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Aqua Sanctuary by Mr XY

Allicya 10 10 10 10
Bigfoot 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 9 9 9
Drakan 10 10 10 10
Gerty 8 9 10 9
izzynoodles 10 8 8 9
Jay 9 8 10 10
Jose 8 9 9 9
Killer Gameplayz 8 7 9 8
Lima 10 10 9 9
manarch2 9 8 9 9
Mman 10 10 10 10
Mouayad 10 10 10 10
Mytly 9 9 9 10
nerdfury 10 10 10 10
Nickelony 8 8 10 10
nimbys187 8 7 10 10
Passalaqua 9 9 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
Rambo 9 8 9 9
requiemsoul 9 9 10 9
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
SlyRaider 10 9 9 10
Thiago 10 10 9 10
totizedger 9 8 9 10
release date: 27-Jun-2015
# of downloads: 232

average rating: 9.38
review count: 26
review this level

file size: 32.60 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I'll be honest, I wanted to play a water-based level, and when I selected the first such level in the list, I couldn't download it. So, I selected the next such level in the list, and downloaded it, and it was this very level. I knew it was old, that the objects and sounds and textures were "basic" and that I wasn't going to see anything new in that area, but I still decided to give it a shot. I usually quit playing a level unless something interesting happens in the first 10 minutes of gameplay. And I was positively surprised to see a level which is extremely well thought of. Of course, graphics, lighting, ambiance and lighting are more than important for the quality of gameplay and makes it more convincing, but GAMEPLAY is the queen of the great game. And this level proves this one hundred times over. The game went smoothly from the very beginning, and there wasn't a single moment when I didn't know what to do or where to go next. There are tons of puzlles to solve, and all are well thought of. I in particular liked the puzzle with the torch and how well the level builder planned the entire level. The entire level is one huge puzzle you must solve, and everything happens in the immidiate vicinity of yours, you can see everything that happens in the level, nothing is hidden in a hard-to-find pit, you don't have to wander around aimlessly, you don't have to replay the entire level in your head to try to remember where a passage or keyhole was, that you saw an hour ago somewhere in the level. I also liked that I could climb to the topmost point of the level. Every single block is there for a reason, every single slope is there for a reason, and I repeat, everything is perfectly balanced. The ambiance and the the overall look of the level are excellent. Knowing that the textures are all from the original TR4 game, with some extra textures, I wasn't much impressed with the textures, but everything was clear and easy to locate, and I didn't have any problem with discerning an edge of geometry, or if a top of a column is flat or sloped. Lighting isn't perfectly set, and the intensity of lighting was mostly similar everywhere, even dull at moments. The sounds are also basic and classical, and there are no improvements in that area of the level. Secrets are cleverly hidden and placed at great places. Knowing that this is a "classic" in the true sense of the word, I am quite impressed with the quality of this level. Excellent work!" - Lima (20-Jul-2022)
"From the first minutes I knew this level would be one of my favourites ever, and I was not disappointed! This beautiful level has everything: enjoyable platforming, exploring, interesting puzzles, brilliant ideas, timed runs, traps, target shooting, torches, a decent collection of enemies (all well placed) and a boss fight.
The architecture is amazing. Sound, music, cameras, atmosphere and visuals are all excellent.
Duration: almost 3 hours.
Secrets: 6/10 (they are hidden very well and add a lot of fun to the level, I'm already excited to play the level again and find all the secrets).
Finally, thank you Mr XY so much for making this masterpiece, it's a perfect egyptian adventure (just my kind of levels!). Absolutely recommended! (40/40)" - Mouayad (07-Jan-2022)
"I didn't know TR4 textures could be used to make something so beautiful! Puzzles might not be the strongest side of this level, but the overall experience is just top tier." - Nickelony (04-Jun-2021)
"First of all, the design and aesthetics of this level are absolutely first class. The Aqua sanctuary in an architectural sense looks amazing (Is Mr XY an architect who moonlights as a level designer?). Texturing and lighting are also faultless. In terms of gameplay, the game consists of a large open area containing various puzzles and platforming challenges that eventually open a final boss area. I found the difficulty level good - the puzzles had me scratching my head for a while but I eventually pulled through. The torch puzzle in particular was very well executed. I had to check the walkthrough only once (Which I hate doing) because I did not realize you could side jump over the spike trap in front of one of the gems. Apart from that its all very intuitive. If you're looking for an action packed romp this probably isn't for you, it's much more of a relaxed, exploratory raid that will have you working your brain. It's very good." - Passalaqua (26-Jan-2021)
"(10) Gameplay & Puzzles: There are so many interesting and creative tasks in this adventure; while there's lots of chill exploration and puzzling to be had, there's also a perfect balance of more adrenaline-based tasks like traps, enemies and timed sequences. My favorite aspects of the game were the trickier torch puzzles that involved much planning to get the torch upwards, the 3 timed shooting tasks, and the timed trapdoor room near the end. Initially, one may feel overwhelmed when leaving the tall room and entering the giant outdoor hub, but it's not that bad once you start exploring and cross-out certain areas. The level was certainly non-linear, but it wasn't frustratingly so, and I had so much fun from start to finish. Side note: this level looks very similar to The Temple of Isis, but (imo) what makes the gameplay of a higher standard in Aqua Sanctuary is how the builder effectively utilizes space, with no areas feeling like "filler". (10) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: Enemy placement and selection was done well, and the final boss fight was done perfectly. Oftentimes I will find that a level's ending is anticlimactic, but not here. Decor was applied beautifully and I just loved the builder's secret design, where a player would be rewarded for having a keen eye on possible places they could platform to along the edges of the sanctuary. The uzi secret does involve a bit too much backtracking, but it's not a huge deal. (10)Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: The architecture and room design was truly mesmerizing; in fact, near the end of the game, I just stood at the top of the sanctuary and looked around for ages, simply enjoying the view. I would have liked a bit more music but it's not a big deal. Camera hints and flybys were utilized effectively and I never felt lost. (10)Lighting & Textures: Although this is a low-res adventure, without any fancy shmancy modern textures, it looks stunning. Texturing and lighting were both flawless and there was no need for flares. Egyptian levels can look too "washed out" but the builder did an excellent job with color usage, with many attractive blue tones to balance out all of the sandy textures. Overall, this level was such a treat, gameplay-wise and visually. It's very rare that gameplay will keep me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end, but it did here (1 hr 40 mins). This is one of my all time favorites, alongside Arcadian Dream. 10/10/10/10." - nerdfury (14-Jan-2021)
"Another epic and again I had a great time to go through it for a second time. So in here you can see that all the newest tricks are not needed to make a great level. Exploring is a must and if you want every pick-up you sometimes have to travel the beaten path again and again. Nice mix of puzzles, tough timed runs and tricky jumps. Enemies were well placed and there are enough pick-ups so you don’t have to worry that you ran out. Another one I keep." - Gerty (10-Dec-2017)
"A visually stunning adventure with extensive, involving gameplay to boot. To think, this brilliant level was created with the old TR4 assets of the classic days. You will never be bored, with an elaborate torch puzzle that takes some planning prior to executing it, enjoyable platforming, beautiful cutscenes, lighting and textures and a hell of a boss fight near the end. I can't fault this on any level and comes highly recommended from me." - Ryan (16-Aug-2016)
"This is one of my favorites. Water everywhere. Wonderful." - Thiago (29-Apr-2016)
"Quite a challenge and thoroughly enjoyable. TR4 was my least liked out of the pre-reboot games and I wasn't sure when it was recommended to me, but I gave it a go and I was not disappointed. I was incredibly pleased with the gameplay and puzzles but I suppose that is to be expected of MR XY -such a talented level creator! Secrets and timers are tediously fantastic, such difficult secrets to find and even timers can be difficult to locate the end result of. Not too difficult but still a struggle which was a perfect balance for myself. Environments were all original and wonderful... so much fun! Took around 3 hours to play." - izzynoodles (26-Mar-2016)
"Plenty to do in this nice little trle, More of a puzzle/strategy type gameplay but there are enemies throughout scattered here and there. Set in Egypt for those who like Tomb Raider 1. Definitely worth a play through if your looking for an adventure that doesn't take months to complete. The ending Boss is quite a feat as well... KG" - Killer Gameplayz (06-Mar-2016)
"Only build with original tr4 objects and textures, this level is a real jewel with a very solid and original gameplay. We found a real tr4 atmosphere with a very good use of these tr4 objetcs and textures. The sanctuary is very well build with amazing place like the waterfall valley. About the difficulty, I can said the level is not really hard but some objects are sometimes very well build. There are very good brain teaser and that why we not just only use our hands but our head too. A great level by Kevin and with the amazing Sunken, one of my favorite of this author :) ." - Bigfoot (16-Nov-2015)
"Very good work. This is a good example from a very creative builder with good ideas. He doesn't need extra features and only with the original editor resources he have built a very good and entertaining level very worth to play, even when it's very no-lineal and complex, and I was playing several hours to finish. The timed runs are not very tight, very good use of the cameras, enough pickups, excellent texturization even with low-resolution textures... Highly recommended for everybody." - Jose (25-Oct-2015)
"The gameplay in this level is a good mix of puzzles, tricky jumps and a few tough timed runs - my favourite kind of gameplay, in other words. I particularly enjoyed the puzzle-cum-platforming challenges necessary to light the 5 wall torches. The large outdoor area with multiple offshoot courtyards and balconies that makes up the majority of this level is great fun to explore, but it does get slightly tiring when you have to run back and forth across the length and breadth of it after nearly every task. The huge number of secrets (10 in all) also provide some enjoyable challenges, though the one where you have to trek back to beginning of the level and back is a bit tiresome.
The distribution of enemies is rather uneven. Until about three quarters of the way, I kept wondering what was the point of the ammo I was collecting, seeing as enemies were so scarce. Then, towards the end, they started coming in thick and fast. While I did like the final boss fight on the whole, I wish there had been more cover provided for Lara to shelter behind while the demigod was still invulnerable.
The looks are almost flawless. It's always gratifying to see people creating such lovely levels using only textures and objects from the original TR4 (which is now 16 years old!). The lighting in the outdoor areas is particularly lovely: the pale yellow of the architecture looks great against the blue water. Music seems a bit lacking, though.
While this level is built with TRNG, there are no next-gen effects whatsoever - everything, from the looks to the puzzles, is what could have been built with the TRLE when it was first released. This makes for a lovely little nostalgic treat, while still maintaining the high level of quality that we players have come to expect from custom levels in recent years. The builder has also provided the wad, textures and .prj file in the download package, which new builders can study as a tutorial.
Overall: I played this level twice, once for beta-testing and once after release, and it was great fun both times. Highly recommended." - Mytly (25-Sep-2015)
"This level is very well made especially the texturing. Mr XY has made yet another wonderful adventure which i really hope gets in the Hall Of Fame. Gameplay is very good with many fun moments like the torch puzzle which he really has put a lot of effort to, Pushable block puzzle and timed runs. Enemies,Objects&Secrets The enemies were often caged and i would have liked to fight more of them in the wild if you know what i mean, i do like the skeleton horde at the end attacking Lara though. As we all may know by now Mr XY knows how to create a believeable setting and this level is no exception as he has put new life to the old textures we have seen many times before. There is almost no music in this level but it doesn't matter much because it really feels very authentic anyway. Maybe not a level for beginners but i highly recommend it." - totizedger (16-Aug-2015)
"Everything in this level flows just as supposed in a classic one. It lacks some invention but I guess this was the exact goal while I like how all the rooms, even initially mysterious, appear useful in time, and how the initially complex things are slowly put together until everything is totally clear. If this is a warm-up before BtB, I expect the actual match to be nothing less than marvellous. I only hope the author didn't burn out during this training (fingers crossed). SUMMARY: Highly recommended. Waaaaaterrrrrrr....." - DJ Full (13-Aug-2015)
"A superb raid in classic TR style that should be on everybody`s playlist. Wonderful game design here - a splendid time is guaranteed for all ." - Ruben (06-Aug-2015)
"Levels like this one are a sheer delight to play. Here you'll find no game-delaying FMVs, annoying offbeat music or anything else that contributes to download bloat. For a little more than 30MB you get a visually stunning, complicated and moderately challenging raid that at my leisurely pace took me about two and three-quarter hours to complete. Aqua Sanctuary is strongly reminiscent of Piega's masterpieces, both in looks and in gameplay, and it evidences the meticulous care and planning that must have gone into its creation. Your work is confined to a relatively compact game map that unfolds bit by bit, almost as if peeling an onion, as you complete the tasks laid before you and open up new areas to explore. The newer building tools may give the builder greater flexibility in the visual amenities, but Aqua Sanctuary exudes Old School beauty through use of the familiar textures, sound effects and music in crafting an unforgettable adventure that will surely find its place in the Hall of Fame in short order. In addition, the builder shows an impeccable sense of color and visual attractiveness, and he provides ample lighting so others can appreciate the fruit of his labor. I can only wish that all other builders would be required to run their levels by him for final editing before being allowed to release them. There's a lot of going back and forth here, but since you never have very far to travel it's a bit unfair to call this "backtracking." The few timed runs were well conceived and provided a reasonably stiff test without ever seeming to be unreasonably difficult. The ingenious torch-bearing routes required of the player in order to light several of five wall torches were especially memorable. Dutchy has provided a thoroughly documented walkthrough that itself cuts right to the chase without becoming bogged down in unnecessary detail. In sum, when I compare Aqua Sanctuary to the many other levels I have played and reviewed, I can find no reason to mark it down in any category. Highest recommendations." - Phil (03-Aug-2015)
"Superb level using a basic texture pack. Outstanding atmosphere, clever puzles and a lot of fun combats. Mr XY never dissapoints. Very well done!!!" - requiemsoul (18-Jul-2015)
"Gameplay & Puzzles: A game that really feels like a playground and it's very fun because of that. Not that every task is very good but it's not linear but not confusing and you can do whatever you want. The puzzles are creative and challenging. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies are well placed, the objects are nicely used but nothing special with all those classic objects, only one surprise. The secrets are very hard to find. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Good use of everything here but as in the Xmas level the areas are built around the tasks, they are well done but the (fun) puzzle mass does not feel realistic enough to give a 10. Lighting & Textures: I liked the use of the classic textures very much, hardly one mistake, and very aptly used. The lighting is good too, maybe a bit the same overall. Total: 8,75/10, very good classic game, perhaps one of the best in that." - Rambo (18-Jul-2015)
"The setting here is extremely beautiful, and this is probably one of the best looking levels made. It manages to do that while mostly using the standard engine and textures, which makes it even more impressive. Every single area has obvious attention put into it and it's all accentuated by the use of water to vary up the appearance. The gameplay involves a large variety of tasks and nicely moves between linearity and non-linearity in each section, although the central gem hunt makes up most of the level. The difficulty level is relatively high (although it's mostly exploration based), but I was able to solve everything on my own without getting hung up too much despite the size of the level. I did feel it almost came close to outstaying it's welcome by the end, but then the pacing also sped up and it ended up finishing at just the right time for me. One of the best single levels around." - Mman (14-Jul-2015)
"Played and liked it. You should play this level if you like the TR4 style levels. Its totally worth the time. Simple but beautiful, with classic elements like soundtrack, enemies, textures, objects and puzzles that you can find everywhere. Enjoyed the gameplay until the end. Very fun to play. Nice work, Mr XY." - Allicya (10-Jul-2015)
"Thanks for this beautiful level! There aren't much ennemies, but often the same (just 4 kinds of ennemies). This level is based on puzzles and somes rooms. A big part of this level happens in the same location. However, puzzles can be difficult and secrets are safely hidden." - SlyRaider (08-Jul-2015)
"Just as to be expected, the builder excels again, his abilities are strongly visible even in a classic level like this. The gameplay style is just to my taste - a nice open map to explore where you can solve tasks here and there without getting lost because of too obscure or well hidden things. And the tasks you get here are a feast too - very well planned platforming that even makes you puzzled at times, unique and fun puzzles and in between a good mix of timed runs, traps etc.; the highlight is certainly the torch puzzle that is a red thread throughout a large part of the game. The difficulty is rather moderate with only few tasks requiring more accuracy, but it's challenging enough to be enjoyable even for more experienced raiders. Maybe the quality of the gameplay drops slightly after placing the four gems because the rest of the level is not as intense and immersive than before, even with a rather nice boss fight. The use of enemies is often not very "natural", with most enemies being "caged" and a few more enemies in the open space would have been nice too. There are some good scenes too - like the harpys and the skeleton horde attacking Lara on a high platform each. The atmosphere is really well done with great architecture, very nice use of water everywhere and decent sounds and cameras - although, there are a few silent cutscenes that could be avoided. The large outside area is a feast for the eyes though and all rooms are handled with extreme care (e.g. I liked the space created for the underwater door animation). The end of the world view is only occasionally a problem when you approach the top of the area. Even with many non-squaric surfaces the textures are very well applied (something to learn from for other builders); the lighting is usually fine but on occasion could need a little more contrast and feels a bit too uniform throughout every area, it's still on a very high level. Overall, a very artistic level that certainly manages to please in every aspect, and thus is a well-rounded adventure you shouldn't miss. Spent 75 minutes in here, with a part replayed to find all of the well hidden secrets." - manarch2 (03-Jul-2015)
"Beautiful level with a huge area where there is much to do to go to the end of the level. The level, as its name suggests, has many water features. The puzzles are well made and it takes a lot to think forward. Not always simple puzzles, I liked very much, timerun platforms, shatters, raising blocks, namely bringing the torch to the right place ... And then you enter the last part of the game with more enemies and a fight against the boss by jumping on platforms with spikes. Really wonderful! I had found that 4 secrets and I looked the other 6 in helping me of the provided project. Some are quite difficult to pick with twisted jumps or jump over the spikes to open the door. ... In short, I enjoyed this level. Congratulations." - Drakan (02-Jul-2015)
"Absolutely beautiful level, however a bit masochistic? The builder has put tons of work in this level, and for the most part it's an enjoyable experience. The builder uses the TR4 assets wonderfully, and it almost feels like I am raiding a tomb from a Core Design game. Definitely the best part about this level. Gameplay tends to teeter on the edge a bit. Some puzzles are clever, such as the trapdoor and spike puzzle, albeit a tad unrealistic, and you will enjoy exploring the humongous ruins. Some puzzles though are, as mentioned above, masochistic, and only expert raiders will be able to navigate the tricky platforming. The builder makes use of some of TR4's worst mechanics, like using the laser-sight to shoot small targets. The reticule is hard to locate at times, and the aiming sensitivity cannot be adjusted. This is not the builders fault, but I think they should take these limitations into consideration. Lots of areas require tedium to reach, and there is no means to return to these areas without repeating the process again and again. It might not always be necessary, but when you are stuck, like me, I tend to retrace my steps. There is not a ton of enemy variety, a few scorpions, harpies and demigods. One fight with some demigods was very frustrating considering Lara was stuck wading in waist deep water, and the waist deep water problem really becomes detrimental and makes exploring a chore at points. I would recommend checking this level out, there is room for improvement but it was an enjoyable adventure nonetheless." - nimbys187 (01-Jul-2015)
"This is a very well made, traditional style level with interesting gameplay. much of which initially involves various tasks to set up the means to access five wall sconces with a torch, which I found most enjoyable. True to its name, there is water everywhere and very beautiful it looks too. You'll have plenty of opportunity to explore and admire the scenery and there's a very good mix of tasks - lots of enjoyable platforming, some timed elements, puzzles, target practice and if at first you think it might just turn out to be enemy light, rest assured you'll get plenty of action later on, culminating in one hell of a boss ending. Highly recommended for players with a bit of experience, not really one for beginners." - Jay (01-Jul-2015)