Tomb Raider

From Sega Retro


TombRaider title.png
Tomb Raider
Publisher: Eidos (US/EU), Victor Soft (JP)
System(s): Sega Saturn
Sound driver: SCSP/CD-DA (56 tracks)
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn
¥5,800 T-6010G
Sega Saturn
JP (Satakore)
¥2,800 T-9113G
Sega Saturn
$? T-7910H
Sega Saturn
£44.99[1] MK81086-50
Sega Saturn
?F MK81086-50
Sega Saturn
DM ? MK81086-50
Sega Saturn
?Ptas MK81086-50
Sega Saturn
R$? 193516

Tomb Raider is a highly successful video game developed by Core Design and published by Eidos in 1996. It was the first in a long line of Tomb Raider games.

Victor Soft developed an enhanced Japanese version of the game. They published the game in Japan, pluralizing the title to Tomb Raiders (トゥームレイダース).

Initially developed with the Sega Saturn in mind, the game was quickly ported to the Sony PlayStation and PCs.


At the time of release Tomb Raider was considered a revolutionary title, combining platforming, puzzle solving and action sequences together in a 3D environment, something that, until this point, had not been done before. It was often said to be a 3D alternative to Prince of Persia (until, of course, 3D Prince of Persia games were released). Tomb Raider was also notable for starring a female protagonist, Lara Croft.



With the Saturn's failure to attract the greater market share, development for the sequels were focused on Sony's console, and Lara Croft became an unofficial mascot for the system. The Tomb Raider series would not see a return to Sega platforms until Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation on the Sega Dreamcast.

The original Tomb Raider was re-made in the 2007 release of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary.


Western Saturn version

Despite being the target platform for the game, the Western Saturn version of Tomb Raider is widely considered to be the weakest of the three ports, primarily due to not being optimized for the way the Saturn hardware handles 3D graphics. There are also minor differences to level layouts (specifically some secret areas) because the Saturn version was rushed to launch three months before the PlayStation copy.

The Saturn Tomb Raider runs faster than its PlayStation counterpart in many situations. However, the Western Saturn version's graphics are simpler (particularly when it comes to lighting - it lacks reflections on the save crystals as well as alpha transparency), and the game is unusually dark in comparison. Pre-rendered videos are also slightly smaller in terms of resolution, although the Saturn's D-Pad is regarded as being more suitable to this game than the PlayStation's.

Japanese Saturn version

The Japanese Saturn version, released in 1997, was enhanced by Victor Soft, with more detailed environments, higher texture quality, longer draw distance, and improved water effects. This version also has a higher resolution and frame rate than the Western Saturn and PlayStation versions, and the environments were more detailed than the Western Saturn, PlayStation and PC versions. This version was optimized to take advantage of the way the Saturn handles 3D graphics.

Magazine articles

Main article: Tomb Raider/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

EGM US 087.pdfEGM US 087.pdf

Print advert in

Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #87: "October 1996" (1996-xx-xx)

EGM2 US 29.pdfEGM2 US 29.pdf

Print advert in

EGM² (US) #29: "November 1996" (1996-xx-xx)

EGM US 089.pdfEGM US 089.pdf

Print advert in

Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #89: "December 1996" (1996-xx-xx)
also published in:

  • Ultra Game Players (US) #93: "January 1997" (199x-xx-xx)[3]

EGM US 091.pdfEGM US 091.pdf

Print advert in

Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #91: "February 1997" (199x-xx-xx)
also published in:

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #92: "March 1997" (1997-xx-xx)[4]

EGM US 095.pdf

Print advert in

Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #95: "June 1997" (1997-xx-xx)
also published in:

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #96: "July 1997" (1997-xx-xx)[5]

SSM JP 19970214 1997-03.pdf

Print advert in

Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) #39: "1997-03 (1997-02-14)" (1997-01-31)

SaturnPower UK 01.pdf

Print advert in

Saturn Power (UK) #1: "June 1997" (1997-xx-xx)

UltraPlayer FR 39.pdf

Print advert in

Ultra Player (FR) #39: "Janvier/Février 1997" (199x-xx-xx)

SegaMagazin DE 40.pdfSegaMagazin DE 40.pdf

Print advert in

Sega Magazin (DE) #40: "März 1997" (1997-02-12)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
100 №181, p74-76[1]Media:CVG UK 181.pdf
78 №424, p31
95 №49, p34/35/36/37
94 №50, p28-33[6]Media:MeanMachinesSega50UK.pdf
90 №69, p85/86/87
93 №86, p40/41/42/43
92 №13, p70/71[7]Media:SSM_UK_13.pdf
67 №1997-02, p222[8]Media:SSM_JP_19970131_1997-02.pdf
90 №, p9Media:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf[9]Media:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf
Sega Saturn
Based on
10 reviews

Saturn, US
TombRaider Sat US backcover.jpgTombRaider Sat US cover.jpg
TombRaider Sat US disc.jpg
Tombraider sat us manual.pdf
Saturn, EU
Tomb Raider Saturn EU Box.jpg
TombRaider saturn eu cd.jpg
Saturn, JP
TombRaiders Saturn JP Box Back.jpgTombRaiders Saturn JP Box Front.jpg
TombRaider Saturn JP Spinecard.jpg
TombRaider Saturn JP Disc.jpg
Tomb Raider Sega Saturn Japan Manual.pdf
Saturn, JP (Satakore)
TombRaiders Saturn JP Box Back Satakore.jpgTombRaider Sat JP Satakore cover.jpg
TombRaider Saturn JP Spinecard Satakore.jpg
TombRaider Saturn JP Disc Satakore.jpg
TombRaider SS jp manual Satakore.pdf
Saturn, BR
TombRaider Sat BR cover.jpg


  1. 1.0 1.1 File:CVG UK 181.pdf, page 74
  2. File:CVG UK 180.pdf, page 49
  3. File:UltraGamePlayers US 093.pdf, page 54
  4. File:EGM US 092.pdf, page 78
  5. File:EGM US 096.pdf, page 89
  6. File:MeanMachinesSega50UK.pdf, page 28
  7. File:SSM_UK_13.pdf, page 70
  8. File:SSM_JP_19970131_1997-02.pdf, page 224
  9. File:SnGwSISDRZK Book JP.pdf, page 11