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 the British female archaeologist Lara Croft as she searches for the legendary Atlantean Scion.

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, on a return 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 has 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 the 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 death of Lara Croft. 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, 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 seconds.

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.

Tomb Raider is availabe on PC, Playstation, Sega Saturn and MAC.

Tomb Raider

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