Tomb Raider Legend Time Trials - Tips & Strategy
In order to unlock some of the bonus content in Tomb Raider: Legend, you must beat each completed level again in Time Trial mode.
How to Play a Time Trial: First load your most recent save file from the main menu. Then select Load/Save > Replay Level. Under difficulty level, choose Time Trial. The goal in Time Trial is to complete the level before the timer at the bottom of the screen runs out.
Can You Save During a Time Trial? No, you cannot save as you go along, although the game still saves automatically at each checkpoint and will reload at the last checkpoint if Lara dies.
GENERAL TIPS & STRATEGY
Here are some time trial tips sent in by helpful raiders. Your suggestions are welcome.
- Provided you plan on using cheat codes during other time trials, try to complete the time trial for Bolivia Redux first. That unlocks the one-hit kill cheat, which then makes the time trials for most of the other levels go much more quickly.
- If you have trouble doing Bolivia Redux fast enough, try England instead. This unlocks the bulletproof cheat, which protects Lara from most enemies, including the Unknown Entity in Bolivia Redux. It also prevents her from drowning, though it doesn't reduce cold damage in the freezing waters of Nepal.
- If you still can't manage Bolivia Redux, try Nepal next. This unlocks the cheat to wield Excalibur, which is the next best thing to a one-shot kill in the fights with Takamoto and Rutland.
- Note that you can use multiple cheats at once. You can also enter cheat codes during cut scenes to save time.
- Don't waste time picking up rewards or any items you don't need.
- Avoid enemies unless you have to kill them in order to move on. In many cases, Lara can run away from enemies and they won't follow her very far. This is even easier if you have the bulletproof cheat enabled. Note that this technique doesn't work in the motorcycle chase sequences. If you don't kill the other riders, these levels can go on forever.
- This one is pretty obvious: try not to let Lara die. The game reloads at the last checkpoint but the clock is still running. It's usually better to take a few extra seconds setting up a jump than to miss and have to replay a large section of a level.
- There is an exception to the above rule: If you're out of health packs and there's a good spot for killing Lara right next to a checkpoint, let her die on purpose. The game brings her back to life at the checkpoint with full health and one health pack. Since the checkpoint is so close, you hardly lose any time. Note that if you die and reload more than once at the same checkpoint, you still get full health each time, but you only get the bonus health pack the first time. (One good spot to use this is the deep pit just beyond CHECKPOINT 15 in England, after killing the serpent.)
- Use the Interact key to climb more quickly up or sideways, or to swim faster. For best results, tap Interact in time with Lara's movements.
- When running on long straight-aways, tap Roll as you go to make Lara cover a bit more ground.
- If dramatic music makes you tense, turn off the sound—especially during the boss fights. This is also helpful if you can't stand listening to Zip and Alister yammering in Lara's ear.
- If the pressure of the ticking clock gets to you, tape a slip of paper or a sticky note over the corner of the screen with the timer. (This was suggested by Eldin, who wrote our level-by-level time trial tips, below.)
- Relax and don't worry about doing every sequence perfectly. You'll save time by using other tips and shortcuts, so try not to tense up if you make a mistake. Just recover and go on.
Time Trial Cheat
This apparently works only on the Xbox and Xbox 360.
- Start any level in time trial.
- After just a few seconds of gameplay, quit the level.
- Choose the same level again and don't change any settings (difficulty, outfit, etc.); just press Continue. This should restart the level with no timer.
- Complete as much of the level as you can without Lara dying.
- Before finishing the level, deliberately kill Lara. When the game reloads, the timer will start at the point where you quit from the time trial. Now you have that much time left to finish.
If this doesn't work for you, see the UPDATE at the bottom of the page for more info.
GLITCHES AND BUG EXPLOITS
There are a number of glitches in the game that will enable you to skip entire sections of levels, thus completing the time trials much more quickly. The list of such exploits is extensive, and new discoveries are constantly being added. So I encourage you to search them out on YouTube and the speedrunning site TombRunner.net.
If you prefer not to cheat and want to beat the time trials fair and square, read on....
SPECIFIC TIPS FOR EACH LEVEL
My good friend Eldin has generously shared his time trial tips for each level in the game. I hope you'll find these mini-walkthroughs as helpful as I have.
XBOX TIME TRIAL CHEAT - UPDATE: If your Xbox 360 is connected to Xbox Live (via the internet) then you are prompted to download an update for the game when you put the disc in for the first time. If you download this update it patches the game and the time trial glitch. People playing the game for the first time can avoid it by just unplugging their internet while playing. (Everything works fine without it, achievements and all.)
If you have already downloaded the update, you have to clear your cache to remove it. Instructions for doing this can be found at http://vgstrategies.about.com/od/xbox360faqs/a/ClearX360Cache.htm. If you have other games which have been updated, you will need to reinstall those. So do this at your own risk. (Thanks to Kendall for this useful information.)
There are a few bugs in the original Xbox 360 version of Legend, which may or may not be fixed by this update. For example, the lock-up in the serpent area in England. So you may want to play through the game with the updated version and then clear your cache, as described above, just for the time trials.
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. Special thanks to Sergio, who contributed most of the tips cited here. Thanks also to the following raiders for their assistance: Abby, Alona, Bobly, CannibalK9 (I've raided his posts on the Eidos Forums as well as his YouTube videos), Edwin, Gandarufu, Greg, Guil, Harm, Isaac, Joshorty, Kendall, Lemmie, Lindsey, Liz O., Nick, Rhys, Roger, Rose and Samsi. Some ideas were contributed by more than one player, so I have thanked everyone in alphabetical order. Naturally, special thanks goes to Eldin for his helpful level-by-level walkthroughs!