Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider logo 1996
Tomb Raider logo 1996
Name: "Tomb Raider"

Category: Video games

Subcategory: Puzzle-platform

Genre: Action-adventure

Developer: Core Design - Derby, England, UK

--- October 25, 1996 - Europe (Sega Saturn)
--- November 14, 1996 - North America (MS-DOS, Sega Saturn, PlayStation)
--- November 22, 1996 - Europe (MS-DOS, PlayStation)
--- January 24, 1997 - Japan (Sega Saturn)
--- February 14, 1997 - Japan (PlayStation)
--- June 1998 - Europe, North America (Microsoft Windows adaption)

Publisher: Eidos Interactive - Wimbledon, London, UK

Platforms: MS-DOS, Sega Saturn, PlayStation (1996) - Microsoft Windows (1998)

Producer: Mike Schmitt

Designer: Toby Gard

Programmers: Paul Douglas, Gavin Rummery, Jason Gosling

Graphics: Toby Gard, Heather Gibson, Neal Boyd

Writer: Vicky Arnold

Number of players: Single-player

Background and characters: Lara Croft, daughter of Lord Henshingly Croft, was raised to be an aristocrat from birth. After attending finishing school at the age of 21, Lara's marriage into wealth has seem assured, but on her way home from a skiing trip her chartered plane had crashed deep in the heart of the Himalayas. The only survivor, Lara learned how to depend on her wits to stay alive in hostile conditions a world away from her sheltered upbringing. Two weeks later, when she walked into the village of Tokakeriby her experience had had a profound effect on her. Unable to stand the claustrophobic suffocating atmosphere of upper-class British society, she realised that she was only truly alive when she was travelling alone. Over the following eight years she acquired an intimate knowledge of ancient civilizations across the globe. Her family soon disowned their prodigal daughter, and she turned to writing to fund her trips. Famed for discovering several ancient sites of profound archaeological interest she made a name for herself by publishing travel books and detailed journals of her exploits.

Music by: Nathan McCree

Features: Tomb Raider follows British archaeologist and explorer Lara Croft as she travels the world to find a mysterious artifact called "the Scion". In this 3D action game with platforming and puzzle-solving elements, the player controls 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. Tomb Raider spans 15 levels and includes exotic places such as ancient ruins in south America, Africa and even Atlantis: the first 4 levels are set in Peru, next 5 levels in Greece, 3 in Egypt, and the last 3 in Atlantis. Each level has a number of secrets that the player can find. Lara has two basic stances: one with weapons drawn and one with her hands free. By default she carries two pistols with infinite ammo. Additional weapons include the shotgun, dual magnums and dual Uzis. Regular items to pick up include ammo, and small and large medi-packs. For detailed features refer to the manual in Pdf below.

Interesting facts: Tomb Raider was a highly successful video game developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive in the autumn of 1996. The original concept was born in 1993, and the game was developed by a team consisted of six people, among them Toby Gard, who is credited with the invention of the character Lara Croft, initially named Lara Cruz. Tomb Raider was one of the first true 3D titles to be undertaken by Core Design, combining for the first time platforming, puzzle solving and action sequences together. It also established the third person perspective that was used in all subsequent games.

Property: Core Design - Eidos Interactive - Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

Product website:

Tomb Raider 1995 sketches by Toby Gard
Lara Croft 1995 sketch by Toby Gard
Tomb Raider cover 1995 sketch by Toby Gard
Tomb Raider, early sketches by designer Toby Gard (1995)

Tomb Raider advertising 1996
Tomb Raider, French pre-launch advertising (1996)

Tomb Raider 1996 box
Tomb Raider, original box with CD and instruction manual (release Oct. 25, 1996, Europe, for Sega Saturn Systems)

Tomb Raider 1996 front cover
Tomb Raider box, front cover (release Oct. 25, 1996, Europe, for Sega Saturn Systems)

Tomb Raider 1996 back cover
Tomb Raider box, back cover (release Oct. 25, 1996, Europe, for Sega Saturn Systems)

Tomb Raider 1996 CD
Tomb Raider, original CD print (release Oct. 25, 1996, Europe, for Sega Saturn Systems)

Tomb Raider US box, front/back cover
Tomb Raider US box: front/back cover and manual in Pdf (release Nov. 14, 1996, North America, for Sega Saturn Systems)

Tomb Raider, pre-launch teaser (1995)

Tomb Raider, first TV commercial (France 1996) featuring Natalie Cook, the first official model to represent Lara Croft

Tomb Raider, game intro (1996)

Tomb Raider, gameplay demo (1996)

Toby Gard
Toby Gard (1972 - Chelmsford, Essex), the computer game character designer and consultant who designed the original Tomb Raider video game in 1995 along with the character Lara Croft

Tomb Raider 25th Anniversary 2021
Square Enix celebrate Tomb Raider's 25th Anniversary (1996-2021)