STELLA'S TOMB RAIDER 1 WALKTHROUGH - Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation, PSP, Vita, iOS, Android & Saturn
LEVEL 15: THE GREAT PYRAMID
Kills: 6 Items: 31 Save Crystals: 4 (Saturn and PlayStation only) Secrets: 3*
*NOTE ON SECRETS: Even if you find it and pick up the items, the third secret in this level may not register in some versions of the game. This is an unfortunate bug.
OBJECTIVES: Kill the big beastie. Find Natla, who has apparently survived her fall, and bump her off as well. Then get out of town.
Quite obviously, the first thing you'll need to do is take out the humongous, legless mutant without letting it grab Lara or knock her off the platform. There are a number of strategies you can employ to do this. Some prefer to use the Uzis and run or side flip from corner to corner as the mutant lumbers after. Some prefer the shotgun, since fewer rounds are needed to bring the creature down (about 800 rounds of Uzi fire, versus about 25 shotgun blasts). Needless to say, you don't want to hop around too much or you'll risk going over the edge. And, for the most part you don't have to, since the mutant moves pretty slowly.
Also, as Mark R. points out, while fighting the mutant you can take a running jump at its right shoulder (on the left when facing it) and Lara will sail straight through. Once on its other side, roll and start shooting again. It'll take a little while for it to turn around to face Lara. While it's maneuvering, you can jump or run to the side or, if you have room, back up and take another run at it. Just watch out for those claws. If Lara stands too long in front of it, the mutant can easily snag Lara in mid-air and toss her around like a rag doll.
Another trick is to hang from the edge of the platform and wait for the mutant to go back to the door. When it does, pull up and shoot at it until it approaches, holster the guns, and hop back to dangle again. Sometimes this takes a while, and if you hang in the wrong place, it'll reach under and grab Lara. The best spots seem to be the corners farthest from the door (northeast and southeast), with Lara's back to the side (north and south) walls. The northeast corner is farthest from the mutant's favorite spot (shown in this screenshot). So if you hang here, and wait for it to go back to its corner, it then takes the beast longer to reach you and you get more shots in each time. If you're hanging and the mutant just won't move away, try traversing to the side of the platform near the rear wall, then back to the corner and it'll back off. When you do this, you may lose a little health—presumably as a result of the mutant's stomping on Lara's hands. But, as long as you don't stop except at the corners, it won't grab Lara. (Thanks to Sharon for the hanging tips.)
If you're playing on the PC or Macintosh, I also recommend saving your game in the middle of the fight if you're doing well. Then you won't have as far to go if you do get killed and have to reload. (Use a new slot, though, just in case something goes wrong.) When it starts to keel over you can stop shooting. Soon after, the mutant explodes and the exit door opens. Pick up the Uzi clips in each of the 4 corners of the platform (6 sets in all) and head for the door.
PASSAGEWAYS WITH MOVABLE BLOCKS: Go forward, then left, and slide down the ramp. Pass the movable block in the alcove and go down the next ramp. (The sound of chomping blades is audible from somewhere above.) Continue to another movable block. Push it 3 times. Go up the ramp on the right and around the corner to reach the back side of the movable block you passed earlier. Push it once. Then go around the right side of the block and climb on top of it.
Turn around and take a standing jump to grab the ledge ahead. Pull up into a hallway with break-away tiles over spikes, as well as chomping blades. (Console players get a save crystal here.) Stand at the edge of the break-away floor and listen to the blades. Start to run through the blades on the second "clang," or just as they begin to open. Continue forward and around the corner.
Don't go down the next ramp. Instead turn right into a corridor with gray and white tiles. Follow it to the bottom and push the movable block once. Follow the gray-and-white hallway back to the previous hallway, turn right and go down the ramp you didn't take earlier. Here you'll see a red door and a switch that's too high to reach. Drop down and go forward to the rag doll block you just pushed from behind. Climb over it and push it beneath the switch. Turn around and follow the passage on the right. Come back down the ramp until you're standing on the block you just moved. Throw the switch to open the red door.
ROOM WITH LAVA STREAM & DRAWBRIDGE: Go through it into a room with sandy colored slopes and a lava stream running down the center. Straight ahead across the lava is a doorway you can't reach yet. There's a drawbridge spanning this gap, but it's down at the moment. For now, take a standing jump to the first flat spot on right side of the tan slope. Take another standing jump forward to the next flat spot. Now take a running jump to the next. (Be sure to set up this jump by walking forward to the little "lip" where the next floor tile juts up a bit. Then hop back before taking the running jump. Otherwise, Lara can stub her toe on that jutting floor tile and do a standing jump instead of a full running jump and end up in the lava.)
Don't jump across the lava yet. Turn around and you'll see that the drawbridge has now been raised over the lava. It is on a timer but not a particularly fast one. You have about 40 seconds to get across the bridge before it collapses again. Do the same jumps in reverse, with the last standing jump landing you on the bridge. Turn right and run through the doorway into a cave. This is SECRET #1, the reward a large medi pack, magnum clips and a box of shotgun shells. (These screenshots show the path to the secret.)
Use the switch twice to raise and lock one section of the bridge in place. Take a running jump across the lava stream back to the entrance. Then repeat the jumps across the flat spots on the sandy colored slope. When you reach the last flat spot on the right side, jump across the lava and enter the tunnel there.
NARROW TUNNEL WITH BOULDER TRAPS: There's a boulder at the top of the slope ready to roll. Advance cautiously up the slope. As soon as the boulder starts to come down, roll and run down and to the right into the safety of the doorway. Go back up the ramp where the boulder came from. Turn right and go up a short ramp. The next long ramp is another boulder trap. This one is a little faster, so either run up the slope, roll and take running jumps down the slope, cutting to the left at the bottom, or, hop backwards up the slope and start running down as soon as you hear the boulder begin to roll. Continue up the slope to the top and follow the passageway to a break-away floor tile. Step on it to break it, then hop back. If Lara has less than one quarter of her health bar left, use a medi pack. Then safety drop into the Scion room below.
SCION ROOM: Shoot the SCION. This opens the door opposite the Scion pedestal and sets off a series of tremors. The quake won't damage Lara unless it breaks your concentration and she falls or something. Just keep going. (There's also a save crystal in the PS1 version.)
NOTE: Oddly, destroying the Scion counts as a kill on your stats screen.
Exit through the small doorway opposite the Scion pedestal. This leads back to the TIMED DRAWBRIDGE room from the previous level, but now the bridge is locked in place. There are 2 mutants on the walkways to the left and right. Step out to get their attention, then kill them from the relative safety of the doorway. Or, drop down onto the black rocks below the right side of the bridge. Just watch out for the lava on the left.
If you want all the kills, cross the bridge to find a third mutant in the fleshy hallway on the other side. That hall now comes to a dead end a bit farther along. There's also a dead-end passage near the switch that used to open the door to the Scion room, but there's nothing inside. Drop from the bridge to the black rocks below. Find the opening in the floor near the south wall and drop down through it.
GAUNTLET OF TRAPS: Turn to face the fleshy wall with the horizontal crevice. Take a running jump to grab that crevice. Then, if you have the PC or Macintosh game, you can disable the flying darts by saving and reloading the game. Be sure to hold Action as the game loads or Lara will fall. After reloading, the darts will have stopped. Traverse to the right. Drop to the slippery slope and immediately backflip onto the flat spot behind to avoid sliding into the lava. Unless you've disabled the darts, as soon as Lara lands, hop back out of the way.
Go through the doorway, pick up the Uzi clips on the left and walk down the right side of the slope. This will trigger a boulder, which rolls down the left side to land in the lava pool below the swinging blade. Once it does, walk down to the blade. Stand as close to it as possible and take a standing jump past it as it swings to the left. Walk forward through the spikes, continue on between the lava pits, go around the corner and then walk to the top of the ramp on the left. Ahead are three squares of break-away tile. Position Lara at the front edge of the ramp near the middle. Take one walking step back from the top edge of the ramp. Then take a standing jump forward to land on the leftmost break-away tile. Immediately side flip to the right to land on the right tile, then jump forward to the ledge.
CONCEALED CREVICE ABOVE LAVA POOL: Continue to the next room. Here you'll find a lava pool with 3 tall, angled blocks standing in it. On a ledge above the far side of the pit you can just make out some items. This is where you're headed, but jumping on the blocks won't get you there. Instead, you'll need to traverse along a nearly invisible crevice in the left wall. It doesn't look like a crack you can grab, but if you look farther to the right, you can see where it widens. (These screenshots show the spot and how to set up the jump.)
Turn left, so the lava pool is on Lara's right and walk forward until Lara touches the wall. Take one hop back, then sidestep as far as possible to the right so Lara's right foot is at the edge of the pit. Now turn about 10 degrees to the right so Lara is facing the wall just above and to the right of the edge. Take a standing jump to grab the horizontal seam in the wall. Traverse to the right all the way over the lava pit and drop down into SECRET #2. On this ledge you'll find 3 large medi packs and some Uzi clips.
To get down, walk to the edge above the lava and face the angled pillars below. Take a standing jump to the long sloped block and hold the Jump key to immediately backflip and land on the block behind (where PS1 players will find another save crystal). Turn around, walk to the edge and take a standing jump to grab the crevice. Traverse to the right. If you like, you can drop onto the solid block and survey the situation. Just be careful not to drop onto the break-away tiles.
NOTE: If you're in a hurry or aren't interested in the secret, you can continue by taking a standing jump from the first ledge above the lava pit to the first angled block. Hold the Jump key to hop to the next pillar and the next. Release Jump before you land on the third pillar. Walk to the edge and then take a standing jump to grab the crevice. Traverse to the right and drop.
GAUNTLET OF TRAPS (PHASE 2): Ahead is a combination trap involving a concealed spike pit, a pool of lava, a swinging blade and a rolling boulder. To get through without losing any health, first traverse along the crevice as far as you can to the right. Lara will be hanging above the right edge of the first break-away tile concealing the spike pit below. Release the Action key to drop onto the collapsing tiles. As Lara drops, immediately press and hold Jump + Right. This will cause Lara to side flip to the right twice, and the boulder will roll past without harming her. Then you can take your time to set up a run past the swinging blade and come through unscathed.
NOTE: Several people have sent tips on getting through this area. I prefer the method above, which was discovered by several players independently. Shared credit goes to Haydon and Lindsay. He was the first to tell me about it and, at 10 years old, she's the youngest raider to send in a correction.
Beyond the swinging blade, there's another slope with a boulder perched at the top. Run down the slope into the alcove on the right, ignoring the small medi pack on the ground for now. Once the boulder lands you can take a standing jump or a side flip between the boulder and the corner of the doorway, get the medi pack and jump back the same way.
The next trap involves a slope with a boulder behind, a swinging blade ahead, and lava pits on either side and at the bottom. To get through without any tricky timing, turn around so Lara is facing the boulder and her back is toward the slope. Step to the left so her left arm is touching the wall. Then slide backwards, holding Action to grab the end of the slope. Lara should take little or no damage from the blade as she passes it. Hang from the end of the slope and wait for the boulder to roll past overhead. Then pull up and press Jump to backflip onto the ledge behind you. Turn around and continue on. (Thanks to Yeni for this strategy.)
Hop down on the left and go through the doorway. In this room there's a small medi pack on the ground ahead, several lava flows and a door on the far side. Run forward to the medi pack. Stop and pick it up. The lava flows out behind Lara, but she's safe here. Take a standing jump forward then run into the doorway. The remaining lava flows should miss you. Pull the switch to open the door.
Enter and go to the right. The door closes behind you. Continue to the north end of the passage and pick up some Uzi clips. Turn around and run forward past the door, but stop just at the edge of the next lava pit. A boulder will roll down and pass overhead. Take a standing jump to grab the opposite edge of the lava pit. Wait for another boulder to roll past above, then pull up.
Continue to the next room, which contains a pool of water and a bunch of torch pillars. Relax! It's not anything like the Palace Midas torches. You'll be fine. Stand on either side of the first pillar (not in the center). Face the next pillar and make sure Lara is lined up squarely with the pillar edge. Take 5 standing jumps in a row to clear all of the pillars. (If you do fall or accidentally jump into the water, climb out below the starting point and try again.)
NOTE: Here's an alternate method for this sequence. Position Lara at either side of the first ramp, walk up to the edge, hop back and take a running jump past the first pillar to grab the edge of the second. Pull up and take a standing jump past the second flame. Walk to the edge, hop back and take another running jump over the next flame to grab the edge of the ramp on the other side. As long as you stay at the outside edge of the blocks, Lara won't take any damage. Thanks to Ian T. for this tip.
TALL STRUCTURE ABOVE TINY POOL: In the next room there is a red-and-gold structure with a swinging blade in the middle and break-away tiles below the blade. Walk down the slope and stand facing the break-away tiles. Hop back, then take two more steps back (walking). Take a running jump and continue to hold jump and forward. Lara will land on the edge of the break-away tiles then take a running jump off of them into the opening beyond (as shown in this screenshot). If you have trouble with the jump to the collapsing tiles, try this alternative: Walk to the edge of the pit, take a standing jump to grab the edge of the break-away tile, pull up and immediately take a running jump to the alcove. This is SECRET #3. Inside you'll find a large medi pack and 2 sets of Uzi clips.
NOTE: Due to a bug, this secret is not counted correctly. It doesn't affect gameplay, but even if you find it, your stats screen at the end of the game will be one secret short. If this bothers you, ther is an unofficial patch that fixes the issue on the PC, PSX, and iOS versions. For details and downloads, follow this link to the relevant forum thread: TR1 Last Secret Fixer by SuiKaze Raider.
Return to the doorway and either take a standing jump from the edge, or take a step back from the edge and swan dive (Walk + Jump + Forward) to land in the tiny pool below. Pick up the Uzi clips on the bottom, then follow the underwater passage until you can surface. Climb out of the water and pick up 4 more sets of Uzi clips (and the final save crystal in the game).
HUGE ROOM WITH SQUARE PILLARS (FINAL BATTLE): Advance into the next room with weapons drawn. Above on the left is your old friend Jacqueline Natla. Only now she's sporting a spiffy pair of wings and shooting fireballs at you. Use the same basic strategy as with the centaurs: backflip and side flip to avoid the missiles, keep shooting and don't let her get you in a corner.
Once she falls, assess the situation, but don't get overconfident: Natla is not put down so easily. She rises up again to resume the fight. If you've been asleep at the wheel and somehow don't have enough ammo, you can run into the tunnel to the right of the entrance (i.e., in the middle of the west wall beyond the black rocks). Here you'll find 6 sets of Uzi clips. Unfortunately this tunnel can't be used for cover, since Natla will follow Lara inside. Bring down Natla's winged form and you're home free.
NOTE: Earlier versions of this walkthrough stated that destroying each of Natla's forms counted as an official kill. I was mistaken about this. In fact, the extra kill in this level comes from shooting the Scion earlier. Natla only counts as one. (Thanks to Explorer and EscondeR from tombraiderforums.com for setting me straight.)
Now you'll need to get up to the top of the cavern to exit. Go to the northeast corner and climb onto the rock pile. From here you can jump into the doorway behind the rocks. Use a standing jump with Action to land in the doorway, or drop down to the ground and climb in. Follow the passageway up to a doorway. Take a running jump to the nearest pillar, then another running jump to the pillar on the left. Take a standing jump to the next pillar, which is just below a door. Climb in and follow this passageway to an opening in the floor. Safety drop onto another, higher pillar.
Turn around and take a running jump to the pillar ahead and to the left. Take another running jump to the next pillar, then another running jump to grab the pillar beyond, which is also under an opening. Climb up into it and follow the passage to another opening where you can drop onto the highest pillar.
Take a running jump to the red-and-gold ledge. Climb into the opening above and continue forward to a long ramp. Slide down to end the level and the game.
Congratulations! You did it! Now sit back for a final short movie: Lara runs out of the pyramid just in time. She takes Natla's boat and speeds out to sea as the island explodes. (In case you want to watch again, all the TR1 cinematics are now available on my YouTube channel.)
NOTE: If you go to the passport and start a new game now, you'll have all weapons and unlimited ammo.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 5/6/07 - First update since I began tracking page updates. Added various screenshots, including screens for all secrets, and revised several sections for clarity.
5/7/07 - Added the tip on disabling the darts in the first GAUNTLET OF TRAPS SECTION, thanks to Ingrid.
4/12/12 - Video transcripts and links to YouTube videos added.
4/21/12 - Corrected mistake around kill distribution: Shooting the Scion counts as a kill; destroying Natla's two forms counts as only one kill. Thanks to Explorer and EscondeR for this info.
4/27/14 - Added link to the TR1 Last Secret Fixer by SuiKaze Raider.
10/25/15 - Added Yeni's tactic for the blade-and-boulder trap following secret #2.
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