I knew that some of the early PS1 games came out in “big boxes”, but I wasn’t aware that Tomb Raider had until today. It was only 99p which was an excellent price, especially for a “big box” version. Also as a nice surprise, Tomb Raider 2 was in the back of the case. Asides from being in a double case, the front cover is missing the “Playstation” banner, the magazine logos and scores, and also the black plastic along the hinge. All of these make for a cleaner and fuller version of the boxart!
I know it looks atrocious, but I rarely take price stickers off my old games so I can look back and see how much I paid for them.
Spine difference between “big box” double case and regular sized game case
I bought my version when I was about 10 from a retail store brand new. The back says it was published in 2000, so it’s most definitely a later reprint as the big box has 1996 as its publishing date, matching its release date. The manual also lacks the Playstation banner like the front cover, and is a lot thicker as it has many different languages, whereas my previous manual was quite flimsy as it only contained English.
On the original print’s CD, the logo is coloured and textured like the box logo, whereas the reprint is transparent showing the silver of the disc underneath. The other text on the CD is also transparent, whilst the original CD’s text has been printed in white text.
TOP: 1996 “big box” original print
BOTTOM: 2000 reprint with SLES-00024/CP on disc
The differences between the transparency is actually significant upon some research. On further examination, the original CD has the SLES-00024 code on, matching the one on the spine. However, the reprint has SLES-00024 on the spine, but SLES-00024/CP on the disc. I’ve tried to find out why this is but I can only find one thread on a forum about it. It’s really interesting as it seems to be quite uncommon! There are claims of better graphics and 3 new music tracks. It’s really fascinating trying to work out what exactly this disc was produced for, even Toby Gard (Lara’s creator) doesn’t know!
He suggests it’s a resubmission to Sony of a newer version as resubmission is necessary to get a new SLES/SCES code. Yet the Platinum copies which were printed AFTER this reprint are using the original print’s data. Which raises the question “why did they resubmit the game to Sony when they knew they were going to use the original print for the Platinum print?”. Some forum members think the game was won in a competition or given out at E3, but definitely I bought it at a shop brand new (hence the sticker), not from eBay or as a used game, so I have no idea why this version seems to be so rare.
The back of the cases are very different, the original printing making my existing copy incredibly boring! I had always thought that there was something missing from the back, so I’m pleased to see that the original printing was a lot more interesting, filling the space more effectively.
What has me slightly confused though is that the case has another 2 CD teeth, which I presumed were for a long lost demo. When I originally got Crash Bandicoot for Christmas it had a demo with the 1996 Winter releases on it so I’m guessing it might have been the same demo (SCED-00273) or at least have some of the same games on as both Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot were released in the back end of 1996. However I can’t find anything about the big box version of Tomb Raider ever coming with demos; people are instead claiming they don’t even have any teeth in second half of the case.
This sort of thing really intrigues me, so I’m definitely going to try and find out what originally came in the double CD case and what the SLES-00024/CP version of the disc was published for.