RETURN TO ALEXANDRIA
Level by Jon Heywood (Inchdix)
Walkthrough written and provided by Bex
You start this level in a dark room containing a pool and a couple of closed gates. The gate on the North wall will open as you approach it but ignore the pool and both gates for now. Instead, explore the room you’re in and pick up a large medipack, some flares and some shotgun shells. As you pick these items up, a ninja will appear – kill him and then return to the pillar where you picked up the shotgun shells and spy a ladder on one side of it.
Climb up into a brightly lit room. Collect two sets of shotgun shells and pull the floor lever nearby. This opens a gate in the pool. Drop down through the other hole in the floor in this room to land in the pool below and swim through the now-open gate.
At the junction, follow the left path and you’ll soon emerge in another room containing another set of shotgun shells and a floor lever. Pick up the shells and pull the lever to open a gate elsewhere in the water. Jump back into the water and follow the path to the left. At the end, pick up some flares and turn right.
When you’re able to, turn right again (it’s a dead-end straight ahead). At the end, pick up a small medipack. Next to you is another tunnel on the right – this was previously blocked by a closed gate, but you just opened that by pulling the floor lever a minute ago.
Swim through and at the junction turn right to pick up some Uzi clips, then turn around and follow the tunnel straight ahead. Just before the end of the tunnel, you can swim upwards. Climb out into a purplish-room, pick up the Uzi clips that are lurking in a corner, then pull into the crawlspace on the North wall.
As soon as you’re in there, whip out your weapons and shoot the scorpion that’s heading your way, because there’s nothing worse than a scorpion up your butt while you’re trying to get through a crawlspace (well, except maybe for two scorpions up your butt, that is). That done, stand up and go to the room ahead.
You can see what needs to be done here – strategically-placed platforms are all around you and there are monkey bars high on the ceiling. First though, go for a swim and collect a few goodies from the pool below, namely two sets of crossbow ammo.
In a dark corner on the South wall, there’s a well-hidden alcove. Climb out onto a low platform in that corner and climb the ladder to enter a room containing secret #1 – the crossbow and crossbow ammo.
With those tucked away in your backpack, head back the way you came. Take running jumps to the next two platforms, a running jump with grab to the next platform ahead, then a running jump to the one after that. You might want to save your game here because the platform in front of you will burst into flames a couple of seconds after you land on it. From this platform, use running jumps to reach the remaining platforms.
Once you’re on the last platform you can reach in this way, jump to the lower platform in the nearby corner and pick up your lasersight. Kill the two scorpions that attack, and then jump back into the water and tackle the pillars again (the fire on the burning platform will go out for a while to enable you to do this).
Back on the last platform you can reach, jump up and grab the monkey bars above you. Follow these to the middle of the room and then head left. At the end, drop off onto the final platform and three things will happen: Firstly, you get to listen to a nice short bit of TR4 music. Secondly, you get to pick up half of a Cartouche. Finally, you’ll notice that the pool in this room has now gone. Use the monkey bars to get to the entrance (there’s a ladder at the end – use the drop/grab move to make Lara catch hold of it and do the same again at the end of the ladder to catch hold of the wall beneath the entrance. Climb up from there).
Back in the purplish room, drop back into the water and turn right when you can, then left. Keep following the underwater tunnels left and eventually you’ll end up in the main pool. Don’t worry about the closed gate ahead, you’ll open it later. For now, swim upwards, climb out, and kill the two ninjas who are firing at you.
Approach the gate on the North wall and it will open. There are two ways of tackling the next bit. You can either slide down the slope to its end, and hope against hope that you land in a place that doesn't burst into flames (if you’re unlucky you can use the water nearby to extinguish yourself), or you can do it the easy way. I'll detail the easy way.
About halfway down the slope is a place you can jump to and grab a ladder. Do this and climb up to find yourself on the higher level of this area. Shoot the two vases. Pick up a small medipack from one and kill the scorpion that was hiding in the other.
Use the monkey bars overhead to reach the high pillar in the middle of the room and use a series of standing jumps to get to the lowest pillar. From here, take a diagonal standing jump with grab to catch hold of the shimmy crack on the North wall. Shimmy left as far as you can go and pull up into the alcove. Pull the floor lever to open a gate at ground level.
Drop down to the floor (taking care to avoid the flames that have just appeared beneath you) and kill the ninja inside the now-open gate. That done, go in and pull the floor lever to open a gate high above you. Before heading up there though, head to the pool in the corner on the East wall (avoiding the areas on the floor which look as though spikes might pop out of them, because the vast majority of these will burst into flames the minute you step on them). Jump into the pool to collect some goodies.
One thing you should know about Jon by now is that he is, by his own admission, a complete and utter bastard. Another thing you’ll know if you’re familiar enough with his work is that the colour red in his levels very rarely signifies anything good. Tempted by that large medipack in the underwater tunnel with the red lighting? Don’t be. If you try and pick it up, a gate will close behind you and you’ll be condemned to a watery grave. Lovely! Instead, explore the other tunnels and collect shotgun shells, a small medipack and some crossbow ammo.
Climb out of the pool and head for the lowest pillar, again avoiding the “spike” tiles on the floor. (A couple of these are safe and don’t burst into flames, but why take chances!) From the lowest pillar, make your way up to the highest one and from there take a running jump with grab to the South wall where you shot the two vases. Shimmy all the way to the right and hoist yourself up into the alcove to pull the floor lever that you’ll find there. This opens one of the two gates on the West wall.
Shimmy back the way you came and, using the monkey bars once more, make your way to the highest pillar. From there, use the other pillars to get back to ground level again. Use the ladder on the West wall to reach the area behind the now-open gate.
Once again, three things will happen: Firstly, you get to listen to another nice short bit of TR4 music. Secondly, you get to pick up another half of a Cartouche. Finally, you’ll notice that the room with the pillars in it has now been filled with green water. Jump in and notice that the second gate, slightly lower down on the West wall, is now also open. Swim though it and follow the tunnel left as far as you can. You’ll end up in an underwater room with pillars. Pick up the shotgun shells lying in the alcove in the far corner of the West wall. Swim around the edge of the room and climb out in the alcove on the East wall.
Run up to the top of the first ramp (don’t worry, this isn’t boulder-territory) then WALK up the second ramp. About halfway up is a pit which will drop you into deadly water. Jump over the pit and then hop back and hang off the edge. Woohoo! The wall is climbable! Climb down, and when you can climb no further drop and immediately grab to catch hold of the wall just above the deadly water. Climb into the alcove in the wall and proceed into the next room to pick up secret #2 – the Shotgun and some shotgun shells. (The “spiked” looking areas on the floor are safe).
Jump into the water. The gate ahead of you will open as you approach. Swim straight ahead and pick up some Uzi clips and then roll and swim upwards to end up in the main pool – you’ll notice that you’ve managed to get here via the gate that was previously closed.
Climb out and notice that the gates on the East wall are now also open. Proceed down the small ramp and use the crossbow with explosive ammo to obliterate the mummies in the next room, then take a look around. Fire everywhere and the gate ahead is closed. What to do? Well… hidden on a dark part of the North wall is an alcove. The fact that the flare bug kicks in somewhere around this point doesn’t help you to spot it, but it’s there if you look hard enough. Take a running jump over the fiery trench to land in this alcove and pull the floor lever to open the gate nearby. Jump back into the room with the now-open gate and proceed.
Before shooting at anything in this room (especially that vase), look closely at the North wall for a low crawlspace. Crawl inside and climb the ladder at the end. Near the top, do a backflip with twist to grab hold of the ladder behind you. Climb up and pull up into the room above.
Shoot the two vases and you’ll reveal a couple of scorpions. Pump them full of lead along with the ninja who just appeared. Pick up the crossbow ammo from the corner and then make your way to the top of the sandy block structure in the middle of the room to pull the floor lever there. This opens both gates in this room. First of all, you want to head to the highest one (it’s on the North wall. The other one, at ground level on the West wall, is the exit from this area).
The next bit is a complete pig, especially if, like me, you hate mazes. I’m terrible at describing mazes so I’m simply going to summarise and let you tear your own hair out as I did. Basically, the objective here is to push a load of floor levers to light torches and open various gates which lead to other floor levers and/or sundry pickups such as a couple of medipacks, shotgun ammo and crossbow ammo. Eventually you’ll open the gate to secret #3 – the Uzis.
You’ll also find a fair few scorpions along the way, so keep a weapon handy. I’ll also give you another hint which will save you some time: Two of these levers are not at ground level, they’re above your head in easy-to miss alcoves. Grrr. (This took me ages to figure out and had me calling Jon some of the most unrepeatable names under the sun, and if he’s reading this walkthrough I can just imagine him laughing his ass off. Evil, he is. Evil I tell you).
Anyway, with the Uzis collected, leave the maze (hurrah!) and return to the room with the sandy block structure in the middle of it. Go through the open gate on the West wall and slide down the slope to land in the room where you shot the mummies earlier. Kill the ninja that starts firing at you. Head through the open gate on the East wall and you can now shoot the mummies there. You can also now shoot the vase. The reason I warned you against shooting this before will now become apparent – shooting the vase triggers a load of spikes around the edge of this room. With those spikes in the way, the crawlspace for secret #3 would not have been accessible to you. Devious, huh?
The big grey doors ahead will open as you approach. In front of you is a large room with a multi-tiered structure in the middle of it. At ground level are receptacles for two Hands. The “spiked” looking areas on the floor are once again safe.
Around the corner from the left-hand receptacle is a ladder. Climb up and use the nearby platform to reach the Cartouche receptacle on the central structure. Combine your Cartouche pieces and place the Cartouche to open the gate at ground level in the right-hand corner of the South wall. Proceed through this gate and climb the ladder. Push the floor lever close by to flood the previous room, then continue and climb the next ladder and enter the next room.
Head partway up the left-hand ramp in this room to trigger a spiked boulder, ensuring that you quickly jump off again before Lara gets flattened. When the coast is clear, use the same ramp to reach the pillar in front of you (the right-hand ramp has not one but two spiked boulders waiting to land on Lara’s unsuspecting head. The second one scared the crap out of me, lol).
Once you land on the pillar, don’t hang around as it bursts into flames within a couple of seconds. Quickly take a running jump with grab to the next pillar and pick up the Hand of Orion from the pedestal.
Leave this area and return the way you came, heading back down the ladder and past the floor lever you pushed earlier. Swim into the room that’s now flooded and make your way to the gate on the North wall which is now open.
You’ll find yourself in a room with a large pool and a couple of scorpions. Kill the scorpions and jump into the pool to pick up some flares. You can see a couple of vases to shoot and an open doorway on the other side of the pool but a quick swim over there will show you that the edge of the pool on this side is too high for Lara to climb out. Gasp!
Swim back to the other side of the pool and climb out, then light a flare. See anything helpful? Aha! Transparent platforms! Traverse the platforms to get to the other side of the pool. Shoot the vases (there’s nothing in them, mind you) and then proceed though the open doorway. Follow the small passageway to find yourself in a room with four pillars of differing heights. Make your way to the highest pillar and pick up the Hand of Sirius from the pedestal.
As you do this, the pillars beneath you will burst into flames. Oh great, now what! Well, take a leap of faith to the pillar just beneath you and the flames will go out. Do the same to the next lowest pillar, and from there do a safety-drop to the floor, because the lowest pillar will remain on fire. Return to the pool via the small passageway and jump in. Climb out on the other side.
Don’t leave this area just yet though, because there’s another important pickup to be had which only becomes accessible once you have picked up the Hand of Sirius. Jump to the first transparent platform and turn to face the North wall. Light a flare and you’ll see an alcove there in the darkness that wasn’t there previously. Take a running jump to this alcove and follow the passageway. Pick up a second Hand of Sirius from the pedestal at the end.
Head back to the pool and then leave this area, returning once more to the main room with the multi-tiered structure in it. Time to place a couple of these Hands… except of course that the receptacles for them are currently underwater.
Swim back through the open gate on the South wall and push the floor lever there once more to drain the previous room. Make your way back up to the central structure where you placed the Cartouche. Just around the corner is a place where you can put your Hand of Orion. With that done, drop down to ground level and place the two Hands of Sirius in the receptacles either side of the large grey doors.
What happens? Absolutely nothing! The doors are still closed. Argh…
This had me scratching my head for a while. What you need to do is flood the area again, so back you go to push that floor lever once more. When you’ve done that, swim back into the main room and you’ll see that the large grey doors are now open.
Swim through the doors and climb out into the sunlight to end this fun and, in parts, devious little level.