Tomb Raider 1 Trailer
The trailer to the game that started it all for this famous franchise.
The trailer to the game that started it all for this famous franchise.
The original intro cutscene to the classic game.
Ready for a hit of nostalgia? Check out this clip of all of the game's bosses.
Lara Croft, the protagonist in Tomb Raider, has become a sort of unwitting spokesperson for Eidos' new computer adventure. As the cover girl for just about every hard copy gaming magazine this year, this globe-trotting, gun-happy lass had become the matron saint of a new revolution in 3D gaming before the title even hit the shelves. But does the game really live up to all the buildup? Well, seeing is believing when it comes to Tomb Raider, and playing the game with the Rendition or 3Dfx chip, which are sure to find a home soon in every serious gamer's computer tower (a supportive patch will be available online for these), should almost be a prerequisite. Featuring several stunningly rendered 3D worlds and many a cliff-hanging moment, Tomb Raider makes gamers pay for the whole seat, even though they only need the edge.
As mentioned above, in Tomb Raider you play Lara Croft, a female Doc Savage who, tired of her wealthy English upbringing, has decided that dangerous adventuring is more her cup of tea. So she abandons a life of crustless cucumber sandwiches and piano lessons, eventually meeting a wealthy tycoon who hires her to retrieve a single artifact from a ruined temple in South America. After getting the artifact, you find out that the tycoon has sicked a bunch of her henchmen on you, and that the original piece you were sent in to retrieve is one of three hidden in various unplundered tombs around the world.
Your adventures take place in several "seven wonders" scenarios, from Egyptian sphinxes, to Greek temples, to Atlantis (what game would be complete without it?), each with distinct puzzles and traps to negotiate.
In each level, you'll have to beware of the different predator animals, unidentifiable creatures, and henchmen lurking around. In many instances, you'll be pounced on unexpectedly by wolves, lions, gorillas, raptors, and gangling "lava-monsters." Lara has to execute daring rolls, jumps, and side-leaps to dodge these predators while attacking them. This is no time to join the wildlife preservation society; endangered species or not, you've got to slay these pests. Sometimes, at the end of a level, you'll have to go up against of the "boss" monsters, which range from a lumbering Tyranosaur to a huge "torso-man" who, if he snatches you with his giant mitts, will slam you around like a rag doll.
So, you're asking, what weapons can I use on these poor crypt-dwellers who are simply trying to sustain themselves in a sealed-up tomb? With a tap of the spacebar, Lara draws out her two revolvers which automatically target any man-eating creature in the vicinity. Other more effective weapons are picked up throughout the game, including a set of magnums, a shotgun, and an Uzi. Rounds for your default weapon are unlimited, but ammo for the other weapons has to be picked up.
But killing is only half the fun in Tomb Raider, as Lara can perform a variety of actions to explore each eerie environment. Often you'll have to make Lara swim through convoluted caves to secret rooms (incidentally, this is some of the most realistic swimming movement you'll encounter in any game). Each level has a series of switches that you need to activate, some of which require you to heave huge blocks around and - this is probably the most fun part of the game - execute daredevil leaps to grab onto some faraway platform.
Tomb Raider is the exploratory game you always wished you were playing when you were trying to solve Atari Raiders of the Lost Ark.The variety of jumping and grabbing actions, the huge, sometimes vertigo-inducing worlds, and the smooth 3D graphics found in Tomb Raider are reminiscent of Mario 64, though the game's violent overtones and spooky ambiance definitely set it apart from the older title. On the down side though, some of Tomb Raider's puzzles are tedious, requiring the player to wander around a little bit too long. Graphically, it's a breakthrough game, but to obtain the spellbinding graphics that really make the gameplay a complete experience, you'll need one of the cards mentioned above. The avid 3D game enthusiast will probably shell out the extra bucks for one, especially if Quake is a resident game on her machine.
******************************************************************************* * * * Tomb Raider * * Completing the Game Without Using ANY Medi Packs * * With Occasional References to Bugs and Glitches * * * ******************************************************************************* Version Completed 1.00 17 July 2007 1.50 17 Sept 2008 * Fixed several typos (I can't BELIEVE that no one pointed these out to me) * Corrected some flawed information, specifically about the traps in the Great Pyramid. * Gave greater detail to some battle descriptions. * Enhanced information about the final battle with Natla. 1.60 12 July 2009 * Added improved method of getting Secret 2 in St. Francis Folly level. * I'm sure I changed some other things, but the specifics elude me at present. 2.00 31 Dec 2009 * Added information about the glitches that create shortcuts through levels 1 and 4. * Identified some unnecessary tasks in the Obelisk of Khamoon. * Improved efficiency of use of Save Crystals. * Provided details about the "claustrophobic and confusing rooms and blocks puzzle" in Natla's Mines level. * Added a strategy for passing through the "lava-painted-on-plywood" room in the Great Pyramid. * Described how to skip the final fight with Larson in the Sanctuary of the Scion. * Described an improved strategy for fighting Pierre in the Tomb of Tihocan. * Added a really nifty life-conserving tip for opening the red door in the throne room in the Atlantis level as well as some fun glitch information about the thrones themselves. * Described an improved method for fighting the 3 demons in the Atlantis level. * Reformatted this version revisions section -- doesn't it look much nicer? * Add a couple of puns that REALLY should have occurred to me earlier. 2.10 29 June 2010 * Added tip about avoiding the two demons just before sliding down the ramp in the Atlantis level. * Added a very useful tip about avoiding damage in the Thor room of the St. Francis Folly level. * Corrected some misinformation about the St. Francis Folly level and re-sequenced events in light of the above-mentioned tip. * Added a tip about descending from the roof of the palace without taking any damage in the Palace Midas level. * Added some information about the tall room with water in the City of Khamoon level, including various ways of dealing with the Panther Mummy at the top of the room. Written by Bill Russell The Tomb Raider series is (c) Eidos Interactive and The Playstation version is (c) Sony Computer Entertainment of America. This FAQ is copyright 2007 -- Bill Russell This publication is protected by United States copyright law. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission of the author. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. If you wish to post this FAQ or any portion of it to any other site, please write to me. Questions or comments can be sent to me at the email address that appears at the end of this FAQ PROVIDED that they conform to the guidelines stated in Section VII below. PLEASE read those guidelines before sending me anything. Thank you! =============================================================================== Table of Contents I. Have You Lost Your Freaking Mind? II. Why Should I Read This Thing? III. Who Is This "Colin" Guy Anyway? IV. How Am I Supposed to Survive Without Medi Packs? (READ THIS!) V. Index VI. I'm Tired of Reading -- Can I Just Play the Game Now? VII. Final Notes and Credits =============================================================================== I. Have You Lost Your Freaking Mind? Probably. I'll elaborate on this answer in a moment, but first a bit of background. When the original Tomb Raider game arrived in 1996, it became an instant classic. Its unique combination of action/adventure, puzzle solving, and an attractive heroine generated immediate interest which remains intact over ten years later. As time has passed, gamers worldwide have learned to look past the prodigious proportions of the main character and have focused more on the richness and replay value of the game itself. This is not to suggest that the game is perfect, for the flaws of the game are many and widely acknowledged. Jittery cameras? You bet! Blocky graphics? They are something of a joke by modern standards. Glitches and bugs? Got 'em in spades. In fact, we will be examining many of these bugs as a means of accomplishing our ends. Still, despite these imperfections, interest in Tomb Raider remains amazingly high a decade after its release. Ultimately, it is not dazzling graphics or other high-tech considerations that bring long-lasting value to a game but rather the content of the game itself. Tomb Raider is always fun to play, and one can learn more about the game with each playing. However, after ten years, even the best of games can become monotonous, causing aficionados to seek ways to add challenge and freshness to the game. In the case of Tomb Raider, the most obvious (and fun!) choice is to try to survive the game without using any Medi Packs. I have previously written a No Medi Packs walkthrough for Tomb Raider 2, and many of the strategies that I described in that FAQ are applicable here as well. In the Playstation version of the original Tomb Raider, though, we have the complication of Save Crystals, which only appear in distinct locations and in very limited numbers. Thus, in our journey we will try to optimize use of these precious commodities to minimize repetition of long passages of the game. We will discuss more particulars in a moment, but first let's address my initial question. The question I had to ask myself before embarking on this project was, "Why go to the trouble to write a FAQ in which there will be very little interest?" Realistically, at this point in time, interest in the game has dwindled significantly and is limited to a very small group of hard-core devotees, most of whom probably know much more about the game than I do. Ultimately, I decided that this lack of interest was a minor consideration. I have completed Tomb Raider many times over the past 10 years, yet there are still some areas where I cannot remember how to proceed. There is no better way to learn a game inside and out than by writing about it, so I decided to undertake this project in the interest of enhancing my own knowledge of the game. If, in so doing, I can enlighten any other members of the gaming community, then so much the better. Am I crazy for doing so? I'll let you be the judge. =============================================================================== II. Why Should I Read This Thing? Admittedly, this challenge is not all that difficult for someone who is familiar with the game. That is, many of you could probably figure most of the content of this FAQ out for yourself. Still, it is my hope that there will be times that you read my suggestions and ask yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?" When we share information, we all learn. You will notice that I said, "for someone who is familiar with the game." I definitely would NOT recommend that you try this your first time through the game. This challenge is for the experienced player only. I am therefore assuming that the reader has completed the game at least once and is familiar with the controls, enemies, weapons, puzzles, etc. Likewise, I will not attempt to describe every detail of the game. For this, there are several other good FAQ's posted and I suggest you refer to those for particulars on how to proceed if you get stuck. Likewise, I will not always remind you to pick up items (you may not need the ammo and you definitely don't need the Medi Packs unless you just want to see how many you can collect). I will assume that you want all of the Secrets, and I will remind you to get them when appropriate without necessarily detailing how. Rather, the focus of my writings will be how to minimize damage to Lara so that she can survive each level without using any Medi Packs. Recently, I've seen a lot of postings about "Speed Runs," where the objective is to minimize the time required to pass through each level of the game. It occurs to me that the philosophy described here is exactly the opposite of this. In general, I don't really care how long each level takes, as long as I collect all the items (especially Secrets),don't skip any major portions of the game, and do not use any Medi-Packs. (Okay -- maybe I occasionally advocate skipping an item or two, but I stand behind the essential truthfulness of my previous statement.) In fact, I go even further than that. Really, my quest is to minimize health loss and therefore finish each level with maximum health remaining, even if dramatically less conservative measures would still allow completing that level without using any Medi Packs. To me, patience is everything, and repetition of certain parts of the game is an inevitable means to the end. Thus, you probably don't want to undertake this challenge if speed is more important to you than accuracy. I will assume that you are playing the Playstation version of the game and therefore have to contend with the aforementioned Save Crystals. If you are using the PC version and can save anywhere, then do so. (If so, let me also acknowledge that you are more skilled with computers than I am, because I've never been able to get the PC version to simultaneously run, recognize my Playstation controller with USB adapter, and allow me to save my progress. If you accomplished all of this, you are a better person that I am, and I'd greatly appreciate it if you would write and tell me how you did it.) I will also assume that you are playing a "fresh" game and are not loading a completed game that gives you all weapons and unlimited ammunition from the beginning. Similarly, I assume that you are NOT using the "All Weapons" cheat. My logic is that it is better for me to describe the worst-case scenario and have you adjust to easier circumstances than to describe an easier approach and leave you to figure out how to adjust for more difficult circumstances. The choice of how to play the game is yours, but I would like to remind you that this is supposed to be a challenge. You get nothing for completing the game without Medi Packs except the satisfaction of having done so. The magnitude of that satisfaction is directly proportional to the difficulty level that you set for yourself. =============================================================================== III. Who Is This "Colin" Guy Anyway? A couple of years ago when I first published my Tomb Raider II FAQ, I got a very nice email from a gamer named Colin Chalmers. Colin very tactfully pointed out that there was a much easier way to get through the Barkhang Monastery level of that game, information that I incorporated into subsequent versions of my FAQ. He also mentioned in passing that he had completed Tomb Raider I without using Medi Packs, thus throwing down the gauntlet for me. I let his challenge simmer in the back of my mind for a couple of years until just recently. Like many gamers, I bought Tomb Raider Anniversary in the hopes that it would breathe new life into the series and give me some quality gaming. However, a few hours into the game I began to yearn for the simplicity, the control, and the purity of the first two games. It was then that I remembered Colin's challenge, so I undertook it and, soon afterwards, decided to write a FAQ about it. I then discovered that Colin had not been idle all those many months, but rather had been busy writing a FAQ about the glitches in the first TR game. Exploring these, I began to visualize how they would mesh nicely with the content of my own FAQ. I discussed with Colin the possibility of referencing his findings in my walkthrough, and, with his consent, this FAQ was born. When I feel that a glitch is of universal interest to readers, I will quote verbatim from Colin's FAQ. Otherwise, I will probably just say something like, "Look in Colin's FAQ for a different way to do this." His well-written and very well organized observations can be found at: /console/psx/file/199040/36533 I would encourage you to not only follow my references but also to read his FAQ in its entirety. I can pretty much guarantee that you will learn something new from the experience. For the record, I am not going to reference all of his findings in this document, so feel free to explore the others on your own. Sometimes these glitches and bugs save you time, sometimes they conserve life, and sometimes they do neither but are merely curiosities. We are mostly concerned with those that conserve life, since we are trying to avoid using Medi Packs. If you feel that using these bugs is cheating (and would therefore diminish that sense of accomplishment described earlier), then by all means do not use them. In the walkthrough, I will describe how to proceed both with and without using bugs, leaving that decision to you. Finally, Colin points out that although the titles of his glitches stay the same, the numbers in updated versions of his FAQ may change. Factor this into your thinking before writing me to challenge my abilities with numbers. =============================================================================== IV. How Am I Supposed to Survive Without Medi Packs? (READ THIS!) * You begin each level with full life. Therefore, it is only necessary to reach the end of each level alive. * In my "Overview" of each section, I will tell you approximately how much life I had remaining at the end of the level. Factor this into your thinking as you read along. For example, if I indicate that I survived the level with 50% of my life remaining and tell you in the walkthrough to strive for losing no more than 10% of your life in a certain encounter, figure anywhere from 10% - 20% is OK. The reason I give these low numbers and finish easy levels with lots of life remaining is that it is good practice for the more difficult levels where we will have to conserve every minute fraction of life we can. Take personal pride in every encounter you can survive without taking any damage at all--it will pay off later on. * Each time that I recommend saving your game, I will give a "Health Target" expressed as a range of values. For example, I might say "60 - 90%. The high number represents a very good run. Anything at or above that upper limit is excellent. The low number represents a recommended minimum. If your health is less than that number, I would advise going back to your last save and trying again or you may have difficulty surviving the level. Again, this is a ballpark number, but with a little practice these lower limits are easily achieved. We have some variables here depending on whether or not you allow yourself to exploit glitches in the game to conserve health, but I will try to give you a worst case scenario for that lower limit. That is, I will assume that you are NOT using glitches. * Always keep in mind our overall goal, which is to minimize damage. This is going to require repeating certain segments of the game multiple times. Do not save until you are sure that you've done your best and have met the guidelines that I set for you. * Since the game only allows you to keep ONE saved file at a time, you should keep an extra memory card or two handy. If you are uncertain about whether or not to save, you can save onto an alternate memory card. If you complete the level, then play on. If you run out of life and need to go back to an earlier save, you can just insert your original memory card. * Remember that eliminating enemies and triggering traps take priority over collecting items. The loot isn't going anywhere -- clear the area first, then pick up the items. * This may seem really obvious, but proper use of the "Look" button can be very helpful. It allows you to see around corners (and sometimes, due to glitches, through walls), thus telling you exactly where your enemies are and when they are going to be within your sights. It can also be used to line up jumps, showing the true direction in which Lara is pointed. * Know where enemies will appear and, just as important, what triggers their appearances. You will sustain much less damage when you can fight one enemy at a time and are prepared for their arrival. * Likewise, know the movements of your enemies, especially those with firearms. Generally, Lara is much more agile than these guys, so use this to your advantage. When confronted by an enemy with a gun, I will often run directly towards him, firing as I approach, then run past him, execute a roll, and continue firing. Most enemies are VERY slow to turn and will continue firing in the direction from which Lara came, giving you adequate time to take them out. If necessary, you can run past the enemy and roll again. Henceforth, I will refer to this technique as the "Run and Roll" technique. This is also effective on enemies without guns who are encountered in confined spaces. * If you are confronting an enemy that can "fire" at you (such as the fireball-throwing mutants in Atlantis), try side-jumping left and then right while firing. Lara is an excellent shot while jumping about, and her enemies are much less accurate. In this game, this technique is actually much more useful than the "Run and Roll" technique, which is used more in Tomb Raider 2. * Unarmed enemies who come towards you can be efficiently dispatched by hopping backwards while firing. This delays their approach and often kills them before they have a chance to reach you. Henceforth, I will refer to this method as the "Backhop" technique. If you run out of room when backhopping, you can run and roll past them or, if you are near water, dive in and wait for them to pass before trying again. * When an enemy is on a higher level than you, it is often possible to hide behind some kind of shield -- a trench or pit, for example -- then leap up vertically and fire as soon as Lara targets the enemy, then drop back down behind the shield. Henceforth, I will refer to this method as the "Vertical Leap" technique. It will be seldom used, but be aware that you have this technique as a tool at your disposal. * The most basic way to avoid damage from most enemies is simply to shoot at them from a safe (usually elevated) position. Most enemies cannot reach you if you stand on a block, giving you plenty of time to take them out at your leisure using only your pistols, thus conserving ammunition. * The most annoying enemies in the game are Natla's thugs -- Larson, Pierre, et al. They will appear multiple times, often in the worst possible places, and, most irritating of all, you generally cannot kill them but merely have to blast them until they go away. There are bugs that you can exploit to minimize your encounters with these lowlifes, but for you purists I will include some tips on how to fight every one of these battles and still avoid using Medi Packs. I have played the game both ways and assure you that you can complete this challenge either way. * This may seem really obvious, but always play with the sound on. Many enemies will give some kind of auditory signal alerting you to their presence (thus warning you to draw your guns and be prepared) or their demise (alerting you that the coast is clear.) I have a bad habit of playing with the sound off, and I often miss these cues -- don't let that happen to you. * Early in the game you are forced to use your pistols because that's all that you have. Once I get the Magnums, I tend to use them, mostly because they seem to do more damage than your regular pistols. Later on, the Uzis tend to be my default weapon. Happily, the supply of ammunition seems to follow this philosophy. Once you get the Magnums, an abundance of ammunition for them appears, and once you get the Uzis, there seems to be a profusion of Uzi clips to be had. I tend to save the shotgun for close encounters where maximum firepower is needed. However, feel free to experiment and see what weapons you prefer in each situation. * Finally and perhaps above all, if you try something repeatedly and it just isn't working for you, your best option usually is to take a break and come back and try again later. You'd be amazed how often you will be successful on one of your first couple of tries after taking a break. We are trying to accomplish something that is pretty difficult, so it is natural to become frustrated. Be patient, get away from the game for a while, come back refreshed, and things will often go much more smoothly. =============================================================================== V. Index To jump to the walkthrough for a specific level, click on "Edit" then "Find", type in the level number (e.g., "L01" without the quotation marks), and either click "Find Next" or hit the "Enter" key. Level 01 -- Caves L01 Level 02 -- City of Vilcabama L02 Level 03 -- Lost Valley L03 Level 04 -- Tomb of Qualopec L04 Level 05 -- St. Francis' Folly L05 Level 06 -- Colosseum L06 Level 07 -- Palace Midas L07 Level 08 -- The Cistern L08 Level 09 -- Tomb of Tihocan L09 Level 10 -- City of Khamoon L10 Level 11 -- Obelisk of Khamoon L11 Level 12 -- Sanctuary of the Scion L12 Level 13 -- Natla's Mines L13 Level 14 -- Atlantis L14 Level 15 -- The Great Pyramid L15 =============================================================================== VI. I'm Tired of Reading -- Can I Just Play the Game Now? Absolutely. Let's get started. Level 1 -- Caves (L01) Overview: This is a really easy level, and it's very possible to survive with no loss of life at all. In fact, the only serious threats to your well being come from dart-shooting pipes which, with a little practice, can be effectively dodged. However, your focus should be on avoiding damage from the animals, since this is a skill that will become increasingly necessary as the game proceeds. Otherwise, just get accustomed to the controls and enjoy this level. Particulars: For what it's worth, there are a couple of useful glitches that you can exploit to complete this level in under 2 minutes (without, of course, slowing down to get Secrets.) The one that allows you to glide through a closed and locked gate is especially fun and interesting. If you are interested, go to Colin's FAQ and/or view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psbza9I6jag. As mentioned in the Overview, the darts just past the entrance are completely avoidable. Either run right down the middle of the path or just jump over them. If you get hit by a couple of them, it's no big deal -- they won't cause much damage. Go all the way to the end and pick up the first Secret, then double back to the passage that you bypassed along the way. Climb up, pull out your pistols, and take out the 2 or 3 bats that come directly towards you. Secret #2 is just on your left as you proceed down this passage, but beware of the bat that comes to life when you pull up into the cave. Take it out before it can damage you. Drop back down, hang a left past the dead bats, drop into the pit, and open the door to the next area. Draw your pistols and shoot the bat, then head to the area with the bridges. There are two wolves below, and you can easily shoot them from above. If you want to have a little fun, climb onto the rocks just below the first bridge and do a running jump parallel to the bridge. You will magically pass through the bridge and land on top of it. There is really no advantage to doing this -- it's just one of the game's glitches. (Credit to Colin C for this.) Wind your way across the bridges to the next room, jump to the platform with the Save Crystal, but don't use it just yet. With some patience you can target the bear down below you and kill it from up here. Safety drop into the pit, cautiously head to the left where two bats await you, and when they are dead pick up the small Medi Pack. Now return to the room with the bridges, and retrace your steps to the Save Crystal (which you should now use.) At this point, your life bar should be very nearly 100% full. As you descend the white stairs, there is some point where you will trigger two wolves. I'm guessing that it is just past the green portal. Move forward far enough to trigger the wolves, then backhop to a spot just before the portal. The wolves will come up the stairs after you. As soon as Lara targets them, start shooting and backhopping. When the first wolf yips (indicating that it has died), release and re-press the X button (to target the surviving wolf), and continue shooting and backhopping. If you do this correctly, you can kill both of the wolves without suffering any damage. In this particular level, you can afford to lose some life, but this is really good practice for when conserving life is more important. Since you just saved your game anyway, practice this sequence until you take no damage. Then retreat to pick up the small Medi Pack and proceed into the open area from which the wolves came. Jump over to pick up Secret #3, then drop down and get the small Medi Pack. Now go pull the switch and race through the open door to the next area. Run and/or jump past the two dart-shooting pipes (these again are completely avoidable), and quickly shoot the wolf in the next room. Drop through the breakaway tile, run to the end of the area and leap the gap, and turn left. You will see a large MediPack, but before you can get to it a wolf will attack from the far right corner. You know what to do. Throw the switch to open the doors, drop down to the lower level, avoid a couple more dart-shooting pipes, and exit this rather easy level with your life bar either nearly full or completely full. One down and 14 to go. =============================================================================== Level 2 -- City of Vilcabama (L02) Overview: This is another really easy level. The only challenges come at the very beginning of the level, so you can really keep trying these battles until they go correctly for you. I suppose that it is possible to complete this level with 100% of your life intact -- and you are welcome to aim for that if you like -- but for our purposes, 90% is just as good (it's not like you get an extra merit badge or anything for a perfect level.) Particulars: Four wolves await you in this first room, one coming from each corner. They are triggered when you advance beyond the opened doors. Run into the room and aim first for the wolf to your far left. When he dies, aim for the one to your far right. As soon as the second wolf goes down, roll and backhop into the area he came from, and take out the other two. Now roll again and head deeper into this area and kill one more wolf ahead of you. You can do this without taking any damage whatsoever, and since you just saved your game, you should practice this one also until you get it right. Feel free to modify my suggestions if some other strategy works better for you. We have one other rather "grizzly" battle to fight, so let's get that out of the way now. From the room with the fifth wolf, take a left to the room with a small pool. You will see a building to your left with two entries. There is a bear inside, and he can come out of either entry. Unfortunately, this time (unlike the last level), we can't take him out from the safety of an elevated position. He is triggered when you step on any of the squares in the row in front of the entries. Take a wide path around the structure (like near the pool) and approach the far square (the one that is not next to the steps) from the side. Step on the square (with guns drawn), and as soon as the bear appears, start backhopping (to put some distance between you and the bear) and open fire. If you are lucky enough that he comes out of the far entry, you should have "bearly" enough time to terminate him before he can get close enough to maul you. If you take significant damage, just reload the level and try again, since we haven't really done much yet. Once you are satisfied with your performance on this level so far, it might be wise to make a quick run around the perimeter of this area killing bats (there are several) and perhaps one more wolf. If you have the sound on and your eyes open, they shouldn't give you any trouble. You can now retrieve the small Medi Pack from the bear's abode and dive into the pool to grab a pair of Secrets. Return to the room with the pool and look for the switch (conveniently outlined in white for you). Throw it and follow the path that it opens. The large Medi Pack in the alcove ahead can be grabbed either by moving quickly across the breakaway tiles or by using the block to climb up and get it. Either way, push the block into the next room, kill a bat, and grab the Silver Key and the Gold Idol. Use the block to get up by the Save Crystal, kill 2 more bats, and use the Save Crystal. At this point your life bar should be at least 80% full, and 100% full is certainly possible. Pick up the large Medi Pack, climb up into the window, and quickly kill two bats (if you didn't get them earlier.) Drop to the ground, use the Silver Key to open a door, and make your way past three dart-shooting pipes. There are two wolves in the near area of the next room, but because of the darts you don't want to retreat or backhop. Run into the room and kill the wolf on your left, then roll and take out the other one. You may take some damage, but we've done pretty well so far so consider a small amount of damage to be acceptable. Advancing toward the building ahead will trigger 3 more wolves, but you should have plenty of time and room to eliminate them without taking any damage. Enter the door on the left. Make your way up the room. The second time that you emerge into the pool room, a bat will attack, so be prepared. A second bat appears in the switch room. Throw the switch, grab the loot, and safety drop to the ground. Enter the right door and again make your way to the top. Jumping onto the last platform in the pool room triggers a bat in the stairway ahead, so when you land have your guns out and blast away. Throw the switch and use the Save Crystal, then safety drop to the ground once again. Proceed cautiously through the center door, as this passageway is guarded by three swinging blades. It is pretty easy to time your runs past them if you just remember that they are there. Throw the switch, take a swim, head through the narrow passage, and climb the stairs. Throw a switch and then walk out onto the balcony. With a little patience, you can kill the bear below you from up here -- MUCH better than trying to pull out of the water, draw you guns, and battle it in a fair fight. When the bear is down, drop to the level he was on. (Side note -- if you are interested, read Colin's "Safety Drop Bug". You can use it to reach a ledge directly below you. In this case, you can drop from the balcony to the ground without going into the pool -- nifty!) You can throw the switch if you really want to stop the swinging blades that you already ran past, and don't forget to pick up the third Secret. After this, you need only use the Gold Idol and proceed to the next area. Easy! =============================================================================== Level 3 -- Lost Valley (L03) Overview: This is a particularly easy level to complete without sustaining any damage at all. There are few battles to fight, and most can be fought from the safety of a sheltered location. This level demonstrates the advantage of knowing where and when your enemies appear. On your first time through, you probably died many times. Now, it is a breeze. Enjoy! Particulars: If you want to have some fun, check out Colin's FAQ for two easy glitches at the very beginning of this level The "Repeating Waterfall" glitch is especially entertaining. When you are ready to move on, take a right at the river and go down the stone steps, killing the two wolves below on your way down. Climb over the rock, then backflip back onto it so that when the wolf that you just triggered comes after you, you can take it out from the safety of your elevated position. Take a right at the tall rocks, and you will see a short ramp. Sliding down that ramp will trigger three more wolves. In fact, you can just ignore this area completely, but if you want the kills, slide down the ramp backwards, then immediately jump back up to safety and shoot the wolves from above. Having satisfied your bloodlust, return to the tall rock cliffs. Climb to the top and claim the large MediPack (its previous owner clearly won't be needing it any more.) Make your way down the rocks, but don't drop to the ground just yet. Touching the ground will trigger two raptors. They can't touch you when you are up on this ledge, but getting back up here is tricky. As you are facing the clearing, go to your far right and turn around. Slide down the ramp, walk forward a step or two, and jump back up. You can now go back to the other side and shoot the raptors at will. If they are uncooperative and won't come near you, you can drop to the ground and backhop, but they are relatively fast so be careful. When they are dead, follow the left wall until you see a small waterfall. You probably remember that you now have to face a T-Rex. In fact, as I learned from Colin, if you stand with your face against the waterfall and use the "Look" button, you can look "through" the waterfall and see the T-Rex (and a Save Crystal) waiting for you on the other side. The recess that you are currently in is not really safe because the T-Rex can actually get into this narrow space. However, if you look across the valley just to the left of the other waterfall, you will see a small cave opening that IS safe. Run over to that opening, triggering the T-Rex, and when you are safely inside, roll and fire. Avoid the temptation of getting too close to the opening, as the T-Rex CAN get his head partway into the cave and put a major hurt on you. Be patient and you can survive this battle with 100% of your life remaining. While we're on a killing spree, let's eliminate the other major headaches in the area. Proceed cautiously through the cave that you are now in and kill another raptor. Exit the cave from the other end, move cautiously to the right, and kill two more raptors by simple backhopping. There is only one more enemy to kill in this level but several items to collect. Before we do any of this, though, let's save our game. Go to the far end of the area, enter the building, dive into the pool and get the first machine cog, and use the Save Crystal. Health target: 50 - 100%. Although you can certainly survive the level if your life is below 50%, you should be aiming for a higher number than that. Exit the building and climb the rocks to your left to access the roof and score a Secret. You can descend safely by going to the far side of the roof, jumping to the sloping rock below, and sliding to the ground. Now climb the rocks near your current location, jump across the missing section of the bridge, and pick up the second machine cog on the other side. Now you can jump back across and use the Save Crystal you passed on the way up. Safety drop from the bridge and head over to the double-wide waterfall. Grab the two Secrets near the waterfall, then run past the waterfall (towards where you entered this area) and enter the cave on the left. Proceed cautiously -- the last raptor in this level awaits you on the lower level, but you can easily take it out before dropping down if you just remember that it's there. Follow the path and do some serious rock climbing to claim the third machine cog. You can now jump into the pool and swim through the passage, exiting at the double wide waterfall. There are no more enemies in this level, and if you have done everything carefully, you should still have your life bar at 100%. You have now collected all the items in this area, so it is time to head back to where you entered this level. Once you get there, jump back and forth across the water and follow the convoluted path until you get to the bridge and Save Crystal. Cross the bridge, install the three machine cogs, and throw the switch (observing that ironically the cogs that you just installed are the only ones that are not turning.) Go ahead and save your game one last time before completing the level. You can now collect a Secret upstream of your current (ha ha!) location, take a short swim before pulling out to get the shotgun, take a much longer swim, and surface to collect the final Secret of the level. Finally, exit through the door and safety drop to the empty river bed below, drop down into the pool, and swim to the entrance that is behind where the waterfall used to be. Congratulations -- you just finished Level 3 without taking any damage whatsoever! =============================================================================== Level 4 -- Tomb of Qualopec (L04) Overview: This level is a bit more of a challenge in that you cannot avoid taking some damage. You will probably lose about half of your life, and most of this is going to come in the final gunfight with Larson. Therefore, we are going to conserve all the life that we can for that final battle. The key to this is going to be undertaking potentially damaging tasks right after saving so that you can try them multiple times if necessary. With a little practice, I finished the level with about 75% health remaining. Stick with me, and I'll show you how to breeze through this level. Particulars: Before beginning this level, I suggest that you refer to Colin's FAQ. In it, he details a way to collect more than three (up to 6!) pieces of the Scion. However, collecting more than 4 pieces requires that you bypass Save Crystals as you proceed, and you may want to decide whether or not you think that exploiting the glitch is worth the risk. I leave this decision to you, but I thought that you should be aware of it before proceeding. This level also contains a glitch that makes it is possible to "complete" the level in less than a minute! Clearly, this does not allow time for such luxuries as collecting Secrets, but it is kind of fun to try at least once. Colin's FAQ references a YouTube video showing how to do this, but I found it to be lacking in detail, so I'll take a moment to expand on how to do this. The key to this shortcut is to avoid stepping on the square of flooring in the very first bend that you encounter at the beginning of the level (the one that bends to your right). You have to jump over this square, a feat which would be a lot easier if you had some headroom. I don't have a lot of advice about how to make this jump dependably, but it is easy enough to check whether or not you did it right. Proceed into the first room and look up at the ceiling. If it looks normal, you screwed up. If this is the case, you do not have to restart the level. You can reset the level by simply returning to the beginning of the level and trying the jump again. If, however, you see gray patches in the ceiling (as it will look at the end of the level when the ceiling falls down), then you did the jump correctly. Proceed up the ramp straight ahead, bearing to the left so that you can jump over the boulder (potentially without taking any damage at all) and run in and pick up the piece of Scion. The gate will not drop and block your way unless you missed that first jump over the corner square. You can now run back out, dive into the pool, pull out of the water, and beat Larson, theoretically without using any Health Packs. Again, I certainly don't condone this approach, but it is an interesting anomaly that you should investigate for yourself. Let's now return to going through the level the proper way. Enter the room and look for the switch to your right. When you throw the switch, you will release two raptors from behind the (currently closed) door closest to the switch. Space is limited and the raptors are quick, so this is a good time to break out your new shotgun. Throw the switch, roll, and move a little closer to the doorway and a little to your left. One close-range shotgun blast each will level these guys, and you will take NO damage. Once you have done this successfully, go to the ramp counterclockwise from where the raptors were and trigger the boulder to clear this passage for later. You DO know how to do this, don't you? Just run a ways up the ramp, roll, run back down, and jog to the side out of the boulder's path. Through the door that you just opened, you will find a Save Crystal and three hallways. Each hallway leads to a switch that you must throw. When you have thrown all three, another Save Crystal will be available. We have a choice about how to proceed, but I'm going to suggest we go ahead and undertake a longer but relatively safe mission, then save, then go after a shorter but more dangerous mission. Sound good? Let's go. Go through the door to your left. I should point out that if you are really good at lining up and executing difficult jumps, Colin's FAQ outlines a less complicated way to complete this area. However, I would guess that for most people his method will actually take longer because of the learning curve involved with making these jumps successfully. The decision is yours, but I'm going to outline the "normal" procedure. Ignore the first switch for now and drop to the ground. Enter the ground-level door to your left and follow the path until you are atop a pillar. Turn right, jump into the alcove, climb up, and follow the path. When you have to make a choice, drop in the direction of the red pillar. Once you are on top of that red pillar, jump into the adjacent alcove and throw a switch. Safety drop to the ground, climb back up to where the first switch was, and throw it. Enter the now-open door to the right of the switch and follow the path to the alcove. You should now see a (relatively) straight path to the alcove directly across from you, so jump over there and throw the switch. You will see a gate open but will also hear an ominous roar. That is because you just released another raptor who will be looking for you to return to the area with the Save Crystal. Hey, I didn't say that this mission was completely safe -- I said that it was relatively safe. A simple jump from the alcove should clear the spikes and cause you no damage. Pull back up into the alcove with the first switch and have your shotgun ready. Take out the raptor with a single shot and suffer no damage. Now go to the Save Crystal and use it -- you've earned it! The mission behind the next opening clockwise is the more dangerous of the two, so let's do that now. Follow the path until you see a switch. You aren't fooled because you see that collapsing floor in front of the switch. In the area below are three very frisky wolves you will need to eliminate quickly. Your best option here is Colin's "Collapsing Floor Glitch 2", so I will describe that first. Stand with your back to the switch (with guns drawn and ready!) about one or two walking steps in front of the breakaway tile. Hop backwards, and when you hear the rumbling of the tiles, take one walking step backwards. You will be magically transported to the ground below, you will be on your feet facing the wolves, and you will suffer NO damage from the fall. Shoot and run like crazy until all three wolves are down. I tried this with pistols and with the shotgun, and my success with the pistols was just as good as with the shotgun, so I'd recommend those. In all, I lost maybe 10% of my life, although if you get lucky you can probably do better. If you are a purist and don't want to use the glitch, you can trigger the tile, hop off it before it collapses, and then safety drop down to do battle. Unfortunately, this method tends to cause the wolves to cluster right below the hole, thus causing you more damage. Ultimately, you can probably tolerate some damage here. Try both methods and see which you prefer. If you survive this battle with at least 75% of your life intact, you are probably OK. (BTW, this is why we saved right before trying this.) Either way, you can now go up the ramp, move the block, and climb up to throw the real switch, collecting along the way a couple of small Medi Packs that you will never use. A safety drop will return you to the hall and then to the junction where the Save Crystal used to be. The last switch is a breeze. Go down the hall, move a couple of blocks, watch out for the collapsing floor, and throw the switch. On the way back, you will have to do a jump-grab to get over the spiked pit. You can now return to the main room (with the boulder and the dead raptors) and enter the now-open door directly across from you (which contains the Save Crystal that I promised you.) Yes, go ahead and use it now. Health target: 70 - 90%. Jump over the first three dart-shooting pipes, but stop at the bottom of the stairs on the left just by the fourth one. Pull up to get a Secret and drop down into the spikes to get another Secret. Yes, you WILL take some damage (about 10%) getting back up past the spikes, but that's why we've been conserving life. Now run up the stairs and pick up the piece of the Scion, exit the room, go past the boulder, and save. If you want a 4th piece of the Scion, quit and reload your game and return to the room where you got the last piece. Miraculously there will be another one there! When you've had your fun, go back to where the Save Crystal was, dive into the water and swim deep and directly to the cave on your right for the level's final Secret. Keep in mind that Larson is at the water's edge shooting at you, and he can cause damage if you are not really deep. Get the Secret, then swim back out, take a right, and surface as quickly as possible. Pull out your pistols and use the "Run and Roll" technique described in Section IV to stop him. He'll land a few shots, but you should easily survive the battle with about half of your life remaining. (Reminder: If you have to try the battle with Larson more than once and want that 4th piece of Scion, remember to go back and get it each time you reload the game.) Congratulations -- you suffered some damage but still survived without using any Medi Packs. =============================================================================== Level 5 -- St. Francis' Folly (L05) Overview: This level is somewhat longer than the first four, and there are at least 3 or 4 situations that will almost surely cause you to lose some life. All that this really means is that you need to be sure that you don't take any damage that you can avoid. I finished with a little over half of my life intact, and you can probably do better than that if you are interested in investing the effort. There are also two glitches on which you can capitalize to avoid two of these potentially damaging situations unless, of course, you consider this to be cheating. Finally, this level contains three Secrets that are particularly difficult to obtain, and Colin and I will show you virtually foolproof methods of getting them. Sound enticing? Well, let's get started then! Particulars: When you enter the area, there will be two lions nearby. Climb onto the ledge on the left side of the screen and you can shoot them from complete safety. Go right and push the block to open the door ahead, but before proceeding you should pause and consider your options. You are about to have your first encounter with Pierre, one of your "unbeatable" enemies with a gun. He will definitely cause you some damage if you fight him. However, this encounter is avoidable if you can execute a couple of tricky jumps. If you want to pursue this, check out Colin's FAQ under "5.6.2 Skip the Gorilla Room and Pierre". For more details, read on. First of all, the tile that you are trying to avoid is the one with the Omega symbol. For the jump into the room, you want to stand fairly close to that tile (about a half-step behind it) and to one side, let's say the left. Remember that Lara can jump pretty far, so don't try to angle too sharply or you'll run into the door or ceiling. Jump more or less straight for the far left corner of the tile, and bend your jump left so that she lands beside the Omega tile. You now need to throw the switch immediately in front of the door (the one upstairs only opens the door, which hopefully you won't need), but doing so releases another gorilla to the upper left as you are facing the switch, so be prepared. Once the gorilla is history, you need to set up the jump back outside. Position Lara just to the right of the Omega tile and maybe one step closer to the door than the edge of the tile that is farthest inside the room. Angle her to land just slightly left of the center of the doorway. When you make the jump, be sure to hold the X button to lower her trajectory so that she clears the low ceiling. These jumps will probably take some practice, but if you miss one, just go back and keep practicing them before you reload your game. You will know when you get them right, and then you won't have to keep repeating the first part of this level over and over again. Whatever you decide, you will want to start by killing the two gorillas within the building. Do this from the outside. If they get too close to you, just backhop off the front ledge and onto the ground. For some reason, these gorillas cannot follow you there. If you are trying to circumvent your encounter with Pierre, remember not to step on the Omega tile. If you decided to play fair and shoot it out with Pierre, kill all three gorillas described above, throw both switches, and pause for a moment before going back outside. As I mentioned earlier, these encounters with shooting enemies who won't die are truly annoying and represent the greatest cumulative threat to your health in the game. Your success, therefore, depends heavily on how well you deal with these encounters, so let's discuss a couple of general tips. * Once you have inflicted a certain amount of damage, these lugs will go away on their own. * However, they generally have a preferred avenue of escape. If you are blocking that path, they will continue to fire at you, causing you unnecessary damage. Once you have damaged them enough, you want them to go away so that they will stop shooting. * It is not necessary to watch them leave. If they have taken sufficient damage and are not visible on the screen, they will magically disappear. * Remember that damage is inversely proportional to distance, and this works both ways. If you and Pierre are close together, you will cause more damage, but so will he. Since we are mostly concerned with defense here, I generally prefer to shoot from a distance while hopping side to side if possible. In this area, Pierre seems to prefer escaping to the far right corner as you enter the area, but we aren't going to worry about that. In this case, you can use the huge pillars to your advantage. Try to use them as shields to put some distance between yourself and Pierre. I did this by simply running down the aisle between the pillars and then doing a roll at the far end. Once you have done so, fire at him while side-jumping. When you think that he's had enough, hide behind one of the pillars so that he is no longer visible, and with any luck at all, he will disappear. You are going to have to fight him again in this level, so try to limit yourself to about 20 - 25% loss of life in this encounter. With Pierre out of the way (for now), you can push the block to the other omega symbol to open the door way at the top, and then push it in the other direction to access the first pillar. Make your way to the ledge with the first Secret. I have read many ways to execute the necessary jumps to get this Secret, but Colin's is pretty much foolproof. With his permission, I am copying it here. "This secret is in a small room high up on the right-hand wall as you enter the first room of the level. Once inside, the hardest part is getting the jumps right in order to reach the first ledge. The following method seems a little complicated, but as far as I know it works every time: give it a go if you're finding this secret difficult. Go to the ledge at the entrance to the secret room, then grab on to the edge so that you're facing towards where you start this level. Shimmy left as far as you can, then pull yourself up. Press Circle to roll, then jump to the right. Sidestep twice to the right (don't release R2 between sidesteps), then press Circle to roll again. You're now in the perfect jumping position. Do a backflip, and keep holding both Jump and Walk afterwards. Lara should collide with the back wall, rebound off both slopes, then dive onto the ledge." I REALLY don't know how Colin figured that one out, but I know that we are all indebted to him for doing so. Return to the ledge and follow the pillars to the opposite side of the room, turn left, and head towards the door at the end. Just beyond this door is the second Secret. The following foolproof strategy for collecting this otherwise tricky Secret comes from alert reader "Free Storage." Follow the path and you will come to a long downward ramp. At the end of that downward ramp is a smaller ramp, and you have to jump from that smaller ramp across the gap onto a ledge on the other side of some water. To do this successfully, start by backsliding down the long ramp, holding the Action button so that you can grab onto the edge when you reach the end. Pull up onto the long ramp, and as soon as Lara falls towards the short ramp, press and hold the Jump button and down on the D-pad. Lara will do a backflip and will land on the ledge across the water! Understand that the key element of this method is pulling up onto the long ramp first -- if you just drop onto the short ramp, your backflip will come up short and you will fall into the water. However, you DO have to backflip off the short ramp and NOT the long ramp, so don't hit the jump button too soon. Before collecting the Secret, you should look straight down and try to register a kill from this ledge. There is a crocodile in the water you just jumped across and you want to shoot him from up here. However, if you don't get him quickly he may swim away and be very stubborn about reappearing. This is the best look that you're going to have at him, and if you don't kill him now, he can cost you some health in the near future, so have some patience. Try moving away from the edge and then coming back to try to get the crocodile to move into range. Once you've dispatched him, collect the Secret and prepare to take a short swim. To get the next Secret, you are going to have to dive into the water (here where you hopefully killed the croc.) Be aware that there is a strong current flowing away from where you are now standing. You will be swimming with the current, but if you overshoot your mark, you will have difficulty backtracking. With this in mind, jump into the water, dodge the croc if necessary, and surface quickly into the first opening in the ceiling to get the not-very- secret Secret. Return to the water and proceed to the next opening, keeping in mind that you can only pull out on the NEAR side of this opening, so you will have to turn around before you can pull up. Throw the switch to drain the water. If the croc is still around, you are going to have to deal with him now. Target him from above if you can, but if not have your shotgun selected, hang from the edge of the opening, and wait for the croc to move away from you. When he does, drop and fire. One shot will take him out for good. You can now head up the stairs to your first Save Crystal of this level. Needless to say, use it NOW. Health target: 50 - 75%. We have several things to accomplish here, and we have some latitude regarding the order in which we do them. Since there is a Save Crystal at ground level that I never seem to use, I'm going to suggest this: Let's slowly work our way down, throwing all the switches, collecting all the items, and killing all of the bats along the way. We can then save when we reach ground level. From there we can climb all the way back up and start completing the four god rooms, using a Save Crystal every time that we complete one. After we complete the last room and save, we can deal with Pierre (who will be waiting for us at the bottom.) Sound like a plan? Then let's do it! Jump over to the center structure, kill 3 bats, drop down a level, and throw the switch that opens the Thor door. Be sure to jump over onto the gray tile - - it will open the door to a Secret for us. Drop down another level, kill more bats, and open the door to the Damocles room. Down two more levels is the switch for the Neptune room (and two more bats) and some Magnum clips guarded by another bat. Finally, safety drop to the ground floor and throw the switch that opens the door to the Atlas room. Now use the Save Crystal, in accordance with our plan. Your health should not have changed since the last save point. You may have noticed the closed door in a corner of the lower level. Behind that door is the fourth and final Secret of this level. When you jumped on the gray tile near the top, this door opened briefly, but it is timed and since we took our sweet time getting down here, it closed again. However, if you now reload your game, that door will miraculously open for you and you can collect the Secret. (In fact, if you watch closely, you can even see the door opening when the game finishes loading.) Yes, this is another glitch in the game, but it is one that is definitely worth exploiting. The "honest" way of collecting this Secret requires that you race downwards at breakneck speed, taking severe damage from some perilous but unavoidable drops along the way. To be honest, even throwing caution to the wind, I have never yet been able to get to that door before it closed. If you want to play "Beat the Clock" and think that you have a good enough run that you can withstand the damage(that is, your health is at the upper end of the recommended guidelines), be my guest. Honestly, I didn't even know that the door was timed until I read about it -- I always thought that it was just a really easy Secret. My feeling is if the programmers are going to make it this easy for you, then you may as well take advantage of the bug. From here, climb all the way back up to the Neptune room. Since you will be taking a slightly different path than you did on the way down, you will probably trigger some more bats along the way. It is better to take them out now, don't you think? I like doing the Neptune room first because it is relatively risk free, especially if you know what to expect. Dive into the pool from the side where you entered the room and go straight down. When you reach the horizontal passage at the bottom you will see a passage to the left and slightly up. Take that passage and throw the switch. Then turn around, go down and left to grab the key, then turn around again, go to the end of the horizontal passage, and go straight up. It sounds like a lot, but it is really easy if you are a veteran swimmer. Exit this room, jump back to the central structure, drop down a couple of levels to the first Save Crystal, and save your game. Your health should not have changed since you saved at the bottom. Next up (or down really) is the Atlas room. Kill the gorilla that charges at you as you enter. Go behind the open gate, turn right, and look at the huge boulder at the top of the ramp. Run towards it, and when it starts to descend the ramp, execute a roll and run to the pit. In front of the pit, roll and grab the edge and let the boulder roll harmlessly over your fingers (ouch!) You can now go back up the ramp, climb into the alcove on the left, and climb your way up to the key. Exit this room by reversing these steps, go back to the central structure, drop down to the next Save Crystal, and use it. Again, you shouldn't have lost any health since the last save. This next sequence is fairly long, but it involves few risks as long as you are careful. Therefore, be careful. You are now across from the Thor room, and I since you will be able to easily traverse it without damage, I am going to recommend that we skip it for now and drop down a level. There are two lions on the ground beneath you, and they are pretty easy to pick off from here, so let's get them out of the way and proceed to the Damocles room. Enter the room and make your way through the rubble to the back room, where you can claim the key and a small Medi Pack. Before you head out STOP at the doorway between the two rooms. Those huge swords on the ceiling are now activated and will fall if you get close to the points directly below them. To safely navigate your way back to the main chamber, WALK one step at a time. I don't mean like you would walk through spikes. I mean walk a step and then don't take another step until Lara completely stops moving from the step you just took. Do NOT rely on the shadows on the floor or the swords that you see overhead. Once false move, and you go back to your last save. I know that it is nerve-wracking, but really it only takes a couple of minutes, and if you are patient you will never be hit or even nicked by any of the swords. When you are safely back outside, go back up to the Thor room, which is potentially one of the more annoying portions of this level. Walk slowly