"Quite possibly the longest level of the
contest, this is one you need to prepare
for, but it is most definitely worth it in
the long run. The beauty factor is sky
high. The gameplay is complicated but it
joins up neatly throughout as you open up
shortcuts. I only have one minor niggle:
the ambient sound on a loop. Still an
excellent entry. Took me just over two
hours and found all secrets." - Ryan (21-Mar-2016)
"I think if I could sum up Moonlight Legacies with a single word it would probably be 'Massive!' This isn't necessarily because of the scale of the environments themselves (but don’t get me wrong they are big!), it's more the sheer scale of work to do in every place in order to make progress. You'll find yourself back frequently with a new key in a location you've visited before so it's essential to build a good mental map of the level as you go along otherwise you'll be left wondering where to go next. Lighting and texturing are exemplary in pretty much every way. The spaces are constructed really nicely (the small city/courtyards probably being my favorite part). Music is well selected (though the TR3 music track might drive you mad after a while...I like it so it didn’t bother me!). My favorite section was probably the water-tanks puzzle. You have to move the water between tanks to complete various tasks. On the surface it seems horribly complicated, but the builder has neatly guided you so that everything makes logical sense. Some of the camera hints could be better in places. All in all I netted 4 hours 7 minutes from Moonlight Legacies. I absolutely loved it and it's definitely amongst my favorite levels reviewed this year. Highly Recommended! Stiggy :)" - TheStig (12-Sep-2012)
"I need to ask only one question, and I hope someone will
answer: If Lara is supposed to HELP the city to restore its
lost heartbeat, WHY every single inhabitant is trying to
kill her, instead of staying at home and letting her work???
Everything else is really good. The surrounding rocks, the
cistern rolls, and the city rules - first one involving many
ways of climbing around the place (and thus providing
classic canyoning/platforming feeling); second one making
You solve half of puzzles included ingame (and so squeezing
and stretching Your mind); third involving a marvellous,
rooftop route, twisted and curved more than You could
imagine in a good Venice level, but here it's running
through a narrow-spaced settlement (and so You can feel
comfy and admire in the same time how the builder handled it
all without a possibility to make a shortcut, and without
any parts of this path overlapped). Every timed run has a
melody attached, so You always know if You're supposed to
hurry or not. Plus, there is a teleport using
Lara_start_pos, so the whole level seems even bigger than it
is. The atmosphere is almost perfect, unfortunately the
background melody tired me after some time. I would really
prefer it playing once in the beginning, and then - if the
author really wanted to treat it like the main theme - in
several important moments. Really, there is no need to play
it all the time. SUMMARY: If You want to pick this game, You
might want to mute the soundtrack after some time, or - if
You're tough - try to get used to it. Anyway it's still
highly recommended, especially for it's rooftop-notch route,
which is a little masterpiece in its own class of
platforming. Don't skip." - DJ Full (27-Jul-2012)
"This was an amazing level, and though I thought the gameplay was prime in many aspects, the difficulty and confusion with the repeated backtracking would have left me bored without using a walkthrough. The level structure is innovative, realistic, and looks awesome with the night atmosphere.Everything had a perfectly fitting visual appeal. Well worth the long and tedious ways the level progresses; it gives you the feel of evertything being logically connected one you finally complete it" - Nicky (10-Mar-2012)
"I tested this level several times before its release and I could see the different parameters, to improve to reach a level almost parfait.Quand we play for the first time, we are captivated by the beauty of the scenery. This train suspended above the water is a marvel.There are a lot of work to do before arriving at the end of this level. The large tank is amazing, there are multiple tasks in this zone. to do this level requires a lot of thought and not think the time spent on it.
We should not play a level and thinking finish it quickly, this is not the purpose of tomb raider. The background music was so irritating ? Not for me (and many others as well, fortunately), I put in my level lol, with dozens of hours of testing and more. The timeruns are quite simple and the jumps too (just a jump to a window a bit difficult). Very good texturing and lighting .Congratulations Jaufré." - Drakan (01-Dec-2011)
"I have the honor to test this level before release and the level was a real pleasure before release even with bugs and other things.
But this version after the release is just ... WHOUAAA.
A perfect steampunk level throught the mountain and a wonderful city.
The train station is also so great and the cistern too.
This young author has a real talent to build.
The gameplay is very hard (the first time) but it is linear and really enjoyable ... specially the cistern with the torch.
I hope play another level of this french author near in the futur.
Félicitation Jaufré pour ce niveau.
BigFoot" - BigFoot (26-Nov-2011)
"Gameplay: This was easily the worst aspect of the level. It takes very long to get around and you have to backtrack a lot. Sometimes this means you have to do certain timed runs twice which is a waste of time. And just when you think you have a groove going, there will be many times you reach a dead end that you need an item for (the red key door up above is an example). Of course when you get that item two hours later, you will probably have forgotten where to go. To make my point clear, I went through and counted twenty seven puzzle items and keys (this does not count items being combined, and does count the 4 secret fuses). That is a ridiculous amount of items that could easily have been trimmed down. This level would have been more pleasant to play if it took a third of the length to get through.
Objects: There are audio cues for timed runs, which is a nice touch to inform the player. Camera cues are used for hard to see items, great. However the looped audio gets irritating after a while, as much as I might have enjoyed that track in TR3. It should have just been used once.
Atmosphere/Cameras: The architecture is great and the town actually feels like a town (introduced generously with a nice flyby). Only a few more camera cues are needed for some of the puzzle items.
Textures: The lighting is great, maybe a little bright in some rooms. The texturing is pretty much flawless. This is the most well done aspect of the level to me. Beautiful.
Overall: The looks are great. The length, not so much. There is a reason a single level usually doesn't last as long as three hours, and it's not because the author happened to have a good day. As it was, I spent the last two hours waiting for it to end, but having no clue how I was progressing. Finished in 2:47:51." - SSJ6Wolf (15-Nov-2011)
"First of all, I want to say that it's an impressive level. It notices the very huge work behind in very few time. Congrats! Architecture is quite good, as lights, textures and any other features like the static sounds in several places (cricket sounds), etc. From the other hand, I must say that (in my honest opinion) there is a moment in the game where players have access to almost all areas in the level (first water area, second water area, boxes area, city area...) and at this moment (like I suffered) if players forgot something in any place of the huge scenarios they have visited, in this case they are forced to look for something replaying the whole level again, and it's not good for many players. A very good detail near the end is that you only need a single torch to do the final tasks, and you don't need to return to the cave to bring a second torch. There are excessive switches to pull and excessive objects to find and place. Finally, I think this very looooooooooong level will be good and interesting for many players around the world, but also the thread in the suck section will have a lot of pages!" - Jose (16-Oct-2011)
"This level is one of the best single-levels I have played so far and thus it's definitely in my top 3 of this year's contest. Kosmos created a fantastic night-time-atmosphere and so it's a real pleasure to fully explore the whole level, even if that might take more than one "sitting" in front of the PC. Your net playtime will be about 3-4 hours and as a builder you just keep wondering how it was possible to place so many huge areas into just one map.
This game starts as a rather enjoyable raid in a nicely crafted train-area. The tasks are quite clear and so you will sooner or later find the teleporter that takes you to another section of the game, where you will also get to explore the "core" structure for the first time: Two huge docks that will have to be drained and flooded many times throughout the game. Later you will also find a huge city - there'll be a lot of back and forth between these areas but even if this level is pretty complex I highly appreciate the fact, that there's still some kind of golden thread. Most of the time I knew how to progress and I think it's because this talented builder tried to introduce the player to each area one by one rather than just throwing him/her into this huge map in a "sink or swim"-manner.
That said I think gameplay is almost perfect...almost...there's one really annyoing jump from a rope, that has to be done up to three times (two times if you don't want all secrets, but I highly suggest you doing so!) and the last torch-puzzle that looked ingenious at first but felt rather uninspiredin the end. Apart from that it was brilliant experience though and I highly recommend it to every serious raider out there – you might want to delete the 107.wav from your audiofolder as the backgroundsound CAN get annoying after some time. ;)" - Soul (16-Oct-2011)
"Reading the 'bugs and comments' for this level, I was surprised to see that there are still people who believe that the solution when you've turned a valve/climbed on a pole/picked up an item on a pillar and the action key doesn't work is to shoot Lara's guns - it's especially surprising because the same bug makes it impossible to draw Lara's guns to begin with! The actual solution: stand still for a moment. (An even better solution: ask an experienced builder who knows a thing or two about animations and they'll tell you how to fix the bug.) As for the actual level, I'm stalling because I'm not sure how to approach it. It looks good, for starters. (The background music, meanwhile, as in every other Back to Basics level that has used it, is really annoying and I hate it forever.) The level starts out really well - I knew what I was doing and the gameplay was fairly varied. It's a surprisingly complex level, and I was constantly impressed by how the author managed to connect the different areas with each other. Walk through that door and you'll suddenly find yourself in a past area, but in a part of it that you couldn't access before. Open that door and it'll lead to a switch that you could see through a grating thirty minutes ago. There's very little wasted space and it's very expertly planned out. Unfortunately, the level quickly begins to crumble under its own weight. Eventually the intricate pathways and connections between rooms become too much and it becomes a challenge just to find your way around the level. Even if you know where to go, getting there can be a struggle when there are doors and hallways in every direction and you've opened up so many shortcuts and new ways to get to rooms that you can't keep track of them all anymore. And it's a long level, too (net gaming time: one hour and fifty minutes; actual playing time: forever), so what starts as "hmm, I'm not quite sure where that door is" soon becomes "DEAR GOD WILL THIS LEVEL NEVER END OH LOOK I OPENED ANOTHER DOOR SOMEWHERE PLEASE GOD KILL ME NOW". But then there are moments that are a lot of fun, like the cistern, which starts out kind of dull, but eventually becomes the staging ground for some clever torch-based puzzles. Or when you return to the first area and get to explore the upper parts of it. Or when you need to find underwater switches to open two doors, but you're actually searching for the holes that the switches are in, so searching for the switches isn't annoying at all (other level builders: take note). Things that show that this is a level by an experienced author that knows what he or she is doing. Maybe a little too well. In the end, I felt like the author fell too madly in love with the complexity of his or her level and forgot that levels can't just be impressive, but need to be fun to play as well." - Magnus (15-Oct-2011)
"This is undoubtedly the most visually appealing of the levels in this year's BtB competition. It's also the longest and the most complicated (to say that it's nonlinear is a vast understatement), and even with my constant reliance upon Dutchy's excellent walkthrough it took me three hours and nine minutes to reach the finish trigger. The level can be roughly divided into two segments, one involving the cistern and its surrounding cityscape, and the other involving two docks which have to be drained periodically. For this reason there's plenty here to support two separate levels, so maybe it should have been mapped out that way to avoid the major tedium that sets in while you're running through passages shooting windows (cistern segment) and making your way from woodpile to woodpile with the torch (dock segment). That minor quibble aside, this level is a major achievement and makes a nice serving of dessert to cap off another successful BtB competition. I'm not familiar with a number of the builders, so I assume that these are maiden releases for those individuals. If so, I'm mightily impressed, as there's not a dog in the bunch this year, and a few are virtual tours de force. My thanks to all who were involved in this memorable project." - Phil (14-Oct-2011)
"A beautifully constructed level, with faultless lighting and atmosphere. But for a competition level - unnecessarily self-indulgent, complicated and confusing. Nearly four hours of net-gaming for me. So why am I having a rant? - it's great value for money. But this is a competition level, where a builder should be able to put something together that provides about an hour of net-gaming. The gaming experience for me is spoilt by the overcomplex dual dry/wet dock area which culminates in a sequence of lighting 10 wood fires that had been alternately soaked in deep pools of water (must be amazing wood to be able to ignite so easily after that experience). And for what? These amazing instantly-dehydrating piles of timber somehow when all lit, channel their combined energy to raise platforms and open doors. Not really the best use of fire methinks. The Steampunk concept offers so many opportunities to create clever mechanisms that when driven by steam or fire produce an action or outcome. So I can't for the life of me understand why the builder would resort to this manner of action. If these fires had been lit under some machinery to suggest they kick the machines into action, then the sequence would have all been believable. To break this level up in to sections - The initial gazebo-train area is really good. I also enjoyed the exploration of the city area, and the hydroponic gardens. I did not really grasp the need for the teleporter. The docks area, as already said is where things go somewhat astray. The areas are large and the need to flush each pool several times in association with the lit torch and the convoluted path to negotiate these areas just gets tedious. And so we finish nicely - breathing life into the lifeless heart, even if the spirit of this ageing player was sucked dry at about the 2-hour point in the level - too much mental telepathy required. Difficulty - hard." - EssGee (14-Oct-2011)
"With this project I don’t quite know whether to be impressed at what a huge and complex level this is, or majorly aggravated at how there is almost no sense to the level design. I’ll start with the really good stuff: this level is eye candy. The author’s texturing and lighting is good. The city that the author creates really looks like an actual city, and the best job possible was done with room geometry and texturing for this. Lighting is nice and atmospheric too, I especially like how all the lanterns are the source of light, mixed with the blue moonlight. This really is one of the best crafted environments using a BtB wad and tga that was given. Moving on to the bad stuff: For me, the gameplay was the most inane, insane, and over-the-top confusing jumble I have ever played. This entire level is a bit much of a ‘muchness’ in all areas. It drags on for an eternity, it doesn’t seem to end, and puzzles and key items recycle over and over again. The environments, whilst beautiful, are so complex and so confusing, it’s almost impossible to find your way. There is also so much backtracking involved, and sometimes that backtracking is extremely annoying: jumping over the same slopes and cliff edges, completing the same timed runs for yet another time. The other problem is (and this ties in with the objects and the cameras department) is that some areas look too identical. Areas in the city look so alike it’s hard to know where you are, where you are going, and what you just triggered. There are two identical looking HUGE cisterns and it is difficult to make your way around them, and sometimes even to know whether the door that just opened is in cistern1 or cistern2. More helpful cameras should have been placed, and more of an effort should have been made to diversify the rooms with specific objects to act as hints, reminders or identification for the player. When it comes to more gameplay, the builder over does it with the timed runs. It is literally timed run after timed run after timed run, and they are very tough timed runs too. I don’t mind a good timed run from time to time, but one after another… after another? Also, if you fall off a ledge or miss something due to a tricky jump, you get to back track the whole complex way again. Some puzzles are also just cruel, such as the torch puzzle at the end – lighting that many fires on that many different levels, flooding and un-flooding the water, being able to jump and move with the torch from here and there – it may sound like a huge innovative and immersive puzzle, but really is just a pain in the butt beyond belief. It may not appear so at first since the level is quite beautiful and rooms are well crafted, but the gameplay in this level really is badly designed and just ‘too much’. Also, the use of puzzle items drags on and there seems to be very little system and structure to them. It is all very random and you can run around forever with certain keys without keyholes, or keyholes without ever knowing where the keys are. I sadly didn’t get any secrets and so was not able to access what seemed to be a secret door, however due to the confusing nature of the level I had no desire to replay it and put myself through that ordeal again for secrets. The atmosphere is of good, but the use of cameras could have been a bit better and more helpful since so much is identical in this level. Audio itself is pretty bad, namely for the reason that the author has chosen to put the TR3 sewage theme on loop. I quite like this theme and realize it is popular, and also a fault of the BtB package itself for making that a looping track. However, the fact that the author chose this track for the ENTIRE duration of such a long level is absolutely cruel in my opinion because it gets on your nerves like nothing else. By the end, when your frustration and aggravation is built up so much, the twinkling theme sounds like some sort of ironic death tune that is laughing at you for your own insanity at sticking with it all for so long, and this is why the rating is so low since different ambience audio could have been used. All in all, this level had beautiful rooms and potential, however when actually playing through it, it was one of the toughest and most painful things to navigate." - Sethian (11-Oct-2011)
"Right from the start the sheer beauty of the level takes you in. And you will find that you can enjoy the great texturing and lighting and the very real atmosphere in this adventure for quite some time, as the net gaming time will exceed 3 hours by far. Which, apart from the fact that it stretches the BtB rule of a level of about 1 hour length a bit, is maybe its only real weakness. I really did enjoy the initial flow in these vast areas that seem so confusing and yet the builder always takes you by the hand and shows you the necessary hints. But after a while it did become a little tiresome and when you play it in several sittings it is also easy to forget some of the earlier hints and thus easy to be completely lost and clueless about what to do next somewhere along the way. It is an explorer's dream for people with a decent sense of orientation and it is spiced up with sneaky timed challenges that test your skills because the moves required are often a little off the usual ones. I actually thought the raptor moment was a highlight because I had gotten a bit dull in playing along and then suddenly I was wide awake and alert again. You will likely recognize the true genious of the overall architecture when you count the number of times you say/think: 'Ah - so that is where I ended up now'. It will be many. And then of course it all culminates in this massive torch puzzle within and around the two water pools you need to flood and drain back and forth a few times - which again, while brilliantly conceived, verges on just the edge of tedium and being a bit too clever for its own good. All those minor gripes aside though, this clearly is one of the contenders for winning this year and is a fabuolous and very memorable adventure to sink your teeth into! [3:30, 3/5 secrets]" - MichaelP (09-Oct-2011)
"Well, I must say this probably wins the most complicated entry
award. Especially the pools, oh the pools! It's such a huge
map it's truly tough to know and remember where you're at and
where you have to go. Other than that, it's a really wonderful
piece of work with everything perfectly connected, a nice
atmosphere, no bugs that I may have encountered, very many
cool puzzles coupled with quite a few traps and hard enough
jumps (hard at least to figure out at times, but that comes
with the entire package). Other than that, the game could have
done with a few more shots of what to do and where to go, most
particularly in a timed door on the rooftops no one would ever
think of really - I think. But I must say I loved it, thought
it was perfect and hence the tens. Good show!" - Jorge22 (02-Oct-2011)
"A huge level, absolutely enormous, what really amazed me was the layout, the different routes that open up as we progress and make the whole place many times interconnected, true mastery of level design. That makes it mainly an explorer level, just the way I like it. The individual tasks, puzzles timed runs, also nicely devised and provide quality entertainment. We explore the city on ground level, later go around the roofs as well, in the warehouse area we flood and drain the place several times and go about with the torch, everything wonderfully thought out and well executed. Textures and lightning as close to perfection as it gets. Mostly one ambient plays throughout, the grasshopper sound got a bit annoying after a while, especially odd indoors, that's the only negative I can think of. One of most well crafted single levels out there, Tomb Raider at its best." - Akcy (01-Oct-2011)
"This is another BtB2011 level (after A Rift in Sedona) that made me realize that my love for timed runs and difficult jumps has a limit. While I enjoyed the challenging timed runs in this level (especially the ones in the city area), they did get a bit repetitive after a while, and the pixel-perfect jump on the rooftops was positively fiendish. There’s a lot of repetition throughout the level, and the puzzles which are impressive the first time around – flooding and unflooding the dock, and the fire-lighting puzzles at the end, for example – lose their lustre when you have to do them over and over again. The builder’s love of symmetry is an asset from an aesthetic perspective, but from a gameplay one, it’s very tiresome, since all the areas look alike – all sides of the two docks, for instance, as well as the half-dozen or so city squares – so it’s very hard to get your bearings if you’re directionally-challenged (like me). In the city area, you might even wonder if the series name ought to be changed from ‘Tomb Raider’ to ‘Window Shooter’, considering the number of windows Lara demolishes on her way through this level. ;)
Lookswise, this level can’t be faulted: the lighting is particularly lovely, with outdoor areas bathed in blue-green moonlight, and indoor ones filled with warm yellow light. The floating station at the beginning, the waterfall area, and the whole city area are all visual treats. The atmosphere would be similarly perfect, if it weren’t for that awful Lud’s Gate tune that plays almost non-stop throughout the level (I wonder why good builders shoot themselves in the foot like this by choosing the most annoying background tune possible for their levels?) I decided to spare myself the frayed nerves, and simply replaced that audio track with a soothing ambient one, which fit the level much better.
Overall: This level is superb in some ways, but still falls short of perfection in many others. Highly recommended nonetheless." - Mytly (28-Sep-2011)
"Well it's a little hard to review this level. It was nice but very long. We are in the beautiful city with many places and rooms. In many of them are machine rooms. Author used beautiful textures and interesting objects, like ninja woman or strange bugs." - Andzia9 (26-Sep-2011)
"This was the 4th game I played from the Steampunk competition, and with a net gaming of 2.5 hours (!!!) I must have spent more time in here than in A Rift in Sedona, Tower of Power and Punk Heart combined! I stick to what I said about the brevity of Punk Heart in case of the extreme length of Moonlight Legacies as well, namely, that the quality of the raid is of much greater importance to me than duration. While I do believe that the less-is-more mantra would've been beneficial occasionally during the construction of this level, and despite my predisposition towards more compact, concentrated and to-the-point gaming experiences, I really had a great time here. Much more than the tasks themselves, which actually are rather simple and mundane when you look at them individually, the real genius of this level shows in the intricacy and interconnectedness of settings and the brilliant flow of gameplay, which is a note-worthy accomplishment for any non-linear level. While I did occasionally lose my bearings in the city section, and had some blind moments in the last run through of the cistern with the torch, the game was surprisingly fluent all the way through and always kindly reminded you with a camera hint or fly-by where a puzzle item or key was to be used if it had been a while since your last visit in that area. My favourite elements by far were the timed runs, which sometimes proved to be quite a challenge - and when the action in the city area was flowing nicely - it was quite fun to shimmy and traverse rooftops and roofedges even just for the sake of it. The looks are spotless, offering a number of memorable areas, though, as mentioned, what impresses the most is how it all ends up fitting together. I wasn't that keen on listening to the same background music all throughout the game and would've rather preferred something more neutral, and while this is a rather minor issue, I found some of the other audio accents closer to the start to be a bit odd as well. As far as the other downsides go - the most noticeable one for me was the gameplay. Most of the individual tasks, when taking a closer look, consist of just running around and hunting for that next switch or key or puzzle item. Where puzzles do show up - they mostly are based entirely on a set of repetitive actions - finding the 3 switches or buttons to activate one event, pushing 3 or so boxes over the maximum distance possible to achieve the desired result, flooding, draining and flooding the cistern again to maximize your time spent in that particular area, lighting a ridiculous amount of 10+ bonfires and so on. Even when it's livened up by, let's say, a timed run over burning pillars TR1 Palace Midas style, the author figured doing it once was not quite sufficient, so you have to repeat it right away another time - maybe because he/she presumed it to be so fun, maybe to match the symmetry of that particular area, who knows. As said - despite myself - I actually enjoyed playing the level due to the great flow and the attention to detail, but the above mentioned examples as well as a plethora of moments like them felt plain excessive and self-serving. In spite of the author's best intentions, to the player this might leave an aftertaste of being bombarded with razzle-dazzle. Not saying that long duration can't equate with meaningful and exciting gaming experience, but maybe I'm just not the type of player for whom they coexist easily. This definitely has its moments, and plenty of them to give the game a chance, but is probably suited for those armed with patience, a good memory and endless love for exploration. After having played all 14 of this year's games I would also nominate this is as my personal favourite as far as the looks go. Found 5 secrets." - eTux (25-Sep-2011)
"Wow! What a magnificent level! I loved it but it was too long for a btb 2011 level. Althought it was my favourite one so far. It took me about 2 hours and a half to complete this level... with the walkthrough!! The gameplay was pretty good but you can get lost very easily and it is non linear. The walkthrough helped a lot though. The little city looked brilliant and the two docks were impressive. The texturing was absolutely magnificent! It was flawless! The lighting went with the areas as well. The atmosphere was so great! Finding the keys and pickups was hard but the map was very well thought out. For example when you get something you needed quite a long time ago and you think it will take you a long time to get back there, a door opens nearby and the key/puzzle hole is close by! I loved that. A very nice but hard and long level which will make you stop to look around the place. Highly recommendable." - afzalmiah (25-Sep-2011)
"One of my favourites out of this series up to now. The first part of the game, before you enter into a pool area took me nearly one hour of netgameplay - but this is only a prelude.... This great level is rather complex, possibilities to get stuck are numerous. And I took many of them. Gameplay could have been a bit mor fluent. Many to and fros, many confusing and frustrating situations could have been avoided. Flybys and screenshots are not always really helpfull. I have to admit I was glad to see there is already a walkthrough released. There are some real good timed runs, the one for the crowbar has to be done quite precisly. The 2 runs over the timed burning blocks are quite easier to be performed.
The author has created a stunning atmosphere. Some views, first of all in the 1st area and in the city-complex are really outstanding. The montoneous background-sound may be a bit annoying, but apart from that everything is created nearly perfectly. Highly recommended. But noz for beginners." - Christian (19-Sep-2011)
"This massive and extremely complex level, which took me more than 3 hours of net game-play (probably three times that in real time) is probably the best in this series and the size and length is a little surprising considering the guideline of the BTB series. Game play is complex and very exploratory based. The are many fires to light, boxes to push, levers to pull to open new areas to find out that there is yet another closed door where Lara is missing the key. It was fairly easy to get stuck and although the builder did provide plenty of camera hints, things weren’t always clear, especially in the city-like area and the 2 large pool areas. I personally would have preferred game play to be a more fluent and a bit more straightforward with less backtracking and stuck time. The looks and feel, atmosphere, flybys and cameras, map layout, architecture, texturing and lighting are where this level really shines. Everything is beautiful and looks perfect with lots of attention to detail, especially in the city area. It is one of those great levels that show what can be done with the level editor. It looks just professionally built. Highly recommended, but less experienced players should probably bring a walkthrough and lots of patience. (3h 20min, 2 secrets found)" - Blue43 (18-Sep-2011)
"A level of an incredible size. Thanks much to the G&D
productions walkthrough, I would be stuck in this level
forever. An advise - play this with the walkthrough close
by, and you feel better about it. Nothing to fault about the
atmosphere and texturing in this level - the blueish
surrounding was absolutely absorbing and texturing/lighting
was simply perfect in all places, camera work was very
professional, nearly every switch had a camera for the door
that was opened and the sound choice also was engrossing.
Only at one place I had the "end of world" - feeling, in a
room high up, but only because I jumped up needlessly.
Gameplay however was mostly, and mostly only exploration,
with many creative tasks however, and a very nice
interlinking of the different areas that were combined more
and more. The five secrets were very much rewarding, you
always get plenty of ammo with and the first four secrets
together let you have access to the super secret - the
Moonlight Legacies - that strangely I have found and placed
in this level already at a completely other place. Many
different areas can be found in this level, I especially
liked the climbing around the roofs of the town and the
tasks in the docks, but I think the flooding/draining of the
docks could have been done a little less much, as it got
quite confusing at the end and I just wanted to end this
area quickly. However, the tricks to get the torch through
the docks without extinguishing it were quite ingenious.
After two and a half hours I finished this level that was
quite a visual masterpiece, but could have suffered from a
bit less exploration of big areas." - manarch2 (17-Sep-2011)
"There are games that HAVE mazes, and games that ARE mazes; such is the case of this one. I would be conscience stricken if I gave it less than 10 in almost all items, nevertheless I enjoyed it less than I could have done if it was not so complicated in terms of gameplay. But its beauty and display of creative skill... are undeniable. Congratulations to the author!" - Josey (16-Sep-2011)
"Probably the biggest level that I've played at this day. The puzzle is brillant, but also complex and even if the camera made a good job, it's easy to get lost in the city. So if you plan to engage in this adventure, predict a pair of boots of replacement for Lara (distance travelled 27657m !!). There is one million of things to do, however my favorite part is perhaps the gymnastic on the rooftops. Find only 2 secrets (shame on me), but I'll replay again this level in some weeks... and would replace a certain track. :)" - Jerrod (12-Sep-2011)
"I was massively impressed with this stunning level. Absolutely topnotch atmosphere and texturing with many complex areas to complete. I would have never been able to finish this level without forum help, as it is very complicated. Here again, though, is another level going severely over the hour game time limit, and I am wondering how fair that is once again. The planning of this level must have been a monstrous undertaking and how the builder was able to keep it all straight is beyond me! There is much to do here, and when I say much to do, I mean very much to do. There are inventive puzzles, tight timed runs and crazy hard jumps but even an old lady like me was able to do it all eventually, with help from some pros. I was woefully lacking in secret fuzes and seriously miffed when I saw there were so many I didn't find. Where were they all? Not going to play again to find out..I am too wiped from the first go around! There is too much backtracking, although the builder is kind in some areas to open up an alternative route, that is if you remember where that place was! I just can't dock any points from this level, as it is such a marvelous achievement in design and gameplay. A must play for advanced raiders to be sure and a top contender in this contest." - Shandroid (11-Sep-2011)
"This level is nothing short of masterful. Moonlight Legacies
is beautifully laid out, textured, and lit. I particularly
liked the beautiful waterfall area and all of the
platforming and climbing on the buildings. It has some of
the most clever and ingenious puzzles I've ever seen (not
only talking about Tomb Raider!!!). Unfortunately, it may
just be too complex for its own good. The puzzles are
genius, but they are not fun for very long. The tasks Lara
must perform are very repetitive: she must push blocks over
long distances, raise and lower the water level countless
times, complete many difficult timed runs, conquer several
touchy jumps (doing some of them over and over), light torch
after torch after torch after torch, and suffer through what
is best described as an orgy of keys and keyholes scattered
throughout the massive landscape. All of this was done in
the same places, going back and forth between them. Even the
music is repetitive, with the Lud's Gate theme set as
ambient music, wearing down my patience and making me
eventually just turn the music off (which is a shame,
because the rest of the music I heard was well done).
Everything was great and brilliant, but there was just too
much of it!!!! Still, I can't deny how much of an amazing
feat this level is. I found all secrets: it took me three
hours and fifteen minutes to beat according to the save
games, but I'd say five or so hours is more accurate." - okuhtfesq (11-Sep-2011)
"A brilliant and awesome achievement. From the start this looks wonderfully designed, and play is pretty good, and then it just gets better and better. In every single review category this merits superlatives. This is the sort of ideal Tomb Raider experience we are all hoping for when we start a fresh level. For those going for secrets it can take almost five hours, perhaps the longest and richest level in the contest. I loved the part with Lara working her way upward above the courtyards of a castle-like chateau, and all the realistic architecture. It can be very easy to get lost in the complex layout. There is a huge amount of exploration to engage players, but to punctuate it there are inspired agility tests. None of these is difficult, but they often look impossible to start, which is a nice way to create challenges. For a timed run Lara doesn't even get near a closing door--does the author really expect Lara to do this? But by the fourth attempt Lara will squeak through the door. No agility test requires brute force or endless repetition, but rather players need to analyze, and select the right technique. I did have a bad moment on finding after two and a half hours of play that Lara needed a red plug, and I had no idea where it was, but it turned out to be sitting out behind a window above the locomotive, clearly visible to anyone who cared to look, and close to the area where it was to be used. It takes enormous planning and foresight to make sure players don't get stuck in such a complex level. I have to echo other reviewers in saying the construction and design, the way areas and play are interwoven together, are all of the highest order. Leaves a sense of wonder. Beautiful." - dmdibl (06-Sep-2011)
"Moonlight Legacies. Very long level. With a very good
environment. Gameplay is good, but sometimes a little
backtracking sins and I've missed some more enemies and
puzzles though." - requiemsoul (05-Sep-2011)
"A single level of about one hour net gameplay ? I must have played a different game then . It was, however, admitted as an entry for BtB 2011 and will be reviewed as such. Moonlight Legacies is a most complex game of almost epic dimensions . The player will travel through various huge locations and Lara will have to use all her subtle skills to overcome all the challenges that await her. This adventure shows TRNG of the finest art and is definetely one for the top of the list.This is Hall of Fame stuff." - Ruben (02-Sep-2011)
"I can´t say only this: this level is brilliant in every respect, but the main achievement is, how the areas in the levels are opened up step by step in the process of playing the level. Such a level of mastery in constructing such a complex level in the beauty can be reached only by a master mind. This level is the longest of this BtB and certainly one of the longest single levels out there and I really enjoyed every second of it (in contrast to other very long levels of this contest). So i have to say, that I´m talked into having no fun and a headache by others here, who can´t stay with their! expierence. I also find it very disrespectful to the builder to accuse him/her of sadism instead of simply acknowledging, that the level is a bit over the top in some respect. Yes, the level is very complex, but really in a genial way. So it may be a good idea to play this level longer times at a stretch and make some notes. I felt very well guided through the level with good camera work for instance and got only stuck once missing the Moon Key. So the main gameplay element is to connect the threads in the level rightly and making the right ways. This is combined with some well constructed puzzles, like the most prominent, the multilevel flooding room-torch puzzle and also some good agility tests.
I can´t also fault anything in the other categories. This level is also a master piece of beauty, architecture and the atmosphere is very believable and dense. So there is no other way for me as to give it all 10´s. This should be really a top3-level of the contest at least." - Raymond (02-Sep-2011)
"Little by little, the bird builds its nest. Better I cannot
describe this level. It has lasted always forever and a
days, until I have got on sometimes a piece. And if then I
had managed it, was there again a closed door. Or an
invincible obstacle. Or a key hole without key. Or I lacked
the crowbar. Or or or. My poor brain was tortured here so
heavily, that it needs first of all at least one-week
vacation. However, on the other side it has given damn a lot
of fun to play this level. Very well built rooms (in
particular both big water rooms looked really great),
demanding tasks, well formed Flybys and fair time runs make
this level to a big pleasure. Well, now and again was it a
bit annoying because there were, for example, generally no
hint what the inclined player must make to get on finally,
but most of the time has made it fun. Above all when one
must light the wooden piles with the torch in both big water
rooms. This sounds simple but is complicated because you
have to regulate more than once the water levels and open
many doors. However, all together it was a very good level
which one may miss by no means." - Scottie (02-Sep-2011)
"i must admit it's one of the thoughest and longest BTB level i've ever played. The gameplay is interesting (especially the torch puzzle) burt a little bit boring (always finding a key in multiple room and after looking for his hole. Despite that, Textures and lighting have always a good." - Glouglouton (30-Aug-2011)
"Wow, this is a huge, complex level. Prepare to be confused big time. Luckily, you can also prepare to be vastly entertained – for quite a long time. Even if you wait for the walkthrough to come out, don’t expect your net gaming time to be an hour. The design of this particular level is truly impressive, with the series of interlocking courtyards towards the end of the game a beautiful example of masterly design. Due to the sheer size of the level, inevitably a large part of the gameplay is concerned with exploration, but there’s plenty of agility and timed stuff going on too and enemies are effectively used. The torch work and flooding/draining of two pool rooms was cleverly devised and the way various areas joined up as the game progressed was beautifully done. I got the same feeling from this game as I’ve had in the past from reading a long, intricately plotted and well written book – a sense of awe and a tinge of jealousy for a talent I shall never possess. Brilliant." - Jay (30-Aug-2011)
"This is a large and confusing level which took me over 4 hours of gameplay to complete! Even with time taken looking round for what to do next (there was a lot of that), this is nowhere near the one hour guideline. The gameplay is, at times, somewhat complex which players might find frustrating (or perhaps I am too simple for the gameplay). The areas are visually very beautiful with pleasing links between the various areas. Some agility but not much, good testing timed runs and few baddies. Almost nothing in the way of puzzling, it was mainly along the lines of “Where do I go next and what do I do next”. This is definitely one for the exploring raiders out there rather than the all-round raider." - Diz (29-Aug-2011)
"This is probably the most complex BtB level this year, but that does not necessarily mean it is the best. Far from it. The level is beautifully built, comprizing three huge areas (two joined levels, as a matter of fact). The builder put the accent on exploration mostly, but it is so overdone that the level becomes too frustrating and sometimes even tedious to play. I guess it is not a good reaction for a player to say: "Thank God, I finally finished this!" After a while this level does not offer us fun any more, but a headache. There are so many doors to open, so much backtracking through huge and complex maps, so much work to be done, so tight timed runs, that the beauty of the level soon becomes completely irrelevant. I would never want to play this level again, although so much effort was invested in building it. I highly appreciate the very realistic city area or the huge lake with the train, and I am truly amazed at the geometry and architecture of the level, but compared to the ammount of nerves I invested in playing it to the end, the overall beauty of the level is not enough to compensate for my effort. Sometimes I had an impression that the builder simply enjoys to make us break our fingers with the timed runs or purge our brain cells when trying to figure out what to do next. The puzzles and the gameplay are the weakest link of the level, being so heartlessly hard, even to the point of sadism. This makes the gameplay not at all fluent. This level would be so much more greater and more fun to play should the builder omitted at least 50 of the doors and switches in the game. For example, sometimes we have to use three levers to open only one door, and there are ten more closed doors in the room. Not fair at all. All other elements of the level deserve the highest possible rank, but the gameplay is seriously harmed here with unfairness, backtracking and frustration of the player. Sadly, I had to lower my rating due to this. In total, it took me 12 hours to finish this level, and I regretfully say that I should have spent that time in a better way..." - Nina Croft (28-Aug-2011)
"This level starts in the outdoor areas before moving into a
town and some large water chambers. The level of detail is
consistently high throughout, with good (and varied) design
and decent mesh use. One issue I had is that the ambient
music seemed to comprise of a song, and, while it was quite
fitting, it got very repetitive by the end.
This level is absolutely massive, and took almost two and a
half hours to get through, it's mostly good at mixing things
up and staying relatively clear despite its huge size, but
some of the back-and-forth got slightly old at one or two
points. Something I really liked is how a lot of the areas
have multiple layers of puzzles, and some rooms are only
"solved" an hour or two after you first discover them.
There's some pretty tough timed runs, and it ends with one
of the most well-designed torch puzzles I've ever seen,
which takes the layered design to it's peak. Another
excellent entry to the contest." - Mman (27-Aug-2011)
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