Stella's Rise of the Tomb Raider Walkthrough - For Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows PC, PlayStation 4, MacOS & Linux

SAVING AND CHECKPOINTS: Cold Darkness Awakened, like the main game, relies heavily on autosave checkpoints. You can have up to one saved game at any given time, so if you can't finish a session for any reason you can quit and resume later on. Once you finish the session or when you start a new CDA Expedition, the autosave file is replaced. There are no specific issues known at this point, but you can always refer to the Rise of the Tomb Raider Master Bug Post on the Square Enix forums. This includes solutions for many common issues.


Updated: 11/28/16()

Special thanks to Treeble for contributing this walkthrough. Visit his site, Raider Daze, for more Tomb Raider info.

Archivist Maps:Documents: 8
Weapons & Gear: Makeshift Longbow (25 Arrows), Rope, Combat Knife, Climbing Axes, Wire Spool, Lockpick (additional weapons acquired during gameplay)
Area Maps: Soviet Weapons Research Facility

*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. If you're having trouble activating the DLC on your Xbox One, see here. (Xbox 360 and PC versions should install automatically after purchase.)


TO START THE DLC: From the main menu choose Expeditions. Then under Mode choose Cold Darkness. Under Action choose Tutorial the first time or New Game for subsequent playthroughs. Choose your preferred difficulty setting, then Continue. On the next screen, select the challenges you want to attempt, then the Expedition Cards you want to add enhancements your play. (More on these below.)

TUTORIAL: Your first journey into Cold Darkness Awakened will inevitably be the tutorial, in which the game itself will guide you through the basics. Everything is still covered in the guide below, but there's nothing like a "hands-on" experience to get you started. The playable tutorial will see you through disabling the very first tower, at which point it automatically ends and you can then proceed to start an actual Cold Darkness Expedition.


The expedition begins as Lara arrives at the isolated facility. While she makes her way towards the main gate, she's filled in on details by Nadia, who's keeping watch over Lara from a hovering helicopter. Nadia tells Lara about the disaster that struck the facility and how they'll have to work together to destroy the compound before the Remnant Village suffers the same fate....

OBJECTIVE: Collect resources to breach the Chemical Production Towers

Your first objective is to scavenge resources in the surrounding area. Throughout the level, you'll come across several flammable barriers and metal impact barriers, for which you'll need fire or explosive arrows, respectively. You can always improvise weapons with the bottles and cans spread throughout the level, but those also require resources to be crafted.

Right now, hoard as much as you can: gather any resources you find on the environment, while keeping an eye out for container boxes. As you defeat enemies, make sure to loot their bodies as well and you'll build up your inventory in no time.

A step-by-step walkthrough for this expedition wouldn't be extremely effective as a number of factors are random and change every playthrough. The barriers mentioned earlier, for instance, can appear in different locations. Most of the time you can quickly find a way around them, as the map is rather open, but you'll inevitably have to destroy them to gain access to the production towers.

As you explore the area, you will occasionally stumble upon prisoners, weapon caches, and strongboxes containing upgrades. From time to time, Nadia will highlight the location of one on your map for your convenience, which is particularly welcome as all of these also spawn in random and different locations. The only exception is the Revolver, which will always be in the very first weapon cache, right in front of your starting location.

Lara begins this mission with a number of unlocked skills (we can't confirm which ones exactly as there are no base camps); however, rescuing a prisoner will reward you a random skill. Once you've spotted a prisoner, just approach her holding cell or tied hands and hold the Interact button to free them. In a thorough session, you should find around 9 prisoners.

NOTE: You'll need to play through the mission more than once in order to rescue the 15 prisoners required to unlock the Ushanka Outfit. (See Rewards, below.) The game keeps a running tally, and each time you rescue a prisoner you'll see an on-screen notification.

As there are no base camps, you can't upgrade your gear the conventional way, and this is where strongboxes come into play. Prying a strongbox open with your climbing axe will unlock random gear upgrades.

Other collectibles, rewards, and achievements are detailed in the section following the main walkthrough.

It is no surprise that Cold Darkness Awakened has a great focus on combat, but your best alternative is to be stealthy as much as possible. All enemies in the level are aptly named "Infected", poor victims of the biochemical weapon. The Infected supposedly suffer from poor vision, but have a heightened sense of hearing. That said, if you keep a low profile you might be able to sneak past them without any problems, however as soon as you start jumping or sprinting you're likely to attract their attention.

Other than the awareness arrow above their heads, also pay attention to any changes in the ambient sound: an eerie ominous tune means your position is threatened. None of the enemies wield guns, so every time a swarm comes in, they'll all rush towards you with melee weapons (and the occasional suicide grenadier, depending on the difficulty level you're playing on).

Among the skills you have unlocked from the start is Dodge Counter, so you can effectively disable assailants with it. (See this section in the main walkthrough to review the Dodge Counter maneuver.) Poison arrows are still quite effective, both for stealth kills and swarm control, so remember to always collect any mushrooms along your way. You also start with the Combat Knife, so make the most of it with quick stealth kills as you roam towards your objective.

One final note: the enemies respawn very quickly, so keep on the move. Every now and then Nadia will warn you about a swarm coming towards you; these are random events and cannot be prevented.

Once you have a reasonable amount of fire and explosive arrows, head towards any of the three towers. You can disable them in whichever order you like.

OBJECTIVE: Disable the (3) Chemical Production Towers

As you breach your first tower, Nadia will give you a quick guided tour. The inner workings of each tower are comprised of four different systems:

In turn, each of the systems above has three different control methods:

It's important to familiarize yourself with these systems as they are crucial to disabling the towers. There are a great number of combinations, but they are always built under the same rules.

Through the radio, Nadia will pose you a question which can always be answered with a simple yes or no. Each question then offers two possible solutions for the conundrum at hand. The questions are random but also follow a same pattern, and it's up to you to figure out the answer by exploring the tower!

You can always activate the Survival Instinct or check the Pause screen to confirm the question Nadia has just posed. She will always ask you to confirm one of these:

So, in a practical example, here's one of the innumerable possible questions she might ask you:

Are there less than 8 red fuses in the 3 fuse boxes?
If So – Lower the Red Fuel Pump conduit.
If Not – Crank the Blue Water Filtration generator.

As you can see, it's very black and white. In this case, if you were to see exactly 8 red fuses, for instance, your answer would be "no", so you should locate the Blue Water Filtration generator and activate it with your Climbing Axe.

Should you need help identifying a country flag or what a generator looks like, you can always bring up the Pause screen for a quick visual hint.

Each question has two possible outcomes. If you perform the correct action, you should see the toxin cylinder releasing the gas when the tower is shut down. Each production tower has a progressive number of inputs, so while the first tower is disabled with a single input, it will take two correct steps to disable the second and three for the final tower.

If things go south, however, and you accidentally activate the wrong control, an alarm will sound and attract a swarm to your current position. Deal with the enemies and wait for a new question from Nadia to try again.

When a tower is disabled, your way out is through an open hatch on the roof. As an immediate reward, you can find an upgrade strongbox on each tower roof, so make sure to pry it open before mounting a zip line with a Rope Arrow to make your way back to the ground level.

THE POINT OF NO RETURN: You will no longer be able to explore the area when you set foot inside the third tower, so make sure you've gathered everything you needed for any given challenges (i.e., strongboxes, weapons, prisoners, documents, etc.) before heading inside.

Once the third tower is disabled, an explosion in the central core will reveal your way in: use a Rope Arrow to swing in for the grand finale.

OBJECTIVE: Destroy the (3) Gas Pumps

Immediately after the rope swing, slide and jump towards the wall and scramble up to reach a circular platform. It doesn't matter how low a profile you try to keep here, the Infected are on an all-out assault and will stop at nothing. You can thin down their numbers for a short amount of time, but pace is key.

My personal recommendation here is to use a Shotgun or Assault Rifle and run through the area in a counterclockwise pattern. Go up the stairs, turn around and shoot the red pumps on either side, right above the staircases. (screenshot) Then head down and climb the next set of stairs to repeat the process until all pumps are destroyed. If you get disoriented Survival Instinct will always show the way to go.

When all pumps are destroyed, the red toxin will be released and compromise the whole tower, so you have to make a hasty exit. From the center of the circular platform, climb to the higher level and rush towards the newly exploded opening, where Sofia awaits with a hovering helicopter. Two Infected will pop up just before you reach the edge of the opening, so quickly dispatch them before jumping off.

The helicopter whisks the women to safety and Nadia compliments Lara on a job well done.

The expedition ends, your performance is scored (score multipliers from selected cards are factored in) and you can compare your results with the community. You are also rewarded the Epidemiologist achievement, if you don't have it yet.

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There are 8 new Documents to collect spread throughout the level. If you are going for the Uncovering the Truth achievement, keep in mind you have to select the respective challenge in order for it to register and unlock properly.

This challenge also requires you to collect all Documents in a single session. Every time you replay the mode, you can pick them up again, but it's not necessary as they'll remain unlocked in the Pause menu should you want to read them. For what it's worth, transcripts are available over at WikiRaider.

All Documents, as well as the respective Archivist Map, are marked on the annotated area map. If you need further guidance, please refer to these separate pages with screenshots covering all nine collectibles.

As a last reminder, once you walk into the third tower you can no longer explore the region, so make sure you have completed the challenge before you proceed.

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Rewards for playing and finishing Cold Darkness Awakened come in two forms.

By rescuing a cumulative total of prisoners, you earn Card Packs. There are two exclusive packs to be obtained here: the Void Hammer Pack (a new shotgun) is gifted when you rescue 8 prisoners; while the Ushanka Camo Pack (a new outfit) requires you to rescue a total of 15 prisoners.

All the way up to 50 rescues you'll be gifted premium Card Packs at regular intervals, and you can check your progress bar in the main Expeditions screen for a current tally. Keep in mind you have to complete the level to log in any new rescues.

By completing the level repeatedly you also earn simple Card Pack rewards. These reward packs are given at intervals, with the last gift awarded when you complete Cold Darkness a total of 30 times.

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Cold Darkness Awakened adds 10 new achievements to Rise of the Tomb Raider:

First and foremost, keep in mind that you have to select the respective challenges for the achievements you want to unlock, so this means you can only go for 5 different achievements at any given time. The sole exception for this is the Epidemiologist achievement: it unlocks when you complete a Cold Darkness Expedition for the first time.

To the Rescue, Uncovering the Truth, Armed for Bear, and Legendary Gunsmith are achievements tied to collectibles. Refer to the Documents page if you need to consult their locations. Regardless, be thorough as you explore the level to spot randomly placed weapons, prisoners, and strongboxes and you should have no problem finding 6 of each.

For Combat Specialist, you have to complete an Expedition without ever dying. There are no difficulty restrictions for any of the achievements, so if you're having trouble, feel free to try it under easier difficulty settings. You can also use Expedition Cards to grant Lara additional skills and gear. The "Thinner Herd" card is also a good choice. Your final score will be affected, but you'll still claim the achievement.

Give a Man a Fire asks you to craft and kill 20 Infected with the secondary ammo from a Shotgun. It may take a while until you locate a Shotgun in a weapon cache, so if you're in a hurry you could combine any Shotgun card of your preference with a single-use "Blaze of Glory" card; that way, all shotgun shells you collect will automatically be incendiary shells.

Now, Spinning Leaf might test your patience. You're tasked with 5 headshots with any Bow in less than one minute. My personal recommendation is to do it stealthily, as headshots can be more difficult when the enemies are agitated. You may also find the "Big Head Enemies" card might make things slightly easier.

Reaching 75 kills (An Ocean in Storm achievement) should come naturally, and eventually even Perfectionist shouldn't pose any difficulties. Pay close attention to Nadia's instructions, pause the game for a quick reminder of what's what, and put everything you've learnt to good use.

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This is a rundown of the 15 Expedition Cards associated with Cold Darkness Awakened. When starting an Expedition, you can select up to five cards to change your experience. In addition to these exclusive cards, you can also use most of the cards you already own.

All 15 cards are permanent and cannot be sold. You should get them once you install the additional content into your game, but it can glitch on occasion. If you haven't received your cards on Steam, you can try the steps described in this forum post for a possible (not guaranteed) fix until an official patch is released.

Thinner Herd -50% Fewer Infected can be found wandering.
Groovy +0% The flashlight is... Like... Woah, man.
Clueless +25% Survival Instinct does not reveal possible answers in towers.
Low Battery +25% The flashlight occasionally flickers and goes out, briefly.
Perfect Timing +25% The flashlight always goes out as a swarm begins.
Rigged +25% Resource chests have a chance of being equipped with an alarm that will ring when opened.
Spark of Life +25% The Flashlight dims over time, but brightens with kills.
Fury +50% Each Infected swarm lasts longer than the one that came before it.
Scarcity +50% There are no resource chests to pick up.
Too Late +50% There are no survivors to rescue.
Unsupplied +50% There are no weapons to pick up.
Infectious +75% Taking damage from the Infected spreads the infection to Lara. Once infected, kills keep you alive.
Bomb Squad +100% Extra Infected Grenadiers appear during a swarm.
Classic Rules +100% Infected can only be killed with headshots and finishers.
Supersoldiers +100% Infected Soldiers cannot be killed with fire, poison or explosives.

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The following table details the various Cold Darkness challenges. This info is also included in-game on the Challenge selection screen, but it may be helpful as a checklist—assuming you're as much of a completionist as we are. ;)

To the Rescue Rescue 6 prisoners 1000 To the Rescue
Combat Specialist Complete Cold Darkness without dying 1000 Combat Specialist
Novice Modder Open 3 upgrade pry chests 500  
Uncovering the Truth Collect all 8 documents 1000 Uncovering the Truth
Arms Collector Pick up 3 different weapons 500  
Give a Man a Fire Kill 20 enemies with Dragonfire Shotgun Rounds 500 Give a Man a Fire
Spinning Leaf Get 5 headshots with normal arrows in 1:00 1500 Spinning Leaf
An Ocean in Storm Kill 75 enemies in Cold Darkness 1000 An Ocean in Storm
Armed for Bear Pick up 6 different weapons 1000 Armed For Bear
Combat Specialist (Survivor) Complete Cold Darkness without dying on Survivor difficulty 1500  
Quick Study Shut down your first tower without any mistakes 500  
Cool Under Pressure Shut down your second tower without any mistakes 5000  
Hot Shot Shut down your third tower without any mistakes 500  
Perfectionist Shut down all the towers without any mistakes 1000 Perfectionist
Legendary Gunsmith Open 6 upgrade pry chests 1000 Legendary Gunsmith
Scavenging the Past Loot 10 frozen Soviet corpses 500  
No Blue Herbs Loot 10 healing herb plants 500  
Puzzle Master Shut down your first tower in under 2:00 500  
Puzzle Master II Shut down your second tower in under 4:00 1000  
Puzzle Master III Shut down your third tower in under 6:00 1500  
Speed Runner Complete the level in less than 40:00 500  
Speed Runner II Complete the level in less than 30:00 1000  
Speed Runner III Complete the level in less than 20:00 1500  
Minimum Collateral Complete Cold Darkness with no more than 25 kills 1500  
Peacekeeper Kill 50 enemies in Cold Darkness 500  
Burn It with Fire Kill 10 enemies with fire arrows 500  
Bottle Rocket Kill 5 enemies with explosive arrows 500  
Quiet Killer Stealth kill 10 enemies with the bow 500  
Lobotomy Execute 15 enemies with head shots using a bow 500  
Bullet Holes Execute 10 enemies with head shots using a pistol 500  
Into Darkness Kill 10 enemies with melee finishers 1500  
Looking Up Kill 10 enemies with Death From Above 1000  
Resourceful Kill 5 enemies with environmental kills 500  
Brawler Kill 10 enemies with melee attacks 500  
Kill Streak Get a Kill Streak of 8 1500  
Thunderball Kill 10 enemies using a shotgun without taking any damage 1500  
Cocktail Mixer Craft 5 molotovs 500  
Cocktail Party Kill 5 enemies using molotovs 500  
Untouchable Complete the level without taking any damage 2000  

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UPDATE HISTORY: 5/14/16 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
5/27/16 - Added the note about the needing to replay the mission in order to rescue enough prisoners to unlock rewards. As you play, this becomes evident, but may not be obvious to new players.
5/29/16 - Confirmed that card pack rewards continue to be awarded until you've completed Cold Darkness a total of 30 times.
11/28/16 - Added section links in headers and made a few minor formatting tweaks.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: HUGE thanks to Treeble for writing this excellent walkthrough for the CDA DLC. I hope it has been as helpful to you as it was to me. Visit his site, Raider Daze, for more information on Rise of the Tomb Raider and the rest of the Tomb Raider universe.

WAS THIS WALKTHROUGH HELPFUL? If not, I apologize and invite you to contact us with any questions. As always, both Treeble and I welcome your questions, corrections, and suggestions. Thank you!

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