Artwork for podcast The Life & Times of Video Games
The Tomb Raider grid (remastered)
25th October 2021 • The Life & Times of Video Games • Richard Moss
00:00:00 01:01:11

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To celebrate the 25th birthday of my favourite game franchise, I thought I'd pull out the old Tomb Raider grid episodes from Season 1 and merge them into one. I also put some time into cleaning up the audio, though it'll still sound rough compared to newer episodes — given the lower-fidelity recordings I was using then. Here's the original episode description:

Every aspect of the original Core Design Tomb Raider series (and by extension the franchise's success post-Core) comes back to the grid that lies beneath it — the majority of the puzzles; the platforming; the cavernous chambers and ruins and outdoor areas that provide a sense of isolation, of solitude and discovery; and Lara Croft's iconic acrobatic movement style. And yet it never would have happened if not for one pragmatic choice made by a programmer early in the game's development.

This is the story of how that came to be, and how it made Tomb Raider…well, Tomb Raider, based on interviews with Heather Stevens (née Gibson) and Gavin Rummery as well as my past work covering Tomb Raider's history as a freelancer. The second part, which was originally a separate release, also includes discussion of the place that such a grid system has — or might have — in game design today. 

Thank you to my Patreon supporters for making this episode possible — especially my producer-level backers Carey Clanton, Wade Tregaskis, Seth Robinson, Rob Eberhardt, Simon Moss, Scott Grant, Vivek Mohan, and Joel Webber.

To support my work, so that I can uncover more untold stories from video game history, you can make a donation via or subscribe to my Patreon

My first book, The Secret History of Mac Gaming, is getting republished in October 2021 (this month!) by Bitmap Books in an "Expanded Edition", featuring a revised layout and design, more images, additional written content, and new sections including a timeline and icon gallery. Head to Bitmap's product page for more details. 

My second book, meanwhile, Shareware Heroes: The renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the internet, has just been copyedited and will soon be going through design and typesetting phases. It'll be out around Q2 2022, but you can preorder from Unbound.



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