Hello Tomb Raider fans!
Before I get started about the detail and walk-through of the latest DLC from Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I want to warn you. if you have not played it yet, you are about to enter a spoiler rich zone. So, for your consideration I put this warning here.
The Price of Survival DLC
I played this DLC and took my time. I also took a lot of screenshots during my game-play due to the fact you cannot replay any of these DLCs for Shadow of the Tomb Raider thus far. Maybe that will be changed later, however, I am not sure it will.
Keep in mind these DLC’s so far are side missions from the main story mission. By playing these, you will notice the characters Lara has already defeated in the culmination of the main mission are still alive or still a principle part of the story. This is because behind the scenes of the main story line Lara did these missions as well. I find it adds backstory and depth to the characters and places she ventured into.
This DLC has a challenge tomb by the name of “The Sixth Seal” you will play it at the end of the mission. Now the mission is called “The Dragon and the Prince”
Lara is back in the skull cave and finds a little boy with a wooden disk adorn with Maya glyphs along its circumference. After he leaves shortly Lara is joined by Q’orianka who scolds the boy for playing with the disk that she says is not a toy. He leaves in haste handing the it to Lara.
She goes on to tell Lara that the disk is Amaru’s most treasured possession. He would wear it hanging from a string around his neck close to his heart.
Lara: But you found a way to steal it?
Q’orianka: I had to. Do you know what it is?
Lara: It’s a cypher wheel. A coded message.
Q’orianka: Yes. And if Amaru goes through the trouble of putting a message in code, we have to know what that message is.
Lara: Let me try. Maybe the code leads to the place of the flooded underworld. In the Mayan cross water comes from the South. And South is associated with the color yellow. Road … mountain … sky … East. That seems promising. Lining up the symbols has given me a possible location. Do these mean anything to you? Mountain road … Sky road … East Mountain …
Q’orianka: Yes!Amaru and his family lived near the base of the Eastern Mountain while he was growing up.
Lara: So, he would know the area very well.
Q’orianka: Making it the perfect place for him to hid something important.
Lara: I’ll let you know what I find.
Q’orianka: I’m looking forward to it.
The Dragon and the Prince mission begins.
Lara then sets off for the Eastern Mountain and quickly learns that the mission giver is on the steps in the Temple District. Lara learns about the path to find what she needs from him. Dialogue follows.
Lara: Excuse me.
Man Sitting on Steps: Yes?
Lara: I was wondering, have you lived around here for long?
Man Sitting on Steps: All my life. Which makes for a very, very long time. [he laughs]
Lara: Then you mist have known Amaru when he was younger.
Man Sitting on Steps: Did I know Amaru? Yes, I certainly did – and that brother of his, too. Amaru was the older one, the quieter more studious. Both boys had a passion for the unknown. For discovering the world around, them. But where Sayri was the explorer, adventurer, Amaru was the scholar. Together they were a magnificent team, each one pushing the other to great heights!
Lara: So, they were close?
Man Sitting on Steps: [He laughs] inseparable! All brothers fight, from time to time. But these two, they’d settle their disagreements in a matter of minutes. And their bond would be even stronger for it.
Lara: And as for anyone else?
Man Sitting on Steps: [He laughs] Nobody was allowed to get close! It was a game to them. Keeping secrets only they knew. They had a secret hideaway, a private code, everything.
Lara: A hideaway?
Man Sitting on Steps: Yes, they got there by climbing. Sorry it’s been ages … what did they call it …
Lara: “The Sky Road”?
Man Sitting on Steps: That’s it! That’s it! The Road to the Sky!
Lara: I’d like to follow that road. Do you have any guesses as to where it might be?
Man Sitting on Steps: Ha ha … I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you’re at the base of a mountain. Better start climbing! Hahaha
Climb the Road to The Sky!
Lara stands and begins to climb up a familiar wall with her axes that resides a few steps ahead from the temple. If you have not collected all the items in the game, you will find a table with a box on top that holds an ancient Aztec incense burner. According to ancient belief the Aztec used these items to communicate with their gods.
On the right side of the table you will find a little tunnel with water and closed by a gate comprised of wooden stakes. Lara activates it and goes through.
Find Amaru and Sayri’s Secret Place
Lara finds herself in the water and having to swim underwater for a while. She swims through a tunnel and sees two more ahead. There is one on the bottom and another on top. Take the one on top and swim through it to see a rectangular underwater passage go through that one as well. Keep swimming there are no bubbles to take a breath you must push on hard and fast toward another underwater passage just ahead. Although when close, Lara finds it is not a passage but reflection of the surface which she breaks through to end up in a cave and she can hear the dialogue between several Trinity guards as follows: [Please note: Some of the dialogue between the Trinity guards may appear at different times depending on how you approach each battle. Everyone has their own technique, so it may not be the same experience as to when you hear them speak.]
Man #1) I won’t tolerate talk like that
Man #2) All I’m saying is, I don’t understand Amaru’s priorities.
Man #1) Priorities! Do have any idea what sacrifices that man has made for this city? Of course, not – because if you did, you would show more respect!
Lara finds herself in a hot bead of trouble with Trinity guards everywhere. She arms herself ready for a battle between them. This is where you will be able to smear mud on Lara again to take cover in the shrubs and ferns that grow on the ground and on walls of mud and rock. You know the drill from the main storyline. After Lara takes down the three guards here, she traverses a ledge and runs to the left along a ledge path with beautiful waterfalls to the right. Keep going. Lara will climb on top of another lookout area that will highlight a beautiful horizon marked by a large temple in he distance against a mountain backdrop. This entire area is Trinity land. As Lara is about to find out further. As she pushes on … the trail is broken, and she must do a jump to get to the other side. There is an archway ahead. Keep following the path until you come to a zipline that stretches over a wide expanse. As soon as Lara lands on the other side she hears Trinity guards again. This area is teeming with them. Seek cover immediately. There are trees and grounds plants etc to hide in and this is where the symbol shows up in the middle of a vegetation clump for Lara to rub mud on herself. Do it for it makes it harder for her to be seen.
Trinity Dialogue follows:
Guard #1) I hear the hunting outpost might see more use in the coming weeks.
Guard #2) The wolves are back?
Guard #1) They never fully go away. Not for long.
Guard #2) True. They like to show up and surprise the unwary.
The two guards speaking walk by in front of Lara while she hides. This is when you need to ambush them and eliminate these first two. There are more just wait and see, and they are on your left at this point. After you work your way up to the right you will notice several more guards in a courtyard standing and speaking to each other. There is a wall ahead and if you carefully move forward, they will not see you shrouded by the wall. She pulls out her knife ready for action. Lara hears the next set of guards talking among themselves …
Trinity banter …
Guard # 1) For how long are we expected to remain on guard here?
Guard #2) Until Amaru decides otherwise.
Guard #1) Is it true? What I hear about Amaru?
Guard #2) Do you know that disk he always has with him? Someone stole it. When he realized that, he was … I can’t even describe it.
Guard #1) That’s why we were sent here? What’s so important about that disk?
Guard #2) We have lost one of our own! (response to Lara killing a guard)
Guard #1) We will seek the murderer! (response to Lara)
Lara kills another guard while making her way to the temple courtyard…
Guard #2) She hunts us! Spread out and find her! On my honor!
Guard #1) Watch each other!
Guard #2) Body here! One of ours! Search the area!
Trinity keeps yelling about the fact they know Lara is after them and picking them off. She continues to progress toward the courtyard. Her next target …
I will take payment is blood.
The next guard says …
We are losing men! …
Stay close we have to find her!
Lara closes in on another guard …
Lara kills him and another guard is heard saying …
He’s gone! Kukulkan embrace him!
Lara waits for the next guard who is walking towards her he sees the dead body and says…
Another sent to the thirteen heavens …
He is taken down and the other guards say …
Stick near me. Keep your eyes open!
After Lara takes one of the last guards down in this area, a group of other guards standing on a wall acknowledge Lara as a dangerous intruder saying …
There! kill the intruder!
This action summons more guards to attack Lara! They say:
You’re dead already! Warriors to me! We have her!
This dialogue continues as Lara keeps on fighting the guards and picking them off one by one. There are a few close calls but Lara perseveres. Lara’s next victim yells …
Kukulkan guides our blades. Fists and knives!
After she attacks, they continue to pursue her and say …
Kukulkan protects us! I know!
Lara kills another guard they yell! …
We are being butchered! I can’t move! Mictlan beckons you woman!
Lara moves on toward her goal now. The courtyard. More guards on the rise. Lara walks up the steps in the courtyard carful not to give away her location for she can hear Trinity ahead. Another fight ensues.
Spread out blades front! Where’d you come from? Here she comes! Be wary!
They call more warriors when Lara starts taking their numbers down again.
Warriors to me! Summon the others! Push in close quarters! Right. Give up and Kukulkan will go easy on you! Another gone! Warriors flank her!
Lara works her way up another set of steps and Trinity yells …
Get out of here! Ready your blades!
Lara takes down the guards and continues up some carved snakehead flanked stairs that lead to a round door on a temple with a small circle in the middle. It looks like a bullseye. Lara activates the door by pushing the circle inward. The door rolls to the right and Lara pulls her knife in case there are more guards inside. Lara crosses the threshold and continues to search for the secret place.
As she continues through into another room, she finds another stairway flanked at the bottom by two carved snake heads somewhat reminiscent of the ones at the base of the temple of Kukulkan in Chichen Itza which are portraying Kukulkan. These are as well on both of the staircases.
Lara continues up the stairway but be careful due to the trip-line strung across the hallway that activates spears in the wall! They will make Lara into a shish kabob if she gets in the way. Duck under them and be aware of the deep spike pit directly in front of her and jump over it to continue.
Take a left into another room that is quite significant. As Lara enters the room that has a table decorated in glyphs and an ornate curved adornment on the wall above a painting just below it with a mantle below that holding several pots. Lara notices there is an inscription on the painting. She also realizes that this place is the Tomb of Amaru’s brother Sayri.
Lara: No wonder Amaru had it so well-guarded. This is Sayri’s tomb!
Lara reads the inscription …
Lara: I will never hesitate again! “I wonder what that means?”
Then she looks down and picks up what looks like a key resting on the table. She inspects it …
Lara: There’s also a key! Alright, let’s try red in the North …
Lara then pulls the disk out to work out the code with this key …
Lara: Dancing, tree, water, nine, it also means many. Hm … Dancing water near many trees … I think I know what fits that description.
Lara turns to find the next step in the puzzle.
Find the many trees beside dancing water …
Lara makes her way back down to the man on the steps in the temple district. She has a few questions for him …
Man on Steps: Have you found anything interesting?
Lara: Would you say to dancing water beside many trees?
Man on Steps: Ha ha such poetic name for it. That’s the old irrigation system.
Lara learns enough from what he had to say so she turns to leave in order to find it. She runs through Paititi toward the fishing district and finds the place of the dancing water beside many trees, her next location. She stands in a pool of water with a little waterfall going over it and activates the gateway and steps through.
Discover what Amaru’s hidden …
Lara finds herself ducking down as she makes her way through the low ceiling of the cave trail, she is on. Once she can stand again, she is in front of a doorway made of sinister skull faces. Cross the threshold to find another trap of the trip-line variety. There is no spear pit here so carry on toward a fork in the trail. To the left is a pickup, you must return and go to your right to break through a stone wall with your axe. After she breaks through Lara says:
I wonder where this will lead.
She makes her way through a narrow passage where you have the first sight of a rotating water wheel. She comes out into a room with a wooden bar type gate. It lifts after she activates it by pushing on a lever to her left that resides in the mouth of another carved snake head. This also lifts a tall, rotating column with spikes on it in the room Lara must inter next. This column has a platform on the top that is quite significant in the next few steps. As Lara makes her way around this rotating beast she says:
Careful, careful …
She finds the next opening in the wall and crawls through. Continue to your left avoiding the spikes on another rotating column in this new room, and go up to the top of a spiral, stone staircase. There she finds another snake head with a lever to push in order to open another gated doorway. The path breaks as soon as she enters through the doorway. Lara sees that she must jump onto the platform that she saw on top of the first rotating column. She lands on it and swiftly shoots a rope arrow at the door with a roped handle in front. She pulls it and breaks the doorway open therefore jumping across the expanse between the platform in the doorway and entering through. There is a drop to the floor below. She enters the new doorway, but she also spies a rock face that’s climbable on the wall in front of her, so she jumps and climbs to the top of that wall with her ice axes. Lara climbs into the next room she notices it is flooded with golden light beams from the ceiling. However, Lara needs to go back out of the doorway jump back onto the platform facing the opposite direction where she can see a zip line that leads to another opening with another rotating column. Nevertheless, this one has a more complicated setup.
This new horror has rotating spike polls coming out from the base of the column and of course if Lara doesn’t time her jumps over them to get to the new doorway, she will become rather tenderized. YIKES! Jump to your right over the rotating spike polls until you find a door on your right and take that door as fast as you can! There you made it!
Once through the doorway best ahead Lara sees another room but more rotating spikes so she runs forward to reach the room but surprise! The floor breaks out and drops her to the water below. Well could this be a water puzzle? Yes, it could it is great fun.
Lara swims across the room and pulls herself up on top of a step that incline toward a doorway that’s closed off by spears. Lara says:
I should use this sluice gate.
She dives underwater and swims to a lever on the wall to the left that she pulls. This action drains the room of all water. Lara notices a raised platform on the floor with a rope wrapped around the center of a rotating beam. Across the room was an upright beam with some rotating spike polls attached to it lying dormant for a while. This tall beam had rope wrapped on it on the top. Ah, this must be a clue.
Lara: Those two beams should be connected together.
Lara shoots a rope arrow at the distant beam and attaches it to the one she is standing by. This action opens another door directly in front of her. However, it is a nasty room filled with more rotating beams with spike poles on them. This room has two that rotate and in order to make it through Lara has to time her movement once again. Through the center veering left to right subtly is a good way to go. However, you have to flood the room again here by attaching another rope arrow to the roped door to the right of the lever behind you that you pulled in the beginning. Shoot at the roped doorway and attach it to the rotating beam above Lara. When flooded once again go through the door you opened with the rotating poles and go up to the other side of the doorway with the wooden spikes across it. Shoot a rope arrow at the roped door in front of you unblocking your path and exposing yet another room with a couple more roped beams.
Lara: There progress! I have to turn those beams, but I can’t from here.
Lara attaches a rope to both beams with wrapped rope on them and then jumps down below where the water is and pulls the lever on the wall once again to drain the room. Now, since you can’t reach the walkway on the other side of the rotating spikes as the water is lower now you must go to the left of the room, you’re in that you drained the water from, and go to the original doorway that you broke through earlier on the other side. Jump up and climb up with the axes and go into the room you were just in that you attached the two beams with rope.
She finds the two beams unattached again but stands by the only one that’s rotating and looks out towards the other room with a gate that has a roped beam in the middle. Lara shoots a rope arrow to the gate and attaches the rope arrow to the rotating beam beside her. This action opens the door across the room.
Now Lara must go back into the room and shoot the arrow once again by the rotating beam overhead to connect the arrow to the floodgate behind her and reflood the room. This action will allow Lara to get high enough and access the now open door above. Lara climbs into the doorway and continues to find the path opens into a cave that has rotten food from Trinity.
Lara: Ugh! Rotten food! From Trinity? How did they find this cave?
While Lara explores the cave filled with rotten food from Trinity she discovers a chest that suspiciously seems to fit the key she found earlier.
Lara: The key fits the chest! Maybe the answers are inside.
In the chest Lara finds a codex written by Amaru to his brother Sayri. It explains this food came from Trinity for their people etc. He also mentions to meet him at the Old Village beyond the gate that was put up to protect people from the red fungus.
Lara: Whatever the secret of this cypher wheel is, I don’t think it has to do with the current conflict. I think it’s older and much more personal. With luck, I’ll find the explanation in the old village.
Find the Gate in the Old Village …
Lara works her way through Paititi to get to the old village. I went to the camp in the Paititi market area and fast travelled to the old village, but you could go the long way if you wish and slog through the mud and such. Once you are in the village, look to your right and notice the hut area there. Then go to the left to find an open window and climb up and into it. It will have a beam that is wrapped in rope above. Look across to another window opening and another wrapped beam above that one. You need to connect them with a rope and zip across to the other window. When you go in, go to your right and strieght ahead. Go until you see a hut and then look to your left. There should be a green beam on a wall. Go to it and activate that area. You are now on your way to The Sixth Seal tomb.
The Sixth Seal …
Follow the path taken by Amaru …
Lara finds herself standing in the forest by a log she must run across to continue her quest. Go ahead and climb up a large step and continue directly ahead. Go to your right and jump to a rocky climbing face when at the top you will go ahead and to the left and past a small waterfall on the right. The trail breaks here so Lara must jump the expanse to get to the next trail section. Pull up and then grapple the hanging vine ahead to the next part of the trail ahead. Lara lands in an area that is covered with the deadly red fungus. Here she can see bodies of people killed by the deadly spores.
Lara: This must be the red fungus that Amaru mentioned in his letter. It’s obviously deadly. Cutting the rope will lower the cannon.
Lara needs to drop a cannon from a rope it is suspended, so she cuts the rope after making her way to the elevated area it resides. When the cannon hits the ground, Lara jumps down to fire it and it destroys the barrier where she passed by earlier for her to continue the trail. Lara runs down the trail and must jump again to cross another expanse. This is also done by grapple. This landing is hard because there is a floor that breaks with spikes beneath and Lara must get off of it asap! She screams.
But manages to escape the ill fate that could have befallen her. Continue ahead and climb up another step or small wall into a long narrow and low passage. Lara must crawl through here. The passage opens up to an over look of an ancient temple tomb. However, laced throughout the trail are gaseous clouds of red that are part of the red fungus.
Lara: The gate wasn’t just for protection – it was to hide this tomb! And Amaru knew it was here.
She continues across a log and jumps through red fungus gas where the trail is broken. Continue forward until Lara comes to a junction but it is problematic.
Lara: The spores are too deadly to cross. But I can’t pry my way through that barrier.
On the right there is a zipline that Lara takes to a wooden platform and then jumps to another platform that has a cannon on top. The puzzle is about clearing the way. The cannon must be fired while still high enough to hit the target Lara said she could not pry her way through. However, when Lara stands on the platform, it lowers. She must find a way to constrain the platform from going down, so she sets off to examine the area.
Lara: I could use that sledge to line up the cart with the cannon.
Lara heads toward the Sledge to push it downward. You can find it on the right. You have to get the sledge across to the second track. Directly in front of the sledge is a cart with a warped rope. Go over there and pull it backwards onto the sledge.
Lara: ore weight on the other side would raise the cannon.
Now run under the raised platform and then jump onto the ground and follow the path to the right.
Lara: If I move the cart into the other lane, it’ll line up with the cannon.
You will find a cart in a building in this area you must push off the edge and it lands below lowering one of the platforms. Lara runs down to move the sledge that is now holding the other cart again to the other track / lane. This action lines the cart up with the cannon and a small crank wrapped in rope behind Lara.
Lara must go to the crank and fire a rope arrow at the rope wrapped area of the cart and crank the cart toward her as far as it will go.
Lara: I need to be on the lift when the crat reaches the cannon.
Lara says this because when she jumps on top of one platform, the other lifts and makes room for the cart to go under.
Cut the rope and run and jump onto the other platform then you can go to your left even the right and jump onto the zip line platform and onto the cannon platform. Now Lara can fire the cannon directly at the place she must travel to get through.
Take the zip line back up to the newly opened area and continue. Climb up the wall to the top. I cannot tell you how much from sound and tone this place reminded me of TR3 even though this game takes place in Peru.
Climb through various breaks in the ruin walls to find you way to the prize. As Lara climbs through the last broken wall she sees the final area with the stela and the back wall big as life. Although there are dead bodies engulfed in the gaseous red cloud from the red fungus, additionally, that area is surrounded by a small moat. How will she make it to the platform above this mess?
Lara: God, So many bodies! I have to avoid those spores!
Go to your left up a tree get on a branch and jump to the ledge to your left. Pull up and got to the right to grapple a hanging vine and swing to a rock wall and climb up with your axes and then jump to your right to another ledge. Shimmy around the ledge around the corner to the right and then climb down the rock wall just below you. Acend on your grapple down to the platform below.
Push down on the lever on the stela and you will see a screen saying you have earned “Raptor’s Eye” This skill allows you to aim at your enemies to tag them for persistent tracking.
After you earn that, Lara backs up to interpret the mural above.
Lara: This entire construction is a test for the leadership of Trinity. If Amaru had fully committed to Trinity sooner, they would have given him the food then, before Sayri went hunting and got killed! I will never hesitate again! Amaru was making a promise to his dead brother, in a language no other Paititian could read. There is one person who can confirm all of this for me.
Go back to the old man …
Lara is back at the Old Village where she must trek back to Paititi. Back to the Temple District. Back to the man on the steps.
Man on Steps: Ah, it’s you again. Did you find what you’re looking for?
Lara: I think so. More than I was expecting.
Man on Steps: You look troubled. What’s on your mind?
Lara: Did you ever see Amaru back here after … after the famine?
Man on Steps: You mean after his brother died? I told you they were inseparable: When Sayi died, a part of Amaru died along with him. Not long after it happened, he came back here once, and then never again. He devoted himself to the cult of Kukulkan. I guess his brother’s death changed his priorities forever.
Lara: Thank you. You’ve been more helpful than I can say.
After hearing what the man had to say, Lara comes to a decision.
Lara: Q’ orianka was right. This wheel is important to Amaru. It might be the most precious thing he owns. We have no reason – and no right – to keep it from him.
Return the Cypher Wheel to Amaru …
The next thing Lara has to do is find a base camp and change into the Serpent Guard outfit in order to speak to the guards at the temple Lara has to go. Dressed as the serpent guard Lara approaches a guard at the temple and tells him to give the disk to Amaru and hands it to him.
Lara: Give this to him. Amaru!
Amaru: What did that insolent priest want? What? How .. Give me that!
Note: I have seen a glitch here. When the guard is handed the disk, it floats to Amaru by itself. No one is carrying it. However, I have also seen it carried to Amaru physically by his guard, so obviously it is a funny sort of glitch.
Report back to the skull cave …
I changed back into my previous attire before I went to the skull cave, but it is up to you. Once back at the cave, Lara reports to Q’ orianka.
Q’ orianka: You’re back. What have you learned?
Lara: Too much, I think!
Q’ orianka: What happened?
Lara: I returned the cypher wheel to Amaru. Its messages have no value to the rebellion. The wheel is personal. A keepsake, that represents Amaru’s love for his brother Sayri. The codes point to various dead drops the brothers had hidden throughout the city. One of them contained food which he’d gotten from Trinity, to help during the famine. But Sayri never received the message, because, by then he’d already died.
Q’ orianka: Amaru wasn’t always the man he is now.
Lara: Whatever his faults, he still believed in doing what’s best for Paititi.
Q’ orianka: I know. He’s always held this city, and the people in it, close to his heart.
Lara: Along with his regrets.
The scene fades and then you are awarded more gear:
You get the Silent Sting Scorpion Pistol that had suppresser for quieter kills.
Then you will get the Hunters Array Apex Gear Cutting edge boots for running and increase duration of perception plants.
And of course, Congratulations for completing the mission of “The Dragon and the Prince!”
My thoughts …
I found this entire DLC quite informative. I say that because it gave us a better understanding of who Amaru was. He had a heart, as I thought from seeing the end scene with Lara in the main storyline. We learn about his brother Sayri and how he loved him. They were inseparable. It actually deepens his character a lot by doing this.
I also found the settings and puzzle play very good and allowed me to use more strategy. We get to use Lara’s mud smearing skill and earn more gear as well when completed. The only gripe I have had about the DLC element of Shadow is the fact we cannot replay them. I hope this changes in the future. That can be great fun. However, what we have now is a great enriching component to the game, and that is something great, too.
Until the next update folks!
Explore the World!