30 October 2013

Relive is a new feature on the site which  revists specific moments in the Tomb Raider series. Today marks Guns and Grapple's fifth anniversary (we'll do something special soon!) so I wanted to return to a level which had a major influence in my childhood...

"Ah, and you are the world-famous archeologist adventurer Lara Croft, ja? No, no, I am the reknown archeologist adventurer Werner Von Croy and you will do as I say! Go to wall and pull the lever!"
- Von Croy

It occurred to me the other day that I had passed the age that Lara was when she first embarked on her adventure with Werner Von Croy at the start of The Last Revelation. Despite passing that age a few years ago, I felt mixed feelings at this realisation. That level had a huge impact on me when I was a child; growing up I wanted to embody Lara in some way*, and that level built the foundations of which that dream was built.

At the start of the game, the player is introduced to the game's mechanics through a cleverly designed tutorial. While traditionally game tutorials can be slightly uninteresting, Core revisited one of Lara's first adventures taking place at Angkor Wat. In the level, the player controls a 16 year old Lara on an adventure to find the Iris with Werner Von Croy. Von Croy is a world renowned archaeologist, an achievement he is not the least bit humble about. Lara's appearance on the quest may be slightly strange, but considering her family's fortune and her adventuring buddy's absent enthusiasm for actually solving any puzzles himself, it becomes pretty apparent that his parasitic actions are as honest as his intentions.

The level is most remembered in the series for the introduction of Lara's backpack, which she continues to wear throughout many memorable adventures; from that moment she became the adventurer we loved.

The flashback is split into two sections; the first shows the player how to control the character and informs them of new movements added to the game since the last time we met Lara. The second part is a timed level in which the player uses their new knowledge to try to beat Von Croy to the Iris. Although given the sudden appearance of the time trail, you weren't punished for failing to get there ahead of your opponent.

As a child playing this level, I used to be terrified of the time trial, but thoroughly enjoyed and continuously played the first part of the game. At the time, I memorised the location of all the golden skulls with my four year old mind thinking this was the greatest achievement ever! And I loved how karma came back to Von Croy, and the banter between the two characters.

There's been a number of forum threads over the years asking fans what moment they think of when they think of the series, for me, my mind returns to Angkor Wat and being four again.  

* I've learned through my carelessness, I obviously focused on the side of the character which would randomly swan dive off the side of cliffs after saving. 

Photo from Katie's Tomb Raider Screenshots


1 comment:

  1. The Last Revelation was the first Tomb Raider I ever played so this was my first adventure with Lara Croft... and every time I replay this part I feel so nostalgic. Beautiful memories. Thanks for pleasant article, Jaden :-)