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BtB2020 - The Lost Monastery by LaraCablara

BlackWolfTR 9 8 9 9
Dick 8 8 8 8
DJ Full 8 9 8 9
eRIC 8 8 8 7
EssGee 8 8 8 9
Feder 8 8 9 10
Jay 9 9 9 9
Jorge22 8 8 7 7
Jose 10 10 10 10
Josey 9 8 10 10
Kiva 9 7 10 9
Larysuh13 8 8 8 8
Lizard Queen 8 9 9 10
Magnus 5 6 5 6
manarch2 7 7 8 8
MichaelP 9 8 9 8
MigMarado 8 10 9 10
Mman 8 9 9 9
Mytly 8 8 9 8
nad 8 8 9 9
Phil 8 9 8 9
Relic Hunter 8 9 8 9
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Saki Croft 8 8 7 7
Topixtor 8 9 8 8
Torry 8 10 9 8
Treeble 9 10 10 10
release date: 14-Jun-2020
# of downloads: 154

average rating: 8.44
review count: 27
review this level

file size: 103.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Oriental

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I see why this ended up as an 8+ instead of a 9+ - however solid, it feels too much like in->out and makes you expect more of an adventure. It also has moments when, though simple and therefore expected fast, it drags - long trap sequences, long climbing, long combat (yes, we stay on pistols all the time)... The traps could also be deactivated instead of making noise all the time. Still, a good level for a quick snack." - DJ Full (11-Mar-2023)
"This is really the Monastery of the shimmy ledge as you spend an inordinate amount of time shimmying from one place to another. The dragon mid way through the level was ineffectual but the repurposed crocodiles and the hammer guy was neat. You spend a lot of time covering ground already traversed as you open yet another door and it tends to become tedious and don't dispose of that torch too early as you will need it again. The Buddah statues as secrets was the way to go but you could have included some goodies in those secrets as well but in fairness I only used one small health pack, (or biscuits?) so they really aren't required to get through. I do so dislike the freezing water sapping your health and right at the start when that wraith froze the top of the river and you started freezing to death was mean. Other than that an enjoyable raid." - Torry (21-Nov-2022)
"A solid level based around a fairly straight forward exploration of a deserted monastery. Room design, architecture, use of objects all well done. Camera clues mostly adequate. Audio not so adventurous and inspiring. Gameplay design and exploration good." - EssGee (01-Aug-2021)
"Apart from me being very blind and missing an obvious torch placed on a table, this is a very fast paced and entertaining adventure. After a quick introduction it offers a hub room with four branches and these are filled with many traps and climbing actions, but none of these are very taxing for the seasoned player, so you can move forward constantly and have a great sense of progression. You will encounter a few of the larger enemies as well, but in particular the dragon room was very nicely done. The secrets I found seems almost a bit too easy to pick up, but then again I missed two of them. All in all a very well rounded level that was a lot of fun to play. [75 mins]" - MichaelP (29-Aug-2020)
"I started the year’s Back to Basics competition the only way I know how: by picking a level at random. The lucky winner was the creatively-titled The Lost Monastery, about Lara traveling to a space station on a distant pla- no I’m just kidding that was BtB 2018 it’s a monastery she’s searching for a monastery. I enjoyed how the story was very tongue in cheek, although I must say that I find it completely unrealistic that Winston would have a retirement fund - he’s definitely going to follow Lara around with that tray of his until the day he dies. Anyway, after a short detour to make it across a broken bridge, Lara makes it to the aforementioned monastery, where she has to go through four doors and complete four trials before she can reach whatever McGuffin she’s after this time. And that’s really it for this level: it’s four super linear sequences of traps and puzzles. It’s… I guess the word I’m looking for is competent. I’m just not sure if it’s interesting? It’s just one small obstacle after another, whether that happens to be a trap (and another trap and another trap - one door is basically just a bunch of traps strung together), or a short platforming sequence, or a simple puzzle. I think dividing the level up into four parts was a mistake, because everything just feels so small. The switches are always right nearby and you rarely have to return to any room outside of the central one with the four doors. There’s never that moment where you finally reach that ledge you were really curious about twenty minutes earlier, or finally find the key for that tantalizing door. The whole level is just bam-bam-bam, as you move from one room to the next and never have any reason to stop and smell the roses. And that can work, don’t get me wrong, but I think it requires a deft touch and way more interesting gameplay. Likewise, the look of the level is also competent, but all of the rooms are generally small, and the architecture isn’t all that interesting. It looks fine, but I was never very curious about what I would find around the next corner. The level ended after an even forty minutes, and it was an okay start to this year’s Back to Basics competition, but nothing more." - Magnus (27-Aug-2020)
"This is the 12th level in the BTB series I chose in sequence of the least downloaded at the time. What I liked about the level: 1) The freezing of the pool caught me off guard but such a nice feature. 2) Skewering the mad monk as payback for nipping at my heels while shimmying. 3) The gauntlets of traps you have to navigate to get to your cherished item, lever or destination. 4) The perfect use of the fixed camera when performing the back turn and grab move. I think this is the first time I’ve actually been able to see what I was grabbing for with this new move. 5) The room with the sloped blocks and crevices to get up to the top instead of your general stairway approach. What I didn’t like: 1) A very small thing but how about a few medipacks or something in all those empty vases I shot at, eh? :) 2) I think the gong shattering ice wall needed something like a small flyby from Lara to the location showing that it’s still on the top level and not down below somewhere. I found a way to get to the bottom of the room without losing life thinking down was the way to go instead of staying put. 3) I think the push puzzle needed something to indicate that the bell/stupa is in the correct place (ie. light, sound. cutscene, anything really). I spent more time than was necessary trying different combinations to no avail. 4) Ending was a bit of a let down. All in all a very good level with excellent traps and climbing sequences. Suitable for average players." - Lizard Queen (27-Aug-2020)
"After a short prologue in which Lara has to cross an icy river, she reaches the titular monastery (guess it wasn’t all that lost). The rest of the level is structured rather simply: Lara has to get four prayer wheels from four areas of the monastery opening off the central courtyard. Each area has its own set of challenges: a good mix of jumps, traps and puzzles. My favourite is the room where you have to make your way up the sides of a tall room. The task with the dragon is good too – I liked how shooting the bells paralyses the dragon. Another task also involves a creative use of an enemy: the one where you have to get a key from a zombie monk by impaling him on spikes.
One of the five secrets involves a lengthy side quest, including some rather tedious backtracking, while some of the others are barely hidden at all. That said, I did like the one that you have to get by melting an icy wall using the torch.
The monastery looks very pretty in general – I especially like the colour scheme of reds, greens and golds in most of the indoor areas. However, the outdoor areas look slightly crude in comparison. Fog and light rays are a bit overused in the dragon area. The architecture is nice, albeit a little simple.
Overall: A mostly enjoyable and attractive level, even if it’s not quite one of the best that BtB2020 has to offer. Recommended." - Mytly (14-Aug-2020)
"Waht to say? I liked this level! I really enjoyed playing it, finding all secrets was really funny. About gameplay and puzzles they are challeging but quite fluent! I've never been stuck on this level because is really intuitive and I proceeded really well without any problem! What I'm disappointed with is the dragon room, because about lightning is too much yellowish for me, and there are not armonious lightning in that room plus I didn't like very much the animation of the dragon and also I expected a more pathos song while the room was quite. But I really liked the icy section and the room with the melting ice torch. And there I liked sounds too it was so zen and relaxing for me. I really liked the puzzles because they remembered me about TR2 Barkhang Monastery! I've also liked the bonus message that the builder left after you discover all the 5 secrets. The texture are beautiful. Keep up the work." - Saki Croft (07-Aug-2020)
"Solid raiding with the now-common mix of ice caves, wilderness and monastery. Attractive without being overly showy. Gameplay was skewed towards various traps and I think the builder should have considered deactivating them once they were traversed to cut down on the developing background soundtrack of slashing, clunking metal - a tad distracting at times. A bit more scale and exploration, maybe also a puzzle or two, and this would have been in the first division." - Dick (04-Aug-2020)
"This is mostly a monastery area with a small valley to start off. The starting terrain is decent but it really picks up once you get to the actual monastery, with various nice looking large scale areas, along with a nice contrast between the sunlight and bluish snow and ice (the central hub area does feel higher quality than anything else, but the place you spend the most time in is a good place to put the visual focus on). There's also some nice use of unique objects, although the level is overall on the modest side in that regard.
After a pretty creative starting challenge the level is based around a "trials" type idea, with four different sections to go through in any order, there's a heavy focus on traps and environmental threats, but they generally aren't too tricky to deal with and things flow quite well, with a good job being done on locking you into puzzle areas so you don't get too diverted. A boss encounter seemed a bit odd as it just froze after I did one thing, which didn't seem intentional given it wasn't "defeated" until other tasks were done. mostly a very good entry, although I felt the end fizzled a bit, and, while short, the final bit of backtracking felt like it was missing something to spice it up and give a final touch." - Mman (03-Aug-2020)
"This game flows smoothly, with only two major backtracks: one, for picking up a Secret, and another, for returning to the camp - a totally unnecessary action, in my opinion, and the only moment of confusion for me: I had forgotten the camp's path. There is also no slow motion in big areas, the sequence of necessary actions is easy to grasp, and the environment is beautiful. Being trap/action centered, the level has no proper puzzles, demanding skill and strategy for surviving without great facilities in terms of weapons and medipacks - and their loss was felt. I liked very much the whole dragon's sequence; but I didn't like at all to meet zombies without means to get rid of them, and I always hate freezing waters with few medipacks to use. At least two Secrets were very well hidden; I saw one of them, down below, in a snowy area, but couldn't grasp, by myself, the way of getting it; and I couldn't see or find the watery tunnel's Secret, even with the help of the walkthrough. All in all, a great game, very well done." - Josey (21-Jul-2020)
"Another generally clean looking level. Texturing and lighting are very solid and I liked the look of the main courtyard very much. There are only minor parts that are a bit less carefully applied like the lower part of the ice hall where you find a secret, but also a few walls with mirrored textures. Sounds and cameras are decently used but a few more cameras, e.g. to show the melting of the ice pond, would've been nice. The gameplay is overall fluent and enjoyable, with the main task being the four side quests for the prayer wheels which provide nicely varied gameplay. Sometimes progression is a bit dull and easy, like the long shimmy to the dragon and some of the pushable puzzles, but there are good parts as well, e.g. the way to get rid of one of the zombie monks. The five secrets are rather easy to find (at least four of them), one is very hard to miss actually. An enjoyable 35 minute game with will probably end up roughly in the middle of my personal BtB ranking." - manarch2 (09-Jul-2020)
"This is a very classic, enjoyable level with some pleasant twits and turns. I found it a little bit too symmetrical and predictable at times. More importantly, the builder made the most of the Tibet pack, in my humble opinion. Congratulations! Thank you, amazing work :)" - MigMarado (09-Jul-2020)
"A simple, yet complicated map (if that makes any sense). It's quite linear (even though one may choose which way to take during the quest for the four wheels, which is what the level is basically about) and not exactly easy (but player-friendly; again, if that makes sense). I liked how one didn't have to repeat the same traps on the way somewhere and then back, which, in my opinion, shows respect for the players. I also thought the traps (because this is full of traps - or it feels that way) were well conceived in a classic manner. And when it wasn't about traps, I thought the discovery and puzzles part were good too. On the flip side, I *think* there were two different sounds when Lara opened a door at the end of each quest (one before she opened it, followed by a correct one), I thought some textures were a bit weird or impractical (impossible to climb, for instance, even though they looked like they should) and the tightrope walk may have been just a little too long. There were many nice ideas, that's a fact. And they were put to use. Still, the overall settings and atmosphere were just decent (in a positive way). Since I only got the pistols, I'm glad the final hammer boss was an idiot in a very wide space. But I don't know what that going back to the bridge at the end was there for... Anyway... Enjoyable. Really." - Jorge22 (09-Jul-2020)
"This not very long level has a very good classic structure , the progression is simple to follow and the player can do it without much guidance. You understand quickly you will have 4 independant quests to do. Not many enemies and the bigger ones at the end (esp. the dragon) are not a chore to deal with, a thing i appreciated very much. Secrets easy to find. Entertaining level with torch puzzles , flipmaps , traps and platforming. And which ends where you started with gives a round and accomplished feeling to this adventure." - eRIC (08-Jul-2020)
"Another epic installment which sets Lara off after four prayer wheels. Each prayer wheel is hidden behind a series of trap rooms which are very varied from one another, and gameplay flows so perfectly, always setting you off towards your next step. It all comes full circle back to the main room and then you can make your escape with the artifact in your backpack. While it's a lot more "standard" than the previous entry I played, I felt just as fulfilled upon reaching the finish trigger. Visually it's nothing short of stunning, and while I still have another 14 levels to go, I'm sure this will be among the top entries this year, and rightfully so. 55 minutes, 2 secrets. 06/20" - Treeble (06-Jul-2020)
"This level is of the tightly engineered as opposed to stream- of-consciousness school, by which I mean that the tasks are laid out in a carefully defined order that becomes more apparent as you go along. The environs are as easy on the eyes as they were in the first BtB level I played, so I can safely assume that this will be a pleasant constant in the remaining levels of the competition. The designers of the package have done a magnificent job for which they deserve hearty congratulations. There were some nice touches here, such as crocs made up to look like alien lizards, mummies adorned as "mad monks" (one of whom had to be killed through unorthodox means in order to get a needed key), and a hammergod at the end who could be killed with the only available weapon (the pistols). I spent about an hour and a half here and was thoroughly entertained the whole time." - Phil (04-Jul-2020)
"The level is quite simply structured. It starts quasi in the courtyard of a monastery, from where Lara has to open four areas to master one challenge at a time to get finally four prayer wheels. Some of the tasks are very challenging, like the areas with the rolling discs, but all of them can be mastered very well, if you prepare your strategy beforehand. Unfortunately few puzzles, but all the more traps. Very solidly built game, with suitable textures, well used music and balanced lighting. Who wants to test his skills is very well served here." - nad (03-Jul-2020)
"This one might tie in a little more accurately to the one hour "limit", but in actuality it certainly won't feel like it! There's some undoubtedly challenging trap sequences to overcome, but you have to admire the builder's creativity in putting them together and managing to make them doable to bypass without eliciting too much frustration or obscene language. The gameplay set up within the various passages of the hub room are well set up and enjoyable to solve, and Lara's ledge jump moves certainly get a good workout. The sceneries throughout are pleasing and there was a nice windswept fog overlay that lent it a certain atmospheric touch. A great choice if you're willing to test your skills." - Ryan (28-Jun-2020)
"A very solidly constructed adventure. This one has Lara attempting to find her way across a ravine with a river at first and opens up with some light exploring, along with swimming her way out from beneath the frozen river's surface before she discovers the titular monastery and begins to explore its grounds. From here the theme turns to four areas with four distinct challenges in order to acquire four prayer wheels that open the main monastery's chamber. Among them is a section about overcoming spike traps, blade traps, fire traps, spinners, and a clever moment in dispatching an undead monk for his key. Next is a platforming challenge across a grand hall with ledges to navigate, as well as finding a way to stop battering rams from operating in order to progress across a series of platforms. After that is another room to platform through, including encounter with a dragon that added the clever twist of finding bells that when shot can freeze the dragon in place, allowing the player some reprieve from the dragon's fireball barrage. A simple pushing puzzle caps that section off before the final section I visited. This one has the player finding their way to the top of a room with a torch to tip a brazier over in order to melt a frozen lake, through which a switch to the final prayer wheel is acquired. Things wrap up with a boss fight against a hammer demigod before Lara gets her hands on the Talion artifact, and gets to backtrack to the beginning of the level to finish things off. Overall, the game's structure does well with the classic "four rooms, four challenges" concept and ties it together in an aesthetically pleasing package, blending a cold atmosphere with an orange sky and warm colors. What missed the mark for me was that the gameplay did rely a little much on finding a hidden switch or passage to progress that broke the pacing, and I felt the presentation of the different sections lacked visual flourish - maybe there could have been more flybys and tracks to set the mood of the areas better. Still though, the level was very enjoyable and I was able to finish in about an hour." - Relic Hunter (27-Jun-2020)
"Excellent. I've missed some more enemies here and there, and extra weapons, also a camera shot when finishing the two movable bells puzzle, but the adventure is simply fantastic, keeping the interest from the start to the ending (well, perhaps some areas a bit dark). Very entertaining. As the gameplay, I liked the architecture too, the traps, the perfect texturization, the well ornated rooms, the secrets (I only found 4)... Perhaps the ratings are too high, but this is the kind of levels I like and I've enjoyed it a lot. Highly recommended. Thank you very much, anonymous builder!" - Jose (26-Jun-2020)
"Gameplay & Puzzles This Level consists more or less mainly of 4 challenge Rooms in order for you o get 4 Key Objects. All 4 challenge Rooms are different and offer quite distinct obstacles to overcome. Some traps, like the blade wheels, were a bit Buggy. Enemies, Objects and Puzzles Enemies were scarce and killable enemies were even scarcer. Sadly the enemies often feel simply thrown in, and don't get the atmosphere across quite as well. There are 2 Boss battles which are fun. But the interior and outerior design were top notch and helped get the monastery theme across. Atmosphere, Sound & Camera The atmosphere is probably the most noteable About this entry. Every room, every textures literally oozes that lost place / Sanctuary kinda vibe. Simply briliant. Lighting & Textures Basically same as written in Atmosphere. Even though one room especially suffered greatly from a ery dense fog, which made traversing that room (the Dragon challenge room) quite annoying." - Kiva (25-Jun-2020)
"This is something of an assault course and in some respects may be a level you look back on fondly rather than cursing it as you’re actually playing. It comprises four separate areas off the hub area and each part is absolutely heaving with traps, some of which are really rather ingenious. The dragon room in particular I found most impressive, in between turning the air blue when Lara kept getting set on fire. Oh and the monks are also not remotely friendly! Overall, I found this entertaining and well devised, but confess I kept having to take breaks to get my breath back. You certainly won’t be bored." - Jay (20-Jun-2020)
"Loving monastery levels I had great hopes for this one. It was indeed a really nice adventure, even if a bit crude loooking (expecially some areas more than others): lighting seems a bit "mystic" to say, changing completely from one place to another, and texturing was sometimes a bit wallpapered or too much mirrored. After the outside introduction, gameplay based around the classic "4 doors, 4 challenges" type, and I must say all of them looked different from the others (even if the trap-focused one shared some traps with the climbing one); the puzzle with the torch and the big bowl was nicely done and made you retrace your steps a bit, breaking the imaginary "wall" that blocks you when you think a challenge must be solved by what you have in that room only. The fight with the dragon was very inventive, even if I think a bell was bugged for me during an attemp, since it stunned the dragon forever (also the bells worked one time only but this must be intended/a limitation of the engine, hence why there is two of them). Liked how you had to stop the ramming traps in order to continue climbing in the big pillars room. There was surely not much combat, and the one yeti kinda appeared from nowhere. Sometimes I found a bit too much backtracking, expecially to get some secrets (did find only 3 of them, all very clever, and I liked how some of them are foreshadowed), but nothing too serious. One thing that unnerved me was that you can climb into the balconies of the main room only to find everything closed and nothing to get unless you already had beaten the challenges, and assuming it was more of a way to get down safely it didn't work vert well on one side since to drop from there you have to climb and crawl and waste a bit of time only cause the opening in the pillar was 1 click too low. Nice addition the little but fun backtracking to the start after picking the artefact. Well done, looking forward for your next work." - Topixtor (18-Jun-2020)
"So to start, this level is very good in terms of architecture and gameplay, but, there are points in the game that are a little boring, and the lighting is not balanced with the other rooms (and yes it can happen, but is not a serious problem) About Gameplay & puzzles I really liked it, they were 40min of content, but there are weak points and some bugs that I wanted to talk about, 1-If we are in Tibet, because the water is so calm, instead of Lara suffering hypothermia? it seems that the water is divided into two parts or more, because one part is normal, the other with hypothermia, it was without Lara's breath of cold, because even though it is close to the fire, it is possible that this stills happens. the same problem of water hypothermia, it also happens in the final part of the frozen doggie of the ministry, that is a little mistake that could be easily solved. Another bug is in the pillar room that when we disable the trap instead of going backwards (making it impossible to progress in the level) you have to know the exact time to activate the lever so that the trap stops inside and not outside , there are other notable small errors, which during the testing phase could have reported this, and lastly when using the monk's bat we beat the lara without animation (in my case). On Lighting & textures almost everything is well applied, but the buggy horizon took all the immersion from that level, in short, I found the lighting to be weak in certain points, because when you find the ministry, this is snow and clear lighting, instead of a more bluish light and as in the mountains. but in general it pretty decent. and about atmosphere, sounds & camera,I think they're fine, I like the architecture of that level, but I feel that is fine, I like the architecture at all the level, but I would like to see more caves or more mountains before arriving at the monastery, it makes it a little more natural, but the author made the limits clear so I will respect them, I liked it in general , I like the part of the 8 gates with the prayer wheel as in TR2, this author has a lot of potential, and I expect new projects from him. my final opinion: the level is very good and playable, despite the mistakes ..... recommended, i got 45 minutes of gameplay." - Larysuh13 (18-Jun-2020)
"Second level I play in this competition, and a noticeable upgrade in the challenge scales. In opposition to the exploration based levels, this one offers a pretty straight forward gameplay: reach the monastery, find 4 prayer wheels, defeat the boss. But beware, to get them you'll have to go through several trap gauntlets, each one with a special task to accomplish, in a special section of the monastery so that the scenery doesn't get too repetitive. It is a nice concept and entertaining. Although the ending seemed a little uninspired, going back to the beggining of the level with nothing new to observe or overcome on the way, felt like something was missing. Enemies were varied but scarse, like the lonely yeti you'll encounter lurking on a hallway, and I would've enjoyed an extra weapon, as I'm not really a pistols-only kind of player. Found 3/5 secrets, and one of them put me through a big backtracking secuence (like Going To New Venice's third secret kind of backtracking). Overall, an entertaining and challenging level!" - Feder (18-Jun-2020)
"The Gameplay was good. We need collect there 4 prayer wheels that are in 4 locations with traps and puzzles. Atmosphere was quite good but sometimes a bit monotonous. Lighting and textures was good, but sometimes lighthing also was a bit monotonous. There was few enemies, and two bosses. I think that environment was a bit poor (I mean objects). Some secrets was clever hidden, but somes was to easy to find. But still this level is very good and I reccomend it! I finish it in 1 hour 15 minutes and I got 4/5 secrets. Thanks!" - BlackWolfTR (16-Jun-2020)