Tomb Raider Game Boy Color Controls & Strategy

The following table includes all controls for the Tomb Raider Nightmare Stone and Curse of the Sword games for Game Boy Color (GBC). In the descriptions below "forward" can be right or left, depending on which way Lara is facing. "Backward" is the opposite direction. Forward, Back (or Left, Right), Up and Down refer to directions on the control pad.

Basic Moves

Look around

Hold Start and use the control pad to look (You can see more this way than when just crouching or jumping.)


Control Pad Down (Lara can't crawl, but she can go through low tunnels by rolling.)


While crouching press Left or Right


Tap Left or Right


Hold Left or Right


Hold B button + Left or Right

Jump (straight up)

Control Pad Up

Grab ledge, ladder or monkey bars

B button. Hold B to hang onto ledge or monkey bars; release to let go.

Climb up/down

Control Pad Up/Down (See using ladders and monkey bars, below.)

Pick up item

Control Pad Down (while standing over item)

Use item, switch or key

A button (See general tips below.)

Use save crystal

Control Pad Down (See saving your game, below.)

Go through door

Up (Nightmare Stone) or A button (Curse of the Sword). (See notes below.)

Combo Moves

Standing forward jump

B + Control Pad Up

Vault (climb onto ledge or low wall)

At a wall or ledge press B + Forward

Safety drop

Walk to edge of ledge, turn around, hold B and press Down. Release B to let go and drop. (This helps minimize damage from falling.)

Running jump

While running, press Control Pad Up

Grab overhead monkey bars

B button (See using ladders and monkey bars, below.)

Hand-over-hand on monkey bars

Hold B and press Control Pad Left/Right (release B to drop)

Jump off slope while sliding

Control Pad Up (hold B to grab a ledge or ladder while in the air.)


Draw/holster weapons


Fire weapon

A button (See combat, below.)

Change ammo

Select (See inventory, below.)

Side roll

A + B (only works while holding weapons)



Use Control Pad to move around under water

Swim on surface/tread water

Press Up until Lara surfaces then Left/Right to swim back and forth

Climb out of water

Position Lara facing edge and press B + Up

Use switch underwater

A button

Pick up item underwater

Lara automatically picks up objects when she swims over them


View Inventory

Tap Start

Select Item

On inventory screen use control pad to move arrow cursor to desired item. Press A to use it or Start to return to play. (More under inventory, below.)

General Tips

If you've played Tomb Raider on the bigger screen, you'll notice that many of Lara's moves are very similar on the Game Boy. A few differences are worth noting. Here, walking is the default speed. To run, you need to hold the B button while moving.

To go through a door in the middle of the screen (rather than at the left or right edge) position Lara in front of the door and press control pad Up (in the original GBC game) or the A button (in Curse of the Sword).

In Curse of the Sword, when Lara walks past usable doors, machinery, containers, etc., a bubble with the letter "A" will appear above her head. Press A to activate the object, open the door, etc. Since A is also the fire button, if Lara has her guns drawn, she can't open doors/use items, and the "A" bubble doesn't appear. Try clearing a room of enemies then exploring with guns holstered to see which items can be used/activated.

Using Ladders and Monkey Bars

To use a ladder or climbable wall, position Lara next to (or just below) the ladder and press B + Forward (or B + Up). Use Up/Down to climb.

Climb all the way to the top or bottom and Lara will automatically get off the ladder if there's a ledge above or if it touches the floor below. If not, press B to let go and fall to the floor. Or, press Back + B to make Lara jump off the ladder onto a ledge behind her. If necessary, hold B to grab the other ledge (or ladder).

To grab onto overhead monkey bars, jump straight up and press B. Or, if there are monkey bars directly above a ladder, climb to the top and when Lara grabs the overhead bars, quickly press and hold B. You don't need to hold B to keep her hanging on to a ladder, but you do need to hold B while traversing across monkey bars. Use Left/Right to move from side to side.

Unlike her larger counterpart, tiny Lara can shoot while hanging on a ladder. (See Combat, below.)

Health and Air Meters

Health and air meters are displayed at the bottom of the game screen. The green bar on the left indicates Lara's current health/energy state. If the bar reaches zero (far left), Lara dies. To replenish her health, collect and use medipaks as needed. (See Inventory, below.)

When Lara goes underwater, a similar blue bar appears on the lower right side of the screen. If Lara runs out of air, her health bar will diminish rapidly and, unless you get air quickly, she'll die.

Try to conserve medipaks. You'll find plenty of them early on, but don't waste them. Don't use a large one when a small one will do. Don't top off Lara's health if she's only down a little bit, and don't use a medipak at the very end of a level, since Lara will start the next level with full health. That way you'll have enough medipaks left later in the game when you really need them.

Saving Your Game

You can only save at predetermined save points. When you find a silver save crystal in the game, position Lara over it and press Down. This brings up the "Save Game" screen, which shows the name of the level, a green bar with Lara's current health status and the option to overwrite your last saved game. Use Left/Right to choose Yes/No then press A to confirm.

You can use a save crystal more than once (e.g., if you pass a crystal you've already used, you can save again). However, you can only store one saved game at a time. Each time you save, it overwrites the previous save.

When you start the game after turning it off (or if Lara dies), press A to get to the main menu screen and then choose "Continue" to resume from your last save point. Or, choose "New Game" to start again from the beginning.


Lara's pistols have unlimited normal ammunition. Other types of ammo are listed under Inventory, below. Aiming is automatic when Lara is standing or climbing. When she's walking, running or crouching, she'll only fire straight ahead. This can be convenient when enemies are shooting back. In Curse of the Sword, many of the enemies shoot straight ahead, so if Lara ducks, she can shoot them in the legs without taking any damage herself.

Lara can't jump straight up when she's holding her guns, but she can take forward standing and running jumps, and she can vault onto low ledges or walls. (When you press B + Up she'll holster her guns, climb up and draw the guns again.) She can't grab a ladder or ledge while holding guns, but once she's hanging onto a ladder, she can draw one gun and shoot at a target above, below or behind her. (She can't shoot directly overhead, though.)

With guns drawn, she can do a nifty side-to-side jump/roll when you press A + B together. This is useful for dodging enemies. Lara can back away from slower moving enemies while firing if you just tap the Back button repeatedly. (Holding the button makes her turn and run the other way.)

As in the "big" Tomb Raider games, many enemies can't harm Lara if they're above or below her, and they won't jump gaps to reach her. Take advantage of that to shoot enemies from a distance.


You start the first TR Game Boy Color game with pistols. These can shoot unlimited normal bullets. (In Curse of the Sword, Lara begins with nothing and has to find weapons.)

Found items include:

Secret Areas

Don't forget to look for secret areas and hidden pickups. Occasionally items can be found behind other objects (rubble, plants, columns, etc.). Press Down to crouch and if there's something to be picked up, you'll see a message on the screen.

Music & Sound

There are no music/sound settings except for the volume dial on the Game Boy. You'll hear music during the introduction and level transitions, but there is no music during most of the game. You should be able to hear gunfire and other sound effects during gameplay, though. In Curse of the Sword, you can also hear Lara's footsteps.

[Main TR GBC Page]

['Nightmare Stone' Walkthrough]

['Curse of the Sword' Walkthrough]

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