Copyright 2000

[ August 7th 2000 ]

The UK Playstation Magazine's August feature this month focuses on the fifth instalment from the phenomenally successful Tomb Raider series from Eidos Interactive and developed by CORE DESIGN aptly named Tomb Raider Chronicles. The scene begins with the funeral of our heroine Miss Lara Croft, feared consumed in the Temple Of Horus at the end of The Last Revelation (aka Tomb Raider 4). As Wilson and several other guests begin to reminisce of adventures entertaining Lara to the covenants of the globe, the story cuts to Rome, where, as Wilson narrates a particular favourite adventure, Lara assumes her role and the game begins.

LEVEL ONE - BACKSTREETS OF ROME: The level begins in Rome's Opera House where Lara, in evening gown, is here to meet Larson and Pierre and buy the Stone from them. A double-cross ensues and the chase takes to the narrow streets of Italy's capital.

LEVEL TWO - THE SUBMARINE: Talk turns toward a picture of a German WW2 U-Boat close to the fireplace. Jean-Yves reveals that the ship was carrying the mythical Spear of Destiny (the Spear that was said to have pierced Jesus' side and is alleged to have magical powers) back to Germany but, due to a mysterious explosion, never made it. Flashback to Jean-Yves and Lara (in arctic style costume )heading out to Murmansk to find the Spear.

LEVEL THREE - SPOOKY ISLAND: Lightening strikes and the candles go out. It's a hellish night, and one that reminds Winston of the time he spent out at Conussie - the Butler's old Irish home. The teenage Lara once stayed there with Winston and Father Dunstan and saw some strange apparitions on one of the islands. The two Irishmen don't explain what these apparitions are, o the young heroine sneaks away on a boat to investigate.

LEVEL FOUR - TOWERBLOCK: We rejoin Winston, Jean-Yves and Dunstan in a secret area of Lara's Trophy Room. Winston pulls up a dusty sheet and finds the Iris. As the light from this jewel illuminates the room, we flashback to a Tower Block, the Von Croy Industries logo shining out in the dark. Cut to Lara, dressed in a Cat Suit, who must use all her stealth skills to infiltrate the building, dodge laser trip wires and claim the mysterious prize.

As training and game play appeared as a seamless exercise in The Last Revelation, this next adventure will include a training level in Rome. The game is also set to reward the player, perhaps with extra levels, which might suggest the inclusion of secrets for a fifth time. New moves include tightrope manoeuvres and balancing techniques, weapons a protections spray and a truncheon, and even the accompaniment of a new character to aid Lara in the Tower Block level.

Boasting over one hundred well hidden secrets for those more than apt at skipping through the levels with ease, Tomb Raider Chronicles looks to be Eidos Interactives best yet. The game is set for a November release, we think December is more likely.

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