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Hanami in Kyoto by Miss Kroft

Aims 10 9 10 10
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
Bogey 8 9 10 9
CC 9 8 10 10
Celli 8 9 10 9
dantheraider 8 9 10 10
Duncan 9 10 10 10
eRIC 9 9 9 9
eTux 8 9 9 8
FX 9 9 10 10
Gerbil 8 8 10 9
Gerty 8 10 9 9
High Priestess 8 7 10 10
jawi 10 9 10 8
Jay 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 9 9 10 9
Jose 8 9 9 9
Josi 10 9 10 10
Kristina 8 9 9 10
LePerk 9 10 9 9
Loupar 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 8 9 10 9
Mman 9 10 9 8
Navi 10 10 10 10
nerdfury 7 10 9 9
Obig 9 9 9 10
Phil 9 9 10 9
QRS 10 10 10 10
Ravenwen 8 8 9 9
Ryan 9 9 10 9
Samu 9 10 9 10
Sash 7 8 10 10
Selene 10 9 10 10
SeniorBlitz 7 8 9 9
Sethian 6 7 7 7
Tortoise3 9 9 10 10
Treeble 7 8 8 8
Yoav 9 8 9 9
release date: 15-Mar-2004
# of downloads: 173

average rating: 9.12
review count: 38
review this level

file size: 51.50 MB
file type: TR4
class: Oriental

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I'm a bit split here. Part of me really enjoyed this levelset, the atmosphere and that je ne sais quoi that Miss Kroft always brought to her levels. On the other hand, I thought it went on for too long, with a lot of unnecessary padding in the form of remote doors. While this style of gameplay is pretty much inexorable to most custom TRLE levels, something with this particular level didn't quite click with me. I quite liked the retextured enemies to fit the theme, although I had a chuckle when I spotted pokémon Venomoth used as butterflies, and I suspect the monkeys had a weird SFX attached to them which made things a bit weird. Still, this kept me engaged for the best part of an afternoon. 80 minutes, 2 secrets. 05/21" - Treeble (09-May-2021)
"(7) Gameplay & Puzzles: This was one of the first TRLEs I ever played and I remember thinking it was the most awesome level ever. A couple of years later, I am replaying it. Although the level is just as aesthetically charming as I recall, the gameplay is actually quite unsubstantial. Sure, it's enjoyable as a chill exploration game. However, there are no real puzzles or thrilling moments, and there's plenty of unnecessary repetition and bloating of tasks. For example, there's a dull pushblock sequence in level 1, but the same concept is repeated in level 2. Why? I also felt like the traps sprinkled here and there required little thought to get past them, so the gameplay essentially boils down to pull a lever in beautiful Oriental room #19, and pickup a key in beautiful Oriental room #25, then return to beautiful Oriental room #4, if that makes sense. I normally don't mind a bit of backtracking in games however the backtracking can get quite unpleasant if you play this game across multiple sessions/days, because the rooms blend in with each other and can get disorientating. (10) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: I just adored the Oriental baddies/objects, and every area, indoors and outdoors, looked meticulously crafted in terms of object decor. I was mildly annoyed by the giant evil butterflies; firstly, they weren't fitting and would be more appropriate in a surreal genre; secondly, I have a strict no-shooting-friendly-monkeys policy and the evil butterflies would spawn right next to the friendly monkeys. It's not a big deal, though. A bit more could have been done with secrets (only 1 per level), but I still think this category deserves top marks. (9) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The architectural design, the way that the builder skillfully connected everything and the overall atmosphere was excellent. I enjoyed the foreshadowing element where I would be able to see rooms, not yet accessible, through wooden panels. I felt that the sound aspect was not so polished. First of all, the TR3 Jungle outdoors ambient loop is fine for outdoor areas but I didn't think it was fitting for indoor exploration. Secondly, although I enjoyed the custom music that the builder included at times, why not go the extra step and play a tense sound cue when a timed run commenced? When pulling a lever and opening a door somewhere, it wasn't clear whether it was a timed run or not. Camera hints are adequate enough, but as mentioned in the gameplay section, the issue is that you can forget where the opening-door-shown-in-the-camera is located, relative to your current position. (9) Lighting & Textures: HoK generally looks wonderful and is well-lit, however, it doesn't quite reach top marks here as I found underwater cracks, some warped textures here and there, and unrealistic lighting usage (some areas have very flat, overly-bright lighting given the available light source). Overall, this is a very attractive game in terms of aesthetics and architectural design, but I think the gameplay is overrated and not particularly engaging. 7/10/9/9." - nerdfury (20-Jan-2021)
"This one dragged way too much for me. The opening flyby is pretty cool, and this is a bit of a different setting for Miss Kroft: Japan. She does a really good job at creating a realistic Japanese environment with the textures and the rather sterile-and-neutral lighting. However, for a builder who has progressed quite far now, and had many releases previously to this, I’m still baffled at all the cracks in the geometry, and the sloppily applied textures on so many surfaces, mainly the natural grassy/muddy/rocky environments. Come on, she can do better by now. At least, for the first time ever, these new textures form a consistency and so it doesn’t look like an amalgamation from Egypt to Atlantis to Rome and beyond like the previous levels.

While these Japanese pagodas, meditative tea rooms, and Shinto shrines feel authentic, the maze-like nature really got to me, and this hampered gameplay significantly. Half the time I was lost trying to remember which one of the identical doors I had just opened by one of the identical switches in one of the many identical rooms. Furthermore, the Kroftian gameplay style is starting to get a bit repetitive now: basically, if you’re ever stuck in a Miss Kroft level, look for an oddly placed jump switch, a shootable swinging pendulum, or in this case even… a shootable wall that looks nearly identical to all the other white walls. Sure, these Japanese buildings are primarily made out of paper, but after a while it gets a bit ridiculous constantly having to find the one white wall you can shoot so Lara can continue onwards. What is also uninspired is how there really are no puzzles anymore… simply: pull a switch, open a door on the far side of the map, go there to pull another switch, open another door, repeat forever and maybe there will be a key in there as well.

The enemies in the first level really got on my nerves. The monkeys make some really strange sounds, and what is worse is that if you try to get rid of them, they all infinitely respawn. So, you’re forced to just leave them alive since they’re friendly anyway, but then you have to listen to their ridiculous moans. Getting attacked by deadly pink butterflies (the kitsch returns!) was also irritating, especially since the noises they make sound as if someone is suffering from a major case of flatulence. In the second level, the enemies finally get good – sure, just Baddy1 and Baddy2, but made to look like Japanese Ronin, so they fit the environment nicely. It was especially funny when one was hidden inside a giant vase that I shot. What is strange though are these frozen Geishas that sit in submissive silence, smiling at their tea ceremony, as Lara runs around these rooms shooting walls, vases, and the men tasked to take care of these women. Then again, it does all seem to lead up to you releasing that hovering Geisha who opens a room for you so you can get another key to use somewhere far away. Perhaps these Geisha’s are all helpless prisoners and you are here to emancipate them? At least, in the end, Lara gets the longest katana sword in the world, and leaves triumphantly, no doubt leaving the static Geishas to form a matriarchy and take care of themselves." - Sethian (17-Oct-2020)
"You begin with a flyby that shows just how visually pleasing this Oriental game looks, and that impression remains with you throughout the time you spend here. The Japanese buildings and pagodas are beautifully constructed and the added sound files are a big plus, and it's definitely worth listening to them. I did hate having to shoot those butterflies, but they were attacking Lara first, so I did what I had to do. There's also monkeys dotted around that you can shoot or not, as it won't make much difference. The gameplay is actually pretty linear and straightforward, but it keeps the interest going with a few traps, timed runs and a couple switch and block puzzles. The objects do their job well and the secret in each level are fairly well hidden. A worthwhile play if you search for an entertaining Oriental adventure." - Ryan (01-Jul-2018)
"An earlier level but not to be dismissed. Beautiful, Oriental environment with a few non-interactive Geishas. The Baracudas were harmless and not too many taxing puzzles/enemies. The timed runs may have been hard for Raiders when the games were new but they are very simple for the now, mostly seasoned Raider. Took about 40 minutes but a few saves for the sword ladder." - High Priestess (31-Mar-2018)
"This level must’ve been very innovative for its time, while the majority of the puzzles are very linear, they’re very fun to do, the house have a lot of traps and enemies to deal with while you explore a beautiful garden, full of a variety of plants and very colorful textures, there are even monkeys (that have a weird sound effect for some reason) for you to interact with, there are a lot of unique rooms full of decoration (sadly this doesn’t apply to all rooms since some look kind of under decorated) and some trick and well hidden cobber balls for you to shoot with your crossbow, the secrets are also pretty easy to find all things considered. This is a very pleasant ride recommend to all riders who wants a good oriental setting with vibrant rooms and some challenging (but not too difficult) puzzles." - SeniorBlitz (04-Nov-2017)
"This is a two levelset very nice to play and very pleasant to the eye, with an oriental environment. No hard tasks except some jumps over blades and some traps (and the timed run to get the gem), the remaining gameplay consists in find keys to open doors and pull switches; you can only get stucked if you miss a hidden brass ball or if you can't remember where you left a closed door in the labyrinth of rooms and buildings. As usual, another good work from this author." - Jose (24-Jul-2012)
"This time Lara visit Japan to found a Katana. I really like the story and the quest item is really original. The audio are also great and the many textures too. Like the others levels of Miss Kroft, this adventure is not too hard and not too easy and perfect for the beginners. For me, another beautiful level of Miss Kroft. The different pagodas are also very well built and the choise of the horizon is a very good idea. Thanks you Miss Kroft for this adventure. BigFoot" - BigFoot (26-Nov-2011)
"A two level China-themed adventure. The visuals are very good, with some great looking Chinese buildings and forest/garden type areas between them. All the objects and enemies fit very well, and there are a lot of cool details provided by the objects, along with fitting enemies. The lighting is the weakest point, it's mostly good but is quite flat at times, although there are also some creative uses of it; such as the way trap-based areas have gloomier lighting than "safe" ones.
The gameplay flows very well, with a good mix of exploration, traps and puzzles, as long as you keep an eye out it's not that tough and makes a good, relatively sedate experience. There's a couple of areas with bit too much backtracking but beyond that there are no real downsides, although it perhaps lacks some more standout sequences too. This is an essential Chinese adventure." - Mman (16-May-2010)
"A great adventure that immerses us in Japan (the country of anti-stress xD), it is really spread out at the scenery and baboons that explode, so I love that I have 100 screens:), the traps, enemies are well positioned (despite just a trap that I find misplaced) So I found the perfect adventure for thrill seekers" - FX (19-Feb-2010)
"What a great custom! You can feel almost like in Japan. I don’t want to describe all levels. I just had fun with it. Gameplay is brilliant, I can’t say more about it. This level has very good atmosphere. Some objects are from TR2 and I like it. Unfortunately, there are some stretched textures. Beautiful ending will stay long in my memory. Well done, Miss Kroft!" - jawi (01-Jan-2009)
"A very pleasant double level by Miss Kroft , it was certainly the best Oriental level at that time texturing wise, as there were many new textures to decorate the Japanese rooms. Many details and suitable objects have also been used to ornate the rooms in a pleasant and realistic way. There is a good alternance between inside and outside areas. The lighting is also a big plus in these levels as it is far from being dark. The gameplay is quite entertaining , the puzzles rather varied, and some of the traps will have to make you think. Good stuff in all categories, the two secrets were not too hard to find but gave satisfaction to the player as well. The only minor annoyance was the too great number of shatterable chests. A good and quite recommended adventure to play." - eRIC (07-Jun-2008)
"Another custom masterpiece! Although Hanami in Kyoto does not rely on complicated gameplay and elaborate puzzles (which are rather simple and linear), it offers a smooth and ENJOYABLE game experience, mainly thanks to the breathtaking scenery. I am personaly very fond of the Japanese culture and I was surprised to find out how "real" and believable this couple of levels is. All the objects fit their places perfetcly and together they create a magnificent environment. In addition, the music is utmost pleasing. More Japanese levels like that! - that's my query. :-)" - Gerbil (25-Apr-2007)
"Monica has done again great work. This time Lara must find the sword stolen by gangsters who are keeping it in Japan. Environment looks great including nice textures and objects. I like also the musics and atmosphere. Gameplay is well balanced and solving puzzles is really fun. Still there are some little things which should be done better that I could give full points but however this is one of my favorite levels and I really recommend this." - Samu (24-Mar-2006)
"Miss Kroft is one of my favourite builders and in "Hanami in Kyoto" she once again shows me why I adore her levels. In the two parts of this level Lara visits Japan searching for a stolen Katana. The surroundings are stunningly beautiful, with cherry blossom trees, lovely and green gardens and some incredibly gorgeous Japanese buildings and pagodas. The Japanese pictures and ornaments decorating the walls and the geishas sitting around the houses add everything to the atmosphere. As for that part I can only say that it is almost like being in Japan. Every little detail makes it almost an emotional journey, which is a true pleasure on the eye. The music was my favourite part in overall, it is oriental and with lots of drums and fits into the level like a hand in a glove.Too often I find that the level builders are not always good at selecting proper music or any music at all for their levels, but Miss Kroft never fails at this. The puzzles were not the hardest, but very well suited for a level of this kind. They consisted mostly of finding levers, switches and buttons to open doors and gates and cause various things to happen, such as having a basin filled with water. Also the player must find three Zen Stones and some keys to place them in receptacles and keyholes in order to open doors and raise blocks and advance further in the level as well as dodging abundant traps. The enemies were also very suitable for the level and were made up by butterflies, rats, white-clad thugs with baseball bats and samurais with swords and guns. Although not many of them, they were there in all the right places. The monkeys were friendly, but could easily become enemies by Lara shooting at them, which in many cases could be very difficult to avoid. The level in general was a beautiful adventure. I'm mighty impressed and look forward to seeing more of Miss Kroft's levels in the future. A definete must for anyone, especially those who think that surroundings, atmosphere and music are as important as the gameplay itself. Very well suited for everyone, from beginners (although some of the traps are really tricky and could pose as problems to the inexperienced raider) to more advanced players." - Selene (07-Feb-2006)
"This is a ver interesting 2 set of level, but I enjoyed it. I loved everything about it, the music, everything. This is a wonderful set of levels, and I would download it right away if I were you. This is great." - dantheraider (29-Dec-2005)
"This is the second time I play this beautiful level and I must say that I liked it even more this time! I had to replay it due to a bug that did not let me get the jewel after the Katana :( I'm glad I did though, so I could give it a fair review! This time everything went smoothly and as I remembered most of the map I could fully enjoy the stunning textures and amazing objects. Monica, you are making art when you create these kinds of levels. I don't know what more to say that has not already been said - simply breathtaking. I demand a sequel :) Four tens from me. 2005-04-30" - QRS (01-May-2005)
"From the opening flyby you are thrown straight into a most realistic and gorgeous Asian world of temples and gardens the detail is so perfect there are even Chinese take out boxes with chopsticks lying around. You are also confronted by some very unfriendly samurai warriors and deadly butterflies but I loved the beautiful geisha girls sitting around that unfortunately never animate though at one point a geisha floats through a room very supernatural like to help with progression. What maybe let this double levelled level down a bit was that the gaming was a little samey and revolved around collecting keys and gems that didn't really need too much of what I call puzzles to obtain. This is though one you have to play just because the beauty of it is something to behold. I found one secret in each levels and they both lasted 55 minutes." - Sash (02-Sep-2004)
"A two-part adventure that brings Lara and us to the exotic Far East in search of the Katana sword. Monika has enriched her level with many original textures (and a really fancy and original outfit for Lara!) and some unexpected enemies (beautiful but deadly purple butterflies!) The whole game is a real pleasure to the eye with its bright colors and exotic feeling yet there are more dangers than you'd expect and a whole lot of puzzles that require solving. Basically you have to explore a series of temples and huts and the areas outside them including pools and greeneries but as the adventure begins you are introduced to the vast area you must explore via an impressive fly-by which shows you that all the entrances around you are locked. Unlocking them and solving the puzzles further on is not an easy task - although in the interior areas you don't meet that many enemies (some of them are really tough though!) you don't easily find your way to the next area. A jump switch just above your head may pass unnoticed if you don't pay attention - and a timed run above some burners may become a headache if you are not fast enough. There are dangers and traps and hidden items and keys that may require more detailed exploring but overall 'Hanami' could be characterised as a 'vacation adventure' and ends leaving you some sweet memories at the end." - Ravenwen (14-Aug-2004)
"Such an amazing level by Monika! I felt a little guilty that Lara went into a room without taking her shoes off. Tsk tsk where's her etiquette gone? But it's okay I suppose the enemies left their shoes on too. The small details that were put into the level really added to the atmosphere of the game to make it more enjoyable; the shoes sitting outside the rooms the rice boxes and chopsticks lying on the floor the apple blossoms outside. Atmosphere is a perfect 10 I loved finally being able to get into the pagoda and climb to the top and look out. I don't think I'll ever understand how monkeys can explode. Maybe there's radioactive material there that would explain the giant butterflies at least. I expected there to be more enemies when you finally find the katana but I guess we had suffered through enough ninja attacks already by that point. Somehow I was always caught off guard by them but then they really wouldn't be ninjas if they didn't sneak up on you. It was just a really great level and I wish there had been more than just two levels total. I wanted to see more! :-D" - Celli (21-Jun-2004)
"This is one original and beautiful looking level. It has a Japanese flavour to it that is perfectly done. It is a well made level with great textures and original objects. The gameplay is general fluid and straight forward with a couple of little tricks. Putting out the fire with the waterskin was new to me. There is a great push block puzzle on a balcony that was completely original. This level was fun to play and great to look at. I can only find one fault with it if you could call it that. The level looks great and it would be good to see it from a high point and look down on it but all possible nice view are blocked by these wooden slat textures so you can't get a good clean view. This is another must play level from Monika." - LePerk (11-Jun-2004)
"Hanami in Kyoto is one of these special levels that makes the TRLE great. It has a perfect atmosphere (in my opinion only few custom level have a PERFECT atmosphere) a lot of new objects and only two secrets but perfectly hidden. It's marvelous and enjoyable. Monika always has her special touch of class and her levels are always among my favourites." - Loupar (03-May-2004)
"Monika's levels are always a treat. This time Lara is in Japan to find the Ronin's Katana. Beautiful as ever it's a pleasure to walk around in this level with butterflies lots of monkeys some rats and very nasty fighters but since Lara has her weapons with her they don't do much harm. (No need to shoot the monkeys btw they just sound annoying). A wonderful level that is certainly a must play enjoy! 20-3-2004" - Josi (01-May-2004)
"Kyoto (7/9/9/9 45 min. 1 secret): Wonderful music beautiful setting and quite a number of very special objects throughout make this great fun to explore. The hungry butterflies cool white thugs with bats keep you on your toes as you shoot a lot of vases and boxes push a few crates find a few keys and a gem and avoid a few traps (spikes darts blades boulders). Thanks to very solid camera work this is a rather easy and straightforward level so I found the gameplay a little uninspired but all the inspiration that went into the environment makes more than up for it. Katana Hut (8/9/10/9 45 min. 1 secret): Continuing the theme this second part was even a little better than the first. I like the music even better and the gameplay adds a few more angles (torch waterskin boulder traps target shooting) even though it is largely the same basic structure as in part 1. Again keys and gems to find very cool samurai enemies and the 'floating geisha' is a great moment. Overall a typical Monika level with entertaining but not too tricky and frustrating gameplay placed in a truly marvelous setting. Recommended without hesitation." - Michael (17-Apr-2004)
"Monika Pawlus can be relied upon to give us a challenging but not impossibly difficult gaming experience while we enjoy some beautiful environs along the way. My dad was stationed in Japan when I was a little boy so the lush surroundings brought back some long-buried memories. The other Monika (my much appreciated co-moderator) has provided a very helpful walkthrough so I was able to breeze through these two levels in relatively short order. There are some nice new touches such as Lara having to kick in a wall to reveal a crawl space and the fish tanks with very active occupants. Enemies are few in number and consist mainly (if not exclusively) of thugs rats and samurai. Very well done and highly recommended." - Phil (08-Apr-2004)
"Another very pretty level with many details I do like these Oriental themes. I particularly liked the little aquariums in many of the rooms I mean they didn't have to be there but certainly added to the theme. That's what I like about Monika's levels - it's the attention to detail that makes all the difference. Beautiful wall panels and lots of cherry blossom trees pagodas and geishas and samurai warriors. Everything worked beautifully. I was a little disappointed that the floating geisha only moved to the next room though as I thought she was going to be a guide for a while. Puzzles were not too hard once I got past the first timed run over the burning tile. If there was one thing I would have liked to have that would have been a bigger choice of enemies to kill. But as it is this is the most beautiful and detailed level out there. Loved it." - Tortoise3 (05-Apr-2004)
"I liked this small adventure in two chapters for its originality in the sense that I don't remember any custom having been built with ancient Japan as the scenery. There are traditional houses traditional geishas and a lot of traditional ronins acting as the baddies. There are even big butterflies who just show up to suck some of Lara's blood - therefore you have to shoot them never thought I'd be shooting at butterflies. The settings end up being varied in their homogeneity and you have to do a lot of running around and be perfectly oriented in order to find your way. My advice is to pay attention to detail because there could always be an important breakable piece of furniture you may have overlooked or some metal ball you have to shoot at where you don't expect it or a hole in the ceiling that you've just been too blind to see. I for one wouldn't have done so much running around had I been more attentive... You'll also find loads of different traps even though they're mostly very easy to beat - but some will catch you by surprise and that's all I'm saying! And lots of different puzzles for you to solve also on the easy side - I won't reveal any of the most clever in order not to spoil the party. Add some not too hard but still interesting timed sequences to the whole and you'll get a very nice and never annoying game to play. I recommend it above all for the originality of the settings. But it's all great fun if you allow me to repeat pay attention to details and that also must count a lot." - Jorge22 (03-Apr-2004)
"This is another beautifully crafted 2 part game from Monika. I know I am biased but I can't help it as she adds so many little details like a small table in a corner the shoes blossom on the cherry trees you only can marvel at that. I loved the look of that Japanese bathroom. Only slightly downside is the look of the walls underwater in that lake. But who is counting not me. The gameplay was a bit confusing but it also might be me as I haven't had enough sleep lately. Finding keys gems and even a sword don't forget the crowbar and the torch so you can accomplish your task in freeing the geisha. There are some fiendish traps in this one and they for sure had me reloading quite some times. The jump-switch with boulder comes to mind and although I could do the jump switch with the flames on I had to give that boulder a go and finally managed. Finding the crossbow and laser sight is a must as there is some practice shooting at cleverly hidden brass balls. Enemies were ninja's beautiful re-textured ones I might add butterflies and rats. I always have to laugh when I shoot those rats as they sort of flop over. Still not sure what noise the monkeys made but the added music was a bonus. 17-03-2004" - Gerty (28-Mar-2004)
"'Kyoto deno Hanami ha chiikini totte subarashii okurimonodesu. Taihennyoi shigotowo shiteitadaite kansha shiteimasu.' (Hanami in Kyoto is a wonderful gift to the community. Many thanks for doing such excellent work.) This is a rare beauty of a level that is also a lot of fun to play. The rooms are as authentic as TR will allow them to be and spacious and full of light. The outdoor areas are lovely. There are some nice witty touches such as a uzi bearing samurai hidden inside a huge vase a flying geisha and the notorious butterflies - which seem benign and ephemeral but are not. The rooms are decorated with masterpieces of Japanese art from Hokusai Hiroshige and others. My only complaint is that the author did not identify the art and music in the readme. A splendid piece of work that is a joy to play." - Duncan (28-Mar-2004)
"Very beautiful gardens and pagoda type houses in Kyoto Japan with exquisite detail like those moths/butterflies! cherry trees beautifully painted paper-panels bonsai trees geisha girls chopsticks lanterns fish tanks shoes left in each room in fact the whole is a realistic looking and beautifully textured and lighted world. In its raw state it is basically a mansion level but what beautiful mansions with keys to find timed runs swims climbs. Enemies are guards in white karate suits (retextured thugs with clubs) moths (retextured bats) and those samurai warriors are the business (retextured ninjas) all perfectly placed to guard each house and easy to kill with pistols. There are friendly monkeys in the some areas which I didn't shoot but there are nasty little ones in other areas that needed to be shot as they attack in numbers. I laughed after catching a guy in one small room when I saw all those swirling blades stuck in the wall I imagined he was so frustrated he just threw them in a temper. There are quite a number of oriental elements here like climbing past a blade samurai statues with swooshing swords to pass huge hammers slamming together as well as block pushing puzzles that are simple in concept but fun to do. There are also a few devious traps. If in doubt at any time shoot things. This level gets a high gameplay score because as always my rating in that department has a lot to do with a level that won't let you go. I was so tired and I wanted to go to bed my eyes were sore but I was glued to the screen I wanted to see what came next. Every time I thought well this must be the end I opened another area and another. I was very sad to leave this beautiful place even with Lara congratulating me at the end. Sigh! And I couldn't finish without mentioning the wonderful music. The music for the first flyby was just perfect it started when the flyby started and trailed off and finished just as the flyby finished absolutely perfect a lesson for other authors. I'm keeping this one I will come back to it again in future." - CC (26-Mar-2004)
"This is a beautiful level. A gem amongst the custom levels. Lara is adventuring in beautiful Japanese pagodas and gardens among geishas guards and samurais for finishing her task: getting the Ronins Katana in the end of the level. You can admire the breathtaking furniture of the palaces as well as the small bonsai trees. There's a secret in each level. Meantime you can even see monkeys and butterflies. You don't need to do harm to the monkeys but unfortunately the butterflies are dangerous. You will also meet a couple of rats. You can shoot the vases and crates some of them hide ammo. There are many interesting puzzles and you must find Keys and Stones for the getting-on. You even have to pull a china cabinet away as one of the Keys is hidden beneath it. Lara will get the Crossbow the LaserSight for shooting the spheres and the Shotgun. It's true I needed only the pistols and I didn't use a Medi Pack. The emphasis is on the puzzles instead of the battles. Don't miss this level with beautiful textures in which the added sounds give plus to the experience. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version) savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (24-Mar-2004)
"What can I say? This level is absolutely brilliant! Everything about it is great. I have always been a fan of anything oriental bed sheets jewelry models now I have an oriental tomb raider level! This has everything an orient based level should have the guards are all dressed Japanese there are concubines sitting around most of the pagoda's. The cherry blossom tree's and plants bowls with chopstick's lying around and many shoes! I loved the oriental tunes and the flybys. The surrounding's were beautiful I was gobsmacked! This level is definitely worthy of top marks I have played many oriental levels and if I'm frank haven't been that good but I'm glad to say I've finally a decent one to have! I did think the monkeys were a little irritating with their noise so I couldn't resist killing a few here or there hehe. I felt bad killing the butterflies I was like oh aren't they pretty and pink that was before they attacked me after that I lost sympathy! The background music was matching too the spooky jungle tune from tr3 (wouldn't have sounded right if a tr4 background was added). This is one of my favourite levels now definitely right up there with Oxy's Frosty Mansion - can't say which I prefer both brill. This level was not too hard I only needed help once I didn't know you needed to shoot a ball to open a door but later on if you are in a room with nowhere to go just use your noddle ;).It seemed weird when you heard those final words that Lara says to think that could have been me if it wasn't for that 'hum' in the background lol. Anyway I should shush or you'll be here all day reading! lol I could go on forever but I'll shut up now but before I do I recommend this to everyone! Don't hesitate - download it now!" - Aims (23-Mar-2004)
"Subarashii desu ne! This is a wonderfully beautiful level set in an old Japanese palace embedded in verdant gardens. The level is enriched by a multitude of custom objects and enemies in matching guises. It is meticulously textured in style and the atmosphere is emphasized by some suggestive music tracks. The challenges are mostly straightforward but not trivial. You will have to do a lot of switch hunting and a few of the switches are quite well hidden so keep your eyes open. Careful observation is also needed to find the two Secrets and there are a few hidden goodies which are not Secrets. There are numerous traps and a couple of timed sequences but not any puzzles to speak of. A few jumps might require some care but on the whole this is not a level that tests Lara's acrobatic skills. The enemies were not that troublesome although one cannot avoid taking some damage from the baddies. The most difficult thing was probably to avoid shooting the cute baboons while getting rid of the annoying 'killer butterflies'. A very nice exploration level." - Bogey (20-Mar-2004)
"What can one say or write about a level from our dear Monika. As usual the absolutely stunning setting this time with Japanese buildings and wonderful gardens will no doubt steal your heart it certainly stole mine. Lara is determined to find the Katana an old sword and I can't imagine anyone that could stop her. However some Japanese guys will try it of course bad guys never learn but they will regret it. I just loved walking by those green gardens and visiting the Japanese houses with those cute little lamps on the floor. One thing I didn't like doing is killing the beautiful butterflies but no matter how hard I tried to avoid them they kept attacking Lara. The monkeys were friendly so was a fish inside a pool. The traps are not much spikes fire and bags with spikes. The gameplay isn't complex at all; I found the game to be straight forward. The only time I got stuck was near the end because of a box near the Katana sword that didn't appear so that made me spend a lot of time searching in vain before finally asking for help. The problem is that if you shoot the vases in the lower floor it is possible if not for sure that the box upstairs won't appear so you can't get the gem. Some say that explosive ammo sometimes trigger that bug to appear but I shot the vases with the pistols so don't bother with them they are empty anyway. This is a lovely game definitely worth playing." - Kristina (19-Mar-2004)
"Well a very well crafted Japanese level (no don't run away!) Monika offers us here. I spent 1 hour and 30 minutes in this double level and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent here - found only one secret along the way though. What stands out in here of course are the textures the music - the unique atmosphere as the gameplay was more or less standard - what you would expect from a Miss Kroft level - with the addition of some clever boulder outruns put in whom I found very interesting. Worth a play for the beautiful gardens and the overall charming environments and interesting tasks. I have to admit that Walhalla 'captured' me more and I liked it better but this ain't a bad level in no way - definitely worth to be played so get it now!" - eTux (17-Mar-2004)
"I have to say this is one of the best two-parters I ever played. A masterpiece. It is a Japanese level with overwhelming graphics. You can see how much love Miss Kroft has put into it. Deserves an extra 10. Also the objects were beautiful. Puzzles were not hard but Lara has quite a lot to do. Many things were well hidden and there were many traps around. A few timed sequences as well but very manageable. Lara finds various keys and gems and at the end the infamous sword. Sound was ingenious there. Also the enemies are very suitable and cameras were added in the right places. Fantastic atmosphere - everything seems to real. I can only recommend it - play it!" - Navi (17-Mar-2004)
"A new level from Miss Kroft is always a treat - this one is set in Japan and it's sheer delight from start to finish. Exploring the rooms and lovely courtyard areas is a real feast for the eye and there are plenty of tasks to accomplish along the way - keys to find a timed run or two (not too hard) and the occasional thug to deal with. Oddly enough the monkeys are friendly the fish cordially ignore you but watch out for the butterflies - they are homicidal maniacs. The emphasis here is largely exploration which is a pleasure in such gorgeous surroundings. Do take time to admire the amazing attention to detail in the smallest of objects. The atmosphere is marvelous greatly enhanced by the well chosen music tracks. I just couldn't stop playing." - Jay (17-Mar-2004)
"What a wonderful two levels you going to play here most of the gameplay are in the very nice Japanese house. Amazing how real it looks - the textures also very nice many puzzles to solve with not much difficulty (for me). The enemies is a few butterflies rats and of course samurai and kung fu fighters. Enjoyable levels for sure." - Yoav (16-Mar-2004)