Retro Let's Play: "Tomb Raider" (1996)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Retro Let's Play for early February 2018: "Tomb Raider"

    Developed by British development house Core Design, and published by Eidos Interactive (now Square Enix Europe) on October 25, 1996, simultaneously for the Sega Saturn, Sony Playstation and x86/PC/MS-DOS. "Tomb Raider" currently sits at number 9 in HG101's top 47,858 games of all time:
    http://hg101.kontek.net/top47858/top47858.htm

    "Tomb Raider" introduces the main character "Lara Croft", directly inspired by cinematic characters like "Indiana Jones". Croft is a billionaire heiress archaeologist who travels the world looking for ancient artefacts. The player takes control of Croft from a third person viewpoint to navigate underground "tomb" worlds, rendered in mid 90s polygons for a full 3D environment. Croft is quite the athlete, as she can run, jump, climb and swim to navigate her way through these environments, seeking out the treasures and fighting enemies as she goes.

    The game overcame many of the pitfalls (no pun intended) of early generate 3D with better-than-the-then-average camera movements to keep the player aware of Croft's movements and surroundings, responsive controls, and an intelligent weapon targeting lock-on system that meant the player could concentrate on the action of the game, without worrying about the third person camera making weapons frustratingly inaccurate.

    The controls took queues from games like "Prince of Persia", where a certain number of steps were expected to allow the player through their range of motion. This added a very fluid nature to the game, and also made for predictable controls that gave the player a sense of real control. Even with the solid controls, the game offered plenty of challenges, with death by some quite horrible traps and enemies a frequent event.

    Lara Croft herself would go on to be quite the personality, despite not being a real human being. Her face would appear in countless magazines and media, even ones not with a gaming focus. Several real life models would be officially hired to cosplay Croft over the years, and eventually Angelina Jolie would play the character in two separate films.

    The game itself was quite a technical feat for its time, with a full polygon environment. The MS-DOS version was noted for being one of the earliest titles to offer 3dfx powered 3D hardware acceleration via the Glide API, resulting in quite the visual spectacle for anyone wealthy enough to own a compatible setup at the time. 3dfx was formed only 2 years prior to Tomb Raider's release, in 1994. Patches would eventually come out for several other cards including Matrox Mystique, S3 ViRGE and PowerVR, in a time that illustrated why per-vendor 3D APIs were so painful to maintain (something to consider for anyone who's only known the "OpenGL vs Direct3D" debate).

    Tomb Raider also bucked the trend of exclusive "console or PC" style releases, offering simultaneous release on Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation, as well as home PC.

    The game would go on to offer many sequels, and eventual complete series reboots under the new Square ownership.

    How to play it:

    * Play the MS-DOS version in your browser:
    https://archive.org/details/tomb_raider_1996

    * Download the collection (Tomb Raider i through VI) ISO for x86/PC/DOS/Windows from archive.org:
    https://archive.org/details/Lara_Croft_Tomb_Raider_Collection

    * Wrapper to play the game in high res on a modern PC:
    http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=214779

    * Buy it on GoG:
    https://www.gog.com/game/tomb_raider_123

    * Buy it on Steam:
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/224960/Tomb_Raider_I/

    More info:

    * Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_Raider_(1996_video_game)
    * HG101: "Tomb Raider" vs "Tomb Raider Anniversary": http://hg101.kontek.net/totalconversion/tombraider/tombraider.htm

    * DF Retro's excellent analysis video (good technical comparison of PC/PS1/Saturn versions):


    * Long Play video (Sony Playstation 1 version)


    * Box art (PC/DOS/Windows version)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
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  2. oculi

    oculi Member

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    Oh man one of my all time favorites of all time, got it on platinum like most of my tightarse legitimate console games. Revisited it a few months ago in a CRT, another playthrough can't hurt.

    Sad what they did to the franchise and funny that they took a strong independent Female character and made her less strong and less independent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
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  3. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'm glad it's not just me who felt this. I played "Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition" on PS4 recently, and felt Lara wasn't as tough as she was in the original. Physically, yes (running and jumping and climbing and shooting guns and shit). But emotionally she seemed a lot more fragile, and not at all like either her "no fear" PS1 self nor the character Angelina Jolie portrayed in the film (which I actually enjoyed).
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  4. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    gosh, i don't remember that cover art being quite so, ummm, errr, out there
    i mean the character was always 'top heavy' i just don't remember that picture
    which is odd for me ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  5. Grant

    Grant Member

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    Cool - I recently built a Win98 machine with a Voodoo 3 card in part to play Glide games like this without a wrapper.

    PhilsComputerLab was helpful in pointing out that the structure of the GOG release actually includes a BIN/CUE image of a valid install CD. On Linux, you can use bchunk to extract the ISO filesystem image from the raw BIN image:
    Code:
    innoextract setup_tomb_raider_1_*.exe
    cd app
    for I in *.mp3 ; do lame --decode $I ${I}.wav ; done
    head -3 GAME.DAT > GAME.CUE #we're just truncating all audio tracks from the cuesheet, leaving just track 1
    bchunk GAME.GOG GAME.CUE tr
    wodim -speed 8 tr01.iso -audio *.wav
    
    I'll need to give the game more of a go now :leet:
     
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  6. Raptor_Eye

    Raptor_Eye Member

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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Cool. Let us know how you go.


    The archive.org links in the first post have full ISO images, I'm pretty sure. I'll see how they go in both DOSBox and KVM/QEmu under Linux this week. I'd love to try and get Glide emulation working too.
     
  8. RJ_Wilson

    RJ_Wilson Member

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    For those still hanging on to a PS1 I have a copy laying around not doing much
     
  9. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I just happened to buy a modded "Pseudo Saturn" Action Replay a little while ago. I'll be testing Tomb Raider on that tomorrow.
     
  10. oculi

    oculi Member

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    still haven't played this, question is do I play it on my:

    PSX with possibly worn out laser and no vibration (don't think TR used it anyway)

    PS2 as apparently it has texture smoothing (but no HDMI)

    PS3 which has HDMI but no texture smoothing, but maybe upscaling (internet research suggests this might not work)

    #humblebrag because I own all 3 classic playstations

    and on CRT or LCD?

    purest would be PSX on CRT. If I wear headphones I won't have to put up with the CRT playing me the song of its people but I would have to get it out of the garage, and it is heavy and there is a car blocking my car which is blocking the TV.

    decisions decisions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  11. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Aaaand I've lost my Saturn A/V cable. Goddamnit!

    Tough call. Generally for "Let's Play" I go for comfort as my highest priority. That has less to do with my consoles, and more to do with whether it's available on my PS3 on LCD upstairs in the aircon and comfy couch, or downstairs in the heat on a stool in the retro games room on original PS1 and CRT.

    And what *that* tells me is I need to invest in a comfier chair for my downstairs games room.
     
  12. oculi

    oculi Member

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    well it ran fine on the PS3 until it didn't, finished "caves" then it froze when I tried to use a key in the next level which is about when my rose coloured glasses fell off.

    Something tells me this wouldn't have been half the game without the soundtrack, not that you hear much besides footfalls for most of the game.

    that got me on to playing the themes from the other games, which got me right in the feels. TR3 is probably most memorable, that took me 6 months to finish playing at least an hour every day. got around to TR2 later, 4 and chronicles was great too, AOD was worth playing I GUESS but so buggy.

    back into the box it goes. Thanks Elvis!

    oh yeah, if you somehow didn't discover this hold down the "walk" button (R1 on Playstation) when pulling up a ledge, and when jumping forward.
     
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  13. power

    power Member

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    that's where I first played it back before the PS1 version came out it was the envy of all.
     
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  14. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Well, turns out I've lost every single AV cable I have for my Saturn. I've got a couple more on order, but they're all on the slow boat from China. So it's the povvo PS1 version for me (although I'm struggling to find the motivation for this one).
     
  15. power

    power Member

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    your first mistake was disconnecting a console :D
     
  16. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Did a major game rooms (I'm up to three rooms now!) reshuffle, cleaned up a lot of stuff. I'm still finding stuff today that I forgot I even had.
     
  17. power

    power Member

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    that shit is like Christmas - re-found my entire Atari XE library and machine like that (thought I'd sold it, lol).

    I'm afraid to pull my Saturn discs these days after all the tales of disc rot round the web.
     
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Yeah, that scares the shit out of me too. Luckily there's ODE (optical drive emulators) for Saturn and Dreamcast now. Expensive, but worth it for long term use. And Professor Abrasive's device soon too. I want to eventually save my pennies for a PSIO as well.
     
  19. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    I bought the boxed PC version sometime around 1997 from a computer swap meet. Still have it, although I've long since lost the Lara Croft mouse pad it came with.

    Fired up a DOS 6.22 Socket 7 system with a Voodoo 1 to give it a try last week - looks great in glide mode with the 3dfx patch (relatively speaking anyway, I only ever played it in software mode).
     
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  20. oculi

    oculi Member

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    My console collection fits in a few boxes,

    pulled out a few discs with "foil" falling off the back of them, luckily for this thread sony black discs seem pretty good.
     

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