The Tomb Raider series has always had its fair share of “Easter eggs”, hidden secrets, and amusing references to pop culture icons, and Lara’s latest adventure, Rise of the Tomb Raider, is no exception.

From references to Lara’s earlier adventures to touching tributes to one of the world’s most-loved fantasy authors, there’s plenty to keep the eagle-eyed fan busy.

Here’s my attempt to catalogue some of Rise of the Tomb Raider’s most memorable “Easter eggs”. This list is a “work in progress” so expect new “eggs” to be added to this list as and when they’re found.

Update (11th October 2016) – This list is no longer being updated but you’re welcome to continue sharing your discoveries in the comments section below! Easter eggs from the Croft Manor DLC will be listed in a separate article.

The Swan Dive

OK, this technically isn’t an “egg” but I think the return of one of Lara’s signature moves warrants a mention, especially since you can unlock an achievement for performing a lengthy swan dive.


“I’m Not Strong Enough”

At several points in the game, Lara tells herself “I’m not strong enough”. Many fans regard this as a nod to the divisive Angel of Darkness, where Lara would utter the phrase whenever she was unable to perform certain tasks.

One of the times it can be heard is when she fails to remove the barricade on a trebuchet in the lost city.


A huge thanks to Treeble, Lodair, and Jason Croft for their assistance in tracking down this exact scene!


Squidipus Rex

If you have a look under the bed in one of the bungalows near the Copper Mill base camp, you’ll spot a familiar  purple plushie.


Yes, it’s Underpus! Long-time fans will of course recognise this tentacular beast from Tomb Raider: Underworld. Not content with his cameo appearance in the 2013 game, he’s travelled all the way from Yamatai to Siberia for the sequel.

Major thanks to Stella Lune for spotting this one!

And that’s not the only place you’ll find this beloved kraken. Twitter user @Alchama sent me a link to this video that reveals the location of a hidden Underpus cavern in the Abandoned Mines area.


The Orrery

Lara must activate and climb an ancient mechanical orrery in order to enter the lost city of Kitezh. She might not have to worry about being knocked from a platform by a spinning orb or risk being crushed in the mechanism but…it did call to mind a certain scene from the first Tomb Raider film.

Two orreries, one from Rise of the Tomb Raider, the other from the first Tomb Raider film
A tale of two orreries (image credit: Kelly M)


Familiar Game Pieces

Perhaps my personal favourite of Rise’s “eggs”. A well-known Russian game involving shaped blocks? It could be none other than the sensational (and super addictive) Tetris, surely?

Lara finds these familiar game pieces in a former gulag
Lara finds these familiar game pieces in a former gulag (Image credit: Kelly M)


Water Buffalo Paperweight

In Rise’s final major cut scene, you get a brief glimpse of a water buffalo paperweight…which looks remarkably similar to one of the collectible relics seen in Tomb Raider 2013.

Did Lara take this Yamatai relic home with her..?
Did Lara take this Yamatai relic home with her..? (Image credit: Kelly M)


Various References to Events of ‘Tomb Raider 2013’

These don’t really qualify as actual “Easter eggs” but you’ve got to appreciate the development and writing teams’ commitment to continuity. Numerous references to the events of Tomb Raider 2013 can be found throughout the game, which include (but aren’t limited to):

  • An image of Himiko on Lara’s desk;
  • Trinity soldiers discussing the clean-up work done on Yamatai;
  • A newspaper clipping referring to “wrecks found off the coast of Yamatai”;
  • A newspaper cover featuring the four survivors of the Yamatai expedition;
  • A photo of the former Endurance crew…with Dr Whitman’s head chopped off .
An image of Himiko, just one of the many references to the 2013 game
An image of Himiko, just one of the many references to the 2013 game (Image credit: Kelly M)


Lara’s Pinboard & Desk

Following on from the previous entry, I’d like to point out that there are a lot of references to historical figures, locations, and events strewn across Lara’s desk and displayed on her pinboard. Among them are Rasputin, Joan of Arc, and the Holy Grail.

Since the majority of these are not explicitly referenced in either the 2013 game or Rise, they will not be treated as “eggs” for the purposes of this list and will be dealt with in a separate article in the not-too-distant future. 😉


Various References to the Events of the Comics & ‘Ten Thousand Immortals’

References to the events of the Dark Horse comic series and the novel Tomb Raider: The Ten Thousand Immortals can be found pinned on Lara’s pinboard and in the closing scenes of the game. These include:

  • A newspaper clipping referring to a university shooting which left 8 people dead, a reference to the shoot-out at Merton College, Oxford University, in Ten Thousand Immortals;
  • A newspaper clipping referring to a mysterious suicide (that of Trinity agent Cruz) in the London Tube, which occurs in Tomb Raider #12;
  • A photo ID of Kennard Montez, the Trinity agent sent to dispose of Lara in Ten Thousand Immortals.
References to the Tomb Raider comics and spin-off novel can be seen on Lara's pinboard
References to the Tomb Raider comics and spin-off novel can be seen on Lara’s pinboard (Image credit: Kelly M)

This pretty much confirms that the spin-off media set between the two games *is* considered canon, if occasionally contradictory.


A Syrian ‘Soul Reaver’

I originally left this one out as I’m not overly familiar with the Legacy of Kain series, but readers Lodair Junior and Nick Leblond have convinced me to add it to the list.

If you return to the Prophet’s Tomb after acquiring the grapple hook, climb up to the chamber directly above the Syrian Tomb base camp and you’ll see the Soul Reaver sword hanging on the wall.

A nod to one of Crystal Dynamics' other leading series, Legacy of Kain
A nod to one of Crystal Dynamics’ other leading series, Legacy of Kain (Image credit: Kelly M)

Apologies for the poor quality screenshot. I’ll replace this with a higher def version once the game is out on the Playstation 4 next year…


A Touching Tribute

Fans of the late and great fantasy author Terry Pratchett should know that his daughter, Rise’s lead writer Rhianna Pratchett, embedded his most treasured memory in one of Lord Croft’s audio journals.

A touching tribute from daughter to father
A touching tribute from daughter to father (Image credit: Kelly M)

“Before I even held you, I almost lost you, Lara. Yet you fought back, determined to live, breathe, ball your tiny fists and scream the hospital down. It was the best noise I ever heard. When I went home that snowy night I cooked myself a steak. Then I drunk half a bottle of whiskey, tried to make snow-shoes out of tennis rackets and fell asleep with the cat. I was so damn happy.”


Last updated on 20th July 2016.

Are there any “Easter eggs” that should have been included on this list? If so, leave a comment below!

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