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Thursday, March 18, 1999 Published at 18:08 GMT


'Nude Raiders' face legal action

Nude Raider: Lara Croft's popular alter ego

She's scantily clad at the best of times, but when Lara Croft started appearing on the Internet without even the trademark hotpants and rubber vest, her creators stepped in with the threat of legal action.

Arguably single-handedly responsible for the term "cyberbabe", Lara became an overnight, worldwide icon as the star of the Indiana Jones-style Tomb Raider computer game.

[ image: The Nude Raider web ring]
The Nude Raider web ring
But in recent months it seems that a section of her fan base has taken its devotion to the curvaceous archaeologist a step too far by creating an extensive web ring of Internet sites devoted to amateur images of the character's "Nude Raider" alter ego.

Core Design - developers of all three Tomb Raider adventures - have decided enough is enough and are considering legal action in a bid to clean up Lara's presence on the Web.

The company is concerned that Tomb Raider fans searching the Internet for legitimate Lara Croft information could accidentally access "pornographic material" - an association Core says it is keen to avoid.

[ image: Lara Croft as her creators intended]
Lara Croft as her creators intended
A spokeswoman branded the sites "completely irresponsible".

"We are looking in to taking legal action. There are a number of Websites featuring the character, but there is one particular site which is causing most of the concern.

"We have a large number of young fans and we don't want them stumbling across the pictures when they do a general search for Tomb Raider."

The unofficial nudes will be particularly embarrassing in light of Lara Croft's recently elevated status to "ambassador for British scientific excellence" - according to Science Minister Lord Sainsbury.

Speaking last December, he said: "I use her as an example of one of the great success stories in this country."

There have also been reports of a Tomb Raider "patch" - slang for computer code which changes a game's properties - which is capable of rendering Lara completely nude during gameplay.

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Internet Links

Tomb Raider - Eidos Interactive

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