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 11: THE ORRERY
Camps: Solemn Crevasse
Relics: none Documents: none Murals: 1 Coin Caches: none Survival Caches: 3 Strongboxes: none
Monoliths: none Archivist Maps: none Explorer Satchels: 1
Challenge Tombs: none Codices: 1 Crypts: none Challenges: none Missions: none
Area Maps: The Orrery
*NOTE: It is possible to achieve 100% for this level on the first playthrough. All item and strongbox locations are fixed and numbered on the level map; however, the exact items may vary depending on the order in which you find them.
OBJECTIVE: Follow the Path of the Deathless
Following the cinematic between the RESEARCH BASE level and this one, the way into THE ORRERY, near the Ridgeline Base Camp in the GEOTHERMAL VALLEY, is opened.
NOTE: This is a good time to make a few pickups that require CLIMBING ARROWS, assuming you haven't done so already. For example, the last document in the Geothermal Valley is just below the Ridgeline Base Camp. See the section at the end of the Geothermal Valley Third Visit walkthrough for details. Similarly, the mural in the Flooded Archives also requires climbing arrows. Check the Flooded Archives walkthrough for details. When you're ready, return to the Ridgeline Base Camp in the northwest corner of the Geothermal Valley and continue from here.
SECRET ENTRANCE BENEATH THE OBSERVATORY: First, head up the stairs to the room at the top. There should be a salvage crate on the left if you didn't get it earlier. Now go down the secret staircase into the room below. Use your axe to break through the crumbling wall ahead on the right. Then follow the passageway down into THE ORRERY. Soon you'll come to a deep chasm. A flashing light on the ledge ahead indicates a buried survival cache (1/3). Walk across the narrow, wooden beam. Mine some ore on the right. Then drop down on the left and dig up the cache. (screenshots)
Climb back up and shoot a few climbing arrows into the long, wooden wall. Jump across and scramble up onto the next ledge. Pick some mushrooms here. Then shoot 4 more climbing arrows into the wall ahead, so you can reach the ledge above on the right. Here you'll find the Explorer Satchel (1/1), which reveals the locations of this level's survival caches on your map. After examining the satchel, drop down into the cavern ahead to find the Solemn Crevasse Base Camp. (screenshots)
NOTES: If you missed the first survival cache, you can jump back over to the previous ledge and backtrack to get it. (screenshot) If you have a skill point to spend and have not yet unlocked Iron Hide (Brawler), Dragonfire Shells, or Death Cloud Arrows (Survivor), go for any of these. It's also useful to build on the early Brawler skill Dodge Counter by adding Dodge Kill, Dodge Kill Mastery, and Duelist Reflexes. All of these will help immensely when fighting the Deathless. Death Cloud arrows strengthen your existing poison arrows. Dragonfire Shells are the alternate ammo for the shotgun. Craft them from regular shells, magnesite, and oil by equipping the shotgun without aiming and holding RB/Middle Mouse/R1. Fire them by aiming and pressing RB/Middle Mouse/R1.
Near the base camp you'll find more mushrooms and 2 veins of ore in the walls. (screenshot) If you rest at the fire, you'll unlock a document in the Camp Journals III series, The Truth Revealed.
When you're ready to move on, follow the passageway to the north. As you swim across the small pool, look to the right to spot another survival cache (2/3) buried on a ledge near water level. (screenshot) Dig it up and then continue to the other side of the pool. Pick more mushrooms and dig more ore. Then climb onto the ledge overlooking the path leading down to the Orrery. (screenshot)
NOTE: If you refer to the annotated level map, there's a mural icon in this area, but it is actually located in a tunnel underground. You'll get to it shortly, but you can't reach it from here.
OBJECTIVE: Find the Entrance to the Orrery
HILLSIDE PATH LINED WITH SPEARS: There are no major pickups in this area, but do take a moment to enjoy the view as you follow the twisting path down to the ruins. At the bottom, you can see the Orrery through a grated window, but you can't get in that way. Instead squeeze through the opening in the rocks on the left (screenshot) and climb/jump down a series of ledges to reach the entrance to the Orrery proper.
OBJECTIVE: Use the Orrery to Open the Path to Kitezh
This sequence is also shown in a short video walkthrough.
PLANETARIUM PUZZLE: This is less of a puzzle than a platforming challenge, but you will need to rearrange a few of the pieces of the elaborate mechanism in order to reach the top. Start by walking out onto the wooden beam and using a rope arrow to pull the nearest rope-wrapped orb toward you. This rotates the armature from which the orb is hanging. Now you can jump onto it, walk to the far end, and jump down onto the circular platform at the center of the orrery. (screenshots)
Now take a look at the moving parts. On the east side of the room are 2 taller armatures. One has an orb and a set of metal grapple rings. Shoot the orb once to pull it toward you. This rotates the armature a quarter turn. Move around to the right a little. Then shoot that same orb again. This rotates the armature another quarter turn, so the grapple rings point toward the southeast corner of the room. Now let's do the same thing with the other tall armature. This one has an orb at one end and a wooden board at the other. Shoot the orb to rotate the armature a quarter turn. Do the same thing again to rotate the armature another quarter turn. When you're finished, the grapple rings should be closest to the southeast corner, and the wooden board should be near the two red-and-gold banners hanging on the east wall. (screenshots)
There's another wooden board within reach of the central platform. Jump and grab it. Then climb onto the beam from which it is hanging. Step forward, turn left, and grapple-swing across to the next beam. (This is only possible if you rotated the armature with the grapple rings beforehand.) Turn left and walk to the end of this beam. Jump to grab the wooden board hanging from the second tall armature. (Again, this is only possible if you rotated it first.) Climb on top of the armature. Walk to the far end, turn right, jump across the gap, and scramble up onto the wooden ledge. Then scramble up to the broad ledge above. (screenshots)
Pick up a stack of gold coins in the far left corner. Then push the wooden accordion mechanism to disengage it from the orrery. Move around to the left and grapple-swing across to the colorful, round platform in the middle of the orrery. Cross over to the ledge on the far side of the room. Then push a second accordion mechanism to disengage it from the orrery. With both mechanisms detached, the orrery can now move freely. Whee! Lara remarks that the people of Kitezh were ahead of their time. They certainly knew how to build a good contraption, but apparently they left Constantinople before astronomers figured out there was only one Earth and not four! (screenshots)
Before jumping back over to the orrery, take a little detour into the passageway to the south. This dead-ends in a small room with a mural (1/1), Entombed from the Byzantine Inscriptions series. (screenshots)
Return to the main room and stand on the wooden ramp to the left of the accordion mechanism. Wait for either set of grapple rings to swing around toward you. Then swing across to the central platform. Move to the edge of the circular platform nearest the armature with both grapple rings and a wooden board. Wait for the wooden board to rotate toward you and then jump to grab it. Climb onto the beam above. As the armature rotates with Lara standing on top of it, turn around so she's facing the end of the beam. Wait for one end of the armature with the 2 dangling cross-bars to spin toward you and jump to grab the bar. Hang on as the armature spins around. When Lara is hanging directly above the next metal beam, she'll yell, "Now!" Let go at that moment to drop and land on the beam. Walk to either end of this beam. Wait until the wooden board spins around toward you and jump onto it. Climb onto the beam above. Turn around to face the end of the beam and ride it around as it rotates. (screenshots)
NOTE: I'm not sure if the verbal cue, where Lara shouts, "Now!" is only in the English version, but apparently it is not always present. If not, you can still tell when to drop because Lara will stiffen and extend her legs downward when it's time to drop.
This last jump is a tricky one. Stand at the end of the beam and wait for it to spin around toward the central shaft. Then jump forward, holding the Jump button for maximum air time. Lara should then grab onto one of the handholds. Climb up and around to the right. Jump to grab the white bar above and then climb on top of the orrery. Walk out onto either of the catwalks. As the machine continues to rotate, and the catwalk lines up with the room to the east, Jump into the doorway. (screenshots)
CODEX ROOM AND PASSAGE TO THE EXIT: Examine the codex to unlock the Classically Trained skill, which enhances Lara's rapid-fire archery skill. You'll also find a lump of ore, a box of supplies, a container of cloth, and a stack of gold coins arranged around the lectern. (screenshot)
Continue along the passageway. When you come to a drop-off, hop down into the area below to find the last survival cache (3/3). (screenshot)
Climb back up and shoot one climbing arrow into the soft wood panel above on the right. Then shoot two more into the wall on the left. Scramble up the wall to perch on top of the first arrow. Jump across the gap to the second arrow then the third. (screenshot) While crouching on the third arrow, shoot two more into the wall on the other side of the tunnel. Jump onto the first arrow, then the second, and from there jump toward the stone wall and scramble onto the ledge above. (screenshot) Follow the passageway into the next level.
NOTE: At some point here you'll receive an Expedition Card Pack. The Plans Run Afowl Pack is awarded for finding the path to Kitezh. Unfortunately I didn't notice when you actually get it.
REVISITING THIS AREA LATER IN THE GAME
It's possible to get 100% completion on your first pass through this level, but if you missed anything, just fast travel back to the Solemn Crevasse Base Camp. Then use the walkthrough and/or level map to backtrack as needed. The separate Orrery Collectibles Guide includes additional tips.
Note that when you return to the Orrery after solving the puzzle, the doors near the entrance are open so you can walk straight across the upper level to the codex room. (screenshot) If you missed the mural, it's probably better to return through the tunnel on the left, which leads to the lower level of the Orrery. Then climb/swing back up the machine to the ledge on the west side. Follow the tunnel to the south to find the mural, as shown above. Then climb to the top of the machine once again to reach the exit.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 2/14/16 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
2/16/15 - Added the note suggesting certain skill upgrades in the section about the base camp.
6/19/16 - Added the Orrery Collectibles Guide and PC save files.
6/27/16 - Added note about verbal cue when navigaing the Orrery puzzle. Thanks to Evan C. for this info.
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