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The Temple of Seth by Osvaldo

Dark Sheep 7 7 7 6
DJ Full 5 7 7 5
Jose 7 8 8 7
manarch2 5 7 7 6
Phil 8 8 8 8
Ryan 8 8 8 7
Zreen 9 6 9 6
release date: 22-May-2018
# of downloads: 1494

average rating: 7.11
review count: 7
review this level

file size: 387.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This must be among Top Ten Anime Levels because it has identical effect: play one level, you won't get it. Play another, it will be even worse. Play all 34 and it suddenly makes sense and can even purify your soul - the point is, is there a point. Is this really a correct approach in the world which can offer much more in much briefer duration. First level. Linear canyon so you jump back and forth. Second level. Non-linear maze so you run from place to place. Third level. A hub too complicated for a single level so you run back and forth between two levels - this one and level four... Levels 5, 6 and 7 are the same but add another dimension so now you go left, right, forward, backward, up and down. Then another bunch of levels adds as a sidequest to that and doubles the jumping between all of them. Then it happens again in a new location and sometimes there's more jumping between the levels than gameplay. At that point, even though the game gets better, you can't appreciate it for you're already exhausted and unable to proceed without a walkthrough, unless your mind achieves cat transcendence. I shouldn't rate secrets so much but if you want to get all of them, it gets absurdally unfair - many of them require blind guessing what to do or what to avoid, and one of them breaks all records of unfairness, requiring triple preparation a long in advance without giving any clue. In the end, after 150 kilometers (!!!!!) in statistics, I was a mental wreck, again questioning existence of myself, this level, and the universe. I had gotten used to normal random-generator Osvaldo who never steps beyond anything mediocre, but now when he went ambitious it's even weirder to analyze what drives his mind - it's much more intriguing but also much more unbearable. If you have a trace of empathy and picture all the effort and pain that must have gone into testing, reviewing, writing and recording walkthroughs on this game (what even pro helpers have failed at), you might wanna either respect all those people and skip this work, or respect all those people and play it (with Osvaldo, it's always double-edged). But on the other hand (here we go, double-edged again) if you want an ultimate test of skills and patience I can imagine no better game, and I also admit a lot of it was worth it - some setups were remarkable and it's a pity they didn't find their place in a more solid release, to be discovered by more players. So in the end I will say: try it, but do a level skip to proceed to the next segment whenever you have enough of the current one. Sigh..." - DJ Full (18-Jun-2019)
"I downloaded this mega-set on December 4 of last year, and it's taken me this long to play the 34 levels and submit this review (only the sixth nearly a full year following its release). While not terribly innovative it's staggeringly complex, requiring multiple shuttles between levels, and I marvel at José's (and TombTitan's) fortitude in figuring it all out, down to all 70 of the secrets, and setting it to paper in a mammoth 87-page walkthrough. My game clock exceeded 27 hours when it was all said and done, and it would have been much more than that had I played by the book. But there's so much backtracking, and so many painstaking exercises that have to be repeated, that although I endeavored to perform the required tasks legally the first time through, I made free use of the flycheat (which is not disabled) whenever I was obliged to repeat them, or when I had to go back long distances to previously explored territory in order to progress. This was especially the case in those floating islands levels that seemed to go on and on. The early levels are dismally dark, and I nearly binned the whole thing several times until the lighting became marginally more tolerable and stayed that way until the end. One of the levels, #31 (Escape from the Temple), is so brutally sadistic that despite using every cheating tool known to man I got through it only with a certain amount of luck and a constant stream of curses and screams. Although this should be noted as a milestone release, it's not one that I'll ever want to replay." - Phil (17-May-2019)
"It's really a huge effort that has been invested in this game, making it one of the largest out there - but on the other side, another, perhaps even the primary example that making games excessively long does not imply that the result is better. I think there are many nice ideas like puzzles, timed runs and other tasks in this game, as well as atmospheric areas, interesting enemy placement and especially sneaky secrets, but I can't remember if there was a level I wanted to end more desparate than here. Tedium really is a major downer in this game as this game is obviously prolonged just for the sake of players having to spend more time in it, with excessively long ladders, drab one-square corridors, all including backtracking that more than often will make you want to quit the game immediately because it's just infuriating. Also, building 34 (!) levels with more or less only one texture and object set cannot be more repetitive, although I have to admit that the builder has a talent to create quite different looking areas with those limited tools, like a quite atmospheric floating island area. But it's just sure that putting the good stuff of this game into five to ten levels and completely skipping all the parts that as present have to be done hundreds of times (like most of the traps - reach-in switches with fire blowers, anyone? - or the endless running around long passages, not talking about backtracks) would make this game MUCH more fun and enjoyable. The texturing in those large areas also tends to be fairly wallpapered, giving it a bad touch; in general, it seemed even the builder was exhaused by creating all those levels and did not care for several details, there are also a few bugs in here. Overall, this took me 16:45 hours to complete playing for several months. Die-hard fans might enjoy this one for this or that reason, but for most this is just an eternal and occasionally tedious journey with few highlights." - manarch2 (06-Oct-2018)
"This is quite an ambitious effort, but also a huge achievement for one builder to put together all by himself, simply utilising the classic level editor assets. It's as if Osvaldo wanted to take matters into his own hands and create a game that rivals the original Tomb Raider 4, both in environments and gameplay. There are 34 whole levels to unlock if you explore the game thoroughly (roughly the same amount as the original game) as well as 70 secrets in total to collect (I know for a fact that the original game has this many), making this every classic raider's dream. I logged up just over 21 hours tackling this magnum opus, and the walkthrough was a blessing with all those huge areas and numerous level changes, plus the many, many diverging routes. There are a few undoubted annoyances in the gameplay (far too much backtracking, retracing routes and a few tedious switch and block puzzles), but mostly I found the classic puzzles, timed runs and switch/button combination puzzles to be well set up (with a caveat that they could be quite buggy) and worthwhile to get through. Enemies tend to gang up on you throughout (in the earlier levels, they are bats and jackals. In the later levels, they are ninjas and scorpions popping out at almost every corner.), but weaponry and medipacks are plentiful, especially if you locate the secrets. Talking of secrets, the majority of these are really well hidden and require some preparation (or extra items) beforehand, although some are just scattered pretty much in your path. Environments are somewhat patchy, as the texturing is rather stretched throughout and it definitely is too dark in places, at least in the earlier levels (the demo version, which is also included here, hasn't changed at all as far as I remember so you may have to grin and bear it), but actually improves towards the end. When all is said and done, this is a monumental achievement, and while I felt a few gameplay tasks outstayed their welcome, the raid was definitely a satisfying one." - Ryan (01-Oct-2018)
"More than two months after the releasing and only two reviews? Of course, there are 34 levels to play, but many levels are not too large. The gameplay is very classic, with some innovative ideas, but sometimes it's difficult to find hints to solve the puzzles; example, the puzzles with three big buttons, it's easy to get stucked forever if you use a wrong combination so, save often when playing in that areas; evenmore I found excessive backtracking in many levels: I finished the walkthrough and the word "back" was written up to 500 times; always back to the same places you've already visited and back again to the same places sometimes with no sense. The guns are hidden in secret places, and you'll find lots of ammo so you don't need to never use the pistols; some secrets are really hard to find, and you'll need to jump between levels a lot of times if you want to get all 70 secrets. I missed some more musics and camera shots, but the atmosphere is still good and the flybys and tracks are placed in appropriate places. Not so good the texturization, with many elongated and bad applied textures in no-square surfaces. Anyway a great adventure worth to play, especially for all that nostalgic players who like classic levels. Good work, Osvaldo; I take my hat." - Jose (26-Jul-2018)
"The Temple of Seth by Osvaldo is very large. This massive set includes 34 levels, some of which you may not even encounter depending on your playthrough (I only found 29 before the end). It is nearly half a gigabyte large, but the entire set uses classic TRLE assets (which is both a good thing and a bad thing at times). I really enjoyed this set, although it does have its share of flaws (including some things that probably should’ve been taken care of during Beta). At some point, I presume a walkthrough will be written for this game. As of this writing, there is none but there were videos and forums talking about the set"a lot of which helped. From this, I ended up writing down my own notes, drawing my own maps, and figuring out puzzling codes throughout the game (something I rarely do for games in general, so this was refreshing). Each level has its own charm and could be considered great standalone levels in themselves as they also each have unique purpose and theme to them. Temple of Set is like if someone thought to remake the concepts, puzzles, ideas, and settings of The Last Revelation (and more) in their own image to great effect, for which I applaud Osvaldo. Some levels are like expanded versions of certain levels in The Last Revelation without explicitly using those levels. Many levels have an open-ended feel to them (very few are strictly linear) and uses contrast between outside and inside areas. Great and interesting uses of secrets, secret areas, and rewards for both. Though some secret areas are in... questionable areas that I’ll get to later in the review. A few secret areas have an interesting character reference. I was impressed with the AI use for some enemies, especially in El cámara de arena (Sand Chamber). Several levels and moments I audibly gave a “What.” Just a flat expression of (good) disbelief. The Temple of Set has some pacing issues. This can be alleviated by players themselves by taking a break at the beginnings of "El abismo (The Abyss)", "La sala de tres pruebas (Room of Three Tests)" and "El valle del desierto (Desert Valley)" – at least, my playthrough of it felt those were suitable break points. Otherwise, the game would’ve functioned quite well as a series of three separate level sets published individually (though the Sand Chamber level may have to be tinkered with to make that work). Another solution would’ve been to put these “Surface” levels at the beginning with "En el desierto (In the Desert)". One thing that is constant through the game is the complete lack of sun bulbs. This makes for flat textures, flat architecture, and flat Lara many times where another light source is not available. It also makes some ledges and branching hallways hard to see at times, even with a flare or binoculars. Shadows and darkness are used for great effect in many places; however, as with the sun bulbs – which would help this as well --, sometimes the darkness gets a little obnoxious. Though I understand the effect Osvaldo was going for (and sometimes it works. Just not all the time.) Puzzle items and puzzle holes tend to get overused over and over again throughout the level. Indeed, it wasn’t until the last few levels that we begin to get new puzzles items and holes. The whole Return to the Underworld and Lost City set gets tiring and feels more like grinding. Several textures throughout the game are either stretched or checkered. I despise water levels and puzzles in general, but Temple of Seth does it fairly well, with provided air pockets to continue puzzles and mazes. Sun bulbs would again help here. Cameras are used fairly well in most cases, but one obnoxious camera at the very end of a level meant I didn’t see a turn until it was too late (again, sun bulbs.) This game does not seem fully beta tested, but it's functional: no game-breaking bugs encountered. It does seem somewhat polished from whatever I assume the original build was, but not all the checklists seem to have been completed before release. This includes missing textures and a small weapons bug later on. Some traps do not have necessary cues or clues of the lethality or purpose. An early example is a pool where, upon entering the room where the pool is, a music cue happens – just the music. Entering the pool kills you. Some level traps get better at this, giving ample warning without sudden deaths. This also includes unforgiving timers (but they’re eventually doable). Another example is much further in the game where the context of a puzzle makes it seem like you have to get to a timed trapdoor when in reality scorpions are racing to plates to burn you. At no point before this is this concept shown in action or that it causes this until you happen upon them caught in the act after having died many-many times. Backtracking is an issue for a lot of levels. Some make the backtracking fun and interesting but most make it long and tedious. I understand the effect of fog, but sometimes the clipping brings the suspension of disbelief to a halt. The Underworld sections are the most striking examples of this, though in those cases in the Underworld levels I'm not quite certain what the solution could be. Other levels however I agree with the other reviewer that Level or WorldFarView may be altered to better accommodate such large spaces that the fog clips out in. Too many bats. They’re like mosquitos. They’re everywhere, they’re annoying, and they’re frankly overused as an enemy. Some switches do two different things after being used twice. This is explicitly hinted at by Osvaldo in the readme. There is no indication which switches do this and which do not except by trying them a second time. An object, changed texture, or some indication that a switch does a double purpose needs to be provided or at least hinted at. A hint in a readme is not enough for unmarked double-use switches. Osvaldo uses an updated standing animation which can mess up free-look function, making certain monitoring of traps (such as a rising sand room with spikes on the wall) a constant battle between the animation and where you’re looking because it moves Lara’s head while you’re trying to use it. There are some levels where you’re able to reach the end-of-the-world, the boundary of a level. There are two levels I found where I could go up above the entire level and run around where it was clearly not meant for traversal. In El río de lava (River of Lava), however, this top area has scattered buildings with the previously mentioned character reference found in a previous secret area along with credits to Osvaldo himself. Despite the flaws the game has, there is very clear effort and dedication made into the game, as made obvious by the sheer vastness of the level set and the care taken into open areas, puzzles, and ambient feeling of levels. I would recommend it played, though its difficulty curve (either intended or unintended) may be hard to climb. As hard as it was, and as frustrating, I had a lot of fun. Final Statistics: Time: 21:22:13 Distance: 140288m Ammo 8581 (3967 hits) Medpacks 30 Secrets 29/70 Yes, there’s 70 secrets. Coincidentally, 29 is also the number of levels I found in the game. Apparently, there’s more. RECOMMENDATIONS (may contain slight spoilers): In light of so-far unwritten walkthroughs (as far as I am aware), here are some recommendations I would suggest to the player as they play: 1. In La puerta de tres llaves (The Door of Three Keys), after discovering the titular “Door”, you will reach a pool with branching hallways on the perimeter above. Do the one on the left LAST. It doesn’t break the game if you don’t, but the difficulty spike is sudden there. 2. Starting with El cámara de arena (Sand Chamber), leave all weapons where they are if you already have them (or don't pick them up at all). It is best to wait until later in the game to return and grab them. This leads to my third recommendation-- 3. In La ciudad perdida de Egipto (Lost City of Egypt), you will reach a point with a small tunnel fork, left and right, with left leading to a wide sand road where you're attacked and a smaller one to the right. The right small tunnel will let you return to the Desierto del submundo (Desert of the Underworld). Here you can go back and retrieve those weapons I suggested to leave alone a while back. You cannot return to the La prisión de los condenandos (Prison of the Condemned), but you can go all the way back to the El cámara de arena (Sand Chamber) level and then after return to explore the Lost City levels." - Zreen (25-Jul-2018)
"I love Egypt levels. I liked the ambiance very much, but the textures of the rocks were a little stretched and the lighting could be better in some places. One tip, use the "WorldFarView" and "LevelFarView" commands in NG Center to increase depth. Good job." - Dark Sheep (08-Jul-2018)