Video Game: Tomb Raider Legend
"You'd be amazed how persuasive I can be."
Lara: Isn't she beautiful? I'm falling in love all over again. Tomb Raider: Legend
Zip: You say that to all the ruins.
was released in 2006 and is the seventh entry in the Tomb Raider
series. It marks the first reboot of the series.
Due to its predecessor's lack of commercial success, Eidos Interactive decided to hand over the franchise to Crystal Dynamics, making it the first game to not be developed by Core Design, who had been in charge of the series since its genesis.
The game centers around Lara Croft's pursuit of the fragments of an ancient sword, which she believes to be connected to a strange device that caused the disappearance of her mother
. Her quest for the artifacts is soon complicated by the appearance of an old acquaintance, however, and Lara must race to reach the next piece before her adversaries do. As she journeys across the globe, bits and pieces of various myths seem to meld together, with this mysterious sword at the center.
The locations she visits during the game include Bolivia, Peru, a Yakuza-infested skyscraper in Tokyo, Ghana, an old research facility in Kazakhstan, a derelict, tacky King Arthur museum in Cornwall and Nepal.
As far as critical reception goes, the game was received very well, being the fastest selling (note, not highest selling) game in the series so far. It garnered a large amount of positive reviews and remains one of the highest-rated games in the history of the franchise. Critics especially praised the graphics, the soundtracks and the fluidity with which players could control Lara - a far cry from the clunky controls of the classic Lara. The game was criticised, however, for its shortness, the - at times - wonky camera and the linear level design
, sacrificing much of the freedom of the previous Tomb Raider
games. General consensus seemed to be that, while Legend
is not particularly innovative, being a relatively standard Third Person Action Adventure
game, it also doesn't really do anything wrong. And given where the franchise was coming from
, the game did a pretty good job at getting the Tomb Raider
series back on track.
Also marking a change from previous Tomb Raider
games (which were exclusive to PlayStation
and PC, with some ports to Sega), Tomb Raider Legend
went fully multiplatform: it was released for PC, PlayStation 2
, PlayStation Portable
and Xbox 360
, Nintendo GameCube
, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and mobiles.Tomb Raider Underworld
, released in 2008, continues the story introduced in Legend
.This page may contain unmarked spoilers.
This game contains examples of:
- Abandoned Laboratory: The second part of the Kazakhstan level is set in one, with corpses of frozen scientists lining the abandoned hallways.
- Action Dress Rip: To be honest, that evening dress kind of had it coming.
- Action Girl: Lara Croft. Obviously.
- Advancing Wall of Doom: In the first level, although they are absent after that.
- Aggressive Negotiations: The "civil" negotiation between Lara and Takamoto quickly progresses into this.
- Already Done for You: There are a few points in the game where you are only able to progress because Rutland's goons have installed or left behind objects Lara can use to go forward. For example, in the Peru level, Lara will have swum through various underwater tunnels, eventually ending up in a room where she drains the water level. When you're backtracking later on, you'll realise there's no way to get back, since the water's gone and the ledges are too high and slippery. Luckily for you, Rutland's men went down after you, using ladders and ropes that Lara can now use herself to get back up.
- Already Undone for You: And this also occurs frequently with Rutland's goons. Partially justified since they're usually flown in by helicopter or got there via another entrance, skipping the various durable deathtraps that Lara gladly makes her way past, having a preference for doing things the hard way.
- Artistic License – Physics: An egregious example of this occurs in the first puzzle room of the Bolivia level. In said room, there are three pressure plates that need to be weighed down so that Lara can progress. Conveniently, there are also three boxes present in this room, but a dilemma becomes apparent when one notes that two of these boxes are located on a slightly lower level. The boxes are too large and heavy to throw, so Lara will need to get them up onto the upper level using a different method. Luckily, there is also a giant lever on this lower level, which Lara may use to catapult the boxes onto the upper level. What does she use as a counter-weight? Herself, weighing just about 60 kilos. And the boxes don't just fly in a neat little arc, no, they're catapulted nearly 15 feetnote into the air. Video Game Physics at their finest.
- Physics barely exist in the DS version, so the same block-and-lever puzzle was somehow made even more ludicrous; not only does Lara serve as the counterweight, the box flies off sideways onto a nearby ledge.
- Bare Your Midriff: Lara's default outfit and its many variations. Amanda's usual outfit has this as well.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. It's not always that noticeable unless the camera is really zoomed in on her, but Lara gets some dirt on her whenever she rolls about too much. Alternatively, when she's climbing and shimmying around ledges. Even her face'll get a little smudged at times.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: King Arthur was a real figure and Excalibur an ancient superweapon that granted him much power.
- Bechdel Test: Passed. Lara talks shop with Anaya, and with Amanda in the flashback.
- Benevolent Architecture: Poles randomly sticking out of walls - allowing Lara to swing her way across - is but one of the many examples.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: James Rutland and Amanda Evert. They don't really approach the Big Bad levels of their predecessors though.
- Big "NO!": Shouted by Lara when her mother pulls out the sword and vanishes, despite Lara's attempts to dissuade her from doing so.
- Bilingual Backfire: After Lara saves two Kazakhs who were being held at gunpoint by one of Rutland's mercenaries, she demands to know where the command center of the military base they're protecting is. The Kazakhs are hesitant to give her the information, and revert to their native language, Russian, to argue. They eventually comply and, in English, tell her the location and code she needs. Lara mocks them by responding in Russian as well, thanking them for their aide.
- Black Best Friend: Anaya Imanu.
- Blade on a Stick: Takamoto wields his piece of Excalibur like this. Once she's defeated him, Lara is quick to dispatch of the stick.
- Blatant Item Placement: Notably, this is the only game in the series so far that averts this. Ammunition and medkits are not strewn around the environment(except for the latter in the motorcycle sections), being only available by looting them off the bodies of dead enemies.
- Block Puzzle: Appears, but not with the same frequency as the previous games.
- Blog: Zip apparently has a blog he occasionally updates.
- Blondes Are Evil: Amanda.
- Bookends: The first and last level of the game are set in Bolivia.
- Boss Banter: Shogo Takamoto and James Rutland. Averted with the less human bosses.
- Boss Battles: Several; usually, but not always, at the end of the level.
- Boss-Only Level: Bolivia Redux.
- Boss Room: Played absolutely straight for both Shogo Takamoto and James Rutland.
- Bottomless Magazines: Played straight for the Dual Pistols; they have a limited magazine size, but can be reloaded as often as the player wants to. Averted for all other guns Lara may pick up, where ammuniton can only be restocked by taking that of dead enemies.
- Bottomless Pits: Of course. Especially in the Tokyo and Nepal levels, where a mis-aimed jump usually means a long drop.
- Braids of Action: The flashback part of the Peru level has Lara wearing her classic costume, braid included.
- British Accents: Lara, of course. Alister and Winston count as well.
- Broad Strokes: Despite the apparent Continuity Reboot, some hints, background materials and (most glaringly) the next game in the series make it clear that most of the previous games' events did occur in this continuity.
- Bullet Time: Lara can jump onto and then flip off an enemy while entering a brief Bullet Time.
- Camera Screw: Occasionally.
- Cave Behind the Falls: A minor example occurs at the beginning of the Bolivia level. A far more impressive iteration of this trope appears in Ghana, a later level, where an entire temple is revealed to be located behind a majestic waterfall.
- Check Points: Frequently double as a Save Point as well.
- Chekhov's Gun: In the beginning cutscene, we can see Amelia taking off a pendant that is actually the Ghalali Key, which can reforge Excalibur.
- Continuity Reboot: With the change in developer came various changes in canon, most notably the relationship Lara has with her parents. Lara herself also had a bit of a change in personality, appearing more human, down-to-earth and peppy than her previous iterations. Most key elements remained intact, however. The changes did cause some ire amongst part of the fanbase, while others liked the new direction in which Lara was taken.
- Cool Bike: The Ducati motorbikes, of which Lara wrecks a few during the game.
- Cool Sword: Excalibur.
- Crate Expectations: Present in the levels where there is or has been some kind of human presence. They'll occasionally house rewards.
- Crouch and Prone: When Lara needs to squeeze through some small gaps.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Takamoto is the only one of the bosses that can be defeated purely by continuing to shoot at him with your pistols, as long as you avoid getting hit by his attacks. Sort of justified, as he's the first real boss and the game presumably wants to ease you into it.
- Deadly Gas: The Kazakhstan level has some hallways that are filled with lethal coolant, though Lara'll be fine as long as she stays above the fumes.
- Deadpan Snarker: Lara is armed with snark. Zip and Alister occasionally get in on the action as well.
Zip: "Don't worry, Lara, I've still got an eye on you. Probably won't be able to hear each other too well when you're underwater though."
Lara: "There is a god."
- Death by Irony: Lampshaded by Lara, when two goons run away from her, into a temple, only to walk into a deathtrap off-screen.
Zip: "Ow. That sounded permanent."
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Death simply sends you back to the last checkpoint with full health and a medipack to spare.
- Dialog During Gameplay: Very frequently, thanks to Zip and Alister being permanently in contact with Lara via headset.
- Dirty Communists: Subverted, if unintentionally. At one point, Lara comes to the assistance of Russian-speaking Kazakh soldiers at a Soviet-era research facility that is being attacked by, of all things, American mercenaries hired by a West Point graduate attempting to steal a Soviet-owned relic. She saves them from a likely death, and with some reluctance, they supply her with the passcode for their command center.
- Dismantled Macguffin: Excalibur.
- Distant Prologue: The opening cutscene features Lara in a plane crash when she was only nine years old.
- Distressed Dudes: During the level set in England. The boys, staying in their truck while Lara's investigating a tacky King Arthur museum, are ambushed by Rutland's mercenaries, prompting Lara to quickly make her way out of the tomb she'd been exploring and take out the mercenaries like the Badass she is.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Though this is done more out of practicality than a genuine dislike for shoes; in the Tokyo level, Lara shows up in a classy evening dress and high heels. When some armed Yakuza open fire on her, she's forced to change her outfit to accomodate actual movement, ripping open her dress and ditching the clumsy heels. This results in Lara being barefoot for the entirety of the level.
- Doing In the Wizard: It is strongly suggested that the fantastical elements of Arthurian myth weren't supernatural, but the work of Ancient Astronauts.
- Durable Deathtrap: Usually played straight, but a subversion occasionally occurs, such as in Peru.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Unknown Entity, though not the most terrifying example.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: Lara wields a reforged Exalibur in the final Boss Battle.
- Enemy Chatter: Very amusing to listen to. Also contains Foreshadowing sometimes.
Mercenary #1: "I don't see anything. You?"
Mercenary #1: "I haven't had any luck today."
Mercenary #2: "How's the knee?"
Mercenary #1: "How's my ass!"
Mercenary #2: "I wasn't the one who tripped."
Mercenary #1: "And I wasn't the one who couldn't hold on to the damn rope!"
- Everything Fades: Like many games released at the time, enemies fade away after they've been killed, so as not to eat up too much memory. Although their medkits, guns and the accompanying ammunition are always left behind for Lara to pick up. Bosses are usually the only ones to avert this, with one's remaining body even needing to be used to escape the area.
- Evil Brit: Inverted: Lara is the British heroine while the main villains are both American.
- Exploding Barrels: One of the many environmental hazards Lara can use to her advantage. Show up more frequently in the later levels.
- Exposed to the Elements: Largely averted, with Lara bringing weather-appropriate clothing for each outing (although exploring the Tokyo rooftops in a ripped evening dress must've been a bit chilly). However, upon replay, you can choose any outfit you have unlocked for Lara to wear, meaning exploring the Himalayan Mountains in a breezy top and shorts is within the realm of possibilities.
- Final Boss: Amanda, merged with the Unknown Entity.
- Fingerless Gloves: Part of Lara's standard ensemble.
- Gainaxing: Subtle, but it's there.
- Grave Robbing: As the title implies...
- Grenade Launcher: One of the weapons Lara can pick up.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Amanda, after her Start of Darkness.
- Hollywood Skydiving: Lara's base jump at the beginning of the Kazhakstan level, which is an interactive cutscene. If the player doesn't press the right button as it appears on the screen, Lara won't deploy her chute and will fall to her death.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Another notable aversion. In previous and subsequent games, Lara's arsenal will gradually expand with each gun you find (and that's not even mentioning the many keys or fancy artifacts), but in Legend, you only ever have access to your Dual Pistols. You can still add one weapon you've picked up from an enemy's body, but that's it. The things she keeps in her backpack for once seem to actually fit in there as well.
- Idle Animation: Whenever you stand still for too long, Lara will start checking her equipment and readjusting her gloves.
- Improvised Zipline: Usually when Lara needs to cross a large gap, there'll be a convenient zipline nearby. Occurs less frequently than in previous games.
- Indy Escape: Although there are various rolling boulders that chase Lara, this trope occurs only once throughout the entire game, because you are usually able to just dodge the thing and watch it as it rolls past. It's played straight in the Ghana level, where Lara must quickly run through a trap-filled corridor before the boulder catches up to her. As soon as she exists the corridor, she'll roll out of the boulder's path, unharmed.
- It's All Upstairs from Here: The Tokyo level has Lara continually ascending as she traverses the city's rooftops.
- Jungle Japes: The Ghana level, though the scenery is switched out relatively soon for a Temple of Doom.
- Knockback: All three types occur within the game; when Lara gets hit by a gunshot from any regular ol' Mook, she'll flinch. Rutland is about the only enemy that causes the literal knocked back reaction whenever he hits Lara, but she gets back on her feet sufficiently fast enough. Knocked Down occurs when Lara does not get far away enough of an attack's blast radius (for example, an exploding grenade), cause it literally sends her flying.
- Lady of Adventure: Lara Croft again.
- Left for Dead: Amanda believes she was, and is understandably bitter about it to Lara.
- Lighter and Softer: The game is arguably the least serious in its tone, especially when compared to its predecessor.
- Malevolent Architecture: Lampshaded and then justified.
- Mission Control: Zip and Alister.
- Missing Mission Control: While Lara is off adventuring in Ghana, the manor is invaded by Amanda, who apparently makes quite a mess of things. Zip and Alister are disconnected during the assault and Lara is notably unnerved, but also annoyed to find her two companions suddenly missing on the other end.
Lara: "Zip? Are you there? Alister?... All those satellites and computers just to perfect the science of talking to oneself."
- More Dakka: The SMG, one of the weapons Lara can pick up.
- Musicalis Interruptus: The party at Nishimura's quickly grinds to a halt when Takamato shows up. Bonus points for added Record Needle Scratch.
- Ms. Fanservice: Zip lampshades this in the conversation below:
Lara: "Don't you get cold in here? You should put more clothes on."
Zip: "My digital babies like it cold. Heh, and you're one to talk."
- No-Gear Level: The flashback part of the Peru level has you play with a younger Lara, who does not yet have her trademark pistols or the other fancy equipment she's usually seen with throughout the game. She does have flares on hand though, for when the environment gets a tad too dark.
- Non-Action Guys: Zip and Alister again. Winston also.
- No One Could Survive That: Amanda's apparently certain death at the hands of both crushing and drowning in the flashback part of the Peru level. When Lara returned years later however, she Never Found the Body, with only an unlaced shoe left behind. Guess what that means?
- Notice This: All objects that the grapple can attach to will shine every so often, to differentiate them from the environment.
- Meanwhile, environmental hazards will have a marker pop up to them if Lara is stood nearby, indicating she can shoot them.
- One-Hit Kill: A Cheat Code can turn every shot Lara fires into one of these.
- Pamphlet Shelf: The only books you can interact with in Croft manor are connected to the level's overarching puzzle. And you don't even read the books.
- Parental Abandonment: The disappearance of Lara's mother in Nepal when Lara was nine years old.
- Pistol-Whipping: In the end, Lara settles for this when she can't bring herself to kill Amanda.
- Player Headquarters: Croft Manor.
- Plot Coupon: The pieces of Excalibur.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Zip and Alister.
- Power Tattoo: Amanda has these in the present, but whether that is a consequence of forming a bond with the Unknown Entity or purely part of her radical change in appearance isn't touched upon. Concept Art shows they were originally meant to glow when she channeled the Entity, but this didn't make it into the final version of the game.
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Lara does this occasionally.
Lara: "Anyone between me and that stone dies."
Amanda: "Stop. I don't want anything bad to happen but it will if you come any closer."
Lara: *commences asskicking by sending everybody flying with a single swing of Excalibur*
- Pressure Plate: Invariably linked to various doorways.
- Press X to Not Die: The first in the franchise to utilise Quick Time Events.
- Product Placement: Most notably, the Ducati motorbikes. Jeeps are also seen every so often.
- Public Domain Artifact: Excalibur.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In the ending cutscene, where Lara has an admirable and frightening go at this which, thanks to punctuating each word with a gunshot right by Amanda's face, is even more powerful than Leonidas.
Lara: "WHERE" *bang* "IS" *bang* "MY" *bang* "MOTHER?!" *bang*
- Puzzle Boss: The humongous serpent in the England level does not take damage from Lara's pistols, but luckily there are various, spiky cages strung to the ceiling which you can use. Lara can lure the beast under one of these cages by shooting metallic statues, at which point she needs to bring the cage down upon its head by using her grapple. The Unknown Entity in Kazakhstan is a more vague example, seeing as you don't actually need to defeat it, merely stay out of its way as you solve the final puzzle of the level.
- Puzzle Pan
- Quick Melee: When locked on to enemies, Lara can execute several kinds of melee maneuvers through the press of a button.
- Ramp Jump: Whenever Lara gets her butt on a motorbike, you can bet she'll be doing one of these, usually with Zip excitedly shouting in the background. In the Tokyo level, she ramps up the crazy by ditching her bike in mid-air and doing a full swing around a horizontal bar by using her grapple, before landing neatly on the other side. The bike was, by contrast, reduced to scrap metal.
Alister: "Don't ever do that again."
- Real Time Weapon Change: Lara can seamlessly switch from one weapon to another during combat.
- Reforged Blade: Excalibur.
- Rival Turned Evil: Amanda, complete with bleach blonde hair.
- Rope Bridge: At the end of the Bolivia level, Lara must run across one of these as a helicopter is unleashing gunfire and missiles upon it. Naturally, the bridge doesn't make it. On her second visit, the rope bridge has been replaced by a convenient zipline.
- Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Applies to most of the ruins Lara uncovers throughout the game.
- Scenery Porn: Seeing as the graphics were one of the oft-praised aspects of this game, it should come as no surprise that this trope is in full effect in many of the levels. From the majestic mountainsides of Bolivia to the lush, overgrown jungles of Ghana, Legend is near continuous eye candy.
- Sexy Soaked Shirt: Lara has a costume, called "Classic, Gray" which consists of a white shirt and plaid shorts. In the remastered version for the PS3, the shirt becomes see-through when wet (she wears a bra, of course).
- She's Got Legs: And she is not afraid of showing them off either, as long as the weather is appropriate for it.
- Shield-Bearing Mook: Mooks with riot shields debut in the Kazakhstan level, bu they're about as easily taken care of as the regular Mook.
- Short Range Shotgun: Played utterly straight.
- Sinister Shades: James Rutland wears these.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Nepal level.
- Slow Electricity: In the Kazakhstan level, there are various ducts that are charged, and Lara can only safely grab on to them when the current of electricity has passed her position. Luckily, these currents move agonizingly slow, so Lara usually has enough time to traverse them and jump off in time.
- Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: A staple of the series.
- Nearby one of these types of traps, there's a crate, which you can push ahead of you, so that the walls are blocked whenever they're about to flatten Lara. How such a measly crate manages to stop two massive stone walls is left up to the viewer's Willing Suspension of Disbelief though.
- Soft Water: The Ghana level opens with Lara swan-diving off a cliff into a lake about 100 feet below. She surfaces unharmed, of course.
- Solve the Soup Cans: The puzzles don't always make that much sense.
- Spikes of Doom: These make a few appearances in the Ghana level.
- Spy Catsuit: One of the unlockable outfits.
- Stable Time Loop: After the Final Boss fight, Lara inserts Excalibur into the dais in Bolivia, hoping that whatever may appear in the portal will provide an explanation to what happened with her mother, Amelia, in Nepal and if she's still alive. When Amelia herself appears in the portal, it quickly dawns on Lara that the conversation she's now having with her mother is the same she witnessed back when she was only nine years old. And although Lara attempts to dissuade her mother from touching the sword - knowing that if Amelia removes it, she'll vanish - Amanda wakes up and tells Lara to pull out the sword. Lara hesitates, not knowing what it would do to her and what it would mean for her mother and her nine-year-old self, but Amanda insists, claiming that if she doesn't pull out the sword, the dais will explode. Amelia hears the warning meant for Lara and pulls out the sword, being teleported to Avalon and severing the connection between the present and the past, meaning Lara and Amanda's squabbling and fighting was for nothing in the end.
- Stat Meters:
- Sticks to the Back: Excalibur does this, once it's been reassembled.
- Stripperific: The evening dress.
- Stuff Blowing Up: With Exploding Barrels strewn around and grenades joyfully bouncing your way, there's usually something about to blow up in your face.
- Summon Magic: The Unknown Entity that attacked Lara, Amanda and their university colleagues back in Peru is apparently linked to the stone Amanda desperately pulled out of the wall, thinking it'd unlock an escape route. As is revealed years later, Amanda survived the cave-in by using the Unknown Entity and can now summon it whenever she wishes by channeling the stone.
- Third Person Flashback: A playable version of this is part of the Peru level.
- Third-Person Seductress: What did you expect? This is Lara Croft we're talking about.
- Time Trial: One of the challenges added to increase replay value. Complete a certain level under the given time and you unlock some nifty cheats.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: In this game, Lara trades her iconic braid for a fashionable, yet practical ponytail. Some fans are still rather unhappy about it.
- Training Dummy: At the beginning of the Peru level, there is a dummy set up on which you can practice your hand-to-hand combat moves on.
- Unlockable Content: Collecting all the rewards hidden in a level will unlock various things for you such as biographies, concept art, cheats, ...
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: If you complete a combo of somersaults and flips Zip or Alister will compliment you over your headset.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Zip and Alister.
- Walk on Water: Lara expresses her wish to be able to do this when she needs to cross a body of insanely cold water in the Nepal level. She makes do by shooting down a large icicle from the cave's ceiling, which conveniently remains afloat, providing her with a way across.
- Where It All Began: The game starts and ends in Bolivia.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Every female in the game. Amanda switches them for some decent, leather pants after she nearly died of drowning and crushing.
- Wrecked Weapon: Excalibur is a bit of a subversion as it was never 'broken' apart; it was designed to seperate and reattach.
- Yakuza: Briefly take over the role of Mooks from Rutland's mercenaries in the Tokyo level.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: In the derelict King Arthur Museum part of the England level, Lara can push buttons that trigger a narrator dramatically describing parts of the King Arthur myth in this kind of English. Alister, being a bit more educated than most on the matter, will repeatedly snark at him.
Narrator: (after Lara has opened a gate) "Enter, Once and Future King! Merlin deems you worthy!"
"Pfft. The real
Merlin would roll around in the mud and bark at you. And I'm being generous by calling it ''mud''.