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Old 11-02-19, 20:20   #231
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 361

Great reviews as always, sheepman. It is refreshing to see, that someone can put so many effort and thinking into these old games and can reveal aspects that are totally new, even for one who played this game hundred times.

Some thoughts of me for "Great Pyramid": I think the big climax of this level is the beginning. You are confronted with the biggest and most bullet-consuming enemy right at the start, the enemy you were teased with for an entire level which started with this cutscene where Natla activates the pyramid.
After this fight is over it is good for the pacing that the game give you some relatively calm moments. A not so easy avoided teeth door (what are they called, even in german i have no proper term for them), the block puzzle, the bridge puzzle and the boulder traps. The developers were like: You proofed that you are a good fighter and now we will give you a moment of reprieve.
After this section you return to the Scion room. This is the big moment of the game: the artifact you first searched the pieces for twelve levels and than another two levels, only to realize, that this is a very dangerous artifact, that must be destroyed. The moment the Scion explode the game is practically over. Lara has done her mission. But the developers won't let the player escape so easily. He (or she) played their game for fifteen levels, they want him to earn the end, even when the actually goal is reached.
So first there are these three atlanteans. The last one in the game and I don't think there choice are odd. These are the last three, that the Scion created, the pitiful rest of Natla's dreams. You see that the destruction of the Scion took effect, because for the rest of the level none other will appear.
The traps are there to not let the player get away so easily and they are a much better symbol to slowly end Tomb Raider 1 than tons of enemies. First, in comparison to Atlantis you are not inside of a thriving being anymore (the pyramid itself), you are inside of a dying one. Like you say in your review, many of the traps are more a symbol of the slowly destruction of the pyramid like the boulders, the lava flows or even the crumpling platforms. It is your hardest task in case of traps and not in enemies, because you already proofed with level 14 and the fight against the big mutant, that you are capable of this.
Then at the end is the fight of Natla. Of course there is Natla. Natla introduced you to the whole game and set Lara on the trail for the Scion, now she is the farewell to the game. It is symmetry. And of course it is a personal matter for Natla. You destroyed her whole plans, did you really think she would let Lara go without a try for revenge? No, the player must face her and must proof one last time, that he is ready to leave the game, so it is only natural, that you must overpower the one person, that is responsible for everything that you experience until this point. And the funny thing even Natla's death isn't the ultimate end. You end with some jumps and platforming to get to a high point. The last test is a test of your very basic skills and only when you past this test, you finally have completed Tomb Raider.
And I don't think that Core Design had Unfinished Business in mind as a direct sequel to the end of Tomb Raider I. It defies some logic like the destruction of the pyramid still taking place and Lara can spend hours to kill many more atlanteans.
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