Gallows Tree

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Gallows Tree
Section Ireland Section
Level No 8
Secrets 3
Location Ireland
Level Chronology:
Sinking Submarine Gallows Tree Labyrinth

Gallows Tree is the eighth Level in Tomb Raider Chronicles and an opener for the Black Isle Section. It takes players into the past, to a time when Lara was sweet sixteen.


While staying at Winston's cottage in Connussie with his wife as repairs are being carried out in Croft Manor, Lara notices the entrance of Father Patrick Dunstan, a local Catholic priest. He announces to Winston that he plans to go over to the Black Isle to investigate ghostly apparitions and hauntings. Lara is determined to find out what's going on, and stows away on a boat that Father Dunstan hires to take him across to the Island. Lara hides under a tarpaulin. When they reach the opposite shore, Lara sees the priest go into a cave that seals up again instantly.

The level can be divided into three main areas. The first is the gorge that Lara must cross in order to proceed. The second is the stone buildings and cottages by the church steeple; this area also contains the Gallows Tree itself. The final area is the series of rock-cut tombs and nearby tunnels that Lara must investigate.

By far the most interesting event in the level is the cutscene involving the appearance of the hanged man in the twisted and dead Gallows Tree. He asks Lara to return his heart that is caught in the roots of the World Tree (in this instance, the Gallows Tree), which is guarded by the dragon Niddhog. He ends this with the phrase "My soul is gone, and how it fares, nobody knows, and nobody cares!" this is followed by a burst of sinister laughter and his subsequent disappearance.

Examining this event throws up several insights and questions into the level's design. The 'World Tree' and the dragon named Niddhog is parallel to Norse mythology, which is accurate as for part of it's history Ireland was invaded and settled by Vikings. However, there is no appearance of a dragon, and the Gallows Tree is unlikely to be a candidate for the 'World Tree' - it is rather short and stumpy, with no foliage. However, its roots appear to extend all across the village area.

The cottages are an object of interest. Although they may look like buildings from Medieval Europe, cottages like these were being built and inhabited well into the twentieth century in rural and isolated communities in Ireland and Scotland. The fact that these cottages were inhabited at least in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries is proved by the appearance of a bicycle in one of them. The church bell tower is almost completely ruined, and the whole village appears to be decrepit and abandoned for a long time.

The rock cut tombs with their stone sarcophagi are fairly accurate, and should be explored. The still burning torches inside and the background music enhance the overall supernatural feel to the level. There is one appearance of a greater demonic presence in the village, as Lara meets up with Father Dunstan as he is exorcising an unseen creature that resides in a deep hole. He throws a piece of iron into the abyss, and advises Lara that iron can be used to repel similar creatures.

When Lara finds the roots of the World Tree, she uses a torch to burn through them and release the heart. When it is placed in a receptacle, it will open the way to the end of the level, yet Lara will not be able to proceed if she does not carry an iron item to repel the imps that would attack her.


Traps & Obstacles


Typical Scenery of the Level