"Marco, infected with madness. He has violent mind."
―Chan Barkhang[src]

Marco Bartoli is the son of Gianni Bartoli and a leader of the Fiamma Nera cult/organisation who have been seeking the Dagger of Xian for centuries, worshiping it for the powers it holds.


Early LifeEdit

"When my father left when I was a boy, he confided to me that he was enlightened... beckoned by something greater than impulse."
―Marco Bartoli[src]

When his father, Gianni, was leader of the Fiamma Nera, Gianni confided to young Marco that he possessed an artefact called the Seraph which would bring them one step closer to the ultimate prize. However, on Gianni's journey to presumably Tibet in his ship, the Maria Doria, he was killed when his ship was bombed by Tibetan monks. The Seraph was now lost somewhere deep beneath the ocean. Marco now inherited the position of leader and not knowing where the ship sank exactly, the Fiamma Nera would spend years searching before they eventually discovered Gianni's watery grave.

Departure from VeniceEdit

"'s just his grave has surrendered nothing, like we say 'substantial'."

Lara attempts to shoot Marco.

After his father's death, the mansion in Via Caravelli became Marco's hideout. In 1997, the Fiamma Nera finally discovered the wreck of the Maria Doria. It no longer being necessary to remain in Venice, the Fiamma Nera abandoned Via Caravelli and prepared to leave for an offshore rig in a plane. Marco piloted the plane with Fabio to the rig. However, there was a stowaway in their midst. Lara Croft. As Lara climbs the ladder to the cockpit, Marco begins to come out of it. She drops down and aims her Dual Pistols at him. Distracted, Lara is knocked out by Eros, a mechanic. Lara is now stripped of her weapons and imprisoned within a cargo room. However, she escapes. Later, she hears Marco and another Fiamma Nera member talking about a prisoner. Brother Chan Barkhang, the son of the monk who bombed the Maria Doria. The member begins throwing punches at the monk, intending to learn the location of where they should look for something within the monks' monastery in Tibet. Lara enters and kills two Fiamma Nera members but Marco is nowhere to be seen. Lara begins talking with the monk while changing into a SOLA wetsuit. Marco is listening and he later emerges on a platform above with a pistol equipped with a silencer. He shoots the monk dead and Lara escapes beneath the ocean to search for the Seraph.

Search for the TalionEdit

"They want the Seraph to unlock a malignant treasure we hold in our monastery in Tibet."
―Chan Barkhang[src]

Marco pursues Lara.

Knowing that Lara was on the same quest as him, Marco realised that it would not matter whether or not his men or Lara Croft recovered the Seraph. With that in mind, Marco took the cult to Tibet to collect the Talion, the key which opens Emperor Qin Shihuang's palace in China where the dagger lies. They set up a campsite somewhere and maintained contact with those elsewhere. Lara has indeed collected the Seraph and uses it to unlock the path to the Talion with the Fiamma Nera hot on her heels in the catacombs. Later, Lara manages to collect the Talion as well and emerges outside to the Fiamma Nera's campsite. She steals a jeep and drives away. Marco gets into a truck and drives in a different direction to head Lara off guessing that she now has the Talion while some Fiamma Nera members in another jeep directly pursue her. Lara manages to outrun the Fiamma Nera and drives to the Great Wall of China and enters the Emperor's palace, using the Talion to enter.

The Dagger of XianEdit

"These doors are waiting for the right one, the right time to arrive, and then the dagger's blade will honour the hearts of those who believe."

The dagger before her, Lara experiences a setback as she falls through a trapdoor only to re-emerge later to discover that Marco is performing a ceremony, dagger in hand. Four followers stand below while Marco stands atop the pedestal making wild ceremonial gestures with his arms, chanting. He then plunges the dagger into his heart and his now lifeless body falls into the hands of his followers. They enter the realm of the Floating Islands and carry his body to the Dragon's Lair. Lara battles her way through more Fiamma Nera members and Xian warriors that have awoken to serve their new master, Marco Bartoli, with their enhanced strength and reptilian features. Lara finally reaches the dragon's lair just in time to see Marco's body rise up from a slab in a mighty explosion. A fearsome dragon is now before her. Shooting countless bullets at the dragon, Marco is wounded temporarily. Quickly, Lara removes the dagger from his chest and his body is reduced to bones like the Emperor before him. Lara then escapes the collapsing lair with the dagger.

In-Game AppearancesEdit

Tomb Raider II: Starring Lara CroftEdit


The villain in the concept artwork below has been referred to as the Fiamma Nera enemies who wear masks in the Venice levels in The Art of Tomb Raider book. However, the appearance of this enemy suggests that he is actually Marco Bartoli. He is the only member of the cult to wear a suit like that and the hairstyle is similar to Marco's. The only details missing are his sunglasses and the ceremonial piece that hangs over his shoulders.


Tomb Raider II: Starring Lara CroftEdit

Cutscene - Offshore RigEdit

  • Someday you will get a speeding ticket for that tongue, Fabio.
  • Is your belief so fragile?
  • Relax, breathe deep. The gut, Fabio, has no more direction than a simple through and out.
  • Honest perhaps, but not enlightened. When my father left when I was a boy, he confided to me that he was enlightened. Beckoned by something greater than impulse. He possessed the Seraph. But he was just a disciple in this design. His death plotting a path to be sought by the one, his son. You understand? Have faith Fabio, not gut-rot. We are searching the right place.
  • Eros, have you... fixed that rail yet?

Level - Diving AreaEdit

  • Blood or answers, I have no preference. He should spill a bit of both!

Personality and traitsEdit

Marco is passionate about ancient relics and knows the legends of many mythical objects. He has spent his life not only primarily seeking the powers of the Dagger of Xian, but other relics too. To avoid being recognized, he often wears dark sunglasses. Marco also does not seek to do evil for fun but has no qualms in ridding himself of anyone who stands in the way of his goals.


  • It is not established in-game whether the man on the title screen and in the final Tibet FMV is Marco Bartoli. However, scriptwriter Vicky Arnold confirmed that it is Marco.
  • Marco Bartoli is the only main villain not to have a verbal confrontation with Lara.
  • In the level file for Floating Islands, the dead body of Marco Bartoli with the Dagger of Xian stabbed into his heart can be found but went unused within the level.
  • His character design bears some resemblance to, Arnold Ernst Toht, the tertiary villain of Indiana Jones: Raiders Of the Lost Ark. Particularly when he is wearing a hat.


FMV ScreenshotsEdit

Cutscene ScreenshotsEdit

Title ScreensEdit


The Official Fact FilesEdit




  1. Tomb Raiders Traveler's Guide: Temple of Xian
  2. Tomb Raider The Official Fact Files: Issue 12