Tomb Raider 2 Level 16: Floating Islands
Kills: 26 Items: 26 (34)* plus 2 Mystic Plaques and 3 secrets
(*Under found items, the number in parentheses shows total including extra items granted for finding all three secrets.)
BEGINNING OF LEVEL/GOLD LATTICE BUILDING: Move forward to the end of the walkway and take a look around: ahead and below is a Mystic Plaque on one of the small, green "floating islands." Off to the right on the roof of a building, is the Jade Dragon. You'll get to these soon. As you stand there, a flying warrior approaches very slowly from the right. You'll meet a number of these guards during this and the next level. They are deadly at close range, but you can often take them out from a distance. This one can be killed as it moves through the air toward you. You can even do it with pistols if you start firing as soon as Lara gets a lock on it. When it explodes, turn around and head back toward the level's entrance and to the right. On the ground is a small medipak.
Now, return to the end of the flat walkway so you're facing a green island shaped like a double ramp or an upside-down "V." Jump to the left side of the ramp, slide forward and jump to the angled green block ahead, then from there jump to grab the edge of the gold latticework building. If you miss this grab, Lara will slide down to the stone ledge below. A petrified guard will come to life on the next island over. (Listen to the sounds it makes when this happens so you'll be alerted next time.) Kill it while it's in the air. (Pistols will suffice if you get a lock on it as soon as it animates.) Use the rocks on the right of the guard's alcove to climb back to the top to try that jump again.
Once inside the latticework building, throw the switch, which opens a trapdoor on the underside of the building where you saw the Jade Dragon, as well as a gate at the end of the building you're in now. (NOTE: You can now go through this gate and slide down to the island with the Jade Dragon, or follow the route described below, which I found more effective.)
SMALL ISLAND AND FIRST MYSTIC PLAQUE: Return to the ledge where you entered this building and drop down to the slope below. (If you made the jump to the gold building perfectly and the petrified guard below didn't awaken, he will do so now and you'll need to kill him.)
Now you can take a shortcut if you like. Turn to face the slope and you should be able to see the small island with the FIRST MYSTIC PLAQUE ahead through the gap. Take a carefully angled running jump to land on the stone ledge ahead on the right—just before the island with the plaque. Jump over to the plaque.
(Alternately, if you can't make it to the plaque using this shortcut, climb up the rocks to the right of the petrified guard's alcove to the top near where you started. Return to the double ramp you jumped on earlier to reach the GOLD LATTICE BUILDING. This time, jump to the left side, facing uphill, to slide down the ramp and grab the edge. Drop to the ledge below, then jump across to the small island and take the PLAQUE.)
LARGER ISLAND WITH ELEVATED BUILDING AND THREE GUARDS: Jump across the green rocks to the island with the building on it. This will awaken one of the 3 stone guards. You can jump back to the green rocks, and he won't be able to get Lara as you shoot him. When he's dead, jump back across to the building.
(**) Now, here are some TRICKS FOR DEALING WITH THE PETRIFIED GUARDS: Fire 3 grenades at each of the stone guards on the platform before they awaken. This will weaken them considerably, so that when they do animate, it will only take a single grenade (or far fewer bullets than normal) to kill each one. This works for all of the guards you'll encounter during this and the next level. Also, be careful to use only 3 grenades, not 4, as the extra one seems to cause the game to crash—at least in the PC version. Apparently this trick doesn't work on every system, but it's certainly worth trying. PlayStation players may find that using 4 grenades is even better. When the guards animate they immediately explode. This was first suggested by Guillaume Cormier on the alt.games.tombraider newsgroup. (Iris S. suggested a variation on this technique: If you have leftover harpoons, use about 25 to "tenderize" each petrified guard. Then when they animate, they'll explode immediately.)
Pull up through the trapdoor into the room above. Here you'll find some 2 sets of Uzi clips, flares, a large medipak and a second MYSTIC PLAQUE. Taking the plaque awakens another of the guards below. Use the pistols to shoot him through the opening or drop down and finish him off. Or, run to the other end of the island, jump over to the small, green island and shoot him from safety.
Climb up on the rocks to the left of the guard platform, near the small tree. From here you can jump and grab the edge of the roof. Pull up and cross to the other side to pick up SECRET #1, the Jade Dragon. Drop back down to the ground.
If you want all the kills, you'll need to revive the remaining stone guard. This guard is set to awaken when you come down the stone slide from the GOLD LATTICE BUILDING. So if you've gone the other way (as I suggested) you'll need to jump onto the slide to activate the guard. Head to the right side of the island (the right when Lara's back is to the guard platform) and locate this stone ramp. Draw weapons and back flip onto the ramp, so Lara will slide down facing forward. The guard will awaken and you can quickly dispatch it. If the grenade trick (described above at the **) isn't working for you, awaken the guard, then run to the right and jump over to the small, green island to kill it from safety.
(NOTE: If you slid down the ramp to reach this island, you should retrieve the other MYSTIC PLAQUE from the small island before going on. You'll need both to unlock a gate ahead.)
LARGER ISLAND, LOWER LEVEL: Now face the guard platform and head toward the right side of the island. Drop and hang from the edge, then let go and grab the green ledge below. Pull up, go to the left and pull the switch to lower the gate in the opening opposite so you can walk on it.
SMALLER GREEN ISLANDS LEADING UP TO MYSTIC PLAQUE GATE: From there, take a running jump to the green island ahead. Jump to the flat area at the top and from there to the next island on the left. Follow its "L" shape to the end, then take a running jump to grab the small, square island beyond. From here, leap across to grab the lowest step of the 4-tiered island beyond. (NOTE: If you don't want all the kills, you can skip the next paragraph and instead jump directly from the bottom step to the large island with the gate flanked by 2 petrified guards. They will not awaken.)
To get all the kills, climb to the top of the 4-tiered island then walk across to the roof of the GOLD LATTICE BUILDING. One of the 2 petrified guards on the island opposite (with the big doors and ornate carved base) will awaken when you reach the top green step. The other will awaken when you step on the gold roof. Activate them one at a time and they'll be easier to shoot as they approach. Once the guards have exploded, go back down to the bottom of the green steps and take a running jump across the gap to grab the edge of the island where they were.
MYSTIC PLAQUE GATE AND GARDEN BEYOND: Pick up 2 sets of Uzi clips and use the plaques in the receptacles to open the gate. Shortly after you enter, a flying guard rises up from below the bridge on the left. You'll have time to kill him in the air if you're waiting for him. After he's dead, pick up 2 sets of automatic pistol clips on the ground to the right.
Climb up the rocks behind the small tree next to where you found the clips. Here you'll see an opening at the top of a slope. Turn around, position Lara at the left side of the base of the slope, as close to it as possible, and take a standing jump, holding Jump and Forward even after Lara takes off, to jump into the passageway at the top of the slope. Alternately, back up to the base of the slope and back flip to land inside the opening. Follow the passage to SECRET #2, the Silver Dragon. To get back, turn around and take a diagonal standing jump into the tunnel opening. Then follow the tunnel back to the little tree.
Cross to the opposite side of the courtyard and climb/jump up to the green boulder. Position Lara's back to the boulder and back flip over it. Slide down the slope ahead of the rolling boulder, then hop back and grab the ledge as the boulder sails overhead. Keep hanging as a second boulder falls down behind you. Only then pull up. Turn and jump across the gap.
(NOTE: If you accidentally slide all the way down to the gray-floored area at the bottom, you can either reload a saved game or kill the petrified guard who animates above. Then climb back up to the boulder slope. The section of the walkthrough below at the *** describes how.)
Go up to the flat area near the top of the ramp where the second boulder rolled down. Take a running jump to the island with the zip line handle. When you land, slide back and grab the edge, traverse to the right and pull up. Now ride the zip line, dropping off on the lower bridge.
LOWER BRIDGE/ROOM BELOW GARDEN: Enter the room and kill the first of 3 stone guards, who animates as you arrive. If you like, give the others the 3-grenade treatment (described above at the **). Then pull the switch between them. This awakens them. It also resets the zip line and raises the gate at the bottom of it. When the guards are dead, go through the other door to the left of the entrance. There you'll find a second zip line. Ride it down, keeping the Action key pressed, to grab the lattice on the opposite side. Climb to the top of the lattice, then up a second lattice and over to the right side, where you can dismount.
At the green doorway, hang and drop, traverse left, then drop to the ground. Drop down through the opening to the floor below. (***) Kill the guard who awakens above near the top of the zip line. Take the small medipak lying on the ground, then return up through the opening. Climb the green block and pull up onto the roof, then jump over the slanted roof to land on the green slide where the boulder trap was.
(NOTE: If you're having trouble killing the 2 guards in the switch room, or want to conserve ammo, you can pull the switch to awaken them, then run/jump like mad to the top of the zip line. Ride it down and continue back up to the GARDEN. You can then go on without killing these two if you like. Or, for all the kills, go back to the opening where you found the Silver Dragon, dangle Lara from the edge to draw the guards out onto the lower bridge, then kill them from here.)
LAVA ROOM AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ZIP LINE: Return to the top of the first zip line. This time, ride it all the way to the end. When you land, turn around. Jump to the flat area on the right side of the gap with lava below. Mind the shooting blade traps as you explore this room. A flying guard sails in from the left (through the opening in the flames). A second guard follows if you cross the gap to the other side, but you don't have to do this. After you've killed the guard(s), arrange the movable block so you can climb to the platform above. Or, pull up on the angled wall to the right of the opening where the cable comes in and back flip onto the platform. Pull the switch on the column to drop a block into the gap below, making a bridge.
(BUG WARNING: Some people have experienced a bug in which pulling this switch more than once causes Lara to get stuck inside the block when she lands on it. Be sure to pull the switch only once.)
Climb down and safety-drop into the gap onto the block/bridge. Flip the switch to open a trapdoor in the lava above. Climb up out of the pit by jumping from the block/bridge, over the lava, to grab the block to the left. Pull up and climb out of the pit, taking care to avoid the shooting blades. Climb back up to the switch platform and from there onto the wall, where you'll find 2 sets of M-16 clips. From here, take a running jump, pressing Action while in the air, to sail through the opening in the lava and land in the water below. (NOTE: You can also use a running swan dive here: Set up the running jump as usual, then run forward and tap Walk just before jumping. This is a bit more difficult than the running jump-grab, but it's fun to watch.)
Pick up some shotgun shells from under the water. Cross the room and pull a switch, which raises a gate above the lower end of the zip line. Return to the deeper water, then swim down and to the left, through a narrow passage. Surface, then climb into the dark alcove above to pull another switch, which turns off the slashing blades. Climb to the top of the tiered wall, again taking care to avoid the shooting blades.
Head to the right, then jump back to the flat area on the right. Move the green carved block into the corner near the opening you just came from. Jump from the top of the block into the opening above the zip line handle, using Action to lower Lara's trajectory if necessary. Follow the passage, past a black gate, to a room with a spiked floor. Take a running jump and grab the crevice in the opposite wall. Traverse to the right, pull up and flip the switch to open the black gate. Take a running jump from this alcove back to the upper opening in the opposite wall (again hold Action to get the arc right).
Walk forward to the gate you just opened. (There are 2 petrified guards in this room. They don't animate until you return to this area later. You can give them the 3-grenade treatment, as described above at the **, but there are other hints for killing them easily below.)
THE CAGE: Slide backwards down the slope through the opening in the floor. Grab the end of the slide and drop into the cage below. There are 4 knife-throwing cult members and 4 stone guards in the area beyond the cage. Here's one way of taking care of them all fairly easily:
Flip the switch to raise the cage, roll, then run to the wall and pull up. The cultists are pretty relentless, but they will not climb up after you. You can use the column for cover and snipe at them until all are dead. Once the human foes are out of the way, take out the stone guards one at a time. First, if it works for you, blast each from a distance using 3 grenades (as described above at the **). Then approach each one in turn to awaken it, and finish it off. If the grenade trick doesn't work or you're short on grenades, awaken them one at a time and climb back on the wall to kill them from safety.
When the coast is clear, recover some goodies from the bodies: 3 sets of Uzi clips, 3 boxes of shotgun shells, and one of each size medipak. Then flip the 2 switches in the alcoves where the guards were. One opens the exit gate, the other a door in the room above. Go up the stairs, killing the cult thug who tries to stop you, and taking his large medipak and automatic pistol clips. There are also 2 pairs of grenades on the stairs.
At the top of the stairs is the switch that opens the doors and awakens the 2 stone guards beyond. If you've grenaded them earlier, they'll be fairly easy to pop off. If you have no grenades and you're desperate, you can use one of these tricks: Pull the switch then immediately pull it again to close the doors. The guards will awaken and start thrashing around, but you can shoot them through the doors using your trusty pistols. Or, pull the switch, run past the guards and jump through the opening in the floor that leads back down to the cage. Slide down the ramp and climb up onto the wall again. The guards will come down the stairs after you. You may have to jump down to the floor once or twice to get their attention, but you can kill them with pistols. When they're dead return to the room at the top of the stairs.
LADDERS ABOVE SPIKES AND LAVA: Enter the room with the lattice walls and the lava/spike floor. Climb up the lattice. Position Lara's feet on the sixth rung from the top. Jump off and twist in the air, then grab the lattice behind (Jump + Roll...Action). Climb to the left, then up to the red-and-green area of the lattice. Position Lara's feet on the bottom of the red area. Again, jump off, twist and catch the lattice behind. Climb to the top, and get as far to the left as possible. Pull up and back flip, then immediately side flip to the left to land on the flat area. Avoid the shooting blade trap and immediately draw weapons to kill the cult goon who's waiting here. Take his shotgun shells.
Position the movable block below the zip line and in the way of the shooting blades and jump to the rocks on the left. Walk to the far end, then jump across the gap to the lower flat area. Take a running jump back across the gap to the opening below the spot from which you just jumped. Follow this passage to SECRET #3, the Gold Dragon. (This is the last secret of the game and carries a bonus of 8 pairs of grenades if you've found all three secrets in this level.) Return to the opening above the lava. Run and jump straight across the gap to grab the angled block next to the flat area. Pull up and back flip onto the ledge behind. From here, jump into the doorway to finish the level. (Or if you prefer the Indiana Jones approach, climb back to the top and ride the zip line in.)
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