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Shadow of the Tomb Raider guide: Hidden City challenge tombs

Hoatzin’s Hunger and Jaguar’s Paw

Eidos Montreal, Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

There are three challenge tombs in Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s Hidden City region. In this guide, we’ll show you how to find them, where to collect all of the relics, documents, and survival caches along the way, and how to solve the puzzles.

Village Caves base camp challenge tomb

Finding the Temple of the Sun challenge tomb in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is as much of a challenge as solving the tomb’s puzzle. This challenge tomb is located in the south of the Hidden City of Paititi.

Finding the Temple Path base camp

  1. Starting from the Village Caves base camp, turn left and climb up the stone terraces — you can follow the irrigation channel backward.
  2. At the top, look for the stairs to the left.
  3. Just a little up the stairs, go into the open courtyard on your left.
  4. Head into the house on your right and look for the opening in the floor above some water.
  5. Dive in and swim straight through the tunnel. (Make sure to grab the ore at the other end.)
  6. Climb out of the water on the right to find the Temple Path base camp and a document behind it.

From the Temple Path base camp

  1. Climb up the stairs to the left of the Temple Path Base Camp. There’s another document on your right when you reach the top.
  2. Just past that document, climb the wall on your right.
  3. At the top, there’s an archivist map on your left. The platform on your right is part of the exit (and part of the high dive challenge).
  4. You’re looking for the destructible wall in front of you. Knock it down and squeeze through the wall.

Unknown Area: Challenge tomb

  1. You can ignore the path on your left for now. Jump forward and grapple swing over to the wall ahead of you. Pickaxe into the rock, then climb up to the ledge.
  2. Use the ledge to work your way all the way around to the left, then jump to the other pickaxe-able wall.
  3. Rappel down, then start running back and forth along the wall. You’re aiming for the ledge on the left, but it’s going to take a bit of momentum to get to it.
  4. From the ledge, drop down and use your pickaxes to continue working around to the left.
  5. When you run out of pickaxe wall, climb up and use the ledges to keep working left.
  6. Continue along that way and you’ll see the tomb entrance above you on your left.
  7. Jump across the gap and use the ledges to climb into the tomb.
  8. Inside, walk forward and grab the document on your right.
  9. Take the first right and go down the stairs to find a mural.
  10. Head back up to the top of the stairs and climb the broken ladder to find the Temple of the Sun base camp.

Entering the tomb

  1. From the Temple of the Sun Base Camp, walk over to the opening in the wall to the right.
  2. Jump onto the pole, then swing across to the pickaxe wall. Rappel down to the floor.
  3. There’s another mural up the stairs to your left. Up the stairs behind you, there’s some gold offerings near the top.
  4. Head through the hallway that was ahead of you when you landed, and follow it to the left.
  5. Duck under the door to find this tomb’s puzzle.

The gimmick

You’re probably familiar with this puzzle’s gimmick: Use the mirrors to bounce beams of light around. There’s a twist to this one, though — you’re not trying to point the light at a target, you’re trying to point it away from the center.

The mechanic here is that when you point a light beam at the green collar on a pillar, it will turn. For the large platform in the center, the mirrors are holding the platform up — which is what you’re trying to undo. For the T-shaped pillars between the mirrors, pointing a mirror at them will rotate them so you can cross them. And that’s how you’re going to solve this puzzle — you’ll move a mirror away from the central platform toward one of the T-shaped poles, then move on to another mirror.

Mirror 1 to Mirror 2

  1. Turn the Mirror 1 to the left until it points at the T-shaped pole between Mirrors 1 and 2 and turns it.
  2. Cross the pole to Mirror 2.

Mirror 2 to Mirror 3

  1. Turn Mirror 2 to the left just a little. You’re aiming at the pole closest to Mirror 3.
  2. Use your Hunter’s Instinct to help you aim.
  3. Cross back over to Mirror 1, then turn Mirror 1 to the right and aim at the other pole leading to Mirror 3.
  4. Cross both poles along the right side of the room until you get to Mirror 3.

Mirror 3 to Mirror 4

When you move Mirror 3, the central platform will descend and block the beam from Mirror 2, so you’re trapped here for now.

  1. Turn Mirror 3 to the left until it points at the closest pole (the one you just crossed) and restore the path back to Mirror 1.
  2. Jump to the pickaxe wall to the left of the pole, then climb up to ledge above.
  3. Jump over to the pole, then cross all the way back to Mirror 1.
  4. Turn Mirror 1 to the left to restore the path to Mirror 2 and cross it.
  5. Turn Mirror 2 to the right to also point at the pole to Mirror 1.
  6. Cross back to Mirror 1.
  7. Turn Mirror 1 to the right until it points at the pole closest to Mirror 4 (remember to use your Hunter’s Instinct).
  8. Cross back to Mirror 2.
  9. Turn Mirror 2 to the left until it points at the first pole on the left side (leading to Mirror 4).
  10. Cross both poles on the left side to get to Mirror 4.

Mirror 4 and central platform

  1. Turn Mirror 4 to the left to point at the pole closest to the stele.
  2. Turn around, then climb the wall behind you (make sure you check out the mural in the corner).
  3. Use the ledges to get back to the pole, then cross to the platform halfway back toward Mirror 2, then turn left.
  4. Follow the walkway and jump across to the central platform.
  5. Turn left, then cross the final two poles to the end of the tomb.
  6. Collect Hoatzin’s Hunger and the gold offerings behind the stele.
  7. Head back to the central platform and get back to the platform between Mirrors 2 and 4.

Exiting the tomb

  1. Head into the hallway from the platform on the left side of the room. The exit is on your right, but there are things to collect on the left.
  2. Follow the hallway to the left and pick up the document along the way.
  3. There’s a survival cache at the far end of the hall.
  4. Head all the way back down the hall, then climb the wooden wall.
  5. Use the rope pillars at the top to create a zip line, then cross it.
  6. Climb the rock wall on your right up to the ledge. Creep along to the left until you run out of ledge.
  7. Jump across the gap to the pickaxe-able wall, then rappel down.
  8. Swing over to the ledge on your left, then drop to the ground. This is the path we told you to ignore way up above.
  9. Turn to the right and squeeze back through the gap.
  10. Grab the document on your left, then head out onto the wooden platform.
  11. Swan dive off the platform to collect one of the high dive challenges.

Kukulkan Temple base camp challenge tomb

The other challenge tomb in the Hidden City of Paititi is on the eastern side of the city near the Temple of Kukulkan.

Finding the tomb

  1. From the Kukulkan Temple base camp, head north. Jump across the gap to the pickaxe wall.
  2. Rappel down, then drop to the platform below. Grab the survival cache next to you when you land.
  3. Turn left to enter the tomb.

To the Subterranean River base camp

  1. Walk into the water and dive down. There’s a tunnel ahead and to the left of you.
  2. The tunnel you’re swimming through is long, but it doesn’t branch, so you can’t get long. There are two trapped air pockets to help you through.
  3. Squeeze through the gap at the end of the tunnel, then surface and climb out of the water.
  4. Climb the pickaxe wall ahead of you.
  5. At the top, take the right path to pick up a relic, then climb up to the ramp on the left.
  6. Follow the ramp up, then use the ledges to drop down into the chamber below you.
  7. Work your way across the chamber, past the wooden barricade on your right. Keep heading straight across to pick up another survival cache.
  8. Immediately after the barricade, look for a ledge you can jump up to also on your right.
  9. Climb the ledge on your left, then continue forward and through the doorway on your right.
  10. Turn to the right to find a mural, then continue forward to find the Subterranean River base camp on your left.

Aqueduct puzzle — first room

  1. Drop off the ledge next to the base camp into the water. Head to the left and climb out of the water.
  2. Take note of the lever on your right, but don’t throw it yet. Drop down into the chamber and turn to the right to find the kickable raft. Kick it out into the middle of the room. Use a rope arrow to tether the raft to the gate with a rope coil on the bottom.
  3. Return to the switch where you started by climbing up the ledges to the right of the gate. Throw the lever to flood the room. The raft will pull the door open.
  4. Dive into the water and swim through the gate you just opened. Follow that tunnel all the way to the end, then pull down the pry barrier. Surface in the next room to catch your breath.
  5. Dive back down and look for a switch next to the a gate. Pull the switch to drain the water out of this room.
  6. Turn to the left and pull down the rope pull barrier. Four yaaxil will rush you when the barrier is down, so be prepared.

Aqueduct puzzle — second room

  1. Once the yaaxil are dealt with, head through the barrier back to the first room. Cut the rope on the kickable raft, then kick it through to the second room.
  2. Head back to the beginning and pull the lever again to flood both rooms. Dive into the water and swim through to the second room.
  3. Use the raft to jump up to the doorway on the left.
  4. Follow the room around to the right and handle another yaaxil attack.
  5. On the far side of the room, climb onto the wooden platform on the right, then loop to the right and climb the ramp there. There will be a few more yaaxil at the top.

Aqueduct puzzle — third room

  1. Pull the lever on your left as soon as you’re past the yaaxil. This will further flood the chamber and bring the kickable raft up to your level. The current will bring it over to you.
  2. Hop onto the raft, then use a rope arrow to tether it to the water wheel on the far side of the room. The wheel will pull you and raft over to it. Jump up and stand on the other side of the water wheel’s axle.
  3. Look up in the middle of the room for a rope-wrapped counterweight. Tether it to the axle with another rope arrow.
  4. More yaaxil will show up and disrupt the process here, so shoot them first. Find the raft, then let the water wheel pull it back close to you.
  5. Once the raft is close, use the water wheel to pull the counterweight again. Once it’s attached, jump off the platform you’re on and onto the raft.
  6. As the raft floats past the stone pillar, jump across and climb all the way up the wooden structure. Jump across to the hanging box, then jump the rest of the way to the temple.
  7. Climb the stairs inside to find the tomb stele where you’ll pick up the Jaguar’s Paw skill.

Exiting the tomb

  1. Turn to the right from the tomb stele and climb onto the platform there. Follow the water to the right back to the chamber you were just in.
  2. Hop onto the zip line at the end of the water channel and ride it out.
  3. When you land in the water at the bottom, swim straight forward and climb out to be right next to the Subterranean River base camp.
  4. Backtrack from here to exit the tomb.

Wild Jungle base camp challenge tomb

You’ll discover this challenge tomb in the Wild Jungle region to the west of the Hidden City of Paititi.

Finding the challenge tomb to the Ossuary base camp

  1. From the Wild Jungle base camp, loop around to the left and follow the shallow water to the south.
  2. When you reach the deep pool near the waterfall, dive down and look to your right to find the entrance to the challenge tomb.
  3. Squeeze through the entrance, then turn left and swim into the tunnel there. Swim into the not-intimidating-at-all skull’s mouth.
  4. Keep following the tunnel down. Swim under the beam with the obsidian blades, then continue along and surface in the next room. Climb out onto the shore.
  5. Walk forward to the ledge, then jump across the gap to the pickaxe wall. Rappel down, then swing forward. When you land, check out the mural on your right. Just a little ahead from there, you’ll find the Ossuary base camp.

To the puzzle

  1. Right behind the Ossuary base camp, squeeze between the wooden planks. On the other side, run down the stairs to the right and push the switch there.
  2. Turn back toward the stairs you just came down and walk out onto the stone beam that juts out to the right. Jump from there to the walkway ahead of you.
  3. Turn right and jump over the first two spinning obsidian blade poles. Squeeze past the third set of poles on the left.
  4. From the wooden platform, jump to the pickaxe wall. Rappel down, then swing over to the circular stone platform below.
  5. Continue through the doorway and follow the path. Visit the mural on the left side of the path, then follow the path around to the right.
  6. Push the switch on the right side of the path to start the puzzle’s mechanism.
  7. Jump over the spiked poles, then continue forward into the next room.

First phase

  1. As you enter the room, the tomb’s mechanism will raise the large column in the center of the room.
  2. Walk forward and wait for the lower arm to pass. Follow it to the right and jump the gap in the floor. Jump again to avoid the next arm that swing past, then step out of the ring to the right.
  3. Jump from the wooden platform to the stone ring below you. Turn left and follow the path around to the back side of the room.
  4. Climb the stairs, then pull the switch you find there on your left. Rush back to the left to retrace your steps along the outer ring. You’ll have to dodge and jump a lot of spikes and fire.
  5. When you get back toward the beginning of the ring, watch for a switch on your right. Push the switch to lower the column halfway.

Second phase

  1. Return to the main path and approach the ring again. Turn to the left this time. Jump over the lower arm and duck under the higher one.
  2. Run to the wooden platform on the left, then jump to the outer ring again.
  3. Turn to the right this time and follow the ring around the back side of the room again.
  4. At the top of the stairs, pull the switch just like before. Turn back to the right and dodge all the spikes and fire again.
  5. When you get all the way back around push the switch to stop the column.
  6. Head toward the column and use the stopped arm to walk forward. Jump up the the handhold, then continue out along the arm to the right.
  7. Follow that around around the corner, then continue right until you can climb on top. Jump from there to the top of the column.
  8. Visit the tomb stele to receive the Sip’s Quiver skill.

Exiting the tomb

  1. Turn left from the tomb stele and fire a rope arrow to create a zip line down. Follow the path until you reach the waterwheels with the two obsidian-spiked poles.
  2. Jump under the poles this time and climb into the tunnel there. There is a survival cache directly ahead of you.
  3. Turn left from the cache and continue following the tunnel.
  4. When you reach the gap, jump across to the pickaxe wall. Climb around to the left, then jump to the next pickaxe wall on your left.
  5. Climb to the top of that one, then follow the stairs up. Look for a pillar on your left to climb.
  6. Jump to the next pillar, then across to the ledge above you. Climb up a little higher and into the stalactite-filled tunnel.
  7. At the end of that tunnel, you’ll slide down a slope. Jump from the slope to the pickaxe wall.
  8. Climb to the left, then jump to another pickaxe wall to your left. Climb to the top, then jump into the water on your left. Follow the underwater tunnel there all the way out of the tomb.

The next level of puzzles.

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