The primary method of advancing is through this block, you move it over the symbol of the door you want to open and go through it. Funny, I remember going down from this section, guess that only happens later. I push the block towards the temple looking section you can see (if you zoom in) in the first screenshot, which opens the door.
The door closes behind me, and...gorillas. I remember these guys being tricky, but this particular incident isn't that difficult. I take out the one as he beats his chest and jump away from the other. There are two levers in here, one opposite the door and one in one of the alcoves. Back outside and...
|It's a good thing this game doesn't have location-based damage.|
Pierre. You can see him a lot better as he approaches in this section. You just exchange gunfire for a bit before he disappears. In this particular engine, into thin air, but originally into the fog. Now, to the upper level. Which is a problem. I can't open the other door with the block where it is and I seemingly can't reach it otherwise. On top of the temple is nothing, there's only a full medikit on top of one of the pillars. So side area, hoping that it is in fact, a side area.
I vaguely remember this. Jumping up slopes to reach a secret area. A bit more complex than the one in the first level, including a collapsible floor which will likely kill you. More shotgun shells and another full medikit. Now what? Well, there was a puzzle here and without knowing it, I solved it. So long as I push the block over the spot it needed to be put on, it remains open even after it's been moved again.
Behind the other door is a long chute down, leading into a sewer of some kind. If you're not me, you might notice that there's an area you can reach which has a secret on the way down. One I did notice was in the middle of the water here, which has shotgun shells. Past that is another hidey-hole containing a lever to drain the water. This allows me to kill this guy, the crocodile. Not too unusual as far as animals in this game go.
|Don't fall down.|
First up, Damocles, a reference to the story of a Greek figure who served a king; and, when he said the king had truly great fortune, pointed out that there was a sword held by a single hair as a metaphor for how all of it could be reversed in an instant. You go in, expecting them to drop...but they don't. Instead you reach the end of the room, open up a door with a pressure plate, and get a key. Some shells and a medikit above it, not a secret...this game is very weird about what is and isn't a secret. The way back, they drop. Assuming you don't rush past them, they drop just enough from you that when you activate them, you should be safe.
Fourth, Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. This is the annoying one. You jump into a small pool, which automatically carries you down several blocks. Here, you pull a lever to open a door to get a key then swim out. Wait, that's it? I remembered it being bigger than that. Funny, guess my memory is failing me.
Left is where I just came from, my goal is that hole straight ahead. There's a spot Lara can jump from that's completely flat...and Lara can land on the tile in front of it. Can't climb up that left ledge, so I have to figure out how to jump to that one tile just off the hole. Been a long time since I did a completely diagonal jump like this one. All for shotgun shells. I'd be a lot less annoyed at how lacking some of these secrets are if weapon drops were more than 2 shells or ammo I can't use yet.
|"You know how to do a 3D model of an animal, right?"|
The Colosseum...oh, hang on, gotta shoot the Frenchman again. I missed the deep metaphor this game has interwoven in this section with how the French are constantly getting in the British's way and just won't die. This is another outdoors area, not that you could tell. Upstairs are three doors that can't be opened, including one above the ground for some reason. A presumable fourth is collapsed. Down below are some wild animals, mostly easily taken out by sniping. Easy now, Lara gets some serious range after she's started firing.
There are a few paths further in, one's blocked off by spikes, we're not making that mistake again. This one just has cougars. You can take these guys out a bit easier than you'd think by just running in a circle around them. Huh. Levers that thankfully open up some of the closed doors here. Spawns some more lions/cougars, because of course it does. These animals are really kind of crap if I don't even know what I'm looking at.
The door closes behind me, a different door to the one that opened. A boulder is rolling towards me. In a panic, I just run forward. The camera shifts and I start to think I'm going to have to reload, until it goes over the hole. Phew. There's a lever past the boulder which opens another door in a column. That one's not really notable, just jump up some platforms to reach a lever to open the final column door. The one that's above the ground for some reason.
That is the way forward, the big door just had a small medikit. What the hell Core? How am I supposed to start searching for secrets when everything that looks like a secret might be the way forward. There's such a thing as having too good level design, apparently. This one works the same as the one in the opening section, pull the lever in an alcove and drain the water. No secrets here. No, wait, that didn't drain the water. Oh... And that's the end of the level. Somehow I missed 5 pickups and a secret. I don't even know how that's possible, I looked seemingly everywhere.
Door number three looks a bit like the Thor room, except there's a giant pillar in the middle of the room. There's a pathway past it leading up and down, I assume up is the way forward, so I go down. There's nothing but a pushable crate in the wall, which I pull out...and that causes a crashing sound and a loud bang. Uh...
|Tomb Raider as a FPS sounds like a good idea until you do a backflip.|
|Even discounting this sequence breaking, why wouldn't you put these guys on the roof?|
Anyway, there was a lever behind the block, which makes a horrible sound when I press it. The platforms are now raised. Yeah, this makes more sense. Considering what I've been through, the added danger of death isn't that much of a cost. Though another gorilla in the small room at the end does give me a little cause for concern. All three lead bars, now to that final area.
|If you really want to see Lara turn into a statue again, you can look it up yourself.|
This leads here, where Pierre is again. How did he get here? Oh, well. In my desire to not just trade bullet for bullet against him, I fall into the water below. No way out and a crocodile, of course, so I go through an underwater passageway to another little pool. This one has a rat. I get out and spot another key. Oh, I see this levelset's theme is collect a set number of items to advance. I didn't spot that with the bars, nice touch.
I circle back around and take him out. This area has a lever, which raises the water outside. I find a secret area merely by finding a small medikit, which leads to the real secret containing three shotgun shell pickups. I spot an area even further up, but I suspect I need to raise the water to reach there.
Back in the central area, I finally take out those crocs and start searching the pool. I think I could have gone down there earlier, but I didn't spot the way back up. There's a secret area in the pool containing more magnum magazines. But I spot where the keys are used, earlier I thought they were used on the way out, turns out the two doors to the left of the entrance have places to put a key.
Here we have another water level puzzle. Watch out for the crocodile...I didn't. Naturally there's another vast underground tunnel in the pool leading to an area with more loot that's required. Pull a lever and a door opens, containing a silver key...but wait, there's another way out through the pool in the central room I missed earlier. I didn't find a way up from that crocodile section when it was obvious there was something going on there. What's going on? Aha, this requires the water to be lower. Hopefully I didn't screw myself out of some items.
No, it turns out this is exactly the way I'm supposed to do it. Maybe not water first though, since you can always go in through the pool...saving yourself a key unless you want to find some secret stuff. Or not so secret stuff, since it's another silver key. Pierre shows up again, but I just get the heck out of there.
The Tomb of Tihocan. Doesn't sound very Greek to me. This area starts you off under pressure, and for the first time I discover that there are certain kinds of levers you can only pull above water. Then you get here. I notice nothing amiss until I land on that top platform and the dart guns start going off. They go off whether you're on this block or not. There's a lever which I assume raised a platform to a vital area, but turns out to raise the water level, and moves a block so I can reach the way out. Behind where it was is a medikit. Nice.
Uh, wasn't expecting this. Just get in at the right time. There's a strange amount of point in going past it at this point, since there's just a crocodile, 2 shell pickups and magnum magazines. Killing the crocodile now is probably a good idea, despite crocs somehow having better speed out of water than in water. I just now tried the shotgun and it takes one shell to finish them off, nice. What about the other one?
Well, that's above this one, a deadly drop into what might be a pool of water. It leads to a lever to return the water level back up. Okay, that's good and all, but it doesn't actually help me. I can't go anywhere new. I look around, and end up returning to the place I killed that last croc in. Oh, no, it's a block that I should have pulled. Right, I have to do a bunch of busywork and I'm back.
|If it could be said that any part of Tomb Raider's combat is great, it is not the combat with ranged enemies.|
Inside is Pierre, he says something about something which I can't really tell because the voice actor has a French accent that makes 'Allo 'Allo look tasty and respectful. Something about the taking being sweeter. Anyway, I shoot him with the magnums, because after alien centaurs, he's a little bitch. He drops the Scion. Since I suspected that ends the level, I look around, only to find a door out with a key. Guess not. I pick up some magazines upstairs first, then grab his stuff. The key out and magnums in addition to the piece. That puts me at 666 bullets, how fitting.After clearing out the area, the key opens up a tomb, the tomb of Tihocan. This starts two cutscenes. The first, Lara reads a wall telling of how a great king from Atlantis came here after a cataclysmic event and improved life. Then a cutscene of Lara putting together the two pieces and seeing the three kings of Atlantis argue over the Scion's great power, before ultimately throwing it away. The final piece? Egypt, of course.
This one's just flying by. Helps that I basically can't wait to fire it up.
This Session: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes