#TR25 Twelve Days of Christmas / Day 8

By now, some new fans might be a still wondering, given the 25 year history of the franchise, where does it all tie in?

You’re in luck, because the community is pretty excited after the developers teased that they are hard at work on unifying the Tomb Raider timelines.

What does this mean? We could only guess for now! Feel free to join in the discussion over at the social media outlets.

Let’s start wrapping all of this by compartmentalizing the franchise in order to bring even more clarity.

If you still are still not sure where to start you adventure from, head on over the the article from Day 1 to pick your starting point with a quick fun questionnaire.

If you have been around for a while during these celebrations, the term “Classics” or “Classic Tomb Raider games” might have made an impression to you.

The term incorporates Tomb Raider 1 to 5, and some might argue that Tomb Raider 6 is also to be included. Personally, the 6th installment is in the twilight zone, but depending on the factors below it could be counted as a Classic.

Please note these are not canon, as every fan would have their own personal opinion. As much as I am expressing my own take on this, it is also based on my experience with many devoted Tomb Raider fans over the years.

Firstly, Tomb Raider 1 to 6 were developed by Core Design which were a small British game developer studio based in Derby, England. With the following 2 reboots, after Tomb Raider 6, and as with every change, the community was conflicted between the new and the old. Thus, the Classics are generally considered the titles under the development of Core Design.

Secondly, the term “Classics” could refer to the Tomb Raider 1 to 5 based on the graphics and gameplay of the 5 initial titles. The games are more block-based, there’s platforming, shooting and puzzle solving. Simple as that.

However, with Tomb Raider 6, and the evolution of graphics, while developing the game for PS2, the developers wanted to expand on the gameplay mechanics. Whilst keeping the core mechanics of the previous games, a more of an RPG approach was added – dialogue options, currency you accumulate to buy items with, possibly different outcomes, and another playable character.

Even though everything needs to evolve in order for a franchise to stay relevant, the issue isn’t the graphics, or the newly introduced game mechanics. It is more of a corporate decision, as the game studio was rushed to complete the game by their publisher, as the franchise was silent for 3 years already since their last release.

The final product could be a bit wayward for someone just jumping into franchise, however, amazing fans of Tomb Raider 6 have been hard at work to data mine and extract all the goodies buried under the hood, proving the game had, and still has, great potential.

All that being said, given the above considerations, this is why the 6th installment is a bit in the twilight zone. If you can keep an open mind, please take a gander at the game, however, as it really has a nice story and experience (despite the whole game being buggy).

To summarize, Tomb Raider 1-5 are considered the most true representation of what the games ought to be. The game follow the formula that makes Tomb Raider – Tomb Raider.

At this point, you might be thinking – that’s great and all, but are they connected?

What a wonderful question! Let us have a another breakdown!

The Classic games, developed by Core Design, can be considered in trilogies, or not, depending on how you view it.

Story wise Tomb Raider 1 to 3 don’t have a combined plot. Each game is its own adventure with its own goal and villains along the way. However, some might consider this a pack as it introductory to, and expanding of the franchise. The games have the following sub titles.

Tomb Raider 1 – Featuring Lara Croft

Tomb Raider 2 – Starring Lara Croft

Tomb Raider 3 – Adventures of Lara Croft

Following through, we have Tomb Raider 4 to 6, which could be considered a trilogy of sorts. Why? Well, without giving any spoilers away, something happens at the end of Tomb Raider 4, which is used to build the story for Tomb Raider 5, the events of what happened at said ending of Tomb Raider 4 are expanded upon at the end of Tomb Raider 5, leading to the beginning of Tomb Raider 6, which lays the ground for Lara’s “initiation” in the games plot.

If you are mildly confused by the above, tl;dr is that the games are, again, separate plots, but are united by a one-time occurring event in each game, which serves to build each game’s exposition.

The games have the following sub titles, if you are curious:

Tomb Raider 4 – The Last Revelation

Tomb Raider 5 – Chronicles

Tomb Raider 6 – Angel of Darkness

This concludes the tip-of-the-iceberg history of Tomb Raider for today. Tomorrow we will continue our adventure into the next segment of the franchise’s history – the 2 reboot developed by Crystal Dynamics!