Trivia / Tomb Raider (2013)

  • Development Hell: Production started in 2008 right after Underworld, while development on the game in its final form started around 2009. It was supposed to come out in 2012, but developers delayed the game to fine-tune it. It finally saw a release in 2013.
  • Dummied Out: The flooding of the S. S. Endurance and Lara's subsequent escape from the sinking ship were originally playable sequences. However, the entire section was ripped out and only present in the final game as brief video flashbacks accessed at the base camps.
    • Before completely scrapping this segment, the developers attempted to move parts of it to a "flashback sequence", intended for the late game when Lara explores the shipwreck on the beach. However, according to a developer, "it didn't work at all so we removed it."
    • Early builds of the game used a health system closer to that of earlier games, including the use of medipacks to heal. However, the health bar was one of the "victims of modernization", according to a developer.
    • An S. S. Endurance crew member named Steph can be seen in some concept art, and also found tied up in the first sacrificial shrine that Lara finds (although she goes unnamed). She had a larger role in earlier versions of the story, but the overabundance of characters forced the development team to cut out most of her role in the game.
    • The game originally featured a 4-player co-op campaign, with other players controlling other characters besides Lara. The mode was scrapped due to story and scope considerations.
  • Saved for the Sequel: Early builds of the game featured a male hunter living in the Summit Forest who wasn't connected to the Solarii, and instead gave Lara small side missions like fetch-quests in exchange for helpful items. The idea was entirely scrapped from this game, but NPC's who handed out missions would appear prominently in the sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider.
    • The scrapped opening sequence set on the flooding ship would have featured a swimming section similar to those in Rise (although according to a developer, "it sucked here because we hadn't solved the problem [of swimming] yet").
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Tomb Raider: Ascension, the proposed game that eventually turned into the 2013 reboot. To say it would have been different than the previous games is an understatement:
      • The game was fully open-world, with Lara using a horse to travel to and from areas. Her design in the early prototypes used the same character model from Tomb Raider: Underworld, although this was a placeholder the same model was used as a stand-in for Sam in an early shot of the scrapped opening sequence.
      • The game heavily focused on survival-horror and featured fantasy-inspired enemies and creatures, with some being the size of giants and others being undead. As shown in prototype demonstrations, one gameplay encounter had Lara (on horseback) flee from a hulking monster that chases her through a forest by a coastline, which causes Lara to fall off her horse and eventually jump into an open ravine (pursued by other demonic creatures) in order to escape.
      • Lara also had a female child as a companion, who she would be able to pick up and carry on her back. As shown in concept art, the child would also protect Lara at one point from an enemy. Likewise, at least one piece of concept art hints at the fact that Lara may have had a nightmarish doppleganger of herself, who carried her signature pickaxe.
      • Lara also had several different weapons. Aside from her pickaxe (which appears in the final game), she could wield a machete (or dual-wield with a gun), and used a flamethrower to clear out enemies in a tomb, as well as an improvised flamethrower consisting of a gas tank and lighter.
      • Lara herself went through several different design iterations, including variants where she wore her signature holsters and a ripped outfit and (as the game eventually became a reboot) a different face for her eventual player model that sported a braid. In addition, there were originally plans to have her clothing get gradually more ripped and tattered throughout the game.
    • Rhianna Pratchett has stated in interviews that if she could have gotten away with it, Lara would have been revealed to have been in a lesbian relationship with Sam. As it stands, Lara's orientation is never explicitly stated in the game, although there is a lot of subtext in her interaction with Sam, depending on whether one chooses to interpret it as such.
    • An unused soundtrack piece indicates that the ending was going to be much darker, with Lara likely forced to kill Sam to stop Himiko. This was confirmed by a developer: in a cutscene, Lara would stab Sam in the back with a knife once Himiko possessed her. The idea was shot down as "nobody liked that ending" and it was deemed "very unsatisfying."
      • Interestingly, this would have fit the moral that Roth explains to Lara that "Sometimes you've got to make sacrifices, Lara. You can't save everyone.


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