Tomb Raider Chronicles
|Tomb Raider V|
|Release Date||November 2000|
|Platforms||PC, Mac, PlayStation, Dreamcast|
|Number of Levels||13|
|The Last Revelation||Tomb Raider V||The Angel of Darkness|
Tomb Raider Chronicles is the fifth game in the Tomb Raider Series, and the last of the Tomb Raider Classic games. The game consists of four sections, each dedicated to an adventure from Lara's past taking place at different locations around the globe. It has no expansions, however the original release was accompanied by a Level Editor based on the tr4 engine. The game, which was developed by Core Design, was released in November 2000 for PC, Mac, PlayStation and Dreamcast. (See also: Tomb Raider Chronicles Release Dates) It sold less than 2 Million copies and was the title with the weakest sales of the series till Tomb Raider Anniversary. 
A memorial service held in Lara's honour, while she's missing in Egypt, brings three of her friends - the butler Winston, Father Patrick Dunstan and Charles Kane - together to tell stories of her past.
The game is divided into thirteen levels in four sections, with each section taking place at a different location:
- In the study of Croft Manor Charles Kane picks up the Philosopher's Stone, triggering the memory of Lara's exploration of Rome in the men's minds. Winston begins telling the story.
- Lara's adventure begins in the opera house of Rome where she meets with Larson Conway to exchange the Mercury Stone for money. Larson and Pierre DuPont try to screw her over but she manages to escape with the stone. She then sets out to find the remaining God Stones for the Philosopher's Gate, hidden throughout Rome, to claim the Philosopher's Stone residing behind the gate.
- The second memory begins with Charles Kane remarking that Lara, even though she displayed "not entirely courteous behaviour" towards some relics, she knew when "some things [...] are best left to their slumber". A picture of a German Submarine near the fireplace was the only trophy from Lara's search for the Spear of Destiny.
- Lara's adventure begins at the Zapadnaya Litsa port in Russia, at the Barents Sea. Charles briefs her on the situation. The salvage operation of a sunken German submarine believed to carry the Spear of Destiny is sponsored by a Russian crime organization consisting of highly trained mercenaries. They have bought the allegiance of a Russian admiral and his nuclear sub stationed at Zapadnaya Litsa.
- Father Dunstan begins telling the story of a 16-year-old Lara living with Winston's family in Connussie while Croft Manor was undergoing renovation.
- When Lara overhears Winston and Father Dunstan talk about strange apparitions out at the Black Isle, she decides to come along when the Father sets off in his boat to explore the island. On the island Lara is confronted with demons of different sizes. During the first part of the adventure Lara is discovered by the Father, who escorts her to the chapel, a safe place, as he believed. It turns out otherwise and Lara continues her adventure by escaping from the church and the Labyrinth resulting in her arriving at the Old Mill where the demon Verdilet roams.
Features and Gameplay
The game uses the same engine that created Tomb Raider IV The Last Revelation. Lara can perform all the moves from the previous games, and a few new ones: tightrope walk, swinging on horizontal bars, a hand-to-hand stealth attack and rolling out of crawlspaces. The controls also have not changed much.
The only weapon to be added to Lara's arsenal is the grappling gun which is only used twice in the game. The HK Gun is not a new weapon, but rather an upgrade of the MP5. Graphics are slightly improved, with better reflections off Lara's catsuit, a new outfit which Lara wears later in the game.
The only unique essence about Chronicles is the story telling mode which it adopts, the short but snappy stories do not intertwine with each other. Larson and Pierre Du Pont make a second appearance giving us some chronological order to the adventures that take place. Along with Chronicles, comes the Level Editor, a chance for players to edit rooms and create their own obstacles, then test them using Lara.
Again Croft Mansion does not appear in the game. Instead, a short obstacle and training course disguised as a backstage area of an opera house makes an appearance at the beginning of the level Streets of Rome.
The PC version of this game does not feature any regular cheats.
Dangers and Obstacles
Lara's Equipment & Finds
In Rome and Russia Lara will be carrying her regular Dual Pistols with unlimited Ammo, with more weapons to be found throughout each adventure. On the Black Isle in Ireland young Lara will not carry any weapons and has to rely on torches to scare off enemies. When infiltrating the VCI Headquarters Lara will carry a HK Gun which can be switched between three modes of operation.
A grappling gun, which is rather a tool than a weapon can be found in the VCI section. It is used to attach dangling ropes to ceiling grates.
Development and Reception
- Programmers: Martin Gibbins, Derek Leigh-Gilchrist
- AI Programming: Tom Scutt
- Animators: Phil Chapman, Jerr O'Carroll
- Level Designers: Andrea Cordella, Richard Morton, Andy Sandham, Joby Wood
- Additional Artwork: Damon Godley, John Lilley
- Music: Peter Connelly
- Original Story: Richard Morton, Andy Sandham
- Executive Producers: Jeremy H. Smith, Adrian Smith
- Windows 95/98/00 compatible hardware
- 16 Mb RAM
- Pentium 266 MHz
- 4x CD-ROM Drive
- 32 Mb RAM
- 300 Mb free disk space
- Minimum accuracy for display driver 1024 x 768, 16 bit
- ↑ Track Record of Eidos Franchises, Tomb Raider: http://wikiraider.com/index.php/File:Salesnumbers.jpg
- ↑ Richard Morton, level designer at Core Design http://trinity.westhost.com/tomb/chronicles/08w.html#notes