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Sharks and Mercenaries
Mediterranean Sea and Coastal Thailand sharks are same animal in Tomb Raider Underworld. This type of enemy only attacks with a melee attack, a bite to be exact that can do a significant amount of damage to Lara if it hits her.
These types of animals will only act on their natural predatory instincts. If Lara stays away from their general area they won't bother her. If Lara does peak their interest, these animals will pursue her into open water. However, they will shy away from enclosed underwater caverns and structures. Once Lara is being targeted by sharks, they'll circle around her maintaining a constant distance while periodically moving in for a quick bite. The best way to deal with sharks is to avoid them when possible. Usually, if Lara takes the most direct route to her next destination she'll never have to deal with them at all. If Lara does have to fight them, use a Spear Gun to score hits when they move into range during their approach and retreat, while executing a fast Underwater Dodge to avoid them. In a pinch, Lara can also take sharks out with her pistols while in shallow water. Just stay in the boat and take them out before entering the water.
Mercenaries will be encountered in the Mediterranean and Coastal Thailand areas of Tomb Raider Underworld and are the easiest opponent for Lara. This doesn't mean they can't take her out, because they can. Mercenaries generally use a rifle of some sort and will resort to melee combat in close.
Mercenaries will use cover effectively. They will work together to take Lara out and aren't afraid to run at her and try to take her out with hand to hand combat. If they lose sight of Lara, they'll patrol slowly to try to find Lara or wait for her to emerge from her hiding place.
Lara shouldn't try to take on groups of mercenaries. Instead she should stay back and pick them off one by one until their numbers are reduced. They'll come to Lara, so she should be able to easily take them out as they approach with a combination of grenades, firepower, and melee attacks to finish off the leftovers.
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Spiders and Bats
Spiders can be encountered in the thick forests of Coastal Thailand and Southern Mexico and in Croft Manor in Tomb Raider Underworld. Normal spiders will try jumping at Lara to deliver a bite or will just drop on her. They make a lot of noise as they attack Lara and always take the direct route across surfaces. Lara should eliminate spiders using melee attacks or her pistols and save her ammunition for other opponents.
Bats are encountered in the thick forests of Coastal Thailand and Southern Mexico, as well as Jan Mayen Island and Croft Manor. Bats will use their senses to locate Lara but are less aggressive than the other opponents she'll encounter. Lara can hear them coming because of their screeching that usually comes before they attack. Bats are less of a threat than the majority of the threats Lara will face, about the same as normal spiders.
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Tigers and Poachers
Tigers are pretty tough in their own environment in Coastal Thailand. (For more details, see the Tomb Raider Underworld walkthrough on this area).These animals are difficult for Lara to deal with in the melee combat they specialize in because of their reflexes and will occasionally, (about 20 percent of the time), avoid Lara's kicks and other melee attacks altogether.
These predators are amazingly fast and aggressive in groups such as the ones Lara usually deals with. They usually just attack and don't stop until their prey is down. Tigers can easily vault over lower structures, but don't like to climb walls, so Lara should always get above them when possible. If Lara must take out a group of Tigers, the weapon of choice should be a shotgun.
Poachers are only encountered in the Southern Mexico area of the game. They and usually well equipped, carrying assault rifles that are excellent ranged weapons. Poachers are very similar to mercenaries in terms of battle strategies. They tend to use cover intelligently to defend against Lara's attacks. Poachers tend to be a little better at the game of cat and mouse that Lara likes to play with mercenaries. Using this strategy can turn into a long battle of wills, where the winner is the one who exhibits the greatest patience. A good strategy is to hang back and let poachers take on any nearby panthers before moving in and finishing off the winners.
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Nagas will be encountered in the jungles of Coastal Thailand and come in two types; red nagas and green nagas.
Green nagas are nasty creatures that spit venom at Lara and try to bite her in close combat. The green variety likes to rear up before spitting. This makes it easy for Lara to dodge the venom, as long as she doesn't move to soon because they have a nasty habit of altering their aim when on their hind quarters. Green nagas are fast climbers so if Lara seeks refuge high in the air, they can often still climb to her. They can easily climb along surfaces and quickly transition from climbing to running on a flat surface, so Lara will have to move around fast to avoid them.
The best way to deal with green nagas is with an assault rifle at range. If Lara does find herself engaged in combat with these creatures at closer ranges, the spear gun and shotgun are her most effective choices. (For more information on these weapons, see the Tomb Raider Underworld walkthrough guide on weapon breakdowns).Avoid engaging in melee combat with more than one green naga at a time and if you must take one on in close combat use Lara's kick. If Lara encounters a group of mixed creatures that contains green nagas, she should try to take them out first at range to prevent them using their ranged attack against her. If they're climbing the walls toward Lara shoot them off the walls and make them start again, which will give Lara more time for other things.
Red nagas lack the ranged attack of their green cousins, but a lot more aggressive and have better endurance than green nagas. If a red naga shifts its weight onto its rear legs, it's time for Lara to move. Their lunging attacks will knock Lara down, which can be fatal for Lara if she's dealing with a group of red nagas. Red nagas can also climb walls quickly and will chase after Lara if they see her. Red nagas should be eliminated using the same tactics suggested for taking care of green nagas.
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Panthers and Tiger Thralls
Panthers will be found in southern Mexico, one of the toughest natural enemies Lara will encounter during her adventures. Panthers are quick and fearless in battle, which makes them an extreme threat.
Bullets are less effective against panthers and melee attacks are not the most effective way to eliminate them because they are quick enough to evade Lara's melee attacks a high percentage of the time. Panthers will vary their attacks between long range lunges that will knock Lara down if they land and short range swipes with their paws.
Lara will run into panthers in the early stages of her Tomb Raider Underworld adventures in Mexico, so keep an eye above you and to your sides at all times while traveling through Mexico. Use a shotgun to deal with panthers or Lara's pistols. Either one will be effective, although the shotgun does better damage. Resist the urge to finish off panthers with Lara's melee attacks. Panthers are highly resistant to melee attacks and are still dangerous when hurt.
Tiger Thralls are encountered in Croft Manor and in the jungles of Southern Mexico. A tough, durable foe that knows no fear, these beasts will attack relentlessly and give Lara no time to take a breath. Tiger thralls are similar in most ways to tigers (only tougher) but they still only use melee attacks, so you can use a lot of the same tactics to deal with tiger thralls that you used for tigers.
Tiger thralls will stand on their hindquarters and do a powerful swipe with their paws that can knock Lara off her feet, so stay back out of the range of this attack. Pay attention if they do get in range to try this attack. A simple dodge will keep Lara out of the way, and she can still blast away at her opponents.
The most reliable strategy for Lara is to swing up onto higher ground to get above tiger thralls. Once on a ledge or high point out of the reach of tiger thralls, just lob grenades and blast away with a shotgun. Just don't forget to stomp on their bones to shatter them and finish them off, as you need to do with all thralls.
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Mayan Thralls are tough and deadly foes Lara will face while adventuring in Southern Mexico. (For more details, see the Tomb Raider Underworld walkthrough on this area). These deadly creatures will vomit noxious goo in a fan pattern at close range, as well as try to kill Lara using their long-armed melee attack, which is hard to avoid due to the sheer size of these beasts.
The one blessing is that these creatures are slow to rise if Lara can manage to knock them down, which gives Lara more time for other things. These creatures are unorthodox in their movements and can often attack from weird looking angles, so you want to keep your distance from these creatures at all times. They aren't the most aggressive creatures, which helps Lara out, because sometimes they'll loose their focus for a few moments. During these moments, Lara will have a chance to take advantage of their lapse in concentration to eliminate them.
A mixture of shotgun blasts and melee kicks is the best method to eliminate these creatures, especially flying kicks, which will have a good chance of knocking them down. If Lara does come up against more than one of these foul beasts, it's best for her to knock down a few and then stomp on them, instead of dealing with them one at a time. This way you take advantage of their brief regeneration time to take out a few at once. If possible Lara should always climb above these creatures and beyond their reach and then she can eliminate them.
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Viking Thralls and Yeti Thralls
Viking Thralls are extremely tough and durable foes that Lara will encounter on Jan Mayen Island and in the cold environments of the Arctic Sea. Bigger, tougher, and uglier than the Mayan thrall, Viking thralls use melee attacks in combat, along with a burst of toxic goo.
The same combat tactics Lara uses for Mayan thralls work just as well for Viking thralls. Lara should get up above these creatures whenever possible and then eliminate them. If this is not possible, then Lara should avoid their attacks while blasting them with a shotgun and then finish them with kicks.
Yeti Thralls are also encountered on Jan Mayen Island and in the frozen Arctic Sea level. (For more details see the Tomb Raider Underworld walkthrough for this area). These are the toughest creatures Lara will face and have the strongest melee attack of any creature in the game.These are slow creatures, but enormously powerful and resistant to damage of all types. They lumber toward Lara with their long stride, but are easy for her to avoid using her foot speed. Lara needs to stay on the move and make sure she doesn't get cornered by these beasts.
The quickest and most efficient way to eliminate the Yeti Thralls is to use grenades from height or even level ground. The spear gun is also a very effective weapon against these creatures and despite their strength and size these creatures can be eliminated with a single Adrenalin Headshot.
- Screenshots created by Sheila Robinson.