Stella's Tomb Raider 3 Walkthrough - Updates for Tomb Raider 3 Remastered Coming Soon


Updated: 4/29/24()

Secrets:Pickups: 28, including the UZIS, Detonator Switch and Key Card  Kills: 29  Save/power-up Crystals: 3

NOTES: Be sure to find all secrets to unlock the bonus level at the end of the game.

LEVEL MAP by VGCartography (used with permission)

Nevada Desert Video Walkthrough by Eldincy

Objectives: First find a way to the canyon interior. From there, go upstream to locate a dam and divert the water into a sluiceway. Find the necessary components to blast an opening into the last part of the level. Then hijack a quad bike to jump into the High Security Compound and start the next level.

WIDE CANYON NEAR STARTING POINT: Go forward and kill 2 vultures (1), plus a rattlesnake (2) lurking in the scrubby bushes to the right of the tall rock outcropping. (screenshot) Use the same tactic you did with the cobras in India: walk forward with pistols drawn, just until the snake rears up. Then shoot it from far enough away that the snake can't bite Lara. If she does get bitten, use a small medi pack to antidote the venom. Avoid the quicksand to the left of the rock outcropping. Instead, go around to the right. To the right of the shallow pool is an area with a tall, green cactus and another rattlesnake (3) guarding a rocket (1).

Go past the pool into the narrow canyon and follow the passageway at the end on the right. Climb the stepped blocks upward and to the left. Take a running jump across the first of 2 holes to grab the opposite edge. Do not drop down, since there is barbed wire on the floor of the cave below. Instead, pull up, walk to the edge of the second hole and turn around. Drop back and grab the edge, but before letting go, traverse a little to the right if necessary so Lara doesn't land in the barbed wire below on the left. (screenshots)

NOTE: barbed wire is like spikes. Lara can walk or crawl through it, but if she runs through it or falls into it, it can kill her.

This is SECRET #1. Shoot the 2 rattlesnakes (4-5) from a safe distance before retrieving the save/power-up crystal (1), flares, and small medi pack (2-3). There's another snake (6) near the low step on the other side of the room. Kill it as well and then step up into the alcove. Locate the movable block on the long wall and push it once to open up the exit. Pick up the shotgun shells (4) that were lying underneath the block and then climb back into the passageway. (screenshots)

Climb up on the left, the same way you did earlier, but this time don't drop down. Instead, jump over the 2 holes with barbed wire below. For the first one, take a running jump, grab the opposite edge, and pull up. For the second hole, take a running jump without grabbing. Then climb up on the right into the next area. (screenshots)

LEDGE WITH BLACK METAL STRUCTURE: Follow the path forward to emerge on a ledge above the starting area. There's a large black box, apparently made of metal, built into the rocks ahead.

NOTES: If you don't care about getting all kills and pickups and don't mind cheating a wee bit, you can skip the next few minutes of ledge jumping. Just move to the left corner of the metal box and use the crawling corner bug to get on top of the structure. (screenshot) Drop through the opening in the top of the metal box and then pick up the walkthrough at the section CANYON WITH POOL WITH WATERFALLS, below. There are loads of areas throughout the classic Tomb Raider games where you can use glitches like this. If you want to experiment, my Useful Bugs page is a good place to start.

If you want everything, follow the ledge along the right side of the dark, metal structure and take a running jump to the narrow, uneven ledge on the other side of the gap. Follow the ledges around, jumping the gaps as you go, and killing a rattlesnake (7) resting in the shade of a bush. When you reach the end of the last ledge, jump onto the sloping wall, slide back, and grab the edge. Traverse to the left a bit and drop down onto the flat ledge below. Follow it to the end and around the corner to find a large medi pack (5). (screenshots)

To get back to the high ledge with the metal structure, face out across the canyon and climb back onto the previous ledge, which is now on your left. Back up to the wall and then take a running jump across the quicksand to grab the left side of the rock outcropping. Pull up and continue forward to the top, killing another snake (8) on the way. Drop through the opening on the top of the metal structure into the flooded tunnel below. Swim through the tunnel—forward, around to the left, and then straight on and upward until you can surface. (screenshots)

CANYON WITH POOL AND WATERFALLS: Climb out of the water and follow the tunnel to a ledge overlooking a pool. There are twin waterfalls at the left end of the canyon. You'll explore over there in a bit. For now, turn right and take a running jump with Action to land on the small, triangular ledge. Take a standing jump to grab the next slightly higher ledge. Pull up, turn left, and shoot a vulture (9). Then jump down to the next ledge, follow it to the far end, and climb onto the chest-high block directly ahead. Sidestep a little to the right if necessary and then pull up onto the next higher block. Turn around, so the canyon wall is on Lara's left, and take a running jump to grab the ledge directly opposite. Pull up, walk forward, and pick up some Uzi clips (6). (screenshots)

NOTES: There are lots of ledges and climbable surfaces in this area and consequently many different paths through it. This walkthrough covers several possible routes that include all kills, items, and secrets. If you miss any jumps while exploring this area and end up in the pool below, you'll either have to reload your last save or make your way back to the top of the canyon. For directions, check out the later section of the walkthrough, CLIMBING BACK TO THE TOP OF THE CANYON, below.

After picking up the Uzi clips, turn around again and take a running jump to grab the edge of the high corner block where you were a moment ago. If you don't want the next secret, turn left, take a running jump across the pool, and grab onto the climbable wall (with the dark handholds) on the other side of the canyon. Then climb onto the ledge above. (screenshot) Skip down to the section FROM THE CANYON ENTRANCE TO THE TNT CAVE, below.

If you do want the secret, there are several ways to reach it. The quickest is to drop down onto the block just below the high corner block. Then take a carefully angled running jump across the pool into the cave opening. You'll need to press Action while Lara is in the air in order to lower her arc slightly so she doesn't hit her head on the top edge of the opening. This is SECRET #2. Inside you'll find Desert Eagle and MP5 clips (7-8). (screenshots)

Or, try this alternate path to the secret: Instead of dropping down from the high corner block, turn left, take a running jump across the pool, and grab onto the climbable wall on the other side of the canyon. Climb down the handholds until Lara is hanging just above the first horizontal crevice. Let go and quickly grab the crevice. Climb down to the angled opening on the right. Position Lara's hands at the top of the point and climb to the right as far as possible. Then drop and grab the edge of the opening below. Lara automatically shifts a little to the right in order to make the grab. Or, continue climbing down the handholds until Lara is hanging just above the second horizontal crevice. Let go and quickly grab again. Then traverse along the crevice to the right. Pull up into the cave with the secret. (screenshots)

After picking up the goodies in the secret cave, climb back onto the ledge overlooking the pool. You can't reach the climbable wall from here. Instead jump into the water, turn right, and swim along the bottom to find some Uzi clips (9). Surface for air and swim around the corner toward the twin waterfalls. You'll find more goodies on the bottom of the pool here: shotgun shells on the left, more Uzi clips below and between the two waterfalls, plus flares and more shotgun shells (10-13) in the niches directly below the waterfalls. (screenshot)

CLIMBING BACK TO THE TOP OF THE CANYON: Climb out of the water on the small, red-and-white marbled ledge to the left of the waterfalls when facing them. Pull up onto the taller block next to it, turn right, and take a running jump without grabbing to land on the angled block across the water. (screenshots)

Turn right and take another running jump to the next flat block. Slide down the short slope on the left to a ledge with some shotgun shells (14). Grab them, turn around, and take a carefully angled standing jump back onto the ledge to the left of the slope. Take another running jump across the water to grab the ledge below the rock ladder. Climb the handholds and dismount on the left. This is the ledge where you first entered the canyon. (screenshots)

FROM THE CANYON ENTRANCE TO THE TNT CAVE: Now, retrace your steps along the ledges, around to the climbable wall above secret #2. This time, instead of climbing down to the little cave with the secret, climb the up onto the ledge above. (screenshots)

Turn left, walk to the end of this uneven ledge, and take a standing jump across the gap onto the small triangular ledge ahead. Vault up onto the next low block but don't run forward yet. Shoot the rattlesnake (10) lurking behind the bush first. Then walk through the bush to the other side of the ledge. Turn right and jump over the sloping block to the flat spot ahead on the left. Be careful not to land on the slope or fall into the hole next to it. (screenshots)

Now, you must get past the steeply angled blocks ahead. There are several ways to do this. The quickest is to position Lara at the base of the slope and take a standing jump over the peak and onto the perpendicular slope beyond it. In order to land this jump correctly, don't press Action but do tap Right just briefly while she's in the air so she lands on the second slope facing uphill. Then slide back, grab the edge, traverse left, and pull up near a save/power-up crystal (2). (This and two alternate paths are shown on the page with screenshots.)

TNT CAVE (first visit): Enter the cave and pick up a small medi pack (15) on the ground to the left of the DETONATOR PLUNGER. There's nothing you can do with the plunger yet. If you don't care about every pickup, you can skip the next paragraph and continue toward the waterfalls.

Otherwise, follow the wires down into the cave. Behind the box of TNT is a greenish opening. Inside are some flares (16). Get them and head back up the slope with the coiled wires. Most of the slope is climbable, but you'll need to take a standing jump at the top to clear one steep section.

HEADING UPSTREAM: Move out onto the ledge overlooking the pool and turn right, toward the twin waterfalls. Jump onto the angled block on the right canyon wall, slide back, and grab the edge. If Lara brings her feet up onto the rock ladder, momentarily release and re-press the Action button so she'll let go and grab the edge with her hands only. Traverse to the left until you can pull up on a nearly flat ledge. (screenshots)

Turn around to face the block between the two waterfalls. The side facing you is flat; the other side is angled. Take a standing jump from the edge of this ledge to grab the back of the angled block. Pull up, slide forward just a little, and then jump onto the ledge ahead. Climb onto the next ledge and get the small medi pack (17). Then hop back down to the ledge where you landed when you slid and jumped. (screenshots)

Walk to the outer corner of the ledge nearest the waterfall. Take a standing jump from that corner, without pressing Action, to land on the little ledge inside the cave, between the two waterfalls. Walk to the edge of this ledge and take a standing jump to the next ledge. Take a running jump to land on the ledge jutting out at the next corner. Then take a running jump across the stream to the ledge sticking out of the opposite cavern wall. Angle this jump so Lara takes off at the outer corner of the ledge, as shown above, and she'll have no trouble making it across. From there, head around the corner to the right. (screenshots)

NOTES: I described a longer, more complicated sequence in my original walkthrough. If you want to try that, it's described as an alternative path on the page with screenshots. If Lara falls in the water, the current will sweep her downstream, and you'll have to reload or climb all the way back up to this point. You may be able to save some backtracking by hugging the right wall and staying near the surface as she goes over the falls. Lara should land on a small square ledge about halfway down the falls. Then you can jump over to the rocks on the other side of the canyon and climb up from there.

WATERWHEEL: On the left bank, when facing the huge waterwheel, is a stone pillar with a rattlesnake (11) behind it. (screenshot) Shoot the snake and then turn around and crawl under the rock overhang. Crawl into the corner where Lara can stand. You'll then see a climbable wall. Climb up and dismount on the left. This is SECRET #3—the loaded UZIS (18), or Uzi ammo if you already have the guns, and another snake (12). Climb back down and crawl out into the open.

If you're desperate for a save/power-up crystal (3), head into the passageway on the left. (screenshot) There's a crystal on the other side of the ELEVATOR SHAFT.

NOTE: It's possible to climb down the ladder to the bottom of the elevator shaft. Here you can glimpse the DETONATOR SWITCH (a silver key) through the metal roof of the elevator, but you can't get it yet. You'll need to raise the elevator first. For now, climb back up and continue on.

Return through the passageway to the cavern with the stream. Go around behind the WATERWHEEL and subdue an unarmed but very cranky guy (13) who tries to beat on Lara. Then climb the ladders on the side of the waterwheel structure. (screenshot)

SLUICEWAY ABOVE THE WATERWHEEL: Vault up onto the rim of the sluiceway. Turn right and follow the rim of the sluiceway to the corner. Take a running jump across the now-dry channel to the other side. Then turn right and proceed forward to an outdoor area. Kill 2 vultures (14-15) that fly in from above and a rattlesnake (16) in the bushes on the left. Be careful not to fall into the deeper part of the channel near the dam. It's a long way down. Jump across the stream and go under the stone arch to find another snake (17) guarding some grenades (19). (screenshot)

Turn around and head back toward the yellow blocks. Go around the corner to the left and jump into the water. Avoid the shallow area downstream or you'll be swept over the falls. Pull the underwater lever (screenshot) to open the gate opposite. Roll and swim straight across the channel and through the gate. Pick up some Desert Eagle clips (20) and return to the surface.

In order to continue, you must now divert the flow of water to the waterwheel below. So return past the yellow blocks toward the two water slides. With the water slides on Lara's left, swim down to the far right corner and pull the underwater lever to open the trapdoor between the two angled, yellow footings. Swim down through the trapdoor. There's another lever on the wall just inside and above. Pull it to open a trapdoor at the end of the underwater tunnel. If you need air, swim back to the surface above the yellow footings. Then swim back down into the tunnel and continue forward. Just around the first corner, there's another lever on the right wall. Pull it to open a yellow door in the hallway above. Continue swimming upward along the tunnel until you can climb out trough the trapdoor. Run to the end of the hallway and pull the switch to divert the stream into the dry sluiceway where you entered this area. Doing so activates the WATERWHEEL and raises the ELEVATOR down below. (screenshots)

NOTE: After pulling the switch, the channel on the right, where you came in, is now flooded. The channel straight ahead, beyond the yellow blocks, is dry.

RETURNING DOWNSTREAM TO THE WATERWHEEL: Slide down into the pool and climb out of the water directly ahead. Run forward along the stream bank, past the small bush, to the end of the sandy ledge. Drop into the dry channel there, where it's not as deep. (screenshots)

Walk along the dry streambed and pick up a large medi pack (21) on the left. Then take a running jump from the edge to grab the ledge with the small medi pack (22). Pull up, take the health, then turn around and jump back down to the dry streambed. Turn around again and drop down onto the corner block below on the right. Step to the outer corner of the block and take a standing jump with a slight turn to the right into the alcove behind the waterfall. Pick up a rocket (23). (screenshots)

It's possible to jump from the alcove with the rocket onto the small, reddish ledge below on the right, but you need to set it up carefully and press Action while Lara is in the air so she doesn't overshoot the ledge. If that's too complicated, instead jump back onto the corner ledge, turn around, walk to the edge, and take a standing jump down to the lower ledge. (screenshots)

Then jump downstream from ledge to ledge back to the stream near the waterwheel. When you reach the stone ledge to the left of the small waterfall, do not run forward or Lara will slide down the sloping block beyond it into the rushing stream. Instead, jump over the slope to the flat, sandy area ahead. Then turn right and take a running jump across the stream. (The page with screenshots shows every jump in this sequence.)

ELEVATOR: Go around behind the waterwheel. Notice it's now turning as water flows over it. On the other side of the cavern, behind some pointy rocks, is the passageway leading to the elevator. (screenshot) As you step down into the room with the elevator, another ill-tempered gentleman (18) appears on the right. Shoot him. Then and go around back to get inside the elevator, where you'll find the DETONATOR SWITCH (24) and a save/power-up crystal (3) if you didn't get it earlier. (screenshot)

DOWNSTREAM TO THE CANYON: Return to the stream and jump from rock to rock to get back to the small ledge between the two waterfalls. (screenshots)

Turn left and take a carefully angled running jump past the center pillar to land on the ledge on the left just beyond the waterfall. Turn around, walk to the edge, and take a standing jump forward to grab the climbable wall next to the waterfall. Climb down until Lara is hanging just a little above the ledge behind her. Then press Jump to backflip onto the ledge. Turn around and move to the other end of the ledge. Stand at the outer corner, angle Lara toward the climbable wall, and jump forward to grab it. Climb up into the cave with the TNT and DETONATOR PLUNGER. (screenshots)

TNT CAVE (second visit): Now that you have the DETONATOR SWITCH, approach the PLUNGER and press Action twice to detonate the explosives. This loosens the huge boulder in the alcove ahead, causing it to roll toward you. Side flip to the left to avoid it. (screenshot)

Go down into the cave. The explosion has blasted a away the ceiling, creating an opening into the next area. To get up there, climb onto the red-and-white marbled block to the left of the narrow greenish opening—all that remains of the little cave where you found the flares earlier. From the top of the marbled block, jump forward to grab the thin ledge above. (screenshot) Pull up, turn around, and take a running jump to the small triangular ledge ahead. Walk to the left corner and take a standing jump to the uneven ledge ahead. Cross this ledge to the wall and pull up into the rectangular opening above. Crawl through to the next area. (screenshot)

OUTSIDE THE HIGH-SECURITY COMPOUND: Hop down to the ground. Say hello to the 2 moody bikers (19) behind the electric fence, but be careful not to touch it, or Lara will die. Pick up some grenades (25) behind the bushes near the corner of the fence.

NOTE: If you'd like to take a shortcut to the end of the level, instead of following the route described below, after picking up the grenades, continue through the wide opening ahead. (screenshot) Kill or avoid the 2 rattlesnakes (20-21) in the area below. Then go up the red-and-white rock ramp and take a carefully angled running jump from the right corner of the ramp to grab the edge of the fence. This jump is a little tricky. Aim at or just to the left of the third seam in the fence from the left in order to grab properly. (screenshot) Then pull up to trigger the final cutscene, which shows Lara jumping the fence on the quad bike. You'll miss a few kills and pickups but you should already have the 3 secrets.

If you want everything, continue by following the electric fence around to a small, rectangular opening in the rock wall. (screenshot) Crawl/walk through the passageway until you come to a gap in the floor. The passageway below leads to an ELEVATED WATER TANK outside. You need to do a few more things before going there, so don't drop down yet. Instead, jump forward to grab the high ledge ahead. Pull up, climb up on the right, and continue along the tunnel to a pool.

Drop into the water and pull the 2 underwater levers: The one on the back of the metal column opens a yellow door somewhere outside. The one in the corrugated metal tunnel opens a door in the nearby WATER TANK. The yellow door at the end of this passage leads to the tank, but it remains closed for now.

Swim back up to the hole in the ceiling and climb out of the water. Follow the passageway forward and hop down onto the ledge below. Turn left and take a standing jump with Action into the slightly lower tunnel directly ahead. Again, the lower passageway leads to the WATER TANK, which you'll explore in a bit. For now, follow the upper passageway back to the area outside the electric fence.

Run forward to the corner of the fence. Turn left and slide down into the wide tunnel. (screenshot) Kill a couple of snakes (20-21) and go through the yellow door you just opened. (screenshot) Pull the switch inside to open the yellow door in the corrugated metal tunnel, thus filling the WATER TANK.

Return outside, past the snakes, and into the wide tunnel on the left. The slope is too steep to climb, so use the stone blocks to get back up to the area with the electric fence. Again, follow the fence to the right and crawl into the tunnel. This time, when you reach the gap, drop down and follow the tunnel made of red-and-white marbled stone to an outdoor area.

ELEVATED WATER TANK: Avoid the electric fence in this area as well. Kill the 2 tough guys (22-23) milling around here and climb the ladder to the tank. (screenshot) Jump into the water and swim across the surface to the other ledge with the open door. (If you missed the lever that opens this door before, swim down into the corrugated metal tunnel and pull the lever now.)

OFFICES AND STORAGE SHED: Take a running jump from this door, over the fence, to land on a metal block next to the building below. (screenshot) The noise attracts the 2 biker dudes (24-25) you saw through the fence earlier. They come around the corner of the building to beat on poor Lara. You can wait for them to show up (screenshot) or go around the corner to meet them.

Ignore the office/rec room with the posters and pool table for now and continue past the building and around the corner to the left. (screenshot) If you approach the gate switch on the fence ahead, the camera will shift toward it drawing your attention. Don't touch the switch yet, or you'll get a nasty shock. Instead, go into the storage shed on the right. (screenshot)

Inside the storage shed there's a quad bike and another pair of Jerry Garcia clones (26-27). One comes at you from the right as you enter. The second climbs over the crates near the back wall when you approach them. The second man drops a small medi pack (26), and you'll find some Uzi clips (27) around the corner to the right.

Drive the quad bike out of the shed. Turn left and drive up the ramp on the side of the next building. Brake or lightly tap the reverse button when you reach the top to avoid going over the edge. Dismount and pick up the GENERATOR ACCESS CARD (28). (A keycard the size of a magazine? Only in Tomb Raider!) If you accidentally drive off the other side of the roof, you can drive around and try again, or walk to the side of the storage building, climb onto the crate, and then jump to grab the grate on the side of the office. This grate extends only after you drive the bike onto the roof. Climb up and cross the roof to get the card. (screenshots)

NOTE: Follow this link for a review of the quad bike controls.

Drive down off the roof and go into the office/rec room (the building you were just on top of). As you go pass the pool table, a computer technician/pool shark (28) attacks from the right. Take care of him and then go into the back office, turn right, and use the GENERATOR ACCESS CARD in the card reader to open the door. You'd think the bearded guy (29) in the cell would be happy to be free, but no. He takes out his pent-up frustrations on Lara. Shoot him, go into his cell, and throw the switch to turn off the electric fence. (screenshots)

Now you can return outside and safely use the switch on the electric fence to open the gate. Drive the quad bike out, turn left, and head down the wide tunnel. Drive past the dead snakes and the yellow door where you pulled the switch earlier. Gun it up the stone ramp to jump the fence and end the level. (screenshots)

A brief cut scene follows: Lara crashes the bike and lands unconscious in a small pool. Two military police officers find her and drag her into the high security compound. The dialogue is included on the cut scene transcripts page. You can also re-watch the movie on my YouTube channel.

[Last India Level]

[TR3 Level Menu]

[Main TR3 Page]

[Next Level]

UPDATE HISTORY: 3/28/14 - First major update since this walkthrough was created in 1998. This revision includes many new screenshots as well as various other corrections and clarifications.2/5/24 - Added VGCartography's level maps, with permission. Visit VGCartography on DeviantArt for high-res versions, and follow on Twitter/X and YouTube for more fantastic game maps.
4/29/24 - Added sequential kill and item counts, which will hopefully be helpful for both the classic and remastered versions. More remaster updates coming eventually. Thanks for your patience.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: My eternal gratitude goes out to the participants in the newsgroup, without whom some parts of this walkthrough could not have been written. Thanks also to Barbara, Fred, Martin, Paul K., and Simon for their help on this level, and to the many people who submitted the shortcut near the end of the level, which I first saw in MMAN's 2005 speedrun.

WAS THIS WALKTHROUGH HELPFUL? If not, I apologize and invite you to contact me with any questions. If you need help right away, I recommend the r/TombRaider subreddit. Other fan-run forums are listed at If this site was useful, please consider supporting it financially or in other ways. For details, visit As always, I welcome your corrections/suggestions. Thank you!

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