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Egypt and Beyond by QRS

Akcy 10 10 10 10
Bene 10 10 10 10
Bogey 8 9 9 9
Celli 10 9 10 9
dantheraider 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
Dutchy 9 10 9 10
dya1403 10 10 9 9
eTux 9 9 9 9
Gerty 9 9 9 9
Jay 9 9 10 9
JesseG 9 9 9 9
Jorge22 9 9 9 9
Jose 7 9 9 8
Josi 8 9 9 9
Kristina 8 8 9 9
manarch2 9 9 9 8
Marilyn 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 9 9 9 9
MigMarado 8 10 8 9
Moonliteshadow 9 9 10 10
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
PaoloM 9 9 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
Raymond 10 9 10 8
Relic Hunter 9 9 10 9
rtrger 10 10 10 9
Ryan 9 9 10 9
Samu 8 9 9 9
Sash 10 10 10 10
Sutekh 9 8 10 8
Treeble 8 8 8 8
VoodooChild97 9 9 10 10
release date: 11-Jan-2006
# of downloads: 165

average rating: 9.26
review count: 33
review this level

file size: 104.07 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I've been beating around the bush when it comes around to my pending 2006 raidlist, but I figured I'd eventually have to face all the 20 odd mammoth releases and this was the earliest one from that year. For a debut, it's nothing short of impressive, but having spent my entire week of alotted TRLE time on this single release made me rather anxious and annoyed, it just never seemed to end and the author sure liked making you go the long way around every time, as if the massive rooms weren't big enough on their own. There are plenty of mazes, including the underwater kind among them because they have to be there, and for every great idea I saw in here it was quickly spoiled by something else. The bits with the bull were inventive for instance, with teh floor being flipmapped away when the bull hits a button so you have to jump over it in time, but of course this just means you need to quick save and quick load until you finally find the perfect frame in which the invisible collision box from the bull ramming at you doesn't simply push you back those two or so inches which will lead you to your doom (but I'm sure someone out there has obviously done a NLNMAS run for this). The opening area of the last level was also a test of patience rather than anything else, having three tightropes you need to cross about a dozen times (maybe even more actually?). Visually it holds up well I think, even if the mix and match of all sorts of texture sets builds a recurring clashing feeling. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood (through the whole week, mind you! I absolutely loathe my life), but I'll repeat what I've said recently and state that perhaps if I had played this in 2006 I'd have come out with a more positive experience, but I'm somewhat sad to say it's not the case present day. 5 hours. 16 secrets. 08/23" - Treeble (13-Aug-2023)
"'Egypt and Beyond' is a great adventure that connects multiple levels of diverse settings, in an unexpected mix between Egypt and Tinnos. The storyline is somewhat lacking, so far, and only the continuation present in the full release will provide more context. Gameplay is very often unforgiving, definitely very challenging, but to a sometimes annoying and frustrating degree. The lacking cameras and the use of objects from very distant areas that you need to carry from level to level don't help in the least, either. Enemies are few and far between and the use of objects is also sparse, but they are both very well used. There is nothing really wrong with the atmosphere, lighting or textures, but sometimes textures seem out their context or repetitive. Overall, this is a great levelset! Gameplay is varied and everything is very well executed. If you want to try a huge, very difficult adventure, go for this (although you would probably want to go for the full release, especially if you want to play all bonus levels)! QRS, you did a great job! Thank you." - MigMarado (28-Apr-2021)
"After playing the complete set over a decade ago, this first release popped up on the homepage and I decided to give it a go. I'll start by saying this is not for the faint of heart, but I enjoyed the challenge overall. Many timed sequences await you, including difficult jumps between slopes, quickly shooting targets via the lasersight, and swimming through traps. Some of these you have to do with a torch as well. There are also quite a few creative puzzles that feel rewarding to solve, as well as a nice variety of enemies - spiders, mutants, even a bull that you get to send plummeting into lava. The secrets have a lot of effort put into them too, so they feel more rewarding than usual when you figure them out. Now for the drawbacks: first off there are several mazes, most of which are underwater, and one of those even has traps, which leads to painful backtracking if you go the wrong way. There is a tiring pattern of an area becoming flooded after you explored it, and you have to explore it again in search of a bunch of underwater levers. It is a neat idea if done once, but not five times. There are also more unmarked death tiles and spikes than there should be in a level, which is none. The last level is prone to glitches especially if you cool down the water "too fast", which can get you stuck for good because the flipmap seems to be lacking some necessary triggers. There are a lot of missing camera cues, and I got used to pulling up the walkthrough after using a switch to see what it did. As far as visuals go, there is a bit more wallpapering than I would like, but the lighting is very good and helps make that less distracting. There are some very cool architectural ideas shown in each level, especially the underground pyramid in the beginning. While there are some parts I'm not happy with, the good far outweighs the bad and I would recommend this to any raider up for a challenge, although playing the complete release would be the better option for a more fulfilling experience. 4 hours 50 minutes." - JesseG (13-Nov-2020)
"Not sure if Final Fantasy music fits here but it's probably a matter of memory assignment - it would fit if I didn't know the source, and it definitely fits the mood it plays to support otherwise. I will take one point for gameplay because there are too many skips, especially in level with the tightropes where you do intended order or softlock, also the final part is dramatically slow when it should get faster (and yes I know the entire levelset is a prologue but it still feels like a standalone chapter so there's no way to make it deliberately too long). The rest of gameplay is ingenious, the builder always rings a bell for you to notice and remember something before you even begin the puzzle so, despite of insane amount of information fed into my brain, I wasn't stuck a lot. Enemies are a few only but always placed in perfect spots, I don't even blame the malfunctioning bull because everyone knows how this guy tends to behave. I also appreciate more vibrant colors compared to Complete Adventure, same thing as I did for Jungle Ruins versus their NG remake. SUMMARY: Good, immersive, well thought through. Only a mere (fore)shadow of what happened next but still standing strong among multilevel releases and worth a shot even if the only thing you want to do is compare how it changed over time." - DJ Full (08-Nov-2018)
"Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to play this after playing the behemoth 'Complete Adventure', but I'll go ahead and share my thoughts on this one anyway. This is certainly an ambitious and epic set of levels, and I can only echo other reviewers' comments: the author put a huge amount of effort into these four levels to make it as challenging as possible. It seems like everything in terms of gameplay was offered to the player by hook or crook here: plenty of jump sequences, pushblock puzzles, a waterskin puzzle, teleporter sequences, rope swings, torch puzzles, a bull puzzle, target shoots, timed runs, mazes, a waterskin puzzle and a sliding floor sequence all make an appearance here and mean that absolute beginners need not apply. There were a couple of sequences that I wasn't particularly fond of (underwater mazes, and long repetitive climbs), but the gameplay is varied enough so that those are only minor games. The textures are somewhat greyish and not that colourful, but the overall look and atmosphere is really well executed and the flybys are instructive. Be prepared to set aside a couple of days or so before beginning this one, but it is worth it. I spent 5:20 hours here." - Ryan (12-Jul-2018)
"Just as the other reviewers I can only say thumbs up to one of the most epic-sized and entertaining debut levels ever. It's probably pointless to point out how magnificent each of the level is put together, that the large-scale rooms in those levels are greatly built and that architecture in general is rather hard to fault in any way. There were barely any technical faults with texturing & lighting I have noticed, but, especially towards the end, I found that the visuals felt rather too greyish and, despite different textures used in many levels, the levels tend to look pretty sameish after a while, which also influences the atmosphere. I have the feeling that the gameplay seemed most important to the builder, and the looks stand a bit behind it, which I actually prefer versus the other way round. It was nice to see an evolution of the gameplay qualities from level to level; while the first level, Quest for Sacred Birds (8-8-9-8) was enjoyable, it never quite had a real highlight gameplaywise though and felt way too long for its own good, the fun increased successively later on. The second level, The Hidden Tinnos Temple (8-8-10-8), impresses with the largest single room of the whole game (which is very impressive to look at), but its gameplay suffers from quite a bit of tedious backtracking and definately too long ladders. Things pick up considerably in Ye Obelisk Sequence (9-9-8-9), where you solve clever puzzles, chase a bull and do some intricate platforming in a more condensed setting with a somewhat different texture set which makes up for a nice change. In The Torch Challenge (9-9-9-8) the fun factor is set highly at first, with some excellent jump sequences with the torch. Later on one of the placement of one of the underwater levers is a bit mean and I could have done without the underwater maze, but it's still the second most enjoyable level, the best being the last one, Gauntlet (10-9-9-8), which was (apart of the tightrope puzzle at the start I can forgive) the ultimative experience. I heavily enjoyed the large slope area, the fantastic elevator ride and the slippery tile room and can't quite find words for the vast amount of imagination put in here. Overall, while I think that some parts of the earlier levels could have been cut down a bit to create a more intense playing experience, the vast maps create a great feeling of immersion that otherwise wouldn't have come up (in particular, the rather cramped third level lacked a bit in atmosphere for me). This is definately one of the most ambitious level series out there and the full version is already on my to-play list, although it might take a while before I tackle this mega effort. Found 16 secrets in 4:25 hours." - manarch2 (25-Feb-2014)
"I played these levels several times in this package and the Complete Adventure package and they share the same standard of quality and spunk in both. They are very fun, challenging, and atmospheric in a classical way, definitely a test but just as rewarding with what you will discover. QRS is a very skilled and often imaginative creator, and you will need a clear head, open eyes and a chiseled finesse to beat him and win the beauty of the game. His gauntlets are definitely the highlight of this series, although I feel that some puzzles, like those of Ye Obelisk, were a little too traditional. That and not enough new or interesting objects were buzz kills at times, but to tell the truth I love this game enough to appreciate even its less-than-stunning moments, which are rare enough. I recommend you play the Complete Adventure, but don't miss these levels. They are the meat of the whole." - VoodooChild97 (20-Apr-2011)
"Wow, that's simply breathtaking! We start with a simple, Karnak style level...then we fall into a huge room with a pyramid and the gameplay becomes very challenging. And, it doesn't change, it's very exciting throughout the whole game. And even the texturing is simple, it's still beautiful. The musics are also very good, they're fascinating and perfectly fits to this levelpack. The lightning also increases the challenge(like the jumpswitch in the dark on the 2nd level), which is simply cool. Everyone should try this levelpack, very good one." - rtrger (19-Dec-2009)
"I certainly enjoyed every five level this game has to offer. Levels are constructed very well and they are very complicated and have some visually appealing huge areas. Atmosphere is also good and has something similar with TR1 in my opinion but has also a lot of authors own style included. Gameplay consists of almost every sort of tasks and is balanced really well though it's consentrated maybe a bit more on agility tasks than puzzles which of course isn't a problem for me. Thing which bothered me at times was that sometimes it was really hard to procceed due to complexity of level design and gameplay. Environment is also very detailed and huge which makes it very hard to find some certain things and you may spend a lot of time without making any progress in some parts of the game. I think there's also some space left to build even better looking environment but all in all I liked this game much and hopefully we'll get to play Egypt and Beyond 2 soon. Well done." - Samu (13-May-2008)
"I found this to be a very challenging level. There are many vast and interesting areas involving moves that I thought needed some pretty good TR skills. The puzzles were great and the fact that there weren't many enemies wasn't a problem as the gameplay was challenging and interesting enough without them, which I personally prefer. The torch challenge was great and the obelisk puzzle with the bull had me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the"slippery" room - especially once I got the hang of it, however I did end up going around it one time too many! I found the level quite difficult in some places but very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the follow on." - Moonliteshadow (10-Nov-2007)
"Whoa! When the author approached me ages ago to test the first level of this series, did innocent little me suspect it will grow into the monster of a series it is now? I certainly did not! And yet it did, and admittedly when he finally released the levels, the sheer size of the levels was enough to scare me off of trying to get through! I advise you not to do the same, as you'll miss out on one hell of a game! (hey, that even rhymes!) It's hard to grasp that it's the author's debut, as it's the one of the most ambitious I've ever seen through the 700 custom levels I've played and reviewed to date. The author states its been his tutorial and in some ways it shows. Not in the usual an endless run of beginner's mistakes kind of way - actually I think you'll find it almost unnaturally absent of of any of those (I only managed to find a solely 'door bug' in Ye Obelisk Sequence), but in the way that the author has tried to incorporate pretty much everything possible to achieve with the level editor at that point in one way or another and he succeeds! Technically I really had a hard time spotting any mistakes what so ever, so I can congratulate the author on the diligence it must've taken to make everything work and I can only imagine what a nightmare it must've been to keep track of everything! That said, I did find that there certainly is room for improvement. As said - the non-linearity in the early levels was enough to put me off playing this for quite a while, and a more focused gameplay would've made it a much more enjoyable experience. It improves with the later levels, but the overall difficulty level throughout the game remains high and considering myself a fairly experienced player, even I found a number of the tasks challenging. But the difficulty as such was not the issue for me, what irritated me when playing was that sometimes the tasks were a tad too obscure and just too clever for their own good, and I finally grasped the concept of snaring Lara at her own ponytail as Richard Lawther once said about a level of mine. While things like stepping on the same tiles as the respective burner or spike traps to disable them were a neat idea, I found they simply did not work when located in expansive areas where you will rather suspiciously look at some seemingly impossible jump sequences as the way further before ever considering that. As another example - the logic in the initial tightrope challenges of the Gauntlet completely eluded me. I couldn't fault the looks, as they were solidly done - if anything - I found them maybe a bit too 'functional' - i.e. more working to support the gameplay rather than organic environments you can lose yourself into. To sum it all up, while on one hand the gameplay sometimes feel like a chore, generally it should provide a wonderful challenge to the more experienced players out there, thus a game not to be missed. Well worth the trouble, if you'll even see it that way!" - eTux (09-Oct-2007)
"Huh, this was some adventure. It is the author's first and we knew by the title that it is Egyptian, so honestly I didn't expect too much, well I couldn't have been more wrong. I think he has foreseen that and played onto it a bit, that starting area is so simple, usual sleepy Egyptian ruins, the opening trapdoor under Lara's feet was also expected. What wasn't, was the size of the fall and the magnitude of the area with pyramid, good music, fantastic atmosphere, and all that came after. Masterful levelbuilding, the layout is just fascinating, huge and complex, the main thing is exploration. I like this kind of levels when we have to explore first to learn where things are, and only then start pulling levers. From the players point of view the usage of space, the interconnected areas and passages felt so natural, but to figure them out, to plan and build them must had been a mindblowing job. It's a bit overdone on the first level, there were a bit too many levers and doors inside the pyramid, clever but tedious. Later he found the balance. We have to go through the same areas several times, flooding/unflooding them, and performing great tasks every time, well thought out jump sequences, fun timed runs, so really my kind of gameplay. Although the author was quite generous with the timed tasks, almost every one could have been a little more tighter. There are many inventive solutions, and I like that one main theme dominates on every level. From that standpoint the Torch Challenge was the most remarkable, gameplay and architecure are inseparable, well done. But every level was memorable, Tinnos is mainly because of breathtaking architecture, Obelisk because of the puzzles including the obelisks themselves and the bull. But apart from these highlights there are a plethora of great and greatly varied and above all fun tasks on the levels. There were just a few enemies so not many fights, but those few were quite memorable for one reason or another. I liked the rhymes on the hint scrolls. Maybe on the last level were some illogical things, some levers appeared out of nowhere, and spikes turned on and off in the first room, just weren't fit. There was a bug about the water scale puzzle, it can be done with any amount of water. Fortunately these are just minor things, the areas and tasks are on the same high quality as on the other levels, great slide sequences, and target shooting in the elevator. A huge congratulation to the author, and more please." - Akcy (05-Oct-2007)
"This is a very big level and it does contain a rich and varied set of challenges, many of which are quite difficult. In particular, it contains many timed tasks. There are not only regular timed runs, but you also have to fight against drowning or crumbling falling blocks. Many of the challenges are well designed with originality, and are fun to do. Often, there are multiple threats to evade at the same time. The first parts of the level are set in enormous caverns with central structures, and you have find your way to various rooms in the wall of the cavern and in the centre. The architecture is a bit uniform, but it is not a big problem. The lightning is generally good, but occasionally rather brutal. On a few occasions, the player has rather few hints on what to do next. Also, a few objects are too well hidden, given the large areas to search. The level is a bit tedious in beginning with a lot of switch hunting, but it improves after a while. The amount of enemies is just right. There are not that many, but they are placed very appropriately. However, in other respects there is often too much of the same stuff. Still, this is certainly a level that you should play. By the way, did I mention that there are lots of timed tasks." - Bogey (10-Jun-2007)
"It's quite rare to see such wonderful first levels in the LE world - When I first attempted to play this near the time of its release, I didn't expect a very hard adventure. I was really wrong with that assumption, as I thought the game was rather hard and I decided to play it when my raiding skills get better. Fast forwarding to now, I'm simply amazed by what I had missed out on, and I'm glad I was able to play this and finish. Egypt and Beyond takes you on a dangerous, exciting journey through areas of grand splendor and difficult tasks that face you on your journey. Gameplay is challenging, inventive, fun, and not overall too difficult. Though sometimes the levels are so huge that you may have a hard time remembering where everything is, so I had to resort to the walkthrough a few times to get me going in the right direction. I thought that the decorative aspects of the level were done well too, with good object and enemy placement. Secrets were fun to get as well. The levels are made even better through the good use of music to set the atmosphere, and there are almost always cameras that show you the way after you pull a switch or pick up something important to show you where to go next. The lighting was done very well, as were the textures. My only gripe with the textures though was that some innocent looking tiles were actually spike traps. I really dislike unmarked spike tiles, but there weren't very many of them, so it's not all that bad. My favorite levels in this series would have to be The Torch Challenge and Gauntlet. The former was great for the tough jumps around the central tower and among fire burners, and the torch jumping on collapsible tiles was also quite thrilling. I really liked Gauntlet for the sequence of stepping on the dark tiles on a huge, booby trapped slope, and the final part at the end with the slip-and-slide room. I hope part 2 is on the way soon, because according to the end credits, it's two seasons overdue! However, from seeing the quality of these levels, I can imagine QRS is taking the time to perfect the sequel and give players a much better experience than he might have planned at the beginning, due to the new phenomenon that is NGLE. Overall, great job!" - Relic Hunter (06-May-2007)
"QRS likes to state this game was like a tutorial - well, we've seen far, far worse tutorials. And far, far worse debuts. I can understand it, though. The game is so huge, so cryptic at times and so truly hard that you can tell the author has tried to use most of the tricks and treats available, from all kinds of traps to puzzles and really tough sequences. In fact, there was a sequence, in the so-called "scalding wtaer room" that I simply couldn't perform after a zillion times. QRS did it for me and for that I must thank. The same for an apparently very rare bug in the bull part which I was unlucky enough to encounter. What can I say about a game so huge I don't even remember lots of it anymore? There's the feeling... Pfff, I finally made it! And... this was a truly epic adventure. Places like a tunnel with fires, lava and moving walls were almost undoable but I finally passed them. On the other hand, the large room with the sliding floor was quite fun albeit tough - naturally. QRS says Luís Martins was an inspiration... But Luís is an angel in comparison, lol! I see there will be a continuation. My wishes for it is for the author to make it easier and also to try harder on the "beautiful" side of the settings, since is something I always appreciate. Meanwhile, I'll be looking forward to it with anticipation." - Jorge22 (05-Dec-2006)
"I posted this review at Levelbase, but as I am still amazed by the sheer brilliance of these levels, I would like to also share my thoughts here too. This set of levels brought me back to Custom Level Raiding again after a bit of a rest, and I am delighted to say it was a fabulous adventure to come back to. Lara begins in an Egyptian setting above ground, and then she makes her way to an underground temple. There's a whole menagerie of things to do such as swimming tasks, timed runs, ball shooting and other various fun things. Lara searches for keys mainly, and will return to the main area with each of her items to proceed. Eventually she will make her way up top again and then move on to the next level. In level two we enter a Tinnos temple type area, and these are some of my favourite textures and surroundings so I had a wonderful time exploring this massive place for gems and cog wheels. It's beautiful in the temples, and added to that we have a huge amount of tasks to perform such as timed runs, and a few nice puzzles too. Later on we move into what was a really hard level for me, the obelisk sections. It's amazing how one person can think up so many ways to keep us interested in a long level set, but as surroundings change again and puzzles and traps become more hindering, the achievements here are simply brilliant. In search of stars, Lara makes her way through a variety of rooms, and all of them have something different to offer the player. Nothing is the same and it's all connected perfectly; we even get to see that obelisk puzzle again and the bull will show his face. Moving on, this got so good I couldn't put it down. There's a humongous amount ahead, so I'll just state my fav parts to wind things up, which were the torch jump areas where Lara has to pass through a large lava room with sloped jumps and hazards in abundance, and all this while carrying the torch to light torches and floor pots; it was one of the most exciting trips I have even taken in a custom level. Then we have a watery maze, and a fabulous sliding room. The latter parts will have you using the scales puzzle and finding the eye pieces, then after grabbing some more keys, Lara can leave. This took me just over eight hours to play and it isn't an easy ride, so I would recommend this to more experienced players, but recommend I must because this is top class Raiding with atmosphere, audios, enemies, secrets and just about everything we want in order to push Lara to her limits, and not forgetting the beautifully decorated rooms and nicely applied textures, I could go on forever but I'll leave it here with a huge thanks to QRS for a fantastic game." - Moonpooka (06-Oct-2006)
"I could just say WOW! That sums up these levels pretty much but not make much of a review, would it. So I'll try to write something about these amazing levels. They are challenging to say the least, lots of timed runs/swims, mazes and difficult jumps. Starting in the desert you soon find your way to a very big pyramid where you have to find the secret birds. Once you managed to get all of them you will go to the next level, the Tinnos Temple. From here you go to the other three levels and back to end the game. The Torch-challenge is my favorite, even though there are spiders around, Ye Obelisk Sequence was my least favorite, don't like the dungeon and the monsters roaming about very much. The best part of the Gauntlet for me is the water sliding-room, it seemed impossible at first but was a lot of fun actually. So, not easy, but a great set of levels and I'm really looking forward to the next set. 25-05-2006" - Josi (25-May-2006)
"It's completely misleading to call this release a level, or even a suite of levels. No, all ye raiders, what we have here is an adventure, an adventure of epic proportions. There are five different but interlocking levels with distinctive themes, and I believe it's safe to say that this is a game that can be fully savored only by experts. I figured out quite early, with the timed runs and swims, that I would not be able to progress without unauthorized aids, so I enabled the flycheat in order that help would be quickly available at the frequent trouble spots. I cannot imagine how long it would have taken me to complete without those aids (used only when absolutely necessary, to prevent my throwing a heavy object through the monitor screen) and without Sutekh's meticulously crafted walkthrough, but even so I clocked in at just under 10 hours. I was reminded often of [u]Omegapolis[/u], both with respect to gameplay and the scenic environs. I won't repeat my rant about difficult levels that was perhaps unfairly a part of my review of those earlier levels. Difficult levels certainly have their place in the scheme of things, and I'm sure that top-flight players such as Dimpfelmoser, Moonpooka and Kristina would be right in their element with QRS's imaginative tour de force. I suspect that he is either a mechanical engineer or engaged in some related field; how else could he have come up with such intricate tasks? And the credits at the end read like a who's who list of the very best amateur builders. There are so many things that could be said about the actual gameplay, but other reviewers have already covered those. If you haven't played it yet, you're missing one of the major releases of 2006." - Phil (13-May-2006)
"How to describe this level; torturous, nerve-wracking, frustrating, enjoyable, beautiful, and clever. All the combinations for a perfect Tomb Raider adventure. Be prepared for numerous timed runs, with several that you will just barely be able to scrape by. Each level gets harder and harder as you progress, and culminates with the aptly named Gauntlet. And it is indeed a gauntlet because just as you think you've finally escaped one puzzle, you find yourself facing yet another. Much of the series is like this, in fact, but happens on a much more intense setting in the Gauntlet. The levels are very spacious, so much of the time you can see where you have to go later on, and the hard part becomes figuring out how to do that. There are hints offered every now and then, so you have to pay attention to detail sometimes to see what to do. Gameplay is superb and the levels are beautifully constructed (in all senses of the word)." - Celli (09-May-2006)
"This is an absolutely stunning debut, I am awestruck! To say that these 5 levels reminded me of Eric Claire's levels is a massive compliment as I adore the man and his works. The way I am reminded of this is that each of the levels is extremely smartly constructed architecturally so that the player has to use the environment to the fullest and has every conceivable move, action, and puzzle to do so. Most of the levels also have great monolithic structures as some central rooms such as the underground pyramid and a massive square temple sitting in an even more massive body of water, but it really is the diversity of fabulous puzzles that just kept this wonderful game moving without ever lagging and I just find that astounding, especially as there is almost 6 hours to fill. I really can't praise this game too highly and knowing a follow up to this is in the works just fills me with eager anticipation. I'm just sorry I can't exactly convey what you can expect from this game as the more I am enraptured by something that has so much to be enraptured by it makes it harder to narrow down specifics, just take my word for it, this is fantastic!" - Sash (01-May-2006)
"I loved it, its took me 3 months to finish it but it was worth it. Love everything about this game. It challenged me alot and the tight swims and runs were hard. But I do recommand this to anyone that wants a very challengeing set of levels." - dantheraider (17-Apr-2006)
"I enjoyed this game very much and it doesn't look like it is a beginner's level at all. The setting is nicely done and very interesting, also you get to visit various areas something that doesn't let you get bored until you reach the level with the huge watery area, that part was indeed a little tedious. The fact that made me get a bit tired at some point was the up and downs and constant back tracking in a couple of levels. I didn't mind going back and forth between the levels but I did mind after a while, going from one place to another and back again within a level. I encountered some problems that are serious and can keep the player from progressing. In the fourth level, it's the one you have the torch torture, there are two problems one where if you forget a jump switch there's no way to access it again because of a fire on a block and the second is an object I forgot to light and couldn't get back because of the collapsing tiles that were gone. Those are serious gameplay flaws that shouldn't happen and builders must be more careful with such level structures. The other serious problem I had was in the fifth level in the area with the glass floor that you walk on in order to access the room with the sliding blocks. After the flyby is over, if you do not get inside the room in time the door closes so there is no way to continue the game; better beta testing is needed next time for the entire game. The rest was fine but very complex so if you're not into a challenge or you get irritated easily think twice before loading this one. The items you'll need are gems, keys, stars, the Sun Goddess and many levers/switches you'll have to find to proceed. The enemies are Ares guys retextured, sea hags, wasps, a bull you'll need to progress and I found the glass floor there intriguing and fun plus lizards. I liked the idea with the teleporters even within a level but I am not very fond of long climbs. The rooms I enjoyed more were the one with the sliding blocks and the lava area with the slopes. The room with the spikes and sliding sloped floor was nicely done as well but not hard for an experienced raider. I would have given this a nine in gameplay if there weren't the problems I mentioned above. I found fourteen secrets out of sixteen that were nicely hidden but not so hard to get if you're observant. Judging from this game I'd say great work to the builder and I am looking forward to playing the next installment. I am sure part two of this game will be even better than this one." - Kristina (15-Apr-2006)
"After playing this mini game I needed a rest, as this is huge. There is so much going on and from the start it was a challenge. I have to admit that I almost ditched the game two or three times as I was indeed fed up with (again) running back and fro as I was totally in the dark where to go and what to do next. I for sure would like to have a bit more hints to where and what. That in it self is not so bad, but this mini game has so many vast rooms that it became an ordeal for me. The same vast rooms do have indeed that WOW effect, as it did look stunning. Game play as for puzzles and exploring is great as well although walking a tight rope again and again was another moment to bin it, so to speak. The last part was those long (and I mean long) ladder climbs, oh well at least one could get a good look of that huge room. Found two invisible blocks though, as I try always everything and a small place that I shouldn't have visited as Lara disappeared into a black nothingness. 10-03-2006" - Gerty (22-Mar-2006)
"Almost hard to believe this is a *first* level. It's a wonderful piece of work, a long game, with 5 connected levels. Can't say I found anything wrong with the texturing it all looked great and the atmosphere was excellent, secrets were sometimes easy and sometimes hard to find/get, but they weren't really needed to end the level, so if you missed one it wasn't a big deal (except for the crossbow maybe). One was extremely hard and involved a serious timed run to get to a gate over timed platforms. Almost every trap and puzzle was used in the game, from pushblock puzzles/button puzzles/a water skin puzzle to quite hard UW mazes even involving Timed UW doors. There was a great Bull puzzle where you had to jump off glass floors before the Bull hit the tile, never seen that before, perfect! Hard jump series through huge rooms were set up great so they were hard but doable even for the less experienced player Found a nice shortcut in the Gauntlet where you didn't have to do that whole Spike slope jumping if you just took that Key right upon entering the room. There also was a tunnel I swam up in and found a tiny Lara with some total darkness around her (seemed to be the passage where the level started in the first place). And at some places a little more camera could be added. Although I'm a real fan of the larger games, this one had me feeling a bit bored at times, can't really put my finger on it, but I think it has to do with too much going back through the same rooms, certainly the tightropes were too much IMHO, 2 times the same rope OK, but that should be it, although the time you HAD to turn around on the rope was quite a surprise again. And then after such a great game the end with those long and (for me) boring ladders only to pull the 2 final switches, that had to be spiced up with something (maybe some jumping in between) so you wouldn't feel like"Oh my god, not up the same long ladders again" But all in all a very great level series... Looking forward to the next one..." - Dutchy (22-Mar-2006)
"The Quest for the Sacred Birds: The bad news - there's quite a lot of timed swimming. The good news - it's not too tight to achieve if you keep your head. This is a really interesting level actually, with some quite dramatic moments, greatly augmented by an excellent use of audio files, and plenty of opportunity to die in horrible ways (squishy blocks anyone?). There's also plenty of opportunity to get lost as you search for four golden birds. The Hidden Tinnos Temple: There's a simply fabulous collapsing platform timed run at the beginning of this part and a not so fabulous (if you're me) underwater maze. Well, you may love them, but I just drown a lot. I had to laugh over the door to the torch taking five push blocks to open. Every time I pushed one and got a shot of the door I kept expecting it to open, gods the anticipation was electrifying. Once armed with trusty torch, a fairly major sconce lighting exercise ensues. I was expecting Tinnos wasps here, but what I got was those horrible great poisonous mutant things. It's a large confusing area that takes some exploring in your quest for cogwheels, gems and stars and some of the switches are really well hidden. Ye Obelisk Sequence: And what a sequence it is. There's a fair old bit to achieve before you even get round to the obelisks, including an involved block puzzle, a three button puzzle to open various doors and a rather challenging bit of sliding and bouncing - experienced players only. It really is an extremely clever and sophisticated series of puzzles and just when you think you've successfully concluded the whole thing you get a couple of titans and a bull thrown at you for good measure. Could I get that stupid, stupid bull to follow me? I did cheer when he fell into a lava pit; I hate that animal. The Torch Challenge: Actually, the initial challenge here is trying not to turn Lara into a torch - flames are the name of the game. There are giant spiders and Tinnos wasps waiting to show you a good time too. The torch sequence itself is challenging indeed and you can feel justifiably smug when you finally achieve it and flood the huge room .... and then you get sea hags. I may actually have whimpered just a bit at that point. After enough swimming through maze like tunnels full of slicer dicers to make the toughest skin pruney, you can get to a key which will let you access the next level. Gauntlet: Tricking jumping, tightrope walking, spikes galore, timed runs, a good spike/lava/trigger tile slope and devilishly tricky lift shaft with targets and spikes, plus the most wonderful sliding walkway sequence.. It's a well named section really. I was so impressed by this set of levels, especially as it's rare to get such sophisticated, complex gameplay from a first time builder. Super stuff, but definitely not one for inexperienced raiders." - Jay (20-Mar-2006)
"This is trully the best level i have ever played- including the originals Tomb Raider game, but i must admit the hardest. The best thing about it is that the puzzles are so hard, but once you solved them you would say: why haven't i saw that in the first place?????. another thing about it(wich sttuned me) was the complexity of every level- large rooms with many places to explore, many levers,ladders, keys and VERY difficult combined- almost-impossible-to-do jumps. you begin the adventure in quest for 4 sacred birds wich will allow you to enter the faboulos world inside the Tinnos temple. This temple you will have to revisit during your future levels(The Obelisque sequence and the Gauntlet)in order to fullfil your mission. It combines excellent puzzles from the whole Tomb Raider series, but also some new ones. Eventhough i played all Tomb raider original games i addmit i couldn't solve some of the puzzles and i couldn't have done it without the help of QRS and Virginia who helpt me every-time i was stuck somewhere and i thank them once again I enjoyed every part of the game and completing it made me sad :(( Looking forward for the next game by QRS who in my opinion is a genius in Tomb Raider matters." - dya1403 (19-Mar-2006)
"The first level is very very long, perhaps a bit dark for me 'cause I don't like lighting flares often; once you enter the tomb and dive in the pool, when you pull the underwater switch there's no camera to show the door opening, so you get more disoriented till you discover that it's a timed swim (this happens some more times in another levels); pass through the moving blocks, fires and slopes over the lava was a task very very hard for me, it cost me so many tries; there are too much (six) timed runs (or swims) in this level too. Second level has dark areas too and seems me a bit tedious all the time running around and around, up and down, pulling switches and picking up objects to open doors; although there are some interesting puzzles on your way and a hard timed run. In third level I wanted to pull a chain in the obelisk room and Lara said "no" (is the first time I see this?); there's a very difficult timed swim too, and with the last two buttons the bull has to break you have to be very lucky to not fall through the disappeared floor and it could take many many tries. Fourth level was good, but there were some very difficult tasks, and I had to reload and reload many times. Fiveth level was the best for me, with interesting puzzles not too much dark, and not very difficult tasks. Resuming: The set of levels are well builded with many good things like some puzzles, textures, objects,... These are the aspects I don't like (perhaps another people love it, but I don't): Levels with most of the areas too much dark (yes, I know that they are tombs); too many switches; have to get back again many times to the same places; timed runs without camera shots when the door is far; timed runs at the very limit of the time; too much tricky tasks (this kind of tasks would be suitable for secrets); personally I prefer levels where I have to think a little, and not levels where I have to try the same task many times; very huge areas to explore when you only can proceed one way. Finally I have to comment that I couldn't play the entire game in few days, it taked me at least one week (levels are quite long) and sometimes when I return to Tinnos level I was very disoriented 'cause I couldn't remember very well the locations of the places I left without play. Anyway, a good debut." - Jose (08-Mar-2006)
"Probably the most massive debut level (series) since Trix' Dead Sea Scrolls. QRS offers a full package of many hours of intense gameplay, including a nice title flyby. The Quest for the Sacred Birds (9/8/8/8, 80 min., 2/6 secrets): The prelude to the adventure sets the scene: a huge pyramid structure within a huge body of water and then kind of a three dimensional maze inside the pyramid. Definitely not my kind of fun, even though well designed. Then it gets better with timed swims and a timed target shoot to start an elevator, some block pushing, collapsible tiles in lava, timed trapdoors and sneakily hidden switches. Add to that a fun jump room, a small gauntlet with burners and squish blocks, some bone shooting and more lava and you know that you are really busy in this part. It was all a bit too huge for my taste and I was hoping for the end to come sooner rather than later, but very solid nonetheless. Only few enemies (snakes and demigods) and I found only two of the secrets, both nicely hidden. The hidden Tinnos Temple (8/8/9/9, 100+10+5+10 min., 2/3 secrets): This equally huge part serves as a hub level for the follwing ones and after each of them you return and eventually finish the series at the very top. Yet again the temple is massive and set in a huge body of water. While the gameplay designed into the setting is clever and original, you often have a feeling of being lost and not knowing what to do next or where to go. Also, the author clearly likes mazes (which I hate) and especially the underwater area is quite tough. Still, there is lots of fun too: series of timed switches/trapdoors, four gems and six cog wheels to find, very nicely designed area that you basically explore three times, first swimming, then on foor for push blocks and then again with a torch in hand. Very eerie area in the dungeons with those poisonous mutants and smart use of the teleporters. Make sure you remember the areas you have been to as you come back later (much later) and need to find receptacles for stars. Not sure why the end had to be totally anticlimatic with a set of long, boring and tedious climbs though. Ye Obelisk Sequence (10/9/10/9, 90 min., 3/4 secrets): Absolutely the favourite level of the set for me. Atmosphere is like being in a castle and even though it is still rather mazelike, the progression seemed more logical and fluent. And it is absolutely packed with fun gameplay: the three obelisks you need to turn to retrieve the sun disk, the three button puzzle that opens up the doors for the puzzles to retrieve the stars, including a lava jump room, a mirror room, a few clever push block puzzles, flooding a huge area to master a timed swim, a boss fight and an episode with a very alert bull. Excellent stuff and not to be missed. The Torch challenge (9/9/9/8, 60 min., 1/1 secrets): Here we go again with another huge lava room with a central tower. Probably the technically most tricky part, as some of the jumps are quite devious, especially with torch in hand high up over collapsible tiles. Mosquitoes, spiders and two sea hags appear at nicely unexpected moments too. The unrolling bridges are always a great sight and yet again you end up turning lava into water and searching the huge area for some underwater levers. The following underwater maze was very devious and I truly hated it. The air holes are few and far between and the slicer dicers don't make things any easier. Gauntlet (10/9/9/9, 50 min., 2/2 secrets): After the previous levels, I expected something really tough here, but it is actually not at all bad. In fact, nicely balanced and fun gameplay (apart from the tedious tightrope walking) with magically appearing skeleton levers, another turn lava into water exercise, a water scales puzzle, a fun slide with spikes exercise and the highlight of it all: a fabulous ride in an area with 'sliding water', which felt much like being on a fairground rollercoster. Quite tricky to master but superbly entertaining. The elevator rides with added target shooting were also nicely done. Overall, this is a challenging debut which demonstrates QRS' great creativity and skill with the editor. For my personal taste many of the areas could have been a little smaller or alternatively a little more direction at what the next action should be could have been added, but for the explorers under the raiders out there this may just be right up their alley. Certainly not and adventure for the faint of heart but a definite highlight in Custom Level history." - MichaelP (20-Feb-2006)
"This is one of those level sets(five levels) that come along, once in a great while. Totally immersive and seductive with fresh approaches to some old, tired problems. For instance, in the second level, there is a way to reset tiles for the timed jumps sequence without going back to a savegame. Puzzles are also new and inventive. An example: the hidden crawl space beneath a collapsable tile that is impossible to see except with the fly by and impossible to do without knowing the crawl space is there. All fly bys are instuctive - ignore at your peril. lol I had no luck at triggering fly bys again. I assume it's a limitation of the LE, a bug, such as the floor turning into an impenetrable 'glass' after using the torch to burn through a wood floor in the torch level. Despite this being a debut, I saw none of the traditional beginner's mistakes. Yes, the rooms are big but far from empty, with something to do everywhere. There's enough ammo and health packs to get the job done and placement of enemies is good with an extra bit of shock when confronted with yet another enemy when using a key. You'll find every TR device, including UW mazes, tightropes, Bulls(great Bull sequence), timed runs, those big buttons to push,(along with a fire tunnel the author put in for 'laughs') transformers and jumps that are not impossible - they only seem so, to mention a few - there's lots more, including 16 secrets that the Raider has to 'work' to get. I had only 13. Textures, music, gameplay, the use of light - everything works here. It's a must-play. Thank you, Anders, for a truly memorable, excellent Raid." - Bene (04-Feb-2006)
"As soon as I saw the great pyramid that represents the main area of the first level, with its magnificent architecture and above all the very good placing of the textures and the outstandingly realistic lighting I couldn't believe that I was playing the author's first creation. It's very hard, for a beginner, to reach such a total perfection from this angle. But I couldn't imagine that, moreover, the author was able to organize the game play in a constant succession of emotions: It definetely was like an absolute self-involvement in the adventure. I can say that the first 3 levels are among the best I have ever played. The technical difficulty of all the levels is quite high, and a certain ability is required to overcome some time sequences, and in the 4th level, to succeed in carrying a torch jumping on falling blocks in order to kindle three warming pans isn't easy at all. The riddles are very good, (some are unpublished) and the secrets are particularly beautiful, always visible but unreachable. I have rescued 16 in the whole game. There are few enemies, but in my opinion they're in the right number as the game especially aims at the complexity of the riddles. The atmosphere of the surroundings is always perfect, thanks to the beauty of the textures and to the author's great ability in the use of lighting. The same can be said as regards the use of fly by and fixed cameras often employed to help players understand and solve the riddles. Even the tunes fully contribute to the atmosphere, stressing their presence at the right time. It's really good luck that QRS decided to devote himself to the building of custom levels, and thanks to his talent he'll make us feel so many deep emotions in the future as well." - PaoloM (26-Jan-2006)
"This level is the first, but I hope, not the last, work of QRS. During playing it I was near to break it up, but after playing I love it more and more. It's a great adventure with 5 parts. Lara Croft begins her journey in an Egyptian desert with a temple and she sees that she have to find 4 Sacred Birds. There in the first part is a big water room with a pyramid in the middle and many balconies on each side. Difficult riddles waits for Lara. As she put in the five birds, she arrives the second part. This is the basic level, Lara comes back here after every parts of the next ones via teleporters. In this hidden Tinnos Temple Lara have to look for six gearwheels and four blue Gems. Than Lara arrives Ye Obilisk Sequence where she must find the three rooms with big wheels to turn the hammers in the right direction. Many levers and unterwater switches are to pull. Lara have to search five golden stars and solving works. Part 4 Torch Challenge is a huge room with lava and in the middle of them a central tower and many sloped pillars and blocks. Lara take a torch from the 3rd part and here she need it to light wall torches and baskets in rooms. She must jump over the slopes pull levers and have to come to the top of the tower where she put in the Sun Disc and the Sun Goddess. Lara can flood the room with water. Now she is able to pull underwater switches and swim through a big maze to find a way back to the basic part. Part 5 Gauntlet is personally my favourite game. A big lava room with balance acrobatics and a very big slope with lava and spikes are very difficult. It seems to be not able to make our way down and I was near to break off the game, but it is able! I loved the room with the slide way. Lara has to slide this ways three times, wonderful! Back in the second part Lara arrives the high balconies and activate with levers the last teleporter to a new adventure. This great level will be one of my almost loved levels. It is full with time runs. Long water mazes with scanty air chambers and so I don't want to recommend it for beginners because it's not easy to play. There aren't a lot of enemies but they are originally. Black men, water witches, greed exes and golden birds and a fast bull are dangerous. The armosphäre and the sound are very good. I'm enjoyed for the continuation!" - Marilyn (22-Jan-2006)
"What an excellent debut! I have highly enjoyed this adventure. An interesting mix of an Egyptian and Tinnos levels with quite diverse and sometimes inventive gameplay. Two elements of the gameplay are more often used: mazes (especially underwater-mazes) and a lot of different timed tasks. Especially the timed tasks I enjoyed a lot. Never boring, always somthing special to it. The one I enjoyed most, was the "elevator-shooting" in the fifth level. The first two level settings are dominated by a huge rooms by pyramid-like buildings in a pool, the first one Egyptian style and the second one Tinnos style but with Egyptian elements in it, showing the connections between the two cultures. The second level is also a hub-level for the next three levels. The main gameplay element in the second is an maze, both over and under water with a lot of switches, water level changes, a torch puzzle and also a push block puzzle. The third has a complex three push button-puzzle, then a obelisk puzzle and you`ll also get some god action with the bull. The fourth is all about the torch, with a lot of nice jumps. And finally the fifth start with some rope walks, then a very well done slope with spikes and fire tiles, where you have to find your ways and finally a horizontal sliding sequence with a lot of action. It's alltogether not easy, but also not too difficult, so that players with some expertise can progress without big difficulties. Another part, which I liked too, is the music used, especially in connection with the excellent fly-by`s. Lighting ind texture's are well used. You won't meet much enemies, but the one's you will meet are suiting. In the first level for instance you have two fight in the final battle with two demigods, in the second you`ll have a big battle with four Tinnos-mutants and in the third you`ll meet some big black demons. Alltogether a big recommendation from me for this convincing debut! I'm looking forward to the sequel!" - Raymond (13-Jan-2006)
"Given the quality of this set of levels, I very soon forgot this is a debut. Starting with the gameplay which is inventive and clever. Here you'll be confronted to all sorts of tasks to perform and obstacles to pass. Devious collapsible tiles ordeals above lava, tricky jumps ascending a trapped ramp, tightropes, nasty enemies, a nice push blocks puzzle in a dark corridor, a mirror room, timed-sequences, all different from one another... I just can't mention them all. But I sure will mention that particular sliding sequence toward the end of the game that I found incredibly inventive and fun. There aren't many enemies but they are generally well-placed and fun to fight, all requiring their own strategy. Secrets are cleverly designed (some are really really devious). The atmosphere is intense and different in each level, ranging from peaceful to frantic. As for the music? Serving the beautiful fly-bys to perfection and punctuating the journey as if it were a narrative device. Which in fact it is. The only real downside - although quite acceptable - is in the settings department. There are more than a couple of wow rooms, but generally it's like just another settings. Lighting is good too but not extraordinary. Or maybe is it that the excellence of the gameplay and the atmosphere would deserve more. To summarize, a beautiful game that can be very difficult at times and certainly requires some expertise and nerves, but is worth the effort all the way. And all I can say is that considering it's a first game, I'm really impressed." - Sutekh (11-Jan-2006)