One of the best sagas that the nineties gave us was undoubtedly tomb Raider. Starring the intrepid Lara Croft, it was quite a boom in 1996 as a replica of the adventures of the iconic Indiana Jones. Who does not remember that first encounter with the dinosaur? That shocking scene is never forgotten.
With nine subsequent installments (not counting spin-offs, as Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light), the saga created by Core Design suffered more than obvious wear and tear, until Crystal Dynamics (with a first resurrection attempt in 2006 with Tomb Raider Legend and two more installments, including its tenth anniversary) decided to restart its story through the namesake Tomb Raider in 2013. And in my case, I was fascinated to air it on an intense weekend.
Be careful, SPOILERS. Do not continue reading if you have not passed the story …
A more real Lara for a more … realistic game?
Crystal Dynamics chose to know the beginnings of an inexperienced Larawithout ever having to deal with death with his own hands. A more youthful-looking Lara, with much to learn and a seemingly idyllic destination for her learning as an archaeologist: Yamatai Island. A place located in the Dragon Triangle, where the lost kingdom of Yamatai is believed to be.
However, everything is truncated upon arrival aboard the Endurance, as if the island prevented the crew from escaping from there … And with many dangers to face. The funny thing, apart from being a criticized aspect in the form of memes, is that Lara went from night to morning from being horrified when killing a wolf and a human enemy, to becoming an entire huntress without scruples. Not for nothing was the law of the jungle and it was better for the bad guys to die than for Lara herself to die, of course. But how quickly the trauma passed … “The powers of the island.”
The fact is that beyond those mercenaries in search of the same objective as Lara and his people, from the outset there was no glimpse of a paranormal component so marked to what came later, discovering what was happening with the Island Storm, for example. It wasn’t like other Tomb RaiderLike the one in 1996, where a dinosaur surprised us at the first turn. East reboot I was calm.
In addition, he surprised with the prominence of the island, three years after the end of Lost, in the sense of having to revisit previously explored areas, but with other parts to access when achieving the improvement or object of rigor. It was not linear like Uncharted, wow. And personally I appreciated the change, being a reboot that revamped the Tomb Raider brand in a big way, differing from the opinion of my partner Rubén, where he alleges that he lost all his essence.
Himiko’s big reveal before the final leg
Throughout the adventure, Lara followed a logical path across the island, with a few laps in between. On these routes he gradually discovered the island’s past, such as its connection to WWII, with Japanese scientists and the army of the Nazis with the objective of using the strong storms of the island to destroy the Allies. Or learn more about the Solarii, protectors of Himiko.
Himiko was the Queen of the Sun of Yamatai Island, ruling several millennia ago with the help of her Storm Guard. But one thing is what the legend says or the writings tell and another is to see it with Lara’s own eyes, discovering a corpse in one of the most hidden parts of the island. Said body was that of the General of the Storm Guard himself who protected Himiko herself. But, Why was the seppuku with his dagger? This has crumb …
It turns out that Himiko had found in the maiden Hoshi, one of The Daughters of the Sun, the perfect candidate to succeed her on the throne when the queen died. Now this ritual involved something macabre and dark: Himiko would steal Hoshi’s body, extinguishing his soul in the process. Hence, in the first instance, Hoshi committed suicide to prevent his own soul from being destroyed, while the General committed suicide to avoid the disgrace of not having known how to protect his queen.
A Japanese soap opera, come on. And what does Lara paint in all this? She nothing. Rather, her friend and companion Samantha nishimura, being the candidate chosen by the Solarii to offer to their queen Himiko and to be able to start her “ascension” ritual.
Lara’s last attempt to avoid it leads her to a new destination on the island, accessible only by torpedo boat. A monastery located in the northern part of the island. And at high altitude, in addition, with a very strong wind.
There he sees the traitor again James whitman, doctor architect of the Endurance expedition, along with Sam herself and the leader of the Solarii, the father Mathias. Until when you reach a bridge, something happens. The Oni warriors of the ancient Stormwatch come to life and effortlessly kill the doctor, a moment that both Mathias and Sam and Lara use to cross the bridge and reach the next area. And it is there, shortly after entering the monastery, when we see his entire army.
The Storm Guard … in all its glory
In that instant, Tomb Raider wants us to be afraid. Lara moves stealthily, knowing that one misstep or inopportune noise will lead to certain and instantaneous death from any Oni warrior. And there is a whole army that does not stop advancing along the central road, until it reaches the bottom with two huge lines of more soldiers. And with others at the top of the room.
Lara is in a clear disadvantageous position, so she has to get out of there shitting milk … something she achieves with little effort, despite the initial impression of see that one of the Oni warriors is a being of enormous size. But, of course, you can’t get away with it and shortly after leaving that room, you run into a few Oni stragglers, who offer quite a bit of resistance thanks to their armor. Further, when we shoot them in the head, we discover that they have the appearance of mummies …
The thing does not stop there, of course, having a new scare on another bridge, with the giant Oni, to see how the wind takes it away, until seeing a Lara in Rambo mode against several waves of Oni warriors shortly after, having to take advantage of the environment (with many explosives) and his skill with weapons and dodge movement, to escape from there … with more corpses than treasures.
The final firework comes with a warning, a point of no return (until the story goes on), with more paranormal ration of millennial warriors and Himiko herself trying to resurrect at the cost of Sam’s body. And yes, with a fight between Lara and the giant warrior. Because a Tomb Raider without a fantasy ration is not a Tomb Raider.
Unforgettable moments from video games