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.

Follow @PerusingPixels on Twitter and/or Like the Facebook page for updates and other Tomb Raider related stuff.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Caves of Kaliya

Having chased the maniacal scientist-for-hire Tony a good way along the Ganges river, Lara finally comes across his getaway raft, broken and useless at the foot of a waterfall.  Behind the waterfall lies the entrance to a network of caves, Tony’s only plausible escape route.  The elusive Infada stone within her sights, Lara continues after him…

The final level of India is another short one, although, as a boss level, this is understandable.  And believe me, after several minutes exploring the featureless maze that is the first half of this level, I’m not at all complaining.  Plus, we get a nice long FMV at the end – over four minutes! – to compensate.  In fact, this post is more FMV than it is actual level.


Lara begins at the entrance to the network of caves that Tony disappeared in to.


I took many pictures of the caves, but it would be pointless uploading them all here, because they all look like this one, maybe with slightly variance in wall location and Lara’s positioning.


After about ten minutes of running, crouching and occasionally picking up flares, Lara fell into a pit full of angry snakes, which, in my maze-addled mind, seemed like a good thing.


Pushing forward, Lara came across a rocky tunnel with a steep slope, Tomb Raider’s version of a scene change.  I bid a tearful farewell to that medipack I forgot to pick up and let the slope carry us away…


…and deposit us bang in the middle of Tony’s hide-out, where the man himself is awaiting Lara with open arms, and giant fireballs on the end of those open arms.


Tony’s so pleased to see Lara that he immediately demonstrates one of his Infada-given powers: extreme central heating.


Complete with dance routine.


It all gets a little heated, however (and by drawing attention to that terrible pun I’m making it infinitely better), and fireballs and bullets are soon being exchanged.


Finally, Lara is victorious, and Tony explodes (because becoming evil often means sacrificing the chance to leave a normal-looking corpse), leaving the Infada artefact for Lara to claim.


And that’s the end of the level, and of our Indian adventure.


The Infada artefact finally secured, Lara begins her long trek back out of the jungle.

As she reaches the edge of the Ganges, however, Lara’s attention is caught by a distant shout.  A small boat appears and quickly pulls up beside her to allow the weary woman to board.

I wish I could do that with my face, but alas, my eyebrows are not independent of one another.


Lara decides to risk it and climbs aboard the small vessel.  She’s greeted by Dr Willard, the Scottish scientist last seen in Antarctica.  He’s impresses with Lara’s neutralisation of Tony, and offers her a job looking for another three artefacts similar to the one she’s just acquired. 

Lara is untrusting of Willard, questioning his motives and his knowledge of the relics.  He demonstrates his interest, using a small scanner to show the artefact is made of a unique type of meteorite.


Willard then presents Lara with the diary of Stephen Barr, a sailor from the 19th centaury who originally discovered the artefacts in Antarctica.  Lara reads on…


Stephen Barr, sailor on HMS Beagle, has grown weary of his time at sea, following “them blasphemous ideas of the guv’ner, [Charles]Darwin”.

Here we see Stephen displaying one of the two facial expressions he possesses, close-mouthed bewilderment.


Craving adventure and “blood-rich” meat, Stephen collects some like-minded individuals together and, commandeering a lifeboat, they set sail for nearby Antarctica.

Animal tracks lead them to a nearby cave, and the men venture in, hoping to kill and eat whatever left the prints…


Their search for food proves fruitless, but the men aren’t too disappointed, instead finding some expensive-looking carved stones.

Their celebration is quickly cut short, however, as a large wolf-type creature appears and tries to eat one of the party (Paul).  And Stephen treats us to a display of his other facial expression, open-mouthed bewilderment (with subtle undertones of nausea).


The others make a run for the exit, and Stephen does his best to follow them while supporting the wounded Paul.  But the ice-bridge they cross over collapses under their weight, sending the two men sliding down deeper into the cave…

They finally burst out of the cave and back into the sunlight, but Paul loses his life in the progress.  The remaining men bury him, each of them swearing never to tell of the true reason for his passing.

Her appetite suitably whetted by this tale of horrible death and sliding on things, Lara passes the book back to Willard, who tells her the places she would need to visit; Nevada, the South Pacific and London.  Lara smiles. “Sounds good to me.”

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The River Ganges

The imagine of the levitating, mutilated corpses of fellow explorers Randy and Rory still fresh in her mind, Lara Croft leaves the thoroughly-explored temple ruins, still without the Infada artefact that she’s searching for.  Running into mad camper Tony, last seen running into the woods and cackling, Lara sees that’s he’s had a bit more luck than her; imbedded into his chest is the Infada stone.  A battle between the pair ensues, which, thanks to Tony’s new supernatural powers, ends with Lara almost being crushed by a pillar and watching helplessly as Tony rides his raft down the river and out of sight.  Picking herself up, she makes to go after him on foot before spotting a better option: a quad bike.

Ah, The River Ganges.  Surging rivers, roaring waterfalls, luscious greenery and exotic creatures; all this and more can be briefly glimpsed at as you hurtle past on a four-wheeler.  I’m warning you now, this level is short.  It took me longer to write that little synopsis up there than it did to complete it, and I’m not exactly a speed-runner.  I kind of wish I’d gone after the secrets just for something to do.

So, onto the review.  Don’t scroll down to fast because you may miss it:


A much nicer opening than the previous level; not a snake in sight and the awesome-looking quad bike parked plainly in view.


Cons: No mounted gun.  Pros: Doesn’t look like this.




……eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…oh crap…REVERSE REVERSE REVERSE RE-


Never mind, Lara can always hijack an eagle and take on that Infada-thieving madman from above.  Not that the eagle looks too happy about its sudden promotion.


“At least she’s not kicking me in the face…”


The quad bike/annoyed bird path eventually ends when the river gives way to a small waterfall.


Tony’s raft lies broken at the bottom of the falls, but the man himself has disappeared, along with Lara’s artefact.


There’s only one way he could have gone.  Lara heads after him…




Twenty minutes and a secret?


I thought I’d somehow managed to skip a huge chunk of the level, so I looked it up, and no, it turns out there are two ways to get to the end, and I’d inadvertently picked the (marginally) easier route.  So I started again, opting to go right instead of left this time:


Lara is soon confronted by a locked door, forcing her to get off her bike and actually do some work.


There’s a lot of monkeys this side of the level, but most of them go to their best efforts to avoid a fight, from hiding behind bushes to out-and-out surrendering…


Not that it does them any good.  This is Lara Croft we’re talking about.


Lara finds the two keys needed to unlock the gate fairly easily, and is able to continue on her journey.


It’s not long before we’re back at the broken raft waterfall…


And we’re done (again)!  This time, in a more respectable thirty minutes (albeit with no secrets, but I think we can all accept that I’m not a secret-getting person).


Wake up, Lara!  One more level and we’re out of this place…