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Fan Spotlight: Hedi

May 10, 2024

Hedi, who has been a part of the French Tomb Raider community since 2016, currently serves as the official Tomb Raider Discord moderator and administrator. Today, we want to spotlight Hedi’s Tomb Raider journey and his efforts to support French localization on various fan projects. 

Q: How did your Tomb Raider journey start? 

My Tomb Raider journey started early, at 2 years old, when I watched my dad play Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation on his PC! This is the first memory I ever had of Lara, and a few years later, at around 7 years old, I got my first PS and rediscovered Tomb Raider on my own for the first time, remembering those memories. My TR community journey started much later, in 2016, when I joined Tombeaucroft.net, a French official Tomb Raider fan-site, as a writer; until I became an official webmaster in 2018. From there, my journey kept expanding, as I became a fan ambassador at E3 2018 for the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and a Discord moderator for the official server ran by the community team. Furthermore, during the Tomb Raider 25th Anniversary celebration events, I had the honour to be a community streamer for Tomb Raider II, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and Tomb Raider: Underworld, as well as a promoter for Tomb Raider - The Official Cookbook and Travel Guide

Q: Could you share your experience from attending the Shadow of the Tomb Raider Reveal event at E3 2018? 

Attending E3 in 2018 was the craziest experience of my entire life. Me and a few other fans were sent by Crystal Dynamics to Los Angeles, California, to attend the event, which was also the first time the game itself was revealed to the public. During the event, I was of course able to explore the convention, but more importantly I was able to play the game firsthand, talk to Eidos Montreal developers and even meet Earl Baylon (VA for Jonah Maiava) and Camilla Luddington (VA for Lara Croft) - that was mind-blowing! 

Hedi - SOTTR - E3

During the trip, I met so many wonderful people from the community: fellow fan-site webmasters, cosplayers and dedicated fans. It was incredible meeting people that all have their own stories about Tomb Raider and Lara Croft! I miss them quite a lot when I think about it! 

Q: How did your collaboration with Tombeau Croft begin? 

Back in 2016, I wanted to be more involved with the community, as I had finally started to be a bit more active on social media. One day, one of my best friends sent a post from the website, saying they were looking for writers. I applied and Maxime, a long-time “Official Fansite Program” member, accepted me, which was super exciting considering the French Tomb Raider community is very big and active, with so many websites that I’ve been reading since I was a kid. I was free to write about anything I wanted as long as it was related to the franchise: news articles, character sheets, community spotlights, etc. I even tried to expand our horizons and started localizing our articles, especially fan spotlights, into English. I did all of this for 2 years until Maxime decided, as a surprise, to declare me an official webmaster to Crystal Dynamics to join the OFP. It was so fulfilling to see my dedication to the franchise be rewarded like this. 

Unfortunately, the website is currently on hiatus as life has become quite busy for both of us. However, we are actively discussing ideas for the future. In the meantime, feel free to explore it! https://tombeaucroft.net/  

Hedi - Tombeau Croft Website

Q: Regarding localization, you've contributed to several projects, assisting with French translations for Murti’s Kurtis Trent Journal and The Myth of El Hawa animated short, among others. Could you share some insights into your involvement in these projects? 

The first time I was approached for an English-to-French localization was by fellow fan and good friend - Jennifer Milward. I spotlighted her on Tombeau Croft for her fan-made novelization of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. It was the first article I translated into English. Since she was also a team member of Peter Connelly’s The Dark Angel Symphony project, she kindly thought of me when Murti Schofield needed someone to translate a journal article from Kurtis’ journal that was a part of the project. I’m still grateful for this today. After this, I was sometimes asked to help here and there for French localization, including Ash’s video called “The Myth of El Hawa”, featuring Jonell Eliott as Lara Croft; I did a full French transcript for the subtitles. 

I also did a French-to-English subtitle localization, when my good friend Augustin, from Laraider, created a fan-made animated film called Tomb Raider - The Amulet. The fan-film is another depiction of the events in between Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. It draws inspiration from the Amulet Putai gave to Lara, which she was supposed to possess during the events of AOD to aid in her recovery. However, the amulet itself never made it into the final version of the game. 

Augustin worked extremely hard for several years on this film, and I can’t stress enough how much he put his heart and soul into it. He also had the opportunity to have Françoise Cadol, the original French voice actress for Tomb Raider, reprise her role for the occasion! 


The most recent instance of my involvement in localization was when I assisted several other OFP members in providing an enhanced version of the French localization for Tomb Raider I-III Remastered. This fantastic idea was masterfully led by Sly, from Tomb Raider & Cie, which gave us the honour to be in the game’s credits. (Seriously, how insane is that to be immortalized in one of your favourite franchise game credits?!) 

Q: You mentioned earlier Françoise Cadol, the iconic French voice of Lara Croft from the original Tomb Raider game in 1996 all the way through Tomb Raider: Underworld, including the Lara Croft spinoff games? Can you share something about meeting her? 

Oh boy, absolutely! As I just mentioned, Françoise Cadol was the French voice of Lara Croft, from Tomb Raider I to Tomb Raider: Underworld, in addition to the spin-off games, however, she’s also the French voice for Angelina Jolie in the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) film as well as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life (2003). As to how I met her, it’s really a happy coincidence: Françoise is, before anything else, an actress, and in 2021, she was presenting a play in “Le Festival d’Avignon” called “La Femme qui ne vieillissait pas”. Since I lived in Avignon back then, I booked a ticket to see her play. So, when the day came, I sat at a table in the theatre quite early. I was on my phone and then heard her voice a few meters away, which I, of course, instantly recognized. I won’t lie, I was very nervous and emotional to meet her, it felt like meeting a legend to me! At first, I did not want to bother her at all, but as she was casually hanging posters of her play on a nearby wall, I gathered the courage to talk to her and introduce myself. Plain and simple, Françoise was, and is, one of the kindest, sweetest and humblest people I’ve met in my life. She immediately greeted me with open arms and mentioned how she appreciates the Tomb Raider community, as she had already met a few fans before. After this day, I was able to meet her again the following year when she presented another play, and we even had a small fan-gathering in Paris one morning a few months after.  

Hedi - Françoise in Paris with fans

It’s such a heartwarming feeling to know a part of so many fans’ childhood or teenage hood is so open and honest, especially considering the French community is so large. I think I can safely say that a lot of French fans miss her as Lara Croft, and Françoise even told me she would be absolutely thrilled to be back as well. Here’s to hoping! 

I have also been extremely fortunate to meet Jonell Eliott and Eric Loren during the annual Tomb Raider fan-event #TR26 at Derby in 2022! The two of them were also lovely people and truly are part of Tomb Raider legacy. I was super excited, especially considering Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is my favourite game, and I absolutely love Tomb Raider: the Angel of Darkness! 

Q: Currently, you act as the administrator and moderator for the official Tomb Raider Discord. What aspects of this role do you find most enjoyable, and which do you find most challenging? 

Being an administrator for the Tomb Raider Discord is very cool to me: I mentioned it earlier, but I used to be simply a moderator, with Ani and Jo, to help keep the Discord server a safe place for everyone. Then, during the Tomb Raider 25th Anniversary celebration events, Neha Nair, the community manager at the time, entrusted me to be sure the server runs well, beyond just within the members (setting up bots, emojis, etc). Since then, I have been continuing my duties as a moderator, while trying to interact with other people that all share the same passion. It’s really gratifying to know such a massive hub exists and can bring fans together. Obviously, it can be a bit difficult at times, since passionate people can lead to passionate debates, and while I don’t want and won’t censor someone’s opinion, it still needs to stay within the boundaries of “being respectful”. But really, as long as the members are civil and respectful, any opinion or criticism will be accepted and even encouraged. 

Besides, being an administrator also means I sometimes need to keep an eye out for the typical malicious intents of the internet, such as raids or spammers, where a few people will add bots to spam the server with hundreds of messages in a few seconds (that has happened before, it’s not fun). And also, because anything can happen while I’m away or simply asleep. But I can say we are lucky to have a majority of good people there.  

Anyone is free to join, too, as long as they have a Discord account:


(and if there are some of you from the server reading this, @ me on the Discord and say “Amulet of Horus” with no context! 😉)  

Q: Is there a message you would like to convey to the Tomb Raider community? 

If you’re passionate about something, never be ashamed of it and embrace it. Being a Tomb Raider fan gave me the opportunity to meet so many incredible and dedicated souls and I wouldn’t exchange it for the world, I just hope other fans have had that chance already or will get it. We all share a common passion, and we all should be proud to be Lara Croft fans, for I will always be one. 

Do you have a series of art or project you’re particularly proud of? Share it with us on social for a chance to be featured in our next spotlight! 

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