Tomb Raider animated film by Angel of Darkness writer finally resolves the series' biggest cliffhanger

Tomb Raider The Myth of El Hawa
(Image credit: Ash Kaprielov)

Tomb Raider creators and fans have collaborated on a new animated film that covers the events between Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and the series' first PS2 title, The Angel of Darkness.

As long-time fans will remember, Lara's fourth outing, The Last Revelation, had a pretty shocking end that saw the famous explorer buried beneath the ruins of an Egyptian temple, supposedly dead. The next game, Tomb Raider Chronicles, was told in flashbacks as those nearest and dearest to her recounted tales of her past exploits. It wouldn't be until four years later, in 2003's The Angel of Darkness, that we would see Lara alive and well again, this time in Paris, but with no explanation of how she got there.

This new animated short, The Myth of El Hawa, finally gives us a canonical explanation of the events between both games. It's penned by The Angel of Darkness writer Murti Schofield and directed by veteran Tomb Raider fan Ash Kaprielov. The tale unfolds through a series of journal entries accompanied by some stunning artwork and is narrated by none other than Jonell Elliott, Lara's voice actress for the aforementioned games.

As for the story, it turns out Lara was able to free herself from the rubble. Exhausted and injured, she is discovered by a shaman called Putai, who nurses her back to health and brings her into the Bantiwa tribe or, as Lara calls them, her "desert family". As this deleted scene from The Angel of Darkness shows, Putai was originally meant to appear in the game but was cut, presumably due to time constraints.

The Angel of Darkness was originally designed to be the start of a trilogy, so it's possible that developer Core Design could have told this tale in a future instalment. But it was not meant to be, as, after The Angel of Darkness, Crystal Dynamics took over development duties on Tomb Raider, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It's been over a quarter of a century since Lara Croft first burst onto the gaming scene; see which one of her many adventures comes out on top in our guide to the best Tomb Raider games.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.