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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.


Tomb Raider SEGA Saturn Ohh, I am SO getting eaten by a wolf!
Tomb Raider SEGA Saturn Intro shot 1.
Tomb Raider SEGA Saturn Tibet intro shot 2. Check out Lara in all of her low-poly hotness.
Tomb Raider SEGA Saturn Getting beared!

Promo Images

Tomb Raider Magazine Advertisement
Tomb Raider Screenshot
Tomb Raider Screenshot Level editor screenshot
Tomb Raider Other In-game character model (wireframe)


Alternate Titles

  • "古墓奇兵" -- Traditional Chinese spelling
  • "古墓丽影" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "TR1" -- Common abbreviation
  • "Tomb Raider starring Lara Croft" -- N-Gage title
  • "Tomb Raiders" -- Japanese title
  • "Tomb Raider I" -- Steam release
  • "Tomb Raider featuring Lara Croft" -- UK / German tag-lined title
  • "Tomb Raider en vedette Lara Croft" -- French tag-lined title
  • "トゥームレイダース" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Breath taking Richard Daives (9) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Dec, 1996 5 out of 5 100
Hobby Consolas Nov, 1996 94 out of 100 94
Sega Power Dec, 1996 93 out of 100 93
Game Revolution Dec, 1996 A- 91
Jeuxvideo.com Aug 03, 2009 18 out of 20 90
Mega Fun Nov, 1996 90 out of 100 90
Retro Archives Jun 15, 2021 17 out of 20 85
Sega-16.com Apr 20, 2020 8 out of 10 80
GameSpot Dec 01, 1996 7.9 out of 10 79
Defunct Games Jul 08, 2006 20 out of 100 20


Topic # Posts Last Post
Aged well 10 Patrick Bregger (278457)
Jan 12, 2013
WTH... Tomb Raider Limited Edition? 2 Lain Crowley (6782)
May 24, 2012
A rather glaring omission. 5 vedder (60492)
Nov 09, 2011
Survival horror 6 Haoie (54)
Mar 17, 2009
I need some help ! 15 Michael B (350)
Nov 08, 2008
Help me with my Tomb Raider wiki 10 Michael B (350)
Jul 05, 2007
3D game comparison 1 Eep² (93)
Jun 26, 2007


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 "nrpa103.zip". 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
    • 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)
    • 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
  • 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 Web Sites

    Kartanym (12705) added Tomb Raider (SEGA Saturn) on Oct 12, 2002
    Other platforms contributed by GTramp (79504), Foxhack (31833), Kabushi (257783), robotriot (9068), Jason Walker (1772), Grant McLellan (622) and eWarrior (4875)
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