THE TIMES EXCLUSIVE TOMB RAIDER LEVEL

When this stand-alone level was released, it was distributed on The Times of London's web site. I believe it was a tie-in with the 75th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut's tomb, which was financed in part by The Times. The feature included some real-life background info and a Tomb Raider short story, as well as the download. The Times has since closed these pages, but the level is still available to download.

Cut scene: Lara enters the offices of Peter Stothard, former Times Editor-in-Chief. A newspaper spread across his desk reads, "The Tomb of the King Contract Given to 'The Times'." (Thanks to Mike T. for identifying Mr. Stothard. This Yank was at a loss.)

A transcript of their dialogue appears at the bottom of the page. The upshot is that the paper's Egyptian correspondent has found new tunnels, presumably leading to an undiscovered tomb near that of Tutankhamun. Stothard talks Lara into taking a look. But first he points her to the Times' archives. There she'll be able to go over the reports made by Howard Carter, who discovered and excavated King Tut's tomb in the '20s.

Lara goes down the hall to the newspaper's morgue. The camera dollies past shelves of archived papers and we see Lara poring over a volume of bound back issues. When she's read enough, she comments, "Time to finish what Carter started."

Another cut scene: The camera pans a room with a large statue holding a lit burner. Then we see Lara sliding down a ramp into the tomb.


Starting Inventory: Pistols (unlimited ammo), binoculars, 3 flares, 2 small medipacks, 1 large medipack

ROOM WITH RAMPS AND TWO BIG STATUES: From the starting position, turn around so the statues are behind Lara. Light a flare and go into the opening in the left corner (shown in this screenshot). At the end of the passage, where the ceiling is higher, turn around, position Lara facing the opening leading back to the statue room, and jump straight up to grab the ledge above. Pull up. Crawl through the low opening. Then climb up several stepped blocks toward the base of the right-hand ramp. (See this screenshot if necessary to get oriented. The room with the big statues is below, and you can see light coming in at the top of the ramp.) Climb onto the base of the ramp and enter the alcove on the right. This is secret #1. On the floor is the SHOTGUN plus a box of wideshot shells. Climb back down the blocks to the corner. Then slide the rest of the way back to the starting point.

LONG ROOM WITH MANY DECORATIVE COLUMNS: Head down the ramp between the two statues. As you walk between the columns, 2 red scorpions emerge, then 2 more as you near the exit. These guys aren't poisonous, but they will sting Lara if she doesn't kill them.

At the end of this hall, go into the next room, drop into the shallow pit and pick up a small medipack and flares. Climb out of the pit and continue through the door between the statues.

STAIRWAY WITH SIX JACKAL STATUES: Slide down the ramp on either side of the stairs. A spiked ball drops from the ceiling and rolls down the stairs into the next room. Had Lara been standing under it, she'd be impaled. In the corner of each ledge farthest from the entrance (i.e., at the end of each row of jackal statues) are wideshot shells or Uzi clips. Stand on either ramp near the bottom and jump up to grab the ledge above. Pull up and get the item. Do the same on the other side. Drop down and continue into the next room (where the spiked ball went). Notice the odd-looking square of floor here, then continue to the right and up the stairs.

FIRST TREASURE ROOM: At the top of the stairs, climb over the wall and explore each of the areas flanking the stairs. Here you'll find a large medipack, wideshot shells, a small medipack and normal arrows.

Climb onto either wall next to the stairs and use pistols to shoot the lions' heads mounted on the walls. When both heads shatter, a trapdoor opens in the floor to the left of the big golden statue (indicated in this screenshot). Drop into this opening and follow the passage to the end. Climb onto the ledge, then up the ladder. At the top you'll find secret #2, a small room containing a CROSSBOW (loaded) plus a quiver of 10 poisoned arrows. Return to the treasure room the way you came.

To the left of the stairs (when facing downstairs) is a golden vase. Slide it along the floor until it is over the colored cartouche.

(NOTE FOR NEWBIES: To do this, position Lara facing the vase and close to it, with the wall on her left. Press and hold Action and she'll grab the edge of the vase and go into a crouch showing she's ready. Press and hold the down arrow, while still holding Action, and she'll move the vase.)

Cut scene: A block rises from the floor in the room below, and the 2 jackal statues come alive.

As soon as the cut scene ends, get ready to kill those 2 jackals. If you like, you can jump out of the corner to get more space—or even climb up onto the wall to safety. Run down the stairs and jump/climb onto the newly raised block. There are 3 more jackals here, but they can't reach Lara on the block. Shoot them with pistols or just go on.

Take a standing jump from the top of the block to grab the edge of the small opening high on the wall. Press crouch + up to crawl in. Crawl through until Lara can stand. Light a flare if you like, then continue down the hall past two alcoves containing sleeping mummies. As you round the next bend these mummies, along with a third mummy farther ahead, come alive. You can't kill them with the weapons you have, so just run toward the light at the end of the hall. Once you reach the next area, they won't follow.

POOL: Now you've got a new problem: the 4 crocodiles in the pool. Kill them. Then shoot the vase on the right (when facing the pool). Inside you'll find the loaded REVOLVER.

Swim down underneath the painted wall where the boat is floating. On the underside of the ledge is a switch. (The spot is marked in this screenshot.) Position Lara below it and press Action to pull it. This opens a gate at the opposite end of the pool. Swim across, climb out of the water, jump to grab the edge of the opening with the newly opened gate and pull up. Follow the hall down to the next room.

TWO-LEVEL ROOM WITH MANY JARS: The ceramic jars will break if you shoot them. (Use pistols, which have unlimited ammo.) Some contain goodies; some contain nasty biting beetles. You can avoid breaking the ones with beetles, or break them then run back to the foot of the stairs where there's a grate on the floor. If you position Lara on the grate, the beetles will follow her and fall through the holes.

The jars on the lower level, clockwise from the door, contain: (1) empty, (2)revolver ammo, (3) beetles, (4) LASER SIGHT, (5) empty, (6) beetles.

When you pull up onto the upper level, be sure to avoid the burning lamps or Lara will catch fire. One of the jars up here is empty. The others contain revolver ammo and a small medipack. When you've got everything drop down carefully and find the gold vase in the corner. Slide it out of the way and go up the stairs behind it.

On the landing, shoot the first two vases to get revolver ammo and flares. Avoid the third if you want to, since it only contains a scorpion. Continue down the other set of stairs.

ROOM WITH PIT, MUMMIES AND LIONS' HEADS: You'll need to shoot one or both of those lion's head statues high on the wall to fill the pit with sand so you can cross. To do this, press Escape go to inventory and choose either the revolver or crossbow. Select 'Combine' and use left/right to select the laser sight. Press Enter to combine the weapon and sight. Select 'Equip' and press Enter again. To target, press the Look button and use the Crouch and Flare keys (< and >) to zoom in and out. When you hit your target and the pit begins to fill with sand, the mummies on the other side awaken. Run past them up the stairs.

Run up the right side of the stairs, then veer to the left to avoid the spiked ball that comes rolling down the stairs. After it passes, continue upstairs, ducking into the alcove on the left to avoid another spiked ball. Continue to the room at the top. The gate closes behind you, so the mummies can't follow.

MASK ROOM AND BEETLE ROOM: Take THE GOLD MASK from the pedestal at the top of the stairs. The gate on the right opens. Enter and run up the stairs. A swarm of beetles attacks, so head for one of the alcoves on each side of the room. Stand on the grate and the beetles will follow and fall through the holes. You may have to run out then back to the grate to get all of them into the pit.

When the coast is clear, find the trapdoor in the ceiling near the end of the room farthest from the stairs. Position Lara under the handle facing the side wall so the stairs are off to her left. Jump straight up and press Action to grab the handle and pull the trapdoor open (as shown in this screenshot). Now position Lara under the opening and jump straight up to grab the edge. Pull up through the opening. Follow the stairs up toward the light to finish the level.

NOTE: For more information about the real-life shrine to Anubis that inspired this level, along with many items and locations featured in the games, check out the Artefactual series on The Archaeology of Tomb Raider blog.

Dialogue from cut scene at the beginning of the level:

Lara (reading newspaper): "The initial discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb..." and...?

Editor: This is Howard Carter's original exclusive. Yesterday morning from our Egyptian correspondent we received this.

He indicates a second newspaper.

Lara: I see. I've stayed in bed for less.

Editor: Our man stumbled across this new dig site. After we received the information, news reached us that he'd been found, fever ridden and hiding nearby, ranting about the new tomb.

Lara: Now you're getting interesting. Whose tomb?

Editor: Well, this is why we've called you.

Lara: I'll see you around.

Editor: Wait! You'll get nowhere without Carter's original information. He was the first to discover Tutankhamun's tomb and reported exclusively to us. His original chamber layouts and notes lie in the relevant issues in our archive room. Invaluable to the tomb raider.

Lara: Quite. And where are these archives? (From here, Lara goes to the archives to do her research.)

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