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LB Advent Calendar 2004 - December 17th by Horus

Akcy 9 8 9 10
Bene 9 8 9 9
CC 9 7 9 9
Cory 10 9 10 10
DJ Full 7 7 8 9
Duncan 8 8 10 10
EssGee 9 8 9 9
eTux 7 6 10 10
Gerty 9 8 9 9
jawi 9 8 7 9
Jay 9 7 9 9
Jez 8 8 9 9
John 8 6 8 8
Jose 9 8 7 9
Kristina 8 8 8 9
Loupar 8 8 9 9
manarch2 6 5 7 9
MichaelP 9 7 8 9
Mulf 6 6 7 7
Obig 9 8 10 9
Orbit Dream 7 7 10 10
Phil 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 9 10
Ruediger 9 8 7 9
Ryan 9 8 9 9
Sash 7 5 8 8
Treeble 8 8 10 8
release date: 17-Dec-2004
# of downloads: 148

average rating: 8.37
review count: 27
review this level

file size: 6.49 MB
file type: TR4
class: Xmas

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Another great little level from Horus again. This level is the the Xmas category but i feel its more of a wintery/snowy theme rather than Christmas except for the angels maybe. Starting off in some snowy caves the gameplay begins with some simple platforming and climbing before we find ourselves in a beautiful large flooded cathedral area which acts as a main hub area with underwater passages to open leading to areas to explore and complete tasks in. These variety of tasks include a deadly but fun mirror puzzle room, a push-able object puzzle, a really fun platforming torch task and even a little jaunt on a snowmobile through some caves. Unfortunately the level is quite short with no secrets and no enemies but if your looking for short fun challenges in gorgeous looking areas than this level is definitely for you." - John (25-Apr-2023)
"Starting out in an area that seems to announce a level in the TR2 Tibet style, you soon enter a vast flooded structure that’s medieval in character, but its side-rooms are less clearly defined. The location vacillates between ‘cathedral’, ‘castle’ and ‘vaguely old-timey’, and is clearly not a realistic representation of anything in particular (the prominent pointed arches may evoke a cathedral, but they don’t support anything, and clearly never did); but, as you would expect from this builder, the texturing is of a high standard. Lighting is good too, although the colours of placed lights are occasionally oddly chosen, ‘just because’. There are a few cracks and misaligned textures that a little later wouldn’t have passed the builder’s own critical eye, but nothing serious (with the one exception of the ceiling in the room below the mirror puzzle, which sports some extraneous non-texture—likely because the builder never fell through the fall-through floor herself when testing the level). The textures themselves, though, are a bit of a hodge-podge. Individual areas tend to be stylistically consistent, but across the game, there’s much variation in provenance as well as style: textures were taken from TR2 and 3, from AoD, and from other games; medieval Catholic, classical Greek and ahistorical ‘video game’ ornaments intermingle. The same applies to the objects.
Like design, gameplay is a bit all over the place; the plot, so to speak, fails to thicken. The flooded cathedral may provide the game’s most memorable visuals, but in terms of gameplay it’s merely a hub that connects the various side-rooms in which the actual gameplay takes place; I finished the game with its lowest level left entirely unexplored. While the map is well-constructed, it’s easy to lose track of where you are in relation to other parts of the level (to which you often need to return), and gameplay started dragging its feet a bit in the visually less impressive second half. Among the puzzles, the magic mirror stands out, although form threatens to overwhelm function here—its design makes it more difficult to identify the safe tiles the farther away you are from the mirror, so parts of this puzzle are in effect trial-and-error. There is also an extended pushable puzzle, split in two sections that you have to complete on separate occasions—a quite unusual move, which is also structurally important for the level: when you return to it much later in order to complete it, this lends a degree of coherence to the otherwise episodic string of events. This doesn’t change the fact that it’s a rather tedious and laborious procedure, though.
Although stronger in design than in gameplay, the level clearly profited from the weakness of the preceding contributions to the 2004 Advent Calendar. It’s certainly a relief not having to worry for a change about whether the builder might get the basics right; she avoids pitfalls that a lesser builder would have been only too happy to jump into over and over again. In the construction of the last room, which you have to navigate with the snowmobile, she went to great lengths to ensure that you don’t get stuck. On the flipside, this last room is the visually least appealing, as well as the scene of an anticlimactic ending. This, combined with a few useless pickups (one of which will likely mislead you into thinking that you’re missing the crowbar), gives the impression that the game was wrapped up in a bit of a hurry, with a few loose ends left dangling." - Mulf (01-Jul-2021)
"A fresh breath of inspiration drawn soon after ripping the AOD textures makes this one very particular - not only it's very pleasantly put together but I also see in it an early step on the long way to the palace pack made for the Advent Calendar, so it hits me in the heart even though rather impolished - the pipe sits on the most overlookable square and I'm still looking for the crowbar for it but I didn't need any of those since I made the bike jump without nitro; I have no idea what the snowball gun is for, since I had the pistols from the beginning and I found no target to snipe; finally, the push puzzle design is very risky because if you reach it too early, it triggers nothing. Unexpectedly, game brevity, in most of cases widely considered a flaw, in this one comes to rescue because rechecking the entire map for missed stuff takes no longer than ten extra minutes. SUMMARY: Yep. I approve." - DJ Full (16-Apr-2018)
"What a visually stunning raid this was. You can always depend on a level of high quality from Nadine and this is no exception. Just feast your eyes on that flooded cathedral! This is a level of quite medium length at around 40 minutes, and the gameplay is luckily also quite entertaining. The pushable puzzles may have dragged on a bit, but they were nicely thought out, and the mirror room, torch puzzle and snowmobile ride spiced things up a bit. Definitely recommended for a wonderful experience, but I wished that the snowball cannon had more of a function." - Ryan (28-Nov-2017)
"Cleaning up my HD I found this, I have no idea why I never reviewed it as it is a gem. Trust Nadine to make a stunning half submerged cathedral although you have to make your way to there through some icy caves and do some swimming before you can feast your eyes on it. There are some puzzles to do and some objects to find and later you even get to drive the bike. Luckily that was not hard to do and even the last ride wasn't too hard to do. By picking up a book the level ends, darn." - Gerty (20-Jun-2016)
"Finally - at least one level with quite passable gameplay that actually taxes the player's skills, well at least to a certain extent. This is also a quite beautiful level, lighting and textures are very professionally applied (as usual in a Horus level) and there are a few real eye-candy rooms, especially the half-flooded cavern, the mirror room or the cathedral close to the end. Architecture - mostly amazing. Sounds and cameras - close to nothing. Apart of the boring background sound I registered only one other one, and only a few fixed cameras. Even in a relatively short level like this, this is simply not enough and the atmosphere lacks too much because of that. Gameplaywise, there are some fun puzzles to solve, one of which could've been set up in a way that players don't have to pull each globe out of that one passage, but overall there are several fun tasks (the mirror room, the snowmobile). I still didn't find a use for the snow canon or for the nitro, since it's easily possible to finish this level without (a normal jump up the ramp is fully enough). This level also has no secrets to find which really is a shame, especially because the second category doesn't really has that much on offer - there are a few nice objects, but overall the room design is a bit barren in that regard. While still the best level of the 2004 calendar with quite a margin, the amount of shortcomings in a game of this builder really surprised me. 15 minutes." - manarch2 (19-Dec-2014)
"I thought I'd played all the earlier Advent levels, and I certainly thought I'd played all of Horus's works, but somehow I missed this gem along the way. It's that time of year when I find it taxing to think, so even though I may not have needed a walkthrough I decided to make use of Yoav's clear and concise road map. Play this one for the sheer joy of feasting your eyes on some magnificent architecture. There are plenty of flares lying around, but you don't need them at all. There are bright cheery colors galore, and I found the well-lit environs delightfully refreshing. Along the way you'll encounter a nice torch puzzle, an extended pushblock puzzle, and a concluding jaunt on the snowmobile. An enchanting 45-minute Christmas adventure." - Phil (12-Dec-2010)
"Level is good but there should be better soundtrack. I like textures of the castle which are cool. I don’t like mirror room, exactly the black space between that room and the room below. It’s completely unrealistic! Everything else is fine. It’s snowy, peaceful level. Try it! Congratulations to the author!" - jawi (01-Jan-2009)
"This is a beautiful looking level. The main flooded Temple is a sight to behold. Architecture, texturing and lighting are excellent. Custom Objects have also been beautifully created. The background soundtrack was well suited to the level, but there's not much else to speak of musically. I know its Xmas, but hey - you're gonna have to break some fragile stuff in order to progress in this level. My biggest tip is don't park the snowmobile anywhere that it can be stuck. Otherwise you'll find out the hard way. I thought I was finished with it only to find out that I needed it right to the end. OOh and don't forget to have a bit of fun firing off all your snowballs before you finish otherwise they might melt in your pockets. There's a cool Mirror puzzle to negotiate and simple torch puzzle too. And make sure you keep warm -its damn cold outside - the poor birdie I saw, must have frozen to death,'coz he wouldn't budge when I went near him. You can probably immerse yourself in this one for the best part of an hour as you search for the cavern key and ultimately your book prize. Don't forget to take your digital camera with you - there's plenty of sight-seeing to do. A visually impressive raid." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)
"Great winter level, but not Chrismassy. Lara searching for a book in a beautifully made castle, good architecture and textures. The flooded cathedral was amazing. The snowball gun was a fun addition, but not really needed. Torch, mirror and pushy object puzzles, snowmobile ride, can be done without the nitro though. Suitable for children, as there are no enemies. Recommended." - Akcy (05-Jan-2007)
"Inside an impressive, huge flooded cathedral, Lara has to solve puzzles with an interesting variety. For example I liked that you could only push 2 stones in their places when you are at the library for the first time, the others only later when you visit the place again. Also you have to do good jumps to light flares and ride on the snow mobile. 'December 17th' is a colourful, not so large Xmas level, without enemies, yet not without action, as I found the shooting of ice angels quite funny - a bit of unholy fun, admittedly. Excellent textures, unfortunately no new music, and within my playing time (45 min) I got stuck only once in the mirror room, because I couldn't clearly see where to jump next." - Rdiger (03-Jun-2005)
"Wow! This level certainly has one of the best atmospheres I've seen so far. Been a while since I was really into playing custom levels, but I don't really remember raiding through one cathedral like this one. It's huge, really huge, and it's halfway submerged so you can reach the highest areas of it without problem. Gameplay flows fairly well and this level is a joy to play, really eye candy and all of the nice objects do make it look even better. The outfit featured on the level is great, too. There was a mirror area, and probably that was the best mirror texture I've seen so far. There's a short ride with the snowmobile to reach the end and also a pushable block puzzle similar to the planetary in the Lost Library (TR4). Definitely one not to be missed! I know March ain't Christmas time, but I really needed to play something and I decided to have a go at these levels, heard wonders of them and now I know why. 35 minutes. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)
"Well, it might be a bit strange to review a Christmas level in march, but having lost my internet connection for a few days and not being entirely prepared for that, I found this level being downloaded on my PC, and thought 'What the heck, why not?', and I wasn't disappointed one bit! First of all the atmosphere, the looks are absolutely STUNNING - really - swimming into the cathedral like area is a breathtaking moment, and just shows how well Nadine handles the architecture, the texturing, the lighting. There also is a nifty snowball catapult, but with nothing to shoot it feels a bit pointless. I also never found the crowbar, but that's not all that tragic, as I was able to drive the fancy tiger-skin snowbike on the shrine with the book without the help of the nitrogen oxide canister. The puzzles are always simple, so perfect for anyone, though I found the movable block puzzle to be quite tedious. Not so much a Christmas level in setting, so perfect to play at other times of the year too and the atmosphere alone with the nifty touches like gently falling snow through skylight openings makes the level worth to play, so why not give this a chance?" - eTux (07-Mar-2005)
"I've been surprised with the snowballs and the catapult, it's a great detail! Main room of the cathedral is huge but no much elaborated; I thought first time that during the game should be drained. At the end of the level you don't need extra power in the snowmobile to jump the slope and get the book, so you don't need the canister, the pipe and the crowbar. Good puzzles, textures are good too, but I miss more cameras and sounds. It's in the line of another advent levels, play it calm and think. I haven't found secrets." - Jose (11-Feb-2005)
"Not what I'd really call a xmas level but it seems that the line that defines them really is quite a blurry thing. But who cares! Nadine does it wonderfully here with the most impressive looking semi submerged gigantic cathedral in this 30 minute level there is also a great mirror room with one pretty tough tile jump and to end the level some snowmobile riding. I was a little perplexed in the movable object room as if you reach it early moving the two objects in it seem to do nothing but you return there later to finish off what you've started. As this is a xmas level the enemies are non existent but you don't even miss them there is so much to do. Please download and enjoy this short but delightful level it is worth it." - Sash (26-Jan-2005)
"This is a very beautiful level. The goal of it is to gain a book. We are adventuring in caves and a castle partly sunk in the water. We can have a drive on the snowmobile if we have gained the two things to speed it up. In addition we can pick up snowballs and launch them with a weapon called Snowball Catapult. There are no enemies on the level though but this was a good as a humour. :) The textures are gorgeous but there are no added sounds. Though I can only advice to play this level it was a fantastic adventure. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version) savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (18-Jan-2005)
"More than a Christmas level this would be a simply Winter level: Lara in a snowy and beautiful setting finding snowballs and resolving torch puzzles. No enemies at all (what were the snowballs for?) and too much swimming. Nice and pleasant." - Loupar (16-Jan-2005)
"A gorgeous and gentle-natured level from an accomplished room-stacker. The gameplay is not that hard but with some nice bits such as the mirror room and the big puzzle. The snowmobile was fun although too short a ride but the accelerator wasn't needed to finish (good thing since I never found the crowbar). Highly recommended." - Duncan (03-Jan-2005)
"Any level that allows you to chuck snowballs has to be a winner - what a great idea. After a short swim you find yourself in an enormous flooded building with snow falling through the open roof - most impressive. There are moveable object puzzles a splendid mirror room and a snowmobile to ride. As one would expect from such an accomplished level builder this one is highly enjoyable." - Jay (01-Jan-2005)
"This is more of a winter theme than a Christmas level with very well done falling snow snow textures and a snowmobile that is necessary to finish the gameplay with an unusual jump to retrieve a book. The mirror room is interesting with easy access back if you fall and a way out to continue gameplay that may not be apparent in a quick look. Lara is looking good with a bell-bottom outfit credited to Trinity. There's no real use for the wonderfully innovative snowball catapult (but it's a lot of fun) and there are enough areas (doorways) left unexplored that it left me hoping this would be a first part of a continuing series. After all I'd love to use the 50 snowballs I accumulated and I look forward to a hopeful return. Worth the download and as with all the Advent levels raiders of all ages can play it." - Bene (28-Dec-2004)
"This is a great Christmas level. I couldn't find the snow catapult but it was very fun. It was very difficult to find the torch though. The skidoo jump was fun but hard to know how to get on top of the house. It ended really well as well. This is a great level made hopefully the author will make some more great levels." - Cory (23-Dec-2004)
"A very impressive looking level right from the start. Lara looks great and I love the detail of her outfit and the lighting textures and colours throughout the level. It's not quite outdoors as such more like working through rocky canyons to a church type building. Very clever puzzles here like the torch puzzle of lighting candles on top of pillars in the church. We swim down and out into an enormous beautiful sunken cathedral. I was intrigued by the gameplay here and got stuck a few times trying to figure out how things worked. One of these occasions was my reluctance to shoot certain objects as they were so beautiful. And speaking of beautiful the mirror room is stunning. The object pushing puzzle was great. Even though I was swimming back and forth in this cathedral a lot at no time was I bored. Everything ran smoothly. There are no enemies but the level didn't need them. And Lara eventually finds the nitrous oxide and pipe for the snowmobile for a last precision jump. An excellent level." - CC (23-Dec-2004)
"The artistic vision presented in this level is simply breathtaking. The part-submerged Cathedral is a thing of beauty and the atmosphere is phenomenal. It's a pity that the gameplay had a few too many frustrations. The pick-ups for the SnowMobile which were un-pickupable without the Crowbar but which were unneccessary anyway. The many unopened doors in the Cathedral itself. The Torch which blended into the background (as torches tend to do); and particularly the pushable objects of which there were way too many. However the quality of the scenery prevented the adventure from becoming drab and the overall experience was quite superb. This whole adventure is a sheer visual treat and the little quirks of the gameplay matter not a jot when the level is presented with such skill as thus. A Custom Level which simply must be played!" - Orbit Dream (22-Dec-2004)
"I'd say it's a very nice Christmas level with great setting although not very Christmas like and nice puzzles. The player enters an area where Lara has to swim around and try to find the necessary items she needs to proceed and finally find the Mystic Book. It's suitable for kids as it has no enemies or deadly traps but there's always the possibility of drowning Lara of course. The atmosphere is great and I liked the mirror room among other things. Lara can also drive a snowmobile but it's not necessary to use acceleration to finish the level. I had fun playing this and recommend it." - Kristina (22-Dec-2004)
"A stunning adventure with a lot of eye candy like the icy rocky canyons and especially the huge half submerged cathedral. But it also has rather clever and fast paced gameplay on offer with a pushable object puzzle a beautiful mirror room a torch puzzle and a fun ride with the snowmobile. I almost felt bad shooting some of the nice objects but you have to in order to progress. The snowball weapon is a treat but of course there is really no use for it in this level here. Maybe we will see it in another one soon where it will serve a real purpose. If there is anything I did not like so much in this level it was a number of empty areas which just begged for more activity and the fact that there seemed to be no secrets at all. 40 minutes of great and not too difficult entertainment - not to be missed." - Michael (18-Dec-2004)
"Another great Christmas level. This is beautifully textured with lots of custom stuff including a very innovative and seasonal 'snowball catapult'. Difficult to score for enemies and secrets because there are no enemies and I found no secrets. The gameplay flows well and the atmosphere is great. The level starts in a snowy cavern progressing to a large water filled room with side rooms containing not too difficult puzzles. Then outside again for a brief skidoo ride. Not very long. Suitable for kids. Good fun." - Jez (18-Dec-2004)
"Another lovely Christmas level though in not such a Christmassy setting but still a very good level. Here the story is that Lara is searching for an old book inside a castle that has been built in a mountainous setting. Though this level wasn't long it was sweet and very realistic. The AOD textures really fit into the castle setting and there is even snowfall a snowmobile to ride in and there are great decorative touches. There is a nice mirror room puzzle here and also some jumping with a torch a nice pushing puzzle here and there a fun snowball catapult and a snowmobile ride in the mountain setting. There are no enemies or nasty traps here so this makes the level suitable for children to play. I was saddened when the level ended so soon but I had a great time playing it and I await a new level from the talented Nadine." - Relic Hunter (18-Dec-2004)