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 12: PATH OF THE DEATHLESS
Camps: Hall of Guardians, Icy Bluff
Relics: 1 Documents: 4 Murals: none Coin Caches: none Survival Caches: none Strongboxes: none
Monoliths: none Archivist Maps: 1 Explorer Satchels: none
Challenge Tombs/Codices: none Crypts: none Challenges: 1 Missions: none
Area Maps: Path of the Deathless
*NOTE: It is possible to achieve 100% for this level on the first playthrough. All major item 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: Make Your Way to the Heart of Kitezh
SNOWY TRAIL LEADING DOWN TO THE RUINS: As you enter this level from THE ORRERY, your goal is updated, and Sofia contacts Lara over the walkie talkie. Lara asks that she hold off attacking Trinity for now, while she makes her way into the old city.
Follow the path downward until you come to a fork with stone stairs leading back up the hill to the left. Go up the stairs to find an Archivist Map (1/1), which reveals the locations of this level's documents and relics on your map. Some are not visible yet because the entire map has not been revealed. The first document (1/4) is just down the hill on a rocky ledge on the left. It is A Broken Man from The Hunter series (Russian). You'll also find feathers and herbs here, and a hardwood sapling a little farther downhill. (screenshots)
CLIMBING TO THE FIRST BASE CAMP: Continue through the archway. Follow the path to the bottom, jump across the gap, and climb the rough wall until Lara is hanging from the edge of the stone walkway high above. Climb along the wall to the left as the Deathless army begins to file past above you. Jump past the broken section and continue climbing to the left. At the end of the wall, jump to the left and latch onto the ice wall with your axes. Then climb to the ledge above on the left. (screenshots)
Move forward to the edge of the crevasse and jump toward the ice wall ahead. If you press Interact, Lara will latch on briefly, but then the wall collapses. Lara tumbles into the crevasse but manages to wedge herself into the crack to stop falling. Press Jump a few times to work your way up the walls and latch on with your axe. Then press Up/Forward to work your way through the crack to the other side. Lara falls out of the crevasse into a dimly lit tunnel. As you follow the tunnel, you'll find a a few supplies on the way down. (In my game it was cloth, magnesite, and herbs, but some of these pickups seem to be random.) (screenshots)
Move down to the corner of the building at the edge of the canyon and climb the handholds to the top. Climb around the corner to the left. Then continue climbing along the side of the building and out onto the wall of ice. Jump straight up at latch onto the ice with your axes. Then climb up onto the long, horizontal ice formation. Turn left, walk to the end, and jump to grab the mouth of the giant statue. Climb around to the left until you can drop down near the Hall of Guardians Base Camp. See the notes below about possible skill choices at this point. (screenshots)
FROM THE FIRST BASE CAMP TO THE SECOND: Follow the tunnel away from the Hall of Guardians Base Camp. Just beyond the campsite, on the right side of the path, there's a container of herbs. Continue downhill, across a narrow, stone bridge. Step out onto the narrow ledge on the left and move forward slowly as you watch the Deathless army marching across the bridges spanning the canyon. (screenshots)
At the end of the narrow ledge, you'll enter a side passage. Move forward a few steps and then look to the right to spot a document (2/4), Escape from the Lone Survivor series (Mongolian), sitting on a ledge near a corpse. Continue up the slope and then scramble up the stone wall onto the path above. Follow it down to the Icy Bluff Base Camp. (screenshots)
NOTES: 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.
This is where things start to get tougher. So if you're short on supplies or want to make any upgrades you can't quite afford, now is a good time to backtrack. You can fast travel to good resource-gathering areas (Siberian Wilderness, Soviet Installation, Geothermal Valley), finish up any levels where you don't yet have 100% completion, and so on. Then fast travel back to this camp when you're ready to move on. You'll still have several opportunities to fast travel while exploring the Lost City, so this is not the "point of no return."
OBJECTIVE: Cross the Walls into the Inner City
Look for salvage and herbs near the campsite. Then craft as many regular and special arrows, grenades, dragonfire shells, etc., as you can carry before heading down the hill to find feathers and 2 boxes of supplies in a small alcove. If you use up your supplies making stuff, you can then carry more instead of leaving resources behind. (screenshot)
CLIMBING ALONG THE BRIDGE: When you're ready to go, slide down the zip line toward the bridge. At the end of the line, Lara drops and attempts to grab the edge, but her handhold breaks. She catches the handhold below, but you must press Interact to hang on. In a short cutscene, one of the Deathless soldiers hears the noise and looks over the edge. Lara pulls herself up under the bridge to hide, and the soldier soon moves away. When you regain control, traverse to the left as far as you can. Jump to the left, swing across the 2 horizontal bars, and grab onto the wall ahead. Then climb to the top, where another Deathless warrior grabs Lara. Mash the Melee button (Y/F/Triangle) to fight him off. When you "kill" him, his body disperses in a cloud of sparks, the floor collapses, and Lara slides into a new area. (screenshots)
FIRST SKIRMISH WITH THE DEATHLESS: As soon as you arrive, a Deathless swordsman notices Lara and charges at her. There are lots of combat options here (see below), but if you've already unlocked the Dodge Kill Mastery skill, this is a good opportunity to attempt the Fearless achievement: Defeat a Deathless Swordsman using only melee attacks and a finisher. Don't shoot the enemy as he runs toward you. Instead, take a few steps forward to give yourself room to maneuver. Then, as soon as he jumps into the air, preparing to strike, press B/C/Circle to dodge. If your timing is good, this triggers a brief QTE. A large, circular icon appears on screen. Wait for the thin gray circle to contract all the way into the button icon in the center of the circle. Then press Melee (Y/F/Triangle) to finish the enemy finish the enemy by stabbing him with an arrow. You'll then see the XP count with the notation "Dodge Kill!" on the left side of the screen. (screenshots)
If your first dodge fails, you can continue fighting and try again. This time, when he pulls back his sword arm and starts to swing at Lara, press B/C/Circle to dodge. If you're successful, the large Melee icon appears on screen. Wait for the thin gray circle to contract all the way into the center. Then press Y/F/Triangle for the finisher.
If things go sideways and you're taking damage, you can run away or switch to the shotgun. Or, reload the checkpoint and try again. Reloading puts you right back at the start of this area just before the swordsman attacks.
If you don't care about achievements or have not unlocked the Dodge Kill Mastery skill yet, you may want to stand firm and unload your shotgun on the swordsman as he approaches. One or two regular shots, followed by a dragonfire shell, should do the trick. Alternatively, run behind the stone structure on the right. Wait for the swordsman to round the corner, and shoot the Greek fire vessel. The explosion should then destroy the swordsman. (screenshots)
After you've taken care of the first swordsman, achievement or no, there are still more Deathless to contend with. They don't all attack at once, and fortunately there is plenty of room to maneuver, but things can still get pretty hectic. Again, there are many ways to approach this fight, but here's a strategy that worked consistently for me: Move to the right of the starting position so you're facing the archway under the first rectangular stone structure. Notice the Greek fire vessel on the other side of the archway. Wait for the next 2 enemies to approach. Just as they're about to move under the archway toward Lara, shoot the vessel, to destroy both enemies. If you only get one, the other will probably be weakened enough to take out with a shotgun blast. (screenshots)
The next next 5 enemies—a mix of swordsmen and archers—will come around either side of the stone structure, through the archway, or over the top. So stay sharp. If one comes from the left, you may be able to take him out by shooting the Greek fire vessel on the left (assuming you didn't use it against the first swordsman). Otherwise, use the Dodge Kill maneuver for the swordsmen or just blast away with the shotgun. (screenshots)
You can't use the dodge maneuver on Deathless archers, since they attack from a distance. Use the shotgun or rifle, or poison/explosive arrows, assuming the archers are far enough away that you won't damage yourself in the process. Again, a combination of regular shotgun blasts and dragonfire shells, assuming you've unlocked them, work quite well. Quickly move out of the pools of Greek fire their arrows leave behind, since these continue to damage Lara even after the archers have been destroyed. (screenshots)
Each time you destroy a Deathless warrior he disintegrates in a cloud of ash and sparks, leaving behind a small, square pack. Loot these for arrows, ammo, and other supplies. (screenshots)
When you've defeated the first 8 enemies, there's a brief pause in the battle. Take a moment to reload and craft special ammo if necessary. Then peer around the right side of the stone structure to trigger the next 2 enemies, who come through the portcullis in the far right (northeast) corner. One is a regular archer. The other is a warrior with a heavy shield. If you wait for them to approach the Greek fire vessel just ahead, you can then shoot the vessel destroying both. If the shielded warrior survives, don't bother trying to kill him with a headshot. He'll only raise his shield to protect himself. Instead, use a poison or explosive arrow. Or, if there are still any Greek fire vessels about, lure him close to one and shoot it to finish him off. That ends this phase of the combat, leaving you free to explore this room. (screenshots)
Loot the various packs left behind by the Deathless. There's also a lump of ore and a basket of herbs on the right (east) side and 3 salvage crates: one under the first archway, one the middle level of that same stone structure, and one in the archway under the stone structure farthest from the entrance. There's also a nest with feathers on the top level of the first stone structure.
Before leaving this area, start the Enemy of My Enemy Challenge by lighting 2 signal braziers. The first is on the wall in the northeast corner. Shoot the Greek fire vessel sitting next to the brazier (1/6) to ignite it and initiate the challenge. The next brazier (2/6) is high above to the southeast. You can get a clear shot by standing on top of the stone structure in the middle of the room. (screenshots)
MORE COMBAT ON THE STAIRS: When you're ready to move on, go through the archway in the northeast corner where the last pair of enemies entered. Head up the steps and ready a long-range weapon like the rifle or bow. The next 2 Deathless archers appear in the building at the top of the stairs on the left. So if you peer around the corner, you can probably shoot them without taking too much damage. Crack open 2 salvage crates, one on the right at the bottom of the stairs, the other behind one of the stone pillars just ahead when Lara is facing away from the stairs. (screenshots)
Now head up the stairs to the platform where the archers were standing. Pick up magnesite and herbs, and loot the packs left behind when the archers vaporized. Drop down and continue just to the base of the next flight of stairs to trigger the appearance of 2 more archers on the building ahead. (At this point you'll probably notice that this whole sequence is basically a retread of the Chasm Stronghold fight in the last game, though not nearly as challenging.) Run back the way you came. Then use the wall between the two flights of stairs for cover as you snipe at the two archers. It's not too difficult to get headshots from here using the rifle or bow. (screenshots)
The next brazier (3/6) for the challenge is on top of the structure where the archers were standing. Shoot the jar of Greek fire to light the signal. Then climb up into the building where the archers were to loot their packs. There's also a salvage crate and more herbs underneath this structure. (screenshots)
COMBAT ON THE UPPER LEVEL: When you're ready for the last phase of this fight, move into the courtyard ahead. In a short cutscene 4 Deathless warriors appear on the wall. The commander shouts orders, and the 2 archers lay down a ring of Greek fire preventing you from leaving this area until the fighting is over. Try to stay clear of the fire but ignore the archers for now. Ready your bow with poison or explosive arrows as the commander and another warrior with a pole arm leap down from the left side of the wall. Take aim but wait until they're both on the ground. Then fire a poison or explosive arrow to destroy them both. If you don't have special arrows, you can also use rifle grenades or the shotgun. (screenshots)
Now deal with the archers. If you're quick, you may be able to shoot one or both of the braziers hanging above. This will dump scalding oil and detonate the Greek fire vessels on the wall. Or, just target each of them with rifle and/or shotgun as they jump down from the wall. They'll keep shooting fire arrows, until you kill them, so move out of the burning areas as quickly as you can and use bandages if necessary. When you finish off the fourth enemy the gate to the north burns away and the flames surrounding the courtyard subside. (screenshots)
Loot the packs the enemies left behind and crack open 2 salvage crates, one on each side of the gate. Now locate the rope-wrapped barrier high in the southwest corner of this area. Use a rope arrow to pull it down. Then shoot the container of Greek fire in the alcove to light the brazier (4/6) for the challenge. (screenshots)
SNOWY PATH BEYOND THE GATE: Proceed through the gate to the north. Just ahead on the ground is a basket of herbs and a document (3/4), Lights in the Dark from the Voices of Invasion series (Mongolian). On the ledge above and to the right of the document is the level's only relic (1/1), a Mysterious Figurine from the Early Inhabitants set. (screenshot)
After picking up the relic in the area beyond the northern gate, turn to face the gate. The last 2 braziers (5/6 and 6/6) are here. Destroy the impact barrier above and to the left of the gate with an explosive arrow to simultaneously light the signal, or destroy the barrier with several rifle or pistol shots. Then shoot the Greek fire vessel to light the signal. Shoot the Greek fire vessel in the niche above and to the right of the gate to ignite the last brazier and complete the Enemy of My Enemy Challenge for an XP bonus and 2,000 Expedition Credits. (screenshots)
The last document (4/4) is lying on the ground below and to the right of the brazier you just lit. It is Safe Passage from the Voices of Invasion series (Mongolian). (screenshot)
LEVEL EXIT: Head up the stairs to the north. Jump from the wooden ramp to the wall of ice on the other side of the chasm. Climb to the top left and scramble up onto the ledge above. (screenshot) There's a zip line here in case you missed anything and need to slide back down. Squeeze through the opening in the wall.
OBJECTIVE: Find a Way Into the Lost City of Kitezh
Follow the ice tunnel forward to the top of a slippery slope. Slide down, jump at the end, and then press Interact to grapple-swing across the gap onto the tiled roof ahead. (screenshot) In a short but thrilling cutscene, Lara crashes into the next level.
REVISITING THIS AREA LATER IN THE GAME
It's possible to achieve 100% completion on your first pass through this level, but if you missed anything you can go back later. Some routes are no longer accessible after the first visit. Details are included below and in the separate Path of the Deathless Collectibles Guide.
You can't get back to the beginning of the level from the Hall of Guardians Base Camp because Lara won't jump from the giant statue's face backwards onto the icy beam. So if you missed the Archivist Map or the first document, fast travel back to the Solemn Crevasse Base Camp in THE ORRERY level. Then follow the path to the north, across the pool, and down through the field of spikes. Re-enter the Orrery on the upper level. (screenshot) Cross over the rotating catwalk and continue through the tunnel where you found the codex. Then use climbing arrows to cross the chasm and enter the PATH OF THE DEATHLESS. Once you have the goodies, you can either return the way you came or proceed to the Hall of Guardians Base Camp just as you did the first time (above). Then fast travel back to wherever you left off in the game.
If you're missing the second document, fast travel to the Icy Bluff Base Camp and then follow the path up the hill to the west. (screenshot) Drop down off the ledge and look for the document on the left. (screenshot) Then return to the camp and fast travel to where you left off.
If you're missing anything else, including the braziers for the Enemy of My Enemy Challenge, fast travel back to the Icy Bluff Base Camp. Slide down the zip line onto the bridge. Go to the left and climb down into the area where you fought the Deathless earlier. The main walkthrough above describes where all the collectibles and challenge braziers are located. Once you've done what you need to do, return to the south end of the ruins and climb back up the wall where you dropped down. (screenshot) The zip line is too high to reach, so you can't return to the Icy Bluff Base Camp the way you came. Instead scramble up the wall to the south. (screenshot) Use a rope arrow to create a new zip line and slide down to the large doorway on the other side of the canyon. (screenshot) Then follow the tunnel up a series of steps and ledges and finally back across the narrow stone bridge you crossed earlier in the game. This leads you back to the Hall of Guardians Base Camp. Now you can fast travel to wherever you left off.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 2/21/16 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
6/19/16 - Added challenge items to the annotated level map along with the Collectibles Guide and PC save files.
10/11/16 - Added PS4 controls.
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