Official Core Design Tomb Raider 4 Memo



Storyline (See overview for plot details).

This is driven seamlessly through game and gives
Lara very clear objectives throughout.

The storyline is related via FMV’s, cut-scenes and Lara’s
interaction with characters, plus the collection of information (from
inscriptions etc).

Gameplay dissolves to cut-scenes, cut-scenes to FMV,
and vice-versa. The intention is to completely eliminate loading screens and
keep the adventure continuous

Whereas for previous Tomb Raider games, the story
was used as a means of linking locations, Last Revelation’s plot  will be completely integrated throughout the
game, keeping the player clearly focused.

FMV and cut scenes are far more prevalent than seen
in previous games and quality is vastly improved. Last Revelation will feature
11 FMVs (20 minutes).

The Last Revelation introduces two important
characters that have influenced Lara’s life tremendously. These characters play
integral roles through the entire game.


The game is set entirely in Egypt.

Main locations:

  • Karnak
  • Cairo
  • Giza
  • Alexandria
  • Valley of the Kings

Last Revelation is the same size as previous Tomb Raider games, but
locations themselves are smaller and more atmospheric. The player will not be
required to wander around vast maps in search of clues and will have a very
clear idea of what needs to be achieved. Puzzles will be solved with
information/items from the near vicinity in order to keep objectives clear.

Training Level 

Lara’s mansion is not featured. 

The training level takes place in Cambodia and is a
‘flashback’ level that is used to introduce Lara’s mentor, Von Croy, and also
to re-introduce Lara herself at the age of 16 years. 


The 16 year version of Lara is not a feature of Last
Revelation but is used as a means to tell both old and new users more about her
history and the reasons why she is an adventurer today. 

Von Croy has the same moves as Lara and teaches her
how to perform all moves, both old and new. 

The level features a race against Von Croy.
Experienced / proficient players will be rewarded with an alternative route
toward the end of the training level. 

The training level may be repeated by re-starting
the game. It must be completed in order to access the real adventure. 

At the end of the training level, the player is
presented with an FMV: Von Croy’s leg becomes trapped. When Lara tries to save
him, the area around her becomes unstable. She flees to save her own life – and
has to leave Von Croy for dead. 

The player is subsequently presented with an
introductory FMV that sets the scene for The Last Revelation itself. 


Upon loading Last Revelation, the player is
presented with a brand-new interface. The old inventory rings and passport
system are now obsolete. 

The new inventory system is more akin to that of a
traditional adventure game e.g. Monkey Island. 

Standard inventory items: 

  • Colt pistols
  • Canteen
  • Flares
  • Compass – required for solving some of the puzzles
  • Binoculars – these have a zoom in/out feature
  • Diary – see ‘Diary’ section  

 Inventory contd.

 Items may be collected, combined and stored in the
new inventory.


Objects:           Batteries



The new inventory also features a diary that has the
following uses: 

Storing of information – the Diary makes a journal that details Lara’s
progress e.g plot details, location details etc. If Lara reads inscriptions,
these will also appear in the Diary as if she has written them in herself.
Information contained within the Diary can be referred to at any time. 

Hints and tips – For areas where Lara becomes stuck, the player may enter this
section of the diary for simple clues. (There will be some kind of penalty for
frequent referral to this section). 

– Lara may collect pieces of maps throughout the game. These may be overlaid on
the screen during gameplay to assist the player (PC only). Once Lara has all
pieces of a particular map, secret areas may be opened up for additional

Scrapbook – throughout the game, background information will appear in the
scrapbook e.g. pictures of Lara, her family, friends, information about her
past and previous Tomb Raider adventures etc. This is not required for
completion of the game, being used purely for the player’s interest /

Save / Load game – both PSX and PC games use a ‘save-anywhere’ system. PSX format
offers 5 save-game slots. 

Game Engine

The existing Tomb Raider engine, although solid,
prevented Core from changing fundamental elements for Tomb Raiders II and III.

Development of Last Revelation started Spring 1998.
The engine is 90% new, having has been completely re-designed. 

Fundamental changes include the following: 

New comprehensive inventory system 

New targeting system – Lara will no longer automatically lock-on to
enemies. The player will have the option to toggle between targets. Objects
within the environment may now also be targeted. 

New AI – due to the new targeting system, AI is now able to reach
advanced levels (see Artificial Intelligence) 

New ‘Organics’ – 3D objects are introduced via the new editing system.
This results in areas featuring ‘real’ objects that Lara may interact with, 3D
architecture and therefore greater levels of detail. 

Collapsible walls – some walls may now be blown up / collapsed. 

Lighting system – Dynamic lighting and spotlighting are featured.
Spotlighting enables concentrated beams of light to be used to guide the
player/ focus attention/create additional atmospheric effects. 

Environment Mapping – textures and 3D objects are environment-mapped to
display realistic characteristics and react to light. E.g. metallic surfaces
will now be reflective, marble surfaces will shine etc. 

Bump Mapping (PC only) – for greater visual clarity, detail and depth. 

PSX version is hi-res and supports dual-analog. 

PC Specification: 266 Minimum (software and hardware). Details to be


Artificial Intelligence 

Last Revelation features advanced levels of AI. 

Many enemies are given the same moves as Lara and
will be able to mimic her moves around the environment. 

Human enemies are not prevalent but will be given
almost the same range of moves as Lara herself. 

Lara will no longer be able to reach a safe point
and simply shoot enemies from safety – they will pursue her and/or counter her

Lara will have to ‘deal’ with enemies, using far
more complex methods than seen in previous TR games. Enemies now have the
capacity to dodge and evade. 

Some enemies may not be killed outright e.g.
Skeletons may not be shot down since they are already dead. Lara must find
other means to destroy them e.g. they may be pushed off ledges, smashed or
trapped etc. 

Supernatural enemies may not be killed outright
either – e.g. different types of Wraiths will require different methods for
their elimination. 

Enemies now follow the environments closely and will
‘hug’ the landscape for greater levels of realism. 

Lara may be poisoned by some of Last Revelation’s
enemies. To restore health she will need to use specific items that may be
collected and stored in the inventory. 


Due to the storyline and setting, the majority of
enemies are non-human. Set’s approach to earth gradually begins to influence
the environments and bizarre events begin to occur… 

Examples of enemies:

  • Mummies
  • Skeletons
  • Wraiths
  • Sphinxes
  • Statues (ancient Gods/creatures come to life)
  • Von Croy’s followers (human)
  • Giant scorpions, beetles etc. 


Lara will interact with several characters but there are
two main characters that she will meet frequently throughout Last Revelation: 

Von Croy: Lara’s arch-enemy, unbeknown to her at the outset.
He will appear throughout the game and will usually be one step ahead of Lara 

Jean-Yves: Lara meets this old friend several times. Lara and
Jean Yves share a mutual respect for one another – like Lara, he is an
adventurer/archaologist. There is an ‘X-files’ sexual tension between the two
but this is not developed to a romantic level. Lara will visit Jean-Yves
several times and at one point will have to save his life. 


Again, due to the setting and storyline, Lara has no
need for hi-tech weapons. Her standard weapons are a pair of Colt pistols. 

Other weapons include: 

  • Shotgun
  • Uzis (with standard and new tracer bullets)
  • Revolver
  • Grenades (standard, stun and smoke)
  • Crossbow – this is a very accurate, targetable
    weapon. When used, perspective will move to first person. 


Last Revelation features a higher ratio of new moves
than seen in previous games.  Two of the
key moves are the use of ropes and new ‘shimmy’: 

Use of ropes –  This opens
up brand new methods for negotiation of environments and puzzles.  Lara may climb up and down, grab, swing from
and build momentum using ropes. 

Shimmy round corners – Lara can now move
hand-over-hand around corners. Again, this opens up new possibilities for

Examples of other new moves:

  • Shoulder barge door
  • Kick down door
  • Open door (with hand)
  • Crowbar door open
  • Search bodies
  • Open trap door in floor / ceiling  

Lara Croft

 Lara is now fully skinned and has an increased
number of polygons. She can now blink and
her mouth will move so that she will now be seen to talk in cut-scenes. 

Lara may look toward certain important objects, features. This will help
toward detection of small objects and interactive objects such as door handles
and switches etc. 

Lara also has a new voice for Last Revelation! 

Costume changes will not be heavily featured since
the story is set in one country only. There may be small changes – these to be

When Lara emerges from the water, the player will
now see water dripping from her. 



Last Revelation features 2 main vehicles – a jeep
and a motorbike with side-car. 

Also featured is a train. A ‘level’ will be played
in/on the roof of the train. 

Vehicles are used to link geographical areas via
gameplay. As such, they are intrinsic to gameplay/progression to a new area.


Last Revelation is heavily puzzle-based, more so
than even the original Tomb Raider. 

Puzzles themselves are all-new. Lara’s new moves,
plus the new inventory system allows greater scope than ever before for
invention of new puzzle ideas. 

All items required to solve puzzles may be found
within Lara’s near vicinity. This eliminates the need for the player to cover
vast distances searching for objects. The difficulty will lie in actually working out the puzzles, rather than
obtaining the items required to solve them. 

feature element such as: ropes and pulleys, pressure-pads, timed levers,
rotating hubs, wheels, hanging switches, switches in holes, levers and
fulcrums, platforms and blocks that can be raised, trip wires, breakable walls,
direction puzzles (using compass). 

old levers/switches from previous games are now obsolete. Lara has a range of
new systems to operate, using new animations and the new inventory.


 Document info:


Susie Hamilton was the Public Relations expert for Core Design in 1993-2002