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Level: Night Castle back home search
Author(s): Oxy
total rating:6.54 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 4 6 9 10
CC 4 5 10 10
Duncan 4 4 9 10
Engelchen Lara 8 8 10 10
eTux 4 4 9 10
G.Croft 4 4 5 9
Gerty 3 4 9 10
Jay 3 2 10 10
Jorge22 3 5 9 10
Josi 3 2 9 9
Kristina 2 3 8 9
Lady Lara 4 5 8 10
Loupar 5 4 9 9
manarch2 2 6 8 9
MichaelP 3 5 9 10
Moonpooka 3 3 9 10
Obig 3 4 9 10
Orbit Dream 1 5 8 10
QRS 5 5 9 9
RaiderGirl 5 4 9 10
Ruediger 1 3 6 9
Sash 2 3 10 10
Shandroid 4 7 8 8
Sherry 2 4 10 10
Yoav 4 5 9 9
category averages
(25 reviews)
3.44 4.40 8.72 9.60

Reviewer's comments

"This castle setting is remarkably professional in my opinion, and the visuals are just stunning. There is a huge amount of different rooms to admire with a few custom objects (but they weren't the main thing in this level), great texturing and lighting. The outdoor areas are slightly behind them as the lighting is not that great and the grass textures are feeling a little bit wallpapered, I also didn't like the thin textures at the walls of the castle. Additionally you get a pretty long cutscene of many rooms but it's somewhat faulty as it goes through walls and also black space; the sound usage is also not that great here from which the atmopshere suffers a little bit. So you might think with a little tweaking the level actually could have entered the Hall of Fame? Sorry but I don't think so, obviously Oxy didn't care for anything but the looks and apart from finding a nearly invisible key and pushing a lot of buttons to open the doors inside the castle there is virtually no gameplay here else than exploring the beautiful castle (which is pleasant enough though). Regarding of what came from this builder later on, I think this is a very interesting work and this is also the reason why I played this. Gave up exploring after twenty minutes as I think I have seen every single room and there appears to be no finish trigger." - manarch2 (01-Apr-2012)

"I guess it isn't entirely fair to give this level a 4 for gameplay and puzzles, because Oxy is quite clear that there are no puzzles, but I felt kind of sad that there weren't any, because the level looks so nice. For a first level, the level is lovely, and if Oxy had wanted to, she could have really had herself a fine first level, but without much to do, the atmosphere kind of flops. I also thought the switches were inappropriate for a castle. They should have been levers. Lack of gameplay aside, there were some rooms that were just so beautiful, and that sort of made up for my boredom." - Shandroid (17-Nov-2008)

"This is more a feast for the eye than a challenge of puzzles etc. Actually I found myself running around admiring how the level looked (and got lost a few times hehe) and I really liked it. When it comes to gameplay I have rated it low, as you are not doing much besides opening doors and shooting huge stones :) The atmosphere is great though. The true potential of this author will be shown in her later levels I think. 2005-05-29" - QRS (31-May-2005)

"Almost perfect in terms of graphics but without gameplay. The author says that this level was made only for design purposes, so the game is just finding some objects (bible, feather, key) and pushing some buttons to open doors. Nice settings and beautiful objects and textures. You can be there all the time you want because there's no end trigger." - Loupar (18-Apr-2005)

“The two strong points of this level are the textures beautifully and perfectly applied and the sense of space. The rooms are neither too big nor too small which is a difficult thing to achieve. Especially in a first try most builders create rooms too large. However there are quite a lot of bad points on the other side. No gameplay no enemies not even a finish trigger. I have played boring Lara's Home levels that managed at least to set the latter. The lighting could have been more atmospheric with flickering flames a few darker places etc. but it's pretty standard most of the time hence no 10 for lights & textures despite the magnificent textures. The long camera fly-by is a bit disappointing as the camera keeps scratching along walls crashes through closed doors and even once shows only a black area. Potential to improve.” – Rüdiger (16-Feb-2004)

“This has to probably be the most magnificent castle setting I have ever played in a level to date. It’s also practically on par with most of the other brilliant non castle levels aesthetically speaking. The only things missing were the total and utter lack of gameplay enemies secrets pick ups bar for three artefacts and a key and the end trigger. How horrendously disappointing! You should though do yourself a favour and play it for the architecturally amazing castle alone which will take about 30 minutes to get around and maybe if it inspires you enough then you can add to the level yourself as the author has also included the project file.” – Sash (24-Jan-2004)

“Well I downloaded this level last week and ran around in it for more than an hour. Finally found that &*(& key today after reading a thread. But for the good stuff: this level was absolutely breathtaking. You've got to see it to believe it. Not much in the way of game play but the author warns us up front so that is fair. I gave it a 4 because I still enjoyed it much more than many of the 'real' game levels - because the setting was just so beautiful. Objects were very cool though I wished those shootable chests had been stocked with goodies. The long fly-by was a bit dizzying and went through some walls at odd angles. I did get stuck once behind one of those baby stonehenges and had to start over. Oh and I had no idea that bedroom with all the beds was a dormitory - I was thinking 'what is this servant quarters?'. But it did look like a dorm now that I read it in one of the reviews - doh! Anyway Oxy can be proud of her design skills and I hope she makes more mansion/castle levels in the future - I LOVE them!” – Lady Lara (22-Dec-2003)

“This is the most beautiful Castle level I’ve ever seen. You are wandering about a real castle where all the rooms and chambers are beautifully worked out. Maybe a few guests are going to visit you? And your objective is to light all fireplaces for stoking up the rooms? But where’s the butler? :) Is Lara exploring this castle after some kind of spirits? I was waiting for the appearance of dead knights and druids in every moment but nothing. Unfortunately the level seems to be a bit unfinished but I hope it will be continued. You can get the Gate Key and the Bible next to the stairs then heading to the storey find the pen on the table in the large chamber. Then get the Dagger of Xian from the kitchen. I wonder if how this got in the kitchen? Maybe it was used for slicing bread? :) You will find a Large Medipack next to the 4 horse statues but it won’t be needed. And you can shoot the pianos and the blocks from Stonehenge in the courtyard. :) I suggest everybody to take a look at this level ‘cause the textures are really beautiful. Some mysterious music would come in handy for this night adventure.” – Obig (18-Nov-2003)

“My imagination is working overtime here. As soon as I saw the welcome sign and entered the castle I thought - welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The items that you pick up the dagger and feather fit in. The dormitory with the central fire fits in. The numerous stairways that go up and down all over the place the great hall the bathrooms the dungeon type areas the ancient tapestry chests birds armoured knights. Imagine if there were ghosts floating around or rats or those knights coming to life! Unfortunately nothing like this happens all you need to do is open up doors and push switches. The bible brought me back to reality as did the picture of the Last Supper in the great hall. Very very beautiful setting. Oxy has supplied prj and tga for anyone who wants to play around with the level. There are enough places to insert ammo keys enemies and some rooms are big enough for globe or crate pushing puzzles. Pickups were the dagger bible feather large and small medpack and the key. One thing I thought odd was all switches were the same (except the book switches) to turn on fires open doors etc. Then again these are ‘simple’ switches so if gameplay is introduced there is the choice of pull-down switches floor levers and gems torch etc to do more difficult stuff. Oh and even though the long flyby near the start gives a good idea of the area to cover in the castle it would be better to leave it out as it swung in and out of the map through walls and doors scanning a black nothingness before returning through another wall etc. and really didn’t look great at all. And there was no destination at the end i.e. if the camera going say around the castle outside and through a window to show where you’re aiming for. There is no end trigger and after doing some awkward jumps to ledges on the outside walls to see if I could make them that’s about it. Having said that this is a very high standard of level building and I’m bursting with curiosity to see what Oxy creates in future. I’d love to see this with gameplay and enemies. Perhaps Oxy (if you’re not thinking of doing this yourself) you could work together with another builder to include puzzles someone with a cunning devious mind you know like Mr.Prager. :-D. . . .runs away.” – CC (18-Nov-2003)

“No enemies no puzzles just walking around in a huge beautiful castle. There are a few things to find like a key a feather a bible and a knife but all you do is push buttons to open doors to find more beautiful rooms or shortcuts to where you have been already. So just walk around and enjoy this wonderful castle you won't regret it.” – Josi (12-Nov-2003)

“Wow how pretty level and wonderful rooms but with no puzzles you only pass from room to room and there is no end to this level!” – Yoav (05-Nov-2003)

“Wow what a beautiful level this is. No gameplay as such only wandering through the most spectacular castle ever seen in a custom level IMO. Light the fires in the rooms and find some objects that's it but just being there is so very entertaining for it's beauty and atmosphere. It's hard to put a score on this level because of its lack of enemies puzzles and secrets but I think the rest will make up for that loss. Here really is a show of expertise in level building meaning the new textures and items created and the images of such wonderful castle surroundings. I'm not sure if this was intended to be an adventure or just a lesson in design and building but even so it's well worth the visit.” - Moonpooka (02-Nov-2003)

“This is difficult to rate. Enemies Objects Secrets are all in one category and while there are no enemies or secrets the objects should have a high rating. I settled on a 6 and hope that's fair. Actually the key could have been a secret as it was perfectly ‘hidden’. Visually beautiful and confusing only at first this is just the beginning as Oxy seems to be working on adding puzzles that will enhance gameplay. I'm looking forward to it as both the level and the builder have great potential. Worth the download for the graphics alone. hmm Lara as ‘Keeper of the Flame’.........interesting.” – Bene (30-Oct-2003)

“It's a shame that this will probably get a lower score because of the fact that there are no enemies and basically no puzzles except exploring. It's one of the most amazing looking castles I've ever seen and kept me entertained for the hour I spent looking around. It's huge so it takes a while to get to all the rooms plus there are some outdoor areas to explore with fountains and huge statues. There are a few keys a feather a book and the Dagger of Xian to collect and plenty of fireplaces to light in case you get cold and the castle is a work of art with completely furnished rooms and all the extras that really made the atmosphere realistic. It looks like if this author added some puzzles and enemies he would have a level that was hard to beat!” – RaiderGirl (29-Oct-2003)

“What a gorgeous level! It was interesting to investigate for awhile but I grew somewhat bored when it did not seem to have any objective. This creator could be Top 50 if she could create a story to go along with the beauty of it all. Look forward to more or a revision of this one.” – Sherry (29-Oct-2003)

“Lara starts her adventure in a deserted castle. The outside area was already impressive but as soon as you start entering the first rooms you will be in awe seeing what is all possible in terms of graphics. Especially the textures and paintings on the walls – everything looks like from a beautiful picture book simply perfect and done with a lot of attention to detail. Now as for gameplay: some will probably not like it because there are no enemies and no real puzzles. The only thing Lara has to do is press switches to get into all the rooms and light the fires there as well as find a few objects such as a bible and other new custom objects. The atmosphere was ingenious and very secretive and invited for a lot of exploration and despite the loneliness (The inhabitants of the castle were apparently just visiting their second home in Mauritius ;-) ) it never felt empty. One thing spoils it a little because there is no ending ie no reward for lighting all the fires and no final image or something. Nevertheless one of the best castle levels we have played yet and being a first time effort by the author deserves recognition. We hope to see more soon :).” – Engelchen Lara (28-Oct-2003)

“This is huuuuuuge! And hugely beautiful too. I know I'm being repetitive here but I've rarely seen anything as beautiful in a custom level (and certainly not in such a high dose) it really makes you want to wander around such a place finding keys bibles daggers a couple of medipacks and lighting fires all over the place. Of course it can't have high ratings on gameplay and puzzles since there's virtually nothing of the sort or on enemies objects and secrets since even though the objects are varied and interesting there aren't any enemies or secrets. The atmosphere is perfect and so are the cameras even though there's nothing spectacular in sound terms. The lighting and the textures are perfect as well thus my 10 in that field. You may not expect any adventure here but do download the game if you want to see truly beautiful surroundings. And I know Oxy has decided to redo the level to include some secrets skeletons and whatever else we usually call tomb raider. I admit I'm curious...” – Jorge22 (28-Oct-2003)

“Here's a little vacation for the hard-working Lara. A magnificent castle all to herself with palatial bath tubs and lots of rooms to wander through. This is certainly as good-looking as the TR4 engine can get. I don't agree that it's a waste without gameplay as I enjoyed wandering around without wondering when something was going to jump out of a corner.” – Duncan (26-Oct-2003)

“I loved this castle and so far the best castle setting I have ever seen. But there is no gameplay whatsoever what is really a shame as this has so much potential. Only thing to do is laying your hand on some artifacts and lighting the fires in the house. There is a plethora of buttons to push but I didn't mind that. Around every corner there is something to see and admire. The author does have eye for detail so as there are no enemies do feast your eyes it is worth the download. 21-10-2003” – Gerty (24-Oct-2003)

“What a tremendous Castle! The best by far that I have yet seen in a Custom Level. Superb texturing and object placement and a really keen and gifted eye for architectural detail. And that's it in a nutshell. It's a sort of Custom Level equivalent of Shelly's ‘Ozymandias’: a potentially awesome Monument but now decaying lost and pointless; who's very origin is in doubt. Is it supposed to tell a story? Or be used as a foundation for someone else's level? Or as a way of increasing a Review count? Answers on a Postcard.” – Orbit Dream (24-Oct-2003)

“I think Lara has a job as a house-maid in this castle. Her main task is to light the fires in the countless fireplaces of this huge castle. The attraction of this level is without doubt the surroundings. Really great looking both indoors and outdoors (maybe just a few too many stone thingies don’t know what they’re called). No enemies no other living creatures a few pickups; a bible a feather a dagger a key and a couple of medipacs. Oxy is a great architect and maybe she could collaborate with someone to get gameplay and puzzling if she doesn’t want to do it herself! Looking forward to the next one!” – G.Croft (23-Oct-2003)

“This does of course have all the gameplay elements of the dreaded Lara's Home levels - meaning actually no gameplay other than running around picking up a few things activating two dozen or so switches some opening doors some lighting fires and then there is one Gate Key which I searched for forever until finally finding it kind of right where I had started searching. After 45 minutes I kind of felt I had been everywhere and as there is no finish trigger I decided to call it a day and had a relaxing swim in the pool adjacent to the master bedroom. Now all this does not sound very exciting does it? Well think again - you simply have to see this setting which is simply awesome. You really feel like being there and it is such a pity that the lack of gameplay leaves such a bad touch on it. There is one long flyby which also could be a little improved as it goes through doors and walls but all in all while this not a must play level it is definitely a must-see level and as far as Castle Settings go it's right up there with those of Peter Tina and maxx.” – Michael (22-Oct-2003)

“The setting is excellent; I have never seen a more beautiful castle than this one. Unfortunately all that beauty with the nice balconies amazing gardens bedrooms libraries and bathrooms is wasted because the level lacks enemies and puzzles. Of course that’s something the author warns about in the readme but still one can’t avoid feeling sad for this. The items you can find are a feather a bible a key and the Dagger of Xion by wandering around the countless rooms. Many doors are shortcuts so from a point after you won’t get lost but keep an eye for the key after the long flyby as it easy to miss. I would like to ask the author to make an effort and add puzzles and enemies or at least someone must take advantage of this since the author gives her permission. As one fellow raider mentioned this level can easily make it to the Top50 and get a high place if only someone could bother to invest in it. It’s worth the download just for the great scenery gloomy atmosphere and the nice church as well.” - Kristina (22-Oct-2003)

“I'll start with this - this is the best looking and most realistic castle I've had the chance to play in a TR level so far and that alone makes this level worth to download - if you don't want anything mind-boggling just a great looking castle to explore this is for you. The fly-by at the start is good but too long for its own good and goes 'out of the level' once or twice. There's nothing more to the gameplay than collecting 1 key 3 artefacts and pushing a lot of buttons to open numerous doors to mostly empty rooms or shortcuts to previous areas and light fireplaces but I must say thanks to the great looks and atmosphere I enjoyed this running around immensely. But I seriously suggest the author to get back to work on this level and eventually release an updated version of this level as what you see here is material for an 8+ rated level and if successfully done even the Top 50 - if the author would add some enemies like for example ghosts (wraith_X) ahmets knights add some gameplay ellements - like secret passageways torch puzzles - something traditional and something original this undoubtly would be a hit - also some eerie background and atmospheric music would help immensely. From my point of view - the author has an enormous potential to create quality levels I hope she uses it and surprises us the players. Would love to see more work of this author in the future.” – eTux (22-Oct-2003)

“This is a really difficult level to score as there is very little gameplay involved other than exploring. The author's readme explains that this has been built purely for design purposes without enemies puzzles or indeed a finishing trigger. All you can do therefore is run around opening doors and picking up a few artefacts (all rather oddly named in the inventory). Having said that the design of this huge castle and grounds is absolutely superb so the exploratory nature of the gameplay becomes a pleasure. Well worth a look at if you are content to download a level mainly for its aesthetic properties. 22.10.2003” – Jay (22-Oct-2003)
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