LEVEL 28: THE LOST DOMAIN
Items: 1 health item
Weapons & Ammo: none
Upgrades: lower body (sprinting jump ability)
As Lara slides into the level, your notebook is updated: "Find Eckhardt's old lab. We need that third Periapt Shard."
LAVA PIT WITH LEVER & WOODEN WALKWAY: Follow the passage. Where it splits, go to the right to a slope above a lava pit. You can't get the large health pack behind the bars just now. Slide down the slope and jump to land on the stone platform in the middle of the lava pit. The jump to the next pillar is a bit tricky. The short hop is hard to control on uneven surfaces. So instead position Lara several steps back from the edge, just behind the gap between the first and second pillars that make up this platform (as shown in this screenshot). Then take a standing jump to the next freestanding pillar. Walk to the edge and jump to the ledge with the lever. For some bizarre reason, the final jump gives Lara a lower-body strength upgrade. This upgrade also gives Lara the ability to do a special sprinting jump, which will be very useful shortly.
Pull the lever to raise the gate back near the health pack. Climb onto the wooden walkway and return along the edge of the pit to the tunnel. Pick up that large health pack, exit through the open gate and go to the left to get back to the main tunnel.
TIMED RUN: Turn right and follow the tunnel to another deep pit with tall stone pillars. In order to make the jumps required here, Lara must first have gotten the strength upgrade (see above). This series of jumps is illustrated in a screenshot.
Save your game. Then pull the lever to open the gate on the other side of this cave. During the brief cut scene showing the gate opening, you can see Lara in the distance and move her a little before the camera shifts back to her point of view. I found it difficult to do anything more than pivot so she's facing in the right direction, but according to PlayStation gamer Keith M., pulling back on the left joystick for two or three seconds, with walk mode on, causes Lara to automatically line herself up for the first jump. Suheet was able to pivot and take the first jump before the cut scene ended. I guess I'm just not that coordinated. ;)
Immediately take a running jump to the first group of pillars. Keep running and jump at the edge to clear the gap and grab the edge of the next group of pillars. Pull up, press Forward and then immediately press Sprint (same key as Look) to race forward. Just before Lara reaches the edge, press Jump and she'll take off with the new sprinting jump. You'll see her move her legs like a long jumper, as though she's running on air, and she'll clear the gap without having to grab on the other side. You should then have plenty of time to run through the gate before it closes.
If you don't get there in time, either reload your saved game or make your way back to the entrance: When facing the gate, turn right and grab the narrow ledge on the wall. Traverse to the right as far as Lara will go, then drop down. Turn around, cross the stone pillars and jump into the tunnel on the opposite wall. Follow this back toward the entrance. Jump onto the nearby set of pillars and cross to the opposite wall. Traverse along the crevice to the right and then climb up to the lever and try again.
NOTE: You may be able to complete this sequence even more quickly using two or even three sprinting jumps, but I found the PC directional keys too sensitive for this. Maybe it's just my system and you'll have better luck on your computer or PlayStation.
CAVE WITH WOODEN PLATFORMS & LADDERS: Beyond the gate, continue along the tunnel to another cave. Walk forward and down the stone steps. Turn left and jump down to the ledge near the wall. Climb the two ladders to reach the highest wooden platform. Take a running jump across the broken bridge to the other side.
The camera shifts to point at the wall, making this next part more difficult than it needs to be. You're aiming for the wooden platform with the lever a bit farther along the wall. You may want to save first. Slide down the ramp. Then, just before Lara reaches the bottom, jump, steer to the right a bit in midair and then grab the edge of the platform. Pull up.
Alternatively, if you can't get the hang of the midair steering and/or the weird camera angle, try taking a running jump instead of sliding down the slope. Position Lara on the wooden walkway with the broken bridge to her left and the lever platform ahead. Back up to the railing (as shown in this screenshot). Now run along the walkway and jump just before Lara hits the slope. Grab the edge of the platform and pull up.
Use the lever to extinguish the flames in the huge statues' hands and disarm the blade trap on the stairs below.
Safety drop off the wooden platform on the right side, near the cave wall, to land on the stone ledge below. Walk to the edge overlooking the middle of the cave and take a short hop (Walk + Jump) to land on one of the stone pillars below. Turn right, walk forward, jump to the stairs and then walk up to the doors.
NOTE: If you missed the platform with the lever and saved your game on the ledge below, you can still proceed. First, take a short hop down to the stone pillars near the stairs. Then you'll have to either get past the blade trap or work your way back to the ladder and continue from there. Several players have sent in strategies for getting past the blades. I have combined them into the technique shown in this series of screenshots. That page also includes tips for returning to the ladder.
Cut scene: When Lara reaches the carved door, lava (or is it magical energy?) flows into the carved patterns and the door opens.
Go through the door to enter Eckhardt's Lab.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 1/16/07 - Added info about the sprinting jump, thanks to Deborah and Rayne. Added alternate strategies for getting past the blade trap and returning from the foot of the stairs to the ladder, thanks to various players credited below. Also tweaked a few sections for clarity and replaced old screenshots with new ones.
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