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BtB2005 - Lara of Persia by Bojrkraider

Bene 9 9 9 9
Bigfoot 10 9 10 10
Bogey 8 8 9 8
CC 9 8 8 8
Christian 9 8 8 8
Deekman 8 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 7 5 6 6
DJ Full 10 9 9 8
droogie 9 9 9 10
Dutchy 8 8 9 9
eRIC 10 8 9 8
EssGee 8 7 8 8
eTux 9 7 9 9
G.Croft 9 7 8 9
Gerty 8 7 7 8
Gill 10 9 9 10
Horus 9 8 7 10
Jay 8 7 8 9
Jenni 9 9 8 7
Jerrod 9 9 9 9
JesseG 9 9 9 9
Jorge22 8 8 9 9
Jose 10 8 8 9
Kristina 8 8 8 8
manarch2 9 7 8 8
MichaelP 9 7 9 10
Mman 9 9 9 10
Moonpooka 10 9 9 9
mugs 10 9 9 9
Obig 8 8 9 9
Passalaqua 8 7 8 8
Phil 10 9 9 9
QRS 10 8 10 10
rjb 10 8 9 8
Ruediger 8 8 7 8
Ryan 9 8 9 9
Samu 9 9 9 9
Sash 10 8 9 9
Staticon 10 7 9 8
Sutekh 9 6 8 9
Torry 9 8 8 8
Treeble 8 8 8 8
Whistle 8 8 9 9
release date: 01-Jan-2005
# of downloads: 118

average rating: 8.53
review count: 43
review this level

file size: 36.78 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cave/Cat

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Not the greatest level I have ever played but neverless solid in pretty much every area. Some of the areas look pretty good and there's a nice variety of traps/puzzles. The Void area was an interesting concept, and the ending sequence was at least something different but I have to say I found the earthquake a little annoying and the giant heads seemed to collide with each other which ever so slightly irked me in a mildly OCD kind of way." - Passalaqua (19-Sep-2023)
"Bojrkraider certainly packed a lot of raiding in this 45 minute adventure, so much so that it became confusing at times and I was forced to refer to the walk through time and time again. High crawl spaces are a feature here so look carefully. I did enjoy the closing sequence with those huge statue heads poking their tongues out at our dear Lara. Traps are numerous and generally involve those spiked boulders but this is traditional raiding so once you know what the author's penchant is you can easily avoid them. Not too much in the way of puzzles here just one or two that take a little thought. Overall a good raid." - Torry (15-Nov-2022)
"I often say Catacomb is my least favorite wad in the original set, so it's hardly a surprise I never played through the entire first wave of BtB levels. With newfound determination, and no hurry to finish, I have decided to sprinkle these amidst the massive releases I still have left before wrapping up my 2004 raidlist. Anyway, I quite liked the initial set up of this level, with a bunch of smaller side rooms as you go back and forth opening doors to proceed, and fortunately later on when it starts going bigger and bigger in scale, it never gets "too big". There are some pretty nice takes here, such as the elevators, both the one where you go up floor by floor by pushing a statue around or the one filled with spike and flame traps, and the void at the end was a bit on the unusual side but I liked the concept. As stated above, I'm not a fan of the catacomb wad but still enjoyed my time here. 45 minutes, 3 secrets. 07/21" - Treeble (25-Jul-2021)
"This is a great implementation of non-linear gameplay. Lara must seek out two stars and the pieces of the Portal Guardian, and can do so in whatever order she chooses, but the level is built in a perfectly constrained fashion to limit backtracking and frustration. She will need to overcome some puzzles with pushable blocks and levers, while quickly dodging boulders and flames. There is some unique target practice with the statue faces at the end, although I could have done without the repeated earthquake effect. Really liked the colorful lighting in this adventure, and the rest of the visuals are excellent as well. This is only the second level I played in the collection but I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being one of my favorites. 54 minutes." - JesseG (11-Jul-2021)
"A very clever level. Well laid out gameplay with fun ways to deactivate traps, some nice usage of the mechanical beetle and a fun "sharpshooter" sequence. Lovely lighting effects used, although I was puzzled by that black void at the end... Recommended anyway." - Ryan (28-Jun-2016)
"The author did some very creative design especially going for the persian look while limited with only the catacombs wad. There were some neat effects like the elevator pillar puzzle and the dark tunnel walkway before the final boss encounter. I enjoyed the fact that the level had so much depth in the gameplay elements, themes and the pace were changing. The texture work was great in the large rooms and everything flowed beautifully with some extra little touches here and there (skeletons in spike traps, etc) There were a couple trial and error death parts that weren't super tricky, but could be frustrating if you weren't managing saves. The author did a good job at giving natural hints during the playthrough for puzzles, avoiding situations of being lost and having no idea what to do. Great level and atmosphere with multiple secrets" - droogie (27-May-2016)
"If I played this one back then and not knowing the author, I would say: "At last a game which doesn't look that good yet provides astonishingly good gameplay. I prefer this much more than the opposite and it's a pity it never wins. If the builder works on the graphics, his next game might end up as a masterpiece though." I attempted this game twice. What made me give up at the first try was that misleading moment with the first revolver shot while the door to the darkness is already open - however downrating for lack of single hint would be simply cruel. SUMMARY: A whole batch of concepts I've never seen before, still applied using a default object set. I love it. You'd better check it out." - DJ Full (25-Apr-2015)
"Whoua!!! That is an original level with a very exiting gameplay. Since the very beginning to the fabulous end it's impossible to get bored. We need to found 2 golden stars in the underground (certainly a prison) and a small mechanic scarab to access in another aera of the level where this time we need to found more artifact to quit this Palace. Not maybe very fan of lot of wraith in the first underground part but there are no enemies in the second aera exept in the very end where we encounter squeletons who certainly don't want Lara quit this place. The level is very well textured and the various colours through the adventure give an fabulous atmosphere to the level. The end of the game is a real surprise because we discovered a beautiful palace in the middle of the desert ... certainly the palace we visited during the adventure. So congratulation to the author. Very recommended." - Bigfoot (29-Aug-2014)
"Already the start of the level was quite entertaining, with four paths leading away from a hub area and many tasks to accomplish in a very fast paced style in order to find the two required stars, but the further you get into this game, the better it gets and it turned out to be one of the best BtB levels. This level has probably the best usage of"classic" elevators I've ever seen, with quite a few puzzles being realized with them, and the"black" area near the finale is another highlight - and when you think the level ends you're treated to another quite fascinating puzzle room as an encore. It really was a level just to my likings. The looks of this level are also quite special, with a few Persian elements implemented - I'm saying"elements" because despite some nice areas (like the final temple or the glasshouse) this level doesn't go far enough in creating an other kind of atmosphere, with most rooms looking rather standard fare. The lighting is quite good in this game, giving it a warm and scenic look and feel; the textures are good too, yet they tend to look a bit greyish, I don't know why since the builder used the same resources as others but maybe the choice of textures in specific rooms didn't always catch me - but the looks are of a high standard nonetheless. All in all a very good pick from the bunch and in my personal Top 3 in the contest. 35 minutes." - manarch2 (06-May-2014)
"This level takes the Back to Basics textures and objects and attempts to make a Persian theme out of them, it's insane and yet it somehow works. The level has a nice variety of moods as you go from the deep dungeons of the castle to the plush main hall. In themselves the textures and lighting wouldn't be quite good enough to get a ten but putting them in the context of what a completely abnormal theme it's going for (and somehow succeeds at) it gets a boost. On the other hand, even setting that aside it easily one of the best looking of the Catacombs BTB levels so far, and the main hall is especially good looking.
The gameplay is as varied as the theme, and shifts from cramped dungeon areas to large-scale exploration, and it even ends in a boss encounter. There's some nice use of the mechanical scarab and elevators, and one area towards the end has a very original idea. It has one or two tricky parts but isn't especially tough. One of the best levels from the first contest." - Mman (25-Oct-2012)
"The first part of this level is characterized by some to and fro between a lot of spikes to be deactivated and some wraithes to extinguish, what sometimes doesn't work at the first try (bug?). I was glad to see one of my favorites again: The mechanical beetle - I like this toy. You finally have to get two stars to reach the main part of the level, a beautiful large room, starting point - classical concept - for several tasks to do. A lot of boulders have to be avoided, two elevators have to be used, one of them with spike- and burner-traps, probably the most tricky sequence of the game. No timed runs, no hard jumps to perform, gameplay is quite linear here, it is executing your tasks one after the other until you'll finally come to the end of the level. A way leading through total darkness marked only by some columns coming out of nowhere seems to be a bit strange; it leads to the final, very funny sequence: four vases have to be shot out of four faces while skeletons awake and an earthquake drives you mad. Avoiding the skeletons would not be that easy, so it's highly recommended to find the 3rd secret - the grenade-gun.... A very well built level, lightning, color-setting and atmosphere are quite convincing. A very good work recommended to everyone." - Christian (15-Aug-2010)
"A jewellery from BTB2005. The progress of the story is well done, large variety of traps & puzzles, mostly of the places have a great look, the "shoot party" to the end is very fun. It's a real pleasure to replay this level a second time." - Jerrod (21-Mar-2010)
"I must say that this might be the best level which is made by using the standard catacomb wad. This level is also quite strange as Bojrkraider's levels usually are but that's not a bad thing. It's good because that really makes his levels so fascinating and especial. Level designing is very impressive and there are many differences when comparing this level to other levels that are made by using the catacomb wad. Tasks are different and cleverly designed and the atmosphere is just wonderful. This level has still some minus sides like the boulder traps. They are pretty good but I just don't like boulder traps very much but I still don't hate them. If you load your game, during the loading you can see wonderful looking and very special outdoor area where's arabic palace . When I loaded my game first time and I saw that area in the screen, I thought that further in the game could be seen areas like that arabic palace. After I had completed this level I got a little disappointed because you can see the arabic palace area only in the last cutscene and there are no other areas like that. Despite this level is very good, it would be better if there were a bit more interesting areas. This level is still very outstanding and it seems that Bojrkraider isn't just a level builder. He's an artist." - Samu (03-Aug-2006)
"This is certainly one of my favorites of BtB - I liked the colorful lighting and the architecture a lot! This level stands out from the rest of the Catacombs levels and I personally thought this was a potential winner. The architecure was also very nice, especially the "castle" at the end looked as oriental as possible with the given resources. The gameplay was rather multifaceted with lots of different tasks, though I spotted a short cut here and there. The enemies were no problem at all, ghosts appeared usually just a few meters away from where they could be killed and with the grenade launcher the skeletons didn't do any harm either. I think the secrets were cleverly hidden which is always a plus point from me ;)" - Horus (03-Oct-2005)
"I really enjoyed this level. Whilst maybe not the most visually stunning level so far, it does have more than its fair share of beautiful rooms. I particularly liked the huge crystal room and and the main fountain rooms for sheer looks alone. Elsewhere, we are treated to a battery of interesting puzzles and places to explore. The elevator and moving block puzzle, and the lever switches beneath spiked balls rank among my favourites. The whole level has a unique feel about it, quite an achievement using a basic WAD. Unlike several of my fellow reviewers, I loved the totally black room with the guiding pillars. For me, it lifted the adventure to a different level of reality for a while. I applaud the authors imagination for this. I cannot fault the camera work, the lighting was fine on my monitor and the game flowed excellently. I was quite disappointed when I reached the end - it seemed like only a few minutes had passed since I'd started so it was quite a surprise to find that I had actually been playing for nearer three hours. Excellent." - Staticon (05-Sep-2005)
"Wow! What a strange a cool level! Here we get to use the beetle a lot, to get pass the maze of spikes, doors and deadly traps. I found the gameplay to be very original. Like the moving block in the elevator..(I really wonder how that was done!) the pitch black path that you need to find a way through. The atmosphere is amazing with a lot of well placed textures and colored lighting. The only downside is the secrets which were too easy to find and the enemies. Not a challenge at all. Beside that, everything is perfect. I found this level to be rather easy but very enjoyable! I felt that I never got stuck and even if the path somtimes was a tad confusing, a new path were always open to explore. Extremly good level!" - QRS (22-Aug-2005)
"Start in a smallish but well action packed area and then find your way through the other sections. There are lots of traps to avoid, but enemies restricted to vrais and skeletons, two of the nastiest opponents to avoid. Once you find the necessary exit keys to the first set of rooms you then get presented with the fountain room to think your way through. Solve the lift puzzle gets you to the final section of the fire pit. Your brain will be taxed at times to work out the route, especially if you have not used a clockwork beetle before. The good use of textures, lighting and the background sounds reate a very good atmosphere and sets the scenes admirably. Definitely a level to play." - Whistle (03-Jun-2005)
"Another stunning effort in the back to basics series - and surely among my favourites. The atmosphere is a bit dream-like due to the colourful surroundings and hardly feels like the catacombs or Egypt at all, what is a plus. Getting something new out of something well-worn indeed is an achievement! The author has worked hard and succeeded to achieve a great variety of tasks for the player to be done - and it always remains logical - nothing is trial and error or completely unthinkable to do - look for subtle hints in the textures, when there seem to be countless possibilities how to act in a puzzle, and you'll surely find a way. The only problem might be that you can get lost and forget what you did and what didn't do in the stunning fountain hall. I didn't really find the blackness to be too much out of place, contrary to other players, but I guess it could've been done a bit more effectively - though it is a refreshing break, so serves its purpose. The 3 secrets were quite simple to find, and the missing parts of the statues in the final showdown gave it a bit more amateurish or unfinished look, but I suppose the limits can be breached only so far - but all is forgotten when you reach the end and thus the highly impressive Persian palace." - eTux (06-Mar-2005)
"A classic pulp adventure with classic pulp traps. I heard an unfamiliar sound in the room with the giant jewel, that threw me for a loop. Great raiding experience. Loved the elevator puzzles -refreshing. Nice touch with the sticking out of tongues! Great ending." - Deekman (03-Mar-2005)
"This Catacomb level really deserves the 10 in the gameplay/puzzles category for of its originality, its subtleness, its quite logical puzzles, its nice and clever little challenges. You know what? The gameplay is so logical, I always knew what to do. Plus I could appreciate some things I never saw before in any custom level. How some imaginative builders can come up with new ideas with a basic Wad, like the 3 elevators triggered successively, or the great and funny effects at the end with the statues showing their tongue (hilarious)! The end of the level looks like an oriental fairytale and although I'm not too much in fairytales, however it did not hinder me to be literally hooked by Lara of Persia, I would classify it a Quicksilver level: fast and brilliant!" - eRIC (01-Mar-2005)
"An hour full of action in a very solidly built environment with some awesome moments thrown in, like the fountain room and the grande finale. Throughout you will not have to think too long about your next step but gameplay offers some great variety, even if it feels like there are too many buttons and levers. Very original use of the mechanical beetle, as well as boulder, spike and burner traps. Four stars, a portal guardian, a scroll and a gem needed along the way. The puzzle with the pushable object and the rising floors was nicely set in scene and the final area was great with some target shooting practice (vases as well as skeleton heads). The three secrets were rather easy and a bit uninspired, maybe a little more could have been done with music and I am not sure I liked the walk through blackness, even though it was certainly different, but all in all this is a great adventure that you should not miss." - Michael (01-Mar-2005)
"Nice atmosphere in this level, couldn't really find anything wrong with it was it not for that ridiculous black room, that was totally out of place in my opinion, more for a future level, there should have been some clue to that, or maybe we'll find out later what it was meant to be... The Crossroads with the 4 sides you had to deal with was good, and the Beetle was nice, was looking for a clue to what that one room was where you stepped on a tile and only the exit opened, but that was meant to be an example of how you could open things around here, put a sign up next time so we don't have to go looking around for ages to see what opened. I liked the Elevator and that big room with the centre fountain and the Boulder traps were fun too. Liked the end part with the faces you had to shoot the vases fro their tongues." - Dutchy (27-Feb-2005)
"I thoroughly enjoyed this level - just when you think it's finished it keeps going, so is more of an epic compared to some of the other B2B levels. I really did want to visit the Persian Palace that the load screen showed so was disappointed that I didn't. However, at least the level finished with a flyby showing the palace rather than just an abrupt end as depicted by the load bar. I didn't quite understand the flyby before collecting the gem: it showed the green cone-shaped glass cylinder from the previous area and you hear Lara grunt like she's pushing a block, then goes back to showing the spiked ball in the earthquake room Lara is currently in, that had fallen on to a pedestal which happened a while ago anyway - what was that about? From start to finish, the level was fun to play, nothing was annoying or frustrating (except when some wraiths would attack Lara while the cut scene was still playing - that was unfair). Another thing is trial-and-error of puzzles: when it comes to flicking switches to find out (the hard way) which one will drop the spiked ball (or not), if you get it wrong then you die and have to reload - puzzles should never be trial-and-error and there should be some guidance or a clue as to the correct sequence. I loved the huge black room of nothingness (where later pillars are revealed to guide your way), I love glass casings: e.g. where the laser sight is; pushing the block around to certain parts of a wall to raise the floor was genius (especially when looking at is from bird's eye-view); I loved the wind-up scarab and using it to open doors or trigger spike traps, i.e. collecting the crowbar using the scarab was clever. It's good to know that the revolver and laser sight had more use for it in the earthquake room than just shooting the vase to turn the spikes off before the wall climb. A point of interest is that this is the first level I've played where inert skeletons never wake up - interesting! Special thought was put in to colours as the level didn't compose of one blanket colour which can otherwise make catacomb levels rather drab and dull. However, special attention to colours means that the atmosphere is sacrificed which is further enhanced by rather plain lighting effects. Some comedic element was put in to it: Statues which stick their tongues out were fab, (especially those in the spiked ball trap run in the fountain area where all you see is the mouth and tongue of the statue, LOL!), and the music of the scroll which was terribly off-key - oh dear! Gameplay was never dull, traps were well thought out, the settings were superb and was overall a thoroughly enjoyable romp - well done!" - Jenni (24-Feb-2005)
"This is one of those levels that uses simplistic means to give a wonderful and very original adventure to the player. As Val said, the game is pretty much sectioned into three parts, the dungeons (brightly lit so no squinting of the eyes needed), the golden hued temple above, and then one shaky earthquaky columned room at the end. With each of these areas came some really imaginative and barely seen or not seen at all things before, in the dungeons there is a not often used use of the mechanical beetle, in the temple you have an elevator that is used in conjunction with a movable object puzzle and also an elevator with a trap infested ride, both of these I don't think I have encountered before in a level, and in the final room a definite not seem before use of a 4 headed, tongue poking statue that was as funny as it was clever. All in all I had a brilliant time playing this hour long level, with 3 secrets and not many but not missed enemies, and really applaud the author for thinking out of the square for some of those elements I mentioned." - Sash (18-Feb-2005)
"This is a quite long, but very beautiful level. Essentially it consists of two parts, in the first there are four doors opening from a main place, and in the second the level is focused round a fountain. We have to collect all in all four stars, mainly with using the mechanical scarab, which not only deactivates spikes, but also opens some doors. The enemies are only some wraiths, and at the end some skeletons, against that the most effective weapon is the Grenade Gun that can be found at the third secret. The author laid a big emphasis on tricking fireblowers and spiky balls. At the end of the level I very much liked that we have to shoot out vases in the mouths of head-shaped "statues", while they put out and retract their tongues. There was only one thing I disliked, and this was a totally black room near to the end, and only the pillars can be seem. Is it maybe a bug from the creator? Anyway, it's not a big problem, because we can see where we have to go. With this exception it is a good level, noone should ignore it. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (16-Feb-2005)
"Lara starts off in gloomy dungeon with several traps and many crawl spaces. Then there is a large dome like hall with numerous openings to explore. Finally, a magic path leads to the concluding mission. There are lots of wraiths, which perhaps is appropriate in a Persian level, and many traps, some of which are not announced. The level is fairly long for being a Back to Basics level, and you will have to do a lot of lever pulling and button pushing, but on the whole, the level is quite varied with some original challenges. There are also a few good secrets." - Bogey (14-Feb-2005)
"First around I had great fun until I came upon the black void and burned Lara to a crisp. Not that the burning was so terrible, but the void didn't seem to fit in this level. Second time around it still feels pretty odd. Apart from that this is a nifty level as there are all kinds of different task to perform to get your hand on the Gem that will able you to leave the level. There is a downstairs area and an upstairs area and I liked the use of the Mechanical Beetle. The wraith behaved like they should and I still don't like them as an enemy. In the upstairs room there are different tasks as well and I loved the use of the elevators. Coming through the black void it seemed like the builder ran out of steam as the only thing you had to do is shooting vases to get a gem. Nice touch but compared, pretty easy. You have the Grenade Launcher so the skeletons aren't a thread. The earthquake was pointless in my opinion. Overall the camera work was very well done and I would have loved to explore the castle in the last fly by. Took me more than 2 hours and I found 3 secrets. 10-01-2005" - Gerty (11-Feb-2005)
"This, for me, was an intriguing level, right from the starting drop into the catacombs to trying to figure out how to negotiate your way with those floor levers, spike traps, and open doors, etc. Nothing is exactly as we've known it before and that left me scratching my head at times. Nevertheless nothing was so complicated that it was baffling. I often just said to myself 'Aha, I wonder if this will work' and it did, and that was great. What to do with trigger tiles, how to get at them, how to get beyond the spikes, what's the story in that room with four crosses the wraiths seem to ignore, deal with a few skeletons, and finding stars. First of all you need to find a mechanical beetle and winder key. Once you have that it all becomes clearer . . . well . . . eventually. Then we come into an enormous room with a fountain in the centre and doors to open different areas on different levels. The first was a creative push object puzzle to raise a lift three times, this was unique; the next was to secure ledges over spikes to allow you get at a lever and put out a fire, (plenty of boulder actions, of all types, in this level too by the way); then we have a great little push an object out of the way/climb a pole/figure out which levers to push to turn off fires/figure out a way to get four boulders to drop (great); and finally we open a door and see a flyby of what looks like a weird dream of a pitch black room with columns seemingly in midair. Be aware that it's possible to open the door to this black room earlier than necessary and run in, which is confusing (and possibly nothing the author could do about it!), as you don't know exactly what you're supposed to do. So if this happens, leave it alone and go find something else to do and it will become clearer later on. This run through the black room was unusual, leads you to yet another lift, and up into a huge room with giant heads that have vases appearing and disappearing in their mouths - so that's what the revolver and lasersight was for! This was great fun, because you have to hop about on columns, use the shotgun to get rid of skeletons off other columns, use the revolver to shoot the vases, get the gem, and all during an earthquake. Whoohoo! To me, this was one of the more intriguing and fun levels in the Back to Basics challenge." - CC (04-Feb-2005)
"Immediately, we realise this is going to be a puzzle-oriented game. We cannot go one way from the first crossroads; initially, it seems that we cannot return if we try to go a second way (though we can); we quickly find a pressure pad, but it doesn't enable us to reach the crowbar we can see, etc. Thinking caps on, then! The first encounter with 2 sprites in enclosed areas, with several doors closed & with no bird statuette/anti-sprite yet seen, with no medipack pickups yet, either, certainly causes further pause for thought. Then we find a room with FOUR bird statuettes. Surely there cannot be 4 sprites to deal with? Oh, yes, and the first 3 at once, when we choose a different way to explore! (A curiously variable time to get rid of the 3 sprites: 2 mins or just 30 secs.) The lever that raises a ramp in a room was a nice touch, in a place where you had to watch what some moving boulders were doing before taking action, both before and after using a lever - though there was an alternative method of escape provided, also. A very neat use of the mechanical scarab, to activate a pressure pad, that opens a door, as well as the 'standard' use of disarming a spike trap. Then, later, there were several entertaining and varying 'puzzle-treks' off the 'fountain room' - the first 'lift room' was especially delightful: no 'floor' clues, but .... Perhaps trial and error initially, but could we see the mural pattern after that? (I was curious as to how an alien spaceship sound crept in at one point, though, in one room.) Seems a small thing, but I really liked the colouring of the brown pillars we saw that led to the final 'lift' columns. And it was a surreal journey to that lift. And I liked the nice little pillar puzzle to finish - earthquake, skeletors, lava pool to avoid, and target shooting included. (Challenge to the author: managed the whole thing, from top of the lift to bottom of the ladder, using up only 3 revolver rounds and one grenade, shooting only 2 skeletors, in less than 2 mins, in the end - with practice!) Nice not to have any beetles, and that the whole game was light enough that I used no flares - except initial exploration of the 'surreal' room, which didn't help! My favourite BtB game for puzzles, 5th overall, out of 12 played. Found 3 secrets, the 'spikes' one with help from the walkthrough." - rjb (04-Feb-2005)
"Beautiful surroundings and beautiful lighting. The is a good use of the scarab. There is a very dangerous elevator. There are many wraiths in the first part but no enemies in the second. The level ends in a suspicious way running through a black room with only pillars to end up in a room with high pillars above lava and an earthquake going on. Here you are chased by skeletons while aim shooting with the revolver. Lara finally finds the Jewel of Marduk and saves the world once again." - G.Croft (25-Jan-2005)
"Lara of Persia is a classic catacomb environment albeit with some surreal departures. The gameplay is relatively straight forward and makes good use of the mechanical beetle. Puzzling is not overly hard and thus the flow of the game is usually well maintained. I was impressed by the main waterfall room and the pyramid room and generally preferred the atmosphere/lighting created in these areas over the initial rooms. The lava room is interesting but didn't feel totally in context with the rest of the level - nor did the pitch black room. General architecture is good but there is a lack of continuity in the lighting and there remain a number of squashed or distorted textures. Flybys are generously supplied giving good indications of what is to come and there is a clever final camera sequence to round off proceedings. These are complemented by a good selection from the available audio tracks. All in all a good raiding romp if you are prepared to ignore a few rough edges and just enjoy the gameplay and puzzling. It took me 1:11 net gaming and I recovered 3 secrets." - EssGee (25-Jan-2005)
"I enjoyed this level immensely this was just my type of game-play even though I did do a lot of running around finding out what to do and where to go next which is nothing new for me. The first part of this adventure you need to find the mechanical scarab locating the crowbar to retrieve the 2 stars and avoiding many traps in the process. But first you have to figure out how to deactivate some spike traps by finding levers locating some pressure pads and using an object. Your only enemies in this first part of the level are a few fire wraiths so make sure you know where to go before they arise. After which this will lead you to a huge and most beautiful laid out room where you need figure out and solve some puzzles to allow you open all these doors by pushing buttons pulling objects locating the hathor effigy retrieving some more stars and pulling some floor switches which many have some hidden traps nearby so make sure you look carefully beforehand. Traps are the main obstacle in this level which are quite easily to get by but just save often and you will have no problem in conquering them and finishing this wonderful level. The last part of this level had me a bit confused as I found my stars fairly quickly opened up this door to enter a room that was in complete darkness I just had no idea where to go at that point but soon realized that I had many other things to do before even entering that room. Your enemies which appear at the very end of this level are skeletons fortunately you do have your grenade gun at hand to dispose of them very easily and quickly. Regarding secrets I am not sure how many secrets there were in this level but I managed to find 3 of them after completing this wonderful adventure. To sum this level up I enjoyed playing it very much textures lighting and layouts was brilliantly done everything was well placed and well thought out to make this adventure extremely enjoyable. I encountered no bugs during this level and it gave me nearly 2 hours of some nice game-play and I would certainly recommend this level to all raiders." - Gill (23-Jan-2005)
"This one leaves Lara with the option to choose from 4 different ways to go. The rooms are created with a lot of variety so are the tasks and puzzles which keeps you interested. The soft light gave a certain individual touch to the setting. I liked the level in my view it belongs in the upper half of the 18 contestants." - Rüdiger (19-Jan-2005)
"Using a Mechanical Scarab to open doors? A pitch black room with a previous fly by showing columns and a way out of the room to a waiting elevator? All this and more. Imaginative and innovative this has become one of my favorite BtB levels. Initially this is one of those levels in which I got stuck and then went back to complete. As will happen if the floor levers are pushed without exploring to find the wraith cross. Once the cross (in this case crosses) are found the game starts to flow and everything connects. The beginning is a search for a way into spiked doorways and two Stars leading into a much larger area with many smaller rooms and ledges to explore. The final sequence is complete with a large head sticking out it's tongue a trip around the room to see the head on all sides and an earthquake(!) in a search for the game ending gem. A must play - well done." - Bene (19-Jan-2005)
"Surprisingly enough although this level isn't full of complex puzzles or devious traps it was very enjoyable for me. I liked the colourful rooms the areas are well done and so are the puzzles. The way the mechanical scarab was used was a great idea and I loved this kind of gameplay throughout the level. I admit that at first I didn't think much of it because of all the doors that I saw but after a couple of tasks I got into the author's style and loved this altogether. You will gather a few items stars the portal guardian and you'll get the feeling that this is a two part adventure. The second one is better than the first with challenging traps mostly with spike balls and one of them which was very familiar from the level 'Pirates of the Caribbean' where you have to time your climb because of the spikes. There is a scroll to find here and one connection room which got my attention. There is an area that connects the level with the last part of it and although pitch black it has a great hint and is dead easy to pass. The button outside of it makes some pillars appear in it that show you the way. One thing that I found strange was a spike ball that disappeared; I think it was at the area with the scroll. That Persian type building I kept seeing at the loading screen looked fantastic; too bad we didn't get to explore something like that in game. I found one secret but make sure you get it before you drain an area. It's a good level that I wouldn't mind playing again." - Kristina (17-Jan-2005)
"Oh! What a great game this one is! The adventure is quick paced requires some thought fun...the use of objects is different and sometimes playful (I loved the face sticking it's tongue out at me!)...the setting is terrific...sounds like this one is my 'fav' so far. This IS tomb raiding at it's most fun! Bravo! Uvavoo is getting my bet on this one." - Mugs (16-Jan-2005)
"I've read the other reviews posted to date and I'm flabbergasted by some of the low scores. Folks this is a top flight level and run don't walk to your nearest download station. Yes there are some devious death traps here but they're fairly marked and there are ways to de-activate them. The gameplay is quite fluid and well conceived and there are a couple of flybys at the very end that will blow your mind. I have no idea who the builder is but whoever it is will surely turn out to be one of the recognized top tier. I must admit that I had the pre-release advantage of the excellent Dutchy-Gerty walkthrough but I pride myself in the fact that I was forced to resort to none of the usual savegame-tweaking accouterments that help the weaker players such as myself make it through a level unscathed. I truly believe the Back to the Basics competition is the best thing that has happened to us run of the mill players in the past two years and I sincerely hope that we'll have another one next year. Play this one you'll love it." - Phil (15-Jan-2005)
"A very good level much complete. It's no much linear but the gameplay is fluid enough. Few enemies and so few ammo. Cameras are quite well. Perhaps the sounds are some poor. Textures are correct. A level which nobody regrets of play." - Jose (15-Jan-2005)
"Well I'm still seeing double from the earthquake at the end of this level! Precisely the kind of feature I believe should be avoided at all costs in customs and I've already stated that in the review to another game where the final earthquake was much worse to the point of making me sick. But let's forget that and speak of the game globally... Great settings taking the original level editor to new and sometimes quite beautiful places nice well-connected puzzles great new ideas and very few enemies but in fact the game could do without them which is a good sign. Good balance between searching and acting out but it all becomes slightly more confused in the second part in the big fountain room - I guarantee there was a time when I didn't know where I was anymore! It's also easy to become stuck at one particular point in this part - and reach a certain pitch black room too soon - which is a flaw to some extent. Once you finally understand what the black room is all about you'll love it though you may first hate it if you get there before time. Very good use of the beetle too but I wonder why Lara would get a second beetle at the beginning of the second part when it won't be needed anymore... Globally though this is a game I enjoyed very much and I believe you will too. (January 11 2005)" - Jorge22 (12-Jan-2005)
"A perfect mix of puzzles jumps and timing. Gameplay wise the best level I've played so far in the series. One little flaw to that regard though: on two or three occasions a wraith attacked while I was given a camera. It may sound nitpicking but it kinda got on my nerves (just a tiny little bit and I'd wish I could subtract only half a point for that). Setting is very good with a pleasant care for details (statues sticking tongues at me? How rude of them indeed!). Loved the lighting and colors but it may be a tad lacking on the atmosphere side. Nice work on the music placement too. In fact I liked this level so much that I'll put it aside and will probably play it again once or twice. Very very nice job." - Sutekh (12-Jan-2005)
"A 'Back to Basics' level using the catacomb wad so I won't go into detail about enemies and objects - you know the score. This seems like a bit of a warren at first although you soon realise that most routes are blocked by spikes. We get to use our old friend the mechanical beetle in some rather clever ways. In fact the gameplay in general is rather well devised and will certainly engage your brain. The use of colour with the lighting is lovely and the ending with the skeletons is most effective although I must confess I could have done without the earthquake. I found two secrets." - Jay (10-Jan-2005)
"Oh my goodness Lara of Persia what can I say except awesome! I loved every minute of it and will definitely be playing it again some time. There are three areas in this level for starters you'll be in the catacombs down under having to deactivate spikes to progress through various door whilst collecting the crowbar beetle key and two stars. There are wraiths as enemies but much of this area is searching. The second area is in a temple type surrounding where you will again be searching out two stars and also the revolver sight and the scroll again a lot of searching with spike ball and spike traps levers and flames but no enemies here. Place the stars and you're in for a really nice treat and a fly by shows you a pitch black room which suddenly becomes alive with a columned path to lead you to a lift. Now into the final part and you get to meet some vicious skellies in a large lava pool room. Jump the pillars and do some shooting to get the gem and escape. Absolutely fabulous level with some great effects secrets are included making this a must to play." - Moonpooka (10-Jan-2005)
"Playing this level I wasn't really sure what to make of it. On one hand there are quite a few original ideas and the main hall looks not half bad but on the other hand there are just too many trial and error deaths and the whole thing just doesn't really come together; neither plot- nor setting wise. I'll give you an example to illustrate my point. At one stage you use two stars to open a door that leads you to a pitch black room. And I mean pitch black like in without textures. Without any clue you start running until you burn to death. Now later in the game you trigger a few pillars that show you the right way in this darkness. This in itself is a rather neat idea methinks it just doesn't work out very well cause the missing texture room seems really out of place in Persia the fly by with the floating columns looks a bit daft and you get no clue before what to do in the dark room. There is a nice variety of tasks and I liked the use of the mechanic beetle but the architecture is rather careless in places and the lighting a bit sloppy as well. Items enemies colours and textures seemed to be thrown in pretty much at random throughout the level. The utterly pointless earthquake at the end clinched it for me and made sure that I was damn happy to leave Persia for good. Apparently I found one secret but can't really remember where." - Dimpfelmoser (07-Jan-2005)