January 27, 2011

Calling All Writers! Tomb Raider Fan Fiction Contest Underway

The Sixth Village of Tokakeriby Tomb Raider Story Competition is heading into its final weeks. So now is the time to submit your fan fiction masterpiece. Stories should be between 1,000 and 10,000 words, include content suitable for a PG/teen audience, and feature a young Lara Croft. The deadline for submissions is Lara's birthday, February 14, 2011.

For more information on the rules and prizes, to submit your entry, or to help promote the contest on your Tomb Raider fan site, visit www.tokakeriby.com/VOT6.html. Past years' entries are also available here.

Young Lara Croft
6teen Lindsay as Lara Croft by qMargot.
Used here with the artist's permission.
See more of Margot's artwork on DeviantArt.

January 17, 2011

Tomb Raider 9 Playtesters Wanted

Developer Crystal Dynamics has put out a call for playtesters for their upcoming Tomb Raider game. In a recent Twitter update, Global Brand Director Karl Stewart wrote: "Looking for anyone who: 1) can keep their mouth shut, 2) would love to playtest Tomb Raider and 3) lives in the [San Francisco] bay area." Interested? Email .

Tomb Raider Screenshot

January 9, 2011

Tomb Raider Trilogy Coming to PlayStation 3 in March

Earlier this week developer Crystal Dynamics confirmed that The Tomb Raider Trilogy will be released for PlayStation 3 in March. The collection will include remastered, high-definition versions of Tomb Raider: Legend and Anniversary, as well as Tomb Raider: Underworld, which was originally released in HD for the PS3. Format: BluRay. Price tag: $39.99/€29.99. Dates: March 22 for North America, March 25 for Europe.

Tomb Raider Trilogy for PlayStaton 3

The trilogy pack will also include some exclusive bonus content: a Tomb Raider theme pack, Lara Croft and Viking Thrall avatar outfits (shown below), a collection of HD video trailers, and trophy support for Legend and Anniversary.

Although many PS3 players were hopeful that the Trilogy release would also include the Underworld expansion packs "Beneath the Ashes" and "Lara's Shadow," those Xbox 360 exclusives will not be coming to the PlayStation or PC in the foreseeable future. Crystal Dynamics Global Brand Director Karl Stewart has confirmed this via Twitter.
Lara Croft PS3 AvatarViking Thrall PS3 Avatar
PS3 Tomb Raider Theme
Theme and avatar screens courtesy of IGN.com.

January 2, 2011

Achievements for Classic Tomb Raider Games

Recently my friend Eldin came up with an awesome idea for fans of the classic Tomb Raider games. I liked it so much I just had to share it here. For players who crave more challenge than simply beating each level, we've decided to create achievement lists for each of the first six Tomb Raider games. Making the lists is going to be a task in itself, so we'll need your help!

Classic Tomb Raider Achievements

In case you're not familiar with Xbox 360 achievements—and similar systems like PlayStation trophies and Steam achievements for PC games—they're basically in-game challenges players can beat to earn points. These points are then added to the player's total Gamerscore, a general indicator of how many games the player has beaten and how thoroughly they've played. For example, my Xbox GamerCard, displayed in the right margin of this blog, shows off my own feeble 8,000-point Gamerscore. ;)

The new Tomb Raiders, developed by Crystal Dynamics, already incorporate achievements and trophies. (Here are lists for Legend, Anniversary, Underworld and Guardian of Light.) But since the classic Tomb Raiders obviously don't have real achievements built in, we're going to make up our own.

This isn't a totally new idea. Back in the early days, sites like tombraiders.com featured "Expert Challenges" invented by fans. Similarly, Tomb Raider speed runners have been racing through the levels since long before Tomb Raider: Legend first incorporated official time trials.

Now we're asking you to help us design a list of achievements for each game from Tomb Raider through Angel of Darkness. We're open to anything, provided it's challenging and fun for players but not impossible to do. Windows, Macintosh and PlayStation gamers are all welcome to contribute. We'll use as many of your suggestions as we can. Maybe we can all vote on the best ideas. The final lists will be available for players to use, post on their own fan sites, etc.

Ideally we'd like to follow the Xbox 360 model, so the total points for each game add up to 1,000—with 250 extra points for each expansion pack (Unfinished Business, Golden Mask, Lost Artifact). So keep that in mind when building your lists. You can write complete achievement lists for each game or suggest individual challenges.

We've already come up with a few ideas for the Peru levels in Tomb Raider 1, but none of these are set in stone.

Tomb Raider 1 Peru Achievements
Find all secrets in Caves( 10 points )
Complete Caves without killing any enemies( 15 points )
Don't use any medpack(5 points )
Complete Caves in 5 minutes or less( 20 points )
Find all secrets in City of Vilcabamba( 15 points )
Don't kill any bear( 10 points )
Open middle Red-Roofed door
   without falling in the pool
(5 points )
Complete City of Vilcabamba in
   8 minutes or less
( 20 points )
Find all secrets in Lost Valley( 20 points )
Obtain the shotgun( 10 points )
Kill T-Rex with pistols( 15 points )
Don't kill any small dinosaur( 15 points )
Complete Lost Valley without dying( 15 points )
Do swan dive to the water at the end of level(5 points )
Complete Lost Valley in 15 minutes or less( 20 points )
Find all secrets in Tomb of Qualopec( 10 points )
Don't use shotgun in fight( 10 points )
Beat Larson without using a medpack( 10 points )
Complete Tomb of Quolopec in
   10 minutes or less
( 20 points )
TOTAL: 250 points

Those are just a few of our ideas to start. We're open to anything, provided it's challenging and fun for players but not impossible to do. We'll use as many of your suggestions as we can. Maybe we can all vote on the best suggestions.

To join the discussion, post a comment below, chime in on my Facebook page or visit the page Eldin has set up on his Tomb Raider forum. We'd love to hear your ideas!