- "You can do this Lara. After all...You're a Croft."
- ―Roth reassures Lara on her abilities.[src]
Conrad Roth is the Captain of the Endurance, as well as a freelance salvage and treasure hunter, who was commissioned by James Whitman to aid in his search for Yamatai.
Roth was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1961. Little is known about his youth and childhood, though he seems to be from a working class upbringing. As a young man, Roth joined the Corps of Royal Marines (RM).
Roth left the military after serving two combat tours and put his specialized skills to use as wreck-diver and freelance treasure-hunter, alongside his trusted friend and ex-Merchant Marine, Grim. Roth purchased a used research vessel and named it the Endurance, after the ship of his hero - Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton.
Roth travelled the world, earning a reputation for toughness and competence. His willingness to bend inconvenient laws restricting traffic in historical artifacts, as well as his faithfulness to his employers made him highly sought-after among discerning collectors.
His reputation garnered the interest of famous archaeologist Richard Croft. For several years, Roth accompanied Croft on over a dozen treasure-hunting expeditions acting as a guide and, when necessary, bodyguard, though the pair did become friends, with Roth attending Croft's wedding to Amelia DeMornay. The Crofts eventually had a daughter, who they named Lara. Roth would grow very fond of her.
After the death of Amelia, Roth helped Croft recover her body. Against his better judgment, he helped as Croft attempted a ritual which he believed would resurrect his deceased wife. He asked Croft not to go through with the ritual, fearing how Croft would act if it didn't work. Croft ignored his friend's pleas and unsuccessfully attempted to revive his wife. Finally accepting his wife's death, Roth helped to return Amelia's body to England where she was laid to rest in the Croft family crypt. After laying Amelia to rest, Croft began to obsessively research immortality. He became paranoid about his research and had Roth hire a team of builders to construct a secret lab in order to carry out his research in secret.
During this period of time, Roth grew closer to Lara, who he began to think of as his own daughter, and Croft would often become so wrapped up in his research he ended up neglecting her. On one such occasion, Lara came to Roth with a piece of Jade which she had unearthed at the dig. Seeing the joy the piece brought to her, Roth took one of his shoe laces and tied the pendant around her neck.
After Croft's apparent suicide, Roth became Lara's legal guardian. He insisted on teaching her practical skills such as rock climbing, navigation and other survival skills, though they were a little unusual for a wealthy British heiress.
Roth met Joslin Reyes in a bar in New York, after waking up from her knocking him unconscious. He was drinking heavily to forget his woes. The two formed a casual romance, which resulted in Reyes becoming pregnant. Thinking that Roth wouldn't want to have anything to do with the child, Reyes left the crew and hid Alisha's paternity from him.
Roth was proud of the young woman Lara became, especially for her decision to not use her trust fund and inheritance to pay for her tuition at University, and instead pay her own way. At one point Roth jokingly offered to forge a degree from Cambridge for her.
Expedition to Yamatai
Roth grew tired and longed for a large payday, which he could use to retire. He saw the opportunity to do so in the form of James Whitman, who commissioned him for the third season of his show. Roth agreed, on the grounds that he choose his own crew to man the Endurance, to which Whitman agreed.
After Whitman's show was canceled, he and Roth attempted to find further funding. They sought Samantha Nishimura's uncle, who wanted a sixty percent cut. Knowing an offer of less would be rejected, Roth agreed.
Roth backed Lara on her theory of Yamatai being located within the Dragon's Triangle, within which ships were notorious for disappearing. Roth considered it was worth checking out—and knowing that their funding had a limit, he made the call that the ship should go in.
Inside the Dragon's Triangle, the ship was fatally struck by a massive storm. As the Endurance began to take on water, Roth sent out an S.O.S. He found Lara in a flooded corridor attempting to force the door. He saved her, though they were separated when the ship was ripped in half. He encouraged Lara to jump, which she did. He managed to catch her, though she slipped from his grasp, and much to his horror Lara fell into the sea.
Roth managed to get to shore alone. He made his way to high ground and sent regular transmissions to try and contact what was left of his crew, and direct them to regroup at his position. He was overjoyed when he heard Lara's voice on the radio. Despite her pleas, Roth couldn't leave his position. He encouraged her to make her way to him alone.
He later contacted Lara to try and find out where she was, and she informed him of the Solarii killing the crew. Roth showed sympathy to Lara when she informed him that she had to kill several of them. He encouraged her to hurry up and get to him.
Shortly after he was set upon by a pack of wolves. He managed to fight them off, but not before one of the wolves mauled his leg, and another his foodpack, which also had his medical supplies inside and radio transmitter inside. Lara arrives, and he attempts to go and get the pack himself, however ,passes out from exhaustion and blood loss, Lara drags him to shelter and goes to get the pack herself, before returning to tend to his wounded leg.
He reawakened some time later, and expressed pride in Lara for managing to get the pack, and seems impressed with her first aid skills. He tells her that, the best way to transmit their distress signal, would be to use the radio tower, be he reminds her that with his wounded leg, he was unable to climb himself. After offering a few encouraging words to her, Roth gives Lara his climbing axe.
While Lara is gone, he set's about making himself a crutch, and even manages to find an old rifle, and ammo. He moves to a less exposed position, which is lucky as the plane that picked up their distress signal, had been struck by a storm and crashed on top of where he was.
Lara returns to Roth once more, When she expresses her desire to save the pilot (whom she saw parachute out of the burning plane) Roth tries to stop her, saying that it is too dangerous and the pilot may not have survived. Lara, however, refuses, and goes after the pilot, leaving Roth behind.
Roth makes his way to the Japanese palace at the base of the mountain, to meet with the rest of the group. He spots Lara being attacked by two Solarii, and kills them with his rifle. Lara informs him of Grim's death, to which he expresses great sadness. He provides Lara with cover fire while she attempts to cross the bridge.
He is picked up by the newly dispatched rescue helicopter. They find Lara and Roth encourages her to jump, once again intent on catching her, which he once again does, though he manages to get her into the helicopter. Lara threatens the pilot to make him land, however it is too late, and the storm destroys the helicopter.
Roth was ejected from the helicopter and knocked out. After regain consciousness, he spots Lara unconscious. He lifts himself free from a piece of debris, rushes to her and finds that she is not breathing. He performs CPR on her as quickly as possible as the wreckage of the chopper catches fire. After successfully resuscitating her and helping her to safety, a small party of Solarii Brotherhood, led by Mathias, attacks them.
Roth shoots two of the Solarii with his pistol as Mathias closes in to attack Lara with a hatchet. Roth's gun either jam, or runs out of ammo, right before Mathias hurls the axe at them.
Reflexively, Roth spins around while holding Lara to shield her, and takes the full force of the blow in his back, dropping a horrified Lara. Roth draws his second pistol and kills the remaining Solarii, except for Mathias, who flees after Roth resumed shooting.
Lara begins to weep as Roth collapses. He apologizes for leaving her, assuring her that she'll be okay without him, giving her his pistols to aid her fight for survival, before he finally passes. Lara cradles him and weeps over the loss of her mentor.
Reyes, Sam, Jonah and Alex make their way to the crash site. Reyes is horrified by the site of Roth's dead body, and snaps at Lara as Sam tries to comfort her. Jonah suggests they give Roth a warrior's funeral.
A funeral pyre is prepared and Roth's body is burned.
Lara and Jonah later reminisce about Roth during their trip to Peru.
Roth has modeled his style of leadership on that of his hero, the explorer Ernest Shackleton. The wellfare and safety of his crew is paramount to Roth, and he prides himself on instinctively knowing who is going to make a good crew member. He is also a hands-on leader who knows how to boost the morale of his shipmates, have fun and remain both optimistic and realistic.
Roth comes off as rather callous at times, as he is shown to not seem to care about his crew dying, though this was because he didn't want his emotional attachment to cloud his judgement.
Roth considers himself married to the sea. He dreams of finding that one big score that will allow him to retire onto a large yacht and live out his days sailing wherever the winds will take him. If Lara is right about Yamatai and its significance, this will hopefully be his last job.
- In a grim display of irony, Roth's faith in Lara and her theories is ultimately what caused his death.
- Despite his gruff exterior Roth was a fan of poetry, such as the work of William Wordsworth.
- Roth was also a fan of comedy and is seen to have a liking for the work of Monty Python.
- Roth's hair was black—as seen in issue seven of the comic series—when he was roughly thirty-six. His hair was shown to be fully gray, a mere six years later, when he climbed Snowdon with Lara.
- Roth's weapons of choice are a pair of 1911 pistols—specifically the Remington 1911 R1 Enhanced. He passes them onto Lara after he dies. The pistols are symbolic of the older Tomb Raider games.
- He refers to them as "Old Friends"; However, the Remington 1911 R1, has only been on the market since 2010.
- Roth is voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. Incidentally, Downes voices multiple antagonists in the Uncharted Franchise, Namely Atoq Navarro in Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Talbot in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and Hector Alcázar in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. He also served as the facial model for Tenzin, and provided the voice of Vincent Perez, who are allies in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted: Golden Abyss respectively.
- Roth is also very similar to Victor Sullivan from the Uncharted Franchise. Both are mentors and father figures to the protagonist (in Sullivan's case, Nathan Drake); both have a habit of smoking and both are "only interested in the climax" (a term Nathan Drake uses to describe Sully's attitude of only being interested the payment/treasure); both are former military—with Roth having served in the Royal Marines, and Sullivan serving in the United States Navy.
- Roth's death on Yamatai is considered fitting as it is also the final resting place of his ship.
- Roth is mentioned by Jonah in Cozumel in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.