Contrary to popular belief, the Tomb Raider reboot's new theme was not intentionally derived from Nathan McCree's 1996 motif for the original Tomb Raider, says Crystal Dynamics' Meagan Marie. The fresh piece is currently rumoured to be the work of BAFTA-winning Jason Graves.
McCree's theme for the character of Lara Croft is the earliest iteration of a melody which has seen consistent reciprocation in every major Tomb Raider media to date, including a variation by film composer Alan Silvestri in 2003. However, with the new direction of the franchise comes an entirely new accompaniment in music. The "reboot" is not only emphasising the reconstructed origins of Croft, but also laying out the foundations of a new melodious core.
In this article MoTR will take that affirmation a step further, via a musically notational analysis with assistance from community member tomekkobialka:
If we are to transpose McCree's original motif to the same key as the new Tomb Raider theme, a closer inspection reveals the following similarities:
- The first two notes of each motif share the same difference in pitch
- The first two notes of each motif share the same relative length and rhythmic position
- The last note of each motif share the same relative length and rhythmic position
- Each phrase could be considered to a have similar 'up then down' shape
Beyond this, however, the motifs are unrelated. It is important to understand that while these two pieces are similar, the same could be said about any two sequences of musical notes; one merely has to alter tonal difference and/or rhythm to superimpose each tune.
For those readers less inclined to musical theory, take the aforementioned alternative as the simplified answer:
"...the track isn’t directly inspired by or a revision of the original theme. Still, we’re happy that fans are walking away with with the consensus that it 'feels like Tomb Raider'..." - Marie