In cooperation with the tehnoverzum.me portal, we bring you the first part of the special dedicated to Tomb Raider, developed by Core Design. It is a six-part story covering the period from 1996 to 2003. The second special, which you can expect in the coming period, will be dedicated to Tomb Raider developed by North American studio Crystal Dynamics, and covers the period from 2006 to 2010 (i.e. from Legend to Guardian of the Light). In both periods, the right to issue the Tomb Raider franchise was held by the British company Eidos Interactive, which was acquired in 2009 by Square Enix, under whose auspices Tomb Raider is currently being developed.
How a small British studio is written in history
Back in 1988, part of the team of the British software company Gremlin Graphics Software Limited, led by Jeremy Heath-Smith, founded a game development studio called Core Design. Set in the city of Derby, in a Victorian-style house, Core Design will in just a few years of its existence manage to create a miracle on the gaming scene that has brought it multimillion-dollar revenues and worldwide fame. Thanks to the character of Lara Croft and her adventures, the Derby studio has managed to enter the most significant pages of gaming history.
Nevertheless, despite the great concept and great enthusiasm of the original team, Core Design failed over time to preserve creativity and innovation, but fell into its own machinery of producing titles for great financial gain.The idea that the adventures of Lara Kroft are being prepared every year quickly showed the shortcomings, so exhausted developers began to "work" after the third part, which resulted in not very great titles, and therefore poor ratings from the audience and experts. The final blow for Core Design was the sixth part of the famous Tomb Raider, The Angel of Darkness (2003),which I think deserves more attention from today's perspective, although it is definitely an unfinished project that marked the end of the fairy tale for the legendary British studio for a reason.
Due to the importance that the Tomb Raider franchise has not only in gaming, but also in other areas, as well as the positive impact on many generations, we have decided to dedicate two specials to it.
– Tomb Raider I (1996)
When the first concept of the new adventure game was developed, core design developers had a hero like Indiana Jones in mind. Namely, as fans at the online encyclopedia dedicated to this popular franchise, the first so-called franchise. The "placeholder", that is, the model that filled a place in the environment until the development of the final idea, was a man. After revisiting gameplay based on discovering the secrets of ancient tombs and solving puzzles, visual artist Toby Gard decided it was better to be a heroine named Lara Croft after all. From its history to its character traits and appearance, Gard has fully designed a heroine who will leave an indelible mark in the gaming industry and much wider. For Gard, and according to a EuroGamer story, his colleagues testify that he was a true silent genius who worked tirelessly and devotedly on the Tomb Raider project.
Gard envisioned Lara Croft as a British archaeological archaeologist of aristocratic origin. Lara is smart, well-read, beautiful and athletic. Zaraju is an aristocratic formality and a luxurious way of life, and is very attracted to travel, explore various parts of the world and write adventure books during the discovery of ancient tombs. Gard envisioned Lara as an independent and independent, but not as a sexy girl who serves stereotypical advertisements in magazines. Lara Croft's PR was done without his consent and often precisely in the context of how he did not imagine it. This was one of the most important reasons why Gard left Core Design, as evidenced in an interview with game developer.
In the first part, gamers encounter the story of Lara Kroft, her origins and love of exploring ancient civilizations and their secrets. A very complex story, even by today's standards, brings over 20 hours of play (and more, depending on your gaming skills) spread over 15 levels located in four different zones (Peru, Greece, Egypt and Atlantis). The central place in the story is occupied by a mysterious artifact known as "The Scion", or "The Atlantean Scion"; Atalantis is a mythical island written about by The Greek philosophers. This circular-shaped artifact has remained buried in the ancient tombs of Peru, Greece and Egypt, and is believed to have great power. Lara was hired to discover this artifact by Jacqueline Nattle of Natla Technologies. Although she accepted the invitation because of her love for archaeological research, Lara only later found out who Natla really was and why atlantis' artifact was so important to her.
As for gameplay, it is very demanding because the player is required to precisely position himself in certain locations in order to successfully realize the jump or grab a cliff. Lara can run, jump, climb, swim and dive.For 1996, this mix of possibilities of the protagonist of a game was almost unthinkable. Managing Lara is a bit rigid and therefore demanding, and the mouse is not useful, because then games were played on the keyboard with the use of arrows as the main control buttons (the popular combination of "WASD" and the mouse that we use today still did not come to life among the gamer population). If you wanted to see the surroundings around you, you had to press the sightseeing button (so-called . "Look") and at the same time one of the arrows that would turn the camera in the desired direction. This was very useful, and often necessary, in order to successfully cross a certain level and overcome obstacles or avoid falling into a trap.
The 3D environment was done at an enviable level for that period. The levels are diverse, and the complexity of the mysterious mechanisms is impressive.The transition to the modern Tomb Raider (after 2006) brought with it a noticeable lack of such complex and interesting mechanisms that developers from Core Design developed for the first three parts. For some, it takes quite a long time to figure out what needs to be done because you will have to remember what each component of the mechanism is for.
Fortunately, the game allowed you to preserve instant progress in the story at any time, so the strategy of frequent "save" is very useful for crossing individual levels.
Otherwise, in addition to crossing the game, players have at their disposal to discover Lara's magnificent villa.This is one interesting thing that adorned Tomb Raider and gave it a special charm. Relaxed by traps and beasts from ancient tombs, you could afford a few moments of relaxation by exploring the luxurious Complex of Crofts. That is, if you don't get bored with Lara's butler Winston.
You can read the continuation of the story of the next installments of the game – 1997's Tomb Raider II, 1998's Tomb Raider III, and those sequels from the 2000s in the original article on tehnoverzum.me