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 serious bug, I encourage you to visit the Official Shadow of the Tomb Raider Support Forum and or put in a support request with Square Enix. I am working on PC save files for download. Feel free to contact me with special requests.
AREA 13: MISSION OF SAN JUAN
Weapons/Gear: none (various from the Merchant)
Camps: 6 (Mission Gate, Riverside, Ruined Tower, Deserted Cloister, Mountain Catacombs*, Flood Basin*)
*These camps are found in the Challenge Tombs and are not counted in the total on the in-game map.
Outfits: 1 (Cantu's Gilded Vest)
Challenge Tombs: 2 Missions: 1 Challenges: 1 Treasure Chests: 1 Crypts: 1 Relics: 9 Documents: 27 Murals: 4 Survival Caches: 8 Monoliths: 1 Archivist Maps: 4 Explorer Backpacks: 3
Annotated Level Map: Mission of San Juan
NOTE: There are two "crypts" in this level. One is the crypt of Huascar, The Syncretist, an optional side area with a sarcophagus like the other crypts in the game. The other is the Christian holy site Lara is seeking in order to find the Silver Box. There's also a Side Mission, called "Star Crossed/Explore the Local Mysteries," which is not to be confused with the Mission of San Juan itself. Crypt, crypt, mission, Mission. I've tried to make these distinctions clear in the walkthrough, but the English language can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. ;)
Lara, Jonah, and Abby arrive at the Mission of San Juan. As they drive across the wooden bridge leading to the mission, they pass a group of giant heads carved from giant boulders. Looks like we're on the right track!
OBJECTIVE: Talk to Abby's Friend
COURTYARD: After the cutscene, approach Abby and she'll start talking about a childhood friend, Sara, who works as an archaeologist in the area. Follow Abby through the COURTYARD and down the steps to the southeast to find Sara and another archaeologist, Guillermo. (screenshots)
Sara tells Lara that the stone faces have been here for at least 400 years and are rumored to guard an ancient crypt whose precise location has never been found. She suggests that Lara start at the library near the cemetery.
OBJECTIVE: Go to the Library
SIDE MISSION – STAR CROSSED: Before following the main story, speak to the Mission Giver, Guillermo, standing next to Sara. He explains that Isabela, another archaeologist and a special friend, has disappeared. She and Guillermo had a fight the night before and she hasn't been seen since. He suggests that Lara Investigate the Cemetery. Like all Side Missions, this one is optional, but it's the only way to gain access to the level's single Crypt. The mission also takes you into one of the two Challenge Tombs and past a number of major collectibles, so this time I've included it in the main walkthrough. Details begin after the bulleted list, below.
The first flagpole (1/5) for the Raise the Flags Challenge is just beyond where Sara and Guillermo are standing. Cut the release pulley with your knife to raise the flag and initiate the challenge. The locations of the other flagpoles are noted below and marked with red dots on the annotated level map.
Return up the steps to the COURTYARD. At this point your inventory is probably getting full, so you may want to visit the MERCHANT standing under the awning to the northeast. (screenshot) She's cooking food for the volunteers working to repair the mission, but she also sells the following items:
MISSION COLLECTIBLES AND POINTS OF INTEREST: There are various resources scattered around the mission. I won't mention every minor item, but here are the major collectibles, challenge items, etc.
GRAVEYARD: When you're ready, go through the arch at the northeast end of the courtyard, near the scaffolding and the man loading or unloading bananas. (screenshot) Jonah is waiting. Follow him through another smaller archway into the GRAVEYARD. (screenshot) As you go, he gives Lara a pamphlet, Seven Steps Closer to God. This is not technically a document, but it can be found in the Artifacts menu under the Miracle Mission Story. Jonah then waits by the entrance to the LIBRARY until Lara is ready to go in. (screenshot)
IMPORTANT: Exploring the Library advances the story and takes Lara away from the San Juan Mission. For specifics, skip down to the LIBRARY section, below. You'll be able to return to the Mission later via Fast Travel, but there's a lot you could do before this. I recommend waiting until you've covered most of the level before approaching Jonah.
MISSION: STAR CROSSED – EXPLORE THE LOCAL MYSTERIES: After initiating the mission by talking to Guillermo (above), find the herbalist, an older woman standing with a group of children on the southeast side of the GRAVEYARD. Like other NPCs involved in missions, she glows green in Survival Instinct. Talk to her to learn that Isabela was climbing the cross on one of the gravestones and knocked it over shortly before she disappeared. Lara offers to help right the memorial but first she must Convince the Children to Move. (screenshots)
Talk to Diego, one of the children standing around the fallen cross. He tells Lara that he and the other kids are looking for treasure that a local storyteller, Manu, told them about and won't leave until they find it. Manu gave the kids a clue in the form of a poem: "I want you to take my supply. I'm nourished when the heavens cry. If I get sick, a village dies. Who am I?" Lara must now Find the Hidden Treasure. If you check the Mission Screen, you'll see that the treasure can be found somewhere within the GRAVEYARD. And, in fact, there is a covered well about halfway along the southwest wall. Go behind the well to find the treasure, by digging where you see the survival cache-like icon. Now Return to the Children. When Lara talks to the boy again, he and the other kids run off to show their treasure to Manu. (screenshots)
Return to the Woman, who's still standing right next to Lara. She and Lara raise the heavy gravestone with the cross on top. She says she doesn't know why Isabela was trying to climb it, but maybe it would help to Examine the Cross. Go ahead and do that now to find an inscription: "Look through me to find the way." Your goal is then updated: Follow the Path of Crosses. (screenshots)
Before leaving the GRAVEYARD, be sure to pick up a few more collectibles. In addition to various crafting resources, there's a relic (1/9), a Slave Collar (Conquerors), sitting next to one of the gravestones near the southeast corner. Behind the gravestone with the relic, close to the outer wall, you'll find a resource container and an archivist map (1/4), which reveals the locations of a few documents inside the LIBRARY. We'll get those later. There's also some gold ore sitting next to the gravestone just to the left of the large tree near the well where you found the kids' treasure. (screenshots)
FOLLOWING THE PATH OF CROSSES TO THE CRYPT ENTRANCE: If you like, you can head directly to the area marked on your map. Or, if you'd rather do the detective work yourself, start at the first cross—the one that Lara and the herbalist raised. You'll find the next 2 crosses on the other (northwest) side of the GRAVEYARD. Return through the archway then past the 4th and 5th crosses back into the COURTYARD. The 6th cross is just ahead on the right. The 7th cross is near the large archway just beyond the parked truck on the left. Head down the steps to the southeast to find the 7th cross. From there you can see the 8th cross just beyond where Sara and Guillermo are standing. (screenshots)
The 9th cross is on the bridge on the other side of the river. Use a rope arrow to run a line between the 2 rope-wrapped posts and climb across to the stone faces. Cross the road and head down the path just to the left of the 10th cross. The final cross is visible in the distance. As you follow the path down to the left, you'll find a relic (2/9), Faded Writing (The Missionary). Then jump across the gap to the south. (screenshots)
Before you Investigate the Final Cross, you may want to explore the WOLF DEN on the left. The wolves won't come out as long as you avoid the cave entrance, so you can always return later if you like. There are health and endurance herbs growing here if you need them, and if you use a dose of focus herbs before entering the cave, you can probably kill the black wolf and its den mates before the time-slowing effects wear off. Collect the regular and black wolf hides, dig up a survival cache (1/8) near the stone column in the middle of the cave, and pry some gold ore out of the back wall. (screenshots)
CRYPT – HUASCAR, THE SYNCRETIST: Now return to the final cross and press the button on the front of the stone base to open the nearby CRYPT ENTRANCE. That's where you'll need to go to Find Isabela. Just inside on the left is a document (7/27), The Chosen One (Cult of de la Cruz). Examine it. Then jump off the edge and latch onto the climbable wall above the deep shaft. Rappel down to the bottom. Move through the low tunnel to emerge in a corridor with brick walls and arches. Follow it to the end and jump across another deep hole onto another climbing wall. Climb/rappel down as far as you can, then drop into the pool below. Pry some jade out of the southeast wall of the pool. Then climb out and Speak to Isabela. (screenshots)
After Isa tells her story, Lara offers to go and get help. You must now find a way to Exit the Ruins. First, open the sarcophagus to receive 750 gold pieces and a Vestige: Cantu's Gilded Vest, which gives extra XP when hunting. Go ahead and steal these treasures right out from under the local archaeologist's nose. You're Lara Croft, dammit! ;) There's some jade behind the wooden bars, but you can't reach it from this side. Crawl through the low opening to the southeast. (screenshots)
There's a T-intersection on the other side. Go to the right first. Loot the resource container and jump over the concealed spike pit. In the little room beyond the spikes, examine another document (8/27), Believer's Journal (Cult of de la Cruz). Use your shotgun to blast through the metal barrier to find another resource container and the jade ore you glimpsed through the bars earlier. Then return across the spike pit to the T-intersection. (screenshots)
Examine the mural (1/4), Huascar, The Syncretist (Quechua/Resting Places). Then squeeze through the narrow opening to the right of the mural. The next document (9/27), Hubris (Cult of de la Cruz), is sitting near what remains of its author, just ahead. Proceed around the corner to the left then grapple-swing across the large spike pit to the ledge above the climbable wall on the far side. There's another document (10/27), Pure of Heart (Cult of de la Cruz), sitting on a little shelf on the left. Check it out. Then climb the rough wall at the end of the passageway to reach the well-lit doorway above. (screenshots)
There's another concealed spike pit just ahead, but don't cross it yet. Instead, move into the doorway on the left and jump across the gap to the ledge on the south side of the shaft above the sarcophagus. Continue to a small, candle-lit cave to find a relic (3/9), a Wheel-Lock Pistol (Angel de la Cruz). Return to the edge, jump back across the shaft, then turn left and jump over the concealed spikes. Move through the low tunnel and advance carefully. There's a swinging spike trap ahead. Either jump over the square button on the floor to avoid triggering the trap, shoot the button to trigger the trap before you pass, or trigger it and then quickly shoot the wooden block above the spikes as they descend. This will destroy the trap before it hits Lara. If you fail and she dies, the game will reload down at the sarcophagus and you'll need to climb back up to this point and try again. (screenshots)
In the room beyond the trap, use the jaguar-head switch to open the bars. But before proceeding, turn around to face the switch. In the little alcove to the left of it there's a document (11/27), Demons (Cult of de la Cruz), and some gold ore. (screenshots)
Now move into the doorway and grapple-swing across the gap to the other side. Climb onto the ledge on the right and use a rope arrow to pull down the wooden barrier. Jump from the doorway and latch onto the U-shaped climbable wall. Climb up along the right side of the U to reach the ledge above. Now the goal is to Return to Guillermo. Go through the doorway and continue along the low tunnel to arrive at the bottom of the shaft where you first entered the crypt. Climb the ladder to get back to the surface. (screenshots)
RETURNING TO THE MISSION: In case you didn't notice earlier, this area is also the territory of a condor, which can be seen flying overhead. (Later you'll meet an NPC who tells you about this.) If you like, you can hunt it for its rare feathers. Then head back toward the Mission the way you came. Jump across the gap and follow the path back up to the road. (screenshot) You'll probably need to remake the rope line so you can cross the river in order to get back down to Sara and Guillermo. (screenshot) When you talk to him, he sounds pleased to hear that Isabela is OK and says he'll handle the rescue. He also gives Lara another 500 gold pieces and the next mission objective: Talk to Manu.
Manu can be found in the COURTYARD just beyond the Merchant's stall. The children from the GRAVEYARD have returned to gather around him. (screenshot) Talk to him to learn about some nearby ruins. You receive a new goal, Find the Entrance to the Tomb, and its approximate location is marked on your map, off to the southeast, between the Mission and the Porvenir refinery.
EXPLORING SOUTHEAST OF THE MISSION: After speaking with Manu return down the stairs to the riverbank southeast of the Mission. Instead of continuing straight on to Sara and Guillermo, follow the path to the left to find the Riverside Base Camp. Talk to the man standing nearby to learn the location of an Empress Jaguar. In the small, ruined building behind him, you'll find an archivist map (2/4) and a document (12/27), Journal of T. Serrano 13 (Angel de la Cruz). (screenshots)
Now cross the rickety bridge with the "Prohibido El Paso" sign. (Because, again, Lara Croft.) Just ahead on the right is a metal barrier. Blast it with your shotgun to get the gold ore hidden inside. Then continue across the next small bridge to a clearing with a bunch of extremely excitable wild turkeys. If you have unlocked the Scavenger Skill Serpent's Glint, you can earn a quick achievement/trophy here. Select the pistol and hold Alt Fire to craft a Flare Round using black powder and fat from your inventory. Now shoot one at any of the turkeys. When the flare round goes off, the Thanksgiving Achievement/Trophy should also pop. You can also loot the turkeys for their feathers. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you're revisiting this area and the Thanksgiving turkeys won't spawn, try quitting and restarting the game. The birds should appear normally.
RUINED BELL TOWER: Off to the right, near the is another flagpole (5/5). Cut the pulley to raise the flag. If you've found all the others, this will complete the Raise the Flags Challenge. Just beyond the flagpole is a broken footbridge. Jump across to the ledge on the other side to find a relic (4/9), a Decorated Crucifix (The Missionary). The climbing wall on the right leads back up to the road. If you like, you can climb up and talk to the man standing by the road. He'll tell you about the condor in the area on the way to the CRYPT and reveal its location on your map. We have business to the southeast, though, so when you're finished, climb back down to where you found relic #4 and jump back across the water, or run a rope line down to the bell tower and return that way. (screenshots)
If you have the ROPE ASCENDER, you can open the reinforced door at the base of the tower. To do this, shoot a rope arrow into the coil, just as you would for a normal wooden barrier. Then hold Interact to activate the ascender and pull down the barrier. Inside is another relic (5/9), an Old Tome (The Missionary). (screenshots)
NOTE: If you haven't acquired the ASCENDER yet, don't worry. You'll have another chance soon.
Around the right side of the bell tower is a ledge overlooking the EMPRESS JAGUAR'S HUNTING GROUND. There's an alternate entrance on the far side of this shady clearing, but if you're fearful of the big cat, you can probably kill her safely from above. Fighting the empress jaguar is optional, but you will need to defeat or run past her to get to the FIRST CHALLENGE TOMB ENTRANCE. This strategy should make it much easier. Move to the edge, watch, and wait. Soon Lara will go into a defensive crouch as she senses the predator below. Survival Instinct should allow you to spot her more easily, and if you have the skill Illipa's Sight, her heart will glow so you can even track her when she moves behind trees and rocks. Wait until she climbs up onto the plateau in the middle of the clearing. At this point, she'll be close enough to target. Use a dose of Focus herbs. The time-slowing effects should allow you to kill her with a few quick bursts from your rifle. Then you can drop down, claim the exotic hides and gather various resources scattered around the arena. At this point you could go straight for the CHALLENGE TOMB, but there are other collectibles near the RUINED BELL TOWER, so in order to save backtracking, climb out of the jaguar area on the northwest side. (screenshots)
PATH FROM THE BELL TOWER TO THE FIRST TOMB: Around the left side of the tower is the Ruined Tower Base Camp. You probably won't need it so soon after the last camp, but "discovering" it will allow you to Fast Travel back here later if necessary. Ignore the path to the northeast. Instead climb the ladder on the right side of the tower and run a rope line over to the ledge to the north. Here you'll find 2 resource containers and a Yucatec monolith (1/1). The clue, "I swim with a turtle, seen only by those who let fear fall away," points to the large pool southeast of here. We'll get there a bit later. Move to the east end of the ledge, jump over to the climbable wall, and rappel down to the path below. (screenshots)
NOTE: There are a few items, including an explorer backpack and survival cache, in the cave below the fallen tree (i.e., just behind you after rappelling down from the ledge with the monolith). We'll get there a bit later on when we explore the area around the pool, but if you do happen to drop down and can't find the way back, there's a climbable wall just to the left when facing the pool. (screenshot)
For now, continue to the northeast and drop down onto a slightly lower path overlooking the pool. Just ahead on the left is a flammable barrier. Use a fire arrow to burn it away. Enter to find another archivist map (3/4), a box of supplies, and some jade ore. (screenshots)
Return to the ledge outside, use a rope arrow to run a line between the rope-wrapped tree stumps, then climb across. Just ahead on the right is a buried survival cache (2/8). Dig it up. Then follow the path along the ledge to the south. Just beyond the start of the wooden fence, the path comes to a dead end. The opening in the rocks on the right is the other entrance to the EMPRESS JAGUAR'S HUNTING GROUND. (screenshots)
TREE OF LIFE CHALLENGE TOMB ENTRANCE: With the jaguar out of the way, you can proceed to the rusty iron gate surrounded by gilded totems on the south side of the HUNTING GROUND. Enter and climb the stairs to find the Deserted Cloister Base Camp and, just beyond the campfire, another archivist map (4/4) and a relic (6/9), Mission San Juan (Miracle Mission). (screenshots)
TRAVELING MERCHANT MORAEKAH: If you are visiting this area for the first time during the VIA VERITAS chapter of the main story, your old friends Rimak and Moraekah should be waiting for you just inside the ruins. (screenshot) She sells the ROPE ASCENDER and LOCKPICK, along with various other items. Trade with her now because she probably won't be here when you come out of the tomb. If you miss her here, you can find her later in these locations.
There's a document (13/27), The Hills Are Alive (Homecoming), sitting on one of the little tables in the corridor on the west side of the cloister. At the end of this corridor on the right, hidden behind some foliage, is an explorer backpack (2/3). Examining it reveals the locations of several survival caches: one in the cave you passed earlier on the way here, the rest in the second challenge tomb, which we'll explore after this one. Opposite the pack is a wooden barrier. Use a rope arrow to pull it down. This is the actual tomb entrance. (screenshots)
The rest of this optional tomb is covered in the separate TREE OF LIFE CHALLENGE TOMB WALKTHROUGH, which includes the Mountain Catacombs Base Camp, 2 documents (14/27 and 15/27), 2 relics (7/9 and 8/9), a survival cache (3/8), and a mural (2/4). The tomb stele grants the Warrior Skill Kinich Ahau's Boon, which gives automatic health restoration once per battle.
LARGE POOL SOUTHEAST OF THE MISSION: After completing the TREE OF LIFE CHALLENGE TOMB, you emerge near the Deserted Cloister Base Camp. If your inventory is getting full, you can return to the Mission (or Fast Travel to Kuwaq Yaku or Paititi) to sell off some resources. Then return here and head back down the steps to the east into the EMPRESS JAGUAR'S HUNTING GROUND. Lara will probably crouch as though there's danger, but if you just defeated the leopard before entering the tomb, it should be safe to pass through this area. Exit through the small opening in the rocks at the east side of the arena. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you'd rather avoid the jaguar area, you can fast travel out to buy and sell resources. Then fast travel to the Ruined Tower Base Camp and follow the path to the northeast to get to the pool.
Move out onto the ledge overlooking the pool. Beneath the water is a rock formation resembling a turtle. That's the clue from the monolith (above). Dive in and search the bottom near the west side of the turtle to find the monolith riches, survival cache (4/8). There's another survival cache (5/8) buried on the bottom of the pool a short distance to the south of the turtle. Dig that one up while you're at it. (screenshots)
Before entering the next Challenge Tomb, collect the items from around the pool. In addition to the various resources scattered along the bottom, you can swim through the inverted V-shaped opening about halfway along the east wall of the pool and climb the ledges to find a document (16/27), Missionary Work (Conquerors), and a treasure chest (1/1) containing an artifact, a Warrior Pendant (Quechua/Cult of Kukulkan). Then swim back out to the main pool and head for the beach in the northwest corner to find more resources, another survival cache (6/8), and an explorer backpack (3/3). This probably won't be of much use at this point since the walkthrough has already pointed out the caches it reveals. (screenshots)
THIRSTY GODS CHALLENGE TOMB: The entrance to the tomb is at the south end of the pool. It's easy to spot thanks to the yellow paint and gilded totems. If you didn't get the gold embedded in the rocks below and to the left of the totems, do that now. (screenshot) The tomb itself is covered in the separate THIRSTY GODS CHALLENGE TOMB WALKTHROUGH, which includes the Flood Basin Base Camp, 3 documents (17-19/27), a relic (9/9), 2 survival caches (7/8 and 8/8), and 2 murals (3/4 and 4/4). The tomb stele grants the Warrior Skill Sip's Strike, which gives your charged bow shots more power against armored enemies.
RETURNING TO THE MISSION LIBRARY: Once you've explored the rest of the level thoroughly, you should only be missing the last 8 documents. All are in the LIBRARY, where Jonah is waiting. You can fast travel back to the Mission Gate Base Camp and visit the Merchant in the COURTYARD to buy and sell resources before moving on with the story. Or, to get back there on foot from the second challenge tomb, start by swimming across the pool to the north side and scaling the climbable wall to the path above. (screenshot) Follow it to the left, across the fallen log above where you found backpack #3, and on to the Ruined Tower Base Camp. From there, continue along the path to the northeast, which leads across the rushing stream to the Riverside Base Camp. Then just climb the steps to the northeast to get back to the Mission. If you like, you can stop and talk to Guillermo and Isabela on the way, but this isn't necessary.
If you're doing the SIDE MISSION: STAR CROSSED – EXPLORE THE LOCAL MYSTERIES, stop and talk to Manu. He's just north of the Merchant, still surrounded by a group of kids. (screenshot) Lara tells him about her adventure in the tomb, and he presents her with a prized artifact, a Skull decorated with gems (Mam/Metamorphosis), and of course you receive XP for completing the Side Mission.
When you're ready to move on with the main story, head for the archway at the northeast end of the COURTYARD. Proceed into the GRAVEYARD to find Jonah standing near the entrance to the LIBRARY. (screenshot) The library and graveyard are marked on the annotated level map, but you can also activate Survival Instinct and follow the objective beacon.) When you approach Jonah, he and Lara enter the library.
OBJECTIVE: Find the Secret Crypt
EXPLORING THE LIBRARY: The 8 remaining documents can all be found here. There are also several clues to help you find the crypt. The order in which you find each piece of information doesn't really matter. On the lower level in the room off to the left (northwest), there's a crumbling fresco, which you can tear down to find a 17th century cross. (screenshots) You can't do anything with this yet, though. Proceed into the side room to the left (west). Here you'll find a document (20/27), Journal of T. Serrano 8 (Gates of Hell), sitting on a desk and another document (21/27), De la Cruz Leaves (Angel de la Cruz), hidden behind a bit of crumbling wall. (screenshots)
In the main room, on the southwest wall, there's another crumbling wall you can pry away to reveal a clue from a Bible verse: "And under His wings you may seek refuge." (screenshots) On the southeast wall is a fresco of a heron and eclipse (we'll return to it shortly) and in a little alcove to the left of the fresco, a document (22/27), Journal of T. Serrano 10 (Angel de la Cruz). (screenshot)
The stairs in the west corner lead to the UPPER LEVEL. Here you'll find another crumbling wall with a document (23/27), Journal of T. Serrano 11 (Angel de la Cruz) behind it. (screenshots) Nearby is a book that isn't an official document but does provide another clue about Lopez's arrival at the mission. (screenshot) In the southwest corner beyond one of the big holes in the floor, is another document (24/27), John the Apostle (Miracle Mission). (screenshot)
In the northeast corner of the main room on the upper level there's another crumbling wall with a clue behind it: "The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light." (screenshots) Lara pieces together the two clues—"under His wings" and "the sun will be darkened"—and immediately recognizes references to the Heron and Eclipse.
OBJECTIVE: Find the Heron and Eclipse
Don't rush back downstairs yet. There are still a few collectibles here. Another document (25/27), Repelling the Demons (Homecoming), is sitting on a desk in the northeast corner. (screenshot) In the small side room to the northwest you'll find 2 documents (26/27 and 27/27), De la Cruz Arrives (Angel de la Cruz) and Ranting (Trinity), as well as a small pile of gold. (screenshots)
Return down the stairs to Jonah or just drop through the hole in the floor. Head for the Heron and Eclipse fresco at the southeast end of the room. When you begin to break it down, a cutscene kicks in.
Lara and Jonah work together to break down the wall, revealing another, older mural beneath. This one depicts the Stations of the Cross. Jonah notices that one of the figures shown in the painting is holding the Silver Box of Ix Chel. Based on the number of stations included in the depiction, Lara dates the mural as pre-1700, so quite possibly a clue left by the missionary, Lopez. In the 17th century, the first station would have been "Jesus takes up the cross." Jonah deduces that they now need to find an actual cross.
OBJECTIVE: Find the Cross
IMPORTANT: Once you locate the cross and enter the basement, you won't be able to return to the Mission exterior until you've completed the level and and reached the next base camp. Before the end of the level you'll also have to get through a series of combat encounters. So if you have gold or skill points to spend, need to stock up on ammo and supplies, or just want to finish exploring the Mission, leave now and return when you're ready to move on.
Head for the opposite (northwest) end of the lower level. If you haven't already broken down the crumbling wall to reveal the metal cross, do that now. (screenshots)
Lara asks Jonah to help her with the cross. When they lift it onto the metal brackets, a pair of skylights open, letting in the sunlight and revealing a concealed trapdoor in the floor. The two friends pry the trapdoor open and drop into the library's basement. As Jonah hits the ground, Lara makes a little joke based on the second station, "Jesus falls for the first time."
OBJECTIVE: Follow the Stations of the Cross
LIBRARY BASEMENT – LIGHT PUZZLE: Down below, Jonah discovers an inscription: "Walk while you have the light." Grab the wheeled cart and pull it under the beam of light shining from above. The mirror on the cart then reflects the beam onto the lens above the door and it opens. Follow the light through a cluttered passageway into the next room, where the beam of light illuminates the halo on a statue of the Virgin Mary. This represents the third station, "Jesus meets his mother." Jonah notices that this mirror is a little dusty. Interact with him and he'll give Lara a boost so she can dust off the halo. This opens the barred door below. Follow the light into the next room. (screenshots)
Numerous dangling corpses hint at danger ahead, but Lara wades right in, as usual. When she activates the next mirror, it also triggers a spike trap, which she narrowly avoids. She comments that this must be station four.
You must now rotate the mirror so it points to the correct alcove. If you like you can just rotate the mirror and figure things out through trial and error, but if you examine the frescoes inside each alcove, you'll notice that the one to the southwest shows Jesus with a woman. If you happen to know the Stations of the Cross (or read the Wikipedia article), you may remember the fourth: "Veronica wipes the face of Jesus." So this is the correct alcove. (If you point the light at the northeast alcove, where Jesus is shown accepting the cross, then pull the handle there, Lara will be trapped and killed. The southeast alcove contains a previous trap victim, so also not correct. If you point the light there, nothing happens.) Rotate the mirror so it points to the southwest alcove. Then go inside and use the handle. (screenshots)
The floor then collapses, dropping Lara and Jonah into the passageway below. Jonah quips, "Station five: Jesus falls a second time."
SUB-BASEMENT CHAPEL: Follow the passageway and squeeze through the cross-shaped opening. The next room is a macabre chapel, complete with mummified bodies filling the pews and kneeling in prayer. Along the sides of the room are 2 wheeled carts with rotating mirrors and 6 dioramas, in which various stations are dramatized by corpses. If you mess around a bit, Lara and Jonah will provide a clue in the form of the pamphlet Jonah gave Lara earlier, "Seven Steps Closer to God." This can be found in the Artifacts menu under Miracle Mission. You're looking for the sixth station: Jesus is crucified. The diorama depicting this is the one in the far right (west) corner, "Jesus, nailed to the cross." But there's no way to shine the light on it directly. (screenshots)
Start by pushing the left cart forward until the light shines through its lens. Now rotate the lens so the light points toward the middle diorama on the left (southeast) wall, showing Jesus being lifted onto the cross. This causes the handle to pop out of the wall below the diorama. Push the handle to reveal a mirror, which then reflects the beam of light toward the other side of the room. (screenshots)
Pull the cart on the right toward the entrance until the reflected beam strikes its lens. Then rotate the lens so the light shines on the left diorama, depicting the crucifixion. This extends the handle below it. Push the handle to open the exit and trigger a cutscene. (screenshots)
Lara and Jonah enter the inner sanctum, an eerie depiction of the seventh station, "Jesus is entombed." The mad missionary got at least one thing right, it would take centuries for anyone to discover the location of the Silver Box, but here it is. Lara is hesitant to take the Box, only the thought of Trinity getting their hands on it spurs her to action. There's a brief moment of calm when she finally has it. Then the chapel floor collapses, plunging Lara into the water below.
OBJECTIVE: Swim to Safety
FLOODED CATACOMBS: Swim forward into the tunnel directly ahead. Squeeze through a narrow opening then veer right toward the octagonal tunnel with light at the end. Around the next corner, the passageway is blocked by a wooden barrier. Mash Interact to break it down, then swim through. Continue forward then upward through a narrow passageway lined with corpses.
Lara surfaces inside the church. She takes cover behind a pew and peers out to see Jonah being held at gunpoint by a Trinity mercenary as Dominguez and Rourke look on. Jonah refuses to give up any information, but when it's clear they'll kill him if he doesn't talk, Lara emerges from hiding carrying the Box and offers to trade it for Jonah's life. In the ensuing argument, Dominguez reveals that he was behind Lara's father's death. He insists that he needed to have Richard Croft killed in order to protect Paititi, whatever the cost, just as he must protect it now. With everyone's attention on Lara and Dominguez, Jonah takes the Box and runs. Lara grabs one of the mercenaries' guns, subdues him, and climbs up out of the church. As she emerges outside, she sees several armored soldiers ahead and drops down into some bushes.
OBJECTIVE: Get Through the Trinity Forces
COMBAT OUTSIDE THE CHURCH: With your attention focused on the enemies ahead, you may not notice that a photo of Andres Lopez—well, his dessicated corpse anyway—has been added to the Artifacts collection under Lara's Notebook. If you're not completely clear on the plot so far, you can pause the game and review Lara's notes. This one explains Lopez's relationship with Unuratu's ancestor, as well as how and why he chose to hide the Box.
Now back to those Trinity goons. There are 5 soldiers in body armor and helmets stationed in this first area. As always, you can use your preferred fighting style to deal with them, but here are a couple of stealth approaches that worked consistently for me:
First, as soon as you regain control after the cutscene, select Fear Arrows (by repeatedly pressing the Bow Select button, 1 on the keyboard or D-pad Up on the controller) and craft some if necessary (by holding Alt Fire without aiming). Watch the 5 mercenaries. Target the middle one of the 3 nearest enemies, since he has line of sight on more possible targets, and he'll hopefully do more damage with his rifle than the guy on the left, who just has a pistol. Before he can move off to the left, hit him in the body with a fear arrow (Aim then Alt Fire). Wait for just a moment until the poison kicks in and he starts shooting at his companions. Then, when everyone's attention is focused on the mayhem, scramble behind the low wall on the left, from there to the clump of bushes beyond, and finally behind the bench on the far left. (screenshots)
Hide among the vines growing on the back of the bench and wait to see how things shake out. With very good luck the gunner will kill two of his pals before he expires. Generally, though, only 2 of the 5 men will die. It still helps to get the others moving. Wait here for the other 3 men to approach, usually one at a time. Then take them down with stealth attacks when you see the Melee prompt. Rinse and repeat, just like you did back in the Porvenir Oil Fields. (screenshots)
Alternatively, if you don't have the resources to craft Fear Arrows, or the above strategy isn't working for you, wait until the nearest 3 enemies separate, then sneak forward into the next clump of vegetation. Pretty soon the man on the right will be out of the others' line of sight (i.e., yellow in Survival Instinct). Move out quickly and press Melee for a stealth kill. Then immediately move forward between the outer wall on the right and the vine-covered wall running parallel to it. Use the mud puddle to apply camouflage and then disappear into the vines. Sidle to the right and stealth attack the man standing there. Then just wait among the vines for the others to come to you and kill them the same way. (screenshots)
Of course, if Lara is spotted, things can quickly get out of hand, so either reload the checkpoint, run and try to find cover somewhere else, or switch weapons and start fighting. Whenever you're fighting multiple enemies, the best bet is usually to start out stealthy and pick off as many of them as you can before confronting the others.
When you've taken care of this first group of enemies, loot the bodies, pick up various resources scattered around the area, and head for the opening in the brick wall in the southwest corner. Climb through into the next area. (screenshot)
SECOND COMBAT – COURTYARD WITH RUINED GAZEBO: There are 7 mercenaries in the courtyard ahead. When you first enter, you'll see a prompt about mud camouflage. Ignore it for the moment. If you have the Serpent's Fury skill, you can use it to take out the first 2 men, but you have to act quickly. As soon as the one on the left turns away, but before he can wander off, move out and melee attack the one on the right. Then press Melee again for a chained takedown. (screenshots)
Now, move back into the alcove where you started and use the mud camo. You may not need it if you use this strategy, but if Lara is spotted, she'll have a better chance of hiding again if she's already muddy. Head for the right side of the alcove (when facing out toward the courtyard). Make sure Fear Arrows are selected and that you've crafted at least one. (If you reload a checkpoint, the game tends to automatically select Fire Arrows for some annoying reason.) Now shoot the man on the far left with a Fear Arrow. He's got a good angle on the others and he's holding a powerful gun. Watch as he goes apeshit and starts shooting his comrades. With any luck, he'll also set off a fuel barrel over in the far left corner, killing another soldier there. While everyone is occupied, scramble up the wooden wall onto the ledge above the alcove. If you move back into the shadows, you can see what the enemies are up to, but they can't see Lara. (screenshots)
Best-case scenario, there will only be a couple more mercenaries left after the friendly fire incident. If one comes to investigate the bodies, you can move out onto the fallen tree trunk until you see the Melee icon above his head. Then press the button to serve him a heaping helping of death-from-above. If nobody approaches, you can try dropping down and making your way around to the far end of the courtyard via the various shrubs and vine-covered walls. Or jump from the end of the fallen tree onto the cross, then to the top of the gazebo. Move around to the far side of the gazebo and hopefully spot the last soldier on guard here. Make sure nobody's watching (yellow in Survival Instinct) and press Melee to drop down and attack. (screenshots)
If he's not there, or if there are multiple enemies left, you can instead drop down inside the gazebo. There's another mud patch there if you need it. Then sneak around, using bushes and vines for cover and stealthily picking off the few remaining men.
When they're all dead, Lara will stand up and contact Jonah on the walkie-talkie. He says he's in a nearby cane field. That's where you're headed next. Loot the bodies, collect supplies, and climb over the wooden door on the northeast wall. (screenshot)
NOTES: If you don't have the Serpent's Fury skill and/or resources to craft Fear Arrows, you can still use the mud camo, and there are plenty of places to hide and climb around to evade searchers. Use the other stealth attack skills, and bring out the big guns, fire arrows, Molotovs, and petrol bombs if you have to. You'll be able to replenish your ammo by looting the soldiers' bodies. You'll be able to replenish your ammo here and after the next sequence.
SUGAR CANE FIELDS: After a brief cutscene in which Lara enters the area and overhears Rourke on the radio, you're already in hiding amid the cane at the west end of the field. There are 10 mercenaries ahead, 3 fairly close to you, the rest off in the distance. Move forward through the cane until you're close enough to the nearest man to see the Melee icon above his head. Check to make sure he's unobserved (yellow in Survival Instinct). Then press Melee to stab him and drag him into the cane. Move forward through the cane a little farther as the second man comes to investigate. Then repeat the stealth takedown maneuver on him. The third man should now have moved to talk to his buddy on the other side of the fence. Sneak in close to them but don't attack yet. Wait until the buddy turns around and walks away, leaving the nearer man isolated. Now use the Melee attack to stab and drag him just as you did the first two men. (screenshots)
Now there are 2 men ahead on the right side of the field and 5 more off to the left. Select Fear Arrows and shoot the guy standing out in the open. While everyone's attention is focused on him, cross to the clump of cane on the left and move forward and left, past the rum barrels. The man you just poisoned will probably only kill the guy on the far right (southeast) before expiring himself, but the mayhem should draw the 5 remaining men away from the left (northeast) corner. You can then sneak directly to the exit, located inside the building at the east end of the field. (screenshots)
Alternatively, if you want to kill the rest of the men so you can take their supplies and gold, after creating the Fear Arrow diversion as described above, switch to Lure Arrows and fire one into the ground near where the soldiers are gathered. As some of the men come to investigate and find themselves dying in agony, move back the way you came so they can't track the shot back to you. Fire another Lure Arrow from a different angle. Then move to another hiding place as the toxic cloud does its work. After this, there should only be one or two enemies left. You can either take them on head-to-head or wait for them to move into the cane looking for you, sneak up, and finish them with a Melee attack. (screenshots)
Search all the bodies, gather resources, then enter the ruined building to the east. Before heading up the stairs into head up to the final combat area, use a dose of Focus and Endurance herbs and switch to the rifle. Stealth will not be an option in the next fight. (screenshot)
USING FOCUS/ENDURANCE MIXTURES: You must first have unlocked the necessary skills, Scales of the Serpent and Heart of the Jaguar, respectively, and you must have Focus (yellow) and Endurance (orange) herbs in your inventory. For Endurance, press F2 on the keyboard or hold L1/LB on the controller and press Circle/B. For Focus, press F3 or hold L1/LB and press Square/X. Endurance mixtures reduce damage from enemy attacks and, with the second-level skill, also reduce damage from fire and explosives. Focus mixtures speed up Lara's reaction time, so enemies seem to move in slow motion, giving you a big advantage when fighting multiple foes.
When you enter the next area, a short cutscene shows more Trinity soldiers arriving by helicopter, as the volcano erupts in the background.
FINAL FIREFIGHT AT THE DISTILLERY: The way is now blocked behind you, so as soon as the cutscene ends, take cover behind the boulder just ahead. If you haven't already done so—or if the checkpoint reloaded and you're starting over—take a moment to use Focus and Endurance mixtures (notes above). These will make a tough fight much easier.
You'll need to fight about 10 guys here, but they appear in groups. All enter through the building ahead on the left, so at least you don't have to worry about anyone sneaking up behind you. Hold Aim to activate the time-slowing effects of the Focus herbs. Using Survival Instinct also helps to see distant enemies through the haze. Before targeting the first 4 soldiers, try to hit the fuel barrel on the balcony to the upper left. If you do this before the men can move out, it may kill three of them. Then you can shoot the fourth as he runs toward you. (screenshots)
The next 4 enemies drop in from the balcony and disperse. If you have the more advanced Scales of the Serpent skills and can keep the slow-mo active by holding Aim the entire time, you may be able to shoot all of them from the starting position before the Focus effects wears off. Otherwise, just try and kill one or two as they arrive. Or, if you have the Viper's Venom Skill and have crafted some poison grenades, you might try using one now. Aim high and press Alt Fire so the grenade arcs up over the barrier where you're hiding and lands on the ground below the balcony. If the survivors run to the right, shoot them as they approach or aim for the rum barrel near the gated archway and blow that up instead. If you don't have grenades, if you run low on ammo, or if you just like blowing stuff up, grab the jerry can sitting near the boulder. Hold Alternate Fire (Middle Mouse/R1/RB) to combine it with cloth from your inventory to make a petrol bomb. Then lob it at the second wave of enemies before they have a chance to disperse. (screenshots)
Occasionally one of the men will throw a grenade. If you see the red icon incoming, scramble over to the left and take cover behind the low wall. Release Aim to crouch. Then heal and/or top up your other herbs if necessary. There's also rifle ammo here. One or two more men appear while you're fighting the second wave. The slow-motion aiming provided by the Focus herbs should allow you to finish off any stragglers before they do to much damage. (screenshots)
When you've killed the last man, Jonah radios to say he's commandeered a helicopter. He says to hurry, but you can take your time and gather whatever supplies you can find. Then enter the building where the bad guys came from and pry open the metal gate to get to the field with the helicopter. (screenshot)
As Lara approaches, she feels a tremor and hears Jonah and Dominguez arguing over the Box. The chopper lifts off, and Dominguez tosses Jonah out. Dominguez makes eye contact with Lara as he flies off with his prize. Jonah has landed hard but insists he's all right. Abby arrives and the two women help their friend to his feet. A noise draws their attention back to the helicopter. It looks to have been hit by a junk of volcanic ejecta and is now spewing a trail of smoke. Lara hesitates, but when Abby and Jonah give her the go-ahead, she runs after the helicopter. Lara emerges at the top of a hillside community, hears the chopper pilot issue a distress call, then turns to see a mudslide bearing down from behind her. Time to run!
OBJECTIVE: Outrun the Landslide
This section is nerve-wracking but fairly straightforward. The path splits and converges a few times, so there are a few points where you can choose to go left or right. Rather than post a series of screenshots that probably won't be too helpful in such a fast-paced sequence, I've posted a quick video walkthrough showing two possible routes. In the first half, Lara goes left whenever there's a choice. In the second half, she goes right. Take your pick or combine bits from both to reach the end.
If you're struggling because your PC can't react fast enough to your inputs, or you have mobility issues, you're welcome to download my save file for the checkpoint following Lara's leap into the river. The linked .zip file includes a text file with instructions.
In a series of transitional cinematics, Lara plunges into the river and struggles to the surface. Exhausted, she clings to a floating board amid the destruction. Then we see Lara and Jonah in a zodiac on their way back to Paititi. Jonah apologizes for losing the Box, but Lara places the blame on Dominguez and Trinity, who she also holds responsible for stealing her childhood.
REVISITING THIS LEVEL LATER IN THE GAME: It is possible to achieve 100% completion the first time through this level, but if you missed anything, you can return later by fast traveling between base camps. I will add a complete COLLECTIBLES GUIDE later. Meanwhile, if you have trouble finding anything, I'm happy to help.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 1/7/19 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
1/12/19 - Fixed the numbering of one of the documents, thanks to a correction from Henry.
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