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BtB2015 - Khalepa Ta Kala by shabaobab

Adrian 9 10 9 9
Christian 10 10 9 9
DJ Full 8 10 10 9
Drakan 9 10 10 10
Flugzvampen 9 9 10 10
janachorider 9 9 9 10
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jose 7 8 8 9
Josey 9 10 10 10
Magnus 6 7 7 7
manarch2 9 9 8 9
MichaelP 8 10 9 9
Mman 9 9 10 9
Mytly 9 8 9 9
Phil 9 10 10 9
requiemsoul 8 8 8 9
Ryan 10 10 9 9
Treeble 10 10 10 10
tuxraider 8 8 8 8
release date: 11-Oct-2015
# of downloads: 208

average rating: 9.00
review count: 19
review this level

file size: 102.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Rome/Greece

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"A complicated and pretty level. It looks really nice and creates a great atmosphere, as you can see by simply starting the game, and I think it gets even better in the later parts. The gameplay is complicated and sometimes cryptic. The first timerun is tight and requires you to traverse very annoying terrain (these "rocks" that are hard to jump over, and which make you slide down on a wrong move). It also took me some time to figure out what exactly the lever starting the timerun did at all. On the cryptic side, there were some things I would never have figured out myself. You need to shoot a random looking thing to get the rope. There are randomly placed hard to see vases you need to shoot. There was a jump switch I never really figured out what it did. The shop, a mystery, until the walkthrough told me that I was still missing some items. Sometimes "creative" use of the new moves is required to make progress. On the other hand, it's fair to say some puzzles are simply on the more challenging side. You can get back to most parts of the levels, which (naturally) makes it easier to get lost. I encountered some bugs: The 8 lever puzzle with the statues could sometimes make a statue disappear (probably stuck in the ceiling). Save in a separate slot before you even begin with this. In the second central courtyard, I could take items from a pedestal that is above me (I was supposed to use a rope to jump up there). One of the gorillas made it up the ceiling and attacked me there. I got lost enough that I looked at the WT multiple times, and didn't bother getting the secrets. On the positive side, none of these things are really game stoppers (if you don't mind looking at the WT or are patient/expert player enough), and the good things outweigh them by far. It's a really good effort. The great visuals aside, the gameplay is full of creative ideas, and it was fun to play. I recommend it, but mind that it's rated "challenging", maybe beginners should leave it for later." - tuxraider (28-Jan-2023)
"This level sets off perfectly with Lara arriving at a resort. It's calm, atmospheric and beautiful, and you get an instant urge to start explore the map. I loved the people scattered around the map! The map is kind of divided into three parts, and it works very well. Finding your way into the temple was thrilling, and there were some really cool places in there as well. The timed sequence with the fires was super cool too, and felt really great once I completed it. For a new custom TR-player, some instances where you had to use your guns to progress were really obscure, but that would be my only critique. Also loved the small buildings and indoor scenes. This was a vacation you didn't want to leave. Great level!" - Flugzvampen (07-Dec-2022)
"Another good level from this contest. This level is very long and complex, and took me several hours to finish it. The best for me were the excellent architecture and texturization, and also the good use of cameras, flybys and musics. There are some interesting puzzles too, like the room to get one of the lyres or the hints for the scales puzzles, but there are also some obscure details I didn't like: the box to shatter in the first area with the only hint of the initial flyby, the timed run in the pool room with the fire ledges is too tight, the timed run to get one of the secrets is almost impossible for all players (not very important, of course, only a secret), important items like keys hidden inside the plants or trees with no hints or camera targets, again no hints to shoot the crosses in the final area... Anyway it's a good and complex level worth to play even if you sometimes have to read the walkthrough. Good work." - Jose (13-Oct-2017)
"There a nice transition based design here as you move from a peaceful resort to ancient ruins. The first section has some of the best looking areas so far, but while the second half is still good looking it feels a bit more basic and cubic than the first. There's some creative object uses too, especially in the resort section. The gameplay also goes through some major shifts, with the first part being non-linear and second half being more linear and focused. Both of the styles are pulled off well, although like with the visuals a couple of tasks in the second half feel a bit less inspired, but it's mostly great, and it does a good job looping back to the start as well. This will likely to be one of my favourites of this BTB in the end." - Mman (24-Mar-2016)
"What an adventure indeed! Lara starts on a holiday in a beach resort and goes exploring nearby ruins. She will have to undertake many challenging, but undoubtedly ingenious puzzles and extremely well devised secrets. One gripe, minor, though: a few cameras got stuck at times. Nevertheless, this is a sure favourite of mine so far. Quite long though." - Ryan (03-Mar-2016)
"Another level with ammunition overdose though not that insane as in The Greek Files. Pickups were meant for better enemy handling and do work with one exception of centaurs ambushing Lara while she's defenseless underwater. Hint: the final fight with them could be easily solved with Pegasus which is irreversibly "parked" on the other side of the gap instead. Thank Zeus for his explosive crossbow which makes it much easier to save equally overdosed medikits. Some gameplay isn't totally rethought, for instance we can't do the timed run and climb to the waterskin hall less than three times and the pushable with raising blocks might be anti-climatic as well (would be enough to apply a combination and do the rest in one push, no need to tweak with these levers forever). The crate shooting must be done with pistols and the very next thing is Lara receiving a sniper bow. But these are things you can live with while in general the game has every part in correct function: a seaside town for prologue, spelunking for transition, an ancient city filled with mythical life for the core, finally a getaway for conclusion. It has some nice touches like a trade puzzle (wow that's a rather expensive key), glowing trees and waterskin amount not as obvious as it seems. It's also boosted with nine secrets we can get from any point of the game to unlock a bonus surrealm and I don't wish for anything more in this aspect. Sometimes it's unclear what is designed for our later return and what is supposed to lead us further but this quickly gets clarified except Lara's key we get in the beginning and aren't told to ignore until the very end... yes I made the same crap design and mea culpa for now I see it was plainly wrong. SUMMARY: Plainly right, with minor inconveniences. Entertaining and rewarding. Might have low framerate yet high replayability." - DJ Full (31-Dec-2015)
"A rhyming review seems crazy for sure,
But you have to admit there's a certain allure.
Non-linear levels seem so fun in theory;
They're fun for a while, and then I get weary.
Looking and searching and yes - wandering.
Too much time's wasted just pondering.
Seventy minutes - that's on the clock.
Actual time spent is quite a shock.
Things get more linear a bit later on,
And some of it's clever, so that's pretty fun.
There's even some rhyming, if you hadn't guessed,
So there are some good moments during this quest.
The level is well-built and looks pretty good.
But probably not as good as it could.
The opening area is pretty impressive,
But everything after is far more regressive.
It's not as exciting and most rooms are tiny,
But the gameplay gets tighter, so I'm just being whiny.
That's it for me, I'd say it's been fun,
But this took an hour, so I feel pretty done.
A rhyming review seemed fun way back when.
But remind me never to do it again." - Magnus (30-Dec-2015)
"This is a very professionally built level with a lot of creative ideas that are brilliantly worked out. So the quest for a couple of"ignots of ancient gold." Nice timed runs, interesting exploring in a very pleasant and convincing outdoor-environment are spicing up this quest; so Lara finally can pay her bill in an extraordinary way.... There are a lot of highlights in this level; The Pegasus- ride with a jump through a waterfall is definitely one of them. Gameplay is a set of excellent ideas and innovative sequences, lightning and atmosphere are quite impressive and nearly perfect. One of the most convincing entries in the 2015's competition!" - Christian (01-Dec-2015)
"This level is nothing short of spectacular. It is big and full of interesting tasks and puzzles, both easy and presenting various levels of difficulty. It is beautiful, too, in its various environments. Certainly it is not perfect; in one of my trials, Lara began to catch fire after the jump with Pegasus, and I had to give up; fortunately, this didn't occur when I played again using the walkthrough, and I could play the complete game, including the bonus part. There was also a cog that Lara obtained by pressing Ctrl near a wall panel, and apparently it didn't happen to be an item of the game. But these issues don't matter very much; they are trifles. More serious was an aspect of the gameplay: Lara had to shoot at least some of the jars in a window in order to be able to climb there. The problem was that she didn't have the laser sight or even the shotgun, both of which would be acquired later, and that there was no adequate place to aim using the pistols. That wasn't fair at all, and I spent a lot of time in the trial. In the end, I could get rid of some corner vases and Lara could climb the window and shoot the rest, but still... what's the sense of this? (A little before, Lara also had to shoot an almost invisible box from a place far away; but as a camera hint had shown clearly the position of the box when she climbed to a certain balcony, and as the shooting place was adequate for it, there was no serious problem.} Another possible source of frustration for some players is an extremely difficult timed swim-and-climb-by-slippery rocks that Lara has to perform in order to pick up one of the secrets, and be able to access the bonus part of the game. I'm proud to say that I did it, and that to play the bonus part was nice. (By the way, the secret seahorses are a very nice homage to TR2). Well, these are the drawbacks. But let's go to the good parts. Tasks are infinitely variable, and creative, and smart. Traps are very tough sometimes, but never boring. There's a lot of interesting issues, such as the picking up of the golden apple, the blocks' puzzle for a lyre, the underwater passage where Lara can evade all the spiked parts, the placement of the secrets and the tasks necessary to obtain them (you will surely need the walkthrough for that, I suppose), the pure adrenaline of the bonus level (I couldn't kill the Medusa, so had to find a way of evading it), the animals' puzzle... well, play it and see for yourself. I can only say that I loved this game, and consider it one of the best of this contest." - Josey (27-Nov-2015)
"Many puzzles and exploration for this level. Nicely Textured and lit. I enjoyed the house on the water (difficult to understand that we should shoot a box half hidden to access). Beautiful level." - Drakan (21-Nov-2015)
"Very, very impressive (and long) adventure indeed. It starts so calmy with the nice flyby of the quaint little village and then turns into one hell of a raid, especially if you choose to go after the nicely designed 9 secret system, based on three sets of 3 seahorses to find. Initially you work your way around the village with a few timed tasks and after the cool scene when you pay the shop owner you travel underground into nice looking caves and get a myriad of things to do, including a nice boulder room, an 8 lever puzzle room and a fairly elaborate scales puzzle (that maybe did go a bit over the top in terms of the paths you have to repeat several times). I took off a point on gameplay as I simply thought several of the 'things to shoot'-tasks were maybe too much on the obscure side and there are a few ropes that allow you to swing through walls - but those are overall minor gripes for this very ambitious level. The boss battle was actually quite managable if you watched out for the available pickups along the way - even the myriad of centaurs that you get to deal with if you work your way through all the secrets. Try this one if you dare, not an easy one, but a very rewarding experience. [106 min, 9 secrets]" - MichaelP (18-Nov-2015)
"This is a nice concept for a level: Lara stays at a resort, and then goes adventuring in the nearby ruins. The gameplay is good and constantly keeps you on your toes. My favourite task is the multiple boulders room - it's a very cool trap sequence, which is made even tougher due to the spikes on the return journey. The switches and pushable puzzle for the other lyre is very good too. Riding the Pegasus and jumping through the waterfall on it is a very cool moment. The timed run for one of the gold ingot sets in the beginning is nice, though the tasks for the rest of the ingots are not very intuitive, especially one where you have to shoot a barely visible box sticking out of a high wall. I really dislike the lack of shortcuts in this level - there are so many places in which you have to do the same set of actions over and over again to the point of frustration. For example, the timed run to the staircase leading to the top of the animal cages has to be done at least 4-5 times, more if (like me) you don't interpret the clue in the scroll correctly. The corridor with the swinging axes has to be navigated at least twice - would it have been so difficult for the builder to disable the axes on the way out?
The enemies in this level can be daunting, especially if you get all the secrets and visit the secret area. Apart from the extra creatures in the secret area itself, the half-dozen centaurs waiting for you when you get back can be overwhelming. The boss fight with three (!) minotaurs at once is particularly tough, even if you have the thunderbolt, as the grenades damage Lara herself as well as the enemies.
The visuals in this level are great: the resort is simply gorgeous, as are several of the ruins locations. My favourite spot is the waterfall area near the end. The realistic feel of the locations takes a bit of hit because it's very easy to see the 'top of the world' and even reach it in one case due to a ladder that goes right to the top of a roofless building. The floating islands area is nice in theory, but it suffers visually due to the lack of distance fog (I am aware that it is technically not feasible in this BtB package); I think a different horizon for this level would have worked much better. There are some unnecessarily cramped locations in this level, which seem a little odd.
I loved the cats in the resort area, and spent a large amount of time 'playing' with them. I started shooting in the excursions shop, and Pierre killed a cat instead of shooting at Lara - how could you be so cruel, Pierre?!
Overall: A beautiful and interesting level, albeit a bit combat-heavy. Recommended." - Mytly (16-Nov-2015)
"Wonderfull level.the visual are great,although the gameplay is a little too hard." - janachorider (06-Nov-2015)
"I quite enjoyed how this level is presented, starting off with a touristic area, lots of people, even a shop where you "buy" your access into it, and then it quickly turns into your usual tomb raiding expedition. Gameplay flows nicely throughout the entire level, with perhaps the one hidden ropebox in the beginning you have to shoot from a distance, before you get to a lasersight. Visually it also looks stunning, with some beautiful areas (such as the waterfall you leap through with the pegasus). Safe to say the BtB competitions always spoil us, players. 120 minutes, 4 secrets. 10/15" - Treeble (04-Nov-2015)
"I find it amazing how much gameplay can be packed these days into a single TR4. I spent the better part of a week playing this one while doing a host of other things, and my game clock registered an incredible 3:45 when I finally hit the finish trigger this evening. I googled the title and learned that it's Greek for "beauty is harsh," for whatever that's worth. The surroundings here are indeed beautiful throughout most of the game, but what makes things harsh are the traps and critters that come with the territory. When you find yourself transported to that floating island setting near the end, I couldn't come close to killing the huge serpent woman who greeted me, so I just jumped out of her range before being set aflame and ignored her thereafter. There's so much here that it would be quite impossible to mention all the memorable touches. Since it's the equivalent of playing four normal levels, it has put me a bit behind in my quest to play all 25 BtB levels, but I'm making progress. This one should finish near the top, despite its length. High recommendations." - Phil (01-Nov-2015)
"Another excellent entry. I don't know how other reviewers manage to finish the level in just over an hour! It must be my age, I'm so much slower, but that gave time to savour the atmosphere and puzzles on show here. There are a couple of none-too-obvious moves that can get you stuck and reading the readme is a very good idea. The secrets quest is well used and although I needed help for the last one, the bonus gameplay for getting all 9 secrets is well worth it." - Adrian (30-Oct-2015)
"Ah, back to the prettier parts of Greece, that's more like it. This is another innovative and occasionally complex entry in the competition. The gameplay is extremely well rounded and involves some really interesting puzzles, traps and timed runs/swims and well used enemies. The atmosphere is excellent and the fact that one of the cats kept mewing at me (presumably for food) all the time just made the realism even greater. The secrets are an interesting sideline in themselves, although I only found four. And for once, it was really good to see Lara booked into a nice hotel even if the start of her holiday was somewhat delayed by all the adventuring. Great fun." - Jay (20-Oct-2015)
"Now even if this only the third level I've played from the BtB batch, I imagine it could be among my favourites. The gameplay is crisp, very creative and never dull for the 65 minutes it lasts. There's not a single uninspired task and most of the levers are timed so there's a constant element of action involved (although there are almost too many ;)) - but that's not everything that can be said about this level. There's a huge variety of tasks in this level that has pretty much everything - intriguing puzzles (that one with the multiple raising blocks was almost too easy), exploration (especially very good use of shootable objects), innovative use of traps and, "by the way", an excellent storyline and even some interesting quests to solve like the ingot search and the Pegasus. The way the waterskin puzzle is integrated is very unique too. So the gameplay is very enjoyable and there's hardly a negative thing to say about it. Maybe a water pool could be placed near the scales to avoid that bit of backtracking and sometimes the "when in doubt - shoot" method wasn't that nice (especially when one isn't used to the shootable objects already), but those are pretty minor things. Any other element in this level is more or less just handled as well too. The enemies are very professionally placed in apt situations, the secret system is amazing and you simply have to try to find all of them, it's really worth - the secrets itself are mostly pretty well hidden and I had to return for some, especially one of the golden ones took me quite some time to figure out. The atmosphere is generally well done too, with exceptional architecture and good use of sounds and cameras, but there are a few smaller shortcomings here. On a fixed cam on a balcony one can see an untextured roof and during several flybys Lara is able to move and also save, which might even lead to a stuck moment if the camera triggers a door. Still the looks are very good with very cleanly applied texturing (which shows that this is indeed possible even with non-squaric geometry) and effective lighting, I maybe just didn't like some strange red colour bulbs. It's a pretty fun, original and good-looking game, so thumbs up for that effort, no matter how it will rank between the other levels." - manarch2 (16-Oct-2015)
"A solid map. First section with excellent exploration and second section with a nice temple. The tasks are enjoyable and visually is very good. Recommended Difficulty:Medium 80 minutes." - requiemsoul (13-Oct-2015)