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.
THE WICKED VALE - BABA YAGA: TEMPLE OF THE WITCH DLC
Camps: Wicked Vale, Witch's Cave Weapons/Gear: Dreamstinger (bow), Wraithskin (outfit)
Relics: 1 Documents: 21 Murals: none Coin Caches: none Survival Caches: 6 Strongboxes: none
Monoliths: none Archivist Maps: 1 Explorer Satchels: 1
Challenge Tombs: none Crypts: none Challenges: 1 Missions: none*
Area Maps: Wicked Vale
*NOTES: This DLC is part of the Rise of the Tomb Raider Season Pass and can also be purchased separately through the Xbox Live Marketplace or Steam. The Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch video trailer can be found on the Xbox YouTube Channel. If you're having trouble activating the DLC on your Xbox One, see here. (Xbox 360 and PC versions should install automatically after purchase.) You can play this DLC any time after the Gulag area of Soviet Installation in the main story, since you'll need rope arrows to complete the DLC. But in order to get all the collectibles, you'll also need the grapple axe (wire spool) which is not available until you've finished The Acropolis. So you may want to wait until then. A shotgun will also be helpful against some of the enemies here.
As in the main game, while the document and relic locations are fixed, the exact items may vary depending on the order in which you find them.
*While you're working on the DLC, the stats on the map screen for other levels may list an extra mission. This is actually the Baba Yaga mission. As you play through the DLC, you'll receive mission updates, but this does not actually count toward 100% completion in the main game.
OBJECTIVE: Investigate the Trinity presence in the Soviet Installation
SAWMILL IN THE SOVIET INSTALLATION: After installing the Baba Yaga DLC (see the notes above), load your current save and fast travel to the Logging Camp Base Camp in the Soviet Installation. Then head up the hill toward the Sawmill. (Or fast travel to the Sheltered Ridge camp and zip line down to the southwest.) If you get disoriented follow the pink cow-skull beacons on the map or in Survival Instinct.
OBJECTIVE: Defeat the Trinity Soldiers
As you approach, Lara hears someone from Trinity reporting in by radio. They've cornered one of the natives in the sawmill. Sneak in closer and use your preferred tactics to take out 3 Trinity soldiers.
OBJECTIVE: Find the Hidden Remnant
There are now 3 metal lockers in the Sawmill building. Two contain random supplies and ammo. The Remnant you seek is hiding in the other, on the lower level with the blood trail leading to it. (screenshot) Pry open the locker to talk to her.
The girl is called Nadia. She spins a wild tale involving her grandparents and a wicked witch. She asks for your help. Talk to Nadia further and follow the on-screen prompts accept her mission.
OBJECTIVE: Track Down Nadia's Missing Grandpa in the Eastern Canyons
CANYON LEADING TO THE WICKED VALE: Follow the pink objective beacon to the cave on the east side of this area. (screenshot) This cave is marked C4 on the Soviet Installation level map. Note that a snow leopard sometimes guards this cave. I'm not sure exactly when it appears or how often it respawns after the first time you kill it. So stay alert just in case. If you do see it, there are tips on defeating it in the Logging Camp Second Visit walkthrough.
Enter the cave and go through the gate at the back of it. Then follow the passageway to the Frozen Gorge Base Camp. This will be familiar if you raided the Voice of God Challenge Tomb earlier. If not, you can combine both quests now. Squeeze through the opening in the rocks beyond the campfire and head to the left. Climb along the canyon to the tomb entrance. If this is your first time, you can check the Challenge Tomb walkthrough for details.
As you climb, Nadia contacts Lara over a walkie talkie she found. She continues the tale of her grandparents and the witch, who apparently lives in a house that roams the forest on bird legs. If you've heard the Russian folktale Baba Yaga, this will sound familiar. A bit farther along, Nadia relays a transmission from some Trinity soldiers who seem to be under attack by the witch.
Instead of entering (or after completing) the Challenge Tomb, follow the path along the cliff to the northwest. Slide down the zip line and make your way along the wooden walkway. (screenshot) Soon you'll arrive at a recently abandoned campsite. After touching base with Nadia, squeeze through the opening in the rocks. (screenshot) Then jump across the ledges to the far side of the canyon. (screenshot)
Enter the cave ahead to find the Wicked Vale Base Camp. Examine the document (1/21) lying near the campfire. It is Dear Nadia from the series Grandfather's Journal (Russian). (screenshot) Use the camp to make upgrades if you like. Then head up the stairs to the cave exit. Just before the opening, on the left, is another document (2/21), Initial Contact from the Bravo's End series. (screenshot)
ENTERING THE VALE: When you squeeze through the opening in the wall into the canyon beyond, the air is full of pollen, and Lara starts to go a little woozy. Follow the passageway into the forest. It's creepy as heck, and the path twists and turns a bit, but you can't get lost. Follow the apparition resembling Lara's father and be prepared for a few jump scares along the way. After a short sequence inside a room that looks like it's come straight out of Croft Manor, continue to a wooden platform overlooking an excavation pit.
In a short cutscene, the witch appears in her walking house, just like Nadia described, and begins hurling fireballs. The ledge on which Lara is standing collapses, dropping her into the quarry. The witch then tosses a final fireball into the pit, opening the entrance for a pack of demonic wolves. (The exact number appears to be random.) Fight them as you would regular wolves, using poison arrows when there are several at a distance. (screenshot) Then switch to the shotgun when they charge. (screenshot)
When you've defeated the wolves, the witch reappears and chases Lara off the cliff ledge into the river below. Be thankful for cold water for once, since this seems to snap Lara out of her hallucination. She surfaces in a narrow canyon with falling water and a series of rusty metal tanks and pipes. After a brief conversation with Nadia over the radio, you now have a new goal.
OBJECTIVE: Search the Cavern for Clues
SOVIET OUTPOST IN THE CANYON: Swim across the pool to a ledge on the south side (screenshot), where you'll find a document (3/21), Freedom Station from the set called The Prisoner's Dilemma (Russian).
Then swim back to the ledge where you started, move around to the upper end, and scale the climbable walls to reach the ledge high above on the left. (screenshot) At the top, turn right and grapple swing across to a ledge with another document (4/21), A Good Man from The Prisoner's Dilemma series (Russian). (screenshot) Swing back to the other side and follow the ledge around behind the waterfall to the far end. Scramble up onto the wooden platform with the moving machinery. (screenshot)
Before climbing up, pull down the rope barrier on the left. (screenshot) Go into the little space behind it to find another document (5/21), Torn Apart from The Prisoner's Dilemma series (Russian). Come back out to the main area and climb up onto the platform with the moving machinery.
Lara speaks with Nadia over the radio as she examines the machinery. Based on what she sees and smells, she surmises that someone is refining and weaponizing the hallucinogenic pollen. And if that person can resist its effects, it must be possible to make some sort of antidote.
DISTILLERY GATE PUZZLE: To open the gate near the witch's distillery start by prying the large hook off the metal gear assembly to the left of the gate. This lowers the counterweight in front of the gate. Move around to the other side of the steaming vat and stand by the spinning rope spool. Shoot a rope arrow into the counterweight to attach it to the coil. As the coil spins, it pulls the counterweight towards it. Wait until the weight is as high as it will go. Then press interact, to pull the lever and open the vat. The resulting explosion blasts the counterweight across the room and through the gate. (screenshots)
Follow the passageway to a small workroom. Lara automatically reads the document (6/21) lying on the table. It is The Formula, also part of The Prisoner's Dilemma series (Russian), which details the ingredients for the antidote. Pull down the rope barrier to take a shortcut back to the Wicked Vale Base Camp. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Return to the Soviet Installation to Craft an Antidote
GATHERING INGREDIENTS IN THE SOVIET INSTALLATION: The goal now is to find the ingredients for the antidote. First you'll need to collect 5 seedpods from the plants that make the pollen, and 2 deer livers from animals that have consumed these plants.
Use the Wicked Vale Base Camp to fast travel back to the Logging Camp or Sheltered Ridge Base Camp. In the process, you'll unlock a document in the Camp Journals IV series, called The Dreamtime.
When you get back to the main area, Nadia offers some advice on finding the seedpods and deer liver. While you search, she'll try to locate a source for the third component, a pesticide.
Gather the seedpods from any of the caves marked with pink beacons. There are several plants in each of the marked caves, so you won't need to explore them all to gather 5 pods. Watch out for wolves and Trinity patrols while in this area. The wolves tend to appear on the southeast side of the Sawmill in the open area in front of their den, just east of the Sawmill. (screenshot) If you don't mind venturing into the den, you'll find some seedpods there, and possibly mushrooms as well. (screenshot) While you do this, Nadia relays another Trinity transmission about the missing "Bravo Team."
After you collect the 5 seedpods, there will still be 2 pink marker beacons on your map. These supposedly show the locations of deer you can hunt for their livers. The marker near the Logging Camp Base Camp seems fairly reliable. So head down that way, find a deer, kill it, and harvest the liver. If you can't find another deer, it's OK to fast travel out to another area with good hunting, such as the Geothermal Valley. It doesn't matter where you find it; the next deer will provide the liver you need for the mission. If you do fast travel out, return to the Copper Mill Yard Base Camp, since this will save a little time.
OBJECTIVE: Collect the Chemicals from the Copper Mill
When you have the first 2 components for the antidote, Nadia will radio Lara to say she's found a possible location for the phenothiazine. Head for the Copper Mill Yard Base Camp, on the south side of the Soviet Installation, following the next pink beacon if necessary.
NOTE: I've only played the Baba Yaga expansion after completing the Soviet Installation, so I'm not sure what happens if you visit this area for the first time while playing the DLC. Stay alert for other enemies, and check the main walkthrough if you need help navigating this area.
Go through the gate to the southeast, climb the yellow ladder onto the boxcar, jump across to the roof of the next building, and then jump into the doorway of the building ahead on the left. Inside you'll find a box containing the chemicals. (screenshots)
OBJECTIVE: Return to the Wicked Vale
As Lara mixes the antidote, Nadia warns her of an approaching enemy patrol. Turn around and take out 2 men who climb onto the roof ahead. Then either jump over to the roof where they were standing and deal with 3 more Trinity soldiers down in the yard to the right, or shoot them through the windows of the room where you found the chemicals. (screenshots)
Climb down, loot the bodies, return to the base camp, and fast travel back to the Wicked Vale Base Camp.
OBJECTIVE: Search the Wicked Vale for the Witch
ENTERING THE VALE (WITH THE ANTIDOTE): Head up the steps near the campsite and squeeze through the opening into the vale. This time Lara has come prepared, so there are no hallucinations. Follow the canyon down past the rows of creepy skeletons. As you emerge into the forest, head to the right to find a survival cache (1/6) buried near the curve in the west side of the path. (screenshot) Use the flash to help find it, check the annotated map, or wait until you've found the Explorer Satchel later on and the cache will be marked on your map.
Now head to the east to find a document (7/21) lying on the ground at the end of a dead-end path. It is Meeting Serafima from the Grandfather's Journal series (Russian). (screenshot)
Backtrack along the path a little bit, then turn left (south). Here you'll find a stack of crates with another document (8/21), The Eyes from the Bravo's End series. (screenshot) Have a listen and then squeeze through the crack in the rocks and follow the path down to the right. Dig up another survival cache (2/6) buried behind the tree at the first bend. (screenshot)
Continue to the end of the path. Drop down into the excavation pit and look for another document (9/21), Taking Risks from the series Grandfather's Journal (Russian), on the ground to the right. (screenshot) Loot the wolf corpses for skins. Then use rope arrows to pull down the 2 rope-wrapped barriers to reveal climbable walls. The one to the north is optional, but you can use it if you need to backtrack. (screenshot) The one to the south is where we're headed next. (screenshot)
Before moving on, look up on the east and west sides of the pit and you'll see 4 hanging lanterns. Shoot them down to begin the Over The Cuckoo's Nest Challenge. (There are 10 lanterns in all. We'll find the remaining 6 shortly.) The pistol works fine for all but the highest one on the east side. You can use the bow or rifle, or wait until you're higher up to shoot it. (screenshots) When you're finished, scale the climbing wall on the south side of the pit to the next area.
OBJECTIVE: Activate the Rope Works
ROPE WORKS PUZZLE: In order to reach the ledge high above on the left, you'll need to manipulate the various winches and platforms in this area. Before tackling the puzzle, make a few pickups. Listen to another taped document (10/21), Demon in the Dark from the Bravo's End series, sitting on a crate just to the left. (screenshot) Hop in the pool and swim through the large crack in the wall on the right to find another document (11/21), Best Laid Plans from the Lost Engineers series (Greek), at the end of this side passage. (screenshot) Swim back out to the starting area and climb out of the water.
Stand next to the winch facing the 2 dangling platforms on the far side of the pool. Shoot a rope arrow into the large spool above the 2 platforms in order to attach this spool to the winch. Now use your axe to crank the winch as far as it will go. This raises the platform on the right and lowers the one on the left. Once you release the axe handle, the spool will start to unwind, and the platforms will gradually move back to their original positions. So quickly move to the rope-wrapped post just to the right of the winch, wait until the platform on the right is just a little higher than the one on the left, and then shoot another rope arrow into the spool to hold the platforms in place. If they descend too far, just crank the winch and try again. When you've anchored the line to the post, the first rope line falls away automatically, but that's OK. (screenshots)
Go around to the far left corner of the pool (there are arrows here if you need them), and then jump across the raised platforms to the ledge on the far right. You'll find more arrows leaning against the wall behind a second winch. Before doing anything with that, jump up onto the stone wall that juts out beside the winch. Go around behind the wall to find a document (12/21), The Gulag Burns from Nadia's Grandfather's Journal (Russian) Climb back down to the second winch. Stand beside it and shoot a rope arrow into the second spool directly across the pool from here. This will allow you to raise the third platform, next to the spool, but don't bother doing that yet. (screenshots)
Dive into the pool and climb out on the ledge where you started. Press the Melee button to cut the rope anchoring the platforms to the post. (NOTE: If you have not yet unlocked the Combat Knife, you can just skip this step.) Then run another rope line from the first winch to the large spool above the 2 platforms, just as you did before. Crank the winch again to move the platforms. Move back to the post on the right, wait for the platforms to move so the one on the left is slightly higher than the one on the right, and then shoot a rope arrow into the large spool to anchor the platforms in place. (screenshots)
Now climb onto the wooden ledge that juts out into the pool. Jump from there to the rope line anchored to the second winch and climb the line to the ledge on the right. Now crank the second winch to raise the third platform, on the far side of the room. When you've cranked it as high as it will go, release the handle and run for the third platform before it can sink back down. Start by jumping down to the nearer of the first 2 platforms. Jump from there to the next platform, then to the corner ledge. When you pull up onto this ledge, you can shave off a few seconds by taking a running jump to the foot of the stairs below on the left. From there, jump onto the third platform, immediately jump forward toward the painted stone wall and then scramble onto the ledge above. If you don't make it the first time, climb back up to the second winch, crank up the third platform, and try again. (screenshots)
When Lara reaches the top, she makes contact with Nadia. She says she's on her way.
Move down onto the ledge overlooking the pit. If you didn't do so earlier, shoot the first 4 hanging lanterns for the challenge. There's one hanging just overhead, another in the cave to the northeast, one hanging beneath the archway off to the west, and another almost directly above that one. (screenshots)
RIDING THE GONDOLA: When you're ready to go, use a rope arrow to pull the rope-wrapped lever near the end of the ledge to summon Baba Yaga's gondola. (screenshot) Nadia arrives as the lift draws near.
OBJECTIVE: Ride the Gondola Across the Valley
BUG NOTE: I recommend manually saving the game (PC) or changing save slots (Xbox or PS4) before riding the gondola. Occasionally one or more of the hanging lanterns for the Over the Cuckoo's Nest challenge will bug out, either disappearing entirely or flying wildly around the canyon making it difficult if not impossible to shoot them (as shown here). You may still be able to target the wooden wooden bracket at the top of a buggy lantern (thanks to izzy noodles for this tip), but it doesn't always work. Then, if you aren't able to shoot all 10 lanterns by the time you reach the far end of the canyon, reload the earlier save and try again.
Hop onboard with Nadia and use a rope arrow to pull the lever in order to start the gondola moving again. (screenshot)
As the contraption crosses the canyon to the west, Nadia talks a bit more about her family history. Meanwhile, shoot down 6 more hanging lanterns to complete the Over The Cuckoo's Nest Challenge. Try to get them all in one trip if possible, to avoid triggering the bug mentioned above. These screenshots can help.
NOTE: If you jump off the gondola and die before reaching the end of the ride, you'll unlock the Henny Penny Achievement. The game should then reload at the checkpoint before the ride so you'll have another chance to shoot the lanterns.
ENTERING THE WITCH'S CAVE: When the gondola comes to a stop at the western end of the canyon, jump through the waterfall to the south into a small alcove containing a document (13/21), Ill Omens from The Lost Engineers series (Greek). (screenshot) Jump back onto the gondola and then jump over to the wide wooden ledge in front of it. Go up the ramp on the right and you'll find a survival cache (3/6) buried on the snowy ledge near the rope-wrapped lever. (screenshot)
NOTE: The lever controls the gondola, but it doesn't work yet, but you will be able to restart the gondola and ride back to the other end of the canyon after defeating the witch. If you missed any of the lanterns, you'll be able to destroy them then.
As you approach the archway leading inside, Lara discovers Nadia's grandfather sitting beside the Witch's Cave Base Camp. Nadia gives him some of the antidote and offers to stay with him while Lara goes inside.
BUG NOTE: Make sure to use the base camp to activate it. This will allow you to fast travel back here later if necessary. Occasionally the levers that call the gondola will glitch and you will be unable to call the gondola back to the starting point. So even if you fast travel to the Wicked Vale Base camp, there will be no way to return to this end of the canyon. You may also want to save the game in a new slot (or change save slots on Xbox/PS4) in case you have trouble with the upcoming boss fight. You can then reload this save, fast travel out and continue the main story, then return here later when you're stronger and better equipped.
OBJECTIVE: Search the Cave for the Witch
There's a document (14/21) sitting on a crate near the campfire. It is Among the Remnant from Nadia's Grandfather's Journal (Russian). Have a look before heading up the stairs into the ruins. (screenshot)
ENTERING THE WITCH'S CAVE: Before you reach the cave itself, you come to a round room containing a bunch of ammo, a dead soldier, and another document (15/21), The Witch's Army from the series Bravo's End. (screenshot) Listen to it, pick up whatever supplies you can carry, and then continue down the stairs.
Drop into the water and follow the flooded passageway to a large arena. On the way, Lara begins to breathe in more of the hallucinogenic pollen. As you climb out of the water in a huge, round room, a cutscene kicks in. Lara is about to take the last dose of the antidote when a grenade lands next to her. Thrown off balance, she loses her grip on the bottle, and it shatters just as the witch emerges from the pool. You must now face BABA YAGA and her minions, the former Bravo Team, without the aid of clear vision.
NOTE: Just like the first time you entered the Vale, there are collectibles in this area, but you can't get them until later when the effects of the pollen wear off.
OBJECTIVE: Defeat the Witch
BOSS FIGHT - LOWER LEVEL: You can't hurt the witch by shooting at her, nor destroy the hovering cauldron in which she rides, so you'll need to defeat her indirectly using a series of distilling vats like the one you used to blast open the gate earlier. The first vat, labeled A on the annotated level map, is here where you climbed out of the water.
First deal with the witch's minions, who drop down from the ledge on the southwest side of the room and try to flank you. There are 5 enemies in this first group: 3 archers and 2 with knives. They behave very much like the Deathless warriors in the later levels of the main game. So if you played through the story before tackling this DLC, you'll be familiar with their tactics. The ones with knives rush at Lara, so take them out with the shotgun or Dodge Counter/Kill maneuver (assuming you've unlocked those skills). The archers use fire arrows and tend to sneak up gradually while taking occasional potshots. Use your rifle or bow to pick them off. (screenshots)
Now do your best to avoid the witch's fireballs as you work the vat and lever just like you did back in the canyon near the beginning of the level. First, stand near the spinning rope spool and shoot the witch herself with a regular arrow. This won't do any damage, but it will make her duck down in the cauldron so she can no longer hurl fireballs. Quickly shoot the lower part of the cauldron, which is wrapped in rope. This will tether the cauldron to the spool, gradually pulling the cauldron in toward the distilling vat. While this is happening, move close to the handle on the right side of the vat. Shoot the witch again to make her duck down. Otherwise, she'll cut the rope and you'll have to start over again. Once the cauldron is above the vat, lower your weapon (by releasing LT/Right Mouse) and press Interact to pull the handle. This opens the vat, and the resulting explosion blasts the witch across the room. (screenshots)
Loot the packs the witch's minions leave behind for ammo and other supplies. Then jump across the water to the far right (southwest) side of the room. Here you'll find the second vat (marked B on the map). Notice that the lever that opens this vat is a bit farther away. So stand on the side of the spool nearer the lever. Then turn around to face the witch. Shoot at her to make her duck down inside her cauldron. Then shoot the cauldron with a rope arrow to attach it to the spool. Shoot the witch again to prevent her from cutting the rope as the spool draws the cauldron in. While this is happening, move toward the lever. Then, when the cauldron is close enough to the vat, pull the lever to open the vat and blast the witch across the room again. (screenshots)
Now the water level begins to rise. Swim across the pool and climb out on the southern ledge. Grab some herbs, plus boxes of pistol and rifle ammo directly ahead and in the alcove on the right. Then scramble up onto the ledge on the left and fight a wolf, a knife-wielding warrior, and 2 archers. Loot their packs and pick up more pistol ammo. Then climb into the archway to the east and fight 3 more archers and a swordsman. (screenshots)
BOSS FIGHT - MIDDLE LEVEL: The third distilling vat (labeled C on the map) is here, at the top of the stairs. On the ledge above and behind the vat, spool, and lever there's a box of cloth and a hole in the floor, which you should try to avoid for now. There's a ladder inside the hole in case you fall in accidentally, but wait to explore there until we can see clearly. Stand by the spool and repeat the process of dragging the witch toward the vat and pulling the lever to open the lid and catch her in the explosion. (screenshots)
Now, continue making your way around the room counterclockwise by sliding down the zip line to the right of the third vat. Take out another swordsman and pick up more cloth here if you need it. The walkway directly ahead is blocked by a wooden barrier. So move into the alcove on the right. Grab some ammo and magnesite and then climb the rough walls to the ledge above on the right. (If you fall into the water you won't be able to climb out on the ledge where you started, but you can swim to the base of the climbing wall on the right and latch on with your axes.) (screenshots)
At the top, turn right, pick up some loose feathers, and then scramble up the painted wooden wall. Immediately drop back to avoid one of the witch's fireballs. Pull up again, move forward, grab some pistol ammo, and use your axe to pry the hook off the gear mechanism on the left side of the wooden ledge. This activates a series of moving platforms that begin to circle the arena. Jump onto one of them and ride around to the wooden ledge on the far side of the room. Shoot the archer waiting on the ledge as you approach. Then jump over to where he was standing, run forward, and take cover behind the low stone wall on the right. From here you can pick off 2 more archers on the ledge above. (screenshots)
Gather ammo and hardwood. Then use the 2 dangling platforms to jump across to the ledge where the archers were standing. You'll need to jump onto the first platform, wait just briefly for it to descend, rasing the platform in front of it. Then jump onto the second platform and scramble up the wall ahead. (If you fall, you can work your way back around to this point or just reload the checkpoint, which should put you back at the mechanism that activates the moving stone platforms.) As soon as you climb onto the ledge above the dangling platforms, pull out the shotgun and kill another charging swordsman. (screenshots)
Search the packs the enemies dropped and gather more ammo and supplies. Then turn your attention to the fourth vat (marked D on the map). The process is basically the same as for the others except that the lever that opens this vat is located on the ledge below on the left. Stand by the rope spool. Shoot the witch to make her duck. Shoot the cauldron with a rope arrow to attach it to the spool. Shoot the witch again to prevent her from cutting the rope as the winch draws her in. Jump down to the lever. Shoot the witch again so she doesn't cut the rope. (If she does, you'll need to scramble back up to the vat and spool to try again.) When the cauldron is positioned over the vat, pull the lever to cause another explosion. (screenshots)
After this, Nadia contacts Lara by radio. She drops the news we've probably all suspected, but this doesn't affect your mission. You still need to defeat the witch. Pick up some loose feathers lying near the rope-wrapped barrier and use a rope arrow to pull it down. Go through, get some ammo and herbs, and then use your axe to activate another mechanism. This adds a second set of platforms to the ones already circling the room. (screenshots)
Before going any farther, take out an archer who spawns on the far side of the room. Then jump onto one of the platforms as it moves past, ride it around to the northeast side of the room, and jump onto the ledge there. This is the same one with the third vat (marked C on the map). (screenshots)
Since you've already used this vat, it no longer works, but you will need to fight 2 more archers and 3 swordsmen before you can move on. There are several stone blocks you can use for cover, in addition to the vat and lever. Just watch out for the hole in the floor on the upper ledge. When you've taken care of these enemies, loot their packs, climb onto the elevated wooden walkway, and follow it to the upper end. (This walkway is shown on the level map running from the east wall out toward the middle of the room.) (screenshots)
BOSS FIGHT - UPPER LEVEL: Jump onto one of the moving platforms here on the highest level and ride it around to the ledge on the opposite side of the room. Try to pick off 2 enemy archers as you approach. Jump onto the left end of the ledge where they were standing. Then take cover as more of the witch's minions—2 wolves, 2 swordsmen, and 3 more archers—approach from the right. (screenshots)
Hang in there! We're nearly done. Move forward, searching the enemies' packs and picking up ammo and supplies as you go. At the end of this ledge is the fifth and final vat (marked E on the map). The process here is the same as for the other vats. The only complications are the witch's fireballs and the chunks of debris floating in the air, which can prevent you from targeting her. Just be patient. Stand near the spool and shoot the witch to make her duck. Shoot the cauldron with a rope arrow to tether it to the spool. Switch weapons if you like and continue shooting the witch so she doesn't cut the rope as she's being pulled in toward the vat. Meanwhile, move toward the handle. When the cauldron is above the vat, release the Aim button and pull the handle. Kaboom! Game over for Baba Yaga. (screenshots)
EXPLORING AFTER THE WITCH IS DEFEATED: After a cutscene with a touching family reunion, you're back in the round room near the Witch's Cave Base Camp. Lara receives a few rewards for her efforts: a bow called DREAMSTINGER, which shoots upgraded poison arrows that cause enemies to hallucinate, and the Wraithskin Outfit. If you equip these two together, you'll unlock the Witch's Wardrobe Achievement.
Now you can re-enter the ruins for the collectibles you couldn't get while Lara was tripping balls. Start by approaching Nadia and talking to her to unlock another easy Achievement: Fond Farewell.
Head down the stairs near the dead soldier and swim along the flooded passageway. Just before the end, a passageway on the left (screenshot) leads to a small side room containing a document (16/21), The Coming Madness from The Lost Engineers series (Greek). (screenshot) There are also several shelves lined with cups of various kinds. I assume this is a nod to the Holy Grail scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Return along the flooded passage to the round room where Nadia is waiting.
Then head up the stairs to another round room. On the floor just to the right of the entrance lies another document (17/21), Grandmother Serpent, part of The Prisoner's Dilemma series (Russian). (screenshot) On the left side of the room is a box containing the level's only relic, Baba Yaga's Broom, which is actually the Witch's Weapon, the scythe she used to cut the rope. (screenshot)
Pick up the ammo but ignore the ladder leading up to the next level for now. Instead, go through the doorway to the south into the big room where you fought the witch. Jump into the pool, swim across to the floating pallet on the west side, and climb out there. (screenshot) Go through the doorway directly ahead into a dead-end passageway. Inside on the right is the Explorer Satchel (1/1). (screenshot) On the left, opposite the satchel, is one of those survival caches (4/6). (screenshot)
You'll also find various boxes of ammo and cloth, baskets of herbs, lumps of magnesite, etc., scattered throughout this area. I won't list every possible pickup. Stay alert and take what you can carry.
Exit the alcove where you found the satchel and pull down the rope barrier on the right. (screenshot) Go through and scramble onto the ledge ahead to find another survival cache (5/6) buried just below the 2 dangling platforms. (screenshot) We'll explore above in a little while. For now it's enough to remove the barrier and dig up the cache. Return to the curved walkway and follow it past the side passage where you found the satchel. Pull down another rope barrier. (screenshot)
Continue forward to the next side passage on the left. Go in there and scale the climbing walls to the ledge at the upper right. (screenshot) At the top, turn around and grapple-swing across to a little alcove containing a a document (18/21), The Last Word from The Lost Engineers series (Greek). (screenshot) Swing back across to the ledge above the climbing wall. Then scramble up into the opening on the right.
NOTE: There's a survival cache indicated on the map just to the left of this document, but it's actually high above. We'll get to it shortly.
You're now overlooking the large, round room. The mechanism you used to activate the first set of moving platforms during the fight is here, and those platforms are directly ahead. If you look through the bars on the right you'll see another document. (screenshot) To get there, jump onto one of the platforms, ride it around the room, and jump off on the ledge with the document (19/21) Control from the series Dreams in the Witch House (Russian). (screenshot)
From here, jump back onto one of the moving platforms and ride it around to the ledge with the vat on the northeast side of the room (C on the map). Scramble up into the alcove on the wall behind the vat and spool to find the next document (20/21) Dreams from the Dreams in the Witch House series (Russian). (screenshot)
TIMED RUN FOR THE FINAL DOCUMENT: Next comes the most challenging pickup in this area. The last document is located on the high ledge on the south side of the room. Getting there is tricky and may take several tries. Start by riding one of the moving platforms around to the ledge just below the fourth vat (D on the map). If you climb up onto the vat and look to the southeast, you'll see 5 dangling platforms, a set of 3 off to the left and a set of 2 on the right. The ledge with the document is above and between these sets of platforms. (screenshots)
While you're standing on the vat, notice how one of the 3 revolving platforms here on the upper level hangs a little lower than the others. This is important, as you'll need to jump from the vat to grab that platform shortly. Here's the sequence: Stand near the spinning rope spool and wait for the lower of the 3 revolving platforms to move around toward the tall, light-colored stone ledge on the east side of the room. When it does, shoot a rope arrow into the spool above on the right in order to attach it to the spinning spool next to you. This raises one of the dangling platforms off to the right. It only stays up for about 30 seconds, so you'll need to hustle. (This sequence is shown in a series of screenshots and in this short video walkthrough.)
Don't even wait for the platform to rise. As soon as your rope line is anchored to the spool, turn left and run/jump up onto the vat. As the lower of the 3 revolving platforms moves past, jump forward to grab it and pull up. Ride the platform around to the east side of the room and jump to grab the tall, light-colored stone ledge. Remember to hold the Jump button for the most air time. Pull up onto the ledge. Then sprint and jump off the right side to reach the dangling platform, which should still be raised. Run or sprint forward, jump off the edge of the platform, and either grab the ledge ahead or use your grapple to catch onto it. Pull up to find the last document (21/21) sitting in the alcove. It is Not Worth Living from the series Dreams in the Witch House (Russian). (screenshots)
If you're too slow and the platform sinks before you can jump across, or if you fall while attempting any of the jumps, climb back up to the spool near the fourth vat and try again. It's a challenge, for sure, but you'll get it.
After obtaining the last document, drop down onto the wooden ledge below. Turn left and hop across the 2 dangling platforms to get back to the fourth vat (D on the map). (screenshot) Jump from the vat to grab the lower of the 3 revolving platforms. Ride around just a little bit and jump over to the yellow ledge on the west side of the room. (screenshot) Follow this ledge to the right to spot the last survival cache (6/6) in a raised alcove. (screenshot) Climb up and dig it out of the floor.
Now head past the fifth spool and vat (E on the map) to the doorway at the north end of the walkway. (screenshot) Drop down into the room below to find the Archivist Map (1/1) for this area. (screenshot) You won't need it if you followed this walkthrough, since it will be your last pickup. Use a rope arrow to pull down the barrier and go through to emerge near the third vat (C on the map). If you're done exploring, you can drop through the hole in the floor behind the vat to get back to the round room where you found the relic. (screenshot)
From there, follow the northeast passageway to get back to Nadia and the exit to the canyon area with the Witch's Cave Base Camp and the gondola. From there, you can ride the gondola back to the other side of the canyon to unlock the Why the Chicken Crossed the Vale Achievement and/or use the base camp to fast travel wherever you want to go next. Well done!
REVISITING THE WICKED VALE LATER IN THE GAME
If you missed any of the collectibles or challenge items, you can revisit this area by fast traveling to either of the base camps. After defeating the witch, both of the areas where Lara suffered from pollen-induced hallucinations are safe to explore. Also, despite Nadia and Lara's conversation about the witch's gondola only needing to make one trip, it continues to operate. So you can ride it back and forth in case you missed any of the hanging lanterns for the Over the Cuckoo's Nest Challenge. Just use rope arrows to pull the levers at each end in order to start the gondola moving.
The separate Baba Yaga Collectibles guide includes additional tips for return visits.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 3/24/16 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
4/24/16 - Fixed mislabeled survival caches #2 and #6, thanks to a heads-up from Henry.
9/5/16 - Added video for document #21.
9/17/16 - Finished the separate Collectibles Guide.
1/8/17 - Made a few minor tweaks thanks to tips from Chris P.
5/28/17 - Added the notes about the Cuckoo's Nest bug and gondola lever bugs.
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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