Items Lost in Tomb Raider History
Tomb Raider and the brand have been around for over 25 years and any fan would appreciate that this is quite an achievement! But with this vast history comes items, tidbits or things that have become lost along the way. We've created a list in a hope that someday, someone might be able to rediscover them!
We originally published this list on January 1st 2020 on our Virtual-Lara Tumblr, and since then, several of the items have now come to light. There is now a section at the bottom of this page dedicated to them.
Timex 'Race Against Time' Game
Created by Snowball Interactive in conjunction with Timex, Eidos Interactive and IGN to promote the Timex feature in Tomb Raider Chronicles, this flash game had Lara defeat enemies with her Timex. The aim of the game was to 'help Lara save her manor before a bomb destroys it!’  There was a grand prize winner for so many weeks and 5 runners up. Prizes given were a copy of Tomb Raider Chronicles, a Sega Dreamcast and the choice of a Timex Gripclip or a Timex wrist watch. Sadly, this flash game could not be downloaded. You can still view the original website here however the game no longer loads. Or if you’d like to learn more about the Timex sponsorship, click here.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider Movie Land Rover Defender Mini Game
The only piece of information of its existence is from the old fansite trmovie.com. The link on the page led to the the tomb raider page on the Land Rover website but this is all we know. This game could be downloaded but few fansites at the time and no websites now offer this as a download.
This includes the Sky Gamestar, the Tomb Raider Apocalypse series, Tomb Raider: The Reckoning and Tomb Raider Secret of The Sword. These titles were never made available for download online and was exclusive to the sponsors. As times have moved on and popularity with the series changed, these quirky games have been lost to time. It is hard to find media concerning these games although several websites at the time have screenshots. One standout fan site is World of Tomb Raider and you can find the links to these pages in their sidebar.
The 'Lux Veritatis' Website
Recently re-discovered by Tomb-of-Ash here. There is little history about this very well hidden sub website, however during our research, we were able to find an old fansite that spoke about it. To read more, see here. In February 2018, whilst looking around the web archive for the sub site, we came across a screensaver, which we believe was given out as a prize for completing the puzzles.
Gordonstoun Cinema Advert
Back in 2001, Gordonstoun created an advertisement with the help of former students Lara Croft and two female adventurers to promote the school. The 3 minute advertisement was shown in cinemas before the start of the Tomb Raider movie. Gordonstoun offered the advertisement for download on their website, however very few fansites covered this story and so very few sites offered it as a download. This one is lost. You can visit the original website here or read more about this at Croft Times here.
Playmates Prototype Talking Lara & Other Figures
Like many figures, prototypes are made and taken to conventions to stir up interest in the new line. This product was complete with packaging but for some reason, never mass produced. It would have been interesting to know what Lara would have said as she was never too chatty in game. The Croft Times did publish some details which came from the Playmates website: 'Twelve-inch Realistic Talking Lara Croft figure. Highly detailed Lara Croft figure with authentic fabric fashion and rooted hair; the figure speaks hundreds of phrases from the Tomb Raider video game series. Available: July. Estimated Retail Price:$29.99’ . We don’t think that there were hundreds of phrases - probably seven or eight. We know that the figure existed as a physical item, as it was shown at Toy Fair in New York on February 8th, 1999, where there are pictures of Nell McAndrew stood by it. As well as this talking figure, there were various figures, an arctic Lara with snow leopard, an all brown outfit Lara with snow leopard and an Area 51 diorama with alien. It would be interesting to one day find out where these are now.
Lara Croft: Reflections
This mobile game was released free on the Apple App Store in December 2013 but only in New Zealand and Australia. There is very little of this game left, only the most dedicated of fans would have captured imagery and videos. You can find concept art, card designs, weapon and character artwork over on Tombraiderchronicles, from KillerZ on TRF.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 'Path of the Stars' Mini Web Game
There has been a few other browser mini games that were created in promotion of something Tomb Raider that can no longer be played. But because of social media and fans being more connected, the basic images of them won’t be lost forever. 'Path of the Stars’ was created to tease 'Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ but now after game release, the webpage is gone. Yes, it was simplistic but when it’s gone, it’s gone forever. You can’t even go back in time to play it, but to read about it and see its artwork, you can see our page about it here.
Tomb Raider (2018) Movie 'Escape the Tomb' Mini Flash Game
The page is now non-existent as it redirects to the Warner Bros Tomb Raider website, but you can use the web archive to play the game. We've been able to use the web archive to save the artwork, which you can see here.
Reboot Tomb Raider Websites
Due to the way that the 'Tomb Raider' (2013) and 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' were made, you cannot seem to revisit them on the Web Archive. If you try for the TR2013 site, you'll be stuck at an age gate page, and the RotTR doesn't want to load at all, so unlike the pages for Tomb Raider 1 to Chronicles and Underworld, you can't revisit these pages for a kick of nostalgia.
Once Lost, Now Found
Tomb Raider: Legend Jeep 'Trail Raider' Flash Game
This little flash game could be played on Jeep’s website back in 2006/07. Players had to control one of a couple of Jeep vehicles through a side scrolling level. There were 3 levels in total and the goal was to complete the 3 levels as quickly as possible. Once again, this flash game was not offered out as a download so it is another item lost in the history of 20 years of tomb raider. This mini game is not to be confused with 'Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life’ Jeep game titled 'Trail of Life’. To read about this game or see more imagery, see here.
As of March 22nd 2021, this mini game is now playable, thanks to fans TheTreeble from RaiderDaze, and TRForum user UroshUchiha. [Source]
Although not completely lost as a few files can be found through the website archive, this rather cool piece of history has become forgotten. In 1999, Eidos Interactive and Flatland Rover Online struck a deal and provided fans and users of the Flatland Rover software the tools needed to create Tomb Raider-esque levels that could be played in a 3DML browser. In return, Flatland Rover helped to promote 'Tomb Raider 3: The Lost Artefact’.
Revealed May 5th 2021, Tomb Raider Forum user UroshUchiha set themselves the task of restoring various 3DML levels to make them playable today. [Source] If you'd like to read all that we've compiled about this tool, you can visit its page on our site here.
The Times 'Down Among the Dead' Story
A seven-part story, written by Erica Wagner, the literary editor of The Times, to coincide with the release of the Core Design Times exclusive level. From our research, very few fansites followed this story, which is understandable as the story was only released in the UK newspaper, The Times, so only the first part seems to exist. When we first included this on the list, the only things that existed about it was the odd mention on old fansites and images of the Tomb Raider section in The Times newspaper, uploaded by a user called 'Lopez' on 'CroftNotes'. In recent times, we were able to find episodes 1 and 7 ourselves, and we've written them up for all to read. Fans over at Raider Daze and Tomb Raider Arabia had also discovered two more parts - only 3 remain missing.
On April 8th 2023, UroshUchiha had acquired the remaining 3 episodes via the Times digital archive. [Source]
1 - http://web.archive.org/web/20010205160900/http://www.trww.com:80/archive_november2000.shtml
2 - http://web.archive.org/web/20000620160105/http://www.cubeit.com:80/ctimes/news/1999bday/news0358.html