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Lara's Obsession I - The Red Snow Palace by Alessandro Abrahao

Akcy 7 7 9 8
Dimpfelmoser 7 7 7 7
Dougsan 6 5 7 7
Engelchen Lara 8 7 8 7
eRIC 8 7 7 7
eTux 6 7 7 6
G.Croft 6 6 8 8
Gerty 6 6 7 7
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jose 7 8 7 8
Josi 8 7 8 8
Kristina 8 8 8 9
MichaelP 7 7 7 8
Momster 7 8 8 9
Mulf 6 5 7 6
Necro 9 8 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 7
Phil 8 8 8 9
RaiderGirl 8 7 8 8
Ryan 7 8 8 7
Sash 5 7 6 6
Sherry 8 8 9 9
The Aussie Adventurer 7 6 8 7
Torry 7 6 8 7
Treeble 8 7 7 7
release date: 06-Oct-2002
# of downloads: 90

average rating: 7.33
review count: 25
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file size: 18.10 MB
file type: TR4
class: Cold/Snowy

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"After Paul’s Tomb of Queen Fufutiti and Kiopo’s Temple of Cleopatra, this is third level in a row in which I got to pick up the revolver in the very first room; I hadn’t realised that this was a thing back in the day. In this instance, the revolver is among the supplies spread out next to the Jeep in which Lara arrived, so for once she was mindful enough of past experience to bring it along when embarking on a new adventure. She can use it too, as this is one of those levels in which she has adversaries who somehow manage to keep one step ahead of her at all times. These adversaries take the shape of white ninjas, so we’re in ‘Mummies in the Arctic’ territory; it’s one of the better examples of the genre though. Except for the ninjas, Egyptian elements are mostly relegated to secrets, a strategy that cleverly reframes the builder’s choice to keep it simple (he uses an only slightly modified Tut1 wad) as discoveries of hidden truths about the place you’re exploring.
On the other hand, the builder went to the length of creating a custom texture with tyre tracks to indicate the path by which Lara arrived in this place, so it’s a shame that when it comes to other aspects of design in the initial area, he didn’t really apply himself. The outside rooms are full of stretched or otherwise carelessly applied textures and nasty cracks, thus leaving not the best first impression. However, both texturing and lighting improve markedly as the level progresses (at least when it comes to interiors; exteriors continue to look rather meh). On occasion the place even looks plausibly dilapidated, as when you reach an underwater gate that will remain closed but can be bypassed through a broken part of the wall next to it, or eTux’s ‘steep pillar’ (a toppled pillar that leans against another at a 45° angle—creating an illegal slope, but it’s obvious you’re not meant to go there).
Commendably, the builder sometimes breaks up symmetries in this manner. Sadly, he’s inconsistent with it. The gameplay, which is otherwise fast-paced and fluent, suffers from a sagging middle section featuring what promises to be an ‘elemental’ challenge but which turns out to consist merely in the repetitive task of pulling four levers at the bottom of four identical shafts, arranged (needless to say) symmetrically. This is preceded by a triple rope swing of the frustrating kind. You can jump directly from the first to the third, so the second rope may have been intended to serve merely as a decoy; but either way, you’ll have to line up a diagonal jump from rope to rope. You may remember from a similar task in the original “Catacombs” level that as long as you’re swinging, it looks as though you’re about to miss by a wide margin, and you’ll know you’ve lined up your jump correctly only when you eventually hit the mark.
Gameplay picks itself up after this stumble, though, and gets back on track with more platforming, traps and enemy encounters; flipmaps are used to good effect on two occasions, and in one instance the builder employs sound effects to transform simple trigger tiles into proper trigger pads. If you get stuck in an illegal slope off the intended route early in the game, you may take this as an indication that this adventure is not going to be exploration-based. The path you’re supposed to take around the initial ice canyon is straightforward, and this goes for the rest of the game as well. However, if you take the cue too seriously and don’t explore at all, you’ll find only one curiously obvious secret. The game proved to be longer than I expected, but gameplay is fluent, flagging only temporarily in the middle section. At the end, you return with your prize (half an Eye of Horus) to the place where you began your journey; red snow was nowhere to be seen, but otherwise I wasn’t disappointed." - Mulf (07-Jul-2021)
"For some reason, I found myself really appreciating some of the camera work in this level, which is not something I always notice that much (aside from having the occasional grump over fixed camera angles). Overall, it’s a very pleasant level and well made, although the contrast between the very bright outside areas and some very gloomy interiors might induce eye strain. Undemanding, but rather fun all the same, I’d rate it definitely worth a look." - Jay (09-Oct-2019)
"This is a pleasant short level set in TR3's City of Tinnos. It seems that the author got most of his inspiration from that particular level as the textures, Lara's outfit and model, everything aside from some Cleopatra's Palace textures halfway through is drawn from that level. I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't so dark in places, and if there were more puzzles than just using levers. Still fairly entertaining though." - Ryan (04-Oct-2016)
"Found some defects as paper walls and ilegal slopes, but this level is entertaining enough and worth to play. I liked the puzzle in the pool room with four openings, all the pickups I needed and the well balanced enemies. Not difficult tasks, there is excessive darknes in some rooms. Usually well textured except in big triangular panels, cameras and sounds are well worked too. Found some secrets in crawlspaces and no much backtracking. Not a jewel but very enjoyable. Recommended." - Jose (10-Aug-2016)
"Here's another old level built in the TR3 arctic style that reminded me a lot of the concluding levels of the much more recent epic, The Sacred Emerald. You get about an hour's worth of gameplay, which is fairly pedestrian but nevertheless enjoyable. The enemies are a whole bunch of ninjas scattered throughout, but they're carrying loads of goodies for you. Our friend Cher (Momster) has provided a clear and concise walkthrough which helped me through the rough spots. A fun raid." - Phil (22-Jun-2012)
"A good level with a few outside snowy areas and underground temples in the Tinnos fashion. The few outside snowy areas are not very "organic" and the textures througout the level are not always well applied, on the opposite some of the rooms have a very atmospherical touch. I enjoyed the raiding here , nothing too complicated to do, but there is the occasional interesting jump , and some neat original ideas (like the room with the pad tiles with flipmap and appropriate sound) which make the 45 minutes spent here quite enjoyable. A good level !" - eRIC (24-Nov-2008)
"I was very impressed with the overall layout of this level, can't really put my finger on why, it just felt right. Sure there were no real puzzles, or any particularly challenging task, unless you play without using medis like me, because that way, it is challenging. I had fun playing it. And there were a few wow moments, for example when sliding into the big watery hall, very nice camerawork there. We finish with one Eye Piece, that suggests a sequel was planned, but now it seems, it will never be built. That is too bad, I liked this levels." - Akcy (20-Aug-2007)
"I have played quite a few levels set in the arctic but this one has to be my favourite so far. Theres a lot to do which boosts my score for the gameplay. There's jumping platforms, dodging boulders and plenty of dudes to kill. The only bad thing to say about this level is there are a few textures missing and a cutscene goes through a wall which looks a little tacky. The environment is nicely implemented and the lighting and textures set the scene perfectly. I really enjoyed this level and unfortunatly, this seems to be the only level by this designer that I have. Hopefully, I'll find another as I'm sure there will be another planned as the end of this level left it open for a second one. I can't wait to play it." - Necro (28-Aug-2006)
"If you want a solid level to play I recommend this one to you. If you want a level with a lot of challenge and ruthless enemies to fight then this one is not for you. But if you want to just explore with a couple of enemies thrown in then you should choose this one. This level starts off a bit sluggish but later on into the level things become more interesting and challenging. You are faced with ninja's and scorpions as enemies. The other challenge is the switches and jumps all of which are not difficult. There are no real puzzles to speak of nor are there any great secrets to find. In fact the secrets are probably too easy to come by. I have to give full credits for the layout and design of this level. Some areas are very good but some needed more work but mostly they are well done. The biggest thing I am disappointed about is the sliding into a wall bug. What I mean by this is when a level designer creates a level sometimes all bugs are not fished out. We all know about when Lara lands on a block at a 45 degree angle or more she slides down. When she slides into a wall she gets stuck and there is nothing you can do about it except load from a save game. All level designers should make sure there are none of these. If I had to give this level a grade I would give it a C+ a high pass mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (08-Nov-2004)
"I wasn't expecting too much with the somewhat lukewarm reviews this level had but I really loved it! Perhaps it's just me but from a Level Builder's perspective I found the layout to be extremely intelligent and the gameplay fast-flowing and highly enjoyable. Yes the texturing is a little scrappy at times (and I have a personal aversion to Tinnos) but the rooms are well crafted and the level has great flare; just as you think you've seen the last of an area you encounter it again from a different angle (which I always enjoy). The atmosphere was quite convincing and there were some breathtaking moments (in particular the plunge into the '4 ladder' chamber). Indeed it was the constant accumulation of such little delights as these that really made this adventure. A very fine level-building debut and I hope that it continues." - Orbit Dream (13-Nov-2003)
"Sure this has a fairly nice environment set in an Arctic climate but it just didn't deliver with its gameplay which revolved around pushing levers and even the levers weren't made too impressively used as was made evident with the 4 copied lever rooms that were needed to open one underwater gate. There are though 4 secrets with almost all of them yielding their own little room or area that I really liked but they were a bit too easy to find and some of the jumping and moves were fun but again nothing too involved. Ending back where you start after 45 minutes this is the first in a series so keep a savegame because hopefully the next will be a whole lot more challenging." - Sash (18-May-2003)
"A nice mixture of outdoor snow textures with indoor palace textures that curiously enough did not seem out of place. Gameplay was not too taxing with the game overall being fairly linear. Caverns on occasions were too dark in my opinion but adequate flares were provided. Could have used a few more flybys to show what was happening." - Torry (22-Jan-2003)
"Lara begins here in a snow area with gorges all around and has to explore many caves. It is her task to find into a kind of temple the eye of Horus however I only found one piece of it. One has to go a long way to get there especially climbing and jumps over abysses. Many levers to pull some diving and occasionally a rope swing. The atmosphere pleased me well as Lara is much outside and then again in gorges and caves :-). The riddles are to be easily mastered. I found 3 secrets. Opponents are baddies and scorpions. All in all it is a good level." - Engelchen Lara (22-Dec-2002)
"This is not only a fun level to play but it actually tells a great story as well. Lara starts out in an icy cavern standing near her jeep and you can see the jeep tracks in the snow where she has driven in. After crossing an icy chasm she is off on her quest to find half of the eye piece. This task involves some swimming draining a room opening some doors and a four lever puzzle that is actually easy to solve as the answer is right above the door you are trying to open. After another puzzle in which you 'freeze' a room you get the eye piece and then make your way back to the jeep - apparently your next adventure will be retrieving the rest of the artifact." - RaiderGirl (24-Nov-2002)
"Even though when you start this level with no expectations on something you never seen before you are surprised quite a few times! There are a lot of interesting flipmaps one for example in the room where the Egyptian artifact (well half of it) lies there are a lot of flame traps that will be replaced by ice so Lara can step on to grab it. It's interesting and I recommend it and even the tricky jump the author warns about in the readme is not so tricky - or I am really becoming a pro raider (LOL). Anyway this was a fun level and I hope to see another level from this author soon. :)" - Treeble (07-Nov-2002)
"A nice little 1 hour level. Not much puzzling but jumping and levers to find in this good-looking palace. You move along both inside the palace and outside along the snowy deep pits that surrounds it. The end was a little abrupt after finding half an eye piece and returning to the jeep where you started but I'm looking forward to a sequel where we find the second eye piece and get to use it!" - G.Croft (05-Nov-2002)
"Never was it so easy to get the revolver! This fifty minute level has a nice flow plenty of jumps easy to find secrets (although one requires a rather long detour I think) quite a few ninjas and a clever course that brings you back to the starting point. There were definitely too many climbs and especially the four ladder area had me saving above and then coming back to that savegame should the pit you climbed down into be the wrong one. I'm a bit cryptic here but you will see what I mean when you're there. The course is rather linear and alternates between snowy outside areas plain caves and traditional tombs. Although the atmosphere is fairly believable some textures were applied in a lacklustre fashion and especially the outside areas seemed a bit too functional. I liked the flip map near the end and the flyby with the two boulders but gameplay wise we could have done with a few puzzles and some more challenges. Nevertheless an impressive first effort." - Dimpfelmoser (01-Nov-2002)
"Just as I began to enjoy this level it was over. I like snow levels. Don't quite know why but I do. There are no challenging puzzles in Red Snow Palace and the enemies are easily killed with just the standard pistols (I used two small med packs start to finish and believe the level could be completed using just one on a second effort). But I did have some fun and do recommend it to any and all who like snow levels and want a short game (one hour max) to play." - Dougsan (28-Oct-2002)
"Always good to have a story and I would definitely say I look forward to the presumed sequel to this one. An icy adventure with a good deal of exploration and some really nice ideas like the broken column in one room the boulder cameras and of course the avalanche that cools down the lava room and allows you to pick up your artifact of desire - half an eye piece. The area with the four levers you had to climb down to was a little tedious if you got the sequence wrong some textures are missing a rope swing through walls is there and the flybys are a little rough around the edges but still it is a fast paced 50 minutes adventure that is worth a try. Enemies are mainly ninjas and some scorpions. I found three secrets." - Michael (27-Oct-2002)
"I liked this level it looks very nice you start with picking up medpacks and the revolver then you have to get through the palace to find the artifact. You find ninja's and scorpions on your way but they are not hard to get rid of. Most of the time it's very clear where to go and what to do you don't have to look around for hours not knowing what's next. I had a good time playing it." - Josi (23-Oct-2002)
"A small nice level to play if you have about an hour to spare. Nothing hard and the gameplay is as much as pushing a lot of levers and maybe could've used some real puzzles. There were also quite a few stretched textures and the lighting sometimes could've been better. But the level has its moments - the bright red room with the eye piece that becomes a nice snow room after you do something (not sure what though) and maybe this was nothing special for the others but in the room with the 3 ropes there was a nice steep pillar which I imagine was not so easy to make but did catch my eye when playing this level. If you like snow levels you'll like this one." - eTux (15-Oct-2002)
"Normally I'm not into ice levels they remind me of winter and the cold. But this is a nice level. There are not that many enemies ninjas and scorpions (and did I see a dog? Could be that I mixed up two levels so don't go looking for it). Getting entrance into the building is another story as you have to cross the abyss. There is some rather nice jumping throughout the level and if you think that a jump can't be made just do it. Finding levers is your main goal to get a half of the Eye of Horus at least that is what I found. There are a few traps but mainly it is exploring. Lots of swimming to do as well and do save one or two medpacks as you have to make a drop that will take your health if it isn't up to standard. There are some secrets to be found I got 3. And at the end I found myself back where I started. 08-10-2002" - Gerty (13-Oct-2002)
"This was an enjoyable hour's time spent although I prefer a little more puzzle effects but still and all a fun level. There's a fair amount of fairly thrilling jumping to do and a good amount of swimming and plenty of ninjas to battle. One of the better snowy levels I've played and with a little more challenge and some puzzles it could score much higher but I am nevertheless impressed with this author's first offering." - Momster (12-Oct-2002)
"Starting with Lara's outfit and the snowy scenery it looked promising and it was good. Not many puzzles though. Most of the time you do have to jump and climb but I wouldn't describe this level as boring. A lot of ninjas to kill and levers to push. You get a nice flyby with rolling balls in a room near the end and a nice way to come back to this room after you complete your tasks. The end was as the author described by sliding down and finding the jeep again. The atmosphere was great but it could be better if there were some real puzzles in there and bigger challenges. It will give you close to an hour's gameplay." - Kristina (10-Oct-2002)
"This level is a great adventure. I love snow levels and swimming so I got plenty of both in this one. The atmosphere and textures were very good with only a few mistakes i.e. thin walls. The puzzles were not hard but the game play was fun. A few ninjas to shoot but otherwise few enemies or rolling balls or spikes (thank goodness). Very enjoyable level and I recommend highly for a fun evening." - Sherry (08-Oct-2002)