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LARA CROFT REVEALS ALL - Lara in the Irish Times - Monday, April 13, 1998

She's a sex symbol for boys, and Girl Power for girls. Lara Croft gives her first ever interview to Garrett Rowe - and reveals her Irish roots.

After an incredible debut in the original Tomb Raider, Lara Croft rubber-stamped her success in its sequel, Tomb Raider II. She is the queen of computer games, the world's first virtual sex symbol, with no competition worth talking about (unless Mario takes your fancy). Last week Computimes managed to track her down - via the Net of course - to a quiet location 55 kilometres outside Lima, Peru, where Lara often likes to unwind after her escapades. The following are excerpts from our virtual interview.

Q: Not so long ago you were a completely unknown entity and in a relatively short space of time you have become a world famous heroine and sex symbol. How has this fame affected you - has it changed you as a person?

A: I've always been my own person, and fame will never change my attitude to life. If I did my family and friends would not be slow in informing me if my opinions of myself got out of hand. Fame has its difficulties but I just tend to get on with it.

Q: Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider 2 are rated as two of the best games of all time. How big a part in their success do you think you played?

A: Well, like any project like this it was a team effort. I was just another cog in the machine. But I like to think that I brought a different dimension to the games that set them apart.

Q: But you're the first female character in a computer game to hit the big time. Do you think it will encourage more females to participate in playing these games?

A: I certainly hope so. Yeah I am sure it will, but I think Tomb Raider has already brought video games into more people's lives, whether they are male or female. It has helped make them more mainstream - not just for spotty teenagers in dark bedrooms.

Q: Do you like to get to grips with the odd game or two yourself?

A: When I get the time, sure, but I am very busy and my schedule doesn't really allow me much time to indulge as often as I would like.

Q: What could be so important to hinder your desires for playing computer games?

A: Well [laughs], I do have to fund my jaunts every now and then. I publish some adventure novels based on my travels and write various articles and abstracts for various scholarly publications. And then I do like to do some real adventuring myself as you may have gathered.

Q: Some people would say you are a protagonist of Girl Power, some have even referred to you as Virtual Spice. Are you comfortable with those analogies?

A: What people say or don't say isn't really relevant to me. If it inspires people to do something that they really want to do then I am all for it. It isn't as easy as it sounds. I don't know if you are aware but I was the only survivor of a plane crash on may way home from a school trip. I was stranded in the Himalayas for almost two weeks. It had a profound effect on me. The experience convinced me that life was for living and that I was going to make the most of it.

Q: Your adventures have brought you to many exotic locations. Have you any plans to visit Ireland?

A: I'd love to go to Ireland, it really appeals to me. My great grandmother was Irish, you know - she lived in Chapelizod on the outskirts of Dublin. But really I have no plans as of yet and anyway you would just assume it would be a location in my next adventure.

Q: So, the question we all want to know - there will be another Tomb Raider?

A: Well nobody knows right now. Everybody including myself needs a good break before any talk of another game.

Q: Tomb Raider has often been compared to Mario 64 on the Nintendo. Have you ever met the man himself?

A: No, though I am a great admirer of his work (but I also have been known to shoot small, fast moving targets).

Q: Yes, you have been known to down a few animals with your Uzis, you're obviously not a great animal lover.

A: On the contrary - I love animals. I only ever use my weapons in self-defence. I don't do it for fun you know!

Q: Finally, where do you see yourself in 10 years' time? Do you plan to stay around in video games or have you any other plans?

A: Well there are all sorts of discussions going on at the moment so who knows what the future entails. But one thing is for sure I won't be needing a body double in this millennium or the next. Vrh stranice

Copyright 1998 the Irish Times.