LEVEL 14: THE ICE PALACE
OBJECTIVES: Make your way to the top of the room with the cages and springboards. Go through a cave, picking up another Tibetan mask along the way. Proceed through a dark room with yetis and use the mask to open a door that will allow you to reach the a new section of the previous level, the Catacombs. Figure out how to obtain the Gong Hammer beneath the surface of the frozen pond. Once you have it, swim under the ice to the next area and make your way through the caverns to a huge cave with a gong. Ring the gong to access the Talion artifact. Then defeat a rather large enemy to finish the level.
LARGE ROOM WITH CAGES AND SPRINGBOARDS: The level begins in a small anteroom. Shoot the huge bell to open the door. In the next room are two cages: an empty one on the right and another high on the left that holds 3 Yetis. Don't worry; they can't get out until you release them.
The odd-looking floor tiles in this room are springboards, which will launch Lara into the air if she steps on them. Many players have difficulty with these springboards at first. If you jump onto a springboard, Lara will just ping-pong up and down until she eventually crashes to the ground. The trick is to stand a few steps away from the springboard you want to use, facing in the direction you want to Lara to go, and then run onto the board. Lara will sail up and slightly forward, allowing her to land on or grab a ledge high above. (This short video shows the technique in action.)
Cross the room and stand in front of either of the 2 adjacent springboards, facing the archway with the 2 black gates. Run onto the springboard to launch Lara upwards and then grab the angled ledge above. Pull up and go to the left to find 2 sets of Uzi clips on the floor in a little alcove near a switch. Flip the switch to raise the empty cage and lower the Yetis' cage, freeing them. Now, either safety drop to the floor below and kill the Yetis as they approach, or move to the edge of the floor to the right of the switch and shoot the Yetis with pistols from above. This can take a little longer, but it helps conserve ammo. (screenshots)
If you killed the Yetis from the above, drop down to the level below now. Head for the far left corner (i.e., left when facing the now raised cage). Watch out for the holes in the floor above the springboards as you go. Retrieve a large medi pack. (screenshot)
Then return to the other side of the room overlooking the Yeti cage. Along the right side of the room, just above the cage, is a barred alcove. Jump into this alcove and pick up another large medi pack. Continue toward the back of the alcove with guns drawn. Another Yeti charges down the stairs as you approach. Kill it, continue up the stairs and pull the switch there to raise a metal platform in the next room. (screenshots)
SECRET ROOM WITH GOLD DRAGON: Return downstairs to the barred alcove above the Yeti cage, where you just found the medi pack. Locate the movable block set into the wall just across from the gap in the bars. Pull it out and push it aside to gain access to a large room. SECRET #1, the Gold Dragon, sits on a high platform at the other end of the room. To get across requires a "leap of faith" à la Indiana Jones. Position Lara squarely facing the platform with the statuette and step off the edge to land on an invisible bridge, which will take you across to the dragon and back. The bridge is just one block wide, so be careful to move straight across or hold the Walk button so Lara doesn't accidentally step off the edge. (The previous set of screenshots includes this secret as well.)
CAGE AND SPRINGBOARD ROOM (again): Return to the main room and go to the single springboard near the two adjacent springboards you used earlier. Above is a second bell. Position Lara touching the wall with the sloping top, her back toward the springboard. Then hop back once. Lara should now be standing just in front of the springboard. Draw pistols. Then backflip (i.e., press Jump + Back together). Now, instead of backflipping, Lara will step onto the springboard and be launched into the air. Shoot the bell at the peak of the jump. You'll hear a clang and see the bell sway back and forth if you hit it. Lara will then fall back and slide down the sloped wall to the floor without taking any damage. Shooting this bell opens the first of 2 black gates. (screenshots)
Enter the corridor in front of the double springboards you used earlier. This is where the black gates are. Turn left to face the single springboard and, high above, the metal platform you raised earlier. Hold Action as you run onto the springboard to sail up and land on the platform or grab the edge of it and pull up. Turn around and you'll see a third bell. Stand facing it squarely and shoot it to open the second black gate below. Jump down to the angled ledge on the left, slide, grab the edge and drop to the ground. (screenshots)
Go through the black gates you just opened, turn so the gates are on Lara's right and run onto the springboard in the corner. As Lara bounces upward, hold Action to grab the angled ledge high above. Traverse to the right so Lara is hanging above the flat ledge that runs along above the black gates. There's a fourth bell above and another angled ledge behind. Pull up onto the slope ahead and before Lara can slide off, press Jump to backflip onto the slope behind you. Continue holding the Action and Jump buttons to hop back and forth between the two angled surfaces. While you're doing this, draw pistols and Lara will start firing as she jumps. In the process, she'll shoot the bell, opening the gate above on the left. To get there, grab onto the angled ledge below the bell again and traverse to the left as far as possible. Pull up and immediately press and hold Jump and Left to backflip onto the slope behind you, spring off that slope and land on the flat ledge. (screenshots)
Climb into the small room above. Climb the ladder there and dismount on the ledge on the right. Climb into the opening above this ledge and take a running jump diagonally to the left to clear the hole in the floor and land next to it. Immediately draw weapons and kill the Yeti that enters through the raised opening on the other side of the room. Then take the flares from the raised block. (screenshot)
DARK CAVES: Notice the Silver Dragon behind the barred window. To get it, climb into the opening where the Yeti came in. Drop a flare into the passage below and wait for a tiger to charge toward you along the passageway. Kill it and then hop down from the ledge. Climb onto the ledge on the left to retrieve a small medi pack. Then drop back down and go up the ramp on the right side of the passage. Turn to face the right wall and then follow the upper ledge back toward the entrance. Jump into the angled opening and follow the dark tunnel to the to the barred window with the dragon statuette. This is SECRET #2. (screenshots)
Return to the main tunnel where you killed the tiger. This time, continue to the end. The passage widens into a room with 3 more tigers. One charges as you enter; the other two emerge as you advance into the room. After you've killed them, take the TIBETAN MASK from the pedestal. (screenshot)
Again, head back into the main tunnel where you killed the first tiger. Go up the ramp, which is now on the left. (screenshot) Continue forward through a wooden door, which opens once you've taken the mask. Follow the short tunnel to another barred window. This one overlooks the buildings you encountered in the previous level.
SPIKE ROOM WITH YETIS: Ready weapons, hop down into the room below and kill a Yeti. Light a flare and drop it through one of the openings in the floor. You should then be able to see and kill the second Yeti lurking below. Hang from one of the openings to draw it out if necessary, but take care not to drop into the spikes. When the Yeti is dead, cross the room with the holes in the floor to pick up a large medi pack then drop down at the middle of the opening nearest the medi pack to avoid the spikes below. (screenshot) Move carefully across the dark room to the corner nearest the entrance, where you'll find 2 sets of automatic pistol clips on the floor.
Then climb onto the ledge with the red columns. There's a small medi pack at the far end of the balcony. Grab it and return to the other end, where you climbed up. Place the TIBETAN MASK in the receptacle there to open a nearby door. Carefully hop back down into the spike room and climb up to the door you just opened, which is just to the left of the of the ledge with the red columns when facing it. (screenshot)
ROPE BRIDGE AND FIREPOT (ABOVE CATACOMBS AREA): When you step out onto the wooden bridge, you'll notice that you're now above the area you explored in the previous level. At the beginning of the bridge, turn left then take a running jump onto the snowy ledge across the way. Pick up the flares in the corner. Then jump back onto the bridge. (screenshot)
NOTE: If you accidentally drop off the bridge or the ledges, you can climb back up using the snowy blocks in the corner where the bridge below the corner ledge with the flares. (screenshot) This rock formation was not here when you explored this area in the Catacombs level.
Continue across the bridge, turn left and go through the opening in the corner to emerge on a ledge overlooking the FROZEN POND WITH THE FIREPOT from the previous level. Jump over to the ledge on the left and pull the switch to spill hot oil from the firepot onto the ice below, melting it so you can get into the water. (screenshot)
Safety drop from the ledge in front of the switch to the angled blocks below and slide to the ground. Kill the 2 tigers that charge in from the OPEN AREA WITH THE ICE WALL to the right of the frozen pond. Go into the ICE WALL AREA to pick up 2 boxes of shotgun shells. Then climb over the rocks near the opening and swim down to the bottom of the pool to find 2 sets of Uzi clips on the pedestal where you got the TIBETAN MASK in the last level. (screenshot) Return to the surface and climb back over the rocks into the ICE WALL area.
UNDER THE ICE/GONG HAMMER: Head back into the area with the FROZEN POND AND FIREPOT and drop through the hole you just made in the ice. Swim down and grab the GONG HAMMER. (screenshot) Then quickly climb out of the water to shoot the 2 biting fish that appear when you take the hammer. Jump back in the pool and swim under the ice and on through the wide tunnel into the next cavern.
CAVE WITH FALLING ICICLES AND YETIS: Surface to breathe but don't step out of the pool yet. There are icicles on the ceiling just above the edge of the pool and 3 Yetis running around on the bank. If you'd rather not take on the whole mob at once, swim toward the shore and stop just as Lara's feet touch the bottom. Going any farther forward will trigger the falling icicles, but if just Lara's head and shoulders are sticking out of the water, you should be able to draw and fire pistols. The Yetis may step into the shallows but shouldn't go any deeper. If they come too close, just swim back a bit, wait and try again. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you have leftover harpoons, you can also shoot from the water to "tenderize" the Yetis a bit before you emerge from the pool.
When the coast is clear, move to either side of the pool before coming onto the shore in order to avoid the falling icicles. Then head for the back of the cave. Approach the opening on the left first. Kill another Yeti as it emerges. When you step up onto the block with the icicles on the ceiling, stay as close to the left corner as possible to avoid being impaled. Keep your weapons ready. As you approach the low ice wall in the next cave, another Yeti vaults out from behind it. (screenshot) Kill the beast and then climb over the wall to collect 4 pairs of grenades.
NOTE: One of these will be the GRENADE LAUNCHER if you somehow managed to get this far without picking it up.
Return to the cave with the pool and go through the opening on the right (i.e., right when Lara's back is toward the pool). Move to the foot of the ice steps. When you do, another Yeti appears at the top of the steps. Shoot it as it comes down toward you. (screenshot) Then grab small medi pack lying on the ground and climb the steps to the cave above.
NOTE: If you go into the opening on the right first, the Yeti that normally appears when you approach the left opening will attack Lara from behind as she approaches the ice steps.
AVALANCHE AND ICE CHASMS: Continue to a large, sloping cave with many snowballs perched above on the right. Walk forward a few steps at a time to trigger the first 3 clusters of snowballs. Now turn left and run down the hill, moving toward the right wall of the cave as you go. The remaining snowballs will then start to roll. As you continue downhill, the camera will shift to show Lara running away from the avalanche. Tap the Look button to regain Lara's perspective and take a running jump onto the ledge ahead. Lara is safe here. (screenshots)
Go through the wide tunnel opening into an ice cave. To cross the first deep chasm, slide backwards down the slope and grab the edge, traverse left, then pull up onto the slope and quickly backflip onto the ledge behind. Turn around and climb up into the opening. Take a running jump across the next chasm to grab the climbable wall of ice on the other side. Climb into the opening at the top and follow the tunnel to another slope above a large hole. Top off Lara's health if necessary, since she'll lose about half her health in the next fall. Then slide backwards down the slope, grab the edge and drop to the ground in front of a huge gong. (screenshots)
GONG AND TALION: Before striking the gong, go after a secret: Head down the steps in front of the gong and safety drop from there to the ground. On the way down, you'll glimpse the TALION artifact in the room below the gong, but you can't reach it yet. Turn around and cross the open area in front of the ice structure to the far left corner. Watch out for the sheer drop-off along the edges. Walk to the edge and take a standing jump to grab the ladder. Climb to the bottom, then drop down on the left. (There are spikes below on the right.) Flip the switch at the base of the blocks you used to climb down. This opens the door to the small stone building above. Climb back up and backflip from the ladder to the ledge. Enter the stone building, which is on the right at the base of the ice structure that houses the gong, and take SECRET #3, the Jade Dragon, with a bonus of 4 pairs of grenades for finding all 3 secrets. (screenshots)
NOTE: It's possible to claim this secret after picking up the Talion and awakening the boss, but it's much easier to do so beforehand.
Now it's time to bang that gong. Vault up onto the low snowbank where the ice structure meets the left cavern wall. Take a standing jump from the snowbank onto the angled ice block that forms the near left corner of the structure. Follow the left cavern wall to the back left corner, jumping over the uneven blocks of ice as you go. On the right you can see a solid ice window. The TALION is behind it, but you can't get through yet. At the back left corner, turn right and climb the ice blocks to emerge behind the gong. Follow the ledge along the right side of the gong (i.e., right when facing the back of the gong). Turn left and jump over the sharply angled block of ice to land on the steps in front of the gong. (screenshots)
Stand close to the gong and press Action to strike it with the GONG HAMMER. This will break the ice windows on either side of the structure below. Face the low ice wall on the left side of the gong (when facing it). Grab the edge, pull up and slide down the other side to land on the ledge below. Turn around and safety drop to land in front of one of the ice windows you just smashed. Enter the room below the gong and take the TALION. Then exit through the same opening where you came in. Jump across the uneven ice blocks to the front right corner of the ice structure (i.e., right when facing out over the flat, open area). (Again, check the screenshots if necessary.)
BOSS FIGHT - GUARDIAN OF THE TALION: Now save the game. When Lara touches the ground, a huge, wingless bird monster, the TALION GUARDIAN, emerges from the ice doorway on the right side of the open area with the huge columns.
If you don't care about the last two item pick-ups, walk to the front edge of the ice ledge overlooking the snowbank you used to reach this ledge earlier and step off (don't jump). As soon as Lara touches down, the Guardian will emerge from his cave. Immediately roll and take a standing jump back up to the ice ledge. The Guardian can't reach Lara here. So you can shoot him with pistols at your leisure. When the Guardian falls, the level ends. (screenshots)
If you do want all items, you'll need to do some running. Inside the monster's cave are 2 sets of Uzi clips and a large medi pack. To get them, hop down to the ground and run to the left, taking running jumps when you can to cover more ground. The Guardian should then emerge from his cave and follow Lara. Continue clockwise around the edge of the open area, behind the two huge columns to the depression near the ladder in the far left corner. This is a safe spot where the Guardian can't reach Lara. Turn to face away from the ladder and wait for the monster to come around the columns toward you. Then climb out of the shallow pit and run forward toward the far wall, around the next pillar and into the Guardian's cave. The monster should chase Lara the long way around the pillars, giving you a few moments to pick up the goodies at the back of the cave. Then, roll, jump past him and run back out of the cave. If he gets there before you can take both items, you can run out of the cave and back around the pillars to the safe spot. Then repeat this process for the second item. (screenshots)
Now kill the Guardian. You can be brave and run out into the area between the big columns to fight him. Be sure to keep moving so he doesn't catch Lara or pin her against one of the columns. His pounding fists do a ton of damage very quickly. Also try not to fall down the deep crevasses at the edges of the platform as you fight.
Alternatively, head for one of these safe spots: The depression in the corner near the ladder, the ledge at the base of the ice structure where you climbed up earlier, or inside the building where you found the Jade Dragon. The guardian can't reach Lara in any of these locations, so you can take your time and shoot him with pistols. When the Guardian falls, the level ends. (screenshots)
FMV MOVIE: In the movie between levels, Lara emerges from the caves and steals a Jeep from the bad guys' camp. A slippery, snowy car chase ensues, with the pasty Marco Bartoli and his henchmen in hot pursuit of our heroine. Of course she makes a clean getaway and soon returns to the Great Wall. She uses the Talion to open the puzzle-lock door and enters the Xian temple. (This video, titles "Jeep," is also available on my YouTube channel.)
†UPDATE HISTORY: 3/21/11 - First major update since this walkthrough was created in 1998. This revision includes many new screenshots as well as various other corrections and clarifications.
5/5/12 - Added links to cinematics on YouTube.
12/1/13 - Added "objectives" section for each level.
*The kills count may be one more or less than 22. A few times when playing this level, I encountered only 3 tigers in the area near the Silver Dragon, rather than 4. Also, for some reason, killing the guardian boss with grenades can result in its counting as 2 kills.
**Under found items, the number in parentheses shows the total including extra items granted for finding all three secrets. Note that one of the regular pick-ups here will be the Grenade Launcher if you don't have it already.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks are given to the participants in the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup, without whom some parts of this walkthrough couldn't have been written. Thanks also to Ange and Jessie, Alan D., Alex, Flavio, Joe C., John N., Nanning, Ruud and Zuzu for their help on this level; and to the many players who wrote in to correct me about the Tibetan Mask receptacle, which I had mistakenly described as a switch.
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