Level: The Castle of Training back home search
Author(s): Gold Dragon
total rating:7.13 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Ceamonks890 7 7 7 6
dmdibl 7 7 6 6
eRIC 8 8 7 7
Fabio 6 8 5 8
Gerty 8 7 7 6
manarch2 7 7 7 7
MichaelP 8 8 7 7
Nuri 8 8 7 8
Orbit Dream 8 7 7 8
Phil 8 7 7 8
Ryan 7 7 7 8
totizedger 7 7 7 6
Treeble 7 7 6 8
category averages
(13 reviews)
7.38 7.31 6.69 7.15

Reviewer's comments

"I hate to have to submit a review for a level I couldn't complete but, in my version at least, I could not save my game at any time otherwise the level would crash. I got as far as the big tiger fight and then I died, but couldn't reload because of the aforementioned issue. But by the look of the walkthrough, I was definitely more than halfway through, so I haven't allowed this to influence my rating. It's a shame because this is actually quite an engaging level with many varied tasks and a general fast pace, aside from the well executed but very tedious block puzzle, and some pleasing environments to wander in. I hope this will be rectified, and maybe then I can change my review." - Ryan (08-Aug-2018)

"If anything, after all the 'training' Lara has done here she's ready to become a halterophilist. Gameplay is fairly simple with a lot of keys to track down to open doors and perhaps one too many pushable blocks. In fact, this level probably hosts the most elaborate pushblock puzzle ever in the form of a three-tiered room. So much effort merely to open a door and proceed, it's not as much of a challenge as it is a bore to keep moving so many different blocks around simultaneously while creating a temporary path for the one pushblock that matters. Visually speaking while it looks nothing like a castle it looks pretty good with lots of uncommon (and maybe even unique) textures. Be warned however: I've experienced a lot (and I mean it!) of random crashes throuhgout the course of this level, both with the supplied kit and my own, so I'm not entirely sure what's the problem. Just make sure you save often, especially considering how slow the pushblock animations are... 60 minutes, 1 secret. 04/17" - Treeble (29-Apr-2017)

"If training is meant to convey proficiency in pushing and pulling blocks, then this is the level for you. It's a TR2 level, which means that it has built-in deficiencies, but it's really not a bad raid at all. The enemies are relatively few, but you'll spend most of your time engaged in manual labor. There's a deceptively simple but horribly convoluted pushblock puzzle where you have to coax a third-level block from one side of the room to the other. Just when you think you have it beat you realize that there's still more work to be done. The entire level lasts a bit less than two hours, and Treeble has provided a one-page walkthrough that leaves many of the fine details for the player to figure out. Give it a try." - Phil (19-Sep-2015)

"This is a very looong TR2 level, which took me about 2 hours. Actually, it's not that long, but it contains a looong puzzle with many pushable blocks, which can traumatise the player. Curious??? Then check this amazing level yourself. Apart from that, this level was very entertaining and fun!" - Nuri (23-Aug-2015)

"Now, calling this particular castle a training ground is a bit of a stretch, as a lot of the obstacles one comes across here would easily kill the average human being. But I suppose since Lara's gotten bored of running around and practicing her acrobatics in the gym at her manor all the time, I guess it technically doesn't matter to our heroine all that much either way. Nevertheless, what's on offer here to test our skills in, is very impressive to say the least, consisting of quite a lot of gameplay variety that almost never seems to let up, although some certain block puzzles(despite how cleverly-designed they happen to be), take an ungodly amount of time to solve, even if you know the solutions to them. Despite that incredibly draining issue however, every other aspect to this level has been seemingly crafted with great care for the most part(which I just have to praise all the way for being made by such a young builder at the time), with a lot of well-placed custom textures, decent object choices and a few enemy encounters near the end of the game that acts as a sort of reward for all the testing challenges that you had to put yourself through. So at the end of the day, would I recommend this to any curious players? Well, if you can tolerate some unnecessarily long, tedious block puzzles and some occasional flat lighting, than absolutely. However, if you're not a very patient person than this release may not be for you. But if you're willing to take the risk, than by all means, give it a go." - Ceamonks890 (12-Aug-2014)

"This was actually one of the better TR2 custom levels i've played. I liked the part with the rolling boulders in the lava room very much. The builder is very young as i saw in the picture and that makes me amazed because the level is full of creativity. What makes me put a 7 is because there are many parts that are tedious to do especially the room with the pushable blocks where it took so long to get it done than figuring out what to do. Textures worked well and they are custom made also. Secrets were well hidden especially the one with the fake ceiling. I thought i was able to get the mask, instead i got to fight this bird boss. A good level with some tedious tasks to do but also some very creative ones." - totizedger (23-Aug-2013)

"This is indeed one of the best TR2 customs out there and especially engaging in the gameplay section - I even would have rated this category higher if it wasn't for the occasional moments of utter tedium, i.e. extensively long block sequences. All of them are well made, undoubtedly, especially the three-stages puzzle where you had to get a block to the other side of the room, but they simply take way too long to execute in comparison to figure out what to actually do. I counted the pushes/pulls in that longest puzzle out of utter boredom and got an utterly fatiguing amount of 138 (!) done in nearly exactly half an hour of net gameplay time. This is simply too much and it would have been so much better if the builder had made it easier with adding additional blocks or creating a smaller room. Else than those pedestrian puzzles, the game flows pretty smoothly consisting of a hub room you return to from time to time and three side quests (body/mind/fight) that are cleverly set in scene and the plethora of different tasks never ceases to makes a fun gameplay. I especially liked the drowning of a room - and, as a nice detail, the formerly floating parts are now crashed down in the floor -, the boulder/lava room and the two all too short encounters with jump pads. The textures were mostly custom made and mostly looked very good throughout the whole level giving it a modern feel (considering this level was made in 2004!) but there were several mistakes throughout as squeezed ones, streched ones (especially in the yellow lava rooms at the end) and a missing one. The three secrets weren't all too hard to find, except maybe the one hidden by a fake ceiling, but it is easy to overlook them if you aren't careful enough. Also, the end was a bit of a let down even with the nice boss fight against the bird monster as I expected to finally get that mask but it probably remains in this temple forever. Spent 70 minutes in this level that is surely worth a try - recommended!" - manarch2 (05-Sep-2012)

"A big TR2 with lots of texture from so many games... you'll found the Monastery and The Great Wall textures, as well some classical ornaments from TR4 and textures from TR4 and TR2 Gold. The enemies are basically from The Great Wall level, but he also put the gigant bird boss from TR2 and switched the original The Great Wall tiger for the white tiger found in Tibet levels. You'll find a lot of interesting traps and dangers, and there're many ambients too. I liked what the author did with the textures, but it would be prettier if he had used the TR1-TR2 animated textures for water, as TR2 engine doesn't support alpha transparecy. I liked a lot the trapdoor before the Silver Mask too, an idea we found in Temple of Xian. Regarding gameplay, it's interesting he way Gold Dragon hid the secrets as well (in the first time I played, I only found one of them), but the weakest points of this level is a boring push and pull box puzzle. I lost more than 20 minutes only to open a door where I needed to pull another box to activate some levers and once again pull and push another box to reach a ladder. Regarding the enemies, I enjoyed fighting them in the ending (especially the T-Rexes), but it would be more fun if they were distributed along the level. Some rooms are very narrow for the incoming fight too. I used almost all my medipacks with the tigers because I couldn't jump to avoid being catch up, and sometimes the T-Rex get trap in the narrow room. Also in the ending of this level, you'll find a huge waterfall that leads to a river where you burn intead of drowning. I didn't understood why that, as if you put the death section in a water room, Lara dies anyway and without burn (what would be more convincing)." - Fabio (07-Jan-2011)

"This is a long level that is fun to play if you bring along a bit pf patience. It has a nice and clear concept with three areas to go through and then a final path through a nice Golden River area to the final battle with the Big Bird. The three challenges are not that hard but nicely diverse and will keep you busy for quite some time. I fell into a kind of Zen-like mood with the extensive push block room - almost pushing and pulling them subconsciously after a while. There is a small maze with a hint for your 7 Lever puzzle, some decent traps to evade and a series of battle rooms with crows, tigers and T-Rexes. Compared to the gameplay the 3 secrets felt a bit uninspired though. All in all, one of the best TR2 levels out there - and more impressive also due to the apparently very young builder who produced it for us." - MichaelP (18-Sep-2010)

"Aside from an epic push-block puzzle of extraordinary tedium (which took me the best part of half-an-hour to complete)everything else in this large single-level adventure is just about spot-on.The gameplay is extremely varied with a little bit of everything (logic puzzles;nasty traps;bouncy pads;colourful enemies and a comically mis-leading fake ending) and moves along nicely.Secrets are well placed,and textures used very ingeniously in order to provide (occasionally subtle) clues. Lighting could have been more effective,as much of the level looked somewhat flat and had rather less atmosphere than it should. All the same,this is pretty challenging and absorbing fun for those with a degree of tolerance toward lengthy pushable-object puzzles;although you're ultimately rewarded with some satisfyingly gratuitous slaughtering." - Orbit Dream (28-May-2010)

"Another entertaining level from this builder apart from the wall you need to climb almost at the end, with no indication that you can climb it. Nice progression with a bit of back tracking but nothing too strenuous. Enemies were place very well and could all be shot with Lara's trusted guns as you find the Shotgun right at the end. This is a nice gem and I wished this builder kept on building." - Gerty (18-Feb-2010)

"An apt title. As the readme indicates, this is inspired by the Fencian Temples of Turbo Pascal, demos for the features of the TRE3DXD editor's capabilities. Here, too, Lara gets plenty of varied tasks, and the surroundings are sparse or basic. Some of this is familiar, such as Lara jumping to safe squares amid lava, while rolling balls are triggered from the side. The three-tier push block puzzle looks like an extended version of the Fencian Temple setup, and exhausts Lara. The first T-rex is a real challenge, as Lara can't find any shelter in his room, but the next two T-rexes are easily dealt with. Lara shoots one from the safety of a tunnel entrance, and the last T-rex stays guarding his little territory, rather than pursuing Lara, and is shot from a distance. The ending is good with Lara sliding into moving spike walls, then a climb down a cliff face, and a final confrontation with Bird Monster. (I kept wanting to hit the dash key, but there is no dash key in TR2.) Nicely playable, but everything feels more like a demo rather than a developed level. The young author has extensive knowledge of the editor." - dmdibl (16-Feb-2010)

"A well made level which has the merit to propose some challenges , and different texturing than the usual. It is mainly straightforward with some reentrances. On your quests for keys , are offered quests with puzzles with movable blocks , traps with running wheels , and near the end some battles with wild life : vultures, tigers , T-Rex, and a monster Bird. I feared to miss medipacks at the end when I was in that corridor with plinth blades. One of the movable blocks puzzle is the highlight of the level , as it took me 33 minutes (!) to achieve it : this one is all about bringing a block at the other end of the room, by using other movable blocks below on two different levels : this was quite fascinating , although some players may find this riddle a bit tedious to do. After this there is a good puzzle with levers, of which the solution is given by symbols. Overall a technically well made level [ 1 hour 39 ]" - eRIC (11-Feb-2010)
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