RETURN TO NATLA'S MINES

Level by Devoid

Walkthrough by Phil Lambeth


Lara begins underwater in a subterranean chamber with a fixed camera angle. Swim forward (north) until you reach a large underground pool and surface for air. There's a ledge ahead and to your left where you can pull up out of the water, but let's not go there yet. Instead, swim over to the little waterfall on the east end and pull up into the hidden opening just behind it. Follow the underground passage to a TNT crate and locate the wall switch directly opposite it. Throw the switch for a cut scene showing a door opening elsewhere to reveal another wall switch.

You can do nothing further in this area for the time being, so return to the water, jump in and swim to the other side. Pull up onto the ledge just beyond the rowboat (there's another smaller area to the left, but the ledge is too high to reach from the water). Go around to the right side of the TNT crates and pull up into the crawlspace in the corner. There's a little room to the left where you can stand up, so hop forward into the hole and pick up the MP-5 ammo. Pull back up and drop to the ground. Enter the passage at the NW corner and run down (briefly losing camera control) into a cavern. Shoot the dog that charges forth, then step forward toward the little sled bearing the digging tool and hop back quickly when you trigger the spike ball trap.

Now go to the NW corner of the cavern and locate the crate to your right. Pull it back once and go around the sled, jump up onto the rocky mound and hop down into the hole in front of the revealed passage. Run forward and throw the wall switch you saw in the earlier cut scene. This opens another door elsewhere, so return to the cavern, run through the south passage and jump back into the water, swim to the waterfall and pull out. Follow the passage to the TNT crate, pull up into the higher passage and follow to the doorway you opened just now.

Step out onto a high ledge overlooking the water and alert a bat. After killing it, jump over the barrier to your left and pick up the flares and MP-5 ammo. Then turn to your right and take a running jump to the ledge south. Turn left and enter the passage that brings you to another small cave. Continue across it and to the right down to another small cave, and go across it and to the right into a larger area stacked high with TNT crates. Ignore for now the interesting structure to your left in the north wall and go across and through the east opening into another room with two small boarded-up structures. There are two closed doors, one straight at the end of the tracks, and one to your left. The one at the end of the tracks opens upon your approach, but it closes right behind you as you enter.

Take standing jumps over the first three barriers. Step up to the fourth one, take one step back and hop back once. Take a running jump over the fourth barrier to trigger a spike trap below you, and stop upon landing so that the spike ball ahead can roll across your path. Now run forward down the tracks, using the sprint key so you can dash in front of the second spike ball that rolls down from your right and veer right (before you reach the lava pit at the end of the tracks) into the passage that would otherwise be blocked.

Pick up the FUSE (the first of three you need) at the corner and turn left. Run part way up the ramp and trigger another spike ball. When it comes to rest, continue up and to the left to trigger yet another spike ball that's easy to avoid. Continue up the ramp and alert two bats. At the top of the ramp, drop down the hole and slide down to the tracks where the first spike ball rolled across your path. Go across the tracks, turn to your right and pull up onto the ledge. Run forward, turn left at the bend and follow the passage until it widens slightly. Look to your right for the magnum clips, then go to the other side of the hole at the west end and pick up the MAGNUM in the corner.

Hop back, grab the edge and release to slide down into the area with the two boarded-up structures. Climb up onto the structure in the NE corner and jump down into the ceiling hole. Throw the wall switch to open the door in the north wall. Pull up out of the hole, jump to the ground and enter the north passage. Go up to your right and spook a bat for you to kill. The door at the other end of the passage is closed, so backtrack all the way back to the waterfall where you began this level. Looking across the water, you see that the rowboat has changed position so that it's stationed in front of the area you couldn't access earlier.

Jump into the water (you get a fixed camera angle that you didn't get earlier), climb up onto the rowboat and take a running jump into the crate-filled area to the west. Climb up onto the crate to your left, hop down the other side into a passage filled with Natla blocks, and follow into a closed area. Pick up the MP-5 clips in the alcove to your left, then light a flare to make the nearby moveable block stand out. Pull the block out once, then go around to the right side and push it into the alcove where you picked up the clips. Turn right into the revealed alcove and pull the west block back twice. Then go around to the right side and pull it back once to reveal a passage leading to a wall switch. Throw it to open the gate in front of the sled you saw earlier.

Reverse roll, exit this area, climb back over the TNT crate, jump into the water and turn left to pull up onto the ledge with the other TNT crates. Run past them into the north passage and enter the doorway in front of the RH75 sled. The TNT crate inside is moveable, so pull it back until you're able to push it to one side off the track. Then re-enter the cleared passage. You soon come to a slight hump in the track. Jump straight up from there to grab a climbable surface. Pull up, step forward and throw the wall switch to open another gate elsewhere.

Drop back down to the track and continue east. Turn left at the end of the track and pick up the second FUSE in front of a closed gate requiring a key. Now you need to backtrack all the way past the sled bearing the RH75 digging tool, into the passage and across the water to the waterfall passage, up the passage to where you have to jump across to the ledge, and finally down to the room with the stacked TNT crates. Continue through the east passage, and from the entrance take a running jump to the top of the single TNT crate ahead and slightly to your right. From there take a running jump to the roof of the SE structure and safety drop down the hole in the corner. Shoot the flimsy grate and head up the passage. When you reach an opening to your right, step inside and throw the wall switch. Then continue along the passage and turn right at the bend and slide down to another wall switch. (If you go too far past the bend before turning right, you'll slide down a hole into the area from which you started.)

Throw the wall switch for a static cut scene showing the rowboat (which remains in the same position you last saw it). Safety drop to the ground below and head north through the doorway you opened earlier. At the end of the passage you'll find that the gate is now open, so enter the new area and note the remnants of a conveyer belt that you can't access from this end. At the other end you can make out the third fuse you've been looking for. There are openings farther down, both on your right and your left, and you can even use the left opening to crawl inside and pick up the fuse. However, if you do that now you'll get stuck and will have to reload from a previous savegame. So first of all, go past the open gate ahead and to the left (which closes behind you as you enter), then turn to the left and throw the wall switch. This creates a minor earthquake and causes the gate to re-open. Go outside to find that the passage has been reconfigured enough to allow you to stand up and walk to the east passage beyond the conveyor belt after you've crawled inside and picked up the third FUSE.

Leave this area via the south gateway and wind your way through the passage back to the chamber with the two boarded-up structures. Go through the west passage into the room with the stacked TNT crates and turn right to go up the stairs to the larger structure built into the north wall. Place your three fuses in the receptacles This causes a crate to rise behind you, allowing you to climb to the top of the stack, and it also opens a gate high up in the west wall. Climb to the top of the crates and pick up the MP-5 clips on the SE crate. Then turn to face west and take a standing jump and grab from the leading edge of the nearest crate to the opening ahead. Pull up into the passage and step forward a short distance. Shoot a couple of bats, then turn to your right and locate the opening near the top of the first ramp.

Pull up into the higher passage and run forward toward the gate that opens automatically. Walk forward carefully as the gate closes behind you, and you'll come to a slope leading down to what looks like a stable wooden surface. However, it's a trap door with deadly lava down below, and it will collapse under your weight, so slide a short distance down the slope and jump forward to the ledge beyond. Turn left, step back and angle Lara slightly to the left. Take a standing jump and grab to the ledge above and pull up. Hop down into the small room beyond and pick up the magnum clips and the MP-5 clips in the corner. Turn to your left, grab the dead SAS by the hair and pull his body away from the MINE KEYS. Finally, throw the wall switch to raise the trap door to a permanent upright position and drop down to it. Jump up the slope, go through the open gateway and hop down to the passage below. Turn to your right and continue along the passage, sliding down a slope as you near the opening leading back to the water.

Drop down onto the ledge below and jump into the water. Swim across to the other side and pull up onto the NW ledge. Run through the north passage back to the RH75 digging tool, and follow the track into the east opening.
Turn left at the end of the track and use your Mine Keys in the keyhole to open the gate. Step inside until you lose camera control, then draw your weapons to shoot two dogs that appear, first from your left and then from your right. Continue forward until camera control is restored, but watch your step because there are lava pits all around.

If you step up to the edge of the north ledge somebody may start shooting at you from beyond a barrier ahead (if not, you'll encounter him later in the level). Draw your magnum to quickly dispose of the unknown (unless your eyes are better than mine) assailant. Now turn to your left and you can see a wall switch above eye level. That's one of your future goals. First, though, turn to your right and climb up to the top of the small pillar for some magnum clips. Hop back down and look over to the SW corner of this area. You'll find the companion RH75 digging tool pointed away from another closed gate requiring a key. (I didnít realize it at the time, but you can open the gate now if you wish. However, itís not necessary to do so, as explained in the next paragraph. What happens beyond the gate is documented later in this walkthrough.)

Go over to the east wall and hop back to grab the edge of the ledge. You'll find a climbable wall there, so climb down to the stone ledge below, to the right of the wooden ledge. When you reach the stone ledge, hop back and hit the control key as soon as you clear the edge. You'll land on the block below, where you'll get a fixed camera angle. (I doubt that the builder intended that you take advantage of Lara's jumping skills this way, as the wooden ledge is lowered by a switch accessed through the locked gate we bypassed in the previous paragraph. If you choose to lower it now, you can simply safety drop to the ledge referenced in the next sentence.) Run off the east edge of the block and you'll land on a ledge directly underneath the wooden ledge. Ahead and to your left is a ledge in the lava river, so take a standing jump to it to restore camera control.

Across the lava river is a ledge with a closed gate, so jump over to the longer slab to the NE, overlooking a deeper cavern to the east. Walk out to the east edge of this slab and angle Lara to the right. Take a running jump to the flat-topped pillar, then angle Lara back to the left and take another running jump to the shorter pillar in the middle of the lava river. Now turn to face south and take a standing jump and grab to the opening ahead. Pull up into the passage and push the TNT crate forward. Enter the small revealed room and pull the crate back west once. Go around the crate to the revealed ceiling hole and you'll hear the ominous sound of spikes being triggered somewhere close by. Pull up into the higher passage and follow it to a hole over the track below.

Drop down to the track. Head east into the darkness (go west and you'll trigger a hidden spike trap). Throw the wall switch at the far end to lower some ropes back in the lava river area. Reverse roll and go back the way you came. Be sure to stop when you reach the opening overhead. Turn to your left and pull up into the higher passage. Follow until you come to a hole over the TNT crate you moved earlier. Angle a jump over to the right and step forward to about the midpoint of the west wall for SECRET #1 and the MP-5.

There's a hole over in the NE corner. Drop down through it and thereby avoid the spikes that have appeared on the track at the point where you pushed in the TNT crate. (There are few things more unnerving to a gamer than experiencing an unexpected steel enema while playing Tomb Raider. Several opportunities for this await you in this level, but not to worry, as I'll give you plenty of warning.)

Walk out to the north edge of the passage and take a running jump to the central pillar in the lava river. Turn to your right and line up Lara with the three ropes. Take a running jump and grab to the first one, then two successive swinging jumps until you arrive at the safety of the east passage. Run forward, turn to the left, slide down the slope toward the lava and allow Lara to land on a safe ledge below. Take a standing jump forward and grab the ledge ahead. Pull up and run to your left into an area stacked with TNT crates.

Spike alert! Climb up onto the single crate to your right. Ahead and to your left you can see a closed gate. Ahead and to your right is a small open area surrounded by crates. Don't go there, as the far alcove is spike-trapped. Drop down into the area ahead and to your left, which is safe, and don't use your keys yet in the receptacle. First, climb up onto the crates and jump down into the opening at the NE corner and throw the wall switch. Now pull out and use your keys to open the gate.

Run forward a short distance and turn left at the first mound of dirt. Pull up into the passage and go past the gate you opened with the wall switch. Run up the right side of the ramp (not because of any traps, but because of the slope at the end of the ramp on the left side) and pull up. Someone across the deep lava pit is hurling grenades at you (unless you killed him earlier from the other side of the lava canyon), but a few bursts from your new-found MP-5 will take care of him. (The first time I played, two shots from the magnum killed him, but he seemed invulnerable to magnum fire for some reason the second time around.) When your assailant is dead, angle Lara to the left and shoot the barrier protecting the south alcove overlooking the lava pit (unless your enemy's grenades happened to shatter it earlier). Then, standing just to the right of the barrier, take a running jump SW to land in the alcove. Now angle Lara to the NW and take a running jump to the other side of the lava pit.

Avoid the hot lava on the floor of the west passage and walk forward to the entrance of the narrower passage ahead. Take four steps into the passage, then reverse roll to trigger the release of the spike ball ahead. Run back down the passage and scoot to your right as the spike ball rumbles by and into the lava pit. Continue up the ramp and step out onto a ledge on the other side of the lava canyon you negotiated earlier. You lose camera control here, so turn to your right and follow the pathway along the wall until you reach that wall switch you saw from afar earlier.

Throw the wall switch to start an earthquake that, unfortunately, lasts for the remainder of the level. Turn around and walk out to the right edge overlooking the barriers below. Angle Lara to the right (facing the RH75 digging tool below) and take a running jump down to the south floor of the lava canyon. Step forward and use your Mine Keys to open the gate to your left. A couple of small black scorpions come out, wondering what the shaking is all about, so shoot them before they sting you in their agitation. And be glad they're small scorpions. You'll see the big ones shortly.

Go inside the passage and throw the wall switch at the end of the track. A cut scene shows the wooden trap door outside, that you've seen already, lowering. Go to the east end of the canyon, avoiding the lava pit traps as you did earlier, and lower Lara over the edge. Release over the stone ledge to the right of the lowered wooden ledge, and drop down onto it as you did before. Use the safe trick you did earlier, hopping back and hitting the action key as soon as you clear the edge to land on the ledge underneath. Hug the south wall and jump straight up to grab the crack. Shimmy to your right as the camera angle remains fixed. You'll go a long distance, around several corners, and when camera control is finally restored you'll also come to a dead stop. Release and immediately jump off the slope that you land on, using the end key to roll in midair so you can grab the crack on the opposite wall across the lava.

Continue shimmying to your right until you enter a passage. Release and run up the passage while the earthquake rumbles merrily along. When you reach the slope to your left, run forward and allow Lara to slide down to the bottom. Pick up the flares ahead and to your right, and use one if necessary to illuminate the dark NE alcove. (You'll probably need to toss it in that general direction because of the flare bug that strikes here.) Throw the wall switch in the alcove to open the nearby gate.

You'll find yourself on the north bank of the lava canyon. Step out to the edge and take a running jump to the south ledge. Turn to your left and take a standing jump to the long east slab. Take running jumps to the stone pillars as you did earlier, then use the three ropes (made considerably more difficult by the persistent earthquake) to get back across to the east side. Slide and jump over the lava pit and make your way back to the spiked room with the TNT crates. Go to the gate you opened earlier with the Mine Keys, and an SAS shows up this time to challenge you. Kill him, then continue west along the passage.

You find that the area has been reconfigured by the earthquake, so pull up over the rocks and slide down into a sandy cavern. Turn right and enter an area you'll instantly recognize if you've played TR1, the abode of the infamous Skateboard Dude. No Dude this time, though, as a burst of action music heralds an attack of three or four (with all the rumbling going on it's hard to get an accurate count) giant scorpions. Kill them all, then start exploring. When you get to the central part of the large concrete structure, where you get a fixed camera angle, head up the east ramp to spook another giant scorpion.

Pull up to the ledge and follow up to the dark NE corner for some MP-5 clips. In the middle of the north wall is a closed gate, so we need to find a way to open it. At the end of the ramp near the west wall, the highest accessible point in the area, you'll find some flares. Return to the central area where you lose camera control, and run down toward the west wall. To your left is an opening leading down to a pool of water instead of the lava you see everywhere else, so jump down into it, swim toward the closed underwater gate and pull up to your right. Climb the blocks until you reach the wall switch in an alcove overlooking the cement structure area.

Throw the switch, return to the water, and find that the gate is now open. Swim into the small enclosed chamber and pick up the TABLET KEY in the far left corner and the MP-5 clips in the far right corner. Swim back outside, pull up into the passage and climb the blocks again. Safety drop to the concrete from the alcove with the wall switch, and make your way up to the north wall where you'll find the gate now open. Go on through and the gate will close behind you. Turn left at the bend and start running up the ramp. You'll trigger three spike balls, in the following order: middle, right and left. Therefore, when the first spike ball starts rolling down toward you, veer to the left to let it pass, then veer sharply back to the right and you should be in the clear. Then stop right there in your tracks because of another spike alert ahead.

Turn to your left and run straight across to the south wall. Then turn right and follow the ramp up to the top, keeping to the left as much as possible to avoid the spikes in the middle and right lanes. Turn left at the top and continue up the ramp. When you come to the dead end, turn either to your right or left and pull up into a higher area. Locate the block against the north wall and pull up onto it. Turn to face east and take a standing jump onto the next block. Turn around to face west and take a standing jump and grab to the higher ledge and pull up. Kill a couple of bats, then turn to face south. Take a standing jump and grab to the higher block and pull up. Turn left to face east and take a standing jump and grab to the next block. Pull up, step forward and turn to your right. Pull up into an enclosed area with honey-colored walls.

Go around to the NW corner and see the block with red markings. Push it in twice to reveal a new area and go inside and to the alcove to your right. Turn to your left and pull up into a higher area. You see a similar block ahead and to your left, so push it in twice to open up a new area with a closed door to your left. Go to your right and drop down through the hole. Turn to your left and locate a third similarly discolored block. This one you PULL back once, then reverse roll and climb back up through the hole. Go past the closed door and drop down through the hole in the SE corner. Locate the first block and push it once to the north to reveal an alcove with a closed grate and a wall switch.

Throw the wall switch to open to door on the higher level. Climb back up through the hole and enter the open doorway. At the bottom of the stairs is another discolored block. Push it forward to reveal a passage leading to another closed grate. Turn left into the second alcove and place your Tablet Key in the receptacle. The nearby grate opens, but don't dash outside or you'll be treated to one of those steel enemas. Instead, head north back up the passage, up the stairs and through the open doorway. Go around to the right, down the hole and through the opening beyond the wall switch.

As you step into the new area you'll hear Lara's theme music. Don't go straight ahead through the passage separating the two structures, or you'll be spiked. Turn to your right and run down the short trench, and turn to your left to pull up onto the golden structure. Run across to the west side and jump down to the ground. Ahead is a pyramid with an entrance with closed double doors at the end, requiring a key. Stand to the left or right side of the entrance and pull up to the top. Ahead and to the left are square depressions in the surface of the pyramid that are darker than the rest of its surface. Take standing jumps upward from depression to depression. When you reach the last one, stand SE and take a standing jump toward the wall. You'll slide down and come to rest in a depression next to an opening in the south wall. Go inside, turn to the left and throw the wall switch.

Go back to the opening of the passage and into the depression, and you'll see two, maybe three giant scorpions scurrying about below. You can probably kill at least one of them from your safety spot. If the others stay out of range, slide down the face of the pyramid to draw their attention, then kill them before they can get too close.

Your work here is almost done. Run east toward the south portion of the golden complex and pull up onto its roof. Go forward and stand directly in front of the raised gate to the north, then turn around and safety drop to the ground. Go forward into the south opening and immediately reverse roll while drawing weapons to kill the SAS who comes out of the open north passage. Remain alert while another giant scorpion comes to investigate, kill it and then go further inside the south passage to find the PYRAMID KEY. Pick it up and go back out to the opening of this passage. Don't venture out too far, or you'll trigger a spike trap in front of the north doorway. Turn around, jump up to grab the roof of the golden structure and pull up. Turn to the right, jump off the west end and run toward the entrance of the pyramid. Insert the Pyramid Key in the keyhole to open the double doors, then run inside to end the earthquake, your likely headache and the level.