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 5D: THE GULAG
Camps: The Gulag
Weapons/Gear: Recurve Bow, Rope (for rope arrows), Assault Rifle, Compound Bow Part (2/4)
Relics: 3 (18) Documents: 6 (26) Murals: 1 (12) Coin Caches: none (9) Survival Caches: 3 (21) Strongboxes: 1 (14)
Monoliths: none (3) Archivist Maps: 1 (9) Explorer Satchels: 1 (6)
Challenge Tombs/Codices: none (3) Crypts: none (2) Challenges: 1 (4) Missions: none* (5)
Area Maps: Gulag Detail | Soviet Installation
NOTE: The Soviet Installation is a HUGE area, so I have divided the walkthrough into several sections centered on the main base camps. This walkthrough covers the Gulag only. Check the level menu for the others. The first number in each of the stat lines above is for this area alone. The number in parentheses is for the entire Soviet Installation. While all important items are noted in the walkthrough and annotated level map, you will not be able to get everything on your first pass. Also, while the document, relic, and strongbox locations are fixed, the exact items may vary depending on the order in which you find them.
OBJECTIVE: Find a Way Out of the Cell
JAIL CELLS: After a lengthy cutscene, Lara finds herself in a locked cell. A Remnant prisoner is being held in the neighboring cell. Grab the pipe in the corner and pull until it comes loose. Then use it to bash through the crumbling wall to the right of the cell bars. Squeeze through the gap into a small room where you'll find a RECURVE BOW and ROPE sitting on a desk. Return to your cell and shoot the rope-wrapped panel above the door to yank it out. Then climb up through the opening. (screenshots)
In a brief cutscene, Lara reluctantly agrees to help the other prisoner escape. He introduces himself as Jacob and they prepare to sneak out together.
OBJECTIVE: Escape the Prison with Jacob
Jacob says the guards will be coming through soon, so you should move, but there's time to explore a little. Turn around to spot a document (10/26), Resistance from Konstantin's Operational Report series, sitting on the desk with the yellow telephone. (screenshot) Approach the brightly lit cell at the end of the hall. Lying on the floor to the right is a relic (6/18), a Cigarette Case from the Red Army Officer set. (screenshot) Examine it, then follow Jacob down the stairs. (Use Survival Instinct and follow the beacon if you get disoriented.)
ROOM WITH SLIDE PROJECTOR: Manipulate the projector to see images of an excavation in progress. One slide shows what appears to be a statue of the Prophet being hoisted aloft. Examine the document (11/26) sitting next to the projector. This is Betrayal from a series of Ana's Research Notes. You'll also find a container of herbs and a strongbox (5/14) containing a COMPOUND BOW PART (2/4). (screenshot)
When you have everything, pry open the door to the left of the projection screen, crack open a salvage crate at the bottom of the stairs, and then head up the stairs to the landing above. Climb the ladder, then scramble out of the raised opening on the left onto the roof. (screenshot)
Lara and Jacob watch a helicopter lowering a cargo container into the open yard below. Lara tells Jacob to stay put while she deals with the soldiers.
OBJECTIVE: Search the Command Center for a Way to Open the Gate
COMBAT IN THE PRISON YARD: If you're patient and careful, you can kill the 10 Trinity soldiers here without being spotted. Here's one possible sequence:
From the starting position, pick up wood lying directly in front of you and craft as many arrows as you can. You can take out the first 3 enemies without moving from this spot. Start with the one in the guard tower ahead on the right. There's no hurry. Take your time and line up a headshot. There's no hurry. Take your time and line up a headshot. Zoom in by clicking the right stick or pressing Z on the keyboard. Aim. Then hold RT/Left Mouse/R2 to charge the shot and release it to fire. Silent and deadly. Now for the guy in the tower just to the left of the first man. Kill him with another well-placed headshot. (screenshots)
Your third target is pacing along the top of the cargo container on the far left. Getting a headshot is challenging since he almost never stops moving, but if you can manage it, you may unlock the English Pedigree achievement for a bow-and-arrow headshot from more than 25 meters away. Otherwise use the rapid-fire technique you learned from the codex in the Ice Ship Challenge Tomb. Charge your shot by holding RT, release the trigger to fire, then quickly press it again for a second arrow. (screenshots)
Once the three spotters are down, strip the nearby sapling for more hardwood and then climb the ladder onto the roof of the next shack. Move to the right so the men below won't see you. Loot the bird's nest for feathers. Then walk across the beam to the guard tower. (screenshots)
From inside the guard tower you can take out the welder on the Command Center roof with another headshot. Then move around to the right for a clear view of the 2 men below. If you spot a third man below on the right, wait for him to move away before killing the other two. If you've unlocked the Double Shot Skill, target one of the men, zoom in, and hold Primary Fire (RT/Left Mouse/R2) to charge your shot. When you see the red diamond icon, move the right stick or mouse to target the second man. Then release the Fire button to shoot both of them. If you don't have this skill yet, shoot an arrow into the ground below the tower on the right to draw one man away from the other. Headshot him, then his companion. Now deal with the one patrolling to the right of the Command Center. (screenshots)
There are 2 more men gabbing around a fire in the open area in front of the Command Center. You can easily kill them both with one poison arrow. If you don't have any, use an arrow for distraction or climb back down the ladder and throw a bottle to lure one of the men away. Kill him with a headshot, then take care of the other. (screenshots)
COMMAND CENTER: If you're still up in the tower, use the rope line to climb across to the Command Center roof. Loot the welder's body and peek through the skylight at the last enemy in the room below. Then drop down behind the building. Or, if you're already on the ground, just move quietly around to the back door. Sneak into the Command Center and finish off the last man with a stealth takedown. (screenshots)
Use the console with the red light to open the inner gate. (screenshot) Lara touches base with Jacob over the walkie talkie and learns that while she was busy mass murdering, he managed to sneak inside without her.
OBJECTIVE: Find Jacob
Grab the pistol ammo sitting near the door of the Command Center. There's also a document (12/26), Reunited from the Operational Report series, on the counter where the man was working. (screenshot) Now shoot the red laptop computer (1/10) or smash it with the climbing axe to initiate the Data Corruption Challenge. There's another red laptop (2/10) on the other side of the Command Center. Destroy it as well. (screenshots)
Go outside and scour the area, looting all the bodies and gathering resources. It's a bummer that smart, resourceful Lara can't steal any of ten possible winter coats, but you'll find hardwood and feathers here and there; pistol ammo and cloth in the shack below the first guard tower; a container of herbs and a deer carcass you can skin for hide in the southern corner of the yard.
There are also 3 red laptops (3-5/10) outside: one on the side of the Command Center with some other computer equipment and two sitting on boxes near the large, blue gate you just opened. (screenshots)
When you're ready to move on, go through the gate you just opened. Destroy another red laptop (6/10) just inside the blue gate on the right. (screenshot) Pick some herbs and open the locker in the back left corner for some supplies. Then stand near the rope-wrapped post and shoot a rope line into the rope-wrapped beam above. Climb the line and drop down on the landing at the top of the broken staircase. Then use the window sills and narrow ledges to climb around to the front of the building and sneak inside. (screenshots)
In another cutscene, Lara and Jacob eavesdrop on Ana and Konstantin planning their next move. When the prison break is discovered and Konstantin is called away, Lara and Jacob head off in different directions.
OBJECTIVE: Hide from the Trinity Soldiers
NOTE: After this cutscene you gain access to a new set of documents, a series of tapes from Lara's appointments with a therapist which Ana has somehow managed to obtain. These do not count toward the level total and are easy to miss. They can be found under Sessions in the Documents section of the inventory. If you are attempting to follow the plot, be sure to read/listen to these!
FLOODED TUNNEL AND RADIO ROOM: You begin the next sequence in a flooded passageway under the floor. Wade forward until you can climb out into a small, dark room. Jacob contacts Lara over the radio, asking her to meet him in the train yard at the north end of the gulag. (This is not the same Train Yard you explored earlier.)
OBJECTIVE: Fight through the Trinity Base to the Old Train Station
First explore this room to find an Archivist Map (4/9) which reveals the locations of several documents and relics on your in-game map. One of these documents (13/26), Fieldwork from the Research Notes series, is sitting on a counter nearby. (screenshot) Examine it and then pry open the metal door so you can move on.
ELECTRIFIED POOL AND ASSAULT RIFLE: If you played TR 2013, this puzzle will be familiar to you. Avoid the electrified pool for now or you'll get a nasty shock. Pick up a relic (7/18), a Trinity Patch from the Watcher in the Woods set, sitting on the floor. Now stand near the winch, draw your bow, and shoot the rope-wrapped socket dangling from the ceiling into the pool. Lara automatically shoots a rope arrow into the socket and anchors it to the rope coil wrapped around the winch. Use your axe as a handle to crank the winch, raising the socket out of the pool. When you've cranked as far as you can, the socket will remain elevated, so you can cross the pool without being electrocuted. (screenshots)
Break open the salvage crate. Then pry open the metal door on the right to trigger a cutscene in which Lara repels a Trinity soldier and steals his ASSAULT RIFLE. When you regain control, immediately shoot the man lunging toward you. Then kill his 2 buddies just outside the door. (screenshots)
SHACKS AND FLOODED TRENCHES: Advance cautiously and take out 2 more Trinity soldiers in the shack ahead on the left. If you stay under cover, the first man should come to you. Then move up to the doorway of the shack and kill the guy inside. Loot the bodies and pick up rifle ammo and herbs for bandages inside the shack. Then lean out the next doorway just far enough to kill the next enemy lurking behind a box ahead on the left. Then move out a little farther to shoot his comrade. Or, shoot the lantern to kill the first man with fire. Then shoot the second when he pops out from behind the barricade near the next shack. Search the bodies and pick up a chunk of magnesite ore lying on the ground (circled in the screenshot above). (screenshots)
NOTE: If you've been using stealth attacks up to this point, you may not have needed bandages, but you probably will here. Just as a refresher, healing requires herbs (available from bushes with red berries and from containers and baskets like this one) plus cloth (from searching dead enemies and occasional crates/containers). To use these ingredients, hold LB/V/L1 to make and apply a bandage. If you unlock the Brawler skill Fast Healer, Lara can do this more quickly during combat.
When you enter the next shack, 2 more enemies appear ahead. Stay partially concealed behind the cable spool to the right of the doorway and shoot the red fuel barrel at the back of the room. The resulting explosion should kill both men. If not, finish them off before advancing. (screenshots)
As you emerge from this shack into the waterlogged trench, a brief cutscene teaches how to make SHRAPNEL GRENADES. press Interact to pick up a tin can. (Here Lara has already done so during the cutscene.) Then hold RB/Middle Mouse/R1 to combine it with magnesite ore to make a grenade. Hold LT/Right Mouse/L2 and use the right stick or mouse to aim at one of the 2 soldiers. Then then press RT/Left Mouse/R2 to throw the grenade. Boom! Craft another grenade the same way or just shoot the second guy. There's another lump of magnesite and a salvage crate on the wooden deck ahead on the right, where the last soldier was standing. (screenshots)
Enter the shack to find a pile of hardwood and more cans. Craft another grenade and throw it at the soldier lurking around the next corner. Finish him off with your weapon of choice. After this, the area should be clear. Loot the body and pick up magnesite and herbs. Then use your lockpick to open the metal cabinet to get some poison arrows. You can also backtrack to get any items you missed or couldn't carry before.
Now approach the jagged hole in the floor of the last shack. Look to the right to spot a red laptop (7/10). Destroy it for the Data Corruption Challenge. (screenshot) Then look to the left of the hole for a document (14/26), The Fearful and the Lost from the Research Notes series. Have a listen then drop into the tunnel. (screenshot)
SECOND TUNNEL AND BASE CAMP: Immediately after dropping into the flooded tunnel, turn around to find an Explorer Satchel (1/6). (screenshot) Examining it reveals the locations of 3 survival caches in the area just ahead, plus a strongbox way off on the southeast side of the Soviet Installation. Continue through the tunnel to emerge on a snowy path. Just ahead is The Gulag Base Camp. Stop here to get warm and make upgrades—perhaps improvements to your new rifle. You'll also unlock one of Lara's Camp Journals, a document titled Keep Moving.
HILLSIDE WITH SHACKS AND TRINITY SQUAD: Head away from the campfire and squeeze through the partially open gate. There's a squad of Trinity soldiers waiting here. As soon as they spot Lara, the first 3 men turn on the floodlights and start shooting. So immediately scramble behind the boulder ahead on the right. (screenshots)
A pop-up tutorial explains how to do a ROPE PULL. This is not crucial, but you can try it if you like. Equip the bow, aim at the rope-wrapped pole, and fire to pull down the wooden ledge with the sniper on it. Then shoot the other two men. The problem with this tactic is Lara has to stand up to pull, leaving her vulnerable to enemy gunfire. I prefer to use cover as much as possible and pick off each man one by one—first the man on the ground, then the sniper on the roof, then the one who zips in from above and rushes you. (screenshots)
Once you've killed them, 4 more men appear. One bursts out of the shed where the sniper was. The others materialize off to the right. If you act fast, you may be able to take out the middle two at once with a poison arrow, but don't worry if that doesn't happen. Deal with the man who comes out of the shed, since he's the immediate threat. He'll generally hide behind the wood pile on the right, but watch him and adjust your tactics accordingly. If he throws a grenade, you'll see a red warning icon where the explosive lands. Immediately scramble away and find a new place to take cover. The shack ahead on the left is usually a good place. You'll find rifle ammo and arrows here and you can take out shed boy as he approaches. Then try and kill the man in the guard tower, either by shooting him or the lantern above him. (screenshots)
Next, 2 more soldiers appear on the other side of the wooden fence from where you started. You may be able to snipe one of them through a gap in the planks. If not, move around behind the tall stack of boxes in the open area between the two sheds. You should be able to kill both men from there and replenish your rifle ammo. Again, if they start throwing grenades, move to a different hiding place, wait for the bang, then move back and continue firing. (screenshots)
Once those two are dead, catch your breath before moving out from cover and starting up the hill. When you do, a short cutscene introduces the next group of enemies: 2 masked men with rifles and their heavily armored leader. There's also a fourth guy with a knife and anger-management issues, who doesn't appear in the cutscene. (screenshots)
When you regain control, Lara is crouching behind a small, green barrier. There's more rifle ammo on your left if you need it (circled above), also empty cans that you can use to craft shrapnel grenades. (To recap, press Interact to pick up a can. Hold RB/Middle Mouse/R1 to craft a grenade—provided you have magnesite in your inventory—and then hold LT/Right Mouse/L2, move the right stick or mouse to aim, and press RT/Left Mouse/R2 to throw the grenade.) A grenade should take care of one of the masked enemies. Or, if you throw it at the main guy, it will destroy some of his armor, making him easier to kill. Poison arrows also work well on these guys since armor does not protect against poison. (screenshots)
In any case, you'll need to keep moving, since these enemies pursue Lara relentlessly and throw grenades, so any cover you find will not last long. If you run back down the hill and hide, you can buy a few precious seconds to heal before the enemies reach you. The wacko with the knife will probably come first. Shoot him as he approaches. Or, if you've unlocked the Dodge Counter skill, wait for him to charge at you, press B/C/Circle to dodge, and then finish him with a melee attack by pressing Y/F/Triangle when you see the button prompt. (screenshots)
The others will soon follow, but they tend to stay behind cover and try to snipe at you, giving you the opportunity to shoot back. Again, if anyone throws a grenade, move to another safe spot before it explodes. The guy with the armor puts up quite a fight. Use a poison arrow if you have one. Otherwise chip away at his armor with the rifle until you finally hit flesh and he goes down. (screenshots)
FROM THE SHACKS TO THE TRAIN TRACKS: After the fighting, there are still a few things to do here. Search your enemies' corpses for useful items like ammo, cloth, salvage, and technical parts, which are like advanced salvage and are also used for upgrading weapons. You'll also find magnesite ore and a bundle of hardwood in the first shed, plus a red laptop (8/10) to destroy for the Challenge. (screenshot) The second shed has a basket of herbs. The third, a salvage crate, more magnesite, and another red laptop (9/10). (screenshot)
If you found the Explorer Satchel in the tunnel earlier, you can locate the survival caches with help from the in-game map. The first survival cache (6/21) is at the top of the hill in the right corner. (screenshot) Go through the building at the top of the hill and out the other side. The next survival cache (7/21) is buried in the snow on the left side of the path, just before the abandoned trackhoe and the little bridge over the icy stream. (screenshot)
Now enter the building ahead to find several dead Trinity operatives. Looks like someone's been here ahead of you. Turn around to face the doorway and you'll spot the final red laptop (10/10) for the Data Corruption Challenge. Shoot it or smash it with your axe, and if you've also wrecked the others, you'll receive both XP and 2,000 Expedition Credits for completing the challenge (first time only). Sitting on the table next to the laptop is a document (15/26), Wounded from the Operations Report series. (screenshot)
Loot the soldiers' bodies and head down the stairs. At the bottom, on the right, is a box containing a relic (8/18), a Medal from the Watcher in the Woods set. (screenshot) As you step outside and approach the first boxcar, turn around to find a mural (7/12). It's called Warning for the Unjust and can be found under Soviet Crests on the Documents screen. Examine it to gain XP and Russian proficiency. (screenshot)
Climb through the first boxcar, picking up some magnesite if you need it. Outside, loot more Trinity bodies, pick up a bundle of hardwood. Then look to the left between the rows of cars to spot the third survival cache (8/21) for this area. (screenshot)
When you have everything here, climb into the boxcar at the northeast end of the tracks to trigger a cinematic. Lara catches up with Jacob as he quietly dispatches an enemy soldier, but before they can bond over their shared hobby, a helicopter appears and starts shooting at them.
OBJECTIVE: Escape the Helicopter
As soon as you regain control, climb into the nearby train car and run forward under fire. In another brief cutscene, Lara and Jacob are cornered by Trinity forces and opt for the Butch and Sundance gambit. When you hit the water, you receive a new goal. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Survive the Freezing Waters
Swim toward the light. As you press forward on the left stick, hold B/Shift/Circle to swim faster. After you clear the barnacle-encrusted bars, head toward the next light, again holding B/Shift/Circle as you go to swim faster. If you don't hesitate, Lara will make it to the surface before she drowns. (screenshots)
It's not over yet. The helicopter appears behind you and fires a rocket into the frozen lake just ahead. Sprint forward (press in on the left stick or hold Shift on the keyboard while moving forward), jumping to clear the gaps that appear in the ice. When you reach the solid ground ahead, continue forward, then left, scramble up the metal wall and keep running up the broken stairs ahead. Jump to grab the horizontal pole, swing across the gap, and scramble up the wooden wall onto the ledge above. (screenshots)
Keep running forward along the metal ledge. When you reach the end, jump across the next gap onto the angled ledge beyond. Run toward the higher (right) end and jump out into space to grab the zip line. As Lara slides down, another rocket destroys the tower where it is anchored. (screenshots)
As soon as you land, begin sprinting forward again, jumping across the gaps in the shifting ice. The last chunk of ice comes to a point. Run out onto the point and jump at the last moment to catch the next zip line. Again, as you slide, the Trinity gunner fires another rocket at the tower supporting the line. Lara falls into the icy river and the screen fades to black. She awakens back in the Logging Camp area. (screenshots)
On escaping the gulag, you are rewarded with XP and an Expedition Card pack, in this case the Hunter Pack, which you'll find under 'Gifts' in the Marketplace section of the main menu.
REVISITING THE GULAG LATER IN THE GAME
NOTE: The separate Soviet Installation Collectibles Guide includes all items, missions, and challenges, but you may want to wait to look at it until you've completed the level, since it does contain spoilers for later sections of this level.
It's possible to get all the collectibles here on the first pass, but if you missed any, you can return to The Gulag Base Camp via fast travel. Watch out for leftover Trinity soldiers scattered about.
To get to the HILLSIDE AREA WITH SHACKS and the TRAIN TRACKS beyond, head to the north and squeeze through the partially opened gate. The shacks are here. To get to the tracks, continue to the top of the hill, go through a small building then down past the abandoned trackhoe and the little bridge over the icy stream. Next comes the building with the dead Trinity soldiers, and through there are the tracks. When you're finished, return to the base camp the way you came and fast travel away.
To get back to the JAIL CELLS and the PRISON YARD WITH THE COMMAND CENTER, start at The Gulag Base Camp. Go up the hill to the south, wade through the water-filled tunnel. There is now a ladder where the Explorer Satchel was. Use it to climb into the shack above. Then follow the path through the little shacks to the room with the pool and electrical socket (still deactivated). Go through that building and follow the next flooded tunnel to the PRISON YARD. The JAIL CELLS are in the building in the eastern corner of the yard. To get back to the Gulag Base Camp from the PRISON YARD, re-enter the tunnel beyond the blue metal gate. There's a red flare marking the spot. (screenshot) Then backtrack the way you came and fast travel out.
GULAG RECON MISSION: This optional mission is given to you by a Remnant scout, who asks you to track down 3 pieces of enemy intelligence. (See the Logging Camp Second Visit Walkthrough for details.) After you accept his mission, the locations of the 3 items are marked with green circles on your map. (screenshot)
From the WOLF DEN where you receive the mission (cave C6 on the map), cross the bridge, and head downhill to the Logging Camp Base Camp. Use it to fast travel back to The Gulag Base Camp. The items you're looking for are located in two different parts of the prison camp. For the first one, turn around and head up the snowy hill south of the campfire. (screenshot) Make a U-turn to the left, wade through the flooded tunnel, and climb the ladder into the shack above. Pick up some supplies and ammo, and move cautiously to the far end of the room.
There may be several Trinity soldiers outside. The glare makes it hard to see them, but Lara will go into a defensive crouch if she senses enemies nearby. You can use empty cans to make shrapnel grenades or throw cans to create a distraction. Or, just sneak around to the doorway, shoot one of the men with an arrow, and then retreat around the corner (screenshot) and kill the others as they approach. (screenshot)
When the coast is clear, loot the bodies and move outside. Keep an eye out for ammo, magnesite, and other items. Wade through the trenches and pass through the second shack. The enemy troop movement plans (the first of the three quest items) is lying on the floor in the third shack. (screenshot) If you come to the building with the shallow pool and electrical socket, you've gone too far. Go back to the previous shack to find the plans.
The other two mission items are on the other side of the Gulag. Return to the base camp the way you came. Then go through the partially open gate to the north. (screenshot) Again, there may be a few enemies in this area. Whether or not they appear seems to be random. The guard schedule is lying on the floor in the shed at the bend in the path halfway up the hill. (screenshot) Once you have it, continue up the hill, through the shack at the top, and down the hill on the other side. The archaeological evidence is in the building beyond the backhoe and the little wooden bridge. (screenshot) Use Survival Instinct if you're having trouble finding either item.
When you've found all 3 items, a message indicates you've completed the challenge. Return to The Gulag Base Camp the way you came. Fast travel back to the Logging Camp Base Camp, and then return to the WOLF CAVE to report to the Remnant scout. (Continue with the Logging Camp Second Visit Walkthrough.)
†UPDATE HISTORY: 12/23/15 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
1/30/16 - Added PC keyboard controls and made a few minor tweaks.
4/24/16 - Added Quick Collectibles Guides, renumbered a few items in the process, and revised the level maps accordingly.
10/11/16 - Added PS4 controls.
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