It has been 7 months since the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and we have just enjoyed another DLC for this game. I like these little windows into the base story. You can see how Lara goes adventuring into areas you have already been to in the main campaign. In this lovely chapter, Trinity is active once again and Lara must replace an artefact, they took from the temple of Zipacna. Lara needed to return this piece back to its rightful place in the temple to stop the wrath of Zipacna an angry Maya god. I shall write an article about this Maya god from their pantheon which blends into this story very well.
Let’s explore The Grand Caiman with my version of a walkthrough for those who feel they need a little extra info. I will include photos from my actual gameplay on my PS4. I created them as usual in Photo Mode a favourite mode of mine. I also shall include the transcript with name labels. So, enjoy the walkthrough/review of “The Grand Caiman Shadow of the Tomb Raider DLC”
Thank you and remember there are many spoilers ahead. If you continue you have been warned.
The Wrathful god …
Lara finds herself at the Mission San Juan and Jonah is the mission giver. She walks over to him through the front gate of Mission San Juan and sees him sitting on the rim of a beautiful central fountain. She takes a seat by him and they begin to discuss Jonah’s concerns.
Jonah: Lara, I have to talk to you.
Lara: What was that?
Jonah: That’s part of what we have to talk about. Meet me in the courtyard. Hey, Lara! Come here I need to talk to you. We’ve got s problem …
Lara: What’s wrong?
Jonah: Trinty’s still here!
Lara: What? I thought they all returned to Paititi for the ritual!
Jonah: I guess, during the mudslide, a few of them got separated and were left behind.
Abby approaches them.
Jonah: They found an old ruin underground and set up a base camp.
Abby: It’s a crypt. The locals told me it was built for the priests of Zipacna.
Lara: The god of mountains.
Jonah: and volcanoes. But we’ll get to that.
Abby: The crypt is annexed to the Temple of Zipacna. Many people here still visit that temple regularly.
Jonah: Or they did until Trinity moved in next door.
Abby: And that’s why the tremors and the ash hasn’t stopped.
Jonah: Zipacna doesn’t appreciate being neglected.
Abby: So, Lara, I was hoping …
Jonah: Do you think you could check it out?
Abby: I know it’s a lot to ask.
Lara: I’m on it!
Abby: Thanks, it’s really appreciated.
Lara notices how Abby brushed Jonah’s arm and they both seem rather friendly together. She smiles at him as Abby leaves, and he sits on the fountain edge again.
Jonah: [He laughs] What?
Lara keeps smiling and leaves for her mission.
The Wrathful god: Locate the old crypt
Lara must find her way to the crypt where Trinity is. Take Lara through the pathway that has a man standing in front of the entrance against the wall. Keep moving forward down this pathway that runs along the water and crosses a bridge. You need to get to the old tower. Go up the ladder on the side and attach a rope arrow to the post in the distance and the branch above your head on top of the tower. Zipline across and go for the doorway with iron bars over it in front of Lara. When you approach this doorway, a symbol will trigger, and you are on your way to the crypt.
The Wrathful god: Investigate the Trinity Camp …
Lara will find herself in dark ancient stone corridors exploring the Trinity camp. Her personal light will come on during these sequences in the dark. There are lights that rest against the walls of the crypt and there are gates that Lara must unlock. She continues.
Lara walks down some stairs toward a stone archway. There are pots along the edge of the narrow hallway. Lara passes a locked gate and farther down the ancient hallway a blocked area on the left wall that has a rope wrapped beam supported by other wooden poles. Lara must shoot a rope arrow here and expose what is behind this wall. The following are shots of some of the places I just mentioned.
There is a mural with a strange symbol that Lara cannot connect to anything … yet.
Lara: Hmm … I’m not familiar with this symbol.
She turns and walks farther down the hall until there is a junction of another hallway with other rooms to explore. Take Lara to the right where she finds a box that adds to her experience points. Continue to her right and there is a hallway with spears that were triggered from a previous visit to this place. Take her under these and straight towards another locked and gated room.
Lara: Locked, but there’s going to be a way to open them.
Nice clue, Lara!
Continue to her left and another roped wall segment that Lara must shoot another rope arrow at to remove it and expose yet, another wall mural with the mysterious symbol.
Lara: There’s that symbol again!
Lara ponders and moves towards the left down the hall. There will be an ammo pick up along the right wall and another gated room. Pick up the ammo and turn to your right to go back down the hall and down some stairs towards another room. This room has more pickups in it. After you have everything you can take from this room, face the entrance you came through and you will notice a whitewashed wall on the right signifying a place to jump and grab to get to an upper area. Go there and enter the crypt room. As Lara approaches the coffin in the centre of this room she says:
Lara: Trinity’s done a lot with this space in a short time.
You will find more pickups in this room. Take as much as you can in here. There is also another wall area to be uncovered with a rope arrow. Lara finds yet again another mysterious crab symbol on a mural.
Lara: This symbol is definitely important.
After her observation of the mural, take Lara back down the stairs and into the previous room. There is another wall with another whitewashed mark on it for Lara to climb up. Take her up there and find the Trinity log: Notes from Trinity’s radio operator in the room she finds on top. This room also includes a generator. Lara walks over to it and activates it.
Lara: I knew they’d have a generator here somewhere!
She is pleased to see what happens after she turns it on.
Lara: Oh, good. Now let’s see if I missed anything in the dark.
After the generator comes on take Lara through the once closed now open gate in front of her and leave the room. The power has been activated by Lara at this point and the camp lights are also lit allowing for a clearer journey. Once out of the room turn right and go down the hall and through another open gated room. Run in front of a wall of skulls that are threatening to launch spears but never do. Keep going forward and turn left again and you will end up back in the generator room and you also will have gotten the rest of the pickups throughout your tour of the area now with light.
Once again go out of the door of this room make a right run down the hall and another right at the corner. Go down this hall and notice a rectangular crack in the wall on the left. You must squeeze through this area into
another hallway with a Y junction. There is a hall on the left and right of Lara. Turn left here and you will find a snakehead with a lever in its mouth. You have seen these before, and yes Lara must push it in to lift the wooden gate made of sharp spears in this room. Don’t go into this room. Instead, turn and run down the hall to the left and you will find another lever in a snake mouth. Push that one as well and it lifts the spear gate to another room beside it, only Lara must go into the room ahead with an open gated door.
Lara enters the room she makes an observation.
Lara: I’ll bet I know what happens if I pick the wrong door. Nothing good!
She says this because this room is circular by design with doors around its walls. Each has a crab symbol on top of its archway. It is the mysterious symbol that Lara needs to decipher. There is a lever in each door niche with a threatening wall that no doubt has something deadly like spears to kill her if she chooses unwisely. As she comes into the room, she is positioned toward two doors one in the middle the other on the right. Walk Lara up closer and use your senses to highlight the blue lever. This is the door on the right. She pushes it and the door ahead rolls to the side.
Phew, as in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade “She chose wisely!”
Lara: I knew that symbol was important!
The Wrathful god: defeat the guards…
As she enters through the doorway take Lara forward and jump and climb to a rock wall. Rappel down and as she is rappelling Lara hears Trinity guards talking.
Guard #1: After everything we went through to get this thing, you want someone to just steal it from us?
Guard #2: That’s not what I said. I’m questioning why we took it in the first place!
Guard: #3: The plan is solid. It’s gonna take some time to play out.
Guard #2: It’s just all this dam waiting!
As they talk Lara works her way into the room, they are in. They are on top of a stairway. This room has statues of Caiman (Zipacna) and other Maya gods like stelae of 18 rabbit. Lara needs to use strategy to take these guards out one by one. After that task is done you have to move on through a long walkway with a golden symbol at the end.
The Wrathful god: Claim the crab …
In the next room, Lara finds the symbol which by now you must have noticed is a golden crab. Only this time it is not in a mural or on top of a doorway. This time it is resting on a stone block table. Lara observes the piece and calls Abby.
Lara: Abby, it’s Lara. I’m at the Trinity camp. Some of them were guarding a crab figurine.
Abby: Oh no! That must be the central offering from the temple. No wonder the earth is still shaking: that crab was stolen directly from Zipacna himself!
Lara: Abby …
Abby: You have to put that crab back in the Temple where it belongs.
Lara: Okay, I will!
Lara runs out of the room where the Trinity camp was and into another room with a golden symbol over a door. Go up the stairs and the text will say: “Exit the crypt!”
The Wrathful god
Travel to the Temple of Zipacna
Lara goes through the door to an overhang viewpoint looking down into an abandoned village. There was a mudslide here and the inhabitants had to leave. Furthermore, you will see the volcano is releasing some of its ferocity through earthquakes, smoke and gas. A rather anxious area. Lara can see the temple in the background.
Lara: I think I can see the temple site. There’s a village in front of it.
Abby: That’s the one.
Lara continues down a stairway to get to the village. But watch your step because if Lara falls, she will die, for the ground is a steadily moving mudslide. You must search for a safe route to the temple. Go to the first roof and jump onto it. Then jump ahead to the next roof.
Lara: The village is abandoned.
Abby: Because of the mudslide.
Jump to another roof with a board jutting out to the right corner. Jump across to a porch with a railing around it and a wall that looks climbable. To the left of this porch, there is a closed gated doorway, Lara works a weighted puzzle to open it.
Lara: There should be a counterweight that opens the door somewhere.
However, she moves on and jumps up the wall I mentioned earlier across from the gated entrance. Turn left and grapple to the hoops ahead and grab onto the second floor of the next building. Pull up and turn left again and jump into the next building. Lara comments:
Lara: I hope the villagers will be able to return here soon.
Keep moving ahead and Lara comes to an opening in the floor to the lower level. Go through there. Jump down and move ahead and jump to the next level where Lara can see the church in the distance. Across from Lara, there is a wrapped beam Lara comments.
Lara: I could pull that wall section over.
When she does this, it comes down and goes back up so fast she says:
Lara: I don’t have enough time to make it across.
After examining the area Lara turns around and runs over a metal sheet jutting from the roof she is on and lands on the porch of the building. She continues running down the entire length of the porch and turns right at the end. Grapple across to a small rooftop. Lara says:
Lara: I have to go through the church.
Abby: Careful, the buildings are unstable.
Lara keeps moving ahead and jumps to another rooftop beside the church. From there she turns right and jumps through a hole in the wall of the church. Turn left and indeed you can see a red highlighted archway in the distance denoting the Temple. Lara jumps down a series of rooftops and slides nearly out of control down one of them and stops for another observation.
Lara: I can’t believe it! Trinity destroyed the bridge.
Abby: You’ll find your way through.
Lara navigates the perilous terrain of the ruined bridge. Jump to the first white beam in front of Lara. Then keep moving and jump to the next one ahead. Shimmy to your right to another board that is the top of a hanging platform. Then jump to the tree branch and onto the ground. Follow the pathway forward again. Jump to a seesaw suspended walkway. This is a tricky place, for your first idea is to jump to the wall and jump up to grab the ladder overhead. LOL oh no, it is not the correct way, though. Look to the right and you will see a grapple beam protruding from the face of the mountain. Jump onto the suspended platform and then jump to the grapple beam swing and grab onto the ledge ahead and shimmy to Lara’s right. Jump to the right onto a rock wall to climb with your axe. Keep going upward to jump onto the top of the ledge above. Pull up and out! You are now on the threshold of the temple of Zipacna.
Lara: I’m inside the temple.
Lara comments and then come face to face with a giant mural of the crab and Zipacna etc…
Lara: Zipacna’s eating a crab. His favourite food.
In the temple room, you will notice on the upper level, right of the giant mural, a room with a bright red glow. Take Lara up there by jumping up the wall as usual and pulling up. This is a sinister tunnel of glowing red with the head of a giant caiman statue dead ahead. No doubt in the image of Zipacna.
Lara: This has to be it!
Lara continues to the end of the tunnel where she sees the statue is sitting in a pool of moulting lava. This entire place is a seething volcano that threatens to erupt at any moment. Lara needs to work fast to return the symbolic crab offering symbol to its proper place.
Complete the temple’s trial
This next section is riddled with fire puzzles. They are fun and you have to act fast, so hone up your running skills.
Lara: I’m okay! And I see Zipacna!
Make a left at the opening and run down the hallway and jump to a rock wall to climb with your axe. Go to the left and rappel down.
Lara: Getting closer
Drop Lara down to a ledge below. Grab and go to the left around the rock you are on. At the end of the ledge, you are on, drop down and grab with our axe the rockface below you. Rappel down and swing to the floor below. This is where your first fire trap begins. You can see an entire hallway with fire shooting throughout it. You must navigate the hall might I say carefully. Don’t worry, there is a way.
To the left of the fire hall, there is a skull with a wrapped rope lever on it. Shoot an arrow at it and pull. It deactivates the fire for a short time. Sprint through this hall because shortly it will be a blazing nightmare again.
Lara: I have to hurry before it starts again. Damn, too close!
After you jump across to an area where the floor is broken and pull up, walk to the right and you will see the first platform with the Caiman head agape head-on. Walk to the crab sitting on the top of a pedestal directly in front of the Caiman head.
Lara: Just beautiful!
Push the crab back it is actually a lever. This action turns the Caiman head depicting Zipacna to Lara’s left. Also, if you look hard enough into the mouth of the Caiman head you will see the stela, your objective in this timed fire sequence. But you can’t get it just yet. On to the next segment. Lara comments:
Lara: There must be more of these triggers. If I find all of them, they’ll push Zipacna back to the top.
Turn and walk from the pedestal and turn down the hall on the right. Walkthrough the archway ahead and when Lara reaches the end of this archway, she sees a floating platform with a rope wrapped lever on one end. This is a leverage puzzle. Step on the platform but do not go forward by grappling just yet. That is the natural instinct. When she steps onto the first platform it lowers while the one ahead lifts higher beckoning her to another fire hallway. Turn around to see the wrapped lever and notice there is another one attached to the wall level with the platform because it lowered. Attach a rope arrow to these two levers and then make the grapple jump to the other platform and then jump again to the ledge directly ahead, pull up and shoot the roped lever above to deactivate the fire and sprint and jump to your right onto a little island in the lava. In front of that is another roped skull lever you need to pull down to deactivate more fire that shoots across the path ahead where Lara must shimmy across several ledges on the wall. Go as fast as you can here. There is a sliver of time to make it to safety. Shimmy to your left go up shimmy again to the left jump to the next ledge keep going to the left jump again to another ledge on your left then jump to another ledge on the right. Continue until you come to a place on the wall where you can jump safely to the bottom elevated stone walkway where you will find a wooden spear gated doorway.
Walk to your right and yet again you will find the Caiman head in front of another Crab on a pedestal. Notice the mouth of the Caiman is open a bit more exposing the stela.
Lara: That’s got it!
Run in front of the gated doorway that has a fire blazing through it. There is yet another rope wrapped lever on a skull above this doorway. Shoot it and pull and run like a beast through the entire hallway for the fire comes on fast and covers a lot of distance. When you reach the end, you will jump down and then jump/climb up a small wall to the top on your right. On top, you will notice a wrapped in rope small beam you must turn on one end. But first, you will notice a suspended structure with two platforms hanging from it on either end in front of Lara. These are reminiscent of the one you crossed earlier. Stand by the wrapped beam you must turn and attach a rope to the upper side of the structure above that has a wrapped rope handle on its side. Attach them both and turn the structure by turning the wheel on the roped beam by Lara. This rotates the platforms into place for you to continue onward. This directional platform puzzle is fascinating. Lara must grapple jump to the next platform and jump from that one to the ground and go-ahead to her left down the path. You will find another rope wrapped beam to turn. Same sequence to rotate the two platforms into their next position. Notice how this position is lined up with the Caiman head (Zipacna) Go across to the next platform by grapple jumping and pull up onto the ledge ahead. Pull up and go to the left. Keep running to the right and down to a doorway and a wall you can climb up to try and get into. Oh, but think again once you are up there.
You may want to go through the window with gold latticework on front of it, but you must look to the right at a beam jutting from the temple wall with a grapple hoop hanging from the bottom. Jump towards it and grapple to Lara’s left and drop down to a pathway below. Duck under an overhang to continue around the corner of this path and stop because your path is once again taken over by the fire. But you will see the rope lever with a skull to pull again. Shoot the roped lever and quickly swing up to a rock surface that you can use the axe to climb. Go straight up to pull up onto a ledge that you must shimmy across to another one on the right. Jump to the ledge on the right and pull up into the alcove above. Go into the room and run to your left and then dead ahead is the Caiman head open a bit more now displaying your prize you cannot quite get to at the moment. Push the crab on the pedestal in front on Lara and the Caiman turns yet again and raises a bit higher. Lara comments
Lara: Up there inside the caiman’s mouth!
Lara turns and runs to the right and climbs up to the top of a small wall where she sees an intense fire engulfing the interior of a section of the temple. She knows this is serious for she must progress through this area. Go to the left down the pathway until you come to two more platforms. You know the drill. Lara must jump grapple to the other platform and get to the place once again to turn them to face the next leg of her journey, the burning temple section. It is a giant hallway with a ton of fire.
Attach the rope arrow to the two wrapped in rope handles to secure the platform into place and not lower the other one when Lara jumps across to it. Jump grapple to the other platform and pull up onto the ground by the fire hall. When Lara tries to attach a rope to the lever with the skull when she pulls down on it, it explodes, and the fire is still there.
Lara runs to the left of the fire.
Lara: Damn, I need another way to the top!
She jumps to another ledge on the left and pulls up to continue. She is not on top of another flat, long beam that attaches or once attached two platforms that rise up and lower down. Lara runs to the end and jumps to a rock wall ahead that Lara’s grapple attaches to and she pulls up with the line. Look down at the long, flat beam that attaches the two platforms you just positioned earlier. Yes, that is where you are going but for now, rappel and swing to the small ledge platform just above the beam. Position yourself with the beam spanning away from Lara below and jump on top. Run to the end of the beam and jump to the flaming temple hallway ahead. This is a bit tricky. The object is to get to a zip-line on the right, outer side of this hallway.
The fire puzzle is timed in segments. This means when certain flames turn off, others come back on so you better take Lara into a safe zone with each step of progression. I actually went by the first flame and somehow in a fluke of luck managed to jump to safety to the right and onto the zipline. It felt like a shortcut. I guess it was for me. LOL. You can also go directly ahead and brave the flames run and jump over a lot more flames. Only when she lands the floor will fall out! She will slide fast so watch out and jump and grapple to another rock wall section above and swing to the safety of the floor below. Stay to your right and follow the long hall until you find your prize with his mouth open wide. Yay, you made it!
Walk / run inside the Caiman’s mouth and activate the stela. Lara turns and sees a once gated by wooden spears doorway opened.
Lara: Now what? Through the door, I guess!
At this point, the screen displays the Volcano crafting ability for your shotgun ammo.
Wrath of an angry god
Enter the secret room
Lara runs ahead and following the path through the door and into a red glow opening. Here she must jump to and grab with her axes and progress to her left onto another rock wall and then way off to the left and above Lara she must grapple to another rocky wall and rappel and swing onto the floor below. Run straight forward across a stony skyway and into a secret area. Lara makes an observation.
Lara: This must be where the crab belongs!
A cut scene with an explosive that Lara passes by on the temple placed by Trinity is activated and one of the men shouts: “GET HER”
Lara turns and notices the explosive device next to her beeping and she dives and rolls yelling: “OH SHIT!”
Lara realizes she was led into a trap by Trinity!
Trinity: There she is boys! Just like we planned! Need a better angle! We’ve got her!
Lara sees the Trinity soldiers across on part of the temple divided by a raging lava river. Lara has to pick them off from a distance as they hurl explosives at her and zip-line over the gap to take her out! Use a strategy here. They constantly come at Lara and part of the temple she is in also is blown away, and if she is standing there you know how hot lava is? Keep her moving in and out of their view never staying too long in one place so they can get a fix on her. Also, aim at the explosive pots on the building they are on. It helps to take them down faster. Make sure they are all gone before you try to zip-line across, or they will shoot you down before you reach the other side. Always watch your back, for Trinity will get onto the building you are on and ambush you. Clear all of them and then proceed across on the zip-line.
The Wrathful god
Return the Crab
Take the zip-line across the lava into the building Trinity was on. Go to your right and head up the stairs. You will find a Caiman head with an opened mouth awaiting its lost crab! Of course, it is in the image of Zipacna. Lara walks up to it and another cut scene unfolds.
Lara: Abby, I’m at Zipacna’s temple. Trinity was waiting for me! They stole the crab to lead me into an ambush!
Abby: My god, are you okay?
Lara: I’m fine and the crab is back where it belongs.
Abby: Oh, that’s such a relief. Thank you. Let’s hope you returned it in time.
Lara: Tell Jonah I’m on my way back.
The Wrathful god …
Return to Jonah
You find yourself back in San Juan. Make your way back to the courtyard where Jonah is by the fountain. All you do here is backtrack.
Jonah: So, Abby tells me the whole thing was a set-up?
Lara: Yes, when I returned the crab, Trinity had a trap waiting for me.
Jonah: I guess that’s some kind of compliment. They trusted you to bring it back.
Abby walks up and takes Jonah’s hand. Lara notices again.
Abby: Thank you so much, Lara! Now that the crab is back in its rightful place the ash is gone and the tremors have stopped.
Lara: I’m not sure I can take credit for all of that.
Jonah: Either way, it never hurts to keep the gods happy.
Abby: When good things come into your life, you’ve got to celebrate them.
After that Abby leaves and Lara watches her and then turns her attention to Jonah with a smile and he takes a place back on the edge of the fountain. You have completed the mission congratulations!
You will see the following items added to your inventory.
Whispering Scourge – Pandemic
Suppressed shotgun – blow them away
Reptile Hide – Leviathan
Plates offer resistance against projectiles, while memory fabrics increase experience gained from assault kills.
My thoughts …
I enjoyed this DLC. It had a lot of timed fire puzzles and they make you think and look ahead for the safe areas to continue. You need to utilize a good strategy to make it through certain combat areas as well as find shortcuts etcetera. I liked the elements in play throughout this game DLC because some of it reminded me of the classic games. However, the graphics in the temple and for all of the areas including the Caiman depicting Zipacna were exceptionally beautiful. I had a field day in photo mode with this one.
Yep, all in all, I enjoyed the game-play of The Grand Caiman. It followed an interesting ambush twist where Trinity tricked Lara by stealing the artefact and making her find it to replace it. They knew she had the skill and passion to do this and they were waiting for her in the temple to kill her. Until the next DLC enjoy my screenshots and remember to:
Explore the World!