Tomb Raider the Angel of Darkness LEVEL 29: ECKHARDT'S LAB

Walk forward to the slope.  If you slide down the center, the retracting spikes pop out and skewer Lara.  Instead, slide down on the left and jump to land on the stone ledge jutting out from the wall.  Take a running jump along the ledge to clear the lava pit and land in the tunnel ahead.

Enter the laboratory and go to the left wall.  Crawl under the platform to get a small medipak.  Crawl through to the other side and get Alchemic Phial #1 (purified oxygen) from the worktable.

Return to the middle of the room and pull the lever near the dangling cage.  This opens the grating below the cage, as well as the trapdoor at the top of the ladder.  At this point 2 undead knights appear.  As usual, you can knock them down, destroy them by knocking them into the water or, most practical, just avoid them.

Do not jump into the pool below the cage, or the smaller pool in the room off to the side of the main lab.  The water will kill Lara on contact.

Climb the ladder to the walkway at the top of the room.  Dismount and go to the right end of the room.  Spot the large health pack on the horizontal beam.  To get it, take a few steps back from the railing and then jump forward to grab the beam.  Pull up, take the health pack and then jump back to the walkway near the middle of the wall, where the walkway extends farther out into the room.  (If you jump from where you got the health pack, Lara will overshoot the walkway.)

Place Alchemic Phial #1 in the receptacle on the front of the curved, wooden structure.  Then follow the walkway back to the ladder.

Jump from the walkway to the top of the cage.  Walk toward the edge to the right of the rope.  A small trapdoor opens and Lara falls into the cage.  Save your game and then pick up Alchemic Phial #2 (purified hydrogen).  When you take the phial, the cage begins to sink into the pool.  climb out quickly before the cage reaches the water, or Lara will die.  To get out, climb the cage wall below the opening in the ceiling.  Traverse around the corner so Lara is holding the edge of the opening and pull up.  Now you're safe.

When the cage sinks to its lowest position, climb into the small niche on the wall of the pit to get Alchemic Phial #3 (purified salt).  Crawl back out and climb the wall of the pit.  Lara won't climb past the rim, so press Jump to back flip out of the hole.

Place Alchemic Phial #2 in the receptacle at the top of the low steps.  Then run into the side room with the small pool to place the Phial #3 in the third receptacle.

Cut scene: When all three phials have been used, a glowing substance flows into the pool, purifying it.

Now Lara can jump into the water.  Swim down and take Eckhardt's Periapt Shard from the underwater pedestal.  This opens a gate back in the main lab room.  Climb out of the pool, run back through the lab and slide down the slope to Eckhardt's inner sanctum.

FINAL BATTLE ARENA: Approach the center of the room.

Cut scene: Eckhardt does his best Dr.  Frankenstein imitation as he starts the process of reviving the Sleeper.  Lara doesn't think this is a good idea and tells him to knock it off.

This fight is ever so much easier than the one with Boaz.  You can do it without using any ammo and very likely without any health loss.  As soon as you have control of Lara, go into the commando crawl position (Duck then Stealth).  Eckhardt stays in the outer ring, beyond the energy field.  He begins by shooting a series of blue energy bolts at Lara.  As long as you're in the stealth crawl, Lara will take no damage.  You can't use the Look button now, but you should be able to keep Eckhardt in sight by crawling around to face him.

After several of these blue-energy attacks, Eckhardt will begin to create magical copies of himself.  At this point you can stand up.  Approach the small circle at the center of the arena, but don't stand inside.  Instead, position Lara just outside the small circle so she's not in the path of any of the three doppelgangers.  (If they touch her, she'll take damage.) Once Eckhardt has created the third copy, the three will run to the center of the circle and fuse together.  Wait a couple of seconds for Eckhardt to discharge a blue energy burst.  Then kick him.  (Get close and press Action firmly.) One kick should be all that's required.

Cut scene: Eckhardt keels over and Lara stabs him with one of the periapt shards.

The injured Eckhardt flies up out of the arena, and the process begins again.  Go into the commando crawl position, wait for the fire attacks to subside and then get into position as Eckhardt creates the three doppelgangers.  When they fuse together, wait a few seconds for the burst of fire to subside.  Kick him again and you'll get the cut scene of Lara stabbing him with one of the shards.  Repeat the same process a third time and you've beaten Eckhardt.

Cut scene: Eckhardt sinks to the ground, all but defeated.  Lara closes in, third shard at the ready, only to be ambushed by Karel.  He grabs the shard.

"Go on.  Kill her!" Eckhardt orders Karel.  But Karel has other plans.  He stabs Eckhardt in the head with the shard.

"But why?" Lara asks.  "You worked for him."

"No," Karel answers, "unknowingly he worked for me, but his usefulness has ended."

Karel then reveals himself to be a Nephilim.  As he explains to Lara that he's been helping her all along, he undergoes a series of transformations—Bouchard, Luddick, even Kurtis Trent.  Then he returns to his Nephilim form.  Even the unflappable Lara Croft is a bit unsettled by all of this.

Karel explains that the Nephilim have only ever been trying to survive and asks her to join him in building a benign new order.  But the symbol on his palm reminds Lara of her friend Werner's murder.

FMV: Lara flashes back once more on Von Croy's killing.  This time, she recalls everything.  When Eckhardt demands to know why Von Croy hasn't brought him the Obscura Painting, Von Croy answers that going after it would be too dangerous...but Lara could do it.  As in the previous visions, Eckhardt kills Von Croy, but this time Lara remembers more.  Eckhardt transforms into Karel as he crushes Werner's glasses.  "You humans break so easily," he mutters.  The last thing Lara sees is the symbol on his palm.  (See the note below if this movie doesn't appear in your game.)

Second cut scene: Back to the present.  Once more the camera focuses on the symbol on Karel's hand.  "Too many people have died for me to trust you," she says.  Karel replies, "Stupid mortal! So be it!"

Now you must destroy Karel, but he cannot be killed directly.  You'll have to make your way up to the dangling Sleeper to set things in motion.  First run to Eckhardt's body and pick up Eckhardt's Glove.  Now run to the back of the pillar to the left of the one supporting Eckhardt's body.  (Or, commando crawl.  Karel's energy bolts can't harm Lara if she's crawling.) On the back of the pillar you'll find a small compartment.  Press Action to place Eckhardt's glove there.  This lowers a pair of ladders.  Pick one and climb up to the walkway surrounding the arena.

Follow the walkway around to another ladder leading up to the next level.  Again, you can run or sprint to avoid Karel's blasts.  Or, if you're very low on health, commando crawl to avoid taking damage.  On the upper level, follow the walkway around to where it juts out toward the Sleeper and there's no railing.  Take a running jump toward the Sleeper.

Final FMV: Lara clings to the legs of the hibernating Nephilim.  She takes Kurtis's magic shuriken (at least I think that's what this is) and places it against the Sleeper's leg.  Then she swings down to the ground and runs to safety as the Sleeper begins to glow with a blinding light.  A beam of light explodes outward, impaling Karel and then engulfing everything in the room.

After a few moments, Lara emerges from hiding looking a little worse for wear.  She moves toward the pool of blood in the middle of the floor and retrieves Kurtis's shuriken.  The weapon vibrates with energy as blades pop out along its edges, and Lara has to struggle a bit to hold onto it.  Her lips curve up in a subtle smile.  Then she walks off into the darkness.


(NOTE: If, like mine, your computer won't show the FMV movies during the game, you can watch them using Windows Media Player or another similar program.  Look for the movies in the folder C:\Program Files\Eidos Interactive\TRAOD\Data\Fmv, where C: is your hard drive.  The second to last movie, where Lara recalls Von Croy's murder in detail is EN_revel.mpg.  The final movie is END.mpg.  The file names may differ for non-English versions of the game.)

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