LEVEL 20: CLEOPATRA'S PALACES
Updated: 1/29/07 (†)
ROOM WITH FOUNTAIN AND GREENERY: You begin in the room you entered earlier to get one of the BLACK BEETLES for use in the previous level, PHAROS, TEMPLE OF ISIS. After completing that level, you should now have the MECHANICAL SCARAB and the WINDING KEY. If you don't, go back through the south door to the previous level to get whichever you're missing. Return here when you've got both pieces.
Jump into the pool with the fountain. Swim through the small, underwater passage to a room where you can climb out of the water. Reach into the niche to operate a mechanism.
Cut scene: An L-shaped section of floor lowers in a corner elsewhere.
Swim back to the ROOM WITH FOUNTAIN AND GREENERY and climb out of the pool.
NETWORK OF HALLWAYS TO THE NORTHEAST: Cross the room and go through either of the doors in the northeast corner (below the balcony). If you didn't already do so when you came into this area the first time, shoot the three hollow benches in the alcoves to get a large medipack, normal arrows and revolver ammo.
Continue to where the hallway narrows and there are holes in the floor with concealed spikes. Combine the MECHANICAL SCARAB and the WINDING KEY and use this while standing on the tile with the beetle symbol. The MECHANICAL SCARAB will cross the spikes ahead of you, activating them so you can cross safely after it. Be sure to pick up the SCARAB on the other side.
Beyond the spike hallway is a small room with two doors. The door on the left (north) with the hieroglyphics carved around it has a ramp leading up to a small room. There's a scissor-blade trap in the doorway, so enter quickly. Stand facing the rectangular box. Press Action to open it and retrieve the RIGHT GAUNTLET of the ARMOR OF HORUS. A skeleton rises out of the floor to the right of the box. Blast it with a grenade or explosive arrow. To get past the blade in the doorway without taking any damage, run through between the outer edge of either blade and the door frame as the blades close in the center. Or, stand at the center as close to the blades as possible without taking damage and roll as they begin to open. Return down the ramp.
Now go through the door on the left (east). The hallway ends in a T with closed double doors ahead and another skeleton lurking on the right. You can blast it or run down the hall to the left, jump over the small pool and, when the skeleton approaches, blast it into the pool with the shotgun.
There are hallways lined with concealed spikes at both ends of the T intersection (beyond the small pool and where the skeleton came from). If you want to get the only secret in this level, you must follow the hallway leading south from the T, not the one leading eastward beyond the pool. Use the MECHANICAL SCARAB again to deactivate the spikes, cross over them and retrieve the SCARAB.
(NOTE: If you accidentally break the mechanical scarab by using it too many times before you are able to complete the level, there are several possible solutions. If you're playing the PC or Macintosh game, you can download a savegame file in which Lara has the scarab or has already completed this section. Or, use the corner bug to trigger the spikes, making the passageways safe to pass. This technique is explained here. Do not use the level-skip cheat because you will miss several critical items.)
Beyond the spike hall is a staircase with two columns at the top and a small room off to the right. Enter the small room carefully to avoid the scissor-blade trap in the doorway. Open the box to get some wideshot shells. Deal with the skeleton that rises out of the floor. Then exit carefully past the blades, go to the right up the stairs, then down the stairs on the other side.
ROOM WITH HUGE, SQUARE COLUMNS: As you explore, a golden bird flies in from the hallway where you entered. Shoot it down, then open the rectangular box to get a small medipack.
Go through the hallway in the northeast corner. This leads to a small room with two spike-trapped hallways leading to the left and right. There's also a staircase leading up to a closed door and a golden receptacle. (You'll be getting the artifact that belongs here shortly.) Pick up the box of shotgun shells on the landing near the receptacle. Then use the MECHANICAL SCARAB to deactivate the spikes in the right (north) hallway of the two. (You can see a decorated wall at the end of this hallway.) Follow the SCARAB to secret #1 (54/70). Open the rectangular box to get explosive arrows, a small medipack, 3 boxes of regular shotgun shells and 1 box of wideshot shells (all in one pick-up). Return to the previous intersection, then up the steps straight ahead (southward) to get back to the ROOM WITH HUGE, SQUARE COLUMNS.
(NOTE: After using the MECHANICAL SCARAB this third time, it will no longer function. In order to avoid a possible bug, described below, I recommend that you pick it up and either keep it in your inventory or run it again to watch it explode.)
ROOM WITH L-SHAPED PIT AND BARRED WINDOW: Follow the hall on the right (northwest corner) with the hieroglyphs and painted birds past a small, square door carved with a man's face. In the next room, there will be an L-shaped pit in the left cornerprovided you swam through the underwater passage and operated the floor-lowering mechanism at the beginning of the level (see ROOM WITH FOUNTAIN AND GREENERY, above). Drop into the pit and shoot the hollow bench to get some explosive arrows. Take a standing jump from the bench alcove to grab the edge of the pit and climb out.
Approach the raised black switch in the doorway ahead on the left (west) and a skeleton appears on the other side of the room. Explode it or blast it into the L-shaped pit. Then jump up to pull the switch. This opens the doors, which lead back to the beginning of the level, and raises a block in the ROOM WITH L-SHAPED PIT AND BARRED WINDOW. Climb onto the block and take a standing jump to grab the horizontal crevice in the (west) wall to the right of the switch. Traverse all the way around to the north wall, where you can pull up into a hallway.
Shoot the bench to get a quiver of normal arrows. Go up the ramp to another small room with a scissor-blade trap in the doorway. Open the box to get the RIGHT GREAVE of the ARMOR OF HORUS. Deal with the skeleton that rises out of the floor. (You can blast it into the small pool if you like.) Then exit carefully past the blades and return down the ramp.
Don't drop down into the hallway near the barred window. The only way out is via two spiked hallways, and if you've followed this walkthrough and gotten the secret, your MECHANICAL SCARAB will be played out. Instead return along the greenery-lined hallway to the ROOM WITH L-SHAPED PIT AND BARRED WINDOW.
Return past the L-shaped pit to the hall with the painted hieroglyphs and birds. Now the small, square door should be open. Enter and get the PHAROS KNOT from the rectangular box. (NOTE: This looks like the PHAROS PILLAR from the last level. Perhaps this is a typo. Also, several players have reported finding hollow benches here containing a large medipack and explosive arrows. There were no benches and no items here in my version of the game.)
Exit to the left and return to the ROOM WITH HUGE, SQUARE COLUMNS. Make the second left out of that room (in the northeast corner) and follow the hall to the stairs with the receptacle for the PHAROS KNOT. Place the artifact to open the nearby door.
HIGH-CEILINGED ROOM WITH PAINTED SYMBOLS: Enter and take the small medipack from the low pedestal.
Cut scene: Helices of light swirl around Lara and the empty pedestal nearby. Magically a golden statue of Lara is created on the other pedestal.
Climb onto the block on the left (north) wall. Jump to grab the bars overhead and traverse to the other side of the room. At the back of the alcove is an opening where you can climb to the level above.
[BUG NOTE: A number of players have encountered a bug here in which Lara will not grab onto the bars to traverse. To fix this, make sure either that Lara has the MECHANICAL SCARAB in her inventory or that you've run the scarab four times in order to destroy it. There's no apparent connection between the scarab and the bars, but this is what seems to work. If you have saved your game and are unable to retrieve the scarab, you can download a savegame for PC or Macintosh. See my savegame download page for links. For help with savegames and .zip files, see here.]
When you come out onto the elevated walkway, a golden bird flies in from the left. Shoot it down. Cross the walkway to the middle, then take a running jump over to the walkway on the left. Go to the far right (north) end and climb into the raised hallway. Follow this to a room with a hollow bench and a skeleton on the floor.
The bench is empty; it's just a ruse to distract you. Look sharp because another golden bird flies down from the ceiling and starts attacking the statue of Lara, causing the "real" Lara to take damage. If you move quickly, you can shoot the bird from the opening near the bench and skeleton. Otherwise, head back down to the elevated walkway and do it from there. Note that Lara will also target the statue, causing even more health loss. So take care where you shoot. A couple of well-aimed explosive arrows (use the laser sight) will take the bird down.
From the small room with the skeleton and bench, jump over to the central platform. The skeleton awakens and follows. Roll and use the shotgun to knock it off the platform. There are three small, square doors carved with men's faces on each of the nearby ledges. You'll also notice 2 black switches mounted on blocks to the left and right. You'll need to pull both and it doesn't matter which you pull first. Lara will lose a bit of health on each drop to the walkway below, so make sure you've got enough to start.
When you pull the switch to the west, the square door on that side opens. Climb back up to the center platform. When you pull the switch to the east, the square door on that side opens, and another golden bird flies down to attack the statue. You may be able to nail it before it reaches the statue. If not, drop down to ground level (avoiding the pit in the center) for a clear shot. Climb back up to the center platform.
Now that the two side doors are open, take a running jump to each in turn. (Jump to the side of each overhanging block, or Lara will bump her head and fall to her death.) Enter the alcove on the east side and reach into the niche to get the HATHOR EFFIGY. The alcove on the west side contains a skeleton, which awakens when you enter. Take care of it. Then reach into the niche for the ORNATE HANDLE. The hollow bench on the ledge outside the alcove has a large medipack inside. Jump back to the center platform, then to the remaining closed door.
Combine the HATHOR EFFIGY and the ORNATE HANDLE to form the PORTAL GUARDIAN, and place this on the stick near the door to open it. Enter the hallway beyond and kill the skeleton that arises from the floor. Shoot the hollow bench to get some Uzi clips.
THRONE ROOM: You might want to save your game before entering the throne room.
Cut scene: Lara decides to play "Queen for a Day." Not a good idea. The two side doors open and the 2 THRONE ROOM GUARDIANS emerge.
It takes a boatload of ammo to kill these guys, but at least you can deal with them one at a time. The guardian on the left begins shooting blue energy bolts first. To conserve your explosive ammo, you might try staying behind the guardian as much as you can (to avoid getting hit) and blasting it with Uzi fire. Or, get a little distance between Lara and the guardian and side flip back and forth to avoid the bolts. Or, try running right up to the guardian, crouching and firing away with pistols. He should fire right over Lara's head, so she'll take minimal or no damage. Eventually the first guardian will fall and you can repeat the procedure with the second guardian. When both guardians are dead, go into the side rooms and retrieve the LEFT GREAVE and BREAST PLATE of the ARMOR OF HORUS from the boxes. Taking the items opens a pair of trapdoors near the throne. Drop in and go downstairs to end the level.
Alternatively, you can try to outrun the guardians, popping medipacks as needed, grab the two pieces of armor and escape out through the trapdoor.
FMV sequence: Lara arrives back in Alexandria at nighttime. She finds Jean-Yves's study ransacked. There's a note on the table held fast with the point of a dagger. She picks up the paper and begins to read.
Von Croy (voice over): Congratulations! You survived to fight another day. I trust that you now have all the armor. Jean-Yves shall be escorting us to Caironot entirely of his own free will, I admit. A simple trade: his life for the Armor of Horus. Do not take too long thinking it over. Yours apologetically, Werner
Lara takes off on her friend's motorcycle. Meanwhile, a group of helicopters bearing the Egyptian flag, along with a convoy of trucks that also includes Von Croy's car, speed across the desert. Along the way they are set upon by a plague of locusts. As he drives through the insects, Von Croy shows his true colorsapparently he and the evil god Set have become quite close. (Guess there is something to all the "magical hocus pocus" after all.) By the time Lara reaches the walls of the city, Von Croy's people are already there. She sees the burning remnants of the helicopters outside.
*NOTE: There are 70 secrets in the entire game. These are marked "(x/70)" in this walkthrough. To check your progress in-game, press Pause and choose Statistics.
NOTE: For more information about this level's ceiling decoration based on the Dendera Zodiac, along with many other real-world items and locations featured in the games, check out the Artefactual series on The Archaeology of Tomb Raider blog.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 10/21/06 - Added corner bug work-around for missing or broken mechanical scarab. (Thanks to Richard and Ewil!)
1/29/07 - Amended the section on the spike/corner bug to note that it won't work once you've taken the right gauntlet. See the detail page on this strategy for more info.
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Copyright © 1999- Stellalune (). 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 Gene, Lyndon, Mudweiser, Helena, Richard and Ewil for their help on this level. Feel free to copy or print this walkthrough for personal use. By all means, share it with friends, but please include this credit line so people can send me their feedback. No part of this walkthrough may be reproduced on another site without permission.
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