Tomb Raider Suite - The Album!!!

One of two official artwork designs featuring Classic Lara!
Following the success of the 20th Anniversary live concert in London last Christmas, composer Nathan McCree has set out to record an album with a live orchestra at the one and only Abbey Road Studies but he can't do it without the help of the fans!

A Kickstarter campaign was recently launched and has so far raised £121,900 out of the final goal of £160,000. If you wish to donate, you can get your hands on some exclusive merchandise, a VIP invite to launch parties both in the UK and the US with Nathan himself and some special guests! Even a seat at Abbey Road to see the recording!

Found out more on the website.

The campaign has 3 days left and it's all or nothing so if you are unable to donate, please help spread the word.
Thank you!

The Digger's Daugher is 1 Year Old Today + Giveaway!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of TTD's launch and to celebrate, we're hosting a giveaway!!!!

For your chance to win this collectible Larazade t-shirt, all you have to do is answer the following question in the comments below or on our Facebook page...

Tomb Raider first partnered with the energy drink Lucozade in 1998 and the campaign ran until the end of Core Design's development of the games in 2002. Late on in the campaign, commercials appeared showing various women in their home town embracing Lara's spirit in full, leaving onlookers bewildered.
What was the catchfrase of those commercials?

You have until next Monday (12th June) to enter. Good luck, Raiders!

Catching Up With the Tomb Raider Movie

While we were away, filming for the new movie reboot got underway with a full body of cast. It was particularly enjoyable to see all the Instagram posts from director, Roar Uthaug.
Here's what we missed...

Cast Announcements
December 2016 - Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Django: Unchained) was announced as the villan. According to IMDb, his character name is Mathias Vogel!
January 2017 - Daniel Wu (Warcraft: The Beginning) was announced as a new character and ship captain, Lu Ren who aids Lara Croft on her journey.
January 2017 - Danish actor, Alexandre Willaume announced on his Instagram that he was working on the project.
January 2017 - English actor, Dominic West (300, The Wire, 28 Days, Finding Dory) was announced to be taking on the important role of Lara's father, Lord Richard Croft!

January 2017
Message to mark the start of filming in Cape Town, South Africa, on 23rd January 2017.
Message from producer and director.
Birthday wishes for Lara on 14th February with a shot of the leading lady's on set chair.
MARCH 2017
The first official in character photos of Alicia Vikander were released!
The costume is very similar to that in the 2013 game but perhaps more practical for the stunts Vikander had to do and now with a quiver that fastens around the waist.
We even see her holding the red Rebel climbing axe. In any case, she looks like she's not to be messed with!

The photos were accompanied by the film's synopsis...
"Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.
Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, “Tomb Raider” is the story that will set a young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero.
The film stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina,” “The Danish Girl”) in the lead role, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (“The Wave”), with Oscar-winner Graham King (“The Departed”) producing under his GK Films banner. The film’s production begins on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the wildly popular videogame franchise from Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal."

Seasoned composer, James Newton Howard (Sixth Sense, The Dark Knight, Maleficent, The Hunger Games and many more!) was also announced to be doing the film's score.

APRIL 2017
Glympse of a new character?...
Wrap on actor, Alexandre Willaume.
MAY 2017
Last day on set for actor, Daniel Wu.
Marking the end of filming in South Africa.
Now we have heard rumours that Alicia Vikander has been seen doing cycling scenes in the streets of London and at what looks to be the new Croft Manor; old Tudor mansion, Wilton House...

Certainly looks the part, don't you think?

Tomb Raider Live in Concert!

It's been a while since my last post as exciting non Tomb Raider adventures have kept me busy but after my break, I wanted to write about one of the most special experiences I had last fact, that I've ever had!
2016 was a wonderful anniversary year for Tomb Raider. It was also incredble for me personally.
This is one of the reasons why...

The weekend before Christmas was the world premiere of Nathan McCree's Tomb Raider Suite, the original score from the first three games with some extended pieces performed by the London Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at the Hammersmith Apollo. It saw a pilgrimage of Tomb Raider fans from all over the world just for this event.

This was my experience...
We arrived at our hotel about 9pm after a five hour drive from Cumbria. Entering the lobby, we were greeted by an array of lights, Christmas decorations and pearly white trees.

The next morning, we got ready to join Meagan Marie (Senior Community Manager at Crystal Dynamics) and some other community members at the British Museum. I dressed in a casual version of the Tomb Raider Legend Kazakhstan outfit. We decided last minute to take a bus. We had no idea what we were doing and when we finally got one and I parked myself in the wheelchair spot, we had to get off because we didn't have a travel card. Eventually, we got on our way and we were treated to central London's amazing views at Christmas time.
My first experience on a London bus!

We passed incredible and quite imposing statues, the biggest shops had amazing window displays and the Marks & Spencer building was covered in lights which showed presents showering down from all sides and then transitioned into "Merry Christmas".

We arrived at the museum, a beautiful and enormous building!

As we were about 40 minutes late, we had to go looking for people - a rather difficult task in such a big place with rooms that split off every which way.
Everywhere we looked, there were stunning pieces of art from all ages and all cultures.
Eventually, I bumped into Augustin (cosplayer/artist) and his partner from France then as we were moving on, they called us back and I turned round to see Meagan coming towards us, waving. Then we got together with some of the others - some I knew their faces so well online and I was meeting them in person! It was very strange but wonderful!
Tomb Raider community at the British Museum.
There were 50 of us there in total but we stuck in the same group for the whole of the afternoon. One of those I met was the lovely Jessie TR (Brasilian official Lara Croft cosplay ambassador) who travelled all the way from Rio. She presented me with a gift - a Charlie Brown style Classic Lara mounted on a biro pen and the base being her boot and sock!
We have been friends online for a number of years so it was wonderful to finally meet each other in person!
Jessie and I.
After leaving the museum, we took the hour long bus ride back to our hotel with just enough time to have something to eat before the preshow Q&A with Nathan McCree started. I strapped on my empty holsters, put on my gloves and we walked around the corner to the theatre where "TOMB RAIDER LIVE IN CONCERT" was displayed in lights above the entrance.
For Tomb Raider China's "Travel with Lara Croft" competition.
As soon as we went in, the first person I saw in the queue was Linny (owner of Linny was the first person in the Tomb Raider community that I came in contact with in my early teens. It was actually her husband who spotted me first. We gave each other a big hug and chatted for a bit before heading into the foyer. I looked around for familiar faces and as my Dad went to get a drink, Marilena (Lady Crossader - German official Lara Croft cosplay ambassador) and Ani, a new cosplayer who I had previously spoken to online, came over to say hello. They were both wearing gorgeous evening gowns and I was beginning to feel a little underdressed in my winter adventuring gear.

We wandered around a little more and I found Tif (Illyne - French official Lara Croft cosplay ambassador), Manou (Luce - French official Lara Croft cosplay ambassador) and Chaiya (cosplayer and co-owner of Lovely to meet them at last!
From left to right: With Tif, Manou and Chaiya.
Then we were escorted to the wheelchair spot as I said hello to people along the way. After a couple of minutes, the Q&A started. Not far into it, I suddenly saw Julie Peugeot (French official Lara Croft cosplay ambassador) running across the stalls up to the wheelchair box. She threw her arms around me, kissing and stroking my head like a big sister and we didn't let go of each other for what felt like several minutes. Let me give you a bit of a backstory here...
When I first became a part of the Tomb Raider community almost 10 years ago, I had just dropped out of school and I was a beginner cosplayer in need of a direction and people to talk to. Julie found me on a fan forum and invited me to join her forum CosplayLaraCroft. I was the only foreign member at the time and the French cosplay community welcomed me with open arms. To this day, I still hold them close to my heart and so it was quite an emotional moment for Julie and I when we met.
She sat and talked to us for a bit and kept just staring at me to make sure I was real. She then brought her partner Jeremy (JohnnyPen Cosplay) over to meet us and they decided to abandon their seats to watch the concert with us. Jessie came over for a bit and Julie then went to find more people to ensure I crossed everyone off my list. She brought back a whole queue of people!
Julie and I. Photo courtesy of Julie.
With Julie, Jessie and Jeremy. Photo courtesy of Julie.
With Maryon (artist/cosplayer) and Julie. Photo courtesy of Julie.
Maryon and I.
With Julie and Rodri (owner of the largest Tomb Raider collection in the world).
Rodri and I.
With Augustin and Julie. Photo courtesy of Julie.

Augustin and I. Photo courtesy of Julie.
Julie, Augustin and I. GIF by Augustin.
Just as everyone went back to their seats, the lights went down, the orchestra filed on stage and the ever so familiar melody of the original theme started to play. The sound radiated through the entire theatre and transformed the music as if you were hearing each piece for the first time with pictures and gameplay accompanying it on a big screen.
Julie and I kept looking at each other and smiling as we relived memories of our childhoods.

One of the highlights was seeing Winston, Lara's beloved butler (AKA the concert's producer), shuffle on stage with his tea tray as Shelley Blond (original voice of Lara and the concert's MC) was introducing the next video/piece.

After the show, Julie and I reluctantly said goodbye until next time...
Last photo with Julie and Jeremy (JohnnyPen Cosplay).
Next it was the after party! As the Apollo (previously called the Odeon) is a very old theatre, there isn't much disability access and the party was up two flights of stairs. My chair was too heavy to lift so my Super-Dad carried me up and purched me on one of the sofas by the bar...Don't get any ideas. I'm teetotal. 😉
That meant I missed the signings with Nathan McCree and Shelley Blond but Nathan came over to say hello later on. To my surprise, so many people from around the world knew who I was and came over to say how they liked my cosplay and reading my articles. It was quite surreal to say the least!

Most of us were carrying copies of Meagan Marie's "20 Years of Tomb Raider" book and we just spent the night passing them around for each other to sign. As well as spending time with friends, I also made new ones. It's truly a night I will never forget.

With the amazing Spanish Tomb Raider community! Photo courtesy of Vicente Mínguez.

With the wonderfully talented Tif (Illyne - French official Lara Croft cosplay ambassador)! Photo by Tif.
With the equally talented Manou (Luce - French official Lara Croft cosplay ambassador)! Photo by Manou.

With Sanni in her lovely rendition of Lara's opera dress who travelled over from Finland. Photo courtesy of Sanni.

With Ryan and Jackson, two of the coolest Scots I've ever met! Photos by Ryan.
With the lovely Ruby (official Lara Croft cosplay ambassador for Singapore and owner of the Tomb Raider Life fansite). Photo by Ruby.
Just as we were leaving the theatre, we bumped into Audrey (Ivy) and Marine.

Interview with Jolene Anderson (Sofia in Rise of the Tomb Raider)

Jolene Anderson is an actress and model based in LA, appearing in a lot of TV and short films over the years.
Recently, she did the voice and motion capture for the character of Sofia in Rise of the Tomb Raider.
I've wanted to do this interview for a while. I found Sofia to be a great character. I think one of the strongest things about this game is that there is no secondary character. Each one is fully formed with their own back stories and personality traits.
This goes for Sofia, one of the "Remnants" - a people living in the Siberian mountains. Skilled, loyal and a good leader. Also a battling match for Lara Croft, should they have been on different sides.
I'm very grateful to Jolene for agreeing to talk to me about her experiences playing her role.

TDD: For the previous instalment, being the reboot of the franchise, there was a lot of secrecy. The game and the characters were given codenames for actors auditioning. What was the process like for you this time?
JA: It was very secretive! I went to an audition with no name attached to either the character or the project, read a few lines and left not knowing what I'd actually done. The script I auditioned with spoke for itself - the dialog gives you everything you need to know about the character, basically. Sometimes, with less information, you have more room to create a character that speaks to you as an actor.
When I arrived on set for the first day of shooting, I had no idea I was working on Tomb Raider and I hadn't even read a script!
I was pleasantly surprised, of course, and felt very lucky to be able to work on the project for months.

TDD: Had you any experience with voice acting/motion capture before working on Rise of the Tomb Raider ? What was it like?
JA: Yes, I had. I did the motion capture for Ada Wong in "Resident Evil: Damnation" in Japan and worked as a voice over artist for other projects.
The best part of playing Sofia was that I was able to do the full performance - both the voice, and face/body movements.
I was able to create her character completely and fully create her the way I wanted to. That was really exciting for me.

TDD: Did you need to do any archery training?
JA: No, not specifically for this project, but I've worked with weapons and done combat training for other projects...I do most of my own stunts. 😊
TDD: It’s nice to finally see another female character in Tomb Raider  who is equally strong and driven as Lara. What is your favourite thing about Sofia?
JA: Well, exactly that! She is the leader of the resistance. She is Lara's equal in strength, bravery...and she's ferocious as well. A wildling. She is not void of sensitivity and feeling even though she is a powerful warrior.
I loved everything about her! And she's a red head. 😉

TDD: What was it like working with Camilla Luddington and your other fellow cast members?
JA: Wonderful! We all had a great time, I think! It's a team project and is so much bigger than just the cast...but I think we have the most fun. 😉

TDD: Sofia has proved to be a hit with fans, so much in fact that there’s been some impressive cosplay popping up. How do you feel knowing girls have been inspired enough to dress up as her?
JA: I'm absolutely thrilled to hear it. I hoped the world would love her as I did - I'm so grateful the creators of the game had the vision to create her for the fans. I'd like to see more women in gaming!
Cosplay by Hanime. Photography by Mark Edwards.

It doesn't stop at cosplay either. Fans have also shown their love for the character through art, such as this beautiful portrait by Shalizeh.
See more of her amazing art on deviantART and Tumblr.

TDD: Lastly, what’s your fondest memory from working on the project?
JA: Finding out I was working on Tomb Raider! Working with the whole team was an inspiration.
It takes so much work to bring the game to life - they would re-write as we were shooting sometimes. 
There is nothing more satisfying to me, as an actor, than the art of creation in that sense. 
Also, motion capture acting is like going back to your 5 year old self. There is nothing there for you to really interact with.
The whole world is added much later, so we're just going on pure imagination. It's very freeing, and very fun!

More and more strong female characters are appearing in gaming and across all genres and we have Lara Croft to thank for starting it all. Even from starting off as sex symbol, she became an inspiration for both genders. It's nice to see that 20 years later, she is still here to join her peers in celebrating equality.

To find out more about Jolene's work, visit her IMDb page and be sure to "Like" her Facebook page.

Gina Rouchy’s Croft Manor Christmas Cake

Croft Manor Christmas Cake by Gina Rouchy.

It's the 1st of December and to get into the festive spirit, we have a special guest article by Jaden Morretti - formally the owner of the Guns and Grapple fansite and also the lovely lady who set up this site!
In this exclusive interview with Gina Rouchy, she explores the art of making these wonderful Crofty cakes and the inspiration behind them.

With the year creeping ever closer to the end, we enter my favourite month of all. Admittedly I view winter with romanticism, the same way people look at old books with that old paper scent or being next to a crackling fire. For me a huge part of why I love winter is because of Christmas. Christmas has always been my favourite time of year.  There’s something quite electric about the atmosphere and as it’s a time of giving, it reveals a capacity and depth of humanity and compassion. I like that! 

While there’s a lot to like about the season, something I especially enjoy is Christmas food. The occasion brings things like roast dinners, mince pies, but the meals become more of a family gathering. It can also mean a blend of cultures and traditions. I love festive treats, which is probably why I fell in love with a Croft Manor Christmas cake on deviantArt.

The creative mind behind the wonderful Croft Manor cake is Gina Rouchy, a Tomb Raider fan living in the UK. Over the past five years, she’s been sharing her baking talent through her deviantArt page, along with incredibly detailed sketches and beautifully framed photographs.  

Her passion and perseverance for art started at a young age. During Gina’s schooldays, her teacher’s attitude made her doubt her work. It later came as a shock to realize that what was interpreted as harsh criticism was actually appreciation for her skill: it was recommended that one day a week she could study for an art degree. Yet it wasn’t until she was twenty-eight that she started baking cakes, initially making them for her children’s birthdays.

“I became interested in making cakes after I started having children. I made them birthday cakes, which started out not very good, but persistence and practice has paid off. Their request became more of a challenge every year so I overcame a lot of problems in cake making to achieve the end result.“ She dedicates her deviantArt page to her five children, citing them as her inspiration for each project. She also cites her husband of twenty-three years, Danny, as being her motivation.

A long-time Tomb Raider fan in a geek household, one of Gina’s first uploads was a Lara Croft-inspired cake featuring a portrait of the heroine. “I first became interested in Tomb Raider back in 1998 when my husband played TR3. We'd never seen Lara Croft until then, but we all became hooked with the original games.” The sponge cake was created for her son’s (Joshua’s) birthday and featured the character’s classic “Bomber Jacket” look in sugarcraft sculpting.

Gina's first Lara Croft cake.

Lara Krabs cake by Gina Rouchy.
While Gina explores and experiments with other topics and designs, she often returns to the Croft theme. Soon after, she created an unusual crossover, Mr. Krabs and Tomb Raider, for her daughter’s 13th. The 32cm tall vanilla sponge cake featured Mr. Krabs in Lara Croft cosplay, surrounded by fondant icing relics found in the games. Her most recent one takes inspiration from Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and the statue included in the special edition boxset. Created for her daughter’s 20th birthday, a “chibi” Lara Croft made out of fondant icing stands on top of a chocolate sponge cake.

All of her creations have been incredible, but her craziest project was recreating a 3D Croft Manor using fruitcake, marzipan and fondant icing. In our interview she spoke about wanting to tackle the challenge for a while: “I have always wanted to make a Croft Manor cake, but I waited until I thought my skill level would be good enough.” Originally intending to make a normal gingerbread house, Gina moved to redesigning Lara’s home after an unsuccessful hunt for templates for her previous goal. 

The manor consists of an 11” fruit cake which has been halved and stacked. The building was covered in marzipan and topped with fondant icing which allowed her to make intricate detail. “The most challenging part of the cake was mapping out the shape of the house and the brickwork. I found a reference online for the house shape, but would have been able to be more accurate with better references. The brick work was hand imprinted with a I found cake shops [which] sell brick work imprinters, so that would be a great help for next time.”

Gina's Temple of Osiris inpired cake.

Working with fondant brings a unique selection of challenges, especially if there are several layers to the design, as was the case with Croft Manor. Despite the number of things which could have gone wrong with the baking and constructing, Gina was on top of everything: “the cake went pretty much to plan, as I worked out in my head what I needed to do. The main problem I had was time... [the] lack of it, and damp air from it being winter made drying fondant a bit of a problem.”

The complete Croft Manor Christmas cake took about a week to construct, with three to four hours being spent on it each day. Deconstructing it took a little longer due to its size, lasting several weeks! The joy in the project came from creating a perfect replica of Lara’s house, and the family’s reception. “The kids were really excited and happy about it, which was the best thing of it all.”

Constructing the Croft Manor Christmas cake.

For those who want to try their own Tomb Raider-inspired bake this Christmas, Gina has a few tips for getting started: “For people who want to get into cake-making, I would highly recommend books by Debbie Brown which is how I learned. Also dA is brilliant for talking to other self taught cakers who are only too pleased to help.“

A huge thank you to Gina for the permission to post pictures and for the interview! You can follow her adventures on her deviantArt page at