|Featuring Lara Croft|
|Release Date||October 1996|
|Platforms||PC, Mac, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PDA and Nokia N-Gage|
|Tomb Raider||Tomb Raider II|
Tomb Raider was the first of the series, the game that started the legacy. It was impressive at the time for its 3D graphics, player interaction, and mix of action and exploration. It also established the third person perspective that was used in all subsequent games, and introduces the classic Tomb Raider game engine. This game marks the first appearance of the protagonist of the Tomb Raider games: Lara Croft.
- 1 Release Dates
- 2 Story
- 3 Gameplay & Features
- 4 Gear
- 5 Finds
- 6 Development
- 7 Cheats
- 8 System Requirements
- 9 Ratings
- 10 Cover Images
- 11 Tomb Raider in the Official Sega Saturn Magazine
- 12 Trivia
- 13 References
- Main article: Tomb Raider Release Dates
The game was first released in late 1996 for Sega Saturn with PC and PlayStation versions following shortly after. A PDA and Nokia N-Gage version were released in 2003. An expansion, known as Tomb Raider Unfinished Business was released in 1998 featuring a separate 4-level adventure.
- The protagonist of Tomb Raider making her first appearence. She is very athletic performing numerous manoeuvres and being able to vault upon many ledges. She also is a deadly expert in gunfire and weaponry.
- The villain of the game, she is the CEO of Natla Technologies. She hires Lara to find a piece of an artefact called the Scion. Her intentions are not quite as they seem and her only goal is to use the Scion to finish what she started thousands of years ago.
- A dimwitted henchman of Natla. He originally makes contact with Lara in Calcutta on behalf of Natla. In Peru, he tries to kill Lara but fails. He ultimately meets his demise in Egypt. His weapon of choice is a Revolver.
- Another henchman of Natla. He is sent to find the second Scion piece in Greece. When he realises that Lara has followed him there, he plays cat and mouse with her throughout the complex of Tihocan. He is ultimately killed by Lara at the end of the chase. His weapon of choice is the Magnums.
- One of Natla's goon trio. He steals Lara's magnums from her. He is killed in Natla's Mines before Lara reclaims her magnums.
- (AKA: Kid) One of Natla's goon trio. He steals Lara's uzis from her. He uses a skate board whilst shooting and is killed in Natla's Mines before Lara reclaims her uzis.
- (AKA: Kold) One of Natla's goon trio. He steals Lara's shotgun from her. He is killed in Natla's Mines outside the pyramid before Lara reclaims her shotgun.
Gameplay & Features
Tomb Raider is third person perspective, with the camera following Lara. She can run, walk, vault, shimmy, jump, move blocks, swim, swan dive, roll, shoot and perform numerous acrobatic aerial manoeuvres. She automatically locks on to enemies and can run and jump while locked on, giving her the advantage to jump behind the enemy while shooting it in the back.
The AI of enemies is mediocre. When confronted with a lion, it will run, stop to growl, run again, stop to growl again, and so forth. This can be seen as unrealistic, but was impressive at its time, and does little to inhibit the gameplay.
When Lara is jumping to another platform, she must execute a well timed jump for longer distances, with simple stationary jumps for shorter distances. Some platforms may require Lara to perform a running jump, which causes her to grab the edge of the platform and then vault up. To get to another platform, Lara must grab onto the edge of the platform she is standing on, and shimmy across a group of edges before she can vault up. Lara receives damage from dropping from great height, and a long enough fall will kill her. There are also numerous opponents that will do their best to kill Lara, and a whole host of traps and obstacles that inflict varying degrees of damage.
There are some puzzles in the game but they are more practical than mathematical. For example, some doors may be timed and Lara must use a lever to open it then cross a series of obstacles, usually requiring timed jumps. Some puzzles require the finding of items and keys. The Palace Midas level requires the player to utilise a magical process in order to complete the level.
In the PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions of Tomb Raider, saving the game is restricted to fixed save points within each level, marked by a floating blue save crystal. When Lara touches one of these the option to save is made available. The scarcity of these points, however, means that if the player dies, large portions of each level must be replayed, much to the players' frustration. Following criticism on this system, it was changed in later games. The PC and Mac versions of the game allow the player to save at any time.
- Explore four massive worlds with over 15 original levels encompassing four continents.
- Your arsenal includes: pistols, magnums, a shotgun and uzis.
- Battle wolves, bats, bears, alligators, raptors, and even a T-Rex in your quest for the Scion.
- Over 5,000 frames of animation on the main character, Lara, alone.
- Unique multi-target acquisition system.
- State of the art intelligent third person perspective cinematic camera system.
- Multi-genre immersive gameplay.
- The first real 3D interactive exploratory adventure.
Tools and more
- Rusty Key
- Silver Key
- Gold Key
- Atlas Key (Greece, St. Francis)
- Neptune Key (Greece, St. Francis)
- Damocles Key (Greece, St. Francis)
- Thor Key (Greece, St. Francis)
- Saphire Key (Egypt)
- Pyramid Key (Atlantis)
There are 45 secrets in total consisting of supplies such as medipacks and ammunition for the different weapons Lara picks up on her adventure. Collecting all the secrets does not unlock any hidden features in the game. They are simply there to further supplement Lara making her adventure easier.
- Giant Gorillas
- Black Panther
- Cat Mummies
- Winged Atlantean
- Skater Boy
- Bald Guy
- Crawling Atlantean
- Atlantean Lara
- Legless Mutant
Preliminary work on Tomb Raider commenced in 1993, but it was not until November 1996 that the game actually saw the light of day as a retail product. The title was crafted by Core Design of Europe, who took 18 months to develop it. The team consisted of six people, among them Toby Gard, who is credited with the invention of Lara Croft. The character went through several changes before Core settled on the version she became famous for. In its earliest conception, Lara Croft was a male placeholder for an as yet undefined character, but as Core decided that puzzles and stealth should be more important to the game than action, they found that these requirements better suited a female character than a classic male action hero.
As such Lara was born under the name Laura Cruz. The U was later dropped from "Laura" in favour of Lara, to appeal more to American audiences. At the same time, her back story started to shape up and it was decided she should become more British and aristocratic, hence Cruz was changed to Croft to accommodate this. Personality-wise, Lara was a cold-blooded militaristic type in the early concepts. According to Toby Gard, the idea to make her a female Indiana Jones was not present from the beginning, but rather grew naturally out of the development process as the game took its final form.
Lara's famous breast size was in actuality brought about by accident. Toby Gard was fudging around with the model when he accidentally blew up Lara's bosom to 150% of what he intended it to be. As he was resizing it back to normal, the other designers saw what he was working on and told him they loved it and that he should keep the double size.
Interestingly enough, it is Core's contention that the company was struggling somewhat with 32-bit development at that time. It is also rumoured that Tomb Raider's publishing company Eidos was near bankruptcy when Tomb Raider was created. The first glints of the game were seen on Sega Saturn development kits. However, ultimately, it would be the PlayStation rendition that would be known best.
Original Concept Art of Lara Croft
Jason Gosling, Paul Douglas, Gavin Rummery
- Graphic Artists:
Toby Gard, Heather Gibson, Neal Boyd
- Additional Programming:
Derek Leigh-Gilchrist, Andrew Howe, Mansoor Nusrat
- Additional Artwork:
Lee Pullen, Peter Barnard, Stuart Atkinson, David Pate
- Sound effects:
- Script writer:
- Voice of Lara
- Original Concept:
- Executive Producer:
Frank Hom, Tom Marx, Matthew Miller, Brian Schorr, James Poole, Philip B. Gelber, Phillip Baker
Step forward, step back, turn at least 3 times, jump back.
Step forward, step back, turn at least 3 times, jump forward.
On the inventory screen press: Z, Y, Z, Y, X, X, X and START. Then A and UP.
On the inventory screen, last page of passport press: Z, Y, Z, Y, X, X, X and START, followed by C.
Please note: There have been multiple versions of this game over the years. The system requirements listed below may differ slightly. E.g. the game is written for DOS and as such does not need Windows at all; only later versions list this as a requirement. The same goes for the graphics and sound cards: any standard 16 bit sound card and (S)VGA graphics card are supported in low resolution, but to achieve higher performance, 3d accelerator cards such as Voodoo or Matrox Mystique cards are recommended.
As stated on eidosinteractive.co.uk (archive.org)
- MS-DOS 6.0 and/or Windows 95/98
- Pentium 60 processor (90 MHZ or greater recommended)
- 8 MB RAM required (16 MB RAM recommended)
- 2X CD-ROM drive required
- Super VGA VESA compatible video card
- Creative Labs Sound Blaster sound card or 100% compatible.
- Pentium® 90 Mhz
- Windows® 95/98
- 4x CD-ROM Drive
- 16Mb RAM
- Graphics Card DirectX ™ 5 Compatible
- DirectX ™ 5 compatible sound card
- 18.5Mb free hard disk space
- Pentium® 130 Mhz
- Also compatible on Windows® Me/XP
- Gamespot.com - 8.5/10 
- Gamerankings.com - 93% 
- IGN.com - 9.3/10 
- Gamezone.com - 7.1/10 
Tomb Raider in the Official Sega Saturn Magazine
- In Lara's home the Ark of the Covenant can be seen at the front door, presumably as a jokey reference or homage to Indiana Jones.
- Core changed the main character from an Indiana Jones copy to avoid possible litigation from LucasArts 
- The game has been introduced into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in May 2018
- Tomb Raider I, back cover - e.g. UK PlayStation Version (Platinum)