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The Old Catacombs by Harly Wuson

alan 5 6 6 6
CC 5 5 5 5
Cory 8 7 7 6
Dimpfelmoser 5 6 5 5
Ejecta 4 4 6 5
eRIC 6 6 6 6
eTux 5 5 5 5
Gerty 6 7 6 6
Jay 5 7 6 7
Jose 5 6 6 5
Kristina 6 7 8 8
Magnus 4 5 5 6
Mehrbod 7 6 7 5
MichaelP 6 7 6 7
Orbit Dream 7 5 6 6
RaiderGirl 7 7 6 7
Ryan 6 5 6 6
Sash 5 5 5 5
Scottie 3 3 5 4
Sheevah 7 6 7 8
The Aussie Adventurer 7 5 5 5
Torry 5 5 6 8
Treeble 5 4 4 4
release date: 10-Jan-2001
# of downloads: 72

average rating: 5.73
review count: 23
review this level

file size: 18.91 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"From playing this you'd never expect that the creator would go on to be one of the more notable builders of this early period, but it's not exactly Harly's House of Horrors either — though I would still describe this level as being a veritable hodgepodge of rooms, chambers, doors, waterholes, hallways and corridors of all manner of differing shapes and sizes, with the Egyptian theme as their sole shared element. Often the ceiling is so low and flat that I felt guilty for making Lara jump whilst underneath it, and the geometry is rarely modified at any point in the eponymous catacombs until the end, making the blocky nature of the Level Editor even more noticeable to me than usual. Despite all of this I still found the level design's imperfections to be charming in a way that I can't exactly place, and I'm not even too bothered by the simplistic nature of the gameplay i.e. you pick up things and kill baddies with them (of course anything involving explosions is enough to satiate my easily impressed primate brain). Along the way, some unintentional moments of hilarity ensue by way of the 'secret' located in an alcove directly opposite the starting tile; the 'oh s*** we gotta get the f*** out of here' soundtrack dutifully rumbling along as you slowly empty one room of a military base's worth of weaponry and ammo; a ninja patrolling and subsequently firing his pea shooter from the floor of a deep pool. However, I wasn't really amused by the sneaky decision to implement multiple pathways at certain points in the map, one of which would always lead to your doom via a trap or a softlock. You could say this is supposed to encourage the player both to save often and to explore all parts of the level, but it still felt a little too tedious and unnecessary for me personally. All in all, you should probably just go and play this builder's other creations instead but if you do decide to try this one, be sure to tread with caution lest you are caught unawares by a spiked boulder waiting within the gloom…" - Ejecta (04-Jan-2024)
"I personally enjoyed playing this level a lot. Although it seemed simple, but it worth giving it a play! The best element which satisfied me was that it somehow reminded me of the original "Playable Tutorial Level". Gameplay was good, objects were placed properly. I didn't understand the main purpose of the secret chime actually. Atmosphere was eminently good, but the lowest rating goes for lighting and textures, where some rooms were immensely flat-lit and textures were stretched. Thanks!" - Mehrbod (09-Jan-2019)
"It doesn't look like catacombs, but more like the Playable Tutorial Level by the textures. There is many ammo to kill the enemies. I found grenades and crossbow ammo but didn't find the weapons. Lighting is good. Gameplay consists in finding puzzle items, pushing floor levers, monkeyswinging and avoiding to fall to the lava. I didn't use the Hand of Orion, but I had seen its receptacle before. Perhaps it led to a secret." - alan (31-Jul-2017)
"It may not be Catacombs as we know it, but it's still very much standard Egyptian fare, taking place in Cleopatra's Palaces and Tut1 locations. It's not bad at all, very straightforward, lively and linear. Some mummies, scorpions and ninjas to dispose of (no problem with exceedingly high amounts of ammunition) and some traps and climbing to negotiate. For beginning raiders wanting to test the waters, so to speak." - Ryan (05-Jul-2017)
"If you're looking for some action, this is your level. Hundreds of pickups, you can dispose of all the weapons, hundreds of enemies to shoot, a lot of floor levers to pull... Sometimes you can choose alternative routes, the classic "move the statue onto the marked tile" and the classic spiked ball traps are present too. There are elongated textures in many places. Some swimming, place some artifacts and a rope swing in the final cave. You'll always find something to do or where to go, but even so I didn't really enjoy this level, cause the absence of puzzles, and repetitive tasks." - Jose (17-Apr-2015)
"This thirty minute level hardly shows the promise that the builder's later work would realise, but is quite lively and fast paced, mainly involving shooting mummies, scorpions and ninjas, with the odd trap thrown in for good measure. The ninjas do come at you in large numbers towards the end of the level, but by that time you'll have amassed just about every possible weapon and enough medipacks to treat an army, so pick your weapon of choice and have fun. Personally, I blew everything up. Positively theraputic." - Jay (15-Dec-2014)
"Anyhow I do not like this level. I find him just irritating and confused. So many doors on small room, which one must open with a lever, or which opens by itself. So many mummies and Baddies, which let wither this level almost to a shooting level. The Baddies appears too often in Laras back. In addition still there come stretched or missing textures. And the feeling, that the level builder has broken off the level right in the middle because of listlessness. Well, some rooms look quite good, one finds all kind of weapons, ammunition and medipacks and there are enough flares fo the dark places. But, nevertheless, anyhow I do not like this level." - Scottie (11-May-2009)
"Judging from the title you'd think this would be yet another catacomb level, but it's actually a tut1 level and not a bad one at all, if we're to analyze this is Harly's first (and what he'd come up with much later), but it's really poor in some aspects. The gameplay is pretty simplified, following the lever/pickup progression, and there are way too many pickups. Every new area you get in, you get half a dozen of them. Like other reviews point out, don't let this level put you away from Harly's levels, because the later ones are simply brilliant. 15 minutes. 01/07" - Treeble (28-Jan-2007)
"Basically, I found this level to be a bit mediocre until about the end of the level. The level seems a bit dark, which is ok since it's supposed to be in a catacomb, but makes it harder for lara to navigate. There are several boulder traps and some areas jumping over lava. The texturing needed some work because there are places with stretched textures and places where textures do not seems to fit in with the level. Enemies consisted of ninjas, mummies and scorpion. They might have provided more of a challange if we did not have so much ammo. If fact, I only ever used the bow gun with explosive tips for the whole level. The highlight of the game is the very last room. I can't say how much I enjoyed the last room. The last areas is the standard of on what the rest of the level should have been like. If I have to give this level a grade, I would give it a C, a pass mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (23-Aug-2006)
"Well, I know it says Old Catacombs, but it's really a bit of everything texture and design-wise - Cleopatra, Settomb, and very much Tut. It's pretty straight forward at the start in a tomb like setting, even though it might seem hard with all those doors to open. You are locked in with mummys and ninjas to deal with in sometimes cramped places. You need to save a lot though, as a boulder can crash land on top of Lara if she attempts some levers or pickups, but I really like the little maze where torches lit up as you approached. And then she reaches the best looking part, a huge, tall, lava floored cave where she jumps about on ledges and monkeyswings across the ceiling at one point. She reaches a door that need two hands but I never found them. This is a very early level and lasts about half an hour." - CC (14-Jun-2005)
"This is a puzzling level puzzling as in if you want to open every door and do whatever is needed there you better be sure to have some saved games at strategic points. Because you cannot open all doors at the same time so it is a matter of choosing which way you want to go. You can finish the level without finding the hands you need for those doors and then you only need one hand as one door is a trap. Nevertheless it is a fun level and if you are in for a short rather fast paste level this is the one. And even as a first it is rather good. Ok some missing textures and some wafer thin walls but I am not complaining. There is an overload of ammo and every weapon Lara can lay her hands on and to get rid of the mummies as I hate them clawing at Lara the weapons come in rather handy. Best was the way you had to go over the lava in the big cavern. 27-02-2004" - Gerty (28-Mar-2004)
"I started with the author's latest level ('The Lost Acropolis 1-3') and worked my way down and this level doesn't hold the quality of some of the author's newer levels. It's still quite nice in its own way though and it reminds us of the days when you didn't have to have custom textures or objects in a level to have it approved by the players - you could just build for the fun of it. I'm not saying that it's not fun to build levels these days (I'm sure it is) it's just that it was easier those days when you didn't have to spend such a long time making new objects or finding new textures. Uh I'm drifting off. The level takes between ten and fifteen minutes to finish and before you reach your goal you have to push levers close to the doors they open pick up a couple of Hands fight ninjas kill (or avoid) mummies and make some easy jumps. In other words it's a standard level for the time it was made which isn't as fun now as it was when it was new. Well I guess all levels will have the same faith in time... Anyway the level is quite nice but I still urge you to play and review The Lost Acropolis 1-3 instead those three levels make a really classic adventure that hopefully will stand the test of time." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)
"A classic tutorial level but with no resembles to the original. We are after hands and the two pieces of the cartouche while fighting mummies ninjas and some scorpions. Of course with all the weapons available that's not a problem. There is some climbing swimming and rope swinging but that's about it. The fans of Egyptian levels will surely like this one but it's rather short twenty five minutes." - Kristina (26-Jul-2003)
"A rather short but fun experience. You run around a tutorial alike environments which don't look much different from other tutorial levels but don't look too bad either. I heard the secret chimes at least twice but don't think the statistics counted any of those as secrets. The lighting was quite good but the textures could've been better what they are in his other levels. Nice effort worth a try if you have the time for it." - eTux (26-Jul-2003)
"This is a good first effort, but it seemed a little incomplete to me. There was a room with two receptacles for two stars toward the end, which seemed to serve no purpose. The textures were rather stretched in places, but the dark lighting helped to compensate. Essentially, the level came across as a short assault course; full of action and fun to play, but just a little too abrupt." - Orbit Dream (15-Dec-2002)
"I thought it was a hard level because there were quite a few booby-trapped mazes mummies kept blocking your way and finding levers was quite hard. The Grenade Gun was hard to get because there was a boulder coming down right next to it. The dark lighting made it look like you were in catacombs and the fire jumping was fun." - Cory (15-Dec-2002)
"Although the setting has a few flaws and the tasks are a spirited run through the well known TR standards this fast paced tutorial quicky manages to entertain. You get too many pick ups too many levers and the pushable statue puzzle is a bit obvious but I liked the fact how Harly incorporated all of Lara's moves in the 20 minutes of gameplay. At times it seems like any other beginners level but there are a few things that set it apart like some unusual camera angles and how the torches light up in the little maze. The enemies are placed cleverly and mean boulder traps provide additional excitement. All in all more enjoyable than Fearsome 1 & 2 and no I never found the two hands that one expects to be there somewhere." - Dimpfelmoser (15-Sep-2002)
"This is a pretty standard level of around 30 minutes duration that won't tax even the part time raider but the last few minutes give you a glimpse of what Mr Wuson will produce in upcoming levels and as this is his first I believe it is interesting to see how he developed into what I consider one of the master level builders." - Torry (01-Aug-2002)
"Set in a tomb there is not much to do here but collect a few key pick ups that are practically placed in your path fight some ninjas and mummies and well that's about it there are no great puzzles or rooms here to grab your attention. I found it hard to believe though that this level was made by the same author who created Valley of the Hell 2 and The Lost Acropolis 1 as it lacked almost all the special qualities they had but noting the date this was released I presume it was Harly's first foray into level designing he sure has improved since. I ended this level after 25 minutes but funnily with still about 5 unopened doors and receptacles for 2 Hands that I never got to find maybe someone else will open these doors and tell me what lay behind them if anything at all." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"This is an early work by the author and a standard Tut1 level with only 39 rooms although it seems larger. Mummies are used to advantage here and you meet a few ninjas and scorpions. I found two secrets by the sound of it (Uzi and Crossbow) but the count did not increase. There are a few good camera angles many vases to shoot and pickups to collect and an occasional spike ball to dodge. You will find most of the weapons available and have to place to hands and a cartouche to progress. There is one bug in the water room where you fall through water and a few missing textures. I enjoyed the path through the big cavern near the end of this 20 minutes adventure but never had to place those two other hands in their receptacles (did I miss another secret?)" - Michael (21-Jun-2002)
"This is the first level I've played by this author and I have to say he did a great job for it being his first level. As far as looks go it's nothing we haven't seen before but looks very appropriate for the setting and has only 39 rooms but manages to seem much larger. It could have been boring with so many doors to open and quite a few switches but with some ninjas mummies and scorpions to dodge some traps to avoid and a small maze to get through it never becomes boring and the thirty minutes it takes to play move by very quickly. Near the end there is a place to use two hands and when I ventured back into the area I had already gone I found a newly opened door and managed to find one of the hands which was really all I needed. One of the doors leads to instant death and the next leads to a large room filled with goodies - over 20 pickups! Then it's off to a large cavern a few jumps swings and climbs later and you're done. Though I felt much of the level was a bit too dark I had a lot of fun playing it." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)
"Comparing this level to the others of the same author I was a bit disappointed when this one turned out to be nothing more than quite a typical tut1 level. Don't get me wrong - it's not bad but nothing spectacular either. You have to get rid of a couple of baddies and mummies and find the Hand of Orion und the Hand of Sirius. Besides you have to do some jumping and rope swinging and open lots of doors. But if you have some 30 minutes of spare time give it a try." - Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)
"As they are supposed to be these catacombs are a set of rooms and corridors well connected together. You will return in some places you have already been through by another door. The enemies are well placed. Texturing and lighting are rather good (I am quite sure now that these textures from the tutorial are really ugly but well it's not a palace here but catacombs!). At one point there are two ways and according to your choice you can miss a part of the game. The puzzles are not difficult and at the end of the level there is a bigger cave where Lara is happy to make a few jumps. Until the end the gameplay keeps to be interesting even if there are no highlights in this level. There are no weak point too but there is not much to be said about this level." - eRIC (21-Jun-2002)