LEVEL 17: THE DRAGON'S LAIR and EPILOGUE: HOME SWEET HOME
Kills: 11 Items: 23 plus 1 Mystic Plaque and the Dagger of Xian (no secrets)
OBJECTIVES: Reach the inner chamber and defeat the final boss.
ENTRANCE AND LARGE, SQUARE ROOM WITH PETRIFIED GUARDIANS: A small door rises to reveal a petrified spearman. Don't worry; he will not awaken yet. Pick up the large medi pack and 2 sets of Uzi clips from the floor and slip past him into the next room.
The second spearman, on the opposite side of the room, comes to life as you enter. Take care of him.
The first spearman only animates if you use the switch in the alcove where the second spearman was standing. Doing so also closes the door where you entered, sealing you both inside the room. You don't have to destroy him to move on. So if you'd rather not fight him, just leave that switch alone.
If the grenade trick from the previous level works for you and you have grenades to spare, you can use them here on some or all of the remaining petrified guardians. I recommend that you save about 15 grenades for the dragon itself.
In order to get to the next room, you must awaken the third and fourth spearmen. Locate the second switch to the left of the entrance. (screenshot) Pull it to open the exit and animate the guardians. Destroy them and then advance carefully into the next room.
DARK ANTEROOM WITH MANY PILLARS: There are 6 cult members lurking among the pillars. You can draw them out two at a time by advancing slowly into the room with weapons drawn. As soon as the first two emerge from hiding, back out of the room and jump from side to side while firing to avoid their throwing daggers. (screenshot) Uzis work well here, and you'll have a chance to pick up more ammo afterward. Repeat the same strategy for the next pair of enemies. For the last two, advance farther into the room and fight them as they appear. When they're all dead, recover their stuff: large and small medi packs, 6 sets of Uzi clips and a MYSTIC PLAQUE. Use the Plaque in the receptacle beside the gate to open it. Go through, follow the hallway to a short ramp and slide down into the Dragon's Lair.
BOSS FIGHT - BARTOLI–DRAGON: Marco Bartoli's body lies on a low platform at the center of this huge room. Don't get too close yet. When you approach, he magically transforms into a huge DRAGON, and the final boss battle begins. You may want to pick up a few items first, and this is much easier before Bartoli changes.
Below the floor is a water-filled room containing 10 sets of Uzi clips and 2 large medi packs. The square holes in the floor lead down there. If you're careful, you can retrieve most of these items before Bartoli transforms. The change only occurs when Lara steps inside the "trigger zone", which extends for one square around all sides of the central area with the four columns. As long as you avoid this area—both above and below the water's surface—you'll be safe.
To get the goodies begin at the nearest hole on the left side of the room. Drop in and swim down and forward, keeping the wall on Lara's left. Take the medi pack. Then continue forward along the left wall. You can grab the 2 ammo pickups just ahead, but be careful not to go any farther to the right. Surface in the third hole and climb out of the pool. Just be careful not to climb out on the right side of the hole, since this is inside the trigger zone. Turn right and follow the back wall of the room to the next square opening, again taking care not to get close to the pillars. Drop into the pool, pick up the other medi pack and swim forward, again staying close to the left wall. At the next corner, turn right, pick up the clips and continue forward, still keeping the outer wall on Lara's left. Now you're heading back toward the hole where you first dropped in. Ignore the ammo pickup just ahead on the right, since it's inside the trigger zone. Pick up the clips directly ahead and then surface in the hole and climb out. You should now have all but 2 of the available pickups. (screenshots)
If you accidentally trigger the dragon transformation while underwater, it can be difficult to climb out without getting toasted by the dragon's fire breath. Either reload or swim up to one hole to get the dragon's attention and then quickly dive down again. Swim to another hole on the opposite side of the room and climb out as quickly as you can. The dragon may not be able to get there as fast as Lara can.
Once you have all the goodies, save the game and get ready to fight. I have several strategies for defeating the dragon.
Direct confrontation: Draw your weapon of choice. I recommend the Uzis. It takes about 300 Uzi rounds to bring down the beast, but they have the fastest fire rate, Lara is still very maneuverable while using them, and there's plenty of ammo available (see above). Now approach the middle of the room to trigger Bartoli's transformation and leap out of the way as the dragon appears. Immediately start shooting and evading, and whenever the dragon breathes fire, quickly side flip out of the way. If you move around the dragon—essentially chasing its back leg as it chases you—you can avoid its fire breath. But don't get too close to its body, since it can stomp Lara to death with its mighty feet. Use the pillars for cover if necessary, and try not to fall through the holes in the floor.
If Lara does get lit up, either reload or drop into one of the pools to put out the flames. To climb back out of the water without getting toasted, use the same trick described above in the strategy for getting the items in the flooded room below the floor: Surface in one of the holes, wait for the dragon to notice Lara and approach, then immediately swim under to the opposite side of the room to climb out. The dragon will take a few moments to figure out what happened.
NOTE: I haven't included screenshots or a video of this technique, since there's no one set way to do it. Also, I much prefer the alternatives below. But there are plenty of video walkthroughs on YouTube.
If you don't mind cheating a bit, you might want to try this useful weapon glitch suggested by Noah S., shown here a short video.
Sneakiest and easiest method: Approach the center of the room on the left side, staying behind the pillar. As you move close to the pillar, you'll enter the trigger zone and Bartoli will transform. As soon as the dragon appears it will start blowing flames, but the pillar should protect Lara. Hop back once and then pivot to the right so Lara is facing the dragon's body. He won't come around the pillar if you're positioned correctly. Equip the grenade launcher, which allows you to hit the dragon without actually having to get a target lock on it, and start firing at its back leg/belly. If you hit it squarely each time, it will take exactly 10 grenades to bring it down. Earlier I suggested saving about 15 grenades in case you miss a few times as you're lining up your shot. (screenshots/video walkthrough)
Alternate sneaky method: If you don't have enough grenades, you can use Uzis or even pistols, but you'll need to be more careful about where you stand. Move into the same spot, behind the left pillar, to trigger the transformation. Then, when the dragon starts breathing fire, carefully back away from the pillar just a few steps. Not too far, though, or the dragon will come around the pillar toward Lara. Now observe the rhythm of the dragon's fire breath. Notice how the pillar lights up when the flames hit it, followed by a brief pause between breaths. Draw weapons, wait for the dragon to blow a plume of fire that lights up the pillar. Side flip to the right, so Lara can get a target lock on the dragon, and start shooting. Then immediately flip to the left so Lara lands behind the pillar before the next blast can hit her. You can continue to hold Action to maintain the target lock. Lara should stop shooting once she's behind the pillar and no longer has line of sight. Now just keep repeating this as long as it takes, adjusting Lara's position if necessary to make sure she lands safely behind the pillar. (screenshots/video walkthrough)
Move in for the kill: Whichever method you use to fight the dragon, once it has taken enough damage—10 grenades or about 300 Uzi rounds—a bright flash will illuminate the whole room, the dragon will raise its head with an agonized roar, and magical sparkles will swirl around the dagger wound on its belly. Then the dragon will fall down stunned. At this point, you have about 10 seconds to run up to it and press Action to pull the DAGGER OF XIAN from its belly. This is the only way to defeat it permanently. If you don't get the dagger in time, the dragon revives and the whole ordeal starts again. (Again, check the screenshots and video if you need a visual.)
You may want to save the game in a new slot as soon as the beast starts to fall. That way, if he revives, you can reload and try to grab the dagger without having to fight him again.
When you do stun the dragon, don't wait for it to hit the ground. As soon as you see the bright flash and the dragon lifts its head to roar, indicating it's about to fall down, holster your weapons and run toward it. Run straight to the dragon's belly, stand facing the bloody spot and press Action to pull out the dagger. If you're having trouble doing this, try sidestepping so Lara's right hip is directly in front of the red spot where the dagger is. Or, jump straight up to land a little closer to the dragon and try pressing Action again.
CUT SCENE: Lara pulls the dagger from the dragon's belly and examines it. (Re-watch on my YouTube channel.)
When you've got the dagger, the exit opens and the place starts to collapse. If you like, you can now go into the water underneath the floor and pick up the rest of the goodies. They won't carry over to the next level, but if you're after a perfect item score, it's possible. The earthquake is mostly for show. There's no time limit to reach the exit, but you do need to watch out for the flames and falling rocks as you follow the passageway to end the level.
FMV SEQUENCE: Next, there's a movie in which Lara runs from the exploding building and is knocked to the ground. She awakens some time later and presumably heads for home. (Re-watch on my YouTube channel.)
EPILOGUE: HOME SWEET HOME
Kills: 16 Items: 35 plus the SHOTGUN (no secrets)
CUT SCENE: This short level begins with Lara in her bedroom admiring her new prize. The alarms go off as two van loads of Fiamma Nera goons bust into the estate. Looks like they aren't too happy about what Lara did to their boss. (Re-watch the video on my YouTube channel.)
OBJECTIVES: Defend Croft Manor against the intruders.
As soon as you gain control, hurry around the bed and use the GUN CUPBOARD KEY, which is already in your inventory, to unlock the closet door. (screenshot) You'll notice the DAGGER OF XIAN is also in your inventory. Unfortunately you can't use the dagger to change Lara into a dragon. So you'll have to fight the bad guys the old fashioned way. Inside the closet, in the far left corner, is the SHOTGUN along with some shells. (screenshot) There's more ammo—27 boxes of shotgun shells in all—along with 2 packs of flares and 1 small and 2 large medi packs. You may not have time to pick them all up at first, so go for the gun first.
Two thugs with bats and a Doberman will enter the bedroom through the door leading in from the MAIN HALL. To keep the fight simple, stay on the shelf in the closet, wait and shoot these enemies as they approach. Then gather any stuff you didn't have time to pick up at first. When you go out into the bedroom, an armed thug crashes through the balcony window on the right. (screenshot) Take care of him and grab the box of shells he drops.
Depending on how long you take in the bedroom, 2 more bad guys may appear. You can wait for them to come in or go out to the MAIN HALL and meet them as they come up the stairs. Take care of them and head down to the main entrance.
The front door is standing open, and 2 more dogs and 5 more men are waiting outside. You can draw them to you by stepping outside just beyond the doorway then hopping back into the house. They'll enter a few at a time. First come 2 men with guns and 2 dogs. If you move back from the door, you can take them out while side-flipping back and forth to avoid taking too much damage. Shortly after this, another thug with a gun and one with a bat come in. One of them drops a small medi pack. If you wait in the MAIN HALL for a few more minutes, another bad guy with a bat will come through the door and you can shoot him.
If you've run out of ammo or just want the satisfaction of finding every item, exit the mansion, turn right and go through the opening in the stone wall into the assault course. Go over or around the low wall with the blue flowers growing on it into the grassy area at the end of the assault course. Near the last little tree on the right, you'll find another box of shotgun shells. Grab it and return to the front of the house. (screenshots)
As you stand in the gravel drive near the parked vans, another dog comes out of the darkness near the low hedges and fish statue, followed by a gunman. (screenshot)
When you've taken care of them, the final enemy, a thug with 2 big guns, comes through the gate leading to the assault course (i.e., to the left of the front door when facing it). This last mini-boss is similar to the guy in the crate room in the Opera House. His guns can do quite a bit of damage, so get a lock on him and jump back and forth from side to side while shooting. (screenshot) Or, try getting behind him and chasing him in circles while shooting. He's hard to kill but when he falls, that's the end of the game.
Congratulations! You did it! Off to the showers to clean up and unwind.
CUT SCENE: Lara has a few choice words for stragglers. (Re-watch the video 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: 5/14/11 - First major update since this walkthrough was created in 1998. This revision includes many new screenshots as well as various other corrections and clarifications.
5/5/12 - Added links to cinematics on YouTube.
12/1/13 - Added "objectives" section for each level.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks are given to the participants in the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup, without whom some parts of this walkthrough couldn't have been written. As far as I know, the dragon-slaying strategy using the pillar for cover was first suggested by Brat on the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup. Thanks also to Dmitrij, Noah S., trfan16 and the many players who wrote in to tell me about that last shotgun shell pickup. Can't believe I missed it.
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