Tomb Raider

aka: TR1, Tomb Raider I, Tomb Raider en vedette Lara Croft, Tomb Raider featuring Lara Croft, Tomb Raider starring Lara Croft, Tomb Raiders
DOS Specs [ all ]
See Also

Description official descriptions

Lara Croft is a Tomb Raider, an archaeologist who explores ancient sites in search of valuable artifacts, who is hired to retrieve an artifact from a tomb in Peru, which turns out to be one of three parts of the Atlantean Scion. Soon betrayed by her employer, Lara Croft travels to Greece, Rome and Egypt to recover the other parts before this powerful device falls into the wrong hands.

Tomb Raider is a 3D action game with platforming and puzzle-solving elements, in which players control Lara Croft from a third-person perspective. The camera follows Lara as she climbs, jumps, and swims through detailed environs overcoming environmental obstacles and deadly fauna. Moving through levels often involves finding spots where Lara can climb, looking for spots where Lara can use her acrobatic ability, and sliding blocks and pushing levers to solve puzzles and open passageways.

Lara is armed with twin pistols with infinite ammunition, but she can pick up higher caliber weapons to take on deadlier human opponents. Lara also comes across restorative health packs and has a compass with which she can orient herself. Lara’s opponents include animals, gunmen, as well as primeval and supernatural beings. Careful explorers can also find secret areas and avoid traps.


  • トゥームレイダース - Japanese spelling
  • 古墓丽影 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 古墓奇兵 - Traditional Chinese spelling

Groups +




See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (DOS version)

67 People (43 developers, 24 thanks) · View all

Lead Programmer
Lead Graphic Artist
Graphic Artists
Additional Programming
Additional Artwork
Sound effects
Original Concept
Executive Producer
Voice talents (FR)
[ full credits ]



Average score: 85% (based on 70 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 314 ratings with 14 reviews)

Innovative Action Adventure title for the time.....still is in many ways

The Good
When i first played this game back in 1997, it represented the "quantum leap" that next generation gaming promised (at the time) me. The 3D world it provided was begging to be explored.....2D had died with the 16bit era (for the time being)

Onto the review (!). TR basically involves the adventures of a young lady called Lara Croft, who is on a quest to find the Arc of Scion, an ancient artifact. The player travels through 4 different locales solving basic puzzles, fighting man and beast, engaging in platform based action, and exploring for items. Each world is broken into 3 or so sub levels. The locales are nicely varied, and the story is great, however the acting not so great :)

By far the strongest aspect of TR are the environments: They possess a great sense of mystery and wonder, and you cant wait to reveal the next cavernous area or underwater pool. Swimming down into a dark, deep pool is awesome! It should be mentioned that the sense of space is good despite the draw distance being quite small. The makers cleverly blacked out the far distance, which helps to increase the feel of "unfolding" a cave or cavern. It works very well. Overall, the sense of exploration is great. I have yet to find a game since which peaks my desire for finding out what is around the next corner, as what TR did. There is a real "abandoned" mood to a lot of the areas, which some people may find boring, but since the title IS "Tomb Raider", i myself believe tombs should be uninhabited. The use of music is limited to key areas of the game, and this minimalism works a treat, serving to enhance the eerie feel of the levels. Later TR titles got a little more mainstream with miltary zones, cities etc, which is the prime reason my interest decreased with these ,as they just felt like the series trying to be more "Action" based, rather than "Action Adventure"

One last note, which some will disagree on, is the use of fixed save positions. I LIKE this, because getting to the next one requires patience and discipline, and not being able to save every step makes it a bit harder overall. Maybe this is because i grew up in the era of 3 lives and no continues, but nothing beats conquering a hard play area after multiple attempts in ANY game.

Overall, a genre defining game which no serious game fan should not know about, nor appreciate for its revolutionary design and play mechanics

The Bad
The controls. By far the most annoying aspect to this game is the clunky control system. Lara moves nothing like the lithe young lady she is portrayed as. However, we must bear in mind that at the time, the sense of freedom was great, and my opinion in born out of being spoilt in the years since with control schemes of the current generation of games.

One other aspect is the difficulty of the puzzle sections of the game. They are not overly taxing, and this was probably done to appeal to a wider audience. However, some more hardcore puzzles probably should have been included in order to find extra items etc..

Overall I Believe the control system is the games only real flaw.

The Bottom Line
Atmospheric, challenging game, with minor control issues.

PlayStation · by Anton Tadich (2) · 2007

Nicely atmosphere, nice graphics... and sense of adventure.

The Good
There's a lot to like about the game. The primary thing I value about the game is the realistic level design. The structures don't really seem that realistic if you start really thinking about them, but when looked at really close, they seem quite breathtaking. The places have very good atmosphere and graphical style, and while the levels generally seem to be pipe-running, at least the level structure is believable. The beginning of the game is a good example: Caves that gradually turn into an ancient city. Caves look like caves. Ancient city looks like an ancient city or something.

The music, or lack of it, is a good example of well-done ambience. Not really game music genre I really appreciate except in the game itself, but then again, so is ambient music in general. In general, the game has really nice atmosphere and pretty well-done pacing. And levels generally tend to be the right size or something.

The Bad
I think the PC version had this cool, very PC-like feature of me being able to save wherever the heck I wanted to. Not sure if this was true or not, but the fact is, the Playstation version has save points in middle of the level and between levels. One of the reasons I kind of dislike about consoles... grr. I hate, hate, hate save points.

The controls seem to be pretty good, quite intuitive, and not really often leave me in trouble, but often they're also not good enough. Not awful, but could be better. Sometimes, I completely manage to mess up a firefight. Tricky jump things are nearly damn impossible to get right without training, which kind of annoys without accurate saving... Also, in these days, I'm more used to "where you point, there you go" kind of control, using left and right to turn and forward and backward to move is so... 1996. Okay, maybe it works on d-pad while direct pointing is more for analog stick. Kind of works. Kind of.

And those wolves/dogs are so sad when they die. =(

The Bottom Line
Only a few days ago, I finally got myself an used PSone. The idea, of course, was that me, as a Nintendo fan boy, could finally buy the few good games that were ever published on PS without feeling incredibly silly about my supposed loyalties. I couldn't find Final Fantasy VII or Vib Ribbon to use the console Appropriately, so I had to pick up the only good PSone game the game store still seemed to have, shining from the middle of the sea of forgotten-on-the-shelf EA Sports garbage and games cruelly aimed to part small childrens' parents and their money...

I played halfway through the game around 1996 on PC, and pretty much forgot about it until now. Now it all seems to flood back to me. Was this game ever good! There's quite a bit of really good things in it. For some reason, Zelda: The Wind Waker reminds me a lot of Tomb Raider, don't know really why, there seems to be some similar architecture and, of course, block-pushing and vaulting.

And today...? Well, the graphics aren't really that great (but there's also this fact that while the PS version definitely looks worse than the PC version, at least it works today - I can't even begin to guess how to get a DOS game running right now, much less one that uses 3DFX Glide...), some physics stuff is absurd, some puzzles aggravating (especially with this thrice-loathed save point thing), but these days, the game is still pretty much playable and quite fun, still. Definitely worth the budget price tag it seems to carry these days.

Here's a game that definitely has the Sense of Adventure thing down. I'm not really certain on what to do with all of those sequels, but the first part of the series should definitely be part of a healthy breakfast for every serious gamer. Even if you're a thick-headed fan boy/purist/elitist like me who doesn't think anything Popular could possibly be Good. Well, this game was Popular, but it also was kind of Okay, so the Opinion should Officially be "Meh" - in other words, just go play it anyway. =)

PlayStation · by WWWWolf (444) · 2005

Say what you want of Lara, but this first game was an incredible experience.

The Good
You have to give it to the guys at Core, regardless of what happened AFTER this game got released, they managed to give us a fantastic action/adventure classic that followed in on the footsteps of Prince of Persia, but gave players chance to play in a fully 3d world. Amazing! From the first moments you ran around jumpin and performing acrobatic stunts while the camera followed you around tilting and panning as you moved you knew you were watching something special. And special it would be indeed! This game pretty much created 3D action-adventure as we know it, and that's no small feat indeed.

As mentioned above, the gameplay basics follow the lead of Prince's, with the addition of some more features to cope with the added 3rd dimension (such as the auto-aiming). You can roll, jump in all directions and control your jumps easily with pre-set jumping distances and a free-look camera mode (I never understood those that said it was hard judging jumps on Tomb Raider, heck they pretty much copied Prince's model to begin with!!). Graphically speaking the game is a beauty to behold, the engine (while prone to clipping problems) handles large massive areas with virtually no problem, as well as providing some nifty effects like when you are underwater. Granted, due to the technology they didn't have any colored lightning or stuff like that to play with, but the high-resolution mode is still fairly decent by today's standards. Another high point for the game was Lara's animations, which were truly a thing of beauty. Watching Lara perform sumersaults, swan dives, and even simple stuff like the handstand or the regular walk was a joy thanks to the fluid, life-like motions. I had literally seen no better character animation at the time and even today Lara still ranks high as one of the most life-like animated characters (heck, I even loved it when you fell down and broke all her limbs from the fall ;))

Add to that some stellar level design that gave us such wondruous experiences as the lost world level (that T-Rex, KICKED ASS!!) and you have in your hands the true heir to Prince's crown.

The Bad
Well, sound-wise the game was pretty weak. There wasn't any music save for some "ambience" sounds, and Lara's grunts and moans lost it's, uhm... "appeal" and turned annoying quite easily. The action itself in the game is good, but I really got tired of shooting wildlife creatures after the first few levels, luckily they throw some humans and those weird atlantean creatures your way later on, but until you get to them it's open season for wolf/bear/croc/etc.. hunting. Maybe it's me, but I never felt too heroic when taking out a a couple of bats with a shotgun.

Other than that, the only thing you can really pin against Tomb Raider is that for as many good things as it brought to the videogame world, equal amount of crap came with it. Namely the overdose of crate-puzzles, the over comercialization of game characters, etc, etc. But all these aren't faults of Tomb Raider's success, they are the faults of an industry that exploits it's own honest-to-good ideas with as much savagery as a pack of rabid hyenas.

The Bottom Line
Before the main concern for Core in terms of gameplay were the roundness of Lara's breast or her image as an "eXtReMe Girrrrrl", they gave us an honestly good game that managed to shatter all conceptions of what action/adventure should be. Tomb Raider didn't just introduce the 3d 3rd-person perspective viewpoint to the world, it also offered a magnificent gameplay experience that combined action, exploring, puzzle solving and acrobatic stunts. DO NOT be deceived by Lara's current state as a comercial cyber-whore, this first date with her was a roller coaster ride to remember.

DOS · by Zovni (10504) · 2002

[ View all 14 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Aged well Donatello (453) Jan 12th, 2013
WTH... Tomb Raider Limited Edition? John Smith May 24th, 2012
A rather glaring omission. GAMEBOY COLOR! (1989) Nov 9th, 2011
Survival horror hribek (28) Mar 17th, 2009
I need some help ! GAMEBOY COLOR! (1989) Nov 8th, 2008


1001 Video Games

Tomb Raider appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


In addition to having the soundtrack (well, ambiance sounds are more like it) encoded as redbook audio, Core also recorded as cd tracks the dialogue and sound for all the in-game-engine cutscenes (not the rendered ones), meaning the cutscenes can be listened to on any CD player.

Lara Croft

The main character was originally going to be a man but during production they changed it to a woman, originally named Laura Cruz and later changed to Laura Croft. The design of the protagonist was partially based on Lead Designer Toby Gard's sister, Frances. He originally increased Croft's bust as a joke, but the rest of the team thought it was a good look for her, and it stuck. Gard was, understandably, mortified and allegedly he quit his job at Core Design in 1997 about it.

In succession of the game's release, Laura Croft became a media hype and widely known outside gaming circles. In addition to appearing in magazines, TV, etc... she was also featured in the music video Männer sind Schweine ("Men are pigs") from the German band Die Ärzte and in U2's "POP Mart" in several clips showing her on her bike, and shooting the audience. That's right, on the worlds largest screen.

Level Format

The Tomb Raider level data format has been reverse engineered and it's called TRosettaStone. Each level contains all the data besides the music, so there is level geometry, all models, all textures and sounds; some of the files are repeated several times trough levels.

The levels are composed of blocks. It enables game to have some Sokoban-like puzzles. Each such block can have several triggers in it. The game uses skeletal animation and waypoints for the AI.


In addition to numerous comics from Top Cow Productions, Lara Croft's cross-promotional adventures have included a trilogy of novels inspired by the games, published by Ballantine Books:

  1. The Amulet of Power (2004), by Mike Resnick;
  2. The Lost Cult (2004) by E. E. Knight; and
  3. The Man of Bronze (2005) by James Alan Gardner.


There was a rumoured cheat to turn Lara Croft nude. It said that if you tapped out the tune to the Spice Girls song Wannabe on the keyboard Lara would start dancing and then take her clothes off. This one is false. But soon after the release, someone found out how to replace the clothing textures and released a custom "nude patch" (DOS version only of course). It revealed everything and it became a big hype on the net. The patch is still floating around, just search for "". Custom nude patches were developed for later Tomb Raider games as well.

Sold-out version

The Sold-out version of this game is missing the audio tracks. There is however a "fix" for this by searching the web for stella's tomb raider site it has tons of info and patches on making this game work and including the missing audio.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • May 1999 (Issue #178) - Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • EGM
    • December 1996 (Issue 89) - Game of the Month (PlayStation version) (shared with Street Fighter Alpha 2)
    • March 1997 (Issue 92) - Game of the Year runner up (All Systems) + PlayStation Game of the Year runner-up + Saturn Game of the Year runner-up + Adventure Game of the Year runner-up (PlayStation / Saturn version) + Action Game of the Year runner-up (PlayStation / Saturn version)
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #54 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (PSX version)
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #3 (Readers' Top 10 Games of All Time) (PSX version)
    • February 2005 (Issue 200) - #35 in the "Greatest Games of Their Time" list
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #6 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
    • Issue 01/2007 - One of the "Ten Most Influential PC Games" (It marks the rising of Lara Croft as first game character which manages to be a long-running brand beyond the video-game industry, even more so than Nintendo's Mario. Lara Croft is also one of the first established female game protagonists in a male-driven industry.)
  • PC Gamer
    • August 2001 (Issue 100) - #86 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
    • April 2005 - #37 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • Retro Gamer
    • October 2004 (Issue #9) – #19 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 37 - #22 in the "Top 25 Platformers of All Time" poll
  • The Strong National Museum of Play
    • 2018 – Introduced into the World Video Game Hall of Fame
  • Świat Gier Komputerowych
    • February 1997 (Issue #50) – Golden Disk'96 for the best foreign game of 1996

Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Daniel Fawkes, Big John WV, Evilhead, hribek, Indra was here, PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual, Sciere, shifter and Zovni

Related Games

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - Legend
Released 2006 on Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox...
Tomb Raider Starring Lara Croft
Released 2000 on Game Boy Color
Tomb Raider II
Released 1997 on Windows, PlayStation, 2009 on PSP...
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Angel of Darkness
Released 2003 on Windows, PlayStation 2, Macintosh
Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft
Released 1998 on Windows, PlayStation, 2009 on PSP...
Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Released 2000 on PlayStation, Windows, Dreamcast...
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - Curse of the Sword
Released 2001 on Game Boy Color
Tomb Raider II (Edition Limitée)
Released 1997 on Windows
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - Anniversary (Collectors Edition)
Released 2007 on PlayStation 2, Windows

Related Sites +

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

PS Vita added by GTramp. SEGA Saturn added by Kartanym. PSP, PlayStation 3 added by Foxhack. Windows Mobile added by Kabushi. N-Gage added by Jason Walker. PlayStation added by Grant McLellan. Windows added by eWarrior.

Additional contributors: Matthew Bailey, Terrence Bosky, Unicorn Lynx, Syed GJ, Jeanne, Eep², Shoddyan, Alaka, formercontrib, Michael B, ケヴィン, eWarrior, DreinIX, Paulus18950, MZ per X, Patrick Bregger, victorfreitas, Lain Crowley, Karsa Orlong, FatherJack, SoMuchChaotix.

Game added November 1st, 1999. Last modified September 25th, 2023.