Play Expo and NYCC

October 16, 2016 Kate Sykes 0 Comments

A lot happened last week so here's a recap...


This year, a special celebration was held by the organisers of Play Expo in partnership with official fansite Tomb of Ash. Fans from around the world came to join the anniversary celebration with some of the original team at Core Design - creators of Lara Croft and Tomb Raider.
I was able to go along on Saturday. Here's my experience.
Tomb Raider Gathering.

I debuted my Area 51 outfit from Tomb Raider III that had been sitting in my wardrobe since Christmas. The top and trousers were originally used by veteran Lara Croft cosplayer/look-a-like, Jennifer Morgan.

The first thing we did when we arrived was meet-up with fellow community member Jack (AKA Xeno-Morpheus) who was in his excellent Kurtis Trent cosplay. We went to the spot where everyone was but they had seemingly disappeared. We split up and a little later, found some of the cosplayers - including Nathalie (Madenice Cosplay) and Steven (Rident) as Classic Lara and yes, Von Croy! - and fans having an impromptu Tomb Raider gathering. I joined in and chatted to people before having a wander around.
Tomb Raider gathering. Photo by Simon TR.
We came across a Tomb Raider gaming section which had a range of previous titles complete with the original concoles.

As well as the Core Design panel, longtime fans were excited to hear that the very first official Lara Croft model, Natalie Cook, would be present in her original costume for photo sessions. The panel started at 3pm and the photo sessions were 2:30 til 3pm so we got to the booth bang on time (excuse the pun) and were the first in line. After a few more people queued up, Natalie arrived. She had upgraded her shorts and boots with the addition of the circular red sunglasses but the rest was just as she wore it when promoting the first game 20 years ago, and she looked fantastic as ever!
I was escorted up to meet Natalie, a lovely down to earth lady who seemed genuinely grateful for fans' interest after all these years.
We got into position. This was quite a special moment for me. I never had the opportunity to meet any of the models on tour so to be posing side by side with the first one in the 20th anniversary year, after being able to experience a taste of the job myself, was wonderful.

Full shot of first official model, Natalie Cook, courtesy of Tomb Raider Collection.
We got my prints straight away and we went off to get a spot ready for the panel. On the way, I met April Croft (of Classic Croft) who I'd known since I came into the Tomb Raider community. It was lovely to finally meet in person! Also said hi to some other friends before we got a spot down the side  of the audience. In the lead-up, fans "Croft Confessions", put together by April, were shown on the big screen. The panel itself was a pleasure to watch! This was the first time the team had seen each other since working on the original Tomb Raider games and the best thing about it for me was seeing them remenis about old times.

You can watch Tomb of Ash's video here...

Afterwards, fans went up to the team to ask them to sign collectables they'd brought from home. Why didn't I think of that? We grabbed a Tomb Raider Celebration leaflet and a pen from someone and managed to catch Murti Schofield, the writer of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. However, the pen that we frantically retrieved didn't work so Murti pulled out a range of multi-coloured pens from his pocket. A writer is always prepared. I even got a lovely hug.
Also met these guys, The Croft Family! The youngest was actually the player!
(apologies for the bluriness)
When it came to the last half an hour, I had a go on Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation on PS1. I hadn't played either of these in years!

After the event finished, there was a community meet-up at a bar in the center of Manchester. It took some finding but we got there to find a reserved table and we were some of the first people to arrive.
The music was loud and you couldn't really hear anyone unless they shouted in your hear but I was sat next to Steven and spent most of the time chatting to him. Always nice to get to know a new friend better.


Earlier in the week, Meagan Marie (Crystal Dynamics' Senior Community Manager) was at NYCC doing last minute promotions before the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration.
She and Chris Johnson (Assosiate Brand Director) took part in a Twitch stream which you can watch here. Starts at 6 hours, 56 seconds.

Watch live video from on
During the stream, Player Piano's new video made in partnership with Crystal Dynamics was revealed. Pianist/composer Sonya Belousova produced a beautiful medley of 4 Tomb Raider game themes in costume for the 20th anniversary. It includes the original them, The Angel of Darkness, Legend and the 2013 reboot.
You can also watch that here and be sure to subscribe to their channel for more amazing videos!

You Might Also Like