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Old 07-01-19, 15:28   #1
jonathanrij
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Arrow Tomb Raider 3 - Beta, October 5th 1998

A "new" TR3 beta build for the PS1 recently emerged online, dated a whole month before finalization. (I'd advice you to search for it yourself rather than asking for it here, for legal reasons.) While most levels follow their final trajectory, there are many interesting differences here and there, with some affecting gameplay quite severely. A handful of levels include alternate or even extended sections, such as Temple Ruins, Crash Site, City, Lud's Gate and Antarctica.

I took the time to write some notes per level, with some levels being described in a more detailed manner than others. Many of these will be updated later on, as we are still exploring and documenting this build. Feel free to contribute yourself, if you feel like it!

Check this playlist for our detailed playthroughs and side by side cutscene comparisons.

General differences
- Full level select is enabled by default.
- Fly cheat (DOZY) is enabled by default. Press and hold L1, R2, Square and Cross to activate it.
- There are no loading bars.
- Lighting is less intense, which gives it a more TR2 feel.
- Camera behaves slightly differently and can get buggy.
- No secrets are registered.
- Lara has a different animation for sprinting, rolling after sprinting, monkey swinging and picking up items while in a crouching state.
- Lara's state can get "locked" really easily, for example by picking up an item before she's in idle mode, or by dropping out of a crawlspace. DOZY is required to get out of this locked state.
- Pressing forward and action below a climbable ceiling, no matter from which height, will get Lara to jump towards it. This action always cancels out her running/sprinting animation.
- Items are still displayed in the corner after picking them up, but in 2D mode (unlike earlier builds, where they rotated). Objects that lack a display reference model show as a placeholder item (which is usually Lara's butt).
- The file CUT10 (which is missing in the final build) is present in the cutscene folder, but is outdated and is incompatible with this build. Spoiler: Gh0stBlade loaded the file in his ECTS build and discovered that it contains Lara in her cell in High Security Compound. This matches the original level introduction, described in the recently leaked final script.

Level-specific differences

Lara's Home
- Has many missing areas, most notably the extended basement section.
- Contains quite a few TR2 textures and a TR2 dining room table.
- The gym section has a different lay-out.
- The quadbike section is very unfinished.



Jungle
- Is named Jungle Ruins.
- The monkey who steals a medipack early on leads Lara to the door instead of the lever.
- There are almost no secret areas.
- Overall: minor differences, apart from a few more obvious geometric changes.





Temple Ruins
- Is named Temple of Shiva.
- The pool area with one of the two main Ganesha keys has some doors close to the ceiling that drop open.
- In the final section, the third Ganesha key location has no water current.
- There's an extended ending inside the cave.
- Overall: minor/noticeable differences, apart from some other more obvious geometric changes.



The River Ganges
- The first pick-up is behind a little waterfall and not inside a crawlspace.
- The quadbike is brown instead of green.
- The first secret is missing.
- There's an extended path to backtrack around the little snake cave area.
- There are some bridges added where Lara is supposed to ride over, but seeing as the quadbike ignores static mesh collision, Lara is forced to continue on foot.
- Overall: minor differences, apart from a few more obvious geometric changes.



Caves of Kaliya
- Is named Caves of Kali.
- Tony doesn't drop the artifact after getting killed.
- Overall: minor differences, apart from a few more obvious geometric changes.



Coastal Village
- The smuggler's key path has a deep pit instead of water, which looks and feels substantially different.
- A few geometric changes here and there, including some extra flipmaps.
- The underwater tunnel near the end of the level has a climbable wall to get out of, but there doesn't seem to be a way to drain this area first.
- Overall: minor/noticeable differences, including some obvious geometric changes.





Check the video description for a list covering almost all changes compared to the final version.

Crash Site
- Has pretty much no secret areas.
- T-Rex takes around 100 Desert Eagle shots to kill.
- Has a block puzzle with an unknown purpose right under the area where Lt. Tuckerman's Key is located. We tried to make sense of it by rearranging it in all orders that are likely, but none of them seemed to have any effect. Its functionality was probably not yet fully implemented, which could explain why the trapdoor above it opens rather easily.
- The waterfall area can be walked on.
- There's a TR2 crane inside the plane wreckage that will kill Lara once touched.
- The stationary missile launcher doesn't allow any interaction.
- The walls blocking the level ending can be destroyed with Lara's weapons.
- Overall: noticeable differences, mostly affecting geometry, textures and even some objects.





Madubu Gorge
-

Temple of Puna
- There are no villagers at all.
- Misses the secret area.
- Puna has no defense force shield and can be killed with just 5 Desert Eagle shots in a row.
- Puna doesn't drop the artifact after getting killed.
- Overall: minor differences, apart from a few geometric changes.



Thames Wharf
- Cathedral key is placed where the final secret is supposed to be.
- Overall: minor differences, apart from a few geometric changes.





Check the video description for a more extensive list of differences.

All Hallows
- Follows right after Thames Wharf.
- The vault key is hidden near the beginning of the level.
- Is severely cut and ends really early on.
- Overall: noticeable differences, mostly affecting geometry.

Aldwych
- Has a white door at the very beginning, with an unknown purpose.
- Overall: noticeable differences, mostly affecting geometry.

Lud's Gate
- Some notable texture and geometric changes, which give it a really different look in certain areas.
- The underwater maze section is missing.
- Overall: major differences, mostly affecting geometry, textures and a few objects.

City
- Is still in early development at this stage.
- Sophia has only limited AI and can be killed with Lara's weapons.
- Sophia doesn't drop the artifact after getting killed.
- Has a level end trigger at the top of the building.
- Overall: major differences, affecting geometry and textures severely.



Nevada Desert
- Right next to the detonator there's a pushable block with a medipack under it.
- The generator access room has narrow wooden doors that are already opened.
- Some underwater doors won't open and the electricity can't be turned off, preventing Lara from ending the level as intended.
- Overall: noticeable differences, mostly affecting geometry.



Check the video description for a more extensive list of differences.

High Security Compound
- Has loads of placeholder textures.
- Crashes in certain areas.
- Overall: major differences, mostly affecting textures and some geometry severely.



Video recorded by Woops. Check his post for some more info.

Area 51
- Similar to the public demo variants.

Antarctica
- There are ice floes floating on the water.
- The inflatable boat is orange instead of yellow, and there are 2 of them instead of just 1 (1 of them is probably just for quick access/testing purposes).
- An orca is roaming around freely and will follow Lara while she's in/on the water.
- The little cabin next to the ship is metallic instead of wooden and it's empty.
- The ending section is accessible early on due to an open connection near the back of the boat.
- There's a huge section inside the ship that got completely cut later on. The path is way different/extended there and it adds a good 2 to 3 minutes of gameplay.
- Most secrets are missing.
- The dogs are inactive.
- The office is arranged differently and contains bunk beds.
- The fuel supply poster inside the office is less detailed.
- One of the door buttons can't be pressed due to a box below it (which is moved a little in retail).
- The hut in the ending section has see-through windows instead of tinted ones, revealing the inside of it.
- Loading the cutscene crashes the game.
- Overall: major differences here and there, mostly affecting geometry, textures and a few objects.



RX-Tech Mines
- Mine cart AI is completely unfinished.
- Has an extended area to open the door right before the initial mine cart section.
- Overall: noticeable differences, mostly affecting geometry.



Check the video description for a more extensive list of differences.

Lost City of Tinnos
- Overall: minor differences, apart from a few geometric changes.



Meteorite Cavern
- Willard requires 5 Desert Eagle shots to get stunned, and then only 2 after picking up each artifact.
- There are bridges in front of each artifact.
- There are some raised areas on the lava.
- There's only 1 flamethrower on your way to the final area.
- The gate before the final area can be opened with a button.
- Overall: noticeable differences, mostly affecting geometry and textures.


Last edited by jonathanrij; 22-08-19 at 15:17.
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Old 07-01-19, 15:31   #2
Gh0stBlade
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Great to see this finally released. I waited since 2009
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Old 07-01-19, 17:22   #3
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CUT10 level geometry is an untextured, unfinished version of the High Security Compound prison cell. It lines up with this part of the script:

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Old 07-01-19, 17:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helegad View Post
CUT10 level geometry is an untextured, unfinished version of the High Security Compound prison cell. It lines up with this part of the script:

https://i.postimg.cc/DZkkMPCQ/cut10.jp
Added to OP.
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Old 07-01-19, 17:42   #5
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Very interesting, thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-01-19, 19:05   #6
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All these years later and the old TRs can still amaze..
Cool find
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Old 07-01-19, 19:36   #7
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Aw man, I love this! TR3’s beta always fascinated me and I rarely ever get tired of hearing about it. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-01-19, 22:58   #8
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Ok, that cutscene where Willard turns into a spider is severely lacking the yellow beams of this beta. Wonder if this could be modded back to the game.
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Old 09-01-19, 16:21   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardoc View Post
Ok, that cutscene where Willard turns into a spider is severely lacking the yellow beams of this beta. Wonder if this could be modded back to the game.
I think it was too much going on and they got in the way of things during the cutscene but you do see them briefly in the official release before Willard flings himself in the pit for a few seconds.

I really liked a lot of the original level names, especially during India as it made sense to our surroundings as the temple was named Shiva which had carvings, not to mention living statues of the god and I think the Caves of Kali were somewhat an homage to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as Kali was the god the evil tribe were worshiping in the movie, the place does become a flaming death hazard during parts which reference Tony's battle location and it was a maze of tunnels due to mining as well which is how the level itself is set out.
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Old 09-01-19, 16:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TombRaiderTim View Post
I really liked a lot of the original level names, especially during India as it made sense to our surroundings as the temple was named Shiva which had carvings, not to mention living statues of the god and I think the Caves of Kali were somewhat an homage to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as Kali was the god the evil tribe were worshiping in the movie, the place does become a flaming death hazard during parts which reference Tony's battle location and it was a maze of tunnels due to mining as well which is how the level itself is set out.
I agree, they give a bigger voice to the mythology in some of these levels. I found “Jungle Ruins” to be more fitting than just “Jungle”, and “Temple of Shiva” to have a nicer touch than “Temple Ruins”.

It’s unfortunate the majority of these weren’t kept.
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