Welcome to Lara's Travel Guide, a remake of my original site feature which takes readers and/ or viewers on a fun tour of the locations and myths of the Tomb Raider series. Fancy educational reading? Or maybe you're the type to watch an informative video? Both options are available as you learn about the real legends, locations and histories that mirror the Tomb Raider series'.

Check back each week for a new segement of Lara's Travel Guide!

Lara's Travel Guide: Tomb Raider I

In Tomb Raider I, Lara Croft travels to four exotic locations in search of the fabled Scion of Atlantis. This short article will differ the real locations from the fictional.

Vilcabamba is, in fact, a real-world location. Research has shown me that it was the last city held by the Incans before the Spaniards wiped them out in 1572. It is a ruined city located in Peru and wasn’t rediscovered until 1911, but studies didn’t prove it was the Vilcabamba of Legend until the 1960s.

After searching St. Francis Folly and the Temple of Midas, I found that neither of the two locations are found in history. Midas, however, was a mythical king who had the ability to turn everything he touched into gold. Lara obviously didn’t read up on him enough.

Khamoon is another non-existent place that Lara visited in Tomb Raider 1. Nothing is written about an Egyptian city under that name.

I also did research on Tihocan, Qualopec and Natla, the three members of the triumvirate that ruled Atlantis and they were also completely fictional. Triumvirates, or three leaders each of equal power, are real and several countries are ruled by them, in case you were curious.

Atlantis is another big location in this game. Through the years, many people have attempted to find the lost city, but none were successful. The general legend of Atlantis, though, is that around 9600 BC, the great city housed one of the strongest naval powers in the world. But when they were unable to invade Athens, Greece, the island mysteriously sank in a single day and night into the sea.

Vilcabamba, Peru...Real!
St. Francis' Folly.....Fictional
Temple of Midas....Fictional
Khamoon, Egypt.....Fictional


Check out the official video on Hunter's Tomb Raider Talkshow!

Tomb Raider II, the second game in the Tomb Raider series, takes Lara Croft to four sprawling locations, from the secret crypts beneath the Great Wall of China, to the bottom of the sea. 

Lara’s journey begins in China, at the Great Wall where she is investigating the mystery behind the fabled Dagger of Xian. The Great Wall of China is a very real structure, and a major tourist attraction. The wall has been constructed and constantly renovated since the fifth century and is the only man-made structure visible from space. 

After meeting an unpleasant thug outside the door to the Temple of Xian, Lara jets off to Venice, Italy to hunt down the man named Marco Bartoli. Venice is another real place in our world, and one of the most beautiful in architecture if I may say so myself. It is often referred to as the “Sinking City” due to the fact that year by year, the city which is built atop a thousand small islands sinks slowly into the water. One of the main means of transportation in Venice is not a car or a train; it is, in fact, boats and gondolas. Venice, Italy is comprised of canals and aqueducts, just like it is portrayed in Tomb Raider II. If Lara hadn’t been racing to collect the Dagger of Xian, I’m sure she would’ve preferred a casual stroll through the streets. 

After blowing up a few buildings, Lara steals off to an offshore oil rig, where men are excavating a cruise liner called the Maria Doria. The Maria Doria is not a real location, but, I learned from my research that a Roman Church cardinal named Maria Doria was a relative of Andrea Doria, whose occupation was Admiral of the Fleet of Emperor Charles V. One of Doria’s ships was called The Andrea Doria which, coincidentally, sank to the bottom of the Nantucket reef after a collision with a Swedish-American cruise liner.  Sound a bit familiar?  

After her fun inside the Maria Doria, Lara ends up in Tibet searching for Barkhang Monastery. Barkhang Monastery, one of my favorite locations from Tomb Raider II, ended up being fictional. 

Having obtained the artifacts necessary to access the Dagger of Xian, Lara heads back to China to obtain her prize. So do a few trigger-friendly Italians. Xian is a region in China comprised of many temples and monasteries. It’s one of the oldest provinces of China dating back to 3100 BC. More research showed me that the legend about the Dagger of Xian is fictional. Although it isn’t real, the creators did an excellent job with what history they had to work with. I especially enjoyed learning about the Maria Doria, as one would think it’s the last location to have any historical reference.

The Great Wall, China...Real!
Venice, Italy..................Real!
The Maria Doria............Historically Referenced!
Barkhang Monastery......Fictional
Xian, China....................Real!
Temple of Xian (TRII)....Fictional