Some things never change: In under 12 hours, there’s already a nude mod for Tomb Raider Remastered

That sure didn’t take long. Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered is out today, delivering a very nice graphical update to Lara Croft’s original three adventures along with some other niceties, including modern controls and high framerate support. Within hours mods for the remaster were popping up on the Nexus page, most of the initial wave seemingly focused on adding the classic graphics into the remastered graphics mode so they can be appreciated with the updated lighting and added environmental details. It also took less than 12 hours for someone to upload a topless Lara mod, because, well, of course.

It’s hard to think of a more primal bit of gaming lore than the “Tomb Raider nude code,” a schoolyard rumor that made its way into gaming magazines and message boards and circulated for years even though it did not exist. In 2021, one of the game’s developers reflected on the rumor, indicating that publisher Eidos didn’t exactly go out of its way to debunk it.

“Even during development someone in management, perhaps half-jokingly, asked us for something similar and we told them to bog off,” co-creator Paul Douglas told TheGamer. “There certainly wasn’t anything in the game that did that but there was a fan made patch for the PC sometime after release. What was a little surprising is how long the publisher leaned into it. Alas, those were the days when all publicity was seen as good regardless how it depicted the character.”

There was no nude code for the original game, but there was a nude mod, called Nude Raider, which is what likely kept the rumor alive for years and years. Unsurprisingly the practice of modding out Lara’s clothes carried over to the modern Tomb Raider trilogy. Today’s topless mod for Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered is the modder equivalent of writing “FIRST” in an internet comment section, but undoubtedly won’t be the last.

Last year we wrote about a book from the year 2000 called Lara Croft: The Art of Seduction, which we said, just by virtue of its existence, “points to Lara’s dual legacy as a groundbreaking female protagonist and a male gaze-ified sex symbol.” Hopefully Tomb Raider Remastered bringing back these great games can emphasize the former more than the latter. 

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