SNOWY TRIAL REVISED
Level by Sheevah
Walkthrough by Phil Lambeth (with thanks to the builder for making several helpful suggestions and for pointing out the location of two secrets I'd missed).
Begin facing a full moon in an icy ravine with a fence to your left. A force field of some kind prevents you from turning around and running north past the stalled Jeep, so run south toward the palm tree. Turn right at the bend (note the slightly darker square of ice near the tree) and hop up onto the snow mound for some pistol ammo (which you can't use yet, as you have no pistols in your holsters). Go back down and pick up the NOTE. It gives you a warning of enemies soon to appear, which you'll have to engage without the assistance of any weapon.
Head into the temple and have a look around. There are flares on the central structure. The yellow-orange water is deadly. There's a closed trap door in the ice to the SE, and you'll see three temples with locked doors around the perimeter. Pull down the two wall switches beneath the arctic fox faces on the columns on the east side of the central structure. This releases a quartet of wolves (two with each switch), so hurry around to the other side and throw the third wall switch in the SE column. Spikes are triggered that kill the wolves without causing damage to you. Pick up the WOODEN HANDLE and the METAL BLADE left behind by the wolves, combine them to form the SHOVEL, and carry it with you back to where you entered the temple area.
Stand on that darker square of ice you noted earlier and use the shovel to dig a hole in it. You'll drop down into a cavern. Go south through the opening and turn right at the bend. Watch out for the spike pits ahead as you approach a second cavern. Hop over the pits and go to the far west wall. Jump up onto the block into the opening and crawl through to the other side. Release into the trench south and pick up the REVOLVER at the other end. Crawl back out and go to another opening SE. Appoach it from the west side, as there's a nearby spike pit south. Jump up to grab the edge of the block and shimmy around the corner to your left. By some quirk you'll shimmy right through the block itself, which makes it a lot easier to drop down on the other side. The builder has reminded me that in these TREP/NGLE levels, you can enter a crawl space such as this one by using the up arrow. Once inside, hitting the jump key will cause Lara to roll out the other side. Therefore, it's not necessary to shimmy around the block as described above.
Go to the east wall and push the moveable block there all the way in to reveal a small cave where you see a key that's protected by spikes. Turn around and go back through the passage you just created. There's another moveable block in the wall to your left, so push it in as far as you can. A passage to your left is revealed, so go that way and get the pistol ammo in the left alcove. Reverse roll and go to the opposite alcove. Push the block there once, revealing a new passage to your right. Go there and pull the next block back once. Reverse roll and make a counterclockwise circuit. Push in the first block as far as it will go, revealing a passage to your right. Step inside for SECRET #1 and a GOLDEN SKULL as you're applauded by the builder. (A nice touch is that your health bar becomes full each time you find a secret in this level.) Make a clockwise circuit in the opposite direction and push the block west into the secret alcove. Reverse roll, go back and pull the SE block back once, then go around and pull it back once again, this time west. Go around again and find the revealed wall switch. Pull it down to turn off the spikes, and go back there to claim the WATER TEMPLE KEY.
You can now move the nearby block all the way into the NE passage. When you've done so, the trap door above falls open. Climb up onto the block and pull up out of the shaft into the temple area. Your next destination, the Water Temple, is to your left (north). Go there and pause for the pistol ammo near the left side of the double doors, then use your key in the receptacle on the right to gain access.
The Water Temple
Go across to the far wall and refrain for now from shooting the vases. Stand about three blocks from the NW corner with your back against the north wall and draw your revolver. Combine it with the laser sight and look up to see a hole in the ceiling behind the NW pillar. Shoot the swinging ball to open the gate in the nearby west pool. Jump into the water and swim into the opening. Fight the strong current across to the east alcove and pick up the PISTOLS. Swim back out and brave the current once again to pull two underwater levers, one on each side of the spikes in the south wall. This opens the door in the north wall, so flip turn and fight your way there.
Swim into the short corridor, wade forward, then turn around to locate the pistol ammo on the pedestal in the SW corner. (The SE pedestal is protected by a blade trap.) Take a running jump through the north opening and the giant nutcracker just beyond the portal should miss you by a hair. Climb the ladder to the upper walkway, back flip to the ledge and locate the moveable block in the south wall. Push it forward all the way as spikes start snapping nearby. Turn to face the spike passage, wait until the spikes nearest you are up, then run (not sprint) across to the other side. You're met with applause from the builder as you turn left to pick up the GOLDEN SKULL for SECRET #2. The spikes have been disabled, so go back to the previous room.
Jump across to the upper walkway and go over to the west wall. There's a pushblock there, so pull it back twice. You can climb onto pushblocks in TREP levels, so do so and hop down the other side into the revealed alcove in the west wall. Pull down the wall switch there after picking up the revolver ammo. This opens the grate higher up in the west wall, so go back to the block, climb up onto it and take a slightly angled standing jump and grab to the crack in the wall. Shimmy to the right until you can pull up into the crawl space. Crawl forward into a small room, pause to pick up the small medi-pack in the corner and then pull down the wall switch.
The door to your left remains closed, but a cut scene shows a jump switch somewhere outside. At the same time a wraith is released, so quickly crawl back out and drop into the water to extinguish the wraith. Swim through the SE tunnel, pick up the pistol ammo near the end and pull the underwater lever to open the door behind you. Flip turn and swim up into the east pool in the Water Temple. Pull out, run across to the west pool, jump in and use the east opening to access the lower pool with the strong current. Fight your way to the north opening and return to the large pool area (remembering that giant nutcracker just beyond the portal).
Climb the ladder to the upper walkway, and you can see that jump switch high up in the NW corner. Go to the west wall and climb that block again. Jump to the crack in the wall, and this time keep shimmying to the right past the crawl space and around a couple of corners until you're over the jump switch. Release and grab again immediately to activate the jump switch. The door in the room beyond the crawl space is now open, so return via the SE tunnel (as described above) and this time you find a demigod waiting for you on the upper walkway. Dispatch him, pick up the revolver ammo he drops, then use the crawl space in the west wall to access the open alcove. As you enter you hear the sound of something happening outside. Pick up the BOWL OF WATER and crawl back.
Drop down onto the ledge that was just now lowered from the wall. Safety drop from there to the pool below, which has been turned to a solid sheet of ice. Note the giant nutcracker at the intersection of the lower walkways and run over to the SE corner. Pull down the wall switch to open the timed door in the west wall. Turn to your right and sprint across the ice to enter the alcove before the door closes. Once you're safely inside the door stays open. Pull and push the giant urn to the intersection of the lower walkways. The hammers swing downward to shatter the urn and reveal the EARTH TEMPLE KEY.
Leave via the south doorway, past the still-active hammers, and swim through the underwater room with the strong current back to the Water Temple where another demigod lurks. Kill him and pick up the revolver ammo he drops. Use your pistols to shoot the vases near the north wall and find the pistol ammo hidden by one of them. Exit the Water Temple and find two wolves waiting outside. Kill them and proceed south to the Earth Temple. Use your key to gain admittance.
The Earth Temple
When Lara enters the Earth Temple for the first time, note that her health bar is maximized when she steps on the stairs. The steaming mud trenches along the east and west walls will drain Lara's health, so avoid them. Go around the central platform and take the flares from the pedestal to the right of the south doorway. (The shotgun ammo on the other pedestal is protected by a blade trap.) Shoot the little spider that comes through the doorway, then enter, turn right and slide down the right side of the slope, jumping over the two swinging blades as necessary, and land in some muddy but safe water. Take the SHOTGUN from the skeleton that obviously has no further need of it, then grab the nearby shotgun ammo. Swim east, turn right and pull up onto a central ledge that spans a large room supported by a number of brick columns. As you run along the ledge, bits of the ceiling will break loose and fall down on you, so be careful. A bat and a little spider will also show up as you explore this area.
There are several cages in this area that need to be lowered, and the decor gives an obvious hint that the use of a torch will be necessary. Jump back into the water on the south side and look for the flares at the east end. Climb back up onto the central ledge and locate the crawl space up in the east wall, a little to your right, and take an angled standing jump and grab to the wall just beneath it. Climb up the wall and enter the crawl space. Pull down the wall switch at the other end to drain the area below.
Go back and safety drop from the crawl space. Pull up onto the central ledge and hop down on the north side. Locate the wide hole in the floor and safety drop to the lower level. Time a run past the activated spikes and climb up the ladder at the other end. Approach the central pedestal in the upper room and take a TORCH. Don't pull down the wall switch in the east wall yet, but turn around and toss the torch down the shaft. Climb down after it, pick it up, run past the spikes and drop the torch on the grate at the far end.
Go back, up the ladder, and now throw the wall switch. A cut scene shows a cage lowering outside. What it doesn't show is another cage being raised in the trench down below. Go back there, climb to the top of the cage, pick up the torch and hop up to the dry canal bed. Hop up from there to the central ledge and go around to the west end. Light the torch in the alcove where the cage in the cut scene was lowered. (The other wall torches are too high for you to reach.) Drop the torch momentarily to pick up the shotgun ammo, then jump back to the central ledge on the other side and find the brazier in the south doorway near the middle of the wall. Light it, and the gate beyond will lift.
Depending on the state of your health, you can either go for the next secret now, or wait until you've completed the segment described in the next paragraph. Go to where you see the torch symbol emblazoned on the pillar at the west end of the central ledge. Take a standing jump SW to the ledge separating the dry canal bed from the muddy water. Take another standing jump SW into the window that's seemingly blocked by an iron grate. However, it's a phantom, so enter the alcove and pick up the GOLDEN SKULL for SECRET #3 while the builder applauds.
Enter the opening in the middle of the south wall and shoot the spider that drops down from the ceiling. Turn the corner to find yorself in a cell block littered with skeletons. Go to the switch in the west wall. When you pull it, the door to the adjacent NW cell is opened and a skeleton is awakened. Either lure it back to the entrance and use your shotgun to blast it into the canal bed, or stand your ground and use your combined revolver and laser sight (try to use one round only, to conserve your precious ammo) to shoot off the skeleton's head and make it forget all about you. Throw the second switch in the NW cell, which awakens a second skeleton that you can disable or dispatch as you choose. The NE cell is now open, so go there and throw the wall switch. Then head to the SW cell and pull down the fourth and final wall switch. A cut scene shows one of the cages lowering. At some point a bat, a little spider and a third skeleton will show up to attack you. After you've dealt with them, shoot the pots in the cells for some pistol and shotgun ammo and a small medi-pack. Retrieve your torch and go back to the drained canal area.
Go directly across to the lowered cage in the north wall and light the brazier. The door beyond opens, so drop your torch, go inside and jump into the mud pool for a small medi-pack. Pull out, run over the trigger tile in the NW corner to open the timed door above, then run quickly up the ramp and dash into the small room to take the BOWL OF EARTH from the pedestal. Reverse roll and get outside fast before the clock runs down, the door closes and you're fried to a crisp. Go down the ramp, back to the central ledge outside and shoot a bat or two before locating and picking up your torch. There's still one more cage to lower in this area, so light the brazier near the SE corner in the south wall. The gate beyond lifts, as you've come to expect, so enter and watch the cage surrounding the spikes slowly descend. Run past the spikes and pick up the revolver ammo as the cage rises behind you to cut off any escape.
Save your game here, as things will happen rather quickly in the next few moments. All of the steps ahead are delayed spike traps, so arm yourself with the combined revolver and laser sight and run up quickly into the next area. Boulders immediately start rolling back and forth in front of you, and a timer at the top of your screen provides a clue that something very bad is likely to happen in the next few seconds. Indeed, if you simply stand there and do nothing (spikes behind you, boulders in front of you), more boulders will descend from above when the clock runs out and squash you flat. However, don't panic, as you have plenty of time to do what you need to do. Draw a bead on the suspended boulder across the room up in the NE corner and shoot it. It rolls down and causes the other boulders to settle in the central lava channel. Then simply run across either ramp to the other side. Pull the switch in the south wall and enter the tunnel after the door opens. (You can see a similar closed door across the room on the west side where the boulders are clustered, but don't worry about that one right now.) Locate some pistol ammo in the first alcove behind the lamp, then continue around the corner.
When you turn the corner you'll activate a trio of teeth doors situated about a block apart, so time a run just a bit past the first one, stop, and continue until you're past all three. You then come to what seems like a dead end, but the block there can be pushed forward to reveal a connecting corridor. Don't pause to pick up the shotgun ammo, however, as a boulder is on its way down toward you from the right. Hop back, and after the boulder passes you can safely collect the ammo. Go up the ramp to your right, but turn around before you reach the top, as there's another boulder poised just around the corner. Hop back up the ramp until you hear the boulder being triggered, then run back down and turn left into the passage while the boulder rumbles by. Go all the way up the ramp and turn left to see a closed door you'll need to find a way to open.
Go down the ramp and turn into the second alcove on your right. Pick up the pistol ammo and push the block forward twice. Climb up on the block, turn around and take a standing jump and grab to activate the timed jump switch. The door at the top of the ramp opens briefly, so hop down and get up there as fast as you can. When you're safely inside the next room, the door stays open. Take the pistol ammo from the plinth near the north wall, then go back to that open wooden structure near the entrance. Draw your pistols and shatter all four sides, and the door in the west wall opens. Go to the alcove and pull back the urn three times, so that it comes to rest in the space formerly enclosed by the wooden structure. The urn magically floats upward to the level of the ledges above. Jump up to grab the edge of an invisible tile that supports the urn, shimmy to your right and pull up onto the ledges. Push and pull the urn to the NE corner, shooting a bat along the way, and once again the urn will be drawn upward to the next level. Jump up, grab the invisible tile, shimmy left and pull up. Push and pull the urn to the opposite NW tile, after shooting another bat, and the door behind you opens. Shoot two little spiders that drop down from the ceiling, then go inside and take the FIRE TEMPLE KEY from the pedestal.
Get back down to the floor, exit this room and run all the way down the ramp. Around the corner, where the boulder has dropped into a hole, you can jump over for a small medi-pack. Return past the teeth doors to the rolling boulder room. The door in the west wall is now open, and when you enter the other door at the end of the short passage also opens when you approach it. A skeleton is awakened on the central ledge when you get back there, so deposit it in the canal bed with a couple of blasts from your shotgun and then pick up your lighted torch. Go across to the other side and light the brazier in the north alcove. When the gate beyond lifts, toss the torch aside (you no longer need it) and make your way through the winding corridor, being mindful of the large chunks of debris falling from the ceiling. Climb the ladder at the other end and step forward. You'll hear the sound of a gate lifting to your right in the connecting corrider ahead. Shoot a bat and return to the Earth Temple. Deal with another bat on your way outside, where a couple of wolves are waiting for you. Head east to the Fire Temple and use your key to get inside.
The Fire Temple
As soon as you cross the threshold the door closes behind you. A flyby carries you through the spacious interior, ending with a close-up view of your next goal, the Bowl of Fire. Note for later the gated mirror room off to your right, then go east past the archways into a larger room featuring a central lava pool. The room with the floor switches to your left appears to be blocked by a glass wall, but there's a missing panel in the far left side. Go in (the color scheme changes) and note two rows of floor switches facing each other, five in one row and four in the other. When I played the game, nothing bad happened when I pushed the switches at random. However, the builder says that pushing any but the three correct switches should kill Lara in short order. The proper way to proceed is by standing outside the switch room and looking at the symbols beneath the transparent floor. The three switches directly above the fire symbols are the ones you should push. Unfortunately, when you step inside the room to get a better angle, the symbols change along with the color. Here are the right switches to push (counting from left to right):
North row: 1 and 4
South row: 3 only
The gate on the other side of the Fire Temple (in the south wall) opens, so go there, noting the receptacle to your right along the way, and enter the corridor. Go past a closed gate inside and pull up to your left. Slide a short distance and jump off two slopes, and on the third slope allow Lara to slide down to the tile. Jump forward before it crumbles, slide down the other side to the next tile and take a standing jump and grab to a safe block. Pull up, hop down the other side, turn left and save your game. Take a running jump to about the middle of the breaktile, turn left and take a standing jump west to the next tile and a running jump to the third one. Side flip left into the alcove and pick up the revolver ammo. Stand at the edge of the alcove and look NW. There's a partially obscured swinging ball up in the ceiling, so shoot it with your combined revolver and laser sight to make a rope drop down before you. Use it to swing over to the west opening and pick up the CARTOUCHE.
The gate ahead lifts when you land, and a demigod is alerted outside at the same time, so draw a suitable weapon and prepare to engage it upon returning to the Fire Temple. When it's dead, place the Cartouche in the nearby receptacle you noted earlier. A pole appears not far away near the archways, so climb it facing south and back flip to the ledge. This alerts a harpy, so get rid of it before proceeding. (If you safety drop to the floor and run around a bit, you may be fortunate enough to have it become preoccupied with a wall. If so, it'll be a lot easier to kill. Then simply climb back up the pole and proceed.)
Go to the north edge of the ledge, stand at the NE corner and take a running jump to the translucent tile (which is stable along with all the others). Proceed in a clockwise direction until you reach the switch in the east wall. When you pull it down, a grate is opened in a crawl space high up in the east wall. At the same time the translucent tiles that spiral around the room become infected with intermittent flame blowers, making them much more difficult to navigate. However, you can safety drop to the floor from here and completely bypass the three tiles along the north wall. Climb the pole and back flip to the ledge as you did earlier, but this time jump up and grab the tile to which the pole is attached. Pull up and face SE. Wait until the flames subside and take a standing jump to the near corner of the tile. If necessary, step back quickly before the flames return.
Square up, hop back, grab the edge of the tile and shimmy around to the other (east) side. Pull up, turn around and take a standing jump with grab to the next tile. Shimmy around to the far side as before and pull up. Take a standing jump with grab to the last tile, pull up in the left corner and take a slightly angled running jump and grab to the crawl space. Pull up and crawl inside. In the next room there's a closed door to your right for later and a nearby wall switch. When you throw the latter (save your game first), a fire wraith is summoned as a cut scene shows a gate lifting in the cage that houses the Bowl of Fire. Quickly go to the hole in the corner, turn to face the crawl space, and hop backward so you'll slide down the slope facing forward. About halfway down, jump off the slope and grab the jump switch. The lava pool in the Fire Temple is converted to clear water, so run past the demigod and jump into the pool to douse the wraith. Pull the underwater lever to gain access to the next secret, then pull out of the pool to dispose of the demigod.
Climb the pole, make your way along the tiles as before to the crawl space in the east wall, and crawl inside to find that the door to your right is now open. Enter the alcove and take the GOLDEN SKULL from the plinth for SECRET #4. Use the slope to slide back down to the Fire Temple floor and climb up the pole once again. Back flip to the ledge, and now you're going to have to navigate those tiles along the north wall. Walk out to the NE corner of the ledge and take a running jump to the nearest tile when the flames are down. Square up, hop back and grab the edge, and shimmy around to the NE corner. Pull up, turn around and take a standing jump and grab to the next tile. Shimmy to your left and pull up facing the suspended cage. When the flames go down, take a running jump and grab to the doorway. Pull up inside the cage, step forward and take the BOWL OF FIRE from the pedestal. The gate to the mirror room has lifted, so safety drop to the floor and go there. When you pass under the archway another harpy flies out to the attack, so pause to kill it.
Inside the mirror room are steady flame blowers and deadly floor tiles. Go halfway down the central path, turn left and run between the pillars to the east wall. Turn left and throw the wall switch in the corner. Go back to the midway point between the pillars, return to the central path and turn left. The flame blowers are off, so run to the mirror, turn left and go pick up the BINOCULARS. Reverse roll, go to the other side and pull down the wall switch to open a trap door. Return to the central path, turn left, and at the midway point between the pillars run to the west wall. Turn right and run until you're stopped by an invisible block. Pull up onto it, step forward and pull up into an upper room. Push the floor lever in the corner, and a cut scene shows the three cages lowering at the temple stairs outside. Take a TORCH from the pedestal and hop down through the hole. Return cautiously to the central path (the flame tiles are still active) and turn to face the mirror. Use your binoculars to spy out the main room outside. You can barely make out a floor crawl space next to one of the large vases against the far wall. Go there, crawl into the space near the left vase and turn around to drop into the hole. Pick up the GOLDEN SKULL for SECRET #5 and a final round of applause.
Crawl back out, go get the torch wherever you dropped it and light it with one of the candles near the entrance (stand on the lower step). Then go light four candles on similar candlesticks (two on either side of the arches). The door at the entrance is now open, so toss the torch and head outside.
A cut scene shows a boulder dropping down to block one of the switches you used at the beginning of the level, followed by a comic parade of four Arctic Ahmets, waddling along in single file, which makes you want to reach for your big guns. However, all of your weapons have been stripped away. Run forward and jump across the deadly yellow-orange water to the central structure where the ahmets won't follow. From here you're going to have to jump over to each pedestal in turn and place the Bowl of Water, Bowl of Earth and Bowl of Fire on their appropriate pedestal, beating a hasty retreat each time back to the central structure. When the third bowl has been placed, you'll experience a minor earthquake, after which you'll find that the formerly deadly water is now quite clear and safe.
Say goodbye to the ahmets, jump into the water and locate the hole at the east end as Lara's theme music plays. Swim forward through the tunnel until you hit the finish trigger.