Alternative Pyramid Hypothesis
Walkthrough written by the author
Kill 4 bats whilst on the ledge, then jump down onto the sand inside the fortress entrance. Find some flares hidden in a corner. Note the closed exit gate for the fortress. Head down the hill into the tunnel entrance. Immediately to your left find a high up crawl space. Crawl through, pull the chain pulley once to open the gate at the far end of the tunnel. Head for that entrance. Find a medipac up high on top of the right hand steam vents. Head up the ramp and through to the main block building factory area. You will return here regularly. Note the layout - 4 ramps - two at the front near ceiling high columns, two at the back with a Ra cartouche puzzle hole on the right. At the rear of the room is a rollup door. I'll refer to the ramps this way: 1-left front, 2-right front, 3-left rear, 4-right rear.
Find a whole Ra cartouche piece hidden behind the oil cannisters to the right between ramps 2 and 4. Place it in Puzzle hole - flyby shows where to go and door that has been unlocked. Climb up into space above top of ramp2. Follow path and slide down to enter area with large alien structure. Enter quick sand and shoot 2 mystery critters that are biting your ankles. There's a small medipac hidden in the corner of the quicksand at the rear left hand corner. Climb up on the alien structure and pull up onto the first floor. Hang and shimmy around the back to pickup the small medipac in the rear alcove. return to the first floor and climb up on to the top floor. Head straight ahead along the ramp in front of you and jump over in to the first alcove. Head down stairs,there's a few ways to perform the next task. Here's my suggestion. Place Lara on the tile in front of the lever switch (facing back up the stairs) and backflip into position to pull the lever. Pull the lever and then immediately leap forward towards the oncoming rollingball. Lara will make it on to the raising block which stops the rollingball. Climb up and proceed to the alcove directly opposite to the one you're in now. Head down stairs and pull the lever, go back up stairs to find that the lever combination has lowered and engaged the upper section of the alien structure. Now make your way over to the alcove on your left and grab the generator fuse from the reach in hole. Go back down to the ground floor and plug the fuse in. You've now switched on the power to the generator. Head back up to the top floor and proceed to the generator room via the the 4th alcove which is also now open.
Make a running jump to grab the shimmy ridge on the outside of the generator, shimmy left then around the corner, then hang-drop-grab to the lower shimmy ridge, go left and drop to the platform below. Note the closed gate to the central generator tower. Drop down to the ground floor and find an alcove in one corner. Pull the lever to open the gate to the generator tower. Go back up and enter the generator tower via the open gate and climbing down into the basement. Notice that you are now sealed in the basement by a trapdoor and the gate. There are two paths to the basement, you can use either one. Once you have crawled out into the upper basement find a jump switch up high in the shadows. This opens a trapdoor in the lower basement (camera shot). Head down to the lower basement. Go down the hole where the trapdoor opened to lower basement 2 storage area. Explore around. Kill one bat, gab some ammo and find a lever switch protruding out of the oily water behind where you climbed down. This opens a gate to the central area of the lower basement. Climb back up to the lower basement. At the central basement you are presented with a flyby indicating a timed run. This one's rather tricky. The two red tiles trigger the trapdoor and gate at the top of the generator shaft. You need to grab the first Ba cartouche piece from the reach in hole first. If you're really quick you can grab the piece and make the timed run to freedom in one go. If you're not up to this sprint, take the cart piece first, walk out of that little alcove and wait about 30 seconds until you hear the gates close again, Save and then retrigger the ted tiles and run for the openings. This will give you a few more seconds to perform the run. Once you're out of the generator head right along the platform. Jump and grab the climbing wall in front of you to take you to the top of the generator room, then spin jump to land on the top platform of the the generator. Climb another ladder and backflip into the passageway. Head along the passageway and grab a medipac in a small alcove, drop down a floor and take a left branch in the corridor to another storage area (don't slide down the ramp yet). Climb the pole and backflip on to the top of the blocks. Monkey swing to the end of the room, hang-drop-grab and pull up into the small room. Pull the lever to open a gate to a new area in the main factory room behind the large stack of pyramid blocks. Exit this room and slide down the ramp at the end of the main corridor to return to the main factory room to find that the powered up generator is now driving the dual slicer-dicer block cutters.
Head for the new area behind the large block stack (behind ramp4). Proceed up the stairs, notice a closed gate to your left (accessed later) and head to the top of the stairs. Save. There are three rollingball ramps you have to negotiate. Get across to the third ramp and at the bottom of the slide, backflip and grab to reach the ledge behind, pull up, slide and grab to reach a ledge. Head right along the ledge and get observe that you can jump up on to the pillar in front of you (do this later). There's a flares pickup in the shadows below, jump down and grab them then head along the ground floor to the rear of the room behind the rollingball ramps. Find a switch which lights some fires and opens a gate to the adjoining room. Head to that room and pull a pair of levers to operate some raising/lowering blocks. Note the block that raised in the middle - there is a gate above it but it is not yet open. Also notice the mystery oil flowing in the channel below implying the links with the oil in 'Burn the midnight oil' level. Investigate the two areas that were revealed by lowering blocks. One has a large medipac and a dog to kill, and a pulley that must be pulled twice to reveal a hidden Ba cartouche puzzle hole in the main factory area. You'll return there later. The other area has 5 dog kennels. Go the the one furthest to the right and pull the lever switch to open the kennel gates. Kill three dogs. Go to the kennel at the other end of the passage and climb up into a new area. Proceed through the dog bathing area and pickup a large medipac then head up stairs to find a lever at the top. Kill 4 bats. The lever opens a door at the middle dog kennel. Return there and climb up into the next area. Proceed through the sleeping quarters and find a pulley. Pull this once. It opens the gate where that raising block went up earlier. Return there and climb up in to the corridor. Proceed to a room with a rollingball and a cartouche half on a block. Go behind the cartouche block. Leap up, quickly pickup the piece and leap straight off to avoid the spikes, whilst also avoiding the oncoming rollingball. Don't try and make it out the gate or you'll be spiked. Just wait about 20 seconds and the gate will re-open and you can walk through the spikes unharmed. Return to the the triple rollingball room.
At the rear of the third ramp their is a climbing wall. Climb to the top, slide down the ramp, jump grab etc to get to the ledge at the other end of the room. Now climb the pillars and jump across each one. The final pillar is a raising block, so time your moves to get to another ledge behind where you'd just climbed up to get to the sliding ramp. Pull the lever to light more fires and release two hanging ropes. Climb up the ledges to get to the ropes and exit this room.
Return to the main factory room and place the completed cartouche piece. A flyby shows you that there is a second Ba cartouche hole on the other side near ramp1 and a gate has been opened near the rear of ramp3.
Head through the newly opened area, go down stairs, look for a high up crawl space to find secret 1 (Uzi ammo x2). Go further down stairs. Go down to the room that is already opened and find a reach in hole pickup (Flares) then go back to the pulley. Pull twice to open the gate in front of you and proceed to the scorpion pit. Drop down to be attacked by many scorpions. Kill them and then climb up a marked climbable wall to a ledge with a lever. Turn around and jump to another ledge in the shadows to find a pullup crawl space. Pull the lever in here to open the gate at the top of ramp2. Return to the ledge with the lever. Pull the lever to raise a block and open the gate that you passed earlier on the stairs to the triple rollingball room. Make your way across the raising block and next ledge to a crawl space on the wall to exit the scorpion pit. Watch out for spikes in the tunnel.
Head back behind the large block stack, up the stairs to the newly opened door. Enter via more stairs. In this room you have a central area with a gate to another Ba cartouche half piece, and two ramps either side with rollingballs. Look at the red sign tiles either side of the the gate corridor. Now look at the redtiles on the floor of the rollingball ramps. You must jump over the first red tiles then stand on the red tiles at the bottom of the ramps to open the gate. If you land on the other two red tiles they will trigger the rollingballs. Complete this puzzle and pick up the cartouche half.
Now head to the other gate that you opened at the top of ramp2 in the main factory area. Head along the corridor and safety drop down into an oil filled room. The dark oilfall corridors lead two different ways. One will take you over a spike pit and return you to the original corridor. The other takes you up to a room to find the final puzzle piece. Watch out for the rollingball trap. Climb up into a new room and check the small alcoves for some ammo pickups and note that one has a climb up exit. Don't go there yet. In this room climb up the marked climbable wall, where you will see the final puzzle piece. But it's wired with spike traps. Save at the top of the climb on the first tile. Now sprint, climb up, grab the piece, jump back and then sideflip on to one of the side ledges. Take a breath and then time your sprint out of this corridor avoiding the spikes. Once back in the room with the 4 climb up alcoves, go to the one that has a climb up exit. Crawl half way along the tunnel, then pull up to find some more cave areas with ammo pickup and the room for Secret 2 (Uzis plus more ammo). Go back to the tunnel proceed along the end of the tunnel and safety drop down (make sure your health is up, it's a long drop) back to the original corridor. Return to the main factory area. Place the final cartouche pieces. A Flyby shows the release of 4 rollingballs which then open the rollup door at the back of this main area. Enter the new room.
Head to the top of the stairs, avoiding blades and a rollingball. Approach the Sands of Time statue and walk around the back of the statue. The angled spikes won't hurt you. Your prize is hidden in the box that he's sitting on (Secret 3 - The Block Builder's Amulet). A flyby reveals that the gates to the fortress are now open. Head for this exit. Shoot two dogs along the way. There is a final ambush with three orange ninjas, a dog and a sentry gun. Kill what you can and bolt along the road to finish the level.
Thanks for playing this level, I hope you enjoyed it and it challenged you. This is the second level in a series and if you haven't already done so, you should play my first level 'Burn the midnight oil' to follow the story. Lara will return in another installment of this adventure to discover further links with the mystery oils.