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Passage to Mu 4 by Tony Tomb

Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
CC 9 9 9 9
DJ Full 9 10 10 10
Duncan 9 10 10 10
Dutchy 10 10 10 10
dya1403 10 10 10 10
Engelchen Lara 9 10 10 10
eRIC 9 9 9 9
eTux 8 9 10 9
Gerty 10 10 10 10
Glouglouton 9 10 10 9
Jack& 9 9 9 9
Jay 10 10 10 10
Jerrod 9 10 10 10
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
Jose 9 10 10 10
Juan Carlos 9 9 10 9
Kristina 8 9 9 9
MichaelP 8 8 10 10
Mman 9 10 10 10
Monica 10 9 10 10
Moonliteshadow 10 10 10 10
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
Mytly 9 9 9 9
Phil 10 9 9 8
QRS 10 10 10 10
Relic Hunter 10 10 10 10
Ryan 10 9 10 10
Samu 9 9 9 10
Sash 9 8 10 10
Selene 9 9 10 10
Sutekh 10 10 10 10
Teone 8 9 10 10
Treeble 9 10 10 9
release date: 23-Jan-2006
# of downloads: 150

average rating: 9.56
review count: 34
review this level

file size: 123.62 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I absolutely adore the blue-ish hues used from the start to finish, it helps build a unique atmosphere for these levels and some of the more "lore" centered textures make good use of familiar elements (the TR3 mutants being featured in those made me pay attention for that sort of the detail for once, lol). The enemies are also retextured to fit in and the audio selection is quite soothing and ethereal as well. It goes into a bit of a mystech direction later on with teleporting machinery (maybe earlier on as well? I'd be lying if I said I remember what went down in the three previous installments of this series...) but overall I had a great time here. There were a few frustrating spots, such as the abundance of hammer demigods in a level where you need to rotating the wheel lever or the sharks making life miserable while looking for two underwater levers in a claustrophobic cave system, but for the most part it was quite enjoyable. Something about the design as a whole reminds me a lof of TR2, but I can't quite pinpoint what that is. 2h45min, 5 secrets. 08/23" - Treeble (20-Aug-2023)
"Very beautiful game! This part is more challenging than part 3 but it's because there are more enemies to keep you up. Not only the long sequence of hammergods but also the two nasty sharks in level 6, very annoying because you can't kill them. Without those enemies the game would be of medium difficulty. The design is perfect, professional and very atmospheric as usual. The Cistern level is a good change of setting to avoid a sense of monotony in the design, but sadly the final level is not what I expected. The geometry of the last level gives a sense of "already seen" (St. Francis' Folly) and when the Observatory starts to collapse the game comes to an abrupt end. But nevermind, it was a great adventure anyway. Highly recommended!" - Teone (09-Mar-2022)
"This is a 7-level game, but not a particularly long one (relatively speaking), as most of the levels are quite short. Gameplay is mostly classic style and keeps you on your toes. There are several memorable gameplay moments, such as the mirrors and light-beam puzzle and the three timed challenges one after the other in Temple of Mu Chaka, and dodging the hammergods in Citadel, Run, Run. On the other hand, there are also some obscure or tedious bits, such as making your way slowly across a floor you can fall through in Citadel, Run, Run, or having to climb up and down the tall main room in Southern Observatory far too many times.
There aren’t a lot of enemies overall, but sometimes they’re concentrated, such as the hammergod gauntlet in Citadel, Run, Run (an aptly named level!). The huge mutant monsters in that level and Cistern can be pretty scary too.
There are some lovely locations, such as the gorgeous lakeshore under an aurora-filled sky in Sylvan Lake, and the numerous pretty little gardens in most of the levels. The builder’s personalized textures are nice, but they’re nearly the same as the ones in part 3, so there’s nothing much new about them anymore. The lighting is a little on the flat side, though not bad overall. The blue colour scheme is nice in itself, but gets a little old after a while, as it’s almost the same throughout the game (except in Cistern, where the colour scheme is blue-green).
I played part 3 of this series seven years ago, yet I remember it quite vividly. Which is a bit of a pity in this case, as it was hard not to compare part 4 to part 3 constantly, and feel like the latter was slightly better, or at least had much more variety in terms of locations. Nonetheless, this is a pretty good level overall, and a must-play for anyone interested in TRLE olden goldies. Recommended." - Mytly (29-Apr-2018)
"The fourth (and likely final) part of the series, and really fantastic it was too. I actually thought the gameplay had improved slightly from episode 3 to the point where I personally couldn't find anything negative to mention in this category (aside from the mazelike format of some of the corridors, but that's a relatively minor gripe). The variety of tasks provided here is quite invigorating (plenty of timed runs, traps, block puzzles and gymnastics, plus locating items) but none of them should pose hardship to those who have moderate experience. I did stop to glance at the surroundings once or twice and they were a sight for sore eyes and the music is again well chosen. The only thing I didn't really like was the slight overusage of hammergods, and some rooms contain more than one type of enemy, so evading them without losing too much health was just a little too difficult for myself liking. But overall, it's fantastic and you're in for a treat." - Ryan (13-Jan-2018)
"...and this one is just wonderful. Everything is customized but not too much: texture mixture is heavily altered and varied but not a single tile is out of place; music is either written from scratch or extracted from a single multi-piece work but the mood is not only coherent but simply magical. SUMMARY: Too many pushables but elsewhere a whole load of creativity. There's no other series like this one." - DJ Full (05-Apr-2017)
"Somehow, inadvertently I've had an 8 year hiatus between parts 3 and 4 and I'm not entirely sure why. But better to catch up late than never, I suppose - though the author most likely has stopped building for good, with this as his last release. Still, it was a pleasure to dive into his typical style of bite-sized single levels composing a larger series in the unusual, yet familiar settings.
City of Mu Chaka (8, 8, 9, 8) 24 minutes, 0 secrets - The bluish hues of the city settings that could best be described as mix between TR4's "The Lost Library" and TR3's "The Lost City of Tinnos" give off an eerie, alien vibe, but with having enjoyed the previous installments of the series before, I felt right at home from the word go. I can't say I remember much of the story connection with the previous installments, but it's still possible to enjoy this in its own right with the backstory the author has given. With only a few living scarecrows to fight, the city feels a bit desolate (this applies pretty much to all of the levels), but add to the otherworldly looks and haunting audio tracks, this fits the mood of the place pretty well. Gameplay is straightforward, and essentially suitable for players of all skill levels, but that's not to say it's dumbed down and doesn't require you to be mindful of your actions. If anything - the collision of the underwater cogs was quite a pain to navigate around - it took me a number of attempts and fair share of luck to find the right angles to squeeze past them.
Citadel, run, run (9, 9, 9, 8) 24 minutes, 0 secrets - What little I remember from my first attempt to finish the series was that I got stuck in a level with a bunch of Minotaurs (meaning this one), which is a bit odd, since I pretty much breezed through with no hiccups this time round. Whatever the case may have been, if level one had a sort of a mellow feeling to it, and the beginning hologram-floor puzzle in this one feels like more of the same, it soon picks up pace when you reach the Minotaur quarters of the city. Nothing quite like opponents you cannot harm in any shape or form (unless you count taunting them from higher ledges where they cannot reach Lara) to raise the stakes - and the high octane action sequence of timed tasks here is among my favourite moments from the entire series - especially the timed target practice with burners and rotating blades (not to mention a Minotaur). The looks are basically an extension of what you saw in level 1, but I did like the mural near the end - providing us with a bit of history of the Mu-ans and their struggle with the Tinnos beasts (nicely foreshadowing their cameo in the following level).
Cistern (8, 9, 9, 9) 37 minutes, 2 secrets - If the title of the level was not clue enough, the dramatic fall soon enough reveals settings that are a blend of the familiar Mu city kind and even more familiar TR1's The Cistern, which is the level referenced here, in case you did not make the connection instantaneously. The bluish hues can feel a bit monotone after a while, so bringing in a variation with a bit more colour was a welcome change, though the author never really uses sun-bulbs in any of the levels, so Lara ends up looking flat, and lighting not as sophisticated. Surprisingly enough, you don't actually do that much flooding and draining, and one of the puzzles - the one involving draining a pool to shoot the crystals in it - was not thought through that well (why didn't shooting the crystals raise the block if they're shot in a flooded state of the room too, as is possible courtesy of revolver + lasersight?). That's not to say that the level is lacking in any sort of way because of it - and I still loved how it was interconnected, not to mention the introduction of the Tinnos beasts, as foreshadowed in the previous level. I was also impressed how the level ended mid-way through climbing up a ladder shaft - don't recall ever seeing that done before.
Innercity, Mu Sanctuary (8, 8, 9, 8) 32 minutes, 0 secrets - And we're back to the familiar city settings, this time with bluish monks and gladiators as opponents. The pushable block puzzles were simple, but clever enough to be worth your while, and didn't outstay their welcome. The only really confusing part was collecting the parts for the flower puzzle, and finding their receptacle, now that I think of it - as they blended a tad too well into the surrounding shrubbery. The final teleporter room is easily the most aesthetically pleasing in the level - and if you shoot the targets before dropping down - you'll learn that the monks hold a grudge on the gladiators for undisclosed reasons, and will gladly take them out for you, heh.
The Temple of Mu Chaka (9, 9, 9, 9) 23 minutes, 1 secret - My favourite level, along with Citadel in terms of gameplay, and unsurprisingly one of the more challenging ones. The three consecutive timed rooms for the Ancient keys will be a delight for any seasoned raider, and - along with the timed sequences from Citadel my favourite piece of gameplay from the series overall. The bullfight manages to add both variety (in context of the series) and tradition (in context of the game engine) to the mix, and is another reason why this level is hot on gameplay. It doesn't lag far behind in terms of looks either - with the mirror room being the most appealing visually - and there's just something immensely satisfying about sending the 3 Mu Chaka's you've been collecting diligently up till now to fly up in the air, as they reveal passage to...
Sylvan Lake (7, 8, 10, 10) 19 minutes, 1 secret - One of the rare instances where the author uses a fly-by, and it's well justified - as the lake and its surrounding area is easily the visual and atmospheric highlight of the entire level set. For such a vast setting it's actually not a very long level (even in context of the series), and while I enjoyed the rather tricky fire room, and the rearrangeable pseudo-maze - the search for the underground switches was not quite as inspired (and as much as I dislike the harpoon gun - I sort of wish it had been possible at the time to incorporate it with the TR4 engine, if only to exact revenge on those pesky sharks) - and oddly enough could be skipped entirely - as you can get to the platform with the switch that you ultimately reach from underwater simply with a couple of jumps around the lake's perimeter. Still a wonderful level in its own right, and worth a little hardship.
Southern Observatory (8 8 9 8) 27 minutes, 0 secrets - Not sure if that was the intention - but the initial area felt like a throwback to TR1's St. Francis' Folly. It can look a bit overwhelming at first, but is actually quite fun to tackle once you figure out how to reach the various side rooms from the central structure. Unfortunately you have to scale it numerous times, and that's even if you don't miss out on any of the items scattered around, so it did get a bit tedious after a while. And while I enjoyed the tasks overall - I think this may not have been the most fitting level for ending the series - with its slower pace, over-abundance of crawlspaces (the one for one of the masks can be missed very easily), the enemies not standing much in your way, and one too many sneakily hidden shimmy crack than I cared to tackle. It's implied in the end that Lara manages to return home, so I'm curious where the author might have taken the series for the part 5 if he had built it, but I suppose that's one of those levels to remain in the mind of the author, and we can be grateful for the excellent set we got while he still was invested in it.
When all is said and done - the mood and unique feel of the author's imagining of Mu nicely matches the creativity of whoever came up with making Atlantis the creepy and unsettling mix of volcanic rock and inner body workings way back in TR1, thus offering both the TR and custom level community some excellent versions of the imaginary lost continents. The author's parts 3 and 4 of the Mu series are easily one of the most unique level sets that we've ever had in the history of custom levels, and worth checking out for that alone (also the reason why I 'rounded up' the atmosphere to a 10 - since the whole was greater than the sum of its parts), but are matched with creative gameplay as well, thus making the venture in these alien worlds a feast no matter which side of the gaming experience you find preferable. Highly recommended." - eTux (15-Mar-2013)
"A very good level, not too hard not to easy.I feel a real SF emotion in these levels (like Stargate it's a combination between asian or egypt atmosphere and futuristic atmosphere). I love especially the 2 last levels. The cistern and the last level give us memory of tr1 feeling." - Glouglouton (09-Feb-2012)
"The final levels of the Mu saga. Like the previous episode, this game is superb ... but now it's not the entire new planet we discovered but a very big city (maybe the most important city of the Mu empire??) We discovered new technology based on the few strange blu crystals ... I really like the idea of this crystal. The are also many news objects and enemies and like the previous episode, the gameplay is not to hard. The game is also not to dark. A perfect SF atmosphere whis many news sounds and news beautifuls textures. The two last levels are my favorite. I really love this strange observatory around a small lake in the mountains. I'm still a little disappointed by the end when Lara jump in a teleporter for I suppose ... a new Mu planet and not the Earth finaly? I really hope a day Micheal will built news episode of this amazing saga ... and maybe if it will be, Lara will came back to Earth ^^. But it's a nice episode of the Mu saga and also a VERY big thanks to Micheal for this. VERY VERY recommanded for everyone and specially for the science fiction fans." - BigFoot (11-Jan-2012)
"i still dunno how get so long to find this very nice game .... accidentaly i get on it from ''levels off the month'' but worth it ..... is a huge game with 6 or 7 levels ........ each with his own flavour.. moustly indoor castle areas but is a nice lake level too at wich u need to swin alot and find several UW levers .... and in mean time avoiding some huge hammer head sharks .... the final part is a huge multilavel room with a central hubb .... wich several openings wich u need to open one after another to get past and finaly to get at the galaxy room with a not hard pushable puzzle .... this game is very well done ... through a bit too much crawling through naroww openings and tunnels for my taste but a game wich u should not miss ................. good work Tony ....." - Jack& (25-May-2010)
"After the varied alien environments of the last pack I was a little disappointed when the story suggested this took place in one location, but I was wrong, and this is quite possibly even more atmospheric than the part 3. Every area is visually distinct yet part of a whole, and the lighting and texturing complement the rest of the design perfectly; creating a place that feels strangely familiar yet utterly alien at the same time. The only part I found a bit of the weak link in terms of atmosphere is the final level, which I found a lacking in the extremely strong-yet difficult to describe-theming of the earlier levels, but even then it's still better looking than most TR custom levels. The use of music is also perfect for complementing the locations (something I forgot to mention about Mu 3 too).
The gameplay is improved again, and has some quite distinct aspects (like interesting use of Tinmen pathfinding at one point, and being hunted by a certain enemy at some points). Some levels, the Cistern in particular, have very elaborate and interesting layouts too. The only real downsides are some very obscure underwater levers, some rare trial and error elements, and the occasional area that feels a bit empty and underutilised. The ending is slightly anticlimactic as you just enter a teleporter and it's over, but hopefully that means more adventures in this other world sometime soon..." - Mman (18-Apr-2010)
"A good game with 7 levels which are not too long [ my net gaming time is just above 4 hours ]offering a good mix in the gameplay department , with discovery , also puzzles , jumps, and series of fast actions in a couple of levels. The difficulty remains quite reasonable throughout. Good setting and architecture , I only spotted that a couple of doors were not placed in portals. The setting is quite unique with some lovely music and these custom textures , harmonious temples and sanctuaries, a lake , evolving to an almost sci-fi setting in the end. Some good objects and enemies, some of the enemies are well used , but in the latter levels you can just run away from some of them , killable or unkillable. An artistic and enjoyable game." - eRIC (07-Apr-2010)
"City is a good level for begin this new adventure quietly (nice atmosphere, nothing really hard). Citadel (the terrific Arena), Cistern (the most beautiful darker level I've seen at this day), Sanctuary (the ingenious push puzzles) & Temple (the timed runs with the clock, the taurus & eyes buttons), all these levels are awesome and this game earn unquestionably a HOF. Sylvan Lake, 6th level, look big, but the puzzle is short, an intermediate level. Observatory, between the very well hidden Mu mask and the false clue for the Galaxy Puzzle, this latest level really annoying me, I prefer keeping other levels in memory. As always with this author, the design & textures of each level are impressive and the light, this time is not only good, but perfect. Mu Chaka !!" - Jerrod (06-Apr-2010)
"The final set of levels in this long and excellent series.
Level 1 City of Mu Chaka: So, we're here at last. And a beautiful city it is too. All those blue textures are lovely, and the design and layout of this city looks really good. Inhabited by unfriendly 'gardeners', we find crosses and Mu masks, plus the first of three Mu goddess statues. There's a bit of underwater swimming, and a timed run to three gates, and we're off to a good start....
Level 2 Citadel, run run: We will be running, to avoid many minotaurs. But before that we need to take it easy over dangerous 'glass' floors, find pyramid keys, more Mu masks, and negotiate a clever platform/fire emitter/rotating blades/timed door and shooting setup in a dark confined space. Then fall down a deep shaft, into...
Level 3 The Cistern: Very dark, but very impressive place inhabited by non-descript large demons and huge snakes. As expected in this enormous place there is a lot of climbing, jumping and swimming. Shoot some blue crystals, blocks to push, two great timed runs, find ornate keys, pyramid keys, a crystal artefact, another Mu Chaka, and your done. Nice easy level this one. Excellent atmosphere, lighting, textures and layout. Possibly my favourite level so far.
Level 4 Inner City Mu Sanctuary: We've come out into the fresh air and find ourselves in a monastery type complex. So it's no surprise to find that enemies here are monks and more of those 'gardeners'. And garden is the key word, because here is where you'll have to search for a flower and stem combo. Almost immediately we happen upon a very clever block pushing puzzle, where we must move a block up several tiers. Some more blocks later, dodge some boulders, a room where we have fun shooting transparent balls, activate a transporter and we're outta here.
Level 5 Temple of Mu Chaka: Inside a bigger temple now, and what a surprise when we slide into a room, hear a clock ticking, see a moving glass timer, and just know that we must complete our tasks in a set time, or Lara fries. These timed runs are quite challenging, but good fun. We meet the bull here, and must work out how we can lower blocks and open routes to the tiles we need him to smash for us. Another good puzzle involves the torch and getting mirrors to reflect a light beam. Love the decor, especially the wall mosaics. We finally place our Mu Chakas and open the way to the next level.
Level 6 Sylvan Lake: We've come through another transporter, and we are treated to a truly impressive flyby of the rooftops and overall area of this magnificent temple by the lake. Again, great textures, colours, lighting. So there is a fair amount of swimming involved as we open a way in, by dropping a number of trapdoors and rolling out bridges high up near the battlements. The route up, swimming with sharks, and a small puzzle to release the last hammergod, is all that we need to do here before entering the top most door and enter the...
Level 7 Southern Observatory: Huge room, wasps, hammergod, levers, route around high up making our way around what look like machines and mechanical objects, finding and placing more Mu masks, good timed run, a lovely looking planetary puzzle, and altogether a pretty tame ending after all we've been through. But that is not to take away from the huge effort, time and imagination of this accomplished author. Perhaps there is more to come? If so, I'll take my place in the queue." - CC (07-Jul-2007)
"I played this game without playing the others from this series and I must that I found it very bizzare, yet challenging and very well put togheter. The dominant colour(blue)and the audio theme is very pleasant and relaxing.The puzzles are very clever made and the gameplay is fluent, as you have a HUGE area to cover.The complete adventure has a mix of everything. Glad I didn't have to fight with too many scary enemies.My favorite level is Southern Observatory. It was pretty sad to leave this world, but I will play also the previous ones, wuch I have a feeling I won't be dissapointed of. This is just one of those level who beat even the original TR series...." - dya1403 (11-Nov-2006)
"This was one of the levels that is a real pleasure to play. Great textures, very good camera work and really good puzzles and timeruns. Really challenging but fun. Very easy to follow. I must say that Hammer Mans were sometimes annoying, but it is part of the game, isn't it? Absolutely must for all players, I will be waiting for next one." - Monica (12-Aug-2006)
"And the saga continues, with its next huge multi level part and just as the previous one this is an adventure not to be missed. City of Mu Chaka (8/8/10/10, 25 min): A deserted city in blue tone with only a few of the locals to attend to. Your quest is one for keys and I just loved the background audio (here as in all the other levels as well) and the solid camera work that guides you through. The triple timed run was fun and not too hard and the effect with the electrified Lara is nicely done. Citadel, run run (8/8/9/10, 25 min): Starting a bit slowly with the glassfloor with holes in it, this soon becomes the adrenalin rush of the game as you encounter a series of tasks while being chased by half a dozen hammergods. The cogwheels really did cost quite a bit of health but the target shooting was fun. As you reach the end here you find a deep drop into the... Cistern (9/9/10/10, 45 min, 2 secrets): The best level of the set in my opinion. The huge main room is very impressive, there are a few more enemies (ahmets, snakes and those poisonous mutants) and also 2 secrets to find. The crystal cave looks cool too. Had a smile at the crystals that re-grow so quickly as you fill the pool with water again after draining it ;) Innercity, Mu Sanctuary (9/8/9/10, 45 min): More moderate pace in this part, but again nice atmosphere with placement of plants and more great audio. The monks and worriers are tough enemies and the puzzles are fun with pushing and raising boxes around - very cleverly done. Towards the end you also get two easier timed passages before the transporter takes you to the... Temple of Mu Chaka (9/9/9/10, 20 min, 2 secrets): Some action here indeed with the three varied timed passages to get the ancient keys - nice challenge there without being too frustrating. Then an encounter with a bull and a nice passage with crystals and burners and a nice use of the mirrors. Sylvan Lake (7/8/10/10, 30 min, 1 secret): Maybe the atmospheric highlight right from the initial flyby of the area, but for me gameplay was a bit tedious with all the swimming and searching while sharks are on your tail all the time. Always nice to see these unfolding bridges and the little maze with the 'moving walls' was quite original. Southern Observatory (8/8/10/10, 40 min): The finale and quite a finale at that. The initial room with all the high ledges was very smartly designed and tests your jumping skills in a clever way. The boulders dropping and the little earthquakes give you a feeling of approaching the end. The small mazelike area with the buttons you reach through crawlspaces seemed unnecesarily tedious, but that is only a small gripe. A little more timed action and a nice view of planet Earth round things up. Overall, a great series that will keep you highly entertained throughout. Looking forward to playing the forthcoming Part 5." - MichaelP (08-Aug-2006)
"I've been nursing this one for quite a while, playing a little bit here and a little bit there and being in not much of a hurry, while also playing The Lazarus Curse (which is so blasted dark that it's ever in danger of being binned, but that's a whole 'nuther review). My final stats came in at about five and a half hours, and I had a good time almost every minute of the way. If the levels hadn't been so dark (you can tell that's a pet peeve of mine, can't you?) my ratings would be even higher, but whenever the darkness would start getting to me I'd play a little bit of Lazarus Curse and count my blessings. I found the gameplay to be challenging, but it never drove me to keyboard-banging frustration. Timed runs are not usually my forte, and near the end the builder has strung out three in rapid succession. I was fully expecting to need a savegame at this point, but I managed my way through all three and had that nice feeling of accomplishment when I finished. This has been a nice series, and I'd like to see more from this builder. Recommended." - Phil (28-Jul-2006)
"All I can say is: 'Wow!' :) Quite a challenge for my Lara here...some of the timed runs were really devious and the hammerman is truly a pain at the end. But I still had lots of fun :). Puzzles were diverse; you need to find masks, keys and other stuff. There are plenty of levers and switches to use, tricky jumps, everything you need... .:) The rooms are beautifully designed, textures very cleanly applied. Atmosphere is ingenious and sound nicely added. Not too many enemies but well placed (except for the hammerman I mentioned ;). All in all a great sequel to the series and I hope there will be a part 5...." - Engelchen Lara (11-Jul-2006)
"This is a game with a great use of cameras, and with very complicated rooms construction in this point excellent work. But the game goes and haven't surprises, every trap is a trap seen before, enemies sometimes appear from nothing. Obviusly this game has been a hard work, I know, but I always like to find new thinking puzzles, a new idea. I didn't find it here. I think there will be many people who will love this game, but it was not my point of view, anyway, play the game, has a lot of work and give your own point of view." - Juan Carlos (06-Jul-2006)
"City of Mu Chaka ? You start this adventure in a lovely outdoor Mu temple looking for a handful of keys and a few jumps to get around. Once in a while a Mu man or two will pop up and go on the attack but they aren?t too hard to battle with. 30 minutes. Citadel, Run, Run ? Well the name definitely says it all. This starts at a quite normal pace with a brilliant lever puzzle that opens up wall sections combined with a translucent floor that is missing in sections. As soon though as you get past this the action really heats up. You get not one, not two, not three, but six meetings with the hammergod, and as most meetings correspond with solving a puzzle I absolutely dreaded every time I realised another had come along. 35 minutes. Cistern ? Thankfully a huge fall has separated our poor Lara from those damned hammergods, but I?m sure there will be something terrible to take it?s place, especially if that wall mural at the end of the previous level is anything to go by. Well, I was right, to greet you in this wonderfully designed spacious sewer system are not only some spike backed ahmets and water snakes but the hideously eerie poisonous claw handed alien creature, or to his close friends, Clive. Actually there isn?t too many of them roaming around so it?s down to business, and business is making your way all around the architecturally pleasing cistern finding levers to pull, one or two leading to timed runs and jumps. 2 secrets, 40 minutes. Innercity, Mu Sanctuary ? Back into the lovely sunny day Lara has to solve a couple of movable block puzzles, including a smart one with raising blocks on a series of levels, and a couple of timed runs, in and around the Mu temple. She also has to do a bit of gardening just to pretty up the place a little more. Like most of the other levels so far there aren?t many enemies, here we have a couple of different types of Mu men, but you don?t really miss them. 45 minutes. The Temple of Mu Chaka ? At the end of this level you get to use the little Mu statues that you have collected during the other levels but to get to this point there is a fabulous set of 3 timed runs, one with a target shooting twist, that really got the adrenalin pumping. You also get to meet up with the bull and like usual you have to coax him into a bit of tile smashing, this though could have been done a little more imaginatively I thought. All of this set in another lovely bright temple. 2 secrets, 35 minutes. Sylvan Lake ? After all the temples it is nice to find this one has been set around a beautiful lake in a canyon with, yes, a temple built into the rock. The first half of this level is spent in the water as you hunt down a couple of levers while being attacked by a couple of sharks which was quite a heart starter. Once out of that predicament you have to gingerly make your way around a room full of fire spewing platforms and then work out a way to unfurl a couple of bridges to get to the end. It was a shame this was such a short level as it was for me the most enjoyable one so far. 1 secret, 25 minutes. Southern Observatory ? You end this adventure sadly not seeing a single Mu man in sight, well you do meet for a brief moment a hammergod but he isn?t really Mu-ey. Most of this final level is spent in a tall room with the centrepiece consisting of a structure with short walkways springing out of it all over the place like a sad looking bare Christmas tree. This structure will become second nature to you by the time you leave this room as you?ll find yourself climbing it over and over to reach different gates but as you can reach it?s summit quite quickly it won?t become to bothersome to most. With a few timed runs and a movable planet puzzle, you should easily make it to the end with not too much trouble where Lara must regenerate and enter a transporter to take her far away. 40 minutes. I found this whole journey quite enjoyable as each level never overstayed it?s welcome by being too long and the sceneries were all very attractively built. There could have been a little more puzzling overall and a couple of extra secrets would have been happily received but nonetheless this was a really well made game that each and every person should find extremely fun." - Sash (25-May-2006)
"It was quite nice and it reminded me something of the previous level as it started. I simply hated the level with all the hammer gods, what possessed the builder to insert so many in his game is beyond me but I got frustrated at some point. The part I loved was the challenge with the bull and collapsing glass floor which was indeed well made. I also got stuck with no way out in the level with the doors and shootable windows behind so make sure you don't enter them or you'll be in trouble. Also don't backtrack after you use the elevator or you'll be stuck with no way out as well. I liked the different areas we had to visit and the levels are linked nicely with teleporters. I got also in trouble though in the area with the sharks, water and blocks with fire on them. I dropped in the water and then couldn't find a way to go back up again. There was nothing too hard or too easy, the timed runs were manageable but the one in the level with the many floors up where there are spikes popping out had a flaw as far as the spikes are concerned. Make sure you save, you should do it often anyway but in that area it is absolutely necessary, before attempting to pass that area. I liked this one better than the previous game and I think it's time to see Lara getting back or change scenery at least. I found five secrets and one of them by poor luck I must admit." - Kristina (23-Apr-2006)
"I found this whole level really enjoyable. Keys to find, water puzzles, boulder puzzles, tile puzzles. I did find one of the tile puzzles a bit frustrating having to go back and forwards and trying to remember which tiles were safe. I ended up just holding shift so progress was a bit slow. The hammer men were very unpleasant especially when trying to aim at targets! Altho' the hammer men became annoying I have to say that they certainly achieved high stress levels lol, as I realized by the huge sigh I emitted on leaving the area! The lever/block puzzle was brilliant - with the suspense hanging around anyway! This is certainly a game of big monsters! As well as hammer men there are dragons, bulls and huge water snakes. Had a bit of a hitch when I killed a monster in the wrong place and had to reload and make sure it died elsewhere. A brilliant level all round, I was sad to finish it." - Moonliteshadow (01-Apr-2006)
"If you liked the previous levels of the series, you'll love this new set of levels. No difficult tasks, half-lineal gameplay, if you are a good observer and explorer you'll not have problems to finish the game. New musics, new textures, new enemies, good architecture, good ambience,... A set of levels builded from a professional. Only a couple of details to comment: In level 5, once I passed the bull area and arrived to the room with the crystals, I pulled the underwater switch so the door opens and the fire blowers changed having intervals (you can cross now to the other side of the room where the open door is); but I went back to the bull area 'cause I left a closed door (fire pit) and the bull had dissapeared; once I finished my business there, I went back to the crystals room, and the fire blowers had not intervals so, as the underwater switch was already pulled I coudn't continue playing.When I tried to get the 3rd Ancient Key in fiveth level, I slide down and shoot the 3 Spheres, but the cage doesn't lower, even if I jumped over it after shoot, so I discovered that the cage lowered only if I shooted the spheres from the top of the cage (?). A very good work anyway." - Jose (20-Mar-2006)
"This is pretty extraordinary game and completing it takes a lot of time. Every levels are created and planned very well and author has used a lot of imagination in these levels. Puzzles are quite good and hard and I had to look at the walkthrough few times. There are many different kind of enemies which I haven't seen in any other levels and I really like those enemies. Atmosphere and sounds are also good despite I didn't like couple of backround musics. Lightning and textures are also very good and I have nothing else to say about them. I don't know why but somehow I like more authors earlier levels but however this was really nice TR game and I can recommend it." - Samu (13-Mar-2006)
"Well, reviewing this one without using tons of superlatives won't be easy and I swear I tried hard finding flaws and imperfections all over the levels... alas! I couldn't find any. So here we go for all tens... and well deserved at that. Starting with the gameplay which varies from average to quite difficult but NEVER frustrating and NEVER without a satisfying and logical solution. We have a good mix of hard jumps, devious traps, tough fights and clever puzzles. Adrenaline driven sequences and quieter brain-demanding ones. Inventive timed-runs are there too, all with a twist of their own. So, basically, it is the perfect cocktail with the perfect amount of ingredients. The atmosphere is incredibly well rendered, be it from enemies (and their look), sound and music, texturing, lighting and down to the fly-bys. All so masterfully staged or done that you're driven deeply into this world to the point it's quite difficult to leave it when the last level's over and you need a moment to re-ascertain reality. This mini-game is indeed of those exceptional ones that remain in memories and - somehow - make custom levels history. I won't say that it's a must or that I recommend it... but simply that not playing this would be a big mistake. Such quality and enjoyment isn't given to us players everyday. Zillions of thanks to Tony Tomb for this gem!" - Sutekh (11-Mar-2006)
"This latest installment of the Mu series is done to the superb level of craftmanship that is true of the others. The game shows a genuine and consistent sense of design - which helps greatly in giving the sense of being in an alien place. This one is quite large and takes some time to get through, and there are some tight timed runs and interesting puzzles along the way. There are enemies, but they seem rather familiar by now. The pacing in most of it is a bit languid, and lacks some of the tension of the author's earlier work. If there is any disappointment here, speaking in personal terms, I felt the level had no real ending. After spending this much time in a level, I believe there should be a strong ending with an emotional payoff. The Southern Observatory at the end was one of the easiest parts, and except for some falling boulders and a couple of hammer gods (of which there were already plenty), there wasn't much challenge to it. Then the level just ends. It left me wondering what the point of the series must be, as there is clearly a backstory to Mu, but Lara doesn't seem to reveal anything about this place or why she is there. She doesn't even get away with a big heist or save the day, she just leaves. I hope the final part rectifies that. Other than that, I must say this is a terrific level that every raider should play." - Duncan (26-Feb-2006)
"And so Lara finally manages to escape Mu - or not... I globally enjoyed this major game very much, although I must bear in mind that there were parts where I just wanted to keep going and that really kept me interested, while other parts seemed somewhat less exciting. But let's put it this way: the gameplay is generally good, the lighting and textures didn't seem to show any flaws, quite frankly I'd call this "professional" work. It's hard, in big games such as this one, to still remember everything you did and every place you've been to - or call it Alzheimer *fright*! But I can guarantee this is a game nobody will regret downloading and I quite liked the level with all the hammergods, the bull part, the lake part and, to some extent, the last, Southern Observatory part, at least from what I can remember and I may perfectly well be missing important parts. Hmm, yes, there was a push/pull/levers puzzle that I liked a lot, even though it was, yes, push/pull - but it was intriguing. Some nice (and sometimes all in a row too, leaving very few medipacks if any) traps along the way too and the music was perfect. Fantastic game overall." - Jorge22 (22-Feb-2006)
"City of Mu Chaka: I'm glad to have another chapter in this wonderful series. The city is beautiful and the initial music was so lovely and restful that I felt completely calm and relaxed and what a stupid way to approach tomb raiding. The first warrior woke me up again in short order. Lara got electrified at one point and was flashing like a neon light - a very unusual occurrence. Citadel, run run: There's a title to imbue one with confidence. Actually, there's rather more very slow, careful walking involved than running, at least to begin with. Towards the end of this section the action becomes rather frantic as a succession of hammer gods take a real toll on the medipacks. Cistern: After those awful hammer chaps, the ahmets were a positive pleasure. Don't you just love the way they hide round corners? There are a few of those giant mutant creatures than poison you if you let them get too close, so don't. As the title of this section would indicate, there is some swimming to be done, but nothing onerous I promise. Innercity, Mu Sanctuary: The emphasis is on puzzles in this part - there are a couple of block puzzles which take a bit of thinking about. There are still warriors about though so you can't afford to relax. There's also a fun boulder run - not difficult. Temple of Mu Chaka: I was glad to get a health top up on changing levels - poor Lara's health bar was so low a bad hangnail could probably have finished her off. There's a really excellent series of timed runs to achieve, with a merciful breathing space in between each one, and that damned bull to charm into breaking blocks for you. I really don't like that stupid bull. Sylvan Lake: Now that I do like the sound of. You get a great flyby showing the imposing area and some interesting looking things for later on. After a fire run, and unfurling bridges you get a maze to solve and, oh joy, another hammer god. However, this one you can run away from without damage. Southern Observatory: More good stuff, a timed run that I found the most difficult in the whole game, but still not too frustratingly hard to achieve, a lot of climbing up and down a huge hall and an elegant planet puzzle. You can't go wrong with this one. It's consistently entertaining/challenging without at any point becoming annoying because it's just too hard." - Jay (19-Feb-2006)
"Brilliant! Simply brilliant! I've had such a wonderful time in these levels, that I couldn't resist and give this masterpiece all tens. We travel through mysterious blue cities, a wonderful cistern, and sacred temples, as Lara Croft looks for a way out of the intergalactic Mu planet. Though it has quite wonderful sights, there is danger lurking around here, such as the numerous Hammergods in Citadel, run run (hence the last part of the level name), the adrenaline inducing timer sequences of the Temple of Mu Chaka, the bull encountered in that very same level, and other perils! You can also find wonderful areas to explore here, such as the Cisterne level. Exploring the adventurous and well done rooms brought back some good memories of Tomb Raider 1, which presented a good mix of combat and puzzle solving. For the most part about these levels, I'm quite speechless really. If you're up for five hours of wonderful gameplay, these levels are just for you." - Relic Hunter (12-Feb-2006)
"This adventure was really massive, at least it felt like it from beginning to end. Lara is in Mu Chaka once more and must this time make her way through various parts of it to escape. Here you'll get a full view of this mysterious land where the main source of life is based on the beautiful blue crystals you'll find scattered everywhere, complete from the city inside and outside, citadels, temples, beautiful lake sceneries and a planetary observatory. The first thing that impressed me a lot is the captivating imagination of the builder. The atmosphere was absolutely gorgeous and although different in each of the seven levels you always kept the feeling of being in Mu Chaka. The astonishing architecture and sceneries are well worth keeping an eye out for and throughout the levels I saw so many brilliant ideas I've never seen before(the room with the reflecting mirrors, the shifting glass maze and the planetary room) and I loved every one of them down to the last details. The many items you need to pick up also had some real Mu Chaka charm that I really enjoyed(Mu Masks, Mu Chakas and the Energy Cells to mention a few). The enemies were spread out well and although a bit few in some levels I was really thrilled to see the variety of them. In every level you encountered some new ones while others were found throughout the entire adventure. The traps(mainly spikes, fire and boulders) were not as numerous as the puzzles, but they did increase in number throughout the last couple of levels. There were also a few tight timed runs, but they were for most parts pure fun. I found a total of 5 secrets, some which were very sneakily hidden. If you're looking for many hours of fun and captivating gameplay and an enchanting plot, this is the game for you." - Selene (06-Feb-2006)
"A new level in a series, I always like long series with a certain story behind them and here's one of those. Not less then 7 levels. Maybe not all very long but certainly thrilling, the atmosphere was really great. Nice and hard push puzzles. Every time I met one of those ancient warriors I hoped for the one with the shield as he would go down in such a great way with his shield clanking into the ground. Maybe you noticed while playing the ones with the spears would kill the ones with the shields. There were some very well thought of timed sequences like shooting targets behind timed doors with Burners, a Rotating Blade and a Hammer Guy completing the frenzy, but then again, once you got the routine right it wasn't all that hard, it's always nice to figure out the best way to approach those traps. Then came a timed sequence where you dropped into rooms and the clock on the wall started ticking, there was no doubt about it, that it was a timed sequence ... Along the way you could pick up several Artefacts as secrets but the most important things were the 3 little Mu Chaka statues to get past the Pyramid Gate. One underwater cave held a couple of Sharks you couldn't shoot so you just had stay out of their way. All Secrets found and one of my favourites as you can see." - Dutchy (30-Jan-2006)
"As we found out pretty quick in the beta-testing is that one level of this game couldn't be played on the PC, what is really a shame as Michael had to cut that one short quite a bit. The player would never notice but I have been playing the original (having a Mac as well) and I can say, you missed out quite an enjoyable level. There is a nice built up in this mini game, slowly going from easy to quite difficult. I have to say some parts I liked better than other parts but as a whole this is real good. My favorite must be the Cistern as I just love the textures and as a gameplay this was quite good as well. There is good camera work as the only places I got stuck is in parts I wasn't looking good enough. The Hammer Gods still get on my nerves as is the bull but all in all I made it through those areas. More challenging were the timed runs, but once you knew what to do you can make it, as I did and I am not the fastest one. I also had a great time in the huge room where you had to jump to ledges on the wall to find levers and items. 24-01-2006" - Gerty (30-Jan-2006)
"I don't really know how to describe this adventure. It is a mix of so many elements and beautiful rooms that it is breathtaking just to look at it. As usual, Michael has this amazing music combined with perfect textures and lighting. All combined it makes the atmosphere so good that you just have to stop from time to time and just admire the environment. Michael has a tendency to build many short levels but this time I think the first one was the only short level. The rest were normal in length. You start where part 3 ended with some easy tasks, leading up to the second level where things start to heat up. A check board glass floor with many switches for a starter, then several encounters with a hammer guy that never seems to stop the hunt for Lara! The game play in this level reminds me of the one in "Lost Acropolis" One thing that was awesome in this level was the textures near the end showing some mu monsters in war with tinnos monsters! Great stuff! Out of the frying pan and into the find yourself in the cistern with huge water rooms and tons of tasks to do! I loved this level! The old tr1 textures still rocks! I was surprised to find this kind of level in this series but it worked perfectly with the others. After a long climb you are in the sanctuary of Mu on your way you find the classic flower parts to put in the garden. I love these objects ;) There is also a very clever block puzzle that reminds me of the authors "Isle in the sun" levels. I really enjoyed this puzzle! After this level you get to a temple and the difficulty ramps up a lot. Countless of rooms with traps, boulders and flames in your way to finally being able to place the 3 mu statues. Favorite parts in this level were the timed lenses and the traps in those rooms. Top stuff! After a swim in a huge water tunnel we enter the Sylvan Lake and a long cool flyby shows the whole outside area. Amazing structures and a beautiful landscape. Hammer heads hunts in the depth of the water and boulders falls from the sky LOL! A difficult swim for two switches, some jumps on burning tiles and finally...the end... I thought! A very clever maze which leads to the placement of the mu mask...and of course that darn hammer guy again LOL! Finally I found myself at the last stage; the observatory. This level was just simply outstanding! Like a new revised version of "S Francois Folly" from tr1. Tons of ledges and doors to explore. After getting the two mask and other items on the way, I found the planetarium. And my way out! Just as the hammer guy appeared yet again! This adventure will be a classic and is one of my all-time favorites. I thought it would be hard for Michael to beat mu3 but this one is better in every aspect. I wish I could give it higher ratings, but all tens is max, so here you go! A well deserved full score for an astonishing level." - QRS (24-Jan-2006)
"Here's another treat from Michael as we enter the next stages of the Passage to Mu series. Lara has arrived in the City of Mu Chaka and hopes to find her way home. She's intrigued by the blue crystals that seem to be cultivated in these lands and they are obviously used for something, but can they help her get back to earth? City of Mu Chuka: A beautiful setting awaits the player as Lara steps into this small city. Her mission is to find the first of three Mu Chuka idols to take with her to the next level. Lara will have to find three keys to proceed do a timed run, swim through some nifty spike traps to explore the inner workings of the underwater mechanical chambers. Enemies are the Caretakers of Mu; ferocious little fellows based on the horsemen. Game play is swift as this is not a huge area, and it's hard to get lost so just keep eyes peeled for the keyholes. Textures are the beautiful blue walled Mu buildings that we have become accustomed to, and with little gardens and large pots scattered about this is a lovely start to this level set. There are no secrets in this level so Lara can leave here happy with what she has got. Citadel, run, run: Lara arrives in a blue textured room and there's something strange about the floor ahead. She will have to work her way around this, and while tin men attack she will be finding levers. Not so much a tricks and traps level but more of a battle as Lara meets the hammer gods who protect this place. There is some ball shooting to do up on a blade platform so hope you're aim is good, hehe! Two ancient keys will be needed to finish the level and health could run low here. There are no secrets in this level and it all looks gorgeous. Cistern: Down below ground, Lara meets snakes and Crystal Ahmets and Aliens (of the large black kind) in the damp green caverns of the cistern. She will be searching the watery tunnels and chilly rooms for keys, an ancient key, a Mu mask and the second Mu Chuka idol. This was maybe my favourite level because the atmosphere is quite spooky, and I just love the cistern textures and tasks like flooding the pool. I found the two secrets, one of which was quite sneakily hidden. What a fabulous level. Inner Mu Sanctuary: We arrive in familiar blue Mu textured rooms as we enter the inner sanctuary. Warrior enemies are lurking here and you will encounter both horseman and Xian varieties and they really look sunning in their new blue attire. Lara collects the third Mu Chuka idol, and will then need to find keys, an ancient key, the flower stem and head, and a Mu mask. There are also two block moving puzzles and the second larger one is great fun. Moving on, Lara will open the way to a rather sneaky room to find a key, and then finally she will do two timed runs to the final room. There are no secrets in this level so after picking off two more warriors she is now free to leave. Temple of Mu Chuka: An exciting level to say the least. Lara arrives and is almost immediately faced with three gruelling timed runs to collect three ancient keys; it's fast, it's furious and it's a loads of fun! Warriors are still on the march though so there is no time to relax. Later on you will meet the ram and will lure him to beak wall tiles to open the way. There is a fire tile jump to do and eventually Lara will find the Blue Orb. You will also be using the torch. In this level Lara will place her three Mu Chuka idols to open the way to the next level, and hopefully you will have found the two well hidden secrets. Sylvan Lake: Lara arrives outside with the beautiful Sylvan Lake ahead of her. There's a lovely flyby which gives you a birds eye view of everything and it really looks fabulous with the buildings towering above the lake. And into the lake Lara must go. It's really hazardous in these waters, as Lara swims around to find under water levers to open the way to the next area, and this has to be done while tiger and hammer head sharks attack. Once through this task Lara faces fire tile rooms which are quite tricky I must say but she will eventually lower the bridge to the final areas and grab a Mu Mask to aid her escape. There is a small but nice little wall opening puzzle room to place the mask, and then Lara can make her way into the next level. Enemies are sharks and one hammer god. There is one secret to find and it's the final one in these levels, so keep your eyes peeled. Southern Observatory: Now we come to the final level and what a treat this is. Lara arrives in a room with a tall structure and will basically be making her way up and down it, visiting various rooms in search of two Mu Masks, an Orb, and two batteries. She will face hazards such as spike traps and later on a hammer god and tinnos wasps shows up. This is a climbing, jumping and exploring type level with lots of fab moments. I loved one of the final rooms with the galaxy glass floor, and Lara even gets to see earth through a telescope! Top marks again because these levels are stunning in every way!!! Thanks again Michael for another level set to be treasured." - Moonpooka (24-Jan-2006)