THE TREE OF LIFE
Levels by Greywolf
Walkthrough by Phil Lambeth, with the help of DoggettTV's video walk
Follow the deer NE to a clearing and find a small medipack between two bushes near the farthest tree. Proceed W into the next clearing, stay left and come to a place at the corner where Young Lara sinks through the leaves. Enter the W crawlspace and crawl around left until you reach the WINDING KEY, which counts as SECRET #1. Return to the clearing and continue N through the knee-deep leaves to another clearing and a high ledge overlooking a river far below.
Stay along the left bank headed toward the waterfall and find a small medipack among the ferns. Continue clockwise past the waterfall, jumping as necessary, until you reach the NW alcove where you pick up the nearly invisible LICHEN that triggers an underwater flyby. Jump into the water and find the triangular opening in the E rock face. Enter and swim around left for a large medipack. Return for air if necessary and swim S along the winding passage, pausing for a small medipack along the way, until you reach an open area. Bear to your left, surface and pull out into a glade, in the center of which appears to be the eponymous Tree of Life.
Approach the deep NE pit from the W end and walk down to its edge. Climb down the ladder and drop to face an underground passage. Crawl W into an open area and pick up the large medipack. Turn around and find a wall switch that lowers a block somewhere. Crawl back, climb the ladder and return to the glade. Approach the Tree of Life, stand underneath the branches where all the butterflies seem to be concentrated, and pick up the GOLD ACORN (which appears as a barely discernible bright dot among the flowers). This awakens six skeletons, all of them interested in you, so beat a hasty retreat E to the water.
Swim back the way you came (you may be surprised to find two of the skeletons waiting for you when you reach the triangular opening), surface at the river and pull out onto a triangular ledge on the E bank. Walk N as far as you can, turn right and jump up to grab the vines on the rock face. Shift left around the corner, climb up and pull up onto the upper ledge. Go around clockwise to where you found the Lichen earlier and drop down to the river bank. Locate the N opening and crawl in E. Stop in front of the stake trap, get up on one knee (space bar) and time a roll (jump and sprint keys) past the stakes, followed by another quick roll before the stakes return.
Continue around the corner for the WILTED LEAVES and SECRET #2. Get past the stakes in the same manner and return to the river bank. Jump across to the other side, turn left and use the climbing wall to get back up to the high ledge. This time turn left and walk slowly E, as a hidden pit has appeared in the clearing ahead. Keep right, and when you reach the SE corner save your game.
Stand jump E and you'll pass through the leaf canopy to land on a slope. If you get hung up on the way down just jump forward again. Jump off at the bottom with a slight right curve to land on another slope. Slide down this one and jump off at the bottom to land on a third but shorter slope. Jump off this one with pixel-perfect precision to grab a horizontal pole. (The fixed cameras make all this a great deal more difficult than it should be. You may find it easier to slide down the second slope backwards so you can grab at the bottom, shimmy left to the corner, pull up and back flip onto the third slope in a more favorable jumping position.) Swing around and jump forward to grab a crack in the wall. Release, drop and grab the crack below, shimmy right around the corner and pull up into a crawl space where camera control is mercifully restored. Save your game again so you won't have to repeat this ordeal.
Enter the crawl space, turn left and crawl up the ramp. Turn right and then left to find a large medipack. Swivel around on your knees and continue up E and around corners until you can stand. Hop up N two times onto a block and into an opening, jump down the other side and find a small medipack on a slab. Enter the E opening and look right to see a large medipack in the S passage. Don't go there. Instead, face the E wall where you entered, jump up to grab the slope and shimmy right as far as you can. Pull up, back flip and jump off with a right curve to land on another slope. Slide, grab and shimmy right. Pull up, back flip and jump off with a right curve to land on a stable ledge.
Enter the crawl space, turn left and take the N fork. Follow to a small medipack. Go back, and this time take the E fork. Stand up in the intersecting corridor and take the E opening to a large medipack. Go back and take the N opening that leads to a CARVED STONE for SECRET #3. Go back to the alcove where you picked up the large medipack and pull up N into the upper crawl space. Crawl forward to find the MECHANICAL LADYBIRD for SECRET #4. Return to the intersecting corridor down below and enter the W crawl space.
Keep left and return to the entrance ledge. Safety drop down, and now it's okay to enter the S passage for that large medipack. A block lowers behind you to prevent you from returning in that direction. Follow the passage until you reach a large alcove on your left where you'll find the TREE OF LIFE STONE. Continue to a crawl space and follow to an outdoor campground with a large central structure. A guard is patrolling the area, but he's oblivious to you and to the skeletons cavorting in the distance.
Go to the SE corner of the central structure and kick the door open. Enter, turn right and kick open another door. In the next room take the BROCHURE from the table. The cryptic language is apparently meant as a clue, assuming you can even read the bright yellow lettering against the backdrop. Kick open the next door and enter the room to face a row of pushblocks. Pull back the one on the left, get behind it by climbing the adjacent block and push it into the SW corner (blocking the doorway). Finally, pull it once E. Pull the second block (the one on your right as you enter the room) once, hemming yourself in the corner. Take a diagonal standing jump into the room and push the second block into the SE corner. You'll find that there's another pushblock behind each of the first two (the center block is stationary). Pull both of them back one time, climb over the center block and into the NW corner and push the final block aside to reveal the USB FLASH DRIVE.
Exit this room and place the USB Flash Drive in the computer station in the next room (you may have to try a couple of times until Lara squeezes herself into the notch separating the tables). The computer activates and something spits out of the printer. Turn around and pick up the PRINTED PAPER. More cryptic language. Exit S and you'll run into an unpleasant but unarmed guard demanding that you get the hell out of here.
As you return outdoors you see a block lowering somewhere. Run E past the oblivious armed guard toward the cavorting skeletons and find the lowered block just to the right of the light green fern patch in the woods. Hop down and follow the ramp to an underground passage that brings you to an open area where you'll find a second TREE OF LIFE STONE off to your right. Next, locate an alcove in the E wall and hop inside. Pull up S, turn around and hop up N into the alcove. Pick up a TORCH for SECRET #5 and get back down with it to the cavern floor.
Exit N and run up the ramp. Hop up and run through the woods while the skeletons give chase. They won't follow you into the campgrounds, however. Light the torch, using the campfire, and return E to the lowered block and ramp. When you reach the underground open area run right around the central rock formation to find a passage leading to daylight. Approach the trees arranged in a circle and note for later the dead stump in the middle. Go to the SE corner where a lone tree is growing on the ridge. Hop up S to a flat spot just to the right of that tree and jump E around it.
Locate the nearby trench, drop your torch for a moment and
place the Carved Stone in the receptacle. A block is lowered to your right, so toss the torch down the hole and safety drop after it. In the underground room place the Wilted Leaves in the central bowl and light them with the torch (which you no longer need). A way is opened up N, but don't rush into the passage or you'll be speared. Step down off the raised slab, combine the Mechanical Ladybird and Winding Key, and place it at your feet. It will eventually move forward and trigger the spear traps in the passage. Enter the next room and take the GOLD TREE from the plinth for SECRET #6.
Go all the way back E and climb the ladder to your left. Get down to the glade floor and approach the dead stump facing E. Place the Lichen, then listen to the pretty music and read the mythical folklore as a stately stag approaches. A block has lowered N, so go there and drop down into the hole. Follow the underground passage to another outdoor area where two posted guards have the audacity to fire at you. You have no weapons and are thus unable to fight back, so run S and jump off the cliff into the water below.
Swim to the S wall and loop around left to find a third TREE OF LIFE STONE. Return for air if necessary, then swim W and follow the passage to another outdoor area where nobody is shooting at you. As you pull out of the water you see a hint about planting that acorn you've been carrying around. Approach the bowl facing W and place the Gold Acorn in it. Nothing happens, and another onscreen hint says something about water. All you need now is a container of some kind.
Jump back into the water, swim into the N opening and loop around right to find an E opening. Enter and keep right as you make your way to another open area where you can wade out onto the bank. There's a tall pillar in the water, and a shorter pillar on the bank near the NE corner. Surrounding the pool are six short blocks with wall switches. Starting with the S block, pull down all six switches, making your way around the pool to your left in a clockwise direction. You'll see blocks rising and lowering as you progress. After you've pulled the sixth switch, run SE and climb the shorter pillar you noted earlier. Make your way with running jumps counterclockwise along the tops of the six raised blocks, followed by a final running jump to the top of the taller pillar in the water.
Pick up the SMALL WATERSKIN, jump into the water and fill the waterskin in a shallow area. Swim down through the central hole and follow the passage to the first crossing, turn left there and take the next left as well. Loop around left and pull out into the clearing where you planted the acorn. Approach the bowl facing W and empty the waterskin into it. Watch the quick-growing oak and enjoy the concluding flyby and music.