THE PALACE OF HERA
Level by Brad Casali
Walkthrough by Phil Lambeth
Lara starts at the back end of a passage. As she moves forward past the closed door on the right and vaults up into the room ahead, a lingering flyby showcases this immense room with several layers of connecting ledges and concludes with a shot of some closed double doors. What a nice way to start; on the pedestal just ahead is the LASER SIGHT, the REVOLVER and some REVOLVER AMMO, free for the taking. There's also a break in the railing to your right, affording access to a ladder that leads all the way down to the floor below, but don't use it yet. First, continue across the bridge until you reach a closed gate with a gem receptacle to its right. Note it for later, then turn around and look up. You'll see the brass ball hanging from the ceiling to the left of the torch light. Combine your revolver and laser sight and shoot that ball.
Now go to that break in the railing and use the ladder there to reach the floor that's a long way below. Go toward the double doors to the west, that you opened when you shot the brass ball. Hop down to the passage, and the doors close behind you. Run into the next room and you'll alert a tin man. Shoot him in front of the west door, which opens as you approach. Before going into the next room, pick up the LARGE MEDI-PACK on the east ledge of the wading pool. Look around and you'll see a closed door high up in the north wall, and a closed door at floor level in the south wall.
Go into the west doorway, and you'll hear a thud as the door closes behind you. As you enter the next room, Lara's attention is drawn by a pattern of circles and diamonds on the ceiling. I'm not sure how to articulate the clue, but when you walk in the spheres are in each corner of the small room. When you move them so that they form a diamond, with a sphere occupying the center squares along the N-E-S-W ledges, a door opens in the south wall. Go inside and follow the passage until you reach a door, which opens as you step in front of it.
You find yourself back in the room with the wading pool in the middle. The difference, however, is that several blocks have been raised near the north wall, giving you access to that opening higher up in the wall. Go there and run down the passage. The door opens at the other end, and you step inside a very sparse room with a closed door and a gem receptacle on the other side. Since you don't have a gem yet, you may as well turn around and go back outside.
When you step back down onto the raised block, you realize that you can take a standing jump and grab the edge of the roof structure over the wading pool. What's more, when you pull up you can see a gem on the central block ahead. Go there and pick up the HORSEMAN'S GEM, then jump back into the north passage. Use the gem to open the door in the north wall of the room beyond, then follow the tunnel, climbing the blocks as necessary, until you reach a closed door with a nearby wall switch to your left. Throw it, then turn to the door which opens as you draw near.
As you step out onto the veranda, you discover that throwing the switch caused the beginning immense room to be partially flooded, which is a good thing, as otherwise you wouldn't be able to progress. Stop to pick up two stashes of UZI AMMO, then jump into the water and swim over to the opposite site. Note the torch lights that are still burning away merrily underwater, then pull up onto the south veranda with the aid of the friendly niche.
Run into the passage and alert a TINMAN. Shoot him and pick up the FLARES he drops, then continue into the next room and pick up the UZIS to your left. Open the door in the opposite wall and enter a room with swinging chains in the foreground. Take a running jump to either of the two chain-guarded ledges nearest you. You'll note a total of five large ornaments with switches you can pull. However, if you pull the switches on the four gadgets lined up against the west and east walls, all you'll do is release a FIRE WRAITH each time. If you're interested in maximum kills, you can release the quartet and jump into the water at your leisure to get rid of them singly or as a group. (There's a spot near the NE corner where you can pull out of the water.)
Take a running jump to the central ledge for a SMALL MEDI-PACK and some REVOLVER AMMO, then take a running jump and grab to the south central ledge for a LARGE MEDI-PACK. Finally, jump to the ledge against the south wall, pull the switch on the nearby gadget and the nearby door will open.
Follow the tunnel until you reach a dark, forbidden-looking room. Step down and run over to your right to pick up the REVOLVER AMMO, then look up toward the NW corner and note the boulder suspended in the darkness. Run around the room in a counterclockwise direction and you'll see evidence of a number of blocks that need to be raised so you can progress. Stop along the way to pick up three stashes of UZI AMMO near the top of the ramp, which will alert two TINMEN who will come out at you from different directions. After shooting them, pick up the LARGE MEDI-PACK and FLARES that they drop. Continue around the room until you reach the NW corner, where the boulder lurks above, and tease it out into the open by running along the N-S trough.
Yikes! Another boulder comes out right at you from an opening in the south wall. As soon as you see it, dart up to your left out of the trough and you should make it safely. Some blocks have risen near the crest of the ramp, so use them to climb up and access what turns out to be the lower jaw of a catlike head jutting out of the north wall. (There's a companion in the south wall.) Run down its gullet and throw the wall switch at the end, then reverse roll and run back the other way. Turn around and hop back down to the raised block. You see another set of raised blocks underneath the catlike head to the south, so go there and climb up into its open mouth as you did with the other one. Throw the wall switch at the end to your left and return to the edge of the open mouth (passing through a thin wall that offers no resistance).
Turn around and hop back down to the raised block, and you'll see that throwing that last switch has caused a brass ball to drop from the chin of the south catlike head. Shoot it with your combined laser sight and revolver to open the door in the wall above the south catlike head. Now go back and climb the blocks underneath the north catlike head and discover another hanging brass ball there. Shoot it to raise the final blocks in this room, over against the east wall. Climb them and pull up into the passage in the east wall. Follow it and climb up into the higher passage to your left, and continue until you reach the wall ladder at the end of the passage. Climb up into the opening overlooking the north catlike head, and drop down onto the top of the head.
Jump up to grab the ceiling, and monkey swing all the way over to the companion opening over the south catlike head. Drop down and go inside the opening, drop down a couple of times and climb up to the passage on your left (much like the passage in which you started this level). Drop down once more, run through the tunnel and open the doors to your right at the end. Lara will drop down onto a platform with four lighted contraptions in the corners.
You have three choices at this point, but let's start with the south opening. Take a running jump and grab to the left side (that's not obstructed by the block), pull up and run toward the door at the other end, which opens as you approach. Enter a room with a number of tall pillars, and near the south end a TINMAN comes out at you. Kill him and take the LARGE MEDI-PACK he drops, then locate the disguised hole in the west wall near the NW corner of this room. Climb up the ladder at the end of the tunnel and take a rolling back flip near the top to land inside a higher tunnel. Run to the other end and take a standing jump to the top of the nearest column. Turn to your right and take a running jump with grab to the next pillar, then two running jumps in succession to the next two pillars. From here, use the ceiling to monkey swing over to the final pillar (bypassing the next-to-last pillar, if you wish, as it apparently isn't a necessary part of the sequence).
Enter a small room with two bays of three wall switches each. A TINMAN comes to the attack, so deal with him. (This one's not carrying anything for you to scavenge.) Pull down only the left switch in the north bay (the other two are fire traps) and shoot another TINMAN. Then go to the east bay and throw only the middle switch (again, the other two are fire traps), and a block rises against the south wall. Use it to climb up to the balcony above, and take a standing jump onto the higher block. from there take a running jump to the block in the NW corner and pick up the HORSEMAN'S GEM. This brings three more TINMEN to the scene, so make your way back down as they clatter about below. Kill them all, then return through the west tunnel to the platform overlooking the pillar room.
Monkey swing over to the north pillar, then repeat the series of jumps you made earlier to get back to the pillar against the north wall. Turn to your left and jump into the tunnel, and use the ladder at the other end to get back to the floor of the pillar room. Go through the disguised opening and turn to your left to get back to the passage leading to the central platform in the other room. Climb up onto the block to your left and take a running jump (without grab) to reach the central platform. Go across the platform to the other side, and take a running jump and grab into the darkness ahead. Pull up and run down the north passage, and the large doors ahead open silently as you near them.
Vault up over the threshold and run down into a very dark room. Kill the TINMAN that comes out to greet you, and relieve him of his FLARES. There's a crowbar door at the east end of this room, but you need to find the crowbar before you can open it. There are two alcoves in the north wall that are well lit. To the left of them in the darkness is an unmarked ladder that you can use to access a passage high up in the north wall. Drop down into the shallow hole at the end and pick up the CROWBAR. Return to the floor of the previous room and open the crowbar door. (The door opens as soon as you insert the crowbar, but Lara continues going through her motions and insists upon pushing open a nonexistent door with creaking sound effects, which is fun to watch.)
As you pass through the opening, the door closes behind you. (And no, the crowbar doesn't work from this side.) Enter a large room filled with water. Take an exploratory swim if you like, but there seems to be nothing of interest down there in the pool. Climb up onto the block and take a running jump toward the east wall. Grab the crack in the wall and shimmy to your left a long distance, around a corner, and release to land on a slope. Slide down a bit and jump off to grab the edge of the central platform in the pool.
Pull up, run to the other side of the platform and take a running jump to the cracked pillar against the west wall. Shimmy to your left, around the corner, and release to drop down onto a small ledge. Face the west wall and jump up to activate the jump switch hidden in the darkness. You hear the faint sound of a door opening. Jump back up to grab the crack in the pillar, and shimmy around four corners (five, if you wish) and pull up onto a raised pillar against the north wall. Turn to face east and, you guessed it, there's another cracked pillar ahead. You know the drill by now; shimmy over to an alcove in the NE corner and drop down to pry the GOLDEN STAR off the wall.
Swim back across the pool and pull up onto the south ledge. The crowbar door in the west wall is now open (in fact, it has completely disappeared), so run across the floor of the pillar room and turn left at the end and take a running jump with grab to return to the central platform. Now turn to your left and take a running jump to the large threshold to the east. Place the star in the receptacle next to the large double doors to open them. At the other end of the small passage, place the gem in the receptacle to open the next door. As soon as the door opens, a FIRE WRAITH is released, so beat a hasty retreat back to the pool room from which you just came, dive into the water and douse the wraith.
Return to the door you opened with the gem, go inside and use the ladder to climb down a steep shaft to a tunnel down below. Run through the tunnel into another room with an indoor swimming pool. On the other side to the north is a closed gate, behind which you can see another gem. Go over to the SW corner and climb up the blocks until you reach the opening in the west wall. Go inside, vault up into the passage and go around to the right. Be careful of the water in here. Although it's not intrinsically deadly, you'll get caught in a strong current if you happen to fall in.
Take a running jump past the chain into the deep north alcove, then turn around and take another running jump to the other side to the SW. Turn and take another running jump to the north, then pull up and pull the wall switch to your right. A FIRE WRAITH is immediately released. It's now okay to get caught in the current, so jump into the nearby water to douse the wraith and allow the current to carry you east and dump you back into the large pool. Pull out on the north side and go inside the opening you created with the wall switch.
Stop to pick up the HORSEMAN'S GEM and continue along the tunnel. In the next room at the end of the tunnel is a gauntlet of eleven boulders lined up above and to your right. Sidestep to your left to clear the ramp, then reverse roll into the path of the first boulder and run forward to get out of its way as all eleven come careening down at the same time. (That's why I didn't suggest that you try to sprint across to the other side.) As soon as the first boulder stops rolling around (the other ten fall into a trench), make your way around it toward the door in the west wall. A couple of TINMEN come at you from that direction, so pause to deal with them. Just when you thought it was safe, a third TINMAN comes out to challenge you as you approach the door. When you get there and the door opens, a fourth TINMAN tries to sneak up on you from behind. After you kill him, pick up the HORSEMAN'S GEM and go through the open doorway.
The wall surface to your left is a disguised ladder, so use it to climb up a steep shaft (shifting to your right when you reach the halfway point) into an alcove where the door ahead opens as soon as you pull up. This is the same door, by the way, that you ran past when you first began this level, so turn right and return to a familiar area. Run across the bridge to the other side and place one of your gems in the receptacle to open the door. Step inside, use your remaining gem to open the next door, and run into the blackness ahead to finish the level.