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The Ancient Jade Mask by Danath

BlackWolfTR 9 10 10 9
DecimaDragonoid 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 9 7
dragooncroft 8 10 10 10
eRIC 10 10 9 8
g12STL 7 10 10 9
haley 10 10 10 10
Hosannah 10 10 10 9
Jason L 6 6 6 5
Jorge22 8 9 9 8
Jose 7 10 10 9
Mahetus 10 10 10 10
manarch2 7 8 8 7
Manymee 10 10 9 10
Nephilim 10 10 10 10
p1kaa 10 9 9 10
Passalaqua 10 8 9 8
Raildex 7 8 8 7
Ryan 10 10 9 9
steven35175 9 10 9 9
release date: 11-May-2021
# of downloads: 299

average rating: 9.04
review count: 20
review this level

file size: 144.00 MB
file type: TR2
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"The first word that comes to mind when I reflect on my playthrough is "grand". There are 9 levels, 8 of which each take a few hours to complete (at least for me). First two levels start off a bit slow, but the ones to follow quickly increase in difficulty and complexity. One of the key attributes of this game was the freedom to explore and complete the levels in a non-linear way, which is huge for a TR2 level. Atmosphere was excellent with lots of custom textures, objects and even enemies that kept it fresh yet authentic. And thank the lord Lara FINALLY has pants in the winter levels! One criticism I had, which is admittedly a little picky, was that I thought there was a bit much of "having Lara jump on ledges over a deep chasm" as an obstacle. Also, I there were a bit too many backtracking moments where you "pull the lever to the door in the other room you just came from"; the labyrinth-like temple hub in the second to last level is a good example of this. Finally, the lost domain music in the final levels sounded a bit out of place, maybe because it sounded lower quality/wasn't seemless (and I swear I could hear a bootstep from TRAoD at some point in the loop). However, criticisms aside, some additional nice features this game had required the player to think creatively and really kept me engaged; there were plenty of puzzles and places to explore. And one final note, it's greatly appreciated having the sound effect to indicate when a lever is timed. THANK YOU for all the hard work you put into this level!" - dragooncroft (04-Jan-2023)
"Really a fantastic adventure with all the classic TR2 features: the bounce pads, the boulders, the cool enemies, the spikes, the old musics... I liked the design, architecture, good texturization and lighting, perfect camera hints, the nice outfits, enough flares, guns and ammo and secrets not too hidden. On the other hand I never liked the black rooms (even when I found enough flares) and the gameplay is mainly based about gymnastics, with a lot of exploration, few puzzles to solve, too many ladders to climb, too many switches to pull, certain backtracking and too many dangerous jumps over repetitive deep pits in almost all levels. The first levels were very pleasant, but as you progress through the game, the tasks are more and more hard, not suitable for everybody. Anyway I've enjoyed a lot this long and spectacular adventure and I recommend it to all the TR nostalgics. It took me more than 13 hours. Excellent work!" - Jose (17-Nov-2021)
"I've never exactly played any TRLEs created via the Tomb Raider II engine. That was, until I started playing Danath's game, The Ancient Jade Mask! Danath has really done an amazing job pushing the TR2 engine and level design to their utmost limits. That, along with the vast and explorative level design with some of the most memorable TR2 textures, beautifully thought-out details, and some modified textures, make The Ancient Jade Mask an adventure 100% worthy of infinite playthroughs. The secrets are very well-placed, and once you've memorized their locations, they're easy to find, as well as beautifully crafted. With each location, the type and shape of the secrets change, providing extra variety way beyond the original TR2 game! The puzzles and dark areas also keep you on your toes. Whether it's the red and green ceiling tile puzzle in the mask temple, being ambushed by gunmen when you least expect it, or tackling yetis and reanimated warriors, there's never a dull moment. There's also ammo aplenty, so you'll never truly feel like you're running low on ammunition while using a favorite weapon of choice! The obstacles provide an extra challenge and encourages trial and error. Some even require that you initiate precise maneuvers to clear them. Some obstacles in particular that I can think of are the slicing blades, boulder traps, and even the precise springboard jumps. And you'll be facing these dangers... a lot! While they may be frustrating and unexpected at first, they're not impossible by any means. The boss battles were also fun too! Even while you're in a fairly open space, you still need to be mindful of your surroundings, otherwise you'll meet a certain death. I actually didn't expect the dragon boss to lift its arm up and slam it onto you. These are HUGE enemies you're dealing with! Overall, my experience with Danath's Ancient Jade Mask TRLE has been absolutely brilliant and took me around a meaty 8 to 9 hours to complete, a very common and decent amount of playtime to complete most Tomb Raider games. I have to say that playing this TR2-based TRLE has actually made me regret not giving Tomb Raider II or it's custom TRLEs the proper respect they deserve. But thanks to this, I think I might consider giving TR2-based TRLE games some more thought. And this one in particular is on my replay list! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to play this TRLE!" - DecimaDragonoid (14-Nov-2021)
"That's a really long and enjoyable adventure! I had tons of fun playing this beautiful level set.
Gameplay is pretty much TR2-ish. Platforming, exploring, fighting with enemies and etc. I think everything is done properly from the start till the end despite some tasks can be tendentious for players. Let's remember it's still TR2 engine not TR4 so some things cannot be done in the same way as in TR4 engine. However there are some creativity in puzzles which shouldn't makes players bored in my opinion as well as some hard platforming moments which can make players struggle a little bit but not like these jumps are pixel pefect. They require some skill only. For me this category is done flawlessy. It's just very TR2-ish level set. :)
Placement of enemies is correct and balanced. A lot of enemies have very good customization to make them fit to the environment. Usage of objects is done properly as well along with the customizations. The effort is there all the time. Secrets are hidden well and difficulty of them is balanced in my opinion and the reward is satisfying each time by collecting all of secrets.
Atmosphere, sounds and cameras are done flawlessy. Nothing much to say everything here is done as it should. Good amount of hints, no problems with sounds and the atmosphere is definiton of perfection.
Design looks very professional and the improvement since debut is really noticeable. A lot of variation in textures, great transitions and customizations made by Danath. Each level is different and beautiful in own way which is truly a perfection. Lighting is done well overall, although there are some places where it is flat but since this level set was done on a very old editor I know that author tried to avoid one thing called "light bulb crash" which was a huge problem on this old editor and unfortunately it was happening only on TR2 engine. I still think the lighting potential was done correctly despite this crash problem.
This is a perfect level set for me. Everything is flawless and done as it should be. Definitely recommend.

P.S. Kinda sad to see some people downgrade this level with very illogical reasons, especially that Danath worked on this level set for over 3 years and calling one level a copycat is really insulting for builder." - Mahetus (03-Oct-2021)
"This TRLE starts off gentle but goes from 0 to 100 really quick, especially at the end. The player had better been good at platforming and especially so under pressure and time constraints. One of my main gripes about this level was the absurd amount of platforming to be done, especially after entering a very large room that branches off into many directions. There wasn't any clear direction on which way to go. However, the author did a phenomenal job keeping you from going the wrong direction and provided many shortcuts after a long travel through halls and caves. Aside from the extreme platforming and large rooms, the enemies were placed well throughout the maps and the ammo was given at a very good amount. You didn't have an over-abundance of it at the end (granted you utilized accessory weapons often) and the secrets were well hidden (I only found about half). What I loved most about this TRLE is the aesthetics of it. The re-mapping of the colors and the temple at the end especially! Did I mention the purple fire? Even though it's a small detail, it really brought life to the game in my opinion. I wouldn't recommend this level for a beginner but someone who has experience or is seasoned ought to give it a go. Great level!!" - g12STL (25-Aug-2021)
"What an enormous undertaking this TR2 game was. This is one that's probably best played in a lot of separate settings as not only are the levels extremely lengthy, but the majority of the challenges are also on the rather difficult side and you really have to focus on some of the platforming sequences. Having said all that, I decided to reward the gameplay category with a perfect score, because there's a great progression of difficulty here, starting relatively simple and serene in the first (Italian?) section before ramping up further and further and throwing everything at you in the later temple and forest levels. Enemies and secrets are very effectively placed (loved the thematic pattern of the secrets, by the way), while atmosphere and music is on point throughout although the textures are a little on the glitchy side at times. A rewarding, enjoyable and memorable raid." - Ryan (15-Jul-2021)
"A really massive game consisting of 9 full length levels. It begins fairly easy and almost dull (in the first three levels) but nicely picks up from then onwards. There is a good dose of exploration and traps here; puzzles are comparatively few but it is a good enough challenge to work your way through these levels. Only in the penultimate level things went downhill a bit with repetitive tasks and an easy to figure out but way too long pushable puzzle (on the other side, I liked the puzzle with the coloured doorways). From time to time there are quite tricky jumps, especially with springboards, and also some fun but not so tight timed runs to spice things up, as well as (rather underused) vehicles like the snowmobile and boat. All in all things are quite enjoyable (except of the lighting - to that later), best played in smaller doses though as it's not very diverse. There is much (too much?) ammo provided so that shooting all those nicely retextured enemies is not very hard, even the tougher ones in the last levels, perhaps the attacks were also a bit too predictable (mostly in larger halls where enemies come from all corners). The 24 secrets were rather well hidden too. The major downside of this level is certainly the lighting which also affects the gameplay because it is fairly flat for most of the time. May it be brighter or dark areas, there is a lack of contrast and sometimes to a point where it is indeed eye hurting, not just unrealistic. There were parts where I constantly lit flares in order to spot differences in geometry, even in outside areas. Sadly so, because the texturing is quite professional and the areas are well designed otherwise - my advice is to rework the game in that aspect because it has potential for more. In total, this was a game that, despite having more or less serious issues, succeeded in creating a complete and lengthy TR 2 story with smart customizations and a lot of good ideas in terms of platforming and traps, so nevertheless recommended. Finished in 6:50 hours." - manarch2 (05-Jul-2021)
"This took me quite a while to get through, it's a very long set, but I enjoyed it very much. I found the first 2-3 levels dragged a little, but once I got past these the remaining levels went from strength to strength. I particularly enjoyed the sunken temple, the Siberia levels, and the final china levels. The gameplay was mostly straightforward but always interesting and challenging, and the level design itself was great. The only slight downside was the fact that the lighting was often very flat. Took me at least 400 saves to get through this so it's quite a hefty undertaking, but ultimately rewarding and enjoyable. I also missed around 50% of the secrets so they are quite well hidden. Thanks for this Danath!" - Passalaqua (25-Jun-2021)
"By far the most beautiful and the most challenging trle I ve ever played, I would say this is so much better than the Tr2 golden mask expansion, the verity of levels places, enemies and the mix of every element from the original shadow of dagger had, the gameplay and the story is very clear and understandable and the puzzles were challenging yet it was fun to play. My favorite part was the underwater levels, however I should say that the barracudas were so annoying on the entire game chasing you everywhere haha, each level is unique how it was build, texture and lighting and different enemies that make sense to the environment, and the different types of secrets each level had was a beautiful touch. music and sound effects were on point and done professionally, I didn't like the background track of the last 3 levels but that wasn't a big deal at least for me. I can see the effort that were put to this trle, I really respect it and I can't recommend this levels enough. solid 10/10" - p1kaa (23-Jun-2021)
"Since I played this levelset with my son it took us nearly a month to finish, what with finding the time to play together. We both enjoyed it hugely, being TR2 fans, and savoured every minute of it. This has to be the most fun TR I've played since "Ice Age 3 24 Nothing left but Ashes". It is a solid level set consisting of 9 levels, building up in difficulty just like the classic games used to. We never got bored or lost - apart from the one time in Siberia where I ran around in circles not finding the way up - and experienced a very good game flow. Puzzles were there in abundance, but none too difficult. The enemies were often customised which was ok for me, although I rather tried to kill them than admire their chiselled jaw lines ;) Objects were pretty and well placed, and the secrets rewarding. We missed a few, namely in the first level, and one some time in the later levels. The atmosphere was beautifully TR2-like, and while some might say "it is merely a TR 2.5", I'd say that this is a heap of praise indeed! :) Camera hints were plentiful and helpful. The only point I have to take off (which I wish I didn't have to) was the repetetive ambient sound in the Temple levels. It grated my nerves so badly that in the end I replaced it with some peaceful Easter level ambience. If Danath had been a bit more careful in choosing the sound for those levels, it would be a straight 10 from me. Lighting and Textures were, as one would expect with such a classic game, very bright and TR2-ish. Now this is absolutely not a bad thing, although in the caves sometimes the greyness was a bit overmuch; but we got plenty of flares to counter the twilight. The entire game took us a little over 15 hours to finish. And the difficulty I would describe as medium. Thanks by the way, MichaelP, for finally giving us these two criteria to add to the reviews. All in all I would like to say, thank you Danath, for this hugely enjoyable game. A wonderful experience, highly recommended." - Manymee (13-Jun-2021)
"Well, this was very long and very hard, but I made it - with undeniable effort. If we're to mention the sheer enjoyment of the game, I must say that it being that long and hard does make it a bit of a chore, no matter how much effort the builder may have put into achieving it, it's just too much. Not that there isn't any concern with the player, because there is - excepting a few underwater spike bags, after you go through some ordeal of traps and have to get back, they've stopped working, and I call that concern. It's just not enough to say this is player-friendly. It starts off pretty doable, even simple, and then it escalates to levels of high difficulty, including basically everything: orientation in somewhat similar places (huge), enemies, traps and platforming (including jumps together with traps and all those very hard to handle jump pads). The atmosphere and texture area is generally pretty good for what it is, a Tomb Raider 2 game. It's varied, but the fact that you spend so long in each place (and that each place tends to function like a maze in which you revisit places on and on) makes it somehow psychologically less varied. My favourite level may have been the last one, even though it's trap after trap, jump after jump, hardship after hardship - perhaps because it wasn't so mazy and there even is the TR2 dragon to fight. I still enjoyed playing this very complex work that takes TR2 to its limits. Will I replay it? I don't think so." - Jorge22 (11-Jun-2021)
"A long game that took days to play discovering 4 locations : Italy , an Underwater world with base caves and temples , Siberia , and China. The difficulty rises slowly but surely along the way, Ice Temple in Siberia has a strong gameplay and so have Temple of the Mask and Last trial. The builder obviously likes a lot platforming as you have plenty of it in all levels , often you reenter in areas by another way. While the game is rather challenging , the way to go is always rather intuitive. The builder manages well the shaping of the blocks , and also in many places there is merging of acrobatics and traps which are sometimes fun and original and can give the player the feeling of being clever. Despite many challenges the game offers in the second half , it is rather player-friendly with for example many traps deactivated on your way back or special musics when there is a timed run at end. The only moments that gave me trouble is one jump in the Siberian mountains as i could not notice where to go given the textures and flat lighting , and sometimes the use of spring boards despite the fun these can give. Yep in this game they are all there : spring boards , rolling barrels , falling icycles , blades , a lift , a snowmobile , stone guardians that come to life , knives throwing thugs and many more. Some excellent ideas of puzzle also , although the game is not based on puzzles. The builder has clever ideas to entertain when rising above the platorming aspect of TR only. The looks are okay, texturing is quite good, but some organic places suffer from flickering textures and it was a bit hard on the eyes in Siberian mountains. Favourite level : Sunken ruins , which is btw the most beautiful of the set. Underwater base , Ice temple , Temple of the mask were also quite good, while i also enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and gameplay in Hengshan." - eRIC (21-May-2021)
"wow perfect map! amazing job, i played this for about a week. i would pay to have this burned to a PS1 DVD" - Nephilim (19-May-2021)
"In some of the levels, I can feel some backtrack usage is to expand the gameplay length. I am not bothered by that. During this adventure, Lara visited Italy, undersea, Siberia and China. I personally love the Italy section the most because there are lots of potential in Italy on TRLE. Just look at that, there are lots of levels feature Italian cities. Every city in Italy can provide different cultures and feelings to the players. The gameplay length is really long enough. It feels like playing the original game. The environment, enemies and objects' color are modified, which are very interesting to me. They are completely sick! They're cool then ever!!! My viewers described Lara "The carrot diver" because of the diving suit color, it was really humorous of them. Alright, I heard the word "Maria Doria copycat" from my mods during the premiere. I threw this question to my viewers during the premiere. Among all the 50 viewers, None of them thought it's the Maria Doria Copycat at all. Don't be picky but appreciate the game instad :) Highly recommend to other people." - steven35175 (18-May-2021)
"A level set with lots of tricky jumps and traps in the flair of both TR2 and TR2 Gold. You are running around in circles alot and sometimes don't know what you are after (the start of the underwater temple had this alot). Some passages were almost too difficult, especially in the later levels where you need to do trial&error to find the correct pixel perfect position or timing. The texture and lighting is nothing extraordinary. There could have been some more refinements in the lighting stage. All in all a solid experience." - Raildex (17-May-2021)
"A levelset for which I waited really long, finally got released. OMG I so loved it despite some issues. It has big TR2 feels with great environment, beautiful objects and atmosphere. Gameplay was very good, very TR2'ish but I found some levels with too simple gameplay. Especially first two italian levels have really often situation like: pull lever to open door for another lever etc. I know it's quite harder to create levels with venice theme than others but some puzzles could have been encountered because there was lack of them in this two levels. However those levels had really good atmosphere and beautiful environment. I loved texture diversity but many houses were a bit wallpapered, same with undergrounds of second level. I also found some lighting cracks but this wasn't much disturbnig. Next we have underwater levels, they were better than italian in terms of gameplay with more puzzles (omg I loved puzzle in fourth level with rising and lowering water surface). Fourth level also had some other cool ideas. In those levels there are more things to do than in Italian. Again environment was beautiful and design of fourth level was so awesome. In those levels I didn't find wallpapered walls and lighting cracks as in Italian levels. Next two levels are Siberian levels. Again gameplay went even better than in Underwater levels. First siberian level had great atmosphere of wilderness with some human buildings and really cool time trial. Second siberian level had epic and very unique design. Next three levels are last section setted in China. Probably best section with wonderful forest level, unique temple level and last level named as "Last Trial". Those levels were really extented and it was easily to get lost there. Hengshan (forest level) had really wonderful vibes and environment but I think there should be some more puzzles provided for this levels because we mostly platforming, encountering traps and fighting enemies. Temple of the Mask level is probably best level of the levelset. With weird but intriguing ambience music which makes this level kinda creppy. It's best level in terms of gameplay with much platforming and some really amazing puzzles like puzzle with gates and color symbols (omg i loved it). Last level was a bit poorer in atmosphere and gameplay. More dark areas would be cool. As about enemies, Danath did good job on editing enemies because almost every enemy was edited and recolored. Overally it's an amazing levelset on which I waited 3 years and finally got it. Danath did great job on creating those levels with great and unique design. Very good gameplay but Danath should provide a bit more puzzles and less pull lever to open door for another lever etc. situation, which was especially in Italian levels. I definetly can recommend this and I wish this level will get to Hall of Fame. I can't wait to see Danath working on Tomb Editor and create even better levels! Awesome job!" - BlackWolfTR (15-May-2021)
"This level pack was absolutely amazing and comparable to the original series with a fun set of zones to visit with beautiful texturing and design. This will be something I play again as if it were a classic Core Design Tomb Raider game and one that I will definitely show other classic TR fans and family. The one issue I had was that sometimes the texturing and shadows were a tiny bit off. In places that could have used a shadow, it was sometimes too bright, but those times were far in-between and I didn't really notice them that much. Aside from that, some of these areas, despite being a lot of textures and area concepts that we have seen before, had originality and atmosphere to them that made them feel completely fresh. First entering Hengshan and seeing the plant objects and hearing the chirping birds and forest ambience in the background was exciting on its own. Such a wonderfully set atmosphere!" - Hosannah (15-May-2021)
"Omg that was a trip. In nine levels, I only found a few likely softlocks - good result, but watch my highlight and patch them anyway. For gameplay, it's a levelset far too big, but in a specific way - some rooms were created, then shredded, then glued, then pasted again into the same level, producing an uncanny feeling of dejavu. There's more good content than bloat but still, if you got several versions of the same room, scrap the subpar ones - I know it's hard for any author, but it's easier for any player. Finally, the visuals... sweet mother of god... no essential shading (vide Seth94), so I strained my eyes all the time to notice platforms/cracks/openings of progress, I got much more exhausted than I should be, and at some point it felt like my own healthbar is depleting. I presume unfocused lighting can even cause migraines, so it shouldn't be approved on until it's correct. So it's not just about 9/10 textures surrounded with 3/10 lights (which makes no sense itself) - it's about minimal care about player health. Therefore, until this is fixed: am I'm glad I tried this level? Yes. Will I replay? No..." - DJ Full (14-May-2021)
"Pretty fun TR2 game, kinda ruined by unispired design... specially the first Venice alike levels and also the 2nd world which is basically a Maria Doria copycat. Syberian Mountains were beautiful, definitely my favourite one. But now I would personally recommend to not use certain stuff like the Paint colored looking outfits and Larson head on enemies; this kind of things made for me the game somehow hilarious! Is great to see a full TR game feeling with globetrotting tho. Still, this whole TRLE was for me just a TR2.5" - Jason L (14-May-2021)
"I had the privilege of being a beta tester for this level set, and after a few levels, I forgot to keep track of my notes because it was too fun to play. Danath has crafted a spectacular level set that is both a perfect tribute to DXTRE3D and Tomb Raider 2. Every level flows smoothly and there is no point where I felt bored. Every puzzle is clever and unique, and the enemies are placed perfectly. A bunch of custom textures were created for this, and they are all excellent, as are the custom objects. Visual design and level design were very obviously crafted with extreme care. The levels are intricate. A highlight is the level-wide puzzle in Sunken Ruins and the entirety of Hengshan. This is a game that you will not want to miss, and once you start, you will not be able to put it down. An instant Hall of Fame classic for sure." - haley (11-May-2021)