Through a very thin crack in the dark, a fine shaft of light is shining in, doing little to lighten the chamber.
There is movement. The crack becomes a gaping hole as a portion of ancient stone is shunted away. This is repeated until a figure emerges, having made enough room for himself to pass through. The fedora-clad man drops into the chamber.
CUTSCENE 01 - INTRO
The man who dropped into the chamber is Professor Werner Von Croy, well-known archaeologist-adventurer.
VON CROY: "And so, we breach the sanctum of the ancients. The first footfalls in this tomb for centuries."
A teenage girl appears from behind him, glancing about warily at her alien surroundings. Lara Croft.
LARA: "This place gives me the creeps. After you."
VON CROY: "Careful. All is not as it seems. Concealed traps and pitfalls await the unwary. You must stay close and follow my instruction."
VON CROY: "Good men have died to protect the information contained herein and cruel men have bartered the information for their own ends. For this we must respect it. We will not deviate from its route and you will not deviate from my instruction. This way."
VON CROY: "The first obstacle. A small hop to test your - how do you say - pluck. Press and hold walk. Now, push forward."
VON CROY: "Come come, child. Do not fear. This is merely an appetiser for the perils ahead. Push forward and jump together."
VON CROY: "The craftmanship of the Shenlha, lost to mankind as sand sifting through the fingers of an open hand. Does it not move you, child?"
LARA: "I'll break out the camera when we get to the Iris."
VON CROY: "Patience, child. Disrespect is the route to carelessness. Our route lays beyond the stream."
VON CROY: "This gap is wider and the edges treacherous. First walk to the edge, then press forward and jump together. When you are in mid-air, press and hold action. You will grab the outcrop."
VON CROY: "Hold action and press up."
VON CROY: "Ah, the pace is quickening now, ja? One more crossing, child, or do you wish to stop for tea?"
LARA: "Oh, I think I can just about hold it together. Wouldn't want to spill it on your nice suit... at any rate."
VON CROY: "This one calls for a run-up. I will go first."
VON CROY: "Be careful now, child. We have little time for incompetence. Walk to the edge, then tap back to give yourself a run-up."
VON CROY: "Now, press forward and immediately press and hold jump. Now hold down action to grab onto the ledge."
VON CROY: "A useful crack, rendered by the hand of time, invisible to the untrained eye."
LARA: "You're a regular superhero, Werner."
VON CROY: "Ah yes, the super... man? Hmph. Is enough comedy."
VON CROY: "Run to the wall. Now press forward and hold action to grab on. Now press right to shimmy across!"
VON CROY: "Good! Good! Now press forward to climb up."
VON CROY: "This is a high fall. You should lower yourself down to be safe. Turn around to face away from the door. Now press back and hold action. Let go of action to fall to the floor."
VON CROY: "Your chance to earn your keep fräulein. The mechanism to activate the bridge lies at the other side of the stream. These rivers cascade through chambers and caverns deep below these prehistoric foothills. As a consequence..."
LARA: "Freezing! I guessed. Your gout playing up again Werner?"
VON CROY: "In deep pools, you can swim by pressing jump. Use the directions to navigate through the water. There may be artefacts... trinkets at the bed."
LARA: "Your avergage priceless seaweed."
VON CROY: "No prizes for you this time Lara! Ah well, use forward and left and right to move across the surface until you reach the shore. Then press action to climb out. Look for a lever or pressure pad. There must be one close by. When you find it, use action to activate it."
VON CROY: "You will catch your death in those clothes my dear. A quick sprint up that ladder will dry you out again."
LARA: "Such concern. I never knew you cared."
VON CROY: "Dear Lara, you are a valuable asset to the quest."
LARA: "You old romantic, you."
VON CROY: "Yes, quite."
VON CROY: "Walk up to the ladder. Now press and hold action to climb up onto it. Keep this button pressed and use forward to climb to the top. There will be another lever up there. Pull it, then get back down here quickly. The quest is nearly at an end."
VON CROY: "Swiftly across the vines now. Press jump, then hold down action to grab onto the bars. Now press forward to swing across. Don't let go of action or you will again be for the plunge."
VON CROY: "There is no mention of this in the texts. I fear this must be opened internally. We must enter through the grate and be wary of snares."
LARA: "I presume by "we" you refer to me."
VON CROY: "Ja. My heaver frame may activate traps. You will pass unnoticed."
LARA: "How convenient."
VON CROY: "Stand facing the grate. Now, press and hold the crouch button. Push forward to crawl into the gap. Be alert!"
CUTSCENE 02 - BACKPACK
Beyond the grate, Lara has found herself in a moderately sized chamber, sunlight beaming in through a hole in the far wall. Near the lever which opens the doorway, a pedestal catches Lara's eye. A skeleton is slumped over the top of it, having been impaled by the spikes which had been activated. In its bony left hand it clutched a small brown leather backpack. No longer useful to the skeleton, Lara decides to take it as her own as she wrenches the bag away, pulling the arm off in the process.
VON CROY: "Ah, a backpack. Let us hope it does not hold the same luck for you as its previous owner."
LARA: "I make my own luck, Werner. What now?"
VON CROY: "Now it begins. The eyes of the ancients are upon us and their vengeance is wrathful! We must move quickly! When running, press and hold sprint to gain extra speed."
VON CROY: "Dive through the gap! Dive through the gap! Press jump to perform a diving roll!"
INTERLUDE 26 (VERSION 1)
VON CROY: "So you found the Garden of the Five Towers. Well done, my child. To the right, the Path of the Heretical. To the left is the Route of the Virtuous."
LARA: "I'm up for a little heresy."
INTERLUDE 27 (VERSION 2)
VON CROY: "The Garden of the Five Towers. To the right, the Path of the Heretical. To the left is the Route of the Virtuous."
LARA: "You know me Werner. A regular virtuoso."
VON CROY: "Now it becomes interesting, ja? You see now, it is not for the weak of heart. How do you hold up, girl?"
LARA: "Oh, I think I could get used to this."
VON CROY: "The door before us requires two people to open it. You go up to the alcove above the door. I will activate the switch down here."
VON CROY: "Push forward. Now press and hold action. When you're hanging from the ledge, hold down crawl to squeeze into the gap."
VON CROY: "Swing across to the alcove. Jump from the ledge, then hold down action to grab the vine. To release, let go of action."
VON CROY: "And now for the last. You are an exemplary student, Lara - although you have not yet learned the root of all adventuring - the craving to win at whatever cost. I throw down the gauntlet to you, my child. Whoever is first to the Iris claims the prize."
LARA: "Watch your back old man. I warn you, I'll pull no punches."
VON CROY: "I expected no less! On the count of three: One... two..."
CUTSCENE 03 (VERSION 1)
Lara has won the race for the Iris and is examaning the plinth inscription upon her arrival in a vast chamber. Von Croy later appears behind her, his fist clenched.
VON CROY: "And so the pupil excells the master. I congratulate you on your agility. Take your prize from the plinth. You have earned it."
LARA: "In the time it took you to find your way here, I've examined the inscriptions. It warns of vengeance on those who remove it."
CUTSCENE 03 (VERSION 2)
Von Croy has won the race for the Iris and is waiting for Lara at one of two levers. Lara later comes running into the vast chamber.
VON CROY: "Ha! I'm not such an old man after all, ja? Come here, child. The mechanism will require us both to release it."
Lara however is engrossed by the plinth inscriptions.
LARA: "The plinth inscription warns vengeance on those who remove it."
CUTSCENE 04 - FINALE
VON CROY: "Ah, ancient hocus-pocus. Forget this nonsense and come over here!"
LARA: "I don't count poison darts and triggered entombment your average child's tea party. I feel we should lend this some respect."
VON CROY: "Ah, and you are the world-famous archaeologist-adventurer Lara Croft, ja? No, no, I am the reknown archaeologist-adventurer, Werner Von Croy, and you will do as I say! Go to the wall and pull the lever!"
Lara begins walking over to the second lever directly opposite Von Croy's at the other side of the chamber.
LARA: "What was it you said? Disrespect is the route to carelessness?"
VON CROY: "I am weary of this. Pull the lever now, Miss Croft."
LARA: "On your head be it, Von Croy."
They both pull the levers and the huge globe at the centre of the chamber stops rotating. The globe opens, revealing a pedestal holding the Iris on a platform. A bridge folds out in front of Von Croy, allowing him access. He walks to the pedestal and eagerly reaches out for the Iris.
VON CROY: "Have faith in experience, child, and you will learn more than simple..."
Before he can take the artefact however, the entire chamber begins to shake.
LARA: "You were saying?"
Von Croy loses his footing and falls off the edge of the platform, catching his leg in a crack on the platform's edge in the process.
VON CROY: "My leg! My leg! I am trapped! My leg is trapped! Help me Lara! Help me!"
LARA: "Hold on! I'm coming back to get you!"
The globe is closing up around Von Croy, sealing him inside. It is too late.
Lara dashes for the exit and dives out into the open just as several huge slabs of rock come crashing down to the floor.
Fifteen years later on 26th December 1999, two camel riders are travelling through the arid hot desert at the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. One of the travellers, Ahmed Ben Trayal, is guiding the other towards somewhere. They arrive at a rock formation and disembark. Above, a rattlesnake is watching them from the rocky crags. Ahmed walks off in another direction whilst the other traveller examines something glinting in the rocks. It is a skull with a beautiful green gem embedded into where its left eye would have been. As the traveller reaches out for the skull, they are distracted by the beckoning calls of Ahmed. Turning their attention back to the skull they find a large black scorpion standing directly in front of the skull. Recoiling, the traveller stumbles backwards as a swarm of the scorpions rushes out from the rocks. Quickly, the traveller gets to their feet and dashes after their Egyptian companion.
When the traveller catches up with Ahmed, they discover that the guide has found what they have come for. In the sand is a metal handle. The traveller reaches out for it and pulls it. At first, nothing appears to happen. Then, the wind starts to become more violent as sand and rocks are flung all around them. The sand beneath their feet is slipping away too. The handle has opened a door in the ground and the travellers are sucked down into the stone-carved tunnel. They are deposited in a dark cave. Before Ahmed falls inside, the other traveller is rendered unconscious by the fall. It isn't long before they recover. The traveller gets to their feet and discards their desert robes, revealing the one and only Lara Croft. She steps forward, prepared to explore the newly discovered tomb.
CUTSCENE 05 - SARCOPHAGUS
At the burial chambers of the god Set's tomb, Lara steps up to the distinctive sarcophagus and climbs onto the coffin's lid. Upon it is the Amulet of Horus which Lara heaves out of its receptacle and puts into her backpack. With a sideways flip, Lara lands back on the floor of the chamber.
Lara exits Set's tomb through a stone archway and emerges in a large clearing. Lara takes off her backpack and takes out the Amulet of Horus for closer inspection. Hieroglyphics have been written on it. She begins translating them aloud.
LARA: "I, Semerkhet, High Priest of Horus, forewarn that..."
Lara's voice fades into that of the inscriber as the sky begins to darken, a thunderstorm brewing.
SEMERKHET: "...he who removes the amulet shall have released Set. He who walked abroad with the jackal at the dawn of man shall once again violate the earth."
A flashback sequence begins. It is 2900 BC and within the burial chamber where Lara would later take the amulet is stood the god Horus in front of the open sarcophagus. At the opposite side of the chamber, his uncle Set has arrived. Stood between the two deities is the high priest Semerkhet. Other priests around the chamber are on their knees, heads bowed. Set crouches to one knee, bowing low. With a subtle gesture of his golden falcon head, Horus indicates that Set rise and get into the empty sarcophagus. This the jackal-headed god acknowledges and climbs inside after Semerkhet has rotated a handle on the coffin which allows its lid to ascend. When all is ready, Horus silently indicates that Semerkhet press a button on the coffin. When he does this, electricity is generated into the coffin's lid. The underside of the lid is filled with spikes. After the sarcophagus has been sealed, blood begins to pour from jackal-headed spouts found around the base of the coffin.
SEMERKHET: "Set, ruler of evil, will again be free at the turn of a distant millennia. At his heel plagues and locusts. Harvests fail under the broken skies."
Semerkhet presents to Horus his amulet. As the falcon-headed deity places it onto the lid of the sarcophagus the blood immediately ceases.
Back in the present, someone familiar has pressed a revolver against Lara's head.
LARA: "My trusty companion returns."
AHMED: "The amulet woman!"
Lara continues translating the hieroglyphs on the amulet as lightning begins to strike.
LARA: "Once called forth shall the heavens split asunder, and the light of the sun god Horus shall banish the lord of darkness, Set."
Suddenly one of the bolts of lightning strike the exit of Set's tomb, sending rocks and dust everywhere around them. Ahmed is flung onto his back. When he gets up he looks around for his weapon. But as soon as he sights it he hears the clicking of two handguns.
LARA: "I wouldn't advise it."
Distracting Lara, a jeep pulls up beeping its horn wildly.
In a clearing, a red-scaled lizard is basking peacefully in the desert sun. When it hears the approaching sound of Lara's stolen jeep, it scarpers. Lara comes speeding into the clearing in pursuit of her traitorous guide, Ahmed. Continuing into the sparse desert she is fast approaching the banks of the Nile river and upon the banks are more of Ahmed's desert warrior friends with a barge. Lara slows the jeep to a halt as the goons catch sight of her. Then she reverses and shifts gear, intent on ramming through the blockade. The warriors begin firing at Lara before one of them decides to crack out a rocket launcher from a nearby crate. As the warrior attempts to get Lara in his sights, Lara shoots him with one hand on the wheel. He falls backwards to the ground and his launcher is inadvertantly set off, creating a tremendous explosion. The other man leaps for his life as their vehicles are blown apart. Lara drives through the middle of it all, crashing through a wooden gate and landing on the barge as it is leaving.
As Lara gets out of the jeep, another vehicle arrives on the scene: an old black 1955 Buick Roadmaster. Out of it first appears a walking stick, held by none other than Lara's one-time mentor, Professor Werner Von Croy! He approaches Ahmed who has appeared to tend to the wounded warrior.
VON CROY: "Fools! The Croft woman has outsmarted you ja? And now she escapes!"
AHMED: "The amulet, Herr Von Croy. It talks of the priest, Semerkhet."