|The following is the text
of a speech given by Lara Croft to the
inmates at The Royal College of
If I could offer you only
one tip for the future, the wearing of
combat boots would be it. The long term
benefits of wearing combat boots have
been proved by soldiers down through the
ages, whereas the rest of my advice has
no basis more reliable than my own
meandering experience. I will dispense
this advice now. Listen or else.
Enjoy the power and beauty
of your guns. Oh, never mind. You will
not understand the power and beauty of
your guns until they've rusted. But trust
me, in 20 years, you'll look back at
photos of yourself festooned with all
that awesome firepower and recall in a
way you can't grasp now how many targets
lay before you and how fabulous you
really looked cradling all that weaponry.
You are not as innocent as some imagine.
Don't worry about the
future. Or worry, but know that worrying
is as effective as trying to survive a
nasty spike wall trap while listening to
Prodigy on your walkperson. The real
troubles in your adventurous career are
apt to be things that never crossed your
worried mind, like the kind that stab a
spear through the back of your head to
remind you to finish off all those
underdevloped native peoples whom you've
been slaughtering all day.
Do a couple of dozen things
a day that scare you.
Shoot. Often and ruthlessly.
Don't be reckless with other
people's hearts. Don't put up with people
who want to rip out yours and offer it to
Don't waste your time on
jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead,
sometimes you're behind. The race is long
and, in the end, you'll get the bastard
in the big climactic scene anyway.
Remember the big cheques you
receive. Forget the multitude of bills
for damages incurred in your adventures.
If you succeed in doing this, tell me
Keep your old death threats.
Throw away your old ammo invoices.
Stretch. Always stretch
before a mission. It's a complete pain
pulling a quad while 60kays deep into the
Don't feel guilty if you end
up costing a lot of people their lives.
The most interesting people I hardly ever
knew didn't know at 22 that they existed
only to sacrifice themselves to my ends
(as written into the plot). Some of the
most interesting people I've as not yet
met still don't.
Get plenty of ammunition.
And be kind to all those items in your
inventory. You'll miss them when they're
Whatever you do, don't
congratulate yourself too much, or berate
yourself either. Your choices are half
chances at best. Everyone else who're up
against you has much much less than that.
Enjoy your body. Pose it in
every magazine you can. Threaten
litigation when others misuse your
appearance. It's the greatest moneymaker
you'll ever own.
Work out, even if you have
nowhere to do it but your mansion.
Read the walkthroughs, even
if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty
magazines. Those bastard gossip columns
spreading evil malicious rumours about
you in them will only make you feel
Get to know your
programmers. Be nice to your fellow comic
stablemates. They're your best link to
your future bank balance and the people
most likely to stick a knife in you in
Understand that friends come
and go, but with a precious few you
should hold on as they will eventually
become useful to your progress in the
adventure. Work hard to bridge the gaps
in geography and lifestyle, because the
further you travel, the more you need the
people who supply you with all that ammo.
Live in a Tibetan monastery
at least once, but leave before it drives
you mad with it's ambient background
music. Live in Venice once, but leave
before you drown due to lack of air
Accept certain inalienable
truths: Ancient forgotten continents will
rise. Old acquaintances will fall to
evil. You, too, will be shot at. And when
you are, you'll fantasise that when you
were safe, the cover was reasonable,
those acquaintances were friendly, and
that game designers once respected their
Respect your designers.
Don't expect anyone else to
support you. Maybe you might sell a few
million copies a go. Maybe you'll have a
wealthy software publishing house. But
you never know when either might run out
of money - and then it's a case of
knock-off sequelitis again.
Don't mess too much with
your ponytail or by the time you're 40 it
will look like a bad perm job gone wonky.
Please remember that advice
is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is
a way of fishing the past from the
disposal, wiping it off, painting over
the cracks and displaying it in a museum
for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the
© 1999 snark^