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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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Sanctuary of the Scion

Remember the multitude of cat mummies in Obelisk of Khamoon?  Sanctuary of the Scion sees that number and raises it fifteen thousand; only, instead of cat mummies, we now have three deadlier and more terrifying varieties of Atlantean.

The beginning of the level gives you the opportunity to bid a fond farewell to all the greenery that appeared in previous levels.  We won’t be seeing any of that again.

You’ve barely even finished waving at the palm trees before two Atlantean…things…jump out at you.  I took many a picture of Wingus and Dingus here, but this one is by far the most nightmare-inducing.

I sure hope you like climbing, because that’s what a good 60% of this level involves.

The Sanctuary is also home to the daddy of all Sphinxes.

Remember how I used to complain about bats a lot back in Peru?  Yeah.  I miss them now.

After the giant Atlantean bat had taken a few shots from my magnums, he swooped over to the Sphinx and did something perverse-looking to the back of his head.

Easter Egg: eating the remains of an Atlantean causes Lara to grow fifty-feet tall.

Oh, I crack myself up.  That was actual a forced-perspective shot from Sanctuary’s invisible ledge (which holds a pair of Uzis, the best weapon in this game).  Still, I bet I could start an urban legend with that screenshot.  Did anybody else fall for the “turn Lara into a dragon” easter egg in Tomb Raider II?

The centaur is back, and he looks as pleased to see Lara as she as to see him, if that exaggerated shoulder slump is anything to go by.

Lara pretends to be an aeroplane.

The ‘Saphire’ key gets a reboot for this level.  Cue debates on whether the name change is a fresh new direction for the key or disrespecting the splendour of the original.

Underwater statue room!  UNDERWATER STATUE ROOM!!! :D
It never fails to brighten my day.

I accidently drowned Lara, and she spent the last few seconds of her life doing some kind of underwater kick-boxing routine.  She may be about to die, but damned if she’s going to leave an unfit-looking corpse.

I’m ashamed to say I had to look at a walkthrough (Stella’s, of course!) for the first time in this playthrough to find this lever.  To be fair, it’s pretty much the same colour as the wall.

Something strange happens when the camera goes underwater to show you something happening; when it cuts back, the screen stays underwater-coloured for a few more seconds, until it goes back to the right shade.  It’s like the visual equivalent of waiting for your ears to pop after swimming.  I choose to believe this was a style choice, not a bug.

Remember how I said that 60% of the level was climbing?  The other 40% was running down this damn corridor.

A trio of Atlanteans are there to greet you at the end of the three-mile corridor, causing Lara to go weak at the knees.

Larson’s back!  He tells you he’s got a  “pain in his brain” from you (it’s called a headache, Larson) and had decided to “shoot you to hell”.

Now, this is how you kill Larson.  No need for dramatically staring at your hands in dismay and acting like you’ve never shot a man before.  Just pump a few dozen rounds into his body and be on your merry way.

This is what Larson was guarding; the final piece of the Scion.  From the title of the level, you probably should have seen that coming.

The end!  I should probably admit that I did in fact reload a save game and spare Larson’s life, but that was merely to appease the thirteen-year-old Larson fangirl within.


  1. Ahaha, good show! This level was challenging in its own right, and damn straight I missed the bats seeing this winged monster zooming at me. I love the underwater room, too. I wish newer games would make levels that are this HUGE again!

    Forgive me for inquiring right on your blog, but I noticed that you intend to play Tomb Raider Gold soon. May I ask if you're playing it on a computer (I think TR Gold is only for the PC, right?), if your comp is a 64bit system or a 32bit and how you installed the game? Thank you. :)
    I have 64bit Windows Vista, and I have the Gold expansion, but it's been extremely hard for me to install on mine because 64bit processors won't support it.

  2. I must admit, I'm being optimistic by listing TR1 Gold as I haven't actually tried to install it yet. I have Vista 32bit. I had trouble installing TR1 until I got the Greatest Raid boxset. I don't know if it would help with the 64bit problem, but have you tried setting it up using DosBox? Failing that, there may be some kind of 32bit emulator around somewhere. I'll let you know how I get on.

  3. Thank you for your help and keeping me posted! :)
    I think you won't have trouble with it at all, since you are using 32bit and a genuine disc! I'd be surprised if you did have trouble! Using 64bit in lieu of 32 is one of the two things that have been stopping me. I have tried using Glidos; no dice (although maybe you could, if it doesn't discriminate against Vista machines. They also have a lovely texture pack that makes the game look gorgeous!)

    I have many versions of Dosbox, haha. Although I'm not very versed in its language, I've been close. But I admit, I'm using an image file and trying to mount it through Daemon Tools and getting DosBox to read it. It's probably not gonna work, but when I get ahold of some CD-RWs (safeguard for messing up hundreds of times) I might be able to get somewhere! Honestly, I'll look into getting the boxed set. It's super cheap!

    Really, I've wanted to play TR: SotC/UB for years, and now that I look at the requirements, I should've played it years ago! Ahaha.

  4. Well, after three attempts I managed to get TR1 Gold installed: I used second installer (called "TR1 & UB Vista/Vienna x32/64 setup v 1.6") from here: http://www.tombraiderhub.com/faq/tr1_adv.html

    I'm guessing from the title that may work well with 64bit as well 32bit. You just need a CD of the original game, the installer includes the gold levels.