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Level: Alcazar Raider back home search
Author(s): Smallmoon
total rating:8.45 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andi Croft 9 9 9 10
CC 9 8 8 8
David 10 9 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 9 8 8 8
Engelchen Lara 9 9 10 9
eTux 6 7 7 6
G.Croft 9 10 8 8
Gerty 8 8 9 8
Jorge22 8 7 8 8
Kristina 8 8 8 9
Loupar 8 7 8 8
MichaelP 9 9 8 8
Momster 9 9 9 8
Navi 9 9 8 8
Obig 9 9 8 9
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 8
Phil 8 8 9 8
Qwendo 9 10 10 10
RaiderGirl 9 9 9 9
Sash 9 10 9 9
Sheevah 8 6 7 7
Treeble 9 8 7 8
Wendee 10 10 9 8
category averages
(23 reviews)
8.65 8.43 8.39 8.30

Reviewer's comments

"I played and reviewed the second part of this mini-series years ago, but for some reason I never got around to downloading the first installment. The comments in my review of Part 2 are echoed here, although the recent improvements in the TR engine have left me somewhat jaded. I found this level to be a competent, workmanlike effort, although I started having this feeling of "turn a corner, kill a ninja," etc. well before the end. To me it's a good, solid, average level, hence my scores. I realize that pure logic would dictate that on a scale of 1 to 10, an average level should be scored a 5. However, I believe most of us would agree that a 5 level is actually a pretty poor level. And if someone were to do the math, I daresay that the median score here at trle.net would be somewhere between 7.0 and 7.5. To me, that range signifies a level of average quality; anything below that usually indicates that the level was built by someone with lesser skills. This little bit of philosophizing aside, I enjoyed this level a great deal and would recommend it to anyone who's searching for a relatively stress-free (and dark) raiding experience." - Phil (17-May-2011)

"A very solid and imaginative Oriental adventure,this flows very well indeed for the most part.There's a wide variety of gameplay challenges,from straightforward jumps to monkeyswings to pushable objects;and many well-placed ninja's to battle.Textures are generally applied with imagination,although walllpaper'd a little too often;and the lighting is creative,if a little too vibrant at times (as if the builder wanted to exhibit the fact that he had read and thoroughly understood the relevant passages in the Manual).It also went slightly belly-up toward the end;as the final all-important pick-up was extremely easy to miss,and too many steps needed to be retraced in order to retrieve it.Nonetheless,this is another early gem which should definately not be overlooked." - Orbit Dream (25-Aug-2010)

"On this spectacular level we are adventuring in China. This oriental kind of level reminds me a little bit of the Tomb Raider 2. The Temple of Xian level. Maybe because of the much red coulour. The first level is a little bit gloomy, but after completing it we can play through wonderful places. Our goal is to get the Amulet of Horus, but in order to do this we have to collect many objects. The enemies are ninjas, crocodiles, some bats and scorpions. We have a lot of guns and medipacks, and every second ninja drops something, and on our way we can pick up more than enough ammo. There are no timed runs, but sometimes we have to face some skilled jumpy challenges in order to move on. There are 4 secrets on the level, but none of them are in way so we have to work for getting them. Moreover the jump we have to perform at the 4th one was unknown for me so far. Well, you can always learn some new things. :) The textures are beautiful, and the added sounds evoke Tomb Raider 2. I liked it very much, and I can only suggest it to you all. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/15/alcazar_raider.htm" - Obig (29-Sep-2005)

"I've played this game after playing a lot of new levels, so it's difficult to rate one of the first levels built with the LE. The Chinese settings are full of Egyptian objects and the rooms are simple and square. It's not difficult although it's nice to play because there's always a helpful camera sight. Very good work, I'm playing the second part." - Loupar (27-Feb-2005)

“First of all it's really nice to play a level made by a Chinese builder - not the most common of things. Secondly after having played the Gold levels this seems a bit how shall I put it? awkward. Thirdly though let's not forget an important thing: the game dates back to 2001 and in Tomb Raider level editing that's a little like speaking of World War I. I wonder why as I started playing I imagined I would probably have to face a myriad of impossible jumps and almost impossible to scrutinize paths - relating China directly to Japan is a bit similar to linking Portugal to Norway or France to Poland and I should have known that. So... No fascinating textures but no visible flaws either entire armies of Arab ninjas in China several Egyptian objects and textures (but let's not forget once more this is 2001 and not everyone is a texture and object building genius) a very straightforward game where you have to be very sleepy to get lost and a bad thing: several totally black places. In a word a nice first presentation even though it seems like the author has stopped after Alcazar Raider 2 which I'll be playing now (unfortunately you can't link the two games and you therefore lose every medipack and ammo you've collected during this level but there's so much of it it's really no big deal). It still took me an hour and a half to play according to the statistics. Play it for a bit of fun. (July 24 2004)” – Jorge22 (26-Jul-2004)

“I enjoyed this level very much although quite dark for my taste. There are guardian keys to find a hand a vraeus and make it from the caves to the temple which is a beautiful sight. Ninjas crocodiles and scorpions will be in pursuit but keep your eyes open not only for enemies also for dark corners crawlspaces. The cameras are placed exactly where they should be therefore very helpful. I found two secrets and wasn’t able to find a way to get my hands on the fourth guardian key so I didn’t open the temple doors this time. Since I have played this before though and I was successful in getting all the keys I know how great it is outside and there is another secret there. This is definitely a wonderful level.” – Kristina (16-Sep-2003)

“This is what tomb raiding is all about. I'm sure there's a logical way round this level but using a walkthrough would not have been as much fun as I had running around looking finding and doing things. I visited rooms two and three times to get things done. There are enough camera shots to show the way ahead when you do manage to find things and place them. One tip I'd give though is not to jump into the pool in the temple complex before getting one of the doors in here open or you'll be stuck. I realise this is the older Alcazar level and the gameplay is just as fascinating but the texturing is not great is some areas. There are very boring rooms with plain textures. And yet it all seems to be appropriate to this level so who cares. Where the textures are good they are very very good. The Chinese temple is excellent. Enemies are ninjas crocs and bats. Not many of them but when they show up they'll make you jump. Pick ups are canopic jar pyramid keys vraeus star shaped 'hands'. The only odd thing I found was when you finally come into the temple you could I suppose pick up the amulet and finish the game but you need to use the crawlspace in the corner to use the pyramid keys. I thought this was strange. Perhaps the amulet could have had a barrier round it to make you look for something else to do?” – CC (13-Apr-2003)

“This was an interesting level it is combined from many many areas - it starts off in a Lost valley TR1 looking area which I presume is just to fool the player around and make him/her give up soon and so trying to keep the review count as low as possible since you get such a big area to explore while the first jump vital for progression has to performed from the small hallway you start the level in. The next areas are some sort of (very dark) catacombs where you should look for crawlspaces hidden in the dark if you don't want to miss a guardian key like I almost did. After a while you get into a Chinese looking garden with a pagoda and all that comes with the garden. After some business underground you come out in the final area where you can see a Chinese temple and after completing some tasks you can get into it and finish this adventure. Overall I was not very impressed since shadows were used more than lights and despite the ambient lighting I had to backtrack a lot of times even 3 times the same route because of missing a vital item that was lying harmlessly in a pool and I did not like that. If the level had some great scenery worth a backtrack or a revisit I wouldn't mind but since it didn't... I also found a secret area in the 2nd floor of the temple which wasn't counted as a secret. There were some pickups there what I found a bit strange (not that there shouldn't be any in secret areas) since the level ended just a minute or two later and I presume this can't be linked to AR 2. I don't think this level was so great and would only recommend it if you're a fan of oriental type levels but it's not the worst level either.” – eTux (16-Feb-2003)

“It was kind of confusing but I found my way. Objective is to find the amulet in kind of a Japanese Temple. Not an easy path to find. Nice colour effects. Textures were not so great at the start but better later on. Nice atmosphere. Enemies (crocodiles bats lots of baddies) fit in well. But there was enough medipacks and ammo around. Not much sound added but suitable and enough. I found all four secrets especially the last was well hidden. A level suited also for beginners even though Lara did no quite know how to get started.” – Navi (08-Feb-2003)

“I had already played the second part but of course I could not miss part 1. And I have to say that the atmosphere and graphics were yet again well designed. Some rooms seemed a little empty but still the overall design was great. Enemies were ninjas and scorpions and a few crocodiles. The puzzles were well thought out and I liked the smooth progression – well ok sometimes you had to do a bit of thinking. You find four guardian keys two of them for a secret which is on the roof at the end but I did not get it :-( as I had only three keys and could not get the fourth. You also find a golden vase and a golden vraeus and pick up the Amulet of Horus at the end.” – Engelchen Lara (11-Jan-2003)

“My kind of level. It took me a while to get this one started as of course I wanted to look what was on the ground. Then climbing back I saw what jump I had to make and from then on I was in business. Finding first the two Guardians Keys later on you’ll find two more a Hand a Canopy Jar and a Vraeus is the main goal here. And at the end don’t pick up The Ankh right away as that is the end trigger and there is much more to find like a secret and a nice poster from Lara. Found all kinds of weapons and no need to use them. The revolver was handy as those ninjas although very predictable got a bit on my nerves. The gall they had sneaking up behind Lara’s back made me jump a couple of times. There is swimming to do shimmying crawling and of course some jumping as well. The long fall into the water wasn’t that much of a surprise but funny anyway (even tried a roll as well). Traps are in this level as well so be on your guard. 04-12-2002” – Gerty (07-Dec-2002)

“This is one of those levels I played long before I made my way to the forum. As I didn’t feel comfortable reviewing it so long after playing I booted it up this weekend and played it again. I am still as thrilled with this level as I originally was although I’ve played some great levels since. Have been a fan of Smallmoon’s work since my first long hard level I played ‘The Long River of China’. Actually I had a lot more success with Alcazar Raider II as every time I tried this one I kept missing that jump from the doorway where you begin. Thankfully after I don’t know how many tries I persevered and played this and again this weekend I enjoyed as much as the first time. From the dark dank atmosphere of the caves of the beginning and the equally dark area you get to while trying to find those 2 guardian keys what a relief to emerge into the green colorful garden with its box hedge maze (of course) and beautiful pagoda. Lots of traps await Lara in this quest and involve some good jumping puzzles as well as difficult ones. There are tons of annoying sword wielding ninjas jumping out at you constantly which got a tad irritating but sooner or later you get them all. Lots of climbing swimming and a tricky jump from a slide to a crevice for a long shimmy in the beginning. I think the biggest area in which I was stumped was the room with the half-filled pool. Took me about 45 minutes to complete that puzzle sequence to get that Vraeus out of that partially filled pool. Download this one you’ll enjoy it.” – Momster (23-Aug-2002)

“With some stunningly gorgeous Chinese temples and pagodas set throughout great sometimes quite tricky puzzles very interesting and intricate progression and four fun to find secrets this was a truly adventurous wonderful level. The enemy of choice the red ninjas were used fantastically and very very often but they were placed well so as not to interrupt the flow of the game too much but to add a heartpounding element to each move you make wondering when and where the next would come from and I can admit I was taken by surprise quite often. Lasting around 80 minutes this is a must play.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“Definitely a fun level to play. It starts with some Chinese intro fly-by and then the first thing you notice is Lara’s blue shirt. Gameplay progresses nicely with a few tricky sequences. There are many beautiful texture and coloring effects around although in some rooms the texturing is a bit flat and repetitive. Many red ninjas to deal with but as you also find plenty of revolver ammo and medipacks they do not hold much of a threat. The best thing about this level though is the Chinese style architecture with a few beautiful buildings that you must see to believe. The gameplay makes use of a wide variety of puzzle pieces and traps and it does also include movable blocks and some neat fixed camera angles. Well over an hour of net gaming time with lots and lots of entertainment. Play it!” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“This level is very big and nice too! Believe me: its beginning stuck me for about a quarter of an hour and when I found the exit for that area I got stuck again! To finish this level you must think a lot and have a very good memory because you will be going back and forward in this level. It has a nice typical Chinese building but not only this: it's an awesome level!” – Treeble (21-Jun-2002)

“What a fantastic level! Exotic buildings unique puzzles and marvelous secrets (especially at the end so do not immediately pick up the amulet). All in all a great level that impresses with its far east style atmosphere and the sometimes quite high difficulty though everything is manageable. There are four secrets and many many red ninjas. The author experiments a lot with colours e.g. Lara with a blue shirt but mainly to advantage.” – Qwendo (21-Jun-2002)

“Simply superb. This is a long and involved level with puzzles which are tricky and exits which are hard to find. The initial section is however very very tricky and it took me ages to work out what to do. I was actually on the verge of giving up it was so hard - I thought maybe this *was* the level. So a clue: the first jump is from the passage in which the level starts. The textures are excellent throughout and the linking of all the various parts of the level together is also neat: numerous jumping techniques are needed and also use of the binoculars to check out those dark areas which usually hide an exit or pick-up. The main enemies are red ninjas and there are a lot to dispose of – some variation might have been nice scorpions maybe or whatever else comes in the base WAD. Overall this is an excellently designed and thought out level with some smashing textures and ideas. When you do reach the end (where the ankh is) don't pick it up as this ends the game. Instead explore further open the final main doors and check out the apparently-impossible to get large medipack in a courtyard to the right (as you look at it) of the main temple building.” – David (21-Jun-2002)

“A fun level to play with beautiful Chinese-looking houses. A lot back and forth which I think is fun so that you have to think and remember where you’ve been. And it also gives you time to really ‘see’ the rooms instead of just running through them. A lot of baddies keeps you awake and alert!” – G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“First of all without the hint from David I may never have finished this level as I got stuck at the very beginning. I could see where I needed to be but couldn't figure out how to get there. From then on I enjoyed every second of this level. Each area has it's own individual look yet everything fits together perfectly and includes everything from dark caves to beautiful temples and a small hedge maze. I had to be constantly aware of my surroundings not only because there are many doorways and crawlspaces hidden in the shadows but because quite often I had to retrace my steps and find one of many objects (including some hands guardian keys and a golden vraeus) before I could progress any further. I never had a chance to nap either as there were many ninjas jumping out at me from every direction often surprising me even though I expected them. With the ninjas bats crocs boulders spikes lava poison darts and deadly blades I constantly had to keep my eyes and ears open but had a wonderful time playing this beautiful level.” – RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

“Hope you're not afraid of heights! This was a fun level to play. Not too difficult this level has great gameplay from room to beautiful room as well as a new intro audio purposeful baddies (that give up prizes when you kill them) and good secrets. I scored lower on the lighting because I used a flare/binoculars frequently. Well worth the download. My time: 82 minutes” - Wendee (21-Jun-2002)

“This is a nice level but to tell the truth I expected something more from it after reading all those high reviews. The gameplay was good but nothing spectacular. I don't like getting trapped - but when I found the one room half filled with water (where you find the snake object) and jumped into the water I couldn't get out again and had to restart with the last savegame. Also I found all those ninjas at nearly every corner were annoying after a while. The level design was okay but not that fantastic. In the end I had a small pyramid still with me (the guardian key) not knowing what was it good for. What I want to say is:The level is not bad but I missed the 'kick' somehow if you know what I mean.” – Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

“Wow it is a great game. Good textures good atmosphere and the puzzles are not so hard. The enemies are on the right places and I found what I needed. This is a level I see a short sequence when I pull a lever. I can find the way better. I have play 1 hour and 19 minutes and I had a lot of fun.” – Andi Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“What an entertaining gameplay that is pretty fast and never let's you down. This is just the way I like it. Rooms that interact and a linear progression where you're not constantly on the look out for hidden levers but instead are confronted with a few surprises along the way. True enemy wise there is not much variation but they tend to attack at inconvenient moments. The environment changes quite radically and is on various occasions somewhat abstract and plain yet never inappropriate enough to spoil the atmosphere or let you lose interest. In between you do all the usual TR stuff like jumping climbing swimming monkeyswinging shimmying etc and for me it was just the right amount of all them actions. I wish there were more levels like this.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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