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 7A: GEOTHERMAL VALLEY (First Visit)
Camps: Valley Farmstead, Infirmary, Ruins Encampment, Aqueduct Ruins, Aquifer Cavern
Weapons/Gear: Bolt Action Rifle Components (3/4 and 4/4), Heavy Pistol Parts (1/4 and 2/4), Ancient Horn Bow, Ancient Bow Part (3/4 and 4/4), Oil Flask/Fire Arrows, Pump-Action Shotgun, Break-Action Shotgun Piece (1/4)
Relics: 7 (13) Documents: 16 (33) Murals: 4 (4) Coin Caches: 3 (9) Survival Caches: 11 (20) Strongboxes: 5 (8)
Monoliths: 2* (3) Archivist Maps: 5 (9) Explorer Satchels: 4 (5)
Challenge Tombs/Codices: 2 (4)* Crypts: 2 (2) Challenges: 4 (5)* Missions: 4 (4)*
Area Maps: Geothermal Valley - first visit | Entire Geothermal Valley
NOTE: The Geothermal Valley is a HUGE area, which you will visit several times in the course of the game. This walkthrough covers Lara's initial arrival from the ABANDONED MINES until she enters THE ACROPOLIS. Check the level menu for the others. The first number in each of the stat lines above is for this visit alone. The number in parentheses is for the entire Geothermal Valley. 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 found in each spot may vary depending on the order in which you find them.
*There are 3 monoliths in this area but you will not have the language skill to decipher one of them at first. Similarly, there are 4 challenge tombs, but only 2 are accessible at first. The others will be covered in later sections. There are 5 challenges in the valley. You can start four of them now, but you'll only be able to finish three. Similarly, you can start all 4 missions, but one can only be completed later in the game.
OBJECTIVE: Enter the Valley
You first enter this area through a flooded tunnel from the ABANDONED MINES. Proceed along the wide corridor to emerge outdoors. Pick up rifle ammo and arrows in the rubble-strewn courtyard. Then climb the broken stairs and follow the path up and around to a zip line. Slide into the village below for a warm welcome from Sofia.
OBJECTIVE: Investigate the Valley
BASE CAMP AND OPEN-AIR PLAZA: Break open the strongbox (1/8) to get a BOLT ACTION RIFLE COMPONENT (3/4). (screenshot) Then turn right and look up to spot a gold disk with a red center hanging from a broken stone archway. Dig up a survival cache (1/20) buried in the alcove below the disk. Then shoot the bull's-eye (1/8) to initiate the Bull's-Eye Challenge. (screenshot) Now head down the steps to the Valley Farmstead Base Camp. Resting at this camp unlocks a journal entry: The Greater Good from the Camp Journals II series.
NOTE: Now that you have the COMBAT KNIFE, you can return to the SOVIET INSTALLATION and complete the Capture the Flag Challenge. This is covered at the end of the Logging Camp Second Visit Walkthrough. To save backtracking, you could also wait until you've unlocked fire arrows and explosives to make a final pass through that level. I'll include another reminder later.
There's a small cave blocked by a wooden barrier just north of the Valley Farmstead camp. It's not marked on the map, but if you stand at the bottom of the stairs where you entered this area, facing the campfire, then look to the left, you'll spot it. (screenshot) Use your pistol to shoot the barrier to get into the cave, where you'll find some mushrooms and 2 stacks of Byzantine coins.
Back in the plaza near the campfire, you'll find a relic (1/13), a Planter Vase from the Time of Adaptation set, sitting on a table near the people strategizing over a map. (screenshot)
Head down the stairs and around to the right (south). At the bottom of the stairs is another wooden barrier that can be destroyed with any gun. (screenshot) Inside is a container of cloth, an Archivist Map (1/9) showing the locations of several documents scattered throughout the valley. There is also another relic (2/13), a sweet Bear Carving from The Early Inhabitants set, on the other side of the room. (This relic is almost directly below the first, so their icons overlap on the map.) Return upstairs and head into the village.
VALLEY FARMSTEAD HOUSES AND STONE TOWER: There are several villagers nearby whom you can speak with—or eavesdrop on—to gain more information about the Remnant way of life and the people's preparations for war. The first house on the right, where a blacksmith is working, contains a document (1/33), Winter from the Pages of the Ledger series (Greek). (screenshot)
There's another bull's-eye (2/8) hanging in the white birch tree near the blacksmith's cabin (screenshot) and a third bull's-eye (3/8) on the side of the ruined tower just to the east. (screenshot) Shoot them both for the challenge. Then scramble up into the STONE TOWER to find a locked strongbox (2/8) containing a HEAVY PISTOL PART (1/4) and a document (2/33), Fire on the Horizon, part of the Voices of Invasion series (Greek). (screenshot)
There's a ladder leading to the middle level of the STONE TOWER, but it's out of reach. If you want to climb the tower now in order to cut down the suspended pallet with the box of supplies, follow the instructions on this page with screenshots. Or, return later when you've unlocked explosives and use the alternate method described in the section on REVISITING THIS AREA LATER IN THE GAME, below.
While you're in this area, you can unlock a quick Achievement: For My Next Trick... Hop up onto the tree stump near the blacksmith's forge and then dive into the nearby well. To swan dive, simultaneously press Forward and Jump, then just after takeoff press LT/Right Mouse/L2 to go into a dive. If you do it correctly, Lara will dive head-first into the well, rather than jumping in feet first, and the achievement should unlock. If you're playing with keyboard and mouse, and Lara won't dive when you use the Right Mouse button, try jumping forward and pressing Dodge instead. To get out of the well, use your climbing axes to scale the rough wall. (screenshots)
NOTE: This achievement is only available on Xbox One and Steam, not Xbox 360, and there is no corresponding PS4 trophy.
The next document (3/33), Spring, also from the Pages of the Ledger series (Greek), is in the house just northwest of the ruined tower, near the stone well. (screenshot)
North of the stone tower, 2 men are working on a wooden ledge overlooking the valley. Sitting on the floor between them is another document (4/33), The Mourning from The Days After series (Greek). (screenshot)
NOTE: On the annotated level map, document #7 looks like it's near the well in the middle of the village, but it's actually deep underground in a cave which you'll access later from the valley floor.
A little farther north is a wooden platform with a guard tower that also overlooks the valley. If you talk to the Remnant builder, the bearded man overseeing the work here, he'll offer you a Mission: Defensive Strategy. (screenshot) This mission actually has two parts. First, gather 4 pieces of hardwood and 4 deer hides in order to help with the repairs. You may already have these. If not, there's plenty of wood and deer in the valley below, which we will explore shortly. When you return to the builder, he'll ask you to put some of the supplies in the basket behind him and then take the rest down to a second tower near the lakeshore. Its location is then marked on your map with a green circle. The second phase of this mission is covered below.
Before heading off, shoot another bull's-eye (4/8) hanging from the guard tower and use your knife to cut down the snared rabbit (1/6) attached to the tower by a rope. (screenshot) This initiates another Challenge: Hung Out To Dry. If you locate the rabbit after you cut it down you can loot its body and retrieve an arrow or occasionally a bit of hide. We'll find five more rabbits throughout the valley and cut them down as we explore.
While in the village, you can also undertake the Fowl Play Challenge. This one is fun and not nearly so icky. Run up to any of the numerous chickens and press Interact to grab it. A pop-up will announce you've discovered the challenge. The goal is to catch chickens and throw them into the chicken pen, the location of which is now marked on your map with a star. Carry the chicken there and toss it into the pen. Do this four more times to complete the challenge and earn XP and 2,000 Expedition Credits. (screenshot)
NOTE: If you run out of chickens by "accidentally" killing them, more should respawn from the corner near the stairs below the Valley Farmstead Base Camp. (screenshot)
There's also a monolith (1/3) inscribed in Greek, on the top tier of the pumpkin patch on the west side of the village. (screenshot) Examine it to reveal the locations of 3 of this level's coin caches on your map. The nearest coin cache (1/9) is just east of the monolith, behind the nearest house. (screenshot) The others will have to wait a bit.
NOTE ON BYZANTINE COINS AND THE SUPPLY SHACK: I highly recommend saving your coins and purchasing the GRENADE LAUNCHER attachment for the rifle. It will be especially helpful in one particular fight in the later part of this level. The launcher cost 120 coins at the SUPPLY SHACK. To get back there, go to any base camp, select Fast Travel, and then choose the Communications Tower Base Camp in the Soviet Installation on your map. (screenshot) After making your purchases, use the Communications Tower camp to fast travel back to where you left off. Later you'll unlock the Grenadier skill, which will allow you to craft ammo for the grenade launcher.
CHALLENGE TOMB ENTRANCE - HOUSE OF THE AFFLICTED: To reach the first challenge tomb in the Geothermal Valley, start at the broken wooden walkway that crosses the stream just north of the village. Details are in this separate HOUSE OF THE AFFLICTED CHALLENGE TOMB WALKTHROUGH, which includes the Infirmary Base Camp, 2 relics (3/13 and 4/13), 2 documents (5/33 and 6/33), 2 Explorer Satchels (1/5 and 2/5), an Archivist Map (2/9), 3 survival caches (2-4/20), 2 bull's-eyes (5/8 and 6/8) for the challenge, and a codex which unlocks the Fast Healer skill.
NOTE: If you'd rather skip the challenge tomb for now, you can instead descend into the valley via the stairs and ladder to the left of the Remnant builder's platform, at the northeast corner of the village.
EXPLORING THE LOWER VALLEY - MUD FLATS BELOW THE GUARD TOWER: When you slide down to the valley floor either before or after raiding the House of the Afflicted Challenge Tomb, Jacob contacts Lara by walkie talkie. He apologizes for Sofia's hostility and suggests that Lara pitch in with the battle preparations in order to earn his people's trust. While he's talking, look for another snared rabbit (2/6) strung up just ahead and cut it down for the challenge. (screenshot)
There's a BEAR'S DEN just west of here. (screenshot) It is not noted as a cave on the map, but there is a bear icon. If you like, you can go inside and take on the bear. This guy is quite a bit tougher, but so are you now. Use the same basic tactics you did in the SIBERIAN WILDERNESS: a poison arrow, a few bullets or rapid-fire regular arrows, another poison arrow, repeat until done. In addition to bear hide, which is useful for crafting specialized gear, there are mushrooms and magnesite in the cave.
NOTE: I'm not sure why but the bear's den is not marked with a cave icon on the map. There is a bear icon, but it's a little ways south of the actual den.
In the muddy clearing just south of the bear cave is a wooden building on top of a stone outcropping. (screenshot) There's a strongbox (3/8) containing a BOLT ACTION RIFLE COMPONENT (4/4) on the wooden deck of the structure (screenshot), some arrows on the upper level, and a snared rabbit (3/6) for the challenge hanging near the southwest corner. (screenshot)
Two of the survival caches (5/20 and 6/20) that were revealed when you found the first Explorer Satchel are buried nearby. (screenshot) Use your map if you need help locating them.
A bit farther west along the same cliff wall as the BEAR'S DEN is another CAVE (C1 on the map) with a climbable wall to the right of it. (screenshot) Climb the wall to find a survival cache (7/20) buried at the top. (You could also drop down onto this ledge from the village above.) The cave has no hostile wildlife living inside, but you will find some mushrooms, salvage, and a document (7/33), On the Smallest Prey from the Ways of the Valley series (Greek). (screenshot)
If you deciphered monolith #1 in the village pumpkin patch, there's a coin cache (2/9) buried just beyond the large boulders directly ahead as you exit the cave. Start by climbing the tree near these boulders. Jump onto the wooden platform beyond to get some rifle ammo. (screenshot) Then drop down and dig up the coin cache. A few steps to the southeast of the cache is a wooden tree house. Climb the nearby tree or jump from the large rock to the right of the tree house to get inside. (screenshot) Crack open a salvage crate and read another document (8/33) from the Ways of the Valley series called On Local Birds (Greek). (screenshot)
LAKESIDE CABIN WITH REMNANT HUNTER: Continue south-southwest until you come to a cabin with a Remnant hunter standing outside. She offers you a Mission: Surveillance Disruption. The goal is to locate and shoot down 4 Trinity drones. When you accept, the current location of each drone is marked in green on your map and in Survival Instinct. (screenshots)
NOTE ON MULTIPLE ACTIVE MISSIONS: If you accept this mission while also working on the Defensive Strategy mission, you will no longer be able to see the waypoint for the first mission, but you can still keep working on it. While on the map screen, click the button for "Missions and Challenges" on the PC or press Y on the Xbox controller. This shows a description of your current mission, but you can also scroll down and change the active mission in order to see the waypoints for it. (Thanks to Lifeonerth for this info.)
Before going drone hunting, I recommend taking out the truly dangerous prey in this area: a lynx. This big cat doesn't just hide in its lair; it aggressively defends its territory, which is marked with a big cat icon on the map. It can generally be found sitting on a platform in a tree just west of the hunter's cabin. The lynx is tough, but don't be afraid. Approach cautiously. If you have the Animal Instincts skill, it will glow in Survival Instinct so you can spot it before it spots Lara. While it's still sitting on its perch, hit it with a poison arrow or two. It immediately leaps down and charges. Switch to the shotgun if you have it, or to the rifle or pistol. Then fire and don't stop firing as it charges out of the bushes. Afterward, be sure to skin it for exotic hides, which will be very useful for crafting. (screenshots)
Now go after the drones. Use the map to pick one and move to its general location. Then use Survival Instinct to spot it moving among the trees. Try to track it to a clear spot so you can get a better shot at it. Aim a little ahead of the drone and hold RT/Left Mouse/R2 to charge your bow shot as the drone flies into your sights. Then as soon as the reticle turns red, release the Fire button to shoot. Repeat this process until you've destroyed all four drones. Report to the Remnant hunter at her cabin and she'll give you an ANCIENT HORN BOW (plus XP and 3,000 Expedition Credits). (screenshots)
There's also an Archivist Map (3/9) inside the hunter's cabin (screenshot) and a document (9/33), A New Day from the Diary of the Resistance series (Greek), in the little shed just down the hill to the north. (screenshot)
MORE pickupS IN THE WESTERN END OF THE VALLEY: Just south of the hunter's cabin, there's a jar of cloth sitting on a wooden platform up in a tree. To reach it, stand on the ledge behind the cabin and shoot a rope arrow into the movable platform to drag it toward you. Jump onto it, wait for it to swing back to its original position, and then jump onto the platform with the jar. (screenshot)
At this point, you're very close to the second guard tower on the lake shore. So continue with the Defensive Strategy Mission. Place the wood and hides you collected earlier into the basket at the base of the tower to complete the second phase of that mission. (screenshot) But before returning to the village for your reward, we have a little more business here.
Dig up another survival cache (8/20) to the northwest, about halfway between the guard tower and the elevated shack with the ladder. (screenshot) Climb the ladder into the shack to find some arrows and another snared rabbit (4/6) for the challenge. (screenshot) Drop down and dig up another coin cache (3/9) near the base of the cliff wall between this shack and the lynx's cave. (screenshot) The cave entrance is blocked by brambles so you can't go inside.
REVISTITING THE REMNANT HUNTER: On your way back to the village, stop by the hunter's cabin again and she should have a second Mission: A Hearty Meal for you. The goal is to kill 2 razorback boars and bring back their meat, along with 4 mushrooms. Several boars can be found just east of the hunter's cabin. (In my game, the green marker was in the wrong place on the map, but there is a boar icon where the razorbacks live.) Head downhill, jump across the stream onto the rocks on the other side. Track down the boars, just ahead, and shoot them. Loot them for the meat to complete the quest, plus hides and boar fat, another crafting item. (If you kill more than 2 boars, you can still get the other resources from them, though no more than 2 meat.) If you don't already have the mushrooms, you can find some in the BOARS' CAVE on the east side of the clearing. (It's marked C2 on the map.) There is also a survival cache (9/20) buried off to the right of the cave entrance. The ramshackle shed on the left contains a box of supplies behind a rope-wrapped panel. (screenshots)
NOTE: While exploring the boar cave, you may see a notification about a nearby Challenge Tomb. This seems to be a glitch, since the nearest tomb is some distance away.
When you have everything, return to the hunter's cabin for your rewards: The Huntress Outfit, more XP, and another 3,000 Expedition Credits. That's it for the hunter. After this encounter, she wanders off to prepare her nasty death-cap jerky.
RETURN TO THE FARMSTEAD: Now complete the Defensive Strategy Mission. Return to the north side of the valley, where you zipped down from the Challenge Tomb earlier. Climb the ladder and stairs to get back to the first guard tower and the Remnant builder. (screenshot) When you tell him you've placed the wood and hides in the basket by the guard tower on the lake, he'll reward you with the Battle Worn Outfit (plus XP and 3,000 Expedition Credits).
NOTE: After completing the Defensive Strategy mission, the two guard towers will be fitted with ladders so you can climb into them. The tower near the lakeshore is part of the High-Dive Challenge, covered below. The guard tower near the Remnant builder has a rope-wrapped post that will allow you to run a line into the tall, stone tower to the south. You can climb over there now, but if you wait until you have explosives, you can access more of the tower. Again, see the section below on revisiting this area for details.
If you like, after completing the missions, you can return to the Valley Farmstead Base Camp at the southwest end of the village to change clothes and make upgrades. If you missed the first survival cache (1/20) near the strongbox at the top of the stairs, dig it up now. (screenshot)
AREA NORTHWEST OF THE VILLAGE: If you prefer, you can wait to explore this area until later in the game when more of it is accessible. However, there are a few things you can do now, including raiding a crypt and completing the bull's-eye challenge. The crypt entrance should have been added to your map when you found Explorer Satchel #1 on the path leading to the first challenge tomb. To find the crypt, start by following the path out of the village to the northwest, just beyond the pumpkin patch and monolith. (screenshot)
A short distance away, on the left, is a small canopy sheltering a document (10/33), On Deer and Stags from the Ways of the Valley series (Greek). There's also a snared rabbit (5/6) strung up beside it. (screenshot) Cut it down for the challenge. Then continue northwest. Ignore the path leading up the hill for now and continue toward the waterfall and the tall, square pillar. Climb the tree to the left of the pillar and jump across to find another document (11/33), On Boars from the Ways of the Valley series (Greek) sitting on top of the pillar. (screenshot) Go around behind the pillar to find a mural (1/4), also in Greek. It is The Long Exodus, one of the Byzantine Inscriptions. (screenshot)
NOTE: Between the mural and the waterfall there's a movable platform with a rope wrapped around it. Later when you unlock the WIRE SPOOL/GRAPPLE AXE, you'll be able to use this platform to reach the high stone ledge with the container.
THE ARCHITECT'S CRYPT: To get to the crypt entrance, head up the steep path to the northwest. When you come to a wooden bridge near a small waterfall, get some cloth from the container on the right. Then cross the bridge and climb onto the low ledge ahead. Just before the barricade of pointed logs, move into the sunny clearing on the right. Here you'll find a survival cache (10/20) buried near the rock wall. (The next Explorer Satchel will reveal it on your map, but you can dig it up now.) There's also another bull's-eye (7/8) hanging from a dead tree. Shoot it down for the challenge. (screenshots)
Move to the edge and drop down onto the rock ledge below. From there, carefully drop down onto the next ledge then the next. Turn left and take a running jump to grab the next ledge between this one and the waterfall. Here you'll find an Explorer Satchel (3/5) that adds 4 new survival caches to your map. If you followed this walkthrough, you just found one of them on the ledge above. You won't be able to reach the others until later in the game. Now jump and grab the ledge behind the waterfall and pull up. Get more cloth and 2 gold coins from a container and follow the tunnel to the crypt entrance. (screenshots)
Use your axe to break down the crumbling wall. On the other side, drop into a subterranean pool, pick some mushrooms growing on the ledge on the left, and then swim through a short tunnel into the next part of the cave. Follow the tunnel to the next drop-off. Before climbing down, look to the left for a document (12/33). It is titled Rivkah, the Architect and belongs to the Crypts of the Founders series (Greek). Ignore the cavern off to the left for now. Drop down on the right and continue northeast to find a mural (2/4), also in Greek. It is Rivkah, The Architect, from the Crypt Murals series. (screenshots)
Continue around the next bend. Then use the zip line to slide across the cavern into the elevated tunnel that leads to the crypt. Open the sarcophagus to get an ANCIENT BOW PART (3/4), plus XP and 3,000 Expedition Credits. (screenshots)
Follow the tunnel back the way you came. Drop into the cave below the zip line. If you don't need mushrooms or magnesite, just climb the ledges to the top of the zip line and continue back to the crypt entrance the way you came. If you do need those resources, instead enter the flooded cave on the right side of the cave with the zip line. Swim across the pool and climb the ledges and the rock wall above them to the ledge at the top left. This is where you found the document earlier. There are mushrooms and several magnesite deposits in the cave ahead on the right. Go ahead and get them if you need them. Then return here.
Follow the tunnel to the left (southeast). Just ahead, swim back through the same underwater tunnel you came through earlier. Climb out of the water on the small ledge on the right and jump to the climbable wall. Climb to the top and exit the crypt to emerge on the ledge behind the waterfall. Dive into the pool below the falls and swim to the ledge ahead on the left. (screenshot)
Here on the north side of the stream there's a barren clearing and another BEAR'S DEN with a big, tough bear inside. You can fight it now if you want, but the CHALLENGE TOMB ENTRANCE at the back of its cave is not accessible until you unlock the REBREATHER, so it is covered later. Unless you need the hide for a special project, I would wait. Look up in the trees to the right of the cave entrance to spot a bull's-eye (8/8). (screenshot) Shoot it down to complete the Bull's-Eye Challenge for bonus XP and 2,000 Expedition Credits.
NOTES: There is a document on a rock ledge near the last bull's-eye that you can't reach until you unlock CLIMBING ARROWS. (screenshot) It is covered later in the walkthrough along with the remaining items in the northwest corner of the valley.
RETURNING TO THE LOWER VALLEY AND CROSSING THE RIVER TO THE RUINS ENCAMPMENT: Now return across the stream to the village and use the zip line near the Remnant builder's platform to slide down into the valley. Follow the Survival Instinct beacon toward the bridge leading to the lower village. Before you reach the bridge itself, you'll come to a wooden platform up in a tree. To reach it, climb onto the wooden ledge nearby and shoot a rope arrow into the movable platform to drag it toward you. Jump onto it, wait for it to swing back to its original position, and then jump onto the platform to find some salvage and a nest with feathers. (screenshot)
Drop down and continue to the bridge. Before crossing, cut down the last snared rabbit (6/6), which is strung up on the left side of the bridge. (screenshot) This should complete the Hung Out to Dry Challenge. Again, you'll get XP and 2,000 Expedition Credits. Cross the bridge and join the group of villagers listening to Sofia's inspirational message.
There is another CHALLENGE TOMB ENTRANCE just north of here, but it requires the WIRE SPOOL, which you don't yet have. So for now, head to the south to find the Ruins Encampment Base Camp. There are various minor pickups nearby (arrows, ammo, salvage) and and a box of supplies on the left between the remnant group and the campsite. (screenshot) As you approach the campfire, Jacob contacts Lara over the radio with a mission update. When you rest at the camp, you unlock a document called The Weight from the Camp Journals II series.
OBJECTIVE: Light the Signal Fire on the Spire
AREA NORTHEAST OF THE RUINS ENCAMPMENT: The mission seems urgent, but there's actually no hurry. It's fine to take some time to explore before lighting the beacon. If you like, you can go after a quick achievement. Grab a bottle from the box near the campfire. Then move through the gap in the wooden fence to the north and drop down into the grassy area below. The clearing where you killed the boars for the Hearty Meal Mission is just ahead on the left. Craft a molotov and throw it at one of the boars. If you manage to kill it, you'll unlock the Bacon! Achievement. Simple and tasty—if not very humane. If there are no boars around, just try again the next time you find yourself in this area. They will eventually respawn. (screenshots)
Now head up the hill behind the Ruins Encampment Base Camp. Follow the stairs on the left (screenshot) then about halfway up, look to the right, and you'll find a survival cache (11/20) buried in the mud. (You can use your map to pinpoint the location if you found the first Explorer Satchel earlier). (screenshot)
CLIMBING THE SPIRE TO LIGHT THE SIGNAL FIRE: You've no doubt noticed the spire with the unlit signal fire as you roamed around the valley. To get there, activate Survival Instinct and head south toward the Objective Beacon. When you reach the cliff's edge, the spire should be directly ahead. Use a rope arrow to make a zip line. Then slide down across the water. Climb up and around behind the tower until you reach a small room about halfway up the tower. Here you'll find the OIL FLASK which allows you to make FIRE ARROWS. (screenshots)
Once you have the OIL FLASK, step out onto the narrow beam and continue climbing up and around the tower until you reach the dangling platform at the top. Equip the bow and press D-Pad Up or press 1 on the keyboard repeatedly to swap between poison and fire arrows. (You'll see the fire icon at the top right instead of the skull and crossbones.) Aim at the pile of wood and rags on top of the tower by holding LT/Right Mouse/L2. Then press and hold RB/Middle Mouse/R1 to charge up a shot with a fire arrow. Release the RB/Middle Mouse to shoot a fire arrow and light the beacon. GONDOR CALLS FOR AID! ;) (screenshots)
During the cutscene, Jacob thanks Lara for her efforts over the walkie-talkie. As she drops into an interior room of the tower, you receive a new goal. Hold RB/Middle Mouse/R1 without aiming to make more fire arrows. Then use the oil can and box of cloth to replenish your supplies. (screenshot)
Objective: Rejoin Jacob at the Upper Village
AFTER LIGHTING THE BEACON: Use a rope arrow to make a zip line across the water and slide back down to the ruins. (screenshot) Inside the building at the bottom of the zip line there's a strongbox (4/8) containing a HEAVY PISTOL PART (2/4). (screenshot)
Enter the next building to the northwest, where you'll meet a Remnant herbalist with a job for you. (screenshot) Her Mission: Ancient Secrets involves exploring all the Challenge Tombs in the game, which you plan to do anyway, right? So be sure to accept this one. You will immediately receive an XP award and 10 Byzantine coins for every tomb you've already completed.
IMPORTANT: As you've probably just come into some money, this is a good time for a friendly reminder about buying the GRENADE LAUNCHER attachment for the rifle. For details, see the longer note above.
On the wall opposite the woman's worktable there's a mural (3/4), The Rebirth from the Byzantine Inscriptions series (Greek). (screenshot) After examining it, step outside and head for the next ruined building on the left (north). There's a monolith (3/3) at the base of this building (screenshot), but you need level 7 Greek to read it, which you won't have at this point. As long as you pass close to it, it will be noted on your map.
Go around behind the building. Ignore the path to the northeast for now. (screenshot) Instead turn around and enter the building to find a relic (5/13), an Iron Coin Tool from the Time of Adaptation set, and some arrows. (screenshot)
NOTE: You can also unlock the Quiet Times achievement now if you like. Starting in the room where you find the relic, jump off the wooden ramp, and use the tree branch to swing over to the next building. This is the upper level of the Remnant herbalist's tower. You can see her working below. Hang from the inside edge, climb to the right, and pull up next to a folding chair. Sit here to admire the view and unlock the achievement. (screenshots)
THE PHYSICIAN'S CRYPT: Now head southeast, past the ruined building with strongbox #4. The entrance to the second Geothermal Valley crypt is at the southeast end of this area. (It will be marked on your map if you found the first Explorer Satchel.) Follow the dark tunnel, gathering mushrooms, magnesite, and a stack of Byzantine coins along the way. Use your axe to break down the crumbling wall. Continue to a steep drop-off. Climb down to the ledge below. Mine some magnesite in the alcove to the left and then slide down the zip line. There's more magnesite in the wall on the right and a mural (4/4) a little farther along on the left. It is Aurora, The Physician from the Crypt Murals series (Greek). Just beyond the mural, also on the left side of the tunnel, is a document (13/33), Aurora, The Physician from the Crypts of the Founders series (Greek), plus more magnesite. Use Survival Instinct if you're having trouble spotting them in the dark. (screenshots)
Proceed to the next drop-off and climb down into the cavern. There's another alcove with magnesite off to the right and mushrooms growing on the left, near the flooded tunnel that leads to the crypt. Swim through, climb out of the water, and open the sarcophagus to find an ANCIENT BOW PART (4/4). If you've explored the other crypt in the Geothermal Valley and the two in the Soviet Installation, you'll be able to build the bow called GRIM WHISPER next time you stop at a base camp. You also receive 3,000 Expedition Credits. Return to the surface the way you came. (screenshots)
After leaving the crypt, you can return to the Ruins Encampment Base Camp to change weapons and make upgrades if you like. At this point, you can also unlock the Rotisserie Achievement/Trophy. The goal is to shoot a chicken out of the air with a fire arrow, but thanks to a minor glitch, it's much easier than it sounds. Equip the bow and select fire arrows. Then grab one of the chickens that tend to flock around this campsite. Drop the chicken (C/Circle/B) and while it's flapping around, quickly shoot it with a fire arrow. The achievement/trophy should unlock. (Thanks to Tomb Raider Discord for this helpful tip!)
You may also want to take a few minutes to start the High Dive Challenge, but you won't be able to complete it until later in the game. For details see, the section below on Revisiting This Area.
When you're ready to move on, return to the Ruins Encampment Base Camp and prepare to meet Jacob and fight off some Trinity soldiers.
IMPORTANT: If you do not yet have the GRENADE LAUNCHER attachment for the rifle, I highly recommend returning to the SUPPLY SHACK to buy it before moving on. It will be very useful in one of the upcoming fights. If you don't have enough coins, try checking the maps for each level to see if you've left any coin caches behind. There are coins in most crypts and scattered here and there in containers and small piles. You'll also receive 10 gold from the Remnant herbalist for each Challenge Tomb you explore. See the Ancient Secrets Mission (above). To get back to the SUPPLY SHACK, use any base camp to fast travel to the Communications Tower in the Soviet Installation. (screenshot) Make your purchase. Then fast travel back to the Ruins Encampment Base Camp. Also consider taking the Grenadier Survivor Skill next time you earn a skill point. This will allow you to craft grenades from magnesite and oil instead of just finding them. If you're playing the PC game, you can download my save file for this section with the Grenade Launcher already purchased.
ENTERING THE UPPER VILLAGE: After making upgrades and equipping the weapons you want (other than the Assault Rifle or SMGs with Grenade Launcher, I have no particular preferences here), head up the hill past the Remnant herbalist's tower, turn left, and follow the path to the north of the monolith. (screenshot) Go through a ruined shack, where you can pick up some arrows. Then slog through a swampy area to the village. (screenshot) If you get disoriented, just activate Survival Instinct and follow the Objective Beacon.
A cutscene shows Jacob and two other Remnant prisoners being interrogated at gunpoint by a Trinity soldier. Lara is ready to jump into the fray, but Jacob signals her to wait. The soldier kills one of the captives then turns his gun on Jacob. Perhaps fearing for his leader's life, the third man starts telling the soldier about the Atlas. As the soldier's attention shifts to the man who seems to have answers, Lara and Jacob exchange glances. Jacob distracts the soldier, shoots him with his own gun, and then tosses the PUMP-ACTION SHOTGUN to Lara.
Objective: Help Defend the Village Against Attack
WOODEN CABINS WITH TRINITY SOLDIERS: The new weapon is automatically equipped. Use it to kill 3 Trinity soldiers who emerge from the building ahead. Loot the bodies and grab some herbs from the basket on the porch before entering the building. The next several enemies only appear as you advance, so if you need time to heal, just stay in an area you've already cleared and wait a few moments. As long as you're playing on the easy or medium difficulty setting, Lara's health will regenerate automatically so you won't need to spend resources on bandages. (screenshots)
When you step inside, another soldier rushes in through the door on the right. Shoot him as well. Top up your oil flask using the yellow oil can to the left of the door. There's also a salvage crate nearby and shotgun ammo by the exit. Take up a position on either side of the doorway so you can kill the next enemy as he blasts his way through the door directly opposite. You can then pick up hardwood and more shotgun ammo just outside that door before going in. (screenshots)
As you enter the next building, machine gunfire from outside blasts through the wall and door. Take cover at the end of the wooden table. It doesn't offer a lot of protection, but you have a good view of the door from here. Shoot each of the next 5 soldiers as they approach. Do not use any grenades yet unless you have the Grenadier skill and supplies to craft more, since you'll need them in a little while. You may want to switch to the rifle or pistol while the enemies are still fairly far from you. Then switch back to the shotgun to finish them off. It should only take one well-aimed blast at close range to kill an un-armored enemy. (screenshots)
When you've taken care of this group, stay inside the shack for a few moments to heal and collect supplies. There's a container of herbs, hardwood, salvage, and more shotgun shells, and you can backtrack to the first shack to pick up anything you missed earlier. You can also search the bodies of any enemies who fell inside, but once you cross the threshold, there's no going back.
FLAMETHROWER BOSS: When you're ready, move outside. A cutscene introduces a scary-looking guy in a protective suit with a flamethrower. This mini-boss is super easy to defeat if you have the GRENADE LAUNCHER attachment for the rifle, which I've been encouraging you to buy from the SUPPLY SHACK. Just switch from the shotgun to the rifle, aim at the flamethrower guy as he approaches (aim low, toward his legs or lower body, so that if the grenade bounces, it will most likely land in front of him and still do some damage) and then press RB/Middle Mouse to launch a grenade or two before he gets close enough to light you up. After one or two successful hits the fuel tanks on his back explode, and a cutscene ensues. That's it for the big, bad fire boss. (screenshots)
- OR -
If you don't have the grenade launcher, you can still defeat him with other weapons. It's just more challenging. Don't bother with poison or fire arrows. His suit protects him from flames and toxic gas. The shotgun is your best bet, but you can use these same tactics with the rifle or pistol. It'll just take longer. You start the fight crouched behind a wooden crate with a cloth drape. This cover will not last for long, though, since the flamethrower can quickly burn through it. Squeeze off a few shots as the boss approaches. Then, when he starts to sweep the flamethrower in your direction press B/C/Circle to dodge out of the way and start running around the edge of the clearing to stay clear of the flames. (screenshots)
Try to get behind him or, failing that, try to find some temporary cover and shoot him at a slight angle rather than head-on. If you hit him off center, or dodge when he's close to you, it will spin him around so you can target the tanks on his back. That's his weak point. Try to shoot the tanks few times in quick succession before he can regain his balance. When he starts to flame again, dodge out of the way like you did before. Then run around the edge of the clearing, using bandages (LB/V/L1) if necessary, and staying ahead of the flames. (screenshots)
Once you've healed and he pauses between bursts of fire, try to spin him around again, either by dodging his attack or by hitting him slightly off-center with a shotgun blast. Continue to target the tanks. After a few successful hits, you'll see gas starting to leak out through the holes you made. Another blast should then ignite the gas. When you see flames starting to shoot out of the tanks, you'll know you've succeeded. A moment later the tanks explode, engulfing the boss in flames. And that, my darlings, is what happens when you mess with Lara Croft. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you start the fight with maximum shotgun ammo and fight strategically, you shouldn't run out. But if you do, you can either switch to the pistol or rifle or try looting bodies of the guys you killed earlier. This will leave Lara vulnerable to attack, however, so it may make more sense to just reload the checkpoint and try again. If you're really struggling and happen to be playing the PC game, you can also download a save file to get past this section.
When you defeat the flamethrower guy, the rest of the Trinity forces retreat, at least for now. After the next cutscene—in which Konstantin learns of his men's defeat and seeks divine guidance—Lara meets up with Jacob once more as he tends to his injured followers. She agrees to go and warn the people living in the tower ruins and help them prepare for the next attack.
Objective: Follow the Path up to the Tower
UPPER VILLAGE AFTER THE BATTLE: Take a few minutes to search the area for ammo, salvage, and other supplies. You can also go back through the cabins to the west, where you fought the Trinity soldiers earlier, to pick up items you didn't have room for then.
There are a few parts of the village you can't reach yet due to spiked log barriers, fire, and other obstacles. You'll return here later. For now, search the cabins here for collectibles. There's an Archivist Map (4/9), salvage, and shotgun ammo in the building on the left (east) side of the clearing. (screenshot) Examining this map marks the locations of a number of documents on your in-game map.
Inside the cabin being used as a makeshift hospital, you'll find a document (14/33), The Abandoned City from The Days After series (Greek), more ammo, and herbs. Outside the back door of the hospital cabin is a strongbox (5/8) containing a BREAK-ACTION SHOTGUN PIECE (1/4). (screenshot)
BROKEN BRIDGE AND PATH TO THE ACROPOLIS: Just beyond the strongbox, to the south, is a broken, stone bridge with a bird's nest. Drop down off the end of the bridge and climb up on the far right to find the Aqueduct Ruins Base Camp. (screenshot) If you rest at the fire, Lara will make an entry in the Camp Journals II series called The Dig. This one is especially juicy. ;)
In the ruins near the campfire there's a monolith (2/3) and an Explorer Satchel (4/5). (screenshot) The monolith, inscribed in Greek, reveals 3 coin caches on your map. The satchel provides the locations of several survival caches and a strongbox (or two if you missed the last one). These pickups are all far from here, so we'll go after them later. There's also a salvage crate and feathers near the campfire, a box of cloth in the alcove with the satchel, a hardwood sapling and an herb bush nearby, and more cloth under the bridge.
CHALLENGE TOMB ENTRANCE: The tunnel that leads to THE ACROPOLIS is at the south end of the broken bridge. (screenshot) But first, let's raid a Challenge Tomb. Move down between the broken bridge sections. Then walk up the fallen tree and jump into the cave opening on the northeast side of the clearing. (screenshot)
The CATACOMB OF SACRED WATERS CHALLENGE TOMB WALKTHROUGH is on a separate page. This tomb includes the Aquifer Cavern Base Camp, 2 relics (6/13 and 7/13), 2 documents (15/33 and 16/33), an Archivist Map (5/9), and the codex for the Anatomical Knowledge skill.
When you're ready to move on, start from the Aqueduct Ruins Base Camp and move to the south end of the broken bridge. Jump off the end and latch onto the climbable wall. (Remember to hold the Jump button to jump farther before latching on.) Then climb the stairs to enter THE ACROPOLIS. (screenshot)
REVISITING THE WEST SIDE OF THE VALLEY LATER IN THE GAME
If you find every possible pickup in the Geothermal Valley the first time through, you'll still be far short of 100% completion. There are several areas you simply can't reach yet. These will be covered in later sections of the walkthrough.
HIGH DIVE CHALLENGE: This challenge can be started on your first visit to the valley but can only be completed later in the game, after you return from the FLOODED ARCHIVES level. The goal is to locate 4 red diving boards and swan dive off each one into the water below. These are marked with aqua-colored dots on the annotated level map.
One of these is on the spire where you lit the signal fire. To get back there, follow the path up the hill from the Ruins Encampment Base Camp and turn right (south). From the ledge with the zip line where you first crossed over to the spire, you can see a flammable barrier in the archway at the front of the spire. That's where we're headed. Zip down to the base of the spire and make your way up and around the back of it, just like you did earlier. When you come to the first ledge on the north side of the spire, look down and you'll see your zip line and a red, wooden ledge. Drop down here. Use a fire arrow to burn down the barrier. Get the pistol and rifle ammo inside. Then step out onto the red diving board. To do a swan dive, stand at the edge and simultaneously press Forward and Jump, then just after takeoff press LT/Right Mouse/L2 to go into a dive. This initiates the High-Dive Challenge. Swim to the northwest, climb out on the stone ledge at water level, and use the tree to climb onto the ledge above. (screenshots)
You can complete two more high dives now if you like. (See here for details.) The fourth cannot be accomplished until later in the game, when you are able access the northwest corner of the level. To save backtracking, you could also wait and do the dives later. I will include reminders as we go along.
NOTE: If you're having trouble with the swan dive, it may help to point the camera downward as you dive and/or to press Dodge (C) instead of the Right Mouse button if you're playing with keyboard and mouse. Both worked for me, but you may have better luck with one or the other.
AFTER UNLOCKING EXPLOSIVES: You may do this during your first visit if you buy the Grenade Launcher from the SUPPLY SHACK or later after unlocking grenade arrows. Return to the guard tower at the north end of the village on the cliff, where you met the Remnant builder and completed the Defensive Strategy Mission (above). Climb the ladder into the guard tower. Shoot a rope arrow across to the stone tower and use the rope line to climb over to the tower. Grab some cloth from a jar here. Then use explosives to blow up the metal impact barrier blocking the window, and then climb out onto the beam protruding from the side of the tower. Jump from the beam to the climbable wall, latch on, and climb to the top to find another jar of cloth. If you then look over the front (west) side of the tower, you'll notice a suspended pallet with a box of supplies on it. Cut the rope inside the tower to drop the pallet onto the ground. Then shoot another rope arrow into the post on top of the blacksmith's cabin, just to the south. Slide down and go find the box you just dropped. (screenshots)
BUG NOTE: If you have not yet completed the Bull's-Eye Challenge, DO NOT USE GRENADE ARROWS to destroy any remaining bull's-eyes. This can result in a bug in which the target is destroyed but not counted toward the challenge.
HUNTING AND CRAFTING: There are many deer, rabbits, and birds in this area. Even if you do a lot of hunting during your first visit, you should still find prey and other resources on repeat visits. The razorback boars you killed for the Hearty Meal Mission respawn after a while, as do the lynx and bears. I'm not sure how long this takes, but if you do return make sure you come prepared. This can be a plus if you are looking for boar fat, exotic hides (lynx), or bear skins to use for crafting.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 1/9/16 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
1/11/16 - Added document #11, near the first mural. I had initially thought to save this until unlocking the wire spool, since this will enable you to get the pickup on the ledge to the north, but decided to include it in the first visit for the sake of completion. Renumbered the subsequent documents accordingly.
1/18/16 - Added info on switching the active mission above, thanks to a tip from Lifeonerth.
2/16/16 - Added screenshots for the Quiet Times "Best Seat in the House" Achievement. Little by little. ;)
3/23/16 - Added a few notes on the controls for the swan dive, thanks to a tip from Russell.
3/28/16 - (Hopefully) clarified the instructions for making and using fire arrows.
6/5/16 - Combined what was originally two sections into one larger document: Geothermal Valley First Visit. Added challenges to the level map. Rearranged a few sections while playing through the PC version, including the order of the first few documents and survival caches. Added screenshots for climbing the stone tower in the village on the cliffside. Moved the Achievement 'For My Next Trick' into this section. It was originally in the second-visit walkthrough. Shifted the High-Dive Challenge to a separate section at the end. Also added markers for the challenge items to the annotated level map. Thanks to Shannon P. and Amy M. for several helpful suggestions for this revision.
6/9/16 - Added comprehensive valley map.
6/11/16 - Added separate collectibles guides and renumbered challenges. All were included but numbers in stats lines at the top of the walkthroughs were incorrect.
6/25/16 - Added the warning against using grenade arrows for the Bull's-Eye Challenge, thanks to a tip from John M.
10/11/16 - Added PS4 controls.
12/26/16 - Added note about chicken respawn.
5/28/17 - Changed the order of the strongboxes in the Soviet Installation, which consequently changed the items found in a couple of the strongboxes in this level. Also added note about useful glitch for unlocking the Rotisserie achievement/trophy, thanks to @RaiderDiscord.
WAS THIS WALKTHROUGH HELPFUL? If not, I apologize and invite you to contact me with any questions. If you need help right away, I recommend the Lara Croft Online forums (laracroftonline.net), the Square Enix Tomb Raider Forum or any of the other message boards listed at tombraiders.net/stella/community.html. If this site was useful, please consider supporting it financially or in other ways. For details, visit tombraiders.net/stella/support.html. As always, I welcome your corrections/suggestions. Thank you!
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