!''This page is for the first game in the Tomb Raider series. For the series as a whole, go [[Franchise/TombRaider here]] and for the 2013 reboot of the same title go [[VideoGame/TombRaider2013 here.]]''

[[caption-width-right:300:''The game that started it all.'']]

The first game in the ''Tomb Raider'' series was created by a team of just six people, and was released for Sega Saturn, [=PlayStation=] and PC ([[AndTheRest and Mac]]). A heavily-altered recreation, taking place in the first Crystal Dynamics continuity, was released in 2007, known as ''VideoGame/TombRaiderAnniversary''.

Lara Croft is hired by a wealthy businesswoman, Jacqueline Natla, to recover a piece of an artifact called [[ArtifactOfDoom the Scion]], from the lost city of Vilcabamba. After Lara is inevitably betrayed by her employer, she races across the world to find the two other pieces of the Scion and prevent it from falling into Natla's hands. Along the way, Lara visits Peru, Greece, Egypt and a remnant of Atlantis.

The game received sizable critical acclaim (including a couple of "game of the year" awards), and established many of the tropes of the ActionAdventure genre. As a result of the amount of genre conventions it established, it is frequently cited as one of the most influential games of all time.

The game was made for Sega Saturn, [=PlayStation=] and PC, with ports to N-gage, Windows Pocket PC, and iOS.
!!The game contains examples of:

* AdvertisingCampaigns: The U.S. ad was very strange, and a classic example of a DadaAd: Over a desert setting, an announcer asks, "What makes you sweat? Is it passion? ''(brief shot of two people making love)'' Or is it just heat? ''(snake slithering)'' What about not knowing if the very next breath will be your last? ''(shot of man pounding on a locked door, presumably running out of oxygen)'' What about all three?" ''(cue gameplay footage)''
%%* {{Atlantis}}
* AscendedGlitch: The game features the "corner bug", which causes Lara to warp to the top of tall structures. The developers were aware of this, and placed a large medipack on top of a tall column in Palace Midas that can only be reached with the help of this bug. This also started a RunningGag of unreachable large medipacks that lasted for the first 3 games.
* AWinnerIsYou: The pyramid explodes, Lara sails away, a couple of seconds of credits rolling in silence, then back to the title screen.
* BehindTheBlack: Pierre will shoot at Lara forever and take an infinite number of bullets, until he is offscreen, at which point he escapes. Sometimes he simply vanishes in mid-air after taking enough damage, or the player can choose to ignore him, and he will not spawn again for the rest of the level. This jarring behavior was even lampshaded in the remake during Pierre's cutscene, during which he screws with Lara by constantly teleporting around her (off-screen) as she vainly attempts to follow his voice.
* BigNo: Said by Natla when Lara aims at the Scion.
* BlockPuzzle: Many of them, the difficulty often exaggerated greatly due to the slow push-pull controls.
* BodyHorror: The Atlanteans, deformed human-like creatures with no skin on their bodies.
* BondVillainStupidity: Natla attempts to defy this trope when her goons corner Lara and recover the stolen MacGuffin; she admires it for a second, then turns to her henchmen and lets out an impatient "Well? [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim KILL HER!]]" Said [[SurroundedByIdiots henchmen]] turn out to be not so GenreSavvy and neglect to shoot at Lara until ''after'' she makes a HighDiveEscape into the canyon below.
* CaveBehindTheFalls: Lost Valley. A minor example later occurs in Natla's Mines, where a small waterfall obscures an entrance.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Lara's personality resembles more of a cheeky girl-next-door type here.
* ClassicVideoGameScrewYous:
** One nasty lever in Atlantis does nothing but release a wall of lava onto Lara. There's no way to tell it apart from the other levers.
** Previously in the same level, there's a puzzle that involves a room full of switches and eggs. Pulling the wrong switches will only release mutants to harass Lara. And then once Lara solves the puzzle, the game releases a mutant anyways.
* CollapsingLair: Taking Qualopec's piece of the Scion caused the tomb to collapse, prompting Lara to make a quick getaway. And once Lara shoots the Scion, the entire Atlantean pyramid begins to fall apart, opening up new paths and eventually exploding.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: In the Palace Midas statue room, for players who like to climb on things.
%%* {{Cowboy}}: One of Natla's henchmen.
%%* DeepSouth: Larson
* DirectContinuousLevels:
** Individual levels do this, but chapters involve a transition to a different location. There's still a stats screen at the end of each level, but the transition otherwise appears smooth. This feature was kept in the remake.
** Level filenames indicate that certain levels in the game, like the Lost Valley and the Tomb of Qualopec, were once part of a single large level before being split in two. This can also be noticed in the stamps that Lara obtains from each location; she won't gain a stamp for a location that was originally part of a larger level.
* DownTheDrain: The Cistern is arguably a subversion, being one of the more fun and interesting levels in the game. The surprisingly adequate swimming controls help.
* DummiedOut: A surprisingly large amount of content was cut out or rearranged for the final game, including many animations. As stated below, the very first prototype known of the game depicts Lara with a braid and sunglasses in an unknown tomb with several animals, and armed with tools like an electronic map, grenades, and dynamite, which are not present at all in the final game. Level filenames indicate that an entire area, Level 9, was cut out. Finally, Atlantis was going to feature more enemies, including a skinless fish and an *Atlantean dinosaur*. Models for most of these still lurk within the game's prototypes.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Well, it is the first game. But it's different in many ways from its successors:
** Graphics are much blockier and textures are extremely pixellated compared to even ''VideoGame/TombRaiderII''. Lara herself looks a bit awkward without her signature braid, which was removed due to engine limitations. (The developers tried to model the braid, as seen in the earliest prototypes, but were ultimately unwilling to sacrifice level detail and performance.)
** Lara is limited to 4 weapons: Pistols, Shotgun, Magnums, and Uzis.
** Lara's moveset is limited. She cannot climb, sprint, crouch, flip in mid-air, or roll underwater.
** Only a handful of human enemies, and they are all relevant to the plot (appear in cutscenes).
** No outside areas at all, due to the engine limitations. Even places that should be outside, like Lost Valley and parts of the Colosseum, just have a black featureless sky (the Colosseum was supposed to feature this same black texture over parts of the ceiling, but a texture artist made a small mistake and mapped the wrong texture). In commentary for ''VideoGame/TombRaiderAnniversary'', Toby Gard mentioned that he always wanted these areas to be outside with a blue sky.
** The DOS version also removed the entire soundtrack and replaced it with level-specific ambiances; this didn't occur with any future game. Some unofficial patches can rectify this issue, and the mobile version allows toggling between the ambiances and the [=PS1=] soundtrack.
** This is the only game where Lara is voiced by Shelley Blond, and is actually the only time in the series where a voice actress only plays Lara for one game.
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: A famous example being the first encounter with a T.rex in the Lost Valley.
* IndyEscape: Occurs a few times with boulders, but the straightest example is in the Tomb of Qualopec, in which a boulder chases Lara down a narrow hallway. It's easy to outrun it if the player is aware of its existence.
* InvisibleGrid: The entire game world is based on a block system, most noticeably in areas like the Lost Valley. As such, Lara's movements are designed to follow the format: she will always run forward one square, roll forward one square, etc. The system was kept for the next 4 games, but it's most noticeable in [=TR1=] due to its lower-quality textures.
* IslandBase: Doubles as IslandOfMystery: The remnants of Atlantis lay hidden under a volcanic island, and Natla carries out her evolutional experiments there.
* JumpScare:
** Whenever mummies or Atlanteans are involved, especially one particular corridor leading out of the panther room in the City of Khamoon...
** The Tomb of Qualopec also has a raptor that likes to pop out from around a corner as you approach it.
* KubrickStare: When Lara is pushed against the rock in the cinema after "Sanctuary of the Scion".
%%* LivingStatue: In the Tomb of Qualopec.
%%* MacGuffinDeliveryService
* {{Mayincatec}}: The City of Vilcabamba is based on the real-life last outpost of the Inca. It contains a gold idol modelled on a Tumi, a ceremonial knife used in sacrifices.
* MisplacedWildlife: Greece is simply the worst offender, with gorillas, lions, and crocodiles everywhere. The Coliseum tries to justify it by having the implication that they were brought there. Not to mention a T. Rex in a secluded underground cavern in Peru.
* MissingTheGoodStuff: "Right, now I'd better take off these wet clothes!" Then the level ends.
* NuclearOption: The initial nuclear test activates some device within the desert. It unlocks and reveals a person in suspended animation.
* NoFlowInCGI: The reason Lara has no ponytail outside of [=FMVs=]. The earliest prototypes of the game featured a much higher-poly Lara, even including a ponytail, but this caused severe performance issues. Starting from ''Tomb Raider II'', Lara's ponytail was included in-game.
* NothingIsScarier: This game, along with the next four, has a low draw distance (this one much more so of course). Anything that's not loaded and/or near Lara is completely black. Right from the very first level, you'll encounter this- and you'll always have to go towards the darkness to see what's actually there. This is combined with the unnerving soundtrack to create a frightening experience.
* ObviousBeta: Some think this is the Sega Saturn version (''especially'' the European version). The game was always intended to be MultiPlatform, but Sega's contract mandated it as a timed-exclusive in PAL territories for over a month (reportedly three). As a result, development was rushed to meet the deadline and the original Saturn version was missing a few features, including the handstand animation and some areas. The later worldwide Saturn release is somewhat more polished by the addition of some save points, enemy rebalancing, and small adjustments to the level design to match the other versions (among minor things), but even Toby Gard stated that the [=PlayStation=] version was the better product. It's a pity - despite the muddier textures and miscellaneous glitches, the improved draw distance and water ripple effects show that it had the potential to be remembered as the superior release.
%%* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Natla's henchmen.
* ScaryBlackMan: One of Natla's henchmen who takes the Scion from Lara.
* ShoutOut:
** The Ark of the Covenant in Lara's home.
** During Lara's battle with the Skateboard Kid, when you start to shoot him he'll say "[[TaxiDriver You firin' at me? You firin' at me? Well, I don't see anyone else here, so you must be firin' at me]]".
* SuspiciousVideogameGenerosity: at the end of the Sanctuary of the Scion, Lara ascends a spiraling series of ramps that seems to go on forever, and the game provides her a few Magnum clips on the way (as well as a save crystal). Picking up the item at the end opens the gate and 4 Atlanteans immediately converge on her.
* TropeCodifier: Popularised a lot of the tropes used in 3D ActionAdventure games, and is likely the TropeMaker for some.
* UpdatedRerelease: First a "Gold" version for PC, then ported to iOS in 2013 with some new features such as HD textures for most levels. Unfortunately the port is somewhat half-baked- the achievements are copied off of Anniversary's, and don't work properly, and HD textures don't exist for the latter 2 locations.
* WombLevel: The Atlantis levels have walls of [[NauseaFuel pulsating flesh and tissue]] mixed with tons of lava.

Tomb Raider was later re-released on PC as [[UpdatedRerelease Tomb Raider: Gold]], and contained four extra levels known as Unfinished Business. The first two detail a return to the locations visited previously in Egypt, while the second two are an extended ending to the original Tomb Raider story, where Lara must escape from the exploding pyramid. These new levels are also available on the iOS port.

'''Unfinished Business''' contains examples of:
* AWinnerIsYou: A copy-pasted ending from the main game.
* DeathTrap: While obviously a staple of the Tomb Raider series, Unfinished Business contains a section where the player has three routes to take, two safe, one deadly. This death trap is very difficult to escape, and doing so is the key to obtaining a secret. In fact, developer commentary on this level, featured in the TR Level Editor manual, states that this was a deliberate, sadistic choice on the part of the designer. Well, he certainly did his job.
* DummiedOut: Originally, the Atlantis levels came first, before the Egypt ones. This was revealed by the level designers, and is also evident in the way Lara slides down a slope in the beginning of Atlantean Stronghold (the same slope as the one at the end of The Great Pyramid).
* ItsAllUpstairsFromHere: Atlantean Stronghold: You start at the top, plummet to the bottom, then spend the rest of the level climbing back to the top...so you can fall all the way down to the bottom again to reach the exit.
* LivingStatue: The cat statues can turn into panthers. This trait would later become a staple of the Gold expansion games.
%%* ExpansionPack
* MarathonLevel: ''All of them.'' '''All.'''
%%* NintendoHard
* SoftWater: Happens very often, right from the very beginning of the first level, but also contains the most ridiculous example yet. At the end of Atlantean Stronghold, Lara needs to line up a precision jump into one of the grooves in the building on the ground. The "groove" turns out to be a vertical shaft spanning at least ten floors (judging by texture changes) and is long enough that some versions of the game actually crash while Lara falls. Of course, at the bottom is a pool of water.