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The Quest of Gold 9-13 - Korean Levels by TC14

CC 9 10 10 10
DJ Full 10 10 10 9
Dutchy 9 9 10 10
Gerty 9 9 10 10
Jay 9 9 10 10
JesseG 7 9 9 8
Jorge22 8 10 9 9
Jose 8 10 9 10
Kristina 10 10 10 10
manarch2 8 9 9 8
MichaelP 9 9 10 9
Phil 9 9 9 9
QRS 10 9 9 10
Ravenwen 10 10 10 10
Raymond 10 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 10 10 10
Ryan 9 10 10 9
Samu 10 9 10 10
Sash 10 10 9 10
Torry 8 9 10 9
Treeble 9 9 10 10
release date: 27-Apr-2006
# of downloads: 140

average rating: 9.39
review count: 21
review this level

file size: 267.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Oriental

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I'm slowly chipping away at these levels, trying to play one per day but amidst all the turmoil of present covid times and what not, it's not alway possible to reach the end. This act contains five ever expansive levels (plus a bonus one), and quite honestly I'd be lying if I said I remember much as I ended up suffering a save issue bug rendering all my saves from Hidden Palace and the one at the beginning of Tears of a Lost Dynasty worthless, which set me back a couple of days, in which I went and played something else. Fortunately, Teone at the forums shared a save which worked on my end and I could resume my journey. I'll try to jot together something cohesive from my notes for this review. The first half feels like a mix of Russian and VCI levels from Chronicles, except here they're actually good, and there are elaborate timed runs and jumping sequences. At some point Lara knocks out a general and steals his clothes, which I thought was a fun and brilliant detail. There was a contamination zone level which was rather unexpected: I have faint memories of playing something similar in the past, but I am none the wiser as to how the effect of running and jumping while making the game assume you're "underwater" is achieved. Blowing up a massive reactor was also a nice touch and a timer popping up on screen also felt like a novelty to me (and yes, I'm aware this review is 15+ years late). The bonus level includes a tricky toxic room you need to navigate and later on what might have been the most frustrating rope swing jump of my life. By standard, rope swings are always bad, but the diagonal distance between the two ropes and the uneven ceiling make your "line up" all about trial and error until you eventually get lucky. After the military installations, we move to more traditional caves and oriental settings, but the levels still coming as large as they possibly can. The bit in which we have to drop a torch through a shaft at the end of a crawlspace was a bit of a nuisance as apparently the first time around my torch might have flown out of existance (I suspect it landed inside the wooden barricades somehow), so I found myself reloading and trying again. Let the records show that I'm playing the 2008 re-release (level ID #1836). 5h50min, 18 secrets. 09/21" - Treeble (26-Sep-2021)
"This set of five levels in the series was a struggle for me, but the experience greatly improved towards the end. Not to sound repetitive, but the same two flaws from previous levels are still present in these ones: backtracking and some missing camera cues (thankfully not as many as before). There are also quite a few health-draining drops for some reason. The first level has Lara enter an underground base and plays pretty smoothly, except for a difficult timed trapdoor that ends up being part of a required backtrack so you'll need to master the run several times, and the run also has spikes with bad collision so you have to drop through much farther over than is visually apparent. There is also a weird moment where I guess being spotted by the cameras in a room kills Lara instantly, which is an interesting concept but could have been done in a way that's more clear to the player. The next level, General Containment, has Lara disguised as a general...but everyone is still shooting at her so I guess the disguise isn't working so well! This level was easily my least favorite in the set, if not the whole series, and the reason is because it is structured so vertically. That means the backtracking isn't really running back and forth as in the other levels, but instead it leads to laborious climbs up and down and back up again, and some climbs force you to dodge the same traps repeatedly. This level also had green death tiles juxtaposed with other visually similar green tiles that are not deadly, so I really had to squint and figure out which spots were safe to land on. The third level starts bringing in some nice atmosphere with a pretty palace area underground. Unfortunately it also has the most brutal bug, which was the presence of monkeys bricking savegames, so I had to abandon it and skip to the next level, which is an even more elaborate and chamber of palace buildings, and I was really starting to enjoy my time at this point. The final level ends things with another large underground chamber with imposing towers, and an intense boss fight against a giant dragon from which Lara will grab her prize. Visually speaking this levelset is a step up for the series, there are just a few areas with a bit of flat lighting and wallpapering. While the gameplay is a bit easier than the previous level as promised, it is not by much: there are still plenty of traps including lasers, timed runs, flames, spikes, rotating saws, pistons, and mines to dodge, and also guards, knights, piranhas, crocodiles, sea hags, those little white demon things, and ahmet beasts to fight off. It was a lot of fun towards the end and I'm glad I got through the initial struggles, although it still would have been better off without the second level and the game-breaking monkeys. 3 hours 52 minutes." - JesseG (22-Feb-2021)
"This is undoubtedly the most challenging group of levels in this saga so far, but who knows? Maybe that will change as we progress through the remainder of the game. Lara is deposited on the roof of a Korean nuclear base where very nasty experiments indeed are occurring (the break-in concept is set in scene quite nicely here) and afterwards the real raiding commences. The start was a bit slow with a bit too much duct traversal and backtracking, but otherwise the gameplay is incredibly fast paced and challenging throughout. The atmosphere is definitely on point and textures are mostly well placed. It's virtually impossible to describe every highlight in a single review such as this, but I'll go ahead and mention a few: the icky contamination area in General Contamination that also adversely affects Lara's movements (excuse the unintended alliteration), the destroying of the reactor with disastrous consequences, the more puzzle-oriented gameplay of The Hidden Palace, Tears of a Lost Dynasty and Wrath of the Dragon and the absolute beast of a boss fight against a very hacked off dragon (which admittedly did take a few too many attempts to conquer). Talking of which, this latter level boasts some incredibly vast architecture with the huge pagoda room you explore from different angles and the numerous lava pools scattered around. My only complaints is that the high difficulty level may be a bit too much at times and that I also encountered a few crashes when loading savegames in the earlier levels, but it seemed to cease as I progressed. Otherwise, great fun for the more experienced player." - Ryan (12-Feb-2020)
"This level set was both awesome in it's design but woeful in it's execution. I had no end of trouble with the gold exe refusing to load save games and crashing to the desktop. This occurred throughout this four level set and at times required in excess of 20 tries to get ANY save to load the game. Once it finally did however, the loading of a save whilst within the game occurred as it should. The problem only arose when trying to load a save from a fresh execution of the game. This then made me give up on it for days on end, so something that should gave taken me 4 to 5 hours took me nearly a month. Having said that the game play was varied and wonderful with many traditional raiding sequences incorporated into this. Enemies were varied enough to allow the raider options on battle techniques and the secrets nicely placed and varied. Atmosphere was great throughout this level set and it really is a must play if it were not for the save game loading issue." - Torry (21-Jan-2019)
"The Nuclear Base (7-9-8-8) - 40 minutes: The next part of the series starts in a not overly nicely designed"outside" area, but the break in the base is well set into scene and the sequence seeing the general from the ducts (and several times later) is quite cool. The progression is very fluent and linear to the point that there are almost no places to get stuck because of not knowing what to do, which is not always a good thing because it prevents the exploration. The double use of the trapdoor as well as (too) few puzzles are enjoyable. Towards the end there are some nice effects like the rocket launch and the stealth room, but it all feels too much based on using buttons and levers and the few traps aren't very hard to overcome either. The areas are all well crafted with good use of custom objects and textures and decent lighting, yet the architecture feel a bit too cramped throughout and there are no larger areas to enjoy. The surreal floating area does not really fit to this level, more to the previous one. The three secrets are hidden too monotonously and the last one is almost unmissable. Still, the looks are done with enough care, although they aren't too impressive and the lighting is not very strong, and each element in this level has its correct place so a very professional, if not totally convincing start into the Korean levels.
General Contamination (7-9-9-8) - 40 minutes: A very unique eponymous outfit change at the start and the game improves, even if a little slowly, from the first level. All in all there are many fine things to say about this level but also some negative ones. Lots of traps, puzzles (the one including shooting the scientist was obscure, yet I somehow figured it out myself) and exploration to be done here, but also a few repetitive things. Some of the traps are a bit unnecessarily health-consuming though and the temperature puzzles would be interesting if there hadn't been a major design mistake in them - there are multiple possible solutions to them even if only one opens the various door! For example the intended solution for the 180 door is 90+180+270-360, but 180-90+360-270 is theoretically correct too - this was fairly frustrating as I thought I ran into a game-stopping bug. There are at least a few larger rooms to explore and the multi-layer hub room is very interestingly designed, just as the placement of the fuel cells and the resulting leck. The"timed" run to the end which grants you access to the bonus level is a mild joke though - not only because nothing happens after the clock stops in the old edition -, as I had"just" 100(!) seconds left as I finished it - without really trying my best. This is sadly not a challenge at all (since the jumps to get there had to be done either way). Lookwise the game pretty much continues the style from the previous level, with a few more efforts put into lighting which creates a better feeling to it. The only thing I didn't like was the repetitive alarm as background audio which, to be honest, sounds as if a dog was slaughtered again and again. The secrets are better hidden this time though ...
The Hidden Palace (8-8-9-8) - 45 minutes: A change of style as you now explore a more Oriental kind of setting with slightly larger spaces to explore. Texturing is very solid, while the lighting tends to be a bit flat from time to time. The atmosphere clicked really well with me here (the missing sounds for the floor levers are nasty but forgivable) and the use of sounds and cameras is fine. Gameplaywise there is quite a lot of variety, some extensive and here and there more challenging trap sequences, interesting pushable and element puzzles - the latter with an especially nice use of the torch, with which you can even crawl in this level. There are still a few parts where you needlessly have to lose health (especially with spikes) and the half-unmarked ladder was a bad detail, yet overall the general layout of the game and the tasks are quite a bit better than before as well as the secret hideouts.
Tears of a Lost Dynasty (9-8-8-7) - 40 minutes: This really works a bit better in a series than as a standalone level, with the only strange thing being the wrong outfit used in here (only when Lara shoots it changes (?)). Although there aren't quite many puzzles in a classical sense, the way how you have to overcome the masterfully designed traps is amazing and there's really excellent use of spikes in this level, in all forms. There are also good jump sequences, e.g. around the roofs and up a waterfall (with many boulders to avoid). I found the invisible chains to be a bit unnecessary - is a part of the object missing? Also, the level really could have had a few more 'real' puzzles else than the torch one at the end, but overall the entertainment factor is very, very high. The enemy variety is a bit better this time with sea hags and piranhas added and, even if subjectively, the wraiths aren't that much of an annoyance this time. Some rooms are rather nicely designed with good use of objects and colourful visuals but generally the looks are a rather secondary factor, some areas are rather bland, the texturing is often boring (many wallpaper effects) and a bit messed up, the lighting is rather flat and the architecture rather boxy. Some waterfalls end up in solid floor which doesn't make much sense. At least the gameplay doesn't disappoint at all and this is what counts here; the three secrets were nicely hidden.
Wrath of the Dragon (8-9-10-9) - 40 minutes: The lookwise highlight of this game and the only one where the lighting works very fine in any area and also the texturing is very strong throughout. The looks are also more unique than before and the huge hub area is the most atmospheric room in this series until now, with a very nicely conveyed theme with dragons and fires. The gameplay in the first part is quite varied with traps and a nice puzzle including a multiple use of a timed block, but could be designed with a little less backtracking. Later in the hub area it's more based on extensive, but rather fun and often challenging platforming including good traps but there aren't so many puzzles or other tasks to solve anymore until the final fight. That one is quite an adrenaline rush with the dragon as you avoid its bolts and locusts on the run for several buttons in the same area chased by a few ahmets until you finally find a way to deal with the dragon. There are a few minor things to complain like another invisible block in front of a door and the drop to the ledge where the dragon was costing a lot of health, but despite those and the few others things this was the overall highlight of the (classic) Korean levels, also with good secrets to find.
Summary: I expected the series to improve quite heavily with this part, but sometimes the looks still felt a little too simple with often lifeless use of lighting and only decent, not great texturing and the gameplay is not utterly creative and partly tedious, at least in the first two levels. But thanks to the very authentic last level and at least a few nice parts in every level (especially the technical"gimmicks" in the base levels, mostly the contaminated area) it's the best part of the Gold series until now but only with a small margin. Found all 15 secrets in 3:25 hours." - manarch2 (07-Sep-2015)
"NUCLEAR BASE: The whole level is about rockets, lasers, weapons, fire, electricity and violence of all possible sort so I guess it's North Korea what could fall into Northern Legends pack. Utilizing some swipe cards found in explored silos, pressing numerous switches and solving an obligatory crate pushable, we follow some general, strongly defended by armed guards, all the way into the next unit - sounds boring, does it? It's not. Thanks to the mentioned AI usage and correct placement, the level seems filled with security, even though the enemy count is even lesser than in previous segments. Each switch does something different, we deactivate lasers, change accessible paths or play with fire... which in the end results in a reckless launch of a hopefully short-ranged rocket in a random direction (hopefully short-ranged). The ending involving survelliance cameras is a completely different cakepiece, and I was already fulfilled before that. SUMMARY: To me, this base level is second only to Titia's Stargate. If the mine was good, then this is awesome... and it's only the first unit of two alike included here.
GENERAL CONTAMINATION: So we know how the mysterious general is called. Was. A pity, he looked peaceful enough... as for a North Korean. Well the biohazard radiation is unleashed, but the walls are thick and Lara can survive this level. Why on Earth did she decide to make matters worse and cause a nuclear reactor malfunction? I guess this was the only way to burn through the corridor guarding the secret elevator... well any method is good if it's efficient, and who cares about mutated three-headed tigers which will inhabit the neighbourhood for upcoming century. What counts is how impressive the reactor is. Was. I'm glad I managed to see it before it was destroyed, though I can't decide if it looks better untouched or damaged... There's something beautiful in any destruction, one can't argue. But the absolute stunner was the contaminated zone - not only I never expected devastation of that scale, but also I have plainly no idea how TC managed to build a water room that can be normally walked (well almost, there are some glitches but who cares), far before the Next Generation era. There's only one thing I missed in this level (and the previous one): achance to get accidentally blown away if a carelessly ricocheting bullet accidentally hits one of those static rockets. SUMMARY: I was blown away anyway. While the previous one almost matched the base of Stargate, this one either equaled or surpassed it. A real must-play, though You need to be observant and care for all swipe card slots.
HIDDEN PALACE: I shouldn't rate this level for I got more frustrated than I should. All because of one switch pressed earlier than the builder wanted. The shortcut is ridiculous so I don't blame the author or betatesters, but it's the only one so far denying a secret, and unluckily in the very beginning so finding out it wasn't intended cost a lot of replay, and then even more for the missing rose. If I didn't count this malicious spot and returned to the point when I ended the first replay and still enjoyed the bulk, the numbers would be, because while every visual and audial stays on the same decent level as previously, gameplay variety often reaches for master quality - the whole level is filled with a dozen of brilliant and inventive applications (like drying a room just to open a door and then flood it again), but what the author did in the lava/spike room is purely insane. It's possible to take the torch across the water and the miniature pagoda located there looks exactly like the flame source object on the other side, so I took it as a hint and was quite disappointed it in fact wasn't something I could burn. SUMMARY: Despite lots of traps, it feels like a peaceful break before a deep breath taken before a long dive, and, as for an intermezzo level as such, it plays unexpectedly good.
TEARS OF LOST DYNASTY (BACK TO BASICS REVISION): Now tell me what the "revised" means. If it's leaving everything like it was but only making more difficult what already was difficult, then the definition is matched. Sharks I complained about in my BtB review of this level's origins got replaced with even worse hags, plus some ridiculous piranhas were added... I knew the original level but I still ran low on health. On the contrary, the underwater spikes only trigger on the way out unlike in the previous version which had them disturbing the way in as well. And we can finally utilize the weapons the contest edition only gave ammo packs for. SUMMARY: Few things repaired, few ruined. Rating copy/paste from BtB06 instance of the same level so better read that one.
WRATH OF THE DRAGON: I thought this will be just a bossfight. How wrong! After a long but already dense prologue, we follow the path around the main lava temple which is arranged in a plainly stunning way. Horizontal distance travelled in order to ascend to the very top bit by bit is not to measure, and all occurs without a single backtrack. In the end, the brilliant (or I guess nasty for some) mutant fight makes an epic close to the Korean episode, as concluding as a dot at the end of the phrase. I got all I wanted, maybe except some regular pickups that would support the rose jewels (I primarily demand from secrets to be useful). SUMMARY: Can't wait to see what's next, as soon as I reach that bright light at the end of the tunnel. Moving on. SUMMARY OF ALL: The only episode of Old Edition I would be able to instantly replay. Gets an extra 10 for that." - DJ Full (15-Apr-2015)
"Another fantastic levelset, which is no surprise anymore for me, as this series by Thibault turns out to be a masterpiece. After having her 'mystic experience' in the previous level, Lara now finds herself in a hi-tech environment somewhere in Korea - in the first two sections at least, as the rest of this five-part installment takes place in exotic-looking oriental mountains, gardens and palaces. A touch of VCI, a portion of the TR2 Rig atmosphere, spiced up with essences of Xian Temple, and the result is a totally charming mixture of challenging gameplay and eye-candy settings. "Nuclear Base": the first of the two hi-tech levels; although it may look mazy on first impression due to the winding ducts, huge shafts and backtrackings, in fact this section is actually rather straightforward and once you get the hang of the action, you won't lose your way. "General Contamination": the gameplay here is a bit too complicated and confusing, however I found the concept behind this level so imaginative and original, and its realisation so masterful and imaginative, that any frustrations were put aside soon. There's so much originality in this level, starting with the simplest, like Lara's unexpected look. The Contaminated Area is a brilliantly conceived and designed set of rooms, and the finale is a big highlight undoubtedly. "The Hidden Palace": a colourful yet trap-filled world, designed with wit, imagination and plenty of skill. The effects are gorgeous, there are many 'wow!' moments as well as tricky sequences, original use of known elements and a quite inventive use of the elements/scales puzzle. Only one thing - those spike traps, omg! There are so many of them, it's just insane, lol. Same goes for the remaining two sections of this levelset. But it's OK as they are all manageable, and they just make the gameplay more challenging, and they are well and cleverly placed. "Tears Of The Lost Dynasty": another fantastic, colourful and bright environment that however hides many traps and trials for Lara to pass. There are huge areas to explore, where the environments are used in a particularly creative way. "Wrath Of The Dragon": along the same lines of the previous level, a tad easier though it seemed to me despite the many tricky traps it involved. The finale where you aquire the artifact is very spectacular, but you have to be very careful and fast-moving so as to make it out of there alive. Too bad it's over already, but now on to the Folly levels (a personal favorite from the originals, so can't wait to play TC's version!); and from the little I've seen so far, I sense it's going to be something truly amazing." - Ravenwen (28-Sep-2007)
"In general this is one hell of a mini game. Like always be prepared to explore and I hope you like nasty jumps as Thibault knows how to built those. Every level of this mini game takes you away to a different environment and what stands out for me is the contaminated area. What a clever idea. There were still a few minor bugs but I couldn't care less. I liked the end levels as a boss level and this one had the wow factor for me." - Gerty (28-Sep-2007)
"When it comes to gameplay, this level has it all. A very unique experience which takes you from lab levels all the way down in oriental tunnels and temples. These levels are also more complicated when it comes to puzzles and"new" things. I was amazed when I saw the water room with no water in it so to speak. (You will understand when you see it!) There were however, a few spots in these levels where you could get stuck forever. I always keep saves but it might be a problem for other players that don't. The mail problem was a flipmap (I think) that did not always work when you reloaded a save game, thus making the player stuck. It is right after you have visited the very same water-without-water room ;) Other than that you can only praise the author for being so creative and inventive in his long and hard levels. As I said in my spirit review, the Korean levels are not as good as these but they come close! Highlights in this levels are the flybys ( I loved those!), the"water" room and the main reactor! I also loved Laras outfit hehe." - QRS (10-Feb-2007)
"The Nuclear Base (8/8/10/9, 70 min., 3 secrets): Not a very Korean start to this section of the series as you literally drop into a Base environment full of moving and static lasers, timed runs, burners, barbed wire and plenty of guards to kill. The rocket silos look very authentic though and the crate push puzzle was fun, as was the smart use of opening/closing a trapdoor and of course the impressive lift off scenario of one of the rockets. On the downside, there was a bit much crawling to do and too many buttons to press, but the intermittent scenes with the general walking ahead of Lara spiced things up nicely. General Contamination (7/9/9/9, 70 min., 3 secrets): Lara now in the general's outfit and with a card that gets you into many doors. While equally impressive in terms of architecture as all the other levels, this one had me most frustrated with plenty of seemingly pointless running around and then after a fairly obvious and linear start gets you totally confused with the swapping of green and red lasers, which turns this basically into a complex 3D maze. It is technically an impressive level though with the contaminated area where Lara runs around but loses 'air' as if she were swimming and the final meltdown of the reactor is well set in scene as well. The Hidden Palace (9/9/10/9, 70 min., 3 secrets): Finally reaching the oriental section and I was really ready for some more friendly, less sterile textures after the Base levels. This is really nice environment with excellent use of the BtB06 textures and audio, warriors and wraiths to deal with, quite a few lava pools to jump across and around, a few neat push/raise puzzles and plenty of fun climb/jump sequences. Add to that the usual array of traps (spikes, burners), the use of the elements puzzle and also a bit of torch action and you have a truly fun adventure. Tears of a Lost Dynasty (9/9/9/8, 60 min., 3 secrets): Save for the added cool piranhas this is the BtB06 competition level, so copying from my review from there: Your quest is the collection of four Dynasty Symbols and they are truly well hidden in this very complex environment. It all revolves around one very nicely designed central area that you explore in and around in various levels, including the tree branches and roofs, as well as several surrounding caves. It is all very clever and often you have a great rewarding feeling when you master a passage, but I felt at times it was almost overdone and particularly when spikes are involved things often are frustrating until you get it right. The cathedral type area looks nice too and the one room that you have circumvent and then make your way up had a great series of clever and diverse moves. Towards the end you also get a torch puzzle, which in comparison to the rest of the level is a piece of cake until you finally reach the end and can sit back and pat yourself on the back for making it through. Wrath of the Dragon (9/9/10/9, 60 min., 3 secrets): Always nice when my favourite level is at the end of a series. This level is hot - lava and burners play a predominant role. I loved the dragon objects and also the boss ending with the big dragon is well designed and a suitable finale including the flyby. Before you get there you have to master a few tricky timed runs, plenty of tricky jumps and find a total of five dragon seals. Enemies are only a few ahmets and the small cute white guys and what really stood out for me in this level was the very good use of cameras which allowed for a steady progression. The huge lava room is awesome and great fun to roam around in. Overall, a massive set of levels that demonstrates what an elaborate builder Thibault has become and nicely carries the Quest of Gold Story along." - MichaelP (27-Nov-2006)
"Lara is now in Korea, and we have five levels here to play through. I've played this series from the start and kept a savegame at the end of the Canadian levels. This should have transported me straight to level 9. Instead, no matter what I did, I was transported directly to level 10. Whether this had to do with not being able to use that tomb4.exe on the mac I don't know. In the end I converted the wads, renaming the tr.4s, and used the original script. So I played levels 9-13 as stand alone levels. 'The Nuclear Base': One of the best base levels I've played, with great lighting, textures, design, atmosphere and gameplay. I love Lara's khaki uniform. We have a very interesting and logical course here. Lots of timed runs and actions in the form of monkeyswings (one interesting one takes Lara outside the base high up in the sky), pole walking, climbing, slightly enigmatic jumping at times, very well placed guards to deal with, plus negotiating lasers, blades, barbed wire, fire emitters, steam, and the usual stuff that happens in a base level. Throughout this series the location of the secret golden roses are intriguing and challenging. Lara is determined to blow this base up. The explosion sets fire to the rocket and launches it into space. We trigger a number of flybys that show us we are in fact chasing the General through this base. Lara finally catches up with him, overpowers him, and takes his uniform... 'General Contamination': is a difficult level, because there are a lot of doors, crawlspaces and lasers to negotiate, runs back and forth numerous times, and unless the player is confident they are on the right track, they will spend a long time trying to figure out what exactly happened, and where, despite the excellent flybys. The walkthrough is definitly needed. There are also some serious bugs that need a little trickery to get past. I've not seen anything like the Contamination area in a level before. Lara must explore while being slowly gassed to death. So she must sprint everywhere in the shortest time possible. Getting the secret rose was a nightmare. We are looking for fuses to place in the reactor. Lara looks a very commanding presence in that General's uniform. So much so that the poor scientists are scared of her and drop to the floor when she enters a room. Unfortunately she has to shoot one of them to get what she's looking for. This level ends, and the next one begins with Lara entering a faulty lift that drops with frightening speed to a forest floor, where we soon find ourselves in a beautiful oriental village and a... 'Hidden Palace': The player will get a strong feeling of de ja vu in this and the next level We have some very good jumping about to do outside and inside these pretty buildings. I loved that camera that looks up as Lara pole walks across a high room. Plenty of traps to get through, clever push puzzles, and Samurai guards to deal with. We are looking for dragon stars, waterskin, sandbag and oil jug. Using these opens a hole in the floor of the main building that takes us to... 'Tears of a Lost Dynasty' which is the BtoB06 competition entry, with minor adjusments. 'Wrath of the Dragon':'We see straight away that we are in the Dragon's Lair. Brilliant looking fire breathing statues. Ugly monsters live here but are easy enough to deal with. The route around this enormous cave system was great fun. Lots more jumping and puzzles, including a great dragon cube pushing one where we have to trigger a block to rise and get each cube up on a ledge. Eventually we meet up with a very angry dragon. This is tougher than previous similar encounters, and dodging this one is hampered by more monsters as you try to reach the switches. But unlike other levels we do eventually get to kill this dragon and grab it's artifact. A challenging and fitting end to this entire series. Highly reommended. But I'd suggest players start at the very beginning and play right through to get that great final feeling of achievement." - CC (01-Oct-2006)
"I've been nursing this segment of the QoG series for well over a month, playing other things and taking vacations in the meantime, so this will have to be a gestalt-type review. Of course, Level 12 will be familiar to many of us because it was an entry in this year's BtB competition. Nevertheless, I had a grand time playing it for a second time, along with the rest of these imaginative levels. It seems that the technical skills of this builder are growing with each release in the series, so I'm looking forward eagerly to the completion of the next segment. The level of difficulty seems to be growing as well; after 13 levels I've clocked a little less than 24 hours of net gaming time. That averages out to nearly two hours a level, which means that these aren't your standard beginner's fare. The lighting is good, the surroundings are scenic, and the gameplay is consistently excellent. Play it for a good raiding exercise." - Phil (26-Aug-2006)
"What a grand adventure this is! From the techno ambiances of the start to the Oriental atmosphere nearest to the end, loads of puzzles and action and a great atmosphere which doesn't deserve a ten for the sole fact that some builders, ocasional builders even at times, and even people who have built much shorter levels, have made true works of art that remain in my mind, making it difficult to rate anything else ten whenever there isn't sheer stunning beauty to stare at everywhere. But I must say, this game (I admit to only having played the first and second chapters) is perfectly worthy of being among the best. Its only severe handicap, at least from where I stand and that's pretty subjective, is the terrible degree of difficulty, namely in orientation, namely in the "radioactive levels", which truly forced me to follow parts of the walkthrough. Too non-linear, should I say, but let me stress it again, that is subjective, only any rating is so too. I'll be looking forward to the continuation. TC, please, don't forget the savegames because that will allow each and everyone to play these long and entertaining levels. Thumbs up hands down, despite my 8 for gameplay." - Jorge22 (06-Aug-2006)
"Professional work, only a little details to comment. In first level Lara refuses to grab the ladder under the first trapdoor, and later when I climb this ladder for a second time, Lara refuses to climb around the corner at the top of the ladder. When I dropped into the room with the barbed wire and kill the SASs, a second General trespass the timed door without open it (?). The crate which hide the ignition misil button was difficult to move. In second level, the areas with the red and green lasers are complex and perhaps you need to draw a map with the rooms and the actions of the buttons; the jumps when you have to go back over the slopes of the poisoned basement were very hard too. In the poisonous "water" area there's not a hint to show us where are the dangerous tiles which burns Lara. Third level was good for me, good gameplay and good puzzles not much difficult to solve, except a hard task: the jump to the ledge with the spikes and from here to the swinming pole. Fourth level was good too, but the very difficult jump in the room with the hammer, spikes and lava ruined all the level (too much reloads). Last level was the best for me, but some camera shots were very very short (miliseconds) and the jumps in the room with the smashing pillar and the ledge with the spikes were hard too, but not impossible. We'll see what this good builder will offer us in the next St Francis part of this saga." - Jose (24-Jul-2006)
"The next set of levels in the QoG series. Lara visits a Nuclear Base which she destroys in the next level and then finds a Hidden palace, bringing her into the BtB Lost Dynasty level, from which she travels to the Wrath of the Dragon level. Great levels to play, texturing and lighting were perfect in my eyes, there were some glitches in that contaminated area, due to the kind of underwater play which was cleverly done I think, running back to showers to get that Nuclear stuff of your back. Great adventure." - Dutchy (08-Jun-2006)
"The Nuclear Base - After the wonderful oddity of the last in the series you are plonked straight into a rocket silo base. TC has done something that has as of yet mostly failed to happen; he has made me really enjoy a base level. It isn't though close to being my favourite level in the series but diversity is an essential ingredient to keep intrigue flowing. There is some of the usual things to be expected in such a level but the progression, the environment, and the little nuances such as setting off an explosion that dominoes in effect to launch a rocket and a short detour monkeyswing over a huge unseen abyss added to making this a really enjoyable notch above the rest. 3 secrets, 80 minutes. General Contamination - Through the first level you are given glimpses of a General keeping one step ahead of Lara, well when you start this level Lara has finally caught up with him and although not seen has taken him out and is now donning his uniform. This however doesn't help her getting around as the guards in contaminated suits all know she isn't their General, it could be those girly bumps that give it away, and they are quite an unfriendly bunch of subordinates. In this level Lara has to collect four fuses to use on the giant towering reactor so that it will go into meltdown. This again takes the base level another step forward and includes a brilliant section where Lara enters a contaminated area where she has a limited oxygen supply, as though underwater, and a series of panicked runs ensue before you run out of air. 3 secrets, 90 minutes. The Hidden Palace - Once the meltdown has occurred you have opened a way to a beautiful underground asian world with temples and gardens built into the surrounds. On the hunt for the elemental mainstays, waterskin, oil pot, and bag of sand, you are greeted by some wonderfully tricky jumps and traps as well as some fun movable cube puzzles. There are also some warriors hidden around the place, all wearing a bull like mask over their heads, but I had the most trouble with the monkeys as before thinking I would shoot when the pistols targeted something and if it was a poor monkey I would then have to finish them off so they wouldn't go for my jugular, and if I am not mistaken another thankfully friendlier monkey would take the deceased place. 3 secrets, 80 minutes. Tears of a Lost Dynasty - The elemental dishes have been filled and lo and behold the floor opens up and it's all downhill from there. Dropping into an even deeper cave system filled with asian buildings you may realise that you have been here before, and you have, it is one of the Back to Basics levels. I will not re-review this level as you can go read my original if you like, but there has been a little finetuning that may be hard to tell by the mere player, it is obvious though that the sharks that greeted you after your drop in the original are now no longer, instead seahags and piranhas have been given the jobs of welcoming committee. 3 secrets, 70 minutes. Wrath of the Dragon - And you better believe this dragon is pissed! It is no surprise that you will again be in an Asian style adventure even further into the bowels of the earth, and as you are closer to the centre of the world there is this whole magma lava deal happening. With a few puzzles completed you reach a wonderful huge lava room with tiered pagodas and a fabulous path winding in and out of the rock walls. Once you have mastered that area and gotten through it is onto your meeting with big mama Serpent and she ain't a happy hisser. In this room you have to grit your teeth, put your head down and run around finding some buttons to press, just to make things a little more treacherous a couple of skinless looking ahmets also decide to drop by to make life a little harder. Don't worry though as you will eventually get your own back with the help of a snake boulder to the serpent's cranium and between you and me it was about bloody time. 3 secrets, 65 minutes. TC has done it again with a totally all round wonderful adventure." - Sash (30-May-2006)
"I have to say that this is my favourite sequel from 'The Quest of Gold' series. There are five levels included in this game and all of them are challenging and interesting. The 'Nuclear Base' level has the appropriate setting and even though I don't like base levels, this one made an impression on me. There is one problem though, you have to be careful with the Fire keys because if you pick both of them only one is showing in your inventory so use the first before getting the second one. Also the tightrope was annoying in all the levels it appeared because Lara would stop after one step on it and that was really irritating and I am not very font of the tightrope anyway. In 'General Contamination' Lara is dressed up like a guard and has to perform a few jumps around the central area and also be very careful with the contaminated area which she has to explore. We are in need of fuels here and the idea with the contamination area was great, I liked it very much. Unfortunately we have a problem here as well. Do NOT save after opening the door near crane because there is an invisible block in front of it and you can't enter or get out if you reload. The only way to 'escape' this bug is to place Lara half inside the door, after passing it though, and half of her foot exactly at the entrance at an angle. I experienced in crash in this level after getting all fuels when I tried to get back down. There is a timer at the end but I am not sure what its purpose was as I had plenty of time to get out without hurrying up. The 'Hidden Palace' will remind you something of the latest 'Back to Basics' levels because it has been created with the same elements and textures. The search is for a waterskin, gems and the areas to explore are all around the waterfall but you also have to do some jumping. The next level 'Tears of a Lost Dynasty' is the one the builder released for the 'Back to Basics' challenge but it has been updated. As far as I am concerned the new version is much better than the one for the challenge. The last level 'Wrath of the Dragon' is my favourite of all the levels in this game. You will be climbing and jumping to reach the higher levels and find the Dragon Seals we need to exit the level. Of course I hated the dragon but as there is a way to kill him after a certain task, I am not complaining. The secret roses are not hard or very easy to get, they are just right and I am happy I found all fifteen of them. Don't miss this installment." - Kristina (30-May-2006)
"This is almost fantastic set of five levels. First and second level take place in North-Korean nuclear facilities and other three levels you play underneath the nuclear facilities. There are just so many wonderful things to tell about this game that I will mention only some of them. There are two nice moves from TR5 in the game. You can walk on a tightrope and use poles to swing. There are also many nice Korean kind of objects like dragon statues, nice lamps and many others. It was also very impressive to see that there's a final boss fight against a big dragon in the fifth level. That was pretty hard but very fun. There are also many other nice enemies in the game and I like especially the yellow flamethrower guys from TR2. Only difference is that they don't have flamethrowers. You will also have to solve many puzzles like couple of pushblock puzzles and some switch puzzles. There are also some timed runs and many wonderful and surprising things to experience in this game, so don't miss this." - Samu (30-May-2006)
"Lara?s quest is finally over in Canada and she?s moved to Korea. This starts off as a base level. Cue the laser traps, ducts, shootable grates, toxic waste and really deadly swinging hooks. Loved the cut scene with the rocket launch and the idea of Lara stealing a guard?s uniform was just inspired. There?s also a contaminated air scenario that I haven?t seen for a very long time. Firing up the reactor and doing a timed dash to safety was fun. I don?t know how long you actually get to find your way off the base, but if you get down to ground level by sliding down the slopes at the corner of the reactor you can do it in just over 2 minutes. The action moves on to lovely oriental areas and if you?ve played the excellent Back to Basics oriental levels then you will recognise one section ?Tears of a Lost Dynasty?, slightly modified from the original. The final section is dragon orientated and you actually get to kill off the boss dragon, which is both rare and satisfying. Another really excellent, highly enjoyable entry in the series ? long may it continue." - Jay (24-May-2006)
"The next installment of The Quest of Gold takes us away from the icy environments into a more tropical location, in Korea. We start out at a nuclear base, where you make your way through a complex filled with guards as you play with burners, do some timed runs here and there, and near the end you have to avoid getting caught by cameras and burned as you track down a military official in the base. This level was more 'routine' and not all that overly exciting, but it does have a highlight, in which you launch a nuclear missle. Back to the guard - when you do track him down, you give him a stealthy beatdown and change into his clothes to try and blend in the contaminated areas of the base, but that doesn't really work as the guards could tell it was Lara wearing that suit. The second level was one of the more fun base levels that I've played, and it reminded me of Half-Life a lot. It's just a shame that there weren't any mutated baddies to kill. I figured since it was a contaminated section of the nuclear base, we might see some barnacles or those zombie scientists, hehe. Alas, we don't. Some highlights here would include the contaminated area, and the final sequence as you run to the elevator before the nuclear waste eventually floods the entire complex. Now we go underground to the ancient Korean palaces, where we resume the classic role of Tomb Raider - The Hidden Palace, Tears of a Lost Dynasty, and Wrath of the Dragon await us here. They were indeed fun levels with a more tropical and oriental atmosphere, with some fun sequences involving spikes, burners, jumping, all that jazz. Though you could get stuck in The Hidden Palace in the room with the pawns, since the hint above the door I had to open wasn't that clear, so I was stuck there for a few days. Tears of a Lost Dynasty is the author's Back to Basics level, only that the lighting was made brighter which made for a less frustrating experience. Then we move on to the climactic ending in Wrath of the Dragon, and what a great level that was! I enjoyed every minute of it, from the first few dragon-burner sequences, to exploring the enormous lava cavern, and the boss fight was also quite fun, though I had to reload a lot since I was always trying to snatch those medipacks in the arena, and got myself burned in the process. This installment is really great and provided me with several hours of great fun, and I can see the builder developing a unique style to his levels, which is always great! Looking forward to St. Francis!" - Relic Hunter (13-May-2006)
"This new massive level set of the QoG-series can be splitted in two parts. The first part takes place in a base/lab-setting, the first one in a base with nuclear rockets and the second one around a reactor. I'm not so much a friend of this setting, but this time I really liked to play it, especially the second level (not to mention the extremely nice outfit for Lara there!). Of course, you have to press a lot of buttons here, but by far not only that, you have to do a lot more varying tasks. You have to avoid observation cameras, master tricky traps with burners, contaminated fluids ..., solve a laser- and special number puzzle, be quick in a contaminated area and so on and this in a excellent, intriguing mix. After a breathtaking escape and a deeep fall with a elevator Lara surprisingly arrives in traditional Korea with temple/cave-settings for the other three levels. The first of the three is all about getting the things for the water-oil-sand-puzzle, the second is tc's complex BtB06-Level, but polished with better fitting enemies and better lighting, and in the third you will meet a lot of dragons, some smaller ones in a huge lava cave and the big one, we all know so well, as the "boss fight" in the end. The gameplay in these levels is also very entertaining and varying. TC has developed his unique, professional style of level building, I like very much. Very much recommended for all, except for pure beginners perhaps." - Raymond (01-May-2006)