STELLA'S TOMB RAIDER: UNFINISHED BUSINESS WALKTHROUGH - Windows & Macintosh
LEVEL 3: ATLANTEAN STRONGHOLD
GENERAL NOTES: There are several shortcuts noted in this level. The above item and kill counts above are based on completing the entire level without taking any shortcuts. Two of the regular pick-ups in this level will be the SHOTGUN and MAGNUMS if you didn't find them earlier.
DESIGNER'S NOTES: According to Philip Campbell, the level designer for Unfinished Business, the Atlantis levels were meant to be played before Return to Egypt, and Lara was intended to start with only the pistols. In an interview with Theresa Jenne from tombraiders.com, Campbell explained, "That sets them at the correct difficulty level (i.e., expert). You have to start without pickups and only with your pistols. Then, the shotgun is easy to get, and I provided plenty of shells to influence the player to use it, and perhaps also influence the style of play—slow and stealthy. The Uzis are then not available until the second level, and they are in a special place (the 'shop window' in the big Lava room). The magnums are reasonably well hidden in the first level." If you want to play Unfinished Business as its creator intended, either restart the game and use the level-skip cheat to get to the beginning of this level, or download a savegame file.
RE-ENTERING THE ATLANTEAN PYRAMID: Slide down the long ramp. Go up the slope and jump across the hole in the floor. (You'll climb down here later.) Take a running jump across the lava pool to grab the angled block on the other side. Pull up and enter the cave on the right for SECRET #1, 2 boxes of shotgun shells. (The path to the secret is shown in these screenshots.)
Exit the cave and take a standing jump down from the ledge. Safety drop into the hole ahead on the left. Follow the passage up the slope to the edge of the lava pit. A boulder rolls down the hill toward Lara, but if you just wait it will land harmlessly in the pit. Now take a running jump across and continue to a room with a webbed window on the left and a wide opening on the right.
Straight ahead, if the webbed window is still on Lara's left, there's a small, square lava pit near the wall. Stand at the left side of the pit facing the ledge with the small medi pack. Do a standing jump, pressing Action to alter Lara's trajectory so she lands on the ledge (as shown in these screenshots). Get the medi pack and jump back across the pit. Turn left and head away from the window toward the open area ahead.
OPEN AREA WITH SLOPING HONEYCOMB-LIKE STRUCTURE: Kill the mutant lurking off to the left. Then go around the corner where the mutant came from and pick up 2 boxes of shotgun shells.
Now approach the tall, Atlantean building. Watch out for the gap in the floor in front of it. To get inside, go around to the right side, where there's a ledge running along the side of the structure, and climb into the raised opening. Jump to the front ledge (overlooking the honeycomb structure) and prepare to kill 2 winged mutants that rise up from below.
SHORTCUT 1: At this point, it is possible to skip most of the rest of the level and proceed to the exit. This sequence is shown in a series of screenshots.
You are ultimately headed for the uppermost square opening in the honeycomb structure below. Begin by turning around so the open area is behind Lara and jumping over to the ledge on the right side of the tall building. Then take a running jump toward the black stone wall that runs along the entire side of this huge cavern. Lara will land on the sloping top of this wall. As she slides back, hold Action to grab the edge. Traverse along the wall to the right. After you traverse past the area with the glowing patches, the top of the wall slopes upward a bit then levels off. Stop in the middle of the first level block. You can't see it, but the uppermost opening in the honeycomb structure is now directly behind Lara. Pull up onto the sloping top of the wall and quickly press Jump to backflip off the slope and land on the honeycomb structure below. Lara will then slide into the hole and fall a long way, eventually landing in the pool deep inside the pyramid. Resume the walkthrough at the * below.
I'm not sure whom to credit for this, since several people apparently figured this out independently. I didn't include it here originally. I figured if you'd want to do it this way, why bother playing? But if you've been through once, this might be fun for a change of pace.
NORMAL ROUTE (no shortcut): After shooting down the flying mutants, drop down into the center of the building and pick up a small medi pack and the SHOTGUN. (NOTE: This will be shotgun shells if you picked up the gun in an earlier level.)
Jump down to the ground at the back (west side) of the building. Run down the slope and veer to the left to avoid the rolling boulder.
Continue forward to the low-ceilinged area with gray tiles on the floor. Grab the shotgun shells and then climb onto the low block with large medi pack. This triggers the appearance of a cat mutant near the tall building. It doesn't have any ranged attacks, though, so you can shoot it from the safety of this low pedestal.
When the coast is clear, return to the base of the tall building and start up the slope between the building and the honeycomb structure. This triggers another boulder trap. So run or jump onto the flat rock on the right of the path. After the boulder passes continue up the hill and turn right. (Watch out for the lava pool on the left.) Stand at the base of the steep slope behind the honeycomb structure and take a standing jump to the flat spot above. Vault onto the step ahead and pick up more shotgun shells. Then continue forward toward the corner and down the slope to the right. At the bottom of the slope, pull up onto the ledge on the left to avoid another boulder.
There are three tall, tan blocks straight ahead. Climb onto the lowest of them. Move to the highest block, where you'll find more shotgun shells. Then shoot down another flying mutant that appears near the tall building.
Climb down to the ground and head for the gold doors in the southeast corner of the area. Approaching the left door triggers the appearance of another cat mutant in the area with the gray floor tiles. It doesn't shoot fireballs or darts, so you can stand on any of the low blocks to kill it from relative safety.
INTO THE PYRAMID: Enter the honeycomb structure at the bottom left corner. Safety drop into the room below. Retrieve 2 small medi packs from the ledges, taking care not to fall through the holes in the floor.
SHORTCUT 2: If you'd like to try another shortcut to the end of the level, here are two different methods for dropping down into the pyramid.
For the first version (illustrated in this set of screenshots), make sure Lara has full health beforehand. Stand at the edge of the square hole on the left, facing the ledge with the red lattice. Step or hop back from the edge and then hold Action as you run forward to fall through the hole and land on top of the pyramid. Then jump into the square hole in the center of the pyramid to splash down in the pool below. (Thanks to Jeff Reid for this tip.)
Or, to get down without losing any health, try this simple but not exactly "legal" variation on the fence bug (shown in another set of screenshots). Position Lara at the corner where the two red lattice panels come together. Turn so her chest is against the left lattice. Sidestep as far as possible to the right so Lara's right foot disappears into the wall. Pivot 45 degrees to the right so she's facing directly into the corner. (You can also reverse the directions, but sidestepping then pivoting will ensure Lara is positioned correctly.) Then jump forward to go through the seam in the corner. Lara will fall through the center hole and land in the pool on the lower level of the pyramid. (Thanks to Wes D. for suggesting this. I refined his technique a little.)
After using either of these shortcuts, resume the walkthrough at the ** below.
NORMAL ROUTE (no shortcut): Before dropping down into the pyramid, make sure Lara's health bar is more than half full, since she'll lose that much in the fall. Hang from the lowest edge of the opening to the right of the red lattice structure (as shown in these screenshots). Safety drop onto the side of the pyramid below and slide to the floor. If you try and drop from any other location, the fall is too high, and Lara will die.
LARGE ROOM WITH PYRAMID & SEE-THROUGH FLOOR: This room has a red, webbed floor and a large pyramid structure in the center. The two green balls are mutant pods waiting to hatch. Approach them one at a time and kill each of the 2 fireball-hurling mutants separately. Mind the lava pits around the perimeter. The low pedestals at the corners have goodies on them: a small medi pack and 3 boxes of shotgun shells. Picking up the shells in the northwest corner (between the two incubators) triggers a third mutant to drop onto the far side of the pyramid. You can kill it from the pedestal, but stay to the left to minimize the effects of its attacks.
ROOM WITH ARROW TRAP & WALKWAYS BETWEEN LAVA PITS: Enter the next room through the wide opening on the south side, taking care to avoid the lava pits and arrow trap.
NOTE: If you enter this room without first destroying the 2 mutants that hatch from the incubators in the previous room, they will hatch as you enter here and sneak up behind Lara. On the plus side, if you enter this room, save your game, then reload, the arrow trap will be inactive until you cross the threshold again.
I recommend crossing this room to the windows to hatch the mutant eggs beyond. You don't have to do this, but it will enable you to kill the mutants from a safer position later on. Then return toward the doorway leading back to the pyramid room but instead of going through, head to the left (northwest) corner and down the stairs. Kill the mutant you meet in the dark hallway. Continue, noting the closed door on the left that nearly blends in with the stone wall.
BI-LEVEL ROOM WITH SIX SWITCHES: The next room contains 3 more mutants in alcoves. They don't animate unless you flip certain of the switches on the upper level or try and pick up the items behind them. You can avoid them altogether by using only the switches that open the doors (as described below), but the mutants are easy enough to kill from above.
First cross the room and if you want all the kills in the game, use the first switch, which is to the left of the window on the lower level. This creates a centaur mutant in the room on the other side of the window. You'll wind up there at the end of the level. (NOTE: If you don't care about getting all the kills, you can leave this switch alone and you won't encounter this centaur later. Thanks to Dafydd C. for this info.)
Next, grab the shotgun shells on the ground at the foot of the stairs and go up. The second switch, set on a column apart from the others, awakens the mutant in the right alcove. If you use the switch and then run to the other end of the platform, you can shoot at the mutant as it comes up the stairs.
The third switch (on the far right when facing the window and four switches) awakens the middle mutant. The leftmost switch awakens the third mutant. Kill them in similar fashion. Don't forget the small medi pack near the farthest switch.
You'll also need to pull the two middle switches to proceed: The second switch from the left opens the stone door in the hallway outside this room, and the remaining switch opens another door back in the LARGE ROOM WITH PYRAMID & SEE-THROUGH FLOOR. Drop back down to the lower level and pick up 2 boxes of shells and some magnum clips from the alcoves where the mutants were.
Go back into the hall, turn left and go up the slope and through the small door you just opened. Climb onto the ledge just inside on the right. Pick up the small medi pack on the right and then jump up onto the angled, tan block on the left. Jump from there to the octagonal opening beyond (as shown in this screenshot). From here you can get a clear shot at the 2 mutants, if you hatched them earlier, and they can't reach Lara. (If you didn't hatch them before, you'll have to proceed to the eggs and do so now.)
When you've taken care of both mutants, jump across the hallway to the opposite ledge and pick up shotgun shells at the end of the ledge above the small door (i.e., just opposite where you found the small medi pack). Then go into the room where the mutants were and pick up magnum clips, Uzi clips and more shells.
Go back down the ramp and through the small door where you came in. Turn right and return up the stairs to the to the ROOM WITH ARROW TRAP & WALKWAYS BETWEEN LAVA PITS. Exit through the opening on the left to find yourself back in the LARGE ROOM WITH PYRAMID & SEE-THROUGH FLOOR.
RAMP FLANKED BY LAVA STREAMS: Go through the opening on the right (east) side of the room. Kill the mutant guarding the path and continue to the top. When you reach a spot where you have to vault onto a low step, climb up, turn around and pull up onto the ledge above. Lava begins to flow along the passageway toward Lara but it stops before it reaches her. Turn around again and take a standing jump over the hole where you just climbed up, then another, over a small lava pit to land on a flat spot near the wall.
LAVA STREAM FLANKED BY RAMPS: Turn around once more to face back the way you came. Here there are two black stone ramps leading upward on either side of the opening where you just climbed up. Go up the ramp on the left. When you reach the top, use the shotgun to kill the mutant lurking down below before it bombards Lara with fireballs or darts. I haven't found a completely safe spot from which to attack, but if you stand at the top of the left ramp, you can use the gray column between the ramps for cover if necessary.
Climb down the tan blocks ahead. The lava stream continues here between the block ledges and the tan slope on the right where the mutant was standing. Pick up the small medi pack and shotgun shells on either side of the lava stream. Then climb the blocks to get back to the black ramps. Jump across the lava and move to the top of the ramp on the right (i.e., right when facing up the ramps). Walk forward to the edge, so Lara is standing just above the tan slope, and jump into the doorway below on the right.
WIDE HALL WITH ARROW TRAPS & ROOM WITH POOL: Enter the hallway with gray-and-gold tiles. Head to the left and up the stairs. There are arrow traps beyond, but these aren't too difficult to pass if you move quickly and carefully.
NOTE: If you save the game here and reload, the arrow traps will be inactivated. They will turn back on if you pass through this hallway again, but you shouldn't need to do that.
Enter the next room cautiously. There are 2 mutants hiding behind the pillars. After you've taken care of them, explore the underwater area. Pick up a couple of items on the bottom: shotgun shells in the southwest corner and a small medi pack at the foot of the submerged steps.
Now locate the 2 levers. They're both on the east wall. You face them when the submerged honeycomb structure is on your right. (This set of screenshots has details.) Pull both levers to open a pair of doors in an underwater tunnel to the left of the levers (i.e., in the northeast corner). Swim through this passage to find SECRET #2, a large medi pack, magnum clips and 2 boxes of shotgun shells. Return to the surface and proceed to the next room.
SHORTCUT 3: If you don't care about getting all the kills and pick-ups, you can take another shortcut in the next area. Enter the ROOM WITH THE SWITCH ON THE BLOCK and don't pull the switch to release the mutants. Instead go directly into the small room on the right with the 2 switches and the small pool. Use only the switch on the right (when facing the pool). This opens one of the gold doors outside in the OPEN AREA WITH THE HONEYCOMB STRUCTURE AND TALL BUILDING. Swim down to the bottom of the pool and use the lever to open the other gold door. Climb out of the water on the lowest step and then climb the stairs and go through the gold door to emerge back in the OPEN AREA near the start. Pick up the walkthrough below at the ***.
ROOM WITH SWITCH ON BLOCK & MUTANTS BEHIND DOORS: Here you'll find a block with a switch on it and two closed doors beyond. Approach each of the doors to awaken a mutant on the other side. You'll hear their squealing when they're activated. Go to the switch, flip it, then quickly hop back and take a standing jump to the top of the block. From here you can kill the 2 mutants safely. Pick up 4 boxes of shotgun shells in the rooms from which the mutants came.
There are two other rooms that connect to the one with the block. One has a cage with 4 mutants in it and a switch. The other has a small pool of water.
ROOM WITH POOL, STAIRS & SWITCHES: Enter this room first. Hop into the water and pick up 2 boxes of shells. Swim farther down to find a lever and pull it to open the gold door above. (This is an exit back to the main area with the TALL BUILDING and the SLOPING HONEYCOMB STRUCTURE.)
Climb out of the water on the ledge near the doorway, where there are 2 switches. Pull the left switch first (left when Lara's back is toward the pool). This opens the other gold door outside in that main area. Then pull the switch on the right to release the 4 mutants. You can rush out and try and fight them all, but these Atlanteans have fireball and dart attacks, so the block with the switch is no longer safe. It may be easier to take on a few enemies at a time.
Here are a couple of strategies: Pull the switch, then jump to the stairs. The mutants can't cross the water. They will shoot fireballs or darts, though. So climb up to the middle step, which faces the door. From here, you can shoot the mutant through the doorway while staying close to the step on the right for cover. When the fire shooter is dead, climb down and take on the rest of the mutants using this same strategy or the one described below.
Alternatively, after releasing the mutants, jump across the pool to the lowest step, turn around and draw the shotgun. Start blasting the mutants as soon as they appear in the doorway. You may be able to kill one right away, but the others will run off. Move to the edge of the step, jump over to the doorway to attract the mutants and then backflip onto the step and keep shooting. Lara will suffer some damage from the fire/darts, but close-range shotgun blasts will take out the mutants fairly quickly.
When all the mutants are dead, go into the cage room and pull the switch to open the mutants door on the right. Go in to find 2 small medi packs.
Return to the room with the pool, climb the stairs and exit through the gold door. You emerge back at the OPEN AREA WITH THE SLOPING HONEYCOMB-LIKE STRUCTURE.
***[SHORTCUT 3: Continue from here if you've taken the third shortcut.]
THROUGH THE SECOND GOLD DOOR: Turn left and step through the second gold door. A mutant high on the left shoots either fireballs or darts, so back out if necessary and use the door for cover as you shoot it. Opposite the entrance is a third gold door.
Before dropping into the water below, get a few goodies. Take a running jump aimed diagonally to the left to land on the flat spot below and behind the sloping block. Climb to the ledge above (where the mutant was) and pick up a large medi pack. Drop back down and take a standing jump, pressing Action to lower Lara's arc so she lands in the window with the shotgun shells. Now drop into the pool and retrieve 2 sets of magnum clips on the bottom.
Climb out of the water on the low ledge above and to the left of the two underwater levers. (No need to use those yet.) Climb to the alcove above and use the switch to open the THIRD GOLD DOOR.
From here, you can take either of two paths: Going the long way, through the underwater doors, brings a bit of danger and its rewards. Taking a shortcut through the gold door gets you to the exit more quickly, but you miss some pick-ups, including the MAGNUMS (provided you didn't get them in Egypt).
SHORTCUT 4: Turn so the switch is on Lara's right, step to the edge, jump forward and grab the ledge ahead and a bit above. Pull up and climb onto the next block (i.e., the one where the mutant was standing when you came in). Then turn about 45 degrees to the right and jump to the ledge in front of the gold door. (These screenshots show the sequence.) Pick up the walkthrough below at the ****.
TWO UNDERWATER LEVERS & DOORS: If you prefer not to take the shortcut, swim down to the 2 underwater levers. These open each of two red webbed doors nearby. They are on short timers and they're set up so that if you open one door and then the other, the first one closes.
Pull the lever on the left first, go through the left door. Once you've passed the door, it will remain open as you pick up some Uzi clips and shotgun shells. Swim back out to the levers and get air. Pull the lever on the right next, go through the right door and follow the passageway. Pick up shells and magnum clips from the bottom. The door closes behind you but re-opens when you round the corner toward the clips. If you have enough air, continue along the passage to a low, tan block, above which is an opening where Lara can breathe. Or go back to the lever room for air and try again. (Note the location of other underwater door near the tan block.)
ROOM WITH SWITCH & SPIKES: Once you've reached the opening above the low, tan block, climb out of the water into a room lined with spikes. If you didn't already obtain the MAGNUMS in the Return to Egypt level, you will be able to get them here. (The following sequence is shown in a series of screenshots.)
Walk through the spikes to the opposite corner, where you'll find a small medi pack and a switch. This opens the underwater door you just saw and, naturally, it is timed. To get inside, flip the switch, press Look to escape the cut scene of the door opening, then roll and take a running jump over the spikes to land on the low, angled block in the corner. (Lara will lose a little health in the process. To minimize this, you can step back after rolling so her back is right up against the switch when she starts the running jump.) From the angled block in the corner, side flip to the left twice to land on the other ramp then in the water. Turn left and swim through the door before it closes. Pick up the MAGNUMS. If you already have the guns, this pick-up will be magnum clips instead.
Swim back to the opening above the small, tan block. Climb out of the water and walk through the spikes to the red-and-gold raised block on the right. Pull up onto it and retrieve some magnum clips. Climb onto the higher block to the right (the tan one with the low ceiling above it). Turn around so Lara is facing the wall with the horizontal crevice. Step to the outer left corner of the block and angle Lara slightly to the left. Then jump forward to grab the edge of the alcove above the horizontal crevice. Pull up and pick up more magnum clips. Turn around and take a running jump across the gap to the opposite ledge. Climb onto the tan block ledge above and a little to the right, where you'll find a small medi pack. Drop back down and climb up into the opening to the left. (screenshots)
****[SHORTCUT 4: If you've taken the fourth shortcut and entered this area through the third gold door, take a running jump across the gap to the slightly sloped ledge below the block with the small medi pack. Climb up to get it, drop back down and then climb up into the opening on the left. (This is also shown in the screenshots.) Continue following the main walkthrough from here.]
ROOM WITH VAULTED CEILING AND HOLES IN THE FLOOR: Take two steps back from the edge of the opening. Then do a standing jump to land on the slope ahead and slide onto the flat spot between the holes in the floor. There are lava and spikes below, so watch your step. Take a running jump to the flat area beyond. Approach the shotgun shells carefully; there's a mutant waiting in the alcove on the left. Kill it and pick up the shells and magnum clips. Taking the clips causes another mutant to appear in the opposite alcove. When it's dead, take a running jump back to the flat spot between the holes, and then climb up into the opening on the right.
OCTAGONAL PASSAGEWAY WITH LAVA BLOCKS: Follow this passage, jumping over the lava, to a dark cave beyond. Pick up 2 boxes of shotgun shells. Turn around and walk back down the path a few steps. There's a raised opening on the right side amid the black rocks. Climb through it to emerge high above the open area at the start of the level.
HIGH LEDGE ABOVE HONEYCOMB-LIKE STRUCTURE: Jump over to the wide, tan ledge triggers the appearance of 2 winged mutants. You can jump back into the passageway to kill them from safety, but you may have to dangle Lara from the edge or jump back to the roof a few times to get their attention. When you've destroyed them, pick up the large medi pack and shotgun shells. Take a running jump over to the next ledge to get the magnum clips. Then jump back to the larger ledge.
Position Lara on the raised corner block with the gold pattern on it. When you step up onto the block, the camera shifts to a wide-angle view of the honeycomb structure. Step to the outer corner of the block and angle Lara toward the dark opening (highest on the right) in the honeycomb structure. Then take a running jump and press Action to alter Lara's trajectory so she sails through the hole. (These screenshots show how to make this jump.) Fall and fall and fall some more to land in a pool deep inside the pyramid.
BUG NOTE: Players using the 3dfx version of the game may experience a game crash or graphical bug-out when falling through the pyramid. Several possible solutions are listed in the footnote below.
*/**[SHORTCUTS 1 & 2: Continue from here if you've taken one of these shortcuts.]
INSIDE PYRAMID (LOWER LEVEL WITH POOL): Surface to find yourself in the room below the webbed-floored one you were in earlier. Shoot the centaur mutant, dodging its fireball attacks. (NOTE: There will be no centaur here if you didn't use the switch on the lower level of the BI-LEVEL ROOM WITH SIX SWITCHES earlier.) Follow the narrow passage on the north side to a door. Pull the switch to open the door and end the level.
BUG FIXES FOR GAME CRASH/GRAPHICAL GLITCH WHEN JUMPING INTO THE PYRAMID:
(1) Instead of a running jump, try a running swan dive into the hole (i.e., step to the corner, line up the jump, hop back once, then run forward and press Jump + Walk at the same time to dive).
(2) From the smaller ledge where you found the magnum clips, take a running jump to the honeycomb structure, avoiding the openings. Slide down to the ground, enter the honeycomb at the bottom left corner and then use either version of Shortcut #2, above.
(3) If you experience the graphical glitch and not the complete game crash, try falling into the pool in the normal way. You'll hear a splash if Lara makes it. Then save the game in a new slot just in case this doesn't work and reload. If that doesn't work, try quitting the game, restarting and reloading the save you just made. The graphical problem should be gone.
(4) If all else fails, download a savegame file for the end of this level or the start of the next level.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 5/25/09 - First major update since I began tracking changes. Added various screenshots, including screens for both secrets and the Magnum pick-up. Revised several sections for clarity and to incorporate players' suggestions. Added additional details to the bug note near the end of the level.
3/22/13 - Added screenshots for climbing out of the room with the switch and spikes.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks are given to the participants in the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup, without whom some parts of this walkthrough couldn't have been written. Thanks also to the Tomb Raiders Traveler's Guide (http://trinity.westhost.com/tomb/) and to the following individual players for help with this level: Dafydd C., Jeff Reid, Kamran, Matty, Seruzawa and Wes D.
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Walkthrough text and diagrams copyright © 1998- - Stellalune ( or contact me via web form). All screenshots were made using Glidos and Fraps. Diagrams were made with the aid of GraphTablet freeware (http://www.graphtablet.com). Feel free to copy or print this walkthrough for personal use. By all means, share it with friends, but please include this credit line so people can send me their feedback. No part of this walkthrough may be reproduced on another site without permission.
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