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"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.


Early Life[]

"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 Venice[]

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

Lara attempts to shoot Marco.

After Gianni's death, his 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 on the rig. 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 other man begins throwing punches at the monk, attempting 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 to their words and soon emerges on a platform, armed with a silencer-equipped handgun. He shoots Brother Chan dead but Lara on the other hand escapes beneath the ocean to begin her search for the Seraph.

Search for the Talion[]

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

Marco pursues Lara.

Whilst some of his men searched for the Seraph beneath the sea, Marco took the rest of the Fiamma Nera to Tibet to collect the Talion, the key which opens Dragon Emperor's palace in China where the dagger lies. They set up a campsite somewhere, maintaining radio contact with those elsewhere in the area. Meanwhile, Lara has arrived in Tibet with the Seraph and uses it to unlock the path to the Talion. She succeeds in collecting the Talion and later emerges not far away from the Fiamma Nera's campsite. She steals one of their jeeps and makes her escape. Aware of this, a few Fiamma Nera members pursue Lara directly in another jeep whilst Marco speeds off in another direction in an attempt to head Lara off. Lara manages to outrun the Fiamma Nera however and continues to the Great Wall of China and uses the Talion to gain entry to the Emperor's palace.

The Dagger of Xian[]

"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 central altar. Plunging the dagger into his heart, Marco's 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. Soon, 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. Then Lara makes her escape from the collapsing chamber, her latest acquisition now safely in her possession.

In-Game Appearances[]

Tomb Raider II[]


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[]

Cutscene - Offshore Rig[]

  • 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 Area[]

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

Personality and traits[]

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. [3]


  • 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. [4]
  • Marco Bartoli is the only main villain not to have a verbal confrontation with Lara.
  • In the level WAD for Floating Islands, the dead body of Marco Bartoli with the Dagger of Xian stabbed into his heart can be found but is not seen anywhere in the level. This is because at some point in development, Floating Islands and The Dragon's Lair were intended to be all one level. [5]
  • 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 Screenshots[]

Cutscene Screenshots[]

Title Screens[]


The Official Fact Files[]