Tomb Raider I-III Remastered updates are in progress but will take time. For levels that have not yet been updated, I will continue to link to the ORIGINAL WALKTHROUGHS, which cover all the basics. Please check the introductory notes at the start of the first level for info on my process, modern vs. classic tank controls, etc. Note thatThis guide covers most but not all possible achievements/trophies. Follow this link for the archived classic Cistern walkthrough.


Updated: 5/27/24()

Secrets:Pickups: 28, including 5 keys  Kills: 34
Save Crystals: 5 (New Game+ only)

NOTE: The regular pickups here will include the MAGNUMS and SHOTGUN if you didn't get them earlier.

LEVEL MAP by VGCartography (used with permission)

Cistern Video Walkthrough by Eldincy

OBJECTIVES: Locate two rusty keys and use them to open the doors along one wall of the main room. Find three more keys (two silver and one gold) in the side areas beyond these two doors. In the process you will need to flood the cistern to raise the water level, enabling you to reach previously inaccessible areas. Then use the silver and gold keys to reach the level exit.

LEVEL ENTRANCE: From the start, safety drop into the room below and kill a big, nasty rat (1). Find the movable block and push it twice into the next room. Go around to the side and push it under the switch. Climb up and throw the switch to open the trapdoor below, as well as the square, metal door, letting in 2 more rats (2-3). Kill them from on top of the block, then hop down and retrieve a large medi pack (1) from the small room behind the metal door. (screenshots)

MAIN ROOM OF CISTERN: Drop down through the trapdoor. Exit onto a walkway jutting out into a huge room with a pool, but don't drop down to the floor just yet. First get your bearings. If you like, you can use Photo Mode (F3 on keyboard, L3 + R3 on controllers; i.e., click both analog stick buttons at the same time) to scout ahead. You can't move the camera through closed doors, but you can peek between the bars. Ahead on the far (north) side of the room is a tiered balcony with railings on both sides. At ground level on the same wall is a small metal door. To the left (west) are two high ledges with locked metal doors. Below and beyond them (also on the west side) is another small metal door at ground level. On the right (east) side is another high balcony, and below it, an elevated walkway with a square pillar at one corner. On the same side, there's also an opening with a ramp below that leads down to the pool and is flanked by two gargoyles. To your immediate right (in the southeast corner) is a long, L-shaped ledge with a horizontal crevice running along below it. There are also several submerged openings in the pool: two on the left (west) wall and one on the far (north) wall. (screenshots) Where to start....

Walk out to the end of the ledge at the entrance. You can probably kill the 2 rats (4-5) on the floor and 2 crocodiles (6-7) in the pool from here. (screenshot) Jump across the gap to the next walkway if necessary to get a better angle. (You don't have to kill these animals first, but it will save you some difficulty later, when you enter the pool through an underwater tunnel.) Jump back to the walkway near the entrance.

NOTE: If Lara falls off the walkway, either reload, use the corner bug at this spot to get back up, or climb to the top of the ramp on the east wall and take a running jump onto the elevated walkway. (screenshot) Then proceed with the next paragraph (rat and shotgun shell pickup) in reverse.

Ready pistols and take a running jump from the walkway near the entrance onto the slightly higher walkway to the east. Kill the rat (8) lurking there, then walk down the steps and to the right. Grab the horizontal crevice above and traverse to the left until you can drop down onto the corner ledge with the shotgun shells (2). Grab the crevice on the other side of the corner, continue traversing all the way to the left, then drop onto the elevated walkway. (If you like, you can take a detour along the top of the L-shaped corner ledge to get the RUSTY KEY, but to save backtracking, we'll wait and get it later.) Turn around, go to the other end of this walkway and climb onto the square pillar at the corner. (There's a save crystal here in New Game+.) From the top of the pillar, take a standing jump onto the high balcony. (screenshots)

ROOM WITH METAL GRATING AND CISTERN SWITCH: Your buddy Pierre is waiting inside on the right. To get rid of him quickly and easily, draw the shotgun, run in, blast him twice at close range, then run past him. He should scurry out the door and disappear. You can use pistols here if necessary, but Lara will probably lose some health in the process. In any case, try to injure him and then get behind him as quickly as possible. If you block his route to the exit, he'll keep shooting at Lara. (screenshots)

Don't use the switch yet. It floods the cistern, and you still need to do a few things above water. If you've already done this, move it back to the up position to drain the water.

NOTES: If you've come to this walkthrough after flooding the cistern too soon, just pull this switch again to lower the water level, go on about your business, and re-flood the area again when you're ready. If Lara falls through one of the openings in the floor before getting the first secret, you won't be able to climb out of the pool here. Either reload or skip down to the section on the FLOODED AREA AND FIRST RUSTY KEY, below. Then, once you get back to the MAIN ROOM, climb up to the switch room again (screenshot) and continue.

Climb on the block in the near right (southwest) corner. Turn around and take a standing jump to grab the raised arch in the middle of the room. Pull up and, from there, take a running jump to grab the next higher ledge. Pull up and collect a large medi pack (3) and some shotgun shells (4). Return to the end of the ledge nearer the entrance. Take a standing jump (not a running jump) from the edge back down to the stone arch. Jump over to the next ledge and then climb into the inverted arch above. Pick up the small medi pack (5). Then climb into the barely visible opening above on the right. This is SECRET #1. (screenshots)

Climb up three times to find more shotgun shells (6). Step off the edge onto the slope below. Slide forward and, just before the end of the slope, jump to grab (or land on) the ledge ahead. Pick up 2 more boxes of shotgun ammo (7-8). Safety drop off the ledge and slide down to the floor, losing a little health in the process. (This page with screenshots shows the path to the secret and how to get down without taking any damage.)

Climb over the low wall to the other side of the room. Before jumping into the water, get rid of the 2 rats (9-10) lurking below. (screenshot) To do this, jump over the hole in the floor to activate the rats. Then shoot them through the opening. (You may need to jump over the opening again a few times to attract them.)

FLOODED AREA AND FIRST RUSTY KEY: Drop into the water and swim through the tunnel in the southeast corner (below and to the right of the switch). (screenshot) Follow this underwater tunnel through a few twists and turns to a room where you can surface. Quickly swim to the far corner of the room, climb out at the foot of the steps, and kill another swimming rat (11). Climb to the top of the stairs. Turn left and take a running jump to grab the gray block opposite. Pull up, turn left, then take another running jump to grab the ledge where you'll find the FIRST RUSTY KEY (9). (screenshot)

NOTE: If you're playing the original, un-patched version of the remastered game, this key is almost impossible to see. (screenshot by Dan Hett and Rami Ismael) I recommend updating the game or switching to classic graphics to spot it more easily.

Go through the doorway ahead to the edge of a pit with 2 rats (12-13) in it. Shoot them from above. Then turn around, drop and hang from the doorsill, traverse along the crevice to the left, and drop down near the dead rats. (screenshot) Slide down the ramp to emerge back in the MAIN ROOM. (There's another save crystal here in NG+.)

MAIN ROOM OF CISTERN (AGAIN): Take a running jump over to the walkway on the left. Turn around, climb to the top of the long, L-shaped corner ledge with the horizontal crevice below. Follow the ledge around the southeast corner toward the doorway where you entered this area. At the end of the ledge, pick up the SECOND RUSTY KEY (10). (screenshot)

Drop down onto the walkway with the steps, where you killed a rat (8) earlier. Take a running jump back to the walkway near the entrance. Turn right, walk to the end, and jump across to the short elevated walkway ahead. Turn left (west) and take a running jump to grab to the ledge in front of the first of the two locked doors. Pull up and use one of the RUSTY KEYS in the keyhole to open the door. Just to be clear, this is the left door of the two identical doors on the west wall. (screenshot)

IMPORTANT: Do not enter the identical door on the right yet. It is possible to open this door, using the other RUSTY KEY, drop down into the spikes, and survive. If you do this, you will be stuck down there and unable to complete the level. You'll flood the area later, allowing you to enter the right door safely. If you've already dropped down and find yourself softlocked, either reload an earlier save, or kill Lara on the spikes, allow the Passport menu to open, then page to the right for the Restart Level option.

ROOM WITH TIERED LEDGES AND GORILLAS: Two gorillas (14-15) emerge from alcoves at the back of the room. Advance and draw them out, then back up shooting. Or, enter, turn around, climb up on the ledge above the door, and kill them from safety. (screenshots)

If you go any farther into the room ahead, Pierre reappears behind you. This is a great opportunity to unlock an easy achievement/trophy: Draw magnums. (You won't need much ammo, but this method, and the achievement, depend on using these more powerful guns.) From the ledge above the entrance, take a running jump to the next ledge, which will cause Pierre to appear. Roll as you land so Lara falls off the ledge and lands facing Pierre and the entrance. Start shooting as soon as Lara gets a lock, and continue firing as you backflip away twice, then side flip to the left or right to take cover behind one of the square supports. This should do enough damage to drive Pierre away and break line of sight, ensuring that he'll disappear. The "Au Revoir!" achievement/trophy ("Make Pierre go away using magnums") should then unlock. (screenshots)

Climb back up to the ledge above the entrance. Turn around and take a running jump to the second ledge. From there take a running jump to grab the third, where you'll find a large medi pack (11). Take another running jump to grab the fourth and highest ledge and pull up. Now we're aiming for the alcove with the magnum clips (12) below. This is a tricky jump, so save first if possible. Walk to the edge. Walk one step backwards. Then swan dive onto the ledge (Walk + Jump + Forward). Or, if you struggle with the swan dive, turn around so Lara's back is to the alcove. Walk backwards to the edge. Then walk one step forward. Backflip and Lara should land in the alcove. Pick up the ammo. (screenshots)

NOTE: If you didn't find the MAGNUMS earlier, you'll get them now instead of ammunition. In my opinion, this should count as a secret. If you just got the magnums now so weren't able to unlock "Au Revoir!" don't worry. You'll have another chance shortly.

Now face out over the room and move to the left corner of the ledge. Take a carefully angled standing jump to grab the edge of the doorway ahead. Pull up. Or, use a running jump and grab to get back to the highest ledge. Turn around and this time take a running jump to grab the narrow crevice above the alcove where you got the ammo. Traverse to the right until you can drop down safely. (screenshots)

ROOM WITH SLIDES, LEDGES, AND CROCODILES: Follow the passageway, hop down onto the yellowish-gray ledge, then head down and around to the left, sliding down a series of short slopes, until you're on the flat spot above the final slide. Kill the crocodile (16) from above. Slide down to the floor and either use the shotgun for the second crocodile (17) or jump/climb onto the block in the far left corner and shoot it from safety. (NG+ players find another save crystal here.) A third croc (18) lurks in the passageway to the right of the slide. Approach cautiously and back out shooting. When the crocs are dead, go all the way into the dark passageway, kill a rat (19), and pick up a large medi pack (13). (screenshots)

Return to the crocodile room, climb the two blocks in the corner opposite the slide. Turn around, walk to the edge, and take a standing jump to grab the small ledge in the middle of the north wall. Pull up. Then take a carefully angled running jump to grab the edge of the doorway ahead and a bit to the right. Pull up. (Lara should have no trouble making this jump, but if you prefer, you can take the longer route shown in the screenshots.)

Throw the switch to open the door. Enter cautiously—there are spikes and a couple of rats (20-21) below. One rat won't come out until you drop down, so kill the first one from above, angle Lara to the left and jump down beyond the spikes, then kill the other rat. Continue to an opening in the floor. (screenshots)

NOTE: If this opening is filled with water, then you've flooded the cistern too soon. See the footnote for solutions.

ROOM WITH FIRST SILVER KEY: Hop down onto a block in a mossy room. Shoot the rat (22) below. Hop down, enter the next room, and kill another rat (23). Do not fall or jump into the pool. You won't be able to climb out and will have to swim back to the main room (as described in the second footnote).

Climb the stairs to the right of the metal door. Climb onto the ledge ahead and then to the higher ledge on the right. Go to the end of this ledge, turn right and take a running jump to the ledge below. Pull up onto the next ledge, turn right and take a running jump to the ledge beyond. Watch out for the gap in the floor just ahead. Jump over to the switch alcove. Use the switch to open the door below. Again, do not dive into the pool yet. Climb down carefully. (screenshots)

Save the game if you like, and take the FIRST SILVER KEY (14). Immediately roll and draw your shotgun for another confrontation with Pierre. To get through it with little or no health loss, quickly run forward position Lara in the far corner of the alcove on the right, facing out into the room. Pierre will approach from the other side of the room, and she'll remain under cover until he's right in front of her. As soon as he steps into view, blast him twice with the shotgun and he'll run off. When he's gone, jump into the pool and swim through the underwater passage to the next room where you can surface. (screenshots)

NOTE: If you missed the "Au Revoir!" achievement/trophy in the ROOM WITH TIERED LEDGES AND GORILLAS, you can get it here by using magnums instead of the shotgun. Or, you can avoid Pierre altogether by picking up the key and immediately jumping into the pool and swimming through the flooded passage to the next room.

ROOM WITH SECOND SILVER KEY: Notice the high lever and the small door with the other SILVER KEY behind it. Both are inaccessible now, but we'll return here soon. (screenshot) High up on the ledges are a couple of rats (24-25) and some goodies you can't reach yet. To make your job easier later on, you can kill one or both of these guys now: Climb onto the low block in the corner and jump up and down with pistols drawn until you get a lock on the rat on the opposite ledge. Keep jumping and firing until it's dead. (screenshot) Shoot the second rat from the other side of the room. Or just leave it for now. Hop back in the pool and follow the other, twisty passage (southward) back to the main area. (screenshot)

MAIN ROOM OF CISTERN (AGAIN): If you haven't killed those crocodiles (6-7) yet, climb out of the water quickly and do it. If you have, go for SECRET #2: Swim into either of the openings on the right (west) side. These openings connect via a U-shaped passageway. In the middle of this flooded tunnel, in a shallow depression, is a set of magnum clips (15). Grab them, swim back out, and surface. (screenshots)

FILLING THE CISTERN: Climb out of the pool at the base of the ramp, on the east side, between the two gargoyles. Climb onto the walkway above, then onto the square pillar at the corner of the walkway. Jump back onto the balcony and go up the stairs into the ROOM WITH METAL GRATING AND CISTERN SWITCH. Hop over either of the openings in the floor. Now pull the switch to flood the area. (screenshots)

ROOM WITH SECOND SILVER KEY (AGAIN): Return outside and swim down to the north end of what was the original pool, through the small opening where you came out earlier. Follow the passageway until you can surface. Follow the passageway until you can surface. If you only killed one of the 2 rats (24-25) here earlier, climb out on the ledge with the dead rat and shoot the other one from there. Pick up a small medi pack (16) (and a save crystal in NG+) on one ledge, a large medi pack (17) and shotgun shells (18) on the other. (screenshots)

NOTE: If you don't already have the SHOTGUN, you'll find it here in place of the shells.

Jump back in the water and pull the lever to open the door below. Swim down and pick up the SECOND SILVER KEY (19). The outer door opens automatically. Swim through and return to the surface. (screenshot)

FLOODED SHAFT WITH SPIKES LEADING TO GOLD KEY: Climb out of the water on the ledge near the right door of the two identical doors on the west wall. Use the second RUSTY KEY in the keyhole here to unlock the door. (screenshots)

IMPORTANT: If the opening beyond the locked door is not filled with water, then you missed something. You'll need to flood the area, as described above. If you've already dropped down into the spikes and survived, either reload an earlier save, or kill Lara on the spikes, allow the Passport menu to open, then page to the right for the Restart Level option.

Swim down through the spikes. (They're safe now that you're in the water.) Continue down and to the left. In the flooded room below, look for another opening above on the right. Swim through and pick up the small medi pack (20) lying on the floor. Roll and swim forward to the GOLD KEY (21). When you take the key, the door to the left opens, and a crocodile (26) spawns in the room you just came from. Quickly swim through the door and out into the MAIN ROOM. Climb out on the nearest ledge and kill the croc. (screenshots)

ORNATE BALCONY: Now head for the ornate balcony on the north side of the MAIN ROOM. The ledge below the balcony is reachable now that you've raised the water level. Climb the stairs but before unlocking the doors, find the movable block to the left of the entrance. Push it once and enter the room behind it. This is SECRET #3. Stand underneath the L-shaped ledge with the balustrade, with Lara's back toward the slope. Step back to make sure she's as close to the base of the slope as possible. Backflip onto the slope, then hold Jump and Action to spring forward off the slope and grab the ledge. Pull up and gather 2 sets of magnum clips and a large medi pack (22-24). Drop down and exit past the movable block. (screenshots)

SILVER KEY DOORS: Use the 2 SILVER KEYS in the 2 keyholes to unlock the metal doors. Go in and climb onto the square pillar on the right. (In NG+, there's another save crystal here.) Take a running jump to grab the ledge near the gold keyhole. Pull up to activate the gorilla (27) lurking on the left. Then immediately safety drop to the floor to avoid it. Climb back onto the square pillar and kill the ape from there. Jump back across and use the GOLD KEY to unlock the door below. Don't drop down until you've killed the 2 lions (28-29) that emerge. (You can dangle Lara from the ledge to get their attention and/or jump across to the other ledge, or down to the square pillar, to get a better vantage. When the coast is clear, drop down and enter the next room. (screenshots)

BIG ROOM WITH CHECKERBOARD FLOOR: Advance cautiously. The checkerboard floor has 5 broken tiles (32-36/51), some with concealed spikes underneath. Run carefully across each one to shatter it for the "After Us the Deluge!" achievement/trophy. The far left tile hides a small medi pack (25), so be sure to drop in and pick it up. At the rear is a switch. It opens the door to the right, releasing 3 lions (30-32). You can pull the switch, hop back, and then jump onto the block above the switch. The lions can't reach Lara there. (Alternatively, don't pull the switch yet, and wait to shoot the lions from above in a little while. Or, if you're not after all kills, ignore the lions altogether, since there's no reward in the side room.) (screenshots)

Go around to the right of the switch and find the movable block. Pull it twice. (The level exit is behind it, but don't leave yet.) Go around to the side and pull the block out into the room. When you can't pull any farther, go around to the other side and push the block once more. Now you can use it to climb onto the wide ledge above the switch. (screenshots)

If you want all the kills, run around behind the angled block toward the doorway in the back right corner. Roll and shoot 2 rats (33-34) that spawn on the other side of the ramp. Back up into the doorway if necessary, but try not to fall off the edge, especially if you haven't already killed the 3 lions (30-32) in the room below. If Lara does fall off the ledge, there's a switch switch in one corner of the lion room that opens and closes the door. Return to the wide ledge above the first switch and pick up the large medi pack and 2 sets of magnum clips (26-28). (screenshots)

LEVEL EXIT: Drop down and go around behind the switch, to the opening where the movable block was. Fall down the long shaft into the next level. (screenshot)

[Previous Level]

[TR1 Level Menu]

[Next Level]

UPDATE HISTORY: 3/17/24 - First major update for the Remastered version. Updates made prior to the Tomb Raider I-III Remastered release, including credit for tips sent in by other players, are tracked in the original guide.
5/27/24 - Added running totals for the break-away tiles needed for the "After Us the Deluge" achievement/trophy.

DARK MODE: I plan to add optional dark mode for these pages, but my current priority is updating the walkthroughs. Meanwhile, may I suggest a reputable dark mode browser extension, such as Dark Reader? (Download only from trusted sites, like or your browser's web store.)

CISTERN FLOODED TOO SOON - CAN'T REACH FIRST SILVER KEY: The easiest thing to do in this case is to reload an earlier save, but if you don't have one, it's OK. From the hallway with the spikes and the 2 rats, swim down through the underwater tunnel to the next room, where you can surface for air. This is the ROOM WITH THE FIRST SILVER KEY, but you won't be able to get it yet, since you can't climb out of the water. Swim through the tunnel near the bottom center of the room. This leads to the ROOM WITH THE SECOND SILVER KEY. You can get that one now (follow the walkthrough if you need help). The exit near the second silver key returns you to the MAIN ROOM. In order to get the first silver key, you'll have to climb back up to the ROOM WITH METAL GRATING AND CISTERN SWITCH, on the east side, beyond the two gargoyles. (Again, check the walkthrough for that section if you need help.) Use the switch inside to lower the water level. Then retrace your steps through the ROOM WITH TIERED LEDGES AND GORILLAS to the FIRST SILVER KEY, again following the walkthrough if necessary.

IF YOU FALL INTO THE POOL BEFORE GETTING THE FIRST SILVER KEY: Reload an earlier save if you have one, but if not, don't worry. Swim down through the underwater tunnel to the next room. This is the ROOM WITH THE SECOND SILVER KEY, but you can't reach it yet. Swim through the other flooded tunnel (to the south) to get back to the MAIN ROOM. Retrace your steps through the ROOM WITH TIERED LEDGES AND GORILLAS to get back to the FIRST SILVER KEY. (Follow the main walkthrough if necessary.)

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