Shortly after getting myself a Wii, the first non-obsolete console my finances had ever been able to afford, I picked up a copy of Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Despite my tenacity, I had never excelled at previous Tomb Raider games and was convinced that this revisit to an old gaming friend would result in great tomb raiding glory!
I raced through training at Croft Manor to get to actual game play where the levels all blurred together in my excitement. I quickly smashed buttons to get to the next level while ignoring a lot of details. I had no want for details! This was Tomb Raider not Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (which I kicked ass at BTW).
Somewhere in Peru I met my match at the foot of an ancient temple’s staircase.
Paraphrasing my sister’s version of events:
From upstairs she heard a loud crash, followed by terrified screaming and curses. She quickly ran downstairs assuming I had tripped and injured myself in one of my frequent bouts of clumsiness or had encountered a spider. What she found was me on the floor next to a tipped over footrest, screaming at the TV and frantically waving a Wii-mote. When she asked what was wrong I screamed incoherently about bear attacks, the TV then showing I had died and asked if I wanted to reload a save point.
My version of the epic events of epicness:
I navigated the ruins, fought wolves, and swam underwater looking for hidden passages. You know, just a regular day for Lara. Eventually I came to a large chamber and did some stuff, details are unimportant. As I stood and surveyed the site trying to determine how best to open the large door at the end of the chamber I was struck.
Attacked from behind! A bear! THREATDOWN!
I manipulated Lara to attack like a spider monkey. Running, shooting, dive rolls, and other dramatic action sequences followed my button mashing as I fought the bear. Being as this was on a Wii my movements in game were enhanced by intense controller flailing, regardless of whether or not that’s how the controller actually worked. It was all very impressive, until I stood up and tripped over the footrest in front of me. This momentary lapse in my attack allowed the bear to corner me, I had found some area of the level from which there was no way out. As I tried to escape the bear I found the only way to avoid damage was to continuously dive-roll in place, I had found some fluke of the game by chance that as long as I did this the bear’s swipes at me yielded no effect.
At this point my sister had entered the room, this distraction causing me to cease my dive-roll defense and give in to the bear. Bested, I reloaded from the save point.
And that is how Tomb Raider taught me the best defense against bears was a dive-roll. read