#TR25 Twelve Days of Christmas / Day 5

Today we will be taking a look at the Tomb Raider Level Editor (TRLE).

The TRLE was included with Tomb Raider (5) Chronicles release on a separate CD. It is the game engine used for building the Tomb Raider 4 and 5, and its predecessors on an earlier version.

Ever since its release in the year 2000, 21 years later, fans from all over the world still use it to this day to create Custom Levels – new adventures for Lara.

Over the years, not only the fanbase of level designers grew, but also the modders, who expanded the tools and enhanced the engine in order to improve the possibilities of creating breathtaking levels, by the fans for the fans.

The TRLE software comes with an extensive manual, however, there are dedicated websites such as trle.net, skribblerz.com, trsearch.com, which have extensive databases of additions and tutorials on the matter.

Below you find a few snippers from the manual, to soothe your curiousity as to how it looks like behind the driving wheel of the classic Tomb Raider games.


The Tomb Editor is designed to work with a basic “building block” proportioned to Lara and her movements. Texture “tiles”, equal in scale to these basic “building blocks”, are applied to the modeled rooms comprising each level.


Levels are built by connecting a series of rooms comprised of walls and “building blocks.” The floors and ceilings of these rooms are sectioned into squares. The “building blocks” are created when you raise a square up from the floor or lower one down from the ceiling.

The Tomb Raider Level Editor provides involvement for just about every level of interest. If you want to create an entire level from scratch, including making your own textures in the paint program of your choice, go for it! If you feel intimidated by modeling an entire level, begin with one of the example levels keeping only your favorite bits – then build new rooms to connect them all. And if modeling and texturing don’t interest you as much as fooling around with game-play, use an existing model, remove all the baddies, pick-ups, puzzles and triggers and set up your own.


Finally, HAVE FUN!!!! “Rome wasn’t built in a day” etc, etc….!!!

Philip Campbell, Level Designer for Tomb Raider