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Tomb Raider: Legend

Tomb Raider: Legend

Tomb Raider: Legend

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is a 2006 action-adventure video game, the 7th entry in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Tomb Raider franchise. Published by Eidos Interactive, this is the first game in the series not to be handled by British-based Core Design, developed instead by British-owned U.S. studio Crystal Dynamics.

The Windows and Xbox versions, ported by Nixxes Software which also worked on the GameCube version, were released in Europe on 7 April 2006 and in North America on 11 April 2006, along with the PS2 and Xbox 360 versions. The North American PSP version, developed by Buzz Monkey, was released on 20 June 2006, the Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS versions were released during November 2006 and the Mobile version was released in December 2006. Human Soft was responsible for the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance versions. The Windows version was released in 2006 and it was also made available for download to GameTap subscribers on 31 May 2007. A version for the PlayStation 3 is included in The Tomb Raider Trilogy collection released in March 2011 and has been remastered in HD. A commercial success, the game sold 4.5 million copies.

Tomb Raider: Legend Plot

As a nine year old child, Lara Croft and her mother, Amelia Croft, survive a plane crash in the Himalayan mountains. After taking refuge in an ancient Buddhist monastery, young Lara discovers a stone dais with an ancient sword set in it. By touching the sword she activates a supernatural portal. Distorted voices speak to her mother Amelia through the portal, and Amelia removes the sword from the dais. The portal and dais are destroyed in an explosion and Amelia disappears in a bright light, leaving Lara to survive on her own.

Years later, an adult Lara searches for a similar stone dais located in the ruins of Tiwanaku, Bolivia. She encounters a group of mercenaries who are under orders to kill her on sight. Fighting through them, she proceeds to a temple where she finds the dais (similar to the one she saw in her flashback) and James Rutland, a rich American socialite and self-proclaimed adventurer. Rutland, holding an unusual sword fragment, mentions Amanda Evert, a friend of Lara's who supposedly died years before in an expedition only Lara survived. After overcoming his soldiers, she confirms that this dais was the same design as that of the Himalayan.

Lara returns to a tomb in Peru to confirm or disprove Amanda Evert's death in a tragedy that befell them years ago. A teenaged Lara was excavating the tomb when she and Amanda witnessed an unknown demonic entity kill the rest of their team. Amanda managed to entrap the wraith in a glowing stone she ripped from a wall, but she became trapped under falling rubble when escaping. While in the tomb, Lara discovers the artifact she is seeking may be linked to Excalibur – part of the King Arthur legends – and that Amanda survived the cave-in and is searching for the sword, which had reportedly been broken into four fragments that are now spread across the globe. Now knowing what she is looking for, Lara recalls that one piece was stolen by Yakuza Kumicho Shogo Takamoto, and arranges a meeting with him.

Lara attends an executive retreat in Tokyo, where she attempts to negotiate with Shogo Takamoto for his sword fragment after he stole it whilst in the care of Waseda University. However, he refuses to surrender it and after being insulted by Lara and orders his men to kill her. Lara dispatches them and climbs his penthouse apartment. Takamoto uses the power of his fragment to fight Lara, but is killed. Lara escapes the scene in a helicopter obtaining the fragment. Having located Rutland in Ghana, Lara enters a temple site her parents had been to before she was born. Rutland mentions an artefact called the Ghalali Key, which can re-assemble Excalibur. After a fight where Rutland uses his fragment's powers, Lara steals his fragment and leaves him wounded. Zip and Alister, members of her crew, inform her that Amanda had raided Croft Manor looking for the Ghalali Key only moments ago, and is headed to an abandoned military base in Kazahkstan to search for another fragment.

Lara assists the Kazahks in fighting against Rutland's men, and races against Amanda to the lab. The train crashes inside the base, although both Amanda and Lara survive. Lara discovers that the laboratory was the location of failed experiments conducted on a sword fragment by the KGB fifty years ago. Lara re-encounters Amanda (persuading Amanda to think of it as a memorial),is still bitter about being left to die. Amanda uses the Unknown Entity from Paraíso against Lara, although she defends against it and recovers the fragment and an eleventh-century knight's shield which will supposedly lead her to the next fragment.

Following a map on the back of the shield (which is supposedly Lancelot's), Lara's search brings her home to Cornwall, England (From the M5 to the A30 as she certifies). She discovers the real King Arthur's tomb hidden under a now-derelict tourist attraction, along with the final sword fragment. Inside the tomb, Lara discovers that after Arthur's death, four of his knights – Lancelot, Percival, Galahad and Bors – took fragments of the sword to locations around the world (inspiring the myth of the Grail Quest), while the final fragment was left with Arthur by Bedivere in the hope of resurrecting the Once and Future King. After escaping a sea serpent guarding the tomb, Lara returns to her home to figure out how to reforge Excalibur, and realizes that the Ghalali Key Rutland mentioned was in fact a pendant belonging to her mother, who had it with her in the plane crash. Lara returns to the crash site in Nepal and finds the Key. She then proceeds with a heavy heart to the temple where she last saw her mother and uses the Ghalali Key to restore Excalibur, then attempts but fails to reactivate the broken dais there, before escaping the collapsing temple.

Returning to the stone dais in Bolivia (Level Known as 'Bolivia Redux', Lara finds Amanda, Rutland and their mercenaries awaiting her. Using Excalibur, Lara eliminates all the mercenaries and Rutland leaving them in a poor state. An outraged Amanda merges herself with the Unknown Entity and attacks Lara. With the power of Excalibur, Lara defeats the hybrid creature, destroys the entity, and separates it from Amanda. Lara uses Excalibur on the dais and is confronted with a vision of her mother from years ago. She realizes that the portal spans time and there is a chance she can save her mother. Amanda, however, destroys this chance and encourages Lara to remove the sword, letting her know it would explode soon, which transmits back in time to Amelia who believed the voice from the other side of the dais (The Looking Glass) (Amanda) spoke to her. Amelia removes the sword. In the present time, Lara barely has time to run away from the explosion.

Lara grows furious at the realization that Amanda was responsible for the apparent causality loop that claimed her mother, and threatens to execute her if she doesn't explain her involvement. Amanda states that Lara's mother is alive and in Avalon, the mythical resting place of King Arthur, where Amanda herself wanted to go. Lara spares Amanda's life, but knocks her unconscious and remarks that "From this moment, your every breath is a gift from me". The game ends as Lara leaves Bolivia, giving orders to Zip and Alister as she begins the quest for her mother (which is then carried on in the videogame " Tomb Raider: Underworld.

The events of Tomb Raider: Underworld follow.

Tomb Raider: Legend earned the series the strongest critical response it had received since Tomb Raider II in 1997, and it remains one of the highest-rated games in the history of the franchise. IGN declared "It's now safe to return to the game you once loved. Crystal Dynamics successfully resurrects an old franchise from the tomb." GameSpot said that Legend "finally brings the series into the 21st Century while staying true to the adventurous spirit of the early games." They stressed the game should have been longer and therefore referred to it as a "brief but fun adventure that just about anyone can enjoy." GameZone awarded it an 8.5/10, and noted that gameplay had improved, saying "Lara is a dream to control and her moves come off as more natural and more acrobatic." They included that the game could have been longer and the combat system improved, and rounded off their review by saying "It’s good to see Lara back in top form and while her adventure is a bit on the short side and combat could have been handled a lot better, it’s hard to say no to a pretty girl that still has what it takes to show us a really good time. Fans of the series will certainly not want to miss this one."

Upon release, Tomb Raider: Legend topped the UK game charts for 3 straight weeks and it is now part of the Platinum Range for PlayStation 2 titles. In 2009, Eidos announced Tomb Raider Legend sold 4.5 million copies making the game the most commercially successful game since Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.

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