Franchise Feature: The Gear
The outfit alone doesn’t make an adventurer – gear counts towards a good part of preparing for the unknown. For the majority of the last 25 years, Lara Croft has had ready access to the best. Ferreted away in her trusty backpack, early franchise staples included medipacks, flares, a compass, stopwatch, binoculars, and more – all what you’d expect to find on a well-thought-out expedition. Originally Lara was intended to have even more gear, with dynamite, grenades, a flashlight, and a diary cut from the classic inventory. Additional cut gear included a mystical amulet in The Angel of Darkness, which would have given Lara access to a special training area to perfect new moves.
In Tomb Raider: Legend Lara’s equipment underwent an upgrade, with the addition of an PDA, headset with camera, personal light source, a magnetic grapple, and binoculars with R.A.D. – a Remote Analysis Device. The technology advancements continued in Underworld.
In Tomb Raider (2013), Lara prepared for a research trip rather than a full-blown adventure; not that she was left with any equipment after washing up on Yamatai. After the Endurance crashed a resourceful young Croft scavenged a large majority of her gear, using a universal currency called salvage for upgrades. In Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara set out to find answers. Leaving much more prepared, she departed with climbing gear, glow sticks, and twin trusty axes. Although some gear was lost in an avalanche, through scavenging and an improved crafting system ensured Lara got access to what she needed throughout the game. Shadow’s gear opened up new traversal paths in Lara’s Peruvian adventure.
Take a comprehensive look at Lara’s tried and true gear throughout 25 years of tomb raiding below.
- Backpack: A Bag of Holding-esque backpack, it is seemingly bottomless and stores an assortment of weapons, gear, artifacts, and medi packs.
- Medi Pack: The medi pack comes in two sizes and is an essential for survival in dangerous landscapes. In Tomb Raider III the cross on the medi pack was changed from red to green, after the Red Cross started becoming vocal about the misuse of their logo in the game industry.
- Compass: Accessible only through the main menu, true to form the compass always pointed north and was helpful in navigating sprawling spaces.
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Small Medi Pack, Large Medi Pack, Compass
- Flares: Limited-use items, flares eventually burned out, but provided much-needed visibility in the darkest corners of crypts and caves.
- Stopwatch: Another item accessible only in the menu, the stopwatch would relay important statistics, such as total time spent in the current level, secrets found, kills, distance traveled, and more.
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Small Medi Pack, Large Medi Pack, Flare, Stopwatch
- Crowbar: A pickup in Antarctica, the crowbar gave Lara extra leverage when needed for padlocked doors.
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Small Medi Pack, Large Medi Pack, Flare, Stopwatch, Crowbar
- Laser sight: When combined with the revolver or crossbow, the laser sight offered increased aiming assistance for enemies usually out of range.
- Binoculars: As one would expect, the binoculars allowed Lara to see greater distances in order to plan her traversal path, get the drop on enemies, or locate parts of puzzles.
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Small Medi Pack, Large Medi Pack, Laser sight, Flare, Torch, Binoculars, Compass, Crowbar
- Grappling Gun: A traversal aid, the grappling gun fired a hook with rope that attached on select surfaces. Once secured, Lara could climb like any other rope.
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Small Medi Pack, Large Medi Pack, Flare, Chaff Flares, Binoculars, Laser sight, Timex-TMX, Crowbar, Grappling Gun
- Werner’s Diary: Recovered from Margot Carvier after Werner’s death, his diary provided important insights and clues into the mystery of The Monstrum.
- Health Items: A new take on health management, some items restored a small percent of health (chocolate bars, 10%) while others restored all of it (Large Health Pack, 100%).
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Small Health Pack, Large Health Pack, Chocolate Bar, Health Pills, Health Bandages, Binoculars, Werner’s Diary, Grappling Gun, Crowbar
- Magnetic Grapple: A grapple that worked exclusively on metal objects, it allowed Lara to bridge gaps by swinging, and could be used to pull objects closer to her.
- Binoculars: Advanced binoculars that included Remote Analysis and Display technology (R.A.D.) Lara could use the tech to highlight objects she could interact with in the environment.
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Health Pack, PDA – Personal Digital Assistant, Headset with Camera, Personal Light Source (P.L.S.), Magnetic Grapple, Binoculars with Remote Analysis Device (R.A.D)
- Flashlight: A Nintendo Wii exclusive feature, the flashlight illuminated dark areas as needed, and the player could focus intensity by rotating the remote.
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Small Medi Pack, Large Medi Pack, Grapple, Flashlight (Wii Only), Binoculars
- PDA: Similar to the one Lara carried in Legend, Underworld’s PDA featured a sonar map. It created a 3D image of the world around her, making it easier to chart out traversal paths or locate hidden items.
- Scuba Gear: Kicking off the game with an extensive underwater section made necessary the inclusion of state-of-the-art scuba gear. As such, Lara was able to investigate undersea ruins at her leisure.
- The Full Kit: Backpack, Health Pack, PDA w/Sonar Map and Journal, Utility Light, Grapple, Field Camera, Scuba Gear
- Axe: To keep with the theme of resourcefulness and survival, much of Lara’s gear had dual purposes. Her now-iconic red axe not only offered climbing assistance, but could be used as a weapon in a tight spot.
- Bow: Again a dual-purpose tool, when combined with rope Lara could create ziplines for traversal around the island. Fire arrows also helped her collect hard-to-reach salvage.
- The Full Kit: Two-Way Radio, Axe, Bow, Rope, Torch, Lighter, Rope Ascender
- Glowsticks:A longer-lasting alternative to a flare, Lara packed plenty of glowsticks to illuminate her way throughout Syria and Siberia.
- Tactical Knife: In addition to combat functionality, the tactical knife was used for cutting rope and other materials tied to puzzles or in-game challenges.
- Lock Pick: As the name implies, once armed with a lock pick there are few areas Lara couldn’t access in Rise of the Tomb Raider.
- The Full Kit: Satchel, Rucksack, Hunter’s Quiver, Adventurer’s Quiver, Ancient Quiver, Two-Way Radio, Axes, Bow, Wire Spool (For Grapple Axe), Glow Stick, Rope, Rope Ascender, Tactical Knife, Oil Flask, Lock Pick, Crafting Tool, Enhancement Tool, Refinement tool, Rebreather, Stock-mounted Shell Holder, Shotgun Shell Bandolier, Rifle Ammo Pouch, Large Rifle Ammo pouch, Pistol Ammo Pouch, Large Pistol Ammo Pouch
- Rappel Wire: Lara’s traversal evolved in Shadow of the Tomb Raider through the addition of rappelling. Rappel wire allowed Lara to descend from ledges, opening up a whole new level of verticality in climbing.
- Overhang Climbing Gear: The addition of this gear allowed for even more access to rockfaces – both horizontal and inclined surfaces to be exact.
- The Full Kit: Axes, Bow, Satchel, Rucksack, Hunter’s Quiver, Adventurer’s Quiver, Lockpick, Rope, Rope Ascender, Rappel Wire, Overhang Climbing Gear, Pistol: Pistol Sight, Pistol Suppressor, Pistol Ammo Pouch, Large Pistol Ammo Pouch, Rifle: Laser Site, Rifle Suppressor, Rifle Ammo Pouch, Large Rifle Ammo Pouch, Shotgun: Spreader Choke, Shell Holder, Large Shell Holder