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Video Game / Tomb Raider III: The Lost Artifact

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"So there was a fifth..."

The Lost Artifact note  is an expansion to Tomb Raider III, included as a standalone, additional chapter in re-releases of the main game.

Having defeated the horribly-mutated Dr. Willard, Lara discovers his wallet, which contains a message about a fifth meteorite artifact. Lara sets off to retrieve it, eventually resulting in a reunion with an old foe.

The game was released in 2000, for PC only, and then later for Mac. Unlike the expansions for the previous games (Unfinished Business and Golden Mask respectively), this one was not made available as a free download to owners of the main game.

Although all the classic Tomb Raider games have now been re-released via various digital distribution sources, this expansion has not.


This game provides examples of:

  • Artifact Title: Besides the obvious, this game features no tombs whatsoever.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • The company overseeing the construction of the Channel Tunnel is called "Eurochunnel", with a similar logo to that of the real one. Truth in Television as "Chunnel" was already widely used as a contraction of "Channel Tunnel".
    • The newspaper reporting the disastrous events in the Tunnel is called "UK Today".
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Well, Lara does venture onto the railway tracks of the Channel Tunnel.
  • Disconnected Side Area: Just as much a feature here as in the main game, perhaps even more so.
  • Foreshadowing: Workers, machinery and containers at the construction site bear the company name "SLinc".
  • Harmful to Touch: The Hand of Rathmore seems particularly dangerous, and more immediately so than the other artifacts, leaving, as it does, a trail of toxic mutagen wherever it goes (and, in the third level, major destruction - quite why is unexplained). How Lara manages to carry it around safely is a mystery.
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  • Lighter and Softer: In comparison to the main game, this has a rather more whimsical feel, particularly when it comes to the secret areas.
  • Lost World: The large secret area in the third level.
  • Not the Nessie: Although Lara comes face to face with a robotic Nessie, it's unclear whether this is the same one that is visible on the loch.
  • Ptero Soarer: Pteranodons are found in the secret area in the third level.
  • Recurring Boss: Sophia Leigh, who stole the fifth artifact (evidently having contingency plans lest she lose the Eye of Isis).
  • Rule of Three: Every level except the last has three secrets. Also, Lara is seeking the fifth artifact over five full levels.
  • Shout-Out: Some of the level names are references to other things:
    • The "Highland Fling" is a solo dance from the Scottish Highlands. Additionally, a "fling" is "a brief period of indulging one's impulses" - cleanly in this case (Lara loves clambering over ancient ruins).
    • "Shakespeare Cliff" is a real-world location beneath which the Channel Tunnel enters/leaves the UK, and where, in the 1870s, the first attempt to dig a tunnel was attempted.
    • "Sleeping with the Fishes" is a phrase from The Godfather, and is associated with gangster culture in general.
    • "It's a Madhouse!" is a quote from Planet of the Apes (the level features a zoo with monkeys).
  • Sidequest: In all five full-size levels, one of the secrets is a large side area, each containing unique sights and enemies, and several pickups. Another secret in the third level contains George Stephenson's "Rocket" locomotive, along with a rocket launcher.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Visible in the distance in the first level. In this level's major secret, Lara gets to meet "Nessie" itself, or at least Willard's giant, animatronic, fire-breathing version of it.
  • Underwater Base: The Blackwater Research Facility where Lara finally locates the Hand of Rathmore.
  • Unique Enemy:Tthe larger secret areas each contain a unique enemy, including Nessie, Willard's Highland warriors, pteranodons, a submarine and mutant lizard-men.


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