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E3 1997 REPORT (JUNE 18-20)

News from the show

EIDOS booth at E3 Booth #4173 of the E3 show in Atlanta, featured a 10-foot tall Lara Croft, it was, obviously, the EIDOS booth.

Here's a report on several interesting pieces of information coming from the show:

TR2: What people saw

A special preview edition of Tomb Raider 2 was created to show at E3, in his own words Adrian Smith describes it:

"We're going to be showing part of the Venice level and what we're trying to do is create a strange part of that level that people will be able to explore and find most of the new moves in there. They'll be able to climb, and see the baddies coming after you. There will also be rolling demos. If you touch it you can play, or if it sits it will go into a rolling mode. The rolling demo will show more of the Venice level, the Tibetan level and even some of the sunken galleon boats level. They will see a wide variety of stuff and quite a bit to play."

Tomb Raider 2 promises a graphically improved Lara, more action, and more wide-open spaces. Lara is much more lifelike, with a swaying ponytail and new set of moves, including scaling walls and new swim strokes. She's also a little more fashionable, with multiple outfits including a wetsuit and flight jacket. You won't explore tomb after tomb, either. Beyond its Venetian world, there are three other wide-open 3D environments, including a Tibetan area with all sorts of caverns and feisty monks. Finally, expect plenty of new weapons, such as harpoons, and more human foes and daunting beasts from the animal kingdom, including massive sharks.

6/18: Core will develop for the N64

At its official E3 press conference Wednesday, Nintendo unveiled various details about forthcoming N64 games - including Tomb Raider.

Speaking via a video-recording, Core Design's boss Jeremy Smith said that his third-party company was keen "for commercial and creative" reasons, to get involved in N64 development. The movie detailed shots of Tomb Raider star Lara Croft but offered no screen-shots. However, short of an official admission, this is the clearest sign yet that Lara is coming to N64.

6/19: Police control at Eidos party

This cop wasn't kidding around at the Eidos party. Crowd control was definitely needed as people lined up around the block to get down with the makers of Tomb Raider. And it was an "invitation only" party...

6/19: Nintendo and Lara

Nintendo has confirmed that Eidos is working on Nintendo 64 titles

In a meeting with Nintendo Thursday afternoon, a spokesman confirmed that Eidos has begun working upon Nintendo 64 titles. While Nintendo couldn't shed any light upon the nature of the titles, a few more tid bits had come out.

It is well known that Tomb Raider 2 is a PlayStation exclusive. What that means to Nintendo is that that particular game can never be ported exactly using the same moniker, What it doesn't preclude is the use of Lara in some 3D adventure that uses an entirely different title.

Sources have suggested that it is exactly this type of scenario that will be among the first Eidos Nintendo 64 titles. There is no sign of any such title at any booth (especially Eidos) but it is supposedly in the works.

6/20: Eidos allies with Sony

Supposedly Eidos will be announcing a new alliance with Sony the result of which will be a number of PlayStation only exclusives.

Saturn owners will be left out in the cold regarding a new deal between Eidos and Sony that is to be announced Friday. The deal marks an end to Saturn development and seriously questions the future of Nintendo 64 titles as well.

While the details of the deal are yet unclear, sources have indicated that Eidos has done quite well for itself financially as a part of the deal. Exact titles included in the deal are expected to be announced later, with Tomb Raider 2 being one of the major properties negotiated.

Rhona Mitra at E3'97

7/20: E3 Best of Show awards

Although Tomb Raider 2 were not even nominated for any award (surely because of it's early development stage), Eidos had several games nominated, along with "Best Booth" and "Best Party" nominations.

It was exactly in this last category that Eidos walk with an award, and we bet that people wanting to see the Lara's models had something to do with this.

According to GamePen's Aaron John Loeb: The bands were Lucious Jackson and a Hip Hop Funky 70s band with a lead singer sporting an afro bigger than Pittsburgh. The greeting committee was comprised of two oiled up, muscle-bound he-men and five british women in little tiny leather outfits. The tequilla flowed down two ice sculptures (a man and a woman) and ended up pouring so that partygoers had to hold their cups under the sculptures' privates. It was a party so decadent, Hugh Heffner would have condemned it as immoral. But that didn't stop industry gonzos, who boogied their booties till the bash was bereft of booze.

It even had police control, so you can guess how wild it was...

Interesting enough were the special commendations. Eidos won the "Best Use of Models at Booth", probably thanks to Rhona Mitra. And one of the "Best Lead Character Commendations", precisely the one called "Best Lead-Lara Croft-esque" was won by (who else) Lara Croft in Tomb Raider2, in the company of Bruce Willis who won the "Best Lead-Real Actor" with Apocalypse.

How many computer games characters do you know who have a award category named after them? Only Lara!

Another interesting note: Which company won more awards? None other than Microsoft with three awards. It seems that the Redmond guys are really moving into the games/entertainment market.

Complete award list:

Most Promising New Game: Myth: The Fallen Lords (Bungie)
Most Promising New Peripheral: SideWinder Force Feedback Pro (MS)
Best Game PC: Dungeon Keeper (Bullfrog)
Best Game Playstation: Abe's Oddworld Oddysee (GT/Oddworld)
Best Game Saturn: Enemy Zero (Sega/WARP)
Best Game N64: Zelda 64 (Nintendo)
Best Action Game: Half Life (Sierra/Valve)
Best Adventure Game: Riven (Red Orb)
Best Real-Time Strategy: Age of Empires (Microsoft/Ensemble)
Best Turn Based Strategy: X-COM: Apocalypse (Microprose)
Best Combat Sim: Longbow 2 (Jane's)
Best Non-Combat Sim: Flight Unlimited 2 (Eidos/Looking Glass)
Best Fighting: Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi (LucasArts)
Best Racing: Test Drive 4 (Accolade)
Best Sports: Baseball 3D (Microsoft)
Best RPG: Might & Magic VI (New World Computing)
Best Online Only: Ultima Online (Origin)
Best Puzzle/Trivia: You Don't Know Jack: TV (Berkley)

by Croft Times &, June 1997