At the end of every journey – after friendships are forged or dissolved, traps disarmed, enemies dispatched, and tombs raided – is an item. A relic. An artifact.
Lara Croft’s adventures center on myths, and these treasures are manifestations of those myths. The physical proof that long forgotten rituals, cultures, or even worlds did exist.
Often these items are too dangerous to be exposed to humanity, and as such they end tucked safely away in the trophy room of Croft Manor. Here are some of the trinkets at the heart of Lara Croft’s greatest adventures.
Atlantian Scion: The artifact Natla tasked Lara with recovering in the original Tomb Raider, the Scion was created by a triumvirate of Atlantian rulers, Qualopec, Tihocan, and Natla. Separated into three pieces, it represented their joint leadership in governing Atlantis. A mighty power source, the Scion was a generator for the Great Pyramid, providing the energy needed to grow an army of Atlanteans inside the hatcheries. Natla used the Scion for her own genetic experiments, and when she was found out, Tihocan and Qualopec condemned her to imprisonment and hid her piece away. They were each buried with their two remaining fragments. Lara shot the Scion in her final confrontation with Natla, breaking it into pieces.
Dagger of Xian: The Dagger of Xian was the main artifact Lara sought in Tomb Raider II, used by a brutal emperor long ago to gain an edge over his enemies. According to legend, if you plunged the dagger into your heart you’d be transformed into a dragon. The emperor ruled until a monk took advantage of the battlefield chaos. Creeping under the dragon, the monk pulled the dagger out and ended the emperor’s reign. The monks hid the dagger away in the Temple of Xian at the Great Wall of China. While Marco Bartoli got his hands on the dagger and proved his faith by plunging it into his chest, Lara bested him even in his dragon form.
Meteorite Artefacts: Once again unknowingly hired by someone with mal-intent, Lara was after four meteorite artefacts in Tomb Raider III. The objects were carved by Polynesians from a meteorite that landed in Antarctica long ago. The artifacts were abandoned in Antarctica, only to be found by the sailors of the HMS Beagle in 1834. They returned to London and took the artifacts separate ways. Each individual artifact granted the holder a unique power, and when assembled in their place of origin, they had evolutionary effects. A fifth artifact, called the Hand of Rathmore, was revealed in Tomb Raider III’s The Lost Artifact
- The Infada Stone: Found in India and imbued powers of levitation and fiery projectiles.
- Eye of Isis: This artifact ended up in the hands of Sophia Leigh, who integrated it into her beauty regime to stop the process of ageing. It also allowed the wielder to fire energy bolts.
- Element 115: Found in Area 51 of Nevada, Element 115 doesn’t have a defined power as it wasn’t used against Lara in battle.
- Ora Dagger: Recovered in the South Pacific, the dagger was in the hands of a cannibalistic tribe, and it granted the user the power to summon beasts and energy orbs.
- Iris: In the training level of The Last Revelation, Lara and Werner Von Croy raced to recover the Iris in a test of skills. Werner got to it first and set off a trap. Lara managed to escape with her life, assuming Von Croy had perished. Werner survives and takes the Iris with him, locking it up in Von Croy Industries, where Lara recovered it at a later date.
- Amulet of Horus: The cause of much consternation in The Last Revelation, The Amulet of Horus was more than just a pretty bauble. The gold ankh was created by the god Horus and his high priest Semerket to seal the evil Set away for all time. Lara discovered it in Egypt and removed it from its rightful place, setting Set free in the process.
- The Armor of Horus: Not all hope was lost, though. Lara learned she could call on Horus to battle with Set by tracking down his armor and reassembling the pieces. After tracking down the five pieces of divine armor, Set stepped in and interrupted before Horus could be fully summoned. Ultimately, Lara found a trap door to the temple and was able to close it with the ankh and seal Set inside once more.
- Iris: The Iris returned in Chronicles, and players were given extra insight into its powers. Lara broke into Von Croy Industries to retrieve it, using it as a power source to teleport herself into from one room to another. Von Croy appeared to still be researching the artifact. The research was drawn to a halt, as the Isis showed up in Lara’s trophy room in Tomb Raider III, implying that she successfully stole it.
- Philosopher’s Stone: In a recounted tale, Lara goes to Rome in search of the ultimate alchemist artifact, the Philosopher’s Stone. The stone was hidden behind the Philosopher’s Gate, which could only be unlocked by a series of other stones named after Mercury, Saturn, Mars, and Venus. As is rumored with the real stone, it turned metals into pure gold, so one could understand the extra protection it got from gargoyles and an assortment of gladiator foes.
- Spear of Destiny: The spear “when wielded at the vanguard of an army, would make that army invincible.” Lara traveled to Russia to find it, where it was rumored to live in the ruins of a German U-boat. Lara retrieved it, only to be forced to hand it over to the Russian gangster Sergei Mikhailov. However, the spear’s powers were unpredictable, and caused the Russian submarine to sink. With no witnesses, Lara left the spear to sit on the ocean floor unrecovered.
- Bestiary: One of Lara’s earliest finds, the bestiary is a book of arcane knowledge. Once you confront a demon from the Bestiary with its true name, you have control of said demon. The bestiary saves Lara and Father Bram from a grisly end, when she names the demon Verdilet and then orders it to disappear forever.
- The Sanglyph: At the heart of Angel of Darkness is the Sanglyph, an artifact created by the dark alchemist Eckhardt to aid him in reviving the Nephilim race. The Sanglyph required a special glove to wield because of the immense power. In order to avoid it being captured while he prepared to bring back the Nephilim, Eckhardt separated The Sanglyph into five pieces and hid them in the Obscura paintings.
- Eckhardt’s Glove: This special glove was needed to wield the Sanglyph, but also has power of its own, as seen in The Monstrum killings.
- Obscura Paintings: The only lead Lara had in Von Croy’s death is tracking down the five Obscura Paintings. The Obscura Paintings were created by Pieter Van Eckhardt to hide the Sanglyph pieces, each depicting evil imagery. Seized and painted over with religious imagery by Brother Obscura of the Lux Veritatis, they were hidden away to keep them out of Eckhardt’s hands.
- The Obscura Engravings: Five copies of the original Obscura Paintings were created, each acting as a map to the original’s location.
- Periapt Shards: These mystic weapons were used by the Lux Veritatis to lock away Pieter Van Eckhardt for centuries, and are also the only thing that can kill a Nephilim. Lara finds one in the Louvre, lost by Kurtis Trent. He didn’t leave empty handed, however, getting away with her Obscura Painting. Needing to work together, eventually they collected all three shards, which were used to kill Eckhardt.
- Excalibur: Trying to understand what happened to her mother after the crash in the Himalayas, Lara remembered seeing a sword, and eventually realized it was tied to the Arthurian legend of the sword and the stone. Rutland escapes Bolivia with the first piece of Excalibur, but Lara reclaims it in Ghana. She gets the second piece from Shogo Takamoto in Tokyo, the third in Kazakhstan, and the final in Cornwall, at the heart of King Arthur’s actual tomb. When combined, the sword opened a portal to the mysterious world of Avalon. The shards also granted power, including levitation and health regeneration.
- The Ghalali Key: The final piece of the puzzle, the Ghalali Key was needed to reassemble the sword. An ornamental bobble, Lara’s father found it in Ghana and gave it to Amelia as a present. She was wearing it the day of the plane crash, and Lara returned to the wreckage to recover it.
Atlantian Scion: In Anniversary, the Scion returned as the artifact at the heart of the story, but Natla expanded upon its powers further. She claimed she would use it to bring upon “the Seventh Age” and implied that she previously used the Scion to unleash the army of Atlantis upon itself, wiping it from history. She also positioned the Scion as housing “all the knowledge of the ancients” and that it could “create anything she desires.” Lara’s father weighed in through audio logs, saying he thinks the Scion may offer insight into what happened to Amelia.
- Thor’s Gauntlets: In Tomb Raider: Underworld Lara began to connect the dots between the myth of Avalon and that of other ancient cultures. She traveled to the Mediterranean, finding ties to Norse mythology and the first of Thor’s gauntlets. As she worked to uncover the gauntlet’s twin, she discovers that her father found it first decades past, but hid it under Croft Manor to keep it from Natla. Once both were collected, the player could move heavy objects adorned with special glyphs.
- Thor’s Belt: In order to power the gauntlets, Lara needed to retrieve Thor’s belt Megingjord, which she found in Southern Mexico. Protected by thralls in the Mayan underworld Xibalba, the location of the belt contributed to her theory of a monomyth connecting many great and ancient civilizations.
- Thor’s Hammer: The last piece of the puzzle was Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. Positioned as the key weapon against the Midgard serpent in the battle of Ragnarok. Lara found Thor’s hammer in Norway, and intended to use it to access Helheim in hopes of finding her mother. In combat, Thor’s hammer created powerful energy bolts, flinging enemies into the air.
Yamatai: In the 2013 reboot, Lara sought the truth more so than a specific artifact. Despite preparation and intense research, she still was surprised when the Endurance crashed upon the very real shores of Yamatai, an island only fabled until that day. As she explored Yamatai, she found relics from both recent and ancient history, finally stumbling upon the tomb of the Sun Queen Himiko. It was at this point that she began to understand the origin of the myth that shrouded the island in secrecy.
The Atlas: After the events on Yamatai Lara sought out a deeper understanding of the soul, which led her to investigating the lost city of Kitezh. Following mentions of an immortal prophet and something called "the divine source", Lara travels to Syria and eventually Siberia. Upon discovering a village of Remnants from the prophet’s pilgrims, she hears rumors of an object called The Atlas, supposedly a map to the lost city of Kitezh. Recovering the Atlas is the final step in entering the lost city, but with a clandestine organization called Trinity tailing her, entering the city was the easy part.
- Key of Chak Chel: Shadow saw Lara and Jonah making their way through Central and South America, tracking Trinity to understand and ultimately stop their endgame. Instead, Lara accidently sets in motion a Mayan apocalypse. Oops. The doomsday counter started after she picked up the Key of Chak Chel, an ancient obsidian dagger named after a Mayan goddess. Trinity’s leader Amaru relieves her of the dagger just prior to a massive flood – the first of four cataclysm triggered by the dagger. He intends to stop the “the cleansing” and remake the world in his ideal image.
- Silver Box of Ix Chel: Fortunately, Lara gleamed enough from the tomb and the dagger to head to Peru. In Peru Lara discovered the thriving legendary city of Paititi and banded together with its leader to stop trinity. As keys usually do, Lara learned the dagger had a counterpart – the Silver Box of Ix Chel. Uniting the key and the box will stop the end of the world. With help from Jonah and the residents of Paititi, Lara found the box, confronted Amaru, and made a very personal sacrifice to protect the world.