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The Lost Valley by Jeyem

bERT 10 10 10 10
Bex 9 8 8 8
CC 9 7 8 8
Cuqui 10 9 10 10
Dimpfelmoser 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 9 8
Dougsan 10 9 10 10
eRIC 10 9 10 10
eTux 10 10 10 8
Fairy Godfather 10 9 9 9
Freeman Porter 10 9 9 8
Gerty 9 9 10 10
Grayboy 10 8 7 9
guss18 9 9 9 9
Hendrik 10 7 6 8
IndyDallasJones 9 10 10 8
Jason 10 9 9 8
Jay 9 9 10 9
Jaypee 9 9 9 9
Jenni 10 10 10 10
Jerry 7 8 9 9
Jorge22 7 8 8 9
Jose 6 9 8 9
Josi 10 9 9 10
Kristina 10 10 9 9
Leandro 7 7 8 7
MacRaider 9 10 10 9
Magnus 7 6 6 5
manarch2 9 8 9 8
MichaelP 10 9 10 10
MigMarado 9 10 10 10
Monika 10 9 9 9
Navi 10 9 10 8
Nomad 10 10 9 9
Patson 10 10 10 10
Phil 8 8 9 9
RaiderGirl 9 9 8 9
Ryan 9 10 10 9
Samu 9 9 9 9
snork 10 9 10 9
Tombaholic 10 9 10 10
Tombraidergirl 10 10 10 10
Torry 8 8 9 9
Tortoise3 10 9 10 10
Treeble 9 9 8 8
TrueRaider 6 6 9 7
Vinci 10 10 9 9
Whistle 9 8 9 7
release date: 01-Dec-2001
# of downloads: 185

average rating: 9.00
review count: 48
review this level

file size: 23.90 MB
file type: TR4
class: Desert

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I can see why this level landed as high as it did back then. It's open, it's expansive, it's clever. After 22 years though, when we've seen such puzzles in prettier levels, they simply seem too big, and the visuals obviously lack polish, with only several rooms surpassing the common quality. Still, remarkable is the usage of enemy AI not so common in custom levels even today. The greatest fortitude of this game is definitely the feeling of escape and isolation so I was glad I played it when I needed precisely those. I'd say I recommend it for such mood but be wary of possible disappointment if you want something universal to relax with." - DJ Full (18-Jul-2022)
"Great timeless gem, recommended for the raiders that like a challenging level on pretty much all areas (well, the enemies are not particularly hard). I felt there were some missing cameras to let you know some gameplay quirks, but otherwise this was pretty much a perfect level with a very classic Egypt approach. Thank you for the incredible work to Jeyem! Congratulations. Thank you very much, Teone, for helping me with that technical issue near the end. Folks, there is a tricky section at that point, but the final view is worth the effort! (In this case, Teone's effort)" - MigMarado (02-Apr-2021)
"The dream of playing (and reviewing) every single level keeps getting further and further away as new comitments and the occasional TombRaiding burnout come to surface. And yet, despite having been around since the earliest days of community, there were certain levels I learned to keep a distance, either because they'd require more time than I was prepared to invest into them or because of their complexity. This is one of those levels. And, in all honesty, I don't think I could have ever reached the finish trigger were it not for the very detailed walkthrough, courtesy of our Phil. However, even I have to admit I left impressed - this truly is a classic custom level due to its design. It's so intricate and full of nooks and crannies that you might just overlook or dismiss, unaware they are vital to your progression. While the sand effect was nice for the scorpions and generally shallow surfaces, I didn't really like the way it was used to conceal passages, so said effect was completely ruined for me when I first had to crawl down into the sand through hidden passages. Still, the quest for the golden vraeus is a rather pleasant one, and the finale with all sorts of traps smashed into a series of hallways was fun. Speaking of traps, this is a detail I might never cared for, but the spikes looked nicer than usual here - but maybe I've just been out of the loop for too long, I don't know. Definitely give this a go, but keep the walkthrough at hand. 85 minutes, 4 secrets. 04/17" - Treeble (29-Apr-2017)
"I remember enjoying the author's previous level 'Stunt in Underground' but wow this one is another grade entirely. For me, The Lost Valley was a level among the classics. The main thing that makes it this good is the sense of realistic exploration the level brings. There is this whole realistic canyon and ruins scattered around, over and under it. Looking for the ways to traverse the canyon and to enter the various parts of the ruins etc. are masterfully done - i.e crawling among the sands to reach the low parts, searching for suitable platforms to climb the rocky areas, releasing a set of boulders to crash the crevices, complete with the texturing and excellent scenery make the level a fulfilling experience. The fighting is very balanced and occurs at exciting places, much like a movie than a level. The ninjas become a real threat, activating triggers to kill Lara or stealing items Lara needs to progress in the game. In one occassion the camera shows ninjas rushing to a trigger while you can still move, which is a really cool addition. There is also the last run with the traps all around (especially the run through the swinging chains and the dive to the hole) to the final area with the two giant statues, which makes a climactic ending. Definitely recommended." - Nomad (29-Nov-2016)
"This is another old level that I played before becoming a reviewer and it was an absolute pleasure to play it again. With its fabulous architecture and the realism achieved (Lara's feet sinking into the sand in places etc) it seemed very innovative all those years ago and still has the power to make you smell the hot sand and rocks of the valley areas and marvel at the imposing temples. The gameplay is largely reliant on exploration, which is often of the 'route finding' nature, but there are ninjas around to keep Lara on her toes and the final assault course of traps and timed door is still quite challenging. Highly recommended." - Jay (11-Nov-2016)
"Some of these early levels are nothing more than average but there is the occasional gem like this one. Set in a TR4 style environment, this is one challenging level. It will test your dexterity and jumping skills, so have a keen eye. I enjoyed it so I recommend it." - Ryan (19-May-2016)
"This level was surely one of the better classic ones, but there also were some mistakes in it. Lara begins to explore a vast area full of little and bigger tasks. There were few "stuck" moments but not really "completely stuck" ones, but the invisible crawlspaces under the sand and some ladders took a lot of time to find. I found the textures were well placed, at few places they looked a bit strange though, and lighting in the outside areas was completely absent, which made the area feel a bit unrealistic. In the different ruins, I found everything was just as good as in the original TR 4 and lighting was much, much better. There only were few kinds of enemies (red ninjas, scorpions, crocs) but their placement was really expert like, as the players get sometimes shocked and sometimes in a hurry (the crawlspace where some scorpions come from behind). Gameplay was very challenging mostly, as there were long and tricky trap sequences, one requiring a perfectly executed roll/crawl move or long slope jump sequences. Another highlight in this level were the woods that have to be shot to release boulders that then create a hole in the wall to progress - well done. I encountered only one bug, I couldn't progress as a trigger in the spike room didn't work (after finding Canopic Jar 2), so I had to shoot the ninja before he enters the closing door in the previous area, only the Revolver helped me at this, which I had to get by cheating as it was a secret later in this level. Else than that, I found four well hidden secrets, the last one requires quite a long time jumping across the valley, and I ended after 75 minutes of great fun." - manarch2 (02-Jun-2011)
"Considering that this level was built in 2001 I found it quite well made, but I would have liked it much better if Lara's feet weren't covered with blisters now and abrasions at her knees caused by all that running and crawling in and around those big areas. Gameplay is varying, besides pulling switches and collecting items there are some tricky jumps to do with one jump sequence across spike pits which I found very hard because it is not obvious where to jump and where to get to. One problem with this level is overlooking an item; another annoyance is doing a lot of jumping just to end up in front of a closed door. I missed the cartouche piece #1 and I had to go all the way back to get it, and without the help of the walkthrough I wouldn't have had any idea where to go and look for it. The desert-like settings seem authentic, the atmosphere in this level is well done except for the lighting which I found rather bland." - Jerry (22-Mar-2009)
"I thoroughly enjoyed this level. It amazed me that there was so much gameplay for a small download. Set in a desert environment the atmosphere was very nice. I loved the way the scorpions emerged from beneath the sand and the hidden tunnels under the sand. The puzzles were intelligent but not overly taxing, there were some tricky jumps and a few push blocks that weren't that obvious. The timed gate near the end after surviving the boulders, spikes, blades and chains was somewhat of a challenge. So if your looking for a level to while away a few hours check out this oldie but goody." - guss18 (27-Oct-2008)
"This is a very long and complex desert level. There are huge areas to explore and small details you can miss so it's easy you get stucked. Lara will have to make all kind of jumps and movements around the canyons putting her life in risk; sometimes very difficult like in the cave with spikes and slopes. No much but well placed enemies; interesting tasks and a good environment with some nice puzzles; but the tricky tasks and the hidden features in very huge areas implicate a very hard gameplay." - Jose (22-Jul-2008)
"An old level but one that would never date as it doesn't rely on fancy moves, objects and textures (visual candy) but very well thought-out gameplay to make this a phenomenal level to play. I love the sand effects which could hide secrets, tunnels and enemies; use of the ninjas to set traps or become part of the puzzles; well-placed pick-ups (sometimes ensuring you have to work to get just one thing) as pick ups are sparse, but not many are required so it's all in perspective. I loved the use of push blocks and objects which blended in so well with their environment, that could have something so vital behind them. I also loved the "what do I do here?" feeling when it wasn't always so obvious what to do when entering a new area - and solving it is just so satisfying. I particularly liked the effort to make the setting seem real, i.e. uneven ground in tunnels, sand effects ("sinking" in the sand when walk through it) and simple wind sounds, such as you would hear on a large barren desert, - no loud and annoying sound track set on a loop to drive you mad after a while. Excellent use of cameras, particularly the part where Lara is crawling through a tunnel and the camera pans back to show three scorpions in hot pursuit of her, lol. Objects are well-placed, some waiting to be discovered, while some others to be taken from ninjas. Some switches are cleverly hidden too whereas others are in plain site but not always easily accessible. There are some tricky areas to overcome, such as the slope jump over spikes, and the final run through the traps - to ensure that even adept TR players are challenged. Jeyem hasn't built again for a while but I do hope he will be back again soon to send our Lara on another fun-filled adventure. I found 4 out of 5 secrets." - Jenni (02-Jun-2008)
"Even though this game was made by a japanes builder, to me it is not overly difficult. It really puzzles me where those many comments about almost impossible jumps in the other reviews come from. I am in no way a skilled raider, but never had any really big problem with the jumps. Only few times they are more challenging, but these situations do not come in heaps and the game is so overall good that I always was motivated enough to try some more and pass them. There ever was only one situation in this game where I am not so fond of the setup : you are required to do some precise slope jumping and it is one of the very few dark places in the game - so I had to have Lara bouncing between slopes with lit flares only to see what exactly I was supposed to try to do after a reload. Architecture is excellent here. Every valley gets revisited at least once on a higher level, often you get glimpses through a small opening of yet another place you have not been before. The sink-in sands are a good idea and they are well hinted at with the enemies appearing from them. The flooding setup is wellbuilt and makes sense. EOS : Enemies and objects are good old TRLR collection - this level is like the best advertisement for Back-to-Basics going really basics : you obviously do not need a multitude of new features to produce a highly enjoyable Tomb Raider game. All the old stuff is used to it's best here. 5 secrets are well worth 10 points on their own. ASC : All good and convincing. For cameras this one could be taken as example on how to use them. Scorpions in a crawlspace, usually a really bad idea, here together with the camera they are that good that this is the umpteenth review mentioning them. L&T : It must be very difficult to have noticeable lighting in plain desert sunlight and the level is really big, but there could have been done a little bit more if Jeyem was aiming for perfection. You can see how some parts received more attention (e.g. the very last valley) than others. Back in 2001 I can imagine me rating this all-10." - snork (30-Mar-2008)
"I loaded up this level with high expectations, fully expecting with my review to bump it up past the 8.99 mark, where it's been stuck for the past year or so. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this review will pull the numbers in the other direction. While you get good value for your download (nearly three hours of gaming for slightly less than 3MB), and while much of the activity takes place outdoors under a blue Egyptian sky, I found this to be what I call a "busy" level. There seems to be something going on all the time, which I suppose is what computer games are all about, but I enjoy those little respites between tasks when we can just kick back and enjoy the scenery. There weren't many moments like that here. The gameplay approaches expert level in spots, particularly in that sloped pit with the two boulders. I couldn't figure out what was going on even with the walkthrough close at hand, so I finally enabled the flycheat and swooped out of there. The same thing happened at the very end, where you have to negotiate boulders, spikes, scimitar blades and what I found to be an impossible timed run for the privilege of finishing the level. Since you have to stoop or crawl to get to the timed opening, and since you're given insufficient time to do that, and since I was quite tired by this time and 99% through with the level anyway, I decided to bag it at that point and move on to something else. Too bad I was left with a bad taste in my mouth; this had many features of a really great level if you overlook the gamestoppers mentioned above." - Phil (30-May-2006)
"This is absolutely one of the best Egypt level I have ever played. There are many beautiful outside areas including a lot of sand, rocks and ancient buildings in the level. This level contains also pretty well created puzzles. Many of the puzzles are different kind of jumping puzzles and they are really challenging and I like them really much. I had also a lot of fun when searching the secrets which are sometimes really hard to find. Textures and lighting are very good too and I recommend this level especially for all people who like egypt and desert levels." - Samu (20-Mar-2006)
"Lost Valley, Jeyem's signature level, was released quite early in the history of custom levels, and was, deservedly, highly regarded at the time. But perhaps the greatest compliment I can give is to say that even now, nearly 4 years after its release, it remains one of the best examples of a desert/canyon style level, and despite all the advances in the intervening years, is still comfortable to stand beside the best of all levels! The reason for that is that there is no substitute for basic good design, attention to detail, and sheer hard work on the part of the author! I played this level more than once back in 2002, and it still remains clear in my mind (I'm rather proud of the fact that I completed it without any help and found 4 secrets the second time through ;-) From the start, when Lara is in the small valley, it is obvious that a great deal of effort has been put into creating a believable environment, and you're not disappointed as you progress. It actually has that quality of looking better and better the further you go, to end in one of the most spectacular valleys in a custom level! Some of the puzzles are quite hard, and there is one particular jump sequence in a very tortuous side canyon which is quite difficult, but the level's by no means impossible for a player of average skills if you have the patience to persevere. It's obvious that an enormous amount of attention has been put into the details, with all the beautifully textured rocky cliffs looking very realistic, as do the semi- buried ruins. One of the things that really impressed me was that despite being a single level, it seems larger and with more gameplay than many multi level sets! My second time through took me 3 hours and the area covered seemed enormous, but that's the clever design as the path Lara follows loops back on itself at a higher level, thus using more or less the same ground twice. The secrets, particularly the final one, are excellently placed and you do have to work at finding them. And all this for a download of less than 3MB! Congratulations Jeyem, this is an outstanding level, and a level no Raider, or prospective builder, should miss! Highly recommended!" - MacRaider (30-Oct-2005)
"The first thing that struck me was the use of textures it could easily have all been a mess of wallpaper but for the work that's gone into it. And considering the size of the level it must have taken ages to get it to look so well especially the rocks. There is a great sense of place and a great amount of 'place' to explore in. Just when you thought you had seen enough sand and temples go along another track and there's more go through a crawlspace and there's more climb a rock and there's more. I had to go get a cup of tea I was thirsty that's the effect this sandy Egyptian level had on me. A vast area to cover to find out what you need to do and it's not that easy. You have to use your common sense. It's probably the most realistic type of raiding like what you'd do yourself in the same environment with one exception - pushing 5 tonne blocks all on your own. There's no transparent ledges run through walls lasershow and all that jazz. A couple of times I thought Lara was a-gonner when she sank into the sand and I wouldn't have found that crawlspace under the sand if I hadn't read it in the forum. I particularly like the rock climbing and precarious jumps among them. There are some very well hidden moveable blocks and that puzzle in the lovely Cleopatra room of pushing the blocks along corridors had me baffled for a long time. And that room where you crawl through a crawlspace right out into giant rotating blades past scissors blades chains hard jump over spikes - and this is a timed run! Now that was something else. The penultimate flyby and the final one were brilliant. I'm not a great fan of desert levels so it might be better to pay more attention to the other reviewers. Considering its age this level is quite extraordinary." - CC (05-Aug-2003)
"Small download big level great puzzles I had to sneak at the help page on mpragers site. By the way to shoot the two ninjas before they light the oil pick up the revolver in the secret room. After you have pulled out the first block there is a second one in the passage where behind is the revolver. Ido not normally review a level but I was impressed with this one. Lots of gameplay with a reasonable amount of difficulty that will please most of the people most of the time. Well worth a 9." - Jaypee (21-Jul-2003)
"This is a very good level only 2.98 MB heavy so well built but very frustrating which leaves me less than enthusiastic about it. First of all throughout the game the author doesn't offer us a shade of a visible clue as to where the game is really going so one has to find one's own way at the cost of a lot of patience and sometimes many Lara's lives in a very confusing desert environment where most of the rocks just seem the same and you have to examine them ten times before you're sure where to go next. Then the difficulty placed in many jumps (I stress it again without a clue) here is greatly overdue - if you want a game to practise hard jumps impossible jumps then this is it. I have to admit it I checked the walkthrough several times but although we're rating levels here not walkthroughs I have to leave a fair word of warning: the walkthrough (for which everyone me included are grateful anyway) is very imprecise and useless most of the times. Had I been unable to find my own way my own jumps I'd probably still be staring at the walkthrough. The only time it really helped me was in a room with spikes no clues and a series of jumps where my Lara died many many times. Since I'm there anyway let's talk of the room that follows that one... There's a block that you have to push and pull but no sign that there's any kind of block there - should one simply start pushing every bit of wall one finds? Because there are very many walls in Tomb Raider Games! And on top of that there is a lever in the main room which you will probably use before you ever find that block - that's misguiding! And then then there is a bug which makes you think maybe you'll be unable to finish before you calm down and reason a little... If you do as it says in the walkthrough (please check) and pull the block only once at the end the door will remain closed - plus you won't be able to find an important secret right around the corner! But if you just pull it along the longer corridor Lara will cross the closed door like a ghost... and will be unable to find the secret. So it's very simple what you have to do is pull the block into the main room so that the door will finally open. Not 'pull it at least once'. A second block is right at the end of the corridor where Lara can now go. Pull it until you can get back in and you'll find the revolver and revolver ammo. Then you'll be able to proceed. Now why is the revolver so important? Because despite what it says in the walkthrough in the room with the flames that follows the next one it's possible to kill the two baddies who start the flames just as long as you have the revolver (I believe the author of the walkthrough mustn't have found the revolver) and then you won't have to put up with any flames at all. Otherwise call me stupid if you will but I just couldn't find a way to stop the flames from starting which makes it impossible to reach the final lever in that room. As for the final trap rooms... Jesus! The final trap rooms are really mean. Another advice: if you read the walkthrough and decide to 'jump and grab' in the room with the swinging blades you'll never ever make it. You have to find a way to land on the step just bellow the next set of blades (which isn't that simple you'll probably try a bitter taste of spikes several times) and immediately jump and grab that's how it works. Next before the ending there's a timed door after a couple of chains you can only pass if you crawl. If you just crawl as you get there you'll never make it. Never mind the almost harmless chains... Make a run do a somersault and then immediately crawl in before it closes. Finally you'll have two flybys which I really really liked. Very well conceived! All in all this is very good tomb raiding great desert ambiance very realistic but come on now let's not make everything so hard you'll end up happy that the adventure has finally ended. Personally I like having fun while solving problems and this was more like solving problems while trying to have fun..." - Jorge22 (08-Jul-2003)
"What amazed me the most about this level was that I didn't get seriously stuck in it - didn't have to turn to the walkthrough didn't have to read stuck threads very often (just had to take a peek once) - and this by no means is an easy level (but again for my surprise I didn't have any difficulties with it) - there are a lot of challenging jumps and quests here whom I thoroughly enjoyed through the one hour and thirty minutes I spent here - while it actually took me an evening and a morning to get done with this. And as you don't get stuck much the fun factor increases immensely and there's a feeling of accomplishment when done with the level which I most definitely had. This is a great desert level with a great setting and texturing the use of enemies is fantastic - like a ninja steeling a jar and trying to get away with it then another ninja igniting the oil or activating the spikes and not forgetting about the ones trying to surprise Lara when she escapes with the vraeus. I only found one secret and if I'm not too lazy I'll replay this another day to find the rest too. My only complaint would be the lighting - I know many players and builders don't care much about it but once you see how good it can be anything below that jumps in your eyes- and here it really wasn't used to it's potential. That would be the only complaint - otherwise this is a level I'd recommend to anyone who's in for a challenge try it!" - eTux (18-Jun-2003)
"The Lost Valley level by Jun I found to be a great level with lots of puzzles to solve and flybys to let you know where to go. Enemies such as Ninjas crocodiles and scorpions to fight and boulder/blade/spike traps to outrun or avoid kept me going a long time. There was a difficult jump sequence that took me days to get just right but once I knew how it went it didn' seem quite so difficult thanks in great part to Monika' walkthru and Tombaholic's addition to the walkthrough (what a great sense of accomplishment when I made it.) And the last run/jump sequence was great. And the fact that Lara's feet sunk into the sand made it seem that much more realistic. Nice transition between areas and very often you can see where you need to go thru a barred window. I think this level deserves the high rating it has. Nice job Jun! Keep up the great work and is there another level in the making?" - Patson (11-Jun-2003)
"I'm extremely surprised that I have any hair left after playing this annoying frustrating level. It's taken me nearly 2 weeks to do this after so many times of saving exiting dialing up the internet and looking at the threads in the forum for help. The first room in itself had me stumped for about ten minutes then I realised the jump wasn't that impossible after all but I did hope the rest of this giant level would be a bit more free flowing. But no my worst fears were realised when there was impossible jump after impossible jump. They were very clever and you had to constantly look around for a way forward but I did this so many times the fun just just disappeared. At first I gave up on this level for a couple of days but I was determined to make it through after all it received excellent ratings. About half way through I got the hang of looking around and jumping so it began to grow on me but even so this level pushes the level of frustration to a new limit. If it wasn't for the excellent construction and design of the level along with atmosphere and some nice little camera sequences I would despise this level. I hate to sound harsh but I'm honestly portraying how bitterly annoying this level was at times. I got the impression the author wanted to punish the players in some way by including so many areas where you can get stuck not only gameplay wise but I encountered a couple of illegal slopes as well. But overall I can appreciate how others loved this level and I agree that it is perfect for people with lots of patience and love a challenge. However for the more casual gamers like myself who just want to have fun exploring a level leave this one alone." - TrueRaider (05-Mar-2003)
"Well I have finally finished this superb level. Not without Monika's walkthrough and extra help with some jumps from the more experienced players.. I must admit I really liked this one frustrating though it was at times. Definitely one of the more challenging levels. Loved the crocs half submerged in the sands and also the tunnels you had to crouch down and find. Very sneaky. Lots of nasty puzzles the 4 slopes and 2 boulders springs to mind and also the 2 Ninjas and inflammable pool. I was really sorry to end this game and look forward to the sequel. [that is if there will be a walkie for ] Anyway well worth a play." - Tortoise3 (28-Feb-2003)
"Because I played this with another Raider he on the Mac and I on the PC this took a while to finish. We started completely on the wrong foot as the trick were Lara could crawl under the sand escaped both of us. Thanks Matthias but from there on we made slowly but surely progress. Wasted quite some time in trying jumping in the area behind the temple and found out that it wasn't the way. It is a hard level as jumping with twist and turn are not my forte as such but it was fun. And with two minds thinking it is even more fun. The tip FG gave with the boxes was a golden one as I wouldn't have thought of it. Getting finally the 2 jars is not easy. Best in this level I think was the sand were you encounter creatures and Lara even crawling through it. Hardest was the timed jump with the gate and the dash Lara had to make after being killed a couple of times with boulders knives and spikes. Found 3 secrets. 23-01-2003" - Gerty (26-Jan-2003)
"What a fantastic level! TOP QUALITY. Great atmosphere. Textures and lighting are perfect. Cameras very well placed. There are some flybys very impressive. The last one is amazing. I found the level quite challenging and exciting. I liked very much the hidden sandy tunnels and I think that the final Golden Rose is a nice touch. It took me a while to find that door with a pink movable block opened by the switch in the crate room. I had great fun. It's an excellent adventure to play." - Cuqui (14-Jan-2003)
"I have been intentionally leaving this towards the end of my TRLE level playing activities to make sure I get a decent level to play and indeed I did. I actually played it twice in a row. First by myself with some help from the forum threads and then again using Monika's walkthrough to double check if I had missed anything. The second time it took me just above 1:30 hours of net gaming the first time round basically most of a Sunday but this level is a treat in every aspect. The environment is about as real as it can get with TRLE. From the sandy desert to the rocky mountain areas and caves with the already mentioned very smart use of sand where Lara's feet 'sink in' and scorpions and crocodiles roam and crawlspaces are hidden. Gameplay is an absolute delight as you are exploring a lot and Jun always has yet another twist up his sleeve in making you do yet another tricky move with Lara just when you thought you have seen and done them all. Enemies (scorpions and crocodiles) are placed well but are not a major factor here. The ninjas though more than once fulfill devious tasks in activating traps - very smartly done. Plenty of puzzle pieces needed along the way (cartouche guardian key hand two canopic jars and vraeus). There are also a few movable rocks and blocks (one used in a rather clever puzzle) the draining of the water pool and subsequent effect on the environment in brilliant and the scene where three boulders open up a whole in the rocky wall was nicely done (so nicely that I let Lara watch it in awe and then she got inadvertently hit by one of the tumbling boulders and died - LOL). I have already mentioned the tricky jumps required along the way - some really devious indeed but always fun and giving you a great sense of accomplishment once you master them. The overall interconnection of the rooms is utterly remarkable as you always end up in places and kind of think: 'Oh right - that's where I am now. Saw that place before from down below'. For good measure there are also two timed sequences - one at the end which requires a nice move to make it through and the gauntlet towards the final flyby is an adequate ending of this fantastic adventure. Maybe more could have been done with secrets (are there more than three?) and those bird blades did not have any sound in my game but that's about all I can come up with in terms of complaints. I will as of now officially begin to support Dimpfelmoser in his constant advocacy for this level - this one should really be played by every serious raider out there. And now that I am through this one it would be a good time to release your third masterpiece Jun ;-)" - Michael (05-Jan-2003)
"After hearing so much about this level I thought it was finally time to give it a try. I had started it a while ago but had become hopelessly stuck at one point. Luckily Dimpf came to the rescue and I started it again. 'The Lost Valley' is a great level no doubt about it - but I'm not sure that I would rave about it quite as much as other reviewers have. The enemies are pretty much what you'd expect to find in a sandy kind of environment so no surprises there. And speaking of the environment I do like sandy desert levels but for some reason this one didn't particularly excite me in terms of how it looked except for the bits where Lara can crawl underneath the sand (I haven't seen that before in a custom level). Despite these small reservations though camera shots were helpful and I couldn't fault the gameplay; however I do feel that some people will find it too difficult in places hence the slight downrating there. I do think that this level belongs in the top 50 though and I recommend that you download it if you want 3 hours of quality raiding." - Bex (09-Nov-2002)
"This amazing stunner gets my second full ten treatment without hesitation. This one is without a doubt the most realistic level I've played so far (Oct 27 2002) from the landscape to the very original use of textures to create a real sandlike feeling where Lara goes in it ankle deep: brilliant. The gameplay is 100% pure: though difficult at times everything is manageable. At first you more or less go along a path but you immediately get a view of things to come high above (bridges to cross) or just along side (small crevices through which you can take a 'sneak preview'). Some stages are very memorable like the three boulders held by the fences you have to shoot (you can shoot the first without having the laser view but for the others you'll have to find the viewer). Some action scenes give you 100% worth of your money as far as tension is concerned: take at one point the crawling section for instance where you get a rear view of Ms Croft suddenly followed by one no two no! three scorpions slowly making their way towards her. The flybys too are tops certainly the last but one where you immediately get to see all the obstacles you'll have to conquer. Only found 3 secrets but there's one where you have to shoot two vases from afar (at least I did that and heard a door opening but could not find it) that is really clever. Anyway enough drivel go play this and after that give this author a cigar (or something more healthy preferably because I want him to make more levels NOW!)." - bERT (27-Oct-2002)
"This level is unique and who thinks about dinosaurs or TR1 when hearing the title is wrong. I really liked this level. You are in a desert like environment and everything might look a bit boring but at a closer look it's not. Texturing is very well. You get the feeling of being stuck all the time. You can see pathes high above you but have no clue on how to reach them. All the time you can find a 'window' showing you a goodie a lever or some kind of artifact but there is no chance of reaching it yet. The whole level will have you jumping around climbing up and down diving along passages searching for pickups levers and hidden passages and getting past vicious traps. (boulders and spikes). Opponents are placed well. You will encounter ninjas little scorpions and crocodiles which will appear out of 'nowhere' (hidden spots - not out of thin air I might add). Some are crawling around in quicksand so be careful if crawling into any passage. There is some quiet background noise. Sound was also used to accompany a pick up or the entering of a new area. There are a couple of secrets and weapons to find; Uzis crossbow lasersight (will be needed) shotgun and revolver. But you will never get too much ammo. At the end of the level is a very mean part involving a timed door and some dangling chains. This is where I learned a new button-combination sprint and crouch. So far I made a different dive using the jump button." - Tombraidergirl (08-Sep-2002)
"A great desert level! And it is really tough. The atmosphere was somewhat mysterious because Lara never knew what she would be facing next. Various artifacts to find for Lara and she had to work hard for them. Overcome complicated jumps various traps and there were also timed doors that were not so easy to master. The textures were cleanly processed in part. The sound was outstanding. Throughout the entire level there was different music. The opponents were not all that many but sufficient. The level is more based on riddles. Also the overall design was great. Is recommended. Not necessarily suited for beginners as it is sometimes stressful :)" - Navi (28-Aug-2002)
"This is just about the most challenging true TR game I have played. There is a logic that fits each piece of business together unlike a most recent game which was not a 'game' but a series of extremely challenging puzzles which were not held together at all). I could never have finished The Lost Valley without visiting the forum a number of times! And many of the jump sequences were GREAT! Real challenges for experienced TR players. I very much liked the double rolling balls sliding sides with the small standing sites about in the middle of the game. I figured this out on my own after 'just one and a half hours'. I also loved the many twists that had me convinced I had to do one thing when in fact I had to do something quite different. Case in point is the escaping ninja after the sloping area with the revolver ammo! Excellent. I only found three secrets after playing the game three times. They must be very well hidden." - Dougsan (01-Aug-2002)
"This is a great level. I really loved it. It reminded me of the good old days of TR1 lots of exploring to do if you have to get up somewhere you start in a totally different place so you have to look very carefully around to see places to climb or jump to (like the Sanctuary of the Scion level in TR1). The sand was really done very good I've never seen this before and I liked it a lot. Not too many enemies that's good because I don't like shooting al the time puzzles are more to my liking and that there's plenty of. The end of the level is very hard to do (in my experience) but not impossible. If you're going to play this level you better have some experience with playing tombraider or it might be too difficult for you. I would never have made it without the help on the forum so it's a good thing it's there (and nice to know other people get stuck in the same places). A must play level!" - Josi (24-Jul-2002)
"In a word WOW. What a level what an adventure what an episode in frustration. This is a tough level with seemingly impossible jumps hidden crawl spaces and ladders and you will die frequently in your exploration of this valley. The boulder pit was particularly difficult as was the spike pit later in the level and as is my want I have slightly decreased the gameplay score to reflect this. As I say the average raider will just find levels of this difficulty too frustrating to continue. I loved it even if the score does not reflect that but I must be consistent in how I score these levels. It took me just shy of three hours to complete in game time but I wasted a whole weekend searching my way around this level with frequent pleas to my co-conspirator in Texas and between us we managed to find our way." - Torry (21-Jun-2002)
"'The Lost Valley' is an amazing frustrating and ultimately very satisfying level to play. It begins with a tricky jump a hint of what lies ahead. Shortly after that scorpions converge on Lara swimming in and out of the sand - a great effect. Set in a network of desert canyons this is a challenging level full of difficult jumps well-disguised blocks to move and deadly traps (one jump alone took 30 tries to complete successfully). As you move through the level you get tantalizing glimpses of where you need to go but getting there can be complicated and some areas won't be reached for quite a while after you first notice them. Enemies aren't overly used but they're used in clever ways: crocs burrow through the sand; a ninja steals a key puzzle piece and disappears behind a locked door; other ninjas run to set off traps for Lara. Visually this is an incredible bit of work. Using textures from KV5 (and maybe some original ones too) the author has created canyons with stunning and realistic rock patterns and arching stone bridges. A honeycomb of tunnels and passages snake through the canyon walls and under the drifting sand. Cameras and sound are used skillfully to round out the great atmosphere. In one sequence as Lara crawls through a long low tunnel the camera switches to show a band of scorpions emerge and give chase. Toward the end a flyby gives a disconcerting but useful preview of the deadly gauntlet of traps that must be crossed to finish. The overall effect is a level where nearly every detail has been thought through right down to the last secret - a gift for our heroine upon completing her mission." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)
"Nice level with a very real architecture but the lighting is not also that real. The puzzles are ok and the use of textures is nice too. Worth a download for the fans of Valley of the Kings (TR4)... even if here we don't have a jeep! :)" - Leandro (21-Jun-2002)
"This was a huge awesome and amazing level. It combines both a large area which you can and must explore very well to find your way around with some very clever puzzles that I had to spend some time figuring out. There are few enemies but they are often part of the puzzles as you have to kill one before he closes a door and then two others before they set a pool of water on fire. I had a weird thing happen in that room though. I used some sloped section of the wall to get to the center section of the room before the ninjas were triggered then as I jumped into the water to pull the switch the ninjas were triggered. But as I pulled into the alcove with the switch I saved my game and for some reason when I left the alcove the ninjas were gone and never set the water on fire. Some of the puzzles involved what I'll call obstacle courses where some tricky jumps and some speedy fingers were needed to get through. They included boulders spikes chains and a very tricky timed door and had me saving and reloading a lot. Most of the level is 'easier' though and just involves a lot of exploring and searching. I often saw areas up high and wondered just how and when I would reach them usually it involved difficult jumps that don't even seem possible but are. It's easy to get lost and confused - I would probably still be lost today if it weren't for Torry's help. The environment is very realistic looking and included many hidden underground passages and underwater tunnels (which were nice when I was feeling a little sunburned). My time at the end said two hours but it actually took me a whole weekend and I found three secrets including the golden rose at the end - one of the hardest secrets I've seen in a while. This is not a beginners level but it is great fun and very exciting. Just don't forget your sunblock and your compass." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)
"One of the hardest levels I've ever played. Prepare your keyboard or gamepad you will need a good training for this hard work. Many slopes and tricky jumps of all kind as well as many deadly traps will make many players getting crazy but it's possible. The secrets are so well hidden the last one you can only find when you push an also well-hidden lever earlier in the game. Enemies are not so many but they are all well placed. In one room there are coming 2 ninjas while the cam is circling around if you don't shoot them in time they set the water under fire and you cannot access the lever for the last secret in the end anymore. In the last room the big statues look brilliant I recommend this level for professional players. I played over 3 hours and found only 3 secrets out of 5 or 6? One of the best Egyptian levels I've ever played." - Freeman Porter (21-Jun-2002)
"I thought this level was too long. Also it was very hard to find out where to go and where some of the 'keys' were. The lighting and texturing were okay but there was nothing special about them. The sand on the other hand was well done and the enemies were very hard to spot in it. The last run to the finish where a camera shows what you'll encounter was also a nice touch." - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)
"This is a beautifully designed level. The lost valley has sand so realistic that in parts you can crawl through it. The puzzles almost every room had one were not too difficult to perform once you worked out what to do. The method could take a long time without hints in BBS and help from Australia. I was a little disappointed at the end to find a room with so much still to do and the exit of the level ahead but reading the posts sent me back to the inflammable room and the ninjas and allowed me to go bounding round the ledges and statues to the final secret." - Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)
"What a level? Definitely not for the faint hearted or novice. From start to finish you are faced with hard puzzles sorting out routes difficult jumps and moves. When you seem to be really stuck there is when you look round what looks like an impossible solution but go for it. For me the biggest downside was the to me garish graphics being colour blind was a problem to see grab able edges etc." - Whistle (21-Jun-2002)
"Great level this one has all the difficult jumps and kept me well challenged for hours. Practice your raiding skills with this one. I got stuck several times but help was at hand. Really was impressed with the originality of the sand." - Grayboy (21-Jun-2002)
"The Puzzles were by no means easy but with some careful and sometimes logical thinking they were not so difficult that you got bored of the game. Some very inconspicuous movable blocks were encountered as well as a neat trick of how to smash a hole in a wall even though it was a bit obvious what Lara had to do to get the balls rolling. Almost every area had something crucial to do to complete the level with very little running back and forth. If you haven't mastered aerial acrobatics with Lara yet then you will find the spike pit room difficult. There are some timed door puzzles which I thought were very cool. Atmosphere...Did I feel like I was in The Lost Valley?...Possibly. The camera work was very helpful at times and sometimes a tease as you get a glimpse of what is to come. I thought the giant statues at the end were impressive or maybe even...WOW. I enjoyed this level. Good one Jeyem." - Jason (21-Jun-2002)
"This desert level nicely designed including submerged temples is especially for TR fans who enjoy tricky puzzles and smart climbing. Step by step the player has to search for the right way in this level often facing tough challenges. You better master your keyboard as you will often jump and twist in midair. The designer proves with this level his aptitude for well thought through 'find the path' puzzles. Whether there are invisible gaps in the sand camouflaged levers and movable blocks shootable texture tiles; this level has a high entertainment factor. Enemies do not play a major role but being attacked by almost invisible scorpions or crocodiles while standing in quicksand was quite an experience." - Hendrik (21-Jun-2002)
"I write a review even though I couldn't finish the level completely because of a bug when I wanted to leave the temple with the Golden Vraeus. But I've been told that the level is almost finished there. My statistic says that I played 3 3/4 hours but it took me much longer because I had to wander around and find places to continue with the game. Without the help of the forum I would never have made it. I think that this is a very well made level and it has some rather difficult parts in it. Sometimes there was with the sand and the walls too much yellow there for me. I liked the idea with the hidden tunnel in the sand (when I discovered it). There are not too many enemies and they are well placed. I found 2 secrets." - Monika (21-Jun-2002)
"The lost valley is a level worth playing. I have to congratulate the author for the sand trick and room designing. The puzzles are well put and separated in a way that your interest is kept alive. Many level designers have used moving blocks but this one has used them wisely you don't have just to find a hidden area behind such a block the block is part of a puzzle. The textures are convincing and the outside area is also attentive. I think all of us know how difficult it can be to create open spaces in a way that satisfies the eye. This level has the right difficulty. It allows you to continue playing but the right time provides you with an obvious obstacle that you need to overcome using your jumping skills or is bind with an enemies action. The enemies are appearing at the right time to contribute in the flow and not by any chance randomly just to break the monotony. I enjoyed the room with the flammable water to be able to proceed you have to try and isolate a couple of enemies before they perform an action. Also the back tracking is done by different areas and not from the same route but that has to do with the well connected rooms and good work. Basically this is a level you must play." - Kristina (21-Jun-2002)
"This Jeyem's level is very fantastic and excellent! A little bit difficult are puzzles and actions the way to get the golden rose is somewhat complex. But the geometry is great textures and atmosphere are very good. The trap area near the goal (rolling balls ploughs spikes and swinging chains) is very exciting! This level is one of the best I've ever played." - Vinci (21-Jun-2002)
"The lost valley is huge and awesome. I never played a single level of 3 hours of net gaming before. It is beautiful and very challenging. The setting is splendid the gameplay and exploration exciting and some puzzles are very subtle. Nice use of sand to hide secret passages or enemies. I don't understand why this masterpiece is not in the Top50. Maybe it is because of some difficulties: some jumps and a timed door are very hard and the secrets are not easy to find. Mind you I have played 250 custom levels and this level has just made its entry in my personal Top Ten. I have a great respect for the author's work it must find the consideration it deserves." - eRIC (21-Jun-2002)
"Boy what a tour de force. I gotta admit not in a month of Sundays would I have managed this without the trusty help of the forum. So under normal circumstances I wouldn't give 10 for the gameplay but this clearly belongs back into the top 50. This is so perfect in many (if not all) respects. The fantastic desert atmosphere the way the different areas interact how the gameplay picks up over the four hours this took me and most notable the use of the sand really this is such an ingenious idea that I wondered why no-one had thought of it before. But there are so many other highlights so many areas to explore so many surprises and so many truly inventive things. Like the way you have to spur into action during the flybys; never had that somewhere else and the jumps and chases that are really tricky and seem impossible sometimes so you have to employ the sound advice from Sherlock Holmes that says: If a situation seems impossible you have eliminate everything that is in fact impossible and the option that is left however unlikely is the way to proceed. Not many enemies but the few you get are placed well like the three scorpions that chase you in a crawlspace and the crocodiles that lurk in the sand. As for the secrets you better find out yourself. I could rave on forever about how the whole area is constructed how you get a feel of the place how you can't help but think that you're really there how the puzzles blend in so well with the setting how you get such a variety of tasks that the few levers you encounter make perfect sense the total bliss you experience when 'The End' rolls in. Everyone should play this and don't worry all the help you need you'll find in the lost valley thread. Getting close to a hundred reviews and my second four tenner." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
"This is a very good level! It was extremely fun! I liked the scenery & sound was very pleasing & can lose you in these pleasant surroundings. The background is very pretty with 'photo' mountains & lends extra appeal in placing yourself right into this far away land. There are many canyons & ruins strewn over a wide range. He has some of the best Secrets hidden throughout & finding them is very fun. It's a large level & will take a while to complete especially one 'dam'deable spot': a spiked room with slanted columns at entry face tall slant column to left must run jump-veer so will slide backwards & then grab (she misses right on edge mostly but you can get it)...shimmy to right slide backflip slide on next tall column jump & then jump to middle thing hanging from ceiling...! That spot was too hard in my opinion. You may get really mad before you get it but get it you must. Yoda says: 'Do or Not Do' lol. Most of the crocs can be easy kills & the ninjas as well. Scorpions round out the enemies. You will travel to all kinds of hidden 'valleys ' ruin refuges & you'll really enjoy the thrill of finding each new area. The journey has some tough places to figure out but you can do it & will be amazed at the skill that went into making them that way. One spot had me thinking I was going to find a motorcycle but alas you must rely purely on your bi-pedals ermmm feet haha. Toward the end I thought what a treat it would be after all this to find a treasure some Gold etc. to take home...but unless you're smarter than me you probably won't find any either. The end looks like could be explored & I found a moveable block that couldn't be moved! Sand was in way. All other spots didn't appear to be reacheable but 'Oh sooo left you in anticipation...wishing you could.' Now go play this and ENJOY IT!" - IndyDallasJones (21-Jun-2002)