LEVEL 19: METEORITE CAVERN
Kills: 7 Items: 2, plus the FOUR ARTIFACTS Save/power-up crystals: none Secrets: none
Objectives: Get the four artifacts back, defeat Willard, climb out of the cavern and highjack a helicopter to get the off this big iceberg.
So you're trapped in a huge round room with narrow, sloped walkways above searing lava. Your former employer has turned into a huge insectoid mutant that shoots deadly energy bolts, and no matter how hard you hit him he just won't die. What's a girl to do?!
Remember that one shot from Willard is all it takes to kill Lara, and he NEVER misses. So, above all, don't let him get off that one shot. Try to stay on the opposite side of the crater from him. He won't fire as long as you are anywhere within the ring around the crater (i.e., if Lara steps across the white markings on the floor at the entrance to each "spoke," he will zap her). However, he can also kill her by batting her around with his spider feet. So keep him moving. If he gets too close, change direction, and try to stay on the opposite side of the crater from him. As you do this, continue to shoot at him. The obvious weapons of choice would appear to be the grenade and rocket launchers. However, these can be difficult to aim while moving. If you have any clips left for the Desert Eagle, I highly recommend using it, since it auto-aims well.
Shoot Willard until he's stunned. (It takes several grenades or rockets or about a dozen Desert Eagle rounds.) If you've done the difficult part and stayed on the opposite side of the crater from him, then it'll be fairly easy to roll and sprint down the nearest straight path toward an artifact. Pick it up, roll and sprint back toward the center. (If Willard is just getting up as you're coming back toward the center, save your game. Use a different slot just in case you've misjudged. If he's powering up to fire, then it's already too late. Reload and try again.)
Repeat the whole thing again for the three remaining artifacts. The last one will probably be the most difficult, since you'll have to get him to lie down on the far side of the crater from it. But once you have all FOUR ARTIFACTS, the meteor will fall back down into the crater, and Willard will become vulnerable. Now pull out the big guns and finish him off.
UPDATE: Several players have sent in refinements for this strategy. The one that proved the most consistently useful (at least for me) came from Kuerass in Germany:
Upon entering the circle, draw the Desert Eagle and start the chase. I like to go counterclockwise, heading from the starting point to the right. Pass three straights RUNNING, then two SPRINTING. (If the entrance is at the 12 o'clock position, you're now at 9 o'clock.) Turn, aim, hit that trigger and don't let go 'til he got at least 12 rounds. He'll probably get pretty close to Lara but he won't fire as long as you're within the circle around the crater. The idea is to not go on until he actually goes down, so that he ends up falling down BETWEEN two straights (at roughly 10 o'clock). That'll give Lara a little extra time in the straight.
Run to the opposite straight (3 o'clock) and when Lara auto-aims him again, keep firing. When Willard gets up, he'll be less than a half-circle from Lara, but he'll still give chase counter-clockwise. He shouldn't reach the next straight (9 o'clock) before being stunned again. Now, roll, sprint in, get the artifact, roll, sprint out and repeat the whole exercise—run past three straights, sprint to the second, etc., and you'll be able to get each of the artifacts in order.
When Willard finally explodes, go toward the hallway flanked by two ladders. Take a running jump from the circular walkway to grab one of the ladders. Climb up until Lara's hands are level with the ledge. Climb sideways as far as you can toward the ledge and pull up. (Or, climb the ladder to the area with the carved face and back flip onto the arm of the statue behind. Then take a running jump to the ledge.) Go through the doorway. (The slope ahead is where Lara entered during the last cut scene.) Follow the passage on the right to emerge on a ledge above the crater.
Use the handholds on the ceiling to traverse to the next rock ledge. Go to the end and take a running jump to the ledge on the right. Climb onto the ledge above. Turn around and take another running jump to the thin, square ledge below the rim of the hole. Climb up through the opening and go around the edge of the hole to the tunnel in the snow. Slide down the slope and follow the passage to the compound.
Two armed guys in white suits are waiting there—one ahead, the other on the left. If you want all the pick-ups, the one on the left has a large medipak, the one ahead Desert Eagle clips. Be careful when you approach the body with the clips; there's a guy with a flamethrower in the alley waiting to attack. Three more enemies emerge as you explore. (NOTE: You can press the button on the side of the building, but the door is already open and there's nothing inside.)
When you're ready, go through the alley at the open gate and around to the fenced-in area where the helicopter lands. As you approach, the gate opens. Enter to finish the level.
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