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TR Tokyo 9 - Grand Lodge / Dark Lair by Mirai

Aims 9 8 10 9
Android 7 7 8 8
bERT 10 10 10 10
Bex 7 8 10 9
Brat352 7 9 10 10
CalrOsario 9 9 9 9
CC 7 7 9 8
Ceamonks890 7 7 8 8
Chicken 8 9 9 10
ColeMoles 9 9 10 10
Dhama 10 10 10 10
Dimpfelmoser 8 8 9 9
DJ Full 9 9 10 10
Drew 8 8 7 8
Engelchen Lara 8 9 10 10
eRIC 9 9 10 10
eTux 7 9 10 10
G.Croft 8 8 10 9
Gerty 8 9 10 10
gfd 8 9 10 10
gryffinstark 8 7 10 8
Hendrik 7 9 10 10
Jay 8 9 10 9
JesseG 9 9 9 8
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
John 6 8 9 8
Jose 8 9 9 9
Juan Carlos 9 9 10 9
Kristina 7 8 10 10
Lady Lara 10 10 10 10
Lorena 9 10 10 9
Loupar 10 9 9 8
Magnus 9 9 10 10
manarch2 8 9 10 10
Mehrbod 9 9 10 10
MichaelP 8 10 10 9
Mman 8 8 8 8
Moonliteshadow 9 9 10 8
Orbit Dream 8 8 8 9
Phil 10 9 10 9
Piega 10 9 9 8
Qwendo 9 10 10 9
RaiderGirl 9 10 10 10
Roberto 9 9 10 9
rtrger 8 9 10 10
Ryan 9 9 10 9
Samu 7 9 9 9
Sash 8 10 10 10
Scottie 9 8 9 8
Seemeister 9 9 10 10
SeniorBlitz 9 8 9 9
Sethian 8 10 10 8
sonnyd83 9 10 10 10
Staticon 9 8 10 10
Tammta 7 7 10 9
Tombaholic 9 10 10 10
Torry 10 10 7 10
totizedger 8 10 10 9
Treeble 9 9 10 9
TrueRaider 10 9 10 10
WebKnight 7 10 10 10
Wendee 9 10 10 10
Whistle 8 9 9 10
Xela 8 9 10 10
XETH 7 10 10 10
Yonatan 8 9 10 10
release date: 05-Jul-2001
# of downloads: 256

average rating: 9.06
review count: 66
review this level

file size: 39.70 MB
file type: TR4
class: Home

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"You may be wondering whether this level is still worth playing in 2023, and in my opinion, it is as long as you won’t expect the same level of innovation from it as you would from more recent top levels. The manor, where the level takes place, is constructed carefully and the custom sound effects were used nicely to enhance the atmosphere. Gameplay consist of rather obvious push block puzzles, a more unique puzzle involving mechanical scarab, and some item hunting. Although none of this was exceptional, the level kept me entertained for the most part. The only section that I found tedious, was the end, which included large amounts of monkey swinging to reach several pad triggers. In conclusion, I recommend this level especially if you are looking for something short (my playing time was 27 min)." - Samu (06-Aug-2023)
"More than 20 years after its launch, this adventure continues to have its charm and has a very interesting story. The atmosphere is well done and features good puzzles and combat. Find 4 secrets, less than an hour. Recommended!!" - CalrOsario (08-Jan-2023)
"I must be in the minority here because although i can recognize really great atmosphere, music, textures and lighting i wasnt always 100% down with the gameplay and puzzles because i thought the statue and block pushing in the library and room above it was a bit boring really, i mean its a nice environment to explore in so thats something but i much preferred the puzzle with the sacrab beetle setting off the traps so you could get to the middle very good there, the earthquake after and also the boulders in the main hall made me jump and got my adrenline going and then going into the second level i initially liked the puzzle of triggering off floor tiles on slopes with enemies and traps waiting below but having to do the same thing over and over and over just in different parts of the room got tedious and boring fast with all that monkey swinging. its a gorgeous looking game with lots of detail and effort put into it but personally my enjoyment was very up and down" - John (17-Aug-2021)
"Even in 2021 these levels are a beauty to play, you can tell back in the day so much innovation and thought went into making everything perfect in these few levels. The only moan is i wish it lasted longer! Your taken through a beautiful mansion step by step with some innovative puzzles including one involving the wind up Scarab! every minute you'll be looking behind your back or in awe at the room you just entered. Definitely worth a play, even in 2021!" - ColeMoles (03-Jun-2021)
"This was the First entry in the hall of fame, It was a very fun level to play and I would strongly recommend it. It still stands out today 40/40" - JoeTheCrazyGamer (17-Apr-2020)
"Such a great pleasure to play the first submitted level under Hall of Fame section ever! It really deserves such a place and I'm really glad about it. For a 2001 classic, it was very innovative and different from other similar levels and debuts. Thank you!" - Mehrbod (07-Apr-2020)
"There's a "Masonic" (from a segment of Aldwych) theme here with a little Atlantis as well. While the age shows in a few ways, like some slightly repetitive texturing in the central room and some simpler side rooms, the theme still being rarely explored means this still stands out as quite distinctive thematically. It makes good use of the relatively limited assets the theme has and adds some nice extra ones as well. The vanilla enemies don't fit especially well, but it uses the best ones available. There's some small horror elements too, with some good sound effects and visuals to convey that something seems to be watching you. Like Mirai's other release it's not especially long, but it's a bit bigger and has a lot more meat on it; nothing especially complex but enough to be engaging throughout (if a little block heavy), and also a trap that makes nice use of something you acquire earlier. The low-point is unfortunately the ending "boss" which involves repetitive monkey swinging several times over with little else going on beyond some forced damage from locusts. Once you know what to do it doesn't take that long though. A good set despite some issues and ageing aspects are offset by how little this theme has been used and iterated on, making it still feel fresh today." - Mman (29-Jul-2019)
"An incredibly atmospheric two-parter that holds up quite well, with simple but varied gameplay alongside some well-utilized texturing, lighting, object choices, echoed sound effects and ambiance which help to bring the levels to life. If there are some areas which I feel could have been improved upon a bit more though, its in the enemy encounters and the second level's gameplay structure as a whole(with the former posing no real threat, coming off more as a minor nuisance than anything else. And as for the latter, you spend 90% of it monkeyswinging from one portal to another, spawning in demonic creatures to kill so you can obtain the prize and that's your lot, feeling quite anti-climatic by the end after how entertaining the first level was). But in the end, still worth a go if you're curious." - Ceamonks890 (05-Apr-2019)
"While somewhat short, this set of levels is certainly a very good and entertaining adventure, and it’s very obvious why it reached the HoF at the time. The puzzles and tasks are very varied, I like the fact that I could use the scarab from TR IV again (I love the little guy), there’s good variety in the texture department, and the level is very atmospheric (and while not very scary, it’s very spooky, reminds of the “All Hollows” level in TR III), the objects have a very good placement, none of them feel unnatural, one of the secrets was also very hard to find, the second level is a really interesting (while being a bit anti-climactic sadly), I admit that seeing Lara swinging in the flesh walls gave me some shivers, the red beast that pursued Lara also gave a sense of urgency. In the end it’s a very enjoyable level set, that it’s not that hard, but, challenging enough to keep you entertained, give it a try when you have the time to." - SeniorBlitz (01-Nov-2017)
"Gameplay was solid for the most part. Puzzles were light and clever, bar the fire grating scenario. Layout/Architecture of both levels was well thought out, although I feel they would better serve as just the one level. The large hallway, staircase and Scarab room, were particularly impressive pieces of creativity, it had a sense of scale and presence. The enemies were okay, the monsters in the second level, were a little annoying. Had atmosphere that packs a punch. The echoing footsteps add to the feeling of isolation gotten in this levelset, and generally with the layout of the game I got more and more creeped out with the more I uncovered. Mirai made it possible for me to have a disgusted expression on my face while Lara clung to fleshy tendons and fat. Camera work was standard, and sometimes objects obstructed my field of view. The texturing was SUPERB, UVs were applied with care and attention to detail. Had legitimate reason to light flares as some areas were very dark. The volumetric FX proved an obstacle. Overall, thoroughly decent level, nothing too difficult for vanilla raiders and I think this level is the perfect length to give a taster to newcomers. One quality level of many, of something that has developed above and beyond expectations for more than a decade." - gryffinstark (14-Sep-2016)
"This two-parter was the first level to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and I can imagine it being unique back on its release. It still holds up well, particularly the atmosphere, through the use of spooky lighting and red and blue lighting effects, as well as the ominous ticking of the grandfather clock and the way Lara's footsteps echo through the manor. Gameplay is quite fun and won't leave you scratching your head for long. It is quite short, particularly the "Dark Lair" section, but it is still enjoyable." - Ryan (23-Aug-2016)
"I remember playing this two parter many years ago and being really amazed by it. All these years later it may not be quite as dazzling as it seemed then (how jaded we do become with all the innovative stuff we get now), but it remains an impressive and entertaining game for all that. There are some good puzzles, especially the one involving everybody's favourite beetle, and plenty of action. The atmosphere is excellent and the short, but eventful, second part still provides a challenge insofar as not running out of medipacks is concerned. Highly recommended." - Jay (13-Jul-2016)
"This is one of the very earliest 'classics',hence its appearance in the Hall of Fame.It unquestionably pushed almost every creative boundary back in its day,and still looks remarkably colourful fourteen years later.It is a little on the short side for such an accolade,though - clocking in at just fifty minutes;and it contains gameplay which (aside from the intriguing Finale) rarely has you stop and think.Progression is straightforward but always fun,and contains quite a few interestingly creative ideas (especially the scarab sequence - although trial and error also played a significant role,in my case). Enemies are plentiful,and fun to combat;while the lighting certainly can't be accused of lacking colour and variety.Custom sounds help create an enjoyable atmosphere;and this remains an enjoyably quirky and fast- moving experience,even after all these years." - Orbit Dream (28-Jan-2015)
"Wow this level must be one of the best i've played sadly it's a bit too short. Gameplaywise it has some very original ideas going for it for example the clever use of the scarab. Atmosphere is just spot on with the ticking noises, the rain outside and the echoing footsteps. Music was used very well for each situation but in the last level it was looping which was annoying to be honest. Enemies were used very well and they are dogs, undead knights, ahmets and the Locusts. The Locusts were a bit annoying almost taking my last medipack as i may have been too careless with saving health. The secret with the revolver was confusing as an earthquake activates when you try to grab it and not only that, you will have to endure it for the rest of the level so that's one of the reasons why i didn't pick it up. All in all this definetly deserves to be in the "Hall Of Fame" because it really is something different compared to other levels. Highly recommended" - totizedger (16-Oct-2014)
"Atmospherically speaking, this level is remarkable, especially considering the time of its release. For missing a lot of the newer tools, now at the open disposal of TR level editors, this level still hits the mark for being absolutely stunning to look at. The gameplay is a tad less marvelous, though it still provides solid entertainment the whole way though. Enemies are sporadic enough to surprise the player upon meeting them, while still having enough presence to not bore said player. The final battle is really cool, though a tad confusing on what to do at first. Unfortunately, this level is fairly short for being in the Hall of Fame, clocking in at only a little over half an hour. But it is still worth every minute of it, particularly to check out its quaint composition." - Xela (25-Jul-2013)
"This level was the very first custom level I ever played. It begins on a very wet, rainy day, this has influenced my own level design where it's usually raining. The atmosphere is electrifying and almost gothic in nature, even the footsteps have echos. The lighting is very specific, there's plenty of shadows and light spots, and given the strange noises you hear, you're lead to believe this place may be haunted. The builder certainly replicated this lodge in every minute detail. I love everything about this level so it's difficult to find specifics but maybe the sound is the best part. I do like the windows, curtains, and checked floors. The main points of the gameplay are eliminating some dogs, opening a door, avoiding boulders, timed run - you get set on fire if you fail, a maze of library books, zmobie swordsmen, demigods, then find your way over a firy floor, list is endless. Highly recommended and definately one of the best I've ever played." - sonnyd83 (10-May-2012)
"I have added to my bucket list the ridiculous idea of trying out all of the hall of fame levels. Good things first: The gameplay was pretty engaging, good use of TR3 objects, a nice, creepy atmosphere is created (right down to the reverberating footstep sounds) and the lighting is excellent. However, despite these things I have to admit these two levels felt a bit unpolished to me. In the library maze, the movable statue can be trapped because a door can open into the path of the statue, and it can't be closed. Incorrect switch animations are used. The big kicker was the fact that a secret revolver pickup would trigger a never-ending earthquake. And the textures, while chosen well, are stretched in more places than the US budget. Still, players will (and already did) have a good time raiding this spooky mansion level where you hardly know what to expect next. Finished in 44 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (03-Apr-2012)
"Grand Lodge: This level deserves certainly no beauty price, because he has too many stretched textures. On the other side the rooms look very good. That has to do with the fact that they are furnished very nicely. The sound is also good, whereby the guns are a bit too loud for my taste. The puzzles were easy to solve and were well-conceived. I have not taken revolver. I had read in the WT that thereby an earthquake was triggerd and that one has at disposal anyhow only 6 bullets. Though the earthquake stops again if one is in the second level, but for only 6 bulltes I will keep my hands clean.
Dark Lair: Well, the background music was a bit annoying. It is ok if one hears it on time, but it is not so great if one must hear it constantly. The cave looked very good. The duties were relatively easy, because there were only the monkey swings and a few Ahmets. However, the Locusts were quite annoying. This must not be.
Summary: Sound, riddles and lighting can be convincing, but the textures are too often stretched for my taste. Though the level is good, but in my opinion he is not a masterpiece." - Scottie (21-May-2011)
"Many TR 2 sounds, TR 3 textures and objects, this all turns out into the first Hall of Fame level ever. How, one can say? Well, the builder has an extremely good talent to make great things out of not much. The atmophere is by far the best one in an oldstyle TRLE level, with spooky areas and dramatic and colorful lighting. I loved it so much! The first level did not have many puzzles, let's say only two, but these are still very challenging with the pushblocks that reveal a button and the "grand" scarab puzzle near the end, which lets you have access to the star. After some minutes you get absorbed in these levels, I don't often have that feeling. Texturing was very good in every single area. Objects were extremely well built, I think. The second level was actually a single room, but with so nice ideas in it, perfect enemy placement and nice fire/spike traps at the very right points, with five star tiles you have to monkeyswing on. After getting the effigy this level ends with only 10 minutes of gameplay, considering the first, this also was not very long with 25 gameplay minutes. A must-play for everyone, I think, and the builders should watch and learn from this early masterpiece! Single ratings: Grand Lodge 8-9-10-10, Dark Lair 9-9-10-9. Fantastic work for a 2001 level, that's all I can say for now." - manarch2 (10-Feb-2011)
"Mirai says in his readme: "Certainly architectural areas are quicker to build than organic ones", but in fact, the rain falling outside makes this mentioned architecture extremely organic. Also some fog effects can convince a player of being in hot and steamy Japan, a place of one of the greatest humidity in the world. But, even if it's dryer inside the manor, it's not safer at all. Dark ambience covers demonic dogs, ghosts, undead knights and a demigod, and those enemies lurking in the corridors also have their well fitting sounds. I wanted to say SFX is important in this game, but I decided not to do it, and say this game IS SFX instead. Footsteps echoing in the hall, demonic laughter and eerie yawning occasionally coming through the air, cracking doors, a clock beating on Lara's approach... all of this is perfect. For the first 10 minutes, I was so immersed in sound that I forgot to save. I realized that when I died for the first time, heavily and fatally burnt by the 1st secret trap. Constant eartquake occuring after one picks up the revolver in that place is the only flaw of the level, and if one grabs the item, he/she may feel very disappointed and nauseus. However, there is a cure for this nausea: one can simply do everything else in the lodge and return to collect that revolver just before making a leveljump to the Dark Lair, which is sometimes brighter than the preceding manor, and is the only place ingame where soundtrack becomes tiring after looping several times. Also, the final fight is full of locusts we can't avoid, and comprising of inevitable health loss everytime we climb the central block. Fortunately, Mirai gives a hint and doesn't let a player get repulsed. (Personally, I found this hint misleading, but this is just me - everyone else will find it helpful.) SUMMARY: I think this game can be completed in less than 20 mins, but if You like great sound, You will be admiring it for over an hour, searching for secrets to explore every corner of this spooky place. Highly, highly recommended." - DJ Full (09-Feb-2011)
"The first level is a very intimate mansion with nice textures and objects, with simple gameplay, but it's very creative. Unfortunately, one of the secrets triggers a horribly annoying earthquake effect, which caused me a little headache. But everything else is okay. The second level is very spooky. Dark and scary. Again, gameplay is very simple but it's good. Give it a try if you like easy but beautifully designed levels." - rtrger (06-Apr-2010)
"This level has a very good look. A kind of great mansion with magnificent textures and objects and some TR3 features. There are very good details in the gameplay but few extra guns and ammo; I couldn't get the revolver, and the crossbow was unuseful in the last level with all those beasts. Short colourful levels but a good design and ambience." - Jose (13-May-2008)
"This was a great level that I thoroughly enjoyed. It reminded me of one of my favourite Lovecraft short stories called 'Yule', and what better time of year then now to play this :) This level is probably one of the greatest levels when it comes to atmosphere. I played it very late at night and it had me quite terrified half the time... which was good. The gameplay is quite good, and so are the puzzles, however the section in the library was somewhat annoying simply because it was awkward moving around some of those bookshelf objects. It was also somewhat buggy I felt because one did not have to wait for doors to open in order to manoeuvre around, but one could just side flip a lot over the bookshelf objects. The library aside, all the other rooms were lots of fun to explore, and I certainly enjoyed using the wind-up beetle to deactivate traps... an item that is almost never used it seems. Sadly, I felt the gameplay lagged a bit in the second level with only monkey swinging around the place, which was a shame because it was such a great room... I love the scary Atlantis textures. Enemies were placed wonderfully... it's been a long time since those jackals managed to scare me and make me fear for my very existence :P The really dark lighting also made them very hard to see... which made them even scarier. The choice and mix of objects was good, giving us a sense of story about the Freemasons, the Templars, the Egyptians, and all these coming from the reptilian Dark Ones beneath the Lodge. Secrets were also fun to find, especially how every one of them seemed to be hidden in a specially designated treasure trove. As I already said, the atmosphere in this is incredibly chilling and terrifying. The sound effects and scary laughter add to this even more, and the choice of classical music reminded me a lot of Kubrick's 'Eyes Wide Shut' movie. Texturing could have been a little bit better I think - a lot of stretched textures all over the place. However, the choice and mix of textures was great at least. Lighting was also a bit flat in some areas, and terribly dark, however this at least added to the fear-factor in the game. All in all a very well worth playable level that I would recommend to everyone who wants to be scared >:)" - Sethian (27-Dec-2007)
"On the one hand I'm ashamed top admit that it took me more than four years after this two-parter was honored as the first Hall of Fame entry to download and play it. On the other hand I'm glad I've saved a few levels from the very early days of the Level Editor to see if things have really changed that much since I first became addicted to Tomb Raider. I'm happy to report that I would be just as impressed with this marvelous effort if it had been released yesterday. It reminds me a bit of the library sections of The Last Crusade, beautiful in design and decor and challenging to the mind as well as the reflexes. I may have been scared off earlier by what I thought was a formidable installation process, but the current level download consists of hassle-free tr4 files that should pose a problem to no one. The hefty zip file consists mainly of added sounds, but these are so pleasing to the ears that I'll probably hang on to them for a while in playing other levels. Dutchy has provided a walkthrough that's a tad difficult to follow in places, but I got through all right with its assistance. I won't go into detail about the gameplay, as it's all been covered quite well in the other reviews. Suffice it to say that if there's anyone else out there who hasn't enjoyed this wonderful gaming experience, put it off no longer. Highest recommendations." - Phil (22-Nov-2006)
"I quite liked this level. Lara is in a nicely built building with statues paintings and a dining room with a ticking grandfather clock and it's raining outside the windows. There aren't really many enemies they really consist of some dogs knights (they are only in one room so no need to worry!) and a demigod(?). You need to get into the dark lair below which sort of looks like a devil worshippers room so you'll need to make your way through the grand lodge to obtain a star item. It's nicely done but I wasn't too sure about the level going from a nice house setting to a hell lair. The levels are very short for the download but that's due to the custom sounds but even if it's just to look at the nice settings I recommend it. Download now!" - Aims (30-Apr-2004)
"Grand Lodge (9/10/10/10): Wow! I never knew TR could look so good! Amazing atmosphere brilliant lightning sounds and textures. There are lots of good puzzles and traps; speaking of which there is one trap which is certainly not good - nothing more than a death trap with no way out and nothing to gain. Also the library scene (as others have said) could have used an overhead camera to avoid the player getting dizzy. So because of these annoyances I have marked it down a point. There are tons of new features in this level such as Lara's nice red lipstick and a strange robotic friend you'll make use of. Enemy wise we have well placed dogs a few silly bats a nest of wasps some eerie 'death knights' an 'ice' wraith and a nasty demigod. A fantastic level that I'll always remember! It took me 45 minutes and I found 2 (brilliantly designed) secrets. Dark Lair (6/7/9/10): A bit too difficult to get to grips with then too easy once you do. A bit too annoying as well to be honest what with those horrible hornets haunting you all the time. A fantastic looking level though and fantastic 'feeling' as well. It only took me 15 minutes and I didn't find any secrets. A rather lop-sided duo of levels then the first being an all time great where as the second is just pretty good (and very short)." - gfd (04-Dec-2003)
"Where was I probably not in my right mind as it took me so long to play this level (just compare the date when I played this level and the date it was released). These are two great levels although I liked the first one much better than the second one. The atmosphere is perfect spooky but so well done that I most of the time walked through this one instead of the running I am used to do lately. The added sounds also perfect. Camerawork was great as well. To finally get my hands on that revolver was sheer luck on my part (and the help I had from my TR buddy as we were playing this together) and it came in handy slaying those ahmets in the second level. It was way too short. Not that much for gameplay in the second level apart from a lot of monkey climbing and jumping over deadly tiles. Nevertheless it still is a great game. 07-10-2003" - Gerty (11-Oct-2003)
"A short but powerful level. We are in a luxurious Mason's lodge it reeks of wealth and sinister goings-on. The little touches are brilliant the ticking clock the echo of Lara's footsteps the camera view looking in through the window the TRex head over the fireplace that 'smokes' the revolving half moon symbol the paintings that hide other areas and the rain running down the windows. The only thing that got on my nerves was the bell my sound was off and I got a very sick scratchy bell sound. All views through the window were great and that stained glass window was brilliant. Lighting is perfect and this made Lara's outfit look nice but it also made the textures look garish. Then again this somehow seemed appropriate to the level. I felt the textures were a bit much too fussy and in some areas stretched. Odd things didn't seem to fit i.e. boulders on the staircase but that's probably just me. The annoying confusion of standalone walls in the library seemed unnecessary and my Lara couldn't get those lovely blue save diamonds. There are however devious traps and I liked the use of the beetle to get across the fire floor and the explosion. The other big moan for me was I could save but I couldn't reload so after a timed run or trap I had to save and exit then start the game again and chose the last savegame. Unfortunately even with the tip I read about renaming the dark.tr4 I wasn't able to play the second half. It must have caused quite a sensation when it was released two years ago. The title says Tokyo 9 and if studio ummo was 1 where are the rest of the levels I'd love to see them." - CC (04-Sep-2003)
"Although this level has been out for nearly two years this has been my first opportunity to play it and I was amazed. The atmosphere is the type I love and the attention to detail too. Sophia's laugh the ticking clocks and the echoey footsteps. The puzzles were the best I have ever played through in a custom level. It was just a complete joy to play." - TrueRaider (19-Apr-2003)
"Unfortunately I got the same bugs in this level as the first time I played it.Let me start though by saying that the atmosphere is great so are the textures not to mention the sounds especially the clock ticking. The first level is the longest and I never got to use the star or the hammer. I did use the mechanical scarab a very good idea on how to use it. Traps are spikes and fire tiles. As for enemies we have knights that came back from the dead bats and at the second level mutants. I have to say that finishing the first level was a big pain because an earthquake started and never stopped until I got to the second level so imagine how I got through it with a headache. Also the revolver can be taken as there is a collision problem with a small fence but we shouldn't try to get it in the first place it's a booby trap and that information comes from the author. Some buttons to push keys to pick up they are not hidden and boulders coming down. The second level is just one room with a lot of monkey swing and finally you get the artifact and finish. I found two golden skulls and I never opened a door at the right side as you go up the stairs in the first level. It took me fifty minutes to get through both levels but that's because I knew the solution for the puzzles since last time I played them." - Kristina (03-Apr-2003)
"The first level to enter the Hall of Fame and I feared I would never be able to finish it as the game constantly crashed on the way from part one to part two. However I now discovered that I could play the Hell part separately if I use the Script from the Level Editor and renamed the dark.tr4 to tut1.tr4 cause although you pick up an artifact in part one you don't need that for progress in part two; and I had to resort to the old save and load trick with the locusts as I had to do without the medipacks I collected in the Grand Lodge. So finally I can review this classic. Well what can I say the fact that for some strange reason I got no loading screen with part one and there was also some cock up with the sound files marred my enjoyment to some degree but I guess it's not the authors fault as no one else seems to have problems so I try to ignore those technical problems. To tell the truth I'm not completely sure what all the fuss is about. Sure atmosphere wise this is very convincing especially if you bear the release date in mind. However the gameplay was nothing out of the ordinary I thought. Most memorable are the two flipmaps I think and the new way to use the mechanical beetle was pretty clever. Don't get me wrong it's all done very professionally and I enjoyed it from start to finish it's just that it didn't do that much for me gameplay wise and I thought the mix of enemies was a bit odd. Plus considering the huge download it seems to be over a tad too soon." - Dimpfelmoser (20-Dec-2002)
"I'm actually too generous with my ratings here even if I read in the reviews that the level will be short I never imagined that it would last for only 35 minutes! This must've been the shortest custom level in the Top 50 (even the top position!). And even if I did want it to be longer it still was a great effort from the author. Visually it is stunning and I loved the use of colourful lighting in these levels. The atmosphere is great actually this is one of the most atmospheric levels I've played so far and I have played a lot! There are some simple bugs like the one where you are able to escape the revolver trap the door bug in the labyrinth and if you don't see that the statue at the start is movable right at the start you might get really stuck later in the labyrinth and have to replay the level till that part. Also the end seems a bit too strange - that is you can escape without the reptile artefact no big deal though. The nice parts are the exploding floor in the big room where you have to use the beetles the second level itself is a masterpiece in the whole look the sounds of the moving flesh the echoing footsteps... This level is even better than most of the ones we get today but if you look at the time it was released this truly must've been a breakthrough for custom levels. (And you also wonder why no sequels or prequels have been released in such a long time...)." - eTux (03-Dec-2002)
"A little more than one hour to accomplish this mission, grab the TR3 artefact in the dark lair after picking up other custom objects. The first level, the grand lodge, is the longest and the most interesting with very good puzzles. The atmosphere in both levels is really great, what do you expect to find in such places a lodge and a lair? The sounds are just perfect, I like the sounds of TR3 for the inventory, and the added music files (tombraider themes and classic music). There are some textures of Lara's home and of the lodge in Aldwych in the first level, and the pulsating textures of Atlantis in the second. Enemies are dogs, a demigod, knights and ghosts, ahmets and mosquitos. This masterpiece is a must see, and a must play and well worthy to be in the Hall of fame. It is only a pity that it is a bit short." - eRIC (26-Sep-2002)
"I'll make this short and sweet since there are already so many reviews to read through. If I had to give a rating for the number of "Oh Wow!" moments I'd have to give this one an 11 as the author has added so many cool things that really add to the atmosphere of the level. The chiming clock the sound of the falling rain as you watched it through the windows the rooms lit by candle light the hanging skeletons the pick and shovel leaning against the wall the blazing fire in the chilly looking rooms the gorgeous rooms using the textures from All Hallows the secret areas with golden skulls the smart camera angles hearing Lara's footsteps in the large rooms Lara saying 'A-ha' when she picks up something all the new music the clock that chimes that it's midnight (the witching hour) the huge pentagram - Well I could probably go on forever so I'll just stop. Gameplay itself is simple for the first 30 minutes but the last 15 minutes will have your heart pounding with the tricky jumps and the ahmets chasing after you. Congratulations Mirai! You're truly an artist! Now please make more levels." - RaiderGirl (02-Sep-2002)
"Really beautiful level. The Grand Lodge is very well built and its atmosphere is great; it has influences of the London levels of TR3. To find the four secrets of the game was not difficult but the 'dark ones' were hard to beat only with the pistols (because the crossbow and the explosive ammunition didn't hurt them). Some places are too dark and the ambiance light in blue (where the last secret is) was a bit annoying. The second level is very short (but with some difficulties) and it seems that it's going to a third part (back at the desktop). I hope this next part to play it too there are some suggesting objects unused in the inventory...." - Loupar (02-Sep-2002)
"Beautiful 2-part level by Mirai. 'Tricky and dizzying but easy' is what I can say to this. Certainly a deviation from the Japanese levels I played so far in that this has none of those nearly impossible moves I encountered in Meganebashi and Eye of Eve. The Grand Lodge takes place in an all too familiar setting --- a mansion --- with a couple of new objects (for me) like the armour. The portrait that Lara kept looking near the start drove me crazy; gave me the feeling that something must be done right there and then. Quickly after that a staircase dining room and a manageable timed run to a fireplace to proceed to a library. In here the shelves (doors) that block Lara's views as she changes angles got me kinda dizzy. What made it worse for me when I tried to get the revolver earlier the earthquake never stopped until the end of part 1. Oh well it was my choice so I'm not complaining. But if you can't stand the shaking you may as well dispense with the revolver. And near the end our friend the cute and helpful mechanical scarab made its appearance again. Part 2 is just as beautiful --- the wall textures seem original (to me) while the 'pulsating' ceiling and floor reminded me again of the Atlantean civilization in the earlier TR series. Tasks here are rigorous but manageable. If you get the key move here everything will be a breeze though repetitive and long. Just a caution: save your health as much as possible. All in all the gameplay of both parts is cohesive and the tasks logically follow one after the other in order to progress. It's simple so I don't expect gamers to get so confused. While it didn't seriously knock me off my chair it's still nevertheless exciting. I just thought that I'd use the many artifacts (including an original hammer) and relic I got so when the game ended I was left kinda wanting for more. Or maybe we get to use them in the next level? But this has been released a long time ago and I haven't heard of a sequel yet since then." - Drew Pizza (26-Aug-2002)
"Lara starts in a large house, for me very spooky, especially the music and the sounds suited the atmosphere very well. The textures and rooms were designed very well, I liked it a lot. Lara does not actually need to do much here, as there are not many puzzles. One was timed, but could be mastered well. There are 2 golden keys and other artifacts to find. The opponents were dogs, demigods, the locusts were a real nuisance. Therefore one had to save on medipacks, I had at the end 2 left over;) The second level I found very short, the opponents were somewhat too many, among them those locusts, but from an atmosphere point of view the Level was very good:)" - Engelchen Lara (26-Aug-2002)
"When I played this one for the first time last year I was amazed at the level of sheer cinematographical impact of it: this Mirai guy should not be a music composer (as he is) but should direct movies. In the room with the open fire place there's a moment when you put Lara at the windows the camera view goes from inside straight to the outside so you see Lara standing inside from the outside of the room: it seems like a simple 'oh let's put the camera there' decision but the impact of it proves this was well thought off. It puts a lot of tension in the game as if you're really involved in the game. Only one other level (Jesseas' Stad Duister) also has such a 'tension' moment I am really disappointed these are so rare: every level creator should put more effort into such things more than creating just some flyby camera break in between (that are very often extremely boring and just moments to 'show off'). Everything else in my absolute ten ratings is so obvious or has been said before by other gamers that I let the points speak for themselves. BRILLIANT." - bERT (24-Aug-2002)
"In the first few seconds of playing this double levelled game it is evident that this is something special as the rain falls down outside a clock ticks away and Lara leaves hollow footsteps in her wake. Not only is it aurally perfect but visually and atmospherically this has an authentically stunning look with the help of brilliant textures and objects and an eerie feel helped along by great lighting. I was a little surprised by the small amount of rooms this level is played in as the huge download gave to mind a vast game environment but each area has enough to do to keep the player happy and sometimes maybe a little perplexed especially the second level that is entirely set in one underground room which is actually one large puzzle combined with some frightening beasts to fight. So if you are looking to find a completely professional level then this hour long one is definitely a good place to start." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"It's all being said in the other reviews here: absolutely perfect atmosphere sound and cameras (I would give it an 11 rating if that were on the scale) and the enemies are placed and used well (dogs a return of the undead knights and I think a new beast I have not seen before) and justify the 10 even though objects are few secrets are not too challenging and is that revolver a booby trap or was I just too stupid? While the textures and lights are great in places the main supporter of the atmosphere are really other elements such as the sound (ticking and ringing clocks) the rain outside some of the new objects. As for the gameplay I have to say that the puzzles are creative but sort of one after the other in a pretty sequential way and not too difficult and while every room/area has a great feel to it from the pure gameplay experience there are certainly better levels out there. I took my time exploring and admiring the scenery and spent about 45 minutes in the first level and then about 15 minutes in the Dark Lair which provides a great final puzzle and fight (although the continuous music is a little annoying while you monkey swing around the room). Bottomline don't miss this one in your custom level collection..." - Michael. (21-Jun-2002)
"This is a stand alone game (comes complete with it's own .exe file) of two levels which I believe will be added to in time to come. The levels themselves smack of professional designers and were a joy to play. New sound effects new beasties and a couple of tough puzzles will keep you going for an hour or so. The download with the sound effects is pretty hefty at around 26 MB (2 sound file zips two game data zips the exe and dat file zip and even some save games if you want them) but is worth the time and effort." - Torry (21-Jun-2002)
"Before starting this review I want to scream! Aaaahh! :) This level is almost one year old and it still has one of the best atmospheres I've seen ever: very sinister! There were at least one moment where I was screaming loud while fighting with the monsters of this level! By the way as I said the level IS old and at that time it was really hard to create such environments and I am pleased that the author did it succesfully. One thing I didn't like about it is the fact that it is too short. It lasted 40 minutes (30 in the first level and 10 in the second) but I enjoyed it completely. Lots of good puzzles make this a enjoyable level. If you didn't download it yet download it NOW! It's really well worth the download. Looking for the next level of this author. (June-07/2002)" - Treeble (21-Jun-2002)
"These levels are really superb - it's hard to find any fault with them. To begin with the design is just beautiful - professional quality in fact - with many new textures and effects. Stunning rooms include a medieval crypt masonic temple with a revolving half-moon overhead and a mystical underworld. There are new moveable objects as well. Enemies are used to perfect effect within the context of the game and there are some new ones (for user created levels). Lighting and sound (if you download the author's audio files) are great. Gameplay is fun and engaging with some excellent puzzles including a clever library maze and a new twist on the scarab puzzle. 2 of the 3 secrets I found were easily spotted but the third is cleverly hidden. The only complaint I have is that the levels were too short!" - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)
"After having the managed the kind of huge download (I chose the audio-lite version and that was already sufficient to give me some shivers) you are rewarded with two beautifully designed levels. The author is very attentive to details in his rooms equips them nicely and on top of that adds a few tricky puzzles as well. You will find new objects and enemies (skeletons in a knights armor - just brilliant). The rain (behind the windows) and the ticking clocks create a fantastic atmosphere. Traps are not too difficult but some puzzles are and yet again you get to use the little mechanical scarab. The second level takes place almost entirely in one big room where initially you do not know what to do. You are continuously chased by beasts and need to pick your running paths carefully. All in all a very well crafted piece of work by Mirai showing us how beautiful a level can be from a design perspective. Unfortunately the playing time is a little short but the author assured me there will be more levels to come..." - Qwendo (21-Jun-2002)
"This is the highest rating I have ever given to a level and the only thing I have to justify the rating is- it deserved it! Everything in the level was perfect! Original rooms like the library and the ice room- all captivating. Nice music added and the author had given thought to each object room and texture. Although I thought some puzzles were a bit easy you barely notice them you are too busy looking around! Worth the download!" - Yonatan (21-Jun-2002)
"Great looking level new puzzles and a breathtaking ending!" - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)
"This one IS brilliant! So why only 7 for the gameplay? It's caused by the second part "Dark Lair". This second part is much too short and it has a simple structure. Difficulty level is increased only by placing enemies that drain your life power - the puzzle itself is very simple. I needed 3 tries to go through because I ran out of medipacks. Thats a bit frustrating. The grand lodge is very nicely built. I wish it had been larger. All in all it's a must see and I strongly advise you to download it at once!" - Webknight (21-Jun-2002)
"The only complaint I had about these levels is that they were too short (my total time 45 minutes) for the amount of time it takes to download the levels and music (by the way I opted for 'audiolite' and it was perfect). That being said I found no fault with the two levels. The 9 was for the short play. The sound effects from TR1 were a great touch and the atmosphere was not only beautiful but original too. These levels are not difficult at all to play but very fun with constant action and different challenges. The enemies *could be* two of the most deadly and the dark atmosphere is appropriate." - Wendee (21-Jun-2002)
"As soon as you step into this adventure you know it's going to take every cell in your brain to solve it. It looks beautiful an extremely good use of objects and on top of that the most atmospheric level I've played so far. Mirai is a genius and when you play the level yourself you'll understand why. I just wanted to search every nook and cranny just to marvel at the gorgeous textures. Excellent puzzles and a fine mixture of enemies makes this my number number 1 level(s) at the moment." - dhama (21-Jun-2002)
"Well it's said in all the other reviews it's two wonderful levels even though the second part is too short (I didn't want it to stop). The texturing and sound is wonderful and the enemies are well placed. These are the only levels I've re-played and that says a lot!" - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)
"Excellent medium length level with a good mixture of puzzles and enemies. The sound with its echoy quality really adds to this level. The graphics is stunning but in the library scenes the camera could have been done in different way so as to not get you disorientated (might have been meant though) and lose the walls occasionally. Definitely one to play." - Whistle (21-Jun-2002)
"Well my expectations were high - number 1 spot and a really cool screenshot and now rating is difficult as there are several categories and I really missed a certain gameplay duration. The first level is filled with so many details and nice objects that you really feel like you are in the house. But technically it claims to fully utilize the possibilities of the editor but that's not really true. Most of the effects were seen in other levels many times and in terms of the storyline it is also not overly impressive although I like the idea of a house with the hell in the basement. Puzzles are simple not too difficult maybe even too easy. The objects are great and the rain behind the windows is something I have not yet seen. Level 2 is unfortunately so short almost wasted. I assume the author had to split the levels due to editor limitations but then he could have made more of the second level because the overall playing time for such a brilliant level is really too short." - XETH (21-Jun-2002)
"Another kind of level very impressive atmosphere and a wonderful sound. The puzzles are not too difficult but very strange ;-). The second part of this level is a little bit too short very colorful and not as good as the first part." - Seemeister (21-Jun-2002)
"After you play this double level you will sit back and both wonder at and curse at the design determination that went into creating this! You will wonder at the beautifully detailed lighting and textures. You will curse at some of the gameplay as there are a few tricks you need to know in order to advance. Wonderfully rendered new creature in The Dark Lair level (this level was a personal hell for me.) I just couldn't figure out how to get started but when I did learn the secret I felt so dumb that I couldn't figure it out by myself. You'll just have to download the levels and see for yourself. You won't be disappointed!" - Brat352 (21-Jun-2002)
"The optically best designed Level I played yet. Starting in a wonderful coloured hall you will find your way through several rooms with well done but not too hard quests and traps (with the exception of getting the Revolver but if you know how - and especially 'when' to get it it's easy to manage). Lots of different items and objects are used to give you a varied gameplay. The second level is much easier to play and to me it was a little too simple but even worth playing it." - Chicken (21-Jun-2002)
"Are they actually two levels?... more than 26 Mega's for downloading? Yes they are two tr4 files (not considering the third tr4 file of the title which is a concept-one). But I think this was only one level in the beginning split into two only for the amount of graphics. Yes textures are good even illumination. But it is all like the Hallows secret TR3 Level you can reach only if you have collected all 59+1 secrets in the TR3 game. I really liked the gameplay differently of what it is said by other's reviewers. But the second level is only a one-room-level! Actually there are three rooms in the second level: the main room the same room once flipped and a corridor which brings Lara to the end (with a crash of the game). I downloaded this level months ago but I had time to play it only last week so I don't know if he fixed the revolver secret bug (you could go out of the secret through a wrong window without taking the revolver but even without dying so the level had a never-ending earthquake as he did it for you to die). But this is not important because as I said I liked the gameplay: but you could do the best level you can do if you build only one room and you flip it only changing illumination and with some squares which crash deeply. Even if I didn't like and understand why he used the same typology of flipmap (floor which falls down) for both levels I enjoyed to play it... Finally a level with few enemies but well positioned. I was stuck in a position in the 'pushable cubes' room where if Lara pushes two of them and she is in the middle she cannot move anymore (she stays still without being able to move or to jump and to look once she is between the external surfaces of adjacent cubes). The level is really beautiful to look at but besides the fact he says it took him six months to build it you don't see many building months in it. It is beautiful but at least it is only a good application of some other's work both for textures either for objects either for new sounds and audios (some of the most beautiful from TR1-2-3). And to be sincere a particular flying camera sequence is one of the best I've ever seen in all TR games (both official and custom). I rate a little low the gameplay because of those design errors I said and because I was disappointed by the one-room-second level." - Tammta (21-Jun-2002)
"Although short this level has lots to offer. Being an older level I can't really judge it by saying the objects and items were out of place because this was before we had the ability to import things as well as today. However the jackals would have been better off being the dogs from the new city wad this was set in Tokyo wasn't it? The textures were well done but the lighting was a bit too vibrant. The camera issue I had was while going through the Library maze part it got very frustrating and an overhead camera would have been nice. In the dark lair there were a few too many ahmets to kill and the locust swarms were too and I mean too overused not to mention out of place locust are above ground insects. The traps though a little too hidden and no chance to see it coming was welcome but a little hint would have made the game more realistic I mean spikes shooting out of ceramic tile something not right there. The best part as I'm sure everyone agrees was the rain very well done. All in all the level was well done and besides the minor faults I rather enjoyed it." - Android (21-Jun-2002)
"It has been a good level I liked the gameplay. It has some interesting things. There is a very good work in objects. There is also a good work in cameras. Sound is excellent! I just think that level needs more lights inside some rooms. Both parts are very good but I liked in special way the second part. Play this level!" - Juan Carlos (21-Jun-2002)
"This is an excellent level that I recommend. Without being a complex level it is never boring. Same thing with textures there aren't new textures but they are worked in good way. I liked specially secrets and the final star. The way to find secrets remember me the original Tomb Raider game. Congratulations!" - Lorena (21-Jun-2002)
"The author has created a rich level of visual atmosphere and graphical old library is developed to one... to the sounds of the clocks essentially round. For who it loves the situations from maze with succession of enemy levers I are also seeds to deal with astuteness. God structure can be approached the wefts of Tombraider 2 with end from the TR1 'The CAVE' .Optimal judgment however and sound stereo!" - Roberto (21-Jun-2002)
"My first impression was overwhelming. The mansion with the enormous library was fantastically lighted and textured. Already the first steps of Lara in this level made me drool over my keyboard. The sound is the unbelievable. Lara's steps echo from the entire enormous entrance hall each texture carefully aligned with a suitable sound the shots from their pistols sound differently and even the inventory noises resemble the clearing noise of a photo camera. Sound effects like loud laughter or the nerve-racking 'tick tack' of the pendulums in the clocks give a proper goose skin atmosphere to the first part of this level. Whoever would like to play this masterpiece should absolutely download all sound files. Thus the player comes into the full benefit of an acoustic 'spectaculum' which with decent PC equipment allows for cinema atmosphere. An icy tomb besides the enormous labyrinth-like library caused me to get myself a cover - although for hours the heating in my room had been on! The atmosphere does not leave anything to be desired. Lara was also equipped with a beautiful and elegant outfitand even some lipstick can be noticed. The second part is a pure action sequence and clouds a bit the impression of the predecessor. If you collected too few medipacks you may well be lost in the mass of the tough enemies. What suffers during the marvelous presentation of the level is unfortunately the puzzles. One puzzle appears to be very tricky because to get the revolver behind that grate without burning Lara to death is a tough one. All in all it is impressive to see what can be magically put onto your screen with the editor a few tools and a lot of creativity. A little like a David Copperfield show!" - Hendrik (21-Jun-2002)
"This is good level with great atmosphere and some nice puzzles. But it is already said that they are short. Although the atmosphere is very good I found some stretched textures. Textures are combined well from other levels except a texture from the India level which did not fit in my eyes. Lighting was good but some corners where too dark. Don't worry there are flares enough to solve this. A little bit too much cameras. Some timed cameras combined with the target object did not work but this is a bug of the editor and not the creator. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. The second level was also great knowing that it was gonna be short but you spent a lot of time in there swinging on the ceiling. There are not many medipacks to find and this is what was very exciting in this last level. You're asking yourself all the time if you can make it with what you have. The room where you had to use the beetle was very beautiful to walk in and had a great flipmap effect. I think the time of creating these levels (6 months I believe) were spent on testing the many objects from the other TRgames. A pity was that I ended the level with 2 not used puzzle items. Mayby they must be taken to the next level? Let's hope so..." - Piega (21-Jun-2002)
"What a superb level this is. It was an hour and a half of sheer playing pleasure. From the moment I entered the level to the moment it was over I was completely captivated by the atmosphere of the place. The hollow sound of the footsteps the ticking and chiming clock the decor the lighting the camera work - all excellent. And those enemies - the dogs with horns and the half monkey half crocodile. Superb I was almost disappointed when the level ended." - Staticon (21-Jun-2002)
"First of all let me say that these two levels have that certain special 'something' in terms of atmosphere. It's obvious that Mirai works with music because sounds have been created and/or enhanced throughout the game. From ticking clocks to echoing footsteps the audio elements throughout really help to promote a sense of 'being there'. The graphics are truly beautiful especially during the first level which is set in a Mason's Lodge. The colours here are rich and warm and texturally I couldn't fault it. Secrets are nicely placed. Enemies include a handful of relatively 'non-lethal' ones such as dogs knights and bats as well as a demigod and a wraith. The second level is set in an underground cavern of sorts. This is by far the easiest of the two levels in my opinion and once you know what you're supposed to do it's all over very quickly. And in fact that's the only real gripe I have with this game - it's too short. Playing time for me (for both levels) was about an hour and if I replayed it I could probably cut that in half. If Mirai extended these levels then I think he would have a classic on his hands. Another minor gripe is that the puzzles were a little annoying at times - for example the camera angle in the library really got on my nerves after a while and also the 'booby-trapped' revolver just seemed a bit unfair to me (hence the lower rating for gameplay and puzzles from me). Overall though the author has done a great job. Very highly recommended." - Bex (21-Jun-2002)
"A great deal of effort has been put into the sounds and the textures. I was frustrated however at the totally dark corners. I found the constantly ticking clock in the first 'area' really annoying and the chiming drove me crazy. The sound was good for atmosphere to begin with but I think it went a bit over the top. There were times when it was "a bit spooky" which is great. I found the puzzles good but saw no logic to the flaming tiles. It would have been good if the author had been a bit more generous with 'first aid' but I must admit the shortage made me more careful about saving and retrying situations to make them more economical! Certainly worth playing." - Moonliteshadow (21-Jun-2002)
"Beautiful moody atmosphere combined with truly luscious sound and textures. Enemies were unique and game play was well thought out. The only complaint is that this level(s) was too too short. This level made me want more from Mirai! After playing many custom levels this was a real treat. Clever and intelligent engaging and enticing. I particularly liked the 'real-life' setting of the Lodge. (I get bored with Egyptian tombs after awhile.) I would like to see what the London levels of TR3 could have been in Mirai's skillful hands. But again too short too short!" - Lady Lara (21-Jun-2002)