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Uncle Silas (revised) by The Vagrant

Alien Autopsy 8 10 10 10
Blue43 8 8 10 9
Ceamonks890 8 9 9 9
Chronicles5 7 9 10 9
dmdibl 8 8 9 9
eRIC 6 9 10 9
eTux 7 8 10 9
g12STL 9 6 9 8
Gerty 8 8 9 8
JesseG 6 8 7 9
Jose 7 7 8 8
jtrim 9 9 10 10
manarch2 7 9 10 9
MegaGamer 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 7 9 10 8
Mman 8 9 10 9
Nuri 5 8 9 10
Orbit Dream 7 9 9 10
Ryan 7 9 10 9
Samu 6 9 10 9
Selene 8 8 10 9
Shandroid 8 9 9 8
Spike 5 7 9 7
Talos 8 7 8 8
Torry 9 10 10 9
Treeble 8 9 10 10
walter90 8 4 10 10
release date: 23-May-2003
# of downloads: 205

average rating: 8.56
review count: 27
review this level

file size: 31.27 MB
file type: TR3
class: Mystery/Horror

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This was a good lightweight spooky TRLE that is short and fun at the same time. The lighting actually worked in favor due to the theme of the TRLE being a fairly unsettling place where darkness is copacetic with the environment. TR3 engine games are always dark, not by fault of the authors. Indeed it was a quick and easy TRLE, it would be a great one for beginners to try out and build some comfort with these games as there are many more to try out as well. My only real complaint is the intermittent crashing of the game when trying to get the secret (as noted in the W/T) and leaving after battling the final boss. It leaves you no choice but to backtrack and leave the area the way you entered. Other than that, great level!" - g12STL (30-Aug-2021)
"And finally, but also sadly, I played the last remaining level of Kevin, that I hadn't. Of course that's sad, because I would wish for more of this brilliant level builder. Once again he gave us a level design, which was unique. Gosh, that has to be the most beautiful sky and shining stars, that I have ever seen in these old custom levels! Lara explores some big villa, that seems to be in the middle of nowhere, until she encounters some boss enemy near the end. There was a variety of new objects and textures that gave the level it's own beautiful look. The gameplay however didn't excite me at all, because it is almost only based on going from room to room with a little climbing and pushblocks. Secrets were hidden too easily. I would've expected a little more, to be honest, but this level was still a nice experience.
So, farewell levels of the Vagrant!" - Nuri (07-Oct-2020)
"This is definitely one of best custom TR3 levels out there, and even if gameplay can be rather basic and straightforward, the atmosphere you get here (as usual with The Vagrant's levels) is unique. It's heavy and ominous, and keeps you glued to the screen until the very end. Or rather, sadly, until the next crash. I experienced about four random crashes in different spots, strangely enough upon restarting the game I could do whatever it was that I needed to do and the crash wouldn't repeat itself. Other players might not be as lenient, however. Shame about the bats not working properly either, but in a way that also adds to the outworldly feel the manor has going for it. Great use of fixed cameras on the balconies as well; the lighting is intentionally on the dark side, but, with that moonlight horizon... everything just clicks into place. 35 minutes, 6 secrets. 12/19" - Treeble (15-Dec-2019)
"The atmosphere of this game was one of the best I have seen. However, the game could have been longer (it was less than an hour) with more varied enemies." - jtrim (29-Oct-2018)
"Another spooky level from the Vagrant that will have you glued to your seat for 45 minutes or so. I experienced a few game crashes along the way unfortunately. One of the roof going for the secrets either side and again near the end when attempting to dive in the pool from the balcony. I loved the "ginger haired bint" who actually helps you along at the beginning before turning nasty. The atmosphere that Kevin presents is what makes this (and a few of his other levels) stand out and for this alone it is well worth the download folks." - Torry (15-May-2018)
"From the start, the intense, moody atmosphere draws you in, thanks to the effective, evocative lighting. This level takes place in and around a ruined, bat-ridden estate, where danger is imminent if you don't watch your step. Gameplay is actually fairly simplistic and won't have you stumped for long as it's all fairly sequential. At the end you defeat Silas himself and the level ends. Overall, the atmosphere triumphs over the gameplay and is worth looking at for that. 30 minutes, 6/6 secrets found." - Ryan (23-Jul-2016)
"TR3 engine level simple yet charming (we're talking about a level of 2003), with objects and textures in perfect sync with the rest of the environment. A simple level, despite the Gothic scene and obscure to think otherwise, with relatively easy to defeat enemies (the woman and the final boss are dangerous). The lighting looks a little too dark, and the few available help little flares, but fortunately the guns can help to illuminate the various rooms, and remains too broad (but remember that the TR3 engine has limits). A perfect adventure for Halloween! Recommended!" - Talos (07-Nov-2015)
"Despite the rather limited simplistic gameplay(revolving around lever pulling and gunfights), this is yet another well-crafted release from The Vagrant, as you find yourself infiltrating a long-forgotten and creepy mansion, in order to kill off the man himself, Silas. Lighting and texturing are executed very effectively, while the enemy and object choices fit their surroundings excellently, generally leading to an all-around immersive atmosphere that just draws you into the experience and doesn't let go, until you've ensured that you have completed the task currently at hand. So in conclusion, highly recommended." - Ceamonks890 (24-Jul-2015)
"So, what do I have to say about this level? This was just magnificent! No dull moments, creepy atmosphere, this was just great! This should be a great for lots of people to play! Highly recommended!" - MegaGamer (05-Jul-2014)
"I came back to playing custom levels after a long break and this one is most likely the reason why I shall keep on playing them. Not even a minute of this level was annoying or boring. Here I have to say that it's for specific people that enjoy the horror like atmosphere. There was always something charming and mysterious in the old manors. This creation gives that feeling perfectly. Though I knew that Tomb Raider 3 level can't contain anything that will shock me/jump on me to scare me... I was still scared while playing this level. The atmosphere was just too good. Depressing, calm, dark. Amazing texture and light work. Found all the secrets except the last one, exploring this level was very pleasant - it kept calling me to check every small inch. If you fancy the mossy corners, old crumbling wood, gothic courtains and darkness - this is the level for you. The only bad side? I wish it was longer. Took me 44 minutes and I enjoyed them too much." - Alien Autopsy (21-Sep-2013)
"By now , surely everybody knows this level is a classic , with its great atmosphere and architecture, some custom enemies , and fluent progression. True , it is not very eventful , but the atmospheric setting is such that you don't really mind that. Well worth the replay to find all the secrets." - eRIC (06-May-2013)
"This is a very huge and old mansion where Lara will find uncle Silas (a sort of demon) near the end to fight with. Not very difficult to play, switches are very visible, and the traps (swinging blades and fires) are not hard. Some gymnastics in the main hall and the library, shoot some bats and few more. Textures are well applied, but not so well in small surfaces; there are some original ones in the paintings though. I liked the cameras and the creepy ambience, and the old TR3 style too. Very playable, but don't you expect too much." - Jose (28-Feb-2012)
"To start with the bad aspects of this level: The gameplay was rather on the short side, there were only levers to find to get on. The jumps however with the chandeliers and on the top of the pool rooms were nice and a great task. At more than one place it was a bit too dark for me. But now let's get the positive points this level has: Fantastic spooky atmosphere! I can't think of any TR 3 level with such great atmoshere, or such textures like in this level. All enemies were a great task, all well rebuilt, like the dinner room lady or Uncle Silas himself. The "5-second cameras" by the author were really well, the few moments with them were even better to look at than the rest of the level. There were also a ton of secrets, 6 in this level, but, considering difficultness, they were rather on the easy side to find, just hidden behind curtains or on the roofs. Only the library secret was harder to find, just because there is nothing else to search here. The exploration type gameplay was really good, I think, however no puzzles. A great object use here. Summarizingly I can't rate this as high as the builder's "Cape Fear", which was bombasticly fine, but this one still has a near equal atmosphere, however a bit too boring gameplay. Another great work from Kevin, many thanks to him!" - manarch2 (10-Feb-2011)
"I really enjoy this level. The atmosphere was perfect! I felt like I was back in some of the spooky old houses I used to explore when I was younger. I liked the Ginger-Flame girl but it would have been nice to have to defeat her in a harder fight. While the game-play wasn't the most challenging it was fun and kept my interest, always waiting for what was around the next corner. I would recommend this level highly and look forward to playing more from this author." - walter90 (26-Jan-2011)
"It took me really long time to play this level because I couldn't get it to play sound, however, I eventually figured it out. I love these kind of spooky mansion type levels. The level is mostly about exploration with some very nicely done enemies. Texturing was nicely done and of course the atmosphere was great. Perhaps spookier music would have made it better and I thought that many of the rooms were much too big. Smaller rooms give that scary claustrophobic feel. More enemies and puzzles could have made it better, but this is a nice edition to the unofficial custom level collection." - Shandroid (19-Sep-2010)
"It is indeed amazing how the atmosphere created in this level via the combination of architecture, objects, lighting and textures will grip you and not let you go until you reach the finish trigger. It is quite a short level at about 45 minutes and there are only very few things to really do - and yet it is a totally satisfying raiding experience. The six secrets are nice side quest to go look for and the battle with Uncle Silas is a great boss ending. A classic level in non-TR4 custom level history and a must-play!" - MichaelP (27-Jun-2010)
"What a beautifully designed level! The atmosphere is what makes this level great. There aren't any complicated puzzles, difficult jumps, timed runs or hard to beat enemies. It is all about simple progress by pulling a few levers and moving through spooky rooms. I did spent quite some time in this level because I enjoyed exploring every dark corner. I will definitely play this level again at one point because I consider this a real gem. A few more flares would have been nice, other than that I liked everything about it. Too bad it wasn't longer. My compliments to the builder for this little masterpiece!" - Blue43 (27-Mar-2010)
"My curiosity was peeked when Elvis mentioned this level. This is the second level I played that wasn't a TR4 level and I still have to get used to the save/reload system. It has been a long while since I played the originals though. Anyway this is rather a nice level and I got stuck at the most stupid moments. Not knowing there was a walkthrough out, but leaving it for a day, mostly I could figure out what to do next. The atmosphere is for sure spooky and gloomy and flares are not one of the pick-ups I found. Luckily one can adjust the brightness through the game itself. Even if there is a bit back and fro, all in all it is quite a nice adventure Lara has to undertake." - Gerty (17-Jan-2010)
"Now,here is a level you definately shouldn't play in the small hours! The mouldering old Estate which forms the centrepiece of this adventure makes the Psycho House look warm and welcoming by comparison,and it's a superbly constructed environment;skillfully crafted with a beautifully chosen set of textures,a well-planned physical layout and highly evocative lighting.Gameplay is continually interesting and quite varied,although never particularly difficult;while enemies are not as copious as you'd expect,but well placed all the same.Progression is all about exploring dark and sinister rooms,creepy corridors and searching out occasional levers,but a few traps and unusual enemies spice things up nicely and keep you ever alert.It won't take you too long to complete,but you'll be thoroughly absorbed in the experience and will probably feel the need to play it again immediately afterward - which is the highest recommendation indeed." - Orbit Dream (13-Dec-2009)
"An entertaining yet short level that can be completed in under 25 minutes (and that was more on the leisurely side too). The house and its surroundings look beautifully sinister, and so do the customized enemies. Unfortunately the level has fallen under some sort of bug where Lara walks under sloped surfaces instead of on top of them, and objects in adjacent rooms (such as doors) don't appear at certain angles. I'm not sure what the author did that might have made this happen but it detracted from the "reality" of the level. The gameplay also did not have much to offer side from a few switches or doors to find. I also do not understand where the weapons are for the various kinds of ammo you find along the way. On the up side, some of the enemies provided some good combat, and the texturing and lighting is done very well (perhaps some flares would help, but the darkness is not very obstructive in this case). It is clear that creativity was poured into this creation, so give it a go, even if the bliss only lasts a short while." - SSJ6Wolf (12-Dec-2009)
"What could possibly be a better start to Halloween than this? Lara is exploring a spooky mansion and we're even treated to a neat show-down with Uncle Silas himself, green and sporting horns of course. I was particularly impressed by the gorgeous mansion. As far as I could tell the texturing is near flawless and the colors used are really appropriate for the theme. The atmosphere is also amazing with a good use of lights and soundtrack. Enemies were few and far between and I did feel that this should have been weighed up for by adding some more actual puzzles. A bit much going back and forth at times, but the level was also relatively short so it never felt tedious or drawn out. The panoramic camera views was another thing I fell completely in love with. They only lasted for a couple of seconds each, thus never posing as something that could seriously mar the experience. In fact I find it hard to criticize this level at all. It is so well-made and genuine, simply a small piece of art you shouldn't miss out on." - Selene (01-Nov-2009)
"I needed a break while building, and wanted to find a nice level to play so I could just relax and enjoy for a little while. I stumbled on this little gem and it was just what I needed. Me personally, I love atmospheric levels with nice views and well-crafted areas, and I have to say this one has it all. The huge mansion is well connected to the outside of the house and you'll often find yourself coming out a window to a particularly memorable camera view. Everything is well-textured and there are quite a few custom objects and enemies. Good use of TR3 corner walls- the outside of the house was beautifully constructed. The gameplay was sadly not as developed as the atmosphere, though there were a few nice moments. The level has many well-hidden switches, some clever jumps, traps, a fun monkey swing, etc. I enjoyed fighting all the enemies, most were reminiscent of TR3 villains, and even the bats were a challenge at times. The house was an interesting gameplay value in itself, allowing you to explore a number of interconnected areas. The lighting, horizon, and environment were easily the best part. In fact, the outdoor area and the mansion itself were incredibly detailed and expansive. It all had a familiar TR3 feeling and the soundtrack featured some of TR3's best, which I enjoyed. It's sad that the level was so short, after all the time the builder spent creating this beautiful place. I would have liked to see more, but perhaps some limits had been reached. Nevertheless a short and sweet level that is not to be missed. I found 3 out of 6 secrets during my 41 minute adventure, and will gladly return sometime soon to try and find the others." - Chronicles5 (25-Oct-2009)
"In the early days of Tomb Raider you could count the best level builders on the fingers of one hand. The Vagrant did "Villa Mortale" for TR1, and "Cape Fear"--a classic of its kind--for TR2. While I can't rate "Uncle Silas" at the same level of achievement as "Cape Fear," it is still notable for its atmospheric creepy old mansion. Enjoy the real bats (South American imports) instead of the tiny things from TR4. Note the interesting paintings on the wall. The game play is fairly straightforward, maybe tame by today's standards, but this is one early level that I have always remembered, and it was a pleasure to play again. It seems to me it has inspired a few later authors with its effects and scenes. Be sure to get all six secrets. Recommended." - dmdibl (22-Oct-2009)
"It's one of the most atmospheric levels I've played for a long time set in a spooky manor at night-time. Author has in my opinion catched the feeling of an abandoned and haunted mansion really well by the use of dark and greyish lighting, texturing, audio tracks and overall design of the level. The only notable drawback is the gameplay which mainly involves switches to activate and some shooting and basic jumping in between but not much else to do. I also noticed that bats have weird vulture sounds and there's an end of the world bug near the end of the game but neither of these affect to scores even though they could have been fixed rather easily. If you're looking for a level including original gameplay ideas this may not be the best choice but I however recommend this for everybody since it has so well created and atmospheric environment that wandering in the manor and its courtyard alone is an enjoyable experience. Give a try for it." - Samu (22-Oct-2009)
"To begin with, I can pretty much echo some of the comments made so far - the atmosphere is great, and the camera views in some areas of the level really do wonders in showing off the scale of the manor. The spooky audio and dark lighting within also accentuates this, creating a totally believable environment...for the most part, anyway. It's all very well and good having an atmosphere that sucks you in, but then when you turn a corner and bump into a floating object or dogs appearing from thin air or the like (amongst other things) it somewhat knocks you out of the experience a little. That said, the atmosphere of the level as a whole is still good enough to hold up well throughout. While the lighting does help in creating a spooky atmosphere, it does feel a bit flat (and sometimes a bit too dark) a lot of the time, but as a whole it's generally decent (along with the well applied texturing). Enemies and objects also accompanied the setting well (despite the rather odd-sounding bats, and occasionally bland hallways), yet secrets were particularly easy to find. While this might not be such a problem in most custom levels, the secrets here provide Lara with a pretty extensive armory by the end of the level. Wandering around with a fully-loaded shotgun and rocket launcher removes any tension from the enemy encounters throughout, and when the rest of the gameplay revolves around simple jogging and lever pulling, along with a couple of easy traps and jumping tasks here and there...the gameplay doesn't stand out as much as it could have done. That said, it's still a worthwhile level to play, if only for the well-created atmosphere and setting." - Spike (05-Sep-2009)
"I can't really take pride in stating that I've played anywhere near all of the TR3 custom levels, but Uncle Silas has always stood out as favourite of mine and a yardstick for levels with creepy atmosphere. The use of textures, lighting and the audio tracks is masterful, and the level's fantastic setting pulls you in already after the first seconds you've spent here. There rarely are any moments where something jumps out at Lara in surprise, but you can't help but be creeped out all the same. Unfortunately gameplay doesn't always keep up with the standard the atmosphere sets - and you spend most of your time just going from point A to B with occasionally flicking some levers along the way. Also, Lara's redhead friend in the beginning wasn't always as helpful - with igniting Lara just as frequently as she tried to do with the huge bats. But that's not to say that there are no clever moments here - as you do get the occasional trap to avoid, some clever jump sequences, and the level builds up tension nicely, ending with a memorable boss fight (though by that time, you'll probably be so well equipped, you'd been able to take out 3 bosses at the same time) and a dive out of his bedroom into the pool below. That works in favor for the level by making it more accessible to beginners and experts alike. But no matter what level of expertise you've reached, this still is a level not to be missed for it's compelling atmosphere alone." - eTux (29-Aug-2009)
"You start off outside a very creepy looking house with a new texture theme (I think it's from Cape Fear for TR2, but I can't say for sure), and explore it in the course of the level. The gameplay is quite straightforward outside of a slightly hidden switch or two, and if I had one complaint it's that it felt slightly short, with certain areas that could have supported more gameplay but didn't have much in them; it seemed like a little more could be done. There are however a few areas that the game makes very good use of, such as the large living room type area that functions as a sort of hub for a lot of the level. The author has edited a couple of normal enemies to make some new enemies, the bad side is that their sounds are unedited, so you get bats making vulture sounds, which brings down the enemies score a little, other than that they fit well visually, outside of the ally in the living room, who doesn't seem to fit the theme much at all (still a nice touch though). The lighting is a bit flat in a few areas, and I wonder if a few more colours could be used, but in general the lighting fits the dead, abandoned feel of the manor quite well. This is definitely a model for how good custom non-TRLE levels can be, and hopefully there more than a few others as good as this." - Mman (29-Aug-2009)