Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal has received mostly critical praise fo the final arc in Lara Croft's origin story involving Trinity. The latest three games focused on Lara's deep dive into the mysteries that her father attempted to uncover, as well as the trail of murders, violence, and mystical elements that surrounded the Croft family. Shadow of the Tomb Raider's original ending actually set up something quite profound for Lara compared to what originally shipped with the game via a day-one patch. Some gamers, however, managed to capture the alternate ending before it got patched out, and have given the world a look at what could have been. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
YouTube user Daft Rider uploaded the alternate ending, which obviously contains big spoilers for the end section of the game. But for everyone who has already beaten the game and seen the original conclusion, curiosities can now be sated. As you can see above, some of Shadow of the Tomb Raider's original ending stays the same. Such as both endings featuring the old butler shuffling toward Lara with the tea on a tray as she writes a letter to Jonah, who is living happily ever after elsewhere.
But there are some changes, of course. The patched ending is brighter and has more cheery music, almost signaling a sense of finality. Plus, the patched ending shows Lara at the desk, a few artifacts, and then a shot of a picture she drew when she was younger, which is hanging up on the wall. The picture is an Easter egg nod toward the original Tomb Raider game from 1996, featuring a dinosaur and a pyramid. In the alternate ending, the entire reference to the picture is cut out.
The big key difference between the two endings in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is that in the alternate ending, after showing some of the artifacts Lara has acquired over the years, there's a letter from a Jacqueline Natla from Scion Towers in India. After she tells Jonah that it feels good to be home, and that it would be lovely to have tea, Lara proceeds to pick up the letter from Natla and examine it. The entire letter bit is cut out of the patched ending. The alternate ending also ends more on a somber cliffhanger, with darker lighting and more tense music, almost as if the adventure isn't over with for Lara.
For those of you not in the know, Natla was the original villain that Lara faced off against in the first game. As such, a letter from her indicates that the reboot would be coming full circle to recapture the adventures that Lara had back in the PSX days of the 1990s.
Eidos Montreal told the media that the studio considered multiple endings for the game and that the particular ending featuring the letter from Natla was never supposed to be in the original game. The patched ending likely allows Eidos and Crystal Dynamics to focus attention elsewhere (like on Square's Avengers project) instead of leading fans on with the possibility of another new Lara Croft trilogy being made anytime soon.