THE HAND OF ORION

Level by Ian Smith (Marksdad)

Walkthrough by Phil Lambeth, with help from the author and from Val

The level begins with a lingering flyby of your final goal - the Hand of Orion - surrounded by a trio of dead soldiers who either defended or assaulted it in vain. The scene shifts to a hellish-looking area where Lara attracts a host of bats upon stepping out of the alcove. After you dispose of the bats and explore this relatively confined space, it appears at first glance that there's nowhere to go. However, appearances are often deceiving.

Go over to the south wall and locate the pinkish block with a sloped top that nevertheless has a stable surface that you can stand upon. After pulling up, turn around and face the SE corner. The tall pillar has climbable surfaces, so take a running jump and grab to it. Climb up and shift to your left around three corners to bring yourself opposite the tall pillar near the east wall. Back flip to the top of the east pillar and turn around. There's a shorter pillar against the east wall; take a standing jump down to it.

Turn to face NW and note the triangular ledge jutting out of the north cliff face. Take a running jump to it. The next jump is a little trickier. Still facing NW, you need to take a running jump with a midair curve to the right to land on another triangular ledge that you can't even see from where you are. Once there, face SW and take a standing jump down to another triangular ledge that looks very much like the one you're now standing on.

The next jump can be the trickiest of all if you don't know the right technique. Facing SW, note the darker rock structure to the right of a tall pillar with the sloped top. The structure has what appears to be a niche cut out of it on the back side. Your task is to take a running jump to that niche, avoiding the sloped face in front of it that's nearest you. The way you can make the jump consistently is to sidestep into the southernmost corner of the ledge to give you as much running room as possible, then turn facing the niche and jump down to it.

When you get there, turn to face west and take a standing jump into a V-shaped ledge jutting out from the cliff face. Then turn right and walk out to the edge of this ledge on the left side. Take a running jump into the darkness ahead, with a midair curve to the left, to bounce off the wall into a hole. Turn left and use the crawl space to access a new area. Run forward until you lose camera control, then reverse roll while drawing your pistols to deal with the two jackals that are following you.

When you've dealt with the threat, go through the west opening. Ahead is a crowbar door that you can't open yet. Turn left and locate the crawl space. Crawl through the short tunnel and emerge on a ledge overlooking an immense underground cavern. Angle Lara to the right and take a running jump down to the slope running along the west wall. Hold the action key to grab the edge as Lara slides backward. At the same time another bat is alerted, but for some reason it didn't attack me right away. You might not have the same good fortune, so quickly start shimmying to your left along the sloped ledge.

You'll encounter a climbable surface when you reach the other end. However, don't climb down to the floor, as the deadly tiles will set you ablaze and kill you. Instead, climb down a couple of rungs and shift to the left. Climb the long column all the way to the top and pull up into a dark confined area. Light a flare and turn around. Take a running jump across the cavern to the slope running along the east wall. Slide down and grab the edge as you did with the other slope. Shimmy to the right if necessary so you can drop down onto the ledge below.

Turn around, walk out to the end of the ledge and face toward the SW. Take a running jump over to a ramp that you can stand on. Turn around to face the opening below in the east wall and walk down close to the ramp's edge. Turn around, hop back and grab the edge, then release and immediately hit the crouch key as a boulder rumbles harmlessly by overhead. Turn around and take a running jump off this lower ledge to the opening ahead, using the action key to change Lara's trajectory so she lands inside and starts sliding down a slope. Jump off and grab the ledge ahead. Use the climbable wall and descend several rungs, then shift to the right in the darkness and drop down into a passage. Turn and go the ladder at the other end of the short passage.

Climb up nearly to the top and take a rolling back flip to the ladder behind you. Climb up all the way and pull up into the passage. Step forward and draw your pistols to greet the jackal that comes out at you from the bend to your right. Go up the stairs to another bend to your right. Your instincts tell you a boulder trap is right ahead, and they're absolutely correct. Dash into the alcove to your right as the boulder rolls by. Leave the alcove and make a hairpin turn to your right as you continue up the passage. Your boulder woes aren't over, however. As you face the north passage, turn around and hop back twice to trigger the next boulder. Run forward, around the left corner and duck back into the same alcove. Wait for the boulder to roll past you, then continue up the slope.

At the next bend to the right you'll spook a couple of bats, so pause to eliminate them before climbing up onto a series of blocks ahead. When you reach the last one a jackal squeezes out from under the crawl space to nip at your heels. After shooting it, use the crawl space to flush out two more bats and back up to kill them before proceeding. On the other side of the crawl space you emerge at the top of a ramp that once again screams out warnings of a boulder trap. Save here to be on the safe side.

Run down the ramp to trigger a remote camera angle and the inevitable boulder. When you drop down into the slight depression, pause for just a second to pick up the CROWBAR, and then take a standing jump forward to avoid the boulder in the nick of time. (If you're unsuccessful, you'll need to reload and try again, as the boulder comes to rest right on top of that crowbar you so desperately need.)

Turn right and run up the reddish stairs. When you near the alcove to your left a trio of jackals comes out, so kill them. Continue to the hole at the top of the stairs, then turn around, hop back and grab the edge, and climb down the ladder as far as you can until Lara is dangling by her fingernails. Release and drop down into the area with the crawl space and the crowbar door.

Open the door and go inside to an Arctic pool dotted with a multitude of ice pillars of various sizes and shapes. There's a shortcut to your immediate objective, although the author is going to hate me for divulging this information. However, it's mentioned several times in the reviews, and I would be remiss as a walkthrough writer if I neglected to advise you of the most efficient means of accomplishing a given task.

But first, the intended way according to the author: Take a running jump to the block ahead. Walk out to the NW corner and face N and slightly to the left. Take a running jump to the sharp-pointed pillar and keep the jump key depressed so you bounce off. Swerve to the right in midair to land on the next flat-topped block. Walk to the NW corner and face the sloped block to the NW. Take a running jump over there, slide down a bit and jump off to land on the level surface of the next block to the north. Take a standing jump and grab to the next block north. Pull up and walk out to the NE corner. Turn Lara so that her left ear is aligned with the vertical line of the sharp peak across the way. Take a running jump to the east ice slope and keep the jump key depressed as Lara back flips off the bank. Depress the left arrow key in midair so that Lara swerves to bounce off the sloped pillar and (hopefully) lands on the corner of the final flat pillar (with more left arrow action in midair if necessary).

If you just can't make it that way (it took me a number of tries even when I knew exactly what to do), then simply swim to the east bank in front of the next-to-last pillar in the sequence described above, locate the place where you can pull up, do so and back flip onto the sloped pillar with the jump key depressed so that you bounce off and land on the final block. From here, take a running jump to the north and step forward into the darkness to pick up the SHOTGUN. Then go down the alley to your right and activate the jump switch that's located at just about eye level.

Jump into the icy water and swim back to the opening to your left where you entered this area. Pull up onto either of the side ledges. I could really mess with you now by telling you to use the blocks to access the south opening ahead and to your left. However, I won't be so cruel, because you can't get there by doing that, no matter how hard you try. (I know, from personal, finger-numbing experience.) Instead, jump back into the water and swim south toward the entrance. To the left you'll find a hole you can swim through to access a shaft with waist-high water. Face south and use the ladder to reach the corridor above.

Pull up, step forward through the open doorway you created with the jump switch, and activate a flyby through a remote tunnel where a demigod lurks. Continue forward into a room with crates scattered about. The metal plate on the floor opens a timed door in the east wall high above.

Stand on the SW corner of the trigger plate facing the shorter crate against the west wall. (The clock doesn't start running until you leave the plate.) Take a standing jump to the left corner of the shorter crate, quickly turn slightly left and side flip to your left onto the taller crate, and then quickly turn left a bit more and side flip to the right to land on the highest crate in the SW corner. Immediately side flip left so you land on the bridge, then roll as soon as you land and run forwards a little way, take a running jump over the corner of the bridge and swerve right to run through the open doorway.

Once inside, you're immediately attacked by an SAS, so draw weapons without delay and dispatch him. Go through the short tunnel (very similar to the tunnel you saw earlier with the demigod in the flyby; but if itís the same one, the demigod has thankfully moved on) and emerge in an area where another SAS comes at you out of the darkness. Kill him and pick up the large medi-pack he drops. You can use the shorter crate to jump to the taller one, and from there you can do a little shimmying around the higher regions, but there's nothing to be gained from this activity. Instead, locate the hole in the dark SE corner and use the ladder to climb down to a lower level.

Activate the floor lever at the end of the west corridor to open the door at the end of the south corridor. There's no way to sidestep around the flame ahead, so sprint past it and dive into the water beyond before you burn to a crisp. A cut scene reveals three patrolling SAS who haven't yet been alerted, so use the respite to pick up the flares and the shotgun ammo on the floor beneath the submarine. Surface at the south end of the submarine and pull up onto one of the near-invisible triangular platforms located at either corner. (The author says these platforms are a bug and shouldnít be there.) From there, draw weapons and jump straight up to kill the first SAS stationed atop the submarine. Then quickly back flip to the ledge and take out the other two who are raining gunfire down on you from the walkway above. Note the large medi-pack left behind by the first SAS, but you can't get to it yet.

Run over to the ladder near the SE corner and climb up to the opening. Pull up to trigger another brief cut scene featuring the elusive demigod, then note the enclosed room to your right containing the motorbike. There are two means of entrance and exit, both presently blocked. Continue south down the corridor and draw weapons. When you turn the corner to your right another SAS comes forward to challenge you, so kill him before he has a chance to open fire.

At the other end of the corridor in the next room is a sentry gun whose sights are trained directly on you. I'm afraid the only way past it is only one step removed from suicide. Sprint toward it and drop down onto the walkway where itís positioned. Turn to your right, hop back and grab the edge of the walkway. Shimmy to the left past the sentry gun, and on the way a remote camera angle reveals an SAS posted on the submarine. You wonít alert him until you pull up, so draw weapons quickly and kill him. The sentry gun is harmless on this side of the walkway. Too bad you canít also blast it out of existence, but you donít have the necessary weaponry.

Run into the west corridor and throw the floor lever at the end to open one of the doors in the motorbike room. Reverse roll, return to the walkway and use the ladder in the west wall to climb down to the ledge surrounding the water below. Two more SAS have been alerted, so locate and eliminate them. Jump into the water and pick up the small medi-pack near the SW corner, then pull up onto the triangular platform at the SW corner so you wonít attract the attention of the sentry gun.

Jump to the west ledge and go to the SW corner, where you'll find a floor lever that opens the other door in the motorbike room. Return to the wall ladder and climb back up. Shift to the left and drop down onto the walkway. There's apparently no way to get to the other side without absorbing another barrage of bullets, so gulp down those medi-packs as necessary while you hop back, grab the edge of the walkway, shimmy to your left past the sentry gun, and pull up to find refuge in the east passage. After you've had a chance to lick your wounds, return to the motorbike. Both doors are now open, so mount the bike from the right side and drive it onto the upper north walkway.

Gun the bike to clear the slope ahead and land on the lower walkway. Run over the SAS who's coming out to greet you, then back up the motorbike at an angle so you'll have room to dismount. Pick up the small medi-pack dropped by the SAS and draw weapons to kill another SAS waiting down below in the room to the north. Then turn around and walk out to the south end of the walkway, take two steps back and then a standing jump forward. You'll land in a dark hole, so light a flare and locate a floor lever. Throw it to open a door in the north room where you shot the SAS just now. Face north, jump up to grab the edge, and pull up. Before Lara has a chance to start sliding, jump forward to the walkway where you left the motorbike. (Looks like you'll have to forgo that large medi-pack left behind earlier by the SAS on the south side of the submarine, as I found no way to get to it and back again without cheating.)

You don't need the motorbike any more, so step around it and drop down into the north room. Locate the doorway you opened in the west wall (the pool is empty) and go up the stairs inside. A wounded SAS whose right leg has somehow been blown off attempts to slide back out of your way as you approach, then he slumps back either unconscious or dead. Beyond are three more dead SAS and the HAND OF ORION that you saw in the opening cut scene. When you approach the Hand to pick it up, the nearby door opens obligingly.

Go inside with weapons drawn. You'll slide down a slope onto a pillar while losing camera control during a flyby. At the same time you're annoyed by a couple of bats while a demigod rains fire upon you from a ledge against the north wall. After disposing of the multiple threats, face the sloping block to the west and take a running jump to it. Slide down a short distance and jump off to the shorter block against the north wall. (Don't allow Lara to slide down to the floor, or she'll die a fiery death.) Turn to your right and pull up onto the next block, then use the crawl space in the north wall. Stop along the way to pick up the Uzis, crossbow arrows, the crossbow, the grenade gun, revolver ammo, and the revolver, none of which you have any use for now, and hurry along before the following black scorpion can sting you in the derriere. Once out in the open, kill the scorpion and take the grenade gun ammo that it was apparently coming to bring you. (See how we can get ourselves in trouble jumping to conclusions like that? Poor little scorpion!)

Now enter the north tunnel ahead and you'll quickly hit the exit trigger.