The Golden Christmas Tree – LB Advent Calendar 2011
Level by Raidermatty
Walkthrough by dmdibl (David Dibble)
The Floating Castle – 2 secrets
Inside the Castle – 1 secret
The Church – 3 secrets
Lara will be moving between the first two levels. The level author warns that if Lara leaves a torch behind it will have disappeared when she returns to a level, so she should keep the torch with her during level jumps. This walkthrough is constructed to minimize such problems. Enjoy the wonderful Christmas scenery.
Tour the Castle
Start with a flyby and music in The Floating Castle. Lara goes right (N) to pick up flares shown in the flyby, left of a little stand against the north wall. Run and slide down into a west center area to give a nod to Kriss Kringle. Jump up to a west doorway and the level changes to Inside the Castle.
Use a switch on the right to open a gate, and enter. Lara can only tour these initial areas. Ahead is a gate which requires two artifacts (much later), to the right (N) is a library where Lara can browse. Then go left (S) into a grand hall. To either side, east and west, are large windows, and Lara shouldn't try to climb into them as she will be trapped with no way to get back out. So even though it is tempting to climb up into these side areas, don't. In the center east there is a trapdoor in the floor.
Continue up south stairs, go to either left or right to reach an area with a center section barred by large candy canes. Around the outside of this area there are four gates, and these are what Lara wants to concentrate on now. In the NE corner there is a push block—next to it is what looks like a trigger tile, matched by another on the opposite side of the north gate, but those tiles are a false assumption, so leave the push block alone for now. Go to the south end, and throw both floor levers. Gates open here on the west and east side.
Candy Cane Area—East Gates (left)
Find the open east gate, go in, climb up, then left to crawl through. Lara comes out by a white plant, and above it is a jump switch in a ceiling hole, which Lara will soon get to. Go north, run jump/grab over a pit. Go into a passage ahead, roll at the end, jump to grab a ladder. At the top go south to jump a first pit, find the second pit with that jump switch, drop back to use it. After falling below, Lara has to repeat everything to get back up top to that small pit. This time a south door beyond it is open.
Go inside and right, and run to the SW room corner to examine a small plant, take Blue Crystal from it. Exit the house, just drop down in the jump switch hole, take the SE passage and crawl back out.
Candy Cane Area—East Gates (right)
Back in the candy cane area, make a left (S) and use the Blue Crystal to open the next door gate (both east gates now open). Go in, make a right, to level jump to The Floating Castle. (The level jump is really only important if Lara has a torch, as she would need to carry it.) Go to the middle of this room and see that there is a ceiling trapdoor, and on the wall near it is a keyhole. Next to the keyhole are wrapped gifts. Jump over them to east side, turn around and examine a gift to find Library Key on floor.
Exit the room (level jump) and make a right into a wall. The silver colored carved stone in the corner is climbable, take it to the top, get off on the left side. Follow the passage left, right, left, right to a peaked roof attic. Look down to see that this is above the grand hall. At the north end of the attic throw a switch. A door opens that Lara saw back near the ladder.
Go back, up a slope, and make a left into a room. Pick up flares NW. Get a Silver Sphere NE; Lara needs to climb over a box to get it. That is everything, so return down the ladder to the candy cane area.
Opposite Wing—The Library
Now for a change Lara can go north back to the grand hall, through it to a shallow pool at the main entrance, and into the library.
At the library entrance take a passage on the right and go back (N) to a chair, turn right, and see a climbable stone wall. Jump up and grab, let Lara bring her feet up, then back flip. Next side flip left over the north railing. Go to the middle of this north walkway, turn left and spot flares in a bookcase opening. Jump to pick up flares. Continue to run jump forward, angling left for the top of a bookcase. Turn left (E), jump to grab, and pull up higher. To see where Lara is going, turn left (N) and across the room spot a door with a keyhole to its left.
Run jump over the railing, get over to that keyhole, use the library key. (Level jump to The Floating Castle.) There is nothing to do in this room. Look out the windows and see that Santa is still waiting for his last errant reindeer. Across the way is a wing of the castle where Lara found the key. Use the opening near the door to make a jump outside to an angel in the NW corner. Turn and jump down the line of balconies to a second, and then a third angel. Jump to the next balcony and pick up Forbidden Section Key.
Jump back down the line of balconies to the angel in the NW corner. Lara could jump back into the room, but I could never find a way to get its gate open. So in the corner, hang and drop to the snow below. Slide down to Santa, jump up into the west door to the castle (Inside the Castle).
Candy Cane Area—West Gates (right), Torch
Run to the shallow pool ahead. The library is to the right, but at this point Lara needs a torch. So go south through the grand hall, up the stairs, take the right passage, continue along to the right to come to the open west gate in the candy cane area. Go in, take a passage to a dining table. To the right is one of those “windows,” in the north window frame find a button to push. The door on the other side of this room opens.
Directly inside the door is a low push block. Pull it back once. Get to the side of the block, and pull and push it north into a corner. Climb on the block, turn left, jump and pull up into a room above. There is a closed gate here. On the ledge next to a moving chain there are three branches of holly. Grab one to use as a torch. Drop down, get out of these rooms and passage, back to the candy cane area. Drop the branch in front of the entrance.
In the NE of the candy cane area, find a low push block. Pull it back south four times. Look right (E), and see a high wall torch—aha! So pull and push the block east so that it is under the wall torch. Go get the holly branch and bring it back here, get on the push block to light your torch. Remember that it is a wise archaeologist who always knows where her torch is.
Hop down. Go out and north to the top of the stairs of the grand hall. Light the two candles at the top of the stairs. Hear a trapdoor fall open. Drop the torch between the candles.
The Crypts—Golden Sphere
Go into the middle of the grand hall, on the right (E) side, and climb down at a trapdoor. At the bottom, Lara can go south to look around, but then she returns to go east to a pool.
Cross the pool by jumping to two pillars and then to the other side (there is nothing in the water). Continue on, through a triangular opening, around a corner to climb up at a checkered block. Go right and climb carved stone. Use the switch, a gate opens, so Lara can now drop down and enter the crypts.
Look about in the middle of the crypt. As you can see there are gated areas NW-SW-NE-SE, all of which involve timed runs, so save the game, although none of this is difficult (in order to lull Lara into a false sense of security). Go to the west small door and use a switch. Run to the NW open gate nearby, don't worry if the gate closes behind Lara. A timed switch west is up in an alcove, and a trigger tile is on the floor to its left, necessary to re-open the gate here. Lara uses the timed switch, rolls and runs out so that she lands on the trigger tile, then runs out the open gate and diagonally across to the open gate SE. Everything looks the same here, timed switch, similarly positioned trigger tile. So repeat, and run out and left to the open gate SW. Again a similarly placed timed switch and trigger tile, and this time Lara will run diagonally across to the NE. For this last run the trigger tile is placed along the fence. But again use the timed switch, hit the trigger tile, and make a run for the small west door.
Once through the door, pull up. Use a floor lever to the left, which opens a nearby gate to the right (N). Go out and jump onto a box at the west wall. Turn around, make a running jump/grab to an east ledge. Use a switch in an alcove, drop down to the ground, and collect Golden Sphere. Go north, climb a block, then ladder, to get back up into the grand hall.
Candy Cane Area—West Gates (right), Open Icicle Door
Go south to the lit candles and retrieve the torch. Continue south to the candy cane area, go in the open west gate, inside to a dining table, and light wood in a fireplace in the end wall. Hear a gate open. Drop the torch here by the table. Go into the little west room, and climb up to a room above, to find that this gate is now open. Go in and place the golden sphere, so that the next gate opens.
Immediately inside this next gate, Lara turns left and pulls up into a crawlspace. Turn left, and back out of the crawlspace into a room. Climb a block and climb up higher west. Lara wants to get on a monkey swing north. At the end of the platform slide down a slope, jump to grab the monkey swing, follow it around a corner, at the end drop down to the floor near a hanging rope. Lara can jump up to grab the rope, swing eastward, but angle right for the end of a wooden platform there. This should be easy, as she will sort of go up through the platform, then just release the rope to land on the wood. Go to the other end of the platform to use a button. The icicles open up by the fire down below.
Quest for Yellow Crystal
Drop down, return to that dining table area, and get through the icicle opening. In the next room, push shields in the left and right corner of west wall, on either side of stairs. Go down the stairs and to an icy room at the end. Standing by the doorway, turn right (N) and make a running jump into a corner. Turn left (W), and set up for a short-takeoff jump by walking forward until Lara stops, then backing up about a half tile, and making a short-takeoff jump across to the far corner. (Short-takeoff jump: Hold down the Shift Key while Lara starts to take a step forward, then release Shift Key and immediately press Alt, jump.)
Turn right, jump up to grab a crack, shimmy around the corner and to the end. Turn around, go across tile, jump up to grab the opposite crack. If Lara won't grab, then move to the right and try a jump/grab there. Shimmy right until Lara can pull up into a crawlspace, go through, until Lara can stand in the next room. Turn left (N). Lara walks down, then jumps up near the far wall. Turn right and make a running jump across the water.
Go to the right (S) end of this ledge, drop off backwards to hang, then drop to grab a jump switch. A camera shows an explosion to the right of a clock, and a yellow crystal in an alcove in the room with shields Lara pushed. In the water swim back to a corner to get flares. Swim to the middle west, use a slope there to pull up and back flip to a ledge. Turn around, pull up higher. See a crawlspace ahead. It is a lot quicker if Lara just exits here, so back up, take a run at the crawlspace and at the last moment press crouch. Lara should end up crouching in the crawlspace.
Crawl out forward onto banked snow on the left. Go left and up stairs. Look left for an alcove, pull up to get Yellow Crystal. Get out opposite, through an opening where the icicles were. Pick up the torch from where Lara left it by the table. Run out of this room and passage back to the candy cane area.
The Forbidden Library Maze: First Ancient Stone
Lara has a choice here. She can go right to open up the last western gate, and will ultimately lose the torch, and need to get another one. Getting another torch isn't a big deal. But instead Lara turns left, and goes to the grand hall. Cross it, up the stairs to a shallow pool, and into the entrance to the library. Go to the left corner, then right to a keyhole in the center west wall. Drop the torch, use the key, the gate opens to the forbidden library. Retrieve torch.
This can be a confusing maze, but to keep from getting turned around and repeating portions, Lara can always go to the right.
Always keeping to the right will give this results. Corner desk, right around corner, light a candle (1). Lara jumps back from the candle. Sometimes I had to save the game, then reload it to break the camera shot, although sometimes the Look Key will work. Right again, see bars, and an Ancient Stone inside. See desk, right around corner, light candle (2). See books and table blocking an alcove, squeeze past them for Secret #1, flares. See books and table two more times, at desk light a candle (3). Keep going right. Lara retraces path, lots of confusing dead-end alcoves, light a candle (4). Keep going right. See desk, around corner light a candle (5). See a gate rising on the Ancient Stone.
There is no good way to get back there. From the candle turn around, keep following the right wall, and soon Lara will be back at the entrance to the maze. This happens fairly quickly, so be sure you notice the open gate, or Lara will wander out into the outer portions of the library. The easiest route now is to start over again, keep going around to the right. See lighted candle. Keep a sharp eye to see the raised gate, and an artifact on the red carpet. Pick up Ancient Stone. Turn around and retrace route, keeping to left wall, to return to the entrance of the maze.
Go right to exit the library south. Go south through the grand hall, up the stairs, take the right passage, in the candy cane area go past the open west gate, and stop at the farthest west gate. Drop the torch, use the yellow crystal to open the gate.
Candy Cane Area—West Gates (left)
Carry the torch inside, and the level changes (The Floating Castle). Pass interesting scenery and a gate, make a right, go north and take narrow stairs on the left. Go up to a room, set fire to a pile of sticks in SE corner. A block goes down in the SW corner, next to a vertical light beam. Lara can hop over there for Secret #2, flares. Next to the light beam, push out a small block, then push it aside north to get it out of the way. Now pull out the object in the NE corner, move it into the light beam, onto a solid black circle. Get a camera shot of gates. Those are the gates Lara just ran past on the high balcony walkway. One more object is needed to trigger those gates to open.
To Open Balcony Gates—torch task (1)
Take the torch and go downstairs, at the bottom go a few steps and drop the torch near the closed gate on the right. Go back a few steps north. Don't go up the stairs, but go right to climb a carved wall. At the top of the ladder go a few steps forward, then go right to an area with a broken railing ahead. At the broken railing pull out a low block on the left. Get to where the block was, crawl into a triangular opening, carefully crawl down the ramp to get a box of chocolates, Secret #3, large medipack. Crawl back out. Pull the low block to the east four times, where it is needed.
Hang and drop at the broken railing. Then drop down where the lamp is, at the bottom of the ramp stairs. Take the passage out, use the button on the right to open gate. Retrieve the torch that should be just outside. Carry it up the ramp stairs, make a left and stop. Turn and stand jump higher across the gap. For this Lara needs to be against a railing on the left, to give her sufficient headroom, and she jumps diagonally across to a low point on the right. Then jump up higher, get into the NW corner. From here make a diagonal running jump up through the broken railing.
Carry the torch into the next room and light a candle. The block goes down at a vertical light beam. Take the torch to the ladder at the north end of this room, and drop torch so that it lands safely below.
To Open Balcony Gates—push puzzle (2)
Now Lara needs to move low blocks. She already moved the block from the top of the ramp stairs, so take this and put it at the top of the ladder, pushing it into the gap between blocks there. Take another low block and move it against the one that Lara just moved. Take the third low block and move it against the second block, so that the three blocks are touching in a straight line outward from the ladder. Now take the higher block in the NE corner, and move it so that it on top the third block. That is, pull the NE block back once, then move it down the line of low blocks that Lara placed, and onto the third or south one.
Go to the south wall and pull the switch on the left side. A raising block goes up. Move the object from the east window onto the raising block. That is, pull the object north once. Now it becomes clear why Lara moved all those boxes. It is only possible to pull the object outward, and for that Lara needs a high box to stand on. Pull the object onto the raising block. Go to the SE switch, and this time return it to the up position. The block and object are lowered to the floor.
Now simply move the object into the vertical light beam. Lara can move the object to the middle of the back south wall. Then she can push it into the light beam. It was only the window grill that interfered with Lara pushing the object outward, but a box or wall allows Lara to squeeze in and push the object forward. When the object is in the light beam a camera shows gates opening on the high balcony below.
Go out, left to the stair ramps, and descend them as before. Drop down by a lamp, go out a passage and gate, and look left. The burning torch should be there. Leave it as it is no longer needed. Go south, then left to dull red carpet and open balcony gates.
Light Beams and Mirrors
Go inside north, either left or right side, keep going north to a hole in the floor. Descend a long ladder, go out to a mirror puzzle. Some of the tiles on the floor are different, and it appears mirrors go on these. One mirror in the SE is already correctly positioned. The mirror next to it is not on a proper tile, so push it three times west to its correct placement. The mirror in the north needs to be moved two times farther north, to a proper tile.
Now go out the west opening from this room. Go left, climb up, jump a gap, and jump to an opening in the NE. Follow to a room with table and chairs. At the opposite end of the table, push a wall button. Retrace passage route, jump back to high platform, to find that the center east gate is now open. Jump into that opening, and use a switch on the right. One light beam is activated. Get down to the ground.
Go out the east doorway from the mirror room. Climb up, use a switch, a second light beam is activated. Get down to the ground.
Go out the north doorway from the mirror room. Find a tree and presents on the ground. It is too high to climb up left (W). Go through east, and to the right to climb up two blocks, throw a switch. The gate in this room opens, freeing a low push block. Get down. Lara want to pull this block out, move it to the room with a Christmas tree, and push it against the west wall to be able to reach a ledge. So pull the block out twice, then move it to the side, then push it into the doorway.
Now Lara has a problem: she can't get out. The resolution seems buggy. Lara has to stand against the left corner of the block while she is facing NE, and side flip through that corner into the room beyond. I had Lara stand with her left side touching the block, and tried various angles around forty-five degrees, until one of them worked. Flip through the block, avoid hitting the wall. Now pull the block into the room, and push it against the west wall. Climb on the block and pull up higher. Use a wall switch at the high opening.
The third light beam is activated. A large bell rings, a gate near it opens, and Lara is treated to inspiring music. Get to the ground. Go south out of the mirror room, and climb a long ladder.
Floating Islands: Bell Tower
Go out of the next room to a high balcony, go right, and find that at the corner a candy cane gate opened on the left. Go south up a red carpeted stairway, make a left to look out at floating blocks and islands.
Don't jump to a high ladder ahead. Instead take a running jump to the island below—aim for a tree as the ground is higher there. Jump to a south block, get up to its highest point, turn and look at the castle from the direction Lara came. There is an opening directly west.
To get there Lara can't make a straight jump. She will need to back up as far as possible, turn somewhat NW, and make a run on a diagonal, curving left to aim for that opening. This can seem hard because Lara can make a jump from down the slope, but then she can't grab the opening anyway, because she doesn't have the height. The trick is that bit about: She will need to back up as far as possible. Turn Lara to the side and delicately edge her into the triangle apex, to get just a little more running room. Once I had done that Lara immediately made the jump.
Pull up at the castle. Go in, loop around left to find a window alcove south. Drop down, throw a floor lever, see a gate open on the opposite side of the floating islands. Climb out of the window alcove, go left into a triangular opening. Take a passage, throw a switch at the end to open door, and Lara is back at the main corridor. Again go up a red carpeted stairway right (S), make a left to reach a high opening.
Floating Islands: Across
This time make a running jump/grab to a ladder on the side of a floating block. Climb up to its top. Do a running jump/grab to the middle block. On this one, move to the right, and take a running jump/grab to the last block. Go forward and look down. There is an opening in the castle, although it looks a ways down. Hop back, run off the block, and hit Ctrl. Lara lands in that opening. Run forward and soon there is a level jump (Inside the Castle). Lara has lost the torch, but it doesn't matter. Turn the corner left and pick up Roof Key.
Out of the Crypts
Drop down to a lower passage in front and go north. Lara comes out where she has been before (golden sphere area). Get across the water, in this case Lara can jump toward the middle pillar, land on a low platform, pull up to the middle pillar, and jump across. Go most of the way west, climb up on a block, and jump up to a ladder, climb to the grand hall. Go left (S) up the stairs, and take the left passage to the candy cane area. Run down to the farther gate on the east side, the one opened by a blue crystal.
Candy Cane Area Resolved
Enter here, and make a right, for a level jump. Lara was here before and noted a ceiling trapdoor, and a keyhole in the middle of the room. Use the roof key here, and the trapdoor falls open. Get on an adjacent block, face west, jump up and climb a ladder. At the top pick up Silver Sphere. Get down. Run out the door and left.
At the candy cane enclosure Lara goes to the right, then left to the north gate. Place two silver spheres here, and the gate goes up. Go to the back of the enclosure and pick up Ancient Stone. Lara now has two of them. Go out north, left or right, to return to the grand hall. Cross it, mount stairs up to a shallow pool, and here on the left, on pillars on either side of the west gate, are receptacles for Ancient Stones. Place the stones, the west gate opens, Lara runs through into—
Pull up into a crawlspace either left or right. These prevent Lara from bringing a torch into this next level. Go through, get out, turn around to discover a lovely big room with a Christmas tree in its center, and various closed doors here and above. Go up the stairs. At the landing, it is once again tempting to pull up into a “window”—especially if you see a key inside—but Lara would be trapped. So treat the opening as if is were a real glass window.
Go up left (S), and all the way down the upper area to the end, check inside the pillars at the railing. Push in a shield.
Look across the open room to the railing and pillars on the other side, so go across to the north side, at its end also push in a shield. Go back down the stairs to find that several doors have opened. Two don't matter at the moment. Go in the SE door to find that there is a burning fire in a bedroom. Go in the door on the north wall, left, and find a keyhole that will be used much later. Go back to the big room and take the opened door to the right of the stairs (W).
Dual Push Puzzle
Get to a snowy area and run along past a snowman, and into an arched doorway south. Here are switches, raising blocks, and push objects to consider. If Lara climbs up to the east or west raised area she will find that south ceiling tiles are different, marking the spot.
Start with the pushable object on the east side, and move it all the way to the north. Use the nearby east wall lever. A block lowers, so push the object onto it. Reset the same switch to the up position. Turn right and pull up to the raised block, and push the object south once. Drop down, use the same switch a third time. Now the object as been raised to the height of the platforms, but Lara can no longer reach it. Go across to the west side, pull up there, and use two angel pillars in the middle of the room to jump across to the east. Now move the object all the way south, to where the ceiling texture is different. Here (hear) a door opens straight north. If Lara rolls she can run and jump to it. If she misses, use the wall switch where she fell, the block raises so she can pull up to jump into the north alcove. Push in the shield.
Now repeat everything in exact counterpart on the west side. Push the object north, use the west switch to adjust the blocks three times, raise the object up all the way, go east to use two angel pillars to jump back west, push the object south, a similar door opens in the north, and Lara pushes in a second shield.
The gate in the south lifts up. Go inside and climb a long ladder, get off on the right side. Go north, and in a room with wrapped gifts, take note of a high crawlspace NE. The end of the crawlspace is currently blocked by an overhead trapdoor. Continue north, and on a balcony use a switch: side gates open below. Put Lara's back to the switch, and look across NW, using binoculars if necessary. In the center of view should be a box of chocolates on a peaked roof, a secret for later. For that matter, Lara can also use binoculars to examine a barren tree, which partially conceals a jump switch—good to know.
Getting Up The Tower
Go back to the ladder and down, run out north. Outside in the snow turn left, go into the open gate. Notice an unlit candle before the barrels—sort of makes you wish Lara still had the torch. At the end of a row of barrels use a floor lever. Come back out, and go left (N) past the snowman, at the end find a similar open gate. Here, too, go to the end and use a floor lever. Come out, go right, and now find that the center gate has opened.
Go inside, take note of the raised block just inside the gate. Go forward, take a running jump/grab to the left of oversized icicles. On this back ledge turn around and see a ladder overhead. Lara may have trouble jumping straight up to grab it; in that case back off and make a standing jump to it. Climb up, jump over the hole in the floor, and go out to a snow swept walkway.
All of this looks intriguing, but there is only one way to proceed. Go to the south end of the walkway, where Lara has to get above to the south roof. This means using the raised block on the left, the raised portion that is south of the angel. Get up there, stand at the back right corner, angle slightly right to make a standing jump up to grab the roof edge. For some reason this is a difficult jump. Lara's feet will be against a raised gate, but this doesn't seem to make any difference. Some players have trouble. All I can suggest is pressing Ctrl at the last moment to grab. That means Lara has to be back as far as possible or she will hit the wall. Instead of trying to grab at the utmost left roof edge, try to angle Lara a little right. And wait to hit Ctrl.
When Lara grabs pull up to the roof, and save the game. Go to the pillar that sticks out on the left, and climb it (west side). Turn around and jump over to the roof with the push object. Get between it and the west wall, and push the object to the edge, and over the edge to let it fall on the walkway below. Lara will fall down after it. Push the object south all the way to the wood door. Now look up at the ceiling, notice the different textured tile. So push the object to the right once, next to the other wooden door, and under that ceiling tile.
The gate on the right opens. Pull out a short push block twice. Push it west into the space against the wall. Climb on the block, turn left to jump and pull up above. Run down the corridor past two knights, near the end see what looks like a raising block in the east wall (a major secret).
Continue, and come out at a high point with a floating island ahead. Earlier, when Lara was at a lower switch, she used binoculars and spotted a jump switch behind a barren tree, the tree that is at the right corner ahead. Also look down left N-NE, to a lower balcony. There is a crawlspace above that balcony.
Jump to the floating island. Go around the right corner, against the wall by that barren tree, and jump up to grab a jump switch. The door opens at the corner. If Lara goes inside she will find an old-fashioned record player which seems to need a vinyl disk. Come back out the door, look down west to see a box of chocolate on a peaked roof, which Lara also spotted earlier with the binoculars.
Lara can run off the edge, with Ctrl pressed, and land at the box of chocolates for Secret #4, large medipack. Go to the peak of the roof here—Lara's feet have to be evenly spaced on either side of the peak, so that she is at the highest point. Make a standing jump back to the floating island, grab the edge, and pull up. Go left to look down at the north balcony. Make a running jump/grab for it, Lara will bounce at the crawlspace and fall unharmed onto the balcony. Jump up to grab the crawlspace, pull into it and go through.
The High Church
After Lara gets out, go east and west to find alcoves with a winged angel texture. Go into the church. Beside the altar there is a sloped block, and above that is a ceiling trapdoor. Go to the north side. There is a door to open here, but to the east and west of this door, at the corridor ends, are two more of those winged angel alcoves. The four alcoves will soon have a point. For now go through the door.
Take a left corner, open the first door on the left. Go inside and push a button in an alcove to the right of the bed. Go out, and continue along the corridor to open the next door on the left. In this room drop into a hole in the floor. Take a crawlspace to the end, and where Lara pulls out pick up nearby flares. In the east, throw a switch.
Return through the crawlspace, pull out of the hole in the floor. Exit this room, right along the corridor and left (N) into a room with a piano. Inside the door, on the right, is a puzzle object. The crawlspace is too low for Lara, so move along that east wall to where the crawlspace is higher. Pull up there, crawl down the slope to get Ruby Cube, crawl back up the slope, and back out of the higher crawlspace.
The Church Ghost
Go out of this room and west down the corridor to a closed door, place the Ruby Cube on the left. Save the game, as the ghost can be tricky. In this room go around to a tomb to throw a floor lever. See a camera shot of a ghost back in the church. (The level author warns not to save the game after using the floor lever, as reloading will mess up ghost dynamics. Wait until the ghost puzzle is complete before saving.)
Lara is supposed to run back to the church to get the ghost's attention, then lead the ghost to each of the four corner alcoves with a winged angel texture. Just step briefly into an alcove, not too deeply, the ghost will go in. Lead the ghost to the next alcove.
The first time I tried this things went as described above. The second time the ghost kept running into pillars and getting stuck, or would go into an alcove and refuse to come out. Here is what seemed to resolve those issues (compass directions are taken as though Lara is standing in the middle of the church). Be quick. Lara runs toward the altar, rolls, and goes back north. Go to the NE alcove, just step into it. See that the ghost is coming, and run to touch the NW alcove. Don't go deeply into it, and don't tarry once the ghost is arriving. Run to the SW alcove, then to the SE alcove. There Lara had to wait for the ghost to arrive, and it can be pushy. Lara moved back toward the SE alcove, so the ghost brushed into it, and with the fourth alcove triggered the trapdoor over the altar opens. (It is now all right to make a save game.)
Actually, for this attempt, Lara couldn't get rid of the ghost. Lara went to the sloped block beside the altar, and the ghost quickly moved in to stand at its highest peak, so that Lara couldn't jump upward. If necessary lead the ghost around deep into an alcove where eventually it will get stuck. Then use the peak of the block next to the altar to pull up where the ceiling trapdoor opened. Go pick up a vinyl record, Mountain Song. You know where this goes, in that floating island cabin.
Floating Island Serenade
Get down, return to the original crawlspace church entrance, and out to the balcony. At the balcony, take a running jump SW to a sloped roof, bounce off the edge and down to the walkway. Now go south, and have to repeat that jump up to the south roof. It is much easier if Lara uses Ctrl at the last moment. Pull up on the roof, go south, then around the right corner, get onto the short push block to climb up.
Take the corridor, come out by the floating island cabin and jump across. Enter the cabin by the open door, go left (N) to stand in front of a record player. Use Ctrl to place and play “Mountain Song.” Get a camera of a trapdoor falling open. Near the start of this level Lara pushed east and west objects, opened a south gate, and climbed a long ladder. She came to a room with presents (on her way to throw a balcony switch), and there was a NE crawlspace whose end was blocked by an overhead trapdoor. That is the trapdoor that fell open.
(1) Easy Option, No Secret
If Lara wants to ignore the next secret she can exit the cabin, and get down by various routes. She can do a running jump/grab to the north balcony. Then take a running jump SW to a sloped roof, bounce off the edge and down to a walkway. Lara can drop over the edge into water, or fall on top of a silver plant, to get down to the ground. Skip the next three paragraphs, skip to: Finally Getting a Key.
(2) Hard Option, Blue Swan Secret
Lara goes for a secret. Walk out of the cabin, to the south of the floating island, stand by a barren tree. Look up right (W) to a blue crystal swan on the rooftop. Lara needs to shoot the swan for a secret. Aiming for the swan and back flipping with pistols firing won't work. Instead Lara walks to the SE corner of this floating island. There is a sloped roof ahead to the east. Draw pistols. Take a running jump to that east roof, bounce off the roof with twist, pistols blazing, and try to hit the swan on top the opposite roof. Lara will fall down into a water hole at ground level, so at least this is a fast way down.
Shooting the swan is not a problem; Lara did it on the first attempt. But then she fell short of the water hole and was killed. In ten tries Lara hit the swan three times, and every time she fell short of the water hole. Hold Ctrl down to extend the distant that the Lara goes, and keep the forward arrow key pressed as she falls. Lara needs to hit the east roof a little lower down, and then she will make the water hole, but then it becomes very difficult to hit the swan. There is a very fine line between jumping too high on the roof (shoot swan, die in fall) and jumping too low (miss swan, fall in water hole).
After fifty or more attempts Lara shoots the swan and falls into the water hole. Now to climb all the way back up toward the floating island. Get out of the water, go into the middle gate here. Take a running jump left of the big icicles, climb ladder, jump over the hole above, go right on walkway, and once more make that jump up to the south roof. Circle around right, climb up into the corridor, run by two suits of armor....and stop. A block has gone down here on the right, and Lara picks up a box of chocolates for Secret #5, large medipack. Now get back down to the lower walkway, and drop over the edge into a water hole, climb out.
Finally Getting a Key
With Lara on the ground by the snowman, run to the south end, under the open gate. At the wall take the ladder up and get off to the right. Go down the corridor to where wrapped gifts are, pull up into a high NE crawlspace. At the end get out of the hole, throw a switch on a north wall. A gate goes up.
Get out the way Lara came: crawlspace, corridor, ladder down, run north to the snowman. Take the middle gate. Jump left of the icicles, climb up, jump over the hole to go out to the walkway. Go right (S) and climb up beside the south angel. Take a running jump across (no grab) to where the gate opened. On the left side pick up Little Key. Drop down, or jump into water hole and pull out. Go north to the end, take a doorway back to the start of this level.
Difficult Timed Swim and Run
In the Christmas tree room, go to the SW corner, left of the stairs, and use the Little Key. Enter, go down a ramp to a water area. Go to the water, turn, and notice that a central pillar has a high push button on it. Find the short push block in a SW corner. Pull it back east, and push it straight east all the way to the water. Move it north once beside the pillar. Get onto the block and press the button. A door opened in the water, to the right of Lara.
Do you remember how easy the timed runs were in the crypt, and I commented it was to lull Lara into a false sense of security? Now you will see what I meant. See the closed west gate here. Lara will want to exit the water to the right of the push block, and make a sprint for that west gate.
Dive into the water, swim into the open gate. Go right, loop around left, right, a jog left to find an underwater level. Use the timed underwater lever. See a camera shot of the west gate opening. Keep hitting Look Key, Roll, Look Key, Roll in order to break free of the camera and have Lara roll. Swim out right, left, right, and then a left out the gate. This is the critical part: Lara needs to make a tight turn right and up, to surface against the ledge (she can't afford to paddle to the ledge).
Pull out of the water and sprint to the western gate, aiming for its right edge. The gate will start to close, but Lara can squeeze through on the right side, even when it seems like there isn't enough space.
In the room, jump on a box to the left (S). Turn around, grab the overhead monkey swing, take it to the other side of the room. At the end turn to the right, press against the wall, and drop to grab a crack. Shimmy left to where the opening is wider, and pull up. Crawl through, stand up, jump to grab a jump switch, fall down. A camera shot shows a door opening to the left of where Lara used the Little Key.
Climb Enormous Santa
Go up the south ramp, out the door, and take a right into a doorway that just opened up. Soon an extended flyby shows a castle area and an enormous Father Christmas, or Santa Claus. Go south, pull up between his black boots, and behind a Christmas tree use a wall switch.
Turn around. Hop up onto his left boot. Go over it, and look left to the SW corner of the room, where a high gate opened. Take a running jump into it, and go a little ways up. Lara has a choice of right or left. To the right is a church, for later. For now go left.
Drop down, run across, and pull up on the east side. Turn left, climb a ladder, then pull up on a right block. Go forward, climb another ladder, to pull out on Santa's left shoulder. Crawl under his beard to his right shoulder, and go out on his right arm almost to his hand to pick up Purple Crystal. Crawl back to the left shoulder, and get down both of the ladders.
To cross Lara needs to use the monkey swing. Stand with left shoulder against the south wall looking out. Turn right to face NW, make a standing jump to grab the monkey swing. Go to its end, drop down. Go down the passage, right, and right to drop down out of the gate.
Opening Last Doors in Starting Room
Run north all the way back to the big room with the Christmas tree. Go across the room, angling right, to use the Purple Crystal at a NE door.
Go inside. Lara can jump on a platform in the middle of the east wall, then turn right to make a standing jump up to a SE pillar, pull up to get cookies, small medipack. Drop down. Pull the short push block back south twice. Pull it to the side, and push it against the west wall, SW corner. Hop onto the push block and pull up into a high crawlspace. Go through, around right corner to use a switch (hear gate open). Slide down a ramp to be back in the room. Jump up in the middle west where the gate opened, crawl and maneuver through to reach a Silver Key. Come out with it, and exit this room.
Go right (W), and into the next north doorway, take a passage to the end and use the silver key in a keyhole. The puzzle in this room is simple. There are two pushable objects. Move each of them along its track, two forward, once to the side, and that is it. When both of these are done the block in the center of the room goes down and Lara picks up a holly branch, for use as a torch.
Torch For Secret
Go back to the big room, go diagonally across left to the SE doorway. Go inside, around to the right, to light the torch at the burning fireplace. Go out to the big room, go to the right of the stairs, and into the west doorway, return to the snowy area.
Enter the first west gate. At the barrels, jump up to light a candle. Go out to the snowy area, go down to the end west gate, where there are also barrels, and light a candle there. Go out and left, this time into the middle gate. A block just inside the gate lowered, and Lara picks up a package of cookies, Secret #6, small medipack. Be sure to pick up the torch, and take it back to the big room with Christmas tree.
A Church Under the Stars
Take the right south door back to the enormous Santa. Once again jump onto his left boot, and make a running jump to the SW corner high gate. Go inside, and this time go to the right, jump up blocks while holding the torch. Go to the church gate, and drop the torch.
Now go left around the church, circling it along the side, back, and other side, to find a switch at the end. Use it and the church gate opens. Go back there. Retrieve the torch and take it inside the church. Some candles are already lit, but short candles in the window sills need to be lit. There are three window sills on the west side where Lara needs to hop up and light a candle at the back. There are two window sills on the east side where Lara has to do the same. Then drop the torch.
Go outside. In the middle of the angels a block has gone down, and Lara can drop in the hole to pick up a Silver Cross. Take this inside the church, to the right, to the first alcove. Use the cross here to open a gate. Hang and drop down, slide down four slopes, and end up in a cave. Lara can see the Golden Christmas Tree through bars, so her objective is here.
Climb up a SE block, and continue up to a switch. Use it and the gate opens east. Go through to see “Merry Christmas” greetings. Lara goes around the tree and enters the vertical light beam for the adventure to end.
Thanks to the author for beautiful levels for the Christmas season.
29 December 2011