Level: The Lazarus Curse back home search
Author(s): peacefrog
total rating:9.07 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Andzia9 9 9 9 10
CC 9 9 10 9
DJ Full 8 10 10 8
Dutchy 9 10 10 10
dya1403 9 10 10 10
Gerty 8 10 10 10
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jose 7 9 8 7
Kristina 8 9 8 8
manarch2 10 9 10 9
MichaelP 9 9 9 8
Phil 8 9 9 7
Ryan 9 9 10 9
Samu 8 9 9 8
Sash 10 10 10 9
category averages
(15 reviews)
8.67 9.33 9.47 8.80

Reviewer's comments

"This level is like someone you don't initially like but then start to fall in love with. Texturing ranges from draft to masterful, lighting is much better and the atmosphere in the tower level reaches so high I need nothing more, as well as in the spider forest and the village. The elemental levels are a whole class below, their challenges so familiar they could be just crossed out. Unfortunately the further we progress the more hintless or even misleading things I found unable to guess and unsatisfactory with or without the walkthru, so I kept it open at least to save time - especially stuff like the mirror room stairs pretending to be a riddle, or the book which stops to be a finish trigger in case if you found the secret, feel like trolling a player. SUMMARY: Mostly beautiful and gripping but sometimes very mean." - DJ Full (27-Feb-2017)

"Phew...what a game. Be forewarned: this is not for beginners and there were some tasks that I didn't think I would accomplish, but I made it through eventually Lara visits a dark forest and surrounding village that has been cursed, along with its inhabitants. A lot of varied gameplay here with challenging jumps, swimming exercises, timed runs and mazes. I liked how the story was told through notes that Lara finds on her travels. The whole thing took me 4 hours and 50 minutes and I very much enjoyed it." - Ryan (11-Dec-2016)

"A long time ago, I remember a post in a forum thread mentioning this level as one of the underrated custom levels, and whoever it was, I more than agree from a subjective perspective. Without doubt, it is heavily underreviewed. This is a massive (took me 4 hours to finish including the bonus level) and - most important - utterly fantastic game in terms of creating a storyline which nicely pulls out through the game and which actually has all ingredients (noteworthy: which also well work together) for an epic.
The gameplay in this levelset might not be totally perfect. The manor level placed right at the start was not really fun mainly being a mix between shooter and lever-hunt, its only real function was to introduce the story (nice cutscene showing Jean-Ives being captured) and Lara having to escape her manor. Thankfully not very long, I could somewhat bear it and move on with the second level soon. Too much focus on pulling levers and finding key items is a general problem in this level, but mainly in the hub levels. There are actually two of them but especially in the village level consisted too much of exploring the various houses, but it's never overdone and you'll get to the sub-levels soon where you can sink your teeth in more puzzle-based areas. Those sublevels are mostly split up in four areas, which together with the textues made these levels feel like Tinnos clones, but they're much more than that, as the puzzles are more imaginative and fun as most other Hall of Fame levels (despite being quite simple). The variety of tasks in those levels differ from difficult timed runs over clever boulder setups, most clever mirror and flipmap rooms and so on and so on, there are just too many great ideas to name them all; that's why I decided to give this category a perfect score. The amount of enemies is not overly high but I found the placements effective (like e.g. the horsemen in Twin Towers). I liked the secret system allowing you to not only have access to a bonus level, but also get some extra ammo and health reserves. But I do think that it could have been more clear which secret receptacles belong to which door, as I don't think that if you found more than half, but not all secrets, you want to find some extra ammo (especially when the finale is very near) while not playing the bonus level. Latter is another technical masterpiece; it's the "oldest" level I've seen that makes use of sliding upwards, the shooter elements were among the best I've ever encountered (especially the redish maze with an overhead camera and the indefinitely long corridor including some Escher stairs and a mirror room with the most original twist I could imagine). The pitch-dark maze at the start felt rather odd in comparison. The object design is more than basic since there are a few custom objects and animations, and they really add to the atmosphere, but some areas could have benefited from more creative object usage.
I have been halfway through this levelset where I started to love its atmosphere, but as I encountered the great jump sequence through the rocks at the start of the village level which gave me a incredible feeling of playing TR 3 I couldn't resist but finish this level in a couple of sittings, as it totally immersed me. The village level itself invited to a couple of great moments like when you return from the water level and standing on top of the rocks, or the brilliant cutscene showing the ahmet killing several soldiers. All other levels contained great and unusual use of texturing and lighting; the builder has made effective usage of the Tinnos textures but still managed to make the areas unique (like the "hand" where you kill some eagles and climb one of the "fingers"). Some areas were built with a little less care (like the hub area in the lava sublevel) and lighting was a little too dark in several places (particularly in the cave areas of Swiss Alps and Mountain Village), but those are small issues I had and the lighting never was too dark and if it was dark, then not for long as you can be sure to soon find a more light area. The sound usage is good despite not especially fanstastic as some more other tracks could've been used, although there were some new ones which were great. I think camera work is highly professional, especially in the outside areas they both helped the atmosphere and the gameplay since they give helpful information on what to do next.
Bottomline this is a game that, despite not being perfect in any of the four categories, has a lot of charm and makes such great fun when playing because it's so different from the usual stuff. Great ideas, great implementation - there are indeed some bugs but none of them is a game-stopper (not even in the fire dragon room some reviewers mentioned, as you can simply use the ledges where the dragons are placed to progress), great mystical atmosphere with a worthy conclusion and a fun bonus level as a reward for finding the secrets. All in all a good example that one doesn't need NG features or high-res objects and textures to create a great level which hasn't aged a bit in my opinion, and that's remarkable." - manarch2 (22-Feb-2013)

"I liked this level very much. The forest, nice but haunted village and many more were wonderful, but some places were very difficult to pass(geting past fire emiters from dragons, or swim trough spikes). Enemies weren't difficult and they were quite easy to kill. Sounds and music are great too." - Andzia9 (20-Jan-2010)

"The first level in this game is Lara's home level and I think it isn't constructed particularly well. Added to this author hasn't used his own imagination to create it because it's almost a copy of original Lara's home level in official TR games. Acctually I was about to quit playing this game because the first level is so poor but fortunately I didn't. The rest of the game is great. During the game you have to visit in many beatiful locations including forests, nice tower area, mountain areas, a village and a lot more. I think that spider forest was an extremely good idea and it reminded me of Harry Potter. Gameplay is also very good because it's very variative and I'm sure there are puzzles and other tasks to everyone's taste in this game. I would like to give higher rating for this game but I can't because it has too many bugs that can prevent you to finish the game. If you're going to play this game I suggest you to save often in different slots because this game truly has a lot of bugs. However, this game is worth trying out because it has many unforgettable moments and very imaginary and interesting environment." - Samu (18-Apr-2007)

"I keept thinking what I should write about this level...but I am sure if I start mentioning something I will surelly forget about some memorable moments. This level expresses all that can be done with the Level Editor, and when I say All I mean all ,bugs included :(. some exraordinary elements kept me up many nights, but I admit that I couldn't have done it without the help of the walkthrough and the forum. It was far too difficult for me. This level will remain in my mind for certain and can only be equaled by the levels: The experiment and Egypt and Beyond, wich are clasics for me." - dya1403 (23-Nov-2006)

"And yet again we are faced with an ambitious multilevel project and this one starts slowly and then really turns into plenty of fun, so stick with it and enjoy the ride.
Croft Manor (7/8/8/8, 30 min, 3 secrets): Nicely introduced storyline here, but the level as such is just the mansion and it is tiring to play through these rooms yet again, run around the hedge maze and kill plenty of guards. But audio is good, cameras a good, the mirror room is nice and off we go with the helicopter to...
Schweizer Alpen (7/8/9/7, 15 min, 3 secrets): Serves as kind of a mini hub level as you collect a totel of 5 gems fro here and the next two levels to then open the door to the cursed village (Level 5). The river and forest are a bit blocky but it still works ok - the house is well designed though. Foxes and bears to kill a plenty and more notes to be found that involve Lara deeper into the storyline.
Spinnenwald (8/10/9/7, 20 min, 2 secrets): Ok it is really too dark, but that does help the spookyness and the very, very effective use of the small and large spiders, as well as a cool encounter with Willard.
Die zwei Türme (8/8/9/8, 45 min, 3 secrets): Warthogs, eagles, more spiders. The mill was a great sight and nice gameplay built around it too. Some tree hopping, a timed run, dropping the cage, nice jumping and climbing required and then a series of traps. Maybe too much crawling at times, a rather unnecessary spiked maze and again too many dark spots.
Das verfluchte Bergdorf (9/9/9/8, 30 min, 1 secret): This is the big hub level that holds the elements puzzle for which you branch out to collect sand, water and oil/fire in the next levels. You reach a very nicely designed village after some fun climbing in a canyon, fight off the small white guys and a series of ahmets and meet up again with Jean Yves, although he doesn't talk much.
Der Dorn des Hephaistos (9/9/9/9, 30 min, 1 secret): Probably my favourite level of the set together with the bonus level, despite the occurence of the flare bug due to all the fire around you. There are fire dragons, a clever puzzle room with raising blocks, timed burning pillars, and a cool (or rather hot) room with fire pits to master. All along avoiding a fire bull that is roaming the central room. And the dragon is a great sight too. The prize for all the effort here is the torch.
Die Asche des Demeter (9/8/9/8, 30 min, 1 secret): Here you explore kind of a mines area and there is some fun jumping and climbing to do again, boulders to avoid and four black beetles to collect. All variations of blade traps are featured and a nice room with a path through squishing blocks. At the end you jump your way up and around a huge pyramid and finish this one with the Bag of Sand.
Das Herz des Poseidon (8/8/9/8, 40 min, 1 secret): Maybe the least favourite level for me, because I just don't like mazes and underwater mazes even less so. And this level is basically just that. You collect 4 tridents and swim around with a sea hag and the highlight for me was the room that slowly fills up with water - very cleverly done. Then there is plenty of work to do to battle four demigods and eventually acquire the waterskin.
Das Blut des Hades (8/7/7/7, 15 min, 1 secret): The oil canister is what you come away with in this level and it is suprisingly short and crisp. But I liked the mirror room and the various camera angles, the alternating ledges room (always a nice challenge) and the cool flyby of the big hand.
Die Dorfkapelle (not rated, 10 min, 1 secret): You are greeting by Oxy-style walking trees and a very nice looking chapel. The killing of the insane father is very smartly conceived and if you are missing the secret the adventure will end here for you. But make sure you do find the secrets, because the extra level is really worth it.
Lazarus geheime Zuflucht (9/10/9/7, 30 min): Set around a floating castle this is off to a really bad start with a pitch black maze but it all goes uphill from there. Great audio, great battles with Lara clones and zombies, very cool bird's eye view cameras and generally lots of adrenaline here, especially with the final battle with three horseman while an unkillable Lazarus creature is constantly after you. A very worthy grand finale of a great series. Don't miss it!" - MichaelP (15-Oct-2006)

"I'm past the point in my Tomb Raider playing career where I dole out high ratings solely because a release is massive, or complex, or the result of a huge investment of time and creative effort on the builder's part. There are so many levels to play out there that sheer mass is no longer a criterion of excellence, at least not in my book. The Lazarus Curse is an ambitious project, no doubt about it. There is much to commend it to the skilled player, particularly in the later levels (there are ten in all, not counting the bonus portions). It took me quite a while to get into it, however, as the pervasive darkness and gloom made it something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Indeed, I came close to trashing it a number of times before reaching the midway point. And then I came to the later levels that, although far from bright and cheery, at least presented challenges that were fun to navigate. Portions of it, however, bordered on the sadistic. If it were not for Dutchy's walkthrough and the fact that I play in god mode where drowning is not a worry and static spikes pose no threat, I could not possibly have navigated the underwater room with the nearly impossibly strong currents and spikes. Although I had the requisite 16 hearts (thanks to Dutchy) and was able to access the bonus levels at the end, I finally binned the game at this point because of the lightless labyrinth that even the walkthrough couldn't enable me to solve. I intensely dislike tasks of tedium for tedium's sake, so the builder simply lost me here. This review sounds negative, as indeed I intend it to be, but the experienced raider will find much to enjoy for the nine hours or so it'll take to get all the way through these levels. Me, I'm now browsing through the level listing for something bright and fun to play." - Phil (06-Aug-2006)

"I actually didn't know where to start writing about this level. You will see and do so much that you'd think it would be easy enough to list the main ones. My dilemma is an indication of just how good this is. The very first impression I got, and one I'm left with, is that we are looking at the work of a brilliant new building talent. Not only with amazing looking environments, objects, lighting, atmosphere, textures and design, but also an interesting storyline, great taste in music, and diverse and excellent gameplay that fascinated me as I emerged each time, via a different hidden route, back at one of the two main hub levels. The first brilliant flyby shows us Jean Yves is writing to Lara. His house is invaded by gunmen, so has he been kidnapped? These gunmen also invade the Croft mansion, but the poor idiots don't know our girl! We assume Lara has read Jean Yves note and sets off to rendezvous with him, in Switzerland; an Alpine forest to be exact, inhabited by bears, foxes, and extremely dangerous butterflies, lol. This forest is the first hub level. Radiating from here are routes to other areas where we need to find five gems. These include a lovely windmill by a stream, a dark forest where spiders breed and multiply, a pyramid type buriel mountain and tower, and the lonely house of Fr. Gabriel. We find the eyepiece and open up the underground route that leads us up to a mountain village. Called the Cursed Village, this is the second hub level, and things become even more spookier. There's one unfortunate hanging from a tree, and demons live here. It's obvious when we spot a rolled up bridge, and a house beside it containing three pedestals, that we need to find a waterskin, a sandbag and an oil can. To acquire these we must also find tridents, beetles, etc., in the other levels. These are mainly underground and are based on the elements we are looking for. The fire element levels have a lot of lava rooms, and a fiery bull. Included are an excellent block raising and lowering exercise in one room, a run across ledges with huge fire blowing moving heads in another, and a room full of fire holes with a wraith in hot pursuit. The water area naturally involves a lot of swimming. The main room here has a gigantic ice sphere with a four-way monkeyswing/switch setup to open up four routes and claim the tridents. These rooms include a multi-switch and lever room to raise the water level (that must be done in the right order or you're stuck); a horrifying looking room with spikes and strong currants, which ironically, once you've figured out the route, is actually easier to do a second time; and a room with rotating blades and lots of levers to open a water tunnel. The biggest headache for me in the whole series was this ice sphere room. After collecting all four tridents a trapdoor opens under the sphere and the lever within is supposed to raise the water level to the ceiling so we can escape. The walkthrough explains this bug and what to do. For me it was a case of pulling that lever over and over again and striking it lucky the last time. The 'earth' element areas include a room with silver balls rolling around in way I've never seen before, and an ingenius room where the floor becomes lethal by pulling chains, and safe again to allow you and an obliging statue to climb on a structure with trigger tiles. And the 'air' element area (these are my guesses) includes a beautiful mirror room with invisible ledges to jump to, a floor that collapses on you so it's best to stay put for a while, the legendary appearing and disappearing ledges across another abyss, and a pitch black room where you need to shoot the walls. You must shoot from the entrance, as once inside it won't work and you'll not find the cross to get rid of the pursuing wraith. These are just some of the things you'll encounter along the way. And all this is to use that puzzle and roll that bridge out to allow Lara to cross to the horrors beyond. Our first realisation of this is being attacked by trees! (what a sight!). The corrupt bishop Lazarus has found a way to the 'other side'. We must ultimately follow him to destroy the crystal that traps his soul. But first we must deal with Fr. Gabriel. The poor soul has now gone mad and meets a gruesome death when we toll the church bell. We don't actually have to deal with Lazarus as this is part of the Bonus series, but it would be a shame to miss all that excitement. To enter the bonus levels we need only eight heart secrets, but collecting sixteen hearts will open a massive store of ammo which will come in very handy. On our quest to find him we pass through portals to other worlds, the first being a pitch black maze which was a nightmare to get through. Lazarus's hellish looking cave is very atmospheric, again added to greatly by the music. When we've destroyed the crystal that traps his soul Lara invites Jean Yves to spend some time at her mansion to recuperate from his ordeal. This is the first level by this author, and it does have some serious bugs, some texture problems, and almost pitch black areas to work through, but it's also clear that this is a great new talent, and I for one will be looking out for future levels by this author. Absabloominglootly brilliant game to play. Highly recommended. And a big thank you for the walkthrough, that not only explained Jean Yves' scribbles, but showed the way through most of the tougher parts of the level." - CC (05-Jul-2006)

"A level not for beginners. A long adventure where you'll have to use all the habilities you've learn playing levels if you want to finish the game. Although you have enough flares there are very dark levels, and you'll have to use them continuosly. I've find some bugs too, as in "Thorn of Hepaestus", when one of the dragons doesn't stop blowing fire, and in the lava room with the transparent pillars the central pillar didn't appear (I had to reload many times and do all the tasks in one shot). There are very difficult tasks, as the timed burning pillars room in the same level. Excellent architecture and objects, but you'll have to reload a lot 'cause as I said, I think it's a level only for professional players." - José (04-Jul-2006)

"Croft Manor: Lara’s security is no better these days – the mansion is crawling with gunmen yet again. This incarnation of the mansion isn’t an absolute copy of the original; although most of the usual aspects are represented. It’s obvious from the start that we’re dealing with a sneaky builder and this is going to be a cracking good raid. Alpen: There are some very good looking areas in this section (and some more extremely well hidden secrets) with huge forests and lovely clearings, full of bears, foxes and butterflies- the foxes paddling in the river made me smile and I really hated having to shoot them. Actually, shooting all the cute woodland creatures made me quite uncomfortable – like poisoning Winnie the Pooh’s honey or something. Spinnenwald: Oh dear, from Walt Disney to Wes Craven in one easy move – this section is seriously scary with dark creepy atmosphere and strange red lighting and crawling (sorry, no pun intended) with spiders of varying degrees of size and yuk factor. If you’re at all arachnophobic, you’ll probably need weeks of therapy after this little outing. I’ll see you there. Die Zwei Turme: I don’t speak German, but even I figured out this meant the two towers, but you can forget Lord of the Rings – this is a fascinating area (and somewhat unstable – watch out for falling rocks) with a 3D maze, a fabulous water mill and some interesting things to achieve, although I could have done with a bit less crawling about in tunnels. Das Verfluchte Berfdorf: This is quite a dark section, which sod’s law decreed I ended up playing on a bright sunny afternoon so I had a certain amount of difficulty finding my route initially through caves and forest. Things got a little easier once I found the village. Well, I say easier – I could see, but what I could mainly see were guards, ahmets and imps coming to get me. After exploring the village, I soon found that I required the ingredients for an element puzzle so off I set on my travels again. Das Herz Des Poseidon: Water, lots and lots of water, naturally. And a maze. An underwater maze. A three dimensional underwater maze. Sorry, I’m still gibbering. I found this a challenging section altogether, with four tridents to retrieve from four different and mainly deadly areas. I thought the room with the dry land and underwater switches and rising water level was extremely novel. Unsurprisingly, the reward for getting through this section is the waterskin. Der Dorn Des Hephaistos: There are some creative and interesting ways to die here, most of them involving fire. On the plus side, all the flames do make the place look cheerful and you won’t need flares much, which is just as well as the flare bug is operating. You get a torch here so you can burn through a floor to get to the next charmingly deadly area. Die Asche Des Dementer: Beetles are the name of the game in this part – the four you’re searching for and the dozens and dozens that are trying to eat you. There are some ingenious traps and puzzles to overcome such as a really deadly squishy block maze, a room with more slashing blade type objects than I’ve ever seen in such close succession before and a fascinating rolling ball/three button puzzle room. Eventually the bag of sand appears – hoorah. Das Blut Des Hades: Disappearing/reappearing tile run, mirror room, an intriguing room with a collapsing floor and a harpie and a slightly enigmatic room with a wraith and apparently nothing else until you figure out just what to do. Great fun and an oilcan for your trouble. Now you’re ready to do the element puzzle back in the village and go through to another area. Die Dorfkapelle: Wow, homicidal trees; fabulous the things you meet in graveyards these days. There’s a delightfully black mass feel to the church and a deadly priest modelled on the hammer god, but the resident zombies are really, really helpful for once, bless ‘em. If you’ve managed to collect the secret hearts dotted throughout the game, you get loads of lovely goodies and a bonus level. Lazarus Geheime Zuflucht: There’s a pitch black, completely transparent maze at the beginning of this that had me completely disorientated. You can see a square of light as your goal, but actually getting to it may take quite some time. Once through, you find yourself confronted by a super gothic entrance and some floating platforms to access various areas. There’s some really weird and wonderful things happening – Lara being attacked by a band of Lara clones in a room with a definite bony motif, a maze with an unseen enemy attacking Lara statues, which of course harms Lara herself (a particularly imaginative section), good use of the mechanical beetle, an Escher-like set of steps and mirror room - I love puzzles, so needless to say I adored all this. One hell of a boss ending too, followed by a nice little scene of Lara back home with the new addition to her trophy room. Well, I seem to have babbled on a bit, but basically I was most impressed by this excellent debut level, my only regret being that the extensive readme, hints and tips and all the notes in the game were a complete mystery to me, being in German. Ah well." - Jay (11-Jun-2006)

"There’s a great level for you, 10 levels of which several are visited more than once. A perfectly put together storyline that runs through the whole level by means of short notes left by one of the victims you’re trying to find. Lara starts in then Mansion and has to gather some supplies and an Eye Part before she can set out to go and save the World, by finding an ancient book of Spells. The adventure takes you to the Swiss Alps where a Father Gabriel has close off a cursed village and several spooky places have to be visited to gather the 5 Crystals needed to get the second Part of the Eye so the Village can be visited. There the search continues through mazes, underwater mazes which are quite tricky and many more hard quests. Finally she will meet the captured Jean-Ives and father Gabriel, gone mad by this time. Bishop Lazarus, one of the key figures in the level has to be stopped as he wants to open portals between the hereafter life and the world of the living and in a thrilling end battle you’ll have to destroy the Crystal in which his mortal soul was captured. The atmosphere in the level was marvellous, music applied nicely and the enemies were well placed. Not really a very hard level, but it grabbed me from the start and I couldn’t stop. At some places there were little bugs because of objects disturbing Lara’s movements (the UW levers in the S room in the Poseidon level had to be approached as high as possible in order to use them) a flare bug in the Hephaestus level, but flares weren’t really needed and you could always throw one on the floor. This bug could also be related to the kind of graphics card on your PC. Great levels enjoyed them very much." - Dutchy (08-Jun-2006)

"There are some down points for this terrific game, what is a shame really. This has a great game play, a solid story, beautiful places to visit, scary moments, and enough enemies to be on guard all the time. The music added fitted real well. A pity as everything written was in German but luckily my German is well enough to understand it all. As for the bugs there were little ones and some major ones and I seem to catch every one of them, so do save at different places. Some serious beta testing would be in order as I said before that it is indeed a shame. The pits I thought were those underwater mazes, I could have used more breathing holes though. But for the rest I was in awe in every room I visited. There are two hub levels to gather lots of artifact and each on its own is an adventure. From the Swiss Alps to the small church everything looked real good. There is never a dull moment as every level you go to has something different. I hope this author will continue as he clearly let us first of all enjoy a great adventure and second he for sure knows how to use the LE." - Gerty (03-Jun-2006)

"If you want one humdinger of a game, one that will last longer than the gestation period of an African elephant, then you have come to the right place. With 10, 11 or 78 levels, frankly I forget, Lara is taken on a Magical Mystery Tour starting in her mansion, visiting many jungles, forests and canyons, and ending after around 7 hours somewhere near Hell, in fact if you find at least 8 of the 16 heart secrets you are also handed the keys to a truly mystical bonus level that revolves around a floating castle. Each of the levels are also packed to the rafters with all imaginable and unimaginable things to be done but I found that at a certain point in the game some of the levels starting having a slightly repetitive feel to them, and this usually meant that when you entered a level you had four small adventures to complete stemming from a hub room, but don?t get me wrong these little adventures were all fun and imaginative it?s just that I wanted something new each time I moved to the next level and not more of the same. I also had some trouble loading into the second last level, which is the last level if you don?t enter the bonus one, and my game would crash when it tried to load. I know at least one other person also had trouble with this but it was because they tried to carry a torch from one level to the next, this though was not my problem, I did with a little finagling finally get to that next level but that meant playing it as a stand alone level. So for anyone out there looking for a huge game to immerse yourself in over a couple of days you could do much worse than playing this." - Sash (24-May-2006)

"This game is a complete adventure and an impressive one at certain points. The problem is that the letters from Jean Yves which have hints and explanations are all in German so the other players that don't speak German have no idea what they are about. That is a down point for the game and also I encounter a few bugs that can prevent the player from finishing the game. There is no English readme as well which is inexcusable. I want to thank Michael (avmaster) that translated each level's title to English. The first level, the 'Croft Manor' is the Lara's house of course but with differences from the original and fortunately without the timed run inside the maze. I found two secrets in this level and Winston was annoying as usual. There is a problem here because you can walk all around the edge and the greenery reaching the 'end of the world' bug and you can also jump over the closed gate so you can finish the level early. The second level, 'Swiss Alps' has a nice cataract but the foxes in the forest sound like dogs when they die and there is a green gem to find here. If I am not mistaken I found two secrets in this one. The third level, 'Two Towers' has spiders, birds, wild boars and spike traps to avoid and also the yellow and blue gem to find. I liked the tower and the pyramid-like structure with the latter being a kind of maze with spikes inside that was quite interesting. The watermill and crane puzzle was nicely done. I got the red gem from the horseman and two secrets here. The fourth level, 'Spider Forest' has, what a surprise, many small and big spiders in a forest of course. The ultimate trap here is the spike one with blocks coming down if you step on the wrong square and it is a very dark area. I found one secret in this level The fifth level, 'Blood of Hades' unfortunately has a bug in the main area with the four directions and switches we need to find and use because if you don't shoot the wall before entering the area with the bird statue the wall becomes solid and you can't continue in the game. Other than that, the big hand that holds the jerry can was a nice idea. I think that the puzzle with the floor titles was unnecessarily used in many areas and became tedious for me. I found one secret here. The sixth level, 'The Heart of Poseidon' also has a nasty bug in it. Do NOT save after you get the trident in the area with the many underwater levers and rotating blades because when you get back and flood the room to exit you won't be able to leave, the trapdoor in the middle stays open no matter how many times you use the underwater lever. In this level we need to find four tridents and we get the waterskin. I found one secret. The seventh level, 'The Cursed Mountain Village' includes wolves as enemies and small white creatures; also there is the hangman we see from TRC. There are many ways around the huts and a nice stream in between. We need keys to get inside some of the huts with one of them being for the secret I found. The eighth level, 'The Thorn of Hephaestus' is based upon the bull we have to lure into smashing the doors in an area full of lava and blocks on fire, blocks we need to raise and fire statues to avoid. The ninth level, 'The Ash of Demetrius' is short and the main puzzle is the three big buttons which again is buggy because if you don't push a combination which is wrong first and then the right one, only one door opens and you're stuck no matter how many combinations you try afterwards. The tenth level, 'The Village Chapel' is the level with the chapel and trees that walk but are very unfriendly towards Lara. We need to find a key which was dropped either by those mummy like zombies or by the mysteriously disappearing enemy with the staff, I am not sure. The level is short and is a connection with the bonus level. The area where we can place the hearts has also two rooms with weapons and many medipacks so if you don't find all sixteen hearts you need to choose and of course not to forget to open the way for the next level. That last area counted as a secret. The bonus level, 'Lazarus Secret Hideout' has a mechanical scarab to get through a maze with a clever way to see in there, the scales puzzle with the waterskin items which is problematic as well. If you use the right amount of water first time around then the right door opens but closes immediately so you're stuck there. You need to use the wrong amount first. There are tinmen, a wolf and a flying creature to fight to get gems and the second scroll in the level. The first scroll is in the main area and then you access the red cave with the tinmen mentioned above. I liked the area with the many Lara clones and the way we can kill them, that was clever. I found eleven secrets in total and ten hearts. The chapels are nicely done and the last boss was throwing legs at Lara but you don't need to kill it, just go behind it to change area. This is indeed a huge game with unfortunately some bugs that can prevent the player from finishing the game but also a remarkable effort to create a good game with some clever puzzles. In general, well done but next time I suggest some careful testing to prevent those 'stuck' points with no return." - Kristina (22-May-2006)
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