LEVEL 12: BARKHANG MONASTERY
OBJECTIVES: Break into the monastery and locate the 5 prayer wheels that unlock the level exit. In the process you'll need to find several normal keys and a pair of gemstones which also function as keys. If you get confused, refer to the walkthrough. Once you have all 5 prayer wheels, head for the level exit, which is located behind and to the left of the huge statue in the monastery's main hall. Use the prayer wheels and the Seraph, which you found in the previous level, to access the next level.
*There are 30 kills if you count only Fiamma Nera cult goons and ravens. If you also kill the monks, the total may be as high as 52. If you leave the monks alone, your total will probably be substantially less. Here's why: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU NEVER HARM ANY OF THE MONKS. If you act respectfully, they will not bother you and will even help you kill Bartoli's henchmen. However, if you shoot a monk, accidentally or on purpose, then every monk you meet will attack. If you find yourself in the middle of a fight between cult members and monks, be very careful where you aim. Or, back off until the fight is over. Then, if there are any bad guys left, take care of them.
**Under found items, there are 26, plus an extra 4 items for finding all three secrets. Note that one of the regular pickups here will be the Uzis if you didn't get them earlier.
MONASTERY ENTRANCE: Follow the tunnel to the steps in front of the monastery, where you'll see 2 thugs fighting some monks. Keep your distance for now. The monks may take care of the bad guys for you. If not, shoot any remaining thugs and pick up a small medi pack, automatic pistol clips and 2 sets of Uzi clips.
BREAKING AND ENTERING: The monastery doors are locked, but you can get in through a window. Climb the ladder opposite the steps. (screenshot) Kill the raven that flies in when you reach the top. Then face the ladder and jump to the small ledge above and to the right of it. Step to the edge and take a standing jump to grab the slightly higher ledge opposite. (screenshot) Pull up, cross the ledge and hop down on the other side.
Cross the long, gray ledge overlooking the monastery steps and jump over to the flat spot on the tan rock wall. Shoot 2 more birds that try and mess up Lara's hairdo. Then step to the top of the flat spot on the rock wall and turn so the building is on Lara's left. Side flip to the left over the adjacent block to land on the next block, which is steeply sloped. Slide back and grab the edge. Then let go and quickly grab the horizontal crevice below. Traverse to the left until you can pull up. Then move onto the ledge outside one of the monastery's windows. Shoot out a window and enter a library. (screenshots) If you slip up and land in the rocky area below, go through the opening in the rocks to bet back to the front steps. Then climb the ladder and cross the ledges to the rock wall to try again.
PURPLE HALLWAY AND SIDE ROOMS: Go through the library into a T-shaped hallway. Ignore the room with the wooden barrels straight ahead for now and turn left into the hallway with red banners hanging from the ceiling. At the far end is a set of locked doors. On the right is a room with rolling blades. Avoid these for now and instead go through the doorway on the left. (screenshot) When you enter this room an armed thug appears in the hallway behind you, and a monk rushes past you to meet him. Hang back and wait for the monks to deal with the thug. Then head for the room with the barrels at the opposite end of the hallway from the library.
As you enter this room, another gunman breaks in through the window. Run back into the hallway and let the monks take care of him. If they lose the fight, you can finish it. Pick up Uzi clips and a small medi pack from the first thug, automatic pistol clips from the second, and grenades on the ledge outside the window.
NOTE: If you didn't get the UZIS earlier, you'll get them now instead of clips.
Make a mental note of the wooden door in the room with the barrels. This is the STRONG ROOM. You'll find a key for it soon. Return to the hallway with the red banners, go through the room on the left (screenshot) and out the other side. Climb the ladder to a walkway above the MAIN HALL.
WALKWAY ABOVE MAIN HALL WITH GIANT STATUE: Follow the walkway out to the middle of the room and retrieve the MAIN HALL KEY from the low platform. (screenshot) As long as you haven't attacked his brothers, the monk won't mind. Return to the edge of the room, turn left and continue along the walkway around the corner to the end. The giant statue will then be on Lara's left. (screenshot)
Step down into the small room with gray stone walls. Run past the doorway and wait in the corner for a huge boulder to roll past. (screenshot) Follow the ramp up to a T intersection. Step forward into the hallway, then quickly hop back to avoid another boulder. (screenshot) Pick up the flares and head up to the left.
POOL WITH STRONG CURRENT: At the top of this hallway is a room with a pool. Save the game in the doorway. Then dive in and swim along the right wall, then the far wall, then into the small opening near the far left corner. Or, hang from the edge of the doorway, drop into the water and swim along the near wall, then the left wall, then the left side of the far wall to the opening. This way is a little longer but the current is not as strong on the far side of the room. (screenshots) As you swim along the edge of the pool, it's crucial that you stay near the wall and not swim too close to the surface or the bottom; otherwise the strong current will draw Lara toward the grate at the bottom of the pool and she'll drown.
DARK SHAFT AND PASSAGEWAY: Once you reach the opening, swim through, surface and continue forward to a hole in the floor. Step off the edge to fall down a long shaft into the flooded passageway below. Wade through this dark passageway until you come to the first of 3 clamping metal doors. Stand a few steps away from it and run through just as it starts to open. Repeat with the second and third doors. At the end of the passageway, climb the ladder.
DARK ROOMS WITH MOVABLE CRATES AND BURNERS - FIRST PRAYER WHEEL: You emerge in the anteroom to a prayer room with a tiered altar, where you'll encounter 2 more thugs. The monk may kill one of them for you, but you'll probably have to finish the job. Take a small medi pack from one of the bodies. Take standing jumps over the unlit burners or the metal pipes between them to reach the top of the tiered altar. Pick up the PRAYER WHEEL (1/5). When you take it, the burners will ignite. To get back down safely, take a standing jump over one of the metal pipes, rather than trying to jump over a burner. Repeat for the second row of burners. (screenshots)
Return to the previous room, where you'll find a pair of movable crates. Pull the second crate (i.e., the one closest to the wall) twice to reveal a passageway. (The previous set of screenshots also shows this.) Enter, go to the right and climb the ladder to the boulder-trapped area you explored earlier. It's safe now, since both boulders have already rolled. Follow the passage to the T intersection, turn left there and head back to the WALKWAY ABOVE THE MAIN HALL.
MAIN HALL/STRONG ROOM KEY: Follow the elevated walkway around the edge of the room to the far corner. You may notice a thug lying dead on the walkway. If the monks are not on your side, this guy will be alive and you'll need to fight him. Near the end of the walkway is the ladder you climbed earlier. Climb back down and return through the room below to the T-shaped PURPLE HALLWAY with the red banners. Turn left, use the MAIN HALL KEY in the lock to open the big doors and go in.
As you cross the room toward the giant statue, 3 thugs enter behind you. As long as you haven't made enemies of the monks, they should take care of the bad guys for you. Steal small and large medi packs plus some automatic pistol clips off the bodies.
Go through the first doorway on the right when facing the big statue. (screenshot) Inside is a reading room with red walls. Go through and out the other side. Take a running jump over the first of the 3 slicing blades and enter the small room on the left. Take the STRONG ROOM KEY, (screenshot) exit this room and head back to the right. (The window beyond the blades on the left gives you a glimpse of the gemstones you'll need to get later. You can check it out if you like, but it's a dead end.)
Return through the reading room and the MAIN HALL into the PURPLE HALLWAY with the red banners. Follow the PURPLE HALLWAY to the T. Turn left into the room with the wooden barrels.
NOTE: If you didn't explore this room earlier, one of Bartoli's thugs will break in through the window as you enter. The monks may kill him for you, but you can assist if necessary. He drops automatic pistol clips, and you'll also find Uzi clips and a small medi pack on the floor where another thug died from monk-related injuries, plus some grenades on the ledge outside the window.
STRONG ROOM/ROOFTOPS KEY: Use the STRONG ROOM KEY in the lock to open the small, wooden door. (screenshot) Go in, pick up the ROOFTOPS KEY and return to the PURPLE HALLWAY. At the T intersection, turn right under the red banners. Then enter the room on the right with the rolling blades. Run between them as they roll apart. Then use the ROOFTOPS KEY in the lock beside the wooden door to open it. (screenshot)
ROOFTOPS - SECOND PRAYER WHEEL: Go up the stairs to the roof. At the top, turn right and go into the alcove flanked by golden animals. Around the corner to the right is a switch that turns off the burners between this area and the next. The switch is on a timer, giving you about 20 seconds to cross the burners. So save the game, pull the switch, side flip to the right and run out to the open area. Then position Lara facing the row of burners, a few steps back from the first one, and take a series of standing jumps over them. (screenshots)
BUG NOTE: If you're playing the Windows PC game and have used the Tomb Raider multi-patch from tombraiderchronicles.com, you may find you're unable to side flip here. Instead Lara hits an invisible barrier just below the visible ceiling. If this happens, use the switch and then just turn and run. Or uninstall the game, reinstall without the patch, and try setting the program compatibility mode following the instructions here.
Beyond the burners, turn left and go down the steps into a courtyard with several golden trapdoors. A pair of thugs come in behind you and start fighting with the monks. Finish off the bad guys if the monks fail, and take a small medi pack and some Uzi clips off the bodies. Climb the ladder on the right side of the courtyard to retrieve some M-16 clips on the ledge above. Drop back down into the courtyard and pull the switch to open two of the trapdoors. (screenshot) Drop into the room below, shoot out a window and take the 2 GEMSTONES. On the other side of this room is another switch. Use it to open the other trapdoor so you can climb out.
Now head back up the steps and turn left into a room with a large golden door shaped like a star. There's a niche in the wall between two gold animal statues. (screenshot) Place one of the GEMSTONES in this niche to open the star door. Enter and locate the movable box on the left. Pull it out twice and go behind it to find another PRAYER WHEEL (2/5).
STORAGE ROOM WITH MOVABLE CRATES: Return past the burners, which are no longer lit, down the stairs and through the room with the rolling blades. Turn right and re-enter the MAIN HALL. Cross to the far right corner near the base of the huge statue, and go down the stairs. (screenshot) Follow the hallway and enter the first door on the right. This is a storage room with several movable crates.
The crate directly in front of you as you enter can be moved. Go around the left side of it and pull it once. Jump over the barrels into the corner and push the first crate once so it ends up next to the doorway. Now go to the crate on your left and pull it once, into the spot where the first crate was originally. Climb over it to find some automatic pistol clips sitting on the floor where the second crate started. Now pull the first crate once to block the doorway. Climb on top of the crates you just moved and pull the crate on top of the stack once. Underneath it are 2 bunches of harpoons, just what you need now that you're 500 miles from the nearest ocean. ;) (screenshots)
Climb down and exit the STORAGE ROOM through the other doorway. Go through the small room with the hanging red lanterns into the hallway lined with yellow tiles.
YELLOW-TILED HALLWAY AND EXERCISE YARD - THIRD PRAYER WHEEL: Walk to the edge of the gold trapdoor and take a standing jump over it, holding Action to grab the ladder below as the door drops open beneath you. There's nothing interesting at the bottom of the pit, so pull up and go on. At the T intersection, turn right, continue forward and then climb the stairs on the left. As you do, 4 thugs with guns appear behind you. If you've been a good guest, you don't have to fight them alone. Shoot out the window and jump down into the exercise yard below. Use the switch there to open the door and let the monks into the hallway to fight the bad guys. Finish the job if necessary and grab the leftovers: small and large medi packs plus some shotgun shells. (screenshots)
Return outside, cross the exercise yard and climb a series of ladders to the top of the TOWER. (screenshot) There you'll find the next PRAYER WHEEL (3/5).
After picking up the wheel, hop down onto the ledge across from the ladder. Walk to the edge and take a standing jump across the hole in the floor to grab the ladder. Climb down quickly by rapidly releasing and re-pressing Action. Descend the other ladders the same way. Then return through the EXERCISE YARD and the YELLOW-TILED HALLWAY to the STORAGE ROOM. Move the wooden crate blocking the door so you can exit, turn right and follow the hallway to the end. As you cross the room with the skylights and approach the doorway on the left, you'll hear gunfire behind you. The monks are fighting with 2 thugs. Assist if necessary. Then take the bad guys' Uzi clips and grenades.
GAUNTLET OF TRAPS/TRAPDOOR KEY: Enter the corridor on the left and approach the first in a series of traps. It looks awful, but you can take it in stages, saving between each one. (These screenshots show the sequence.) First, stand on either side of the doorway facing the burner and one of the swinging spiked hemispheres beyond it. Approach the flame, which will then go out. Stand near the tile with the burner but not on it, wait for the spiked ball to swing toward you and then run forward. As you run, the ball will swing away so you can run off the edge into the shallow pit below without getting hit. The burner will then re-ignite behind you, but you won't need to return that way.
Move to the far end of the pit, turn around and pull up onto the ledge. Stay close to the edge to avoid the swinging spikes. Turn around again to face the rolling blade and sidestep to the left or right side of the ledge. When the rolling blade moves off to the left, jump forward to the ledge in front of the next burner, which will then go out. Wait just long enough for the swinging spiked ball directly in front of you to swing toward you. Then run across the burner and off the edge beyond it. Continue underneath as far as you can go. Then climb out of the pit on the right. Ahead is a second rolling blade with a doorway just beyond it.
Before proceeding into the next room, take a little detour to grab a secret: As the rolling blade moves away, run after it and duck into one of the alcoves on either side of the hallway. Wait for the blade to roll back the way it came. As soon as it passes, run to the end of the hallway and into the doorway on the left. Stop there so you don't run into the clamping doors ahead. Stand close to the doors and run through just as they begin to separate. Repeat for the second set of doors. Just beyond them, pick up SECRET #1, the Jade Dragon. Then return past the clamping doors and rolling blade to the room at the other end of the hallway on the left. (The previous set of screenshots also includes this secret.)
Take the TRAPDOOR KEY from the pedestal. (screenshot) Then follow the hallway near the pedestal out of this room. At the end of the hall, slide down into a large pool.
LARGE INDOOR POOL: In the far right corner there's a small opening just below the walkway running around the edge of the pool. Swim inside to find SECRET #2, the Silver Dragon. (screenshot) Swim back out, climb out of the water and follow the walkway around the pool to the exit, which leads back to the hallway near the STORAGE ROOM. Turn right and proceed back to the MAIN HALL.
TRAPDOOR/PATH THROUGH CANYON TO OUTBUILDING: On the far side of the large open area in front of the giant statue is a gold trapdoor. Use the TRAPDOOR KEY in the lock on the wall above it. (screenshot) Drop down through the opening and follow the tunnel to emerge outside.
To the left is a small courtyard with a switch that opens a set of doors leading back into the MAIN HALL. (screenshot) If you do this now, you'll see 2 gunmen fighting several monks inside. The monks should easily take care of the bad guys. They don't drop anything.
NOTE: You don't have to open these doors now, but if you do, you won't have to fight 2 more thugs later on when you return this way because the monks should kill them for you.
Go back outside, head past the tunnel opening in the floor and continue out the other side of the building. Follow the canyon to a large pillar. Go around it along the left wall to find an opening with a ladder. (screenshot) Climb to the top, dismount and then carefully hop down onto the narrow ledge overlooking the large stone pillar you saw earlier. Follow this ledge around to the wide opening in the cavern wall to trigger the appearance of a raven. (screenshot) Move back from the opening as you shoot the bird. When you step through the opening toward the wooden bridge, an aggressive thug with a gun appears on the other side and comes at you shooting. (screenshot) He's much easier to deal with if you aren't being attacked by the raven at the same time. Take him down quickly, cross the wooden bridge and steal his M-16 clips.
Continue through the canyon beyond the wooden bridge. Two more ravens attack when you reach a small building. You may want to get their attention and then run back down the canyon, roll and shoot them. Then you won't accidentally hit the monk pacing nearby.
OUTBUILDING - FOURTH PRAYER WHEEL: Go around to the right side of the building and climb the rock pile against the canyon wall. Turn around so the building is on Lara's left and take a running jump to grab the jutting stone ledge above; pull up. Then take another running jump to grab the roof of the building. Cross the roof and drop down through the square hole into the room below. (screenshots)
Take the PRAYER WHEEL (4/5). Then pull the switch to open the door. As you exit, you'll meet the monk you saw before in combat with another thug. Assist if necessary. Then steal the bad guy's shotgun shells.
Return down the path and across the wooden bridge to the area with the tall pillar. Follow the ledge on the left, vault up into the opening in the rocks and climb back down the ladder. Cross the area at the base of the tall pillar and head back down the canyon toward the monastery. If you didn't open the doors leading back into the monastery earlier, you'll meet 2 more bad guys near the archway with the painted eyes. If you did open the doors, the monks should have taken care of them.
Go through the enclosed area with the tunnel opening through which you came earlier. Use the switch in the small courtyard ahead (screenshot) to open the doors leading into the MAIN HALL and go back inside. If you didn't do this earlier, there will be 2 gunmen here fighting several monks.
MAIN HALL - ON TOP OF THE STATUE: Cross the room and enter the second door on the right side when facing the statue. Climb the ladder and follow the hallway to an opening overlooking the statue. If Lara is holding a flare, drop it now. Then take a running jump to grab the lower of the statue's two extended hands. Pull up and climb onto the upper hand. From there, take a running jump to grab the head. Pull up, cross the head, then jump onto the other raised hand. Walk to the edge, take a standing jump to grab the alcove above and pull up. (Holding a flare here should not cause a problem.) Place the second GEMSTONE in the niche to open a trapdoor in the room underneath the statue. (screenshots)
NOTE: Normally holding a flare while jumping and grabbing is not a problem; however, when jumping from the high alcove to grab the statue's hand, Lara may not grab correctly if she's holding a flare. If this happens, reload, drop the flare and try again.
Step to the edge of the alcove and jump back down to the hand. Climb down onto the shoulder, turn to face the wall behind the statue, and then hop back to slide down the chest and land on the statue's lap. Next, go around to the back of the statue and jump up the slope there to find a small alcove containing SECRET #3, the Gold Dragon. You'll also receive 4 sets of M-16 clips if you've found all three secrets. (The last set of screenshots also shows this secret.)
DRAINING THE LARGE POOL - FIFTH PRAYER WHEEL: Go to the bottom front of the statue and enter the low-ceilinged room there. (screenshot) Drop through the trapdoor you just opened. Follow the passage to a room with pipes and a bamboo-barred window.
NOTE: You must obtain the Silver Dragon secret before draining this pool. If you didn't find the secret earlier, you can still do so now. But once you drain the pool, there's no way to fill it again. The path from here to the secret is shown on a separate page.
When you're ready to drain the pool, flip the switch near the bamboo-barred window to open the painted wooden door. Enter and push the movable crate in front of the flowing spring to prevent the large pool in the room below from refilling. Return to the pipe room, slide down the sluice backwards, grab the end of the slope and drop into the now-dry pool. Cross the room, climb onto the ledge and push the movable crate aside to reveal the last PRAYER WHEEL (5/5). Take it, cross to the opposite corner of the room and climb the ladder to the walkway above. Follow it around to the exit, which leads back to the hallway near the STORAGE ROOM. Turn right and proceed to the MAIN HALL. (screenshots)
You should now have all 5 PRAYER WHEELS. Head for the room behind and to the left of the giant statue. (screenshot) Place the PRAYER WHEELS in the receptacles where they belong to open the big doors. Enter and put the SERAPH in its niche in the huge, gold disk. This opens the secret entrance to the Catacombs. Go through to end the level.
NOTE: For more information about the Buddhist symbols in this level, as well as other real-world items and locations featured in the games, check out the Artefactual series on The Archaeology of Tomb Raider blog.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 2/26/11 - First major update since this walkthrough was created in 1998. This revision includes many new screenshots as well as various other corrections and clarifications.
4/25/11 - Added the bug note involving the side flip in the hallway with burners, thanks to a tip from Tom C.
8/5/12 - Minor revision to Dark Rooms with Movable Crates and Burners.
12/1/13 - Added "objectives" section for each level.
8/30/15 - Fixed the kill count in the stats line in the header. Thanks to Shkelqim for bringing this to my attention.
NOTE: One of the February 2011 changes to this walkthrough pertains to the giant statue. I had originally assumed this was a depiction of the Buddha, but a bit of research suggests it's more likely Chenrezig or Avalokitesvara, a bodhisattva, or enlightened being, in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The four arms of Chenrezig are believed to symbolize the qualities of loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. For more info, check out the Wikipedia entry on Avalokitesvara.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks are given to the participants in the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup, without whom some parts of this walkthrough couldn't have been written. Thanks also to Arjun, Joop, Stefanie and Tom C., who submitted helpful suggestions for this level.
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