Welcome, adventurer, and let us show you the wonders of our tomb (or website, but
that sounds much more boring).
Scroll, read and explore!
Welcome, adventurer, and let us show you the wonders of our tomb (or website, but
that sounds much more boring).
About the website
In the Czech Republic, a long, long time ago...
(or in year 2005, to write the truth)
...a man nicknamed Pablo Fuentes decided to create something nice. In spite of his nickname, he was (and still is) Czech and, what is more important, was (and still is) a huge Tomb Raider franchise fan. That led him to clutches of the DxTre3D level editor. He thought:
“I really like this game. I’d love to make something similar,
something to show how much I like this game.”
And so he started working on his level Brazilia
(if you want to know more about it, you can check it out in the Levels section).
During its creation, Pablo had another idea:
“What if I created a website to share the news about my level?”
And, because it was the time when Tomb Raider: Legend was in the making, he decided to include some news about the seventh Tomb Raider game. That’s how LadyCroft.cz was born, on June 25th 2005.
He soon met the second team member, Arakanga, on a Czech Tomb Raider level making forum. She loved the series as well and, when he asked her on March 20th 2006, if she would like to help him with the webpages, she said yes without a single thought. LadyCroft cz slowly grew and started focusing not only on Tomb Raider: Legend news, but also on various leaked information about the previous installment, Angel of Darkness.
Several team members had come and gone, but only one stayed: constantine, who has been relentlessly working on the webpages since July 1st 2010 (but since he was helping long before that, we’re not sure about the exact date he joined the team for the first time). His web developer skills have been vital to the current look and functioning of the webpages.
And now for some interesting facts about LadyCroft.cz:
We hold regular Tomb Raider fan meetings. During these, we either visit various adventure-related events and places (to name a few examples, we visited Indiana Jones-themed escape room, visited the Folimanka Civil Underground Shelter and participated in a golem-themed adventure in the Prague Castle area), or we simply relax in tearooms and play board games. These are handmade by the LadyCroft.cz team and all have Tomb Raider theme (more in the Board games section).
Despite not being as active as we would like to be, all three of us have already published fan-made Tomb Raider levels. These include constantine’s Back to Basics (Greece) submission, Pablo’s Brazilia and Brazilia Reloaded, Arakanga’s Legacy Christmas, the three-part anniversary level for our website and finally, the first part of our planned game, Tomb Raider Legacy: the Secret of Babylon (more in Levels section).
And that’s not all. Keep exploring!
Pablo Fuentes (became a team member as long ago as LadyCroft.cz can remember. The historians say it was on the day it was founded, 25th of June 2005). He loves animals, good TV series, coffee and travelling. He is constantly trying to surpass Lara in number of visited countries, in vain. He has no favorite Tomb Raider game, but his most frequently played one was Tomb Raider 3...or Tomb Raider 5...or perhaps no. 2. Now is a good time to mention that he is hopelessly indecisive. He mostly writes articles for LadyCroft.cz, but he used to create levels in DxTre3D. He no longer plays other games because his computer would probably willingly fall to pieces rather than run anything newer than 2013. However, he loves to remember the classics, such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill and good old Nightmare Creatures.
Arakanga (became a team member on March 20th 2006) is a constantly sleep-deprived cat-obsessed coffee lover. Even though it has been over 11 years since she started working on LadyCroft.cz, she still doesn’t know what her favorite Tomb Raider game is (Tomb Raider 2 and Angel of Darkness are locked in an eternal struggle for this position). She likes books, drawing, singing and most art-related stuff. Except for Tomb Raider series, she also enjoys Legacy of Kain, Mass Effect, Guild Wars 2 and Overwatch. Most of her current work for the webpages revolves around the Lara’s Diary project, with an occasional song re-texting. However, she likes to visit NGLE now and then and suffer a bit because, you know, that’s what people do in NGLE.
Constantine (became a full team member on July 1st 2010, but has been helping with the website even before that) is a website enthusiast and a bookworm. And a gamer. And coffee and tea addict, probably. He is a proud owner of two canary birds (Usire, Maat) and two French bulldogs (Pierre & Larson). His favorite Tomb Raider games are Tomb Raider 4 (have we mentioned he is an Egypt-junkie?) and Angel of Darkness. Other games he likes are Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Mirror’s Edge and Overwatch. He is the technical guru of the webpage, programming all the functionality of our website. Other than that and writing articles, he is also streaming Tomb Raider (and other Egypt- or archeology-related games) on our Twitch channel.
Our meetings have been taking place since 2006 and we’ve had quite a few over the years.
The first LadyCroft.cz meeting took place in the summer of 2006. 5 Tomb Raider fans who had only been communicating through internet met in Prague: Pablo, Arakanga, constantine and our then-team members Sethes and EQUUD. This first meeting set the trend of visiting tearooms. Another trend that we like to hold is writing reports and taking pictures. Currently we have 16 separate categories with schedules of these meetings, reports and photo galleries.
Despite the past irregularity, now we usually organize the meetings twice a year, one in summer and one in winter, always in our capital, Prague. Thanks to the official fansite programme, we can also organize various knowledge competitions for prices donated by Square Enix (they always take place during the meetings and are usually won by our frequent visitor, Potkanka). Our other activities include playing Tomb Raider board games (hand-made, more in the separate section) and visiting various history or mythology-related places.
The latest, 16th meeting, had us walking around the Prague Castle area and solving various riddles about the mythical artificial being, the Golem. We’re very much looking forward to our next meeting in summer because, unlike now, we won’t almost freeze to death while adventuring.
Our board games evolved very, very slowly. At first, we merely created basic grids with numbers that each stood for a Tomb Raider-related question. While we do have a picture of these first attempts, we prefer not to share it. It’s way too embarrassing.
The first board game in which we unleashed our creative powers was done for the 6th meeting. The game board itself was drawn by hand and so were the player characters. We created 2 groups: the villains started their journey from the graveyard (because Lara does not leave many people alive) and Lara’s friends from Croft Manor. The players could step on 4 colors, each one of them representing a different category of tasks: pantomime, Tomb Raider knowledge, picture tasks and audio clues. There was also one nasty surprise for our players: a carnivore med pack. The players could also save their progress using save crystals. As for us, the admins took on a role of the ultimate evil: a unicorn guarding the water of life.
The second major game we created was SaboTR (Tomb Raider Saboteur), a hand-drawn Saboteur inspired game. We used markers to create path tiles that our visitors used to create ways to reach possible treasure locations. One part of the players was trying to sabotage the progress; however no one knew who was attempting to disrupt it and who was earnestly trying to reach the artifact.
The next card game we created, Crazy Villains, was drawn digitally and the game it was based on was Sitting Ducks, only this time there were no ducks. The players each took on a role of a Tomb Raider villain and the goal was to eliminate the remaining villains. Despite the rushed creation (most of the game was colored the morning of the meeting and our visitors were even helping us to cut the cards), the game was successfully accepted and enjoyed by our visitors.
The second digitally drawn card game was Gloom Raider and it was named by one of our visitors, Fil. It was based on the card game Gloom; every player had a family with a different theme (we had Croft manor, T-Rex, Egyptian, LadyCroft.cz and Atlantis) and they had to make the family suffer as much as possible, and then kill them off (because the more they suffer when alive, the happier they’ll be in their afterlife). The game was very difficult to make because it included re-creating and re-writing of tens of cards, each one unique and specific for the Tomb Raider universe.
The last card game is rather recent; it is called Murderous Archaeology and it is a bluffing game loosely based on the concept of the card game Coup. It is a game of trickery and pretense and does not require as much space and preparation as many of our other games, that’s why it has become very popular during our meetings. There are currently 2 versions: The first one is in a card form for tearoom meetings.
The other one is drawn on wooden discs for outdoor ones. Because artefacts are used as a payment in this game, we also created tokens with hand-drawn items from various Tomb Raider games.
There are various fan-made levels we have created over the years,
so here is a small list.
- The first level this webpage ever mentioned was Brazilia, Pablo’s first creation.
- After Brazilia, the LadyCroft.cz team (then only Pablo and Arakanga) decided to start a much more ambitious project. Its first part, Tomb Raider Legacy: The Secret of Babylon, was published as a two-part game with an intro, an outro and a menu. The project has its own separate webpage, but it is in Czech only.
- Sometime after that, Arakanga released a short Christmas level as a surprise for the visitors, called Legacy Christmas.
- Pablo decided he wanted to re-create Brazilia using the new skills he acquired during Secret of Babylon creation. The result is Brazilia Reloaded.
- On the 10th anniversary of LadyCroft.cz, the team released a three-part game celebrating the webpages. The game is in Czech only.
- In 2015, constantine was the first team member to successfully finish the Back to Basics challenge. His level was called The Horn of Amalthea.
Tomb Raider song re-texting is our newest project that we’re slowly preparing for publication. Since we are music enthusiasts, we thought it would be a good idea to change lyrics to some well-known songs to ones with a Tomb Raider feel. The songs we choose are usually ones from Disney movies or popular/well-known songs.
The songs are not only re-texted, but will also be recorded with lyric videos.
The ones ready for recording are so far:
- Drop Dead Maybe? (Call Me Maybe, a song about Lara’s relationship with Pierre and Larson)
- Can You Feel The Pain Tonight (Can You Feel The Love Tonight, a painful song about traps in a tomb)
- Shoot Them All (Let It Go, a song about Lara’s exploration of pyramids in Tomb Raider 4)
- I Will Die (Touch The Sky, a song about the fate of Lara’s mother in Legend and Underworld)
- I Will Make a Level Using You (I Will Make a Man Out Of You, a song of two desperate level creators struggling with TRLE/NGLE)
- I Dreamed of Reboot (I Dreamed a Dream, Lara’s thoughts on the 2013 reboot of her franchise)
When these are recorded, we will upload them to our YouTube channel.
Our other projects
LadyCroft.cz is not a single project: some of our side projects include:
- Lařin deník (Lara’s Diary) is our newest project and the only one done primarily in English. It summarizes Lara’s adventures through creative writing, by describing her journeys in a form of a diary written from her perspective. Currently, the diary has been translated to Czech and continues in both languages. We also added a list of characters that Lara has met so far.
- Občasník, an irregular webzine about fan-made levels. There are three kinds of articles: traditional reviews, let’s plays and recommended levels.
- Lařina dílnička (Lara’s Workshop) is still being prepared, but it already includes several articles on level creation. Since it is difficult to find instructions for TRLE/NGLE in Czech, we decided to translate and summarize the basic level making processes for our visitors.
- Nicatadytakynic is the name under which we sometimes shoot amateur-ish movies and short sketches. Some of our projects include a two-part comedy Lara and Her Friends and the horror movie Schitzophrenia.
- Legacy is the previously mentioned fan-made game we’re working on. Despite scarcity of updates, we still plan to release the next part one day.
- Blog is exactly what it says; if we have some news that is not very significant or more personal, we use this part of LadyCroft.cz. For example, we used the blog for humorous articles on how we created the anniversary level (the suffering!) or about preparations for Manchester Expo.
And that’s it! Thank you for reading and if you are interested in any of our project, please, check their respective webpages (and leave comment, because that makes us feel appreciated or downright loved).