Having chased the maniacal scientist-for-hire Tony a good way along the Ganges river, Lara finally comes across his getaway raft, broken and useless at the foot of a waterfall. Behind the waterfall lies the entrance to a network of caves, Tony’s only plausible escape route. The elusive Infada stone within her sights, Lara continues after him…
The final level of India is another short one, although, as a boss level, this is understandable. And believe me, after several minutes exploring the featureless maze that is the first half of this level, I’m not at all complaining. Plus, we get a nice long FMV at the end – over four minutes! – to compensate. In fact, this post is more FMV than it is actual level.
Lara begins at the entrance to the network of caves that Tony disappeared in to.
I took many pictures of the caves, but it would be pointless uploading them all here, because they all look like this one, maybe with slightly variance in wall location and Lara’s positioning.
After about ten minutes of running, crouching and occasionally picking up flares, Lara fell into a pit full of angry snakes, which, in my maze-addled mind, seemed like a good thing.
Pushing forward, Lara came across a rocky tunnel with a steep slope, Tomb Raider’s version of a scene change. I bid a tearful farewell to that medipack I forgot to pick up and let the slope carry us away…
…and deposit us bang in the middle of Tony’s hide-out, where the man himself is awaiting Lara with open arms, and giant fireballs on the end of those open arms.
Tony’s so pleased to see Lara that he immediately demonstrates one of his Infada-given powers: extreme central heating.
Complete with dance routine.
It all gets a little heated, however (and by drawing attention to that terrible pun I’m making it infinitely better), and fireballs and bullets are soon being exchanged.
Finally, Lara is victorious, and Tony explodes (because becoming evil often means sacrificing the chance to leave a normal-looking corpse), leaving the Infada artefact for Lara to claim.
And that’s the end of the level, and of our Indian adventure.
The Infada artefact finally secured, Lara begins her long trek back out of the jungle.
As she reaches the edge of the Ganges, however, Lara’s attention is caught by a distant shout. A small boat appears and quickly pulls up beside her to allow the weary woman to board.
I wish I could do that with my face, but alas, my eyebrows are not independent of one another.
Lara decides to risk it and climbs aboard the small vessel. She’s greeted by Dr Willard, the Scottish scientist last seen in Antarctica. He’s impresses with Lara’s neutralisation of Tony, and offers her a job looking for another three artefacts similar to the one she’s just acquired.
Lara is untrusting of Willard, questioning his motives and his knowledge of the relics. He demonstrates his interest, using a small scanner to show the artefact is made of a unique type of meteorite.
Willard then presents Lara with the diary of Stephen Barr, a sailor from the 19th centaury who originally discovered the artefacts in Antarctica. Lara reads on…
Stephen Barr, sailor on HMS Beagle, has grown weary of his time at sea, following “them blasphemous ideas of the guv’ner, [Charles]Darwin”.
Here we see Stephen displaying one of the two facial expressions he possesses, close-mouthed bewilderment.
Craving adventure and “blood-rich” meat, Stephen collects some like-minded individuals together and, commandeering a lifeboat, they set sail for nearby Antarctica.
Animal tracks lead them to a nearby cave, and the men venture in, hoping to kill and eat whatever left the prints…
Their search for food proves fruitless, but the men aren’t too disappointed, instead finding some expensive-looking carved stones.
Their celebration is quickly cut short, however, as a large wolf-type creature appears and tries to eat one of the party (Paul). And Stephen treats us to a display of his other facial expression, open-mouthed bewilderment (with subtle undertones of nausea).
The others make a run for the exit, and Stephen does his best to follow them while supporting the wounded Paul. But the ice-bridge they cross over collapses under their weight, sending the two men sliding down deeper into the cave…
They finally burst out of the cave and back into the sunlight, but Paul loses his life in the progress. The remaining men bury him, each of them swearing never to tell of the true reason for his passing.
Her appetite suitably whetted by this tale of horrible death and sliding on things, Lara passes the book back to Willard, who tells her the places she would need to visit; Nevada, the South Pacific and London. Lara smiles. “Sounds good to me.”