Monday, July 28, 2014
Trust Me On The Combat Boots
The following is the text of a speech given by Lara Croft to the inmates at The Royal College of Archeology, Cambridge.
Wear combat boots.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, the wearing of combat boots would be it. The long term benefits of wearing combat boots have been proved by soldiers down through the ages, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Listen or else.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your guns. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your guns until they've rusted. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself festooned with all that awesome firepower and recall in a way you can't grasp now how many targets lay before you and how fabulous you really looked cradling all that weaponry. You are not as innocent as some imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to survive a nasty spike wall trap while listening to Prodigy on your walkperson. The real troubles in your adventurous career are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, like the kind that stab a spear through the back of your head to remind you to finish off all those underdevloped native peoples whom you've been slaughtering all day.
Do a couple of dozen things a day that scare you.
Shoot. Often and ruthlessly.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with people who want to rip out yours and offer it to their gods.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, you'll get the bastard in the big climactic scene anyway.
Remember the big cheques you receive. Forget the multitude of bills for damages incurred in your adventures. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old death threats. Throw away your old ammo invoices.
Stretch. Always stretch before a mission. It's a complete pain pulling a quad while 60kays deep into the Amazon.
Don't feel guilty if you end up costing a lot of people their lives. The most interesting people I hardly ever knew didn't know at 22 that they existed only to sacrifice themselves to my ends (as written into the plot). Some of the most interesting people I've as not yet met still don't.
Get plenty of ammunition. And be kind to all those items in your inventory. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chances at best. Everyone else who're up against you has much much less than that.
Enjoy your body. Pose it in every magazine you can. Threaten litigation when others misuse your appearance. It's the greatest moneymaker you'll ever own.
Work out, even if you have nowhere to do it but your mansion.
Read the walkthroughs, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. Those bastard gossip columns spreading evil malicious rumours about you in them will only make you feel angry.
Get to know your programmers. Be nice to your fellow comic stablemates. They're your best link to your future bank balance and the people most likely to stick a knife in you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on as they will eventually become useful to your progress in the adventure. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the further you travel, the more you need the people who supply you with all that ammo.
Live in a Tibetan monastery at least once, but leave before it drives you mad with it's ambient background music. Live in Venice once, but leave before you drown due to lack of air pockets. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Ancient forgotten continents will rise. Old acquaintances will fall to evil. You, too, will be shot at. And when you are, you'll fantasise that when you were safe, the cover was reasonable, those acquaintances were friendly, and that game designers once respected their main protagonists.
Respect your designers.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you might sell a few million copies a go. Maybe you'll have a wealthy software publishing house. But you never know when either might run out of money - and then it's a case of knock-off sequelitis again.
Don't mess too much with your ponytail or by the time you're 40 it will look like a bad perm job gone wonky.
Please remember that advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the cracks and displaying it in a museum for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the combat boots.
Story copyright © 1999 snark^