- Persistent weapon glitch
- Quasi target-locked state
- Novel swimming with weaponry
- Acrobatic sequence with weaponry
- Pistol and secondary in separate hands
- Shark tagging
- Flip turn
- Back blast
- Tagging bats and spiders
- Manual grenade detonation
- Thrall reanimation mischief
Persistent weapon glitch
Posted May 26th 2010, updated later
Want to see Lara apparently holding a weapon in her left hand, running around with it and doing other stuff even when it's meant to have been put away? Although she's not truly holding it, it can look quite good. I found various ways, but the key feature is that she does an animation for bringing out the PDA while holding weaponry. When she puts the PDA away again (doing another animation), she ends up with a weapon attached to her left hand. She's not actually holding it - it's simply there against her hand - but if you don't peer too close it looks like she is.
So, here's my first recipe. With the desired weaponry selected, make Lara crouch or have her balancing on a beam or a vertical or horizontal pole, or on a ledge with her back to the wall. Activate target lock to bring out her weaponry, then activate the PDA. She does an animation for that, bringing it out with her left hand while continuing to hold weaponry. Disengage target lock then quit the PDA.
Alternatively, with the desired weaponry selected and Lara standing freely, get her in a quasi target-locked state then activate the PDA. As before, she does an animation for that. It's now ok to release RB - or you could release it later. Quit the PDA and you're done.
Behaviour with the persistent weapon
Lara will continue to have the 'persistent weapon' as you make her run around, jump, roll, do acrobatics, throw grenades, pick up objects, climb, use her grapple or motorbike, swim and so on. If you switch to different weaponry, she'll even use that other weaponry while still having the persistent weapon in her hand! She'll also do idle actions. Ever seen her do exercises while seemingly holding a spear gun? Careful Lara, that looks dangerous!
Snapping out of it
To return her to normal you have a few options. If you're set for the persistent weaponry she's holding, just activate target lock again or fire. Alternatively, throwing a grenade will do it (and so will dying).
Two persistent weapons - or even three!
Taking things further, you can actually get Lara with two or even three persistent weapons attached to her left hand. First do the glitch to give her one persistent weapon, then switch weaponry (right-click on the D-pad) and do the glitch again to give her another. If she's got Thor's hammer with her you can switch again and do the glitch again to give her a third. All persistent weapons overlap one another, which sometimes means that the pistol is mostly swallowed up. Multiple persistent weapons don't look too good, so this is really just a curiosity.
Quasi target-locked state
Posted May 28th 2010
In mere moments you can get Lara into an interesting glitchy state which seems to be a blend between her normal state and target-locked state. There are some novel benefits which I've listed as separate items of fun (after this one) to make them easily spottable - plus there are applications to viewing Lara.
There are various ways of doing it, but if she's just standing idle the simplest way is to hold RB down, cancel the grenade if she had one (a tap on the crouch button B will do), then press and release LT. If she's in water, one simple way is to hold RB down, get her clear of the ensuing grenade blast if she had a grenade, then press and release LT. But another - which also works in most situations out of water - is to activate the PDA, hold RB down, quit the PDA, then press and release LT. If she's climbing (various poses), just hold RB down (no grenade is produced) then press and release LT. In all cases, when you release LT she doesn't put her drawn weaponry away. That seems to be prevented because you've got RB down.
So how do things behave when Lara is in this state? As she moves around on land, the camera stays close to her like it does when she's in combat mode. She locks onto enemies sufficiently close, otherwise she tries to aim where the camera is looking, though she can only swivel her torso so far. She can't actually fire however; RT does nothing. Unlike in combat mode, you can move the camera freely around her and, for example, have it in front of her as she moves. Movement-wise she's not in combat mode at all. Her movement is similar to normal and she can sprint, but she won't jump; the A button does nothing. She can kick however; both kicking on the spot and doing a running kick. She can also crouch. When the camera is sufficiently distant she'll do idle actions, but because of her odd state keeping most of her body fairly rigid, they're barely recognizable.
Things are basically similar in the water, except that when she's swimming underwater (legs kicking) there are a few differences relating to her targeting of enemies and where she faces. If she's holding pistols and a shark is sufficiently close, she'll try to point her right pistol at it, while her left continues with the stroke animation. This often makes her right arm bend in extremely unnatural ways. If she instead has the spear gun or hammer, she tries to point with her empty right hand; so that's extra-glitchy. When she's swimming underwater with no enemies close, her arm movements are normal and she doesn't try to face where the camera is facing, so that's rather nice; see Novel swimming with weaponry for elaboration.
Snapping out of it
Aside from releasing RB, certain things snap her out of this state, returning her weaponry to whence it came. Various animations will cause that, including her arm-flailing edge-stop animation, and climbing. Hitting the weapon switch button will also do it.
General principle of achieving the state
As I said at the start, there are various ways of achieving the state. In fact the key thing is simply to get to a point where RB is down and Lara has weaponry out due to either trigger being down. When you then perform the relevant trigger release which would normally cause her to return her weaponry, she'll actually keep it out and will be in the state. Within those bounds there's a lot of variation as to what you actually do, in terms of what you press or release and in what order. I'll just say a little about that here.
In regard to the part about having weaponry out, the original way I gave was to engage target lock by pressing LT. This could potentially be done before having RB down. You could equally use RT however (though I find that more awkward in terms of finger work). Except for the hammer, RT won't cause an immediate shot because RB is down; but a delayed shot seems to occur when RB is eventually released.
As for the part about getting to a point where RB is down with weaponry out, the first method I gave - for when Lara is standing idle - involved cancelling a grenade by pressing the crouch button B. But three other ways of cancelling a held grenade in that situation are to melee, to activate and quit the PDA, or to activate the main menu then cancel. In some situations pressing RB doesn't bring a grenade out even if Lara has one (e.g. climbing poses), and it suffices to just press RB and RT (in either order).
Novel swimming with weaponry
Posted May 28th 2010
Want to see Lara doing her usual free swimming underwater, except while holding pistols or spear gun or Thor's hammer? Just get her in quasi target-locked state and make sure there are no sharks around. As long as she's not targeting, she'll look natural. She can do her normal breast stroke, slow right down to needing no strokes at all (arms by her sides), or do fast swimming - though surfacing while swimming fast will snap her out of the state.
But wait, it gets better! There's a major benefit in regard to camera control. Normally when Lara swims, it's quite hard to make the camera give you a consistent side view or front view. In this glitched state however, the camera is much friendlier, enabling you to perform novel camerawork relatively easily. You can get some really nice views, especially when she's close to the seabed or whatever. This is absolutely worth exploring, and in my books it's the best benefit of this unusual state.
Note that you'll normally need to get her into the state when she's in the water. If you do it out of water then try to move her in off an edge, her edge-stop animation will snap her out of it.
Acrobatic sequence with weaponry
Posted May 28th 2010
Get Lara in quasi target-locked state on land. If you hit B when she's moving, she'll do a roll, and you can follow this with as many as three additional presses to do an acrobatic sequence just like normal - except that this time she's doing it while holding weaponry - a novelty you might like to see! It's also nice that the camera is different from normal, enabling you to quite easily get a view from the side or front.
Pistol and secondary in separate hands
Posted May 28th 2010
With Lara's secondary weapon selected, do the persistent weapon glitch so she's now got it stuck to her left hand. Now switch to pistols and put her into quasi target-locked state so she's also got a pistol in each hand (you'll be keeping RB down at this point, to keep the pistols out). The pistol in her left hand will overlap with her secondary and will potentially be almost concealed, hence it can look like she's just got a pistol in her right and secondary in her left. Quite a novelty!
It looks pretty good when she's swimming around underwater with no sharks around to cause unnatural arm bending. Out of water it won't look too great if she's not tracking an enemy, because she'll be facing away from the camera awkwardly. Better if you can get her tracking. For example, she could be tracking sharks from her boat at the start of Coastal Thailand.
Posted May 26th 2010
Lara can't throw a grenade when underwater or on the surface, but what she can do is place it just in front of herself when you press down on RB, and this can enable her to tag a shark to kill it. Wait for a shark to come at her, then release a grenade shortly before it arrives. Optionally, Lara could then do an evasive move to avoid getting nipped. That's certainly the stylish thing to do. You could've had target lock on beforehand in preparation for that, or you could engage it after releasing the grenade. The grenade will tend to stick to the shark as it passes - often on its snout. It swims off and you'll see a yellow-orange trace from the attached grenade (you may also be able to spot the grenade itself), then BOOM! There's a massive blast with an excellent shock-wave effect, and you've got one dead shark. The technique gets fairly routine with a bit of practice, and it's pretty good fun.
If you like, you can set the grenade off early with a pistol shot or a zap from Thor's hammer. Another bit of variation is to back off after releasing the grenade. If Lara gets far enough away there's a possibility of being able to safely detonate the grenade the moment the shark gets tagged, but that's easier said than done.
Note: When the shark is close you can potentially go into slo-mo adrenaline time (click the right joystick while target-locked) to evade and/or see the tag occur, and maybe even to detonate the grenade early. I wouldn't say it makes evasion easier however.
It's even possible to get a shark double-tagged if you release the first grenade reasonably early then the second one quickly. Disappointingly however, you still only get one bang so there's no extra fun in it.
Rather than waiting for a shark to arrive and pick up the grenade as it passes, it's possible to chase a shark to get it tagged, though that's usually not easy. Lara's fast swimming isn't enough to catch up with an alerted shark, and sharks usually seem to take evasive action when she gets close (but not always). So it's more a case of swimming to intercept, and doing your best to release a grenade at the right moment. It's all much harder than waiting for the shark to charge at Lara, but if you like a challenge it can be good fun, and it's quite satisfying to finally get a tag. At the start of Arctic Sea I managed to swim up and tag an unsuspecting victim on his belly. Nice!
For a challenge, see if you can use underwater tagging to eliminate all sharks in the area (ideally without getting hit - or at least without using a health boost). There are three at the start of Coastal Thailand for example; that's where I realized Lara could do it. Each time you wipe out the sharks, you can suicide Lara with another grenade or two to get reverted for another go. I count six sharks at the start of Arctic Sea - whopping great big ones - and you can get a handy checkpoint at the broken gears area to keep suiciding to for replaying (or use some other checkpoint). With those big fellows I quite enjoyed detonating grenades early with Thor's hammer, giving you two bangs for the price of one! If you want, you can get extra sharks after retrieving the power stone in the right tower. There are also a few sharks at the start of Mediterranean Sea of course.
I've only really been talking about normal aggressive sharks so far, but at the start of Coastal Thailand it's possible to get as many as three relaxed sharks, gliding slowly around and letting Lara get close. This allows you to tag them in unusually leisurely fashion - even if it does seem a bit cold-blooded - and it's also a nice situation for letting you see where the grenades attach on the body. There only seem to be certain places that can happen, as you'll soon notice.
Tagging from above the water
At the start of Coastal Thailand, sharks can also be tagged by throwing a grenade into the water, either from Lara's boat or where she reaches land. But I can't recommend it as "fun" because the explosion aspect is so poor. If you watch from above there's no disturbance in the water, and you just get a 'dry land' blast effect on the top, which is quite wrong. If you instead quickly dive in to watch, you'll be disappointed because there's no visible blast effect at all. Throwing a grenade into empty water is pretty glitchy too by the way; explore and you'll see.
Glitch or not?
Is Lara's ability to release a grenade in water a glitch, or was it intentional? After all, it's kind of odd to be doing that (it was quite a while before I even thought to try it), and it's also odd that to release the grenade all you have to do is press down on RB, unlike on land where pressing down merely readies Lara to throw by releasing RB. Why would the release method be made different? Maybe they didn't want to have to cope for the complication of Lara holding a grenade while doing assorted manoeuvres in the water, so they settled for having Lara get rid of the grenade without delay? But it's also odd that the grenade usually just stays fixed in place, rather than moving about a bit (there's sometimes movement, but only in a straight line and looking distinctly glitchy). That's obviously unrealistic, but perhaps it was just down to a lack of refinement.
Although grenades stick to sharks (seemingly only on certain spots), that could have been purely with the idea of Lara tagging them by throwing a grenade into the water; so it's maybe not great evidence for her water-based release being intentional. Except, in Mediterranean Sea and Arctic Sea there's no place you can tag sharks from above the water, yet they can still go bang. Bearing in mind also that Crystal Dynamics obviously put work into the excellent underwater blast effect, which seems to require a water-based release to be seen at all, I suspect the ability was intentional after all. And since the only possible uses seem to be in tagging sharks or suiciding, I suspect that tagging sharks underwater was something Crystal Dynamics explicitly had in mind. In which case, yay!
A few definitely glitchy things I'll just mention. (1) If Lara releases a grenade when she's on the surface, it stays at the height she releases it, and if the ocean swell falls you thus end up with a grenade floating in the air. (2) When a grenade explosion is viewed with Lara on the surface, you only see a splash effect on the surface. If the grenade was attached to a shark, there's no visible explosion effect around the shark.
Posted May 26th 2010
Did you know that Lara can do a flip turn when swimming? All you need to do is quickly flip the left joystick to the opposite side of where it is. If you've got got the camera behind her as she swims straight ahead, that would mean moving the joystick down to the 6 o'clock position. However, you can get nicer views if she's instead swimming around the camera. How to do that? Start off with her treading water. She could be on the surface or underwater, but I'd suggest the latter for the clearest view. Now move the left joystick to the left or right to get her swimming that way. She'll orbit around the camera fast. Flip the joystick to the opposite side to make her do the flip turn. Nice animation! This turn isn't listed in the manual but I saw it occur when I was messing around trying to tag sharks with grenades, and soon I realized how it was happening.
She can also flip turn when swimming fast (i.e. swimming with LB down). Mind you, when she's orbiting the camera, fast-swimming actually seems to look a lot slower than normal swimming, and sometimes she seems reluctant to do fast-swimming at all - perhaps because she's having to turn too quickly for that animation to be viable.
Swimmers use a flip turn to return off a swimming pool wall efficiently. You can make Lara do an imitation of that if you want. Just swim her towards a wall and do the flip at the right moment, to make it look like she's pushing off from the wall.
Posted May 26th 2010
Here's a bit of fun with grenades. With Lara in good enough health to survive a grenade blast at close range, throw a grenade onto a vertical surface, wait a moment, then jump Lara forward as if trying to climb up. At the moment the grenade goes off, you want her with hands and feet on the surface, and grenade near her midriff. If things are like that, the bang sends her flying back in an amusing manner. Like, back first, arms and legs trailing. Quite good for a laugh. It's just something I noticed when trying to suicide her.
If a wall is actually climbable, you may be able to get the same effect a different way. Place the grenade on the wall, then make her get a handhold at the base of the wall (again with the grenade near her midriff, ideally), and wait for the bang. A good place for this is where she first hits land in Coastal Thailand. In this case the blast can send her back into the water, providing extra comedy value.
Tagging bats and spiders
Posted May 26th 2010
Did you realize that Lara can tag a bat with a grenade? Ok maybe that seems like overkill and you'd think the weight of the grenade would make the poor fella plummet like a stone, but it's amusing and she's pretty good at targeting them. For a challenge, see if you can cleanse an area of bats using grenades only. Actually she can tag those small jumpy spiders too, so that's something else to have a go at!
Sound effect glitch
When a bat gets killed by a grenade however, its flapping sound often continues for several seconds afterwards, in a ghostly manner. It seems to end when the body disappears.
Manual grenade detonation
Posted May 26th 2010
The game manual doesn't mention this, but when an enemy has been tagged with a grenade you can set it off early with gunfire, or a zap from Thor's hammer. I found that out by accident, probably like a lot of players. Any weapon except the tranquilizer gun and spear gun will do. Manual detonation can be rather good fun, especially on thralls. It can also have serious benefit, insofar as you can set the grenade off before an approaching tagged enemy gets too close.
Thrall reanimation mischief
Posted May 26th 2010
If you're not in a pressured situation, here's an amusing way to finish off a downed thrall. Grenade him as he's starting to reanimate, then either watch him go bang, or set off the grenade with gunfire just as he's near the end of his reanimation. Funny!