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The makers of popular computer game Tomb Raider issued a public apology on Wednesday to a French archeologist who was miffed that a character appearing alongside cyber heroine Lara Croft seemed to resemble himself.

In a statement published in the French daily Le Monde, Eidos Interactive Ltd. said any likeness between Jean-Yves Empereur and the archeologist Jean-Yves in version four of its adventure game was purely coincidental.

Mr. Empereur, famous for discovering the remains of the Pharos lighthouse - one of the seven wonders of the ancient world - near the Egyptian city of Alexandria, objected to the character of the same name and profession in Tomb Raider Four, which is partly played out in Egypt.

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The British computer games maker and its French distributor said Tomb Raider Four would continue to be sold in its present state for technical reasons, but that no such character would appear in any of its games in the future.

Tomb Raider is one of the most popular computer games around the world, having sold almost 25 million copies since 1996.

Version five, which does not include the Jean-Yves character, has been on sale since the start of 2000 and was turned into a Hollywood film starring Angelina Jolie as the intrepid Lara Croft.

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