Lara Croft is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Square Enix (previously Eidos Interactive) video game franchise Tomb Raider. She is presented as a highly intelligent, athletic, and beautiful English archaeologist who ventures into ancient tombs and hazardous ruins around the world. Created by a team at British developer Core Design that included Toby Gard, the character first appeared in the video game Tomb Raider in 1996. Core Design handled initial development of the character and the series. Inspired by Neneh Cherry and comic book character Tank Girl, Gard designed Lara Croft to counter stereotypical female characters. The company modified the character for subsequent titles, which included graphical improvements and gameplay additions. American developer Crystal Dynamics took over the series after the 2003 sequel Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was received poorly. The new developer rebooted the character along with the video game series. The company altered her physical proportions, and gave her additional ways of interacting with game environments. Croft has been voiced by six actresses in the video game series: Shelley Blond (1996), Judith Gibbins (1997–98), Jonell Elliott (1999–2003), Keeley Hawes (2006–14), Camilla Luddington (2013–present), and Abigail Stahlschmidt (2015).
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