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The Ashura's Invasion - The Secret Base by Tony

CC 8 7 8 7
Engelchen Lara 9 9 9 9
Gerty 7 7 7 7
Jay 8 7 8 7
Jorge22 8 7 8 8
Jose 7 7 6 6
KH_1400 7 8 8 6
Kristina 8 7 7 7
MichaelP 8 7 7 7
Moonpooka 9 8 8 7
Navi 9 9 9 9
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 8
Phil 8 8 8 9
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Sash 8 8 8 8
Scottie 10 9 10 9
Selene 8 8 9 9
Treeble 6 6 7 6
release date: 08-Apr-2003
# of downloads: 48

average rating: 7.79
review count: 18
review this level

file size: 24.60 MB
file type: TR4
class: Base/Lab

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This base lab combines textures and objects from both Russia and New York levels from Chronicles, and oddly enough it kinda works? I mean, texture work at some points completely undermines this, such as when you have "indoors" VCI textures embedded into snowy tunnels, but otherwise I felt this was a somewhat conceiving facility. There are quite a few unmarked climbable walls, however, and the wad also needed some more finetuning. Ie, there are missing animations, Lara's scream mesh is missing so the beanie on her head keeps popping in and out of existance, and I'm sure the author could have imported a save crystal mesh instead of relying on water coolers randomly scattered around. I also laughed at the one trapdoor that's placed right beneath a potty, but, then again, a quick glance at these bathrooms and you'd immediately decide to take your business anywhere else instead. 35 minutes, 3 secrets. 09/20" - Treeble (20-Sep-2020)
"This base must be a breeding ground for all manner of odd creatures. The guards are fine, but I wasn't expecting white tigers or a hammerhead shark that followed Lara through a current filled passage! This is mostly about exploration and physical jumping challenges than puzzling as such, but it works well in that way, and the tight timed run and snowmobile jaunt proved a challenge. Nicely done, bit watch out for those spotlights that can easily knock Lara off ledges." - Ryan (29-Aug-2017)
"Texturing was pretty wallpaper-y throughout the level and I definitely feel more time could have been put into that. Also, gameplay got a bit annoying at points, but I really enjoyed the puzzles and riding the snowmobile around was a blast! I liked the new take on enemies; most of them didn't attack you so it was best to just mind your own business. Unique, for sure. This was a fun level and I was glad to come across it." - KH_1400 (25-Jul-2016)
"This is a complex and "busy" level in the VCI style, much like the recent release I played called The 13th Floor. However, Ashura takes place both outdoors and indoors, and the lighting is ample throughout. Selene has provided her typically thorough walkthrough, and even with its assistance I spent nearly an hour and a half here. There's plenty going on, and some of the areas are explored from dizzying heights. Some of the sequences are challenging, but all can be conquered with a little forethought and perseverance. The final area has a nice touch with intersecting bridges covered with tiles that not only crumble when you step on them, but actually explode in a dramatic fashion. Another gem from the early years. Recommended." - Phil (28-Jun-2012)
"How could I overlook up to now this Base / Tech-Level?? How could I?? This is a level of the top class!! Great riddles, difficult jumps, good lighting, suitable sound and with about 1-hour playing time exactly the right length. The level is really good built and textured. Though some soldiers walk around, but mostly they are peaceful. One must not shoot on everything and everybody. Lara must find two plugs, a Disc and several door keys., Among the rest, Lara goes with an elevator and has to go above collapsible tiles. The areas are formed very deversified. Time in the VCI style, sometimes in the mine style with lines, then one stands in a big hall with different levels. As you see, there is a lot to act. Result: If you have a good hour time and want to play a really good Base / Tech-Level, than you must absolutely access!" - Scottie (27-Apr-2009)
"The history behind this level is a breeding of a species known as the Ashura at a secret base in snowy Russia. This is where our heroine starts her adventure. For those who like myself enjoy Tomb Raider Chronicles, this level will be a pleasant surprise. It contains elements from both Russia and the VCI levels and is therefore a great pleasure to play. I myself enjoyed it immensly and one of the reasons is that the builder has managed to really capture the TRC atmosphere as well as combining it with new and original elements. The music is very suitable and contains parts that are also found in the VCI levels, something that really creates the right feeling for playing a level of this kind. There are even golden roses for secrets. The enemies consist mainly of guards, a few Ashura dogs and one single hammer-head shark. I normally don't like levels where you run into an enemy around each corner, but even for me the enemies became too few and far between. Traps however are abundant and most are quite tough to get by. High falls with innumerous deaths as outcome are inevitable, so much that it can be a bit frustrating in the long run. Some keys and a CD-Rom needs to be located and buttons/levers must be pushed and pulled in order to advance in the level. There is also a quite tricky timed run to top it all off. I really enjoyed this level though, it was incredibly fun to play. Sadly, it was a bit short....approximate playing time should be about 1 hour. I would recommend it to anyone, but for complete beginners it might be a bit too hard. Nonetheless, the fun gameplay makes it more than worth at least a couple of attempts." - Selene (07-Feb-2006)
"This is a really nice spin on the base style level. The author has mixed underground snowy dilapidated railway systems, cave areas that you can reach with a wonderfully designed elevator, and some large multi storeyed rooms with some great jumps in a base, to make a really fresh feeling level. I absolutely loved the use of collapsible tiles that exploded in front of you as you try to make some tricky runs and jumps as the effect was just terrific, there is also a button pushing puzzle using collapsible tiles where you had to save certain tiles so that you could move to all 3 buttons and then the exit and this made for a nice thinking moment. You won't find many enemies but that doesn't make much difference as this 60 minute level will keep you preoccupied with some diverse and fun things to do, you even get a snowmobile to ride for a while and make one nice jump but the author allowed for those that don't like vehicles to do the same route by foot which was a nice touch. I hope there is a sequel to this level as it ended way too quickly and I was enjoying it way too much. I found 3 gold rose secrets." - Sash (26-May-2005)
"The sounds of the tigers are not very appropriate, and Lara's movement to open the grey cupboard too. There are textures which sometimes mean climbable wall and another times walls with the same texture aren't climbable, this can get you confused. Sceneries aren't very elaborate (square rooms). The snowmobile passes through the ice window without crashing it. The lights of the moveable spotlights can push Lara off the ledge! Is not a good idea to put a cup of WC over a trapdoor which has to be opened trespassing the cup (put the cup a little left or right is not a hard work). Isn't good that you can advance through the level and if you forgot something necessary you can't go back to can continue (this happened some times). The level isn't bad, but there are a lot of things that can be improved." - Jose (18-May-2005)
"This is a base level in an Arctic location with a sophisticated gameplay. The first areas are icy caverns with rail tracks, then it moves into the base building through offices and enormous rooms, and finally back outside again. The overall memory for me is of making my way around these gigantic rooms by climbing and jumping, which was great fun. At the same time there was some thinking involved. It wasn't just a case of I'll jump over there and then I'll jump to the next place. I was totally stuck on two occasions, and these were the result of my not working out how to get around these rooms efficiently. The first was locating two cone-shaped keys. I had the yellow one and reached two receptacles without the blue one, which was to be found on the way to the receptacles! I really loved the route around this tall room. Another was a tall room up very high, having worked my way round walkways with breakable parts and fire squares. When I got to the very top I made the mistake of taking the route to the left switch first, and by the time I reached the right switch I was totally stuck. Perhaps there is a way I could have rescued myself! So a word to the wise, when you reach the top of this room of fire walkways, go to the right switch first. I loved working out the runs along these breakable parts, some of which explode before you reach them, and there's always the danger of those giant claws (boulders) falling on you if you aren't quick enough. There are some problems with the level, like the great looking lift. After using it once, if you go back to the disc receptacle, the doors open automatically and you can walk on an invisible floor, but the lift is up above you. Other pickups are keys, cd, a card and a fuse. At one time you find yourself swimming with a killer whale and find a snowmobile. The ride on the snowmobile is not long, but very interesting, with a final awful jump past huge flood lights trying not to fall through the centre. There is a nice little timed run in a crate storage area. Secrets are roses and they are located in interesting places. I'd advise players to conserve their medpacks as best they can. Finally outside at the end is a little zipride, and then freedom. I couldn't open the readme file on the Mac. I wanted to know what Lara was doing here (there is some dialogue in the final area, but I didn't understand the language) or if there was going to be a follow on level. It certainly had the feel of being not quite finished and there were areas that gave the impression you could get to them, but I never did." - CC (28-Apr-2005)
"Well, I for one was glad I made it through this level. I am simply not up to jumping way up in a building as my fear of heights kicked in, in a major way. I know I am a nut by giving it a go but how could I know. There are some good new ideas in here, as those collapsible tiles, had to reload that again to see what was happening. Loved the 'boulders' as well. What I didn't like is that I went into the elevator too soon and was stuck as you can't use it to get back. I liked the idea that one has a choice with the snowmobile, use it or don't. A major stuck place was a trapdoor, very well concealed in that icy room. 20-03-2005" - Gerty (01-Apr-2005)
"This is fun - a VCI style setting with some really good jumping and climbing, a timed run through a maze and a snowmobile to ride, albeit briefly. Enemies are a little unexpected - guards certainly, but tigers and a shark? Odd. There are some really excellent collapsing tile over fire tiles runs that are inventive and challenging. I found three secrets, but despite finding ammo I never found any weapons and I felt that the level ended with areas still to explore. There was a cut scene (in Italian so regrettably I didn't understand a word) that showed some guards in an office, but I never found my way there. Perhaps this is part one in a series. I certainly hope so because as far as it went it was very well worth playing and my only complaint is that it didn't go on longer. More please, Tony." - Jay (18-Mar-2005)
"A very neat adventure which relies on acrobatic moves rather than puzzling. Two areas in particular are quite inventive and hugely enjoyable with an ingenious use of collapsible tiles and burning walkways. The enemies are fairly sparse and I seemed to complete the adventure without having gained access to a number of areas, which left me feeling I had missed something somewhere along the way. There also seemed no ultimate point to the whole excursion (unless the Italian dialogue explained some of the plot) but it was nevertheless an enjoyable 70 minutes in a well-constructed and quite devious environment. A 'physical' level; and a good one." - Orbit Dream (17-Mar-2005)
"A base/lab level but different from the average. I'm not sure it's better but I know it's more complicated. Two things in particular are complicated: a) finding the magnetic card (and the entrance to the place where you use it!) even though it's in plain sight. b) all those breakable tiles on burners, wee, what hell that was! A little overdone I suppose. Apart from that, there's an interesting timed run in a maze and you even get to drive a snowbike for a little while. The secrets are golden roses. Nice level even though not memorable. (March, 11 2005)" - Jorge22 (11-Mar-2005)
"I haven't played a base level in quite a while so it was a pleasant surprise to see Lara in such a setting with her winter camouflage outfit. The area with the collapsing tiles and parts of cranes was challenging and I enjoyed it, so was the one with the sloped surfaces and the big laser. An elevator brings Lara to the second part of the game but just before that it's possible to get behind the red lasers although you'll find nothing. There's a CD you need, a card, keys and the guards are friendly at the second part. The dialogues were a nice touch but unfortunately they are in Italian with no text to read them in English within the files the author provided. The snowmobile is needed too for a couple of jumps. I found three golden roses as secrets that were easy to find, all of them in plain view I believe. Not too short not too long but fun to play." - Kristina (08-Mar-2005)
"Yet another Russian Base to raid for Lara and you deal with the usual suspects: card, keys, plugs, CD, fuse and surprisingly few enemies around (guards, tiger dogs, a shark). I did not like the often inconsistently applied climbing textures, some illegal slopes and the timed run could have used a camera hint, but I thoroughly enjoyed the sometimes quite tricky jump sequences combined with collapsible tiles. There is a good looking elevator and a nice moving laser wall, too. The snowmobile could have been used better and is in fact not required. There are also three Golden Rose secrets that are fun to find. All in all, 50 minutes of fun and definitely worth a try." - Michael (06-Mar-2005)
"Lara starts in a Base which is split into various sections. You need to find two plugs (blue, yellow), a card and two keys. Puzzles are good but also tricky, especially the collapsible tiles. Something you have think about how to pass them. There are also a few switches to press and a timed door, which was not too hard. Atmosphere was good, as was the sound. Enemies were soldiers and a few tigers. I found three secrets. Textures are solidly applied and lighting was good too. All in all good gameplay." - Engelchen Lara (06-Mar-2005)
"Lara fights her way through a Base. She needs to find two plugs, a CD and a fuse and there are also two keys to be used. For a short time she can move around with a snowmobile. Puzzles are not hard but later you need to watch the traps. Very fluent gameplay and I liked the graphics and the texture choices. Quite a lot of effort put into this by the builder. I found three golden rose secrets. Sound and cameras were solid. A nice level for in between and maybe there will be a sequel." - Navi (03-Mar-2005)
"Wow! This level was excellent. Set in a base Lara has to search for two plugs, a fuse, a CD, a swipe card, two keys and three secret gold roses. It starts of relatively easy and stark in ice caves under ground, then we move onto the base with its patrolling guards. You then make a treacherous journey round a ledge and pillar room to get two plugs, and at one point, there's also a travelling laser to hinder your way. Next, a swim through an under ground tunnel and a shark attack later, you'll have to do a timed door, no worries as it wasn't too hard, even if it was through a maze, yikes! Well worth the trek as you get to use the snow mobile after and can make your way to the best room of this level, the red room, where you will have to negotiate high bridges while crane claws crash down on you if you are not careful, and to make matters worse, the bridges are active with fire tiles, then placed nicely on top are collapse tiles, so, your route to the top of the room is something else, woohoo! Loved it! Health is limited and I found little ammo, a great challenge for me, and all my kills were by pistols as I never found the gun which was supposed to be near the end of the level so I'm told. All in all, this was an awesome level and I highly recommend it." - Moonpooka (03-Mar-2005)