“Truly effective stories work because they resonate within the readers’ experiences
and often touch on levels of significance not always understood or intended by the writer.”
– Charles Oakham.
This website has been set up to showcase some of the work I have been engaged in over the last 45–50 years in cartoons, commix, written stories, animation, graphic design, TV series, illustration, games, concept development, and novels.
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was a calling card for me, but there are so many other projects to share in these pages, not least of which is the epic Shadow Histories series of six novels – something that has been in development for over twenty years now (and counting!)
For those of you interested in the Angel of Darkness documents, it is worth pointing out that there will be many inconsistencies in the ideas you will come across. This is because these documents were produced under considerable time pressure and needed to be constantly revised and adapted to the evolving requirements of the job. The entire project was a work in progress, always in flux until the very last moment when it was released. So many ideas were refined, whittled away, streamlined, abandoned, changed, and – in some rare cases – expanded upon. Comparisons of early and later versions of a character’s chronology and skill sets – plus locations and artefacts – will often highlight discrepancies.
This means that details of events in earlier documents will vary from those in later ones, even appearing to contradict them in some instances. This was inevitable and there has been no attempt to ‘correct’ or unify them for the sake of neatness, because (hopefully) it will be of greater interest to show how the ideas, characters, and storylines evolved over time.
It is well known now that much of the original story material was subject to constant swapping around and cuts over the three years it was in development. This was inevitable when working on such a massive game but, in the case of AOD, the result was that when time came for it to go out the door we had run out of time; both the story and game were woefully incomplete. If things had gone differently there should have been two more games to tie up loose ends and take the tale forwards. That was what had been planned from the start, but sadly, the fates decreed otherwise.
After the release of AOD, it felt like time to get on with The Shadow Histories novels and several other projects which were progressing nicely. It was only years afterwards that friends began to make contact, saying that there was a strong groundswell of fans who were passionate about Parisian Lara, Kurtis, the Cabal of Pieter van Eckhardt, and those wily bad boys the Nephilim. This was a wonderfully encouraging thing to hear, because it seemed that AOD had pretty much sunk without a trace. But apparently, all the work that had been poured into the story and characters – all the multi-layering of ideas and cross-referencing with real-world locations and historical fact – was now very much appreciated. It’s not difficult to imagine how affirming this was, and it is a thrill to see fan enthusiasm continuing even today.
Fans also wanted to know how the AOD story had been intended to go forward. And so, even though I was engaged in some seriously demanding projects of my own, it was worth taking time out to create a considerable amount of extra AOD material filling in background biographies, expanding the role of certain characters, and outlining various possible plotlines. Most of these musings are included in the post-2003 section of this site.
One especially important idea that had been left hanging was the episode known as Lara of Arabia or the Desert Lara period. This had actually been mentioned in passing as part of AOD, referring to Lara’s ‘lost period’ between game IV and VI, and there were a few roughly sketched-out notes on what adventures our heroine might have got up to in that time. My expanded thoughts on what may have occurred to Lara as El Hawa can be found in the 25th Anniversary section of this site.
None of my ideas are intended as an attempt to lay down a definitive version of story events. Everything – EVERYTHING – is still open to question and creative interpretation. Some questions will be answered, some will not. Hopefully, many more exciting ideas and possibilities will be generated for people to chat about, argue over, and be inspired in their own way.
Good luck. And enjoy!
– Murti Schofield, spring 2021 –
Please note: this website looks great on mobile devices, but is best viewed on desktop!
* * * NEW: Kurtis Trent Journal REVISED EDITION * * *
Kurtis Trent's famous Journal has been given an exciting update.
Check out the NEW pages added for Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness' 20th Anniversary, available now in the Tomb Raider Gallery!
The Shadow Histories
Volume 1: The Empty Land
Everything you know about the history of our world is untrue. In a world recovering from disaster, exceptional individuals will often come to the fore.
Cody Conmar is one of them.
Now being developed into a live-action TV Series
For all enquiries please contact Blue Frontier Films Ltd.
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness Development Archive Pre-2003
Archive of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness development documents, created before the game's 2003 release.
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness Development Archive Post-2003
Archive of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness documents created after the game's 2003 release.
Tomb Raider 25th Anniversary Celebration
Delve into the hidden world of what happened to Lara Croft between the events of The Last Revelation and The Angel of Darkness through the Myth of El Hawa, and dive into musical tributes to Morgau Vasiley by Dean Kopri.
From 2000AD to The Mouse House...
and everything in between!
It’s almost impossible to adequately thank the team who put this website together or those who have contributed to it. They were all unstinting with their time, enthusiasm, technical expertise, artwork, laughter, music, design skills, energy, ideas, commitment, passion, belief, fun, cooperation, and support.
They are Jenni Milward, Tina Ljubenkov (Terenete), Dragutin Andric, Lara Titova, Inna Vjuzhanina, Dean Kopri, Chris Carpineti, and Adamm Khuevrr. Thanks are also due to Stephen Milward. I had been thinking about getting my own website together since 2016 when Jenni and I first decided what a good idea it would be. All these years later, I finally cornered her to say that if it was going to happen, it needed to be now in 2021 when excitement was high for the Tomb Raider 25th anniversary.
Others I would like to thank include Eric Loren for bringing Kurtis Trent to life from the very first lines I heard him deliver in the recording studio. What a thrill that was. And for his unflagging support and belief in The Shadow Histories.
Ash Kaprielov for what he has done for the TR community as an organiser, enthusiast, and tireless innovator. It was through him that I met so many people I now include as co-enthusiasts and friends.
Jerry Oldreive, my old buddy from Psygnosis days. We both served time at Core and spent many lunchtimes in Derby cafés brainstorming endless ideas for The Shadow Histories and Angel of Darkness.
The KTEB was the first group to make contact after AOD began to quietly gather fan momentum, and they assured me that enthusiasm for the game’s storyline was very much alive and active. They are Anna Dooland, Adam Rampling, Amy Parker, Diana Pinguicha, Ashton Connolley, Jenn Brown, Lynsey Wood, Nik Nevin, Dmitri and Ksenija Lenselink, Sonja Milicic, Alison “Jordy” Watson, Danica Lundin, Rich Mossop, Lotta Markkula, Dana Collins, Toni Green, Artemisia “Arty” Bellamy, Lindsey Glinka, Karen, Dana Balog-Bolink, and Annabelle Gralton.
Meagan Marie for including me in her 20 Years of Tomb Raider book and for what she has done for the TR community in general.
Hedi Alex Ben Amor for providing invaluable French translations of key documents and for his unwavering support.
Ultra-cosplay fans Steve Ferris (Von Croy), Nathalie Wilikniet (Janice) and Jack Lincoln-Wood (Kurtis with fully functioning Chirugai). And the many fans that I have met and spent highly enjoyable time with at conventions, recording sessions and meals.