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Old 09-05-20, 16:07   #1
LateRaider
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Default hypothetical ideas for improving AoD--add your own!

so i've been replaying TR:AoD lately and i've been sitting here thinking of possible ways it could've been tweaked for a more polished experience. the game is more solid than people give it credit for, IMO. i started thinking about how i'd improve weapon distribution, then how i'd improve controls, and finally kurtis himself and it snowballed into these ideas.

please note that my thoughts below are aimed at the PS2 version specifically.


1. Controls

- Both character movement and the actual button bindings are strange. There are so many useless little holdovers from the PlayStation era that just aren't needed.

Current AoD:


Proposed AoD:



1a. Explanation of control changes

- Battle system from Legend implemented for more fluid combat. Melee attacks would function like they do in AoD as they are now: approach an enemy and tap the Fire button without aiming.

- L1 aims weapon, R1 fires.

- While aiming, the right stick cannot move the camera and instead changes targets.

- O performs a forward roll for use while crouching. In combat, it can be used to dodge roll in any direction so long as Aim is held.

- Crouching animation changed to resemble Legend's; the freer movement would allow crouching to double as Stealth movement. You could still press X to attach to a wall and eventually slink over to peer around it. The "Crawlspace exit" move would remain.

- Weapons pared down to a max of 3 per character, allowing the D-Pad to be assigned to individual weapons. Double tapping D-Pad Left brings up the Health Wheel. This dims the screen as if you Paused but displays a ring menu of all available health items. Select these with the D-Pad and press X to consume it.

- Hop would be moved to pressing Crouch/Stealth + Jump simultaneously.


1b. Remove all vestiges of tank controls, and increase Lara and Kurtis' natural move speeds. This means removing backstep, sidestep, quick turn, stance turn, and walk-to-run. All moves would be camera-based rather than character-based instead of the strange mix now. As in Legend, characters would just turn to jump forward in a direction no matter where the camera is facing. They would still be able to side-flip and backflip while aiming, however.


1c. Speed up animation movement in general. It's bizarre how robotically slow some of the moves can be. I understand it looks realistic but it isn't fun.


1d. Remove the "strength upgrade" system, and make the grip meter's growth static. It would always be at the strength it is at the end of the Hall of Seasons. Lara would always be able to sprint and perform the sprinting lunge.


2. Weapon rebalancing.

- Lara would have no weapons until Le Serpent Rouge, where she gets a Vector-R35 off of one of the Cabal mercs posing as policemen. This requires players to learn how to use stealth.

- M-V9: Removed.

- Vector-R35 / Dual Vector-R35's: All M-V9 and Desert Ranger magazines turn into mags for these. The singular gun is replaced with the pair at the end of the Parisian Ghetto area (She finds a duplicate in Rennes' Pawn Shop, thus giving her Dual Vector R-35's). Dual Vector-R35's would be re-obtained after finishing The Monstrum Crime Scene, possibly found in Vasiley's collection? Hotkey attached to D-Pad Up.

- Desert Ranger: Moved to Kurtis; if Lara has less than €2000, she buys this to give to him. Uses same ammo as Scorpion X, "Hi-Caliber Pistol Ammo". Hotkey attached to D-Pad Right.

- Dart SS: Removed.

- K2 Impactor: Retained; ammo pickups removed. This instead will be given just enough shots to KO guards in Lara's path if she doesn't alert any extra guards. Players would be encouraged to not use conventional weapons in the Louvre Galleries and Archaeological Dig areas, but the option wouldn't be taken away to allow for more play styles. Hotkey attached to D-Pad Right.

- V-Packer: Retained, but found in Le Serpent Rouge in the ticket office. Also, shots per ammo pickup heavily reduced from 25 to 4. While this may seem extreme, bear in mind that you normally find at least 23 boxes of shells. That means you get 575 V-Packer shots! 92 is more than reasonable enough, especially since you'd be swimming in Vector-R35 magazines. Hotkey attached to D-Pad Down.

- Mag Vega: Removed.

- Rigg 09: Retained; primary weapon until the Strahov. Hotkey attached to D-Pad Right.

- Scorpion X: Moved to Kurtis; if Lara has €2000 or more, she buys this to give to him. Uses same ammo as Desert Ranger, "Hi-Caliber Pistol Ammo". Hotkey attached to D-Pad Right.

- Viper SMG: Retained as a stealth weapon due to suppressor; ammo pickups slightly reduced. No longer found off of the Cleaner, instead found in the Strahov where you usually get the Mag Vega. Hotkey attached to D-Pad Down.

- Boran X: Retained with no changes. Hotkey attached to D-Pad Up.

- Chirugai: Implemented; Kurtis locks onto (a) foe(s) with the Aim button and the right analog stick, and presses the Fire button to attack the designated target(s). Hotkey attached to D-Pad Down.


3. Change Kurtis' look a little. Now, I know those who love Kurtis are attached to him as he is, but I honestly think he looks like a mess.

What I would do:

- Use the hairstyle developed by me and Kapu. It's perhaps still a bit too kempt for Kurtis but it looks a lot better than what he has now and retains the messy look.



- Use this redesign by Ligufaca.

https://www.deviantart.com/ligufaca/...rent-736965418

It complements Lara's look and shows off his arms more, giving him a hint of sex appeal. It's also a more timeless outfit altogether.


4. Allow Kurtis and Lara to share the same health item inventory. Lara obtains so many health items and Kurtis obtains almost none; it's maddening. With this, players would have the option to deplete some of Lara's stock while giving Kurtis an advantage in his levels.


5. Fix the bug where items have "respawned" if you enter and leave an area. This is very, very important.


6. Add the policemen back to the streets of the Parisian Ghetto. This would not only require players to act more stealthily but better explain why the streets are so empty: this part of Paris is under martial law and everyone is heavily encouraged to stay at home.


7. Implement my alternate ideas for Kurtis and Lara's meeting and chemistry. Note: This has changed from my initial "A failed love affair?" thread, but remains similar.

- Lara would encounter Kurtis in Paris whether you choose Bernard's route or Pierre's.


- Meeting Kurtis on Bernard's route: Kurtis bumps into lara as she's leaving the park. He'd say, "Hey gorgeous, watch where you're going." Lara would snipe back, "Mind your manners, or you'll find my looks don't match my attitude." The argument would go on for another line or two before Lara scoffs that she doesn't have time for this and leaves.


- Meeting Kurtis on Pierre's route: Instead of entering to find Kurtis already a customer of Café Metro, he would push past Lara to the counter and ask for a coffee with cream. (Just to give him a subtle quirk beyond "stereotypical bad boy.") Lara gets huffy and tosses a sarcastic jab. But Kurtis smirks and says, "Sorry, but it's paying customers only. Unless you're buying, get to the back of the line." Lara furrows her brow and leaves.


- Again, regardless of route, Lara would come across Kurtis escaping Le Serpent Rouge on his motorcycle.


- At Galleries Under Siege: Kurtis would surprise Lara from behind with a gun to her head, but she'd turn around and kick it out of his hand. This would initiate a close-contact hand-to-hand tussle, in which Lara loses her pistols and Kurtis loses the gun he was pointing at Lara. She would straddle Kurtis' stomach with her fist raised at his head, but just before she can strike, he uses his psychic powers to freeze her arms, reach behind her, and unlatch her backpack to retrieve her Obscura Painting. He'd gently slide her off, then start running. Lara would give chase and the scene would resume as normal.


- At the Monstrum Crime Scene: When Lara meets "Luddick" after getting the Obscura Engraving from Vasiley's manor, he would offer to sell her one of two guns depending on how much money she has. Both guns would be engraved with the symbol of the Lux Veritatis, which Lara would recognize after having explored Carvier's office and spoken with "Bouchard." "Luddick" would explain that a man of Kurtis' description sold it to him, saying he was desperate for cash. (In reality, Gunderson picked up the gun that Kurtis lost in the Louvre, and delivered it to Karel.) Intrigued, she takes him up on his offer: €2000 or more and she buys the Scorpion X. Less than that, she buys the Desert Ranger for all of her remaining money. These would be key items for Lara and she would find no ammo for them.


- At the Bio-Research Facility: This would have the biggest changes. Rather than Kurtis locking Lara in, he'd free her and step in. Kurtis would say, "Fancy seeing you here. Name's Kurtis." Lara, realizing she's cornered, would respond, "Lara," then pull her pistols on him and continue, "Now toss down that disc and put your hands in the air." He complies. The following in-game lines would play:


Lara: You owe me a Painting.

Kurtis: Sorry. That went AWOL at the Louvre.


Here, there would an altered/abbreviated version of the "weapons drawn, walk round and round" part of their information exchange, still allowing us to see the Chirugai spring to life via Kurtis' powers. The cutscene would continue.


Lara: What brings you here from Paris?

Kurtis: Eckhardt! We have business that only one of us will walk away from. You?

Lara: Personal reasons.


In addition to her last line, lara would ask "Just who is Eckhardt? I've heard so much yet know so little." The in-game lines would resume:


Kurtis: Eckhardt plans to use all five Obscura Paintings to revive an ancient evil called the Sleeper, and rebreed the Nephilim race. To do that, he collects alchemically transmuted elements from his murder victims' bodies.

Lara: I've seen him at work as the Monstrum - ugh, with that Glove.


Here she holsters her pistols, and Kurtis calls back the Chirugai. At this point, Lara would ask him how he found this place. Kurtis would reply, "I'd been tracking Eckhardt's movements, trying to gather whatever info I could. I'd finally I pinned the Strahov as his stronghold. So I made my way in through a service shaft, only to find that the power was off--Ms. Croft."

At this point it would segue into the Sanitarium and Maximum Containment Area levels, played as flashbacks. New pickups for the Hi-Caliber Pistol Ammo would be found scattered about.

In the present, the conversation would resume. (Perhaps by this point, they've stepped out of the doorway and into the next room.) A slight tweak to Kurtis' line: "Eckhardt is the original Black Alchemist. The Proto-Nephilim nearly got the best of me, and it wasn't even made with the power hidden in the Obscura Paintings. Now he's close to finding the last one."


Lara: Does he know where it is?

Kurtis: Yes. It's hidden in a Lux Veritatis vault beneath the Strahov. That Painting must be destroyed.


Another tweak to one of Kurtis' lines. At the end of that previous sentence, he would add, "But there's a problem; to do that, I need an artifact that's gone missing on me." Lara would then reveal the Periapt Shard she picked up at the Louvre, and ask, "This?" A few lines that were cut earlier would go here.


Kurtis: My Periapt Shard! You...

Lara: ...picked it up in the Louvre, yes. After you stole MY Painting.


Adding onto lara's line, she'd go on to say, "But this is one of three."


The scene, at this point, would resume as usual, starting from Kurtis' line, "Eckhardt has the last one. If all three Shards are united, [...]". The only addition from here would be that I would add Kurtis gently touching the small of Lara's back after she grabs his chin, causing her to cock her head and give a small smile in return. This would contrast to the harsh ways they grabbed each other in the Louvre.


- At the of the Vault of Trophies: After Kurtis tosses the Periapt Shards to Lara, she tosses to him the Desert Ranger/Scorpion X. This would firmly establish their bond of trust, setting foundation for more than partners of circumstance. These would be stronger than Kurtis' Boran X and thus end the Boaz fight sooner.


- The rest of the story plays as normal.


8. Remove Muller and his death scene. Karel would take over his role instead. Lara would come across Karel in the Bio-Research Facility; he would try to manipulate Lara by painting himself in a sympathetic light, saying he's trapped against his will, calling the Cabal insane with outlandish ideals. He would also explain the Cabal's end goal like Muller does.

Near the end of the conversation, he would try to convince Lara that he's an ally, and assist her by activating the hidden switch by the fountain. Though remaining skeptical, Lara is grateful for the help. She would walk forward toward the door and turn to ask Karel something else, only to find he's vanished. This would make the "Karel?" revelation more poignant.


AoD is honestly a solid game, otherwise. The combat, vestiges of tank controls/previous classic TRs, and Karel reveal are the weakest parts.
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Old 09-05-20, 16:40   #2
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These are solid ideas, but AOD honestly had far too many problems going for it. Obscura painting and Lara's shorts basically changed mid-cutscene, and so many plot elements were not well explained. I understood the main plot, after playing it a second time. I liked the Louvre, the Aicard cemetery and other tombs in the game, but the Parisian ghetto was a bit dragged.

Eckhardt vs Lux Veritatis story wasn't even really in the game. Some of the major plot elements were briefly mentioned in papers here and there. I would completely remove the cabal, and leave them for a sequel. Instead of Prague and the Strahov fortress I would pick the German Castle. Crazy Alchemist living inside an old castle makes more sense to me.

Paris ---> Germany ----> Cappadoccia

Looking back, the Prague and the fugitive Lara story line kind of needlessly convoluted the story. Werner cutscene could easily be merged with the Carvier dialog.
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Old 09-05-20, 16:43   #3
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My thoughts:

Have the controls changed so that they are the same as the controls in the previous five Tomb Raider games. Obviously Lara does have new actions in this game, but this shouldn't complicate things much if it's made clear to us what buttons to press in order to pull off the actions.

Have the gameplay and Lara's movements changed so that it's the same as the previous five Tomb Raider games; her running, jumping and grabbing is quite different in this game, among other things.

Do away with the glitches so that you have to do the game properly and can't cheaply do certain parts in easier ways than intended. I think it's Aquatic Research Area where there's a water creature which can be bypassed, even though I don't think it's meant to be as straight forward as that. Also, doesn't crawling grant you invincibility at times? If so, then that needs to go.

Have an optional "Guidance Level" where you're given an effective introduction to all of Lara's actions and how to pull them off. I know that some training is given in this game but you aren't taught everything; the ability to crawl on your belly, the ability to do smaller jumps as well as the standard ones, and the ability to jump up stairs more quickly by holding down the jump button, etc.

Finish the game with a less confusing final cutscene; I'm referencing the confusion caused when Karel took the form of several other characters. I'm not saying that he shouldn't still take their form, but at least have it so that we find out when we were speaking to Karel and when we were speaking to Bouchard/Luddick/Kurtis/etc. That's providing that such characters ever existed in the first place and weren't just Karel all the time. I sense that Bouchard and Luddick probably did exist since they ended up getting killed.
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Old 09-05-20, 17:10   #4
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dude, the hops ARE explained in parisian backstreets
Also, jumping on stairs is not an actual, intended mechanic lol. Though I have to agree about the commando crawl.

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Old 09-05-20, 18:11   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SrDanielPonces View Post
dude, the hops ARE explained in parisian backstreets
Also, jumping on stairs is not an actual, intended mechanic lol. Though I have to agree about the commando crawl.
I must have forgotten about the hops being explained in Parisian Ghetto; it has been years since I last played AOD. I wasn't aware that the stair jumping was unintended; I just assumed that it was intended. Not knowing about the commando crawl resulted in me being stuck in Von Croy's Apartment for a while.
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Old 09-05-20, 20:05   #6
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I've designed my ideal control configuration before, so here goes:

Movement controls:

(X) Jump.
(Square) Interact and (while in mid air) Grab. (No need to hold.)
(Triangle) Crowbar/shotgun/pistol Strike with a 3 hit combo. Hold for Heavy Strike.
(Circle) Manoeuvrable forward Roll.
(L2) Aim weapon.
(R2) Primary Ammo Fire/Hold to sprint/Tap to toggle Crouch, impeding speed by 25%, doubling as stealth and crawl. (Tap in mid air to Throw Grapple if such a mechanic was to be implemented.)
(R1) Secondary Ammo Fire.
(L1) Unused.
(^) Use Health Item (Employing Rise's Fast Bandage animation).
(<) Cycle Weapons Left.
(>) Cycle Weapons Right.
(v) Ignite/Throw Magnesium Flare.
(L3) N/A
(R3) Snap Centre Camera and Display UI.
(Left analogue stick) Move Lara.
(Right analogue stick) Rotate Camera.
(Options) Options.
(Press Touchpad) Inventory.

The combat system would be similar to Ratchet and Clank. Pressing L2 pulls back and elevates the camera, and there'll be a target reticule on enemies if you're mostly aiming in their direction. Increased target lock on margin for lower difficulties.

Kurtis's Churgai would be an effective weapon this time where holding Triangle launches the Churgai at an enemy, buzz blading them independently while you use your fists or Boran X against other enemies. Pressing triangle would perform a 3 hit sweeping attack with the Churgai.

Swimming controls:

(Left analogue stick) [I]Steer along the X-axis.
(Right analogue stick) Rotate Camera.
(Square) Interact.
(L2) Aim underwater weapon.
(R2) Primary Ammo Fire/Swim Down.
(R1) Secondary Ammo Fire/Swim Up.

The reason I'd have R2 and R1 as Y-axis movement underwater is so your right thumb is free to move the camera as she swims. It sounds horrible on paper, but in action I'm sure it'd be fine and fluid AF and make scanning the underwater environment an efficient breeze.

When it comes to weapons, I'd keep it real simple where each weapon has a secondary mode of fire, so you get two guns in one, effectively:

Pistols + secondary ammo as hollow point bullets, negating the need for any magnum.
Dual Scorpion X's + secondary ammo as poison dart pellets.
Shotgun + dragonfire ammo.
M16 + single shot high damage snipe mode with it's own bullets.
Speargun + explosive-tipped speargun ammo.

I'd also have the option to buy silencers for each weapon. Relics and artefacts would automatically convert into € for her to purchase gear at some opportunities throughout the game and because she's on the run, she wouldn't want to access her bank accounts.

Whenever I replay AoD I have such fun reimagining and remaking it in my head, so ages ago I wrote down some ideas. Don't hold me to them, but here is a level layout I've envisioned. Forgive me if there's anything stupid about it. XD

1. Fugitive
A prologue cutscene shows Lara breaking into a police taped apartment in the dark, with a French news reporter’s voice airing that there have been a series of Monstrum killings in Paris. The news reporter goes onto describe the latest murder victim, and that a suspect matching Lara’s description was seen leaving the apartment.

Cut to “Two nights earlier” and “Paris, France”. Lara is at Jean’s apartment discussing a commission he was hired for by a psychotic client called Eckhardt. Jean is visibly paranoid due to the murders going on around Paris and fears he is being stalked. He briefly explains that he’s been working with Madame Carvier from the Louvre regarding an excavation underneath the Louvre to find some 14th century paintings. Jean gives Lara Carvier’s card. Jean suddenly pulls out a pistol, pushes Lara out the way shouting “Look out,” where an unclear figure walks from behind to push Lara backwards towards the bookcase where she is knocked unconscious. We hear gunshots, a time lapse happens and Lara wakes up to find Jean dead, with his blood now on her hands.

Police sirens outside. Lara runs down the back alleys of Paris (cameo of the drug dealer and Janice together in the background) and is eventually chased by rottweilers from a police van to a derelict apartment block. When the Rottweiler chases her it jumps onto her back and bites the backpack, so while running with the dog on her back she loosens and drops the backpack and the dog together, freeing herself. When chased by the second Rottweiler, instead of being pushed through the window Lara jumps out onto a window frame from an industrial building opposite where she climbs up to the roof.

For an unknown event, there are fireworks in the sky in the background (for atmosphere), and the Eiffel tower in the background, soon a helicopter with a sniper shows up as you zip line onto another building. Game play has you rooftop dashing and jumping, going into some warehouse-like interiors where once you get to street level, you break into a closed down nightclub – Le Serpent Rouge. To get back onto the rooftops, you must turn the power back on to use the multicoloured strobe lights to platform around the building, as stairs and balconies are damaged. Due to rain water being on the floor because of a broken glass ceiling, and because of cut wires lying around, the floor becomes electrified. You must arrange sound equipment boxes before switching on power to jump navigate across the electrified floor. Large wall windows allow the helicopter to shine their spotlight through and shoot, which you must avoid. Rain water being illuminated by strobe lights is for atmosphere, among the party music during this high octane, unique event.

You get to the rooftops again and manage to lose the helicopter. Lara looks at Carvier’s card, and the scene shifts to “It’s Lara Croft, I need your help.” Carvier is nicer here than originally, and articulates why Jean was so paranoid, and what he was hired to do. She informs Lara that the Obscura paintings are 14th century artworks thought to be linked to alchemy and dark arts. Carvier backs up that there is a dig beneath the Louvre and offers for Lara to crash there that night and that Jean left a letter addressed to Lara for safekeeping, incase anything happened to Jean. Lara reads this as Carvier goes to bed. The letter mentions Louis Bouchard as a useful contact, a Parisian gang boss, where Lara thinks “What were you doing, Jean?” along with his address and the door guard password of “ange des ténèbres”. The letter discloses that Bouchard was arranging getting him weapons, maps and information on the Louvre, in order to gain access from the storm drains, and that there was a secret excavation under the Louvre. Also included is a sketch of 4 squares in a row, with the middle 2 having strange icons sketched in.

The next morning Lara finds Bouchard’s hideout, just before speaking to the door guard she sees Kurtis having a cigarette. As he notices her see him, he looks at her for a bit and then low key turns away. Lara speaks with the door guard and explains the situation to Bouchard. He agrees to give her the maps and dynamite he was to give Jean, and offers to sell Lara some health items, ammo and weapons, providing you have enough currency in the form of treasures you may have found previously.

2. Louvre Storm Drains
Lara makes it to the medieval foundations on display in the lower levels of the Louvre through having navigated the storm drains.

3. Louvre Galleries
Lara must stealthily avoid guards and plan a route by using a control room that has an electronic map of the entire building. Here, as a puzzle, you are to unlock a specific series of doors to create a path of rooms that are only protected by lasers rather than guards, in order to get to one side of the building from being on the other, fully avoiding combat. There are two paths that you can create – one that involves passing through the restoration unit and one that doesn’t. Each path takes you to Carvier’s office, where you get a security pass to the archaeological dig, and some information on the obscura paintings and the metallic symbols of power. You can only leave this control room once you have cleared one of the correct paths. Either path makes use of the rooftop courtyard above the gallery glass ceilings. You use this path to progress to a different section of the lower levels of the Louvre, where you’ll find the archaeological dig. There is a large puzzle mechanism uncovered on the floor of the dig site. Those strange icons from Jean’s letter are suddenly relevant, as you know how the central 2 icons are to be placed. In the restoration unit are 2 scrolls, each with one of the icons from the puzzle mechanism (randomised for each playthrough of the game). Unless you had unlocked the path that goes through the restoration unit and picked them up previously, you’ll have to go back to the control room to unlock the path that goes through the RR to get them. Use the icons to open the puzzle and proceed.

4. Tomb of Ancients
5. Hall of Seasons
Breathe of Hades is the first room you enter where you’re immediately greeted with the air crystal. Before you get to the central cylindrical hall, you must arrange and platform across the pedestals. Once you get to the other side, rather than 4 platforms to open specific doors in a hub, there is the Neptune pool in the centre, with Wrath of the Beast and Santuary of flame either third of the circular chamber. It would all be an open plan. Wrath of the Beast would have you fighting the animated giant angel statue, where it crumbling to death triggers the destruction of that area.

Once you get the crystals and place them somewhere in the main hall, a spiral staircase forms out of the marble ground art around the Neptune pool perimeter. It only goes up far enough to allow you to running jump to the remaining stone staircase around the chamber walls, where previously they had crumbled away, preventing access directly from the floor. Lara stuns Brother Obscura to get the painting

6. Galleries Under Seige
Galleries are under attack as per Eckhardt’s instructions to Gunderson to get the last painting for its metallic symbol of power to create the sanglyph. At the end of this level where Lara must fight mercanaries and find a gas mask, Kurtis puts a gun to Lara’s neck, takes off her backpack and takes the painting from it. He slings the backpack over his shoulder, runs, Lara chases him, and as there are so many mercenaries and Gunderson himself, Kurtis throws Lara back the backpack so they can fight together. Gunderson in armour serves as a boss. After defeated, Lara chasing Kurtis resumes, with Kurtis knocked out in the back alley. Lara takes a moment to search him for the shard, and is knocked out as she is checking his pulse, and we, the audience, see the person that knocked them out shapeshift to Bouchard’s door guard. Later we see Bouchard waking Lara up, Kurtis gone. Bouchard offers her and lift and the bodyguard opens the door for her. As Lara goes to Jean’s apartment, we see Bouchard instruct his bodyguard to kill her.

7. Von Croy’s Apartment
As Lara enters just like the prologue, we have a slightly, but not fully clear re-telling of what originally happened in the apt. You must find 2 pieces of information here. One speaks about other is about the Lux Veritatis and the cabal. The other one is about Eckhardt himself and his Sanglyph. 2 cutscenes are triggered when finding these 2 information pieces. After finding 2 pieces of information, the bodyguard breaks in. After shooting him for a bit, he runs away and has set bombs up for you to avoid. When Lara eventually kills him, she speaks on the phone about taking care of Bouchard later.

8. The Monstrum Crimesene
Lara meets Luddick who agrees to sell her story to him in exchange for a pass code for entry into the warehouse area, he also offers weapons, which he’ll give to her once Lara confronts Bouchard inside Vasiley’s apartment. He tells her something that she knows isn’t true, and she says “No, that’s not right,” shoots him in the arm and says “Go back to the start and try again.” Lara searches his secret office after a puzzle in his artefact room which turns up bits of information and an Obscura engraving, showing where the last painting is. Bouchard has disappeared and is found dead in a cupboard. When Lara goes back to Luddick to retrieve the weapons and get a lift to the stronghold, Luddick tells her he saw Bouchard, to Lara’s surprise.

9. The Cabal Stronghold
This is a large bio research facility with all sorts of monsters/poisonous plants and armed employees of Eckhardt. Early on in the warehouse/loading bay front of this level, Lara has to switch off the power to the whole site to gain access to the Biodome area. Lara spies on them lot having a meeting, and discussing that when the power shut down, the Proto Nephilim of Boaz’s got free and has been causing havoc in the Sani and Maximum containment unit. Boaz says it can only be killed with the periapt shard. Later, Lara is locked in an air lock, where her and Kurtis first speak. He tells her he needs to switch on the backup generator. She shows him the shard and he comes back to her later, knowing she’ll be locked up.

10. The Sanitarium
Guards and monsters against each other, combat heavy

11. Maximum Containment Unit

Fear factor here, with more messed up monsters and creepy failed experiments. At the end you confront the Proto and turn on the power.

12. Vault of Trophies
Kurtis unlocks Lara and they discuss their motives. Lara gives back the shard and they agree that Lara will find the last painting in the vault of trophies to destroy, which the cabal have been trying to get through the aquatic research area, and Kurtis will find the 3rd shard in Germany; information he learned himself from exploring the stronghold. We see that Karel and Eckhardt were watching them on CCTV, Eckhardt explains that her special talents may help them get the painting because they can just steal it from them later. Eckhardt orders a random guard with them there to stop Kurtis going to Germany.

We follow Lara and play her going through the aquatic research area and coming out onto...

13. Confronting Muller
...Lara is forced to give Eckhardt the painting. He used an unconscious Kurtis as leverage to make her do this, and drops Kurtis into the arena where Lara is. Enemies walk away leaving Muller to send his abominations after Kurtis and Lara. As a Boaz-AoD-like monster comes out a large metal door, Kurtis gives Lara a shard and convinces her to go to Germany (before the metal door reaches the floor to close) to find the 3rd shard and kill Eckhardt. You play as Kurtis fighting the Boaz-like monster.

14. The Black Forest
You use a horse to navigate the castle grounds and find an entrance

15. Castle Kriegler
Classic tomb raiding where you go deeper and deeper into the Castle medieval undergrounds and at the end you find the third shard

16. City of Cennet
You use a rowboat to navigate underground lakes and explore

17. Nephilim Settlement
Lara and Kurtis go to confront Eckhardt in a big boss battle of 3 rounds, after round 1 Lara stabs him with a shard, and after round 2 Kurtis does. After round 3 when Lara is about to stab the final shard, Karel comes out of nowhere and flings them both to the ground. Lara immediately draws her guns, and Kurtis his Churgai. Karel reveals himself to be actual Nephilim by shapeshifting into Bouchard, Luddick and Carvier. He explains he was disguising himself as just a finder of body parts (therefore he was the Monstrum) to aid Eckhardt. Karel withheld from Eckhardt that he’s Nephilim, because as it’s his own species he wanted Eckhardt to reignite, so without knowing it, Eckhardt was working for Karel. Lara has a full flashback of what happened, and determines Karel killed Jean.

During Karel being distracted by explaining this, the camera intermittently shows Kurtis taking Eckhardt’s glove and Sanglyph and going higher up to grab the Sleeper. When Kurtis is hanging onto the Sleeper, Lara looks up, prompting Karel to look up where he desperately shouts “No!” Kurtis places the gloved Sanglyph onto its chest, where it starts shining brightly and gearing up to explode. Kurtis uses one of the loose hanging wires going into the Sleeper to grab onto, snapping off and grip falling down. As he lands, he and Lara run to the exit of the arena together as sand/particles/debris swirl into the air. Enraged, Karel in his Nephilim form uses his claw to stab Kurtis from behind through to stick out the other side and in his last use of energy, Kurtis throws his Chruigai to slice Karel’s head off. Kurtis stumbles onto his knees, and leans on one hand, holding his stomach with the other. Here we see Lara near the exit wanting to come back to help him to safety, but he knows he wouldn’t be able to make it. Not wanting to slow Lara down, placing her in danger, he uses his Chruigai to stop Lara coming over, and non-verbally tells her to just get out quickly. Lara nods to indicate she understands and continues running for the exit where everything explodes – Lara is covered by the white glow from the explosion. The white screen switches to black, and fades to Lara, breathless, going back to find only Kurtis’ Chruigai in this same arena. She picks it up, and learns she has taken ownership of it as it juts out its blades. She makes it retract its blades, exhales and smiles, then stands up to walk away into the darkness.
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Old 10-05-20, 00:16   #7
SrDanielPonces
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I must have forgotten about the hops being explained in Parisian Ghetto; it has been years since I last played AOD. I wasn't aware that the stair jumping was unintended; I just assumed that it was intended. Not knowing about the commando crawl resulted in me being stuck in Von Croy's Apartment for a while.
I actually managed to go through von croy's apartment without knowing it. I just had to side-jump through those lasers
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Old 10-05-20, 10:20   #8
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I actually managed to go through von croy's apartment without knowing it. I just had to side-jump through those lasers
You had more joy than me then.
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