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The Witch Castle (Das Hexenschloss) by Mikel

Bene 7 7 8 7
bERT 4 4 4 4
Blue43 3 5 3 4
CC 3 4 4 6
Duncan 3 4 3 3
eTux 2 4 5 4
G.Croft 4 5 4 5
Gerty 3 5 6 5
Jay 4 5 6 6
Jose 4 5 6 6
Kristina 4 5 5 5
Lady Lara 6 6 6 5
Magnus 3 3 3 3
MichaelP 4 5 6 6
Moonpooka 7 7 8 9
Mulf 3 3 4 3
Navi 4 5 5 7
Obig 4 4 5 5
Orbit Dream 3 6 6 6
Oxy 2 3 2 3
RaiderGirl 4 6 7 6
Ryan 3 4 5 5
Sash 2 5 4 5
Treeble 3 3 3 3
Whistle 4 4 5 5
release date: 30-Sep-2003
# of downloads: 38

average rating: 4.59
review count: 25
review this level

file size: 17.20 MB
file type: TR4
class: Mystery/Horror

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This was over before it even began, really. Other than the very first room, with what I suspect might have been an attempt at a witch's face drawing, it was actually somewhat spooky, with lots of zombies and skeletons, but ultimately it was hardly a level. You get textures from quite a lot of different themes as well, so atmosphere wise it never feels like it could by anything (much less a castle) other than a string of hallways. 10 minutes. 11/20" - Treeble (29-Nov-2020)
"This level was apparently released within the same month as this builder’s debut, but it received a somewhat warmer welcome; presumably because it gives the impression that a little more is happening here than in its predecessor, but this may be merely the effect of the presence of enemies that you can’t kill (at least until near the end of the level, that is to say, ten minutes in), and this level is in fact worse as far as I’m concerned, because whereas the builder’s debut had at least some sort of structure, this level is graced with no such thing: it is a random collection of rooms that bears no similarity to a castle (or any other location, for that matter; the builder’s reasons for using predominantly Egyptian textures remain elusive), the eponymous witch is present only in effigie (a cartoonish Halloween pumpkin face), and there’s no continuity in the gameplay: it ends quite arbitrarily when you pick up another puzzle item after passing through a trial-and-error procedure featuring unmarked spike tiles. Enemies are ineffective because confined to their designated rooms, or slow, or both (I found out that Lara is quicker than both the mummies and the Knight Templar even when crawling); the most serious health drain takes the form of locust swarms (triggered twice at random points). The few traps fare marginally better. There are no puzzles; what you get instead are failed attempts at obfuscation (which are as contrived as they are transparent: several standard pickups have been renamed to so many variations of the phrase ‘I wonder what that might be’, while the crowbar is pointlessly presented as ‘a silver cable’). There is a pointless flyby to a jeep in the only outside room (which you can’t enter); but another flyby, triggered after you pry a Golden Star (’a ?’) off the wall, may be the best thing about the level, as it managed to briefly pique my interest. The rest is occasionally irritating and otherwise unremarkable." - Mulf (25-Nov-2019)
"Very dark this level, but where are the flares? No much work here, only look for a crowbar, a trident, a star and some keys, being chased by skeletons, zombies and a knight; the only enemies you can kill are the bats. There is an effort to create a creepy ambience, but the witch never appeared. The rooms are small and as far as I could see between the darkness, they are well textured. Correct use of cameras and sounds. Enjoyable." - Jose (25-Jan-2018)
"Not a lot happening in this short tidbit, although the idea was a good one. Pick up a trident and a golden star, shoot bats and zombies, use a couple of keys, avoid easy traps and it's over. The atmosphere was nice, but the significance of the Jeep flyby seemed unclear to me. Maybe there's more to come?." - Ryan (04-Nov-2016)
"This is a really strange and rather short level, which can be finished easily under 10 minutes. Game play is limited to avoiding zombies and skeletons (until one finds the grenade launcher), a little ladder climbing and finding a few items. There are also several locust swarms and a slow moving knight (the boss?) who cannot be killed. It is not really a castle level as the title announces, just a series of connected rooms, which are hard to categorize. Textures and lighting look decent except the very first room with a odd wall texturing that looks like a clown face. I think it could be recommended if one looks for something really simple and quick." - Blue43 (22-Oct-2010)
"I can only echo what all the other reviewers have said about this feeling more like a demo than a finished level. When it ended after just over five minutes, I didn't feel like I had accomplished anything in particular. I spent most of those five minutes running from room to room picking up keys that were rarely more than twenty seconds apart. Most of the enemies are easily avoided (the first skeletons you come across can't even leave the room they're in) and there's really only one place in the entire level where they pose a threat. Other than a couple of traps, there's really nothing else to the gameplay. The texturing fares slightly better, but only just. The textures are mostly applied correctly, but all of the rooms are small and they're all textured pretty much the same. There are a couple of exceptions, of course, but none that really stands out. The texturing is let down further by the mostly non-existent lighting, which gives every room a flat and dull look, and the level is just dark enough for it to be distracting. On a more positive note, everything seems to work the way the author intended and the level certainly shows potential. It's just a bit too unambitious and simple for its own good." - Magnus (08-Aug-2009)
"This is scary castle (only a few rooms) with skeletons, bats, zombies, locusts and Knight Templar. I liked the silver key placed on high pedestal. It looked very nice. This level made me nervous, I didn't enjoyed very much. I found crowbar with help from walkthrough, killed two skeletons and all zombies, Knight Templar is still there and one door was left unopened, guarded by spikes." - Oxy (03-Nov-2008)
"Well I obviously liked this much better than most. Yes it was short but the atmosphere was appropriate and I liked the game play aspects. So I rate a smaller level with better game play higher than a larger level which has very little game play. I really liked the realistic zombies - I'd never seen them before. I agree that some of the textures were 'hokey' but nonetheless they showed originality (the crude paintshop clown). Loved her outfit and really liked the suspense of wondering which tiles were spiked near the end. Actually not using the gold key the first time around actually made it more enjoyable for me - that put me in the room with the zombies and the knight in pitch darkness. Of course I died. Second time through I used that first key and found the grenade gun. I felt like Lara when she found that jacket in TR2 (or was it TR3) - you know she climbs into the plane and finds a warm aviator jacket. The grin of absolute triumph. Major disappointment was not being able to get to the jeep. Was this a bug - did the level end too early (it crashed when she picked up the vraeus)? The worst texture was the lava pit - pure even bright red - very amateur." - Lady Lara (27-Dec-2003)
"Witches? A rather short level which to me should be a demo for a much larger level. I enjoyed the few minutes we get but the end was sudden and at first it seemed the level crashed but it was the end at picking up the Vray. Enemies are the zombies a scratchy sword knight and a variation on locusts. A dark atmospheric level with good use of light and some pitch black areas. Have to downgrade because of length but good promise shown for future development." - Whistle (20-Nov-2003)
"I really enjoy original levels like these because it's fun to see all the wild things that people can come up with if they use their imaginations. The level itself was a little too short at ten minutes and pretty simple if you find the good weapon but Lara's outfit is great and the atmosphere has a nice creepy feel to it. No treats here but I found plenty of tricks." - RaiderGirl (29-Oct-2003)
"Bit of an oddity this one. Ten minutes in quite a nice spooky atmosphere with a key or two a gold star and a trident to find hampered by bats skeletons zombies and one lonely crumbly crusader. You do find a grenade gun to take revenge on the skellies etc. but there isn't much else to do really. Once you find the vraeus the game ends. 18.10.2003" - Jay (18-Oct-2003)
"I loved the short level. It was full of atmosphere and quite creepy. The rooms looked fab and the gameplay although easy still had me loving every minute of it. Lots of fire and sinister surroundings which really did come off very well for this spooky castle type level. Collect the trident a star crowbar two keys and grenade gun it's all you'll really need to fight the enemies but with a marked lack of health packs you do need to take care. Some spikes and boulders to deal with but not much in the way of real harrowing danger. Enemies are knights zombies locusts and a few old bats and although named the witch castle I didn't meet her which would have been a great addition or did I miss her maybe? An abrupt kind of ending which never goes down too well with me but Lara finds what she came for. Would like to see a longer version and certainly would like to see the use of these sort of textures more! Spooky sinister levels will always get a thumbs up from me!" - Moonpooka (12-Oct-2003)
"This is a good but short level. Perhaps this is a demo version. But I am waiting for the complete level because I like it. You have to collect the Crowbar the Spearhead the Golden Star 2 Keys and finally the Golden Vraeus. The levels ends here. The added sounds and the textures are great. The enemies are bats skeletons and zombies." - Obig (09-Oct-2003)
"Season's Greetings I guess as Helloween is just around the corner and a short greeting at that with about 10 minutes of playtime max. Trident crowbar star two keys and a vraeus to pick up in quick succession. It has all the ingredients of a spooky level with undead enemies skeletons bats pesky flies and a knight and also some good textures but somehow it is just mainly dark and not spooky at all. Some fun moments though with the (German) sound files and script changes. Visit the castle for a quick smile." - Michael (06-Oct-2003)
"This is a very short level which I thought was a pity as it does have a certain something. That face you had to climb into reminded me of Ouchy the Clown (yuck). Finding a trident a crowbar to pry away that star and some keys that is it. The level end when you pick up that Vraeus. Those zombies still gives me a scare especially after they come to life. Those two swarms of flies (?) was very well done. So keep building as there is potential here. 01-10-2003" - Gerty (05-Oct-2003)
"An enjoyable little slice of Gothic this. It almost verges on being a joke level but includes a quick stab (somewhat literally) at gameplay in the 10-15 minutes it should take you. A few unanswered questions remain at the end (namely 'is that it?' and 'what about that Jeep I saw earlier?) but it's good for a ghoulish chuckle or two." - Orbit Dream (03-Oct-2003)
"This was a quick one ;). Needed to get used to that Witch Castle first but before the adventure really started it was already over. Not much more to say. Lara finds two keys a star and a vraeus at the end and that's it. A bit short. Maybe it was only a beginning? Graphics - well colourful at the start but better later on. Enemies are mummies skeletons and bats. Lara finds the grenade gun and has good use for it too. See for yourself." - Navi (03-Oct-2003)
"Well this should be classified as a demo perhaps as it seems there is much more to do. Lara has blackened eyes and seems to be wearing a red camouflage outfit with black boots. It's a dark level befitting a witch's abode but for me the textures were (sometimes) a bit harsh. There's a Trident Star and crowbar to find and plenty of bloody undead running around..........and SPIKES for the unwary. Once you find the entrance to the rest of the level there's a sort of 'Fun-House' witch cackle.........although during this short (10 minutes?) gameplay no witch appears. Might be nice for a Halloween gathering of fellow Raiders. I liked it but I seem to be in the minority." - Bene (03-Oct-2003)
"I thought this one was going to be good with the wacky starting scene and having to climb in the mouth of the cartoon witch. But then it was run around in a dungeon with skeletons and zombies... Gameplay and textures are not very consistent. Clearly the author is just beginning to learn how to do this stuff and should carry on regardless." - Duncan (03-Oct-2003)
"There's a LOT of enemies in this mega short level. 9 minutes to the end. Bats skeletons zombies bee swarms and an undead knight. No witch in sight! The level starts in a room with a scary freaky clown face that you have to get into. Then there are more enemies than rooms I think. Find a trident the crowbar a star and a couple of keys. Finally there is a vreaus to pick up and the level abruptly ends...there is a closed door (and a glimpse of a car) that makes me wonder if there shouldn't be more?!" - G.Croft (02-Oct-2003)
"The level is quite dark and lasted fifteen minutes tops. Lara will find a star two keys and a vraeus but I only used the star and one key. The skeletons bats a knight and zombies will be on Lara's tail until she reaches the final room with the spikes. The door remained closed for me and the level ended while picking up the vraeus. Not a very satisfying level but since this is a new builder and this level along with his first are the first tries I am guessing the gameplay will improve." - Kristina (02-Oct-2003)
"A short 9 minute level which takes place in a wicked castle where Celtic textures mix with Egyptian and some custom drawn of the author. The painting in the first room was supposed to be the witch I presume figuring out that you have to climb in her mouth was a bit sneaky but since there's no other way to go on what would you do? Overall the level doesn't challenge you much but I liked how the names of most of the puzzle items told the story - for example the silver key moment - you pick it up and in the inventory it is named 'That's great but...' and that pretty well fits the situation as the Templar knight is coming out of his coffin and the few zombies there rise from their 'unrest'. The last part where the spikes popped out without a real indication was a no-no but since the level ends as soon as you pick up the vraeus it doesn't matter. The download is not overly huge and if you consider that acceptable for 9 minutes of gameplay give this a try as it's not bad really." - eTux (02-Oct-2003)
"This level is obviously intended for Halloween. You slide into a room with a gigantic poster of a pumpkin face with a small flyby and a goulish voice welcoming you to 'Das Hexenschloss'. Took a minute to see I had to climb into the mouth of the poster. After that it's dead guys on the ground that rise to life (or living dead) with each action a dead knight and bats naturally. Very short level. I liked the hall of Poseidons and the tease about the crowbar - took a while in the dark to find the crawlspace. There is one little shock tough! Lara is in a red outfit with chains on it. It would have been really cool to see her in a black dress." - CC (02-Oct-2003)
"Only 9 minutes long but it is quite interesting. You have to find a trident a star 2 keys and a vraeus which when picked up ends the game. You start this journey when you slid into a room with a large colourful face drawn on the wall a face that you would expect a child would have drawn into the mouth of this face you climb. From here you go and find the things I've mentioned meeting along the way some dead guards that come to life zombie style a couple of skeletons that can't leave a small room they are in 2 fly swarms that really looked cool and one sad little templar knight. I was hoping maybe to come across some kind of witch but it wasn't to be. Sure this is as short as they come but it's something to check out and as it's a small download it's not a lot to ask." - Sash (01-Oct-2003)
"Well I guess the witch was not home! Weird little level that you will flick through in about 15 minutes if not less. Begins with a room with a weird texture on one wall (obviously made with Paint I think) after which you go for some crowbar and key searching in mainly dark but not nauseating dark rooms. Crowbar is a tiny bit sneaky hidden but that's about the only minor challenge. Enemy wise it's filled with bats skeletons zombies straight out of Resident Evil nauseating buzzing thingies and those knights with their screaching swords. You take the winged thingy and that's the end. Well here and there there was a bit of tiny black ghoulish atmosphere I have to admit (dark pitch black room with white candles for instance). If anyone happens to see the witch however tell her I couldn't stay for dinner I'm off to another level." - bERT (01-Oct-2003)