Tomb Raider II

From Sega Retro

Tomb Raider II
System(s): Sega Saturn
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Core Design
Planned release date: 1997
Genre: Action
Number of players: 1

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Tomb Raider II is the sequel to Tomb Raider, and was released for the PlayStation console and Windows PCs in 1997. For a good chunk of its development, a Sega Saturn release was also planned, but by May 1997 this port had been shelved due to "technical issues".

Tomb Raider II is one of the more notorious Saturn absentees, as the game was eagerly awaited by the gaming press and went onto become a best seller, particularly in the United Kingdom. The original Tomb Raider had been designed with the Saturn in mind, debuting before the PlayStation release in many territories and being adopted by Sega as a key selling point for the system, however Core Design claimed that upgrades to the game engine reportedly led to a Saturn port becoming unfeasible in Eidos Interactive's given time frame.

While the "technical issues" could have been partly a reason affecting the Sega Saturn version, both Core and Eidos were actually covering up a major factor that was already coming into play. Back in May 1997 when the Sega Saturn version release canceling was made public, rumors were starting to appear on gaming media about Sony looking to sign an exclusivity deal regarding console releases of the Tomb Raider series. The exclusivity contract with Eidos wasn't made public until September 1997, explicitly stating that Tomb Raider games could only be released on PlayStation consoles over the next two years (which may explain why a reported Nintendo 64 version also did not materialise), and Eidos backed away from Saturn market entirely around the same period despite other Core Design projects Fighting Force and Ninja being already in an advanced state of development.

The cancelled Saturn version still appears to have affected Tomb Raider II's development, as similar to the original, levels are built with quad-based geometry in mind (something that would not be resolved until the game's sequel, Tomb Raider III: The Adventures of Lara Croft, which also skipped the Saturn as part of that aforementioned contract (one which incidentally expired by the release of the Sega Dreamcast version of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, and never effected PC versions)).

In April 2020, co-creator of Tomb Raider Paul Douglas confirmed that a Saturn version of Tomb Raider II was in development until the Sony exclusivity deal forced to cancel it.

Magazine articles

Main article: Tomb Raider II/Magazine articles.


Tomb Raider games for Sega systems
Sega Saturn
Tomb Raider (1996) | Tomb Raider II (unreleased)
Sega Dreamcast
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (2000) | Tomb Raider: Chronicles (2000)
Sampler Discs
Sega Saturn
Tomb Raiders Taikenban Hibaihin (1997)