I loved this prompt because it made me think of a key part of my childhood that I will always remember fondly; Tomb Raider. In the original game, released in 1996, you had to block the flow of a waterfall in the Lost Valley to enter the Tomb of Qualopec. There was an entire massive level behind what looked like an innocent waterfall. I remember playing that game on Sega Saturn and later on Playstation. It was so fun!
I remember getting skewered by spikes. I remember getting the crap scared out of me when raptors attacked. I remember pulling the fake switch with total confidence that I was about to open a door. I remember dying while trying to get the final secret, where you had to walk over the breakable slabs and fall into just the right area in the spike pit to pick up the final secret. I remember first seeing the Atlantians standing next to Qualopec’s corpse and looking closely at them to see what was to come later in the game. I remember running for my life when the boulder was released after picking up the piece of the Scion and booking it out of there as fast as I could go.
For me, video games have always been a solitary experience. I don’t want to play with other people. I want that time to be me time. I want to run and jump and explore on my own and I don’t need a bunch of 11-year-olds in my ear calling me gay slurs or claiming that I’m not a real girl. I started playing Tomb Raider when I was very much in need of time alone from others and a chance to relax by myself. Tomb Raider gave me all of that. But more importantly, it gave me a sense of fun and adventure and a representation of a woman that wasn’t afraid to shoot a rampaging panther in the face.
I’ll admit that I haven’t kept up with the new Tomb Raider games due to a lack of money and consoles to play it on. Sometimes that makes me sad because I want to keep up with it, I really do. I want to experience more Tomb Raider. But occasionally I think that even if my Tomb Raider experience was limited to the classics and a few games after that, that’s enough. I had a wonderful time playing the games and that will always be a cherished part of my childhood.
That said, I would love to own the originals on PC. Tomb Raider 1 and 2 were awesome games and I can still remember how to play through them like they just came out. I know all the secrets and all of the glitches. When it comes to nostalgia, I don’t think of Mario, I think of Lara Croft and the city behind the waterfall.