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Tomb Raider (OpenLara)


A new work-in-progress Tomb Raider game engine ported to libretro.

This game engine recreation seeks to allow you to play the original Tomb Raider engine games, from 1 all the way up to 5.

OpenLara V1 Tomb Raider 1 is fully playable.

The nice thing about OpenLara is that, while staying true to the original look and feel of the original, it also adds some enhancements to it that manages to make the boxy old-school Tomb Raider games look a bit less archaic. Some examples include :

  • The framerate is no longer fixed to 30fps, and you can now run it at a smooth 60fps framerate. There are even more framerate options, allowing you to play at 90fps, 120fps or even 144fps.
  • You can set the internal resolution of the game.
  • New water effects which replaces the simple vertex manipulation of the water surface on the PSX. The Saturn version actually was the only version that tried to do something a bit more sophisticated with the water.
  • Self-shadowing on all the player models (although this still has some visual anomalies at places).
  • Improved lighting effects, including colored lighting (you can see the save crystals emanating a blue light for instance, something which definitely was not in any of the prior Tomb Raider versions).
  • Shading effects – after Lara gets out of the water, her skin has a slightly wet shading effect.
  • There is also a brand new local multiplayer mode. You toggle the game into splitscreen mode by pressing Start at any one time. From there, you can see a second Lara character, which is only distinguished from the main character by a slightly jerky animation update routine. Player 2 can now take control of this Lara and you can engage in ‘jolly co-operation’. At all times, Player 1 can beckon Player 2 back to his position by pressing the Start button, which resets player 2’s position back to Player 1’s so that Player 2 can always be brought back in case he/she is running too far astray.
  • There is also a first person view that you can toggle into by pressing the Look button (L button) and then pressing the Action button (B button). This gives you a Mirror’s Edge-esque first person view.
  • The ability to target two enemies at the same time individually.
  • The graphical enhancements can all be toggled on/off inside the game’s inventory settings screen (toggleable by pressing the Select button).

The OpenLara core has been authored by

  • XProger

The OpenLara core is licensed under

A summary of the licenses behind RetroArch and its cores have found here.


This core requires that you use OpenGL as the video driver. Go to Settings -> Driver. If ‘video driver’ is set to ‘vulkan’, switch it back to ‘gl’, and then restart.


There is currently no ‘working’ macOS version available due to the OpenGL requirement.


Content that can be loaded by the OpenLara core have the following file extensions:

  • .phd
  • .psx
  • .tr2

RetroArch dat that is associated with the OpenLara core:


Frontend-level settings or features that the OpenLara core respects.

Feature Supported
Core Options
RetroArch Cheats
Native Cheats
Disk Control
Crop Overscan


The OpenLara core's library name is 'OpenLara'

To achieve a continuous game that loads from one level to the next you can load directly from CD
or preferably setup the content folder like this:

Folder File Type(s) Description
audio/1/ track_XX.ogg or XXX.ogg X represents a number
audio/2/ track_XX.ogg and MAIN.SFX Both tracks and MAIN.SFX are required
audio/3/ track_XX.ogg and MAIN.SFX Both tracks and MAIN.SFX are required
level/1/ .PNG and .PHD or .PSX or .SAT Load-screens and levels
level/2/ .PNG and .TR2 or *.PSX Load-screens and levels
level/3/ .PNG and .TR2 or *.PSX Load-screens and levels
video/1/ .RPL or .FMV Video cut-scenes
video/2/ .RPL or .FMV Video cut-scenes
video/3/ .RPL or .FMV Video cut-scenes


if you load from CD you won't have soundtrack in TR1

The OpenLara core saves/loads to/from these directories.

File Description
system/openlara/*.xsh Shader files
saves/openlara/savegame.dat Savegame
saves/openlara/settings Settings

Geometry and timing

Core options

The OpenLara core has the following option(s) that can be tweaked from the core options menu. The default setting is bolded.

Settings with (Restart) means that core has to be closed for the new setting to be applied on next launch.

  • Framerate (restart) [openlara_framerate] (60fps|90fps|120fps|144fps|30fps)

    Modify framerate.

  • Internal resolution (restart) [openlara_resolution] (320x240|360x480|480x272|512x384|512x512|640x240|640x448|640x480|720x576|800x600|960x720|1024x768|1024x1024|1280x720|1280x960|1600x1200|1920x1080|1920x1440|1920x1600|2048x2048|2560x1440|3840x2160|7680x4320|15360x8640|16000x9000)

    Modify the internal resolution.

Internal resolution - 320x240

Internal resolution - 1920x1080


RetroPad Inputs User 1 input descriptors
Action (Shoot/grab)
Draw weapon
Walk (when holding)
Duck/Crouch (TR3 and up)
Dash (TR3 and up)