The Lost Artefact (2000)
- The Croft Times -
The Lost Artefact levels provide a continuation of Lara's adventures in Tomb Raider III. After receiving a strange invitation to Dr Willard's Scottish estate, she arrives at a derelict and empty castle. Having already collected 4 artefacts, Lara now learns of the existence of a fifth. Lost for many years, the true properties of this final piece are yet to be witnessed. As she delves deeper into the mystery, Lara also learns there are other parties with a keen interest in acquiring the artefact - for what appears to be a sinister purpose ...
Traces found at the castle's subterranean laboratory indicate that the fifth artefact was indeed once there, but has been recently removed. Lara picks up a dangerous trail that will lead to the discovery of the true properties of the artefact. A newspaper headline and photograph provide further clues - an inexplicable disaster in the Channel Tunnel takes Lara south where she becomes entangled in a sabotage attempt on the tunnel and subsequently discovers a secret underwater facility used for government experimentation.
The trail then leads to France itself where Lara must explore the Poissy Zoo and the Paris Catacombs in search of the awful truth behind The Lost Artefact.
Accompany Lara Croft as she returns to uncover the mystery of the fifth artifact, rumored to be none other that the legendary 'Hand of Rathmore', and no doubt the lost key to unlocking the final secret of the ancient meteor's powers. There is no time to lose, for somebody else shares the secret and has joined the hunt...
From the lofty towers of a Scottish castle, to the desolate sea-ravaged coast of France, Lara may be close to home, but will the pursuit of the lost artifact take her even farther away than she could have imagined? The horrors that lie on our own doorstep can be the most terrifying of all...
Six brand new levels of action and adventure - a dramatic conclusion to events set in motion in Tomb Raider III. The artifact must be found - at any cost. Enter a new world that lies behind the forbidding gates of Willard's ancestral home, a world of Loch Ness legends, whispered plans for immortality, and vile experiments in the secret depths.
Unlock each level's special secrets - discover the Hidden Glen, the aging remnants of World War II, and even discover the truth about Nessie herself! Delve deep into the Earth's core, down until even time seems to have been standing still, and ancient archaeology springs to life. Did the Victorians ever try to cross beneath the English Channel? Now you may find out...but don't forget to follow the trail of the Hand of Rathmore - and the deadly radioactive forces that flow from it's fingertips - wherever that may lead you.
Encounter new enemies - Willard's elite guards are the least of your worries - keep your wits amidst savage warriors of a previous era, flying prehistoric monsters and ghastly mutations... not to mention the organization that seems hell-bent on recovering the artifact for themselves!
...only minutes have passed since the hideous creature that Doctor Willard had become gasped the last breath of it's violently short life-cycle. The experiment had failed, the gleam of immortality returned to the stars from which it came...
Lara looks on silently, oblivious to the bitter Antarctic wind. Suddenly a ragged figure emerges from the dark, gaping hole of the meteor cavern - it is Willard, a human reborn, but in the throes of death. A shambolic hand gestures wildly, a final guttural laugh tears the silence, the figure slumps forward and is still.
With the snow already forming a ghastly shroud over the body, Lara quickly removes an object from the dead man's grasp. A wallet, the monogrammed 'W' now standing sadly against Willard's last earthly remains. Inside, the usual collection of tattered mementos, foreign currency and... but this cannot be! A familiar expression glides across Lara's face, an eyebrow raised by a wry and knowing smile - before her, a telegram urging an immediate return to take possession of another artifact - now secure beneath the Scottish mists at Willard's Loch Ness Estate...
"The adventure continues...", says Lara, Willard's dark laughter still ringing in her ears. "So there was a fifth....."
Following Lara's discovery of the telegram, Lara will proceeds to Willards castle on Loch Ness. Here she discovers the 'truth' about Nessie, fights Willards estate guards, and finally finds her way to 'Willards lair', a secret dungeon under his castle.
Lara is deep in the dungeon - she must work her way to Willards secret lair where he has been planning his transformation. Documents on the table show the relationships of the artefacts, etc. When Lara gets to the area where the fifth artefact had been stored, she finds the safe empty and a strange trail of radioactive debris. Someone has been there before her and stolen the artefact. Lara can only return to her helicopter and wait - unless she discovers the mystical secret of the Cairn Stones and the 'Hidden Glen'!
Lara reads an article in the paper about a mysterious explosion in the Channel tunnel - from the photos she sees that the area is covered with the same radioactive debris that was in the castle. This indicates that the artefact was, or is, there, and probably was responsible for the explosion. Lara heads to the tunnel. She finds the entrance heavily guarded and a construction team at work. They have already moved in to clear up the damage with out prying eyes actually seeing what happened. Lara must work her way down into the tunnel and will eventually find a giant pit full of the radioactive material. Following the trail she will eventually find access to a secret tunnel, deep beneath the channel. On the way, she discovers the relics of an ancient victorian tunnel, and finds that the strata has been disturbed so much by the explosion that a strange time shift has occurred allowing her access to a strange prehistoric layer...
The tunnel leads to an underwater base where somebody has been experimenting with the new artefact. The results are sent to secret locations in France but the accident with the artefact has jeapordised this arrangement and leads to the discovery of a new secret tunnel built alongside the real channel tunnel. Lara works through this level to find the nerve center of the operation and the fifth artefact - the Hand Of Rathmore. Lara must now escape to the surface, and see where this hideous trail finally ends.
Lara comes ashore in her dingy, and follows a pipeline inland to a seemingly deserted Zoo...
The final battle!
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