To commemorate 20 years of Tomb Raider, I searched the internet for fun facts. I then stumbled upon a post on why Lara Croft's breasts are so big in the original Tomb Raider way back 1996. That gave me something to write on today, and here goes this article.
As a high school freshman back then, I was kind of wondering why they would put that amount of breast on a character that supposedly does acrobatic stunts to go through levels spawning with danger at every turn - I have some big breasted friends who complain about the size that even jogging is a discomfort. Is it for marketing, or did the developers just want her to have huge assets out of their own frustrations?
I then stumbled upon a Facebook video post from Unilad Gaming that enlightened me on why it was that big in Tomb Raider. At first the video seemed to be a normal fun fact tribute like when it was released and how Indiana Jones and Jurrasic Park inspired the game, all the trivia that I could just have read somewhere else. Then somewhere three quarters of the video, a fact that I didn't know about was stated. It said, "...her notorious curves were the result of a programming error, her bust was increased by 150% rather than the intended 50%." for your reference, the video can be checked out here.
The developers could have adjusted right away after seeing the 'very huge' result in Lara Croft's in-game model for Tomb Raider but it was still big when the game came out. Could it be that they intentionally did not fix the bug? Did the developers liked what they saw, and just left it as it is rather than what was originally planned?
One angle to look at is marketability. The video by Unilad also stated that at that time, Tomb Raider was the only game that offered a very detailed character via Lara Croft's body. It is a fact that most people would turn their heads if they see something unusual in some person's body, say a huge bust. I think they left the 'accident' as is so that gamers would likely to pick up the game - the demographics back then were male populated so this could be an explanation.
There's also this article that Mcdonalds resemble their 'M' logo with breasts. Although not very obvious, people seeing those curves would somehow have their subconscious relate it to breasts. Breasts are attractive to humans, not just for sexual excitement (this one's a takeaway already) but nurture, we were breastfed when we were young weren't we? Even if you're not breastfed, some parts of your genes were as your ancestors consumed their mother's milk.
When I reviewed Unilad Gaming's tribute video, I knew something was wrong with Lara's body proportion back in 1996, the bust was too big for her small body. Not just that, she has to run around, climb stuff, do summersaults, and other stunts so this made me a bit concerned about how someone with that build actually do these stuff. Thankfully that dilemma was solved with the modern versions of Lara Croft, with the reasonably proportional body that allows her to do what she does and not have any problems with 'internal bruises' because of her bust. Lara's head was also sort of big back in 1996, but that's another story. Below is Lara's latest adventure, to date: