July 4, 2009

Beginnings

Tomb Raider 1
Tomb Raider 1 in
trapezoidal box.
Wow! The initial response to this blog has been great. Thanks to everyone who has stopped in, posted comments and emailed about it.

Many of you had questions about when the next Tomb Raider game is coming out, what it will be about, and so forth, for which (alas!) I have no answers yet. The next most frequent request was for more info about me. That sounds like the most boring possible topic for a blog post. But, since I'm more than happy to talk about the games, how about we compromise? I'll tell how I got into Tomb Raider if you guys will too.


Me & my hubby
I've been playing TR since early 1997. My husband got a copy of the original Tomb Raider computer game from a friend who'd just finished playing it. I wasn't much into video games at that point, so I didn't really pay attention until he got stuck. It was the timed run across the fire pillars in the Palace Midas level. He just couldn't do it. After trying for what seemed like hours, cursing like a sailor and pounding on the keyboard, he finally got so frustrated that he gave up and literally chucked the game in the garbage. I pulled it out and decided to give it a try.

I wasn't about to start with the hardest part so I went back to the beginning. I floundered around in the training level for a while. Fortunately I'm a good typist, so it didn't take long before I was off and running. And the rest, as they say, is history.


An early iteration of the site
(c. Nov. 2003). Click for
larger screenshot. For more
nostalgia, visit the
Web Archives.
Soon after that I started hanging out on various Tomb Raider message boards and newsgroups, asking and answering questions, but I didn't write my first walkthrough until late 1997 when TR2 came out. After that I went back and wrote the walk for TR1—with a nice strategy for the fire pillar run, if I do say so myself. Over the years I've played and written about every Tomb Raider I could get my hands on, and I hope to keep on playing as long as they keep making the games. I love it, and I love getting to know other players and fans through the web site.

When I started there weren't many other walkthroughs out there. I was lucky to find a niche early on. Since then, a bunch of other good writers have come along and started doing their thing. Some have come and gone. Some stuck around. I say the more the merrier. That way players can find just the kind of help they need—short and to the point, rambling and detailed (like mine), and now even video walkthroughs.

As a gamer, I guess I'm a late bloomer. I had been a fan of role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons since I was in high school (back in the early '80s), but except for Sim City and a couple of simple puzzle games, Tomb Raider was the first computer game I played. I've expanded my repertoire a bit since then, but Tomb Raider is still my favorite.

So how did you discover Lara and her adventures? Please click 'comments' below and let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

74 comments:

  1. I first got interested in video games when I saw the "Plug and Play" games for Pac-man. I was feeling nostalgic, remembering how I enjoyed playing these games at the arcade. However, I decided to get my first gaming console when I saw a "Lego Star Wars" demo. I checked out "Tombraider Legends" shortly after and got hooked.

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  2. Sad to say, I started with Angel of Darkness. I almost didn't finish it, and would never have played another Tomb Raider game, if it wasn't for Stella's walkthru. After that, I went back and played them all. Last Revelation is my fave. Love those Egyptian tombs!

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  3. Hi Stella!

    It is interesting to hear about your TR beginnings. I still remember how I met Tomb Raider back in 1997. I saw some guy playing it at a video store and it was love at first sight. Since then I've played almost every game in the series, although my interest in it have waned a bit with the years.

    I also remember how I met your website back in 2005. I was stuck and it was the first result when I googled for "Tomb Raider wakthrough".

    Congrats on the blog.

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  4. Many years ago, I watched my son play Tomb Raider. He would get frustrated and hung up some times but I paid no attention. It was not until Tomb Raider 3 that I decided to even try it on the Play Station we gave him for Christmas. My son was stuck again and abandoned the game but I decided I would try my luck. My son was surprised how far I went beyond where he was stuck. Anyway, I walked away from the game again, after getting stuck myself. When Angel of Darkness came out I liked the graphics so thought I would give it another try. It was the first Tomb Raider game I finished, thanks to Stella's walkthrough help when I became stuck. I've been playing ever since but only on the PC version. I like the graphics of the games since Angel of Darkness. I love Lara Croft and look forward to her future adventures. Believe it or not, my own daughter looks very much like Lara Croft of the first Tomb Raider Anniversary video trailer. She is about the right age, 25. We just went to the rifle and pistol range last week; she braided her hair and with her pistol, there was an amazing likeness.

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  5. Ah, the nostalgia! Thanks for sharing, everybody. :)

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  6. in 1999 i was in ultimate electronics somewhere in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and it was a choice between tombraider and some first-person shooter game with zombies in it. the store clerk convinced me that the first person shooter was not nearly as fun as the arcade version and that i should go with tombraider. then we debated about theology for a while. i bought tombraider, took it home, and have been addicted ever since.

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  7. Back in 2001, you and tombraiders.com were the only sites I needed for my Tomb Raider fix! I remember splitting my time between playing Tomb Raider Chronicles and visiting your sites (occasionally, I went to school). It makes me wistful thinking about it, but I imagine it wasn't as rose-tinted as I remember...

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  8. I've been video gaming since the Odyssey back in the 70's. I played Pac-Man and Galaxian in the arcades in the 80's, and finally the Myst series on CD-ROM in the 90's. I didn't discover Lara until Chronicles, and I've now played them all, including too many custom levels to count. Tomb Raider is my favorite game franchise of all time, and Stella is my favorite fan site, by far. We love you Stella!

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  9. Wow! Blast from the past! Now I'm thinking if I had all the quarters I fed into the Galaga/Galaxian machines at my local pizzeria, I'd be a rich woman today. Well, maybe not. But I'd sure have a lot of quarters. ;)

    Thanks for the kind words and reminiscences, everybody. :)

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  10. that's a very intereting begining!the original game was thrown to garbage & stella picked it up & so the adventure began...when stella touched the game from the garbage,lara echoed in stella's mind saying"-right!let's go adventuring!"& so,the adventure never stopped since then.
    ...
    i think that the first video-game that i played in my life was donkey kong country,back in 1995!i still love & play that timelles classic!
    the first time i played tomb raider was back in 1999,on my cousins sony playstation 1.i was 10 years old.the first one was tr 1 or 2,i don't remember exactly.tr1 & tr2 where the best games i ever played along with super mario world.this are the milestones of my gaming life-super nintendo in 1995 with super mario world & sony ps1 in 1999 with tomb raider 1 & 2!
    tr1,2 & 3 where the only tr games that i played & i liked since 2008!!!from 2002 to 2008 i never ever played a tr!not a single one & i this period when i heard about tr game,other than 1,2,3 i said that they were complete garbage without even playing & seeing them!"the ressurection" began in the fall of last year,when i heard about anniversary.since i didn't had any of the first 3,i said that i must buy this game!it's a must have-the remake of the original,& i haven't played the original since 2002!this will be something very special!i first played the pc demo,the lost valley demo & my first impression was bad,negative.i continued to play that demo & at the moment when i pulled that lever to activate the first cog,i was totally hooked-up!o became more & more obsessed!before buying the game,i played that demo every day for about 2 weeks!i couldn't sleep at night.i playing that demo even at 5 o'clock in the morning!oh,i forgot,i also waked-up in the night when my cousin borrowed me his ps1.i played tr1,tr2 & tr3 day & night,but never managed to finish any of the games!they were too hard for me at that time.
    so,at the begining of this year,i only liked tr1,tr2,tr3 & anniversary.then,i gived a try to tr4,after that to tr5,legend & the rest.i progressively began to like all the tomb raider games.i was so wrong!now i like of them very much & the original is my favourite.it spreads absolute nostalgia!
    in conclusion,i became a die-hard tomb raider fan for only a couple of months!!!
    ...

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  11. damn it!a lot of errors in my comment!
    "now i like ALL of them..."
    "in conclusion,i became a die-hard tomb raider fan ONLY A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO"
    & other errors...damn it!

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  12. i have all the tr's installed on my computer!all 12 of them!i am so proud!

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  13. Hi Stella! I really like your new blog, its great to find out who you really are! :) Well i first started with TR3 about 4 years ago. one of my friends had it and lent it to me. To begin with, i couldn't understand it at all, I couldn't get to grips with the controls or anything and i was ready to give up. Then i came across your AMAZING walkthroughs and I've been playing ever since and love it!! I've gotta say your walkthrough is just so fantastic, i love all the little personal touches and its so clear and easy to follow. Without you I would never have really discovered Lara Croft properly. I am now utterly addicted to TR and I have now played all the games execpt for AOD and underworld, and I think TR3 still remains my favourite. I'd just like to say a huge thank you to you for making your site. YOU ROCK!:):)

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  14. Awww...that's so sweet! You're very welcome. :)

    It seems like a lot of you have are really hardcore fans, with all or most of the games under your belts. If you haven't already tried playing user-designed levels, that's a good option when you've run out of tombs to raid. You might even try making your own. I've got an article with links to some good level editor resources right here on the blog: "Living In Lara's World" by George Maciver. Raid on! ;)

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  15. TR1 was my first real pc game and it was love at first sight. although it was pretty hard to get the controls at the beginning, i would usually have my sister controlling the ctrl and i would control the movement. We stuck at the tomb beneath the waterfall in first world and no family member managed to solve it. WE were thinking that we were close to the end of the game by then(doh). We left it as it is, but I continued loving TR so bought TR2, went through the first world like a breeze but the game crashed on second one. Then came TR3, that was the first game I finished in the series and I loved it. Still think its the best. I got stuck with TR3gold. I went onto TR5 (was never able to get my hands on TR4), finished it, loved it and decided to go back to the ones I haven't done. I passed the place where we were stuck in TR1 by finding a very hard to see room on the right on my own, and thus continuing on to finish the game. Then I found an unbugged TR2 and finished it as well. Then I finished TR3gold by passing the place I was stuck at(probably with your help). I finished every game that came after TR5, and I'm still following every game to finish it in the smallest amount of time possible. =)

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  16. It was around 1998 or within a couple of years that TRIII came out. A friend of mine at work had seen it advertised somewhere and we both revelled in her appearance, I think the game was described favourably as well. We mailed ordered the game and spit the cost. My friend played it a little and lost interest. When I got it on my computer I was enthrolled. I liked the character very much and delighted in learning the moves to help her through her adventures. I started collecting all of them and used Stella's web site a lot. I have to commend Stella without a doubt the biggest and best fan that Lara has. And the Blog... Holy cow! I'm glad to be a part of it. Stella, thanks.

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  17. First of all, it's so great to get to know you better since your site has been a tremendous source of information for me.

    I've been following it since early 2003 which was when I got started with the Tomb Raider series. A friend gave me a copy of Chronicles and after some initial confusion with how the game worked, I got really into it. However I then got stuck in the Trajan's market level where you fought the mechanical head. I spent a few hours on it before finally deciding to seek some help online and your site was the first one I came through.

    I fell in love with the style of your walkthroughs and decided to get all the games in the series and play them in chronological order. To avoid any potential frustration I always had a rule to never start playing a Tomb Raider session unless I had printed the walkthrough for the level (I didn't like to constantly alt-tab back then).

    There may be dozens of other Tomb Raider guides out there but yours have and always will be the best. Without them I doubt I could've finished games like Tomb Raider 3 (the hardest one for me).

    While the latest entries in the series from Crystal Dynamics (which to be honest I have enjoyed more than those from Core) are much more user friendly and don't require much use of a walkthrough (at least not constantly), I still visit your site constantly and enjoy reading the guides.

    I also want to thank you for taking the time to point out any potential bugs one may encounter. I was able to enjoy Legend and Underworld safe in the knowledge of where I could find any potential bugs.

    I've probably rambled for too long now so I'll just end this post with a big thank you from all the Tomb Raider community for your hard and dedicated work.

    Raid on Stella!

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  18. I got into the series when my parents bought tomb raider two for me way back in 1997. It took me years before I could get to the opera house because I got stuck. Late in 1997, I played tomb raider 1, but couldn't get far. In 1998, I played tomb raider 3, and I resorted to the level skip cheat to see most of the levels. In 1999, I played a demo of tomb raider 4. Finally, I got tomb raider 5 for my birthday in 2000, but wasn't good enough to finish it. I moved on to Angel of Darkness in 2003, but was hampered by the bugs. The first game I beat was chronicles in 05; then I beat legend in 06 (which I have since beaten at least 10 times for some reason) followed by anniversary in 07. I only just finished 1-3 and AOD last year and underworld a few weeks ago, but I was a fan ever since I met lara and yearned to one day beat them all. Today, I am about halfway through tomb raider 4, own them all and eagerly awaiting number 9, hoping it will NOT be butchered by square enix!

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  19. I use a Playstation, and can get Spiderman, Harry Potter, James Bond, Monsters Inc and other characters to walk in a straight line. Lara Croft, however, insists on walking and running in circles or zig-zags. Has anyone any tips on walking in straight lines?

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  20. Great stories, everyone. Thank you so much for sharing them.

    Grahame, I don't know if this is true for the PlayStation games, but on the earlier games for the PC if you have a joystick or gamepad plugged in and it isn't calibrated correctly, Lara will run in circles. Unplugging controllers you aren't using and/or recalibrating the ones you are may help. If not, I'd suggest posting on some of the TR tech support message boards (http://tombraiders.net/stella/techlinks.html). Maybe some PlayStation expert will be able to help.

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  21. i first got into tomb raider when i saw my brother playing the home sweet home level in the second game. ihave now played every game in the series and am a huge fan but my favorite to this day is tomb raider2 which i started on and the new anniversary version.

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  22. hi stella; i've been doing tomb raider since 2000. it's the only thing that kept me sane when my husband lost his job and had to do several months of training in another part of the country. i got really good at tomb raider. i played almost every game and rely on your walkthrus. love Lara Croft.

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  23. Hi Stella! I've loved video games since I played Pac-Man at the skating rink while the ice was being resurfaced. Then I begged for an Atari 2600 - and my mom got in on the fun; her favorite game was Kaboom!

    I outgrew games when they started getting violent (think Mortal Kombat violent) and I couldn't find puzzle games like Tetris. I didn't get back into gaming until I was teaching and had a ROTTEN day at school. I drove straight to Best Buy and told the sales guy, "I want a game where I can blow stuff up. I've had a horrible day and need to eliminate people." He said, "I have just the game for you," and handed me Tomb Raider.

    I was hooked. I stayed up all night playing Chronicles, The Last Revelation, and others. Now I need to upgrade my computer to keep up!

    I found your walkthroughs and finally had success with the games, which kept me going.

    Thanks, Stella for the job you do!

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  24. Excellent comments, everyone. I love hearing how everyone wandered into Lara's world. And of course I'm happy to know my walkthoughs have been helpful. :D

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  25. Hi Stella,

    My first console was an PSX and I got Tomb Raider 3 and Tekken 3 with it. I just thought TR3 was awesome - as I'd never played with such graphics on our computers (this was back in the day). My dad also bought TR1 for his computer, and I tried for hours to show him how to play it...
    Tomb Raider is cool because Lara is a)English and b)smart. I don't know if my opinion is correct but the only other smart women characters in gaming that I can think of are Joanna Dark (sort of) and Alyx from Half-Life; can you think of any others?
    Anyways, please do keep posting on your blog!

    Thanks! Alison

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  26. Hi dear Stella,

    nice blog dear. Just wanted to share something with you, did you know that there are in all 71 treasures in tomb raider 4 last revelation? I got them.

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  27. My first game ever was duck hunt. the one you get a gun to shoot ducks. oh i remember how my dad scolded me when the tv screen just turned green. My first ever tomb raider was 4 the last revelation. It took me 5 months to beat. i was stuck in the pyramid when you had to move the big rock to enter, that was the old days

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  28. More great stories. Thanks, everyone.

    Meithilesh, I think there are actually 70 secrets, and if you get 71 or 72 (I've seen both), then it's a glitch. I'm still not sure which one(s) count more that once. Still, good job finding all of those! :D

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  29. Hi Stella, I've loved the Tomb Raider series ever since I watched my dad play Tomb Raider 2 and this series has been my favorite. I had finished one to five by the time I was seven, and I finished Underworld on my 13th birthday, it took me two days. I just love it so much I hope they keep making the Tomb Raider games.

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  30. When i was only five I remeber spending a lot of time with my pop and nana. Back then nhe enjoyed to play tomb raider, and I would watch. When TR4 came out I gave it a try on the playstation and learnt the controls pretty easily. From then on I have played Tomb Raider. I have been asstounded by the graohics and locations she's been visiting lately.

    Off course now my family has a PS3 so now I have more opportunity (YEAH) I own the Tomb Raider Underworld Limited Edition and all the other Tomb Raider games (except the gold editions :( there not available anymore).

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  31. G-Day Stella
    It was back in 1998 when I picked up a copy of TR1 from a bargin store.from then on I was hooked.I have played them all many times, even through the night(much to my wife's disapproval)and that is only because she cannot work the controls.I have just taken a break from "Revelations"to write this comment.I'm just about to start the final level,so I gotta go.
    See Ya Mate
    Bob (Australia)

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  32. That's awesome! I love the fact that you practically took over when your husband got stuck!

    My first experience with TR was when I was about, 7? (Not long after it came out.) I watched my Mum play through the first one, loved it. I was like her helper, haha. Spotting items and telling her when to use Medipaks!

    I remember sneaking downstairs after my bedtime to watch mum and her friends playing the obstacle course on TR 2. :D

    Either way, I used to play the last few levels of TR 1, to fight the legless boss using Mum's tactic - shoot with the uzis, hang off the edge when he got close, wait until he moves away...repeat.

    I didn't play TR properly until Legend, which was the first game I played through to the end, alone. (I always found the others too difficult when I was younger.)

    Since then I've gone back and played through 1, 2...still haven't done 3 yet. I'm about halfway through 4, and am on the last level on Chronicles. So yeah! That's it really, got into it through my mum. I -loved- Anniversary, and think Underworld is beautiful.

    Sorry, I'm rambling!

    :)

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  33. I think I had my first Tomb Raider experience when my brother was playing it. He never played it much, but I kept playing. Actually, I still haven't actually finished most of the TR games, but started all of them except Underworld(computer can't handle it...). The Last Revelation is my forever favorite. I love your walkthroughs, I always use them!

    Dorian (Netherlands)

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  34. Hi Stella!

    I've read bits of your blog and everything sounds so intresting. I have to admit I liked the game when I played it, but as a feminist (yes, me too!) I often heard negative comments about Lara which made me question the game. This is why I chose it as a subject for one of my classes at college.

    I'm studying different views but I'm trying to challenge the regular expectations (Bimbo Lara for instance). If if it does not bother you to help I'd love some exposure for my little survey. Do you think you could post it on your blog or were you thinking of something else?

    Izzie (from the video-games forum).

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  35. Hey there!

    My names Michaela, and I'm 14 years old...
    I remember falling inlove with the Tomb Raider game at my best buddies house.
    We were playing hide and seek, and I went to hide in their garage, when I saw a box that was labeled: JUNK.
    So I looked through some of the things when I came by a Tomb Raider 2 game. I immediately forgot about hide and seek, and raced up the stairs into my friends room to show her the game. Her mom gave her the game when she was 7, and she could never get into it because she was to young. So we put the game in her PC and I've never felt like that before, it was amazing. I really love Tomb Raider, and I often come on your site to see whats new and to read the walkthroughs. To tell you the truth, I like them so much that if I don't have the game, I'll print out your walkthrough and read it as a book!
    I'd really like to get in contact with you.
    Love Michaela

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  36. Reading all the comments stimulates my remembrance about the 1st time I was being acquainted with Lady Lara Croft. Oh, how nostalgic it was :-)

    It was when I was... um, maybe 13-14 years old back in 1997 when my father came back from abroad. He showed me this CD (PC version, 'cause I hadn't had PSX yet back then), which he claimed was suggested as a have-to-try game by the shopkeeper. I was obsessed as soon as I started to play it. And the most craziest part, I even started to... ehm, fell in love with Lara's tomboy character (well, puberty in effect, LOL!), at least until I found a real-life "girl of my dream" ;-)

    But as I didn't really care of CD's sensitivity, it started to get numerous scratches, and it got unplayable before I even managed to finish it! I was really upset back then.

    Then my father tried to find another one (Yeah, great father. Love u dad!). This time, he bought TR 1 & 2 at once! Unfortunately, he made mistake. They were PSX's version. But somehow, I played it at my cousin's PSX until I got my own. Since the 1st edition, I've been following the series until now, except TRAOD (I want to try it, whatever complaints they state). Oh, I haven't tried TRU too. Will buy it ASAP.

    Among the series, I loved TR 1 the most. It provided ancient & natural environments, especially Egypt (I am Egyptian freak, yeah!). That's why I really enjoyed TRA edition (TRA was the 1st game I finished with your help). Regardless of the T-Rex's strange appearance (like a giant iguana) & Lara's soft emotion, TRA provided next-gen visualization on how would TR1 have been looked like with new technology. Also, TRA control was awesome, especially using mouse. More than that, I liked TR2 & TR4.

    Keep it up with the blog, Stella! We love you.

    Faris

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  37. Stella,

    First of all, many thanks for your hard work over the years. I remember your website waaay back in the day when I first started playing. More than 10 years later, you're still here. That's simply fantastic! =)

    I got into TR at a friends house. My friend's older brother was playing TR3, Jungle. I think this was right after TR3 had come out. I played for a bit, and while I remember getting stuck in a cave at the end of the river, I really enjoyed the game. Soon after that my Dad bought a Playstation and Tomb Raider 2, and the rest is history. I played each game as they came out, but the release of Chronicles for the PC was a particular milestone in my life. I actually found out about the Level Editor on the old tombraiders.net website, and wanted to download levels. Soon after that I bought Chronicles for the PC and the Level Editor.

    TRLE has had an incredible impact on my life. Sure, I liked computers and games before. But the TRLE online community and the ability to create my own games intensified these interests. I got very interested in web design and creating graphics, all of which I taught myself online. I made websites for my games, a journal for myself and sites for my friends. Over the years I got better at this work, and went to college for graphic design.

    I'm now about to graduate with a B.A. in Communications and Media. I have a successful freelance business and I love making art. I still continue to make and play custom TR levels. I honestly believe I would not be here had it not been for our dear friend Lara Croft.

    Thanks again Stella for everything you've done for the TR online community! =)

    Mike

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  38. I was 8 when I started. My bro used to play it. It was TR:3(ps1). now Im 12 and a big huge fan and finished Legend (psp) 2 times, Anniversary (psp) 3 times , and Underworld once on my ps3. Im still waiting for more.

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  39. Oh, and I forgot to mention: I couldn't complete Underworld without your help!!!!

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  40. Hi Stella, nice to get in touch again. I first got hooked on Lara on a quiet day in my office in 2000when I came across a demo of TR4 (still the best of all the games in my opinion). I couldn't believe I was contolling a little figure on the screen. Have played all the games except Underworld, all on Playstations 1 and 2. Stupidly, I lent PS2 to my son who promptly lost it when he moved house recently. I was up in my loft the other day when I found a PC version of TR4 which I'd quite forgotten I'd bought way back. I've just configured my PC to accept it and am waiting for an XBox360 PC controller as recommended by you. Can't wait to get playing again and like most other of the folk who have commented, I couldn't have managed without your brilliant walkthroughs.
    Best Regards,
    Tony.

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  41. I can thank my parents. When I was really little they were ALWAYS playing Tomb Raider on the computer. I watched them a lot too. When I was about 2 or 3, I started playing it. Of course I wasn't very good. I was just doing what my mom and dad would do. I started playing for real at 4 or 5. Now I am playing Tomb Raider any chance I get.

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  42. let's see.. grew up in arcades in the 80's. (not literally of course, that would be kinda creepy) - a roll of quarters was a gift better than just about anything else one could give you. you think about how unsanitary communal video games were.. little kids wiping their noses and banging away at buttons... kid after kid after kid... i digress.

    pnp ttg.. some of that. we all can thank gygax regardless of what we play today. always pour a little of your forty out for him.

    atari 2600. Pitfall. It's the progenitor of Tomb Raider.

    even early text-based pc games like Deadline. can you imagine getting anyone interested in that today?

    but the full-on passion began in the mid 1990's, when PC games began to emulate true environments. Tomb Raider was a title I picked up for the PS and as it was also the year I moved away from home to begin a career - I had free time each night to play.

    It's a routine I continue to this day, despite leading a perfectly normal life otherwise.

    I had a list of all the pc titles I've played but I lost it. Around 260 in all, (I still have most of them in a box) with a completion rate of about 80%. I won't play a game past the 25% mark if it hasn't redeemed itself or isn't interesting. There always has been and always will be a lot of crap out there.

    I've toyed with different types of filters in how new games are chosen. Sometimes only a certain genre.. sometimes follow the top-sellers list.. it's a personal trial and error type of thing, but over time you develop a sense of what games you 'know' will pique your interest- and run with it. Sometimes you are completely dissapointed, but other times you will be enchanted with your discoveries.


    So of all those games, there are really only a couple franchises that have the power to not only retain interest after 7 sequels and counting, but also that inspired waves of imitations afterwards... real groundbreakers. That is why the TR franchise will always have true fans - and also hopefully new games.

    Today the mmo-world is the new thing. And I've played several: STO, AoC, EVE, EQ2, Lineage 2, Aion, WoW... they are great at what they do, but in my mind, nothing can quite beat the sort of lonesome but empowering feeling you get by having to pit your wits and manual dexterity against an alternate world, where if you fail you have only yourself to blame.

    But one criticism I get from people who don't share the fun of playing video games is that there seems to be so much money spent on the games and/or subscriptions. That's a specious argument. I would challenge anyone who wanted to spend nights out either going out to bars, movies, dinners or whatever to tally up they money they spent versus the total I have spent on games. Dollar for dollar, there is no value like that of a well-designed game.

    So anyway, you get the picture.

    Thanks Stella for maintaining a site very much in the spirit of TR and its fan base.

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  43. I was born when the first tomb raider game came out (what a privilege), so i only started playing them between tomb raider 4 and 5. Anyway, back to the beggining.
    I first got into video games when a game called croc came out, he was like a small half crocodile and half dinosaur type of thing. After that my dad had brought tomb raider the last revelation (which is still my faviote tomb raider game now and the jeep is my favirote vehicle).
    I didn't play it all the way through, me, my brother and my dad took it in turns playing it and all of us trying to work out the puzzles but as i got older i got more into it and started buying and playing all the other tomb raider games, i got stuck all the time with the puzzles but thanks to this wonderful site i managed to complete all the games.

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  44. I first got to know Tomb Raider, when my brothers played TR2! I just loved that game, the story was great and the levels were awesome! I was 7 at that time. I started play it myself and I loved it :D Though I was and always will be more of a Resident Evil fan, the Tomb Raider games will always have a special place in my heart :D Tomb Raider 2 is my fav! It has always been my fav :D But I remember my brother sold the game afther a short time, and well I was young and didnt have that much money! I looked for that game in the stores for years! But it's a rare game here! But then one day I found it again (TR2 that is) I was 14 then! And I've had it since then (turning 20 this year) And your walkthroughs have helped me a lot with TR2 ( I never really got to complete the game when I was 7, since my brother sold it) and other TR games, like Legend and Anniversary :D

    Greetings from Norway :D

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  45. Thanks so much, everyone, for sharing your Tomb Raider beginnings. It seems there are many different paths to the same destination. Maybe the TR developers should take a lesson from their fans. ;)

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  46. Well……… I am amazed! I thought you must be some mythical creature as I could never find any information about the writer of the wonderful Stella TR walk throughs. I love Lara but am a pretty rubbish player (not very keen on killing animals but love giving the human baddies a good kicking and can NEVER defeat the TRex!) but you have saved my life (and sanity!) on numerous occasions!! A huge Thank you for a brilliant site :o)

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  47. Well, My mom had an old tomb raider game she got for her birthday from my uncle when I was a really little kid. I owned the playstation one and still have it and play on it. My mom started playing it, but gave up in Vilacamba when she had trouble with the swimming. When I was 10, I remembered watching it as a kid, but I wasn't sure If I was just imagining it, so I asked her if she used to play a video game where a girl goes and kills bats. She said she did and told me she still had the game if I wanted to play it. I went and played, and that was the end. As soon as finished my homework I would play it. I got stuck at the 4th level and found the walkthough!

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  48. Hey Stella Croft how are you? (greetings from Brazil for you :)

    well well i'm the only gamer of my family :/, i'd like to have a sister like you :D. I heard about the Tomb Raider Game series for years... but i never played.. until.. (believe it!!) 4 months ago! And thank your websites i've finished the games in this time (Tomb Raider 1 > Tomb Raider Anniversary PC games) and now i'm a tombraider fan too!! i hope to buy another pc asap to play the latest games.(Underworld, guardian of the light.... and the tr9, tr10, tr11, ever :D) Thanks for everything you do for tomb series :D

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  49. I am so thrilled this website is still here! There were many websites I enjoyed in the nineties and all of them are long gone. Except this one! Not only is this site extremely useful, it's also so comforting to know it lasted. Ahh, those good old days in the nineties playing TR2, getting stuck, and then coming to Stella's site to get help.

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  50. I actually started playing the game when I got Tomb Raider : The Last Revelations in exchange for Lord of the Rings (which didn't work on my ancient computer). I saw the game in the store and fell in love with it with the naive childish idea that Tomb Raider was the name of the main character. I was very little back then and didn't really understand how to get cross the tutorial level so I gave up the first day. But I motivated myself enough the next day by dressing like the young Lara and sitting to play the game and presto! I got a hang of it and I'm still stuck to the game after so many years. I think that without Tomb Raider my life would really be missing something, an element of adventure and the hope to dream. And playing that game, I guess some of Lara's awesomeness has rub off onto me (yes, I'm fondly called Lara Croft in my family and even now I dress up and behave like Lara *goes searching for her pistols*)
    And thanks Stella for making those awesome and detailed walkthroughs because if it weren't for their help when I got stuck, I think I'd have given up on TR! Thanks, you're the best!!!

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  51. I begun the tr games with tr 2 when I was very little(can't remember the age). My youngest aunt had the game and I saw her playing once, that's how I fell in love with tr. Every time that I went to my aunt's place I played it but not entirely by myself (couldn't make her swim) I didn't play tr2 by level to level but just each saved game I saw! Then I was bored of tr 2 and so I played tr3 (in my aunt's house of course) ! (must have been some years after it's release) I only played the 1st level because then my aunt and I got stuck with sims. But then my aunt bought traod I was really impressed with the graphics and so I got stuck with tr again! I didn't finish traod and I stopped tr (again). Years passed and I had nearly forgotten lara but I always loved her then I got tr the prophecy for game boy advance by my aunt of course!! as a birthday gift. After I finished my first tr game (took me years) my parents bought me trl and that's how I fell in love with the tr series. I played then tr legend-underworld. After tru I was disapointed with the tr series but then I found somewhere in my aunt's stuff tr chronicles I played it a little (didn't finish it) but the point is that I begun playing tr like a maniac and so I played as many tr games as I could but I wouldn't make it without your help Stella!!!!! So thank u a lot!!!!!!

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  52. Pretty simple really. There were a couple games way back when, that got me hooked and that I vividly remember getting. The first was Kings Quest VI bundled with my first CD-ROM drive back in about 1992. Then came the first one I bought, MYST in 1993. Also in 1993 I got a sharware floppy of DOOM in a magazine and in short order got the full game. Then...came the biggie...a pre-release demo of Tomb Raider came in a magazine. I was simply beside myself with anticipation waiting for it to come out. It's been my favorite series ever since. I've had many, many games over he years. But these are the standout moments and Tomb Raider's are always highly anticipated.

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  53. Oh, forgot to mention in that last message. I don't know exactly when I first found "Stella's Tomb Raider Site". But it was a long, long time ago. I've used it for hints and news for as long as I can remember. Just came here today because I've decided to start the whole series over from the begining and...got stuck, ha ha.

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  54. Most of my favourite games are the games I used to watch my dad play when I was a kid, and the two first Tomb Raider games are like that. A few years later I started playing the games with my friend (we took turns when the other one failed or died). We both kinda sucked at it, but whatever, we had lots of fun.

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  55. Hi Stella, I use your site so much. It all started when TR was introduced on our Midday Show here in Australia when the game came out. I promptly bought it - I still have the trapezoid box and still play it OF COURSE :) - and my 10 yr old son played it while I watched (I was too ill to play until about 10 yrs later). I found your site and printed out the walkthrough. I have all the games and also voraciously play the custom levels now I've played all the series a few times. The more the merrier! Thanks for your wonderful site. Isn't it great how things happen :) - Hillie from Australia (60 years young).

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  56. I started playing Tomb Raider when I was very, very young (maybe 6 or 7!). Tomb Raider 3 was the first major video game I ever played (along with Quake II, which probably wasn't the best game for a 6 year old...).

    I think perhaps it was 1999 when my dad's friend snagged a copy of Tomb Raider III and brought it over to show my dad. My dad had always been a computer enthusiast and we had just gotten two brand new custom built computers with top of the line specs for the late 90s.

    My brother (5 at the time) and I were doing something in the other room, but when we heard the sound of Lara talking and my Dad gushing in awe at the stunning TR3 graphics, we were interested.

    We went into the other room and watched as my dad struggled to control Lara in the training level (he was never good at video games!). Eventually he became disinterested and went to do something else, leaving the game on.

    My brother was first to sit down in front of the computer, but he had trouble with the controls too. Impatiently I told him to let me try. He gave up and I took the controls. In a matter of seconds, I got Lara in action! She ran down the stairs and right into the creepy butler, who scared my brother and I to the point where we screamed, then we both laughed and decided to name him "Shorty."

    I remember making our way to the pool room where I accidentally ran Lara into the pool. I couldn't figure out how to swim fast enough and Lara ended up drowning. It scared me because I had never seen death in a game before. We both decided to quit for the day.

    The next day I asked my Dad if I could play it. He said yes. For the longest time I would only play at the training level. After I had discovered all of its secrets, it was finally time to play the real game! I made my way to the jungles of India and took the first step forward onto the slippery slope. But the situation unexpectedly changed when I fell into the spike pit at the end of the slope. It took me a few years to muster up enough courage and skill to finally take on the real games.

    I didn't even complete a game until last summer, when I made it my summer goal to complete Tomb Raider II. Now I'm working on Tomb Raider III again. Your walkthroughs have been helpful at the tricky parts. Thank you!

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  57. Great 'orgin' story, Kyle. Thanks for sharing it. And congrats on beating TR2. I've been meaning to replay TR3 for ages but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe after the new game in March. Anyway, I'm glad my site was helpful. Take care and raid on! :D

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  58. I started off playing TR2, I must have been 6 going onto 7. I don't quite remember TR1 but I certainly do remember the cardboard cut outs of Lara in PC stores during the time of the second release. Just the image of her appealed to me and I tried to make my dad buy the game but he refused a couple of times. The first time I got the game was on one of those demo CDs with multiple games on it. It was thrilling and I quite like how she interacted with the water whilst onlooking the tigers that wanted to feast off from her. Once reaching the limits of the demo, my dad finally got the whole game and my friend would come over to play it with me and my sister. Most of the time she would jump and scream when anything tried to attack Lara and there was me rolling my eyes doing the hard work xD It was the sounds of TR2 I can remember vividly, for example her hanging on the wall with the shallow pool below where she had to move sideways whilst down below there was rounded blades flying in a direction. Another was the HUGE boulder rolling!
    Ever since then Tomb Raider has always been my number one favourite game. Me and the same friend decided to play the whole series of game using your guide Stella's ;) Again my friend didn't do much but the company counts :D

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  59. I started with Chronicles when I was like 11y/o. I got a complementary copy with my new computer and I thought what the heck. Although I enjoyed gaming, I'm more of a sports and ourdoorsy guy so I got abused by Chronicles. I mean I didn't know how to open the first gate in streets of rome.(I think I had to get Lara stick her hand into some hole in the wall which I would never have thought of-I mean who the heck knows if there's a rat in there right?)
    A buddy of mine imparted his wisdom to me that when all seems lost, stand next to everything and hit the action key. After that I figured out everything on my own till escape the sub level - I couldn't find a second battery pack or something so friend told me about tombraiders.net
    Next came that spooky place in Ireland with ghosts and demons. I uh... had to take a strategic timeout and wait till I was 14 to play that level because I was almost passing out in fear. Even at 14 though, my intuition and common sense seemed to be as useful as a roll of toilet paper in computer-animation-Lara-Croft-who-never-needs-to-pee's backpack. Needed to constantly get nursed by tomraiders.net at the expense of my letting down my ego in order to play IReland and VCH. It was a very stressful first game to playthrough comprehensively till the end but thereafter i felt like if I can play TR5...ain't no other game out there can kill my spirits. After that I played Legend and Anniversry and then AOD. I have Underworld but I've had no time to play it because of college work. I've only ever managed to played Assassins Creed and Fallout 3 since I started College. Guardian of Light looked pretty silly and unappealing to me. Don't feel like dropping $ on that. Maybe you can give me your opinion about it...
    - Shimaal from Sri Lanka

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  60. Shimaal again-
    You know, should you grace me with a response, I'm also curious about your reaction toward the change in complexion of the game. I was disappointed that they were trying to deviate from the Legend, Anniversary, Underworld style and sorta get into like a Command and Conquer style gameplay in GOL. And from what I see from the trailer, new game seems to be getting into the Fallout, Skyrim RPG theme. While the whole unlimited ammo and such may have been unrealistic and despite all the other flaws, I think TR should have maintained originality and retained center around the hardcore puzzle/abstract mechanism/Level bosses you can't just keep shooting at style of gameplay. How does Hardcore Tomb Raider mom Stella feel about this change?

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  61. Jasmin and Shimaal, thanks for sharing your stories. We all come to these games in slightly different ways, but it's always fun to hear how others have discovered them.

    Shimaal, I have mixed feelings about the new game, just as I had them about Legend, Anniversary and Underworld at first. But despite my fears, those games have grown on me, and now I love them almost as much as the classics. Games and gaming evolve along with the technology and the tastes of the current generation of players. Sure, a lot of us would love to see title after title in the old style, but it's just not a viable model for selling games. After all, it is a business, and the developers need to acknowledge current trends to stay competitive.

    That said, I'm not wild about the idea of multiplayer or some of the other new features introduced in the new game, but I'm hoping my fears are unfounded. I try to remain open-minded, and who knows, maybe things I'm afraid of now will become favorite features in time.

    As for the puzzle aspect, I think there will be a lot more of that in the new game that we just haven't seen yet. The devs don't want to spoil the puzzles and tombs by showing too much in the trailers, and it's much more exciting for marketing purposes to show action and combat. At least I hope that's what's happening. :D

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  62. Hmm... I suppose you're right. Perhaps its kinda like how every other contemporary song has a tinge of electronica to it to keep up with trends. Still, first impressions of the new game for me are:
    Largely Far Cry themed with a hint of Uncharted 2 in terms of interactivity with the environment and ease into the game..
    Splinter Cell like - all guns blazing will get you killed notion
    Fallout, Mass Effect, Skyrim + type skill point acquisition with a taste of Star Wars Force Unleashed
    etc etc
    ah I don't mean to be a buzzkill - just looking for excitement.
    Hoping for a bit of originality and some badass puzzles..
    Thanks Stella.

    - Shimaal

    P.S:- I was looking forward to hearing about how you responded to Guardian of Light and how you would compare it with the gaming utility of AOD, Legend Underworld and if it that was a welcome adjustment to TR. Hmm.. maybe when you feel like it.
    Cheers

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  63. Shimaal, It's cool. I get it. I see some of those same resemblances. Way too much combat, IMO, but again I think that may just have to do with what they're showing in the trailers and demos and might not reflect the actual balance of the game.

    I agree with what you said about trends though. In a few years Far Cry, Uncharted, etc., may seem as antiquated as 1950's conical bras. Oh, wait, our Lara pulled that off too in 1996. ;)

    As for Guardian of Light, I loved it, but it's not actually a Tomb Raider game, so I didn't really try and compare it with other games. Judged on its own merits--as a fast-paced arcade game with a lot of puzzles and collectibles--I thought it was brilliant.

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  64. Have you played Amnesia: THe Dark Descent? Do you write walkthroughs for any other games besides tomb raider? If I have time I sometimes check out walkthroughs just for fun to see if there were things I missed and things that could have been done differently. Most notable realization was in Splinter Cell Double Agent, toward the final minutes of the game I somehow ended up with only a knife and I had to take out like 10 heavily armed guys and disarm a bomb or something BEFORE a timer ran out. After several hours, retries and nearly bursting a blood vessel I took em out and finished the game only to find out from a walk-through that you're supposed to actually pick up his SC20k assault rifle and THEN take em all out before disarming the bomb..... I was like FML

    -Shimaal

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  65. Hey, Shimaal. I have not played Amnesia. I've heard some good things about it, but I hear it's really creepy. I just haven't had much time for gaming lately, and pretty soon it's going to be all about the new TR. I'll file it under "games to try one of these days" though. :)

    I have two other walkthrough sites: brickraiders.net for Lego Indiana Jones and spacecolonyfans.net. Those don't require too much attention, just occasional updates and email questions, but TR keeps me plenty busy.

    I know what you mean about the walkthrough as last resort, but sometimes it's fun to figure out other ways to do things than the devs intended--even if it ends up being harder instead of easier. ;)

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  66. When I was 9 years old in 2004 , I used to go to the video game shop to play Mario & Tekken 3 .Later one day I saw the Tomb Raider(Play Station) for the first time .I really liked that game .One day I went to the video game shop at one o clock at the afternoon and a bro was playing Tomb Raider . I returned to home at 6:30 .I never spent that much time outside the home except school.From that day I went to watch the Tomb Raider daily one hour at night .Then they closed the shop after a few days.In 2008 I have seen Tomb Raider Anniversary in cyber cafe.I took daily one hour to play that game some times even 2 hours .I completed it, later I found Underworld in another cafe I completed it too but sometimes I played it even three hours a day .In 2010 I bought PC and again I played TRA & TRU . Later TR Legend now reboot completed 2 days before .

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  67. Hello, alright every starts when i was thirteen to fourteen,2003 (a really memorable year of my life for many reasons). After an unfortunate moment i smashed a video game we had and that made my brother very sad!! So regrets started blowing my head! I decide to collect some money and buy a new one! 3 euros all i had to collect, do you know why?
    because my console was a sega dreamecast!! so a video club found it self with an amount of dreamecast games without people to get interested on them. So 3euros per game, is there anyone here who has bought an original TR game for 3 euros? The Last Revelation, thats why it is my favorite. It took me 4 years to finish it(baggy game), off course the foundation of your site was critical to the process

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  68. Well, since you asked.

    I started playing back in 1996 (I was 4 years old back then). As soon as the first Tomb Raider released, my father simply couldn't let it pass. I mean, there can be no more fun than playing an action hero with a rack like that can there.
    As young as I was, I was immediately interested in the game my father was so endlessly playing.
    as the years went on and more Tomb Raiders Appeared my father slowly started to lose interest. I beleive Chronicles was the last one he actuallly played untill the very end.
    I remember the curses he uttered on TR3 the best.
    MY GOD what was that an awfully difficult, surprisingly deadly yet super fun game to play.
    It was at TR3 when my father first started asking me for solutions instead of the other way around.

    Now, in 2013, Im 21 Years old.
    My father gave up playing a long time ago.
    My interest recently reawoke with the release of the latest TR2013.

    So I grabbed my old discs out of the dusty corners of my closet. and (with some trouble) got the first 5 of them installed on my PC now.

    I am (after what must be like 7 years of not playing) totally fed up, and decided to make some explanatory video's soon to be put on youtube.

    Thats pretty much the length of it, I might not be the pro player some others are, but I definately have a good feel for it, and after the rust is gone I too will become another active member of the online TR community.

    Shine

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    1. Welcome back, Shine! I assume you're the same Shine who emailed me about the videos. I look forward to watching them. :D

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  69. Hi Stella,
    Been playing games since late 80s but first real game was bought by my daughter for me and wife - Little Big Adventure. Loved it and followed up with a few others but not crazy about the others. Then found TR and never looked back. Absolutely nothing has been as good for us! Thanks to the modern wonder of HDMI I play on the desktop PC while wife sits on couch watching on the big TV screen and hurls advice and abuse. Have used your walkthroughs almost without exception (except 2013 and the like where you can muddle through without) and occasionally save game files. Have even emailed you some years ago for advice (which you obliged with). Can't wait for the PC version of the new one. Wife is now 80 and I am 78 in 2 weeks but still gaming away. Keep up the good work.
    JimTheMuso near Ashford, Kent UK.

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    1. Hi, Jim. That setup sounds like a lot of fun! I wish my family members were more interested in Tomb Raider. I just have to muddle through on my own, though I have been known to livestream occasionally, which is great fun once I get over the stage fright.

      Less than a week until Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC now. I loved the Xbox One version but plan to switch over as soon as I can. Hope you enjoy it too. :D

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    2. Hi again Stella,
      Enjoyed ROTTR but got to the end where you shoot down the chopper and have given up (for now). Am playing again (for about the 5th time) 2013 which, for us oldies anyway, is just about the greatest TR ever. Can't stand what I call "the mini ones" like Guardian of Light and something Osiris. Little people running round the screen always seems like something out of the 80's.
      Jim.

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    3. Be patient. It takes a while, but you'll get it. :) I love the Lara Croft games, but they are much better with friends than solo. I suspect a lot of people get them thinking they're going to be mini-Tomb Raider games, but they're really quite different. Temple of Osiris can be pretty buggy, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

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    4. But then again, I *am* "something out of the '80s." ;)

      Delete

Tomb Raider Archives - Collecting all the classic Top Cow Comics
Tomb Raider Archives 4-volume set collects 50 issues of the best-selling Top Cow comic. Order from TFAW, Amazon, or Amazon UK.