www.tombraiderforums.com

Go Back   www.tombraiderforums.com > Tomb Raider Series > The Last Revelation

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 15-01-07, 11:44   #1
Scottlee
Relic Hunter
 
Scottlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Leeds, England
Posts: 7,507
Default "Underneath the Sphinx/Inside Menkaure's Pyramid/Inside M's Pyramid" analysis

Predictably enough, underneath the spinx are traps and assorted meanies just the same as there are above the spinx, and also to the sides of it. You could say at the sphinx there be danger. It's in the air. It's imminent. Two bulls sum up the mood, charging Lara as if she were a big red rag, although rather luckily there just happens to be exactly TWO bull pens nearby for us to trap them in. Fancy that. I thought the bull was quite entertaining in Semerkhet, but ever since Cairo he (and now his buddy too) has just got on my nerves. I need to do some killing. I'm bored of trapping, and avoiding, and evading, and running, and shouting "Hey, what's that?" before slipping quietly away on tiptoes when your enemy glances in the direction you pointed at. It's wearing thin.

A dead adventurer lies nearby. The state of his bones indicates he may have been lying here for a few hundred years, yet the scrap of paper from his coat pocket still lies nearby and completely untouched. It hasn't blown away and it hasn't been stomped on (or eaten) by any of the bulls. Fancy that. These symbols are hieroglyphs. We must use them to solve the stone slab puzzle on the wall in front of us, which is a more or less an upgraded version of the multiple door puzzle seen in Palace Midas. Instead of four doors there are now six, and one of them leads to a cruel dead end. With the seasoned Tomb Raider pro in mind, the bar has been raised.

Most impressive of the mandatory rooms in this section is the one with the underwater passages. This is claustrophobic as well as challenging. You should never underestimate the importance of levels which are watery and claustrophobic, my favourite of which have always been the Maria Doria adventures from TR2. This one isn't as aesthetic but it's certainly rewarding. The crocodile pit is the other memorable room here. It's just a shame all the crocs charge at once and leave us little to do once we get fully inside. Third and fouth in the pecking order of quality come the rooms involving beetles and crawl spaces. It's a decent section on the whole, even if it does wane towards the end when too many bats and monkey-swinging moments come to the fore. 7/10



Menakaure's Pyramid is the passage of play I've been waiting for for ages. There are giant scorpions here you can actually shoot and kill! Yay! This is scary as well as satisfying. There are even some soldiers scattered around who try and help you, a throwback to The Crash Site level from TR3. They're not too much help, mind. Nothing changes there then. At best each soldier will let off a quick rat-a-tat-tat and then get gobbled up, leaving Lara to finish things off. The geography of the area gives much advantage to the scorpions, as often they will surprise you from behind a corner. I just wonder if the difficulty level could have been cranked up even higher and allowed the great beasts to clamber over mounds Lara can only walk around. Anyone who ever played Zombies Ate My Neighbours on the old 16bit systems will know what I'm talking about. Those who don't will just think I'm weird. No change there then.

At this point we can break off to take a trip to a nearby guardhouse. Shooting the scorpion with a shotgun will take you to an FMV where Lara is using the pistols instead (?). The guard meanwhile thinks he's been saved by Allah, and judging by his use of the word 'abomination', he's never heard of a scorpion before. Wrench the Armoury keys from him and leave the thick sod to rot. It's time to do some pyramid climbing.

The concept of pyramid climbing is easily the most impressive challenge from the game's 5th section. A lot of thought has gone into this and it shows. Not only does each pyramid's complicated structure have to be judged and negotiated with a combination of neatly timed jumps, but various curveballs such as wasps and giant boulders occasionally appear out of nowhere too. My only slight moan is the fact we don't get the satisfaction of reaching the summit and dropping into the pyramid from the very top. Instead we always finish the climb at a large door, or a slope at the side taking us to another area down on the ground. Still, pyramid climbing remains one of TRLR's more fun aspects. It's also unique to this one game 8/10



Unfortunately, the inside of this particular pyramid isn't as impressive as the outside (a little bit like my house actually). It feels like the artificially conceived playground of a Simon West film set. It doesn't feel like a pyramid. All the walls look like polystyrene fake bricks, in other words, rubbish. Some of the fake bricks move from side to side in an attempt to squash you. How original. Further on we come to several large pits with a convenient rope dangled above them. As with the bulls, jumping from one rope to another is becoming somewhat tiresome by now. Why not a puzzle where jumping onto the wrong rope (or the right one) would act as a lever, causing something to happen that would either help you or kill you?

A guardian attacks in the room at the end of the corridor, but we can combat him with the old trick of jumping from side to side. Imagine how daft this would look if Jolie did it in the movies? The reward for a successful kill is the Western Shaft Key. If you guessed at this juncture there would be also be an Eastern, a Northern, and a Southern Shaft Key still to be located, you would be spot on the money. For now though it's back across those boring ropes and out into the desert again.

A lot of this level still remains but I'd be repeating myself unneccessarily. There are more scorpions, some more pyramid climbing, a return to the Sphinx Complex, and still very little hope of spotting a beautiful oasis with luscious palm trees and beautiful women who hide their modesty behind clover leaves. I think this part of the 5th section was just when I was starting to lose interest. It does have its strong moments (pyramid climbing), but it is the worst of the bunch. 5/10

----------------------------------------------------------------------

TRM's Tomb Tidbits
(What's 'Da Master' managed to cook up for us today? I do believe it's a passage about the origin of The Sphinx no less)
"Carved from the bedrock of the Giza plateau, the Sphinx is truly a mysterious marvel from the days of ancient Egypt. The body of a lion with the head of a king or god, the sphinx has come to symbolize strength and wisdom. The most popular and current theory of the builder of the Sphinx holds that it was commissioned by the 4th Dynasty King, Khafre (between 2558 and 2532 BC). Interestingly, to some, the features of the face of the Sphinx bear a far more striking resemblance to an older brother of Khafre, the Pharaoh Djedefre (aka Radjedef).

In between the paws of the Sphinx is a stela, now called the "Dream Stela", which is inscribed with a story. The 18th Dynasty story tells of the time that Thutmosis IV fell asleep under the Sphinx which was covered to the neck in sand. Thutmosis had a dream that the Sphinx spoke to him and promised that if he would free the Sphinx from the sand, Thutmosis would be destined to become king of Egypt"

(Thanks to Tomb Raider Master for this Sphinx text and the screenies)
__________________
For the first time ever I will understand my television

Last edited by Scottlee; 15-01-07 at 12:13.
Scottlee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-07, 12:11   #2
Tomb Raider Master
Tomb Raider
 
Tomb Raider Master's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Croatia
Posts: 20,980
Thumbs up

Very nicely written! It was a pleasure to read.

Quote:
I thought the bull was quite entertaining in Semerkhet, but ever since Cairo he (and now his buddy too) has just got on my nerves.
Same here.

Quote:
The state of his bones indicates he may have been lying here for a few hundred years, yet the scrap of paper from his coat pocket still lies nearby and completely untouched. It hasn't blown away and it hasn't been stomped on (or eaten) by any of the bulls.
LOL, indeed!

Quote:
Most impressive of the mandatory rooms in this section is the one with the underwater passages. This is claustrophobic as well as challenging. You should never underestimate the importance of levels which are watery and claustrophobic, my favourite of which have always been the Maria Doria adventures from TR2.


Quote:
Shooting the scorpion with a shotgun will take you to an FMV where Lara is using the pistols instead (?).
I don't know why, but I found this hilarious!

Quote:
Still, pyramid climbing remains one of TRLR's more fun aspects. It's also unique to this one game
Yeah, very original and fun! I like the way they made that part.
Tomb Raider Master is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-07, 17:39   #3
*laralover*
Professor
 
*laralover*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Scotland
Posts: 4,293
Post

A great read thanx Scottlee! and TRM
*laralover* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-07, 17:56   #4
tizerist
Archaeologist
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West London
Posts: 1,853
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottlee View Post
Still, pyramid climbing remains one of TRLR's more fun aspects. It's also unique to this one game
ah, but we did do a little bit in tomb raider 1!
in the penultimate level i beleive, after a lot of block pushing.

still, a good (and harsh) analysis.
i am close to aproaching this section again, and you've kinda whetted my appetite!

PS: bloody great sphinx shot too.

Last edited by tizerist; 15-01-07 at 17:57.
tizerist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-07, 22:00   #5
Ada the Mental
Relic Hunter
 
Ada the Mental's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Athens,Greece
Posts: 5,588
Default

Great review Scottlee!
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skottlee
The state of his bones indicates he may have been lying here for a few hundred years, yet the scrap of paper from his coat pocket still lies nearby and completely untouched. It hasn't blown away and it hasn't been stomped on (or eaten) by any of the bulls.
Ada the Mental is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-07, 02:35   #6
EtchUbel
Student
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 216
Default

Lol i agree but i certainly liked the temle of horus level the only time i really felt excited during the game.... It was'nt isolated like TR3 i can say.

please don't abuse me for saying these things it's just my opinion that i found TR3 harder it was never repetetive.
__________________
Who are you? An angel of vengeance? Or perchance a saint of salvation?
EtchUbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 21:45.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.