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This page is for the first game in the Tomb Raider series. For the series as a whole, go here.
The first game in the Tomb Raider series was created by a team of just six people, and was released for Sega Saturn, Playstation and PC (and Mac).
The story follows Lara Croft's first adventure, setting off to find the Atlantean Scion for a business woman who turns out to be an ancient god, and bearer of one third of said artifact.
The game contains examples of:
- A Winner Is You: The pyramid explodes, Lara sails away, a couple of seconds of credits rolling in silence, then back to the title screen.
- Behind the Black: Pierre will shoot at Lara forever and take an infinite number of bullets, until he is offscreen, at which point he escapes.
- Block Puzzle
- Cave Behind the Falls
- Characterization Marches On: Lara's personality resembles more of a cheeky girl-next-door type here.
- Cowboy: One of Natla's henchmen.
- Deep South: Larson
- Did Not Do the Research: In St. Francis's Folly, the list of Greek mythological figures includes Neptune and Thor. These are changed to Poseidon and Hephaestus in Anniversary.
- Direct Continuous Levels: Individual levels do this, but chapters involve a transition to a different location.
- Down the Drain: The Cistern is arguably a subversion, being one of the more fun and interesting levels in the game.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
- Invisible Grid
- MacGuffin Delivery Service
- Mayincatec: The City of Vilcabamba is based on the real-life last outpost of the Inca. It contains a gold idol modelled on a Tumi, a ceremonial knife used in sacrifices.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Gorillas in Greece.
- Missing the Good Stuff: "Right, now I'd better take off these wet clothes!" Then the level ends.
- Nuclear Option: The initial nuclear test activates some device within the desert. It unlocks and reveals a person in suspended animation.
- No Flow in CGI: The reason Lara has no ponytail outside of FM Vs.
- Porting Disaster: The PC version has no event music (although it came with a few unique ambient themes), thankfully the soundtrack has been restored in recent years.
- Scary Black Man
- Shout-Out: The Ark of the Covenant in Lara's home.
- During Lara's battle with the Skateboard Kid, when you start to shoot him he'll say "You firin' at me? You firin' at me? Well I don't see anyone else here, so you must be firin' at me."
- Trope Codifier: Popularized a lot of the tropes used in 3D Action Adventure games, and is likely the Trope Maker for some.
- Womb Level: The Atlantis levels have walls of pulsating flesh and tissue mixed with tons of lava.
Tomb Raider was later re-released on PC as Tomb Raider: Gold, and contained four extra levels known as Unfinished Business. The first two detail a return to the locations visited previously in Egypt, while the second two are an extended ending to the original Tomb Raider story, where Lara must escape from the exploding pyramid.
Unfinished Business contains examples of:
- A Winner Is You
- Death Trap: While obviously a staple of the Tomb Raider series, Unfinished Business contains a section where the player has three routes to take, two safe, one deadly. This death trap is very difficult to escape, and doing so is the key to obtaining a secret.
- It's All Upstairs From Here: Atlantean Stronghold: You start at the top, plummet to the bottom, then spend the rest of the level climbing back to the top...so you can fall all the way down to the bottom again to reach the exit.
- Living Statue: The cat statues can turn into panthers. This trait would later become a staple of the Gold expansion games.
- Expansion Pack
- Nightmare Fuel: As if the Atlanteans weren't scary enough before, they now have a new ability; standing tall like statues and then springing to life when you least expect it.
- Nintendo Hard
Tomb Raider: Anniversary contains examples of:
- Arc Welding: It turned out that Anniversary was partially made so Natla could be added into the Legend/Underworld story arc
- Genre Blindness: One of the lines spoken by the final boss during a cutscene: "Sooner or later, you're going to run out of bullets." Looks like she forgot that this is, after all, a Tomb Raider game, and our heroine Lara Croft is the poster girl for Bottomless Magazines.
- Grey DeLisle: As Jacqueline Natla.
- Insistent Terminology: Lost Island, NOT Atlantis.
- Justified Tutorial: When approaching the destination, your guide breaks the ladder, forcing you to climb up using other terrain. Tutorial messages tell you how to proceed.
- Limit Break: This is explained when you reach the T-Rex - the meter below the bosses' health is the rage meter which increases if you keep attacking. When it fills, the T-Rex attempts a powerful attack, which you can exploit For Massive Damage.
- Keeley Hawes: As Lara Croft.
- Nuclear Option: In the remake, the explosion reveals a winged beast flying out of the burning grounds.
- Press X to Not Die: Anniversary introduces Quick Time Events, which require the player to hit a certain arrow key when it shows up on screen. Failing to do so will result in Lara dying.
- Real Is Brown: Real is very, very grey.
- There's no lack of browns either.
- Rule of Cool / Rule of Fun: While it mostly applies (and takes various areas/puzzles from the original Up to Eleven), it is defied with some levels and sequences, where realism seems have taken precedence compared to the original.
- Sequel Hook: Qualopec gets up out of his throne, Tihocan's body is missing from its coffin, and Natla swears "This is only one remnant of Atlantis! I will find another!
- Shout-Out: In the developer commentary, they explain that the ark was removed from the manor, because it may have been trademarked.
- That One Level: Obelisk of Khamoon and those damned knives.
- The shaft climb in The Great Pyramid is an even bigger example for a lot of players.
- These Hands Have Killed: Lara stares at her hands after killing Larson and even repeatedly wipes her hands afterwards.
- Video Game Remake: A remake of Tomb Raider for the PS 1 with vastly superior graphics and voice work. New puzzles and enemies were also added.
- We Can Rule Together: Near the end of the game Natla offers Lara the chance to rule at her side.