IMPORTANT: If you haven't already done so, you may want to review the INTRODUCTORY NOTES on the storyline, controls, treasures/relics and saving/checkpoints. These appear at the start of the PROLOGUE walkthrough.
As always, I highly recommend that you do not rely exclusively on the autosave. Instead be sure to save manually at least once or twice each level. Then, if you miss something or run into a bug, you can reload rather than having to replay the entire level. Many common bugs are documented in this walkthrough. They are in hot pink text, like this, so they're easy to spot. I have also included an overview of major bugs without game spoilers. However, not every potential problem is covered here. So be safe; save often in new slots. In case you need them, Underworld Save Files for PC, PS3 and Wii are available.
LEVEL 7: ARCTIC SEA - PART 2: YGGDRASIL
Health Items: 4 Treasures: 1 Relics: 1 Keys/Puzzle Items: 0
HELHEIM PORTAL: After the cut scene the exit is open, but don't go through yet or you'll miss the final treasure, as well as the RELIC.
The treasure (30/30) is in a jar in the far left corner when facing the exit. There's also a health potion in the right corner near the ledge (i.e., behind Lara on the right when she's facing the exit).
RELIC: Getting the relic, as you'd expect, is a bit more complicated. It is located on a high ledge behind one of the eitr waterfalls—the one nearest to the metal ring mounted on the pole between two of the serpent pillars on the left side of the room when facing the entrance. If you need visuals, I've included both screenshots and gameplay video. A few notes on alternate paths follow the basic description.
Remember those glowing carved symbols you passed on the way through this room? There's another one on the outer part of door frame on the right side of the exit. Activating all four of them stops the flow of that waterfall, enabling you to get to the relic. The trick is that each symbol only stays "on" for a little while, so you have to hurry to activate all four and get to the relic before the eitr starts flowing again.
Here's how to do it: Go to the first symbol, to the right of the exit. Press Interact to activate it. You'll know it's "on" when it glows blue and emits a resonant sound. As soon as you regain control of Lara, turn right and sprint across the ledge toward the part where it juts out over the pool. As you near the edge, slow to a normal run and veer to the left. Then take a running jump toward the support pillar on which the second symbol is carved. If you angle the jump correctly, Lara will smack into the pillar and slide down to the little island. She'll lose a little health in the process, but she'll end up standing right in front of the second symbol so you can activate it quickly.
Turn right and take a running jump to the next island. Be sure to jump off where the first island comes to a little point and hold the Jump key to keep Lara in the air. Otherwise, she might end up in the pool. Run forward and jump to grab onto the vertical column. Climb to the top, pressing Interact in time with Lara's movements to make her climb faster.
Once Lara is standing on top of the column, turn to face the tilted platform and jump toward it. When Lara hauls herself up onto it, turn to face the next column, which juts up out of the pool just beyond the tilted platform. Without running forward, jump forward to clear the remainder of the ledge and land on top of the column. Pivot slightly to the left and jump to grab the top of the low wall.
If jumping from the back of the tilted platform to the column is problematic, instead move to the far edge of the ledge and jump past the column to land on top of the low wall beyond the column. This can be a little tricky also. You need to angle the jump correctly so Lara doesn't overshoot the wall. Once she's standing on top of it, step back to drop and hang from it.
Once Lara is hanging from the low wall, climb to the right, again tapping Interact as you go to make Lara climb faster. When you reach the end of the wall, lean back and jump to land on the broken column sticking out of the eitr. Pivot to face the ledge below the entrance and jump forward to land there.
Turn right and go to the edge of the ledge. Jump onto the fallen column that leads to the little island near the wall. To cross it quickly either sprint or jump forward. Then make one final jump to land on the little island. Turn right and activate the third symbol. As soon as you regain control of Lara, move to the right and jump forward onto the fallen column. Cross it quickly—again either sprint or jump forward to go faster—and jump back to the ledge below the entrance.
Run forward and jump to grab onto the vertical column. Climb to the top, tapping Interact to go faster. Once Lara is standing on top of the column, pivot to the right so she's squarely facing the ledge ahead. Then jump forward. When Lara pulls up onto the ledge, sprint toward the right side of the door frame and activate the fourth symbol. When all four symbols are activated, the falling eitr in front of the alcove with the relic stops.
Turn back toward the pool and sprint to the edge of the ledge. Jump from the edge of the ledge to perch on top of the column you climbed up earlier. Point the camera toward the low wall and jump forward to grab it. Climb to the left end of the wall, again tapping Interact to move faster. Carefully position Lara at the corner before jumping back to grab the column behind her. Quickly climb to the top. If necessary, pivot to face the tilted platform. Then jump to grab the edge and pull up.
Turn right and if you don't see any falling eitr ahead, you'll know you've made it in time.
Step to the edge, grapple the ring above and jump forward. Swing back and forth a couple of times to build momentum and then, when Lara swings toward the alcove, jump forward to release the cable and grab the edge. Pull up and take the final RELIC (6/6) of the game. Whoo hoo!
NOTE: The sequence described above is just one possible path you can take to reach the relic in time. The order in which you activate the four symbols doesn't matter. So, for example, if you start out following this sequence and then make it as far as the grapple swing and Lara dies, the game will reload with Lara on the ledge near the entrance. Instead of climbing all the way over to the exit and re-activating the symbols in the order described above, use this alternate sequence:
Activate the symbol near the entrance first. Then go for the one on the little island on the left at the end of the fallen column. If you're feeling daring, you can skip dropping down to the ledge below the entrance and take a running jump from the corner of the upper ledge directly to the fallen column. After you've activated the second symbol, cross the fallen column to the ledge below the entrance, and proceed to the island with the third symbol, then the one near the exit, just as you did the first time crossed the pool. When you've activated the last symbol (the one near the exit), sprint across the ledge and take a running jump down to the large island with the vertical column (as shown in this screenshot). Then climb the column, jump to the tilted platform, turn left and grapple-swing over to the relic.
Once you have the relic, grapple swing back to the tilted platform. Then climb over to the exit. If Lara dies between here and there, you should still have the relic in your inventory, along with your newly improved health bar.
HALLWAY BEYOND THE HELHEIM PORTAL: Go through the portal and follow the passageway. There are no branches or intersections, but at the first turn to the left, you'll find a health potion on the floor between a couple of empty jars.
If you've played Tomb Raider: Anniversary, you can see from the architecture here where Natla developed her design sense. ;)
After the health pick-up, continue a bit farther along the hallway and slide down the broken stairs. There's no turning back now. There are 4 Viking thralls waiting for you in the hall below. Try the Mjolnir ground pound (Target Lock + Interact) to unbalance them and then finish off each one with a lightning bolt.
When you round the next corner, a seemingly endless supply of Viking and Yeti thralls begins to appear at the end of the hall. It takes some work, but these thralls eventually do stop coming. (I counted 20 or 21 Vikings and 3 or 4 Yeti in all.) If you're quick with the hammer, you can take them out before they reach Lara. Concentrate on the Yetis, since they'll do the most damage if they get to you. But use the ground-pound shockwave between regular attacks to knock back the groups of Viking thralls. Then blast them one by one to destroy them. Also consider tossing some grenades down the hall. You may be able to take out a few of the Vikings this way, and soften up the Yetis in the process. Try and aim for the walls, though, rather than the enemies, since they can carry your own explosives back to you.
After the fighting is over, look for another health potion at the next corner on the left.
Alternatively, if you're feeling brave, after sliding down the broken stairs and taking care of the first 4 Vikings, run down the thrall-infested hallway either blasting or evading anything that gets in your way. If you do this, the thralls won't have as much time to spawn, so you'll encounter fewer of them. Once you round the next corner and go down the stairs, the thralls won't follow any further, and the ones still in the hallway will die spontaneously. As long as you don't enter the next room and trigger the cut scene, you can then backtrack and pick up the health potion in the corner.
WATERFALL ROOM: Continue down the stairs toward the room with the waterfall and silhouetted figure.
Cinematic: Lara enters and approaches the hunched figure near the pool's edge. "Mother?" she asks softly. "Mother, it's me, Lara."
Amelia Croft turns to face her daughter and we see what's become of her in the years since she became trapped in Avalon/Helheim. Lara is stunned.
"No," she insists. "My mother is dead. My mother died a long time ago. You're not my mother." She drives the thrall back into the pool and then collapses in a daze.
As she kneels on the floor, struggling with her frustration and despair, Natla arrives to gloat. In true villain form, she reveals the part she's played in the entire scenario. By facilitating Richard Croft's search for his wife, she hoped he'd find the way into Helheim. When he refused to play along, she killed him, but now she's tricked Lara into doing the job for her.
Lara quickly comes to her senses and realizes she's carrying the one thing that can put a stop to Natla's plans for good. But before she can use the hammer, the doppelganger grabs her from behind, knocking the weapon from her grip.
"When I made this creature for Amanda," Natla explains, "she had no idea that my true purpose was to have the means to destroy you at this very moment." She goes on to admit that she'd been playing both of them all along. Now, having at last reached her destination, she stalks off to begin raising the serpent, leaving Lara in the clutches of her evil twin.
Lara attempts to throw off the doppelganger, but with its super speed and strength, it soon has Lara pinned to the floor. It is about to choke her when Amanda appears and uses the power of the Wraith Stone to fling the double into the pool. Lara is amazed, but Amanda explains her reasoning.
"Trust me, I wanted to let it finish you off," she says, "but the Midgard Serpent will tear the world apart, and only Thor's hammer can stop it."
Before they can speak further, a squad of Yeti thralls lumbers toward them along the hallway.
"Go!" Amanda urges. "I'll hold them off."
Lara leaves her to it and takes off after Natla.
HALLWAY LEADING TO THE MIDGARD SERPENT: Apparently the puppeteer isn't quite as smart as she thinks she is. She's neglected to take the hammer, so you still have it at your disposal. Good thing too. After the cut scene, 2 Viking thralls immediately attack. Take care of them. Then go forward to the next intersection, where a Yeti thrall approaches from the left. Destroy it and pick up the health potion on the floor near the corner. Then continue along the hallway. Slide down the next slope and jump at the bottom to clear the pit filled with blue nastiness.
There's another Yeti thrall lurking just around the next corner. You can lure it back along the hallway, blasting it as you go. Just take care not to retreat all the way to the eitr pit. Continue along the hallway to the large room at the end. Hop down off the ledge and follow the walkway forward to trigger a cut scene.
Cinematic: Lara steps out onto one of the curved walkways surrounding the Midgard Serpent device. She spots Natla on the level above and hurls a lightning bolt in her direction.
"Shut it down!" Lara orders.
But Natla has other plans. She explains to Lara that Jörmungandr is not the device itself but rather a network of tectonic ridges encircling the world's oceans. The device is merely a means to set off a cataclysmic seismic reaction along these ridges.
"When this relic unleashes its fury below," Natla says, "the very seams of the planet will burst. 'The Midgard Serpent will rise up and spew poison into the air, and all the world will be consumed by fire and ash.'" Even as she quotes the Eddas to Lara, she sets the machine in motion. "Ragnarök!" she shouts triumphantly. "The seventh age is upon us!"
As Natla speaks, a central tower and four massive, stone buttresses rise from the pool. We catch a glimpse of the carved power nodes at the joint of one of these buttresses. Then something goes wrong, and one of the structures collapses. But instead of falling into the pool, some of its components defy gravity and form a ring of floating platforms circling the room.
To prevent Lara from interfering, Natla hurls a fireball down at her. But Lara tumbles nimbly out of the way. Now she must stop what she's accidentally started.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 12/20/08 - First draft posted online.
12/24/08 - Tweaked the alternate relic run instructions a little.
5/6/09 - Made several minor changes for accuracy and clarity. Also added the alternate strategy for the hallway full of thralls, thanks to a tip from Isaac.
7/11/09 - Added video walkthroughs for all relics. Also made some minor strategy changes to the relic sequence for this level.
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