*******************************************************************************
*                                                                             *
*                              Tomb Raider 2                                  *
*             Completing the Game Without Using ANY Health Packs              *
*                                                                             *
*******************************************************************************

Version   Completed          
1.00      25 December 2004   

1.01      28 February 2005
   *  Fixed ONE lousy typo and updated my email address

1.10      20 March 2005     
   *  Added an easier approach to the Barkhang Monastery level.

1.11      29 October 2005   
   *  Updated my email address -- AGAIN

1.20      01 June 2006      
   *  Added section IV describing the two different versions of the game.
   *  Added a LOT of hints in levels 2 - 6 about how to minimize damage in a 
      "fresh" game where you do not have the M16 from the beginning.
   *  Improved strategies for many other battles throughout the game.  
   *  Found and corrected a couple of typos and cleaned up the formatting on my 
      "bullet points."
   *  Added some new wisecracks (see if you can find them.)

1.30      26 July 2007      
   *  Played through the game while reading the walkthrough and added a couple 
      of new strategies.
   *  Added difficulty ratings for levels.

2.00      09 August 2007    
   *  Added information about weapons and amended some strategies for 
      "continued" games.

2.10      03 January 2009   
   *  Added a VERY useful tip for losing less life in the Wreck of the Maria 
      Doria level.
   *  Added some additional life-saving tips to help achieve perfect levels in 
      some of the early stages of the game.
   *  Added step-by-step directions for the annoying burner race in the 40 
      Fathoms level.
   *  Corrected some factual errors and added some new strategies and 
      wisecracks.

2.20      07 Aug 2009       
   *  Added some VERY helpful hints submitted by alert reader Kevin McDonald as 
      well as some new "continued" game strategies I discovered while
      checking out his tips.  Most of these changes are in the "Tibetan 
      Foothills" section.  
   *  Corrected some misinformation in the "Weapons" section.

2.30      Sometime in 2010, I guess -- I forgot to write it down.
   *  Rewrote walkthrough of "Home Sweet Home" with strategies for achieving a 
      perfect level.
   *  Reformatted this version revisions section -- doesn't it look much nicer?
   *  Added a tip for fighting the shotgun guy you encounter after sliding 
      backwards down the ramp in the Diving Area level.
   *  Rewrote several battle descriptions to minimize use of M16 ammunition.
   *  Described how to complete the "Tibetan Foothills" level without ever 
      having to use the stupid snowmobiles.
   *  Added a strategy that allows you to enter the water at the end of the 
      "Tibetan Foothills" level without a snowmobile and without incurring any 
      damage.
   *  Described the advantages of entering the leopard pit near the end of the 
      Catacombs of the Talion level.
   *  Described an improved way of dealing with the snowballs near the end of 
      the Catacombs of the Talion level.
   *  Described a well-known damage-free way to get one of the Mystic Plaques 
      in the Floating Island level, thus resulting in a perfect damage-free 
      level.
   *  Identified a Xian Guard that you don't need to fight in the "Dragon's 
      Lair" level, thus simplifying that level somewhat.
2.50      Sometime between 2010 and 2012 inclusive, I guess.
   *  Added information in the "Bartoli's Hideout" level provided by "Gareth" 
      about choosing between getting the Uzis and taking some shortcuts by not 
      retrieving the unnecessary Detonator Key.
2.51       14 January 2012
   *  Corrected mis-information about the boss at the end of the "Opera House" 
      level in response to information received from alert reader Kenneth
      Cabrera.
   *  Made other revisions in the guide necessitated by the above correction.
   *  Added a tip from Free Storage about how to avoid damage when retrieving 
      the Restroom Key in the "Wreck of the Maria Doria" level.
3.00	     30 June 2013	
   *  Re-wrote the introduction to allow for the fact that this guide in its 
      current incarnation is the result of input from MANY sources, to whom I 
      have hopefully given due credit.
   *  Slightly modified the strategy for the fight after passing through the 
      window in the Bartoli's Hideout level.
   *  Added a note about one place where loss of Health is unavoidable in the 
      Bartoli's Hideout level and therefore the impossibility of getting a 
      perfect level.
   *  Described a MUCH easier way of eliminating the elevated gunman in the 
      Opera House proper.
   *  Made note of an available (but not recommended) shortcut through the 
      Opera House level.
   *  Described a much less complicated way of dispatching the first gunman who 
      appears on the stage of the Opera House level.
   *  Added a third strategy for fighting the boss at the end of the Opera 
      House level and analyzed the relative merits of each option.
   *  Re-wrote instructions for the first battle in the Diving Area level to 
      better accommodate people playing a fresh game.
   *  Added the option of taking a well-known shortcut at the beginning of the 
      Tibetan Foothills level for adventurers who find a minor loss of life to 
      be acceptable.
   *  Added a tip for jumping across the first gap in the Catcombs of the 
      Talion level.
   *  Re-wrote the method for avoiding the snowballs near the end of the 
      Catcombs of the Talion level, advocating the "rebound" method that pretty 
      much everyone else seems to use.
   *  Made note of the items in the Guardian's cave at the end of the Ice 
      Palace level.
   *  Add a summary of levels which can and cannot be completed without loss of 
      Health and the reasons why.
   *  Fine-tuned the wording in too many other areas to list each separately.
3.10        13 October 2013
   *  Changed "avoidable fall" to "unavoidable fall" in my description of why 
      Level 10 cannot be completed damage-free.  You'd think that I would know 
      the difference.
   *  Thanks to alert reader "dkamm65," FINALLY found a way to avoid all damage 
      in the "Bartoli's Hideout" level.

Written by Bill Russell

The Tomb Raider series is (c) Eidos Interactive and 
The Playstation version is (c) Sony Computer Entertainment of America.

This FAQ is copyright 2004 -- Bill Russell

This publication is protected by United States copyright law.
It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly 
without advance written permission of the author. Use of this guide on any 
other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.  If you wish to post this FAQ or any portion of it to 
any other site, please write to me.  

Questions or comments can be sent to me at 

brussell15@austin.rr.com

PROVIDED that they conform to the guidelines stated in Section VI below.  
PLEASE read those guidelines before sending me anything.  Thank you!

===============================================================================

Table of Contents

I.    Introductions
II.   Tips, Tricks, and Tactics (DEFINITELY read this!)
III.  About Lara's Weapons
IV.   Index
V.    Before You Begin -- a VERY Important Decision
VI.   Walkthrough
VII.  Where Do I Go from Here?
VIII. Final Notes and Credits

===============================================================================

I.  Introduction:  

Tomb Raider 2 is the first game that I bought for my Playstation, and it 
remains my favorite action/adventure game.  I have probably completed the game 
at least 20 - 30  times, and after the first couple of times, I started looking 
for ways to add challenge to the game.  As I became more familiar with the 
game, I found that I used fewer and fewer health packs until one day I asked 
myself whether it was possible to complete the game and collect every single 
Secret without using any health packs at all.  It took some doing, but I found 
that this was indeed possible, and I thought that I would share my adventures 
with the gaming community.  So, if you, like myself, enjoy this game and would 
like to approach it with a different focus, give this challenge a try!

I definitely would NOT recommend that you try this your first time through the 
game.  This challenge is for the experienced player only.  I am therefore 
assuming that the reader has completed the game at least once and is familiar 
with the controls, enemies, weapons, puzzles, etc. Likewise, I will not attempt 
to describe every detail of the game.  For this, there are several other good 
FAQ's posted and I suggest you refer to those for particulars on how to proceed 
if you get stuck.  Likewise, I will not remind you to pick up items (you 
may not need the ammo and you definitely don't need the Medi Packs unless you 
just want to see how many you can collect).  I will assume that you want all of 
the Secrets, and I will remind you to get them when appropriate without 
necessarily detailing how.  Rather, the focus of my writings will be how to 
minimize damage to Lara so that she can survive each level without using any 
health packs.

In my "Overview" of each section, I will tell you approximately how much life I 
had remaining at the end of the level.  Factor this into your thinking as you 
read along.  For example, if I indicate that I survived the level with 50% of 
my life remaining and tell you in the walkthrough to strive for losing no more 
than 10% of your life in a certain encounter, figure anywhere from 10% - 20% is 
OK.  The reason I give these low numbers and finish easy levels with lots of 
life remaining is that it is good practice for the more difficult levels where 
we will have to conserve every minute fraction of life we can.  Take personal 
pride in every encounter you can survive without taking any damage at all--it 
will pay off later on.

Let me say for the record -- and this will become increasingly obvious as you 
progress through this guide -- I genuinely dislike having Lara lose health.  I 
take every decrease in her life bar as a personal affront to my gaming skills, 
and I often reload and replay sequences many times until I can avoid all damage 
even knowing that I will finish the level with 80% life remaining or more.  
Although it is not necessary for you to adopt this mania for perfection, I 
would like to suggest that it is something to strive for.  Most gamers can make 
it through the game from beginning to end.  Distinguish yourself by trying to 
complete the game taking as little damage as possible.  You get no superior 
weapons or accolades for doing this.  "All" you get is the personal 
satisfaction of having achieved something above and beyond the ordinary demands 
of the game.   In the end, that is worth more than any more tangible rewards 
that the game can give you.

One final feature that I added recently is a completely subjective difficulty 
rating for each level.  These ratings are based on a scale of 1 - 5 with 5 
being the most difficult, and I tried to allocate approximately an equal number 
of each rating.  I'm sure that many of you will disagree with my ratings, and 
that is fine (I myself would probably rate the levels differently if I were to 
blindly rate them tomorrow.)  Take these ratings as approximations of my 
perceptions and nothing more.

===============================================================================

II.  Tips, Tricks, and Tactics (DEFINITELY read this!)

*  You begin each level with full life.  Therefore, it is only necessary to 
   reach the end of each level alive.
  
*  Mercifully, you can save your game anywhere, any time.  USE THIS TO YOUR 
   ADVANTAGE!  Save just before any major encounter and, if you sustain an 
   unacceptable amount of damage, just re-load the game and try again.  (You  
   will do this a lot!)  Unfortunately, the Playstation version only allows you
   to save one game at a time, so be sure that you have done your best before 
   saving and proceeding.  In the interest of avoiding excessive repetition, I 
   will NOT constantly remind you to save - when in doubt, just do it!

*  When you have accomplished something significant and want to save your game,
   retreat to a safe place and be sure that your environment is peaceful and 
   stable before you save.  It is really annoying to save your game and then,  
   as soon as you exit the menu and start playing again, have Lara immediately
   get shot by someone you didn't see before.  Be certain before you Save.

*  Remember that eliminating enemies takes priority over collecting dropped   
   items.  I can't tell you how many times I've had Lara bend down to pick up 
   dropped ammo only to get blasted by a final enemy I had forgotten to 
   eliminate. The dropped items aren't going anywhere -- clear the area first, 
   then pick up the loot.

*  This may seem really obvious, but proper use of the "Look" button can be 
   very helpful.  It allows you to see around corners (and sometimes, due to 
   glitches, through walls), thus telling you exactly where your enemies are 
   and when they are going to be within your sights.      

*  Know where enemies will appear and, just as important, what triggers their 
   appearance.  You will sustain much less damage when you can fight one enemy 
   at a time.

*  Likewise, know the movements of your enemies, especially those with 
   firearms.  Generally, Lara is much more agile than these guys, so use this 
   to your advantage.  When confronted by an enemy with a gun, I generally will 
   run directly towards him, firing as I approach, then run past him, execute a 
   roll, and continue firing.  Most enemies are VERY slow to turn and will 
   continue firing in the direction from which Lara came, giving you adequate 
   time to take them out.  If necessary, you can run past the enemy and roll 
   again.  Henceforth, I will refer to this technique as the "Run and Roll" 
   technique.  This is also effective on enemies without guns who are 
   encountered in confined spaces.

*  Unarmed enemies who come towards you can be efficiently dispatched by 
   hopping backwards while firing.  This delays their approach and often kills 
   them before they have a chance to reach you.  Henceforth, I will refer to 
   this method as the "Backhop" technique.  If you run out of room when 
   backhopping, you can run and roll past them or, if you are near water, dive 
   in and wait for them to pass before trying again.

*  When an enemy is on a higher level than you, it is often possible to hide 
   behind some kind of shield -- a trench or pit, for example -- then leap up 
   vertically and fire as soon as Lara targets the enemy, then drop back down 
   behind the shield before the enemy has a chance to target you.  Henceforth, 
   I will refer to this method as the "Vertical Leap" technique.  You may want 
   to use the Look button to be sure that your enemy's back is turned when you 
   jump, though, as some enemies can target you during the short time that you 
   are vulnerable.

*  When none of the above strategies are effective and Lara must confront an 
   enemy face to face, have her jump from side to side while shooting.  Lara is 
   an excellent shot while jumping but her enemies are generally much less 
   accurate.   

*  Finally and perhaps above all, if you try something repeatedly and it just 
   isn't working for you, your best option usually is to take a break and come 
   back and try again later.  You'd be amazed how often you will be successful 
   on one of your first couple of tries after taking a break.  We are trying to 
   accomplish something that is pretty difficult, so it is natural to become 
   frustrated.  Be patient, get away from the game for a while, come back 
   refreshed, and things will often go much more smoothly.

===============================================================================

III.  About Lara's Weapons

Eventually, Lara will have 7 different weapons from which to choose, and each 
has its particular strengths and weaknesses.  Knowing these strengths and 
weaknesses will help you make the best choice of weapons as you proceed.  
Below, I will detail each weapon for you, describe its particular 
characteristics, then at the end of the section, I will summarize my findings.

I had always thought that all hits with bullets inflicted the same amounts of 
damage, but some experimenting that I did recently proved this not to be the 
case.  For example, the automatic pistols inflict exactly twice the damage per 
hit as the regular pistols do.  Also, different weapons can fire at different 
rates.  For purposes of comparison, I called the firing rate and damage rate 
for the pistols a simple "1" and rated all other weapons relative to this 
value.

I realize that this is somewhat out of order, but if you are uncertain about 
what I mean when I mention a "fresh" game or a "continued" game, please refer 
to section V of this FAQ.

*  Pistols -- Firing rate = 1 (360 rounds/minute); damage = 1
   
   Advantages:  Unlimited ammunition -- you don't have to worry about 
   conserving ammo.

   Disadvantages:  Second lowest ranking in terms of maximum possible damage 
   per minute.  You really only want to use the pistols when either you have no 
   other option or when you are in absolutely no danger of taking any damage 
   while you are plugging away at your enemy from a safe location.

*  Automatic pistols -- Firing rate = 1 (360 rounds/minute); damage = 2

   Advantages:  Inflicts twice the damage per hit and per minute as the regular 
   pistols.  These represent a much better option than the pistols, especially 
   before you find the Uzis.  In a "fresh" game you get these pretty early (the 
   second level).  In a "continued" game, there is not much reason to use them 
   because the Uzis offer a much better option and are available with unlimited 
   ammunition from the very beginning of the game.  The exception to this rule 
   is the "Offshore Rig" level, where you get these weapons back before you get 
   your Uzis back, therefore forcing you to use the Automatic pistols.

   Disadvantages:  In a "fresh" game, you need to conserve ammunition. In a 
   "continued" game, they are outclassed by the Uzis.

*  Uzis -- Firing rate = 2.5 (900 rounds/minute); damage = 1

   Advantages:  The Uzis have the fastest firing rate of any weapon and for 
   most purposes represent your best all-around weapons.  Hit rate is nearly 
   100%, even when Lara is jumping or running, making the maximum possible 
   damage per minute very high.

   Disadvantages:  Damage rate per hit is low (same as regular pistols), 
   meaning that you have to score a lot of hits to take down most enemies.  In 
   a "fresh" game, ammunition must be conserved.

*  M16 -- Firing rate = 1.25 (450 rounds per minute); damage = 3.0

   Advantages:  High firing rate, unmatched range, and exceptional damage per 
   hit make the M16 your best weapon in terms of possible damage per minute.  
   Although its firing rate is only half that of the Uzis (this makes sense, 
   since you are only firing one weapon and not two), the damage per hit more 
   than makes up for this.  The most important characteristic of the M16, 
   though, is its extraordinary range.  With the M16 equipped, Lara can get far 
   enough away from enemies with guns that they cannot target her, yet she can 
   target them.  This is a HUGE advantage in a game where we are trying to 
   minimize damage.

   Disadvantages:  The biggest drawback to the M16 is that Lara cannot fire it 
   while moving.  Thus, in many major battles, it has limited use because Lara 
   must evade enemies while firing.  We can temper this disadvantage in some 
   battles by blasting advancing enemies with the M16 until they get too close, 
   then switching the Uzis and blasting while running.  In addition, ammunition 
   for the M16 is very scarce, so in a "fresh" game one must be especially 
   careful to conserve ammo.

*  Shotgun -- Firing rate = 0.16 (56 rounds/minute); damage = 3.0

   Advantages:  The above statistics are somewhat misleading.  Lara can fire 
   just less than one shotgun shell per second, but each shell counts as 6 
   rounds fired.  Of these 6, the number that actually hit depends very much on 
   distance -- at close range, she can score 6 hits per shell, at a distance 
   she may score only 1.  Notice that each hit does as much damage as an M16 
   round.  Thus, at close range, the shotgun can do a lot of damage, making it 
   very effective for "Run and Roll" maneuvers.

   Disadvantages: From a distance, the shotgun is not very efficient.  The low 
   hit rate and slow firing rate quickly diminish its effectiveness.  As with 
   most weapons, ammunition in a "fresh" game is at a premium, so you will want 
   to use the shotgun sparingly.  Overall, you will not use this weapon in very 
   many battles, but when you do use it, you will find it very effective.

*  Grenade Launcher -- Firing rate = 0.09 (34/minute); damage = 30

   Advantages:  I think that the damage stat says it all.  No other weapon 
   comes close to the grenade launcher's damage per hit.  This is why, in a 
   "continued" game, the grenade launcher is your default weapon.  With this 
   weapon equipped, Lara can only target enemies within a certain range, but, 
   as we shall see, she can still use grenades to eliminate enemies that are 
   too far away to target.  In a "fresh" game, this is going to be 
   indispensable.

   Disadvantages -- The firing rate says a lot, but the problems with the 
   grenade launcher go far beyond this one low stat.  Grenades are launched 
   rather slowly and in a straight line, meaning that unless your enemy is 
   running directly towards you (or standing still), the grenade will likely 
   miss its target.  This makes grenades very hard to aim, especially if you 
   are trying (as described above) to take out an enemy who is too far away to 
   target.  Like the shotgun, the grenade launcher is irreplaceable in certain 
   fights, but more often than not, its sheer power is outweighed by the 
   greater accuracy and speed of the Uzis.

*  Harpoon Gun -- Firing rate = Varies from 0.07 - 0.19 (See below); 
   damage = 4.0

   Advantages:  The harpoon gun is the only weapon that Lara can fire when she 
   is swimming.  The damage rate per hit is surprisingly high.

   Disadvantages:  Even in the water, the harpoon gun is next to useless.  It 
   is ridiculously difficult to score a hit, its range is very limited, and 
   firing rate is the lowest of any weapon.  The damage per hit has to be high 
   because it is very unlikely that you will ever hit anything with this piece 
   of garbage anyway.  In most cases, it is much easier to lure a swimming 
   enemy to a place where you can pull out of the water and use guns than it is 
   to try to kill it using the harpoon gun.  If you want to really make 
   yourself crazy, try playing a "continued" game where you use no weapon other 
   than the harpoon gun.  After about 5 minutes, you will want to shoot your PS 
   and kill this game forever -- just don't shoot it with your harpoon gun 
   because you will be unlikely to actually hit it.

   Interesting note about the Harpoon Gun:  It operates differently in a Fresh 
   game than it does in a Continued game.  In a Fresh game, Lara can get off 4 
   shots before reaching back to grab more ammo and reload.  More specifically, 
   she reloads whenever the number of harpoons remaining is a multiple of 4.  
   Thus, if you have 21 harpoons, Lara will fire one, then reload, then fire 4 
   more before pausing again to reload.  In a Continued game, however, Lara has 
   to reload every time that she fires it, reducing the firing rate 
   considerably.  I had never noticed this until alert reader "Free Storage" 
   called it to my attention.

As promised, here is a chart summarizing the above information.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Weapon      |Rounds/minute |Max hits/minute |Damage/hit  |Max damage/minute|
==============================================================================
| Pistols     |     360      |       360      |     1.0    |        360      |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Automatics  |     360      |       360      |     2.0    |        720      |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Uzis        |     900      |       900      |     1.0    |        900      |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| M16         |     450      |       450      |     3.0    |       1350      |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Shotgun     |      56      |       336      |     3.0    |       1008      |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Grenades    |      34      |        34      |    30.0    |       1020      |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Harpoon gun |      70      |        70      |     4.0    |        280      | 
| (on land)   |              |                |            |                 | 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Harpoon gun |      60      |        60      |     4.0    |        240      | 
| (in water)  |              |                |            |                 | 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Harpoon gun |      25      |        25      |     4.0    |        100      | 
| (continued) |              |                |            |                 | 
==============================================================================

Alert reader "Free Storage" sent me some corrections to the weapons 
information, and those corrections are reflected in the above chart.  

The bottom line here is that when you can use the M16, you should.  It beats 
all other weapons in terms of damage per unit time, and it is pretty much 100% 
accurate.  For close up work, the shotgun is hard to beat.  It can level most 
enemies with just a couple of blasts.  If you have to be on the move and need 
some distance between you and your enemy, the Uzis are probably your best 
choice.  Even though grenades look a little better in terms of maximum possible 
damage/minute, the key word here is "possible."  The low accuracy of the 
grenade launcher makes this number very difficult to achieve in most combat 
situations.  Overall, the greater accuracy of the Uzis makes them the clear 
choice over the grenade launcher for most situations.  

===============================================================================

IV.  Index

To jump to the walkthrough for a specific level, click on "Edit" then "Find", 
type in the level number (e.g., "L01" without the quotation marks), and either 
click "Find Next" or hit the "Enter" key. 


Level 01 -- The Great Wall                             L01
Level 02 -- Venice                                     L02
Level 03 -- Bartoli's Hideout                          L03
Level 04 -- Opera House                                L04
Level 05 -- Offshore Rig                               L05
Level 06 -- Diving Area                                L06
Level 07 -- 40 Fathoms                                 L07
Level 08 -- Wreck of the Maria Doria                   L08
Level 09 -- Living Quarters                            L09
Level 10 -- The Deck                                   L10
Level 11 -- Tibetan Foothills                          L11
Level 12 -- Barkhang Monastery (The Easy Way)          L12E
Level 12 -- Barkhang Monastery (The Hard Way)          L12H
Level 13 -- Catcombs of the Talion                     L13
Level 14 -- Ice Palace                                 L14
Level 15 -- Temple of Xian                             L15
Level 16 -- Floating Islands                           L16
Level 17 -- The Dragon's Lair                          L17
Level 18 -- Home Sweet Home                            L18

===============================================================================

V.  Before You Begin -- a VERY Important Decision

You need to be aware that if you have already completed this game at least 
once, you will need to choose which of two different versions of this game you 
are going to play in attempting your "No Health Packs" run.  I will outline 
your choices and the advantages and disadvantages of each below.

Your first possibility is to start a new game (henceforth, I shall refer to 
this as a "fresh" run.)  This version of the game will be identical to the 
version that you played when you first got the game.  That is, you begin with 
only your pistols and shotgun as weapons, and you will have to find (and 
ration!) other weapons and ammunition as you progress through the game.

If your memory card already contains a completed game -- one that you 
completely finished, waited through the closing credits, and then saved after 
all that -- you have a choice of choosing "Continue" (or if you have already 
powered down the console, you can choose "Load Game") and beginning the game by 
simply loading Level 1 (The Great Wall).  Henceforth, I shall refer to this as 
a "continued" game.  The advantage of playing a "continued" game is that you 
begin the game with all of your weapons and unlimited ammunition.  Sounds like 
a pretty sweet deal, doesn't it?  Unfortunately, there is a catch.  When you 
play a "continued" game -- and I only just discovered this recently (June 2006) 
-- the enemies are going to be harder to kill.  To be more specific, each enemy 
can endure roughly TWICE as many hits as in a "fresh" game.  For example, do 
you remember that very first tiger that you have to kill in the first level?  
In a "fresh" game you can take him down with 22 hits.  In a "continued" game, 
it takes 43 hits to level that same enemy.  The final boss (the Dragon) can be 
defeated in a "fresh" game with 300 hits or 10 grenade hits.  In a "continued" 
game, it requires 600 hits or 20 grenade hits to kill him.

You would think that the advantage of having all weapons and unlimited ammo 
would outweigh the disadvantage of having to pump twice as many rounds into 
each enemy.  I mean, it isn't as if you're going to run out of ammo, right? 
Well, in the early levels I would more or less agree with this logic.  However,
in the later levels more durable enemies means that the battles will 
necessarily last longer, and in some cases this can be a REAL problem.  For 
example, you do not want to have to dodge an attacking Xian Guard any longer 
than you have to.  I have recently played the game both ways, and I am 
convinced that overall a "fresh" game is noticeably easier than a "continued" 
game, and would therefore be more suitable for your first attempt at a "No 
Health Packs" run.  Although admittedly it is very nice to have the M16 at the 
beginning of the game, the unlimited ammunition is of limited usefulness, since 
I have found that the amount of ammo that you pick up during the game -- 
especially if you pick up all of the Secrets -- is more than sufficient for 
your needs.  I will leave this decision to you, but my personal belief is that 
the faster your enemies fall, the less life you are going to lose.    

When I originally wrote this walkthrough, I was playing a "continued" game. 
Consequently, you may find some of my strategies unnecessarily elaborate.  For 
example, I originally eschewed the use of grenades because I found that killing 
anything required two of them.  However, if you are playing a "fresh" game, you 
may find that a single grenade is very effective against many enemies, 
especially those who are charging at you very quickly.  To cite another 
particular, at the beginning of Level 17, I recommend pumping M16 rounds into 
an attacking Xian Guard, then switching to your Uzis, running past the enemy, 
and continuing the battle.  It turns out that in a "fresh" game, that last part 
is completely unnecessary, because you can finish the Guard with the M16 before 
he gets to you.  

With this new knowledge in hand, I had to decide how to address the two 
differing levels of difficulty in my FAQ.  After some consideration, I decided 
that it was best to leave my narrative as it is -- describing strategies for 
the harder ("continued") game.  This way I feel that you, the adventurer, are 
prepared for the worse case scenario, and that it will be easier for you to 
adjust my suggested strategies down in difficulty than it would be for you to 
crank them up.  In some situations -- particularly in levels 2 - 6 -- I have 
added notes for those of you who are playing a "fresh" game and need to defeat 
enemies without the use of the M16.  Otherwise, I will leave it to you to 
adjust my suggestions to meet your particular needs.

Enough of this chit-chat--let's grab the controller and play this game.

=============================================================================== 
 
VI.  Walkthrough

Level 01 -- The Great Wall (L01)

Overview

This level is so short and easy that I did not bother writing about it in my 
original FAQ.  However, I had some time on my hands recently and added this 
section for your reading enjoyment.  It is very possible to finish this level 
with Lara's life 100% intact, and you should keep that as your goal as you 
progress through it.  Although occasional minor damage in this level will not 
prevent you from attaining your "No Medi Packs" goal, it is important for 
future levels to begin developing the mindset that almost all damage can and 
should be avoided.  This way, when you really need to play a near-perfect level 
(as you will need to do in the not-so-distant future) you will have the skills 
and the patience to do so.  So, let's give it a try -- see if you can rack up a 
perfect level here.  Difficulty:  1/5

Stayin' Alive

Run into the water, roll, and take out the tiger.  Climb the rocks, collecting 
a Secret on the way up.  There will be another tiger below that you can waste 
if you so desire, but there is no reason to do so.  Climb up into the structure 
and fall through the collapsing grate into the water.  Throw a switch, go 
through the door and kill three very durable birds.  Slide down the rocks into 
the water, swim into a tunnel for a key, and climb out to kill a tiger.  When 
the tiger gets too close to you, just jump back into the water.  If you do so 
without taking any damage, save your game.  If the tiger damages you, reload 
the game and try again.  When you have eliminated the tiger without sustaining 
any damage, use the slimy looking green rocks to climb back up and open the 
door with your new key.  Stand in the doorway to kill three spiders, then climb 
the ladder to eliminate a fourth and get another key.  Open the door and kill 
four more spiders, three in front of Lara and one behind her.

Move the block, slide down the ramp, and take a sharp left when you hit the 
water.  Jump up and shimmy right, then drop, roll, and swim under the disc-
shooting machines (that are powered by what?) to pull out in the opposite 
corner, beyond these machines. Walk up to the collapsing floor, save, and pause 
because this next sequence can be tricky.  Run across the collapsing tiles and 
take a sharp right.  When the camera angle changes on you, I suggest hitting 
the L1 "Look" button to put it back to normal so that you can see to jump over 
the spikes and slide down the ramp.  If you are willing to bypass the ammo 
sitting there (as I would suggest), then you can simply side jump left once and 
climb safely out before the spiked walls close in on you.  Keep trying this 
sequence until you get everything right and suffer no damage at all.  Then walk 
up to the next collapsing tiles and save and pause again.

The next sequence is probably the toughest in this level, and you have to do it 
all at once.  Start by executing three consecutive running jumps over the 
swinging blades.  The ceiling is low here, so you have to be fairly close to 
the swinging blades when you hit the Jump button.  Hit the brakes long enough 
to pick up the not-very-secret Secret, and run down the right side of the hall 
to avoid the spiked walls and slide down the ramp.  It can take Lara a moment 
to recover from the fall down the ramp, but if you immediately hit the "Roll" 
button, she will recover much more quickly.  REMEMBER THIS TRICK -- you will 
want to use it many more times throughout the game.  Head for the collapsing 
tiles and fall down to the next area.  As an alternative, you can roll onto the 
ramp and slide down backwards while holding the X button to make Lara grab onto 
the bottom edge of the ramp.  She can then safety drop down and side jump right 
onto the collapsing tiles.

Walk carefully up to the Medi Pack, jump back, then go to the far left to get 
past the rolling blades.  Run around the open area until you have killed four 
or five more spiders.  Drop over the edge onto the moss-covered rock, then 
shimmy right and pull up.  Follow the path, descend the ladder, and save at the 
entrance to the large open area.  The first T-Rex is triggered when you are 
roughly even with the second skeleton, so advance close to that point, roll to 
trigger the T-Rex, and run back to the safety of the little cave through which 
you entered the area.  From here you can blast the dinosaur safely.  Remember 
that if you get too close to the opening, the T-Rex can get to you, so play it 
safe and be patient.  When the beast moves no more, go to the far end of the 
area to claim the third Secret (and, if you are playing a "fresh" game, the 
grenade launcher that you are going to need in the Opera House level as well). 

Another T-Rex will be waiting for you when you turn around, but it can't harm 
you in this sheltered area, so blast it back to extinction and return to where 
you entered the area.  Climb back up the ladder, drop down, position Lara in 
front of the hand trolley, and save.

As you ride the trolley down, carefully note the positions of the two tigers 
that await you and adjust your drop to the ground accordingly.  If both are in 
the cave in front of you, drop off early and just face them and blast away.  If 
one of them is close to the cliff edge, then land between them, roll, and 
charge at the one closer to the cliff edge while firing.  Then when the first 
one is finished, roll and take out the second one, being careful not to run, 
roll, or backhop off the edge.  When both tigers are sleeping peacefully, make 
your way to the door for a quick video and a very satisfied feeling for 
completing the first level without using any Medi Packs.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 02 -- Venice (L02)

Overview

This is the first level with enemies that can shoot at you.  It can be 
relatively short and easy (especially if you capitalize on one of the game's 
glitches.) In fact, I completed it in less time than level 1 took me.  
Therefore, you should use this level to practice the basic survival strategies 
that will be essential in later levels.  Remember to save after every 
satisfactory battle.  You should be able to complete this level with at least 
two-thirds of your life remaining.  (December 2008 update -- With a little 
patience and a little luck, I was able to complete this entire level -- 
including the optional stuff that only opens unnecessary gates -- while 
suffering no damage, so a perfect level IS indeed possible.)  Difficulty:  3/5

Stayin' Alive

When you get about halfway down the first alley, a dog will appear.  Shoot it 
while hopping backwards.  In the open space ahead of you, there is a sniper 
above you and to your right.  Run out and to your left, roll, and take him out 
with your M16 if you have it; if not, pistols work just fine.  If you have to 
use your pistols jump from side to side while shooting and you will suffer MUCH 
less damage.  Slowly enter the alley opposite the sniper to lure ONLY the dog 
towards you, and do the backhop maneuver on him.  Slowly go down the same alley 
again to lure out a club-wielding thug, and kill him, again by backhopping.  

Run forward, dive into the canal, swim under the boathouse door, climb out to 
your right and flip the switch.  Return to the hut you passed on the way and 
climb the ladders to the top.  Shoot out the glass and beware of the dog in the 
passageway.  If he appears before you jump inside to room, you can use the 
Vertical Leap technique on him.  Otherwise, just go in, lure him out, and do 
your Backhop move.  You may retrieve the boathouse key from the sniper 
(although it really isn't necessary), then back inside you flip a switch, shoot 
out another window, jump to the awnings, go left to flip a switch, and dive 
into the water.  You can now either unlock the boathouse and motor through the 
opened doors or, if you are interested in conserving our natural resources, you 
can simply swim through them.  However, be aware that if you open the boathouse 
and jump into the water to get to the boat, a gunman will appear on the deck 
opposite the boathouse.  With a little patience, you can take him out from the 
platform where you inserted the boathouse key without taking any damage, or you 
can swim to the far end of the walkway, pull up out of the water, and use the 
"run and roll" technique to take him out.  The only reason to fight this guy is 
to get the automatic pistols that he drops, but if you already have them, it is 
probably safer and healthier to swim. AT THIS POINT YOUR LIFE BAR SHOULD BE AT 
OR VERY NEAR 100%.

In the next area, collect the two Secrets and kill some rats.  If you brought 
the boat, you will want to drive it through the large metal doors (near the 
glass window) and leave it there.  There is only one gunman in this area, and 
he is in the room with the glass window.  As soon as you step on the window 
ledge, he will come from your left, so run into the room from right to left 
with pistols drawn and firing, and take him out with the Run and Roll method.
With luck, you will take no damage at all.  Flip the switch, swim under the 
now-closed metal doors, flip another switch in the water, and motor or swim 
into the next area.

Here, you have a choice of going right or left.  To your right, the canal takes 
a bend to the left, and at this bend is a very bad man patrolling the dock with 
a gun.  Isn't it a shame that you can't shoot him from your boat?  Instead, you 
must swim carefully to the edge of the dock, pull up when he is walking away 
from you (use the "Look" button) and take him out by the Run and Roll method.  
You'll take some hits, but don't feel bad -- you made it this far completely 
unscathed.  Keep trying until you lose no more than about 15% of your life, 
then Save.  Dive back into the canal and take the first right (under the 
clothesline), then left and a quick right, and another left.  Swim fast and 
deep past the opening on your right, for in here is another gunman who can hit 
you as you swim past if you dally.  Turn left and run up the ramp to collect 
the third Secret and a mess o' ammo.  We now want to return to take out the 
gunman we passed on the way.  Quickly swim under the door as near to the 
surface as possible.  Turn sharply left, pull up onto the ledge, and fire away.
It is possible to take him out without being hit at all, but taking a couple of 
hits in acceptable.  Swim over to the ledge where he was standing and face the 
switch in the middle of the wall.

You now have the option of capitalizing on one of the glitches in the game and 
going directly to the end of the level.  The switch in front of you opens the 
doors at the end of the level.  If you have a boat (as the game designers 
intended), re-entering it will start a chiming clock, and you must race to the 
doors before the clock stops chiming.  (You actually cannot do this at this 
point because we did not open all of the necessary passages that create a short 
enough route for you to reach the doors in time.)  However, since we did not 
open the door to this area and thus couldn't get a boat in here, the clock does 
not chime and you can merely swim to the exit with no time constraints!  There 
is one minor hitch.  It seems that you MUST swim UNDER the door when you exit 
this area.  If instead you go over the wall, the clock will begin to chime and 
the doors will shut before you get there.  If this happens to you, all is not 
lost.  As soon as the doors close, you can hit the switch again (re-opening the 
doors at the end of the level) and exit under the door, and the glitch will 
work for you.  So, if you want to go directly to the end of the level, just 
swim under the door and retrace your steps (strokes?) by going back under the 
door, then left, right, left, right (under the clothesline), left (past the 
dead guy), right (past the door where we entered this area), then right and 
straight ahead past a gunman (who will inflict some damage, but so what?), 
through the mines, and through the doors, ending the level.  The amusing thing 
about this approach is that even though you swam through the doors and never 
even used a boat, when the next level begins, Lara is in a motorboat!

If you are the "honorable" type (or if you are playing a "fresh" game and want 
the extra ammunition that you can collect from the additional fights) and feel 
that taking the above shortcut is cheating, here's how the designers intended 
for you to slug your way through the rest of the level.  Return to the point 
where you entered this area, but this time take the left fork instead of the 
right one.  Climb onto the boxes and jump onto the awning.  There is an 
overhead walkway ahead, but as soon as you touch it, a dog and henchman appear, 
so jump over, backflip back to the awning, and fire away.  Jump back to the 
walkway, look ahead and to the left and you will see a gunman.  If you have the 
M-16, use its superior range to pick him off. Otherwise you can use your 
pistols but be aware that when he is within range of your pistols, he can hit 
you as well!

Another gunman lurks in the courtyard to your right, but he won't appear until 
you enter the courtyard (you'd think that the guy would come to investigate all 
that gunfire but, lucky for you, he's not very good at his job.)  Use the Run 
and Roll method to take him out while sustaining virtually no damage.  Open the 
door, drop down into the pit, and throw the switch.  This releases another 
gunman above, so quickly climb out, wait for him to come into the room with 
you, and use Run and Roll to minimize the damage that he does.  Your Life bar 
should still be at about 75% or more.

You can now use the nearby boat to ram the gondolas and blow up the mines in 
front of the doors to the exit.  Swim (since your boat is no longer seaworthy) 
back past the first guy you killed in this area (back, then left, then left 
again) only this time instead of going right, go straight to the end, then 
right.  You will see a dock area and some gondolas.  Pull up onto the near end 
of the dock and a guy with a club will appear.  Shoot him until he gets too 
close, then jump back into the water and repeat until he croaks.  Enter the 
room from which he came, shoot two rats and throw a switch.  Go back into the 
water and take the narrow passage to your left (just in front of the gondolas) 
and then turn left when it ends.  Climb onto the dock and go through the open 
door (do not retreat here because another gunman appears to your right as soon 
as you climb out) and grab the key.  You will hear a barking dog and there is 
also a guy with a club up here.  There are two possible ladders you can climb -
- the one that is to the right of the corner will make you pull up into the 
room and the other will force you to backflip off the ladder.  I find the one 
to the right is much better.  Once your feet hit the ground, roll, draw your 
weapons, and fire while hopping backwards.  (Remember to release the X button 
to switch targets when one enemy is down.)  You may take some damage, but 
should still have well over half of your life left.  

Throw the switch to open the door.  There is a gunman pacing the walkway below 
you, but you can actually hit him from up here!  Draw your weapons and stand 
with your face against the brick wall opposite the switch with your left foot 
in front of the crack between the brick wall and the wooden door.  Take one 
step backwards and rotate counterclockwise about 45 degrees.  When the gunman 
appears through the crack, Lara will target him and can shoot him!  To make 
things even better, he appears unable to hit Lara from this position.  You may 
have to hit the "Look" button to get the cameras aimed right, but once you get 
in position, you can safely take him out, even with your pistols.

You must now return to the area near the overhead courtyard and open the door 
behind the guy you snipered from the walkway.  This will release a gunman.  You 
can either Run and Roll or jump back into the water, swim back to the boxes 
near the awning, and pick him off safely from there.  When he is dead, go 
inside and flip a switch to raise the last gate, completing the "shortcut" to 
the exit. 

Why did you put yourself through all the grief of the last five paragraphs?  
Why, so you could have all the "fun" of a very frustrating race against time to 
the exit in your boat.  If this is your idea of a good time, get in your one 
remaining seaworthy vessel, motor back to the switch that opens the exit doors 
(you will need to smash the other gondolas on your way), and race through the 
narrow passageways to the exit before the clock strikes twelve.  The path is 
well documented in other FAQ's - have a great time.  Me, I'm ready to move on 
to . . .

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 03 -- Bartoli's Hideout (L03)

Overview

This area is heavily defended, and you will experience a couple of encounters 
with multiple enemies who threaten your health simultaneously.  We will use 
some more creative means to minimize our damage here while continuing to 
practice and perfect our basic moves.  Our goal will be to lose no more than 
half of Lara's life.  One jump is going to result in an unavoidable loss of a 
tiny amount of life, so a perfect level of zero damage is simply not possible. 
However, you can strive to make that one jump your only loss of life in this 
level.  Difficulty:  3/5. 

Stayin' Alive

Drive your boat to cover the roughly 20 feet from the end of level 2 to the 
dock (this reminds me of Steve Martin in "LA Story" driving his car from his 
house to his next door neighbor's house).  Get on the dock and shoot 2 rats in 
front of the door and 2 more back to the left where the stairs go up.  Shoot 
the guy who comes down the stairs to your left, then climb up, killing 2 more 
rats on the way.  Throwing the switch will open the doors and release another 
(unarmed) thug, so be ready to take him out when he heads up the stairs towards 
you. None of these encounters should threaten your physical well-being.  

Peek through the now-opened doors and all seems peaceful within, but looks can 
be deceiving.  Draw your weapon (M16 if possible) and take one step onto the 
tiles -- a gunman magically appears on the balcony to the right, so take him 
out quickly.  You can afford to take one hit from him.  Switch to automatic 
pistols and venture in a bit further, and another gunman will appear under the 
same balcony.  Run straight in, using the right front column to shield you, and 
you can run up behind him and use the Run and Roll to best him taking no more 
than one hit.  Having cleared the area of evildoers, you can proceed to the 
area to the left of the entrance, pass the statues with swords, and throw the 
switch.  If you are in need of ammo for your automatic pistols, blast out one 
of the two windows to the glass-enclosed room, terminate the two charging 
hounds, and pick up the small medi-pack, which also comes with some flares and 
some ammo.  (How those dogs got in there is a mystery to me.  Were they put in 
there and then sealed in when the ornate windows were installed?  And what, 
pray tell, is the point of having a room with no entrance or exit?  Oh, well -- 
enough musing for now -- on with our quest.) 

Make your way to the balcony, climb the ladder, and save.  If you go outside, a 
gunman will appear on a balcony to your right.  Put your back against the 
ladder wall and position Lara so that she appears to straddle the step up to 
the outside balcony.  If you do this correctly, Lara will be able to target the 
gunman but will run very little risk of being hit.  When he goes down, the 
coast is clear and you can go from balcony to awning to balcony to platform.  
Stop on the wooden platform rather than jumping over to the orange awning, and 
Save your game.

It has taken me years to find a way to enter the opening below without taking 
any damage, but I recently (October, 2013) received an email from "dkamm65," 
who described for me in detail the following strategy.  Center Lara at the 
forward edge of the wooden platform, then hop back.  Rotate her to the left so 
that she is aimed towards the opening below.  Run towards the edge of the 
platform, but just before Lara reaches the edge, hit Roll and then hold left on 
the d-pad.  You aren't actually trying to make Lara roll -- you will only see 
her flinch slightly before going off the edge.  Apparently, though, hitting 
Roll tricks the game into thinking that she leaves the platform from a lower 
elevation than she actually does, thus allowing her to fall into the opening 
damage-free!  This may take you a few tries, but once you get the hang of it, 
this method works pretty much every time.  Be sure to draw your weapons as soon 
as you land so that you can eliminate the two dogs that charge down after you, 
but if you can avoid damage from the fall, avoiding damage from the dogs is 
easy.    

When you enter the room upstairs, a gunman appears, but give him the old Run 
and Roll and suffer nary a scratch.  Grab the Secret here and then go back to 
the room and shoot out the window.  A gunman is going to appear outside as soon 
as you land on the windowsill.  If you have the M16, you can jump onto the 
sill, then quickly backflip, roll, and run back out the door and pick him off 
from the hallway, out of his range for hitting you.  Otherwise, do your Run and 
Roll and settle for minor damage.

Go along the outside balcony to the next window where you will face a real 
challenge.  Stepping inside this seemingly empty room will trigger a dog and a 
guy with a club in front of you as well as another guy with a club behind you! 
The dog and the first club guy will be to your right, so instead of running 
into the room, stand on the window sill and side jump in so that you're facing 
your aggressors.  Fire as soon as Lara locks onto a target and you should 
finish off the first two enemies before you reach the back of the room.  Now 
roll (so that you are more or less facing the second club guy) and hop back a 
step or two while firing, and the last guy should go down.  In a continued 
game, you may want to use the grenade launcher for extra stopping power, since 
you don't have a lot of room to operate here.

Go through the fireplace, kill a rat, jump over the blade, and jump over the 
burners with one long running jump and two standing jumps in quick succession.  
Stepping from the wood floor onto the bricks will open the door in front of 
you, revealing a gunman and two dogs within.  You can gain a small advantage on 
the gunman (who is obviously your primary target here) by hopping back into the 
far corner after triggering the door.  With luck, he'll go down without ever 
hitting you.  You are now free to swing amongst the chandeliers, throwing 
switches and killing rats as necessary.  There is one club-wielding henchman 
amongst the rafters, whose presence is triggered by your proximity to a brick 
wall.  Take him out by backhopping, but be careful not to hop over the edge to 
a grisly and untimely demise.  Make your way outside, jump into the water, 
retrieve the Secret, and unlock the library door.

When the doors close behind you, you are confronted by your first foe, who 
fortunately is armed only with a club - easy pickings for someone with your 
training.  Going topside and throwing a switch, however, releases a gunman.  Go 
below and wait for him behind a corner - you can Run and Roll without taking 
any damage from him.  

From here you are supposed to make a short but dangerous trek to pick up the 
Detonator Key.  I say "supposed to" because this item is absolutely unnecessary 
for completing this level.  If you skip it, you avoid two of the most dangerous 
battles in this level.  However, the price that you pay is that you also miss 
collecting the Uzis until later in the game.  I will walk you through how to 
get the Detonator Key, but be aware that this is completely optional.  If you 
want to proceed without the Key, just skip the next 4 paragraphs to the one 
that begins with, "Back inside . . ."  

Go through the door and climb the bookcases.  To avoid taking any damage 
getting to the opposite balcony, slide backwards down the awning, grab the 
edge, then pull up and backflip to the balcony.  From there, make your way onto 
the wall.  If you want the Uzis, you can pick them up now by making a quick 
sidetrip to the roof of the hut.  Go to the far side of the roof near the 
chimney, and you can jump to a small ledge to your left, which will lead you to 
a shallow pool of water containing your new weapons.  Climb up the ladder and 
drop into the water on the other side. 

Make your way to the corner of the walkway, which is the only place near the 
hut that you can pull out of the water.  Pull up and cautiously enter the room, 
knowing full well that doing so will trigger a gunman inside -- can you say, 
"Run and Roll"?  Grab the Detonator Key from the table.  

Returning to the door across the water, you find yourself a sitting duck, for 
as soon as you try to pull up out of the water, the door opens and a bad guy 
starts shooting at you.  Equally bad, he blocks the doorway so that you can't 
run past him easily.  What to do?  Well, approach by land rather than by water.
Go back to the deck across the water and take a running jump (while holding X) 
to the step in front of the door.  Aim your jump as far to the left as you can 
-- it seems to make it harder for the gunman to shoot you.  As soon as you 
land, backflip into the water.  If you can make it back into the water without 
being shot (and you are certain that you are not ABOUT to be shot,) SAVE! Swim 
back to where you can pull up onto the wooden deck.  With luck, the gunman will 
be running around the courtyard, giving you time to grab your M16 and pick him 
off from a safe distance.  If you don't have the M16, that's OK too.  Jump and 
backflip as described above, staying close to the door you want to enter (if 
you swim away from it, the gunman can hit you while you're under water.)  Use 
the "Look" button to find an opportune moment to pull up, run into the area, 
and execute a "Run and Roll."  I took maybe one hit from him, knocking my life 
down to 70% or so - an acceptable number for this far into the level.  Best of 
all, he coughs up a large Medi-Pack which you can use to -- oh wait, we aren't 
using those, are we?  Never mind.

If all of that is too complicated, try the direct approach.  Run and jump to 
the step as described above (to avoid the time delay of pulling up out of the 
water), but immediately pull your weapons and do a "Run and Roll."  The gunman 
will score a hit or two (even before the door opens, it seems), but if you can 
squeeze past him in the doorway, that should be the extent of the damage that 
you take.  

Back inside a real challenge awaits you. Throwing that last switch inside opens 
a door to a room, and entering that room releases not one but TWO gunmen 
simultaneously.  To minimize damage, divide and conquer.  Look into the doorway 
and find the dividing line between the dark wood doors and the lighter wood 
walls within.  When you cross that line, you will trigger the gunmen.  Stand a 
little in front of that line and execute a roll into the room, then retreat 
into the room with the bookcases.  Soon, one of the guys (but probably not 
both) will come after you, and you can do a Run and Roll to take him out.  If 
you took no more than one hit from him, save, and then wait for his buddy to 
show up and give him more of the same.  You will probably take some damage -- 
my life meter went down to about 60% -- but the good news is that the worst is 
behind you for now and you are very near the end of the level.

Run along outside now, swim, kill a rat, pull up onto the wall, shoot out a 
window, and retrieve the third Secret (did you ever wonder if Lara made her 
fortune investing in a glass company?)  At this point, you are supposed to go 
to the opposite side of this area (where you entered) and use the Detonator Key 
to activate the detonator, but there is really no reason to do this.  It turns 
out that you can exit from here to the next level without blowing up the wall, 
and blowing up the wall activates a gunman who can be troublesome to eliminate. 
To end the level now, exit from the room with the third Secret, turn right, and 
go all the way into the corner.  Rotate 90 degrees clockwise to face the wall 
of the room you were just in, hold Up and Action (jumping doesn't seem to 
work), and you should be able to pull up onto the roof.  From there, just 
follow the path to the end of the level.  (Special thanks to alert reader 
"Gareth" who reminded me that the Detonator Key is unnecessary.}  

If you want to complete the level "honestly," return to where you entered the 
area and activate the detonator.  The noise will activate a gunman overhead to 
your left.  Since the level is nearly over, you can afford to take some damage 
from him. If you want to try to avoid damage from this gunman, sidejump left 
underneath the brick ceiling as soon as you activate the detonator.  You will 
be sheltered for the time being, so if you got there without being hit, save.  
Equip your automatic pistols (or your shiny new Uzis) and with your back 
towards the wall, inch slowly to your right.  When you are ready, sidejump 
right and watch for Lara to target the gunman.  Sidejump left and right on the 
ledge while firing.  Depending on where the gunman is when you start firing, 
you will either a) get hit and have to reload and try again or 2) take him down 
without being hit.

You may have wondered whether it is possible to access the balcony with this 
dead gunman, and in fact it is.  I encourage you to make your way over there if 
you are interested in collecting absolutely nothing, because that is precisely 
what is waiting for you there.  The efficiency-minded explorer will make his 
way directly through the rubble and wreckage created by the blast and will 
proceed ASAP to the end of the level.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 04 -- Opera House (L04)

Overview  

This level will put your life-conserving techniques to the test.  It is 
definitely the hardest of the first seven levels.  Not only will you encounter 
numerous enemies with guns -- often two at a time -- and suffer considerable 
damage from an unavoidable fall (thus negating the possibility of a perfect 
level), but you must also save up a good deal of life for a final up-close-and-
personal boss encounter with a pretty tough boss.  If you are playing a 
continued game, you will be fortunate to survive with 10% of your life 
remaining.  Sound like fun?  Well then, let's get down to it.  Difficulty:  
4/5.

Stayin' Alive  

There is a gunman just beneath the platform where you land.  Jumping to the 
brick square to your right will give you a clear shot at him but, 
unfortunately, it will put you within his sights as well.  Back all the way up 
so that Lara's back is against the sloped block and use the Look button to 
monitor the gunman's position.  When you see him moving away from you, run 
forward enough that Lara can target him and, with a little luck, he will go 
down before getting off even a single shot.  Dive into the canal, and take a 
brief detour to grab the Magnum clips dropped by the gunman below.  Climb the 
ladder to the left, throw a switch, and return to the starting point of the 
level, where a new challenge awaits you.  Avoiding the swinging box (Has anyone 
told these game designers about the impossibility of perpetual motion?), you 
must draw your guns, jump through the opening in front of you, get to your 
feet, and Run and Roll the guy with the club.  The fall alone will knock about 
20% off your life, so keep re-doing this part until you can completely avoid 
being hit by this lug.  As you head up the stairs, the dead guy's evil twin 
comes down them, but simply Backhop and he won't lay a finger on you.  Continue 
up the stairs and return again to the level's beginning.

Go left, shoot the window, walk through the broken glass, climb ladders, and 
cross the rickety roof until you come to the portal to the room with the dome 
protruding from the floor.  There is a gunman patrolling the dome, and he can 
be picked off from here.  If he shoots you first, reload the game and 
try again.  Drop from the portal, but have Lara catch herself and pull back up 
without touching the ground.  This will release a guy with a club and 2 dogs, 
all of whom can be dispatched with your pistols.    

On the far side of the dome, there are two guys with guns coming around 
clockwise.  If you have the M16, just wait on the ground directly below where 
you entered and use your range advantage to waste them. (BTW, these guys CAN 
move counterclockwise and come around behind you, but they rarely seem to do so 
if you stay on this side of the screen.) If you don't have the M16, you can 
wait in the recessed corner more or less below where you entered the room and 
wait for the gunmen to come around the corner.  You can try to Run and Roll 
them with your shotgun, but there isn't much room to get around them.  If you 
want to play it safe, two grenades (one in a fresh game) should do the trick. 
You can actually survive these encounters with NO additional damage if you 
practice, and, may I add, it is very satisfying to do so.

Completely irrelevant but somewhat interesting aside -- In this particular part 
of the game, I have twice encountered a really strange bug in the game.  
Occasionally, when I have killed a gunman when he was standing on the dome, the 
deceased enemy, rather than falling to a prone position, as any decent dead 
person would do, remained in an upright position.  That is, he looked for all 
the world as if he were still alive, except that he did not move or shoot and 
Lara would no longer target him when she approached with weapons drawn.  It was 
kind of spooky, really.  Anyway, back to our story . . .

Jump past another physics-defying box to throw a switch, releasing two enemies.
Make the one with a gun your top priority.  Standing on the box in the pit (the 
one that OBEYS the laws of physics), you can monitor his movements and jump up 
and shoot him when his back is turned.  It may sound cowardly, but he would do 
the same to you if given the chance.  Then waste the guy with the club and 
enter the new area.

Throw some switches and climb some ladders to get to the opening above the 
opera house.  Hitting the floor will bring a gunman from your left, so wait for 
him against the wall, then Run and Roll.  There are two dogs in the hallway to 
the left -- waste them now to clear that hallway.  

I pause to note that there is a "shortcut" that you can now use to skip to the 
end of the level if you so desire. This shortcut involves bending a jump around 
a pillar that is supposed to block your access to the last stage of the level 
but, true to Tomb Raider form, does a less-than-perfect job of doing so.  
Frankly, unless you are trying to set a speed record for completing the level, 
I see no earthly reason to do this.  For me, the purpose of playing video games 
is to confront challenges and devise ways to dealing with them.  Skipping 
portions of the game just deprives you of your very reason for engaging in this 
pastime in the first place.  One could argue that you could save even more time 
by never powering up your gaming console in the first place, but I do realize 
how absurd that notion is.  As your guide through this adventure, I shall give 
you this information and trust you to use it wisely.  

Trigger the overhead sandbag so it doesn't fall at an inopportune moment, then 
slowly head for the doors at the other end of the hall.  Here we have a 
problem, for when you get close to these doors, they open and release a dog and 
a gunman.  Stand near the last pillar before the doors and execute a roll (to 
trigger the door opening), then run like crazy back to the hall where you 
killed the two dogs (jumping also helps avoid enemy gunfire).  If the fates are 
smiling on you, the dog will get there first and you can take him out, then lie 
in wait to Run and Roll to the demise of the gunman.

Head towards the doors that just opened, take a left, and jump across the gap 
to the square piece of floor.  From here you can take out two dogs and a club-
wielding henchman through the square gap across which you jumped (pistols work 
fine).  Jump back across the square hole and rotate 90 degrees clockwise.  
Across the way and down one level is a gunman who is going to plague your 
existence until you remove him once and for all.  If you have the M16, you can 
just stand in front of the square hole and waste him with your awesome weapon's 
superior range. If not, you can still take him down with relative safety.  The 
gold railing that you are facing looks like an elongated letter "C" with a 
serif  at the bottom.  Stand against the railing in the middle of the section 
that is at the bottom of the "C" [insert your own underwater joke here] and 
pull out your Uzis.  When the gunman moves out from under the balcony and is 
close enough to you, Lara will target him, allowing you to finish him off from 
here.  Keep in mind that you are NOT safe here!  If the gunman is within your 
range, then you are in HIS range as well.  If he stops to shoot at you, hop 
backwards as quickly as possible.  If you get hit, just reload and try again.  
You could use lesser weapons here, but I recommend the Uzis because it takes 
about 50 rounds of ammo to level him, he doesn't spend a lot of time in Lara's 
range of fire, and it can become rather boring waiting for him to wander into 
that small area where you can hit him.      

Make your way down to the floor and approach the water, which will cause the 
arrival of a gunman on the stage to your right.  If you have the M16, he is 
easy pickings.  If not, run up to the water's edge, pull out your pistols, and 
shoot while side-jumping.  As usual, if you get hit, just reload.

Swim over to the block in front of the stage.  Don't stop and wonder what 
a pool of water is doing inside an opera house -- just remind yourself that 
this is Venice and there are canals everywhere.  Pulling up onto the stage will 
trigger a dog from your left and a gunman behind you.  Run to the right rear 
corner of the stage, but watch out for falling sandbags and don't go too far, 
lest you trigger the arrival of the goons who await you in the next room.  
Roll, take out the dog, then release the X button and fire some more to take 
out the gunman. Don't bother swimming over to inspect his corpse for booty.  
Somehow, this guy can shoot at you but isn't carrying any ammunition.  Go 
figure.

Go in the direction from which the dog came (I'll call it left), and throw a 
switch.  To the right, there are two club-wielding thugs who are easily 
defeated by Backhopping.  Make your way to the top of the room, killing a rat 
on the way and being wary of heavy falling objects (Geez -- why wasn't this 
place condemned and torn down years ago?  It's a major safety hazard!)  Jump 
into the newly-opened hole in the floor and thank your lucky stars that the 
basement here is flooded because the water cushions your fall.  The easy way to 
be sure that you land in the water is to slide backwards down the ramp while 
holding the X button so that you grab the edge.  At the bottom, pull up and 
backflip into the water.  Get a Secret, throw a switch, grab a relay box and 
head up the ladder.  Go up one level, return to the hallway with the two 
(recently deceased) canines, use the relay box to activate the elevator, climb 
the ladder to the Secret (and the UZIS if you don't have them yet), take the 
elevator down, and prepare for one of the biggest challenges yet. 

A couple of steps past the elevator, you will be attacked simultaneously by two 
guys with very rapid firing guns.  I found no way to trigger them separately, 
and there is no place to run or hide. This is a prime example of how much more 
difficult a "continued" game is than a "fresh" game. If you are playing a 
"fresh" game and still have some grenades left, you can sidle along the left 
wall, blast the first guy as soon as Lara targets him, and then rotate left and 
give the second gunman more of the same.  It costs you two grenades (which you 
will be able to replenish at the end of this level anyway), but with a couple 
of tries you can survive with zero damage.

If you are playing a continued game, this battle is MUCH more difficult.  If 
you choose to use grenades (which you won't), it takes two grenades to take out 
each gunman.  By the time you launch four grenades -- even if they all hit 
their targets (which they won't) -- these gunmen will make mincemeat out of 
Lara.

I had my best success with sidling against the left wall and blasting the one 
coming from the right with the Uzis until he went down.  Just about then, his 
buddy appeared from the left, and I was able to take him out using the Run and 
Roll technique without taking a single hit from him.  However, the first guy 
shot Lara many times before she could take him down, and after this encounter, 
my life bar was just below half.  

Send the elevator up so that you can dive into the water, retrieve the circuit 
board, and start climbing out to dry land, killing a rat en route.  At the top 
will be a gunman, a dog, and two rats.  If the gunman makes frequent passes by 
you, you can use the Vertical Leap trick, but he tends to go past once and then 
wait for you off to the far right.  You should be good enough to take him out 
with Run and Roll without getting hit.  The rats and dog are easy pickings (if 
the dog gets too close, just hop back into the water and try again.  It is 
time-consuming but remember that our motto here is, "Safety First".)

Follow the hall, shoot some very decorative glass, drop down, open a door, and 
jump some fans, retrieving a key and a Secret in the process.  When you jump 
off the slope, have your pistols ready for the vicious rat that comes from the 
left. Open a door, stack some blocks, and climb out of here, pausing at the top 
to kill the guy with the club.  Return to the rat-and-dog carnage, and climb up 
and out.  The first gunman that you shot from the railing with your Uzis left 
behind some ammo for your automatic pistols, and you can pick that up while you 
are up here.  Then open the door and return to the control room to install the 
soggy-but-apparently-still-functioning circuit board.  Throw the switch on the 
right and the curtain will rise, revealing another roving gunman.  Enter the 
opera house area as before and pick him off with the M16 (if you have it) from 
as far away as possible.  Alternatively, you can nail him by shooting while 
side-jumping as you did the first time you were here.  If you take any damage, 
just reload and try again.  

Clearly you need to go through the small door on the stage, but you are 
equally sure that perils await you there.  For openers, there is another 
overhead sandbag to trigger and avoid.  This really clutters the entrance, 
making it hard to maneuver, but fortunately Lara is very agile.  Walk to just 
past the fallen sandbag and execute a roll to trigger two guys with clubs and 
two dogs.  This is no time for heroics -- we have a major battle just ahead of 
us -- so jump forward twice, off the stage and into the water to avoid these 
enemies.  Swim back until you can plant your feet and draw your weapons, and, 
as you blast these guys to kingdom come, suggest to them that it would have 
been worth their while to have learned how to swim.

Pull a box twice, throw a switch, climb to the top, jump a square hole, and 
throw a switch.  You will see a guy with a club below you, but there is really 
no reason to go down there and fight him.  Do an angled jump to the FRONT of 
the slope to the right, then run past the sandbag and Save your game at the 
edge of the opening.  You are approaching the final encounter of this level, 
and it's a doozy.  

When you cross the plane of the opening, you will be pursued by two dogs, a 
gunman, and the level boss, who shoots you with two large guns simultaneously.  
The gunman is triggered when Lara goes nearly all of the way to the end of the 
passageway immediately in front of her, so we want to avoid going there until 
we are ready to deal with him.  We want to take out the canines first, so that 
they won't-- well -- hound you while you are battling the boss.  Jump down and 
head down the right passageway, but do NOT go more than halfway down that 
corridor lest you release the gunman.  The dogs should appear one at a time, 
allowing you to mow them down handily.  Roll and head back to where you dropped 
down.  The Boss should approach you from far end of the same aisle where you 
just took out the dogs.  You want to fight him in the big open area so that you 
have some room to maneuver. If the gunman accompanies him, you might as well 
reload your game, because you really can't fight them both at the same time.  
However, if you were careful not to release the gunman when you were fighting 
the dogs, this shouldn't be a problem.  Switch to your shotgun and wait for the 
Boss to round the corner, then give him the old Run and Roll.  He has an 
annoying tendency to wander off, but don't pursue him -- he'll be back.  Just 
wait for him there and keep running behind him and shooting him in the back.  
Once he goes down, if you have at least 10% of your life left, you can safely 
Save.  You can now switch back to conventional weapons (or not) and go trigger 
and hunt down the gunman and take him out at your leisure.

For the record, it IS possible to fight this battle without touching the 
ground, and there are at least 2 ways to do this.  This first method was 
suggested by alert reader Kevin McDonald.  From the opening above the room, 
make a diagonal running jump to the boxes to the right.  This will trigger the 
Boss and the dogs.  It is entirely possible to take out all three from this 
perch without taking any damage at all!  Notice that I said "possible." 
Depending on where you stand and where the Boss is, he may or may not target 
you and fire at you.  As long as he is in one of the two corridors, he tends to 
leave you alone, but if he gets into the aforementioned open area and faces 
you, he will most likely fire.  You do have a certain amount of mobility up 
here, so it isn't that hard to get out of the way if he starts firing at you.  
However, the camera angles make your visibility just awful, so it is difficult 
to see where you are going when you move.  Once you take out the Boss and the 
dogs, you can move to the end of the corridor, trigger the gunman, and waste 
him as well.  Be aware that the gunman is not nearly as reluctant as the Boss 
to shoot you from your perch, so act decisively when he appears.  You should 
definitely try this method at least once, but be prepared to reload your game 
and try again if you get hit multiple times.

The second method is considerably safer.  As you did before entering the area 
with the dome, have Lara drop, grab, and pull up again before retreating a step 
into the opening.  If she gets shot before pulling back up, you can reload the 
game and try again.  I had my best success doing this drop from the left side 
of the opening as Lara is facing into the room.  This drop will trigger the 
boss (only), and he seems to be unable to target Lara as long as she is back a 
step from the front of the opening.  This allows you to just stay put and pop 
him with your pistols until he goes down.  You can then save your game, jump to 
the ground, and continue clearing the area of evildoers as described in the 
second paragraph above.

Here's my analysis of your options.  Kevin's method is less reliable than the 
"dangling" approach, so if you're looking for easy, I would go with the second 
strategy.  However, it isn't like you're going to finish this level unscathed 
anyway.  This may seem like a strange statement from someone who preaches 
avoiding damage whenever possible, but assuming that you have sufficient life 
remaining, I'm inclined to get down on the ground and shoot it out with these 
guys.  Fighting this battle builds your fighting skills, isn't all that hard, 
and is actually kind of fun.  You are going to fight a nearly identical enemy 
at the very end of the game anyway, so getting down and taking a few hits is 
good practice.  The choice is yours, dear reader, but you should try to win 
this battle honestly at least once.  Whatever you decide to do . . .         

You still need to climb/jump on the boxes and throw an elevated switch at the 
front of the room.  Doing so will release one more gunman, but you should be 
able to pick him off from your elevated perch (if you have the M16) or you can 
drop down and do a Run and Roll (if not).  Exit the level through the door at 
the back, and congratulate yourself on surviving a lot of gunfire without 
having to use a single (or half) Medi-Pack.  Nice job!  (March 2010 update -- 
In a 'fresh" game, I fought this final set of battles on the ground (as opposed 
to using Kevin's above-ground method) using only pistols and managed to take 
zero damage.  In fact, the only damage that I took in the entire level was from 
the unavoidable jump through the opening at the beginning of the level.  My 
point is that with a little practice, this battle is not all that hard and, in 
fact, it can be fun!) 

(Special thanks to alert reader Kenneth Cabrera who correctly pointed out that 
the boss in this level is not, in fact, Bartoli (Marco Bartoli is the guy in 
the sunglasses), but rather just "the Boss.")

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 05 -- Offshore Rig (L05)

Overview

This level seems relatively easy after the mayhem of the Opera House level.  
You begin the level with no weapons, but you also seem to face fewer enemies 
with guns, so overall, especially if you enjoy swimming, this level can be kind 
of fun.  It is entirely possible to play a perfect level and complete this 
level with full life (if you want an additional challenge.)  Difficulty:  1/5.

Stayin' Alive

Move the box, throw the switch, and escape from your cell (what kind of idiot 
locks a prisoner in a room that contains a switch that opens the door?)  Dive 
into the water, pull the switch near the fan, and swim down the passage until 
you can surface for air.  Throw the switch and swim back for the Secret, then 
return here.  

Pull up out of the water and follow the passage back outside.  Run and jump 
over the gap (beware of gunfire from within), then drop down and push the 
switch.  Swim into the plane's opening and push another switch.  Now retrace 
all of your steps from the underwater passage to dropping down next to the 
switch, only this time run, jump, and grab onto the plane and pull up.  Drop 
through the hatch and reclaim your pistols.  Swim back to where you first dove 
into the water and pull out to confront a guy with a club and a guy with a gun.
I took out the club guy first, then dove into the water and pulled up next to 
the door.  When the gunman came out, I did a Run and Roll and killed both 
enemies without suffering any damage.

Use the yellow key card to open a new passage, push the switch to turn off the 
alarm, and follow the path to the right.  When you open the hatch and enter the 
room, a rig worker attacks from BEHIND you.  Roll into the room, sidejump 
right, then left to lure him to the side (firing all the time), then run like 
mad back to the switch that turned off the alarm.  You now have room to Backhop 
and take him out without ever getting hit.  Return to the hatch and the room 
beyond.  Another guy with a club awaits you in the next room, but you have 
plenty of time to kill him before he ever gets close.  Open the hatch, roll 
into the room, run back out and onto the ramp, and Backhop up the ramp to kill 
another guy with a club.  Head back into the bunk area and reclaim your 
automatic pistols and get a really useless harpoon gun.  Push a switch and do 
the timed run up and out the top of the room.

Slide BACKWARDS down the ramp, climb down the ladder, move some boxes, and jump 
over the burners (the purposes of which are unclear) to climb up a ladder.  A 
guy with a club awaits you in a long and narrow space at the top.  Your auto 
pistols should finish him off just before he reaches you.  Climb up the ladder 
for a Secret (and some fresh air!), then return to the path.  When it 
terminates, you will find yourself above a familiar pool of water.  Dive in, 
climb out, go outside, jump the gap, blast out the window, and take the left 
path inside.  A dog and a gunman await -- try to fight the dog first, then Run 
and Roll the gunman.  When I finished them off, I still had 100% of my life.  

Side jump to avoid the oil drums, then use the red pass card and Save.  When 
you enter this room you will have a gunman to your left, a guy with a club to 
your right, and, just to make things interesting, another club guy behind you.  
The good news is that the gunman and the club guys are triggered separately.  
Look at the floor ahead of you.  The floor in the doorway is a solid bluish 
gray, and the floor beyond that is a lighter blue with yellow lines.  Stepping 
onto the solid bluish gray floor will trigger the gunman only.  You should be 
able to waste him easily from the doorway.  Save your game.  Now roll onto the 
striped flooring to trigger the other two enemies and run back out the way you 
came in.  Start firing as soon as you turn to the right, run past the first 
guy, then roll and backhop to finish him off.  His friend will be close behind, 
but you should have plenty of time to finish him off before he gets to you.  
(Thanks to Kevin McDonald for contributing this tip, making a pretty hairy 
battle relatively simple and risk-free.)      

Push the block into position, jump up into the overhead passageway, and take 
out a guy with a shotgun. (He was walking away from me and never even got off a 
shot.  You'd think that getting shot in the back would be enough to make him at 
least turn around and see what was going on, but apparently these guys were 
hired for their muscle, not their mental acumen.)  Throw the switch in the 
control room to fill the pool, backtrack to the room with three corpses, then 
take a nice refreshing dip in the lovely green water(Ewwwww -- let's hope that 
it is water!) and pull up on the other side.  Throw the switch around back, 
swim back across the pool, and return to the control room.  

Drop down into the new area and go left.  There are two armed frogmen in the 
water, but this is one of those rare instances where they are within your 
range, but you are out of their range.  Shoot them until they float so that 
they will cause you no further grief.  Start following the overhead path, 
looking carefully around each corner before proceeding.  When the first gunman 
walks away from you, jump around the corner shooting, take him out, and reclaim 
your shotgun.  The next two enemies carry shotguns which seem to lack the range 
of your pistols, because I was able to take them both out without them even 
firing a shot.  Follow the path to the end, where the green pass card sits on 
display in a non-bulletproof glass case that might as well bear a huge sign 
reading "STEAL ME".  Do so.  

Dive into the water, and go to the pillar with the Secret, being aware that 
pulling up here will trigger the arrival of two guys with clubs (don't bother 
asking yourself where they were prior to your arrival.)  Pull up in front of 
the Secret, then run all the way across the base of the pillar and into the 
water on the other side so that you trigger both henchmen.  You can now swim 
over to the next pillar and take them out in a leisurely fashion.  Go back for 
the Secret, then swim to the pillar diametrically opposite the one with the 
Secret.  Climb the ladder and proceed clockwise until you come to the overhead 
Exit (just after the third jump.)  There is a guy with a club at the bottom of 
the square hole.  You can drop down and take your chances or, if you are going 
for that perfect level, you can waste him from up here.  Dangle from the edge 
of the square hole, then immediately pull up, draw your guns, and blast him 
when he comes to investigate.  It will take a couple of repetitions, but it is 
perfectly safe.  When he is toast, use the green key card in the control room 
(see if you can figure out where it goes).  Throw the switch that transfers the 
green water-like substance, then dive in and follow the passage to the end of 
the level.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 06 -- Diving Area (L06)

Overview

This area is very much like the previous one both in length and in difficulty.  
Overall, if you have been practicing the basic techniques you can avoid nearly 
all damage in this level.  In fact, if you are playing a "fresh" game, it is 
entirely possible to have a perfect level and sustain no damage whatsoever.  In 
a "continued" game, a perfect level may or may not be attainable, but finishing 
with about 85% life remaining is a realistic goal.  Difficulty:  2/5.   

Stayin' Alive

Notice that if you are playing a "continued" game, you now have ALL of your 
weapons back, even though you did not find the M16 or grenade launcher in the 
last level.  Sweet!

Jump to the ladder, throw the switch, dive in, and pull a switch.  Take a long 
swim past the fan for some grenades, then swim back and pull out.  Head down 
the corridor but when you come to the end of the metal flooring.  When you step 
onto the blue flooring, a dog and two guys with guns will come from your left.  
If you have the M16, side jump into the space so that you will be facing them 
and pick them off.  If not, jump forward to draw them towards you and then 
retreat about halfway down the hallway.  The dog should arrive first and should 
succumb to the power of your pistols quickly.  Equip your shotgun, return to 
where the flooring changes color, and Run and Roll the two gunmen as they 
arrive.  There are two thugs with clubs across the way.  Pick them off now with 
your pistols if you can.  If not, you can take care of them during or after 
your crossing to the other side.  Slide down to get the Secret, then slide and 
jump across the toxic liquid.  Climb up a REALLY tall ladder and back up to the 
left side of the hole in the floor.  

You are about to put yourself in one of those unavoidably disadvantageous 
positions because there is a guy with a gun waiting for you on a ledge just 
below the bottom of the ramp.  You can't dangle and wait (he can shoot you) and 
you can't drop down and shoot him from below, so to a certain extent you have 
to depend on luck.  You have at least two options here.  Slide down the ramp 
(backwards!), then drop, grab, and pull up and take him out as quickly as 
possible.  If you are patient, you will eventually drop down just as the gunman 
turns his back, allowing you to pull up and waste him before he gets off a 
single shot.  If you are not trying for a perfect level, 10% loss of life is 
acceptable.

Alternatively, the safety drop bug from Tomb Raider 1 can be effective here.  
Slide down the ramp, but instead of dropping and grabbing, pull up, and when 
you start to slide back down, press and then quickly release the Action button, 
landing you on the ledge below the ramp facing the gunman without having to 
take the time to pull up.  It seems that this makes you vulnerable for less 
time, making it somewhat easier to take out the gunman without taking any 
damage.  

Go left, jump down to get the blue pass card, pull up, return to the LONG 
ladder, and return to where you iced the gunman.  Now go right and use the pass 
card, opening a way with many new playmates for you.  In particular, there will 
be two dogs to the right, and two dogs and a flamethrower guy to the left.  
Slowly inch to the right until the dogs appear and try to send them to doggy 
heaven without Backhopping (as this will only move you closer to the two behind 
you.)  Then roll and get the two dogs coming from behind you.  Finally, wait 
for the flamethrower guy and dowse his dreams of sending you up in flames.  
This was all pretty easy with the M16 -- with other weapons, it may take a 
couple of tries.

Directly opposite where you came in is a door with a wheel.  Open it and finish 
off the guy with the club by Backhopping up the stairs (he is triggered when 
you step on the last square -- the one that is level with the floor.)  Jump 
into the water and lure the frogman into the open area, then climb out and 
blast him (all the while wishing that you had a decent harpoon gun like his 
that fires fast and true and never seem to miss its mark instead of the 
worthless piece of crap that you got stuck with.  In fact, after Lara kills 
these frogmen, why on earth doesn't she take their guns so that she has a 
decent weapon to use in the water?  Okay -- enough griping -- back to the 
story.)  Now that the coast is clear, take a deep breath and swim a clockwise 
loop through the underwater passage, throwing switches as you go, and return to 
this pool. 

Go back to the main corridor and open the door that is 90 degrees clockwise 
(that's negative pi/2 radians for you mathematics fans) from where you are now.
Go up the stairs, being aware that in the room at the top are three enemies and 
two of them have guns.  Again, your M16 is your best friend -- it can take out 
all three without you getting hit even once.  Without the M16, lure the three 
thugs down the stairs and wait for them at the bottom, where you can Run and 
Roll them one at a time.  I managed to take out all three of them with my 
automatic pistols, and didn't get hit even once.  Go past the helipad and throw 
the switches and jump the burners to get the machine chip at the far end.  If 
you don't have the M16 yet, your life is about to change for the better.  Flip 
the right switch again to shut off the front burner, run and drop into the pit, 
and pick up the best weapon in the game.  Don't forget to climb back out and 
run to safety before the burner re-ignites.
     
Return to the room that is 90 degrees counterclockwise from you off the 
main corridor.  Pull the box, install the chip and a new area opens.  Run into 
the room with guns blazing to take out the rig worker coming at you and also to 
avoid the flamethrower who is coming from your left.  After the rig worker goes 
down, roll and shoot the flamethrower from across the pool, which is out of his 
range.  Push a switch and get a Secret, then swim into the underwater passage 
to lure out two frogmen.  Go to the far side of the pool, pull out, and side 
jump left and right while firing at them.  With a little practice you can 
escape this encounter unscathed.  Health check:  about 85%.

When both frogmen are floating, the coast is clear and you can swim through the 
passage and pull out of the water.  Use your pistols to take out the two 
hapless club-carrying henchmen, then climb up and throw the switch.  Another 
frogman will appear, so be ready to put some holes in his air tank.  Swim back 
and climb out of the pool, but be aware that when you opened the door you also 
released two thugs, one of whom has a gun.  Fight them straight up or wait with 
your M16 in the corner farthest from where they enter and blast them from 
outside the gunman's range.

You can now access the control room and flip a switch that allows you to cross 
to the saw.  Go behind the boxes and flip a switch, then head back to the main 
corridor.  There are two dogs and two gunmen somewhere in the area.  I'll do my 
best to describe where I found them, but be aware that their locations may 
vary.  When you exit this room, you will probably encounter a guy with a 
shotgun coming from your left.  The dogs and the other guy with a gun are 
probably on the stairs that go up to the helipad.  Run to that area and wait 
for them at the bottom of the stairs, and you can hopefully take them out one 
at a time.  When all four are down, go down into the recessed area past the 
helipad and prepare to drop down through the square hole.  Down below you will 
find a guy with a club (he came from my left) and a Flamethrower guy (who came 
from my right) in a rather cramped space.  I used two grenades on the club guy 
first (because he appeared first) and then turned and fired two more at the 
flamethrower, but this was probably overkill.  In a "fresh" game, your Uzis 
will take them out in time, so if you are quick this can be another "zero 
damage" encounter.  The level is nearly over and my life bar is still about 
75%.

Go back to the room with the pool, insert the machine chip to stop the machine 
-- the one you SAW earlier -- and while we're at it, wouldn't you expect 
inserting a machine part to make the saw operate rather than cease to operate? 
While you ponder that mystery, get the red pass card and return to the central 
area where I just used grenades.  Use the pass card to open the door.  A guy 
with a shotgun awaits you below.  If you are very lucky, Lara will target and 
take out this thug from above before he ever fires a single round at you.  If 
you are less fortunate, you can sidejump into the hole so that you are facing 
the correct way to Run and Roll this guy.  Proceed into a familiar area where 
you previously iced (from a distance) a couple of "hapless" guys with clubs.  
Gather the items they dropped, then exit this room, drop down into the water, 
follow the passage, and be prepared to shoot two guys with guns when you enter 
the open area.  Grab the Secret before approaching the guy on the ground and 
ending the level.  I finished with my life bar around 2/3 or so.  (Update June 
2006 -- on subsequent runs, I completed this level with 100% life remaining, in 
both a "fresh" run and a "continued" run.  It CAN be done -- try it!)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Level 07 -- 40 Fathoms (L07)

Overview

I really dislike this level!  Let me list the various reasons behind that 
statement.  First, you will die several times at the beginning just trying to 
find your way to safety.  Second, this level contains two really annoying timed 
"puzzles" -- one with burners and one underwater.  Third, it is easy to get 
lost in the rooms towards the end of the level as they all look pretty much 
alike.  Fourth (and worst of all) is that in nearly every enemy confrontation, 
you are at a severe disadvantage.  For example, since your harpoon gun is such 
a worthless weapon, you are unable to kill your aquatic enemies when in the 
water (unless you are willing to take LOTS of damage), so you have to resort to 
evasion.  Also, at the very end of the level you have to very slowly pull up 
out of the water and into a room where a guy with a shotgun is already blasting 
you before you can even get your feet on the floor.  Because of this last 
encounter, I have my doubts that a perfect level is possible here.  The only 
two good things about this level are a) that it is mercifully short and 2) that 
you can complete it with about half of your life remaining.  Let's get this 
thing finished!  Difficulty:  3/5.

Stayin' Alive

Follow the trail of debris to the ship and enter up by the anchor.  Surface for 
some air, then swim through the maze, throw a switch, and surface near some 
floating boxes, all while outswimming a shark (yeah, right!)  Swim down to 
throw a switch and exit through the opening near the top of the screen.  Look!  
A Secret just sitting there unprotected!  (If you believe that, I have a bridge 
in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell you.)  Crossing the plane of the ledge on 
which you are standing triggers a guy with a shotgun from your right, so be 
proactive and jump down there, run behind him, and give him what for!  Grab the 
Secret, open the trap door but stay topside.  Down below are two enemies that 
you can pick off from up here.  Be aware, though, that one of them has a gun 
and can hit you.  When the coast is clear, climb and jump your way into the 
next area.

Throw the switch to your left and run to the timed door before it closes.  Save 
your game, then swim down to get the Secret.  As mentioned in the Overview, you 
are at a real disadvantage here, having to out-maneuver 3 barracuda and a shark 
without getting any help from your worthless harpoon gun.  Try to make the 
round trip without getting nipped more than once.  My life bar was around 90% 
at this point.  

Back inside, pull up near a ladder-like object to throw a switch and prepare 
for the annoying burner race.  My best time-saving tip is this:  every time you 
throw a switch, immediately hit the Look button so that you do not lose time 
watching the cut scene showing you the effect of throwing that switch.  Okay, 
let's start.  Go fully clockwise around the hallway and through the door that 
you just opened.  Stand in front of the switch, and Save.  Throw the switch, 
then immediately hit Roll (and Look), and JUMP through the doorway. Turn left, 
left again, and jump over the barrier and to the right into the hallway with 
the burners.  Quickly throw the switch in the middle of the burners, retreat 
back into the hallway, take a right, and follow the hall all the way 
counterclockwise to jump through the doorway you just opened.  Throw the 
switch, roll, and run ALL the way clockwise back to the very first switch, 
jumping over barriers and through the doorway on your way.  Throw the first 
switch again, hit Roll, jump through the doorway, and you should have plenty of 
time to return to the burners -- all of which are now turned off -- and cross 
them to reach the switch at the end.   

When you make it across the burners, open the door, wade in the water, and 
shoot the approaching fish.  Now do the annoying swimming maze.  I would advise 
against getting the Secret just yet -- concentrate on getting safely to the top 
first, then Save and dive back down to get the Secret and race the fishies to 
the top before they gnaw your legs off.  There aren't many other life-
threatening encounters left in this level, so I Saved when I emerged with about 
two-thirds life remaining. 

Follow the path to the opening in the floor.  You can avoid damage from this 
fall if you shimmy all the way left before safety dropping down.  Drop down a 
level, pull a box, and throw a switch.  Climb back up a level, enter the 
opening at the top and throw another switch.  Drop down to the lowest level 
(the level with the box you pushed), go up through the hole right next to the 
one through which you just dropped down and make your way to the hole near the 
top.  Enter and throw a switch.  Go back down a level and head to the opening 
opposite the block you pushed.  Follow the passage to the now-flooded area.  

Near the bottom of this shaft of water, more or less directly below and 
slightly left of where you are standing is a tunnel that leads to the exit from 
this level.  This tunnel splits into two branches, and in the left branch is a 
very obstinate frogman.  Ideally, what you would like to do is lure him out of 
his tunnel, climb back to your current location, and blast him with one (or 
two) of your guns, but that is easier said than done.  First of all, the 
frogman seems perfectly happy to stay in his tunnel.  Secondly, even if you do 
manage to lure him out, his tendency is to either return to his tunnel or stay 
near the bottom of the shaft where miraculously he can target and damage you, 
but you cannot target him.  You have a couple of options here.  One is to lure 
the frogman into the shaft where you have some room to maneuver, get out your 
toy harpoon gun, and resign yourself to taking some damage from an enemy who 
has more agility, more firepower, and more oxygen than you.  At this point (Dec 
2008), I had a perfect level going, and I really hated giving that up because 
of a stupid frogmen.  It took me many tries, but eventually I lured the frogman 
out of his tunnel and near enough to the surface that I wasted him with my M16. 
To do this, I had to swim around the shaft with the frogman firing at me for a 
while.  This seemed to motivate him to follow me up to my perch.  Once I got my 
feet on dry land, I stood back a step or two from the edge, which seemed to 
make it harder for him to target me.  It took several tries, but eventually I 
got the frogman to float without taking any damage.

Sadly, this is as far as my perfect level went.  You must now swim down the 
tunnel where the frogman formerly resided and pull out of a hole into a very 
cramped room where a guy with a club and one with a shotgun are waiting for 
you.  I have tried many times, but I seriously doubt that it is possible to 
kill them both without taking any damage.  Even if you can pull out of the hole 
before the shotgun guy blasts you (he can even target you before you pull 
out!),  you still have to pull out, draw your weapons, roll to face the correct 
direction, and take evasive action in this claustrophobic room before the club 
guy starts beating on you.  Good luck with that.  Realistically, all that you 
have to do is kill them before they kill you, because once you take out these 
two bozos and throw the switch, you can enter the passage to end this level 
(and emerge a couple of feet later with your life miraculously renewed.)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 8 -- Wreck of the Maria Doria (L08)

Overview

We have a REAL problem here.  During this level you will necessarily take two 
falls which will combine to eliminate around 85% of your life (or so I thought 
originally  read on)!   You must therefore find a way to survive the rest of 
this very long level with much gunfire while losing no more than the remaining 
15%.  Sound challenging?  Well, we've been training for this for some time -- 
let's put our practice to the test. Difficulty:  5/5.


Stayin' Alive

There is a frogman in the pool ahead, and your first challenge is to prevent 
him from damaging you.  He is difficult to target from above, and if you try, 
there is a very high probability that he will injure you before you kill him.  
Using the M16, I managed to target him and dispatch him without getting hit, 
but in retrospect I think that I got lucky.  Rather than kill him, you can dive 
in to lure him out of the tunnel, pull out of the water, wait for him to swim 
to the left, and dive in again and hightail it for the end of the tunnel.  By 
swimming evasively up and down you can avoid all of his shots and surface 
unscathed.  Sometimes conflict is best resolved by nonviolent means.  If you 
use this strategy, be sure that he is not still firing at you from the water 
before you save.  Above all, remember that you cannot afford to take ANY damage 
here -- there is simply no margin for error in this level.

It is now time to take the first (and more perilous) of the two life-consuming 
falls.  

Update (July, 2008)  When I first wrote this guide, my advice for the upcoming 
fall said this:  "Slide backwards down the slope and grab the edge to safety 
drop to the breakaway floor, then let go and watch your life meter plummet as 
you fall to the level below."  I recently got a very nice email from "Gareth" 
who describes a way to take about 1/3 as much damage as following my original 
advice causes.  I am going to paraphrase his technique below.

You will notice that below the ramp is a grid of four breakaway tiles.  Using 
my method, you safety drop to one of them, wait for it to break, and then fall 
from there.  Gareth points out that it is possible to grab the edge of one of 
the tiles and safety drop from there, causing much less damage.  For 
descriptive purposes, let's number the tiles like this:

                                 ---------
                                 | 1 | 2 |
                                 ---------
                                 | 3 | 4 |
                                 ---------

Tiles #1 and #2 are the ones that are closer to Lara's initial position.  I 
will call the forward edges of the tiles the edges that are closer to Lara's 
initial position.

As before, slide backwards down the ramp and grab the edge.  Now shimmy all the 
way to one side (left worked better for me).  Lara is now above tile #1.  As 
soon as you hit the breakaway tile, roll so that you are facing forward.  Now 
quickly before the tile breaks, side-jump left to the adjacent tile (#2).  This 
buys you enough time to run forward while holding the "action" button and, 
hopefully, grab onto the forward edge of the tile in front of you (#4) before 
tile #2 breaks out from under you.  Be sure to release the D-pad as soon as 
Lara latches onto the tile in front of her so that she does not pull up onto 
tile #4.  Interestingly, she can hang from the edge of a breakaway tile 
indefinitely, but once she pulls up and stands on it, the tile will break as 
usual.  Now simply safety drop to the ground below. Since Lara falls a shorter 
distance (since she is safety-dropping from a tile rather than just dropping 
from it), she sustains considerably less damage.

Here are a couple of tips in case you are having trouble making this work.  
First, make sure that you are side-jumping in the correct direction -- it is 
easy to get turned around.  If you are jumping from 1 to 2 as I described 
above, your jump is to the left, not the right since Lara is facing you.  
Second, you have to begin your side jump from way over in a corner.  Otherwise, 
you will collide with a wall and won't recover in time to run forward.  Keep 
trying until you get this -- it is definitely worth it!  

This process should work equally well if you use the tile sequence 2 - 1 - 3 
instead of 1 - 2 - 4.  In either case, it will probably take you a couple of 
tries to get this right, but once you do, you have more than doubled the 
available life that you can lose through the rest of this level.  Although 
extreme caution through the rest of this level is still necessary, this life 
buffer really takes a lot of the pressure off.  Of course, if you prefer the 
greater challenge, try it the old way and see if you can make it through the 
level alive.  Good luck!

This life-saving trick is necessarily going to adjust my health estimates 
upwards.  From here on, I will state remaining life assuming that you DID use 
this technique (but I'll put in parentheses your health targets if you just 
dropped down the old fashioned way.)

(I now continue with my original narrative.) 

NOTE -- I hate to keep harping on this, but you must understand that you cannot 
afford to lose ANY life in this level, except where noted that such loss in 
unavoidable.  Trust me when I tell you that even so, you will barely make it 
through this level alive. Keep reloading and retrying until you can face each 
encounter perfectly.  If you are uncertain about whether or not you sustained 
any damage (wouldn't it be nice if we had a numerical display instead of just a 
bar?), do it again.  It is much better to repeat a single skirmish than to get 
the end, run out of life, and find that you have to repeat the entire level.

Stepping on the next raised level will bring uninvited guests.  Equip the M16, 
jump forward to trigger the bad guys' arrival, then backflip to get out of the 
gunman's range. (If you want to conserve M16 ammo, side-jumping while firing 
your Uzis works just as well.)  Keep an eye on your life meter.  If you suffer 
even one hit, reload and try again -- there is little margin for error in this 
level!  Cram all of the boxes into the left hallway, then go up into the hole 
in the ceiling at the other end of the room.  Run and Roll the guy with the 
shotgun who comes around the bend -- redo it until you suffer zero damage.  
Then give more of the same to the guy who sneaks up behind you when you reach 
the end of the duct.  Drop down to get the Secret, then backtrack to where you 
moved the boxes.  Stand up on the ledge and get ready for some major action.

As soon as you hit the floor below, you will trigger two guys with wrenches -- 
one in front of you and one behind you -- and a guy with a shotgun to your 
right on the other side of the wall.  To make things really interesting, there 
is also a sniper in the room on the second level and to your left.  You want to 
drop down, run into the room, take a hard right (running past the guy with the 
shotgun), roll, and fire like crazy with your Uzis.  It is actually possible to 
waste all three of these guys without taking any damage, so keep trying until 
you can do this.  Retreat to the safety of the previous room and Save, then use 
your M16 to take out the sniper.  

Now follow the wall to the end.  You will see a pit with glass on two sides.  
WALK to the FAR side of the pit, align Lara with the edge, and back up against 
the sloped ceiling as far as possible.  You can now run into the pit and over 
its lethal deepest part without taking any damage at all.  (Thanks to Tomb 
Raider maven Free Storage for this tip!)  Climb out and use the key in the room 
that was sealed off by blocks.  Push the switch, roll, and take out the guy 
with the wrench.  Push the switch inside the doors, and then GO BACK AND PUSH 
THE FIRST SWITCH AGAIN TO CLOSE THE DOUBLE DOORS!  If you don't do this now, 
you will get trapped later on.  Return to the Ballroom, then jump, grab, and 
shimmy past the door you opened, past the recently deceased sniper to the end 
of the path, then jump over to get the circuit breaker and return to the door 
you just opened. 

Open both doors with wheels and enter the one on the far right.  Pull a box to 
access a switch, throw the switch, then pull another box and use it to climb 
out of this room.  Pass through the next room, and around the next corner will 
be a wrench-carrying lug who needs to be stopped by Backhopping.  Move a box to 
get a key and access a switch to pull (a twofer!), then pull out of this room.  
Use your new key in the lock at the beginning of the hall and enter the new 
area.  Move the box on the floor in line with the others, then, from atop this 
row of boxes, pull the first box out and push the second one in to reveal a 
path to the right.  Get past the broken tiles and barrels, then climb into the 
hole in the ceiling (dodging another barrel) for the Secret.  

Around the corner and up a bit is a guy with a shotgun.  Take him out by the 
Vertical Leap method.  Drop down to the boat(?), dive in and pull the switch 
and go through the timed door to pull another switch.  Slide backwards down the 
ramp and grab its edge until the trap door closes, giving you firm footing.  
Then pull up into the hole and throw a switch.  Proceed cautiously towards the 
new area.  Inside there will be a guy with a shotgun just below you and two 
guys with guns roaming the perimeter of the level just below him.  Monitor the 
shotgun guy's movements with the Look button, then jump down behind him and 
give him the old Run and Roll.  You can then pick off the other two guys from a 
safe distance with the M16.  At this point, we have only suffered damage at two 
places in this level -- the drop at the beginning, and a tiny bit from dropping 
down past the broken glass.  Lara's health meter should be right around 80% 
(one-third) full.   
 
Now if you want to, you can head left, push the switch, run around, and jump 
through the timed trap door to get the second circuit breaker.  Really, that 
seems the hard way to do it, and the fall might cause you some damage.  Lucky 
for us, the Safety Drop Bug from the first Tomb Raider game is still in effect 
here.  Stand on the downward sloping tiles just clockwise from the trap door 
and make an angled running jump/grab to the tile just to the right of the trap 
door.  If you drop down from here, you will slide down into the broken glass 
below, an especially cruel fate for barefoot Lara.  Instead, pull up onto the 
tile.  Drop down and hit the X button as if you were going to grab the edge, 
but release X before Lara can actually grab the edge.  She will drop safely 
onto the square directly below where she was standing.  Much easier, don't you 
think?  

Go clockwise around this level and push the switch to drain the water around 
the boat.  Touch the tile that had the breaker to open the exit back up to the 
next level and return to the no-longer-floating boat.  Yes, you have to drop 
down to it, and yes you will lose about one-fourth (half) of your remaining 
life doing so.  It's not like I didn't warn you about this eventuality.  (That 
little red flashing rectangle -- it should be about twice as long as it is tall 
-- is all the life you have left, and we still have a LONG ways to go.)  Follow 
the path to the right, ignore the path to the left, and then go up and drop 
down behind the double doors that you closed earlier in the level.  You DID 
close the doors, didn't you? Because if you did, then you can get the third 
circuit breaker, but if you didn't, then you have to go back and shut them now 
and then backtrack to here.  

Once you get the circuit breaker, push the switch that activates the double 
doors behind you and also opens a trap door ahead.  Return to the left path 
you previously ignored which now terminates with the trap door you just opened.
Down below are two guys -- one with a shotgun and one with a wrench.  The game 
does not perceive the hanging trap door as a barrier, making it possible for 
you to shoot the guys from up here even though you can't actually see them.  
Unfortunately, it also allows the gunman to target you, so it is probably safer 
to be proactive. Run into the hole with guns blazing and hope you target the 
gunman first.  Again, you need to keep re-trying this until you take out both 
bad guys without taking any damage.  I seem to have better success side-jumping 
into the hole rather then running in head first, but do what works for you.  

Return to where you originally dropped down and lost most of your life.  Dive 
into the pool, pull the switch, and prepare for our last major battle of this 
level.  You are going to swim through a tunnel and pull up into a room where a 
guy with a wrench, a guy with a gun, and a guy with a shotgun are waiting to 
end your adventure.  Your success here will depend on where these guys are when 
you emerge.  I died many times because the guy with the shotgun blasted me 
before I ever got out of the water.  On my most successful attempt, I climbed 
out and was approached first by the wrench guy.  Two grenades took him out.  I 
swam back to the starting point and saved, changed to the M16, and swam up 
again.  This time the guy with the shotgun was walking away from me, and I 
dropped him before he got off a single round.  The other guy was quite a ways 
back in the room and posed me little difficulty.  If you are playing a "fresh" 
game you won't have the grenade launcher back in your inventory yet (it 
reappears at the end of this level.)  In this case, you just need a little 
bit of luck.  Emerge from the hole with Uzis blazing.  With any luck the two 
guys with guns will be way back in the next room.  Take out the guy with the 
wrench, then run into the room and get the other two. If you think that they 
are going to start shooting, remember that side-jumping while shooting is a 
very effective defense.  Either way, I survived this encounter with no 
additional damage -- and you can too!

Insert the three circuit breakers into their receptacles from right to left 
(this somehow turns the burners off???) and (you'd think that even the 
extinguished burners would be hot on Lara's bare feet) pull the box in front of 
the opening above.  Advance slowly until the henchman (wrenchman?) appears, 
then shoot him risk-free using the Vertical Leap technique.  Make your way 
across the room by using the beams and get to -- oh no!  Not another long fall!
At least this one is cushioned by water.  Swim a short distance, kill a fish, 
and pull out to trigger a henchman.  If he gets too close, retreat into the 
water, which, apparently, makes you invisible to him, as he will wander off for 
a bit.  Repeat as necessary until he goes down.

Open the door with the wheel, throw the switch, and run through the timed door 
to push a block and throw another switch.  Go to the now-opened hole in the 
floor and Save.  You now must dodge dozens of deadly and dastardly denizens of 
the deep to retrieve a key from the bottom of the water, then swim back and 
climb out without becoming fish food.  Good luck.  Wasn't that fun?  Well, if 
you want all of the Secrets, you get to do it again!  Hooray!  (I suppose you 
could get the key, then the Secret, then come back, but I generally have 
trouble finding the Cave with the Secret from where the key is.)

Back inside, unlock the cabin, throw a switch, go outside the cabin, push a 
box, throw another switch, return to the cabin, and climb into the hatch in the 
ceiling.  Follow the path and enter the pool room.  There are two guys with 
guns in here, and they are on the level just below you, probably almost 
immediately below you.  Run to the opposite side of the room (to maximize your 
distance from them, so that they can't hit you), then turn and blast them with 
your M16.  Drop down through the hole to the right and watch for two frogmen in 
the water.  If you are like me and have trouble remembering how to safely go 
down one level, consider using the Safety Drop Bug.  Don't forget to pick up 
the 4 (!) clips of ammo for your M16.  Now try to pick off the frogmen with 
your M16 if you can, but really you should be able to survive with some evasive 
swimming.  Dive in, find the barrels, follow the path, take a left at the first 
giant eel, then swim for the open area to finish this seemingly endless level 
with (a sliver of) life to spare!  Whew!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 09 -- Living Quarters (L09)

Overview

After the incredibly long and nerve-wracking level before, this one is a 
breeze.  It is not very long at all, and none of the encounters are especially 
dangerous, especially for a seasoned gamer like you.  In fact, I only lost life 
in one place (retrieving the second Secret) and I'm pretty sure that damage is 
unavoidable.  Thus, you can complete the level with a full life meter or you 
can get all three Secrets, but I don't think that it is possible to do both.  
Anyway, just sit back and enjoy this one, knowing that we have greater 
challenges ahead in levels to come.  Difficulty:  1/5.

Stayin' Alive

Swim through the opening and to the left to throw a switch, then go up through 
the hatch you just opened.  Pause a moment and admire your once-again full 
health bar -- isn't it comforting?  Anyway, as you move forward, you will be 
greeted by a workman who can be easily dispatched.  He drops a small Medi-Pack 
for you to add to your growing collection. (Can you believe that some wimps 
actually use those things to help them get through the game?)  In the next 
room, there might be a sniper above you and to your right, and we will take 
care of him later when we have a better angle.  For now, if you notice your 
life meter mysteriously dwindling, reload the game, back up a little bit hoping 
that the sniper retreats, and try again.  When you can do so safely, go through 
the room with the pistons, through the winding hallways, and into the pit.  As 
you advance, you will be confronted by three enemies -- first a wrenchman 
(Backhop), then a shotgun guy (Run and Roll), then a guy with a club (Run and 
Roll if you are quick; if not, grenades will do the job).  BTW, the hallway is 
booby-trapped with barrels, and this third enemy (the guy with a club) doesn't 
release until you venture into the hallway.  This suggests that you should stay 
out of the hallway when you are dispatching the first two enemies, then roll 
and retreat to trigger the barrels and the third enemy, then dispatch this last 
enemy.  

Proceed into the room with the burners and shimmy across above them to reach 
the switch that shuts them off.  (Isn't it interesting that Lara doesn't lose 
any health when her feet are dangling a couple of feet above the burners, yet 
she does lose health if she is standing within a couple of feet to the side of 
them.  It seems that in the world of Tomb Raider, heat does not rise but rather 
radiates primarily sideways.  Also, I have to wonder why these burners were 
burning in the first place and how one is supposed to shut them off in the 
normal course of events.)  Anyway, when you finish pondering these and other 
mysteries, climb up, go up a ladder, throw a switch, and drop down the hole to 
return to the piston room.

You can now jump from piston to piston, taking a brief side trip to the right 
to grab a Secret.  I don't think that you can jump back to the piston from the 
ledge with the Secret, but you can definitely do a long running jump with grab 
to the ledge in front of the opening.  Eventually, a guy with a shotgun will 
appear on the ledge ahead of you -- the sooner you take him out, the better.  
If he does not appear until you hit the ledge, give him a Run and Roll and he, 
like so many before him, will go down.  Go to the end of the hall, push a box, 
drop down and throw the switch (moving the pistons back to their original 
positions), go back to the ledge, and jump back across the pistons.  Turn right 
and jump and grab to get to the platform and throw the switch.  To avoid 
damage, jump back to the piston and then to the flat area at the end.  At this 
point, your life should still be full or very nearly so.  

Go back to the pit, which is now full of water.  Dive in and swim to the burner 
room to throw the switch on the wall.  Go back to the pit and catch your 
breath, then swim through the door and lure the frogman back to the pit area, 
where you can climb out and blast him until he -- well -- sleeps with the 
fishes.  Wait for him with Lara's right side against the "wall" closest to 
where the frogman will emerge, about one step back from the water's edge and 
rotated slightly counterclockwise.    From here, you should be able to target 
the frogman without being hit.  Fill your lungs with air for a looonnnng swim 
out the hatch to the cave across the way.  Stay left and low to avoid the jaws 
of the Giant Eel, throw the switch, then go back out and through the opening 
above you surrounded by seaweed.  Move left and look up to see the guard 
patrolling above you and take him out with the M16.  You may have to move 
forward a bit to trigger him.  

Go up to the level with the door and the switch.  The game designers want you 
to open the door and go through an elaborate sequence of pulling switches and 
running around to open a trap door that I have never found it necessary to 
open.  On the level with the switch and the door, stand on the far left side of 
the second blue square away from the switch with the switch to your right.  
Here you can jump and grab the duct and pull up.  Then pull the box, jump 
around the box, shimmy past the gap, and follow the obvious path.  Enter the 
blue area and summarily dispatch the workman approaching from your right.  At 
the end of the hall from which he came is a pit with a Secret.  This would 
normally be a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the "Collapsing Floor 
Glitch" from TR1 but, unfortunately, the programmers seem to have fixed that 
bug because I couldn't get it to work.  Instead, roll onto the tile and then 
run off again before it collapses so that you can do a safety drop to the 
ground below.  You will take minor damage from the fall, and jumping past the 
broken glass at the other end will cause a little more damage, but this should 
only total about 10% of your life, an amount that we can easily afford.

Follow your original path, slide down a ramp, and kill a pesky fish in the 
pool.  Step on the breakaway boards then quickly retreat to kill another fish.  
You now need to swim through the opening (and hopefully back!) to get the third 
Secret of this level.  I don't think there are any enemies out there (other 
than the one fish that emerges when you destroy the breakaway boards), but keep 
your bearings because the opening is well camouflaged.  Head to the next room, 
jump, grab, and shimmy to pull up, then proceed to the top of this room and 
drop down the pit.  As you enter the area with red carpeting, a guy with a gun 
will come down the steps to your right.  Target him early and you can ice him   
before he fires a single shot.  Go up the ramp and turn left, and another armed 
guard is patrolling the room to your left. Try to run past the open area and 
hide against the wall while monitoring the guard's position by using the "Look" 
button.  When he starts to move away from you, side-jump left and blast him.

Pull the box at the end of the hall, jump over the balcony, and make the guy 
with the shotgun and the guy with the club who attack from your left eat hot 
lead.  Go cautiously into the pit, because when you step on the square in front 
of the moveable box, a shotgun guy will appear on the level above you.  There 
are few hiding places down here from which you can safely target him, so I 
would advise returning to the edge of the pit, monitoring his movements, and 
pulling out when he returns to the big open area.  You can then wait against a 
wall and either blast him or run and roll him when he gets in your sights.  
When he is dispatched, move the box in the pit, get the key, and return to the 
main floor.  

Take your new key and head towards but past the theater.  There is a guy with a 
club in the cubby at the far left end of the hall, so you may as well take him 
out just to be safe.  Now unlock the theater and be grateful that you found 
that key because there is no way you could possibly get through those really 
sturdy-looking glass doors without it, right?  There is a guy with a club 
inside, and he may come outside looking for you.  If he doesn't, then go 
inside, turn left at the T-intersection and you should find him. Once he is 
removed him from the equation, look to the right where you will see a balcony 
with two enemies -- one with a club and one with a gun.  The guy with the gun 
is obviously your priority, and your preference is to blast him from here with 
the M16.  If he hides off to the right, you can jump and pull up onto the edge 
of the balcony, then backflip to safety and blast away when he appears.  Your 
pistols should suffice for the guy with the club.  

There is another guy with a club who materializes somewhere around here, but I 
haven't yet pinned down exactly what triggers him.  Sometimes I find him before 
taking on the guys in the balcony, sometimes just after that, and sometimes I 
find him when I go backstage.  If you encounter him and are taken by surprise, 
just reload, hunt him down, and take him out by backhopping.     

When the dust settles, climb into the balcony and throw the switch, then head 
to the stage.  Pull the box, climb over the barrier, jump over the glass-filled 
pit, and throw the switch.  Head back to the theater entrance and a shotgun guy 
will try to block your exit.  Give him the old Run and Roll.  Retrace your 
steps to where you got the theater key, swim across the pit, and climb out to 
exit this really easy level with your life bar nearly full, having only lost 
life while pursuing the second Secret.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 10 -- The Deck (L10)

Overview

Do you remember the long fall you had to suffer in level 8?  The one that 
knocked out two-thirds of your life, forcing you to avoid pretty much any other 
damage for an interminably long level?  Well, that was nothing.  In this level, 
one fall will take about 90% of your life, meaning that any other damage in 
this level is unacceptable.  When I first undertook this challenge, this is one 
of two or three levels that I thought would absolutely require a Medi-Pack.  I 
was wrong.  Think you're up to the challenge?  OK -- let's do it!  Difficulty:  
5/5.

Stayin' Alive

Before we begin, let's make absolutely sure that we understand each other.  
Aside from the two places where I will indicate that damage is unavoidable, you 
cannot afford to lose ANY life ANYWHERE in this level -- not a sliver from a 
clumsy fall, a wayward harpoon, or a distant gunshot.  If Lara suffers any 
other damage, you MUST reload and try again or you seriously risk having to 
repeat the entire level.  This level is really that close.

Move ahead, face right, and wait for the flamethrower guy to appear so that you 
can cool him off with your M16.  Advance towards that area and a guy with a 
club will come after you -- taunt him by using your lowly pistols to snuff him.
Go back to where you entered, climb up on the ledge, and dive into the water, 
pulling up quickly on the left so that you can put some holes in the two 
fishies who had designs on making you their dinner.  Go clockwise around the 
rocks to get the key.  Dive back in and follow the path, surface, and shoot the 
approaching workman.  Move towards the deceased workman, go left onto the blue 
mound, and turn right to use your pistols on a flamethrower guy.  Go to the 
pile of boxes ahead and to the left and move them to reveal a door and a lock 
that matches your key.  Enter, take a swim, pull a switch, exit the room, hop 
on the box to your right, and waste the guy with the gun to your right.  

Go to where the two dead guys are, step on the hatch and fall down a shaft, 
then climb a ladder and throw a switch.  Return to the no-longer-flooded room, 
drop down and move a box, and follow the path to the water.  Swim about as far 
as the raft and then hang a left and pull up to shore.  Take out the 
approaching workman, then turn and pick off the two frogmen in the water.  
Again, your M16 has greater range than their harpoons, so you should take no 
damage.  Dive down deep to get the Secret, catch your breath, then go back down 
through the tunnel and surface to waste the barracuda.  Follow the path until 
you see a white opening to your right.  There will be a shotgun guy there, so 
jump up on the blue rocks to your left, sidle to the left until he appears, and 
take him down from a distance with your M16.  Continue forward (ignoring the 
path to the left) until you see a large Medi-Pack and a hole in the ground -- 
not a good sign at all.  The side of the hole with the Medi-Pack is as good as 
any, so do a safety drop from there and watch 90% of your life go away.  Bye-
bye!

Take the key and clear the area of 3 sharks.  You should be able to target two 
of them from the raft.  For the third one, you will need to dive in, swim to 
the area where you got the Secret, turn and swim back to the shore, and take 
him out from there.  Now go all the way back to the "path to the left" that you 
ignored in the last paragraph.  Follow the long and winding path until you see 
the deck.  There is a guy with a shotgun patrolling the area, but you are safe 
in the trench in front of the deck.  Wait there, and when the guard passes by, 
give him the old Vertical Leap.  If he doesn't appear, he may be in the 
corridor directly in front of you.  If so, climb out and wait next to the wall 
until he comes by and take him out with a run and roll.  When he goes down, you 
can head down the corridor in front of you, and when you get to the end, a 
workman will appear.  You've got to take him down sooner or later, so it may as 
well be now.

You now need to get down to the next lower level.  Stay on this near side of 
the deck and head left from where you entered.  When you try to cross the gap 
in the fence, a workman will come after you, but he should be easy to take out.
Slide down the ramp.  This level looks peaceful enough -- for now.  When you 
jump down onto the blue decking, a guy with a shotgun (yet, strangely, no 
shotgun shells) will appear on the level below you.  Try to take him out now so 
that he doesn't give you trouble at an inopportune time.  When you approach the 
pool, a guy will appear on the far side, but you have plenty of time to waste 
him.  Go ahead and kill the creature in the pool -- it's as easy as shooting 
fish in a barrel, really.  Diving into the pool will trigger a flamethrower guy 
next to the building, so you want to dive in the side of the pool next to the 
building, quickly swim across, surface, and pull out so that you can shoot him 
from across the pool.  When he bites the dust, repeat this maneuver swimming 
close to the door in the pool from which a frogman will emerge. You can sink 
him from the safety of dry land and then safely swim in and get the Secret.  

Head over to the far side of the area (closest to where the Secret was) and 
drop down a level.  Jump your way over to the orange roof.  You will pass the 
cave with the third Secret, but we will come back to it later in order to 
minimize backtracking.  Go to the far side, hang off the edge, drop, grab, and 
shimmy left until you can stand up and jump into the cave.  Wind around the 
path and jump from block to block until you almost reach the top.  When you hit 
the top level, two workmen will come at you so be prepared to take them out.  
You may need to slide back down to the bottom to avoid being hit.  (Isn't it 
nice that THEY, unlike Lara, can walk on the slopes without slipping?  Maybe 
she could get better traction if she'd thought to wear some shoes on this 
adventure.)  

The end of this path gets you close enough to jump and grab the roof of the 
building.  Cross the roof, take a left, and jump to the next roof near a trap 
door.  Fall through the trap door, Backhop the workman, pull out the box, and 
throw the switch.  Go out the self-opening door and expect to be greeted more 
or less immediately by a guy with a shotgun.  Run and roll him quickly.  Turn 
right and then right again to enter the door you just opened.  Use your Cabin 
key in the lock, and make your way across the collapsing floor to push the 
switch.  Head back towards the door, but be alert!  Somewhere near the door, 
you will be attacked first by a workman (easy) and then by a guy with a shotgun 
(Run and Roll).

Now that the coast is clear, you can go to the door you just opened (it is 
directly opposite the "self-opening" door from the previous paragraph), do some 
climbing and jumping, and wind up on another orange roof and in possession of 
the Storage Shed Key.  (Did you ever think about how much trouble Lara could 
save herself if she got some basic instruction in picking locks?)  While musing 
over that thought, slide off the roof and make your way down several levels to 
return to where you did the jumping sequence to reach the first orange roof.  
When you hit the last walkway before the roof, turn right and go get the 
Secret.  You will lose a little life backing out across the glass, but the 
level is nearly over anyway.  When you return to the ground, you will see all 
kinds of activity on the level below you.  There will be two flamethrower guys 
making futile efforts to toast you even though you are out of their range. 
They, however, are perfectly within the range of your M16 (or, for that matter, 
your pistols.)  Get the idea?  Now you can go back to where you started the 
level (just head back towards the building on this level), repeat your swim, 
pull out, and go behind the area where the dead flamethrowers lie to open the 
Storage shed and claim the Seraph -- with life to spare!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 11 -- Tibetan Foothills (L11)

Overview

I don't know about you, but I welcome the change of scenery at this point.  I 
was growing a bit weary of all those aquatic images. Besides a new environment,
however, this snow-covered level contains new perils for Lara to overcome.  
Among them are quicker and more durable gun-toting enemies and snowmobiles that 
are equipped with machine guns.  (At least Lara is no longer barefoot, even if 
she is wearing shorts in this frigid clime.)  In one of the three necessary 
fights against snowmobiles, you will likely lose a lot of life.  This means 
that we are going to be very careful not to lose life except in this battle so 
that you can survive the level without health supplements.  Still, despite 
these increased threats to Lara's well-being, it is entirely possible to 
complete this rather long level with over half of your life intact.  Come along 
with me, and I'll show you how. Difficulty:  4/5.  (May, 2009 update -- using 
some new tactics submitted by alert reader Kevin McDonald, I survived this 
level in a "continued" game with 100% life remaining.  I was previously 
convinced that a perfect level was not possible here, but Kevin's tips and my 
own new discoveries really made this level a LOT easier, thus making a perfect 
level a reality.)

Stayin' Alive

Locate and kill the eagle and follow the path.  Jump over the first wave of 
snowballs, the duck into the cove to the left to avoid the rest.  Zero damage.  
Jump through the plate of ice and then, as you slide down the slope, jump again 
and grab onto the ice in front of you.  Climb right until you are over the 
"doorway", then drop to safety.  Go through the cave until it ends, and kill 
two eagles who, for some unknown reason, consider you a threat.  Do you see 
that camp across the way?  That's where we're headed.  There are at least 2 
ways to get there.  The intended path is longer but can be traversed with no 
loss of Health.  The shortcut will not deprive you of any items, but it will 
necessarily result in a minor (5 - 10%) loss of life.  I'll describe the 
shortcut first.

Way down and to the left of the camp, you will see a Medi-Pack.  To the right 
of that Medi-Pack is a rock with a top that looks like an inverted V. That is 
where we are headed. Walk out onto the ledge in front of you, turn around, and 
hop backwards while holding the Action button so that Lara catches the edge.  
Drop and grab again, then shimmy right and pull up onto an icy block with a 
flat top.  From here you can make a long angled jump to the left side of the 
rock with the inverted V top and slide down to the Medi-Pack.  Your loss of 
Health will depend on how close to the top you land, but I've never been able 
to land there damage-free.  If you choose this option, you may skip the next 
paragraph and continue with the paragraph that begins, "Climb up towards the 
hut."  

The intended path goes like this:  Drop down two levels to a cave entrance.  
Follow the path but do NOT jump across the small pool.  I know that water must 
be cold, but you need to drop into it anyway.  Climb up the ice wall, and when 
you reach the top, immediately jump back to avoid the icicles.  When you get 
outside, keep to the right and follow the passage behind the rock face.  Climb 
up once, then drop down to the left and slide down to another pond with 
icicles.  Carefully pick your way through the falling ice spears (hugging the 
left wall will get you through safely), then exit and jump over the hump.
Make a running jump to the next stone pillar and an eagle will attack from 
almost directly overhead.  You may want to jump back to your previous position 
so that you have some room to maneuver.  Return to the pillar and jump across 
the water to the Medi-Pack -- a rather phenomenal leap, if you ask me.  

Climb up towards the hut but pause behind the last snow bank.  There are two 
guards with guns up there, but they do not appear until you cross the near 
plane of the snow bank.  Sidle over to the apex ahead of you, step forward to 
release the guards, then jump back behind the snow bank.  Let the guards make 
one pass across the area and then back to the outside.  We are going to use the 
Vertical Leap method of taking them out, but they are excellent shots and can 
often target you during the brief time you are in the air.  Your chances of 
avoiding damage are much better when only one of them is on the screen.  Be 
patient, save after every couple of hits, and re-load any time they damage you. 
(Again, we are fortunate that they are not bright enough to search in the 
direction of the gunfire, because if they were you would be toast.)  In my 
game, each of these guys eventually got stuck beside the hut and was unable to 
move, allowing me to pull out my trusty M16 and blast them safely.  One way or 
another, you can -- and should -- avoid all damage here, and your life bar 
should still be completely full.  Once the coast is clear, pick up the first 
Secret.

Head into the cave on foot and clear out any riff-raff (I believe there is just 
one such punk.  If you are bold, you can do this on the snowmobile and try to 
run him down, but I always got shot trying to do this and zero damage is our 
goal.)  When you get to the clearing, jump into the opening on the left.  Watch 
for two leopards to attack from the left -- they should go down before they can 
get to you.  In a "continued" game, you may find it necessary to roll onto the 
square that triggers the big cats, retreat to the opening, and jump back onto 
the ramp to shoot them from safety.  Either way, stick with it until you 
sustain no damage.  Head into the large chamber and move the two ice blocks 
away from the opening.  If you do not have the snowmobile with you, go back 
through the cave and bring it to the clearing.  You will probably encounter two 
frisky kitties on the way, so put them to sleep.

I would like to go on record as saying that I really HATE the snowmobiles in 
this game.  Whoever told the game designers that having them would be "fun" or 
"challenging" needs to be fired.  They are ridiculously difficult to control, 
resulting in the tedious repetition of segments of the game that you'd rather 
just pass by and move on, and the upcoming jump is a case in point.  I had 
previously concluded that this level could not possibly be completed without 
using a snowmobile, but alert reader Free Storage showed me how to get across 
the one gap that I previously thought could not be traversed without using this 
despicable vehicle.  I will continue my narrative assuming that you DO want to 
make use of the snowmobile, and then later in this section I will describe how 
to avoid snowmobile use altogether.  

Use the central ramp to jump the snowmobile onto the long ramp (aim for the 
wide part of the ramp to the far right), then use the long ramp to jump it into 
the large chamber.  Once inside, make another jump over the left side of the 
chasm (you will need to hit the X button for a power boost to make it across).  
Park your vehicle and hoof it down the right path.  Climb the wall of ice 
and throw a switch, and come back down to find two mercenaries -- one across 
the gorge and another back where the path split.  Your M16 should easily handle 
both of them.  Now go down the left path (on foot for now) until you come to a 
narrow bridge.  About halfway to the top another mercenary will appear, so be 
ready to retreat a little (to avoid his gunfire) and then outgun him.  A fourth 
merc will appear near the end of the bridge -- deal with him as you did the 
last one.  There is a fifth merc lurking inside the cave, so enter the cave 
(with M16 in hand), do a roll, and run and jump back towards the other end of 
the bridge.  Then roll and fire at the advancing merc until he goes down.  You 
should still have full life at this point.

Exit the cave and jump to the ledge on the right to get the Secret.  This will 
release two leopards that you can safely dispatch from here.  You can climb 
down the ladder to get some grenades if you really need them, but you will also 
release three leopards that you otherwise could just leave alone.  I'll leave 
this up to you.  Either way, go back to where you parked the snowmobile and use 
it to execute a daring leap over the gap in the ice bridge.  Inside the cave, 
you can see a climbable wall ahead, and you can access it from here -- but 
first you probably want to get rid of those giant snowballs.  You can dislodge 
the first two by just walking in front of them and then hopping back.  For the 
others, you are going to have to ride the snowmobile as close as possible to 
the edge on your left to avoid them.  When you reach the other side, walk over 
to the ladder, jump above it, and slide down to grab it.  Then climb down, do a 
drop and grab, and pull up to reach the small cave with the Drawbridge key.  
Since you can't exit the way you entered, drop down and follow the path.  

There is a mercenary behind that sheet of ice, and he is much quicker and 
harder to bring down than the gun-carrying thugs in previous levels.  You have 
a couple of options for fighting him  The first is to hide behind the wall with 
weapons drawn, then side jump left while firing (to bring him out), then side 
jump right back to cover.  Wait for him to advance, then do your best Run and 
Roll on him.  I still lost about 10% of my life here but deemed that 
acceptable.  

Dec 2008 update -- Playing a "fresh" game, I decided to see if grenades worked 
any better than normal firearms.  Before the gunman even broke through the ice, 
Lara targeted him, fired two grenades (without breaking the ice!) and took him 
out while taking no damage.  In a "continued" game, this wasn't so easy.  It 
turns out that grenades can penetrate the ice wall without breaking it, but 
unfortunately the gunman can still shoot you through the unbroken ice.  
However, with the gunman trapped behind the ice wall, I could side-jump left, 
fire a grenade when I saw the gunman's shape behind the ice wall, then side-
jump back right to safety before he could fire.  It took 4 grenades to finish 
him off, but it was a relatively risk-free way to survive this battle with no 
damage.

The trick here is getting in the correct position so that your grenades go 
through the ice without breaking it.  I replayed this MANY times, and honestly 
I could not consistently get this to happen.  Sometimes the grenades would 
break the ice, and sometimes the thug's gunshots would break it.  Sometimes I 
could just stand in place and fire grenade after grenade without the ice 
breaking.  Here is how I got my best results.  Stand with Lara's face against 
the wall with roughly equal amounts of brown on either side of her (that is, so 
that she is positioned midway between the corner of the wall and the icy part.) 
Rotate her ever so slightly clockwise.  Save your game and then side jump left 
and, when you see the merc's outline, fire a grenade.  If the ice breaks or if 
you get shot, try again.  If not, save your game, side jump back to the right 
and try repeating the whole process.  The ice wall may break in the middle of 
this process, but if you can hit him with a couple of grenades, he will be easy 
to finish off with a brief run and roll if necessary.  

Once you finish off the gunman, follow the path, watch for dropping icicles 
when you throw the switch and open the door, hop backwards out the opening and 
grab on so that you can climb back up to where you entered.  Do a jump and grab 
across the pit just in front of the ladder and you will be back to your 
vehicle.

Leave the snowmobile where it is.  You will want to use it to jump back over 
the gap in the ice bridge, and if you ride it into the cave ahead you will lose 
it and have to return via the much longer ground path.  Proceed on foot into 
the open area, use the Drawbridge key, and get up on the ramp to the cave.  
Dislodge more snowballs and enter the cave, triggering a massive avalanche.  
Jump and grab the left wall of the pit and shimmy across, then pull up at the 
end.  Exit the cave and find the Hut key in the snow, but Save and arm yourself 
before stepping on the square with the key, because you are about to face a 
really tough battle.

When you approach the key, a guy riding a snowmobile equipped with a machine 
gun will attack you from over by the drawbridge.  There is no place to hide -- 
you have to fight this guy straight up (which is one reason we've been so 
conservative with our life.)  The key is on the ground surrounded by ice blocks 
forming a little cove.  Run across the key (don't bother picking it up yet) and 
stand against the ice with Uzis drawn so that you are facing right (the 
direction from which the snowmobile comes.)  Let him go past you once overhead, 
then when he comes back towards the drawbridge, jump up onto the ice block and 
start shooting.  You need to keep running and rolling to face him.  Do NOT try 
to stop and shoot and do NOT try to backhop.  If you do, he will run you over, 
which is instant death.  You want to stay at right angles to his movement (to 
avoid his machine gun fire) or better yet, trail just behind him if possible. 
Never stop firing.  Of course, this is all much easier said than done, but do 
your best and learn from your mistakes. You will probably die many times 
getting this right, but if you can survive with 70% or more of your life left, 
you did really well.  (May, 2009 update -- For the first time out of the 
hundreds of times that I have fought this battle, I very surprisingly survived 
it in a "continued" game without taking any damage at all -- it CAN be done!)

I would like to point out that this is one of those battles that highlight the 
enhanced difficulty of the "continued" game.  Unlimited ammunition and use of 
all weapons give you absolutely no advantage here.  Grenades are useless 
because the snowmobile moves away from their trajectory too quickly, and you 
can't use the M16 because you have to keep moving.  Moreover, the longer the 
snowmobile guy stays alive, the more damage you will take.  In a "fresh" game, 
it only takes 100 hits to stop this guy -- something that, with a little 
practice, you can do while taking virtually no damage.  However, in a 
"continued" game, it requires a full 200 hits to win this battle, meaning the 
battle will last roughly twice as long.  You can dodge his shots for a while, 
but as time goes on, the probability that he will either point directly towards 
you and shoot you or run you over goes up dramatically.  To give you some idea 
of the difference, I went into this battle with 90% health remaining, having 
only taken damage from the mercenary down near where I got the Drawbridge Key.  
In my "fresh" game, I finished this battle with about 80% life remaining; in my 
"continued" game, I felt fortunate to survive with two-thirds remaining.  

Hop on your snowmobile (or walk -- the snowmobile will not make it through the 
cave nearest the hut anyway) and go all the way back to the hut.  (BTW, it IS 
possible for you to ride the black snowmobiles, but since the X button fires 
bullets instead of giving a speed boost, the black snowmobiles will not make 
the big jump across the gap in the ice bridge.  This is why I advised you to 
park your other snowmobile in a safe place.)  There will be two leopards to 
eliminate as you near the hut -- do so.

BRIEF ASIDE ON HOW TO AVOID SNOWMOBILE USE ALTOGETHER -- Most of the non-
snowmobile paths are fairly obvious.  The trickiest part is crossing the pit in 
the cave where you killed two cats and moved two ice blocks.  Using the 
snowmobile, you jumped over the ramp on the left side of the chasm, using a 
power boost to clear the gap.  However, it is possible to jump across the ramp 
on the RIGHT side without using a snowmobile.  The trick is to get the jump 
lined up properly, because the tolerance is pretty tight.  Walk to the edge, 
then turn and hang from the edge.  Pull up and roll to face the chasm.  You are 
now perfectly aligned to make a long running jump with grab to the other side.  
Many thanks to Free Storage for contributing this tip.  I don't know about you, 
but without doing this alignment, all of my jumps came up short.

After jumping the chasm, proceed on foot until you get to the second Secret.  
From there, climb down the ice ladder and dangle above the pit that contains 
the grenades.  This will trigger the 3 cats romping around on the ground level 
below for easy disposal. Cross the open area and climb up  to the cave 
entrance.  Enter the cave and walk as close to the pit as you can. Jump onto 
the ice above the climbing wall, slide down and catch yourself, but you need to 
be as close as possible to the near side of this pit so that the snowballs 
don't kill you.  One wave of snowballs should roll past you to your left.  
There will still be two snowballs above you and to your left (as you hang), but 
I'm pretty sure that they are only dislodged if you traverse their path 
somewhat higher than you can reach on foot (e.g., the snowmobile would cause 
them to fall.)  From here, proceed down to where you tried to shoot grenades 
through the ice wall, and follow the path described earlier.  When you return 
to this area, you will not be able to jump back across this pit, but you can do 
another jump and grab onto the ice ledge and climb back down to the grenades-
through-the-ice-wall area.  From there you can retrace your steps to the 
doorway, make your way to the ground, and climb back up to where the second 
Secret was.  When you reach the room with the two movable ice blocks, simply 
jump back across the same ramp (which is now on your left).  Notice that this 
jump is slightly downhill, making it much easier in this direction.

I now return to the regular narrative.

Open the hut, stand in front of the switch, and Save.  Throwing this switch 
will release three mercenaries from over by where the first Secret was, and you 
want to fight them one at a time.  Throw the switch, then quickly run out of 
the hut, take a right, and sprint for the protection of the cave (easier said 
than done with that stupid table and chairs in the way.  Isn't it interesting 
that Lara, who is able to push solid rock cubes five feet on a side cannot push 
these rickety pieces of furniture out of the way.) Run back deep into the cave, 
using evasive jumping to avoid the gunfire.  When you can arrive at the first 
bend in the cave without getting hit, Save.  Now you can slowly advance and 
pick your enemies off with your M16 one at a time as they venture into the cave 
(They will only advance up to about the first snow drift).  You can -- and 
should -- survive this encounter with zero damage.

Head through the new area until you come to a hexagonal opening into a large 
open area.  If you are suspicious about the all-too-peaceful appearances, your 
instincts are correct.  Another snowmobile guy is waiting for you to hit the 
ground so that he, like his predecessor, can make your life miserable.  
Fortunately, you can beat this guy without suffering any damage at all.  Save 
your game and then stand to the left edge of the opening and look to the rocks 
to your left.  You need to aim a sharply angled standing jump with twist to 
those rocks to trigger the snowmobile, then immediately do a standing jump back 
to the opening.  You want to land as high as possible on the rocks so that you 
can make it quickly and directly back to the opening.  Once you land in the 
opening, immediately retreat to the back wall where the cave bends to the left.
If you can make it back to this first bend without getting shot, save your game 
again.  Draw your M16 and stand about halfway between the back wall and the 
opening.  With the M16's superior range, you should be able to take out the 
snowmobile without taking any hits at all.  This battle can be fought using 
Uzis instead of the M16, but you have to stand closer to the opening, thus 
running a MUCH higher risk of getting shot.  You have the M16 precisely so that 
you can win tough battles like this, so I advise you to use it here.  For the 
record, beating this guy takes about 34 rounds of ammo in a fresh game  (Thanks 
again to Kevin McDonald for this tip.)

Shimmy across the pit, climb down to get the Secret, then head towards another 
large open area.  This time, there will be TWO snowmobiles shooting at you, but 
fortunately we have an advantage.  Enter the area, quickly turn right and pull 
up onto the ledge, go into the back right corner, and pull out the old M16.  
Not only does your weapon have greater range than theirs, but you are also a 
difficult target when you press your back against the rock wall.  It is very 
possible to waste both of these guys without taking any damage at all, and with 
a little patience you can do just that.  

You now have two options for finishing this level.  First I will describe the 
sequence of events that the programmers intended for you to follow.  The down 
side is that you have to defeat 3 more enemies.  An alternate approach is 
provided in the second following paragraph which allows you to bypass these 
three enemies.  Either way, you can finish the level without sustaining any 
further damage.  If you think that the second approach constitutes cheating, 
then by all means use the first approach.  If you want to make life easier on 
yourself, use the second approach.  In case you care about such matters, none 
of these 3 guys drops any ammunition, so fighting them represents a net loss of 
ammo.

Go to the cave and push the block in three times, which will trigger two 
mercenaries to your right.  Immediately roll and run up the hill at top speed 
using evasive jumps until you are clear of their gunfire.  If you take any 
hits, reload and try again.  Once you have outrun them, you can slowly work 
your way down with M16 in hand and waste them with minimal risk.  With a little 
patience and practice you can defeat them both without taking any damage.  
There is another merc patrolling in the cave (lower level to the right), but he 
is easy to pick off from the edge or from the rock formation to the left of the 
edge.  Hop on a snowmobile and ride it over the middle of the cliff and into 
the water.  Why Lara would do this is beyond me, but the only way to advance 
the storyline is to get in the water, and this is one way to get in the water 
without taking any damage. Swim to the left shore, pull out, drop down the 
hole, and pat yourself on the back for surviving a really difficult level while 
losing at most half of your life.

(Alternate approach):  The three guys inside the cave are triggered when you 
touch either the square on which the movable ice block sits when it has been 
pushed twice or the square just to the right of that square.  You can avoid 
triggering them altogether if you only push the block twice and then jump 
through the gap to the left!  Make a wide circle around the area so that you 
don't touch that second square and trigger the enemies. (One more thank-you to 
Kevin McDonald for this nifty trick!)  A safety drop from the extreme right 
corner will cost you a tiny sliver of your life, but this is avoidable.  
Instead, go to the left side of the cliff and angle a jump to the flat area to 
your left.  Once you are up there, align Lara with the right side of this flat 
area and execute a running dive from the right corner of the rock.  You need to 
angle your jump ever so slightly to the right to clear the "notch" in the ice 
below (if you miss the jump, you will see what I mean.)  With a little 
practice, you should land in the water without sustaining any damage (mega-
thanks to Free Storage for discovering this strategy.)  From there, you can 
swim to the flat area, pull out of the water, and advance to the next level, 
potentially with yet another perfect level under your belt.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 12 -- Barkhang Monastery (The Easy Way) (L12E)

Overview

In the initial version of this walkthrough, I advocated killing all of the 
numerous Monks who inhabit the Monastery because, in my experience, they always 
charged at me with malevolent intent.  When this level is played that way, it 
is extremely difficult -- one of the most difficult in the game to complete 
without using health packs.  After posting that version of the walkthrough, I 
got a very nice email from ColinC10, who informed me that only a complete idiot
fights the Monks.  Well, actually he stated his case much more diplomatically 
than that, but in essence he reminded me of something that I had heard before, 
which is that killing Monks is not necessary because they will not harm you if 
you do not harm them.  However, I was previously unable to reproduce this 
scenario.  After some investigation, I arrived at the essence of the matter 
which is this:  If you fire even a single shot at any Monk at any time in this 
level, you become the enemy of all Monks and therefore will have to fight them 
all from that point on.  Leave them ALL alone and they will actually help you 
kill other enemies, making passage through this (otherwise very difficult) 
level MUCH easier.  

In light of this new revelation, I have re-written this section, taking a more 
pacifistic approach to these gentle (?) giants. Although it is very possible to
kill all of the Monks and other enemies in this level without using any health 
packs, following Colin's advice (as described hereafter) is MUCH easier.  In 
fact, it is almost TOO easy, and I recently completed this level with 100% of 
Lara's life remaining.  If you are willing to re-load your game enough times, 
you can get the Monks to defeat nearly every single human enemy in this level 
for you, thus sparing you from many a barrage of gunfire.  For those seeking 
additional challenge, I am including my original instructions for completing 
this level with the Monks as your adversaries rather than your allies.  Those 
instructions appear immediately after this section and are entitled, "Level 12 
-- Barkhang Monastery (The Hard Way)".  I apologize for overlap between the two 
narratives, but you really didn't expect me to re-write this section from 
scratch, did you? Anyway, play this level whichever way you prefer (or both 
just for variety), but remember that if you want the Monks to be your allies, 
you must avoid firing ANY shots at them.  This can be easier said than done, 
because even though you do not consider the Monks to be your enemies, Lara will 
still target them with her weapons.  Therefore, you need to resist the urge to 
fire your weapons every time that Lara readies them.  If you find that the 
Monks are attacking you, then you must have hit one. In this case, you will 
need to go back to your last Save and start over from there.  Therefore, before 
saving your game in this level, you probably want to make sure that you have 
done nothing to upset the Monks, lest you face their wrath for the remainder of 
the level.  Having settled that matter, let's proceed. Difficulty:  2/5.   


Stayin' Alive

When you enter, you will see a group of mercenaries battling a group of Monks.  
Keep your distance to avoid stray bullets and let them beat each other up until 
one group is eliminated.  If the Monks survive, put away your weapon and move 
in to claim the spoils of the battle.  If the mercenaries win, you can finish 
them off from where you are.  Round the corner and ignore the advancing Monk, 
then climb the ladder and take out the unusually aggressive eagle.  Jump and 
climb up to the black square, then drop down to the gray walk.  Jumping to the 
gap in the rocks will trigger two more eagles, so you may want to backflip back 
to the gray walk so that you have some room to move.  Back at the gap, drop and 
shimmy left and enter the monastery.  About halfway down the hall to your right 
you will be approached by a Monk who again should not harm you.  Enter the hall 
to the left and go through the first door on the left to bring out a second 
Monk.  When these two Monks enter the room that was straight ahead of you 
before you took a left, they will engage in battle with a mercenary.  Take 
cover in the room from which the second Monk came pending the outcome of this 
battle (the Monks should win handily.)  Back in that same room, a second 
mercenary will come through the window when the Monks return.  They should be 
able to finish him off as well.  At this point, your life meter should still be 
100% full.  

Now enter the room (from which the Monk came) and climb the ladder.  Another 
Monk will come from your right but again he should do you no harm.  Grab the 
key, admire the room below (you will be there soon enough) and continue around 
the walkway.  Execute a couple of rolls to trigger boulders and follow the path 
to the pool.  Fight the strong current by staying close to the walls and enter 
the tunnel on the far right side.  Drop down the shaft and make your way past 
the three pairs of Deadly Doors to arrive at the bottom of the ladder.  

When you reach the top of the ladder, you will see a Monk to your left, a dead 
end hall behind and to your left, and an open door ahead of you.  Two 
mercenaries -- one of them toting one of those really bad guns -- are lurking 
in the doorway of the darkened room.  Running through the middle of the current 
room will release one of them.  Retreat to the dead end hall to await the 
outcome of his fight with the Monk, and blast the mercenary if he survives (as 
he probably will).  His buddy is triggered when you enter the darkened room, 
and your Monk probably has little or no life remaining after the previous 
battle, so you're on your own here. (However, as I mentioned earlier, if you 
want to re-load the game a few times, you can get the Monk to defeat both of 
these guys for you.  Then again, what fun would that be?)  Stand just outside 
the doorway, throw a flare into the room, and save.  The merc should come from 
your left, so run in and past him, roll, blast him with your Uzis, and try to 
stay behind him.  In my game, he eventually walked away from me and walked up 
into the burners while I blasted him in the back, allowing me to escape this 
battle with ZERO damage. In a fresh game, two grenades will do him in, and you 
should be able to launch those (one on the way in, and one after you get past 
him and roll) before he can cause you any damage.(BTW, am I the only one who 
finds it odd that a Monk and two mercs -- mortal enemies -- shared such a 
cramped space without killing each other prior to Lara's arrival?)

Having survived so much gunfire, you must now grab the first Prayer Wheel and 
survive another kind of fire -- simply jump one row of burners at a time 
hugging the right wall (as you are leaving.)  Then pull some boxes, climb a 
ladder, and retrace your steps to where you entered.  A mercenary is waiting 
for you on the upper level, but it is very likely that the Monk finished him 
off for you and you will just find his lifeless body lying around somewhere.  
If the merc beat the Monk, you have two possible ways to dispatch him.  If he 
is nice enough to approach you, you can use your Vertical Leap.  If not, just 
jump up to the walkway and waste him with your M16.  

Go back down the ladder and out into the hall, take a left, and unlock the door 
to the Main Hall.  It looks too peaceful in here, doesn't it?  As soon as you 
enter, all mayhem will break loose -- 3 Monks will approach from your right, 
and three mercenaries will enter behind you.  Run in, bear left, jump over the 
railing, and hide on the elevated ledge behind the statue while the two warring 
factions duke it out.  While you're waiting, you can jump up to the recess 
above you to get the first Secret.  You can then emerge and pick off any 
surviving mercenaries from the safety of this area, but in my game the Monks 
won again while we suffered -- let's say it together -- zero damage.

Back in the Main Hall, enter the first door to the right as you come in.  Do a 
standing jump over the pivot end of the blade and enter the room on the left.  
The Monk seems perfectly happy to let you take the key he is guarding, so grab 
it and take it to the room where the mercenary came through the window.  While 
you're at it, ask the monk how he can walk through the swinging blade without 
being hurt.  Open the "Strongroom" (Personally, I was less than impressed by 
the supposed strength of the Strongroom door.  It looks like a grenade would 
have made short work of that piece of kindling) and get the rooftop key.  Take 
it to the room with the rolling blades, run past the blades on the left, and 
open the door to the rooftop.  

Go up the stairs, go behind the gold statue and flip the switch, and jump over 
the now-extinguished burners.  When you enter the room to the left and go one 
"square" past the lowest step, you will trigger two Monks (in front of you) and 
two mercs (behind you.)  Head for the room to the left (where the Monks come 
from) and let your friends the bullet-resistant Monks dispatch the mercenaries 
once again.  By adjusting the camera angle, you might even be able to watch the 
battle as it progresses on the other side of the wall.  When peace reigns once 
again, throw the switch, drop down below, shoot the glass, and grab the two 
gemstones.  Throw the switch, climb the ladder, exit left, and use a gemstone 
between the gold statues to open a door.  Pull a box to get the second Prayer 
Wheel and return to the Main Hall.  Enter the door just left of where you got 
the Strongroom Key and climb the ladder.  Jump and grab across the statue to 
reach the overhead room at the other end, where you can use your second 
gemstone to open a trap door.  Slide down the statue and enter the hall next to 
the statue (on the same side as the last door you entered.)  

When you placed the second Gemstone, you opened a trap door underneath the 
statue, but you need to pick up the second Secret before going down there.  
From your current position, enter the last door on the left, avoiding the room 
at the end of the hall (for now).  Dive into the pool, swim down, and get the 
second Secret, then go to the room beneath the statue and drop down the opened 
trap door.  Follow the path, throw a switch, and push a box to block the water 
flow.  Slide backwards down the chute and safety drop into the empty pool.  
Pull up and push the box to get the third Prayer Wheel.  Climb the ladder out 
of the pool, return to the hall, and head left to the room at the end.

Interesting note:  For some reason you cannot refill the pool by pushing the 
block back to its original position.  You'd think that it would work, but it 
doesn't.  Believe me -- I tried.

Entering the next hall to the left (where the burner is) will release two 
mercenaries behind you, the second of which has one of those really bad guns.  
You really want your friendly neighborhood Monks to fight this one for you, so 
hang around in the hallway until there are at least two Monks in the immediate 
vicinity, then head towards the burner to trigger the mercenaries, and take 
shelter in one of the nooks to the side just before the burner.  When the dust 
settles, return to the hall and make sure that the Monks vanquished the 
mercenaries for you (and collect the spoils of battle), then return to the 
burners.

With the vermin cleared out of the area, we are now prepared to go through THE 
most annoying sequence in the game.  I'll outline the basics, but be aware that 
you will have to try each run many MANY times before you can get through with 
zero damage.  Here we go.  Time a run towards the burner (which will go out) so 
that you avoid the spiked swinging pendulums and fall into the pit.  Turn and 
pull out of the pit and face back towards the rolling blade.  Time a jump over 
the pit and towards the burner (which will also go out) so that you avoid both 
the rolling blade and the pendulum and fall into the next pit.  Then pull out 
of the pit on the right side, run past the rolling blade, and enter the next 
room to grab the Trapdoor Key.  Have fun.  Now return to the hall with the 
rolling blades (pesky perpetual motion devices!) and time runs from cubby to 
cubby to dodge the blade and the two Deadly Doors to get Secret #3 (and 160 
rounds of M16 ammo!)  Return to the room that had the Trapdoor key and follow 
the hall to eventually backslide and safety drop into the empty pool.  

Climb out and return to the Main Hall.  Use the Trapdoor key, drop down, climb 
out, and notice the switch ahead of you.  Pulling the switch will open the door 
to your left, releasing a couple of mercenaries.  Unfortunately for them, they 
will find themselves severely outnumbered by Monks, who should make mincemeat 
of them in short order.  So pull the switch, back off a little to let the Monks 
and mercs discuss their differences, go inside to verify the outcome, and go 
back outside and head for the hills.  

Follow the outside path, climb a ladder, and follow the upper walkway until you 
see a bridge.  Pull out your Uzis, turn around, and walk backwards one step at 
a time towards the bridge.  You will actually see a bird materialize to your 
right.  Take it out (WITHOUT moving any closer towards the bridge) and Save.  
Exchange the Uzis for the M16 and turn to face the bridge.  Jump forwards then 
immediately backwards to trigger a mercenary on the far side of the bridge, 
then blast him with the M16.  If you find that he is shooting you before he 
goes down, roll into the archway to trigger the merc, then run at top speed for 
the corner next to where the ladder is.  Now that you have put some distance 
between yourself and the mercenary, you can roll and unload M16 ammo into him 
until he goes down.  Let's say it one more time -- zero damage.  Now let's 
cross that bridge and see what the merc was guarding.

Along the path you'll encounter another Monk and a couple of crows.  Be sure 
that you are not targeting the Monk when you take out the crows.  Even from 
this remote location, word of your dastardly deeds can travel quickly back to 
the Monastery.  Climb the rocks, jump over to the roof, safety drop through the 
hatch, and claim your prize -- the fourth Prayer Wheel.  Pulling the switch to 
open the door (haven't these people ever heard of doorknobs or deadbolts?) 
releases another mercenary outside.  Your friend the Monk should engage him in 
combat to your left.  You can either run to the right and wait for the skirmish 
to end or just run past them while they are duking it out and hightail it on 
down the path back to the Monastery.  It is possible that the mercenary killed 
the Monk while you were inside getting the Prayer Wheel.  If this is the case, 
wait just inside the door with your Grenade Gun drawn, run and roll the 
mercenary with two grenades, and he should blow up real good.  When you return 
to the Main Hall, you will likely see the Monks quelling another disturbance 
within their domain, but there should be enough of them to easily overpower the 
puny infidels.  

Return to the hall next to the statue and go through the first door on the 
right.  Just before the path bends right, there is a trap door -- be sure to 
hold X as you cross to avoid an unnecessary loss of life from the fall.  When 
you get on the stairs leading to a window, pause and reflect on what lies 
ahead.  Stepping on the fourth step brings four (!) mercenaries from behind 
you.  Your only option is to shoot the glass and fall out the window where 3 
Monks await you.  If you alienated the Monks and have to fight these guys, you 
are in for one of the toughest battles of the game (see Level 12 -- Barkhang 
Monastery (The Hard Way) below).  However, if you have played nicely with the 
Monks, this last "battle" is a breeze.  Stand on the third step, jump up, and 
shoot out the glass.   You can now put away your guns.  Save your game and then 
run up the stairs.  The mercs will be firing at you by now, but if you stay to 
the far left they may not hit you.  If you simply run out the window and fall 
to the ground, you will lose about 20% of your life from the fall.  If you roll 
at the top and do a safety drop to the ground below, the drop will do you no 
harm, but you run a greater risk of being shot before you get out the window.  
If you repeat this enough times, you should be able to hit the ground with your 
life meter still full -- you decide whether or not it is worth the effort.  You 
will see three Monks marching around eager to kick some butt, and you just 
happen to know where they can find four such posteriors to pommel.  Throw the 
switch to open the door, run for cover, and let the Monks go inside and wipe 
out these last four enemies for you.  Stay alert for the possibility that the 
Monks lose this battle by backing into the corner farthest from the door and 
waiting there with your M16 ready.  When all four mercenaries are down, climb 
the many ladders to get to the top and claim your fifth and final Prayer Wheel.

Now you only need to go to the room on the far side of the statue in the Main 
Hall, insert the Prayer Wheels, go through the HUGE doors, insert the Seraph, 
and advance to the next level.  You have just survived an incredibly long level 
with lots of gunfire yet, by using intelligence rather than brute force, 
conceivably survived the level without losing any life at all. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 12 -- Barkhang Monastery (The Hard Way) (L12H)

Overview

Playing with the Monks as your adversaries makes this an extremely long level 
with lots of gunfire to dodge, several close-up encounters requiring quick 
reflexes, and one really harrowing extended battle.  Every sliver of life is 
precious here, so when I say that zero damage in a certain situation is 
necessary, believe it.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you are 
going to fight the Monks, a perfect level simply is not attainable, but I am 
willing to stand corrected on that issue if provided with proof to the 
contrary.  When I finished the level, I had maybe 10% of my life remaining -- 
this one is that close.  Difficulty:  5/5.

Stayin' Alive

When you enter, you will see a group of mercenaries battling a group of Monks.  
Keep your distance to avoid stray bullets and let them beat each other up until 
one group is eliminated, then open fire on the survivors.  Round the corner and 
kill the advancing Monk, then climb the ladder and take out the unusually 
aggressive eagle.  Jump and climb up to the black square, then drop down to the 
gray walk.  Jumping to the gap in the rocks will trigger two more eagles, so 
you may want to backflip back to the gray walk so that you have some room to 
move.  Back at the gap, drop and shimmy left and enter the monastery.  About 
halfway down the hall to your right you will be charged by a Monk.  These guys 
are very quick and their spears give them pretty good range.  Backhop quickly 
and you can waste him before he gets to you.  Enter the room straight ahead and 
a mercenary will come through the window.  You can roll and quickly run to the 
end of the hall, roll again, whip out the M16, and take him out with zero 
damage to Lara.

Entering the first door on the left of the main hall will trigger a Monk from 
inside the room and a mercenary with a very dangerous gun from behind you.  
Roll across the threshold to trigger the Monk, then run back to the room where 
the merc came through the window, jumping past the live merc on your way.  With 
any luck, the Monk and the merc will battle each other in the hallway.  Await 
the outcome as far back as possible with your M16 drawn, and then blast the 
survivor when he comes for you.  This is yet another tough situation that came 
be escaped with zero damage.

Now enter the room (from which the Monk came) and climb the ladder.  Another 
Monk will come from your right to greet you so give him a proper welcome.  Grab 
the key, admire the room below (you will be there soon enough) and continue 
around the walkway.  Execute a couple of rolls to trigger boulders and follow 
the path to the pool.  Fight the strong current by staying close to the walls 
and enter the tunnel on the far right side. Drop down the shaft and make your 
way past the three pairs of Deadly Doors to arrive at the bottom of the ladder.
When you reach the top, a Monk will charge at you from your left -- I used two 
grenades to blow him up before he could get to me.  Two mercenaries -- one of 
them toting one of those really bad guns -- are lurking in the doorway of the 
darkened room.  Running through the middle of the current room will release one 
of them.  A good Run and Roll with the Uzis will lose you minimal life.  His 
buddy is triggered when you enter the darkened room -- give him more of the 
same.  I lost about 10% of Lara's life from these two guys combined, an 
acceptable value considering the close space involved. (Speaking of which, 
isn't it odd that a Monk and two mercs -- mortal enemies -- shared such a 
cramped space without killing each other?)

Having survived so much gunfire, you must now grab the first Prayer Wheel and 
survive another kind of fire -- simply jump one row of burners at a time 
hugging the right wall (as you are leaving.)  Then pull some boxes, climb a 
ladder, and retrace your steps to where you entered.  A mercenary is waiting 
for you on the upper level.  If he is nice enough to approach, you can use your 
Vertical Leap.  If not, just jump up to the walkway and waste him with your 
M16.  

Go back down the ladder and out into the hall, take a left, and unlock 
the door to the Main Hall.  It looks too peaceful in here, doesn't it?  As soon 
as you enter, all mayhem will break loose -- 3 Monks will attack from your 
right, and three mercenaries will enter behind you.  Run in, bear left, jump 
over the railing, and hide on the elevated ledge behind the statue while the 
two warring factions duke it out.  While you're waiting, you can jump up to the 
recess above you to get the first Secret.  You can then emerge and pick off the 
survivors from the safety of this area.  I'll say it again -- zero damage.

Enter the door to the right, jump over a blade and wait at the entrance to the 
room on the left.  Entering will bring a Monk charging your way, and I had a 
heck of a time killing him before he got to me.  Eventually, I rolled into the 
room, ran out, and jumped back over the blade (which doesn't seem to slow the 
Monk at all) to gain some space, then I took him out with two grenades.  Go 
back and get the key he was guarding and take it to the room where the 
mercenary came through the window.  Open the "Strongroom" (Personally, I was 
less than impressed by the supposed strength of the Strongroom door.  It looks 
like a grenade would have made short work of that piece of kindling.) and get 
the rooftop key.  Take it to the room with the rolling blades, run past the 
blades on the left, and open the door to the rooftop.  

Go up the stairs, go behind the gold statue and flip the switch, and jump over 
the now-extinguished burners.  Entering the room to the left will trigger two 
Monks and two mercs.  Head for the ladder to the right, get up as quickly as 
possible, let your four enemies slug it out, and then blast the survivors.  I 
took a minor shot on the way up the ladder, but still had about 85% life 
remaining.  Go back down, throw the switch, drop down below, shoot the glass, 
and grab the two gemstones.  Throw the switch, climb the ladder, exit left, and 
use a gemstone between the gold statues to open a door.  Pull a box to get the 
second Prayer Wheel and return to the Main Hall.  Enter the door just left of 
where you got the Strongroom Key and climb the ladder.  Jump and grab across 
the statue to reach the overhead room at the other end, where you can use your 
second gemstone to open a trap door.  Slide down the statue and enter the hall 
next to the statue (on the same side as the last door you entered.)  

At the first doorway on the right, roll into the room to trigger the Monk, then 
head back toward the statue, roll, and Backhop to take him out.  There are two 
more Monks a little further down the hall, and you might as well eliminate them 
now.  Advance slowly until you see them coming from the end of the hall, then 
roll, run back to the huge statue, and jump up on its base where they cannot 
get you.  Take them out at your leisure.  Now go back and enter the door on the 
left.  A Monk will charge you from across the pool -- open fire and dive into 
the water if he gets too close.  Then surface across the pool and finish the 
job.  Swim down and get the second Secret, then go to the room beneath the 
statue and drop down the opened trap door.  Follow the path, throw a switch, 
and push a box to block the water flow.  Slide backwards down the chute and 
safety drop into the empty pool.  Pull up and push the box to get the third 
Prayer Wheel.  Climb the ladder out of the pool, return to the hall, and head 
left to the room at the end.

Entering the next hall to the left (where the burner is) will release two 
mercenaries behind you, the second of which has one of those really bad guns.  
Run and Roll is your only strategy, but you are going to take some damage.  
Your only salvation is that the second guy has a tendency to just wander away 
from the fight and walk down the hall, allowing you to follow him, shoot him in 
the back, and neutralize him fairly easily.  Unfortunately, the other guy is 
shooting you all the while.  I settled for a 15% loss of life, leaving me about 
70%.  I could probably do better, but there is just one really hairy battle 
left, and I figure I can survive on this.  We'll see.

With the vermin cleared out of the area, we are now prepared to go through THE 
most annoying sequence in the game.  I'll outline the basics, but be aware that 
you will have to try each run many MANY times before you can get through with 
zero damage.  Here we go.  Time a run towards the burner (which will go out) so 
that you avoid the spiked swinging pendulums and fall into the pit.  Turn and 
pull out of the pit and face back towards the rolling blade.  Time a jump over 
the pit and towards the burner (which will also go out) so that you avoid both 
the rolling blade and the pendulum and fall into the next pit.  Then pull out 
of the pit on the right side, run past the rolling blade, and enter the next 
room to grab the Trapdoor Key.  Have fun.  Now return to the hall with the 
rolling blades (pesky perpetual motion devices!) and time runs from cubby to 
cubby to dodge the blade and the two Deadly Doors to get Secret #3 (and a MESS 
of M16 ammo!)  Return to the room that had the Trapdoor key and follow the hall 
to eventually backslide and safety drop into the empty pool.  

Climb out and return to the Main Hall.  Use the Trapdoor key, drop down, climb 
out, and notice the switch ahead of you.  Approaching it will trigger a Monk 
from your right -- I used grenades on him, but Backhopping should work if you 
are quick.  Pulling the switch will open the door to your left, releasing a 
couple of mercenaries.  Pull the switch, roll, and then hightail it out the 
door and up the hill to put some distance between yourself and these thugs.  
With luck, they will venture out to check on you.  If so, be waiting with your 
M16.  Eventually, you may have to go back to finish them off with a little Run 
and Roll, but you can beat them without taking any further damage.  

Follow the outside path, climb a ladder, and follow the upper walkway until you 
see a bridge.  Pull out your Uzis and walk one step at a time towards the 
bridge.  You will actually see a bird materialize to your left.  Turn and take 
it out and Save.  Exchange the Uzis for the M16.  Roll into the archway to 
trigger the mercenary on the far side of the bridge, then run at top speed for 
the corner next to where the ladder is.  Now that you have put some distance 
between yourself and the mercenary, roll and unload M16 ammo into him until he 
goes down.  Let's say it together -- zero damage.  Now let's cross that bridge 
and see what the merc was guarding.

Along the path you'll encounter another Monk and a couple of crows but these 
should pose no problem to an experienced adventurer such as yourself.  Climb 
the rocks, jump over to the roof, safety drop through the hatch, and claim your 
prize -- the fourth Prayer Wheel.  Pulling the switch to open the door (haven't 
these people ever heard of doorknobs or deadbolts?) releases another mercenary 
outside.  There is no reason that you have to kill this guy, so I just waited 
for him in the doorway, ran past him, and hightailed it down the trail, jumping 
to avoid his shots.  Zero damage was the result.  Jump over to the ladder and 
climb down before following the trail back to the monastery.  (On my return to 
the monastery, I was greeted by two mercenaries whose presence I did not recall 
from previous runs through the game.  If they are there, you can take them out 
as decribed three paragraphs earlier when you threw the switch to open the 
double doors.)  

So you're probably feeling pretty good about things at this point.  We've got 4 
of the 5 prayer wheels, over two-thirds of our life remaining -- life is good, 
right?  Well, I hate to disappoint you, but we've been putting off one of the 
toughest battles in the game (how's THAT for a buildup?)  Return to the hall 
next to the statue and go through the first door on the right.  Just before the 
path bends right, there is a trap door -- be sure to jump and grab to avoid an 
untimely demise.  When you get on the stairs leading to a window, pause and 
reflect on what lies ahead.  Approaching that window brings four (!) 
mercenaries from behind you.  Your only option is to shoot the glass and jump 
out the window where 3 Monks await you.  I suppose it is possible to go 
directly to the switch, open the double doors, and let the Monks and mercs kill 
each other, but you will be hard pressed to survive until that battle begins.

I've done this battle several different ways, but here is what worked best for 
me.  Go halfway up the stairs, jump and shoot out the glass and pull out your 
grenade launcher.  On a good day, you can take out the three monks with a total 
of six grenades.  Run through the window, angle to the right, and try to fire a 
grenade on the way down.  When you hit the ground (shaving about 25% off your 
life!), try to hit that same Monk with a second grenade.  Run right (there is 
more room that way), roll, and fire grenades as fast as you can, targeting the 
nearest Monk first.  These guys are faster than you are -- running will only 
worsen your situation.  You will take some damage, but if you still have 35% - 
40% of your life remaining, you should be able to survive the next assault.

When you are satisfied with your results here, go stand in front of the switch, 
pull out the M16, and Save.  Pull the switch, roll, and retreat to the farthest 
corner (directly opposite the window out of which you leaped so boldly only 
moments ago.)  Blast the mercs as they come out the door, remembering to let up 
on the X button occasionally so that you are targeting the nearest enemy at all 
times.  If you have trouble retreating safely to the corner, try climbing the 
ladders to retrieve the Prayer Wheel first.  Sometimes, this causes the mercs 
to disperse rather than cluster by the door.  You will die many deaths before 
emerging victorious from this battle, but all you have to do is survive.  Once 
you have wasted these four mercs and retrieved the Prayer Wheel, you only need 
to go to the room on the far side of the statue in the Main Hall, insert the 
Prayer Wheels, go through the HUGE doors, insert the Seraph, and advance to the 
next level.  Congratulations!  You just survived the single most difficult 
encounter in the game and made it through a very long and difficult level 
without using any Medi-Packs.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 13 -- Catcombs of the Talion (L13)

Overview

This level will be a nice break after the last nerve-wracking level.  Most of 
your enemies will be animals rather than gun-toting humans, and it will be very 
easy to survive with over half of your life intact.  Sadly, there is a fall 
that will inevitably take a sliver out of your life meter, making a perfect 
level impossible here.  I find the gun battles in this level especially 
annoying because in both you are at a severe disadvantage, and I will detail 
those when we come to them.  Also, there is one mildly irksome puzzle at the 
end, but otherwise you can sit back and enjoy this one.  Difficulty:  2/5.

Stayin' Alive

Drop off the stairs and walk around them to avoid the icy overhead spikes.  In 
the next room, shimmy across the left wall and pull over to get the Secret.  
Return to the other side.  There is a Yeti in the pit, and he is tough to 
target from this side.  One option is to slide and jump to the other side and 
try to get him from there.  Alternatively, go down the ladder until you are 
just above his reach (he will be waiting for you at the bottom of the ladder), 
backflip over his head, and take him out with a grenade or two. Yetis blow up 
real good if you just hit them with one (fresh game) or two (continued game) 
grenades each.  Throw the switch down below, climb back up, slide and jump 
across the pit, and turn left to take out the attacking leopard.  If you have 
trouble making this jump, slide down backwards, grab the edge, and then 
backflip onto the ledge.  Again, go around the steps to avoid the icicles 
(isn't it amazing that the leopard bounding up these stairs did not disturb the 
icicles, yet Lara releases them when walking gently?)  

In the next room, there are three rows of stairs.  Descend the first row, but 
when you get to the second row, safety drop down from the second highest step.  
If you descend all of the steps, you will trigger two gunmen behind you, and we 
are not quite ready to deal with them yet.  Go around to the far (left as you 
are facing it) side of the pool and slowly advance towards the back wall.  
One square past the far edge of the pool, you will release two leopards from 
the center of the back area, and you can dispatch them by backhopping.

Now that we have cleared this central area of enemies, save your game, equip 
your trusty M16, and return to the steps.  Touching the fifth step from the 
bottom will release the aforementioned gunmen back where you entered the area.  
Stand on the fourth step, roll onto the fifth step, then retreat to the back of 
the room.  From here, you should be able to take out the two gunmen by using 
your M16 without getting shot by them.  Don't retreat too far or Lara won't be 
able to target the enemies while they are on the steps.  In a "continued" game, 
you may have to shoot them as they descend the steps, retreat a bit more before 
they touch the ground, then finish them off from further back in the area.

Go back to the stairs, hop over to the ramp, trigger the snowballs, and side 
jump into the safety of the nice warm(?) pool.  Climb the rocks, run across the 
crumbling floor, jump to the ladder, climb, and backflip to the ledge.  Throw 
the switch and jump over to the now-opened cage to grab the Tibetan Mask.  
Side-jumping into the pool is no longer advisable, as the pool is now 
miraculously drained.  Safety drop down into and below the pool (I still lost a 
sliver of life doing so), jump the pit, and use the Mask to open the gate.  
When you advance, many snowballs will come rolling towards you.  Avoid them by 
climbing up the right wall, then hop up onto the ice block to your right to 
protect yourself from the four oncoming leopards.  Pick them off from here in 
complete safety.

While we are thinning the local feline population, there are six more leopards 
we need to eliminate on the other side of that hole in the wall.  The first two 
will release from in front of you when you hit the ground over there, and you 
can retreat to pick them off safely from the rocks.  The next two release when 
you approach the portal to the right, and they come from over by where you 
entered, thus blocking your ability to retreat to the rocks.  They are fast, 
but with good Backhopping, you can avoid all damage.  The last two release from 
in front of you as you try to pass through the aforementioned portal.  
Backhopping is again productive.

Now that the coast is clear, enter the portal, climb the rocks, dive into the 
pool, and grab the Mask.  This will release two mercenaries in the main area.  
Do not linger near the grate -- the mercenaries can shoot you through the 
water, for which you would not be "grate"-ful.  These mercs are going to be 
difficult to kill because you are in a rather unfortunate position.  If you try 
to pull up, drop down, and fight them straight up, they will decimate your life 
before you hit the ground.  Fleeing to safety is likewise fruitless.  You need 
for them to wander over to the area where you killed the cats so that you can 
get into position to fight them.  The problem is that they tend to hover around 
the area where you need to position yourself.  I have tried to lure them away 
by diving back down into the water, and I've tried pulling up briefly to try to 
move them.  Nothing seems to work.  Just as aggravating, if you DO manage to 
get them to move and you get Lara into position to blast them, they tend to 
avoid returning to the very place that they wouldn't leave earlier.  Grrrrr!  
Anyway, in an ideal world, here is what you want to do.     

Hang from the edge of the rock and use the "Look" button to monitor their 
whereabouts.  When and if they leave the area, pull up, turn left, run off the 
rock, take a HARD left, and retreat to the NEAR left corner with your Uzis 
drawn.  Mercenaries have a VERY hard time hitting you when you are against a 
wall that is perpendicular to their path of motion.  As soon as they enter the 
area, shoot like crazy, remembering to release the X button occasionally.  It 
is very unlikely that they will come any closer to you.  They generally take a 
couple of shots (that will probably miss), turn around and go back into the 
large area.  If you have trouble getting them to return to this area, run down 
off your perch, touch the ground (to lure them back in), then backflip twice 
and sidestep right as necessary to get back into position.  

If you are fortunate enough to get them to leave the area so that you can 
huddle in the corner, you have a very good chance of taking them both out 
without losing any life.  If you run out of patience and try to fight them 
straight up, save if you can get out with no more than 20% loss of life.  It's 
not like we really have to conserve life that carefully in this level anyway.  
It's just annoying to know how to beat these guys without taking any hits but 
being unable to make it happen.

Go back through the hole in the wall to the far left corner of the area and use 
the mask to open a door.  Stand in front of the switch on the upper level and 
prepare for some real fun!   Throwing that switch will release four (!) Yetis.  
They are very fast and can take a lot of hits before they go down.  I tried 
this battle with grenades, but in general I couldn't fire them quickly enough.  
I switched to Uzis and wasted them all on my first try without getting hit even 
once.  Throw the switch, then turn and fire at the advancing Yetis (for me, 
they all approached from my left -- lucky for me they didn't surround me!)  
When they get too close, drop down to the lower level, turn and keep firing.  I 
hate to keep saying this, but remember to release the X button occasionally so 
that you aren't targeting an already dead enemy.

I should make note of an odd occurrence in a recent game.  When I threw the 
switch, only one Yeti charged at me.  Obviously, it was easy to take him out, 
but that meant that I had to go hunting for the other three.  Ultimately, I had 
to throw a flare into one of those dark passages underneath the walks at the 
edges of the room, then draw my grenade gun and shoot as soon as Lara targeted 
the oncoming enemy, repeating at the other side when one side was cleared.  In 
dozens of times through this game, I cannot remember that ever happening 
before.  Perhaps equally odd was that two of the three remaining Yetis seemed 
to be superposed on each other.  I had taken out one in the central open space 
and a second in one of the dark passages.  When I went into the other dark 
passage, I only saw one Yeti charging at me.  When I hit it/them with a 
grenade, there was the usual shattering of Yeti pieces but a Yeti was still 
charging at me.  A second grenade finished it off, and no more Yetis appeared, 
suggesting that those last two actually occupied the exact same coordinates in 
time and space.  Weird.      

When the dust settles, move the box in the far corner so that it props open one 
of the barred gates.  Then go inside and throw the switch.  This will release 
two more mercenaries outside who you now must face.  Since they are a level 
above Lara, you are again at a severe disadvantage.  I used to try to kill them 
using the Vertical Leap method, but it seemed to take forever and occasionally 
one of them would hit me, forcing me to reload and try again.  Moreover, there 
is still a third mercenary out there who will be released when you advance just 
past the doorway, and you still have to deal with him.  The solution to our 
problem is simple.  Remember a couple of paragraphs back, how I told you the 
mercenaries' weakness?  Well, it works here too.  Jump up to the ledge with 
Uzis drawn, take a hard right, run to the near right corner, roll, and fire 
like crazy.  I actually took out all three mercs with my Uzis without getting 
hit even once!  Be aware that this won't work every time.  Sometimes the mercs 
turn towards you and just fire without mercy, and sometimes they get stuck in 
the main area and you have to go hunting for them.  And, of course, there will 
be many times that you will get blasted just trying to get into position.  Just 
adapt to the situation that you face, but you really don't have to get carried 
away since this is our last gunfight of the level.  In fact, if you have 
trouble with the above strategy, you can always just jump out, take the hard 
right, run all the way to the wall, roll, and shoot while side-jumping.  You 
will take a good deal of damage, but you should survive handily.

Go back through the hole in the wall and across the rope bridge, dodging 
snowballs as necessary.  Jump to the ladder, drop down to the pool, swim out 
and blast the fish.  Swim through the passage and pull up again to blast two 
more fish.  Follow the path, climb the ladder to the Secret, then swim on to 
the left until you come to the door.  Climb the rock, jump to the ladder, 
backflip to the ledge, and throw the switch.  Roll inside the door to trigger 
the leopard, then retreat to the safety of the water to shoot it.  Go inside 
and throw the switch, then make your way to the ground (the fast -- and damage-
free -- way is to do a running jump from the right "arm" to the HIGH SIDE of 
the sloped rocks and sliding down from there.)  Go back through the hole in the 
wall to the now-opened doors (with snowballs) to your left.

Jump over the snowballs to arrive at a pit that contains three leopards.  You 
can avoid going down there if you want, but that pit also contains a couple of 
grenades and 120 precious rounds of ammunition for your M16, which probably 
make this side trip worth your while.  You can pick off the leopards from 
above, luring them out by dangling and then pulling up to shoot them.  It takes 
some patience, but you can even do this with your pistols.  When they are 
history, safety drop into the pit, gather the loot, face the switch and save. 
Throwing the switch will release another leopard from the door that opens 
behind you, so throw the switch, roll, draw your Uzis or automatics pistols, 
and nail him before he claws you.  Use the door to exit this pit and return to 
the far side of the pit with snowballs in front of you and to your left.

I've always had trouble with these snowballs, but here is what has worked best 
for me.  First, we are going to clear away the snowballs directly ahead of you. 
Line up Lara so that she is facing the snowballs with her toes on the seam 
between the flat area and the area that slopes up to the snowballs.  She should 
be centered or slightly to the right (towards the gray door) of center.  Jump 
forward and hold jump so that Lara rebounds off the slope.  When she returns to 
the flat area, side jump right towards the door.  You can now repeat this 
process with the second set of snowballs -- jump, backflip off the slope, and 
side jump right.  Enter the opening that these snowballs created.

Run across the left trigger panel and jump through the left opening.  WALK 
through the spikes and climb the textured wall to claim the Secret.  Go down, 
head towards the other door (which will open for you) and jump onto the wall to 
the left.  If you touch the floor, the door that you just opened (through which 
you need to exit) will close again, so stay on the wall.  Go as far as possible 
from the door, turn to face the door, position Lara at the far inside edge of 
the wall, and take two walking steps forward.  Run off the wall onto the panel 
behind the snowballs, then quickly either jump over the snowballs or run around 
them.  Race through the right door and through the open door in the next room 
so that you can leap to the ladder and climb down to the next level.  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 14 -- Ice Palace (L14)

Overview

This is our last relatively easy level.  There will be no gunfire (except 
Lara's, of course) which is good news.  Again, most enemies will be various 
critters which will pose us little difficulty.  The biggest negative is the 
springboards at the beginning of the level, which are annoying but not 
especially deadly.  The biggest plus is a ridiculously easy boss at the end 
that you can kill with your pistols.  We do need to conserve life, though, 
because very near the end, Lara will take a fall that will sap half of her life 
away.  Otherwise, this will be smooth sailing.  Enjoy the ride.  Difficulty:  
2/5.

Stayin' Alive 

Shoot the bell with your pistols to open the door (this gives new meaning to 
the term "door bell.") Enter the room with the obnoxious springboards and 
prepare for much frustration.  Step on the one ahead and to your far right with 
pistols drawn, then shoot the bell, holster your guns, slide down and grab the 
edge of the ramp to avoid damage.  Now run onto the springboard just left of 
the one you just used, grab and pull up to find a switch.  Throw it to release 
three Yetis.  With patience, you can target them from up here.  When you get 
tired of this, drop down and just blast the darned things with grenades or 
Uzis.  

Jump into the now-opened cages, follow the path to the right, and at the right 
bend just past the Medi-Pack, another Yeti will charge at you.  Two grenades 
will take care of him.  Throw the switch and on the way back out, pull the odd-
looking stone block out, make the "leap of faith" and walk over to the Secret 
and back.  Return to the bottom floor and to the next springboard past the one 
you last used.  Use it to bound up to the ledge you just created.  Jump up and 
shoot the bell to open the last gate below you.  Slide, grab, and drop down and 
head through the open gates to the next springboard.  

Step on the springboard, grab the ledge, and shimmy right.  Pull up backflip, 
jump forward, draw your guns, shoot the bell, holster your guns, and grab the 
edge.  You can now shimmy back left, jump back and forth between the sloped 
ledges until you land on the flat area to your left.  Climb up, go up the 
ladder, jump to the alcove to your right, and draw your grenade launcher.  When 
you hit the ground, a Yeti will come out of the opening ahead and to your 
right.  Blow him up, then head through that opening.  A leopard will appear at 
the end of the passage -- terminate him and go into the area to the right to 
grab the Secret that you saw from the last room.  Entering the room at the end 
of the passage triggers another really fast leopard -- if you take a little 
damage, it's OK, but if you want to avoid damage, stop him in his tracks with a 
grenade.  My life was about 90% here.  You have two more big cats to eliminate 
here.  They are triggered when you cross the line where the ground changes from 
mottled gray to a (downward sloping) brown.  Roll across this line, then 
quickly retreat down the "hallway" and pull up into the rectangular opening 
where you first entered this area.  From here you can safely eliminate the cats 
and then go pick up your new Mask.  

Take the Mask and go back to the hall where the door is now open.  Follow the 
path and the second time that you drop down, be prepared to blow up another 
Yeti.  There is another Yeti in the area down below.  If you can target him 
from above, great.  If not, drop down with grenade launcher ready.  You might 
want to throw down a flare first to light the way.  When the coast is clear, 
climb onto the ledge and use the Mask to open the door to your left.  Enter 
that door and cross the rope bridge and make your way to the switch.  (Wow!  
How does that stuff stay red-hot so long in such a frigid environment?)  Safety 
drop and slide down the rocks.  Approaching the pond will bring two frisky 
kitties bounding in from the opening on the right.  Roll to trigger them, and 
then jump back up to the rock surface and take them out safely from there.  

This inviting-looking body of water contains the Gong Hammer (which you need) 
and two more fish (which you do not need).  Warm them up with some hot lead, 
then swim to the next area.  Three Yeti are stomping about (although I notice 
that their heavy footsteps do NOT dislodge the overhead icicles).  It's a pity 
that they are afraid of the water, because you can stand on the rock in the 
water to the right and systematically eliminate all of them with your lowly 
pistols without getting your hair mussed or using any vital ammo.  Approaching 
the cave to the left will draw another Yeti, but he never learned to swim 
either, so retreat to the water and give him what for.  A fifth will come 
lumbering down the ice steps when you approach the bottom "step."  You can 
either roll just beyond the Medi Pack and retreat to the water yet again or 
just blow him up with a grenade or two.  (Possibly interesting side note -- on 
one recent run when I retreated to the water, the Yeti followed me there and 
immediately keeled over dead before I shot him even once.  I guess they really 
can't swim!)

The first couple of rows of snowballs inside can be triggered by proximity.  
The rest you will have to race to the bottom, then jump on the ice block to the 
right out of harm's way.  In the next chamber, backslide and grab, shimmy left, 
then backflip onto the ledge.  Gee -- it's a good thing that ice isn't 
slippery!  Take a running jump and grab onto the sheer wall of ice (yeah, 
right!) and climb to the top.  You can actually make it this far into the level 
with your life bar completely full.  Sadly, that streak ends here.  Do your 
best safety drop in front of the gong, but you will still lose half of your 
life doing so.  No big deal -- we're almost done here anyway.  Use your Gong 
Hammer on the huge Gong.  Carefully drop down to the ground and head for the 
ladder in the far left corner.  Light a flare, jump to the ladder, and descend.
You now can go either left or right.  To the right is a passage that is empty 
except for some spikes that will unnecessarily rob you of life when you try to 
exit this path, so I would advise going to the left.  Drop down twice, throw 
the switch, climb back up, and backflip off the ladder.  Head to the now-open 
door to claim the Secret.

You must now return to the Ice Palace and go inside to grab the Talion.  Doing 
so and touching back down on the ground will release the Guardian of the Talion 
-- a formidable looking foe who, as mentioned in the introduction, is 
ridiculously easy to beat.  Do you remember how you got up into the Ice Palace 
to get the Talion?  You did a running jump from a snow bank onto the flat part 
of the ice, right?  Well, just jump back onto that snow bank and roll (to 
trigger the Guardian), and quickly do a running jump back up to the ice.  The 
Guardian can't touch you there, and you can pop your pistols at him until he 
goes down.  (Isn't it odd that a creature that guards an Ice Palace in a frozen 
environment can't climb onto a block of ice?)  

For the record, the cave from which the Guardian emerged has a large Medi Pack 
(which you definitely don't need) and a couple of Uzi clips (which you may or 
may not want.)  If you want these items, you're going to have to get down off 
your safe ledge, because once you finish off the Guardian, the level ends and 
you no longer have access to these items.  So, if you want to pursue these 
items, you are going to have to lure the Guardian away to allow yourself time 
to grab the items before returning to your perch.  Have fun with that.  Me?  
I'm giving myself a pat on the back for surviving yet another level with Medi 
Packs, and I'm moving on to . . .

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 15 -- Temple of Xian (L15)

Overview

This level focuses more on traps and puzzles than on gun-toting enemies.  There 
are no enemies who shoot at you and most of the creatures are fairly easily 
handled.  Really the main problem here is that this level is really long and 
you have to be vigilant throughout lest your life be frittered away.  Again, 
some loss of life is unavoidable and therefore a perfect level is just not 
possible.  However, if you take care in conserving life, this level should pose 
you no major obstacles, and you can finish with around half of your life 
remaining. Difficulty:  3/5.

Stayin' Alive    

Advance into the temple and -- Oh boy!  There is the Dagger, right in front of 
you! Sadly, there is no way to get it, for even your best running jump will 
cause you to fall through the trap door.  Slide, jump over a blade (sustaining 
a tiny amount of damage), and slide some more.  When you reach the ramp with 
water, hit Jump, then Down (Roll does not seem to work here), and then Action 
to slide down backwards and grab the ledge.  If your jump caused you to lose 
life, do it again and time it so that you do not jump down the drop in the ramp 
about two-thirds the way down.  Shimmy left to get the Secret.  Do your nicest 
swan dive into the water, let the current carry you (not that you have a 
choice), and pull up on the wooden ledge to blast two gold fish.  

Dive back in and swim right to the temple doors.  Two tigers await you here.  
The first will be triggered when you approach the left alcove.  You can retreat 
to the water or the rocks or just Backhop.  The other will come from the right 
when you touch the third step.  Ascend the stairs on the right side so that the 
tiger will be directly in front of you, and take it out by backhopping.  On 
your left as you face the building is another of those beloved springboards -- 
ride it up to the roof, run counterclockwise , and throw the switch.  This 
releases an eagle which should pose you no problem.  I'm not sure that there is 
a safe (i.e., damage-free) way to drop down again -- my best safety drop to one 
of the raised portions at the front of the building showed a tiny loss of life, 
and we may have to accept that.

Swim back to where you killed the fishies, climb the ladder, and blast the 
spider.  Backdrop off the ledge, go down the ladder, drop and grab, and shimmy 
left.  Go down the next ladder, drop and grab, and pull up.  Go around the 
corner, drop and grab and shimmy right (and then back) to get the Secret.  Go 
to the end of the path, roll, and kill another spider behind you, then go up 
two more ladders.  You will soon arrive in an uninviting room with many spikes 
tipped with the blood of previous adventurers less skilled than yourself (a 
nice touch, don't you think?).  Climb the wall as high as you can, go right, 
then backflip and hold Jump to land on the flat ledge in front of you.  Go off 
the edge, move forward, and stop at the last breakaway tile to fall to the 
platform below.  Look through the opening ahead to see slanted ledges and 
spikes.  Do a running jump to the opening, then slide, jump, slide, jump, grab 
and pull up to safety.  If you just can't pass up a freebie, go down and get 
the grenades.  Either way, pull up to throw the switch and open the Temple 
doors.  Dive back into the drink and swim back to the Temple doors.  So far, so 
good.

Enter the Temple and go through the open door in the right rear.  Pull up to 
another slope-jumping sequence, and stand in the hallway looking at the switch.
Like the Dagger, this switch cannot be reached, for it is has another false 
floor in front of it.  Back onto the false floor and grab (so that the fall 
does not harm you), then do a safety drop, roll, switch pull, roll, run, and 
finally a dive back into the opening.  You will not be damaged if you do it 
right.  Follow the new passage, start up the ramp, and sidejump to avoid the 
huge ball.  Go up the next ramp and just run off the left side to avoid the 
next rolling object.  Repeat this strategy on the last ramp and then head up 
the ladder.  Drop down into the very dark room with lighted flare in hand, and 
stand in front of the switch.  Throw the switch, roll, draw your grenade 
launcher, and blast the tiger that is closing in on you quickly.  The tiger did 
no damage to me, and at this point I had that familiar black square at the edge 
of my health meter -- about 90% remaining.

Climb out to the area with the ladder and safety drop from the near right-hand 
side -- the swinging blades won't touch you, but you will lose a tiny amount of 
life when you land.  Dodge the rolling blades in two stages -- first run 
straight back (you are safe against the back wall), then to the left and out 
the door.  Head out onto the rafters and kill two eagles (which, I might say, 
seem to be able to withstand an extraordinary amount of gunfire).  Go to the 
left end, push the button, and run and jump across the rafters to go through 
the timed door at the opposite end of the room.  Make your way past the 
physics-defying perpetual motion spiked pendulums to arrive at a platform with 
two switches.  Push the right one, side-jump to the left one and push it, turn 
a bit and run across the timed floor panels and the breakaway tiles, outrun the 
rolling ball, and jump/grab to the platform in front of you.  If you, like 
myself, have issues with the changing camera angles, hit the Look button to get 
a normal perspective on things.  Grab the Dragon Seal and catch your breath.

Jump to the platform against the right wall and pull up on the blocks until you 
come to the room.  Enter, throw the switch, go out the other side, turn, and 
shoot the two spiders.  Go down to the bottom, jump to the second wooden 
platform, and point left.  Jump to the sloped pillar, slide, then jump and grab 
the next sloped pillar.  Pull up, slide down, and jump to the flat pillar.  
Turn right, do a jump/grab to the next pillar, and then turn right and take a 
running jump to the next one.  Oh, goodie -- another springboard!  Take one 
step back from the edge, jump onto the springboard, and when you land 
immediately hop backwards and hang off the edge to dodge the oncoming ball.  
Angle a running jump to the next flat surface to the right, then immediately 
backflip to avoid the oncoming ball.  Follow the flat surfaces all the way to 
the far wall.  Run off the right side of this pillar (facing downhill) and 
bounce off the springboard (holding Forward) and up into the rafters.  Make a 
truly spectacular leap to the right to get the Secret (and a whopping 640 
rounds for your Uzis!)  To get down safely, do a running jump from the right 
side of this platform to the flat platform ahead, miraculously suffering no 
damage.  Now go up one level and right, right (releasing another eagle), right 
and up, left, and finally left and up into the room.  Pull the block, throw the 
switch, drop down, and race the ball down the ramp and out the left even though 
you really can't see where you are going, thanks to the crummy camera angles.  
You will slide back out onto the overhead rafters.

There will be two frisky tigers down below, and you should take them out before 
dropping down to their level.  Use the Dragon Seal to open the left door and go 
down there and play "Dodge the Rolling Blade" again.  Exit right and slide down 
a ramp into a watery room with a spiked ceiling descending quickly upon you.  
Throw the three green switches to open the door to your right, and exit this 
trap.  Climb up to the top of the wall and bag another gold fish.  You are now 
going to throw a sequence of underwater switches.  In each case, getting to the 
switch and throwing it will use up roughly half of your air supply, so I 
suggest that you return for air after every switch.  Remember, our motto here 
is, "Safety First."  The first switch is ahead of you and to the right.  This 
will increase the water level, so you will need to swim almost straight up to 
get air.  Face back out to the main chamber and swim across the room, down the 
corridor, and through the passage to the right to throw the switch on the left 
wall.  Next, return to this same area but swim into the room to the right and 
throw the switch there.  Finally, swim into a now-open area opposite this 
corridor to throw one last switch.  

Climb up, shoot a fish, and exit to the room with the ominous spikes on the 
right wall.  Throw the switch, then run like crazy to drop down and get flushed 
into a fast-running stream.  The current will drop you near a key (pick it up!) 
and then out into the main pool again.  Take a left and return to where you 
climbed the ladder and use the Gold Key.  Go through the opening as far as you 
can without submerging, light a flare, and Save.  Swim down, right, right 
through the opening, take a sharp right, then the first left and pull the 
switch on the column to your left.  A fish will come gnaw on you while you 
helplessly wait to swim back out, up through the narrow opening, and pull up to 
the wooden ledge to your right.  From there you can wreak your revenge on this 
finny fiend and his scaly sidekick.  If you are better than I am with the 
harpoon gun, you may be able to kill the fish before throwing the switch and 
take less damage.  I escaped with two-thirds of my life intact which is really 
plenty -- it just irks me to lose so much life to such a lowly enemy as a fish!

Update -- With a little practice, I was able to kill the fish with my harpoon 
gun and avoid all damage in this encounter.  Equip the harpoon gun, then light 
a flare and swim down into the room to the right.  Turn right at the second 
column and draw your harpoon gun (thus dropping the flare, allowing you to 
see.) The fish should appear from the left and straight ahead of you.  Shoot 
him as many times as you can (I only got in one hit here.)  He should continue 
swimming clockwise around the columns.  Rotate 90 degrees clockwise so that you 
will be facing him when he emerges from behind the columns. Hitting him with 
two more harpoons should finish him off.  This should give you plenty of time 
to throw the switch and swim to the surface.  Don't forget that another fish is 
waiting for you up there, but if you can dodge him, you can easily pull out of 
the water and blast him from the wooden ledge.

One final hint on killing this fish.  If you read the "Weapons" section of this 
guide, you may recall that Lara pauses to reload whenever the number of 
remaining harpoons is a multiple of 4.  Thus, before swimming down for this 
fight, you may want to fire off enough harpoons until the number remaining is a 
multiple of 4.  4 example, at this point I had 54 harpoons in inventory.  I 
fired off 2 of them, leaving me 52 (= 4 x 13).  This way, when Lara fights the 
fish, she can fire the maximum of 4 shots without having to reload at an 
inconvenient time.  Of course, if you are playing a continued game, you are 
just going to have to deal with the pitifully slow firing rate caused by Lara 
reloading after every shot.  

Welcome to Spider-Land!  This dark, creepy-looking cave is infested with 
spiders large and small.  The small ones are easy -- just advance slowly and 
remember that Lara will target enemies even if you cannot see them, so I would 
advise carrying guns instead of flares (although you may want to throw a flare 
now and again to light your way.)  Make your way carefully to the large open 
area, blasting your guns any time Lara targets something.  You will encounter 
one huge spider on your left on the way.  You are about to encounter two more 
large spiders, and if you are careful, you can trigger them one at a time.  See 
that large open area ahead of you?  One will be released when you step on the 
square immediately before the level drops down (this one will fall more or less 
directly on top of you), and one will be released when you actually step into 
the lower area.  So, roll onto the aforementioned square and stand firm (do NOT 
backhop into the lower area lest you release the second spider.)  This first 
spider will brush against you, but he should then run away so that you can take 
it out with a couple of grenades.  The rest is easy.  Just drop down into the 
lower area and then jump right back up again.  The second spider will not climb 
up after you, and you can use your pistols to dispose of it at your leisure.  
It shouldn't be too hard to avoid all damage here.  Scouting around the area 
will release one more huge spider almost diametrically opposite where you 
entered, and this one too will land more or less on your head.  Roll to trigger 
it, retreat to the safety of the higher area, and use your pistols as before.

Climb the rocks and make your way across the overhead platforms.  Be aware that 
one of these jumps will trigger a large spider -- just backflip and blast him 
from the safety of the previous ledge.  Jump to the center pillar, then the one 
in front of the opening, then jump and pull up out of Creepy-Crawly Land.  Head 
towards the opening and jump/grab the tall center pillar to claim the Silver 
Key (I'll say it again, Lara -- Learn to pick locks!)  Dive in, swim back to 
the Temple Doors and use your new key in the silver lock.  

Make your way up the incline with a series of jump and grab combinations.  
After each of the first two, you need to hop back and grab the edge to let 
giant balls roll over your head (It's amazing that they don't squash your 
fingers on their way past!)  Cross the rope bridge, killing a tiger at the 
other end.  Another tiger will pounce as soon as you enter the room ahead.  He 
is so close and so fast that I think that some loss of life is inevitable -- 
mine drained down to about 50%, and I accepted that.  If you are playing a 
"fresh" game, a single grenade can take him out before he can damage you.  Make 
your way up to the area with the rolling blade.  Stand in the far corner with 
your back to the wall, and when the blade starts to go left, make two quick 
jumps up.  Go across the rope bridge and push the switch, roll, and kill the 
eagle.  Race the now-rolling blade back to safety, jump past the first rolling 
blade and prepare for more Springboard Fun!

I should mention that you now have the opportunity to pick up 80 more rounds 
for your Uzis if you are willing to do a lot of backtracking.  You may have 
noticed the alcove with a ladder, located just before the first rolling blade. 
You can make a diagonal jump with grab to the slope above the ladder, climb 
down the ladder, drop and grab, and pull up to find the Uzi clips.  
Unfortunately you cannot retrace those steps (for obvious reasons?), and to 
return to the springboard you must drop into the water and retrace your steps 
from the outside entrance to the area before the first rolling blade.  It isn't 
that difficult, it's just repetitive.  Decide for yourself if it is worth your 
effort.  

Put your back against the wall and take a running jump at the springboard.  
Keep holding Forward as you hit more springboards and jump up to the top level.
When you land, pull out your guns and eliminate an eagle, then jump/grab and 
pull up into the next area.  Jump to the red square and then to the tiled area 
with spikes to the right.  Run over to the ladder and jump up before the spikes 
can -- well -- nail you.  If you take any damage here, try again, because you 
should be able to escape cleanly.  Climb up and race some more moving spikes to 
a ladder and climb up.  Follow the path and throw the switch, then go through 
the open door.  Make a series of jumps to arrive atop the column and in 
possession of yet another key.  Slide down the back of the dragon and you 
should arrive on a flat-topped column.  Drop down twice, move to the middle of 
the lower block, and make the tight jump back to the walkway.  Jump back over 
to the red square (but take your time -- no sense "Russian") and use your new 
key.  You can now make your way to the ladder across the way, climb up it (Do I 
need to tell you NOT to drop left onto the flame?), climb up the next ladder, 
and enter the room on your left (the one on your right is the one where you 
just got the key).  Go to the corner, jump to the slanted block, and jump over 
to the dragon statue.  

Climb the ladder and get ready for some ladder jumping fun.  Climb up until you 
are three rungs below the blade, then backflip, jump off the ramp, and grab the 
next ladder.  Again, climb until you are three rungs below the blade, then hit 
Jump, Roll, and Action to grab the ladder behind you.  Climb up and right to 
watch a rather disturbing scene and end this level with around half of your 
life intact.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Level 16 -- Floating Islands (L16)

Overview

"Floating Islands" -- isn't that a nice peaceful and tranquil sounding title?  
It conjures up images of a place you would want to vacation, doesn't it?  Well 
names can be misleading (take "Greenland" for example).  The Floating Islands 
contain many perils, among them are to two new, extremely durable, and 
extremely dangerous enemies -- Xian Guards and Ninjas.   A couple of our 
encounters with these guys will be hair-raising indeed, but fortunately, we 
will find ways to minimize our damage from most of our battles.  In fact, we 
can and will survive this level with around two-thirds or more of our life 
intact.  (April 2010 update -- By taking an alternate path to one of the Mystic 
Plaques, I was able to complete this level in a Fresh game without taking any 
damage.)  Pretty impressive, huh?  Well, let's get cracking!  Difficulty:  4/5.

Stayin' Alive

You find yourself in a strange world where gravity apparently does not affect 
huge masses of land floating in the air, yet it certainly affects Lara if she 
should fall between these land masses.  Oh well -- as previously discussed, a 
whole different set of laws of physics seems to apply to the world of Tomb 
Raider.  Follow the green path, turn right, and blast the slowly-advancing Xian 
Warrior, who expires with a rather gratifying explosion.  Take one step back 
from the end of the path and jump to the left side of the sloped block, slide, 
then jump and grab to the caged area.  Go forward and throw the switch. Retreat 
and do a safety drop from the lowest of the steps that you just climbed onto 
the slope below.  You will slide down and awaken another Xian Warrior who is 
much closer than the first one.  Blast him with you pistols until he gets too 
close, then jump across the gap (to where he was originally), roll and retreat 
a bit (so that he gets airborne again), and finish him off.

Return to the slope and walk up as high as you can.  Position Lara at the 
extreme right edge of the surface and angle a long running jump to the barely 
visible rock surface ahead and just in front of the green island with the 
Plaque.  You can now jump over to retrieve the Plaque without taking any 
damage, a significant improvement over my initial description of this area.  To 
get to the next green island, make a long running jump with grab to (counter- 
intuitively) the HIGHER portion of the island, just right of center.

When you jump over to the area with the building, one of those statues is going 
to come to life.  These are Xian Guards, and they move very quickly and are 
extremely dangerous.  Save your game, do a standing jump over to the island, 
then backflip to return to the safety of the green island.  From here you can 
pick off the Xian Guard with your pistols in complete safety.  Jump back to the 
main island and go up into the structure to get the second Mystic Plaque.  This 
wakes up a second Xian Guard below.  We want to get back to the small green 
island to shoot him from safety too, but the problem is getting there.  Since 
it will take Lara a moment to recover from the drop down, you should use the 
"roll" trick from the first level.  Start with Lara's back to the pedestal 
where she got the second Mystic Plaque.  When the time is right, move forward 
(to drop down), then immediately roll and run forward towards the green island 
and blast this guard until he explodes.  There is no reason to take damage 
here, so if the Guard hits you, reload and try again.

In case you were wondering, the last Xian Guard is awakened if Lara slides down 
to this island from the caged area where we threw a switch.  Since we bypassed 
that route, we avoided having to deal with this Guard altogether.  

When the second Guard blows up, go back to the island and retrieve the Secret 
from the roof.  Drop and grab off the side of the island, throw the switch 
underneath, and follow the path around the green floating islands.  You will 
get to a junction where a large building is to your left and more green stairs 
are to your right.  There are 2 more Xian Warriors in front of the building, 
but if you go there directly they will not come to life and you can avoid them 
altogether.  If you feel like wasting some pistol ammo, take the green steps up 
for a ways (but STOP before you get to the caged roof), turn, and take out the 
first Warrior.  Proceed to the caged roof to revive the other Warrior, and you 
can take him out as well.  When you've satisfied your unnecessary blood lust, 
return to the crossroads and make a long running jump with grab to the island 
with the building.  

Insert the two Plaques.  When you enter the area, a Xian Warrior will rise from 
below the bridge and land on the bridge.  Take him out before he can get to 
you.  Go into the cave to the right of the orange building and get the second 
Secret, then back up to the green boulder on the green ramp on the other side.  
Do a backflip over the boulder, slide, then hop backwards and grab the edge 
while the boulder rolls harmlessly overhead.  Continue up the ramp, turn right, 
and make an especially daring and impossible-looking jump to the green island 
with the wire angling down.  Grab the handle and ride down, dropping onto the 
bridge.  Proceed slowly into the room, for you are about to see what formidable 
fighters the Xian Guards are.  The one in the middle will come to life when you 
cross a certain boundary, and you want to minimize damage here.  Walk along the 
back wall until you are just past the opening to the room on the right.  Turn 
to face the far wall, equip your grenade launcher and side jump right.  As 
soon as you land, the Guard will come to life.  You should be able to get off 
four grenades (or, if you would rather use the M16, 34 rounds of ammo) before 
he gets too close.  In a fresh game, that should do him in, but if you are 
playing a continued game that is not enough to stop one of these guys.  Run or 
jump past him, run to the opposite side of the room, roll, and keep firing -- 
three more hits should make him explode.  I got nicked as I ran past him and 
lost another 10% of my life, but I'll bet you can escape this damage-free if 
you try enough times.

It is no secret that Xian Guards can be eliminated before they come to life by 
merely blasting them with seven grenades each (4 in a fresh game).  Lara won't 
actually target them until they come to life, but if you just lob grenades in 
their general vicinity they will eventually disappear.  In a "continued" game, 
your infinite ammunition and their doubled defenses make this seem the sane way 
to deal with these long and difficult fights.  If you are in a hurry -- or just 
become frustrated trying to beat them straight up -- I guess you can justify 
this.  However, I would like to suggest that there is a certain amount of 
satisfaction to be derived from defeating these most difficult enemies in a 
"fair" fight.  Therefore, I urge you to exercise some patience and try to 
develop the skill necessary to beat the Xian Guards the "fair" way.  The 
decision is yours, but I am fairly certain that if you choose the "easy" way of 
beating them, you will look back on these battles with a certain measure of 
regret, wondering if taking the easy way out was really necessary.  Now back to 
our story. . .

Stand in front of the switch between the other two Guards and Save.  (If 
you are not interested in fair play, you can actually get rid of these guys 
before they come to life by hitting them with grenades as previously described, 
but that doesn't seem very sporting, does it?)  When you throw this switch, 
both of these Guards come to life, and you REALLY don't want to fight them, 
and, it turns out, you don't have to.  Push Action, then Roll and then Look, 
and run at top speed for the room past this one.  The game designers intended 
for you to ride another slide across this lava, but if you wait to do that, the 
Guards will surely make mincemeat out of you.  Slide down the middle of the 
ramp, and when you are near the bottom, jump and grab onto the wall and climb 
up.  If the Guards really bother you and you are very patient, you can stand up 
there and whittle away at their lives, but it will take a LONG time and it 
really isn't worth it, because you never cross paths with them again.  Climb 
out, shimmy, and drop down.  If you really want to, you can drop down a level, 
shoot another Xian Warrior, and grab another much-needed (?) small Medi-Pack to 
add to your collection (At this point, I had 51 small and 33 large Medi-Packs, 
but I'm sure that I missed some along the way.)  Climb up to the roof, jump 
over and slide down, and return to the wire slide ride.

This time ride it all the way past the bridge (say, "Hello" to the Guards on 
your way by, but I advise against waving to them) between the walls of fire 
until you are forced to let go.  Do an angled jump to the left, which will 
release a Xian Warrior from the center of the wall of fire.  He will move to 
your right, occasionally hiding behind the columns, so you should side jump to 
the next opening each time Lara loses sight of him.  Jump across the central 
pit, which will release another Xian Warrior from the same place as the last 
one.  When you have eliminated him, pull out the block, climb up, and throw the 
switch.  Jump back to where you dismounted from the wire slide, position 
yourself to the far left, and slide down the central ramp (in the pit) to throw 
another switch.  Keeping to one side, climb your way back out of the pit, go 
back up topside, and do a running swan dive into the now-opened hatch in the 
middle of the fire.  

Swim into the room with the fiery ceiling (what is actually burning here?) and 
throw the switch.  Swim back out and to the left until you see the swinging 
blades.  Think you can time your runs past them?  It's easier just to go to the 
switch behind you and shut them off.  Climb out, repeat the angled jump to the 
left, then turn and do a really tricky angled running jump and grab to the 
upper level.  Jump across the pit and shimmy right to throw the switch, then 
jump back and head into the new area.  Stand so that the door that is protected 
by two Xian Guards is directly in front of you.  Then turn around and slide 
backwards into the pit while holding Action so that you grab the end of the 
ramp and land safely inside a large cage.  At this point, in a Fresh game you 
should still have 100% life remaining or possibly slightly less.  In a 
Continued game, you should have maybe 75% - 80% left. 

There are two Ninjas walking around outside the cage, and you need to dispose 
of them before throwing that switch.  Sadly, you cannot shoot them through the 
bars (fortunately, they can't hit you either!) You can, however, pick them off 
from the upper area in the cage.  With your back to the switch, jump/grab the 
right side of the wall, move forward slightly.  Position Lara's back so that it 
is against the corner of the wall.  She should be pointed directly into the 
corner of the room.  Occasionally the Ninjas will cruise past here, and when 
they do, Lara can unload a couple of rounds into them.  Since your 
opportunities to strike will be few and far between, I advise you to use your 
M16 because of its high damage per hit statistic.  It is possible for the 
Ninjas to target Lara up here, but that does not seem to happen very often.  I 
advise standing here as opposed to the other side because the likelihood of 
getting hit by a Ninja's knives seems much less.  Hold the Look button and aim 
the camera right into the corner so you can see the Ninjas coming.  If they 
stop, that means that they are about to pelt you with knives, which can be very 
damaging.  If you see this, just side jump right and with luck you can avoid 
damage.  If they hit you, reload and try again.  Every time you land a couple 
of shots (and you are SURE that you are not going to be hit by them), Save.  
You can take out these two very difficult enemies from here while taking zero 
damage if you are patient -- and you definitely need to be patient, because it 
can take 15 - 20 minutes to land enough rounds into them to drop them both, 
longer if you are playing a "continued" game.  However, we have a doozy of a 
fight just ahead, and it will be MUCH easier if these two guys are not part of 
it.  One last note -- you can speed up the process considerably if you drop 
back down (INSIDE the cage!) "lure" the Ninjas back to the corner.  They will 
generally move in the same direction as Lara.

When the Ninjas are down, drop down, switch to your Uzis, stand in front of the 
switch, and Save.  Throwing the switch will open the cage and release two more 
Ninjas.  They come from behind the cage, generally one on either side of you as 
you are facing the switch.  You need to fight them on this surface, because if 
you go down to the next level, you will wake up the Xian Guards and this fight 
is plenty difficult without adding them into the fray.  If you can face up to 
these guys, simple side jumping will avoid all damage from them, but this is 
easier said than done since they tend to move.  I lost maybe another 10% of my 
life in this fight -- perfectly acceptable all things considered.  In a fresh 
game, zero damage is a realistic -- but not necessary -- goal. 

We now need to work on the four Xian Guards.  Fortunately, they cannot reach 
you when you are in the upper area where we snipered the first two Ninjas.  
They also have to walk around the lava and approach you from the area by the 
switch.  So, run forward to the area beside the switch, roll onto the lower 
area to trigger three (!) of the Guards, then skedaddle back to the wall, jump 
up, and blast away at these guys, all the while remembering your first close-up 
encounter with ONE of these things and thanking your lucky stars that you 
aren't down there on the ground with them.  When they have all exploded, you 
can trigger the fourth Guard by jumping over in front of him, rolling, and then 
jumping back across the lava and pulling up the wall while he takes the long 
way around.  Eliminate him with extreme prejudice.  

Throw the two switches and go wait behind the columns by the door for a Ninja 
to emerge.  Be proactive and stay behind him, and you can take him down without 
being hit even once.  Climb the stairs, stand in front of the switch, light a 
flare, and Save.  Throwing the switch will open the doors to your left, 
releasing two Xian Guards.  You must race them back down the stairs, pull up to 
your safe place, and waste them as you did their brethren.  These guys have an 
annoying habit of losing sight of their objective and wandering back up the 
stairs, but you can always drop down to lure them back, pulling up again when 
you hear the pitty-pat of their little feet.  Eventually they, like so many 
before them, will prove to be no match for your skill and marksmanship.  Go 
back up the stairs and you will have access to a colorful climbable wall.  
Before going up, make sure that you de-select your M16 and have your Uzis 
ready, for there is Ninja waiting for you at the top of this climb and you are 
going to need to be able to fire on the move.  

Climb up until you are on the fifth rung from the top (count the one at the top 
as the first rung).  Backflip, twist, and grab the ladder behind you, and go 
all the way to your left.  There is a red and green area on the wall at the 
end.  Position Lara so that her hands are at the top of the red area, then 
backflip, twist, and grab again.  Go all the way to your left.  

If you are trying for a perfect level, this last fight is going to be your 
greatest challenge.  Everything seems to be working against you.  It is going 
to take you a few seconds to get your feet on solid ground, and when you do, 
you will be facing 90 degrees clockwise of how you want to face; there will be 
a Ninja throwing knives at you from far enough away that you can't quickly get 
behind him; the sides of the floor are sloped, making it difficult to get solid 
footing; and, just to round out your woes, there is a machine firing discs 
right down the center of the only part of the room with a level floor.  This is 
what worked best for me.  Pull up, backflip, then jump forward and hold the 
Left directional button so that you (eventually) land on the flat surface.  The 
aforementioned Ninja will appear from your left, so sidejump left twice, making 
sure that you stay out of the center of the room.  The discs are less of an 
issue than you would think, so concentrate on getting behind the Ninja.  If you 
can do that without getting hit, you should be able to turn 90 degrees and pelt 
him with enough Uzi rounds (in a Fresh game) to drop him before he can turn 
around and hit you.  This is your last encounter of this very difficult level, 
so any remaining life above zero is good enough.  You can now follow the path 
to get the third Secret (and SIXTEEN grenades!)  As you exit that cave, take a 
running jump and grab to the cliff across the way.  Pull up and backflip onto 
the ledge above you.  From here I always used to go all the way back to the 
block and ride the wire slide, but you can just jump from here into the opening 
to your left and be done with it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 17 -- The Dragon's Lair (L17)

Overview

Just two more levels to go.  The enemies in this level come thick and fast, and 
all of them can withstand a lot of damage.  This level is very short and, as I 
will show you, the final battle is a breeze to win without so much as getting a 
scratch.  However, getting to the final battle, you will have to fight FOUR 
(well, actually only 3) Xian Guards (and this time we can't hide on top of a 
building) and 6 Ninjas.  But, hey -- we've been training for this moment for 16 
levels so far, and we're not about to quit now, are we?  So, put on your "I 
Survived the Wreck of the Maria Doria" t-shirt and follow along as we head into 
our biggest challenge yet.  (December 08 update -- by simply following my own 
strategies, I was able to complete this level with full life in a fresh game.  
In the end, it seemed almost surprisingly easy, although admittedly I doubt 
that I could have done this in a continued game.)  Difficulty:  5/5.

Stayin' Alive

You begin this level by battling Xian Guards, so let's discuss your general 
strategy.  Lara can run slightly faster than the Guards, so it is possible to 
build a slight safety cushion by simply running.  Use this cushion to roll and 
fire off a few rounds before retreating to rebuild it.  However, the Guards can 
run faster than Lara can backhop, so it is unwise to try to constantly face the 
Guards and fire.  Sometimes you are just going to have to turn tail and run to 
avoid their attacks.  The Guards tend to get hung up (briefly) in corners, so 
if you can get them into a corner, that would be a good time to roll and fire 
for a while before running again.  Jumping over the Guards is possible but 
risky. If they are swinging their spears when you jump, Lara will take some 
damage.  These battles are frenzied, but in the interest of "Safety First" it 
will occasionally be necessary to back off on the trigger in the interest of 
setting up a relatively safe position for firing.  With some patience and 
practice, you can survive all of these encounters without taking any damage, 
especially if you are playing a "fresh" game.  In a "continued" game, it takes 
about 200 rounds to destroy a Xian Guard, so it is going to take some time and 
expertise to blow up these guys without taking any damage, but it can be done.

As soon as you pass the statue in the doorway, the Xian Guard across the room 
will wake up and come towards you.  Have your M16 in hand and begin pumping 
rounds into him.  In a "Fresh" game, you can waste him before he gets to you.  
In a "Continued" game, you're going to have to earn this kill.  The Guard will 
not come straight at you, but rather veer over to the right.  When he is as far 
to the right as possible, switch to your Uzis and begin a run to the far left 
corner.  When you reach the corner, roll and fire.  With luck, you will finish 
him off before he gets to you.  In my Continued game, the Guard nicked me on 
the way by, but I survived with 90% of my life -- not bad overall.  

There is really no reason to throw the now-exposed switch that was behind the 
Guard that you just killed.  Throwing it will awaken the Guard that is in the 
doorway through which you entered, but you can proceed without disturbing him.  
(Again, you could just blast the three remaining Guards with 4 - 7 grenades 
each, but I know that if I did that, I would be plagued with guilt for several 
days afterwards.)  

Now things get really interesting because the remaining two Guards attack 
together. This is arguably THE hardest battle of the game, especially if you 
are playing a "continued" game.  You want to beat both of these guys and still 
have 50% or more of your life left, and I don't have a lot of advice to offer 
here.  Start by throwing the switch, pulling your M16, and unloading as many 
rounds as you can into the Guard you are facing.  He will veer off to your 
right, at which point you need to pull out the Uzis and start running.  If you 
can figure out which Guard is the one you just shot with the M16, try to take 
him out first, but good luck with that.  Jumping seems to help your defense a 
LOT.  Try to learn their movements and how to inflict maximum damage while 
staying as far from them as possible (duh?)  You will have to try this very 
many times before you survive with a sufficient amount of life, but there are 
still many obstacles between you and the Dragon, so you have got to do this 
fight efficiently.

You now must venture into the dark area that has opened for you.  There are 
six Ninjas inside, and it is VASTLY preferable to lure these guys into the 
lighted open area where you just fought the Xian Guards.  For one thing, it's 
hard to see in this area and for another, running around here can attract other 
Ninjas, and we will definitely have our hands full fighting them two at a time.
Roll through the opening and then quickly retreat and you should bring two 
Ninjas with you.  When you return to the lighted room, roll and blast the 
Ninjas with your Uzis while side-jumping.  You should be able to avoid all 
damage here  Return to the dark room and stay to the right side.  Execute a 
roll so that you land just beyond the second pillar to release two more Ninjas.
Again, retreat into the big room and take them out there.  You should still 
have about 40% of your life left.  Executing a third roll near the third pillar 
releases two more Ninjas.  Lure them back and wear them down, too.  One of them 
will drop the Mystic Plaque that opens the door to the Dragon.  I'm not exactly 
sure why Lara needs to open this door since there is about a two-foot gap 
between the bottom of this door and the ground and it seems as if Lara could 
easily crawl beneath it, but we'll not concern ourselves with logic here.  Just 
open the door and proceed into the Dragon's Lair.

You are now ready for the Boss battle against the Dragon.  There are at least 
two ways to fight this battle.  You can, of course, run around the room firing 
your best weapons and hoping to take him down before you either get stomped to 
death or get set on fire.  I have actually done the battle this way and 
although it will take you many tries, it can be done and it is probably 
somewhat more gratifying to take him down in a "fair" fight.  For a weapon, I 
recommend the grenade launcher because you only have to land 10 or 20 
(depending on which game you are playing -- see Section IV for details) hits to 
take him down.  The Dragon is almost exactly as fast as Lara, so it is tough to 
outrun him.  However, it is not nearly as mobile as Lara, so keep moving, keep 
reversing your direction, and use the pillars to slow him down.  As soon as you 
have a safe distance between you and your adversary, roll and fire grenades 
while backhopping.  When the Dragon stops and rears his head back, he is 
preparing to blast you with his fiery breath.  When you see this happening, 
sidehop to make his blast miss, then keep firing grenades.  (I had 47 grenades 
at the beginning of this battle -- thanks largely to those collected with the 
very last Secret -- and I only missed twice, giving me a comfortable margin of 
35 grenades to spare.)  Try to avoid the water holes, because the Dragon has an 
annoying habit of following you as you swim underwater, meaning that you will 
surface to find him waiting to give you a blast of his fire breath.  Be aware 
that you are NOT safe from his fire breath in the water -- the Dragon's breath 
can STILL damage you when you surface, even when you are in the water.  
Overall, once you get the hang of the Dragon's movements, this really is not 
that tough a battle, and you should try to win it at least once by fighting him 
straight up.    

Alternatively, as mentioned in the Introduction, there is a foolproof and 
automatic way to beat the Dragon without taking any damage and using even your 
weakest weapons.  I will detail this procedure in the paragraphs below.

For purposes of giving directions, let's say arbitrarily that when you enter 
the room you are facing north.  There is a square arrangement of green columns 
around the central area where the Dragon will materialize.  Run directly to the 
east side of the column that is in the southeast corner of this square and 
stand facing the column (west).  One of the small openings to the water below 
will be to Lara's left.  The Dragon will come stand on the west side of this 
same column (with its head on the south side) and will begin a rhythmic up-and-
down motion with its head, breathing fire when its head is up.  Position Lara's 
left foot so that it is just northwest of the northwest corner of the opening 
to the water.  Rotate her body 45 degrees so that she is facing southwest and 
draw her weapons.  When Lara is positioned correctly, every time the Dragon's 
head bobs down, Lara will target it and shoot.  The column should protect her 
from the flames.  If the Dragon's head bumps Lara to the right, she is standing 
too close to him -- adjust her position slightly and try again.  Once she is in 
position, just stand there and hold down the X button until the Dragon goes 
down.  SAVE!  

You still need to run around to the Dragon's midsection and push Action to pull 
the Dagger out.  If you fail to do so in a timely fashion, the Dragon will 
return to life and you will have to do this all over again!  Fortunately, if 
this happens, it will only take half as much damage to put the Dragon down a 
second time.  Although the most common reason for the Dragon to rejuvenate is 
failure to navigate the obstacles in time (once I fell into the water), I 
recently had something odd occur.  I worked my way around to the Dragon's belly 
but did not hit the Action button, and I actually ran right through the Dragon 
to the other side!  Boy, was that weird!  Anyway, once you have removed the 
Dagger, Save again as you must still make your way safely through the 
collapsing rockwork to end this level.

In case you are curious, beating the Dragon with your pistols (in a "continued" 
game) requires that you hit him 600 times, which took me right at 18 minutes.  
(Hey, I didn't say that you SHOULD beat him this way -- I said that you COULD.)
Using the Uzis still requires 600 hits but cuts the time in half.  If you are 
in a hurry, use grenades -- it only takes 20 hits, which you can do in about a 
minute and a half (it will look like the grenades are just hitting the column, 
but check the number of hits and you will see that they are indeed connecting.)
One last curiosity is that I noticed that before killing the Dragon, my total 
kills for the level was 10.  In one game, I took the Dragon down but didn't get 
the Dagger pulled out in time, so I had to take him down a second time.  When I 
finally pulled the Dagger, my number of kills showed as 12, meaning that both 
takedowns were scored as kills.  Another oddity in the game's statistics, by 
the way, is that any time you kill any enemy using grenades, you get credit for 
TWO kills.  Thus, if had used grenades in the aforementioned final battle 
(where I had to stop the Dragon twice), I would have received credit for 14 
kills at the end of the level.

One last irrelevant note -- After finishing off the Dragon, I swam around under 
water and collected the large Medi-Packs there, even though I had absolutely no 
use for them and was about to lose them anyway.  I finished with 54 small Medi-
Packs and 39 large ones, but again I'm sure that I missed some along the way.  
See if you can't beat this tally.  

Now that the Dragon is down and the Dagger is in your possession, your 
adventure is concluded, right?  Wrong.  Your competitors for this prize seek to 
take it from you, and in this pursuit they disturb your domestic tranquility in 
a final level entitled . . .

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Level 18 -- Home Sweet Home (L18)

Overview

Although this level is very short, it will require great care to survive 
without using any Medi-Packs.  This time, the only weapon at your disposal is
your shotgun, which is powerful at close range but it loses its effectiveness
quickly as your enemy gets farther away.  Thus, our primary strategy will be to
isolate enemies close up one at a time and then give them the old Run and Roll.
Be sure to Save after each successful encounter.  Despite all the flying lead, 
you can actually complete this level with about two-thirds of your life intact 
(or, better yet, in August, 2009, I was able to achieve a perfect level here in 
a fresh game.  Admittedly, it would have been a LOT harder in a continued game, 
but even so it is good to know that all damage in this level can be avoided.) 
Are you ready?  Here we go!  Difficulty:  4/5.

Stayin' Alive

As soon as Lara puts the Dagger in her belt, hit the Look button so that you 
can get right to work.  Run to the gun cabinet, unlock it, and grab the  
shotgun, which is just left of center.  Roll and back into the corner and wait.

In this level, you will face three main enemies -- dogs, gunmen, and guys with 
clubs.  The dogs and club guys will walk all the way into this gun closet (the 
club guys will even climb up onto the ledge!), but from my experience, the 
gunmen will not enter the closet.  We are going to use this to our advantage.

You should first be visited by a club guy.  As he enters the gun closet, blast 
him.  Stay where you are and wait for another guy with a club, also coming from 
your left.  Give him more of the same.  You now have to deal with a gunman who 
is outside of the glass to your right and a dog and two more gunmen approaching 
from the left.  The dog should eventually come to you, allowing you to take him 
out first.  A gunman should then approach from the left, and, finding no one to 
shoot, he should then retreat to the left and hopefully out of the room. This 
is your cue to descend from your perch and stand in the doorway facing the 
glass.  

You need to break the glass to release the gunman out there so that you can 
deal with him.  The plan is to sidejump left, shoot once, then sidejump back 
right into the protection of the gun closet.  The problem is that if you are 
pressed all the way against the doorway, you won't be able to jump back in.  To 
avoid this problem, take one step back before sidejumping left.  However, once 
you step back, act quickly because the gunman can now target you.  In most 
cases, your shot not only breaks the glass, but it should also damage 
the gunman, meaning that he will now go down with one less shot.  When you make 
it safely back into the closet, get back up on the ledge and save.  Watch for 
this guy to exit the room also.  When he does, run over to the left and stand 
in the doorway waiting to run and roll each of the 3 gunmen when they return.  
If they come separately, it should be easy enough to take them out without 
suffering any damage.  Occasionally, they will arrive in pairs.  If this 
happens repeatedly, retreat back to the closet, watch at least one gunman come 
into the room and go out again, then try to get back in position in the 
doorway.  For me, this got them separated.    

At this point, you should have eliminated everyone who was already in the 
House (your kill total should be 6), and you must now venture outdoors to lure 
the others inside.  This is really the hardest part of this level, and if you 
can get through these next 7 enemies without taking any damage, you should have 
no trouble scoring a perfect level.  Do a roll that extends beyond the front 
porch (not just past the doorway), then run as fast as you can back up the 
stairs and into the gun closet.  This will invite two dogs, three gunmen, and 
two guys with clubs into the house.  The gunmen will probably shoot at you on 
your way up, but more than likely they will miss.  

I realize that holing up in the gun closet has some major disadvantages.  You 
can't really see what is going on in the bedroom, and you are very vulnerable 
when you try to leave this closet.  However, the advantage is that you are 
relatively safe from the gunmen here, allowing you to deal with the enemies one 
at a time instead of having them gang up on you.  With any luck, the dogs and 
club guys will arrive individually, and you can take them out easily.  Once 
that is accomplished, you can run back to the doorway to the left and run and 
roll the gunmen as they enter (as described in the previous paragraph.)  

You do have another option, but it will likely result in taking some damage. 
After you roll past the front porch triggering these 7 enemies, you can run 
straight to the back room and stand near the suit of armor instead of returning 
upstairs to the gun closet.  Protected by this wall, you can see your enemies 
coming and deal with them as they arrive.  The problem that I had with this 
strategy was that eventually I always got outnumbered and took some damage.  So 
far, the only way that I was able to isolate the gunmen one at a time and take 
them out without getting damaged was by hunkering down in the gun closet.  As 
usual, I invite you to try both methods and see which one you like best.        

Your kill count should now be 13, and you should again have the house cleared.
We have three more enemies to take down, and they seem to be triggered not by 
position but rather by duration of your stay outside.  Go outside and just 
stand by the potted plant to the left of the doorway.  Angle yourself about 45 
degrees to the left and wait about 15 seconds.  Lara will target a dog that you 
probably cannot see.  Blast it anyway.  You can now go back inside and wait 
for the last two enemies.  First, a gunman should come through the doorway.  Be 
waiting to Run and Roll him.  Finally, a guy just like the Boss in the Opera 
House -- two large guns and lots of durability (but unfortunately for him, not 
much mobility) -- will come through the door.  This time, however, we are 
fighting him in a big open space instead of the cramped quarters of the Opera 
House, so the fight is much easier.  Once you roll past him, he will probably 
just run away from you in circles, allowing you to pretty much just run behind 
him and blast him in the back until he goes down.  Once this last enemy is 
history, you can enjoy a nice hot shower.

Wait for the credits to finish rolling and admire your Final Statistics -- 48 
Secrets found and ZERO Health Packs used!  WOO-HOO!

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*                                                                             *
*            Summary of Perfect (All Secrets, No Damage) Levels               *
*                                                                             *
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With one exception, I was able to finish damage-free every level that did not 
Have unavoidable loss of life from a fall or pulling out of a glass-filled 
area.  So far, I have been able to achieve perfect levels in each of the 
following ten areas of the game:

Level 01 -- The Great Wall 
Level 02 -- Venice
Level 03 -- Bartoli's Hideout 
Level 05 -- Offshore Rig 
Level 06 -- Diving Area 
Level 11 -- Tibetan Foothills 
Level 12 -- Barkhang Monastery 
Level 16 -- Floating Islands 
Level 17 -- The Dragon's Lair 
Level 18 -- Home Sweet Home

I always take some damage in these 8 levels.  Here are my feeble excuses:

Level 04 -- Opera House -- The jump across the canal and through the opening 
near the beginning of the level drains about 25% of Lara's health.  Again, I 
can see no way to avoid or bypass this loss of life.

Level 07 -- 40 Fathoms -- I can maintain a perfect level here until the very 
last battle.  However, you are at an extreme disadvantage in this last 
encounter because you have to pull up out of the water into a room where 
enemies are already shooting you.  There is no other way into this room.  I 
suppose if you are really lucky that the gunman will be facing away when you 
pull out and you can escape damage-free, but I've certainly never done so.
 
Level 08 -- Wreck of the Maria Doria -- In this level, there are 2 unavoidable 
falls that drain the majority of your life.  There is no way to get a perfect 
level here.

Level 09 -- Living Quarters -- This one is really close also.  The only place 
that I lose life is pulling up out of a glass-filled trench after retrieving a 
Secret.  A damage-free level is possible if you just opt to avoid this Secret, 
but then the level wouldn't actually be "perfect," would it?

Level 10 -- The Deck -- Another unavoidable fall, and this one drains 90% of 
your life.  

Level 13 -- Catcombs of the Talion -- After draining the pool, you must Safety 
Drop down to the area below, necessarily incurring damage.  Again, there are 
simply no alternatives.

Level 14 -- Ice Palace -- Near the end of the level, Lara must make another 
very long drop next to the gong.  There is no other way to get to this area and 
there is no way to attenuate the damage.

Level 15 -- Temple of Xian -- Although I tend to lose tiny amounts of damage 
here and there in this level, I generally don't sweat these since I lose a 
small amount of life at the very beginning of the level.  You are sliding down 
a ramp and have to jump over a swinging blade.  If you don't jump, you take 
damage from the blade.  If you do jump, the height difference between the 
elevation caused by the jump and the lowered floor (created by the descending 
ramp) necessarily incurs damage.  After that, why bother?

===============================================================================

VII.  Where Do I Go from Here?

Having completed the game without using any Health Packs, you may now rest on 
your laurels or look for further challenges.  Here are two suggestions:

*  Once you have completed this challenge on a "fresh" game, try it again on a  
   "continued" game.  I would be interested to know whether you agree with my 
   assessment that a "fresh" game is easier. 
*  Try completing the game using only your pistols (I have actually done this 
   one too.  It seems likely that you will consume some Health Packs in the 
   process, but it might be fun to try a "no health packs" run using only your 
   pistols.

==============================================================================

VIII.  Final Notes and Credits

I have to say that I learned a lot from writing this FAQ.  As I was going 
through the game, I really reconsidered my options in several places and found 
new and better ways to minimize damage.  I'm sure that in reading and following
this, you found some improvements of your own.  I would be happy to hear any 
such comments, provided that they are communicated according to the following 
guidelines:

*  Courtesy first.  I do not pretend that I am anything but an amateur gamer 
   nor that this is any kind of "ultimate" guide. Although I have gone to great
   pains to see that this guide is accurate and comprehensible, I am sure that 
   among the over 185,000 characters that I have typed here, there are some 
   mistakes.  I am genuinely interested in fixing any such errors in fact or 
   format, but this is my first FAQ so I would appreciate it if you would cut 
   me some slack.  Please refrain from profanity and abusive language in any 
   communiques.  Thank you.

*  I really prefer emails that are written with proper spelling, 
   capitalization, and punctuation rather than the indecipherable drivel that 
   passes for written communication sent over the Internet these days.  I 
   invested a lot of effort in writing and proofreading this FAQ so that you 
   could understand it.  If you have something to say, take the time to say it 
   articulately.  I am not going to spend my time trying to decode your 
   comments.  Trust me when I say that in general, clearly written comments 
   carry much more weight than "OMG, uR FAQ is Teh R0><orz!1!1one!!1".

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, this project has given me new respect for others who have written 
FAQs, especially those who have done multiple FAQs.  Writing this has been fun, 
but it has also been very time consuming, and there are no tangible rewards for
all of the effort.  FAQs are a great service to the gaming community, and in 
light of this, I would like to thank the following people:
 
*  Sinjin, whose walkthroughs have helped me complete all of the Lara Croft 
   adventures.  Besides being a very clear writer, his (?) web pages are 
   festooned with many very nice pictures of Lara.  Thanks for your efforts and 
   thoroughness.

*  BTB Enterprises (aka Chad Steele, who would probably be thoroughly mortified
   to have his name associated with a Tomb Raider FAQ), whose excellent 
   walkthroughs of FF7 and DWIV in particular taught me that FAQs can be 
   entertaining as well as informative.  He also taught me that not everyone 
   appreciates the extra comments with which we pepper our writings but that 
   writers cannot hope to please everyone and therefore should write what they 
   feel like writing.  Thanks for everything, Chad!

*  ColinC10, who very tactfully and politely informed me that I was making 
   Level 12 WAY harder than it needed to be and that only a masochist or a 
   neophyte would approach that level the way I did.  I have to admit that in 
   retrospect I have to agree with him, and I really learned a lot from 
   discussing the matter with him and from following his suggestions.  Thanks, 
   Colin!

*  Gareth, whose life-saving tip on the "Wreck of the Maria Doria" Level makes 
   that level MUCH more manageable.  He also reminded me of a shortcut through 
   the "Bartoli's Hideout" level.

*  Kevin McDonald, who contributed some very helpful hints, most notably a 
   damage-free way defeat one of the snowmobiles in the Tibetan Foothills 
   level.

*  Free Storage, who corrected some misinformation and provided some additional 
   information regarding weapons and their firing rates and power.  He has also 
   contributed numerous suggestions for minimizing damage as well as some 
   general observations about the workings of the game.  

*  My dorky daughter Erin who somehow managed to find the ONE typographical 
   error that I made (although not until AFTER I got this FAQ posted) and, in 
   the true fashion of an only child, somehow thinks that this entitles her to 
   co-author credits for the entire work.  Seriously, no one has had to endure 
   more of my endless prattling about this game in general and this guide in 
   particular than Erin, so she really does deserve credit for helping keep me 
   sane throughout the writing process with her patience and feigned interest.

*  I honestly have no idea who processes all of the information that is posted
   at GameFAQS.com, but whoever does it, I tip my hat to you (well, I would if 
   I actually owned or ever wore a hat.)  Here in the information-bloated age 
   of the 21st century, we tend to take such things as this wonderful web site 
   for granted.  Some of us, however, remember the day when getting stuck in a 
   game meant that you had to call an 800 number (or worse yet, a 900 number 
   that charged you by the minute) or fork over big bucks for a printed 
   guidebook to get the answers that you needed.  Your walkthrough postings are 
   invaluable tools to the gaming community, and I cannot adequately thank you 
   for providing this free service to the crazed game players around the world. 
   I am honored to be a tiny part of what you do.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for reading -- I hope that you enjoyed reading this guide as much as I 
enjoyed writing it and that you found my guide helpful.

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*                                                                             *
*                             -- THE END --                                   *
*                                                                             *
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