Tomb Raider 3 Trivia

Overview

Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft is the third game in the Tomb Raider series, and the sequel to Tomb Raider II. It was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive. The game was originally released in November 1998 for the PC and PlayStation. The storyline follows Lara Croft as she embarks upon a quest to recover 4 meteorite stones scattered across the world.

Features

The gameplay of Tomb Raider III picks up where Tomb Raider II left off (for a detailed examination of gameplay see Tomb Raider). Once again, Lara's range of abilities has been expanded, now including such moves as the crouch stance, a sprinting move and the ability to "monkey swing" on overhead bars and vines. Sprinting allows Lara to gain a burst of speed while running. A bar then appears in the corner of the screen to indicate the amount of stamina Lara has left. At any time during a sprint she can perform a forward roll, for example to dive under closing trapdoors.

A portion of the game still takes place underwater, but this time new perils have been added. In some levels (eg. Madubu Gorge), the current of the stream will pull Lara in a fixed direction, preventing the player from swimming back or grabbing onto a ledge. These waters can only be navigated using a kayak or a motorboat. Additionally, some tropical pools are inhabited by a school of piranhas. Unlike alligators these fish are invincible, and as soon as Lara enters their waters they will flock toward her, and kill her within seconds. Furthermore, the water in the Antarctic levels is too cold for Lara to swim through it. She can only remain submerged in the water for a short amount of time, and when she dives into it, a new status bar will appear in the corner of the screen to indicate her body temperature. If that bar reaches zero, Lara's life will rapidly decrease.

Quicksand is a new type of ground that distinguishes itself from regular soil by its moving surface. Should the player fall into it, Lara will sink deeper and deeper until she disappears and drowns. Sometimes these swamps reveal hidden stepping stones for Lara to cross.

As always, the pistols are Lara's most basic form of defense. The shotgun, the harpoon gun, the uzis and the grenade launcher have remained from Tomb Raider II. The automatic pistols have disappeared to make place for the powerful Desert Eagle. The M16 rifle has been changed to a similar MP5 submachine gun. Also new to Lara's arsenal is the rocket launcher.

On the PlayStation version, saving the game is restricted to the amount of Save Crystals the player has stored in Lara's inventory. These floating blue crystals can be found throughout each level, but unlike the original Tomb Raider, they do not require the player to save the game at the pickup spot. The PC version allows the player to save at any point. The developers planned on having the Save Crystal system for the PC version, but this was unfinished and the green crystals act instead as small medipacks.

The objective of the game remains unchanged, although Tomb Raider III arguably has less tombs to explore than the previous games. Instead, most levels take place in a more modern environment, and Tomb Raider introduces an element of stealth into the gameplay. For example in the Nevada adventure, it is sometimes preferable to sneak past guards instead of fighting them. Being spotted may set off alarms and close doors that are otherwise needed to complete the stage.

Reception and legacy

As with its predecessor, the release of Tomb Raider III was widely anticipated, making it one of the most popular games of 1998. Many critics and fans praised it as the definitive Tomb Raider installment. The game received generally good marks on graphics and the flexibility of gameplay, as well as its increasingly cinematic approach to plot development.

The level of violence however was once again criticized, as many people felt that the killings in Tomb Raider III were even less necessary than those in Tomb Raider II, where she was only seen shooting gangster and monsters. Tomb Raider III features such "enemies" as museum guards, US soldiers and tribesmen. The lack of tombs to explore was also met with discontent. Most gamers did not appreciate the way Metal Gear Solid like stealth tactics were forced upon the gameplay, and preferred the quiet, atmospheric exploration of the original Tomb Raider.

Nonetheless, the game was a critical and commercial success, and it paved the way for three more direct sequels (until the series came to a temporary halt after Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness).

Interesting Facts

  • Once again, Tomb Raider III pays homage to Indiana Jones in a number of ways, most notably by referencing The Temple of Doom in the India segment. In the South Pacific, certain traps can be triggered by walking into a beam of light just as in Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the secret room of her mansion, next to the artifacts of the previous games, Lara keeps a gold idol stored resembling the one Indiana Jones recovers in the introduction of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • References to other popular movies include Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Batman and Mission: Impossible.
  • The model of Sophia Leigh is the same one used for Lara herself, but with a different hairstyle and other clothes.
  • Some versions are censored, making Lara's blood pink instead of red.

Source: Wikipedia