Shangri-La Tips and Tricks
After spending some more time with Shangri-La, the newest and deepest zombie blasting experience in Black Ops, I thought I’d give some advice to help anyone looking to break the high score or crack the secret. Like the last two maps, Shangri-La includes an “easter egg,” which in this case is a convoluted and difficult series of seemingly random actions that will, eventually, reveal a secret.
As of this morning, Shangri-La’s easter egg has been cracked (click here to see the final step) thanks to the tireless efforts of zombie enthusiasts everywhere. The easter egg in Ascension started this whole craze, and Matt and I spent hours with co-op buddies trying to be the first to crack Call Of The Dead’s easter egg (we were close!).
So, let’s get acquainted with Shangri-La’s layout and enemies.
The first thing you’ll notice is that Shangri-La is much more pleasant to look at than Call Of The Dead and Ascension. There are temples and ancient ruins spread across the entire map, along with a mineshaft of sorts that runs below ground. When you first start, you’ll be in front of a huge temple with inaccessible stairs. Two windows flank each side of the temple, and there are two more across from them on the other side of the starting area. In the middle you’ll see the Quick Revive perk machine, and on the middle left and right two piles of debris that lead to the next areas.
There are two new enemies to look out for: the Shrieker and the Napalm zombie. The Shrieker reminds me of the witch from Left 4 Dead, at least behaviorally, and will blind and slow you down if you get too close. Tougher than your average zombie, but not really a huge problem until level 10 and higher. The Napalm zombie, however, is a real bastard. If you get too close, you’ll start to catch fire, which hurts your player, obscures your screen, and annoys the hell out of you. He also has a lot more health than regular zombies. Shoot him enough and he’ll blow up, but make sure you’re far away, as he’s basically a walking bomb.
The monkeys from Ascension return, although this time they’ve ditched their adorable little spacesuits and instead show up whenever a power-up drops. They’re always stealing something, it seems. Leave a power-up on the ground too long and a monkey will grab it, change the type of power-up it is and book it for the nearest exit. You can shoot them down and reclaim it, but act fast, as they’re sneaky little guys. Continuing the trend from Call Of The Dead, there’s also a new weapon with a terrible name: the 31-79 JGb215, or as I call it, that stupid gun. It’s essentially a shrink ray and you can see it in action here. Back to the layout.
Depending on the number of players you have, you will want to cover each of the four windows and hold out here until at least round 5. There aren’t any wide open areas to run circles in, so mind your teammates in case of a breach. As usual, the M14 and Olympia are available here for 500 points each. I recommend buying the M14 as soon as you start and then using your pistol and knife until round 3. You might get a Max Ammo power-up, but don’t get greedy and try to pistol the whole time. Try to avoid the Nuke power-up until you have turned on the power, as you need the points during these early stages.
When you have at least 4000 points, get a crawler and look to the sky to see where the Mystery Box is. In my experience, it spawned mostly on the right of the starting area (if you’re looking at the temple stairs from the Quick Revive) and underground, which requires that you open two doors. For now, open the debris on the left side of the starting area and be careful running through this doorway, as punjabi spikes will pop up and impede the progress of the teammate behind you. Synchronized dives work nicely here. Run through the quicksand puzzle room without stepping on the platforms and cross the footbridge.
The path will veer off to the right, so keep following the sign with an electric bolt and open the next door. You’ll find yourself underground eventually. Keep opening doors and following the signage until you see the two switches that drain the water and get the turbines going. Now that the power’s on, run back outside and locate the mystery box. Sometimes you will get lucky and it will spawn underneath the waterfall, but usually you’ll have to open another door or two. At this point, I buy Juggernog before any weapons, but trying to stretch the M14 into rounds 7 or 8 can backfire. At this point, it’s personal preference.
Now, my strategy for maximum survival is to head back to the starting area. If you haven’t already opened the other side, do so. Have one teammate run circles in the starting area around the outskirts of the middle area, cutting in and out as necessary. This place does get pretty hairy, as zombies will come from the first door you opened. The other area is easier but only by a bit. There’s a circle you can run here that makes use of the geyser underneath, so if you need to bail out just run down there and start over again. If you’re playing with four players, you can split up or have two to each side. I’d recommend sending one guy to run downstairs and one to handle the waterfall.
The perk locations change each time, but the Pack-A-Punch is always at the top of the temple. To get to it, turn on the power and look for raised pressure plates with spinning monkey statues near them. One player will stand on a plate until the monkey’s head stops spinning. Another player must find the other raised pressure plate and stand on it until the torso stops. This allows you to run up the temple stairs to the Pack-A-Punch, but act quickly, as there is a time limit.
This is only a preliminary strategy, as the map has only been out a day now. Stay tuned!