SOUTH PACIFIC LEVEL 4: TEMPLE OF PUNA
Kills: 9+ Items: 10, plus the ORA DAGGER artifact Save/power-up crystals: 2 Secrets: 1*
*The number of kills may vary. See the last room in the level for details. Be sure to find all the secrets so you can access the bonus level at the end of the game. Note that one of the regular pickups here will be the DESERT EAGLE PISTOL if you didn't get it in a previous level.
LEVEL MAP by VGCartography (used with permission)
Objectives: Make your way through the trap-riddled temple to take on the South Pacific boss and claim his artifact, the Ora Dagger.
CURVED HALLWAY AND STAIRS NEAR LEVEL START: As soon as the level begins, kill 2 natives with blowguns on the stairs to the right. You may be able to avoid their darts by turning toward the stairs and then side flipping from left to right as you shoot. Once they fall, go up the steps past them. You'll then spot another warrior wielding a blowgun on the ledge above. If you advance slowly with pistols drawn, you may be able to target him before he can target you. Then climb up to where he was standing. Follow the stairs to the top, taking out a fourth warrior on the way up. If any of their poisoned darts strike Lara, try to get through the whole encounter before healing so you don't waste medi packs. (screenshots)
Notice the concealed door high on the wall above the bend in the stairs. There's a secret behind it, but you'll need to return for it later. For now, continue all the way to the top of the stairs and go through the crawlspace. (screenshots)
LARGE ROOM WITH ROLLING BLADES: Climb onto the ledge and pick up a small medi pack. The room below has sloped sides, a closed door directly opposite the ledge where you're now standing, 4 buttons (2 on each side wall to open that door), and a row of rolling blades moving back and forth. Just as the blades roll past toward the right, slide down and run forward to the save/power-up crystal. Keep running as you curve around to the left and up the slope. Position Lara at one of the seams between the tile with the button and an adjacent tile. Duck and you'll be safe there from the blades. (screenshots)
NOTES: The order in which you press the buttons doesn't matter. I recommend going clockwise or counterclockwise around the room starting and ending with the buttons farthest from the entrance. Also, it's not necessary to crouch if you're standing exactly on the seam, but if you're even a little bit off to the left or right, the "axle" of the blade can hit Lara unless you crouch. The corners of the room are safe as well, but they're not as close to the buttons.
When the blades roll away, stand up, sidestep twice toward the first button and press it. Then sidestep twice to get back to the seam and duck again. The next time the blades roll away, stand up and run to the second button. Press it. Then quickly sidestep twice to one of the seams and duck. (If you need more time, you can also stand on the seam and duck before pressing the button, then again afterwards.) (screenshots)
When the blades roll away again, turn around and follow them but wait at the top of the downslope. As they begin to roll down the opposite slope toward you, start running and jump over them. Make sure you run straight forward along the seam so you jump over the blades at the "axle." Otherwise she'll get hurt. Run up the slope and repeat the same procedure for the third and fourth buttons, ducking at one of the seams each time the blades approach. Once you've pressed all four buttons, the door opposite the entrance opens. After the blades roll away, stand up, run down the slope, and veer into the doorway where it's safe. (screenshots)
SMALL ROOM WITH DESCENDING SPIKES: Climb up onto the wooden ledge. Below is a room with 3 switches. When you slide in, the spiked ceiling begins to descend. Quickly pull out the movable block in the corner to the left of the gate. It's the only carved block, so it's fairly easy to spot. (screenshot) This stops the spikes from descending further. (Pulling all of the switches also deactivates the spikes, but the block does it more quickly.) Pull the 3 switches to open the gate. Then safety drop through the opening.
CORRIDORS WITH GIANT BOULDERS: Enter the next area, pick up the small medi pack, and go left. Pull the switch to open the gate at the opposite end of the room and arm the boulder trap. (Doing so also closes the gate where you came in, lights a flame in front of the entrance, and reveals trenches filled with some kind of freaky yellow lava on either side of the walkway.) The boulder doesn't roll until you pass over the tile in the middle of the walkway. To avoid being squashed, sprint along the walkway toward the gate. Continue running but release the sprint button as you approach the doorway. Briefly press Look to get Lara's perspective back as you veer to the right onto the perpendicular path. A second humongous boulder begins to roll down behind you. Tap Look again so you can see where you're going, but keep running, staying in the middle of the walkway to snag the save/power-up crystal and avoid the breakaway tiles above lava on either side. When you reach the low archway with the step down, you're safe. If you missed the crystal, turn around and crawl under the edge of the boulder to retrieve it. (screenshots)
NOTES: If you're playing the PC/Mac game, you may want to deliberately avoid the crystal at first, deal with the next group of enemies, and then go back for the crystal if you get poisoned. Also, several players described a technique for avoiding the first boulder by traversing along the walkway above the lava, as shown in this short video by ykeen. This didn't work for me in the PC version. The boulder ran over Lara's hands causing her to drop into the lava. Maybe it's PlayStation only. If you have better luck, please let me know.
CURVED HALLWAY AND STAIRS NEAR LEVEL START (again): Now you're back at the beginning of the level. There are 3 more locals with blowguns waiting for you—one in the doorway on the right, the others on the stairs to the left. One of the men on the left drops a small medi pack when he dies. The chute on the right leads to the final area, but don't slide down yet! Instead climb the stairs as you did before. (screenshots)
This time the small door above the bend in the stairs is open. To reach it go to the fourth step from the top (or any of the higher steps). Take a standing jump from the edge to grab the horizontal seam in the carved wall. Then traverse to the left and pull up into the doorway. Don't bother lighting a flare, since the torch on the wall ignites as you move into the room. This is the level's ONLY SECRET—3 sets of Desert Eagle clips, flares, and a large medi pack. (screenshots)
NOTE: If you don't already have the DESERT EAGLE PISTOL, you will get it here in place of one set of clips. If the door to the secret room is still closed when you get there, it may be because you missed the trigger that opens it. This appears to be either the last save crystal or just the tile it's sitting on. Return down the stairs, turn right, and go back into the room with the giant boulder. Crawl under the edge of the boulder to get the crystal (screenshot), and the secret door should be open when you return.
After picking up the items in the secret room, safety drop from the doorway and return to the bottom of the stairs. Directly across the hallway is the chute leading to the final area. (screenshot) Slide down into the throne room.
THRONE ROOM - SOUTH PACIFIC BOSS: This room has a large, central platform with spokes extending out to the walls on three sides. At the fourth corner sits a throne decorated with a lizard-shaped artifact. Otherwise the edges of the platform are open to the deep pit below. You can pick up the 2 small medi packs on the left and right spokes before or after the fight. When you draw weapons, Lara targets the artifact on the throne, but don't bother shooting at it; you'll just waste ammo. When you climb the steps to the throne, it turns around and the battle with the boss—apparently he's called PUNA, since this is his temple—begins.
This sequence is shown in a series of screenshots and a short short video walkthrough, which shows how to kill Puna with the Desert Eagle (easiest) or the pistols (most difficult). The same basic tactics also work with other weapons. The video also shows how to use the TR3 rapid-fire weapons glitch to beat him even faster.
Walk up the stairs toward the throne with weapon(s) drawn. As soon as Puna's chair begins to turn around, backflip to land near the center of the platform. Immediately side flip to the left or right, then back to the center, to the other side, then back to the center. This will prevent Puna from targeting Lara with his deadly blue lightning bolts. If one of these bolts hits her, it's an instant kill, so you must keep moving. (screenshots)
While you're flipping back and forth, try to shoot at Puna each time he unleashes a lightning bolt. If you're using pistols, you can just continue firing the whole time, since you don't need to worry about running out of ammo. With other weapons, try to fire only when Puna is shooting lightning bolts. Between bolts, he puts up a translucent energy shell around himself, which makes him invulnerable. Shooting at the shell only wastes bullets. When your shots are connecting, you'll hear him groan. (screenshots)
After he's taken a little damage, the throne will turn to one side and Puna will shoot a green lightning bolt at one of the side spokes. This summons a poison-breathing lizard, which then attacks Lara. Puna will not throw lightning while you fight the lizard, and Lara's bullets can't penetrate his shield at this time anyway. So you can stop jumping around for now. Don't worry too much about taking damage from the lizard. It's more important to stay in the middle of the platform so the lizard can't nudge Lara off the edge. Concentrate on holding your position and killing the lizard. If you do get hit by its poison breath, don't bother healing immediately. Just keep an eye on your health bar. If you can make it to the end of the level, you'll be fine. (screenshots)
Once you've killed the lizard, immediately turn to face the throne and continue side flipping and shooting at Puna. He will resume hurling lightning bolts. If you're using a more powerful weapon, like the Desert Eagle, you may be able to defeat him before he summons another lizard. (It takes 10 Desert Eagle rounds to destroy him.) If you're using the pistols, the cycle will continue several more times. He'll hurl a few lightning bolts, then summon a lizard—sometimes on the left side of the platform, sometimes on the right. It takes almost 2 minutes of sustained pistol fire to destroy him, so he'll probably have time to summon 5 lizards in all. (screenshots)
When you've finally done enough damage, Puna's throne will start to vibrate. A moment later, it will explode, taking him with it and leaving behind the ORA DAGGER artifact. If you didn't get the medi packs on the side spokes before, be sure to pick them up before taking the artifact to end the level. (screenshots)
NOTE: In some versions of the game, this lizard-shaped artifact will be called ELEMENT 115, and you'll get the ORA DAGGER in the last Nevada level. TR3's head level designer, Richard Morton, told The Tomb Raiders Traveler's Guide this is a typo, and Puna's artifact should be the ORA DAGGER. If this bothers you, Mr. Sardoc has created a patch to fix the artifact name mix-up, along with numerous other bugs. See this thread on tombraiderforums.com for details and download link.
BUG NOTE: If you use the rapid-fire weapons glitch, as shown in the video, you can destroy Puna before he summons any lizards, bringing your total kill count to 8. However, the stats screen will show a distorted count, similar to what happens in the Crash Site when you kill the raptor horde with the rocket launcher. You'll notice my video shows 34 kills, more than quadruple the actual number.
†UPDATE HISTORY: 5/14/14 - First major update since this walkthrough was created in 1998. This revision includes many new screenshots as well as various other corrections and clarifications.
7/15/17 - Finally added a link to Sardoc's TR3 patch, which fixes the Ora Dagger/Element 115 name mix-up.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special thanks to the participants in the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup, without whom some parts of this walkthrough could not have been written. Thanks also to Andy D. who saved me a lot of time by determining the alternate weapon pickup points, and to TuffasGong and Barb Lou for the tip about the secret door being linked to the crystal.
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