Tomb Raider Legend Trivia

Overview

Lara Tomb Raider: Legend is the seventh game in the Tomb Raider series. Published by Eidos Interactive, this is the first game in the series not to be handled by British based Core Design, developed instead by U.S. studio Crystal Dynamics. The PS2, PC, Xbox, and Xbox 360 versions were released in Europe on April 7, 2006 and in North America on April 11, 2006. The North American PSP version was released on June 20, 2006. The GameCube, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS versions will be released on November 15, 2006.

The DVD-ROM is protected with SecuROM 7.



Game Description

Indeed a legend in her own time, Lara Croft returns to home computers in 2006 with a new look, a new game, and a new developer. Revamped physics and an enhanced control scheme allow for more free-flowing action, while graphical improvements present a redesigned Lara who is immediately expressive, more believably proportioned, and as strikingly attractive as ever.

Lady Croft's new look in Legend is based in part on 20-year-old British model Karima Adebibe. Lara now boasts smoother animations, a more realistic deportment, and a number of costume changes. The original Tomb Raider games were popular for their innovative blend of gaming styles as well as for their distinguished female lead, however, and this game is designed to return fans to the winning combination of 3D platforming, environmental puzzle-solving, and third-person shooting found in the blockbuster originals.

While the story line of Tomb Raider: Legend is told around the series' traditional "tomb raiding" action, Lara must also adventure through modern city levels, proving her acrobatic skill set is as applicable to skyscrapers and cement as it is to unforgiving wilderness and ancient architecture. New equipment, such as the grappling hook and communication device, offer new abilities. A number of vehicles become available along the way, as well, for special gameplay sequences.

For the first time in the series, stalwart Eidos studio Crystal Dynamics (Gex, Legacy of Kain, Project: Snowblind) was developer of this Tomb Raider game, instead of the franchise's creator, Core. The designers at Crystal Dynamics have endeavored to apply their extensive experience in the 3D action genre toward reinvigorating one of gaming's most recognizable and beloved characters.



Versions

This is the first game in the series that has been available for the PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube, or Nintendo DS.

One noticeable difference between the Xbox version of the game and all the other versions, is that the Xbox edition does not include the introduction movie with opening titles. According to Xboxic, the manager of the Xbox development team genuinely forgot to include the intro video on the final build disc when sending it off for the final game testing with Microsoft's Quality Assurance team. When the mistake was discovered, the QA department told Eidos they would need to resubmit the game for re-testing from scratch. Due to time restrictions and the extra, unnecessary cost involved, Eidos chose to release the Xbox version without the intro movie, since it contains no story elements and simply acts as a small introduction trailer to the game.

The PlayStation 2 demo was made available in some regions in the Official PlayStation Magazine. A PC demo was released on March 31 and an Xbox 360 demo was released on April 5.

Reception and legacy

Tomb Raider: Legend was released to widely positive reviews by the media:

According to Game Rankings, on the four major consoles it was released on, it has averaged a score of 81.9%

However, some fans were disappointed with the game, labelling it as too easy and short, feeling it had lost the key elements of the original Tomb Raider games. Crystal Dynamics said that they wanted to bring the game "back to its roots" and promised the game would have the atmosphere and challenging platforming elements which made the original games so popular.



Edited Legend

It has come to the attention of many Tomb Raider fans that, having tracked Legend from early on, the game seemed to be missing some aspects which featured in the original trailers and official screenshots. There could be a number of possible reasons for this, none of which have been confirmed, only speculated. The inclusion of Toby Gard in the Legend project is one explanation for the exclusion of the anticipated scenes and levels. Some believe Crystal Dynamics had already created a story and some levels for Legend before Gard was invited onto the project. Gard apparently didn't like the original story for Legend and opted to change it, scrapping some levels that could not be worked into the new storyline. Another explanation is that Eidos wanted the developers to make Legend a multi-platform game, rather than restricting it to the previous three consoles (PC, PS2 and XBOX). A heavier work load would have required Crystal Dynamics to drop aspects of the game. On the other hand, Crystal Dynamics might have just wanted to "test the water," so to speak, with Tomb Raider: Legend. They were completely new to the franchise, after all, and another commercial failure like Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness may have ended the series for good. Thus, the developers would have been concentrating on the quality of the title and not its length.

Here are some examples of scenes that were originally intended to appear in the game. Many of these have been spotted by fans at Tomb Raider Forums.

  • Missing levels - Early footage and screenshots indicate an entire level was removed from the finished title. It appeared to be a level set deep in the rainforest of Central America and featured three pyramids, possibly from a pre-Colombian civilisation. Images of a puzzle room have also been mentioned. These feature a large chamber including large stone faces set into the walls and a large platform with rope bridges in the center. Part of what appears to be a puzzle is situated on the far wall, consisting of three rotating stone plates. It's possible that the player was required to crack a combination with these plates or something much more elaborate. According to Tomb Raider: Legend producer Morgan Gray, this level was taken out because they felt that there was too many levels set in South America and by cutting this level they had space for the Kazakhstan level. Also, there are images (partly sketched) that suggest that there were more levels intended to be made. These include an image of Lara diving from a rooftop, with one of the Petronas Towers clearly visible on the right-hand side; a picture showing an assault inside the walls of a castle (Carbonek?); Lara running along a small walk-way above water, leading to the entrance of an impressive tomb or temple. The original concept art depicted areas unlike those in the final game. However, these images may just have been inspirational to the developers and there is no evidence they were intended for production. There was also a rumoured additional chase scene spanning across an English Motorway. Extended or replaced level - This is believed to be an extension of Kazakhstan level or the original Nepal level. Early footage and pictures showed a large chamber covered in stone debris and ice. The deep blue colour to the room indicated a cold climate. Objects in the room included shelves which swayed when Lara ran on top of them, boxes with Japanese calligraphy and, the most prominent feature, a large statue of a many-armed warrior demon.
  • Tokyo Roof Jumps - The original trailer, released in April last year, revealed a very promising motorcycle sequence where Lara was required to jump from one roof to another in Tokyo. It also showed a scene where Lara jumps from the bike, notably a more futuristic bike, and up-ending it. Lara lands in a man-made pond, probably part of a roof-top garden, and the momentum causes her to fall backwards and slide across the water. The motorbike stikes a wall, exploding, sending a tyre flying, narrowly missing Lara. This was possibly part of the immediate action sequences which appear in the finished game, where the player is required to press the correct sequence of buttons to save Lara from immediate peril. However, no such scene appeared in the game. It seems it was replaced in favor of a much shorter, less elaborate roof jump scene.
  • Missing weaponry - One known weapon that was excluded from the finished game was the rocket launcher. There are videos and images or Lara being attacked and attacking with a rocket launcher. Old pictures from the Ghana level show Lara using a revolver. Recently, a code for Action Replay has allowed the Rocket Launcher to be used in game.
  • Diving- There was several videos showing her swan dive into water in the level, Ghana. She did it more smoothly, and slower, just like in the previous sequels. Whereas in Legend, it was faster, and it wasn't a video.
  • Alternate item setup - Early images show a different item setup in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. The items were largely the same as in the finished game but had different appearances and a different controller configuration. However, it should be noted that Lara was intended to have flares throughout the entire game and not just in the flashback section of the second level.
  • Cutscene - After her dive off a cliff, Lara needs to solve a mechanism to part the waterfall, The trailer, that featured "Spitfire" by Prodigy and a gameplay video featured Lara jumping onto it, remaining there momentarily and jumping back off it and landing on her knees. In the final version, Lara swings and kicks it before the parting cutscene starts.
  • Crystal Dynamics claimed the soundtrack would feature a few tracks from The Prodigy {fact} but in the finished game, no such tracks could be heard.
  • Shooting - Early trailers showed Lara having the ability to crouch and shoot at the same time, like with previous games, however Lara can't in the final game.
  • There was a light blue icon of Lara shooting, located at the bottom right of the screen. It appeared 3 times in the game. The manual hadn't mentioned what the players were supposed to do when that icon showed up. When this icon appears it means that the camera is no longer controllable by the player. It remains in a fixed location and Lara must escape whatever immidiate peril she is in very quickly, such as when a helicopter is destroying the bridge she is on or when a boulder comes at her Indiana Jones style.
Interesting Facts
  • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was to be the first episode of a new Lara Croft trilogy called Next Generation. The game was not as successful as hoped by the developer, but with the large success of Tomb Raider: Legend, further Tomb Raider games are likely.
  • On the unlockable costume Goth, the symbols on Lara's vest and belt buckle are for another Crystal Dynamics/Eidos series, Legacy of Kain. They are the symbols for Raziel and Kain's respective clans. Also, in the main hall of Croft Manor, you can see a painting of the human Kain, the same one that Raziel sees in Kain's Mausoleum in Defiance. Lara's blue sport outfit uses the Soul Reaver symbol of the sound glyph on the shoes. The unlockable Soul Reaver weapon is also a nod to these games.
  • In the last level, Bolivia Redux, the crates bear the Natla Industries logo. Jacqueline Natla was the main enemy in the original game, and Natla Technologies was her company.
  • The game topped the UK game charts at number 1 and remained there for three weeks.
  • As of June 30, 2006, the game has sold over 2.9 million copies worldwide, has become the fastest selling Tomb Raider game in the series and has helped the series sell over 30 million units.
  • The main hall of Croft Manor is nearly identical in layout and ornamentation to its counterpart in the first movie.
  • The lyrics to the main theme and other musical cues in the game are from a Gaelic folk song named Ailein duinn.
  • The game will be released on the GameCube, despite Eidos's announcement of stopping support for said console after poor sales of previous games.
  • In the first Bolivia level, a skeletal corpse can be seen in a hole in the wall. The same corpse can be seen in certain areas of the first Tomb Raider game, such as Peru.
  • Voice cast
      Lara Croft - Keeley Hawes
      LZip - Alex Dsert
      LAlister Fletcher - Greg Ellis
      LAnaya Imanu - Melissa Lloyd
      LAmanda Evert - Kath Soucie
      LKent - Alastair Duncan
      LJames W. Rutland Jr. - Rino Romano
      LWinston Smith - Alan Shearman
      LShogo Takamoto - Michael Hagiwara
      LToru Nishimura - Paul Nakauchi
      LLady Croft (Lara's mother) - ve Karpf
      LChild Lara - Charlotte Asprey

Source: Wikipedia; Answers.com, by T.J. Deci, All Game Guide