Speaking of Tomb Raider

Something’s been bugging me and my therapist doesn’t know the answer (imagine that):

Doesn’t anyone else besides me consider the original Tomb Raider to be one of the greatest games ever made? Personally, I think it was a marvelous piece of work, and I can have fun playing it even today, but I never, ever see it mentioned in any “Best Game” threads, even as a second-ran. Do you think this is because the game really stunk, or has it just been so poisoned by its lesser, cheesy sequels that it doesn’t get its proper due?

I can’t believe you discussed this with your therapist. You must have something else you’re afraid to discuss. ;)

I hope this doesn’t cause a therapudic setback, but I didn’t think TR was one of the greatest games of all time. It was a good game: the heroine was good, the gameplay was decent, I liked the game’s style. The first few levels were quite good (the Valley of the Dinosaur level was almost legendary). Unfortunately, I thought the game really ran out of gas after the first five or six levels. The jumping puzzles got too hard for something that is over-the-shoulder third-person, the levels lacked any cool twists or surprises like that T. Rex, the whole thing just became kind of blah. I didn’t finish it.

I agree with mud – Tomb Raider was a fantastic game, ahead of its time. Its graphics were amazing, its environments huge, and the T-rex one of the best enemies ever in a game. It was the first major game other than Quake to feature 3D polygonal graphics, and the animation and “character” of the enemies were much better than in id’s classic game.

The only thing I liked about the first tomb raider was making lara dive off high places so that she’d land on her head and break her neck. I fucking hate block moving puzzles. FUCKING HATE THEM.

It was a great game until that part where I got tired of watching her lovely ass and realized I had no fucking clue how to complete the mission.

Err, what do you mean by this?

As for Tomb Raider, I think it was significantly better than any of the sequels I’ve played, but I never won the game because like others, the momentum petered out. It’s just “eh, pretty cool, but that’s it” for me.

I’m not under the impression that Tomb Raider is a terribly long game, but I thought it might be good to make it even shorter. Sometimes the amount of traveling around and exploring in dead space could get very prolonged and suck whatever tension was building up out of the game. I stopped playing somewhere around this part where I was being hunted by some guy and had to make a series of difficult jumps around a canyon…I think, its been a while. :?

The whole T-Rex scene never jumped out of me as being terribly great; it reminded me of a whole gaggle of other “boss” encounter introductions (most reminiscient of Ocarina of Time’s Gohma encounter actually…) but the actual fighting of it consisted of simply a tense stand off with jumping backward and shooting guns. In other words, there wasn’t much to it when it actually happened and I was a bit disappointed. Tomb Raider had that feel a lot. That “Hoody doody…nothing to see here, jump, jump, ooooh, dark caves and somber mood, AH! An enemy! Shoot! Shoot! Jump and shoot! Waaaaaa, don’t eat me! Oh, you’re dead, hoody doody…nothing to see here, oooh nice ruins, jump, jump, oooh, quite quiet in here, AH! An enemy! Shoot! ShooT! Jump! Jump and shoot! Waaaa, don’t eat me! Oh, you’re already dead…”

Also, the controls (I’ve played it both on the PC and the PSX) were alright, but they could have been so much better, compared to its 3D contemporaries at the time, it really wasn’t a standard that should have been copied…especially the swimming controls. Though it was rather lovely to be able to shoot and jump and run at the same time, it offered a very “I’m an action hero come to life” feel. I just think it was kind of aiming for that Prince of Persia/Another World feel with its control and completely missed the boot by making it too stiff. After a while of those two aforementioned games, the short lag between animation and control became second nature, but never in Tomb Raider. I remember thinking, “Why is it Super Mario 64 has even more complex environments and yet its so much easier to control?” Especially one of Lara’s jumps, you had to do a special something to get her to hold on to things, I don’t think it was automatic, and I remember being so, so pissed whenever I couldn’t pull it off just right, 'cause she’d drop to her death or lose a great deal of health often.

Overall, though, it carried off the whole “tomb raiding” gig very well and featured quite an exotic setting and gameplay that roughly equaled it. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve long wondered what would have happened if the series had stayed with the original designers. And in that original game, Lara Croft was a lovely character.


The game brings back a lot of great memories for me. Feverishly plugging in one of them fancy, newfangled 3D cards to see what the excitement was all about.

Eventually the thrill wore off, and I got bored with the seemingly endless jumping…and falling and trying again over…and over…and over…

Love it or hate it, no one will ever forget it.

Tomb Raider was the first game that I played with an accelerated 3d video card. Rendition Verite 1000 owners represent!

I never played any other Tomb Raider game. :lol:

I had the Orchid Righteous at the time, and while the silly 3D patch did little more than add some smear to the textures, there are few games that gripped me as much as Tomb Raider did. I am not sure why most people felt the game petered out as you went along, as I remember the Roman colliseum mission quite vividly, as well as the underground sphynx where the camera suddenly rips away from you and does a dramatic pan, giving you some idea of the scope of your surroundings.

Actually, I can understand why someone would tire of the jumping and block puzzles, but I was completely immersed in the world the whole time. There was certainly no other action/puzzle game at the time that felt like it.

Well, Mud, I guess you were busy with your therapist when I posted in this recent Qt3 top-favs thread. :wink:

The first TR I played had a huge effect on me as a gamer; much more than just shooting, it featured swimming, swan diving, twisting timed runs, crazy jumps, nasty traps, lots of exploration, and even some puzzles to boot! Since the mid-1980s I had been purely pointing-and-clicking my way to happiness with adventure games, and TR really spun me for a loop. Actually, Paul Gardiner’s Glidos program (a 3D emulator) gives that original TR a kick into the graphical territory of TR2 (and it works with several other older games like Descent II and Redguard as well). I know it’s not much compared to what’s out for releases today, but it really takes the “Is that an enemy or is that Lara’s foot?” factor out of TR1’s graphics…

Well, Mud, I guess you were busy with your therapist when I posted in this recent Qt3 top-favs thread. :wink:[/quote]

Cripes. You know the most embarrassing part about that? Look who posted right after you…

Rywill, you nailed it, right down to the Valley of the T-Rex. For us playstation only owners, Tomb Raider was the next step up from Resident Evil. But after the Rex things became pretty thin and I never finished it.

I’ll chime in with the total immersion team. It was one of the first games I played on my Playstation, when I was just getting back into gaming after many years away. It totally sucked me in, and I can still vividly recall large chunks of it. Videogame veterans may think of the T-Rex as just another trick boss, but the thing had me terrified and running for cover. I once got a friend to sit down and play that section, and when the T-Rex showed up he just sat there slack-jawed, the controller hanging limply in his hands. He was so awestruck that he just watched as the dinosaur ate Lara whole.

The T & A aspect was never part of the appeal for me, honestly. I played the game because I was gripped by its atmosphere and flexibility of action. Prince of Persia was the only game I had played before TR that managed to capture a similar kind of acrobatic, kinetic beauty.

I finished TR, something I rarely ever do with games. Rented the seqel but it didn’t grab me; never tried any more in the series after that.

Heh, and you didn’t even include Tomb Raider in your list!

Heh, and you didn’t even include Tomb Raider in your list! [/quote]

Right. That’s the second most embarrassing part… :?

Honestly, though, I always forget about TR simply because it’s slipped so far off my gaming radar screen. Now that it’s recalled to my mind, though, I think I’d put it somewhere in the Top Twenty or Twenty Five.