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Old 11-04-21, 16:56   #11
Jathom95
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Originally Posted by jackraider View Post
^ I wouldn’t mind seeing a scan of this .
I've never actually had one myself, but I managed to find one online. Doing some digging, apparently these only came with the "Greatest Hits" PS2 versions in NA, and only some of them at that.

So, it seems I was off just a bit about what it contains. There's only about six things, and the only references to deleted content are the example I posted about above, and one that references walking around in stealth mode with a gun drawn. The others mostly reference control schemes that were changed around or mistakes in the manual itself. Still interesting nonetheless. In any case, here it is.


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Old 11-04-21, 18:04   #12
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Interesting notes! I got my copy for PS2 (NA) in 2003, so likely it didn't come with these notes yet. The last note might allude to Lara being able to creep around corners, draw a weapon, turn the corner and shoot. Also, the "Tomb Raider" logo almost looks like the one used for TRU?
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Old 11-04-21, 21:08   #13
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Interesting notes! I got my copy for PS2 (NA) in 2003
Me too. However, it was embarrassing enough to have the mistakes in the original manual. It’s even more embarrassing they added a separate letter correcting these. The boaz fight was so confusing with that target switch error. I totally remember that.

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Old 12-04-21, 14:41   #14
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I think they wrote this guide following a beta/unreleased version of AoD that they were able to play...
There's a huge ammount of -not mistakes- but early stuff that later was edited like
Janice's original position next to the hotel or even unused nephilim creatures!



I wonder why this beta/unreleased version was changed to what we got
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Old 12-04-21, 16:24   #15
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I wonder why this beta/unreleased version was changed to what we got
Core was notoriously mismanaged at the time. On the surface, it seems impossible that so much could be missing or removed.

But with context, it's abundantly clear. Core was never completely sure about what they wanted to add to AOD. The only thing by the end of development that had been settled on was the game's tone. Core made the huge mistake of adding and removing things right up until the game was supposed to ship. That is a big no-no in game development. If you're still actively changing entire systems during a game's beta period, something is definitely wrong. That should be the point where core gamplay is locked-in. The only things that are typically changed at that point are what absolutely needs to be.

They also had strict deadlines set by Eidos. Part of it was Core's inability to get the team all on the same page, but because of that they literally had to remove huge parts of the game because there wasn't going to be time to test any of it or properly implement it. Most people nowadays know that the game was not ready to ship out, but maybe not the full extent - or they possibly don't care. As I've mentioned in other threads, Core was set to release AOD by November 2003, and likely the game would've been much closer to the beta versions we've seen bits and pieces of over the years. They basically had to drop half of the gameplay systems that weren't even 25% implemented at that point because Eidos had grown tired of waiting on what had traditionally been an annual release for them, and demanded that it be released by summer 2003 to allow them to close out a 2002 financial report and to coincide with The Cradle of Life's release.

When that was set in motion, there was no way Core was going to be able to add all of this new stuff and properly playtest it. The beta content was likely ripped to shreds because of this and the team being completely at odds at this point with no one on the same page. What likely happened to the beta content at that point was that it was severely stripped down so they could cobble together some kind of working system across the entire game that would function without what they'd planned to use in the first place, like the Amulet and RPG upgrade system. Which is how we ended up with the useless-for-the-most-part strength upgrades in the retail game that feel entirely out of place. Or oddities like the game's own guide being filled with mistakes, or the huge amounts of deleted and even unrecorded dialogue in the game files.

That's what hurt development the most. Core had already been working under conditions of what would now probably be considered "crunch time". Some of the blame is definitely on them, but people honestly vilify them much more than deserved imo. Core always had the problem of being too ambitious and shifting their feet around on larger projects, but in the end - they at least tried to deliver a good experience with TR as a whole, even when they were sick of making them. Look at Chronicles, a game they openly admitted they didn't want to make. Not the best classic by far, and it's still a pretty good game on its own.

Last edited by Jathom95; 12-04-21 at 16:40.
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Old 12-04-21, 21:21   #16
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Honestly, it's kinda of a shame that while we have Betas for the other TR titles under Core-Design, we don't have any for AOD.

It seems like the one game that could be very interesting to dive into some Beta builds of.
Even if they'd probably be even more buggy.
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Old 12-04-21, 21:28   #17
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^ I'd honestly be surprised if any still existed. AOD was right on the cusp of Core's downward spiral and subsequent hand-off to Crystal. Things like that tend to be messy anyway. Not to mention the mess of a development cycle where literally nothing was set in stone.

It's like when game studios try to remaster an old game, and the source code is either missing or severely damaged. If those old betas are completely gone, there's not much anyone can do about it. Things like Anniversary Edition got lucky most likely, Core got a good bit done with it before they were forced to stop.
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Old Yesterday, 18:39   #18
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Even you can download this online as a PDF file rather than getting it physically.
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