Tomb Raider The Last Revelation Goes Multiplatform – November 22nd, 1999 – Today in Video Game History

Tomb Raider the Last Revelation PlayStation Core Design Eidos Lara Croft

Tomb Raider The Last Revelation is the first entry in the franchise to go multiplatform since the original. Much like the first Tomb Raider game, the other platform was a Sega one – the Sega Dreamcast in this case. Sony, smartly, locked up this franchise as a PlayStation console exclusive after the first game was released. This kept Sega Saturn from getting another entry as well as Nintendo 64 seeing anything at all. That exclusivity ran out in 1999 leaving Core Design free to explore other platforms again. This was also the final entry on the original PlayStation console before the franchise would jump to the PlayStation 2.

The Last Revelation is the first game

Technically, Tomb Raider The Last Revelation is the first game in the story of Lara Croft. Yep, they pulled a “we have no more ideas for going forward so we are going back” method of storytelling.

Here we are controlling a much younger Lara Croft who is on an expedition in Egypt. You are going to be facing off against Egyptian gods such as Set while battling their forces in Cairo.

Fourth entry, bottom of the barrel?

Yes, and no. Tomb Raider The Last Revelation was certainly not the most well received entry. This is partly because the engine was still based heavily on the first game. You know, the game that released in 1996, or in game terms – two sequels prior to this one.

That is a lifetime and a half in gaming terms.

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For a comparison, look at Spyro the Dragon by Insomniac Games. It was also a PlayStation exclusive, meaning only optimizing for one platform. Spyro was not even available on PC at the time.

To the credit of the developers, most of the code was redone for this final entry. Their hands were more tied by previous entries and the hardware itself at this point.

Tomb Raider games and their charm

Sure, many gamers were all about Lara Croft and her design. Interviews with Core higher ups made it clear they knew this would be a draw as well.

It was also a great marketing gimmick going with a female lead in the Tomb Raider games. Xena Warrior Princess hit TV when the original Tomb Raider was in development. Relic Hunter started airing when The Last Revelation was about to launch. Even Nintendo started pushing Samus Aran, minus suit, in media in the mid to late 1990’s.

It was clear, entertainment seekers were wanting strong female leads. Something the Tomb Raider games had from the start.

While The Last Revelation was not an amazing swan song to the PlayStation hardware, it was still enjoyable. Are there any fans of the Tomb Raider franchise reading this? If so, what is your favorite entry? I am partial to the first because it was just so different. It also came at the right time for me as a gamer. What about you?

Carl Williams

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