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Tomb Raider maker apologises to real-life archaeologist

Game doesn't contain any archaeology, apparently

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Eidos, the publisher of the Tomb Raider series of games, has been forced to apologise through the pages of French newspaper Le Monde to French archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur for giving a character in the game almost the same name.

Tomb Raider IV features a French archaeologist called Jean-Yves, apparently. Empereur has done a lot of work digging up Egypt, and the game's star, Lara Croft, meets the digital Jean-Yves in Egypt.

Clearly the developers were thinking of moi, reasoned l'Empereur.

Not at all, claimed Eidos, which took a page in Le Monde to tell the world - or at least the Francophone part of it - as much.

We're surprised they needed to. Following a landmark legal case in the early days of cinema, movies have always included the well-known disclaimer that "any similarity between persons living or dead and characters in this motion picture is entirely coincidental" (or words to that effect). You'd have thought Eidos would have fallen back on that old safety net.

Empereur himself joins a long list of folk who believe they have been alluded to by software developers. Our favourite is the late Carl Sagan, who sued Apple for giving one of its first PowerPC-based Macs the codename Sagan. Carl accused the company of trading on his name, even though the codename was never made public - not officially, at any rate.

Apple agreed to change the codename. It chose BHA - entirely coincidentally the abbreviation for Butt-Head Astronomer... ®

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