Tomb Raider 1 Replay Part 1 of 4

Tomb Raider Replay Home

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

I said ages ago that I was going to do a complete Tomb Raider replay. I don’t know why but after my initial excitement (and the purchase of an Elgato HD so I could share online), I really struggled to get into it.

Well, here we are 7 months later and I’m finally on my way.

So here it is in all it’s glory: Tomb Raider, the original 1996 version.

Video highlights include my favourite quote of all:

I’ll heel and hide you to a barn door yet!


Lara heads off to find an artefact for Jacqueline Natla (from Natla Industries) and gets more than she bargained for. Here’s the game’s opening scene:

Lara’s House (training)

A great training level. I particularly like the Ark of the Covenant casually placed in her entrance hall (top right screenshot below). That, and the falling boulders you will encounter later, appeal to long-time Indiana Jones fans like me. Ahem. Anyway, onto the actual game.


Level 1: Caves

Kills: 13
Pickups: 4
Secrets: 2 of 3
Time taken: 29:06

A meander through some caves, a bit of climbing and jumping, and a few lone wolves and bats to take care of. You gotta love it. The evocative music, the gigantic rooms, the spooky scenery and the endless puzzles. Oh it’s just a joy to play, even on a dodgy old analogue controller.


tomb raider 1996 skull thing

What exactly IS that?

Level 2: City of Vilcabamba

Kills: 29
Pickups: 11
Secrets: 2 of 3
Time taken: 38:22

I was glad to get out of Vilcabamba – I wasted a lot of time looking for the silver key (hint: it’s in the same room as the gold idol, hidden in a dark corner).


Level 3: The Lost Valley

Kills: 9
Pickups: 11
Secrets: 3 of 5
Time taken: 41:00

Oh my, this level is huge. And it takes a lot of time to get around. I’ll be honest and say that I used a walkthrough to remind me where the cogs were because I’ve played it multiple times and I couldn’t face spending hours here. Again.


Level 4: Tomb of Qualopec

Kills: 7
Pickups: 4
Secrets: 1 of 3
Time taken: 26:29

I like this level. Boulders, dinosaurs, mummies, and lots of puzzles. Everything a good raider would expect to find in a long forgotten tomb. And you pick up your first piece of the scion. Bonus.


Once you’ve finished with Qualopec’s Tomb, it’s time for a trip to Greece… (coming soon).

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Polymorphism and Overloading in C++

A reader sent me an interesting question the other day. They asked if polymorphism and overloading were essentially the same thing.

My initial reaction was Huh?

What are people being taught if they think that these two concepts are the same thing?

But a quick google search revealed that yes, many, many people are struggling to differentiate between these two terms – and the internet is full of conflicting and unhelpful information.

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iOS App Development – Recurring!

recurring app

Well folks, I guess it’s time I tried something other than bit shift operators and the command line on Linux, so my next project is something altogether different.

I am creating my very first iPhone app, hurrah!

To be honest, it’s something I’ve had on the to-do list for a long time. I’ve played around in Xcode and put a basic app on my poor, unsuspecting phone, but now it’s time to do something serious.

What on earth are you going to make?

What, ’cause there are a billion apps and it’s all been done before, right?

Have a little faith ;-)

In actual fact, I’m going to create something that I want. Something I’ve looked for many times, and never found.

I’m creating a task manager specifically for recurring tasks.


Well, you know you get your usual to-do lists, right? And sometimes there are things you need to do repeatedly (pay bill, tax car, mum’s birthday, defrost freezer, that sort of thing)?

Well, finding a really good app for repeated tasks is really hard.


Seriously? Have you tried Things/Wunderlist/RTM/ToodleDo ?

Of course. I’ve spent hours playing around with productivity apps. More hours than I’d want to count.

But they don’t do what I need.

I want something SPECIFICALLY for recurring tasks.

So I’m going to build it.

Oh OK. When’s it gonna be finished then?

Give me a chance, I’ve only just started.

Wanna know more?

I promise you’ll be FIRST in the door, if you sign up for updates:



Or you can view my pretty sign-up page, dedicated to my new app. I created it especially :-)

‘Til next time.


The Passionate Programmer – Review

Title: The Passionate Programmer
Author: Chad Fowler
Published by: The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2009
Date finished: 5 March 2014
My rating*: 7/10


If you are the sort of person to pick this book up and read it, there is every chance that you will already do a fair amount of the suggestions within. Sadly, the people that could get the most out of this book will probably never learn of its existence…

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Never Stop Writing Code

To a certain extent, coding is something that you never completely forget. Although you may be a little slower after a break, once the problem-solving part of your brain fires up, you will still have the skills and knowledge to do the things you have always done.

However, coding is also a lot like the knowledge of a foreign language.

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GDB | Auto-Load Safe-Path Declined

More GDB shenanigans today, as kindly pointed out by one of my readers – thank you Laurent!

Did you know that as of GDB version 7.5 (Aug 2012), there is a new security feature in place that prevents GDB from looking in “non-trusted” directories for the super-useful .gdbinit file?

[For more on the usefulness of .gdbinit files, see here.]

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Debugging For Beginners

This post was also published at O’Reilly Programming – you can read it here.

I read an interesting article today, called Debugging for Beginners, over at O’Reilly Programming.

You all know how much I love GDB (huh? you didn’t? seriously?), so I always like to take a look at different approaches to finding those elusive problems that plague all programmers (even those with decades of experience) from time to time.

Anyhow, I headed on over and was a little bit… disappointed. You see, Brian writes in a wonderful, readable way, about topics that concern all programmers, whatever their background. But, I found that the general focus of his article was less on how to debug (even at a higher, theoretical level), and more about how to make less mistakes.

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Bitwise Operators – Free Guide

Bitwise OperatorsI have an exciting new eGuide available.

Most of this info is available in various places on my site, but I’ve collated it all together in one document, and updated it, so it’s easier for you to use.

What does it cover?

It’s a no-jargon guide to the four bitwise operators in C (AND, OR, XOR, NOT).

Not only does it walk you through exactly how each one works, with examples, it also provides explanations of how they would be used in programming and (as if that wasn’t enough), there’s a handy quick-start guide at the end which you can refer to so you know exactly when to use each operator and why.

It’s all written in a no-nonsense, easy to read format, that makes programming the joy it should be.

Hurrah to that, I say.




Binary Numbers Explained

Here’s a really quick guide to binary numbers, because I use them in other posts and haven’t fully explained myself.

OK. Binary numbers are represented using only 1s and 0s:


This is the number 105 in binary. Honest.

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Understanding Pointers (with Lego) Part 1

Ahhh pointers.

I’ve been wanting to write a series of posts on pointers for a long time. When I’ve finished, I’ll upload a complete PDF eGuide. In the meantime, enjoy :-)


A concept that some programmers avoid through fear, others abuse through ignorance, and yet others manage to use with grace and efficiency.

Every programmer who does more than dabble in C and C++ needs to understand this subject. Properly.

This is Part 1 of a multi-part series, and there will be a lovely quiz at the end, which I expect you will all get 100% on after reading my posts, right?

Let’s crack on.

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