago, was cut short. She never did manage to investigate the
leads she got on that artifact in India. She clears her throat to get
their attention. Silence falls on the men like a ton of bricks, and
they all turn to face Lara as she smiles cutely, lifts her hand and
wiggles her fingers, "Hello", to them.
"Miss Croft," the surprised Scot pronounces, "so good to see you
again." He is back-peddling as fast as he can. Lara continues to
show her teeth. The smile is starting to get saccharine. "Did you
ever find anything in India?"
"My trip to India was cut short," Lara replies, "but now that you
mention it, I've had to put that trip off. Have you any suggestions
for local sights to take in?"
The Scottish man smiles, "I hear Kanpur, is lovely this time of
"Thank you," Lara replies and wanders off.
The second man asks quizzically, "You don't think..."
"I most certainly do," the Highlander replies.
"She has a team?"
"A team of one."
"Is she out of her bloody mind?"
The Scot, staring down the corridor as Lara walks away,
"Certifiably." There is almost a hint of admiration in his
On the drive home, Lara stares out the window and, with a
contemplative look on her face, watches the countryside roll past.
She turns, looks forward and says, "Winston?"
"Yes, Miss Croft?"
"When we get home, would you be a dear and book me a round trip
plane ticket to New Delhi?"
"Of course, Miss Croft."
Lara Croft's plane lands in the airport at New Delhi, India. A
driver is waiting at the gates to take her south to Agra. From there,
Lara hops a train to Kanpur.
The humidity in Kanpur is oppressive. Lara steps off the train
and walks around the out-skirts of town asking if there was anyone who
would be able to be her guide. The reaction is similar everywhere.
The Indian people are friendly and warm until Lara opens her mouth.
Less than three words escape her mouth before most of the locals lose
interest. It's not about archaeology. It's about her British accent.
I see fifty years isn't quite enough time for these hard feelings
to go away, Lara thinks to herself. Lara, tired of getting
nowhere, walks over to a street vendor, purchases a small meal and
sits at a make-shift table.
A boy in his teens approaches as Lara enjoys her repast and tells
her, "For a tourist, you sure ask a lot of questions." The short boy
is thin and ruddy.
Lara looks up from her meal, and asks, "What's your name?"
"Sajit Vohra, at your service," the boy replies.
"Sajit, is it?" Lara asks coyly, "I don't know if you'll
"Sajit knows the jungles very well," Sajit answers, standing very
straight and thumping his chest with his fist, "What are you looking
for? I probably know where it is."
Lara tears off a generous piece of bread and hands it to the boy,
then pushes her plate of bhindi masalewali towards him. The boy
accepts, scoops some of the spicy okra onto the bread and eats. He
looks at Lara, waiting for his next cue. Lara asks, "Do you know
The boy politely swallows and answers, "It depends on which one
Lara raises one corner of her mouth and tells him, "Now look, I'm
not interested in buying one from you. I'm looking for a very special
one. It's called the Infada Stone."
"There is no Infada Stone," the boy quips. "Just ridiculous
superstitions, but I know of some ruins where maybe you can go look
for it." Lara can't tell if the boy knows anything or is just pulling
her leg to turn a few rupees.
Lara examines the boy and decides that whether he knows anything
or not, he strikes her as sincere. Lara finally shrugs her shoulders,
and says, "You can take me there?" The boy nods, and a price is
Lara goes off to hire a Jeep, and she returns with it a little
later. The boy climbs aboard and they head off, out of the city, and
into the jungles. The midday heat is starting to subside and the
air decides that it can't hold the humidity up any longer and it
begins to rain. After their long drive down twisted vegetation
infested roads, the boy looks up and yells, "Stop here!"
Lara pulls the Jeep into a small clearing. They climb out and
push through dense tropical plants. The boy stops short, but Lara
pushes forward and the vegetation suddenly ends, and Lara stops as
well. They've arrived at the top of long slope and she asks him,
The boy sticks his head out past the vegetation and tells her,
The boy points down the slope, and repeats, "Down there!"
"You're not going with me?" Lara asks.
"You can't pay me enough to go down there with you. I am going
back now to the Jeep to wait for you. If you do not come back
tonight, I take the Jeep back to get help," the boy tells her, as if
he intends to actually come back. Before Lara can ask another
question, the boy turns and trudges back to the Jeep.
"Just lovely," Lara mutters. "Thanks for the vote of confidence,"
she shouts back to him, knowing that he's probably already out of ear
shot. Lara takes a long hard look down the slope and wonders, I
wonder what I've gotten myself into this time. (follow plot)
- We give Core Design and Vicky Arnold, script writer for the Tomb
Raider games, our thanks for sharing her original script for this full
motion video sequence with us. The details found in her script are
invaluable in building our backplot.
- Once again, we at the Guide wanted to
find the motivation for how Lara gets herself involved in this latest
adventure. We contrived the following segment of plot ourselves. This
story is not one endorsed by Core Design, Ltd.
- The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology is located in the town
of Oxford (near the prestigious Oxford University), which is
approximately fifty miles north west of Surrey.