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Level: The Big Fortress back home search
Author(s): Bibi Phoque
total rating:8.46 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bigfoot 10 9 9 10
Blue43 8 8 9 8
Boris 8 8 8 8
CC 8 7 9 8
Chris LP 10 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 10 9 10 9
Doug E 4 4 5 7
Engelchen Lara 10 8 10 8
eRIC 8 8 9 7
eTux 9 9 9 8
Fairy Godfather 9 9 8 9
Freeman Porter 9 9 10 9
G.Croft 9 8 9 9
Gerty 9 9 9 10
janachorider 8 8 7 8
Jose 9 9 9 10
Kristina 9 8 9 9
Leandro 7 7 8 6
Litepulsar 9 9 9 9
MichaelP 9 8 9 8
Necro 8 7 7 8
Orbit Dream 9 8 9 10
Phil 9 9 9 8
RaiderGirl 8 8 9 9
Sash 9 9 9 10
Scottie 10 9 9 9
Sheevah 8 7 9 9
Staticon 9 8 8 8
Tombaholic 8 7 7 7
Treeble 8 8 9 9
category averages
(30 reviews)
8.60 8.07 8.63 8.53

Reviewer's comments

"Ok so this level was good.old but good." - janachorider (01-Dec-2014)

"If it weren't for a strangely constructed area near the start which(once accessed)can never be left again,this would have been a near perfect adventure.Gorgeous scenery;superb texturing;stunning lighting;wonderfully immersive atmosphere;and brilliant and rivetting gameplay make this early level an absolute gem.The way in which gorgeous outdoor seaside environments alternate with suspense-filled underground chambers is masterful;and the builder throws you an occasional blinder in the form of spectacular and unexpected high falls,and a brilliantly exciting rolling boulder/spikes/rope swing gauntlet.Perhaps a little more could have been made by the use of music (generally absent throughout),but it looks lovely even by todays standards;and,like a fine wine,has aged really beautifully." - Orbit Dream (05-Jul-2013)

"Another little amazing level by bibi phoque. Just built with the caostal wad. Really good gameplay even if there are no switch in this level (no swith in coastal wad). Not really hard, we can visit a big fortress, a beach, many caves. I really enjoyed the treasure room before found the little amulet. Great game. Recommended" - BigFoot (28-Nov-2011)

"In this level from the early years, we have some interesting game play. The layout is non linear so I had to do quite a bit of backtracking because I went to rooms in the wrong order, but in the end it all came together nicely. There are some well-placed spike and boulder traps and a spicy timed run, a couple of skeletons, crocs and dogs. Pickups are plenty, so there is no shortage of anything, especially flares, which is good since there are many dark corners and crawlspaces where Lara really needs them. The builder placed good camera hints in the right places. Camera work in general was really nice in this level. The texturing and lightning looked pretty flawless for the most part, unfortunately there were a couple of wall decorations in form of big yellow lettering pointing to a web site, but nothing is perfect. It is definitely a fine level, nothing too easy or too hard, so it could be recommended to everyone who is looking to play a classic raid from the old days. I enjoyed it. (58min, 4 secrets)" - Blue43 (03-Apr-2011)

"This was my final level to play in the Bibi Phoque repertoire, and I found it to be a much better gaming experience than I encountered in the previously reviewed level (whose name I can no longer recall, but it featured dark and unsightly caves and dark and unsightly jungles). The ambiance here is much more appealing and the tasks seemed a bit more engaging. Although it consists of a single TR4 file, it took me the better part of an hour and a half to complete, even with Dutchy's walkthrough close by. We haven't heard from this builder for quite a while, which is a shame. If you haven't already played this level, do yourself a favor and download it now. High recommendations." - Phil (08-May-2010)

"This level is the best proof once again which one can build also without NGLE, TRNG and how the whole newfangled stuff else is called, absolutely high-quality levels with which no boredom arises. Though this level has been built already in 2001, but he must not hide himself from the levels who was built today by no means. However, there are a few little things which I have not liked so well. Quite at the beginning one can jump from completely on top completely down into the sea. However, the problem is that this is the wrong way, because there is no possibility to come anyhow again upwards. Maybe an invisible wall would have been better there. Though the beach segments looked good, but the sea was not far built enough outward. Thereby one could always see the "End of the World". The cave with the star was something too well hidden. But otherwise this was a very good level. One could see many very nicely built rooms and there were some nasty traps. I had here more than one hour incredibly a lot of fun. It is a pity, that Bibi has released only a few levels." - Scottie (05-Mar-2010)

"A notch higher than the author’s first level in this good adventure, where the talent of the builder is again appreciated for offering a true sense of discovery for the player , and the fact that nothing is quite predictable. The setting is quite unique and very varied , with a mixing of TR3, TR4 and TR5 textures that succeed to be harmonious , despite some textures not well applied. The quest for some pickups and secrets was quite fun , the puzzle with the two symbols that are hinted when you get the two parts of the portal guardian quite good, the highlight being the big room where the final artefact is with the illusion that Lara will grab it so soon, and the series of gauntlets that follow her delusion. The climbing of that area near the beach to get the crowbar was enjoyable too. A well rounded and memorable level [ 50 minutes ]" - eRIC (24-Jan-2010)

"What can I say about this level. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It took me a long time to complete but every minute was well worth it. The level was nicely designed with textures place in the right areas to create the feel of the environment. The puzzles were carefully though out too. Definatly worth a look!!!!" - Necro (21-Nov-2008)

"A level with a very good look, easy to play but with some interesting tasks, nice environment with natural places, good use of the cameras and musics,... It's not perfect but it has a professional appearance. Near the place where I got the Hathor Effigy there is a lake; I was able to jump down and explore it; I found a ladder and a small room with another ladder but nothing to do there, and never found the way to go back up to continue playing (reload). A very enjoyable work." - José (01-Jul-2008)

"I remember starting this one moons ago and quitting it due to its non-linear feel, but these days I suppose I have a better tolerance for that. Actually, I quite enjoyed this level, the atmosphere is just gripping, a jungle fortress truly well crafted and its seashores. Unfortunately, you get to see the end of the world quite a few times because of that. Once you have the general idea of what you have to do the level flows pretty well and there are some deviously series of traps along the way. Recommended. 45 minutes, 3 secrets. 09/07" - Treeble (05-Sep-2007)

“This was a great level in many aspects - the beautiful environments clever gameplay with some of the most fantastic boulder/trap sequences I've had the pleasure to avoid and appealing unique atmosphere (never seen a fortress on a cliff created before like it was done here) - and with having read this I sincerely hope you've already started downloading this great level. There are quite some mysterious enigmatic things in here - like the firerope that you burn but don't know what it does the room in the first lake and outside area you can reach but find nothing there also the purpose of the gem still has my mind boggling. While I mention lakes I'll also warn you that you can reach the end of the world bug in almost every outside area - what means you should avoid hastily saving if/when reaching suspicious areas. This of course is a design bug and not a well avoided one here but if in some areas you don't try to think outside the box I guess you shouldn't have any problems. Though it has problems - the level is worth to be played. Definitely.” – eTux (29-May-2004)

“Impressive cliff top fortress on the coast and I agree with Mathias about that 'leap of faith' great. Excellent use of fixed cameras. Not sure how to describe where this looks to be South Seas possibly a lot of Colosseum and coastal textures. I noticed some wall brackets where the fires are frozen and outside in the 'sky' or in another room fires are burning in midair. There are very noticeable end of the worlds and odd textures. But really these are not big deals the good stuff swamps faults like that. Great exploration climbing on and diving off the cliffs swimming some serious boulder dodging and cruel spikes and darts everywhere. That was a unique trap with the fall-through floors. Also that hieroglyph puzzle I couldn't understand it all I did was jump on the safe tiles round and round until about eight of them were ablaze and this opened another area. There's a question left to be answered though the last camera shot showed a hieroglyph trapdoor opening on a cobbled floor but I never saw it. Did the author intend the player to go all the way back through the underground to the beginning of the level? Well I didn't so that's that. Other than these things this is a brilliant level.” – CC (19-Oct-2003)

“I liked this one very much. Lara has to explore green outside areas with a beach further along and caves for the necessary items. A gem a star a knot the portal guardian are those items required after many jumps and some traps. Wild boars crocodiles and skeletons are your enemies spike traps but marked and boulders coming down are also present throughout the level. I liked the idea of almost touching the knot but you can't get it from the side you're on you have to make a long journey and go around it but it will not be used though. The puzzle with the red squares and the symbols looked a little odd and I didn't see a clue for its solution instead I was jumping randomly and finally solved it after getting burnt quite a few times. The underwater caves were a nice touch too although I missed the obvious one and found the one harder to see typical. This adventure lasted fifty five minutes and I got three secrets out of it. Play it you will like it.” – Kristina (15-Feb-2003)

“For a download size of less than 1 MB this level has a lot to offer. Especially some tough puzzles devious and challenging traps rolling balls jumps monkey swinging – everything the Tombraider needs :-). Secrets were also well hidden – I found only two of the four. The overall architecture is well designed and especially the view of the coast is great and built with much care. Textures are very cleanly applied. Sound suitably added and enemies as well (skeletons a few warthog and crocodiles). I can only recommend it.” – Engelchen Lara (12-Feb-2003)

“Well I'm really impressed with this level even better than the first in my opinion! It has all the elements that make up a really good raiding experience I wouldn't say this particular level was linear but I found I didn't get confused this time around there were helpful cutscenes. The scenery and architecture is wonderful you have a huge fortress set on some coastal cliffs with a few enemies to conquer but not many (a few wild boards some crocodiles and the ever-present pesky skeletons). Your first objective is to get the portal guardian from being high on the cliffs I wasn't sure how to get down but did a nifty swan dive from the highest point...I was soon able to progress from that. You'll also notice some familiar symbols on sloping ramps (which I thought was a nice touch) take note because you'll be needing to remember them later on *grin* to solve the jumping symbol puzzle. You'll also pick up a gem as you go further into the fortress you go to grab the knot and fall below... wasn't sure if that was meant to happen but I guess so. The traps are quite hair-raising especially the boulder dash then over some spikes then some more boulders.... I always get a laugh out of seeing Lara squished. Another similar trap had me on the edge of my seat... great fun though! You end up back outside again on the cliffs and walls of the fortress...a hint to find the crowbar what looks like tree roots are actually climbable! The crowbar is an important find you'll need it to pick up a star. Also check the water for underwater passages...and don't forget that door you saw earlier before climbing up to the beach area :) Yet again I really loved the explorative element of this level and am looking forward very much to playing Bibi's other works.” – Litepulsar (18-Dec-2002)

“Your objective here is to enter the Big Fortress which seems to be sitting in the middle of an island and retrieve the Pharao’s Knot. It's very well protected though by boulders spikes darts skeletons crocs wild boars fire and sometimes all of the above with a rope swing thrown in just for fun. There are a lot of cool things in this level including areas that are opened up by falling boulders walkthrough tiles a great trek for the crowbar beautiful scenery and a big surprise when you first see the knot - the floor swallows you up and takes you on another journey. Along with the three secrets I found the rest of the weapons (three crossbows even) and plenty of pickups to get through with hardly a scratch though the traps had me reloading more often than I care to admit.” – RaiderGirl (23-Nov-2002)

“A great adventure again with a lot of exploring and searching. It is actually quite linear from outside to inside and back outside but due to all the exploration does not quite feel like that during the 1:15 hours it took me. Some 'end of the world' issues along the way but nothing major and the architecture is overall again very impressive and there is much more action this time compared to Bibi's first level. Spikes ropes slides boulders darts steam etc. - there are a few thrilling gauntlets to master. Good use of boulders to open up the way. You need to find a portal guardian a gem (for a secret only of which I found only 3 of the 4 available) and a star. And of course the knot which is your prize and somewhere in the middle of the level you almost have it and are sent the long way home as the floor collapses. Enemies are warthogs crocodiles and skeletons - not a major threat especially as you find the crossbow three times but nicely placed nonetheless. I liked the treasure room the climb up to the crowbar and managed to get to a few places legally which I was not meant to go to. A great adventure - play it!” – Michael (15-Sep-2002)

“This level once again proves that the name of Bibi Phoque stands for quality. While exploring a kind of fortress at the coastal line you can see many well and nice textured outside and inside areas. I was really impressed by that beautiful view from the cliff down on the sea. At the beginning the gameplay is rather slow and easy but later there are sequences full of action with boulders and spike traps. Your opponents are crocs and skeletons. The only negative point to mention is that there are so many dark places so you have to use your binoculars and flares very often. A really nice level of a medium hard difficulty level.” – Sheevah (21-Aug-2002)

“What a kind of good and entertaining level. Using a coastal setting this fortress is clutched on a very well built cliff with some jungle textures all around. The inside has a good strange and dark mood. Textures are well placed and selected and the overall atmosphere is a bonus to play with this. The gameplay & puzzles are exactly like what I want to find in an adventure on videogame especially in Tomb Raider. Nothing that bores you. I mean it's a very progressive game. Some moments are more active some are for brain and observing 'action'. First moments are obviously easier but after less than an hour (when you are completely entered in the game... and in the fortress) serious things start on. Some puzzles are very good and particularly flipmap rooms. Using a boulder to flip a room is well thought out. Some are not so easy and I found the F5/F6 keys were good friends in these moments. Nothing to bore you I say. I do tell you that enemies are not so numerous (you find some skeletons and wild boars especially on the outside parts of the game and a few crocodiles) but if you think that a good level must have a lot of enemies to be interesting I'm not sure to be with your opinion and in this the 'baddies' are well used and appear at the right moment. I spent more than 4 hours in time of the game. I mean it's not so long: this level as I was first saying is a kind of good and entertaining adventure... (Et comme dit le proverbe...heu...j'ai oublié mais c'était joliment dit !! )” – Chris LP (18-Aug-2002)

“Fantastic how much gameplay is inside such a small 1 MB download! One of the best coastal levels around very well designed. There are more ways to go all the time in the beginning a lot of searching around and avoiding traps. The more you get in the level the more you get impressed by the beautiful graphical design especially the outside areas look very good. Like in an Indiana Jones movie Lara wants to grab an artefact and the bridge crashes and the heroine falls down very deep without the object. So you have to make your way up again and that’s a long way with a lot of rolling balls spikes and skeletons. The puzzles are easy but well done. I have found 3 secrets I couldn’t reach the fourth near the end there is a bug the trapdoor does not open anymore once you reload to get there one more time. But that doesn’t harm the perfect gameplay. Absolutely recommended for beginners and professional Raiders!” – Freeman Porter (26-Jul-2002)

“This was a very well made level. Puzzles generally involved the method of avoiding boulders and could take some time to work out but when completed left a real feeling of achievement. It was important to search every area reached. After a one-way monkey swing across a bottomless room it was a great disappointment to find a golden star and have no crowbar to deal with it. If lost ask an Aussie (thanks Halc).” – Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

“This is the second of Bibi's levels that I have played and thoroughly enjoyed. The whole level is as the title suggests set in and around a large fortress. After a while near the beginning I encountered a little difficulty finding where to go next but when I did find out the level started to play at a good pace. Good use was made of flip rooms (like the boulder smashing a wall to reveal a secret room) and some of the puzzles/traps had the adrenaline pumping. The many boulder traps in the later part of the level had me rushing through rooms so quickly I could not admire the texturing and several re-loads were needed to work out how to dodge the boulder and spike sections. Nonetheless I finally completed the game after two evening's entertainment. Total game time was two hours. An excellent level.” – Staticon (21-Jun-2002)

“Why is this Level rated so low? It's great it's fantastic! This is what true raiding is all about. Picturesque setting (a fortress high upon a cliff) a brilliant gameplay that alternates between outdoors and indoors tricky climbs and jumps puzzles and searches enemy attacks and chases. It never slackens the pace over the eighty minutes it took me to reach the end but what makes this adventure so outstanding and ultimately perfect is that there isn't a single lever to push pull or grab and this my dear friends can't be rated high enough in my humble opinion. There are some strange things going on like I came upon three or four crossbows never found any use for the horseman’s gem and there is one place down at the waterfront that seems to have a purpose but I found nothing to do and what's more frustrating couldn't get out of there and near the end when I stepped on a certain square I got a view of an area I visited before but when I came back I couldn't see any change (or was that me being thick again?). But those mysteries only add to the overall appeal of this coastal masterpiece. With this Bibi Phoque has become one of my favourite levelbuilders. Now go and look for yourself. Oh at one point you need all your faith but I bet you got just enough to make it.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)

“It’s as though the creator of this level read my mind and then made the type of level that I just adore. There are gorgeous high cliff areas to explore lagoons to swim around in cave areas to inspect and sinister temples to trek through and the best part is that these areas all intermingle as the adventure unfolds so you get to change wonderful scenery keeping it fresh. Textures and lighting are both superb enemies don’t play a big part but you better be quick when they appear puzzles aren’t difficult which allows the level to keep a nice pace traps are brilliantly placed and used in particular the frantic boulder chase that turns into a gauntlet of spike traps and other boulders ending in a no time to think rope jump and of course there are 4 secrets to find. I was extremely disappointed when after 70 minutes this level finished but as they say all good things must come to an end but I want to make a call out to Bibi can you make a part 2....please!” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“A good level with some new puzzles to resolve interesting. Lara has to find an artifact in a temple among the coastal ruins among caverns submerged secret passages traps not easy new enigmas objects and various enemies to kill. I have ended the level in 1 hour and 15 minutes finding 2 secrets with middle difficulty.” – Boris (21-Jun-2002)

“This level takes place outside in and atop a fortress structure. Without breaking any new LE ground it does provide some good puzzles traps exploring and 3 secrets to find. There's one major bug with a boulder that is supposed to be released by burning a rope but just tumbles down trapping Lara between boulder and flames. With luck you'll be able to time it and position Lara to avoid both boulder and flame (then you can climb above the ramp where the boulder was and find the now redundant torch). The atmosphere of the level in many places is quite nice especially around the coastal rampart but there's also some major end-of-the-world problems too. Overall it's a pleasant 1 1/2 hour diversion.” - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“When I first started this level I thought: this doesn’t look good; but I had to change my mind really fast: this is a great level! You move around outside and inside this really BIG fortress. Not so many enemies just some well placed skeletons and of course crocodiles in the water. Lots of good traps (well if traps can be good) and an unexpected earthquake gives this level a really good atmosphere and a great challenge; not too hard just enough (lagom as we say in swedish it’s a word that can’t be translated).” – G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“If you're expecting to play a castle level or something else forget! Well this level is located in a fortress of course but inside a wild jungle. What is very creative in my opinion. Nice architecture and smart ‘jump puzzles’. But I didn't like the textures of this level. The author used to much different textures (I've found India South Pacific and Alexandria textures all mixed!) what makes the scenery a bit 'weird'.” – Leandro (21-Jun-2002)

“A jungle level at least that’s what I would call it. Love them loved this one too. Lots of exploring to do from caves to cliffs some swimming in a lagoon peeking through small openings some of them you have to climb through. Some jumps seem impossible try them anyway. Afterwards it all makes sense. Textures were great lighting could be a bit more gloomy in places where they were pitch dark but hey. Puzzles are not that difficult but interesting enough. Boulders well.. more than enough just to keep you on your toes. Specially the boulder spike trap. Enemies there aren’t that many and more than enough ammo from grenade gun to crossbow with explosives. I loved the ingenious way Bibi used the boulders to open up some passageways. Found 3 secrets but I will play this one again just to find the 4th one. Got stuck in the same place as FG but that was my own stupidity (also got help of an Aussie LOL). More Bibi more.” – Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

“Ok then. This level was very much a beginner’s thing. The pickups were numerous and bits and pieces easy to find. Textures were very good and with a bit more effort it could have had a higher rating.” – Doug E (21-Jun-2002)
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