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Level: Beneath the Forbidden City back home search
Author(s): GeckoKid
total rating:8.96 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andzia9 7 7 7 7
bERT 9 9 10 9
Bex 9 9 10 10
Blue43 9 9 9 8
Casual Raider 10 10 10 10
CC 8 7 8 8
Celli 9 10 10 10
Chicken 7 8 9 9
Chris 8 9 9 10
Cuqui 9 9 10 9
Dhama 9 9 10 10
Dimpfelmoser 9 9 9 9
DJ Full 7 8 8 8
DOS 10 10 10 10
Dougsan 8 9 9 9
Drew 9 9 8 8
Duncan 10 9 10 10
Engelchen Lara 9 8 10 9
ersatz 10 10 10 10
eTux 10 10 10 10
Gerty 9 9 9 10
Jbc21 9 10 10 10
Jose 9 9 10 10
Josep 8 8 8 10
Kitkat 9 10 10 10
Knuxx 9 8 9 9
Kristina 9 9 9 9
Lady Lara 9 9 10 10
Loren 10 10 10 10
Loupar 9 10 10 9
MacRaider 8 7 9 8
Magnus 9 8 9 9
MichaelP 7 7 9 10
Miguel 8 8 8 8
Momster 9 9 9 10
Moonpooka 8 7 8 8
MountainDewNut 9 8 9 10
Nicky 10 9 9 6
Nutman 9 9 9 10
Obig 9 9 9 10
Orbit Dream 7 9 8 9
Phil 10 9 9 9
Qball 9 8 10 9
RaiderGirl 9 8 9 10
Ravenwen 9 9 9 9
Rebecca 10 9 9 10
Relic Hunter 10 10 10 10
Ruediger 8 7 9 9
Sakusha 10 9 9 10
Samu 8 8 9 8
Sash 8 9 9 9
Sethian 8 8 7 7
Snap125 9 9 10 10
Spike 9 9 9 10
Staticon 9 9 10 9
Sys 9 9 9 9
The Aussie Adventurer 8 7 8 7
Torry 9 8 10 9
Treeble 8 9 10 10
TrueRaider 10 9 8 10
Xela 9 9 10 10
XETH 8 9 10 10
Xxenofex 6 7 8 9
category averages
(63 reviews)
8.76 8.70 9.17 9.22

Reviewer's comments

"This level was wonderful. GeckoKid's work was astonishing even back at the beginning of the TRLE era. This is a 40-50 minute adventure through a hidden temple built underneath the Forbidden City. Even bit of it is absolutely beautiful and exceptionally clever. There seems to be a bit of influence drawn from TR2 here, namely the "Temple of Xian" and "The Deck" levels. Because of the layout, this piece feels remarkably close to a classic TR level. Gameplay is mostly linear, but it works well for the level's setup. I personally did not find any parts to be overly challenging, though some jumps can be a bit tricky to master. I would have preferred a few less enemies--platforming and puzzle-solving is more my cup of tea. Setting aside personal tastes, I can't really think of any downsides to this level. It's an absolute must-play in my book." - Xela (01-Sep-2014)

"Really loved this level. The textures were wonderful and unique, architecture of the level was amazing and well-built. Liked gameplay that wasn't too hard and some twist with lava and water corridors. It's old level but still it's very enjoyable to play." - Casual Raider (24-Jul-2013)

"This level is a really classic and also happens to be one of the first custom levels I ever played when the LE first came out. It’s about time I write a review for it. Gameplay is fun and simply – lots of jumping around and avoiding lava darts. A few more puzzles would have been nice, but it is after all a first attempt. Enemies are placed well and in abundance, making this very action packed – lots of crocodiles swimming around in all these underwater lakes. Objects are placed well too, and I like the effect of the two flame emitters going on in those bowls to signify the water now having turned to lava. Secrets seem to be hidden all over the place and are easy enough to find as long as you look hard. I could have used some more flares since there are lots of random shadow bulbs dropped here and there. Atmosphere is good enough – I like the night sky that sets the mood, and the audio tracks that keep us alert of let us enjoy some of the camera sequences. The camera sequences are well made, however sometimes a bit wonky and go on for a bit too long. I guess Geckokid was trying to make the sequences last as long as the music tracks that went with them did. Texturing is very good for a beginner, and it’s definitely believable that these are Chinese ruins, even in the day of nothing but Egyptian wads. Lighting could have been better here and there, but was good enough to create nice environments. The room geometry is pretty cool: I love the main chamber with the three bridges; the cave ceiling above the main wooden bridge; and Gecko’s attempt at making a Chinese ‘boat’ floating in an underground lake. All in all this is a lovely and simple level to play, and will always be one of my favorites – partially because of nostalgia, and partially because it’s simply good." - Sethian (17-Oct-2011)

"We enter a pagoda, which is a kind of hub, from where we go in several directions to explore a water part with a sink, a lava episode containing a curious series of slopes, and, finally, a cave part where we can enjoy climbing waterfall rocks and need to obtain an item from a stone boat to open a door - so we can see GeckoKid has followed a classic raid concept in this game. And he executed it in a very professional way: a curious feature of the level is lack of any objects except pickup items, not followed by environment becoming boxy. This is probably the strongest advantage of this game, proving the architecture is of excellent quality. Its rather clear colors (mostly red and yellow) mixed with fog effects and oriental texturing give this adventure a little bit cartoon atmosphere. But this is how it should look like in Asia, I think. All the locations are filled with enemies (crocodiles, scorpions and red ninjas) and we can find every possible weapon to deal with them (still, pistols remain a killing device suitable for every fight except the one where we need to be fast enough to prevent a guy from grabbing uzi clips, so I think it wasn't so important to place so many ammo pickups and medikits); secrets are many in the beginning (so many I missed one of them) and not so many in the end, what can be a little bit confusing - but still, finding them is fun, and in one case a very nice hint leading to one of them is applied (unfortunately, I can't tell what kind of a hint it is, but I'm pretty sure many of You will figure it out). SUMMARY: At about 1 hour of an Asian cave/cat shooter, with elements of exploration and simple puzzles. Also, it looks very nice, so it can be recommended as a relaxing break from thinking." - DJ Full (30-Jan-2011)

"Here is another level that turned out to be much nicer than expected. I downloaded this one without reading any ratings or reviews and didn't expect much because it is from the old days of TRLE but I was really surprised. The game play flows extremely well. The enemy placement keeps you alert throughout the level. The secrets are well placed. The atmosphere is great and so is the lighting. The texturing is nice but not perfect. A few small untextured and stretched areas, but none of those affect the fun plating through this one. I did enjoy the jumping sequences and the camera work. What I really liked was that the builder put a little pickup in certain places so one would know right away that this is an area where the player will have to go. I did never get stuck in this one. Everything seemed perfectly placed and made sense. Only needed the walk-through to check if I had found the secrets. Great level - highly recommended!" - Blue43 (11-Jun-2010)

"I like oriental type TR custom games, but this one was not really so exciting. Exploring dark caves and going past traps. Traps were easy. Just be careful to your health. The white ship in cave was nice." - Andzia9 (17-Nov-2009)

"This is a short but enjoyable raid in chinese style. Areas are mainly different looking big caves including some chinese buildings and nice custom textures. At times environment may look a bit uncomplicated and even boxy but I didn't let that to affect too much reviewing because this is an old level and at the time it was created there wasn't some tools that we have now. Atmosphere is quite nice and gameplay consists mainly of various kind of jumps that are quite easy but entertaining enough. Author has created also some interesting flipmaps and I liked also very much the dark area where's some transparent floating blocks. In my opinion this game isn't outstanding but it's surely built with care and is also suitable for raiders who are not so experienced." - Samu (09-Mar-2008)

"A fantastic chinesse level with good architecture and better gameplay; tasks are not very difficult and it's not easy you get stucked 'cause there are many cameras helping you a lot and the level is lineal; big caves with nice waterfalls, a small temple and a little ship at the end. Secrets are well hidden, and there are enough weapons and ammo to deal with a good quantity of well placed enemies, though i picked up the uzis too late almost at the end and they were not much useful. Very good ambience, you think that you are in real places when you advance through the level textured with a TR2 style. A level you can play more than once." - José (03-Dec-2007)

"This is a very good level by GeckoKid, consisting of fast-paced action, sequences of several sorts of puzzles, a rather high level of exploration and many secrets to find, despite its relevantly short duration. The environments are amazing, and the atmosphere is quite convincing and capturing. Most of the puzzles are rather easy, the gameplay however, although not being extremely challenging, overall it's very clever, creative and particulary effective, keeping the player alert from the beginning till the end." - Ravenwen (03-Sep-2007)

"WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW :-) Big surprise ! Great atmosphere , lighting , textures not too easy but not too hard to play. I wonder sometimes, why new levels are so hmm hard , bloody and not pleasant to play ? This one is opposite , I really enjoyed it ,beautifull colours , fast action, game is interesting but not frustrating ,really great job !" - ersatz (12-Aug-2007)

"This is one of the first custom levels I ever played, and apparently before my reviewing days at that. A recent review showed the overall rating at 8.99, and since I thought it almost a crime that a well-known classic like this one should remain hovering just below that magic threshold, I decided to download and replay it for that long-delayed review. Kitkat beat me to the punch, however, with a review whose ratings pushed the average over the hump, but I decided to go ahead and play the level anyway. I'm glad I did. Although this level was released some five years ago, it would be right at home in one of today's BtB competitions. The gameplay is consistently crisp, the surroundings are a delight to behold, and the generous sampling of half a dozen secrets make for some interesting (and profitable, in terms of pickups) side ventures. I remembered very little from when I had played it earlier, which means that the better custom levels can be enjoyed over and over again without losing their original freshness. My experience here makes me want to go back to download other earlier levels that I played but never reviewed. If anyone outside our circle should ask you why you enjoy playing Tomb Raider, give this one as a prime example." - Phil (01-Aug-2007)

"The age of this level might be enough to put some people off playing it. And at first glance it does have a few points against it: made in the early days of the level editor {when people were still discovering what it could do} using the original wads and plus it is the builders first level. But I urge you to reconsider and download this game. It was the very first custom level I ever played and as such has a special place in my heart! But that does not obscure the fact that this level still stands up next to the levels made today, even with everything we now know about the editor and the plethora of custom objects, audios, hi-resolution textures and tools we have. How? Well, the game play is engaging, usually on the easy side but sometimes more challenging. There are many enemies guarding the hidden temple and numerous traps to be avoided. The tasks you have to perform fit very well with the environment and never seem contrived or out of place. The architecture is very authentic looking and the areas are solidly built and textured beautifully using the original Temple Of Xian textures and some of Geckokid’s own creation. There is great camerawork, the flybys are absolutely beautiful and the music choices compliment them very well. The secrets are well-placed and there is a real sense of achievement when you find them. This level is definitely a timeless classic." - Kitkat (31-Jul-2007)

"While this is such an old level, it is definitely one of the best. The gameplay is smooth and it's rather easy to progress most of the time, and I was not once frustrated. Enemy placement was perfect, and I was given enough medipacks and ammo to deal with them. The level mostly consists of jumping tasks, although these were particularly well designed. The custom textures look excellent, they are all applied without fault, and the lighting is also great. Secrets were well hidden, and some actually took quite a bit of work getting to, making them all the more satisfying. The use of flyby cameras is excellent, and they never go behind walls or the like, which also compliments the atmosphere, which was also wonderful. The large, grand rooms looked amazing, and the inclusion of fog bulbs (giving the lava rooms an even 'hotter' feel) was nice. This is almost a perfect level, and is 30 minutes of great fun." - Spike (29-Jul-2007)

"Being one of the first few levels ever released, it was, at the time, the best there was. I can see why everyone back in the day loved this level. This level is of high quality that other levels I have played previous have not met. The best asset this level has is the level design and the level quality. The game is quite straight forward but lara has a lot of places to explore. Just about every room in this level was designed quite well. The enemies are mainly crocs, ninjas and scorpions, all of which were easily dispatched by the ample ammo that is left arround. The couple of secrets that I found were well hidden and rewarded the player for finding them. A high point to this level is the wonderful fly bys the author has used which really helps to show where to go and what to do and also shows what a nice level this is. From what I could tell, the feel of this level seemed to be of an oriential nature, in which lara must travel underground to find the treasure. The only let down I could see would have to be the lighting, which is not bad, but does have moment where it's real bright and the next it's very dark. By todays standards, the texturing for this game, was nice, but looked a bit ordinary compared to other recent games I've played. Back then this would have been a gem, but it's lost a bit of it's appeal over age. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a B+, a high credit mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (20-Aug-2006)

"When this level was first released back in those heady days of the Editor in early 2001 it immediately went to the top of everyone's chart with its TR2 Xian inspired design and great gameplay, and is sure to be fondly remembered by all who played it back in those early days. I originally played the first release version in June 2001, but GeckoKid released an update the following October with a number of improvements including improved lighting and a new outfit for Lara. So to do it justice I played v.2 before writing this review, and I have to say that it not only brought back those memories, but reinforced them! For example, when an author gives you two secrets in the first minute or two, neither of which can be re-visited without reloading, it gives the player a great feeling of accomplishment to get them both first time through (especially the second, cast your mind back to the first secret in Xian!) Then you emerge from the cave to look across at a wonderful building, and immediately get threatened by crocs - this is the sort of level that attracted me to TR in the first place! In all there are 6 secrets and all of them give you a sense of accomplishment to find. There is a 'spider' cave, albeit inhabited by scorpions and crocs as the custom made spiders had yet to appear, and there's a great moment when Lara pulls out of the water in the ship cave to shoot some crocs, only to be attacked by another one from behind - I'd forgotten it, so it scared the life out of me all over again! Enemies are ninjas, scorpions, and crocs, and the cameras are very nicely used. There is one fixed camera that gives an arena feel in one place - the first time there you fight scorpions, but on your return there are a couple of ninjas to dispose of, and the fixed camera makes the second fight a lot more interesting. There are plenty of goodies to find if you explore so you shouldn't have any problems with medipacks, but all those extra weapons aren't really necessary except for a bit of fun (I always prefer to stay with the pistols wherever possible). By today's standards this may appear to be an unsophisticated level, but when you look past the sometimes overlarge rooms and predictable enemy attacks, it still has a special feel about it and is highly recommended!" - MacRaider (02-Nov-2005)

"Back in the days when I was still just racking my brain with the gameplay of TRC (yea I played some of the series late), I've been hearing of custom levels but still don't have an idea what the fuss was all about. I heard of 2 very early well talked about designs --- River of Sacred Beetle by Theresa and this level by Geckokid. So these must have been a couple of the trailblazers in custom level designing. A good 3 years had passed when I've had the chance to play both (and after playing ahead quite a number of levels which succeeded them). For a prototype, so to speak, this has some of the difficult elements in gameplay which are quite commonplace in even until the more recent ones --- series of high slopes sliding, jumping and grabbing; twists in midair for grab on to the next; secrets galore; almost invisible ledges to jump off to or grab on in pitch dark areas; some (portent of) pixel precise jumps on to sloped and slanted squares in the white temple (boat?) area surrounded by jagged rocks and lake; and most unique of all is the customized textures of the surrounding, especially, the red temple which is distinctively Chinese (reminds me of TR2 Xian milieu). So it was obvious even way back then that Jackie Wu was already introducing the idea of textures customization to a level that is not confined to what was made available in the editor --- mostly TRLR. The result is truly a classic." - Drew Pizza (31-May-2005)

“This is an ancient level that has aged well. However unlike a good wine it can't be said to have matured. Instead it gives you the sort of pleasure that is nowadays attained by playing a good 'supporting' level. You know the type: an hour or so of smooth-flowing gameplay; well crafted environments; good enemy placement; decent scenery and enjoyable atmosphere. However a 'masterpiece' it isn't; however skilled the execution. The path you follow is quite clever (and enjoyably brings you back to earlier locations) but progress is always straightforward and rarely has you pausing for breath. Indeed the level almost plays itself as there are so many fun but simple 'slide/jump/slide' sequences that Lara's own momentum tends to carry her through. It's a fun experience without a doubt; but rising technical and gameplay standards will probably cause most players nowadays to mumble something about over-rating.” – Orbit Dream (06-Dec-2004)

“A level that is a pure delight for the eye and a complete joy to play. Something is happening at every step along the way and the player had better keep their eyes open. I think everyone who is going to build a level should play this one first to understand the importance of energy and flow to a good level. First rate.” – Duncan (28-Nov-2004)

“For a level put out in 2001 this is brilliant! The gameplay was great and everything meshed together well. The objects were well placed and so were the enemies. The scorpions surprised me a few times and seemed to come from nowhere and the crocks would be on you before you knew it! The atmosphere was great too with good camera views and excellent use of the fog - it really put a good mood in the room where the water right after the main entrance was. The architecture always stayed interesting even without a lot of objects. The lighting was really good - the dark corners kept you on edge which made the game exciting. Overall this was a great level that I really enjoyed playing.” – DOS (05-Nov-2004)

“The first level I have ever played and I played it last year and I remember it as though I played it yesterday. This level is simply exquisite. We start out entering a beautiful cave with bridges and a beautiful crocodile habitat. We later enter a shrine and we enter a really nice room with a waterfall and I liked doing a swan dive from high up. There is also a very large cave that I liked to swim in and I normally dislike large watery areas but if there is a place to breathe then I'm fine with them! The gameplay is very atmospheric here and I loved to do the sloping jumps a lot. I was really disappointed when the level came to an end and from that moment I always started to expect more from Jackie. I hear that the new series he is building will be a smash so until then I will encourage Jackie to keep building as I love Oriental style levels!” – Relic Hunter (08-Aug-2004)

“I really enjoyed playing this level. Unlike most of the reviewers I am going to write about the updated version of ‘Beneath the Forbidden City’. First of all I liked her outfit. I also appreciated the way the author decorated the rooms. I think that Geckokid is an artist. Some moments were really thrilling (especially the part where I had to drop down and lose a lot of health in order to get the Golden Vraeus. This reminded me of ‘Ice Palace’). Concerning the enemies they were placed perfectly but there were too many. The cameras were also placed perfectly. Unfortunately there was a sound problem when one of the ninjas was shooting at Lara at the end of the level. Overall ‘Beneath the Forbidden City’ is an improved version of ‘The Temple of Xian’.” – Sakusha (05-Apr-2004)

“Easily one of my favorite levels. I never cease to be amazed by what can be accomplished with the Level Editor. I'm at a loss for words to describe the aesthetic feel of the level. It's overwhelming but in a great way! There are those parts where you just wonder what is around this next corner or what's at the top of that ramp. Atmosphere is perfect. In some levels there when there is too much fog added it takes away from the level but it was just right for this level. Highly recommend this level for its puzzles and the breath-taking design.” – Celli (03-Apr-2004)

“This is the first oriental level I have played and I must say it’s very impressive. It’s actually very hard to believe this was one of the first custom levels made available for download. Although there are no puzzle areas as such it’s still a fantastic level. There are a fair few enemies to beat (crocodiles scorpions and ninjas). There are some splendid flybys and camera work in this level and a wonderful use of textures which remind me a lot of Temple of Xian from Tomb Raider II. One of my favourite parts in this level was the jump sequence over the lava pool not the hardest of tricky jumps I might add but not the easiest either. Beautiful level Jackie a true classic!” – Knuxx (14-Mar-2004)

“This level perfectly suits me. It's not too hard where I simply give up yet it wasn't too easy either. The atmosphere was wonderful I especially liked the last waterfall room before the finish.” – MountainDewNut (29-Jan-2004)

“The gameplay is full of suspense the most exciting moments being the jumps not the fights. The way you will have to take is not too direct for example the way upwards near the waterfall reminded me a bit of the jumps on the pyramid in TR4. The textures are colourful and lively not realistic but with more fantasy style detailed and with the necessary variety. You get a few nice fly-bys ninjas and crocodiles. The enemies are well-placed not just attacking you every 2 minutes for the sole sake of action. All in all this is one the most flawless custom levels I ever played. Only complaint: in the last big room you are attacked by ninjas while a nice peaceful music is running in the background that music really didn’t fit. Oh well and that room with the many difficult platform jumps drove me mad as my poor Lara died in the lava so many times before I finally made it.” – Rüdiger (03-Nov-2003)

“This delightful romp of just under 3/4 of an hour is one of my all-time favorites. For sheer atmosphere alone this level rates an 11. But what is particularly amazing is how the author modified the karnak wad with only an old version of Strpix available which didn't allow for individual texture modification as Strpix 3.0 and later have. The gameplay though linear is terrific. There are quite a few tricky multiple jumps over lava keeping Lara on her toes at all times. There are also six Secrets one of which requires an extremely precise and difficult jump that often requires dozens of tries (though when I played the game again for this review I got it on the first try). The author used a number of spectacular camera flybys and sounds were deliciously used (except for the minotaur/ahmet/Set theme song that started halfway through the level and just wouldn't quit). Sadly this level (released in early January 2001 just after TRLE came out) is this author's swan song as well as his debut. (But just as Will Gell was coaxed into producing The Skull of Dunelie perhaps the author could be coaxed to develop another brilliant level. :-)” – Loren (06-Sep-2003)

“A really enjoyable level with some wonderfully colourful texured rooms waterfalls and cave areas. I adored the oriental theme of this level so much. Enemies were Ninjas scorpions and crocs and I mean loads of crocs who sometimes you could only hear tapping their way up behind you brilliant stuff. Some great sloped jumps and a well dodgy dark tile jump across a cave with no light at all even the flares don't help here. Some lovely flybys and a great atmosphere throughout when your journey takes you from the heights of the waterfalls into the caves and buildings to find a canopic jar and a vraeus to eventually get to the prized Amulet. I didn't experience any of the reported game bugs and I'm so glad I was pointed in the direction of this level as wouldn't have wanted to miss out. Although an older level now and the newer ones are giving us more wonderous things I think this one will always be a great hit because it has so much thought and style put into it and shows clearly that the older levels can still be such a great Raiding experience well that's what I found here so I do recommend it as an old but classic level.” – Moonpooka (13-Aug-2003)

“Oh-me-gosh! Look at all the reviews. But then again I'm not surprised. An impressive Chinese temple entrance underground with huge waterfalls bridges and lovely textures. Enemies are well placed ninjas crocodiles scorpions. A good sloped pillar jumping sequence over lava. Going further down to a huge cave with a temple-boat floating in water that holds the vraeus. That long climb up the underground waterfall out to the above ground temple of the forbidden city to get the amulet. Gameplay is straightforward with no major challenges or puzzles so easy enough for beginners. Considering its age and the Editor limitations at the time it must have caused quite a stir when it was released.” – CC (05-Aug-2003)

“The Lighting and Textures in this level could serve as goals for a lot of designers they are that good! Colors are truly joyful. The Enemies are well placed and keep Lara off balance. Odd that Ninja are more difficult to kill than crocs but that's TR. Sound is not special but fits the level. Camera work is EXCEPTIONAL (a 10+). Flybys are helpful not cute. A few times the camera backs off to show Lara fighting easy battles or continuing easy climbs for fun views. Secrets are well hidden. I did not find all six. Gameplay was very good. I was never lost. I always knew where to go. The Puzzles were a let down. They were beginner level at best. Not at all challenging. Hopefully the author Jackie Wu will honor us with another level. This first level is VERY GOOD. The next should be dynamite. Bravo.” – Dougsan (17-Mar-2003)

“Beautiful oriental level with a nice pace of which I don't remember finishing it when it was released but now I did. Very rarely we have levels where the enemies (ninjas scorpions and crocodiles) are put just right like here. Yes there are many crocodiles but since the settings are so beautiful you even hesitate to kill them in their beautiful cave habitat. Gameplay consists mainly of looking for monkey swing textures and surviving consecutive slope jumps. Great camera play static (inside the temple somewhere close to the start where you can watch your battles with scorpions and ninja's from afar) and flybys. A must play. Strange though there has not been a follow up (date review 8 March 2003) because the ending leaves you with a feeling of more to come...let's keep our fingers crossed.” – bERT (09-Mar-2003)

“This is a classic action-adventure level which reminds us some of the TR2 (atmosphere) & TR3 (rocks and invisible platforms) experiences and mainly the ‘Temple Of Xian’ from TR2. Although it's not as exciting and mysterious as Xian's Temple was it's highly recommended to raid through this level...The level is not hard but it's quite big and it's really about tomb raiding. It has some large central-places with different routes to raid and return with an artifact and such like and then continue the quest to another central-place and so on. This is a thing what I always like in TRs: to see some chambers more then 2 or 3 times and from different points. And this structure reminds me to Xian's Temple again. The level has 6 well placed Secrets and they are all good stuffed with pickups and weapons; although it's not hard to find them all. I only had problem with the 5th - at the large waterfall - as I found it lately after the water turned into lava at the bottom; so I had to restart from an earlier point. There are so many pick-ups and we can find all weapons in this level although it's easily playable by using only the pistols. I used the Revolver - the lasersight was just for fun - only where Lara needed to perform a ’fast kill’ to prevent an enemy for picking up some Uzi-clips for instance. There are so many enemies also and they are all well placed again: red ninjas and scorpions in unpleasant places (on tiny platforms) and several crocodiles in the large water-pools. What I really missed that is a big enemy-boss at the end: it was too simple to leave the area after picking up the final artifact. As we know we're searching for the legendary ‘Amulet Of Horus’ in this adventure and we have to find the ‘Canopic Jar 2’ and the ‘Golden Vraeus’ to open two important doors. We can collect each of them after some small adventures and they require mainly some skills and killing attitude. So again...the gameplay is not hard but it's long and it has several good ideas - I was just missing the trampolines :) - and puzzles... The atmosphere is great again for this level although the main ambient sound should change when we are inside or outside. This adventure is a Xian-like one although this is nicer. The music and the flyby-cameras were very good again although I didn't really like some of the too long flybys. Anyway the large cave-chambers were so beautiful at the very end of the level and they reminded me highly to the good old ‘The Deck’ from TR2 including with that long fall again - for getting a small medipack - which requires almost full health...The lighting is okay I used up some flares in some darker places or sometimes the binocular's nightvision feature had done its job well. The textures were mainly from TR2 and TR3: the rocks and the invisible platforms reminded me to TR3's ‘Lost City Of Tinnos’ and the rest - structure buildings lavas etc. - really made a Xian-feeling for these mystical areas... Oh and don't forget Lara's outfit: I really enjoyed it...I have to mention another positive feature of the level: the story again. Okay it's simple enough but exists and the gameplay fits to it; and that's the point... It's odd but I didn't experience any nastier bugs like continuous music or ‘door bugs’...but I think I was just lucky with them all... So I'm very satisfied with this level: yes it doesn't seem to be ‘old’ and everything is right in it. I can offer it for both experts and beginners and mainly for the atmosphere and for long adventuring through mysterious lost places...” – Sys (01-Mar-2003)

“Overview: In Beijing archaeologists have found a secret buried temple under the Forbidden City the one-time Chinese emperor’s residence. In the course of the work the archaeologists dawn on that here hides the precious Amulet of Horus which was an Egyptian relic in days of old. It came to light from ancient Chinese writings that 2000 years ago an envoy was traveling into Egypt to search for the eternal life and he brought the relic for the emperor. But the emperor was killed and the relic was locked in the temple for eternal time. As the newspapers have been sent the discovery’s news around the world an underground Egyptian organization have been sent militants to Peking who killed the archaeologists. Only one managed to hide and survive the attack. He asked for help of Lara to hinder the Egyptian’s mentor from arriving because if he held a ceremony for regenerate the Amulet’s unknown power it may overturn the world to destruction. (This last sentence wouldn’t have been needed Geckokid.) This level is very good you should try it out. It’s nice good exciting long etc. It’s a real tomb raiding as written in the ‘great book’. Spectacle: The level is beautiful varied from cobwebbed caves to marble-floor and draperied gilt rooms. The brand-new textures make a perfect impression we feel as in Xian’s Temple. But it’s more beautiful. Lara is flaunting in a new costume at any rate she changed her athlete to black for this adventure. Like Lara the Egyptian’s boss have new and individual clothing we will meet him at the end. The editing is grateful too many times through a suspension bridge we can see that passage what we could view from the ground before. And I adore for the big and water-covered rooms. Sounds: Very good. The ambientce is various and fit to the story. Somewhere is cave-hollowing or adrenalin-pump somewhere is brand-new Chinese-style insertion. The danger-indicator insertions are well put too. Equalization and difficulty: the gameplay isn’t difficult (however I found two Secrets of the six) but there are some technique-tester mad parts. So it’s quite difficult :-) The switches are near the doors intelligible what’s a good point for it to my mind; but because we return each location at several times we sometimes should think of that how’s on. There are plenty of enemies but no glutted they make the adventure really exciting. Bugs: there are no cumbrous of them but there are some interesting things. Such like transparent walls columns what you can climb from just one side.” – Obig (08-Feb-2003)

“What a beautiful level! It's one of the first custom levels I played. I found it amazing. Gameplay is exciting with excellent puzzles and challenging jumps. A wonderful oriental atmosphere nice textures and great lighting. Waterfalls are impressive and flybys superb. A really enjoyable level.” – Cuqui (07-Dec-2002)

“This level was my first meeting with the Japanese/Chinese world I mean Tomb raider custom levels related. And what an experience indeed. The people there must have a special talent about designing especially for managing colours and architecture. I can't believe that someone hasn't played this classic level yet. It does have a few difficult jumps and the ninjas and crocodiles will annoy you as much as needed but generally it's not difficult at all. One jump down to the big waterfall loosing some health made me think that it wasn't the right way to proceed as this level is linear enough and does create some doubts. You will have to open some doors at the beginning and you might have to come back in a previously visited area. The cameras are very good and the whole atmosphere gives you a nice feeling of accomplishment when the end comes. It's a pity we haven't seen more levels from the author but I never lose hope.” – Kristina (02-Dec-2002)

“Another earlier level that I had started a half dozen times or more. Actually now that I have finished it and know where to go I wonder how I kept missing the obvious but that's how it goes. Not a bad level at all and I liked the way that the divergent paths always brought you back to the central room. Textures were great and I am happy to say lighting was good too. There was one part where after you climb on a ledge to dispatch three crocs in the water a fourth croc sneaks up behind you and starts munching your butt. THAT was a surprise and well thought out LOL.” – Torry (18-Nov-2002)

“This is one of those I struggled through as a fledgling player and have replayed in order to review. I must say I did have an easier time now that I’m more experienced but the awesomeness of this level will never wear off. I am particularly fond of levels with an Asian theme so much can be done with them and this is one of the best out there. It’s so disappointing that the author never gave us another one. Although there are no puzzles to speak of gameplay is very exciting with some very tricky jump sequences that leave you quite ‘full of yourself’ when they are completed transparent blocks ninjas scorpions and crocodiles. Everything regarding game play has been said by all the others already so I’m just going to add that this is a definite must play level just to drink up the beauty and atmosphere.” – Momster (19-Oct-2002)

“With very few 'new' levels available at the moment I decided to play some 'old' ones to feed my TR addiction. Well I've only just finished this level and I can't believe that it's an 'old one' at all - it's brilliant an absolute classic! It includes everything I love about raiding except for a timed run (yes I like those too). For example I love difficult jump sequences and there's one in here that I thought was great - if I say 'sloping blocks over lava' then I'm sure you'll all know the kind of jump I mean. If you don't like lava then don't let that last statement put you off because there's something for everyone here the lava is only one very small element of it. The texturing colours and overall design give this level an amazing beautiful magical and oriental atmosphere which is strongly reminiscent of TR2's 'Xian' levels (only even better in my opinion). It's challenging enough to keep veteran raiders happy but not so frustrating that beginners will be tearing their hair out at any point - well except maybe for the aforementioned lava jump for a short while! Enemies are mainly Ninja and crocodiles with a couple of scorpions thrown in for good measure. Secrets are very well-placed and there's a real sense of achievement when you find them. There aren't really any puzzles as such but in this case it doesn't matter because there's more than enough going on to keep you completely enthralled. Another bonus is that it's difficult to get stuck because generally the level is fairly linear and also the camera work and flybys are superb. I can think of only one very minor annoyance with this level and it's already been mentioned by a few other reviewers: The 'danger music' near the end seems to loop and can become a bit irritating. But this really is only a minor thing and I feel mean even mentioning it. I just can't believe that the author has not done another level since this one as he has such a talent for it. This is quite possibly the best debut level I have ever seen and believe me you will remember this one long after you have played it. I want more!” – Bex (26-Aug-2002)

“As this comes with a walkthrough it was one of the very first custom levels I played. Revisiting it now I must say it is a great and highly entertaining level. Bearing in mind how old this is and still it's all there: The neat camera work the nice fly bys the mean enemies the good jump sequence the rewarding secrets the cleverly constructed course the beautiful setting the translucent platforms; everything really. Now this took me just over an hour with 5 secrets found but 9 months ago I needed considerably longer. I like the storyline; how you come back to the place you started out from and how there is such a variety of tasks to do. How those tasks go so well with the environment and never seem contrived. There is no maze no lever mania no tedious crawls. I somehow whish this level had a bigger impact on the custom level scene especially on debut levels. The wooden bridge the waterfalls it's all very atmospheric and the room near the end with the ship made of marble is rather picturesque. A classic if I ever saw one. Why has Jackie stopped there and then?! He could have been massive.” – Dimpfelmoser (24-Aug-2002)

“This level pleased me and the atmosphere was very good. The textures were processed cleanly throughout also the architecture was designed very well Chinese style. The level had not many riddles but rather to master some jump combinations that were however not difficult but rather well built. Levers are to be pulled also and in between one was able to dive also. Lara finds 2 puzzle pieces in order to arrive at the Amulet Of Horus. The opponents were placed well among them ninjas crocodiles and scorpions. I found 4 secrets. The sound was also good and above all the cameras were very pretty. The waterfalls are also great to look at :) This level I would gladly recommend.” – Engelchen Lara (23-Aug-2002)

“Wow what a Level. It was built right at the beginning of the LE and only with the original means. For that it has succeeded extremely well! In a Japanese region Lara searches for the exit from the underground city and the paths are smartly layed out. Lara must often do jump combinations which did I totally enjoyed. She moves in a very beautiful atmosphere with good textures great lighting and good camera trips. There was also fog very well set up! And I liked the architecture of the whole very well! In addition there is the fitting sound. The opponents are numerous to shoot at but so well placed that it is a bright joy. I found the swimming ship a great idea! And the crocs could actually not hurt me at all. This level has given me a lot of fun. Some jumps are too difficult perhaps for beginners but they can try it.” – Xxenofex (20-Aug-2002)

“Everyone here has already described how great the look of this hidden city in the mountains is and I totally agree. Being the first texturally customised level I ever played I was just blown away by the gorgeous Asian textures as well as the fantastic uses of water throughout. Like a lot of levels this one doesn’t hold to being puzzle based but instead a great progressional level where you need to make a few tricky moves to make it through while battling crocs ninjas and scorpions. The only really annoying thing about this was half way through a continuous loop of threatening music kicked in and it just never let up but seeing how GeckoKid gave us 6 easy to difficult secrets to find in this 55 minutes level I can definitely forgive him.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“More like a work of art this level creates a marvellous atmosphere using a new set of textures and a number of smartly placed camera angles. The setting holds nicely to the story and the gameplay progresses well with not too high difficulty. You can fast pace through it in less than an hour but next to some energetic jump and run action and a load of not overly threatening enemies you should really take some time to just stand there and look around. I found the continuous music to get on my nerves a little and twice the ‘door bug’ appeared but both does not disturb the beautifully crafted adventure this level presents to you.” - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“Well! What a cool adventure! This 30 minutes level is set in China where you have to find the Amulet Of Horus. The creator really knows how to work with the editor as he made a perfect atmosphere with the great texturization and lighting effects. I haven't found any bugs through the level (except for the 'door bug' as Michael said) and now I know why this is one of the oldest but best levels ever! Congratulations GeckoKid!” – Treeble (21-Jun-2002)

“Probably the best level I've played so far. It combines all the elements of Tomb Raider official levels and most of the capabilities of the Level Editor. The new textures are simply wonderful the buildings are splendid the idea of the plot and the progression are great. The use of camera is brilliant (although a bit long for the first one) and lights are placed with talent. Lots of action despite a lack of real puzzles and nice flip-maps... Some places are really tricky to access... After a full hour of gameplay I was asking for more... GeckoKid where are you and will you make more levels?” – Jbc21 (21-Jun-2002)

“One of the best levels I have ever played lots of gameplay superb effects especially the waterfalls. The music that never stops from about half way through becomes a bit annoying but otherwise this is a great level.” - TrueRaider (21-Jun-2002)

“This was one of the first custom levels available on the Internet. I played it 2-3 months ago and I still remember it well. We need to understand the acihievement as at that time TRWest and all the other utilities were not available. The first room was probably the worst of the level from the aesthetical perspective the horizon and level synchronisation was not perfect but Lara is wearing an unknown black top and the textures are new! It was a good good surprise for me. For developers: the "continuous stressing music" probably was a bug something undesired. If you set a cd track over 97 (or may be 94) you are changing the background music! You keep that in mind. One of the first levels in time but a very good one.” - Josep (21-Jun-2002)

“This is a beautiful amazing challenging level that everyone should play at least once. But if you're looking for a quick easy level this is not it. It is usually obvious what to do and where you are supposed to go next but don't let that fool you into thinking it will be easy. There are some tricky jumps that at times left me frustrated but very proud of myself when I made them. There are not a lot of enemies but their placement and the dramatic music kept me on my toes throughout the entire level. There are not a lot of puzzles either but they were difficult enough to have me saving quite a bit. This level has a nice blend of all the things that make Tomb Raider so great. The creators of the original game would definitely be impressed maybe even jealous. Hopefully Gecko Kid is working on a new level as I'd like to see more of his work. This is a level you don't wanna miss!” – Raider Girl (21-Jun-2002)

“This level was also one of the first to appear on Theresa's site. His level was on the top of my list to play and I had a really fun time doing just that. Although at a certain time the music got a bit on my nerves but it won't keep me from playing it again. Can't wait to see a sequel. Way to go Geckokid.” – Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

“I do not generally play levels because I spend too much time creating them. I have however played around 12 custom levels and I have to say that for me this level is still the best. I never felt completely stuck and always had plenty to do. The atmosphere was very colourful almost in a fantasy type way. One part of the gameplay which had me nervously saving at every step was a rather dark room which had some devious jumps over a very realistic lava pool. This level seems to contain everything that the level editor could possibly create. Out of all the level designers that I know this is one dude I would love to create a Tombraider level with.” - dhama (21-Jun-2002)

“This was one of the first fan-made levels I played and it's as good now as it was then and it doesn't show that it's over a year old. The first time I played this level it had a few bugs and Lara wore a dark-blue top. But in this updated version most of the bugs are fixed (it's still possible to get stuck in one place) and Lara wears a new outfit with a very tight top. Sometimes the enemies appear out of thin air but that's just a minor problem. The texturing is good and the lightning is good too and it's even a little colorful in some places.” – Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

“I finally got to play this wonderful level and it was well worth the wait. The Chinese architecture brings a fresh and colourful change to the normal pale/grey textures. There are some brilliant waterfalls even one where you need to find your way up thru a series of well placed jumps. Some good action in this level with the ninjas - one well placed ninja followed me onto a platform and forced me off resulting in a long fall. Very good use of cameras to show you where to go next. Nice lava areas as well with some very good jumping puzzles. This is definitely a must play and if GeckoKid brings out another level I will be into it straight away.” – Nutman (21-Jun-2002)

“I played this level at a time when I was not yet building them myself but I still keep playing it because it is very well done. It has the most impressive use of fog I have seen; enemies are well spread and it is never boring. The architecture resembles the Temple of Xian and I like it very much. The cumbersome building of the water areas was well executed and great flipmaps and fly-by cameras round it all up. All in all a very well crafted level” – XETH (21-Jun-2002)

“I loved playing this level because it’s got everything I want. First of all the clever built jump-areas and the colourful textures are enough to get in love with this work. No very hard quests and enemies but I had so much fun playing this level.” – Chicken (21-Jun-2002)

“This Level belongs to my top 5! It is a heavy action level you won`t have more than 3 minutes in the game to relax and enjoy the great (Tibet/China style )design and atmosphere.... very clever traps that will test your skills. A good raider needs about 30 minutes for this level. Download it!” - Rebecca (21-Jun-2002)

“What shall I say!? An exemplary level! Just download it and enjoy!” – René (21-Jun-2002)

“Great level! Can't write anything else than ‘fantastic’!” – Chris (21-Jun-2002)

“This was one of the first custom level I played - in that time it was superior - now the time has brought us so many new things. A good level with light and texture well placed - shows what the LE can do (even without so much programs like today) maybe I play it again - because I loved the camera showing the place where it begins.” – Miguel (21-Jun-2002)

“I first played this level a year ago but as I have now started reviewing I thought I'd give it another go. This was one of the first levels available to download and it is truly breathtaking. The custom textures give a real Chinese feel to the level. The baddies are perfect for the level the puzzles excellent. The slide/jump puzzle over the lava pit had me re-loading several times. Camera work is superb. I can say nothing bad about this level except for that action music but several others have already mentioned that. This level is like a fine wine and has aged very well. If you haven't played it yet then do so now. It is a real pity that Geckokid has never done another level. It would have been interesting to see how he could top this one.” – Staticon (21-Jun-2002)

“A very nice level which is built with a very reasonable rotation. If you just follow the way you’ll never get lost or bored because every corner has new surprises behind. Enemies and objects were well placed and so was the sound. The gameplay was great and a lot of elements were used. The puzzles were wonderful especially the one with transparent jump-platforms. But.. (there are always those nasty buts..) I think that the colours can be used a bit more in the same colourgroup. Sometimes the sight was fussy because of the many colours. Some textures were stretched up but it gave a good effect sometimes too. The flybys were a bit quickly they show so many beautiful things let enjoy us the level a bit more. (Or just save the game just before a flyby and play it some times like I did ;o) ). The game was well worth playing and gave me a lot of satisfaction and I’ll recommend it to everyone who likes playing a real adventure!” – Nicky (21-Jun-2002)

“If I remember correctly this is the first custom level I ever played. And now after I've played it again it still amazes me in every way! At first I didn't expect anything good from a fan made level I thought only the designers at Core were enough skilled to make great level. Well I'm sure happy that this (gorgeous) level proved that I'm wrong. It's perfect in any way there were no enemies of whom you could think what is it doing in China? The secrets weren’t placed too hard but very clever and in places that even without a pickup are rewards to go to. There were some clever jump sequences that took some time to get through. The textures gave the feel of the original Tomb Raider 2. The way it was textured was a sweet for the eye. Level builders can learn a lot from this level and players have about an hour of neverending joy. I'm really looking forward to the author's further levels cause this still is at the top of my favorite list.” – eTux (21-Jun-2002)

“This is a great level. I especially found jumping on the slanted pillars to be a good challenge. It took me five tries before I made it.” – Qball (21-Jun-2002)

“Beneath the forbidden city was the first Custom Level I played. I downloaded it because the screenshots were great. I played and enjoyed with all the puzzles and enemies. In fact I want to play it again because I missed some secrets. I was surprised to know the things people were able to do with the LE (the best thing of TRC). Very good level!” – Loupar (21-Jun-2002)

“I loved this level! First of all it was absolutely gorgeous. Everyone must download it simply to see the textures. Second it had a style of game play that I like (no hard-core timed insanities). There are some tough jump combinations but they were somehow elegant IMO. I must admit that I abandoned this level for a bit because of a particularly long jump combo which was tough to save (hanging on ledges). But I went back because it was so beautiful - and I am not sorry! Also had fun using the binoculars w/ light to see the transparent platforms in the pitch-black chasm. Everyone must download this!” – Lady Lara (21-Jun-2002)
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