Tomb Raider 2 Level 4: Opera House
Kills: 46 Items: 25 (29)* plus 2 keys, relay box, circuit board and 3 secrets
(*Under found items, the number in parentheses shows total including extra items granted for finding all three secrets. Note that three of the regular pick-ups here will be the AUTOMATIC PISTOLS, Uzis and Grenade Launcher if you didn't get them in previous levels.)
ABOVE THE CANAL: You begin the level on a platform behind a huge wooden crate swinging back and forth on a rope. There's an armed goon on patrol on the dock below. You can try and take him out from here, wait until you get to the other side of the canal, or back flip off the ledge into the canal, draw weapons and shoot him on the way down. He's carrying auto pistol clips. (NOTE: If you didn't get the AUTOMATIC PISTOLS in Venice, you'll get them here instead of the clips. Also, after killing the gunman, you might want to take a little detour to the dock opposite where he was patrolling. There you'll find a poster of Gianni Bartoli—famous magician/occultist and father of our villain, Marco Bartoli. I only discovered this my third time through the game. There's nothing else here, but it's a fun bit of Tomb Raider trivia.)
Swim to the far left corner of the canal (left if Lara is facing away from the entrance to the level). Climb up the ladder to the first landing. Now turn and pull up onto the ledge above. (Get that bad guy now if you didn't before.) Throw the switch here, which opens a trapdoor not far away.
Climb the ladder to the level above. Take a running jump to the white ledge on the opposite side of the water. Do another running jump and grab the edge of the platform where you started the level. Shimmy to the right to avoid the swinging box and pull up. Take a running jump across the canal into the open trapdoor, avoiding that crate. (NOTE: I did it from the far left side of the platform, angled slightly to the right to get the proper angle.)
Two nasty fellows with clubs are posted in here, so take care of them. Then take the small medipak from one of them, along with the ORNATE KEY they were guarding. The exit door at the top of the stairs opened automatically when the second nasty fellow entered, so go out that way. Return again to the ledge where you entered the level.
This time, take a running jump to the small flat area on the tiled roof to ahead (the swinging box and trapdoor should be on your left now). From there, jump forward onto the slanted roof, slide and grab the edge, then drop to the flat square below. Turn around and slide backward down the slope, grabbing the edge. Traverse left until you're in front of the window. Now release the Action button and quickly press it again to drop and grab the windowsill below. Pull up.
Shoot out the window and enter the room, WALKING over the glass shards. (NOTE: Broken glass is like spikes; if Lara runs instead of walking over it she's history.) Head to the left and climb the ladder. Unlock the door at the end of the hallway with the ORNATE KEY you "liberated." Follow the passage beyond and climb the next ladder to the roof.
THE ROOF: The next area, what remains of a decaying roof, is similar to the collapsing tiles you've encountered before. It's a loooong way down but crossing really isn't as hard as it looks. Just remember to keep moving. Line Lara up facing the area that has a gap, three wood squares, another gap, two more wood squares and another gap. Walk to the edge, then do a standing jump to the first wood area. Immediately start running. Do a running jump off this wood area onto the next, then a running jump to grab the edge on the far side. Now pull up.
Turn right and go to the wooden square, pull up, and continue until you reach an opening on the right. There's a thug with a gun below, and another baddie with a bat and 2 Dobermans rush you as soon as you hit the floor. My advice for these is to kill the first guy from the doorway, jump from there onto the domed roof, then get the other guy and the dogs.
Two more guys with guns come out when you start exploring; so get rid of them too. If you don't stay on the dome, at least be very careful not to accidentally jump into the trenches on two sides of the structure; these are lined with broken glass. Now go and pick up the booty: shotgun shells, auto pistol clips and 2 medipaks, small and large.
You'll notice the gold dragon down in one of the trenches. Ignore it for now. There'll be a safe way to get it later on. The opening in the corner to the left of where you came in is also a glass-lined trap. Avoid it.
Head for the opening in the far left corner with the swinging crate. To make the jump without getting clobbered, you'll need to set it up pretty precisely. You want to be facing the box so it's swinging toward and away from you, but you don't want to be right in front of it. Instead, stand on the edge of the dome, on the closest flat square that's just to the left of the box. Walk right up to the edge and sidestep as far left as you can. Take one hop back, then run, jump, grab the ledge and pull up next to the box. (See this screenshot for the spot to start the running jump.) Jump down into the dark area below, where you'll find a button. Push it to open the trapdoor out on the roof.
Two thugs, one with a club, one with a gun, come charging out when it opens, so climb up and shoot them from above. One has shotgun shells and flares.
THE LIGHTING BOOTH: You can now drop down into the LIGHTING BOOTH of the abandoned opera house. Here you'll find 2 switches. The one on the right doesn't work because it's missing a circuit, which you'll need to find. The left one opens the gate so you can get in.
Before we go further, note that the opera house has 4 levels, not including the basement, lighting booth and roof. To keep things concise, I am calling the ground floor where the stage is Level 1, and so on up to level 4, where you'll start exploring.
LEVEL 4 (TOP): Descend and go across the dark area to the right. There's a boulder trap that is sprung when you walk down the slope. I'd set it off now, since you'll need to come back here later and by then you may have forgotten about it. Once you hear the boulders rolling, get over to the right and you'll be safe. Now push the button here to close the gate you just opened so you can get into the main auditorium. Jump up and grab the ladder, then climb up and into the doorway.
Before you jump down into the room, notice the huge sandbag dangling from the ceiling in front of you. You'll encounter a number of these. When Lara walks under them, they fall down and squish her, so take care. With that in mind, hop down and take care of the thug with the gun who comes in from the left. Take his small medipak then head in the direction he came from. The double doors don't open yet, so follow the hallway. Kill the 2 Dobermans that attack. Take note of the ELEVATOR on the right. There's a switch, but the panel nearby is missing a relay box, which you'll have to locate.
Return to where you came in, now head to the right. The double doors open and another thug with a gun and a Doberman rush out. Kill them. From the area where they came in, turn and look across the open auditorium. You'll see a cult guard patrolling on level 3. You can shoot him from here.
LEVEL 3: Hang and drop through the opening to the level below. If you drop down on the edge of the opening closest to the open room, you'll hear a click as a door opens below and a thug with a club and 2 more dogs enter. (If you drop down another way, they won't come out until you reach the ground level.) Shoot them from above. This could take a few minutes, but you'll conserve health and may even get to see this cult goon's nifty walking-on-water trick, so it'll be well worth it.
LEVEL 1 (GROUND): Now drop down to ground level. Take the goon's large medipak. Notice the decaying brick area in the back wall. This is a boulder trap, which is set off when you pass in front of it. Again, you may want to trip them now to avoid accidents later. Don't bother going in the door where the guy and dogs came out; there's nothing in there but another nasty boulder trap.
LEVEL 2 and 3 AGAIN: Use the low steps at the back of the room to help boost Lara back up to level 2. Jump across the gaps to the left side (when facing the stage). To get from here up to level 3, walk to the edge where there's an opening above and a bit of floor above and ahead of you. Do a standing jump and grab this edge. Pull up, turn around and jump over to the area where the guard's body is (provided you killed him earlier). Take the 2 sets of automatic pistol clips he's got.
You may notice the DOORS AND KEYHOLE at the back end of this level, so add one key to your "wish list." For now, go to the opening in the side wall near where you just pulled up. Jump down into the water and climb out on the first step, killing a rat. Turn around and do a standing jump and grab the ledge across the water and above. Kill another rat here. Turn around again and look up. There's a guard with a gun on the floor above, along with a dog and 2 rats. (NOTE: You may be able to shoot the guard from here. You'll get a clearer shot by jumping up and down, but take care not to jump off the ledge. Also, you may have quite a long wait for him to pass by, so unless you're conserving health, you'll probably want to just get up there and get it over with.)
DRESSING ROOM: Follow the hallway to the windows. Shoot them out then hang and drop into the dressing room below. Throw the switch to open one of the doors. Slide forward down the ventilation duct, jumping at the last minute to grab the ledge above and avoid being chopped to bits by the huge fan. Take the ORNATE KEY. Climb to the uppermost brick ledge. Stand facing the fan below. Side jump onto the sloped surface, jump forward, grab the ledge in front of you and pull up. Kill the rat before proceeding along the duct.
VENTILATION DUCTS: When you come to an intersection, take a running jump across the sloped duct. Lara's head will bump the ceiling and she'll land safely in front of the moving fan. Now step back to the edge and take a standing jump to the ledge above the fan. Again, step back to the edge and take another standing jump up and Lara will clear the second fan. (NOTE: A back flip from the edge also works to clear each of these fans.) Before continuing down the passage, turn around and take a standing jump to grab the edge of the dark alcove above. Pull up and walk carefully toward the next fan to retrieve SECRET #1, the Jade Dragon. From the edge of this passageway, take a standing jump down, pressing Action, to land on the ledge below.
Continue to a small room with a movable crate. Pull it once. Flip the switch behind it to open a door back into the dressing room. Now pull the box once away from the wall, and push it through the opening into the dressing room until it's up against the low step. Climb up to the window ledge where you'll find another crate. Shoot out the windows. Push the second crate through the broken window on top of the other crate. Now you can climb up the stacked crates to the room above. Kill the guard with the club who's waiting for you up there. Follow the hallway back to the tiered ledges above the small pool. Take a standing jump to grab the ledge above, pull up and continue back to the auditorium.
THE STAGE: Take a running jump or swan dive into the flooded orchestra pit. Use the underwater block to climb up onto the stage. A Doberman runs out from the door on the left to meet you. Take care of him and the bad guy who starts shooting at you from the audience area. Also be careful of the 2 falling sandbags. The shooter isn't carrying any goodies, but cross the water anyway. This will draw out another thug with a gun, who'll emerge from the door on the left of the stage. Kill him and cross back to the stage to take his Uzi clips.
Enter the door on the left of the stage and flip the switch to open a gate above the right door. Note the bright object in the water below the floor. You'll get to it in a few minutes. Now, head for the door at the other end of the stage. Two goons with clubs come out when you approach. One has a large medipak. Enter the room they came from. Along the two side walls are dangling sandbags that need to be brought down before you can proceed safely.
Now return to the doorway and pull up onto the ledge where you just opened the gate. Head for the left side of the platform, avoiding the glass shards. Turn and face the lowest point of the crevice in the brick wall. Do a running jump to grab this crack, then traverse to the left until you can pull up. Flip the switch here to lower the drawbridge and cue the ominous music. Drop to the floor, return to the doorway and pull up to the platform with the broken glass again.
This time cross the bridge you just lowered. Do a running jump and grab the wooden platform in the far left corner of the room. Pull up, then climb into the alcove above. From here you can shoot the rat on the high platform across the room. When it's dead, do a running jump and grab the edge of this platform. Pull up. Now you'll need to time a jump past the swinging sandbag. Avoid the second sandbag altogether by jumping to the flat area on the right of it. Enter the passage beyond and flip the switch. This drops a sandbag on the stage which busts open the trapdoor. Slide down the ramp, jumping just before you reach the end to sail through the trapdoor and land in the water below. Or climb down carefully and jump in. (NOTE: You can't get to the white ledge above the stage yet, so don't tire Lara out jumping.)
UNDERWATER BELOW THE STAGE: Once you're in the water there face the ramp you just jumped from to get oriented. Enter the opening on your left, proceed until you can turn left again. On one side of this flooded room is a switch. Flip it to open a door out of this area on level 3. On the opposite side of the room, just under the water, is a small opening. Swim through it and follow the narrow tunnel to SECRET #2, the Silver Dragon.
Return to the surface. From here turn left and keep going until you surface in a room with a ladder going up. Pull up out of the water and take the RELAY BOX which is lying here, then climb the ladder to the door you opened a minute ago.
THE ELEVATOR: Climb up to level 4, go to the hallway at the back, right corner of the auditorium and use the RELAY BOX in the circuitry on the wall to repair the ELEVATOR. Pull the switch to send it down, then jump diagonally to the ledge with the ladder on the right side of the elevator shaft. Pull up, then walk carefully over the glass shards to retrieve SECRET #3, the Gold Dragon (plus 4 sets of Uzi clips if you've found all the secrets). On the left is an alcove containing a switch; pull this to open the exit doors. Walk to the exit, retrieving additional Uzi clips on the floor before you leave. (Or, if you didn't get the UZIS in the previous level, you'll get them now.)
Return to the hallway near the elevator shaft and pull the switch to bring the elevator back up. Pull it again, then jump aboard to ride down to the ground floor. When the doors open, run out and take out the 2 thugs with guns ready to ambush you. Take their 2 boxes of shotgun shells.
WATER BELOW THE ELEVATOR SHAFT: Now pull the switch here to send the elevator up, and jump in the water below. Facing the ladder, swim to the left, left, and left again. Surface and grab the CIRCUIT BOARD you saw earlier through the floor in the room off the stage. Return to the elevator shaft opening to get some air, then swim to the left, then right, into a room with many short pillars. On the far right wall is a lever that opens the nearby gate. Pull it and exit. Climb out onto the yellow carpet and kill the rat if you didn't do it earlier.
LIGHTING BOOTH AGAIN: Use a series of standing jump-grab combinations to climb the ledges back up to level 3. Now go to the locked doors at the back of the auditorium and use the ORNATE KEY to open them. Jump into the doorway. Holding the Action key while jumping will keep you from bumping Lara's head. You'll find yourself in the room below the LIGHTING BOOTH. (If you didn't trip the boulder trap earlier, watch out.) Push the button again to open the gate above, then climb the ladder into the booth. Place the circuit board in its receptacle and use the switch on the right to raise the scrim on the stage.
(NOTE: Many people report flipping this switch and having nothing happen. If you tested it when you first entered the lighting booth, nothing happened then because the circuit board was missing. You'll need to flip it again now to get it in the correct position. You'll know you've done it when you see large Fiama Nera banners and a square doorway at the back of the stage.)
Climb down the ladder into the dark hallway below the lighting booth. Vault up into the doorway you unlocked earlier, then safety-drop to ground level. A thug with a gun will come out onto the stage to see what's going on. You can take him from this side of the pool. Next, swim back over to the stage and kill the dog and the 2 additional goons with clubs who come out when you get there. Watch out for the falling sandbag to the left of the doorway. Take the shotgun shells and small medipak from their previous owners before going on.
BACKSTAGE: In the room behind the stage you'll see a few dozen wooden crates, one of which moves. (NOTE: The movable crate is at the base of the pile under the light, on the right side of the room if you're facing the opening above. It's slightly paler than the others.) Pull it out and flip the switch behind it to lower the scrim again.
Climb up the boxes, through the opening and onto the white ledge above the stage. A thug with a club comes out to patrol below, so shoot him from here, but be careful of the falling sandbag on the left side of the ledge. He has no goodies so, when he's dead, head to the right (when facing the back of the auditorium), cross over the ledge with the wooden floor and go down into a small room with a hole in the floor. Jump and grab the edge of the opening above the hole. Flip the switch here to open a small door below. You can use this to get back into this room if you miss the following jump and don't want to reload.
Rather than try to jump or run past the sandbag, stand in the alcove with Lara's feet about one step back from the edge and jump diagonally to the slanted edge. You'll slide down to the flat spot out of the bag's way. From here, time a run past the bag, staying to one side.
STORAGE ROOM/EXIT: Below is another room full of crates. Rather than jump down into a melee, take a very carefully timed standing jump from the right side of the doorway past the swinging crate to the stacked crates on the right (jump as the crate starts to swing to the left). From here you should be able to take out the super-tough thug with the two pistols and the 2 Dobermans. Now drop down and take care of another bad guy who comes out of hiding. When the coast is clear, recover 3 pairs of grenades, a small medipak and some Uzi clips. (If you didn't get the GRENADE LAUNCHER in the first level, you'll receive it now in place of one of the pairs of grenades.)
Climb up on the low box at the far end of the room. Make your way over the tops of the crates, avoiding the swinging ones, back to the end where you entered. To the right of the entrance is a switch on the wall, which opens the exit door. A bad guy with a gun will come out, but you can kill him from up here if you're patient. Take his Uzi clips and head for the exit. You might take a moment to admire the view of Venice at night before sneaking aboard the seaplane and ending the level.
CUT SCENE: Lara overhears Marco Bartoli talking with one of his henchmen. Unfortunately, you and Lara don't get to hear the end of the conversation. Now a short video of the plane landing just before Lara returns to consciousness in the next level.
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