Aldwych - Dropped Drill Bug

As noted in the main walkthrough, there is a potentially game-killing bug in room with the huge drill. If you miss a particular trigger the first time you pass through this area, when you return there, you'll find the drill sitting far below the doorway, making it impossible for you to reach the first Solomon's Key and continue the level.

If you've played around with the Tomb Raider Level Editor, you'll be familiar with the concept of flip maps. In the game world, rooms with alternate states (e.g., dry/flooded, dark/light, drill up/drill down, etc.) are based on flip maps. That is, a trigger in the game, such as a button or switch, causes the room to be swapped, or "flipped," with another version of the same room. So, for example, you pull a switch and a room with an empty pool is swapped for a room with a pool filled with water. Maybe you'll hear a rushing water sound effect, but you never actually see the water flowing in.

Here the trigger is Lara stepping on a certain tile. The effect is to swap the original version of the room, with drill at the bottom of the shaft, for a new version of the same room with the drill at the top of the shaft so Lara can walk over it. The level designers put this trigger tile where they thought players couldn't miss it. But Tomb Raiders are a crafty bunch, and occasionally someone will miss the trigger; hence this bug.

Here's a recap with screenshots:

Tomb Raider 3 screenshot
The trigger tile is outlined in the screenshot above. If you came down the drill shaft, got SECRET #1, then dropped down to the bottom of the shaft for the large medi pack, you will reach this room by climbing up through the hole in the floor, as shown by the green arrows labeled "grab." (This path is covered in the main walkthrough.)

If you missed the secret but survived the fall by backflipping into the alcove below the secret, you'll end up in the doorway at the top of this screenshot. You'll then turn around and step down into this room, as indicated by the blue arrows.

In either case, most players would end up stepping on the trigger tile. However, it's possible to miss it by climbing up on the right side of the hole in the floor (marked with the pink X). If you climb up this way, be sure to step on the trigger tile before moving on.

Tomb Raider 3 screenshot
You can't tell whether or not the drill room has been transformed by looking up from below. In either case, you'll see the underside of the drill hovering partway up the shaft. You'll only know it's worked once you return through through the room with the wooden crates to the top of the DRILL ROOM (also covered in the main walkthrough).

Tomb Raider 3 screenshot
If you stepped on the trigger tile, the drill will look like this. The top of the drill will be level with the green ramp you slid down earlier, and you can walk over the solid surface, climb into the opening on the other side and get the FIRST SOLOMON'S KEY.

Tomb Raider 3 screenshot
If you missed the trigger tile, the drill will still be sitting far below. You can see the key in the alcove on the other side of the shaft, but you can't get to it; nor can you get back into the room with the crates. Game over.

If you're stuck here and do not have recent save you can reload, there are a few possible solutions:

Download a PC or Macintosh save file. Choose one of the links below to download a save file with the drill in its proper position. The notes in parentheses show the order in which the middle levels were played so you don't miss anything.

PC Savegames:

drill room (India then London)
drill room (Nevada, London, Pacific)
drill room (Pacific, London, Nevada)
drill room (London then Antarctica)

PC Savegame Instructions

Macintosh Savegames:

drill room (India then London) *
drill room (Nevada, London, Pacific)
drill room (Pacific, London, Nevada)*
drill room (London then Antarctica)

Mac Savegame Instructions

*I'm sorry, but I don't have saves for certain sequences on the Macintosh. If you played London right after India, there is a save for a little later on, after the sequence with the three timed doors. (download) You'll miss a little bit of the level but at least you can continue. If you're playing Pacific–London–Nevada, you may need to download a save from a different sequence, then download new files when it's time to move on to Nevada and, later, Antarctica.

Download the PC Flight Patch and use it to fly across the shaft to the FIRST SOLOMON'S KEY. Then continue from there. You'll need to do fly across the drill shaft again later, when you return to the end of the level after obtaining secret #5.

PlayStation Only - Restart the Level through the Passport menu. Replay up to the drill and be sure to step on that trigger this time.

Use the level-skip cheat (all systems) but only as a last resort, since you'll miss the rest of Aldwych including the remaining secrets.

[Return to the Aldwych Walkthrough]