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BtB2020 - Save the Cintamani by JesseG

Adrian 9 8 8 7
BlackWolfTR 8 9 7 7
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
eRIC 8 7 7 7
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jorge22 8 9 8 7
Jose 7 7 7 7
Josey 10 10 10 10
Lizard Queen 8 8 8 10
Magnus 6 6 5 5
manarch2 9 9 7 7
MichaelP 10 9 8 7
MigMarado 9 8 9 7
Mman 9 9 8 8
Mytly 8 7 7 7
nad 7 8 7 7
Phil 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 8 9 9 7
Ryan 8 8 7 7
Saki Croft 7 7 7 7
Samu 9 7 7 7
Talos 9 9 7 7
Topixtor 7 8 6 7
Torry 7 9 9 7
Treeble 10 10 10 10
release date: 14-Jun-2020
# of downloads: 135

average rating: 7.98
review count: 25
review this level

file size: 134.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Oriental

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"So many underrated levels in this package. Here we get remarkable storytelling with outstanding secrets. The atmosphere might be a bit thrifty compared to the levels from the podium but I don't know if going bigger/more epic would help this particular level. One thing that could be fixed was absolute indifference of the monks - they are so busy meditating they don't even flinch at Lara roaming in their monastery. Or maybe that's exactly how it should be... Seriously recommended." - DJ Full (01-Apr-2023)
"This level started off so well with the snow mobile ride but quickly morphed into yet another switch hunt which had me pulling out the walk through quite early on as without that aid the raider is doomed to wander the halls of the monastery forever and a day. Why make these things so complex? Anyway, there are some neat moments as well as some scratch your head moments. The lever room I could not discern any clues on how to proceed and which switches to pull in which order so basically got through by trail and error but before that you needed to get one of the switch handles by prying it off a wall. Well, I did not even see that and without the walk through I never would have. The extra strength that Lara gains to make huge jumps was a neat idea and something I had never seen before. The timed run was downright mean and had me reloading time and time again. Apparently there are two endings to this but I only managed the normal ending and was simply so exhausted at the end I couldn't be bothered going back and looking for the secrets I missed. The boss fight is simple if you have enough magnum ammo for the revolver (that looks like and automatic). Graphics are not as polished as some of the other offerings in this Back to Basics series unfortunately." - Torry (27-Nov-2022)
"What a ride! This level is full of creative and unusual gameplay ideas that make for a fascinating entertainment factor. From the very start with the snowmobile and the unusual scene where Lara hurts her leg to the very end with a unique boss fight that actually deserves the title for a change. The overall architecture of the rooms and the application of textures and lighting is maybe not quite as perfect and refined as it is with some other level entries in the competition, but I did not mind the slight lack of artistic features in the least, because the creativity simply kept me in awe all the time. Changing water levels in caves, lighting a pole to move it around, a mirror room (not often seen these days), a clever and not too easy timed run, wraiths chasing you, traps a plenty to navigate and to top it all off, a secret system that requires you to acquire a special move along the way to get some of the other secrets later on. Fabulous stuff that I can only recommend for every seasoned raider out there. Found 6 of 8 secrets. [95 min]" - MichaelP (29-Aug-2020)
"I chose this as my 6th BTB level as it had the least amount of downloads at the time and I wanted to give these levels a chance at being played and reviewed. What I liked about this level: 1) The small torch puzzle that lights the stove in a creative and unusual way. 2) The running jump in mid air to land directly on a tightrope is just wild! 3) The lighting in the underground ice caves on the way to the prayer wheels was simply beautiful making the area look like a shimmering underground glacier. 4) How brilliant to use the pushable stupa statues to flood and unflood the caves in order to swim to higher ledges. 5) And I must mention the multiple catapult platforms to fly Lara up to higher areas were so much fun! 6) I like that you did not have to go back thru the gauntlet of traps after retrieving the items. What I didn’t like: 1) Got stuck on the monkey swing beside the lowered block and had to reload to a previous savegame. 2) The timed run to the lowered block on a high ledge was very difficult because of all the different tasks needed and so many places to lose precious seconds. Complex timed runs like these unfortunately make me lose hope in completing the rest of the level and I almost binned it because of it. In conclusion, the majority of the level is quite manageable, even the underground gauntlet is possible to complete without too much difficulty but the complex timed run would make this level not suitable for beginner or average players." - Lizard Queen (27-Aug-2020)
"It’s off to Tibet (again???) in this level, which sees Lara square off against Trinity (from Rise of the Tomb Raider) in a hunt for the Cintamani Stone (from Uncharted 2). Most of the level takes place in and around one of the Sixteen Monasteries of Tibet, in what feels like a really haphazardly-designed level, with a lot of running back and forth and no real sense of place. This is one of the less attractive monasteries in the competition, and I generally wasn’t that impressed with the look of the level. It’s textured competently enough, but it just looks a bit dull and there’s no real complexity to the architecture. The gameplay was fine, with a snowmobile ride, some trap sequences, a few puzzles and a boss fight, but there was very little here that really stood out. It’s mostly straightforward, although I did get stuck a couple of times - including on what I assume was a ‘gotcha’ moment involving three paths and a bunch of switches. Consider me gotten, but unamused. I found fifty grenades, but by the time I found the grenade launcher, there was nothing left to use it on except the boss, and he (or she? I’m an equal-opportunity killer) stayed up in the air most of the time, where I had a hard time hitting him. The highlight for me was a moment in dark room, which I thought was genuinely amusing, but nothing else in the level really reached the same heights (although I did like how the monks were like “um, you can’t just leave with our Cintamani Stone?”). In a shocking twist, Lara actually leaves the monks alive, but she does also leave with their Cintamani Stone. Swings and roundabouts!" - Magnus (27-Aug-2020)
"This level can be creative (or just classic, depending) gameplay wise. And I admit I thought it was just going to be a mere experiment as compared to quite a few masterpieces in this year's Back to Basics. I was right and I was wrong. The design never looks amazing, but it doesn't look bad either - it's the comparison that makes it feel worse than it actually is. But the truth is that as it all unfolds, it grows stronger and more enticing, basically due to a few creative ideas that keep one well entertained. Jumping to the top of a stupa and landing on a tight rope is very interesting. The start itself, with the bike and what follows is interesting. The hyper- runjump, although already invented, is a nice touch. The water puzzle is pretty good, even if it doesn't look exactly realistic. So, my guess is we may have a less seasoned builder with great potential here. Perfect your design (or rather, the way things look), use a little restraint and I believe we may be in for some future really cool levels. We'll see... In my game, Lara was a selfish archaeologist and decided to keep the Cintamani for herself. I admit I was a little puzzled there for a while. Entertaining." - Jorge22 (18-Aug-2020)
"I really liked this custom, the explorations and the secrets was quite challenging to find! I really like the broken switch that gives you the access to a new secret area. I liked the move of Lara and the fact that due to a secret could learn how to jump far, referring to TRAOD! I liked the crypt, reminded me about Dagger Xian's temple from TR2, with a lot of traps and challenge. I also liked the two endings, especially the secret one. It was really funny and innovative to me, simulating fireworks with grenade exploding in the air with multi-colors. The only thing I didn't like very much was the rope, where you jump and you find yourself standing on it. I would have added a sort of platform from where you can access to the rope or at least a transition animation seeing Lara which climbed and went on it. But I suppose that the builder couldn't do more since with BTB you have to use a pack containing certain limited animations. Lightning were really good, especially into crypt, with that greenish-purplish colors which I loved the most. Of course as the other custom I reviewed I put the gameplay on my YT channel. Keep up the work builder! Don't give up! :)" - Saki Croft (14-Aug-2020)
"I liked several of the tasks in this level, such as lighting the torch in a rotating flame trap, and the multi-stage pushable puzzle for changing the water levels in the caves. The traps in the crypt are also fun. I generally like timed runs, but I did not like the one in the monastery, as Lara being able to grab the first swingpole seems rather hit-or-miss. The builder definitely has some creative ideas: for instance, near the beginning, Lara injures her leg and has to crawl until she gets help from a healer. But the most creative ideas seem to be reserved for the secret quest. Most of the eight secrets as well as the ‘good’ ending of this level are accessible only if you find one of the secrets, which gives Lara the ability to sprint-jump. So it’s possible for players to miss a large chunk of the gameplay this way. I missed that secret during my first playthrough, and kept wondering why there were so many spots in the level that were just out of my reach. I eventually replayed nearly half the level after looking up what I had missed in the walkthrough. I really wish the builder hadn’t restricted the sprint-jump move to a secret, as it’s so much fun.
In terms of visuals and atmosphere, this level is not too impressive. The outdoor areas and monastery look nice enough, but the lighting in several other areas is very monochrome – for instance, the icy tunnels are bright blue, while the crypt area is uniformly green. The indoor areas are mostly very square, with very little complex architecture.
Overall: A level with enjoyable gameplay, but the best bits are accessible only if you find all the secrets." - Mytly (08-Aug-2020)
"This is set in a monastery and surrounding areas, the individual parts are relatively small scale, but it works as a whole, and, combined with the warm sunlight, gives the central areas a strangely cozy feel. The design is a little inconsistent, with most of the detail being in the pseudo-hub areas, with the side parts being somewhat cubic, but even then they do tend to have other effects to make up for it a little, like the fog in the dungeon area. The texturing is also good and the theme transitions are handled well.
The first sections suggest this will be somewhat of a scripted roller-coaster ride, with multiple set-pieces based around creative scripting and object use, but it does calm down and become more exploration based after the start. Generally a good job is done with the mix of creative gimmicks and more traditional gameplay, and each section has distinctive gameplay styles as well. The secrets are interestly handled, as most of them-and even the "true" ending and boss fight-are hidden behind a couple, there's even a whole new move available that's part of this, and is a lot of fun to mess with to the point it's almost a shame most will likely miss it. It's a nice extra though and adds an extra layer to things. A very creative level with a lot of interesting ideas, and with a little more visual polish would likely be near the top of my favourites (and will probably come in quite high anyway)." - Mman (06-Aug-2020)
"This is a really nice level, whose strongest side is the gameplay, which contains some unique ideas that I haven’t seen before in custom levels. Multiple water levels puzzle and the torch puzzle in the beginning are one of the greatest puzzles that come to my mind right now. There are also some pretty inventive platforming tasks spiced up with traps and overall, the game will keep you entertained constantly by offering unique challenges. In contrast to great gameplay, environment looks uninspired and contains rooms with crude shapes that are lacking visual details. Apart from this, this a very fun adventure with innovative and entertaining gameplay." - Samu (05-Aug-2020)
"Save the Cintamani stands out in the competition through creativity in its gameplay and object usage. Things are off to a nice start with a short snowmobile ride with some thrill due to having access to nitro early, and it keeps up the pace with Lara having to hunt down a leopard while crawling on the ground before she can get back up with help from a local. From then on, the gameplay takes Lara through a few ravines, a monastery and its underground chambers. Most of the progression is fairly smooth and goal based, starting with a search for three prayer wheels. There’s a decent variety of tasks in acquiring these, from a jump-scare moment to a neat little puzzle with pulling a stationary chain while dodging a rotating burner. A nice timed run with some set up tasks is featured in the monastery as well. Things ramp up nicely in difficulty with trap gauntlets and some switch puzzles as well. Also, I feel that getting the secrets in this level definitely lets the player have the full experience. This unlocks the sprint jump and has a nice sequence where you get access to a room by fixing a broken switch. The player gets further rewarded with an alternative ending sequence too, where instead of taking the Cintamani artifact Lara destroys the spirit haunting it and gets a nice send off, complete with fireworks. While overall solid, the game was roughest in the visual department. The outdoors felt kind of artificial and edgy, and some of the indoor areas had very boxy layouts. However, this was still a very solid hour spent here." - Relic Hunter (30-Jul-2020)
"A creative originality is the main characteristic of this level. Some examples of this creative originality are: enemies blow up Lara's vehicle and path; injured, without being able to walk, she has to kill a leopard and afterwards is cured by a kindly soul; jumping with a rope into a dark trench (thanks, Lizard Queen), Lara is not able to light a torch, but soon afterwards there's light and a terrifying surprise; Lara jumps in the direction of a bannister, and begins tightrope walking; new moves are necessary for obtaining four Secrets and a real hard boss fight at the end (without some Secrets, the fight is easy). For the rest, there are classic traps, and new ones - like that sequence where Lara has to light a pole and move it towards a pot, dodging a rotating flame. There are also good puzzle rooms (I loved them) and exceedingly difficult actions (the timed run for a jumpswitch, the picking up of the Pickaxe - THE necessary item for some Secrets); and there is also the most lovely use of spring pads that I have seen. Congratulations!" - Josey (26-Jul-2020)
"This is another good level from this BtB2020 pack. The beginning is rather creative, and the same goes for a couple of interesting puzzles mid-way. Otherwise, it was somewhat predictable. The texturing was uninspired in some of the rooms, and so could be improved upon. It was very good in general, however. I found this a good, solid level, that I recommend. Still, it is not one of the greats. Anyway, the builder certainly deserves a lot of praise and my gratitude :D" - MigMarado (22-Jul-2020)
"Now that's a weird one - I felt I was missing something big, having not found many secrets, so I watched a walkie before reviewing and in fact everything became more clear and probably made me raise the scores a bit - just a bit tho, because I already aknwoledged the creativity and the intentions of the author: the secrets leading to an alternate ending are really well done and creative, even if somewhat obscure, and it's a pity most players will probably not experience what for me was the best part of this offering (even the boss fight is much better); Anyway, the level isn't perfect at all, expecially in the visuals: every kind of little graphic glitches/errors are present, and in general the looks aren't always well crafted or believable (even if, to be fair, texturing isn't bad at all with only a few uninspired/wallpapered areas), with lighting being a bit flat in the insides but a bit better in the outsides, and geometry not so complicated, pretty much average, with some end of the world areas expecially in the beginning. Now, about the gameplay: as I said multiple times I like experimental setups and a good trolly gameplay, but sometimes here things seem forced, cramped up, too fast, and tossed randomly at the player; for instance, near the start you get injured and are forced to crawl for a bit, even while fighting a leopard, but the whole thing seems rushed and ends in less than a minute; other times things tend to be unintuitive, with a couple of completely random secrets and actions to do (examples: torch puzzle, the jump to the tightrope, and the infamous, boring and evil lever puzzle...) and is it even legal to add other custom moves in a BtB level? Well, if that got relased, I guess so... I also noticed some missing sounds, a thing that happened in another level too, and I'm wondering how is that possible if everyone is working with the same, to sum up, a lot of cool and original ideas in there (the cave flooding puzzle, while it had glitchy visuals and some wrong textures, the fireworks in the secret ending and the birdmonster jumpscare when lighting a flare were my favourite moments!) but ruined by some uninspired visuals and gameplay bits, sometimes confusing and glitchy looks, and a general unpolished feeling and artificial difficulty that almost made me drop the game at the lever puzzle. Still, reccomended but with a walkthru at hand." - Topixtor (19-Jul-2020)
"I'm surprised the scores aren't a bit higher than they are. This is a well-conceived and complicated raid that required my frequent resort to the walkthrough. There's a nifty puzzle near the beginning where you have to raise the water level in a cave to reach the gong, and that's before you get to the monastery with all its eye candy. In order to get all the secrets you first need to find the one that gives you extra distance on your jump. Some of the traps are quite devious, and there's one stretch where they come at you one after the other. I couldn't perform one move as described by the walkthrough, where you shimmy over a spike tile and back jump to a breaktile. I couldn't get Lara to face in the right direction and grab the breaktile, but fortunately it's possible to time a jump to the spike ledge itself and curve around to jump and grab the breaktile. The builder has given us a couple of clues that remove any doubt as to his identity, so I'm confident I'll get at least one guess right. I spent about an hour and three quarters here and had a grand time from start to finish. High recommendations." - Phil (15-Jul-2020)
"Visually solid but not very attractive with functional architecture and at times odd geometry and only slightly more than basic texturing and lighting; but the gameplay in this one is really great! There are a lot of creative ideas put to good use and there's also a lot of technical knowledge as the builder knows how to "trick" the engine at times. Good skills in terms of technical stuff (as with the modified animations and the like) and I also enjoyed the slightly more ordinary parts like the mirror room, the timed run and the trap and boulder sections. Very enjoyable stuff indeed. Perhaps, the exploration factor is not as large as the areas are always quite small and progression is rather linear, but the numerous ideas really made up for a refreshing experience. The secret quest was also great and enemies are very well used, especially at the start and end. A few objects move in walls but in general the design is quite solid. It's also, until now, the first level where I actually see some monks around, but only in one of two possible endings you should see both. With some more care for the visuals and architecture this could've been a top contender this year. Finished in 40 minutes." - manarch2 (09-Jul-2020)
"from the use of the snowmobile at the start to the series of traps and dealing with the (surprisingly killable) boss near the end , this is quite a dynamic raid with plenty of different tasks and challenges. In this BtB edition this is one of the levels where the new moves have been used the most , notably the reaching of a ladder above a monkeyswing. I particularly enjoyed some good ideas like the flipmaps with several levels of water. With a bit more experience (or time) , this level could have been a bit more atmospheric too with more attention to details (for example some traps enter into solid walls) and a more inspired setting. Entertaining level that lasted around one hour." - eRIC (08-Jul-2020)
"I am not even halfway through the list of BtB-Tibet entires but I am already very tempted to call this my favorite entry this year. From the very start you can tell this is not your usual raid, with Lara riding the snowmobile on her own and then shortly after being injured so she has to crawl until a samaritan helps her up. The builder sends us off after a number of quest items, all of which require precise platforming, climbing around the caves and cliffs often require the new moves, there's a timed run which has you performing so many different moves, a nice flood/drain puzzle, a fantastic beast encounter in the dark, among many other things. There's a lot of attention to detail here and it's quite challenging as well, some of the trap sequences had me reloading quite a few times. The only thing I wasn't particularly fond of was the chamber with the four levers puzzle, I got through by trial and error (and never really opened the third door), but I am sure the hint was related to the many tables spread around the room. That did not hinder my experience here however as everything else was top notch. 80 minutes, 1 secret. 06/20" - Treeble (06-Jul-2020)
"This game doesn't start off spectacularly. There is a short ride with the snowmobile, but otherwise the landscape is barren and a rather small inconspicuous monastery is waiting for Lara. The tasks are, except for the timerun in the monastery which is very short, quite simple, but also partly innovative, like lighting the oven or jumping on the tightpole. Also the secret with the additional jumping power Lara gets, I found new in this contest. The two brainteasers with the raising and lowering of the water level and the switches increased the fun of the game a bit. At least at the end of the game we see Lara riding away on a yak. Yess" - nad (03-Jul-2020)
"Frustrating at times, but some challenging and inventive gameplay too. Lighting not always perfect. There were some tricky sequences of traps and sometimes not obvious what to do next. However nice use of the monkey climb turn & jump up move, as well as a different way to get on the tightrope! Found 7/8 secrets." - Adrian (02-Jul-2020)
"This entry may not boast the striking architecture and environments of the top- tier levels of this competition, but it still manages to be enjoyable despite that. The torch puzzle was a little finicky to execute correctly and there was one particular jump to a pole within a timed exercise that needed a little too much precision, but otherwise the level has a pleasant balance and flow to it. A couple of the underground cave areas also seemed a little on the bland side, atmosphere-wise, but not too bad. I did appreciate the way that the secret system was set up: gaining a beneficial additional move for Lara and then being able to utilise that in later secret areas. A nice raid with a few neat moments." - Ryan (02-Jul-2020)
"There are some clever traps/puzzles etc., in this level. In fact, it’s a bit different, not least as it begins with a bike ride before Lara makes her way to the temple area. Perhaps the actual architecture isn’t quite as imposing as some other entries in the competition, but overall this is well worth playing, with some really excellent moments." - Jay (28-Jun-2020)
"There are a couple of good touches, when Lara is forced to crawl or the puzzle with the movable bells and the flipped water rooms, but for me this level was not very pleasant. There are some "obscure" tasks, like the way to reach the rope, the use of the torch or the very tricky jump to grab the poles; also the tasks in the crypt were very hard too, not for beginners. I found only the uzis and few ammo for these guns, so I had to shoot the bosses only with pistols, perhaps 'cause I only found two secrets, I saw some high crawlspaces but impossible to reach for me. The author could place more cameras and flybys, example: where to go after defeating the final boss? Not a bad level, but not the kind of levels I like." - Jose (24-Jun-2020)
"Good gameplay with some puzzles, boss fighting and traps. We running there in caves, open areas and monastery. Environment was really good. I found 2/8 secrets. Lighting was good but in some rooms was boring and spoiled atmosphere. Same with textures. I really liked the idea of broken Lara's leg and we had to crawl. Also we had a snowmobile on the beggining of level. I completed this level in 1 hour and 4 minutes. It's a good level that is worth to playing. Thanks!" - BlackWolfTR (20-Jun-2020)
"First level of the Tibetan Back to Basics played (I had to start with this because it talks about the Order of the Trinity, so Rise of the Tomb Raider vibes!), and it started really well! This level has an original gameplay combined with wonderful BtB Tibetan package! The game has an average difficulty, I had a big problem in a room with a missing lever (at first I thought it was a design error) and with a really interesting puzzle with a switch (beautiful, congratulations!) An area could be nerve-racking due to a collision of an object (I would've used a simple block) but it's not a big deal. There were some missing textures and poorly turned ones, but this doesn't affect the level. Recommended!" - Talos (16-Jun-2020)