THE GOLDEN SPHERE
Level by Brikas94
Walkthrough by Phil Lambeth
Lara begins by sliding down to the mouth of a trench leading into an ancient Egyptian structure. After the opening flyby, slide down the trench (you get a fixed camera angle on the way down, but I couldn't detect any holes in the ceiling that might have led to a secret or two). Pick up the small medipack in the NE corner and proceed E into the next room. Get the flares in the N alcove and activate the jump switch in the E face of the central pillar. A block rises behind you, so reverse roll and climb up onto the block. Pull up into the E crawl space, go around the corner and pick up the large medipack. Lower Lara down the other side and safety drop a long distance to the ledge below.
It probably doesn't matter which side you drop down from, because either way you're going to have a difficult jump to make. You need to get past the flame burner with a curved running jump and land between the blades in a spot where you won't be nicked. If you lose just a little health in the process, consider yourself fortunate. Now you need to navigate your way past the two spiked pillars. Once you're past them, a large block rises ahead and to your left to block your passage in that direction.
Proceed E and use the swing pole (a simple running jump and grab will do it) to get across the pit. Pick up the revolver ammo in the S alcove and climb down the long ladder to a sort of mezzanine. Hop over to the S ledge and safety drop from near the SE corner onto a stable ledge. You can't use the W floor lever yet, so take a running jump to the NE ledge and drop down to the N opening. Enter a maze of sorts. There's nothing to your immediate right but a snake. However, taking the path to your immediate left leads to the REVOLVER. Return to the opening and make your way N. As you do you'll alert another snake. When you reach the first intersection, go right and keep to your right until you reach a room with a panther and a snake. When you've dealt with them, side flip over the blade and use the pole (running jump and grab) to swing across the pit to an alcove with a switch. Pull down the switch to raise a block in the opposite corner, then climb the block next to you and use the monkey bars to get back across the pit. Side flip over the blade, and from the edge of the pit take a standing (not a running) jump to grab the pole. Swing across to the raised block and activate the jump switch in the wall to lower a block out in the corridor.
As before, use the monkey bars to get back across the pit. Exit this room and locate the new opening in the corridor. Go inside and push the floor lever, then go back through the maze to the previous intersection. Look in an alcove NW for some revolver ammo, then return to the S entrance. A block has been raised in the lava room, so pull up onto the ledge to your left and jump S to the sloping ledge. Jump from there to the raised block and step forward to push the floor lever. Jump back to the sloping ledge, pull up to the mezzanine, and go over to the W wall and climb the long ladder. Get back across the pit (you don't need the pole on the way back) and note that part of the raised W wall is now down. It won't stay that way if you wander too far to your left, however, so quickly take advantage of the opening and continue W.
Pause for the flares to your left, then jump across the pit and climb the ledges to a seeming dead end. However, when you turn around you can see a jump switch, so activate it to raise a block in the pit. Jump down to it and safety drop to the floor. Pick up the nearby small medipack and proceed N to a small room with a water hole. Jump into the water, make your way gingerly past two swinging blades, and emerge in a larger pool area. There's a place where you can pull out, but you're vexed by an annoying fixed camera angle that you can't break by pushing the look key. Face W and take a curved running jump to land on the E ledge. Face N and take a running jump and grab to the N ledge. Pull up and angle slightly to your right. Jump forward and grab the crack in the N wall. Shimmy to your right until you're able to pull up into the opening and restore camera control.
Step forward and take the SILVER SPHERE from the top of the obelisk between the two ram statues. You've now got a choice of three directions to take. Let's start with the left or W opening. When you step inside the threshold you activate a couple of spiked squishy pillars. Sprint past them and climb up onto the block in the passage. Step up to the edge of the lava pit and you may be able to alert and kill a snake from this side. Take a standing jump and grab the swingpole to get across the lava pit. As soon as you land on the other side, quickly hop forward to avoid a falling boulder. Kill the snake if you didn't do so earlier, and pull the wall switch in the S alcove to raise a tall block elsewhere. Walk down to the edge of the lava pit, and this time you need to take a running jump to grab the swingpole and get back across the lava pit.
Time another mad dash past the squishy pillars and return to the hub room. Enter the N opening and face a deep pit. You can get down and explore, and get back up again via the block, but there's no apparent way to get across to the other side. Return to the hub room and take the E opening. Jump into the water and swim down for some flares. Follow the E passage and swim up the long shaft past a swinging blade. Pull out at the top into a room with a central pool and note the raised block that you saw in the earlier cut scene. It's too tall to scale, however, so go to the N side room and shoot a couple of snakes that are crawling around below. What appears to be a floor lever on the other side is really a disguised mummy. The nearby wall switch is protected by flames. One of the blocks NW can be moved, so pull it back twice onto the ornate tile. This causes the other block in the NW corner to lower. Go there and pull down the revealed (and timed) wall switch to extinguish the NE flames for a few seconds. Reverse roll, take a running jump over the ledge and pull down the companion wall switch to raise a block on the ledge. Quickly hop back and get on the raised block. Use it to activate the jump switch high in the W wall.
Return to the pool room and jump into the W water hole to find a revealed passage just above the swinging blade. Enter and pull the underwater lever to raise another block in the room with the jump switch. Go back there, turn left just inside the entrance and find a moveable block in the SW corner. Pull it back three times, then jump around it and go to the alcove where it rested. Pull down the wall switch to raise a third block, then push the moveable block N across the makeshift bridge (you can hang from the bridge and shimmy past the block to save time) and onto the ornate tile E. Return to the pool room and find that the S door is now open. Enter a well-designed Inca room and locate a small medipack in a hole next to the S wall. Use one of the corner blocks to take a slightly angled running jump and grab to the N ledge. Pull up, turn around and find the jump switch in the S wall. Go over there and activate it.
Pull out and use one of the corner blocks to get back to the ledge. Jump to the raised NW pillar and use the crack in the N wall to shimmy right and pull up into the NE opening. Pull down the wall switch to raise a block in the pool room. Go there, climb up onto the newly raised block and jump SE to the taller block that you raised earlier. Place your Silver Sphere in the receptacle to flood the room featuring the deep pit that you visited previously. Get down and jump into the W water hole. Swim down past the swinging blade and return to the hub room. Go to the flooded pit and swim N to the other side. Pull out and step forward to trigger a long flyby through the next room, which is extremely tall and partially filled with water. When camera control is restored you'll note that the doorway behind you is now closed off.
There's nothing to do on the present row of ledges. You can access the next lower row of ledges by using the hop-back-and-glide technique, but you'll find there's nothing to do there, either. Therefore, jump into the water and swim all the way to the bottom. There's an underwater lever in the E face of the central obelisk that's obscured by a plant. Pull it to lower a block against the W face of the obelisk. Swim around to the other side (noting the two wall switches on the S face for later) to find another underwater lever revealed by the lowered block. Pull it and surface to find that you've raised the level of the water so that it's now above the first row of ledges. This in turn gives you access to underwater doors in two of the corners just above the ledges, so swim over and open the SW one first (there's a barrier beyond the NE one).
Swim inside and enter an underwater maze of sorts. Turn left into the first alcove for a small medipack. Flip turn and pull the underwater lever in the opposite (E) alcove. Continue S into the maze and turn left at the next intersection. Swim around the central block in the next room and open the door in the W wall. Swim forward and pull the underwater lever on the other side of the central block. This opens a door NE, so swim there and surface for air. Enter a small cave and pull down the wall switch to lower an underwater block elsewhere. Go back the way you came and return to the obelisk pool. Get a breath of air and open the NE door if you didn't do so earlier. The barrier I mentioned before has been removed, and when you swim into the passage you trigger another impressive flyby through the area you're about to explore. Swim forward and up the shaft, and surface.
Your first order of business is to clear the area of snakes. There's one in each of the four corners of this room, so pull out somewhere and start firing away. When you're free of slithering distractions, go to the NE corner and stand facing S. There's a series of four swing poles you need to navigate in quick succession, and the way I found to do it reliably is to stand at the S edge, hop back once, take one step forward, and from there take a standing jump to the first pole. You should be able to grab all four without incident, and swing off the last one to land on the higher S ledge. Turn right and run halfway down the ledge W, then turn right and jump to the ramp leading up the central structure. Walk as far as you can, hop to the top and take the GOLDEN SPHERE. You may experience a freeze of a few seconds, and you may have to press the action key again before Lara's pick-up animation kicks in. A slight earthquake ensues, and when it's over you'll see that the entire area has been drained.
You now need to get down, so get over to the N side and safety drop to the ramp below. Jump down to a corner block, and you should be able to see the ladder in the N face of the shaft below. There's a flat surface directly above it, so safety drop to it and climb down the ladder. Go through the passage and hop down to the top of a pillar next to the nearest obelisk. Safety drop from there to the floor and go to the S side of the large central obelisk. Pull down both wall switches that you noted earlier while the place was flooded. The switch on the left lowers a block back in the Golden Sphere room, the switch on the right raises a block next to you. Use this block and the swing pole to reach the top of the pillar from which you dropped down. This is much easier said than done, and it's likely to take you a number of tries. Here's the way that I found worked best: Stand at the SE corner of the raised block, facing the swing pole, and turn slightly to your right. Take a standing jump and grab the swing pole. Land without attempting to grab at the SE corner of the tall pillar. This requires pixel perfection, so be sure to save your game as soon as you land successfully.
Jump up E to the ledge and follow the passage back to the shaft leading to the Golden Sphere room. Climb the N ladder and turn around to face S when you pull out. Jump up to grab the vine-covered wall above. Climb up until you reach the wide band near the top, then take a rolling back flip to grab the ladder behind you. Climb down a bit if necessary and shift right until you're able to pull up onto the platform. Jump to the outer ledge and make your way around to the NE corner. Use the four swing poles to get up to the higher ledge S, then run around to the N side where you lowered the block earlier.
Make your way past the first moving spiked column, then the next one, and run down the ramp to the edge of a slope where once again you experience a most annoying fixed camera angle. Save your game, then slide down the slope and jump at the right time to grab the swing pole. Land safely inside a small room and hop forward to avoid the falling boulder. Save your game again and side flip over the W blade trap. This activates another sliding spiked pillar, and you have to take a running jump past it to grab another swing pole W. Grab the ledge and pull up (no falling boulders this time) and take a standing jump onto the sloped pillar in the lava pool. Slide down ever so slightly and jump off to grab the ledge. Pull up and run forward through the W opening. Simply duck under the blade trap and pull up right in the far corner. Hop down into the corridor and come to a sliding spiked pillar room that's seemingly worse than anything you've thus far encountered.
It's actually not that hard to get past, although I may have been the beneficiary of blind luck. You have to run forward and jump to grab the W edge of the ledge. If you get that far, you're safe and can take your time pulling up. Pause for the flares, then run up the N ramp while a torch ignites to give you some extra light. You also hear some enigmatic music, and sure enough, when you run S up the third ramp you encounter a panther, then a couple of snakes, until finally you reach an opening where you pull up into a dark temple area. There's a wall switch behind the small obelisk in the first alcove to your left. Pull it and go to the end of the E passage. Hop up into the dark SE alcove and find another wall switch there to pull. Go back and hop onto the SW block next to one of the blue-tinted pillars. Look up to see a small obelisk statue. You can take an angled standing jump and grab the higher ledge on which it sits. Pull up and hop down the other side to find a third wall switch. Get back out the same way, with an angled standing jump and grab, and go to the companion NW block. Get up to the ledge with the small obelisk and you'll find the fourth wall switch right there. When you pull it down a pillar is raised E.
Get into either alcove behind the two supporting pillars and take a curved running jump and grab to the top of the raised pillar. Pull up and get into the E crawl space. As you crawl forward you get another one of those annoying fixed camera angles, but no danger appears to be lurking below. Run down the ramp and go up NE past the blade traps, where you encounter yet another fixed camera angle. This one is not so annoying, however. Climb up the blocks toward the blue sky and the level ends.