SAVING, CHECKPOINTS & TECH SUPPORT: This game incorporates autosave checkpoints. If you only rely on one save slot, you may run into trouble if you get stuck, encounter a bug, or if your autosave becomes corrupted. To avoid problems, I highly recommend changing your save slot in the pause menu at least once per level. If you encounter a bug that can't be fixed by restarting the game, reloading a different save, restoring a backup save in the Xbox version, or rebuilding the game cache in the PC version, I encourage you to visit the Official Rise of the Tomb Raider Support Forum and or put in a support request with Square Enix. I also have PC save files for download.
AREA 3: SIBERIAN WILDERNESS
Camps: Wilderness Refuge
Weapons/Gear: Climbing Axes, Makeshift Longbow, Semi-Auto Pistol Part (1/4)
Relics: 3* Documents: 6 Murals: none Coin Caches: 3 Survival Caches: 3 Strongboxes: 1
Monoliths: 1 Archivist Maps: 1 Explorer Satchels: 1
Challenge Tombs/Codices: none Challenges: 1 (3 items)
Area Maps: Siberian Wilderness
NOTE: Item numbers in the walkthrough correspond to those on the annotated level map. It is only possible to obtain two of the three relics on your first visit. The others require gear you have not yet unlocked. The walkthrough includes additional details. Also, while document, relic, and strongbox locations are fixed, the exact items found in each spot may vary depending on the order in which you find them.
OBJECTIVE: Find a Place to Take Shelter
WOODLAND PATH: After the cutscenes, follow the path downhill through the deep snow to discover the Wilderness Refuge Base Camp. There is no warm fire waiting for you, so you'll need to scrounge up some supplies in order to survive the night.
OBJECTIVE: Gather Resources to Build a Fire and Shelter
You'll need to collect 3 resources: hardwood (x2) and animal hide. Continue down the path to the southeast and you will soon find all three. Again, press in on the right stick or press Q on the keyboard to activate Survival Instinct if the pickups are not immediately obvious. Approach each of the 2 scrawny saplings and press Interact to strip their branches. Then do the same with the deer carcass to skin it. When you do this, you'll see a notification at the top right corner of the screen as hardwood, then deer hide and antlers, are added to your inventory. You'll also receive XP as you complete each part of this sequence. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Return to Camp and Build a Fire
Once you have everything, return to the Base Camp to trigger a cutscene in which Lara sets up camp and overhears two Trinity operatives on the radio discussing the mysterious "artifact" and the "remnant," who seem to be some sort of indigenous population.
MAKING YOUR FIRST UPGRADES: You'll notice Lara no longer has the pistol she brought to Syria, but during the cutscene, she assembles a MAKESHIFT LONGBOW from items she's found. Afterward you'll receive a notification that upgrades for this weapon are available. To apply weapon upgrades, select WEAPONS from the base camp interface, then select the Bow category at the top left. Select the Makeshift Longbow below. Now peruse the different upgrades available. The one highlighted in white are available now. The table on the right shows how many of each resource this upgrade requires, as well as how many of each you now have. Select the Reinforced Limbs upgrade (white skull icon) and follow the on-screen prompt to apply the upgrade to your bow. (screenshots)
NOTE: The upgrades shown in red are not available yet, either because they are locked at your current level (lock icon) or because you don't have the necessary resources to craft them.
Upgrading your bow also gives XP, which should unlock your first Skill Point. Follow this link to learn how to use the interface to upgrade Lara's abilities.
Veteran raiders probably won't be reading a walkthrough for this level anyway, but if you're just starting out or are not yet confident in your own choices, I will make suggestions for the early upgrades. I highly recommend choosing the Survivor skill Avid Learner as your first upgrade, since this will give you additional XP enabling you to unlock new skills even faster. If you've been collecting all the documents, relics, etc., you'll probably earn a second Skill Point now. If not, it will happen soon. I'd suggest taking one of the Hunter skills—either Breath Control or Animal Instincts—since you'll be using your bow almost exclusively for a while, and being able to spot prey will be helpful in these early stages.
The Base Camp menu also includes options for INVENTORY and FAST TRAVEL. These will be covered a bit later on.
During this first campsite visit, Lara talks to herself even more than usual. A message on-screen tells you you've unlocked a document, which you can revisit in the documents section of your inventory. It's in the category Camp Journals and is called Familiar Pain. (screenshot) A separate series of 6 documents called Journals of Lord Croft are also unlocked at this time and can be accessed under Documents in the inventory. (screenshot) These are not counted among the numbered documents for this level.
OBJECTIVE: Explore the Forest for Signs of the Lost City
Along with your feeble arsenal, you now have a new goal, so let's go adventuring!
GATHERING RESOURCES AND CRAFTING ARROWS: Head downhill toward where you found the wood and deer carcass earlier. Use Survival Instinct to spot a few useful items: a bird's nest and another sapling. Now hold LT/Right Mouse/L2 to draw your bow. You'll see an on-screen tutorial about charging your shots for extra damage. This isn't necessary, since the nest is not trying to harm you, but can practice if you like. Continue holding LT/Right Mouse/L2, aim at the bird's nest with the right stick or mouse, then hold RT/Left Mouse/R2 to charge your shot. You'll notice Lara can only keep the bowstring taut for a little while before she has to let the arrow fly. Later you'll upgrade both the weapon and your skill with it, so this won't be a problem. For now, you can either release Aim to cancel the shot or release Fire to shoot. When you're ready, shoot the nest to knock it out of the tree. Find the nest lying on the ground and press Interact to pick several feathers out of it. (screenshots)
Move to the small tree you spotted a minute ago and press Interact to gather more hardwood. Now, without drawing your bow, hold RT/Left Mouse/R2 to craft arrows from the wood and feathers you just found. The amount of resources expended is shown on screen, and the new arrows are added to your inventory. (screenshots) Unlike Lara's pistol ammo in Syria, you do not have unlimited arrows and must find or make them for hunting and combat. We'll practice hunting shortly, and later we'll cover other items you can make from gathered resources.
NOTES: I do not list the location of every collectible resource in the walkthrough. These don't always appear in the same places and will respawn if you leave and re-enter an area, so Use Survival Instinct to spot them and harvest them as needed. In addition to the on-screen notification each time you collect a resource, you can check your current supplies in two ways: There's a quick list at the top right corner of the map screen that shows the number of each item you have available. (screenshot) If you then navigate to the Resources section (by pressing LB on the Xbox controller or clicking on the hex nut icon in the row at the top left), you'll find details about all the different resources. (screenshot) Wood, hide, and feathers. Later you will obtain many other items, which you can use to craft ammo and gear. More on this shortly.
ROAMING AROUND FOR COLLECTIBLES: From the sapling you just stripped for hardwood, continue to the right and down the slope, more or less following the southwest edge of the map, until you come to a length of tree trunk lying across the path. Look to the left to spot a document (1/6) sitting on a rock ledge. Use Survival Instinct If you're having trouble spotting it in the dark. Climb up and examine the document, The Prize Awaits from the Voices of Invasion series, for XP and primer in the Mongolian written language. (screenshots)
Hop down off the ledge and climb back up near the fallen log. Survival Instinct reveals a rope-wrapped wooden barrier and a leather backpack sitting on a nearby ledge. If you approach the barrier, you'll discover Lara needs Rope Arrows to get through. You won't get this upgrade for quite some time, so make a note to return here later. (screenshots)
Climb up next to the backpack and examine it by pressing Interact (X/E/Square). This Explorer Satchel reveals the location of nearby coin caches, documents, and caves on your map. Once you've found it, the satchel itself is indicated by a skull icon on the map. Just downhill from the ledge with the satchel is another cave. This one is blocked by an impact barrier that requires a gun or explosives to break. Again, you don't have the necessary gear to get through, so plan to return later when you do. (screenshots)
MONOLITH AND ABANDONED ENCAMPMENT: Continue downhill to the east to find a monolith and a survival cache (1/3). The cache is buried near the wall to the right of the monolith. It's marked by a flashing light in the snow, and in the Xbox version of the game your controller will vibrate as you pass over it, assuming you have vibration enabled. If you're having trouble finding it, open your in-game map (View/Start), highlight the cache with the cursor, and press Enter or the controller button indicated to set a local waypoint/player beacon. Then when you use Survival Instinct a column of blue light will indicate the location of the cache. Go there and dig it up to get a random piece of crafting material, such as wood or hide. This works with any item that is marked on your map but that you have not dug up or examined yet. If you try to read the monolith, you'll find Lara does not yet know enough Mongolian to decipher the inscription...yet. (screenshots)
From the monolith, head north, down the slope. As you enter through the abandoned encampment just below the monolith, a flare lights up the sky and Lara hears a commotion over the radio. You also receive a new goal. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Investigate the Ruins
The high ledge to the east is where you will eventually need to go, but first let's tie up some loose ends here and get the lay of the land. Head away from the abandoned camp toward the northwest until you spot a wooden wall that Lara can scramble up. On the ledge above, jump to grab the rope line overhead and climb across to the high, wooden platform. Press B/C/Circle to drop down off the rope. Here you'll find the Archivist Map, which reveals the locations of the remaining documents and relics on your map. There's also a bird's nest you can rifle for feathers. (screenshots)
NOTE: The on-screen message says the map shows the location of murals, but since there are none in this level, that is not true. Also, one of the documents shown on the map has a padlock icon over it, meaning you cannot get it yet. This will be our 5th document, covered below.
Drop down, move into the flat, snowy area to the north of the camp, and dig up the next survival cache (2/3) for more random crafting items. (Use the map if you're having trouble finding it.) Then climb onto the rock ledge to the left of the fallen tree to find a relic (1/3), the Crown of a Prince from the Spoils of War set. Follow the on-screen prompts to examine it. When you're able to see the area where the crown is split, you gain bonus XP. This relic also helps improve Lara's Mongolian. If you found the first document earlier, you'll now be able to translate Level 1 Mongolian. (screenshots)
Return through the abandoned camp to the monolith. Examine it to reveal the locations of the coin caches on your map. Dig up the nearest coin cache (1/3) to add 7 Byzantine coins to your inventory. It is located on the far side of the crack in the ground just south of the monolith. Now run back to the area where you just found the relic and dig up the next coin cache (2/3), in the alcove beneath the fallen tree. The third is way back near the base camp. We'll get it in a bit. (screenshots)
NOTE: There's a cave just northwest of here. You must return here later in the level, so to save backtracking, we'll skip it for now.
NORTH SIDE OF THE WILDERNESS: Head up the hill, keeping the cliff wall on your right, until you come to a tree with a red flag hanging from one of it's branches standing close to a stone ledge. Scramble up the tree to grab the broken branch. Then jump from there to the ledge, where you'll find a container with a Byzantine coin inside, and a document (2/6), Army of the Unwilling from the Voices of Invasion series. Examine it for XP and Mongolian language proficiency. (screenshots)
Continue up the hill to a steep drop-off. Look down on the right to spot the last survival cache (3/3) on a small ledge. Climb down and dig it up to obtain some random crafting items. (screenshots)
Just beyond this cache, the path splits. The right fork leads back up to the base camp. Head to the left and climb onto the large, flat boulder to find another document (3/6), On the Borderlands from The Hunter series. Examine it for XP and Russian proficiency. (screenshots)
If you now turn and face east, toward the abandoned encampment, you'll spot a wooden platform in a tree with a red flag dangling from it and a box sitting on top. To get up there, start by hopping down from the ledge where you found the document and heading up the slope toward the base camp and the deer carcass you skinned at the beginning of the level. Before you reach the carcass, turn around. The wooden platform is now directly ahead. Use Survival Instinct to highlight the branches you'll use to reach it. Scramble up the tree on the right to grab the broken branch. Pull up to perch on top of it. Then jump to grab the branch ahead on the left, swing forward, and jump to grab the next branch. Pull up onto this branch. Then walk out to the end of it. Jump from there to grab the edge of the wooden platform. Pull up and open the box to get some hardwood. There's also a bird's nest behind the center pole which you can loot for feathers. Use these to make arrows by holding RT/Left Mouse/R2. Now drop down or ride the zip line to the ground. (screenshots)
IT WOULDN'T BE A WILDERNESS ADVENTURE WITHOUT A GINORMOUS FREAKING BEAR: We've put it off long enough. It's time to move forward with the story. Approach the ledge on the east side of the abandoned encampment (the one with the elaborate wooden decoration above it), scramble up the tree on the left, and jump onto the ledge. (screenshots)
Follow the path forward through the deep snow toward the red light. An on-screen warning lets you know Lara can't run through drifts like this. This will soon become very useful information. As you enter the clearing in front of the cave, a cutscene ensues. As Lara examines the body of a fallen mercenary, a HUGE BEAR emerges from the cave. Perhaps thinking Lara plans to steal its kill, the bear goes ballistic and lunges toward her. When you see the on-screen prompt, press B/C/Circle to dodge the bear's swiping paw. Even if you do this correctly, and Lara dodges to the left, the bear still gets in a good hit. Lara is then briefly disoriented. (screenshots)
You can't go back the way you came. If you try to turn around, the bear will catch Lara and kill her. So run along the open path toward the broken wagon that forms a low ramp. The bear is hot on Lara's trail so don't hesitate. Run up the ramp, not into the snowdrifts on either side of it, and jump at the end to get a small lead over the bear. Lara will have now recovered enough to sprint, so press in on the left stick or hold Shift as you run forward to go faster. Instead of running into the snowdrift ahead, which will mean certain death, run up the fallen log and jump at the end to sail over the deep snow and land on the path and land on the path beyond. Sprint forward to the pile of wood directly ahead. (screenshots)
Lara is able to fit through the gap, but the bear cannot. When you see the prompt, press Y/F/Triangle repeatedly to melee attack the bear with your axe. You don't need to mash the button frantically. Just keep up a steady rhythm, and Lara will continue to whack the bear as it tries to break down the barrier. Lara notices that the bear is about to burst through. She retreats to the edge and turns to face her foe. (screenshots)
Now watch carefully. As the bear rears up preparing to lunge, the colors on the screen will dim slightly, and the action shifts into slow motion. This is your cue to press B/C/Circle to dodge. Doing so triggers a brief quick time event (QTE). A gray circle appears over the bear. When the outer ring of the circle contracts, the center turns yellow, and a Melee button prompt appears. This is your cue to press Y/F/Triangle for a melee attack. It's important to get the timing right. If you press before the Y prompt appears, or wait too long afterward, or the attack will fail. When you do it right, Lara sinks her axe into the bear. Lara and the bear struggle briefly, and Lara is thrown off the cliffside and knocked unconscious. (screenshots)
After another flashback to Lara's childhood, she wakes up a bit worse for wear, and you receive a new goal.
OBJECTIVE: Gather Resources and Heal Injuries
CLIFFSIDE PATH OVERLOOKING THE SOVIET BASE: In order to stay alive, you must now gather herbs and cloth to craft bandages. These resources are highlighted in Survival Instinct. Stagger forward to find a small bush with red berries. press Interact to add these herbs to your inventory. Do the same with the next bush, just ahead on the right. Then continue to the end of the path to find a small crate. Open it to get cloth. Then hold LB on the Xbox controller, V on the keyboard, or L1 on PS4 to apply a bandage that will heal Lara's wound. Each bandage requires one herb and one piece of cloth. So you should sill have one of each resource left when you're done. You'll also receive XP for completing this goal and get a panoramic view of the Soviet installation in the valley below. (screenshots)
Once she's back on her game, Lara notices an ancient path leading down toward the base. She surmises that she'll need to get through the bear's cave in order to reach this path. If you check your in-game map, you'll see that the level exit is indeed beyond the bear cave. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Find a Way to Defeat the Bear
As the new chapter begins, you'll receive a large XP award for your resourcefulness. If you've been collecting relics, documents, and so on, you should now have a Skill Point to spend. Turn around and follow the path back the way you came. Climb the wooden wall and continue forward into a dark tunnel, where Lara spots what she says are death cap mushrooms. They look more like Amanita muscaria than Amanita phalloides to me, but a little poetic license is OK. They're easier to spot if they're orange. Your goal is updated. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Find Mushrooms for the Poison Arrow Upgrade
Pick the mushrooms (1/3) to add them to your inventory. Now you'll need to find two more bunches. Continue through the tunnel to an open area with an ice wall. Before climbing up, vault onto the low ledge on the left and scramble up the wooden wall to find a container with some herbs inside. Then climb the ice to the ledge above. Crack open the small crate to get some salvage, which the game explains will be used for upgrades and improvised weapons. Approach the edge, jump up to grab the zip line, and slide down to the abandoned encampment below. (screenshots)
CAVE NORTH OF THE ABANDONED ENCAMPMENT: Now you're headed for the cave north of the encampment. There's also herb bush nearby. Both glow in Survival Instinct view. Pick the herbs and then enter the cave, which is just to the left of the rock ledge where you found the relic earlier. There are 2 clumps of poison mushrooms (2/3 and 3/3) here: two just inside the cave and another a bit farther in. You don't need the third to satisfy the mission, but pick it anyway, since it will come in handy. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Find Cloth for the Poison Arrow Upgrade
Before going hunting for cloth, continue deeper into the cave. Don't worry; there's no hostile wildlife here. Where the cave widens, there are 2 magnesite deposits, which glow when you press Survival Instinct. Pry them out of the wall with your climbing axe to add magnesite ore to your inventory. Later you'll be able to make things with it. Deeper inside the cave you'll find a document (4/6) titled In the Tomb from The Hunter series. Examine it for XP and a little boost to your Russian language skill. Then return outdoors. (screenshots)
You should still have some cloth (1/3) in your inventory left over from the bandage quest. Approach the abandoned encampment to find a crate with cloth (2/3) inside. There's more cloth (3/3) near the monolith. (screenshot) I suspect these locations are somewhat random, so if you don't find them exactly where I describe, just keep looking. They'll turn up. Once you have 3 pieces of cloth your goal will be updated.
OBJECTIVE: Return to Camp to Upgrade Arrows
OPTIONAL HUNTING AND RESOURCE GATHERING: Before returning to the base camp to learn to craft poison arrows, I recommend taking a little time to practice hunting and gathering. Collecting wood and feathers to craft arrows, and herbs and cloth for bandages, will be helpful. Practicing your bow technique on wild game will make you less hesitant when it comes to fighting enemies, which you will do soon. I recommend saving about 15 arrows. You'll be able to craft more, but you don't want to run out early in the game.
To stalk prey, move slowly and quietly, hide behind cover or up on ledges when you can, and be patient. There are many birds and rabbits you can shoot in this area. After you kill them, loot their bodes for feathers and hide, respectively. If you're lucky you may spot a deer or stag. They roam around the forest but can sometimes be found bedded down near the abandoned encampment. I have not seen the stag during the phase when the red flare is lit, or later when other humans come on the scene. I suspect human activity frightens him away. (screenshots)
If you have unlocked the Animal Instincts skill, woodland creatures will glow when you press Survival Instinct, making them easier to target. Otherwise, just do your best. Draw your bow (LT/Right Mouse) and aim with the right stick or mouse. Press in on the right stick or press Z on the keyboard to zoom in. Then hold Fire (RT/Left Mouse) to charge your shot for more power. Release the Fire button to shoot, or if your target moves before you're ready, release the Aim button to cancel the shot. One arrow will kill a rabbit or bird. A deer might require a headshot or more than one shot to the body since your first bow is not very powerful. After killing an animal, approach its body and press Interact to gather resources. (screenshots)
RETURN TO BASE CAMP: Gather all the resources you can. Then head back up the hill toward the base camp. Just before you reach the camp, the path splits. Instead of going to the right, toward the campfire, head to the left. Drop down from the ledge to the path below and dig up the last coin cache (3/3), which is hidden at the base of the ledge. Head away from the ledge, grab a little more hardwood on the way, and then follow the path up and around to the camp. (screenshots)
Approach the fire and press Interact to access the Base Camp interface. To unlock the ability to craft poison arrows, open the Inventory section. Select Ammunition. Then select Poison Arrows (skull-and-crossbones icon). Press Enter or the controller button indicated to craft 2 poison arrows (the maximum you can carry right now). This uses up two arrows, one piece of cloth, and 3 mushrooms. (screenshots)
Before completely exiting the menu, be sure to spend the Skill Point you (probably) earned after surviving the bear encounter. I recommend the Hunter skills Breath Control or Animal Instincts if you don't have them yet, or the Brawler skill Thick-Skinned.
NOTES: If you own the Season Pass or the 20 Year Celebration Edition, you may want to change outfits now as well. The Siberian Ranger outfit (details/screenshot) allows Lara to carry more special ammunition, including poison arrows. To change costume, sit at the campfire, select Weapons, then tab to the right to select Outfits. Equip the Siberian Ranger outfit, then back out of the camp interface. You may need to gather more ingredients (wood and feathers for arrows, cloth and mushrooms to add poison), but you should now be able to craft 4 additional poison arrows, for a total of 6.
Depending on what else you've collected so far, you may also be able to upgrade your climbing axe—by sitting at the campfire then choosing Weapons, then Axes, then the Climbing Axe, then perusing the possible upgrades—but don't worry if you can't do this yet. You may instead want to conserve your cloth for bandages.
OBJECTIVE: Sneak or Fight Past the Trinity Soldiers to Reach the Cave
BAD DREAMS AND WAKING NIGHTMARES: After tinkering around at the campfire, Lara falls asleep and wakens to mayhem. When the cutscenes finish, she is perched on a branch watching and listening to a Trinity solder talking on his radio. Wait for the Melee Icon to appear above his head and then press Y/F/Triangle to leap down on him. At the second prompt, press Y/F/Triangle again to finish him off with a rock. Note that you receive bonus XP for stealth maneuvers and finishers. (screenshots)
Quickly move into the bushes ahead so a second soldier near the campfire doesn't spot you. Wait for the him to approach. When you see the Melee Icon above his head, press Y/F/Triangle to perform a stealth takedown, smacking him and then choking him out with your bow. Loot both bodies for random supplies (salvage, cloth, ammunition, etc.). This also initiates the Grab and Go Challenge. To beat it, you'll need to kill 3 enemies and loot their bodies. After these first two, you'll only need one more. Take the arrows leaning here if you need them. Also collect some poison mushrooms from the hollow log on the northeast side of the camp. (screenshots)
DEFEATING THE TRINITY SCOUTING PARTY: The Trinity soldiers are spread out below. There is no one "correct" way to engage them. I recommend stealthily killing the outliers one at a time before confronting the core group. This will enable you to get a feel for combat. There will be situations later on where you can't avoid fighting, so you'll be glad of the experience. Note that the following tips are meant as examples. The AI in this game is quite a bit better than in TR 2013, so the enemies may not behave exactly as I describe.
Whatever you do, try to avoid being ambushed. If the bad guys notice you and start calling out to each other, run as far away as you can, find a hiding place, and then when they lose interest, try to approach them from a different angle.
Now that you've unlocked poison arrows, you can make them without having to be at a base camp as long as you have the necessary ingredients (arrows, cloth, and mushrooms). Without first drawing your bow, hold RB/Middle Mouse/R1 in order to craft them. Also craft as many regular (silent) arrows as you can by holding RT/Left Mouse/R2. You can craft both arrow types as you go, but it's better to start with a full supply.
Start down the hill, sticking to the left path at first. When Lara hears an enemy, she'll go into a defensive crouch. That's your cue to move into one of the bushes alongside the path for concealment. Watch as the man moves across the path to the left. Notice how he glows in yellow in Survival Instinct. This means killing him will not alert his friends, provided you do it quickly and quietly. If you kill an enemy highlighted in red, others will notice even if it's a stealth kill. (screenshots)
Scramble up into the tree on the right side of the path. Leap forward to grab the next branch, swing, and jump onto the broken branch ahead. Then watch as the man below examines his comrade, who has fallen victim to a trap set up by the natives. When you see the Melee Icon above his head press Melee to jump down on top of him. Wait for the second prompt and press Melee again to finish him off. Then loot his body to complete the Grab and Go Challenge. For this you will receive XP and 2,000 Expedition credits. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you sneak past these enemies in your first playthrough, it's still possible to complete the challenge later in the game. Once you unlock fast travel, return to this area to find a new group of enemies camped out. You can then kill them and loot their bodies. Also, you only receive Expedition credits the first time you beat each challenge. On subsequent playthroughs, you'll get XP but no credits.
Run back up the hill and make your way carefully down the right path toward the next 2 enemies. As you head down the hill toward the fallen log, near where you found the Explorer Satchel earlier, stay under cover as much as possible to avoid being spotted. Lara keeps a low profile when enemies are around, but if you draw your bow, she may be spotted even if she's standing in a bush. If an enemy approaches, release Aim to stow your bow and duck even lower. (screenshots)
One soldier patrols the path on the far right. When he heads downhill away from you, move out onto the snowy ledge overlooking the open area below. His buddy tends to stay off to the left, but be alert. You don't want them ganging up on you. Wait for the first guy to move up the hill again. Then when you see the Melee Icon above his head press Melee to leap on him from above. Then press Melee again at the second prompt to finish him off. (screenshots)
Quickly move behind cover before the other guy sees you. You can then climb back onto the snowy ledge and take him out with your bow. (Ignore the tutorial, which explains how to shoot poison arrows by aiming and pressing RB/Middle Mouse/R1). Do not waste precious poison arrows on a single unaware enemy.) Or, hop down on the left, move into a bush and wait for him to go looking for his friend. For a silent headshot, hold LT/Right Mouse/L2 to draw the bow, zoom in by pressing the right stick or Z on the keyboard, adjust your aim, then hold RT/Left Mouse/R2 to charge the shot for more power before finally releasing RT to fire. (screenshots)
Now continue downhill toward the monolith and the abandoned encampment—not so abandoned now. Circle around to the shallow trench below the fallen log. From here you can spy on the 3 men at the camp. Notice how they glow red in Survival Instinct. This means if you attack one of them, the others will notice and come after you. (screenshots)
If you wait patiently—or shoot an arrow into the wall near the monolith to get his attention—one of these guys should wander off away from the others. He'll then turn white in Survival Instinct view. Now you can take him out with a silent headshot, as described above. (screenshots)
Move cautiously forward into the bush near the camp. Target one of the 2 soldiers. And press RB/Middle Mouse/R1 to fire a poison arrow. The toxic cloud should then kill both of them. You can also shoot the gas generators to blow them up, injuring nearby enemies in the process. Needless to say, your cover will be blown if you do this, and you'll need to fight any survivors. (screenshots)
The last man is patrolling off to the left. You may be able to shoot him from here. Otherwise move forward, using bushes and trees for concealment, until you find him. Since Lara is still fairly underpowered compared to her enemies, I recommend using stealth if possible, rather than confronting him. When the last enemy is dead, Lara will stand up and stow her bow, showing the coast is clear. (screenshots)
Search all those bodies for supplies and examine the document (5/6) that is now sitting on the table in the middle of the camp. (screenshot) This is Gearing Up from the Heart of Darkness series. It's a voice recording in English, so you receive XP but no language bonus.
After defeating the soldiers, you should find a red gas can near their camp. If you carry this can up the hill to the impact barrier (marked with a cave icon on your map), you can drop it on the ground in front of the barrier, stand back, and shoot it to cause an explosion that will destroy the barrier. Enter the cave to find a relic (2/3), a Mongolian Tug , also from the Mongolian Invasion set, along with some other supplies. (If you can't find the gas can or it disappears after you reload the game, don't worry. You can return later to claim the relic. See the note below.)
NOTE: For more info on real-world Mongolian tugs and other Tomb Raider collectibles, check out the Artefactual series from Tomb Raider Horizons.
If you leveled up during the fight, you may want to return up the hill to the base camp to choose a new skill. Otherwise, gather supplies and get ready to move on.
OBJECTIVE: Defeat the Bear
KILLING THE BEAR: Scramble up the tree and jump onto the ledge to the east of the camp, just like you did the first time you approached the bear cave. Follow the path toward the cave, picking up some salvage, poison mushrooms, herbs, and possibly hardwood where the path ends at the open area in front of the cave. (Technically this is where you receive the new goal of killing the bear.) There is also a bundle of arrows on the far right side of the open area, a box of cloth to the right of the cave entrance, and more mushrooms just inside the tunnel on the left. At this point, make sure you've crafted at least 2 poison arrows and as many regular arrows as possible. (screenshots)
Enter the cave slowly and quietly. Peer around the corner to spot the BEAR enjoying a little snack. Lara says, "Too cramped to fight," but this is not necessarily true. If you're playing on Adventurer or Tomb Raider difficulty, it's entirely possible to kill the bear from the tunnel. Take aim and shoot it with a poison arrow (RB/Middle Mouse/R1). This will stun the bear but only briefly. If you aren't wearing the Siberian Ranger outfit and can only carry 2 poison arrows at a time, quickly craft another one now. (Release Aim and hold RB/Middle Mouse/R1 to craft.) If there's time, hit the bear with a normal arrow or two to do a little more damage. Then hit it with another poison arrow, then a few more normal arrows, and finally a third poison arrow. The goal is to keep it stunned with poison so it can't charge, while you continue to damage it with normal arrows. On Adventurer or Tomb Raider difficulty, this should finish it off. (screenshots)
If you're using one of the harder difficulty settings, the bear will be tougher. If this strategy doesn't work, and the bear charges, turn around and sprint out of the cave, holding RB/Middle Mouse/R1 to craft another poison arrow as you go. As you exit the cave, run between the tree and the large boulder on the right. Then turn around to face the cave opening. Ready your bow and as soon as the bear emerges, hit it with another poison arrow to stun it. Then fire as many regular arrows as you can before the poison wears off. If the bear does manage to get in a hit, keep running and hold LB/V/L1 to bandage your wounds on the fly (assuming you collected cloth and herbs earlier). As soon as you see the bear start to rear up, shoot another poison arrow, then more regular arrows until it falls down dead. (screenshots)
You are then rewarded with XP, plus an Expedition Card Pack the first time you defeat the bear. (This one is the Survivor Pack. Card packs earned during gameplay can be found under 'Gifts' in the Marketplace section of the main menu.)
Approach the bear's massive carcass and press Interact to harvest bear skin. This rare resource will enable you to craft some cool gear later on. (screenshot)
OBJECTIVE: Explore the Cave to Find an Exit
THROUGH THE BEAR CAVE TO THE LEVEL EXIT: Now you can enter the cave. Pick more mushrooms in the tunnel on the way in. Inside the cave, you'll find cloth in a jar to the left and hardwood in a box on the right. You can also finish butchering the bear's kill for hides. Beyond the dead deer is a document (6/6), Northern Passage from The Hunter series, lying on the ground. Examine it for XP and Russian proficiency. Then stand near the strongbox and tap the Interact button repeatedly to pry open the chest and obtain a SEMI-AUTO PISTOL PART (1/4). (screenshots)
NOTE: You'll find other weapon parts as you explore. When you have all of the necessary parts, you'll be able to combine them at a base camp to build the new weapon. I'll add a more detailed page on Weapons and Weapon Parts once the main walkthrough is complete.
Finally, use your climbing axe to destroy the weak wall to the left of the strongbox and open the passageway to the next level. (screenshots)
REVISITING THIS AREA LATER IN THE GAME
If you want 100% completion, you must return here after unlocking ROPE ARROWS. There's a cave on the south side of the main area, near where you found the Explorer Satchel during your first visit. This cave has a rope-wrapped barrier that can be pulled down with a rope arrow. Inside you'll find a relic (3/3), an Archer's Ring from the Mongolian Invasion set. If you didn't get the second relic earlier, as described above, you can now use the pistol obtained in the Soviet Installation (or any other gun) to break down the impact barrier. The cave with the second relic is also on the south side of the main area, just downhill from the cave with the rope barrier. This screenshot shows both cave entrances. They're also labeled on the level map.
If you venture farther downhill, stay alert since there will probably be stray Trinity soldiers here. If you like, you can also do some hunting and gathering, including returning to the BEAR CAVE, where a new bear will have taken up residence. Use the same strategies described above—or go after it with one of the more powerful weapons available later in the game—to win another useful bear hide.
Check the separate SIBERIAN WILDERNESS COLLECTIBLES GUIDE for help locating any major items you missed.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 11/29/15 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
12/27/15 - Added the section on revisiting this level later in the game.
1/29/16 - Added PC keyboard controls and revised the section on the wooden impact barrier. I assumed at first that these barriers required a shotgun to destroy, but several shots from a pistol or rifle will also work. Thanks to Izzy for pointing this out.
2/14/16 - Added a link to the bear fight video and the note on using gas can to destroy impact barrier, thanks to MakoSDV. This required swapping the numbers of relics 2 and 3 in the text and on the level map.
4/4/16 - Added the Collectibles Guide.
10/11/16 - Added PS4 controls.
7/15/15 - Added Journals of Lord Croft document set.
11/15/21 - A few minor tweaks, including Siberian Ranger outfit recommendation and stand-your-ground bear strategy.
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