- "Fascinating, isn't it?"
- ―Dr. Willard to Lara Croft[src]
Dr. Mark Willard was a scientist at RX-Tech and the main antagonist in Tomb Raider III.
A member of the RX-Tech team excavating sites in the Antarctic, Dr. Willard became enamored with the properties of a quartet of artifacts that a Polynesian tribe formerly inhabiting the area had fashioned from a meteorite located in its crater at the site.
Hiring Lara CroftEdit
During an RX-Tech expedition in Antarctica, Dr. Willard and his team were involved in an excavation of an area in Antarctica. During the excavations, traces of meteorite rock were discovered, and the team dug deeper, finding the grave of Darwinian sailor Paul Caulfield and a journal detailing the exploits of the HMS Beagle. Indeed, sailors from that trip had found four artifacts made of the same rock, and had met grisly ends.After taking an interest in the adventures of sailor Stephen Barr, RX-Tech started to take a particular interest in not only the crater area, but other parts of the globe where the sailors travelled to and how they died.
To this end, Willard sent three of his men Tony, Randy and Rory to find an artifact in India that famed explorer Lara Croft had also taken an interest in. Unfortunately, Randy and Rory were killed in the Indian temple and Tony took the Infada Stone, one of the very meteorite artifacts that Dr. Willard was seeking, for himself. Lara tracked him down, killed him and reclaimed the artifact.
While leaving the jungle, Dr. Willard met Lara, as the doctor had traveled to India to check up on Tony and the team. Noticing that Lara held in her possession the Infada Stone, Dr. Willard told her the story of the sailors and the artifacts, and that there were indeed four of them, rather than the singular Infada Stone that Lara had taken to be the only one of its kind. On this note, Willard hired Lara Croft to find the other three, detailing their locations in London, the South Pacific Islands and Nevada. Lara agreed to this brief.
Meanwhile, Willard's expedition in Antarctica ran into problems when several RX-Tech workers began to show signs of serious biological mutation. Exposed to material from the excavation area, some became poison-spewing creatures that crawled the icy tunnels, while others were turned into hulking monsters. Observing the multiplication of Hox genes in at least one of these cases, Willard was encouraged by these events, seeing this as natural evolution. He awaited Lara Croft's delivery of the Polynesian artifacts, which he saw as the key to furthering the process.
Confrontation with LaraEdit
After exploring the South Pacific Islands, Nevada and London, Lara Croft travelled to Antarctica to meet Willard and hand the found artifacts to him. Welcoming her into his cabin, Willard was informed by Lara that she had encountered one of his mutated employees, a former molecular biologist, on her journey. An excited Willard explained that the power of the four artifacts could accelerate evolution, changing people into powerful mutants; when all four would be joined together in the meteorite crater, the resulting energy surge would accelerate evolution on a worldwide scale. Willard defended the idea as entirely natural and justified.
Horrified by this as it reminded her of the similar scheme Natla had once planned to carry out, Lara attempted to attack Willard and put a stop to the plan, which she found abhorrent. However, Willard overpowered her, and managed to escape with the artifacts in his possession. He managed to escape Lara and get to the crater through a mining facility that the expedition had set up to access the crater in the lost city of Tinnos, far below the surface.
Transformation and DeathEdit
Upon reaching the crater, Willard placed the artifacts at certain points in the crater, causing the long-buried meteorite to rise from its resting place, and was absorbed by the power of the meteorite crater.
Lara entered the cavern at this time and witnessed Willard's transformation into a terrifying spider-like monster. Facing the mutant, she drew arms and engaged the former scientist, removing all four artifacts from their places and sinking the meteorite, robbing the mutated Willard of his power and killing him.
With the battle thus finished, Willard reverted to his human form and died. Lara searched his body and found information about a fifth meteorite artifact called the Hand of Rathmore.
- Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft (First appearance)
- Tomb Raider III: The Lost Artifact (main menu screen and Highland Fling loading screen only)
Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara CroftEdit
- Caves of Kaliya (in FMV sequence)
- Antarctica (in cutscene)
- Lost City of Tinnos (in cutscene)
- Meteorite Cavern
Tomb Raider III Adventures of Lara CroftEdit
- "I've been yellin' myself hoarse into this radio everyday. It's just the weather dumps on us frequently here. An' maybe my transmission doesn't get through. I don't know."
- "It's all going swell, sir!"
- "Turn it off! Off! Hey! Switch it off!"
- "Blow through it!"
- "Found more meteorite?"
- "Oh No! Billy, I don't want you to set that explosive. Do ye hear me? I do not want ye to set that explosive!"
- "Wretched pyros!"
- "This place's had a busy history."
Trying to talk to Tony through radio
- "Tech four to five. Do you read me, Tech five? Tech... Tony ye loon, I know you're there."
Meeting Lara in India
- "I don't want to be misrepresented by that retarded researcher you just been with, er..."
- "I'm Doctor Willard. I'd come to converse with Tony myself, but I saw you doing a rather more creditable job, I think. Indeed, I'm inspired. I'd like to offer ye other work."
- "Fortunately, they were the only lab rats we let loose into the field. Naw, my request is for three other artifacts like this."
- "I'll show ye. It's not from India. Rather, an island near Antarctica. It is in fact meteorite rock that has been fashioned and used by Polynesians who were once settled there many many years ago. See that? That's unique. An unknown material."
- "Formed from the planets, sculpted by Polynesians, distributed by goons. Our excavations and investigations have led us to this. A sailor's diary from his voyage on Charles Darwin's expedition on the HMS Beagle."
- "Stephen was to be the only survivor of the four. When he arrived back in London, he superstitiously sold off his artifact havin' seen his pals murdered or killed with theirs."
- "One here in India, one in the South Pacific, an' one in Nevada. The places where I'd like ye to go."
Meeting Lara in Antarctica
- "Hi! Come in. Make yourself at home. I won't be a minute."
- "Fascinating, isn't it?"
- "He was a molecular biologist. He would have been intrigued with himself. Thanks to this material, his Hox genes were multiplied. Do that, and the complexities of our bodies increase beyond our comprehension. But this is of the fringe of its possibilities we're seeing here. My pal's exposure came from material impregnated into the meteorite crater. The real capacities lie in its core which these artifacts you're so attached to, will let me access."
- "This is not just about avidly spawning mutants. It's an entirely natural acceleration of evolution. A real live laboratory of spurred on life!"
- "Well now. That's unfortunate. It's been hit and miss here for too long. Now the timing's spot on, I can't leave it. The Polynesians fled in their ignorance. Darwin's half-wit sailors the same. Ironically making Darwin himself miss this angle in evolution. Hmm. But now I'm here. I have the access, the knowledge, the artifacts."
- "I don't know about that!"
- Dr. Willard was given the first name of 'Mark', a birth date and other information in Editions Atlas' Tomb Raider The Official Fact Files: Issue 13.
- The flag he wears on his winter coat is that of the Shetland Islands.
- Like Natla before him, he too was secretly planning to use powerful artifacts for some sinister goal.