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Tomb Raider 4 - The Last Revelation

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is the fourth video game in the Tomb Raider series. It was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive. It was released on PC, PlayStation and eventually to the Sega Dreamcast with exclusive graphical and sound enhancements.

Storyline

The story begins with Lara Croft's origins as a teenaged tomb raider, accompanied by her then mentor, Werner Von Croy. They travel to the temple of Angkor Wat, Cambodia in the hope of finding the mystical "Iris." However, the trip is cut short by an accident where Lara is forced to abandon her companion, whom she believes perished, in order to save her own life. Back in the current year in which the game is set (1999), Lara finds herself in Egypt (this is the only game in the series to keep the globehopping to a minimum; aside from the prequel level the entire game takes place in one country), Lara Croft uncovers an ancient tomb where a fearsome Egyptian God Set was once imprisoned. She unwittingly unleashes him and finds herself in a deadly race against time to restore the god to his resting place before an apocalypse befalls Earth. Unfortunately, Von Croy becomes Lara's new rival as he is possessed by Set himself and he makes things considerably more difficult. Lara travels across Egypt to collect the pieces of Horus' armour in order to defeat Set. They are found in Pharos, Temple of Isis, Temple of Poseidon and Cleopatra's Palaces. She combines them (with the Amulet of Horus) in the Temple of Horus to finally defeat her enemy. However before Horus can be summoned, Set arrives and destroys the armour, knocking the amulet into the water. Lara quickly recovers it and exits the Temple sealing the entrance shut with the amulet. She must leave it in place to keep Set imprisoned for eternity. As she reaches the exit of the temple, injured and exhausted, she is confronted by Von Croy. Fearful that he may still be possessed she is reluctant to hold onto his outstretched hands and so she falls into the darkness beneath the collapsing temple.

Gameplay

Features

The game features many new moves. Lara can now grab hold of ropes dangling from the ceiling and swing from them. These can be used to cross large gaps. She can climb up and down ropes and poles also. She can now shimmy around corners unlike previous titles.

Lara herself in this installment has a smoother, more refined appearance prior to the previous instalments. This is due to moving and flexible joints between meshes, creating a more realistic approach to the heroine.

In this game, Lara has the ability to return to previous levels, with some levels taking place in a non-linear order. She also has the option of taking different routes through some of the levels, each with their own set of challenges.

Instead of the previously used "item ring", the inventory screen places the items into a "line." There is also a compass in the lower left hand corner of the inventory screen, but it is only important to activate cheats or to help solve a puzzle in the Citadel level.

Also, when in the inventory, some items will have the word "combine" in its menu. Selecting it will cause a second item line to appear. The player must then select an item to combine it with to form a new item.

A new weapon, the revolver, can be used in this game. Though it does not appear until late in the game, it is very powerful and effective at stopping enemies. When combined with the laser sight, which lights a red dot at the point where the bullet will strike, the player can use it to shoot specific small targets. The player can also attach the laser sight to the crossbow.

Characters

Lara unwittingly unleashes the god Set and finds herself in a deadly race against time to restore the god to his resting place before an apocalypse befalls Earth. The following characters are featured in the game:

  • Lara Croft
  • Werner Von Croy
  • Jean-Yves: An archaeologist and friend of Lara, whose thorough knowledge of Ancient Egypt is of great help to her.
  • Semerkhet: A high priest of the Egyptian sun god Horus. He helped Horus in imprisoning the god of evil, Set, and leaves many warnings behind in manuscripts for those who may inadvertently free him, including details of how to stop Set. Semerkhet appears through various FMV sequences in the game and provides voice-overs for some of the cut scenes.
  • Ahmed: Hired by Lara as a guide to explore the tomb of Set with her, he soon reveals his true colours as he tries to steal the Amulet of Horus from her. After a high speed chase through the Egyptian desert, it is revealed he is employed by Werner Von Croy. After he escapes the tomb of Semerkhet in Karnak, Lara sneaks up to him demanding to know where Von Croy is headed. He points her to Alexandria and Lara knocks him out. As she sneaks on-board a train, Ahmed is killed by a guardian monster in Semerkhet's tomb
  • Sergeant Azizus: Although badly wounded, he shows Lara how to deal with the hideous creature guarding the entrance to the Citadel. He appears in several cut scenes in the Cairo levels.
  • Set (also spelled Seth): The Egyptian God of Chaos and Destruction, who is inadvertently released by Lara. He reincarnates himself as Werner Von Croy in order to prevent Lara from invoking his enemy, Horus.
  • Horus: The Egyptian God of the Sky, who imprisoned Set and sealed his tomb. It is known that he will return, equipped with his armour and amulet to imprison Set once more for all eternity.

Locations

Cambodia

Taking place in 1984, a young Lara accompanies renowned archaeologist Werner Von Croy to Cambodia to uncover the Iris. This stage serves as the training level, replacing Lara's Home from previous games. It also introduces the rivalry between Von Croy and Lara. The stage has two levels: Angkor Wat and Race for the Iris.

Valley of the Kings

In the present day (2000), Lara and a companion enter the Valley of the Kings to locate the Amulet of Horus, inside the Tomb of Set. After finding the amulet, Lara discovers her guide is an employee of Von Croy, and she chases him through the Valley of the Kings and across KV5. This stage has four levels: The Tomb of Set, Burial Chambers, Valley of the Kings and KV5.

The Temple of Karnak

Lara enters the Temple of Karnak to find the tomb of Semerkhet, to learn more about why Set was buried beneath the Valley of the Kings. Von Croy is not far behind, and he takes the Amulet of Horus as Lara finds the Tomb of Semerkhet. After escaping from the tomb, Lara then finds that Von Croy is headed to Alexandria to find the Armour of Horus. This stage has six levels: Temple of Karnak, The Great Hypostyle Hall, Sacred Lake, Tomb of Semerkhet, Guardian of Semerkhet and Desert Railroad.

Alexandria

After stowing away on Von Croy's train as is heads for Alexandria, Lara meets up with Jean-Yves to discuss where to find the Armour of Horus. The Armour is scattered in the ruins situated on the coastline of Alexandria: inside catacombs, in a hidden temple dedicated to Poseidon, and inside a library long thought to have been destroyed, as well as inside the palaces of Cleopatra. This stage contains eight levels: Alexandria, Coastal Ruins, Catacombs, Temple of Poseidon, The Lost Library, The Hall of Demetrius, The Temple of Isis and Cleopatra's Palaces.

Cairo

After learning that Von Croy has kidnapped Jean-Yves in an effort to make Lara hand over the Armour of Horus, Lara travels to Cairo to gain entry to an ancient Citadel, meeting military forces along the way who explain that various inexplicable things have happened, such as the appearance of an ancient dragon creature outside the Citadel gate. Inside the Citadel, Lara learns that Set has possessed Von Croy, and she retrieves the Amulet of Horus. This stage contains six levels: City of the Dead, Trenches, Chambers of Tulun, Street Bazaar, Citadel Gate and Citadel.

Giza

Lara heads to the Giza complex to awaken Horus, the only one said to be able to defeat Set. Von Croy is once again not far behind her, but Lara manages to keep one step ahead. Once she gains entry to the Great Pyramid, she opens the Temple of Horus, and places the Armour of Horus and Amulet of Horus on a statue of Horus to summon the Sky God. However, Set appears, destroying the statue and the Armour, and forcing Lara to retreat, locking Set inside the Pyramid as it begins to collapse. The final stage of the game includes nine levels: The Sphinx Complex, Underneath the Sphinx, Menkaure's Pyramid, Inside Menkaure's Pyramid, The Mastabas, The Great Pyramid, Inside the Great Pyramid, and Temple of Horus (which is split into two levels)

Reception

Upon its release, The Last Revelation received highly positive reviews. The PlayStation version holds a score of 79.23%, the PC version has 75.07%, and the Dreamcast version holds a disappointing 62.95%, all on Game Rankings. GameZone gave the game an 8.7/10 and rounded off their review by saying "This is a title that will appeal to the role-playing adventurer for its sheer entertainment value." IGN gave the game a "Decent" rating and awarded it a 7.0/10. They said "playing through TLR feels like the gaming equivalent of dusting off old photos and staring at the faded pictures." Many regard it as one of the better Tomb Raider sequels, including the Official UK PlayStation Magazine who said Revelation was "An atmospheric, beautiful, wonderfully crafted game" and gave it a 10/10 score.

The Times Exclusive

The Times, in association with Core Design, designed a one-off special level to celebrate the finding of Tutankhamen's Tomb. Sir Peter Stothard, a British newspaper editor, "Editor of The Times" on that time, is featured as a character briefly in the first scene of this expansion.

Voice Actress

Jonell Elliott replaced Judith Gibbins as the voice of Lara Croft. She would voice Lara over the next two instalments before Keeley Hawes took over in Tomb Raider: Legend. Judith Gibbins voiced Lara in both Tomb Raider II & Tomb Raider III.

Featured Images

Tomb Raider Games

Tomb Raider (1996) · Unfinished Business (1998) · Tomb Raider II (1997) · The Golden Mask (1999) · Tomb Raider III (1998) · The Lost Artifact (2000) · The Last Revelation (1999) · The Times (1999) · Chronicles (2000) · The Angel of Darkness (2003) · Legend (2006) · Anniversary (2007) · Underworld (2008) · Beneath the Ashes (2009) · Lara's Shadow (2009) · Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (2010)

Tomb Raider Movies

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) · The Cradle Of Life (2003)