Respawn! Happy Anniversary, Lara Croft!

Jun 2, 2016

Lara in Tibet in Tomb Raider II

Hard to believe, but it's been 20 years since we first joined Tomb Raider Lara Croft on her adventures, tracking down mysterious relics in some of the world's most exotic locations. As part of this year's anniversary celebrations, Nathan McCree is in the process of writing an orchestral "Tomb Raider Suite'" drawn from his soundtracks for the first three Tomb Raider games. I talked with Nathan about this exciting project, involving a recording at the famed Abbey Road Studios, a documentary film and a live performance this fall in London.

From the opening moments of Tomb Raider I, it's obvious that we're not going to be playing the same old action-adventure type of game. Nathan decided to take a different approach to Lara's theme. As he explains, "The thing that struck me about Lara is that even though she's a computer-generated character, she's actually quite beautiful, and I wanted to try to get some of that beauty into the music." The result is a haunting chamber music melody featuring oboe, harp and strings.

Nathan's soundtrack and sound design for Tomb Raider helped make Lara Croft a real person. He also created music that helped define the locations, like Venice, that Lara found herself. "I listened to a lot of music by Vivaldi and Bach, and composers who had lived in Venice at that time, and stylized the music in a similar fashion. Just added a few McCree twists!" 

Lara in Venice

The stars have finally lined up to create an orchestral version of the original music. Nathan says, "I've been wanting to do it for about 17 years, and I've been chasing it for that long as well. It's been a long journey...It's pretty ambitious, but I've got a great team of people behind me. I'm absolutely convinced it's going to be a great success, and entertaining for the fans."

Nathan in his studio

Production assistance from Ann Lopez and Sam Roberts

Follow Kate on Twitter @RespawnShowKR