On March 15, Square Enix announced the newest addition to heroine Lara Croft’s story, entitled “Shadow of the Tomb Raider.” The teaser trailer shows Lara Croft in action, from running through a jungle environment to climbing a cliffside—things that we’ve seen in past “Tomb Raider” games. The video’s description mentions that this game will include “Lara’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider.” What this moment is, we don’t know, but sure enough, it will be revealed on either April 27, 2018 (the scheduled full reveal event) or September 14, 2018 (the date of release).

What we know from the trailer

The trailer doesn’t give much information on what the plot of the game is in relation to Lara, but it does hint as to what the supernatural element may be and what the setting might be.

The supernatural element has something to do with the sun, specifically a solar eclipse (when the moon temporarily passes over the sun). This is an obvious point as the O in “Tomb” in the title art is designed to look like a solar eclipse, and the first shot in the teaser trailer is also a solar eclipse.

The solar eclipse is seen one last time while Lara is standing in front of temples, right before the video cuts to the title art.

The supernatural lore behind eclipses generally revolves around the theme of the established order being disturbed. This belief might stem from the fact that the sun is our source of life, and the idea of the sun going dark for a few hours might have caused some panic to cultures that didn’t know it was a perfectly normal scientific phenomenon.

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That being said, several cultures have their own take on eclipses, so it’d be almost impossible to guess which one Square Enix will use.

The hint to location, however, might point us in the right direction. In the very last clip of Lara before the title art, she is seen standing before temples while a solar eclipse reaches its fullest moment. The temples resemble Aztec structures, which means two things.

1) the game might take place somewhere in Central America. 2) the supernatural aspect of the game will revolve around Aztec lore.

If a solar eclipse occurred on the date 4 Ollin, the Aztec’s believed it would start the end of the world. So, to combat this, on 4 Ollin and on solar eclipses, Aztecs sacrificed people to appease the gods. That being said, if Square Enix uses this lore, is it possible that Lara or one of Lara’s companions might get sacrificed (or almost sacrificed)?

What we know from previous games

Only the 2013 reboot and the game that followed are included because they are presumably the timeline that this third game will continue on.

“Tomb Raider” and “Rise of the Tomb Raider” both included supernatural forces at work, which is why it’s very likely that there is going to be a supernatural aspect in the third game. There is a chance that this game will break the trend of a supernatural element, much like “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” did in the “Uncharted” Series, but we won’t know until the full reveal or until after the game is released.

The consequence of the game’s supernatural aspect grows larger with each game. In the 2013 reboot, the supernatural force was an evil spirit whose eternal rage manifested into deadly storms. It was localized to the island, sinking ships and grounding planes that came to close. In the sequel, the supernatural element was a font of eternal life, which could have deadly consequences if the wrong people got their hands on it. It has the potential to be a worldwide disaster. An eclipse, in Aztec lore, was seen as the apocalypse—the complete end of days. This is worldwide, no-one-is-surviving type of event. Hopefully, in this third installment, the stakes are as high as the lore implies.

It’s expected that this game will have two factions wanting to destroy Lara Croft: One being the other team seeking whatever Lara is seeking (which may be Trinity. They were not defeated in the second game, and still pose a threat to Lara). The second, whatever supernatural soldiers that exist to protect the entity or object that Lara seeks (first game: imperial ghost soldiers. Second game: undead creatures).

Hopefully, at the end of April, some more clues will be given as to what Square Enix has planned.

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