Game Boy Advance had a couple Tomb Raider games, The Prophecy and Legend, but they were both 2D games that no one is rushing to create an hour-long retrospective video about. However, decades later, modder XProger has created a version of the original 3D Tomb Raider that runs shockingly well on Game Boy Advance (GBA), running on an open-source engine called OpenLara. The modder has made an alpha version of the game available for public download, which offers the first two levels and Lara’s house. When the project is complete, XProger is confident that all the levels and even FMV scenes will be able to fit on a 32 MB GBA ROM cartridge.
How did XProger get Tomb Raider to run so incredibly well on Game Boy Advance in 3D? The answer is basically just a bunch of god-tier programming. There aren’t any tricks or extra hardware helping the game to achieve these results. It’s merely an absolute technical marvel. You can experience it for yourself by nabbing the OpenLara_gba.zip file and using its contents with the appropriate emulator, or you can just watch the below video demoing it.
Popular YouTube channel Modern Vintage Gamer has also provided a detailed analysis of what’s going on in the demo, in addition to providing side-by-side examples of how Tomb Raider in 3D on Game Boy Advance compares to the PlayStation 1 and Noka N-Gage versions.
Meanwhile, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris are officially coming to Nintendo Switch this year. It remains to be seen if any of the more mainstream titles will make the leap to Switch.