To continue this 20 years of Tomb Raider series, we invite you to discover with this article what were successively the original developing plotlines of Tomb Raider before its final release.
FIRST VERSION (1994)
Erstwhile archeologist and full-time, professional mercenary, Lara Cruz, is hired by multi-billionaire, Willard Stirling, to recover a number of legendary artefacts from various ancient sites around the world.
Unbeknown to Lara Cruz, (and the player), Stirling wants these artefacts because, when fitted together, they create a device known as the Cucurbite, that can warp space and time, creating a doorway to a myriad of alternate worlds. Stirling is a renegade from one of these worlds, a deposed despot, banished to Earth many thousands of years ago by his own people, known as the Nephilim. Stirling has been searching for a way back ever since then, specifically, for the six pieces of the legendary Cucurbite, which was broken up into segments and scattered around various ancient sites around the world immediately following his banishment.
The objective of Tomb Raider will be to restore the world in an eco friendly sort of way. This involves finding the three pieces of a key which will activate a genesis machine left by a lost civilisation from our pre-history. Their items are scattered around the world in various cities of the ancients. On recovery of all three pieces the player will enter the Master Pyramid.
It is basically a 3D action maze game, the twist is that the action is not first person but third. This means that you control a character moving and interacting with a real time generated 3D environment. The action will be viewed from an intelligent dynamic camera which follows your character, and chooses the best angle to view any given situation from. With careful control of this camera Tomb Raiders will offer a dramatic impact of an FMV game like Creature Shock without any of their limitations.
Lara Cruz is a modern day adventurer and procurer of rare artefacts, which she relieves from Johnny foreigner with the gay ambition of a five year old stealing mars bars from the local cornershop. She then sells the heritage of these countries for profit, and perverse xenophobic pleasure. The game starts simply with Lara arriving at the entrance to a lost Incan city, with no more grand an idea in mind than a little thievery, but when she discoveries the diary of an expired nineteenth century adventurer, it leads her on a quest to recover the rest of the pieces of an object simply known as The Key. Unbeknownst to Lara she is being watched by a group of people called the Atlans, the last remainder of a civilisation which was destroyed 100,000 years ago. When she recovers the last piece, the Atlans attempt to stop her using it, since they have evil plans of their own. Vanquishing the Atlans she sets of to the the Master Pyramid. The pyramid also acts as a prison to a being called Sanatkumara, it was he who destroyed the ancient civilisations. The Twist is that when she attempts to activate the pyramid, she actually switches it off, and releases the "demon". At this point she has to reactivate the pyramid to win the game and restore the world. The above plot is revealed to the player in between level FMV sequences. These will heighten the feeling of being a part of an ongoing story rather than just playing through a series of meaningless game levels.
Theme: 3D Action Adventure
Style: Third person Action Shoot-em up
Target: Age 16 and upwards
Machines: 15M CD ROM, Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation
No. of players: 1 Player
Tomb Raider will comprise of 5 levels each of linked by FMV sequences. Each location has a primary goal, levels 1 to 3 require the player to retrieve the three pieces of The Key. Level 4 is the city of the Atlans, here Lara's goal is to retrieve the completed Key from the Atlans. Level 5 is in the Master Pyramid and she must activate the pyramid with the key. As you progress, you can collect any objects of value to increase your score, along with ammo and extra weapons. The gameplay revolves around 5 main activities.
Platformy influences (jumping/climbing)
AUTO MAP AND ACCURACY STATS
- save / load games
- detail levels
PLAYER DIE SEQUENCE (BRINGS UP THE MENU)
GAME COMPLETION SEQUENCE
TOMB RAIDER will comprise of 5 Locations each with a primary goal, and several secondary non essential goals. The 5th location has two goals, since the key must be be used twice. The locations are as follows.
THIRD VERSION (20th March 1995)
Forward By Lara Cruz
200,000 years ago, a race of hominids known as Neanderthal man developed from Homo Erectus. These early humans were quite different to us, their appearance owing much to their ape ancestry. They retained broad shoulders, extremely muscular limbs, large chests and strong fatigue resistant legs. Their brain size, however was of an equivalent size to our own.
The first Modern Humans, Homo Sapiens, appeared on Earth some 150,000 years ago. They co-existed with the Neanderthals for nearly 100,000 years, after which the Neanderthals mysteriously became extinct.
When Homo Sapiens first appeared they were not significantly different to us today. Their brain cavity size was identical to our own yet the only tools they used were primitive stone "axes".
35,000 years ago, 115,000 years later, we find the remains of Homo Sapiens still using exactly the same tools. If you compare this to the cultural development we have experienced in the last 4000 years in which we have gone from virtual cave-men in Europe to our present day high technology, it seems strange that in this vast expanse of pre-history our ancestors never attained some form of civilisation. There are theories however that we have attained civilisation before but through some catastrophe relapsed back into barbarism, only to start from scratch again.
One such theory is of the legendary lost continents, Mu and Atlan. Plato wrote of Atlan commonly known as Atlantis in his dialogues Timaeus and the unfinished Critias. He speaks of an incredible continent, long lost even in his time, of great cities with towering buildings of crystal resembling our present day sky-scrapers. There are also Myths concerning another lost continent, where the Ancients of Mu were supposed to have reached an incredible level of civilisation. The theory goes that these two advanced cultures touched the still developing people of America, Africa and Asia, who were still in a very primitive state, and revered as Gods. This would go some way to explaining how some of the ancient civilisations from Egypt, South America and the West Indies share so many common ideas and images.
The two cultures of Mu and Atlan were in conflict, however and legend has it that the two countries embarked on a war so destructive, that both of their lands were completely destroyed, leaving only remnants above the ocean surface. All that was left of these mighty empires were stories and fragments of their knowledge handed down through the ages by the primitives they had contacted.
Erstwhile archeologist (a PhD in Archeology and Comparative Mythology from Oxford) and professional mercenary (Lara's father was a Major in the Special Air Service and he taught her all he knew regarding survival skills and the use of weapons), Lara Cruz is a force to be reckoned with. Lara's a babe with a brain and by including her as the player's game character we hopeto inveigle a much neglected sector of the target age group, namely, young females. Which doesn't mean to say that we are ignoring the male members of the gamesbuying public...
FMV 01 (incomplete)
In Peru, Lara Cruz slides out of the mouth of an Incan statue, then runs into the forest. In the foreground, a man with a scar is watching her.
At Hotel Greasy Gringo, Lara is sat in the reception/lounge area, reading the diary of Colonel Arthur Hamilton Graves. A flash back begins as Lara reads and a metal object appears, suspended in the air.
HAMILTON: "I have discovered what I think to be one of the 3 pieces of the Scion of Mu, if it can be retrieved, and studied by science, I believe that the mysteries of the solar civilisations, and of the lost continents will be ours."
The Scion is suspended above a pedestal in a shaft of light. Hamilton himself steps out from the darkness in front of the pedestal.
HAMILTON: "We found it in the Shrine of Xolotol deep in the heart of Eldorado, suspended above a carved pedestal in a beam of unearthly light."
A pair of glowing eyes in the darkness watch Hamilton as he reaches out for the Scion. Then a growl is heard. Before Hamilton can touch it, one of his party is jumped and pulled into the shadows. Roars and screams ensue.
In the present, Hamilton hires Lara to recover the pieces of the Scion for him. Lara accepts.
Lara has now recovered two pieces of the Scion. Sat cross-legged on a bed at an unknown location, Lara is examaning the two pieces. Once she fits them together, a ghostly projection appears in front of her. An Easter Island statue. After a few moments, the projection disappears. Satisfied, Lara gets up and leaves.
At the docks, a small boat is leaving. On board, Hamilton's diary can be seen at a desk. The book opens, displaying a page with a sketch of the complete Scion of Mu.
FOURTH VERSION (2nd August 1995 Version 1)
Many millions of years ago an advanced humanoid civilisation visited the Earth and settled here. They were called the Atlans and they established a cultural base on a great continent stretching from America to Australia, which they called Atlantis.
The above explains the sudden appearance of Homo Sapiens in around 3 million BC and consequently, the dying out of Earth's indigenous population, as represented by the Neanderthals (who could not compete with the new, more advanced race as it spread out from Atlantis to eventually cover the globe).
The Atlans had a two tier social structure comprised of the Priesthood and the People. The Priesthood were an aristocracy of genetically enhanced men and women, with powers that made them very much like gods - but without the immortality of the latter (though they were reputed to live for two hundred years). The People, on the other hand, were as limited as you or I - and more so, following the cataclysm that befell Atlantis.
The original Atlan society established on the great continent of Atlantis was dominated by a triumverate of Priests, their names being Qualopec, Tihocan and Natla. The latter of the three, Natla, was cruel and despotic and plotted against the other priests in order to rule alone.
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