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Old 10-09-13, 19:01   #12
Relic Hunter
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 8,670

Lara's Home

It's sort of strange to visit Lara's Home in TR1. In comparison to later titles, Lara's humble abode has a much more simplistic feel than any other manor of the series does. However, whereas other games turned the house into a large puzzle of sorts and treated it almost like an actual level, the TR1 version serves a different purpose. We are here to learn the basic controls of our protagonist - nothing more, and nothing less.

The second room features a large, sprawled out exercise mat where we get the opportunity to test out Lara's jumping abilities. Even though I have played this game several times, I always make a habit to do exactly as Lara says. So, I jump, and then jump once in every direction.

Winston likes to play the harp while Lara does her exercises.

There should've been a spinoff dedicated to this...

In the main hall, we discover that Lara has just recently moved into this manor and has yet to unpack some of the crates. Lucky for us, that's an opportunity to mess around with Lara's vaulting skills.

Then there's the ballroom. As with the exercise mat, I make it my duty to perform each and every jump her to the best of my ability. This room has a lot of significance for me; when I first started playing this game, I was very young and had only ever seen my mother playing it. I started out with Lara's Home, and when I got to the gym I had a hell of a time trying to complete all of the jumps. For me, that was challenging. Nowadays I can do it with my eyes closed.

Because dancing was too boring.

So the gap is too small you say? Tell that to TR3 Lara...

The final order of business is to practice our swimming skills. And after Lara gives her signature line ("Right. Now I better take off these wet clothes!"), that's the end of our short and sweet tutorial.

It's difficult to actually give Lara's Home a solid rating when it's not really an integral part of the story, and has a much different agenda than any other level of the game. So I'll refrain from doing so. It does what it sets out to do; it gives the player the opportunity to control Lara in an (almost) harm-free environment. And while I have enjoyed the additions that future games made to the house, I appreciate TR1's version for its simplicity.

Oh, and the Ark of the Covenant reference... that was a nice touch.
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