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Create a Classic 2021 - Tomb Raider Iris by Cornchild

billie2001 10 10 10 9
BlackWolfTR 9 10 9 10
dinne 9 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 9 10 9
dragooncroft 10 9 10 10
JesseG 9 10 9 9
Jorge22 10 10 10 10
Jose 6 9 10 10
manarch2 7 9 8 8
MedievalMetal 10 10 10 10
MigMarado 9 10 9 10
Mman 8 8 8 9
Mr XY 10 10 9 9
Phil 9 9 9 10
Ryan 9 9 10 9
Samu 10 10 9 9
StormChaser 10 9 10 9
Tolle87 10 9 10 10
vandit 10 10 9 10
ViridionSama 7 7 9 8
release date: 21-Nov-2021
# of downloads: 284

average rating: 9.30
review count: 20
review this level

file size: 124.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Base/Lab

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This was an awesome, as-advertised game with lots to explore, puzzles to solve, and moments where Lara needs to think fast. The VCI environment was always one of my favorites, but I always had reservations playing vanilla TR5 because of the glitches. But anyone who is interesting in playing this adventure can rest assured that it is sound and secure without any game breaking bugs! The only annoyance I found was that despite aiming perfectly at the cyborg guys' heads, often it didn't connect causing me to waste precious ammo (I think this carried over from TR5, but it didn't break the game because it was optional to kill them). I especially liked Von Croy Sr.'s character which brought the right amount of comic relief to the game while still seeming threatening. One of my favorite puzzles was equipping the lazor gun to open up a passage in the wall, which stumped me for some time." - dragooncroft (29-Jan-2023)
"Feels professional enough to be a possible substitute for the original VCI chapter, however I would still trim it by removing some direct references. Especially remarkable are the cutscenes, where even the sync between animation and speech has been done." - DJ Full (13-Jan-2023)
"Awesome level featuring lots of cool and unusual stuff. You get plenty of exploration, great use of traps (moving lasers and electric cables were especially well used), inventive puzzles, action-packed combat involving heavily armored laser gun guards from TR Chronicles, and lots of other stuff recreated from TR Chronicles. Last but not least, you get to blow up some bad guys with the turret gun from TR3, which I have seen never before in custom levels. In addition to this, the action takes place in a well-crafted VCI-inspired environment. All in all, amazing work." - Samu (28-Jul-2022)
"Indeed this builder knows how to manage with the level editor; all is perfect here, very professional, very good texturization and lighting, good use of cameras and objects, impressive design of the rooms... But for some reason the levels were not very entertaining for me, perhaps too much time running through the ducts and crawlspaces and a similar gameplay than in the original TR5 levels; also there are very few ammo and medipacks to pick up, so don't waste them because the cyborgs are very hard to kill and very dangerous (I died many times). Anyway a couple of levels with a spectacular design and a classic taste you can't miss. I take my hat off, Cornchild." - Jose (17-Jul-2022)
"This is a VCI themed release; the setting is well realised, with the assets used to a higher level of detail than the original. There's consistently good lighting and texturing, along with some original object use, including storytelling and scripting. It doesn't do anything especially outside of the base theme, but it's well executed and good looking. The gameplay is generally good at providing a range of tasks and new takes on concepts from the original level set, unfortunately it falls into the frequent TR5 "modern" themes pitfall of overused vent crawls, but it's still much better about it than a lot of levels like this are. While you don't have to headshot them now the "mech" enemies can also delete you extremely fast, although they don't handle cover too well at least. Despite that I actually feel it's a bit smoother and less focused on trial and error than the original maps, with the bonus of no stopping for Zip chats, and overall a superior take on the idea. One of the better takes on the VCI concept that improves on aspects of the original, although I don't think it does anything especially new with it." - Mman (24-Apr-2022)
"This level has my own (simple) story to it: I got to a certain place where I got so stuck, nowhere else to go, I simply had to quit. And so I did, for, say, two, three entire weeks. I wasn't sure I was going to continue. I could, of course, follow the walkthrough. But did I want to? I finally gave it another try, brave as I could be, no walkthrough in hand. And I'm so glad I did. This TR5 Iris level is possibly much better than the original, and, contrarily to the original, without any bugs. Ok, maybe it isn't an absolute eye candy offering, but it's rather well done, atmospheric, and eye candiness is not to be expected from a lab level, anyway. It has good atmosphere, nice puzzles, lots of exploration, laser and poison traps, and some very dangerous enemies, namely those who wear the tech armour. It's really not too complicated, but I'd missed an entrance above a box... The final part, including the TR3 machine gun fight, really add up to the adrenaline levels. My only complaint is there don't seem to be enough medipacks around, which really made me fear for my life near the end. Thank you for coming back, Cornchild. Clearly reccomended." - Jorge22 (18-Mar-2022)
" I have a HUGE weakness for VCI Headquarters-type levels. The level builder, beta testers, object creators and everyone involved got it right on so many levels. Here's an account of my experience.

Gameplay & Puzzles - 10
+ Environments were interactable; everything was intuitive for me and I had zero difficulties figuring out what to do next. I wasn't running around in circles, and with each room I knew where to go and what to do next.
+ I didn't need a walkthrough to complete the level. Yay!
+ You captured the essence of the horrible boss perfectly.
+ The puzzle with the laser beam that blow ups the explosive cannister was a wonderful touch.
- I felt that the level ended abruptly and I would have liked to see more of what happened with the story (or a resolution and more interaction with Von Croy Sr. - possibly a few barbed comments from him to end it all off 🤣). I'm not going to knock off a point for this.

Enemies, Objects & Secrets - 10
+ I found all 3 secrets!
+ Objects were neatly done, fully visible, and not at all buggy. I loved that it was clear as to which objects I could actually interact with (cabinets, switches, push-blocks).
+ Some of the enemies were BRUTAL! It added to the factor of, 'I've gotta get out of here NOW!' They added enough of a fear-factor for me.

Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras - 10
+ Nostalgic and believable. I really felt like I was in a security complex, and it was consistent with the VCI Headquarters in TR5.
+ At the time, this was the first level I played that captured the echoes and 'sound decay' so effectively, especially inside the metal vents. This gave me an idea of the size of the room and the materials that were used to build it.

Lighting & Textures - 10
+ Characteristic of what you'd expect from being inside the Headquarters - fluorescent lighting, cobbled wall bricks and almost clinical, hospital-like floors and rooms.

Overall score: (10+10+10+10)/4 = 10

This is a stunning level that includes all the elements that make a stealth level as fantastic as it is. I was fully immersed and I even forgot where I was while I was playing it. I love taking my time to explore the environments, so 419 savegames and 3.5 hours later, I finished the level.

Thank you for your work. 🙏🏼 Please make more levels, I look forward to seeing more of your environments and creations!

" - MedievalMetal (16-Feb-2022)
"What I like about this adventure is how cutscenes and various interactions (including a direct gun fight) with the antagonist are used to build his character, not something you see very often in a custom level. I found him a bit endearing, and definitely more entertaining than in the official game. This pair of levels sees Lara returning to VCI to perform another theft. Despite it being the same location, the layout of the place is quite different, and the originality is a good thing. The downside is that, at least in the first level, the layout can lead to a lot of backtracking, or maybe Lara uses a backtracking route too soon and has Removing certain permanent lasers here and there would have greatly simplified things for players who may have missed something. The visuals are strong, especially the lighting. It won't be long before Lara has to dodge flames, lasers, and several kinds of guards - the kind that is shooting blue lasers is quite difficult! I would have maybe given stronger firearms sooner, and got nervous when I ran out of desert eagle ammo, thank goodness I didn't need to use the lasersight after that happened. A few other familiar elements include performing stealthy chloroform attacks and shooting at a target range. As for new things, one that stands out to me is a pushable puzzle using a prototype laser weapon. The puzzle wasn't difficult but it was fun to put the pieces together to blow a hole in the wall. The turret from TR3's crash site makes a cameo appearance, and Lara gets to go ham on a horde of enemies with it. The levelset is certainly not far off from the source material in terms of having dramatic, memorable moments. 1 hour 22 minutes." - JesseG (01-Feb-2022)
"Amazing level, I wasn't catched into a custom level like this (with "real" entertainment) for a long time, I am very satisfied we got a (rare) cool baselab one.
Everything feels professional and at some point, as a player, you'll stop feeling like giving some more credit and patience for a fanmade stuff, but you'll start to feel like a regular demanding player of an official level. This because the level has a very coherent polished and planned level design, so that when something is off you'd first think there is *something* to do more, and not that it's a leftover or a bad design mistake. This avoids the needs of most of hints during the level, great job.
The level is balanced in being linear and non-linear, it closes and opens areas and gameplay steps in a way that prevents you from being too taxed by pending quests (or roaming around) and from being too bored by having a too linear/guided gameplay. Very good balance. Tasks are original and innovative time to time, motivating the player to see what's next. Architecture is nice, even using the same asset every place has a defined "mood" or purpose and when you need to remember something there is generally a special landmark that won't fade in your memory. Things make sense most of the times, nothing feels drafty. What I'm satisfied the most is the ability to make innovation without the need to guide the player continuously, but doing that through the level design itself and through "educating" the player to this coherent building style. Mind blowing design skills in my opinion.
Places are never too big or too narrow and the big ones are greatly interconnected to work as main orientation points. Gameplay density is good with the size of the rooms. There is also a very good balance between moments of puzzling, moments of relax and pickups, moments of combat and traps. They have a good pace, so the level is never boring or too taxing.
A big load of intelligent shortcuts is provided.
However, all this mega hype I had was suddenly broken when I realized I did a skip: I allowed some damage in the kitchen to pass through the fire. This is a -very- easy skip... I really hope the builder will update the level with a fix for this, for example the tile could set Lara on fire instantly.
Also, I hoped to get more stealth dynamics and more usage of the laser glasses but that's not a real complain.
Anyway this is one of the few levels where "challenging" means a planned challenge and not just "frustrating", so it comes out smooth and rewarding if you manage to sort it out.
Secrets: nice, I got 3/3, nothing to say here.
Another issue is the lack of some camera hints (2 were needed, and I'd have made Lara look at the ceiling trapdoor in the shattering offices, and at the fire extinguisher; actually I prefer it without, personally, but I say it for the rest of the players) and the shortage of medikits, which is not a problem for me because I love challenges and I liked to run out of them and enter in survival mode but this is surely something that can put off other players. Lastly, towards the end of the first level there are triangled corridors that made me confused with orientation.
Visually this level is perfect, I've nothing to point out. Baselab is generally grey but here we see a variety of colors everywhere (without exaggerating and without scattering the main tone of each room) and of environments. Contrast is always nice, nothing is too dark or too bright, too punchy or too flat. Textures and objects are well used, cutscenes are funny and entertaining. This is one of the few levels I'd like to replay purely for entertainment, in the future. An amazing job I think every builder should check to observe the aspects of level design I pointed out here." - dinne (27-Jan-2022)
"I like VCI levels and this is indeed a good one. Really achieves the feel of the original VCI with many objects and scenarios recreated from the Chronicles game. Great puzzles and atmosphere and loads to do. A bit confusing at times IMHO and by no means an easy raid. Texturing and lighting is spot on and some great architecture. If you like VCI or base levels in general then this is a must play." - StormChaser (06-Jan-2022)
"Truly classic in every sense of the word, this is a brilliantly enjoyable tribute to the original VCI sections from Tomb Raider Chronicles. I don't profess to being the biggest fan of base levels, but the builder has admittedly done a great job of wringing a lot of gameplay out of this well-worn genre and I actually rather enjoyed myself. It's mostly a relatively fast-paced game, but the puzzling and action is mixed up nicely with some enjoyable pushblock and lever puzzles, plus some engaging combat encounters against guards and cyborgs (the latter of which proved to be surprisingly challenging but not at all insurmountable), but nothing inordinately difficult). I also appreciated that the duct segments (which normally lead to a fair amount of crawling) weren't too long- winded this time around. The atmosphere and setting is completely faithful to the original, which is no bad thing. Nothing complicated, but an absorbing raid on the whole." - Ryan (01-Jan-2022)
"This is a thoroughly enjoyable two-parter that took me about two hours to play (since I was writing a walkthrough along the way). I don't recall any singularly difficult sequences, but there are many places where the player needs to exhibit caution and finesse, particularly when dealing with those diabolical cyborgs. I loved the carnage glut near the end, where you use a laser gun spitting explosive ammo to mow down a horde of advancing enemies. I could just hear Lara cackling maniacally during the massacre. There might have been one or two too many ducts to crawl through, but I'm not complaining. Lighting is superb, and I rarely had to use any of the copiously provided flares. High recommendations." - Phil (01-Jan-2022)
"I had a ton of fun with this VCI adventure. It was just like being back for more of the classic TR5 final stage.

The gameplay does get a bit meandering and slightly repetitive near the end of the first level, and there could be a couple more camera hints. Otherwise, this levelset was a treat. There rarely is anything resembling a dull moment, and the storyline justifies every situation, as perfectly outlined in the cutscenes.

Thank you for this welcome comeback, Cornchild! Truly memorable. Congratulations on this stroll down memory lane that still manages to bring new elements to the fore!

The set took me just shy of 2 hours to complete, and I found it mostly easy to moderately difficult." - MigMarado (30-Dec-2021)
"The level in this contest that surprised me the most. On one hand because I did not expect such a quality from this level builder and on the other hand because I actually don't like VCI at all and for me this level is still the winner of this contest.
The level has everything I like: cutscenes, voice acting, humor, ingenious puzzles, many new elements but never without losing the classic feeling.
Visually, it's not the most beautiful level in the contest, you could even go so far as to say that it looks monotonous every now and then but the level builder has put a lot of effort into making the environment as varied as possible, especially the lighting helps a lot here. The big strength here is definitely the gameplay and puzzles. Everything that has to be done in this base makes sense and feels authentic. No puzzle is drawn out of thin air and just there to stretch playtime. For example, you have to heat a cold room to melt the ice, shoot a hole in the wall with a laser or quickly escape from a room that slowly fills with gas. And that's only part of the many clever tasks in this level.
Thanks to new plugins, written by Cornchild himself, there are also many new effects and gameplay elements. Above all, the cable machine moving in a circle, where you have to quickly press a few switches, is something completely new and lots of fun. It was a bit of a shame that the boss fight in the server room was over so quickly, the poor guy couldn't even finish his sentence, he was already on the ground.
Otherwise I can only report positive things about this level, which by the way is Cornchild's first level after a break of more than 15 years. I highly recommend this level to everyone and can't wait to play Cornchild's next adventure, hoping not to have to wait another 15 years. =)" - Mr XY (15-Dec-2021)
"What an amazing and round adventure that was! From the very start I knew I would love this one, despite the fact that I hate VCI levels both gameplay-wise and aesthetically. There are so many things to admire. Good gameplay ideas, like the activation of a laser to open a hole in the wall, the shooting range, the gas room you have to escape from, the grenade launcher machine-gun was great fun, and generally the gameplay is engaging and fits the environment. There is also much attention to detail, like the looks of the lasers, the elevator cabin that shakes when moving etc. The cut-scenes, the voice acting, the humour, all add to the atmosphere and the story telling. Secrets were easy to find but I don't really care for them and certainly never rate them. All in all, a VCI level way better than Core's. Well done, Cornchild, and I hope to see more from you soon. Recommended 100%" - billie2001 (14-Dec-2021)
"There we have a really high quality VCI themed level made by an author who had returend after many years to building, after 15 years! It's really good to see another VCI level which is especially high quality. There aren't much of good quality VCI levels so that's really good to see. The gameplay was really good and well thought of. The first level is pretty complex and it was real fun to explore and mess around all of this modern corridors and rooms. Some really nice tasks were involved in this level such as the idea with chemistry gun, the bossfight, fight with sentry gun at the end and much much more. So author have done really good job on creating interesting and pretty creative level. However, I missed some avoiding of traps in the vents, I think there were to little of them but that's my own preference :P Would be also fun to explore some outsides of this VCI buildings or some more "public" areas if you know what I mean. Despite that I loved the story plot which was again pretty creative :) About the looks of level... I really liked it and everything seems to be very polished. Texturization was practically perfect with good usage of textures. Same goes for lighting, which had been diverse in some areas and brought diverse colours. Rooms were nicely decorated and detailed. I only found one object which hadn't had collision but that's a very minor thing. Overally, it's really good comeback from this author after so many years. It's very good level with creative and original ideas and nice modern atmosphere. I can definitely recommend it!" - BlackWolfTR (03-Dec-2021)
"My first pick in this competition was already a pretty good one. Very nice VCI style level with a lot of things to spice up the whole thing, such as a shooting range and a correctly working grenade launcher machine like in TR 3 South Pacific. The gameplay includes a lot of (mostly laser) traps to avoid, which was never really hard but the traps were diverse and not repetitive. Sometimes progression is a bit wacky as you are often forced to return larger paths if you just chose the wrong of two paths which is not a very nice thing. I liked the pushable puzzle with a twist, but otherwise there are very few and only small pushable puzzles. A bit more could've been done with respect to interaction with enemies, especially some stealth parts. Enemies are very well placed but the boss fight was a little disappointing as it's not harder than some of the others. The three secrets are rather easy to find as well. Atmosphere is very solid throughout and the cutscenes nicely support the storyline. I found minor texturing problems but in general the visuals are quite good, yet, like the general atmosphere, not showcasing anything new to the VCI style. Overall a very true classic but never boring, on the contrary, fairly enjoyable. Finished in an hour of playtime." - manarch2 (27-Nov-2021)
"Simply, this was a revelation for me. As much as I hated this theme in Chronicles, I was fascinated by this level. When I saw the very first room and the way to get out of it, I instantly knew that this builder knows what he's doing, but I honestly didn't expect something as great as this. Imagine all the good things from hi-tech levels in the original game, but without the frustrating ones. No game-breaking bugs, no limited ammo, no cyborgs, no overusing of the chloroform mechanics, no annoying radio guy... The gameplay is really creative and finally we see the full potential of these levels. Every area brings something new, and it's really cool to see some unique agility tasks even after so many years and it's even greater accomplishment with the classic-moveset limitations. There are also some nice references to certain parts of the original levels, just as a tribute. All in all, it really made me think "wow, what's next?" on many occasions. I'm not gonna spoil anything and it's not easy to mention particular things, because the whole level is one big highlight. Visuals are great and the cut-scenes are well-made with great voice cover, especially for Von Croy Sr. The only thing I didn't like are the secrets that are too easy to find (the last one being literally insulting. Without the grate, it would be okay) and that's the only thing that prevented me from giving a perfect score. I've played only three levels of this CaC, but so far (and by far), this is my absolute favorite. Well done!" - Tolle87 (26-Nov-2021)
"Votes: 7/7/9/8 Duration: 2 Difficulty: 2 Tomb Raider Iris brings us once more in the VCI universe, offering a new refreshing adventure in one of Von Croy's associates. I really appreciated the few cutscenes and dialogues in the level, which certainly brought this adventure to life. The silly old man's voice was actually pretty funny. While the premise and the details offered by the Author really enhanced the experience, I think the gameplay wasn't as exciting as the the rest. The stealth atmosphere, the sounds, enemies and details in the VCI labs really created a very well crafted scene but the actual playthrough was a bit confusing, intricate and the place quickly became a maze, with lots of backtracking. The second level was shorter and more focused on combat, which was very exciting. The final moments while shooting waves of enemies with the cannon were quite exciting and refreshing. Lights and textures were also really good at conveying the mood and the tech theme labs. The secrets were another disappointment: really easy to find and only three of them for such a large map. The secrets were easier to find than finding where to go at certain points, which is not the best situation in my book. Having said that, I think this level is a great example of how awesome and fun is the VCI style and infiltration theme. Tomb raiding is not all about tombs and if a TR5 VCI fan wants a bit more, I would reconmend this level for sure." - ViridionSama (26-Nov-2021)
"Cornchild has created a super cool but also challenging VCI level. The first level is very spacious and offers everything you know from the original VCI levels and more. In the second but much shorter level, there are generally more fights and the boss enemy(s) to defeat in order to steal the coveted chip. I wouldn't know what to criticize about the implementation, atmosphere, sounds, enemies, inventory, etc. everything is pretty perfectly done. There is one thing though, you have to memorize the paths and possible ways back well, because the author was a bit stingy with hints, if you have collected something important, how it continues. It happened to me that I was then quite a while busy to find out where the way back was and how to get back. This can make this level frustrating. Also, you should examine every corner carefully so as not to miss anything. Would have liked to continue after 2 hours of play ... because it is the best VCI level I have played so far." - vandit (25-Nov-2021)