NOTE: Combat strategy is based on the Medium difficulty setting, so your experience may vary slightly. In addition to the walkthroughs for each level, there are separate pages for Controls & Gameplay Tips, Skill & Weapon Upgrades, and Collectible Items.
SAVING AND CHECKPOINTS: Like the last several games, TOMB RAIDER uses autosave checkpoints. Whenever you pass a checkpoint, the game is saved automatically. Then, if Lara dies or you quit the game and restart, the game reloads at the last checkpoint. If you only rely on one autosave, you may run into trouble if you get stuck in the game, encounter a bug, or if your autosave file becomes corrupted. To avoid problems, I highly recommend changing your save slot at least once each level. You may also want to periodically back up your autosaves on a memory card (consoles) or into a separate folder (PC). See the controls page for details.
AREA 18: SOLARII FORTRESS
Camps: Solarii Fortress (Day Camp)
Gear: none Weapons/Weapon Parts: Grenade Launcher, Shotgun Part (3/3)
Documents: none Relics: none GPS caches: none Treasure Maps: none
Challenge Tombs: none Challenges: none
OBJECTIVE: Find Sam (continued)
BURNING CORRIDORS: When you enter the palace through the tunnel from the Geothermal Caverns, the building is on fire. Avoid the flames as you make your way up the stairs. Burning debris blocks your path, but Lara can squeeze through the low opening on the left. (screenshot)
As you make your way through the corridors, you'll see several small groups of enemies trying to escape. Many don't manage to outrun the flames. You can help them along with an arrow or two. Or just wait for the fire to do its job and loot the bodies you pass.
CROSSING THE PALACE ROOFTOPS: Soon you'll come to a hole in the wall leading outside. Step through, take a moment to admire the beautiful scenery, and then follow the tiled roof around to the right. Turn the next corner, also to the right, move to the end of the roof and jump the gap onto the next roof, which runs along the perpendicular wall. Go to the end of this roof and use your climbing axe to scale the rough section of wall ahead. At the top, jump to the left to grab the windowsill. Traverse to the left, jump to grab the next window, and continue climbing to the left. A screaming soldier falls off the roof next to you. After he passes, jump up to grab the horizontal beam above, traverse to the left and pull up onto the roof. (screenshots)
Move forward along this wide balcony. At the end, turn right. As you proceed, flames erupt from the doorway ahead on the right, killing a few more fleeing soldiers. Loot their bodies if you can get at them and continue to the left (northwest). Enter the building ahead, which is also on fire. Loot the bodies there and go through the doorway on the right.
A short cut scene ensues, in which Lara discovers Mathias's Yamatai scrapbook. She rifles through his photos and papers, pockets a map, and climbs through a hole in the ceiling onto the roof.
Move forward (southwest) along the only clear path across the rooftop. Turn right at the corner, continue forward and ride the zip line down to the next roof. Another explosion billows out of the doorway ahead. As it subsides, take cover behind the low wall on the outside edge of the walkway because a pair of Solarii start shooting and throwing dynamite from the building across the way to the south—the one with the rough climbing wall. When you've taken care of them, search the bodies on this side of the gap, pick up 2 bunches of arrows in the corner. Then take a running jump across to the building where the shooters were. It's a long jump, so prepare to press Interact to steady Lara's grip on the opposite ledge. Use your axe to scale the climbing wall, loot the bodies here and then enter the building. (screenshots)
INSIDE THE PALACE: Follow the candle-lit hallway until a cut scene kicks in. Lara runs into Whitman wandering unescorted. Resist the urge to slap him into next week. (Even if you want to, the game refuses to present the correct button prompts.) After marveling at how interesting the Solarii are as a tribal culture, the doctor scampers off to "keep watch," and Lara proceeds to the throne room. There she overhears Mathias trying to convince Sam that being the chosen one is somehow a good thing. He tells her that they're all trapped on this island and she alone, as Himiko's descendant, has the power to release them. Before Sam can protest further, an underling arrives with a status report for Mathias: the fires are spreading and Lara has disappeared. Mathias goes off to take care of business, ordering Dmitri to guard Sam with his life. The Russian has the opportunity to honor his promise almost immediately, as Lara steps out from behind a pillar and skewers him with an arrow.
The friends are reunited and Lara gets her weapons back, but when they try to find Whitman, Mathias is with him. Lara shoots down a section of the fire-weakened ceiling to delay their pursuers and she and Sam run back to the throne room. Sam manages to escape out the far side of the room just before the doorway collapses. Lara urges her to keep going while she finds another way out. Then she quickly scrambles for cover as a couple of Mathias's soldiers start shooting at her. You receive 100 XP before the fight.
OBJECTIVE: Survive the Ambush
SKIRMISH IN THE THRONE ROOM: This is a tough battle against multiple enemies: 3 men armed with rifles, 3 demo men and 2 guys with shotguns. There are a number of pillars and other objects you can use for cover, as well as several ammo pickups: rifle/SMG ammo sitting near the column just to the right of the starting position, rifle ammo and arrows near the table on the right, shotgun shells and more arrows near the table on the left, and more rifle/SMG ammo near the column behind and to the left of the starting position.
NOTE: If you're scrupulous about collecting salvage, you may want to change save slots at the start of this fight. There's a checkpoint halfway through. If you die during the second phase of the battle, the game will reload, and the bodies of the enemies you killed during the first phase will have vanished preventing you from recovering salvage from them. If this happens, you can reload the previous checkpoint and try the whole thing again. Alternatively, shoot all but the last man in the first group, then run around and loot the fallen enemies before finishing him off and triggering the checkpoint.
I don't have a definitive strategy for this fight, since the combat changes dynamically depending on where you position Lara, but I can offer some tips (with screenshots). Certain enemies will shoot at you from a distance or throw dynamite or Molotov cocktails; others will creep up and try to flank you. You may want to start by taking out the first 2 riflemen, ahead on the left and right of Lara's starting position behind the big silver incense burner. This will enable you to move a bit more freely around the room without taking heavy rifle fire. You can't hide behind the urn for too long, though. Enemy bullets will eventually destroy it, and it won't protect Lara from explosives. So try to keep moving from cover to cover as you shoot whichever enemies present themselves.
The guys with shotguns try to get close to you before they start firing. So you can use the columns for cover and blast them with your own shotgun as they try and sneak up on you. Melee attacks can also be effective on these guys. Be careful with melee moves, though. Sometimes Lara will jump out from cover to deliver a finisher, exposing her to attack from other enemies. The demolitions men and the ones armed with rifles tend to hang back behind cover and throw explosives or shoot when Lara is exposed. Dodge out of the way of incoming explosives and immediately take cover behind a different barrier. Peer out and shoot as the enemies are reloading or preparing a charge to throw.
After you've killed the first group of enemies, a checkpoint registers and a brief cut scene shows 2 armored enforcers entering. One has a pole arm, the other a rifle. Avoid the burning floor on the north side of the room as you fight. When dealing with armored opponents, try to concentrate fire on one part of their body. You need to eliminate their armor, then do additional damage to finish them off. Most importantly, don't let them both gang up on you. Lara moves faster than they do, so quickly run away from the starting position near the incense burner and hide behind a column. The man with the pole arm will move in, and you can take him out with the shotgun and/or a melee attack. (The page with screenshots reviews the Dodge Counter maneuver.) Then deal with the rifleman from a distance. When he falls, the fight is over.
NOTE: If you're having trouble with this fight, don't be afraid to turn the difficulty setting down temporarily. Or, if you're playing the computer game and just want to skip the heavy combat, feel free to download a PC or Mac save file for this level. It includes checkpoints following all of the major enemy encounters.
You receive a normal amount of XP for the individual enemies and an extra 140 XP at the end, along with a new goal.
OBJECTIVE: Escape the Inferno
After the battle, the door in the southern corner of the room opens. Make sure to loot the bodies before moving on. One of the armored dudes is carrying a SHOTGUN PART (3/3).
NOTE: If you miss the shotgun part here, don't worry, you'll get it from a fallen enemy in the upcoming fight. As the third part of three, it will enable you to upgrade the Trench Shotgun into the PUMP-ACTION SHOTGUN at the next base camp.
Go around the annoying spotlight in the doorway (or smash it with your axe if it's bothering you) and follow the hallway to the right. After a few steps, you receive another 100 XP and another mission update.
OBJECTIVE: Fight Your Way Out of the Palace
CORRIDORS BEYOND THE THRONE ROOM: Continue to the end of the hall, turn left at the flaming debris, then left again. Several enemies appear at the bottom of the flight of stairs ahead. Some are killed by an explosion, but 3 men survive and come up toward you. If you run move back into the hallway to the left of the stairs, you can stand facing the top of the stairs and blast the bad guys with your shotgun as they appear. Loot the bodies. (screenshots)
At the bottom of the stairs, more enemies approach from the right. Run across the hall and pick up the shotgun shells and rifle/SMG ammo. Then use this corner for cover as you shoot the men running up the stairs toward you. One is an armored soldier with a pole arm, one just has a rifle. As in the throne room combat, try to concentrate fire on one part of the armored guy. This will bring him down faster. Or you can wait for him to approach and use a melee attack. Then shoot his friend with the rifle when he pauses to reload. (screenshots)
Continue down the stairs to the next landing. Here you'll find 2 bundles of arrows in the corner on the opposite side of the hall. You'll need to fight 4 more enemies: a sneaky guy with a shotgun, 2 men with rifles, and one with a metal shield. Again, move across the hall, grab the arrows if you need them. Then use the corner and the table beyond it for cover as you shoot the approaching enemies. You can probably take most of them out from this distance. When the guy with the shield approaches, move away from the wall so he can't corner you and use the Dodge Counter or Dodge Kill maneuver to dispatch him. (The page with screenshots has details on using these skills.)
Search the bodies and continue to the end of the hall. When you step into the light, a cut scene begins. As Lara emerges outside, Nikolai, the tattooed Russian, spots her. He orders his men to go and search for Sam while he deals with Lara. He grabs onto a mounted machine gun and starts shooting as Lara scrambles for cover.
DEFEATING NIKOLAI: Even the cement walls are no match for Nikolai and his machine gun. If you stay here too long, the wall crumbles, leaving Lara exposed. So move out to the right and immediately run forward and hide behind the next wall, in the middle of the courtyard. Again, bullets quickly rip through the wall, so don't linger. Scramble around the right side of the wall, to the small, stone wall with the wooden structure on top, just ahead on the right. Pause here briefly to recover Lara's health if necessary. Then scramble to the left to crouch behind a second low, stone wall. Finally make a dash to the left, up the steps and into the corner of the building. Lara is safe here temporarily. Use your climbing axe to scale the rough stone wall. At the top, immediately move forward and jump up to grab the zip line. (screenshots)
Lara barrels down on Nikolai, knocking him off balance. She grabs hold of the machine gun, but it's too big for her to control. The Russian gets to his feet and knocks Lara and the gun off the ledge. She hits the ground hard but manages to roll to one side as Nikolai pull out a pistol and starts shooting again. As she scrabbles along the ground, she discovers a GRENADE LAUNCHER, which was probably dropped by some soldier.
When you regain control of Lara, you'll see a targeting reticle already positioned above Nikolai's head. An icon on screen prompts you to press the Alternate Fire button (Middle Mouse Button/R2 on PS3/R1 on PS4/RB on Xbox) to launch a grenade. Do that now to take care of Nikolai once and for all. (screenshot)
In the aftermath of the fight, Lara straps the grenade launcher onto her rifle. Handy! You receive 250 XP along with your new toy. There are 2 boxes of rifle/SMG ammo and a crate of grenades sitting on the ground to the left of the doorway. Grab them. Then follow the on-screen prompt to destroy the metal barrier: Stand well back from the door to avoid taking damage when the grenade explodes. Equip the rifle, hold the Aim button and instead of the regular fire button, press Alternate Fire to launch a grenade. (screenshot)
FIGHT IN GRASSY COURTYARD: Move through into a dimly lit room with another wide doorway on the other side. Pick up more rifle ammo and grenades just ahead on the right and then take cover as another squad of Solarii approach from the courtyard. Don't waste grenades, but don't be afraid to use them either, especially if there are a few enemies grouped together—like the 2 riflemen near the water barrels on the right side of the courtyard. You'll be able to pick up more grenades after the fight. (screenshots)
Shooting out the spotlight on the far ledge makes it easier to see the bad guys as they sneak up. Once you've taken care of the first couple of guys, you'll need to move out into the open a bit. This is a good time to run out and grab the rifle/SMG ammo near the pile of corrugated metal, plus more rifle ammo and grenades ahead on the left. Moving out triggers the appearance of 4 more enemies: 2 with rifles and Molotovs, one with a shotgun and one demo man. Shoot the one with shotgun as he approaches. For the others, you can run back to the wide doorway and take cover there if you like. When the enemies start throwing explosives, move to different cover. (screenshots)
After you've killed several of the men in this group, 2 tough guys with gas masks and rifles appear in the building on the far side of the courtyard, near the spotlight. If you don't kill them quickly—with a grenade, for example—they'll drop down and hide behind the low wall near the bottom of the steps. Take cover when they shoot at you and then pop out and fire at them while they're reloading. (screenshots)
Finish off any stragglers. Then loot the bodies and pick up more grenades, on the right side of the landing between the 2 flights of steps, and on the left side of the right corner of the grassy area with the cherry trees. The Solarii Fortress Day Camp is in the far right corner. (screenshots)
Note that when you move down the steps to the lowest level of this courtyard, an explosion collapses the ceiling of the room with the wide doorways, where you just hid, preventing you from returning to the area where you got the grenade launcher.
Rest at the camp. If you've been following this walkthrough, you should have 3 shotgun parts by now, which you can use to upgrade to the PUMP-ACTION SHOTGUN. You probably also have enough salvage to make a few newly unlocked modifications to the shotgun as well: Incendiary Shells, Wrapped Stock and Shell Mag.
BURNING HALLWAY BEYOND THE COURTYARD: When you've finished tinkering, climb the rough wall to the ledge with the spotlight. (screenshot) Move through the burning building, picking up more rifle/SMG ammo as you go. When you come to the apparent dead end, use a grenade to blast through the metal barrier. Grab another grenade from the box to replace the one you used. Then step out onto the roof.
In a brief cut scene, Lara sees Sam defending herself against a small pack of Solarii in the street below and urges her to run. The men don't dare harm the chosen one, so Sam is able to shoot at them and flee. You receive 100 XP and a new goal.
OBJECTIVE: Regroup with Sam
COMBAT IN THE STREETS BELOW THE PALACE: Move to the corner of the roof and slide down the zip line into a shack, where you'll find more rifle/SMG ammo and 2 crates of grenades. Stand back at a safe distance and use a grenade to destroy the metal barrier blocking the doorway. If you then step slowly into the doorway with bow or rifle drawn, you can take out 3 enemies who appear across the street. Shoot the one standing below first. Then wait for the others to appear on the upper level. One of them comes down toward you; the other shoots from the balcony. Stay behind the wall while he's firing. Then shoot him when he pauses to reload. Lara is safe for now. Drop down into the room below and retrieve more grenades and rifle/SMG ammo. (screenshots)
As you move out into the street, more enemies emerge. They don't all appear at once, but as you kill each small group, more enemies spawn. Again, there's no one correct way of handling this battle. I've detailed my strategy on a separate page with screenshots, but by all means, do what works best for you. The main thing is to use cover as much as possible and change position when the bad guys start closing in or throwing explosives. If you have difficulty spotting approaching enemies in the dim light and smoke of the battle, use Survival Instinct.
Once you've cleared out this section of the street, loot the enemies' bodies. In addition to salvage and ammo, some of these guys have grenades. As for the separate ammo pickups, some of these are noted on the screenshot page, but here's what you'll find in total: Grenades and rifle/SMG ammo in the room with the 2 doorways directly across the street from the starting position, 2 boxes of rifle ammo on the platform between the first buildings on the left, 2 boxes of rifle ammo and more grenades sitting near a metal box in the middle of the street, grenades at the top of the wooden stairs leading up to the building on the right side of the street and more rifle ammo and grenades inside. Jump from here to the next building on the same side of the street to find another box of rifle bullets, and finally more rifle ammo in small storeroom directly across the street at ground level.
When you're ready to move on, head to the end of the street, where it turns to the west. Go around the fountain on the left side to find more grenades and rifle ammo. Move out into the street beyond the fountain to trigger a cut scene and (thank goodness!) a checkpoint. Another squad of Solarii notice Lara. They shine a spotlight on her and begin shooting with rifles and a mounted machine gun like the one Nikolai had. (screenshots)
This time you can't shoot out the spotlight, since it's protected by slats. So just try to ignore it. Immediately run forward and take cover behind the metal crate on the left. Do not crouch behind the barrels, since the machine gun can easily destroy them, leaving Lara vulnerable. Scramble across the street and hide behind the stacked metal crates near the right wall. From there, run across to the street to the next metal barrier on the left. Take out the enemy on the ledge on the other side of the street. If you take damage while doing this, release Aim to crouch behind the metal wall until Lara's health is restored. Before advancing further, shoot the red barrel in the middle of the street. Otherwise the machine gunner will blow it up as Lara runs past, and she'll take damage. Run around the low metal wall where you're hiding now, but stay on the left side of the street. Ahead is a wall with a wooden ladder. Grab some rifle bullets at the base of this wall on the left. Then climb the ladder to the top of the wall. (screenshots)
Immediately turn right and take out the 2 men on the ledge on the other side of the street. If you use a grenade, aim above their heads and fire. Then crouch behind the metal crates until Lara's health is restored. Crouch behind the metal crates until Lara's health is restored. Take care not to position Lara behind the gap between the crates, since the machine gun's bullets can go through the gap. When you're feeling tip-top again, run along the ledge, jump to grab the zip line and slide down to the building where those last 2 enemies were. (screenshots)
Inside this room, turn left, grab more grenades and move to the opening nearest the machine gunner. Stay low behind the metal base of the wall when he fires. Then, when there's a pause in the action, equip your rifle, aim above the machine gun and fire a grenade. When you've killed the gunner, you receive 100 XP. (screenshots)
AFTER THE FIGHTING: At this point, you can backtrack to loot bodies and pick up any ammo you may have missed. The fire at the end of the street prevents you from crossing the river here. So when you're ready to move on, climb back up to the room from which you killed the machine gunner. Move into the doorway, jump to grab the zip line and slide down across the river to the open area below. (screenshot)
A cut scene shows Lara meeting Sam, who's been hiding on the other side of the wall. Lara tells her to rendezvous with the others but not to board the helicopter. She promises to catch up as soon as she can. You receive another 100 XP and a new goal.
OBJECTIVE: Escape the Solarii Compound
Take the 2 boxes of rifle/SMG ammo if you have room for them. Climb the wooden wall to the ledge above. Move around to the left, grab some more grenades, and slide down another zip line. Use your axe to scale the rough wall and drop down into the next building...and a new area. (screenshots)
†UPDATE HISTORY: 5/12/13 - First draft of walkthrough posted online.
7/7/13 - Updated weapon parts info with help from Jerad Z.
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