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The Ancient Knowledge by Danilo Rocha

Allicya 8 8 9 8
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
Blue43 9 9 10 10
Christian 8 9 10 10
Czar 10 9 10 10
DJ Full 9 9 9 9
dmdibl 9 9 10 10
Drakan 10 10 10 10
Dutchy 8 10 9 10
eRIC 7 7 7 9
EssGee 8 9 10 9
eTux 8 9 9 9
Gerty 8 9 9 10
izzynoodles 8 8 8 8
Jack& 10 10 10 10
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jose 6 8 9 8
manarch2 7 8 9 9
Matt 9 10 10 9
MichaelP 9 8 9 9
Minox 10 10 10 10
Mman 8 9 9 8
Mytly 9 9 9 9
nerdfury 6 9 10 7
Phil 9 8 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 9 10
Ruben 10 10 9 10
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Samu 9 10 10 10
Shandroid 9 9 10 10
Vaughnage 9 10 10 10
release date: 08-Mar-2009
# of downloads: 254

average rating: 9.09
review count: 31
review this level

file size: 40.90 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I'm starting to get picky with Egypt levelsets as sometimes they begin to look the same after a while - this one is well thought out and has unique environments with diverse traps. I very much enjoyed this levelset. There were moments where I was stuck trying to figure out what to do, but for the most part the gameplay is quite easy and any traps that might kill you the first time you encounter them are not as tough as they seem, you can get the rhythm of them pretty quickly. Took about 3 hours to play." - izzynoodles (01-Aug-2023)
"This is a Egyptian set, with a couple of twists later on. When I first played this years ago I remember the scale being nigh-unseen, and the exterior you start in and the larger parts indoors are still great looking. The side areas do feel a little neglected in comparison though; some keep up the standard, but others are simple and cramped with little lighting and some stretched textures. Despite that, the strong parts are mostly good enough to prop up the weaker parts, and there are some creative object uses to add to the detail as well.
Gameplay is heavily exploration based with the large areas and multiple routes. It does occasionally have some slightly tricky traps though, and there are some quite hidden paths that can be easy to overlook. In general it's enjoyable, but there can be a lot of backtracking, and, if you miss the path back after the main tasks in the second map, it can have you going all over the map when the actual way isn't that far off from the "end", which could probably be avoided with a few changes to lock you in until you found the path. The end also seems a little anti-climatic as the last section doesn't have too much in it after the build-up and foreshadowing to opening it. Still a very good set that's worth playing, but it has aged a little more than I expected now that the sheer scale isn't quite as much of a novelty as it was." - Mman (14-May-2022)
"(6) Gameplay & Puzzles: This is a medium-difficulty, duo-level adventure that took me about 2 1/2 hours. The exploration in level 1 is pleasant enough, and I enjoyed myself, although there's a lot of "dead space" outdoors where you're not making any progression at all. My only issue with level 1 concerns the "use the crowbar on the stars" clue. Okay, so in level 1, there's a central ruins area, and a West and East pool, with each of these pool areas containing 2 stars (there are 4 total to collect). When you enter the central ruins area, there is artwork on the wall that serves as a clue -- that the crowbar (golden sword) needs to be collected first, in order to pry the stars off the wall. The clue is cool and all, however the East pool area is accessible via the starting lake, without the player ever entering the central ruins and seeing the clue. This is not good game design in my opinion. I think that the flow of the gameplay would have been much better if the player was forced to see the "use the crowbar on the stars" clue initially, and then they could explore in whatever direction they pleased, with the knowledge that they need to find a crowbar ASAP. I did not have much fun in level 2 and it felt like a chore after awhile. I thought that it was too long and bloated, with repetitive/filler tasks and annoying backtracking. I felt like I was running around from attractively-constructed-Egyptian-room-#69, to attractively-constructed-Egyptian-room-#32, to attractively-constructed-Egyptian-room-#78, without accomplishing much or doing anything particularly interesting. Unfortunately there are no real puzzles in this adventure (there are a few basic pushblock sequences). (9) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: There are no enemies in level 1, and the enemy placement in level 2 is mostly decent, particularly with the initial "jackal surprise". However I think the endgame is anti-climatic without a boss fight (the final enemy encounter is actually a few puny animals). The object decor is very attractive and polished. The traps aren't very interesting or memorable in level 1, but pick up in level 2. (10) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: I tip my hat to the builder for his ability to create awesome, authentic-looking environments, both outdoors as well as underground. You really feel like you're exploring a giant ruined complex, and no area looks boxy. The builder demonstrates great talent in connecting all of the underground areas and establishing an immersive sense of place. There are adequate static camera hints and many beautiful flybys to build immersion. I do have a couple of minor nitpicks about this category (a couple of door objects are missing sounds; there are some important events, such as Lara draining the ruins in level 2, which lack an associated music cue), however they are indeed quite minor and this category still deserves top marks. (7) Lighting & Textures: Without a doubt, the builder demonstrates great skill in this category as well. The texturing is very polished overall, with very few misshapen textures, and the lighting is attractive in level 1 (although a few small rooms have flat lighting). Unfortunately, the builder's texturing or color scheme choices often negatively contribute to visibility issues in level 2. It was an eyesore for me to discern the next platforming objective when all of the textures within certain rooms are of a very similar color. Another example of poor visibility are the completely dark corridors, as well as the Atlantean tall room which is way too dark. The adventure as a whole would have benefited from more feasible sources of light (such as more torches on walls), as well as utilizing color contrast to highlight objectives and areas of interest. Also, I finished the level with 0 flares remaining and I think that the builder should have been more generous with flare pickups. It's much better to give the player a surplus of flares versus potentially not enough flares. Finally, there are a lot of underwater cracks in level 1. Overall, I think this level is superb in terms of architecture and atmosphere. However, I'm sorry to say that the gameplay really didn't do it for me. I think the gameplay would have been significantly better if repetitive, filler tasks were cut from level 2, and also if the builder was more player-friendly in terms of visibility, also in level 2. 6/9/10/7." - nerdfury (22-Sep-2021)
"Another great level made by a brazilian! It's good to see that this one made it to the hall of fame because it's well deserved. Nice gameplay and challenges, beautiful places to explore, specially if you are a fan of egypt themed levels. I really liked this one! Thank you, Danilo." - Allicya (26-May-2020)
"Wonderful environment for this level egypt, I would say grandiose with this wonderful flyby from the beginning. Very complex gameplay in these very big rooms but it is a pleasure to browse these interconnected levels. Few enemies but a lot of jumps not very difficult. Highly recommended to all fans of Egyptian levels." - Drakan (09-Nov-2018)
"The opening flyby introduces you to the exquisite scenery you'll be exploring throughout this two hour or so adventure. You don't actually get to spend too much time in the outdoor areas, but that's a minor thing. I have virtually no complaints about the looks, apart from the fact that the lighting was rather drab and flat in some of the dark corridors and the irritating sound emitted by the flares didn't help either. Gameplay isn't too difficult, there's surely a fair share of challenges but nothing too frustrating (although the fire traps were a bit annoying. I also enjoyed the way that you sometimes had to first work your way up a series of huge rooms and then go back down. It's quite sparse in terms of enemies, which explains the relative lack of pickups, although the scorpions and harpies were tough to combat. Aside from the negatives I mentioned, I really liked this one for breathing new life into well worn Egyptian scenarios." - Ryan (26-May-2018)
"This is a really immersive game, and the outside ruins are a location every player should see. The interior is beautifully crafted and makes a lot of sense even though necessity of cracks and structural repetitions may be discussable. There could be less wrong triangles either. Default enemies don't quite match highly customized scenery but they are well used. Sound fits but could also come in greater variety. Except one place which requires a huge backtrack and locating a hintless hard-to-spot corridor, gameplay is quite intuitive and flowing. It doesn't contain puzzles except classic ones but these are arranged as powerful as they can be - each switch and pickup feels important because of extensive exploration and platforming effort leading up to it. SUMMARY: A solid classic adventure anybody should play at some moment. With few imperfections here and there, it almost never drops from atmosphere." - DJ Full (26-Jan-2016)
"This is one of the best and most beautiful Egypt levels I played. From the beginning everything is grand and beautiful. The lighting can be a bit too white but this is all I found wrong. There are some passages quite difficult but the gameplay is very good. Many exploration and some challenges spiced to finish this level. Really excellent." - Minox (08-Jan-2014)
"Personnaly, one of my favorite custom Egyptian level. We start near a big temple along the Nile. The first level is absolutly amasing with a great flyby to start who show the many places of the level. The goal is to found 4 golden stars to enter in the catacombs complex beneath the temple. The textures and lighting are fabulous, like a real Egyptian temple and the desing is perfect. This first level is not really hard but some objetcs are very well hidden. In the second level, we discovered a giant catacombs complex with a mix of Egyptian and Atlantean textures and atmosphere. The gameplay is more difficult than the first but nothing impossible and this time the goal is to enter in a Atlantean sanctuary to discovered an artifact to bring back in the first level. Like the first level, it's a perfect level with an amasing desing (the sphinx and the atlantean sanctuary are awsome) and very well done textured. To conclude, a prefect adventure to keep on our computer and for me, one of the best Egyptian level of the trle world (and one of my personnal favorite). Thanks a lot Danilo for this wonderful adventure." - BigFoot (05-May-2013)
"This is another very good example of a level with really spectacular looks that simply falls short in terms of gameplay. The initial flyby of the Nile area is very well done and the builder has managed to create great and believable huge outdoor areas here, with a lot of detailed architecture and very good texturing and lighting. Without doubt I had given this level a 10 to both latter categories, but this one's rather short and the main part of the level takes place in the second level, which plays inside. In the first level, gameplay was quite focused with a search for four stars in two pool areas with several stages. I really liked the first actions in the second level, with a challenging spike pillar challenge and a not very tight timed run, but afterwards the level simply wasn't diverse enough and got more and more boring. OK there were a few interesting traps to solve and a lot of platforming, but I felt like the actions repeat too much, not even counting a bit of backtracking in the later half of the level, which wasn't that enerving for me actually. So that said, the level still has a few nice moments like the partial draining of the huge pool, the trap sequence including spikes and moving walls and the boulder area. Speaking of atmosphere, the builder has managed to create yet another fantastic level with huge areas you can admire, a nice twist texturewise to the standard Egyptian levels and an atmospheric change to an Atlantean setting at the end. I liked the many glimpses through the lattices to show rooms you'll explore later, that added more interest to the game and in way made it more playable. Unfortunately, the otherwise spectacular atmosphere has suffered from too monotonous colours used in here, it's definately too grey for my taste. The lighting in the Atlantean part is also way too dark and at some places the textures weren't placed perfectly (you often can see textures with written text or paintings clashing badly against each other). Some smaller mistakes were the missing sound for most doors and trapdoors in this level and the annoying flare sound that simply should have been fixed. I also wished the builder provided more heavy weapons for all those scorpions, demigods and harpies (strangely culminating towards the end of the level) as killing them with shotgun and pistols alone was rather tedious too. In general enemy placement was a bit odd with literally no enemies in the first level and too many at the end of the second one, I only liked the jackal attack at the start of the second level which has been greatly done. The four secrets of which three are in the second level are well hidden except one which was nearly impossible to miss, the one after draining the pool was really ingenious. So all in all a rather commendable level, but mainly for the outstanding looks and not so much for the gameplay fun (at least not for me). Took me 90 minutes to finish it." - manarch2 (18-Jan-2013)
"The Ancient Knowledge opens with a stunning fly-by that sets the tone for the two-level adventure: massive environments filled with exploration accompanied by excellent graphics and detail. The author brings a really unique feel to this level set that I loved. I was reminded of TR1, TR4, and TRA all at the same time. There was that classic nostalgia, but a definite modern feel too. The gameplay is very stock-Tomb Raider. Platforming, puzzles and exploration. The exploring was definitely my favorite. The game doesn't sport any new moves like pole swinging or ledge jumping that we see more frequently in new levels, but The Ancient Knowledge doesn't need them. The author has done an excellent job of creating engaging gameplay. Platforming and exploration dominate, but there's enough combat mixed in to be satisfying. Like I said earlier, I loved the exploration. The levels are built in a non-linear fashion very reminiscent of TR4, and there's a bit of back tracking involved. It's easy to get lost in this one if you're not paying attention! Not only is the level a massive complex of rooms and tunnels to explore, but the rooms themselves are sometimes MASSIVE! The amount of work the author must have put in to create these larger-than-life Egyptian environments is amazing, and it makes this level a definite must play. In addition to these things was the story, which the author tells without a single cutscene or even any dialog. From the description page you will read that Lara is looking for some kind of documentation of the knowledge of the "ancients" that Natla refers to in TRU. Without giving too much away, when I finally reached the remnants of the so called "ancients" (which you can see a sneak peak of in the screenshots included in the description page) I was genuinely excited! I mean, I knew it was coming because I'd seen said screenshots, but like I said, it was a really exciting point in the game. I couldn't wait to get inside and explore and see what surprises the builder had in store, and I was not disappointed. :) Overall this is one of the better adventures out there and one of my new favorites. I would highly recommend it!" - Matt (22-Oct-2012)
"I don't know why I haven't played this level-set up to now. A stunning atmosphere at the banks of the Nile in the beginning; there's some detour, promising interesting gameplay before we enter the main level. The promise is kept. It's really an adventure that starts after 4 stars placed and we can proceed tom the 2nd level. Some challenging jumps in very well designed, elaborate rooms, a lot of exploring. Perhaps a bit too much of it. Gameplay is not linear. It doesn't have to be, of course. But less complexity could have been created more interesting gameplay. Cameras and lightning fit very well together in these wonderful rooms and halls. Some areas are a bit too dark for me. But It's an absolutely great one. I was afraid it was just another egypt-one.... No way: A must to play!" - Christian (13-Aug-2010)
"I decided to play this level after reading all the good reviews and I was really impressed. First of all I am amazed how long it took me to finish this one. I had expected something much shorter after a relatively small download. The builder has created a wonderful adventure in and around a large temple complex along the river Nile. I found the atmosphere unbelievably good with very realistic textures and lighting and good and perfectly matching background sounds. Totally different than any other Egypt level I have ever played. Everything has a brownish tone and the air looks hazy and dust filled at times, just how one would expect it in this type of environment. The game play is very complex and it is easy to get lost. There are so many connected rooms (some huge)and some have to be visited many times and at different floors - I was glad to look at the walk through many times. I completely missed some of the push blocks for example. There are not many enemies - a couple of jackals, some (giant) scorpions and a few harpies as far as I remember. There is lots of climbing, a couple of tight timed jumps and runs, but easily done after a few tries. Nothing in this level gets frustrating and boring, although there is quite a bit of back tracking involved here. The camera flybys are a pleasure to watch. I am glad I found this gem. If you haven't played this yet, go ahead and give it a try. I think this should be on everyone's must play list. This is just one great adventure and for me this level captures the spirit of "Tomb Raiding" perfectly." - Blue43 (04-Jul-2010)
"Just when you think the Egypt settings have run their course, along comes a level like Danilo's The Ancient Knowledge to show you what a fresh set of textures and some new or improved objects can do to the well worn setting. Truly, when looking at the double level in its entirety its hard to fault the looks, and with areas like the initial outdoor one or the sphynx room in level 2, this amounts to some of the best stuff I've seen in an Egypt setting recently. My fears initially were that with the open nature of the setting, the gameplay would live up and be extremely confusing as well, and while I did spend most of my time just running around a tad confused, hoping the objetive would've been clearer in places, it's never too overwhelming, and some of the individual tasks are clever enough to keep you going and wondering what will come next. As far as criticism goes - you can occasionally spot some cracks between the textures, but the most important improvement the author could do for his next one would be to use a sun bulb in every (including interior) room(s). While it was generously used here overall, I noticed that especially in the second level, the lighting sometimes fell flat due to this. Other than that and the maybe too open-ended gameplay of the level, nothing really stood in the way of my enjoyment, and I can only congratulate the author on a great leap forward from his previous offerings, and am already looking forward to what will follow. Found all 4 secrets." - eTux (24-Jun-2010)
"Wow, this is probably one of the best games that I have ever played. The gameplay is excellent, lots of jumping and exploring to do in the first level to find some cat statue things. This game is so mind-boggeling at times, it can get a little frustrating trying to solve the puzzles and things. The enemies were fairly representative of the location, bats, all that good stuff was here. So, the objects were fantastic and the secrets were fairly hard to find for me at least, but I still had fun playing it. The atmosphere was excellent, and the fly-by camera thing in the beginning was definatly excellent, fine piece of work there. The sound was very well represented here, mostly Tomb Raider 4 tracks that were very tomb-like indeed. Now, the best part of the game was how it looked. I almost started crying because I thought that I was in heaven! The game looks marvolous, the Egyptian fell was so good being at the Nile River. The statues and things were amazing! The water was pretty good too, so I cant complain bout it. The textures were very good here, but the statues were amazing. This is a game that you have to play here!" - Vaughnage (24-Jul-2009)
"The Ancient Knowledge is a fine piece of work. The game consists of two levels - the first is a visually stunning layout that is mostly concerned with the outdoor setting of a magnificent temple situated on the banks of the river Nile. The second deals with the inner catacombs of the temple. The game is slightly open-ended in that your search for two eye pieces, particularly the first piece can be obtained in either your first or second visit to level 1. The atmosphere in both levels is excellent enhanced by some really effective fog techniques, and it is only the dingy corridors of the inner complex where lighting tends to be too much on the dark side. The TR Anniversary based textures are used to maximum effect and are complemented by lots of fresh-looking objects and as a result you get some of the most realistic looking Egytptian environments I've seen in a long time. Enemies are the usual suspects - scorpions, bats, harpies, pharoah dogs and demigods. The main challenge is ensuring you despatch these with minimal damage to Lara, as medipacs and health potions were either well hidden or somewhat in short supply, and I finished with only one spare in my backpack. Music was standard fare as well, but the tracks were used well to compliment the impressive camera fly-by events. In terms of gameplay I enjoyed all the challenges, but found myself referring to the walkthrough on a number of occasions, when it was not clear where Lara should go next. It was not until the end when I had to check the notes to find where the 1st eye piece I'd missed was located, that I realised that there was a switch to lower the spikes that I'd walked through to pick up the golden sword earlier. Besides the wonderful outdoor vista, highlight for me was the impressive sphinx room. So in summary, what you get here is good-old honest Egyptian style tomb-raiding, in a magnificent setting that you really must play to appreciate." - EssGee (31-May-2009)
"In my opinion this game surely belongs to one of the best custom levels released this year. The first seconds from start of the game already impressed me involving a flyby showing a wide rocky area containing temples by the Nile. Some exploring has to be done in this area to find four star objects which are needed to gain access into temple complex where you have to do a lot of jumping and explore more beautiful areas such as a chamber where is a huge and detailed sphinx statue. What comes to texturing, lighting, room layout and generally speaking graphics I found this level almost perfect. Audio tracks are mainly original TR4 audios which are appropriate for the setting and accentuate different situations very well. Cameras are used rather rarely to guide player to the right direction which may annoy some players a little but for me it wasn't a problem since if you for example use a switch which opens a door, it can be often found very near the switch. Enemies are quite rare as well but used very effectively like the giant scorpions that made the atmosphere intense in certain places during the game. Regarding gameplay this level includes mainly exploring and lots of jumping from ledge to another and climbing in between which became a bit tedious for me after a while. Less basic jumping and more puzzles requiring some thinking would have made the gaming experience more diverse for me and I also could have given full points for this game. Excluding this I think that author has made nearly perfect job in all aspects and I can highly recommend this game to everybody regardless of playing experience. Don't miss it." - Samu (22-May-2009)
"Ruins along the Nile (8/8/9/8, 35 min, 1 secret): A wonderful flyby introduces you to a vast outside area that looks very impressive and while the expansive looks are awesome, this is also the tedious element as you begin to work your way into the adventure...where to go first and how to be sure that you have not missed anything? But things pick up a certain flow quickly and certainly as you enter the temple and hunt for the four stars with some nice platform jumping, a few levers and plenty of entertaining traps to master (boulders, spikes, burners, teeth doors etc in various combinations).
Inside the Complex (9/8/9/9, 80 min, 3 secrets): A complex indeed, as the interior area you get to explore here is indeed huge with a capital 'H'. The initial timed spike and trap door jumps are only a warm up as you dive deeper and deeper into the place, eventually coming eye to eye with the very impressive Sphinx. It does get very pedestrian, but still the interest remains to proceed and the challenges towards the end spice things up a bit again before you face the ultimate challenge... finding your way back out! Enemies are a few jackals, small and big scorpions, demigods and harpies, but they are not a major factor. It is all about finding your way and hopping around the ledges and it is great fun! Maybe the overall ambience is a bit dull and greyish for most of the time, but it looks quite realistic and convincing.
Overall, a great step ahead for this young builder and we can only hope to see more from him!" - MichaelP (17-May-2009)
"Gameplay wise this a nice level to do. I love the colour use of textures in this vast environment as well as the objects. I still love Egypt adventures. Did see just a few textures that could use some tweaking, but probably hardly anybody would notice them. There is how ever a matter of getting to the end of the world when I swam to the left. What I did lack was the use of camera's to help you but I got there in the end with a little help. Purist might have a different view how this level looks, but I am not one of them. There are not many enemies here but you have enough exploring to do to keep you busy. Only gripe I have is the sound that the flares made. For the rest it is a level best played with eyes wide open." - Gerty (12-May-2009)
"From the first flyby to the last, I was just in love with this beautiful level. These Egyptian ruins are designed exactly like they should be. The color on most facades is faded or non-existent, and there is a feeling you are standing in actual history, even if you aren't. The first and last levels are ruins by the Nile, a very clear and swimming pool perfect Nile, mind you. There isn't much to do here that is super fun but gaze at the lovely architecture and find four stars. There was some backtracking, but not as bad as the inside. The meat of this level set is Inside the Complex, where let me tell you, the place goes on and on and on. I thought to myself, "I will get so very lost here." Yes, it is more of an underground ancient city than a building. What was so great about this level were the traps. Oftentimes I would come upon a trap that looked almost impossible, yet, once tried, was fairly simple. That was great. I was very impressed with the way these were designed. There were a few negatives that detracted from all the fun. It was easy to get lost and confused. The place is terribly immense and sometimes it is unclear where to go next, and many times you are backtracking ALL the way back to a big room. I missed many secrets, and a block to pull out, which had me running for the walkthrough. However, these negatives simply cannot diminish the near perfection of this experience. Some people may not understand my enthusiam, but it just clicked with me and that is not easy to do with Egypt levels, as they are never done like this one. Thanks, Danilo for getting around to getting this one released!" - Shandroid (11-Apr-2009)
"Once the initial flyby ended and I got control over Lara, the first thing I did was jump into the gorgeous aquamarine waters of the Nile and play around with the cute little fishes in it. I emerged only many minutes later to take a good look at the rest of the surroundings, and was even more excited. The Ruins (which are not very ruined) are huge and beautifully constructed and textured. This level is also pretty non-linear, so you can tackle the various areas in any order, which is a mixed blessing, as it meant plenty of exploration - but also meant that I wound up in one star rooms without the crowbar, and had to redo the whole sequence. The four star rooms are fun little traps - not too challenging for an experienced player, but tough enough to provide a bit of an adrenaline rush. Getting half the Horus eye-piece in the cave was much harder and involved some tricky jumping. Then it was on to the second level - and the atmosphere changed dramatically: instead of the sunny riverbanks and airy temples of the first level, here there are dark corridors and a maze of vast, interlinked rooms. The first"wow!" moment is when you find yourself at the top of a huge room and a flyby kicks in to show off the beauty of the place thoroughly. I loved swandiving into the pool at the bottom so much that I kept reloading and diving over and over again. This room, which forms the hub area for this level, is magnificent - definitely one of the highlights of this levelset. After a lengthy quest through a variety of rooms, traps, and showdowns with demigods and giant scorpions ... you finally get to open the room with the Sphinx that has been teasing you in the loading screen for this level. Underneath the Sphinx is an area which looks like the Lost Island levels of TRA - fitting, since this levelset claims to be about the"Ancients" that Natla mentioned. A similar area can now be opened up in the first level as well, where the"Knowledge of the Ancients" - or at least one scroll of it - can be found. Once you claim it and climb out above ground, the game ends. On the whole, this was a very enjoyable level, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. The author has made excellent use of a mixture of TRA & TRLR textures, and has even managed to make Egyptian levels - which otherwise tend to look drearily familiar - look fresh and exciting. The texturing is excellent; and even the monochromatic colour scheme in the second level looks beautiful. The lighting, sadly, leaves something to be desired: there were far too many extremely dark rooms, particularly the ones under the Sphinx, where even flares didn't help. Also the strange droning sound made by the flares was extremely distracting. However, apart from that, I can think of nothing negative to say about this level - only that I was sad to see it end." - Mytly (06-Apr-2009)
"I've enjoyed playing this young builder's levels and watching his measurable progress along the way. This is definitely his best effort yet, although I'd stop short of calling it an instant classic. Even though it uses a patched executable, it's basically a nuts and bolts production that would be quite at home in a BtB competition. The builder says he did most of the work several years ago, which leaves room for speculation as to how good a current release might be. Architecturally, this is as good as anything I've seen. Gameplay wise, there are some nice moments here but nothing really out of the ordinary is presented. And I have to agree with the reviewer who said that the drab surroundings got rather monotonous after a while. The outdoor areas were really spectacular, however, so I wish that more of the action had taken place there. Even though I was playing on my office machine where adequate lighting isn't usually an issue, there were dark places where I just had to light a flare, and that horrendous sound got so annoying that I wanted to hit the mute button. The two levels required nearly three hours, even with the walkthrough close at hand, so you definitely get plenty of gameplay. The builder has been rather stingy with the firepower, however, and you never get the revolver or a weapon with exploding ammo. Still, I had a grand time here and would recommend these levels to anyone." - Phil (02-Apr-2009)
"Here we have a professional work. Architecture is excellent and I liked a lot the textures and the ambience which teleport yourself to a real egyptian ruins. From the other side I didn't like to arrive to the places where the stars were without the sword (crowbar). I had to reload many times and when I found it I had to pass again the same traps and do the same tasks. In fact, you can reach all the places where the stars are without have the crowbar in your inventory (this is not what the manual teaches). Another feature I didn't like was the continuous darkness in the second level (yes, I know that I'm underground) so you can't enjoy the nice environment the author have created and it makes very difficult the exploration of the rooms: I got fool to find the crawlspace to return to the first level. The annoying sound when you light a flare is not very appropriate too because the interferences with the good melodies when, sometimes, you enter in a new dark area. So, this could be a very good levels for me but after some hours I was wishing to finish them soon." - Jose (01-Apr-2009)
"The reasons why I'm not too fond of levels using patched exe and high-def textures is firstly that often the loading times are too long (glad the screen of my old pc was not jerky in this one though) and high-def textures are often too greyish for my taste. It is becoming rather annoying to have always grey levels to play. To be fair there is a bit of green in these Egyptian levels , and the different textures at the end was a welcome change from the rest. The levels have lots of dark areas and having dark textures do not help to have a pleasant progression as some openings -otherwise obvious- can easily be missed. The gameplay consists mainly of exploration , with a few traps some of them offering a nice challenge to go through, the most interesting parts for me was where in some rooms , you have to find the right ledge so to reach another point, there is a few interesting jumps as well. The author has made a good job in architecture and with the shaping of the blocks ; combined with pleasant and appropriate audio tracks, giving the feeling of authentic places. A pity there was this awful sound for the flares , there was also missing sound for the trapdoors , which by the way should be placed in the rooms where they open. A good raid nevertheless , that should not be missed for some pleasant rooms for the eyes and some pleasant sequences of raiding too." - eRIC (28-Mar-2009)
"well a excellent game from Danilo Rocha... another hall off fame material for sure ... this is a very complex and well crafted game ,, u even dont quess from its size (MB) but is a huge game filled with alot off trapps ... timed runs / tricky jumps some off it make me swet ....burner trapps was the moust tuff ones .... but spike traps with spikes timed alot off jumps crawling / monkeyswinging ... enemyes not much some dogs and scorpions - but even not needed ...i admit i was stuck a few times cos is a huge 2 levels game interlinked at wich u need 2 eye piece one from 1st level and second from second level ... but before u get them u need some different ittems too like 2 guardian keys wich u get it only after some very challenging task at a huge multilevel room with deadly lava and burners...well no much to say ..... here is my 7 th -10 in the row .. thx alot Danillo for this masterpiece ... ..excellent game .. cheers" - Jack& (17-Mar-2009)
"It's always great to see a familiar face back in the LE world. I really enjoyed Danilo's previous offering, The Eye of Shiva way back, so having him come back with such a fantastic double-level is indeed great news! The first level is set in a beautiful temple complex by the Nile river, and the second inside the vast, sprawling complex within. This adventure probably offers one of the best looking Egypt environments I've witnessed in a custom level. I mean, I've always been a fan of the regular TRLE Egypt, but the use of TRA textures and some recolors of familiar LE textures blends extremely well and creates a captivating environment. This is all backed up by some pretty strong gameplay too. While not a walk-in-the-park, it provides a good challenge and will test a raider's memory skills as there is a little backtracking to do here. Actually, it all flows pretty smoothly provided you have an idea where to look for switches and other sequence starters. I only did become stumped by a well-hidden pushblock that looked like part of the wall in the second level. Besides that little mishap though, I thought the rest of the placement of objects was used well, providing a fair challenge with well-chosen enemies, and good secrets. While only using the original TRLE audio, the atmosphere in these levels is very well done, giving the player the good old Tomb Raider sense in that they're exploring unknown tombs in complete solitude. The only gripe I have here is with the flares. Not sure if this was a problem for others, but they made a very distinct buzzing sound that easily induced headaches out of me. When I first drew a flare I thought that this was coming from some kind of trap, but finding out that it was from a flare, and something I do use rather often, was rather irritating. While it is a small mistake, it really doesn't drag this level down with it. It's a wonderful adventure, very well worth it for the twist towards the end, for the beautiful environment, and I'm happy to welcome Danilo Rocha back to level building. Hoping to see more!" - Relic Hunter (16-Mar-2009)
"What a magnificent level re the surroundings, architecture, texturing and lighting. Game play wise I was not that thrilled but it certainly is a good level. Lots of exploring and you can easily get lost for days, mainly because there was a lack of camera hints here and there. As a Beta tester (not for this level) I always have my eyes fixed on texturing issues, but I must say that in these huge levels I couldn't find many texturing mistakes, some were found but not disturbing. The idea of that high room with the various levels you had to visit was very well exploited. The level could have had some more enemies to fill up the places where the rooms were quite empty, but that's a matter of liking. Came across some very nice objects and I loved the chosen textures. Hope to see more of this builder. The sound of the Flares was rather annoying, like a "freight train" coming by.." - Dutchy (14-Mar-2009)
"Trying very hard to find any inconveniences in this issue, I have failed ! It remains a wonderfully worked out two-level-wonder by Danilo showing some of the most beautiful outside locations ever created in TRLE custom games. It is indeed a little BIG adventure once the player enters the inner complex trying hard to find the second eyepiece in all these huge areas . Have you missed the first one ? No problem , you will get back to the ruins of the Nile anyway.I never got tired exploring all the locations and solving the puzzles in this wonderful adventure. Just keep your eyes wide open and help Lara to find the ancient scroll. Hall of Fame might be an option , I`d put it there straight away !" - Ruben (14-Mar-2009)
"Ruins Along the Nile: From the initial flyby, you will get the feeling that this is going to be one seriously good looking level. Absolutely correct. Plus, the waters of the Nile appear to be inhabited by colourful little fish, with nary a crocodile in sight, which makes rather a pleasant change. In fact there are no enemies at all in this section, the emphasis being firmly on exploration in search of four gold stars, whilst avoiding a series of not too difficult but nicely devised traps. Inside the Complex: Forget peace and quiet - here come the jackals. There are also scorpions (large and small) and demigods hanging about too, but the main emphasis is still firmly on exploration, which takes some doing in this vast area. There's a lot to do and it's easy to become confused (even if you're not me), but it's never, ever boring and it's all readily achievable even if it doesn't always look so at first glance. You get an eyepiece in this level, but don't panic if you didn't get one from the first level - you'll be going back in any case to explore one last area, grab a scroll and exit the game. This is a very well thought out game with everything meshing nicely together and the epic grandeur of the various locations really is quite breathtaking at times. Danilo goes from strength to strength with his building and this is a very impressive level indeed." - Jay (13-Mar-2009)
"Two levels of extraordinary scale and beauty. At the beginning, get Lara across the water and then take some minutes to leisurely survey the landscape and the ruins by the river. This is surely a lost Valley of Kings. Go inside and notice the helpful hieroglyphics directing you. The author must have created the monument textures, which give an impression of luminous carved sandstone. Getting the stars and sword (crowbar) isn't difficult--it seems you are playing a regular Tomb Raider adventure. But the second level, Inside The Complex, awaits, and it is one enormous trek. The texturing and decorations in the rooms are impeccable. Often there are multiple levels operating. Sometimes I had no idea which way to go, and became hopelessly lost and confused. Then I would look down to a distant floor and spot a statue that seemed familiar, and wonder how Lara could be back here. On checking the forum I noticed a similar reaction: that it was impossible to recount what a player had done or gone through. On the plus side this gives a vivid experience of exploring a massive complex. It is fast and exciting when all goes well. On the minus side it is difficult to recover if one misses something. I had to consult the forum twice: once for a missed push block (Lara wandered for an hour); once after picking up a half of a eyepiece, for help on finding the crawlspace exit. The author could have been more helpful. After getting the eyepiece I felt there should have been an extended fly-by showing the way to the exit, and there could have been other helpful camera shots. However, many of the challenges are easier than they look. There were spikes popping from several blocks that look bad, but the generous timing made it easy for Lara to bounce from one block to the other. Near the eyepiece there is a dark room with flame emitters that looks horrible, but navigating the room actually isn't bad. Note: I had an odd sound problem, possibly from lit flares. This got so annoying, I tried using my own TREP-patched tomb4.exe, and it worked fine. No more buzzing sound, and the flares were now bright and long lasting. I found three secrets, and two of these had a needed shotgun (for the giant scorpions). Over all, an experience not to be missed." - dmdibl (12-Mar-2009)
"We are introduced to the first part of this two level set with a sweeping, outdoor flyby, and it is immediately obvious that this is going to be a good looking game. Some might spark up that the texturing is a bit uniform here, but honestly, it's such a minor thing which is only negatively accentuated by the high flyby. At ground level it's not such a pronounced effect. Albeit slightly Peruvian looking, the scene then is the ruins of a grand, Egyptian temple still set firmly amidst a dark sand covered and slightly misty island that is surrounded by the most beautiful, blue waters. Ruins Along the Nile is the apt title then, and as soon as I have control of Lara and start running around I marvel at the wonderful lighting cast over much of the sand, giving it an added quality over that of the good textures used. It is so nice to see such subtlety given to something generally having little attention paid to it and here it makes all the difference. Moving into the first part of the temple then, and after navigating some expertly lit passages we come out into a cave-like area with a small body of water filling the lower part. Having plunged into the water and found an only slightly tricky jump there is the most enchantingly lit area to come upon and it is yet a further hint of the beauty of this level. I don't know what is going on with the audio when a flare is lit, but it sounds more like an approaching train rather than the flare fuel being consumed. So I make Lara throw away the first one quickly and it sets a habit early on because it's really a bit much to have that racket going on. A switch here is very well concealed before retrieving the first eye-piece and moving on to the main temple at the opposite side of the map. The areas here are so well set up that I enjoyed investigating everything thoroughly. All areas are so superbly textured, lit and arranged that it had me virtually constantly commenting with awe as I played. Gush would be the word. Every trap, every trick, every trial. The whole gamut. Delightful. Having said that, there is one spiked wall trial that is so easy to avoid it's no trial at all. The main objective in this part then, aside from enjoying the environment, is to retrieve four stars that will open the gates to the next part. Each star is very well situated amidst the various tightly packed rooms lying behind several doors in two main side areas of this temple. The passages between these consist of various slopes, spike traps, rolling balls and flame emitters and every aspect is always interesting. Challenging, yes, but not tediously so. Once all are retrieved and placed, it is on to the next part, and things get even better. There are shades of St. Francis' Folly and the Egyptian levels of Anniversary to be found through most areas of Inside The Complex, but don't think that this is some pale imitation, for you'd be wrong. The inspiration can be clearly seen, but this creation deserves all merit as something in its own right. Complex it is called, and complex it is, for this part of the game consists of many, many rooms and passages, all of which are brilliantly lit and textured. Much more so than the first part, in fact. Pitfalls continue to be very well set up, but, as with the first part, none of it is too difficult. Not only is the size increased with this section, but so are the amount of hazards. It all seems to be there in this one. But none of it is in the least excessive, so don't get the wrong impression with that statement. It is a case of many hazards, but they are spread over such a vast area that it's never too much. At some point in this section we come to a great well of a room that, aside from looking incredibly beautiful, for the water at the bottom it is such a joy to make a swan dive from so high up that I just had to purposely reload several times, just to enjoy it some more. I was also happy to find a couple of other reasonably large rooms to make more enjoyable swan dives to the bottom of. Little things, I know, but it all adds to the enjoyment of a level. In a sense this second part is formed of two parts, for when we come to a sphinx and gain entry below, we find another completely distinct area in keeping with the inside of Natla's pyramid of Anniversary. Though, as said previously, this creation still stands in its own right. The play here is something a bit different to the level thus far and requires a little bit more care for the darker (though still enchanting) environment. Though the challenge isn't particularly tough in this section, there's just something about the ambience that makes it a little bit special. Having completed what needs to be done then, a cage is lowered and we can retrieve the second eye-piece and return to the first level to make our escape. This in itself whilst no challenge at all is as enjoyable as the rest of the game, for everything just looks so good. Coming out on top of the temple, we get a short flyby and the game is finally over, much to my disappointment. There aren't many secrets here, but each is well placed. Relatively speaking, enemies in this game are really very few. Whilst ordinarily I do find enemies an annoying distraction from my enjoyment of a level, there are extended periods in this game where the lack of them is really noticeable, and even I missed some added action in that regard. That said, over all this is a stunning level. Pretty much every room is an adventure in one way or another. The lighting and texturing are entirely professional and the design is simply incredible. I would love to give this game straight 10's, but I can't rightly for the relative lack of enemies mentioned. That said, if I were to describe this game in one word, it would be 'superlative'." - Czar (09-Mar-2009)