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How to Download and Install Classic Tomb Raider Save Files

IMPORTANT: Tombraiders.net is not responsible for anything that happens to your computer as a result of downloading these files or following advice given here or on any linked site. All of my files are safe and virus-free. Still, I recommend following these instructions step by step, especially the part about backing up your existing saves.

This page pertains to PC save files for Tomb Raiders 1 through 6 only. Savegame files for the newer games work a little differently. For detailed instructions, please see the separate sections for Legend, Anniversary, Underworld, TOMB RAIDER 2013, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Classic Macintosh savegame instructions are also on a separate page.

If you already know what savegame files are and just want instructions on how to download and install them, you can skip directly to the basic instructions.

What are savegame files?

Every time you save your game while playing Tomb Raider, a file is created containing all the information about your game so far—Lara's location, health status, inventory, items found and used, enemies killed, etc. These files are named "savegame" with a number extension (e.g., savegame.0, savegame.1, etc.) and stored on your hard drive. There is one savegame file for each "slot" on the Save/Load Game screen.

Tomb Raider savegame files are coded so that the game program can read them. When you reload a game you have previously saved, your computer interprets the savegame file and restores Lara and her world to the way they were when you saved.

Computer users can manipulate these files outside of game play using savegame editors. We can also trade saves with other players just as we would share text files, pictures or other documents—by saving the files on a disk, sending them as email attachments or placing them on a web server to be downloaded.


What are .zip files?

All the PC savegame files on this site come in .zip files. A .zip file (also called a .zip archive) is like a digital "envelope" containing other files. Using .zip archives lets us group several files together in one convenient package, such as a group of savegame files for a particular game level. Also, since the data in .zip files is compressed, the files are smaller and download more quickly.


How do I get the savegame files out of the .zip file?

Windows Me, XP, Vista and 7 all open .zip files automatically when you double-click on them. If you are using one of these versions of Windows, you can continue with the instructions in the next section.

If you have an earlier version of Windows, you'll need a separate archive program, such as WinZip, WinRAR, PKZIP, StuffIt, etc., to extract the save files from the .zip file so you can use them. Please refer to the help files or support site for the particular program you'll be using.


Can Windows users install savegames made on a Macintosh and vice-versa?

No. Unfortunately, Mac savegame files and Windows savegame files are incompatible. This site has a selection of Mac as well as PC savegames. These can be found on the savegame file pages for each game. For additional Mac saves, visit Sailmaker Software and MacRaider.


Instructions for Downloading & Installing Tomb Raider Savegame Files

All of the following should be done when the Tomb Raider game is not running.

Part 1 - Downloading the .zip file:

  1. Click any of the savegame file links on my savegame download pages. (There are also a few links to savegame files sprinkled throughout the walkthroughs.)

  2. A dialog box will pop up asking if you want to run/open the file or save it on your computer. Choose the "Save" or "Save to disk" option and then click "OK".

  3. Another dialog box will pop up asking where on your computer you would like to save the downloaded file. It doesn't matter where you save it, but I'd recommend saving it in a location that's easy to remember—perhaps on the desktop, in My Documents, Downloads, etc. (You might even create a new folder called "Tomb Raider Saves," or something like that.) Choose the location you want and click the "Save" button to start downloading the file.

  4. A new box will pop up showing the progress of the download. You may need to click a button to close this box when the download is completed.


Part 2 - Backing up your existing saves:

If you have been saving your game as you play, you will already have some savegame files of your own. Before you use the saves you downloaded, you will probably want to back up your own savegame files (i.e., move them into a new folder or save them on a disk).

It's also a good idea to do this every few days while playing in case you accidentally save in a bad spot—like when Lara is about to die. Then if you need to, you can restore your earlier saves.

For Tomb Raiders 2 through 5:

  1. From the Start Menu or desktop, open My Computer (Windows 95-XP) or Computer (Vista/7).

  2. Double-click the icon for your hard drive (usually labeled "Local Disk C:" but may have another name). Doing this should display a list of all the directories on your hard drive.

  3. Double-click the "Program Files" folder to open it. [For Windows 7 systems, open "Program Files (x86)" instead.] Inside you should see folders for various programs you've installed.

  4. Double-click the "Core Design" folder to open it. Inside you should see a folder for each of the Tomb Raider games you have installed. The exceptions are Tomb Raider 1 and Angel of Darkness (see below).

  5. Double-click the folder for the game you want. Inside the game folder you should see various files, including any savegame files you have made. These have names like "savegame.0," "savegame.1," "savegame.2," etc.

    (NOTE: If you don't see the savegame files here, try looking in directory Users > [Your Username] > AppData > Local > VirtualStore > Program Files (x86) > Core Design.)

  6. Create a new folder to store your own savegames. To create a new folder, right-click anywhere in the window except on the name of an existing file and choose New > Folder from the drop-down menu. Name the new folder whatever you want. (I like to keep a separate folder for each level's saves, so I use the level name as the name of the folder.)

  7. Copy or move (drag) your savegame files into the new folder. If you COPY the files, the saves will still be available when you play the game. If you MOVE the files, the game program will not be able to find them in the new location, so you won't be able to load them unless you copy or move them back to the game folder.

For Tomb Raider 1 and Tomb Raider Gold:

          Follow steps 1 - 3 above.

  1. Double-click the "Tombraid" folder to open it. (If you used the Tomb Raider Installer from MintraSystems to install the game, you should instead open the "Core Design" folder, then the "Tomb Raider" folder within it.)

  2. Inside the "Tombraid" (or "Tomb Raider") folder you should see various files, including any savegame files you have made. These have names like "savegame.0," "savegame.1," "savegame.2," etc.

          Now follow steps 6 and 7, above, to back up your files.

For Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness:

          Follow steps 1 - 3 above.

  1. Double-click the "Eidos Interactive" folder to open it. Then double-click the "TRAOD" folder, then the "SaveGame" folder.

  2. Inside the SaveGame folder you should see any savegame files you have made. These have names like "1.TRAODSG," "2.TRAODSG," "A.TRAODSG," etc.

          Now follow steps 6 and 7, above, to back up your files.

For the GOG.com versions: The classic Tomb Raider game downloads from GOG.com use the same savegame format as the CD installations; however, they store the save files in different folders. These should be something like:

C:\GOG Games\Tomb Raider #\Tomb Raider #
OR
C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\GOG.com\Tomb Raider #\Tomb Raider #
OR
C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\GOG.com\Tomb Raider #\Tomb Raider #

Here "Username" is your actual Windows account user name and "Tomb Raider #" is the name of the game whose saves you're looking for. So for example, on my PC (Stellalune), the Last Revelation (TR4) directory is

C:\Users\Stellalune\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\GOG.com\Tomb Raider 4-5\Tomb Raider 4

Once you've found the files, follow steps 6 and 7, above, to back up your files.

For the Steam versions: Steam uses yet another system to store its files. You should be able to find your saves here:

For TR1 – C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Tomb Raider (I)\TOMBRAID

For TR2 through TR5 – C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Tomb Raider #
(where # is the sub folder for the particular game)

For TRAOD – C :\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Tomb Raider (VI) The Angel of Darkness\SaveGame

Depending on which version of Windows you have, the save files may be in C:\Program Files (x86)..., instead of C:\Program Files....

Once you've found the files, follow steps 6 and 7, above, to back up your files.

Having trouble? If you can't find the Tomb Raider game directory by following these instructions or if you are having other difficulties, please refer to the troubleshooting section below for help.


Part 3 - Extracting the downloaded savegame files:

VERY IMPORTANT: If you haven't already backed up your own saves (as explained in Part 2, above), you should definitely do that before continuing. Otherwise, you may accidentally erase your own saves.

  1. Locate the .zip file you downloaded earlier.

  2. Double-click its icon to open the file.

  3. Double-click the 'readme.txt' file (if there is one) to open it. This is a plain text document containing details about each of the savegame files. It describes the in-game location of each save, so you can use only the one(s) you want, if you prefer.

  4. Open the game program directory on your hard drive. (Part 2, steps 1 through 5, above, explain how to do this.)

  5. Select the savegame file(s) you want and drag them out of the .zip file and into the game program folder. If you already have files with the same names, Windows will ask if you want to replace your existing savegame files with the new files. Click OK but only if you have backed up your saves or don't care if they're erased forever.

Part 4 – Loading the downloaded savegame files:

Now that you've completed all of the steps above, your downloaded saves should be in the game program directory. Close all of the windows and files you've opened. Insert your game CD and start playing the game as usual.

At the main menu, choose 'Load Game' to bring up your list of saved games. The downloaded saves should now be on that list. Select the save you want and press Enter (or Action) to load it, just as you would load your own saved game.

If you've done everything as described and the savegames won't load, first check out the troubleshooting section below. A few common problems are addressed there. If you don't find the answer you need, feel free to ask for help.


Troubleshooting

(1) I double-clicked the savegame file and the game won't load. Or, I opened the savegame file and it looks like a bunch of gibberish text. What am I doing wrong?

Savegame files are written by the game program and can only be read by the game program (or a savegame editor or hex editor. . . but those are topics for another page). Loading a savegame file by double-clicking its icon won't work. Instead, you need to move the savegame file into your game program directory, play the game, and load it from the Load Game screen—the same way you load your own saves while playing. Follow the step-by-step instructions above if you aren't sure how to do this.


(2) I followed the instructions but I can't find the Tomb Raider game directory on my computer where you said it would be.

These instructions are based on the "default" installation path—where the program would be installed if you didn't specify a different location when you first set up the game. If you chose a different location, then that is where the savegame files will be.

If you can't remember where you installed the program then you will need to search your computer to find it. Click on the Windows Start Menu and choose "Find" or "Search." Then, in the box under "Named" or "Find files or folders named", enter the name of the program.

Windows program files usually have an '.exe' extension. The program files for each Tomb Raider game are:

tomb.exe (Tomb Raider 1)
tombub.exe (Tomb Raider Gold or Unfinished Business)
tomb2.exe (Tomb Raider 2)
tr2gold.exe (Golden Mask)
tomb3.exe (Tomb Raider 3)
tr3gold.exe (The Lost Artifact)
tomb4.exe (Last Revelation)
PCTomb5.exe (Chronicles)
TRAODSG (not the Angel of Darkness program file but the save files themselves)

Be sure to search your entire hard drive and not just My Documents. You can also search for "Core Design," "Eidos," "savegame," or even "tomb" but the search may turn up other files with those names.

Once you've found the game program, right-click its icon and choose "Open Containing Folder" or "Open File Location" from the drop-down menu. Then follow the instructions above for installing the save files, placing the downloaded saves in this folder. Things should work smoothly.

WINDOWS VISTA USERS: If you are not running the Tomb Raider game as an administrator, then the game will write the save files to a special "Virtual Store" folder, rather than the folder with the game program. Look for this folder in C: (your main hard drive) > Users > your actual username > AppData > Local > VirtualStore.

If you don't see the AppData folder, it may be hidden. Try clicking the Start Menu, search for "Folder Options" and open it. Click the View tab and then make sure the button for "Show hidden files, folders and drives" is selected. Then repeat the steps above.

WINDOWS 7 USERS: The save files are usually written to the same folder as the game program, but if you don't see them at first click the "Compatibility Files" button in the toolbar (as shown here). If you see your existing save files under "Compatibility Files," that's where you should place the downloaded saves.

WINDOWS 8 USERS: For the Legend, Anniversary and Underworld, the save files will most likely be in a subfolder inside the Users > Documents folder. Look there for a subfolder with the name of the game itself or "Eidos."

For the classic games, look inside C:\Program Files (x86) for a folder named Square Enix, Eidos, or Core Design. The save files should be in a subfolder named for the particular game.


If you can't find your save files using the steps described above, try this:

From the Start Menu, open Computer > Windows (C:) > Users > your actual username > AppData > Local > VirtualStore > Program Files or Program Files (x86).

Within one of these Program Files folders you should find a sub folder for Core Design or Eidos Interactive. Inside that folder should be one for the game itself. Inside that you should then find your existing save files.

If you don't see the AppData folder, it may be hidden. Try clicking the Start Menu, search for "Folder Options" and open it. Click the View tab and then make sure the button for "Show hidden files, folders and drives" is selected. Then repeat the steps above.


(3) I found the savegame files in the game directory, but I don't see any number extensions (.0, .1, .2, etc., or in the case of Angel of Darkness, .TRAODSG).

This is easily fixed. You just need to adjust the way your files are displayed.

Windows 95/98 users should click "View" in the toolbar at the top of the window and select "Folder Options" from drop-down menu. Click the "View" tab. Uncheck the box labeled "Hide file extensions for known file types." (In Windows 98 this is one of the options in the box labeled "Advanced Settings".) Then click "OK."

Windows Me and XP users should click "Tools" in the toolbar at the top of the window and select "Folder Options" from drop-down menu. Click the "View" tab. Under "Advanced Settings" uncheck the box labeled "Hide file extensions for known file types". Then click "OK."

Windows Vista users should follow the instructions here.

Windows 7 users should follow the instructions here.


(4) I followed all your instructions to the letter, but when I try to load the savegame I just downloaded, the game crashes.

In some cases, Tomb Raider saves made using one version of the game (e.g., original installation vs. patched game) will not load in another version. Also, some Tomb Raider saves made using certain versions of Windows (e.g., Windows 95/98/Me/XP vs. Windows Vista/7) will not load using another version of Windows. In this case, you'll need to download compatible saves.

I am attempting to build a complete collection of save files, but there are still a few types I don't have. Check my Savegame Download pages to see what's available. If you don't find what you need, try posting a request on one or more of the Tomb Raider forums listed on my Community page. Perhaps another player will be able to help you out.

NOTE: Some of my saves described as "patched" refer to hacked saves where Lara is repositioned in an otherwise inaccessible spot, or where inventory items are added. This should not affect whether or not a save will load. If you're not sure which kind of "patch" I'm talking about, feel free to ask.


(5) I've decided I want my old saves back. How do I restore them?

If you followed these instructions, you should have backed up your original saves in a separate folder. (See Part 2 - Backing up your existing saves, above.) To restore them follow these steps:

  1. Locate the folder in which you placed your original savegame files.

  2. Copy or move the savegame files from that folder back into the game directory. (If you have trouble finding the game directory, follow the instructions in Part 2, above.)

  3. If you already have files with the same names, Windows will ask if you want to replace those files with the ones you're trying to move. Click "OK".

  4. Now play the game as usual and your original saves should be on the Load Game screen.

If you didn't back up your old saves as recommended, and they were overwritten by the downloaded saves, then there's no way to get them back. Sorry.


If your questions weren't answered on this page, or if you have suggestions for how to improve this savegame "walkthrough", please feel free to contact me.


This page copyright © 2004- Stellalune. All rights reserved. You are welcome to link to this page but do not copy it. Special thanks to Sailmaker Software's Richard B. (for the Mac info), David V. for the Windows Vista info, and Steph and Sas for other help with this page. To give me your feedback, send email to or use my contact form. WinZip is a registered trademark of WinZip Computing, Inc. PKZIP is copyright © PKWARE, Inc. StuffIt Expander is copyright © Aladdin Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.