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, 28 September 2013

High Security Compound

Searching the deserts of Nevada for the meteorite-moulded artefact, Element 115, Lara manages to infiltrate a US military outpost where she suspects the relic may be.  Unfortunately, an poorly-executed quad bike manoeuvre renders Lara unconscious and, upon awakening, she finds herself disarmed and locked up in a holding cell at a military prison.

After the glorious sunshine and delightful cacti of the last level, High Security Compound is very gloomy by comparison.  I suppose it would be a bit strange to have a prison bedecked in pastel colours and decorative art prints, but after a little while the grey and steel and brown of the place tend to get a little depressing.  Trying to pick out interesting-looking screenshots wasn’t easy, either.


Lara awakes to find herself in a fairly spacious cell – seriously, my first flat was smaller than that place – with no guns and only one medi-pack.  I don’t know why they would take all her medi-packs save for one; maybe it’s a health and safety requirement?


Lara is soon joined in her cell by a prison guard, who immediately proceeds to start hitting her with his big baton thing, because apparently things like “having a trial” or “being found guilty of a crime before punishment is carried out” are outmoded ideas in this part of the world.


The guard gets distracted by a sudden urge to play trampoline on Lara’s bed, and she makes a bolt for it.


Most maximum-security prisons would employ a system of locks, bolts and technology to keep their inmates from escaping, but this one has apparently opted for the far less fussy “just put a button next to the door and hope nobody bad presses it” approach.


Obviously, this approach is flawed.  Lara releases a prisoner who then strangles the guard for her (at least that’s what I’m assuming happened from the sound the guard made).


Lara frees a few more prisoners, and together they roam the prison looking for more guards to beat up.


All is going well until a couple of the prisoners start give each other some fairly amorous glances, and Lara decides to (literally) back away before things start to get physical.


I hate the way you make me feel, George!…


Feeling peckish, Lara makes her way to the kitchen.  The only food on offer, though, is some distinctly unappetising-looking red stuff.


I know they would need industrial-sized cookware to cater for a prison but seriously, Lara could take a bath in this.


Having ruined (or possibly improved) dinner by stomping through it with her muddy boots, Lara decides to make a break for it.  Unarmed, she’s forced to creep through the prison, avoided any patrolling guards she comes across.


I don’t have enough patience for stealth in video games (by the end of Hitman: Absolution, I was just shooting my way through the levels), but I think it’s actually pulled off quite well in this level, especially considering that the game engine doesn’t really support the concept.  It certainly livened up what would have otherwise been a fairly boring level.


Some more stealth is required to sneak past an armed guard and get to a door switch.


Lara flips the switch and the guard dies a horrific, blood-raining death as some lasers shoot out and dissect him.  That’ll teach him for trying to protect the public from dangerous criminals!


Lara inadvertently swims into an underwater fan and starts frantically trying to…uh…remove the necklace she’s apparently wearing?  Priorities, Lara.

Also, how hard would it have been to have swapped her face texture for something a bit more fitting when she’s in the throes of death?  They did it for when she’s shooting her pistols, so why not for when her health bar reaches zero?  Even a slight look of dismay would be better than this complete nonchalance.


Escaping the fan, Lara soon finds herself crawling through what appears to be a giant computer.  Actually, that’s kind of a creepy thought.  Maybe she’s in your computer.  Maybe one night she’ll crawl out the screen, a la The Ring

(I’m really glad my PC is in a different room from my bedroom now.)


More sneaking about ensues, with varying levels of success.


Finally, finally, Lara opens a storage room and finds her beloved pistols, Shooty and Bangy (as I can only imagine she’s called them).


She proceeds run riot with her newly-recovered pistols, pumping bullets into every guard she comes across.


She also opens fire on some cute-looking dogs, because it’s been a while since a member animal kingdom has suffered by Lara’s hand, and that just won’t do.


Hell, Lara’s so overwhelmed with bloodlust that she even tries to pick a fight with her own breasts.


Finally, Lara comes across the open trailer of a lorry and decides that it’s probably a good a place as any to find a priceless artefact kicking around.


Lara has barely stepped into the trailer when she hears the sound of people close by.


Startled, Lara dives behind a nearby crate and peers out from behind it.


Two men appear – a warehouse employee and his Star Trek-style evil twin – and, oblivious to Lara’s presence, slam the doors of the trailer closed, trapping her inside.  With a rumble, the lorry begins to pull away.

Lara’s not too concerned though, having spotted something interesting on the floor…


Oh, look!  An unknown substance in an unbranded can, lying on the dirty floor of a lorry!  Surely this will be a safe and delicious refreshment.


Lara quickly gets drunk on the unknown substance and starts picking fights with imaginary people.  “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!”


She hoists herself on to a crate and proceeds to gulp down her drink and occasionally scratch her arse, like the dignified member of the aristocracy that she is.


Stay classy, Lara.


Bam, another level complete.  Stay tuned for…well, actually I can’t remember where we’re going next.  But I’m sure it’ll be awesome.


  1. http://lh4.ggpht.com/-Stfn-7We_Gw/UkcwnMG4LcI/AAAAAAAAEJA/YgSq39a9Sgo/s1600-h/TR3_Lvl6_HiSecComp_Fanned3.jpg

    I love this one!

    So glad you're back on posting! :D

  3. Finally a new update. Hilarious as always!
    The prisoners thingy made me laugh the most. And yes the dogs look so cute

  4. "Most maximum-security prisons would employ a system of locks, bolts and technology to keep their inmates from escaping, but this one has apparently opted for the far less fussy “just put a button next to the door and hope nobody bad presses it” approach."

    Way too funny!!!

  5. I just can't stop laughing !
    Thanks so much.
    I'm gonna mention your blog in my weekly post on this french videogames website, the Standalone Post. I'm writing a huge file about Tomb Raider and my pen is acid too.. but yours' way more and the result is really, really funny. So thanks alot for this moment :)

  6. I played it for the 1st. time in 2018 and just in time for the 20th anniversary.

    It was an absolute blast (not without notable flaws, though), with the music by Nathan McCree being one of the highlights.

    I recall a hilarious anecdote that happened to me while in "High Security Compound": thanks to how the game engine was programmed, bits of randomness were bound to happen. Without weapons of any sort and being chased by a guard, I thought my best bet should be to jump past over him and reach a button that closes a door, in order to leave him out of the room.

    What was the actual outcome of my plan? On closing the door, the guard ran through as it was closing, and it ended up smashing him and taking his life! That was indeed priceless, and I loved the fact that it made Lara appear a girl with great luck when in dire straits.