No, I’m not fixated.
Right before the turn of the millenium, the Victoria’s Secret catalog was
selling the “Millenium Bra.” Tailored to fit, the bra featured over
2000 diamonds and diamond-cut sapphires in platinum settings. The price? A mere
Nobody actually bought the bra, but if there is anyone who deserves to wear the
Millenium Bra, it would have to be Lara Croft. She certainly has the robust figure
to show off all those diamonds. She can afford it too, what with her palatial
estate, huge tracts of land, and all those plundered, priceless artifacts.
Come to think of it, those artifacts do come with a price; usually a curse,
or at least some people trying to kill Lara. You’d think she would have learned
by now, but nooooo…This time, Lara has managed to loot the Amulet of Horus from
an Egyptian tomb in the Valley of the Kings. By removing the amulet from its ancient
resting place, Lara has released the evil god Set and doomed the Earth to eternal
suffering. It’s up to you to help her put it right. Thanks a lot, Lara.
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is the 4th installment in the series
and puts Lara back where she belongs – in the tombs. Lara returns to her first
love, archaeology, which means no more military bases or oil derricks. Hooray!
Anyone who tells you that archaeology consists of painstakingly long hours
of carefully sifting dirt and slowly exposing tiny shards of pottery is lying.
Archaeology is all about charging through ancient temples, violating ancient
cultures, stealing precious relics, and blasting anything that moves. Oh, and
getting cursed, obviously.
Now, Lara didn’t learn her archaeological skills just by watching Raiders
of the Lost Ark. At the opening of The Last Revelation, you get to
play as the 16 year-old schoolgirl Lara. Too rambunctious for her upper-class
British parents, Lara is sent off on a field trip to Cambodia with famous archaeologist
Werner Van Croy. It is there that he teaches her all the ways to plunder a tomb
for fun and profit in their quest for ‘The Iris’. Of course, in the end, the Iris
is cursed, Werner is caught in a fiendish trap and Lara barely escapes with her
life. This girl just can’t take a hint.
the rest of the game, however, you play as the classic adult Lara. She’s even
a bit more ‘adult’ than she used to be, as her mighty bosom is noticeably larger
than before. Come on, Lara – were implants really necessary? Even Pamela Anderson
had hers reduced. One more augmentation and Lara could be a freakshow stripper
on the Jerry Springer show.
The Dreamcast version is basically a fairly quick translation of the PC edition.
This means that Lara’s buxom figure is rendered in the same old Tomb
Raider engine, though slightly tweaked. The PC game was no great graphical
marvel, and neither is this one.
The best thing they added to the DC version is Lara’s shadow. With more advanced
light sourcing, Lara now casts a moving shadow that bends approprately over
objects and walls. This is more impressive than it sounds and makes the character
feel more a part of the environment.
But other than that, the graphics are mildly dissapointing. The framerate is
nice and fast, but the textures are flat and boring. Plus, the characters and
objects are made from a surprisingly low number of polygons, giving everything
a blocky, angular look. Other problems with the PC version, like the lame water
effects and egregious clipping errors, have also found their way to the Dreamcast.
Lara, get your arm out of that wall. While it certainly looks a hell of a lot
better than the Playstation version, we know that the DC can do better than
The sound, however, is very well done. The voice acting is all top shelf,
from Lara’s sexy, posh public school accent to Von Croy’s abusive German dialogue.
The music is cued to certain areas and events for effect, but most of the time
you hear only the eerie noises of the tomb. Fantastic.
The tombs themselves are great and remind me of those in the first Tomb
Raider. Almost the entire game takes place in ancient Egyptian tombs, with
a couple of breaks to drive a jeep and a motorcycle on wild chases. The puzzles
are mostly object based (find the star-shaped amulet and put it in the star-shaped
hole), but there are a few here and there that will test your gray matter as
Like the first title, the emphasis is on exploration and setting rather than
on combat and jumping around on Mario-esque platforms. I felt that this was a
poor direction for the 2nd and 3rd titles. So I, for one, am pleased to see the
game returning to its superior roots.
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is easily the best game since the
original, ground breaking Tomb Raider. However, besides a couple new moves
and some better textures, it’s exactly the same game. It’s a breath of
tomb air: spooky, challenging and enthralling, but perhaps a bit stale,
sealed underground for a little too long.