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Celtic Ruins (TR3) by Artefactor Sakul

Ceamonks890 8 7 8 8
DJ Full 8 9 9 8
dmdibl 8 8 9 9
dragooncroft 8 9 10 7
eRIC 7 8 9 9
Gerty 7 8 9 9
Jerry 8 7 10 10
JesseG 8 8 9 9
Jose 7 7 9 9
manarch2 7 8 9 9
MichaelP 8 8 8 8
Obig 8 9 9 9
Orbit Dream 8 9 8 9
rtrger 8 9 9 10
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Sakusha 8 8 8 8
Sarikman 8 7 9 7
Treeble 7 8 8 8
release date: 26-Jul-2008
# of downloads: 146

average rating: 8.31
review count: 18
review this level

file size: 100.85 MB
file type: TR3
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"What we get here in reality are two independent levels linked by a common theme, but as each one was built by an author they are very distinct from one another. My personal favorite was the first, Hills, solely due to its atmosphere and general design. It was just so calm and inviting, plus the sound of thunder crackling in the background as you make your way through was just so good. I didn't quite like that you start off without pistols (I even died once to a rat, of all enemies, as it kept biting me as I was pulling a block), but there are barely enough medipacks to get you by until you find your trusty duals, and then some more as you build up an inventory with plenty of firepower as well. Only to see it all go to waste and start Castle zeroed again. This second level was a lot more open with a bit of backtracking involved and a very lenghty underwater section, coupled with that turtle shaped UPV. I had to check the walkthrough to learn of a second keyhole in the pushblock sequence, but otherwise, despite the general openness and apparent non-linearity, it flowed rather well. I also loved the use of different segments from Navras, being the Matrix fanboy that I am. There was a shortage of medipacks, however, but fortunately I had the Desert Eagle and plenty of ammo to gun down the dozen or so tigers in the final room. The UPV bit was a bit annoying as the tunnels were tight and also had a lot of sharp curves, making it very hard to maneuver, plus I think air could easily be a problem as the air pockets seemed too far apart, but I had a (fortunate?) issue in which most ceilings actually refilled Lara's air meter, even though they shouldn't. Definitely not complaining. 100 minutes, 9 secrets. 01/20" - Treeble (02-Feb-2020)
"A beautiful set of levels using the TR3 engine. I loved the castle at the beginning as well as the water temple in the second level. The temple really had me exploring for quite awhile, which is what TR is all about! The lack of guns at start was also a nice challenge. I felt the levels were unique and original while still true to the "classic" style gameplay. The few issues I had were that there are many places where the water was missing texture, as well as invisible walls in the first section of the first level, but there was a lot of attention to detail otherwise. The underwater labyrinth with the sea turtle was a bit scrunched. Perhaps if the tunnels were wider, or if there was a large chamber to explore it would've been better. Finally, the part in the second level with the bright colored lighting and broken floor was a bit out of place, albeit intentional (I'm sure). Great levels overall!" - dragooncroft (26-Jul-2019)
"A solid brief adventure with several remarkable landscapes, props and items. It's a real pity the visuals are underdone and take a lot of immersion away, for instance the outside landscapes are made just of two-three textures, it wouldn't take much more work to make them four or five so why not? Of course they still deserve a 9 but they had a potential for 10, while the interior parts could get an 8 but are so underlit they drop it to 7 instead. Also, the inventory resets which is one of those "little flaws" which affect the entire game. Still, it manages to defend itself pretty good as for those circumstances, provides a lot of fun, has some loveable parts and also makes me wanna take another look at "Shadows of Eternity"... it might be I underrated that one..." - DJ Full (09-May-2018)
"I usually don't play levels if I can't save so, I played only the two castle levels. The first one was short, with simple tasks and the only problem was to look for the four buttons inside the castle. The second level was very long and complex, with more entertaining tasks and extra dangers. I'm not agree with the guns, ammo and medipacks; in the first level when I found the three big creatures I had to escape to the holes in the sides so I only had the pistols and a single medipack. In the second level more of the same, only the harpoon gun and the desert eagle at middle level, very few medipacks and a very long swim to finally find the crocs and no enough air to go back. Anyway I enjoyed the levels, I liked the architecture, good texturization and the great atmosphere with excellent musics; the secrets were not hard to find. Recommended, but don't waste medipacks if you want to survive." - Jose (12-Aug-2017)
"There are actually three levels here, as opposed to other reviewers who experienced two. You can access the Home level optionally as you could in the original TR3, but I don't believe that any supplies you obtain in the level carry over to the main game, so you may just wish to skip directly to the main game. We start in "Hills" and Lara is completely unarmed, so evasive action is necessary, although it isn't long before we reclaim our trusted pistols. This part involves making an entrance into the castle, moving a few blocks and doing a brief bout of swimming. We then reach "Castle" and the challenge is ramped up, particularly in a fight with three mutants around a lava pool, which was maybe a bit too tough with so little weaponry and medipacks provided, but I got through it. We also get a ride on a turtle (based on the underwater vehicle from TR3) and a few custom music tracks. Recommended if you search for a fun TR3 raid. All secrets found." - Ryan (25-Jul-2016)
"Despite what other reviewers have stated,this is actually three levels - but the Home level (wholly original) needs to be accessed separately. If subsequently played as a three-level set,a dramatic upturn in quality will be experienced around fifteen minutes into Level Two.Prior to that,the gameplay is fairly dispiriting;as saving isn't possible throughout Level One,which is mightily aggravating when the massed dog attack occurs (around two-thirds of the way through),as you're sure to die the first time around and will need to re-start and play the none-too-spectacular level over again (additionally,should you happen to have a wife in the immediate vicinity,you'll get a telling off from her for screaming too loudly in anguish).Level Two is little better to begin with,as the gameplay is all about retracing of steps over dreary surroundings - but,after the aforementioned fifteen minutes,the builders (for there were two of them) suddenly get inspiration,and things are exciting and highly immersive from then on. The gameplay is terrific,and full of variety (pushable object puzzles;gauntlets;a zip-line;a bizarre Turtle swimming sequence;lots of battles;interesting progression).Enemies are colourfully varied and quite challenging (keep an eye on those medi-packs).The construction is imaginative.Lighting and texturing display a flair for the creative;and cameras and sounds (Mike Oldfield puts in another appearance in a Custom Level)are all present and correct.Get past the first forty-five minutes of this three-level adventure,and you'll have a fun and challenging time." - Orbit Dream (03-Feb-2016)
"A very well-crafted release consisting of two levels, that lasts roughly around an hour in total. And while 'Hills' is definitely the better representative of the two when it comes to the actual Celtic theme(with appropriate texturing and lighting effects respectively), 'Castle' isn't really a slouch either, including some fairly complex but ultimately satisfying level design that will leave you scratching your head for quite some time, as you try and figure out what to do next(with a rather humorous utilization of a turtle as a makeshift hydro propeller, definitely serving as the main highlight for me). However, I found the use of standard TR3 India assets to be quite out of place for the setting in question, shattering my general immersion into the overall experience numerous times. And as enjoyable as the gameplay was throughout both levels, having some more supplies placed within the maps would have helped alleviate the minor frustrations brought upon by the more taxing enemy encounters. But in conclusion, this is still a fairly solid levelset that is well worth playing for any raiding enthusiast. Highly recommended." - Ceamonks890 (24-Jul-2015)
"In my opinion this is one of the most atmospheric TR 3 levels out there, with an excellent castle setting. Lara has to enter the castle in the first level (there are many beautiful outside areas) and in the second level she has to make her way up inside the castle. Maybe the game lacked a certain goal and ended rather abruptly, but this shouldn't disturb so much since what you see before the finish is often stunning. The gameplay in level one firstly revolves around finding a way to outrun or kill several enemies without any weapons, and while health loss is guaranteed I found this to be a nice task (especially luring the lizard into the water). Otherwise, it is a pretty ordinary raid, using a few blocks, finding a lever and so on, but the level manages to remain interesting; the secret placement is intriguing. The second level is also rather interesting, rooms having complicated architecture and gameplay picks up considerably too, with more platforming involved and also a nice usage of the underwater turtle (which has been in other levels before). If you have problems with air during this sequence - simply drive up to a flat ceiling and Lara refills her lungs with air; this way no additional health kits are needed. I really would have given the atmosphere a 10 here, but - the combination of celtic textures and jungle objects and enemies (the tigers... argh!) is not very realistic and spoils the experience, although in general the fights are very nicely designed - even the one with six(!) tigers. The texturing and lighting in both levels is rather professional, with not many obvious mistakes. I actually found the lighting in the first level better than in the second. But one advise here - play a bit with the gamma settings in both levels, this really increases the atmosphere. Overall, this is a great level, maybe gameplaywise not so intense as it could be but the atmosphere and the visuals in several levels is excellent. Found 11 secrets in 1:10 hours. Highly recommended." - manarch2 (20-Aug-2013)
"It is a realy difficult situation to rate this level. Even though there are some nice tasks and nice good atmosphere at some parts, there were few annoying things about it. i enjoyed most the first level, running on the mountains and trying to get in the celtic castle along with a suitable music, but the player has not the opportunity to watch carefully the places because Lara is hunted by voltures, rats and lizzards and she doesn't have weapons to beat them. Also the fight with the monsters is hard, as your weapons are not strong enough and the medis are few. I don't think that this is really challenging, because there is not enough room to fight them and avoid them. I like the idea of not having many weapons to kill them, but I find it annoying not to have medipacks or an easier way to beat them. Lighting was good in the first level, but Lara is not usually affected from it. I know it is hard to make the lighting work perfect in TR3, but I think it could be better. The second level was not so hard in killing enemies, but it is more complicated in gameplay and puzzles. The turtle riding was pretty nice. I didn't like all that diving complex, as I didn't find the keyhole for the skull key and I was searching the water area for long time. The lighting is not so good in this level. It usually stops suddenly when a room is ending, for examble, there was a red and green coloured room and these colours were suddenly stopped when you were exiting the room. Anyway, it is a nice TR3 level and very enjoyable. You will like the atmosphere a lot." - Sarikman (26-Dec-2011)
"In some ways this adventure was pleasant, but it also had its share of frustrations. Lara barely has enough medipacks to get through the first level, and trekking without pistols in the face of so many rats, vultures and poisonous lizards certainly was a challenge. But even with the pistols and uzis, only a bug (seeing 4 monsters run towards a wall) allowed me to finally defeat the 4 monsters that came charging towards Lara. The Celtic music and the decorations were impressive, but it was hard to fully enjoy the scenery when Lara was facing such vicious enemies ^^'''. The second level started more slowly, so Lara was able to catch her breath. But Lara lost everything and had to start from scratch in terms of ammo and medipacks! Well at least she had her pistols this time around...Lara had to go through winding underwater passages and avoid crocodile bites with the help of a heavy but protective turtle. The pushable block puzzles were pleasant, and the blade traps weren't too difficult. The jump I needed to do in order to get the harpoon gun wasn't obvious. The fight against a deadly water current was somewhat challenging too. The health crystals could've been placed in the first level, but they were placed in moments that weren't really critical in the 2nd level. The second level didn't look really Celtic. While the lush green hills and the grey castles denote a Celtic theme, the Shiva statues did not. At least I didn't have to fight the Shiva statues. I managed to get most of the secrets. I was so relieved when Lara finally got the desert eagle because it certainly made the confrontations easier to deal with." - Sakusha (23-May-2011)
"Hills (7/8/8/8, 30 min, 4 of 6 secrets): Starting without any weaponry your first challenge is to avoid a few enemies in the hills until you find your way into the Castle and pick up your trusted pistols. There are lizards, eagles and rats around. From here it is mostly about swimming, exploring and finding the next key, with a few push blocks used along the way. Those mutants around the lava pool were quite tough to beat.
Castle (8/8/8/8, 50 min, 4 of 5 secrets): Make sure you do get those useful secrets near the start of the level, as you may well need them. This does not look like a Castle at all for the most part and certainly not Celtic with all those Shiva statues around. Instead it seems more like a huge underground Base of some sort. There are piranhas, crocodiles and tigers chasing you and there are very few medipacks around, so some of the battles turn out to be tough. Also, there is a sequence with long swims and even with the help of the turtle you can ride, I was not able to handle these without the help of a medipack. Still, very clever architecture and construction here that sends you around in circles until you finally reach an actual castle and soon after the adventure ends. I liked the additioon of Matrix soundtrack pieces for some of the battles." - MichaelP (06-Nov-2010)
"This was a YES and a NO for me, YES as this adventure is real good and a NO because medipacks were in such short reply that I had to fight some battles over and over again to keep them where I needed them most. The save crystals that top of your health is also nice but there were at places that I didn't need them at all. Was there ever an opportunity to ride on a sea turtle, well this is your chance. Save at least two medipacks for this ride will be the tip of the week. But afterwards I was glad I made it through the levels although my health was blinking and no medipacks left. You meet quite some enemies and they are never alone. There is an interesting block puzzle that had me stumped for quite a while though, so take your time in doing that." - Gerty (26-Jul-2010)
"These 3 levels was a great adventure. Because there are 3 levels, include the modifided manor by the author. 1. Home: Be careful! We can't save and there aren't medipacks. One the attic you can find the pistols, but don't use it in the garden. Let the work for the baddie, he is your friend. 2. Hills: Real TR adventure. Not too hard, but not too easy in the same time. Interesting, I cheated the little green enemy into the water, and he died there. When you reach those three monsters, you can easily kill them from the lower area. 3. Castle: In this part the hardest challange was the swimming. We got the divermotor, but hard to stay in life. We have to kill those crocidiles underwater, and we know, harpoongun is not the best weapon. :) On the whole I can suggest this great levelset for everyone. Turned out the maximum from the old Level Editor. Secrets are extra challanges. Somewhere not too hard to find them. Don't miss this adventure." - Obig (31-May-2010)
"With the combined work of Sakul and Artefactor, they brought something absolutely pleasant to play. An immensely beautiful castle waits you for raiding(and you'll have to get your guns) in the first level, while the second one is in the heart of this castle. Both of the levels are a bit non-linear - but the tasks are fairly easy - , and contains "some" enemies. I found the first level more atmospheric than the second one, but in the 2nd one, the lighting is used much better. All in all, one of the best unofficial TR3 levels I've ever played. Recommended." - rtrger (13-Apr-2010)
"A nice pair of TR3 levels that will last you about two hours. The first level leaves you without guns in the hills and you must avoid poisonous dragons and vultures until you can grab a pair - an interesting idea, but it doesn't flow as well as with, say, a TR5 level in which you can use stealth to minimize damage. With a TR3 level the enemies become a nuisance, especially when trying to climb ledges. Either way you will find your way into the sunken caverns of the castle, which is the second level, and get to the top. Both levels have a good amount of secrets to be found (some perhaps a bit too easily) and puzzles to be solved, including one pushblock setup that had me stumped for a bit. You also get to ride on some sort of mechanical turtle through some of the underwater caverns to avoid drowning, though I wish these caverns were made a little easier to navigate the thing through. One suggestion I would make is to save the tougher enemies for later when the player has better guns. In this series it seems almost backwards how you go from the mutants (from the Antarctica levels) to tigers and dogs. Perhaps some of the back-and-forth gameplay could have been knocked down as well. However this is a solid little series that makes good use of the TR3 engine traits, and I recommend it." - SSJ6Wolf (16-Dec-2009)
"Some of this is very good, and I was certainly glad I played these two levels. (One can also access a home level from the main menu, but forget the home level. Really, forget it.) In both the Hills and Castle levels there are excellent design, architecture, and texturing, and yet sometimes the game play leaves one wondering what these authors were thinking. The game starts with Lara weaponless so lizards and rats can attack. At one point Lara has to make a jump up to the floor of a castle while two vultures flap their wings in her face and beat her from side to side, and a lizard hangs on her legs to prevent her from jumping. When Lara finally makes it up she soon finds the pistols. I was so annoyed that after shooting the vultures, I had Lara go back and hunt down that lizard and shoot it, at which point the lizard coughed up the castle key--so good thing Lara shot it. There is good exploration after this, a nice scenic use of the zip line, and a savage fight with some mutants. Just when it seems Lara is accumulating goodies, the level changes, and Lara loses everything. The Castle level has a lot of underwater exploration, and at first the design and ideas are great (with good secrets). Riding the turtle is fun until Lara runs out of air about halfway down the cramped tunnels. Two crocodiles attack, and the harpoon gun is seldom effective against one underwater enemy, let alone two. It's always better to get out on land and shoot, rather than stay underwater with the harpoon gun. (I finally cheated and gave Lara extra medipacks.) All this could have been much better without such moments. And if these are Celtic Ruins, what are those Shiva statues doing all over the place? But there is a lot in these levels that is not only good, but very good." - dmdibl (22-Oct-2009)
"This level set started with 'Hills', there was no 'Home' for me to play, so I can only rate 'Hills' and 'Castle'. Those two parts are showing how a good level should be built to be a pleasure. The whole look is so good, architecture is brilliantly done, lighting is good too (on my monitor it wasn't too dark at all), and gameplay is varying and enjoyable. It's true tomb raiding and never boring. At the start it's quite tough, since Lara has no weapons with her, so you have to be quick to outwit those enemies on your heels. When you start playing part two all items you found are gone, and that's a real pity, the more so because the builders were not so very generous in spending ammo and medis, so you better not waste them. There are some tough enemies throwing fireballs who can kill Lara in no time, but I found a safe place to shoot them through a hole from above. It took me a while, but finally I could make them fall. I have some mixed emotions about riding the turtle, which was not all pleasure. I never acquired a taste for the underwater vehicle in the original London levels and it took me some time to handle the turtle and make the long and narrow underwater passages without Lara drowning. Apart from that there are some crocodiles added who attack Lara while doing this long and tough underwater act, and they could not be shot because of shortage of harpoons. That was hard stuff indeed. At least there could have been the one or other extra medipack spread around. In the end I had to waste my only big medi and another two small medis to survive this part. But this aside the levels were real fun to play. If you are looking for a real good TR3 level, check this one." - Jerry (19-Oct-2009)
"Quite an interesting double feature preceded by a home level I did not played. The two regular levels are linked together by a level jump, although you start the 2nd level with no pickups again. The looks, architecture, atmosphere, sounds and audios are pretty good ; the audio are from the TR games , and by Mike Oldfield. The levels were a bit dark on my PC. Gameplay is good too, with mainly pleasant discovery in the first level, more puzzling situations in the second one. Good objects and enemies, but the weapons were not easy to find. All in all a very good work" - eRIC (20-Sep-2009)