CURSE OF XIAN (La Maledizione di Xian)
Level by Elfy
Walkthrough by Phil Lambeth
There are legal ways of completing the level (and more quickly, at that) other than as described in this walkthrough. However, it's my feeling that the way described here is probably what the builder intended.
Begin by standing before wall torches burning beyond a closed gate. There's a crowbar door behind you, but you need a crowbar to open it. Stand in the raised NE corner facing west and jump up to grab the ceiling. Monkey swing over the gate and drop down on the other side. Shoot the wooden barrier, run between the torches and shoot the next wooden barrier ahead. Look to your left and you'll see a giant crane in a flooded area. To your right is a deep pit. At the west end is a closed double gate, and to the right of that you can see a crowbar switch beyond another closed gate.
Drop down into the hole in the SW corner and find that you can choose between two directions. Follow the passage south and turn the corner. Open the door to your left and take a standing jump and grab to the middle of the ladder. Climb up five rungs and take a rolling back flip. Grab the jump switch to activate it, then climb back up the ladder and back flip into the passage. Go east down the passage to the point where you dropped in, and continue down to a lower level. Follow until you reach an opening overlooking the deep pit you saw earlier. Drop down into the pit and find the LASER SIGHT on a raised tile in the NW corner. There's a large medi-pack on a similar tile in the NE corner. Go back (noting the strange mound near the center of the pit), pull up into the opening in the south wall, and return to the ladder.
Turn right when you reach the ladder and enter a torch-lit area where you see a gem receptacle. Climb up onto the nearby block and pull up into a large courtyard as enigmatic music plays. Shoot the two wild dogs that come to greet you, then look around to get your bearings. The large square hole in the middle of the courtyard is for later, and the smaller fortified hole nearby has a fire tile at the bottom (so you needn't waste your ammunition on the wooden barrier). Go into the water-filled area to the west and note the closed door in the building to your left. Jump into the water and locate the first CARTOUCHE PIECE near the west wall. There's also a small medi-pack near the north wall. Climb out of the water onto a wooden square between two pillars near the south wall. Pull up onto the sloped south pillar, take a rolling back flip and keep the jump key depressed as Lara bounces off the next three sloped pillars and finally lands on a flat surface on the north pillar. Turn around, hop back and activate the jump switch on the east face of this pillar to open the door in the building to the south.
Swim across, pull out and enter the building. If you're in a hurry you can simply dash through the flames and into the water at the cost of a little health. However, it's an easy matter to jump to the right or left and avoid the flames altogether. Once in the water, swim down to the bottom for a small medi-pack, then pull out into the south alcove. Face NE and take a running jump into the east alcove. Pull up to your right, crawl through the space and lower Lara down the other side. Go down and pick up the second CARTOUCHE PIECE, then go to the west end and pull up into the crawl space. Lower Lara down the other side, turn around and pull up onto the sloped pillar. Slide down the other face and jump off to land on the flat pillar. Shoot the SAS down below, then hop down toward the north entrance and leave this building. Turn right and go to that large hole in the center of the previous courtyard. Drop down into the hole and go down some steps to locate a receptacle. Combine the two cartouche pieces to form the BA CARTOUCHE, then insert it in the receptacle to open the door behind you and to your left.
From the entrance to the new underground area, take a running jump and grab north to the stacked crates. Pull up, step forward a few paces and pick up the AK-47. Hop down and alert another SAS. Note the nearby closed gate with Desert Eagle ammo just out of your reach. Explore the crates near the south wall for some uzi ammo, which will flush out another SAS. Go to the NE opening and pull the corpse out of your way if you wish (although it's not covering any pickup). Run up the ramp and pull up to your right onto a ledge overlooking the deep pit. Walk out to the south edge and take a running swan dive (alt + shift) into that funny-looking mound you noted earlier. You'll descend neatly into a hole at the top and land in a shaft filled with water. Flip turn and swim north through the passage, ignoring the openings to your right and left. Swim up at the end into a companion shaft and surface in a new room. Pull up onto the block ahead, ready your pistols, and start climbing the crates. When you reach the top, draw your pistols as you're pulling up, and when you start sliding down the slope ahead, start firing to shatter the barrier in front of you.
Swim to the south and climb back up onto the same block. Climb up the crates a second time, but this time when you pull up and start sliding, jump off and grab the edge of the north opening. Pull up for a cut scene showing that crowbar door where you began this level. Pick up the CROWBAR, reverse roll, angle Lara to the right and take a running jump SW to the brick wall. Hop back, grab the edge and drop down onto the brick ledge below. Turn to your right, draw your pistols, stoop down and shoot the boards in the west wall to reveal a crawl space. Crawl inside, stand up when you can and walk forward carefully until you reach an opening overlooking a watery area below. You can see that Desert Eagle ammo down on the ledge to your left, so step forward onto the sloped surface and allow Lara to drop down into the water. Pull up onto the ledge and claim your ammo, then step out to the edge of the ledge and aim Lara toward the pole to your right. Take a running jump and grab to the pole, climb up a short distance and back flip to the top of the pillar against the east wall. Use the crawl space there to reach the other end of the passage.
Turn around, lower Lara down but don't release. Shimmy to your right, around the corner, and pull up into the adjacent crawl space. Turn around and drop down into the deep pit. Go to the south wall and pull up into the opening between the two pools. Follow the passage, pull up when you reach the end, and continue around until you get to the ladder. Turn right to the area with the gem receptacle and pull out into the large courtyard. You need to return to the upper reaches of the deep pit, so drop down into the large hole in the center of the courtyard, go down the steps and drop down into the watery underground area. Go to the NE opening and run up the ramp. Pull up onto the ledge overlooking the deep pit and turn around to locate the ladder. Climb up to the next higher level and note the closed double doors ahead. Turn to your right and run forward to pick up the HORSEMAN'S GEM. You know where it goes, so climb back down the ladder, drop into the ramped passage, return through the watery area to the courtyard, and drop down near the east wall onto the block near the gem receptacle. Insert the Horseman's Gem to open the nearby double doors.
Climb back out onto the courtyard and use the nearby ramp to take a running jump east onto the torch-lined street. Run to the far edge, stand on the highest part of the street near the last row of torches and side flip over the gate. Use your crowbar to open the door in the SE corner and go inside. Run up the winding stairs and stop when you reach the opening. Take a running jump ahead and grab the block hanging down from the ceiling. Shift left and around the corner, and release over the jump switch to activate it. This opens the trapdoor in the floor below, so drop down into the hole and climb the blocks south. As you move forward you'll disturb a wraith, so hurry to the end of the passage and push in the movable block to your right that you'll find there. Turn to your left and pull up onto the higher block outside. There's water below, so simply run off the block west and you'll slide down safely into the water and douse the wraith.
The platform on which the crane rests is too high for you to use to climb out, so swim across to the west side and pull out onto the block there. Climb one block higher and turn around to face the rope NE. Take a standing jump and grab to the rope, then shift slightly to your right to face the metallic gray block on the crane. You want to swing and jump off so that you clear the block and land on the cement platform on the far side, for if you land on top of the block itself you'll sizzle. When you've made this jump successfully, use the crowbar on the nearby switch to open a gate farther up in the west rock face. Jump into the water and swim to the west side again. Climb out and scale the next two blocks to find yourself at the entrance of the gate you opened with the crowbar switch just now. Light a flare. The passage to your right leads nowhere, except to a deep pit you can cross with a running jump. The passage to your left also leads to a pit that you can't cross with a jump. When you try, you'll grab the ceiling, so simply monkeyswing the rest of the way across the pit.
As you drop down at the end of the passage you'll see an opening to an enclosure ahead. Don't go in there yet, as there's no need to arouse the formidable enemy inside until you've made necessary preparations. Hop down to the floor (you can use the blocks along the wall to your left to avoid touching down, but it appears that this is not necessary), turn left and run to the water along the south wall. Jump in and swim to the central tile for your most essential pickup, the CROSSBOW. Then explore for additional goodies: a large medi-pack, uzi ammo, two small medi-packs and some crossbow arrows. Climb out of the water on the east side and face the west wall. Hit the up arrow and action keys to make Lara hoist up to a crack in the wall. Shimmy to the right and around the corner, and pull up into an alcove. Activate the jump switch there to lower a rope in the next room, then hop down and jump back into the water. Pull out either on the north or the south side and go around to the opening on the east side of the wraparound passage.
The Hammergod is waiting to your right as you enter the new room, standing right in front of the ladder that you need to climb. He'll probably start whacking the ground right there, so it'll be necessary for you to get him to chase you around a bit so you can get to the ladder and start climbing before he resumes whacking. Pull up onto the ledge and turn around to face NW. Take a running jump into the narrow space between the crates and the wall on the north side. Pull up onto the nearby sloped crate and back flip to the higher one behind you. Jump south to the next crate, and from there take a running jump and grab the rope dangling from the ceiling. Slide down to the bottom, swing forward and jump off at the apex of your swing to land on the south ledge. Pull up onto the highest crate for some spare crossbow arrows, then turn to face NW. There's a barely discernible swinging blue ball off in the distance, so combine your crossbow and laser sight, zoom in on it with the crouch key and shatter it. A flyby takes you past the crane outside and reveals that the deep pit has been flooded.
Drop back down to the ledge and climb up onto the crate in the NE corner. Take a running jump NE with a midair curve to the right to land on the corner of the east ledge. Drop down to the floor and quickly make your exit from this room before the Hammergod can start doing his thing. Climb onto one of the blocks near the opening up in the east wall and take an angled running jump into it. Use the monkeybars to get across the pit, then continue east to leave this area. Take a running jump and grab the rope outside, and swing forward to release so you'll clear the crane and land near the crowbar switch (or grab, shimmy and release, as the case may be) as you did earlier. The east face of the crane is climbable, so use it to get to the top of the crane. Run toward the south end, shoot the wooden barrier that blocks your way, and when you reach the end take an angled running jump either to your right or left to land in the flooded pit.
Swim over to the west ledge and pull out. Go to the crowbar switch in the south alcove and activate it (facing south, not north, as the latter method works but doesn't open the gates for some reason) to open the double gate higher up in the north wall. Swim over there and climb the ladder. Equip your crossbow with explosive arrows before you enter, as you'll encounter three skeletons in quick succession once you enter. Blow them up singly or as a trio, then continue to the north wall and open the door to your right. Inside is a closed gate requiring a gem you don't yet have, so head down the north passage and pull up onto the wall to the left of the short gate. Turn left in front of the fire barrier, jump up to grab the crack in the wall and shimmy to your right past the flames. Release when you can go no further, and you may suffer a little health loss when you hit the floor. Enter the south alcove, vault up onto the block as an earthquake ensures and pick up the WEAPON CODE KEY. Hop back to make the earthquake stop, then go through the north passage and up into a mirror room. Climb up onto the box to your left and pick up another HORSEMAN'S GEM.
Go back through the passage, hop over the block where you picked up the Weapon Code Key, and side flip over the short fence. Run south into the next room and use the Horseman's Gem to open the east gate. Enter, slide down the ramp and run forward (yes, you can fall to your death if you run off on either side) toward the woman ahead as blue electricity starts sputtering all around her. Shoot the barrier and step forward to shake her hand as the level crashes to the desktop, signifying that you've reached the end.