LEVEL 3: TOMB OF SETH
Kills: 20 Items: 25, plus Shotgun, Uzis, 2 Eye Pieces, and Timeless Sands Secrets: 5*
Starting Inventory: Pistols (unlimited ammo), binoculars, 3 flares, any unused medipacks from the training levels
CINEMATIC: Flash forward to present-day Egypt. Lara follows a guide on camel back. She is dressed in a long robe, her head and lower face covered to protect from the windblown sand. The guide leads her to some ruins, all but concealed by shifting sand dunes. Lara dismounts and finds a piece of crumbing statuary, along with a nest of scorpions. After making a strategic retreat, she locates a handle-like mechanism. Activating it sends Lara and the guide on a wild slide into The Tomb of Seth.
After taking a moment to recover from the rough landing, Lara scrambles up, the Tomb Raider theme music swells, and she whisks off her robe. She's baaack!
As the level begins, the guide lights a torch and precedes Lara down into the cave. We get a glimpse of something shiny on the ground in front of Lara.
BUG NOTE: If you like using cheat codes, I recommend not enabling them until after you obtain the TWO EYE PIECE artifacts. The all-weapons cheat may result in a bug that will prevent you from completing the level. For details, see the section on the SECOND EYE PIECE AND EYE OF HORUS, below.
DARK CAVE: Pick up the flares ahead on the left (screenshot) and more flares behind Lara near the metal grating. (screenshot) Again, stand over each item and press Action to pick it up and add it to your inventory.
NOTE: Each flare pick-up includes 12 flares, so you'll get 24 here. To use a flare, press , (comma) on the keyboard or Select + R1 on the PlayStation controller. Press the same button again to throw the flare in front of Lara, or press Space/Triangle to draw weapons and drop the flare where Lara is standing. To pick up a flare you've dropped, stand over it and press Action. Flares are fairly plentiful, but there are quite a few dark areas. You can conserve flares by saving the game, exploring an area using flares, then reloading if you don't find anything. Or, use the binoculars for light. To equip them, press Esc/Select to open the inventory ring. Press Left/Right to rotate the ring until the Binoculars are selected. Then press Action to use them. Use the direction buttons to look around and press Action to light up Lara's view. To put the binoculars away, press Space/Triangle. Other ways of getting through dark areas include using pistol fire for light and turning up the brightness on your monitor/TV.
Approach the guide. (A bit of TR trivia: According to Core Design's Richard Morton, the character's name is Ahmed, although this is not explicitly stated in the game.) In a shallow depression just to the left of where he's standing, is the SHOTGUN (loaded with 6 shells), which you saw in the cutscene. (screenshot) A bit farther on, you'll find a large medipack guarded by a red scorpion. The scorpion only appears when you step into the depression with the medipack. To avoid being stung, draw pistols, step down into the depression, hop back and shoot the scorpion, then pick up the health. (screenshot)
NOTE: The red scorpions do a small amount of damage, but they aren't venomous. Later, you'll encounter black scorpions, whose bite is toxic. If you like, you can lure the scorpion toward the guide, who'll kill it with his torch. This doesn't work with all of the scorpions in this level, but it's fun to watch.
At the top of the sloping rock ledge to the left of where you found the medipack, there's a a box of shotgun shells. (screenshot)
NOTE: You can probably manage with pistols for now, but if you want to change weapons, press Esc/Select to open the inventory ring. Press Left/Right to rotate the ring until the shotgun is selected. Then press Action to equip it. To go back to pistols, select them from inventory the same way. Or, if you're playing on PC/Mac, use the weapon hotkeys 1 and 2 for pistols and shotgun, respectively. For now, the shotgun only includes regular ammo. Later in this level you'll obtain wideshot ammo. We'll cover choosing ammo types below.
Continue down the slope toward the lighted area. The next depression on the left has a red scorpion only, no goodies. You can avoid it if you like, or hop into the pit and shoot the scorpion with your pistols. (screenshot)
Cutscene: As you continue down the hillside, a brief cutscene warns of an approaching enemy.
This turns out to be a red-eyed wild dog. If you draw pistols and hop back firing, Lara can easily kill it before it reaches her. (screenshot) There are 2 more red scorpions in pits on either side of the path. (screenshot) Kill or avoid them as you prefer.
At the bottom of the hill, you'll find a large medipack on top of a rock outcrop. (screenshot) After picking it up, follow the ramp downward (away from the doorway where the guide went) and continue straight on toward the cave wall. The pit where the fourth scorpion was is now on Lara's right. Climb onto the stone block to the left of the pit. Turn and jump up into the concealed alcove. Or, if you prefer, you can pull up from the cave floor directly into the alcove. Congratulations! You've found SECRET #1 (9/70): a small medipack. (screenshots)
Drop down and return past the stone ramp to the doorway with the carved hieroglyphs. There's another small medipack in the misty corner to the right of this doorway. (screenshot) Drop down there, get the health, then climb back up. Follow the guide through the doorway, down the ramp, and into the room below.
ROOM WITH RED STARS ON THE CEILING: As you approach the guide, the door closes behind you, the carved stone block on the left recedes, and 2 red scorpions crawl in from opposite corners of the room. Shoot the one ahead on the left. (screenshot) Then quickly roll and shoot the other. (screenshot) Pick up 2 packs of flares, one in each of the dark corners where the scorpions didn't appear. You don't need to light flares to see the pick-ups, but I have done so in these screenshots.
In this room there are also 3 small niches in the wall and a ramp leading down to the north. There's a large medipack in the single niche to the left of the ramp. (screenshot) Approach the niche and press Action to reach in and get the medipack. The right niche of the two in the opposite wall contains a switch, but wait to use it or you'll miss a secret. The remaining niche does nothing.
ROOM WITH SANDY PIT: For now, follow the ramps down to the next room. (Note the opening in the ceiling partway down. You can't reach it from below, but you'll come through it from above later.) At the bottom is a sandy pit with two pedestals on the other side. You can't reach them yet, so drop down into the pit. As you step into the alcove in the northwest corner of the pit, the chime sounds for SECRET #2 (10/70). Immediately roll and shoot 2 red scorpions that crawl toward you. Then pick up the shotgun shells. Climb onto the low pedestal in the northeast corner of the pit and pick up a small medipack. Then climb out of the pit and return up the ramps to the room where the guide waits. (screenshots)
Use the switch in the right niche on the wall with two niches (screenshot) to fill the room at the bottom of the ramps with sand. (screenshot) Return there and run across the sand to the ledge on the far side. Approach each pedestal and press Action to take the FIRST EYE PIECE and small medipack. (screenshot) Taking the EYE PIECE opens the exit back in the room where the guide is waiting. Return up the ramp and go through. (screenshot)
ROOM WITH PEDESTAL AND DANGLING ROPE: Note the receptacle for an artifact in the alcove on the right. (screenshot) You only have half of that item at this point. You'll get the other half shortly. First, go after the next secret.
NOTE: If you're not interested in secrets, skip down to the section titled SECOND EYE PIECE AND EYE OF HORUS, below.
Turn to face the blue-lit doorway on the wall opposite the artifact receptacle. Position Lara directly below the dangling rope. Jump straight up and hold Action to grab the rope. Don't climb any higher, though; you want Lara to be at the very bottom of the rope. If necessary, adjust Lara's angle left to right so she's squarely facing the doorway. Now press Sprint/Dash once (don't hold it) to start the rope swinging. At the highest point of the arc, when Lara is closest to the doorway, press Jump, while continuing to hold Action, to make Lara leap off the rope and land in the doorway. Step forward into the dark passageway. Ta-dah! It's SECRET #3 (11/70). (screenshots)
NOTE: If you're only interested in having the secret count, you can slide back down to the rope-and-pedestal room once the chime sounds. Otherwise, continue for the goodies.
SECRET ROOM WITH REVOLVING BLADES: You're now at the bottom of a tall, circular room with a set of rolling blades moving around the outside edge. Grab onto the ledge on the right and hang there until the blades pass. Then pull up, run forward, and take a standing jump up the slope to land on the flat spot at the top. Run forward, pull up onto the next ledge, and take the small medipack. Now move into the far left corner of this ledge and wait for the blades to pass once more. When they do, immediately climb onto the ledge above on the left. Take a few steps forward so Lara is standing on the middle or higher side of the block. Turn left to face out toward the open room. Then take a running jump to grab the ledge on the right side of the central structure. Pull up. (screenshots)
You're safe from the blades for now. So climb up to the top of the central structure, where you'll find some flares. Walk carefully down the slope just beyond the flares and stop at the edge. If you look down, you'll see a flat ledge immediately below and a raised block in the doorway ahead. Step (don't jump) off the edge to land on the flat ledge. Walk to the edge and wait until the blades pass once more. Then take a standing jump down to the raised block in the doorway. Immediately get off the block to avoid being hacked by the blade on its next pass. (screenshots)
A red-eyed dog charges from the passageway ahead, and 2 more dogs appear when you round the corner. You can probably kill them with pistols. Just take care not to hop back into the blades or fall off the edge while fighting. The shotgun also works well. One shot at close range will put down each dog. (screenshots)
Continue to the end of the hall and slide down the ramp on the left side. If you slide on the right, you'll land in a pit with 2 red scorpions. Lara won't target the scorpions from above, so if you want all the kills, you'll need to drop into the pit and shoot them. Otherwise, it's easy enough to avoid them. On the floor opposite the pit are the UZIS, loaded with 30 rounds. (You didn't think you went through all that just for a lousy medipack and some flares, did you?) Step off the edge here and slide down into the hallway between the ROOM WITH RED STARS and the SANDY PIT. (Remember you saw this opening from below earlier.) Return up the ramps to the ROOM WITH RED STARS and through the doorway on the right to get back to the ROOM WITH THE PEDESTAL AND DANGLING ROPE. (screenshots)
SECOND EYE PIECE AND EYE OF HORUS: The guide has probably moved on by now. To catch up with him, head down the stairs on either side of the rope and pedestal. (screenshot) Approach him in the room below and wait for him to disarm the slicing blades. (screenshot) You can then go safely up the stairs, get the SECOND EYE PIECE, and come back down without injury. (screenshot)
BUG NOTE: There is a potential bug in this area, in which the guide does not deactivate the blades as he is supposed to do, preventing you from getting the EYE PIECE. This may be caused by using the all-weapons cheat. If you want to use this cheat, I recommend you activate it only after completing this section.
Return upstairs to the room with the dangling rope. Approach the artifact receptacle in the alcove on the left. (screenshot) Now press Esc/Select to open your inventory. Rotate the inventory Left/Right until one EYE PIECE is selected. Press Down to choose Combine, then Action to combine with the other EYE PIECE, forming the EYE OF HORUS. Now press Action again to use it in the receptacle to open the exit.
As you enter the next room, a 2 red-eyed dogs come down the ramp from the upper left. (screenshot) Kill them, backing up into the previous room if necessary while shooting. Then follow the guide up the ramp and along a narrow corridor into the next area.
Cutscene: The camera moves out for a panoramic view of the SPHINX. Watch where the guide goes; you'll need to follow him in a moment.
THE SPHINX CAVERN: There are a few secrets and other items in this cavern, but we will get them later to save backtracking. You can ignore the area surrounding the sphinx for now. Just pick up Uzi ammo (screenshot) and a small medipack (screenshot) in the low areas on either side of the walkway. Then follow the guide down the stairs on the left through the doorway at the first landing. (screenshot)
ROOM WITH FLAMING OIL AND TWO RAM STATUES: As you enter, the guide uses his torch to set the pool of oil aflame (screenshot), and the gate between the ram statues opens. (screenshot) Continue through that gate. When the passage splits, the guide will go to the left and continue to a closed gate. You should follow the passage on the right. (screenshot) Soon, you'll come to a shallow pit. Drop in and pick up a small medipack. (screenshot) Climb out on the other side and continue to the next room.
ROOM WITH POOL OF OIL AND SEATED STATUE: From here, you'll be able to see the guide behind the closed gate on the left. (screenshot) Go through the doorway on the right (screenshot) and follow the passageway past two square gates to the next room.
ROOM WITH PULL CHAIN AND SYMBOLS ON THE FLOOR: Position Lara close to the chain and press Action to pull it. This opens the gate down below to let the guide into the ROOM WITH THE POOL OF OIL AND SEATED STATUE. He lights the oil with his torch, causing some of the symbols on the floor in the room above to glow. (screenshots)
If you want all the pick-ups, before tackling this puzzle, turn around and go back into the passageway with the two square gates. You'll notice they have shifted, opening up the passageway on the right, which was previously blocked. Go through the opening, slide down the slope, and follow the passageway to a small room with a second chain and regular shotgun ammo lying on the floor. (This looks like the SHOTGUN and you'll get the gun itself if you don't already have it.) Take the gun/ammo and then pull the chain to re-arrange the gates in the passageway. To get back to the room with the first chain, exit to the north, and follow the passageway up the slope. (screenshots)
NOTE: The gate directly behind you closes as you enter the room with the first chain, but but the gate at the top of the steep slope remains open in case you need to get back to the second chain.
There's no need to pull the first chain again. The symbols on the floor should still be glowing. To open the exit, you'll need to take careful jumps to land on each of the glowing symbols without stepping on any of the other tiles. Except for walking onto the first glowing square, with the scarab symbol, you should avoid stepping on the brown border around the edge of each square. When you make a correct move, one of the torches on the wall will ignite. If you make a mistake, any lit torches will go out, and flames will appear on the glowing symbols where you stepped previously. If you make a mistake and need to start over, follow the passageway back down to the second chain. Pull it to reset the puzzle. Then return upstairs and try again.
The sequence of jumps is fairly clear, but in case you're having trouble, it's shown in these screenshots. Walk from the square with the chain onto the near left corner of first lit-up symbol (a scarab). As you do this, the leftmost torch above the exit lights. Turn 45 degrees to the right and take a standing jump with Action to the tile with the two papyrus reeds. The rightmost torch and the scarab tile behind you ignite. This is OK, though, just avoid stepping on the flaming tile. Turn about 45 degrees to the left and take a standing jump over the adjacent square to land on the mouth symbol. The middle torch and the papyrus reed tile, where you just were, ignite. Now side flip to the left (Jump + Left), clearing the adjacent square and landing on the second scarab tile. The left middle torch and the mouth tile where you were just standing ignite. Pivot a little to the right and take a standing jump onto the mouth symbol near the exit. The last torch lights, the second scarab tile catches fire, and the gate opens. Enter the alcove and pick up the TIMELESS SANDS. When you do, the outer gate opens. Exit here and follow the stairs down to to emerge near the base of the sphinx.
SPHINX CAVERN (second time): If you stand here on the steps beside the sphinx for a few moments, the guide should emerge from a doorway off to the left. Now head for the lit torch mounted on the south wall (i.e., to the left when facing the sphinx). (screenshot) When you reach that torch, turn right, proceed forward a few steps, then turn left at the area with the sandy floor (screenshot), and follow this passageway to a small room with a square gate. the guide should follow. When he arrives, he opens the gate for you. (screenshot)
Cutscene: Something in the inscription above the gate causes the guide to panic and run back upstairs. Guess you'll have to go it alone from here.
Draw pistols, step through the gate, and then back up firing as 3 red scorpions approach from inside on the left. (screenshot) When the coast is clear, follow the passageway where they came from to another room with a seated statue.
SANDS ROOM: Hop down into the room and pick up the shotgun shells and small medipack sitting on the raised area in the middle. (screenshot) Then climb up onto the ledge near the statue. Stand close to it and press Action to open your inventory. Select the TIMELESS SANDS. Then press Action again to place the artifact in the statue's hands. (screenshot)
Cutscene: Doing this opens grates in the ceiling, and the sand that was piled up in the sphinx room cascades down into the statue room, revealing an opening at the sphinx's mouth.
Turn around and shoot another red scorpion now scurrying around on the floor of the sandy room. (screenshot) Then jump up either side of the sand pile, go around behind it, and climb back up into the doorway. Follow the passageway back to the sphinx.
NOTE: If you are not collecting secrets, go around to the front of the sphinx and climb into its mouth to finish the level. This sequence is described in the BACK AT THE BASE OF THE SPHINX section, below.
SPHINX CAVERN (third time): If you do want the remaining secrets, as you re-enter the cavern, turn left. Go forward between the stone cavern wall and the lapis-and-gold edge of the sphinx's headdress toward the southwest corner of the cavern. Climb onto the low block directly ahead. On the right is secret #5, a small alcove barred by a gate, which you'll need to open. Scale the climbable wall next to the gate to reach the ledge high above. Push the lever forward to open the gate below. (screenshots)
Before descending, go after another secret. Walk out onto the lapis-and-gold ledge that forms part of the sphinx's headdress. Take a diagonal standing jump to the left to land on the lapis-and-gold ledge that forms the top of the headdress. Walk across the crown of the headdress to the opposite side and turn left. Take a standing jump to land on the lapis-and-gold ledge that forms the other side of the headdress. Then walk onto the stone ledge beyond. This is SECRET #4 (12/70): shotgun shells and a large medipack. (screenshots)
Walk back out onto the lapis-and-gold ledge and turn right to face the rock wall. Drop backwards and slide down the side of the headdress, holding and releasing Action to grab the edges as Lara slides in order to break her fall. Then make your way out of this dark corner toward the front of the sphinx by jumping through the uneven gap between the headdress and the cavern wall. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you prefer, instead of sliding down here, you can jump back across to the other side of the headdress and slide down there to land directly in front of the 5th secret. I'd rather not risk a fall, but it's up to you.
Head for the southwest corner of the cavern and climb up to the alcove at the base of the ladder. This is the gate you opened earlier using the lever at the top of the ladder. The chimes sound for SECRET #5 (13/70), and you find regular and wideshot shotgun ammo. (screenshots)
NOTE ON AMMO SELECTION: Normal shotgun ammunition, the type in the red box, are quite common. Wideshot ammo, in the blue box, is more powerful and more effective against multiple enemies clustered close together. It is also rarer, so you'll probably want to conserve it. To change ammo type, press Esc/Select to open your inventory. Rotate the inventory Left/Right until the shotgun is selected. Press Down to select Choose Ammo, then Action, then Up/Down to select the type of ammunition you want, then Action twice to confirm the ammo choice and equip the weapon.
BACK AT THE BASE OF THE SPHINX: Return to the front of the sphinx and climb into the crawlspace that forms its mouth. (screenshot) To pull up into a crawlspace, stand below the opening and press Action + Up to grab the edge. Continue to hold Action while pressing Duck/Crouch + Up to climb inside. Now crawl forward until Lara can stand. Follow the passageway to a ramp and save your game. The first secret in the next level can be tricky. Saving here will allow you to try again if you miss it. Don't bother lighting a flare, though, since you'll lose it during the level transition. Now slide down the slope to end the level.
NOTE: If you've reached the end of the level and the sphinx's mouth is not open, enabling you to crawl inside, you'll need to open it now. Go through the passageway on the south wall of the cavern and follow the section "SPHINX CAVERN (second time)," above.
*NOTE ON SECRETS: There are 70 secrets in the entire game. These are marked "(x/70)" in this walkthrough. To check your progress in-game, press Pause (P on keyboard, Start on PlayStation or Dreamcast controller) then choose Statistics. At the end of this level, you should have 13/70.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 12/5/01 - Most recent edit.. Details are not available since I hadn't begun tracking minor updates.
5/5/19 - First major update since this walkthrough was created in 1999. This revision includes many new screenshots as well as various other corrections and clarifications.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks to the participants in the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup and the old tombraiders.com forum, without whom parts of this walkthrough could not have been written, and to Brian C. from Tomb Raiders Traveler's Guide, for the transcript of the Race for the Iris cutscene. Thanks also to Ian J., Katie, Louise K., Marti, Panta, Piet, Sharon E., and Zomber for their help on this level.
FYI: If you'd like to learn more about the ancient Egyptian system of writing, check out "10 Fantastic Free Resources for Learning Egyptian Hieroglyphs" from Tomb Raider Horizons.
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