Planet of the Ancients 3 == A six-levelgame by Richard Szydelko

- - - Walkthrough by rjb (late additions by Uvavoo)

(Richard strongly recommends looking first at the included readme file, entitled: “README FIRST”, for a number of important points about the game, especially in relation to the various media strands used.)

- - - General Comments - - -

* The game ideally wants to be played using the launch program Level Manager, so that all media strands can be viewed in their correct position. If this is not possible, this walkthrough will specify below (text shown in magenta) those places that the different items of media should be accessed.

* (For those not able to use Level Manager, this will mean pausing the game at certain points [designated **] to use the various media strands. (Links to the “Planet of the Ancients 3” section of Richard’s website for these media items are indicated, below. He wishes to know if players consider this ‘reasonable’, in order to have the opportunity to view the media. [Players’ speed of internet access will affect the speed of loading/playing of these, naturally, and sometimes it may be necessary to press the ‘refresh’ button.])

* A new item/place to be found - one per level - is the Magic Square, located by looking carefully at the 'loading screen picture' each time our poor Lara dies (Heaven forbid!) or whenever we reload. If you can find the square on which the 'camera' is standing that takes this picture, then Lara will be able to pick up an item or 3 from the ground - if it is ground on which she is currently standing. [To add to the mystery, we’ll find that the ‘Magic Square collection’ is rendered invisible in the inventory (but still added to our tally!) when collected.]

* Secrets: Watch out for the words: [Secret Alert!], an advance warning of approaching secrets, so that you may go ahead to find the secret by yourself before reading on. There are 10 secrets in all, 5 of which (one per level) are UVAVOO! crystals. Collect all 5 of these and a player will be able to enter level 6, the Bonus Level.

* Other suggestions: Occasionally a quietly pulsing light may be visible; this is a hint that that location contains the next (or almost the next) thing to do. Try to conserve ammo - the early pickups with few adversaries are not accidental. And in general, so as not to “give things away” in advance too readily, we shall find that “clues” will often precede specific directions.

* Final important note: if Windows Media Player on your computer (or whatever plays your media in-game) needs some “warm up time” before it will operate for the first time (most likely on PCs with low RAM or that use older versions of Windows), then it is strongly recommended that you run Windows Media Player (or whatever) at least once before you start the game each time, or your first in-game wmv may take a lo-o-ong time to start!

* Enjoy!

- - - Story - - -

If you remember your time on Sirius V, from game 2 in the series, then you may also remember that Lara is on board the great spacecraft. So why have we come to this new planet? Do you also recall that giant statue of someone that looked remarkably like Miss Croft herself? - and what was written at the base of that statue? (We shall have an opportunity to read that legend again.) What shall we find on this planet? What might have been here before us? And the great question: Why have we been brought to this place?

** (If not using the program Level Manager.) Click here to see the introductory video.

= = Level One: Mars = = (3 secrets) - - - 1. Exploring

As the game opens we see the landscape of the planet Mars and then we are dramatically shown the spacecraft that has brought us from Sirius V all the way to this planet. Lara is now on the ground, as the searchlight of the craft scans the surface to help us at the very beginning of our mission [see picture]. There are several directions we might go to explore: especially: west (more NW, really) to an arch in the rock wall (see 2. The Western Arch section, next); or north to the crater (with its curious tower - more later!) near which the craft is hovering, and beyond; or east to a sunken valley (see 3. Valley of Dust below).

2. The Western Arch - - - [Secret Alert!]

Entering the western arch, we can: (1) fall down in the darkness because we’re not looking where we’re going(!) [you won’t be the first or last to do this!]; or (2) spot the pit before we fall down it, and jump some distance along one side, to start bouncing (from side to side, curving as we go) the rest of the way to safety; or (3) jump along one side of the pit, then slide and shimmy the rest of the way [methods (2) or (3) are the standard means of returning from the far side of the pit]; or (4) we may just notice two flatter areas at the RH side of the pit, one just before it. We can jump to the first of these, then the second (a continuous running jump is possible if timed correctly) and then jump far enough from the second to reach beyond the pit so that we can slide down safely to the path that runs from the far side towards the gate [see picture].

So why have we come here when the gate is still closed? (We could have waited to do this until we had opened the gate, but there is a good reason why we might choose to come this way first.) You will have seen the ladder that goes down? Investigation brings us to the first of several UVAVOO! crystals. And perhaps those uzi guns, ammo and flares will be useful. (Secret 1.)

3. To The Valley of Dust - - - and beyo - o - o - nd!

If instead (or later) we go east from the great spacecraft - we cannot get back on board, btw! - to the sunken valley (each direction needs to be explored at some point, naturally) we can slide or jump down into it easily enough, or (hint) your game experience may be slightly better if you deliberately don’t yet go down into the small valley. There is a way (by jumping) that we can cross this valley by using the higher slopes/rocks at the northern (left) rim [see picture]. (If we fall or slide down, no matter, as we can just come back a little towards the spacecraft and then jump up to start that section again.)

Our immediate aim is to reach the far side of this small valley, and as we go forward ... there is a familiar sight for those who remember the film “2001”. Brave the daunting M.......? (heading SE) to find a tablet deposited as we draw closer. A clue? Yes, to 2 keys we as yet didn’t know we were seeking. “No stone unturned” and “Under the dust”. We can start doing the first immediately by locating two different types of rock: though one is not of help, the other may include hidden goodies! (Though you’ll have guessed this already, no doubt.)

You’ll have noticed also that the Monolith has ‘spoken’ to Lara in English - here on Mars. If the Monolith can impart information/wisdom, it will also know Lara’s native language. So either our heroine is a brilliant archaeologist-linguist (together with all her other gifts!) or she has an ‘instant translator’ to hand, as in a certain TV sci-fi series. (Perhaps the Monolith gave her this gift, also. Any speech/writing may be Martian; we will see English.)

Rocks near the Monolith ... and perhaps in the crater we have just passed? Now, before returning to the dusty valley, a few other things: first, turn roughly NE (while by the crater) and look carefully at the top of the hill/mountain all on its own (rising sun behind it). [We can zoom in with binoculars.] So (slightly tricky) we can climb that mountain. From this high vantage point we might be able to see the Monolith still (SW) but it is more important to visit another valley to the NW. (Rocks to keep checking.) [Medipacks and magnificent views so far - and earlier flares.]

If we go up onto the northern rim of the nearby crater (Monolith behind us, dusty valley west), looking north, we see ahead another valley with a central hill, a smaller hill to the left and if we look carefully, we can just see over the top of the central hill ‘something’ on the distant mountain side. We can jump to the small hill, then to a higher, flat-topped pillar ‘attached’ to the LH (NW) mountain. Turning due E, we can jump to the central hill, run along it, then jump further east to a pillar ‘attached’ to the eastern mountain.

If we now turn north, we can see our objective to the NW. Believe it or not, we can make that in 3 jumps from here. Note the star-like ‘marker’ (some might say a face?) on the mountain wall ahead, directly beyond what is the second jump [see picture]. If we jump north (down a little), to the cut out alcove, we then have a tricky jump up to the ‘star’ pillar. (So worth Saving here, then after we have made the tricky 2nd jump, also.) [May find it easier to go into the alcove a little before starting the second R&J.] From the upper ‘star’ pillar we can turn west and it is an easy (but long) R&J to what we find is a lever ledge.

Pulling the lever, we are shown the base of a door opening, in a reddish, longish cave-like area. (Those who have an UVAVOO! crystal by now might recognise this door.) We now want to descend (the easy way) to the valley floor and go all the way back south (and SW) to the edge of the sunken valley. From the rim of this valley (the Monolith is back left) we should be able to see (binocs? - depends on the strength of your eyesight!) a small medipack on a low pillar a short distance (SW) into the valley, which we can reach later from the valley. This time we’re descending into it deliberately.

4. Into The Valley of Dust - - - [Secret Alert!]

Beware - ah, you’ve found it! There’s a hole here - which in fact is where we are going next. This is the dusty valley to which the helpful Monolith’s tablet referred. Down we go. (Reminder to look for the Magic Square. [See start of the walkthrough for further information.] We can reach it before or after this descent.) Along to a room (across a short blue channel/passage with a closed gate at its end - what could this be?!) that is quite different from all we have seen so far.

Note how these platforms to which we can jump - we cannot reach many of them at first - are ‘spring-loaded’. This may mean that sometimes we cannot jump quite as far as we think we ‘should’ be able to. (Hint. And beware, for this reason, one or two jumps that are possible that might lead to a place but not back from it!!) The process here is really a not-hugely-difficult (but still tricky in places) warm up for some of what is to come. It is a case of finding a lever (or 4) that will help us to reach further platforms. See what happens when we use the lever furthest left (west) in this room, then see if you can spot which platform is moving.

This principle is repeated, but no need to hurry as some of the views we’re shown are really quite stylish! Eventually [how long will we try that particularly teasing jump that looks ‘do-able’ at the far (N) side of the room? (but isn’t!)] we will see 3 platforms rising together, and that is the signal that this mini-quest nears completion. Aha! We have the Silver Temple Key. (What temple?!) “Beneath the dust,” we were told. (For those not in the know, Mars is well-known for its occasional extensive dust storms, a possible risk for future Earth space missions. May no-one suggest this walkthrough is not educational!)

Once with the key, there are two more obvious possible routes back to the entrance of the room, when we can return to the surface. Or we can do the ‘almost unthinkable’ (we did notice that opening at ground level?!) & seek a rather unorthodox method of returning. (A safety drop is possible from certain locations, though the attendant health-loss is rather alarming!) Following the passage as it spirals inwards, we can then find our second (or first, depending on what we did initially) secret (‘useful-for-later’[!] uzi clips), and then reach the surface.

Head for the spacecraft to leave the valley, but don’t forget that medipack on the pillar, nor the Magic Square. (See the start of the walkthrough for explanation of Magic Squares.) When we have climbed out of the dusty valley, to return to where we began, it is time to start looking in earnest for those special rocks that the Monolith tablet mentioned. If we reach the western arch in the rocks past the spacecraft, without finding the Gold Temple Key then we have gone too far. (There is also another small medipack.)

5. Keys and Scrolls

Now we have the 2 needed keys, we can enter/re-enter the western arch, to reach the (now) opened far gate. (See section 2 above to negotiate the pit ahead and find the secret, our first UVAVOO! crystal and the uzi guns, with assorted other items.) Beyond the gate are some half-buried flares and an LMP to find by a wall in the dark, before we use the 2 keys to open some further gates.

Important warning that applies to all custom levels: Never save while Lara is using a key to open something (usually a door, obviously!), or you will encounter the “key/keyhole bug” that is one of the Level Editor’s less useful quirks. If you save and then reload during the animation while Lara is using a key, then whatever the key opens will remain shut and you will not be able to continue! In this instance perhaps Save immediately the gates have been opened, as another dramatic fly-by is about to play.

(Can we identify the music before the “giveaway” bit?) If we go up the stairs we can find 3 items on the surrounding balconies, but we cannot reach 2 of them. There is also a cubicle we cannot enter, so how to ...? What about those statues? (Very similar to the one we saw in PotA2 - with the enigmatic legend on the base.) What is the meaning of that? Ah, they are not fixed in place, then! (Look for a floor tile that is different.) And the cubicle glass rises. Hint: pick up the medipack first! And if we now pick up the Scrolls Actuator tablet (Scrolls?!? - ah, the “Scrolls of Time”!) we are shown that a larger version of something very like the lift platforms we saw “below the dusty valley” is rising. What does this mean? Would it be wise to move quickly at this time, then?!!

The platform rises very slowly (others may not be so slow - hint!), but we have a little distance to cover to reach it, and there are flames to avoid. (This is your first real opportunity to panic, btw!) And once we have reached the platform, probably it’s a good idea NOT to get off it again! And so we rise to a dark cave, where we see a closed door and scrolls in cabinets/cubicles (that we cannot access). But we do now have a “Scrolls Actuator” tablet!

Placing this Scrolls Actuator tablet in the receptor opens the nearby cubicle for the first Scroll of Time. (Note the pulsing light over the cubicle.) As we pick this up we are shown (if using Level Manager - if not, see in a moment) the information contained on this scroll, which is about the original inhabitants of the planet. (The glass screen for the second cubicle rises, also.)

** (If not using the program Level Manager.) Click here to see the information contained on the first Scroll of Time.

As we take the second scroll, we are shown further details and the third cubicle screen rises.
** Click here to see the video contained within the second Scroll of Time.

This happens for the third scroll (when the fourth cubicle screen rises).
** Click here for the video contained in the third Scroll.

And also for the fourth scroll, when the door that leads out of the room is opened, as well.
** Click here to see the message from this planet’s inhabitants that is contained in the fourth Scroll of Time.
(The ‘pause’ button can be particularly useful for this Scroll.)

Story: So now we know what happened to the inhabitants of the planet we call Mars, and some of the music of this episode is chosen(!) to reflect the great sadness of what occurred here. But there is also Hope. Our heroine is also their heroine, their “Chosen”, though they do not know her name, nor how many millennia would have to pass before her arrival. Our task is now a little clearer: we are to find certain components that will help us to start up a “Genesis Machine”, so as to attempt to reactivate it, in stages. The planet’s inhabitants that remained behind (in stasis) have been waiting a long time for their “Chosen” to arrive. Indeed, we shall see a few of them very soon, and also the Genesis Machine itself. The adventure continues!

6. The Genesis Machine - - - and some Martians - - - [Secret Alert!]

As we go along the passage past the door and reach the next room, the final (initial) pieces of the jigsaw fall into place. (The end of the beginning.) In the fly-by that follows we are quickly moved (virtually) into a stasis room, where we see some of the Martians who have been left in suspended animation - for millennia, we understand! (You may be able to see the preserving fluid in some of the cubicles.) The fly-by pauses in one significant place then moves on, through the next door, into the Genesis Machine room itself.

We are given some idea of how large an undertaking it might be to start up this great machine. But be assured, the Martians were magnificent builders and engineers, able to construct things on a massive scale. Even after millennia, their machinery is likely to work very smoothly - besides, they may have left behind a kind of maintenance engineer, to tend to all the little things that might go wrong over such a long time! (Although, unfortunately, they may not recognise the benevolence of the one known as the “Chosen” so easily!) This is our mission: this is why we were brought to this planet.

There are a few more items to pick up in the room before the stasis room and if we look up in a certain place ... The door to the stasis room opens as we approach it, and a careful search should reveal what we need to progress to the Genesis Machine room that is next. (And if we have just missed secret 3, we can easily go back for it now, before going on.) [An SMP, flares, several uzi clips to find in all.]

Then a vast room, the ceiling a long way up. A control room at the far side from where we enter, behind a kind of blue screen, but we cannot as yet get anything to work. At one side is a closed gate with another door beside it. There are several higher walkways and lift-type platforms that we can see, at various levels. There are even four of the lift platforms right next to the control room (five, if we count the one that is far too high up to reach), but as yet we cannot climb onto any of these (except the one on the floor!), to be able to go any higher.

That leaves the central pit, where we find a lever that might just ... Yes, one of the doors is now open. So when we have finished admiring or being overawed by the Genesis Machine, we can go along what is initially a metallic passage that then becomes a passage carved out of the rock. This in turn leads to ... the Aqua Domain. (Though as someone of some notoriety once said, to paraphrase: “We’ll be back!”)

= = Level Two: Aqua Domain = = (4 secrets) - - - 1. A Long Fall

As we run along, then slide down the rocky passage, did we hear something electronic?(!) My, my, that is a long way down! And so we meet our first droid. (There will be more?!) These have been left by the inhabitants to monitor all the things that have needed monitoring. (Perhaps you will already have discovered that they do not regard the “Chosen” with the same benevolence as their creators!) They also have a disquieting ability to move and/or shoot through certain parts of the scenery and at other times they will try to lull us into a false sense of security by remaining perfectly still - until we approach. (Remember that we are dealing with an incredibly advanced race, here.) We have been warned!

2. Fountains, Lift Platforms and ‘Doors’

The large pool room into which we have been deposited has several features that are not quite what they seem. They will repay a good initial look (now, for later). Also, remember the TR player’s important advice about remembering to look up every so often. We fell a long way, did we not?! Two doors, both closed. Perhaps a (watery - hint) lever somewhere? Into the small room and yes, we can move the block - but not far. So how do we ... ? (Clue one: fountains. Outside or here? Clue two: pistols.) Aha. But should we climb on the platform or somehow push/pull/manoeuvre the block a bit further? What could that nice big ‘medallion’ emblem be for?

Oh-oh! Hear that sound? Yes, the gate has been opened, but also ... A second pool room, where we can also see some lift platforms and ledges. Into the water (hands up those who rushed along that passage and fell in!), there are 4 important things to note. 2 are doors we cannot yet (hint) open and one is a lever to use. And best not leave the water until we have found a rather important item to pick up!

Aha, the second lift platform in the side ‘fountains’ room (off the first pool room) is rising. That would suggest that something in that room can now be ... (And there was a second ‘floor medallion’ in that room, wasn’t there?) Ah! Now where is that wall panel that has just been raised? And what is that tunnel/pipe(?) that was hidden behind it? And what might that electronic sound be that accompanied the raising of the wall panel?!! (And watch out for those fast tumble turns where droids can quickly change direction.)

3. Pipes and Hidden Rooms

A water conduit but without the water? For what could this circular pipe have originally been used? Well, with no water, we can run along it, most conveniently. And a third pool - but very much smaller - and a shaft of some kind leading up in the centre. (But note the door in the corner of the room, too.) So what is the vertical shaft all about? Perhaps that corner door, then. We did pick up the crowbar from pool 2?! (Do you think this door is at all similar to the 2 doors we saw underwater in that second pool? Hint.)

So, a small, darkish room (with flares to find) and a button switch we can use. (The observant might notice something else about this room, looking in a certain direction. Something to remember for later.) Now, what are we being shown when we press this button? If we’re unsure, we can press it again (and again), to see what happens. A most powerful button, then! Where is this happening? (The fountain through the passage doorway and the platform ledges are clues.) [The water needs to be left out!]

Yes, we are being directed back to pool room 2 - except that it is no longer a pool. So what is possible in this room that wasn’t before? (Nothing to do with the underwater lever - that is now unusable.) [On our way back, a conundrum: are circular conduits/tunnels lined with earth that are on Mars still lined with earth?!] And probably good not to rush forward & drop into the “pool” as we enter pool room 2 this time! Will it matter which door we open first? Could there be something hiding behind either of them?!

Behind the LH door is a button that does something that affects the vertical shaft above that tiny pool in some way. Opening the RH door as well, we see that beyond it (fortunately no droids waiting!) is another conduit/pipe. Going forward, we come to a tiny metal room where we seem not to be able to go further. A hidden ladder embedded in one of the walls? What more do the binocs show? But nothing else we can do, so our next stop is indeed to investigate that small pool, to see exactly what has changed there.

When we reach the vertical shaft in the pool room, we find that it is now filled with water, so that we can swim up it and reach a room above that was hidden from view. At one side we can see 2 more of the circular pipes, and a lever between them that we cannot yet reach. If that is an underwater lever, what does it say about may happen in this room later?! We can jump up to see a fan (stationary, soon to be turning) in the RH pipe and perhaps a passage/room(?) at the end of the LH pipe? The other way, we see a wide ledge with a jumpswitch beyond it - which we can reach from the ledge. (Flares to collect.)

The jumpswitch causes a lift platform to rise in the now empty second pool room. If we swim back down the shaft we can prepare to go back to that pool room to check the raised platform. HOWEVER, by pausing for a moment to consider what else might be possible before we rush off, we can save ourselves some time and some needless running back and forth. Consider that RH door we opened in the ‘dry’ pool. Suppose we were to refill that pool now? (Instead of later - the room with the relevant button switch is right here!) To what delights might the pipe that was beyond that RH door lead?

So if we go into the dark blue side room and use the button again, we can re-fill the pool in question. And now we can go back to that second pool room. When we arrive, if we look round the room first (rather than falling into the water immediately!) to see what has changed, we can see that the raised lift platform was the one that was on the floor earlier, so now we can reach every lift platform and every other ledge in the room. But to what purpose? We can climb up higher but we cannot reach anywhere else. Is there something behind that tall wall structure in the SE corner that juts out into the room, where the highest lift platforms are positioned? And what about that lower RH door, now underwater?

This time we can swim along the pipe that lies behind the lower RH door, and then we find that where we couldn’t climb or jump up the vertical pipe that was at the end of that short horizontal bit of passage/pipe, we can now swim up it! To find another hidden room. And we should find a floor lever up here, which ... And suddenly the penny drops, and all the pieces of (this part of) the jigsaw fall into place. We are just coming to the end of phase one of this level, now, and all that remains is for us to use those lift platforms and ledges to reach that top SE corner and see what we can find there.

4. The Greater Piping Quest! - - - [Secret Alert!]

Now the Pipes theme really takes off! With several significant items in this room, note that the changes of camera angle are not accidental, but are to give hints to the player. It is possible to reach the first high lever we need with some careful jumping but it is easier in the long run to use the button we can see on one wall. The lever drops the nearby trapdoor. Using the rising platform, we can enter another nice, quiet room. (Do make the most of this peacefulness!) There is an array of large horizontal pipes at the left, some flares & an SMP on the ground ahead, but firstly we might look over this RH wall.

We see 3 large water tanks (or containers for some other substance, since we are on Mars?): a storage or pumping facility, perhaps. We can see that the 3 levers nearby (none of which we can use yet) are right next to 3 blocks that just might be of the sort that can be lowered. After we have explored the room, splashing delicately in the water[!] (a closed door found?), we might then notice that at the top of the ‘water tanks’ there is a metal grid that may be a walkway, if we can but reach it.

Here we see that if one of the blocks were to be lowered, then we could not reach the high pillar near it. (So we need to do this sooner rather than later.) From the pillar, a R&J (no ‘cling’) will enable us to reach that metal grid, to find that we can walk on it. (If we wish to reach the ground, we can safety drop from the walkway only between the tanks.) Investigating further, looking across to the far side of the room, we might spot ... Then we see the (direct) means to reach that farther pillar.

A nice simple swing across, then. Hah! Nice and quiet, then. Hah! We’ve had no real problems dealing with those flying maintenance droids, so far, have we? Yes, you guessed it. At the point (of course!) furthest from safety in either direction, suddenly we discover that another droid is taking exception to our exploring. This particular droid (“airborne R2D2 with attitude!”) really does like to hide in the ceiling and pop out at our Lara when we least expect it. Fortunately, at first we may find that the droid is only inspecting what Lara is doing - but do not waste any time wondering! It is most important to be decisive here!

It is sometimes possible to continue to the pillar (almost) unharmed, where we find our 4th secret and more goodies, then turn to locate the droid or safety drop to the ground (small health loss) before dealing with it. An alternative is to return to the walkway or to drop immediately we hear the droid’s warning ‘beep’. The snag of this last course of action is a much greater health loss, though. We may actually find that the best strategy in this instance is to be bold, and go on, despite our attentive ‘friend’. (If we choose to stay on the ‘secret’ pillar to deal with the droid, we can then return via the monkey swing to the walkway and so to the first pillar [this last jump back is tricky] and so lose no further health.)

We can now return to the ‘pipes’ side of the retaining wall, and we find it is possible to crawl beneath them. Note the aerial view some of the time (a clue, not arbitrary). We see that there is a gap between 2 sections of pipe in the third row. (The camera will allow us to look inside some of these pipes, btw.) Then at the far wall (uzi clips on block at L) there are 2 openings that are connected. If we turn left, we see a block ‘in the way’ and what might be half a pipe section beyond that. (In fact, if we are sufficiently curious we can temporarily climb up onto this block and look for 2 not insignificant things to see beyond that “pipe section” - using binocs or looking ‘through’ Lara!)

It appears, then, that we can do nothing else here at the moment (nor in the water tank room), so what is our next step? Well, if we first crawl back to where we found the SMP (deliberately placed just there) and check the west wall carefully ... The key word is “pistols”! The button switch here opens a gate/door in the room below this one, where we came from. And hopefully we can recognise that door, as we used the button switch earlier that is just to the left of it [as we look]. (If we use this button more than once, to check, we need to make sure we leave the door open!)

5. Two Blocks Are Raised - - - and a Surprise - - - [Secret Alert!]

Raised? Didn’t we want to lower some blocks?! Interesting. Taking a step back before going forward, perhaps. Now, as on a couple of previous occasions, we can rush off to see what that lever does that we saw behind the gate we’ve just opened (we did notice the lever?), OR we can look around at this time for something else up here (slight HINT), before returning to the room below. If we crawl under the nearest pipe, we just might find a second shatterable grating, leading to ...

Flares and another SMP in the dark. But what is that water that we can hear? A waterfall? Or is it something peculiarly Martian that just sounds like a waterfall? And a lever. The lever raises a block somewhere. Even using this particular lever more than once, to try and see where this happens, doesn’t seem to help a great deal, but obviously it is important. (We shall find it soon.) Now: the ‘water’. Turn right 90° from the lever and go forward slightly. Perhaps we can see something dark blue ahead, like two or three vertical strips of lighting.

Now, we shall very soon have to make a quick decision, so be prepared! If we jump up to the opening ahead, we can go forward a little more but then we have to crawl. The lighting becomes progressively clearer, until ... secret sound, Lara stands and the vertical lighting strips become much more extensive than we thought. There is indeed a waterfall, to our right, that we now see drops a great distance, as the room itself extends up a long way & down a long way - but players who’ve been reading this instead of making a quick decision and acting upon it may have already missed the boat, as it were!!

If we are now standing on the wide ledge we reach from the crawlspace passage, looking down at a small platform, and across the cavern at another ledge with lots of goodies, but we allowed the lift platform that was rising as we entered to pass us by, then alas, all we can do (bar reloading) is to use the binocs to see what goodies we’ve missed, as they cannot now be reached! Secret 5 has been registered and perhaps we didn’t really need any of those items we can see! (None is vital to our mission.)

A mere 4 sets of uzi clips and an LMP! If we did make the leap of faith, we will have found that the cameras have been positioned to make this exercise just a shade trickier [see picture]. (The Martians, with less gravity on their planet, are of course taller, so they would have had far less trouble with this little exercise!) [The reckless and the curious might, of course, like to see what happens if they dive off any of the platforms/ledges into the abyss below!] (Incidentally, if we jump all the way down to the lower platform first, we shall then find that we truly have come to a ‘dead end’.)

Once we have collected the goodies, we find that the second lift platform (for such it was, also) has neatly risen, so that we can now make our way back to the crawlspace, the dark passage and so to where the pipes are laid out in the room outside. Next, we shall want to make our way back to where we opened the trapdoor (NE corner) and drop down, back to the room below, and the highest lift platform. (The one we used to reach up to this trapdoor opening.)

From this vantage point we can look across the room to the opened door near that button switch (where we can just see the lever within), and we can also look across to the middle right (SE), where perhaps another piece of the jigsaw will (metaphorically) fall into place, as we see 3 pipe sections that we may not have really noticed before. What might happen if we could move the small, light brown pipe section into the space between the other two, darker brown pipe sections? (In fact, we couldn’t do this earlier, as it is the “lever in the dark” that has just made this possible - the block we saw rising that we couldn’t identify.)

We can go to the lever or the pipe section first: if we go to the lever (the final jump into the doorway is a slightly tricky diagonal jump, either from the nearest lift platform or from the ‘button’ ledge [see picture]), we find that it raises another block. (A ‘silvery’ one in the SE corner that we may not have realised needed raising.) We now have two ‘silvery’, raised blocks: the one by the pipe sections and a nearer one, just to the left of that. (As you’ve guessed, in order for some blocks to be lowered, others must first be raised.)

6. Now We Can Lower Some Blocks

Aiming first for the ‘pipes’ section block (there is a reason for this, though the other is more convenient - see just below), we can use the low central block in the room (near where we first came in - call this Block A) to jump up to the higher block by the pipe sections [see picture]). This particular jump is straightforward, of course. The reason for the picture of Block A is partly because it will be referred to a few times and partly because it won’t always be there! Note that while Lara is on Block A the view from above shows us that there is another small, light brown pipe section next to it. Is there some way that this also might be moved? And to where, exactly?

When we pull this light brown pipe section back, to between the other two pipe sections, it clicks into place and we are shown that one of the blocks (the middle one of the three) up in the ‘water tank’ room above is being lowered. Now we can access that central lever. If we wish, we can leave the next task we intended to do (the other ‘silvery’ block) and go up to see what that lever does. But if we don’t keep to a careful order, we are in some danger of forgetting something important!

And so to the SE corner and the other ‘silvery’ block. Now it has been raised, we can reach the lift platform above it and the opening above that. Along a passage and up some block steps, and could that be a third pipe section to be moved, ahead? The button switch here doesn’t lower the block just past the pipe section, unfortunately, but it does lower another block. In fact, it is the block we have been calling Block A. So if we’d lowered Block A, by coming this way first, we couldn’t have used it to reach the first raised ‘silvery block’ [as in the picture we saw earlier] - though there are other ways to reach that silvery block.

But there is more! Did we notice that when that block was lowered (or raised, if we used the button again), there was a sound - very noticeable if we listen for it - that is actually not a ‘block lowering’ sound at all. But we have heard that sound many times before. Can we work out what else has changed in that room, before returning?!

So down the steps and back to the room - and perhaps we can now see why we didn’t go off to the room above when the lever there first became available. (We’d only have to come back.) If we hoist up to stand next to the first button we used in this room (east wall), then we will have a good view of what has happened in here. We should be able to see that the 2 altered items are the lowered block on the floor, Block A - so now we can move our second light brown pipe section - and also the far (W) door has been opened, which is the sound we heard.

There is another lever there and we’ll find it is easier from the ‘east button’ to use some of the raised lift platforms to reach the opened door first, for the lever, and then go to the pipe. (One possible surprise is the ‘Uvavoorian jump’, an unusual view of Lara where she seems to jump almost straight at the camera at one point!) And we see that the lever in the alcove lowers that block we have just seen in the ‘block steps’ passage, by the third light brown (moveable?) pipe section.

Before going there, let us drop down to the pipe that is here in this room. We can now pull this pipe section towards the gap. (Lara will seem to disappear[!] as she does this, but we can see glimpses of her [and hear her] from above.) A short crawl under one of the darker brown pipe sections can then be made, so we can pull the pipe into place. We are then shown that one of the ‘flanking’ blocks in the water tank room above also lowers, meaning we now have access to two of the three levers up there.

If we could lower that third block before we go to use the levers, we could access all 3 at once. We have seen the third pipe section and we have also seen the gap that it needs to fill. Both are at the level of the upper room, where the horizontal pipes are laid out. We have a choice of going back up the ‘block steps’ to reach it, via the lift platform in the SE corner, or of going up to the floor above via the trapdoor. When we reach the pipe section, we need to use both openings in the (south) end wall, to manoeuvre it. When we have moved it as far as possible along the short passage in which we first find it, we can then pull it backwards, to seal the final pipe gap. When we do that the third raised block descends at the other end of this room, near the water tanks, so that we can now reach all three levers.

7. And The Water Shall Flow

Crawling under the two horizontal pipes that separate us from the levers, the order we use the three levers is immaterial. The first two levers operate exactly as we might expect them to, but we are not shown what is done by them. This is because we need all 3 levers to be used. (This might have provided a concern had we operated these levers one-by-one as they became free, but it is because of this need that all 3 be used, before “something happens”.) At the third lever, we see what this has all been about (if we haven’t guessed by now). We have connected all the pipes so that the levers enable water to be released from huge reservoirs (these water tanks here, of course, and others behind the scenes). 3 more of those murals back down in the first pool room rise, to reveal that there are further pipes behind them. The water level there starts to rise! Phase two is complete.

Now, how to return to that room? The door we used to reach this area closed behind us when we entered, but we do know of another door, behind the water tanks here (which is now open). Take a deep breath! (Hint.) When we reach a few goodies to be picked up, we shall know that the long swim is nearer the end than the beginning, but we shall probably find that if we pick them up now, we may not make it to the end! Lest it not be obvious, our first priority is to find air at the end of the tunnel!

When we do reach the pool room, because of the extra water, we haven’t quite finished our swim when we first enter that room, unfortunately! When we have sufficient air, that is when we can go back for the goodies we passed. In case we are lost already(!!), we have just exited the tunnel that was revealed behind the right-hand-most of the 3 murals when we pulled the 3 levers. (The other two openings/tunnels have strong water currents leading from them and it is not possible to enter either.)

There are a couple of places where we might leave the water - we are now a whole section higher up, of course, because of the raised water level. At each side of the room there is a gap in the surrounding balustrade. At the south side, this is just above the now closed door that led into the second pool room, and at the north side we must beware of the flames that we may have seen earlier from below. (Near the flames we can jump to one or two other places nearby, but the fencing prevents anything further.) We find that the general structure here is of two extensive side areas and a central ‘bridge’, all balustraded.

There are closed gates at both ends of the bridge, and flares and a small medipack to pick up. (The eagle-eyed might have spotted this SMP on a couple of occasions when we have been shown an aerial view of this room, the very first of which was when we initially dropped down from a hole in the roof, with that long fall right at the beginning.) Another feature, at the north side, is the set of 4 lift platforms, at varying heights. We can jump over the balcony to reach the lowest of these, but go no further. (Note also that we are much closer to the rocky roof of this cavern now.)

8. Some Swimming - - - [And Two Secrets Alert!]

We cannot do anything else up here at present, so we must go down to the still-open tunnel/pipe that we first ran along, that is now filled with water. Diving down (north side of the room, to the left of the 3 water pipes revealed by the murals), we can swim along the circular tunnel. At the far end we find that the whole room is now filled with water. We shall want to swim up the vertical shaft once more and also go into the NE corner room here once more. (The previous trips to the corner room we were ‘on foot’, of course.) We can do these in either order, but there is an advantage in going to the corner room first.

As we enter this dark blue room (the lower part now lighter in colour because of the water), we find that there is an air pocket in the upper half. (The advantage of going this way first is that the air Lara needs is closer. Science note: the water entered this enclosed room by the doorway, so it will trap the air in the top section of it. Though the air becomes ‘squashed’/condensed by the pressure, its volume will not be reduced to nothing - so we can breathe! This theory can be checked the next time you are trapped in an upturned boat at sea! The ‘squashed’ air remains but the oxygen will gradually be used up, so it is only useful for a limited period. End science note!) Looking round we can see that one of the corner pillars is just low enough for us to be able to hoist out. Our third secret (of this level). If we look round, we can see an uzi gun (good if we missed the earlier one), 3 lots of uzi clips, small and large medipacks. (We have to go round the room clockwise, minding the ceiling!)

We can then leave the room and go to swim up the vertical shaft, as before, but now we find that the whole room above is also filled with water! (So a slight problem if we came this way first and were short of air at this point! Note: If Lara is directly above the vertical shaft we are not shown her exact position, so we must swim away from it to one side in order to ‘see’ her again.) Depending on our air situation, we can use the (water) lever first or check the two high pipe tunnels that we can now reach, in the hope of finding more air.

Yes, the LH pipe brings us to the surface. And we can hear the throbbing of the fan in the adjacent pipe. And also the secret sound as we leave the water! We can pick up 2 lots of uzi clips and our second UVAVOO! crystal. (Secret 4 of this level, 7 in total possible, so far.) Back into the water, we can now use that lever, which opens the wrought iron gates at one end of the ‘bridge’ back in the first pool room.

9. A Hot Place

With secrets 6 and 7, and two of the valuable UVAVOO! crystals in Lara’s bottomless backpack, we can now swim back down the vertical shaft and return along the pipe to the first pool room, and hoist out of the water. We now want to make our way to the east end of the bridge, where the iron gates have opened. Forward to a brown brick wall, we can go left or right. We come to the same room beyond, but for what follows we have a better ‘view’ if we go left, but for the puzzle that faces us, I think it is an easier trip if we go right. (It is not either/or, of course: we can go left to look, and assess the situation, then come right to actually attempt the puzzle.)

So, we can see hot lava, a multitude of blocks, one large medipack, and 2 blocks that are higher than the rest, one at each side. If we start at the LH side, we can R&J forward to the block straight ahead, but if we either jump forward again or go to the block immediately to the right, then a flame appears, as on the first block. Hmm. How to find our way, by a more scientific method than trial and error? If we leave the LH side and go to the RH side instead, we find that we can jump to a stable bit of slope to the right of the flaming pillar block at the start. (Part of this slope is stable.) We can then R&J to land on the near corner of the first block ahead. Facing east (‘up’ the room), we can then jump to the next block, then forward once more, to land on the tall pillar, which is also safe.

If we stand here for a moment - noticing the button on the wall nearby - we can use the binocs from this high vantage point (since we are further into the room) to look round, to see what else we might find. (A good tactic while in a safe place!) There is something useful to see if we use the binocs (using zoom) to look both east and north, and if we go to the far edge of the pillar, there is also something to see in a NE direction (possibly better without the binocs, this time).

We can jump to the alcove in the slope here, by the button. Pressing the button, we are shown a view of the eastern end of the bridge, the brown wall that is past the gates where we entered this present room, the water surface that has risen up, part of the rock walls that line the highest part of the cavern, and 2 of the 4 lift platforms that are above the surface of the northern half of the pool. We can check all that by pressing the button again, but (important note!) we must, of course, make sure that it has been pressed an odd number of times in total, else the button will have no effect!

Time to discover (easily seen from this button alcove) the non-haphazard method of progress around this room (if we’ve not already spotted it): the TR player’s advice: “If in doubt, look up.” So the different symbols will help us to ‘finish’ this room with no problem at all(?!?). Well, there are a couple of surprises yet! (One small tip: don’t just roll at the button and assume we can R&J back to the tall pillar. The presence of the button pushes Lara forward slightly [‘digs’ into her back, if you like], so she doesn’t have the whole sq as a run up. Better to step to one side of the button before turning [or do a curving R&J back to the pillar].) If we go to the east end of the room (mainly diagonal block jumping), we can use the second button that we discover there. And we find that we are shown an identical picture to that which we had when we pressed the first button. What could this mean?

From the second button, we can jump up and out from the alcove, diagonally right, then turn 90°, again to the right, and jump straight down into the central alcove to pick up the LMP that we may have seen from a distance. We can repeat this manoeuvre exactly to reach the ‘far LH’ (NE) alcove, also, where we find some (camouflaged?) uzi clips. And from there we can reach the other tall block/pillar. Ah, that electronic sound that we have come to know and love! (Well, perhaps I exaggerate!) And just when we’d forgotten all about the little cuties! Is this not a little tricky, to have to deal with this while standing on a pillar like this, facing the wrong way at first, being shot at?! (Well, yes it is!) I wonder what our strategy should be to deal with this one? Tricky, though, n’est ce-pas? (One surprise.)

When we use the third button in this nearby alcove we see the lift platform in the centre of the picture (this was the important part of what we’ve been shown twice before) start to rise. We also hear a distinctive sound as this happens. A moment to wonder why we hear that (familiar) sound - it isn’t the sound of the lift platform rising. (This has happened once before.) We now need to jump back up to the tall pillar. (This sequence could have been done in any order, of course.) Now, the LMP on the next block. Um! (Yes, surprise number two. If we were to look up, the warning has been there all along.)

From the tall block, if we don’t want to take a roundabout route to reach the exit, we can - if we’re careful - jump directly to the safe block that is beyond the ‘LMP block’. And from there it is a short distance to the exit. (If we tried the ‘LH side’ when we first entered this room then our exit, in fact, now uses exactly that route.) [Note: if we are very careful, we can use one corner of the ‘RH’ (south) flame block by the entrance to hoist up to the top of the wall across the entrance. Perhaps this is worth doing?! ... ]

10. Waterfalls

When we go back to the pool room, we see that the first lift platform that we come to is the one that has been raised. (We can jump and cling to its edge over the nearest balustrade. From there, we can RJ&C to the next nearest lift platform. Then we can reach the third, but not the fourth.) Back on the bridge, instead, we can now go along to its western end, past the opened gates. Through the crawlspace passage there, we come to a predominantly blue-green, arched hallway, with shallow water.

(There are a total of 4 pick-ups in this room, if we look carefully.) We can use the crowbar on the door at the far end, when we come out into a large room with no less than 3 waterfalls and a large pool of water in front of us. We can see a ladder from the entrance, and perhaps some high balconies farther away. Looking at the pool(s) from the sides (not always good to assume we can dive in safely!) we can see two underwater-type levers, one in the much smaller pool that the 3 waterfalls are all emptying into.

(There are two main things to do in this room, which can be done either way round, as will become apparent as the room is better ‘understood’. The following is just one way.) If we explore behind the great pillars (uzi gun and ammo?) and then return, we should spot a second ladder. We cannot get to the first just yet, but to reach this second one we can use the run off slope from the nearest waterfall, no less. If we remember the “look up” advice, we shall then find a way to reach the far balcony (the one we could just see from the entrance to this room). When we use the lever there, we are shown one of the waterfalls. Why is that? (Note that the balcony seems to extend [south] beyond the huge central block.)

Nothing else we can see to do up here, so how to get down again? Instead of retracing our steps (also possible), we can go towards that central block/pillar, and what we might call the ‘central’ waterfall. We should be able to spot another lever in the distance, beyond a further balustrade. We cannot possibly reach that from here but we can jump over this near balcony, towards the uppermost slope of the central waterfall, and land on that [see picture], to ‘break our fall’, then drop to the ‘stable’ lower slope of the waterfall and so to the ground from there. (This is not the time to dally in the central pool, incidentally. The current from the 3 waterfalls means that we cannot get out again, and the swirling of the water means that we cannot swim down to the lever below, either. If we go that way ... )

However, there is the other underwater lever in the much larger pool. If we use that we find that we can now reach the other ladder, the first one we saw. Climbing up, we see that there is a similar ‘double ramp’ at the top, but this time no monkey swing. However, if we look towards the nearby waterfall, we can see that the structure over which it flows extends much further to the ‘back’ of the room than was the case at the other side. Perhaps we might be able to use that. Once we have shimmied past the waterfall itself we can stand up, then the balcony here is sufficiently close to be able to ... jump over it?

As we use the lever, we feel a great earthquake-like vibration (strictly speaking, a Marsquake!) and we are shown that the course of the water from the waterfall (and we shall find in a moment that this is true for all 3 waterfalls) has been redirected. A mini-chasm has opened up, part of the way down the water course (where the water disappears into a grating), so that the lower slope no longer carries any water. So what change has that caused to the small central pool into which the 3 waterfalls emptied? To be able to reach the ground safely, this time we have a choice of waterfalls to which we can jump. From there we can go to inspect the central pool. Can we now use the lever down there? It seems we can, and when we do so we are shown that another of the lift platforms back in the large pool room starts to rise.

11. The First Cartouche

We can now make our way back to the main pool room, where we find that we can now use all 4 of the lift platforms, because of the convenient repositioning of 2 of them. At the fourth lift platform we can hoist up, to stand on a stable section of the rock surface. If we look at the loading screen picture (no doubt we’ve been noticing gradual changes: the water level, the positions of the lift platforms, our relative position compared to the loading screen’s view and so on), then there are 2 things in particular to notice: the dark blue area in the picture (that is now quite near us) - there must be some significance in this area being highlighted - and also to realise that we are now at the same level as the picture itself.

That last comment might help us to remember that one additional area for which we can search is the Magic Square for each level (see the beginning of the walkthrough for more details). That must be close, also, and does this balustraded walkway not beckon?! It would seem that the obvious path to take is the one that is marked out for us. (But we can go the other way first - see next paragraph [and we shall need to very soon, anyway].) At the other end of the walkway we find a small medipack, and then it is just a case of narrowing down the actual location of the Magic Square. A very useful square to find!!

If we choose to go left (west) first (or after we have returned from the Magic Square), we can (if careful) R&J from just beyond the end of the balustrade to the rock shelf at the western end and then shimmy further left to a stable bit of rock below the blue area, then hoist up. Ah, electronic sound from behind us! When ‘convenient’, we can then go forward to pick up the Aqua Cartouche, the vital key for which we have been searching (though we didn’t know that in advance, of course). The confirmatory music helps us to know that the first part of our great Quest is almost complete.

We can then run along the balustraded walkway, where we come to a passage south that disappears into the rock wall. (The door here opened when we picked up the Aqua Cartouche.) If we have not been to find the Magic Square we can do this now (if we wish - it is not essential for the game, but is beneficial) before going that way. With a careful R&J, then a ‘bounce’ [see picture], we can reach the wide, stable area of rock at the east end, to look for the location of the Magic Square. Having found it, we can then return along the other balustraded walkway, and complete the (anti-clockwise) circuit again, to reach the southern passage that leads away from the cavern.

= = Mars Interlude = =

Going along the passage, the loading screen takes over and we leave the Aqua Domain. A little further along still and we come to a lever that opens the door ahead, which we find takes us back into the Genesis Machine room, with the door that took us into our great adventure in the Aqua Domain within touching distance. (The door closes behind us.) Now, where to place this Cartouche, and what will happen when we do so? Well, the place is not a difficult question to answer ... So, what shall happen? ... Perhaps Save here, so that we can replay what comes next, for further information?

And the first part of the astounding machine is ready. It starts up, reaches a peak but then stops. It is now working partially, so is in a better state than before. And we now also have a clue as to what else we might be searching for. But what next? (In fact, there was a [very brief] clue during the impressive fly-by, but you had to know where to look. If you want to guess, then place the Aqua Cartouche once more [using the savegame you just made!!] and look to the left of the central ‘pillar’.)

Oh, and a word of advice when you leave the control room: don’t step on either of the plates that have electricity sparking from them! The answer to the burning question (pun not intended) can be found by looking back at the control room from the outside once we have left it. Looking carefully, certain items are no longer in the same positions as they were before we placed the Cartouche. We can, indeed, now climb up fairly easily to a level higher than the first great bar of the Machine.

When we reach the metal walkway attached to the west wall, we can cross the (lift platform?) path laid out for us to another walkway that surrounds the machine itself. We find that there are now 2 possible paths: the obvious one across a gap that we must jump, to the right, and a path that is hidden from view at first at the other side of the machine. If we go that way first, we find a dark blue control room not dissimilar from the first one we encountered at ground level, but this one seems ‘out of commission’, not ‘ready’. We can see where we might place another Cartouche/Key(/whatever), but we do not have one.

So back outside, then, we can make our way towards the south opening. Beware, as we jump, the huge magnetic field from the machine that may push us (that is, Lara!) to one side as we make the jump. (If we’re not careful - especially if we jump back - then we may miss the walkway altogether! Not good!) As we go along the metal-clad passage that we find, we enter ...

= = Level Three: Terra Domain = = (1 secret) - - - 1. Down!

... and we face 2 adjacent doors, with a push button to one side. Using this the door ahead opens, but quickly drops down again. We have the choice of going forward into the tiny room ahead, where there is another door and another button, or waiting here forever! As we go into the room we see that Lara has a great interest in the rock wall through the window. Pressing this second button, we suddenly find out why ... When we reach the bottom of the shaft the door opens (and drops down behind us as we leave).

Going forward, along the passage off to the left, we see a great red cave ahead of us. Now, we can adopt the ‘bull in a china shop’ approach at this point, and charge out to see what we shall see, or we can be more ‘circumspect’, and have a good look first from the lip of the passage - just in case we find ourselves sliding down further, into oblivion, or attacked by more droids! If I might direct your attention to the left, first, using those trusty binoculars, from top to bottom of the cave!

A word of advice must come next. We are going to try and work our way across the top RH slope of the cave - more in a moment - but it is possible that despite our very best intentions, we will still slip down the slope to the left. If we do so, and go all the way to the bottom, we shall very soon know why this is not a good idea! To avoid being quickly deaded (in 3 different possible ways!), the best plan is to try and return up the slope at this LH side. There are triangular ledges that will lead back up, but of course if we’re being ‘got at’, that makes the ‘recovery operation’ all the harder.

The first time I tried this my health went down from full to a flashing one cm, before I made it! You have been warned! (Actually, I think a kind architect may have visited this cave in my absence, as I find that the slide down and ‘race’ back up doesn’t seem quite as hard as it used to. Or perhaps it is just more familiar now!) Boulders we recognise. Some of us will recognise the 2 (yes, 2! - look further to the right) semi-sentients we have learned to call .... from game 2 in the series and from a certain TV programme. But what is that on the floor of the cave?!

Having taken our first look at all this (unless we did slip down to the cave floor, when sight-seeing wasn’t the first priority!), it is time to try and cross this high RH slope. The key is to try and move more or less straight ahead (N) from the lip of the passage entrance. (We shall meet all the adversaries soon enough!) Look carefully ahead before you make each jump. You will slip down a bit, but as long as you don’t slip down too far to the left, you will be all right (pun unintentional). We shall find, in fact, that the highest ridge of the great slope at this RH end of the cave is stable. If we can make it to there without provoking any hostile action then we’re well on the way.

2. Adversaries, And Going Up

Now is the time to turn round to the left (west) and look at more of the cave stretched out before us. There is a borg on each of the high ledges that juts out (the boulders we’ve mentioned) and the creature on the cave floor is an interesting sight with the binocs (if we are very quick, as it tends to run off into the distance). We can also see what we now recognise as a lift platform in the middle of the cave floor. (Is that going to rise, then?) The next consideration is the Magic Square for this level, as (unlike in the Aqua Domain) we are already very close to it. (See the beginning of this walkthrough for more details of Magic Squares.)

Turning north again, there is an important something further ahead in the semi-darkness (binocs make this ultra-clear). If we can now continue in this direction (trying to veer to the right/staying up the slope - more of this slope from here on is stable than we might think) then we should be able to make it safely. And so to the ladder. Similar brick-building habits on both Earth and ancient Mars, then! (This cave is an example of an ancient unfinished Martian building project. We shall see further mixes of rock and ‘sophistication’ elsewhere as we proceed [and as we also saw in parts of the Aqua Domain].)

A long ladder (what we might call a ‘one-flare’ ladder - although the red light reflecting on parts of Lara’s white spacesuit make for an interesting effect if a flare is not used here) up to a small room with a lever. When we use this we find that the lift platform we noted on the floor of the cave starts to rise. But we also see that 2 more robots have suddenly appeared on the cave floor, though they are stationary for the moment. So we have 2 borg, 2 boulders to avoid and now three robots!

We can stop the lift platform’s upward movement by using the lever again (and restart it). [Incidentally, reloading at such a point, whatever the lift platform’s current position happens to be is shown on the loading screen image.] Note that the lift platform has uncovered a hole in the cave floor. Note also, for the ‘athletic’ among us, that it is utterly impossible to reach that lift platform from this room in time to be able to jump onto it and ride it up - never mind considerations of all the adversaries about!

If we allow the lift platform to rise all the way up (surely the intention), it reaches the level of the high ledges that the 2 borg inhabit. We know that it has finished its journey when we see the lights on the side of the platform wink off. Because the camera seems to follow the platform each time the lever is used this can be a most useful exercise, because of what it reveals of further parts of the cave (still not visible when we descend the ladder, nor before we went up): in particular, as well as the LH borg, we can see what appears to be a rock bridge right across the cave and what seems to be a rock formation of ‘columns’, of an entirely different kind, further away.

3. Biting The Bullet - - - (Strategy 1)

Time to brave the hostile reception committee! 2 borg above, left and right, 2 boulders, left and right, and 3 robots in what we might call the valley, the cave floor, below. (Note [using binocs] the stationary, ‘ready for action’ pose, but with them apparently ‘breathing’!) Borg, or robots and boulders, then? The LH borg shoots yellow energy bolts, btw (that appear orange in the red light), and the RH borg shoots blue ones - useful info so that we know which way to run (and note that the overhangs of their ledges can be helpful as ‘shields’).

We can approach the LH borg by using the higher side ridges, though if we go back almost to the cave entrance, we quickly find that the LH borg’s ‘range’ is quite impressive! Alternatively, just past the LH boulder is a set of block steps up to near the LH borg [see picture]. If we can reach those ... How ‘unfortunate’ that the LH boulder just happens to almost roll down those steps! And beware coming into range of the RH borg (blue energy bolts)!

IF (a huge ‘IF’!) we can knock out the LH borg and reach his ledge, we shall find that most of his ledge is also in range of the RH borg, alas! The rising lift platform we saw is now at a convenient height, so that we can jump across to the RH borg’s ledge. (In the less than clear lighting [this is not accidental!], it is easy to overshoot the platform when jumping, though.) We then find that the RH borg has been guarding (and may have been ‘worrying’ or trying to enter) a door into the rock wall that adjoins his ledge.

This door is closed, so as yet we cannot proceed further but obviously we shall need to reach this door at some point. If we go a different way first, then (see Strategy 2, just below), we may yet come back to this section for this part of our battle. From the RH ‘borg platform’ (looking west along the cave, and down), there is a small ledge with some uzi clips, which we can reach with a careful jump, possibly with a slide down. (This can also be reached from below, if we don’t mind the 3 robots!)

4. Biting The Bullet - - - (Strategy 2)

The alternative to Strategy 1 is to try and tackle the robots on the cave floor, while trying to stay out of range of the borg and dodge the boulders as they fall. If we run/slide boldly(!) down the slope as quickly as we can, trying to keep moving, then the more likely it is that we can dodge our adversaries, as they take a little time to orient on Lara. Our objective is the small hole in the valley floor uncovered by the rising lift platform.

When we reach this (not a great shaft to fall down, mercifully, but a small place of ‘respite’), we find that the robots cannot enter, and if we stand in just the right place then none of the borg energy bolts can quite find their target, either. (Some uzi clips here.) Possibly our first close look at the robots, where level of cuteness is in the eye of the beholder! - but do note their “strong right arm”. We have the choice of trying to knock them out (and as we shall need to target the chest area to do this, we need be facing them, allowing them to approach us!) or of trying to avoid them. Unfortunately, these cuddlies do not recognise Lara’s privileged “Chosen” status, either!

To shoot the robots, we can jump out of the pit and keep ‘backing off’ from them (reversing direction as necessary) and continue the process until one by one they are deaded. Depending on where we go as we try this backing off process, we may encounter a fourth robot (or even a fifth! - but then we may encounter their other trick [we’ve already seen how they can move through parts of the scenery, perhaps, like the droids], when one of them may disappear from “right in front of our very eyes”, only to reappear a short distance away or even behind us again!!) but provided we keep moving ...

5. Exploring The Cave - - - [Secret Alert!]

From the pit itself there are 2 or 3 directions we can go, all along the valley floor. If we first go forward (west) and to the left of the central, pillared section, towards the brick built area that we can see (a nice robot surprise, if we haven’t already ...) we find more of the partly finished brick structures. We can see some high ledges and a closed door centre right, and can only reach that level from a lower block tucked round to the left. A fairly straightforward R&J session brings us to that door, but it remains closed.

If we next go back towards the valley floor and around the pillared edifice, we come to a smaller, rocky area where we can see a very definite lever on a wall panel ahead, too high to reach. We now know 2 of our objectives, the lever and the door: will one open the other? - but there is also the high ‘borg’ door [see the end of section 3, above]. If we come back a little way, there are more blocks we can climb/jump up to at the left, among the (northern) rocks, which we’ll have observed as we went towards the W end.)

The uzi clips also mentioned at the end of section 3 are a little further (east) along the rocks, but this is now ‘close borg range’, so we need to be careful. (Might want to leave these until the borg have been dealt with, in fact.) If we go up these block steps, we see a small part of a colourful room amongst the darker rocks, through a crawlspace. When we go through we discover we have found secret 8, our third UVAVOO! crystal, together with 3 lots of uzi clips and an LMP.

6. Doors, Bridges, Pillars

Leaving the room, we can turn right and crawl a short way, along part of a high ledge. (We are actually crawling beneath the RH side of the rock bridge that crosses the cavern.) We see ahead of us the wall lever that we saw earlier. We can either go forward now along the ledge, where we can reach the lever in a couple of jumps, or we can turn round and do a slightly tricky jump diagonally right up to the rock bridge itself. It is much quicker to reach the lever from the ledge, though the longer route by way of the rock bridge (and central pillared structure) - to which we’ll return - will take us there, too.

Going to the lever, then, we find that it opens the door that the RH borg has been guarding. (We are shown quite a dark picture, emphasising why it is good to explore first, for recognition purposes.) If the borg is still ‘alive’, then he/it? may well enter this room, in fact! (One interesting thought for the player for whom time is not an issue is to now use the lever again and hope to lock the borg into that room! That will mean only one borg need be faced at a time. We shall have to come back here to open the room up again, of course - when the borg will be freed also - to find out what is in there, but perhaps a possibility?!)

If we turn south from the lever ledge, we can jump up to a small section of rock sandwiched between brick pillars. If we go around these pillars, we can see that the structure with the tall grey columns is now quite close, beyond the fencing here. If we first drop down for some more uzi clips (we are beginning to see why we need these?!), we can then jump back up to the higher section of rock. If we now take a sort of ‘leap of faith’(!) we can jump over the fence and find that there is a convenient, level bit of rock to land on. From here it is a simple jump up to the nearest, low silver-grey column. (A careless jump, though, will have us sliding down to the cavern floor!)

Investigation of these pillars (trying not to fall down to the ground below!) reveals an SMP and some more uzi clips. If we then make our way to the pillar nearest to the rock bridge, we can do a simple R&J to the bridge itself, where we can find some more uzi clips (if not already collected). Note that this whole journey to the lever could have been done in reverse: by jumping up to the rock bridge, then going to the grey-pillared structure, then using the highest pillar/column to jump over the fence the other way. (It is also possible to reach the highest brick column [with a RJ&C] from the nearest, high silver-grey column.)

If (turning right after our jump from the grey columns) we go to the southern end of the bridge and look back, we can just see that there are 2 more robots at the northern end, against the wall. (They have just been transported up from the ground!) Depending on where we go next, we may actually discover another ‘talent’ of these maintenance robots: they are able to leave the bridge and ‘fly’ gently down to the valley floor below! (And sometimes be transported up again!) We need to be watchful!

From the rock bridge, if we look towards the southern borg’s ledge (this is the borg we have been calling the ‘LH borg’ throughout, although he is now the one on our right as viewed from the bridge, as we’re facing the other way), we can see that there is a high ledge by the wall that runs back towards the borg’s ledge. We can R&J to this, though we must be careful not to slide all the way down to the ground again. With care, we can then make our way back to reach a point very close to the borg’s ledge. (Or we can use the other ‘block-steps’ route at the other end of the cavern, as outlined in section 3, above.)

We can hoist up to his ledge from the rock bridge side, or do a (very!) careful R&J along some cutouts that run beneath the ledge and jump up from the ‘cave entrance’ side, where we began. Unless we have already done so, we then need to deal with both of the borg (section 3, above, may be helpful here), possibly using the raised lift platform to ‘confront’ the second at close quarters. After succeeding(!) we can then enter the now opened door. The lever we find in the room beyond opens the final (western end) door we saw earlier (see section 5, above).

Before we go there, we will probably have seen the revolver rounds in the alcove that runs beneath the RH borg’s ledge, but wondered how to retrieve them (assuming you’re not one of the ‘ace jumpers’ that finds such things easy). We can first jump down from the borg’s ledge, to the fairly large stable area directly east, on the slope below. The tricky bit is jumping from there into the alcove, as the borg’s ledge itself can get in the way. As the picture here shows, we can use ‘cling’ (‘action’) as we jump, to avoid having Lara’s head hit the overhang, but if we do not stop the ‘cling’ before the jump is completed, she will merely cling to the side of the borg’s ledge, which doesn’t help. If the jump is done successfully, it looks like a neat, elegant little ‘hop’.

(At this point, as I was showing this to the famous mrs rjb, she said: “Swallow dive.” And that is possible, also. Take one full step-jump back from the position shown in the picture, and then walk forward one ‘step’, side-step as far as possible to the left, and when lined up correctly, it is possible to swallow dive in! Thank you, mrs rjb!)

We can get to the west door in 2 ways. We can descend to the ground (but note that by now there may be yet further robots below), repeating the visit we did earlier, via the brick columns in the SW corner. Or alternatively, we can avoid the robots by using the rock bridge. We can reach the RH side of it by going to near where we found the secret, then crawling beneath it, before jumping up (see the first paragraph of this section), or the LH side by retracing the steps we took from the bridge to the far (‘LH’) borg ledge.

From the bridge we can jump to the central, grey pillared structure and from there (as mentioned a few paras above), if we go to the tallest pillar that is furthest west, we can RJ&C (over the fence) to the equally tall brick pillar. We can then hop across to the brick ‘ledge’ that is further west still, next to the wall, when we find there is a most convenient opening at our feet, such that we can neatly drop down to be right next to the opened door.

7. A Polished Floor And A Belt To Ride!

And so we can enter. Forward onto the ultra-polished, wondrous, reflective floor. (Somewhat different from the cavern we have just left!) Ah, another robot. We can easily avoid this robot for now but later, if we do not deal with it, there are some occasions when it causes problems (hint). We come to a throbbing, oscillating giant crystal, two sets of wrought-iron gates, both of which need a key (with another throbbing crystal beyond each), and a door to the left. (The wall we can see right next to the first crystal is ...!) Ah, oops! (Hard to resist, n’est ce-pas?!)

Our next surprise is through the LH door, that rises as we reach it: a conveyor belt/travelling walkway that leads away from the door. A lot of water to catch us when we fall; a side ledge at the left by which to return. If our first inclination is to ‘ride the belt’, to see where it goes ... Ledges to left and right, a tunnel ahead [see picture]. We can jump up and down on the walkway as we ‘ride’, and with a bit of ‘curve’, move to left or right a little, to adjust our position, which may (hint) prove useful.

If we do nothing we reach a pit that is rather ‘terminal’! Thinking quickly, we may be able to catch hold of the sides of this and bounce, curving, to reach safety. Looking up, we see a monkey swing (a long way out of reach) that leads into an opening. We can jump up (east) to a slightly higher, stable area (we may have noticed that Lara has been ‘looking’ this way and we may want to replay the next bit, so a Save?) and we see on the ground a metal blade (that some may recognise). Picking it up, we are shown very briefly a door opening in a dark green room, and we hear a very definite (but very short) snatch of the ‘throbbing crystal sound’.

From the blade/‘pit’ room (not intended to be a pun on a certain actor’s name!) we can follow the passage away, to reach a door that opens as we approach. Beyond is the travelling walkway room that we left (by conveyor belt) to reach the blade and pit. (There is a closed gate to the right, just past a pillar, that we may have seen earlier from elsewhere in this room.) We must now go into the water, to swim (north) back to the side ledge we noted when we first entered this room. (All the water sections connect up in here.)

Now, riding the belt for stage 2: this time our aim is to land on the stable ledges that are left and right from the conveyor belt, the nearer one first. We now know that if we miss the destination ledge for which we are aiming, we can ‘go round again’ - if we don’t fall into the water instead! (With practice we can also miss the pit at the far end of the travelling walkway by jumping left at just the right moment.)

In general, if we can work out in advance that we want to jump off a conveyor belt to one side, it is best to jump onto the belt nearer that side. (Though, as suggested above, if the first jump isn’t quite in the right place, we will [sometimes!] have time to ‘readjust’ our position.) When we reach the first ‘left central’ ledge, we see a lever in the alcove further left. When we use the lever (RJ&C across the water), we are shown a strange view of a dark tunnel with blue lights (remember the secret area jump in the Aqua Domain?), and a ladder (monkey swing?) above. This could be another vertical shaft, but is in fact the nearby tunnel we have already travelled along by ‘belt’. (We can just see the moving conveyor belt at the bottom of the picture.)

(We can use the lever more than once to check, but we must make sure the lever is down when we leave here.) So why the view? Something going to happen here? We can use the water to return to the start of the belt again, jumping to the RH side of the belt this time, or we do that by returning directly to the central ledge and jumping onto the belt from there, to ‘continue’ our belt journey, as it were. We then need to ‘get off’ at the RH side ledge, just before the tunnel. At this lever we are shown what could be a changed version of the same scene from the first lever. There is now a great block lowered from the roof of the tunnel. We can still see the conveyor belt below, so that has not changed.

Could it be that the monkey swing has been lowered to within reach?! We can return to the start of the belt again or jump from this RH side ledge directly onto the belt, travelling into the ‘modified’ tunnel. And yes, this time we want to jump up directly from the moving conveyor belt to cling to the monkey swing. Fortunately, there is plenty of monkey swing ‘length’ that is low enough for us to be able to do this.

8. ‘Hot’ Belts?!

Forward along the monkey swing (note that ‘look’ that Lara does towards where the metal blade was found - we could have done this ‘levers and monkey swing’ sequence first, but would have needed to return for the blade at some point), and we neatly enter the high opening, above the moving blue lights below the floor in the passage we reach. (We could also have reached the blade from the opening here.)

Along the passage with the moving lights below, we come to another room with 4 conveyor belts! We also see large areas of lava on the ground and a short monkey swing ahead. To the far left is a lever and at the extreme left we might just be able to see what could be a closed trapdoor in the ceiling. If we use the belt straight ahead of us (RH side!), we might be able to jump to the belt that travels at right-angles away from it. (Important hint: beware of what lies at the end of each conveyor belt section.)

Note that there is no safety net of water here if we get things wrong! After a short ‘ride’ on the second belt section, we can jump up to the monkey swing and move along that to safety. (Or it is possible to jump over the second ‘hot’ square without damage if our timing is good.) Looking back we can see the entrance to this room, and also the ‘trapdoor’ in the far NW corner. A ladder that runs up to it suggests that it probably is a trapdoor.

Round to the left on our safe metal platform, we see at least 4 more sections of conveyor belt that we hadn’t seen earlier! (And we can use the binocs to check exactly what is ahead.) If we ride on the nearest belt, we can jump over the ‘hot’ square at the end of it, then use the ‘safe’ square beyond that. From there, we have another ‘double-belt’ journey, riding the first for a very short distance (must be positioned at the RH side), before jumping to the belt at right-angles (coming back towards our present location). What isn’t yet clear is how we can reach the next safe section, quite close to us.

In fact, we must deliberately slide a little down the slope at the end of the third belt, to jump up and cling from the slope to the small safe section (or with very good timing we can jump up to land on the ledge). Turning, we see the tiny section of conveyor belt we saw just earlier (but couldn’t reach) leads into a passage with a giant ‘hammer’, rising and falling, such as might be the valve of a giant trumpet. No trouble reaching the safe sq between conveyor belt and ‘hammer’, but there is a closed door immediately past the hammer. Have we forgotten something, or does logic suggest that the door will open when we approach it? How can we avoid the hammer and also pass through the door?!

A window in the door reveals that there is a second hammer just beyond it! Two ways to get through the door safely: either go to the hammer square as it begins going down (when the door starts to open) and smartly jump back, or run forward then sprint as the door starts to rise. If, instead, we stay on the square until the door is fully open, the hammer will rise (and we shall hear that “Uhhh!” sound that perhaps we’d rather not!) before we can pass through. The snag of the second method is that it is difficult to miss the second hammer! (But it can be done.)

The next section of conveyor belt (second-last) has a ‘hot’ square at both beginning and end, but as an adept jumper now(?!) we can easily(?) avoid both, to reach the lever that opens the trapdoor beyond the final belt. A RJ&C to the near edge of that (or a perfectly straight R&J lands exactly on the start of the belt), then one more ‘hot’ square to avoid as we time our jump to the ladder up to the open trapdoor.

9. The Cyan Hall - - - And Trouble!

If we go beyond the key that says, “Please pick me up!” we find a closed door. To open it, we ... And we have the Cyan Hall Key. Be ready to ‘jump’! A long ‘white-light’ passage takes us to a ladder at the far end. As we enter the shaft down we hear a door open below. And as we go forward from the base of the ladder we see that we have returned to the first travelling walkway/conveyor belt room.

We now need to return to the entrance of this room, where we must jump into the entrance this time, not landing on the conveyor belt. (We can use ‘action’ when jumping or jump from further back than normal.) Then we can make our way to the gates of the Cyan Hall (leaving the reader to guess which one this is! - the crystals and decor beyond the gates is significant) and open them up with the key. (Remember not to save while using the key.) And another remarkable, polished floor greets us.

We can go left from the Cyan Hall into a dark blue room, with a fourth giant crystal (LMP and 2 sets of uzi clips to find), then see that left again is a grating (non-passable) into the green room we saw through the other gates from outside. All these rooms have the reflective, polished floors. Returning to the Cyan Hall, we can see another room left (north) and as we cross the threshold into this room, a strongly pulsing light draws our attention, suggesting that the button switch on the far wall is important. (Very good idea to SAVE here, before pressing ... !)

Using the button, we are transported to ...! And a fly-by shows us something of the extent of the borg stronghold. We are immediately fired upon by the first of 4 borg, and we see that there is a robot here, also. [If the first robot we met in the ‘crystal’ rooms had been left ‘alive’, then he/it would tend to follow Lara through the transporter (so 2 robots with the 4 borg) - so best not!!] Two advantages we have are that only one borg will shoot at a time (the others are in their ‘recharge’ units until ‘needed’) and that the borg’s energy bolts will not harm Lara while the fly-by runs - but be ready!!

The disadvantage of this situation (apart from the obvious) is that we need a key that the final borg is carrying! Guess how we obtain that?! (Incidentally, any shots fired at an inactive borg are totally wasted and have no effect.) The first 3 borg and the robot may drop further uzi clips (now we see why we’ve been collecting these!), then the final one drops the Borg Key. Out into the outside section of their hideout (night has truly fallen now) there is an opening in the ground where a key is needed.

This enables access to the Green Hall Key, when a second door rises, to a passage, some steps down and a button switch. Fortunately, this transports us back to the room we left to reach the borg stronghold, not to further adversaries! (An invisible shield has been placed over the first button, just in case we might be eager to repeat the excitement of our borg experience!) We now want to return to the first giant crystal and the Green Hall gates.

10. The Green Hall - - - And A Circular Tour

As we enter this room - throbbing, oscillating giant green crystal - we can see the dark blue room through the grating to the right. Note also the apparently innocuous panel at the left and the opened door ahead. (This is the door that was opened when we picked up the metal blade. If this [west] door is not open then it is necessary to go back for the metal blade, therefore [see section 7, above].)

Going through the west door, we find more lava in a brick-lined room, with a central metal pyramid that has a conveyor belt encircling it (although we cannot see the far side to be sure). We can see 3 levers, on pillars attached to the west, north and south walls. Far right, we can also see a lift platform. A R&J onto the conveyor belt results (if we then do nothing more) in a circular trip back to where we started. (And we would continue endlessly!) This helps us also spot, though, a fourth lever near the entrance, a door in the SW corner with something red behind it, the fact that the lift platform is right next to the N wall and that the first 3 levers all have ledges leading up to them from right next to the conveyor belt.

To reach one of the 3 ‘lever ledges’, we must jump off the conveyor belt at the appropriate moment. We can do this either by being at the RH side of the belt and performing a right-curving jump, or by being at the LH(!) side of the belt, and jumping to land on the pyramid’s side, when we can neatly bounce right over the belt to land safely on the ledge [see picture]. (The entry door drops down when we land on the north ledge.) Each of the 4 levers needs to be pulled down. (An alternative way to reach the second (west) lever is to jump to the metal slope just beyond the first conveyor belt section, from which we can jump to the small pillar, and thence the lever.)

The fourth lever can be reached by making sure that we are at the RH side of the belt (not as easy as it might seem), so as to jump off and deliberately slide down the slope facing the lever ledge there, then jump from the slope to catch hold of the edge of the ledge, before hoisting up. (The adventurous will find that trying to bounce off the LH pyramid side this time results in missing both belt and outer slope and landing in the lava!!)

When all 4 levers have been used (any order), we find that the door in the SW corner has been opened, to reveal a giant red crystal. We now need to make our way towards the second (west) lever ledge. As we do this (unless we’re already there), we pass the lift platform(s) in the NW corner, and should spot that there is a pulsing light over it/them now. (About to move, then?) So, what will cause them to move? Noting the crystal ...

We can shoot the red crystal from the lift platform (easiest for what comes next, but not essential), from the lever ledge or from the separate pillar (or possibly while performing a backflip-somersault, but it is not essential to do it that way). [Other crystals have not been ‘shootable’.] The lift platforms start to rise, quite quickly. The RH one is overtaken by the LH one and this rises all the way up to reach the level of the long ledge that is attached, high up, to the surrounding wall.

If we were standing on the lift platform when we shot the crystal it is now a simple step to the ledge itself. Otherwise, we shall have to RJ&C (or R&J) from the single pillar to the lower, RH lift platform, which has stopped. (If we ‘miss’ it, we can hopefully return to the pillar from the metal flooring below the platforms to try again.) From there, we can hoist up to the higher platform and then cross to the ledge. If we look across to the central platform that we can now see sits above the metal pyramid, we can see that there is a ‘cartouche’-like item(!!) to pick up (and possibly something else, also). How to reach? Well, perhaps we’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader!

Once on the central platform we can pick up the Crystal Actuator tablet (remember the Scrolls Actuator? - not the Terra Cartouche, then!) and also a wooden handle. (A door opens as we do this.) This latter seems like a clue in itself for some later project, especially when we combine it with another object in our inventory to make a familiar item! We can now RJ&C to the east pillar top, drop down and go back through the now-opened door. (There are other ways to reach the exit, using the conveyor belts below, but this is by far the easiest route.)

11. And Up We Go!

Back into the Green Hall, we want to go to the receptor panel that is now at the RH side and place the Crystal Actuator tablet. Suddenly we see the purpose of the giant crystals, as, starting with this green crystal, we are shown how they cause a light-generated chain-reaction that results in the wooden floor that is above the first crystal we came across to vanish in an explosion. Now we see that above that floor ... So the climbing wall now ...

If we climb up far enough so that Lara’s head just doesn’t hit the ceiling when she does a backflip somersault off the wall ‘ladder’. Then hoist up into the new passage. Along here we find a button switch that opens a door we must enter quickly. (Or wait outside until old age.) Another tiny room, another door, another button. Lara ‘looks’ interested in the window and what is beyond it. And a long journey up this time. The door opens into what seems to be an ‘ordinary’ concrete-lined passage.

And then we come to a ladder, also up. Before we climb to the top of this, we just may want to Save, as we might want to replay the next bit, seeing the night sky again with a little bit ‘extra’!! There is much to explore here: ... including some remarkable vegetation, a pool nearby (with several doors/gates in a passage), a fenced-in area to the right of where we emerge, some raised areas, in one of which we find an important item, and we know (from the fly-by) that there are 2 BioDomes linked by a tunnel. (And there are many other areas that will repay closer examination, for what comes next.)

12. The BioDomes And What We Find There

We are suddenly likely to find another robot to deal with, but our next task is to seek something that we can ‘change’. To this end we must now go to the second BioDome. (We need to pick up that ‘important’ item in the raised area, btw, before we go to the second Dome or immediately after we return from it - or later, we shall have an unnecessary journey to make.) When we reach the second Dome (prepare for a ‘jump’!) we need to go to the central pit ahead that looks remarkably like an empty pool. (Wonder why?)

There are 2 upper channels that lead away from this pool, one with what might be a trapdoor and the other that has a couple of valves. (Could it be that this pool will be filled at some point?) Ah, what about that jumpswitch? We can reach it by dropping from the far side of the pool. We will then safely reach the floor of the pool (with a slight health loss). The jumpswitch opens the gate into the fenced area, back in BioDome 1. And we can return to the surface via the low passageway, ladder and yes, trapdoor.

The button switch back in the fenced area raises an underwater gate (which we might recognise from our earlier exploration as being in the nearby pool). Diving down, we find that the first of the 3 doors below has been opened and that there is a lever on the end wall of the short passage there. We can pull this and ... ah, did we not say that this was a timed swim?! If the door shuts on our poor Lara then she only has so much air and ... Oh dear! So, trying again ... (Think: levers and doors, in a hurry!)

When we pass through the opened iron gate (treated with anti-rust over the millennia, clearly!), both gates open and the timed swim part is completed. (Phew!) When we place the Pump Fuse (this is the ‘important item’ we had to pick up) in the panel at the right, we are shown where to go next. We can now reach the other opening in the second pool, to the right of the jumpswitch. Swimming along the passage we find, we come up into a small, brown room with a closed door and a tablet with a colourful painting of the cross we have seen in the second Dome.

Picking up this ‘Location Map’, we can examine it to read detailed directions for finding something(?) that has been buried. Back to the surface (essential to have removed this second Dome’s robot by this point for the delicate operation that follows), we need to find the place in the picture. “Back to the cross,” we are told, to start, then the directions have to be followed precisely (as in any good treasure[?] map), using ‘walk’ for Lara throughout. (If we make an error, probably best to start again.)

When we find the right spot (making sure we have combined the blade with its handle!), pressing ‘action’ results in an interesting sequence, which finishes with the camera panning round to show that Lara has dug a shallow hole, that has something in it. The Terra Cartouche! We can guess where this might go? Then (confirmatory music that this part of our Quest is almost complete) we are shown how to get there. Back to where we picked up the Location Map and to the opened gate. A slide down and we see a conveyor belt running below. A long belt section, and we emerge into a dark passage, with one reception committee member ahead! Up a block into a passage at the far end, and a door opens as we approach it, right next to the first lift door we used to start the ‘Terra’ part of our adventure.

= = Mars Interlude = =

Turning left, we enter ‘Mars’ once more and come out by the Genesis Machine, with its pulsing blue rings and electricity. (Remember the magnetic field as we jump across to the central walkway.) Along the walkway to the right, to the dark blue control room at this level. Placing the Terra Cartouche, again the power begins to build up in the Machine but again the power fails. There are now pulsing blue rings and arcing electricity at this second level, also. And the long straight line of lift platforms is starting to rise!

Going back out to the Machine, we see that the lift platforms are in the process of forming ‘steps’ [see picture]. We can use the top or second-top platform to jump back to the central walkway at a higher level. Then going around the Machine, we can jump towards the wide opening opposite (east). A door rises and we go through to a cave where we see more of the distinctive Mars rocks, a cave which becomes a passageway through to a huge tower that stretches up into the sky. (Note that the next day has now dawned, so the sky has returned to its typical Martian ‘pink’ hue. At least one Martian day has gone by since we began.)

When we use the button on the side of the tower, the door rises to show a somewhat decayed-looking interior room - perhaps understandable after all this time. (Good to Save here before pressing the button switch inside.) When we use the second button the door slams shut and we realise we are inside another lift. The camera rises up the tower, keeping pace with the lift, and turns, until we enter ...

= = Level Four: Aerial Domain = = (1 secret) - - - 1. A Wonder!

The lift continues to rise, along with the camera. We see huge platforms and even buildings in all directions, each with circling blue and white discs beneath them. Unbeknown to us (until now!), millennia ago the Martians perfected a form of anti-gravity device (perhaps aided by the lower gravity on Mars), so that great structures could be supported up here, way above the Martian surface!

As we leave the upper lift room, we pass over what could be a trapdoor hatch and then we see that there are indeed buildings in many directions (only one of which we can jump to - though its door is closed): it is a case of which way can we go? [See picture.] When in doubt, look up ... Yes, a lever on the roof of the lift building. A hatch is opened and we can go down and down ... Only one way to go next ...

2. An Anti-Gravity Ride Or Two

And a leap of faith onto the nearest anti-gravity [AG] platform ... And suddenly platforms around us are descending towards us - or are we rising? And when the first anti-gravity platform has stopped, we can jump to a second, when we rise a bit more. (A word of caution: do not jump off any moving platform unless you’re convinced that is the right thing to do. Once a platform has moved out of range, it won’t be coming back!) So what next? That third AG platform below just might be out of reach. (But it’s tempting, isn’t it?!) Ah, we can look up again!

A small room above, an LMP and a button to press. Now, which door is that? We have a return journey to make now. From the high, second AG-unit we need to drop down to the first. (Hint: less health loss if we sprint off the edge. Do ‘look before you leap’, though!) From the lower AG-unit a sprint is not sufficient, so we must run and jump. (No way to avoid our health now being less than half.)

(Some may be interested to know that the remainder of this level can be completed without having to use any medipacks, but it is v.difficult to do so. For those who like this kind of additional challenge ... [It is also possible to have reached this point in the game without yet having had to use a medipack - despite certain earlier encounters!] For ordinary mortals, please do not feel at all discombobulated if you need/wish to bolster your health as a result of future events! - there are plenty of medipacks.)

Across to the biggest ladder in the game(!) and up. Then another leap of faith is needed to reach the open door, where we find other doors to open. The farthest (west) door is not yet available but we can go south. The great south building across the walkway is also still closed but if we go around it to the far side (2 more SMPs for the health-conscious and some uzi clips) we may hear footsteps nearby. Our next task is yet again to look up, to find another spot where we can hoist ourselves higher. Not the south building (we may possibly spot the owner of the footsteps on the roof here! - best not to loiter around too close to this vicinity, either!) but the even larger blue building we have just exited.

Straight across the top, we find a broken walkway ahead (north). If we go forward (care needed), we reach a mini-tower that we cannot enter, as we have omitted to use the lever we passed! Now going forward, we can use the ladder climb/drop down (mind the holes! - oh dear!) to reach a third AG platform unit. (Provided we took into account the timed nature of that trapdoor-opening lever!)

We travel up on this third AG-unit (don’t be tempted to return to the broken platform we just left!), to reach a level higher than the other 2 AG-units, to the walkway around the building where we pulled a trapdoor down earlier. (Note the high walkway at the south side that points towards the lift building where we began.) And an inviting opening at the east side. We cannot open the LH door, but ahead we come to another trapdoor in a ceiling. As we go forward, perhaps we hear a certain ‘electronic’ sound?

3. Not So Easy, Then! - - - And A Little Electricity!

And it’s our old friend the automatic maintenance droid, ready for ambush! (Try not to forget this word “Ambush”!) After de-droiding (don’t forget their disconcerting ability to travel through [and shoot through!] parts of the scenery), the question on this roof is whether we can ‘spot the difference’. One item is out of position and needs to be ... And now back down, to use the opened door. Disconcerting when we discover we are being locked in!

And another door that Lara can open, into a small control room. The lever here switches on the electricity - the pylon we moved on the roof completing the necessary connection - and we see that the electricity arcs all the way back to where we began (where the insulators, wire cables and danger signs warned us), such that one of the 2 initial doors across from there has been ‘sprung’ open. Most helpful.

At the moment, of course, we cannot reach that area, because we are still locked in! How about this side room? (Ahh! What was that A-word just above?!!) And we find that the button switch opens the door of a building we have already seen (possible ‘guard sighting’ on the roof) and also the gate that stopped us leaving earlier. (And also the gate that barred access to the walkway on the roof.) So we need to find that upper walkway (back up through the nearby trapdoor), so that we can jump back to the building where we began, in order to enter the door that the electricity opened.

In the small room opened up we find a conical ‘Silver Gate Key’ (though we don’t yet know where this is needed). Then we can go to locate the other opened door - west then south from here. (We have seen this door already.) As we step past the raised door, we see thin, blue horizontal beams, several red beams which move about a bit - lasers? - which appear as we enter, and a closed door to the left. We can also hear footsteps - from above?

Yes, lasers they be!! We must jump over the first laser to intercept the blue beam (without intercepting the second laser also!), when we are shown a closed door. But there are no laser beams by the pictured door, so it isn’t this one we are being shown. If we also jump over the second laser beam (careful positioning before jumping is the crucial strategy) and look round, we can see 3 more blue beams and numerous further lasers [see picture].

Red is not good! In due time (hint), we are shown a door opening. When we have found it and entered, there are revolver rounds (always welcome, methinks!) and a trapdoor. If we remember those footsteps and what we might have seen of their owner (and the A-word!), it might be good to move pretty sharpish at this point, else we are going to provide a very easy target very soon!

Colourful energy bolts! (We might want to deal with the more ‘versatile’ adversary first.) And here we see that the electricity pylons are all in place. So, to the lever ... Aha, a door below. (If we think about it, we can reach that by an inside or outside route.) And this new lever switches on the electricity for the pylons on the roof of this building. (Hear the electricity sparking sound by the lever that wasn’t there before.) Now, what might this electricity arcing have done, if the previous time ... ? And we can go to pick up a conical Gold Gate Key. Wonder where this ‘Gate’ is? The button switch just beyond the key gives a large clue, as we see the far west door that has been closed until now rise up.

4. The Ancient Palace - - - And What We Shall Find There

Good to Save as we approach this door, as there are many things to note in a fly-by that’s coming - useful for future reference. As well as the obvious, perhaps note the several broken bits of walkway at the beginning, fences at both sides of the Palace (with goodies?), receptors for 2 (conical?) ‘keys’, either side of iron gates, a building-platform-structure below the Palace, another glimpsed beyond its RH side, and possibly items on the floor of the room beneath the grating on the Palace roof.

If we think for a moment, we might realise that we have seen part of this Palace already! But where? Perhaps the words ‘Magic Square’ might jog the memory! (See the start of this walkthrough for details.) The several collapsible tiles mean that this is a one-way trip we are now taking. A nice Magic Square reward, then! Reaching the Palace itself, a check of the end fences at each side shows that there are more of these particularly welcome goodies, some of which cannot yet be taken. (But not to be forgotten when the opportunity arrives!) 2 receptors for 2 keys. Then inside, when we find a closed door and uzi clips at one side; a laser trap at the other. A crevice to shimmy?

(Why so many revolver rounds?!) We can now go 2 ways, but nearer (north) is better. A closed door then a short passage to a door that Lara can open with more goodies (revolver rounds and LMP) that suggest something ‘tricky’ ahead! Going the other way (south), we come to 2 more closed doors, through the first of which we can see several useful items, including (another?! - did we find the first?!) revolver. (Call this the armoury for future reference.) Then a third door rises as we reach it. (Another good Save point! - before we pass this next door!)

Immediately we go forward, we are shown the view from inside the next passage, looking back. We see a blue, cone-shaped object, surrounded by an iridescent square panel, moving forward, accompanied by a low, rumbling sound. It is perhaps reminiscent (but much more colourful) of a tunnel boring machine, nicknamed a ‘mole’. If we quickly move forward into the passage we can probably take in the presence of an LMP on the floor before we see a second mole heading towards the first! - And Lara!!

It is possible to pick up the LMP and go past the second mole before it reaches what appears to be the exit passage (the door we came through has dropped shut), all quite safely. But it needs to be done quickly! if we do not move quickly enough, we will be caught by one (or both!!) of the moles, which means ... If we stand in the entrance passage and admire the passing of the first mole, we shall see, in fact, that it stops halfway across the opening. It is possible to crawl past this, but we lose a lot of health in doing so. The second mole has also stopped, and if we replenish our health (reason for the LMP?!), we can get by this one, also (slightly more easily), but again, a lot of health will be lost.

As we go forward into the next (brown metal) passage, we hear the rumbling sound again. Advance warning (though not a lot!) of a third mole. If we wait, this one also stops halfway across what appears to be our escape route. And again, we can get past this, but with considerable health loss. Better not to have waited in the first place, as there is time to pass it easily (as with the first 2 moles) if we move quickly. However, whether we move quickly or slowly, we still have the A-word (A for Ambush!) to deal with again, so if our health is already low ...

5. Out Of The Palace

After(!) we have dealt with the ‘ambusher’, we can turn left (north) to come to a closed door. This is the same door we reached from the other side when we first entered the Palace. (We have ‘completed the circle’.) Opposite is a wall ladder up. Ready?!!! We reach the roof to be assailed by ... As we go towards the north end (a lever to pull), we pass over the grating we saw in the fly-by. Below, we see 5 boxes of revolver rounds, the revolver (so this truly is an armoury!), 2 lots of uzi clips and an LMP.

As we pass the grating, another droid appears, then at the lever, we find that we can open the gate that was opposite the ladder we have just climbed. That will enable us to ‘circle’ the interior of the Palace, but we need something ‘new’ to happen. Ah, perhaps at the other end of this Palace roof? Yes, past the borg’s high ledge, we can find a button switch that opens one of the Palace doors below. (If we spot the crevice/cut-out in the picture [and hear the laser ‘beeps’], we might be able to work out which one.)

Down the ladder (any droids still active may or may not attack while we are in this passage but they will find a way!) we cannot reach the door opened by the button by retracing our steps, as the door by the first ‘mole’ was shut behind us, remember. The gate here (opened by the lever) will enable us to reach it, though, as we can run past the iron gates at the front of the Palace, then shimmy past the lasers again. Beware the ... drop! We go down to the small structure beneath the Palace (we can also see our first glimpse of further buildings we haven’t yet visited from here), where we find the laser sight, suggesting some precision shooting might be coming up.

As we pick this up, a gate in the Palace opens. Could that be the armoury?! Up the ladder, it shouldn’t take us too long to re-locate that (not far away) where we can pick up all the goodies. If we left the borg on his ledge still ‘alive’ we can see him from this armoury, through the ceiling grating, and hear the ‘beat’ of the laser beams moving about. When we use the button here, we might also just hear a door opening.

If we remember where that final door is to be found (the nearby ‘back door’ of the Palace), we can leave, to reach the Martian air again and see those new buildings we saw a moment ago. (The time, also, to remember the ‘fence’ goodies we might have forgotten! In all, 4 packs of revolver rounds and an LMP to pick up.) And as we jump across to the new walkway, the next part of our adventure beckons.

6. Some Further Electrical Connections!

As we go forward, note the electricity sparking at the connectors/insulators between the 2 buildings ahead and also the 2 far walkways between those buildings. Along the present walkway to the right, we see a closed gate to a caged-in section at the right-front of the building whose entrance we reach. (There is another closed gate in the wall of the next building to the right.) The most striking feature, though (another unintentional pun!), is the arcing electricity that prevents entry to this central building.

If we approach this entranceway, we see that there are 5 separate pads on the floor, each of which receives intermittent electricity. We can see an opening left and right halfway along the passage, a door at the far end and what might be 2 button switches on the wall by the door. Theoretically, we may be able to rush past the electricity to one of the side openings (do not try this at home!!) but it is not clear what comes next. Better if we can find a way to turn off the electricity - or at least some of it.

Clue 1 is the first comment in this section, above, and clue 2 is the item we picked up when we reached the building structure below the Palace. If we come out from the entrance again and return to the walkway, and go past the LH caged-in section of wire netting, to the tall lamp-post, then we can see, looking past that, some uzi clips. Might that be a useful place to stand for what comes next?!

We cannot reach either of the 2 far walkways we can see, but with our trusty revolver ... Our aim - hint - is to stop the electricity flowing from wherever it’s coming. (Amazing what can be done when we zoom in with the laser sight!) Note that there are 2 wires, with 2 sources of electricity, therefore. When you see all the electricity cease from sparking, you’ve done it - well, partly done it! (If you have difficulty centering the red dot, try running it up the far vertical lamp-post, to the wire, then go horizontally [see picture]. Note also that the wires are not exactly horizontal; that can be most helpful when ‘panning’ across.)

When we return to the entrance, we see that the first 3 floor pads are now safe, so we can now reach the 2 side openings. If we go right first (we can go either way), we come to a button switch where we are shown the gate that we have seen at the front of the building. When we cross the safe floor, we ... Ah, oops! So a little hazard to deal with before using the second button, then! (Tough, well-armoured, these semi-sentients, even against revolver bullets!) And when we use the button, the gate swings open.

We can now go through that gate, when we come to a very similar situation to that we have already dealt with at the LH side of the building. A bit more target shooting and all the electricity is now off. Returning to the entrance, all the pads are now safe, so we can use the 2 wall buttons to open the door. When we exit, we can see no more buildings ahead of us! The metal walkway runs right (spy a certain crystal? - that we cannot reach - and the closed door we saw earlier) and left.

7. The Third Cartouche - - - [Secret Alert!]

It is left we must go, as far as we can - no more buildings this way, either! - until we find a doorway we can enter. And a closed door as we go in. But this one opens as we approach. Save and Ready?!!! The door shuts, we see another closed door and a ‘mole’ very close by! Perhaps the gap we can see in the wall near the second door will somehow help us to open it? As we approach the gap, the mole starts to move! A timed run?! A swinging bauble. Yes, the door opens! The mole gets nearer. Through - but to another door! And another ... Well, I think we’ll leave you to this one. We have great confidence in your ability to accomplish the necessary! (But there is little time to admire the changing colours of the approaching mole! - unless you’re very quick.)

And to a lever in the end passage. The lever opens the hatch above us and we are shown a door opening. Hoisting up to the roof (excellent view of all sorts of places), we have now reached the other side of this end building, near where we shot out the first electricity cables, below. And here is the upper walkway that we can use to cross to the roof of the central ‘electricity pads’ building. [Ambush alert!!] We need to reach the far side of the much-ornamented roof of this central building, to find a second walkway.

Suddenly we discover that the second walkway is not complete! We cannot reach the roof of the building ahead (except the sloping edges, where we cannot hoist up), so we must jump down carefully to the ledge in front of the opened door below. Inside the passage beyond the door we see other doors/gates, to left and right. If we go to the LH gate, we find that it opens as we reach it. Inside there is another small control room, and we discover that the button switch here opens a door into another building.

Leaving here and going to the other gate, we find a block in a small room with many ‘Mars’ symbols and another closed door. If we climb onto the block, we find the Aerial Cartouche, for which we’ve been searching. We hear ‘confirmatory’ music just after we pick it up and the door opens. When we go outside we reach a wide ledge, where there is a short bridge across to what we can now see is a great tower that stretches down towards the planet’s surface. It is the door to this tower we opened earlier.

If we look to the left (west) we can see a pulsing light and we might also remember that we saw something earlier at the other side of this particular building. There is a climbing pattern on the wall at the corner and yes, we can climb (or possibly shimmy) all along the outside of this section of building, to reach our ninth secret and fourth UVAVOO! crystal.

We can then climb/shimmy back (don’t let go, or Lara becomes a mini-Lara, plummeting to the depths!) to return to the ledge near the opened door. When we go into the tower the door slams shut behind us and when we press the button we hear the distinctive ‘lift’ sound we have heard before, the loading screen kicks in and we experience another ...

= = Mars Interlude = =

At the bottom of the lift tower, the door opposite opens as we approach, and we find that we are in a large cave with just a small fraction of the great tower within it. (Worth checking for goodies?) Heading for the ‘Mars’ symbol, we then go along a rocky passage, to reach the Genesis Machine once more, but at a whole level higher up than where we left it. We are now very near the roof of this great chamber. There is an opening to our right but the door at the entrance is closed. We can see the 2 now-active sections of the Genesis Machine below us, ready for the third Cartouche to be placed.

The receptor panel is at the highest level that we can reach, at the centre of the Machine. (Perhaps not step into the ... ) When we place the Aerial Cartouche, the third level engages, but after a ‘power up’ sound, again the power seems to fall away. After a moment, though, this time a great Marsquake-like sound and vibration begins and we see electricity arcing almost everywhere at this highest level of the Machine. With some care necessary, we can make our way towards the newly opened door (which we may have heard rise) - good to Save here - to reach ...

= = Level Five: New Mars = = (1 secret) - - - 1. Another Wonder!

= = New Mars!?! = =
What means this? What has the Genesis Machine done? Transformation: earth, air, water, all new, the ones who stayed behind saved, ships able to fly again, the great tower generating light and warmth. A wonder to behold, indeed. (A fly-by worth repeating, perhaps?! - from the Save we just made?)

If, before going out to the ‘fresh air’, we turn right and go a little further down into the dark, red, rocky cave, we see a closed gate and a keyhole to the right. As soon as we find a key it will be worth coming back to check this, then. So forward into the great outdoors! It shouldn’t take us long to recognise that this is the same area (a little modified!) that we encountered when we began; the Genesis Machine’s ‘Marsquake’ has apparently caused an immense Change to occur, to produce what we see before us.

2. Exploring A New World - - - [Secret Alert!]

From the arch that we come out from into the new landscape, there is a large (semi-familiar) area we can explore (a Magic Square to find?), either side of the crater, before we reach the small lake beyond. Into the water, and it might be worthwhile searching the plants at the bottom. Should we just happen to find a Gold Temple Key, we can return to the west side of the lake (only one corner where we can hoist out) and return to the arch.

Yes, the key is the one to fit the lock, when we can enter a further cave, to find the fifth UVAVOO! crystal, secret 10. Back to the lake (are these rocks en route shootable?) to swim across to the far side. This time, we can hoist out at either side, and as we go forward, we intercept another fly-by, a kind of welcome/thank you/goodbye all in one. [Recognisable music perhaps?!] (You have noticed just how many ships there are above, now?!)

As we go over to the Martians (they really are most friendly even though they seem to ignore their great heroine, the One who has ‘released’ them!), it is tempting to hope that Lara might be transported up in the searchlight beam, to reach the mother ship ... [See picture.] (Rocks and an SMP to be found?) There are 2 other ‘sizeable’ valleys to investigate, and in one of these we shall find the way to go next, a defile between mountain sides that has also been created by the Genesis Machine.

3. Dénouement

And down, into a brown earth hole. (We have seen sections of brown, fertile ‘earth’ - as opposed to the original red Mars rock - above, on the surface.) As we find our route, the brown earth gives way to purple (magenta?) rock, then dark blue rock, then dark green rock (lighting a flare distorts these colours). Suddenly, we are stopped in mid exploration/run/jump as we are shown a scrolling ‘credits’ sequence.

** (If not using the program Level Manager.) Click here to see the ‘credits’ sequence.

We can then continue through an ‘earth’ tunnel to some dark red? rock, and a much larger, brighter cave. As we go forward, we can just hear the beginnings of a faint, rhythmic sound, an apparent chanting of the same word, over and over. Suddenly, we are stopped again in mid-flight, and we are given further (scrolling) advice about what we can do next, depending upon how many UVAVOO! crystals we have managed to collect in our travels.

** (If not using the program Level Manager.) Click here to see the advice about UVAVOO! crystals.

As we near the gates of the great Temple wall ahead, the sound increases. What we can do next depends on the number of crystals we have. Go to A or B below:

A: If we have collected 3 or fewer UVAVOO! crystals, we have two choices: we may either enter the LH opening (EXIT MARS) and then (noting the closed side gate that leads to the same Temple) proceed towards the raised square, when ...

Our great adventure comes to an end. Perhaps another visit will be possible soon, when more of the crystals can be found. Do please let Richard know how you have enjoyed the journey (e-mail address in the readme within the game package). He is eager for ‘comeback’ from players, and comments of all sorts, so as to make his next production even better, and he thanks you for playing!

Or we may take the hint that the generous Uvavoo has given us and seek out those remaining crystals, in the hope that we can make their number up to at least 4, preferably 5. This will mean returning along our course in these underground caves until we can locate a wall-that-is-not-a-wall. What we find beyond is the room to which the great Uvavoo referred, in his note to us. It is possible to retrieve all 3 crystals we can see here, but it may not be easy, and may require some ‘sacrifice’. (And the nearby water may prove both useful and necessary!)

B: If we have collected 4 or 5 UVAVOO! crystals, then we may enter the Temple ahead, by placing four crystals into the wall receptors ahead of us, when the gates will open. Suddenly we see the source and object of the sound. (My lips are sealed, so as not to give away the surprise!) A fitting conclusion to the work completed by the Genesis Machine, and the heroine of both Ancient Martian and modern Earthling.

If we had only 4 crystals then after investigating this room, we should now go through the marked opening (EXIT MARS), to reach the room that others with even fewer will already have come to. (And we can then, if we wish, use the ‘lifeline’ extended to us by reading the information in section A above.)

If we have a fifth crystal, we can place it in the special receptor at the LH side of the ‘centrepiece’ (marked BONUS) and be ready to be transported to the Bonus Level, ‘Trouble in Space’ - intended eventually to begin ‘Planet of the Ancients 1’, as the very first level of the entire “Star Wads” series. Here, we are granted a special preview, as a bonus for our diligent work on behalf of the ‘Ancients’ themselves!

** (If not using the program Level Manager.)
Click here to see the introductory sequence for the Bonus Level, “Trouble In Space”.

= = Level Six: Trouble In Space = = (0 secrets) - - - 1. A Change

... of pace! The environment has completely changed, Lara is now wearing a uniform some may recognise and we are aboard a spaceship. One day, all parts of the Planet of the Ancients series will be packaged together and this level is a first taste of how that series will begin. The bonus level we are starting is the pre-cursor to the entire saga. Where this level ends the next part of game 1 (not part of this present package) will continue. And so ...

It won’t be too long before we discover why we now have so much revolver and uzi ammo (but still think “pistols” where possible) - unless we have used it all up, in which case this may be harder than we thought! Another suggestion: don’t automatically treat all guards as hostile. (Though if we shoot at their companions, a ‘neutral’ guard may well become hostile!) And remember: A = Ambush!

2. Exploring

(Remember that trapdoors/gratings where we do not have Lara’s perspective can still be inspected if we use the binocs.) Forward through the door. The Magic Square already for this level?! (See the start of the walkthrough for further information.) Our first guard? An opening left into a recreation room with another door that stays closed. Opposite the guard there is a further door with another guard behind it. And at the far end of the corridor is a control room with a lever.

The door opened is not the one opposite the guard. (He will not have bothered us yet, if we haven’t shot at him.) The recreation room door is now open. We can go through to ‘meet’ the guard we saw through the door opposite the first guard. Unfortunately, shooting the second guard angers his colleague and he comes charging through the doorway at us, shooting! If we lure the second guard away, instead (we need to use the jumpswitch in this room to open the trapdoor grating we saw right at the start), the first will still stalk us anyway - in the corridor outside - as we leave. (Beware intelligent guards!)

A short ladder down to a passage below. To a crawlspace where we can go right or straight on. Going right, we reach a ladder up, to immediately below the grating we have just been walking on. (Don’t be intimidated by the guards! - but might they be carrying something? Perhaps worth returning briefly.) A crawl both ways, for two important goodies. Down the ladder and the other way (right) at the junction. Along the passage and hoist/jump up to a slightly higher (shorter) passage. Easy this, isn’t it? (!!) Think A-word! We come towards a room where we can see a crawlspace opposite with an LMP further along. It is well worth not charging straight out into this room! (The cautious will receive a warning!)

3. Now It Really Starts!

Yes, we have to rush across this room and into the crawlspace - use any way you know that will speed your journey!! Once safe(!) we can turn round to notice a lever on the wall of this room we have just passed through (pulling which at present would not be entirely healthy, but it is possible! - we’re looking for a safer way, of course) and then we can move along the crawlspace (past the junction for the moment), forward to reach the LMP under the circling lights, before returning to the junction.

As we go forward into the side passage, the door ahead opens and we can pick up an SMP. (2 medipacks in a short space; going to suffer a bit, are we?!) Further forward and the door closes behind us - so we cannot return to the lever that way. We exit the crawlspace, and now we’re behind the machine gun (so now we know the purpose of the revolver and laser sight), but there are also laser beams here. (Different from those we saw back in level 4.) So shooting the gas cylinder of the machine gun (laser beam not in the way) is not quite sufficient. Notice that the nearest laser beam (the others, also) is pencil thin, so although we cannot run beneath them (they don’t quite travel high enough) it is possible to roll past or jump over each one (the second two can be crossed with one jump!) or (with very good timing), we can even crawl beneath them!

The lever opens the door at the other end of the laser beams (but of course!), so we can reach it from this end either via the crawlspace or by going back through the laser beams. Ah, a warning sound! What be this? And we know this chappie! (Or his kin. Note that he can walk with impunity on the electrical circuitry but Lara, of course, cannot!) We need to leap over both ramps, avoiding the dangerous blue stuff [see picture], to reach the far (north) wall. (We are looking for a way to be able to jump to that high opening in the west wall.)

Once we are past the second ramp, we can see an opening down to the floor below. More ramps, but we can walk on these lower ones. And a guard. A floor lever, that ... Now we must be much more careful. We can make our way back and hoist up to find that the electrical current has most conveniently been switched from upper to lower floor. And so now we can reach the high opening we saw earlier.

4. Complications - - - And Some Trapdoors

Along to a crawlspace, and ... Yes, you spotted him. Yes, very wise: deal with him while still in the crawlspace. And so we reach a passage with 2 doors at one end and a lever at the other. Ah, the A-word is not far away! Both doors have opened, but if we first go through the LH one, we find a much longer passage, with another closed door by a computer console at the left and a large floor grating with what might be a trapdoor within it at the right. Back to the other doorway, where we find that we can reach up to a higher room. We see a couple of crates here and ... (Another “look up” situation.)

Pulling down this trapdoor we reach a similar room above, to see that there is a third room above that. And ... a guest within that third room! Now this chappie, in this confined space, is really a little tricky to deal with, as we also have to reach a lever. (We hear a trapdoor being raised/lowered, if we’re not too put off by our friend.) If we then go back down to the middle room, we see that a space (via a second trapdoor) has materialised over one of the 2 crates in the bottom room. What might we find here?

Aha, a tiny data key. Now where might something like that be needed? Down to the bottom room, down again, a right and left and we come to the computer console. And the door opens to reveal a passage ahead. We enter another recreation room, this with a magnificent view, clearly designed for the crew to be able to watch the stars as they relax [see picture]. Then we can go forward to a (very sparsely decorated) room that seems to ‘immerse’ us even more in that experience. (Perhaps it is a kind of cargo bay/warehouse, but empty.) SMP and a lever to find, but no need to hurry. (We’re safe for the moment.) Imagine being in this room in reality. It might well either convince us to become an astronaut (or at least an astronomer) or put us off space travel completely! (If we wait in the dark for a short time, we can see some of the stars twinkling.)

And the lever opens a trapdoor: at the other end of the ‘computer console’ passage. We can drop down through that trapdoor onto some crates that clearly are in some sort of warehouse. Exploring, there are 4 lots of goodies to find in all, but we cannot find an exit! (Though we may find one place not to go!) The SMP right next to the words “Danger” and “Naquada” (Stargate fans note!) on one crate seems laden with irony, however! We can also reach a high window where there is a lever.

Using this, we see through the window that a door opens in the next room, a room with further evidence of electrical activity. If we stay long enough, the lever resets and the door closes again (so is on a timer). Good, except that we cannot reach that room! So how to proceed? Well, perhaps the Naquada crate being so close to the intervening wall is a second clue - the position of the SMP being the first. If Lara hoisting/jumping onto part of the crate results in her being explosively deaded, and seeing that the room we want is the ‘next’ one, can we encourage this process without Lara being too close?

Pistols are sufficient, and just where the SMP was placed. (But don’t get too close.) Good to go forward into the ‘next’ room, to reconnoitre (items to find?), before trying any kind of timed run. We see pipes to avoid and electrical current running in several places, and then we can run round to the door. So: lever, avoiding obstacles & the deadly electricity, to reach the door. Not too difficult? But we need to know just where we’re going, to avoid hold-ups. Uzi clips and uzi gun immediately past the door, to pick up.

5. Trouble It Is! - - - A Guard Or Two ...

As we go forward in the long corridor we enter, we discover that one guard is clearly not considered sufficient! We then come to the window of a huge ‘hanger’ or shuttle bay, with control panels at the left and a force field at the far side. On a small ramp is a shuttle pod pointed significantly towards that force field. As we go towards the further corridor to the right of the shuttle bay, another guard appears. Then we go past windows and a door into the shuttle bay (presumably) farther along that far corridor.

At the corner, where the corridor starts to rise ... Then at the next corner also. Then at the top, where we reach another level passage, guard number 6 (not counting the robot) in this section. We have been hearing the constant rumbling of the moving spacecraft in which we’re travelling, and through the next opening (closed door to the left) ... we see there is no doubt! A long way down to the glass floor below, and even further down below that. A low closed door at the left, a lever (but with a flame) to the right.

If we go forward to the large central platform, we can see that there are flames on other ledges below. To reach the lever we need to jump to the highest ledge at the left (when the flames are extinguished), then make our way clockwise around the far perimeter of the room, using those further (now flameless) ledges [see picture]. (A teeny ambush en route!) If we go further down, to the glass floor itself, either now or later (3 lots of goodies and a second ambusher to find!), we can hoist back up to ‘lever level’ in the NE corner. We are not shown (nor hear) what the lever does, but no prizes for guessing this one correctly.

We can now make our way to the opened door, though the robot - if ‘unzapped’ - will follow us. This has negative consequences, as we are about to meet another, and 2 more guards! We come almost immediately to a closed door, then along a passage to a second closed door, next to a computer console. As we turn the corner by the console we see a control room through a glass screen, which is where we meet the 2 further guards and the second robot. (Both of these guards drop uzi clips - but not the robot!)

The lever at the far end of the control room opens one of the doors we passed in the passage on the way here. (We can just see this if we turn left 90°.) This door has opened onto a passage down a ramp, but there’s that A-word again! (The second guard drops more uzi clips.) Continuing, we go down another ramp, to come out below the level of the glass floor, almost at the bottom of the great chamber.

6. Decisions - - - When To Shoot And When ...

We find (possibly the hard way!) that we cannot use any of the ground/ledge/blocks directly ahead, nor any of the slopes, as they result in the same ‘terminal’-type conclusion! But there are two ways to cross this dangerous area. [1] We can jump to one of the small half blocks at either side. From there, we can just reach a small lower ledge beside one of the great pillars in this room. We can then jump to a safe square (the LH of these has the revolver rounds on it) near the far exit we can see. We can then make our way back to the RH (south) pillar to use the lever there. [Quicker, of course, to have gone that way!] (Trying to return, we find that we cannot, by this route.) [2] The second (slower) method is to use the gantry above us!!! (Because of the end slopes, we must make sure we go far enough.) We can then similarly return for the lever and revolver rounds.

The lever by the pillar opens one of those remarkable ‘psychedelic’ split doors, but we don’t yet know where. We can make our way to the far (east) opening and then as we go forward into the passage ... When we reach the wide area ahead with the grating floor, we see that at the left there is another of the ‘psychedelic’ doors - closed - but then at the right, here is the passage we saw when we used the lever.

As we go forward into the large control room ahead - huge banks of control panels and a large ‘projector screen’-sized force-field at the far end of the room - we see no less than 4 guards. (Quite a good spot to Save!) BUT three of them are standing at the far side of the room, watching, and the other is walking towards us. Can we keep our nerve and not shoot at him?! We need to make that decision, now, of whether to attack these ‘innocent’(?) guards or not. Unfortunately (not in the guards’ favour!!), is the knowledge that 3 of them are carrying uzi clips! But do know that if we shoot at any of them (we don’t have to kill: just shoot at, once!), then the other 3 will not be happy!

We can go right past the 3 guards that are standing at the left (if you haven’t ...) and they will carefully turn to watch what Lara is doing. (As efficient guards will.) There is a lever by the screen and as we use that we are shown part of the room from a distance: it has suddenly changed colour (partly to indicate that something of significance has occurred), and we see that the force-field screen now shows that the spacecraft is nearing its planetary destination (which those who have played Planet of the Ancients 1 or 2 will know to be Sirius V). Something else has also happened, which we’ll discover by going back to the passage outside this control room and trying the other (‘LH’) ‘psychedelic’ door.

7. Battle

If the patrolling guard has still not been deaded, he will follow us all the way to the LH passage and the lever we discover there. We find that this lever opens the shuttle bay door [far above]. (So a connection between imminent planet-fall and that shuttle bay!) But how do we get there? A further change has occurred, in that as we go towards the passage that lies between the grating area and the great hall, we find that a guard has been alerted and is approaching. He shoots at us, so we shoot back. The good news is that he drops a Data Key (for that computer console in the passage?); the bad news is that our shooting of this guard is not regarded as friendly activity by the 4 guards back in the control room!

So we go forward - or possibly back first, so as not to be fighting on two fronts - to discover that in the great hall, not one but three more guards have also been alerted: one nearby and the other two at the far side. (Revolver and laser sight for the further two?) It is at this point that we (might) remember that there is only one way back from this side to that (see the start of section 6, above, if necessary). So it would have been rather foolish to go this way before shooting the 2 farther guards!

Forward, up the ramp, and, yes, you guessed it! Then we can go to the computer console, when we do indeed find that the data key is what was needed. And the adjacent door opens, when we find a large medipack, and 2 boxes of revolver rounds ahead. Hmmm! What means this? Before we leave the short passage at the far end, we see the sign “Danger” and some more lines of electric current, running across the floor. What means this combination of electricity, medipack & revolver ammo?! Hmmm again!

As we go forward, the electricity coursing across the floor takes second place to the fact that we are immediately being shot at! [See picture.] (We don’t have to suffer being targeted by two guards at once, though: sometimes boldness is the right strategy - such as when we encountered the machine gun a way back - but often caution is good. If we ‘inch’ forward in the passage [not rushing out], then we will see one of the 2 lower guards before the other and so be able to shoot at him before the other sees us at all.)

Once we have dealt with the (lower) two guards, we can then have a better look at the place we have reached. Not unlike a watercourse running down a slope, except that it is (somewhat more dangerous) electricity that is coursing down. When we look further up the slope we see two more guards, who apparently are able to tread on the electricity with impunity (excellent insulation in their armoured suits, obviously). Right at the top we see the control panels for the power generator for all this electricity (and note that there is a pulsing light over that).

We cannot go further up the slope than the blocks on which the first 2 gunmen were standing (where we shall be within the other two’s range, anyway), so how are we to reach the top of this room? (Presuming that is our current [sorry, another unintentional pun!] objective.) The 2 gunmen are not too much of a problem, provided we don’t go too close, although they do move quickly at times. Perhaps we can try to disrupt some of the electricity flow? (Which is where the pulsing light, revolver, zoom on laser sight, etc, come in!) And then we can use some ‘stepping stones’ to reach the top of the room and the LMP provided, to help us back to health.

8. Escape

Not been entirely friendly, this lot, have they?! We go along this top passage (perhaps thinking the worst is over?!) towards another closed door, which opens before we reach it. And further ‘not-so-friendlies’ with which to ‘communicate’! Perhaps we recognise that this is the upper door that we saw some time ago, at the top of the great hall. The ‘electricity slope’ has enabled us to return to the upper levels.

All(?!) we need do now is go back down those sloping passages to reach the shuttle bay. (And they’ve all been ‘cleared out’, haven’t they?!) After a smidgeon of ‘altercation’ en route, we hear, as we enter the hanger, some welcome ‘confirmatory’ music. Now, how can we launch this shuttle? Ah, a lever: and the force field changes to a field of stars. Over the shuttle (short side-ramp up to it), there is now a pulsing light, so ... And sit back to enjoy the fly-by that finishes the game. (And which one day will lead into the second part of Planet of the Ancients 1.)

** (If not using the program Level Manager.)
Click here to see the final video sequence, as Lara escapes in the shuttle she has found. (But will she survive?)

As requested at the end of level 5 above (for those who were not able to go any further), do please let Richard know how you have enjoyed this adventure in all its parts, as well as comments about the use of the Level Manager program, with its access to the various forms of media. (e-mail address in the readme within the game package.) He is most eager for ‘comeback’ from players, and comments of all sorts, in order to make his next production even better. And thank you for playing!