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 27: CHASM STRONGHOLD
Camps: Sheltered Hallway (Day Camp)
Gear: none Weapons/Weapon Parts: none
Documents: none Relics: none GPS caches: none Treasure Maps: none
Challenge Tombs: none Challenges: none
When you climb into the monastery from the Mountain Pass, you receive 100 XP and a mission update.
OBJECTIVE: Search the Monastery for Sam
GREAT HALL - STORMGUARD PARADE: Move to the bend in the hallway but stay quiet, since there are enemies ahead. Grab the shotgun shells near the corner and proceed forward, ducking behind the barrels as 4 Oni warriors march by at the end of the hall. (screenshot) You can fight them if you want to or just let them pass. Then continue to the end of the corridor, loot the bodies if you've battled, and use your torch to burn the pile of debris so you can enter the passage beyond. Make your way through the tunnel to a large ceremonial hall.
Extinguish your torch before emerging from the tunnel. Otherwise, the Oni army will notice, and Lara will quickly become a practice dummy for their archers. There's no way in hell you can defeat these guys, so stealth is in order.
Turn right and stay close to the low wall as you head forward and up the stairs. At the top, go into the alcove on the right to find a food cache—remnants of an ancient samurai picnic perhaps? Use Survival Instinct if necessary but, again, do not light your torch. (screenshots)
Move back toward the main hall and walk across the narrow wooden beam above the parading soldiers. Take a minute to watch the majestic display of undead military superiority. Then move close to the wall and jump to grab the long, horizontal ledge that runs from here to the northwest corner of the great hall. Traverse to the right, with Oni warriors above and below. When you reach the corner, continue climbing around to the right. Then jump past the hanging cloth banner to grab the window ledge beyond it. It's a long leap, and you must press Interact to keep Lara from losing her grip. (screenshots)
As she scrambles up onto the sill, the Oni notice her. They start hollering and unleash a volley of arrows, including a few fire arrows.
When you regain control, the building is burning and you must make a quick escape. Immediately start running down screen before the floor collapses beneath you. Continue running, vault over one low beam blocking your path, and run on until Lara slides down a rocky tunnel to safety. You receive 100 XP for your daring escape.
SANDY CANYON OUTSIDE THE GREAT HALL: Follow the canyon to the east, picking up some shotgun shells on the way. As you approach the timber-framed doorway, an Oni warrior drops down from above. Two more warriors then run out of tunnel ahead. Shoot them as they approach. You may want to use the rifle here. They move fast so you may not have time to take down all three if you're using the bow. They wear light armor and helmets, so it helps to concentrate fire on their heads or one part of their bodies to first eliminate the armor and then actually injure them. Or, aim for their legs, which are not so well protected. Once you do a little damage, they'll fall to the ground, weakened, and you can either continue shooting from a distance or move in close and press the Melee button to use one of your finishing moves for bonus XP. (screenshots) Whatever you do, try not to let them back you into a corner. If they gang up on Lara, it's difficult to get free.
After the fight, loot the bodies and continue forward into the building the Oni came from. Here you'll find the Sheltered Hallway Day Camp, where you can rest and make upgrades. There's a food cache near the campfire, plus a few rats scurrying about, in case you're in the mood for a peach tart with not so much rat in it. Resting at the camp also unlocks an entry in Lara's Journal (9/10), in which she talks about the monastery and its mysteries.
When you're ready to continue, follow the candle-lit passage to the southeast. There's another food cache on the right just before the ornate, wooden doors. Raid the cooler. Then pry open the doors with your axe and step out onto the wind-swept cliff. A cut scene ensues.
Lara seems Mathias leading Sam along a ledge on the far side of the chasm. She calls out, but Sam can't hear her over the roar of the wind. You receive 100 XP here, along with a mission update.
OBJECTIVE: Rescue Sam from Mathias
CROSSING THE CHASM ONCE MORE: Climb the wooden ledges on the left and head into the cave. (screenshot) Lara hears Reyes and Jonah over the walkie-talkie. They're taking fire but appear to be holding their own.
As you approach the slope, you may catch a glimpse of an Oni archer in the opening ahead. Before sliding down, look on the right side of that opening to spot a salvage net. Shoot it with a fire arrow. Then slide down the slope into a room decorated with corpses to get the salvage. Or, if you miss the net at first, move along the tunnel toward the exit. Then turn around and look up to spot the net and shoot it down. (screenshots) Crack open the crate. Then pick up shotgun ammo and rifle/SMG ammo (2 boxes of each) sitting alongside the path.
Start across the wooden bridge to trigger another cut scene. The fierce winds blow Lara off the structure, but she lands more or less safely on a sandy ledge below. As she gets to her feet and stumbles forward, we see the Stormguard preparing for battle.
LARA VERSUS THE STORMGUARD ARMY: Fortunately you don't have to fight all these guys at once, but this is definitely the most challenging fight in the game. Here are a few tactics that worked for me and will hopefully help you too. I tend to play fairly cautiously, advancing to draw out enemies then retreating to areas where I can hide and/or maneuver. As with any complex battle, you'll need to find your own preferred strategy.
NOTES: I have attempted to make a rough count the various enemies at each stage of the battle, but depending on how you play, they may appear and behave differently than I describe. If you're having trouble with this battle, don't be afraid to turn the difficulty level down in the Options menu. It can make a big difference. You can always replay this section on a higher setting later once you find a strategy you like. If you're playing the PC version and want to skip it entirely, you're welcome to download a save file.
STARTING AREA: At the start of the fight, move around behind the building on the right to avoid incoming arrows. If you then peer around the right side of the building, while facing up the hill, you can take out a few of the Oni archers ahead. Keep watching this area, and you'll see 4 Oni warriors with swords and light armor climb over the building, drop down and head toward you. Try and shoot them while they're climbing. Then, when they hit the ground, if you time it right, you can shoot the explosive balloon thingy and take out several enemies at once. If it doesn't kill them outright, it will at least make them a little weaker. When fighting these guys, you must hit each one several times, first to remove their armor, then to injure them. (screenshots)
Keep moving as the remaining enemies close in. If you run back around behind the building, you'll be safe from the archers and can take out the warriors with rifle or shotgun as they approach. If they get too close, use the Dodge Counter maneuver. (screenshots)
If you stay toward the back of this area, once you've killed the first 4 warriors, you'll have a brief respite to reload and loot the bodies behind the building. But as soon as you move forward toward the next set of buildings, a brief cut scene shows the archers in the tower ahead using explosives to knock down the tall, stone column. This forms a bridge across the gap, allowing more enemies to move down toward you. A checkpoint registers after the column falls. (screenshots)
The first enemies to reach you are 2 pikemen with round shields. Try to move back a bit as they run toward you. This will give you room to maneuver. The pikemen's shields protect them somewhat, though not as well as the big shields the Solarii carry. If you can shoot them while they're jumping, or aim for their heads or legs, you can still damage them. If they manage to get close to you, use the dodge maneuver. If they're at full health when you use the maneuver, it'll count as a Dodge Counter. Lara will stab them in the leg with an arrow, throwing them off balance briefly. You'll then have to finish them off with gunfire or a finishing move (i.e., when you see the skull icon above the enemy, move in close and press the Melee button). If you have injured them a little first, the Dodge Kill should kick in, allowing you to take them down with an arrow to the throat. (screenshots)
Next come 3 archers and 2 more pikemen. (Again, the number and order may vary a bit.) The archers are unarmored but still quite aggressive. Either shoot them quickly or run for cover and take them out as they pursue. If you move back around the building, watch out on both sides. The archers will try to surround you. The shotgun works great on archers up close—even better if you've unlocked the Incendiary Shells upgrade. Grenades can be useful when multiple enemies cluster together. Also try to take advantage of the red bombs when enemies are standing near them. You can even kick these toward unsuspecting enemies by pressing the Melee button, then detonate them, and shoot the hanging lanterns to spill burning oil on nearby enemies. I never seem to remember to do this in the heat of battle, though. (screenshots)
The the most important things are to keep moving, make use of cover when you can, and try to stay calm and focused. Try to draw one or two enemies away from the others so you can deal with them. If you wait for all of them to come to you, it's easy to get surrounded and overwhelmed.
After you've taken care of these guys, there's another brief lull in the action, which you can use to loot bodies and reload your weapons. The archers on the other side of the gap don't rest, though. So be alert for incoming explosive arrows. Their fuses make a hissing sound and leave a tell-tale sparking trail. They also have the same red icon as dynamite, so you can tell when one lands nearby. Get out of the way! (screenshots)
AREA BEYOND THE STONE COLUMN "BRIDGE": Before moving across the stone bridge, try to take out a few of the archers on the other side. You can do this from behind cover, or if you're quick, run up the ramp on the right and just mow them down with your rifle. There's a box of rifle ammo there, as well as a bundle of arrows, if you need to replenish your supplies. (screenshots)
Speaking of which, once you've dealt with this first wave of enemies, you can run around the buildings on this side of the gap to pick up supplies. In addition to the aforementioned rifle ammo and arrows on the ramp on the right (southwest), you'll find 2 boxes of shotgun shells on the ramp on the left (northeast); 2 boxes of shotgun shells, 2 of rifle/SMG ammo, plus a bundle of arrows on on the larger structure in the middle rear (northwest); and the same again (2 shotgun ammo, 2 rifle ammo, arrows) on the large structure nearest the gap.
When you're ready, move up the fallen column to the area on the other side of the gap. Jump down onto the sandy path on the right as 2 archers open fire from the building above, and 2 pikemen with shields come down the hill toward you. If you can take out the archers first, do so. You may need to use rope arrows to pull down the wooden barriers so they can't hide. (You can also shoot the barriers, but this wastes ammo.) Otherwise just concentrate on the pikemen at first. Shoot at their exposed parts, use the exploding balloon if it's convenient, and if any of them manage to get close, use the Dodge Counter. Lara has the advantage of speed here. So you can also run back down the column to the first area, find a good spot to make a stand, and then shoot the pikemen as they move toward you. (screenshots)
If the archers are still alive when you finish with the pikemen, one or both of them will come down the hill toward you. Take cover behind one of the rocks as soon as you finish and either explode the red balloons on the left side of the wooden structure as the archers climb down, or shoot them as they approach. (screenshots)
When the coast is clear, continue up the path. There are 2 boxes of shotgun shells on the right near the red bomb, and 2 boxes of rifle/SMG ammo sitting near the rock in the middle of the path. Go just as far as the end of the wall on your right and take cover there behind the waist-high block. Another pair of archers and a warrior with a sword appear in the building above. There's an explosive ball there you can use to hurt them a bit. Then either finish them off quickly or run back down the slope, take cover, and deal with the warrior when he comes down after you. Then return to the top of the slope and take out the remaining archer(s). Again, you can use rope arrows to pull down the wooden barriers if the archers try and hide behind them. There's another checkpoint after you defeat them. (screenshots)
You'll find 2 boxes of shotgun shells on the lower level of the structure at the bend in the path, plus a crate of grenades on the upper level. Get what you need. Then continue up the hill.
As you move around the bend and start up the second slope, the Oni in the building at the top hurl some explosive dinguses at you. Move back down the slope shooting in order order to detonate the bombs before they reach you. Then shoot one of the bombs still inside the building to set off a chain reaction that should kill all of the soldiers inside. (I think there are 4 archers here, but I could be mistaken.) Depending on how close Lara is to the blast, she'll take some damage too, but once you've defeated all the enemies in this building, you can take a moment to rest and recharge. (screenshots)
There are some shotgun shells sitting near the wall as you head up the path toward the building you just blew up. You'll also find 2 more boxes of shotgun shells at the base of that building and another box inside on the middle level. (screenshots)
AREA AT THE TOP OF THE HILL: When you move up to the open area at the top of the hill, another checkpoint registers, and the final horde of enemies appears on the wall ahead: 3 archers, plus 3 warriors with swords, followed shortly after by 3 more warriors, then 2 pikemen with shields. Because there are so many in this group, it's important to put some distance between them and Lara. This will allow you to deal with them a few at a time. I like to try and take out one or two of the enemies as they appear on the wall and then run back down the hill out of arrow range. The first 3 warriors will quickly catch up. Then the archers will follow, but if you're quick, you'll have time to kill the warriors before the archers arrive. Then take out the rest as they come. (screenshots)
If you need more space to maneuver, you can run all the way back down the fallen column to the lower area, or use the various buildings in the upper area for cover and to replenish your ammo. Just don't linger near the explosive balloons or let the Oni corner you in a tight spot. Better to keep moving, use Lara's speed and agility, and finish off the bad guys one or two at a time as they manage to catch up. (screenshots)
When you finally finish off this crowd, the triumphant Tomb Raider theme swells, and the game autosaves once more. As you approach the gate in the upper area, the wind whips off the planks that were previously blocking the rope-wrapped gate. Use a rope arrow to pull it open. (screenshot)
Before moving on, take a minute or two to loot the enemies' bodies and gather up as much ammo as you can carry. Along with the various supplies mentioned before, the building on the left side of the upper level has grenades, shotgun shells and 3 boxes of rifle/SMG ammo. There's more rifle ammo sitting on the ground in the open. The structure on the right has shotgun shells on the ground in front of it, plus another box of shells and 3 boxes of rifle ammo up top.
When you move through the gate you just opened and up the ramp beyond, a cut scene ensues: The massive Oni stalker you glimpsed at the start of the battle reappears. Don't fret, though; you don't need to fight him. As Lara looks around and formulates a strategy, a huge gale blows up out of the chasm. She manages to fall flat and sink her axe into the ground just as a pile of wooden boards blows past, knocking the giant off the walkway and out of sight.
Afterward, move through the doorway into the monastery.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 6/15/13 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
6/16/13 - Added missed salvage net in the tunnel before the bridge across the chasm, thanks to Mike the Aardvark.
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