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BtB2013 - Return to Jerpoint Abbey by masha

Andzia9 6 7 8 9
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 8 8 9 9
EssGee 8 9 9 9
Jay 8 8 9 8
JesseG 10 10 10 9
Jose 5 7 8 9
Josey 8 9 10 7
Magnus 7 7 7 7
manarch2 8 7 9 8
Markus 6 7 8 9
MichaelP 7 7 9 9
Mman 8 9 9 9
Mytly 9 7 9 8
OverRaider 8 7 8 8
Phil 9 9 9 9
requiemsoul 6 8 9 9
Ryan 8 7 8 8
Soul 9 7 10 8
The Boo 7 6 9 8
Treeble 8 8 10 9
release date: 01-Apr-2013
# of downloads: 175

average rating: 8.25
review count: 21
review this level

file size: 49.80 MB
file type: TR4
class: Nordic/Celtic

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This level is in two parts, the second the longest of them. It revolves around the abbey itself with many tasks around it and on to a run with dragons. The locusts were annoying in my opinion. Nice, but not a favourite of mine." - Ryan (30-Jan-2016)
"There's a cool time travel concept here, as you start in the ruined present and then travel back to the past where the area is more intact. There seems to be a focus on making a believable environment, at least in the main area, and I also liked the daytime lighting of the past area. The gameplay is mostly enjoyable and has a good flow, but it almost feels like it went too far to be linear and player friendly; maybe there's a technical reason or something but it feels like some of the raising blocks and other obstacles could be removed to let the level be more non-linear while still keeping it non-obtuse. The end boss is also annoying with the fireballs, Locusts and unskippable cameras (that aren't even flybys to make you not take damage), at least the level gives plenty of medikits beforehand. It ends on an oddly ambiguous ending that almost seems like a sequel hook or something. A good level and the focus on a semi-realistic theme gives it a unique style." - Mman (12-Oct-2015)
"I was curious about this level due it ist very mixed ratings during the BtB competition phase, but having played through it now, I can fully understand the breadth of feedback it has been receiving. It actually starts with a wonderfully creative idea about an old ruin and a travel back in time to when it was still fully intact in all its glory and the gameplay in the first half of the level is rather typical for this builder, including an extended push puzzle, good use of the torch, a multi lever puzzle and many, many, many raising blocks. The latter actually do spoil a bit the otherwise highly impressive atmosphere as they often seem too functional and out of place. The flyby with the guide is pure genius and for me the highlight of the level. Well, and then there are the downsides: use of invisible ledges in the abbey (a pet hate of mine, even though there are hints here) and the entire sequence with the two dragons, which will be the lasting impression on every player and mostly that will be a bad one. The whole room construction around them is actually fabulous in its design and the tasks you need to do. And if it were not for the locusts it would be a decent challenge, but as it is in the game now, it is only an annoyance that you need to get through with plenty of save and reloads and best with the walkthrough nearby telling you exactly where to go next. Right after that you get yet another nice flyby finishing off the level in a sort of mysterious way, which I really liked - still, the dragon sequence ruined the experience overall. (68 min, 3 secrets)" - MichaelP (27-Jul-2013)
"After exploring some ruins you get to open a portal back in time - I always like seeing how this concept plays out, and this author pulled it off quite well. I always love that "same but different" feeling of time changing around you. The area is fun to investigate and exploring every nook gets you extra goodies. I particularly liked the 3-level pushblock puzzle, and the final encounter was engaging and very challenging. The texturing and lighting are well used (the final area could have been a little brighter though) and the different time periods contrast each other nicely. Brilliant level, glad to have enjoyed it. 1 hour, 23 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (16-Jul-2013)
"And now we enter in my personnal favorite level of the "warm" wad. I just can't understand the low score of this game. When I test it the first time, I immediatly thinking this level will be a winner. It start in a small "first" level (because the author use two scprits ), it rains and we can hear thunder. The goal of this level is to open a strange circle door in the middle of the Abbey ruins. After that, Lara's is back in Jerpoint Abbey but in the past and this second level is just AWSOME. A perfect use of the warm wads and btb textures. The abbey is just gorgeous and it's with a real pleasure we discovered the news places of the "first" level with a new design, news objects and news textures. This time the gameplay is maybe a bit challenging than the first level, specially in the end with the two monsters. The fisrt level was just exploration, this one has a mix of brain teaser, action and paceful moments. Because the author send two script entry for the same tr4, we are a wonderful adventure of two beautifuls levels. I just can congratulate Masha for this adventure. Some people if they read my review think I'm crazy but I played this game three time after the official release, twice on my computer and once in my brother's computer. For me a winner and an incredible adventure. Don't miss it. Even if you only play a few levels in this btb gaming experience, make sure Jerpoint Abbey is on that list. It's a treasure of this btb competition." - BigFoot (29-Jun-2013)
"Ten levels into the BtB competition, I feel that this one provides the most scenic environs and engaging gameplay to date, and that in my opinion it's rated at least a full point lower than it should be (hence my scores). It takes about the right amount of gameplay time as well, clocking in at just under an hour and a half. I enjoyed the variety of tasks, both outdoors (in a daytime setting for a refreshing change) and indoors. It also has about the most intense sequence I've ever played, where at the end you have to navigate around twin dragons while doing various and sundry things along the way. Here the builder reverted to that awful dark, blue-dominated background so prominent in the other levels, but I was so busy dodging flame balls that I had little time to dwell on this. And it was during this sequence that Lara refused to grab the first chain in a series, forcing me to resort to that infamous script-altering crutch hated by many builders, so that I could get across and continue. But only moments later it came in handy again when I was faced with not one but two banana jumps, which I detest so heartily that I won't even attempt them if other means of getting to the desired spot are available. In summary, the player is treated to a visual feast that for the most part is peaceful and serene until that bang-up ending. High recommendations." - Phil (10-Jun-2013)
"The first part of this level could leave you feeling a little empty and confused, feeling like you had wandered around aimlessly for ages and achieved very little. But the times change, and the true Jerpoint Abbey is revealed in all its glory. It's a nice piece of stage play. Once you are in your true destination there's some good adventuring to do. Then just when you think you've got it all covered.... there's the mutant. How does the saying go?... two heads are better than one... but boy do they make for a hard time for our dear Lara. Save and Reload was my best friend here in order to withstand the onslaught of the locust swarms, but in the end I got there, and had enjoyed the impressive cathedral-like environments of Jerpoint Abbey." - EssGee (10-Jun-2013)
"Here we finally have sun that casts shadows. I can of course point out it does it in multiple directions, but still it's much better than majority of builders can provide, plus supporting a huge difference in color palette that occurs between the ruined present prologue and the main part of the game happening right after the great period of the monastery has ended. That latter part is a 1-2 hour castle (or rather "church") raid with relatively quick pushables, lots of torches to fire (better carry one all the time), just a little bit of platform jumping/climbing and filled with only several crucial items yet which we have to make some effort for. Cameras always help to see what is open and everything happens on a fairly small space, so it can be seen the author wanted us to relax instead of struggle, and one must have a hole in a head in order to get stuck for longer than several minutes. As the place is freshly cursed, we properly meet some ghosts. One of them acts as that "good one among the evil", trying to help us while every other creature disturbs. There's even one trap when You summon the wraiths and are supposed to die, so watch out not to leave the place with them activated, because You're NOT supposed to do so! But the greatest challenge is the final, twin-mutant fight... oh, nooo! You will save and load a great number of times there, but don't worry - it doesn't last longer than for five to ten minutes, and after the boss dies, half of spikes is deactivated, so You can easily grab the final reward and escape to safety. SUMMARY: (self-censored for I realized I mentioned the author) apparently likes doing (self-censored because I accidentally mentioned the builder's style), what we can remember from the (self-censored because I mentioned previous work of the author). And here we also have it, (self- censored before even started to make up other spoiler-giving comparisons) and we can enjoy it. Not that (self-censored for comparing to author's previous work) . Not providing any new kind of gameplay and rather concerning the basics, but isn't exactly what we wanted? A pleasant, quick and solidly-executed medieval trip I can equally solidly recommend." - DJ Full (31-May-2013)
"Not a level so bad like you can see in the note I gave for the gameplay. Entertaining, with no hard tasks, original puzzles, huge rooms and outside areas to explore and a good environment. But near the end two things ruined the gameplay: from one side it's unacceptable to waste a lot of medipacks doing tasks when a bunch of ghosts are removing your health continuosly; from the other side it's unacceptable save and reload hundreds of times in the room with the final bosses. Bored, bored and bored. Except for this, the game was a good game." - Jose (31-May-2013)
"This level teaches us a valuable lesson about greed and how it may cause you to be buried alive (not the first time that has happened to Lara, either!). The ending may be grim, but the level actually starts out rather uninterestingly, as you find yourself in the large and empty ruins of Downton Abbey, desperately trying to find the one ledge you need to reach to actually get anywhere. The level overall is pretty standard for this years Back to Basics wad, but I really liked the idea of allowing Lara to explore the ruins of Downton before travelling to the past. It was a lot more interesting to explore the level when you got to see how things had changed. It's a shame, then, that there's barely any gameplay in the present-day version of Downton, and if you stumble upon the ledge you're looking for right away, you'll barely have to explore it at all. I think a lot more could have been done with the concept, but perhaps the author was held back by only being able to use certain objects and textures. Speaking of objects and textures, the level looks pretty good, but there's nothing that really stands out. It does feel like a real place, though (as far as Tomb Raider levels go) - especially the central area, which is also the area you get to explore in the present. The gameplay mainly revolves around exploration and solving the occasional puzzle. The puzzles are decent, but the exploration is a bit shaky, and I often found myself stuck - usually not for that long, but long enough that I'd get annoyed. The level is almost completely devoid of enemies, but you may still want to pick up some medipacks, as you'll face two dragons/snakes at the end of the level. As a side note - and this is by no means aimed at this level or author specifically - after last years Back to Basics and five levels into this years competition, I'm really tired of the dragon. I realize that some authors may want some sort of boss fight at the end of their level and that it's slim pickings in The Last Revelation when it comes to that, but the locusts, man. THE LOCUSTS. Nothing kills exploration and/or platforming faster than having to save and reload every two seconds. The fact that the only way to even survive an encounter with the dragon is to abuse a bug is pretty ridiculous in itself (and good luck to anyone who's not familiar with the bug). But yeah, I hate the dragon. The finale itself is actually pretty good if you can ignore the locusts, as you make your way around a room and pull switches to finally drop a boulder on the snakes. It's a pretty satisfying end to this 55-minute adventure. And then Lara gets buried alive." - Magnus (31-May-2013)
"This level starts out rather slowly, you're in this huge area which is seemingly empty, but soon enough you activate what I can only imagine to be some sort of time travelling device as it allows you to experience these same areas before they crippled to ruins. It took me a while to realize that but when the thought dawned on me I thought it was cleverly executed. As far as the gameplay is concerned, however, this level didn't quite grasp me. The three-leveled pushblock puzzle was a bit tiresome and the ending area was very, very annoying. Legitimately it can't be done, no matter how many medipacks you've picked up along the way (and yes, there were plenty). In the end, it narrowed down to saving and reloading every two seconds just to get rid of the ever annoying locusts spewed by not one, but two dragons. Couple that with what could have been a rather engaging series of dangerous jumps across flame emitters and timed spike traps and yeah, whatever good thought I had about the level up to that point were scrapped. That's not to say it's a bad level - far from it - but like I said, it definitely didn't do it for me. The ending was also a bit on the weird side, but it works with the time travelling concept I've mentioned before. If I never play another level with two simultaneous dragons spamming locusts it will still be too soon. 75 minutes. 05/13" - Treeble (19-May-2013)
"The game is very quiet during a long time (doors/switches, no enemies) and the secrets are hard to find (invisible buttons). Some good times in the tomb, but the ending with an invasion of locust on the screen is almost unplayable (secrets 0/3)." - Markus (02-May-2013)
"We started at the ruins in rainy day. But some time later we travelled back in time to the same place, but this time everything is builded. Places and objects were nice. Unfortunately, the last room with dragon was very bad. Everything was lagging, beside we have to do tricky jumps and escape from the dragon's fireballs and locusts. And save in every time, because it's the only way to get free from locusts. Pity that author, whoever she/he is didn't check the lagging and repair it. But this level wasn't that bad at all." - Andzia9 (23-Apr-2013)
"A very enjoyable and beautiful game: clever, nice puzzles, interesting and creative sequence of actions, items sneakily hidden, peaceful, pretty locations. This holds true up to the final part: a big hall with lava, two dragons spitting locusts and fire, pop-spiked ledges, poles that require a perfect initial position to use, and - worst of all - Lara has to find her way and survive to all these simultaneous ordeals in the middle of a great darkness. This darkness was not fair, and I should have been suspicious of the perfect lighting and the absence of enemies in the rest of the game... Nevertheless, in spite of almost losing patience and closing the game when Lara finally arrived to the poles and once again, when after her victory she had to perform two banana jumps (hateful things), I must say that I loved what came before, specially the push-blocks puzzle, the way to avoid the deadly fairies, the utility of the tree-man (don't kill him!), and the creative idea of making Lara visit the same location nowadays and in the past, by means of a time portal." - Josey (16-Apr-2013)
"Unusually for a Back to Basics, this is a two-partner, albeit the first section is very short and involves exploring the ruins and activating a portal to take Lara to the Abbey's past. The gameplay here is quite straightforward, with the emphasis on exploring rather than challenging agility tests, and is almost relaxing, at least until the boss ending with the snakes (dragons) and those awful locusts (something no level needs). There are one or two sneaky touches that may have you scratching your head for a while, but overall it's a pleasant level and I really liked the contrast between the dark and gloomy ruins at the beginning and the brighter setting of the restored abbey." - Jay (15-Apr-2013)
"I love time travel in any form, so I was very taken with the concept of this level. In the Present day, Lara enters the ruined monastery, which has crumbled into a mostly featureless jumble of masonry. At first there doesn't seem to be anything to be done here, but a little exploration opens up a time portal and enables Lara to slip into the Past and see Jerpoint Abbey in its glory days. The effect is excellent - it's particularly thrilling to recognize the crumbled architecture from the Present that is intact in the Past. The Abbey grounds are somewhat small but pretty. The golden sunshine of the Past is a nice contrast to the stormy atmosphere of the Present. The sky seems somewhat dark given the sunny lighting, though. The architecture is lovely, but the static objects are lit very oddly, which rather spoils the looks of the level a bit.
For 90% of the level, gameplay is a lot of fun: there are some artefacts to find and use, and a very nice (albeit long) pushable puzzle in the abbey grounds, and another interesting pushable puzzle underground. There's a nice roundabout way of pushing a button, and another task which involves getting a tree spirit of sorts to break wooden railings. There are a few obscure moments, such as an object that needs to be burned (not at all obvious), and a floor that looks uneven during the second pushable puzzle, but is in fact flat (i.e. there is an invisible flat floor over it). In the underground area, if you miss a monkeyswing, Lara gets attacked by a number of wraiths, but they can easily be avoided if you keep your eyes open for that monkeyswing.
The only really negative bit in this Level - and it's a big one - is the final boss fight. In theory, I would have liked the fact it's not really a 'fight', but rather a multi-stage puzzle. But in practice, trying to make your way around this huge room constantly avoiding the snake monsters' fire as well as the swarms of locusts, as well as navigating the spike traps and the fire traps, all the while avoiding falling into the Lava ... it's just way too much, especially since you pretty much never get a chance to stand safely and try to figure out what to do.
Overall: If only the final fight were not so excruciating, this would have been a very enjoyable level, with a cool idea, and only a few minor flaws. Still, recommended for the rest of the gameplay and a good time-travel based idea." - Mytly (11-Apr-2013)
"This is a already very good 50 minute level that could have scored even higher for me if it wasn't for the endless searching in rather large areas for rather small things and the rather uneven finale. First of all, the time teleport at the start is rather well done and I found it interesting how the builder designed a "leveljump" with changing level names without violating the one-level rule; the time travel is smartly executed and this made up for the fact that some items and passages (especially the dried leaves and mayble also the torches) are too sneakily hidden. One can say the level does not let you in easily, but when you keep on, you're rewarded with some really great moments. The gameplay ideas are pretty unique, like the "usage" of the skeleton, the wraith chamber where you actually better should not trigger the wraiths and the whole pushable/lever puzzle afterwards. Atmosphere is pretty calm and beautiful, with nice lighting and supported by very few enemies, actually there are none you have to shoot and at one point I thought there could be more... well, at the end I thought it might have been better the builder left it this way, the two dragons in the final room served as a nice "extra challenge" and the way to kill them is great but the locusts they spitted were highly enerving and I don't think it's a real challenge to save and reload every few seconds, with the risk to save at the wrong place. If only someone built a dragon that only spits fire and no locusts..." - manarch2 (09-Apr-2013)
"At the beginning of this level I was lost a little, exploring huge areas just to find some way through to get the artifact and nothing more to do. You`ll go through some time portal and level gets more interesting. There were some ideas which required some trying and exploring, also some quite clever puzzles to solve and tasks. Music and background music was chosen well, quite atmospheric level. Also some illogical moments like pushing the moveable statue through floor of which one side is one click low as if it was invisible flat floor, also some parts were boring and the final battle was epic and funny but also locusts frustrating. All in all great level which took me 1 hour and 10 minutes net playtime. Recommended. 8/7/8/8" - OverRaider (08-Apr-2013)
"Brilliant and unique enviroment. Lighting is awesome. However, gameplay is a bit monotonous and uninspired. Recommended in terms of Atmosphere." - requiemsoul (07-Apr-2013)
"This game confused me at the first time. But after some exploration I really began to like this game. It is riddled with nice and not to difficult tasks, the environment is acceptable and some well done flybys cater for ambience. Only the end is devilish and caused many mental breakdowns." - The Boo (07-Apr-2013)
"At the beginning I wasn't blown away: huge, empty rooms, a rather uninteresting architecture and repetitive textures made this seem like a beginner's effort and the fact, that I was basically running around 15 minutes like a headless chicken until I FINALLY found one of those *&%/$ invisible switches (:D) just to find out that it "only" opened the way to a secret, didn't really help either. Somehow I DID find something after another 10 minutes though and was able to place the frozen flame a bit later...and from then on it got a whole lot better in every single aspect. Now it's a bit hard to talk about what happens next without spoiling anything but I think I can say I finally got what I expected from the name of the level and it was such a great pleasure to explore every single meter of it, especially having in mind what I was running through just a few minutes before. Technically this game was pretty good, but not perfect: some faces disappeared here and there (most likely due to missing rooms on top of the map) and static objects sticked out due to the unfitting tint but the excellent atmosphere that was built up with the help of intense flybys and fitting music made me forgive such things very fast. All in all there was only one part that REALLY bugged me and again it's concerning the second category (though I ALMOST took points from the first category as well as it IS a gameplaykiller...): the final fight was a bad joke and I could only pass it by taking advantage of the save/reload-bug. In my opinion one of these "things" would have been more than enough. Anyway: I think I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my journey to Jerpoint Abbey. Recommended! (on a final note: Is it just me or was the final cutscene really that sad and indeed reminiscent of TR4's ending? :( )" - Soul (04-Apr-2013)