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23 Features

Retro Vault: Golden Axe, Shenmue

Plus: Crazy Taxi, Tomb Raider and some more '80s CVG

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed the last Retro Vault you can read it here.


October 1996 - Tomb Raider artwork

In 1993, a six-person team at Derby-based Core Design started planning an adventure game starring a cold, testosterone-filled explorer. It was soon decided that the hero should be a woman instead, and thus Laura Cruz was born.

As her backstory developed and Laura's personality changed from a militaristic guns-blazing type to a more refined English lady, her name evolved too to the now-iconic Lara Croft. Her home, Croft Manor, was based on the front of the building Core Design worked at.

It's difficult these days to appreciate the impact Tomb Raider had on gaming - as the first ever polygonal action-adventure game it inspired every other game of the genre that followed in much the same way as Super Mario 64 inspired polygonal platformers.

Core Design may be gone now (it was sold off to Rebellion and became Rebellion Derby in 2006, then was shut down in 2010) but a recent reboot means Lara's as popular as ever, and an upcoming next-gen Tomb Raider sequel means she isn't going anywhere any time soon.

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