TOMB RAIDER Various Tomb Raider Legends, Rumors and outright Lies!


  - This is the story breakdown for what would have been the fourth title in the Tomb Raider Gold series for PC. Sadly it never got made, but I’ve been trying to squeeze it into every game design I’ve done since! For example, Dr Ya Ya morphed into Dr Yayakov in ‘007: Everything or Nothing’...

Tomb Raider Gold 4 - Synopsis

imageIt is believed that the fabled Fountain Of Youth lies at the very center of the vortex known as the Bermuda Triangle – it has even been said that this ‘fountain’ does not just merely act as a regenerator of ‘life spirit’ but may also be the gateway to the heaven-like state of Nirvana ( or the true location of Atlantis)…

In mythology, the Bermuda Triangle can be viewed as a sequence of 3 ‘lay lines’ locked into place at the 3 corners by powerful and magical ‘generators’. It is only by the sheer accident of a spilt cup of tea that Lara, while pursuing this mystery, discovers that the Bermuda triangle may have been plotted in the wrong position, and a simple shift in her calculation of it’s geometry reveals 3 possible new locations for these generators. One point lies in New Orleans….

Level One – Mardi Gras

(Influences – Angel Heart meets Live and Let Die meets Wild at Heart)

Believing that the generators spoken of in the legend are in fact a series of human-sized statues locked into magical receptacles, Lara begins her search for the first location. Through the festive streets of New Orleans, a warehouse stuffed with huge helium filled carnival balloons and an underground voodoo jazz club, Lara searches for the statue, finally arriving at the famous tomb of Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen. It is here that she discovers the statue deep in an underground labyrinth below the city-like tombs. But no sign of the receptacle…Voodoo magic is rampant in this level, with zombies, ghosts and wolf-dogs ( loup-garous) all sent by an unknown assailant to block her path.

Level two – Plantation

(Influences – Angel Heart meets Mandingo meets Southern Comfort meets Deliverance)

Lara discovers that the receptacle is located on an old Plantation deep in the Louisiana Bayou. It seems that the plantation’s owner, General Beauregard, was Marie Laveau’s lover, and it was here that her Voodoo ceremonies took place, fuelled by the ancient power of the Statue/generator. The art of Voodoo can be seen as a magical link to the primitive past, but Laveau’s power was weakened by the fact that the three generators were NOT in place, and her followers could only achieve trance-like visions of Nirvana, and become regenerated as zombies. The statue from this location had been removed to New Orleans during the American civil war, after Beauregard’s crushing defeat at Shiloh.
Amidst a level of Mangrove Swamps, alligator farms, voodoo ceremonies and zombies rising from their graves, Lara replaces the statue and receives a vision of the location of the next receptacle…It is discovered that her nemesis for this adventure is Dr Ya Ya, a voodoo priest dedicated to preserving the secret of the fountain ( and descended from the original Arawak natives to whos’ culture it belonged).

Level three – Port Royal

(Influences – The Barbary Coast, Mutiny on the Bounty, Pirates of the Caribbean)

The ancient pirate town of Port Royal lies on the next point of the triangle, and Lara discovers that the receptacle is in fact buried in the part of town that disappeared underwater in the great Earthquake of 1692. Exploring the island shanty-town on her motor-cycle, Lara learns that the statue was stolen by Coronado and his Spanish Conquistadors back in 1545, and supposedly removed to the legendary Seven Golden cities of Cibola, somewhere on the Spanish Main. Facing the voodoo rejuvenated pirates and native spirits, as well as countless hammerhead sharks and black rats, Lara realizes that the fabled city of gold can only be accessed in a vision as part of a voodoo ceremony, and somehow she must move the statue from it’s spiritual home to return it to it’s physical location deep in the shining waters of the Caribbean…

Level four – The Golden City

(Influences – Aztec legends, Spanish Galleons, Legacy of Kain, Lawrence Of Arabia, Jason and the Argonauts)

Lara enters the Golden city of Cibola via a voodoo trance. Here she must constantly deal with the two changing states of the city – a fabulous golden pyramid/tomb, and a transparent mirage shimmering in the desert. She must locate the statue and move it from the desert-like state of the mirage to the glittering vision of the golden city. Facing her will be the ghosts of conquistador horsemen, warrior skeletons and flying mythical beasts. Once the statue is found and transferred from it’s physical location, buried deep in the desert sand, to it’s spiritual location in a golden temple, it can be transported via the voodoo trance to it’s original home in Port Royal.

Level Five – Dr Ya Ya’s compound

(Influences – Man with the Golden Gun, demented funhouse, Jurassic Park compound)

The energy created by the replacement of two of the three statues pinpoints the location of the 3rd receptacle – a seemingly deserted island in the vicinity of Bermuda. Arriving there Lara is confronted by her nemesis Dr Ya Ya and is shocked to discover that the third statue is not actually missing or even in place, it is lying a few feet away from it’s receptacle, but carefully guarded and separated by Dr Ya Ya. Turns out he is protecting the secret of his ancestors, the Arawak, who have been exterminated on Earth but live on in their Nirvana. No outsider shall ever regenerate the fountain of youth, and Ya Ya was confident that the missing statues would never be reunited and the triangle formed… Every creature we have left is changed and zombified and pursues Lara though the Bond – modern décor of the house, the deadly pool, the hall of mirrors, the graveyard, chapel and the underground tombs of Dr Ya Ya’s fiendish island. Should Lara ever manage to reunite the 3rd statue then….

Level Six – The Fountain of Youth

In this surreal and ancient level, Lara dies – that’s right, dies - as the towering vortex that is the fountain of youth and the gateway to Nirvana swirls around her…Dr YaYa has won, and has protected the secrets of the ancients…or has he?

- By some strange quirk of fate, the body of Lara is swept into the vortex, and the regeneration takes place – young Lara emerges….to doubtless win the day, discover the secret of the true Atlantis, to become older Lara again, to destroy the gate and so protect mankind….

..or, in a dramatic Dark Knight – like move, and in a wonderful marketing coup – Lara ends the game aged 14, is reinvented, and thus has plenty of time left for further adventures…

Bonus Levels

1. Pitcairn – Lara discovers that by triangulating from the Bermuda axis a ley line runs right to Pitcairn Island near Tahiti. Tracing the journey of the stolen statue, she discovers that Bligh’s intended trip on the Bounty from Tahiti to the Caribbean was in fact a cover for the recovery of the statue. On Pitcairn, the final resting place of the mutineers, Lara encounters the ghost of Fletcher Christian deep in the caves under the island…

2. Steamboat – a short transition based on the train level in TR4, but with a vertical levelled paddle steamer instead of a linear train. A good transition used around New Orleans.

3. Sunken ships Graveyard – all manner of vessels lost in the waters of the Bermuda Triangle, discover the secret of the Mary Celeste, and walk on a living island in the Sargasso Sea.

Philip Campbell
Rebecca Shearin
Gary La Rochelle