After getting the reboot Tomb Raider fans wanted, it was decided that the original Tomb Raider should receive a remake. This came to fruition in a game called Tomb Raider: Anniversary, released in June 2007. Lara Croft is asked by Jacqueline Natla to find an artifact called the Scion. Of course, betrayal occurs and it's up to Lara to stop Natla. In the end, many fans didn't really care for the liberties Anniversary took with its reinterpretation.
Note: The final time listed at the end of the video is incorrect. Read the runner's comments for more information.
Best time, easy difficulty: 0:39:40 by Janusz 'jardart' Rosenow on 2009-02-14, done in 19 segments.
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At first the run had 21 segments, but later on I redid 3 of them in one go, so now there are 19 segments.
The game has an internal timer, but due to the redo, the time shown in the end of the final segment isn't any longer correct. It can be easily concluded though, by comparing the times of the former/replaced segments and their redo (the difference adds up to 2 mins 6 secs).
First of all, I'd like to thank ilovelctr for encouraging me to do this speedrun, always supporting me and giving helpful advices, xRikux89 for discovering the notorious airwalk and for some of his individual level runs serving as a nice guideline, Ewil for aiding me with the encoding and doing a great job at maintaining tombrunner.net and everyone else who followed and motivated me during this run, or contributed to it in any other way.
I started working on this project in late February 2008, when I already had inspected every corner of the game for several months in search for shortcuts and then was encouraged by ilovelctr to put all this into practice. Yet the airwalk glitch, that should later exert the biggest influence to this run, was not discovered at that time. As it saw the light of the day quite a while later, I fortunately hadn't proceeded too far with the run, to wit I had only finished five segments then. Though this appearance doomed many of my strategies, due to it being exhaustively applicable throughout the game, I decided against starting the run all over, since out of all things, it would've had it's least impact on these first few segments, that I had been struggling through for so long. After all however, when the entire run was completed at long last, I changed my mind and redid some of the early segments, using the airwalk. This allowed me not only to make the total time drop to sub 40 minutes, but also shorten the number of segments from 21 to 19.
In the following, I'll try to sort out the most important things to be aware of when watching this run:
Glitches (only listed those used in the run):
As you can only start a "New Game" once after creating a brand-new profile and unfortunately not even directly after returning to the title screen from some playing without having even saved, and because the shortcuts used in the very beginning of the first level are quite hard to pull off in a fast pace, I soon got very frustrated by the inconvenient process of creating a new profile for every single attempt.
This being the case, I decided to save at the very first checkpoint, which pops up just after passing the intro, thus I could concentrate exclusively on the gameplay.
In order to succeed the slope slide to the iced rock's edge at the start, you're forced to position Lara with a very precise angle and distance, plus she has to face away from the slope before jumping. Thereafter, the left roll onto the higher platform is relatively easy if you know the correct angel and thanks to the very high fps of 80.
After the brief cutscene, instead of using the grapple to get on top to the lever, I quickly roll up a slope there. Just before arriving at the switch, there's a kneeling animation which could be avoided, but only lasted for a very short moment and most likely didn't affect the timer.
At the wooden foodbridges, it's possible to jump across the gap without kneeling on the edge there, by performing a summersault. However, due to the time it takes to draw the pistols and holster them again when at the other side, it turned out to be of about the same speed as simply performing a standard jump follwed by a kneeling animation, which was what I eventually went for.
In the bat cave I took the left route around the pillar, that, after a lot testing, seemed slightly faster. Just afterwards I fail on pulling the lever as soon as possible, which yet only wasted about half a second. In the next area, some wolves are left behind by performing a left-roll out of their pit. Apart from the first manual grab glitch done at the end of the segment, there's nothing more to mention.
This is a redo of the former segments 4, 5 and 6, which were either done before the airwalk was discovered or with a slower route of it (6). The improvement of these segments adds up to 2 mins 6 secs.
Now, that's the first time the airwalk comes into play - jumping from an exact distance towards the ledge here, in order to make Lara kneel on it and thus initiate the airwalk by drawing her guns simultaneously, is required.
When entering the City of Vilcabamba, that bear attacking Lara, can be easily outwitted by simply rolling when it is very close. The following airwalk quickly leads to the center of the level, where yet another one is used to skip most of the remaining tasks, first by getting over the wooden door without collecting the required key, then by getting out of bounds, almost unto the level's end.
As I pulled off the next airwalk and rolled up the slope of the wolf pit, I happened to unnecessarily roll backwards once to often. The rolling through the walkway just afterwards wasn't all flawless either, but after all that's nothing major and both these mishaps wasted not more than maybe one second.
In The Lost Valley, there's a small fissure at one edge of the otherwise solid waterfall volume, allowing Lara to make her way through with the aid of the airwalk, and consequently skipping almost all of this - in other respects - huge level.
Then, to be able to continue while still in the air, some height must be lost to get through, underneath the doorbeam, which is done by running against the wall in Lara's back. This makes for a brief out of bounds glitch, skipping the first few meters of the Tomb of Qualopec.
Initiating the first airwalk can be pretty annoying as it needs quite a precise angle. The large boulder must be triggered at the entranceway, otherwise the gates there wouldn't drop down, making a lever later on inoperable and Lara stuck.
After that, the airwalk skipped over the climbing part of the left walkway, whereupon I picked up two small medipacks. I did this in view of the grab glitches waiting for me, however that proved unnecessary, as there were no healthpacks needed at all until the very last of these grab glitches, prior to which the number of small medipacks would automatically get stocked up anyways (what I didn't know though at that time obviously).
At the lever, if you drop down to late, you won't be able to perform a swandive before the gate-opening cutscene, whereas, if you drop down to early, the lever won't have moved far enough to activate the gate. Therefore it's rather hard to be pulled off properly and so is the subsequent airwalk, which often won't let you draw the guns in time, if you're not jumping from an exact distance.
The shotgun shells collected on the way back, would have been dispensable as well, but as I already said, back then I didn't know about automatically getting medipacks and ammo at a later point. Further, I could've avoided the kneeling animation at the edge of the topmost platform in the mainhall, plus grappling the first hook, when swinging over to the second lever.
Another airwalk then quickly leads over to the third lever, where I use a fast route that totally avoids the ground of the pit, but could have been even faster, by grabbing the lever directly from the airwalk, as I later found out.
On the way up to the Scion of Qualopec, the textures there would always fail loading for some reason, when rolling up there with an airwalk. This could rarely even make you miss initiating the cutscene there, but in this case everything went just fine.
At the end of the level, I'm yet given the shotgun from an animated fight with Larson.
It might sound like this segment is full of time-wasting mistakes, but even by redoing it without these unneccessary pick-ups etc., I could have cut off approximately not more than 15 seconds. This is nothing too serious, so there was no reason for me to do it again, as there also were quite some things that went very well in here.
The enemy grab glitch in the beginning is only doable at 20 fps. It is quite arduous to get the lion to grab Lara as soon as this.
After that, I lure the lion onto the trigger platform, that needs to be weigth down thus it opens the second gate. Together, both these shortcuts shave off about the first two and a half minutes of this level.
Probably the most annoying segment of the entire run, I almost fell into despair here.
First of, the gap here can only be crossed without faltering, by performing a backward summersault from the very edge of the starting platform, second I need to position Lara perfectly for the following airwalk, which is extremely picky if you want to do it in a fast pace.
During the airwalk between the levers, those bats need to be killed in order to keep them from chasing me throughout the level, stealing me lots of health and obstructing my progress... For instance that of the subsequent drop from the second lever to the Hepheastus entrance, which is the third big issue of this segment and yet very unreliable, even without the bats in your neck.
For some reason, the trick of directly climbing up to the passage upon the gates while they are still rising, is much more difficult and unreliable in the Hephastus walkway than in the rest of the level, so I decided to take the route over the ledges at the wall here, which is only like half a second slower.
Getting the puzzles in conclusion done flawlessly, is of course quite unnerving when all the unreliable stuff from the start has finally worked out for once, so besides that I could probabaly have been marginally faster in the lightning room, I needed to correct the angle of the first statue a bit plus performed a slightly misderected side-roll after initiating the airwalk. However, in total these mishaps hardly waste more than one second so it can very well be ignored.
Again, some bats are send to their doom, to prevent them from injuring Lara to heavily. From now on, climbing up to the passages upon the gates while these are still ascending, instead of waiting for them to come down first, works absolutely reliable, if you just know exactly when to jump and pay attention not to press any directional button while doing so.
Making use of the airwalk on top of the Poseidon room to get to the key instantly, spares you the whole time-consuming process of raising the water and getting the raft in the correct position. Aside, there's also the possibility of grabbing that edge I end up on with the airwalk, directly from a running jump off the bridge on the right hand, which is really hard and unreliable though, though it should be tinily faster.
I missed to jump to the Poseidon key socket instantly after climbing up that passage on top, so I lost a small amount of time there. Next, getting over the descending fence that soon, can only be done with a summersault.
When arriving back in the huge hall, the jump that initiates the airwalk there needs quite some precise timing, which isn't all easy as you can't see the edge that you have to aim for. A little later, on the way back up, I missed to climb onto some piece of rubble at the first attempt, which makes me lose a second.
In the Atlas walkway, I rolled from the upper passage to the bottom instead of using a swandive, because the swingpole there would have distorted a swandive. Besides, that also came to an accommodation with Lara's naturally low health at that moment.
Slipping under the boulder, spares me to run back across the gap and actuating the lever there again. Bumping against the pikes shortly before, gives me the right going-in position and further eases the timing of rolling under the boulder.
Other ways of bypassing this boulder would be: Crouching below the boulder, which requires a correct positioning of Lara before shooting both the triggers; Backing away, up to the ledges on the left wall and climbing onto the platform there; Landing a swandive under the boulder, which can be done from a greater distance (i.e. sooner), but is with no exaggeration the most difficult and luck-reliant shortcut of the game.
Picking up the shotgun shells here doesn't consume any time, as one has to wait for the boulder to vanish into the gap anyway.
On the way back, climbing up that gate instantly can hardly be done, as it has another working-mechanism (it will stay on top until you jump away), so I intendedly took the route over the swingpole.
As for the next gate, it would normally abruptly drop down if you'd grab it's ledge without pushing the block of stone below it, however, it can easily be overcome by waiting for it to rise just high enough and then jumping from the block to it's ledge and straight further (waiting too long would take it out of reach).
Eventually escaping the Damocles room with the airwalk avoids all of the annoying and timeconsuming traps there, the only ones that still need to be taken care of, are the swords, dropping from the roof.
Using the airwalk to directly get over the debris to the water is about the same speed as a much harder slope slide in the small alcove just next to the pillar on the right of the entrance.
The airwalk in the following room allows to quickly get onto the box and further, rather than shimmying along the intended ledges there.
Next, after skipping a little cutscene, I use a highly difficult left roll to get up on the terrace of the stadium. I can be very happy this worked out that flawlessly, which was indeed quite improbable and lucky.
The following airwalk then already leads out of the coliseum and to the end of the level.
Plenty of ways can be taken to get out of bounds in this mainhall of Midas's Palace, but none of them could be as odd or uncommon as this one I decided for. At a given framerate, it makes Lara fall through the level's ground as she fails on grabbing that particular edge, wherafter she splashes into an invisible water volume underneath.
The reason I then swam back near the beginning of the underwater tunnel, was to make its textures load, which is essential to proceed (and not drop into an eternal void later on).
In the Tomb of Tihocan, I later realized that I could have airwalked from the box to the lever after pushing it out of the passage, but it wouldn't have saved me a lot of seconds either... unlike the subsequent airwalk, that straightly leads to the huge waterhall's exit, which normally implies a lot of puzzling.
Further, diving to the lever that gives access to the tomb without breathing, is a little bad for Lara's health, but she can handle it. During the final cutscene, Lara obtains the 50 caliber pistols from fighting Pierre.
General notes on the Centaur battle:
Specific notes on my approach:
As Lara enters Egypt, her equipment becomes restocked to the following numbers (she wouldn't get anything if she'd already be carrying just as much or more than that): 4 small medipacks, 24 shotgun shells, 30 bullets for the 50 caliber pistols.
Nothing much to say about the rest, I just cross another pit with the airwalk, saving a couple of seconds.
Only just arrived at the Temple of Khamoon, we already leave this level straightaway to the Sanctuary of the Scion via a grab glitch, which additionally also bypasses the whole Obelisk of Khamoon level.
I shouldn't have picked up the 50 caliber ammo beforehand, as I never got a chance to use it, but I didn't really think about this then. Other than that, I can be very glad, this glitch - being the most intractable among the grab glitches - passed off just as smooth as it did, which required a good many tries.
These are the relevant steps of succeeding it relatively unharmed (without medipacks):
Apart from a good deal of required luck, you're also forced to get the timing of when to proceed with each step just right. On the doors other side, there are two more Atlanteans welcoming you, that need to be killed in order to be capable of solving the puzzle there. The weird looking move when I jump between the rotatable pillars, is caused by swandiving over the interactive square block in the ground. After setting hand to the second pillar and while it's still turning, I jump onto that grounded square just in time, to be already lift up during the induced animation, instead of climbing up on it afterwards.
It's important to initiate the airwalk here immediately, to not let the moving walls block the platform. At very high fps, this won't even work, as the walls would then suddenly run wild and smash Lara up when she'd just kneel on the edge there. Under the given circumstances however, this wasn't a problem.
I head directly for the closed entrance of the sphinx, where there's a well-meaning invisible edge on top of the door. By either an airwalk or a kneeling followed by a swandive, this edge can be used to get through a non-solid gap above the door and thus skip almost all of this normally longest level of the game.
When arriving at the huge waterhall, it's pretty hard to pull off the airwalk at the stairs there, since the distance to jump from must be absolutely exact. As I entered the pillared hall in the end, I chose to take the left way around the pillars, because it had the two advantages of getting rid off the Centaurs for a few seconds and making the Atlanteans instantly follow me to the gate, rather than showing off some fireworks, which would've happened if I walked straight through the middle.
This is the last gate to use the grab glitch at. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome, it was really insanely lucky to get grabbed here that fast and accordingly be spared from the Centaurs spanking long enough to survive the procedure. Surprisingly, I could have even omitted the fourth medipack, however, besides there's none needed later on anymore, Lara's inventory becomes restocked when entering the Lost Island nevertheless, so after all, it totally didn't matter.
As Lara proceeds to the Lost Island, she loses all her weapons and ammo, but the number of small medipacks becomes restocked to four, as already indicated.
Since there's no armory to begin this level with, it obviously lacks airwalking as well in the first place.
The fastest to overcome the rope on top of the pool, is after the second swing forwards. This is very hard and requires a ton of practice, so most of my early attempts already ended at this point. Later, after collecting the red fuse, walking up that wooden pole and then climbing onto the footbridge allows to neglect a whole lot of the level.
From the platform with the green fuse, there are several methods of dropping down to the pillar underneath and moving on to the ground of the pit, but the safest is to grab the platform's edge for a tiny moment and then let loose. Getting up again, works the fastest at the opposite slope. The only thing to watch out for, is jumping onto it at the correct position, so Lara can grab the ledge there when hopping back.
Having her pistols back, Lara could use a neat airwalk to get out of bounds and avoid the rendezvous with Larson, which would approximately be one and a half minutes faster than the route I used. However, she wouldn't obtain the shotgun then, which saves us a much more considerable amount of time in the remaining parts of the game, so that's only useful for individual level runs.
After inserting the blue fuse for the second time, I failed on swandiving from the windowsill and instead dropped to the stairs below, which took about a second longer.
With the shotgun equipped, I use the airwalk to cross the lava pit and then ascend on some slanting rocks and walls to get out of bounds and bypass the rest of the level. The reason to distance Lara a little further from the boundaries near the lavafalls, was that there's an invisible slope, that could give her too much height to survive the following drop to the ground, or even draw her inside the boundaries again.
In The Great Pyramid, there's only one checkpoint on my way to the huge shaft, namely the one after skipping the little cutscene with Natla, which is slightly out of the way. Initially, I didn't want to save there, but rather at the first platform of the shaft. However, this turned out to be impossible, because the game would have gone corrupt when loading a savefile within the shaft, if Natla's cutscene wasn't played before (the cutscene would then show up after each loading, whereupon Lara would be unable to move or do anything else).
Thus I was forced to either go through all of the shaft in one attempt and save at a latter checkpoint, or take the one after the cutscene, at the bottom of the pyramid. Of course I decided for the second option, as the shaft is not for nothing known as the toughest stage of the game...
When airwalking up the slope, the flying Atlantean must be shot as it comes close, to prevent Lara from being grabbed. The accompanied out of bounds route - apart from saving quite some time - allows to leave half a dozen of enemies behind. Just like in Midas's Palace, I'm then required to head for a textured place, to also make the textures of the huge shaft load.
The usual way up to the first platform gets replaced by still walking through the air and jumping onto the cocoon nearby the subsequently extended platform. Those occuring Atlanteans have to be killed to keep them from inhibiting my progress later on.
On the way up from the second to the third platform, it's very important to have a perfect timing at that little block I shortly stop on - if you proceed here to early or to late, you wouldn't make it through the fireballs. Still, even with a precise timing, it's very likely to get unluckily hit there.
Directly jumping onto the cocoon after extending the next platform saves a few seconds. In the following, the timing of when to slip off the swingpole needs to be hyper-accurate again, thus Lara can escape the fireball massacre when climbing up the ledges. The final part, up to the highest plaform is yet more comfortable though, as it only requires some luck and apart from that is pretty much straight forward.
An airwalk is used to quickly get out of the doppelganger room, rather than a left-roll glitch at the nearby pillar, which is what I initially intended to do. Apart from being much more reliable, especially on lower fps, the airwalk turned out to be about 1-1.5 seconds faster, as it also allows to directly cross the lava pit thereafter. Right after pulling that lever there, I'm performing another airwalk, which is probably the most unpleasant of its sort throughout the game. You don't only have to pay attention to do the jump from a pinpoint position with an absolutely correct angel, but also need to perform this yet before the flying Atlantean gets too close.
The Torso battle worked out just the way it was meant to. Although I could've fired a shotgun shell more at it as it later transpired, I defeated it really fast with a good mix of pistol and shotgun usage.
Once again, an airwalk is used to quickly pass over some pit - shooting the Atlantean meanwhile is necessary to prevent it from firing at Lara. The Centaur who appears on the scene shortly after, would've smashed me up if I'd have crossed it's way too directly.
In the pool area, I slightly misdirected two jumps, the first being a distorted salto after getting over the debris, the second being a swandive not leading into the water.
The last airwalk then helps getting over the final pit in no time.
General notes on the Natla battle:
Specific notes on my approach:
After all I hope you enjoyed watching this run, as I really put a lot of effort into it to make it as good as possible. :)
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