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BtB2005 - The Red and the Blue by eRIC

Bene 9 9 10 10
Bigfoot 10 9 10 9
Bogey 8 8 9 9
CC 9 8 8 8
Deekman 8 9 8 9
Dimpfelmoser 7 6 6 6
DJ Full 9 9 9 9
Dutchy 10 9 9 9
EssGee 9 8 9 9
eTux 9 9 8 7
G.Croft 9 8 8 9
Gerty 7 7 7 7
Gill 10 10 10 10
Horus 6 8 7 7
Jay 9 8 9 9
Jenni 5 4 7 8
Jerrod 10 10 9 8
JesseG 7 8 8 9
Jorge22 9 9 9 9
Jose 9 9 10 10
Kristina 9 8 9 9
manarch2 8 8 8 7
MichaelP 10 9 8 8
Mman 10 9 9 9
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
mugs 9 8 9 9
Neltharion 6 6 6 7
nerdfury 9 9 9 6
Obig 10 9 10 9
Passalaqua 9 7 8 8
Phil 10 9 10 10
QRS 9 9 9 9
rjb 9 8 9 9
Ruediger 9 9 8 9
Ryan 9 9 9 8
Sash 10 10 9 9
Staticon 7 8 9 9
Sutekh 10 10 9 10
Treeble 8 9 9 9
Whistle 8 9 9 9
release date: 01-Jan-2005
# of downloads: 166

average rating: 8.60
review count: 40
review this level

file size: 39.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cave/Cat

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Another challenging level from this author but one I enjoyed. eRIC has a habit of crafting levels that happen to be almost the perfect level of difficulty for me. I find with a lot of really difficult TRLEs that the way to progress is often so unintuitive or vague that checking a walkthrough becomes inevitable. eRIC seems to have hit the magic formula for me personally in this regard - the path forward is often difficult to find but after a little head-scratching I usually figure it out. The design, texturing, and atmosphere are all very much solid, but not excellent. There's definitely room for improvement in these areas, but for me gameplay is the most important thing, and this author excels here, so I will definitely continue playing his levels." - Passalaqua (25-Nov-2023)
"Rather simple level with certain remarkable bits but overall it doesn't add nothing new to the table, its just the usual catacombs level from the early 2000s. Objects are properly placed although backtracking be necessary if you miss an important object. Lighting and textures are rather decent, lighting on water areas is particularly weird at first but then you realise its purpose later on the level, that's a plus I guess. Overall, enjoyable? Yes, Difficult? Not at all, replay worthy? Don't think so." - Neltharion (28-Jun-2023)
"After 9001 catacomb levels alike, it's refreshing to play one impossible to mistake for any other. This plus immersion plus lack of issues is enough for me to scream "recommended". A bit underdog of eRIC but try it one day." - DJ Full (28-Sep-2022)
"This one took a while until it finally clicked with me, but I left well satisfied with my stay here. Repeating the climb inside that grated tower three times wasn't exactly fun, but otherwise there were plenty of nice platforming sequences as we quest for key items to proceed. The grand finale was a nice touch too, I understand the Grenade Launcher was there for a reason but having so many skeletons pushing me around drove me insane so ultimately I just shotgunned them into the pool and in the end the grenade launcher wasn't necessary at all. The envirnoments are also very pretty, and I felt the way the author used lots of mirrored half textures was quite clever to help set up the theme of the level, which was further enhanced with stark contrast in lighting. All in all, a very good and solid entry. 60 minutes, 4 secrets. 08/21" - Treeble (22-Aug-2021)
"Definitely the most difficult level in the collection that I have played so far, mostly because there are two places where Lara must jump past flames that are difficult to dodge – and she must get past them multiple times! I am ashamed to say that I sometimes used saving + reloading to get past them. The other big source of difficulty was the skeletons, because the crossbow is hidden in a secret and the shotgun is in a side route behind an underwater crack that I could not get Lara through for the life of me, so I had no means to attack them until the grenade gun at the very end. In general, skeletons should be accompanied with appropriate weaponry that is hard to miss, otherwise they are a constant annoyance. Lara will also fend off some spirits, dodge boulders, and configure expanding platforms to her needs to get her hands on the prized scroll. Visuals are great, I especially liked how the textures of that man's portrait were split up to form the two brothers that are in the story, that's clever. 1 hour 11 minutes." - JesseG (13-Jul-2021)
"(9) Gameplay & Puzzles: There's plenty of engaging platforming and traps here, but they're not too tricky. However, the keyword for this level is exploration. In many other levels you will find rooms dedicated to a puzzle. Not here -- Red & Blue is very challenging exploration-wise, and the exploration aspect is essentially puzzle after puzzle, as I often wondered to myself, "what on earth does the builder want me to do here?". You will likely feel lost at times, especially if you play the level across multiple days, however, the sense of progression is worth it. I really enjoyed the builder's creative use of Lara's abilities to reach areas that you wouldn't think are accessible at first-glance, and I felt a true sense of accomplishment whenever I advanced to the next room. (9) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: I enjoyed the skeleton and wraith enemies in general (the final fight room is very thrilling) however I thought the scarabs were too much. The level is already complex and challenging exploration-wise, it's overkill to disrupt the player from finding the next course of action with scarabs chasing you across different rooms. Decorative objects were plenty, to bring rooms to life. (9) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Never once did I feel like the rooms were too boxy, or empty; I very much enjoyed the builder's use of non-standard shapes in architectural design. The builder also used music tracks and tense sound cues perfectly, and I especially liked the spooky cutscenes of the brother's tombs when Lara picked up either pharos item. I appreciated the multiple flybys, however, sometimes they only served to be eye-candy, without helping direct the player to the next objective. Examples: the flyby when initially entering the hub area with the pharos receptacles only served to overwhelm, and the flyby when entering the final fight room gave no clue as to how to ascend it. In terms of standard hint cameras, more were needed to minimize the sense of confusion across the level. (6) Lighting & Textures: While textures were applied "properly", I didn't agree with the texturing choices of the builder. Many rooms didn't look good due to the builder choosing to mash many busy-looking textures together. The color of the water at times was too bright and cartoonish, and static objects too bright. I just didn't think the level was very immersive texture-wise. It also grinded my gears that the builder would utilize a common ladder and/or monkeyswing texture in some areas, but the tile was in fact not a ladder/monkeyswing. Overall, despite me not loving the visual aspect, I still highly recommend this level to those who want an exploratory challenge, as the creative gameplay is worth it. 9/9/9/6." - nerdfury (22-Nov-2020)
"A very good Back to Basics Catacombs level and certainly one who have one of the best gameplay. When we read the story we can suppose Lara is not in Egypt but maybe in italia. It's not a bad thing because catacombs textures are roman and come from real place like Kom el Shoqafa necropolis in Alexandria and built during Imperial Roman influences, so an italian palace is credible. I'm maybe not really fan of some textures use like combine two semi lady and semi snake together. BUT I loved how the author create the 2 faces of the two brothers of his story. Nice choise ;-) !! I really enjoyed the gameplay and the hunt for the secrets to get a special artifact at the end. It's always a good thing when the player is rewarded when he find all secrets. Not maybe fan of the wraiths. It's an enemie I really hesitate to use because I encounter lot of problems to kill them in birds statues ... But it's my personnal taste. So to conclude, it's a very good level with solid gameplay and maybe easiest than Eastern Sanctuary. Playable by everyone and specially for those who search a good catacomb levels experience. Congratulations eRIC!!" - Bigfoot (14-May-2020)
"Lara slides into a dark tomb where many challenges await her. Hard jumps, flooding and draining a pool, shooting skeletons and finding items. I liked the red and blue evocative lighting, but maybe not some of the texturing. Enjoyable anyway." - Ryan (01-Jul-2016)
"This is overall a most enjoyable and well constructed level. It starts a bit dark and uneven with a few texture errors, but with the first flyby the rooms are more pleasant to look at and the gameplay is quite fun. There are lots of smaller and larger tasks in this level, challenging platforming sequences and overall a nice progression. The whole setup makes this game feel a bit of"busy" towards the end, meaning there are many tasks put into a single room, and the tasks could've been a little more clever, most puzzles have a pretty straightforward solution to them and generally I could imagine a bit more efforts into the"red and blue" concept. While the rooms' architecture is well devised and intricate, it feels a bit too much gameplay-related and functional. Another thing is that the mostly red lighting feels a bit flat and too simile and the rooms often lack a sun. The enemy and trap placement is really great in this level, giving this level even more spice and the secrets are fun to get, especially the one which includes shooting several bones through the whole level. Overall this is a nice level with a very classic style that could have been a bit more original on the whole. Found four secrets in 40 minutes." - manarch2 (06-May-2014)
"This is one of the only Back to Basics Catacombs levels to really do anything with it's storyline; the theme of duality is a constant throughout, and it leads to some fresh gameplay too (like lava with safe sections). There's some interesting designs and nice use of textures and objects to support the theme too. The lighting could have maybe did a little more with the theme (it's a bit biased towards reddish colours) but it's still very good.
This is probably the most challenging level so far, and there's a lot of complex exploration and tricky challenges. It's also by far the longest so far with around a hour of gameplay when the others were about forty-five minutes at most. Less experienced players will probably get frustrated at points, and one fly-by at an initially deadly switch seems a little questionable, but I think this is about as far as the basic Catacomb theme can be taken without breaking some limits. Especially taking into account the way the story further adds to the gameplay here. One of the best levels of BTB Catacombs." - Mman (27-Oct-2012)
"What a great and ingenious puzzle! I finished this game without the walkthru and jump after jump, it's a real pleasure of advancing in the Alesandro's Palace. My poor Lara is dead over 50 times, the final is absolutely horrible (I hate the author), but it's an excellent level for the brain and the skills of Lara. Congrats." - Jerrod (28-Mar-2010)
"Overall, an enjoyable level. Not an easy one by a long chalk which caused me, the eternal beginner, a few headaches. I admit that I nearly gave up on this level when attempting a tricky jump to a sloping surface in a lava filled room. I spent two days splashing into that bloody lava and was on the point of surrendering when I accidentally made it. I am so glad I succeeded in the end as this turned out to be an excellent level that had me referring to the walkthrough on a regular basis. Despite the amount of real time (3 days) it took me to finish this one, I felt a little sad when it ended - a sign of a good level. Thanks eRIC. :-)" - Staticon (26-Dec-2005)
"One word:Difficult!! eRIC did not dissappoint me this time either. This level is by far the hardest of the btb levels. Great fun though and very well made. I managed to find 4 secrets and the trident at the end. What a fine ending with all the skeletons and the wraiths! I got a boss feeling when the music started hehe. The name of the level is fitting too, as there are two main rooms with either lava or water in them hehe. A great btb level and if you like eRIC's other levels this is not to be missed!" - QRS (11-Dec-2005)
"This level has several very tricky jumps, the first one at the beginning to traverse the lava pit and avoid the fire jets. Later the jump from the middle of the pool to the sloping block seems near impossible, but has to be done. Appart from these jumps the game play is fine, with lots to find and pick up. Enemies are varied and include skeletons, mummies, wraths, and the dreaded beetles. Also plenty of ways to get Lara rather fried to a turn. The graphics, camera set upsand lighting are used to good effect and along with standard music bites, set a good atmosphere. All in all a good level." - Whistle (23-Oct-2005)
"I really liked the idea with the two portraits all over the level I must admit. Apart from that the level lacked a bit of good ideas. The location looked most of the time rather dull, although the textures were nicely used. There were countless skeletons used that kept buggering me all over the level but at least they were a challenge and not just decoration. The gameplay got at times rather tedious and I had to look at the walthrough rather often. In my opinion, the flyby in the big main hall was a bit too long and didn't really show me much of interest." - Horus (03-Oct-2005)
"This is my favourite level so far. No doubt, it's not easy, but it's wonderful, and there are good ideas. One of them, when we have to play double-mill with the pushable blocks in order to find the crowbar and the two Golden Stars. In my opinion it's ingenious when in one of the rooms we can swim in the lava, because there's a 'waterpath' in it. The whole level was constructed remarkably logical. We can't make a mistake like leaving something and having to go back from the end. In all I found four secrets; the door for the last we can open by shooting five bones. But for shooting the bones, we need the Crossbow and the Lasersight that can be picked up also at secrets. So it worth to explore every of them. This is a level that you mustn't skip. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (22-Mar-2005)
"A fairly challenging level, proving, once again, that you must look everywhere and try everything and save often. The hardest part for me was making that first jump to the sloped block to left when entering the first hot water room. The cool water path was a nice touch. Skellies are abundant, but easily disposed of, even before you get the grenade gun. (Almost always a ledge to shoot them off of with the shotgun or evaded all together.) Beetles at your heels? Have them follow you to where they can't return from and you're good to go. This was fun." - Deekman (07-Mar-2005)
"The Red and the Blue is not for the fainthearted! Quite a challenging adventure, though it never gets too difficult, what works in favor of the level. I just loved how the whole level - be it how architecture of the rooms or the objects within them - interacted with each other in order to make the particular room where you're in more versatile and desirable to explore. The tasks range from exploring even for the smallest cracks in the most unthinkable places (well, not in the way, that the particular crack is completely unthinkable of, but it's not where you would usually look for it), cleverly avoiding traps set by the devious author, or searching where to perform a particularly devious jump, or look for another cleverly applied climbable/monkey-swingable wall that wonderfully ties together gameplay with architecture. Atmosphere/look-wise I found the level to be nothing special or extraordinary, though solidly made nonetheless. Well, what else can be said that hasn't been said yet? I found the level to be quite big, and that only proves that you can stuff in quite a lot within one level, maybe the looks here suffer in favor of the gamplay, but overall this all results in a well done level, not to be missed!" - eTux (05-Mar-2005)
"Wow - this was a brilliant adventure in terms of gameplay. The huge rooms are wonderfully used to get you to places and back, you really need to put your brain in gear to proceed and master the occasional tricky move, but it is really more about being smart than about being quick with your fingers on the keyboard. Two gems, two stars, a knot, a pillar and a portal guardian are your quest items. Burners, expanding blocks, spikes, wraiths, mummies and skeletons keep you busy. I found two secrets and missed at least a third, which I saw but never got to and spent 90 minutes in this great level which ends with quite a gauntlet - great fun!" - Michael (01-Mar-2005)
"In this excellent level, the main challenge is to find the right way to proceed. This can be tricky and requires both keen observation and some thinking and planning. There are no really difficult moves, though. You will also find some traps and encounter the usual catacomb enemies. The level is very well designed and a great fun to play. However, it is quite long for being a back to basic level. It is set in a number of large rooms with water filled basins. Here and there, there are shatterable bones to smash. Try to find the crossbow and laser sight before you leave the central area, because some other rooms cannot be revisited." - Bogey (21-Feb-2005)
"Oh yes, this was delicious. This has one of the best and most interesting, not to let slip that at times a little frustrating, routes in a level I have seemed to have played in quite a while. Every inch of all the fabulous rooms are traipsed on by our lovely heroine and nothing seemed wasted, even when things looked impossible, and sometimes it does, there is always a logic to your next movement and it is just a matter of taking a second to survey the rooms. I even think that the enemies that are placed in this level are used for maximum effect and as I didn't find my first crossbow, there are two as secrets, till late in the level it was fight with the shotgun or flight and as I didn't want to waste too much time setting up skellies near ledges as they usually attacked in packs I chose the flight scenario for the most part and it was really quite thrilling. As I am nearing the end of the Back to Basic levels this one is topping it for me in the overall stakes but I hope that I can be surprised and find a shining perfect gem in the few I have left but it will have to be bloody marvelous to beat this 60 minute must play. Pssst, just between you and me, bones equals shoot!" - Sash (18-Feb-2005)
"If you like jumping till you drop, this is your level. I thought it was pretty hard as there are so many nooks and crannies you have to explore and with that some acrobatic jumping to do that my poor keyboard really got a beating. This is not a level for my top ten. Don't get me wrong, there are some nifty ideas in here and you should have a go at it, specially now the walkthrough is out. Tedious comes to mind with some wraiths chasing Lara and a bloody long way to get rid of them. But who wouldn't after playing 15 Back to Basic levels. But it for sure is a change of running into ninja's, LOL. The overall brightness in the main room made it look harsh, could have use some fine tuning in that area. This took me about 4 hours to finish, 25-01-2005" - Gerty (11-Feb-2005)
"This was an exciting game and I had lot of fun to playing it. In this level, you need to collect some stars, a pharos knot, a pharos pillar, finding the well hidden crowbar, ornate handle and the hathor effigy. You will come across some difficult jumps, but quite achievable once you know how. During your adventure you will also be encountering some fire traps and boulder traps, which makes this level a lot of fun and even more exciting to play. Your enemies are skeletons, mummies and wraiths. I only managed to find one secret though, which was the crossbow, which came in handy to blast those skellies with, when crossing my path. During your journey those nasty beetle's are hot on your trail again, and some quick thinking and out-running is in order here, to avoid the least amount of damage so you can continue with your mission. You will also encounter many switches to pull and buttons to push, and some switches even have to be pulled twice to be able to succeed in this wonderful adventure. The last room gave me a lot excitement as you were being chased by wraiths and skellies, and trying to figure out how to get up to the cross to extinguish those wraiths, this took me a few re-loads, so I could take the least amount of damage while being chased. In general I think the builder has done an excellent job here, as I thought the rooms were very well laid out and the objects were very well placed, which gave this level a great atmosphere to be in, with some great game-play with many fun moments, the lighting was well very done, with not too many dark places to visit. A wonderful level, and well worth the d/load, so I would recommend playing it, to see for yourself." - Gill (06-Feb-2005)
"Starting in a very dark and spooky tomb-like area with coffins stacked high. Very soon though we come out into the first huge water room. The overall impression I'm left with after playing this level is jumps, some very tricky jumps, some very unusual jumps; interesting climbing and shimmying, but which wall or column to climb? I found this level fascinating. I did a lot of head scratching and trying different ways to do things because it's not immediately obvious what needs to be done. For example, the second star behind a moving block, I didn't see it for ages. I think I've spent more time in this level than any of the others so far. Atmosphere and architecture are great. The blue and the red obviously refer to the colour of the water in different rooms, the red water is toxic, the blue is safe, and in the last water room there is a blue water area right in the middle of toxic red water, so keep a look out for that. A lot of thought has gone into designing these rooms. Some have toxic water to clear, some have water to drain. It seems that each time you open a door you enter yet another water room, all beautiful looking. I liked the idea of being locked in each room when you enter, so you know you can't get out until you've finished. This saves a lot of backtracking over vast areas. There are a few devious traps, like a switch to open an underwater door, but you must turn off the spikes that shoot up after you press it. You can hear the spikes as the flyby is rolling and when the camera returns to Lara she is dead. Then you must turn off fires, and a spiked slope so you can use it to get to a high doorway. There are five heaps of bones to shoot that open the final door. Plenty of skeletons that show up at very inconvenient times, and wraiths. One room has three floor levers. I pulled all three first time and the door opened, but it was timed, and you can get stuck if you do manage to get through it. So, a word to the wise, pull only 'two' of them. Then the door opens and stays open to let you continue. An excellent entry in this Back to Basics competition." - CC (04-Feb-2005)
"I had great fun with this level. Finding your way through tricky jumping searching everywhere. A gameplay that brings you back to previous areas where you thought - why didn't that door open or those spikes redraw...?! You have to think about your next move and maybe pull a lever two or three times to be able to move on. Enemies were few but annoying the surroundings looked great. Lara sets off to find an old music scroll which has been hidden beyond countless traps in ancient catacombs." - G.Croft (25-Jan-2005)
"The name is very apt with blue and red water and sometimes the two mixed together - but found it very confusing if you go back to a previous room and maybe missed certain doors high up in nooks in the roof or even not notice gem receptacles because you're too busy fluffing about with what seems to be the main attraction of that room which is moving ledges in out or up and down; or attaining gems and shotguns; so you wonder what you're doing here! There are a few bugs with doors not closing in time so you exit a room before you should; scarabs that persist in following you from room to room; and just because there's a lever there to use doesn't mean you should...especially if the task is easier by not flicking it. The path is not always obvious and you have to search high and low and every little nook and cranny to find where to go next....that gets monotonous after a while as I'd just love to run around a bit but hardly get the chance. It's disheartening to finally solve the next part to find you're then going back to a previous room when you're sure you checked everywhere so what could you possibly have to do now?! Flybys do help but when you play this level over a space of a few days you forget every detail of what's in each room. A nice level a nice idea - but just too annoying to be enjoyable." - Jenni (25-Jan-2005)
"Well due to some clumsy footwork by 'moi' in the first mummy channel the red and blue adventure nearly didn't get off the ground at all as I frustrated myself trying to make a simple jump more complicated than I needed. Having said that I'm so glad I persevered as after just under 2 hours I emerged exhausted with my brain cells more black 'n blue than red and blue from this challenging level. The main game occurs in and around an ingeniously constructed main Hall with many well concealed or difficult to access side areas. The Red and Blue title reference ties in nicely with the mysterious waters of this level but I did locate one red water zone that Lara was happily able to paddle around in without being deep-fried. There's a very well designed expanding platform puzzle and mischievous climbing adventure in a deep lava room. Clever flooding and pushblock puzzles keep you intrigued throughout the game and the pinnacle is a climbing battle to a high hall with many enemies trying to thwart your progress. So don't ignore all that tempting shotgun ammo that's been lying around it could come in handy here. There's a tricky bit of secret sideplay too involving the bones so see if you can locate them all. There's the occasional humourous touch too in some facial texturing which I really enjoyed. Complex architecture an interesting atmosphere tough puzzling and challenges make this a most rewarding level to complete. But be warned this one does take a bit of patience." - EssGee (25-Jan-2005)
"A very good level made by a professional builder. Puzzles are very interesting and geometry is nearly perfect. Sometimes are very difficult tasks you know what to do but need a lot of tries to get it. Secrets are almost impossible to find I've only find one (sight). If you shoot the bones in the pool before drain it (shotgun) later when the pool is empty the bones are still there. Cameras enemies sounds lights ... are professional. A level which demanding players will like." - Jose (24-Jan-2005)
"With this level I've now played all 18 in the BtB series. I feel something of the same sadness I experience when I open the liquor cabinet and find that a cherished bottle of expensive single malt scotch has only a small swallow left. And Red/Blue is a fitting swan song for a grand experiment that I hope will be repeated soon. Even with the walkthrough this one took me almost two hours to complete. There are no unique touches that I can recall but you'll find just about everything displayed in this engrossing adventure. I've played only a couple of the BtB levels where I felt I could identify the author (not counting the one I beta tested of course) but Red/Blue seems to have Horus written all over it. Of the 18 levels I feel that 6 are truly standouts and this is reinforced by the ratings that they've received: Red/Blue Shadow of Death Abyss Serpent Tower Mourning Palace and Underground City. I can recommend each of the other dozen as well but these six are the ones that in my estimation will stand the test of time. Bravo George for coming up with this idea and doing what needed to be done to see it through." - Phil (23-Jan-2005)
"What an enjoyable game! But not as easy as the author - whoever he/she may be - put it in several messages to the forums. It's easy in fact to become somewhat disoriented as to what to do next in several moments and since the pace of the action may be a little fast at times one must be able to think fast and well and act immediately. The only secret I found was the trident near the end after having shot all the bones with my aimable shotgun (never found the crossbow and the lasersight apparently secrets too both of them). The beginning of the game doesn't promise much more than a regular catacombs level but later on as the action unfolds it gets better and better. I really liked the final room when Lara must get rid of two ice wraiths plus several annoying skeletons that get in her way while trying to get to a large medipack the grenade gun (at last!) a cross for the wraiths and the head of the ornate handle all at a very fast pace. The room with the blocks that retract where Lara finds the two stars is also very nicely done. I suppose this level couldn't have been built by a beginner but who was it that built it? No idea. Anyway play it now for real tomb raiding fun! (January 23 2005)" - Jorge22 (23-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 is a level full of tricky jumps and manoeuvres - not Japanese builder tear your hair out and scream with frustration difficult just nicely challenging. It's good gamplay and the ending with two wraiths and massed ranks of skellies is certainly exhilarating (it seemed to take hours to find that damn owl). I only found two secrets but there were one or two doors I never managed to open." - Jay (23-Jan-2005)
"Everything works well here - the atmosphere is immersive gameplay is memorable and the use of colors is striking. In a search for many items leading to a Music Scroll you'll find the usual enemies including beetles and this time they are thankfully easier to elude. But the ending sequence of skellies and wraiths are not - things get intense until the upper balcony is reached. I'm glad I hoarded medipacks. The only negative was not being able to return to a previous room to shoot the last set of bones in order to access the last secret. I missed the laser site the first time around (despite knowing where it was) and did not know at the time that there is a way to shoot them without it although I did try. lol But that in no way interfered in gameplay. Bottom line: this is a challenging interesting level that deserves a top spot in the BtB contest (IMO)." - Bene (23-Jan-2005)
"The creator made the water in this level very red and very blue indeed so you can't fail noticing where the name of the level came from. But apart from the appalling colours (just kidding) I have little to complain about. The gameplay is fluent with a couple of interesting turns for example in the room where the blocks have to be moved to have access to the 2 golden stars. The camera shot showing the water basin being filled was clever. Near the end you find a grenade launcher to blast skeletons into pieces in case you really have enough of them. A level with great ideas but I was irritated once when Lara died while the camera was showing some other place." - Rüdiger (22-Jan-2005)
"Although this is my last review for the Back to Basics series this level wasn't the last I've played. The reason why I've held it until now is simple. I wanted to ascertain that my conviction about it was true and I couldn't do so without having played all the B2B levels. Now that it's done I can state my opinion with full knowledge of the facts and will give it without further ado: This level is my absolute favorite of the whole series! Loved the lighting (Red and Blue indeed). Loved the setting various beautiful and 'atmospheric'. Loved the enemies and their placements. Loved the little details that often makes the difference between good and better: the burning mummy the skellie in the water (wouldn't had it been nice to have some of those in the Pirates of the Caribbean level of the Lara at the Movie series?) the little hints of humor (take a look at the brothers portraits). What I loved more though is the gameplay. Perfect for me as it were. Quite challenging at times but never frustrating allowing those great moments of victory I'm so fond of. And the secrets? A true treasure hunting. All this makes The Red and the Blue a non-stop feast from beginning to end. Of course nothing's perfect and yes I could have done with less beetles (the endless supply of which almost becoming comic relief after a while since you can get rid of them quite easily) and I would have liked a less abrupt ending. But overall this level is simply brilliant. Whoever built this has won my everlasting admiration." - Sutekh (19-Jan-2005)
"I don't know if it's me due to my liking of the catacomb wad or the authors have given us some very good levels lately. There are some tricky jumps in this level bones to shoot to access a trident at the end and a few items to find. The players might get confused at some point because of the rooms you have to revisit but once you get use to it it's not too bad in fact I liked this kind of gameplay very much. I had a problem with a ladder that was in front of a vase with fire that in my opinion is unfair for the players. There is no way you can make it up to the top without having to reload four to five times and that is tedious as I had to climb up there twice. You have to pay attention to the surroundings some things change after Lara has completed certain tasks. If you don't find the crossbow another secret don't worry you can use the shotgun to shoot all the bones in the level and even the underwater ones. The problem is that one set of them reappears after draining and flooding a room so you better wait until you finish with that area to shoot them. We get a plethora of skeletons and a few annoying wraiths that made Lara's 'life' difficult because she had to run a long way to get rid of them. In general I liked the challenge this level had to offer and the room with the fire obstacle and burning mummy was a nice touch. I found two secrets and I have to replay it some time to get that trident. I recommend this great level." - Kristina (17-Jan-2005)
"Top marks for this one I absolutely loved it from start (well almost) to finish. Only one small area at the start had me begging for a save game due to my own stupidity but from then on I had a fabulous time. There's the usual enemies which I found very well placed a good ol' fight at the end that is plus a few skellies beetles and wraiths earlier on so nothing too tedious. Each room was full of tasks such as jumps water fire spike balls spikes and loads more. The rooms were also beautifully done and the lighting perfect giving off a warm and inviting atmosphere. You'll be searching for gems pillars and knots to proceed finding button and using levers and then leave the level heading for the scroll. This level has everything and I could go on forever about it so I will just say play it and see!" - Moonpooka (17-Jan-2005)
"After quite a dark rather claustrophobic beginning (though we quickly find sufficient flares) the game opens out into a brightly lit great hall - with a fly-by to introduce us to some of its idiosyncrasies. Doing all we can here - several bits and pieces we shall come back for - we then move to a smaller but equally thoughtful 'puzzle' room where we are also given a useful fly-by. Replaying this several times and/or taking screenshots to study becomes most helpful both initially and at certain moments during our stay in this room. Indeed when we find our 2nd lever and see what it does we might suddenly wonder 'Ah should we have used that first lever or should we have resisted the temptation?' Not so straightforward then! We meet some beetles here too which we can coax into the pool fairly easily. Unfortunately when we return to this room somewhat later some of those beetles also return (from the bottom of the pool!) and they might not be quite so easily shaken off the 2nd time. (I had some trailing me into the next 2 rooms if I wasn't careful.) We continue into other rooms with other puzzles some with nice variations on a theme. There was one place where a certain boulder was slowed down just enough for us to be able to avoid both it and its partner; a section of water (the blue rather than red for danger in the title) that was safe where all about was decidedly not; several of those elegant push buttons; numerous skeletor warriors to avoid or push back; and more than one place where we had to find out first how to disarm a trap before we could use the button or block that was protected by it. The last great room had more than half a dozen of those skeletors plus a couple of white sprites chasing us so there was a good opportunity to panic a little! Oh and those bones! Shoot 'em! Even if you don't know why; there's a secret right at the end if you've found and dealt with all 5 sets. (Though the set in the pool that you have to empty and re-fill is best dealt with just before you leave the room.) I found 4 secrets but needed help for 2 of them as I'd missed something straightforward in one room and the other was tied to 'them bones' which were so scattered that I'd disregarded them. (Slight query about the 'fairness' of that really as only those 'in the know' are likely to go around shooting them all.) I can't remember any timed runs in the game so when you pull one set of levers and that appears to be a possibility - a door quickly opening and closing - it can be safely ignored. (In fact to cleverly exit the briefly opened door leads to being 'stuck'!) 2nd best game of the 3 I've played so far (after 'Shadow'). Bright and attractive after the start." - rjb (10-Jan-2005)
"Grabbing level great atmosphere and texturing. Some hard jumps past burning coffins in a narrow room and nice puzzles with several buttons and levers many rooms to go through and you'll never get bored here. Enough skellie to shoot and you have to go through the whole level looking for all the objects you need to open the final door you will easily forget those bones and they will provide you with the final secret. Liked it a lot and it kept me busy for quite a while... Only one door was black in my game was it supposed to be like that?" - Dutchy (10-Jan-2005)
"Another fabulous game! This competition is tough. This game starts off with a wonderful challenge that you think can't possibly be done and this is just what I like. The builder has set the tone of the game and you hope that the rest of the show won't disappoint! Trust me. This builder delivers! The set design shows just how different and interesting the same 'wad' can look. I am marvelling at that! The known bug towards the end of the game concerning the 3 levers would have been a problem for me had it not been for the Stuck Forum...yes I'm one of those who goes gangbusters into games without often reading the notes in the game file. This is a fun and challenging game and I loved it. This time my money's on Debbie." - Mugs (09-Jan-2005)
"As Michael would say: the fly bys need a bit of fine tuning. Another one of those levels where you think well there is some potential but it doesn't quite work out; neither in gameplay nor as far as the setting is concerned. But yeah I have to admit not knowing the author makes it all the more fascinating. For instance I would guess that the builder of this level is rather inexperienced but then again I could be wrong. There are just a few things that you don't get with the old timers. For example at one stage you press a wall button you get a promising fly by of a new underwater door that has opened merely to come back to a dead Lara; only thing that spoils the overall picture (apart from the dead body) is that you don't really know the cause of death. Death by spikes you would assume from her posture but there are no spikes. Irritating! Highly irritating! Well to cut a long story short there are just heaps of good ideas here but they all need some working on. The rooms are pretty much alike in that they completely succumb to the tasks at hand and don't resemble remotely any believable catacomb as such. Atmospheric lighting is basically absent by and large especially in the main rooms and yet at times when the pace quickens you can feel the occasional thrill and it makes it all worth while. There is a spark there definitely it just needs some time to blossom into full bloom. Keep the good work going; I really loved the safe underwater pathway." - Dimpfelmoser (07-Jan-2005)