Throughout this walkthrough I use abbreviations for north (N), northeast (NE), southwest (SW), etc., to give directions. There is no compass in this game, but just to make it easier to navigate on screen, we'll assume north is up, west is left, east is right and south is down. Outdoor levels include a map screen in the Inventory in case you get lost. Also, I played using the medium combat difficulty setting so your experiences may differ slightly on a different setting.
*Although the PC, console and iOS versions are similar, there are significant differences in a few areas. This walkthrough covers the original version but may also be helpful to iOS users.
Level 3: Spider Tomb (Single Player)
For the 2-player co-op walkthrough, please see here.
Score Challenges: 200K, 250K, 290K (Bonus: Fast Action Rifle)*
Artifacts: Clay Feather (x2), Stone Lizard, Stone Owl
A complete list of artifacts, relics and weapons can be found here.
NOTE: There is no in-game map for this level, but it's fairly linear, so hopefully you won't get lost. I may make a map later on.
TOMB ENTRANCE: There are health and ammo pickups near the start. You won't need these right away, but you can come back for them later.
SPIDER PIT: Head downstairs to a room with a golden handle and a pit. There are health and ammo pickups in the corners here. When you approach the gems at the edge of pit, a gazillion spiders—some merely large, a few gigantic—swarm out of the pit.
I discovered a great trick for killing spiders: Throw a spear into the wall and jump up onto it. When the spiders surround Lara, drop a bomb, jump straight up and quickly detonate the bomb. Spiders die, but as long as Lara hops into the air, she takes no damage from the explosion. (screenshots) Occasionally a giant spider will manage to swipe at her, but the damage should be minimal. Repeat until all the spiders are destroyed. This works very well on both large and giant spiders; however, when giant spiders explode, the blast can knock Lara off her perch. If this happens, just jump back onto the spear and repeat. This works best the first time through the level. Later, when you've obtained the flamethrower and other more powerful weapons, you won't have any trouble dealing with hordes of spiders.
When the coast is clear, grab all the health and ammo you can carry and return to the pit. Pull the handle to raise a pillar with a golden ring on the other side of the pit. The first time you pull the handle, more spiders emerge, so deal with them. Then pull the handle again as far as it will go, take a running jump off the edge, grapple the ring, and quickly climb up the other side of the pit before the handle and pillar retract. (screenshot)
FIRST COUNTERWEIGHT: Continue along the brown walkway to the NW. When you smash the clay urn to get the ammo inside, a few more large spiders attack. Shoot them and go on. Where the walkway splits, head to the left first to get some gems. Then backtrack and go to the right.
Grapple the golden ring on the wall, swing over to the left and jump down to the ledge below. (screenshot) Go to the end of this ledge and jump to grab the FIRST COUNTERWEIGHT (i.e., the dreidl-looking structure with the short ladder on it dangling in mid air). Lara's weight pulls it down, causing a bridge far below to partially extend. After the brief cut scene, jump from the counterweight down to the ledge on the left. (screenshot)
Continue to the left. At the corner, several large spiders attack. Shoot them and continue.
SPIDER AMBUSH: Step on the pressure pad to open the door ahead. When you enter the next room, the door closes behind you and many large and giant spiders drop from the ceiling and surround Lara. Again, use the spear trick (above) to defeat them if you like.
When the coast is clear, pick up the gems and the red skull (1/10) in the north corner behind the big ball. (screenshot) There are also 2 breakable urns here with a health and ammo inside. To get out, roll the ball onto the circular fire pit and then jump over the ball to exit this room safely.
FIRST CHALLENGE TOMB: Follow the passage SW and descend into a room with a HEALTH SHRINE and the red-lit entrance to the CHALLENGE TOMB. Top up Lara's health if necessary and enter the tomb. Pick up the FLAMETHROWER and immediately equip it. Then spin around in place, toasting the swarm of large spiders that surround you. (screenshots) Gather some gems, health and ammo as well. Then return to the main area.
FIRST ROLLING BALL TRAP: Go downstairs to the SE. Here you'll find a breakable urn with ammo inside and a trap with a huge ball rolling around an axle. This is the site of a Reward Challenge: Achieve a hole-in-one. To beat the challenge, you need to use a bomb to catapult the ball into the circular fire pit on the right.
Here's how: Carefully drop a bomb anywhere near the trap's axle. Then move out of the way. Stand at the lower corner of the room so you can see the whole trap. Now imagine the rolling ball is a clock face, and the fire pit is 6:00. When the ball rolls around to about 7:00, detonate the bomb. This detaches the ball from the mechanism, and momentum keeps it rolling right onto the fire pit. (If you need a visual, check out these screenshots and gameplay video.)
If you don't get the hole-in-one the first time, it's not a problem. After the fight (next paragraph), you can try bombing the ball onto the fire pit again. As long as you bomb the ball instead of pushing it, it should count. Beating this challenge earns you a HEALTH POWERUP.
When you destroy the trap, an ogre leaps down from the alcove on the right, and many large and one giant spider drop in as well. If you got the hole-in-one, more large and giant spiders, plus a second ogre, will appear as well. These are triggered when you plug the fire pit.
NOTE: If you don't care about the Reward Challenge, you'll probably want to blow up the trap, fight the first wave of enemies that appear, then push the ball onto the fire pit to trigger the second set of enemies.
Don't try the spear-hopping trick here, since the ogres can easily knock Lara down. Also, note that, while spiders are very vulnerable to flames, the ogres are practically immune. So, either stand your ground and fight or run up the stairs, using the flamethrower and dropping/detonating bombs as you go. More spiders appear near the HEALTH SHRINE. If you like, you can run all the way back to the pressure pad on the other side of the SPIDER AMBUSH room. The ogres and giant spiders cannot get through this door. So you can toast the spiders and shoot the ogres from safety. (screenshot) The ogres may drop health and/or ammo.
After the fight, return down to the room where the ball trap was. Shoot a spear into the NE wall and climb up to get an AMMO UPGRADE. (screenshot) Then drop down, jump over the ball in the fire pit and proceed.
SECOND COUNTERWEIGHT: Follow the walkway around the corner and downstairs to the NE, killing more large spiders as you go. At the end of the walkway, jump to grab the SECOND COUNTERWEIGHT and climb on top of it. (screenshot) This extends the bridge a little farther and lowers another weight to the right. Jump onto it and then jump down to the walkway below on the right. (screenshot)
Follow this walkway SE to a T intersection, where a giant spider and a few of her babies attack. Deal with them and then go left (SW), up a flight of stairs.
TRIPLE ROLLING BALL TRAP: Here we have a variation on the ball-and-axle trap with 3 rolling balls. As the on-screen message indicates, this is where you can attempt the Reward Challenge: 12 leaps over the triple trap. Basically you just need to jump 12 times over the spokes connecting the axle and balls. You don't need to do them consecutively, you can move in and out of the trap and pause between jumps if necessary, and it's OK if Lara takes a little damage, as long as she doesn't die. (screenshot/video walkthrough) The reward is an AMMO POWERUP. If Lara does get hurt during the process, smash the urn on the left to get the health pack inside.
There are also 3 red skulls (2, 3 and 4/10) sitting in plain sight. (screenshot) If you destroy the trap with a bomb first, you can easily get them, along with some gems and a Clay Feather Artifact (- defense, + speed) hidden inside the axle. (screenshot) Then return downstairs and continue to the NE.
Step on the pressure pad to open the door. Enter and carefully run over the 3 sets of spikes not already extended to trigger them and pick up the gems on top. (screenshot) When all have popped up, the bars on the left open so you can retrieve a red skull (5/10). Grab the health and ammo pick-ups and continue down the stairs.
HUGE SPIKE FIELD – BETTER MOUSETRAP ACHIEVEMENT/TROPHY: The floor of this room is covered with spiked tiles. As with the smaller trap in the room upstairs, stepping on any of the tiles with retracted spikes causes the spikes to pop up a moment later. So the only way to cross is to keep moving onto tiles that haven't been activated yet.
If you just want to get out of the room, all you need to do is run onto the single carved tile. This is a pressure pad that opens the exit on the NW wall. Wait for the spikes to retract again and then carefully run off.
If you want to collect the 4 red skulls (6, 7, 8 and 9/10), you'll need to carefully run over each skull in turn, choosing a path that doesn't run into any activated spikes. It's not too hard if you go after them one at a time. The activated spikes can then retract between each attempt.
In order to open the entrance to the CHALLENGE TOMB at the top of the room, you'll need to activate all the spikes at once. Doing so also unlocks the "Beat a Better Mousetrap" achievement/trophy.
This diagram shows one possible path for activating all spikes. The gray square represents the pressure pad, the red shaded tiles are the ones with permanently raised spikes, and the red dots are the skulls. Follow the green path, moving as quickly as you can, and when you reach the carved tile, all the spikes will be raised, you'll have all the skulls, the exit and CHALLENGE TOMB doors will open, and you will have unlocked the achievement/trophy. The spikes then retract so you can run to safety, but watch out; they will pop up again as you pass. (These screenshots and short video walkthrough also show the sequence.)
SECOND CHALLENGE TOMB: Inside you'll find a deep pit with a small, L-shaped path made of spiked tiles on the right. Throw a spear into the wall on the other side of the pit, just to the left of the last spiked tile. Then run across the spikes, triggering them behind you, and quickly jump onto the spear you just threw. Wait for the spikes to retract and then hop down onto them and race back to the start. Activating all of these spikes opens the barred alcove on the left so you can get a Stone Lizard Artifact (- defense, + bomb). (screenshots) Return to the room with the spiked floor.
LONG, BROKEN STAIRCASE: Leave the spike room through the doorway to the NW. There are 4 urns in this narrow, dark hallway. Smash them to get 2 health and 2 ammo. Then head down the long staircase to the left (SW). Jump the wide gap in the middle of the stairs and continue to the bottom.
A swarm of spiders attacks here. Bomb or flambé them. Then grapple the golden ring on the large column to the NW. Step off the SE edge of the walkway and rappel down to the HEALTH UPGRADE. (screenshot) Quickly climb back onto the walkway as more spiders give chase. Kill them and continue along the walkway to the left.
A few more spiders crawl onto the walkway near the corner. Then, as you enter the open area ahead, a giant spider and several large ones drop from the ceiling, and several more come from behind. Again, if you have ammo, the flamethrower is the weapon of choice. Otherwise, use guns or spears and bombs.
When the coast is clear, move to the NW edge of this platform, where you'll find 2 urns containing health and ammo.
THIRD COUNTERWEIGHT: Step on the square pressure pad to stop the huge, spiked column ahead from turning. Throw a spear into it and then quickly run forward and jump onto the spear. As the column starts turning again, ride the spear around to the opposite ledge (NW) and jump off. Go to the top of the ramp and jump to grab the THIRD COUNTERWEIGHT. Again, Lara's weight pulls it down, fully extending the bridge below and retracting the spikes in front of it. (These screenshots show the sequence.)
If you manage to extend the bridge 4 minutes or less, you'll beat the Reward Challenge and receive the Two Arrows of Tezcatlipoca Relic (Health Regeneration & Scatter Shot).
Hop back down onto the ramp. Step on the pressure pad to lower the spiked column. Jump onto it, run across the top and jump back down to the platform on the other side (SE).
THE SPIDER QUEEN: Holy Shelob, Batman! It's a spider the size of a mini-van! She's scary as hell, but if you back along the walkway to the SE, wielding the flamethrower and dropping bombs as you go—especially if you've equipped artifacts that raise your weapon and/or bomb stats—it won't take long to destroy her and her minions. (screenshot) When she explodes, she leaves ammo and health behind. You'll also beat the Reward Challenge: Defeat Leglion, Queen of all Spiders and receive another Clay Feather Artifact for your efforts.
When it's over, if you still need health/ammo, you can return up the long staircase to the NE, jump the gap and break those urns in the dark hallway for goodies—provided you didn't already do so.
BACKTRACK FOR ANOTHER RELIC: This is strictly optional, but if you want 100% completion, return upstairs, through the spike room to the area with the triple ball trap. It's directly above the platform where you defeated the Spider Queen. Head to the NW corner of the triple-trap area and take a running jump down to the ledge below. From here, the SECOND COUNTERWEIGHT is on the right. Head away from it to the left and retrace your steps, through the room with the FIRST ROLLING BALL TRAP, all the way back to the FIRST COUNTERWEIGHT. (In case you get disoriented, these screenshots show the way.)
Now, when you jump onto the weight, it sinks farther than before. The second weight also lowers so all 3 counterweights are aligned on the same level. When the weights stop moving, jump over to the square pillar on the right to get the Scepter of Cihuacoatl Relic (Ammo Regeneration). When you have it, jump down to the staircase on the right. It looks too far to jump, but Lara can make it without injury. This staircase is leads back up to the platform where you fought the Spider Queen and down toward the bridge.
AREA BEFORE BRIDGE: At the bottom of the stairs are four support columns, one of which has the final red skull (10/10) on top of it. To reach it, throw a couple of spears into the wall between the rightmost columns—one from the staircase and one at floor level. (screenshots) Jump up the spears to reach the skull. If you've found all the others, you'll receive a Stone Owl Artifact (- weapon, + defense).
EXTREMELY SCARY DRAWBRIDGE: Now comes the final trap before the end of the level. Move out onto the drawbridge, which should now be fully extended. When you do, the bridge begins to retract and an enormous spiked roller descends. Looks like it's going to be pâté à la Croft unless you think fast. But wait! There's a huge pile of TNT on top of the roller. Run away from the roller toward the end of the bridge, then turn back and shoot the dynamite. Lara should aim at it automatically. If she doesn't, move back a little farther and try again.
When it explodes, the roller detaches and comes barreling toward you. Immediately run to the end of the bridge or to either side and hang from the edge. The roller will pass safely overhead. Pull up and continue to the end of the bridge to exit the level. (These screenshots show the sequence.)
Alternatively, run partway towards the roller and plant a bomb. Then move back a little and shoot the TNT up top. As the roller approaches, wait for the roller to pass over the bomb and then detonate it. The roller will then be blown up into the air so you can roll under it and continue to the exit.
*NOTE ON SCORE CHALLENGE: This is one of the hardest levels in which to achieve the maximum score challenge. If you're having trouble, try keeping your relic meter maxed out throughout the level. This provides score bonuses for every enemy you kill. If you destroy the huge horde of spiders at the beginning of the level without taking any damage, your relic meter should be at maximum early on. Then make sure Lara doesn't take any damage. If she gets hit and your relic meter resets to zero, quit and reload at the last checkpoint so the relic meter is back to maximum again. If you play through this way, you can score 290,000 in the area where you fight the Spider Queen.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 8/21/10 - First draft walkthrough posted.
8/22/10 - Added missing info on the Two Arrows relic's power.
8/23/10 - Fixed the section on the triple-trap Reward Challenge, thanks to a tip from Justin D. and Vicks.
8/24/10 - Amended the strategy for the hole-in-one Reward Challenge, thanks to a tip from Hunter W.
8/27/10 - Added the Scepter of Cihuacoatl Relic, which I'm ashamed to say I missed the first time through.
9/16/10 - Minor tweak to second relic strategy.
10/2/10 - Added screenshots, videos and score challenge tips. Also fixed a few typos and made other minor changes for clarity.
10/11/10 - Added alternate method for the spiked roller sequence, thanks to a tip from chaossage13.
9/18/12 - Made a few minor tweaks for clarity during the writing of the co-op walkthrough.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to my son, Preciousgoo, for his assistance with the Better Mousetrap achievement, not to mention his hella good sportsmanship in co-op. Thanks also to Clara from the Eidos forums and Captain Alban's TR site for info on the Two Arrows relic; to Justin D. and Hunter W., for their triple-trap and hole-in-one challenge tips, respectively; and to Flacks a.k.a. Dave for letting me know about the second relic.
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