Warning: There may be unmarked spoilers below, so read at your own risk.
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Why the hell did Reyes let Alex go off alone? He's a Non-Action Guy. He has a pistol. The group knows that the island is crawling with Solarii, and that chances are the ship is going to be, too. No one should be going anywhere alone if they can help it. And yet when Lara essentially points this out, Reyes brushes it off by saying that Alex can take care of himself, leaving Lara to run after him. This is made even worse by the fact that if Lara hadn't gone to find him, the tools wouldn't have been retrieved and they would never have been able to fix the boat. Reyes allowed a Non-Action Guy, alone, armed with a single pistol, to go retrieve what could possibly be their only hope at getting off of the island. WHY?
Made even more frustrating when Reyes passive-aggressively blames Lara for Alex's death.
Reyes is not in good shape at that point. Roth's death hits her harder than she lets on, because Roth is the father of her child and they clearly still have feelings for one another; one of the camera flashbacks shows her and Roth talking intimately in the hallways of the Endurance. Even better, the crashed helicopter represents the failure of escape attempt #2, and she's nearly died several times that day. Sam's coping by putting all her faith in Lara; Jonah's coping by eating and being productive; and Reyes... isn't coping.
All of the survivors aside from Lara and Sam seems to have a clinical case of Too Dumb to Live. If they're not making pointlessHeroic Sacrifices that could have easily been avoided, they're sitting around complaining and brushing off everything Lara has to say despite the fact she's the only one who seems to be able to take care of herself.
To be fair, it's shown during the escape-from-the-palace scene, as Lara is getting into the helicopter, that the rest of the crew are on the ground fighting it out. Alex specifically can be seen with a shotgun, implying he at least does know how to use a gun. Add in the fact that the group on the beach by this point number only three (and they had no idea when Lara would show up) it's not like they really had much choice.
But Jonah would have been the far better choice. Both in-story and from a meta perspective, it made no sense for Alex to go beyond the last-second revelation that he was crushing on Lara, which is a pretty damn flimsy excuse to begin with. Jonah, in the prequel comic — which Pratchett also wrote — is shown being able to physically beat up thugs without apparently suffering any damage himself, using a gun while saving Whitman from the mafia, being fully willing to kill people with said gun without flinching, not even hesitating to act while being shot at, and brushing off a bullet graze like it's no big deal while saying that he's had worse. He is obviously pretty used to dangerous and life-threatening situations. Even if Reyes didn't know about any of that — which I find unlikely, but even so — Jonah is obviously a large, physically capable guy who knows how to use his strength. Meanwhile, Alex is someone who, by his own admission, is the least badass person in the group besides, you know, Samantha. And whether Alex knows how to use a gun or not (and knowing how to shoot a gun doesn't necessary mean you can shoot it well), exactly how many combat situations has he been in before landing on Yamatai? It's probably safe to assume that the number of those would be a grand total of zero. What was he supposed to do when his tiny pistol ran out of bullets? Jonah, at least, would have had a chance at physically subduing his enemies if he managed to sneak up on them. Alex would have been screwed. Which he was. To be honest, I can see Reyes being like "Yeah, sure, whatever, knock yourself out," when Alex volunteered to get the tools, but that isn't just grossly irresponsible and stupid. It's cold. I'd like to think she felt some guilt about that afterward, because she basically sent Alex to his death. And, bottom line, it still makes no sense from a story perspective besides killing Alex off as a Deus Angst Machina. Yes, yes, I know. That's how it all played out, end of story. But the fact that it did play out that way in the first place still confuses the hell out of me.
Why didn't Roth just drop himself and Lara to the ground when he saw Mathias throwing the axe? He was barely holding them both up, it's not like it would have taken much effort to just fall down, and he still could have fired his pistol from there. And probably a lot more accurately, too, seeing as how he wouldn't have had an axe embedded in his spine. Yes, yes, Rule of Drama, but still.
Dropping to the ground would have, almost without question, gotten them both killed. Sure, he could have tried shooting from the ground, but he certainly wouldn't be able to kill all three pursuers after falling, and it would have made both him and Lara an easier target.
The fact it was preceded with an atrocious example of Clean Pretty Reliable doesn't help matters. First he does the mouth breathing thing, which is a horrible health hazard considering they're both filthy, he doesn't lay her completely flat on her back instead letting her sprawl out to the side from the hips down, and he barely pushes on her chest at all during the compressions, does maybe three or four compressions before attempting the mouth breathing thing again, and goes for the cliche gold medal with the How Dare You Die on Me! screams. Roth is supposed to be a survival expert who trained Lara himself, and yet he not only fails to recognize CPR wasn't called for in that situation, but goes about it in the most overwrought Hollywood Medicine style possible. All that had happened was she blacked out from the helicopter crash, one could even assume that Lara woke up on her own, and his attempts were completely needless, she would have spluttered awake just fine without the CPR. The whole scene was really badly handled, combined with the Heroic Sacrifice that followed being pointless white knighting and easily avoidable. The weight of what happened would have been a lot more effective if they simply cut the entire scene out and went directly to the other survivors finding Lara and Roth dead without explanation, perhaps with a close up of Lara clutching his tech pistols, and we're left to wonder what exactly happened.
The whole retrieving Reyes' tools from the Endurance to fix the boat is ridiculously stupid because the supposed "tools" are just generic screwdriver and wrenches. If Lara manages to MacGyver her way into having a silenced assault rifle with frag grenade launcher and bunch of other perks, for sure they could find something useful around Shantytown or the beach.
Lara was able to MacGyver her equipment together. Alex went off to Endurance before Lara arrived on the beach, and at this point of the game Reyes made it clear she had no faith in Lara's abilities, besides being shaken by Roth's death and holding Lara responsible, so it's not like she was going to wait around for her to show up when she believed their lives depended on getting off the island as soon as possible (remember that Reyes wasn't going to wait for Lara to return if they got the boat working before she got back from the General's tomb). There's also a question of how much Lara's equipment updates should be considered Gameplay and Story Segregation. Especially when you consider that it would mean Lara was somehow able to convert a Japanese Type-100 submachine gun into a frelling AK-47 with nothing but a bunch of spare parts (seriously, look at the "Assault Rifle" base model. It's an AK-47).
Nah, the whole weapon upgrade thing is easy to justify - the small upgrades (silencer, extra rounds) from spare parts are classic MacGyver -ing; however in big upgrades (wooden bow to composite to carbon fiber bow) Lara simply found a new weapon and replaced her old one - this is even shown in the cutscenes - the Maori big guy handed Lara a modern bow just before heading to the Endurance. Back to my complaint, I think your argument still doesn't defeat the fact that the supposed "tools" Alex went off to find are just generic wrenches and screwdrivers. It's been pointed out numerous times that the crew outside of Lara are completely Too Dumb to Live but this one takes the cake. Alex is supposed to be the smart nerdy archetype character, but really you're gonna go to a partly sinking ship like 3 miles away alone in an island full of cultist mercenaries for generic set of wrenches and screwdriver?? If he just turned his head around the Shipwreck beach is full of machines (lifts, cages, towers, etc) - obviously there will be something that can be used as a wrench.
The only three weapon upgrades Lara gets where we're explicitly shown her being given a new item to replace the existing one is the Compound Bow from Jonah, the climbing axe from Roth, and Lara claims one of Roth's pistols after his death to replace the Model 1911 she picked up as her first gun. The Recurve Bow, Competition Bow, Magnum Pistol, and all shotgun and rifle upgrades are done completely via the Bow, Pistol, Shotgun and Rifle parts you collect throughout the game. Now maybe you can handwave this by saying Lara is actually replacing her other equipment in the same way as the ones she gets via cutscene, but that still doesn't explain some of the very complex modifications she makes. Suppressors ("silencer" is really a dirty word) are quite complicated pieces of equipment, not to mention the drum magazine she cobbles together for the shotgun and other modifications that would require complex mill work. I'm not saying all of her mods are out of the realm of possibility, but there's more than a few that go above and beyond MacGyvering.
"Salvage" doesn't mean she's always picking up animal bones and unforged metal, then shaking them in a bag to produce a functioning assault weapon. There are enough people using ramshackle semi-automatics and hunting bows on Yamatai that Lara could readily be finding machined parts and broken rifles, then repurposing those into upgrades or brand new weapons. The "salvage" mechanic simply prevents the Rage problem where you're always carrying around a full backpack of sixteen assorted Bear Asses without the one thing you need to do something useful with them. Granted, this also implies that Lara has picked up some serious gunsmith chops on 'her time on the Endurance, but that's not impossible.
By design it is actually possible to build all the weapon upgrades in the game nearly exclusively out of bits of dead wildlife. It is in fact possible for Lara to build an ACOG scope out of enough deer spleens.
To go back to the original point, it's possible that the tools were more complex than that, but for the sake of simplicity, they were rendered as a couple of simple tools. While her Hammer Space of weaponry is an Acceptable Break From Reality for gameplay purposes, in a cutscene it's hard to justify Lara managing to stash a heavy toolbox on her person and then fleeing at such a speed.
And still there are numerous other wrecks and other sites closer and safer where some toolbox could be found or assembled from single tools. No-one even bothered to check the PT boat, which should carry tools - if it still carry functional MGs, then it means no-one before was trying to salvage the boat or it's equipment. One could wonder how actually Alex was able to get to the Endurance in the first place, if it took Lara half a day with lots of Le Parkour. And WW2-era boat engines can be easily fixed with hammer, spanner and screwdriver - the exact tools (minus hammer) Lara got from Alex.
Excellent points. And yeah, I really can't figure out how Alex managed to get over there, either.
The only possible way Alex could have gotten there was to swim - IIRC there's an overheard dialogue where the Solarii fished him out of the water before he managed to escape into the Endurance. Or maybe he found some kind of debris that allowed him to make a simple one-man raft and paddle it over, given that the currents will smash Lara against the rocks if she tries to swim past a certain point.
If you notice, the parts you get to make the AK-47 do say rifle parts, as opposed to sub-machinegun parts. Given the number of Russians on the island, it sounds like she just put together an AK-47 from parts that weren't broken.
Ok, so the storms that wreck ships or aircraft that approach the island are the result of Himiko's rage at being trapped in her rotting corpse for nearly two-thousand years. The implication is that any ships and aircraft that stray too near are sunk or brought down, and no one gets off the island again. However among the wreckage from previous inhabitants is a large and heavily fortified shore battery dating to World War II ( the installation you enter en route to the wreck of Endurance) with its guns still in place. This isn't a temporary sandbag structure, but a fixed-position concrete bunker designed to withstand heavy naval bombardment, high up on the cliffs with a wide field of fire out to sea. Furthermore, those are some pretty big guns. Even if you assume most of the structure relies on natural rock, there's still a lot of excavation needed that would require fairly heavy-duty equipment, and it's clear much of the finished structure is indeed made from concrete, not the local rock. Not to mention getting guns that large into position is a pretty tall order before the advent of large utility helicopters. There's other fairly heavy wartime construction (the radio tower and its command bunker I believe is implied to have dated from the same period, probably a part of the same defense system as the gun emplacement we explore during the game) on the island as well. So clearly, there had to have been a fairly reliable flow of heavy equipment and construction personnel arriving at the island to build finished structures of this sort. Additionally, if the Japanese thought this island was important enough to fortify it so heavily, its location must have been known well enough to be viewed as strategically vital. Meanwhile, the United States had to consider its capture strategically important to have actually landed Marines ( based on the Semper Fi artifact collection) on it, (the Island Hopping strategy dictated bypassing strong points such as Rabaul altogether and just pounding them into rubble from the air and sea. Peleliu, Iwo Jima, Saipan and Okinawa were targeted for capture because they were viewed as vital for advancing towards the Japanese Home Islands) which means they also must have known about it. And of course, Trinity knew enough about the island and what could be found there that it sent an agent to investigate. For such a lost and mysterious island, there's certainly a lot of activity in its fairly recent history that would practically require people freely coming and going from the place.
One possibility is that Himiko goes through periods where she's largely dormant, which allowed time for the Japanese military to construct its base, and the German scientists to set up shop, and American reconnaissance flights to target the island for capture. Or perhaps shedeliberately allowed the troops to operate in hopes of luring others, but still, it doesn't seem to mesh with the rest of the history of the island.
There's a reasonably strong implication from some of the WWII-era documents that Himeko's rage didn't really kick in full-bore until the Axis research teams showed up and deliberately started messing around with her. The Japanese and German soldiers both note in their dossiers that the process of setting things up on the island went off reasonably well, but then they were suddenly hip-deep in angry Stormguards and they were killed off almost to a man. It's entirely possible that before that, Himeko's anger caused the anomalous weather that drew the Axis's attention in the first place, but once they woke up the Stormguard, that's when things really started to go to hell on Yamatai.
So does that mean Himiko's been throwing a seventy-year tantrum since the Axis woke her up? Sure, seventy years isn't much time for an immortal spirit, but you'd think that if she's been raging full-force since the Axis intruded on her territory, that someone—and by "someone," I mean major government-funded organizations—would have started poking around as well, especially since we know from flashbacks set aboard Endurance that Himiko's storms show up on global weather-tracking satellites. But the weight of the evidence is that it's only been the unlucky merchant or fishing vessel (or rescue craft) that's foundered in those waters since the end of the war. It would have worked quite well for Indiana Jones or any other pulp adventure set in the pre-war period, but it opens up a bit of a plothole for a modern setting.
Nobody said she was whipping up hurricanes for seventy years; what's said is that the weather in that area doesn't make sense given the local climate patterns. In the game, Yamatai is located in the Devil's Sea, a.k.a. the Dragon's Triangle, which has a big danger sign on it courtesy of the Japanese government. A little strange weather in the area isn't enough reason to risk losing another boatload of researchers to it, and anyone who disregarded that and went anyway would fall victim to Mathias and the Solari cult and would never be heard from again. End result: generations of climatologists who just don't go there and have a well-advised lack of curiosity about it. In addition, the weather on the island is so frequently stormy, even during the game, that satellite photography would be nearly useless most of the time even if you knew there was something there to photograph.
The best way for a prepared organization to get people and things to and from the island would be by submarine, nothing we've seen Himiko do would bother a sub too much. As for how they got all the concrete and equipment there, well, it's easy to get ships TO the island if you don't mind wrecking them in the process, it's leaving that's the problem.
Lara and tombs
Lara hates tombs. She actually states this when tombs haven't represented any threat to her so far in her adventure, and while taking cover in one as safe haven from the attacks of the natives. It's also implicitly part of her backstory that she's been in tombs since she was an infant, and even happily explored them and found her necklace within one when she was very young. The story and gameplay don't really lend to a scenario that justifies Lara making this statement, and it seems as if it was included mostly to provide trailer fuel.
Well, I hate going to work, but it doesn't mean that I won't go there anyway. Hating something doesn't mean that you're going to avoid it. It just means that you really don't like it.
However, Lara gets positively giddy when discovering and exploring the various tombs, speculating on their original purposes before the Solarii took them over and IIRC, expresses outright disgust at what they have done with them in the meantime. In fact, the artifacts and tombs are the only part of her experience on the island Lara shows enjoyment in. This doesn't sound like someone who hates tombs. I'd almost consider it a Big-Lipped Alligator Line. It makes no sense in context of the character, and comes completely out of nowhere.
She hates tombs but loves the artifacts inside them - she goes giddy over stuff she finds outside of them as well.
...but Lara is only saying this after having already explored at least 2-3 of the game's optional tombs, neither of which she commented about hating. It's a line of dialog that just doesn't fit the context of either the character or the game itself. At best it's a bit of Gameplay and Story Segregation, at worse it's a one-off joke thrown in about the character that falls flat because it doesn't make any sense.
No, it makes sense. It comes after her experience with the tombs on the island, giving her reason to hate them - again, the tombs and not what's inside of them.
...but what experience? What happens inside the tombs prior to that point to explain her reaction later in the game? Aside from the General's tomb none of them have enemies present, (and only one— Shantytown, with the snare trap—has enemies guarding its entrance) none of them have death traps, the player would have to be Too Dumb to Live to even take a fatal fall in one, and while they show signs of Solarii presence there's none of the other horrors that Lara sees everywhere else on the island. The tombs are frankly among the safest places on the island.
The experience of being in an unknown, dark area on an island that's proven itself to be inhospitable. Once again, she hates tombs because they're disgusting but loves finding artifacts inside them.
There are no bears on the island. So why/how did Lara end up finding a bear trap?
That kind of trap can be used to catch most any animal. It was probably left by some of the Solarii as a means of snagging some dinner.
Regiment vs Stormguard
So, if An ENTIRE REGIMENT of the Imperial Japanese Army and a unit of US Marines was unable to take on a bunch of undead samurai, why is some twentysomething year old girl able to kill them by the hundreds without breaking a sweat? No offense, but I'd think that the friggin Army would be loads more competent in combat than any adventurer, no matter how skilled they are.
It's heavily implied if not outright stated that the Stormguard were ambushing the Japanese and the American armies, paring down their numbers and terrorizing them before actually attacking. The journal of one Japanese soldier states that men kept vanishing without a trace save for a helmet or other small item left behind. Obviously such an approach won't work on Lara, who is travelling alone. She also knows what she's up against, whereas the armies did not — the truth of the Stormguard is terrifying, yes, but not so terrifying as a seemingly-impossible enemy about whom you know nothing and cannot appear to defeat. The real headscratcher is how Lara is able to harm the Stormguard at all when it seems that others cannot, as the soldiers made note of how the Stormguard just wouldn't fall no matter how many bullets they used. Unless, of course, that was just hyperbole.
Lara doesn't get into a direct confrontation with the Stormguard until she has no other choice, and when she does, she's better-equipped than a World War II infantry brigade would've been. Between the grenade launcher, the assault rifle, and the shotgun, she's simply got superior tools for the job. She's also not frightened of them at that point, or if she is, her fear of death is trumped by her concern for Sam.
Between early 1943 and mid 1944 a US Marine Corps Battalion had a strength of approximately 1000 men. A more specific breakdown can be seen here, but in 1944 you have one Weapons Company (one mortar platoon and three machine gun platoons, with bazookas held by HQ) and three Rifle Companies (each with their own mortar and machine gun sections, and three platoons of three rifle squads). The machine guns would be Browning M1917 or M1919 light machine guns (with the occasional Browning M2 heavy machine gun, generally attached to battalion HQ). Each rifle squad would have at least two BARs, with the rest of the riflemen armed with M1 Garand rifles. You'd also have the occasional Thompson M1928 submachine gun or Winchester M97 (later the M12) trenchgun. A number of members of each rifle squad would also carry rifle grenades. By 1945 the separate weapons company was eliminated and its machine guns and mortars were attached directly to the rifle companies. Oh, and flamethrowers were added to the battalion's arsenal as well. The amount of automatic firepower a Marine battalion could bring to bear in the latter stages of WWII was phenomenal. So no. When it comes to equipment Lara couldn't even match the firepower of a single rifle squad, much less an entire Marine battalion. If the Stormguard were as vulnerable to the weapons of the Marines as they are to Lara's, any assault against even an only marginally-prepared defensive position would have been a massacre (this is precisely why the Japanese abandoned the Banzai Charge in the later stages of the war: Sending a massed body of men into a direct assault against that much firepower was like throwing meat into a grinder).
You could make the same complain about a LOT of action movies and videogames where a lone character overcomes challenges that proved impossible to larger, better trained and armed forces. Supesion of disbelief, my friend. Plus, it could be handwaved that the Japanese and American forces took a toll on each other before the Stormguard finished them off.
Really, it might not even be *that* complicated. The average Western Allied unit- like the USMC- was an absolute beast in terms of equipment and training, but was it ever divulged how large the USMC forces were? For all we know, the units of them that the Stormguard destroyed weren't that much larger than a rifle squad or two; certainly highly formidable and containingly well equipped, trained, and experienced soldiers, but in a deeply strange environment and facing an enemy like nothing they had experienced before in numbers far in excess of themselves. Lara's greatest advantage and what eventually leads to defeat her enemies is unparalleled adaptivity and the ability to survive long enough against the enemy to learn their weaknesses; she's not *really* dependent on anybody else to survive from hour to hour, and her combat power isn't massively diminished by going it alone (one of the justifiable reasons where a single person can fare better than an entire unit). In contrast, the USMC would have been cutting their teeth against the Japanese and- maybe- the Germans (conventional forces with a very distinctive way of operating) and operating in disciplined units that possessed massive firepower but also depended on proper coordination to use as effectively as possible. The new threat would have caught them offguard, and the strategies they employed would have cut them into small units of disoriented men who had probably been forced to ditch most of their heavy equipment and who were operating separately from anyone not in their immediate viewing range; once they're like that they could be overwhelmed with brute force. In contrast, the Japanese land forces were effectively in a Medieval Stasis that lasted from 1904 to the end of the Empire, and on the whole were miserably equipped, poorly trained (again, a common nickname for soldiers was "Bullets" or "Senrin" (a unit of money that is to the Yen what a penny is to a Dollar, and the average price of a conscription notice), thoroughly malnourished on an institutional level, and wedded to strategies that were costly and risky in 1904. On top of this, they lacked the advanced small unit training the USMC received, were stuck in an unfamiliar territory, and were stuck in an insanely hierarchical system where they looked to their officers for almost everything. I find it all too plausible that the Stormguard could have destroyed them in a straight up battle if they had to, especially after whittling away at their strength (like we see in one of the letters) beforehand.
Even simpler explanation: One of the logs, I think by the Japanese soldier, said they were attacked by hundreds of Stormguard. Lara fights maybe a few dozen. So maybe there were a lot more Stormguard before they fought the Japanese, Germans, and Americans. Maybe fighting off three modern armies, plus constant skirmishes with the Solarii, thinned their numbers to the point where Lara could finish them off.
Really it should be obvious..unlike the American, Nazi and Japanese, Lara knows that Himoko's tomb is the source of the Storm and the Zombie Samurai Stormguards, so she did a Dungeon Bypass and just go directly to the tomb and killed her, as oppose to the rest of Americans, Japanese, and Nazi's who made the mistake of trying to attack a supernatural army head-on.
Climbing down the mountain
If getting up the mountain to the ziggurat is hard enough, with plenty of Le Parkour and wall climbing with the axe, how does Lara even manage to climb back down with Sam in her arms, (assuming Sam was too injured to even walk)?
She jumped. A lot.
Or more likely Lara used the same way out the Solarii used to get in. Her entrance was more of a side/back door.
The same thing happens earlier on, with radio tower. It's falling apart as you climb up and final ladder literally breaks down when Lara was already jumping between lacking rungs. At this point she's not even carrying any rope to help herself. So how did she get down after the transmission? Sure, she didn't have to go to the bottom of the tower, but that still doesn't explain how she was able to get down even by that smaller bit.
Um, doesn't she use a zipline to get down from that tower?
No, she doesn't. Not immediately, anyway; she just "appears" down a level on the tower after the cutscene, even though she pretty much effectively destroyed her way down while climbing up in the first place.
The spike on top of the radio tower isn't that wide, she could have wrapped her legs and arms around it and shimmied her way past the broken section. Certainly not easy, but it is possible.
Scavenger's Cavern guy
How did the guy in the Scavenger's Cavern catch up so quickly with Lara so fast? More importantly, why would he want her in the first place?
You never find out, but its clear from his victims that he kills women. If you fail the QTE, he appears slightly consoling as Lara dies, suggesting that possibly he was trying to save her from the worse fate (burning or being the queen's vessel).
So how did the helicopter get in, in the first place? The plane gets shot down almost immediately but the helicopter apparently flies in, lands to pick up Roth and the hovers around looking for Lara. Only after picking her up does the storm really have any affect and it seems clear that he could have landed for a second time if he had only heeded Lara's warnings.
The storms were erratic, not constant. The helicopter pilot was lucky enough to have a moment where things weren't as chaotic as usual.
In the Scavenger's Den, Lara yanks out a stick thing that goes through her body, and doesn't appear to treat it until reaching the helicopter in the Shanty Town. How come she didn't bleed out at any point between then, considering all the extra-strenuous activity she does afterwards? Also, isn't it considered Worst Aid to yank a foreign object out of a wound if it's impaling you?
For your first question, she probably should have bled out, but it's a video game. For your second, yes it's generally bad to pull something out that's impaling you, but you're also not supposed to move either. If she was running around with that piece of rebar or whatever sticking out of her side, it would have been reaming out the wound the whole time. If it had caught on something and ripped out her side, it would have been much, much worse.
She was incredibly lucky and nothing vital was hit or torn when she pulled it out. However, it still takes its toll. She eventually aggravates it too much to function after one too many hijinks and needs to treat it with a heated arrow. And even after this, you can notice in cut scenes where she lands from height that her hands immediately go to her wound.
There's also the part of the game where Lara gets an open wound from crashing into a tree while parachuting. She locates an abandoned helicopter and thinks that there may be medical supplies on board, so she heads towards it, visibly in pain. At one point during this sequence, she jumps into a river of sordid water. I guess that stupidity really is the only option at times in a video game.
Frequency of Shipwrecks
How often do ships get wrecked in the Devil's Triangle? Matthias has several hundred mooks on the island, and many more died without joining the Solarii. Gathering that many people takes time. Especially since since the fact that the Devil's Triangle is a known navigational hazard means that people will have long since charted flight paths and shipping lanes that go around it.
So Queen Himiko bodysurfs between her priestesses, so that she can live forever. Hoshi puts a stop to that by killing herself. How come the people in charge of Yamatai didn't try to find another girl to replace her?
Hoshi killed herself in such a way that the ritual was unable to continue or be done again (it's mentioned in a letter that this is why she killed herself during the ceremony) to spare others of her fate.
Wait if she did it in away that it couldn't be done how come Mathias is able to do it with Sam? It looked like if Lara hadn't stopped the body transfer by destroying Himiko's body it would probably have been successful. Did I miss something?
It's implied that Himiko was giving Mathias instructions in his dreams. It's possible that somewhere in the past thousand years or whatever she sorted out what went wrong and devised a new ritual that would work. Or he was just crazy, and if allowed to complete his ritual it would have just killed Sam and pissed off Himiko even more.
Rescue Plane landing
Why was the rescue plane trying to land to pick up the Endurance's crew? A casual look at Yamatai Island would show any experienced pilot that there is no place on it flat enough, long enough, and sufficiently free of obstructions in which to land a four-engine aircraft, much less have it take off again. The most the pilot should have been able to do was get the GPS coordinates for the island to a boat, seaplane or helicopter, because any attempt to land to pick up survivors himself would have wrecked the plane even if Himiko had been asleep.
Knowing US Coast Guard doctrine, the C-130 pilot was probably trying to get a better picture of the area for follow-on rescuers and drop rescue supplies. US Air Force/Air National Guard squadrons would go further by dropping pararescue jumpers (parachuting mountain climbing scuba diving paramedics) along with the supplies, in order to treat the wounded. What really bugs me more is the Japanese Coast Guard helo, which is being flown by an American pilot.
A minor thing, but when Laura finally gets back to her cabin, why doesn't she grab a new shirt? Sure, she was a little pressed for time looking for Alex, but still...
Stormguard and potential vessels
Okay, late in the game, Mathias sends Dr. Whitman to let the Oni/Stormguard know that they have a suitable host for Himiko. It seems that the Oni don't understand what Whitman is saying, but apparently they're willing to hear him out for a minute or two before killing him. After speaking to them in English the whole time, Dr. Whitman tries saying the Japanese word for "Queen". How do the Stormguard respond to this most joyous of news? They get angry and immediately kill Dr. Whitman right there on the spot. Am I missing something here?
His mangled speech and weird behaviour makes them think his use of the word "Queen" is threatening her.
Furthermore, it's the Solarii who are trying to find a new host for Himiko, not the Stormguard, explaining why they are massacring the cultists and not helping them. It's mentioned that the Stormguard only take women to replenish their numbers and other than that, their sole focus is on protecting Himiko. Whitman saying "Queen" so close to her sanctum made them realise that he knew where she was, making him a threat.
Why are there parts for a Desert Eagle hidden away in ancient tombs?
Perhaps those parts were left there by the Solarii, who have discovered quite a few tombs that Lara visits. If they already believed in Himiko's myth at that point, it is possible that instead of robbing the tombs blind, they added something valuable of themselves to the treasure chest as a gift/offer for the Sun Queen. On an island such as Yamatai, where the strongest rule, guns and other weaponry were probably considered one of the most valuable things one could possess and thus made for a suitable offer.
Lara's using wood and animal pelts to add alternate burst modes, silencers and larger clips. Using a Ruby to magically turn a Type 100 into an AK-47 is child's play.