Roth: Sometimes you've got to make sacrifices, Lara. You can't save everyone. Lara: I know about sacrifices. Roth: No, you know about loss. Sacrifice is a choice you make. Loss is a choice made for you.
Action Survivor: In this incarnation, Lara is a just-out-of-school 21-year-old before having to learn to survive on Yamatai island. She still has some survival training from her father's old Adventurer Archaeologist friend Roth, of course. A lot of it is that she knows what to do but probably hasn't done it before.
And I Must Scream: The Sun Queen is an immortal spirit who has Body Surfed from one host to another for centuries. However her last intended host, a young priestess named Hoshi, committed suicide to stop the cycle of Grand Theft Me's. This left Himiko's soul trapped in her decaying corpse, and the storms that plague any ships or aircraft that venture too close to the island are a result of Himiko venting her rage. Lara manages to end this by destroying Himiko's body and freeing her spirit.
And This Is for...: A rare example of a villain pulling this on the hero. When Lara is captured, one of the Co-Dragons starts pounding her face and calling out the name of his brother she had killed earlier on.
Apocalyptic Log: Several of them, from multiple authors, stretching back thousands of years.
Arbitrary Gun Power: As you get deeper into the game, enemies that you can drop with one or two shots early on are able to take more and more damage. This can be justified when some mooks are wearing body armor, however even regular unarmored enemies will begin taking more damage. This is especially egregious with the shotgun, which can one-shot kill almost everything in its killing zone when you first get it, but by the time you reach the Solarii Fortress regular mooks can take two or three point-blank hits to the torso without going down, even if you have all the damage upgrades. On the other hand, headshots from the bow, rifle and handgun remain as lethal as ever right up to the end of the game, unless they're wearing a helmet or any other headgear (read: all mooks in the final stage), rendering even headshots inefficient.
Arc Words: "Reborn", and to a lesser extent "chosen".
Arrows on Fire: The appropriately named Fire Arrows in game, where Lara combines a lighter she finds and an arrow wrapped with flammable white cloth, which can then be used to set enemies or the environment aflame.
Artificial Brilliance: Enemies try to stay in cover during gunfights, will retreat to cover if Lara shoots at them when they're out in the open, use molotovs, fire arrows, and dynamite to force her out of cover, either run to different cover or use their shield if Lara uses grenades, and detonate Exploding Barrels if the player is stupid enough to go near them.
A Handful for an Eye: The skill Dirty Tricks allows Lara to throw dirt in an enemy's eye, blinding them temporarily and allowing for a swift axe strike or easy shot.
The Backwards R: Lara reads her father's journal in the ending and one of the pages has a message written this way which reads, ЭИГХТ ХАВЕ ОРИГИН, ТИМЭ ЭССЕНТИАЛ, ЛОСТ ДЭЭЛ ВИЛЛАГЭ, which, when turned back into proper English, stands for "Eight have origin, time essential, lost deel (sic!) village".
Narrowly avoided, as this is a legitimate alphabetic transcription of the English sentence. One that could be understood (with some trouble, as it's not phonetic) by an anglophone when read aloud by someone who knows Russian but not English.
Badass Bookworm: Lara. Sam's diaries talk about how Lara was more interested in ruins and history than checking out the local hot spots on previous "adventures", and that in college Sam had to practically drag Lara away from her books.
Badass Crew: The Endurance group could count as a downplayed version of this: while Lara, Sam, Alex and Whitman have barely any combat experience, Reyes is an ex-cop, Roth is a former Royal Marine, and both Grim and Jonah have been in gunfights before, as shown in the prequel comic. And of course Lara grows into one alongside all the bird-breaking.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Downplayed. Though the good-looking Lara only suffers a few small cuts on her face, her shoulders get fairly scratched up (all that squeezing through tight crevices and sliding down mountains), her clothes start to wear out (one pant leg gets a large hole torn in it, and her blue-green tank top is torn to show her camisole bra), and she's usually got quite a bit of dirt and bloodstains on her. Strangely, wading across streams, running in the rain or even standing under waterfalls doesn't clean her up in the slightest. Played straight with Sam, who hardly gets a scratch on her.
Vladimir: You're pretty, aren't you? *touches her face* You remind me of my sister.
While crawling around in the underground bunker leading up to the coastal forest, there is a yellow warning sign which basically translates into "wolves will appear without warning" in Chinese, right next to the ladder; and sure enough, the main threat in the next stage are wolves, the first real enemies in the game.
Body Horror: Some of the sacrifices made to Himiko are still strung up, with their limbs still slowly stretching apart. Himiko herself is a gruesome decaying corpse covered by a thin veneer "skin" of porcelain or paint to make her look more like a living person.
And then at the end when she's confronted with an army of undead samurai warriors.
Lara: Alright you bastards, let's see what you got!
And once more before the final battle.
Lara: You won't stop me, you bastards! Get the hell out of my way!
Camera Screw: The camera will shake violently during some platform set pieces, which can make determining safe paths very difficult (especially during the rapids sequence). Additionally there are times when passing through waterfalls and other watery areas where it looks like water is running down the lens obscuring your view.
Camping a Crapper: At several points during the game, Lara will sneak up on a group of mooks. If you wait before taking them down one might wander off alone into the bushes or other private corners to relieve himself, allowing Lara to take him down while he's taking a leak. There's even a visible urine stream.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: After their rescue plane is struck by lightning, leaving only one of the pilots still alive, Lara is determined to save him despite Roth's insistence that they focus on their own group. Unfortunately, said pilot is killed soon after she shows up.
Climbing Climax: The final chapter of the game has Lara climbing up a multi-story monastery, circumvent Himiko's increasingly heavy weather attacks and flee from the Samurai guards beneath.
Closed Circle: Himiko's power traps anyone who gets within range of the Dragon's Triangle on her island until her resurrection ritual is successfully completed or her body is destroyed, making it impossible for Lara and her crew to escape until Himiko is defeated.
Clothing Damage: In addition to getting Covered with Scars, Lara's clothes also suffer quite a bit of wear and tear throughout the game. By the ending, they're absolutely shredded.
Co-Dragons: Two of the Russian brothers, Dimitri and Nikolai serve as the top two enforcers for the leader of the Solari cult. Vladimir might also count, but his involvement in the game is rather brief.
Concealment Equals Cover: Zig-zagged. The game offers various sorts of cover to hide behind, not all of them plausible. Wooden fences, for example; hey stop the first few bullets but quickly get destroyed leaving Lara vulnerable again, despite the fact they are so thin bullets should be able to penetrate them normally. Gabions and stone outcroppings block all bullets indefinitely.
The player's control of Lara begins with her hanging upside down in a sack, and requires swinging the sack the right way to burn it and set Lara free. That's right — the first thing Lara does in the game is set herself on fire.
Shortly after, Lara's foot is caught in a bear trap, and while she's stuck the player has to fight off wolves in the woods that try to attack her.
At one point Lara's hands are tied behind her back, and you have to hide from enemies with flashlights and avoid being discovered while unable to attack.
Midway through the game Lara is captured by an Oni and suspended by her wrists from the ceiling, and as with the beginning of the game, the player must rock her back and forth in the correct pattern to break free.
Several times during the game Lara gets caught in a snare and must fight off Solarii cultists while suspended upside down. All you can do is shoot back and are unable to move otherwise (though you can escape by shooting out the winch).
Convection Schmonvection: The island is an active volcano, though there's no sign of that at the surface. At one point Lara ends up suspended a few hundred feet above a magma flow in a closed chamber — which is implied to be hot, but should be unsurvivable.
CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Trained survivalist Roth uses CPR to revive Lara, despite the fact Lara's accident isn't the kind of thing that CPR would fix.
Cue the Sun: After Himiko's soul is released from her body, freeing the island of her influence, the clouds roll away and sunlight spreads across the island. Justified by the fact that the bad weather was not natural to begin with.
Cutscene Boss: Most of the bosses including Mathias are killed during interactive cutscenes. The Giant Oni Stormguard is seemingly killed off in a cutscene but survives and fights Lara conventionally at the end of the game.
Cutscene Incompetence: Lara has a bad habit of forgetting she has weapons she can use besides her Bow, leading to some situations that could have easily been avoided with the use of something semi/fully automatic. Even worse is the times she doesn't use anything, and simply watches helplessly as things occur before her that she could have easily helped to prevent such as when the rescue plane pilot is killed. Another example occurs towards the end of the game: when she decides to storm the palace to save Sam and defeat Himiko, she has a perfect shot at Whitman and Mathias, who are taking Sam to the ritual. She seems to forget that she has a silent bow and up to two guns with silencers attached. Could have saved her a lot of trouble.
Dead Guy on Display: Taken to almost absurd levels. Almost every single inhabited area has tied-up corpses in it, and sometimes they're even in hidden areas where it wouldn't make sense, like in the crawlspace underneath the shantytown.
Deadpan Snarker: Though nowhere near to the extent of her previous incarnations, Lara does have her moments with this. See Doom Magnet below.
Derelict Graveyard: One beach is covered in shipwrecks from various different eras, and the mainland has rusted old Japanese WWII tanks and crashed airplanes. Since it's been discovered by many different groups throughout history, history's wrecks are all over the island. Unfortunately, absolutely none of the people have been able to leave the island for the last few thousand years...
Ironically, Lara herself becomes this to the mooks once she begins fighting back against the mercenaries. Over time, enemy chatter both in and out of combat reveals that the mercs really, really don't want to fight her. They don't even know her name, but they start uniformly referring to her as "The Outsider." Not an outsider. THE Outsider.
The Stormguard are also feared by everyone on the Island. When they interrupt the Solarii's attempt to ambush Lara, you can hear the guards screaming in terror and watch them futily try to escape. Even though they had the chance to kill Lara, they clearly are more worried about the Oni.
Easter Egg: After you collect all the GPS caches, the sound that's played is from when you found a secret in the old Tomb Raider games.
Ejection Seat: The plane Lara calls out an SOS to gets struck by lightning, and the unlucky pilots launch themselves out of their doomed craft. Sadly, it doesn't end well for both of them. Note that the C-130 in real life does not have ejection seats that work that way.
Eldritch Location: The island that Lara and company find themselves stranded on is surrounded by strange and dangerous weather, with hundreds of ships having been wrecked on the island's shores and any aircraft that get too near inexplicably falling out of the sky, making escape impossible. It's population consists of wreck survivors who have all become violently insane cultists. It's somewhat implied that Himiko's influence is playing a part in their descent into madness, though Mathias isn't helping.
Elite Mooks: The toughest Solarii wear metal armor and are equipped with military-grade firepower, while the Stormguard are undead samurai.
Even Evil Has Standards: Some mercenaries on the island. Others are just Psycho for Hire. The rest just know that without allying with Mathias, they wouldn't survive being stranded on the island.
Exploding Barrels: They come in the form of gas cans that are scattered around the island, and they're extremely helpful in a big firefight; when you set them off, they often take out groups of enemies around it easily and efficiently.
Exposed to the Elements: And played with realistically — one of Lara's early objectives is to find shelter from a frigid rainstorm. Subverted when she enters a snowy area wearing only a tanktop. The subversion however, is arguably Justified considering the first time Lara encounters snow she immediately notes something is very, very wrong with the weather on the island. (And it's not like she can dig into her luggage and change into more weather-appropriate clothing.)
Expository Gameplay Limitation: There are sections where Lara has to make a call with other characters, in which she can only walk, and is unable to do anything else. Additionally, during the ending, the player's normal shoot buttons will get changed to the lower shoulder buttons as opposed to both right shoulder buttonsnote The upper right is Lara's weapon's alternate firing mode and the lower one is the normal firing mode, the left buttons are aim and "Instinct", which invokes Notice This on enemies and items. after you get a second pistol from Mathaias.
Extremely Short Time Span: The entire game takes place over the course of two days, three days max (it's hard to tell considering the constant storms). It really only serves to highlight just how insane the island is with that in mind though, considering all it took was about seventy hours to turn an AdorkableNaïve Newcomer post grad into a PTSD-stricken Pragmatic Hero.
Fate Worse than Death: The original souls of Himiko's hosts (usually her loyal and servile Priestesses of the Sun) are completely destroyed by the ritual that transfers Himiko's spirit into their bodies instead, so she may continue to live and rule Yamatai.
Final Exam Boss: The final climb up the tower in the middle of a fantastical blizzard acts as one for the Le Parkour elements of the gameplay, putting everything you've learned about traversal to the test and demanding the use of nearly every gadget and upgrade to get to the top. The final combat encounter forces Lara to keep moving around the battlefield without the option to simply hide behind cover and take pot shots, causing the player to constantly think on their feet.
Foreshadowing: Two of the optional subquests involve setting images of Himiko on fire.
Another can occur with the ascender not working properly when you use it to reenter Endurance. It's random, and reloading the checkpoint does not correct it. The only way around is to exploit another glitch.
Gameplay and Story Segregation / Rule of Fun: The game has a bit of dissonance between the player's in-game actions and the narrative. This is particularly evident with the hundreds of mooks Lara effortlessly guns down throughout the game, while the story implies she's barely hanging on both physically and emotionally. This is particularly egregious during the scene shortly before Grim's death, where the player easily blasts their way through a number of mooks and then in the cutscene afterwards Lara comments that she "barely survived" the encounter. The writer of the game addressed this issue in an interview, with the defining quote coming down to the fact that "every kill cannot be like the first kill", basically admitting and lamenting the problem, saying no game has the magic bullet that can solve the issue of having an affable relatable character also massacre hundreds of dudes without blinking an eye, and it's really just something relies on some generous Willing Suspension of Disbelief due to the very nature of action games.
Giant Mook: Some of the Solarii wear heavy armor which makes them look bigger and more imposing. Both of the game's bosses Boris The Tank and the giant Stormguard are at least twice the height of Lara.
Gone Horribly Right: The entire point of the expedition was to find the lost island of Yamatai. The expedition was a success.
Gorn: This is not a game for the weak-stomached; Lara's death animations can be really brutal. Plus Lara kills two of the bosses and by smashing their heads in with her climbing axe. And Lara's weapon expert Finisher Skills can also be startlingly satisfying, with Lara grabbing them while they're down, stabbing them through the neck with an arrow, shooting them in the face point blank with the handgun or shotgun, or unloading a barrage of bullets from her rifle directly into their chests.
Grand Theft Me: It turns out that every single one of Yamatai's queens were actually Himiko herself, who used her magic to transfer her soul from one body to the next over the centuries. It's narrowly subverted in the finale, with Lara preventing Himiko from taking Sam as her next host body.
Guns Akimbo: Despite this being Lara Croft's signature style in Tomb Raider, Lara only uses this once: in the finale to finish off Mathias.
Hailfire Peaks: Probably as a result of Himiko's weather powers, parts of the island have completely different weather patterns within walking distance of each other. There's snowy peaks, sunny valleys, eternally windy chasms and more.
Hammer Space: Though Lara only has four weapons, that's also four types of ammo to keep up with (bow with quiver, shotgun with shells, rifle and pistol with magazines) and there's no way she'd be able to carry all of them on her own. Lara's model will always show her carrying her pistol (right leg), climbing axe (left hip), rope coil (right hip), ammunition pouches (left hip) and radio (small of back) at all times, though, along with any of the three two-handed weapons if currently equipped, but the other two-handed weapons appear and disappear on command. Not shown in any way are all the collectibles she's lugging around which include helmets, vases, swords, numerous books and a cuddly toy.
Heal It With Fire: At one point, lacking medical supplies, Lara cauterizes her own side wound with an arrow heated with a lighter. The pain of this leads her to a Eureka Moment in which she makes herself fire arrows.
Roth, Grim and Alex, to help Lara survive. Which means untold amounts of Survivors Guilt for her.
As told in one of the ancient scrolls that Lara can collect, Hoshi, one of the Sun Queen's priestesses, realizes what happens to the Queen's chosen "heirs". Himiko has been body surfing for generations, keeping herself alive by transferring her soul into a new body when her current one grows older. Hoshi steals a dagger from the Stormguard General and commits suicide during the ritual, deliberately breaking the cycle in order to stop Himiko and to save all the priestesses who would have come after Hoshi and also been used as sacrifices.
Shooting and wounding Solarii sappers when they prepare to throw will cause them to drop their molotov cocktails or sticks of dynamite, potentially killing themselves. There's even an achievement for the latter by making someone drop a stick that kills at least two mooks.
When Lara is escaping the destruction of the Solarii fortress, Nikolai attempts to stop her and get revenge for the deaths of his brothers with a heavy machinegun equipped with a grenade launcher. Using Le Parkour, Lara is able to outflank him and disable his gun, and blows him up with his own grenade launcher.
Whitman is done in by his own arrogance when Mathias tricks him into approaching the Stormguard as a distraction.
Hollywood CB: Lara and her companions communicate primarily through two-way radios, and they interrupt and talk over each other ALL THE TIME. They also routinely tell each other where they are, even though they are surrounded by cultists who are looking for them, who could easily be listening in.
Very little consideration is given for the range of these devices. The only time they have any trouble is reaching someone outside the island.
When Lara radios for help, she does so from the radio that is built in on the top of the radio tower. However, when the pilot radios back, everyone else can hear it over their two-ways, despite being out of range and almost certainly on a different frequency - unless they're hearing Lara talk to the pilot over Lara's short range radio, which is turned on and nearby.
Lara's radio is also conveniently water-proof (or at least blood-proof).
Hope Spot: At one point early in the game, Lara has to make her way inside the enemies' base to radio for help. After fighting her way inside, she finds the controls busted. So Roth tells her to climb up the radio tower to do it manually. She succeeds and they manage to get the signal out. Lara even manages to make a makeshift flare as well. But of course, just as the plane flies in, Himiko uses her powers to conjure a lighting storm and brings it down. Lara sees the pilot survive and tries to reach him, but the Solarii get to him seconds before Lara does and kill him. When going to find Alex, Genre Savvy players will most likely assume that he's dead, because that's just what happens when a video game protagonist goes on a rescue mission. Then Lara overhears some of the scavengers talking about how Alex is still alive, just trapped in the ship. Lo and behold, when Lara finds him, he's still alive — injured, but alive! Enjoy the moment, because he doesn't stay that way for long. Then Lara is bursting with joy when she discovers a jade figurine she believes belonged to Kublai Khan's lost voyage. She is truly disappointed when she finds the 'Made in China' etching.
How Much More Can She Take: Throughout the game, Lara manages to take several falls, getting stabbed in the gut, and getting caught in a bear trap among other things, and keeps going. Made painfully obvious when you encounter Roth who has his leg mauled by a wolf. Lara makes a huge fuss about how he needs medical attention, ignoring the fact that she has suffered much worse damage, including the aforementioned impalement and the partially-broken bear trap.
100% Completion: You'll need every relic, document, map, and GPS... as well as all of the challenges which do not appear on your map.
Lara gets impaled through the torso with a shard of rebar in the opening seconds of the game, after solving her first predicament.
Veering too far off course during a scene in which Lara is being dragged down a river causes her to be impaled through the neck with a pole. It's even more gruesome since she struggles and gasps for breath for a few seconds before finally dying.
This is also one possible result of falling into the water from a zipline on Shipwreck Beach, as well as the consequence of failing to dodge trees enough times while gliding the parachute down from the waterfall.
Some of the mooks armed with spears and naginata can kill Lara this way if her health is low enough. The Stormguard warrior will even stab his spear into the ground afterwards and watch as Lara's corpse slides down it!
Innocence Lost: Pretty much the whole point of the plot is watching Lara get torn apart and put back together in one long, brutal Break the Cutie moment. The game even has an unlockable model called "Innocent Lara" used for scenes before the shipwreck.
Involuntary Group Split: Shortly after rescuing and reuniting with Sam in the already crumbling Solarii Fortress, some falling debris block the doorway as Sam runs ahead of Lara, leaving Lara to face a roomful of Solarii and find another way out alone as Sam makes her escape.
It Gets Easier: The first time Lara kills a person, it's a horrifically traumatic event that signals the start of her development to becoming an Action Girl. She then proceeds to slaughter hundreds of people throughout the rest of the game.
Just Plane Wrong: When Lara transmits a distress signal, an airplane flies in, presumably to pinpoint their exact location, and is brought down by a lightning strike. Modern aircraft are entirely unaffected by lightning strikes; in fact, it's estimated that each airplane in the U.S. commercial fleet is struck by lightning an average of once a year. Though it's justified by the fact that the lightning is decidedly not a natural occurrence, but a demonstration of Himiko's power to keep anyone from leaving Yamatai.
Le Parkour: Called "Traversal" by the dev team, this is used to some degree to get around, aided by her equipment. She has more limited ability to do this after being injured, however.
Let's Get Dangerous: In-story: Lara is barely hanging on as she makes her way across the island. It's only during her escape back through the Shanty Town after freeing her friends that she begins actively fighting back against the Solarii.
MacGyvering: Lara, a recently-graduated archaeology student, is capable of rigging up upgrades for her weapons out of random crap she finds around the island that a team of engineers might be hard-pressed to duplicate in real life without a machine shop. But it's fun, so it's okay. Even if the player doesn't upgrade, several of the new tools during the game are demonstrative of remarkable ingenuity.
Meaningful Echo: A visual one: In the opening cutscene before the storm, Lara looks into a mirror in her quarters aboard Endurance during her monologue. Later in the game when Lara must return to the wreck of Endurance to rescue Alex and salvage equipment needed to escape the island, she winds up in her quarters and looks into the mirror again. There's a moment of surprise as she studies her battered reflection, and the scene serves to highlight for Lara just how much she has changed.
Mêlée à Trois: Mathias' Solarii cult and Himiko's Stormguard are actually not aligned with each other, despite occupying the same territory, and the Stormguard will in fact attempt to kill any living human on sight, including Solarii members. Both are also out to kill Lara and her friends.
Men Are the Expendable Gender: Every man but one dies, every woman lives. However, the backstory makes it clear that the cult of the island doesn't recruit women into their ranks. The reasons aren't really sexist (or even squicky), but nightmareinducing. You'll find that all of the "shrines" set up by the cultists utilize strung up women who are not nearly decomposed enough to imply they're anything but recent victims. However while there are plenty of female corpses, no actual female characters are killed on screen. Unless you count Himiko.
Metroidvania: Of the Soul Reaver and Batman: Arkham Asylum style, with your course of action being essentially linear, with backtracking required to previously explored areas with newly attained gadgets and upgrades to access previously unreachable collectibles.
In the beginning the game, this is what the man chasing Lara seems to believe he's doing. He continually tries to drag her back down to him and implores her to come back when she escapes him, sounding genuine in his insistence that he's trying to help her. If you fail the quicktime event, he buries his axe into her chest and whispers, "Shh... it will be over soon." Considering what happens to women on the island, had it been anyone butLara, he probably would have been doing her a favour.
In one of the bunkers, a mook (who moments earlier had been trying to kill Lara) gets trapped under rubble by an explosion. He begs Lara to kill him. You can choose to end his suffering or walk away, in which case he dies of his injuries. Though if you do decide to kill him, Lara follows it with "Go to Hell", taking a bit of the mercy out of the equation.
While exploring the geothermal caverns, Lara passes through the area where the Solarii take newly-captured arrivals to the island and essentially torture them into joining the cult. One of the prisoners begs for Lara to kill him, and the player is able to oblige if they desire.
Molotov Cocktail: Thrown by enemies usually to flush Lara out from where she's hiding behind cover.
Monster Delay: Occurs at about the halfway point, where Lara is trapped in a large, collapsing windy temple. Something very large smashes a bunch of the men, and the survivors mention "the guardians," but they don't get into it. That's about it for the next few hours, although Lara does stumble upon one of these "guardians" and gets a brief glimpse of it before she is forced to escape.
Mundane Utility: The bow and arrow (and the respective modifications) see a lot of usage throughout the entire game. Even the shotgun is occasionally used by Lara to blast some makeshift barricades away.
Aside from the aforementioned Guns Akimbo, there is a possibly unintentional one in Lara's Clothing Damage. Look at where her pants start to tear, if you start at the waist and move down. Familiar length? And what does Dr. Whitman compare finding Yamatai to again?
Like in the original games, Lara first provision come from a deceased person. In the original series it was her backpack. In this game, its her bow and arrow.
When you find the last GPS cache and the hidden document inside, Lara lets out an "A-ha!" similar to when she found artifacts in Tomb Raider II.
One of the trophies/achievements is called "Unfinished Business", which was the title of the PC-only expansion to the first Tomb Raider.
Anyone who knows Lara's trademark arsenal probably didn't know they were expecting to see her wield another pistol until the very last controllable segment of the game, where Lara uses two pistols to blast Mathias off the edge of a cliff.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the backstory. Priestess Hoshi breaking the cycle with her suicide doesn't end Himiko's reign, it only made her mad.
At one point, Lara is about a half-second away from being killed by the Solarii when a number of Stormguard soldiers inadvertently save her by cutting down all of the Solarii; had the Stormguard not attacked the Solarii, Lara would have died, and Himiko would have had her sacrifice and been brought back to life.
Himiko herself plays this trope when the wind storm she summons to kill Lara only succeeds in blowing the giant Oni Stalker off the bridge... when he was about to kill Lara.
Himiko then does it again while Lara is climbing the final level, blasting the rock face ahead of Lara with lightning creating a nice, flat, easily climbable cliff face when Lara had no other way of continuing up toward Himiko.
No Arc in Archery: Lara's arrows always fly straight and true. Holding the "fire" button down only changes the damage it deals to enemies; if you're aiming for someone's head, or something for your rope arrow to latch onto, it's just irrelevant.
No Holds Barred Beat Down: Lara is on the receiving end of a horrifically savage one midway through the game after slipping into the Solarii stronghold where Sam is due to be sacrificed to Himiko. After shooting the mook about to immolate her, Lara is grabbed, thrown to the ground and absolutely pummeled by Dimitri and Nikolai before Mathias stops them. She's unable to even lift her head on her own and her face is a bloody mess afterwards.
No One Gets Left Behind: Subverted and then played straight. Near the end of the game, when Lara goes off to investigate, Reyes, having been up to this point cold and hostile to Lara, explicitly says that she plans on leaving the island with or without her. However, when Whitman betrays the group and hands Sam back over to Mathias, Lara attempts to tell Reyes and Jonah to leave if she doesn't make it back, but Reyes completely goes back on her earlier words and reassures Lara that they aren't leaving her behind.
Not So Different: Mathias brings this up whenever he talks to Lara, saying they both kill to survive and get off the island. His journal entries, however, paint him as being Lara's Evil Counterpart at best: whereas Lara tries to save her shipmates, Mathias passively watched his crew try to escape the island — at his suggestion — and prove his theory that it would be impossible. He also tortures the male survivors of wrecks in order to brainwash them into joining his cult, and if that fails, he leaves them in the Pit to rot. Female survivors are sacrificed in rituals that potentially involve burning them alive on a pyre. Conversely, Lara is only guilty of killing people who are directly trying to kill her, or have proven that they would kill her if she gave them the chance.
Some of the Mooks do not actually believe in the cult nearly as much as the others and are trying to survive on the island by being part of the Solarii so they can finally go home. They probably intend to kill Lara on sight since they believe she will do the same to them if given the chance. This is true even more for the mini-bosses due to them wanting to avenge their brothers, while Lara would want to avenge Grim, Roth, Alex.
Notice This: Most climbable surfaces have white on them, like flaking-off white paint. Lara's rope arrows can only stick to other rope-covered surfaces, too, and those usually are white ropes. Most of the stuff you can burn is wrapped or covered in white cloth. Still, it's done well enough that it's not intrusive or glaringly unrealistic like most examples of this trope.
Or you can trigger Survival Instincts where the world turns black-and-white. Anything you can interact with glows golden.
Wandering near a Secret Tomb will cause the game to play a very noticeable bell-ringing sound.
Offscreen Teleportation: It's not at all clear how some of the bad guys get around. Many probably climb and crawl the same way Lara does, but it's not clear, and some seem to appear in places that would be impossible. The biggest offender is the scavenger at the very start of the game — he doesn't seem to be taking the same path through the caverns as Lara at all. Technically, Lara does this when she uses the base camps as a Warp Whistle to travel around the islands, even to places she should not have been able to get back to. This is so the player can backtrack to find the collectibles and complete challenges.
Himiko, the Sun Queen, whose soul is trapped in her decaying body, but still maintains control over the weather and creates the furious storms that wreck any ships and aircraft that approach Yamatai, and keeps the survivors on the island. She's arguably the Bigger Bad or Man Behind the Man to Mathias, as there are implications that she is directly influencing his actions. How else would he know the incantation for Himiko's soul to transfer into a new vessel?
Himiko's General who commands The Stormguard. He was responsible for selecting and preparing the priestesses for Himiko to transfer her soul into but Hoshi broke the cycle by killing herself — with his own dagger, no less. The General believed he had failed his Queen and also committed suicide. Lara later discovers his remains and learns the truth about Himiko and the Stormguard.
An unnamed ambassador to Yamatai. He was actually a spy, of whom Himiko was well-aware but allowed him to do his job. When his mission is complete he intends to return home and warn his superiors that an attack against Yamatai would be suicide. He mentions seeing some dark and very disturbing practices on which he does not elaborate, and his ultimate fate is unknown, though some of the relics and journals imply that he was killed, his ruler attacked Yamitai because they weren't warned, and were destroyed by the Stormguard. Himiko was then going to invade his nation, but was stopped when Hoshi committed suicide, trapping Himiko in a corpse.
Several other minor characters also leave writings, including a Japanese soldier whose unit was sent to garrison the island during World War II, ( and were subsequently slaughtered by the Stormguard) German scientists sent to the island during the war to research the weather phenomenon and determine if there is a military application for it, and A cryptic message from an unnamed agent of an organization called "Trinity" that ran afoul of Mathias and his cult while attempting to stop the Solarii.
The Precarious Ledge: Lara has to travel like this quite a few times: she has to move across a ledge at least once on a cliff face with her back to the cliff. Behind her, structures are being destroyed in a violent wind storm.
Primal Fear: Deliberately exploited by the developers to make the players feel as uncomfortable as possible. Himiko help you if you're claustrophobic (people with fear of heights will also have their fair share of cringe inducing moments, and there's a lovingly squicky moment where Lara is dunked in and has to wade through a standing pool of human blood.)
Rare Candy: Weapon parts are randomly found in salvage crates or on enemies. If you find a set of them, you unlock a better version of your current weapon that's capable of sustaining more upgrades.
Recycled Title: Though most just call it "Tomb Raider 2013" to distinguish.
Riddle for the Ages: Even if you comb the island and land 100% completion, read all the old documents and extrapolate from all the ancient ruins of the island, there's just some things that go unexplained.
Satellite Character: No one in the game besides Lara seems to get much in the way of development. Instead they all seem like vehicles to help further develop her character growth.
Savage Wolves: The wolves in the game are large and often stalk you in packs of three. You eventually even have to go into a wolf den.
Say My Name: "Lara!" "Sam!" "LARA!" "SAAAAAM!" Bonus points for even the subtitles eventually using all caps.
Scream Discretion Shot: When Lara is about to cauterize her side wound, just as she's about to stick herself with a heated arrowhead, the camera cuts to the outside of the helicopter she's in, depicting a flock of birds being driven from their perch as Lara screams. The scene then cuts back to Lara throwing the arrow down while yelping and whimpering in pain.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The Sun Queen, who after a botched attempt at doing so hundreds of years ago, is waiting to have her soul transferred into the body of an applicable vessel.
Semper Fi: There's an entire collection of artifacts belonging to United States Marine Corps troops Lara can discover, and the category itself uses this as the name.
Sequel Hook: Both in the ending cutscene and the hidden document you get for collecting all the GPS caches which talk of some organization called Trinity that went to the island for The Star Phenomenon, but failed in their mission. And in the ending, Lara is reading her father's journal, where the word CROATOAN is prominently written in red ink on the page. This was the word left carved into a tree at the abandoned Roanoke Colony in North Carolina. And The Backwards R message on the page opposite (see trope entry above.
Both "Hunter" and "Guerrilla" DLC costumes are reference toward Predator franchise. "Hunter" dresses Lara in camouflage pants and a coat of mud in a reference to the first film, while "Guerrilla" is the same outfit Royce wears in Predators.
The "Aviatrix" DLC costume dresses Lara in a 1930s style leather bomber jacket, in a reference to the Indiana Jones films.
At one point, Lara ends up in a plane suspended over the edge of a waterfall. She drops onto the glass of the cockpit, which slowly cracks beneath her as she tries to reach for a nearby pack. This is almost certainly a nod to the famous trailer scene in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
The story itself might be a partial shout-out to LOST; Lara and friends find themselves stranded on a mysterious island that appears to be gripped by an unnatural force that won't allow them to leave. Furthermore, the island is inhabited by a dangerous cult made up of people who had previously been stranded there before they were initiated into the group, and their leader gives them orders on behalf of an unseen godlike figure.
The earliest achievement for finding collectible artifacts is called "Relic Hunter."
About halfway through the game, when you earn enough skill points to purchase the Dodge Counter move, you'll find that it allows Lara to instantly retaliate against a melee attack by ducking it and jamming an arrow through an opponent's knee. The achievement for doing this a set number of times is, of course, called "Former Adventurer."
Show, Don't Tell: Probably no-one cared about this rule when Alex's affection for Lara was explicitly stated. All we know about his feelings toward Lara comes from a single note found around 3/4 of whole game. Nothing besides that note was indicating anything to that point, making the whole deal very artificial, which may of course have been the point as the note and Lara's comment on it speculate that Lara didn't even notice his interest. Well... she didn't and thus, neither did the player.
Shown Their Work: Some of the military equipment scattered throughout the island is fairly accurately-modeled. A wrecked B-25 Mitchell appears early on (with parts of another later in the game) and other wreckage includes a G4M "Betty" bomber, while the basic machine gun is the Japanese Type-100. The descriptions and uses of many of the artifacts Lara discovers are also fairly accurate.
Stealth-Based Game: To a degree. There is a lot of emphasis on choosing the right way to engage an enemy, and entire enemy encounters can be subverted by careful use of Le Parkour.
Stupidity Is the Only Option: On three different occasions the player is required to tear down an entire area just to proceed, two times explosively, and all three times Lara barely escapes with her life and kills other people in the process. The third time is preceded by repeatedly detonating natural gas veins deep underground, which any miner will tell you is a bad idea.
The Straight and Arrow Path: Lara's most iconic weapon in the game is her hunting bow, which begins as a makeshift longbow and ends as a professional sports bow. She has access to a nice assortment of guns as well, but for most of the game the bow is preferable due to its relatively high damage output and the fact that it's completely silent, whereas her other weapons make quite some noise. In addition, a skill available early in the game allows players to reclaim any arrows that hit an enemy or animal from their body, giving the bow effectively infinite ammo for a good shot.
Tactical Suicide Boss: The Oni Stalker wears impenetrable armour everywhere except for its back. Guess which part of its body it exposes when it attacks.
Take a Third Option: Mathias firmly believes that the only way to escape the island is to give Himiko a new body, otherwise there's no way to stop the storms that trap everyone who arrives on the island. Lara discovers there's another option when she reaches the tomb of the Stormguard General and reads his last words: The storms are the result of Himiko's rage over being trapped in her decaying corpse, and she realizes that destroying the body will set the Sun Queen's spirit free and end her rage.
Take Cover: Lara will automatically duck behind the nearest available cover whenever enemies are in the vicinity, and step out when they are dead.
Take Your Time: At any point in the game it's possible to ignore the story, turn around, and go exploring.
This Is Gonna Suck: Lara says "I've got a bad feeling about this" on her way to the radio tower, early in the game.
Those Wacky Nazis: Communications dating to World War II Lara discovers on the island indicates that the Germans sent scientists to the island to study the weather phenomenon in the event that it might be something of use to the war effort. Partly Truth in Television: There was a technological interchange between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan during the War, but nothing significant.
Too Dumb to Live: Pretty much everyone (except for Lara, obviously) for trusting Whitman at the beach. It's not that it's his word against Lara's about collaborating with Mathias. He outright admits in front of everyone that he cooperated with the Solarii in the palace to save his own neck.
Whitman himself has several stupid moments but the biggest one results in his painful death at the hands of the Stormguard. He calmly walks towards two armored undead Samurai and tries to strike up a conversation. Whilst they approach him with swords drawn. Mathias had deceived him into thinking that the Stormguard would let them pass willingly but he really didn't need to walk right up to them to introduce himself!
Trashcan Bonfire: Often seen scattered around the Solarii strongholds, bunkers and bases.
Twofer Token Minority: Lara's best friend Sam Nishimura, Japanese and female. Reyes is a Triple Token Minority; black, Latino and female.
Unfriendly Fire: Multiple times, Solarii will fire heavy weapons at Lara despite their own being in the way.
Universal Ammunition: Zig-Zagged. Each of Lara's weapons use a different type of ammunition. However ammunition is universal to the weapon class. This is most egregious with the pistol and rifle - ammo for the former is simultaneously 9×19mm Para, .45 ACP, and .50 Action Express, while for the latter it's 8×22mm Nambu, 7.62×39mm, and 5.56×45mm.
Utility Weapon: Lara's pickaxe is a tool first and a weapon second. In fact, she needs to take many levels in badass before she can even think about swinging it with intent to kill. It's used in a bunch of ways; prying open doors, turning cranks, climbing rocks, zipping down ziplines, and striking a flint to light her torch at will. In addition, the shotgun, assault rifle, and especially bow all aid Lara in navigating the world and bypassing obstacles. The only weapon she has that's only useful for killing people is the pistol, and it makes up for its lack of utility with ludicrous precision.
Walking Disaster Area: Many of the ruins have existed for decades or centuries. Thanks either to her combat skills or her bad luck, a lot of them wind up collapsing or burning down minutes after Lara gets there.
Waking Up Elsewhere: After the opening cutscene, Lara's situation. Bonus points for being upside-down. She later is captured and has a similar situation, barring the upside down.
What Measure Is a Mook?: While not emphasized, the game does show that many of the Solarii that Lara massacres her way through are actually just regular people who were stranded on the island by Himiko's storm wall, and are just following Mathias in order to survive, although many have become quite crazy and brutal from having spent so much time on the island. This serves to emphasize the "backed into a corner" attitude Lara sports as she goes from just barely surviving encounters with the Solarii at the beginning, to brutally slaughtering them without remorse by the end. Even though they're normal, everyday people who are merely doing exactly what Lara herself has done simply to survive the extreme situation they're all in, they cannot be reasoned with, and they are in her way... There is one point, after escaping the Oni hunting Lara in the monastery , she will drop into a room with several Solarii. One of them notices her and suggests that they work together to escape the monastery, stating that the "Guardians" will kill them all regardless. Lara pauses for a moment and starts asking about their attackers until one of the mooks changes his mind and yells at his teammate to kill her, forcing Lara to defend herself.
Worst Aid: It's generally held that it's safer to keep it in if you have a long bit of shrapnel in you (pulling it out risks rupturing internal organs, or bleeding out). Tell that to Lara at the beginning of the game.
Justified in that combat medicine is often differentiated from traditional medicine in that getting a person back into action, even possibly risking long-term damage, is a decision that field medics often have to make. In active fire (or otherwise chronically dangerous) situations, knowing you have to keep moving may be enough motivation to remove the shrapnel rather than risk it causing further damage as you move around.
Would Hit a Girl: Many if not all of the Solarii scavengers won't hesitate to hurt Lara, and this is observed most clearly in the cutscene when she's captured while in the Pit and brutally beaten up by Dmitri, Nikolai and a whole host of other Solarii who want revenge on the Outsider. In normal fights, Mooks will actively run up to Lara and engage her in melee combat, bladed weapons at the ready.
Youkai: The Oni, The Sun Queen's Imperial Stormguard.
Non-Indicative Name/Sadly Mythtaken: Oni are usually portrayed as large, ogre-like demons with horns and wielding iron clubs. In this game the "Oni" are just undead samurai. However, their leader is a nearly invincible, 10 foot tall ogre-like man with the Oni-style iron club, so that might be where they got their name.
Sam says this Stock Phrase word-for-word to Mathias. And she's absolutely right: the guy is batshit crazy.
Later, when Lara and Roth are being rescued by a helicopter, Lara goes as far as to threaten the pilot at gunpoint to force him to land and save the others; the pilot's reaction is "Fuck! You're crazy!!" Considering what Lara was doing at the time, it's not totally unjustified.