Tomb Raider (1996)

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Tomb Raider (1996)

Developer:Core Design Ltd. Genre:Action Release Date: Download Games Free Now!

About The Game

Tomb Raider is the exploratory game you always wished you were playing when you were trying to solve Atari Raiders of the Lost Ark
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Tomb Raider (1996) Videos

Tomb Raider 1 Trailer

The trailer to the game that started it all for this famous franchise.

Tomb Raider 1 Intro Cinematic

The original intro cutscene to the classic game.

Tomb Raider 1 Bosses

Ready for a hit of nostalgia? Check out this clip of all of the game's bosses.

Tomb Raider (1996)

Tomb Raider (1996) Review

By Daniel Lampkin |

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 (1996) Game Walkthrough

*******************************************************************************
*                                                                             *
*                              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 
                    

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