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Minor spoilers for locations and challenges in Rise of the Tomb Raider


Well, played, but, again, just more toodling around. A crypt, some documents, a couple “Tomb Nearby” things for tombs that did not appear, on the map, to be nearby, shot a couple of drones down, but didn’t finish the mission, almost killed a jaguar, that sort of thing.

I think I’ve hit a point here where I have to do something. Remember when we were playing DAI and we were spinning our wheels in the hinterlands? Or when we (or, at least, I) just didn’t go to Skellege? Well, I’m starting to feel that way. Like, if I don’t go light that spire, and soon, I’m gonna be spinning my wheels forever. I can come back to the tombs, right? RIGHT?

Gotta move forward, here.

But then again…..

My game time is about to come to a crashing halt, what with some holiday stuff next week. Should I just toodle until then? I don’t really want to just toodle…..


We’re both in the Geothermal Valley, so we’re kind of in the same place, but we’re doing pretty much the opposite things–I unintentionally went full speed ahead with the story instead of toodling.

Normally I would toodle! But I WAS toodling, just poking around looking at this and that and not paying attention to the ‘objective’ on the map, and I came to a tall spire that looked like it would be fun to climb, so I climbed it, and then there were fire arrows (awesome!) so I had to shoot them, and suddenly I had lit the beacon and…oh…now I’ve wandered over to where the story is progressing…

I kind of wanted to toodle more! But I assume I can go back and do it later–they’ve always allowed that before. Right now I’m battling wave after wave of Trinity dudes, trying to help Jacob’s People (sorry, I mean “the Remnant”).

I keep having conversations where someone says something like “I know you’re looking for the Divine Source, but you can’t have it. But thanks for helping us,” and Lara says something like “but I really want the Divine Source and I’m not evil like Trinity so you should totally trust me with it!” and then we both wander off to kill people, leaving this fundamental difference unresolved.

So as to your question, I’m sure you can finish toodling later if you’d rather shake things up with some murdering action. There are a number of fights ahead once you take up the story, but plenty of pauses to poke around in between, so it’s not as if you’ll be locked into nonstop combat if you proceed. I think you’ll be fine going ahead, even if you don’t get to play next week: you can finish up a fight or two and then settle at a campsite to ponder or whatever.


You didn’t toodle? You always toodle!

I am standing at the base of that spire, fully aware it is the story spire. I should climb it. Especially since the other two drones I said I’d shoot down are WAY in the other direction, and I get so very distracted.

So how done are you? I’m at 35%. And that’s without touching the DLC bit. I did manage to pick up a whole percent over the last two days!


I know! I do always toodle! This is totally unlike me. As I said, it was unintentional…I accidentally did the ‘lighting beacon’ quest objective, and then, meaning to toodle some more before proceeding after that, wandered into the next objective area while trying to find a tomb entrance.

Sigh. It was entrapment, is what it was. I was lured into the main story by false promises of tombs!

I did shoot down all the drones first, though.

I’m 40% done, so not even that far ahead of you. I don’t think the Croft Manor stuff counted.


Stop drone shaming.

The tombs. They mock me. I mean, I found the one with the bear, but couldn’t do it because no rebreater. I SEE where another is (unless that map marker just happens to coincide with that large stone temple looking thing…..could be…..), and see the swing I have to use to get to it, but no place to shoot said swing. And there’s one on my map that fuck if I know where it is.

Have you done those yet?

I’m pretty sure the DLC stuff doesn’t count. Baba Yaga didn’t, and that was actually IN the game.


I don’t have the rebreather either. I didn’t get to ANY of the tombs in the Geothermal Valley–that’s how much I’ve fallen down on the job in terms of toodling. I’m totally going back to toodle everywhere once I get to a break in the action.

I mean, a LOGICAL break in the action–I found a campsite last night and could have taken off exploring, but it was right in the middle of a “go help these people who are under attack right now!!!!” situation, so even though the game would have allowed it (oddly, it wasn’t one of those “you can’t fast travel right now” times), my own sense of narrative continuity didn’t.

There was too much disbelief to suspend at that moment. And I can suspend a lot of disbelief, so you know it was really something.


Dang, man. That is a LOT of disbelief.

Well, at least I saved you the trouble of going to a place you need a rebreather for. It’s the one with a bear. You see a bear, just say “Be back later.”

Now I wanna play.


“Bear, eh? I’m out.”

I also need to go back and toodle more at the Soviet Installation…all those posters that need burning, and flags that need cutting down, and so forth.

“OK, I know you guys are fighting for your lives trying to protect an ancient mystical secret and all, and I TOTALLY wanna help you with that, but I also really, really, really hate Soviet cosmonaut posters so I’m going to go burn those. I’ll be back, though. I’m sure Trinity will hold off their final attack until I’m ready.”

Of course, the thing is, they absolutely will.

“Boss? Can we finish murdering these people yet?”

“Not yet. Lara Croft still isn’t here.”

“Damn it, if I’d known it was going to take her so long I would have burned the posters myself.”

I want a game mechanic where you can convince your enemy to complete challenges for you just to hurry you up. I’m sure they get super bored.


That would be so very awesome. But tricky.

“Hey, Kevin, be a dear and cut down all those rabbits.”
“Can’t or won’t?”
“And why is that, Kevin?”
“Because I can only walk over there, pause, and walk back.”
“Well….can we change that?”
“Only if you shoot at me.”
“What will you do then?”
“Try to kill you until one of us dies. But then I’ll do the rabbits. Promise.”


“Now Kevin, be honest: how are you going to cut down rabbits after you’re dead? I’m not a necromancer, you know. And if I’m the one who’s dead, the world is just going to end and begin again before we even had our little spat, which is good for me, but doesn’t solve my rabbit-related problem.”

“Um…how about you ALMOST kill me and then I’ll beg for mercy and you put away your gun and then instead of continuing to attack and making you finish killing me after all, I’ll go cut down rabbits?”

This could work! (Remember in AC Black Flag how you could recruit the sailors of ships you defeated and add them to your pirate navy? Like that, only they’d actually do chores for you.)


“See, Kevin, that COULD work if I trusted you. But my friend Jessica, she’s from this other game, her load screens didn’t have plot, and they told her that if she put her gun away, there was a chance the bad guys (that’s you) would stop, and they just never, ever did.”

“Yeah, but that was Bethesda, and you know how buggy they are.”


“Plus, I take umbrage at being called the ‘bad’ guy. I mean, labels? I’m TRYING to work with you, here, despite the fact you killed 582 of my comrades, including my cousin Kevin.”

“Which one was he?”

“Dude that got his eyes poked out.”

“I didn’t actually kill him, you know. I tried to talk to him, then there was another fight triggered, and, well….”

“Oh yeah? My bad.”

“So can we do this or not?”

“Wait hold on….gotta walk over there…..be right back……”


“Seriously, you can’t blame me for Bethesda’s issues. I cannot even WAIT to cut down rabbits for you, lady. Just don’t kill me the way you’ve killed every other person on my entire team.”

Then later I want Kevin to come running up all “I cut down all the rabbits, ma’am! Anything else you need help with? Posters you need burned? Barriers you need removed so you can get into tombs? I’m all over it! Just don’t kill me!”


“Ok Kevin, maybe you can help. See that relic up there? I’ve been trying forever to figure out how to get there. No rope thing, no trees, nothing. Driving me nuts. And I get a vague sense there’s someone, somewhere, that’s missing a hockey game because of it.”

“What’s hockey?”

“I think it’s some EA game, comes out every year….but focus! All I need you to do is GET THAT!”

“On it Lara!”

(92 hours later)

“So? Kevin? You get it?”

*****long pause*****

“You couldn’t figure it out either, huh?”

“Nope. Sorry.”

*****Longer pause*****

“So….uh…..what now?”

“There romance in this?”

“Nope. Sadly. Plus, they haven’t figured out the physics of your…..”

“Stop. Just…. stop.”

“Sorry. Sorry.”

*****Very long pause*****

“Ok….well, we tried. You go over there. There’s cover and a couple cans. I’ll just start walking over there….and back……”


It’s going to be so great.

Oh oh oh oh OK here’s what we do: recruit Bob and Harvey and…uh…Ajax, and so forth, and have them join Kevin and make a HUMAN PYRAMID to get up there to that relic. Get enough dudes, they’ll eventually manage it.

I want to complete every challenge in the game by assigning my minions to them. It’s all about delegation. Lara has strong management skills.

“OK, you, Kevin. Go play this game for me, will you? Come back and report to me on what happens in the story. Then I’ll blog about it.”


We have done well today.

And once again I’ve gone there on physics.

I’m proud of us. I mean, if the world is going to go batshit insane, we should probably go with it.


Being the only sane ones around is a thankless job, and I want no part of it.


Especially as that is something at which we have no experience.