LEVEL 12: TOMB OF THE ANCIENTS
Items: 1 health item
Weapons & Ammo: 2 ammo items, V-Packer shotgun
Enemies: bats, undead knight
TOP OF THE RUINS: You begin the level by dropping into a rough-hewn, greenish tunnel. Follow the it to an opening in the floor. Drop down onto a wooden beam and from there to the floor. Continue to the tunnel opening for a panoramic cut scene. That trapdoor at the bottom of the very tall room is where Lara is headed next.
Walk to the edge of the opening, drop and hang from the rim and climb down the rock wall to the small, green ledge below. Keep walk mode activated as you turn to face out over the room and shoot a pesky bat. Walk prevents Lara from stepping off the edge, which helps compensate a little bit for the spastic controls when she has a weapon drawn.
NOTE: In this level, only a few of the bats actually bother Lara. Most are just there to provide atmosphere. If you draw guns, Lara won't target the decorative bats. Don't waste ammo shooting them.
Walk to the right edge of the ledge and jump to the jutting wooden beam ahead. Harmless bats fly out of the tunnel ahead. Jump into the tunnel and follow it to a hole in the floor. Drop down several ledges to reach a small room that opens onto a broken bridge.
BROKEN BRIDGE: Take a running jump across the gap to the other side of the bridge. Shoot another bat and get the bandages in the room ahead. Return to the end of the bridge and look out to the right. Take a carefully angled running jump to grab the small ledge with no gargoyle located between the two ledges that do have gargoyles. Pull up. (This sequence, starting with the jump from the end of the bridge, is shown in a series of screenshots.)
NOTE: If you're having trouble with the jump from the end of the broken bridge to the small ledge, the page of screenshots linked above includes an alternate path.
Turn left, walk to the edge of the ledge and take a standing jump to grab the next ledge with the gargoyle. Lara won't shimmy all the way around, so pull up, drop and hang off the front of the ledge and shimmy around to the far side. Drop to the sandy ledge below.
Walk to the middle of this ledge, drop and hang from the edge and climb down the rock face. Lara won't have any trouble climbing down the underside of the rock face as long as you keep moving. When you reach the ledge below, turn left, grab the climbable wall and climb to the left, all the way around to the back of the rock wall. Then climb down to the ledge below. From there, jump to the jutting wooden beam. Pull the lever to extend a series of ledges.
FIRST SET OF LEDGES: Activate walk mode to keep Lara from falling as you make the jumps. Take a short hop (Shift + Jump) from the beam to the first ledge. Take a regular standing jump to the second ledge. Jump and grab the third (jump from the middle or left side); pull up. Take a short hop to the fourth and then safety drop onto the fifth, directly below. Turn around and take a standing jump down to the sixth and, from there, safety drop to the ground.
ON THE GROUND: As far as I know, you can't destroy the undead knight. So don't bother shooting at him. You can, however, disable him for a few moments at a time by punching/kicking him until he falls down. Or just avoid him; he doesn't move very fast. Run across the floor and crawl into the small well-lit opening. Use the lever to extend more ledges out in the main room. Crawl out, run to the left and pull up onto the lowest ledge, shown in this screenshot.
NOTE: If you're having trouble in this area due to darkness, try turning up the brightness in the game. In the Options menu, choose Video Options, then Gamma Correction. Then move the gamma slider to the right to make the screen brighter. Or, manually adjust the brightness/gamma on your TV or monitor.
SECOND SET OF LEDGES: Activate walk mode to keep Lara from falling as you make the jumps. Walk to the edge of the first ledge and take a standing jump to the second, and another standing jump to the third. Jump straight up to grab the fourth (at the left end) and pull up. Jump and grab the fifth ledge at the left end; pull up. Repeat for the sixth. Turn around to face the higher ledges. Jump to grab the seventh at the right end. Jump straight up to grab the eighth; pull up. Now take a series of standing jumps (without grabbing) to the eighth, ninth and tenth ledges. Walk to the wall and climb up into the alcove. Use the lever to open the trapdoor in the middle of the room below.
Drop back down onto the tenth ledge. Using short hops here seems to cause Lara to swerve uncontrollably instead of jumping in the direction she's facing. (Argh!) So step to the back edge of the ledge. Then take a regular standing jump to get from the tenth ledge to the ninth, and again from the ninth to the eighth. Use a regular standing jump from the front edge of the sixth ledge to get down to the seventh. Then safety drop to the fifth, directly below. (No need to jump to the sixth at all.) Step back from the edge and jump to the fourth. Safety drop to the ledge below and, from there, drop to the floor.
Ignore the knight and run to the open trapdoor. Drop in.
Follow the tunnel. At the fork go right and kick the door down for a lower-body strength upgrade. Enter and get the V-PACKER SHOTGUN and 2 boxes of shells. Follow the tunnel to the other end and kick down the door. (If you try this before getting the upgrade, Lara will tell you she's not strong enough.)
TRAP ROOM WITH BEAUTIFUL SHINY FLOOR: Go through the first small room. When the gate closes behind you, look to the right for a lever. This opens the gate at the far end of the room. It's timed to close after about 10 seconds, so you have to hustle to get past the darts and spikes.
Save your game. Pull the lever. Turn left and start running. Keep running and jump just before you reach each set of horizontal spikes. You may need to try it a couple of times before you get the timing right, but eventually you'll make it through in a smooth series of running jumps. In the hall beyond the traps, go left.
I don't see an inscription on the wall anywhere, but apparently Lara notices something we don't because the notebook is updated: "Ultrices Atrium Custodiunt. Wrathful sentinels guard the hall within." Continue through a series of doors to the next level.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 1/16/07 - Rephrased a few sections for clarity and added screenshots.
3/20/07 - Added screenshot and tip on adjusting brightness/gamma setting in the "On the Ground" section.
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