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Level: Tomb of Nelomgals back home search
Author(s): maniac44
total rating:7.55 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 7 7 7 8
Dimpfelmoser 7 8 9 8
eRIC 7 8 8 8
eTux 7 7 9 7
Gerty 6 7 8 8
Jbc21 6 8 8 8
JohnC 9 7 8 7
Kristina 8 7 7 8
MichaelP 7 7 7 8
Phil 7 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 7 8 8 8
Ruediger 8 7 8 8
Sash 7 8 7 7
Tombaholic 6 7 7 7
Treeble 8 7 9 9
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.13 7.40 7.87 7.80

Reviewer's comments

"This level has a fascinating pedigree as revealed in Marksdad's interview with the builder, who just happens to be co-author of the official manual that comes with the level editor. As such, he's as qualified as anyone to put out a decent level, but this one didn't really hit my hot button. It's pleasant enough, to be sure, but it got a little tedious for me at the end and I didn't take the time to try to find the strobe room mentioned in the walkthrough. The builder says the title is derived from a friend's name spelled backwards (must be someone from across the ocean), and the level itself is the result of bits and pieces compiled during testing that he decided to polish up in the form of a playable level. Since Nelomgals hasn't been played and reviewed for more than eight years, it's time for someone to bring it to the raiding community's attention once again. Play it for its historical value." - Phil (24-Feb-2014)

I stumbled across the exit early on and finished the level without having collected all the necessary pickups, which are a gem, knot, pillar, and Hathor head and stand. So I had to go back to one of my few savegames and go another way. This is a very confusing level to play. It's a hug labyrinth of what seems like dozens of rooms with so many ways to go. It's a big decision what is the best way! Even an excellent sense of direction can let you down here, because at one point I'm sure I came across a flip-mapped room, and when I went back it had changed again. I'm not exactly sure about this. I knew I had to find a pillar and knot for receptacles I came across, but found scrolls (secrets), a gem, and Hathor stand well in advance of finding where to use them. Between these rooms are very long corridors, very high ladders to climb, very long swims, and falls into rooms from above. That in itself is not a biggy, it was the entrance or ladder I passed along the way that made me stand and think 'should I go up there now, or will I continue on here'. I got turned around so often, came back to areas I'd been before without finding anything, that I was really on the point of throwing this away. What keeps you going is the thought that 'maybe' the next move you make will be successful. To add insult to injury, there are numerous vases to shoot, some will yield ammo, others will let loose a swarm of beetles. You find a crossbow in one room under a vase, and it is needed for the skeletons. You must look in all directions as you go along. There was one corridor of face tiles and flickering lights as you run through, that was unusual. It's extraordinary to think how old this level is. Despite the frustration it is a well crafted level, well thought out, textures are good, lighting a little on the dark side, and would challenge the player of today just as much as it did way back then. Don't be surprised if you spend a good few hours in this complicated, totally non-linear catacomb. - CC (12-Jul-2005)

"In my opinion, one of the most, if not the most flattering thing you can call a level is memorable - what means as much that there is something that makes it easy to remember what it was about even after 100 more levels or a long time. There are quite a few in this category out there, and this level, as you might have guessed from all my ramblings about it previously, is another memorable level. Mind you, it's far from being a favourite of mine - I don't have very good orientation skills in these virtual enviroments, so the maze like setup kicked down my appetite rapidly. You sort of know all the areas, but are not sure how each connects to the other - that's the feeling I had here. You sort of know there is the pool area with the suspended platforms, you know there's the crossroad cave, you know there's the flashing hallway (very neat effect, haven't seen this elsewhere even after 500+ levels played and reviewed, and actually a bit difficult for me as a level builder to grasp how this was achieved, and of course not mentioning, how excellently fitting it is with the music and the sequence of skeletons as you first enter the area, intriguing!), steam hallway, initial room, all the receptacles, or the rock room, that sometimes for some reason turned into an ice room. All pieces of a jigsaw I failed to connect even to the very end of the level, even though I finished it in a relatively good time - 48 minutes. But then again - on a positive note, this is one of the most pleasant mazes mazes I've had the chance to be lost into, and thus it probably gets the highest mark for gameplay I'd ever give to a level solely based on the labyrinth concept. Pleasant maybe not in the way of it looking too good - it's decent (though I liked the Antarctica/catacombs crossover quite a lot), but I actually don't remember being too frustrated when going through here, despite the many, many, *many* times I've been lost. As many others I had attempted to play this earlier too and ditched it (ah, the good old days, when I actually was still nervous when encountering mummies and skeletons), and it wouldn't have been pretty far from it this time either, but I persisted and got through. Playing this level can be resembled to fighting a Hydra (the mythological beast) - you may choose any path you like, but it will bring you to more paths to choose no matter what the choice - gosh, it's almost like life itself, LOL. My only recommendation - simply go on, no matter how you'd hate to leave things undone behind, or think how wrongly you might be playing - the only way through here, is by simply playing, without worrying too much what you're leaving behind, as you'll get everywhere eventually (and probably many more times than you'll have actually wished for, lol). As for the opponents - there are mummies and skeletons, what can be guessed from the original wad - in the very first room you will find a shotgun, depending on which path you take sooner or later you'll stumble upon a crossbow and in the area where there's a maze within the maze you'll even get a grenade launcher, which I actually didn't use, so the enemies should be a minor issue along the way, and, hey, you don't even have wraiths here! I found 3 music scrolls - secrets along the way. This gave hope that one might be able to unlock another secret area, but in the end it proves that they're simply the symbols for secrets in this level, as it would've been with the 3 dragons in TR2. As said when starting the review - shiningly original in some aspects, thus memorable, so worth playing, but recommended to be done in one go - because if I had difficulties remembering what was where this way, it might be quite frustrating to remember with interruptions. Worth a try, though it's unlikely this will be your favourite level." - eTux (04-Apr-2005)

“Now this one was complicated! In case you don't know Gary LaRochelle worked on the official Gold games so you can expect nothing less than professional work. Right at the beginning as you slide into the tomb you'll realize that. The level itself is quite a maze and it has way too many passages to follow soon you'll find yourself running in circles but then you find more passages you can climb up or go down that hole and soon you're running like a headless skeleton again. My advice is - persist. If you don't you won't get far. Texturewise this level really shows one hell of a work but lighting was a bit on the dark side and the entire feel of the level is just great. Music and cameras are used and they do nothing but enhance the level. Good level but... arrgh - catacomb wad. 70 minutes 4/4 secret music scrolls.” – Treeble (23-May-2004)

“This was one of the first custom levels I ever downloaded and for the first year of TRLE creating one of the best. Well the author is not an amateur. This is classic tombraiding: slide into the crypt wake up skeletons and beetles and take a look into every dark corridor! The gameplay is non-linear: you have several ways to choose and the real challenge is to find your way in this complicated area (but it's not a maze!) without running in circles. One little thing I noticed: if you shoot vases you get punished in most cases (with beetles or even a skeleton appearing) instead of finding an item of any value. Come to think about it Lara shouldn't shoot vases at all - being an archaeologist should mean you treat ornamental porcelain with respect. So maybe the author had a message for us here ;-). Same with the title as nelomgals is an anagram for ‘melon gals’ hardly by coincidence...” – Rüdiger (02-Nov-2003)

“In a weird way I liked this level but I wouldn’t want to play it again. The textures are well placed and the rooms well connected. The problem is that it is full of mazes and you never stop searching for items in them until the end. You need a gem the portal guardian a knot and a pillar. I found all of them fairly easy except the Hathor Effigy I was so frustrated lost and somehow ending up always on the wrong side of the doors that had the head. After finding it everything was easier and I finished soon enough. The skeletons and steams not to mention the annoying small beetles make the level even harder it’s bad enough that you have to navigate in there but you have all of the above chasing you. If you lucky you will find the crossbow and enough explosive ammo which are hidden inside the vases. The problem is that if you shoot the wrong ones more beetles and more skeletons will appear. It is gloomy but with enough flares given my advice though is to play it at night. I found three secrets which were music scrolls and finished in fifty five minutes.” – Kristina (25-Aug-2003)

“I had been putting this level off as the other reviews had made it sound so hard. I personally didn't find it hard at all and found myself really enjoying it despite the fact that I don't usually like mazes. It can seem confusing at first but if you look around and notice the layout of the rooms then soon everything seems to fall into place. One thing that helped was to save in a new slot every time I found one of the receptacles then when I found the needed object all I had to do was load that earlier save and see how to get there again. I felt lost for the first 30 minutes but then found the first few items and it was over very quickly after that. I found only three of the secrets (scrolls) one of which was found during the last slide at the very end and finished the whole level in less than an hour. I hope this author will give us another level soon.” - RaiderGirl (12-Feb-2003)

“Maniac 44 a life line for a lot of people whilst playing Tomb Raider back in the good old days at Theresa’s site so of course I had to see what he came up with. And as others I started and chucked it started it again but even after a third time I still can’t get my bearings. I’m sure I let Lara travel almost around the world by now figuring out where that bloody receptacle was to put the knot into or I know I’ve seen that closed door but where is that bloody thing. The finding wasn’t that much of a problem but using them was. The first time around it seemed like there were much more skeletons I’m not complaining mind you I still hate them. But finding the crossbow makes life easier. Enemies are a lost mummy or two skeletons and if you’re careful not that many beetles. Enough ammo and medpacks at least I thought so. Person with epileptic tendencies better not play this as the strobe light can trigger a seizure. 24-08-2002” – Gerty (25-Aug-2002)

“Like other reviewers I tried to play this level once and gave up in frustration. Upon replay I admire the apparently chaotic but in fact devilishly clever arrangement of the level traps puzzles and tunnels. The level designer who modestly doesn't trumpet the fact really DID make levels for some of the Tomb Raider games with TR II Golden mask among his credits possibly more. Therefore hobbyist level makers can use this level to benchmark their own efforts for levels using standard TR textures objects and so forth. There is a bit of mystery as to what ‘Nelomgals’ refer to I know now and leave the very well-versed in TR fandom's many sub-groups to figure it out. ;)” – JohnC (18-Aug-2002)

“I had downloaded this a while ago but was too scared to actually play it as the other reviews talk at great length about this being so non-linear and just one big maze. And everybody knows how much we hate mazes and how utterly boring they usually are. This on the other hand is really excellent; if you let it happen to you and go with the flow that is. You might lose your orientation every once in a while and wander around for some time but you won't get stuck as there isn't anything hidden. First you have to make yourself familiar with your surroundings and this might take 30 minutes as you climb jump swim slide around this big tomb but since the setting is so spooky the atmosphere really gripping and the crossbow not too far away you don't really mind exploring; the more as you seem to make progress of some sort. Only when you finally run through rooms that look kinda familiar you start wondering if you have missed something along the way. Well you have passed the slot where you have to use the Pharao’s Knot and the Pharao’s Pillar so you know what you have to look out for. I found the item to start with rather late (because I'm so afraid of the dark a little hint for you) and though from then on the game becomes more linear and you generally have a vague idea where to go to get there is going to take some time. There is one room that freezes over on and off and one of the three entrances is blocked off in the process which I found a bit confusing as I never found out what caused this temperature drop. I urge you to give this a try cause it's pretty clever and original; but be advised to have a different approach here. Don't look for fast progress but take your time and enjoy the ingenious course. I found four secrets hardly surprising as I spent 3 hours in this tomb.” – Dimpfelmoser (23-Jul-2002)

“Confusion can run rampant at the start of this level with the initial decision on which of the 4 exits to take and it does not end there this level feels like one giant maze but that is not to say it isn't fun as it is the maze like qualities can actually allow a player to replay the game and maybe come across something they missed the first time an essential to this level is a good memory and sense of direction because backtracking is necessary to collect key like pick ups and secrets that are scattered all over the place. If at the end of this you have not come away feeling like a rat in a maze then you've missed the feel of it completely.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“In one word: NON-LINEAR! You need a good sense of orientation and be able to retrace your steps in this level and I guess I was lucky a few times and managed to get through in less than an hour but you could easily be wondering around longer in this maze-like installment. Make sure you find and collect all the pickups as this will make it easier to get rid off the many skeletons you will be coming across. Textures and lighting fits the atmosphere well though not anything out of the ordinary. Good use of steam and beetles. I found two secrets (scrolls) but there may be more. Your objective is to find and place the Pharos Knot the Pharos Pillar the Portal Guardian and the horseman’s gem (in that order) so good luck!” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“Mazes are just not my cup of tea I guess. The main challenge of this level is the labyrinthine layout and despite running around it for an hour I still never quite got my bearings. Well that's really a matter of personal taste I suppose. Unfortunately it's quite easy to end this level in about 1 minute because Lara can jump to the exit slide without going through all the tribulations of collecting four artifacts which for the sake of the review I did anyway. Textures are done competently but the lighting leaves a lot to be desired in many areas. In one corridor strobe lights flash as Lara runs through and skeletons materialize - a neat effect but it doesn't really fit with the rest of the level. If you like mazes and exploring (there's only one lever in the whole level) this one is actually very well conceived. If not you may want to pass.” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“In one word this level is great. It is original and active. The author put a lot of effort in designing the overall atmosphere with lights sounds and cameras. The texture set is also quite original. However Lara's navigation through the level is rather complex due to too many choices in paths running from a same room especially at the beginning. If the basic idea was to build a maze then it is a success and a good memory is certainly a plus to get Lara out of there as it is easy to get confused and to run around the whole level 5 times before finding the right place to go. The positions of puzzle holes are sometimes not obvious at all. Finally everybody should play it once at least for the amazing adrenalin-generating strobe room!” – Jbc21 (21-Jun-2002)

“The first time I tried to play this level several months ago I gave up quickly because I thought it was a big and boring maze. I've played it again and I saw it in a quite different way. I like very much the atmosphere and the Antarctica texturing from TR3 and the way the rooms are linked together by different routes; it is better to take a route than another according to where you are in the game but eventually you can't be lost. This level is very cleverly built and finally I enjoyed it (and it is not a maze). I was glad to find quickly the shotgun and then the beloved crossbow but the revolver and grenade launcher were useless. A lot of exploration and 4 secrets found.” – eRIC (21-Jun-2002)
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