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Spoilers for a specific fight scene in Rise of the Tomb Raider


Well, I’m never finishing this game because this fight in the pool under the ice is fucking impossible (I just surface and die! I don’t even make a DENT in those guys!) so this is discussion in the abstract, but I read today’s post in which I idly speculate about whether the head of the REMNANT is mommy dearest, forgetting that just the other day we wondered who the head of TRINITY is.

I got a theory.

No, not mom. Though that would be quite the twist. No.

Uncle whatever his name is.

First, he’s icky. Second, he, too, has a vested interest in saving mommy dearest. Third, he’s rich, even richer than the Crofts, so he has the resources. Fourth, you know how when you played Blood Ties you were cheesed that there was a document you couldn’t find? Well, I forgot to tell you, you can’t find it….now. When you finish Blood Ties it tells you there’s gonna be other stuff to find at Croft Manor AFTER you finish the main game.

So how much you wanna bet that final document is something along the lines of Lara saying “Oh FUCK you Uncle….I’m gonna both kill your ass AND be the one to save mom in TR3?”


I died a lot in that fight, too. That’s the one that made me think “OK, they just liked this idea, so they had to give you the rebreather just for this fight.”

First guy is easy, just reach up and drag him into the water, but after that it’s all smoke and chaos. In the end I succeeded more by getting out of the water when they weren’t looking and then hiding behind boxes, than by getting out, killing a dude or two, and diving back to safety, which I think is probably how they imagined it playing out.

I mean, it’s a fun idea. Lurk under the ice, pop up and murder some dude, disappear under the ice again. Makes you all scary, like a horror-movie monster! But in practice, I’d come up, get into a brawl, stagger away into the water, be unable to heal underwater, finally emerge and die before I could heal, etc.

Enh. You’ll get it. It was a tough one, though.

I like your theory about the uncle…the only thing is it would come pretty much completely out of nowhere for people who hadn’t played the Croft Manor DLC (i.e., the people who played this game first), and I wonder if

a) they would want to spring something like that on players at the very end of a game, and
b) if they did, wouldn’t it be a planned surprise twist for those players, that would be ruined for people who did play the DLC during the game?

This seems like sloppy writing in either the original game, or the DLC-inclusive game. However, we shall see! Conniving uncle is certainly up to something, whether it plays a big role in the end of this game or not.


I’m getting that sense, too, but the fight is not playing out they way they thought.

YES! I brawl, can’t heal underwater, come up to try to heal and then die. Or, worse, surface, have them say “THERE SHE IS!” get shot, say “WAIT! WAIT!” die.

Even the hints aren’t really hinty. She says “Ok…wait…let them come to you….” So I did. I waited. They did not come to me. I sat. I waited. They walked. I watched. They walked away. I said “Maybe next time.” Nope. I mean, ok….COME TO ME! But they didn’t.

And I tried the boxes! I found a place I could get out, even had a couple of bottles. Killed, maybe, four dudes, got swarmed, died.


As for Croft Manor…Oh right…..yeah, the original X1 players wouldn’t have any idea who that guy is…. Hmm. Yeah, with that in mind, forget it.

Well, we’ll go check that last document, to be sure.

But then, are they good at planning ahead, these developers? We act like they had a grand plan, but we already know Crystal Dynamics ISN’T doing 3 (that isn’t wild speculation), but another studio is. That’s not good for continuity. Also, even WITH CD, there was oddness. I remembered that the first game ended with Lara sailing off into the sunset looking at documents or something with “Croatoan” written on them, which was, what, Roanoke? Something? Something very much NOT Siberia and something very much not in this game. So we have precedent for big set ups that go nowhere.

Not that this game is unique in that by any means, but still.


You can do it! Don’t despair!

I also tried just waiting out of sight for them to walk near the holes, but you’re right, they never did. I did once manage to leap out, knife a guy who had his back turned, and leap back into the water, but that didn’t work consistently.

Still, you’ll get there. Keep a finger close to the ‘heal’ button. It’ll be fine.

And yeah, whether or not the uncle has anything to do with the end of this game, I’ll totally go back and look for the last document in Croft Manor.


I haven’t had a real reaper moment in such a long time. Can’t really remember the last one. But this is BAD. I mean, sure, there are hard fights, ones where you sometimes get CLOSE to winning, but this one I’ve tried 12 times and I don’t get anywhere near winning. I’ve forgotten what real reaper moments are like.

At least I have not one but two clicks of difficulty below where I am.

Ah! Nice one with the backstabbing! I managed to sneak out, chuck not one but two molotovs, which I THINK killed four or five guys, but then I died immediately.

I was thinking chuck a bottle WAY over there, then hope they congregate, then poison them.

Or just turn down the difficulty.


Yeah, try poison! Poison is cool.

And if that doesn’t work, turn down the difficulty. We want to ENJOY games, after all.

I had a kind of frustrating non-combat situation last night–it turned out to be simple, but Survival Instincts was highlighting something that turned out to be completely irrelevant, so I spent way too long on this tangent.

So, uh…if you get to a place, and there’s a thing, and it’s highlighted but it seems to be completely on the wrong side of the other thing to be any good, it actually isn’t any good and you should ignore it.

Heed my vague words of wisdom!


What’s scary is I know you well enough that weird shit like that has, in the past, made sense. I’ll probably know what you mean when I find it.


This eerie game-related communication is what powers the awesomeness of the blog.

Ooh, I’m like a classic oracle, pronouncing a vague, not-that-helpful prophecy! The kind where you always think “you know, a little specific DETAIL wouldn’t be amiss here…”

But the oracle doesn’t want to ruin the surprise! Oracles and prophets: avoiding spoilers for 10,000 years of human history!

Or so…let the experts debate when predicting the future with vague generalities first became a thing.


Helpful, though. I’ve wasted too much time on this impossible fight.

It’s also a quiet irony that I spend a great deal of my first play session with this sweet new TV doing something that is a) underwater and b) in smoke. “Hey! A scene where you can’t see anything! So glad I got this TV.”

Fuck this fight.

Kinda scary how similar “oracle” and “college English major” seem to be in practice.


Ah, the irony.

“Enjoy the perfect clarity of this confusing and indistinct scene!”

It’ll get nice later, though.


It was rather ironic.

Especially as the HDR really makes red pop, so the smoke was even more so.

It’s almost creepily clear. And it’s not even 4K yet……