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Video Game / Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

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I make my own luck.

Jean-Yves: Be careful, Lara. I fear there are things down there man was not meant to see.
Lara: I am not a man, Jean. And I am always very careful.

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is the fourth entry in the Tomb Raider series. It was also meant to be the last, until fans and Eidos Interactive persuaded Core Design otherwise. The game was released on PlayStation, PC, and Sega Dreamcast in 1999; the next game, Tomb Raider Chronicles, was released next year.

The sequel to Tomb Raider III, it marked a return to Lara's tomb-raiding roots. The story opens with a 16-year-old Lara accompanying Professor Werner Von Croy on an expedition to Angkor Wat, Cambodia, to recover an Ancient Artifact known as the Iris. Things go awry, and Lara barely manages to escape the collapsing ruins while her mentor is trapped by the Iris' defensive mechanism. Fast forward to the present: a more familiar, pistol-wielding Lara visits Egypt to recover the Amulet of Horus, located in the Tomb of Seth. Turns out this wasn't the best decision; she releases the evil god Seth himself when she removes the Amulet from his sarcophagus, and as the world begins to fall apart around her, she needs to find a way to set things right... as well as deal with her former mentor, now her enemy.

The game was notable for several reasons: it marked a return to Lara's tomb-raiding roots, with far less emphasis on modern civilization compared to the previous game, Tomb Raider III, and focused mainly on exploring long-forgotten, ancient ruins. It was also the first Tomb Raider game to take place entirely in one location (Egypt, save for the tutorial levels), which would not occur again until Tomb Raider (2013), and feature no outfit changes. Other new additions included a remodeled Lara (she no longer has gaps in her joints), the removal of the Spinventory, the ability to combine items, and huge, interconnected levels.

Overall, this is generally considered the longest, most complex game in the Core Design line of Tomb Raider games, and is legendary for its difficulty, surpassing even its predecessor, which was already notorious for its difficulty.

This game contains examples of:

  • All for Nothing: All the effort made by Lara throughout the game is rendered completely pointless by the end—Seth simply destroyed the statue and armour required to summon Horus. Miss Croft has to seal him in the summoning chamber instead.
  • Ancient Egypt: Where 99% of the action takes place. It certainly looks a lot different than it did back in 1996, too.
  • Anti-Hero: This side of Lara's personality is made much more apparent here. It is also her fault that Seth is released into the world—but hey, it was an accident, guys!
  • Art Evolution: The Lara character model was updated again in this game. She had more polygons, resulting in a smoother appearance. She also had a slightly different looking face, a little exposed skin at the hips, and cleavage.
  • Art Shift:
    • Almost half of all cutscenes are in FMV format, which was quite an achievement back in 1999. The ones that are based on game engine are a big improvement since Tomb Raider III. For starters, lip movement was finally implemented, so characters no longer bob their heads to indicate talking.
    • Visions from the "flashbacks" are somewhat mind-screwing. The later in the game, the more surreal they get.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Certain ninjas will deflect Lara's gunshots by spinning their sabers. But if Lara holsters her weapons and draws them again, they'll let down their guard for long enough to take a few rounds.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • While the games were never heavy on historical accuracy, this one makes a pretty glaring mistake: the Tutorial Levels of Angkor Wat are explicitly set in 1984, showing the whole complex as secured and open for if not tourists, then at least archeologists. 1984 was the peak of instabilities in Cambodia due to the ongoing Cambodian–Vietnamese war, and the country was virtually closed to outsiders - not to mention it would require a death wish to even go there. And the Angkor complex itself was full of traps, indeed - in the form of extensive minefields that weren't removed until the UN mission in the early '90s stabilised the country.
    • Another glaring example is the ancient Egyptian clockwork beetle you found in the Temple of Isis. The wheel was yet to be invented back then.
  • The Atoner:
    • Von Croy recovers from his possession at the end of the game and attempts to rescue Lara. Unfortunately he fails.
    • Lara herself for the most of the game. She accidently released Seth out of his can at the start of the game and spends rest of it trying to seal him again, before he takes over.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Bronze automatons from The Lost Library have a blue gem on their chests. That's the only place they can be hit to receive any damage. For this reason shooting them In the Back while doing typical acrobatics when facing tough enemies doesn't work at all. Using more powerful weapons might not work as intended too if you miss the gem. Have fun with mounted version, where the gem is almost constantly covered.
  • Blinded by the Light: One of the types of ammo for grenade launcher are flash grenades. Anything alive and in possession of eyes will stop for a while upon detonation, trying to regain sight. You would be surprised how much this narrows down potential targets.
  • Book Ends: Cambodia ends with Von Croy getting buried underneath some ruins. The game ends with the roles reversed.
  • Broken Bridge: You've found yourself a vehicle? Good for you, but have you got the ignition keys?
  • Covers Always Lie: Despite Lara shown with a flashlight on the cover art you'll never have a standalone flashlight in the game proper. There is a light feature in the binoculars though.
  • Crapsack World: After Seth possesses Von Croy, the Cairo and Giza levels take a very dark turn. The sky turns to a sickly shade of dark green to dark red, lightning storms constantly and blows apart buildings, the cities themselves have been turned into warzones, abandoned except for some soldiers who are being methodically slaughtered by undead mythical beasts, and everything is eerily quiet. The hanging clotheslines and materials suggest that Cairo fell very quickly.
  • Cutscene Boss: The dragon in Cairo cannot be defeated with Lara's weapons and must be avoided by sprinting past it the first couple times. Once Lara fully upgrades her motorcycle, she can take Sergeant Azizus to his ammunitions truck (loaded with explosives). He will drive the truck into the dragon, killing it at the cost of his own life.
  • Darker and Edgier: Last Revelation deals with themes of possession, being left for dead, and averting the apocalypse. The more whimsical and bizarre elements of the previous two games are gone, replaced by crumbling tombs and an ancient feud between two major Egyptian gods. The Cairo and Giza sections dip into horror territory, and at the end, Lara herself is buried alive under the collapsing Tomb of Horus, seemingly killed in the incident, setting up her memorial service in the sequel and her hardened personality in The Angel of Darkness).
  • Dead Guy on Display:
    • One unfortunate explorer got impaled on some spikes near a plinth in Cambodia. Lara takes his backpack for herself. The eerie Cairo levels feature some dead soldiers with limbs ripped off; in one case, Lara needs to drag a body off of a trapdoor in order to open it.
    • Another skeleton appears under The Sphinx, clutching a sheet of paper with transliterations of various hieroglyphics.
  • Delayed Explosion: In a rather cool sequence, Lara can fire an explosive arrow at a helicopter hovering behind two sentry guns, causing the helicopter to fall and explode. A few seconds later, the sentry guns meet the same fate.
  • Dem Bones:
    • Skeletal knights lurk deep within the catacombs of Alexandria. They're invulnerable to Lara's regular attacks.—while you can stop them for a while with a shotgun blast, they will reassemble again. Using said blast to throw them off ledges or into water will disable them for good, however. Blowing them apart with some explosive weapons works satisfying well, too. You can also disable them by sniping their skull off with scoped weapons, rendering their actions into walking aimlessly. They are extremely fast, agile and stubborn, following Lara around like no other enemy.
    • In Cairo, Von Croy uses Seth's power to reanimate a couple of larger skeletons. These are invulnerable, and must be goaded into breaking certain walls for Lara to escape.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • The U.S. ad for the game, animated by Animal Logic, has a different-looking Lara than the one featured in the game's FMV cutscenes. It also makes it look cheesy and tongue-in-cheek, as compared with the actual game.
    • Lara's pistols are rarely the same kind twice, the in-game models are the Browning Hi-Power, the same ones she had used the last three games, but the menu and more than a few FMVs and official artworks depict them as Colt M1911's, with a handful of FMVs and artworks using IMI Desert Eagle Mk VII's. And finally, the trailer shows them as Beretta 92FS Inox's. About the only thing they all have in common is that they are nickel plated.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Mastering use of scoped weapons to the point of being able to use them in combat and not only for Trick Shot Puzzles is immensely gratifying. Suddenly each enemy with weak spot, each bullet sponge stops being so intimidating when you can take effective shots from safe distance.
  • Direct Continuous Levels: So far, this is the only Tomb Raider to date that both incorporates level structure and makes them directly connected, with the ability to go forward or backward between them.
  • Downer Ending: Lara's apparent death.
  • Exact Words: The "Race for the Iris" level begins with Von Croy telling teenage Lara that his last lesson to her is regarding "the craving to whatever costs....." and boy does he mean it. Ol' Werner will activate gates to close behind him, cut bridges to drop you into pits, and other devious tricks to slow Lara up enough to get to the Iris first. Especially glaring in the Path of the Heretical, where there's danger around every corner and in every pit. Small wonder Lara isn't too overly fond of him after this, eh?
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Let's just say that if you want all those secrets in the Temple of Semerkhet, you better throw the game of Senet, which is easier said than done.
  • Flash Back: Occurs frequently while Lara is reading ancient inscriptions or scrolls. Her voice changes to Semerkhet's, and a surreal vision usually plays out, in the vein of the original Tomb Raider I.
  • Forced Tutorial: "Angkor Wat", the first level in the game, is Von Croy teaching teenage Lara how to move through the environment. Unfortunately, unlike the previous games in the series which had the tutorial as an optional level on the menu, this one is mandatory. Even Von Croy's dialogue can't be skipped. Players who own the first or second version of the game on PlayStation and PC can skip the tutorial cutscenes by pressing the look button. This ability was taken out of later PS1 releases.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Normally, the dragon in Cairo will begin lobbing giant firebombs at Lara whenever she's in range, and it is notoriously difficult to avoid. That said, it seems perfectly content to watch Lara help a wounded soldier into a truck loaded with explosives - which promptly results in its death.
  • Giant Mook: The Giza levels are infested with flying beetles and scorpions large enough to pick up Lara, skewer her, and throw her away. The scorpions can withstand up to three grenades before dying.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • One puzzle in the City of the Dead involves Lara luring two ice elementals into a pool of water, causing it to freeze over and allowing her to cross to the other side. The problem is that this behavior never appears in earlier levels. Normally, ice elementals simply enter water without freezing anything.
    • For some reason, there is a certain area where a sentry gun will continuously fire at Lara - but once she retrieves a certain key card from a completely unrelated area, the gun will not fire at her. There is absolutely no way for the player to determine this without trial and error.
    • The order of doing things in Karnak temple complex is confusing without a guide at hand. Going in blind, it can turn into hours of going back and forth, especially since it's the first time interconnected levels are used, without any warning.
  • The Hero Dies: The game shockingly ends with apparent demise of Miss Croft under tons of debris.
  • Healthy Green, Harmful Red: The health bar is back into gradient, ranging from green (full) to red (low).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Azizas, the wounded Egyptian sergeant for whom Lara runs few tasks in exchange for explosives to defeat the dragon. In the end, he drives a truck full of them right into the beast.
  • History Repeats: In an odd case, this ultimately happens to Lara of all people. Her taking to heart Von Croy's "Disrespect is the route to carelessness" is what had her actually be right about removing the Iris being a bad idea, which Von Croy found out after being buried alive. Cue modern day and it's Lara who simply nabs the Amulet of Horus without really knowing what she was grabbing, carelessly releasing Seth and nearly dooming the world. Like her mentor, this actually results in her getting buried alive in a tomb.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Lara's in-game model has noticeably more detailed and larger breasts with actual cleavage visible for the first time in the series.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Von Croy tells a young Lara Croft that disrespect is the root to carelessness and that they should respect the tombs they explore. Once the duo reaches the Iris, Von Croy ditches his lesson as he tries to claim his prize. Lara calls him out on it.
    • Ironically enough, as mentioned above, Lara is this as well, as she doesn't follow the same ideal of respecting tombs and treasures like she did in her youth, causing her to essentially trigger a series of unfortunate events which end with her being trapped in a tomb like her mentor did.
  • Iconic Item: Lara getting her backpack from the body of a much less fortunate tomb raider in Cambodia.
  • Immune to Bullets: While this entry to the franchise is infamous for countless outright immortal enemies that keep on chasing Lara, most of those you can "kill", even if you require explosives to do so—bullets will only slow them down. So until reaching at least "Desert Railroad", where the grenade launcher is hidden as one of the secrets, mummies and alike can't be dropped either.
  • Indy Ploy: Seth destroyed the only means to re-seal him back in a specially designed sarcophagus? How about locking him in a slightly bigger can, Miss Croft?
  • Instant-Win Condition: Crossing the trigger to end a level is an instant win for the player, regardless of Lara's condition or any enemies that may be giving chase. This is taken to particularly Egregious levels by the train level, where you can finish the level by killing yourself as long as Lara crosses the end trigger in mid-air. In case of interconnected levels, this means all enemies chasing Lara will stay in the previous level and upon return, will (depending on the game version) either vanish or be re-positioned into their original location.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: This occurs occasionally in Cairo, mostly due to Lara's inexplicable inability to enter/exit crawlspaces one block above the ground, instead of two. In the first case, she needs to backtrack through the entire level to open a trapdoor, then jump up from below to enter the crawlspace; in the second case, she needs to backtrack through a dangerous set of high-pressure steam pipes. It rivals Lara's inability to retrieve the second fuse in the first game's Natla's Mines.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Intoxication Mechanic: Getting poisoned in this game causes Lara to hallucinate, represented by the screen blurring and wavering until she heals herself. Oddly, her movement isn't impaired at all—it's just a camera effect.
    • A minor example is the flash grenades—they explode with a bright flash of white light that stuns all human enemies and the player, unless they hide from the blast. Justified, since that's their purpose.
  • Invincible Minor Mook: The bulls in the Guardian of Semerkhet, Trenches, and Underneath the Sphinx levels cannot be killed. The Minotaur in Chambers of Tulun is another example of this (although with some clever positioning of the motorcycle, it can be run over and killed instantly).
  • Ironic Echo: In the tutorial, Von Croy tells Lara, "Disrespect is route to carelessness." In the cutscene at the end of level 2, Lara repeats the line back to Von Croy when he tells her to pull a lever.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Mutual between Lara and Azizas by their final meeting.
  • Joke Item:
    • Von Croy's broken glasses can be picked up at one point, but they serve absolutely no purpose except to clutter up the inventory, and they can't be discarded.
    • In Pharos, Temple of Isis, Lara needs to find four Black Beetle artifacts to activate a mechanism. However, some of the pickups aren't Black Beetles, but Broken Beetles that are completely useless. Furthermore, the game punishes the player for falling for the broken ones by sending a swarm of live beetles after Lara.
  • Just Train Wrong: Just about the only thing correct about the Desert Railroad level is that the train runs on tracks. It exceeds every single loading gauge worldwide and has weird "in-line" bogeys for each railnote . The steam engine has no tender and is not a tank engine so there's no explanation where the coal and water is being stored. Using a lever the cars can be uncoupled during the ride which is wrong on about 50 different levelsnote . And if you pay a bit more attention to the engine in the cutscene/next level, you'll notice it has only one driven wheel set. Also it would be impossible to shimmy the side of a platform car for anyone taller than three feet. At least not without breaking their legs against the speeding ground. On top of that the constant swaying and shaking of a speeding train would render it practically impossible to keep your grip on the ledge.
  • Justified Tutorial: Core Design decided to skip Croft Manor free-roaming in favour of plot-related first two levels, taking place in Lara's youth, where she is assisting famous Adventurer Archaeologist Werner Von Croy during an expedition to uncharted section of Angkor Wat. Instead of training room, Von Croy plays as a mentor, instructing Lara how to approach new challenges.
  • The Key Is Behind the Lock: One of the puzzles requires to get the keys from behind the bars with broom handle and cloak hook, point-and-click style.
  • Kill It with Water: Those bloody fire spirits can easily set Lara on fire, and they can only be extinguished by luring them into a pool of water.
  • Kneel Before Zod:
    Seth: Come forth and you may bow before your god before he extinguishes your worthless life.
  • Landmark of Lore: The plot takes Lara around half of the Egypt, visiting all the famous ruins and finding in them ancient, magical artifacts needed to reseal Seth back in his prison.
  • The Last Title: The second part of the title.
  • Left for Dead: A recurring theme in this game.
  • Level in Boss Clothing: The "battle" against Seth amounts to this. He's completely invulnerable to Lara's attacks; all she can do is climb back out of the summoning chamber and use the Amulet of Horus to seal Seth inside the shaft.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: A minor one occurs in the Tomb of Semerkhet. Lara needs to block the light from hitting the mirrors.
  • Locomotive Level: Lara boards a freight train to Alexandria after posing as a mook. Not content to sit back and enjoy her ride, she manages to hop several cars, murder everyone on board, find a crowbar, and use it to derail all the cars except for the locomotive. Of course, things don't go smoothly after Von Croy sends ninjas after her.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Fittingly, the game of senet in the Temple of Semerkhet is this. Annoyingly so, as several of the level's secrets require you to lose the game, which is just as much luck-based as is winning!
  • Magic Mirror:
    • One exists in the strange, sadistic funhouse in the Coastal Village. The room it appears in is filled with hidden spike pits, and the only way to tell where they are is to look at the mirror on the other side of the room. Even the room's reward (the crossbow) is invisible and must be picked up while lined up with the reflection.
    • Another one occurs later in Alexandria - this time, it forms the wall of an underwater room. There is a fake opening on the roof of the room that can only be seen in the mirror's reflection. It gets a little strange when Lara breaks the surface and appears to be treading dirt.
  • Magikarp Power: Selection of crossbow bolts include: normal ones with stopping power of single shot from basic pistols, those spiked with poison, slowly turning living enemies into One-Hit-Point Wonder and then there are explosive tips, able to obliterate pretty much everything that can be obliterated with a single shot at unlimited range.
  • Marathon Level: Countless, especially since many of them are interconnected and you can (and often must) travel back and forth.
    • "The Burial Chamber" follows the tradition set by Tomb Raider III, giving a long and elaborate ruin complex as second level.
    • Karnak temple complex is the first place where interconnected levels show up and marks the end of the early game. This is the moment where many players just drop the game out of frustration.
  • Meaningful Name: The game's subtitle, The Last Revelation, signifies Lara's final discovery/adventure due to her being buried alive at the end of the game. Becomes an Artifact Title since Lara returns alive and well in a future game.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: A rattle snake in Egypt. Especially strange, since it's only present in the opening FMV cutscene, which would take additional rendering to make.
  • Mouth Flaps: This was the first game in the series to stop using Head Bob and instead added (crude) mouth movement during cutscenes based on the game engine.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Congratulations Lara for unsealing the can containing a wrathful God of Chaos. We all hope you enjoyed that big shiny ankh! Oh, wait, that's right—you didn't even get to keep it, since you had to use it in the end to seal him back in a tomb so the entire world wouldn't get destroyed. At least you got some nice sight-seeing in, so it was all worth it, right? Saw some gods? Got a nice Near-Death Experience and PTSD? Yeah, didn't think so either. Talk about it being All for Nothing.
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • A subtle one. If you use the level skip code to breeze through the game, you will hit a snag after you skip the Coastal Ruins level, as the next level the game loads is Pharos, Temple of Isis. Since you start underwater facing west, it seems impossible to do the level skip code (which requires you to face exactly north, and is usually accomplished by grabbing a ledge that faces north), so a novice's first instinct is to swim to the top of the cavern, enter the cave and slide down, with the idea that they can load the next level and then resume skipping levels from there. Problem is, this path takes you back to Coastal Ruins (albeit a different section of it), and trying to level skip from here puts you back at Pharos, Temple of Isis. It's still possible to skip past Pharos, Temple of Isis, but it's not apparent at first: You have to pull yourself out of the water into the aforementioned cavern, then drop back into the water and, without touching the directional buttons, perform an underwater roll to face yourself directly north. Now the level skip code will work, and allow you to advance to Temple of Poseidon.
    • Due to the game's "interconnected levels" motif, certain items (such as keys necessary to advance) will not be in your inventory if you use the level skip code, since they carry over from level to level if not used. You have to remember to enter another code, which gives you all the items in the game, for the level skip to be of any value.
  • Noob Bridge:
    • Karnak temple complex introduces interconnected levels without any warning. This can not only confuse new players, but was also able to surprise veterans of the franchise. No Tomb Raider before had such mechanics and end of level meant full completion of it, with no back-tracking or shortcuts. Suffice to say, many people stopped playing the game at this point.
    • In the PC version, due to changes in how the inventory works, to leave the game you have to press P on the keyboard. In the previous three games game options were accessed via entering the inventory with Escape, then scrolling down. As trivial as it sounds, this wasn't explained anywhere, forcing a lot of players to simply kill Lara to get to the main menu before the P button was figured out and word spread.
  • Not Completely Useless: Normal crossbow bolts are one of the weakest type of ammo in the whole game - it's equal to a single shot from the basic pistols, but unlike the basic pistols, the bolts aren't unlimited. Their main use? Whenever there is some mechanism or similar to be shot from afar.
  • On Three:
    Werner Von Croy: On the count of three. One... Two...
  • One-Hit Polykill: The upgraded grenades, which are clusters of small explosive charges, able to clean whole rooms full of enemies. There are about eight of them in the entire game and you will need every single one of them to turn certain moments from insanely hard to simply hard.
  • Only Friend: This game introduced Jean-Yves, Lara's first real friend who cares for her safety and helps her with his research. Thus far in the series, he's her only one; in previous games, nearly all NPC's were hell-bent on riddling Lara with bullets or had rather little screen time.
  • Recycled Premise: Subverted. Despite being very close to The Mummy in terms of general plot and various elements, the game was made separately. The Last Revelation was already in production when marketing for the film started and in very advanced stages of it when the film premiered. Even the location was picked solely because of how popular the Egypt sections of TR1 were among the player base. Still, many players and reviewers noted similarities in rather unfavourable way.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A visible sign of demonic possession. This also covers different reanimated enemies.
  • Redemption Quest:
    • Serving as the driving force behind the plot - for almost the whole game Lara is trying to reseal Seth, whom she accidentally unleashed from his prison. And doing so before he turns the world into literal hell.
    • Things only get more messed up when Von Croy gets involved and tries to settle a score for an old grudge against Lara.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Short from explosives, the revolver is the most powerful weapon in the whole game, working as a reliable Hand Cannon able to put down most killable enemies in less than four shots at quite a long range. And you can combine it with a scope, turning it into crude, but extremely useful Sniper Pistol.
  • Save-Game Limits: While it's possible to save at any moment, there is a limited amount of save slots in all versions of the game, with the PS1 and Dreamcast releases standing out the most. Those ports allow one level save per two memory card blocks in the PlayStation version (and similarly, each save file on the Dreamcast version is a whopping 33 blocks), as opposed to the first three games where every completed level is playable from the main menu. This means that if you want to replay levels after you beat them, prepare to sacrifice a lot of memory cards to do so. The PC version is a lot more forgiving on this, allowing you to save whenever you want, but it still has limited slots—generous at first sight, yet still too few to save at the start of every single level, in case you wanted to replay just one; but considering exactly how long this game is (with a whopping 35 levels, and that's not counting the need to go back and forth between them), that's not surprising.
  • Scary Scorpions: In two variations - barely harmful, normal scorpions, whose venom only influence the camera for a short while... and their bigger brothers, the size of a horse and ready to kill everything unfortunate enough to stand in their way.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Each easy level is treated like a rare, celebration-worthy moment, after which the game becomes much harder. It is generally even harder than the infamously difficult Tomb Raider III, but there is no Checkpoint Starvation and the games opens with two enemy-free tutorial levels, giving the false impression that it's easier than the last time. After finishing said prologue levels, the game takes no prisoners, even in more toned moments: countless enemies that can't be killed, but are able to drop Lara on the spot; timed sequences requiring perfect execution; secret collections being a vital part of ammo and weapons management; general application of survival horror scarcity in an action adventure game and a plethora of enemies Made of Iron. As a cherry topping, multiple levels are interconnected, creating massive labyrinths with no indication where and how to progress—you can "finish" a level only to realise you simply entered a new location without the tools necessary to penetrate it and then get lost on the return trip, entering yet another level you don't have the means to progress in so far (this can start as soon as the 7th). Any level that is easy to navigate and with countless, but human enemies is treated like a godsend. They usually indicate that the next three to five levels will make you cry for a walkthrough.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Seth was entombed for centuries. And then Lara decided to pick up the artifact sealing him inside. She realised the consequences when it was way too late to just put the ankh key back.
  • Sentry Gun: Many of these are present in Cairo and will not hesitate to unload a barrage of bullets (or possibly a stream of fire) as soon as Lara comes within range. In at least two situations, it is impossible to avoid taking damage from them. She will need to find a way to sneak up behind them and target the red symbol on their back with either the revolver or crossbow equipped with the laser sight; this will instantly destroy them.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: This instalment introduced ammo types. In case of shotgun standard shells they can kill the same human enemy with two shots at point blank, six at medium range and between ten to twelve at maximum range, depending on how unlucky you get with the spread.
  • Shown Their Work: An amazingly large amount of trivia from Egyptian Mythology was used for both the main plot and specific puzzles. Numerous famous locations were utilised as a basis for the levels, rendered as close as possible with the limited capabilities of the engine. What makes it all that more impressive is how it was achieved with extensive book reading and watching albums of Egyptian art, since the game was made in the infancy stage of the internet.
  • Spikes of Doom: They're still everywhere, as usual. For some reason, it's no longer possible to safely walk through them, so Lara needs to avoid them altogether.
  • Spinventory: This time, it's not a Ring Menu anymore. It still loops while scrolling and is used just like the previous games' version, but visually it's now a simple side-scrolling list of items. Some objects can now be combined to form others, such as relic pieces, or the Laser Sight with certain weapons.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: This was the first instalment in the series to forgo the sequel numbering scheme established by the previous two games, however this change wasn't universal: the game was released in Germany and Japan with the number intact, and the PlayStation version's save icon still referred to it as "Tomb Raider IV".
  • Summon Bigger Fish: After accidentally releasing Seth free from his eternal prison, Lara's only hope is to summon Horus, so he can seal Seth again.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Invoked by Von Croy if Lara beats him to the resting place of the Iris artifact.
    Von Croy: And so, the pupil excels the master. I congratulate you on your agility. Take your prize from the plinth; you have earned it.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity:
    • At the very start of the game proper there is a shotgun right in the starting location, in plain sight. You will need it. You will need it really, really bad.
    • If not picked as a secret during the "Desert Railroad" level, the grenade gun can be obtained much, much later in the game, where it will be laying in plain sight, but reaching this point of the game without the gun is quite a feat.
  • 3 + 5 = 4: Used in multiple puzzles during the Temple of Horus, the final level, requiring different amounts of water each time. As an allusion to Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife, Lara has to use a scale with proper measures to prove that she's worthy... or she will unleash Ammit from her cage.
  • Tone Shift: After three games that were in the vibe of Indiana Jones, with an openly pulp plot and exotic locations all over the world, this one is somewhere between the original and the then-recent remake of The Mummy and much more darker in overall tone. The story itself is more close to dark modern fantasy than the classic pulp adventure.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The revolver stands out as it's nearly as powerful as the Desert Eagle in the previous game, and can be manually aimed with the laser sight. Revolver ammo is really scarce compared to any other standard ammo.
    • Subverted in case of all kinds and types of explosives. They are rare, but they are also integral part of dealing with otherwise unkillable enemies.
  • Trick Shot Puzzle: The main use of laser sight and normal bolts for crossbow—their actual combat use is almost impossible, the latter because of lacking stopping power and the former because of controls.
  • Two Roads Before You: In the tutorial level, Von Croy gives Lara the choice of the "Path of the Heretical" or the "Route of the Virtuous". Both lead to the same level end, but one is slightly more difficult than the other.
  • The Undead: Mummies of the Ancient Egyptians, skeletons of Greek Hoplites, reanimated corpses of crusaders... just name it.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: When climbing down the ladder to the final chamber in Temple of Horus it is possible to back-flip off the ladder into the room with the hatch supposed to seal Seth in the chamber and curious secret-hunting players probably will do so. Very soon they'll discover it is impossible to get back on the ladder no matter what you try. Woe betide you if you don't have a conveniently saved game available.
  • Unique Enemy: Quite a few of these, but nothing beats hammerhead shark. At least other unique enemies are supernatural in nature - this one is just a regular shark. It is also the only hammerhead shark to date to appear in any of the Tomb Raider games.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: In Giza, Lara encounters a soldier tussling with, and losing against, a giant scorpion. If she manages to destroy the creature before it kills the soldier, he will thank her and give her both the Soldier's Keys and the Armory Key, allowing her to get a secret later on.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Just like in previous games, Lara can kill most of her allies. Sometimes she'll be rewarded with ammo for various weapons.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • In order to get all 70 secrets, one has to purposely lose the Senet Game in the Tomb of Semerkhet.
    • Same applies to the prologue. If you collected all eight secrets from the first level, the race in the second is considerably harder to win.
  • The Von Trope Family: Werner Von Croy.
  • Walk on Water: One of the puzzles requires from player to activate magic mechanism that allows to walk on water over certain pool and get to otherwise unreachable location.
  • We Can Rule Together: Von Croy/Seth offered this to Lara.
  • We Used to Be Friends: According to the manual, Lara was on good terms with Von Croy at first. By the time the game starts in Cambodia, however, they're already bickering somewhat, though it's mostly good-natured banter until they arrive at the Iris and Lara thinks they should leave the artifact alone. After Von Croy returns from being trapped under the ruins, however, he bears a deep grudge against Lara, possibly because he thinks she abandoned him to save her own skin; even though from our point of view it's clear Lara is distressed at Von Croy's predicament, but simply realizes there is no way she can both save him and get out of the rapidly-closing tomb herself—and even if she did manage to save him, there didn't appear to be any other way out. It's enough for them to antagonize each other completely, and eventually cause him to combine with Seth.note 
  • Your Size May Vary: Due to how the jumping and climbing mechanic is dependent on exact character proportions the teen Lara is as tall as an adult. To make her look younger her head is made bigger which looks rather weird in proximity of other humans.

Alternative Title(s): Tomb Raider Last Revelation