Lara Croft throughout the gaming ages

About the first thing I covered as a journalist was a 1998-ish talk, given at the Islington Business Design Center by Ian Livingstone, chief of the game publisher behind Lara. I remember asking him about her appearance, whose combo of then cutting-edge 3D and inflatable sex-doll proportions was notably dysmorphic and weird even at the time. As I recall, he kinda sighed (sympathetically, I fancy) and gave a boilerplate answer that this was the power of the medium, that was what people wanted, so that's what they were going to make.

Some note a positive change in the character's appearance in recent outings. Here's the full infographic [Hollywood Costumes]

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  1. Keep at it guys, we're not quite out of the valley yet.

    Interesting that only the very latest body shape seems to be modeled in actual human anatomy instead of endless refinement of the v1 caricature, and how much visual identity is lost as a result. I wonder how long before the trend reverses as people realize the ridiculous sexpot cartoon proportions make the character much more recognizable than any amount of realism.

  2. Sadly though, #1, #2, and #3 are far superior to the later Mercedes models. My personal favorite is #2.

  3. I think you could fit 2013 Lara's entire head inside of 1996 Lara's breast.

  4. Not only that, until until HD television became commonplace console games were rendering to a screen resolution of 640 x 480 at best, with interlacing and blur hiding a lot of the detail on top of the already jaggy triangles and dodgy texture mapping.

    Character models had to have very exaggerated features to read properly through all the noise.

    It's the same way that blocky old video game sprites never looked like that back in the day--all the edges were smoothed off in the passage to a flickering cathode ray tube.

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