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Level: South Pacific Contest - Blood Mountain back home search
Author(s): Codo
total rating:9.39 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 10 10 10 10
Bene 9 8 10 10
EssGee 9 10 10 9
eTux 10 10 10 10
Gerty 8 9 10 10
Jay 9 8 10 10
Jose 8 9 9 10
Juno Jim 10 9 10 9
Kitkat 9 9 9 10
Kristina 9 9 9 9
manarch2 9 9 10 9
MichaelP 9 9 10 10
Mman 8 10 10 10
Mugs 9 8 9 10
Mytly 9 8 9 10
Orbit Dream 9 8 10 10
PaoloM 10 9 9 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
psaiu 9 10 10 10
Ravenwen 8 9 10 10
Raymond 10 10 10 10
Relic Hunter 9 9 10 10
Ruben 9 10 10 10
Spike 9 9 10 10
Vaughnage 8 7 9 8
category averages
(25 reviews)
9.04 9.04 9.72 9.76

Reviewer's comments

"When having finished this level as the last one of the six SPC levels, I was very glad to have saved the best for last. The quality of this level is high above any of the other contest levels in nearly every respect, and playing through all those levels would be worth for this level alone. The builder placed more secrets in this level than all other levels in the contest had, which made up for a nice challenge to get them all. And indeed, to finally get the final secret in the T-Rex cave (the Revolver) you need to find a total of four certain secrets before. So what you get here is a nearly perfect level with a lot of plain fun exercises, a breathtaking setting and a necessary depth to get absorbed in. The gameplay at the start may feel a little too dull as you first collect a series of really easy secrets – of the first six secrets that can be found in the first ten minutes, only the first really was a challenge – and progress in a rather linear and fast-moving way, but as soon as you reach the temple everything changes to a totally fantastic gameplay experience with a lot of imaginative ideas, like the superbly crafted boulder room where the boulder needs to push a button, the blade setups that only can be avoided with clever thinking. Certainly, if you don’t go for all the secrets, the game could be a little bit uneventful at parts, as you wouldn’t need to collect any items for the element puzzle nor would transport the torch through all those caves, which takes away a lot of gameplay. So I would strongly recommend including the search for all secrets in your journey, there are really some extremely nice ones to get, such as with a timed run to a button preventing a trapdoor to close, the mentioned element puzzle or another hard timed run over the lava cave that can take a lot of tries. OK that was enough said about secrets. Coming to the atmosphere in this level – it is nothing but stunning. As soon as the level starts with a great cutscene you notice an experienced builder is at work – with the canyon areas with all the fog and the wide-scale map Codo created one of the most convincing settings I have ever encountered – and this with a limited texture set! The temple area with the blood rivers felt very mystic and this made a great contrast to the rather cozy outdoor areas. Also loved the views into other, yet inaccessible areas and the blood water tunnels leading from one room to others – the attention to detail in this level is nothing but amazing. Because of that, I can overlook some smaller mistakes like missing sounds for some of the levers. The only things I didn’t like so much were the quite buggy rope that took a lot of tries to finally jump to it and the final area that had an “end of the world”- view, but all in all these mistakes are so small in comparison to the detailed landscape the builder managed to create. Spent 55 minutes in this game and was rather sorry when it ended. This is the deserved winner of the contest. Well done!" - manarch2 (14-Jul-2012)

"I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more realistic-looking organic landscape in a custom level. The outdoor areas are simply magnificent, with lots of greenery, waterfalls and a river running through it all. Later in the level, you get to see the blood-red waters that give the level its name (though beyond looking rather intriguing, the red water doesn’t seem to have any gameplay-related significance). The indoor areas are almost as nice, ranging from several caves to the interior of a beautiful temple.
The level is very non-linear, as befits a natural terrain. I discovered several alternative routes, but finally decided to stick to the one described in the walkthrough, as otherwise I would miss several secrets. Speaking of secrets – for some reason, the builder chose to focus extensively on them (12 in all!), so that almost all the memorable parts of the level centre on finding the secrets: beating a couple of tribesmen and a raptor to the switch for a trapdoor; an element puzzle for which you collect items throughout the level; a timed-run-and-traps-based alternative route; the final showdown with two T-Rexes while riding a kayak … you will miss all of these if you choose not to go after all the secrets. This intense focus on the secrets is a little strange, as IMO, the main story of the level seems almost like an afterthought in comparison. Ok, I get that maybe the builder’s idea was to enable players of all skill levels to complete the level – but I do wonder if players who missed out on most or all of the secrets can even be said to have played the same level as those who got all the secrets?
I ran into a bug in the T-Rex fight: they remained rooted to one spot, and Lara seemed to be unable to target them or kill them (so I finally left them alive and roaring). Maybe this had something to do with paddling the kayak through them?
This is undoubtedly the best of the SPC levels I have played (only Time Machine is left now): with beautiful surroundings and complex gameplay. Very much recommended, but do try to get all the secrets (and keep the walkthrough handy) if you want to experience all that the level has to offer." - Mytly (16-Aug-2011)

"This level has some of the most detailed environments I've seen in a TR map that doesn't have extreme mesh use. After a great looking trip through a small Jungle area the exterior of the level is based around a river, with a certain Madubu Gorge style to it, then there's the temple itself which makes use of a lot of non-standard shapes (triangular ceilings and similar shapes) to give a unique atmosphere, and all this combines with some great lighting. The Kayak combined with T-Rexes did lead to some weird AI, but it's minor (as well as a little hidden).
The level starts off obtuse enough that it put me off the first time I played (even with the walkthrough) and I only got around to playing the whole thing now. In retrospect I can see what it's doing in terms of non-linearity, but with no clues to start you off it's incredibly easy to miss something and get stuck (especially as there's some very precise platforming/climbing and the river becomes a death- trap with no warning if you don't fight the current correctly). Once you start to get some bearings (as well as the understanding that a significant amount of the tasks are optional), it becomes much more manageable and flows pretty well. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the level is optional for secrets, and they even lead to some alternative routes; as I missed a lot I may replay the level sometime to check them out. A great level, although it takes a little to get going in terms of gameplay." - Mman (24-May-2011)

"Wow, this is a hard level, not hard as in frustration too very tight timed runs or pixel perfect jumps, but hard in thinking what to do and where to go next. I know that I left this the first time around, as it was rather confusing so I was glad that I could finish it this time, with the help of the walkthrough. I have to say that I really liked the level as it took me right into the jungle to the Blood River and waterfalls. The landscape is indeed breathtaking, haven’t seen one so good in a long time. Be warned this is a non-linear level and you will visit places again and again if you don’t watch it. Only complain I have that I could use more camera work but I made it (finally LOL)." - Gerty (01-Apr-2008)

"What a great level! Some of the best points are the musical scores. It fits perfectly with the enviorment, but sometimes it gets a little bit tainted, but it still sounds great. The gameplay is very fun, and it was hard. I love the hard puzzles this game offers to the player. Exploring mountainous regiouns, and fields of trees and grass make it fun to control Lara in a new way. Some of the secrets are hard to find, and some objects are a little bit misplaced, but it didn't really infect with the gameplay. The enemies are smart, indulgent, and fun to kill off once you see them. The lighting and textures are simply stunning! Some of the bad parts are that the framerate isn't all that i wished it to be. Overall, fantastic!" - Vaughnage (20-Dec-2007)

"I had to play this one twice !!! I missed the sandbag... Also, I made a fatal "misteak", that I will remember forever. I filled the Oil vessel, then came back later to light it - no OIL !!! I guess it evaporated... LOL Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and was suprized to find so much packed into a reletively small file !!! Lost of secrets, I liked that, and thought provoking play, as well as beautiful scenery. I'll post this, but I let the two T-Rex's go where they wanted, suprizing where they ended up... Good work, Codo !!!" - Juno Jim (30-Oct-2007)

"From the beautiful opening flyby you know you are in for a treat with this adventure. The overall setting is just so authentic that you have to play through this to believe it. And it is one of very, very few custom levels which I felt eager to play again (with some help from the walkthrough) in order to fully experience it, as there are quite a few parts to the quest that are optional and lead to the total of 12 secrets. These optional parts include a complex elements puzzle and a challenging timed run that the more experienced raiders really should not miss. But even the 'normal' game has a lot to offer as you explore along the banks of the river and inside the temple in your quest for the two Blood Crystals and the Moya Lizard and the only thing I really did not like very much is how the blades were used in a way that made it maybe overly hard to get past them without loss of health. A level not to be missed!" - MichaelP (03-Oct-2007)

"I'm going to be a bit picky with this one. Although it's undoubtedly a solid and thorough piece of work, with exemplary use of all the elements - it's fantastic as far as environments, atmosphere and gameplay are concerned - it's structure is a bit too chaotic, resulting in it often being rather confusing; I lost my orientation many times on those mountains, and although I spent a lot of time exploring the areas thoroughly, still I missed an important item and was unable to get all the secrets at the end because of this. The gameplay is pretty fine, it's challenging enough with some tricky situations, and there is a lot of exploration to do, so you will never feel bored. But I found the action to be a bit incoherent in general; and with so many things to look for and so many areas to visit, several times I felt that I was really close to losing the actual objective of the adventure." - Ravenwen (13-Sep-2007)

"Blood Mountain = Bloody good, bloody hard, bloody frustrating and bloody beautiful. Great atmosphere, realistic landscapes, impressive architecture and the toughest secret I've ever encountered (2.5 hrs just for that second rose - arggggh!). I really needed the assistance of a walkthrough for this level though as it is a bit confusing. But there's an air of satisfaction when you finish the level. Despite a few technical imperfections this is just a marvellous level to explore, and is an absolute must play. Highly recommended." - EssGee (13-Aug-2007)

"Although this just the third SPC level which I played, I think I have found my favorite. Perfect. (and I don't use that word lightly) The design and architecture is fantastic, really lifelike. And an above average gameplay is added to that. The level is complicated in every respect, not easy to find the next step, and there are lot of hard tasks, like jumps from triangular platforms, knowing the walk-run/jump can be useful here. There are quite a few unavoidable injuries, still I managed to finish without using medis. I don't know if it was a bug, but the raptors didn't harm me, if I didn't harm them either. Obtaining all 12 secrets was an expert challenge indeed, some were well hidden. Difficult and exciting gameplay, beautiful landscape, captivating atmopshere. I don't think it is possible to ask for more than this level has to offer." - Akcy (12-Aug-2007)

"I think this is the most elaborated level of SPC pack and sure that the author spent a lot of hours building it but for me was not the best. Natural environment is fantastic and architecture is one of the best I've ever seen in custom levels, lights and textures grate on perfection, there are good puzzles and hard tasks, as excelent use of the cameras. In the other way perhaps the game is too much no-lineal, moving Lara through very huge areas and having to go back long paths; evenmore if you don't explore a lot you'll miss the secrets and lose a great part of the gameplay; some secrets require to discover another secrets before if you want to get them so, it can succeed you have passed a lot of dangerous tasks and finally you can't get your prize; guns and ammo were not enough for me (I couldn't discover all the secrets) and though I had the skull key I had to abandone the area with the T-Rex 'cause only with the pistols is impossible to get through. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised with this great level." - José (31-Jul-2007)

"It's been a while since I rated a level with 10s across the board. It's also been a while since I felt this giddy sense of satisfaction upon completing a level (even though I missed--but only temporarily, I promise--one of the expert secrets provided by the builder). I don't think any of the other contestants will argue with my assessment that this is hands down the superior offering in the South Pacific Competition. A level as outstanding as this risks becoming lost in the shuffle when it's included as an entry in a bundled package, but somehow I don't think that Blood Mountain will suffer this fate. I've been playing custom levels for a while, and even though more experienced raiders say they completed this one in a little over an hour, I believe most of the rest of us mortals will easily spend at least two hours of net gaming time savoring everything this level has to offer. Not only are the surroundings gorgeous outside and utterly lifelike inside, but the puzzles and the tricky jumps and the hidden goodies and the well-placed enemies make for a continually engrossing adventure from start to finish. If you don't play any other level this year, play this one. Highest recommendations." - Phil (28-Jul-2007)

"That was a wonderful level and had many challenges for the expert players that hunt all secrets in a level. I liked the gameplay and the setting very much, all that greenery was a wonderful sight. The game itself without hunting for the expert secrets or the regular ones for that matter is great and straight forward. There is a pretty good chance though to get very confused with the many ways you have to choose in some areas. In all areas, except the beginning, after the waterfall you can go back so if you miss a secret or a key don’t get worried. The most challenging parts for me were inside the temple areas with the T-Rex beasts and the kayak ride plus the timed run for the golden rose. I can’t say that beginner players will find this game easy but they are certainly going to like it. The main object to find is the Moya Lizard which will lead Lara to the end of her quest. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get through it with all twelve secrets and I was sorry to see this one end. It’s highly recommended, especially for the ones that seek a good challenge in a level." - Kristina (24-Jul-2007)

"I would assume all my fellow rewievers ratings relate to the SPC Levels only. As a single contest level this one is clearly the Nr. 1 , simply because of its unique beauty and quality that only a most talented builder like ... would be able to construct. There`s one for us regular folks , one for the advanced but last not least an expert challenge that might take even the best of us close to their limits ! What a good idea not to exlude the faint-at-heart ones from playing this wonderful level by giving them a fair chance to accomplish their goal even though they may miss out some parts of it ! I did not expect anything else but this from... and I do congratulate this builder for another wonderful TRLE issue ." - Ruben (24-Jul-2007)

"It is rare to find a level that so immerses and consumes as this one does. Excellent atmosphere with gameplay on different levels. Can be played simply with a more or less quick ending or a challenging search for all the secrets. My search for one of the secrets became a comedy of errors as it took me a while to realize that there is just simply no way, despite how many split seconds are shaved off, that the timed monkeyswing/rope run could be managed if the rope was grabbed at an angle. The solution was blindingly obvious....after way too long. Great fun and satisfaction in figuring it out. This is a must play/see entry, despite buggy savegames even with the new exe and a game bug that prevented me from reaching one other secret that I could not trigger. It is one that lingers in the memory and will not soon be forgotten. Kudos to the builder." - Bene (19-Jul-2007)

"This is actually the third time that I have attempted to play this level, and only this time did I manage to finish it. Despite the alternate routes being a wonderful idea, it led me to become confused at times whether or not I was going in the right direction, as there was no concrete layout. Apart from that, the gameplay is excellent, and is challenging yet never frustrating. A timed run, boulders, spike traps, flames and wall blades to dodge were all included in the route that I had taken, and I am quite sure that the other ways through the level would have been equally diverse. It looked fantastic too, and the texturing was perfect. The temple itself is brilliantly designed and suitably atmospheric. The enemies were also not too hard to deal with, and were mostly a fun distraction from the rest of the adventuring. A stunning level, and definitely one of my favourites." - Spike (18-Jul-2007)

"There are very few levels out there, that I even consider replaying in a couple of years, so it's quite an achievement in my eyes if a level has that something that makes me want to replay it almost immediately for whatever reason (in case of this level - finding all 12 secrets and exploring alternate routes) and this masterpiece is one of them. I understand very well that this is not a level for everyone, but for me it embodied everything I loved about the South Pacific levels in the first place! The looks of the whole place are masterfully done with little or no faults and have both - the charm of the original settings and the fresh approach of the author. Considering that it was part of a competition and all its restrictions, it's also amazing that you can practically never tell he (or she, if my gut feeling is right) had to face them, as everything fits organically in the setting and that's saying something! The tasks are clever and challenging at the same time... and pretty much all the time at that - because while the actual gameplay of the level takes about 50 or less minutes to get through if you just go for the main objective as I did first time through - you will still find yourself stuck on a square, or hanging off an edge or swinging around on one of those poles till you become dizzy yourself, until you figure out what it is you have to do! This by no means puts it in the category of the 'japanese-levels' but it definitely is challenging, so new players - beware! Otherwise, I don't think I can praise this level enough! Not only is it the definite winner for me in this competition, it has also become one of my favourite levels out there! Kudos to the author!" - eTux (16-Jul-2007)

"This is a wonderful level. But, be warned, it is not easy. It is very challenging, the upside of challenging is, of course, satisfying - when you finally make that jump or figure out that puzzle. The landscape is beautiful; I happily wandered around for ages to begin with before I started the adventure proper, getting a ‘lay of the land’. This helped a little as this level is non-linear and you go through some areas several times. I have to admit that the “two expert secrets” stayed secret! Apparently I’m not a Tomb Raider Expert! But regardless of your playing expertise give this game a go. It is too beautiful not to." - Kitkat (05-Jul-2007)

"This one is clearly my favorite of the six levels of the contest. What a terriffic landscape archtecture! I would say, the best outside area I have seen created with the trle. It fits all so organically together here and it´s pure enjoyment to explore here. And you also should do this, it you want to get all the 12 secrets. Some of them are very cleverly hidden! And two of them are very difficult to get and provide an extra expert challenge. The level offers also a complex network of ways around the level and every one is worthwile to go, jump and swim. Together with the three levels of gameplay: the things, which you have to do for finishing the level, the explorers secrets and the two expert secrets this results in a highly complex level, which may ask to much of some players, but certainly not me. The only point I would critisize a bit, that here and there a camera would have been good. Lighting and texturing are just perfect.The same you can say about the placement of enemies and the use of sound. The playind time depends on how you deal with the secrets. If you take it on fully, then you should have an 70 min adventure. Alltogether highly recommend, not so much for beginners, but especially for the more expierenced ones!" - Raymond (05-Jul-2007)

"It’s definitely the best level of SPC, in all respects. The creator has proved to have an immense talent, and to make the best of it. The gameplay is awesome, clever and really entertaining; the textures are applied perfectly, as well as the lighting. The enemies are somewhat ineffective, although quite driven. I’ve retrieved all the secrets, very beautiful, particularly the two golden roses. I can certainly deem it one of the best levels released over the last 6 months, and I encourage everybody to play it." - PaoloM (05-Jul-2007)

"Ah, as I sit here with the rain lashing at the windows how lovely it is to be raiding on a South Sea island with the sun beating down and the sound of exotic birds singing and flies buzzing round. Just what I needed. It’s an absolutely stunning setting, which is a pleasure to explore – just as well, as this is quite a complex game and anything but linear. The biggest challenges involve finding the secrets, which is a very thoughtful way of not excluding the less experienced raiders. It’s definitely not one for beginners though. Very enjoyable and visually ravishing and using a canoe again was just amazing." - Jay (05-Jul-2007)

"Quite a fantastic level that started off my playthrough of the SPC levels. From the initial flyby to traversing the dangerous temple, I've enjoyed myself immensely. The level is a rather complex one as you can unlock different paths to take by finding secrets, which some of them can lead to exotic locations and nice rewards. Shamefully though, I wasn't able to discover all of them, but that adds to the replay value of the level. The jungle and the river are breathtaking, and the temple is really nice too with good traps and gameplay within. Keep in mind that this is aimed at the more experienced raiders out there, so this might not be everyone's cup of tea. However, if you're willing to give this a try, it'll be very much worth the effort of finishing it." - Relic Hunter (05-Jul-2007)

"I’ve finally finished this level, after overcoming many hurdles. The beginning is already quite exciting, a wide landscape to be explored, centimeter by centimeter, it feels like going back to the earlier stages of TR. After one hour of exploration without many troubles, you arrive at the temple…what a marvellous scene, I’d never seen such a temple…a perfect atmosphere…and how about the secrets? All of them very beautiful, and with enigmas really well built. Every detail has been drawn with great care, so as to create one of the best explorative levels ever. The game only loses a bit because of certain things which left me a bit puzzled: the first torch, the stick in the canal, the water which disappears in the temple, the zip line…they’re small details which, although they don’t make me change my mind about the excellent quality of the game, they make me downgrade slightly my mark." - psaiu (05-Jul-2007)

"This was one of those levels that,while playing,I loved and then hated (with a vengeance) and then loved again. I'm glad I finished it but also saddened,as it was quite exquisitely put together and the atmosphere was utterly sublime! This is the work of a master craftsman (or woman) and the landscape has been constructed so beautifully and with so much exquisite care that I never once tired of running (or jumping...or swimming) through the same areas again and again.Which was rather fortunate,really,as that is what most players will find themselves doing. The Gameplay is non-linear and quite complex (there are several different ways of progression)and many of the tasks at hand (particularly jumps) are aimed at the more expert end of the playing spectrum. (I also fell foul of a couple of bugs,but these have now apparently been ironed out and shouldn't cause a problem; although the T-Rex's were awfully buggy.) If you choose the 'easier' route you'll have a challenging (and occasionally frustrating) time. I can't speak for the other options available,as I decided that (beautiful though the environment was) I felt I had had quite enough. Even on 'easy mode',then,this level is a challenge,and it may prove too irritating for average players;but all should at least go there and take a good look around,as you will rarely experience more convincing and beautifully constructed environments as these." - Orbit Dream (04-Jul-2007)

"Oh, I loved the way this game was built. Exploration of the area was fun, requiring some thoughtful and interesting moves - not to mention some quite difficult. The Stuck Forum helped me through several seemingly impossible situations, like the pole-boulder room. You are questing for two red stones that will give you access to the precious Moya Lizard. Your enemies are few and of the dino kind. The promise of a bonus feature following the main adventure proved too elusive for my gaming capabilities and I was anxious to move on. Because of the complex gameplay I think I have a fair idea of who built this one. We shall see. Well done !" - Mugs (03-Jul-2007)
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