REFLECTING ON CLASSIC TOMB RAIDER
FROM CORE DESIGN
[ 15 August 2017 ]
Critically acclaimed as one of
the most innovative and influential games of its genre,
Tomb Raider was originally developed by Core Design
and published by Eidos Interactive in 1996. The game
follows the adventures of British female archaeologist
Lara Croft as she searches for the legendary Atlantean
In addition to being the first
to feature a female lead character and setting the standard
for future action/adventure games, Tomb Raider was also
among the first games to introduce third-person perspective
- the camera always remains behind Lara or around her,
depending on the in-game position.
Lara Croft, daughter of Lord Henshingly
Croft, was brought up in wealth and privilege. This
changed when, returning from a skiing trip, her plane
crashed in the Himalayas. Lara - then aged 21- was the
only survivor and having to stay alive on her own in
the wild had a huge impact on her. She found she could
no longer bear the sheltered world of British aristocracy
and turned to adventuring instead.
Lord and Lady Croft did not agree
with their daughter's rejection of the lifestyle intended
for her, so Lara was soon disowned. She turned to publishing
books about her discoveries to fund her trips and made
a name for herself by discovering several important
archaeological sites, as well as stamping out Bigfoot.
It is shortly after the Bigfoot
discovery that Lara Croft is contacted by the CEO of
Natla Technologies, Miss Jacqueline Natla, and hired
to recover a piece of the Atlantean Scion from an unfound
tomb in the Peruan Andes. Ever the adventurer, Lara
accepts the job - but soon discovers that she is not
the only person after the artefact, and that her new
employer isn't at all what she seems to be.
During her explorations, Lara
Croft faces dangerous deathtraps, deadly enemies, complicated
puzzles, and the best of all - powerful bosses. Being
in control, the player's objective is to guide Lara
throughout the vast, complex levels and find the artifact(s)
she seeks. The game focuses primarily on puzzles and
exploration, but there is also a fair bit of combat
involved - making great use of the surprise factor.
Lara's movements were designed
to suit her surroundings and allow her to interact with
different objects. Movements include running, walking,
jumping, side-flipping, side-stepping, swimming, rolling,
traversing while hanging off a ledge and pushing movable
objects. Lara is also able to perform two acrobatic
special moves: the handstand and the swan-dive.
While underwater, a breath bar
appears indicating the amount of air left in Lara's
lungs. Lara can hold her breath for about 2 minutes,
after which she will drown. While on land, Lara's default
weapons are twin pistols with unlimited ammo. Additional
weapons can be found during the progress of the game,
including the Shotgun, Magnums and Uzis.
Many factors may lead to Lara
Croft's untimely demise. Some merely cause damage, while
others are immediately fatal (such as falling off a
high ledge or getting run over by a boulder). Damage
caused by enemies varies by enemy type, with those at
the beginning generally being easier to kill and less
nasty than those near the end of the game.
Some of the more powerful enemies
include dinosaurs, gun-wielding humans and various creatures.
To restore Lara's health, players use medipacks that
can be found everywhere. They are either small or large,
restoring 50% and 100% of Lara's health respectively.
Fire causes rapid decrease of health and, unless put
out by jumping into water, kills Lara in a matter of
The game has only one outfit,
the default outfit which has become Lara's trademark:
gray top, brown shorts and boots, and the smashing mini-backpack.