THE SKULL OF DUNELIE
By Will Gell
The following commentary and walkthrough are graciously provided by the
This level was originally the second part of a two level project called The Secret of Dunelie Castle. However, I gave up on the first part (Dunelie Castle) due to lack of time and technical difficulties. The level is supposedly set in my native Scotland beneath the fictional Dunelie Castle.(“Dunelie” loosely translates as “Fortified Tomb” in Gaelic).
The level was created by taking the Catacombs wad from the Level Editor and remaking it using TRWest to incorporate non Egyptian objects, enemies etc. The textures used are from the Black Isle levels of TR5, some TR1 and TR3 textures and some Quake3 textures as well.
The most interesting aspect for myself in creating this level was
composing and recording my own music for the in game and title soundtracks. This
was something I had wanted to do since the editor's first release.
Pick ups: 40
Puzzle items: 7
The level begins with Lara sliding down into a gloomy looking chamber. Directly ahead is a closed gate. There are some textures on the walls and floors that may look as if they mean something, but only the two greyish tiles with the circular texture on each are of use here. Firstly go towards the door and pick up the shotgun ammo from between the buttresses on the left, then head back to one of the grey tiles at the entrance. You need to step on both of these, as they are pressure pads to lift the gate (which is timed). You only need to step on both of them once. After that, standing on either one of them will open the gate. I always found it better to stand on the left pad as you face the gate, flip over to the right hand one and then sprint for the gate.
Lara then slides down once more and this time into a dark, almost mine-like chamber with a fire and a torch. As Lara lands in this area bats will appear, so shoot them first. You`ll hear an odd sound coming from the left as a little goblin thing comes out to get you. A few shots from the pistols will sort him out. In the middle of this room on the floor you`ll see the carved floor tile. Note the exits right and left. You can pick up and light the torch if you wish, but it isn`t needed for anything. Take the right exit for now into a series of tunnels. First right leads to a dead end. Take the second right and it too leads to a dead end; but note that there is a gap between the pile of soil and the roof here. Remember that and head back, heading straight on into another tunnel with a sloped pile of soil. Another goblin will come lumbering over this, so get rid of him and crawl into the room behind. Pick up the shotgun and Uzi ammo and then head back to the room with the torch.
Head on into the other exit of this room into another series of tunnels. The immediate opening on the right leads to a dead end. Keep going, ignoring the next opening on the right for now, and follow the passage until you come to a small room. There should be some Uzi ammo lying to your right as you enter. Pick it up and head back and take that second turning on the right you passed before. Another Goblin will appear, so get rid of him and enter the small room. Look up to your immediate left and you should see an opening where you can jump up and climb a ladder into a grey stone vault with lit torches. Head around the corner and you should see an opening in the far wall. Walk towards it and a flyby camera kicks in showing a ghostly image of a gold skull. An eerie voice will say "Lara..find me." (Yes, that is my voice but I don`t really sound like that!) The skull image will vanish and you should see a lever in the opening. Jump up and pull it and an earthquake shakes things up. Exit the way you came and head back to the room with the torch.
You'll now see that carved floor texture has gone to reveal a hole in the floor with water below. Don`t drop down there yet. Time to get the first secret. If you don't get this secret, you will not get any in the level. Each secret triggers the next one to be revealed. So head on over to the exit ahead and take the second right tunnel which was partially blocked before. Now, though, the pile of soil has gone and you can enter the room behind to get Secret No. 1. Pick up the Uzi and ammo, large medi pack and shotgun ammo. Head back to the main room and drop down the hole into the water below.
While in the water pick up the two sets of Uzi ammo lying on the bottom. Notice the closed gate, surface and climb out. The first of my musical efforts kicks in as Lara finds herself in an ornate pillared room with a set of large black gates at either end. On one side you should find some shotgun ammo and on the other side of the pool a small medi pack. Head over to the gate above the underwater gate and look at the base of the pillar on the right as you face the pool on the shotgun ammo side. There is a push switch there which opens the underwater gate. Push it and jump back in the water and swim through into the tunnel and up and surface in a small chamber with two lit torches on the far wall. Between these is a pressure pad which when stood on a camera will show the furthest away of the black gates opening. It is timed so don`t hang about in the water as you head for it. There is more than enough time though, so don`t panic: this isn`t really much of a timed run.
Once through, Lara is in a room with swinging chains. Creep around to the left to find the shotgun in the near left corner. This is one of two places you can get it. In the near right corner there is some Uzi ammo. Continue around the walls to avoid the chains and walk into the next room, which is a nasty looking greenish affair.
As you enter this room, another piece of music kicks in and you get a chance to look at what's ahead. You see a load of sloping blocks and blocks standing in green water. This water will cause death so stay out of it. Ahead on the far wall there is a closed gate and to your left you may notice down behind in a block is another closed gate. This is actually secret number 4 which you can`t get just now. To your right is a pressure pad which once stood on will show the gate on the far wall opening. Once again this is timed and you need to find your way over the blocks quickly. It isn't hard once you find your way. I set it up by standing at an angle on the pressure pad and doing a running jump to the low block to your left then onto the block in front of you. Then over the next block and climb onto the block on your right. Then do a run and jump over to the first of the two tall blocks in the middle of the room. Jump from one to the other of these then over to the blocks in front of the gate, hop over and through. Once through, head up the tunnel and the gate will close behind you, blocking your exit. Walk on…
As you enter the next area a flyby will kick in, revealing the chamber of the skull and will focus in on its resting place hidden behind closed gates and flames. This is your objective: to get this skull and get out of there. Note the music during this flyby, which is a variation on the title theme.
After the flyby, walk into the room and watch out as a fire demon will come out from where the skull lies. Jump into either of the pools on either side and the demon will follow and extinguish itself. Climb out again and another one may appear. Do the same thing again if it does. The fire demons are triggered on the central walkway in this room, so it is best to use the pools by swimming as far as you can in them then climbing out. Take a look around. As well as the skull there is a key on a pedestal which is burning. There are closed gates in exits on either side with holes for objects to open them. There is also a rogue skeleton that will come out to annoy you. You can ignore him for now until you get the crossbow or use the shotgun and play with him until you have him between Lara and one of the pools then blast him in.
In front of the skull notice the two Jewel Key receptacles, and there is a pressure pad which will put out the flame on the pedestal with the key. You can do this now or later but we`ll do it now in this walkthrough. Stand on the pressure pad and run to the key and pick it up. This isn`t meant as a timed challenge but simply to make picking up a key a bit more interesting. (What`s the key for, though?) Run around behind where the skull lies and look for an opening and walk towards it. A flyby kicks in and there`s that ghostly skull again and me going…”Laaaarrraaaaa…” The skull image vanishes again and there is a keyhole behind it. Go and unlock it. A camera shows that this unlocks the other two black gates back in the first water room. But you can`t get back there, as the gate you opened in the green water room is closed again and blocking your way. You need to get the skull to open this gate. And to get that, you're going to need the two Jewel Keys. You should also now have a couple of ghostly knights running about the place. Use your pistols (save the Uzis for later) and keep shooting them in the chest until they fall over with a crash. Explore each of the corners behind the skull and you should find ladders leading up. We`ll take the left hand one first. Left as you entered the room, that is.
Climb up and Lara is in a grey stone room with a cobbled floor. There`s some crossbow ammo to be picked up in the corners and up the steps there`s some spiked traps. Notice the dark grey floor texture with the mountain on it. Ignore it just now and walk towards the spike traps and blades and they will trigger. Run over the first set of spikes as they lower and jump into the pit on your right to find the crossbow. This is one of two places you can get it. Now you need to get through the spinning blade thing and past another set of spikes. The best way to do this is to head back to the floor texture with the mountain on it. Standing here doesn`t trigger anything, but it is a good spot to time your run to get through the traps. Face Lara towards the traps and watch the spikes go up and down. When they are in the up position, sprint up and over the spikes before they rise again and then do a forward roll through the spinning blades. Do not stop, as Lara will be on another spike trap, so keep her moving till she`s in the clear. Now walk carefully towards the opening ahead. A Skeleton will appear and jump over the hole in the floor. As soon as he does, just blast him with the shotgun and he`ll fall down it. Take a right before jumping over the hole and you should find the second resting place of the shotgun. Jump over the hole to find a large medi pack and also the first Golden Urn on a pedestal. There is also some explosive crossbow ammo on the left. Once you have the Urn, go to the hole in the floor and drop down carefully into the water below back in the skull room. Climb out. You now have a choice of going for your first Jewel Key or for the second Golden Urn. We`ll go for the key just now, so head for the left hand exit.
It should have a mountain texture above the door. Place the Urn in the hole and the gate will open. Venture into gloomy cave. Keep walking and some bats come at you. Kill them. A wee goblin also stumbles towards you. Kill him as well. Head around the corners and you should start to hear water falling. Just to your right around one corner you should find some flares. Walk on to an opening at the top of a waterfall. More bats will come at you here so, keep your pistols at hand. You can dive from here into the water, but let`s get secret number 2 first. Jump over onto the rocks on your right. You should find a large medi pack. Keep going and you should see a small opening overlooking the underground lake. As long as you got Secret No. 1, that is. If you didn`t, then this opening will be closed by a gate and you can`t get this or any more secrets. Go to Secret No. 2 and pick up the uzi and crossbow ammo. Now you can dive down into the lake.
You can swim around if you like and take a look around, but you can only climb out at one point. Notice the island rock in the middle which has a pedestal on top with a Jewel Key. On the right hand side of this island there is a ladder, but it is not possible to reach it yet. Swim to the left shore of the lake where you entered and climb out by the skeleton. Then climb up onto the taller blocks and take a look around. In front of you along the shore you should see a block with spike holes on top. Beyond that there is a sloping block sloping away from the spiked block and then another sloping block sloping towards the lake. Between those there is another spiked block. You need to take a running jump and grab the spiked block, then climb and immediately do a standing jump before you get spiked. You should land on the sloping block, but before you drop off jump onto the next sloping block in such a way that Lara slides down this block backwards. Grab so she doesn`t fall into the water and then shimmy along and climb onto the flat rock. In front of you again is another spiked trap. You need to jump onto this and then jump across the corner before the spikes hit you. Trial and error will get you through these traps as positioning is vital. Lara should now be on the opposite shore from the entrance. Walk along and there is another spike trap. Jump over and grab the block above and shimmy around and pull up. There is another spike trap at the bottom of a long pit which you need to do a running jump and grab over. Watch out for the ceiling here! Once past this, negotiate your way over and down onto the shore behind the ladder side of the island and carefully make your way along. There are no more spikes. Just watch you don`t slip into the water. Near the far end, climb up to your left and find the lever switch. When you pull this you should hear what sounds like a door opening; but what has actually happened is an underwater platform has raised, allowing Lara to stand and jump and grab onto the ladder on the island. Go and jump in the water and swim to the ladder side of the island and you should see the platform now raised. Lara can stand on this now and climb up the ladder and get the Jewel Key. Dive off (watch the rocks) and swim out back to the entrance. Once at the entrance, climb out to your right at the bottom of some large steps. On a ledge behind you there is some crossbow ammo you can jump over and get before climbing up. Climb up the steps and back up to the top of the waterfall and back through the cave to the main area with the skull. Go to the front of the skull and place the Jewel Key if you like, or you can keep it till later. Now head to the right side and find the ladder that leads up in the corner.
At the top of the ladder you will find yourself in a long vaulted hallway. Pick up the shotgun and crossbow ammo nearby and notice the two grey textures on the floor with pictures of flames on them. Take a walk down to the end of the hallway. Deadly smoke will start to come out of the pillars on either side. Near the end a couple of skeletons spring up to attack you. If you have the crossbow, use explosive bolts on them to blow them up. If you don`t have these you're just going to have to avoid them for now. At the end of the hallway there are two flames on low blocks left and right on either side of a hole in the floor. You need to be able to get onto either one of these low blocks to then jump to the taller block in front, but the two flames can only be extinguished by standing on either of the two grey textures at the other end of the hall. Go back there, watching out for the smoke. The left texture puts out the left flame and the right one the right flame. Stand on the left one and sprint. Don`t worry too much about the smoke. As quick as you can, jump onto the left low block with the extinguished flame and immediately do a back flip onto the taller block behind. Save the game. Now turn round and jump over to the central ledge between the pillars. A skeleton will appear on the next ledge. Either blow him up with the crossbow or blast him off with the shotgun. Jump over to the next ledge and keep going till you are on the last ledge before the far wall. Blow up any skeletons on the way. On the wall there are smaller ledges with pedestals on them. The one in the right hand corner has a Golden Urn. Jump over at an angle to get it. If you jump back down to the lower level again you`ll find that the entrance at the top of the ladder is now blocked and you`ll have to go back down through the smoke so you can drop down through the hole in the floor at the far end. Lara will now be back in the main skull area. Make your way up to the right hand closed gate and place the Golden Urn in the wall and enter.
In this passage there are vases, etc. in the alcoves on either side that can be shot. On your immediate right there is some crossbow ammo. Make sure you find the laser sight in the middle left alcove. In the next one on the left there is some shotgun ammo. Head on up into the room in front of you, where there are six tiles on the floor and four gates on either side. There are also two pushable pillars at the far end of the room on either side. Placing these pillars on certain tiles will open the gates, but you need to open the correct gate which is the nearest one on the left as you entered this area. You may have noticed that when you entered the passage with the alcoves, there are two tiles on the wall behind you at the entrance: the warrior and the two men fighting. Place the pillars on the floor tiles that match these wall tiles to open the correct gate. If you open the wrong gate, you won`t get anywhere other than burnt! Once the correct gate is open you can go in and pull the lever switch, which opens a secret door that was between the two pillars. Also, if you didn`t get the crossbow, it can be retrieved from the corner to the far right opposite the lever switch over a block.
Head on through the now open door to find yourself in another passage with pillars, some of which are broken. Notice the single odd texture on the floor. Go straight on into the room ahead with a pool of water and a ledge opposite with three flames. Jump into the pool and find the crowbar on the bottom. (Actually this wasn`t where it was meant to be. I put it there to make it easy when testing the level and forgot to move it! Never mind!) Climb back out in front of the entrance again and stand on the left pressure pad to put out the flame in front of you on the opposite side of the pool. Now jump in and swim across and climb out over the flame before it alights again. Use the crowbar to pull the lever. Flip over the flames back into the pool and head back out to the pillars. Watch out for skeletons that will come looking for you at this point. Once you have dealt with them climb down the opening in the floor that pulling the lever revealed.
Once down, turn around and walk under what seems to a building of sorts and walk between three pillars. A cutscene will kick in showing the new area you are in and the Jewel Key up on top of a central pedestal. How do you get up there? Walk on and look around very carefully. There are small gatehouses in each of the three recessed areas: one ahead, one to your right left and one to your right. In front of each of those are two smaller buildings, each with closed gate entrances. Look above the gatehouse straight ahead of the entrance. There is a hanging ball on a chain. Combine the crossbow with normal ammo and the laser sight and shoot the ball. This will open the gate in front of you. Go into this gatehouse but watch out; there`s a knight in there and in every gatehouse that has a lever in it. Deal with him and pull the lever in the room inside. This opens one of the gates in one of the other of the three gatehouses. Exit and find this now open gate. Again deal with the knight and pull the lever in that room. Again this opens the gate to the third gatehouse. Enter this last gatehouse, kill the knight and pull the lever inside. This lever will extend a walkway over the pillars that you passed when entering this area. Now you can reach the Jewel key, but it`s not so easy.
Go to the temple in the middle of the area and find the grey flame textured tile and stand on it. This puts out the flame surrounding the Jewel Key, but only for a short while. This tile also opens the gate immediately in front of you to your right. Run through this open gate and keep running and the exit gate will open, as will the entrance gate to the next small gatehouse in front of you. Keep going in this way but sprint as much as you can. When you enter the last gatehouse there are stairs to climb. It`s useful to cut the corner here by jumping after the first couple of steps up towards the exit. The exit leads out over the extended walkway. If you want to get Secret No. 3 (small medi and uzi ammo)stop here and jump over out into the recess in the building to your left. If you got secret No. 2 the gate to this will be open. If you didn`t, the gate is down and you`re not going to get it. Jump back down and start again from the floor tile and sprint around back to the walkway as before. Keep sprinting into the passage ahead and follow it around. It will come out on top of one of the gatehouses. Your run must be paced so you can immediately do a running jump and grab over and onto the gatehouse opposite and keep running while turning and jumping over to pick up the Jewel key on the pedestal before the flame goes out. If you don`t make it, you can jump down and start the run again from the floor tile (or from a savegame if you kept one). Once you have the Jewel Key, climb out of this area the way you came and make your way back to the main area with the skull.
Now place both Jewel Keys in their holes in front of the skull. The gates to the skull will open, but flames will light that prevent you from simply going in and picking it up. This is a timed flame puzzle. Climb into the recess in front of the flaming skull. Look carefully to your left and you`ll see that the flame that was burning in the recess to your left has gone out. Jump out backwards, do a side flip, jump forward, turn and quickly climb into this recess before the flame lights. Again the flame to your left will go out. Do the same again and again for the next flame and you will finally be able to pick up the skull from the last recess.
When you pick up the skull knights come out to get you. But also the exit gate will open back across the green water area with the timed jumping puzzle you passed to enter the skull room. Kill the knights. If you didn`t pick up the key from the pedestal earlier, do so now and place it in the recessed keyhole behind the skull to open the large gates in the first water room. Now make your way back there. As you jump back across the deadly green water, make your way to the low block on your far right and look down by the wall for a small recess. This is Secret No. 4. If the gate to this recess is closed, then you didn`t get the previous secret and cannot open this gate without doing so. Pick up the two uzi ammo. Climb out of this room, back through the chain room and into the first water room and carefully head through the now open large black gates.
Knights are after you big time now. Kill them, but look out for one which will drop a key. You`ll need this to get out of the level. Make your way on past the knights and through the passage until you come out into a vast cavernous area with a narrow bridge spanning across (totally inspired by The Bridge of Khazad Dum from Lord of The Rings). Approach the bridge but as you are about to walk onto it YYEEEEAARGH!! The Dragon thing from Tomb Raider 4 jumps out to give you a fright. He can`t really harm you and you certainly can`t harm him. But he might knock you off the bridge if you're not careful; and if you hang about he`ll spit out locusts. But as this is set in Scotland we`ll pretend they are giant midges!
Run across the bridge. The camera angles will change to increase the dramatic affect. Watch out, as there are skeletons coming up behind you and ahead. Take them out with the crossbow and explosive ammo. Open the final gate with the key you picked up from the knight and exit the level by making your way up and along the final passages to a final piece of music.