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.
BUG NOTE: There is a potential bug in the game's final sequence that can prevent you from completing the game. As far as I know, it only occurs in the PS3 version. I highly recommend changing save slots a few times during this level. Then, if you do encounter this bug, you will have other saves to reload so you can try again. Additional info appears in the relevant sections of the walkthrough below.
AREA 29: CHASM ZIGGURAT
Camps: Ziggurat Vestibule (Day Camp)
This level has no major collectibles.
OBJECTIVE: Rescue Sam from Mathias (continued)
Go up the steps and start across the bridge to trigger a cut scene. Lara confronts Mathias, who is holding Sam in front of him as a shield. When she asks him why he's doing this, he responds that, like her, everything he's done has been in order to survive. As he drags Sam into the building, lightning strikes a pile of debris, causing flames to flare up and blocking the entrance. Lara must now find another way in.
SCALING THE ZIGGURAT: Avoid the fire and go through the doorway on the left. Inside Open the food cache. Then stand near the anchor post and fire a rope arrow into the climbing wall ahead. Zip up to the wall, latch on, and then climb up to the right. Jump across the gap to the next section of climbable wall. Continue climbing up and to the right. Then jump onto the wooden ledge on the right. Cross over this ledge and jump over the gap in the floor onto the next ledge. (screenshots)
Move into the doorway overlooking the bridge and then jump over to the climbing wall on the right. Climb up and around to the left. Then jump across the gap in the climbable surface and latch onto the next section of rough wall. From there, climb onto the ledge above and enter the building ahead. (screenshots)
A solid, wooden gate blocks the exit. So move to the left side of the room and shoot a rope arrow into the dangling bell. When Lara pulls it toward the middle of the room, the wind causes it to crash through the wall, making an opening so you can get out. (screenshots)
In the next room, move to the left and take a running jump up little ramp and across the gap to grab the ladder made of planks. Climb onto the ledge above and move close to the anchor post on your right. Turn around and shoot a rope arrow into the bell hanging from the ceiling. As you zip up the line the rope supporting the bell snaps, and Lara starts to fall. As she grabs onto a wooden beam, press Interact to keep her from slipping. Then pull up onto the beam and walk up it to the other end. It tilts downward as you go but doesn't break. When you reach the end of the beam, turn left and jump to grab the next ledge. (screenshots)
When Lara pulls up onto this ledge, a brief cut scene shows a squad of Solarii reinforcements crossing the bridge below.
Turn left and move to the end of the wooden ledge, near the Himiko statue and the red banners. Jump down across the gap onto the ledge below and follow it to the end. Take a running jump from the wooden ramp to grab the rickety walkway ahead. As it collapses, jump forward and sink your axe into the climbing wall. Climb up and around to the right. (screenshots)
When Lara is hanging below the lower edge of the building above, jump straight up and then jump again to scramble up the wall and grab onto the beam above. Climb the wooden lattice into the room above. (screenshots)
As you move toward the opening on the right, a bolt of lightning hits the cliffside, breaking off large chunks of rock and revealing a patch of climbable rock. Stand near the anchor post and shoot a rope arrow into that part of the cliff. Zip up the line and latch onto the wall with your axe. As you do this, another lightning bolt zaps the cliff wall below you, revealing more climbable rock. Climb to the left, above the huge statue of Queen Himiko. Jump across the gap in the rocks and latch on to the next climbable section to the left. Climb down as far as you can. Then press Dodge/Drop to let go and fall. Quickly press Interact to latch onto the rock face below. Here you'll need to press Interact again, in time with the on-screen prompt, to prevent Lara from losing her grip. When you've got a firm hold, continue climbing around to the right and into the opening above. (screenshots)
ZIGGURAT VESTIBULE: At the top of the steps you'll find the Ziggurat Vestibule Day Camp. No more fast traveling allowed for now, but this is a nice spot to rest and top off your ammo if necessary. There are boxes of pistol, rifle/SMG and shotgun ammo sitting on the floor near the campfire. (screenshot)
If you bought the Aviatrix skin DLC, like I did, you'll probably feel compelled to put on a jacket at this point. Poor Lara! She must be freezing! Change outfits by resting at the camp, opening the Gear menu and then tabbing through to the Outfits screen.
BUG NOTE: If you're playing the PS3 version, I recommend changing save slots a few times during this level, including here at the campsite. Then, if you do run into the bug at the end of the level, you will have a choice of saves to reload.
When you're ready to continue, go through the doorway opposite the one where you climbed up. Move to the right side of the room and use the horizontal pole to swing across the gap and grab onto the wooden wall ahead. Climb up as far as you can. Then, when the wind blows out the section of boards above you, climb around the corner to the right. Continue climbing upward. At the top of the wooden lattice, jump straight up and press Interact to latch onto the climbing wall. Then continue toward the top. (screenshots)
As you go, new sections of climbable wall are revealed. When you can climb no higher, jump across the gap to the right and latch on again. Then keep going upward. Again, when you can't go any farther, climb to the left and jump across the gap to the next section of rough wall. From here you can reach the ledge directly above. (screenshots)
When you reach the top, a cut scene ensues. Mathias stands before the desiccated corpse of the last queen. Sam kneels beside him, her hands bound, as Mathias calls out to Himiko. He tells the queen he has brought her a vessel and beseeches her to "pour forth" and be reborn. The ancient body pulses with blue energy, which begins to flow into Sam, and Himiko's spirit lets out a piercing shriek. Lara tries to shoot the corpse, but the wind easily deflects her arrow.
NOTE: Somewhere in here you get a new objective, though it later disappears and reverts to the "Rescue Sam from Mathias goal." I guess it's a glitch, though a minor one.
OBJECTIVE: End the Storms By Stopping the Ascension Ritual
BATTLE ATOP THE ZIGGURAT – PHASE ONE: When you regain control, hop down off the ledge and take cover behind one of the stone blocks as several Solarii appear ahead. There's a box of shotgun shells here in case you need to restock during the fight. Some of the enemies come in from ahead on the left; a few climb up from the chasm on the right. A guy with a shotgun and 3 with rifles are the first to emerge. Take them out from behind cover with your ranged weapon of choice. (screenshots)
After this, more men appear, including a few on the multi-story wooden structure ahead. Try to shoot the explosive balloons on top of this building to take out several enemies at once. Then deal with the survivors. There's a demolitions man and a few others with explosives among this group. Whenever they start throwing dynamite, scramble away and take cover behind a different rock. You can also climb up onto the ledge on the right, but I didn't find it necessary. (screenshots)
Try to take out as many riflemen and demo men as you can while the slower enemy with the big, metal shield approaches. Better yet, lob a grenade into the group when they're all clustered together, or shoot the demo man as he's preparing a charge. This way, you may be able to kill several enemies at once—or at least weaken them. (screenshots)
If the man with the shield manages to get close, use the Dodge Counter as you've done in the past: Step out from cover a bit so you have room to maneuver. Hold Aim to keep him targeted with your preferred weapon. Then, when he lunges at Lara, press Dodge/Roll while moving to the left or right. Then press the Melee button in time with the on-screen prompt to trigger the Dodge Counter or Dodge Kill maneuver. Lara takes over and stabs the dude with an arrow. Repeat if necessary to finish him off. (screenshots)
If you didn't take out all of the shield guy's companions before, do that now. Then loot the bodies.
Approach the steps with the burning boards to trigger another cut scene. As a platoon of Stormguard climb out of the chasm, a huge gust of wind blows across the ziggurat. Lara sinks her climbing axe into the floor and barely manages to hang on. Just as a trio of Oni pikemen move to attack her, the wind topples a massive stone column on top of them. (screenshots)
The fallen column blocks the wind but also prevents you from moving forward. Scramble onto the ledge on the right and follow the ramp down to the next open area. (screenshot)
ZIGGURAT BATTLE - PHASE TWO: Another short cut scene shows Oni and Solarii skirmishing ahead. A lightning bolt knocks down another column, taking out one of Mathias's soldiers. The Oni run off, presumably to protect their queen, leaving you to deal with the remaining Solarii.
You can use the same basic strategy as before: Take cover behind one of the square chunks of rubble as you kill a shotgunner and 2 riflemen, then several more riflemen and 2 demo men. Be sure to scramble out of the way when you see incoming dynamite. And when 2 more enemies appear on top of the building ahead, shoot the explosive balloon to take them out quickly. (screenshots)
If things get hairy, don't be afraid to use a grenade or two. You're almost at the end of the game now, so don't hold back. You should be able to pick up a few grenades later when you search these guys' bodies. (screenshots)
After you've killed this group, there's another checkpoint, and the wind begins to blow even more fiercely. A bolt of lightning strikes the ground ahead. Then 2 more men with metal shields appear. The stiff wind prevents you from climbing onto the ledge on the right, so you can't avoid them. You can, however, hit them with grenades as they approach. Or wait for them to get close and use the Dodge Counter/Dodge Kill maneuver again. Fortunately they're fairly courteous about taking turns attacking you. So it's possible to defeat them both at close range. (screenshots)
When you've defeated the shield guys, loot all the bodies lying about and proceed forward toward the barrier made of flaming debris. Lara yells out to Mathias, urging him to stop the ritual, as the storm intensifies. The debris blows away, and another lightning bolt hits, collapsing the walkway and sending more enemies from both factions plummeting into the chasm. (screenshots)
Move to the edge of the chasm and jump forward to grab the edge of the tall, stone pillar. Press Interact at the on-screen prompt to keep Lara from losing her grip. Then pull up and jump over to the climbing wall. Climb to the top and move forward up the wooden ramp. (screenshots)
BUG NOTE: If you're playing the PS3 version, I recommend changing save slots again here. Then, if you run into the bug at the end of the level, you will have a choice of saves to reload.
ONI STALKER BOSS: In a brief cut scene, Lara comes upon some of Mathias's men in a firefight with the Stormguard. The Solarii are holding their own until a ginormous Oni stalker hauls himself up onto the ledge. His armor is impervious to the humans' bullets, and he's able to lift the men off their feet and choke them with one hand.
When you regain control of Lara, try to put some distance between her and the Oni stalker while you get your bearings. He's strong and well armored—even penetrating arrows just ricochet off his metal plates—but fortunately he doesn't move all that fast. So you can run around the edge of the arena to keep ahead of him. Scramble out of his way if he gets too close, and try to stay behind him or off to one side if possible. When he swings his massive club, it does a great deal of damage if it hits Lara. And if he gets close enough to grab her, he'll pick her up and smash her onto the ground like he did the Solarii soldier. (screenshots)
His back is his only vulnerable spot at first. The trick is to stand your ground as long as possible to lure him into taking a swing at you, then just as he starts to swing, dodge out of the way by pressing Dodge/Roll (Shift/Circle/B) and Left or Right simultaneously. His club will smash into the ground and get stuck there briefly. While he struggles to lift it, get around beside or behind him, and shoot him in the back where you can see bare skin. I recommend the shotgun here, but use whichever weapon you're most comfortable with. In any case, you'll need to do this several times in order to injure him enough to move on to the next stage of the battle. (screenshots)
If he smacks or throws you and you take damage, get up as fast as you can and start running around the edge of the arena. Try to stay ahead of the stalker—on the opposite side of the arena if possible—and keep moving. If you do this, he should just follow and not try to swing at you. Keep running and evading until Lara's health regenerates. Just be sure to avoid the edges with the flaming debris, which will only make things worse, and don't let him corner you or he will hit you again. (screenshots)
When you've done sufficient damage to the stalker—which varies depending on the difficulty setting—he'll sink to the ground, dropping his club momentarily, and you'll see the Melee icon above his head. Move in close and press the Melee button. As Lara swings her axe, press Melee again in time with the on-screen prompt to smack him in the face. This hurts him but also pisses him off. A lot. (screenshots)
As he stands up, you regain control, and a checkpoint registers. Now, along with the stalker, you must also deal with 3 Oni archers, who crawl up out of the chasm. Take them out as quickly as you can, while also avoiding the big guy. Here I like to switch to the pistol or rifle, move in close to one archer and let him have it. Then, when the Melee icon appears above him, press the Melee button to use one of your special finishing moves. Occasionally, if Lara is standing near one of the archers, the stalker will swing his club and take out the archer by mistake. But don't count on this. (screenshots)
Once you've taken care of the archers, you can run around and try to loot their bodies. This makes you vulnerable, though, so only do it if you're very low on ammo. There's also a bundle of arrows leaning at one edge of the arena, in case you get really desperate. (screenshot)
Now concentrate on the big guy again. Use the same basic tactic as before: Try to lure him into swinging at you and then, quickly scramble around to his back or side and fire at his vulnerable, fleshy bits. At this stage, he's a little more careless with his moves. So you may be able to stand in front of him and shoot him in his upper back as he winds up to swing at you and/or immediately after he's taken a swing. (screenshots)
Depending on how long it takes you to defeat him, more archers will appear at intervals. Again, kill them as quickly as you can so they don't get in the way of the more important boss fight.
Keep chipping away at the boss by shooting him in his vulnerable back whenever you can. When he's taken a few more hits, he will again sink to one knee, and you'll see the Melee icon above him. Quickly move in close and press Melee. Then, as Lara swings her axe, press the Melee button in time with the on-screen prompt. This knocks off the stalker's mask and helmet, making him even more cranky. (screenshots)
As the behemoth staggers to his feet, 2 more archers climb up out of the chasm. Take care of them as you did before. Then turn your attention back to the boss. He's moving a little faster now, but without his helmet he's also more vulnerable. You can continue to dodge him and shoot him in the back if that works for you. Or just move far enough away from him so he can't reach you with his club and blast away at his head. Before too long, you'll see the Melee icon again. Run toward the boss and press Melee to trigger a Quick Time Event. (screenshots)
Again, Lara swings her axe. As she does this, watch the screen and press the Melee button in time with the prompt to land a vicious blow with your axe. Next tap Melee several times as the icon flashes on screen to make Lara hack at the stalker. When the Interact icon starts to flash, tap that button repeatedly to pull your axe out of the stalker's head. Ick! After a bit of gushy grossness, he finally expires and you receive a paltry 100 XP. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you just can't manage this fight and are playing on the PC or Macintosh, you're welcome to download a save file.
Loot the fallen enemies for salvage and ammo, including around 100 salvage points from the boss. You won't need any more ammo for the rest of the game, but if you intend to revisit past areas after you finish, this may come in handy.
As you stand contemplating the ugliness of the fallen stalker, the wind blows away the flaming debris blocking the stairs. Climb up to the walkway, turn left, and head toward the glowing blue light. (screenshot)
BUG NOTE: If you're playing the PS3 version, I recommend changing save slots a few times during this level, including here at the campsite. Then, if you do run into the bug at the end of the level, you will have a choice of saves to reload.
FINAL CONFRONTATION WITH MATHIAS: In a brief cut scene, Lara at last reaches Sam, who's trapped by the swirling energy emanating from Queen Himiko's body. Lara draws her bow and aims at the queen, but Mathias shoots Lara's bow out of her hands. As she goes for her pistol, you get another 100 XP.
Another Quick Time Event follows. Aim at Mathias and press the Fire button as he trudges toward you. Whether or not you hit him, he knocks the gun out of Lara's hand and punches her in the face. She grabs her axe and starts to take a swing. As she does, press Melee in time with the on-screen prompt. If your timing is good, Lara hits Mathias in the back as he tackles her. Once he has her pinned on the ground, she spots her pistol on his belt, but before she can grab it, he shoves her down and tries to choke her with the climbing axe. To get free, you must first tap Interact repeatedly to push him away. If you succeed, Lara grabs the pistol and fires once. The shot wings Mathias, and he scrambles away clutching his shoulder. Lara reaches for her the gun she dropped earlier and stands up holding both pistols.
Aim at Mathias, and when the button prompts appear on screen, alternate pressing Primary and Alternate Fire (LT/RT on the Xbox, L1/R1 on the PlayStation) or, if you're playing with keyboard and mouse, alternate pressing the Left and Right Mouse Buttons. He'll pull out a shotgun and attempt to return fire, but if you keep shooting, you'll drive him back and he'll fall off the edge. (screenshots)
If you fail in the timing of the Melee and Interact button presses, or, if you don't shoot him at the end, Mathias kills Lara. Then the game reloads and you must try the sequence again. When you succeed, Mathias falls to his death.
BUG NOTE: There is a potential bug in this section, in which Mathias does not appear or the game freezes, preventing you from moving on. As far as I know, this only happens in the PS3 version. It is still not clear what causes the bug or how to avoid it, but if you have changed save slots as recommended above, you may be able to continue by reloading one of the earlier saves and replaying. Additional details and suggestions can be found on the Square Enix Forums.
After defeating Mathias, Lara can now turn her attention to rescuing Sam. In the subsequent cinematic, she climbs onto the dais and plunges a burning torch into the queen's corpse. Himiko shrieks as her flesh begins to disintegrate. Then she explodes in a flash of blue-white light. Lara cradles her injured friend as the raging storm clouds at last begin to part.
Down below, Reyes and Jonah notice the sky clearing. Soon after, Lara emerges from the woods carrying Sam. The crew mates are again reunited. As they motor away from Yamatai in the PT boat, we hear Lara's internal dialogue. She talks about her father's commitment to investigating the unexplained—and the deep regret she now feels for doubting him. "There are so many mysteries that I once dismissed as mere stories," she says, "but the line between our myths and truth is fragile and blurry. I need to find answers...."
The scene then shifts to the Endurance survivors sitting on the deck of a cargo ship, which apparently picked them up, A crewman approaches Lara as she leans against the rail. He makes a little small talk and tells her they'll be home soon. Lara glances at the journal she had been holding. (screenshot) We see a map and some scribbled notes in German and possibly Russian, along the word "Croatoan" scrawled prominently at the top. Lara closes the book and says quietly, "I'm not going home."
NOTE: Immediately following the release of this game, fans began to speculate about where Lara's next adventure might take her. If you're curious, just Google keyphrases like "Tomb Raider Croatoan." As details began to emerge about the sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, it became less likely that Croatoan would feature prominently. Perhaps it was just a red herring, or maybe it will figure in some future game. The developers have confirmed that we'll learn much more about the secret organization called Trinity, which was referenced several times in TOMB RAIDER.
When you finish the game, it autosaves in the same slot you were using previously. An on-screen message then pops up, showing whether or not you've completed the game fully. If you have earned less than 100% completion, it's not too difficult to go back and take care of unfinished business. Just choose "Continue" from the main menu and select your last save. When the game loads, Lara will be back in the Coastal Forest, right next to the Forest Ruins Base Camp. From here you can easily Fast Travel back to most areas. I have included a few tips about this on a separate page: NOTES ON 100% COMPLETION.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 6/23/13 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
7/7/13 - Added link to new page on 100% completion.
9/30/15 - Amended the note about Croatoan and Trinity to reflect available info about Rise of the Tomb Raider.
10/4/15 - Added info about the PS3 bug, thanks to info from LJ and various players on the Square Enix Forums.
8/18/16 - Fixed a few mixed-up directions, including one in this level, thanks to corrections from Dan H.
WAS THIS WALKTHROUGH HELPFUL? If not, I apologize and invite you to contact me with any questions. If you need help right away, I recommend the Lara Croft Online forums (laracroftonline.net), the Square Enix Tomb Raider Forum or any of the other message boards listed at tombraiders.net/stella/community.html. If this site was useful, please consider supporting it financially or in other ways. For details, visit tombraiders.net/stella/support.html. As always, I welcome your corrections/suggestions. Thank you!
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