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Valley of the Hell 1 by Harly Wuson

alan 7 6 7 6
CC 6 4 6 4
Dimpfelmoser 8 6 8 7
Dougsan 8 6 9 7
Drakan 6 6 8 6
Engelchen Lara 8 7 8 8
eRIC 7 7 8 5
eTux 6 6 8 6
Gerty 7 5 8 7
Jay 7 6 7 7
Jose 7 6 7 6
Kristina 3 4 6 7
Magnus 5 3 6 4
manarch2 8 6 7 7
Mehrbod 7 7 7 6
MichaelP 7 5 9 7
Momster 7 6 7 7
Mulf 6 6 7 6
Navi 7 5 8 9
Nutman 8 6 7 7
Orbit Dream 7 5 8 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 6 8 7
Ryan 7 7 7 7
Sash 7 5 7 7
Sheevah 8 7 8 9
Torry 8 7 9 8
totizedger 7 6 7 6
Treeble 7 6 7 8
release date: 21-Jan-2001
# of downloads: 92

average rating: 6.78
review count: 29
review this level

file size: 19.43 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cave/Cat

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"This Settomb level doesn’t come with the ‘demo’ tag, but it’s short enough to be mistaken for one, and inasmuch as it leaves you hungry for more, it also serves the purpose of a demo—much better in fact than many an actual one. The game briefly loses its way with its only attempt at a puzzle (the Timeless Sands), which is actually a trial-and-error procedure, and on top of that it comes with misleading clues (torches that light up or not as you approach the corresponding gates). This also where the flare bug makes its presence known (in a strictly linear level like this, using Kill All Triggers to extinguish all active flame emitters should cause no concern). Otherwise, though, the game achieves a good balance between its platforming and its traps. The spectacular boulder run and the spike corridor are both wonderful, even if they’re visual effects rather than elements of gameplay: there’s no actual challenge involved in either, as you simply have to keep running in a straight line. Cameras are used effectively (brief and to the point) on a few other occasions as well.
Enemies, on the hand, are few and often poorly placed. This goes for many of the jackals (some of whom even transform into shotgun shells upon their death) and especially the one occasion on which you meet a gaggle of scorpions. Perhaps it would have been better to leave enemies out altogether; but it that case players might notice that all the pickups are in fact superfluous, and there are quite a lot of them for such a short game. A few are placed so as to hint at the path that the player is intended to take, but that path is usually quite obvious anyway due to player-friendly texturing indicating where you can walk and where you can shimmy (though striations in the red rock textures may misleadingly make it look like a wall was meant to be climbable). Occasionally the path is even too obvious (the revolver secret is a no-brainer), almost like in those videogames where stuff blinks and hoots to draw your attention so you never actually have to pause to look and consider. Not at all infrequently textures are stretched or wallpapered, sometimes in fact looking quite ugly as a result, though it’s usually not as in-your-face as in many other levels. Lighting is fine and consistent throughout, although at least in the lava rooms some variation would seem to have been indicated.
After the not particularly thrilling task of placing a Guardian Key, the level bows out at a point where the part with the prize and the finale is still quite some way away. It seems as though the builder lost interest and decided to end the level prematurely. This may result in disappointment on the player’s part, but it’s better than to continue building when you’re running on fumes. You might be tempted to throw in a maze." - Mulf (05-Apr-2021)
"One of the most breathtaking adventures of all time! Although consisting of almost nothing very special, it brought some creative and cunning elements into the show with itself! One of the weirdest points I've noticed was the fact that animals in this game had pockets full of ammunition and medipacks with themselves, because when they were killed, they left goodies with themselves :) Recommended level! Thanks!" - Mehrbod (20-Feb-2019)
"Short level but very interesting with lots of jumps and traps, but not very difficult. Few enemies besides dogs and scorpions. Many textures stretched." - Drakan (14-Dec-2018)
"This is brief, but it still presents considerable entertainment value and quite a brisk workout while it lasts. There's nothing excruciatingly tricky, but you have to be alert and vigilant at all times as many traps await the unwary. There's a few new twists on well known traps (I particularly loved the multiple boulder run and the spike corridors near the end). There's also a few slope jumps and rope swings to keep you on your toes, as well as the usual couple of artefacts to find. Short, but atmospheric and a good example of how much fun and action can be packed into such a short level." - Ryan (20-Jun-2018)
"I enjoyed this settomb level. I liked doing the jumps, avoiding traps and killing the enemies. I also liked the big pit. When I tried to jump to get the secret, I was saved by a mysterious invisible platform. I committed a mistake when I found the canopic jar and just placed it in a statue without saving. Only ONE will allow you to progress, so I got stuck and I had to reload so far away from that point! So save often. Cameras and music are well applied. The flare bug appeared but you won't need a lot of them (in any case, you can drop the flares so they have light again). It's short (about 10 minutes of gameplay) and I found 1 secret, which was not registered in the statistics." - alan (30-Sep-2017)
"This builder released a handful of levels early on, two of which have since achieved Hall of Fame status. He resurfaced briefly to participate in the first BtB competition but hasn't been heard from since, which is a decided loss to the raiding community. This level is short, clocking in at 20 minutes, but it exudes class from start to finish. There are no timed exercises, but you have to be on your toes at all times because of the many traps. The lighting is good enough that I didn't have the urge to use a flare (a good thing, too, as no extra pickups are provided) until near the end, only to discover that the flare bug had reared its ugly head. Tombini (another former regular who has dropped out of sight) has provided a short but useful walkthrough which warned me of some of the more devious traps I was about to encounter. I suspect the relatively low scores are a reflection of the level's brevity, as everything here is rendered quite superbly." - Phil (05-Aug-2016)
"So i decided to play one of the older levels. Let's start with the gameplay which is not so bad with lots of fun boulder traps, timed runs, jump sequences. Texturing is decent with a few stretched textures only. Atmosphere is well done, the place feels very creepy. The timeless sands puzzle was confusing as i had to guess which statue is the right one and so reloading was sadly necessary. Overall a good level for it's age which is great if you don't mind playing levels with old textures. Took me about 15 minutes to complete" - totizedger (21-Jul-2015)
"Dangerous level full of traps, lava rooms, rolling boulders, spikes, blades... Few switches to pull and three artifacts to use. I diodn't find what is the hint to know in which statue I need to place the timeless sands. The decoration is poor, sometimes the textures are elongated and there are very few objects, but enough guns and ammo to deal with the enemies. Entertaining level with no tricky tasks worth to play. Take a try to see if you can survive." - Jose (20-Apr-2015)
"Short, but packed full of action and incorporating some excellent sliding, bouncing, rope work and boulder traps, this certainly gives plenty of indication of the high standard of future levels made by this builder. Enemies are sparse and easily dealt with - this is all about the platforming and great fun that is too." - Jay (16-Apr-2015)
"What you get here is an excellent 10 minute level with very challenging gameplay. Right at the beginning you solve a hard jump sequence, the whole level is from the same difficulty - timed boulder runs, a nice timeless sand puzzle, dog shootouts on very small platforms, jumps up a slopy area, ... This level truly has a good atmosphere, (at times) custom texturing was OK too. I think this level is very good, let's go on to part 2." - manarch2 (05-Mar-2011)
"With only 21 rooms, the author had managed to give a good level, although not too long, with many 'good raiding fun' moments. A couple of big caves with lava and jumps to perform, a rope swing or raising blocks that open the way across , running all the way down of a long ramp to avoid an avalanche of spiked balls, some blades traps, a dark and abrupt valley where a pack of dogs await on the other side , are some of the things that fill all rooms with eventful actions and with also atmosphere at times. There isn't a dull moment. I quite like the hint that shows which is the good lever to pull among four in the room where we have to place the Timeless sands. I was pleased to see that there was no crashing to the desktop when a savegame is reloaded (a correct script file has been added into the zip versus the first time i played this level long ago) ; the only annoyance is the flares bug that shows up rather early. A level with a solid setting but rather mediocre lighting which is fun to play. I'd wish it could have been twice longer." - eRIC (19-Nov-2008)
"A very short and entertaining level set in enormous areas, indoors and outside. The indoors areas are huge caves with lava floors, and the outside looks like the side of a high mountain with a scary drop into nothingness. It almost looks like the side of a pyramid at one time, jumping up the slope in steps. Enemies are easy enough to deal with, and not really important, as the stars of this show are the jumps, shimmys, ropeswings, climbs and outrunning boulders. Speaking of boulders, Lara at one time runs a gauntlet of numerous falling spiked boulders while the camera is looking at her. That was cool. The only problem I encountered really was, every time Lara dies I was thrown to the desktop. The savegames were ok, but it became a pain having to start the game each time. And it was a major pain in the room with four pharoah statues where you have to place the sands of time only on one of the statues. If you get it wrong, off you go again to the desktop. It's the third one in for those who want to know in advance. A nice little piece of diversion was one lava room. It doesn't seem obvious what happens until you slide down to a small piece of ground after picking up ammo. I actually thought that overhead rock was a monkeyswing. Well it isn't. What happens is a block rises out of the lava for Lara to jump to. When she does another block rises. This was interesting to watch and use. The thing I didn't like was Lara has an overall green colour through most of this level, and it really didn't suit her, also unmarked spike traps and the flare bug. You should be able to get through this within half an hour. Nice little level." - CC (14-Jun-2005)
"Lara starts in a cave and it seems an easy ride, but in the course of the game there is a lot to deal with for Lara. Puzzles are not difficult and you need to find plugs and an Eye of Horus and timeless sands. In order to get those Lara has to avoid boulders, traps and some are timed. I personally liked the gameplay and had a lot of fun. Atmosphere was good, sound a little poor but overall ok. Textures were occasionally stretched, but generally ok and enemies were mainly jackals. A bit short but still well done. :-)" - Engelchen Lara (20-Mar-2005)
"I got very disappointed when I played this level. After having played 'The Lost Acropolis 1-3' (three very good levels - play them and write a review) I wanted to see if the rest of the author's levels were as good. This is the fourth level by this author I've played and it's the first time I've got disappointed. I don't know why though - the level is one and a half years old so having too high expectations was probably quite stupid. The level is very linear and easy and it isn't special in any way. The level is a classical 'Tomb of Seth'-level. You get the two halves of the 'Eye of Horus' a fair share of dogs and of course a lot of spikes and boulders. Also this level has three horrible things in it: trial and error (you know to open a door you have to guess where you have to place the artefact) the flare-bug and (this is a really big one) spikes that shoot out when you lest expect it. The textures are stretched and the lighting isn't very good either. When I finished the level after ten minutes (it really is that short) the only good thing I could remember about it was the blocks that came up from the lava. That was a moment I'll remember. I can't recommend this level but I do advise you to play 'The Lost Acropolis 1-3' those levels will probably not make you disappointed." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)
"Since I had played Valley of Hell 2 some time ago when I started my reviewing I always thought if there is a valley of hell 1 too - and once I found out about the listing downloaded it and thought I'd give it a try someday - I finished it and the 14 minutes I spent here were rather enjoyable. I would've rated the gameplay higher cause the jumps and swings in the caves and the action packed ending were rather fun there's no denying of that and with all the action I almost forgot I had picked up the guardian key and already started to worry when reaching the receptacle and that's a good sign in a wicked sort of way but as already mentioned I spent here only 14 minutes and wasn't in a hurry when completing this so that's a big down. There were some great areas especially loved the great chasm where you find the 2nd eye-piece and the revolver secret. A good level for a break after all those big levels we get these days worth a try." - eTux (26-Jul-2003)
"After playing I didn't know why I never played this level. So looking at the reviews it had I noticed Kristina mentioning that there was no loading screen. Well I am glad as in my download there was one. Probably would have been as mad as Kristina as I loath that as well. Especially in a game like this one as there are many traps and a lot of jumping to do (over slanted blocks). There is however a flare bug and after opening the door with the Eye pieces I couldn't pick up the goodies the jackals left behind as there was an invisible door. Getting the Timeless Sands and a Guardian key killing jackals and scorpions. That spiked ball gauntlet was great to out run and there are more spikes and boulders. All in all this is my kind of game even if I was sitting here with very sweaty palms and not because of the hot weather. 16-07-2003" - Gerty (20-Jul-2003)
"Valley of the Hell 1 is a very short cute level that serves very well as a training ground for newer Raiders. In the 25 or so minutes it should take to complete this sometimes challenging exercise in keeping your mind on business when you want to throw your hands in the air and scream you will have Lara making combination jump after combination jump. If you save a lot the level is VERY easy but the challenge is in not saving all the time but in treating the challenges as if Lara is real and has to complete a challenge from start to finish without a save in the middle. I enjoyed 'Hell 1' when I first played it so long ago. Playing it again today I found it much less challenging but I am a better player now (I hope!). Lots of fun. Well recommended." - Dougsan (06-May-2003)
"That's it I will stop being nice from now on with levels that don't have a loading screen. I am so angry with this situation especially in a level that has so many traps. Spikes lava room spike balls all over the place. I had to start the editor about three times only in the part with the timeless sands puzzle the solution is the third statue because of the trial and error not to mention all the other times I died by spikes and spike balls. I should have given a zero to everyone who doesn't care about that kind of thing and to give eight in gameplay with that problem and with two puzzles the other one was the Eye of Horus is out of this world. Some dogs to kill with the Uzi revolver and shotgun available too much if you ask me. My advice is to stay away." - Kristina (20-Dec-2002)
"A neat little jumping level this. Textures are occasionally stretched but effectively used and the jumping challenges well thought out. The 'open correct door all the others are booby-traps' sequence seemed trial-and-error to me but it was a fun entertainment." - Orbit Dream (07-Nov-2002)
"This is a fun 20-some minutes romp through caverns requiring some skilled jumping and quick-thinking running. Simply straightforward never at a loss as to your course but entertaining nonetheless. Of course I went through all four statues finding the correct one to use the sands on and outrunning spikes boulders being chased and surprised by dogs all make for an enjoyable adventure." - Momster (05-Oct-2002)
"Though this level only lasts around 20 minutes you'll definitely be wide awake by the end of it. It's basically a number of small obstacle courses linked together and taking the wrong route or a wrong step can mean instant death so make sure you save often. The flare bug appears about halfway through but otherwise the style is very professional with well done textures large rooms blocks that raise and lower and great camera angles that show off the well done spike blade and boulder traps. I found plenty of weapons and ammo plus a few secrets that didn't register at the end but there are few enemies so you can focus on getting from one point to the next which will require most of your concentration anyway. Feel like a little adventure? Then this is the level for you." - RaiderGirl (18-Sep-2002)
"An entertaining and fast paced Settomb adventure that is mainly based on jumps and since I like a good jump I had a wonderful time and the only drawback for me was that it ended all too soon after 25 minutes. The part where you placed the timeless sand seemed trial and error to me but probably I missed the crucial clues. It wouldn't have been the first time. Cameras are used dramatically to highlight the frantic runs through boulder- and spike traps. Enemies are mainly dogs which aren't that much of a threat really but never fail to scare the living daylights out of me; especially since it takes a while before the first one appears. The atmosphere is pretty dark and gloomy but not annoyingly so while the texturing solid Settomb standard without anything spectacular but as this is very linear and you won't pass an area twice I didn't really mind." - Dimpfelmoser (08-Sep-2002)
"A small and easy but nicely designed level. The cave with the lava alone and the different representation of the stones stood out. Lara had to find a puzzle piece but the pyramids key brought her to the level end. The atmosphere was very pretty. Opponents were not very many scorpions and dogs. The dogs sometimes dropped objects which I did not understand. But that did not cloud the atmosphere. The sound and the cameras were not much but they were used suitably. A level for in between. Simply nicely designed. Unfortunately also here again the flare bug shows. Nevertheless recommended." - Navi (01-Sep-2002)
"I can unashamedly say I am a huge fan of this seemingly new builder well new to this site anyhow. With this one Harly has turned only 21 rooms into a wondrously huge environment set around towering cliffs and lava filled caves brimming with smart progression and extremely deadly but brilliantly executed traps. I would have rated this level higher but as it only lasts 25 minutes I had to take that into account however I found this to be a thrilling and beautifully laid out prologue to the stunningly wonderful Valley of the Hell 2." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"Amazing how much architecture can fit onto only 21 rooms. Harly sends you through two large caverns first then an outside area with a deep pit (where I found one secret the revolver and killed a few scorpions) and after placing the Eye of Horus and picking the right Timeless Sands statue there is a cute camera view on a spikeball gauntlet and a series of jumps and traps to dodge before you place the guardian key to end the level after about 20 minutes. Fairly standard and straightforward but good fun nevertheless." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)
"A relatively short level which I managed in 22 minutes that has some old fashioned jumping and swinging and running and thinking to do. Good fun despite the lack of monster beasties. All you really need here is quick fingers on the keyboard and you will find your way through. Some impressive in game camera angles that leads to a whole new meaning at judging a jump LOL." - Torry (21-Jun-2002)
"It's really a pity that this level lasts only 15 minutes. Your objective is to get through a fiery cavern alive, then collect some keys to proceed. After that, you must avoid a very cool rain of rocks, looking from a smartly placed fixed camera. Nicer than this, I think only the raising blocks in the middle of the lava, where the next would rise and the previous would disappear, giving you no chance to go back. Well worth the small download!" - Treeble (21-Jun-2002)
"A fun level set around some underground areas with lava and then outdoors with some big cliffs to fall down and one to climb. Some tricky little puzzles including one fantastic run down a slope with spike balls trying to squash you - the camera is set at a distance with gives a great view but doesn't make the essential jump at the end very easy." - Nutman (21-Jun-2002)
"Again another very good level of this author. There are neither much puzzles to solve nor much enemies to get rid off (I remember just a few scorpions and a couple of dogs) you rather have to do more jumping and bewaring of traps (mean traps in some cases - you'd better save your game more often). Unfortunately I couldn't use any flares (they didn't work) and no binoculars either (threw me to the desktop). I found the shotgun and some ammo. Playtime fun was 25 minutes." - Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)