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Old 07-06-22, 10:21   #1
Danielazo
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Question Tomb Raider I Hardest Secret (cryptical sense)

Greetings to all,

I emphasize "cryptical" because there are secrets that are perhaps more skillful, but my point goes the dificulty to get the solution of secrets.

In my opinion,

(i) The second of Caves, because it is almost the only time in the game where it can only be reached by pressing the action button.

(ii) The second from the Tomb of Qualopec since in the whole game that is the only area where you have to do the tactic of falling between the sharp peaks.

(iii) The first from the Tihocan Tomb, due to how little the shelves that open that door can be distinguished. And in addition to being in a room whose solution is not always available (if it is flooded).

(iv) The one with the Scion sanctuary, no way. Did anyone find that without a guide? The hardest in the game for me.

(v) The third from Atlantis. I never understood how that door works, whenever I get there I open it out of sheer luck

That's my list, what do you guys think about it?
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Old 07-06-22, 11:25   #2
TombRaiderTim
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Not a bad list to be fair, I usually just rank the top three:

Sanctuary of the Scion
I think it's safe to say this one is the most challenging due to it being so hard to spot in such a wide open room, unless you decide to take in the view on top the Sphinx and accidentally notice it by luck. Put an invisible platform on top of that to throw off how far you are supposed to jump and it makes getting Uzis quite a task.

Tomb of Qualopec
The fact a hidden door opens only as you tread on the correct tile behind a statue, not only you discover a secret but the second one is disguised right underneath you in a pit of spikes and to a newcomer, you'd pay no attention to checking in there but to get to it, you need to drop precisely on the edge to avoid being impaled.

Natla's Mines
The second secret containing the Shotgun before the Skate Park is a bit cruel as you see nothing but a push block, so you think to take your time until it's too late as the boulder crushes you. Then even as you climb up to your rewards, you may be careless and not notice the Shotgun down on the rails of the hole.

It depends, there is a variety of them, each with their own set of trials but these are my personal annoyances.
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Old 07-06-22, 14:22   #3
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The Uzis I think by common consent are the toughest - they're difficult to see at distance from almost any location even if you're looking in the right direction. Then you have to realise what they are and that they're on an invisible platform. It also triggers another aerial attack.

First time through I missed the one at the top of the waterfall (Secret #3) in The Lost Valley. Unless you realise the edge is grabable and then pull up in exactly the right place its easy to think there's nothing to explore.

In the Tomb Of Tihocan the one with the room that if you flood it 'prematurely' ie. pull the switch on the left path you can't collect the secret so you have no idea anything is there. Even when you don't flood it how on Earth are you supposed to know that three corner floor tiles are pressure pads that activate a door? There's no obvious clue.
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Old 08-06-22, 09:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenangle View Post
The Uzis I think by common consent are the toughest - they're difficult to see at distance from almost any location even if you're looking in the right direction. Then you have to realise what they are and that they're on an invisible platform. It also triggers another aerial attack.

First time through I missed the one at the top of the waterfall (Secret #3) in The Lost Valley. Unless you realise the edge is grabable and then pull up in exactly the right place its easy to think there's nothing to explore.

In the Tomb Of Tihocan the one with the room that if you flood it 'prematurely' ie. pull the switch on the left path you can't collect the secret so you have no idea anything is there. Even when you don't flood it how on Earth are you supposed to know that three corner floor tiles are pressure pads that activate a door? There's no obvious clue.
Well, it is a secret, after all
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Old 09-06-22, 01:23   #5
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But there are 'secrets' that require thought and/or skill to collect successfully. Then there are the random ones, like those three pressure pads.

If you went around any of the games running over every floor tile or clicking on everything that looks different, trying to see if they do anything the game would take five times as long. Most gamers would be bored out of their skull long before the end.

What I object to in all the old TRs are the obscure, beyond reason 'puzzle' secrets. I always site the TR3 Lud's Gate diver room one as a perfect example of that but there are many others and have been so since this first game.

IMHO where TR is good with its puzzles is when they give you a clue so you can work it out and it is not just random tile or lever pressing. My examples for that would be in TR4: scrape marks on the floor of an otherwise hidden door or, I think in TR3, there's one place where the 'safe' blocks to jump to are marked above on the ceiling but you can only see them if you light a flare.

Last edited by fallenangle; 09-06-22 at 12:20.
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Old 09-06-22, 09:20   #6
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Clues to get on with the game, sure, but I don't mind if the game doesn't give me clues on how to find a secret.

I really like the fact that there are all these different types of secrets:
1) the easy-to-find ones to make the player feel good (Caves 1st),
2) ones that require skills and/or precision (Great Pyramid, Colosseum),
3) ones that are easy to see but can't be backtracked for (Tomb of Tihocan 2nd secret),
4) ones where there's a lot of tension, but you keep your cool and explore anyway (Tomb of Qualopec 3rd secret),
5) the secret within secret (Tomb of Qualopec again),
6) the "how the was I supposed to figure that out!" obscure secrets too (Tomb of Tihocan 1st secret, Tomb of Qualopec 1st & 2nd).

TR2 goes even further and adds "pick me up if you dare" secrets that are blatantly obvious, but have a trap nearby (The Great Wall green secret, 40 Fathoms white secret), or are behind a gate, and the player's task is to figure out how to get there (Wreck of the Maria Doria).

TR3 again extends the formula, with "grab it before it's gone forever" secrets (Area 52, Lost City of Tinnos), etc.

The whole point of the series is to explore. It is a lot slower paced than pure action games, and the player is really rewarded for exploring. That's exactly what players did back in the days: ran over every floor tile, clicked on everything that looked different (or not), tried to shoot TNT boxes, tried to swim under that waterfall in Lost Valley before turning it off, etc.

I think over the years we've somewhat forgotten what the game was all about. I noticed that myself when I started playing custom levels. Quite frankly, I sucked, because I wasn't exploring as much as I should have, making me miss levers in obscure places, secrets behind movable boxes that don't look movable at first, etc.

It's very refreshing to go back to basics of exploration like this. Heck, last few custom levels I played, I even started drawing my own map on a sheet to remember the layout and not forget anything important.
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Old 09-06-22, 12:35   #7
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There's exploration and then there is grinding.

I've spent hours not getting bored in some TR levels looking for stuff, not just secrets but alternative solutions to dealing with enemies, no scratch strategies, getting to places you're not meant to using glitches etc.

But of that variety of puzzle types used ^ listed I just think the random ones let the games down slightly. They're lazy or misconceived puzzle design IMHO.

For instance they could have easily made those floor tiles mentioned a better puzzle by requiring them to be pressed in the correct order and a clue to that (numbering or symbols). Alternatively have the door time limited just like in St.Francis' Folly or the Colosseum and/or use sound clues so that you'd know something was going on.

Last edited by fallenangle; 12-06-22 at 12:16.
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Old 10-06-22, 09:14   #8
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why do people still think they need to jump from the sphynx head to get to the uzis. they are quite easily reachable from the stones at the same height with a running jump
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Old 12-06-22, 04:25   #9
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The Uzis on the invisible platform in the Sanctuary of the Scion is probably the most cryptic in the game. It's the only time in the game where you have to jump onto an invisible platform. Not sure how anyone is supposed to figure this out. At least in later games you can use Flares to illuminate invisible platforms.

Also, the spike pit secret in Tomb of Qualopec is cryptic as well. The first secret in the room hidden behind the statue was pretty cryptic to begin with, but also clever at the same time. The second secret hidden under the spikes is very cryptic, especially since there are no other instances in the game where you have to fall off a platform into a spike pit. Plus, it doesn't even look like you can fall into the spike pit to begin with at first glance.

I would also add the Tomb of Tihocan secret where you have to step on the three tiles to open the door. The secret might be more obvious today since the door and tiles stick out like a sore thumb, but I can't imagine ever discovering this back in 1996 where this was the state of the art graphics lol.
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Old 12-06-22, 10:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenangle View Post
First time through I missed the one at the top of the waterfall (Secret #3) in The Lost Valley. Unless you realise the edge is grabable and then pull up in exactly the right place its easy to think there's nothing to explore...
That was the one that caught me out

Though my eyes were more on that nasty T-rex attacking

.

Last edited by perryloo; 12-06-22 at 10:44.
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