Tomb Raider 2013 10th Anniversary!

Lara’s Studio Anniversary Special with surprise guest Earl Baylon!

March 5th 2023 Anniversary Edition

Here we are 10 years have already passed. 10 years of playing the first game of the survivor series, Tomb Raider 2013!

Tomb Raider 2013 reboot possessed a fine element of horror that kept you on your toes, played your nerves, kept your stomach tense and on the edge of your seat. All this while young Lara (also known as little bird so named by her best friend Jonah Maiava, and played by the wonderful Earl Baylon) dragged us with her through her perilous journey in Yamatai. Lara found herself on a mission against a rueful magical Queen known as Himiko and her angry spirit trapped on an island in the dragon’s triangle off the coast of Japan.

Of course, Lara saves the day, but before she does she’s immersed in blood, battles ancient Stormtroopers guarding their Queen and a pack of mercenaries led by a maniac known as Matthias. She endures dismembered body parts, cannibals, poisonous gas, a horrifying repressed general populace and a survival mission unknown in anything Lara ever experienced. This game walks the tightrope between complete terror, jump scares, realistic situations and imagery that is the stuff of nightmares. But we as fans love it! We’re drawn to it more and more! With each day nervously awaiting the next foe around each corner and wondering what the next horrifying situation will hold for our heroin. It even made us wonder at one point if she would be raped but thankfully she never was.

Being a game rated “M” for mature it takes you through the paces of good old-fashioned horror mixed with plenty of gore and violence and waves and waves of mercenaries for Lara to slaughter or she would be. She plays the local legends, finds artifacts on the side and explores unusual challenge tombs as well.

However, this new Lara Croft appeals to many people and it changed many people’s lives down through the years that have played this incredible trilogy. So I bring to you some thoughts to ponder. Thoughts like what were you doing when the first game came out, and did the game inspire you? Were you too young to play? Did Lara inspire you to see the world?, Study archeology, be adventurous etc. Did the first reboot Tomb Raider change your life? These are the questions some very talented guests will answer and much more as they tell their compelling stories of what Tomb Raider 2013 means to them.

So allow me to welcome my special guests and one special surprise guest! Earl Baylon! Along with Scion Jay, Nik, Synnyster Fusion and Alex. Five outstanding people I am so pleased could be here! So let’s get on with it, and welcome Earl Baylon the kind and talented man behind Jonah Maiava and so much more!

Back in 2015, I interviewed Earl (find the interview HERE), because he was kind enough to agree to one that is still on my official site. You could call this a follow up. I am so honored and appreciative he agreed to a second interview or question and answer segment! So, without further ado, Mr. Earl Baylon!

When you played the beloved character Jonah in the iconic Tomb Raider 2013 what was your favorite area of the game? And what was the scariest part?

My favorite… tough, but I’m going to sayShipwreck Beach. It just felt really open, and I loved traversing all the way from the Endurance crew basecamp all the way to the top of the mountain. The scariest part for me was the sequence with The Descent-esque shot of Lara rising from the pool of blood, and basically all the parts where you’re hiding from the Stormguard/Oni. 

How did playing your character in Tomb Raider 2013 as well as Rise and Shadow impact your life? 

Well, first of all, it was my first really big gig, so it was the first time I got to play at that level of the gaming industry. I learned a lot about acting in and for that space. Also, I was introduced to an awesome, die-hard fandom!

Other than “little bird” or Lara, what’s your favorite character from Tomb Raider 2013?
I may have mentioned this before, but was a fan of Grim! There’s something about a curmudgeonly ship’s captain that entertains me to no end. 

And what did you feel about your character’s development and progression throughout the three Tomb Raider story plots?

I’m really glad we started to see more of Jonah’s personality and a bit of his backstory in the subsequent games. For me, it made it easier to understand the character and his motivations for the cutscenes in SOTTR. Even the 2018 film kinda informs my view of the character, despite the fact that it was released after we finished shooting the Shadow, and Jonah’s nowhere to be found in it! 

Also, what are your thoughts in general about the three games Tomb Raider 2013, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider?

I honestly think they’re a lot of fun. I credit 2013 with actually getting me back into single-player Action Adventure games. But I do tend to enjoy more puzzle/exploration-heavy gameplay, and the SOTTR really scratched that itch.

I think it would also be cool to know if you’ve played the games through and if you enjoy the soundtrack music to Tomb Raider 2013.  

Oh definitely. I have a 100% save on both 2013 and Rise. The only reason I don’t have one on Shadow is that I did several quick playthroughs while I was streaming, so I was pretty distracted while going through the game, haha.

And your thoughts about Rise and Shadow.

I had a lot of fun playing both rise and Shadow – they’re both beautiful games. The introduction of the three different pillars of difficulty in Shadow is something that I loved and I hope other games would incorporate in the future! Also, I thought the tombs in the DLCs were satisfying to solve.

Earl’s Bio he included from his website!

Haha, here’s the bio from my website: 
Earl Baylon is an Actor/Improviser/Voice Artist/Sometimes writer/producer based in Los Angeles, CA.

He was born many years ago in the lowlands of East Hollywood, soon after which he was kidnapped by his “parents,” who brought him to live in the mythical land of Long Beach, CA with their “family.” Earl yeeted off to UC, Irvine where he majored in Biological Sciences and did every possible other thing besides his schoolwork.

Earl is currently the Artistic Director of ROOM TO IMPROV, an Asian-American improv troupe serving the LA community… and beyond! You can hear him in the latest TOMB RAIDER video game trilogy including the most recent game in the franchise, SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER.

He currently serves as Associate Producer and actor on the feature film LUMPIA WITH A VENGEANCE.

In his “free time” Earl yells at plastic polyhedrals and traipses repeatedly through the underworld with the help of blessings from his Olympian kinfolk in an effort to escape his father’s domain and find his estranged mothe

And what are you up to these days. 
I’ve unfortunately had to take a step back from streaming as much of my time is taken up these days auditioning for stuff both on-camera and in the voice booth, as well as trying to get some writing done on some original projects. The feature film I’ve been working on as an associate producer, Lumpia with a Vengeance, had our run in theaters last October, as well as panels at SDCC and ECCC 2022. We’re working on a way to get it out to a wider audience soon! Very grateful to still be working on very cool projects that I can’t wait to share in the coming year! 

Thank you, Earl! It was a pleasure to have you here and read your input about Tomb Raider 2013 and the trilogy as a whole! What a special guy!

Twitter account!

Earl’s Website

Also don’t forget to check out Earl’s updated Reels!

Now let’s continue the fun and welcome Scion Jay!


If you are into Virtual Photography odds, or you certainly have heard about Jay, as well as seen his amazing work! The lighting elements fall into place in every piece he creates. His deep compassion for the game and Lara Croft is part of the layers within his photos! So, let’s read more about this fine virtual photographer through his testimony!

Tomb Raider 2013 was a very special game for me for so many reasons. For my whole life up until that point Lara was always so much older than me and for the first time me and her were close in age and it felt so cool being able to relate to her in that way. The game itself was so exciting because it was such a departure and I just remember all the publicity and hype surrounding it. And as a life long Tomb Raider fan it was amazing to see her literally everywhere at that time. I also loved that they gave it such a horror inspired atmosphere as it’s one of my favorite genres outside of adventure.

As an origin story it was absolutely perfect. We saw her grow from inexperienced and scared to so incredibly brave and strong. Ending with her using her dual pistols finally was the ending we all wanted. The game itself was incredibly inspiring. She just kept moving. No matter what was thrown at her she kept pushing to be able to save the ones she cared about and I think that’s so admirable. To this day whenever life is getting tough I think to myself “just keep moving” and I learned that from Lara herself.

And here is more of his awesome photos for you all to enjoy!

I had the pleasure of featuring Jay on my first launch of “Lara’s Studio” You can find that feature HERE as well as his

His Twitter

His Twitch

Off we go again to read another testimony of the game from Synnyster Fusion that shows his deep compassion for Lara Croft. He has a lot of talent and imagination. I featured his work HERE on Lara’s Studio last September. Feel free to check it out!

Read the testimony:

Hi everyone! I’m SynnFusion and I am a relatively new Tomb Raider fan. My first true Tomb Raider experience was on May 21st 2020 when the pandemic struck, I’d move to a new city for my job, and I decided to try out Tomb Raider by playing the new trilogy in the pandemic’s isolation.

Tomb Raider 2013 was a profoundly life changing experience to say the least. I suppose the loneliness of a pandemic and being in a new city for the first time created a perfect storm of conditions for obsession and hyperfixation to take over.. I’d say my love for the character Lara Croft is a bit different than many in the community. It’s true that I have a very real crush on Lara, and I’ve developed an internet personality centered around memes of a fictional romance, but in reality my love for the character represents something much deeper. To me, Lara Croft is a symbol for the kind of strong and extraordinary woman I aspire to be respected by, and the grittiness of the 2013 reboot really solidified this symbol in my mind.

The way that a young college graduate bloodied, bruised, and afraid was driven to rip apart an entire island full of murderous inhabitants just to save her best friend was deeply inspirational and beautiful. Her story was presented in such a way that made it seem as if someone like her could actually exist, and this made her all the more terrifying to me. I do not wish to be like Lara nor live vicariously through her. Rather, I seek to live my life so that if I ever meet anyone like her, they will be as inspired by me as I am they, and will have me as part of their team, or perhaps consider me a worthy adversary *evil laugh*.

I will give one shout out to an extra special friend of Lara’s, Jonah Maiava. In my view, Jonah stands as the epitome of examples of how strong men should behave in the presence of extraordinarily strong women. I hate to use the heavily controversial term, “fragile masculinity”, but if there is any man in fiction or reality whose masculine presence is anything but fragile, it’s Jonah. Lesser men may be intimidated by Lara’s brilliance and extraordinary skills in weaponry and combat (myself included, I daresay), but Jonah merely supports her, lets her know when she’s faltered, and helps guide her on the right path.

Now, in the real-world Lara has brought me to an extraordinary community of people who love, are inspired by, and revere the character Lara Croft for an enormous diversity of reasons. We’re a rowdy bunch sometimes, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now let us enjoy his great photos of Lara. He didn’t have any from the 2013 game, but that is fine because his talent shows through in any photos about the trilogy he creates.

Of course, you can find him on his Twitter account HERE as well as his Twitch account HERE

Okay, now let’s welcome Nik! I had the pleasure of featuring him on my Lara’s Studio in January 2023! You can find his feature HERE


Read Nik’s testimony:

Happy 10th Anniversary, Tomb Raider!

I can‘t believe that it‘s been ten years already! I still remember the day the game was released vividly and can almost retrace everything I did that day step by step because I was so incredibly excited that the whole day burned itself into my memory.

My journey with this game started off a little rocky, but my initial doubts quickly morphed into pure love.

When the game was first announced, I was around 12 years old and used to visit the official Tomb Raider website religiously in hopes of news for Lara‘s next adventure. I could probably draw the site’s layout in my sleep even now, so many years later.

So, on some random day in 2011, 12-year-old me, impatiently waiting for news, visits the TR site like every other day and is suddenly met with an artwork of some dirty and bloody woman kneeling in front of shipwrecks. To say I was utterly confused is an understatement. My initial confusion went so far that I double and triple-checked if I had entered the URL correctly – I had, and so I unknowingly met the new Lara, thinking to myself „That‘s not Lara Croft. Who is that woman?“

Then I watched the Turning Point Trailer. I barely understood a thing – English is not my first language – but I didn’t have to; the visuals spoke for themselves. A young woman, a little unsure of herself but ready to embark on an adventure, thrust into an unimaginable situation. She’s lost and hurt, stranded on a hostile island where many have died before her. But she persists, she faces the dangers of what‘s ahead of her. She fights. She survives. She stands tall against all odds.

That is when I knew she was Lara Croft after all.

Following this revelation, I sucked up every bit of news I could get my hands on, and with each and every new piece of information I got more excited; I even bought a PS3 in preparation for the game‘s release – which then got delayed and devastated me a great deal.

And then the big day finally arrived – I had a class test that day, got my hair cut, and picked up the game on my way home.

Of course, I started playing immediately, and I was captivated from the very first second. Everything was so very different from what I had been used to, but for me, it still felt like I was getting the Tomb Raider experience – just in a slightly altered and modernized way.

I didn’t want to put the controller down, I wanted to know how the story would progress and keep on playing, so the next following days I would get up in the middle of the night to play, despite having school the next day.

My favorite moment in the game has to be climbing the radio tower. Every time I replay it, I get chills, my hands become sweaty, and the height makes me dizzy. That scene is so well done; the camera work, the music building up and driving you forward, and that small glimmer of hope once the S.O.S. goes through – it’s just too good!

One of the things that kept me engaged the most was the cast of characters and all their backstories that you get to learn bits and pieces about by exploring the world and finding their diaries. I’ve developed a particular soft spot for Jonah – he’s a pretty laid-back and relaxed guy at first glance, but he’s been through a lot and still manages to keep a positive spirit. Add to that that he’s loyal to a fault and so supportive of Lara, believing in her and standing by her side even after the island…he’s become one of my all-time favorite Tomb Raider characters.

However, what kept me playing and what keeps making me replay this game over and over again is Lara herself. Her growing from a girl that doesn’t have much faith in her abilities and second guesses herself to a hardened survivor who was forced to make hard choices, to take lives and face the supernatural to make her escape from that hostile island…Seeing her evolve and change throughout the game is so inspiring, and it showed me a completely different side of a character that I’ve loved for my entire life and made me fall in love with her even more.

When I finished the game for the first time, I was sad that it was over. But at the same time, I felt a sense of accomplishment.

It felt like I had survived the horrors of the island with Lara and like I had grown alongside her. I hold the memory of that feeling very close to my heart and I will be forever grateful to have been able to experience Lara‘s journey with her.

She has taught me to stand up for myself, trust my instincts, and believe in myself, even when everything around me falls apart, even when there’s no one there to lend a hand.

But most importantly, she has taught me to just keep moving. You will make it through anything life throws at you as long as you keep moving. There is always a way.

Lara inspires me every day, and I’ll forever be thankful for what she and this game have given me ❤

That is another wonderful testimony! Be sure to check Nik’s Twitter account Here Instagram and picashot

Now, on to his beautiful photos from Tomb Raider 2013!

Now let’s check out a fellow official admin. The very talented artist Alex. I featured Alex in Lara’s Studio in February 2023. You can find that feature HERE. He wrote a beautiful testimony. Let’s read it!


Hey everyone!

Firstly I would love to introduce myself. I’m Alex, Webmaster of  the Official Fansite called Tomb Raider Drawings, and also an artist and illustrator known as Arts by Alex online. 

Wow! To know that Tomb Raider 2013 passed it’s 10th year anniversary is surreal. I was about 12 years when the game was released and I remember my time waiting for that game as I was so excited about a new Tomb Raider game, and especially to discover Lara’s new vision by Crystal Dynamics.

I was basically reading articles and waiting for it to be released. 5th March 2013 came and the game was finally out what a strong comeback for our Lara: she now was younger, inexperienced and ready to survive in a new hostile world, while the game tells her evolution from a fresh bachelor student, ready to begin a new adventure, to a survivor, ready to fight for her life surviving deadly people and a dangerous island. It instantly had a new mood for the franchise: the game was now darker, bloodier, more mature than ever before and Lara’s evolution was really a strong and key part of the game. I remember trying to explore all the spots as I was fascinated, although I was little, to understand more about Yamatai and it’s people and legends.

I eventually, grew up, and explored that game again and again. Talking about Lara’s journey it certainly had an impact on me: i was connected to Lara starting from I was very little so that interest evolved constantly, but this game brought to the industry a fresh version of her, maintaining certain aspects that eventually were explored in the future games: she was young, which was a huge part for a more immersive aspect as I was a teenager back then, and to think i now have the same years she supposedly had back then it’s actually pretty insane don’t you think? Crystal Dynamics brought an interesting characterization of our beloved archeologist and it maintained huge expectations for the future of the franchise! I thank Camilla Luddington for bringing her to life, but also a huge applause to all the voice actors around the world for their portrayal of Lara! I can’t wait to know more about the saga’s future as a new Unified Timeline was announced back for the 25th Anniversary of the saga! 

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Tomb Raider 2013 i would love to share a past artwork I did for the 25th Anniversary, and features a reimagined cover art of Tomb Raider 2013! It features Lara with her iconic bow from the game, in a pose and mood which actually resembles an official key art released for the game back then: she is lonely, scared but ready to get through and fight what’s coming across her way. I wanted to make the island hostile, mysterious, with heavy rain, wind and a huge storm incoming to maintain the mood present in the original game and let the viewer really feel what’s going on in the artwork. I really hope you all will like it!

Once again, thanks Emma for letting me be part of this huge celebration and remember…”The extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are”

Happy celebrations!

That was an awesome testimony I enjoyed reading. Thank you, Alex! Now, I did say he is a talented artist. This is quite clear when you see his work. He included a very special piece. It is a reimagined cover art. It is the one he mentioned in his testimony. It is beautiful! This is to commemorate Tomb Raider 2013! One has text and one has none.

You can find Alex at the following links!




Oh what a fun time this has been to put together! What a great group of people to do this with and celebrate 10 years of Tomb Raider 2013! Thank you to all of you once again! If you could see the smile on my face right now you would know how happy I am!

Nine years ago when I started my website, I didn’t know anyone or if my idea for my website would even work. Mostly because I hadn’t seen any others like it before. But I thought I’d give it a shot, which I did, and I never dreamed it would become official a couple years later, and I would become an ambassador for the franchise among others, and find so much support throughout my time as a site and still am. I took to Twitter in 2015 and discovered more friends and the official Tomb Raider site as well. And the wheels started turning on becoming an official site from that point on!
This marks my 7th year of being an official site by the way, and it’s been wonderful! Here’s to more!, And many more years celebrating this wonderful franchise known as Tomb Raider!

So, I bid you all a fond farwell until next month with another Lara’s Studio for April! Also remember like myself and Lara,

Explore The World!

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