NOTE: Combat strategy is based on the Medium difficulty setting, so your experience may vary slightly. In addition to the walkthroughs for each level, there are separate pages for Controls & Gameplay Tips, Skill & Weapon Upgrades, and Collectible Items.
SAVING AND CHECKPOINTS: Like the last several games, TOMB RAIDER uses autosave checkpoints. Whenever you pass a checkpoint, the game is saved automatically. Then, if Lara dies or you quit the game and restart, the game reloads at the last checkpoint. If you only rely on one autosave, you may run into trouble if you get stuck in the game, encounter a bug, or if your autosave file becomes corrupted. To avoid problems, I highly recommend changing your save slot at least once each level. You may also want to periodically back up your autosaves on a memory card (consoles) or into a separate folder (PC). See the controls page for details.
AREA 1: SCAVENGER'S DEN
Camps: none Gear: Torch Weapons/Weapon Parts: none
Documents: none Relics: none GPS Caches: none Treasure Maps: none
Challenge Tombs: none Challenges: none
OBJECTIVE: Keep Moving Forward to Survive
CREEPY ALTAR ROOM: After Lara regains consciousness and the camera turns to show her hanging upside down in a scavenger cocoon, you'll gain control. Alternate pressing Left and Right to make her sway back and forth until you're able to nudge a second cocoon hanging on your right. Keep swinging to push this cocoon into the fire. As it ignites, the blaze spreads to some cloth wrapped around a pole to your left. Swing Lara into this fire to burn away her cocoon so she drops to the cavern floor.
Out of the frying pan and onto a nasty spike! To remove it, tap the Interact button (E on the keyboard, Square on the PlayStation, X on the Xbox) repeatedly as shown on screen.
Lara is now free but not feeling too well. Her vision is blurred and she moves gingerly. Follow the tunnel into another room with an altar containing a grisly trophy.
NOTE: Although the victim on the altar is not mentioned by name, in the 2012 "Crossroads" trailer, Lara refers to her as Steph. She was apparently one of the Endurance survivors, though it's not clear what her role was. Although Steph was left out of the single-player game, she can be unlocked as a playable character in the multiplayer game. There's a little more info on the Lara Croft Wiki.
Approach the TORCH in the wall sconce and press Interact to take it. (screenshot) Continue along the tunnel until you come to a pile of flotsam—or is it jetsam? I can never remember. Stand close and hold the Interact button to burn the pile clearing the way to the next area. (screenshot) Proceed forward through the tunnel. Falling water puts out your torch, but Lara will stow it away for later use.
SMALL ROOM WITH DEBRIS AND WOODEN LEDGE: Here the game shows you how to use Survival Instinct. Press the button indicated (Q on the keyboard, L2 on the PS3, L1 on the PS4, LB on the Xbox) to reveal objects in the environment with which Lara can interact. (screenshot) Release the button and continue moving to return to normal view.
Stand near the brazier on the right and press Interact to relight your torch. Climb onto the ledge on the left and use the torch to ignite the sail wrapped around the pole. The flame spreads to the fuel barrel on the next ledge causing the barrel to explode. Drop down and climb over that ledge. When you enter the low tunnel ahead, Lara automatically crouches.
Quick time event: As you crawl through, a creepy scavenger dude tries to grab Lara. Follow the on-screen prompts to evade him. If you're using a controller, wiggle the left stick quickly back and forth from left to right. If you're using a keyboard, alternate pressing Left and Right (A and D keys) to break free. For some PC players the A and D keys don't work for Left/Right during Quick Time Events, so you may need to use the Left and Right Arrow keys instead. If you're still having trouble with this sequence, try alternating pressing Left/Right a little more slowly. You don't need to mash them super fast to get through. (See the note about Quick Time Events below if you're having trouble with this.)
Once Lara manages to escape, continue through the flooded tunnel. As you enter the next cavern, you're given a new goal.
OBJECTIVE: Find a Way Out
An on-screen prompt shows you how to use Survival Instinct to highlight Objective Beacons, which show where you need to go next. Here the way is currently blocked by debris. (screenshot)
CAVERN WITH METAL CAGES: Head into the junk-filled cavern. If you like, you can use Survival Instinct to highlight the puzzle components here. On the low ramp on the right is another brazier where you can relight your torch. Above are 2 dangling cages tethered together by some kind of pulley system. Use the torch to burn the 2 cloth-wrapped poles. This releases the ropes anchoring the lower cage so it drops into the water. In this position, it begins to collect the debris floating downstream. Simultaneously, the other cage is raised up. (screenshots)
Go up the ramp on the right and around to the middle of the wooden ledge. Jump from there into the raised cage. Lara's weight lowers that cage, raising the one containing the debris, which is then dumped into a third cage at the end of the wooden ledge. Hop down to the ground. Then go up the ramp again and continue around to the end. Stand close to the cage and press Interact to light the debris on fire. Then press the Melee button (F on the PC, Triangle on the PS3 or Y on the Xbox 360) to shove the crate off the edge. It slides down into the water, carrying flaming debris into the barricade and causing an explosion that clears the way. (screenshots)
TUNNEL TO THE SURFACE: Continue through the opening you just made. Follow the tunnel toward the crack where you can see daylight. Before you reach it, the tunnel collapses. As Lara slides, try to steer her away from the branches along the walls, since these will hurt her. At the bottom of the slope, she smashes through a barrier and lands in a lower passageway.
Don't linger in this tunnel, or Lara will gradually take damage from falling rubble and die. Move forward along the stream bed, clamber up the slope, and then run and jump across 3 gaps, as the tunnel collapses around you.
After the third gap, move forward into a low tunnel to trigger a second quick time event. Another scavenger tries to grab Lara from behind. This is a two-part sequence: first a series of left/right button mashes or stick wiggles, then a specific button press. (screenshots).
If you're using a controller, wiggle the left stick left and right as indicated on screen to break free. Then watch the screen carefully. Just before the Melee button icon appears, you'll see a set of concentric gray rings. Wait for the outer ring to contract into the inner ring and the button icon to light up. Then immediately press the button (Triangle on the PS3, Y on the Xbox). This happens quickly, so your timing must be precise. If you press too soon or too late, it won't work, and Lara will be killed.
If you're using a keyboard, alternate pressing Left and Right to break free. (Again, if the A and D keys don't work for you, try using the Left and Right Arrow keys instead.) Then watch for the concentric gray rings to appear on screen. Wait for the outer ring to contract into the inner ring. As soon as the indicator turns red, press the Melee key, which is F. This happens quickly, so your timing must be precise. If you press too soon or too late, it won't work. (If you're struggling with this sequence on the PC, see the note below about adjusting your graphics settings.)
When you succeed, Lara kicks the baddie and scrambles away as he is crushed by a boulder. Keep running and then attempt to jump the next wide gap. No matter what you do here, Lara misses the ledge and slides down the slope as the tunnel collapses. Her torch is lost down the chasm, but she manages to hang onto the edge and pull up.
When you regain control, a third quick time event begins. Alternate pressing the Aim and Fire buttons (L1/R1 on the PS3, L2/R2 on the PS4, LT/RT on the Xbox) or the Left/Right direction keys on the keyboard to scramble up the slope. (Keyboard users: Again, if A and D don't work, try the Left/Right Arrow keys.) When a boulder slides down toward you, the on-screen icon prompts you to dodge left. Press the left stick to the left or press A or the Left Arrow key on the keyboard. Lara must then continue scrambling uphill as before. After a few moments, you'll need to dodge a second boulder by moving to the right. Then keep scrambling to the top, where a cut scene kicks in and Lara at last emerges outside.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 3/14/13 - First draft of walkthrough posted online. 3/21/13 - Added tips for graphics issues during QTEs.
4/4/13 - Fixed stupid typo under QTE involving direction keys. Of course it should be A and D keys, not A and S, for left and right.
1/21/14 - Added info about Steph.
NOTE ABOUT QUICK TIME EVENTS: If you notice your system slowing visibly during QTEs, or your button presses seem to have no effect at all, you may want to turn down your graphics settings temporarily until you pass the QTE. Some players have reported that simply turning off the "Tesselation" option under Options > Graphics > Advanced fixed their QTE issues.
If you're playing one of the console versions, where adjusting the graphics settings is not an option, then the problem may just be one of timing. It may help to review this set of screenshots, which includes tips for timing your button presses.
WAS THIS WALKTHROUGH HELPFUL? If not, I apologize and invite you to contact me with any questions. If you need help right away, I recommend the Lara Croft Online forums (laracroftonline.net), the Square Enix Tomb Raider Forum or any of the other message boards listed at tombraiders.net/stella/community.html. If this site was useful, please consider supporting it financially or in other ways. For details, visit tombraiders.net/stella/support.html. As always, I welcome your corrections/suggestions. Thank you!
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