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Tears of a Ptolemaic Dynasty - Chapter I - Nimiha'Bi by Bigfoot

Adrian 10 9 10 10
Chel 9 10 10 10
DJ Full 10 10 10 10
eRIC 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
Jose 8 9 10 10
manarch2 8 8 10 9
Mman 9 10 10 10
Mr XY 10 10 10 10
Nicky 9 8 8 9
Phil 9 10 10 10
requiemsoul 7 8 9 9
Ryan 10 10 10 10
release date: 10-Feb-2019
# of downloads: 267

average rating: 9.50
review count: 13
review this level

file size: 246.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Given pretty much all of Bigfoot's releases prior to this are one or two levels, this five (counting the bonus) level set is a pretty big step up in ambition. This is a mostly Egyptian themed, but with various other themes mixed that fit and also give it a distinct style. It's full of lavish open areas and beautiful sights, and, while there are some weaker areas visually, it doesn't take away from how great the majority looks. The lighting is frequently whitish but plays off the colourful textures and objects to bring a lot of visual interest and variety despite that. Objects are also used well to convey the story and events as you progress through the set. From some of the larger indoor parts later and the music choices this was seemingly also inspired by Tonytomb's "Isle of the Sun" series, which is fine by me given his releases are some of my favourites in terms of atmosphere.
There's a nice progression to the gameplay, as it starts out relatively linear and straightforward and gradually opens up into a semi-non-linear sprawl by the end. This is partly done by how the set is split up, as levels 1-2 and 3-4(+bonus) separate it into two halves, and the levels that comprise them basically work as a giant single level that you go back and forth between in their respective segments. There's mostly a focus on exploration and puzzles, and there's a nice layered difficulty to the latter, as you frequently do a puzzle once early, and then do a version later on that's more complex but builds on what you know. Though the "step on the right tiles" puzzles felt used once or twice more than they needed to be. The story is also nicely implemented with various character interactions (albeit with just text and no voices), along with Lara's Diary and one or two other interactive objects. The layout complexity did get a bit extreme towards the end, although the Diary does gives hints for a couple of the things that are easy to overlook. Maybe one or two more hints could have helped though. Combat is pretty low-key and mostly comprised of Scorpions, Dogs and White-robed Ninjas; with how much ammo you get I felt a couple of bigger enemies would have fit to provide some punctuation to combat at one or two climatic points, although the enemies are generally used well in terms of fitting the environment.
Like most of Bigfoot's other releases there's a bigger reward behind finding all the secrets, this takes it even further though, as there's a whole bonus level which is pretty substantial in itself and makes use of a new interface element to provide a little more to an item hunting task. I did feel one item blended in too well here, although it's at least only an issue in this bonus level. This is an excellent release with substantial gameplay and a consistently great visuals, and hopefully the sequel is still being made..." - Mman (17-Jul-2023)
"Replayed this after several years and thoroughly enjoyed it once again. Great visuals and puzzles. Maybe dangerously close to being too labyrinthine. Possibly needs some more clues hinting what to do next as there is some (mostly necessary) backtracking which can tax the memory if like me you can't play the whole long raid in a single go and have to take breaks when you can lose some of your accumulated layout knowledge. That aside, this is a great level set and I await Chapter 2 with considerable anticipation." - Adrian (25-Sep-2022)
"After about five years of construction, Bigfoot released the first part of its "Tears of a Ptolemaic Dynasty" saga. Four levels + a bonus level, if you find all the secrets in the game, can be discovered here. I was allowed to test the level and follow the development up close and would like to congratulate Bigfoot on this masterpiece of classic level construction.
All levels are built with 64x64 pix textures, so the levels have a classic look. This is also reflected in the gameplay. The focus is clearly on solving puzzles and acrobatic acts, action in the form of opponents and traps takes place on the sidelines.Anyone who knows and likes levels from Bigfoot will feel very comfortable here.
The level of difficulty is easy to medium. Timeruns offer more than enough time and there are actually no difficult falls or jumps.
In any case, I would like to note and praise (especially from a level builder's point of view) how extremely well the 4 main levels are connected to each other. Several times in the game you switch back and forth between the levels in different ways and see through grids initially inaccessible places that you can later unlock using shortcuts. This makes the whole thing seem like a big coherent adventure.
The disadvantage of this thing (from the player's point of view) is that orientation becomes increasingly difficult, especially towards the end. The many level jumps can be very confusing. A map or ideally a GPS would have helped a lot here.
Despite this point of criticism, I would like to recommend "Tears of a Ptolemaic Dynasty" to everyone. Five wonderful levels that deserve to be played." - Mr XY (12-Oct-2020)
"The credits at the end say that this first chapter was built in a period of 4 years. When i played it , that was one of my thoughts : how much time has been consecrated to build all this awesome stuff ? The absolutely faultless texturing , the impressive architecture of these majestic rooms, the technical achievement we can perceive in objects and animations , the excellent narrative of the storyline. The storyline is good, the storytelling is perfect and comes alive with the use of the diary , the written dialogues, the apparitions of the goddess , flipmaps or whatever. There are so many things to appreciate : the secrets system , the free and relaxing exploration , the enjoyable (and rather user-friendly) timed tasks , the hints for the puzzles with symbols are never vague, the fact that some of the textures which are the most important (storyline or gameplay wise) are those which are seen the less often, or the nice touches such as one of the airplane engines had landed in a tomb or the monkeys that prefer to try to catch butterflies rather than robbing small medipacks. Also , despite all the advanced features we can see at times , the game is never never 'showy' , that requires even more building talent and intelligence. Only two minor details : some static objects seem to be lighted too brightly (esp the hanging greenery in darker areas) and who has placed all these crates in so many areas :) ?? Well well, the most impressively perfect custom tr game i've played in many aspects, can't wait to meet again with the game characters in Chapter 2 !" - eRIC (18-Aug-2019)
"very good game you need to get all the secrets to do the bonus levels, very good playability not many bad guys more puzzles.can't wait on part two x" - Nicky (31-May-2019)
"Extraordinary work one more time; thank you very much, Sylvain. The architecture is impressive, the best from this adventure, and the texturization and lighting are very good too. The rooms are very well ornated, there are fantastic objects and you always have the feeling that you are playing a professional game; excellent. On the other hand, I think there's an abuse of the exploration, forcing the players to go back to the same places a lot of times, leaving always closed doors behind and many times with unnecessary backtracking; the labyrinthine design is only suitable for players with a good memory, even more when it's an adventure you usually play along several days. The puzzles are not very innovative, and sometimes similar, like the four switches puzzles or the paths showing the right way to cross a room; I found excessive switches to pull too. I also missed some more enemies here and there and not only ninjas and scorpions. All in all it's still a great adventure, especially for pure explorers and for me enjoyable enough. Recommended." - Jose (11-Apr-2019)
"What an excellently designed, interesting level in spite of how long it ended up taking me to finish without the bonus level as I didn't find any of the owl coins and I wasn't following walkthroughs! My main thoughts... It's huge - and it looks even bigger because of quite a few architectural similarities throughout (I'm not saying it isn't varied because it is: varied and grandiose) and of having to travel from one level to the next and back and to yet another and back and so on - I spent half of my time here completely lost. The puzzles were fairly simple (and I do appreciate that because they were not boring) and there were a few really, really nice - if tight - timed runs. There were way too many boxes of which you could push/pull none (I always wonder why people leave so many boxes scattered around in Tomb Raider games and levels). I have nothing bad to say regarding the general atmosphere and sounds, quite the opposite, it's all beautifully rounded up. There were a lot of medipacks and guns without real need but I like it that way - banging the baddies to smithereens was pretty much rewarding. In a sense, I prefer having dialogues in text form than long, a lot more boring, cut scenes or FMVs, so yes. The level was built between 2015 and 2019 - wow, that must mean we'll only get the second part somewhere around 2023! I appreciated the fact that Bigfoot provided an alternative exe as the main one didn't seem to work on my end. A final token of appreciation to our dear departed mugs who, according to the final credits, lent a hand in a couple of things, along with many others who must also be greeted. Very recommended." - Jorge22 (11-Apr-2019)
"Yeah I'm giving it nearly a perfect ten here. Minus 1 point due to the backtracking which just about kills me because my sense of direction is so horrible. I have to draw little dinky maps on paper to keep from being hopelessly turned around. After navigating it and completing it in hindsight the complexity and backtracking is pretty brilliant! I love Bigfoot's levels. Always a treat. This was a very ambitious package and it was hard as hell at times (that sense of direction thing) but so so satisfying! I confess that I did glance at the walkthrough a few times when I got stuck and just could not for the life of me figure out what the heck to do. This is not an easy-breezy raid by any means. It starts off that way and gradually ramps up the difficulty and gets sneakier as you go. Visually/aesthetically, it doesn't miss the mark. These are some gorgeous environments. Well textured and laid out, lighting is spot-on. The atmosphere is phenomenal, from the shores of the plane wreck to the cisterns to the tombs beneath the whopping Tower level. I wanted to keep playing just so I could see what was next. It was that immersive of an experience. The cinematic/conversation segments were a nice touch and those go a long way toward making the story something more than a blurb on the level description page. As a player who loves a good story I always appreciate it when builders go the extra mile and incorporate a storytelling element into the game. I really don't have anything bad to say, gang. This is like wish-fulfillment if you're in the mood for a good challenge. Go out of your way to find those secrets. The bonus level experience is well worth it. I can't wait to play part 2" - Chel (08-Apr-2019)
"I was a little worried that the gameplay in the first half of this level did not quite match the builder's standards, the exploration was okay but there were few actual puzzles or other tasks to absolve and a considerable amount of pedestrian backtracking. The backtracking actually was an issue until the end of the game, but thankfully the second half provided much more variety and had a few fairly nice puzzles on offer. Perhaps the "see through the floor" puzzle was repeated one time too often, but it's still a decent task. Of course, the storyline adds a lot to the enjoyment factor, and even the less inspired tasks are still far from badly put together. Enemies are slightly underused here, and most of the time you are facing fairly mundane ones like ninjas, dogs and scorpions, so variety is also a bit low here - additionally, there is way too much ammo provided here for relatively few enemies. The secrets were of course a great addition, complete with special secrets and a rewarding bonus level. Objects are nicely used, some custom ones as well as "ordinary" decoration objects, the only gripe I had was that sometimes there were even too many objects around so that some rooms looked overcrowded. The looks of this level are as to be expected very solid, texturing is almost flawless and only in a few places the lighting felt a little bit flat (e.g. the crash site) or slightly dullish-dark (e.g. the underground areas in the city level). The gameplay isn't affected by the darkness, but I think that giving some additional light might have helped to make the rooms feel more eye-candy. The tower level, without being dark, admittedly has the best atmosphere of all levels. A handful of areas are a bit more boxy or too little natural (i.e. with slightly artificial architecture), but anyway, the way the levels are designed is so professional and complex that I do not want to deduct points for that. Sounds and cameras are highly spot on and all those flybys are both beautiful and helpful. In total, a level that has quite some lengths but is still recommended strongly for the immersive and atmospheric outcome. 3:05 hours." - manarch2 (14-Mar-2019)
"Nearly a month after its release mine is only the fourth review of this fantastic game, which I attribute to its vast scope and complexity. Dutchy's walkthrough is indispensable unless you have a masochistic bent, and even with its help I spent a little more than six hours here. The surroundings are nothing short of breathtaking, a dramatic contrast with the TR2 level I played at the same time. My only complaint is that there were so many rooms, all of which looked basically the same, and even though the rooms were appointed beautifully I eventually became a bit weary of navigating my way through them. Goes to show that too much of a good thing can be not so good. Nonetheless, I marvel at the planning that must have gone into this mind-boggling adventure, which had so many twists and turns that I couldn't begin to list them all. How fortunate we are to have builders that consistently provide us such high-level entertainment, for no tangible compensation other than the praise we (sometimes) give them in our reviews." - Phil (07-Mar-2019)
"This is classic bigfoot plus a lot of touches which make it like no other level before, and I'm quite sure there will be as well no other like this in the future. It requires some memory you don't always wanna use as a player, but it gives you hints and reminders everywhere it can so if you play it in the morning rather than in the evening you will rather enjoy than complain. If there's something I would fix it's occasional need to turn back when it seems you should go forward, and there are certain interactions in passages instead of in literal destination rooms. Also a reminder between the halves of shatter puzzle could be good because they are far from each other. So there was a period of my playthrough when wanted to withdraw a point because of this. But then I played the bonus level, I discarded my doubts and just threw in a perfect score because this work is really something outstanding everybody should see." - DJ Full (01-Mar-2019)
"Wow - this is nothing less than brilliant. First class raiding at its best. It may be billed as the first chapter in a presumed multi part series (which I sincerely hope will be continued in the future), but it offers more than enough gameplay and visual pleasure to keep you occupied for quite a while (four and a half hours in game time, but I did take a couple of days as I was in no rush to finish). The gameplay is continuously entertaining and offers plenty of variety to get stuck into, ranging from timed runs, pushable object puzzles and target shooting exercises to flipmaps, safe tile puzzles and a couple of torch exercises, while the sceneries throughout are nothing short of stunning and music is used very nicely. The secret system is pretty unique, as the more you discover, the more you get rewarded near the end (and you get plenty of rewards in between too). The textures reminded me of the Passage to Mu series and I did recognise a few in there. I did try hard to think of any negatives (well, maybe the pushable puzzles did go on a tad too long), but nothing much came to mind so here go my four tens and this glowing review. Brilliantly done." - Ryan (18-Feb-2019)
"This project has disappointed me a bit. The first two levels are a bit boring with few tasks and enemies, Why are there so many crates?. Afterwards, the thing improves..., with a greater emphasis on the puzzles (although they are all based on the same type) and we will need a good memory to travel the (beutiful) settings. I have missed some mythological enemy." - requiemsoul (16-Feb-2019)