Tomb A Day #35 - Tomb Raider II, Level 9: Living Quarters
Unlike the first half of the ship, this one is right side up and very well preserved. You enter at the engine room before traveling to the living quarters that the level is named after.
The engine block is one of my favorite set pieces in the game. It uses a mix of standard level geometry and two custom meshes (piston rods and gears) to create a unique set of platforms. Similar to the chandeliers in Bartoli’s Hideout, the engine’s crankshaft can be turned to move the pistons and gain access to ledges around the room.
This level is also home to one of the most startling creatures in the series and it’s not a mutant, yeti, or any manner of spook from the Black Isle. Instead, it’s a giant moray eel. The first time I played this level, it waited until I spotted its silhouette in the cave and said “Huh, what’s th-” before lunging out. There may have been some screaming. For anyone who was traumatized by this thing as a kid (or an adult), the good news is that moray eels are shy around humans in real life. Just don’t do sticking your fingers in one’s face!