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Lara's Clone? - Gloomy City (Stad Duister) by Jesseas

bERT 7 8 9 8
CC 7 7 9 7
CelticRaider 8 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 7 7 10 10
eTux 7 9 9 8
Fairy Godfather 7 6 7 7
G.Croft 6 7 8 8
Gerty 7 7 8 6
Jason 7 7 9 10
Jay 6 8 8 8
Jerry 5 7 8 6
Jose 2 7 6 8
Kristina 8 8 8 8
Leandro 7 9 8 8
Magnus 7 8 7 7
manarch2 3 7 6 5
MichaelP 6 10 7 7
Miguel 7 9 9 8
Monika 7 7 7 8
Mulf 4 6 5 4
Navi 9 10 10 8
Orbit Dream 8 9 8 10
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 7 8 10 10
Ryan 6 8 8 7
Sash 6 7 8 8
Sheevah 7 6 8 6
SilentViper 9 10 9 8
Snap125 9 10 9 6
sonnyd83 6 8 7 6
Treeble 7 9 10 7
Whistle 7 6 9 9
Xxenofex 6 8 6 6
release date: 17-Mar-2002
# of downloads: 188

average rating: 7.54
review count: 33
review this level

file size: 21.13 MB
file type: TR4
class: City

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Framed by two flybys which are technically well-made but overstay their welcome quite a bit, this takes place in a mysteriously-named abandoned city (the readme explicitly denies any Dutch connection, but fails to explain just why a Brazilian city would have a Dutch name anyway). In consequence of genetic experiments gone awry, it is haunted by things that go cough in the gloom. The game was well received at the time. Its scores profited greatly from the presence of well-made (for the time) custom objects, which appear to have been the level’s major draw when it was released. Some reviewers likened the game to Resident Evil, whereupon one opportunistic feeder decided to honour it with the sincerest form of flattery, lifting objects as well as textures from it in order to throw them together in a few scrappy, speed-built rooms which he then released under his own name as Resident Evil (Demo).
More recently, however, a re-evaluation has got underway. No longer dazzled by all-new custom objects, reviewers have begun to notice that as a matter of fact, the game contains about as much gameplay as a typical ‘home’ or Christmas level, and also gameplay of the same kind, just not as obscure. Most of your time will be spent scouring the map for stuff, going back and forth and up and down and hither and yon, looking for things left in random places. Some reviewers have singled out the cemetery as a particularly atmospheric area, but I’ll have to take their word for it, for by the time I reached it, I had no patience left to take in the surroundings and just wanted to grab the Gem that I expected (correctly) to finally grant me access to the Jeep. Being chased by no fewer than three fire wraiths made the matter that much more expedient. That sequence and the jump across the chasm with the Jeep were the only interesting challenges in the entire level. Destroying the two sentry guns wasn’t one because they never posed a threat (Dimpf explains why); and the two trap sequences (chains and spikes) are toothless, as you can simply jog through them without even pausing for breath.
The giant platform floating in the sky, which baffled manarch and no doubt many others, is probably meant to represent (as eTux suggests) an eight-lane motorway that spreads above the city, but since it is so primitively built—and actually floating after all, not resting on any kind of support—, it just looks like some weird…thing. The idea is great though, and the effect could have been great as well if a more sophisticated version of the structure had been incorporated in the Horizon mesh. The unusual colour chosen for the sky graphics (orange) works quite well, but unfortunately it is entirely dissociated from the lighting used in the map itself, which is colourless and flat, and in interiors tends towards the murky (especially in the hospital). Textures are often stretched or wallpapered or both, and much of the place looks boring, which is not the same thing as bleak. While the city streets are reasonably well realised, largely due to the custom objects (though overall rather blocky and squarish, which becomes glaringly obvious at intersections), the interiors often make no sense. Regardless of what the signage on the façades says, most often there are merely generic Level Editor rooms behind them; and the purpose of the various exceedingly long corridors and and shafts and underground tunnels remains unclear. The entire hospital is mere padding, serving only as thoroughfare to a different place, and—presumably because the builder realised the fact—as a place to stash one of the three easy secrets; easy not least because of the hide-and-seek nature of the gameplay. The fact that they are little blue guitars adds a nice personal touch, but I should have liked some flares to go with them. In sum, an only mildly interesting level justly appreciated for its novel objects, but whose scores enjoyed an otherwise unwarranted boost because of them." - Mulf (28-Feb-2021)
"Certainly quite a novel level for its time, at least environment-wise. The customised objects, textures and enemies are really nicely done and might elicit a chuckle or two and the atmosphere is definitely convincingly unsettling. On the other hand, the gameplay is very tedious throughout and there is a lot of running through too long corridors and hallways and backtracking across the city, too much for my liking. I also thought it was rather too dark in the underground areas and the fact that there are no flares to pick up doesn't help matters. The sentry gun sequence and the jeep ride were admittedly fun, but overall it wasn't very enjoyable." - Ryan (06-Jan-2019)
"As José I am surprised about the gameplay being rated way too high in my opinion. The only enjoyment comes from entering a few previously seen areas from other parts, the sentry gun scene and the short jeep ride, but the rest of this game is just incredibly boring, the areas to pass are excessively large and the level is bar of real puzzles or other interesting tasks. I think that the for that time rather novel and fancy object design together with a few atmospherical elements are much more honorable, the feeling of a deserted city was certainly present. It all would've been even better without those blocky and oversized areas, sometimes very careless texturing, flat lighting and also some strange architecture (that platform floating in the air above the whole city seems pointless to be, but maybe there's a certain sense to it I'm not aware of), but the degree of customization of the visuals is something remarkable, even if it feels quite outdated and also back then it was possible to add more diverse and fun tasks to the whole thing and also put some more care especially into the texturing. Found three rather easy secrets in 20 minutes." - manarch2 (21-Feb-2018)
"This is certainly an interesting concept for a level and I did enjoy some of the cityscapes on offer, but the gameplay was marred for me by far too many long and boring passages to run down. The atmosphere is effectively spooky and I certainly did jump once or twice when a dog leaped out. Otherwise, there are a few zombies hanging around but they are of course easily avoided. An interesting oddity rather than a great game. The little blue guitar secrets are really cute though." - Jay (05-Feb-2018)
"Again surprised with the high rates for the gameplay in a level. Apart from admire the new textures and objects, nothing interesting in this boring level where there is a lot of running and sprinting through dark and narrow corridors without flares. Once you explore the hospital and visit a lot of empty rooms with nothing to do, you can imagine what awaits in the remaining areas of the level. Also there are important items like the jeep keys or the sight lying somewhere in huge areas. The backtracking is sure, even if you take the right routes so, if you decide to play this level I recommend you use the walkthrough." - Jose (26-Jun-2016)
"It looks like this town has been hit by a neutron bomb, since there's a distinct lack of people, only zombies and dogs (albeit untextured), and a few crocs later on, to keep you company. There's a very long flyby at the beginning, possibly too long, and camera shots where required such as entering the hospital, accompanied by a brief but nice soundtrack. The objects here appear to be custom made and add a bit of life into the game, we have burnt out cars, trashcans, ambulances, children's play equipment, trees even with the leaves being shed, all very detailed. The layout of the town is fairly simple, just a few blocks to explore, you can only explore a small number of buildings such as the games store and hospital, the former not appearing to have any games, that I can see. Texturing is nice, some flashing signs here and there, all fairly well designed, still a few minor textures squeezed or misshapen here and there. Concerning the gameplay, the most exciting bit is at the beginning where you're almost sliced up by a slicer and chased by a rolling ball. You then collect a crowbar from the hospital, take out a couple of machine guns, destroy wraiths and generally avoid anything else nasty lurking therein. Then we find ourselves in a graveyard, sewer and collect a couple of keys and make a getaway in a very patriotic looking jeep, job done. Not a bad a little adventure all in all, camera hints maybe are a little too long. Where's Lara's clone? Judging by the title, we would expect to find one, but nothing. Net gameplay 35 minutes." - sonnyd83 (08-Aug-2012)
"I saw that Treeble's walkthrough for this level was a mere half page long, so I was expecting a ten-minute quickie when I downloaded and played it. To my astonishment my game clock registered fifty minutes by the time I was through. The spooky atmosphere is quite appropriate here, as the setting involves a deserted town where human experimentation has been going on. There's a bit of backtracking involved, but since the game map consists of exploring a city block you never have very far to travel. It's a good level to play if you like the sensation of skin crawling." - Phil (31-Jul-2012)
"Not so much to do here besides running around a deserted city, exploring some of the buildings while searching for the jeep keys and the jeep that is needed to finish the level. The whole atmosphere was well made and reminded a little to RE games. I liked the cemetary most. But sometimes it seems like the author had lost interest in putting some more effort into some of the rooms which were a little monotonously textured." - Jerry (03-Jul-2009)
"I am a TR-Player and I like to have fun when I play such TRLE-Levels. I'd like you to know, first, that I am a Resident Evil Fan. And, for me, this particular Level was a delightful surprise. I enjoyed the dark atmosphere and ambiance all around the game. Really. The aspect of an abandoned city after a catastrophe is well rendered. And the lights are particularly well used for. The game, though, is rather easy (even a beginner in TR Games would finish it in about 30 mn). And this is why I have not given a good rate to the GamePlay. There would have been more puzzles and more fights, like in Resident Evil (I would have enjoyed firing on groups of Zombies, lol ;) ! ). A little bit more difficult would have been great!" - CelticRaider (28-Aug-2006)
"Lara is in a very strange world her hair is bright red her outfit is fantastic. There are bright red monkeys walking about everywhere. If you shoot them they disappear in a bright flash of light. Is this supposed to mean something? We're in a town with a hospital and games 'cafe'. The hospital must be the worst on the planet because the patients are all dead and walking around! And not only walking around but kicking the beds and furniture around their wards - or perhaps it was something else! (sinister music here). Finding skateboards and footballs around the place (and yes I did think that she was going to kick it)! Then we find a skateboard park. Aha could this have something to do with Brazil's love of football? Skateboarding I don't know about. Something terrible has fallen from that blood red sky and has crashed through the ceiling of the games cafe and sent shrapnel all over the town. We also have wireframe-type dogs. Are we by any change IN a game? I know we're playing Tomb Raider but are we in another game? Don't laugh you know what I mean. Secrets are guitars. Amazing graveyard scene. In fact this is the only part of the level that looks real. The application of textures was not the greatest except in the graveyard but in this weird set-up perhaps it was meant to look like that. And I loved the black jeep (almost hearse-like don't you think?). This level screams out that it's not finished yet that there are more things to come. Lara according to the newspaper is looking for her clone but I have a sneaking suspicion that we are actually looking at the clone - that red hair and strange tattoo on her middle also what looks like rectangular bits for her naval and on her back and that the next level will show us the real Lara! It would be interesting to see if I've guessed right. I'm bursting with curiosity Jesseas where is the next level?" - CC (06-May-2003)
"Was there a clone of Lara or does this come with a sequel. Game play not very exacting but one or two times you have to think. Secrets are little blue guitars and enemies are really only dogs which do give you a fright. No real puzzles though. Graphics however make this rather short level. With the graveyard and the street scenes well thought out. Well worth a play and I await the sequel." - Whistle (13-Apr-2003)
"A Brazilian work with shows us some new well made objects. An ambulance which is damaged some containers paper baskets and what they have inside ...The game is an abandoned city - which has a secret laboratory where should be a Clone of Lara. Lara is fighting her way in that scary ambience - which is quite real. Some houses a playground a hospital an arms shop a cemetery and of course a game hall - in between you will meet bats dogs (maybe mutants) and undead individuals. It's on Lara to find the Jeep to make her way inside the Laboratory - which takes place in the second part (if it is ready now...?)" - Miguel (02-Apr-2003)
"This abandoned city is straight out of a Stephen King novel. It's very realistic looking with a few city blocks to explore where you'll find a hospital a game store a park and other buildings to search. It looks like something really bad happened here - all the buildings are abandoned there are cars and ambulances crashed in the streets and there are mutant dogs and zombies wandering around looking for fresh food. I really enjoyed playing this and only wish there had been more to do than find some keys and a gem. Jesse please make us another!" - RaiderGirl (10-Feb-2003)
"All my respect for this debut! Very realistically crafted. The city the hospital the casino and the cemetery all very suitable to the atmosphere. The objects were well done I especially liked the secrets (guitars) - have not seen those in any other level so for this alone an extra 10. Enemies were mummies wraiths monkeys and crocodiles. Sound and cameras fitted in well. Puzzles were not that difficult but still well done. Fabulous debut level." - Navi (04-Jan-2003)
"Startling looking level. Unlike all the other reviewers I found the gameplay fast moving and full of surprises. The machine guns were extant when I encountered them as I didn't come upon the revolver and laser sight until later but I still survived the experience (and very exciting it was too). The enemies were many and quite varied the atmosphere suitably dark the textures and custom objects were innovative and quite amusing and I rather liked Lara's hair. Perhaps the music (although probably composed for the level) could have been a little moodier the jeep ride a little longer and the gameplay a little less reliant on lengthy backtracking but nonetheless I found this an entertaining hour-long experience." - Orbit Dream (16-Dec-2002)
"This is the only TR-level ever that has a moment that nearly made me jump off my chair: the bit underground with the long darkened blue tunnels where after the last corner you have to climb up one block...and are immediately confronted with the barking dog (resembles a bit that well known moment in the original Resident Evil -RE- where the dogs break through the windows): only for that moment surely a level to remember BRILLIANT. This level has more RE-moments and has a lot of atmosphere fitting the subtitle - dark city - (being Flemish kinda Dutch-speaking part of Belgium the title Stad Duister was no mystery to me of course.) Gameplaywise nothing out of the ordinary (linear). Nice touch as far as the secrets were concerned (only found out late that the secrets where in fact those little musical instruments doh!). One of the rare levels that makes me wanting more so I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel already announced." - bERT (22-Aug-2002)
"This 50 minutes adventure is one for those players who want to see something different. The many objects used here make this a really interesting City setting with trash containers on the sidewalks overturned ambulance cars a skater halfpipe a playground graffiti on the wall an eerily empty hospital with small fires burning here and there and a truly impressive and spooky graveyard area. Enemies are retextured mummies monkeys very strange looking dogs and a few bats crocodiles and fire wraiths. Not to forget the three secret guitars you can find and Lara's outfit is cool too with a nice belly tattoo added. On the downside though there are a few rather pointless long flybys and also rather tedious and boring gameplay with a lot of running around through endless corridors to basically find the Jeep keys an MCA Key and a gem and after a quick jump with the Jeep make it to the end. So certainly one to look at even though gameplay is not very exciting." - Michael (12-Jul-2002)
"If the author hadn't written that he had retextured and actually made certain objects himself I would have sworn this may have been made with a different games Editor with Lara transplanted into it and unfortunately the great look and atmospheric feel were really the only commendable aspects to the level. The most striking thing about the gameplay was the final jeep jump across a chasm ripped into the roadway of the abandoned city that she finds herself in but otherwise it's just a matter of finding a few pick ups and shooting a couple of automatic guns. The 3 secrets I found too were just a little too obvious to find especially as they were beautifully coloured guitars and in the gloomy lighting of this 50 minute level they sort of stuck out. However for just sheer interest in checking out the new objects as well as the best and spookiest graveyard I've seen so far this is well worth checking out maybe part 2 will involve a little more puzzling but either way I look forward to playing it just to finally see the clone!" - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"Hmmm... this is the author's first level so many flaws are expected... but I didn't find any. Apart from the textures stretched and compressed sometimes. On the other hand this level is very fun! It is perfect for the Recon Labs fans as it has the same gloomy the same creepy background. Lara is in an abandoned city and that only improves the atmosphere but if you liked the city atmosphere wait until you see the graveyard... now we have to wait for the follow up to discover the truth about the clone :)" - Treeble (21-Jun-2002)
"Lara runs around in an abandoned city abandoned by humans that is. There are monkeys and mummies and mutant dogs around. Lara has read in the paper that she has been cloned and she's trying to find that clone. She doesn't in this level but hopefully in the next?!? The gameplay is mostly finding items to be able to open doors to finally get access to the jeep and take it for a short ride and a jump. Some new texture and items gives the level a fresh look." - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)
"In this level you play as Lara Croft (with a very nice outfit... but I still prefer her with the original black hair) in a city that's very similar to Racoon City from Resident Evil... it also has the zombies! The city is very big and nice to explore but the design is not very beautiful. It's real ok but some textures are way to simple and the lighting isn't very good. But we have some nice touches here like a lot of new objects (I liked the 'entulhos' box he he) and a very weird but very beautiful sky graphics. The puzzles are simple too (almost all of then are just exploration puzzles) but this is a city level so I didn't expect something really different. Anyway this level has a few problems but it's fun and that's the important thing. Now we just have to wait for the next level to see Lara's clone... can't wait for it!" - Leandro (21-Jun-2002)
"Starting this level I was really surprised to find myself in a ghost city. Inhabitants are mummies monkeys and some spooky dogs and even a lost croc. Very well done I would say. Overall a gloomy atmosphere. Very dark in some places and I only had three flares. The gloomy bit suited the level but the darkness; no. The dogs did gave me a fright as I had to play this late in the evening with the lights off. I stumbled across the revolver laser sight and car keys lucky me or else I would have still be running around. Progression is OK only got stuck once at the cemetery as I was chased by wraiths and I had only two flares left and didn't know where to run to. Found 3 secrets they are not so hard to find lots of rooms to explore especially in the hospital. Still don't get the bit with the monkeys. They disappear with a flash if you shoot them and in one room kept appearing so I decided not to shoot them anymore. One of them even showed me the way to the graveyard nice monkey. I was impressed by the textures and the details that went into it and hope to see more of this author with a bit more puzzles. 15-05-2002" - Gerty (21-Jun-2002)
"This level is very short if you know what to do otherwise it can take a long time to finish. The city looks good but the lighting isn't that good and some textures are stretched. The new objects look very good it's just a shame that the jeep can drive through them. All in all a quite fun level which can take you an hour to finish or 20 minutes depending on if you manage to find your way in the city or not." - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)
"Getting through this level is a matter of persistence looking for the elusive crowbar or the key to a door. No real puzzles involved. Eventually you find the diamond which releases a jeep for the short ride longer if you wish to go round the streets and a jump across a broken road. Not my favourite type of level." - Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)
"I really liked this level and I'm sure that making it the objects etc. and making the level concept was not that easy. I liked the Zombies and the Robo Dogs but not the monkeys I think they don't fit in the level. The jeep ride could have been a little bit longer. (I drove five times round the street before I actually jumped over the pit). Now my comment to the texturing: This is a problem that often happens when people build a bigger level (at least I encountered this problem when I build a big level). I work quicker and quicker because I'm so looking forward to release the level. But if you work to quickly you often forget to texture the level as well as possible. So a tip for the author for the second part of Lara Clone: Take some extra days for texturing the level in consideration when setting a level release date!" - Rene (21-Jun-2002)
"This level takes place in a city and you have to explore some of the buildings. Your quest is to find the jeep in order to jump over that huge gap in the street and finish the level. There are some new objects used and the one or other special effect (like e.g. the 'neon writing' on the wall). But the buildings inside are not so well textured they look rather bare and all the same somehow. The atmosphere of an abandoned city is okay especially the cemetery was kind of thrilling. The gameplay itself is not that spectacular but you can give it a try." - Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)
"There are lots of areas to explore with not a lot to do. There were no puzzles to solve as such. I don't even recall any switches to pull. Even though I am not a fan of the street scene levels I have to say that the textures are absolutely stunning to look at in every way. The detail is brilliant from the skateboard on the half pipe to the computer game boxes on the desks. Even the good old trusty Land rover sporting the Union Jack and a new paint job looked the business. You can tell almost instantly that the author has spent a lot of time changing the textures and objects. Even the secrets were cool. Since the author said in the read me that this is going to be a two part series I can only hope that there will be some puzzles to solve in the next part and of course the same high standard of textures will be used as well." - Jason (21-Jun-2002)
"Very good level. Well styled objects well designed city the only thing that disturbed me were the sometimes too stretched textures as this 'smoothed out' the pieces too much. I also liked the scene with the Jeep jump - I crashed into the pit 5 times. Secrets were well placed and I found three more by accident. Sound I did not like so much as it appeared when I entered a hospital but not when I came across a mummy. All in all a great level but way too short." - Silent Viper (21-Jun-2002)
"This time Lara looks different with bright red hair and tattoos. The start in Druid Stad looks very promising. There is sort of creepy atmosphere in this empty town. Then Lara runs along the street and collects this and that. Entering the Hospital and going from one drab room to the next gets a bit boring. In parts I found the game interesting (e.g. the part in the cemetery) and in others there was too much running around. Lara can shoot the red monkeys and she has to shoot the cloned dogs. The mummies are just to be avoided. There are fairly long camera sequences in this level. I found 3 cavaquinho (musical instrument) and they were the secrets. You get a Jeep Key almost at the beginning and actually you have to use the jeep only for a short ride and a jump over a gap at the end. It took me about 85 minutes to finish the game." - Monika (21-Jun-2002)
"The first thing you will notice while starting is the buildings they are all very convincing and you can get a good look of the surroundings by a long flyby at the beginning. You are supposed to be in an abounded city with zombies and trying to find a way out. I was pleased with a playground and a hospital although the second had no surgical equipment how could this be both of them were a nice bypass from the ordinary. Also the music differs a little. You can see Brazilian flags stating the nationality. Right about the end an atmospheric area will lead you to the gem and the final scene. The secrets are not hard to find but the interesting part is what those are something that looks like a guitar. A fun level to play." - Kristina (21-Jun-2002)
"In this level there is a big number of new objects. Also the opponents and Lara are formed again I have not liked the dogs however. Gameplay is relatively simple Lara is demanded rarely. The textures are all new but very monotonous. The author has inserted a few good camera trips in the lighting he could still improve. Because of the objects you should play the level however anyway." - Xxenofex (21-Jun-2002)
"At the beginning it looked more promising than it actually is. The highway in the sky gave me a hope that I'll get to drive there with the jeep and get to another area. But there were really not much things you could do here. The textures were nice cause they're custom but they were stretched in areas where it could have been easily avoided. The outfit looked good Lara's red hair was cool too the jeep was nicely textured but I encountered that I can drive through obstacles with the jeep. I think there are better levels out there but you can download this one to take a look at it. I really hope that part 2 of 'Lara's Clone?' will be better and bigger than this one was." - eTux (21-Jun-2002)
"Welcome to Gloom Town where the streets have no name but skateboarding is still going strong. This level certainly has its flaws but I think we should give the author a big cheer for trying something new. It's certainly different from everything I have played so far. Let's start with the good points. Definitely the best custom outfit Lara has sported in this part of the universe and I liked the red hair a lot. Finally a medipack placed with some logic (near the crashed ambulance) thankfully there were no SAS guards patrolling the streets and the patchwork dogs are so much scarier. A really spooky graveyard in authentic Ed Wood style new objects and textures and an omnipresent bleakness that gave the whole thing such an apocalyptic atmosphere. Frankly whenever I see the Brazilian flag I have to put on some Bossa Nova so that turned it into a rather swinging adventure over here. On the downside you have to do a lot of uneventful running and room exploring which makes parts of the search rather dull. Since you most likely find revolver and laser sight before you come across the sentry guns the whole constellation seems as pointless as the never-ending flybys. In my case the guns never fired a single shot. If Jesseas can come up with some puzzles jumps challenging tasks for the second part he could deliver a truly marvelous thriller." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)