It is 210 BC at the Great Wall of China. A battle has been fought; the bodies of dying Tibetan monks taint the landscape. The monks have been no match for the Chinese Emperor and his army of warriors; for they have with them a great power that the monks have longed to relieve them of.
Stood before impaled monks, the Chinese General gazes upon them as nearby crows flee, almost as if in knowing of what was to pass. The General's reptilian eyes squint evily as he emits an inhuman snarl. The General draws his sword and gestures forward. The warriors are prepared to finish off the monks. Behind the General, an army of scaly-skinned warriors run forth, screaming battle cries at the remaining monks. From behind the warriors, bowmen let loose their arrows, most of them hitting their targets. Monks screamed and fell.
Then the ground began to shake. Giant footsteps were approaching. It was Emperor Qin Shi Huang himself, in the form of a red-scaled dragon. Rearing his head up at the top of a hill, the dragon Emperor fries a helpless monk with one burst of firey breath.
Suddenly an arrow struck the Emperor's neck from behind. Turning around, the dragon made his way to the source of the attack; a monk now hiding inside one of the Great Wall's guardhouses. The guardhouse was quickly set aflame by dragonfire.
Beneath the Emperor, an injured monk has returned to consciousness, his vision blurred. He can see the dragon's enormous frame occupying most of his vision. But there was something else. A strange small red glow on the dragon's underside. Realising what it is, the monk musters enough strength to rise to his feet. He reaches out for the red glow and pulls. Clutched in his hand he sees the Dagger of Xian, the relic that has given the Emperor and his army the power to dominate the vast lands of China. In the form of a draconic serpent, the magic leaves the Emperor's body and returns to the dagger.
The dragon Emperor roars in dismay. And before the monk can even move, dragonfire is upon him. The Emperor's body drops to the ground, letting out one final gasp of breath; his body quickly reduced to nothing but a skeletal frame.
Around the battlefield, warriors and monks alike are shocked by this development. The reptilian features and strength of the Emperor's army disperse, leaving them a weaker force. The General falls to his knees in defeat.
Later, when night has fallen, two of the monks have managed to locate the Dagger of Xian in the battlefield. They then turn their attention to the entrance of the Temple of Xian, a stone structure flanked by two serpentine dragon statues acting as torches.
Inside, the monks use a torch to guide them through the darkness. Soon they come upon large red doors. One of the monks reaches out for the handle. Doing so activates the doors' opening mechanism. The gold symbol on the doors revolves into its familiar form; the Xian symbol used by the Emperor. Then the doors open. One of the monks wait at the doors whilst the other enters the new chamber. He passes a tapestry depicting a dragon and enters a torch-lit room with a pedestal in the centre. The monk approaches the pedestal. Like much of the temple, it featured a dragon motif. The serpentine dragon was coiled around the pedestal; its' head at the top.
The monk reaches for his belt and produces the Dagger of Xian, prepared to seal it away from the outside world. He inserts the blade of the dagger into the pedestal dragon's mouth, its receptacle. Suddenly, the crystaline eyes of the receptacle light up purple; its jaw clenching to tighten its grip on the dagger. The chamber begins to dim. Frightened, the monk futily shields his face with one arm as a blinding purple light engulfs him. He collapses to the floor and the doors to the temple slam shut in front of the other monk.
FMV - Modern
It is now 1997 at the Great Wall of China. A helicopter arrives and stops above one section of the wall. On board, Lara Croft tosses a rope outside and begins descending. Dropping down to the grass, Lara takes a moment to take in her surroundings.
Lara has reached the doors to the Temple of Xian, but is quickly met by a rain of gunfire from behind, narrowly missing her. With an attack cry, a cultist pounces at Lara, but she flips him over to the front of the doors. She draws her pistols and aims them at the attacker.
LARA: "Pardon me, if that was just your way of trying the doors for me."
The cultist chuckles to himself.
CLAUDIO: "With a tommy gun on my key-ring."
LARA: "Though not anymore... so after you."
CLAUDIO: "Somehow, you don't behave like you got a monk's blood."
LARA: "I understand that somehow is in my favour. So indulge me about the dagger. I'd be indebted with your life."
CLAUDIO: "These doors are waiting for the right one, the right time to arrive, and then the dagger's blade will honour the hearts of those who believe. So unless you pledge your loyalty as well..."
During this, Claudio produces a small bottle and takes off the lid.
LARA: "And which one is that?"
CLAUDIO: "To the sins and fortunes of Marco Bartoli!"
Claudio drinks from the bottle. The liquid is poison. He begins to choke before slumping over to one side. Lara holsters her pistols.
LARA: "Perhaps not just yet, then."
Lara crosses over to Claudio's campfire and accesses his notebook computer. She discovers an image of the front of a mansion.
LARA: "Aha! Gianni Bartoli. Via Caravelli, Venice."
Stationed outside the opera house warehouse, Lara sneaks into a seaplane and makes her way into the cargo hold. She examines a pile of crates bearing the Fiamma Nera symbol. After finding nothing of interest, Lara is disturbed by the movement of the plane. It is taking off. To steady herself, Lara clutches onto a rail. From her position, she can hear the sound of muffled voices coming from the cockpit.
FABIO: "It's not the workload that is worrying me... perhaps the tide has gulped it away; perhaps Gianni had never... I don't know... it's just his grave has surrendered nothing, like we say, 'substantial'. It's all very interesting; oh yes, I'm sure of it... believe me; but it's not quite the same now is it?"
Inside the cockpit, the seaplane is being piloted by leader of the Fiamma Nera, Marco Bartoli and his co-pilot, Fabio.
BARTOLI: "Someday you will get a speeding ticket for that tongue, Fabio."
FABIO: "Hey, it's just a gut feeling, but maybe you are wrong to look there."
Angered, Bartoli gets up and strikes Fabio's gut.
BARTOLI: "Is your belief so fragile?"
The plane is temporarily out of control of the pilots. In the cargo hold, Lara is flung from a pile of crates she had been examaning. Back in the cockpit, Bartoli and Fabio regain control of the plane.
BARTOLI: "Relax. Breathe deep. The gut, Fabio, has no more direction than a simple 'through and out'. Honest perhaps, but not enlightened..."
In the cargo hold, Lara kicks aside a crate that had landed on her. She then turns her attention to the ladder leading up to the cockpit.
BARTOLI: "When my father left when I was a boy, he confided to me that he was enlightened... beckoned by something greater than impulse. He possessed the Seraph; but he was just a disciple in this design. His death plotting a path to be sought by the one, his son. You understand? Have faith, Fabio, not gut-rot. We are searching the right place."
Bartoli pats Fabio's shoulder and leaves the cockpit.
FABIO: "I know it. I believe it, Marco."
As a result of Bartoli's departure, Lara is forced to drop from the ladder. She draws her pistols.
BARTOLI: "Eros, have you... fixed that rail yet?"
From behind Lara, Eros appears, gripping the rail with one hand, a spanner in the other. He whacks Lara's head with the spanner and she drops to the floor unconscious.
FMV - Landing
The seaplane reaches it's destination; an offshore rig. The plane touches down on the water and floats into the rig's hangar.
Interlude 01 - Offshore Rig
Lara awakens within the confines of a storage room full of more boxes bearing the Fiamma Nera symbol. She has also been stripped of her weapons.
Interlude 02 - Diving Area
Lara is making her way through a corridor of the rig when she overhears two voices.
BARTOLI: "Blood or answers, I have no preference. He should spill a bit of both!"
CULTIST: "Okay, Marco!"
The cultist turns his attention to the prisoner.
CULTIST: "Glad to have you aboard..."
The cultist begins throwing punches at the prisoner.
CULTIST: "What do you want? Come on... Stick through your stomach? Tell me, where in monastery should we look? Eh, Brother?"
After gunning down more Fiamma Nera goons, Lara discovers the cult's prisoner. But Bartoli has disappeared.
CHAN: "Oh, you are not one of them."
Lara crouches to examine the prisoner's wounds.
LARA: "But you are a monk?"
CHAN: "Brother Chan Barkhang. You have come for me. I saw bright light surround me."
LARA: "That was gunfire. I think it was them who got taken away by it."
CHAN: "But you are my guide. My path-beater to next incarnation. I have done my time here, haven't I?"
LARA: "What are you doing here... with Marco Bartoli?"
Spying a selection of wetsuits hanging on the wall, Lara crosses over to examine them.
CHAN: "Nothing! I... I led righteous life... here for reasons rooted only in necessary evil, as my father was before me when he bombed Gianni's vessel deep into these waters. Now I'm here... uh, was here, to prevent his son from salvaging the Seraph."
LARA: "The Seraph?"
CHAN: "You not know my life's work well. You sure you not here for them?"
He gestures to the dead cultists. Meanwhile, Lara begins to undress and slips into one of the wetsuits.
LARA: "Their Jackanory days are well over."
CHAN: "They want the Seraph to unlock a malignant treasure we hold in our monastery in Tibet. Since being stolen by imbecile vagabonds centuries ago, we been without key to it. Relying solely on cleansing of our prayers to keep it subdued. Then the occultist, Gianni B., acquired it."
Lara throws one of her boots aside, narrowly missing the monk's head.
CHAN: "Trouble we knew. He breathed life back into ancient belief. One not to be stopped by any amount of head bowing. And now again it is here -- Marco. Infected with madness. He has violent mind, but not yet the power to satiate it. So we reach for our weapons once more."
Lara has finished getting into the wetsuit.
LARA: "The true Dettox of evil."
From above them, Marco Bartoli appears on a platform, holding a gun fitted with a silencer in one hand.
CHAN: "Where can you be taking me? Thought this was my big break. Guess change is good as rest. Huh, I need one."
Bartoli twice fires his gun and Brother Chan falls on his back. Lara immediately opens fire at him but the cult leader takes cover. Her attention diverted for a moment, Lara hears the sound of an alarm. The minisub is leaving. Bartoli opens fire again and Lara flees, taking shots back at him as she does so. Quickly, Lara rushes to the diving area and jumps into the water after the minisub.
FMV - MS
Beneath the offshore rig, forty fathoms below the sea, the Fiamma Nera excavation of Gianni Bartoli's watery grave is well underway. Lara has hitched a ride on top of a minisub. But she doesn't go unnoticed for long. The minisub pilot sights her on one of his monitor screens inside the sub. He presses a button at the controls and a mechanical arm emerges on top, reaching out to grab Lara. Before the machine can grip her, however, a great white shark speeds past the sub, causing the pilot to be fatally distracted. The sub goes out of control and plunges into a rock wall. Lara is left to find an escape route by herself.
FMV - Crash
After recovering the Seraph, Lara rises back up to the surface at the offshore rig via an inflatable buoy. From a catwalk in the hangar, Lara jumps off and lands on top of the seaplane. Aware of where she must go next, Lara enters the plane, changes back into her usual raiding clothes and takes a seat inside the cockpit. Flicking a switch, she activates the propellers of the aircraft. With one deliberate pull of a lever, the plane begins to drift out through the huge hangar doors, picking up speed. Very soon, the plane is airborne. Inside the cockpit, Lara discovers a brown bomber jacket that had been left there. Donning her red tinted round sunglasses and the brown bomber jacket, Lara pilots the plane to her next destination; Tibet and the Barkhang Monastery which Brother Chan had informed her of before his death at the hands of Bartoli.
Lara pilots the plane over the Himalayas with ease. But a high pitched beeping noise catches her attention. The propellers begin to slow and the plane starts to descend. Attempting to keep the plane airborne, she narrowly misses the tip of a mountain pass. But Lara's efforts are not enough for the peaks that lie ahead.The plane passes directly through the middle of them, ripping off its wings in the process.The aircraft is left sliding across a snowy pass. Lara reaches for a parachute inside the cockpit, opens the hatch above and releases the parachute outside. Lara is pulled away to safety as the plane plummets down the valley, exploding upon its crash. Lara lands gently down on the snow ahead of the plane.
FMV - Jeep
With the Talion now in her possession, Lara makes her way out of the mountain caves. Outside, Lara catches sight of an encampment, belonging to the Fiamma Nera. Smiling to herself, Lara begins to stealthily make her way over to a parked jeep. The mercenary on guard is unaware of Lara's presence as she slips into the driving seat. Lara finds the ignition key on top of the visor. A few more moments and Lara is away, nearly running down the mercenary in the process. Marco Bartoli and the other mercs give chase in their truck and another jeep. Soon, Lara glimpses the pursuing jeep on her rear-view mirror. She switches off the headlights and allows the pursuers to pass her. From behind, Lara emerges and draws her shotgun, directly hitting one of the mercs' tires. With only one hand on the steering wheel now, Lara manoeuvres around the mercenaries. In her other hand she aims her shotgun at the enemy jeep and lets off a shot straight at the driver's head. He slumps over the steering wheel as his jeep uncontrollably slides into a tree, tumbles onto one side and explodes. But it's not over for Lara yet. Marco Bartoli, in his truck, makes an appearance and rams the truck into the back of Lara's jeep. A mercenary in the passenger seat lets off bullets at Lara's jeep as she increases her speed. Bartoli is forced to brake though when they reach a ravine. Lara continues as her jeep is launched over the ravine, leaving Bartoli behind.
Lara returns to the Great Wall of China. At the doors to the Temple of Xian, Lara inserts the Talion into its receptacle and the seal begins to revolve and open. She steps inside.
Lara has finally made her way back up to the Temple of Xian's dagger chamber, only to discover that Bartoli is holding a ceremony. He is stood atop the draconic pedestal, brandishing the Dagger of Xian in one hand, as if invoking some unseen energy. Four cultist followers surround the pedestal. As they outstretch their arms, Bartoli grips the dagger in both hands and raises it high before plunging the blade directly into his heart. Lara finds her hand over her mouth, shocked as she witnesses the ancient ritual. Bartoli's lifeless body falls into the hands of two followers. They carry him away toward a jade bridge. Lara pursues them.
Interlude 03 - The Dragon's Lair
Relenting to Lara's rain of bullets, Bartoli the dragon falls on his side, revealing the hilt of the Xian dagger protruding from his scaly underside. Lara rushes up to the dragon and grips the dagger's hilt. She pulls it out. Upon doing this, the dragon's body is reduced to nothing but bones. Marco Bartoli is no more. The chamber suddenly begins to collapse. Across the room, Lara spies two doors opening that will lead her to her escape.
FMV - End
The wave of an explosion chases Lara as she sprints through the collapsing tunnel. When the explosion is almost upon her, Lara flings herself out of the exit as the explosion destroys a part of the Great Wall. On the ground, Lara is unconscious. When she awakens, she can hear the cawks of crows. It is daylight now. Lara rises and turns around to see the debris of the Great Wall.
Interlude 04 - Home, Sweet Home 01
Seated on one side of her bed, Lara admires her latest prize, the Dagger of Xian. But then, she can hear vehicles pulling outside the mansion. Dogs are barking and glass is breaking. The Fiamma Nera have come seeking vengeance. Calmly, Lara tucks the dagger into the belt of her bathrobe and gets off of the bed.
Interlude 05 - Home, Sweet Home 02
Having dealt with the Fiamma Nera, Lara returns to her bathroom to have an undisturbed shower. She places her shotgun against a wall and begins to untie the belt of her bathrobe. But she stops and turns her head to one side.
LARA: "Don't you think you've seen enough?"
Lara picks up her shotgun and fires it off.
Music & Sound Effects
Jeremy H. Smith
English Voice Actors
Lara Croft - Judith Gibbins
Marco Bartoli - Simon Greenall
Chan Barkhang / Fabio / Claudio - Massimo Marinoni
Winston - Nathan McCree
French Voice Actors
Lara Croft - Françoise Cadol
Marco Bartoli / Chan Barkhang - Jacques Frantz
German Voice Actors
Lara Croft - Gabriele Libbach
Italian Voice Actors
Lara Croft - Elda Olivieri
Marco Bartoli - Antonio Paiola
Chan Barkhang / Fabio - Giorgio Melazzi
Claudio - Luca Sandri
Japanese Voice Actors
Lara Croft - Atsuko Tanaka
Various - Mitsuru Ogata / Naoki Bando / Toru Ohkawa / Tomohisa Aso