Pandora's Box is the legendary accursed artifact that plays a major role in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
According to Greek mythology, Zeus created a human woman, Pandora, as a wife for Epimetheus, the god Prometheus’ brother. This was to be Zeus’ revenge against Prometheus for giving the power of fire to man. Other gods helped Zeus by endowing Pandora with loveliness and persuasion. Zeus’ final gift to Pandora was a box, one she was warned not to open. Being human with a gift of curiosity, she could not resist the temptation. This lead to a terrible discovery. The box contained every possible evil that could harm and plague mankind. A distraught Pandora tried to close the box before these forces escaped, but she was too late and evil flew out into the world. It is said that the last thing to come out of the box was hope, before Pandora cried black acid from her eyes because of the wrong she had committed.
In 2300 BC, an Egyptian Pharaoh found a place he named The Cradle of Life, where we, life, began. And then he found the box, the box which brought life to Earth. The Pharaoh opened the box, but all that was left inside was the Ramante, or "anti-life". The plague, which came as the companion to life. It leveled the Pharaoh's army. The Pharaoh's son dispatched his finest soldier to take the box which then be transported to the end of the world.
2,000 years later, Alexander the Great reached India, where his army was ravaged by a plague after one of his men find a box around somewhere there. Alexander felt that the box was too powerful to be trusted to any man, so he returned it to its home, The Cradle of Life. It's just has never been seen since.
Alexander found Cradle of Life by using a map that is with the box, a map he then hid from the world in the Luna Temple. But the name he gave this map was "Mati", and the literal translation for the word "Mati" is eye.
Centuries later, adventurer Lara Croft has been hired to find Pandora's Box, which supposedly contains the deadliest plague on Earth, before evil scientist Jonathan Reiss can get his hands on it. The key to finding the Box, which is hidden in the mysterious Cradle of Life, is an orb that is supposed to be some type of map.
The orb is a map Lara and Terry Sheridan embark together on an adventure that spans continents in an attempt to obtain the luminous orb that will lead them to Pandora's Box. Clues unveiled lead the pair on separate paths to the Kilimanjaro in Africa where they meet to continue the final lap of the journey. Once they enter the Cradle of Life, Terry attempts to take Pandora's box as a prize for helping Lara find it. This results in Lara being forced to kill him. Lara contemplates opening the box but decides to let it rest untouched in the Cradle of Life for eternity. "Some things are not meant to be found.".
- The artifact is based on the mythical cursed treasure of the same name.