NOTE: Combat strategy is based on the Medium difficulty setting, so your experience may vary slightly. In addition to the walkthroughs for each level, there are separate pages for Controls & Gameplay Tips, Skill & Weapon Upgrades, and Collectible Items.
SAVING AND CHECKPOINTS: Like the last several games, TOMB RAIDER uses autosave checkpoints. Whenever you pass a checkpoint, the game is saved automatically. Then, if Lara dies or you quit the game and restart, the game reloads at the last checkpoint. If you only rely on one autosave, you may run into trouble if you get stuck in the game, encounter a bug, or if your autosave file becomes corrupted. To avoid problems, I highly recommend changing your save slot at least once each level. You may also want to periodically back up your autosaves on a memory card (consoles) or into a separate folder (PC). See the controls page for details.
AREA 25: RESEARCH BASE (includes Shipwreck Beach third visit)
Camps: Research Lab (Fast Travel Camp)*
Gear: none Weapons/Weapon Parts: Shotgun Part (3/3)
Documents: 3 Relics: 2 GPS caches: 3 Treasure Maps: 1
Challenge Tombs: none Challenges: 1 (5 items)
Area Map: Research Base**
*This walkthrough covers the Research Base level as well as the third visit to Shipwreck Beach, before heading up river to the ritual chamber. In addition to the Fast Travel camp inside the base, you'll have the opportunity to revisit the Survivors' Camp on Shipwreck Beach.
**The Research Base Map includes all major collectibles and challenge items. There is no map for Shipwreck Beach, third visit, since all the collectibles are covered in Part 1 and Part 2. The in-game map does not include a compass rose showing which way is north. So when I refer to map directions in my walkthrough, assume North is up, east right, south down, and west left.
OBJECTIVE: Discover the Ancient Tomb
TUNNEL LEADING INTO THE BASE: At the end of the tunnel leading into the base from Shipwreck Beach, jump across the deep shaft and latch onto the climbing wall. Climb down as far as you can and then drop past the section of chain-link fence to the bottom of the tunnel. (screenshots)
NOTE: You can drop past the fence and latch onto the wall below, but this isn't necessary, since Lara won't take much damage dropping from the wall just above the fence.
Turn right, step back a bit, and then use a grenade to destroy the metal barrier. If Lara takes a little shrapnel during this process, wait for her to heal completely. Then use another grenade (or an explosive arrow if you've unlocked this upgrade) to blow out a second metal barrier inside the alcove, above on the left. It's difficult to get a good angle here, so Lara will probably take a little damage. If she starts with full health, it won't be a problem. Go into the alcove, crack open the salvage crate, and then climb onto the ledge above to find a relic (1/2), a Chou Dynasty Helmet. (screenshots)
Once you have the relic, drop down and exit the alcove. Wade through the water to the ledge ahead on the left to find a GPS cache (1/3). Then continue along the flooded passage as it takes a U-turn to the right. Harvest the edible plant at the base of the climbing wall and use a fire arrow to burn the salvage net hanging from the ceiling. Get the salvage and climb the wall to the ledge above. Squeeze through the narrow opening on the left, near the fire barrel, to enter the abandoned base. (screenshots)
NOTES: To avoid taking damage while retrieving the relic, try this alternative strategy. Also, one of the salvage crates in this area contains a SHOTGUN PART (3/3). Its exact location is random, but if you open all the crates, you should find it.
INSIDE THE BASE – CAMPSITE AND ROOMS BEFORE ELEVATOR: Before dropping down off the ledge, look past the hanging lightbulb. In the far left corner is a hanging totem (1/5) similar to the ones in the Coastal Forest. If you're having trouble spotting it, shoot out the lightbulb and use Survival Instinct. (screenshot) Destroy the totem with a bullet or arrow. If you like you can use a rope arrow to conserve ammo. Doing so unlocks the Sun Killer Challenge: destroy 5 of these totems for bonus XP.
Climb down the ledges into a room with some sleeping mats and an Oriental rug on the floor. Turn around to find 2 boxes of shotgun shells. These are easy to miss since your attention is drawn to the 2 soldiers in the next room. (screenshot)
Wait for the men to move into the hallway on the right and then sneak up to the doorway and take them both out with silent headshots. (screenshot) Loot the bodies. Then move back into the room you just came through. In addition to the Research Lab Base Camp, there's a document (1/3), "Soldier: Awakening" from the Wartime Intelligence set, sitting on the desk. (screenshot)
Pry open the metal door in the corner, near the doorway to the room with the Oriental rug and sleeping mats where you dropped in. Stand in the doorway overlooking the partially flooded hallway. Look up to the left to spot another totem (2/5) for the Sun Killer Challenge. The next totem (3/5) is directly across the hall beyond the rectangular window. It's difficult to spot, but it's hanging on the right side of the window, beyond the opening in the rubble, just in front of one of those creepy dangling bodies. (screenshots)
When you've destroyed both totems, jump from the doorway to grab the edge of the rectangular window opening. Drop down on the other side. Most of this room is inaccessible, due to the huge pile of rubble, but in the small space below the window there's a food cache and a GPS cache (2/3). Take what you need and then scramble back up the wall and drop down in the flooded hallway. (screenshots)
Turn left and continue forward to a large, metal door with a green-lit console next to it. Use the console to open the door.
ELEVATOR SHAFT: As you approach the elevator shaft, you can see a well-lit area with a food cache down below. Lara deduces that the tomb must be beneath the base. Unfortunately the door at the bottom of the stairs won't open, and the lift has seen better days. You'll need to do some tinkering. The goal is to pry off 4 large gears, one at each corner of the lift, so it will descend all the way to the ground floor. Here's the sequence:
Starting on LEVEL 2, where you enter this area, use the console to call the elevator. It gets stuck partway down. When it stops, the first gear is exposed. Climb onto the crate on the right in order to reach it. Use your axe to pry it off. The lift then falls a little farther but not far enough. (screenshots)
Jump into the elevator, cross to the back right corner and climb up through the rectangular opening near the hanging lightbulb. Drop down on the other side and head up the stairs. As you approach the 3rd-floor landing, look up to find a salvage net. Shoot it with a fire arrow and collect the salvage inside. On the landing with the jumble of blue barrels, there's some pistol ammo and a document (2/3), "Unknown: Mysterious Orders," a cryptic telegram from the GPS Secrets set. (screenshots)
Use the console on LEVEL 3 to call the elevator. As it rises, notice the salvage crate behind the fence at the back of the elevator shaft. This is where you're headed next, but you need to go around behind to get there. So go back down the stairs to the landing below. Jump from there to grab the ledge with the salvage crate. Pull up and crack it open. Then use your axe to pry off the second gear, which is accessible through the square hole in the fence surrounding the elevator shaft. (screenshots)
Drop back down onto the stairs and this time head all the way up to LEVEL 4, jumping across the gap in the stairs on the top flight. Grab the shotgun shells on the landing if you need them. Then look up above the console to spot another salvage net. When you burn it with a fire arrow, the crate falls onto the beam below. To get it down, move underneath the beam and turn around to face the console. Shoot the crate with the shotgun to knock it to the floor. Crack open the crate. Then use the shotgun once more to shoot out the plank-and-barbed-wire barrier inside the elevator shaft. Notice the climbing wall beyond the opening you just made. That's where you're headed next. (screenshots)
Use the console to call the elevator up to the 4th floor. As the elevator rises, jump down onto it, run across it, jump through the hole you just made, and then latch onto the climbing wall with your axe. Climb upward and to the left, jumping past the corner to the next section of climbable wall. Continue climbing to the left until you can drop down on the metal ledge with the salvage crate. Get the salvage. Then use your axe to pry off the third gear. (screenshots)
Instead of jumping back to the climbing wall, drop down off the ledge onto the walkway below and follow it back around to the LEVEL 3 landing. Jump straight up to grab the ladder above the console. Climb onto the ledge above and pry off the fourth gear with your axe. Now that you've removed all four gears, the elevator crashes down to the bottom of the shaft, and you receive a reward of 100 XP. (screenshots)
Climb back down the ladder and drop to the floor near the LEVEL 3 console. Then go down the stairs to the LEVEL 2 landing. The way ahead is now clear. Drop down to LEVEL 1 and move forward onto the big number "1" painted on the floor. Turn right to spot the next totem (4/5) for the Sun Killer Challenge. It's beyond the railing, hanging from the underside of the walkway above. Shoot it. Then raid the food cache and continue around to the left. (screenshots)
HALLWAYS BEYOND THE ELEVATOR/LIFT SHAFT: As you move past the big, metal doors, Lara hears 2 enemies in the next hallway. Sneak forward to the blue barrels on the left side of the hallway with the metal tracks in the floor. From here you can watch the men as they complain about various facets of island life. When one of them moves down the hallway to the right, wait for the other to turn his back and then kill him using a silent headshot. When the other guy comes to investigate, take him out with your weapon of choice. (screenshots)
Move back into the previous room for a moment. Notice the partially blocked window to the left of the doorway near the blue barrels. In the room beyond the window is a salvage net. Use a fire arrow to shoot it through the opening. You'll actually retrieve the salvage in a minute. First, pry open the salvage locker in this room. It's behind Lara and to her left if she's facing the window. (screenshots)
Step back into the hallway with the tracks on the floor. Crack open another salvage crate, which is sitting on the floor across from the blue barrels. Shoot the totem (5/5) on the other side of the chain-link fence. If you've destroyed the others as well, this completes the Sun Killer Challenge and earns you 150 XP. Then go around to the right side of the stacked boxes to find another relic (2/2), a Ceremonial Helmet. (screenshot)
Continue along the hallway to where the last 2 enemies fell. Loot the bodies and crack open the salvage crate from the net you just burned. It should be lying on the floor where it fell out through a hole in the wall. (screenshot)
Climb over the stacked boxes blocking the tunnel to the south (i.e., just beyond the hole where you found the last salvage crate). Behind this stack you'll find the Research Base Treasure Map, which reveals the location of all major collectibles on your in-game map. Climb back out the way you came. (screenshots)
Proceed toward the opposite end of this same hall, picking up some rifle/SMG ammo, prying open the salvage locker on the left, and opening the food cache near the stacked boxes. Then climb up onto the boxes piled against the right wall, crawl over them and drop down into the space behind to find the final GPS cache (3/3) in the level and the game. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you've found all the other GPS caches in the game, when you take this one you'll hear a little chime, and Lara will say, "Ah-ha! There's a note inside." If you haven't found them all yet, this will happen when you discover the last cache, whichever one it happens to be. At this point, you will also receive 1,000 salvage points and a document, which is not counted as part of the current level's total. In order to read it, you must open your inventory and look at your Document collection. The new document is part of the GPS Secrets collection. It's called "Unknown: Failed Mission" and refers to a mysterious individual or organization called "Trinity."
For new fans, the chime and "Ah-ha..." sound are nods to the classic Tomb Raider games. According to Senior Systems Designer Jonathan Hamel, both he and his wife are big fans of the original series. When he started working at Crystal Dynamics, she told him, "You have one mission: to get 'Ah-ha...' into the game." This little Easter egg is one of his many great accomplishments. Hear/read about it in Episode 20 of the Crystal Habit Podcast.
After retrieving the 3rd GPS cache, climb back over the boxes and return to the "T" intersection with the black-and-yellow-striped turntable set into the floor. Turn right (west) here and continue across the wooden bridge into a large cavern. (screenshot)
THE GENERAL'S FINAL RESTING PLACE: Cross the wooden bridge and enter the tomb. Grab the shotgun shells near the blue barrels on the right. Then climb the stairs to the dais. A cut scene ensues, in which Lara examines the long-dead warrior's body and discovers a document (3/3) hidden in the handle of his sword. This one is "General: Failure of Duty" from the Ancient Scrolls set.
As Lara examines the scroll and its bearer, we hear the Stormguard General describe how he failed his queen. "The ritual was corrupted," he says, "The priestess knew only death could save her and took her own life. Now the first and last queen lives a half-life, a soul in a decaying body. Her rage became the storms and would not stop while her soul is tied to this earth." Despite how crazy it sounds, Lara realizes she must find the ritual chamber and destroy Himiko's body in order to stop the storms that prevent anyone from leaving the island.
NOTE: This document doesn't provide the usual chance to read along with the words on screen. If you want to review the general's letter, you'll find it in the Documents section of your inventory.
AMBUSH IN THE GENERAL'S TOMB: After the cinematic, Lara hears Mathias's men approaching. They blow up the tomb entrance, making it impossible to escape the same way you came in. You now receive 100 XP and a new goal.
OBJECTIVE: Exit the Research Base
Immediately run down the stairs and take cover. If you head for either set of barrels near the entrance, you can take out a few enemies by shooting the fuel barrel on the ledge above on the right. Then try to kill as many of the others as possible when they peer out from behind cover. As you fight, more men will arrive on that ledge via the upper tunnel. If you're positioned behind the blue barrels on the right, you can aim the rifle above their heads and fire a grenade, which will then land on the ledge. A few other men will slide down ropes from the ceiling. You can shoot them off the ropes or just wait until they land and blast them as they approach. (screenshots)
The guys on the ledge above will also throw dynamite and Molotovs. So you'll need to multi-task. When you see incoming explosives, quickly scramble from one safe spot to another. Then continue firing. If Lara takes damage, release the Aim button briefly so she can crouch behind cover and heal. Remember she's vulnerable while she's shooting. (screenshots)
You may be able to survive by simply moving back and forth between the two sets of barrels near the entrance, but if you like, you can also run to the left side of the stairs (when facing them) and take cover there. Or duck behind one of the boxes sitting in the pool next to the stairs. Most of the men come around the front of the stairs to get at Lara, but be sure to watch your back, because a few sneaky guys will move under the staircase and approach you from behind. (screenshots)
Partway through the fight, a checkpoint registers, and a boulder falls onto the ledge where the first few men appeared as 3 more guys descend from above. Several more men come in through the upper tunnel as well. I counted 15 men in all from the start of the fight to the end. But things get a little busy, so it might have been a few more or less. Fortunately they don't all attack at once.
After the fight, loot the bodies and climb up onto the ledge where the bad guys were. (screenshot) Exit through the tunnel in the southeast corner of the cave. When you come to the slope, slide down, and just before you reach the end of the slope, jump across the deep pit and sink your axe into the climbing wall. (screenshot) Climb up to the wooden beams. Then jump straight up and latch onto the wall above. (screenshot) Climb to the top and continue through the tunnel.
A bit farther along, you'll find a salvage crate. Around the same time, Lara gets a distress call from her friends down below. Continue to the end of the tunnel, which opens onto a ledge high on the northwest side of Shipwreck Beach. You receive 100 XP and a new goal.
SHIPWRECK BEACH (third visit)
OBJECTIVE: Return to the Survivor Camp on the Beach
Turn left, move to the edge of the cliff. Stand near the anchor post and shoot a rope arrow into the rope-wrapped beam below. Slide down to the ledge near the fire barrel. Then move down the path a bit and take out the 2 enemies on the walkway ahead. Go down there, loot the bodies and pick up boxes of shotgun shells and rifle/SMG ammo, one at each end of the walkway. (screenshots)
Move out onto the painted wooden ledge and jump across the gap to land on the ledge below, where there's more shotgun and rifle ammo. Take what you need. Then drop down onto the next ledge and ride the zip line up to the tower overlooking the dock, where Lara's friends are engaged in a firefight with the Solarii. Slide down the next rope line to the dock. (screenshots)
When you land, you get 100 XP. Approach Reyes to trigger a cut scene. Jonah tells Lara that while they were fighting off Mathias's men, Whitman took Sam and disappeared. Lara describes her latest discoveries and convinces her friends that their best bet—both for rescuing Sam and figuring out how to stop the storms keeping them all trapped on the island—is to head inland to the ritual chamber. After the cut scene, Reyes tells Lara to return here when she's ready to go. At this point, you receive a mission update.
OBJECTIVE: Take the PT Boat up the River to the Monastery
If you like, you can revisit the Survivors' Camp on the beach and use it to make upgrades or to fast travel back to previous areas to collect items you may have missed. You don't have to do this now. There will be other opportunities, but it's an option. When you're ready to continue with the story, return here and jump onto the boat with Reyes.
In another cinematic, Lara, Reyes and Jonah motor up the river to the next area.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 6/8/13 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
6/9/13 - Added missed salvage net on level 4 of the elevator shaft. Thanks again to Robin for this good catch. Thanks also to Garfield for pointing out a few typos in this level and the Cliffside Bunker.
7/7/13 - Updated weapon parts info with help from Jerad Z.
10/12/15 - Added alternative strategy for Chou Dynasty Helmet relic, thanks to a tip from Rick B.
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