Perusing Pixels is a photo diary of my expedition through the Tomb Raider series. Use the links to the right to find a particular game or level, or see below for the latest post.

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Thursday, 4 March 2010

Lost Valley

Rejoice, dear readers (all none of you)! I thought my plans to complete Lost Valley would be forever thwarted by corrupted save games and Vista’s inability to handle Dos games.
Then Eidos, in all their wisdom, released “Tomb Raider: The Greatest Raids”, a collection of the first four Tomb Raiders made compatible with Vista! I received the collection for my birthday (hey, I can’t afford to buy it myself) and now, can finally continue my jaunt through Peru.

We start, as usual, in a room papered with the blue-grey rock texture. Nothing here suggests that Lost Valley will be the scariest level yet; what could beat the two-bear terror of Vilcabamba?

It’s at times like this I wish they’d put a harpoon gun in Tomb Raider 1. Those wolves are a bugger to kill, and it took three attempts before they finally died.

The title of this level suggests there’s a lost valley to be found somewhere around this cave, and as a child, I was convinced it should be behind this waterfall. I mean, where else would a self-respecting Incan put it?

Oh, yeah, not behind a waterfall. Instead, hidden behind some rocks in a little alcove packed with wolves. This skeleton should be more than enough to signal danger ahead, although at least he’s got a large medi-pack up for grabs. To this day, I cannot walk past a decaying skeleton lying in a tomb without a sense of foreboding.

I thought I was in a safe place to scope out the valley, but I guess I was wrong. This cheeky velociraptor popped out the minute Lara hit the grassy ground.

I include this picture simply because it’s awesome. They look like a horizontal dance duo, or a couple with marital problems lying in bed.

And here’s T-Rex, in his first Tomb Raider appearance. T-Rex turns up in a lot of places across the Tomb Raider series, including China and the South Pacific, but his first sighting was in Peru.

Obviously, getting Lara thrown about by an angry T-Rex is not the way forward in this level, but it does make a nice montage of pictures.

The point of this level is to discover the location of three cogs, which will be slotted into a machine located near your starting point. Despite not having played TR for a good few years, I still remember where all the cogs are. To be honest, I’m looking forward to the later levels, where I don’t remember exactly what to do.

Wasn’t Lara a vision in ‘96? I seriously cannot work out how people lusted after this. She gets prettier in 2 and 3, only to be uglified in 4 and 5. The next-gen games kicked in and…no, actually, she’s still not much of a picture. Too much eye-liner. Still, it’s the unnaturally-jiggly breasts that count, eh?

This is the nicest building in the whole damn level, and reminds me a lot of Tomb Raider III’s India and South Pacific.

And what do you know, inside the building lies another cog! Along with some velociraptors, of course. But they can’t swim. I’ve never noticed this in Tomb Raider before, but Lara seems to be holding her breath underwater. That’s kind of cool.

The final cog lies across the broken bridge hanging over the valley. I noticed how all the cogs are lying on at least one square of the same texture. Like they’re infecting the very ground they stand on.

Here is the cog machine, that must be used to direct the flow of the river below. Again with those complicated security measures.

Firstly, however, I felt compelled to explore this tunnel, which I had no recollection of having ever explored before. I was genuinely excited!

All that was waiting for me at the end of the winding tunnel, however, was a hole in the ceiling and a stone face sticking his tongue out at me for wasting my time. No, there was not even a medi-pack.

Annoyed, I went back to the cog machine and got it up and running. The golden door that lied to the start of that pointless tunnel had moved, directing the flow of water away from the pool of water I encountered earlier. Which meant the pointless tunnel was now flooded!

The stone man was powerless as I swam past him and up through that coveted hole in the ceiling. Round 1 to me, stone.

Shotgun shells and a medi-pack! Having only one medi-pack (because I’d cheated my way from the first level to get here, after I had to uninstall my original Tomb Raider and lost all my save games) I was glad to see it.

On a side-note, look at this guy. What the hell did he die of? I can understand skeletons near the dinosaurs, but by a river?

That waterfall at the start did have something behind it after all! I knew those Vilcabambians wouldn’t let a good waterfall go to waste.

One secret?! I should have explored more, but having played this level through about fifty times, I was pretty bored of it.
Next up: Boulders! Spike-pits! A proper tomb! A living, breathing human being that isn’t Lara!


  1. Hey, I'm a reader! I found your blog today! What a delightful read! I'm a Tomb Raider fanatic as well! Please never get rid of this! Even though I know these levels like the back of my hand, as well, I'm having a lot of fun reliving the levels I know well from your point of view!

    Thanks for writing it! I'm going to read each one you have!

  2. Thank you! :) I'm glad you're enjoying it. Please excuse my poor updating habit. :p

  3. Your comment on the 'couple with marital problems' has made my day! You have one heck of a sense of humour on you :D

  4. I was so excited to find this blog, this is nostalgia deluxe for me! I was born in 96, and my earliest memories are all me watching my father play these first Tomb Raider games. I started playing the TR games myself when I was about eight years old, and I still play to this day. My father died in January 2012, and TR was "our thang", playing brings me closer to him. Thanks for bringing me back :')

    1. I'm so pleased the blog is bringing back some good memories for you. :) I hope you continue to enjoy it!