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Walhalla by Miss Kroft

afzalmiah 9 10 9 10
Bene 10 10 10 10
bERT 9 9 9 9
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
CC 10 10 10 9
Celli 10 10 10 10
Cuqui 9 9 10 10
Dhama 8 9 10 9
Dimpfelmoser 9 9 9 9
DJ Full 9 9 10 8
Dougsan 10 10 10 10
Duncan 9 10 10 10
Engelchen Lara 9 10 10 9
eRIC 9 10 10 10
eTux 9 9 9 9
G.Croft 8 9 10 10
Gerbil 10 9 9 10
Gerty 10 10 10 10
gfd 10 10 10 9
Glow 8 9 10 10
Hochgiftig 10 10 10 10
Jay 10 10 10 10
Jez 7 9 9 9
Jon Black 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 10 9 10 10
Jose 10 10 10 10
Josi 10 10 10 10
Kristina 10 10 10 10
Leo 10 10 10 10
LePerk 10 9 8 10
Lorax 10 10 10 10
Loupar 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 9 9 9 10
MigMarado 9 10 9 9
Mman 8 10 9 8
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
Navi 10 10 10 10
Night Shiver 7 7 9 9
Pedros 10 10 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
QRS 10 10 10 10
RaiderGirl 10 10 10 10
Ravenwen 8 9 10 10
Relic Hunter 10 10 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Samu 8 9 9 10
Sash 9 9 10 10
Scottie 10 9 9 10
Selene 10 10 10 10
Sethian 8 8 7 8
Staticon 9 9 10 10
Torry 9 10 10 10
Tortoise3 10 10 10 10
Treeble 8 8 9 8
Yoav 10 10 10 10
release date: 04-Sep-2003
# of downloads: 243

average rating: 9.55
review count: 55
review this level

file size: 97.82 MB
file type: TR4
class: Nordic/Celtic

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Great adventure from Miss Kroft that deserves all the praise. I usually enjoy old levels from around this time but there's just something about this level that sets it apart from many of it's contemporaries. Top tier level for it's time and still holds up great now, as long as you remember it is from 2003." - Lorax (22-Jul-2023)
"There are several environments in this levelset, from a small town and a manor of sorts to massive glacier temples and caves later on. As usual with levels from this author, environments are usually nice and cozy. I've made a few notes along the way, but generally the past few days have quite straining so I apologize for the somewhat shallow comments. The tiny hole for the hidden target switch in the manor is something I'd never have spotted on my own (massive thanks for Val for her very thorough walkthrough, by the way), perhaps a camera clue would have been in order. There's a notable mix and match from so many different texture sets but it still looks cohesive for the most part, and the final level the blue filter worked wonders on the classical textures. That being said, there are a couple of areas that look somewhat flat. I loved the creative use of flipmaps to show cobwebs breaking as Lara runs through a narrow tunnel. All in all definitely fun levels and while I played one part a day my final stats were just short of three hours, so I suppose I could have done a better time but as I stated earlier, things have been a bit too hectic on my end so I'm struggling to keep focus on certain hobbies. 3 hours, 3 secrets. 06/22" - Treeble (05-Jun-2022)
"Excellent levelset that should have been completed... It is very near perfection, so you should play this! Congratulations to Miss Kroft :)Thank you for the excellent release! There are some cameras missing, the storyline doesn't fully play out, and some of the texturing is not up to par. It is still a very relaxing raid that flows very naturally and where almost everything seems to fit just right, especially when it comes to the rhythm of the gameplay. It suits most players and lasts for about 4 hours net game time. Enjoy!" - MigMarado (25-Sep-2021)
"Another solid and enjoyable game by Miss Kroft, and it’s a major improvement compared to her previous levels. I will review this taking in mind the limitations of the time in which it was created, because with that in mind it becomes a pretty cool, but not perfect, adventure.

Gameplay & Puzzles: Fun as always, even though a bit drawn out towards the final two levels. The first city level was really great and quite intricate. I even liked the villa level, and the puzzles and exploration it had. As the game progresses, and from having played her previous work, it’s safe to say that shooting targets with the revolver/laser- sight really is her favorite thing and she does it very well – creating some ingenious and challenging puzzles around that. The last two levels also have a creative-but-simple setup of shooting vases in order to lower the raising blocks they were standing on. There’s also a great moment where some flame emitters move along tracks on the floor to light a central brazier. Some of the timed runs were a bit challenging for me, but in the end, I enjoyed the whole thing. Really, the only downer to the gameplay is the constant illogical back-and-forth that Miss Kroft seems to build into all her levels.

Enemies, Objects, Secrets: Lots of great enemies all over the place! I honestly wish I had been given more ammo – just a little bit more generosity in that regard would have been nice, because if you aren’t cautious early on, you’ll be fighting lots of the big baddies later on with pistols, and you may even run short on revolver ammo which is needed to complete a lot of puzzles. There was some great enemy placement as well when we have to monkey swing along spider webs, and we can see a giant spider crawling around right above us. It was also nice to see the Demon Babies from Ireland make their return in this Nordic setting, even if the samples assigned to them made them sound like old men with indigestion. I love the Ahmet enemy as always, although I didn’t get why she had us fighting them in the last level looking like Egyptian Ahmets from TR4 – the earlier Hel level had the Ahmet slot, but looking like a brown mutant wolf-creature. It seemed strange to me that we didn’t get this costume for that slot again in the final level, in order to stick to the Nordic theme that the author tried to create. Secrets are simple, and don’t require too much thought except one complex block puzzle. They’re always very nice and generous though.

Atmosphere, Sound, Cameras: The opening cinematic was done very nicely, and all the author’s flyby camera sequences are on point as usual. It was also always clear most of the time which switch opened which door. The atmosphere is also okay-ish, although it begins to deteriorate a bit, and this in part due to the author’s kitschy music. Good use is made of tracks from the classic TRs, including AOD. At times the author includes some new tracks possibly stolen from movie soundtracks, and these aren’t too jarring. But then there is one track that triggers while you’ve spent the past hour listening to dark AOD- Eckhardt-ian ambience, only to suddenly hear the kitschiest tripe ever. It sounds like the Demon Babies are about to join you for a dance party (they don’t sadly). It is generally the author’s kitsch that works in the earlier Villa level, but then drags down the sinister feeling meant for the final levels.

Lighting & Textures: Looking at the entire thing as an aesthetic whole, it does seem to work for the most part. Sure, I’m not a fan of Lara’s blue eyes and blue earrings, but this is clearly another case of the author’s love for kitsch. In the first level we even get to see a giant container of pink bubble gum – we sadly bypass this though and instead empty a giant container of popcorn in order to climb to a higher level. The Villa level is dripping with visual kitsch, but it works, and even creates some great puzzles, like shooting that target through the hole in the painting. Once we move on into the levels that are meant to actually be Nordic, I started looking at them in a more endearing, rather than critical, way. The author really tries this time to splatter as much Celtic knotwork and Nordic runes all over the walls, in order to sell us on the idea that this is Helheim or Asgard. I had to laugh when I started seeing Hindu arches from Angkor Wat everywhere – but then realized that, yes, if you squint hard enough, it can pass for some sort of Viking-mess-hall archway. It’s cute how the author has done what she could by using the basic TR assets. The first 3 levels make good use of objects and architecture to enhance the environments they are meant to portray; but it is in the final level where we sadly get some really bland, empty, snow caves, that are huge, ongoing, filled with fog, and have only one texture applied… everywhere. This goes against everything Miss Kroft has been creating thus far – the jump from excessive Kitsch to excessive Minimalism.

The entire thing had an abrupt ending, which left me with a mix of disappointment and wanting to play more. Lara never did actually make it to Valhalla in this game, did she? But according to the credits it looks like the author planned on making more at some point in the future. All in all, ‘much fun’ was had!" - Sethian (05-Oct-2020)
"I have a lot of mixed feels for this one. The further it goes the less I somehow enjoyed because every subsequent level has longer duration and is slower paced than the preceding one, on the contrary to what I think should happen in correct storyline design. Also, the fog is often so nasty I could barely see anything, I know it's meant to feel cold but why not to use some softer values... Nonetheless I appreciate a huge effort put into customization, as you can feel a lot of resources have been prepared in advance and carefully edited - it isn't just a typical "take a wad, build a level" scenario. Huuuuge props for that, and I would play Part 2 if there was one." - DJ Full (10-Oct-2018)
"Monika has brought us a wonderful adventure here. Lara is dressed for the cold weather she will encounter, a warm coat and gloves. We start in Midgard. This is a small opening section, just to get warmed up and collect a few necessary items. Nice little switch/door puzzle halfway through. We then arrive at the Villa, another short level where we have to fight a few enemies and find a gem. However, when we reach Hel, the Rise of the Beasts, things hot up, literally as there is plenty of lovely, lovely lava. Nice jumping around and some torch action and HUGE spiders. The next level, Asgard is a beautiful level, set around a temple with fun tasks to do. We end at Fenrir's Palace for the conclusion around a snowcapped palace. I was sorry to see it end." - Ryan (07-Jul-2016)
"Perhaps in any list I could place a 9 in the field, but I've enjoyed this adventure a lot. It has a "Legacy of the Gods" style, one of my favourite series from all times, and this is another masterpiece you can't miss. Excellent gameplay, only stained with that small hole in the picture in the Villa; classic puzzles, well balanced enemies, nice musics and environments, good use of the cameras... Really a jewel of the custom levels. A pain that this author never continue building this saga as you can read when finishing!" - Jose (16-Apr-2012)
"For me certainly THE BEST adventure created by Miss Kroft. We discovered Lara in Sweden (for change)in a snowy atmosphere in a little town and a wonderful villa. After that a big cave with spiders, traps, lava ... perfect level. The others two last levels are also very beautiful, and original for the year 2003 (viking theme). I really like the choise of the musics, tr6 and tr5. To conclude, a very beautiful jewel of the editor, not too hard and not too easy, a perfect level to start your experience with the level editor games. I really hope play the sequel a day ... BigFoot" - BigFoot (26-Nov-2011)
"Immediately after the last Flyby I had searched for the continuation of this excellent level. But what had I to realize? There is no continuation! Why is there no continuation? I want to have a continuation! Miss Kroft can not do that. First she makes our mouth water with a top level, promises at the end a continuation which was, however, quite obviously never built. Only for this I would have to devalue this level massively!
But seriously: The inclined player does not get served every day such a well-built level. The single level parts are built rich in variety and it never became dull. Though there are a few little things that were not so good, but these were only little things which could hardly spoil the play fun. In the cut scene completely at the beginning the voice of the speaker could have been a little bit louder. The villa level was a little bit short with just 20 minutes play time, I would like to have see even more. In the last level it would have been better if Miss Kroft had placed a few wolves less. Now and again was a switch sound absent. But as already said, these were only little things which have affected the play fun not in the least. And now I'll blow my nose because there is, unfortunately, no continuation." - Scottie (08-Jun-2011)
"I remember playing this game a long time ago but I gave up after playing through half of the first level because I thought it wasn't really fun but now I have gave it another chance and I loved it! There are 5 levels and all of them was really long (except for the second level). I loved every level so much because miss Kroft can make amazing levels which are all different. Her snowy levels are the best and the other lava levels are really good too. I didn't really like the first level until I got to the town. I didn't like the courtyards. One thing that annoyed me a lot was the fog. It was everywhere! The second level was really fun but I thought it was too short and I like home levels! The textures and atmosphere were really flawless and Miss Kroft is a really talented builder and I was sad to hear she isn't making anymore games :-(. At least she made this amazing game and everyone should try it." - afzalmiah (10-Apr-2011)
"Midgard: After a cutscene with Jean Yves babbling in some language or other (thankfully the readme gives you the text in English, so it's not a problem), the first level has you working your way through some sort of town to find the manor where you goal is. The gameplay makes good use of height variations with you going high and low through several rooms, and also some shootable objects. There's also an amusing sequence with a popcorn machine. The only gameplay flaw I had was that some of the backtracking felt slightly excessive, beyond that the only other issue I had was the visuals and lighting being a little dated compared to newer levels, but it is still okay, and there are some nice touches like the mini house in one part. In the Villa: Now you've reached your goal and must find the path to the underground chambers (which amusingly happens to be behind a bath). The gameplay is relatively simple as long you keep and eye out for stuff like jump-switches, but there's one shootable that's easily overlooked and I found more by accident as a last resort, but I did still end up finding it in the end. The visuals pick up here and the Christmas decorations are a nice twist on the manor style. Hel: The Rise of the Beasts: This is where the pack really gets going, with various enemies used very well (I should note that the"Spiders" have only six legs however...) and an array of different tasks to do and an interlinking layout. The only issue I had is that the texturing seems a bit of a hodge-podge, with it going through Atlantis, Tinnos, Peru and Greek textures (at least), although it somehow manages to work for the most part. Asgard: After a starting platform challenge with very interesting use of a Spider for atmospheric reasons and a couple of other challenges (including an optional block puzzle for a secret) you eventually come across a non-linear section based around finding two golden stars, one including a pretty nasty shooting puzzle (one of the only challenges in the pack I would put above moderate difficulty). It all plays well, although the texture issues I had with the previous levels continue a bit here (it's still more coherent than before though), plus it gets away with it more by having a theme that is pretty unique in general. Fenrir's Shelter: The climax in a snowy temple (the textures issue is still there a little, but it's generally unified here, including some nice touches like runes seemingly spelling out"Fenrir"). After some initial exploration you move onto the challenge of exploring two paths for a Stone Tablet, one is a series of trap rooms and the other is a diversion through some ice caves (including an interesting ice ziggurat). The only gameplay issue I had is one part with a trapped ceiling where it seems necessary to take a bunch of damage pressing a switch to disable the spikes, but maybe I missed something. It ends with mention of a sequel that was unfortunately never made (although the author went on to release some other great works anyway, so it's not all bad news). The gameplay perhaps doesn't go that extra mile, and mostly sticks with relatively simple tasks; maybe there could have been one or two more involved sequences. Enemies and objects are used well, including one or two very original uses, the two secrets I found were puzzles in their own right, so I assume the rest are just as involved. Atmosphere and sound was well done, beyond the texture themes confusing the atmosphere of a few areas a little. There could have maybe been a few more cameras, but the areas are generally compact enough for it not to matter. Lighting improves as the pack goes along, with it being a bit flat in the first levels, but being very good from the third level on. I've already brought up the texture issues. Overall a must play and great beyond the odd slightly dated element (with emphasis on dated, as opposed to it being down to any lack of skill or talent on the authors part)." - Mman (28-Aug-2009)
"There is not really much more to say about this wonderful levelset; the numerous reviews up to now pretty much say it all. That Miss Kroft makes some of the best levels is already known, and her games are always enjoying and providing her players with great adventure feel and lovely settings constructed with mastery and making wise use of effects, cameras and sounds. This levelset consists of five sections, including impressing interiors and a variety of exterior locations, where there are naturally several puzzles to solve (most of which are relatively easy) and many enemies to fight. The only downside was that in the second half of the last section (looking for the stonebadges), puzzles and tasks became somewhat repetitive after a while, making gameplay slightly tiring. Other than that, this game is great and I do hope there's going to be a sequel, like is promised in the closing screen." - Ravenwen (31-Aug-2008)
"'Magnificent' is one of those adjectives that pop up in my head when hearing of the Miss Kroft's Walhalla levels. During the splendid moments I spent with these five masterpieces I was experiencing the typical gorgeous 'raiding' mood, which is something that hasn't happened to me for a long, long time. I simply had to go on even though I felt tired and had many duties. And THAT SAYS SOMETHING. Well, the gameplay was smooth and addictive without any significant obstacles or delays and the puzzles were elaborate enough. Although I could definitely do with more secrets throughout the levels, I adored the enemies and objects. Last but not least, the flybys could have been used more often in my opinion. Apart from these two little (LITTLE) inconsistences I liked EVERYTHING about Walhalla. It's a remarkable piece of art, truly. Go for it!" - Gerbil (15-May-2007)
"As for this level I can sum it up in one word: WOW!!! Miss Kroft has made a five level game in star style. Walhalla is bound to capture the attention of the raiders, from the moment they spot the title until the final credits are rolling across the screen. In this fantastic set of levels Lara receives a letter from her old friend Jean Yves, who asks her to investigate a villa in Sweden where the owner disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Lara sets off to Sweden, but here she discovers that theres more to the house than it would first seem: it turns out to hide the entrance to the legendary worlds of the Norse Gods. The atmosphere is extremely captivating, the gameplay is in the style of the original TR games and the music fits in like a hand in a glove. When it comes to obstacles, the player is faced with pools of lava, rolling balls with and without spikes, high falls, skewering spike traps, blades, sliding doors and tight timed runs ... some with death as the outcome of failure - heres something for every taste. As for the enemies, they vary from place to place - everything from humans and dogs/wolves to devils and beasts. And not to forget: our hairy, eight-legged friends in gargantuan size and with toxic fangs. Although some of the enemies are hard kills with quite an amount of health loss, there are fewer enemies in this game than most raiders would like. Beautiful fly-bys and a lot of atmosphere is a theme that is shown thoroughly through the entire game, every level has its own special feel. And the graphics are absolutely well-composed as well as gorgeous. Everything fits in where its meant to be and the game features a great deal of surprises that will stun the raiders lucky enough to stumble upon this magnificent set of levels. It is almost with a slight sadness that you run Lara down the hallway to the end of this adorable set of levels. If you have gotten to the point of completing it, well done... hope you enjoyed your gameplay as much as I did. If not, what are you waiting for???;)" - Selene (07-Feb-2006)
"Where should I start? The wonderful and good to solve puzzles? The wonderful music? The incredible look of the small town or the palace of the Nordic gods? At the beginning Jean-Yves writes a letter to Lara to find a villa in Midgard. We start then in a small town and there we have to find our way into this nice building. In there the entrance to Walhalla is supposed, the home of the Nordic gods. Some nice puzzles are in this city and after popping the popcorn machine and getting many many keys you enter the villa. Inside it is so lovely. After a short time we find it - the entrance to Walhalla. Inside it's a hell of a party. (*winks*) We have fire, ice and a very very sad ending, because ... Aww, but see for yourself. Walhalla is my most favourite custom made TR-Game ever and it's very hard to top! Thank you Monika for giving us this wonderful game!" - Hochgiftig (08-Jan-2006)
"A genuine TR classic that I just got around to playing. It is a long and splendid piece in five sections. Although I loved the popcorn machine, I must say that the quality of the settings improves as Lara progresses through the sections. The last, Fenrirs, is the most coherent from a color and texture standpoint. The Asgard textures use knot work from the Irish 'Book of Kells' - a book done by monks being persecuted by the Vikings. I don't know if this was deliberate irony or not. The gameplay also improves significantly as Lara progresses - with Hel being the best part in my opinion. I felt that the gameplay of Fenrirs was a bit of a let down - it needed a 'boss' climax to close out such a long level. I also thought that there were far too many spike traps. Aside from my quibbles, this is a truly wonderful piece of work that all TR folks should play." - Duncan (09-May-2005)
"This is a masterpiece. I don't know what to say more than that. Why? Cause the adventure takes place in Sweden (hehe)! Seriously though, this is a gem. I really enjoyed these levels because they were so well done. Not hard, nor easy. I just got the feeling that I had something to do all the time without too difficult jumps and deathtraps. The only time I got stuck was when I HAD to stop and look at the falling snow or the nice textures in 'hell'. This is great Monika! Will there be a sequel? Full score from me because it is hard to top this. 2004-04-29" - QRS (01-May-2005)
"This is a good adventure. I think gameplay is better in first second and third level than other levels. I could have given better number for gameplay and puzzles if the fourth and fifth level would be better but however this is good adventure." - Samu (01-Aug-2004)
"This is one hell of a good level with hardly any frustrating or unfair moments (which would otherwise lead to countless trips to the walkthrough). Lots of good fights here but don't spend all your magnum bullets because you'll need a quite a few of them for lion's heads and balls and chains. It's quite nice to play a level that doesn't feature monstrously difficult jumps or puzzles so tough that even the author is going to struggle with them. But rather an exciting fun and pretty level full of juicy secrets and enjoyable action. It's even accompanied by lots of well chosen music (so nice to play when there's something other than silence to listen to). It's also good to have a proper 'ending' which a lot of the best authors like to finish with. These maps took me 4 hours and 45 minutes to complete and I found 3 secrets." - gfd (29-Jun-2004)
"I can't believe that I haven't played this earlier! Walhalla is certainly Monika's greatest piece of work so far! These great levels have excellent use of textures too! There was also a very nice intro cut scene to begin the adventure. Midgard - This nice start to the level was thoroughly enjoyable. The enemies you face here are some dogs TR2 rig gunmen rats crows and damned stick men. The level is nicely textured using TR3's london textures TR2 Tibet textures and some recolored Rome textures of TR5. The two tasks I liked were activating the crane to 'renovate' the room and buying popcorn and forming a small mountain of it the popcorn machine was probably broken. In the Villa - A very festive villa with snow outside and Christmas decorations too. The enemies encountered here are guards and a few rats. The level had many custom textures that gave me a cheery mood. The moving painting was very nice. The funny thing about the level was that I couldn't believe that the entrance to the next level was located in someone's bathroom! That bit had me laughing out loud! Hel The Rise of Beasts - This was a very nice level that had a rather AOD style atmosphere. In this level you encounter giant spiders devil demigods a harpy bats and retextured ahmets. This level had a really good use of the TR1 Qualopec and Folly textures. My favorite moment in this level was the jump on a collapsible bridge over a lava pool with the AOD theme music and some really nice camera work! Asgard - This level was also very good. The enemies encountered here were the imps of TR5 more giant spiders bats and vikings. I thought that it was really unique to monkey swing on a spider web with a spider walking around on top of the web. I also liked the pool room with the fog it was a sight to behold. The texturing here is mostly made up of TR1 Folly textures. Fenrir's Shelter - This level was very beautiful. The rooms were very heavenly with the blue textures. Over here we encounter some retextured demigods wolves bats and small spiders. I also liked the use of the fog in here too. My favorite room was where you had to place the stonebadge. Bottomline - These levels also had a nice end sequence and I look forward to playing Walhalla - The Continuing Stories. Keep building Monika!" - Relic Hunter (25-Jun-2004)
"Well if the opening flyby doesn't get you then I don't know what will! We hear Jean Yves as he writes his letter to Lara while the camera scans the town and finally closes in on Jean at his desk. This town is MIDGARD nicely designed with lots of places to explore and things to do. There are different ways to do normal things in this level. Enemies here are small rats dogs and those ugly club wielding thugs. You get a lasersight and revolver in this first level so look carefully for things to target and shoot in all the levels. The gameplay is quite straight forward mainly exploring and finding things but not boring. And I have to mention the popcorn machine you'll see what happens as soon as you put your coin in. THE VILLA is a beautiful level lovely colours and textures. The amazing thing here is the painting that changes after you place a gem and points to a place for you to target and shoot. I had to read about this because I couldn't figure out what happens here. BTW did anybody notice that this painting looks exactly like Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind you know the famous lines 'as God is my witness'. The other thing that took a while to figure were the floor grates that need to be broken with the shotgun. There are lasers still active in the Villa so we must be coming back later! Below the bathroom Lara finds a hidden room and the entrance into HEL THE RISE OF THE BEASTS. The first beast to rise or lower actually is a huge poisonous spider there are more! I thought this level was great especially the jumping sequences over lava and the great sinister music playing throughout the level. The other beasts are spotted grey ahmets with spikes on their backs harpies demon dogs devils (retextured demigods) red bats and giant mosquitoes. Things get more interesting now with blocks to push boulders shimmys jumps non-boring crawls and a spectacular TR moment after pushing a lever you must roll run jump to a collapsible wooden bridge over lava and jump to a safe block while being chased by a boulder. Up to this level gameplay was 8 now it shot to 10. I particularly loved that flyby of the little fires criss-crossing a pedestal and setting it on fire. Finally opening double doors and into ASGARD. Seems like we're in a town large wooden houses very Scandinavian check out some of the textures to see this. I just loved running through the cobwebs and breaking them. In a huge room we make our way to the top which is laced with cobwebs and a giant spider walking on it. What a surprise when I jumped up and was able to grab and monkeyswing across this web. Rewarding block pushing puzzle in here and very interesting timed runs like that one where you pull switches run through timed door pull another switch run onto a trigger to open the door again run to an open gate and shoot a lion's head before the gate closes. Enemies here are those creepy babies and Vikings. Loved everything that needed to be done to get two keys to open the black gates and on to FERNIR'S SHELTER and more lovely music. Back out in the snow again but everything here seems more 'heavenly' the buildings the ghostly hammergods the sliding ice blocks snow caves with falling icicles small spiders ahmets and lots of red-eyed shepherd dogs. Again beautiful rooms including the ice caves. Sometimes series of levels kind of slacken off in the middle or towards the end but these got better and better. A truly excellent series of levels. And Miss Kroft gives a message at the end that she'll 'see us soon in Walhalla'. Yipeee! And thanks Phil for sending me this level on CD." - CC (09-May-2004)
"What an absolutely delightful set of levels. At no time did it become impossible to progress which is good for us eternal beginners though I must admit I did have to resort to the walkthrough twice during play only to discover that it was my lack of attention that was holding me up. LOL. The whole thing was beautifully designed and lit. I spent quite a while just admiring the view. I particularly liked the villa with the snow falling outside the windows. In all I got three evenings of entertainment from this set of levels - just over five hours of game time - and had a genuine feeling of sadness when it ended. If ever I find the time this one will get another airing. Superb." - Staticon (03-May-2004)
"Walhalla has everything. Great locations puzzles use of enemies and overall amazing design. The puzzle with the painting in The Villa was pure genius! Very inventive and creative. The puzzles throughout were all like that too. Kudos to Monika on creativity. Although the locations were perfect there were times when the fog was just too much but that can easily be overlooked by where it was being used. I especially loved the use of the spiderweb for the monkey swing in Asgard. So simple yet no one has thought to do it before. It was such an amazing level and I can't wait to see what treat Monika has in store for us next." - Celli (23-Mar-2004)
"Well done Miss Kroft. This level or more accurately five levels looks and plays superbly. The lighting and textures are beautiful and the custom sound files really add to the atmosphere. The enemies are well placed too (made me jump more that once). Although it was not very difficult (I think I found two secrets) I found the level extremely enjoyable and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone." - Jez (03-Jan-2004)
"I haven't written a review for some time because I felt I had no right to judge a fellow builder but that won't stop me reviewing an absolute gem of a game that I enjoyed playing even as much as TRAOD - really! This is the first custom game I've played for some time and I have to admit to playing one of Monika's levels before which I never finished for one reason or another but decided to play this one on the strength of what I experience in the former. The puzzles I found very ingenious and sometimes logical but other times found myself not sure where I'm going next otherwise I'd have given a 10. The enemies objects and secrets were exceptional apart from the limited area in which you found Lara pinned up against a wall by the creature and had difficulty getting out after it was killed and lay there smoldering. And one spider got decidedly caught between a column and a wall on another occasion. (lol) The atmosphere including the soundtrack was simply superb and couldn't be faulted. Sometimes I felt the shadows were conspicuous by their absence but then I do like a moody lit level. The textures on the whole were excellent but a few of them I'd seen so many times before. I'd like to have seen all the textures being original but it's not a fault; just an observation. My favourite all time level builder is Piega but Monika you're up there with him in my book - I'm extremely jealous that I can't get a custom level let alone a custom game out in the timescale you achieved - Very nice work very nice work indeed. J" - dhama (02-Dec-2003)
"This is a must play level. You start of in a realistic setting and as you progress through the level things get weirder and weirder. Just like Tomb Raider is supposed to. There is some great original puzzle too many to start to mention them. The gameplay is challenging without being frustrating this is quite difficult to achieve so full marks. All the level look great and are well light I don't think I even used a flare. Miss Kroft (the builder not the heroine) is great at using fog which when used correctly looks excellent. Some of the object sounds were wrong or missing but you really don't notice too much. The added music was good as well. This level deserves the high ratings it has received." - LePerk (01-Dec-2003)
"This is Tomb Raider the way it was meant to be played. There's a little bit of everything here: Stunningly beautiful scenery creative and well-spaced enemies timed maneuvers and jumps that are challenging but not exasperatingly so and (above all) plenty of light so the gamer can see what he's doing at all times. Val's walkthrough was very helpful too. I'm elated to know that Miss Kroft has announced a sequel to this outstanding set of levels. I can hardly wait. Without question Walhalla is among the Top Ten of my all-time favorite custom levels." - Phil (13-Nov-2003)
"An enjoyable set of five levels not difficult to play. Nice coulours and beautiful settings. The atmosphere is superb and the music is wonderful. I liked Lara's outfit and her big blue eyes. Monika is a brilliant builder of levels. I recommend it to have a great time. I'm waiting for the next...!" - Cuqui (11-Nov-2003)
"Miss Kroft has made a perfect game. Walhalla is a set of five levels with a great progression of the gameplay. From the first level in a unknown city and the second one in a beautiful villa; to the final levels (Asgard and the Fenrirs shelter) the gameplay is getting better. The puzzles and timed runs are well balanced because they're never frustrating. The music the ambiance in the last levels the light and the beauty of the whole game make Walhalla 'an instant classic' (Bene's words). What more can I say! I've loved it." - Loupar (02-Nov-2003)
"There are few things I look forward to as much as a new level from Monika - she's not just a level builder but also an artist who puts her wonderful mind creativity intelligence and spirit into every level she creates. Walhalla her latest set of levels is so beautiful to look at and explore that I would be happy with them even with no puzzles and nothing to do in them. Luckily she's also really good at coming up with tasks and puzzles that are clever and fun that always leave me wanting more. The music she adds is always memorable too - it's always music I like and this time includes some from the new Angel of Darkness game. If I had to pick one I'd say that Monika is my favorite level builder and I encourage everyone to look at all of her levels - can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Thanks for all of your hard work Monika!" - RaiderGirl (30-Oct-2003)
"This level played very much like a boxed adventure. Very polished with beautiful landscape and not too much darkness. The latter can be very frustrating to me because the room I play in has a bit of sun glare during the day so some levels have to be played before sunrise or after sunset or not at all. It seems like many of the custom levels are dark but not so this. The puzzles are all very solvable making gameplay very enjoyable with out the need to have the walkthrough at hand. Well deserving of its high rank." - Jon Black (28-Oct-2003)
"This is the first custom TR that I played after losing interest in AoD. Such a welcome change back to traditional TR! It consists of five levels, which absorbed several evenings of pure enjoyment. The setting, including Lara's outfit, is obviously Nordic, presumed to reflect the background of the author. Settings: Each level has a plethora of rooms, each constructed with meticulous care. Some are only entered briefly, such as to throw a switch, but are as carefully constructed. Textures: There is very imaginative and artistic use of colours and patterns. I was intrigued with those in the penultimate level, which are undoubtedly Celtic. I suspect Miss Kroft must have visited Trinity College in Dublin and has seen the Book of Kells. One of the levels is called 'Asgard'. This may be a coincidence, but it was also the name of the yacht in which one of the patriots of the Irish State smuggled arms during the Rebellion that led to the foundation of the Republic of Ireland. The yacht subsequently became the national training ship. Alas, it has not been maintained and needs seriously big money to restore it. This leads me to suspect that Miss Kroft is an Irish person in disguise, has some connection with, or at least visited, Ireland, or perhaps there may be more in common with her country of origin and Ireland, than I thought. The snow looked like real snow, enticing one to build a snowman and have a snowball fight! It's a pity the TR engine does not allow a Lara skiing down a slope with sideways controls. There are several frozen surfaces, with a clear view of the depths underneath. I liked the ice bridges. Weapons: You get all you need early on, and there's plenty of ammo through the game. When enemies attack, you have the wherewithal do deal expeditiously towards their demise. Baddies: There are a few enemies, and apart from the annoying bats, they are Kroft originals, including the Viking, who appears a few times. There are nasty giant spiders, which poisoned Lara on contact. Happily, they tended to get stuck in corners and were easily dispatched with the pistols. The fearsome fire-shooting demons were also not too difficult to kill. I hated killing the dogs, particularly with the revolver, which instantly knocked them down with a half yelp. I know it was either them or me, and they had to go. We've got two lovely labs and nine puppies have just left us to their adoptive families. I particularly liked the little white guys. They looked friendly and the first one to appear was given the opportunity of showing his intent. Alas, he, like the ones after him, turned out to be an aggressive mini snowman and also had to go. All the water is safe! Puzzles: Not too difficult, but some are very subtle and challenging enough to take considerable time and several saves, to resolve. I found it helpful to save just before a fly by, so as to play it through several times. This often gave clues to the solution. I particularly liked the climb, reverse jump, cling and shoot the half hidden distant ball, before being spiked. Also the combination of times switches, into rooms with timed switches, trigger squares and get the target before the gate closes. Took quite some time to work out! I stumbled into the hidden underwater chamber and thought it was a bug, until I examined the mirror. Very obtuse, but clever. Thank you for the breathing space. My approach when stuck is to remember what's possible: Have a good look around, if necessary, use a flare. Don't forget to look up, for a partly hidden alcove, or a not too obvious hanging switch. Push/pull any part of the wall that looks in any way different. Look for objects to shoot within doorways, gates or alcoves. Shoot everything in sight! Repeat with Lara jumping to cover 360. Jump & cling all the walls. If stuck on a ladder at a ceiling, go down again and save, before climbing again and jump backwards into the hopeful unknown. If a lever is available, try jemmying doors, grills, and anything else. Go back to the last save, maybe you should not be in this area yet! If all fails, go to bed, it's 4 am anyway. Don't get out of bed, if you think you've got the solution. Try again to-morrow! Traps: Lots of lava and, near the end of the last level, a sneaky snowy water which burns! Music: The installation instructions has an exhortation not to play the game without the audio files. This included an .exe to convert the mp3 to wav files, which worked very well. Somehow I messed up and realised a third through the game, that I was not hearing the music that I'd sneaked a look at, at the installation. This was easily fixed. The traditional TR sound effects are much enhanced. The music varies from the medieval to the mournful modern music of the last level, with a sparkle of ragtime! A powerful sound system such as Altec Lansing with a floor woofer, takes full advantage of the wonderful music, all in 16 bit stereo, and adds so much to the game. Incidentally, WinXP has Media Rack included, which, as far as I can tell, plays mp3 files. Whether TR has access to it, I don't know. Bugs: None, except that Lara was convinced there was an invisible enemy in the latter part of the game. Solved by holstering the guns. Secrets: I certainly got some, but don't know how many as the ending statistics did not appear clearly on my screen. It said I had 3 out of 70! Conclusion: I suspect that, like many in this forum, I don't mind a challenge. Some custom levels have puzzles so obtuse, bizarre and unconnected switches, timed runs too tight, hidden targets, or game play so complicated, that I have abandoned them. Life is short enough and there are other levels to play! Michael should consider running a poll to find out what levels were started and abandoned, and the reason why. This should be helpful to developers and provide a list of accept-the-challenge-if-you-dare levels, for the rest of us. Back to Walhalla. This must have taken months to construct. For the reasons above, this is a well rounded level, challenging and interesting enough to maintain interest, and to be very much enjoyed. I highly recommend it and give it an overall score of 10 out of 10. Ms. Monika Pawlus, aka Miss Kroft, take a bow! Hope you keep your promise of the continuing story." - Leo (22-Oct-2003)
"On her way to Walhalla Lara passes an unknown city first. Not much to do here except collecting a few keys. In the subsequent levels it becomes more difficult. Lara needs to find artifacts gems golden and blue stars a cartouche and many more keys. Puzzles are diverse many levers to pull (sometimes you feel there is nothing else than levers around) but there are also nice jump combinations and traps (could have been a few more for my taste). I also liked the timed puzzles a lot. Atmosphere was great and especially the sounds added a lot to the fun gameplay. Enemies were well placed especially the Vikings. Other than them you meet all your old foes from the TR games. Graphics and architecture are just flawless textures well chosen and suiting the Walhalla theme. All in all you find three secrets and almost all weapons except for the crossbow but the grenade gun helped here :-). I can only recommend it - Thank you Miss Kroft :-)" - Engelchen Lara (19-Oct-2003)
"Afraid this will be a short review as I can't wait to go back and play these levels again. I can honestly say I have not done this very often and it is a sign of how enjoyable this set of levels is. I for one do not miss those extremely tight timed runs as I do not enjoy spending hours trying to do them and so losing the atmosphere of the game. Beautiful settings and lovely textures which I absolutely adored. Please don't be too long with the follow ons as I can't wait to get started on them. I cannot recommend this game too highly definitely Monika's best yet." - Tortoise3 (15-Oct-2003)
"Five fantastic levels from Miss Kroft that will keep you occupied for around 4 hours and what a production it is. Great environments from the backstreets of Midgard to the snowy peaks of Fenrir's Shelter decent puzzles that will keep you thinking music to fit the mood of each environment and what I loved most the combination of timed events and live gunfire. This is rarely if ever seen within Tomb Raider and it is good to see that our author's are looking for better ways to use the tired and worn timed door routine. No slow holster draws here folks. This mini game ranks among the best and dare I say it challenges even the production levels of old. The fog that abounded in places whilst adding to the atmosphere did get somewhat annoying at times as it disguised important areas (as it no doubt was intended) but you can always turn this off if it becomes too bothersome. The levels were well designed with adequate flybys to show one what was required next and even some cleverly if somewhat devious changes (the portrait of the lady comes to mind) that will have many people scratching their heads. Overall though an exceptional raid and one not to be missed. I have decreased the gameplay score just slightly as I believe some of the areas where just a little too difficult to negotiate by the average raider." - Torry (11-Oct-2003)
"The top quality entertainment we come to expect from Monika and yet if I compare it to the other levels that are rated into the upper half of the top 50 I have to admit that I find it all a bit too traditional. As with her previous obra-prima I can't really say anything bad about it try as I might but halfway through it struck me as somewhat safe even predictable and adrenalin rushes are few and far in between. I played parts of this with Gerty and Ian on the TR Meeting (with the kind help of Monika herself) so the fact that I never got stuck might be due to that little warm up and hey I don't like to be stuck anyway; however for me in the whole five hour game there was no occasion that really gave me the feeling of accomplishment. And I haven't played any levels for ages. The corkscrew room is manageable on the first try enemies never pose a threat (especially if you find the secrets) the jumping is darn easy and the timed doors not really tight. But blimey let's not be too negative here; that might give you the wrong idea altogether. It is a very professionally crafted and highly enjoyable adventure that combines all the elements of the original game. I also liked the way the story unfolds (though the odd mix of environments didn't make that much sense to me but maybe I should have read the readme). It starts kinda slow but then the pace picks up after the first two parts and experienced builder that she is Monika leaves the best for the last part. So if you are the Ludite Raider if Astrodelica is too weird and Tarragona 8/9 too confusing for you if TR1 is still you favourite game of them all this here is definitely a must for you. As smooth as they come these days." - Dimpfelmoser (04-Oct-2003)
"Walhalla is a good work! The game is composed by 5 levels: Level 1: It is too long and complicated the puzzles are too many and too hard. I think that it is not adequate as a first level. In the truth I don't like it at all Level 2: A very funny level the texture could be better but the atmosphere and the puzzles are great in this second level. Level 3 and 4: They are the most beautiful levels of this game great atmosphere puzzles cameras sound texture all is great! Level 5: The graphics is very good but the puzzles and the gameplay is always the same of the other levels. I think that as last level it could be better and I expected to find something of special because it is the last level. The story is good even if it does not have a clear evolution and end." - Night Shiver (02-Oct-2003)
"A very good level smooth and well done...not too difficult to get you frustrated and not too simple...just right to keep you busy for some hours! Puzzles are quite easy the usual ones enemies not to hard to kill...what really makes a difference is the fantastic music that I have never found anywhere else. Lighting and textures are very well done no bugs or mistakes cameras are placed to make you see well where're you going and the atmosphere is scary and full of tension...well done!" - Glow (01-Oct-2003)
"Five levels and I don't know how much time later I must say I have fallen in love with Miss Kroft's game 'Walhalla'. So much has been written about it already I don't know quite what to add. I found two problems that are so minor - Lara got stuck in an angle in the ice and managed to jump through some bars blocking her way. There was no reason for Lara to be in the area where she got stuck. The dumb player was making sure her hand or feet touched every inch of surface possible. The jump through bars were a major time saver and might have been designed in to help the dumb player. Aside from those two all but insignificant findings 'Walhalla' was as perfect a TRLE offering as I can remember playing. The puzzles were not as challenging as I would have liked but if they were I would not have been able to figure them out. The music was great. I don't believe the music has ever impressed me so much in a TRLE level before. The return of the Pillsbury Doughboy's evil cousins had me laughing so much when first Lara met them she forgot to kill them! Enough. Read the other reviews. Tens across the board for a great game. Thanks Ms. Kroft." - Dougsan (25-Sep-2003)
"This is definitely the most enjoyable level(s) I have played in a long time. Everything is just as I like it beautiful scenery good puzzles good enemies (you even get to battle Vikings) it's great. You start in Midgard a lovely city (notice the doghouse and the popcorn- and bubblegum machines I think they are great) where you have to find the revolver and lasersight so you can shoot locks to proceed. Once through Midgard you enter the Villa now this level was much too short to my liking it is so beautiful that I spent more time then needed in there. From the Villa you get down to Hel the rise of beast. A lava level as you can imagine. Very well done and I was very happy to find it was not too dark. Great puzzles and some scary enemies. Next is Asgard beautiful (again) and somewhat more difficult then the others I missed a flyby at some point and that made it very hard to proceed so pay attention. The last one is Fenrir's shelter an icy world and again beautiful but beware there are wolfpacks around and some other scary things. All I can say is that you must play this it's a fantastic journey." - Josi (25-Sep-2003)
"A wonderful set of 5 levels with sometimes magnificent rooms to discover a superb lighting plenty of puzzles to solve a very fluent gameplay and retextured enemies that fit perfectly the story. The villa in level 2 is nicely ornated but the most impressive levels were the 3rd and the 4th which were visually splendid. The atmosphere is unique there and there are some new textures (I have recognized the illustration of the Eagle taken from the Book of Kells a nice touch for those who like the ancient manuscripts). The thing that could be improved in my opinion is the transition between the 3 last levels. There is also the flare bug in the last level. All in all this is good clean fun and a must played series that has to be continued." - eRIC (22-Sep-2003)
"-Stop met zeuren- said Gerty when I was playing the first level of this five-parter. That means -Stop nagging- and she told me that after I said her it was boring. Well I hate to tell the Dutch woman was right but erm....she was a 'bit' right. Indeed after finishing the whole game now it is clear that Monika sure knows what a good game needs: 1. a background story - Northern Mythology 2. progressive gameplay meaning you are introduced 'slowly' into the game without annoying near-impossible to do tasks right at the beginning and 3. involving 'events'. It's only the first gameplay bit that goes a bit over the top in my opinion because she gives you two levels to get into the game Midgard (extremely linear gameplay that goes on too long but with one brilliant flip-map application and I mean of course the pop-corn machine and not very attractive combinations of textures) and In the Villa (nice settings but that's it). But then you enter the deeper icy regions and here the game starts off really good. Very beautiful settings with texture combinations in which light blue takes the main part mingled with darker colors. Most enemies nicely retextured: beautiful red (!) bats Viking dudes (!) retextured demi-gods etc... Usually I get bored when entering those big rooms with pillars but I have to admit that the choice of textures made me start the jumps immediately and the tasks Monica put in where so diverse (hanging-shimmying-jumping-shooting balls-...) it looked like going through a fairground ride. There's very memorable actions to perform (collapsing bridge with nice side-ways camera shot in Rise of the beasts) here and there mixed with nice little events (the four 'walking' fires putting on fire a pedestal). The atmospheric music for the three last levels was very well chosen and always making you aware something might happen. The introduction to the hurdle of wolves in the last level for instance was rather scary: always fun when that happens. Here and there some things do go wrong (one time going THROUGH a grated texture; room with four timed doors and two lion heads made me get stuck after shooting the two lions because the crucial bigger door did not open). All in all however a must-play level series and I hope Monika will keep her promise mentioned in the end credits..." - bERT (14-Sep-2003)
"Midgard (9/9/8/8 50 min. 1 secret): A slow but enjoyable start to the series in a rat infested city environment with many rather small almost cramped rooms and areas to explore. A few baddies and dogs cross your way and gameplay is quite easy and fast moving but I did enjoy the clever use of the revolver with lasersight throughout. Three keys a fuse and a coin are needed for progression you get to go underground a bit in between and the double door allowing you to reach different areas was nice as was of course the 'Popcorn-Moment'. The side adventure for the secret was also fun. In the Villa (7/8/8/9 20 min. 1 secret): I was well prepared to run around this mansion forever not finding what I need to do but I guess I was just lucky and seemed to always do the right thing at the right time and it was over quickly. The overall interior of the mansion is nicely put together the changing painting a nice idea and the snow outside the windows helped convey a nice and cosy atmosphere. Two keys and a gem to find and use and not a lot to do otherwise. Hel The Rise of the Beasts (9/9/10/10 50 min.): Now we're talking! Dropping into a cave this now turns into a whole different ballgame. The architecture and settings conceptually borrow a bit from AoD and also some of the AoD music is added and it works really well. Some of the views you get here are truly spectacular. Apart from that the gameplay picks up as well: jumps become more tricky spikes blades boulders burners and collapsible tiles make Lara's life more difficult but not annoyingly so. There are also stronger enemies around: giant spiders a harpy dogs bats and ahmet mosquitoes and devilish demigods (well done). The sequence before lighting the torch is a great moment. Asgard (9/9/10/10 50 min. 1 secret): The series nicely keeps the pace going. Great effect with the cobwebs near the start here and some decent jumping in the beginning. Maybe a few too many levers throughout this part where you need to find and use four keys but a neat movable block puzzle for a secret some inventive timed sequences and an overall very clever course make more than up for it. Slicer Dicers in and out of water more giant spiders the little white guys bats and very cool Vikings (tinmen) are your troubles here. Fenrir's Shelter (9/9/10/10 50 min.): Back in the snow you enter a Castle and yet again face a cleverly constructed course for two keys two stars a gem and two cartouche pieces. The demi ice gods are hilarious and on top of them you get to battle small spiders ahmets many dogs and bats. The texturing and lighting here is awesome and the icy caves really spectacularly lit. There is an underwater mirror room a few objects to push around raising blocks to help you move on and the corkscrews always get the adrenalin going. I seemed to have a small bug with two of the flybys not happening but it did not hinder gameplay at all. All in all this is a fabulous and very involving series of levels and the promise of a sequel makes it even better. While the last three levels could easily stand their own ground the first two only work well for me as part of the package. Great and classic TR entertainment - definitely one not to miss." - Michael (14-Sep-2003)
"Lots of praise for Monika. Those five levels were really exciting definitely one of the best and I am looking forward to the sequel. The levels themselves were fantastically designed mainly warm colours used and ingenious graphics. Puzzles were not difficult but well done - it all fit together very well. Lara needs to find many keys pull levers pick up gems and stars to progress further. Enemies were sometimes modified which I liked very much. The tension is up from beginning to end. Three secrets to find which my Lara managed to pick up. There is a lot of diversity traps and timed doors but it can all be well managed. Sound and cameras were suitably added although at times the sound ended a bit sudden. Everything very much in harmony. I also liked the different settings in the levels (Villa Cave Temple City). The atmosphere was great. I can only recommend those levels to everybody. Ingenious :) and suitable for every player. Highly recommended!" - Navi (13-Sep-2003)
"Well here's a very interesting game which brings us in touch with the Nordic mythologies. Furthermore it does so without ever making us feel like idiots - the gameplay is very straightforward (without because of that becoming simplistic) and I only got just a little stuck once or twice maybe more out of laziness than of any special difficulty degree. One of those times for example it was because I hadn't seen an underwater lever that was immersed in fog. Walhalla starts out by being fairly easy in Midgard and then slowly develops into harder ambiances and tasks. Some timed runs not too hard at all. Some things that seem impossible only until you find out the simple thing to do. Some very interesting puzzles - the building with four rooms in the last level for instance. A nice variety of enemies including very many red-eyed dogs as the end nears unqualifiable monsters as in The Last Revelation and the water puzzles along with several custom levels hateful giant spiders (oh how I hated them! But I eventually ended up blasting them to pieces with my faithful grenade gun) some demigods of the icy kind and Vikings themselves. And great sceneries which add to the pleasure of playing. I only found one secret the first which seemed very obvious. The second I think I did take several underwater glances at it but didn't find how to reach it. And the third well it must have been somewhere... secret. All in all this is a very good game which I feel I must vividly recommend both to beginners willing to try their luck and to experts who may be feeling tired after some very tough game of the kind that makes you sweat all the way. No sweat here really but the ambiance is very good and even heavy if you're playing 'Hel - The Rise of Beasts' late at night (that definitively is the finest hour of day to play that particular level). One thing though I thought the end of the game could have been better with some animation of some kind even the more than usual escape with the helicopter - Lara could have escaped aboard some mythical Walhalla bird! Then there was the promise of a continuation (looking forward) and then the screen went black even though I could hear the sounds of bells in the distance as in the first level. Well that wasn't really a problem. I loved the game and from here I send my congratulations to Monika for her innovative Walhalla!" - Jorge22 (10-Sep-2003)
"I am a big fan of Monika so I was very pleased to download this mini game. I played parts of the first two levels at the TR meeting together with Ian and Matthias but the end result is so much bigger and better. The atmosphere is superb the added sounds are great to hear throughout the game and the textures are eye candy. Loved the look of the Vikings and the re-textured demi gods. Afterwards a lot of little things stayed with me like the way Lara walked through the spider webs hanging from a ceiling how the rats died after being shot the giant spider stalking Lara when she monkey climbed that web. The snow outside the house the popcorn machine I could go on and on. Also the gameplay was rather fluent with some great jumping and timed runs that were difficult but not frustrated. For me this was Tomb Raiding at its best. The theme was a splendid choice and how Monika puts it all together is so well done you just have to play it to see what I mean. I am eagerly awaiting the following up. Played also another level on the TR meeting and I hope that Monika also will finish that one a different story but so far it looked great as well so how about it? 05-09-2003" - Gerty (10-Sep-2003)
"This is an instant classic...........well deserving of praise. Herein you'll find a bundled-up Lara with boots and earrings ready for the beautifully rendered cold climes she encounters. Monika's unique touch is everywhere: Christmas wreaths in a mansion a mysterious changing portrait falling snow that was so beautiful and well done I stood at the windows and stared at it instead of raiding.........wishing I could go out and 'play' in it. There's a magnificent generous spirit here in all levels that allows you to find a way out of an impossible jump (that is impossible) or a difficult situation with a smile when you realize the solution. As I understand it there is a two-fold reason to review levels -1) to inform any future players what lies in store for them good and bad and 2) to offer the builder constructive criticism to better any future levels. I can't think of any way this could have been better. Which is why it rated a 10 from me in all categories. Well done Monika." - Bene (09-Sep-2003)
"Nooooo is this the end!?! That was my first thought when the levels did end. But Monika promises a follow up in the aftertext! For the first time Lara comes to Sweden and about time too I think! She gets to visit places from the past such as Asgrd and Fenrir's shelter but also the present in Midgrd and In the Villa. In other words a lot of different surroundings and sometimes with a little twist or humoristic touch (just one word - popcorn!). The atmosphere and especially the music is great! The gameplay is pretty easy straight forward and very much enjoying but I would have liked a little more puzzling. Anyway - I'm really looking forward to the sequel!" - G.Croft (08-Sep-2003)
"I don't know what we do to deserve it but these authors keep rewarding us with some really great mini games. With this one Monika has given us a series of five really beautifully designed and architecturally built levels set firstly in the streets of a Swedish town where Lara must enter a villa where she will eventually find a secret entrance to a cavern and onto a Viking ice palace. Sometimes levels in these mini game scenarios can be a little too tricky for their own good and sometimes way too easy but Monika has pretty much found the right middle ground here if you do find yourself stuck though it will most likely be that you have overlooked something to shoot this is no more obvious than in the second level which takes place in the villa where a soulfully dark painting with a shooting element does a quick change on you without barely a hint of the fact unless you are very observant. All these levels have a nice exploring feel and it takes till the fourth level to get some what we'd call real puzzling with a fairly large movable block puzzle and loads of timed runs some with a shooting element and some with raising blocks but although the first levels don't really have 'puzzles' they are still just so fun and keep you very occupied. With a combined total of 3 and a half hours the only slight disappointment for me was that there were only three secrets in the whole game though really nicely placed letting the player see them before attaining them in the first second and fourth level and of course I would have loved a few more especially as the levels that didn't have any were quite vast and had so many places to have slipped some. Oh well you can't have it all but what you can have is a really fantastic time so go play enjoy!" - Sash (07-Sep-2003)
"Miss Kroft has crafted a wonderful adventure here which could suit everyone! It's not too difficult so perfect for every player but gets tougher and tougher by level so allows you to improve your skills and face new challenges. Midgard - Might sound like a name of the city where this level takes place but if you know a bit of the Scandinavian mythology you'll know that Midgard was the realm where humans live - so suits this part of the game rather well :). But now to the level itself - it's fairly easy but some tasks like buying some popcorn (a really funny and clever task liked how this allowed you to move on) are very inventive. There could have been some harmony between the textures as some didn't look so great together but that's a matter of taste. In the Villa - A rather short level compared to the previous one but quite fun and inventive as well. The mansion is textured very nicely and the snow effect out of the windows is rather nice. The shootable gratings on the floor had me confused for a while that is till I found out they were shootable. An inventive event in here is the 'change' in the painting after you place the jewel - but I had to run around the mansion a lot till I finally noticed it. Overall - not much to do till you finally exit to the next level through the bath but fun while it lasts. Hel the Rise of the Beasts - Now this is where some serious action starts - you hear some background music (as well as some atmospheric music further in the game for special events) from AoD and explore cave and some sort of a stronghold areas with the main structure being a bridge and the cave around it. In here you're awaited by spiders (small and big) harpies and a few demigods with horns and the battles with them are always challenging and keep Lara moving. Your main quest here is to get to the realm of gods (Asgard) and to do so you'll search for the torch thorough the level by mastering some challenging jumps combined with shooting objects run across collapsing bridges (great and memorable music and camera use here!) and search for keys so you can ignite your torch. The room with the high pillars was fun too. Asgard - The realm of gods as I said - and my favorite level in Walhalla! The textures here are different from the other levels and you really think you've entered some special place that everybody can't just enter. This level is actually filled with smaller and bigger timed runs especially the room with the 2 timed switch sequences comes to mind cause it is rather clever. The enemies - like the Ireland Imps from TRC and the Viking warriors that roam around here make this a different experience as well. There was one room that pretty much reminded me of an original area in the original Temple of Karnak but had its own unique tasks. A memorable experience here are the spike platforms - you have to be very wary to understand what your task is there - I liked it very much. Fenrir's Shelter - you can expect a lot of wolves in this level as after the legend - Fenrir is a large mean wolf. The moment when you hear them howl is very impressive. The environments are icy and reminded me a bit of TR1 but yet have their own special look. The tasks here are just as fun as in the previous levels but not as hard as in Asgard maybe. Your main goal is to get the stonebadge's parts and unite them to end the level. The end came abruptly but as the fly-by showed the game will be continued so I am eagerly awaiting the next offering from Monika! Overall - fun classical levels for everyone - if you had doubts if it's worth the download or not hesitate no more and do it!" - eTux (06-Sep-2003)
"Beautiful level-pach by Miss Croft. Thousands colorful views case that you often stay and admire them for some minutes. About half of the textures in the level are new and also many are modified. Some new and 'old' (from TR2) enemies. The gameplay is very good. With nice music (also with TAOD) the atmosphere is enjoyable. Lighting is well done and especially big ice caves with fog effect fascinated me a lot. Almost every puzzle is long and a bit difficult so you sometimes spend on resolving some hard minutes. I can write many more about this level-pack but I think I give you short condensate review. Broadly speaking you must try it!" - Pedros (06-Sep-2003)
"A new offering from Monika is always a cue to drop everything else and play, play, play. This time she really is spoiling us with a five parter. The game begins with a superb cut scene of Jean Yves writing a letter to Lara (a translation of which has thoughtfully been included in the author's readme for the non-German speakers. Midgard: I do love the audio files from the Rome levels, with the dogs barking and the bells ringing in the background. In this part, you can have a lot of fun exploring houses, jumping from balconies, shooting out windows (I always enjoy that) and collecting various items along the way. Enemies are thugs, dogs and rats. Revolver, shotgun and uzis are provided quite early on and you will need the laser sight to shoot swinging balls. After a nice bounce about on the overhead canopies, you find a key to gain access to the next level. One secret found. In the Villa: This is a magnificent Venetian mansion, with Christmas decorations in the hall and outside it's snowing. How lovely. You need to find the crowbar, bronze key, silver key and a blue gem. The end of this part, with the changing painting, is a very novel idea indeed. One secret found. Hel the Rise of Beasts: Oops, the decor just became a lot more sinister. No more opulent Venetian palaces, we've found the underground cavern Jean Yves mentioned in his letter. The music is well chosen - dramatic and mournful to accord with the dark and spooky atmosphere. Make your way deep into the bowels of the earth, over columns, spike traps, blades, avoiding falling stalactites, harpies, dogs and (AAAAAAAAAAAAAH) giant spiders, which I blew apart with the grenade gun because I HATE spiders. There are hell hounds and devils (cleverly re-textured demigods) to fight and the whole setting is marvellously well done. I particularly liked the camera angle and dramatic music as Lara ran across the collapsing bridge. After finding and lighting a torch, you can open the gates to the next level. No secrets found. Asgard: From the halls of hell to the home of the gods, my word this girl does get around. The gods seem to be on holiday and the standard of housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired - cobwebs everywhere. No wonder it's the twilight of the gods, the windows must be filthy. The way the cobwebs break as Lara runs through them is a nice touch and there's a fun lever/door/shooting sequence to give you some exercise here. Enemies are (shudder) more giant spiders, those weird little white homunculi from Black Isle and chaps in horned helmets with huge battleaxes (possibly the staff). You need to find two golden stars and two keys to open the large doors in the water hall and fight your way to the next level. One secret found. Fenrir's Shelter: More wonderful atmospheric music - discordant and unsettling. This icy stronghold is very beautiful, with plenty of interesting tasks to accomplish. Enemies are more re-textured demigods and packs of wolves (but thankfully not Fenrir). No secret found. I enjoyed every single second of this fabulous set of levels and was really sorry to finish. The good news is that the series is to continue. Hoorah. Monika is one of my favourite level builders. She never looses sight of the fact that the most important thing a level should be is FUN. 06.09.2003" - Jay (06-Sep-2003)
"Seems there's no end to Monika's brilliance when it comes to level building truly a top class set of five levels that you'll want to play again and again. With a mixture of areas to visit each one has it's own unique qualities. The rooms of The Villa were amongst the most beautiful ever seen the snow is falling outside and it's wonderful in there. In the streets to start with the bells are chiming and snow is on the ground the popcorn machine part was great fun to do. In the hel area the beasts were amazing and later on the demigods looked awesome in their blue outfits. I have wrapped the whole game up because I'd be here all day if I tried to put into words the greatness of these levels one by one plus I don't like to give too much away in reviews but all were truly magnificent and my score says it all for all levels throughout. The gameplay is top class each level has it's sounds music and flybys all of which were helpful and wonderfully done. Tricks traps and puzzles were abundant plus the revolver's use throughout with the many ball shoots was great. There's some fab jumps to make too on the quest to find many items to move on. Enemies included bats dogs wolves guards thugs demigods devils ice creatures spiders and a few flying bugs. Rooms are all first class when it comes to textures and atmosphere is stunning. If you don't play these levels you will have lost out big time so I can't stress enough how wonderful they are and a must play for any Raider. Monika you are just brilliant thank you!" - Moonpooka (06-Sep-2003)
"Monika do it again with wonderful atmosphere and great gameplay you enjoy from good levels thanks Monika." - Yoav (06-Sep-2003)
"Yet another extraordinary game from Monika that will keep you busy for more than three hours. I thought it couldn't get any better after my favourite levels 'Ynys Witrin' but it just did. Lara will visit various places including a mansion but different from the usual snowy caves city streets. Also get through traps such as spikes fire plus perform jumps having to shoot something quickly at times before the spikes get her timed runs and a number of things throughout these five levels. The enemies are dogs guards rats ice creatures small and big spiders inside caves. I liked all the levels the same all the puzzles were challenging you will never get bored or frustrating. With one exception which was my fault actually not being careful enough I never got stuck they are all so fluent and with hints to help you. The introduction scene with the voice that was supposed to be Jeanne Yves reading his letter to Lara was impressive. The entire game is 'dressed' with music including custom sounds. I liked having to complete a task to get an item for example a star or a key nothing is lying on Lara's feet every part is small adventure. The enemies with the horn helmets in the 'Asgard' part looked perfect. Monika never seems to run out of ideas and that makes us lucky because from time to time we get to play wonderful levels like this. I hope her and a few others I have in mind will always be there to give us hours of fun and be sure we all appreciate your hard work. In my book this is one set of levels that deserves not ten but eleven. I found three secrets and I don't need to say that I recommend this I am sure you guessed that by now." - Kristina (05-Sep-2003)