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Lara's Return by Hokolo

alan 7 7 7 7
Bigfoot 8 9 10 10
CC 8 7 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 10 9 9 8
DJ Full 7 8 8 8
eRIC 9 9 10 8
eTux 6 6 9 7
Feder 6 7 7 6
Gerty 8 9 9 8
gfd 7 7 8 10
Gonxii 9 8 9 10
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jose 7 7 7 7
Kristina 8 7 7 7
Lara_Fox_Croft 4 5 5 5
Mehrbod 6 7 6 5
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Momster 9 8 8 8
Monika 8 9 9 9
Orbit Dream 7 7 9 8
Patson 9 9 9 9
Phil 7 9 9 7
RaiderGirl 8 8 8 7
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Sash 9 8 8 8
TimJ 8 7 8 7
Tombaholic 8 8 9 9
Treeble 7 8 8 7
release date: 16-Feb-2001
# of downloads: 109

average rating: 7.86
review count: 28
review this level

file size: 17.80 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"It's surprising how some author still manage to surprise me with textures that have been seen countless times already. Hokolo is among those who can built inventive gameplay out of nothing and make you want to play their level until the end, even though they don't have anything spectacular. The very beginning with a descent in the dark set the tone of the level, where Lara needs to get back to the surface. The idea to light flares to find your way, while it can be bothering in other situations, was there very much intended and thus I could appreciate it. However, the level is sometimes confusing in its structure with a lot of branching paths. Sometimes the player will encounter irratating nuisance like beetles coming to bite Lara while she's in a tight crawlspace with no way to defend herself. Fortunately, there is always a trigger not far away to make them disappear. The architecture of the level has nothing impressive and texturing is sometimes clumsy, but this level is entertaining and worth playing for its ending." - TimJ (16-Aug-2022)
"Begins very slow but also very good because you get immersed in every sector. Then there was that weird platforming room which looks like my teeth so even though weird, it felt quite familiar. Then you get a slope and monkeyswing for nothing, quite confusing. Then you get a platform puzzle for nothing, also confusing (probably forgotten death pit triggers). Then you get a slope back to the intro location, SUPER confusing. And then there's a door which doesn't open... in the meantime, pickups are just scattered around like if the former inhabitants were dropping them while fleeing the place in terror. So it sounds like the same issues like in the previous level, however with overall experience being more solid after all. When I missed one critical pickup, I switched off the stream 5 minutes before the end - and then I regretted because it's suddenly 10/10, one of the best endings ever. So the game is a bit tough in the middle but still worth playing for that." - DJ Full (18-May-2021)
"The first thing that is worth mentioning is the darkness. Yes... This level sets the scene in a very dark and spooky ambience. But, the game started looking up as soon as you leave the cave behind. So, a kind suggestion... Please continue playing this adventure to the end and never give up. Thank you!" - Mehrbod (13-Aug-2019)
"Not a very enjoyable level I must admit. Architecture is poorly managed and textures are not very neat either. Too dark almost all the time as well. The tasks are neither boring nor fun, with a straight forward design despite the part where Lara can slide down to the beggining of the level. Also, an important camera is missing when you open a door underwater on a far away room. Still, the ending was pretty good, I give you that!" - Feder (14-Dec-2018)
"Although this is the first effort from this accomplished builder and although it isn't as impressive as his Hall of Fame levels, it is still a solidly constructed and enjoyable level. The architecture is somewhat imposing, but some of the dark lighting conditions do make it hard to admire (somewhat in the vein of the first Tarragona levels). I could also have done without the long crawling and retracing of steps, but it is quite otherwise balanced out with some fun gymnastics and traps, as well as a slight twist on the four Black Beetle puzzle. I liked the ending too with Lara running towards the sunset." - Ryan (02-Feb-2018)
"I quite enjoyed this level though at the beginning it was confusing. Most of the places will be dark, there are some flares to pick up and a lot of small medipacks. You do a lot of climbing, looking for puzzle items, fighting demigods, skeletons, harpies... going through sets of traps, labyrinths... Cameras are missing to tell us what happened when you pulled a switch. I liked the final area. I finished it in 1 hour." - alan (27-Oct-2017)
"I did play this level many years ago before I became a reviewer and was interested to see how it would stand up now. I'm pleased to say it remains a good, well made and interesting level, still definitely worth playing, although I had forgotten the somewhat frustrating return to the beginning and having to go through a load of crawl spaces for the second time. I could have done without that. The initial 'find the correct route' section is good though and avoiding the massed ranks of skellies will keep you on your toes. I also rather appreciated the twist with the beetles - I mean, one always needs four, right? Er, apparently not necessarily. Sneaky." - Jay (30-May-2015)
"G&P= I must say (before to review) that I did not finished the whole level, returning to the beginning of the level was, for me too hard to accept. All I seen in this level in term of puzzle was the "combine item" [the same object two time.]I can't say that was my cup of tea... Areas were too dark to be totally playable/enjoyable...Sometimes I used pistols to light the way. There is a bit of "labyrinth" and a big part of climb...And that was not easy to know were to go without a clue...[no special object/textures or even cameras to help you.] Enemies, object and secrets=I didn't found secrets, but there is one (As wrote in the walkthrough)Object/enemies were basics from TR4...No more. Atmosphere sound and cameras: No cameras, some musics and a TR4 background of something like seth tomb. The atmosphere were nice! I mean that part of TR4 in a really good idea. I want to make a level of this kind, after the "death of lara". Lighting and textures: Lighting was pretty nice, a bit too dark at the beginning. Textures... That was stretched and missplaced quite a lot... That was generally ugly..I could not see the deference between a lader/a rock wall... I cannot recommand that level, wich is really in an old style with nothing really interesting except the idea of the story. I can't understand how it could have been so up rated...Maybe the builder is a good friend of previous reviewer... Or maybe players expect more work for now. I don't know..." - Lara_Fox_Croft (13-Dec-2013)
"An amazing level with challenging puzzles an some difficult jump action. I enjoyed this level so much. Not much to say about, this lvl it's just great. Highly recommended" - Gonxii (28-Sep-2013)
"This little game was the first level I played when I get the editor. I remember I was very exited about him because it's supposed to be the sequel of Tr4. I have no regret to be start my long list of levels by him. It's a wonderful game even if sometimes it was maybe a bit hard, like the beggining. I remeber I have load and load a few time but finaly I do it. The level is built with the cleopal wad so we found some squeletons, demigods and scarabs but the level is very well done with theses objects and in 2001 we don't really have a choise for the objects. The rest is awsome. When I played it, it's like If I played an official sequel of tr4. Great atmosphere, nice choise of textures and lighting and the end is spectacular and certainly an EPIC moment of the trle world. Nice level. Very recommended." - BigFoot (05-May-2013)
"A fine work with a good architecture where you'll have to suffer much danger. The level is very dark, and flares were not enough for me. Don't you wait for fantastic puzzles, only search to find objects and shoot enemies .In the caves area there are several unmarked climbable walls so you must try every wall section. When you place the second portal guardian there' not a camera to show the far door you've opened so explore carefully every area if you don't want to get stucked; there are some necessary items you can miss too. At the end don't waste your time looking for the fourth scarab. The nice ending was the best of this game for me. At the end the game crashes." - Jose (10-Apr-2008)
"Another of those levels that I'd start countless times and drop before I could get into them. I almost did the same this time around, but I'm glad I didn't and to be honest, I was glad when I reached the end. There are a lot of things I didn't like about this level, such as the darkness in the beginning, the uncountable unmarked climbing walls (if not for Ian's review, I'd probably have dumped this one for good), secrets which are vital for progression and illogical stuff such as fire underwater (and you'll see quite a lot of that). I particularly liked the textures the author picked for most of the areas, especially the few outdoor ones which looked really neat (and that ending really was special). It's not a difficult level, but it's pretty much a maze area and you'll get a few times to the beginning, and you end up doing lots of unnecessary crawling in there. 50 minutes, 2 secrets. 02/07" - Treeble (19-Feb-2007)
"Overall, this is a pretty fine level to play, but maybe it was just too chaotic and confusing for my liking. As such it actually is a pretty straight-forward Egyptian themed level through quite dark, moody caves (prepare yer flares), yet I found some things to be quite confusing - for example the first gorge like area, though perfectly fun to climb as you find out what it's about - I couldn't for the life of me figure out why whole wall sectors were climbable, while only maybe a few tiles were textured to be climbable? Also the quest for the black beetles completely eluded me - I found two, had a rough idea where a third one could've been, but still could get my much needed prize from the pyramid with using only one of them... strange. Well, despite all that the level at times is quite a stunner in the looks category - the swampy pool room is simply great, the empty big hall with the pyramid is effective, as is the flipmap after placing the pillar, and the last room with the sunset is simply immortal - it sticks in your mind and I can surely say it's one of the most memorable views in custom level history. So definitely worth to check out for the above mentioned moments, despite the unfair crawlspaces with beetles attacking in them in the beginning and the excessive darkness." - eTux (22-Feb-2005)
"I'm not one for scratching and clawing and crawling my way through dark levels especially when it's necessary to scratch and claw and crawl a second time through tight tunnels that have already been navigated. That being said this was a fun little level that's certainly worth playing. It's not visually and technically stunning as are Hokolo's subsequent levels but it displays many of his signature trademarks such as cleverly hidden switches and pickups. Dutchy has provided a concise walkthrough with the help of which my net playing time was about an hour. Recommended." - Phil (02-Aug-2004)
"A short sweet level that has a nice few of memorable moments one of which is an actual 'ending' as opposed to the usual 'nothing at all then get thrown to desktop routine'. Nothing too taxing as far as puzzles or jumps here - a good level for beginners. I completed it in an hour and found 2 secrets. " - gfd (23-Dec-2003)
"We find Lara inside the pyramid and have to help her escape. Getting through rocks fire spikes and enemies like demigods skeletons a harpy and little beetles she has to find three black beetles gems and get the pillar which will open the way out of the pyramid. It's really a nice level with fountains but also two tricks one with the coffin on fire and the beetles. Don't go search for the fourth black beetle you only need three. There was a door I never opened in the area with the second portal guardian maybe it was for a secret or something as I found two of them. Forty five minutes of fun and definitely worth playing for." - Kristina (27-Aug-2003)
"This level was very dark but I suppose crawling around in a cave and tomb would be. The textures were pretty good and the sounds were the original ones from the LE. The enemies were few but annoying nonetheless Beetles swarm (I HATE those ) but was able to get rid of them quickly. Either there is a bug (or maybe it was built that way) that if Lara leaves the area and come back they are gone at least most of the time. Some skeletons Demigods and Harpies are there too. Traps are the usual dart emitters teeth spikes and Bird Blades. The object is to get the four black beetles that fit in the Pyramid which holds the Pharos Knot and she was out of the tomb. Along the way Lara has to open some Sarcophagus lids and find treasures Horseman's Gems (one of which I found VERY difficult to get ) Portal Guardians X2 and difficult areas to get through like the area that is partially underwater with some blocks that can be walked on and I do emphasize SOME. It was a definite challenge and I did enjoy it. I found 3 secrets. This I understand is the first of two levels with the sequel 'Cave of Pandora' next on my list of Hokolo's levels to play. But be mindful there is no walkthrough and so far I haven't seen any threads on this forum for help. But if anybody needed any help forum would be most willing to help. Nice level Horst." - Patson (17-Aug-2003)
"Two things hit you immediately as you come out of that first terrible brown cave and into the deep rock shaft: this would be an excellent follow-on from Lara's entombment at the end of TR4 to show how she could have got out of the collapsed pyramid and the brilliantly applied textures and lighting. Lara makes her way back up to the temple above and comes to a beautiful room with pool and burning water. Followed by a underwater maze to another huge room with fountain and the pharaoh's coffin surrounded by fire. The only way I could open it was to set Lara on fire and run like mad to the water. Here also I couldn't see the crowbar for ages I thought I'd have to go all the way back down again but it was there in the water waving at me. You need the crowbar to take 4 beetles off the walls and place them on a little black pyramid in a huge pyramid shaped room so you know you're right at the top. And sure enough after placing the beetles you get the pharos knot and an excellent magic ramp appears so you can run to the top and out to the sunset . . . she's baaaaaaaccck! Lovely level to play." - CC (05-Aug-2003)
"I suppose I ought to remind myself that this is one of the earliest Custom Levels but even so there are a number of things that irritated me hugely with this. Why is it that some builders (I could name several but I'll choose the much misunderstood Marksdad as an example) get pilloried for not giving appropriate textures to climbable surfaces when the first half of this level was a veritable orgy of inappropriately textured climbable surfaces (I deducted a couple of points for that) and not one reviewer complains? I'm not absolutely certain about Lara catching fire underwater; there were too many explosive weapons available; the beginning was a little unclear (especially when the player could inadvertently end up there again); and one vital pick-up seemed to be acquirable only by setting Lara on fire (although this may have been due to an error on my part); small matter though as there were more than enough medi-packs available to keep Lara going until she reached the nearby water. Oh what the heck I still enjoyed it. The room with the green mossy water; the chamber with the beautiful blue fountain; and in particular the last couple of minutes were so incredibly beautiful that I am quite prepared to call this adventure a well-crafted little masterpiece. Nonetheless for a custom level with a similar storyline but far more humour and zest why not try Kurt's 'Old Haunts'? Hey if Dimpf can continue to flout 'In Big Church/Underground' at every opportunity I can do the same with my personal favourite level! Play it now. It deserves a total score at least as high as this one." - Orbit Dream (04-Jan-2003)
"I played this level eons ago but when I noticed it only had 8 reviews and there being nothing new in the offing I decided to re-play it for reviewing purposes. A little over an hour and only 2 secrets later I am as thrilled with it as I was originally. This level just oozes atmosphere. Terribly dark at the start but a necessary evil with the plot you can live Lara scratching clowing and climbing her way out of the pyramid after being shut in. This is fantastic game play difficult but not impossible. From scaling the walls of the cave back flipping from one to another to the final sunset a wonderful adventure. In between you'll collect 3 portal guardians 2 gems and finally the pillar to secure your escape. Tenseness abounds as you are pursued by scarabs chased by skeletons and beset with demigods all trying to keep you in the pyramid." - Momster (19-Oct-2002)
"I was baffled by this game as I didn't quite know what to do to get down as there was no way to get up again. Later on there are also some ledges you have to get to so when in doubt climb. The beginning was a bit too dark for me but later it got better. A big yuck for the idea of beetles nibbling at Lara's heels and no way to get rid of them. Luckily found the crossbow so the skeletons posed no threat anymore. Other enemies are harpies and demigod. Of course I went the wrong way and ended up where I started but after reading the reviews I could go back to a saved game to play the level further. And that was well worth it. What a game. 03-09-2002" - Gerty (16-Sep-2002)
"I hope you are not afraid of the dark or heights as the first fifteen minutes of play have you finding your way down from a high ledge inside a pitch black cave as beetles nip at your heels only to come across a wonderfully high crevasse that you have to maneuver your way up by climbing and back flipping. The rest of the hour plus long level was also a great deal of fun looking for four black beetles in sometimes perfectly sneaky hideouts while killing (or being killed by) murderous demigods skeletons and beetles. The look and feel of the level was great with organic touches here and there as well as nice usage of lighting that felt just right for the setting but the end of the level was one of the most beautiful I had ever seen as Lara made her way up an outstanding invisible ramp only to come face to face with a stunningly wondrous sunset." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"About 1:15 hours of fast paced adventure yet again set after TR4 with Lara first finding her way down through a little crawlspace maze then climbing back up through a cave area and progressing further by placing three portal guardians and finding three (not four!) black beetles for the pyramid near the end. There are many enemies (skeletons beetles demigods and a harpy) and a few breathtaking rooms for example the blue fog bulb across the fountain the swamp like room and of course the ascent to the end and the sunset. I found only one secret which was actually required for progression." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)
"The beginning of this level is a spelunker's dream with Lara climbing and crawling through a network of dark caves. The balance of the level takes place in a series of beautifully rendered rooms including one with a fantastic green pool of floating vegetation flames and translucent platforms. With scarab beetles nibbling and demigods and skellies lurking Lara must collect key pieces to progress as well as 4 black beetles to finish the level. At the end the player is treated to a brilliant exit." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)
"I guess I don't care too much for reality as the first part of this level IS extremely realistic - it was just way too dark for my tastes as I hate dark levels. Plus a large part of it is spent in a maze like crawlspace with beetles nibbling away at your health and there is no way to escape them except to just keep moving. Then after a difficult climb up the level mercifully opens up and although it's still a bit dark it does get much better. The rest of the level is spent dealing with spikes skeletons demigods more beetles fire traps (some underwater) darts and a harpy as you collect three complete Hathor effigies two gems and three beetles. For all this though you are rewarded with a gorgeous sunset and the satisfaction of completing the level. I was thankful for the many health packs lying around and found two crossbows and one secret - though it was actually an object that was needed to progress." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)
"The start is sort of slow. Just crawling for a long time. The plot is straightforward. There are those icky beetles skeletons and Egyptian guards. The objects could be found near where they were needed. There were plenty of medipacks but they were necessary to survive. I found 3 secrets. In parts the atmosphere was rather dull but other parts were almost beautiful. Very romantic was the ending with Lara going towards the sun." - Monika (21-Jun-2002)
"Lara's Return is a very good level with a credible realistic and solid scenario (maybe the best scenario I have seen in a custom level). In the first part she must find her way back up to the light. This part is very exciting and very well done you will have to watch where it is possible to climb or jump and sometimes you will have to go down lower to go on. I like so much this part of the level with not many enemies: just a hungry swarm of beetles and one skeleton. Then Lara begins to go upper in 'cleopal' temples fight guardians and more skeletons avoid deadly traps and find black beetles (only three are necessary to come out of this dangerous adventure). The end is very great! There is one (not so) funny thing: if you go too far in one corridor you go back at the beginning and you will have to do all the climbing again! (and it is not a bug)." - eRIC (21-Jun-2002)
"Do you enjoy being eaten alive by bugs while crawling through dark caves. Well try this for kicks then. I like this so much better than Twilight City because the gameplay is really smooth and there are no mean tricks apart from the fourth beetle. The textures are a bit rough at times but that doesn't really matter. The rooms are truly special and I loved the storyline that starts deep under the earth and ends in perfect Hollywood style. You might wonder what all those medipacks are for. To be honest we could have done with a little less as there is this really spectacular run for the final door but with twenty medipacks on your back you might as well stop for some idle chit chat with the demigod. Nevertheless great stuff throughout." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)