ICE HEART: THE BIG CAVERN
Level by Dario Romero
Walkthrough by Treeble (which amplifies and replaces the one he wrote years ago for this level)
The level barely begins and Lara is sliding to her death! As soon as the level loads, hold down both the Jump and Roll keys so that Lara switches to a backward slide, then immediately grab the edge of the slide, climb up and backflip with a mid-air roll to grab the opposite ledge. Crawl into the narrow passage and up the two icy ladders, coming to a couple of medipacks laying on the ground, then drop into the water.
You can trick the heat meter by saving and reloading as you proceed underwater: every time you reload, your heat bar is completely full, so take advantage of this if you don't want to burn out precious medipacks. Swim through the passage to climb up on the other end, coming out right in front of a Healing Crystal. Climb to the level above to find yourself outside, and then make quick work of the vampire bat that's been alerted to your presence.
Slide through the central icy slope towards the cavern, but be aware that a bunch of snow boulders will be hot (...cold?) on your heels. Dodge them by using the slopes inside the cave, then retrieve the shotgun ammo. Save your game, then dive into the freezing water and locate the narrow opening on the wall to the left. Swim inside and retrieve the supplies—the only SECRET of this level.
Return to your starting position and then use the flat spot on the snowbank to jump towards the rocky pillar in the center of the room. As you stand on it, two more vampire bats fly in. After dispatching them, jump towards the rocky slopes on the right side, grab the edge and shimmy all the way to the flat spot on the left end. Climb up, turn around, and then do a running jump to grab the edge of the blue platform on the opposite end. Slide down the passage.
Drop into the lake area below and retrieve the small medipack from the surface on the center, then hop across to the area further on, where you'll spot a wooden building on the right side. Head inside—mind the wolf—to retrieve some supplies and the REVOLVER, then go back outside.
Dive into the lake right ahead of you and swim through a narrow underwater passage nearby, on your left side. As you climb out of the water, retrieve the large medipack and climb up the wooden ladder. Jump over the water and then make your way around the room by using the flat spots on the left. When you gain some height, by climbing up the gray rocky walls, you can then jump at an angle towards a flat piece of bloody snow and, from there, towards the edge of the rooftop. Shimmy to the right and then climb to the very top, where you'll find the SHOTGUN as two vampire bats fly in.
Locate an opening on the rooftop and drop inside to find a lever. This raises a trapdoor nearby, climb back out and from the bottom of the ladder to the shotgun, jump across to the now raised trapdoor. As you move towards the medipack, a poisonous snake wills itself into existence.
Crawl into the room filled with spikes and ignore the wooden ladder. Instead, walk through the spikes all the way to the end, then climb the icy wall to your right and backflip to a room above. Throw the lever and immediately hop back twice to dodge the rolling boulder, then head into the open door to throw another lever. Walk towards the resting boulder, then grab the ledge and shimmy all the way to the left: with Lara's hands touching the wall above, feel free to let go and land safely among the spikes. Carefully walk back and crawl outside.
Return to the first lake area and climb back up to the entry point, minding the square opening on the wall (we'll return here shortly). On the upper level, run through the narrow alley between all the bloody snow. Clear the gap, and then carefully hop across the flat surfaces on the edges of the spiked pit to find shotgun shells right in front of the door we'd opened. Inside, find another lever.
Climb back out and, as you jump back over the edges, you'll certainly notice a baddy with Larson's face running around. Once he's done for, enter the opening on the cliff side you noticed before and fall through the trapdoor to freezing water way below. Quickly swim over the rocky formations to locate a safe cave above, so climb out before you freeze to death.
Collect the two medipacks in this cave before dropping back into the water. Keep following the "breadcrumbs" of rocky formations; when they split, follow the ones toward the right side and surface near a skeleton resting on the stone edges. Before collecting the medipack, jump to the snowbank on your right side to dodge the two incoming boulders.
Once that is done, hop back into the cold water and swim through an opening just above the place where the boulders landed underwater. Climb out into a narrow corridor, gun down the speeding wolf, and then push the block in the end as far as it will go. You're done here.
Dive back and quickly follow the rocky formations to the opposite end (the left side you'd ignored just a few moments ago) to find a cave with a built-in wooden structure. Head inside, dispatch the wolf and retrieve the supplies before moving on to the cave area just beyond.
Two more wolves roam freely in this area, as well as an idling Larson doppelganger. Near the shallow pond, find a narrow corridor leading to a crawlspace and go through it to reach a lava filled area. Retrieve the medipack right across from you and climb through the hole above it to stumble upon a pushblock conundrum. Follow the steps in the image below to solve it.
When the blocks are out of your way, you can drop back to the lower level through an opening on the floor on the opposite end. Jump to the crack on the far wall and shimmy to the solid ground on the right, where a menacing boulder stands atop a slope. It might be a good idea to save your game right now. You need to sprint all the way in, until Lara stops by herself, and then immediately crouch. The boulder should skip over Lara by a matter of millimeters!
Top up your health with the medipack at your feet and drop to the break-away floor down below. Stand on top of the light gray structure and jump to the crack on the opposite side. Shimmy all the way to the block on the right, turn around, climb up onto the break-away tile (in true Tomb Raider logic, it only crumbles if you stand on it) and then sideflip to the left. Turn around and keep jumping across the flat rocky pillars until you reach a muddy tunnel. Crawl in and climb the ladder on the other end.
Activate the lever in an alcove to the left, alongside a small medipack, then drop into the water pit and quickly swim through the freezing water to find yourself inside a small building. Retrieve the shotgun ammo and you'll hear a door opening nearby, letting a wolf in but also revealing your way back to the area where you last saw Larson (or someone who looked a lot like him).
Enter the other wooden building to find the last door you've opened and then pull the block all the way outside, so that you can use it as a stepping stone to reach the platform jutting out of the rooftop. From that vantage point, jump towards the icy pillar in the center of the room, then hop around its ledges to reach a monkey swing. On the opposite end, crawl through the passage to finally reach the zipline on top of the wooden building.
Ride the zipline all the way to a hungry wolf, and then use the rocky pillars on the left tunnel to make your way up to the top. There, push the rightmost block as far as it will go, and then circle around it and push it towards the right side once. Use it to reach the rocky pillar in front of you (a small medipack lies on the ground just behind it, should you need one) and then climb into the opening in the ceiling to find another pushblock. Push it twice, then crawl over it to spot a crawlspace right behind it.
Retrieve the small medipack and deal with the wolf on the other end, then save your game. Towards the end of this corridor there's a trapdoor that drops you to a short gauntlet of traps. As you slide into two break-away tiles, stand still to fall with the first tile into another slope. The camera angle shifts to show two boulders rolling towards you, so quickly sprint towards the camera onto another set of break-away tiles, and stand on top of the one closest to the doorway to escape safely.
As you walk down the tunnel, the camera shifts. Break it with the look camera and negotiate the jumps across the two floating break-away tiles. Shortly after the second, be quick to dodge the rolling boulder coming towards you and throw the lever behind it. Immediately backflip to dodge yet another boulder, then use the slope on the left side to backflip and grab a ledge just above the original position the boulder was in.
There is a wolf in this narrow passageway, and another just as you drop down into the next cave. You'll certainly spot the WOODEN KEY on the central ledge. Don't be so hasty though: as soon as you stop on said ledge, a boulder will roll down towards you; and after you collect the key, part of the ceiling will collapse right on top of Lara, so immediately sideflip to fall into the water and avoid the more pressing danger.
Climb back out of the water and spot the darker block on the wall. Pull it out to reach a higher alcove and then monkey swing past the icy slopes. Drop into the water pit with the floating Uzi clips and swim straight to the other end to climb back out before your heat meter depletes. Climb the lengthy icy wall and then slide down to find yourself back at the end of the zipline. Once again, climb up the tunnel on the opposite side by using the rocky pillars.
After the pushable block, you'll notice the double doors on the left end are now open, so head outside. Swim past the wall-mounted blades and get out of the water near the building. A wolf rushes to greet you, so deal with it and then dive back into the water. There's an underwater passage below the central spotty pillar, so quickly swim through and climb all the way up on the other end.
There's a lever on an alcove to your left. Throw it to raise a trapdoor over the pillar, then drop to the floor below and run around to the opening on the other end. Crawl over the now raised trapdoor and push the block on the end once. You need to repeat this trajectory a couple of times in order to move the block near the edge closest to the wall-mounted blades: if you look upwards, you'll spot a light gray structure you can climb upon, provided you have the block in the right place.
From said light gray structure, make a running jump over the railings on the left side of the building, then head inside and locate another pushblock on the left wall. Push it once, outwards, then drop back to the floor below and drag the pushblock on the lower level all the way below this one, in order to use both of them to climb on top of the building by using the ledge on the side.
As you reach the rooftop, you will unsettle two vampire bats, so deal with them before dropping inside the building where you'll find a lever in the corner. From the top of the building, dive into the water and find the newly opened trapdoor near the back wall. Save your game before sliding down: beyond the two blades is a series of jumps over break-away floors. On the opposite end, climb up the wall to trigger a rolling boulder, then quickly hop back and grab the edge to avoid it.
Once the coast is clear, hoist yourself up and walk into the darkness to finish the level.
pending walkthroughs/walkthrough small talk
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