Well over a year ago back in March 2022 XProger posted on Twitter a short video showing what looked to be Tomb Raider running on the Sega 32x. I got talking to him to find out more and he said I could preview the game when he felt it was in a suitable state to play around with. We jump forward to 2023 and on a cold December evening not long after Christmas I receive a message from XProger offering to share the latest build with me so I can give my honest review of it on YouTube. Obviously, I jump at the opportunity!
So here we are entering the new year with me giving you a rundown of Tomb Raider on the Sega 32x! The game is based on XProger’s Open-Lara engine which has had multiple ports to other platforms including one to the GBA covered by MVG around a year ago.
There is unfortunately no music in the demo, but XProger tells me a Mega Drive OST will be implemented in the future. The frame rate is not particularly consistent right now and can take drops to 7 FPS in complex areas, but it is a good start out of the gate if nothing else! The games render engine has been completely rewritten in SH2 assembler for the 32x’s CPU but is yet to be optimised in anyway and it is yet to take advantage of the second SH2 CPU or cache like Doom 32x: Resurrection. So, there are plenty of improvements that can be made to improve the frame rate.
The demo gives us the entire first level the caves to get a taster. This fits into 512KB (4 Megabits) of ROM. XProger says all the game’s graphics fit into 48 Megabits, which gives us a little bit of an indication of how big the game could eventually be. With the implementation of compression, I would like to believe it would fit onto a 64 Megabit cart minus the FMV sequences. That is not to say these could not be add via the Sega CD, but the complexity of the combined hardware makes it hard to pull off without patience and fluency in both SH2 and 68k CPU assembly!
I feel fortunate and privileged to have been able to cover both Vic‘s Doom 32x Resurrection and XProger‘s OpenLara on my channel. Let us hope this is just the beginning for 32x homebrew because so far its looking great!