Video Game: Tomb Raider Chronicles

aka: Lara Croft Tomb Raider Chronicles
She never was one for diplomacy.

Tomb Raider Chronicles is the fifth game in the Tomb Raider series. It was released in 2000, and is the sequel to Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. This was the last game to use the classic Tomb Raider game engine, and thus the last to be released on the original PlayStation. The sequel, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, was released for then-next-generation platforms and was the last game in the series developed by Core Design.

Winston, Father Dunstan, and Charles Kane drive to Lara's mansion to hold a memorial service in her honor after her presumed death under the Temple of Horus. While there, the men recall their memories of Lara and her past exploits around the world, and the player relives 4 short adventures, set in different time periods. The first is Lara's conquest of the Philosopher's Stone in Rome, where she meets up with Larson and Pierre for the first time. Next is her adventure aboard a Russian submarine in search of The Spear Of Destiny. Third, Father Dunstan tells how a young, teenage Lara stowed away to the Black Isle in Ireland, facing supernatural threats there, and finally, Winston recalls how Lara broke into Von Croy Industries and stole the Iris from Werner.

Chronicles is unique in that none of the action occurs in the present day; instead, the game is set across 4 brief, but varying flashbacks. The first, the Rome section, is typically considered a standard Tomb Raider setting. The Russian section is unique in that Lara finds her way through the submarine twice, with significant changes to it the second time. The Ireland section features the same young, unarmed Lara as in the last game's Angkor Wat, and the Von Croy Industries section employs a futuristic vibe last seen in Nevada.

Gameplay-wise and graphically, it is virtually identical to The Last Revelation; the only new moves are swinging across poles and tightrope-walking. Certain sequences clash with the series's own established canon, plus a couple of levels are incredibly easy to break and make Unwinnable (even compared to some of the buggier levels in the earlier games). While most weren't bad, its reviews were still mediocre compared to the earlier games. The release of the level editor with the PC version is quite possibly the most interesting thing about the game.

This game contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Admiral Yarofev only sides with The Mafia because he needs to be able to pay and feed his crew after the Soviet Union collapsed. Even when Yarofev captures Lara, he tells her that if he was in a different situation, he would have listened to her warnings regarding the artifact, but since he is under the mafia's employ, he has no choice to but to lock her up. Later on, when the submarine starts to sink, Yarofev sacrifices himself by staying behind so that he can launch Lara's escape pod before the submarine is destroyed by the artifact.
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: Lara can search cabinets and drawers in this game. They can contain anything from ammo to secrets (or sometimes, nothing).
  • Asshole Victim: Sergei Mikhailov.
  • Boss Battle: Downplayed compared to other games in the series; there is no Final Boss. But there's a mechanical dragon in the sewers of Rome, and the animated gargoyles certainly count.
  • Bottomless Pits: Mostly averted, but one large one in the Coliseum is involved in a cutscene. After Lara nearly falls into it, she convinces Pierre to save her, and scares him into the pit instead.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: How Verdilet is imprisoned on the island. Thus, the demon forces Lara to dry up the stream, in exchange for Father Dunstan's life.
    Father Dunstan: Demons cannot cross running water.
  • Cutscene Boss: Verdilet, the demon knight from the Black Isle. Lara manages to paralyze it by reading its name from the Bestiary, and banishes it back to "where it came from".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone in the game has shades of it. Surprisingly, Father Dunstan is full of snark towards the demon that is holding him hostage.
  • Dirty Communists: Subverted. Admiral Yarofev and his crew are painted in a much more sympathetic light than The Mafiya who have bought him and his submarine out. The bad Russians in this instance are the capitalists.
  • Distressed Dude: Father Dunstan when he gets captured by a demon.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Larson had it coming.
    Lara: Larson, behind you!
    Larson: I may be a dumbass but I ain't fallin' for that again.
    Lara: (slowly backs away) No, really, behind you!
    Larson: (mocking) Behind you! Behind you! (thrown to the ground by a gargoyle) Aggggggggh!
  • Flanderization: Somehow, Larson is even thicker-headed than in Tomb Raider, and Pierre isn't nearly as threatening as he was in that same game either. Lara herself always had a bit of snark in her, but Chronicles cranks it up so high that she can come off as a Jerkass at times.
  • Franchise Zombie: This game was thrown together for a quick buck during the production of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. It shows; the level design is generally less intricate and shorter than the previous games in the series, even the first one. It's also just a lot shorter than previous games, especially in comparison to The Last Revelation, which was the longest.
  • Game Mod: The PC version of Chronicles came with the official level editor used to create levels for the Tomb Raider games up until that point. Technically, the engine and assets used are from The Last Revelation, but it was only included with Chronicles.
  • Going Down with the Ship: Yarofev resigns himself to this fate, just to help Lara escape back to the surface.
    Lara: (sadly) Goodbye, Admiral.
  • History Repeats: The fate that ultimately befalls Yarofev's ship, after The Spear Of Destiny finds its way on board.
  • Large Ham: Verdilet.
  • Laser Sight: Returns from the previous game and can be equipped to certain guns (it also is a standard function of the HK Gun in VCI). At one point in Escape with the Iris, the camera switches to the POV of a mook's sniper rifle as he shoots at Lara.
  • Literal Genie: Miss Croft did keep her promise to Pierre.
    Pierre: Could you find it in your heart to help me up? I appear to be slipping.
    Lara: Oh, Pierre. You know nothing would please me more, but we have an agreement.
    Pierre: Agreement?
    Lara: Not to lay a finger on you. Remember, silly?
  • Locked into Strangeness: After an off-screen encounter with a demon, Father Dunstan's hair turns permanently white.
  • Mini-Boss: the mechanical soldiers in the Coliseum count as these. They're relatively easy to defeat with powerful weapons though.
  • Never Found the Body: All Von Croy manages to find in the end is Lara's backpack.
  • No-Gear Level: Occurs three times! In the Russian submarine level, Lara is captured and her guns are taken from her, so she must crawl around in vents until she can find her guns again. The entire section of Ireland is played as Lara during her teenage years, so she doesn't have weapons to use at all. The upper levels of the Von Croy Industries has a security scanner that will activate turrets if it detects a person with weapons, so Lara must disarm herself and sneak for a good portion of the level.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with a level, strangely enough. The Coliseum name is reused from Tomb Raider, but the level itself is completely new.
  • Post-Mortem One-Liner
    Lara: Don't let me hold you up.
  • Puzzle Boss: The cyborgs in Red Alert cannot be defeated via conventional means, i.e. gunfire. Instead, the first one must be shot until it gives off electricity, and then the room needs to be flooded; the second one needs to be lured into a trap room, into which poison gas must be pumped.
  • Stationary Boss: The robotic flower machine in Rome.
  • That One Boss: the gargoyles at the end of the second level are notoriously difficult to defeat; definitely a case of Easy Levels, Hard Bosses. Aside from being bullet sponges that can easily soak up all of Lara's reserve ammo, they also breathe fire at Lara, which can quickly kill her if she gets touched even once. On top of all this, they fire at different rates, and are all very quick and accurate in their shots. Tip: stay away from them; getting even moderately close is a guaranteed death. Doubles as a Wake-Up Call Boss.
  • The Atoner: By now, Von Croy has staged an extensive operation in the Egyptian deserts to dig through the ruins and find Lara, dead or alive.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Pierre and Larson, of the Brains and Brawn variety.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Averted; since each story has their own set of levels, items that you didn't use won't carry over into the next chapter, so it is better for the player to use their supplies as they see fit.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can choose to kill the harmless VCI employees in their orange suits if you feel like it, though you won't gain anything from it other than wasted ammo. However, you do have to kill a specific worker to open a secondary path containing the level's secret, though Zip will chew you out for it. You can also kill a sleeping security guard if you don't feel like sneaking by him to steal his key card.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Zip will call Lara out on this if you have her kill the harmless VCI worker who could have helped you open a door to the Iris.

Alternative Title(s):

Lara Croft Tomb Raider Chronicles