LEVEL 8: GALLOWS TREE
Starting Inventory: TMX watch, 3 small medipacks, 1 large medipack.
FMV: Lara stows away on a boat in order to accompany Father Patrick to an Irish isle where strange goings-on have been reported. (A transcript is included on the movie page.)
THE CHASM: The hole on the right leads down to the valley you'll be visiting shortly. Leave it for now as you'll be taking another route and making some pickups on the way down. Instead, follow the path up to the left to the rim of the CHASM. Take a running jump from the rim of the pit to the sloping whitewashed ledge on the other side. (See this screenshot if necessary to get oriented.)
Once on this ledge, stand against the cliff wall and grab the horizontal crevice. Traverse along this crevice to the left and around the corner. Let go to slide onto the flat part of the whitewashed ledge beneath. Turn to face the rock outcropping and the wooden bridge beyond. (There's a lovely sunset in the distance.) Find the whitewashed slope ahead (shown in this screenshot). Then look down along the wall of the chasm to spot a small, greenish misty cave (shown in this screenshot). This is where you're headed first.
Take a standing jump to the whitewashed slope ahead (as shown in the screenshot of the slope). Slide backward and press Action to grab the edge. Let go to drop onto a ledge jutting out of the rock outcropping. Turn right to face the MISTY CAVE. Walk carefully along the ledge to the middle of the angled texture nearest the cave. (This screenshot shows the spot.) From there, take a standing jump toward the cave, pressing Action to lower Lara's arc so she lands squarely in the cave. A flock of bats fly out. Don't jump around too much trying to avoid them or you may slip out of the cave and have to come all the way back. Instead try running Lara into a corner and crouching. She'll take little or no damage. At the back of the cave you'll find a large medipack and a golden rose (secret #1, 19/36).
Drop down to the floor of the CHASM. Go around the back of the rock outcropping (to the right if Lara's back is to the MISTY CAVE.) There's a small medipack on the ground. Now make your way to the other side of the chasm, where there's a square ledge below an opening in the wall.
Climb onto the ledge and turn left to face the hollowed-out flat spot in the corner. Stand Lara at the outer corner of the ledge nearest the hollow. Take one walking step back from the edge. Then take a standing jump to a flat area on the rocks. Take another standing jump to the hollow. Pick up a small medipack. (This screenshot shows the right starting point and where to jump.)
Return to the ledge and climb into the opening. Climb up several ledges to emerge back where you started the level. Follow the path back to the rim of the CHASM.
Repeat the jump to the whitewashed ledge and the traverse along the crevice to the next ledge. Turn to face the whitewashed slope (again, it's in this screenshot). Jump to the slope, slide back and grab the edge as you did before. Only this time don't drop. Instead traverse to the right and around the corner until Lara is hanging above a small, rectangular opening. (These screenshots show how.) Let go then immediately press Action to grab the edge of the small opening. Pull up and crawl through.
Walk around the rock outcropping to the right. Climb onto the small, square block underneath the wooden bridge (shown in this screenshot). Jump straight up to grab the vines on the underside of the bridge. Traverse across the chasm to the dark room on the other side. Pick up the large medipack in the depression on the right. Then slide down the chute. Enter the area with the gnarled old tree.
Cut scene: Lara enters the area and is startled by the sudden appearance of a rotting corpse swinging from the tree by a noose. It speaks to her, asking her to find its heart. (A transcript is included on the movie page.)
THE GALLOWS TREE: First, be careful not to step too close to the campfire. Also, if Lara goes toward the covered well, she'll trigger the appearance of a changeling from inside the barrel.*** It will follow and attack her, making exploring the area quite a bit more difficult than it has to be. To avoid triggering it, stay on the stone steps or the first row of gray-and-white ground tiles below the steps. (The safe spots are shaded orange in this screenshot.) If you do end up with the thing on your trail, just keep moving and seek higher ground (as described below).
Just to the left of the chute where Lara slid in (left when facing the chute), is a wall with a sloped top. Set out a bit from this wall is tall, square pillar. (See this screenshot for details.) Position Lara between the sloped wall and the pillar facing the wall. Jump up and grab the top of the sloping wall. Pull up and before Lara can slide down, press Jump to backflip onto the pillar. Up there you'll find a golden rose (secret #2, 20/36). It's also a good vantage point for scoping out the area.
Drop down, face the tree, then head into the shallow cave off to the right (also shown in the secret #2 screenshot). (Remember, you can avoid triggering the changeling by staying on the stone steps and the row ground tiles adjacent.) Inside you'll see a crawlspace near the bottom and slats running along the ceiling. Skip the crawlspace for now and jump straight up to grab the slats. Traverse into the high opening. You can let go when the dramatic music plays and a flock of bats appear. Run into the cave and crouch in the corner until the bats disperse. Then climb onto the ledge on the left.
THE WELL/UNDERWATER PASSAGES: Walk to the edge of the high opening. Take a standing jump into the well below. Swim down the tunnel. When you come to a T, go to the right. Continue to another T intersection. Go right again. Keep going along the uneven tunnel. At the next intersection, turn left. (The passage leading upward is a dead end.) Continue until the tunnel turns upward and emerges in a MILL POND. (The small opening on the side of the underwater shaft near the top leads into the nearby shack. However, the water level there is too low to climb out.)
MILL POND AND SHACKS: When you surface in the pond, face the building with the wooden walkway jutting out and swim to the left. (If you swim to the right, a swarm of rats appears.) Climb out on either of the flat rock ledges and jump/walk over to the wooden walkway.
Position Lara at the end of the walkway with the building on her left (as shown in this screenshot). Take a running jump from the end of the walkway to the sloped ledge on the far side of the pond. Hold the Jump button to leap from the slope onto a ledge next to the shack. Crawl through the hole in the foundation into the shack. Pick up the large medipack on the floor and search the drawers for a RUBBER TUBE. Return to the MILL POND either through the crawlspace or the water-filled tunnel.
Climb back up to the wooden walkway. From there take a running jump across the angled wooden wall dividing the pond. More rats emerge when you reach the other section of the pond. Climb out of the water and run through the door at the top of the wooden steps. This leads through a small cave back to the GALLOWS TREE.
Cross to the far left corner. (Again, if you don't want to attract the changeling, stay close to the stone steps on the left.) In the bottom corner of the wall, there's another crawlspace. Go through.
OPEN AREA WITH BOARDED-UP BELL TOWER: Find the misty opening below and to the right of the boarded-up building. Go into this hollow and pick up a broken PITCHFORK. (This screenshot shows where it is. If necessary, turn up the brightness on your TV or monitor to help you see, or just walk Lara around under the overhang pressing Action until she finds it.) Climb onto the ledge near the boarded-up openings. Combine the PITCHFORK and RUBBER TUBE to make a CATAPULT (more like a slingshot really, but maybe that's a dialect thing). Use this near the boarded-up openings.
Cut scene: Lara assembles her slingshot and uses it to shoot the block anchoring the chain attached to the bells. The bells begin to ring, then crash to the ground. Lara jumps aside to avoid the falling debris.
Enter the bell room and pick up the iron CLAPPER. Go down through the hole behind the bells. Follow the tunnel to emerge on a HILLSIDE PATH WITH OPEN CRYPTS.
Enter the first crypt, just above the tunnel entrance, and pick up a WOODEN TORCH from the floor. Follow the path up the hill. The first crypt on the right is empty. The next crypt, on the left, contains a small medipack. You'll need to drop the torch (use the draw/holster weapons key) to pick up the medipack. Be sure to pick up the torch again afterwards. Continue up the path. The rest of the crypts are empty.
(NOTE: If you want to, you can enter the crypt that has a lit torch and light your wooden torch on it. Stand close and press Action. You can wait until later to do this, but if your game runs dark, you may want the extra illumination.)
At the top of the hill is a closed door and a niche in the stone wall next to it. You'll return here later.
Find the deep hole next to the crypt at the top of the path. Throw your torch down the hole. Then climb down the ladder after it. (Either pick up the torch or make a mental note of where you left it.)
UNDERGROUND TUNNELS: Walk along the corridor to a fork. Ahead are some brownish break-away tiles above a spike pit. Either run across quickly or detour around the spikes by going up the ramp to the right. On the other side of the spike pit is a lit torch. Again, you can light your wooden torch here if you want to (Action), or if it's not too dark for you, drop the torch here. Go down the ramp to the right of the lit torch. A flock of bats flies out. (Again do the crouch-in-the-corner trick if you want to.) Continue to where the passage opens into the spike pit. Walk through the spikes so Lara won't be injured. Drop the torch if you have it. Then crawl into the small opening to find a large medipack and a golden rose (secret #3, 21/36). Crawl back out, walk through the spikes, and return up the ramp to the lit torch.
If you haven't done so already, light the WOODEN TORCH using the lit torch on the wall (Action). Follow the passage back toward the spike pit. Go to the right and up the ramp to the ROOT ROOM. Stand directly underneath the root ball and press Action to use the lit torch to burn the roots. The hanged man's HEART drops out onto the floor. Step away from the center of the room to throw the torch (otherwise it lands right next to the heart). Then pick up the HEART.
Cut scene: A nearby door opens and Lara enters to find Father Patrick performing exorcism rites above the rim of a deep pit. (A transcript of the conversation is included on the movie page.) The important information is the Father telling Lara to meet him on the other side of the bridge, and to use iron to ward off any evil creatures she may run into.
Be careful not to fall in the deep pit. Start out the way Father Patrick went, picking up the small medipack on the floor near the chute. This chute leads back down to the GALLOWS TREE. It's quicker to exit the tunnels the way you came. Go back into the ROOT ROOM. Then exit through the other door. Follow the hallway back to the spike pit. Skirt the pit by going up the ramp to the left then down the other side. Continue to the ladder. (You must drop the torch here because Lara can't climb with it.) Climb the ladder to the HILLSIDE PATH WITH OPEN CRYPTS.
(NOTE: If you do exit the ROOT ROOM by sliding down the chute, cross the GALLOWS TREE area to the far left corner. Go through the crawlspace to the BELL TOWER. Climb up to the bells, drop through the hole behind them, then follow the tunnel to the HILLSIDE PATH WITH OPEN CRYPTS.)
At the top of the path, place the HEART in the niche to the right of the door.
Cut scene: Eerie laughter echoes through the area as the door slides open. changelings emerge from the crypts along the hillside and come up the path toward Lara.
Go through the door you just opened. Depending on whether or not you picked up the CLAPPER in the BELL TOWER, you'll see one of two possible cut scenes here.
Cut scene - If Lara doesn't have the clapper: Lara tries to slide back the stone blocking the exit, but the changelings overpower her. They disappear (maybe dispelled by her metal belt buckle?) but she's ends up outside the room again. (This cut scene repeats every time you enter the room until you get the iron CLAPPER.)
To get the CLAPPER, run down the hill (jumping over the changelings) to the opening at the bottom. Crawl through to the BELL TOWER. The CLAPPER is on the floor behind the bells. Return to the exit with the clapper.
Cut scene - If Lara has the clapper: Lara enters the room and tries to slide back the stone blocking the exit. The changelings enter the room and she uses the iron CLAPPER to repel them. Then she throws it on the floor near the entrance. Now she is able to move the stone and open the exit.
Go through the tunnel you just opened. Follow the tunnel climbing several ledges to reach the WOODEN BRIDGE. After meeting another flock of bats on the bridge, pick up the large medipack and continue across. Climb a few more ledges. Then go up the ramp to the next level.
*Note on Kills: The changelings are not technically kills, since without weapons Lara can't actually kill anything. I marked them in orange to distinguish them from the usual hazards, such as spikes, bats and rats, which are still in pink.
**Note on Secrets: There are 36 golden roses in the game. If you find them all, after the credits you'll be able to access "Special Features" from the options menu. This is a collection of storyboards, etc., created during the game design.
***About Changelings: I'm not sure exactly what these malicious critters are, but the best explanation I've heard was sent to me by Cathy from Ireland. She wrote: "Here in Ireland we are up to our tonsils in myths, legends and fairy tales. I remember my father, who is from rural Ireland, telling me about 'changelings'. The 'bad' fairies would come to take a newborn baby and replace it with a 'changeling', who was a bad tempered, evil child. What they were supposed to do with the newborn baby I can't remember! In the old days really nasty children were called changelings, just as a saying."
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