ANTARCTICA LEVEL 1: ANTARCTICA
Kills: 30 Items: 28, plus a CROWBAR and 2 keys Save/power-up crystals: 4 Secrets: 3
Be sure to find all the secrets so you can access the bonus level at the end of the game. Note that the regular pickups here will include the MP5 SUBMACHINE GUN and the UZIS if you don't already have them.
Objectives: First, get onto the ship to lower the inflatable boat, which you can then use to reach the RX-Tech compound. Turn on the electricity in the compound and locate the gate control key. Use it to open the gate standing between you and the cabin where Doctor Willard is staying.
An FMV sequence precedes this level: Lara is the sole passenger on a helicopter flying to the RX Technologies base in Antarctica. Presumably she's been in contact with Dr. Willard after finding the four meteorite artifacts and is on her way to meet him, though this is not shown in the game. A storm arises, and the pilot loses radio contact with the base and is forced to land. Just after the chopper touches down, the ice beneath it gives way. Lara scrambles for the exit and jumps free just in time. The pilot isn't as fortunate. The dialogue is included on the cut scene transcripts page. You can also re-watch the movie on my YouTube channel.
IMPORTANT: You've just begun the last section of the game. I recommend that you save nearly all of the Desert Eagle ammo you pick up from now on to use in the final boss fight. You'll need at least 50 Desert Eagle rounds for that, but it helps to have a few extra just in case. It will also help to have a supply of grenades or rockets for the tougher enemies ahead, so don't waste them.
SHORELINE NEAR THE SHIP RX EXPLORER: There are Desert Eagle clips in the freezing water to the left of the starting position. If you decide to retrieve them now, you'll need to go quickly. As soon as you jump in, an exposure meter appears at the top left corner of the screen (PC/Mac version) or just below the air meter (PS version). When the meter runs out, Lara begins to take damage from the cold. She will quickly die if she doesn't get out of the water. So either jump in, grab the clips, and quickly climb out of the water on the floating block of ice near the corner of the starting ledge, or wait to pick up these clips until you have the inflatable boat. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you don't mind cheating, try the exposure meter bug. Save the game before the meter runs out and reload. This should reset the exposure meter. Just be sure to save in a new slot just in case, and don't accidentally save as Lara is about to freeze or drown!
If you aren't already on the small ice island near the start, jump onto it now. Turn to face the WOODEN HUT. Just across the water, you'll see an ice ledge that's flat on the left side and slopes up on the right. Aim just left of the center of the ledge, take a running jump without grabbing, and keep running forward in order to stick the landing. If you fall in, swim around to the left side of the ledge and quickly climb out of the icy water. (screenshots)
AREA AROUND THE WOODEN HUT: This little building contains a secret, but you'll need to find a key to unlock it. There are also some items behind the ice window above the red flag. You'll retrieve them from the other side soon. For now, go past the hut, keeping it on your right and the ship on your left. Step out onto the snowy ledge that juts out into the icy channel and take a running jump across the water. (screenshots)
Climb onto the snowy ledge just to the right. Walk along the ledge until you come to a slope that's too steep to climb. Turn around and jump up to the ledge on the right. Walk up to the peak and turn around again. From there you can take a running jump to the flat spot at the top of the steep slope. Ahead is an ICE ARCHWAY spanning the channel. Either take a running jump onto it or walk carefully forward until you're close enough to reach it using a standing jump. (Notice the medi pack behind a sheet of ice farther down the channel. You'll get this a bit later as part of secret #2.) Turn right, jump over the slippery slope so Lara doesn't slide into the water. Then jump down into the tunnel ahead on the right. Follow the tunnel to the end and pick up the things you saw earlier—a large medi pack, flares, a rocket, and a save/power-up crystal. (screenshots)
Follow the tunnel back toward the opening. Take a standing jump up to the right to land on the ICE ARCH. Then carefully cross back to the other side. Turn left and take a running jump to the triangular ledge near the top of the steep slope. Slide down the slope and make your way down to the corner of the ice shelf near the ship. (screenshots)
CLIMBING ONTO THE SHIP: Turn right and continue along the ice shelf, keeping the ship on Lara's left. Jump over the slippery slope and continue forward. (If you do fall in, you can climb out anywhere along this ledge.) When you reach the water, swim for the square ledge directly ahead and climb out quickly. Take a few moments to warm up. Then, when the exposure meter is full again, swim to the ledge ahead on the left, near the bow of the ship. Climb the ice blocks in the right corner and jump up to grab the handholds on the ceiling. Monkey swing nearly to the end and drop onto the ledge below. Jump over to the deck of ship. (screenshots)
ABOARD THE SHIP RX EXPLORER: Drop down through the open hatch into the hold. At the bottom of the ramp is a door with a button. Ignore it and focus on the red-jacketed crewman who emerges from the ENGINE ROOM on the right. (After he's dead, you can use the button to open the door if you like, but door at the end of this passageway only opens from the other side.) Go into the ENGINE ROOM, roll, and take out another crewman who tries to sneak up behind you. Climb onto the ledge behind the engine and pull the switch to open the trapdoor you just stepped over. Drop down through the opening and kill another enemy in the passageway. Continue around the corner and up the ramp. At the top, another RX Techie emerges from the alcove on the left. Kill him. Then press the button on the right to open the door opposite and go through. (screenshots)
In the next small room, there's a button and door on the left. This door leads back to the ENGINE ROOM, and there's no need to return there. Ignore the opening above as well. For now, turn right and head toward the room with the yellow pipe. Another guy in a red jacket tries to mess with Lara. Kill him, grab his Desert Eagle clips, and then drop down through the opening in the floor. Step onto the small ramp, roll, and draw weapons. Then slowly walk backwards so you can see the next crewman who tries to sneak up on you. When you kill him, he drops Uzi clips. Climb the short ladder at the top of the ramp and press the button near the porthole to lower the yellow, inflatable boat into the water. (screenshots)
Drop back into the passage below and climb up into the room with the yellow pipe. Return up the steps to the room with the hole in the ceiling. Pull up onto the level above and follow the passageway to the end. Press the button to open the door and step out onto the deck. (screenshots)
Go around to the right and head forward along the port (left) side of the ship until you come to a break in the railing. Turn left, walk to the edge, and take a standing jump with Action across the freezing water into the opening in the ice wall. Drop down to find SECRET #1—MP5 clips and a save/power-up crystal. Climb back out the way you came, jump across the gap onto the deck, turn right, and head back to the stern of the ship. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you don't already have the MP5 SUBMACHINE GUN, you'll get it here instead of clips.
ICE WALL AT THE STERN OF THE SHIP: Approach the davit (i.e., the angled, off-white, metal thingy that was holding up the lifeboat.) Stand at the base of it and jump over the peak. Hold Jump so that instead of sliding down the other side, Lara hops off and lands on the snowy ledge ahead. Jump up to the triangular flat spot ahead on the left. Sidestep to the left corner of this triangle. Then take a another standing jump to the next triangular flat spot a little higher up. Climb into the small, rectangular opening in the ice wall and drop down inside to find a rocket. Climb back out of the opening. Then turn around to face the ship once more. Jump back to the first triangular flat spot. Then slide down to the snowy ledge at water level. Take a standing jump with Action to land in the inflatable boat without getting Lara's feet wet. (screenshots)
NOTES: The controls for the inflatable boat are similar to other vehicles: Action to get in, Roll + Left/Right to get out, Action to go forward, Jump to reverse, direction buttons to steer. If you didn't get the Desert Eagle clips on the bottom of the pool at the beginning of the level, you may be able to get them more easily now by parking the boat nearby, jumping in for the clips, then climbing back into the boat.
WATERWAY LEADING PAST THE WOODEN HUT: Now that you have the boat, drive all the way around the port side of the ship, past the ice window where you found secret #1. Circle around the bow of the ship and head back toward the WOODEN HUT. Turn left and follow the channel past the hut and beneath the ICE ARCH. There's a little doorway about halfway along the channel on the left. Park the boat close to the opening and jump out (Roll + Left). Climb the ice ladder and save the game if possible. Slide down the ramp and jump at the end to grab the ledge above the small pool. (If you fall in there's no way to climb out, so do not use the exposure meter bug here. Just reload and try again.) Pull up and crawl through to the right. This is SECRET #2—the large medi pack you glimpsed earlier, along with a small medi pack and some grenades. (screenshots)
Crawl out the way you came. At the bend, turn left then immediately right. Continue to the end of the crawlspace. Back up to the opening and save your game again if possible. Drop into the icy water. There are some flares sitting on the bottom here, but don't try to get them or Lara will freeze. Instead, immediately turn right and swim as fast as you can to the boat. Let Lara warm up as you drive closer to the flares. Then you can jump out, get them, and climb back into the boat without freezing to death. (screenshots)
The area ahead, from the GATEHOUSE to the level exit, is shown on the RX-TECH COMPOUND MAP. Note that the map includes some spoilers, such as the location of various items, enemies, switches, etc.
GATEHOUSE: Continue along the channel and around the corner to a small building with an RX Tech sign on it and black metal bars above. Park the boat next to the snowy ledge on the right, jump out, and kill the cranky armed man. Notice the padlock on the GATEHOUSE door. You'll return later with something to open it. There's also a metal gate on the other side of the channel. Doctor Willard and the end of the level lie beyond that gate. The goal of this next section is to open it. (screenshots)
Go around behind the building. In the water below the ice ledge on the right is a rocket. Get it quickly and climb out of the water. (screenshots)
Now climb on top of the metal ledge set against the back of the GATEHOUSE. Turn around and jump straight up to grab the overhead bars. Monkey swing above the freezing water all the way around to the end of the metal structure. If you drop down too soon, Lara will slide into the pool. So either swing all the way to the end before letting go, or turn right at the last intersection, monkey swing forward a bit, and drop down onto the snow. (screenshots)
RX-TECH COMPOUND: Slide down into the corner. Turn left, take out the enemy in the passage, and continue through to a clearing with some buildings. A guard dog charges toward you from behind the snowbank on the left. Back up firing or jump onto the block next to the doorway and shoot the dog from there. Go under the TOWER WITH THE RX-TECH LOGO and head for the back right corner, behind the green building, to find some shotgun shells. Return to the other end of the green building, near where you entered this area. Don't touch the burning barrel as you explore or Lara will catch fire. (screenshots)
Enter the green building and follow the dark passageway, where you'll meet another RX-Tech guy and his dog. If you advance carefully you can trigger the dog, back away shooting, and then go back in to get the man, who drops Desert Eagle clips when he dies. Continue through the passageway to an open area, where you'll find more shotgun shells underneath an ELEVATED FUEL TANK. (screenshots)
NOTE: As you move through the compound, you'll notice several buttons that don't work yet. They will once you turn on the generator.
Go around the corner of the green building with the RX-Tech sign, away from the fuel tank, and enter the snowy cave just ahead. This passageway leads to a building guarded by 2 huskies, which charge at you from the right as you exit the tunnel. (This building is shown at the top left corner of the COMPOUND MAP.) The electric doors are going haywire. Approach them carefully and run through each door just as it starts to open. Go up the stairs to the office, where you'll meet 2 men with guns. You'll see them approach from the office on the left. One drops a small medi pack when you kill him. After the fight, go into the office and press the button near the desks to open the nearby closet. Inside is another small medi pack. Exit the closet, go past the desks, and turn left. In the metal room at the end of the hall, you'll find the CROWBAR sitting on a low block. When you pick it up, another RX thug approaches from the office area. Kill him and take his shotgun shells. (screenshots)
NOTE: If by some cursed twist of fate you don't yet have the SHOTGUN, you'll get it here instead of the shells.
Return past the office and down the stairs. Approach the clamping doors cautiously. There's another red-jacketed guy running around outside. You may be able to shoot him with pistols from inside as the doors open and close. If not, carefully move past them and then deal with the man. (screenshots)
Follow the snowy passageway ahead on the right back to the area with the ELEVATED FUEL TANK. Go around the green building to the right. Then go through the dark passageway back to the TOWER WITH THE RX-TECH LOGO. One of the supporting legs is climbable. Climb up into the tower. Pull the switch to open a trapdoor on the roof of the adjacent building. Use the CROWBAR to pry open the padlocked door. Lara then drops the crowbar, so be sure to pick it up afterward. You'll need it again. (screenshots)
Go through the door and use the monkey bars to swing across to the next roof. Ignore the open trapdoor for now. Turn right and follow the metal beams around to the far right. At the end you'll find a small medi pack. (This pickup is not marked on the map.) Return to the roof with the trapdoor and drop in. Notice the sign on the wall labeled "FUEL SUPPLY." It shows the proper valve sequence for the generator: red, green, red, green, reading from bottom (fuel tank) to top (generator). Step down into the lower part of the office and pull the switch to open the exit. There's yet another guy in a red jacket waiting for you outside on the left, near the FUEL TANK. He's carrying a small medi pack. (screenshots)
NOTE: You don't actually have to look at the FUEL SUPPLY sign in order to proceed. The valves work regardless. However, if you don't do the business with the crowbar and switches and exit through the lower door, this enemy will not appear, so you'll miss you'll miss one kill and pickup.
Follow the pipe from the FUEL TANK down into the hole in the ground. Jump into the freezing water, quickly swim under the ice ledge, surface, and climb out on the far side of the pool. Or, if you'd rather not get wet, back up to the wall near the pipe and take a standing jump with Action to land on the snowy ledge. Then take a running jump to the far ledge. Turn right and climb the short ladder into a low tunnel with a series of VALVES. Arrange the fuel valves to match the diagram you saw earlier: The first gauge already points to red, so leave the first valve alone. Stand close to the second valve and press Action to turn it so the gauge reads green. Leave the third valve alone (the gauge already reads red). Grab the save/power-up crystal and then turn the fourth valve so the gauge reads green. When the valves are positioned correctly, a door opens nearby. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you make a mistake, don't worry. You can turn the valves again to reset them.
Wade through the water and climb the ladder into the GENERATOR SHED. Turn around, hop across the hole in the floor, and go through the open door to the generator. (If you explored here before turning the valves, this door would have been closed.) Pick up the large medi pack in the back right corner. Then use the switch on the wall between the two machines to turn on the power. (screenshots)
Exit the GENERATOR SHED into another open area. If you don't care about the developing story, you can skip this next bit and head into the tunnel on the left. Otherwise, go past the open flame into the ruined building ahead. This looks like a CANTEEN, where the RX Tech crew may have enjoyed meals before something went very wrong. Explore inside cautiously. In the back room, around the corner to the left, you'll meet a mutated crewman who'll spew toxic green gas before dying. Quickly hop away before he can poison Lara. As with snake venom, if Lara is poisoned by the vapor, the health bar will flash green, and you'll need to use a medi pack. (screenshots)
NOTE: This mutant counts as a hazard rather than an enemy, since he dies without any help from Lara.
Exit the CANTEEN on the right side, when facing the open flame and GENERATOR SHED, and follow the ice tunnel to emerge near a KENNEL (shown at the top right corner of the COMPOUND MAP). Press the button on the fence to open the cage door and shoot the dog that charges out. Enter the cage and press the second button on the fence between the two cages to open the door there. Put down those two dogs. Then go into the second cage and press the third button to open the door into the building. A fourth dog guards the office inside. You can also find Uzi clips in the alcove in the near right corner and the GATE CONTROL KEY on a low platform. Another armed techie will come in to investigate when you take the key. (screenshots)
NOTES: There's another tunnel on the other side of the CANTEEN, near a cluster of small boxes. (screenshot) This leads back to the ELEVATED FUEL TANK. As long as the generator is running, there's no need to go there now.
If you reach the kennel and the buttons don't work, then you still need to turn on the generators. If you adjusted the fuel valves and climbed up into the GENERATOR SHED, then you just need to go back there and throw the switch to turn on the power (screenshot). If you have not yet turned the valves, follow the instructions in the next paragraph to get back to the ELEVATED FUEL TANK. Then pick up the walkthrough above, with the paragraph that starts, "Follow the pipe from the FUEL TANK down into the hole in the ground...."
Also, if you don't have the UZIS already, you'll get them instead of clips in the office where you find the key.
After retrieving the GATE CONTROL KEY, exit the building and the cages outside. Turn left and go around the cages to find another ice tunnel with a shallow pit about halfway along. Enter with weapons drawn and kill the man lurking at the other end. Continue through to emerge near a WOODEN BRIDGE SPANNING A PIT. The husky down below is guarding some grenades. Shoot it from above. Then climb down the ladder next to the bridge to get the goodies. Climb back out of the pit and cross the bridge. (screenshots)
Continue forward to emerge back at the ELEVATED FUEL TANK. Approach the green building with the RX-Tech sign, turn left, and go through the dark passageway back to the first part of the compound. As you exit the dark passageway, the TOWER WITH THE RX-TECH LOGO will be on your right. Continue straight ahead into the ice tunnel that will lead you back to the water. At the end of the tunnel, jump up the slope on the right. Grab the monkey bars and swing back over to the GATEHOUSE where you left your boat. (screenshots)
BACK AT THE GATEHOUSE: Go around front and use the CROWBAR to pry open the padlocked door. Then go inside. (This time it doesn't matter if you pick up the crowbar after using it, since it disappears from your inventory at the end of the level.) When you approach the keyhole, another red-jacketed guard appears outside and comes around to the doorway. Roll and take him out. Then use the GATE CONTROL KEY in the keyhole to activate the gate mechanism and press the button to raise the gate on the other side fo the channel. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you're missing the key or the crowbar, you'll need to go back for them now. You probably left the crowbar in the TOWER WITH THE RX-TECH LOGO after Lara last used it. Monkey swing across the water and follow the tunnel back to the compound. The tower is just ahead on the left. Climb up into it and you should find the crowbar lying on the floor next to the door you pried open earlier. (screenshot) If you missed the key, from the TOWER area, go through the dark passageway to the FUEL TANK. Then follow the snowy tunnel on the right, cross the WOODEN BRIDGE ABOVE THE PIT, and continue to the KENNEL. Enter the building to find the key, as described above. Then return to the GATEHOUSE. The RX-TECH COMPOUND MAP may also help.
Jump into the boat and drive through the gate you just opened into the channel beyond. Pull up alongside the ledge with the red flag and jump out. Kill the gunman who emerges from an alcove and pick up the Uzi clips lying nearby. (screenshots)
If you don't care about getting all the secrets, you can skip this next bit and continue along the channel. Skip down to the section "CONTINUING TO THE LEVEL EXIT," below.
If you want secret #3, get back in the boat and maneuver it so it's facing away from the ledge with the red flag and its right side is touching the ice wall. Save the game if possible. Jump out of the boat on the left side, swim down into the little alcove below the ice shelf, grab the HUT KEY, roll, swim to the surface, and quickly climb back into the boat before Lara freezes to death. Now drive away from the ledge with the red flag and back toward the GATEHOUSE. Turn right there and follow the channel back to the WOODEN HUT in the starting area. Drive past the back of the hut, park the boat near the low ledge on the left, and jump out. (screenshots)
BACK AT THE WOODEN HUT: Go around to the front of the hut and use the HUT KEY in the lock to open the door. Kill the dog that rushes out. Or, immediately after unlocking the door, press Forward + Action to climb onto the roof. Then shoot the dog from above. Go inside to get SECRET #3—a save/power-up crystal, Uzi clips and flares. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you missed either of the first two secrets, you can still get them. Secret #1 is in a little ice cave accessible from the deck of the big ship. Secret #2 is in another ice cave which can be reached through a little opening on left side of the channel leading back to the GATEHOUSE. Follow the relevant sections above (here and here) for details.
When you're ready to move on from the WOODEN HUT, get back in the boat and drive along the channel past the GATEHOUSE, through the GATE, and past the ledge with the red flag. Around the next corner on the left is another ledge where you can jump out and retrieve some shotgun shells. (screenshots)
CONTINUING TO THE LEVEL EXIT: When you come to a dead end, park the boat alongside the alcove and hop out. Climb the snow ledges to an area surrounded by a chain-link fence. Kill another red-jacketed guy. (To conserve health, you can get a lock on him, drop back onto the ledge below, and then jump up and down while shooting.) There's another enemy running around behind the fence. Chain-link fences are like solid titanium walls in the Tomb Raider universe, so you can't shoot through them. Instead go up the hill to the left. Watch out for the open elevator shaft at the top. If you look down to the right, you can probably shoot the last enemy from above. If not, slide down and take care of him. Then go around the back of the building to end the level. (screenshots)
A cut scene ensues: Lara enters the cabin and discovers Dr. Willard chowing down on some tomato soup. (At least we hope that's what it is.) He seems glad to see her, but she immediately confronts him about the mutant she met in the cantina. He dismisses her concerns, obviously delirious at his experiments' potential. Willard talks of accelerating evolution and says that the real power is in the meteorite's core, which he can access now that he has the four artifacts. Lara, who has been down this road before with at least one previous employer, tells him his idea of good timing is, well, BAD. Willard snags the artifacts and flees down into the mines. Naturally our heroine gives chase, they exchange gunfire, and Lara follows him down into the excavation.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 9/13/14 - First major update since this walkthrough was created in 1998. This revision includes many new screenshots as well as various other corrections and clarifications.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks to participants in the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup, without whom some parts of this walkthrough could not have been written. Thanks also to Bo, Horst, Cujo, Jeff, José, and Stephen D. for various help on this level, and Tom C. for setting me straight on the nautical terminology.
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